Nathan Soule Part III

Posted on April 28, 2017


Nathan Soule’s Later Years in Clay (Part III)

The second reason the opponents of Nathan’s run for New York State Treasurer said he lost was his involvement with his brother, Dr. E. L. Soule of Euclid, in the manufacture of Oriental Sovereign Balm Pills. Many prominent citizens of Clay attested to the fact that Dr. Soule was a noted physician and the only one with authority to make them. Apparently, P. Childs & Co. was manufacturing pills under the same name. They were forced to leave town. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 paved the way for the expansion of slavery. Nathan was a delegate to the Anti-Nebraska Convention where it was proposed that they prepare for war with the south. Nathan stated that Christian principles were the foundation of the anti-slavery cause. Instead, he proposed a new state-wide party be formed called the Republican Party at the state convention in Saratoga Springs. It didn’t pass but Wisconsin already had formed one. They didn’t give up and in 1855 as Vice-President of the Onondaga Republican Convention, he was sent to the Whig Convention, both in Syracuse, where he convinced them to unite with the Republicans in their anti-slavery cause. This elevated the Republican Party to a major political party. In 1856, a national version of the modern Republican Party was formed in Pittsburgh, thanks to the largely unrecognized efforts of men like Nathan Soule. The September 8, 1857 SYRACUSE DAILY STANDARD stated that at a meeting of Republicans held at the home of Mr. Quackenbush, Nathan was named a delegate to the Republican Assembly District Convention to be held in Camillus, where he was elected as chairman. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected president and history reveals it was largely due to the splintering of the Democratic Party and the founding of the new Republican Party, under which Lincoln ran. In 1857, Nathan was diagnosed with consumption, which today would probably be called tuberculosis. He spent the last three years of his life living with his son, James and his wife Betsy on the east side of Morgan Road calmly arranging his affairs to provide for his family. He was, as a rule, considered a peace maker. As a Judge, he used his legal experience to help his fellow towns people. No lawyer was needed in Clay while he was alive. At a prayer meeting in his house in 1855, his grand-daughter, Frances West, knelt by him and earnestly prayed for him, which awakened him to a sense of his religious duties to his God. Soon after, the faithful little grand-daughter had the happiness to know that her grandfather had become a praying man and was baptized and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in Euclid. He left earth calmly and peacefully.* He was buried in Pine Plains Cemetery after his death on January 9, 1860. Nathan’s vast farm was divided between several of his sons; John and James each received 100 acres on the western Morgan Road side of the property. John was to the north and his white brick farmhouse is still standing on the west side of Morgan Road. James was to the south of James on the east side of the road. To the east, along the east side of Soule Road, Andrew received 200 acres. Nathan, Jr. a resident of North Syracuse, received land on the west side of Soule Road (the old homestead) but a C. M. Soule lived there later so probably a descendant of a brother. The name Soule is still well known around town and there are descendants here that are proud of their ancestor, Nathan Soule. *Taken from Nathan’s obituary NOTE: Thank you to Zachary Peelman, MSEd for all his research work.

Dorothy Heller, Historian 4-28-2017

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