Knoxville (865) 558-3033 • Nashville (615) 812-6096 •

Case Auctions
Live Auction

Fall Fine Art & Antiques Auction - Day 2

Sat, Oct 7, 2023 09:00AM EDT
Lot 559

Archive of the Claybrook - Overton Families of Tennessee

Estimate: $500 - $700

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Letter archive relating to the families of Judge John Overton (1766-1833) and his nephew John Samuel Claybrooke (1808-1892) of Middle Tennessee, who served as executor of Overton's estate. Overton was a close friend, lawyer, and business associate of President Andrew Jackson, whom he succeeded as a member of the Superior Court of Tennessee, the forerunner of the TN Supreme Court. Overton was heavily involved not only in many early Tennessee legal matters, but also in finance and banking. He was a co-founder of Memphis (in 1819) on land he owned with Jackson and General James Winchester and was the recognized authority in Tennessee on all matters relating to land legislation in the early years of the nineteenth century. At the time of his death, his nephew/executor John S. Claybrooke estimated the value of Overton's estate, including his beloved home, Traveller's Rest, at $300,000. Claybrooke was a teacher, planter, and President of the Board of Directors of the Nashville and Decatur Railroad (later the Louisville and Nashville railroad). Includes 2 John Overton ALS: 1 letter from Overton to Claybrooke, undated, enclosing a letter from "W. Hardiman putting off the arbitration " and advising Claybrooke to "take [the letter] with you to Franklin...", plus 1 John Overton signed letter written in Washington to James Claybrooke of Virginia, mostly family news, but stating "We have no news here now since Congress has adjourned- all is peace." Curiously this second letter is dated 17th April, 1833, which post-dates Overton's death, however, we believe the signature is his (and not that of his son, John Overton Jr). At the bottom of the letter is the phrase, "Written in haste." It is our assumption that Overton simply miswrote the date and that the letter likely dates c. 1832 or 1831. The archive also includes a 1796 fragmentary letter to Overton from M-- Cochran; an 1833 letter from Martha Overton of Virginia to her cousin Elizabeth Claybrooke; 1820 letter to Overton from Elizabeth Claybrooke; 1840 letter from Ann Overton to John Claybrooke; 1834 letter from John McLemore referencing a debt to Overton's estate, 1884 envelope from the US Senate Chamber addressed to John S. Claybrooke, with 1860s three-cent fractional currency note taped to it, and several other letters, containing family and routine business related content. 19 letters total plus 1 free frank marked envelope from J. Overton to Elizabeth Claybrooke and 3 other empty envelopes, 32 items, most dating 1830s-40s, up through 1849. Letters are in plastic coverings, housed in a 11 1/2" x 10" binder. Also included is a second binder with approximately 65 additional envelopes, checks/receipts and other items relating to the Claybrooke family through the second half of the 19th century.


Letter from Overton to Claybrook has crease with loss on Overton's signature, toning, chipping and staining. Overton letter dated 1833 has a crease through the signature and a couple of small tears affecting the lower flourish of the signature. The 3 cent fractional currency note is taped to the Senate envelope and we have not attempted to remove it. Most letters good condition with expected toning, light creasing/staining/foxing; a few with chipping or in fragmentary condition.

Available payment options

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Amex
  • Diners
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Union Pay

Payment must be received no later than five (5) days after the sale.

If paying with a credit card, a 3% credit card processing fee will be applied to the final sales price (i.e. hammer price + buyer's premium + applicable taxes). If you have a credit card on file with Case, any winning bids will be automatically charged (up to $3000) along with applicable fees 72 hours after you receive your invoice unless other arrangements have been made.

If paying with wire transfer, please use the following information:
Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
Swift Code: PNFPUS44
Routing, Transit, ABA: 064008637
Beneficiary: Case Antiques, Inc.
4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
Account #: NOT DISCLOSED (please refer to your invoice email for the Deposit Account Number or contact us )

By descent from the estate of Stanley Horn, Nashville, Tennessee.