The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 241
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"John will live around here until I die; then he will get my
money." This statement made the boy determined to leave his
aunt's home at once. With his belongings tied in a homespun
rag and fifty cents in his pocket, he ran away to join the army.
At the recruiting office, Tarleton, who was naturally small for
his age, was advised to grow up before he applied for the army
again. This rejection made him long for freedom more than he
had previously, and he decided to grow as rapidly as possible.
He ate raw eggs, beef, and other foods noted for strength-giving
qualities in order to gain weight. When not cutting wood or
weeding the garden for his aunt, Tarleton raced over the Vermont
hills to make his body strong so that he might someday gain
independence and leave the aunt who had failed in her educa-
tion pledge to him.3
When she heard of the boy's attempt to join the armed forces,
the aunt tried to appease him by offering him all the money he
could get from frailing wheat stored in the barn, a task which
brought him fifteen dollars. With the money earned on this
job, Tarleton left Vermont and worked his way to North Caro-
lina, where he cut wood until harvest time. Then he received
work cradling wheat for $1.50 per day.' While in North Carolina
he learned of the death of his brother.
At the end of the harvest Tarleton worked his way to Tennessee
and located in Knoxville. He taught school for thirty dollars
per month after securing a certificate from the county.5 He later
applied to Perez Dickerson for a job in the Cowan-Dickerson
mercantile firm, the largest in Knoxville. At first Dickerson
refused to employ Tarleton because he wanted a more mature
man, one who would stay with the job and who had had experi-
ence in the mercantile business. Tarleton loitered around the
store and promised to remain in Dickerson's employ as long
as the manager desired his services. Tarleton worked in the
mercantile store for about forty years, living frugally in the back
of the shop and investing his salary in government certificates
issued to soldiers as bounties for locating land.
aUndated manuscript in personal papers of T. O. White (in possession of Mr.
4Edwards, "Biography," John Tarleton: A Memorial, 48.
5Undated manuscript of T. O. White.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/287/: accessed February 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.