Speaking of politics…I know. I know. We all have campaign trauma. But I began to be curious about my ancestor’s political activities a few years ago and gathered some information to read for a rainy day.
My 3rd great grandfather, Dr. Parvis Austin Williams, was not only a practicing physician in the Ithaca area, but he was a political animal as well. He was an original member of the Tompkins County Medical Society, a Republican delegate for Tompkins County in 1819 and Ulysses Town Delegate in 1820. In 1821 he was a Tompkins County Commissioner of Turnpikes and Roads.
He ran for New York State Assembly in 1834 as a Democrat and won a seat for the 58th Session in Albany. I read with great interest about the celebrations in Albany, NY.
The Democratic citizens of Albany held a celebration on Tuesday evening last….At sundown a salute of 100 guns was fired and in the evening there was a brilliant display of fireworks. After the republicans of the city had partaken of the refreshments which were prolific, they “separated in high spirits, with renewed zeal in the cause of the democracy.”
While he still practiced medicine….Tompkins county had more than its fair share of babies named Parvis…, he devoted his time to Temperance issues and published opinions on the effects of alcohol on the body.
Though I have no documentation, Parvis was also a Mason. The giveaway is his tombstone
which is deeply etched with the Masonic symbol. And could be my pathway into the doctor’s political leanings. There was an anti-Mason movement in the 1830’s which became an element in the Whig Party. This is not doubt the critical factor in Dr. Williams’ choice of political affiliation in the 1830’s. The anti-Mason movement was bitter and violent fomented by suspicion and not fact.
A Politician’s Work is Never Done
In the 1850’s he continued his political interests closer to home and was Supervisor of the Poor and Coroner for Enfield.
Doc Williams’ activities were numerous and he brought along my 2nd great grandfather, Oliver S. Williams who was a Democratic convention delegate and county secretary for a number of years. After his father’s death, it doesn’t appear that Oliver had much of a political ambition and turned his energies to business.
Author, Historian and Genealogical Researcher
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