Letter from James Whitaker Sr. to His Senator

James Whitaker Sr. was born on Swearing Creek in Rowan (now Davidson) County, NC on April 3, 1779. He was the youngest child of Joshua Whitaker Sr (1735-1798) and Mary Reed (1748-1832). He remained in Rowan County helping his mother with his ailing father Joshua Whitaker after the rest of his family and friends moved to Fairview. James married Mary “Polly” Walker in September 1800. He and his wife and mother moved to Fairview in Buncombe County by the spring of 1801. He and his wife were charter members of Cane Creek (now Fairview) Baptist Church. He was the church’s first Deacon and Church Clerk.

Whitaker moved to Swannanoa in the spring of 1807. He moved to Franklin in what is now Macon County, in 1825. James Whitaker moved to what is now Andrews in Cherokee County in the spring of 1835.

James Whitaker wrote the letter to US Senator Willie Person Mangum (at left, with punctuation, spelling and capitalizion  left as in the original).

Western North Carolinans gave Andrew Jackson 88 percent of their votes when he was elected president. He barely won. When he ran for reelection, he won in a landslide. However, in Western North Carolina, 78 percent of the people voted against Jackson in one of the biggest turnarounds in US history. Uncle James Whitaker wasn’t the only person who turned against him.


Local historian Bruce Whitaker documents genealogy in the Fairview area. He can be reached at 628-1089 or [email protected]

Leave a Reply