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Jacob Faser letters

Identifier: MSS-0506

Scope and Contents

A collection of letters written from Mobile, Alabama, where Faser was working as a sword maker, to his wife in Macon, Mississippi. They deal principally with personal news and information on the prices of available goods.


  • 1861 - 1865


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Biographical / Historical

Jacob Oscar Faser was born on October 22, 1822, in Wurtemberg, Germany, and immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five, and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was apprenticed to F. W. Widmann, a famous metal worker and sword maker. Faser was apparently very talented as Widmann, upon his death in 1848, bequeathed his pattern (sword) book/catalog to Faser.

After Widmann's death, Faser stayed in Philadelphia and worked for William H. Horstmann who had bought Widmann's stock and equipment. He married Louise Elizabeth Mentzinger on October 19, 1848. The couple had nine children, four of whom died very young: Jacob Edward (1849-1853); Emma Virginia "Emmie" (1851-1853); Pamelia (1853-1941); Christian (1955-?); Catherine Matilda "Katie" (1958-1932); Lillie Elfrida (1860-1864); William (1864-1866); Joseph Oliver (1867-1943); and Clara Irene (1872-?).

In 1854, Faser moved his family to Macon, Mississippi, where he set up a silversmith shop. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he left his family in Macon, and went to Mobile, Alabama, in 1861, to help set up a sword factory on St. Francis Street for James Conning. During the war, he also worked at the Confederate Briarfield Arsenal in Columbus, Mississippi, and at the Selma Arsenal in Selma, Alabama.

He returned to Macon in 1864 where he reopened his silversmith shop and making guns and swords. He was elected mayor of Macon and later was an alderman. He died in Macon on August 4, 1891.


0.13 Linear Feet (16 items)

Language of Materials



Letters written from Mobile, Alabama, where Faser was working as a sword maker, to his wife in Macon, Mississippi, dealing mainly with personal news and information on the prices of available goods.


Gift of Mrs. Robert Kirksey, 1991

Processed by

Updated by Donnelly Walton, 2009; updated by Martha Bace, 2013, 2014


Guide to the Jacob Faser letters
November 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266