Monday, December 26, 2011

1893 Letter of Recommendation

When Fannie Moran chose an occupation she followed in the footsteps of her mother, Sophia Riley Gunn Moran, and became a school teacher.  Even though the Moran's were financially well off the Moran children were expected to attend school, have a career and if possible, get married.  In March 1893, Fannie was 20 years and 4 months old.  Having completed her education she was now looking for employment and needed letters of recommendation,

Reverend William Thomas Harris was the nephew of Tennessee's Governor Isham G. Harris who served from 1857-1862.  William's father, Reverend George Washington Davidson Harris, was Isham's older brother.  William's mother was Elizabeth A. Dewitt.  William T. Harris was married to Mary Woods and had several children with her.  After she passed away in 1873 he married her sister Georgia Woods and they also had children.  The Woods family was from Carroll County Tennessee.  On a side note...the Moran's had Harris relatives in Carroll County, Harriet Harris (Fannie's Grandmother) who married James Henderson Moran (Fannie's Grandfather). In addition, Haywood Harris (Harriet's brother) married Elizabeth Hairston Woods.  I mention this because I believe that the Moran family is related to Isham G. Harris.  I just haven't stumbled across the ancestor in common as yet.

Reverend W. T. Harris thought highly enough of Fannie to provide her with a very nice letter of recommendation:

"W.T. Harris
Presiding Elder
Union : City : District,
Martin, Tenn, March 23rd 1893

I take pleasure in saying I have known Miss Fannie Moran for a number of years.  She is of one of the best families in the South.  She is well educated & in my judgment, well qualified to teach in any of our schools.  I recommend her most cheerfully."

It's very possible when he says Fannie is qualified to teach in any of "our" schools that he meant a school affiliated with the Methodist Church as he was a Methodist Preacher and the Moran's were Methodists.

When Rev. Harris passed away there was an obituary in the Nashville Christian Advocate, 1902:

Reverend William (Will) T. Harris born Gibson co., Tenn., May 13, 1833; licensed to preach in Methodist Church, summer 1852; nephew of Governor Isham G. Harris, Tenn.; served in General Forrest's command, CSA, Civil War. Doctor of Divinity degree bestowed upon him by Trinity College, N.C., in 1877; married (1) Mary Woods, 1854; 6 children; she died in 1873; (2) Georgia Woods, one child (died infancy); died in Jackson, Tenn., Oct. 13, 1901; burial in Martin, Tenn.  Surviving children were Mrs. Lillian Dickard, Texas; Mrs. Annie Hayden, Jackson; Rev. Edmond Sidney Harris, Clinton, Ky.

No comments:

Post a Comment