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1852 Letter: Luther Howard of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, to Flecher Archer

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Transcribed and written by Kimberli Faulkner Hull © Chasing Light Media
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Luther Howard (Jefferson County, Kentucky) to Flecher Archer, letter, 15 Oct 1852, p. 1; privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection.

Transcript, page 1

Jefferson Co Ky – Oct 15th 1852

Mr. Flecher Archer

Dr Sir

I have just taken from the Louisville Post Office a letter from you making inquiry as to what has been done relating to your sister dower property which I have charge of

I will inform you that nothing has been left undone to secure her rights in that matter. I have regularly collected her rents paid her taxes her portion of the expense of repair &c. & c –

In several instances have saved her by strict examination of accounts 6 something 7 – All of which has been by me regularly booked – I own that your sister has a right to complain. Nothing has been so mortifying to me than the fact that circumstances over which I had no control prevented me from sending here money. They are these. I had a claim against a man at [?] for $800 which from time to time was expected to be paid but has not been yet. Failing in that I advertised for sale a farm which I have purchased wavered[?] from time to time I have now a fair opportunity of selling it out of the proceeds of which I shall pay your sister every cent due her. And since I have delayed it. I shall charge her nothing for collecting it. But will pay her 6 percent interest on the several amounts in my hands at dating interest from the times she requested her money – On her books there are about Four hundred & fifty dollars now in her favor 450 – Tell your

Luther Howard (Jefferson County, Kentucky) to Flecher Archer, letter, 15 Oct 1852, p. 12; privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection

Transcript, page 2

sister that the only reason that I have not answered one or two of her letters is the fact of the extreme mortifying circumstances in not compassing[?] the not expected in raising money to send to her. There is no Lady which I hold in higher regard than I do her And am now exerting myself & am willing to sacrifice property to pay her on several [?] out since she left I have defended her from unjust surmises & am still ready to defend her

There is no circumstance of my life which has been so truly mortifying to me as this. She mentioned to me in one of her letters that her friends were unkind in relieving her wants-And trusting that she know me sufficient to suppose that I always intended to do her full justice though delayed this was to me some alleviation. Though I am free to confess she ought to have had a portion of her money, long ago. – In future I shall be punctual.

 My Respects,

Luther Howard

P.S. Tell your sister last night I was married to Miss Freelove S Bucklin, Daughter of Mr. Bucklin once a poplar Mayor of this city. She is about 31 years old & about her size. I have alive 2 daughters only, Retty & Ellen. – I will write to your sister.
L.H.

Rents [?] have been collected but some [?} – rail road & other tax is heavy, & prospect of more.

Luther Howard and Freelove S. Bucklin Howard

Luther Howard was born in 1807 in Jefferson County, Kentucky.1 Luther married Catherine S. Carpenter in Nelson County, Kentucky on 13 December 1843.2 The couple had two daughters, Margaret C. “Rettie,” born 21 Nov 1844, and Ellen, born 12 Apr 1842.3 Catherine died 23 Nov 1850 and is buried in Bardstown City Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.4

"Died, Mrs. Catherine S. Howard," The Louisville Daily Courier (Louisville, Kentucky), 27 Nov 1850, p. 3, col. 3.
“Died, Mrs. Catherine S. Howard,” obituary, The Louisville Daily Courier (Louisville, Kentucky), 27 Nov 1850, p. 3, col. 3.
“John C. Bucklin, First Mayor of Louisville,” newspaper photo, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 21 Apr 1986, p. 1, col. 1.
“John C. Bucklin, First Mayor of Louisville,” newspaper photo, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 21 Apr 1986, p. 1, col. 1.10

Freelove S. Bucklin was born about 1818 in Rhode Island, the daughter of John Carpenter Bucklin and Sarah Smith Bucklin.5

John C. Bucklin was the first mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, serving from 1828 to 1833.6

John Bucklin died 5 March 1844 and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.7

In 1850, Freelove was living with her mother, Sarah, and sister, Elizabeth, in Louisville.8

Freelove’s mother, Sarah Smith Bucklin, died 4 August 1856 and is also buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.9

Freelove and Luther were married 14 October 1852 by John H. Heywood, Minister of the Gospel at the Unitarian Church in Jefferson County, Kentucky.11

Luther told Fletcher Archer in the postscript of the 15 October 1852 letter, “Tell your sister last night I was married to Miss Freelove S Bucklin, Daughter of Mr. Bucklin once a poplar Mayor of this city.”12

Jefferson County, Kentucky, Marriage Licenses 1852-1853, marriage license and return, Luther Howard–Freelove S. Bucklin, 14 Oct 1852.
(Click image to open)
Jefferson County, Kentucky, Marriage Licenses 1852-1853, marriage license and return, Luther Howard–Freelove S. Bucklin, 14 Oct 1852.
Luther Howard (Jefferson County, Kentucky) to Flecher Archer, letter, 15 Oct 1852- privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection.
Luther Howard (Jefferson County, Kentucky) to Flecher Archer, letter, 15 Oct 1852, postscript; privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection.

Luther Howard died in 1882 and is buried with his first wife, Catharine, in Bardstown City Cemetery in Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.13

Freelove Bucklin Howard died 28 Nov 1883 and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.14

“Deaths, Freelove Bucklin Howard,” death notice, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 29 Nov 1883, p. 5, col. 5.
“Deaths, Freelove Bucklin Howard,” death notice, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 29 Nov 1883, p. 5, col. 5.

Fletcher Harris Archer and Elizabeth Agnes Archer Heath Hasbrook

The recipient of the letter is believed to have been Fletcher Harris Archer.

Fletcher Harris Archer was born 6 Feb 1817 in Petersburg City, Virginia, the son of Allin Archer and Prudence Whitworth Archer.15 He was a lawyer and an officer in the Virginia Militia Regiment during the 1840s.16

Fletcher married Eliza Ann Eppes Allen and the couple was living in Dinwiddie County, Virginia in 1850.17 Eliza died the next year on 22 Apr 1851; her headstone reads:

“Erected by Fletcher H. Archer to the memory of his beloved wife, Eliza Ann Eppes Archer, who died in Petersburg, April 22nd, 1851, age 24 years, 11 days, leaving an infant daughter. She was the daughter of Daniel E. Allen, who married a daughter of Col. Peterson Goodwyn of ‘Sweden.”

Find A Grave, memorial 93598981, Eliza Ann Eppes Allen Archer (1827–1851), Sweden Goodwyn Cemetery, Sutherland, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.18

Fletcher had several known sisters; however, his sister Elizabeth is likely the sister mentioned in the letter from Luther Howard.

Elizabeth Agnes Archer was born about 1815 in Petersburg, Virginia.19 Elizabeth married first to John H. Heath about January 1841.20 John died 30 April 1844.21 Elizabeth married second to James Hasbrook; James died at the age of 53 on 16 January 1848 in Louisville, Kentucky.22 Elizabeth, a widow, was living in Louisville in 1849.

John B. Leglis, Louisville Directory for 1848-1849 (Louisville, Kentucky : John C. Noble, 1848)p. 134, Mrs. Elizabeth Hasbrook, widow of James.
John B. Leglis, Louisville Directory for 1848-1849 (Louisville, Kentucky : John C. Noble, 1848)p. 134, Mrs. Elizabeth Hasbrook, widow of James.23

Elizabeth moved back to Petersburg, Virginia and was living with her parents and sisters in 1850.24 Elizabeth died on 29 June 1887 in Petersburg, Virginia.25

It remains a mystery how Luther Howard was selected by Elizabeth to manage her property and if she ever received her money from him for the rents.


  1. Headstone reads: Luther Howard / 1807 – 1882 / Catherine Carpenter / His Wife / 1821 – 1850.
    Find A Gravememorial 89534260, Luther Howard (1807–1882), Bardstown City Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.
    Location of birth for Luther on daughter’s death certificate, Commonwealth of Kentucky, certificate of death, no. 22792, Louisville, Jefferson County, Rettie Howard Sanders, 3 Sept 1920. Widow. Birth: 21 Nov 1844, Louisville, Kentucky. Parents: Luther Howard, born in Jefferson County, and Catherine Carpenter, born in Nelson County. Burial: Cave Hill, 5 Sept 1920.

  2. Nelson County, Kentucky, Marriage Licenses 1839-1845, license and return, Luther Howard–Catharine S. Carpenter, 13 Dec 1843.

  3. 1850 U.S. census, District 2, Jefferson County, Kentucky, population schedule, p. 263 (stamped), dwelling 230, Luther Howard household.
    – Luther Howard, age 32, farmer
    – Catharine Howard, age 28
    – Margaret Howard, age 5
    – Ellen Howard, age 1
    For Margaret “Rettie” Howard’s birth, Commonwealth of Kentucky, certificate of death, no. 22792, Louisville, Jefferson County, Rettie Howard Sanders, 3 Sept 1920. Widow. Birth: 21 Nov 1844, Louisville, Kentucky. Parents: Luther Howard, born in Jefferson County, and Catherine Carpenter, born in Nelson County.
    For Ellen Howard’s birth, headstone reads: Ellen Howard / Wife of / D. C. Hardin / Born Apr. 12, 1842 / Died June 12, 1872. Find A Gravememorial 89534661, Ellen Howard Hardin (1842–1872), Bardstown City Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.

  4. Headstone reads: Luther Howard / 1807 – 1882 / Catherine Carpenter / His Wife / 1821 – 1850.
    Find A Gravememorial 89570468, Catherine Carpenter Howard (1821–1859), Bardstown City Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky. Also, “Died, Mrs. Catherine S. Howard,” obituary, The Louisville Daily Courier (Louisville, Kentucky), 27 Nov 1850, p. 3, col. 3.

  5. Freelove in household of her mother, 1850 U.S. census, Louisville District 2, Jefferson County, Kentucky, population schedule, page 195 (stamped) 387 (penned)), dwelling 663, family 773, Sarah Bucklin household.
    – Sarah Bucklin, age 65, born in Rhode Island
    – Elizabeth Bucklin, age 30, born in Rhode Island
    – Freelove Bucklin, age 29, born in Rhode Island

  6. Johnston, J. Stoddard, Memorial History of Louisville from Its First Settlement to the Year 1896, vol. 1 (Chicago and New York : American Biographical Publishing Co.), pages 79, 85, 86, 234, 304, 320, 456, John C. Bucklin.

  7. Find A Gravememorial 7096032, John Carpenter Bucklin (1773–1844), Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

  8. Freelove in household of her mother, 1850 U.S. census, Louisville District 2, Jefferson County, Kentucky, population schedule, page 195 (stamped) 387 (penned)), dwelling 663, family 773, Sarah Bucklin household.

  9. Find A Gravememorial 132425580, Sarah Smith Bucklin (1780–1856), Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

  10. “John C. Bucklin, First Mayor of Louisville,” newspaper photo, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 21 Apr 1986, p. 1, col. 1. For digital image of original portrait of John C. Bucklin, https://digital.library.louisville.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/potter/id/102/rec/1.

  11. Jefferson County, Kentucky, Marriage Licenses 1852-1853, marriage license and return, Luther Howard–Freelove S. Bucklin, 14 Oct 1852.

  12. Luther Howard (Jefferson County, Kentucky) to Flecher Archer, letter, 15 Oct 1852, postscript; privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection.

  13. Headstone reads: Luther Howard / 1807 – 1882 / Catherine Carpenter / His Wife / 1821 – 1850.
    Find A Gravememorial 89534260, Luther Howard (1807–1882), Bardstown City Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.

  14. Deaths, Freelove Bucklin Howard,” death notice, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 29 Nov 1883, p. 5, col. 5. Also,
    Find A Gravememorial 94245685, Freelove S. Bucklin Howard, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

  15. Birth of 6 Feb 1817 listed on headstone, Find A Gravememorial 8280718, Col. Fletcher Harris Archer (1817–1892), Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Petersburg City, Virginia.
    Location and parents found in biography, Christopher, Calkins, “Archer, Fletcher H. (1817–1902),” Encyclopedia Virginia, Virginia Humanities (https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/archer-fletcher-h-1817-1902/ : accessed 12 Feb 2021).

  16. Ibid.

  17. Ibid. Also, 1850 U.S. census, Northern District, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, population schedule, p. 447 (stamped) 893 (penned), dwelling 230, Thomas Whitworth household.
    – Thomas Whitworth, age 50, farmer
    – Fletcher H. Archer, age 28, lawyer
    – Eliza A. E. Archer, age 22

  18. Find A Grave, memorial 93598981, Eliza Ann Eppes Allen Archer (1827–1851), Sweden Goodwyn Cemetery, Sutherland, Dinwiddie County, Virginia.

  19. Birth calculates to about 1815 from death record, Petersburg, Virginia, Hustings Court Register of Deaths 1853-1871, no. 222, Elizabeth Agnes Hasbrook, 29 June 1887. Age: 72. Widowed. Birthplace: Petersburg, Virginia. Parents: Allen and Prudence Allen.

  20. Commonwealth of Virginia, State Archives, City of Petersburg Circuit Court, 1839-1845, Marriage Bond, John H. Heath–Elizabeth Agness Archer, 29 Jan 1841.

  21. Headstone reads: In / Memory of / John H. Heath / That departed this life / April 30, 1844 / Aged 30 years. Find A Grave, memorial 20728458, John H. Heath (1814–1844), Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, Petersburg City, Virginia.

  22. “Died, James Hasbrook,” death notice, The Louisville Daily Courier (Louisville, Kentucky), 17 Jan 1848, p. 3, col. 1.

  23. John B. Leglis, Louisville Directory for 1848-1849 (Louisville, Kentucky : John C. Noble, 1848), p. 134, Mrs. Elizabeth Hasbrook, widow of James.

  24. 1850 U.S. census, City Of Petersburg, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, population schedule, p. 361 (stamped), dwellings 682, Allen Archer household, 683, William Morgan household, and dwelling 687, Parlethia Archer in Lucy Jackson household.
    Dwelling 682
    – Allen Archer, age 57, miller
    – Prudence Archer, age 61
    – Elizabeth Archer, age 33
    – Martha Archer, age 24
    – Alek Archer, age 24
    Dwelling 683
    – William Morgan, age 39, gun smith, born in Scotland
    – William Morgan, age 9
    – Althea Morgan, age 3
    Dwelling 687
    -Parlethia Archer, age 40

  25. Petersburg, Virginia, Hustings Court Register of Deaths 1853-1871, no. 222, Elizabeth Agnes Harbrook, 29 June 1887.

Item Description and Acquisition

Item: Luther Howard (Jefferson County, Kentucky) to Flecher Archer, letter, 15 Oct 1852; privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection.
Item acquisition: Auction 2020.
Relationship: None known

Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, compiler, “1852 Letter: Luther Howard of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, to Flecher Archer,” Chasing Light Media, Cool Adventures (https://cooladventures.com/collection/1852-letter-luther-howard-louisville-flecher-archer : published 2021); Luther Howard (Jefferson County, Kentucky) to Flecher Archer, letter, 15 Oct 1852; privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection, Massachusetts.

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