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Full text of "Address to the people of Delaware, on the approaching presidential election"

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PEOFZ.S OF BELAWABB, 



ON THE 



APFHOAClnxrO FHSSISEITTIAL ELECTIOSTs 






PREPARED 



iN OBEDIENCE TO A RESOLUTIOA 



^ OF THE 



Convention of the Friends of the National Administration 



ASSEMBLED AT DOVERj 



ON THE FIFTEENTH DAT OF JULT, 1828. 



COVER, DEL. — J, ROBERTSON, PRINTER* 



.^ / 









ii 



1 



ADDRESS 



TO THE 



PDOPLE CS" r^LA77A^E. 



Fdloxv Citizens^ 

The convention of the friends of the Administration of the 
General Government, composed of one hundred and fiftv Dele- 
gates from the several counties, held at Dover on the 15th instant, 
appointed us to prepare and publish, in their name, an address 
to the people of this State. In the discharge of that important 
duty, we humbly implore that di\ ine Goodness, which has so 
often and so signally favoured this happv nation, to remove 
from us all bitterness towards our opponents, to give us to speak, 
fearlessly, but temperatly, the language of truth, that if we be right 
and they be wrong, our bretheren may be drawn from the error 
of their ways, and be persuaded to unite with us in efforts for 
the good of our connuon Country. 

Blind devotion to men in power has never characterised the 
People of the United States. They do not require to have in- 
culcated upon them die maxim that 'men feel power and forget 
right.' The history of the sad misrule which, happily for us — 
happily for the world, — separated this Country from Great Brit- 
ain, is too fresh in the recollection of Americans, for them ea- 
sily to err by confiding too much in their public functionaries. 

Salutary confidence and trust in future intelligence and up- 
rightness of purpose, which former good conduct invites and 
justifies, is all that can be claimed for men in their private or 
public lives. This is all that is asked of the people, by the 
friends of the present Administration of the General Govern- 
ment. But surely it cannot be proper, — every honest man, whe- 
ther of this or that party, must say it is unjustifiable, — to form 
combinations to oppose measures as they rise, be they right or 
wrong. An attempt lias been made to vindicate an indiscrim- 
inate opposition to the measures of the present Administration, 
upon the ground that Congress, when voting by States, did not 
choose the candidate who had the highest number of electoral 
votes. Congress elected the President in the manner the Con- 
stitution directs. It was their duty to choose, from the three 
highest in vote, that individual whom they thought the most 
suitable and best qua:lified to be President:— and this they 
were bound, this they were sworn to do, without having any 
*r€gar4 to the namWcv of votes by which they were respectively 



returned to the House. Can it be necessary to argue this mat" 
ter to shew that a combination for opposition, founded upon 
this ground, is every way reprehensible? In Dehiware, partic- 
ularly, the advocates of this Doctrine, can never find favour; 
because it lenders inoperative the very provision in the Con- 
stitution, which gives to the smaller States the only efficient 
influence they possess in the choice of a President. When the 
election, from a want of a majority for any one candidate for 
that high office, is brought to the House of Representatives, that 
body votes by States; and in settling this important question, 
the smallest State in the Union has as much weight as the 
largest. 

It was not surprising that a party formed, in the open and 
avowed spirit of hostility to the Constitution, should be found 
capable of unjustly imputing wicked and corrupt motives to 
their opponents, and that the cry of bargain and sale in the e- 
lection should have been sent through the land. That charge 
has been fully investigated, and has been proved, to the satis- 
faction of the people, to be entirely unfounded. The facts which 
are now established prove, most unhappily for the opposition, 
that all the attempts at corruption were made by the friends of 
General Jackson. ^Vhy was their candidate called upon to 
deny that he had determined, in the event of his election to the 
Presidency, to make Mr. Adams Secretary of State — why was 
he desired positively to declare that he would never appoint 
Mr. Adams to that office, if it were not intended by that decla- 
ration to win the support of the fricn'Is of Mr. Clay? The e- 
lection of Mr. Adams to the Presidency, vacated, of course, the 
office of Secretary of Stale. To put General Jackson upon an 
equal footing, in this respect, his friends avowed that they were 
desirous he should be brought to say lie would not continue 
Mr. Adams, as Secretary of State. What measures they a- 
dopted to accomplish this object, which, upon their own rea- 
soning, was a corrupt one, does not appear. It is only known, 
and it is known by their own avowal, that they formed the corrupt 
purpose; and we are left to conjecture how far they proceeded to 
carry it into execution. Having determined upon an unfair and 
improper course themselves, it is not wonderfid that they should 
have suspected others of being as easily led into an equal dere- 
liction of duty: or, without any belief whatever in its existence, 
that they should have been capable of knowingly calumniating 
their opponents. 

The Constitution permits the re-election of a President of 
the United States. Here, too, the opposition is wiser than the 
law. Our frame of Government has settled the principle, as 
well as the mode, of the choice by the Hotise of Representatives. 
Wheia the question of any pioposed alteration in the Constitu- 
tion is fairly before the States, for their adoption or rejection, 
(■n-ery thing which can be urged for or against the proposed al- 



leration, is a proper subject for consicUraUoiu But men who, 
for selfish purposes of their own, call upon the people to disr 
reeard their own form of Government, in any one ol its existing 
provisions, are utterly unworthy of trust. The rule of con- 
duct prescribed by the Constitution every good citizen is bound 

^°ThTpeople of the United States will never give their confir 
dence to a party, or favour the pretensions of a Candidate, 
whose friends attempt to set up, for the rule of conduct, any o- 
ther than that of the Constitution— who, taking advantage ot 
the spirit of vigilance, which freemen ought to exercise over 
those in power, endeavour, for their own sinister purposes, U. 
alienate the fair confidence and regard which are due to taitn- 
ful public servants. The charge of ihe basest corruption has 
been laid before the people, and strictly examined,_and iound to- 
tally croundless: 1 he wildest and most profligate extrava- 
gance, in the expenditure of the public money, having been a. 
Sain and again "imputed to their opponents, a young and un- 
trained member of their party, led no doubt to beneve in the, 
truth of the charge, called for the institution ot a strict enquiry 
into this matter, Ihose who had spread the charge before the 
country, endeavoured to frown him into silence, i ae accu- 
sers shrunk from the maintenance of their own accusation, and 
the partv accused demanded that the investigation should go 
on. It did go on, and it resulted, after the closest and sever- 
est scrutiny, in proving the strictest order and economy in the 
public expenditure. 

The two leading narties which are nov/ formed m this coun^- 
trv, are at issue with each other, as to the expediency or inex- 
pediency of that great system of measures, which is emphatic 
c-iUv termed the 'American Svstem.'— The inends ot the 
Administration, believing that the wealth and greatness oi thq 
United States, the happiness and prosperity oi the people, de- 
pend upon the establishment and maintenance oi that system, 
are its firm and zealous supporters. A very large proportion 
ofthe opposite part) indulge themselves in the deadliest enmi- 
tv to these measures. It is not our purpose to enter into an e- 
laborate examination or vindication of this system. All that 
can be urged for or against it, is already l^efore the people. 1 he 
northern, the middle and the western States have adopted it, 
with scarcely a dissenting voice among their citizens; and it- 
has already enlisted in its favour a good deal of the intelli- 
gence and "virtue of the southern portion of the Union. To the 
friends of that system, it stems a question whether landed pro- 
perty and the products of our soil shall undergo a still greater, 
depression, or be doubled, at least, in their present value-— whe- 
ther the people shall be ignorant and indigent- or mtelligeiU 
enterprising, prosperous and independent. If the ^ system, 
here referred to be as beneficent in its effects as is insisted up- 



JB 



'ui-i by Its friends, a well deserves the great name it bears; and 
no good citizen ^vlll support a party whose efforts are directed 
agamst it. Independently, dien, of the respective characters 
or tnc two great candidates, who are before the people for the 
Presidency of the Union, it seems to us that the question would 
be settled in favour of Mr. Adams, by the single consideration, 
that ne belongs to the party whose measures are most likely to 
promote the public interest. There is too much intelligence a- 
mong the citizens of the United States, to give anv just cause to 
tear that a nyyority of them can be led off from a course their 
own prosperity requires them to pursue. 

There are, however, involved in the great question before 
the States, considerations, if possil^le, of graver and weightier 
import. A country may be n>istaken in the choice of its inter- 
nal policy, and yet be turned back, by the light of experience, 
irom the error of its measures, to the adoption of a wiser and 
more prudent course. But there are great leading principles 
of truth and virtue, which when a people venture to set at 
iiought, it is not often permitted to them, without extreme na- 
tional humiliation and suffering, to regain their former erectness 
of character. The lapse from virtue to vice ma\- happen to a 
people collectively, as to the separate individuals' that compose 
their community. Among the great obligations which freemen 
^we to themselves, is to entrust with their power, and reward 
with the-ir favour, no individual whose private life has not given 
ilie strongest pledge of his being worthy of their confidence. 
When, in die selection of public functionaries, it shall be deem- 
*:d unnecessary to inquire how far a man's life has been virtu- 
ous, high minded and bonourabh-, the great securities for pri- 
vate \irtu£ and pu'jlic worth will be exposed to the highest pe- 
fil Dispense with this test of fitness for public emplovment, 
^rlet the people be led to hold it in light estimation, and tiie 
wodes are innumerable, by which unprincipled and dangerous 
«-ien, will win their wa>' to the highest posts of honour. Smart- 
ness will claim the distinction which belongs to goodness; 
and brilliancy and not solidity of talent will only be in request.' 
The morals of the people will be corrupted, and the wisdom of 
the government will be as folly. When such a time shall ar- 
rive among us — which may God, in his mercy and kindness 
keep^ far from us! — his moral government of the Avorld can be 
vindicated only by our downfall. Let us then listen to the 

voice of all experience — let the pages of all history warn us 

let the sacred volumes of our religion teach us — how a people 
may be lost or preserved. If careless of private worth, we 
shall be regardless of public virtue. If the violation of the 
duties of private life, are no bar to our confidence and trust, we 
shall soon learn to look, with complacency and indulgence, upon 
outrages committed against the most sacred of our public in- 
stitTitions. If there be- any thing of truth and fitness in thes^ 



f^marks it cannot be wrong freely and closely to examine the 
pvaSnl of the two great candidates belore the people, for 

the hichest office within their gift. . 

The whole private life of John Quincy Adams is not only 
free from blemish, but stands conspicuous for so^^^-'^^)' ^^'^: 
mand of temper, republican simplicity of manners, unrelaxins 
d Lence, thJ most extended charity and uniform piety. H s 
p blic lie has given proof to the world of the most chstinguish- 
L ta ler^ s, and^the utmost devotedness to the cause of his coun- 
try Fom all those who have been highest in the confidence 
o? the citizens of the United Stajes-Washington Jefters^^^^ 
Madison and Monroe-vve have the most unqualified testimo- 
nv in his favour: and the age in which he has lived has here- 
tofore delighted, with one voice, to award him the meed of virtue 
and wisdom. Allow us here to incorporate into our address, 
onlv two sentences from the Newhampshrre patriot of 1820-- 
at present the leading Jackson paper in New England. 1 hf. 

MORE WE CONTEMPLATE THE CHARACTER OF THIS ABLE, AS- 
SIDUOUS AND EXCELLENT STATESMAN AND PATRIOT— THT. 
rURTHER WE WITNESS HIS PROGRESS, IN THE DIPLOMATIC 
HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY, THE MORE WE SEE TO ADMIRE AND 
^PPL^UD. No MAN UNITES MORE OF THE QUALITIES OF THF 
HONEST, UPRIGHT AND ABLE STATESMAN, THAN JoHN QuiNCY 

* The same naoer. soeakingof General Jackson, four years af-^ 
terwarcis, tnatis on tne 31st of Mav, 1824, observed 'he (Gen- 
eral J acksonj is, IN NO RESPECT, QUALIFIED FOR THE OF- 
FICE OF THE President of the United States.' We might 
oo on and quote the former opinions of those who are now, in 
our own State, his leading and most influential advocates; all 
going to show him ''the most unsafe and unfitting man m the 
nation for public trust and confidence." We might follow up 
these quotations and produce evidence from the lips ot those 
who have since become his most strenuous advocates, in every 
part of the Union, to prove the same unfitness and incapacity. 
These have been laid before the people again and again. In- 
deed, if we were to permit ourselves to quote against General 
Jackson the gross and vulgar, indecent and profane terras ap- 
plied to him four years back, by some of the most prominent 
in his party, we should offend against good manners. If we 
were disposed to surrender ourselves up to the utmost bitter- 
ness of vituperation, we could use no language which would 
not fall infinitely short of their then severe philippics against 
this their present '^second IVashhip07iV'— this their now **Iiere 

of tivo rmrsV . , r 1 1 

If General Jackson's private life had been entirely faultless, 
and his public character free fro-Ti those blemishes which he, 
himself has brought upon it— if the laurels gathered bv him at 
New Orleans, had been fresh and untarnished, the citizens of 



8 

fhe United States would never have placed in the highest civil 
post in the Government, an illiterate man and an inexperien- 
ced statesman. They would never have ventured upon so 
hazardous an experiment to themselves, nor have set so dange- 
rous an example to posterity. The victory of New Orleans I 
was an important one. Its magnitude cannot be overrated. 
The nation has awarded to General Jackson, a full share of the 
glory it gained upon that occasion: and in its delight to honour 
him for that service, it has almost forgotten what was due to 
its other functionaries, and even to the citizens and soldiers, 
who, under him, achieved that victory. The friends of Gen- 
eral Jackson seem desirous of throwing into dark and distant 
perspective all the other illustrious instances of consummate skill 
and distinguished gallantry, by sea and by land, which gave, 
during the late war, so high a character to the national prow- 
ess. The triumph over the "invincibles of Wellington," in the 
0]5cn field, with bayonet to bayonet — the naval victories on 
Lake Erie and Lake Champlam — and the immortal honour 
gained by our flag in every se;^ are all forgotten, that this ci- 
tizen soldier may wear a chaplet of unrivalled brightness. This 
the people of the United States will never endure — it would be 
to give up too large a portion of the national glory. They will 
cherish with even more distingu'shed notice, their other He- 
roes, because their private and their public lives have done 
6qual honour to themselves and their country. Distinguished 
as was the victory of New Orleans — and we are willing to 
give it an importance which has scarcelv been claimed for it, 
as frustrating under Providence, a scheme of perfidy in the 
enemy which will ever be a blot on the character of Great 
Britain---the achievements of our Naval Heroes and our gal- 
lant tars, rescuing our flag from the humiliation it had un- 
dergone, in the uunappv affair of the Chesapeake, and giving to 
Our star-spangled banner to shine with unrivalled brilliancy 
and glory, on every sea and in every harbour, are more pre- 
cious in the estimation of every genuine American, and have 
Inore truly illustrated the character of out country, than a hun- 
dred such victories as that of New Orleans. The measure of 
our nation's honour was full and overflowing, when the battles 
of the lakes came, almost with the fasrin-ition of romance* gui- 
ded by the youthful heroes, whose namts will forever live in 
the story of our country, to give the proof that, ship to ship, or 
fleet to fleet, we need fear no enemy; and that the people of this 
broad spread and rising empire, while they are true to them- 
selves, and animated by the noble examples now set ihcrn, may 
go in safety and honour to every part of the world, or dwell at 
home in peace and independence. Our ocean shore of a thou- 
sand leagues is girt as with a wall — and our noble rivers and 
our inland seas, are alive with the song and the sail of the ma- 
riner. 



& 



Was it not ei^ough to satisfy General Jackson, that tlie coun- 
try assigned him his place among the heroes of the nation? 
Was it not sufficient that the people were willing that the man- 
tle of oblivion should be thrown over private errors and public 
transgressions, which no victory could redeem, which no tro- 
phy could hide? General Jackson should not have suffered 
others to thrust him forward into a situation, where sacred 
duty to the public rendered it imperiously necessary to strip 
from him this mantle. It was, indeed, a wretched miscalcula- 
tion upon the character of the people of this country, that they 
would be so dazzled by the splendour of a single victory, as to 
be incapable of examining closely and clearly into his preten- 
sions for trust in the highest civil employment in their gift. 
With a full and perfect knowledge of his unfitness for civil 
office, and of the multiplied transgressions of his private and 
public duty— proclaimed with their own lips, from the house-tops, 
to the people— they have committed a great crime against their 
country, and jusdy forfeited, themselves, all right to fair con- 
sideration, in dragging him forward as a candidate for its 

highest honours. ,v • 

The great security for the continuance of our republic is to 
be found in the frame of our government, and in the character 
of the citizens of the United States. The constitution was 
formed and adopted at a time peculiarly favourable to calm and 
careful deliberation. It was the work of the best and ablest 
men in our country; and came to us under the sanction, and 
with the earnest recommendation, of Washington, the most il- 
lustrious patriot the world has ever seen. It contains every 
provision necessary for the safeguard of our religious rights 
and civil liberties. The people have only to hold every public 
functionary to the strictest observance of its injunctions, and to 
trust no man who shall be hardy enough to commit upon it the 
slightest violation: and the great truth which has now gone 
forth to the world that "man is capable of governing himself,' 
will be sustained, to the total overthrow of the false and de- 
grading doctrine, which it has suited the lordlings of the earth 
to preadi up and inculcate, that man is too weak and impotent 
a creature to do without a master. Gracious God ! need we 
fear that the time has already come— at the end, too, of the first 
half centurv, during which so much has been done to illustrate 
and establish this great, this noble truth— that we are to give it 
up, as a splendid but hopeless illusion? The time has come— 
yes, it has alreadv arrived— if the citizens of the United States, 
recreants to the cause of liberty, can regard with base submis- 
sion and apathy the open ^ iolation of their sacred charter;— and, 
if, in the fair temple of their freedom, they can raise their voi- 
ces and sing Hosannas to the guilty violater, they have made it 
the great sepulchre of their country. Need we advance to the 
-proof that General Jackson is that guilty violater? We ask you 

2 



10 



to spread before 3 ou the great charter of your liberties ahd 
to ph<ce your hnger upon the most efficient and emphi ic pro! 
vision for their secur ty. You refer n>. u. th , '"'^"'^ P'^"" 
the sa... institution to\vhich^^'i:.l^^^^^^- -f - 
some o the portraits ot the father of his cotintry, is seen noint 
jng, and seems as d he wouhl say, ^preserve but this m^ybT 
loved countrymen, from unhallowed louch, and you libc^-tts 
are safe ' And yet Andrew Jacksonhas twice trampled lis ut 
de his feet; not merely refusing-which was never ventured n 
on before, either in Great Britain or this country_to 3 eld it the 
^^t.t ..dience, but dragging to a prison the be^erf of ^ 

It is not our intention to jro into i de-iW,..! ^ 
Gener il Inr!-<;rn'<. ,.. ■ , ""^^'^''t^" enumeration of 

Oeneial Jackson s tiansgressions; but we ask you to select the 
next most prominent feature in your Government. You -ef r 
us to th arrangement to preserve the independence and ime; 
my of the States, within the spheres marked out foi them fo" 
occupy.. The Molence which Cromwell committed nnmtK^ 
Parliament ot England when, stampmg his H^^ 1^'C ^ 
ordered hem to depart- which the soldier Napoleon e^ceiched 
to.vard the council of five hundred, when he Z them out 
from tneir place of asseinbling. at the point of the^bayonet-r 

dent^stSi^:L:^.^^^5eo^^r2r:;;;^' t'-- ^-^^^r 

rij order whilst I am in the field " ^ '■^ i '^t- a nuiiia'- 

co„n,rs. an,! «I,ere tint now,',- U "^'STea est power it- 

difficuuy i„ s„,i,.g .ha; it ir.L; we rra i,, ."'p';"- , "" 

and Congress to raise armies and make wa, Ro h ,1 '"' 

ers this recUess soldier has ven„„''a to" IstHp" n 1 e^r^";'" 
He has raised an ar,ny, created ofiices and fill„| hem He 1,.; 
made war. not only upon Ins own autho.itv a, d in "ioluion of 




i-ssued throuch him Tl/ n • , ' "'^ «--overnmeni 

discharged! He rfosed o 0^""^"' ^•"^""^"^^ '^'^ ^"'"y '^ be 
in service, evcml.ev 1,^ 1 -■ 'l' ^'^^~^^ kept his men 

-and caused six no en ''""'^^^^^'^ 7^^^^^ they were drafted 

,oftheir settee h::i'ex;:;rer"^"""^^^^'"r^^^^- ^^^ 



11 



When to this guUty catalogue of great sins against the con- 
sthutioa, we add the ruthless manner in which he waged a war 
of extermination against the poor, unhappy aborigines ot our 
country, putting to death, in cold blood, nien, women and chil- 
dren—and the stcrv of the dark and dismal despo'ism of his 
sad misrule in Floiida:— and when we remind you o{ his threat 
to the President, that he would burn up one of the officers of the 
Government, in the house belonging to the people of the Uni- 
ted States, we are lost in amazement to think that the author 
of those outrages is still before the States, and seriously sup- 
ported by a formidable party for the highest post in the Go- 
vernment. 'Ihe frenzied zeal of so many misguided citizens, 
in making an Idol of this man, who has committed so many fla- 
grant trespasses on the laws and constitution of his country— 
who, to use their own former language, has violated almost every 
law, human and divine— must be curbed by the united eiforts ot 
the good and sane portion of our country, or our liberties are 
gone. -Rather than that our civil liberties and religious right^s 
should perish, we would join in the prayer that if we have en- 
fended against God, he would send upon us for our chastise- 
ment, the pestilence and the famine: and agree that any alllic- 
tion will be light compared with the loss of our feeedom. 

The reiga of Jackson has been truly a reign of terror- 
ferocious, merciless and bloody. And is this man of violence, 
with a heart of stone, and a temper constantly working itself 
into fury, fitted to sit in the President's chair, and execute 
justice in mercy? I-f he is to be our President, let us blot out 
from our constitution the noblest feature of our own and e% e- 
py Government— the power to pardon— for he will find no oc- 
casion to exercise it. Let our laws, like those of Draco, be 
written in characters of blood; and the experiment be fully 
made, whether Americans, in an age more tender in the in- 
fliction of capital punishment, than any that has gone before rt, 
are willing to present themselves to the world, as pre eminent- 
ly regardless of human life. If the citizens of the United 
States can bear, themselves, such a reign as this— and all on 
account of the victory at New Orleans— it will be well for them 
to inquire, what security they will have for that respect to pub- 
lic law to which the present civilized world requires implirit 
obedience, v/ith a man at the head of their Government, who 
knows not the difference between a pirate and a prisoner at xvar 
—who knows how a pirate is to be punished, but knows not 
how he is to be tried. , 

In referring to the off"ences of General Jackson against the 
laws and constitution of his country, and the constituted au- 
thorities of our Government, we have omitted any notice of the 
violence that he threatened, and advanced to the Capitol to 
carry into execution, on the persons of memhers of Congress; 
tf which, while we write^ the evidence of Mr. Laceck is lai4 



12 



before us. That a man who can trample upon the constitution 
and violate its most sacred provisions, over and over asain, can 
coolly resolve to cut off the ears of members of Conm-ess, for 
venturing m discharge of their duty to investigate his conduct 
can be matter of no surprise. It is in strict keeping with his 
other misdeeds. What security has the country that he would 
not, It 1 resident, and made commander in chief of its armies 
follow out fully the example oi his great predecessors, Crom* 
well and Bonaparte— march his soldiers to the Capitol and ex- 
pel Congress at the point of the bayonet? If, fellow-citizens, 
with such earnest before your eyes of what we may expect, you 
elevate this man to the Presidency, you will be prepared to v'ote 
him first Consul for life and afterwards Emperor. 

One of the reasons, assigned by your convention, for depre- 
catmg the election of General Jackson to the Presidencv is, 
that as a public Ambassador, he caused to be appended to a pub- 
lic treaty a grant; of land for his own aggrandisement. That 
stipulation was m the following words. 'JFis/iinP- to icive a 
rwtional mark cf gratiWdc to Major General Andrew Jcfckson. 
Jor /us diHtingm.shed services rendered us, at the head of the ar- 
nnj from Tennessee, vce' {the said Indian nation) ^give and 'nant 
him, and his heirs jor ever, three miles square of land, «' 
such place as he may select out of the national lands.' This was 
equal to five thousand seven hundred and sixty acres, and,'if 
judiciously located, would have been worth, at this time five 
hundred thousand dollars. There have been instances in Eu^ 
rope, where prmces have conferred upon foreign ministers, on 
their taking leave, some small token of respect and courtesy. 
Upon one occasion— we think it was the case of Colonel Hum- 
phreys—a present, perhaps of a sword, was made to him. That 
gentleman subn.itted the matter to Congress, who directed it 
should be returned. We belie^ e we should be warranted in 
saying that, if an estimate could be made of the acgrecate of 
all the presents of this description, of all the Potentates of Eu- 
rope, horn the earliest age down to this day, the amount would 
Jail infinitely short, in value, of this Indian gift to General Tack- 
son. What citizen is there, of either party, who can look at 
this transaction without the most marked indignation? A 
pubxic Minister, sent to transact the public business— well paid 
for his ser^-Ices by his own Government-and transmitting, 
with the treaty he negotiated, a stipulation for his own agj^rait- 
d.sement! It has no parrallel in the annals of the civHized 
%vorId. A free gift of a nation of wretched, half starved In- 
dians, brought to his feet in unconditional submission! Were 
they prompted directly or indirectly, by General Jackson, to 
make hnn this grant? Was it a reward to him for the seJvi- 
ces he had rendered them, in bringing into their country the 
ftre, the famine and the sword? Or was it an offering from the 
♦gnorance and superstition of the poor children of thS forest, t« 



13 

propitiate him as their evil genius — to soften his heart and avert 
his wrath? What terms of reprobation are strong enough to 
express the abhorrence of every honest man at such a transac- 
tion ! This is a specimen of his fitnes and talents for civil 
emplovment. As a soldier, ws see him deliver himself up to 
his fiery passions, and his sword thirsting for the blood of 
friend and foe. As a civilian, the gross and grovelling spirit of 
cupidity takes hold of him. In the one situation, no feeling of 
mercy enters his heart: — and, in the other, no moral sense of 
decency and honour can curb his rapacity. 

Our State has been flooded with handbills entitled ^General 
Jackson's land speculations'^^ in which an attempt is made to ex- 
plain and gloss over a series of circumstances, any one of which, 
in a citizen of this state, would have wrecked his character for- 
ever. We would have thrown this into the mass of offences, 
which we have passed over, had not the plastic hands of his a- 
pologists endeavoured to convert a most reprehensible transac- 
tion, into a pattern of generous liberality. A candidate for the 
Presidency obliged to have a white-washing committee, whose 
composition peels off almost as fast as it is put on! A judge of 
a court — for such was General Jackson, at the time — to take a 
fee of ten diousand acres of land to ^have' so simple a matter 
accomplished, as the foreclosure of a mortgage! This suit, he in- 
stituted in the court of the United States of that district; which 
court had no jurisdiction of the cause. A decree of foreclosure is 
obtained — the eighty five thousand acres of land sold, and purcha- 
sed for less than two thousand dollars, by General Jackson and 
company. Sales are afterwards made to settlers, by the pur- 
chasers, on general warranty deeds, which, in Tennessee, at, 
that time, rendered the grantors liable for the improved value. 
When it was discovered that the court of the United States had 
no jurisdiction of the case, and that the decree there rendered 
was erroneous, the General and his partners became alarmed 
for the probable consequences of their covenants of warranty. 
At this moment it occurred to General Jackson that he had au 
old debt, of about $wenty thousand dollars, due him from the 
estate of the morfg aafilg "^^^^^ ^"^^ died insolvent, in Georgia, 
where his heirs re'^ffft To that state he proceeded forthwith, 
to purchase the equity of redemption of those heirs, for this old 
debt barred by the statute of limitations. He accomplished 
this without:l:onsideri^g that the estate of the insolvent mort- 
gagor was-bound, beyonc\ its utmost value, for unbarred debts 
— and without Reflecting that the time for prosecuting a writ of 
error, to reverse the decree of foreclosure, having elapsed, the 
sale under the moi-tgage, altho' originally erroneous, had now 
become valid, by l^pse of time. His purchase of the heirs could 
have availed not a cent, if the time for prosecuting the writ of 
error had not passed by. It would have been only a fund in 
his hands for the payment of good and subsisting 4ebts. Hf 



14 

has thus coTnniitted tuo blunders — one in having the suit 
brought in the wrong court — the other in bu\ing from the heir* 
tvliat they had no right to sell, and what, of course, was of no 
value. But he resolves to make 'the thorn bring forth figs.' 
He turns upon his partners and bis employers — claims, first, to 
stand in the place of the mortgagor, and tenders the payment of 
the mortgage money. He can now save himself from liability, 
under his own covenants ef wanantv — and the rest of the land, 
with all the improvements upon it, is to be his — and he is per- 
fectly reckless of die ruin of his partners and employers He 
eomes, however, afterwards, to the determinatioH to be content- 
ed with the payment of his debt of twenty thousand dollars, 
barred by the statute of limitations. He finds, in a Mr Erwin^ 
the representative of his original employer, a man more know- 
ing and as unyieiding as himself. He contends in vain, with 
this gentleman for years. To protract the controversy with 
him. is to jeopardise his claim on the settlers. He had better 
take half than lose all, Erwin shaken oft" from his skirts, he 
finds no difRcultv in o'otaining from the settlers, ten thousand 
dollars for this idle and unfounded claim — not for himself, but 
for his near relative James Jackson. He has, for this free and 
unpurchased relinquishment to Erwin, not only the induce- 
ment of getting one half of his unjust claim, when he was in 
peril of losing all — but die time, 18:23, had arrived, when his 
evil star had brought him before tlie people, as a Candidate for 
the Presidency. The sorry story of this land speculation 
might take wind — and Erwin held the fatal scissors to clip the 
^V"ings of his soaring ambition. Neither Erwin nor wife will 
come to him, and be must go to them, — that his friends here- 
after might white-wash this transaction, by holding up to the 
people his gratuitous renunciation, to shew that 'the gallant de- 
fender of New Orleans, was not proof to a woman's tears and 
distress; when, in fact there was not a sigh heaved, nor a tear 
'jh^^d; for Mrs. Erwin, could have had no inducement for at- 
tem-jjting to excite hi« commisseration. It is true there were, 
under the roof of each settler, upon these lands, women who 
■could implore and shed tears, as eloquently as Mrs. Erwin. 
To them it was evident he exhibited no compassion, and it is 
equally clear that 1^ could not have been a stranger to their dis- 
tresses. It is bad enough to see bold and flagrant transgres- 
sions — but to be called upon to laud them to the skies, as 
instances of God-1-ikc virtue, is beyond human patience to euf 
dure. 

There is another great land concern of the General which 
our duty to the Con\ ention will not permit us to pass over 
xvithout notice. The aifair of the mortgage already discussed, 
was a private land speculation, and serves to show the princi- 
ples which have guided him, in his traiisactlons as a citizen. 
U does, indeed, go fuidier, and establishes great official mis- 



13 

eonduct, in having — he being a judge at the time — any thing 
to do, for fee or reward, with the carrying on of a suit, in a 
State where he held that situation. 'I he grant of a tract of 
land three miles square, which General Jackson managed 
to extort from the Creek Ind'a s, was an enormous offence a- 
gainst his country and the honour and purity of an ambassador; 
one, certainly, without a parallel in the history of diplomacy, 
except in the fresh instance to which we now refer. He was 
sent by the President, with Governour Shelby, of Kentucky, to 
negotiate a treaty of cession, with the Chickasaw nation of In- 
dians. Here he accomplished an arrangement by which — but 
for the prudence and virtuous firmness of his colleague — his 
near relative, the same James Jackson, woidd have been made 
worth, at least, half a million of dollars. The old Gover" 
nour, unmoved by the hectoring violence of the (General, per- 
tinaciously insisted that a stipulation in behalf of the United 
States should be incoip-orated with the arrangement, by which 
they became entitled to take the purchased pro])erty at the same 
price — twenty thousand dollars — which James Jackson was to 
pay for it. The Government, without hesitation, took it at this 
price: and, of course, what was intended for private emolu- 
ment, became public property. Governour Shelby always be- 
lieved, and so said, that General Jackson's corruption, in that 
negociation, had cost the United. States from one to two hundred 
thousand dollars,* Thus we find that General Jackson, yield- 

*Thefollowvig' is an extract of a letter from the son of Gover- 
nour Shelby, dated G/assland, April tiSt/i^ 1828. 
*'IVIy father set out on the 10th September, 1818, and ari- 
red at General Jackson's on the 15th, where he remained a 
few days, and, in company with his colleague, proceded to 
Nashville. In a day or two we set out for the treaty ground^, 
accompanied by eight or ten gentlemen, friends of General 
Jackson, with all of whom, (excepting Col, Butler,) my father 
was unacquainted. During the journey, little was said on the 
subi,ect of the treaty, I heard the general, on one occasion, ask 
my father how high he was willing to go for the Indian boun- 
dary. My father replied, that he was prepared to go as high 
as S300,000, rather than not effect the purchase — but, said be, 
'General Jackson, I have not the least idea that we shall find it- 
necessary to give half that sum.* After this conversation, a 
profound silence was observed by General Jackson and the 
friends who accompanied him, on the subject of the treaty, in 
my father's presence. At length, we arrived at the treaty ground. 
— the Indians assembled. My father soon observed great inter- 
course between the General's friends and the Indians, of which 
he spoke frequently to me. On one occasion, the General and 
a part of his suite were absent from camp all night — the 
Gefieral withheld the motive of his nocturnal visit from hi? 



1(3 

Ing to the utmost rapaclousness, has, in the inorduiate pursuit 
of his land speculations — in one instance, violated his duty as 

colleague, by studied silence on the subject. I did understand, 
by some means, that the General passed the night with Col- 
bert, one of the principal Chiefs, My father expressed to mc 
his suspicions 'that there was something not right going on.' 
Before any Council had convened, the General informed hie 
colleague, 'that some of the principal Chiefs were violently 
opposed to selling land, and that those fellows would have to 
be bought over.' At length, a council was called. Among 
other objections made by the Indians to the selling of their land, 
it was urged by them 'that the United States was largely in 
arrears to them, and until old debts were paid, they would not 
contract new ones.' The Commissioners found it necessary^ 
to send to Nashville for money to pay those claims, and thus 
remove the main difficulty. In about a week, the messenger 
to Nashville arrives — the money is distributed agreeably to 
the census of the nation taken during his absence. A second 
council is convened. General Jackson inquires of the Chiefs, 

*What do you ask for this land?' 

Interpreter — ^We don't know — what will you give?' 

General Jackson — 'We will give you Sl50,000.' 

Interpreter — *Wc can't take it.' 

General Jackson — 'We will give you S200,000.' 

Interpreter — 'No, we cannot take it.' 

General Jackson — 'We will give you S250,000.'' 

Interpreter — 'No, no.' 'S300,000,' says the General. 

M)^ father left the table, and the council broke up. The 
General observed to my father, in conversation, that the Chiefs 
contended for the privilege of selling a large reservation of 
land to whom they might think proper. My father objected 
to this proposition: he said, 'they might sell to the King ot 
England.' The General observed, 'that there was then a com- 
pany of gentlemen on the ground that would pay them down 
their price, 'S20,000.' My father refused positively to permit the 
Indians to sell land to private individuals. He contended 
that the Government should have the option of taking the reser- 
vation at the price stipulated, and the General and the Chiefs 
were, in the end, obliged to consent to it- 

My father told the General that he had made the Indians of- 
fers that he could not sanction. 'Why, Governour, Goddamn 
it, did you not say that you would give 8300,000?' 'No; sir; I 
gave ) ou no authority to speak for me, I am hear to speak for 
•myself,' 'Why, Governour, God damn my soul, if you did 
not say so.* 'I did not authorize you to make any such proposi- 
tion.' The parties seemed on the very point of coming to 
blows, when I stepped between them, laying a hand on each, and 
entreated them to talk the matter over more dispassionately- 



a Judge and a citizen — and in two other instances, pfoStituted 
the sacred character of an ambassador. We sicken at the re- 
cital of such flagrant offences, and loath all further comment on 
them. 

There has been, heretofore, but one sentiment in this coun- 
try, as to Colonel Burr's expedition — and that feeling has con- 
signed, unhesitatingly, to lasting infamy, every citizen that had 
the slightest participation in it. The proof that implicates 
General Jackson in that conspiracy, is thickening against him 
every moment; and has, perhaps, become irrefutable. The e- 
vidence, so far as it has yet been developed, establishes a dou- 
ble treachery — treachery to his country — treachery to his co- 
conspirators. 

That a man of General Jackson's temperament and reckless- 
ness of character should make a successful appeal to a certain 
class of society, is not extraordinary. There have been in ev- 
ery age, and among every people, enough of turbulence and vi- 
olence to render such an appeal formidable. But when the 
restless and dangerovis agencies of this description are invoked 
and accredited, by any considerable body of respectable citizens, 
the crisis becomes truly alarming. That those, from whom 
their country had a right to expect better things, should, in the 
selection of their candidate and in the concoction of their party, 
have based themselves upon this calculation, and the prone- 

My father told me afterwards, that it was well for the old 
rascal that I interfered, that he should have knocked him 
twenty feet. Not a word passed between the commissioners 
until next day, when the General broke out on his colleague 
in a strain, if possible, more rough and boisterous than be- 
fore. I again stept between them, and called on the friends 
of the General to interfere. Old Major Smith stept up and 
observed, 'Gentlemen, I am no dictator, but I will be mode- 
rator,' and we kept them apart. My father told the General 
he should leave him and go home.' *Go, Governour,' replied 
the General, '^by God I will make the treaty without you.* 
While our horses were saddling, the friends of the General 
urged me to use my influence with m) father not to go. He 
at length agreed to remain. Another council was called. The 
Indians demanded the S300,000, and would treat for nothing 
less — finally, the treaty was made. My father thought that 
Gen. Jackson's corruption and folly had cost the Govern- 
ment from 100,000 to 200,000 dollars. His mind underwent 
;no change on this subject to the dav of his death. 

II have thus given you a detail of facts, which came under 
my own observation: you are at liberty to make what use of it 
you may think proper. Your friend, 
THO. H. SHELBY. 
Colonel C. S. Todb. 

a 



iiess of the unenlightened to bedazzled by military glory, as 
the foundations of their strength, must be matter of deep and 
humbling concern to every upright and intelligent citizen. 
Notwithstan.ling the guilty ambition of these men, none know 
better than themselves that, v,'hen the united efforts of such an 
nssociation as this Ivave been crowned with success, and a 
party thus formed has mounted into power, there immediately 
etisues a struggle between those v/ho are prepared to go all 
lengths in the said misrule of aiTairs, and such as are disposed 
to a uiorvj orderly course; and that this struggle has never yet 
failed to terminate in the destruction of those who are desirous 
of maintaining the v/holesome restraints of society. These 
are, hov/ever, determined to assist in raising the whirlwind, and 
they must be the very iirst to perish in it. Enquire who are 
openly preaching up treason, and unfurling the banners of re- 
bellion — who are demanding a severance of the Union, — and 
you will learn that none but the friends of General Jackson are 
engaged in this goodly work. That the leaders of this band 
will turn back upon their steps, v/c have no hope. Our re- 
liance is upon the general intelhgence, good sense and virtue of 
the people: they will not follow in the train of such desperate 
politicians. 

We, perhapp, ouglit not to close this address Avithout noti 
cingthe attempt which is making, with so much industry, to per- 
suade the people that the Administration has lost the colonial 
trade, and that this has occasioned the fall in the price of grain. 
We will not occupy your time by a detailed history of the facts 
in relation to this subject — they arc contained in the able and 
luminous reports and Documents which have been from time 
to time laid before Congress by the Executive. They are 
now before the people and prove to the satisfaction of every 
intelligent citizen and sensible merchant, that the Adminis- 
tration has saved the country from an arrangement, by 
Vv'hich the most substantial commercial and agricultural inte- 
rests would have been jeopardised. If there be truth in the cus- 
tom house returns, our colonial trade has been increased since 
these gentlemen say it was 'lost.' 

V/e should trespass too much on your time, fellow-citizens, if 
v.'e were to attempt a detailed examination of the measures of 
the present Administration. You have seen a 'combination* 
entered into at the commencement of the Administration, to 
oppose its measures — and, we may say trulv, to oppose those 
measures, whether they were right or wrong. VVould such 
a combination have passed unnoticed a single false step in the 
Executive? And what has this sharp-sighted and vindictive 
inquest — determined to be s-itisfied with nothing — yet laid be- 
fore the public as the great sins of this Administration? Cor- 
vu])tion? The charge has recoiled upon themselves. For men 
to talk of corruption, who are so far gone in it themselves, as 



19 

to declare the)' would keep up and persist in their Oj^positionto 
the Government, if it were as *pure as the Angels that stand at 
the right hand of the throne of God!' — Extravagance in the ex- 
penditure of public money? Let their own waste and extrav- 
agance — their own improper conduct at the last session of Con- 
gress, in making the legislative halis a great electioneering are- 
na, where every public object was lost sight of but one — that of 
securing the election of their military chief — let tiiis be taken 
into view, and it would greatly exceed any thing which they 
might call the mis-expenditure of this and every preceding 
Administration. But what single mis-expenditure have they 
found out against the present government? They have, when 
called upon to make good their charges against it and when 
forced, against their will, into the examination, after i-ansack- 
ing every department, failed to establish the slightest instance 
of disregard to strict economy in the public expenditure. Flave 
they proved anv thing to be wrong ir. the appointments to office, 
or in the diplomacy of the Executive? 1 hey have set in coun- 
cil themselves upon all of the nominations, and have consented 
to and advised the greater part of the appointments. As to the 
mission to the southern republics, which has been the theme 
of such heated controversy, some of the leading members in 
the opposition declared at the 'time, in the course of good na- 
tured conversation with the friends of the Administration, 'had 
you taken the opposite course, and refused to respond to the 
call of your sister republicks, we would have put you with 
ease to the wall.' Has the arm of public defence been withered, 
or in any respect been enfeebled during this Administration? 
It is not pretended that it has. Have measures for future se- 
curity, by sea or by land, been relaxed? Nobody charges it. 
Where then are the great sins of this Administration? Its 
greatest fault is that it is faultless — that it wears an armour 
these gentlemen cannot pierce. Their great reliance is upon their 
arts of deception, by which they hope to blind and mislead the 
people — and the illusive hopes of better prices, with which they 
endeavour to amuse them. There is more intelligence in the 
country than these gentlemen calculate upon. A war in Eu- 
rope — the rest of the civilized world in strife, while we are at 
peace — is known to the least enlightened citizen among us, to 
give wider spread to the wings of our commerce, and to afford 
frgsh life and spirit to our agriculture. When, however, angry 
nations have exhausted their fury towards each other — when 
the blessings of peace come to make up to them for the ravages 
of war; when the sword is exchanged for the sickle and the 
ploughshare, does it become us as a Christian people, to grieve 
that the further effusion of human blood is stayed, or to mur- 
mur that we have no longer hosts of fierce and hungry soldiers 
to feed? Instead of desiring, like vultures, to fatten on the dis- 
^ tresses and calamities of others, ought we not rather to offer up 



20 

our fervent thanksgivings to God that he placed the lot of our 
forefathers, and our own, far remote from scenes of wild havoc, 
and to implore his goodness to prosper those efforts of our go- 
vernment which are directed to the developement of our own 
native sources of virtue, industry and enterprise? Our adver- 
saries may descant as wildly and fiercely as they please about 
what they call their rights, but when they unfurl the banners 
of rebellion — when thev call upon the citizens of the United 
States to rally around the standard of a military chief, who, 
upon all occasions, tramples under his feet the sacred charter of 
our liberties — when they oppose with headlong fury and vio- 
lence, every measure calculated to establish the firm and solid 
foundations of permanent comfort and prosperity for the people 
— there is too much good sense — too much virtue — in the coun- 
try, to heed their noisy and senseless clamour. Their 'tree 
will be judged by its fruit.' As yet every blossom it has borne 
is blighted, and its product, even if it could, in this soil, ripen 
into maturity, would be unseendy to the eye and bitter to the 
taste. 

We have now, fellow-citizens, nearly performed the task as- 
signed us. VVe ask leave only to remark on the inconsistency 
of our opponents; who, blowing hot and cold with the same 
breath, represent General Jackson as a candidate of the Fede- 
ralists or of the Democrats, as they address themselves to those 
•who were formerly of this or that party. It has suited these 
gentlemen in Delaware to ordain and publish to the world the 
downfall of the old parties. How many of the turbulent and 
violent of each party have enlisted under their banners, we leave 
it to others to say. We have the satisfaction to believe that 
the greater part of the moderate and relkcting. cool and dis- 
passionate members of the community are arrayed v.'ith the 
friends of the Administration: and we are firmly of opinion 
that the present organization of parties will be permanent 

We cannot take leave of this subject without remarking upon 
the entire indelicacy of General Jackson becoming the calum- 
niator of his rival candidate. For the first time, in the history 
of our country, has a candidate for the Presidency travelled 
through any portion of the Union, spreading charges far and 
wide against his competitor. What single letter has Mr. A- 
dams written, what syllable has he uttered to the prejudice of 
General Jackson? The friends of Mr. Adams have done what 
their duty to themselves and the government called upon them 
to do: they have met and repelled the charges of his great ac- 
cuser. Those charges have recoiled upon their author. They 
have examined with freedom into the pretensions of the gen* 
tleman who challenges so boldly for himself the highest ho- 
nours of the country. Much would have been spared to Gen. 
Jackson if, after cordially, to all appearances, felicitating Mr. 
•Adums on his election — instead of immediately becoming his 



21 

open and secret accuser, he had retired in peace and quietness 
to his Hermitage, bowed in submission to the public will, and 
acquiesced cheerfully in the supremacy of the law and constitu- 
tion of his country. He could, it is true, have had no exemption 
in any case from a full enquiry into his fitness for the highest of- 
fice to which his inordinate ambition had tempted him to aspire; 
and that enquiry could never have resulted favourably to his 
hopes. As matters now stand, he is doubly proved unworthy 
of tlie confidence of the people of the United States. 

In respect to Mr. Clay, we know not that we can add force 
to the sentiment expressed by your convention when they say 
*'that if there has been among us, since the days of the immor- 
tal Washington, an individual who deserved to be the first in 
the confidence and the affections of his countrymen, it is Hen- 
ry Clav: that able and upright statesman, to whom the Presi- 
dent, obeying the voice of the people, has assigned the most 
distinguished situation in his councils." Yet this is the man 
whom General Jackson singled out, to aim at his fair fame and 
reputation the most poisoned shafts — not putting him up as a 
target among his family and friends, at the Hermitage, around 
his ov;a fire side, as he would have us to believe; but indulg- 
ing himself in this cruel and w'anton sport, at every other fire 
side, in every Steam-boat and at every Inn. What are we to 
think, as has been justly observed, of the morals of him who 
holds not the reputation of others sacred, at home as well as 
abroad? And what are we to think of General Jackson, 
as a man, who urging this lame and impotent apology, stands 
proved to the world as the persevering and unwearied propaga- 
tor of the sam.e slander in every other situation? Mr. Clav 
came to the councils of the nation, with all that spirit of fresh- 
ness and freedom — with all that genius and talent — with all 
that openness and goodness of heart and frankness of manners 
which made him — if we mav say so — but the harbinger of still 
brighter times in the west — but the earnest as it were, of v/hat 
that noble portion of our country is destined to yield to the 
cominon stock of the moral worth and greatness of our empire. 
W^ho can believe that such a man as this has fallen, and fallen, 
too, where there was no temptation to betray? 

Fellow-citizens, we have done. We leave your own cause in 
3'our own hands. We ask you to join with us, in humble sup- 
plications to the author of all goodness, to continue still to guide 
this young and rising nation — to give our citizens to know and 
perform their duty to their God and their country — that they 
may be an example worthy to be held up for virtue and piety, 
and true patriotism, to man in every clime and country — that 
he may purge them of all bitterness and uncharitableness to- 
wards each other; — to ordain that turbulence and violence shall 
not set up their misrule in our land — that the noble fabric pf 



22 



our Government shall be preserved— that the ark of our safety 
and glory shall float securely and ride triumphantly amid the 
fierce and threatening storms now gathering to overwhelm and 
sink with it the last hope of the friends of freedom. 

DAVID HAZZARD, 
MOSES BRADFORD, 
WILLIAM H. WELLS, 
ALEXANDER CRAWFORD, 
ISAAC DAVIS, 
CALEB S. LAYTON, 
GEORGE B. RODNEY, 
SAMUEL S. GRUBB, 
JOHN ROBERTSON. 

Aun'iist 1,1828. 



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