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Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Robert Montrose Bostwick was born near Charlotte, N. C., January 21, 1834, the youngest child and fifth son of William Merida and Caroline (Graham) Bostwick. Their family consisted of five sons and two daughters. William was born in South Carolina, and as he died while his children were quite small but little is known of the Bostwick connection. He married Miss Graham near Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., N. C. She was a daughter of Gen. George Graham, who was born December, 1757, in Chester County, Penn. He was a son of James Graham (great-grandfather to R. M.), who at the age of eighteen came from the north of Carlington Bay, County Down, Ireland, about the year 1733. According to a family tradition James was a descendant of a close kinsman and follower of the fortunes and disasters of the celebrated Montrose, who took a conspicuous part in the civil wars of Scotland during the reign of Charles I. When the English Army prevailed in Scotland Montrose fled to Holland, and his adherents (among whom was a clan of the Grahams) passed over into the North of Ireland, where many of the descendants now reside. James Graham died, leaving his widow with several young children. She moved to Mecklenburg County, N. C., when George was but ten years of age. He received such education as was common to the youth of that period. The college at Charlotte, now known as the Davidson College, was in its zenith. George attended the first public meetings held in Charlotte, at the beginning of the Revolutionary war. He was too young to have a voice in the councils, but was deeply interested. He was in attendance May 20, 1775, when independence was declared, an official copy of which was sent to Congress by Capt. James Jack. In the summer and autumn of 1776 George served under command of Gen. Rutherford, in the campaign against the Cherokee Indians. While in the Nation he was one of the party selected to pursue Scott and Hicks, two British traders, who lived there and were believed to have instigated the Indians to war. The early part of 1780 he served in a campaign as lieutenant, under Maj. John Sharpe, of Tennessee, who was his captain. They had the intrenchments made and the abatis placed before Charleston ere the town was besieged. Their term of service expired and they were relieved by another detachment of militia only two days prior to the time the city was invested. After Buford’s defeat, when Mecklenburg became the frontier and the men were almost continually under arms, Lieut. George Graham was present at every call of his superiors. He was under Gen. Rutherford’s command at the battle of Ramsoms, August 6, 1780. He was lieutenant of a company under command of Capt. James Knox, at the battle of Hanging Rock. He had command of a detachment of infantry who accompanied Col. Davis’ cavalry in the attack on a party of Tories at Nahub’s plantation at Naxhaw a few days previous to the arrival of the British at Charlotte. When they entered that place on the 26th of September, 1780, Capt. James Thomson, George Graham and others went with Gen. Davidson and the artillery of Phifer’s. Finding in a day or two, that the enemy was not advancing and probably would continue in that place for some time, they, by their general’s permission returned. Being well acquainted with the country, collected a party numbering fourteen, and October 3 defeated Maj. Doyle, who commanded a foraging party of upward of 500 at McIntyre’s, on the Beatties Ford road. After Tarleton’s defeat, when Lord Cornwallis was pursuing Gen. Morgan, George Graham joined our cavalry as a volunteer on February 1, 1781; was in the battle of Cowan’s Ford, where Gen. Davidson met his death. In the spring of same year George was appointed adjutant of a regiment called State troops, raised by South Carolina for the period of ten months, and under command of Gen. Sumter. While in this service, George was in numerous skirmishes with the British and Tories. He was at the taking of Orangeburg, and with the State troops and Washington cavalry when they were detached to attend the movements of Lord Rawdon when on his way to relieve Ninety-six. Three or four days before he arrived at that place and when Gen. Greene retired, he covered his retreat. In the military department, shortly after the Revolutionary war, George Graham was appointed major of the First Regiment of Mecklenburg troops, and afterward rose through the different offices until he was promoted to rank of major-general of the Fourth Division of both Carolinas’ militia, which he held until 1825. In 1784 he was united in marriage to Miss Cathay, by whom he had two sons and three daughters. One son died when young, and the other after reaching manhood. The eldest daughter, Mary Graham, married George Caruth. The second daughter wedded William Merida Bostwick, the third daughter became the wife of William McCree, of Mecklenburg, N. C. Mrs. Graham died in 1798, and George afterward married Mrs. William Potts, of Providence. There was no issue.

In 1786 Mr. Graham was elected sheriff of Mecklenburg County, and continued in that office until 1794. The following year he was elected senator, to represent the county in the General Assembly. He was re-elected annually, almost without opposition until 1801, when he received the appointment of clerk of the supreme court, retaining that office until 1825, when failing health forced him to resign. The best evidence of the high opinion entertained for this worthy man’s integrity, patriotism and honor, was the varied and responsible offices of trust which he was for so many years called upon to fill. He discharged his numerous and laborious duties with distinction, fidelity and satisfaction to all. He was a brother of Gen. Joseph Graham, who was the father of William A. Graham, governor at one time of North Carolina, and afterward candidate for Vice-President of the United States on the ticket with Winfield Scott. Mrs. Stonewall Jackson was the daughter of Mr. Morrison, a Presbyterian minister of eminence, and the granddaughter of Gen. Joseph Graham. The subject of this sketch, Robert Montrose Bostwick, emigrated with his parents from Mecklenburg County, N. C., in 1837, to Marshall County, Miss., where he resided until a few years after the death of his parents, which occurred about 1839 and 1840. He began the study of medicine under the instruction of his brother-in-law, Dr. N. C. Whitlow, when about the age of nineteen. He attended the medical lectures at the University of Louisville, Ky., the fall and winter of 1855-56 and 1856-57, graduating in the spring of the latter year. For about one year he practiced his profession in North Mississippi, then located at Hickory Valley, Hardeman Co., Tenn., where he had an extensive practice until the beginning of the late civil war. He entered the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Senior Regiment of Tennessee Volunteers, under command of Gen. Preston Smith. Dr. Bostwick acted as assistant surgeon until 1864, at which time he received his commission for the same, and remained in that capacity until the close of the war. He was wounded at Lovejoy Station, Ga. After the restoration of peace he resumed his practice at Saulsbury, of which place he is still an esteemed citizen. January 21, 1869, he was united in wedock to Mrs. Fannie Guy Oates, who by her former marriage had two sons: William Leroy and Martin Guy Oates. To Mr. and Mrs. Bostwick one son and three daughters were born: Robert Graham, whose birth occurred March 26, 1870; Marie Louise, born October 9, 1873; Luta Paulina, born September 11, 1876, and Fannie Guy, born March 9, 1878, died February 9, 1887. Dr. Bostwick has been most successful in his practice, receiving an extensive and lucrative patronage. He is universally popular and recognized as one of the most skillful and eminent practitioners in the county. He is an active and consistent member of the Presbyterian Church (Old School). He is prominently connected with the Masonic fraternity, K. of H. and also with the K. & L. of H. He is a Democrat and self-made man. Mrs. Bostwick is the third daughter of Martin Winston Guy (dec’d), who inherited Scotch-Irish blood from his mother and English from his father, whose ancestors first settled in Pennsylvania. The mother’s maiden name was Esther Sharpe. Martin was born July 25, 1803, in Statesville, Iredell Co., N. C. He was the third son of Dr. Joseph A. Guy, who emigrated from North Carolina to Franklin County, Ala., which was then known as the Cherokee Nation. Here the Doctor died. He was a prominent physician and surgeon of his time. His wife survived him several years, dying at the advanced age of eighty-two. Their family consisted of five sons and four daughters. Martin W. Guy married Hester Ann Hardy December 9, 1829, near Tuscumbia, Franklin Co., Ala. To them were born three sons and four daughters, of whom only two are living, and are residents of the State. Mrs. Hester (Hardy) Guy died August 15, 1847, at the age of thirty-two years. Six of her children were living at that time. Her mother’s maiden name was Sheppard, a lady of English origin. Martin W., while a resident of Alabama, was for a number of years sheriff of Franklin County; it was a responsible and lucrative position, and he filled it with fidelity to his country and distinction to himself. He left the office with a reputation for integrity which has been equaled by few of his successors, and surpassed by none. In 1836 he moved to Hardeman County, Tenn., and purchased land from an Indian whose name was Isaac Love. Mr. Guy was one of the pioneers. By his industry and enterprise contributed greatly to the development of the country. His occupation was that of a farmer, which calling he followed until infirmities and advanced age rendered him unable to discharge the numerous and active duties of an agricultural life. He was always in sympathy with the tillers of the soil, by whom he was highly regarded. He succeeded in amassing a very comfortable estate from the natural resources of the farm. He was reared by a Christian mother, who imparted to him the teachings of the Old School Presbyterian Church, of which she was a devout member, and which has been the prevailing religious sentiment of the family. Politically he was a Whig, and supporter of John Bell when he was presidential candidate in 1860. Mr. Guy was a strong Union man, strenuously opposed to the secession of the States. Believing it to be his duty to his country, posterity and himself, he firmly adhered to his convictions, though ever in sympathy with the unfortunate people of the South. He was a patriot more than a partisan. Living as he did in a section which was continually disputed ground between the contending armies, finding his property greatly damaged and his life endangered, he sought refuge within the limits of the city of Memphis, where he remained until the termination of the war. He then returned to his farm. He was one of the twelve chosen men who composed the first United States grand jury of the Federal court, which assembled in Memphis. This body was instructed to find a true bill against Gen. N. B. Forrest for treason against the Government. Col. Guy opposed this proceeding with all the vehemence of his nature. He was denounced by Judge Trigg as a traitor. The Colonel asked the privilege of being allowed to write his defense against the charge. The request was granted, and the paper read before the Federal court, giving in detail his reasons. He then begged to be relieved and was, after receiving strong terms of condemnation from the judge, who in subsequent years realized his own error and as an honorable and just man, asked pardon of Col. Guy, assuring him of the high regard for him and his decision. The Colonel died in Memphis, April 21, 1885, in his eighty-second year. The article of defense above mentioned, and which had been carefully preserved for twenty years, was found after his death among his papers, with the special request that it should be published in the Memphis Appeal. It was as follows:

A Personal Vindication of Martin W. Guy, and the Reason Why During the War He Refused to Serve on a United States Grand Jury, which Found a True Bill Against the Late Gen. N. B. Forrest for Treason. In discharge of the duties incumbent upon me as one of the grand jurors of this district, I am asked by my fellow jurors to concur with them, in finding a true bill of indictment for Tennessee against Maj.-Gen. N. B. Forrest of the Confederate Army, as he is notoriously in arms in defense of the Southern Confederacy and very recently has been in this county and a portion of the troops have penetrated this town, captured prisoners, and made war upon the troops of the United States. This forms a strong and striking case, requiring an indictment for treason in the opinion of my fellow jurors. I have given this subject all the consideration of which I am capable, with an anxious desire to do my duty. The presiding judge in his charge to the jury, uses this language: “In making this diligent inquiry, your highest aim within the sphere of the duties assigned you, should be simply to promote the end of public justice.” With this highest aim to promote public justice, I cannot concur with my fellow jurors for the following reasons: First, the Government of the United States is a voluntary compact between sovereign, equal and independent States, forming a compact for certain specified limited purposes. This compact, or partnership, is the constitution of the United States. In 1861 a portion of the States to this Federal compact, each in its sovereign capacity withdrew from the Federal Union and created another union and government called Confederate States, the States still adhering to the old Union called United States, denying the power and right of the seceding or withdrawing States to withdraw and form a separate Confederacy. As there is no umpire to decide this high question peaceably, the States calling themselves United States have resorted to umpire of the sword, to compel the seceding States to return to the old compact. There is no warrant in the constitution for making war upon sovereign States. If the published debates of the framers of the constitution are to throw any light upon the subject, the power of the Federal Government to make war upon a sovereign State is expressly and emphatically repudiated. Whether the remaining States to the old compact have a right to make war on the seceding States or not, they are, nevertheless, making war on the seceding States. The seceding States under their new form of government, Confederate States, are defending themselves against the war made upon them by the States still adhering to the old compact. With this view of the case I am not prepared to say that Maj.-Gen. N. B. Forrest is making war upon the United States. He is a citizen of one of the seceding States. They claim they have a right to secede; that they have seceded and made another government, and that they are simply acting in self-defense, not making an aggressive war on the States called the United States. I am not prepared to say whether they are right or not. Second, I am a citizen of the State of Tennessee. The citizens of the State of Tennessee against my vote, against my wishes, against my judgment, against my acts (while it was an open question, I had a right to vote and act) by an overwhelming majority voted to secede from the old confederation and join the new. I cannot separate myself from my State, if I would. Against my judgment they have withdrawn from the old Union. A majority of its citizens determined to belong to the new union, that is an impossibility! The war, has been raging for more than three years with varying success. After more than three years’ war, I have no evidence before me that a majority or even a tenth part of the citizens desire to return to the old Union. The facts would seem to justify a different conclusion. Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and perhaps two or three counties in East Tennessee are under the control of Federal authorities. Such places are held by the arms of the Federal Government, while all the balance of the States are in sentiment with them, and the greater portion of the fighting population is in arms against them. This Federal judicial district embraces all of West Tennessee, while in fact and in truth its jurisdiction and processes would not be acknowledged and could not be enforced over and beyond the corporate limits of the town of Memphis, or at least outside of the limits of the Federal pickets, about three miles square. The construction of this grand jury is significant. The law contemplated that they should be selected from different counties, while in truth and in fact they are all from the town of Memphis. With these facts before me, with war raging over the length and breadth of the land, I am not prepared to join in bills of indictments against my fellow citizens of Tennessee and arraign them for treason and have them tried for their lives. They have as much right to their opinions as I have to mine. I differ with them as to the policy of their acts. But who is to decide which is right and who is wrong? I cannot pronounce them traitors. The line of separation between traitors and patriots is almost invisible. It depends upon success. Washington, Hancock and other Revolutionary fathers were called traitors. After seven years of war they succeeded, and in all coming time they will be called patriots, notwithstanding they rebelled against their government. Third, the presiding judge, with much emphasis, warns us that we are public functionaries, standing between the accuser and the accused; that we are the great security to the citizen against unfounded and vindictive prosecution, and the grand-jury room, therefore, is no place for the exhibition of personal animosities, or the gratification of individual malice. The moment that these, and less seductive influences of fear, favor or affection are permitted to invade the sanctity of the jury-room, grand juries cease to answer the purpose of their institution and become instruments of oppression and wrong. If the sage suggestions are necessary in peace, how potent they become in times like these, “when” (to use the language of the Court) “the whole country has become the victim of a delirium which strikes at the foundation of our political organization.

Grand jurors are but men, liable to err, as other mortals. Can they— when the country is deluged with blood, when father is arrayed against son, and brother against brother, when the whole country is seized with delirium—calmly, philosophically and wisely lift themselves against the surging passions of the hour, and rightfully discharge these duties to themselves, their God and their countrymen? Fourth, I cannot believe we shall promote the highest aim of our duties, the end of public justice, by holding courts and instituting charges against those who differ with us in opinions. If we commence wholesale charges and indictments for treason against all those who are opposed to us, in retaliation they will commence the same against those who think as we do throughout the South—these many thousand wise and good union loving men, who deeply deplore the course which the Southern States have thought proper to pursue, and with uplifted hands are imploring God Almighty for a return to union and peace. Shall we commence here a system which will certainly involve these noble patriots in speedy and certain destruction? The war is not yet ended. The man don’t live who can see through it, or when or how it is to end. We are told the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong! The slightest incidents in life control the destinies of states, empires and individuals. No man living can tell what tomorrow will bring forth. The incidents of war may drive the Federal authorities out of Tennessee. If we sit here, hatch charges against our fellow men, what becomes of us in turn? Fifth, in view of all things, while the land is raging with delirium, I cannot believe we shall subserve the ends of public justice by instituting terrible inquisitions and indictments against our fellow citizens. Especially is it important that we desist at this time. A presidential election will come on before the people of the United States in less than sixty days. The war is now working to points beyond which, in the opinion of many, it cannot much further go. Out of these may come peace, union, liberty, fraternity. Is it wise to stir up strife when all good lovers of mankind hope that strife shall cease? If these things must be done, if the guilty must be punished, in the name of all that is holy, let us wait until the angry passions and delirium of the hour shall cease, and men selected from all parts of the judicial circuit come together, and unmoved by prejudice, passion, hatred, fear or revenge, calmly weigh these matters of high import and act rightly. Sixth, we have recognized Maj.-Gen. Forrest, the Confederate, even men on the high seas termed pirates and belligerents. Can we recognize them as belligerents and then institute these proceedings against them? Had Gen. Forrest been captured, would we have held him prisoner and tried him for treason, or would we have held him a prisoner of war, finally exchanged him, and turned him loose to come up against us in arms? Seventh, may I now ask that you, Mr. Foreman, make known to the court my position, and let my position be filled by another more worthy and competent. I, since sitting in your body, have suffered much bodily pain, as I am much afflicted. If I may be permitted to retire by leave of the court, I shall carry with me no unkind feelings toward any member of this jury; but, on the other hand, I believe you to be gentlemen who have a high regard and desire to promote what you think the best interest of the State, and our common country. For the officers comprising this grand jury, from my limited acquaintance, in the discharge of your duties, I entertain the most profound respect, and I must say a word in behalf of my worthy friend and old countryman from Hardeman County. I have known him well for the last twenty-five years. A nobler or more honorable heart God never put into man than he possesses. A friend to the widow and orphans, the poor man in affliction or in prison, or an outcast, has ever found Pitser Miller a friend. The friendless he was always desirous to relieve and comfort in distress. May all such noble men live to a ripe old age, as the benefactors of our country. Gentlemen, I am now in your hands; I hope that you will have charity enough in your souls. Although you may think I am in error, if so then I am honorably so, so help me God.
Martin W. Guy.

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This family biography is one of 101 biographies included in the book,  The History of Hardeman County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Hardeman County was included within The History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Tennessee

View additional Hardeman County, Tennessee family biographies here: Hardeman County, Tennessee

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