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CLASS OF 1889 



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orm No. A -368 



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Entered according lo act of Congress, in tne year 1832, by Qapp acd Benton, tan 
tiie Clerk's offlce of the District of Connecticut. 


This volume is not presented to the pnblic in igno- 
rance of the fact, that at a period of high political 
excitement like the present, its reception by many will 
be rather ungracious. Of this, we are not disposed 
to complain, although it has been our studious endea- 
vor in the preparation of this work to avoid every 
thing obnoxious to the political opponents of Andrew 
Jackson; unless, indeed, the defence of his public acts, 
interwoven Avith the detail of them, should produce 
this effect. 

It may be a matter of inquiry, v/hy another volume, 
detailing the leading incidents in the life of an indi- 
dual so favorably and univorsally known as that of 
Andrew Jackson, shouIJ Ic added to the multiplicit\- 
of works that have already appeared upon the same 
subject. Under circumstances differing from tho^ein 
which it appears before the public, an answer to the 
inquiry could not perhaps be satisfactorily m.ade. But 
it will be recollected that the biographical details of 
his public life, of any note, heretofore published, ap- 
peared immediately after the termination of his bril- 
liant military career. The important advantages which 
the exercise of his talents and courao-e had achieved for 


his country in the fortunate termination of the border 
wars with the savage nations on our southwestern 
frontier, and those of a still greater magnitude result- 
ing from his single triumph over our civilized foes, 
were then almost universally appreciated by his coun- 
trymen. They saw, they felt and acknowledged, that 
the benefits his valor had won. were of no puerile or 
ordinary description, and with the fulness of their 
appreciation of them, their gratitude was commensu- 
rate. The -mutterings of censure were indeed occa- 
sionally heard, but they were soon silenced by the 
Ught of] truth and the wholesome rebuke of public 
sentiment. But emotions of gratitude for favors re- 
ceived, are often weakened by time, or supplanted by 
interest or prejudice, which may account for the fact 
of subsequent attempts being made, to depreciate the 
merits of one of America's most distino^uished sons, 
and of whom the nation may be justly proud. His 
acts, and the motives which prompted them, have been 
denounced, and before the tribunal of public opinion 
been subjected to the severest scrutiny and the strict- 
est investigation ; and his fame has passed the ordeal, 
with a lustre still brighter and more imperishable. 
Our object has been to present a Lx.'^^^ry of his actions 
in the light in which this investigation has placed 
them : — to what extent we have succeeded, an impar- 
tial public will decide. 

" When the community entertain diflerent views 
of the conduct or motives of an individual, who has 
acted in a highly responsible capacity, it is extremely 
difficult to concentrate opinion by presenting a series 
of tniths. Prejudice operates with peculiar force on 
one class, while the other, however well convinced of 


their error, arc unwilling to be thought inconsistent, 
and, therefore, never acknowledge the falsity of the 
course of reasoning they have once adopted." We 
are not, therefore, unaware of our exposure to cen* 
sure, in the publication of this work, from those who 
may not subscribe to the character delineated of its 
subject. But the task has been begun and completed 
with purity of njotive and honesty of purpose, and 
whatever animadversion may fall to our share, we 
trust will be met in a becoming spirit of forbearance. 
We have not the vanity to believe that any thing it 
contains will influence a solitary individual in his 
opinion of the merits or demerits of Andrew Jackson 
for the station he now occupies ; yet Vv^e have the 
satisfaction of reflecting, that the suspicion of being 
influenced by such a motive, can with no degree of 
justice be imputed to us, for its circulation, whatever 
it may be, will have only commenced before his poli- 
tical destiny will have been decided. 

For the. imperfections of this work, our readers will 
undoubtedly exercise a proper degree of indulgence 
— It is before them, and will its day — it vv^ill re- 
ceive its meed of approbation and censure, and be 
forgotten ; but the fame of the illustrious man, who 
is the subject of it — his exalted patriotism — his Ro- 
man virtue — his unyielding firmness when surrounded 
by the most disheartening and inveterate difficulties 
— his skill and energy in planning and completing 
the defence of his country, in the seasons of her great- 
est peril — his daring courage in the day of battle — 
his upright and fearless discharge of the highly re- 
sponsible duties appertaining to the presidency of this 

mighty communion of, states, will live, as noble ex- 


amples, inspiring the love of glory and virtue, long 
after the present generation of men, their hopes and 
fears, their joys and sorrows, are mingled with tlie 
dust of buried ages. 

For the materials which compose this work, we 
have a\ ailed ourselves of every thing within our reach, 
whether furnished by friends or enemies. For the 
defence of several of General Jackson's public acts, 
we are indebted to an able writer of Virginia, A small 
portion of the detail is in the language of others who 
have heretofore written on the same subject, and 
which has been used without the usual mark of cre- 
dit; other characteristics, however, will readily dis- 
tinguish it. An appendix had been contemplated, for 
an amplification of some of the parts which consti- 
tute the body of the work: the extension of the volume, 
however, beyond it3 original design, has rendered its 
omission necessary. 

The Author. 

Hartford, Oct. 1st, 1832. 



Introductory remarks — Birth of Mr. Jackson — His parentage — War 
of the Revolution — He engages iii the war — Is taken prisoner — Re- 
eists the command of a British officer — Mrs. Jackson — Her virtues 
— Her deiith — Mr. Jackson an orphan — Studies law — Admitted to 
the bar — Removes to the South West Territory — Appointed attorney 
general — Member of the Tennessee convention — A representative in 
oengress — A senator in congress — Judge of the supreme court — 
Burr's conspiracy — Charges against him refuted 1 

Mr. Jackson a major general — The war of 1812 — Causes which led to 
it — Indian hostilities — General Harrison checks them — The South- 
em tribes — Tecumseh appears amon.g them — Excites them to hos- 
tility — The Creek.s — Their hostile preparations — Acts of congress 
for raising volmiteers — General Jackson addresses the militia of his 
division — His expedition to Natchez — Disobeys the order of the se- 
cretary of war — Is justified — Creek war — Massacre of Fort Mirnms 
— General Jackson marches against the Creeks — Battle of Tallu»- 
hatches — General Jackson's and General Coffee's report of it. 

Tennessee forces— Message of General White— Fortress of Talladega 
— Its danger — General Jackson advances to its protection — General 
White refuses to form a junction with him— General Jackson crosses 
the Coosa— Battle of Talladega— Official report of it— Consequen- 
ces of General White's conduct- General Floyd— Battle of Autous- 
see — Official report of it -Difficulties of General Jackson's situation 
— Famine and mutiny among lus troops — His firmness — Arrival of 
supplies — Discontent of his troops continues — Governor Blount — 
His instructions — General Jackson dismisses his corps — New troops 
tailed— General Claiborne — His victory upon the Alabama. . &S 


IJewly raised troops — They arrive at Fort Strother — Join the forcet 
of General Jackson — He marches them to Talla<lpga — The enemj 
at Emuckfaw river — General Jackson advances upon tliem — Attack* 
them — His official report of the battle — Iniportant results of his vic- 
tory — Operations of the Georgia forces — General Floyd's victory — 
The Creeks fortify themselves at the Horse- Shoe — General Jacksoji 
attacks them — Defeats them — His account of the battle — He is cen- 
■ured for his severity to the Creeks — Causes which justified his treat- 
ment of them— His vindication 69 

Grcneral Jackson returns to Fort Williams — Marches to the Hickory 
Grounds— Prospects of the Creeks — They sue for peace — General 
Pinckney arrives at Fort Jackson — Interchange of courtesies be- 
tween him and General Jackson — General Pinckney assumes the 
command — Disbands the troops — General Jackson returns to Teri- 
nessee — His reception there — Is appointed to negotiate with th« 
Creeks — Eloquence of the Chiefs — He concludes a peace with them 
— Spanish aggressions — Correspondence between General Jackson 
and Governor Manriquez — General Jackson at Mobile — Attack on 
Fort Eowyer — Major Lawrence's report of it 90 

Importance of Fort Ecwyer — Inadequacy of its defence — Arrival of 
General Collee and Tennessee furces — General Jackson marches to 
Pensacola — The Spanish Governor's preparations for his reception 
— General Jackson sends Major Pierre with a flag — He is fired at 
from the forts — General Jackson attacks and subdues the place — 
Colonel Kicoll — His proclamation — Censure of General Jackson 
for his operations in the Spanish territory — The legahty and justice 
of his measures defended 110 

The safety of New Orleans menaced — General Jackson commences 
Lis march for that place — Defenceless situation of Louisiana — Disaf- 
fection among the iniiahitants — General Jackson arrives at New 
Orleans — Despondency of the pe()j)lc — His exertions in their behalf 
— He addresses them, and makes j)reparations for defence — Defeo- 
tionofthe French population — Causes that led to the |)roclamatioD 
of martial law — General Jackson prcclaims it— Defence of the mei^ 


«ire— Arrival of reinforcements Battle of the twenty-third of De- 
cember — Consequences resulting from it. . 120 

Effects of the battle of the twenty-third— Ladies of New Orleans— 
Their patriotic exertions— American lines of defence— General Jack- 
son's exertions— Loss of the schooner Caroline- Battle of the 28th 
December— Battle of the 1st January— Repulsion of the enemy 
on that occasion— Sir Edward Pakenham— Discoveries made by 
time 138 

Belligerent preparations— Arrival of Kentucky reinforcements— Ope- 
rations of General Pakenham— Advances upon the An.erican works 
BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS-Result of the bo ttje- Retreat 
of the army- Fort St. Philips- Major Overton's gallant defence of 
it— Consequences of the victory of New Orleans— General Jackson 
addresses his soldiers I47 


Retrospection— General Jackson appoints a day of thanksgiving— Dr 
Dubourg's address to General Jackson— His rei)ly— Generals Coffee, 
Carroll, and Adair— Their merits— General Jackson still continues 
to strengthen his measures of defence— Treaty of peace letwr en tho 
United States and England— General Jackson's farewell address to 
tisarmy Ig5 

Recapitulation— Facts relative to the proclamation of martial law— 
Habeas Corpus— Louallier— Judge Hall— Defence of General Jack- 
son's suspension of the writ of habeas corpus — He is arrested— His 
reasons showing cause why an attachment for contempt should not 
be heard against him — Consequences that would result from a strict 
adherence to the civil code in seasons of peril 174 

General Jackson returns to Nashville — Receives the congratulations of 
his countrymen — He is appointetl commander-in-chief of the southern 
mihtary division of the United States— Vote of thanks to him, from 
the Tennessee legislature— Repairs to Washington — Receives the 
congratulations of the citizens of Lynchbiu-g at a public dinner- 
Returns to Nashville— Proceeds from thence to New Orleans— Grate- 


ful reception from the inhal)itai.ts— He concludes a treaty with the 
Indians — Issues a general order — Defence of it 194 

Causes that led to the Seminole war — General Jackson invades Florida 
— Is censured for it-^Defence of the measure — His Utter to the go- 
vernor of Georgia — Detail of the causes wliich elicited it — Destruc- 
tion of the Chehaw village, and its consequences 204 

General Jackson arrives at Fort St. Marks — Caj)tures it — Censures of 
him for his operations in Florida — Circunistances justitying his acts 
— Arhuthnut and Ambrister — Their agency in producing the Semi- 
nole war — Justification of their punishment — Letail of the particu- 

, . 221 

General Jackson returns to Nashville — His reception — Cession of the 
Floridas to the United States— General Jackson appointed 'governor 
of them — Delicacy of his situation — His proclamation to the people 

— Spanish olHcers — Colonel Callava — His measures in relation to 
them justified 254 

General Jackson resigns the government of the Floridas — Is nomina- 
ted by the Tennessee Icrislature for the prosilency— Is elected to the 
senate of the United States — Lafayette visits him at the Hermitage 
— President elected by the house of represen'.atixes — Mr. Adams 
chosen — General Jackson again nominated — Resigns his seat in the 
senate in consequence— His address to the Tennessee legislature on 
that occasion — Visits various towns in Tennessee — His replies to 
addresses made to him by his fellow-citizens — Receives an invitation 
to attrnil the celebration of the 8th January at New Orleans —Des- 
cription of that celebration. . ' .... 278 


Violence of party spirit — General Jackson elected president of the 

United States — Death of Mrs. Jackson — C eneral Jackson declines 

the acceptance of invitations to |)ublic entertainments, on his way to 

Washington — He repairs to the seat of government — His reception 

— Inauguration —Inaugural address -His cabinet — Removals from 
office — Defence of the measure — His fast message to congress. 310 


Approbation of tlie ]\Iossn{To — Maysville Road Eill — Roturnpc] to the 
house by Jackson, with his objoctijns — Mr. Barbour's de- 
fence of this oftic^ial act— Meotiiiir of Congress in 1630 — General 
Jacksons Message — Remarks upon il — Correspondence l)etween him 
and Mr. Calhoun — Developments made by that correspondence — Its 
beneficial results to General Jackson 356 

Dissolution of the cabinet — Letter of resignation from the secretary of 
state — General Jackson's re})ly — Causes which led to the dissolution 
— Its eflccts — Re-org;uiization of the cabinet — Meeting of the 22d 
congress — President's message — Remarks ujon it — Rejection by the 
senate of Mr. Van Buren's nomination — ?/Lotives that led to it — 
Bill for re-chartering the Unitetl States bank, p;is.-ies both houses of 
congress — Is presented to the president — He returns it with his veto 
— Veto message — Its eliects — His honor and character — Anecdotes 
—Conclusion ... 37J 


Introductory Remarks — Birth of Mr. Jackson — His 
parentage — War of the Revolution — He engages in 
the war — Is taken prisoner — Resists the command 
of a British officer — Mrs. Jackson — Her virtues — 
Her death — Mr, Jackson an orphan — Stiidies law- 
Admitted to the bar — Re7noves to the South West 
Territory — Appointed Attorney General — Member 
of the Tennessee Convention — A representative 
in Congress — A senator in Congress — Judge of 
the Supreme Court — Burr''s conspiracy — Charges 
against him refuted. 

Whenever an individual, by the force of his own pe- 
culiar talents and energy, has raised himself from ob- 
scurity to the highest attainable summit of earthly distinc- 
tion, a curiosity, very natural in itself, is engendered, to 
learn something of his early history ; to trace the first 
workings of a mind, whose conceptions have laid the 
foundation, and whose perseverance has raised bsfore the 
admiring gaze of the world, a monument of undying fame. 
This indulgence often proves unsatisfactory, as instances 
are numerous of men whose maturity has developed 
powers that have commanded the admiration of the world, 
who, in early life, gave no indication of future greatness. 
The province of the biographer, however, in commencing 
the life of his subject, is always the same, whether the 
early years of his hero were rife with spirit-stirring indi^ 


cations of exalted intellect, or exhibited nothing above the 
ordinary endov.ments of men. 

Andrew Jackson was born at Waxaw, district of Ma- 
rion, in the state of South Carolina, on the 15th of 
March, 17G7. His father was a native of Ireland, and 
emigrated to America with his family, a wife and two 
sons, in 1765. The object of his emigration was, to 
escape from the oppressions which were at that period 
heaped by the English government upon the middle 
and lower classes of that ill-fated country. He died 
about two years after his emigration, and thus escaped 
British tyranny ; which, unsatiated with its victims in 
Europe, followed soon after, and planted its hideous 
front upon the American shores. He left three sons, of 
whom Andrew was the youngest, in a strange land, in 
the helplessness of infancy and childhood, to the care 
of their widowed mother, who executed the arduous 
task of nurturing her children, in a manner that reflected 
the highest credit upon her persevering fortitude, and ex- 
emplary devotedness to the exercise of the best impulses 
of the human heart. Her pecuniary resources were 
limited ; yet, by judicious management, she was enabled 
to give her two eldest sons the rudiments of a common 
education. Andrew she designed for the ministry ; and, 
with this view, he was admitted as a student in an aca- 
demical institution, where the languages and the higher 
branches of literature were taught. Here he com- 
menced the study of the classics ; and he would probably 
have proceeded to effectuate the object designed, had he 
not been interrupted by a train of events, which constitute 
the brightest era in American history. We allude to the 
war of the Revolution. The history of the world furnishes 
no parallel, in which a contest has been maintained be- 
tween high handed oppression, and a total disregard of 


the rights of man on one part, and a determined and per- 
severing resistance of the oppressed on the other, and 
which terminated so gloriously, as is exhibited in the re- 
volutionary struggle of our fathers. No portion of the 
colonies suffered more from British invasion, than the 
southern states. A considerable portion of them was for 
a time completely overrun, and subjected to" the cruelties 
and indignities of a merciless soldiery. The eldest bro- 
ther of Andrew joined the army, and was killed at the 
battle of Stono. Andrew Jackson, with his onl}'' surviving 
brother, joined the American forces soon after, in defence 
of their country and their homes, the former being only 
fourteen years of age. 

The southern colonies were, at this period, extremely 
defenceless. Lord Cornwallis, the commander of the 
British forces, found but little resistance in the com- 
mission of his depredations, from those Avhose lives and 
liberties he was trampling in the dust ; consequently, 
he left the country, and proceeded to the north, in pur- 
suit of a more extensive field for the exercise of his ex-' 
terminating propensities, taking the precaution, however, 
of leaving behind him a band of his myrmidons, suf- 
ficienth' numerous to awe the vanquished into subjection. 
On the departure of Cornwallis, the inhabitants of Wax- 
aw, who had been dispersed by his troops, ventured 
again to return and repair the ruins of the place, and 
take measures for their defence. Camden was at this 
period in the possession of Lord Rawdon, whose vigi- 
lance, worthy of a^ better cause, was awakened by news 
that the inhabitants of Waxaw, whom he supposed to 
have been effectually exterminated, were again preparing 
for defensive operations. It is well known, that in this con 
test the Americans were considered as rebels, who had 
raised the standard of revolt, and set at defiance the su- 


premacy of their legitimate sovereign. That interchange 
of courtesies, usually practised by belligerent nations, was 
entirely dispensed with ; consequently, the contest was 
maintained, on the part of Great Britain, with a spirit of 
barbarity and cold-blooded extermination. Actuated by 
these principles, Lord Rawdon availed himself of the as- 
sistance of the^American Tories, whom he dispatched with 
a detachment of British dragoons, under the command of 
Major Coffin, to the destruction of Waxaw. The inha- 
oiiants were determined to defend themselves, though the 
prospect of ultimate success was nearly hopeless. They 
assembled, and were entrenching themselves in their 
church, when they were suddenly surprised by the British 
troops. Eleven of their number were taken prisoners, 
and the residue escaped. Among the latter were Andrew 
Jackson, and his brother. They were captured, however, 
on the ensuing day, and an incident then occurred, which 
developed the germings of a spirit, which has since 
prompted its possessor to the accomplishment of deeds of 
noble daring. Every species of indignity was practised 
upon the American prisoners, and, with other ill-treat- 
ment, young Jackson was ordered to clean the boots of a 
British officer. He indignantly refused to obey the de- 
basing command, and demanded the treatment due to a 
prisoner of war. The officer, enraged at the boldness of 
the refusal, made a violent pass with his sword at the head 
of the youth, which he parried with his hand, and received 
a severe wound in consequence. This may, to many, seem 
a trifling incident; but when we reflect that he was only 
fourteen years of age, and the prisoner of men who 
butchered their opponents with a recklessness unknown in 
the annals of modern warfare, his manly firmness and ex- 
alted sense of honor cannot, it is believed, fail to elicit the 
meed of admiration. 


The fate of his brother was more tragical. He was 
severely wounded upon the head, after being taken pri- 
soner ; and in this condition he was, with his brother 
Andrew, thrown into prison, and conlined by the order 
of his captors in a separate cell. Here he remained 
neglected, his wounds undressed, shut out from the as- 
sistance and sympathy of a single individiial who could 
have extended to him the hand of relief, till an exchange 
of prisoners took place, w^hen he was returned to die 
under his mother's roof The neglect of his wound 
while in prison, produced an inflammation of the brain, 
which terminated in death. We cannot here forbear pay- 
ing a small tribute to the memory of the excellent mother 
of Mr. Jackson. She had remained in Europe, till Bri- 
tish oppression threatened to overwhelm her family. She 
then, with her husband and children, sought an asylum 
on the American shores ; but even here the same oppress- 
ors followed her. A lone widow, in a land of strangers, 
she succeeded in rearing her children to the dawn of man- 
hood, only to see them fall by the hands of a merciless 
enemy. The last efforts of her life were spent in mitigating 
the sufferings, and extending relief to the prisoners who 
were captured in her neighborhood : — but when she saw 
ner children fall — those whom in the ardor of maternal 
affection she had so fondly nurtured — rthe ties which bound 
her to earth were broken, and the grave closed upon her as 
it had done upon her murdered offspring. 

Mr. Jackson, at the age of fifteen^ found himself alone in 
the world, a sad spectator of the desolations that had visited 
his family. Divorced from every living being with whom 
he could sympathize as a kinsman, he might speak in the 
emphatic language of the chieftain, the last of whose re- 
latives had been slain in battle, — " that not a drop of his 
blood ran in the veins of any living creature." The sud- 


den extinction of his family bore heavily upon him ; his 
sufferings and imprisonment had impaired his consti- 
tution ; and, to complete the measure of his misfortunes, 
he was violently seized with the small-pox, which near- 
ly terminated his life. The vigor of his constitution, how- 
ever, triumphed over the virulence of his disease, and re- 
stored him ag-ain to health. He succeeded to the patrimo- 
ny of his father, which, though small, would, with 
prudent management, have enabled him to complete his 
studies, and to enter upon the duties of mature life with 
many pecuniary advantages. But those endowments 
which serve to elevate men to distinction, are seldom 
foutid connected with talents of economy in money mat- 
ters. At least, it was thus with Mr. Jackson. Ge- 
nerous to a fault, he soon reduced his estate to a di- 
minutiveness, Avhich threw him at once upon the re- 
sources of his own mind, and compelled him to become 
the architect of his own fortunes. He resumed his li- 
terary pursuits at the age of sixteen, under the tutelage 
of Mr. M*Culloch, and endeavored, by severe applica- 
tion to his studies, to restore what he had lost by va 
rious interruptions. With him he completed the study 
of the languages, preliminary to his entrance at the 
university ; but the diminution of his pecuniary resources 
induced him to relinquish his original design of ac- 
quiring a classical education. At the age of seventeen 
he commenced the study of law at Salisbury, North 
Carolina, in the office of Spruce M'Kay, Esq. ; and 
completed it under the supervision of John Stokes, Esq., 
both lawyers of distinction, and was admitted a practi- 
tioner at the bar of that state in 1786. He practised in 
the courts of the state two years; but not finding pro- 
fessional prospects sufficiently flattering to induce him to 
remain, he resolved to push his fortunes in the west. 


The present state of Tennessee was, at this period, 
a territorial government of the United States, called the 
South West Territory, having been recently organized 
by Congress. The climate was salubrious, the soil 
was fertile, and it was rapidly advancing, from a wild 
region, to a stale of civilization. Here we find Mr. 
Jackson in 1788. The honorable Judge M'Nairy was 
appointed judge of this territory in the fall of this year, 
and was accompanied by Mr. Jackson to Nashville, at 
which place they arrived in October, when the first court 
was holden. He here found himself among a people 
widely diflferent in manners, customs, and habits, from 
those he had recently left. In the older states, when one 
generation of inhabitants has followed another in regular 
succession, there are always some distinguishing cha- 
racteristics in the whole population. But in the new states, 
an established character in the people would hardly be dis- 
coverable, if we except energy and personal independence. 
In those parts of the republic which have been settled for 
two centuries, a family, a monied, or a landed aristocracy, 
can always be discovered. The many become subser- 
vient to the few, and subjugate their minds to those who, 
by wealth or power, have obtained an ascendancy over 
them. In such a state of society, an insulated being like 
Andrew Jackson, without the influence of friends to aid 
him, or funds to procure them, could hardly hope, with 
the most exahed intellect, to arrive at a station either of 
emolument or profit. Circumstances are widely different 
in the new states. Drawn together from different sec- 
tions of an extensive country, by motives of interest, of 
power, or of fame, each individual may almost be said 
to make a province by himself. In such a situation, 
the most energetic character becomes the object of the 
greatest popular favor. Mr. Jackson was well calculated 


\o move in this sphere of action. Without any extrinsic 
advantages to promote his advancement, he had solely to 
rely upon intrinsic worth, and decision of character, to 
enable him to rise rapidly. He commenced the practice 
of law in Nashville, at the age of twenty-one, and soon 
distinguished himself among his competitors. His stern 
integrity, and unremitting attention to business, recom- 
mended him to the notice of government, and procured 
for him the appointment of Attorney General of the terri- 
tory. This office he sustained for a considerable length 
of time, with much reputation to himself. 

The South West Territory, in 1796, was admitted a 
sovereign and independent state into the Union, and took 
the name of Tennessee. The people were then called upon 
to exercise a highly responsible act of self-government — 
that of forming a constitution, as the supreme law of the 
state. Mr. Jackson was chosen a member of the con- 
vention, called to discharge this important duty. Although 
he had become known to the most distinguished citizens of 
the country, his exertions in this convention brought him 
into more universal notice, by the distinguished part he 
took upon this important subject. The course of his stu- 
dies had previously led him to the investigation of the 
science of government, from the earliest ages down to 
the period in which he lived. With the rise, progress, 
and termination of the ancient republics, he had made 
himself familiarly acquainted ; he had witnessed the ope- 
ration of the American constitution, and those of the 
different states, from their first establishment to the period 
in which he acted. With a mind thus prepared to meet 
th^ important discussion, he took lead in the debates upon 
the different articles of the proposed constitution. To 
those who are acquainted with the constitution of the state 
of Tennessee, the precision with which the legislative, the 



judiciary, and executive powers are designated ; the care 
manifested in securing to the people their civil rights ; 
the freedom allowed in the exercise of the rights of con- 
science, must be obvious, and much credit is due to Mr. 
Jackson, for his efforts in producing so desirable a result. 
As a proof of their approbation of his services, the people 
of Tennessee elected him their first representative in 
Congress. His popularity continued to increase, and in 
1797 he was elected to the Senate of the United States. 
His congressional life was distinguished for a firm ad- 
herence to republican principles ; and in the senate, he 
voted for the repeal of the alien and sedition laws. His 
affairs in Tennessee requiring his attention, induced him 
to resign his seat in the senate before the session closed. 
He accordingly returned; and soon after, contrary to his 
inclinations, he was appointed judge of the Supreme 
Court. After discharging its duties for a while, he re- 
signed the station, and retired to private life. 

It was during the recess between this period, and the 
commencement of Mr. Jackson's brilliant military career, 
that the Union was agitated by the development of the 
famous Burr conspiracy. Mr. Jackson has by no means 
escaped the missiles of malice and detraction, which are 
usually aimed at men of distinguished attainments. It was 
not until a recent period, that Mr. Jackson was accused of 
being a participator in this conspiracy. This charge was 
most triumphantly refuted as soon as preferred ; and 
though it is not our intention to notice the many un- 
founded charges that have been exhibited against him, 
yet we should deem it the greatest injustice to our readers, 
as well as to our illustrious subject, should we fail here to 
record the ample proofs which so effectualljr wipe out the 
stain, which is intended to blot the fair escutcheon of a 
much injured patriot. Mr. Jackson was charged with the 


crime of treason — of being connected with Aaron Burr in 
a conspiracy to sever the union of these states. 

Before we proceed with the evidence in refutation of 
this unprincipled calumny, we will premise that General 
Jackson, while in the Senate of the United States, became 
well acquainted with Col. Burr ; that then and long after. 
Col. Burr stood high in the favor and estimation of the 
republican party in the United States ; that he had ac- 
quired the good feelings of the West, by his great attention 
to its interests, and particularly of Tennessee, by his ac- 
tivity in procuring her admission into the Union ; and that 
up to the month of November, 1806, nothing like suspicion 
of treason, or of any project unfriendly to the peace or 
integrity of the United States, had any existence in this 
country ; though Mr. Jefferson, in his message of January 
22nd, 1807, declared, " that he had received intimation 
that designs were in agitation in th^ Western country, 
unlawful and unfriendly to the peace of the Union, and 
that the prime mover in these, was Aaron Burr, hereto- 
fore distinguished by the favor of his country." The 
grounds of these intimations being inconclusive, the ob- 
jects uncertain, and the fidelity of the country known to 
be firm, the only measure taken was to urge the informants 
to use their best endeavours, to get further insight into the 
designs and proceedings of the suspected persons, and to 
communicate them to the President. 

A full development, however, of Burr's designs, soon" 
became manifest. " It appeared that he contemplated two 
distinct objects, which might be carried on jointly or sepa- 
rately, and either one or the other, as circumstances should 
direct. One of these was the severance of the Union of 
these States by the Allegany Mountains; the other an at- 
tack on Mexico. A third object was provided, merely 
ostensible, to wit, the settlement of a pretended purchase 
of a tract of country on the Washita, claimed by Baron 


Bastroph. This was to serve as the pretext for all his pre- 
parations, an allurement for such followers as really wish- 
ed to acquire settlements in that country, and a cover un- 
der which to retreat in the event of a final discomfiture of 
both branches of his design." 

" He found at once, that the attachment of the Western 
Country to the union was not to be shaken ; that its disso- 
lution could not be effected with the consent of its inhabi- 
tants, and that his resources were inadequate, as yet, to 
effect it by force. He took his course then at once, deter- 
mined to seize on New Orleans, plunder the bank there, 
possess himself of the military and naval stores, and pro- 
ceed on his expedition to Mexico, and to this object all his 
means and preparations were now directed. He collected 
from all the quarters where himself or agents possessed 
influence, all the ardent, restless, desperate, and disaffected 
persons, who were ready for any enterprise analogous to 
their characters. He seduced good and well-meaning citi- 
zens, some by assurances that he possessed the confidence 
of the government, and was acting under its secret patron- 
age; a pretence which procured some credit, from the state 
of our differences at that time with Spain, and others by of- 
fers of land in Bastroph's claim on the Washita." 

This was the state of the information, received by 
President Jefferson, towards the close of November, 1806; 
and on the 27th of that month, in consequence of the re- 
ceipt of intelligence of the conspiracy by Gen. Wilkin- 
son's letter, he issued his proclamation. The President 
not being apprized at that time, that any boats were build- 
ing on the Cumberland river, the effect of this proclama- 
tion was for some time trusted to in the state of Tennessee ; 
but on the 19th of December, similar communications, 
and instructions, with those to the neighboring states 
were dispatched by express, to the governor and general 
officer of the Western Division of the state ; and on the 


23d of December, the confidential agent of the govern- 
jnent left Frankfort for Nashville, to put into activity the 
means of that state also. 

Although some might suspect Colonel Burr to be en- 
gaged in schemes of pecuniary or personal aggrandize- 
ment, and might disapprove of them, and he might then 
have become a subject of suspicion, to some extent, yet 
no one suspected them to be in any degree hostile to the 
government of the United States ; and most persons in 
the West believed that his designs were countenanced, and 
in their execution would be supported by the government. 
This idea was supported by the existing state of our rela- 
tions with Spain, and the belief that a war with that power 
was impending — a war which, at that time, would have 
been popular in the Western States. 

The charge against Cleneral Jackson, was made by 
Judge Williams of Tennessee ; who stated that sometime 
before Mr. Jeflerson's proclamation, he was told by Ge- 
neral Jackson, that if Williams would accept it, he might 
obtain the commission of captain in Burr's army ; and 
that at another time, he declared to him that he would find 
that a division of the United States had taken deep root ; 
and that he would find a number of the members of the 
House of Representatives deeply involved in the scheme. 
The lamentable inaccuracy of the statements of Mr. 
Williams, will, it is believed, appear abundantly manifest 
from the following well authenticated facts, in relation to 
the circumstances of General Jackson's situation, at the 
period of that conspiracy. 

We will introduce to our readers, General Jackson's 
letter to George W. Campbell, then a representative in 
Congress from Tennessee, dated January 15th, 1807, not 
because it is first in date of several proofs that will be 
presented, but because it contains a connected and con- 
tinuous relation of General Jackson's knowledge, and 


conduct, with regard to Colonel Burr ; a plain and manly 
narration, containing in itself a vindication, which must 
prove satisfactory and conclusive to every honest and 
well constituted mind ; from which, sophistry and incre- 
dulity will alike shrink back, foiled and overcome ; and 
which, when supported in all material points, by other 
direct evidence which will be given, must carry convic- 
tion to every honest and unprejudiced heart. 

The following is a copy of a letter from Andrew 
Jackson, to G. W. Campbell, January 15th, 1807. 

" Sir, — ^The late denunciation of Aaron Burr as a trai- 
tor, has excited great surprise, and general indignation. 
Still, from the opinion possessed of the accuser, many 
there are who wait for the proof, before they will pro- 
nounce him guilty of the charge. One thing is general- 
ly believed, that if Burr is guilty, Wilkinson has parti- 
cipated in the treason. The public mind has been agi- 
tated from various reports of Burr having been met, at 
the mouth of Cumberland river, with 100 boats, and 1000 
armed men ; and it was stated as a fact, that the Captain 
at Massac, and all the men, were going with him. Subse- 
quent reports stated they had gone. An express which I 
started on the receipt of the Secretary of War's letter, of 
the — ult. has returned, and states that Burr left Massac, 
on the 3d ult., in company with ten boats, six men on board 
each, without arms, or any thing that can afford suspi- 
cion ; and that Captain Bissell has been doing his duty, as 
a vigilant officer. I had ordered out tAvelve companies 
of volunteers, on the receipt of the Secretary of War's 
letter, to check the adventurers, which, on the return of 
express, I dismissed. I have no doubt, but from the 
pains that have been taken to circulate reports, it will be 
rumored that I am on full march, to unite with Burr. 
This I know you never will believe, until you hear it 
from myself; or from such a source that you know can- 


not €rr. Should you ever hear, that I am embarked in a 
course, inimical to my country, believe it not. Should 
you hear that any treasonable intentions have come to my 
knowledge, and that I have been silent, believe them not ; 
or that I would not put any man out of existence, who 
would name such a thing to me, Avithout on the grounds 
of discovering it to the proper authorities. If Burr has 
any treasonable intentions in view, he is the basest of all 
human beings : — I will tell you why, he always held out 
the idea of settling Washita, unless a war with Spain ; in 
that event, he held out the idea, that from his intimacy 
with the Secretary of War, he would obtain an appoint- 
ment, and if he did, would revolutionize Mexico. 

" About the 10th of November, Captain called at 

my house, and after the stay of a night and part of a day, 
introduced the subject of the adventurers, and in part 
stated, that their intention was to divide the Union. I 
sternly asked how they would effect it ; he replied, by 
seizing New Orleans and the bank, shutting the port, 
conquering Mexico, and uniting the western parts of the 
Union to the conquered country. I, perhaps with warmth, 
asked him how this was to be effected ; he replied, by the 
aid of the federal troops with the general at their head. I 
asked if he had this from the general ; he said he had not. 
I asked him if Colonel Burr was in the scheme ; he an- 
swered, he did not know, nor was he informed that he 
was ; that he barely knew Colonel Burr, and never had 
any conversation with him. I asked him how he knew 
this, and from whom he got his information ; he said 

from in New York. Knowing that Colonel Burr 

was well acquainted with , it rushed into my 

mind like lightning, that Burr was at the head, and from 
the colorings he had held out to me, Generals Robertson 
and Overton, and the hospitality I had shown him, I 
viewed it as base conduct to us all ; and heightened the 


baseness of his intended crimes, if he really was about to 
become a traitor. I sat down and wrote to General Smith 
and Doctor Dickinson ; I wrote to Governor Claiborne to 
put his citadel in a state of defence, without naming any 
person except General Wilkinson. When this was done, 
I Avrote Colonel Burr in strong terms my suspicions of 
him, and until they were cleared from my mind, no fur- 
ther intimacy was to exist between us. I made my sus- 
picions known to Generals Robertson and Tatum, with 
some others. Not long after, I received his answer, with 
the most sacred pledges, that he had not, nor never had, 
any views inimical or hostile to the United States ; and 
whenever he was charged with the intention of separa- 
ting the Union, the idea of insanity must be ascribed to 
him. After his acquittal in Kentucky, he returned to 
this country, and to all who named the subject, made the 
same pledge, and said he had no object in view, but such 
as was sanctioned by legal authority ; and still said, that 
when necessary, he would produce the Secretary of War's 
orders ; — that he wanted only yo mg men of talents to go 
with him ; with such he wished to make his settlement, 
as it would have a tendency to draw to it wealth and cha- 
racter. For these reasons, from the pledges made, if he 
is a traitor, he is the basest that ever did commit treason ; 
and being torn to pieces and scattered to the four winds of 
heaven, would be too good for him. But we will leave 
him for time and evidence to verify his hue. I have 
given you the outlines, and in a few weeks will give the 
proof. A. Jackson." 

This letter was shown, immediately on its receipt, to 
Mr. Jefierson, and by him copied. From this, the rea- 
son is obvious why Burr's name was not mentioned in 
General Jackson's letter of the 12th of November, 1806, 
to Claiborne ; the information obtained by Jackson, ex- 
tended only to the commander of the United States troops; 


the connexion of Burr with him, was a mere conjecture 
of his own ; therefore it is, also, that in the letters of Ge- 
neral Smith and Doctor Dickson, senator and represen- 
tative in Congress, he speaks of his apprehensions of an 
attempt to sever the Union, and with reference to Burr, in 
separate paragraphs. 

Every act and sentiment of General Jackson's life, is 
marked with the deepest horror of any opinions, or acts, 
or persons, favoring a severance of the states ; and upon 
this subject he always has displayed a more than ordinary 
sensibility : no wonder, then, that he may, before Judge 
Williams and others, have expressed, in strong language, 
his apprehensions in relation to it, when he was commu- 
nicating every week the same fears and anxieties to the 
general government through our members of Congress. 
But no man, not even Judge Williams, has ever dared to 
testify, that Jackson ever expressed approbation of such 
designs, or that he ever expressed any other sentiment 
than that which he announced emphatically in his letter 
of November 12th, 1806, to Governor Claiborne — " I 
will die in the last ditch before I would yield a foot to the 
Dons, or see the Union disunited.^^ A heroic and sub- 
lime annunciation, which subsequent events have stamped 
with the seal of unquestionable verity, and proved to be 
no vain flourish ; and that whether the enemy of his 
country was the Don, the savage, or the Briton, his life 
was always ready to be offered up as a willing sacrifice 
for her safety and glory. General Jackson's letters to 
the Honorable Daniel Smith, and Doctor William 
Dickson, of November 17th, 1800, are expressive oi 
the same views and sentiments upon the subject of the 

When the charges against General Jackson, of being 
engaged in the Burr conspiracy, were first publicly 
made, a committee was appointed in Nashville, for the 


purpose of a thorough investigation of the subject ; which 
resulted in the triumphant vindication of the former, from 
all suspicions of a participation in that foul plot. State- 
ments from a large number of individuals of the highest 
respectability in Tennessee, who were intimately ac- 
quainted with the circumstances attending that conspiracy, 
are explicit and conclusive in exoneration of General 
Jackson from all concernment in it. We have room only 
for a few of the statements, and the concluding remarks 
accompanying the report of the investigating committee. 
The testimony of General Coffee and Colonel Ward 
was brought before that committee, and is completely ex- 
planatory of all the circumstances connected with build- 
ing boats for Colonel Burr ; the ostensible designs and 
objects held out by him, the reasons of his favorable 
reception in Tennessee by General Jackson, General 
Robertson, and many other distinguished persons of the 
country ; the origin and extent of the suspicions as to his 
objects ; his last visit to the Clover Bottom near General 
Jackson's in December, 1806, his reception, <kc. 

The following is a copy of General Coffee's letter to 
the Nashville Committee. 

^^ Nashville, August 28, 1829. 
» By request of the Nashville Committee, I do hereby 
state, that Colonel Burr, while in Tennessee in 1805 and 
6, represented his views to be the settlement of lands to 
the south, on the Washita river. He spoke of the pro- 
bability of a rupture between the United States and Spain, 
in which event, the impression was, that he (Colonel 
Burr) would have command of an expedition against 
Mexico, under, and by the authority of the United States. 
Sometime after he had been in Tennessee in 1805, and 
left this impression, letters were received from him, as 
my impressions now are, by Generals Jackson and Ro- 
bertson, requesting them to make out and forward to him 


a list of such enterprising young men, as it was believed 
would serve the country well in the impending anticipa- 
ted contest with Spain. Generals Robertson and Jack- 
son, with sundry others of the old respectable citizens, 
did, for that purpose, meet in Nashville, and made out 
such list, and, as I supposed, sent it on to him. Colonel 
Burr's then standing in the western country (having lately 
filled the second office in the government) forbade the 
idea, that his contemplated measures were apart from 
the knowledge and approbation of the government. On 
his arrival here, and for sometime after, marked atten- 
tions were by all extended to him, and no suspicions 
w^ere entertained that his plans and views were at all 
different from what they were represented by himself. 
With a view to the building of some boats, and procuring 
some provisions, there had been remitted to General 
Jackson the sum of three thousand and five dollars, which 
was placed in my hands, with a desire expressed, that I 
would attend to the request of Colonel Burr. 

" This agency I accepted and performed, and made ar- 
rangements for purchasing some provisions, and the 
building by different persons of five flat boats, and the 
purchase of one keel boat. Subsequently, a further sum 
of five hundred dollars was put into my hands. 

" Part of the funds, to wit, seven hundred dollars, as 
appears by reference to the memorandum of the expendi- 
ture, w^as paid over to Colonel William P. Anderson ; 
wherefore, and for what account, this advance to Colonel 
Anderson was made, I have not now a sufficient recollec- 
tion to speak with certainty. Suspicions having subse- 
quently arisen, relative to the real objects and views of 
Colonel Burr, my agency in his affairs ceased, except to 
discharge the contracts that had previously been entered 
into. The balance of the remaining funds in my hands 
was paid over to Colonel Burr on his arrival in Tennes- 


see, on the last visit he made here, in the month of De- 
cember, 1806. I was at that time engaged in mercantile 
business, and these services were performed by me for 
Colonel Burr, as they would have been rendered to any 
respectable man ; for I, nor any one else, that came to 
my knowledge, believed that he had objects to serve, 
other than were represented by himself. 

" The particulars here detailed, are founded on papers 
now in my possession, written at the time, and in my 
own handwriting. In the month of December, 1806, 
Colonel Burr returned to Tennessee, where he was met 
coolly by those who before had acted very differently to- 
wards him. He perceived it, and remarked it to me; 
my reply in substance to him was, that suspicions rested 
against him, and until they were removed nothing differ- 
ent was to be expected. 

" At the Clover Bottom, nine miles from Nashville, 
where I then did business, and which was the nearest 
point on the river to where his boats were, there was a 
tavern ; and to this place Colonel Burr came and re- 
mained about a week, until he had gotten every thing in 
readiness for his departure down the river. On his first 
arrival in Tennessee, on his last visit in December, Ge- 
neral Jackson was absent from home; having returned 
within a few days afterwards, the general came in com- 
pany with General Overton, to the Clover Bottom, where 
Colonel Burr resided. An interview took place between 
them and Colonel Burr, at which they informed him of 
the suspicions and distrust that were entertained against 
him. Burr repelled them, and expressed deep regret 
that there should be any such ; and remarked, that he 
could and would be able to satisfy every dispassionate 
mind, that his views and objects were friendly to the 
government, and such as he had represented them to be. 
In a few days after, he left the country. 


" A son of Colonel Hays, about seventeen years of age, 
as has been represented, nephew to Mrs. Jackson, went 
along. His father had become reduced in his circum- 
stances ; had been personally known to Colonel Burr, 
during the reA^olution ; and his son a young man of pro- 
mise. It had been proposed to the old gentleman, that he 
should take him, and aid him in his education, which 
was consented to by his father. General Jackson ga\'e 
him letters to Governor Claiborne, and instructed young 
Mr. Hays, as I understood at the time, that should he 
discover Colonel Burr's views to be at all inimical to the 
United States, or adverse to the designs of government, 
to leave him, and place himself under the protection and 
care of Governor Claiborne. , 

" Between General Jackson and myself, there has always 
existed confidence and friendship ; and there was nothing 
ever perceived in him by me, that could induce the be- 
lief, that there was any man in the country who would go 
further, and make greater sacrifices, to defend and main- 
tain the integrity of the Union. On all occasions, his 
conduct and declarations have stamped upon my mind 
this conviction. John Coffee." 

The following is the testimony of Colonel Edward 

" Nashville, September 2, 1828. 

*' At the request of the chairman of the Nashville Com- 
mittee, I make the following statement. That General 
Thomas Overton, deceased, informed me within a few 
days after the occurrence, that so soon as the rumor 
reached this country, that Colonel Aaron Burr had trea- 
sonable designs against our government, he (General 
Overton) and General A. Jackson waited on Colonel 
Burrj who was then, I think, at Clover Bottom, and in- 
formed him of the rumor, and required of him to state to 
them what were his views or designs. This answer was 


made, as he said, on the honor of a gentleman : ' That he 
had no views inimical to the government, none but what 
were known to the government and viewed with complai- 
sance.' And as well as my memory serves me, showed 
them a commission in blank, with Mr. Jefferson's signa- 
ture to it. Edward Ward." 

This testimony requires no commentary : it is full and 

"To show what views were expressed by Colonel Burr 
to General Jackson, and others, so early as the spring of 
1800, and to explain beyond the reach of dispute, the 
time, nature, and import of any possible conversation 
which General Jackson may have held with Judge Wil- 
liams, in relation to a commission, connected with any de- 
signs, or views of Colonel Burr, we will give extracts 
from a letter, written by the latter to General Jackson, 
dated 34th March, 1806, Washington city. 

*' After speaking of some general political subjects, 
and of the strong probability of a rupture with Spain, — 
* If these apprehensions (says he) should be justified by 
events, a military force on our post would be requisite, 
and that force might come from your side of the moun- 
tains. It is presumed that West-Tennessee could not 
spare more than two regiments. I take the liberty of 
recommending to 3^ou, to make out a list of officers, from 
colonel down to ensign, for one or two regiments. If you 
will transmit to me this list, I will, in case troops should 
be called for, recommend it to the Department of War, 
and I have reason to believe, that on such an occasion, 
my advice w^ould be listened to.' General Coffee says, 
that in consequence of letters from Colonel Burr, to Ge- 
neral Robertson and others, of similar import, a meet- 
ing was held in Nashville by General Robertson, General 
Jackson, and others of the most respectable men, and a 
list made out of such enterprising young men, as it was 


believed, would serve the country well, in the impending 
contest with Spain. 

" This brings us naturally to the consideration of Judge 
William's statements — and here we cannot forbear to re- 
mark, on the danger and folly of attempting to bereave a 
man of his fame, and charge upon him one of the foulest 
crimes known to the law, upon loose, vague recollections 
of a casual conversation, said to have taken place up- 
wards of twenty years ago, without any statement of the 
conversation in context with it ; without any date, except 
with reference to a range of nine months of time ; with- 
out any relation of the circumstances, which led to an 
insulated remark, so strange and incredible, if taken in 
the sense attempted to be attached to it by Judge Williams ; 
statements made by a man, who, by his own admissions, 
his own showing, and yet more by what we shall show, 
is subject to the most inaccurate recollection ; when the 
change, or omission, or addition of a single Avord, or the 
nature of the preceding or succeeding remarks, would 
entirely change the whole meaning and sense of what is 
stated to have been said." 

The investigating committee, in order that ample jus- 
tice might be done to Judge Williams' mind, consistency, 
and conduct, republished all that was written or published 
in relation to this conversation and to General Jackson ; 
and also what had been published to be the substanca of 
the letter written by him to his friend in Virginia. 

Upon this they remarked, " that taking the whole of 
these documents, we have some data from which to esti- 
mate correctly, how far the clearness of Judge Williams' 
mind, and the impartiality of his feelings, qualify him 
for deposing accurately and fairly. We will look at 
them, first, with a view to the question, how much reli- 
ance is to be reposed in the accuracy and fairness of his 
statements and memory ; and then, in prosecution of the 


same inquir^^ produce some additional evidence. Se- 
condly ; we shall show the extreme improbability, from 
Williams' own statement, that General Jackson ever 
could have made any propositions to him, in reference to 
any illegal or treasonable project ; and lastly, the fallacy 
of the inferences which his pretended friends attempt to 
deduce from what he has said ; and shew what Judg€ 
Williams has really stated as General Jackson's conver- 
sation with him, and what the conversation (if indeed 
there ever was one of any such nature) related to. 

In his letter to Mr. Kerr, Judge Williams says, the 
conversation occurred upon his examination by General 
Jackson, then a Judge, as to his fitness to receive a license 
to practise law ; but when he discovered by the records 
of the State that it would be proved, General Jackson was 
not, and had not, been a Judge for several years before 
this time, the conversation is divested of this circumstance 
in his subsequent statements. In the letter to Mr. Kerr, 
Judge Stewart is said to have heard this conversation as 
to the offer of a commission ; but, when Judge Stewart, 
not only does not recollect any such conversation, but is 
sure none such was held in his presence, the scene of 
the conversation is then recollected by Judge Williams to 
have been a solitary ride from General Jackson's to Nash- 
ville. In his letter to General Jackson, Williams says, 
" General Jackson in reference to that conspiracy, or what 
was afterwards called by others a conspiracy, said to 
me that I ^ould, if I would accept it, obtain a commission 
of captain." In his last statement, however, made and 
published in the Knoxville Enquirer of August 6th, 
1828, he says, " in riding from General Jackson's house 
to Nashville, near the Clover-Bottom, he spoke to me in 
relation to a commission in Burr's army," leaving out 
the material idea of a reference to what was afterwards, 
as he says, called a conspiracy ; showing thereby tha;t 


in these statements, Judg-e Williams does not pretend to 
detail with accuracy, the words or terms used in the con- 
versation, but only the general impressions, and that those 
impressions are indefinite and very vague, and are the 
mere floating and broken reminiscences of a feeble and 
shattered memory. Judge Williams says, that from the 
best of his recoUection., Mr. Smith, Mr. Curry and Dr. 
Watkins, among others, were present when Burr's effigy 
was burnt. Mr. Smith says he was not present either at 
the ball, or at the burning of the effigy. Mr. Curry says 
that he was not present at the ceremony of burning Colo- 
nel Burr's effigy, and considered it a disgraceful act ; and 
he also says in confirmation of Judge Williams' feeble- 
ness of memory, and the probable recentness of his pre 
sent, impressions that ' Mr. Williams called on me fre- 
quently after Burr became an object of suspicion, and con- 
versed freely on the subject, and, as I then thought, with- 
held nothing ; yet he never told me that General Jackson 
wanted to enlist him to fight the Spaniards, nor ever men- 
tioned his name as connected with, or knowing* to any of 
Burr's schemes.' These and other discrepancies and con- 
tradictions, are mentioned, not to shew any wilful or cor- 
rupt mis-statement on the part of Judge Williams, but to 
shew how little credence or trust can be placed on the re- 
collections of a memory, mistaken in so many circum- 
stances, and persons, and things, when it comes to detail 
a conversation, in which a single word would wholly trans- 
form its meaning and construction. But to dispose of 
Judge Williams, and to shew what degree of confidence 
was due to Avhat he related, either as to facts or the conver- 
sations of others — whether this want of confidence arose 
from great unsoinidness of memory or other cause — and 
also to shew how far Judge Williams' feelings as to Gene- 
ral Jackson entitled him to the character of a cool and im- 
partial witness ; and also in further elucidation of Judge 


Williams' candour and consistency, the investigating com- 
mittee called the attention of every American citizen to 
the following extract of a publication of Judge Williams, 
dated M'Minnville, June 2Sth, 1828. 

" State also if you please, Mr. Editor, that in the town 
of M'Minnville, there lives a man by the name of Theo- 
doric Burton — a man of truth and respectability, as I 
have heard here. He states that in 1805, he was one of 
Burr's men, and was mustered into service at the Clo- 
ver Bottom, with arms in their hands — that above seventy- 
five men signed the list of enrolment at the same time 
with himself — that at that time General Jackson and Colo- 
nel Burr Avere on the ground, and that Patton Anderson 
was his captain. Burton says, w^hen the men under An- 
derson separated, it was under an agreement, as to the time 
when they w^ere to march off with Burr, as his men — 
and that before that time came round the matter bursted. 
This is a condensed view of what Burton says ; who re- 
fuses to give a written statement. 

Nath. "W. Williams." 

The attention of the American people was then call- 
ed to compare this statement of Judge Williams with 
that of Mr. Burton, the gentleman referred to in the 
above extract ; and we now make the same request of our 

" M'Minnville, Warren County, Tennessee, September 
6th, 1828. To the Editors of the Republican. Gen- 
tlemen : — In as much as Nathaniel W. Williams, in u 
late newspaper publication, has taken the liberty to advert 
to my name, and to give me as authority for facts in rela- 
tion to General Jackson and Colonel Burr, which I never 
stated to him or any one else, and which in truth I never 
heard of before ; it is due to my character, humble as it 
may be, and to General Jackson, the destruction of whose 
private and honest reputation he seeks, to declare to the 


world that I was never mustered into Colonel Burr's ser- 
vice at the Clover Bottom, or any where else, nor did I 
ever so state to Judge Williams. 

" When Colonel Bwrr, was in this country, many years 
ag-o, (the particular year or season of the year, is not now 
within my recollection, I resided with Major Oilman Dick- 
son,) Patton Anderson passed through the neighborhood, 
and was engaged in recruiting a company, as he said, for 
the purpose of making a settlement in the Washita coun- 
try. Being a young man, I was prevailed upon by Major 
Dickson and Patton Anderson, to join the company, and 
did actually enroll m.yself under Anderson. I knew not 
how many men were engaged besides myself, nor do I 
remember any one of my acquaintances or neighbors 
who did join the company. Here, however, the matter 
ended. I was never mustered into service at the Clover 
Bottom, nor did I ever receive any arms, as I am made 
to say most untruly by Judge Williams, to whom I de- 
clare I never made so unfounded an assertion ; nor did I 
ever see any military parade of any company of persons, 
whatever, at the Clover Bottom, or any where else, at the 
time referred to, and as stated by the Judge. 

" So far from wishing, or intending, from any thing and 
every thing I know on the subject of Colonel Burr and 
his alleged conspiracy, or in any conversation with Judge 
Williams, to condemn General Jackson, or to connect his 
name with any scheme, unfriendly to the government, I 
wish to be understood as declaring to the world that I be- 
lieve him to be an injured patriot, in many things — in 
nothing more cruelly, than in the attempt to make him 
a conspirator. It is right and proper to add, that when 
Judge Williams heard of my complaints, occasioned by 
his unauthorized use of my name ; he wished to avoid the 
censure that awaited him, by begging me not to give this 
statement, but to leave to him to exonerate himself, by cor- 


reeling his publications. I leave the world to form their 
opinions of such conduct. Theodoric Burton." 

After this comparison, and after the concluding re- 
marks and facts exhibited in Mr. Burton's letter, we might 
securely consign Judge Williams, his mind, his memory, 
his accuracy, and his credit, to be estimated as our rea- 
ders may think meet and proper. 

But we now submit to the good sense of all reflecting 
men, the extreme improbability, that under the circum- 
stances related by Judge Williams, any treasonable or il- 
legal proposition could have been made to him by Gene- 
ral Jackson ; a proposition, pregnant with the most fearful 
and dangerous consequences to the projector ; made with- 
out any previous ascertainment of the man's views or 
feelings to whom it was addressed ; without any promis-e 
or even request of secrecy or concealment; Avithout ex- 
planation or development of the means to be employed, 
or the objects to be attained ; made in a casual and care- 
less conversation, made to a young man of much less than 
mediocrity of intellect, and who had nothing to bring in 
aid of such a high and dangerous enterprise, but want of 
talent and want of prudence — contains a series of impro- 
babilities, which amount to absolute certainty, and which 
the most credulous and prejudiced, we believe, must reject. 

But when we come to examine what Judge Williams 
relates of this conversation, we find that if any such 
ever did occur, it must naturally and necessarily be refer- 
red to the legal, fair views and publicly avowed of Colonel 
Burr ; in the two regiments spoken of in his letters to 
General Jackson, General Robertson, and others, to be or- 
ganized and commissioned by the government : to the force 
and arms to be employed by the United States, in the an- 
ticipated war with Spain ; to the list of young men spoken 
of in Colonel Burr's letters, and which was to be laid be- 
fore the Secretary of War : in short, to the armed force, 


at the head of which, Colonel Burr held out the belief, 
he was to be placed by g-overnment, in the event of a war 
with Spain. Judge Williams does not pretend that Ge- 
neral Jackson disclosed to him any treasonable or illegal 
projects ; does not pretend that the offer spoken of, was 
preceded by any conversation or communications by Ge- 
neral Jackson, of any traitorous or illegal conspiracy 
against the peace or integrity of the United States. If 
such communications had been made to Judge Williams, 
and he had failed to reveal them instantly to the proper 
authorities, he would stand an infamous and avowed trai- 
tor in heart, and unworthy the confidence of any honest 
man or true citizen. But he does not say any such plans 
or plots were communicated to him;- in justice to Judge 
Williams, and in comformity with truth, we must say, none 
such ever were. 

In his letter to General Jackson of September 27th, 
1828, Williams says, sometime before Jefferson's pro«la- 
mation, in riding from General Jackson's house to Nash- 
ville, General Jackson, in reference to that conspiracy, 
or what was afterwards called by others a conspiracy, 
said to me " that I could, if I would accept it, obtain a 
commission of captain." This is the only one of Judge 
Williams' several statements, in which he uses any term 
even implying wrong or illegality ; the word conspiracy, 
and the only words attributed to General Jackson are, 
" General Jackson said to me, I could, if I would accept 
it, obtain a commission of captain." He says that this 
was said by General Jackson in reference to that con- 
spiracy. What conspiracy ? Did it refer to any previous 
conversation developing a conspiracy? Judge Williams 
does not say so. No state of facts then existed even in 
fns mind, to which the term conspiracy was by him. then 
attached ; but it was what was afterwards by others called 
so. This is not left to reasoning, however conclusive and 


satisfactory that may be, for in his subsequent and mature 
statement, published, as he avows, from a sense of duty, 
he says, " in riding from General Jackson's house to 
Nashville, near the Clover Bottom, he spoke to me in re- 
lation to a commission in Burr's army," and this was 
some time in the spring or fall of 1806. Here the offer 
and conversation is in reference to " Burr's army," — what 
army, and for Avhat objects ? Beyond all question, the army 
spokenof by Burr, in his letter to GeneralJackson of March, 
1806 ; the officers to be commissioned by the Secretary of 
War, and to be employed against Spain. We now dismiss 
Judge Williams. 

We shall now briefly recapitulate the most material 
facts and circumstances, proved by the foregoing testimo- 
ny. 1st. That General Jackson only received and treated 
Colonel Burr, as a generous and hospitable gentleman 
would receive and treat a guest and acquaintance, who 
then, and long had, held a distinguished rank as a states- 
man and man of talents, in the estimation of the great re- 
publican party in the United States ; who had recently 
held the second office in the government, and with whom 
the honorable and the good might associate without re- 
proach, and as a man, in Mr. Jefferson's language, " here- 
tofore distinguished by the favor of his country." 

2. That General Jackson communicated to the govern- 
ment and its officers, fully and explicitly, so soon as he 
had information of any kind. 

3. That Colonel Burr never did communicate to Gene- 
ral Jackson, any designs treasonable or hostile to the go- 
vernment of the United States ; but always avowed designs 
consistent with its interest, and averred by him, to be sup- 
ported by its countenance and authority. 

4. That the first public suspicions as to the legality of 
Colonel Burr's projects, were allayed, and to a great de- 
gree destroyed, by the investigations in Kentucky in the 


30 BIOGRAPHY OF ^ ^». 

beginning of December, 1806, by the finding of the grand 
jury ; which was evidently calculated to have this effect, 
and which effect is proved by Mr. Jefferson's message of 
January 22d, 1807, to have been produced, where he 
siays, '* In Kentucky the premature attempt to bring 
Burr to justice without sufficient evidence for his convic- 
tion, has produced a popular impression in his favor, and 
a general disbelief of his guilt.'* 

5. That after suspicions had been excited against Colo- 
nel Burr, or after the letters to Governor Claiborne, Ge- 
neral Smith, and Doctor Dickson, Colonel Burr never 
was invited to General Jackson's house ; but that, when 
in the State of Tennessee, in the month of December, 1806, 
he remained, not at General Jackson's, but at a tavern, at 
the Clover Bottom, several miles distant, near which his 
boats were ; and he was received with a marked change 
of manners and coldness by Jackson and others ; and an 
interview was sought with Burr by Jackson, and had in 
the presence of several gentlemen, when Burr most 
solemnly avowed his innocence, and disavowed all objects 
hostile to the Union of government ; and that the presi- 
dent's proclamation was not received at Nashville, until 
the 27th of December, 1806, five days after Colonel Burr's 
departure with only two boats. 

6. That from the unhappy inaccuracy of Judge Wil- 
liams' memory and recollections, no reliance can be placed 
on his statements ; but that if any such reliance could be 
given, it is shown that the offer and conversation he speaks 
of, related above, was to the public, well known and legal 
objects held out and spoken of by Colonel Burr. 

We do not feel perfectly sure, that in the course we 
have pursued, in the refutation of these charges, we shall 
not be considered by some, as manifesting a want of pro- 
per trust in the enlightened intelligence, and the noble 
and confiding natures of the American people ; and whe- 


ther it might not be thought a more than sufficient answer 
to the base surmises, the unworthy suspicions, and the 
feebly labored arguments, which have been circulated 
with so much industry, to point with emphasis to a long 
life devoted to the service of his country : his boyhood 
given to the war of the revolution, and to the achievement 
of her independence ; his mature manhood to the honest 
and faithful discharge of all the duties of her highest civil 
employments ; and his late years, when age might claim 
an exemption from toil and danger, when his accusers 
were to be found in the courts and palaces of kings, or 
reposing in the lap of ease and luxury, he was only to be 
found in the wilderness and on the field of battle ; only in 
the pursuit or in the face of the enemies of his country, 
exposed to every peril, to every privation, to every suffer- 
ing, before which the coward or the traitor's heart would 
have quailed or been subdued. This might be relied on 
as a sufficient reply to the charge, that General Jackson 
was tainted with treason, that he was leagued and con- 
nected with traitors and enemies to his country. And how 
ill-timed and ungraciously, this charge comes at this late 
day ! There was a time of all others, when if true, or if 
colored by the semblance of truth, it should have been 
urged and loudly trumpeted : in the dark and stormy 
period of 1813 and 1814, when treason was much spoken 
of and much feared ; when a severance of the Union was 
not darkly hinted at, but boldly spoken of in the capitol ; 
not about to be effected by two empty flat boats, and half 
a dozen unarmed meUj but urged, countenanced, and sup- 
ported, by the most powerful nation on the earth, then our 
foe, and hanging on all our coasts and frontiers, with her 
victorious and numerous fleets and armies : — then was the 
time when traitors should have been denounced, when 
Jackson, if suspected, should have been handled with in- 
famy, and all power and confidence withheld from him : 


then, when he was to take command of one division o*i 
the armies of the United States, to be invested with unli- 
mited military power, should he have been held up as 
shrouded in suspicion, and unworthy to be trusted. But 
did a whisper, a murmur, then, of doubt or distrust break 
forth? All looked to him as a father and friend, with 
whom in that fearful hour, the safety of the nation and its 
highest powers, could be deposited with the utmost secu- 

But having proofs, we deemed it best to present them, 
which not only positively and directly disprove this 
charge, in all its forms, and expose the propagators of it 
to shame and confusion, but will shed additional lustre 
on the endowments both of the head and heart of this dis- 
tinguished benefactor of his country ; and prove the truth 
of that elevated and manly sentiment expressed to his 
friends, in reference to this subject, when loose scraps 
and notes written in haste many years ago, and long for- 
gotten, were raked up and published : " I recollect them 
not, but this I do know, and avow, that never in all my 
life did I entertain even a thought that I would not cheer- 
fully submit to the judgment of the American people, and 
stand or fall by their decision." 



Ml'. Jackson a Major-General — The war of 1812— 
Causes which led to it — Indian hostilities — General 
Harrison checks them — The Southern tribes — Te- 
cumseh appears among' them — excites them to hos" 
tility — The Creeks — their hostile preparations — 
Acts of Congress for raising volunteers — General 
Jackson addresses the jnilitia of his division — His 
expedition to Natchez — Disobeys the order of the 
Secretary of War — Is justified — Creek war — Mas* 
sacre of Fort Mimms — General Jacksova-- marches 
against the Creeks — Battle of Tallushatches — Gen» 
Jackson's and General Coffee's report of it. 

In 1812, Mr. Jackson was still Major- General" of the 
militia of the state of Tennessee ; an appointment which 
he received at the time of the admission of that state into 
the Union. This period, so dark, and ominous for the 
prosperity of our republic, must be vivid in the recollec- 
tion of every American reader. Great Britain had been 
for a series of years in the habit of violating the dearest 
rights of our citizens, till roused, , at length, they caught 
the spirit which prompted those 

" Who fought and won at Bennington, 
And bled at Bunker Hill ;" 

and stood forth in their might to assert and maintain those 
invaluable privileges, which had been planted and nur- 
tured by their fathers' blood. 

A' brief sketch of the causes which led to the war in 


which General Jackson took so distinguished a part, may 
not be inappropriate, in order to give the reader a clear 
idea of the motives which actuated him in the prosecution 
of the arduous and responsible duties of his station. 

Unavailing had been the attempts of Great Britain to 
rivet the chains of bondage upon us by her odious system 
of legislation ; vain had been her efforts to awe us into 
subjection by her military prowess ; and at last with the 
greatest reluctance, a reluctance which necessity alone 
was able to overcome, was she brought to acknowledge 
our independence. This mortified her extremely, and 
induced her, to vent her spleen, by tolerating her subjects 
in the practice of wanton aggressions upon the rights and 
immunities of the American people, from that period to 
our last contest with that nation. She saw that the con- 
federation which held the states together, during a contest 
with an implacable enemy, would be relaxed and broken 
in' a time of peace. She hoped that civil dissensions 
would divide and weaken us, and produce a train of cir- 
cumstances which might serve to bring us again under 
her subjection. To use the language of one who has 
written forcibly upon this subject, " It was happy for 
America that she possessed, at this moment, a galaxy of 
sages and patriots, who held a powerful influence over the 
minds of their fellow-citizens. By their exertions, a 
spirit of compromise and accommodation was introduced, 
which terminated in our present glorious compact. By 
this event. Great Britain lost, for a time, the opportunity 
of tampering with the states, of fomenting jealousies, and 
of governing by division. Her policy was changed ; it 
became a favorite fdea, that our growth should be re- 
pressed, and so many impediments thrown in our way, as 
to convince us that we had gained nothing by becoming free. 
We soon experienced the effects of her disappointment. 
Contrary to express stipulation, she refused to surrender 


the western parts, and, at the same time, secretly insti- 
gated the savages to murder the frontier settlers." Spain 
was, at this very moment, practising her intrigues, to 
draw off the western states from the confederacy, of which 
there is little doubt England Avould soon have availed her- 

*' We also came in contact with Britain on the ocean ; 
our commerce began to flourish ; and on the breaking out 
of the French war, she found in us formidable rivals. In 
order to put a stop to this competition, she called into life 
the odious and almost obsolete rule of '56, which is a pal- 
pable violation of the laAv of nations. The spirit of this 
rule is to prevent the neutral from enjoying any commerce 
which would not, at the same time, be open to the belli- 
gerent ; in other words, to permit no neutral. The 
orders in council which followed in 1793, were barely 
tolerable, compared with those of November sixth, which 
were secretly circulated among the British cruisers, au- 
thorizing them to capture ' all vessels laden with the 
produce of any of the colonies of France, or carrying 
provision or supplies to the said colony,' which swept, 
at once, the greater part of our commerce from the ocean. 
This produced great dissatisfaction among the American 
people. They were clamorous for war, which the firm- 
ness of Washington alone prevented. The orders in 
council were modified a little by those issued in 1795 and 
'98; but the same vexations and abuses continued. To 
these aggressions were added the violations of our com- 
mercial and maritime rights, by the impressment of our 
seamen, and hostile attacks upon our ships. The con- 
sequences that follow^ed, are familiar to every American 

" While the public mind was in a state of ferment, 
from our disputes with England and France, our frontiers 
were threatened with an Indian war from the instigations 


of the former. The United States have frequently been 
charged with cruel violence and injustice to the Indians. 
That we had encroached upon their hunting grounds, 
cannot be denied, but this was the necessary consequence 
of the increase in our population ; but the great differ- 
ence between us and other nations, in relation to Indian 
lands, is, that instead of taking them without ever 
acknowledging the right of the Indians, we have en- 
deavored to obtain them by fair purchase. The United 
States were the first to respect the Indian territorial right, 
as they were the first to abolish the slave trade and domes- 
tic slavery ; for, as a nation, we have forbidden it. 

" There existed, at this period, a celebrated Indian 
warrior, who had been always remarkable for his enmity 
to the whites, and who, like Pontiac, had formed the design 
of uniting all the difierent tribes, in order to oppose an 
effectual barrier to the further extension of the settle- 
ments. Tecumseh was a formidable enemy ; he resorted 
to every artifice to stir up the minds of the Indians 
against us. Of an active and restless character, he 
visited the most distant nations, and endeavored to rouse 
them by his powerful eloquence. He also assailed the 
superstitious minds of his countrymen, by means of his 
brother, a kind of conjuror, called ' the prophet.' He 
had received assurances from the British of such assist- 
ance as would enable him to carry his plans into execution. 
In the year 1811, a council was held by Governor Har- 
rison, of Indiana, at Vincennes, and at which TeCumseh 
attended, to remonstrate against a purchase lately made 
from the Kickapoos and some other tribes. In a strain 
of wonderful eloquence, the orator inveighed against the 
encroachments of the Americans, gave a faithful history 
of the progress of the settlements, from the first com- 
mencement on the Delaware, to the moment at which he 
spoke. When answered by Harrison, he grasped his 


tomahawk, in a fit of phrenzy, and boldly charged the 
American governor with having uttered what was false; 
the warriors who attended him, twenty or thirty in num- 
ber, followed his example ; but Harrison had fortunately 
posted a guard of soldiers near, who put a stop to their 


"■ Towards the close of the year, the frontier settlers 
had become seriously alarmed ; every thing on the part of 
the Indians appeared to indicate approaching hostilities. 
Gov. Harrison resolved to march towards the prophet's 
town, with a body of Kentucky and Indiana militia, and the 
fourth United States regiment, under command of Colonel 
Boyd, to demand satisfaction of the Indians, and to put a 
stop to their hostile designs. In the month of November, 
having approached w^ithin a few miles of the prophet's 
town, the principal chiefs came out with offers of peace 
and submission, and requested the governor to encamp for 
the night, as it was then too late to enter upon business 
It was not long before this was discovered to be a treacher- 
ous artifice. At four o'clock in the morning, the camp 
was furiously assailed, and after a bloody and doubtful 
contest, the Indians were finally repulsed, with the loss 
of one hundred and eighty killed and wounded on our 
part, and a still greater number on theirs. A number of 
valuable officers fell on this occasion. Harrison, after 
this, destroyed the prophet's town, and having established 
forts, returned to Vincennes." 

Tecumseh fled to the southern tribes, upon the Alabama, 
early in 1812, to inspire the savages there to act in con- 
cert with their red brethren of the north. But, nothing 
had so powerful effect in exciting the hostilities of the 
Creek, Alabama, and Seminole Indians, against the bor- 
derers of the South- West Territory, as the promises, 
bribery, and corrupting influence of British and Spanish 
emissaries. With their hereditary hatred against Ahc 


Americans, added to the enthusiasm excited by Tecumseh, 
and the liberal aid of the British and Spanish govern- 
ments, these powerful tribes, at the commencement of the 
last war, were prepared to extend over our western 
frontiers all the devastation and horrors of savage hos- 

The states of Tennessee and Georgia, from their vicinity 
to the extensive country inhabited by the Creeks, were 
more immediately exposed to Indian ravages. Familiar 
ized to their unrelenting barbarity, the citizens of these 
states were fully aware, that nothing but a war of exter- 
mination against the Creeks, would protect their own 
settlements on the frontiers from destruction, and their 
families from inhuman butchery. Tecumseh had, by his 
art, his eloquence, and his assumed divinity, infused into 
the Creek nation the most deadly hatred against the Ame- 
ricans. He addressed himself to their pride, by reminding 
them of the ancient power of the savages, and the bound- 
less extent of their territory. He aroused their vengeance 
against us, as the people who had reduced their numbers, 
and diminished their greatness. He censured them for 
their conformity in any respect to the Americans, and 
exhorted them upon the fearful penalty of the displeasure 
of the Great Spirit, to return to their original savage 
liabits. The instigations of a master spirit, such as was 
Tecumseh, produced a powerful effect upon the tribes of 
the south. A complete concert was established between 
all the southern tribes, and a general concert between them 
and the northern ones. War clubs were every where dis- 
tributed ; but the most profound secrecy enjoined. 

Such was the situation of our national relations, when 
the acts of Congress of the 6th February, and July, 1812, 
authorizing the President to accept the services of fifty 
thousand volunteers, were promulgated. On receipt of 
intelligence relating to the passage of these acts, General 


Jackson published an energetic address to the militia of 
his division, which drew two thousand live hundred of 
them to his standard, and without delay he made a tender 
of their services to the government, which tender was 
accepted. The detachment having been embodied and 
organized, was ordered to proceed by water to New- 

Subsequently to his departure, General Jackson was 
ordered to halt near Natchez, and in compliance with it, he 
took a position in the neighborhood of that city. Here, 
while attending to the health and discipline of the corps, 
he received a laconic mandate from the War Department, 
commanding him to dismiss his volunteers, and deliver all 
public property in his possession to General Wilkinson, 
then commanding the military district in which they were 
stationed. This order he disobeyed, and, for so doing, he 
has been most grievously reproached. But a detail of the 
circumstances, we doubt not, will convince our readers, 
that his justification is complete. 

" It is first to be noticed, that as all men have some 
degree of fallibility and some degree of discretion, and as 
the imperfections of language, and the interposition of dis- 
tance, give ample scope for both, it may well happen, that 
the non-execution of an order is the best possible mode of 
obeying the government. When an officer receives an 
order, which the exercise of a sound discretion convinces 
him would not have been issued, had the condition of the 
circumstances in which it was to operate been known to 
the authority from which it proceeded, the spirit of his 
duty comes in direct opposition to the letter of his order. 
Obedience, in such a case, consists not in a blind submis- 
sion to the Avords, but in a zealous fulfilment of the inten- 
tions of the government. The order of the Emperor, it is 
true, authorized Grouchy to continue his unprofitable con- 
test v.-ith the Prussians, but the spirit of his duty required 


his presence and exertions at Waterloo. By disregarding 
the signal which recalled him from fight, Lord Nelson 
fulfilled the wishes of his government, shook the throne 
of Denmark, and shattered the confederacy of the northern 
powers. Nothing can be more obvious than the distinc- 
tion between nominal and real obedience, and il is singular 
that this should have escaped the attention of General 
•Tackson's accusers. They seem to forget that an order 
may be obscure, and therefore liable to misconstruction ; 
and that it may contain imperfections of date or expression, 
which bring into doubt its genuineness. In the case now 
considered, all these causes operated against a strict ex- 
ecution of the order. General Jackson could not be easily 
convinced that it was the intention of the President, after 
accepting the service of his volunteers, and removing them 
six hundred miles from their homes, in an inclement sea- 
son, pregnant with disease ; and beyond a vast wilderness 
filled with hostility, to deprive them of food to save them 
from hunger — to strip them of tents to cover them from 
the weather — and of arms to defend them from the sa- 

" Yet, on the I5th of March, he received the duplicate 
of the order to which we have already adverted, requiring 
him 'to consider his troops as dismissed from public ser- 
vice, and to deliver over to General Wilkinson all articles 
of public property which may have been put into their pos- 
session' — not leaving the men a mouthful of food — in 
the hands of the detachment a musket or cartridge — in 
the possession of the corps a single tent or wagon, or the 
smallest accommodation for their sick, of whom there were 
more than one hundred and fifty. He received another 
copy of the same order, which was dated near a month 
earlier, before General Armstrong, whose signature it 
bore, had come into the War Department, containing 
variations of expression, which made it appear not to be 


an exact copy. However, he determined to obey it with 
as much exactness and as little delay as possible. He 
saw that its declaratory part effected itself; — he and his 
detachment were dismissed the service of the United 
States. The order was not a direction to disband ; but a 
notification of dismissal, so far effected itself, and required 
in no degree the agency of General Jackson. Its man- 
datory clause, relating to public property, and admitting of 
some exceptions, he conceived it his duty, both to the 
government and to his men, not to carry into full execution. 
Viewing ours as a just and paternal government, he con- 
sidered his detachment much as the law considers a pre- 
termitted child, and determined to do that for his men 
which the government had, it appeared, forgotten to do. 
In a letter to the governor of Tennessee, under whose 
authority the order of the Secretary had replaced him, he 
says, ' I have, however, from the necessity of the case, 
determined to keep , some of the tents, and to march the 
men back in as good order as possible ; and I will make 
every sacrifice to add to their comfort. I have required 
of the contractor here twenty days' rations, which will take 
my men to Colbert's ; and I must trust in Providence and 
your exertions, to furnish them with supplies from there to 
Nashville.' To General Wilkinson, who had enclosed 
the order, he says : ' I have had the honor of receiving 
your letter of the 8th inst. with its enclosures, containing 
directions for me to deliver over the public property to you, 
which is in the possession of my detachment. The order 
will be complied with, except a small reservation of tents 
for the sick, and some other indispensable articles. I 
acknowledge the order was unexpected ; but I coincide 
with you in sentiment, that those who are bound, must 
obey.' " 

Let our readers recollect, that the law under which the 
services of this corps had been accepted, made the arms 


and accoutrements of the soldier, his private propeity al 
hie discharge — operating like a bounty on enlistments — 
and that of course General Jackson had no right to apply 
it to this species of military property, and that he only sus- 
pended its execution so far as to retain a few tents and 
other articles indispensable to the care of the sick, until 
he could get his corps through the wilderness, which was 
already the scene of those Indian murders that soon 
brought on the Creek war ; that to effect this honorable 
and patriotic purpose, he borrowed five thousand dollars 
of a merchant in Natchez ; that the government itself 
sanctioned his proceedings ; that this chivalric corps con- 
tained the Coffees and the Carrols, who fought where- 
ever they could find a foe, and the Lauderdales and the 
Donelsons \yho fell with so much glory ; and also that 
the tender of this corps had been accepted by government 
in August, that they had been assembled in December, 
had embarked on the Cumberland in January, that after 
voyaging, often through floating ice and stormy weather, 
more than one thousand mJles, they had encamped near 
Natchez, on the 21st of February, and that had General 
Jackson then, through fear of *' indignity," disbanded 
his troops, and left them uncovered, unfed, undefended, 
victims to disease, to want, and to murder ; the patriots 
of Tennessee would have been justly disgusted with a ser- 
vice, which, when inspired with gratitude and affection 
for their faithful leader, they adhered to with such zeal 
and triumphant efficacy ; and the American people would 
be apt to conclude, that more moderation on the part of 
General Jackson, would have been mean spirited ; would 
have betrayed a want of that sensibility to the claims of 
friendship, and neighborhood, and fellowship, which he 
so ardently felt, which did him so much honor as a man, 
and were so fortunate in the event to his country. It 
appears, then, that so far from deserving censure for the 


modified execution of the order in question, which was so 
abundantly justified by the circumstances of the case, was 
approved by the government, and sanctioned by events ; 
he merits the praise of prudence and generosity, and is 
entitled to the gratitude of his country, for that seasonable 
and enlightened independence, which had the effect of 
attaching to him and to her the materials of future safety 
and honor. 

General Jackson having overcome all opposition in as- 
suming the bold position, already spoken of, and so high- 
ly justitiable, as the circumstances we have detailed abun- 
dantly prove, broke up his camp, and commenced the march 
of his corps to Tennessee. Nothing could exceed the 
fortitude and perseverance of this patriotic band and their 
intrepid leader, during their march of five hundred miles 
through deep morasses, and unbroken forests, exposed to 
every hardship and privation. General Jackson animated 
and encouraged his troops by his example, resigned his 
horse to assist in conveying the sick, and marched on foot 
in the ranks with his soldiers, partook with them their 
meagre diet, and was unremitting in his endeavors to mi- 
tigate their sufferings and soften their hardships. At the 
close of his march, he disbanded his men, who returned 
to their respective homes. 

The Creeks, as our readers will recollect, for some months 
preA'ious to these transactions, had manifested a spirit of 
hostility to the United States. Our situation in regard to 
them w^as now of a nature w^hich excited much alarm 
among the borderers of Georgia, Tennessee and, Mississip- 
pi. In consequence of the threatening appearances to the 
south, and the hostilities which already prevailed with the 
Indians inhabiting the Spanish territory, Governor Mitch- 
ell, of Georgia, was required by the Secretary of War, to 
detach a brigade to the Oakmulgee river, for the purpose of 
covering the frontier settlements of the stale. Governor 


Holmes of the Mississippi territory, was at the same time 
ordered to join a body of militia to the volunteers under 
General Claiborne, then stationed on the Mobile. In the 
course of the summer, the settlers in the vicinity of that 
river, became so much alarmed from the hostile deport- 
ment of the Creeks, that the greater part abandoned their 
plantations, and sought refuge in the different forts, while 
the peace party amongst the Creeks had, in some places, 
shut themselves up in forts, and were besieged by their 

Hostilities were commenced by one of the most shock- 
ing massacres that can be found recorded in the an- 
nals of savage warfare. The borderers, from an imper- 
fect idea of their danger, had adopted an erroneous mode 
of defence, by throwing themselves into small forts or sta- 
tions, at great distances from each other, on the various 
branches of the Mobile. Early in August it was ascer- 
tained that the Indians intended to make an attack upon 
all these stations, and destroy them in detail. The first 
place of contemplated attack was fort Mimms, in which 
the greatest number of inhabitants had been collected. 
Towards the latter part of August, information w^as brought 
that the Indians were about to make an attack on this fort, 
but unfortunately too little attention was paid to the warn- 
ing. During the momentary continuance of the alarm, 
some preparations were made for defence, but it seems 
that it was almost impossible to rouse them from their un- 
fortunate disbelief of the proximity of their danger. The 
fort was commanded by Major Beasley, of the Mississippi 
territory, a brave officer, with about one hundred volun- 
teers under his command. By some fatality, notwith- 
standing the warnings he had received, he was not suffi- 
ciently on his guard, and suffered himself to be surprised 
on the 30th of August, at noonday. The sentinel had 
scarcely time to notify the approach of the Indians, when 


they rushed with a terrific yell towards the gate, which 
was open ; thg garrison was instantly under arms, and 
the commander, with some of his men flew, towards the 
gate in ordfer to close it, and if possible expel the enemy ; 
but he soon fell mortally wounded. After a desperate 
conflict, the gate was finally closed ; but a number of In- 
dians had taken possession of a block-house, from which 
they were expelled after a bloody contest. The assault 
was still continued for an hour, on the outside of the pick- 
ets ; the port holes were several times carried by the assail- 
ants, and retaken by those within the fort. 

The Indians withdrew for a moment, apparently disheart- 
ened by their loss, but on being harangued by their chief, 
Weatherford, with all the fervour of Indian eloquence, 
they returned with augmented fury to the attack — cut 
away the gate with their axes — forced the picket? — pos- 
sessed themselves of the area of the fort, and compelled 
the besieged to take refuge in the houses. Here they 
made a gallant resistance, but the Indians at length setting 
fire to the roofs, their situation became one of utter hope- 
lessness. A more horrible scene of carnage than that which 
followed the possession of this fortress by the savages ne- 
ver appeared upon the records of human butchery. The 
agonizing shrieks of the women and their helpless chil- 
dren were unavailing ; not a soul was spared by these 
monsters ; from age to infancy, they became the victims of 
indiscriminite massacre ; and some to avoid a worse fate 
rushed into the flames. A feAv only escaped by leaping 
over the pickets while the Indians were engaged in the 
work of death. About tAvo hundred and sixty persons, 
of all ages and sexes, perished. The panic caused at the 
other outposts, or stations, by this dreadful catastrophe^ 
can scarcely be described ; the wretched inhabitants, fear- 
ing, a similar fate abandoned their retreats of fancied se- 
curity in the middle of the night, and efiected their e&- 


cape to Mobile after the endurance of every species of 
suffering. The dwellings of the borderejs were burnt, 
and their cattle destroyed. 

On the receipt of this disastrous intelligence, the in- 
habitants of Tennessee, though not in immediate danger, 
adopted the most energetic measures to protect the border- 
ers, and avenge the massacre at fort Mimms. The legis- 
lature of the state convened towards the close of Septem- 
ber, and authorized Governor Blount to call into immedi- 
ate service three thousand five hundred of the militia, and 
voted a large sum for their support. The legislature, and 
indeed the whole population of Tennessee, fixed their 
hopes upon General Jackson. The confidence of all in 
him was unlimited. It had long been his opinion, that the 
only effectual mode of warfare against the savages, was 
to carry war into the heart of their country. General 
Wayne many years since, and General Harrison more 
recently, had evinced the correctness of this opinion. 
The legislature accorded with him in sentiment, and the 
command of the intended expedition devolved upon him. 
He was ordered by Governor Blount to call out two thou- 
sand militia, and to rendezvous at Fayetteville. A part ol 
this detachment consisted of the Tennessee volunteers, who 
had the preceding spring returned from Natchez. Upon 
the fourth of October, 1813, the day appointed, the troops 
promptly repaired to the place of rendezvous. 

Colonel Coffee, in the mean time, had raised five hun- 
dred mounted volunteers, and was authorized to augment 
his force by adding to it the volunteer mounted riflemen 
who might ofier their services. On the 7th of October, 
General Jackson repaired to the rendezvous of Fayetteville, 
and with his corps commenced his march for the Creek 
Country. Colonel Coffee proceeded with his cavalry and 
mounted riflemen towards the frontiers, and stationed him- 
self near Huntsville. In the Creek nation were many 


natives in amity with the United States. From them, im- 
portant information was obtained, and essential service 
was rendered by them to our troops. On the 8th, Colonel 
Coffee informed General Jackson by express, that from 
information derived from Indian runners, the hostile Creeks 
were collecting in great force ; and intended simultane- 
ously to attack the frontiers of Georgia and Tennessee. 

General Jackson, on the 10th, put his corps in motion, 
and by great exertions reached Huntsville the same day, 
a distance of forty miles. Colonel Coffee had reached 
the Tennessee river, and General Jackson overtook him 
the next day, and united with his regiment upon the bank 
of the river. He then dispatched Colonel Coffee with his 
mounted corps to explore the Tombigbee river, while he 
encamped his own division upon the Tennessee, and com- 
menced vigorous operations in preparing them for active 
service. In the camp of General Jackson the commissa- 
ry department was very defective, and he depended upon 
various contractors for casual rather than regular supplies 
of provisions. On investigation, an alarming deficiency 
was found to exist. Nothing will damp a soldier's spirit 
like a discovery of this nature. Men who will meet death 
with iron nerve amid the din of battle, will shrink from the 
approach of famine. General Jackson, by measures the 
most efficient, and by entreaties the most urgent, endea- 
vored to procure a supply. Undaunted himself, he set an 
example of cheerfulness before his followers, and for a 
time dispelled their apprehensions. 

At this critical period, information was received thai 
the Creeks were embodied near the Ten Islands on the 
Coosa. Collecting what provisions could be obtained, he 
commenced his march upon the 18th, for Thompson's 
Creek. His route led through a wild and mountainous 
region, which was nearly impervious to the passage of 
his army. He arrived there on the 22d, and remained 


until certain information was received that the Creeks 
would soon commence operations upon the Coosa. Colo- 
nel Dyer had been previously sent with a detachment to 
attack the village of Littafutchee, on a branch of the 
Coosa. He took the place with a trifling loss on his part, 
and brought back with him twenty-nine prisoners of the 
hostile Creeks. The scouting parties now began to bring 
in prisoners, and cattle, and corn taken from the enemy. 
The main body of the army was encamped about thirteen 
miles from Tallushatches, Avherethe Creeks in large num- 
bers had assembled with hostile preparations, and had ta- 
ken a position at that place, situated on the opposite shore 
of the Coosa. 

General Coffee was dispatched early in November, 
with nine hundred cavalry and mounted riflemen, to at- 
tack the Creeks in the encampment. He forded the Coosa 
under the direction of an Indian guide, and advanced on 
Tallushatches. The Creeks were aware of his approach 
and prepared to meet it. They struck the war-drum, 
sung the war-song, and by their savage Avar-whoops, 
gave notice that they were prepared for battle. Within a 
short distance of the village, they charged upon our troops 
with a boldness seldom displayed by Indians. They were 
repulsed, and after the most obstinate resistance, in which 
they would receive no quarters, they were slain almost to 
a man, and their women and children taken prisoners. 
Nearly two hundred of their warriors fell in this battle ; 
the loss of the Tennesseans, five killed and thirty wounded. 
The following is the official report of this action : 


Camp at Ten Islands^ Nov. 4th, 1813. 
Governor Blount, 

Sir — We have retaliated for the destruction of Fort 
Mimms. On the 2d inst., I detached General CofTee 
with a part of his brigade of cavalry and mounted rifle- 


men, to destroy Tallushatches, where a considerable force 
of the hostile Creeks were concentrated. The general 
executed this in style. A hundred and eighty-six of 
the enemy were found dead on the field, and eighty taken 
prisoners, forty of whom have been brought here. In the 
number left, there is a sufficiency but slightly wounded to 
take care of those who are badly. I have to regret that 
five of my brave fellows have been killed, and about thir- 
ty wounded ; some badly, but none I hope mortally. Both 
officers and men behaved with the utmost bravery and 
deliberation. Captains Smith, Bradley, and Winston, are 
wounded, all slightly. No officer is killed. So soon as 
General Coffee makes his report, I shall enclose it. If 
we had a sufficient supply of provisions, w^e should in a 
very short time accomplish the object of the expedition. 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, yours, &c. 

Andrew Jackson. 

The following is General Cofiee's report of the battle 
of Tallushatches, alluded to in the letter to Governor 
Blount : 


Camp at Ten Islands, Nov. 4ith, 1813. 
Major General Jackson, 

Sir — I had the honor yesterday, of transmitting you 
a short account of an engagement that took place be- 
tween a detachment of nine hundred men from my bri 
gade, with the enemy at Tallushatches town ; the particu- 
lars whereof I beg leave herein to recite to you. Pursu- 
ant to your order of the 2d, I detailed from my brigade 
of cavalry and mounted riflemen, nine hundred men and 
officers, and proceeded directly to the Tallushatches towns, 
and crossed Coosa river at the Fish- Dam ford, three or four 
miles above this place. I arrived within one and a half 
miles of the town, distant from this place southeast eight 
miles, on the morning of the 3d, at which place I divided 


my detachment into two columns, the right composed oi 
the cavalry commanded by Colonel Allcorn, to cross over 
a large creek that lay between us and the towns : the left 
column was mounted riflemen, under the command of Co- 
lonel Cannon, with whom I marched myself. Colonel 
Allcorn was ordered to march up on the right, and encir- 
cle one half of the town, and at the same time the left would 
form a half circle on the left, and unite the head of the 
columns in front of the town ; all of which was perform- 
ed as I could wish. When I arrived within half a mile 
of the town, the drums of the enemy began to beat, min- 
gled with their savage yells, preparing for action. It was 
after sunrise an hour, when the action was brought on by 
Captain Hammond's and Lieutenant Patterson's companies, 
who had gone on with the circle of alignment for the pur- 
pose of drawing out the enemy from their buildings, which 
had the most happy effect. As soon as Captain Hammond 
exhibited his front in view of the town, which stood in an 
open woodland, and gave a few scattering shot, the enemy 
formed and made a violent charge on him ; he gave way 
as they advanced, until they met our right column, which 
gave them a general fire and then charged ; this changed 
the direction of charge completely ; the enemy retreated 
firing, until they got around and in their buildings, where 
they made all the resistance that an overpowered soldier 
could do ; they fought as long as one existed, but their 
destruction was very soon completed; our men rushed up to 
the doors of the houses, and in a few minutes killed the last 
warrior of them; the enemy fought with savage fury, 
and met death, w^ith all its horrors, without shrinking or 
complaining : not one asked to be spared, but fought as 
long as they could stand or sit. In consequence of their 
flying to their houses, and mixing with their families, our 
men, in killing the males, without intention killed and 
wounded a few of the squaws and children, which was 


regretted by every officer and soldier of the detachmentj 
but which could not be avoided. 

The number of the enemy killed, was one hundred and 
eighty-six that were counted, and a number of others kill- 
ed in the weeds not found. I think the calculation a rea- 
sonable one, to say two hundred of them were killed ; and 
eighty-four prisoners, of women and children, were taken ; 
not one of the warriors escaped to carry the news, a cir- 
cumstance unknown heretofore. We lost five men killed, 
and forty-one wounded, none mortally, the greater part 
slightly, a number wdth arrows ; this appears to form a 
very principal part of the enemy's arms for warfare, 
every man having a bow with a bundle of arrows, which 
is used after the first fire with the gun, until a leisure time 
for loading offers. It is with pleasure I say that our men 
acted with deliberation and firmness ; notwithstanding our 
numbers were superior to those of the enemy, it was a cir- 
cumstance to us unknown, and from the parade of the enemy 
we had every reason to suppose them our equals in num- 
ber ; but there appeared no visible traces of alarm in any, 
but on the contrary all appeared cool and determined, and 
no doubt when they face a foe of their own, or superior 
number, they will show the same courage as on this oc* 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, sir, your 
obedient servant, John Coffee, 

Brig. Gen. of Cavalry and Riflemen. 

Major General Jackson. 



Tennessee forces — Message to General White — Fort- 
ress of Talladega — Its danger — General Jackson 
advances to its protection — General White refuses to 
form a junction with him — General Jackson crosses 
the Coosa — Battle of Talladega — Ofjicial report of 
it — Consequences of General White's conduct — Gen. 
Floyd — Battle of Autoussee — Official report of it — 
.Difficulties of General Jackson\^ situation — Famine 
and mutiny among his troops — His firinness — Arri- 
val of supplies — Discontent of his troops continues — 
Governor Blount — His instructions — General Jack- 
son dismisses his corps — New troops raised — General 
Claiborne — His victory upon the Alabama. 

The Tennessee forces, at the commencement of the 
campaign in the Creek nation, in 1813, consisted of two 
divisions ; one of West Tennessee, commanded by General 
Jackson — the other of East Tennessee, commanded by- 
General Cocke. Major General Thomas Pinckney, of 
the United States' army, was commander-in-chief of the 
military district in which these troops were org-anized. 
The decisive victory at Tallushatches, and the total dis- 
oomiiture of the savages of that station, induced General 
Jackson to adopt the most efficient measures for prosecuting 
the encouraging success the army had there met with, by 
more important operations. To accomplish these, he sent 
an express, on the 4th of November, to Brigadier General 


While, of General Cocke's division, who was only twenty- 
five miles distant, ordering him, with the troops under his 
command, to form a junction with him at Fort Strother, 
whichhe had established as a depot. His object in form- 
ing this junction, was to augment his forces to such an 
amount, as to enable him to proceed with confidence in 
attacking the enemy, and leave a force in the rear sufficient 
10 protect the sick and guard the baggage. Although he 
had twice before sent similar orders, not a word of intelli- 
gence was received from him. He delayed until the 7th 
inst., when he dispatched another express. 

On the same day, information was received by General 
Jackson, that a fortress of friendly Indians at Talladega, 
thirty miles distant from Fort Strother, w as in imminent 
danger of total destruction by the hostile party, who had 
assembled about them in great numbers. They had es- 
poused the cause of the Americans ; and, of course, had 
excited the vindictive malice and savage ferocity of their 
brethren. The runners, dispatched by the friendly Creeks, 
urged General Jackson to relieve them from their perilous 
situation. The same sentiment that induced General 
Jackson to hazard his reputation in protecting his country- 
men at Natchez, led him, without hesitation, to extend his 
aid to those natives, w^ho had adhered to our inter- 
ests with so much fidelity. He commenced his march at 
twelve o'clock in the evening. He dispatched another 
express to General White to repair that night to Fort 
Strother^ and protect it in his absence. To his great sur- 
prise, he received a message from him, that he had, agree- 
ably to his order, commenced a march to Fort Strother, but 
that he had received counter orders from Gen. Cocke, to 
join him at Chatuga Creek ; and that he should obey him ! 
It would be difficult to conceive a more embarrassing 
situation than that in which General Jackson was now 
placed ; his rear unprotected and exposed to the ravages 


of the enemy — in his front the war-shout had sounded, ana 
a reaction of the bloody tragedy of fort Mimms was impend- 
ing- over the defenceless inhabitants of Talladega. Not a 
moment was to be lost ; his decision was instantly taken, 
and he urged on his troops to their defence with his wonted 
energy. They crossed the river that very night, each 
horseman carrying a foot soldier behind him, though the 
Coosa is here six hundred yards wide. The whole night 
was consumed in this operation ; yet the army continued 
to march with unabated ardor, and by the next evening 
arrived within six miles of the enemy. The following is 
the result of the battle, as officially reported : 


Camp Str other, near Ten Islands of Coosa, 
November Uth, 1813. 

Sir — I am just returned from an excursion which I took 
a few days ago, and hasten to acquaint you with the result. 

Late on the evening of the 7th inst. a rumor arrived from 
the friendly party at Lashley's fort, (Talladega,) distant 
about thirty miles below us, with the information that the 
hostile Creeks, in great force, had encamped near the 
place, and were preparing to destroy it ; and earnestly 
entreated that I would lose no time in affording them relief. 
Urged by their situation, as well as by a wish to meet the 
enemy as soon as an opportunity would offer, I determined 
Hpon commencing my march thither, with all my disposa- 
ble force, in the course of the night ; and immediately 
dispatched an express to General White, advising him of 
my intended movement, and urged him to hasten to this 
encampment by a forced march, in order to protect it in my 
absence. I had repeatedly written to the general to form 
a junction with me as speedily as practicable, and a few 
days before had received his assurance, that on the 7th he 
would join me. I commenced crossing the river at Ten 
Islands, leaving behmd me my baggage-wagons, and what- 


ever might retard my progress, and encamped that night 
within six miles of the fort I had set out to relieve. At 
midnight, I had received by an Indian runner, a letter from 
General White, informing me that he had received my 
order, but that he had altered his course, and was on his 
march backward to join Major General Cocke, near tha 
mouth of the Chatuga. I will not now remark upon the 
strangeness of this manoeuvre ; but it was now too late to 
change my plan, or make any new arrangements ; and, 
between three and four o'clock, I recommenced my march 
to meet the enemy, who were encamped within a quarter 
of a mile of the fort. At sunrise we came within half ,a 
mile of them, and having formed my men, I moved in 
order of battle. The infantry were in three lines — the 
militia on the left, and the volunteers on the right. The 
cavalry formed the two extreme wings, and were ordered 
to advance in a curve, keeping their rear connected with 
the advance of their infantry lines, and enclose the enemy 
in a circle. The advanced guard, whom I sent forward 
to bring on the engagement, met the attack of the enemy 
with great intrepidity ; and, having poured upon them four 
or five very galling rounds, fell back, as they had been 
previously ordered, to the army. The enemy pursued, 
and the front line was now ordered to advance and meet 
him ; but, owing to some misunderstanding, a few com- 
panies of militia, who composed a part of it, commenced 
a retreat. At this moment, a corps of cavalry, com- 
manded by Lieut. Colonel Dyer, which I had kept as a 
reserve, was ordered to dismount and fill up the vacancy 
occasioned by the retreat. This order was executed with 
a great deal of promptitude and effect. The militia, see- 
ing this, speedily rallied ; and the fire became general 
along the front line, and on that part of the wings which 
was contiguous. The enemy, unable to stand it, began 
to retreat ; but were met at every turn, and repulsed in 


every direction. The right wing chased them, with a 
most destructive fire, to the mountains, a distance of about 
three miles ; and, had I not been compelled, by the faux 
pas of the militia, in the outset of the battle, to dismouut 
my reserve, I believe not a man of them would have 
escaped. The victory was, however, very decisive : two 
hundred and ninety of the enemy were left dead; ;.nd 
there can be no doubt but many more were killed who were 
not found. Wherever they ran, they left behind traces of 
blood ; and it is believed that very few will return to their 
villages in as sound a condition as they left them. I was 
compelled to return to this place to protect the sick and 
wounded, and get my baggage on. 

In the engagement, we lost fifteen killed, and eighty-five 
wounded ; two of whom have since died. All the officers 
acted with the utmost bravery, and so did all the privates, ex- 
cept that part of the militia who retreated at the commence- 
ment of the battle — and they hastened to atone for their 
error. Taking the whole together, they have realized the 
high expectations I had formed of them, and have fairly 
entitled themselves to the gratitude of their country. 

Andrew Jackson. 
His Excellency Willie Blount, Nashville. 

The following completes the account of the battle of 
Talladega : 

Camp Strother, near Ten Islands, 
Wth November, 1813. 

You will perceive, from the draft which I shall send 
you, that, had there been no departure from the original 
order of battle, not an Indian could have escaped ; and, 
even as the battle did terminate, I believe that no impartial 
man can say that a more splendid victory has in any 
instance attended our arms, on land, since the commence- 
ment of the war. The force of the enemy is represented 
by themselves to have been ten hundred and eighty ; and il 


does not appear from their fire and the space of ground 
which they occupied, that their number can have been 
less. Two hundred and ninety-nine were left dead on the 
ground ; and no doubt many more were killed who were 
not found. In a very few weeks, if I had a sufficiency of 
supplies, I am thoroughly convinced, I should be able to 
put an end to the Creek hostilities. 

Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the advance, 
led on by Col. Carrol, for the spirited manner in which 
they commenced and sustained the attack ; nor upon the 
reserve, commanded by Lieut. Colonel Dyer, and com- 
posed of Captains Smith's, Morton's, Axurn's, Edwards', 
and Hammond's companies, for the gallantry with which 
they met and repulsed the enemy. In a word, officers of 
every grade, as well as the privates, realized the high 
expectations I had formed of them, and merit the gratitude 
of their country. 

I should be doing injustice to my staff, composed of 
Majors Reid and Searcy ; my aids. Col. Sitler, and 
Major Anthony, adjutant, and assistant adjutant general; 
Colonel Carrol, inspector general : Major Strother, topo- 
grapher ; Mr. Cunningham, my secretary ; and Colonel 
Stokey D. Haynes, quarter master general ; not to say that 
they were every where in the midst of danger, circulating 
my orders. They deserve and receive my thanks. 
I have the honor to be, &c. 

Andrew Jackson. 

General Jackson's plan of operation was very much 
frustrated by the refusal of General White to form a 
junction with him, or to repair to the protection of Fort 
Strother, in his absence; and compelled him to relinquish 
his intention of immediately extending the war into the 
Indian territories, and bringing our contest with the 
Creeks to a speedy conclusion. It protracted hostilities 
with a people who prosecute their quarrels with the most 


unrelenting and bloody barbarity, and who, of all others, 
should be promptly taught to respect our rights. 

It has been previously stated, that the Creeks had de- 
termined to attack the frontiers of Georgia and Tennessee, 
simultaneously. Measures, equally efficient with those 
adopted by the executive, and legislature of Tennessee, 
were adopted by the executive and legislature of Georgia. 
His- Excellency, Peter Earley, governor of that state, 
upon the 8th November, 1813, communicated to the Sen- 
ate and House of Representatives, the information he had 
received of savage depredations and murders upon the 
frontiers. The legislature promptly authorized the go- 
vernor to cause the frontiers to be put in a state of defence, 
and to send a competent force into the heart of the Creek 
country. As the forces of Georgia acted in concert with 
those of Tennessee under the command of General Jack- 
son, a brief detail of them may not be deemed uninterest- 
ing. The Georgia mil,itia were commanded by Brigadier 
General Floyd. He met the enemy at Autoussee, upon 
the banks of the Tallapoosa river, and gave them battle, 
and the following is his description of it : 

" Having received information that numbers of the 
hostile Indians were assembled at Autoussee, a town on 
the southern bank of the Tallapoosa, tibout eighteen miles 
from the Hickory Ground, and twenty above the junction 
of that river with the Coosa, I proceeded to its attack, 
with nine hundred and fifty of the Georgia militia, 
accompanied by between three and four hundred friendly 
Indians. Having encamped withm nine or ten miles of 
the point of destination the preceding evening, we re- 
sumed the march a few minutes before one on the morning 
of the twenty-ninth, and, at half past six were formed for 
action in front of the town. 

Booth's battalion composed the right column, and 
marched from its centre ; Watson's battalion composed 


the left, and marched from its riirht ; Adams' rifle com- 
pany, and Merriwether's, under Lieutenant Ilendon, were 
on the flanks ; Captain Thomas' artillery marched in 
front of the right column on the road. 

It was my intention to have completely surrounded th« 
enemy, hy deploying the right wing of my force on Can- 
leebee creek, at the mouth of which, I was informed, the 
town stood, and resting the left on the river bank, below 
the town ; but, to our surprise, as the day dawned, we 
perceived a second town about five hundred yards below 
that which we had first viewed, and were preparing to 
attack. The plan was immediately changed ; three com- 
panies of infantry, on the left, where wheeled into echelon, 
and advanced to the low town, accompanied by Merri- 
v.-ether's rifle company ; and two troops of light dragoons, 
under the command of Captains Irwin and Steele. 

The residue of the force approached the upper town, 
and the battle soon became general. The Indians pre- 
sented themselves at every point, and fought with the 
desperate bravery of real fanatics. The well directed 
fire, however, of the artillery, added to the charge of the 
bayonet, soon forced them to take refuge in the outhouses, 
thickets, and copses, in rear of the town ; many, it is 
believed, concealed themselves in caves, previously formed 
for the purpose of secure retreat, in the high bluflf of the 
river, which was thickly covered with reeds and brush- 
wood. The Indians of the friendly party, who accom- 
panied us on the expedition, were divided into four com- 
panies, and placed under the command of leaders of their 
selection. They were, by arrangement entered into the 
day previous, to have crossed the river above the town, 
and been posted on the opposite shore, during the action, 
for the purpose of firing on such of the enemy as might 
attempt to escape, or keep in check any reinforcement 
which might probably be thrown in from the neighboring 


town ; but, owing to the difficulty of the ford, and coldness 
of the weather, and the lateness of the hour, this arrange- 
ment failed, and their leaders were directed to cross Can- 
lubee creek, and occupy that flank, to prevent escapes from 
the Tallassee town. Some time after the action com- 
menced, our red friends thronged in disorder in the rear 
of our lines. The Cowetams, under M'Intosh, and the 
Lookaubatchians, under the Mad Dog's Son, fell in on 
our flanks, and fought with an intrepidity worthy of any 

At nine o'clock, the enemy was completely driven from 
the plain, and the houses of both towns wrapped in flames. 
As we were then sixty miles from any depot of provisions, 
and our five days' rations pretty much reduced, in the 
heart of an enemy's country, Avhich, in a few moments, 
could have poured from its numerous towns, hosts of its 
fiercest warriors — as soon as the dead and wounded were 
properly disposed of, I ordered the place to be abandoned, 
and the troops to commence their march to Chatahauchie. 

It is difficult to determine the strength of the enemy, 
but from the information of the chiefs, which it is said can 
be relied upon, that at Autoussee, warriors from eight 
towns were assembled for its defence, it being their be- 
loved ground, on which they proclaimed no white man 
could approach without inevitable destruction. It is dif- 
ficult to give a precise account of the loss of the enemy ; 
but from the number which were lying scattered over the 
field, together with those destroyed in the towns, and 
many slain on the bank of the river, which respectable 
officers affirm they saw lying in heaps at the water's 
edge, where they had been precipitated by their surviv- 
ing friends. Their loss in killed, independent of their 
wounded, must have been at least two hundred, among 
whom were the Autoussee and Talassee kings ; and 
from the circumstance of their making no efforts to molest 


onr return, probably greater. The number of buildings 
burnt, some of a superior order for the dwellings of 
savages, and filled with valuable articles, is supposed to 
be four hundred. 

Adjutant General Newman rendered important ser- 
vices during the action, by his cool and deliberate cou- 
rage. My aid. Major Crawford, discharged with promp- 
titude the duties of a brave and meritorious officer. 
Major Pace, who acted as field aid, also distinguished 
himself; both these gentlemen had their horses shot 
under them. Doctor Williamson, hospital surgeon, and 
Doctor Clopton, were prompt and attentive in the dis- 
charge of their duty towards the wounded, during the 

Major Freeman, at the head of Gwin's troop of caval- 
ry, and part of Steele's, made a furious and successful 
charge upon a body of Indians, sabred several, and com- 
pletely defeated them. Captain Thomas and his compa- 
ny, Captain Adams' and Lieutenant Hendon's rifle com- 
panies, killed a great many Indians, and deserve particu- 
lar praise : Captain Barton's company was in the hottest 
cf the battle, and fought like soldiers. Captains Myric, 
L-.ttle, King, Broadnax, Cleveland, Joseph T. Cunning- 
ham, and Lee, with their companies, distinguished them- 
selves. Brigadier Qjeneral Shackleford was of great ser- 
vice in bringing the troops into action ; and Adjutant 
Broadnax, and Major Montgomery, who acted as assistant 
adjutant, showed great activity and courage. Major 
Booth used his best endeavors in bringing his battalion 
to action, and Major Watson's battalion acted with con- 
siderable spirit. Gwin's, Patterson's, and Steele's troops 
of cavalry, wherever an opportunity presented, charged 
with spirit. Lieutenent Strong had his horse shot, and 
narrowly escaped, and Quartermaster Fennell displayed 
the greatest heroism, and miraculously escaped, though 


badly wounded, after having his horse shot from under 
him. The topographical engineer was vigilant in his 
endeavours to render service. The troops deserve the 
highest praise for their fortitude in enduring hunger, cold, 
and fatigue, without a murmur, having marched one hun- 
dred and twenty miles in seven days. 

The friendly Indians lost several killed and wounded, 
the number not exactly known." 

This was an important victory ; two kings, and two 
hundred warriors fell — a much larger number were 
wounded — their villages were depopulated — their houses 
demolished, and the fanatic spell, which urged them on 
to deeds of bloody daring, was broken ; and on " their 
beloved ground, on which they proclaimed no white man 
could approach without inevitable destruction,*' they saw 
their warriors fall before the prowess of our arms, and 
their dwellings wrapped in conflagration. 

While these interesting events were transpiring. Ge- 
neral Jackson was encountering great difficulties in con- 
sequence of famine and mutiny among his corps at Fort 
Strother. After the battle of Talladega, as has been be- 
fore stated, the defenceless condition of his rear compelled 
him to fall back on that fortress. Here his troops were 
compelled to submit to all the horrors of starvation. 
Their whole stock of provisions consisted only of a few 
cattle taken from the enemy, or purchased from the Che- 
rokees. In these circumstances, General Jackson made 
every exertion to alleviate the distresses of his soldiers. 
He covered his table with oftals and acorns from the fo- 
rest, and partook of no better fare than the most humble 
of his corps. Great discontent, however, was produced 
among his troops by the privations and hardships of their 
situation, which at length broke out in open mutiny. 
They were clamorous to break up the campaign, and re- 
turn home ; to effect this they were even encouraged by 



many of the subordinate officers. General Jackson saw 
the vast importance of maintaining his post and army 
entire till supplies should arrive. He knew that the 
hopes of the borderers of Georgia and Tennessee rested 
upon him ; he knew that they had watched his operations 
with intense anxiety, and hailed his triumphant victories 
with the most heartfelt gratitude and delight ; he knew 
that if the campaign were to end here, that all his former 
successes would be rendered worse than useless, and in- 
stead of guarantying security to the frontiers, would on- 
ly serve to whet the savage vengeance of the enemy, and 
impel them to the perpetration of more revolting scenes 
of havock and bloodshed. 

Impelled by these momentous considerations. General 
Jackson resorted to every persuasive expedient to allay 
the discontent of his troops. He reminded them of the 
past — the unshaken fortitude they had displayed in their 
hazardous expedition to Natchez — the daring courage 
they had manifested upon the plains of Tallushatchesand 
Talladega — the exposure of their families and kindred 
to the horrors of savage butchery. But all his efforts 
were unavailing. Could he have said to them, Yonder is 
you enemy ; charge, and by one decisive victory put an 
end to this contest ; every soldier would have folloAved 
his commander to battle, and yielded the best blood of his 
heart, rather than behold the proud banner of his country 
dishonored. But to sit down and patiently wait for the 
arrival of uncertain supplies, with the prospect of starva- 
tion before them, was not so congenial with the ardent tem- 
peraments of the brave Tennesseans. Every pacific ex- 
pedient on the part of General Jackson having been ex- 
hausted, he was at length compelled to resort to force. 
When, therefore, the militia revolted openly, and were 
about to abandon the camp, he drew up the volunteers 
under arms, with orders to prevent their departure. This 


display of resolution overawed the militia, and they re- 
turned to their tents. 

The volunteers, however, were themselves disaffected, 
and soon prepared to follow the example, which, a short 
time previous, they had been instrumental in preventing 
the militia from executing. But the general had antici- 
pated their measures, and prepared to counteract them. 
As they were about to leave the camp, the militia opposed 
them, and expressed their determination of enforcing their 
stay, if necessary, at the point of the bayonet. This 
movement produced the same effect upon the volunteers, as 
theirs of a similar nature had before done upon the militia, 
and like them, they returned again to their tents. The 
cavalry, however, were in a condition which silenced 
every objection to their departure ; their forage was en- 
tirely exhausted, and they had no prospect of obtaining 
more. General Jackson therefore permitted them to re- 
turn home, on condition they would rejoin him if neces- 
sity required. 

Mutiny, however, continued to exist in the minds of 
his troops, notwithstanding all his endeavours to suppress 
it. He promised that if supplies did not arrive in two 
days, he would abandon his position, and march his army 
to the settlements. But nothing would satisfy the volun- 
teers. And he was compelled to allow one regiment to 
depart, with a stipulation to return after they should have 
satisfied their most pressing wants. The militia display- 
ed more firmness, and waited till the two stipulated days 
had elapsed, but the supplies did not arrive. They re- 
quired of the general a redemption of his pledge, and he 
could not refuse. In the bitterness of his mortification, 
he exclaimed that if but two men would abide with him, 
he would never abandon the fort. Captain Gordon and 
one hundred more immediately proposed to remain and 
protect the position. Leaving this garrison behind, the 



army prepared for its march homeward. Scarcely had 
the troops left Fort Strothcr, when they were met by a 
convoy of the long expected commissaries' stores. This 
was rather an unwelcome sight to the troops, whose 
minds were fixed upon home. After some resistance, 
which was overcome by a most signal display of firmness 
and energy by General Jackson, ihey returned to Fort 

That the reader may have a. clearer idea of the diffi- 
culties of General Jackson's situation, and the courage 
requisite to surmount them, w^e present an extract from a 
letter written by a gentleman who was an actor in the 
scenes he describes. 

" Since the battle of Tallushatches and Talladega, the 
army of General Jackson has crumbled to pieces. The 
whole of his volunteer infantry are returning home — in- 
sisting that their time of service expired on the 10th oi" 
this month, being the anniversary of their rendezvous at 
Nashville. The General, hoAvever, did not discharge 
them ; the decision is left with the governor of Tennes- 
see. What he will do, is not yet known. The universal 
nnpression, however, is, that they will be discharged. 
Yet nothing is more clear than that they have not served 
twelve months — and they were, by law, to serve twelve 
months in a period of two years, unless sooner discharged. 
The General's force now at fort Strother, Ten Islands of 
Coosa, may amount to about fifteen hundred men, chiefly 
drafted militia. Of these, nearly the whole will be en- 
titled to discharge about the fourth of the ensuing month. 
It is supposed that not more than one hundred and fifty, 
or two hundred, who are attached to the General person- 
ally, and will remain through motives of affection, will 
be left with him after that day. Doubtless you know 
that the brigade of cavalry volunteers and mounted rifle- 
men under the command of General Cofiee, were some 


time since ordered into the settlements to recruit their 
horses for a few days, and procure new ones. About 
half, perhaps eight hundred, appeared at the day and place 
of rendezvous ; hut of these not more than six hundred 
would consent to go on after the 10th. About half oi this 
last number were of the old volunteer cavalry, the rest 
mounted men newly raised. The first will certainly re- 
tarn with the volunteer infantry, their term commencing 
and expiring together. The last claim a discharge at the 
expiration of three months from the day they were mus- 
tered into service ; which must be nearly out. We may 
say, then, that all these are gone too. Yet General Jack- 
son has very recently received an order from General 
Pinckney, to garrison and maintain every inch of ground 
he gains. And although all active exertions of the cam- 
paign seem to be paralised, I still hope this may, and will 
be done. General Cocke is now in East Tennessee, en- 
deavoring to collect a new levy ; as to his success we 
know nothing. General Roberts, from West Tennessee, 
passed through our country three da^^s ago, and has just 
crossed the river with about two hundred and lifty men 
Colonel Carroll, inspector-general of this army, arrived 
to-day with a force of five or six hundred, and four com- 
panies are proposed to be sent from this county. How 
long these men are to serve, I know not — not longer, I 
fancy, than three months. I trust, however, that this sys- 
tem of short service, wretched as it is inefficient, and ex- 
pensive above all others, will yet enable Jackson to occu- 
py till spring the ground he has won. Perhaps the re- 
turn of moderate weather, and great efforts meanwhile, 
may collect around his banner, an army sufficient to effect 
the complete discomfiture and prostration of the Creek 
power. This, however, will be every day a work of 
greater difficulty. The English have already appeared 
ia force at Pensacola, seven sail having troops on boards 


besides two bomb vessels. Orleans will be menaced. 
Mobile is considered in great danger. The force on the 
Tombigbee waters, and the 3d regiment ascending the 
Alabama, will be called to its defence. This gives the 
Creeks breathing time, and lessens the force destined to 
crush them. Augustine, too, will doubtless be occupied 
by British troops ; and from these points, arms, ammuni- 
tion, and perhaps men and leaders, will be pushed up to 
the aid of the Upper and Middle Creeks. The Seminoles 
and the runaway negroes among them, may be turned 
loose upon the sea-coast of Georgia." 

The discontent of the troops was but little abated after 
their return to Fort Strother. The arrival of a sufficient 
supply of stores, obviated the necessity for food ; yet the 
minds of the soldiers having been once fixed upon the 
prospect of quitting the toils and privations of military 
life, could not easily be brought to relinquish the favorite 
idea of returning to their homes. The troops remon- 
strated against their detention, whilst the general resorted 
to every expedient to induce them to remain. He ad 
dressed a letter to the governor of Tennessee for instruc 
tions ; and in his reply the governor, in consequence or 
rhe disaffection of the troops, and the reluctance they 
manifested at remaining, was induced to recommend an 
abandonment of the expedition.. General Jackson no 
longer attempted to detain his men, but dismissed the 
discontented. A few only of his original army, " good 
men and true," remained behind with their general, to 
prosecute the war which had been so gloriously com- 

The governor of Tennessee Avas soon aware of the 
errox into which he had been led, by recommending an 
abandonment of the expedition, and affected by the expos- 
tulations of General Jackson, and the difficulties which 
surrounded him, he set himself vigorously to work in 


applying a remedy. He ordered a levy of twenty-five 
hundred men from the second division, to assemble at 
Fayetteville on the twenty-eighth of January, to serve for 
a period of three months. Brighter prospects now began 
to dawn upon General Jackson, and after encountering 
the most appalling difficulties with an energy and decision, 
Avhich compelled even his enemies to acknowledge, *' that 
he made the most extraordinary efforts, and that it is no 
more than charitable to believe that he was actuated by 
the love of his country, while acting in opposition to her 

The forces under the command of General Claiborne, 
General Floyd, and General Jackson, acted in concert in 
the prosecution of the Creek war. The latter was con- 
stantly advised of the movements of the former, and al- 
ways exerting himself to render them assistance. About 
the first of January, 1814, he received the cheering intel- 
ligence that General Claiborne had achieved an impor- 
tant victory upon the Alabama, more than one hundred 
miles from Fort Strother, his head-quarters. The battle 
was fought at Eccanachaca, the residemcc of the prophets 
Wetherford, Francis, and Sinquister. It was built since 
ihe commencement of hostilities, as a place of security 
for the natives, and as a depot for provisions. Like Au- 
toussee, it was deemed, by the superstitious natives, the 
grave of white men. On the 23d December, it was at- 
tacked ; between thirty or forty warriors were slain ; the 
whole town of two hundred houses destroyed, and a large 
quantity of provisions taken. The town being surround- 
ed by swamps and deep ravines, facilitated the escape of 
the savages from the pursuit of the Americans. The 
next day, a town of sixty houses, about eight miles above 
the holy ground, was destroyed, together with several 
tlistinguished chiefs, and all the boats belonging to the 
ravages of that station. 



Newly raised troops — They arrive at Fort Strother — 
Join the forces of Gen. Jackson — He marches them 
to .Talladega — The enemy at Emuckfaw river — Gen. 
Jackson advances upon them — Attacks them — His 
official report of the battle — Important results of his 
victory — Operations of the Georgia forces — General 
Floyd's victory — The Creeks fortify themselves at 
the Horse-Shoe — Geii. Jackson attacks them — De^ 
feats them — His account of the battle — He is cen- 
sured for his severity to the Creeks — Causes which 
justified his treatment of them — His vindication. 

The newly raised Tennessee volunteers arrived at 
Fort Strother, and joined the forces of Gen. Jackson 
about the middle of January, 1814, and soon after their 
organization, took up the line of march for Talladega. 
The whole force led on by Gen. Jackson, consisted of the 
volunteers, two mounted regiments, an artillery company, 
three companies of foot, and a company of volunteer 
officers, nine hundred and thirty in all. Two or three 
hundred friendly Creeks and Cherokees joined them at 
Talladega. With this force he continued his march to 
Emuckfaw river, where a large body of the enemy had 

On the 21st, he approached the neighborhood of the 
enemy. At day break the next morning, the Creek war- 
riors drove in the sentinels, and vigorously charged the 
left flank. The assault was bravely given and bravely 


received, and the battle was maintained with great spirit 
on both sides for half an hour. The following is General 
Jackson's official report of the engagement, to Maj. Gen. 
Pinckney, of the U. S. army, and as it is more interesting 
than any other detail we can procure, we lay it with plea- 
sure before our readers : 

Head Quarters, Fort Strother, Jan. 29, 1814. 
Maj. Gen. Thomas Pinckney, 

Sir — I had the honor of informing you in a letter of the 
31st ult. [express] of an excursion I contemplated making 
still further in the enemy's country, with the new raised 
volunteers from Tennessee. I had ordered those troops 
to form a junction with me on the 10th inst., but they did 
not arrive until the 14th. Their number, including offi- 
cers, was about eight hundred, and on the 15th, I marched 
them across the river to graze their horses. On the next 
day I followed with the remainder of my force, consisting 
of the artillery company, with one six pounder, one com- 
pany of infantry of forty-eight men, two companies of 
spies commanded by Capts. Gordon and Russell, of about 
thirty men each, and a company of volunteer officers, 
headed by Gen. Coffee, who had been abandoned by his 
men, and who still remained in the field awaiting the 
orders of the government ; making my force, exclusive of 
Indians, nine hundred and thirty. 

The motives which influenced me to penetrate still fur- 
ther into the enemy's country, with this force, were many 
and urgent. The terms of service of the new raised 
volunteers was short, and a considerable part of it was 
expired ; they were expensive to the government ; and 
were full of ardor to meet the enemy. The ill effects of 
keeping soldiers of this description long stationary and 
idle, I had been made to feel but too sensibly already — 
other causes concurred to make such a movement not only 
justifiable, but absolutely necessary. I had received a 


letter from Capt. M'Alpin, of the fifth inst., who com- 
manded at Fort Armstrong, in the absence of Col. Snod- 
grass, informing me that fourteen or fifteen towns of th« 
enemy, situated on the waters of the Tallapoosa, wer« 
about uniting their forces, and attacking that place, which 
had been left in a very feeble state of defence. You had 
in yOur letter of the 24th ult. informed me that General 
Floyd was about to make a movement to the Tallapoosa, 
near its junction with the Coosa ; and in the same letter 
had recommended temporary excursions against such of 
the enemy's towns, or settlements, as might be within 
striking distance, as well to prevent my men from be- 
coming discontented, as to harass the enemy. Your ideas 
corresponded exactly with my own, and I was happy in 
the opportunity of keeping my men engaged, distressing 
the enemy, and at the same time making a diversion to 
facilitate the operations of Gen. Floyd. 

Determined by these and other considerations, I took 
op the line of march on the 17th inst., and on the 18th, 
^ncamped at Talladega fort, where I was joined by 
between two and three hundred friendly Indians : sijixy 
five of whom were Cherokees, the balance Creeks. Her-^ 
I received your letter of the 9th inst., stating that Gen-^ral 
Floyd w^as expected to make a movement from Cowctau 
the next day, and that in ten days thereafter he would 
establish a firm position at Tuckbatchee ; and also a letter 
from Col. Snodgrass, who had returned to Fort Arm- 
strong, informing me that an attack w^as intended to be 
soon made on that fort, by nine hundred of the enemy. 
If I could have hesitated before, I could now hesitate no 
longer. I resolved to lose no time in meeting this force, 
which was understood to have been collected from New 
Yorcau, Oakfuskie, and Ufauley towns, and were con- 
centrated in a bend of the Tallapoosa, near the mouth of 
a creek, called Emuckfaw, and on an island below New 


On the morning of the 20th, your letter of the 10th 
inst., forwarded by M'Candles, reached me at the Hillahee w 
Creek; and that night I encamped at Enotachopco, a 
small Hillahee village, about twelve miles from Emnck- 
faw. Here I began to perceive very plainly how little 
knowledge my spies had of the comitry, of the situation 
of the enemy, or of the distance I was from them. The 
insubordination of the new troops, and the want of skill in 
most of their officers, also became more and more apparent. 
But their ardor to meet the enemy was not diminished ; and 
I had sure reliance upon the guards, and upon the company 
of old volunteer officers, and upon the spies, in all about 
one hundred and twenty-five. My wishes and my duty 
remained united, and I was determined to effect, if possi- 
ble, the objects for which the excursion had been prin- 
cipally undertaken. 

On the morning of the 21st, I marched from Enota- 
chopco, as direct as I could for the bend of the Talla- 
poosa, and about two o'clock, P. M. my spies having dis- 
covered two of the enemy, endeavored to overtake them, 
rut failed. In the evening I fell in upon a large traiJ, 
wrjich led to a new road, much beaten and lately traveled. 
Knowing that I must have arrived within the neighbor- 
hood of a strong force, and it being late in. the day, 1 
determined to encamp, and reconnoitre the country in the 
night. I chose the best site the country Avould admit, 
encamped in a hollow square, sent out my spies and 
pickets, doubled my sentinels, and made the necessary 
arrangements before dark, for a night attack. About ten 
o'clock at night, one of the pickets fired at three of the 
enemy, and killed one, but he was not found until the 
next day. At eleven o'clock, the spies whom I had sent 
out, returned with the information, that there was a large 
encampment of Indians at the distance of about three 
miles, who, from their whooping and dancing, seemed to 


be apprised of our approach. One of these spies, an 
Indian in whom 1 had great confidence, assured me that 
they were carrying oft' their women and chiklren, and that 
the warriors would either make their escape, or attack 
me before day. Being prepared at all points, nothing 
remained to be done but to await their approach, if they 
meditated an attack, or to be in readiness, if they did not 
to pursue and attack them at day-light. While we were 
in this state of readiness, the enemy about six o'clock in 
the morning commenced a vigorous attack on my left- 
llank, which Avas vigorously met ; the action continued to 
rage on my left flank, and on the left of my rear, for about 
half an hour. The braveGen. Cofl^ee, with Col. Sitler, the 
adjutant general and Col. Carrol, the inspector general, the 
moment the firing commenced, mounted their horses and 
repaired to the line, encouraging and animating the men 
to the performance of their duty. So soon as it became 
light enough to pursue, the left wing having sustained the 
heat of the action, and being somewhat weakened, was 
reinforced by Capt. Ferrill's company of infantry, and 
was ordered and led on to the charge by Gen. Coffee, who 
was well supported by Col. Higgins and the inspector 
general, and by all the officers and privates who composed 
that line. The enemy was completely routed at every 
point, and the friendly Indians joining in the pursuit, they 
were chased about two miles with considerable slaughter. 
The chase being over, 1 immediately detached General 
Coffee with four hundred men, and all the Indian force, 
to burn their encampment ; but it was said by some to be 
fortified. I ordered him in that event, not to attack it 
until the artillery could be sent forward to reduce it. On 
viewing the encampment and its strength, the general 
thought it most prudent to return to my encampment, and 
guard the artillery thither. The wisdom of this step was 
soon discovered — in half an hour after his return to camp, 


a considerable force of the enemy made its appearance on 
my right flank, and commenced a brisk fire on a party of 
men, who had been on picket guard the night before, and 
were then in search of the Indians they had fired upon, 
some of whom they believed had been killed. General 
Coffee immediately requested me to let him take two hun- 
dred men, and turn their loft flank, which I accordingly 
ordered; but, through some mistake which I did not then 
observe, not more than fifty-four followed him, among whom 
were the old volunteer oflicers. With these, however, he 
immediately commenced an attack on the left flank of the 
enemy ; at which time I ordered two hundred of the 
friendly Indians, to fall in upon the right flank of the 
enemy, and co-operate with the general. This order was 
promptly obeyed, and on the moment of its execution, 
what I expected was realized. The enemy had intended 
the attack on the right as a feint, and expecting to direct 
all my attention thither, meant to attack me again, and with 
their main force on the left flank, which they had hoped to 
find weakened and in disorder — they were disappointed. 
I had ordered the left flank to remain firm in its place, 
and the moment the alarm gun was heard in that quarter, 
I repaired thither, and ordered Capt. Ferrill, part of my 
reserve, to support it. The whole line met the approach 
of the enemy with astonishing intrepidity, and having 
given a few fires, they forthwith charged with great 
vigor — the effect was immediate and inevitable. The 
enemy fled with precipitation, and were pursued to a con- 
siderable distance, by the left flank and the friendly 
Indians, with a galling and destructive fire. Col. Carrol, 
who ordered the charge, led on the pursuit, and Colonel 
Higgins and his regiment again distinguished them- 

In the mean time, Gen. Coffee was contending with a 
superior force of the enemy. The Indians who I had 



ordered to his support, and who had set out for this pur- 
pose, hearing the firing on the left, had returned to that 
quarter, and when the enemy were routed there, entered 
into the chase. That being now over, I forthwith ordered 
Jim Fife, who was one of the principal commanders of 
the friendly Creeks, with one hundred of his warriors, to 
execute my first order. So soon as he reached General 
Coflee, the charge was made, and the enemy routed ; they 
were pursued about three miles, and forty-five of them 
slain, who were found. Gen. Coffee was wounded in the 
bod}-, and his aid-de-camp, A. Donaldson, killed, together 
with three others. Having brought in and buried the 
dead, and dressed the wounded, I ordered my camp to be 
fortified, to be the better prepared to repel any attack 
which might be made in the night, determined to make a 
return march to Fort Strother the following day. Many 
causes concurred to make such a measure necessary, as I 
had not set out prepared, or with a view to make a per- 
manent establishment. I considered it worse than use- 
less to advance and destroy an empty encampment. I 
had, indeed, hoped to have met the enemy there, but 
having met and beaten them a little sooner, I did not think 
it necessary or prudent to proceed any further — not 
necessary, because I had accomplished all I could expect 
to efl^ect by marching to their encampment; and because 
if it was proper to contend with and weaken their forces 
still farther, this object would be more certainly attained, 
by commencing a return, which having to them the ap- 
pearance of a retreat, would inspirit them to pursue me. 
Not prudent — ^because of the number of m.y wounded ; 
of the reinforcements from below, which the enemy might 
be expected to receive ; of the starving condition of my 
horses, they having had neither corn nor cane for two 
days and nights ; of the scarcity of supplies for my men, 
the Indians who joined me at Talladega having diawn 


none, and being wholly destitute ; and because if the 
enemy pursued me, as it was likely they would, the di- 
version in favor of Gen. Floyd would be the more com- 
plete and effectual. Influenced by these considerations, 
I commenced my return march, at half after ten on the 
23d, and was fortunate enough to reach Enotachopco 
before night, having passed, without interruption, a dan- 
gerous defile occasioned by a hurricane. I again fortified 
my camp, and having another defile to pass in the morning, 
across a deep creek, and between two hills which I had 
viewed with attention as I passed on, and where I ex- 
pected I might be attacked, I determined to pass it at 
another point, and gave directions to my guide and fatigue 
men accordingly. My expectation of an attack in the 
morning was increased by the signs of the night, and 
with it my caution. Before I moved the wounded from 
the interior of my camp, I had my front and rear guards 
formed, as well as my right and left columns, and moved 
off my centre in regular order, leading down a handsome 
ridge to Enotachopco creek, at a point where it was clear 
of reed, except immediately on its margin. I had pre- 
viously issued a general order, pointing out the manner in 
which the men should be formed in the event of an attack 
on the front or rear, or on the flanks, and had particularly 
cautioned the ofiicers to halt and form accordingly, the 
instant the word should be given. 

The front guard had crossed with part of the flank 
columns, the wounded were over, and the artillery in the 
act of entering the creek, when an alarm gun was heard 
in the rear. I heard it without surprise, and even with 
pleasure, calculating with the utmost confidence on the 
firmness of my troops, from the manner in which I had 
seen them act on the 22d. I had placed Col. Carrol at 
the head of the centre column of the rear guard; its right 
column was commanded by Col. Perkins, and its left by 


Col. Stump. Having chosen the ground, I expected there 
to have entirely cut off the enemy, by wheeling the right 
and left columns on their pivot, recrossing the creek above 
and below, and falling in upon their flanks and rear. But 
to my astonishment and mortification, when the word was 
given by Col. Carrol to halt and form, and a few guns 
had been fired, I beheld the right and left columns of the 
rear guard precipitately give way. This shameful retreat 
was disastrous in the extreme ; it drew along with it the 
greater part of the centre column, leaving not more than 
twenty-five men, who being formed by Col. Carrol, main- 
tained their ground as long as it was possible to maintain 
it, and it brought consternation and confusion into the cen- 
tre of the army ; a consternation which was not easily 
removed, and a confusion which could not be soon restored 
to order. There was then left to repulse the enemy, the 
few who remained of the rear guard, the artillery com- 
pany, and Capt. Russell's company of spies. They how- 
ever realized and exceeded my highest expectations. 
Lieut. Armstrong, who commanded the artillery company 
in the absence of Capt. Deaderick, (confined by sickness,) 
ordered them to form and advance to the top of the hill, 
whilst he and a few others dragged up the six pounder. 
Never was more bravery displayed than on this occasion. 
Amidst the most galling fire from the enemy, more than 
ten times their number, they ascended the hill, and main- 
tained their position until their piece was hauled up, when 
having leveled it, they poured upon the enemy a fire of 
grape, reloaded and fired again, charged and repulsed 

The most deliberate bravery was displayed by Con- 
stantine Perkins and Craven Jackson, of the artillery, 
acting as gunners. In the hurry of the moment, in sepa- 
rating the gun from the limbers, the rammer and picker 
of the cannon was left tied to the limber. No sooner was 


this discovered, than Jackson, amidst the galling fire of 
the enemy, pulled out the ramrod of his musket and used 
it as a picker ; primed with a cartridge and fired the can- 
non. Perkins having pulled off his bayonet, used his 
musket as a rammer, drove down the cartridge ; and 
Jackson using his former plan, again discharged her. 
The brave Lieut. Armstrong, just after the first fire of the 
cannon, with Capt. Hamilton of E. Tennessee, Bradford 
and M'Gavock, all fell, the Lieut, exclaiming as he lay, 
" My hrave fellows, some of you may fall, hut you must 
save the cannon.'''' About this time, a number crossed 
the creek and entered into the chase. The brave Capt. 
Gordon of the spies, who rushed from the front, endea- 
vored to turn the flank of the enemy, in v\'hich he par- 
tially succeeded, and Col. Carrol, Col. Higgins, and Capt. 
Elliot and Pipkins, pursued the enemy for more than two 
miles, who fled in consternation, throwing away their 
packs, and leaving twenty-six of their warriors dead on 
the field. This last defeat was decisive,, and we were no 
more disturbed by their yells. I should do injustice to 
my feelings if I omitted to mention that the venerable 
Judge Cocke, at the age of sixty-five, entered into en- 
gagement, continued the pursuit of the enemy with youth- 
ful ardor, and saved the life of a fellow-soldier by killing 
his savage antagonist. 

Our loss in this affair was — killed and wounded, 
among the former was the brave Capt. Hamilton, from 
East Tennessee, who had, with his aged father and two 
others of his company, after the period of his engage- 
ment had expired, volunteered his services for this excur- 
sion, and attached himself to the artillery company. No 
man ever fought more bravely, or fell more gloriously ; 
and by his side fell with equal bravery and glory, Bird 
Evans of the same company. Capt. Q,uarles, who com- 
manded the centre column of the rear guard, preferring 


death to the abandonment of his post, having- taken a firm 
stand in which he w^as followed by twenty-five of his 
men, received a wound in his head of which he has since 

In these several engagements, our loss was twenty 
killed and seventy-five wounded, four of whom have since 
died. The loss of the enemy cannot be accurately ascer- 
tained ; one hundred and eighty-nine of their warriors 
Avere found dead ; but this must fall considerably short of 
the number really killed. Their wounded can only be 
guessed at. 

Had it not been for the unfortunate retreat of the rear 
guard in the affair of the 24th inst. I think I could safely 
have said, that no army of militia ever acted with more 
cool and deliberate bravery : undisciplined and inexpe- 
rienced as they were, their conduct in the several en- 
gagements of the 22d, could not have been surpassed by 
regulars. No men ever met the approach of an enemy 
with more intrepidity, or repulsed them with more energy. 
On the 24th, after the retreat of the rear guard, they 
seemed to have lost all their collectedness, and w^ere more 
difficult to be restored to order, than any troops I had 
ever seen. But this w^as no doubt owing in a great 
measure, or altogether, to that very retreat, and ought 
rather to be ascribed to the want of conduct in many of 
their officers, than any cow^ardice in the men, w^ho on 
every occasion have manifested a willingness to perform 
their duty, so far as they knew it. 

. All the effects which were designed to be produced by 
this excursion, it is believed have been produced. If an 
attack was meditated against Fort Armstrong, that has 
been prevented. If Gen. Floyd is operating on the east 
side of the Tallapoosa, as I suppose him to be, a most 
fortunate diversion has been made in his faA^or. The 
number of the enemy has been diminished, and the con- 


fidence they may have derived from the delays I have 
been made to experience, has been destroyed. Discon- 
tent has been kept out of my army, while the troops who 
would have been exposed to it, have been beneficially em- 
ployed. The enemy*s country has been explored, and a 
road cut to the point where their force will probably be 
concentrated, when they shall be driven from the country 
below. But in a report of this kind, and to you who will 
immediately perceive them,, it is not necessary to state the 
happy consequences which may be expected to result 
from this excursion. Unless I am greatly mistaken, it 
will be found to have hastened the termination of the 
Creek war, more effectually than any measure I could 
have taken with the troops under my command. 

I am, Sir, with sentiments of high respect, your 
obedient servant, Andrew Jackson. 

This was an important victory, and contributed much 
towards weakening the power of the enemy, and of en- 
abling Gen. Jackson to bring the Creek war to a speedy 
termination. He marched his army back to Fort Strother 
unmolested by the savages, whose spirits were much de- 
pressed by the sanguinary conflict, which had proved so 
disastrous to their hopes. This victory was followed by 
another obtained by the C4eorgia forces, under Gen. Floyd. 

That officer was stationed, with his troops, at Camp 
Defiance, fifty miles west of Chatahouchee. Upon the 
27th January, he was assailed very early, by a numerous 
horde of savages. The sentinels were suddenly driven in, 
and a most desperate attack was commenced upon the 
lines. General Floyd thus describes the engagement. 

" The steady firmness and incessant fire of Captain 
Thomas' artillery, and Captain Adams' riflemen, preserved 
our front line : both of these suffered greatly. The enemy 
rushed within thirty yards of the artillery, and Captain 
Broadnax, who commandefd one of the picket guards, 


maintained his post with great bravery, until the enemy 
gained his rear, and then cut his way through them to 
the army. On this occasion, Timpoochie Barnuel, a half 
breed, at the head of the Uchies, distinguished himself, 
and contributed to the retreat of the picket guard : the 
other friendly Indians took refuge within our lines and 
remained inactive, with the exception of a few who join- 
ed our ranks. So soon as it became light enough to dis- 
tinguish objects, I ordered Majors Watson's and Free- 
man's battalions to wheel up to right angles, with Majors 
Booth's and Cleveland's battalions, who formed the right 
wing, to prepare for the charge. Captain Duke Hamil- 
ton's cavalry, (who had reached me but the day before,) 
was ordered to form in the rear of the right wing, to act 
as circumstances should dictate. The order for th« 
charge was promptly obeyed, and the enemy fled in every 
direction before the bayonet. The signal was given for 
the charge of the cavalry, who pursued, and sabred fif- 
teen of the enemy ; who left thirty-seven dead on the 
field. From the efl?usion of blood, and the number of 
head-dresses and war-clubs found in various directions, 
their loss must have been considerable, independent of the 

I directed the friendly Indians, with Merriwether's and 
Ford's rifle companies, accompanied by Captain Hamil- 
ton's troop, to pursue them through Callibee Swamp, 
where they were trailed by their blood, but succeeded in 
overtaking but one of their wounded. 

Colonel Newman received three balls in the commence- 
ment of the action, which deprived me of the services of 
that gallant and useful oflicer. The assistant Adjutant 
General Narden was indefatigable in the discharge of 
his duty, and rendered important services : his horse was 
wounded under him. The whole of the stafl' was prompt, 
and discharged their duty with courage and fidelity ; their 


vigilance, the intrepidity of the officers, and the firmness 
of the men, meet my approbation, and deserve the praise 
of their country. I have to regret the death of many of 
my brave fellows, who have found honourable graves in 
the voluntary support of their country. 

My aid-de-camp, in executing my orders, had his horse 
killed under him. General Lee and Major Pace, who 
acted as additional aids, rendered me essential services, 
with honor to themselves, and usefulness to the cause in 
which they have embarked. Four wagon, and several 
other horses, were killed, and two of the artillery horses 
wounded. While I deplore the losses sustained on this 
occasion, I have the consolation to know, that the men 
who I have the honor to command, have done their duty.*' 

The loss of the Americans in this battle, was seven- 
teen killed, and one hundred and thirty-two wounded. 
General Jackson found that one great object of his last 
brilliant expedition was effected — the relief of the Geor- 
gia militia. 

It was now the first of February, 1814. General 
Jackson's forces were at Fort Strother, where, although 
in no immediate danger of famine, there was by no means 
a supply for any length of time. General Jackson, ever 
since he had commanded the army in the Creek country ,; 
had had his attention diverted from the great object of a 
general — the organization of his army — the introduction 
of correct discipline, and preparation for active service. 
Indeed, he had to perform the duty of commissary, quar- 
ter-master, and commander. Washington was often in 
his situation in the war of the Revolution. He could find 
an excuse for his countrymen, in the then destitute state 
of the country ; but for the contractors for the southern 
army in 1814, there was no excuse. In a country abound- 
ing in beeves, swine, and bread stuffs, an army had often 
been driven to mutiny and desertion through the appre- 


hension of want. There is, probably, not an officer iu 
tne American service, but who will condemn the mode of 
supplying an army by contractors. They make the best 
terms they can with the government for themselves ; the 
hardest possible terms for the seller of provisions, and of- 
ten furnish the war-worn veteran w4th rations deficient in 
quantity, and miserable in quality. They think of nothing 
but gaining a fortune, while the gallant soldiers, who are 
suffering by their frauds, and famishing by their avarice, 
are gaining victories for their countr3\ 

General Jackson had suffered too much, with his 
brave soldiers, for longer endurance. He supplied his 
army by his ow^n agents, leaving the contractors to pay 
the expense. When no longer any cause existed for com- 
plaints in his camp, he silenced them. He caused a mu- 
tineer to be tried by a court martial ; and when condemn- 
ed to die, he approved of the sentence, and he suflfered 
death. He ordered every officer to be arrested within his 
command, who should be found exciting mutiny or diso- 
bedience. He knew that a crisis had arrived when a great 
blow must be struck, or the expedition abandoned. 

The Creeks had assembled in great force at the bend 
of the Tallapoosa, at a place called by the savages Toho- 
peka — ^by the Americans, the Horse-Shoe. At this place, 
the most desperate resistance was expected ; and every 
measure, within the limited means of C4eneral Jackson, 
was resorted to, to meet it. 

The 39th regiment United States infantry, under the 
command of Col. Williams, had been ordered to join the ar- 
my under General Jackson. It did not exceed six hundred 
men. By the middle of March, his whole force amounted 
to between three and four thousand. He then commenced 
his march. Upon the 21st, he established a fort at the 
mouth of Cedar Creek, and named it Fort AVilliams. 
Leaving a sufficient force to protect it. he renewed his 


march upon the 2'4lh. Upon the 27th, a day which will 
be remembered in the traditional annals of the brave, the 
infatuated, the blood thirsty Creeks, until they become ex- 
tinct. General Jackson and his army reached Tohopeka. 
The events of that day, are thus briefly detailed by the 

Battle Groiindy hend of Tallapoosa^ 
2Sth March, 1814. 
Maj. Gen. Pinckney : 

Sir — I feel particularly happy in being able to commu- 
nicate to you, the fortunate eventuation of my expedition 
to the Tallapoosa. I reached the head, near the Emuck- 
fau, called by the whites the Horse-Shoe, about ten o'clock 
on the forenoon of yesterday, where I found the strength 
of the neighboring towns collected. Expecting our ap- 
proach, they had gathered in from Oakfuskie, Oakehoga, 
New Yorcau, Hillabees, the Fish Pond, and Eufaulee 
towns, to the number, it is said, of one thousand. It is 
difficult to conceive a situation more eligible for defence 
than the one they had chosen, or one rendered more se- 
cure by the skill with which they had erected their breast- 
work. It was from five to eight feet high, and extended 
across the point in such a direction, as that a force ap- 
proaching it would be exposed to a double fire, while they 
Iny in perfect security behind. A cannon planted at one 
extremity could have raked it to no advantage. 

Determining to exterminate them, I detached General 
Coffee vv'ith the mounted men, and nearly the whole of the 
Indian force, early on the morning of yesterday, to cross 
the river about two miles below their encampment, and to 
surround the bend in such a manner, as that none of them 
should escape by attempting to cross the river. With the 
infantry, I proceeded slowly, and in order, along the point 
of land which led to the front of their breast work ; hav- 
ing planted my cannon, one six and one three pounder, on 


an eminence at the distance of one hundred and fifty to 
two hundred yards from it, I opened a very brisk fire, play- 
ing upon the ,enemy with muskets and rifles whenever 
they showed themselves beyond it. This was kept up 
with short interruptions for about two hours, when a part 
of the Indian force, and Captain Russell's and Lieutenant 
Bean's company of spies, who had accompanied General 
Coffee, crossed over in canoes to the extremity of the bend, 
and set fire to a few of the buildings which were there si- 
tuated; they then advanced with great gallantry tovrards 
the breastwork, and commenced a spirited fire upon the 
enemy behind it. 

Finding that this force, notwithstanding the bravery 
they displayed, was Avholly insufficient to dislodge them, 
and that General Coffee had entirely secured the opposite 
bank of the river, I now determined to take it by storm. 
The men by whom this was to be effected, had been wait- 
ing with impatience to receive the order, and hailed it with 

The spirit which animated them, was a sure augury of 
the success which was to follow. The history of warfare, 
I think furnishes few instances of a more brilliant attack. 
The regulars, led on by their intrepid and skillful comman- 
der. Colonel Williams, and by the gallant Major Montgo- 
mery, soon gained possession of the works, in the midst 
of a most tremendous fire from behind them ; and the mi- 
litia of the venerable General Doherty's brigade, accom- 
panied them in the charge with a vivacity and firmness 
which would have done honor to regulars. The enemy 
were completely routed. Five hundred and fifty-seven 
were left dead on the peninsula, and a great number were 
killed by the horsemen in attempting to cross the river : 
it is believed that not more than twenty have escaped. 

The fighting continued with some severity about five 
hours, but we continued to destroy many of them who 



had concealed themselves under the banks of the river, 
until we were prevented by the night. This morning we 
killed sixteen who had been concealed. We took about 
two hundred and fifty prisoners, all women and children, 
except two or three. Our loss is one hundred and sixty 
wounded, and twenty-five killed ; Major Mcintosh, (the 
Cowetau,) who joined my army with a part of his tribe, 
greatly distinguished himself. When I get an hour's lei- 
sure, I will send you a more detailed account. 

According to my original purpose, I commenced my 
return march to Fort Williams to-day, and shall, if I find 
sufficient supplies there, hasten to the Hickory Ground. 
The power of the Creeks is, I think, forever broken. 

I send you a hasty sketch, taken by the eye, of the si- 
tuation on which the enemy were encamped, and of the 
manner in which I approached them. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

Andrew Jackson. 
Maj. Gen. Pinckney. 

The loss of the Americans, added to the whole loss of 
the friendly Indians, was fifty-four killed and one hundred 
and fifty-six wounded. 

In communicating the result of this victory to the War 
Department, General Pinckney elegantly and impressive- 
ly observes: "While the sigh of humanity will escape, 
for this profuse effusion of human blood, which results 
from the savage principle of our enemy, neither to give 
nor accept quarter ; and while every American will deep- 
ly lament the loss of our meritorious fellow-soldiers who 
have fallen in this contest, we have ample cause of grati- 
tude to the Giver of all victory, for thus continuing his 
protection to our women, and children, who would other- 
wise be exposed to the indiscriminate havoc of the toma- 
hawk, and all the horrors of savage warfare." 

Much obloquy and gratuitous animadversion has been 


bestowea upon General Jackson, for his severity to the 
Indians at the battle of the Horse-Shoe. It has been 
termed by his enemies " a cold-blooded massacre." With 
what propriety or fairness it can be termed such, is very 
ditlicult to conceive. With respect to its being a "cold- 
blooded massacre," as no order for one was ever issued by 
General Jackson, it is a calumny on the courage and hu- 
manity of his officers and men, who have added unfading 
laurels to those which they gained on that desperate day — 
many of whom, in their unrivalled campaigns, found 
honorable wounds or glorious death — and some of whom 
liave filled and occupy the highest stations, in the esteem 
and government of a grateful country. There is no 
foundation whatever, in truth or history, to support such 
a charge. 

General Carrol, the late governor of Tennessee, and a 
distinguished disciple of General Jackson in war, whose 
rank and presence in this action, gave him a minute ac- 
quaintance with its features, upon ascertaining that such a 
charge had been preferred against General Jackson, de- 
clared, "that during the whole of the Creek w^ar, he serv- 
ed as inspector general of the army ; was present at the 
battle of the Horse Shoe, and could say from his own per- 
sonal knowledge, that the charge was wholly without 
foundation. That towards the close of the action, after 
the breastworks had been taken by assault, a number of 
Indians took refuge under a quantity of brush and logs ; 
that General Jackson advanced to within a short distance 
of the place of their concealment, and directed his inter- 
preter, George Mayfield, to assure them, that if they would 
surrender they should be treated with the greatest human- 
ity ; and that they answered the proposition by firing upon 
and wounding Mayfield severely in the shoulder. That 
a similar proposition was also made by Jim Fife, or old 
Chinnebee, and the fire of the Indians was the only reply 


it received. That it was after a number of our men were 
killed and wounded by those Indians, and after they had 
twice refused to surrender upon any terms, that the charge 
was made upon them, and the brush set on fire, from 
which a few only escaped with life. That the prisoners 
taken on that day, including a large number of women 
and children, were humanely treated by General Jackson ; 
and that he felt himself impelled to state these facts in jus- 
tice to General Jackson, and the brave men who fought 
the battle of the Horse-Shoe." 

But these charges against General Jackson, were doubt- 
less intended to inculcate the belief, that dislodging those 
desperate Indians, who rejected quarter, and prolonged the 
battle after resistance was vain, was of itself a " cold- 
blooded massacre." Are then the enemies of the United 
States, Avhen waging a savage unsparing v/ar, to requite 
with wounds and death our offers of humanity and pro- 
tection, and yet be saved from death or retaliation ? Are 
our commanders to begin an action, overpower by great 
efforts the main force of the enemy, and then abandon the 
field and the victory to a few desperadoes ? General Jack- 
son's duty to his country and his government, compelled 
him, if in his power, to defeat the enemy ; and that ope- 
ration necessarily involves the destruction of every adver- 
sary, who refuses to yield. Had the desperate party at 
the Horse-Shoe, been a detachment of Bonaparte's Im- 
perial Guard, the veterans of fifty pitched battles, and 
commanded by Ney or Soult, they must have suffered the 
fate of the Indians — as a garrison which refuses a sum- 
mons, may, by the laws of war, be blown into the air. 
But who were these determined and deluded savages ? 
The same who, when the sudden hostility of their nation 
rose like an inundation on the settlements of Alabama, 
herding hundreds of women and children into Fort 
Mimms, broke into that asylum with treachery, fire, and 


murder ; who followed to that feast of butchery, where 
quarter was neither offered nor allowed, the volcanic 
voice of Weatherford, and as it rose above the shouts of 
fury, and the shrieks of despair, breathing inextinguisha- 
ble rage, and demanding relentless slaughter, obeyed 
its ferocious summons, until but seventeen out of three 
hundred of our unarmed citizens were left alive. They 
were the same men who, under cover of a truce granted 
for their benefit by General Jackson, had entrapped and 
slaughtered the son of Chinnebee, the Massanissa of 
the Creeks, the friend and ally of the American people. 
These are the beings, whose self-provoked destruction in 
a fair and hard-fought action, it would be the wish of 
General Jackson's enemies to have considered a "cold- 
blooded massacre." These are the facts relative to the 
battle of the Horse-Shoe ; our readers will give them 
their due consideration, and censure or applaud, as the 
justice or circumstances of the case may seem to dictate. 




General Jackson returns to Fort Williams — Marches 
to the Hickory Grounds — Prospects of the Creeks — 
They sue for peace — General Pinchiey arrives at 
Fort Jackson — Interchange of courtesies between 
him and General Jackson — General Pinckney as- 
sumes the command — Disbands the troops — General 
Jackson returns to Tennessee — His reception there — 
Is appointed to negotiate with the Creeks — Eloquence 
of the Chiefs — He concludes a peace with them — 
Spanish aggressions — Correspondence between Ge- 
neral Jackson and Governor Manriquez — General 
Jackson at Mobile — Attack on Fort Bowyer — Major 
La^wrence^s report of it. 

About the 1st of April, General Jackson returned 
with his s,rmy to Fort Williams. When he assumed the 
direction of the Creek war, his enfeebled health would 
have honorably excused him from a participation in the 
fatigues and hardships of the camp. But no minor con- 
siderations have ever been found to swerve General Jack- 
son from the path of duty, nor avert his footsteps from the 
post of danger. The peculiar difficulties which he en- 
countered during the Creek campaign, increased his 
debility, yet the fortunate results of his exertions afforded 
him the richest consolations. He was now desirous of 
forming a junction with the forces of Georgia, in order 
to effect a more speedy termination of the war, or com- 
pel the savages to sue for peace. 


With this object in view, he took up the line of march 
with his troops on the 7th of April for the Tallapoosa, 
intending on his march to attack a body of the enemy at 
Hoithlewallee, on the Hickory Grounds. He here ex- 
pected the co-operation of the Georgia forces, and dis- 
patched a message to the commander, stating his 
expectation of meeting and attacking the Muscagees on 
the 11th. His march was however retarded by a heavy 
fall of rain ; and it was not until the 13th that he arrived 
at Hoithlewallee. But he here found no resistance 
from the enemy. The constant succession of disasters 
which had attended their hostile operations, had depressed 
their spirits and withered their hopes. Their prophets, 
who held an unlimited influence over their superstitious 
minds, and urged them on by all the force of Indian 
eloquence, and savage daring, to the perpetration of deeds 
of horrid butchery, had fallen in the deadly encounters, 
to which they led their deluded followers by their incan- 
tations and thirst for blood. It was not until the last ray 
of hope was extinguished, that they deigned to supplicate 
their conquerors for peace. They then begged of the 
American commander an extension of that mercy to them, 
which they had sworn never to impart to us. 

Although the power of the Creeks was broken, it was 
notwithstanding deemed necessary to establish posts for 
the defence of the frontier settlements. With this view, 
General Jackson established a fort upon the Coosa, near 
its confluence with the Tallapoosa, w^hich was named Fort 
Jackson. This completed the line of forts through Ten- 
nessee, Georgia, and the Alabama Territory. The 
Georgia forces were now joined with those under the 
command of General Jackson; and on the 20th April, 
Major General Pinckney arrived at Fort Jackson, and 
assumed the command of the whole forces in the Creek 


A most kindly interchange of courtesies here took 
place between these war-worn veterans, in the service of 
their country. General Pinckney prepared a splendid 
entertainment, and invited General Jackson and his staff 
to partake with him. Cheering, indeed, were the mutual 
congratulations of these brave officers, as at the convivial 
board they contemplated the dangers they had passed, the 
battles they had fought, and the blessings of peace and 
security which they had purchased for their countrymen, 
by toil, privation, and hardships. 

General Jackson reciprocated the civility of his com- 
mander-in-chief, by inviting him to dine with him at his 
marquee the next day. The simple diet that had sus- 
tained his soldiers in the prosecution of this arduous cam- 
paign, constituted the bill of fare. None but those who 
have passed through similar scenes of danger, can appre- 
eiate the deep emotions of joy and gratulation that these 
meritorious men experienced, on an occasion like this. 
Proud, indeed, was such a day to Andrew Jackson. The 
storm of savage vengeance, which burst like a volcano 
upon the devoted inmates of Fort Mimms, had called him 
into the field to avenge the slaughter of his countrymen ; 
he had penetrated the unbroken forests and deep morasses 
of that region with an astonishing celerity, had attacked 
the enemy in their fastnesses ; and at Tallushatches, Tal- 
ladega, Emuckfaw, and Tohopeka, had taught the Creeks 
to respect the lives and property of our citizens. 

General Pinckney assumed the command of General 
Jackson's corps only to disband them, after expressing his 
exalted sense of their bravery and patriotism. On the 21st, 
the next day after General Pinckney assumed the com- 
mand, he ordered the Tennessee troops to be marched 
home, and discharged ; retaining, however, sufficient to 
garrison the established posts. General Jackson imme- 
diately took measures to comply with the order. 


The following is General Jackson's last communication, 
as an officer in the military forces of Tennessee : 

Fort Williams, April 26th, at night. 

Sir — General Pinckney joined me at Fort Jackson on 
the 20th. The enemy continuing- to come in from every 
quarter, and it being now evident that the war was over, 
I received an order at three o'clock P. M., on the 21st, to 
march my troops back to Fort Williams, and after having 
dispersed any bodies of the enemy who may have assem- 
bled on the Cahawba, or within striking distance, and 
provided for the maintenance of posts between Tennessee 
and Fart Jackson, to discharge the remainder. Within 
two hours after receiving this order, I was on the line of 
march ; and reached this place last evening, a distance 
of about sixty miles. 

To Brigadier General Doherty, I shall assign the duty 
of keeping up the posts, which form the line of commu- 
nication between Tennessee and the confluence of the 
Coosa and Tallapoosa, making the necessary arrange- 
ments to enable him to do so. About four hundred of the 
East Tennessee militia will be left at this place, two hun- 
dred and fifty at Fort Strother, and seventy-five at Fort 
Armstrong and New Deposit. Old Deposit will be main- 
tained by Captain Hammond's company of rangers. 

To-morrow I detail five hundred of the militia, under 
the command of Brigadier General Johnson, to the Ca- 
hawba, with instructions to unite with me at Fort Deposit, 
after having dispersed any bodies of the enemy they may 
find there assembled. 

The commissioners who have been appointed to make a 
treaty with the Creeks, need haA'e nothing to do but assign 
them their proper limits. Those of the friendly party, who 
have associated with me, will be easily satisfied; and 
those of the hostile party, they consider it a favor that their 
lives have been spared them, and will look upon any space 



that may be allowed them for their future settlement, as a 
bounteous donation. I have taken the liberty to point out 
what I think ought to be the future line of separation, 
with which I will hereafter make you acquainted. If 
they should be established, none of the Creeks will be left 
Oil the west of the Coosa. 

Accompanying this, I send you a report made by the 
adjutant general, of the killed and wounded at the battle 
of Tohopeka, ^vhich was omitted to be sent by the former 
express. I have the honor to be, <fec. 

Andrew Jackson. 
After the lapse of a few days, General Jackson com- 
menced his march for Tennessee. On his arrival at 
Fayetteville, his troops were discharged, and returned to 
their homes. The Tennesseeans duly appreciated the 
services of General Jackson, in his successful prosecution 
of the Creek war ; and wherever he went, he was wel- 
comed by the most enthusiastic demonstrations of joy and 
gratitude. In June, 1814, he was appointed brigadier 
general in the army of the United States. 

About this period he was appointed a commissioner, to 
secure by negotiation what he had already acquired by 

To make a treaty, however, with Indians, can hardly 
be called negotiation, as it is considered among civilized 
powers. The law of nations, which requires " good 
faith" between the contracting parties, is a code not re- 
cognized by American savages. It is rather a con- 
tract of bargain and sale, with a penalty annexed for a 
breach of covenant. Colonel Hawkins, who was ap- 
pointed Indian agent by General Washington, and who 
has been in the agency ever since, was associated with 
General Jackson in this mission. 

By the American forces, a complete conquest had been 
made of the whole Creek country ; and this conquest had 


been occasioned by flagrant breaches of treaty, and out- 
rageous violations of humanity by the Creeks. Had tho 
American government feU the cupidity, or exercised the 
power, which the larger kingdoms of Europe manifest 
towards the smaller ones, the Creeks must cither have 
fled from their country, or been reduced to vassalage, and 
their country itself would have been annexed to the United 
States. But its existence commenced upon the broad prin- 
ciples of national and individual justice, and in the pro- 
gress of its government, it has never deviated from them. 

The object of General Jackson and the other commis- 
sioners, was not so much to obtain new territory, as to 
secure the acknowledged territory of the United States 
from the future depredations of Indian hostility. On the 
10th August, 1814, a treaty was executed, which is before 
the public. It cut off the savages from all communication 
with the perpetual disturbers of our tranquillity, and 
secured to the government such privileges in their coun- 
try, as w411 hereafter place the frontiers out of danger 
from the Creeks. 

The speeches of the Indian Chiefs, which were elicited 
upon the occasion, arc worthy of preservation. Wether- 
ford was a brave but infatuated chieftain. His speech is 
as follows : 

*' I am in your power — do with me as you please. I 
am a soldier. I have done the white people all the harm 
I could ; I have fought them, and fought them bravely : 
If I had an army, I would yet fight and contend to thta 
last ; but I have none : my people are all gone. I can 
now do no more than weep over the misfortunes of my 
nation. Once I could animate my warriors to battle : but 
I cannot animate the dead. P*ly v.arriors can no longer 
hear my voice : their bones are at Talladega, Tallushat- 
ches, Emuckfaw, and Tohopeka. I have not surrendered 
myself thoughtlessly. Whilst there were chances of sue- 


cess, I never left my post, nor supplicated peace. But 
my people are gone, and I now ask it for my nation and 
for myself. On the miseries and misfortunes brought 
upon my country, I look back with the deepest sorrow, and 
wish to avert still greater calamities. If I had been left 
to contend with the Georgia army, I would have raised 
my corn on one bank of the river, and fought them on the 
other ; but your people have destroyed my nation. You 
are a brave man — I rely upon your generosity. You wall 
exact no terms of a conquered people, but such as they 
should accede to : whatever they may be, it would now 
be madness and folly to oppose. If they are opposed, 
you shall find me amongst the sternest enforcers of obe- 
dience. Those w^ho would still hold out, can be influenced 
only by a mean spirit of revenge ; and to this they must 
not, and shall not sacrifice the last remnant of their 
country. You have told us Vv'here we might go and be 
safe. This is a good talk, and my nation ought to listen 
to it. They shall listen to it." 

He was followed thus by the Big Warrior : 
" The President, our father, advises ns to honesty and 
fairness, and promises that justice shall be done; I hope 
and trust it will be ! I made this war, which has proved 
so fatal to my country, that the treaty entered in a long 
time ago, with lather Washington, might not be broken. 
To his friendly arm I hold fast. I will never break that 
chain of friendship we made together, and which bound 
us to stand to the United States. He was a father to the 
Muscogee people ; and not only to them, but to all the 
people beneath the sun. His talk I now hold in my hand. 
There sits the agent* he sent among us. Never has 
he broken the treaty. He has lived with us f long time. 
He has seen our children born, who now have children. 

* Colonel Hawjdns. 


By his direction, cloth was wove, and clothes were made, 
and spread through our country ; but the Red Sticks came 
and destroyed all — we have none now. Hard is our 
situation, and you ought to consider it. I state what all 
tlie nation knows ; nothing will I keep secret. 

There is the Little Warrior, whom Colonel Hawkins 
knows. While we were giving satisfaction for the mur- 
ders that had been committed, he proved a mischief-maker ; 
he went to the British on the lakes ; he came back, and 
brought a package to the frontiers, which increased the 
murders here. This conduct has already made the war 
party to suffer greatly : but, although almost destroyed, 
ihey will not yet open their eyes, but are led away by the 
British at Pensacola. Not so with us; we w^ere rational, 
and had our senses — we yet are so. In the war of the 
revolution, our father beyond the waters encouraged us 
to join him, and we did so. We had no sense then. The 
promises he made were never kept. We were young and 
foolish, and fought with him. The British can no more 
persuade us to do wrong : they have deceived us once, 
and can deceive us no more. You are two great people. 
If you go to war, we will have no concern in it ; for we 
are not able to fight. We wish to be at peace with every 
nation. If they offer me arms, I will say to them. You 
put me in danger, to war against a people born in our 
own land. They shall never force us into danger. You 
shall never see that our chiefs are boys in council, who 
will be forced to do any thing. I talk thus, knowing that 
father Washington advised us never to interfere in wars. 
He told us that those in peace were the happiest people. 
He told us that if the enemy attacked him, he had warriors 
enough, and did not wish his red children to help him. If 
the British advise us to any thing, I will tell you — not 
hide it from you. If they say we must fight, I will tell 
them, No !" 



The negotiation was concluded by a treaty of peace 
dictated to them by General Jackson, on severe but just 
terms. They agreed to yield a portion of their country 
as an indemnity for the expenses of the war ; they con- 
ceded the privilege of opening roads through their coun- 
try, together with the liberty of navigating their rivers ; 
they also stipulated to hold no intercourse with any British 
or Spanish fort, or garrison, and to deliver up the pro- 
perty they had taken from the whites or friendly Indians. 
General Jackson, on the part of the United States, under- 
took to guaranty their territory, to restore all their prison- 
ers, and in consideration of their destitute situation, to 
furnish them gratuitously with the necessaries of life, 
until they could provide for themselves. They also 
engaged to establish trading houses, and endeavor to 
bring back the nation to its former state. 

The infatuation which led this brave nation of barbarians 
into a contest which resulted so much to their disadvan- 
tage, cannot be too much lamented ; and yet the cruel 
policy of their system of warfare rendered the severity, 
with which they were treated by the Americans, indis- 
pensably necessary. 

But the peace which General Jackson concluded with 
the Creeks, was not a permanent one ; those who were 
disaffected, and refused to acknowledge the national capi- 
tulation, resorted to the neighborhood of Pensacola, and 
to the shores of the Escambia river, where they held 
themselves in readiness to act whenever a. favorable op- 
portunity should occur. The Spanish governor of Flo- 
rida fostered and encouraged them in their hostility : al- 
though his government was ostensibly neutral, her pre- 
dilections were, notwithstanding, strongly in favor of Great 
Britain, and she lost no opportunity of secretly aiding the 
latter in her belligerent operations against the United 



While General Jackson was concluding a treaty of 
peace with those of the Creeks, who were disposed to 
capitulate, he dispatched some of his confidential officers 
to Pcnsacola, to observe the course pursued by Gonzalez 
Manrequez, the Spanish governor ; and from the friendly 
Creeks, he was also daily receiving information which 
confirmed his suspicions of the reprehensible course 
which was being pursued by this minister of Spain. 

In September, 1814, iaeneral Jackson had received no 
instructions from the war department, relative to the course 
to be pursued with the Spanish authorities in Florid?. 
1 le sent a direct message to Governor Manrequez, request- 
ing him to point out the course he was about to pursue. 
The correspondence that followed between him and Ge- 
neral Jackson, has long been before the public, and is too 
voluminous to be here inserted. The governor was less 
♦equivocal, and more explicit than he had previously been, 
i le began to feel a strong assurance that the British go- 
\ ernment, which had restored his master to the throne, 
would support him in all his measures against the United 
States. He knfew that the legitimate sovereigns of Europe 
were safely enthroned, and that pride as well as interest, 
would induce them to secure to Ferdinand VII. his South 
American colonies, and to endeavor to regain for George 
III. the colonies he had lost in the North. His language 
was confident, not to say imperious. He repelled the 
charges against himself, by criminating the American go- 
vernment. The correspondence was closed by the follow- 
ing letter to him, from General Jackson: 

Were I clothed, says the general, with diplomatic 
powers, for the purpose of discussing the topics embraced 
in the wide range of injuries of which you complain, and 
which have long since been adjusted, I could easily de- 
monstrate that the United States have been always faith- 
ful to their treaties; steadfast in their friendships; nor 


have ever claimed any thing that was not warranted by- 
justice. They have endured many insuhs from the go- 
vernors and other officers of Spain, which, if sanctioned 
by their sovereign, amounted to acts of war, without any 
previous declaration on the subject. They have excited 
the savages to war, and afforded them the means of waging 
it. The property of our citizens has been captured at 
sea, and if compensation has not been refused, it has at 
least been withheld. But as no such powers have been 
delegated to me, I shall not assume them, but leave them 
to the representatives of our respective governments. 

I have the honor of being intrusted with the command 
of this district. Charged with its protection, and the 
safety of its citizens, I feel my ability to discharge the 
task, and trust your excellency will always find me ready 
and willing to go forward in the performance of that duty, 
whenever circumstances shall render it necessary. I agree 
with you, perfectly, that candor and polite language 
should, at all times, characterize the communications be- 
tween the officers of friendly sovereignties ; and I assert, 
without the fear of contradiction, that my former letters 
were couched in terms the most respectful and unexcep- 
tionable. I only requested, and did not demand, as you 
asserted, the ringleaders of the Creek confederacy, who 
had taken refuge in your town, and who had violated all 
laws, moral, civil, and divine. This I had a right to do, 
from the treaty which I sent you, and which I now again 
inclose, with a request that you will change your transla- 
tor; believing, as I do, that your former one was wrong, 
and has deceived you. 

What kind of an answer you returned, a reference to 
your letter will explain. The whole of it breathed nothing 
but hostility, grounded upon assumed facts, and false 
charges, and entirely evading the inquiries that had been 


I can but express my astonishment at your protest 
ao^ainst the cession on the Alabama, lying within the ac- 
knowledged jurisdiction of the United States, and which 
lias been ratified, in due form, by the principal chiefs and 
warriors of the nation. But my astonishment subsides, 
when, on comparing it, I find it upon a par with the rest 
of your letter and conduct ; taken together, they aflTord a 
sufficient justification for any consequences that may en- 
sjiue. My government will protect every inch of her ter- 
ritory, her citizens, and her property, from insult and de- 
predation, regardless of the political revolutions of Eu- 
rope : and although she has been at all times sedulous to 
preserve a good understanding with all the world, yet she 
has sacred rights, that cannot be trampled upon with im- 
punity. Spain had better look to her own intestine com- 
motions, before she walks forth in that majesty of strength 
and power, which you threaten to draw down upon the 
United States. Your excellency has been candid enough 
to admit your having supplied the Indians with arms. In 
addition to this, I have learned that a British flag has 
been seen flying on one of your forts. All this is done 
whilst you are pretending to be neutral. 

You cannot be surprised, then, but on th.j contrary will 
provide a fort in your town, for my soldiers and Indians, 
should I take it in my head to pay you a visit. 

In future, I beg you to withhold your insulting charges 
against my government, for one more inclined to listen 
to slander than I am ; nor consider me any more as a di- 
plomatic character, unless so proclaimed to you from the 
mouths of my cannon. 

No specific object was effected by this correspondence, 
other than a full developement of the inimical views en- 
tertained by the Spanish governor towards the United 
States, and General Jackson laid his plans of operation 


General Jackson was now commander in chief of the 
seventh military district, including the most important part 
of the southern section of the union. It was now alto- 
gether the most endangered part of it. The splendid vic- 
tories at Chippewa, Bridgewater, Fort Erie, and Platts- 
burgh, had allayed all apprehension from British armies 
in the north. The defence of New London and Stoning- 
ton. New York and Baltimore, had robbed British " naval 
demonstrations" of their terrors, upon the eastern sea- 
board. The British admirals and British generals were 
concentrating their forces, with a determination to wipe off 
the disgrace, which had Avith justice been attached to them 
— not so much from the defeats they had suffered, as from 
the vandalism they had displayed in the Chesapeake Bay, 
upon the Niagara frontier, and at the city of Washington. 
The utmost confidence was expressed by the British in 
America, of the success of this great and united effort of 
the armies and navies of Britain ; and a British commis- 
sioner at Ghent, who at this time was negotiating a peace 
with American commissioners, tauntingly remarked, that 
before they had time to conclude a peace. New Orleans and 
the states upon the Mississippi would be in possession of 
Sir Edward Packenham ! 

It is no more th^n candid to admit, that very serious 
apprehensions were entertained by Americans themselves, 
in regard to the safety of the southern section of the union, 
or that part of it situated upon the Gulf of Mexico, and 
near the mouth of the Mississippi. A very great propor- 
tion of the troops of the United States and of the munitions 
of war, were in the northern, eastern, and middle states, 
at a great distance from New Orleans. The whole sea- 
board, from Castine to that place, was commanded by a 
superior naval force of the enemy, who could by that com- 
mand, in a very short time, approach any assailable point 
upon the ocean. Sir George Provost's army of 14,000, 


were, in Lower Canada, burning to revenge the defeat 
they met with at Plattsburgh. Large reinforcements were 
known to have arrived from England in the West Indies, 
under the command of some of the most renowned gene- 
rals in Wellington's army, and every indication evinced 
the determination of the whole land and naval forces of 
the enem.y, upon the American station, to make a descent 
near the mouth of the Mississippi. 

Many British officers had already arrived at Pensa- 
cola, about seventy miles east of Mobile bay, on which 
Fort Bowyer is situated. Here they were received with 
great cordiality by the governor, and suffered to embody 
and train savages. General Jackson, about the first of 
September, addressed the war department in the most 
pressing terms. In one of his letters, he says : How 
long will the United States pocket the reproach and open 
msults of Spain? it is alone by a manly and dignified course, 
that we can secure respect from other nations, and peace 
to our own. Temporizing policy is not onlj'- a disgrace, but 
a curse to any nation. It is a fact, that a British captain 
of marines is, and has been, for some time, engaged in 
drilling and organizing the fugitive Creeks, under the eye 
of the governor ; endeavoring, by his influence and pre- 
sents, to draw to his standard, as well the peaceable as 
the hostile Indians. If permission had been given to me 
to march against this place, (Pensacola,) twenty days ago, 
I would ere this have planted there the American Eagle ; 
now we must trust alone to our valor, and the justice of 
our cause. But my present resources are so limited — a 
sickly climate, as well as an enemy to contend with, and 
without the means of transportation, to change the position 
of my army, that, resting on the bravery of my little pha- 
lanx, I can only hope for success. 

The secretary of war, Mr. Monroe, incessantly ex- 
erted himself to second the measures of General Jackson. 


Having acquired Lousiana and the exclusive command of 
the Mississippi by negotiation, he was now called upon to 
defend it as the head of the war department. As there 
was, within the seventh military district, but a very small 
number of regular troops, the secretary made a requisi- 
tion upon the executives of the states of Louisiana, Mis- 
sissippi, and Tennessee, to have their full quota of militia 
in readiness for immediate service, at the command of Ge- 
neral Jackson. Volunteers were again invited by Gene- 
ral Jackson to resort to his standard, under which they had 
always conquered. The unbounded popularity of Gene- 
ral Jackson induced the militia not only with promptness, 
but with animation, to repair to the rendezvous ; and the 
Tennessee volunteers, under their gallant General Coffee, 
were again in motion. They had almost invariably form- 
ed the van of General Jackson's army ; and of their imme- 
diate commander, it may be said, " he dared to lead where 
any dared to follow." 

General Jackson, before the middle of September, had 
established his head-quarters at Mobile, waiting the arri- 
val of the militia and volunteers, some of whom had to 
travel more than four hundred and fifty miles. Upon the 
I4th he received a message from Maj. William Lawrence, 
commander of Fort Bowyer at the mouth of Mobile bay, 
requesting immediate assistance in the defence of that im- 
portant post, as the enemy had landed in the vicinity of that 
place, with a force probably ten times the' amount of his 
own. Major Lawrence had but one hundred and fifty- 
eight men fit for duty. He took immediate measures to 
succor this exposed garrison ; but before reinforcements 
could reach that place, it was simultaneously attacked 
upon the 15th, by the British and Indian forces, by land, 
and by a large naval force in the bay. The defence of this 
place is thus described by General Jackson, and Major 
Lawrence : 



Head Quarters 1th, Military District^ 
Mobile, Sept. \lth, 1824. 

Sir — With lively emotions of satisfaction, I communi- 
cate that success has crowned the g-allant efforts of our 
brave soldiers, in resisting and repulsing a combined Bri- 
tish naval and land force ; which on the 15th instant, at- 
tacked Fort Bowyer, on the Point of Mobile. 

I enclose a copy of the official report of Maj. William 
Lawrence of the 2d infantry, who commanded. In ad- 
dition to the particulars communicated in his letter, I have 
learned that the ship which was destroyed, was the 
Hermes, of from twenty-four to twenty-eight guns, cap- 
tain, the Hon. Wm. H. Percy, senior officer in the Gulf 
of Mexico ; and the brig so considerably damaged, is the 
Sophie, eighteen guns, Capt. Wm. Lockyer ; the other 
ship was the Carron, of from twenty-four to twenty-eight 
guns, Captain Spencer, son of Earl Spencer ; the other 
brig's name unknown. On board of the Carron, eighty- 
five men were killed and wounded ; among whom was 
Colonel Nicholl, of the Royal Marines, who lost an eye 
by a splinter. The land force consisted of one hundred 
and ten marines, and two hundred Creek Indians, under 
the command of Captain Woodbine, of marines, and about 
twenty artillerists, with one four and a half inch howitzer, 
from which they discharged shells and nine pound shot. 
They re-embarked the piece, and retreated by land to- 
wards Pensacola, whence they came. 

By the morning report of the sixteenth, there were 
present in the fort, fit for duty, officers and men, one hun- 
dred and fifty-eight. The result of this engagement has 
stamped a character on the war in this quarter, highly fa- 
vorable to the American arms ; it is an event from which 
may be drawn the most favorable augury. 

An achievement so glorious in itself, and so important 


in its consequences, should be appreciated by the govern- 
ment; and those concerned are entitled to, and will, doubt- 
less, receive the most gratifying evidence of the appro- 
bation of their countrymen. 

In the words of Major Lawrence, " where all behaved 
well, it is unnecessary to discriminate." But all being 
meritorious, I beg leave to annex the names of the offi- 
cers, who were engaged and present; and hope they will, 
individually, be deemed worthy of distinction. 

Maj. Wm. Lawrence, 2d infantry, commanding ; Cap- 
lain Walsh of the artillery ; Capts. Chamberlain, Brown- 
lovv', and Bradley, of the 2d infantry ; Captain Sands, de- 
puty commissary of ordnance ; Lieuts. Villard, Sturges, 
Conway, H. SandeTS, T. R. Sanders, Brooks, Davis, and 
C. Sanders, all of the 2d infantry. 

1 am confident that your own feelings will lead you to 
participate in my wishes on the subject. Permit me to 
suggest the propriety and justice of allowing to this gal- 
lant band, the value of the vessel destroyed by them. 
I remain, &c. Andrew Jackson, 

The Hon. Secretary of War. 

The following is the official report of Maj. William 
Lawrence, alluded to by General Jackson, in his letter to 
the secretary of w^ar. 


Fort Bowyer, Sept, 16th, 1814, 
12 o^clock at night. 
Sir — After writing the enclosed, I was prevented by the 
approach of the enemy, from sending it by an express. 
At meridian they were under full sail, with an easy and 
favorable breeze, standing directly for the fort, and at 4 
P. M. we opened our battery, which was returned from 
two ships, and two brigs, as they approached. The ac- 
tion became general at about twenty minutes past four, and 
was continued without intermission on either side until 


seven, when one ship and two brigs were con\pelled to re- 
tire. The leading ship, supposed to be the commodore, 
mounting twenty-two thirty-two pound carronades, having 
anchored nearest our battery, was so much disabled, her 
cable being cut by our shot, that she drifted on shore, with- 
in six hundred yards of the battery, and the other vessels 
having got out of our reach, we kept such a tremendous fire 
upon her, that she was set on fire, and abandoned by the 
few of the crew who survived. At ten P. M. we had the 
pleasure of witnessing the explosion of her magazine. 
The loss of lives on board must have been immense, as 
we are certain no boats left her except three, which had 
previously gone to her assistance, and one of these I be- 
lieve was sunk ; in fact, one of her boats was burnt along 
side of her. 

The brig that followed her, I am certain was much 
damaged both in hull and rigging. The other two did 
not approach near enough to be much injured, but I am 
confident they did not escape, as a well directed fire was 
kept on them during the whole time. 

During the action, a battery of a twelve pounder and a 
howitzer, w^as opened on our rear, but without doing any 
execution, and Vv^as silenced by a few shot. Our loss is 
four privates killed, and five privates wounded. 

Towards the close of the action, the flag-staff was shot 
away ; but the flag v/as immediatel}-- hoisted on a sponge 
staff above the parapet. While the flag was down, the 
enemy kept up their most incessant and tremendous fire ; 
the men were withdrawn from the curtains and northeast 
bastion, as the enemy's own shot completely protected our 
rear, except the position they had chosen for their battery. 

Where all behaved well, it is unnecessary to discrimi- 
nate. Suffice it to say, every officer and man did his duty ; 
the whole behaved w^th that coolness and intrepidity which 
is characteristic of the true American, and which could 


scarcely have been expected from men, most of whom had 
never seen an enemy, and were now, for the first time, ex- 
posed for nearly three hours, to a force of nearly or quite 
four guns to one. 

We fired during the action between four and five hun- 
dred guns, most of them double shotted, and after the first 
half hour but few missed effect. 

Upon an examination of our battery the following morn- 
ing, we found upwards of three hundred shot and shot- 
holes, in the inside of the north and east curtains, and north- 
east bastions, of all calibers, from musket ball to thirty- 
two pound shot. In the north-east bastion there were 
three guns dismounted ; one of which, a four pounder, was 
broken off near the trunnions by a thirty-two pound shot, 
and another much battered. I regret to say that both the 
twenty-four pounders are cracked in such a manner as to 
render them unfit for service. 

I am informed by two deserters from the land force, who 
have just arrived here, and whom I send for your disposal, 
that a reinforcement is expected, w^hen they will doubtless 
endeavour to wipe off the stain of yesterday. 

If you will send the Amelia down, we may probably 
save most or all of the ship's guns, as her wreck is lying 
in six or seven feet water, and some of them are just co- 
vered. They will not, however, answer for the fort, as 
they are too short. 

By the deserters, we learn that the ship we have de- 
stroyed, was the Hermes, but her commander's name they 
did rK)t recollect. It was the commodore, and he doubt- 
less fell on his quarter deck, as we had a raking fire upon 
it, at about two hundred yards distance, for some time. 

To Captain Sands, who will have the honor of handing 
you this dispatch, I refer you for a more particular account 
of the movements of the enemy than maybe contained in 
my letters; his services, both before and during the action. 


were of great importance, and I consider fully justify me 
in having detained him. Captain Walsh and several men 
were much burned in the accidental explosion of two or 
three cartridges. They are not included in the list of the- 
wounded heretofore given. 

The enemy's fleet, this morning at day break, were at 
anchor in the channel, about four miles from the fort ; 
shortly after, it got under way and stood to sea ; after 
passing the bar, they hove to, and boats have been con- 
stantly passing between the disabled brig and the others. 
I presume the former is so much injured as to render it ne- 
cessary to lighten her. 

At fifteen minutes after 1, P. M., the whole fleet made 
sail, and stood to sea. 

I have the honor to be, &c. 

William Lawrence. 
Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, &c. 

When it is considered that this fort was in a very in- 
complete state, having ^oeen almost totally abandoned until 
General Jackson had discovered its importance to the sur- 
rounding country in time of war ; that it was only in a 
progressive state of improvement ; that it was garrisoned 
by only a hundred and fifty new recruits, who had never 
before faced a veteran enemy ; and that it was assailable on 
every side by land and naval forces, probably amounting 
to fifteen hundred men, and a hundred pieces of cannon, 
its defence may be ranked among the most gallant 
achievements in the last, or any previous war in America. 
It contributed much to invigorate our soldiers, and prepare 
them for the brilliant achievements which were soon to 
follow at New Orleans, where they and their gallant com- 
mander covered themselves with so much glory, and 
elevated the standard of American prowess to a prou4 
distinction among the nations of the earth. 




Importance of Fort Bowyer — Inadequacy of its defence — 
Arrival of General Coffee and Tennessee forces — 
GeneralJackson marches to Pensacola — The Spanish 
Governor's preparations for his reception — General 
Jackson sends Major Pierre with a flag — He is fired 
at from the forts — General Jackson attacks and sub- 
dues the place — Colonel Nicoll — His proclo.mation — 
Censure of General Jackson for his operations in the 
Spanish territory — The legality and justice of his 
measures defended. 

General Jackson had been appointed major general 
in the army of the United States previous to this period, 
(October, 1814,) and commander of the 7th miJitary dis- 
trict. ' He had been major general by brevet some time 
antecedent to this appointment, and commander of the 
same district. 

The importance of Fort Bowyer as a military post, 
became more and more apparent to him, as he discovered 
the great preparation of the enemy, to assail the whole 
American sea-board, from Pensacola to New Orleans. 
This fort was but three days' march for land forces from 
Pensacola, where the British had already hoisted their 
flag; and from thence to New Orleans, but ten days* 
march. By the possession of this fort at the mouth of the 
capacious bay of Mobile, the bay itself, and the adjoining 
country, the British land and naval forces would derive 
incalculable advantages. To secure it, therefore, was, ia 


ihe view of the commanding general, of the utmost im- 
portance. But however important the measure, tiiC means 
lo accomplish it were altogether beyond his reach. With- 
out a naval force to cover the fort, or to assist in its de- 
fence ; with but a small regular force under his command 
at Mobile, and wholly uncertain when the forces from the 
distant state of Tennessee, and other places, would arrive, 
it would seem to have been the dictate of prudence, to 
have evacuated the fort and the country at once. The 
gallant defence of this place, upon the 15th of September, 
although a severe mortification to the enemy, would in- 
-duce them to send a force against it, absolutely irresisti- 
ble. So insufficient v/ere his means of defence, from the 
middle of September, to about the 20th of October, and so 
overwhelming was the superiority of the enemy's force, 
And constantly augmenting, that had he, at this time, 
retired to New Orleans with his little army, a unani- 
mous sentence of approbation must have been pronounced 
by his countrymen. But his language was, " resting on 
the bravery of my little phalanx, I hope for success." 
Notwithstanding the discouraging aspect of affairs, it was 
at this period that he resolved, on his own responsibility, 
to march for Pensacola ; and with his army " to carrj-- 
our arms where we fmd our enemies." Having been 
educated as a jurist, he was versed in the principles of 
the law of nations. He had a knowledge of the obli- 
gations which one government owes to another — he was 
aware of the acts which this code would justify in a belli- 
gerent power, and the duty it enjoined upon a power that 
was professedly a neutral one. The Spanish govern- 
ment at this time, in regard to the United States, was of 
the latter character by profession, and of the one 
by practice. He determined to place himself within 
striking distance of the enemy, whether he found them 
devastating the territory of the United States, or pre* 


paring to do it in the adjoining territory of another 

About the middle of October, General Jackson was 
joined by General Coffee, at the head of two thousand 
Tennessee volunteers and Mississippi dragoons. They 
were soon organized, and. General Jackson commanding 
in person, took up the line of march for Pensacola. On 
I he 6th of November, he approached the place with his 

*The Spanish governor was aware of his approach, and 
had fortified himself, in conjunction with the British forces, 
for resistance. The forts commanding the town were- 
manned, batteries were laid in the principal streets, and 
the British vessels were moored in the bay, so as to com- 
mand the approaches to the town. General Jackson 
halted with his army before the town, and dispatched 
Major Pierre with a iiag, to communicate the purpose of 
his visit. The garrison fired upon him, as he approached^ 
in violation of the usages of civilized warfare, and the 
rights appertaining to belligerent armies. General 
Jackson sent the flag as a matter of courtesy, but the un- 
gracious reception it met with, left him no other alter- 
native than a " proclamation of his diplomatic character 
from the mouths of his cannon." He attacked them 
in their fortifications, and with what success our reader* 
will learn from his hasty report of it, as follows^: 


Head Quarters, 1th Miliianj District, 
Tc7isaw, November, 1814. 
Sir — On last evening I returned from Pensacola to this 
place. I reached that post on the evening of the 6th. On 
my approach, I serjt Major Pierre with a f^ag to commu- 
nicate the object of my visit to the governor of Pensacola. 
He approached Fort St. George, with his flag displayed, 
and was fired on by the cannon from the fort ; he returned 


«%(! made report thereof to me. I immediately went with 
the adjutant general and the major, with a small escort, 
and viewed the fort, and found it defended by both British 
and Spanish troops. I immediately determined to storm 
the towp. ; retired and encamped my troops for the night, 
and made the necessary arrangements, to carry my detei' 
mination into effect the next day. 

On the morning of the 7th, I marched with the eflective 
regulars of the 3d, 39th, and 4th infantry ; part of General 
Coffee's brigade ; the Mississippi dragoons, and part of 
the West Tennessee regiment, commanded by Lieutenant 
Colonel Hammonds, (Colonel Lowry having deserted and 
gone home,) and part of the Choctaws, led by Major 
Blue of the 39th, and Major Kennedy, of Mississippi 
Territory. Being encamped on the west of the town, I 
calculated they would expect the assault from that quarter, 
and be prepared to rake me from the fort, and the British 
armed vessels, seven in number, that lay in the bay. To 
cherish this idea, I sent out part of the mounted men to 
show themselves on the west, whilst I passed in rear 
of the fort undiscovered to the east of the town. When I 
appeared within a mile, I was in full view. My pride was 
never more heightened than in viewing the uniform firm- 
ness of my troops, and with wh?.t undaunted courage 
they advanced with a strong fort ready to assail them on 
the right ; seven British armed vessels on the left ; strong 
block-houses and batteries of cannon in their front : but 
they still advanced with unshaken firmness, entered the 
town, when a battery of two cannon was opened upon the 
centre column, composed of regulars, with ball and grape, 
and a shower of nrasketry from the houses and gardens. 
The battery was immediately stormed by Captain Levall 
and company, and carried, and the musketry was soon 
silenced by the steady and well directed fire of the regu- 



The governor met Colonels Williamson and Smith, who 
led the dismounted volunteers, with a flag, begged for 
mercy, and surrendered the town and fort, unconditionally. 
Mercy was granted, and protection given to the citizens 
and their property, and still Spanish treachery kept us 
out of possession of the fort, until nearly twelve o'clock 
at night. 

Never was more cool determined bravery displayed by 
any troops ; and the Choctaws advanced to the charge 
with equal bravery. 

On. the morning of the 8th, I prepared to march and 
storm the Barancas, but before I could move, tremendous 
explosions told me that the Barancas, with all its appen- 
dages, was blown up. I dispatched a detachment of two 
hundred men to explore it, who returned in the night 
with the information that it was blown up ; all the com- 
bustible parts burnt, and the cannon spiked and dismounted, 
except two. This being the case, I determined to with- 
draw my troops ; but before I did, I had the pleasure of 
seeing the British depart. Colonel Nicoll abandoned the 
fort on the night of the 6th, and betook himself to his 
shipping, with his friend Captain Woodbine, and their 
red friends. 

The steady firmness of my troops has drawn a just 
respect from our enemies. It has convinced the Red 
Sticks, that they have no strong hold or protection, only 
in the friendship of the United States. The good order 
and conduct of my troops whilst in Pensacola, has con- 
vinced the Spaniards of our friendship and our prowess, 
and has drawn from the citizens an expression that our 
Choctaws are more civilized than the British, 
In great haste, I am, &lc, 

Andrew Jackson. 

None of our soldiers were killed in this battle ; fifteen or 
twenty only were wounded, and among them was the gal- 


laiit Captain Levall, who fell at the head of his company 
in storming- a battery. Governor Manrequez forgot the 
importance he had assumed for himself — fell into a panic, 
and in the midst of the engagement he appeared with a 
flag, and begged the American general to extend mercy 
to him, and surrendered the place without a condition. 

Captain Woodbine, and Colonel Nicoll, the author of a 
famous proclamation which was promulgated soon after 
his arrival at Pensacola, were amongst the first who fled 
in consternation to their shipping, before a gun was fired. 
We here transcribe the proclamation with a full conviction 
that it is our bounden duty to contribute all the means in 
our power to snatch so invaluable a document from inglo- 
rious oblivion. 


" Natives of Louisiana ! On you the first call is made, 
to assist in liberating from a faithless, imbecile govern- 
ment, your paternal soil ; Spaniards, Frenchmen, Italians, 
and British, whether settled, or residing for a time in 
Louisiana, on you, also, I call, to aid me in this just 
cause. The American usurpation in this country must 
be abolished, and the lawful owners of the soil put in 
possession. I am at the head of a large body of Indians, 
well armed, disciplined, and commanded by British 
officers — a good train of artillery, with every requisite, 
seconded by the powerful aid of a numerous British and 
Spanish squadron of ships and vessels of war. Be not 
alarmed, inhabitants of the country, at our approach ; the 
same good faith and disinterestedness, which has dis- 
tmguished the conduct of Britons in Europe, accompa- 
nies them here ; you will have no fear of litigious taxes 
imposed upon you, for the purpose of carrying on an un- 
natural and unjust war ; your property, your laws, th§ 
peace and tranquillity of your country, will be guarantied 
to you by men, who will suffer no infringement of theirs. 


Ivest assured, that these brave red men only burn with an 
ardent desire of satisfaction, for the wrori-a uit-y V^^^ 
suiTered from the Americans ; to join you, in liberating 
these southern provinces from their yoke, and drive them 
into those limits formerly prescribed by my sovereign. 
The Indians have pledged themselves in the most solemn 
manner, not to injure, in the slightest degree, the persons 
or properties of any but enemies. A flag over any door, 
whether Spanish, French, or British, will be a certain 
protection ; nor dare any Indian put his foot on the 
threshold thereof, under penalty of death from his own 
countrymen ; not even an enemy will an Indian put to 
death, except resisting in arms ; and as for injuring help- 
less women and children, the red men, by their good con- 
duct and treatment to them, will (if it be possible) make 
the Americans blush for their more inhuman conduct 
lately on the Escambia ; and within a neutral territory. 

" Inhabitants of Kentucky ! you have too long borne with 
grievous impositions — The whole brunt of the war has 
fallen on your brave sons : be imposed on no longer, but 
either range yourselves under the standard of your fore- 
fathers, or observe a strict neutrality. 

" If you comply with either of these offers, whatever 
provisions you send down, will be paid for in dollars^ 
and the safety of the persons bringing it, as well as the 
free navigation of the Mississippi, guarantied to you. 
Men of Kentucky ! let me call to your view (and I trust 
to your abhorrence) the conduct of (hose factions, which 
hurried you into 'iiis civil, unjust, and unnatural war^ 
at a time when Great Britain was straining every nerve, 
in defence of her own, and the liberties of the world — 
when the bravest of her sons were fighting and bleeding 
in so sacred a cause — when she was spending millions of 
her treasure, in endeavoring to pull down one of the most 
formidable and dangerous tyrants, that ever disgraced the 


form of man — when groaninir Europe was almost in her 
last gasp — whiMi Britons alone showed an undaunted 
front — basely did those assassins endea.vor to stab her 
from the rear ; she has turned on ihem, renovated from 
the bloody, but successful strugg-je. Euro]:e is hn-ppy 
and free, and she now hastens, justly, to revenge the un- 
provoked insult. Show them that you are not collectively 
unjust ; leave that contcmptibL: few to shili fur themselves; 
let those slaves of the tyrant send an embassy to Elba, 
and implore his aid ; but let every honest, upright Ameri- 
can, spurn them Aviili united contemp!. After the expe- 
rience of twenty-one years, can you longer support those 
brawlers for liberty, who call it freedom, when themselves 
are free ! Be no longer their dupes — accept of my 
offers — e^ery thing I have promised in this paper, I 
guaranty t© you, on t'le s.zcred honor of a British officer.''* 

The valiant colonel, after having perpetrated this im- 
mortal state paper, sut himself down at Pensacola, and 
indulged in the gratifying reflectioi\ that the promulgation 
of his speecfh would remove the most inveterate ol stacles 
in the way of a conquest of the United Slates, and whiled 
away his leisure hours in practising iessotiS of etiquette, 
that he might listen to the supplications of tne vimquished 
with becoming dignity. But our southern and western 
brethren visited the colonel in a manner less humble and 
conciliatory than he had anticipated; ana it must be 
acknowledged that he evinced a very commendable de- 
gree of prudence in consulting his saiety by a timely re- 

The operations of General Jackson m Florida, were 
executed with his usual energy and promptitude. He 
left Mobile on the 3d November, arrived at Pensacola on 
the 6th ; reduced it on the 7th ; accepted the surrender of 
the Barancas on the 8th ; and on the 9th, he commenced 
his march for Mobile, to defend Fort Bowyer. 



The legality and justice of General Jackson's operations 
in the Spanish territory have been questioned, and, as 
usual, he has received a liberal share of censure therefor. 
How deserving he is of reproach for his conduct during 
this expedition, will, it is believed, be readily perceived, 
on reverting to the provocations which induced him to 
carry his arms into the Spanish dominions. The blood- 
hounds of the Creek nation, who had spread devastation 
and death among the defenceless borderers of our south- 
western frontier, till the martial spirit of our soldiers be- 
ing roused in self-defence, vanquished them in various 
desperate conflicts, had retreated into the Spanish terri- 
tory, and were there received with the most officious kind- 
ness by the Spanish governor. British troops were not 
only permitted, but encouraged to land, to fortify them- 
selves, and to distribute arms among these ferocious 
sons of the forest, and instruct them in military tactics, 
that they might the more effectually wreak upon our 
countrymen their murderous vengeance. 

General Jackson remonstrated with Governor Manre- 
quez upon the reprehensible course he pursued, but with 
no beneficial effect ; he wrote to the secretary of war for 
instructions, but, by some unaccountable delay, the an- 
swer, which bore date 18th July, 1814, was not received 
by General Jackson till 17th January, 1815. When re- 
ceived, the conclusion of its instructions were found to hold 
the following language : " //' all the circumstancts stated 
by you, unite, the conclusion is irresistible. It becomes 
our duty to carry our arms where we find our enemies.^* 
The momentous nature of the crisis induced General 
Jackson to hazard every thing dear to him, and to pro- 
ceed upon his own responsibility to punish the aggres- 
sions of Spain. But in acting as he supposed upon his 
own responsibility, he did nothing more, as we have seen 
by reference to the instructions from the war department. 



than to follow the very letter and spirit of those instruc- 
tions ; and although he had never received them when h« 
made his descent upon the combined forces of British, 
Spanish, and Indian troops at Pensacola, yet they existed; 
and who can be found so captious, as to censure him for 
anticipating instructions, when those very instructions 
were given, but prevented from reaching his hands by 
unavoidable delay. 

This campaign of General Jackson has been termed 
•* a wanton attack upon a neutral power, amounting to a 
declaration of war with Spain, upon the authority of one 
unauthorized individual." Neutral power, indeed ; re- 
ceiving into her cities and upon her coasts our deadliest 
foes, permitting them, nay aiding them, to arm and fortify 
themselves there for hostile operations upon us, and to 
prepare themselves for a co-operation with Sir Edward 
Pakenham in his grand plan of attack upon New Orleans, 
which, if taken, w^ould expose our western frontier to th© 
ravages of the enemy. So far were the important ser- 
vices of General Jackson in this campaign deserving from 
rebuke, that they have received, and will continue to re- 
ceive, the approbation of every patriotic American, long 
after his censurers shall have been forgotten. 



The safety of New Orleans menaced — General Jackson 
commences kis m%rchfor that ; lace — Defenceless situ- 
ation of Louisiana — Disaffection among the inhabi- 
tants — General Jackson arrives at New Orleans — 
Despondency of the people — His exertions in their 
behalf — He addresses thein^ and makes preparations 
for defence — Defection of the French population — 
Causes that led to tht proclarp.xtion of m.artial law 
— Gener:d Jackson proclaims it — Defence of the 
measure — Arrival of reinforcements — Battle of tht 
'twenty-t'iird of December — Consequences resulting 
from it. 

The attention of General Jackson was now directed to 
New Orleans, the safety of which was seriously menaced. 
Notwithstanding the negotiations pending between Great 
Britain ana the United States at Ghent, serious prepara- 
tions were making for the invasion of Louisiana ; and it 
became evident, that, as an important preliminary step, 
the enemy would concentrate his whole force for an at- 
tack upon New Orleans, from the possession of which he 
would derive incalculable advantages. General Jackson, 
for a considerable length of time, had been the only gene- 
ral officer attached to the United States army in this dis- 
trict. General Winchester, of the United States army, 
•rrived at length, and General Jackson assigned the com- 
jnand of the eastern section of his district, and immediate* 
ly commenced his march for New Orleans. 


This section of the Union was, at this period, far from 
being in a good state of defence. Louisiana had then 
but just been admitted into the Union, of which it formed 
the remotest part. Its population was thin, and a great 
part of it consisting of slaves, added nothing to its means 
of defence ; but required, on the contrary, a constant force 
to prevent its becoming a domestic enemy of the most 
dangerous kind. Its remote situation, pressing dangers 
nearer the seat of government, and other causes, had 
caused it to be left in a state of utter destitution, and de- 
pendent for defence upon its own resources. A country 
accessible by numerous inlets from the sea, was left un- 
defended by any fortifications, except two ; the principal 
much dilapidated, ill provided, and very inadequately 
garrisoned, the other incapable of the slightest defence. 
A few gun-boats were the only maritime defence for those 
approaches ; a flat-bottomed frigate, which would have 
proved effectual in the shallow waters that surrounded the 
coast, by some extraordinary policy, or culpable neglect, 
was left unfinished. The military force was two incom- 
plete regiments, a militia badly armed, and a battalion 
of city volunteers. Two or three field pieces, and a how- 
itzer, formed their park of artillery, and the arsenal con- 
tained no arms ; even the common and necessary article 
of flints was totally wanting. The magazines alone were 
well provided. This was the state of the defence of Lou- 
isiana, immediately previous to the month of December. 
The inhabitants had been long cut off from any inter- 
course with the sea, by a blockading squadron, which it 
was known preceded the arrival of a formidable fleet, 
bearing an invading army of the most imposing force, 
from their number, their discipline, the excellence of their 
appointments, and the reputation of the generals who 
commanded them. 

To add to the difficulties of the Louisianians, there 


existed division among them, not disaffection, but that 
comusion which naturally arises in times of danger, when 
there is no head, or one in which there is no confidence. 
Committees of defence were named by the citizens, exhor- 
tations were made to resist the enemy, and show that the 
insuhing confidence he had expressed in the want of at- 
tachment of a large portion of the state to the Union was 
false. Funds were endeavored to be raised ; every thing 
was done to show that the inhabitants were disposed to 
defend themselves and their country ; but every efibrt 
demonstrated that, without further aid, the struggle would 
be ineffectual. That aid at length arrived, in the person 
of General Jackson. 

On his arrival, he found the population prostrate with 
fear and despondency. He comprehended at a glance 
the difficulties that would obstruct a successful defence of 
the country, and while thousands of hearts were despair- 
ing, he resolved, with his wonted decision and energy, to 
surmount eveiy obstacle, and defend or perish with his 
countrymen. He anticipated assistance from Governors 
Blount of Tennessee, and Shelby of Kentucky, and an aug- 
mentation of his force by the gallant soldiers of Mississip- 
pi ; yet that he should receive the aid of these important 
auxiliaries, was uncertain. From Governor Claiborne 
and Mr. Edward Livingston, he received a hearty co- 
operation in his endeavors to organize the Louisiana mi- 
litia. General Coffee and General Carrol, the brave 
men who had fought by his side in many a desperate bat- 
tle-field, were with him, and he knew they were ready to 
follow him to victory or to death. 

From the first moment of his arrival, the confidence 
of the inhabitants in him begat confidence in themselves. 
He visited the forts ; he organized the scanty force which 
was placed under his command ; he addressed to them the 
inspiring language which promised future victory ; he told 


the natives of the United States, that the enemies they 
were about to contend with had been the oppressors of 
their infant political existence ; that the men whom they 
were now to oppose, were the descendants of those whom 
their fathers fought and conquered. He addressed the 
descendants of Frenchmen, the natives of France ; he 
told them that the English, who were now tlie invaders of 
the land of their adoption, had ever been the hereditary, 
the eternal enemies of their ancient country. He called 
upon Spaniards to remember the conduct of their allies at 
St. Sebastian and Pensacola, and rejoice that they had 
found an opportunity^ of avenging the brutal injuries in- 
flicted by men who dishonored the human race. 

To the Louisianians, he expressed his joy in witness- 
ing the spirit which animated them, not only for their 
honor, but their safety ; and he assured them, that for 
whatever had been their conduct or wishes, his duty 
would have led, and still would lead him, to confound the 
citizen unmindful of his rights, with the enemy he ceased 
to oppose. But commanding men who knew their rights, 
and were determined to defend them, he saluted them as 
brethren in arms ; and that he had now a new motive to 
exert all his faculties, which he promised them should be 
exerted to the utmost in their defence. He exhorted them 
to continue with the energy they had begun, and assured 
them not only of safety, but victory over an insolent foe, 
who had insulted them by an aflected doubt of their at- 
tachment to the constitution of their country. Their 
enemy, he said, was near ; his sails already covered the 
lakes ; but the brave were ever united, and if the enemy 
found them contending among themselves, it vvould be for 
the prize of valor, and fame, its noblest reward. 

He addressed, it is true, their passions and prejudices, 
but above all, their love of country and of glory. He con- 
trasted the fearful consequences of defeat, and the shame- 


ful results of submission^ to themselves, to their wivea, 
their children, and their country, with the honors and 
safety of the victory he confidently promised. He spoke 
to the inhabitants of different origin, the language best 
calculated to excite national enthusiasm, and to direct it 
to the common defence. 

This was the great, the important operation. In 
organizing this moral and physical force, the foundation 
vvas laid for the great work which followed; and it is 
believed that it would be difficult to find better materials 
for these causes to operate upon, than were furnished in 
a majority of the Louisianians. Nahonal prejudices were 
converted into the noblest emulation. The sedentary and 
luxurious habits of a city life were, with alacrity, ex- 
changed for the toils of service in a most inclement sea- 
son ; independence of action, for strict discipline ; a 
life of ease and safety, for one of toil and exposure. A 
post of honor and of danger was promised to the city 
battalion, and a corps of city riflemen, the ranks of which 
were not then half filled ; and instantly the names of the 
most respectable citizens Avere inscribed on the muster- 
rolls. Nor was this spirit confined to a particular corps ; 
the body of the militia were equally zealous, and never 
calculating the difference of numbers or discipline, all 
vrere found at their posts when the hour of conflict ar- 
rived. But although they were ready, yet their number 
was comparatively small. Some were unarmed, others 
were necessarily posted with a view to interior defence ; 
and the nature of the country called for a dispersion of 
this little force to guard its numerous inlets. 

The French population were, however, disaffected, 
and under the auspices of the French consul, and out of 
gratitude to the English for the restoration of the Bour- 
bons, they discovered an " awful squinting at monarchy/' 
and wholly refused to co-operate with the Louisianians 


in defending their common country. The disaffection of 

ihe few is easily checked, when the public functionaries 
discharge the duties devolving upon them ; but so far 
were the legislative and judiciary powers of the state from 
calling in the power of the law, to check the growing 
discontent, that in many instances they encouraged it by 
conniving at it. Governor Claiborne did every thing 
which a vigilant and patriotic executive could do, but a 
majority of the legislature, nerveless, timorous, and de- 
sponding, hung upon him liko an incubus, and paralyzed 
all his exertions. He had frequently written to General 
Jackson ; in one letter, he says, " On a late occasion 1 
had the mortification to acknowledge my inability to meet 
a requisition from General Flournoy ; the corps of this 
city having for the most part resisted my orders, being 
encouraged in their disobedience by the legislature of the 
state, then in session ; one branch of Avhich, the senate, 
having declared the requisition illegal and oppressive, 
and the house of representatives having rejected a propo- 
sition to approve the measure. How far I shall be sup- 
ported in my late orders, remains yet to be proved. I 
have reason to calculate upon the patriotism of the interior 
and western counties. I know also that there are many 
faithful citizens in New Orleans ; but there are others, in 
whose attachment to the United States I ought not to con- 
fide. Upon the whole, sir, I cannot disguise the fact, 
that if Louisiana should be attacked, we must principally 
depend for security upon the prompt movements of the 
regular force under your command, and the militia of the 
western states and territories. At this moment we are in a 
very unprepared and defenceless condition ; several impor- 
tant points of defence remain unoccupied, and in case ofa sud- 
den attack, this capital would, I fear, fall an easy sacrifice." 
In another letter, he remarks, " Inclosed you have 
copies of my late general orders. They may, and I trust 


will be obeyed ; but to this moment, my fellow-citizens 
have not manifested all that union and zeal the crisis de- 
mands, and their own safety requires. There is in this 
city a much greater spirit of disafiection, than I had anti- 
cipated ; and among the faithful Louisianians, there is a 
despondency which palsies all my preparations ; ihey see 
no strong" regular force, around which they could rally 
with confidence, and they seem to think themselves not 
within the reach of seasonable assistance, from the west- 
ern states. I am assured, sir, you will make the most 
judicious disposition of the forces under your command ; 
but excuse me for suggesting, that the presence of the 
seventh regiment, at or near New Orleans, will have the 
most salutary effect. The garrison here at present, is 
alarmingly weak, and is a cause of much regret : from 
the great mixture of persons, and characters, in this city, 
we have as much to apprehend from within as from with- 
out. In arresting the intercourse between New Orleans 
and Pensacola, you have done right. Pensacola is, in 
fact, an enemy's post, and had our commercial intercourse 
with it continued, the supplies furnished to the enemy 
would have so much exhausted our own stock of provi- 
sions, as to have occasioned the most serious inconvenience 
to ourselves. 

" I was on the point of taking on myself the prohibition 
of the trade with Pensacola : I had prepared a proclama- 
tion to that effect, and would have issued it the very day 
I heard of your interposition. Enemies to the country, 
may blame you for your prompt and energetic measures ; 
but, in the person of every patriot you will find a sup- 
porter. I am very confident of the very lax police of this 
city, and indeed, throughout the state, with respect to the 
visits of strangers. I think with you, that our country is 
filled with spies and traitors. I have written pressingly 
on the subject to the city authorities and parish judges — 


I hope some efficient regulations will speedily be adopted 
by the first, and jnoro vigilance exerted for the future, by 
the latter." 

In a third letter, the governor observes — " The only 
difficulty I have hitherto experienced, in meeting the re- 
quisition, has been in this city, and exclusively from some 
European Frenchmen, who, after giving their adhesion 
to Louis XVIII., have, through the medium of the French 
consul, claimed exemption from the drafts, as French sub- 
jects. The question of exemption, however, is now under 
discussion, before a special court of inquiry, and I am 
not v/ithout hopes, that these ungrateful men may yet bo 
brought to a discharge of their duties. 

" You have been informed of the contents of an inter- 
cepted letter, written by Colonel Coliel, a Spanish officer, 
to Captain Morales, of Pensacola. This letter was sub- 
mitted for the opinion of the attorney general of the state, 
as to the measures to be pursued against the writer. The 
attorney general was of opinion, that the courts could take 
no cognizance of the same ; but that the governor might 
order the writer to leave the state, and in case of refusal, 
to send him off by force. I accordingly, sir, ordered Co- 
lonel Coliel to take his departure, in forty-eight hours, for 
Pensacola, and gave him the necessary passports. I 
hope, this measure may meet your approbation. It is a 
just retaliation for the conduct lately observed by the go- 
vernor of Pensacola, and may induce the Spaniards resi- 
ding among us, to be less communicative upon those sub- 
jects which relate to our military movements." 

In another letter, this patriotic chief magistrate says to 
General Jackson, " If Louisiana is invaded, I shall put 
myself at the head of such of my militia as will follow me 
to the field, and on receiving, shall obey your orders." 

In addition to this, Charles K. Blanchard, Esq., writes 
to General Jackson thus : " Quartermaster Peddie, of th» 


British army, observed to me, that the commanding offi- 
cers of the British forces, were daily in the receipt of 
every information from the city of New Orleans, which 
they might require in aid of their operations, for the com- 
pletion of the objects of the expedition ; — that they were 
perfectly acquainted with the situation of every part of 
our forces, the manner in which the same was situa- 
ted, the number of our fortifications, their strength, posi- 
tion, &.C. He furthermore stated, that the above inform- 
ation was received from persons in the city of New Or- 
leans, from whom he could, at any hour, procure every 
information necessary to promote his majesty's interest." 
So sensible, indeed, were all the faithful citizens, and 
every prominent authority in New Orleans, of the necessi- 
ty of removing all obstructions to the enforcement of the 
paramount law of nature, that even the legislature, weak 
and undecided as it was on most occasions, and disposed 
to promote division rather than remove it, evinced some 
little patriotism, and passed an act laying an embargo^ 
although they had no power under the constitution to re- 
gulate or restrain commerce ; and this the governor sanc- 
tioned, and the citizens acquiesced in. In this case the 
legislature acted wisely ; they acted on the principles of 
self-preservation, recognized in the preamble to the con- 
stitution *'to provide for the common dclence ;" and did 
that for their constituents, which congress, to whom they 
had delegated the power, would, if they could, have done 
for them. The legislature also passed a law, closing the 
courts of justice for four months, which the governor as- 
sented to, and the judiciary solemnly approved. Judge 
Hall himself, of whom we shall have occasion hereafter 
to speak, discharged, without bail or recognizance, per- 
sons committed and indicted for capital ofiences against 
the United States, concurring with the other departments 
of power, in their conviction of the legal necessity of su- 


perseding the less essential and elementary provisions of 
the law, by the great law of self-defence. 

It is much to be lamented, that these prominent autho- 
rities should have afterwards receded from these patriotic 
endeavors, and instead of lending their effective and im- 
portant aid to General Jackson, in his endeavors lo save 
their city from destruction, and their country from disgrace, 
they should be found sowing the seeds of disaffection 
among his troops, and embarrassing his operations by le- 
gislative enactments, and judicial decisions, and by these 
means compel him to adopt a system of regulations which 
have rendered him obnoxious to censure, though the cir- 
cumstances under which he acted afl^ord him a complete 

From this state of things, the most energetic mea- 
sures were necessary to insure the safety of the country. 
Supplies and arms must be procured, troops must be 
raised, intelligence must be prevented from reaching the 
enemy; and a source of danger, to which we have before 
alluded, was to be guarded against, and which the com- 
manding officer was justified in believing to exist. 

Before his arrival at New Orleans, as we have before 
seen, the governor of the state ha3 confidentially advised 
him, that disaffection existed to an alarming degree, par- 
ticularly amongst the French population in the state ; and 
that the legislature was not free from suspicion. With 
the impression which this notice was calculated to pro- 
duce, on his arrival for the first time in the country, un- 
acquainted with the language spoken by a majority of the 
people, he thought himself obliged to assume such powers 
as alone could defeat the schemes of disaffection, if it ex- 
isted, and to provide the means of defence Avhich the go- 
vernment had neglected totally to do. This could not be 
done while the civil power was suffered to perform its 
usual functions ; and he took, after severe deliberation, 


the decisive step of proclaiming martial law. He knew 
the responsibility he incurred ; he knew to what he ex- 
posed himself; and if ever there was an act of deliberate 
self-devotion, it was the one for which he has been re- 
proached, as an unjustifiable assum.ption of powers. 

Had he fashioned his conduct to suit the taste and win 
the applause of those who have censured him, he might 
have had generals and attorney generals, barristers and 
merchants from the city, capering about his lines, discou- 
raging his men, disconcerting his measures, and scamper- 
ing away from the enemy. He chose rather to have citi- 
zen soldiers, and to make those who owned the prize con- 
tended for, share in the toil and danger of its protection. 
A rich and testy dealer in cotton, who looked as if " bat 
for those vile guns he would himself have been a soldier," 
accosted the general, who was piling up cotton bales 
against Wellington's invincibles, and requested that he 
*^ would appol /It a guard for his cotton.''^ *' Certainly," 
replied the general, " your request shall be complied 
with : here, sergeant ! give this gentleman a musket and 
ammunition, and station him in the line of defence ; no 
one can be better qualified to guard the cotton, than the 
owner of it." Thus the dealer was dealt with. This 
commanding spirit, eviiTced by the cotton dealer, and the 
considerations to which an allusion has been previously 
made, and confirmed by the example of other authorities, 
and by the pressure of the moment, suggested to General 
Jackson the prudence of comprehending New Orleans 
itself in his camp ; of taking the city he was to defend 
under his protection. The measure was discussed with 
many eminent citizens, and was approved by others. It 
was advised and adopted distinctly on the ground of pub- 
lie necessity, of which all were convinced, and none even 
now can doubt. If the noted Louallier, of whom we shall 
have occasion hereafter to speak, under the influence of 


the royalist Blanque, and the officious judge, (whose fault 
is atoned by the fact that he soon repented it, and he died 
the sincere friend of General Jackson,) brought with' 
out necessity and upon a secondary principle, the civil 
authority into collision with the military power, when ex- 
erted from necessity, and for the primary objects of the 
constitution, it was no fault of General Jackson. It is 
not the first time that enactments, provided for the liberty 
of the citizen, have been found temporarily incompatible 
with the safety of the state. Hence the well known maxim 
of the civil law — Inter arma silent leges. It is not the 
only conflict that has or can be found between separate 
provisions, or between the end or details of our constitu- 
tion. Treaties, when approved by the senate and ratified 
by the president, are declared to be the supreme laws of 
the land, and yet the house of representatives claim, and 
justly too, the right of disregarding this supreme law, 
and of interposing their power over the bills of revenue. 
The right of property is secure under the constitution, 
and yet in certain cases a military officer may seize tho 
means of subsistence or of transportation, leaving only a 
fair compensation to the owner, on the just ground of ne- 
cessity. The trial by jury is the birthright of the citi- 
zen, and a dearer right than that secured by the habeas 
corpus, and yet thi6 judicial power sets this right at defi- 
ance, and punishes for contempt, without the intervention 
of a jury, upon the ground of legal necessity. In viola- 
lion of the same right, our legislative bodies punish ar- 
bitrarily any citizen who may attempt an abuse of their 
dignity or privileges. The truth is,.these anomalies must 
be tolerated even in our fair and effective system, on the 
ground of necessity. They are essential to the principles 
they seem to oppose. The inconsistency of military 
power with the spirit of our institutions, arises from 
ihe nature of things — not from the character of this oi 


that commander — from the opposite characters of peace 
and war, and the adverse dispositions of mind on which 
the conditions of society are founded. Force is the prin- 
ciple of war — equity the spirit of peace. These two ele- 
ments, however, elaborated by civilization, or ramified 
into consequences, cannot be divested of their original 
discordance. The prudence of our magistrates, and the 
patriotism of our citizens, have in most instances prevent- 
ed their collision. Every thing considered, General Jack- 
son was persuaded that the country would be lost, unless 
he sacrificed himself, and risked what he valued infinitely 
more than life — risked his reputation for patriotism, and 
regard to the constitution of his country, for its preserva- 
tion. He did this deliberately. He knew the risk ; God 
knew his purpose, and his own conscience approved it. 

Having taken this important step. General Jackson 
incessantly engaged himself in erecting fortifications, and 
disciplining his soldiers for defence. Fort St. Philips was 
selected as an eligible position, and Major Overton was, 
appointed to the command of it. The naval force near 
New Orleans, consisted of small gun-vessels, under the 
command of Captain Patterson. 

On the 21st of December, General Cofiee arrived with 
thirteen hundred Tennesseans ; and about the same time 
Colonel Hinds came with a hundred and eighty of the 
Mississippi dragoons, and was soon followed by General 
Carroll with the remainder of the reinforcements from 
Tennessee. These brave men had marched a distance of 
eight hundred miles under the endurance of privations 
and hardships, which they met with a spirit of fortitude 
that redounded to their immortal honor, and gave an ear- 
nest of future success. The Kentucky troops, raised by 
the order of Governor Shelby, and commanded by General 
Thomas, had not yet arrived. 

At length the storm which had been gathering, and 


of which General Jackson and his little band had calm- 
ly awaited the approach, burst over them. The little na- 
val force at New Orleans after a most orallant defence, fell 
into the hands of the enemy, and facilitated their opera- 
tions ; an outpost, which guarded one of the principal 
inlets, was surprised, and advancing through an uninha- 
bited and uninhabitable country, the enemy was within 
seven miles of the city, on the banks of the river, before 
he was discovered. This was at two o'clock in the af- 
ternoon of the 23d December, one of the shortest days in 
the year. All the disposable force from different points 
was immediately collected. Before the sun had set, fif- 
teen hundred men, the greater part of whom were militia, 
some of whom were armed only with pikes, were on their 
march, with a perfect knowledge that they were about to 
attack, in the open field, three times their number, of the 
best disciplined, the best appointed troops in the world. 
They advanced as gaily, and cheerfully, as if they were 
going to a convivial feast, and before it was well night, they 
were in the midst of the enemy's camp. The remains of 
the gallant little navy, a single schooner, under the brave 
Patterson, who himself took command of this small force, 
poured destruction into the ranks of the enemy. This 
was the signal of attack for the army on land. 

The following is a description of the battle, as detailed 
to James Monroe by General Jackson : 

The loss of our gun-boats near the pass of the Rigolets, 
having given the enemy command of Lake Borgne, he 
was enabled to chose his point of attack. It became there- 
fore an object of importance, to obstruct the numerous 
bayous and canals, leading from that lake to the highlands 
on the Mississippi. This important service was commit- 
ted, in the first instance, to a detachment of the seventh 
regiment, afterwards to Col. De Laronde, of the Louisi- 
ana militia, and lastly, to make all sure, to Mai. Gen. ViJ. 



lere, commanding rhe district between the river and the 
lakes, and \vho being a native of the country, was pre- 
sumed to be best acquainted with all those passes. Un- 
fortunately, however, a picquet which the general had es- 
tablished at the mouth of the Bayou Bienvenue, and which, 
notwithstanding my orders, had been left unobstructed, 
was completely surprised, and the enemy penetrated 
through a canal leading to his farm, about two leagues 
below the city, and succeeded in cutting off' a company of 
militia stationed there. This intelligence was communi- 
cated to me about twelve o'clock of the twenty-third. My 
force, at this time, consisted of parts of the seventh and' 
forty-fourth regiments, not exceeding six hundred together, 
the city militia, a part of General Coffee's brigade of 
mounted gunmen, and the detached militia from the west- 
ern division of Tennessee, under the command of Maj. 
Gen. Carroll. These two last corps were stationed four 
miles above the city. Apprehending a double attack by 
the way of Chief-Menteur, I left General Carroll's force 
and the militia of the city posted on the Gentilly road ; 
and at five o'clock P. M. marched to meet the enemy, 
whom I was resolved to attack in his first position, with 
Major Hinds' dragoons. General Coffee's brigade, parts 
of the seventh and forty-fourth regiments, the uniformed 
companies of militia, under the command of Major Blanche, 
two hundred men of color, chiefly from St. Domingo, 
raised by Colonel Savery, and acting under the command 
of Major Dagwin, and a detachment of artillery under 
the direction of Colonel M'Rhea, with two six pounders, 
under the command of Lieutenant Spotts ; not exceeding, 
in all, fifteen hundred. I arrived near the enemy's en- 
campment about seven, and immediately made my dispo- 
sitions for the attack. His forces, amounting at that time 
on land to about three thousand, extended half a mile on 
that river, and in the rear nearly to the wood. General 


Coffee was ordered to turn their right, while with the re- 
sidue of the force, I attacked his strongest position on the 
left, near the river. Commodore Patterson, having dropped 
down the river in the schooner Caroline, was directed 
to open fire a upon their camp, which he executed at 
about half past seven. This being a signal of attack, 
General Coffee's men, with their usual impetuosity, rush- 
ed on the enemy's right, and entered their camp, while 
our right advanced with equal ardor. There can be but 
little doubt, that we should have succeeded on that occa- 
sion, with our inferior force, in destroying or capturing 
the enemy, had not a thick fog, which arose about eight 
o'clock, occasioned some confusion among the different 
corps. Fearing the consequence, under this circum- 
stance, of the further prosecution of a night attack, with 
troops then acting together for the first time, I contented 
myself with lying on the field that night ; and at four in 
the morning assumed a stronger position, about two miles 
nearer the city. At this position I remained encamped, 
waiting the arrival of the Kentucky militia and other re- 
inforcements. As the safety of the city will depend on 
the fate of this army, it must not be incautiously exposed. 
In this affair the whole corps under my command de- 
serve the greatest credit. The best compliment I can pay 
to General Coffee and his brigade, is to say, they have 
behaved as they have always done, while under my com- 
mand. The seventh, led by Major Pierre, and forty- 
fourth, commanded by Colonel Ross, distinguished them- 
selves. The battalion of city militia, commanded by Major 
Planche, realized my anticipations, and behaved like ve- 
terans. Savary's volunteers manifested great bravery ; 
and the company of city riflemen, having penetrated into 
the midst of the enemy's camp, were surrounded, and 
fought their way out with the greatest heroism, bring- 
ing with them a number of prisoners. The two field- 


pieces were well served by the officers commanding 

All my officers in the line did their duty, and I have 
every reason to be satisfied with the whole of my field 
and staff. Colonels Butler and Piatt, and Major Chotard, 
by their intrepidity, saved the artillery. Colonel Haynes 
was every where that duty or danger called. I was de- 
prived of the services of one of my aids, Captain Butler, 
whom I was obliged to station, to his great regret, in town. 
Captain Reid, my other aid, and Messrs. Livingston, Du- 
piissis, and Davizac, who had volunteered their services, 
faced danger wherever it was to be met, and carried my 
orders with the utmost promptitude. 

We made one major, two subalterns, and sixty-three 
privates, prisoners ; and the enemy\s loss, in killed and 

wounded, must have been at least . My own loss I 

have not as yet been able to ascertain with exactness, but 
suppose it to amount to one hundred in killed, wounded, and 
missing. Among the former, I have to lament the loss of 
Colonel Lauderdale, of General Coflee's brigade, who 
fell while bravely fighting. Cols. "Dyer and Gibson, of 
the same corps, were wounded, and Major Kavenaugh 
taken prisoner. 

Col. De Laronde, Major Villere, of the Louisiana mi- 
litia, Major Latour, of engineers, having no command, 
volunteered their services, as did Drs. Kerr and Hood, 
and were of great assistance to me. 

This master-stroke of energy and decision, in its con- 
sequences, saved the country, and led to the more impor- 
tant result which closed this glorious campaign. None 
but such a leader would have planned such an attack ; 
none but such troops would have enabled him to execute 
it with success. This taught the enemy to respect the 
courage of our troops ; it led him to overrate our num- 
bers ; and made him wait for his decisive attack, until 


the position so judiciously chosen for the action, was placed 
in a sufficient state of defence, to become the theatre of a 
future and signal victory. It was a most encouraging 
example for those who love the institutions of our coun- 
try. If three thousand three hundred men, with no 
other discipline than a few weeks could produce, in the 
simplest line of defence that the art of fortification knows, 
could prove themselves an over match for four times their 
number of the best troops in the world, used to conquest, 
well appointed, and led by experienced officers : to what 
can we attribute it, but to that moral force which is in- 
spired by love of country, and by that alone ? And it will 
be found that from ThermopylaB to Morad, those asto- 
nishing efforts in which troops without discipline have 
successfully contended against superior numbers, have 
been made in defence of liberty.* 

* Livingston's Address. 



Effects of the battle of the twenty -third — Ladies oj 
New Orleans — Their patriotic exertions — American 
lines of defence — General Jackson'' s exertions — Loss 
of the schooner Caroline — Battle of the 2Sth Decem- 
ber — Battle of the 1st January — Repulsion of the 
enemy on that occasion — Sir Edioard Pachenhain — 
Discoveries made by time. 

The result of the battle of the twenty-third Decem- 
ber, though not decisive, produced the happiest effects. 
It animated the inhabitants, and encouraged them to pro- 
secute with still greater vigor the measures of defence. 
Nothing could exceed the ardor with which it inspired 
the army of General Jackson. His soldiers obeyed his 
orders with the utmost alacrity and promptitude, and held 
themselves in readiness, at a moment's warning, to face 
again their invaders, and add fresh laurels to those they 
had already won. 

The patriotic exertions of the ladies of New Orleans 
to render every assistance in their power to the besieged, 
do honor to their sex. The modest, unobtruding, virtues 
and excellencies of woman, are too often forgotten, in 
times of peril and danger. Man's aims are ambitious 
and aspiring; he seeks his enemy in the battle-field, and 
by deeds of desperate daring, in many a fierce encounter, 
acquires a name that will live till the end of time. But 
woman acts in a different sphere ; hers is the task of 
soothing the wounded spirit ; of binding up the broken 
heart. There is a point of time in the life of every man, 


however lofty may have been his aspirations, or towering 
his hopes, when the world and all its seductive pageantry 
pall upon his spirit — when the plaudits of the multitude 
fall tuneless upon his ear ; it is in the hour of nature's 
agonizing conflict with dissolution ; then it is that wo- 
man's excellences are called into exercise ; then her 
enduring virtues — her watchful vigils — her ceaseless 
solicitudes — her untiring patience, and ever watchful sym- 
pathies, are felt and acknowledged ; and although her 
name may not be trumpeted by the clarion of fame 
throughout the universe, or encircled in the halo of glory 
that illumines the pathway of the conqueror, j-et she 
reaps a rich reward from the gratitude, the blessings, and 
benedictions of thousands of the children of misery and 
misfortune, who have been made the recipients of her 
soothing kindnesses, and bountiful benefactions. The 
ladies of New Orleans admirably sustained those virtues 
which do honor to their sex. With their own hands they 
manufactured clothing for distribution among their brave 
defenders, and the sick and wounded received from them 
those soothing attentions and kindnesses which are so 
peculiarly acceptable to the debilitated and war-worn 
soldier. The hospitals were abundantly supplied with all 
attainable comforts ; the nunnery was converted into an 
extra hospital for the wounded, and the surgeons and phy- 
sicians exerted themselves without fee or reward. 

After the battle of the 23d, General Jackson encamped 
his army near the field of battle, intending in the morning 
to renew the engagement. But the disadvantages of his 
situation, and the numerical superiority of the enemy, 
induced him to change his plan. 

It has already been mentioned, that the gun-boats, 
commanded by Lieutenant Jones, were captured upon the 
14th, and the commander severely wounded. His force 
consisted of a few gun-boats, the whole mounting twenty- 


three guns, and having one hundred and eighty-three men 
on board. The British force that attacked this little gal- 
lant flotilla, consisted of forty-five boats, forty-two guns, 
and twelve hundred men, commanded by Captain Lock- 
yer, whose loss in killed and wounded exceeded three 
hundred men ; and he received three severe wounds him- 
self. Upon Lieutenant Jones, Captain Patterson bestows 
the highest applause, and most deservedly too ; for con- 
sidering the species of force he had under his command, 
and the great superiority of the enemy, his gallantry is 
scarcely exceeded by any officer in our navy. 

The various passes at the mouth of the Mississippi 
were guarded in the best possible manner, by different 
forts ; and considering the short time allowed to construct 
them, and the few men only who -could be spared to gar- 
rison them, their defences entitle the garrisons to the 
highest applause. Major Overton, at Fort St. Philips, 
determining never to surrender, nailed the American flag 
to his standard, and resolved that it should triumphantly 
wave over that of Britain, as long as a living man re- 
mained in the fort to defend it. The troops at the mouths 
of the river, were as much inspired with fortitude by the 
addresses and examples of General Jackson, as those 
under his immediate command. Having these forts, as 
well as the current of the Mississippi to oppose, the British 
admiral was prevented from bringing any of his larger 
vessels, to co-operate with the land forces, in their various 
attacks upon the American lines. Had he been enabled 
to eflect this, it is difficult to conceive how the city could 
have been saved. 

On the 24th, General Jackson took his final position. 
It extended in a direct line from the east bank of the Mis- 
sissippi, into the edge of the Cypress Swamp, a distance 
exceeding a mile. For the whole distance, the troops 
almost incessantly labored, and with a vigor worthy of the 


cause that called forth their laborious exertions, in throw- 
ing up a strong breastwork, under the protection of 
which they were to be intrenched. From the bank of 
the river to the edge of the Cypress Swamp, a distance of 
very near a mile, the country was a perfect plain. The 
small force under General Jackson were in full view of 
the greatly superior force in the British camp. Although 
they had received a check in the brilliant affair of the 23d, 
it would seem to be the result of infatuation itself, that they 
remained unmoved spectators of the measures of defence 
the American commander was taking, which, if prosecuted 
to completion, would render them hopeless of success. 

Adjoining the river, and in advance of the main work, 
a redoubt was formed to protect the right wing of the 
army, upon which were mounted a number of pieces of 
heavy artillery. Through the whole line were mounted, 
at proper distances, cannon from six to thirty-two pound- 
ers. The breastwork was extended from four hundred 
and fifty to five hundred yards into the swamp, to prevent 
the enemy from turning the left wing of the army. This 
part of the intrenchment, w*as constructed with extreme 
difficulty, and with excessive fatigue ; being erected in a 
morass, almost impassable from the depth of the mud and 
water. It was wisely supposed that the British com- 
mander w^ould conclude that the American intrenchment 
reached only to the edge of the swamp ; and that he would 
endeavor to force a passage through it, and gain the rear 
of the American army. At the immediate edge of the 
swamp, an angular indent was made in the intrenchment, 
upon which heavy pieces of artillery were placed so as to 
rake the enemy in the swamp, from one side of it, and in 
the open field, from the other. Every hour's labor in- 
creased the strength of the intrenchment, and every erent 
that transpired, augmented the confidence of the troops. 
Notwithstanding the rapidly increasing security of his 


small, and to a very considerable amount unarmed troops, 
General Jackson endeavored to provide against every 
event that could endanger their safety, or that of the city. 
Admitting the possibility that the British army, from their 
great superiority in numbers, and from the numerous 
pieces of heavy ordnance they were constantly transport- 
ing in barges, from their shipping to their encampment, 
might force his lines, he dispatched the whole of his un- 
armed men two miles in his rear, to erect another breast- 
work, as a rallying point, at no great distance from the 
city. In this way, he furnished constant employ for all 
his men, prevented their despondency, and aroused their 

General Jackson was aAvare that the enemy's main 
army had not yet (December 24) landed, and wholly 
uncertain where they would make a descent, he took the 
same measures to fortify the country on the west, or right 
bank of the river, as he had upon the east, or left bank. 
An intrenchment was there thrown up from the bank of 
the river, extending west to a swamp, which approaches 
nearer to the river than that upon the east side. Governor 
Claiborne and the Louisiana militia, being more perfectly 
acquainted with the country, were stationed on the right 
bank of the river. Captain Patterson and his crew had 
erected a battery near the bank of the river, and to the 
main intrenchment. This intrenchment was about three 
quarters of a mile below that on the left bank ; and being 
supported by Patterson's battery and his crew, \vhose 
skill in gunnery was evinced in the battle of the 23d, it 
was supposed as capable of sustaining and repelling an 
assault as that on the left. The command of the right 
bank of the river, was intrusted to General Morgan, and 
a force placed under his command sufficient to render it 
as secure as the left. 

General Jackson made the most unwearied exertions 


ill strengthening this important position ; and liis industry, 
perseverance, and fortitude, set before his soldiers a noble 
example, which proved most happy in its results. On 
the 27th, his line of defence was completed ; and from 
its commencement till that time, he allowed himself 
neither sleep nor relaxation from toil. The activity, 
patience, and spirit, of his troops, who kept their wet, un- 
wholesome ground, at this inclement season, and labored 
with such incessant zeal till the completion of the fortifi- 
cations, is above all praise. The schooner Caroline, after 
the battle of the 23d, had kept her position opposite the 
British encampment. Her commander, Commodore Pat- 
terson, could have left his dangerous position, by dropping 
down below ; but he could not think of depriving the 
army of her assistance in case of an attack. He therefore 
waited for a wind to take her up to the American line of 
defence. On the morning of the 27th, the enemy, from 
a land battery which had been thrown up the previous 
night, opened a fire upon her with red-hot shot. They 
soon succeeded in firing her, which compelled the crew 
to abandon her ; and scarcely had they time to reach the 
shore, before she blew up. 

Emboldened by this event, the enemy put his forces in 
motion in order to storm the American works. With a 
view of driving our troops from their position, the British 
forces, at the distance of half a mile, opened upon them a 
copious shower of shot, bombs, and rockets. While their 
artillery were thus employed, their columns moved in 
order of battle, till our batteries opened upon them a 
destructive cannonade, which compelled them to retreat 
with a loss of about one hundred and twenty killed ; while 
the loss sustained by the Americans did not exceed 
twenty-five in killed and wounded. 

Considerable skirmishing took place, after this affair, 
between the pickets, but no serious engagement was im- 
mediately commenced. 


It was a subject of regret to General Jackson, that 
he had not, at this time, the means of carrying on more 
offensive operations ; the troops from Kentucky had not 
arrived, and his effective force at this point did not exceed 
three thousand. The force of the enemy must at least 
have been twice the number of ours, as prisoners and de- 
serters agreed in the statement that seven thousand landed 
from their boats. 

These unsuccessful essays of the enemy, were far from 
affording him the satisfaction he had anticipated from an 
easy victory. The British forces were not deterred, how- 
ever, from making every effort in their power to augment 
their force, and strengthen their position, by transporting 
their heavy artillery from their shipping to their lines ; 
nor were the Americans less assiduously engaged in pre- 
paring themselves for a gallant reception of their foes, 
however imposing and formidable might be the method of 
their visit. 

On the first of January, the British forces placed them- 
selves in a hostile attitude, pushed forward their heavy 
artillery, commencing at the same time an attack with 
bombs and rockets upon the whole American line, from 
the Cypress Swamp to the Mississippi. The charge 
was returned with much gallantry and spirit by the Ameri- 
can troops ; the musketeers and riflemen, together with 
the artillery planted upon the intrenchments, opened upon 
them a flood of death, and the battle raged till the approach 
of darkness put an end to the conflict, and induced the 
British assailants to retire to their lines. 

Great loss was sustained by the enemy in this conflict, 
the number of which could not be ascertained, as their 
dead were carried from the field. The American loss 
was eleven killed and twenty-three wounded. 

Despairing of ultimate success in their attack upon the 
whole line, the enemy, in the course of the night, erected 


a battery on the margin of the morass, for the purpose of 
turning the left wing of our army. ' They had much con- 
fidence in the successful result of this plan of operation ; 
but the sun, which dissipated the fog the following morn- 
ing, discovered to them, also, the futility of their hopes. 
To their astonishment, they found the American intrench- 
ment completed three hundred yards beyond their battery 
in the morass, and General Coffee, with his brave Ten- 
nesseans, ready to give them an unwelcome reception. 
They opened upon our troops with their eighteen pound- 
ers, but the return fire from our lines, poured upon them 
with a most destructive effect. The battle raged till the 
enemy, no longer able to sustain the fire of our batteries, 
discontinued the contest in much confusion. 

On the following morning, General Jackson ordered a 
sortie of four hundred men, two hundred of whom were 
mounted, to reconnoitre their camp ; and by them it was 
ascertained, that their artillery had been dismounted by 
our guns; that they had been carried off; that they had 
razed their redoubts, and had retreated on their first lines 
towards Lake Bienvenue. 

These repeatedly unsuccessful attempts of Sir Edward 
Packenham, to storm the American lines, and reduce the 
city of New Orleans by a coup de main, brought at 
length to his mind the unwelcome conviction, that to meet 
and vanquish our armies in the field ; to capture our cities ; 
to plunder them of their " beauty and booty," for the 
gratification of the avarice and licentiousness of his sol- 
diers ; to plant there the standard of his nation, and 
extend over our countrymen the sceptre of its power, were 
matters that could not be performed as the pastime of an 
idle hour ; not things that could be done or left undone, 
as the good will and pleasure of him or his sovereign 
master should dictate. He was, however, a brave man, 
and resolved not to despair, but concentrate his forces, 


and by one powerful effort to accomplish the object of his 
expedition, by defeating the American army, and destroy- 
ing New Orleans ; thus fulfilling the expectations of his 
countrymen, and winning for himself another and a 
greener wreath of laurel. Of the success of his opera- 
tions, we shall soon have occasion to remark. 



Belligerent preparations — Arrival of Kentucky rein- 
forcements — Operations of General Pakenham — 
Advances upon the American works — BA TTLE OF 
NEW ORLEANS— Result of the battle— Retreat 
of the army — Fort St. Philips — Major Overton's 
gallant defence of it — Consequences of the victory of 
New Orleans — General Jackson addresses his sol- 

The notes of preparation were now every where heard 
along the lines of the belligerent armies, Avhich indicated 
the approach of a bloody encounter. Sir Edward Paken- 
ham, the commander-in-chief of the British forces at New 
Orleans, had many powerful motives that urged him to 
risk a decisive battle. It is true, he was not upon his 
own native soil, struggling for the preservation of his 
country's liberty and honor ; for the safety of his family, 
his friends, his fireside, and home ; his arm was not 
raised to check high-handed oppression, or crush a tyrant 
who trampled with impunity upon the lives and privileges 
of his subjects ; but he Avas a veteran who had acquired 
much reputation by his prowess on the bloody battle- 
fields of Europe ; he was a favorite and distinguished 
officer under Wellington, and shared in the honors which 
were lavished upon those who had been instrumental in 
completing the wreck of the fallen fortunes of the most 
consummate general that the world ever saw : he knew 
that for these considerations his government had placed 



an army of fifteen thousand of the best disciplined troops, 
most of whom had been his former companions in glory, 
under his command, and intrusted to him the care of this 
expedition against New Orleans, and that they were san- 
guine in their expectations of his success. He therefore 
determined to strike a decisive blow, and meet the antici- 
pations of his countrymen. General Jackson, on the 
other hand, though impelled by widely different motives 
from those of his distinguished rival, was nevertheless 
determined to repel with firmness every aggression of the 

On the fourth of January, the Kentucky militia, to the 
amount of two thousand five hundred, under the com- 
mand of General Adair, arrived at New Orleans, and 
joined the army of General, Jackson. Their arms were 
in very bad order on their arrival, in consequence of 
which, and the scarcity of good muskets with bayonets, 
tour companies of regulars gave up their arms to the 
newly arrived troops, and armed themselves with fowling 
pieces and pikes in their stead. The American force con- 
sisted of about six thousand, chiefly composed of inex- 
perienced militia, many of them unarm.ed, in consequence 
of tl» delay in forwarding munitions, which were ex- 
pected, as they were known to be in the Mississippi. 
The enemy's force consisted of more than fourteen 
thousand of the best disciplined troops, and commanded 
by officers of acknowledged skill and courage. 

General Pakenham was prepared for a serious attempt 
upon the American works. During the days of the sixih 
and seventh, he employed himself with much activity in 
making preparations for battle. With infinite labor he 
was enabled, on the night of the seventh, to complete a 
canal from the swamp to the Mississippi, by means of 
which he succeeded in transporting his boats, in which his 
disembarkation had been elTected, from the lake to the 


river. His intentions were to make a simultaneous attack 
on the main force of General Jackson on the left bank, 
and crossing the river to attack the batteries on the right. 
The works of General Jackson were now completed, his 
front was a straight line of one thousand yards, defended 
by upwards of three thousand infantry and artillerists. 
The ditch contained five feet water ; and his front, from 
having been flooded by opening the levees, and frequent 
rains, was rendered slippery and muddy. Eight distinct 
batteries were judiciously disposed, amounting in all to 
twelve guns of different calibers. 

On the opposite side of the river, there was a strong 
battery of fifteen guns, erected and superintended by 
Commodore Patterson ; and the intrenchments were occu- 
pied by General Morgan, with the Louisiana militia, and 
a strong detachment of Kentucky troops. To guard 
against an attack from any other source, Colonel Kemper, 
with a few men, encountering great difficulties, had ex- 
plored every pass and bayou, and on this subject had 
placed at ease the mind of the American commander. 

It had not been in the power of General Jackson to 
impede the operations of the enemy by a general attack, 
on account of the nature of his troops, they being com- 
posed mostly of militia, mere novices in the science of 
war, and wholly unused to military tactics. To have at- 
tempted extensive offensive movements, in an open coun- 
try, against an army of double his numbers, and superior 
in every respect in point of arms and discipline, would 
have been extremely hazardous and doubtful policy. 
His forces had been increased in number, it is true, by 
the arrival of the Kentucky division, but his efl^ective 
strength had received no important addition: a small 
portion only of that detachment being provided with arms 
or munitions, that could render them of much service in 
the approaching contest. He was thus compelled to wait 
13* • 


the attiack of the enemy, to take every measure to repel 
it when it should be made, and defeat the object they had 
in view. 

On the seventh, a general movement and bustle in the 
British camp, indicated that the contemplated attack was 
about to be made. Every thing in the American encamp- 
ment was ready for action, when at day-break, on the 
morning of the memorable eighth, a shower of rockets 
from the enemy, gave the signal of battle. A detachment 
of the enemy under Colonel Thornton, proceeded to at- 
tack the works on the right bank of the river, while Ge- 
neral Pakenham with his whole force, exceeding twelvo 
thousand men, moved in two divisions under Generals 
Gibbs and Kean, and a reserve under General Lambert. 
Both divisions were supplied with scaling-ladders and 
fascines, and General Gibbs had directions to make the 
principal attack. Nothing could exceed the imposing 
grandeur of the scene. The whole British force advanced 
with much deliberation in solid columns, over the even 
surface of the plain in front of the American intrench- 
ments, bearing with them, in addition to their arms, their 
fascines and ladders, for storming the American works. 
All was hushed in awful stillness throughout the Ame- 
rican lines ; each soldier grasped his arms with a fixed- 
ness of purpose, which told his firm resolve to " do, or 
die ;" till the enemy approached within reach of the bat- 
teries, which opened upon them an incessant and destruc- 
tive tide of death. They continued, however, to advance 
with the greatest firmness, closing up their lines as they 
were opened by the fire of the Americans, till they ap- 
proached within reach of the musketry and rifles ; these, 
in addition to the artillery, produced the most terrible 
havoc in their ranks, and threw them into the greatest 
confusion. Twice were they driven back with immense 
slaughter, and twice they formed again and renewed th« 


assault. But the fire of the Americans was tremendous, 
it was unparalleled in the annals of deadly doing ; it was 
One continued blaze of destruction, before which men 
could not stand and live. Every discharge swept away 
the British columns like an inundation — they could not 
withstand it, but fled in consternation and dismay. Vigor- 
ous were the attempts of their officers, to rally them ; 
General Pakenham in the attempt received a shot, and 
fell upon the field. Generals Gibbs and Kean succeeded, 
and attempted again to push on their columns to the at- 
tack, but a still more dreadful fatality met them from the 
thunders of the American batteries. A third unavailing 
attempt was made to rally their troops by their officers, 
but the same destruction met them. The gallantry of the 
British officers, on this desperate day, was deserving of a 
worthier cause, and better fate. General Gibbs fell mor- 
tally, and General Kean desperately wounded, and were 
borne from the field of action. The discomfiture of the 
enemy was now complete ; a few only, of the platoons, 
reached the ditch, there to meet more certain death. The 
remainder fled from the field with the greatest precipitan- 
ey, and no farther efforts were made to rally them. The 
intervening plain between the American and British for- 
tifications, was covered with the dead ; taking into view 
the length of time and the numbers engaged, the annals 
of bloody strife, it is believed, furnish no parallel to the 
dreadful carnage of this battle. Two thousand, at the 
lowest estimate, fell, besides a considerable number 
wounded. The loss of the Americans did not exceed 
seven killed and six -wotlnded. General Lambert was 
the only superior officer left on the field ; being unable to 
check the flight of the British columns, he retreated to 
his encampment. 

The entire destruction of the enemy's army, would 
have been now inevitable, had it not been for an unfoi- 


lunate occurrence, which at this moment took place on 
the other side of the river. General Pakenham had 
thrown over in his boats, upon that side of the stream, a 
considerable force, under the command of Colonel Thorn- 
ton, simultaneously with his advance upon the main body 
of the American works. They succeeded in landing at 
the point of their destination, and advanced to assault the 
intrenchment, defended by General Morgan. Their re- 
ception was not such as might have been expected, from 
the known courage and firmness of the troops under his 
command ; at a moment, when the same fate that met 
their fellows on the opposite side of the river was looked 
for, with a confidence approaching to a certainty, the 
American right, believing itself to be outflanked, or some 
other reason never satisfactorily explained, relinquished 
its position, while the left, with the batteries of Commo- 
dore Patterson, maintained their ground for some time 
with much gallantry and spirit, till at length finding 
themselves deserted by their friends on the right, and 
greatly outnumbered by the enemy, they were compelled 
to spike their guns and retreat. 

This unfortunate result, totally changed the aspect of 
affairs. The enemy were now in occupation of a position 
from which they might annoy the Americans with little 
hazard to themselves, and by means of which, they might 
have been enabled to defeat, in a very considerable degree, 
the effects of the success of our arms on the other side of 
the river. It therefore became an object of the first con- 
sequence with General Jackson, to dislodge him as soon 
as possible. For this object, all the means in his power, 
which he could use with any safety, were put into imme- 
diate requisition. 

A negotiation, however, for a temporary suspension of 
hostilities, took place, to enable the enemy to bury their 
dead, and provide for their wounded. During this inter- 


val, ihe i^merican commander prepared himself to regain 
what had been so improvidently lost. To those who had 
abandoned a station of such importance, he addressed the 
following language : 

" While, by the blessing of Heaven, one of the most 
brilliant victories was obtained by the troops under my 
immediate command, no words can express the mortifica- 
tion I felt, at witnessing the scene exhibited on the oppo- 
site bank. I will spare your feelings and my own, nor 
enter into a detail on the subject. To all who reflect, it 
must be a source of eternal regret, that a few moments 
exertion of that courage you certainly possess, was alone 
wanting to have rendered your success more complete, 
than that of your fellow-citizens in this camp. To what 
cause was the abandonment of your lines owing? To 
fear ? no ! You are the countrymen, the friends, the bro- 
thers of those who have secured to themselves, by their 
courage, the gratitude of their country ; who have been 
prodigal of blood in its defence, and who are strangers to 
any other fear than disgrace — to disaftection to our glo- 
rious cause. No, my countrymen, your general does 
justice to the pure sentiments by which you are inspired. 
How then could brave men, firm in the cause in which 
they were enrolled, neglect their first duty, and abandon 
the post committed to their care ? The want of discipline, 
the want of order, the total disregard to obedience, and a 
spirit of insubordination, not less destructive than coward- 
ice itself, are the causes which led to this disaster, and 
they must be eradicated, or I must cease to command. I 
desire to be distinctly understood, that every breach of 
orders, all want of discipline, every inattention of duty, 
will be seriously and promptly punished ; that the atten- 
tive officers, and good soldiers, may not be involved in 
the disgrace and danger, which the negligence of a few 
may produce. Soldiers ! you want only the will, in order 


to emulate the glory of your fellow -citrzens on this bank 
of the river — you have the same motives for action — the 
same interest — the same country to protect : and you have 
an additional interest, from past events, to wipe off re- 
proach, and show that you will not be inferior, in the day 
of trial, to any of your countrymen. 

" But remember, without obedience, without order, 
without discipline, all your efforts are vain. The brave 
man, inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his 
country, than the coward who deserts her in the hour of 

" Private opinions, as to the competency of officers, 
must not be indulged, and still less expressed. It is im- 
possible that the measures of those Avho command, should 
satisfy all who are bound to obey ; and one of the most 
dangerous faults in a soldier, is a disposition to criticise and 
blame the orders and characters of his superiors. Sol- 
diers ! I know that many of you have done your duty ; 
and I trust in future, that I shall have no reason to make 
any exception. Officers ! I have the fullest confidence 
that you. will enforce obedience to your commands; but 
above all, that by subordination in your differents grades, 
you will set an example to your men ; and that hereafter, 
the army of the right will yield to none, in the essential 
.qualities which characterize good soldiers — that they will 
earn their share of those honors and rewards, which their 
country will prepare for its deliverers." 

All the circumstances considered, which elicited this 
address, no one, it is confidently believed, can be found 
who would hazard a censure on it as an unnecessary ex- 
hibition of severity. Their o'nly faults, as their comman- 
der ingenuously told them, were their habits of insubor- 
dination, and impatience under the wholesome restraints 
of military discipline ; and yet it could hardly be other- 
wise — ^the Kentucky troops, to whom was intrusted the 


defence of this position, had only arrived at New Orleans 
three days previous to the battle ; they were raw recruits, 
unversed in military tactics ; but no one ever doubted their 
courage — their leader did not doubt it, nor can it ever be 
questioned with the least shadow of justice. The iron 
nerve, and intrepid daring of the Kentuckians, are pro- 
verbial throughout the world ; could they have seen a few 
weeks discipline, or had their insubordination been 
checked, and their discordant views concentrated upon 
the attainment of one object, the British legions could 
have sooner sent back the Mississippi to its fountain-head, 
than have driven the Kentuckians from their entrench- 
ments, while a soldier was living to defend them. 

The position which was so unadvisedly abandoned by 
the Americans, was soon vacated by the British. Dis- 
heartened by such a succession of disasters as had attend- 
ed their expedition against Noav Orleans, they retired, 
after a consultation of their officers, to their shipping. 
This they effected with the utmost secrecy, leaving behind 
them, under medical attendance, eighty of their wounded ; 
including two officers, fourteen pieces of their heavy ar- 
tillery, and a quantity of shot, having destroyed much of 
their powder. Such was the situation of the ground they 
abandoned, and of that through which they retired, pro- 
tected by canals, redoubts, intrenchments, and morasses 
on his right, and the river on his left, that General Jack- 
son could not, without encountering great risk, which true 
policy did not seem to dictate or authorize, attempt to an- 
noy him much on his retreat. 

Whether it was the intention of the British commander 
to renew his efforts at some other point, or abandon the 
expedition altogether, could not at this period be ascer- 
tained with positiveness by General Jackson ; his con- 
victions were, however, pretty strong, that his last ex- 
ertions had been made in this quarter. This belief was 


stren^hened not only by the severe loss he had sustained 
at the position he had just abandoned, but also by the 
failure of his fleet to pass Fort St. Philips. 

This pass was defended by the gallant Major Overton. 
It was on the first of January that this officer received in- 
formation that the enemy intended passing this fort, to 
co-operate with their land forces, in the subjugation of 
Louisiana and the destruction of New Orleans. To ef- 
fect this with more facility, they intended, in the first m- 
stance, with their heav^yr bomb-vessels to bombard the fori 
into subjection. 

On receipt of this information. Major Overton turned 
his attention to the security of the position under his com- 
mand. He erected small magazines in different parts of 
the garrison, that if one blew up, he could resort to an- 
other ; built covers for his men, to secure them from the 
explosion of the shells, and removed the combustible mat- 
tet without the work. Early on the morning of the 8th, 
he was advised of the approach of the enemy, and on the 
ninth at a quarter past ten in the forenoon, two bomb- 
vessels, one sloop, one brig, and one schooner, hove m 
sight ; they anchored two miles below, and at half past 
eleven, they advanced two barges, apparently for the pur- 
pose of sounding, within one and a half miles of the fort, 
^ Major Overton ordered his water battery, under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant Cunningham of the navy, at this mo- 
ment to open upon them : the command was promptly 
obeyed, and with an effect that produced a precipitate re- 
treat. At half past three o'clock in the afternoon, the 
enemy's bomb-vessels opened their fire from four sea-mor- 
tars, two of thirteen inches, and two often, and much to the 
chagrin of the American commander, he found they were 
without the effective range of his shot, as many subse- 
quent experiments proved. They continued their fire with 
little intermission till the seventeenth. 


On the evening of that day a heavy mortar prepared 
oy the Americans was in readiness. Major Overton or- 
dered Captain Wolstoncroft of the artillerists, who pre- 
viously had charge of it, to open a fire, which was done 
with great effect ; it produced much disorder amongst the 
enemy, and at daybreak on the morning of the 18th, they 
commenced their retreat, after having thrown upwards of 
a thousand heavy shells, besides shells from howitzers, 
round shot, and grape, which they discharged from boats 
under the cover of the night. 

The loss of the Americans in this encounter was un- 
commonly small, in consequence of the great care taken 
by the officers to keep their men under cover ; as the 
enemy left scarcely ten feet of the garrison untouched by 
their artillery. 

The officers and soldiers through this whole affair, 
although nine days and nights under arms in the different 
batteries, the consequent fatigue and loss of sleep, mani- 
fested the greatest firmness, and the most zealous ardor to 
defeat the enemy. 

The evacuation of Louisiana by the enemy was now 
complete, without having accomplished a single object of 
their expedition, with a loss of five thousand of their offi- 
cers and men, and the production of extreme mortification 
to the British government. 

Thus ended a campaign, by the achievement of a victory 
of the most unparalleled brilliancy and importance. On 
its consequences it would be unnecessary to enlarge ; they 
have been known and felt by thousands of our grateful 
countrymen, and will ever be acknowledged with pride 
and gratitude by ^^ery patriotic American heart. A large 
and flourishing city saved from pillage ; its inhabitants 
from the horrors incident to a capture by storm, and the 
excesses of a licentious soldiery stimulated to deeds of 
daring, by the watch-word of *' beauty and booty ;" a 


most important commercial portal of our country pre* 
served from the rude grasp and occupation of a foreign 
power, and the fruits of the honest industry of our south- 
ern and western brethren, preserved to the owners of the 
soil ; and more than all this, the production of that glori- 
ous excitement, which, to the latest posterity, will animate 
our countrymen to the defence of their rights, are indeed 
circmnstances of rare occurrence ; and when we add to 
the reflection, that these things were achieved by a mere 
handful of brave men, hastily brought together, composed 
of discordant materials, ill supplied with the munitions of 
war, yet led by the energy and talent of a single indi- 
vidual, to a triumph over double their numbers of the 
best disciplined and best appointed troops in the world, 
we cannot but consider it one of the greatest deliverances 
ever achieved by the prowess and courage of man. 

At the close these brilliant events. General Jackson ad- 
dressed his companions in glory, in the following happy 
and appropriate manner : 

*' Citizens, and fellow-soldiers ! The enemy has re- 
treated, and your general has now leisure to proclaim to 
the world what he has noticed with admiration and prido 
— your undaunted courage, your patriotism, and patience, 
under hardships and fatigues. Natives of different states, 
acting together for the first time in this camp ; differing 
in habits and in language, instead of viewing in these cir- 
cumstances the germ of distrust and division, you havo 
made them the source of honorable emulation, and from 
the seeds of discord itself have reaped the fruits of an 
honorable union. This day completes the fourth week, 
since fifteen hundred of you attacked treble your number 
of men, who had boasted of their discipline and their ser- 
vices under a celebrated leader, in a long and eventful war 
— attacked them in their camp, the moment they had pro- 
faned the soil of freedom with their hostile tread, and in- 


fiicted a blow which was a prelude to the final result of 
their attempt to conquer, or their poor contrivances to di- 
vide us. A few hours was sufficient to unite the gallant 
band, though at the moment they received the welcome 
order to march, they were separated many leagues, in 
different directions from the city. The gay rapidity of 
the march, and the cheerful countenances of the officers 
and men, w^ould have induced a belief that some festive 
entertainment, not the strife of battle, was the scene to 
which they hastened with so much eagerness and hilarity. 
In the conflict that ensued, the same spirit was supported, 
and my communications to the executive of the United 
States, have testified the sense I entertained of the merits 
of the corps and officers that were engaged. Resting on 
the field of battle, they retired in perfect order on the next 
morning to these lines, destined to become the scene of 
future victories, which they w^ere to share with the rest of 
you, my brave companions in arms. Scarcely were your 
lines a protection against musket-shot, when, on the 28th, 
a disposition Avas made to attack them with all the pomp 
and parade of military tactics, as improved by those vete- 
rans of the Spanish war. 

" Their batteries of heavy cannon kept up an incessant 
fire ; their rockets illuminated the air ; and under their 
cover, two strong columns threatened our flanks. The 
foe insolently thought that this spectacle was too imposing 
to be resisted, and in the intoxication of this pride, he al- 
ready saw our lines abandoned without a contest. How 
were these menacing appearances met ? By shouts of 
defiance, by a manly countenance, not to be shaken by the 
roar of his cannon, or by the glare of his firework rock- 
ets ; by an artillery served with superior skill, and with 
deadly effect. Never, my brave friends, can your general 
forget the testimonials of attachment to our glorious cause, 
of indignant hatred to our foe, of afllectionate confidence 


in your chief, that resounded from every rank, as he pass- 
ed along your line. This animating scene damped the 
courage of the enemy ; he dropped his scaling ladders 
and fascines, and the threatened attack dwindled into a 
demojistration^ which served only to show the emptiness 
of his parade, and to inspire you with a just confidence in 

" The new year was ushered in with the most tremen- 
dous fire his whole artillery could produce : a few hours 
only, however, were necessary, for the brave and skillful 
men, who directed our own, to dismount his cannon, de- 
stroy his batteries, and effectually silence his fire. Hi- 
therto, my brave friends, in the contest on our lines, your 
courage had been passive only ; you stood with calmness 
a fire that would have tried the firmness of a veteran, and 
you anticipated a nearer contest with an eagerness which 
was soon to be gratified. , 

" On the 8th of January, the final eftbrt was made. At 
the dawn of day the batteries opened, and the columns 
advanced. Knowing that the volunteers from Tennessee 
and the militia from Kentucky w^ere stationed on your 
left, it was there they directed their chief attack. 

" Reasoning always from false principles, they expected 
little opposition from men whose ofiiicers even were not 
in uniform, who were ignorant of the rules of dress, and 
who had never been caned into discipline. Fatal mis- 
take ! a fire incessantly kept up, directed with a calmness 
and unerring aim, strewed the field with the bravest offi- 
cers and men of the column which slowly advanced, ac- 
cording to the most approved rules of European tactics, 
and was cut down by the untutored courage of American 
militia. Unable to sustain this galling and unceasing fire, 
some hundreds nearest the intrenchment called for quar- 
ter, which was granted : the rest retreating, were rallied 
at some distance, but only to make them a surer mark for 


the grape and canister shot of our artillery, which, with- 
out exaggeration, mowed down whole ranks at every dis- 
charge : and at length they precipitately retired from th© 

Our right had only a short contest to sustain with a few 
rash men, who fatally for themselves, forced their entrance 
into the unftnished redoubt on the river. They were 
quickly dispossessed, and this glorious day terminated 
with the loss to the enemy, of their commander-in-chief 
and one major-general killed, another major-general 
wounded, the most experienced and bravest of their offi- 
cers, and more than three thousand men killed, wounded 
and missing, while our ranks, my friends, were thinned 
only by the loss of seven of our brave companions killed, 
and six disabled by wounds — wonderful interposition of 
heaven ! unexampled event in the history of war ! 

Let us be grateful to the God of battles, who has directed 
the arrows of indignation against our invaders, while he 
covered with his protecting shield the brave defenders of 
their country. 

After this unsuccessful and disastrous attempt, their 
spirits were broken, their force was destroyed, and their 
whole attention was employed in providing the means of 
escape. This they have effected ; leaving their heavy 
artillery in our power, and many of their wounded to our 
clemency. The consequences of this short but decisive 
campaign, are incalculably important. The pride of our 
arrogant enemy humbled, his forces broken, his leaders 
killed, his insolent hopes of our disunion frustrated — his 
expectation of rioting in our spoils and wasting our coun- 
try, changed into ignominious defeat, shameful flight, and 
a reluctant acknowledgment of the humanity and kindness 
of those, whom he had doomed to all the horrors and hu- 
miliation of a conquered state. 

On the other side, unanimity established, disafiection 


crashed, confidence restored, your country saved from 
conquest, your property from pillage, your wives and 
daughters from insult and violation — the union preserved 
from dismemberment, and perhaps, a period put by this de- 
cisive stroke, to a bloody and savage war. These, my brave 
friends, are the consequences of the efforts you have made, 
and the success with which they have been crowned by 

These important results have been effected by the uni- 
ted courage and perseverance of the army ; but which the 
different corps, as well as the individuals that compose it, 
have vied with each other in their exertions to produce. 
The gratitude, the admiration of their country, offers a 
fairer reward, than that which any praises of the general 
can bestow, and the best is that of which they can never 
be deprived, the consciousness of having done their duty, 
and of meriting the applause they will receive." 

We regret that our limits will not admit of a detail of 
the correspondence between General Jackson and the offi- 
cers of the British army, which exhibits in so favorable 
a light, the courtesy and dignity of his intercourse with 
them on matters of negotiation ; we cannot forbear, how- 
ever, transcribing an anecdote illustrative of it. It ex- 
hibits not only his courtesy and dignity in relation to the 
enemy, but a humane disposition, attentive to the danger 
of the humblest individuals. 

Among other volunteers who served under him, was a 
brave man, one distinguished as a general in the armies 
of the Republican France, — Humbert, — who, with a hand- 
ful of men, had invaded Ireland, and had nearly penetrated 
to its capital. This gentleman had obtained permission 
to raise an independent corps, and in order to fill it, had, 
by some incorrect representations, induced some of the 
English prisoners to enlist. When it w^as known to Ge- 
neral Jackson, he disapproved of the proceeding. A car- 


tel had been signed for the exchange of prisoners, and each 
one who should be kept under pretence of such enlist- 
ment, would prolong the captivity of one of our Ameri- 
can citizens. Moreover, the English prisoners who had 
signed their names for enlistment, complained of som« 
deception ; and their act was known to their fellow-sol- 
diers, and they feared punishment if they were exchanged. 

Under these circumstances, General Jackson, confiding 
in the magnanimity and generosity of the British com- 
mander, and judging of his character and feelings from 
his own, acquainted him with the circumstance, and said 
that it would afford him the highest satisfaction to learn 
that no inquiry should be made to the prejudice of the 
men, on their return. His confidence was not misplaced. 
There is an instinct by which brave and honorable men 
know each other. General Lambert answered him nearly 
in these words. " On the subject of the prisoners, I have 
only to remark that feeling and honorable conduct which 
has characterized every transaction in which I have had 
the honor to be concerned with you. You may rely 
upon it, I shall take no retrospective view of the conduct 
of any of the men returned, and shall find reasons for dis- 
continuing an inquir}^ should it be brought before me in 
any other manner." 

Who is there on reading this correspondence, that does 
not admire the humane feelings of the one, the courteous 
compliance and gentleman-like language of the other of 
these brave men, then at the head of hostile armies ! 
Who is there who can believe that he who was thus tender 
of the lives of his enemy's soldiers, would unnecessarily 
and cruelly take those of his own ! — Who is there who 
loves his country, or his country's honor, that would not 
spurn the foul calumny which at once would tarnish 


We have not space here to relate minutely, all the cir- 
cumstances which show the humanity of General Jackson 
to the wounded prisoners who were taken, to the number 
that were left to his care when the enemy retired, and his 
constant, unwearied attention to the men under his com- 
mand. He treated and spoke to them as his children ; 
and that they returned his confidence by good conduct, 
may be inferred from the fact, that not a single punish- 
ment was inflicted for a military offence during the cam- 

Another incident, which beautifully illustrates the de- 
voted and patriotic feelings of the females of Louisiana 
in that trying period, we cannot persuade ourselves to 
withhold. Many of the citizens of Louisiana profess th« 
Catholic religion. It is well known that those of that 
faith dedicate almost every day in the year to the honor 
of some holy person, who has, by a life of piety and cha- 
rity, merited the reputation and title of a saint. This dis- 
tinction is not confined to sex ; and the names of women, 
as well as men, are placed in the calendar, and claim 
particular reverence on the day which is consecrated to 
them. In the city of New Orleans is a convent, in which 
a number of respectable ladies have dedicated their live* 
to the practices of piety, to the education of poor children 
of their own sex, and to works of charity. This pious 
sisterhood were awakened from their rest, or disturbed in 
their holy vigils, before the dawn of the 8th of January, by 
the roar of cannon and volleys of musketry. The calen- 
dar, which pointed out the prayers of the day, was hasti- 
ly opened, and indicated the auspicious name of ST. VIC- 
TORIA. They hailed the omen, and, prostrate on tlw 
pavement which '* holy knees have worn" implored the 
God of battles to nerve the arm of their protectors, and turn 
the tide of combat against the invaders of their country.* 
♦ Livingston's Address. 



Reirospectio7i — Ge?ieral Jackso7i appoints a day of thanks- 
giving — Dr. Dubourg'' s address to General Jacksoji — 
His reply — Generals Coffee, Carroll, and Adair — 
Their merits — General Jackson still continues to 
strengthen his measures of defence — Treaty of peac€ 
between the United States and England — General 
Jackson'' s farewell address to his army. 

We have traced General Jackson and his little band of 
soldiers through scenes, in which they covered themselves 
with immortal honors. We have seen them arm with 
alacrity, and stand forth under their intrepid leader, in 
defence of themselves, their wives, their children, and their 
country, with the most unyielding firmness of purpose, to 
maintain the supremacy of their rights and privileges, or 
perish in the laudable endeavor. We have seen their 
glorious success — history has recorded it — and it will be 
proudly remembered long after its brave achievers shall 
have mingled their dust with the soil they defended. 

General Jackson and his little band, although every 
where received by the acclamations of the grateful and 
protected Louisianians, did not forget the homage and 
adoration due to the Ruler of the universe, for the protec- 
tion that had been extended over their country. He ap- 
pointed the twenty-third day of January, as a day of 
thanksgiving and praise. The rites were performed in 
the cathedral of New Orleans. The scene was solemn 
and impressive. The commanding general — his com- 
panions in glory— rthe aged, the innocent, the defenceless 


ones they had protected, knelt together before the ahar of 
their God. 

The Rev. Dr. Dubourg, of the diocess of Louisiana, 
addressed General Jackson on this occasion, in the follow- 
ing appropriate manner : 

" General — While the state of Louisiana, in the joyful 
transports of her gratitude, hails you as her deliverer, and 
the asserler of her menaced liberties — Avhile grateful 
America, so lately wrapped up ia anxious suspense, on 
the fate of this important city, is re-echoing from shore to 
shore your splendid achievements, and preparing to in- 
scribe your name on her immortal rolls, among those of 
her Washingtons — while history, poetry, and the monu- 
mental arts, will vie, in consigning to the admiration of 
the latest posterity, a triumph, perhaps, unparalleled in 
their records — while thus raised by universal acclamation 
to the very pinnacle of fame, how easy had it been for you, 
General, to forget the Prime Mover of your wonderful 
successes, and to assume to yourself a praise which must 
essentially return to that exalted source, whence every 
merit is derived. But, better acquainted with the nature 
of true glory, and justly placing the summit of your am- 
bition, in approving yourself the worthy instrument of 
Heaven's merciful designs, the first impulse of your reli- 
gious heart was, to acknowledge the interposition of Pro- 
vidence — your first step, a solemn display of your humble 
sense of His favors. Still agitated at the remembrance of 
those dreadful agonies, from which we have been so mi- 
raculously rescued, it is our pride to acknowledge, that 
the Almighty has truly had the principal hand in our de- 
liverance, and to follow you. General, in attributing to 
His infinite goodness, the homage of our unfeigned grati- 
tude. Let the infatuated votary of a blind chance, deride 
our credulous simplicity ; let the cold-hearted atheist look 
for the explanation of important events, to the mere con- 


catenation of human causes : to us, the whole universe is 
loud in proclaiming a Supreme Ruler, who, as he holds 
the hearts of men in his hand, holds also the thread of all 
contingent occurrences. 

" To Him, therefore, our most fervent thanks are dite, 
for our late unexpected rescue. It is Him we intend to 
praise, when considering you, General, as the man of hig 
right hand, whom he has taken pains to fit out for th« 
important commission of our defence. We extol that fe- 
cundity of genius, by which, under the most discoura- 
ging distress, you created unforeseen resources — raised, as 
it were, from the ground, hosts of intrepid warriors, and 
provided every vulnerable point with ample means of de- 
fence. To Him we trace that instinctive superiority of 
your mind, which at once rallied around you universal 
confidence ; impressed one irresistible movement to ali 
the jarring elements of which this political machine is 
composed ; aroused their slumbering spirits, and difl^used 
through every rank the noble ardor which glowed in 
your bosom. To Him, in fine, we address our acknow- 
ledgments for that consummate prudence, which defeated 
all the combinations of a sagacious enemy, entangled him 
in the very snares which he had spread for us, and suc- 
ceeded in effecting his utter destruction, Avithout exposing, 
the lives of our citizens. Immortal thanks be to his Su- 
preme Majesty, for sending us such an instrument of His 
bountiful designs ! A gift of that value, is the best token 
of the continuance of His protection — the most solid en- 
couragement, to sue for new favors. The first, which it 
emboldens us humbly to supplicate, as nearest our throb- 
bmg hearts, is that you may long enjoy the honor of your 
grateful country ; of which you will permit us to present 
you a pledge, in this wreath of laurel, the prize of victory, 
the symbol of immortality. The next is a speedy and 
honorable termination of the bloody contest, in which w« 


are engaged. No one has so efficaciously labored as 
you, General, for the acceleration of that blissful period : 
may we soon reap that sweetest fruit of your splendid and 
uninterrupted victories." 

General Jackson replied : " Reverend Sir — I receive, 
with gratitude and pleasure, the symbol crown, which 
piety has prepared. I receive it in the name of the brave 
men who so effectually seconded my exertions — they well 
deserve the laurels which their country will bestow. 

" For myself, to have been instrumental in the deliver- 
ance of such a country, is the greatest blessing that Heaven 
could confer. That it has been effected with so little loss 
— ^that so few tears should cloud the smiles of our triumph, 
and not a cypress leaf be interwoven in the wreath which 
you present, is a source of the most exquisite pleasure. I 
thank you, reverend sir, most sincerely, for the prayers 
which you offer up for my happiness. May those your 
patriotism dictates for our beloved country, be first heard : 
and may mine, for your individual prosperity, as well as 
that of the congregation committed to your care, be favor- 
ably received — the prosperity, wealth, and happiness of 
thi? city, will then be commensurate with the courage 
and other qualities of its inhabitants." 

If there is any occasion in which a man may be ex- 
cused, if he should forget the moderation and humility 
which only accompanies true merit, it is in the moment 
of triumph, when a conqueror who has led his country- 
men to victory, and saved his country from subjugation, 
is received by the grateful acclamations of his fellow-citi- 
zens on his return. When his way is strewed with 
flowers by the hands of those whom he has protected from 
violation ; when the ** pealing anthem swells the note of 
praise," and the incense of the altar perfumes the air — at 
such a time as this, he must have a large share of self- 
command who is not intoxicated with popular applause, 


elevated in his own opinion by the praises he receives, 
and incline to attribute to himself all the merit of an 
achievement, in which he had the principal, but not the 
only share. Yet, on such an occasion, the man who has 
been represented as the proud ferocious warrior, arroga- 
ting all things to himself, regardless of the rights of others, 
and unmindful of his duty to God or man, when met at the 
door of the temple by the venerable prelate, who bore 
witness to the piety with which he had ascribed to the 
Divine Power the success with which he had been 
blessed, and presented him with the victor's crown of 
laurel ; when all things combined to raise his opinion of 
himself, and make him forgetful of what was due to 
others ; he did not place on his own brows the crown that 
was offered, but modestly received it on behalf of the 
" brave men," whom he honored with the endearing title 
of his " brethren in arms," and expressed his chief satis- 
fection to be that the victory was obtained with so little 
loss, and that not a cypress leaf was mingled with the 
chaplet that was presented to him. Now as hypocrisy is 
not one of those vices with which he has been reproached, 
we must presume these expressions of piety and humility 
to be sincere, and they do certainly give a new lustre to 
his merit. 

While General Jackson was receiving the gratulations 
of his countrj^men, his companions in glory were not 
overlooked. The services of the gallant volunteers of 
Tennessee, the brave troops from Kentucky and Missis- 
sippi, who aided in those times that *' tried men's souls," 
received their due meed of gratitude. Never w^ill their 
exploits be forgotten by the Louisianians ; and the names 
of Coffee, and Carroll, and Adair, w^ill be ever associated 
with that of Jackson in their memory.* 

General Jackson did not yet deem it expedient to relajt 

* Livingston's Address. 


any of his exertions, to render the country safe. With 
the assistance of Generals Coffee, Carrol, and Adair, and 
the troops under their command, he continued to aug- 
ment the strength of his lines on each bank of the Missis- 
sippi. From his uniform language and conduct at this 
period, it would appear that he supposed the negotiations 
at Ghent would not terminate amicably. In one of his 
letters to Mr. Monroe, the secretary of war, he says, •' In 
my own mind, there is but little doubt, that his (the Bri- 
tish commander's) last exertions have been made in this 
quarter, at any rate for the present season ; and by the 
next, I hope we shall be fully prepared for him." In 
another one he says — " Wherever I command, such a 
belief (that the enemy would retire) shall never occasion 
any relaxation in the measures of resistance. I am but 
too sensible that the moment when the enemy is opposing 
us, is not the most proper to provide for him.'* 

By the 24th of January, every hostile foot was driven 
from the soil of Louisiana, and General Lambert and his 
army were compelled to seek for safety in the fleet of 
Admiral Cochrane, and even that was compelled to keep 
at a respectful distance from the shores of the Republic. 

Before the 8th February, the British forces had posi- 
tive and certain intelligence, that a treaty of peace be- 
tween America and Great Britain, had been signed by 
the commissioners of the two governments at Ghent. 
They were aware, however, that it was not binding until 
ratifications were exchanged. 

General Jackson, on the 13th of February, was advised 
of the ratification of the treaty of peace, by an express 
from the war department. The following is his farewell 
address to his troops, on their departure from New Or- 
leans to their respective homes : 

'* The major general is at length enabled to perform 
the pleasing task, of restoring to Tennessee, Kentucky, 


Louisiana, and the territory of the Mississippi, the brave 
troops who have acted such a distinguished part, in the 
war which has just terminated. Tn restoring- these brave 
men to their homes, much exertion is expected of, and 
great responsibility imposed on, the commanding officers 
of the different corps. It is required of Maj. Gens. Car- 
roll and Thomas, and Brig. Gen. Coftee, to march their 
commands, without unnecessary delay, to their respective 
states. The troops from the Mississippi territory and 
»;tate of Louisiana, both militia and volunteers, will be 
inunediutely mustered out of service, paid, and discharged. 

'* The major general has the satisfaction of announcing 
the approbation of the President of the United States, to 
the conduct of the troops under his command, expressed 
in flattering terms, through the honorable the secretary 
of war. In parting with these brave men, whose desti- 
nies have been so long united with his own, and in whose 
labors and glories it is his happiness and his boast to have 
participated, the commanding general can neither sup- 
press his feelings, nor give utterance to them as he ought. 
In what terms can he bestow suitable praise on merit so 
extraordinary, so unparalleled ? Let him, in one burst 
of joy, gratitude, and exultation, exclaim. These are the 
saviors of their country — these the patriot soldiers who 
triumphed over the invincibles of Wellington, and con- 
quered the conquerors of Europe ! 

*' With what patience did you submit to privations — 
with what fortitude did you endure fatigue — what valor 
did you display in the day of battle ! you have secured to 
America a proud name among the nations of the earth — 
a glory which will never perish. Possessing those dis- 
positions, which equally adorn the citizen and the sol- 
dier, the expectations of your country will be met in 
peace, as her wishes have been gratified in war. Go 
then, my brave companions, to your homes ; to those ten- 


der connexions, and blissful scenes, which render life so 
dear — full of honor, and crowned with laurels which will 
never fade. When participating, in the bosoms of your 
families, the enjoyment of peaceful life, with what happi- 
ness will you not look back to the toils you have borne — 
to the dangers you have encountered ? How will all 
your past exposures be converted into sources of inexpres' 
aible delight ? Who, that never experienced your suffer- 
ings, will be able to appreciate your joys ? The man 
who slumbered ingloriously at home, during your painful 
marches, your nights of watchfulness, and your days of 
toil, will envj you the happiness which these recollec- 
tions will afford — still more will he envy the gratitude of 
that country, which you have so eminently contributed to 
save. Continue, fellow-soldiers, on your passage to your 
several destinations, to preserve that subordination, that 
dignified and manly deportment, which have so ennobled 
your character. 

" While the commanding general is thus giving indul- 
gence to his feelings, towards those brave companions 
who accompanied him through difficulties and danger, 
he cannot permit the names of Blount, and Shelby, and 
Holmes, to pass unnoticed. With what generous ardor 
and patriotism, have these distinguished governors con- 
tributed all their exertions ; and the success which has 
resulted, will be to them a reward more grateful than any 
which the pomp of title, or the splendor of weahh, can 

" What happiness it is to the commanding general, that 
while danger v/as before him, he was, on no occasion, 
compelled to use towards his companions in arms, either 
severity or rebuke. If after the enemy had retired, im- 
proper passions began their empire in a fev/ unuorthy 
bosoms, and rendered a resort to energetic measures ne- 
cessary for their suppression, he has not confounded the 


innocent with the guihy — the seduced with the seducers. 
Towards you, fellow-soldiers, the most cheering recollec- 
tions exist, blended, alas ! with regret, that disease and 
war should have ravished from us so many worthy com- 
panions. But the memory of the cause in which they 
perished, and of the virtues which animated them, Avhile 
living, must occupy the place where sorrow would claim 
to dwell. 

'* Farewell, fellow-soldiers. The expression of your 
general's thanks is feeble, but the gratitude of a country 
of freemen is yours— yours the applause of an admiring 
world." 15* 



Recapitulation — Facts relative to the proclamation of 
martial law — Habeas Corpus — Louallier — Judge Hall 
— Defence of General Jackson'' s suspension of the writ of 
habeas corpus — He is arrested — His reasons showing" 
cause why an attachment for contempt should not be 
heard against him — Consequences that would result from 
a strict adherence to the civil code in seasons of peril. 

We must now refer our readers to the transactions 
previous to the period of those related in the preceding 
chapter. The declaration of martial law, of w^hich we 
have before remarked, was generally acquiesced in by- 
most of the citizens of New^ Orleans, w^hile the danger 
lasted. When it ceased to press them, the darker pas- 
sions began to work; and those who had ever been un- 
friendly to the adoption of effective m^easures for the pre- 
servation of the city, evinced their hostility and contempt 
for the commanding general's regulations and rules for 
the preservation of the country. 

On the 18th of February, Admiral Cochrane had writ-, 
ten to General Jackson, that he had received from Jamai- 
ca unofficial intelligence of peace. The general received 
his letter on the 21st, and immediately addressed to him 
this inquiry, " whether he considered the intelligence as 
authorizing a cessation of hostilities ?" which inquiry 
was answered in the negative. But with the retreat of 
the enemy to their ships, the danger appeared to many to 
be over ; and the impatience of military duty which this 
impression created, was the motive upon which the dis- 


aflected operated, to create disobedience and mutiny in 
the general's army. Although in his procliimation, the 
general had cautioned the citizens "not to be thrown 
into false alarms by the intelligence of peace," observing, 
*' that even if it were true ijiat a peace had been signed 
in Europe, it could not put an end to the war, until it 
should be ratified by the two governments;" although 
he British, who had been reinforced by a larger body of 
fresh troops, lay within half a day's sail of New Orleans, 
by a passage which the batteries at Chef Menteur and 
Fort Coquilles defended ;— yet, one Louallier published a 
piece in a New Orleans paper, that caused the Louisiana, 
companies, which manned these batteries, to desert, re- 
turn into the city, and leave it exposed. He v/as arrested 
tor exciting mutiny and desertion in the camp, and for 
giving intelligence to the enemy ; and to discharge him 
from arrest. Judge Hall issued his writ of Jiabeas corpus. 
This writ was resisted by General Jackson. For this 
act he has been severely censured, and with as little 
liberality and justice as usual. It has been gravely as- 
serted, that he suspended the habeas corpus, the charter 
of our liberties, upon his own individual authority. His 
defence is complete and triumphant. 

It was proved by the testimony of the clerk of the 
court, before which the process was returnable, that the 
writ which was granted for the release of Louallier, was 
actually issued before his arrest, and that the date had 
been ahered by the judge to suit the occasion. This was 
proof of complicity on his part, that rendered the pro- 
ceeding more objectionable. But General Jackson de- 
clined availing himself of this defect, and met the prin- 
ciple fairly, asserting the necessity of adhering to his 
plan of defence, and maintaining military power. Nor 
did he stop to ascertain what statute had conferred on a 
district judge of the United States, power to issue a pro. 


cess, which, touching" the liberty of the citizen, and being 
in its nature the creature of statute, would more properly 
emanate from the state judiciary. As all other command- 
ers in this Union, on occasions of less necessity, had 
done, he kept the civil process out of the camp. And 
would his accusers have had him to yield to the officious 
judge, and malcontent citizen — to suffer his troops to de- 
sert, and his defences to be abandoned, when a superior 
hostile force, unused to defeat, and intent on "beauty and 
booty," were hovering within a half day's sail of New 
Orleans, ready to strike a fatal blow to its liberties when- 
•ever a favorable opportunity presented ? Was the tem- 
porary restraint of Louallier, the momentary suppression 
of his cacoethes scribendi, a greater evil than the perma- 
nent conquest of New Orleans ? Creneral Jackson's ac- 
cusers describe the writ of habeas corpus " as the safe- 
cfuard cf individual liberty ;" but at the crisis referred to, 
his povv^er was the safeguard of the liberty of thousands, 
and individual liberty was not to endanger so great a 
stake. He who brought it into collision with this great 
object, acted like a bitter foe to his country, and was no 
more entitled to respect, than he would have been, had he 
on the 8th of January interposed his person between the 
American riflemen and the enemy, and insisted on the 
former not firing for fear of taking his life. The truth 
is, the judge, the citizen, the army, and the people, were 
all embarked in the same vessel and in the same storm. 
Measures, proper for the defence of all, were by the law 
of necessity obligatory on all — and the pilot to whose 
vigorous arm the helm was consigned, would have been 
guilty of both crime and folly, had he relinquished it 
merely because land was in sight. This General Jack- 
son would not do, and his patriotic firmness has ex- 
cited the lasting gratitude of the American people. The 
sentiments are the reverse of this which the same peo- 


pie entertain for those who rail at him for serving — for not 
permitting his sentinels to be subpanaed from their posts, 
or his men removed by writ of habeas corpus from their 
guns — acts which find ample justification from the cir- 
cumstances which called them into being. But the civil 
authority, which from its mal-administration, he was obli- 
ged to defend, he propitiated in a manner so signal, as to 
return it greater strength and sanctity, than the folly of its 
object and its agent had taken away. 

When peace was announced, he was arrested and 
brought before Judge Hall, to answer for a contempt of 
court. The judge refused to hear his defence. But as 
the answer he had prepared to show cause why a writ of 
attachment for contempt should not issue against him, 
does honor to his head and heart, and evinces the purity 
of the motives under which he acted, we apprehend that 
injustice would be done him, if we should omit the tran- 
scription of a part of it ; at least and our readers, we im.a- 
gine, would be also disinclined toj^ardon the omission. 

After staling his objections to the proceedings, on the 
ground of their illegality, and that the ofiences charged 
against him were not cognizable by the court before which 
he was called to appear — after recurring to the corres- 
pondence between him and the governor of Louisiania, 
previous to and after his arrival in this section of the 
seventh military district, on which we have remarked in 
a former chapter, he closed his defence as follows : 

" With the impressions this correspondence was calcu- 
lated to produce, the respondent arrived in this city, 
where, in different conversations, the same ideas were 
enlorced, and he was advised not only by the governor of 
he state, but very many influential persons, to proclaim 
MARTIAL LAW, as the Only means of producing union, 
overcoming disaffection, detecting treason, and calling 
forth (he eneigies of the country. This measure was 


discussed and recommended to the respondent, as he well 
recollects, in the presence of the judge of this honorable 
court, who not only made no objection, but seemed, by 
his gestures and silence, to approve of its being adopted. 
These opinions, respectable in themselves, derived greater 
weight from that which the governor expressed of the 
legislature then in session. He represented their fidelity 
as very doubtful ; ascribed design to their prolonged ses- 
sion, and appeared extremely desirous that they should 

" The respondent had also been informed, that in the 
house of representatives, the idea, that a very consider- 
able part of the state belonged to the Spanish govern- 
ment, and ought not to be represented, had been openly 
advocated, and favorably heard. The co-operation of the 
Spaniards with the English, was, at that time, a prevalent 
idea. This information, therefore, appeared highly im- 
portant. He determined to examine, with the utmost 
care, all the facts that tad been communicated to him ; 
and not to act upon the advice he had received, until the 
clearest demonstration should have determined its pro- 
priety. He was then almost an entire stranger, in the 
place he was sent to defend, and unacquainted with the 
language of a majority of its inhabitants. While these 
circumstances were unfavorable to his obtaining informa- 
tion, on the one hand, they precluded, on the other, a 
suspicion that his measures were dictated by personal 
friendship, private animosity, or party views. Uninflu- 
enced by such motives, he began his observations. He 
sought for information, and, to obtain it, com-municated 
with men of every description. Fie believed that even 
then he discovered those high qualities, which have since 
distinguished those brave defenders of their cjuntry; that 
the variety of language, the difference of habit, and even 
the national prejudices, which seemed to divide the inha* 


bitants, might be made, if properly directed, the source 
of the most honorable emulation. Delicate attentions 
were necessary to foster this disposition ; and the highest 
energy, to restrain the eflects, that such an assemblage 
was calculated to produce ; he determined to avail him- 
self of both, and with this view called to his aid the im- 
pulse of national feeling, the higher motives of patriotic 
sentiment, and the noble enthusiasm of valor. They ope- 
rated in a manner which history will record; all who 
could be influenced by those feelings, rallied without de- 
lay round the standard of their country. Their efforts, 
however, would have been unavailing, if the disafTected 
had been permitted to counteract them by their treason^ 
and the timid to paralyze them by their example, and both 
to stand aloof in the hour of danger, and enjoy the fruit 
of victory without participating in the danger of defeat. 

'* A disciplined and powerful army was on our coast, com- 
manded by officers of tried valor and consummate sliill ; 
their fleet had already destroyed the feeble defence, on 
which, alone, we could rely to prevent their landing on 
our shores. Their point of attack Avas uncertain ; a 
hundred inlets were to be guarded, by a force not suffi- 
cient in number for one ; we had no lines of defence ; 
.reason lurked among us, and only waited the moment 
of expected defeat, to show itself openly ; our men were 
few, and of those few, not all were armed ; our prospect 
of aid and supply was distant and uncertain ; our utter 
ruin, if we failed, at hand, and inevitable ; every thing 
depended on the prompt and energetic use of the means 
we possessed — on calling the whole force of the commu- 
nity into action ; it was a contest for the very existence of 
the state, and every nerve was to be strained in its defence. 
The physical force of every individual," his moral facul- 
ties, his property, and the energy of his example, were to 
be called into action, and instant action. No delay — no 


hesitation — ^no inquiry about rights, or all was lost ; and 
every thing- dear to man, his property, life, the honor of 
his family, his country, its constitution and laws, were 
swept away by the avowed principles, the open practice 
of the enemy with whom we had to contend. Fortifica- 
tions were to be erected, supplies procured, arms sought 
for, requisitions made, the emissaries of the enemy watch- 
ed, lurking treason overawed, insubordination punished, 
and the contagion of cowardly example to be stopped. 

" In this crisis, and under a firm persuasion that none 
of those objects could be effected by the exercise of the 
ordinary powers confided to him — under a solemn con- 
viction that the country committed to his care could he 
saved by that measure only, from utter ruin — under a re- 
ligious belief, that he was performing the most important 
and sacred duty, the respondent proclaimed martial law. 
He intended by that measure, to supersede such civil 
powers as, in their operation, interfered with those he was 
obliged to exercise. He thought, in such a moment, con- 
stitutional forms must be suspended, for the permanent 
preservation of constitutional rights, and that there could 
be no question, whether it were best to depart for a mo- 
ment from the enjoyment of our dearest privileges, or 
have them vnested from us forever. He knew, that if 
the civil magistrates were permitted to exercise their usual 
functions, none of the measures necessary to avert the 
awful fate that threatened us, could be expected. Personal 
liberty cannot exist at a time when every man is required 
to become a soldier. Private property cannot be secured 
when its use is indispensable to the public safety. Un- 
limited liberty of speech is incompatible with the discipline 
of a camp ; and that of the press more dangerous still, 
when made the Vehicle of conveying intelligence to the 
enemy, or exciting mutiny among the troops. To have 
suffered the uncontrolled enjoyment of any of those rights. 


during the time of the late invasion, would have been to 
abandon the defence of the country : the civil magistrate 
is the guardian of those rights ; and the proclamation of 
martial law was, therefore, intended to supersede the ex- 
ercise of his authority, so far as it interfered with the ne- 
cessary restriction of those rights — but no further. 

" The respondent states these principles explicitly, be- 
cause they are the basis of his defence, and because a 
mistaken notion has been circulated that the declaration 
of martial law only subjected the militia in service to its 
operation. This would, indeed have been a very useless 
ceremony, as such persons were already subject to it, with- 
out the addition of any other act. Besides, if the pro- 
clamation of martial law were a measure of necessity, — 
a measure, without the exercise of which the country 
must unquestionably have been conquered, then does it 
form a complete justification for the act. If it do not, in 
what manner will the proceeding by attachment for con- 
tempt be justified? It is undoubtedly and strictly a cri- 
minal prosecution ; and the constitution declares, that, in 
all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall have the be- 
nefit of a trial by jury; yet a prosecution is even now 
going on in this court, where no such benefit is allowed. 
Why ? From the alledged necessity of the case, because 
courts could not, it is said, subsist without a power to pu- 
nish promptly by their own act, and without the interven- 
tion of a jury. Necessity then, may, in some cases, jus- 
tify a departure from the constitution : and if in the doubt- 
ful case of avoiding confusion in a court, shall it be de- 
nied in the serious one of preserving a country from con- 
quest and ruin? The respondent begs leave to explain, 
that in using this argument, he does not mean to admit 
the existence of necessity in the case of attachment ; but 
to show that the principle of a justification from necessity 
is admitted, even in the weaker case. If the legislature 


of the United States have given to courts the power to 
punish contempts, it is no answer to this defence, for two 
reasons : first, because the words of the law do not ne- 
cessarily exclude the intervention of a jury ; and, second- 
ly, if they do, the law itself is contrary to the words of 
the constitution, and can only be supported on the plea of 
necessity ; to which head it is referred by the English 
writers on the subject. 

" The only responsibility which has been incurred in the 
present case, is that which arises from necessity. This, 
the respondent agrees, must not be doubtful ; it must be 
apparent, from the circumstances of the case, or it forms 
no justification. He submits all his acts, therefore, to be 
tested by this rule. 

" To the forcible reasons which he has detailed, as im- 
pelling him to this measure, he ought to add, that he has 
since, by the confession of the enemy himself, received a 
confirmation of the opinions, which he had then good reason 
to believe ; that there were men among us so depraved as 
to give daily and exact information of our movements, and 
our forces ; that the number of those persons was consi- 
derable, and their activity unceasing. The names of those 
wretches will probably be discovered ; and the respondent 
persuades himself, that this tribunal will employ itself, 
with greater satisfaction, in inflicting the punishment due 
to their crimes, than it now does in investigating the mea- 
sures that were taken to counteract them. 

" If example can justify, or the practice of others serve 
as a proof of necessity, the respondent has ample mate- 
rials for his defence : not from analogous construction, but 
from the conduct of all the different departments of the 
state government, in the very case now under discus-* 

" The legislature of the state, having no constitutional 
power to regulate or restrain commerce, on the day 


of December last, passed an act laying an embargo : the 
executive sanctioned it ; and from a conviction of its ne- 
cessity, it was acquiesced in. The same legislature shut 
up the courts of justice for four months, to all civil suitors 
— the same executive sanctioned that law, and the judi- 
ciary not only acquiesced, but solemnly approved it. 

" The governor, as appears by one of the letters quoted, 
undertook to inflict the punishment of exile upon an in- 
habitant, without any form of law, merely because he 
thought that an individual's presence might be dangerous 
to the jjublic safety. 

" The judge of this very court, duly impressed with 
the emergency of the moment, and the necessity of em- 
ploying every means of defence, consented to the discharge 
of men committed and indicted for capital crimes, without 
bail, and without recognizance ; and probably under an 
impression that the exercise of his functions w^ould be use- 
less, absented himself from the place where his court was 
to be holden, and postponed its session during a regular 

*' Thus the conduct of the legislative, executive, and 
judiciary branches of the government of this state, have 
borne the fullest testimony of the existence of the neces- 
sity on which the respondent relies. 

" The unqualified approbation of the legislature of the 
United States, and such of the individual states as w^ere 
in session, ought also to be admitted, as no slight means 
of defence ; inasmuch as all these respectable bodies were 
fully apprised of his proclamation of martial law, and 
some of them seem to refer to it, by thanking him for the 
energy of his measures. 

" The respondent, therefore, believes he has established 
the necessity of proclaiming martial law. He has shown 
the effects of that declaration ; and it only remains to 
prove, in answer to the rule, that the power assumed from 


necessity, was not abused in its exercise, nor improperly 
protracted in its duration. 

" All the acts mentioned in the rule, took place after 
the enemy had retired from the position they had at first 
assumed, after they had met with a signal defeat, and af- 
ter an unofficial account had been received of the signature 
of a treaty of peace. Each of these circumstances might 
be, to one who did not see the Avhole ground, a sufficient 
reason for supposing that further acts of energy and vi- 
gor were unnecessary. On the mind of the respondent 
they had a different effect. The enemy had retired from 
their position, it is true ; but they were still on the coast, 
and within a few hours sail of the city. They had been 
defeated, and with a loss ; but the loss was to be re- 
paired by expected reinforcements. Their numbers still 
much more than quadrupled all the regular forces which 
the respondent could command ; and the term of service 
of his most efficient militia force was about to expire. De- 
feat, to a powerful and active enemy, was more likely to 
operate as an incentive to renewed and increased exertion, 
than to inspire them with despondency^, or to paralyze their 
efforts. A treaty, it is true, had been probably signed ; 
yet it might not be ratified. Its contents had not trans- 
pired, and no reasonable conjecture could be formed, that 
it would be acceptable. The influence which the account 
of its signature had on the army, was deleterious in the 
extreme, and showed a necessity for increased energy, 
instead of a relaxation of discipline. Men, who had 
shown themselves zealous in the preceding part of the 
campaign, now became lukewarm in the service. Those 
whom no danger could appal, and no labor discourage, 
complained of the hardships of the camp. When the 
enemy were no longer immediately before them, they 
thought themselves oppressed, by being detained in ser- 
vice. Wicked and weak men, who, from their situation 


in life, ought to have furnished a better example, secretly- 
encouraged this spirit of insubordination. They affected 
to pity the hardships of those who were kept in the field ; 
they fomented discontent, by insinuating that the merits 
of those to whom they addressed themselves, had not been 
sufficiently noticed or applauded ; and to so high a degree 
had the disorder at length risen, that at one period, only 
fifteen men and one officer, out of a whole regiment, sta- 
tioned to guard the very avenue through which the enemy^ 
had penetrated into the country, were found at their post. 
At another point equally important, a whole corps, on 
which the greatest reliance had been placed, operated 
upon by the acts of a foreign agent, suddenly deserted 
their post. 

" If trusting to an uncertain peace, the respondent had 
revoked his proclamation, or ceased to act under it, the 
fatal security, by which we were lulled, might have de- 
stroyed all discipline, have dissolved all his force, and 
left him without any means of defending the country 
against an enemy, instructed, by the traitors within our 
own bosom, of the time and place at which he might safely 
make his attack. In such an event, his life might have 
been offered up, yet it would have been but a feeble expia- 
tion, for the disgrace and misery, into which, by his cri- 
minal negligence, he had permitted the country to be 

** He thought peace a probable, but by no means a cer- 
tain event. If it had really taken place, a few days must 
bring the official advice of it ; and he believed it better to 
submit, during those few days, to the salutary restraints 
imposed, than to put every thing dear to ourselves and 
country at risk, upon an uncertain contingency. Admit 
the chances to have been a hundred or a thousand to one 
in favor of the ratification, and against any renewed at- 
tempts of the enemy, what should we say or think of the 


prudence of the man, who would stake his life, his for- 
tune, his country, and his honor, even with such odds in 
his favor, against a few days' anticipated enjoyment of 
the blessings of peace ? The respondent could not bring 
himself to play so deep a hazard ; uninfluenced by the 
clamors of the ignorant and designing, he continued the 
exercise of that law which necessity had compelled him 
to proclaim ; and he still thinks himself justified, by the 
situation of affairs, for the course which he adopted and 
pursued. Has he exercised this power wantonly or im- 
properly ? If so, he is liable ; not, as he believes, to this 
honorable court for contempt, but to his government for an 
abuse of power, and to those individuals whom he has in- 
jured, in damages proportioned to that injury. 

" About the period last described, the consul of France, 
. who appears, by Governor Claiborne's letter, to have 
embarrassed the first drafts, by his claims in favor of pre- 
tended subjects of his king, renewed his interference ; his 
certificates were given to men in the ranks of the army; 
to some who had never applied, and to others who wished 
to use them as the means of obtaining an inglorious ex- 
emption from danger and fatigue. The immunity derived 
from these certificates not only thinned the ranks, by the 
withdrawal of those to whom they were given, but pro- 
duced the desertion of others, who thought themselves 
equally entitled to the privilege ; and to this cause must 
be traced the abandonment of the important post of Chef 
Menteur, and the temporary refusal of a relief ordered to 
occupy it. 

" Under these circumstances, to remove the force of an 
example which had already occasioned such dangerous 
consequences, and to punish those who were so unwilling 
to defend what they were so ready to enjoy, the respondent 
issued a r^P^i'al order, directing those French subjects 
who had availed themselve? of the consul's certificates, to 


remove out of the lines of defence, and far enough to 
avoid any temptation of intercourse with our enemy, whom 
they were so scrupulous of opposing. This measure was 
resorted to, as the mildest mode of proceeding against a 
dangerous and increasing evil ; and the respondent had 
the less scruple of his power, in this instance, as it was 
not quite so strong as that which Governor Claiborne had 
exercised, before the invasion, by the advice of his attor- 
ney general, in the case of Colonel Coliel. 

" It created, however, some sensation — discontents 
were again fomented, from the source that had first pro- 
duced them. Aliens and strangers became the most vio- 
lent advocates of constitutional rights, and native Ameri- 
cans were taught the value of their privileges, by those 
who formerly disavowed any title to their enjoyment. 
The order was particularly opposed, in an anonymous 
publication. In this, the author deliberately and wick- 
edly misrepresented the order, as subjecting to removal, 
all Frenchmen whatever, even those who had gloriously 
fought in defence of the country : and after many dan- 
gerous and unwarrantable declarations, he closes, by call- 
ing upon all Frenchmen to flock to the standard of their 
consul — thus advising and producing an act of mutiny 
and insubordination, and publishing the evidence of our 
weakness and discord to the enemy, who were still in our 
vicinity, anxious, no doubt, before the cessation of hos- 
tilities, to wipe away the late stain upon their arms. To 
have silently looked on such an offence, without making 
any attempt to punish it, would have been formal surren- 
der of all discipline, all order, all personal dignity, and 
public safety. This could not be done ; and the respon- 
dent immediately ordered the arrest of the offender. A 
writ of habeas corpus was directed to issue for his en- 
largement. The very case which had been foreseen, the 
reiy contingency on which martial law was intended to 


operate, had now occurred ; the civil magistrate seemed 
to think it his duty to enforce the enjoyment of civil 
rights, although the consequences which have been de- 
scribed would probably have resulted. An unbending 
sense of what he seemed to think his station required, 
induced him to order the liberation of the prisoner. This, 
under the respondent's sense of duty, produced a conflict 
which it was his wish to avoid. 

No other course remained, than to enforce the princi- 
ples which he had laid down as his guide, and to suspend 
the exercise of this judicial power, wherever it interfered 
with the necessary means of defence. The only way ef- 
fectually to do this, was to place the judge in a situation 
in which his interference could not counteract the mea- 
sures of defence, or give countenance to the mutinous dis- 
position that had shown itself in so alarming a degree. 
Merely to have disregarded the writ, would but have in- 
creased the evil ; and to have obeyed it, was wholly repug- 
nant to the respondent's ideas of the public safety, and to 
his own sense of duty. The judg'e was therefore confined, 
and removed beyond the lines of defence. 

" As to the paper mentioned in the rule, which the re- 
spondent is charged with taking and detaining, he answers, 
that when the w^rit was produced by the clerk of this ho- 
norable court, the date of its issuance appeared to have 
been altered from the 5th to the 6th. He was questioned 
respecting the apparent alteration, and acknowledged it 
had been done by Judge Hall, and not in the presence of 
the party who made the affidavit. This material altera- 
tion, in a paper that concerned him, gave the respondent, 
as he thought, a right to detain it for further investigation, 
which he accordingly did ; but gave a certified copy, and 
an acknowledgment that the original was in his posses- 

*♦ The respondent avows, that he considered this altera- 



fion in the date of the affidavit, as it was then explained to 
him by the clerk, to be such evidence of a personal, not 
judicial, interterence, and activity, in behalf of a man 
charged with the most serious offence, as justified the idee 
then formed, that the judge approved his conduct, and sup- 
ported his attempts to excite disaflJection among the troops. 

'* This was the conduct of the respondent, and these 
the motives which prompted it. They have been fairly 
and openly exposed to this tribunal, and to the v.'orld, and 
would not have been accompanied by any exception or 
waiver of jurisdiction, if it had been deemed expedient to 
give him that species of trial, to which he thinks himself 
entitled, by the constitution of his country. The powers 
which the exigency of the times forced him to assume, 
have been exercised exclusively for the public good ; and 
by the blessing of God, they have been attended with un- 
paralleled success. The)" have saved the country ; and 
whatever may be the opinion of that country, or the de- 
crees of its courts, in relation to the means he has used, 
he can never regret that he employed them." 

This defence requires no comment. At a subsequent 
day he attended to receive sentence, and when the judge, 
trembling at the murmurs of the indignant crowd, hesi- 
tated to pronounce it, *' Fear not," said the illustrious pri- 
soner, waving the multitude to silence with his hand — 
" fear not, your honor ; the same arm which repelled the 
invasion of the enemy, shall protect the deliberations of 
this court." The sublime humility of the patriot general 
did not end here. The ladies of New Orleans, whose 
persons had been saved from terror and pollution, not 
by the habeas corpus^ but by his valor, contributed a 
fund to discharge the fine. But they found he had an- 
ticipated them — had paid one thousand dollars out of his 
small fortune, the whole of which he had pledged to the 
bank of New Orleans, to raise money for its defence, and 


when their gratitude would force the contribution upon 
him, he preserved his independence, and displayed his 
humanity, by requesting that the money should be ap- 
plied to the relief of the widows and orphans of the brave 
citizens who had fallen in the campaign. 

Could Washington himself have have shown greater 
respect to the laws, or greater fidelity to the country? 
It has been said that Washington never refused to com- 
ply with the civil process. But he was a dictator, and 
who ever dared to oppose the civil process against his 
power ? Did he not execute deserters without even a 
military trial ? Did he not punish mutineers by decima- 
tion and instant death ? Did he not forage in New Jersey 
as in an enemy's country — in each case on the ground of 
necessity ? He did, and his conscience and his country 
both approved him : while General Jackson, acting with 
less rigor, under equal necessity, is denounced as "the 
agent of illegal enormities." 

General Jackson retired from the court ; and, in spite of 
his exertions, he was borne in triumph through the streets 
to his lodgings by the grateful citizens. He seized the 
first interval, which the expression of their applause would 
permit, to address them. He told them, that two great 
lessons might be learned from the events which had hap- 
pened since he had been among them. The first was, 
however inadequate might be the apparent means, never 
to despair of their country ; never to refuse any sacrifice 
that might be necessary for its preservation ; and when- 
ever the danger was past, to submit cheerfully to the ope- 
ration of the laws, even when they punished acts which 
were done to preserve them. That, for his own part, he 
knew that what he had done could only be justified by 
necessity ; and to prevent that necessity from becoming 
the pretext for oppression, it was perhaps right that he 
who resorted to it should undergo the penahy of the law, 



and find his indemnity in the approbation of his own con- 
science, and the evidence that liis acts were done only to 
serve his country. 

Thus ended this memorable trial, and it is a subject 
of regret that many of his countrymen are still to be found, 
who condemn General Jackson for the measures he 
adopted from the dictation of the sternest necessity, for 
raising the reputation of his country, and defending one 
of its fairest cities from the horrors of assault, by a vic- 
tory as splendid as any recorded in history. There are 
many yet, who depreciate the consequences of this vic- 
tory ; who would tear from the brows of the brave men 
who gained it, the laurels which their courage and pa- 
triotism have won ; who would blot the bright page of 
our history in which the achievement is recorded, and 
would persuade the people of the United States that in 
saving a populous city from plunder, the wives and daugh- 
ters of its inhabitants from violation, its churches from 
being profaned, and a whole state from the humiliation of 
conquest, the brave men who effected it, and the leader 
by whose courage, energy, and skill, they were animated 
and directed, had done nothing to deserve the gratitude 
of their country ; and that the United States had gained 
neither honor nor advantage from a victory that will pre- 
serve the name of the chief w^ho obtained it, ages after 
those of his detractors shall cease to be remembered. 

Nor is it enough to snatch from him the honors he has 
already won — the means of acquiring them in future 
must be destroyed — every power exercised by a com- 
mander in defence of his country, must be called an of- 
fence — every act of discipline must be considered a viola- 
tion of personal liberty — mutiny, desertion, insubordina- 
tion of every kind, must be punished at the hazard of be- 
ing proclaimed a tyrant and murderer. The wretch, 
who, when called upon to defend his country in the hour 


of extreme danger, meanly abandons his post, and seta 
the authority of his officer at defiance — the three times 
pardoned deserter — the instigator and associate of the 
savage, who butchers unprotected women and children — 
thesavage, himself who executes this work of destruction — 
are held up to public commiseration as suffering martyrs, 
because they were made to pay the penalty of their 
crimes. If these objections are to have eflect, and be con- 
sidered valid, where is the commander, who will dare to 
enforce discipline, or exercise any powers necessary for 
the defence of his country : for where is there one that 
may not be called an invasion of civil rights ? If he en- 
camp his army on the highway, it obstructs its free use ; 
if he turn aside into a neighboring field, it is trespass ; if 
he burn a house to save a retreat, it is arson ; if he seizes 
provisions to feed his famishing troops, it is robbery ; if 
he punish a deserter, it is murder ; if he prevent judges 
and lawyers and sheriffs from taking his sentinels from 
their posts, by writs of habeas corpus, it is a violation of 
constitutional right ; and if he will not suffer a printer, 
in a besieged town, to publish intelligence to the enemy, 
and excite disobedience in his camp, it violates the sacred 
liberty of the press ! The only mode for those who hold 
this doctrine, is to contrive some means by which they 
may clear the country of an invading enemy, by a writ of 
forcible entry, and make him give up his post by an 
ejectment. The censures of General Jackson on this 
ground, are too absurd even for ridicule, and show that 
the authors of them despise the vmderstanding of those to 
whom they are addressed. 

This authentic detail, we think, cannot fail of convin- 
cing our readers, that, in the prosecution of this glorious 
campaign in Louisiana, the commanding general united 
prudence to energy — humanity to the highest exertion of 
courage — a creative genius to provide resources, with 


wisdom in their employment — courtesy with dignity, in 
his intercourse with the enemy to whom he was opposed ; 
— that, in the moment of triumph and success, his reli- 
gion attributed them to the interposition of Heaven as the 
great cause, and his modesty and justice acknowledged 
his brave companions in arms as the means by which 
they were attained ; — and that he cheerfully submitted to 
the laws of his country, when their operation punished 
him for acts by which those laws and the constitution 
were preserved.* 

* Livingston's Address. 




General Jackson returns to Nashville — Receives the con- 
gratulatio7is of his countrymen — He is appointed com- 
mander-in-chief of the southern military division of 
the United States — Vote of thanks to him, from the 
Temiessee legislature — Repairs to Waslmigton — Re- 
ceives the congratulations of the citizens of Lynchburg 
at a public dinner — Returns to Nashville — Proceeds 
from, thence to New Orleans — Grateful reception from 
the inhabitants — He concludes a treaty with the Indians 
— Issues a geiieral order — Defence of it. 

General Jackson bade adieu to the grateful citizens 
of New Orleans, and commenced his journey to Nash- 
ville. During his journey, he was received in all the 
places through which he passed, with every demonstra- 
tion of regard, and greeted as one who had done the most 
signal services for his countrymen, in protecting them 
from the horrors of foreign invasion. He arrived at Nash- 
ville on the 18th of May, 1815, and was received with 
very flattering indications of respect by his fellow-citizens. 

The disbanding of the army, after the declaration of 
peace, took place. Ten thousand troops were all that 
constituted the standing army of the United States, which 
consisted of two divisions, the northern and southern. 
General Jackson was appointed commander-in-chief of 
the southern division. His appointment to this command 
was received with universal approbation. His ability to 
command had been proved, by his numerous successes 


over the most warlike nation of savages, and the best ap- 
pointed armies in the workl, under the most disadvanta- 
geous circumstances. 

He established his head-quarters at Nashville, where 
he continued to receive the flattering indications of the 
gratitude of his countrymen. From various legislatures 
he received votes of thanks, expressing, in appropriate 
terms, their approbation of his services. The legislature 
of Tennessee were among the first to manifest their re- 
gard for the character and achievements of General 
Jackson. They passed a vote of thanks, and presented 
him with a gold medal. They also presented elegant 
swords to Generals Coffee and Carroll, his gallant asso- 
ciates. Toward the close of the autumn of 1815, he re- 
paired to the seat of government. On his journey thither, 
he A\Tas received with those acclamations, which a grate- 
ful people ever bestow upon a distinguished benefactor. 
Although in time of war, he avoided all parade and cere- 
monies inconsistent w^th the demands of duty ; yet he 
felt no disinclination, at this period, to a compliance Avith 
the wishes of his countrymen, to mingle with them at the 
convivial board, and reciprocate their civility and hospi- 

A public dinner was given him at Lynchburg, in Vir- 
ginia, at which THOMAS JEFFERSON, the sage of 
Monticello, was present. The hilarity and good feel- 
ing exhibited on this occasion, was indicative of the 
high estimation in which -these two distinguished patriots 
were held by their countrymen. It was on this occasion 
that Mr. Jefferson gave his celebrated toast. " HONOR 
GLORY." On his arrival at Washington, he was re- 
ceived with much cordial affability by the president, and 
the heads of the several departments of government. 


After a short sojourn in Washington, he returned again 
to Nashville. 

In the spring of 1816, General Jackson repaired to 
New Orleans, the scene of his brilliant military opera- 
tions. Nothing could exceed the joy of the inhabitanis, 
on receiving again into their city the distinguished pro- 
tector of their dearest rights from carnage and violation. 
After the mutual congratulations of their meeting were 
past, he reviewed the troops at that station, and finding 
them unhealthy, resolved to have them removed to the 
Alabama territory, which was soon after effected. 

The most exposed part of the southern division, was 
that which bordered on the Spanish provinces of Florida, 
which was inhabited by the Alabama and Seminole In- 
dians. General Jackson was aware that the stationing of 
American troops upon their borders, would tend to re- 
strain their barbarity ; and their aggressions could be 
more promptly punished. Subsequent events showed the 
wisdom of this measure. 

After regulating and stationing the army in the south 
ern section of his division. General Jackson, inaccord ■ 
ance with previous instructions, entered into negotiations 
with the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cherokee, and Creek 
nations. The object of the negotiation, was to obtain 
from them the absolute relinquishment of all the claim 
they pretended to have to lands within the limits of the 
United States, and which had previously been ceded by 
them. This measure evinced the moderation of the 
American government toward the natives. Although the 
territory had before been obtained, first by conquest, after 
a sanguinary war, occasioned by the savages themselves, 
and afterwards by treaty with them, by which they ac- 
knowledged their gratitude to the government for permit- 
ting them to retain any territory, yet, to pacify them com- 
pletely, for the diminution of their limits* and to extin- 


guish their title, General Jackson concliuled a treaty with 
them, the particulars of which arc well known to the 

This important measure accomplished, he repaired to 
Huntsville, in the state of Mississippi, and published an 
order which was sanctioned by the government, by which 
all citizens of the United States, were enjoined to abstain 
from all encroachments upon Indian lands, and ordered 
such as had, to be removed in a limited number of days. 

In October, 1816, he returned to his head-quarters at 
Nashville. In the spring of 1817, he issued the follow- 
ing general order to his division : 

" The commanding general considers it due to the 
principles of subordination, which ought, and must exist 
in an army, to prohibit the obedience of any order ema- 
nating from the department of war, to officers of this divi- 
sion, who have reported and been assigned to duty, unless 
coming through him, as the proper organ of communica- 
tion. The object of this order, is to prevent the recur- 
rence of a circumstance, which removed an important 
officer from the division without the knowledge of the 
commanding general, and indeed, Vv^hen he supposed that 
officer engaged in his official duties, and anticipated 
hourly the receipt of his official reports, on a subject of 
great importance to his command ; also to prevent the 
topographical reports from being made public through 
the medium of the newspapers, as was done in the case 
alluded to, thereby enabling the enemy to obtain the be- 
nefit of all our topographical researches, as soon as the 
general commanding, who is responsible for the division. 
Superior officers, having commands assigned them, are 
held responsible to the government, for the character and 
conduct of that command ; and it might as well be justi- 
fied in an officer, senior in command, to give orders to a 
guard on duty, without passing that order through the 


officer of that guard, as that the department of war 
should countermand the arrangements of commanding 
generals, without giving their order through the proper 
channel. To acquiesce in such a course, would be a 
tame surrender of military rights and etiquette ; and at 
once subvert the established principles of subordination 
and good order. Obedience to the lawful commands of 
superior officers, is constitutionally and morally required : 
but there is a chain of communication that binds the 
military compact, which, if broken, opens the door to 
disobedience and disrespect, and gives loose to the turbu- 
lent spirits, who are ever ready to excite mutiny. All 
physicians, able to perform duty, who are absent on fur- 
lough, will forthwith repair to their respective posts. 
Commanding officers of regiments and corps, are ordered 
to report specially all officers absent from duty, and their 
cause of absence." 

For issuing this general order. General Jackson has 
received much severe animadversion. The circumstan- 
ces explaining and justifying this measure, are the follow- 
ing : While General Jackson was in the service of the 
United States, it occurred several times, and at seasons 
of the greatest pressure, that officers to whom he had as- 
signed important duties, were silently withdrawn from 
their posts by orders 'from some subaltern in the line, 
stationed as a deputy in the adjutant and inspector gene- 
ral's office at Washington. On the 1st of October, 1814, 
for example, just a fortnight after the first attack on Fort 
Bowyer, and while the whole British armament was 
hovering between Mobile and New Orleans, an order 
was issued from the war department, signed John R. 
Bell, deputy inspector general, directing Colonel Sparks, 
and the officers of the second regiment, including the gal- 
lant Major Lawrence, to proceed forthwith on the re- 
cruitinsf service! This order was received while Gene- 


ral Jackson was effecting the timely expulsion of the 
British from Pensacola, and had left Mobile in the charge 
of Colonel Sparks, and Fort Bowyer in that of Major 
Lawrence. With commendable prudence, these officers 
declined obedience, and remained at their posts. General 
Jackson complained of it to the government, pointed out 
the serious consequences that might have been produced 
by it, and suggested the propriety of communicating, in 
future, all orders to his subordinates through him, inas- 
much as his capacity to defend the extensive and defence- 
less line of territory committed to his charge, would be 
destroyed, if the officers on whose vigilance and exertions 
he depended, were removed from their stations without 
his knowledge. 

This representation received no effectual attention from 
the government, and the anomalous practice it condemned 
continued at intervals to prevail. A forcible instance oc- 
curred in the person of Major Long, who, having report- 
ed himself under a regular order to General Jackson for 
duty, was directed by him to the upper Mississippi, for 
the purpose of sketching the topography of a district in 
that quarter, upon which a contest with the Indians was 
then apprehended. The next thing the general heard of 
his engineer, was, while he was anxiously expecting his 
report, (through a newspaper in New York,) that the 
major had sometime since established himself in that city, 
in obedience to an order from the war department. 

On the 4th March, 1817, General Jackson appealed t-o 
Mr. Monroe (the president) on the subject, reiterated his 
former reasons against the irregularity, and deprecated 
with much earnestness its prevalence in his division, 
when no emergencies of war existed to require it, and 
when his head-quarters were at Nashville, a point of con- 
venient distribution for orders directed by mail to the va- 
rious military stations in the south and west. This com-- 


munication, like the former, proving ineffectual, and de- 
termined no longer to have more responsibility than 
power, he took measures to bring the subject before the 
government, in a way that would admit of no further ne- 

On the 22d of April, he i^oued the general order which 
has been presented to our readers, forbidding the officers 
of his division to obey any order from the war depart- 
ment, which did not pass through the office of his adju- 
tant general. About two months after this, the president 
still declining any decision on the matter, and suffering 
it to fester by delay, an order was issued from the war 
department, to General Ripley, then in command at New 
Orleans ; which, in compliance with General Jackson's 
general order, he did not obey. Finding one of his of- 
ficers involved in difficulty by an act of military subordi- 
nation and fidelity. General Jackson immediately assumed 
an attitude which none but a martinet can fail to admire. 
In a letter to the president, of the 12th August, 1817, he 
referred to his former communications on this subject, 
and to the cases which had produced them — repeated the 
substance of his general order, and stated the dilemma of 
General Ripley, and with his characteristic spirit and 
honor, thus relieved him from all responsibility : " This 
has given rise to proper disobedience of General Ripley, 
to the order of the department of war above alluded to, for 
which I hold myself responsible." He adds, " In the 
view^ I took of this subject on the fourth of March, I had 
flattered mxyself you would coincide, and had hoped to 
receive your answer before a recurrence of a similar in- 
fringement of military rule rendered it necessary for me 
to call your attention thereto. None are infallible in 
their opinions, but it is nevertheless necessary, that all 
should act agreeably to their convictions of right. My 
convictions irx favor of the course I have pursued are 


Strong, and, should ii become necessary, I will willingly 
meet a fair investigation before a military tribunal. The 
good of the service, and the dignity of the commission I 
hold, alone actuate me. My wishes for retirement have 
already been made known to you ; but, under existing cir- 
cumstances, my duty to the officers of my division forbids 
it, until this subject is fairly understood." The final de- 
cision, when it came, was, that orders to inferiors should 
pass through the commanding officer of the division, al- 
ways thereafter, unless in case of necessity ; thus admit- 
ting a principle contended for by General Jackson, and 
terminating a practice, which, under the aspect of legal 
authority, was subversive of discipline, injurious to ser- 
vice, and repugnant to justice. 

It is true that by the constitution, the president is com- 
mander-in-chief of the army, and that, by a custom almost 
equivalent to law, the orders of the secretary are consi- 
dered the orders of the president, and that, among the 
illegitimate descendants of this custom, was the practice 
of confiding the power of the department to lieutenants of 
the line, whose enormous deviations from propriety, as 
in the order to Colonel Sparks, brought it into question 
and disrepute. But the president is commander-in-chief, 
only in the same sense in which the general is comman- 
der of his division, and has no stronger claim to the obe- 
dience of the general, than the latter has to the obedience 
of the colonel ; and his orders, whether issued under his 
sign manual, or through the secretary of Avar, or the im- 
posing instrumentality of a subaltern, are to be restrained 
by the laws of congress and the principles of the constitu- 
tion. No man will contend, that his authority in the 
army is absolute — that he can of his own accord inflict 
capital punishment on a soldier — can make a lieutenant 
command a captain — a colonel a general, or exact duty 
from either without allowing him his proper rank. Now 



the essence of rank consists in the superiority of com- 
mand, which it confers ; and any order of the president 
making an inferipr disobey the orders of his superior, is 
a derogation of the rank of that superior, and produces a 
disorder, the removal of which necessarily exposes to dis- 
turbance, in a similar and equivalent degree, the authority 
of the president over the superior. 

The order to Colonel Sparks required a direct and vio- 
lent disobedience to General Jackson's command, as that 
to Major Long effected it. To have rendered these 
orders entirely legal and expedient, they should have been 
communicated through the commanding general. They 
would then have preserved the just equality between re- 
sponsibility and powder, which the nature of delegated 
authority requires. And instead of causing one act of 
obedience, and one of disobedience, they would have pro- 
duced two acts of perfect obedience, through agents re- 
lated in due subordination to each other. The course 
pursued by the government, moreover,' involved the sig- 
nal injustice of fixing publicly the proportion of General 
Jackson's power and responsibility, upon which propor- 
tion, it must be presumed, he consented to assume the 
latter ; and then privately, and without his knowledge, 
reducing the former below that proportion, by a proceed- 
ing much in the nature of an ex post facto law. The 
silence and hesitation persevered in, respecting his re- 
monstrances, while they tended to produce an impression 
that the reasons he advanced were not disapproved, cre- 
ated a strong demand for the decisive measures he adopt- 
ed, and the fact which is but too apparent that the irregu- 
larity he complained of, was calculated, if continued, to 
disappoint the department, as well as the general, as it 
might be retorted by the latter in various perplexing 
ways, furnishes another strong objection to it. Its only 
excuse is a complete justification of it, where it can be 


shown, and a marked condemnation of it, where it cannot 
be shown ; viz. necessity. To this fair adjustment and 
full redress. General Jackson brought this abuse in the 
service, and for the spirit and judgment he displayed on 
that occasion alone, he deserves the gratitude of the army, 
and the respect of his fellow-citizens. 




Causes that led to the Seminole war — General Jackson 
invades Florida — Is censured for it — Defence of the 
measure — His letter to the governor of Georgia — De- 
tail of the causes which elicited it — Destruction of the 
Chehaw village, and its consequences. 

Our readers Avill recollect that in the month of August, 
1814, while a war existed between the United States and 
Great Britain, to which Spain had formally declared her- 
self neutral, a British force, not in the fresh pursuit of a 
defeated and flying enemy, not overstepping an imagi- 
nary and equivocal boundary between their own territo- 
ries, and those belonging, in some sort, as much to their 
enemy as to Spain ; but approaching by sea, and by a 
broad and open invasion of the Spanish province, at a 
thousand miles, or an ocean's distance from any British 
territory, landed in Florida, took possession of Pensacola, 
and the fort of Barrancas, and invited by public procla- 
mations all the runaway negroes, all the savage Indians, 
all the pirates, and all the traitors to their country, w^hom 
they knew, or imagined to exist, within reach of their 
summons, to join their standard, and wage an extermina- 
ting war against the portion of the United States, imme- 
diately bordering upon this neutral, and thus violated 
territory of Spain. The land commander of this British 
force, it will be recollected, was the famous Colonel Ni- 
choll, of proclamation memory, w^ho, driven from Pensa- 
cola by the approach of General Jackson, actually left, 
to be blown up, the Spanish fort of Barrancas, when h© 


found it could not aHbrd him protection; and evacuating 
that part of the province, landed at another, established 
himself on the Apalachicola river, and there erected a 
fort, from which to sally forth with his motley tribe of 
black, white, and red combatants, against the defenceless 
borders of the United States, in that vicinity. A pait of 
this force consisted of a corps of colonial marines, levied 
in the British colonies, in which George Woodbine was 
a captain, and Robert Christie Ambrister was a lieute- 

As between the United States and Great Britaj;!, this 
transaction would have been buried in the same grave of 
oblivion, with other transactions of that war, had the hos- 
tilities of Colonel Nicholl terminated with the war. But 
he did not consider the peace which ensued between the 
United States and Great Britain, as having put an cnd^ 
either to his military occupations, or to his negotiations 
with the Indians against the United States. Several 
months after the ratilication of the treaty of Ghent, he re- 
tained his post, and his party-colored forces, in military 
array. By the ninth article of that treaty, the United 
States had stipulated to put an end, immediately after its 
ratification, to hostilities with all the tribes or nations of 
Indians, with whom they might be at war at the time of 
the ratification, and to restore to them all the possessions 
which they had enjoyed in the year 1311. This article 
had no application to the Creek Nation, with whom the 
United States had already pade peace, by a treaty con- 
cluded on the ninth day of August, 1814, more than four 
months before the treaty of Ghent was signed. Yet Co- 
lonel Nicholl not only afl^ected to consider it as applying 
to the Seminoles of Florida, and the outlawed Red Slicks, 
whom he had induced to join him there, but actually per- 
suaded them that ihei/ were entitled, by virtue of the treaty 
of Ghent, to all the lands which had belonged to the 


Creek nation, within the United States, in the year 1811, 
and that the g-overnment of Great Britain would support 
them in that pretension. He asserted also this doctrine 
in a correspondence with Colonel Hawkins, then the 
agent of the United States with the Creeks, and gfave him 
notice in their name, with a mockery of solemnity, that 
they had concluded a treaty of alliance, offensive and de- 
fensive, and a treaty of navigation and commerce, with 
Great Britain, of which more was to be heard after it 
should be ratified in England. Colonel Nicholl then 
evacuated his fort, and took with him the white portion 
of his force, and embarked for England with several of 
the wretched savages, whom he was thus deluding to 
their fate, among whom was the prophet Francis or Hil- 
lis Hadjo, and left the fort, amply supplied with military 
stores and ammunition, to the negro department of his 
allies. It afterwards was known by the name of the Ne- 
gro Fort, 

Colonel Hawkins immediately communicated to our 
government the correspondence between him and Nicholl,- 
upon which, Mr. Monroe, then secretary of state, address- 
ed a letter to Mr. Baker, the British charge d'affaires at 
Washington, complaining of Nicholl's conduct, and 
showing that his pretence, that the ninth article of the 
treaty of Ghent could have any application to his Indians, 
was utterly destitute of foundation. Copies of the same 
correspondence were transmitted to the minister of the 
United States, then in England, with instructions to re- 
monstrate with the British government against these pro- 
ceedings of Nicholl, and to show how incompatible they 
were with the peace which had oeen concluded betvv-^een 
the two nations. These remonstrances were accordingly 
made, first in personal interview with Earl Bathurst and 
Lord Castlereagh, and afterwards in written notes ad- 
dressed successively to them, together with extracts from 



the disipatches of the American ministers to the secretary 
of state, reporting what passed at those interview^. 
Lord Bathurst, in the most unequivocal manner, confirm- 
ed the fiicts, and disavowed the misconduct of NichoU; 
decUired his disapprobation of the pretended treaty of alli- 
ance, offensive and defensive, which he had made, assured 
the American minister that the British government had 
refused to ratify that treaty, and would send back the In- 
dians, whom NichoU had brought with him, with advice 
to make their peace on such terms as they could obtain. 
Lord Castlereagh confirmed the assurance that the treaty 
would not be ratified ; and if at the same time that these 
assurances were given, certain distinctions of public no- 
toriety weie shown to the prophet Hillis lladjo, and he 
was actually honored with a commission as a British of- 
ficer, it is to be presumed that these favors were granted 
him as rewards of past services, and not as encourage- 
ment to expect any support from C4reat Britain, in a con- 
tinuance of savage hostilities against the United States ; 
all intention of giving any such support having been re- 
peatedly and earnestly disavowed. 

The negro fort, however, abandoned by Colonel Ni- 
choU, remained on the Spanish territory, occupied by the 
banditti to whom he had left it, and held by them as a 
post from whence to commit depredations, outrages, and 
murders, and as a receptacle for fugitive slaves and male- 
factors, to the great annoyance both of the United States 
and of Spanish Florida. 

In the year 1817, Alexander Arbuthnot, of the Island 
of New Providence, a British subject, first appeared as 
an English trader in Spanish Florida, and as the succes- 
sor of Colonel NichoU in the employment of instigating 
the Seminole and outlawed Red Stick Indians to hostili- 
ties against the United States, by reviving the pretence 
ihat they were entitled to all the lands which had been 


ceded by the Creek iidtion to the United States, in Au- 
gust, 1814. As a mere Indian trader, the intrusion of 
this man into a Spanish province was contrary to the po- 
licy observed by all the European powers in this hemi- 
sphere, and by none more rigorously than by Spain, of 
excluding all foreigners from intercourse with the Indians 
within their territories. It must be known to the Spanish 
government whether Arbuthnot had a Spanish license for 
trading with the Indians in Spanish Florida, or not ; but 
they also know that Spain was bound by treaty to re- 
strain by force all hostilities on the part of those Indians, 
against the citizens of the United States ; and it is for 
them to explain, how, consistently with those engage- 
ments, Spain could, contrary to all the maxims of her or- 
dinary policy, grant such a license to a foreign incendiary, 
whose principal if not his only object, appears to have 
been, to stimulate those hostilities which Spain had ex- 
pressly stipulated by force to restrain. In his infernal 
instigations he was but too successful. No sooner did he 
make his appearance among the Indians, accompanied by 
the prophet Hillis Hadjo, returned from his expedition to 
England, than the peaceful inhabitants on the borders of 
the United States were visited with all the horrors of 
savage war; the robbery of their property, and the bar- 
barous and indiscriminate murder of woman, infancy, and 

After the repeated expostulations, warnings, and oflers 
of peace, through the summer and autumn of 1817, on 
the part of the United States, had been answered only by 
renewed outrages, and after a detachment of 40 men', 
under Lieutenant Scott, accompanied by seven women, 
had been waylaid and murdered by the Indians, orders 
were given to General Jackson, and an adequate force 
was placed at his disposal, to terminate the war. It was 
ascertained, tlial the Spanish force in Florida was inade 


quale for the protection even of the Spanish territory it- 
self, against this ming-led horde of lawless Indians and 
neg-roes ; and although their devastations were committed 
within the limits of the United States, they immediately 
sought refuge within the Florida line, and there only 
were to be overtaken. The necessity of crossing the line 
was indispensable ; for it was from beyond the line that 
the Indians made their murderous incursions within that 
of the United States. It was there that they had their 
abode ; and the territory belonged in fact to them, al- 
though within the borders of the Spanish jurisdiction. 

Of all the sins that have been laid to General Jackson's 
charge, none have been branched out into the crimina- 
ting counts of an indictment, and reiterated with more 
spiteful tautology, than those relative to his conduct of the 
iSeminole war. It has been said, in relation to it, that 
'* he invaded a neutral country in defiance of orders, and 
in violation of that provision of the constitution, which 
intrusts the power of peace and war to the president of 
the United States." 

How far the invasion of Florida was in defiance of 
orders^ may be determined by reference to the following 
documentary abstract. On the 9th of December, 1817, 
the secretary of war ordered General Gaines, " should 
the Indians assemble in force on the Spanish side of the 
line, and persevere in committing hostilities, within the li- 
mits of the United States, in that event, to exercise a 
souiid discretion, as to the propriety of crossing- the line 
for the purpose of attacking' them, and breaking up their 
toirns.^'' On the 16th December, he writes to the same : 
*' Should the Seminole Indians still refuse to make repa- 
ration for their outrages and depredations on the citizens 
of the United States, it is the ivish of the president, that 
you consider yourself at liberty to march across the Flo- 
rida line, and attack them within its limits.''^ Soon after 


this last order, the president received intelligence of the 
massacre of Mrs. Garrett and her family, and the shock- 
ing butchery of Lieutenant Scott and his detachment of 
forty men. Under the melancholy impression of these 
events, he had recourse to the well known energy and 
talent of General Jackson, and called upon him to repair 
to the scene of danger, and " terminate the conflict." 

The first order he received, dated the 26th December, 
1817, recited " the increasing display of hostile inten- 
tions by the Seminole Indians," and authorized him to 
call on the executives of the adjoining states, for a mili- 
tary force sufficient " to beat the enemy." It also in- 
formed him, that General Gaines, his second in com- 
mand, had been directed *' to penetrate from Amelia 
Island through Florida to the Seminole towns. With 
this view you m.ay be prepared to concentrate your force, 
and to adopt the necessary measures, to terminate the 
conflict." It cannot be disputed that these orders, not 
only authorized General Jackson, but actually command- 
ed him, to invade Florida. 

He is informed that since the orders authorizing Ge- 
neral Gaines to " maich across the Florida lines, and at- 
tack the Indians within its limits," were issued, the go- 
vernment had learnt " their increasing display of hostile 
intentions," in the murder of Mrs. Garrett and family* 
and Lieutenant Scott and his men, and therefore General 
Gaines had been " directed to penetrate from Amelia 
Island, through Florida, and co-operate in an attack on 
the Seminole towns, if his force were sufficient for that 
offensive operation ; and that with this view" he himself 
was expected " to concentrate his force and adopt the ne- 
cessary measures to terminate the conflict." With what 
view then, would we ask, was General Jackson *' to con- 
centrate his force and adopt his measures ?" The only 
answer that can be made is, with the view of ** penetrating 


into Florida," and carrying on witliin iiij limits such mili^ 
tary operations as would be " necessary to terminate the 
conflict." What justification, rather what apology, can 
be offered by General Jackson's accusers, against the in- 
dignation of the American people, and the reproaches of 
truth, for declaring that this act of his was in " defiance 
of orders ?" The orders themselves correspond with the 
act, and the act conforms to the interpretation given to 
the orders by the government that issued them. On the 
25th of March, 1818, the president, in a message to con- 
gress, adverting to the course and spirit of the Indian hos- 
tilities, says, "• General Jackson was ordered to the theatre 
of action, charged with the management of tlie war, and 
vested with the powers necessary to give it effect." And 
on the 13th May following, the secretary of war w^rites 
to Governor Bibb, " General Jackson is vested with full 
powers to conduct the war in the manner he may judge 
best." Now how could General Jackson's discretion, 
which was intrusted with these full powers, fail to deter- 
mine on crossing the Florida line, in order to comply 
with his instructions, to "beat the enemy," and to "ter- 
minate the conflict," when that enemy was situated within 
the limits of Florida? It was totally impossible. 

As this act of General Jackson was authorized and 
commanded by the president of the United States, whom, 
as a major general in the service, he was bound to obey, 
it is no part of his defence to disprove the allegation of its 
being a violation of a provision of the constitution. This 
charge, were it sustainable, would evidently miss Gene- 
ral Jackson and hit Mr. Monroe. But it was debated in 
the house of representatives with intense eagerness for 
about three weeks ; was discussed by thirty-two members, 
and enforced by all the boasted management and eloquence 
of Mr. Clay, and yet was decided in the negative by a 
vote of one hundred to seventy. We have only to remark. 


that the entrance of the American army iuto Florida, ui.d 
their provisional assertion of our belligerent rights, in 
the place of the abused or the derelict authority of Spain, 
was no violation of neutrality, much less an act of war, 
but strictly defensive; authorized by the principle of self- 
preservation, which is derived from the law of nature it- 
self; is recognized by the law of nations, and conduces to 
their mutual safety ; and under the obligations of which, 
the president, to whom the constitution commits the de- 
fence of the nation, and the assertion of its rights, was 
bound to prosecute the war with the Seminole Indians to 
a speedy and successful issue. 

The right of self-defence, belonging to the nation, and 
committed to the president, carried with it a right to the 
means of its exercise. The inability of the Spanish 
authorities, or their unwillingness to preserve towards us 
the general obligations of neutrality, or to comply with 
the positive obligations of a treaty, binding them to restrain 
the Indians within their limits from hostilities against the 
citizens of the United States, brought General Jackson's 
military operations in Florida strictly within the number 
of these means. But whether regarded as they relate to the 
constitution of this country, or as they affected the rights of 
Spain, they are equally insufficient to inculpate General 
Jackson. He acted, like other commanders, under the 
orders of his government, and these order:^ he executed 
with his usual energy and address. He was not respon- 
sible for their nature, or for the extent of operations which 
they commanded, and therefore needed no defence. 

Presuming that our readers are convinced that the 
invasion of Florida by General Jackson was not in 
** defiance of orders," or a violation of any provision of 
the constitution, we will proceed in the detail of the subse- 
quent events of this memorable campaign. Soon 'after 
the arrival of General Jackson in Georgia, preparatory to 


his expedition into Florida, a highly impolitic measure 
adopted by the governor of that state elicited censure 
from General Jackson. His accusers assert, that a " spi- 
rit of domination, fiery misrule, and impetuosity of tem- 
per," is disj)layed, in his celebrated letter to Governor Ra- 
bun, where he is made to say, " When I am in the field, you 
have no authority to issue a military order." The un- 
fairness of the extract, and the circumstances which eli- 
cited the expression from General Jackson, will appear in 
the followinjr detail of events : 

*' When General Jackson assumed the direction of the 
Seminole war, he found General Gaines near Hartford, 
in Georgia, at the head of the contingent force of thai 
state, which he speedily put into motion. Advancing 
with his raw force of one thousand men, in the direction 
of Fort Scott, he passed on rude rafts and scarcely practi- 
cable routes, the fenny swamps, and flooded rivers of that 
region, impelled by the energy of his character, and the 
hope of finding the supplies which had been ordered there, 
at Fort Early. But when he reached that place, the dan- 
ger of famine was not abated, there being only a barrel 
and a half of flour, and a few bushels of corn, in the fort. 
In the neighborhood lived a small tribe of Indians, the 
Chehaws, whose friendship, though doubted, now proved 
f^incere. To these sons of the forest, in his extremity, he 
applied, desiring them to bring in such supplies of corn, 
peas, and potatoes, as they could spare, and promising 
liberal pay for them. They immediately brought a small 
supply, and on the general's encamping near their vil- 
lage, which lay directly in his route to Fort Scott, their 
aged chief, Howard, the survivor of many wars with the 
kings of the forest and the foes of his tribe, received him 
QS a brother, and the simple-hearted community emptied, 
almost to exhaustion, to relieve the wants of their guests, 
the small stock of food which had been collected for their 


subsistence through the winter. Enthusir ....^ 

their kindness- — the few warriors of the village joined the 
American standard, and it was only in compliance with 
Jackson's request, that the grandson of Howard, a youth 
of eighteen, was left to assist that patriarch of the woods, 
in attending to the old men, women, and children. Thus^ 
confiding in the honor of General Jackson, and in the faith 
of the United States, the Chehaw villagers were left in 
complete exposure. But what had they to apprehend, or 
what had General Jackson to apprehend for them ? To 
the commanding officer of the small garrison left at Fort 
Early, he had given instruction to consider the Chehaws 
as friends, and there was no power behind him that could 
be dangerotis to the allies of the United States. Having 
cdasped the right hand of Howard in friendship, marshalled 
the warriors of the tribe, and assured the women of peace 
and protection, who, with their " young barbarians," wit- 
nessed his departure, he hastened onward to the theatre 
of war. 

Where the lion walks harmless, the wolf prowls most 
ferociously. A Captain Wright, of the Georgia militia, 
upon some false information, conceived and communicated 
to the governor the impression, that after the march of 
General Jackson from the vicinity of Hartford, hostilities 
had been committed on that section of the frontier by the 
Phillimees and Oponees — subordinate or rather incorpo- 
rated septs of the Chehaw tribe. The governor, on this 
erroneous representation, issued a very inconsiderate or- 
der, empowering the Captain to march at the head of two 
companies of cavalry, and such infantry as could be drawn 
from the garrison of Fort Early, against the supposed ag- 
gressors. It was in vain that the commanding officer there 
assured Captain Wright of the friendship and innocence 
of the Chehaws, and informed him of their recent aid and 
hospitality to General Jackson. But why prolong the 


dreadful recital ? The governor's party had the power 
and the will to destroy. They burst like a tempest on the 
devoted village. Helpless age and unresisting infancy 
they confounded in one torrent of destruction. The bay- 
onet, red with the blood of the infant, was plunged into 
the breast of the mother. The aged Howard, supported 
by his grandson, advanced with a white flag, and was 
shot with that emblem of faith and peace in his feeble 
hand. The same cruel volley dispatched his grandson — 
the village was given to the tlames — the women and chil- 
dren to the edge of the sword, or they fled from instant 
slaughter, in terror and exile, to famine. Wider scenes 
of desolation have indeed been spread on the face of the 
globe, when Hyder descended like a thunder-cloud from 
the mountains of Mysore, upon the plains of the Carnatic 
— or when Turreau left La Vendee shrouded in soli- 
tude and ashes. But a deeper stain of dishonor, or a 
more intense visitation of wo, was never seen or inflicted, 
than at the secluded village of the Chehaws. The mas- 
sacre of Wyoming was mercy to it, and the revenge of 
Brandt far less cruel than this amity of the United States. 
It violated, at one blow, humanity, friendship, and the faith 
of treaties — the obligations of justice, gratitude, and honor 
— and involved in its consequences the disgrace of the na- 
tion, the murder of our citizens, and the probable renewal 
of the war, which was then almost concluded. Against 
this shameful outrage, the heart of Jackson arose, and he 
resented it with indignation, but not without dignity ; 
complaining to the executive of the United States, and re- 
monstrating with that of Georgia. To the former he says, 
(7th May, 1818,) " The outrage which has been commit- 
ted on the superannuated warriqrs, women, and children of 
the Chehaws, whose sons were then in the field, in the 
service of the United States, merits the severest chastise- 
ment. The interference, too, of the governor of Georgia, 



with the duties imposed on me, claims the early attention 
of the president. All the effects of my campaign may by 
this one act be destroyed, and the same scenes of massacre 
and murder with which our frontier settlements have been 
visited, again repeated." To the latter, (7th May,) after 
referring to the massacre as *'base and cowardly," and 
to an inclosed copy of General Glascock's letter detailing 
it, he observes, " That a governor of a state should make 
war against an Indian tribe at perfect peace with and un- 
der the protection of the United States, is assuming a re- 
sponsibility that I trust you will be able to excuse to the 
United States, to which you will have to answer ;" and he 
adds, ** you, as governor of a state within my military divi- 
sion, have no right to give a military order when 1 am in 
the field." This last is the phrase which General Jack- 
son's accusers have "torn from its context," and repeated 
with an aggravating abbreviation, and in alarming italics. 
** When I am in the field ynu haoe no right to issue a 
military orders Now, although the negation may at 
first appear too general, yet the context plainly limits it 
to the field of command on which Jackson was then em- 
ployed. It obviously was not his intention to say that the 
governor had no right to regulate the militia concerns of 
his state, or to order out quotas in the service of the Uni- 
ted States ; but that he had no right, as governor of Geor- 
gia, to interfere with his duties, by operations extraneous 
to the sovereignty of the state, and hostile to the Indians 
at peace with and under the protection of the United States. 
In this he was perfectly right, and evinced a disposition 
to preserve rather than to disturb the harmony so desirable 
between the slates and the general government. The 
power of making war is vested exclusively by the consti- 
tution in the federal government, and the equivalent duty 
imposed on it of guarantying the integrity and indepen- 
dence of the several states. This duty, the federal go- 


vernment was tlicn in the act of discharg-ing in favor of 
the state of Georgia ; and yet, acccording to General 
Jackson's accusers, the governor of Geogria was to in- 
terrupt its military operations, and to murder its friends 
and allies, without the voice of remonstrance or admo- 
nition. Let us suppose, for a moment, that after Ge- 
neral Brown had concluded a friendly agreement with 
the Buffalo Indians, and with their supplies of provisions 
and men, had invaded Canada, Governor Tompkins had 
come on his track, burnt the friendly village, and destroyed 
or dispersed its inhabitants. Would it have been an un- 
pardonable offence in General Brown to remonstrate 
against that outrage, and to inform Governor Tompkins 
that he had transcended his authority? Would it have 
displayed a " dangerous spirit of domination," or an ho- 
norable feeling of justice and humanity ? And would it 
have exposed General Brown to the suspicion and exe- 
cration of his fellov.^ citizens, or entitled him to their ap- 
probation and support ? The acquaintance of those with 
history who accuse General Jackson should remind them 
that the taking of Saguntum, while in alliance with the 
Romans, was the immediate cause of the second Punic 
war, and that the destruction of that city excited a digni- 
fied resentment in the Roman people, which defeat after 
defeat, and slaughter after slaughter, could not subdue, 
and gave a moral interest as well as a political force 
to the vengeful expression of the elder Cato, " delenda est 
Carthago." Not to mention other examples of feeling 
repugnant to the sentiments with which they contemplate 
the sensibility of General Jackson for the fate of the Che- 
haws, the pride which on a late occasion England took in 
stretching forth her power as an segis over her " ancient 
ally," may be cited — when Mr. Canning, as the organ of 
his country, declared to the nations in a tone of generous 
defiance, that when the march of foreign conquest touched 


the frontiers of Portugal, it must stay its haughty step. 
Yet while we admire the spirit of the Roman people and 
of. the English statesman, we are persuaded to helieve 
that when our own patriot protested against an outrage on 
humanity, a violation of faith, and a usurpation of autho- 
rity, acquiescence in which would have stained with dis- 
grace our common sense, our common nature, and our 
common country, he displayed a " fiery misrule of tem- 
per," and "a dangerous spirit of domination." 

It may, perhaps, be within the extensive circle of 
their sophistry to contend that the governor of Georgia, 
as the head of a sovereign state, had a right to make war 
on the Indians, the right of war being an incident inse- 
parable from sovereignty. Waiving the constitutional 
pact between the states and the federal government, and 
the laws of congress placing the Indian tribes under the 
control and keeping of the United States, which would at 
once defeat this course of argument, it will be enough to 
observe, that even if the governor had the right of waging 
this war, he was bound to prosecute it according to the 
law of nations and the usages of war. These would 
have rendered it his duty to ascertain first, whether the 
injury he complained of was really committed by the 
Chehaws — and if it were, secondly, whether the authori- 
ties of that tribe would make, or refuse proper repara- 
tion. This is the practice of all civilized states — is that 
of the United States — and was exemplified in the late dis- 
turbance with the Winnebagoes. So that, conceding the 
right of war to the governor, his violation of the laws 
and usages of war to the injury of the Chehaws, justly 
exposed him to the remonstrances of General Jackson, 
who, as an officer of the United States, the guest of the 
Tcnerable Howard, and the commander of the Chehaw 
warriors, was in strict alliance with that tribe, and bound 
to protect it. The fact is, that the governor of Georgia 


was, for a time, so infiituated, as to consider his official 
dignity invaded, and his power encroached upon by this 
remonstrance of the general, and under that impression 
wrote a letter to him, reminding him of Georgia's "bleed- 
ing frontier," and taunting him with affecting " a military 
despotism." The fact is, too, that this, his letter, made its 
gasconading appearance in a Georgia journal, before it 
was received by the general, and fell into disreputable 
oblivion soon after. And the probability is, that the ge- 
neral's accusers, who, though prodigal in charges, are 
penurious in proofs, have been guided to this buried slan- 
der by a sense for defamation as keen and creditable as 
that which leads certain winged gnostic<i to the carcasses 
of the dead. But it has as little truth as fragrance. For 
from the time the Georgia brigade encamped on the Oak- 
mulgee, and under the conduct of General Jackson, march- 
ed by the way of Fort Early to Fort Scott, up to the close 
of the war, the southern frontier of that state could neither 
have bled nor been exposed. — A thousand men, either sta- 
tioned on that frontier, or penetrating from it into the In- 
dian country, naturally bore off any thing like hostility ; 
and accordingly General Jackson met with no opposition 
until he reached the Mickasuky towns, at least 150 miles 
south of Hartford. Besides, the Tennessee contingent, 
consisting also of 1000 men, had marched on 14th of Feb. 
from Fayetteville, in Tennessee, under the command of 
Colonel Hayne, of the United States army, and after 
reaching Fort Mitchell, on their way to join General Jack- 
son at Fort Scott, had information that their rations, which 
had given out, could not be replenished in the direction of 
Fort Scott, filed off to the left, and by a route nearly pa- 
rallel to the advance of Jackson, had passed into Georgia, 
at Hartford; where Colonel Hayne with 400 men re- 
mained for the protection of that frontier, until after the 
period at which Governor Rabun represented it to be 


"bleeding." There could therefore have been no real 
cause, as there was no possible justification, for the attack 
on the Chehaws ; and of this the governor himself was 
soon sensible, for in a letter of the 11th May, from Mill- 
edgeville. General Glascock says to General Jackson, 
" I had an interview with the agent and the governor, 
and they have concluded that a talk will immediately be 
held with the chiefs of that place — ascertain the amount 
of property destroyed, and make ample reparation for the 
same. This is at once acknowledging the impropriety of 
the attack, and not in the least degree throwing ofT the 
stigma that will be attached to the state." 



General Jackson arrives at Fort St. Maries — Captures it 
— Censures of him for his operations in Florida — Cir- 
cumstances justifying his acts — Arhuthnot and Ambris- 
tcr — Their agency in producing the Seminole tear — 
Justification of their punishment — Detail of the particu- 
lars of the Seminole tear as given by General Jackson. 

While the unfortunate affair of the Chehaws was 
transpiring-, General Jackson was proceeding in the direc- 
tion of Fort St. Marks. Its situation was in the interior of 
Florida, on a river of the same name ; and had long been 
the scene of the most nefarious designs, and the starting 
point from which marauders, depredators, and murderers, 
had taken their departure. This place he captured, and 
from it he directed his operations against the Seminoles 
yet unsubdued. As every act of General Jackson during 
this campaign has been made the subject of the severest 
animadversion, we have been necessitated to incorporate 
the detail of it with a defence of his measures, and to 
render that defence acceptable to our readers, we have 
availed ourselves of the masterly productions of the wri- 
ter alluded to in our preface, whose admirable defences 
of General Jackson's public acts on various occasions, we 
have often made our readers familiar with in the course of 
this volume. General Jackson is charged with having 
" decoyed and slaughtered the Indians while at St. 

The subject of this charge is indissolubly connectea 


with the crimes and fate of Arbuthnol and Ambrister, 
and blends itself intimately with General Jackson's ope- 
rations in Florida. But the scene of these transactions 
is so remote and obscure — covered by untravelled wilder- 
nesses, unmeasured swamps, and undefined jurisdictions — 
the characters upon which they operate so notorious and 
yet so unknown, their allegiance so diversified, and their 
motives so various, that the attention of ever a fair in- 
quirer is often bedimmed and confounded in their study, 
as the strongest eye is mocked in pursuing the even chang- 
ing reflection from agitated water. In their present state 
of indigestion, they form a mass of rubbish, behind which 
every scribbler who chooses to revile General Jackson, 
and hopes to delude the public, entrenches himself. 

The dramatis personce engaged in the catastrophe 
which Jackson is accused of producing, were — Lieut. 
Col. Nicholl, of the British artillery — Woodbine, an Eng- 
lish adventurer of fine address and desperate morals, 
trainer of hostile Indians, with the title if not the rank 
of captain, and in that respect, adjunct and successor of 
Nicholl — Arbuthnot, a Scotchman, who had left his wife 
in Europe, married a colored one in the West Indies, 
and with a son by the former taken a trading position in 
Florida, got himself elected chief of the Indians at war 
with the United States, and as such had sanctioned the 
butchery of Lieutenant Scott and his party — Ambrister, 
a half officer and half buccanier, who, with the commis- 
sion of " auxiliary lieutenant of colonial marines," given 
by Admiral Cochrane during the war with this country, 
was taken three years after the peace, leading the Indians 
and fugitive negroes in the battle against the troops of the 
United States. Hambly and Doyle, subjects of Spain, 
agents of a commercial firm irt Pensacola, driving the 
Indian trade in an establishment on the Apalachicola, and 
favorers of peace — Cook, clerk to Arbuthnot, also in fa- 


vor of peace — Francis or Flillis Hadjo, chief of the pro- 
phets of the Creek Nation, appointed by Tccumseh in his 
insurrectional visit to the southern tribes in the foil of 
1812, an inveterate enemy of the United States, had re- 
fused to unite with his countrymen in the capitulation of 
Fort Jackson, abandoned his country, and at the head of 
the outlawed Red Sticks, had taken refuge and protection 
with the Seminoles in Florida, instigated them to rapine 
and murder, and had witnessed and encouraged the mas- 
sacre of Lieutenant Scott and his party — Hemithlimaco, 
a Red Stick chief, the principal warrior of the prophet, 
and principal perpetrator of that massacre. 

The motives and liabilities of these men were as va- 
rious as their names and nations. The motive of NichoU 
was success in his profession and service to his country, 
stained with the design of debasing the chivalry of war, 
by the employment of savage associates. To this Wood- 
bine added, and in a predominating degree, the infamous 
desire of plunder and profit. Lucre was the sole object 
of Arbuthnot, and his means for procuring it were saga- 
cious and unscrupulous — proposing to acquire an influ- 
ence over all the surrounding Indian tribes, by means of 
it to disturb their existing relations with their civilized 
neighbors, both as to territory and trade, and to engross 
the entire profits of the latter. A mixed and unprincipled 
thirst for gain and for fame, seems to have actuated Am- 
brister. Interest, w^hich incited Arbuthnot and Ambrister 
to produce confusion, made Hambly and Doyle anxious to 
preserve peace. Cook Avas engaged to be married to a 
girl in New Providence, and feU therefore an inordinate at- 
tachment to life, and little disposition to run the hazards 
of his employer, Arbuthnot. The " self-exiled" prophet, 
loving his country less than he hated her enemies, was 
filled with revenge for the disasters of the Creek war, for 
the loss of influence which they had occasioned him, for 


the severities which his refusal to submit to the capitula- 
tion of Fort Jackson had occasioned him, and for the "ex- 
emplary punishment" denounced against him by the or- 
der of the secretary of war, (16th January, 1818,) which 
was committed for execution to General Jackson. He 
was further stimulated by the pride of character, Avhich a 
late visit to England, and a flattering reception from the 
prince regent, had inspired, and by the hope of reviving 
the hostile spirit of the Creeks, and regaining his former 
influence and possessions. With a hatred to the United 
States equally passionate and fierce, Hemithlimaco was 
infuriated by a natural thirst for carnage, superstitious re- 
verence for the prophetical dignity of Francis, and habit- 
ual eagerness to execute his most brutal purposes. 

The agency of these individuals, impelling, moderat- 
ing, or counteracting each other, and deriving more or less 
encouragement and aid from the Spanish authorities, had 
kept up a state of hesitating war, but unremitting robbery 
and bloodshed, on our southern frontier, ever since the ter- 
mination of the Creek war, in August, 1814. In its least 
oftensive but most dangerous form, it was repelled by Ge- 
neral Jackson, when he dislodged the British armament 
from Pensacola, in November of that year. We have be- 
fore attempted to show how, with more than a mother's 
care, a patriot's fire, and a statesman's foresight, on the 
first intelligence of its appearance there, he flew unor- 
dered to the protection of Mobile, and fortified and gar- 
risoned Fort Bowyer. How, while he awakened by dis- 
patches the vigilance of the cabinet, just composed after 
the capture of Washington — he roused the patriotism of 
the people, and calling on Cofiee and his volunteers with 
a voice in which they heard the trump of fame, he forced 
the British to abandon Pensacola, and the Spaniards to 
maintain their neutrality. How, after securing the left 
flank of his extensive line of defence, penetrable by rivers, 


and accessible by bays, he passed with incredible expedition 
to the banks of the Mississippi, with little other aid from 
the government than stale inlclligcnce and' diplomatic di- 
rections, with arms, flints, and money, collected by him- 
self, with raw, unfurnished, and inferior forces, he van- 
quished both in attack and defence, the most formidable 
veterans of Europe, and surpassed in skill and courtesy, 
her renowned and accomplished generals. Since the 
peace with England, these lawless disturbances had been 
continued by forays of rapine and murder, principally on 
the southern borders of Georgia, which, after some move- 
ments of troops, many talks with the Indians, and much 
diplomacy with Spain, were persevered in until the fall of 
181"^ — murder and military execution were committed on 
our unsuspecting soldiers and helpless women and chil- 
dren. Public opinion now appealed to the government, 
and the government to General Jackson. He took the 
field, and with that unerring aim of judgment and courage, 
which„like the noble instinct of the mastiff, springs right 
at the heart, he penetrated and destroyed the sources'" of 
this cruel and infamous war, with the utmost possible ex- 
pedition and the least practicable bloodshed. Without 
provisions, and with a force of only 1000 raw militia and 
Indians, to whom too he was a stranger, he entered Flo- 
rida, buiU Fort Gadsden, routed the Indians at Micasuky, 
found in their village near 300 old scalps, and on the pro- 
phet's red pole 50 fresh ones, most of them recognized by 
the hair to have belonged to the unfortunate party of Lieu- 
tenant Scott. Here, ascertaining from the prisoners that 
a part of the enemy had fled to St. Marks, and also as- 
certaining the criminal complicity of the commandant, he 
formed a determination to prevent any further abuse of 
Spanish neutrality and American rights, and took posses- 
sion of that fortress— where he found " the advocate for 
peace," Arbuthnot, who, with the innocent and vacant 


look peculiar to his countrymen when they meditate 
shrewd and dangerous designs, sat an unconcerned guest 
at the table of the commandant. From St. Marks, dis- 
covering that the remnant of the routed Indians and ne- 
groes had retreated down the west coast of East Florida, 
in the direction of Woodbine's grand depot of Virginia 
and Georgia runaway slaves, he pursued and overtook 
them near the Econfinnah swamp, where some were kill- 
ed, many taken, and the only woman who escaped death 
from the murderers of Lieutenant Scott, recaptured. The 
enemy retreating to the Suwancy were not allowed time 
to renew their strength or courage, but were again at- 
tacked and routed, with such a loss and dispersion, that 
the victors hoped they had finished the war. 

On this occasion Ambrister was made prisoner. The 
army returned to St. Marks, where the general, having 
received information from the governor of Alabama, that 
a large body of hostile Indians who had been committing 
fresh murders on the Alabama, were assembling near 
Pensacola, and were there freely admitted and constantly 
furnished with means of subsistence and war, he deter- 
mined to cut off this last head of the Hydra — to supply 
any defect of will or power that might exist on the part 
of the governor to observe his neutrality, and to occupy 
that place for a time also. Marching by the Ocheesee 
Bluffs, he was confirmed in his intention by finding the 
navigation of the Escambia occluded to his supplies. He 
therefore proceeded, and entering Pensacola on the 24th 
of May, he took jFort Barrancas on the 27th — having, in 
his short campaign of three months, and with an undis- 
ciplined force, varying from one to two thousand, overrun 
a country larger than Italy — forced a Parthian enemy 
three times to action, and though once inferior in numbers, 
thrice defeated him ; without any materials for a military 
bridge, having passed rivers as large and as deep as the 


Po or the Adige — Avithout other subsistence frequently 
than acorns, raw hides and water, having marched more 
than 800 miles ; with scarce any artillery, having taken 
by force or intimidation three fortresses, and with little 
more than the energies of his own great mind terminated 
forever this savage, servile, and piratical war. It was a 
subject of glory to Pompey the Great, that after having 
worsted Sertorius, he should agree to conduct the war 
against the pirates. When General Jackson undertook 
the Seminole war, he had defeated the best troops, and 
among the finest generals of Europe, and terminated the 
most glorious campaign of the age. Yet he is found as 
ardent and persevering against these hordes of savages 
and slaves, as sincerely devoted to the country, as any 
young aspirant for fame, little dreaming that in the bosom 
of that country, ingratitude was to hatch a brood of vam- 
pires ! 

During these operations, it happened that the prophet 
Francis and his instrument Kenhagee, king of the Mis- 
sissukian, in whose town the 350 scalps were found, had, 
after the murder of Lieutenant Scott and his party, seized 
Hambly and Doyle, at the instigation of Arbuthnot, under 
whose authority as chief, and that of Francis, they were 
tried in council and sentenced to be tortured to death, for 
their friendship to the United States. From this wretched 
fate they were rescued by the spirited interference of a 
negro, Nero, the commander of 60 other negroes in the 
service of the hostile chief Bowlegs, and were by his 
agency conveyed, as prisoners of Arbuthnot, and his In- 
dians, to St. Marks, for safe keeping. Here they were re- 
ceived by the commandant as prisoners, and here they 
saw numerous evidences of the participation of the Spa- 
nish authorities in the Seminole war, but escaping in a ca- 
noe, they were taken up by Lieutenant M'Keever, of the 
United States navy, in the adjacent bay. With a sort of 


dramatic coincidence, it came to pass that the thirst for blood 
having risen in the breast of the prophet and his warrior 
Himithlimaco, they soon repented the rescue of Hambl}!- 
and Doyle, and came to St. Marks in quest of them, just 
after they had made their escape. With the ferocious per- 
severance of wolves, they pursued their flight along the 
coast, hoping that weather or weariness would force them 
ashore, and so®n descried a vessel at anchor, with British 
colors flying at the mast head. — After some reconnoiter- 
ing they went aboard, were conducted into the cabin where 
they found Hambly and Doyle, who immediately identi- 
fying them as the murderers of Lieutenant Scott and his 
party, and their own captors and tormentors, they were 
put in irons by Lieutenant M'Keever. These circum- 
stances being all made known to General Jackson, by a 
mass of proof and undisputed notoriety, in conformity 
with the order of the secretary of war "to inflict exem- 
plary punishment on the authors of the atrocities" com- 
mitted on Lieutenant Scott's party, and Mrs. Garrett's fa- 
mily, he had them hung, in accordance with the principles 
of the law of nations, and in obedience to the dictates of 
humanity, which their atrocities had outraged, and to 
which the terror and example of their fate was a just sa- 
crifice, and proved a salutary propitiation. 

The reader will see that the only decoying was prac- 
ticed by Lieutenant M'Keever, and before he can agree to 
censure that, it must be shown that our naval officers had 
no right to use such stratagems as the officers of other 
nations practice, although the colors of all nations are fur- 
nished them for this express purpose. These Indians were 
taken by stratagem and surprise as Andre was, and like 
that unfortunate officer, who never violated a feeling of 
humanity, they were " slaughtered" — that is, they were 
hung. In this punishment, as justice, humanity, and the 
law of nations were satisfied, it is to be observed that they 


being out of the United States, our own laws were not 
concerned. Hud they been broufrJit within our limits all 
their crimes must have irone unpunished — for tlioy had 
not violated our municipal, or iraritime, or martial laws. 
But the law of nations vests the rig-ht of retaliution in the 
^-ommanding general, and the imbecility or dishonor of 
the Spanish authorities having justified the assertion of 
our belligerent rights, it was the duty of General Jackson 
to fulfil the instructions of his government and bring these 
murderers to punishment. 

Let us now come to the case of Arbuthnot. From the 
recaptured American woman, who was the sole remain- 
ing survivor of Lieutenant Scott's party — from Cook, his 
clerk — from Phenix, his acquai?itance — from letters and 
papers found in a vessel of his, captured in the mouth of 
the Suawney, and others obtained from the Indians by 
our agent, it was proved incontestibly that " this advocate 
for peace," by misrepresenting the terms of the treaty of 
Ghent — the conduct of the American and the intentions 
of the British government, had incited in time of peace 
the Seminole Indians to hostilities against the United 
States. That to aid those hostilities, he had applied in 
behalf of the Indians, to various functionaries of Britain 
for supplies, and to disguise them for protection. That 
he had furnished them with intelligence and ammunition, 
for military purposes, and had given them advice and or- 
ders in the management of the war. That he had directed 
the seizure and presided at the condemnation of Hambly 
and Doyle in consequence of tt-ir being "the advocates 
for peace" with the United Stattb. That he had instigated 
and countenanced the m.assacr- of Lieutenant Scctt and 
his party, consisting of aboui lorty American citizens. 
That as an Indian chief, he had permitted our gallant 
officers to be assassinated, our brave soldiers to be butch- 
ered and their helpless wives to be murdered, or with more 


horrible cruelty spared to see their infants " taken by the 
heels and their brains dashed out against the sides of the 
boat." And that when one of the two women who had 
be'iin spared (the wife of an American Serjeant) was from 
pregnancy no longer able to keep up with the march of 
her captors, this "advocate for peace" ordered her to be 
put to death, and that accordingly she was bayoneted 
through the womb ! From the same and other sources of 
proof it was demonstrated that Ambrister had not only in- 
stigated the Indians to war against the United States, but 
had actually joined them with a party of runaway negroes 
and led them in battle — having used his commission as a 
British officer (a nation with which we were at peace) to 
promote his pernicious influence among them, and having 
endeavored by force to convert a Spanish fortress into a 
place of savage hostility against the United States. 

These are the men whose crimes had destroyed so ma- 
ny innocent lives, for the sake of otter-skins and runaway 
slaves, and whose punishment is lamented with such dig- 
nified sorrow by the enemies of General Jackson. The 
evidence against them satisfied a court of gallant and in- 
telligent officers of their guilt — satisfied the representa- 
tives and the government of the nation — and convinced 
the courts of Spain and of England of the justice of their 
punishment. And yet because it is too voluminous and 
intricate to be^ readily examined, they found upon it im- 
putations, which with the rancorous, have the retributive 
property of injustice, and though aimed at the reputation 
of another, will only affect their own. 

Should the preceding brief sketch and defence of Gene- 
ral Jackson's conduct, in the Seminole war, prove unsa- 
tisfactory to our readers, we beg leave to invite their 
perusal of the following detail of the particulars of that 
campaign as given by the general it his reports to he 


secretary of war. If, however, this addition should be 
deemed siiperl'luous, the reader will easily avoid it by 
proceeding forthwith to the commencement of the next 
chapter. On the 25th of March, 1818, the general reports 
as follows : 

" On the 9th instant, I reached Fort Scott, with the 
brigade of Georgia militia, 900 bayonets strong, and some 
of the friendly Creeks, who had joined me on my march 
a few days before ; where, finding but one quart of corn 
per man, and a few poor cattle, which, added to the live 
pork I brought along, would give lis three days rations 
of meat, determined me at once to use this small supply 
to the best advantage. Accordingly, having been advised 
by Colonel Gibson, quartermaster general, that he would 
^aii from New Orleans on the 12th February, with the 
supplies ; and being also advised, that two sloops with 
provisions were in the bay, and an officer had been des- 
patched from Fort Scott, in a large keel boat, to bring up 
a part of their lading ; and deeming that the preservation 
of those supplies would be to preserve the army, and 
enable me to prosecute the campaign, I assumed the 
command on the morning of the 10th, ordered the live 
stock slaughtered and issued to the troops, with one quart 
of corn to each man, and the line of march to be taken 
up at 12 meridian. Having to cross the Flint river, and 
it being very high, combined with some neglect in re- 
turning the boats during a very dark night, I was unable 
to move from the opposite bank until nine o'clock on the 
morning of the 11th, w^hen I took up my line of march 
down the east bank of the river for this place, touching 
the river as often as practicable, looking for the provision 
boat which was ascending, and which I was fortunate 
enough to meet on the 13th instant, when I ordered an 
extra ration to the troops, they not having received a full 
one of meal or flour since their arrival at Fort Early. 


On that day, my patroles captured three prisoners, and 
found some hidden corn. On the morning of the 14th, I 
ordered the boat down the river to this place, whilst I 
descended by land, and reached here without interruption 
on the morning of the 16th. The eligibility of this spot, 
as a depot, determined me, and I immediately directed 
my aid-de-camp. Lieutenant Gadsden of the engineer 
corps, to furnish a plan for, and superintend the erection 
of, a fortification. His talents and indefatigable zeal dis- 
played in the execution of this order, induced me to name 
it Fort Gadsden, to which he is justly entitled. 

" On my arrival here, I immediately despatched the 
boat to the bay for the balance of provisions known to be 
there, and to ascertain whether the flotilla, in charge of 
Colonel Gibson, had reached there ; and which returned 
on the 19th, with the unpleasing intelligence that nothing 
had been heard from the flotilla from New Orleans, since 
it was seen passing Fort Bowyer. I immediately put 
the troops on half rations, and pushed the completion of 
the fort for the protection of the provisions, in the event 
of their arrival, intending to march forthwith to the heart 
of the enemy, and endeavor to subsist upon him. In the 
mean time, I despatched Major Fanning, of the corps of 
artillery, to take another look into the bay ; whose return, 
on the morning of the 23d, brought the information that 
Colonel Gibson, with one gun-boat and three transports, 
and others in sight, were in the bay. On the same night, 
I received other information, that no more had arrived. 
I am, therefore, apprehensive that some of the smaller 
vessels have been lost, as one gun-boat went to pieces* 
and another when last spoken had one foot water in her 
hold. All of the vessels had been spoken after a gale 
which dispersed them. A north and northwest wind has 
prevailed for six days, but has fortunately changed this 
morning. I am now awaiting a boat from the bay, (wliich 


16 expected to-day) to complete eight days rations for my 
troops, upon which I mean to march. 

" From information received from Pensacola and New 
Orleans, I have no doubt but that St. Marks is in posses- 
sion of the Indians. The governor of Pensacola informed 
Captain Call, of the 1st infantry, (now here) that the In- 
dians had demanded arms, ammunition, and provisions, 
or the possession of the garrison of St, Marks, of the com- 
mandant, and that he presumed possession would be 
given from inability to defend it. The Spanish govern- 
ment is bound by treaty to keep the Indians at peace with 
us ; they have acknowledged their incompetency to do 
this, and are consequently bound, by the law of nature 
and nations, to yield us all facilities to reduce them. — 
Under this consideration, should I be able, I will take 
possession of the garrison as a depot for my supplies, 
should it be found in the hands of the Spanish garrison, 
they having supplied the Indians ; but if in the hands of 
our enemy, I will possess it for the benefit of the United 
States, as a necessary position for me to hold, to give 
peace and securit)' to this frontier, and put a final end to 
Indian warfare in the south. 

" Finding it very difficuh to supply Fort Crawford, on 
the Conecuh river, by land, I have ordered the supplies 
for that garrison, by water, and written to the governor 
of Pensacola, that if he interrupts them during the pre- 
sent Indian war, I shall view it as aiding our enemy, and 
treat it as an act of hostility, and stated to him the pro- 
priety, under existing circumstances, of his affording all 
facilities to put down their own, as well as our enemies, 
and that our governments, whilst negotiating, can take 
this subject under consideration ; but in the mean time, 
our provisions must pass to Fort Crawford, without in- 

** In mine of the Hth February from Hartford, I in- 


formed you of the measures adopted to procure supplies, 
and in my last of the 26th, from Fort Early, I informed 
you o( their situation. To those communications I beg- 
leave to refer you. I have only to add, that I left Fort 
Early for Fort Scott, and subsisted my troops on ground 
pease, corn, and some pork, that I could occasionally pro- 
cure from the Indians, with some pork that I had on foot, 
the whole subsistence for man and horse, not costing five 
hundred dollars. Of all the supplies purchased for the 
relief of Fort Scott, and the support of the Georgia mili- 
tia, not one pound was received until I passed Fort Scott. 
I said in my last, that blame rested somewhere ; the 
cause of those failures, will in due time, be a subject of 
investigation, and Colonel Brearly has been arrested on 
tke application of General Gaines. 

'* By some strange fatality, unaccountable to me, the 
Tennessee volunteers have not yet joined me. They 
promptly Left their homes, and through the inclement 
weather, reached Fort Mitchell, where I had ordered 
them supplies, and where Colonel Hayne, who led them, 
met my instructions to pass by Fort Gaines, where he 
would get a supply of corn, that would enable him to reach 
Fort Scott ; but the idea of starvation had stalked abroad; 
a panic appears to have spread itself every where, and he 
was told that they were starving at Forts Gaines and 
Scott, and was induced to pass into Georgia for supplies. 
His men and officers, as reported to me, were willing to 
risk the worst of consequences, on what they had, to join 
me ; however they have been marched from their sup- 
plies, to a country stripped of them, when every consi- 
deration should have induced his advisers to have urged 
him on to secure the supplies in the bay, and preserved 
themselves and Fort Scott from starvation. I have a hope 
that they will join me before I reach St. Marks, or tha 
towns ; this would be desirable, as the troops op- 


iered from New Orleans to protect the supplies, have not 
reached the bay, and leaving garrisons at Forts Scott and 
Gadsden weakens my force much, the whole effective 
strength of the regular being but three hundred and sixty 

•' In mine of the 26th ult. from Fort Early, informed 
you that despatches received by General Gaines on th» 
19th ultimo from the commanding officer at Fort Scott, 
induced him to set out that night for Fori Scott, to prevent 
its abandonment, &c. In his passage down the Flim 
river, he was shipwrecked, by which he lost his assis- 
tant adjutant general, Major C. Wright, and two soldiers, 
drowned. The general reached me six days after, near- 
ly exhausted with hunger and cold, having lost his bag- 
gage and clothing, and being compelled to wander in th» 
woods four and a half days without any thing to subsist on, 
or any clothing except a pair of pantaloons. I am happy 
to have it in my power to say that he is now with me at 
the head of his brigade in good health. 

*' The great scarcity of subaltern officers in the 4th and 
7th regiments of infantry, has induced me to appoint se- 
veral young men present, as second lieutenants in those 
regiments, who, from personal knowledge and good re- 
commendations, I have no doubt will prove themselves 
worthy, and trust the measure will meet the approbation 
of the president. A list of their names, and the regi- 
ments to which they are attached, will be furnished the 
adjutant and inspector general by my adjutant general. 

*' Since writing the above, I have the pleasure to in- 
form you, that the boat from the bay has arrived with 
provisions, also Colonel Gibson and Captain M^Kever of 
the navy. I shall move to-morrow, having made the ne- 
cessary arrangements with Captain M'Kever for his co- 
operation in transporting my supplies around to the bay 
of St. Marks, from which place I shall do myself the 


honor to communicate to you. Should our enemy at- 
tempt to escape with their supplies and booty to the small 
islands, and from thence to carry on a predatory warfare, 
the assistance of the navy will prevent his escape. Ge- 
neral Wm. jM'Intosh, commanding- the friendly Creeks, 
who had been ordered to reconnoitre the right bank of the 
Appalachicola, reported to me on the 19th instant, that he 
had captured, without the fire of a gun, one hundred and 
eighty women and children, and fifty-three warriors, of 
the Red Ground chief's party, with their cattle and sup- 
plies ; the chief and thirty warriors making their escape 
on horseback : ten of the warriors attempting their escape 
after they had surrendered, were killed by the general." 
On the 8th April, the general continues his relation : 
" I wrote you from Fort Gadsden, communicating the 
embarrassments under which I had labored previous to 
my arrival at that post, and my determination, being then 
in a situation to commence active operations, to penetrate 
immediately into the centre of the Seminole towns. My 
army marched on the 26th ultimo, and on the 1st of April 
was reinforced by the friendly Creek warriors under Ge- 
neral M'Intosh, and a detachment of Tennessee volunteers 
commanded by Colonel Eliiot. On the same day, a milo 
and a half in advance of the Mickasukean villages, a small 
party of hostile Indians were discovered judiciously loca- 
ted on a point of land projecting into an extensive marshy 
pond ; the position designated, as since understood, for 
the concentrating of the negro and Indian forces to give 
us battle. They maintained for a short period a spirited 
attack from my advanced spy companies, but fled and 
dispersed in every direction upon coming in contact with 
my flank columns, and discovering a movement to encir- 
cle them. The pursuit was continued through the Mic- 
kasukean towns, until night compelled me to encamp my 
army. The next day detachments were sent out in every 


direction to reconnoitre the country, secure all supplies 
found, and reduce to ashes the villag-es. This duty was 
executed to my satisfaction : nearly three hundred houses 
were consumed, and the greatest abundance of corn, cat- 
tle, &.C., brouglit in. Every indication of hostile spirit 
was found in the habitations of the chiefs ; in the council 
houses of Kenhagee's town, the king of the Mickasukians, 
more than fifty fresh scalps were found ; and in the cen- 
tre of the public square, the old Red Stick's standard, a 
red poUy was erected crowned with scalps, recognized by 
the hair as torn from the heads of the unforlunate com- 
panions of Scott. 

" As I had reason to believe that a portion of the hos- 
tile Indians had fled to St. Marks, I directed my march 
towards that fortress. As advised, I found that the In- 
dians and negroes combined had demanded the surren- 
der of that work : the Spanish garrison was too weak- to 
defend it, and there were circumstances reported, produ- 
cing a strong conviction in my mind, that if not instiga- 
ted by the Spanish authorities, the Indians had received 
the means of carrying on the war from that quarter. 
Foreign agents, who have been long practicing their in- 
trigues and villanies in this country had free access into 
the camp. St. Marks was necessary as a depot to insure 
success to my operations. These considerations deter- 
mined me to occupy it Avith an American force : an in- 
ventory of the Spanish property, munitions of war, &lc., 
has been taken and receipted for, and the commandant 
and garrison furnished with transportation to Pensacola. 
My correspondence with the Spanish commandant, the 
evidences under which I acted, and a detailed account of 
my operations, will be furnished you as early as practi- 
cable. Success depends upon the rapidity of my move- 
ments, and to-morrow, I shall march for the Suwaney 
river ; the destroying the establishments on which, will 


in my opinion put a final close to this savage war. Cap- 
tain M'Kever of the navy, cruising at my request on this 
coast, has been fortunate enough in securing Francis or. 
Hillis Hadjo, the great prophet, and Hemithlimaco, an old 
Red Stick. They visited his vessels under an impression 
they were English, from whom, as they stated, supplies 
of munitions cf war, &c., under late promises, were ex- 
pected. Arbuthnot, a Scotchman, and suspected as one 
of the instigators of this savage war, was found in St, 
Marks. Fie is in confinement until evidences of his 
guilt can be collected." 

On the 20th April, 1818, he continues his detail : 
*' My last communication, dated camp before St. Marks, 
8th April, and those to which it referred, advised you of 
my movem.ents and operations up to that date, and as I 
then advised you, I marched from that place on the morn- 
ing of the 9th. On the evening of the 10th, I was joined 
by the rear of the Tennessee volunteers ; also by the In- 
dians under General M'Intosh, whom I had left at Mick- 
asuky, to scour the country around that place. Although 
the weather has been dry and pleasant, and the waters 
had subsided in a great degree, our march might be said 
to have been through water, which kept the infantry wet 
to the middle, and the depth of the swamps, added to the 
want of forage, occasioned the horses to give out daily in 
great numbers. On the morning of the 12th, near Econ- 
finnah, or natural bridge, a- party of Indians were disco- 
vered on the margin of a swamp, and attacked by Gene- 
ral M'Intosh and about fifty Tennessee volunteers, who 
routed them, killing thirty-seven warriors, and capturing 
six men and ninety-seven women and children ; also re- 
capturing a white woman who had been taken at tho 
massacre of Scott. The friendly Indians also took some 
horses, and about 500 head of cattle from the enemy, who 
proved to be M'Glueen's party. Upon the application of 



an old woman of the prisoners, I agreed thai if M*Glueen 
was tied and carried to the commandant at St. Marks, 
her people should be received in peace, carried to the 
upper tribes of the Creek nation, and there provisioned 
until they could raise their own crops. She appeared 
much pleased with those terms, and I set her at liberty 
with written instructions to the commandant of St. Marka 
to that eflect. Having received no farther intelligence 
from M'Q.ueen, I am induced to believe the old woman 
has complied with her part of the obligation. 

" From St. Marks, I marched with eight days rations, 
those that joined me having but five ; this was done under 
the expectation of reaching this place in that time, found- 
ed on the report of my faithful Indian guide, whicJi 1 
should have accomplished, but for the poverty of my 
horses, and the continued sheets of water through Avhich 
we had to pass. On the morning of the IGthi, my scouts 
overtook a small party of Indians, killing one man, and 
capturing the residue, consisting of one man and woman, 
and two children, and on that evening I encamped, as my 
guide supposed, within twelve miles of Suwaney. I 
marched very early on the 16ih, under the hope of being 
able to encompass and attack the Indian and negro towns 
by one o'clock P. M., but much to my regret, at three 
o'clock, and after marching sixteen miles, we reached a 
remarkable pond which my guide recollected, and re- 
ported to be distant six miles from the object of my march; 
here I should have halted for the night, had not six 
mounted Indians, (supposed to be spies) who were dis- 
covered, efTected their escape ; this determined me to at- 
tempt by a forced movement, to prevent the removal of 
their efTects, and, if possible, themselves from crossing 
the river, for my rations being out, it was all important 
to secure their supplies for the subsistence of my troops. 
Accordingly, my lines of attack were instantly formed 


and put in motion, and about sunset, my left flank column, 
composed of the second regiment of Tennessee volunteers, 
commanded by Colonel Williamson, and a part of the 
friendly Indians under Colonel Kanard, having approach- 
ed the left flank of the centre town, and commenced thei? 
attack, caused me to quicken the pace of the centre, com- 
posed of the regulars, Georgia militia, and my volunteer 
Kentucky and Tennessee guards, in order to press the 
enemy in his centre, whilst the right column, composed 
of the 1st regiment of Tennessee volunteers under Colo- 
nel Dyer, and a part of the friendly Indians, headed by 
General M'Intosh, who had preceded me, were endea- 
voring to turn his left, and cut oft' his retreat to the river; 
they, however, having been previously informed of our 
force, by a precipitate retreat soon crossed the river, 
where it is believed. Colonel Kanard with his Indians, did 
them considerable injury. Nine negroes and two Indians 
were found dead, and two negro men made prisoners. 

" On the 17th, foraging parties were sent out, who 
found a considerable quantity of corn, and some cattle. 
The 18th, having obtained some small craft, I ordered 
General Gaines across the river with a strong detach- 
ment, and two days provision, to pursue the enemy ; 
the precipitancy of their flight, was soon discovered by 
the great quantity of goods, corn, &.C., strewed through 
the swamps, and convinced General Gaines that pursuit 
was in vain, nine Indians and five negro prisoners were 
taken by our Indians ; the evidence of haste with which 
the enemy had fled, induced the general to confine his 
reconnoisance to search for cattle and horses, both of 
which were much wanted by the army. About thirty 
head of cattle were procured ; but from the reports ac- 
companying General Gaines, which will in due time be 
forwarded to you, and the disobedience of his orders, by 
the Indians, not one pound was brought into camp. 


»• As soon as time will permit, I shall forward a de- 
tailed account of the various little affairs with the enemy, 
accompanied with reports of the commanding officers of 
the detachment. Suffice it for the present to add, that 
every officer and soldier under my command, when dan- 
ger appeared, showed a steady firmness which convinced 
me that in the event of a stubborn conflict, they Avould 
have realized the best hopes of their country and general. 

*' I believe I may say that the destruction of this place 
with the possession of St. Marks, having on the night of 
the 18th captured the late Lieutenant. Ambrister, of the 
British marine corps, and, as represented by Arbuthnot, 
successor to Woodbine, will end the Indian war, for the 
present, and should it be renewed, the position taken, 
which ought to be held, will enable a small party to put 
it down promptly. 

" I shall order, or take myse't i reconnoisance, west, of 
the Appalachicola, at Pensacok point, where I am in- 
formed, there are a few- Red Sticks assembled, who are 
fed and supported by the governor of Pensacola. My 
health being impaired, as soon as this duty is performed, 
the positions taken, well garrisoned, and security given 
to the southern frontiers, (if the government have not ac- 
tive employment for \ne) I shall return to Nashville to 
regain my health. Th*5 health of the troops is much im- 
paired, and I have ordered the Georgia troops to Hart- 
ford, to be mustered, paid, and discharged ; the general 
having communicat<3d his washes, and that of his troops, 
to be ordered dir*5cUy there, and reporting that they have 
a plenty of corn a'.id beef, to subsist them to that point, I 
have written to the governor of Georgia, to obtain from 
the state, the necessary funds, to pay General Glascock's 
brigade when discharged, and that the government will 
promptly refund it. I am compelled to this mode to have 
them promptly paid, Mr. Hogan, the paymaster of the 7th 


infantry, (for whom I received from Mr Brent an en- 
closure, said to contain $50,000,) not having reached me. 

*' From the information received from Ambrister, and 
a Mr. Cook, who was captured with him, that A. Arbuth- 
not's schooner was at the mouth of this river, preparing 
to sail for the bay of Tamper, my aid-de-camp. Lieute- 
nant Gadsden, volunteered his services with a small de- 
tachment to descend the river and capture her ; the im- 
portance of this vessel to transport my sick to St. Marks, 
as well as to destroy the means used by the enemy, in- 
duced me to grant his request ; he sailed yesterday, and 
I expected to have heard from him this morning. I only 
await his report to take up the line of march on my return 
for St. Marks ; the Georgia brigade, by w^hom I send 
this, being about to march, compels me to close it without 
the report of Lieutenant Gadsden." 

From Fort St. Marks, 26th April, 1818, he continues : 

" I wrote you from Bowlegs' Town on the 30th instant. 
On the night of the same day, I received the expected 
dispatch from my aid-de-camp. Lieutenant Gadsden, com- 
municating the success of his expedition ; and on the 
next day, as soon as the sick of my army were dispatched 
down the Suwaney river, to be conveyed in the captured 
schooner to St. Marks, I took up the line of march for 
that fort. I arrived at this place last evening, j^erforming 
a march of 107 miles in less than five days. Lieutenant 
Gadsden had reached it a few hours before me. He 
communicates having found, among the papers of Arbuth- 
not, Ambrister, and Cook, letters, memorials, &c. «fec., 
■all pointing out the instigators of this savage war, and, 
in some measure, involving the British government in 
the agency. These will be forwarded you in a detailed 
report, I purpose communicating to you as early as prac- 

*' The old woman spoken of in m^*- last communication 


to you, who promised to use her influence in having 
M'Queen captured and delivered up, has not been heard 
of. From signs discovered on the opposite shore of the 
St. Marks river, I am induced to believe, that the Indian 
party is still in this neighborhood. A detachment will 
be sent out to reconnoitre the country, to receive them as 
friends, if disposed to surrender, or inflict merited chas- 
tisement, if still hostile. 

*' I shall leave this in two or three days for Fort Gads- 
den, and after making all necessary arrangements for the 
security of the positions occupied, and detaching a force 
to scour the country west of the Appalachicola, I shall 
proceed direct for NashvTlle. My presence in this coun- 
try can no longer be necessary. The Indian forces have 
been divided and scattered, cut oflT from all communica- 
tion vrith those unprincipled agents of foreign nations, 
who had deluded them to their ruin. They have not the 
})Ow?r, if the will remains, of again annoying our fron- 

From Fort Gadsden, 5th May, 1818, he writes : 
" I returned to this post with my army on the evening 
of the 2d instant, and embrace an early opportunity of 
furnishing 3'ou a detailed report of my operations to the 
east of the Appalachicola river. In the several commu- 
nications addressed you from Hartford, Fort Scott, and 
this place, I have stated the condition of the army on my 
assuming the immediate command ; the embarrassment 
occasioned from the want of provisions ; the privations of 
my troops on their march from the frontiers of Georgia ; 
and the circumstances which compelled me to move di- 
rectly down the Appalachicola river, to meet with and 
protect the expected supplies from New Orleans. These 
were received on the 25th March, and on the next day I 
was prepared for active operations. For a detailed ac- 
count of my movements from that period to this day, you 


are respectfully referred to the report prepared by my 
adjutant general, accompanied with Capt. Hugh Youngs* 
topographical sketch of the route and distance performed. 
This has been principally a war of movements : the enemy, 
cut off from their strong holds, or deceived in the promised 
foreign aid, have -uniformly avoided a general engage- 
ment. Their resistance has generally been feeble ; and 
in the partial rencounters, into which they seem to have 
been involuntarily forced, the regulars, volunteers, and 
militia, under my command, realized my expectations ; 
every privation, fatigue, and exposure, was encountered 
with the spirit of soldiers, and danger was met with a de- 
gree of fortitude calculated to strengthen the confidence I 
had reposed in them. 

" On the commencement of my operations, I was strong- 
ly impressed with a belief, that this Indian war had been 
excited by some unprincipled foreign or private agents.. 
The outlaws of the old Red Stick party had been too severe- 
ly convinced, and the Seminoles were too weak in numbers 
to believe, that they could possibly, alone, maintain a war 
with even partial success against the United States. 
Firmly convinced, therefore, that succor had been pro- 
mised "from somfe quarter, or that they had been deluded 
into a belief that America dare not violate the neutrality 
of Spain, by penetrating to their towns, I early determined 
to ascertain these facts, and so direct my movements, as 
to undeceive the Indians. After the destruction of the 
Mickasukian villages, I marched direct for St. Marks : 
the correspondence between myself and the Spanish com- 
mandant, in which I demanded the occupancy of that 
fortress with an American garrison, accompanies this. 
It had been reported to me, direct from the governor of 
Pensacola, that the Indians and negroes, unfriendly to the 
United States, had demanded of the commandant of St. 
Marks a supply of ammunition, munitions of war, «&c., 


threatening in the event of a noncompliance to take pos- 
session of the fort. The Spanish commandant acknow- 
ledged the defenceless state of his fortress, and his inabi- 
lity to defend it ; and the governor of Pensacola expressed 
similar apprehensions. The Spanish agents throughout 
the Floridas had uniformly disavowed having any con-' 
nexion with the Indians, and acknowledged the obliga- 
tions of his catholic majesty, under existing treaties, to 
restrain their outrages against the citizens of the United 
States. Indeed they declared that the Seminole Indians 
were viewed as alike hostile to the Spanish government, 
and that the will remained, though the po\ver was want- 
ing, to inflict merited chastisement on this lawless tribe. 
It was, therefore, to be supposed, that the American 
army, impelled by the immutable laws of self-defence, to 
penetrate the territory of his catholic majesty, to fight his 
battles, and even to relieve from a cruel bondage, some of 
his own subjects, would have been received as allies, 
hailed as deliverers, and every facility aflibrded to them to 
terminate speedily and successfully this savage war. 
Fort St. Marks could not be maintained by the Spanish 
force garrisoning it. The Indians and negroes viewed 
it as an asylum, if driven from their towns, and were 
preparing to occupy it in this event. It was necessary to 
anticipate their movements, independent of the position 
being deemed essential as a depot, on which the success 
of my future operations measurably depended. In the 
spirit of friendship, therefore, I demanded its surrender 
to the army of the United States, until the close of th« 
Seminole war. The Spanish commandant required time 
to reflect ; it was granted ; a negotiation ensued, and an 
eflfort made to protract it to an unreasonable length. In 
the conversations between my aid-de-camp. Lieutenant 
Gadsden, and the Spanish commandant, circumstances 
transpired, convicting him of a disposition to favor the 


Indians, and of having taken an active part in aiding and 
abetting them in this war. I hesitated, therefore, no 
longer, and as I could not be received in friendship, I 
entered the fort by violence. Two light companies of the 
7th regiment infantry, and one of tire 4th, under the com- 
mand of Major Twiggs, was ordered to advance, lower 
the Spanish colors, and hoist the star spangled banner, on 
the ramparts of Fort St. Marks. The order was executed 
promptly, no resistance attempted on the part of the Span- 
ish garrison. The duplicity of the Spanish commandant 
of St. Marks, in professing friendship towards the United 
States, w^hile he was actually aiding and supplying her 
savage enemies ; throwing open the gates of his garrison 
to their free access ; appropriating the king's stores to 
their use ; issuing ammunition and munitions of war to 
them ; and knowingly purchasing of them property plun- 
d>ered from the citizens of the United States, is clearly 
evinced by the documents accompanying my correspon- 
dence. In Fort St. Marks, as an inmate in the family of 
the Spanish commandant, an Englishman, by the name 
of Arbuthnot, was found. Unable satisfactorily to explain 
the objects of his visiting this country, a^d there being a 
combination of circumstances to justify a suspicion that 
his views were not honest, he was ordered in close con- 
finement. The capture of his schooner, near the mouth 
of Suwaney river, by my aid-de-camp, Mr. Gadsden, and 
the papers found on board, unveiled his corrupt transac- 
tions, as well as those of a Captain Ambrister, late of the 
British colonial marine corps, taken as a prisoner near 
Bowlegs' town. Those individuals were tried, under my 
orders, by a special court of select officers ; legally con- 
victed as exciters of this savage and negro Avar, legally 
condemned, and most justly punished for their iniquities. 
The proceedings of the court martial in this case, with 
the volume of testimony, justifying their condemnation^ 


presents scenes of wickedness, corruption, and barbarity, 
at which the heart sickens, and in which, in this enlight- 
ened age, it ought not scarcely to be believed that a 
Christian nation would have participated ; and yet the 
British government is involved in the agency. If Ar- 
buthnot and Ambrister are not convicted as the author!-" 
zed agents of Great Britain, there is no room to doubt, 
but that that government had a knowledge of their as- 
sumed character, and was well advised of the measures 
which they had adopted to excite the negroes and Indians 
in East Florida, to war against the United States. I 
hope the execution of these two unprincipled villains will 
prove an awful example to the world, and convince the 
government of C4reat Britain, as well as her subjects, that 
certain, if slow, retribution awaits those unchristian 
wretches, who, by false promises, delude and excite an 
Indian tribe to all the horrid deeds of savage war. 

" Previous to my leaving Fort Gadsden, I had occa- 
sion to address a communication to the governor of Pen- 
sacola, on the subject of permitting supplies to pass up 
the Escambia river to Fort Crawford. This letter, with 
a second from St. Marks, on the subject of some United 
States clothing, shipped in a vessel in the employ of the 
Spanish government, to that post, I now enclose, with his 
reply. The governor of Pensacola's refusal of my de- 
mand, cannot but be viewed as evincing a hostile feel- 
ing on his part, particularly in connexion with some cir- 
cumstances reported to me from the most unquestionable 
authority. It has been stated, that the Indians at war 
with the United States, have free access into Pensacola ; 
that they are kept advised from that quarter of all our 
movements ; that they are supplied from thence with am- 
munition and munitions of war, and that they are now 
collecting in large bodies to the amount of 4 or 500 war- 
jiors in that city. That inroads from thence have lately 


been made on the Alabama, in ona of which 18 settlers 
fell by the tomahawk. These statements compel me to 
make a movement to the west of the Appalachicola, and 
should they prove correct, Pensacola must be occupied 
with an American force, and the governor treated according 
to his deserts, or as policy may dictate. I shall leave 
strong garrisons in Fort St. Marks, Fort Gadsden, and 
Fort Scott ; and in Pensacola, should it become necessary 
-0 possess it. 

" It becomes my duty to state it as my confirmed opi- 
nion, that so long as Spain has not the power, or will, to 
enforce the treaties by which she is solemnly bound to 
preserve the Indians within her territory at peace with 
the United States, no security can be given to our south- 
ern frontier without occupying a cordon of posts along 
the sea shore. The moment the American army returns 
from Florida, the war hatchet will be again raised, and 
the same scenes of indiscriminate murder, with which 
our frontier settlers have been visited, will be repeated. 
So long as the Indians within the territory of Spain are 
exposed to the delusions of false prophets, and the poison 
of foreign intrigue ; so long as they can receive ammu- 
nition, munitions of war, &c., from pretended traders, or 
Spanish commandants, it will be impossible to restrain 
their outrages. The burning of their towns, the destroy- 
ing of their stock and provisions, will produce but tempo- 
rary embarrassments ; resupplied by Spanish authorities, 
they may concentrate or disperse at will, and keep up a 
lasting predatory warfare against the frontiers of the Uni- 
ted States, as expensive as harassing to her troops. The 
savages, therefore, must be made dependent on us, and 
cannot be kept at peace without being persuaded of the 
certainty of chastisement being inflicted on the commis- 
sion of the first offence. ' 

" I trust, therefore, that the measures which have been 


pursued will meet the approbation of the president of the 
United States. They have been adopted in pursuance of 
your instructions, under a firm conviction that tliey alone 
were calculated to insure ' peace and security to the 
southern frontier of Georgia.' " 

From Fort Montgomery, June 2d, 1818, he writes : 
*' In a communication to you of the 5th of May, I de- 
tailed at length the operations of my army up to that pe- 
riod. Leaving a strong garrison of regulars in Forts 
Scott and Gadsden, I resumed my march, with a small 
detachment of the 4th regiment of infantry, one company 
of artillery, and the effectives of the Tennessee volunteers, 
the whole not exceeding twelve hundred men, to fulfill 
my intentions, communicated to you, of scouring the 
country west of the Appalachicola river. On the 10th of 
May, my army crossed that river at the Ochesee village, 
and after a fatiguing, tedious, and circuitous march of 12 
days, misled by the ignorance of our pilots, and exposed 
to the severest of privations, we finally reached and ef- 
fected a passage over the Escambia. On my march, on 
the 23d of May, a protest from the governor of Pensaco- 
la was delivered me by a Spanish officer, remonstrating, 
in warm terms, against my proceedings, and ordering 
me and my forces instantly to quit the territory of his 
catholic majesty, with a threat, to apply force, in the 
event of a non-compliance. This was so open an indica- 
tion of a hostile feeling on his part, after having been 
early and well advised of the object of my operations, that 
I heshated no longer on the measures to be adopted. I 
marched for, and entered Pensacola, with only the show 
of resistance, on the 24th of May. The governor had 
previously fled to Fort Carlos de Barrancas, where it was 
said he had resolved upon a most desperate resistance. 
A correspondence ensued between us, detailing at length 
my motives for wishing, and demanding, that Pensacola 


and its dependencies be occupied with an American gar- 
rison. The package, marked B, are documents substan- 
tiating the charges, in part, against the conduct of the 
Spanish governor, having knowingly and willingly ad- 
mitted the savages, avowedly hostile to the United States, 
within the town of Pensacola. The peaceable surrender 
of the fort at the Barrancas was denied. I marched for, 
and invested it, on the evening of the 25th of May, and 
on the same night, pushed reconnoitering parties under 
its very guns. On the morning of the 20th, a military 
reconnoisance was taken ; and on the same night, a lodg- 
ment was made, under a fire from the Spanish garrison, 
by Captain Gadsden, of the engineers, aided by Captains 
Call and Young, on a commanding position, within three 
hundred and eighty-five yards of the Spanish work, and 
a nine pounder mounted. A howitzer battery was simul- 
taneously established on the capitol, and within seven 
hundred and sixty yards of the fort, at day light on the 
27th. The Spanish garrison opened their artillery on 
our batteries ; a parley was sounded, a flag sent in, and 
the surrender of Fort Carlos de Barrancas again de- 
manded ; the favorable positions obtained were pointed 
out, and the inutility of resistance urged. Anxious to 
avoid an open contest, and to save the eftusion of blood, 
the same terms previously oftered, were again tendered. 
They were rejected, and offensive operations recommen- 
ced. A spirited and well directed fire was kept up the 
greater part of the morning, and at intervals during the 
afternoon. In the evening, a flag v>as sent from the 
Spanish com.mandant, offering to capitulate, and a sus- 
pension of hostilities was granted, until 8 o'clock next 
day, when articles of capitulation were signed and agreed 
to. The terms are more favorable than a conquered ene- 
my would have merited ; but, under the peculiar circum- 
stances of the case, my object obtained, there was no 


motive for wounding the feelings of those, whose military 
pride or honor had prompted to the resistance made 
The articles, with but one condition, amount to a com- 
plete cession to the United States, of that portion of th« 
Florida^ hitherto under the government of Don Jose 

'* The arrangements which I have made to secur* 
Pensacola, and its dependencies, are contained in the ge- 
neral orders. I deemed it most advisable to retain, for 
the present, the same government to which the people 
had been accustomed, until such time as the executive of 
the United States may order otherwise. It was necessary 
however, to establish the revenue laws of the United 
States, to check the smuggling which had been carried 
on successfully in this quarter, for many years past, and 
to admit the American merchant to an equal participation 
in a trade, which would have been denied under the par- 
tial operations of the Spanish commercial code. Captain 
Gadsden was appointed by me collector, and he has or 
ganized and left the department in the charge of officers, 
on whom the greatest confidence may be reposed. 

" Though the Seminole Indians have been scattered, 
and literally so divided and reduced, as no longer to be 
viewed as a formidable enemy ; yet as there are still 
many small marauding parties, supposed to be concealed 
in the swamps of the Perdido, Choctavvhatchey, and Cha 
pouley, who might make occasional and sudden inroads 
on our frontier settlers, massacring women and child- 
ren, I have deemed it advisable to call into service for six 
months, if not sooner discharged, two companies of vo- 
lunteer rangers, under Captains M'Gird and Boyles, 
with instructions to scour the country between the Mobile 
and Appalachicola rivers, exterminating every hostile 
party who dare resist, or will not surrender, and remove 
with their families above the 31st degree of latitude. 


♦' The Semino e war may now be considered as at a 
close, tranquillity again restored to the southern frontier 
of the United States, and as long as a cordon of military 
posts is maintained along the C4ulf of Mexico, America 
has nothing to apprehend from either foreign or Indian 
hostilities. Indeed sir, to attempt to fortify, or protect an 
imaginary line, or to suppose that a frontier on the 31st 
degree of latitude, in a wilderness, can be secured by a 
cordon of military posts, while the Floridas lie open to 
an enemy, is visionary in the extreme. 

" Under this firm belief, I have bottomed all my opera- 
tions. Spain had disregarded the treaties existing with 
the American government, or had not power to enforce 
them. The Indian tribes within her territory, and 
which she was bound to keep at peace, had visited our 
citizens with all the horrors of savage war ; negro bri- 
gands were establishing themselves, when and where 
they pleased ; and foreign agents were openly and know- 
ingly practicing their intrigues in this neutral territory. 

" The immutable principles therefore of self-defence, 
justified the occupancy of the Floridas, and the same 
principles will warrant the American government in hold- 
ing it, until such time as Spain can guaranty, by an 
adequate military force, the maintaining her authority 
within the colony. 

" At the close of a campaign which has terminated so 
honorably and- happily, it gives me pleasure to express 
my approbation, generally, of the officers and soldiers ol 
every species of corps, which I have had the honor to 
command. The patience with which they endured fa- 
tigue, and submitted to privations, and the determination 
with which they encountered, and vanquished every dif- 
ficulty, is the strongest indication of the existence of that 
patriotic feeling, which no circumstances can change, 
and of that irresistible ardor in the defence of his country. 


which will prove her strength and bulwark under any 
experience. I should do violence to my feelings, if I did 
not particularly notice the exertions of my quartermaster 
general, Col. George Gibson, who, under the most em- 
barrassing circumstances, relieved the necessities of my 
army, and to whose exertions was I indebted for the sup- 
plies received. His zeal and integrity, in this campaign, 
as well as in the uniform discharge of his duties since his 
connexion with my staff, merits the approbation and gra- 
titude of his country." 




General Jackson returns to Nashville — His receptian — 
Cession of the Floridas to the United States — Ge/icral 
Jackson appointed governor of them — Delicacy of his 
situation — His proclaviation to the people — Spanish of- 
ficers — Colonel Callava — His measures in relation to 
them justified. 

Having closed the Seminole campaign, General Jack- 
son prepared to leave Florida for Nashville. He arrived 
there in June, and v/as received by his fellow-citizens 
with their accustomed cordiality and respect. From this 
period till the summer of 1821, nothing occurred particu- 
larly worthy of remark. In August of that year, Florida 
was by treaty to be ceded to the United States. By act 
of congress of the 3d March of the same year, the presi- 
dent was authorized to appoint a governor of Kast and 
West Florida, and the person so appointed was vested 
with all the military, civil, and judicial powers, exercised 
by the existing government of the same. In virtue of 
this act, Mr. Monroe, on the 10th of March, commission- 
ed General Jackson, and vested him with " all the power 
and authority heretofore exercised by the governor and 
captain general and intendant of Cuba, and by the gover- 
nors of East and West Florida." 

At the time designated. General Jackson proceeded to 
Florida, and commenced the duties of his appointment. 
What were the extent of the powers given him is un- 
known, because they were undefined, and are believed to 


be limited by the absolute and undisputed will of the go- 
vernor himself. But the general has not left to conjec- 
ture his own opinions of those powers, nor of the manner 
in which they were exercised ; for in a case which came 
before iho judiciary for decision, during the administra- 
tion of his government, and excited much interest, before 
ihe opinion of the court w^as pronounced on the question of 
jurisdiction, Governor Jackson, according to Mr. H. 
Niles, made several remarks worthy of himself, and which 
deserved to be recorded ; but that the following was so 
perfectly characteristic, that, as the editor of a public jour- 
nal, he should have been inexcusable in withholding it 
from his readers. And it does indeed do honor to the 
lofty patriotism of the American hero. He said, " I am 
clothed with powers, that no one, under a republic, ought 
to possess, and which I trust will never again be given to 
any man. Nothing will afibrd me more happiness than 
to learn that congress, in its wisdom, shall have distribu- 
ted them properly, and in such manner as is consonant 
to our earliest and dearest impressions ; yet as 1 hold 
these powers by the authority of an act of congress, and 
commissioned from the president of the United States, it 
therefore becomes my imperious duty to discharge the 
sacred trust imposed on me, according to my best abilities, 
even though the propei' exercise of the powers given, 
might involve me in heavy personal responsibilities. It 
has been my fortune to be thus circumstanced, in my va- 
rious relations as a public servant ; yet I never have, nor 
never will I, shrink from the discharge of my public 
duties, from any apprehension of personal responsibility." 
The delicacy of General Jackson's situation, as gover- 
nor of Florida, are discoverable from the foregoing ex- 
tract. Several acts of General Jackson while he was 
governor of Florida have rendered him obnoxious to cen- 
sure; particularly his proclamation requiring the Spanish 


officers to leave Pensacola, and his prompt and justifia- 
ble proceedings in the ease of Colonel Callava. The 
persons banished were not citizens of Florida. They 
were Spanish officers, who, by the treaty negotiated by 
Mr. Adams, were required to leave the territory. By the 
courtesy of Governor Jackson, they were permitted to re- 
main in Pensacola after the period designated by the trea- 
ty for their departure, and the cause of the order, com- 
manding them to leave the territory, was a contempt of 
the judicial character of Governor Jackson in the case of 

We regret that our limits will not admit of transferring 
to these pages the letter of Governor Jackson to the se- 
cretary of statOy explanatory of his measures in the cases 
under consideration. The following proclamation, how- 
ever, made by him to the citizens of Florida, is full of in- 
terest, as is also the subjoined defence of Governor Jack- 
son by Mr. Adams, then secretary of state, in his letter to 
Don Joaquin d'Anduaga, and although it is a somewhat 
lengthy detail, yet our readers will recollect that brevity 
is a sin of .which Mr. Adams was never guilty, and we 
believe that on a perusal of his admirable defence of Go- 
vernor Jackson, they will not wonder at our disinclination 
to curtail a production which does him honor. 

Governor Jackson's proclamation to the citizens of the 
Floridas is as follows : 

" The temporary organization of the government oi 
these provinces, according to the act of congress of the 
last session, and to the powers conferred on me, by tlxe 
president of the United States, I have the satisfaction to 
announce, is now complete. If it possess imperfection.^, 
or defects, the reflecting man will make due allowance, 
when he considers, that its duration will be but short, and 
that it is the best that circumstances would permit, taking 
into view the difficulties I have bad to encounter. Where 


the rule or law is certain, I have considered it my duty 
to follow it strictly, but where this has not been the case, 
I have endeavored to make the best provisions, in my 
power, believing that government of some kind was ab- 
solutely necessary. It is my sincere hope, that this sub- 
ject will attract the earliest attention of the congress of the 
United States, and that the inhabitants of these provinces 
will be relieved from the state of uncertainty and doubt, 
which at this moment must necessarily prevail. 

" In the organization of the present temporary govern- 
ment, and its execution, I have kept steadily in view the 
securing to the inhabitants of the Floridas all the privi- 
leges and immunities guarantied to them by the treaty. 

'' The principal of these is the protection of their per- 
sons, property, and religion, until they shall be incorpo- 
rated into the union, and become entitled to all the privi- 
leges and immunities of citizens of the United States. 

•' In performing this important part of my functions, I 
have endeavored to pursue the spirit of our political" in- 
stitutions. I have made no discrimination of persons ; 
my house has been surrounded by no guards; no one has 
been kept at a distance by repulsive formalities ; all have 
had free admission, and found a ready ear when they re- 
quired my aid for the protection of their rights. 

" The American government, at the same time that it 
IS the freest, is perhaps the strongest in the world ; be- 
cause the most wealthy and most powerful in society are 
as weak in opposition to it, as the most humble and ob- 
scure. It knows no distinction between an ex-governor 
and a peasant. In the course of my short administra- 
tion, one case has unfortunately occurred, which required 
the exertion of that authority, which is no respecter of 

'* That the necessity should have existed has occasioned 
me pain and regret ; and especially as it has been misun- 


derstood by some of the inhabitants of this country* from 
a want of a sufficient acquaintance with the facts of the 
case, as well as with the character and principles of our 
government. It was my duty, under the treaty, exercis- 
ing the government in the Floridas, to secure to the in- 
habitants all the evidence of their right of property. The 
improper conduct of the captain general of Havana, in 
withholding documents, or archives of this nature, from 
an agent expressly sent to receive them, increased the ne- 
cessity of vigilance on my part. It was made known to 
me, by satisfactory evidence, that there were documents 
of this character in the hands of an individual here, and 
that these documents were necessary to establish the right 
of property in this country. 

" The fact ascertained, my duty was clear, and no alter- 
nativ'e was left me. 

" That individual was ordered to surrender them, so 
that in pursuance of the second article of the treaty, and 
of my proclamation, the inhabitants might be secured in 
their right of property. The individual thus ordered to 
deliver them, instead of obeying, as he ought, the com- 
mands of the government, under which he was protected, 
and which could know no superior, excepting the congress 
or president of the United States, shifted them into the 
hands of the person who lately administered the govern- 
ment of this province, and who had been authorized by 
the captain general to surrender the country agreeably to 
the stipulations of the treaty. This person, whether from 
misapprehension or from worse motives, considered him- 
self not responsible for any act of his to the government of 
the Floridas, and appeared entirely insensible to the im 
propriety of not having made a delivery of these documents 
of his own accord. Whatever diplomatic privileges he 
might have been entitled to, these privileges had ceased 
upon the surrender of this country, and he was not known 


CO me, or reoo£rnized as having any other rights than those 
of a common individual. It was not enough for him to 
consider himself a public agent of the king of Spain, and 
reside here for the purpose of transacting official business 
with the agents of the United States, but it was necessary 
that he should have made known the object and purpose 
of his stay ; had he done so, he would have been informed 
at once by me, that my own functions having ceased as 
commissioner, no one but the president of the United States 
had any power to give him permission to remain here as 
a diplomatic agent, enjoi/hig the privileges of a foreign 
minister. The natural consequences of his conduct are 
too well known, and need not be detailed. 

" With the exception of this solitary instance, I fee! 
the utmost confidence in saying that nothing has occurred, 
notwithstanding the numerous cases in which I have been 
called upon to interpose my authority, either in a judicial 
or executive capacity, to occasion any thing like distrust, 
discontent, or want of confidence ; and I cheerfully take 
this occasion to express my satisfaction, with the peaceful, 
obedient, and orderly conduct of all those, whose allegi- 
ance has been transferred to the United States, by the ces- 
sion of the country. It is true, the recent occurrence, 
connected with the one referred to, has compelled me to 
take measures I conceived necessary for the character, 
dignity, and harmony of the government I administer 
and which at the same time, were the mildest the circum- 
stances would admit. I allude to the conduct of a num- 
ber of Spanish officers, remaining here after the cession, 
without my permission, but which would certainly not 
have been withheld from them, so long as they demeaned 
themselves respectfully to the existing authorities, and re- 
frained from any improper interference ^vith the measures 
of the government. This respect is due from foreign 
officers in all countries — their situation is materially dif- 


ferent from that of other aliens, and their conduct ought 
therefore to be more circumspect. In the United States- 
those are severely punished, who are guilty of writing in 
a libelous manner of proceedings in courts of justice. 
For what tends to bring the judiciary into disrepute, shakes 
the public confidence in that part of the government that is 
looked upon as the most sacred depository of individual 
rights. Hence, in both these points of view, without no- 
ticing the singular conduct of the Spanish officers, acting 
as if they considered themselves a distinct and separate 
body — an imperium in imperio — they were guilty of great 
indiscretion and impropriety in publishing a most inde- 
cent libel against the judiciary proceedings of the highest 
tribunal in the Floridas. Had I consulted my personal 
feelings, having entertained a favorable opinion of some 
of them, and enmity to none, I should have been disposed 
to have suffered the act to sink into oblivion. But the 
dignity and honor of the government forbade that conduct 
so outrageous should pass unnoticed. I might appeal to 
those very persons, and ask what would be the conse- 
quences if a band of American officers should offer such 
an insult to the government of a Spanish province ? But 
the inhabitants of the Floridas may rest assured that what- 
ever may be the impropriety or imprudence of some, it 
will have no effect upon my feelings towards the rest — 
the innocent will not be confounded with the guilty, and 
all will continue to experience the same protection and 
respect for their rights which has heretofore been extend- 
ed, provided they demean themselves with that propriety 
which becomes every good citizen and subject : and should 
any of them, under the influence of momentary passion 
or feeling, be dissatisfied with the measures I have pursued, 
on a return of their sober judgment, I feel confident they 
will be compelled to approve." 

The following is Mr. Adams' defence of General 


Jackson's administration of the government of the Flori- 
das, in his letter to Don Joaquin d'Anduagrua : 

" In the letters which I had the honor of writing you, 
on the 2d of November, and 31st of December last, you 
were informed that a definitive answer to the complaints 
against certain proceedings of General Andrew Jackson, 
while governor of Florida, which were contained in a 
letter to this department from Don Hilario de Rivas y Sal- 
mon, before your arrival in this country, and in your let- 
ters of the 18th and 22d of November, would be given af- 
ter the substance of those complaints should have been 
made known to General Jackson, and his explanations of 
the motives and considerations by which he had been go- 
verned in adopting the measures complained of, should 
have been received. 

" In performing this promise, I am commanded by the 
president of the United States to repeat the assurance of 
his deep regret, that the transactions, which formed the 
subject of these complaints, should ever have occurred, 
and his full conviction, upon a review of all the circum- 
stances which have attended them, that they are attributa- 
ble entirely to the conduct of the governor and captain ge- 
neral of Cuba, and of the subordinate ofiiccrs of Spain, in 
evading and refusing the fulfillment of the most express 
and positive stipulations of the treaty, both of evacuating 
the province within six months from the exchange of the 
ratifications of the treaty, and of delivering the archives 
and documents relating directly to the property and sove- 
reignty of the provinces. 

"At the time of the exchange of the ratifications of the 
treaty, your predecessor. General Vives, delivered an order 
from his catholic majesty to the captain general and go- 
vernor of the island of Cuba, and of the Floridas, inform- 
ing him of the cession to the United States of that part of 
ihe })rovinccs of which he was the governor, that was 


situated on this continent, and instructing him as fol- 
lows : 

" ' I command you, and ordain, that, after the informa- 
tion which shall be seasonably given you by my minister 
plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary at Washington, 
of the ratifications having been exchanged, you proceed, 
on your part, to make the proper dispositions, in order 
that, at the end of six months, counting from the date of 
the exchange of the ratifications, or sooner if possible, the 
Spanish officers and troops may evacuate the territories 
of both Floridas, and that possession of them to be given 
to the officers or commissioners of the United States, dull/ 
authorized to receicc them. You shall arrange, in proper 
time, the delivery of the islands adjacent and dependent 
upon the two Floridas, and the public lots and squares, 
vacant lands, public edifices, fortifications, barracks, and 
other buildings, which are not private property ; as also 
the archives and documents which relate directly to the 
propeily and sovereignty of the same two provinces, by 
placing them at the disposal of the commissaries or officers 
of the United States, duli/ authorized to receive theni.^ 

" This order, thus clear and explicit, was dispatched, to- 
gether with letters from General Vives, to the governor 
of Cuba and the Floridas, notifying him of the exchange 
of the ratifications of the treaty, by Col. G. Forbes, 
who was cornmissioncd, 'as agent and commissary of the 
United States, to deliver to him the royal order, to ar- 
range and concert with him, conformably to instructions 
committed therewith, the execution of the above stipula- 
tions, and to receive from the said governor and from any 
and every person possessed of the said archives and do^ 
cuments, all and every one of the same, and to dispose 
tJiereof in the manner prescribed by his instructions.' 
Colonel Forbes' authority, thus, was to o-eceive the docu- 
ments and archives, and to concert and arrange with the 


governor of the Floridas, the deliver}/ of tliosc provinces, 
which General Jackson was commissioned to receive, 
take possession of, and occupy, and of wJiich he was fur- 
ther commissioned to be the governor, wlien surrendered 
to the United States. 

" The ro3'al order was delivered by Colonel Forbes to 
the governor of the Floridas, at the Havana, on the 23d of 
April, 1821. There has been shown by that governor no 
cause or reason which could justly have required him to 
delay the delivery of the documents and archives, and the 
arrangements for the delivery of the provinces, beyond 
the term of a single w^eek. There were twenty boxes of 
those archives and documents ; the whole, or with very 
few exceptions the whole of which, ought, by the posi- 
tive stipulation of the treaty, and by the express order of 
the king of Spain, to have been immediately delivered to 
Colonel Forbes. Not one of them was delivered to him ; 
nor has one of them been delivered to this day. 

" The orders for the surrender of the provinces were 
delayed from day to da}^, notwithstanding the urgent and 
continual solicitations of Colonel Forbes, for the term of 
six weeks, at the end of which, to avoid further indefinite 
procrastination, he was compelled to depart without re- 
ceiving the archives and documents, but, with repeated 
promises of the governor, that they should be transmitted 
to this government — promises which have remained to 
this day unperformed. 

" The orders for the delivery of the provinces themselves, 
were not only thus unreasonably withheld, but when made 
out, though not furnished to Colonel Forbes till the last 
week in May, were made to bear date on the fifth of that 
month : nor were they prepared conformably to the stipu- 
lation of the treaty, or to the royal order of his catholic 
majesty ; for, instead directing the surrender to be made 
to the commissioners or officers of the United States, duly 

264 Biography of 

authorized to receive them, the instruction to the comman- 
ders in East and West Florida was to deliver those res- 
pective provinces to Colonel Forbes himself, who had from 
the United States no authority to receive them. And al- 
though expressly advised of this fact by Colonel Forbes, 
with the request that the orders of delivery might be 
amended, and made conformable to the treaty, and to the 
royal command. Governor Mahy did not so amend it, but 
reduced Colonel Forbes to the alternative of submitting 
to further delays, or of departing with an imperfect and 
ambiguous order of delivery of West Florida, authoriz- 
ing its surrender to the legally constituted authorities of 
the United States, (that is, as Governor Mahy well knew, 
to General Andrew Jackson,) only, in case of any accident 
happening to Colonel Forbes, when he still affected to con- 
sider, notwithstanding his own express declaration to the 
contrary, as the commissioned agent of the United States 
to that effect. 

*' The twenty boxes of documents and archives, which 
were at the Havana, as has been mentioned, had been 
transmitted thither from Pensacola ; and contained all th' 
most important records of property in West Florida. T) 
possession of them was in the highest degree important 
to the United States, not only as the vouchers of indivi- 
dual property, but as protecting guards against the im- 
posture of fraudulent grants. 

*' The same persevering system of withholding docu- 
ments which it was their duty to deliver, has marked, I am 
deeply concerned to say, the conduct of both the commanders 
of East and West Florida, who were charged, respective- 
ly, to deliver those provinces to the United States. It is 
to this cause, and to this alone, as appears from a review 
of all the transactions of which you have complained, that 
must be traced the origin of all those severe measures 
which General Jackson himself was the first, while deem- 



ing them indispensable to the discharge of his own ollicial 
duties, to lament. Charged as he was with the trust of 
receiving the provinces in hehalf of the United States, of 
maintaining their rights of property within them, of guard- 
ing them to the utmost of his power from those frauds to 
which there was too much reason to apprehend they would 
be liable, and to which the retention of the documents 
gave so great and dangerous scope ; intrusted, from the 
necessity of the case, during the interval of time, while 
the general laws of the United States remained unextended 
to the provinces, with the various powers which had, un- 
til that time, been exercised by the Spanish governors, 
and which included the administration of justice between 
individuals ; it was impossible that he should not feel the 
necessity of exercising, under circumstances thus exas- 
perating and untoward, every authority committed to him 
by the supreme authority of his country, to preserve in- 
violate, so far as on him depended, the interests of that 
country, and the sacred obligations of individual right. 

"In the proceedings connected with the delivery of the 
province, he had as little reason to be satisfied with the 
conduct of Colonel Callava, as with that of the captain 
general. On a plea of indisposition, that ofiicer had, on 
the day of the surrender, evaded the performance of a 
solemn promise, which General Jackson had considered 
an indispensable preliminary to the act ; and afterwards 
the colonel positively declined its fulfillment. He had, 
however, completed the surrender of the province with 
which he had been charged. He had declined producing 
to General Jackson any credential as a commissioner for 
performing that act ; but had informed him that he should 
make the surrender as the commanding officer of the pro- 
vince, by virtue of orders from his superior. This ser- 
vice had been consummated ; and Colonel Callava, whom 
General Jackson had formerly notified that he had closed 


with him his official correspondence forever, was bound, 
by the special stipulations of the treaty, to have evacuated, 
as one of the Spanish officers, the province, before the 22d 
of August. If General Jackson had, in courtesy to Co- 
lonel Callava, considered him, notwithstanding his own 
dii5claimer of the character, as a commissioner^ for the de- 
livery of the province, there can be no pretence that he 
was entitled to special privileges under it, after he had 
avowedly performed all its duties ; after he had been in- 
formed by General Jackson that their official correspon- 
dence was finally closed; and after the date when, by the 
positive engagements of the treaty which he was to exe- 
cute, he was bound to have departed from the province. 
From the time when his functions for the surrender of the 
province were discharged, he could remain in Pensacola no 
otherwise than as a private unprivileged individual, ame- 
nable to the duly constituted American authorities of the 
place, and subject to the same control of General Jackson, 
as a private citizen of the United States would have been 
to that of the governor of the Floridas, before the surren- 
der had taken place. 

*' That this was the opinion of Colonel Callava himself, 
and of his friends who applied to Judge Fromentine for the 
writ of habeas corpus, to rescue him from the arrest under 
which he was placed by the order of General Jackson, is 
apparent from their conduct on that occasion. It is stated 
by Judge Fromentine, that before granting the supposed 
writ of habeas corpus, he required that Colonel Callava 
should enter into a recognizance for twenty thousand dol- 
lars, with two securities, each for the amount often thou- 
sand dollars ; the condition of which recognizance was, 
that Colonel Callava should personally be and appear be- 
fore the judge of the United States for West Florida, &c., 
whenever required so to do ; that he should not depart 
from- the city of Pensacola, without the leave of the said 

aNdrlw jackfon. 2^>7 

eourt, nof send away, remove, or otherwise dispose of, un- 
known to the said court, any oi the papers in question. 
It was only upon the promise of his friends that this re- 
rognizance should be executed, that Judge Fromentine con- 
sented to issue the writ of habeas corpus ; and this recog- 
nizance renounces in fact every pretension of exemption 
from the judicial authority of the country ; and consequent- 
ly of the diplomatic privileges of a commissioner. 

'* It has been seen that the most important documents re- 
lating to the property of West Florida had been transmitted 
to the Havana ; there remained, however, a portion of 
them, particularly of judicial records, relating to the titles 
of individual property. Some of these Colonel Callava 
did deliver up with the province ; others, of the same de- 
scription and character, indispensable for the administra- 
tion of justice in the province, and useless at the Havana, 
whither it was his intention to have transported them, 
were retained ; not in his possession, but in that of Don 
Domingo Sousa, a Spanish officer, who, by the stipulation 
of the treaty, ought also to have departed from the province 
before the 22d of Auo-ust. 

*' The day immediately preceding that date, the alcaid of 
Pensacola, at the suit of a woman, in a humble walk, in- 
deed, of life, but whose rights were, in the eye of General 
Jackson, equally entitled to his protection with those of the 
the highest rank, or the most commanding opulence, had 
represented to him that a number of documents, belonging 
to the alcaid's office, and relating to estates at that place, 
and to suits there instituted, were in the possession of Do- 
mingo Sousa ; that the necessity for obtaining possession 
of those documents was urgent, and therefore she requested 
the governor to authorize some one to make a regular de- 
mand of them, and to ascertain what they were. Gover- 
nor Jackson, accordingly, forthwith commissioned the se- 
cretary of the territory, the alcaid of Pensacola himself. 

3do biography of 

and the clerk of the county court of Escambia, to proceed 
to the dwelling of Sousa, to make demand of all such pa- 
pers or documents, belonging to the alcaid's office, as 
might be in his possession ; and in case of Sousa's refusal 
to exhibit or deliver the same, immediately to report the 
fact to him, the governor, in writing. These commission- 
ers the next day reported to the governor that they had 
examined the papers in the possession of Sousa ; that they 
had found among them four sets of papers of the kind 
which belonged to the office of the alcadi, and among them 
those in which the woman, from Avhom the first applica- 
tion had proceeded, was interested ; that they had, both 
v-erbally and in writing, demanded of him the delivery of 
those documents, which no private individual had a right 
to keep, as they related to the rights of persons holding or 
claiming property in the province ; but that Sousa had re- 
fused to deliver them, alleging that he was but the servant 
of Colonel Callava, and could not deliver them without 
his order. In the transactions of Sousa, on this occasion, 
is manifested the same consciousness that the claim of 
diplomatic privilege, set up by Colonel Callava, (o screen 
him from the operation of the authority of Governor Jack- 
son, was without foundation. For, although he refused 
to deliver up the papers, conformably to the governor's 
command, he submitted to the examination of them by 
the commissioners, in obedience to the same authority ; 
and though he declined receiving from them the letter de- 
manding the delivery of the papers, he told them, that to 
relieve himself from the responsibility of keeping them, 
he should deliver them to Governor Callava himself. 
They were accordingly sent to the house of Colonel Cal- 
lava, and put into the possession of his steward Fullerat. 
It is clear, however, that, if the papers, while in Sousa's 
possession, were privileged from delivering up at the com- 
mand of Governor Jackson, they v/ere equally privileged 


from examination by the same authority ; and, if they 
were not lawfully screened from his process in the custody 
of Sousa, they could not be made so by removin.<»- them to 
(he house of Colonel Qillava. The truth is, that the re- 
moval of the documents, at that time, and in such a man- 
ner, was a high and aggravated contempt of the lawful 
authority of the governor. It not only claimed for Colo- 
nel Callava diplomatic immunities, but assumed that he 
was still the governor of the province, and that Sousa was 
amenable for his conduct only to him. Colonel Callava 
might, on the same pretence, have retained the whole body 
of the Spanish officers and troops under his command at 
Pensacola, and insisted on exercising over them all his 
extinguished authority, as governor and commander in 
chief, after the 21st of August, as he could to exercise 
any official authority within the province, over Domingo 
Sousa, or to extricate him from the lawful jurisdiction of 
Governor Jackson. 

" It is under these circumstances that the subsequent 
measures of Governor Jackson are to be considered. He 
immediately issued an authority to Col. Robert Butler, and 
Col. John Miller, to seize the body of Sousa, together with 
the papers, and to bring them before him, that Sousa might 
answer such interrogatories as might be put to him, and 
comply with such order and decree, touching the said do- 
cuments and records, as the 'rights of the individuals, se- 
cured to them by the treaty, might require, and the justice 
of the case might demand. By virtue of this order, Sousa 
was brought before Governor Jackson, and again recog- 
nized the authority under which he was taken, by answer- 
ing the interrogatories put to him. But he had already 
put the papers and documents out of his possession ; and 
thus, as far as was in his power, baffled the ends of jus- 
tice, and set at defiance the lawful authority of the go- 



" In this transaction, Colonel Callava was avowedly the 
principal agent ; and altogether unjustifiable as it was, 
whatever consequences of inconvenience to himself re- 
sulted from it, must be imputed to him. It was an undis- 
guised effort to prostrate the authority of the United 
States in the province ; nor had Governor Jackson any 
other alternative to choose, than tamely to see the sove- 
reign power of his country, intrusted to him, trampled 
under foot, and exposed to derision by a foreigner, remain- 
ing there only upon his sufferance, or by the vigorous ex- 
ercise of his authority to vindicate at once the rights of 
the United States, and the just claims of individuals to 
their protection. 

" Governor Jackson could consider Colonel Callava in 
no other light than that of a private individual, entitled 
indeed, as the officer of a foreign power, to courtesy, but 
not to exemption from the process of the law. Notwith- 
standing his improper conduct. Governor Jackson, in 
the first instance, authorized Col. Butler and Dr. Bro- 
naugh, accompanied by Mr. Brackenridge, the alcaid, 
to wait upon him and his steward, and demand from them 
the specified papers, which Sousa had declared, in his an- 
swer to the interrogatories to have been delivered to the 
steward at Governor Callava's house. It was only in 
case of the refusal to give up the papers, that the order 
extended to the seizure of the person of Colonel Callava, 
that he might be made to appear before Governor Jackson, 
to answer interrogatories, and to abide by, and perform, 
such order and decree as the justice of the case might 
demand. This demand was accordingly made, and al- 
though at the first moment peremptorily refused, yet, upon 
Colonel Callava's being informed that his refusal would 
be considered as setting at defiance the authority of the 
governor of the Floridas, and of the consequences to him- 
self which must ensue upon his persisting therein, he d&» 


sired to he furnished with a memorandum setting forth 
the documents required, which was accordingly done. 
But when the delivery of the papers wa:5 again demanded 
of him, he repeated the refusal to deliver them, and at- 
tempted both to avoid the personal approach of Colonel 
Butler and Dr. Bronaugh, and to exhibit a resistance by 
force of arms to the execution of the governor's order. 
And it is not a little remarkable, that among the persons 
who appeared thus arrayed against the authority of th« 
United States, to accomplish the denial and removal of 
the papers, was a man against whom the most important 
of those papers were judicial decisions of Governor Cal- 
lava himself, in behalf of the orphan children, for the es- 
tablishment of whose rights they were indispensably ne- 
cessary, and at whose application they had been required. 

*' Standing thus, in open defiance to the operation ot 
the law, Colonel Callava w^as taken before the governor ; 
and there refusing to answer the interrogatories put to 
him, and asserting the groundless pretension of answering 
only as a commissioner, and by a protest against the acts 
of the governor, he was, by his order, committed to pri- 
son, until the documents should be delivered to the alcaid. 
On the next day, a search warrant for the papers was isr 
sued by the governor, upon which they were actually ob- 
tained, and directed to be delivered to the alcaid ; where- 
upon, Colonel Callava was immediately released. 

'* In all these proceedings, you will perceive, sir, that 
not one act of rigor, or even of discourte y towards Colonel 
Callava, was authorized by Governor J ckson, which was 
not indispensably necessitated for the aaintenance of his 
authority, and the discharge of hii iiicial duty, by the 
unjustifiable and obstinate resistance of Colonel Callava 

*♦ On a review of the whole transactions, I am instructed 
by the president of the United States to say, that he coo- 


aiders the documents in question, as among those which, 
by the stipulation of the treaty, ought to have been deli- 
vered up, with the province, to the authorities of the Uni- 
ted States ; that they were, on the 22d of August, when 
in the possession of Domingo Sousa, within the jurisdic- 
tion of the United States, and subject to the control of their 
governor, acting in his judicial capacity, and liable to bo 
compulsively produced by his order ; that the removal of 
them from the possession of Sousa, after the governor's 
order to him to deliver them had been served upon him, 
could not withdraw them from the jurisdiction of Gover- 
nor Jackson, and was a high and aggravated outrage upon 
his lawful authority ; that the imprisonment of Colonel 
Callava was a necessary, though by the president deeply 
regretted, consequence, of his obstinate perseverance in 
refusing to deliver the papers, and of his unfounded claim 
of diplomatic immunities, and irregular exercise even of 
the authorities of a governor of Florida, after the autho- 
rity of Spain in the province had been publicly and so- 
lemnly surrendered to the United States. 
^ " That the documents were of the description of those 
which the treaty had stipulated should be delivered up 
with the province, is obvious, from the consideration of 
their character. They related to the property of lands in 
the province. They were judicial records, directly af- 
fecting the rights of persons remaining in the province ; 
rights which could not be secured without them ; rights 
over which the appellate tribunal of the governor of Cuba, 
to which Colonel Callava proposed to remove the papers, 
thenceforth could have no authority or control, they hav- 
ing become definitively subject to the jurisdiction of the 
United States. The only reason assigned by Colonel 
Callava for the pretension to retain them, is, that they 
related to the estate of a deceased Spanish officer, and 
hud thereby been of the resort of the military tribunal. 


But it was for the rights of the living, and not for the pri- 
vileges of the dead, that the documents were to operate. 
The tribunal of the captain general of Cuba could neither 
need the production of the papers, nor exercise any au- 
thority over the subject-matter to which they related. To 
have transferred to the island of Cuba a question of liti- 
gated property, concerning land in Florida, between per- 
sons, all of whom were living, and to remain in Florida, 
would have been worse than a mockery of justice. In- 
deed Mr. Salmon, in his note, appears to have been aware 
of the weakness of this allegation, declines the discussion 
of the question ; and in justification of the refusal of Co- 
lonel Callava to deliver up the documents, merely rests its 
defence upon the plea, that the papers had not been de- 
manded of him officially. It has been seen, that Colonel 
Callava had no official character which could then ex- 
empt him from the compulsive process of the governor. 
But Mr. Salmon alledges that the Spanish constitution, as 
well as that of the United States, separates the judicial 
from the executive power exercised by the governor or 
captain general of a province. ' 

" Neither the constitution, nor the laws of the United 
States, excepting those relating to the revenue and its col- 
lection, and to the slave-trade, had at that time been ex- 
tended to Florida. — And as little had the Spanish consti- 
tution been introduced there, in point of Hict, however it 
might have been proclaimed. But be this as it may, the 
cause, in relation to which the documents required in the 
case of Vidal had been drawn up, and were needed, was 
one of those which, under the Spanish constitution itself, 
remained within the jurisdiction of the governor. This 
is declared by Colonel Callava himself, in the third ob- 
servation of the appenaix to his protest, transmitted with 
the letter of Mr. Salmon. It is the reason assigned by 
him for having withheld those documents from the al- 


caid. And one of them was a judgment rendered by 
Colonel Callava himself, after the time when the procla- 
mation of the Spanish constitution in the province is al- 
Icdged to have been made. The cause therefore was, on 
every hypothesis, within the jurisdiction of the governor ; 
tlie papers were indispensable for the administration of 
justice in the cause ; and when once applied for, by a per- 
son entitled to the benefit of them, it was the duty, tho 
inexorable duty, of Governor Jackson, to put forth all the 
authority vested in him, necessary to obtain them. 

*' Nor less imperative was his obligation to punish, with 
out respect of persons, that contempt of his jurisdiction, 
which was manifested in the double attempt of Colonel 
Callava to defy his power, and to evade the operation of 
its process. 

*' With regard to the proclamation of General Jackson, 
of the 29th of September, commanding several Spanish 
officers, who, in violation of the stipulation of the treaty, 
had remained at Pensacola, after the expiration of the six 
months from the day of the ratification of the treaty, to 
withdraw, within four days, from the Floridas, which 
forms the subject of complaint in your letter of the 18th 
of November, it might be sufficient to say, that it did no 
more than enjoin upon those officers to do that which they 
ought before, and without any injunction, to have done. 
The engagement of the treaty was. that they should all 
have evacuated the province before the 22d of August. 

*' If they remained there after that time, it could only 
be as private individuals, amenable in every particular to 
the laws. Even this was merely an indulgence, which 
it was within the competency of General Jackson, at any- 
time, to have withdrawn. From the extract of a letter 
from him, of which I have the honor of inclosing a copy, 
it will be seen, that he was far from being disposed to with- 
draw it, had they not, by their abuse of it, and by open 


outrages upon his authority, forfeited all claims to its con- 

*' This extract furnishes a satisfactory answer to your 
question, why, if the fulfillment of the^rticle was the ob- 
ject of the proclamation, it was confined to the eight offi- 
cers, by name, and not extended to all other Spanish offi- 
cers in the Floridas. It was because the deportment of 
the others was as became them, decent, respectful, and 
friendly towards the government, under the protection of 
which they were permitted to abide. In the newspaper 
publication, which gave rise to the proclamation of Ge- 
neral Jackson, the Spanish officers avowedly acted, not 
as private individuals, but as a distinct body of men, 
speaking of Colonel Callava as their chiefs their superior ; 
and arrogating to themselves, as a sort of merit, the con- 
descension of knowing what was due to a government 
(meaning the American government) which was on the 
most friendly footing with their own. This is language 
which would scarcely be proper for the embassador of one 
nation, upon the territory of another, to which he would 
owe not even a temporary allegiance. From persons si- 
tuated as those Spanish officers were, it was language of 
insubordination and contempt. 

" In alluding to the fact, that officers of the American 
squadron, in the Mediterranean, are sometimes received 
with friendly treatment on the territories of Spain, to make 
a case parallel with the present, it would be necessary to 
show, that some superior officer of the said squadron 
should, while enjoying the hospitality of the Spanish na 
tion upon their shores, first attempt to evade and to resist, 
the operation of process from the constituted judicial tri- 
bunals of the country, and then pretend, as an American 
officer, to be wholly independent of them ; and that some 
of his subalterns should not only countenance and support 
him in these attempts, but should affect to consider him. 


while on Spanish ground, as their only superior and chief, 
and by unfounded and inflammatory publications in the 
daily journals, to arouse the people of Spain to revolt and 
insurrection against the judicial tribunal of their own 

" If the bare statement of such a case would be suffi- 
cient to raise the indignation of every honorable Spaniard, 
let it be observed, that even this would be without some 
of the aggravations of the conduct of these Spanish offi- 
cers at Pensacola. For such outrage would be far less 
dangerous, committed against old established authorities, 
which might rely upon the support of the whole people 
surrounding them, than in the presence of a people, 
whose allegiance had been just transferred to a new go- 
vernment, and when the revolt to which they were sti- 
mulated would seem little more than obedience to the 
authorities to which they had always been accustomed to 

" The very power which the Spanish governor and 
officers had exercised before the surrender of the pro- 
vince, ought to have been a most urgent warning to them 
to avoid every semblance of authority in themselves, or 
of resistance to that of the United States, after the trans- 
fer of the province had been completed. 

" In forbearing particularly to reply to that part of 
your note, in which you think yourself authorized to 
pronounce the charge of General Jackson against these 
Spanish officers, of having attempted to excite discontent 
in the inhabitants, falsc^ I shall barely express the hope, 
that the term was admitted into your communication inad- 
vertently. The conduct of the officers, at the time of 
Colonel Callava's conflict with the authority of the go- 
vernor, as well as in their insulting newspaper publica- 
tion, was of a character and tendency too strongly mark- 
ed, to leave a doubt of the truth with which it is described 


in General Jackson's proclamation, and in passing un- 
noticed this and other mere invectives aflliinst an officer, 
whose services to this nation have entitled him to their 
highest regard, and whose Avhole career has been sig- 
nalized by the purest intentions and the most elevated pur- 
poses, I wish to be understood as abstaining from obser- 
vations, which, however justified by the occasion, could 
but add to the unpleasantness of a discussion already suf- 
ficiently painful. 

" That this conduct on the part of the Spanish officers 
was highly reprehensible, cannot reasonably be denied, 
and had General Jackson been disposed to animadvert 
upon it with severity, his course would undoubtedly have 
been that which you have pointed out as appropriate to 
the offence. They would have been cited before the pro- 
per tribunal, heard upon specific charges, allowed time 
and liberty to make their defence, and punished by com- 
mitment to prison. General Jackson preferred a milder — 
a more indulgent measure; and without prosecuting them 
as criminals, only withdrew from them the privilege of 
a protracted infraction of the treaty, by requiring them 
forthwith to depart from the province. To justify him in 
this requisition, neither arrest nor judicial trial was ne- 
cessary or proper. The facts were of public notoriety, 
and could not be denied. The proclamation only requir- 
ed of them the execution of the treaty, by the removal 
of their persons. Had their conduct even been unexcep- 
tionable, this measure would have been within the un- 
doubted authority of General Jackson. As their deport- 
ment had been, it was the most lenient exercise of his 
power practicable, to vindicate the insulted honor and jus- 
tice of his country." 

5878 BIOGRAPHY or 


General Jackson resigns the government of the Floridas — 
Is nominated by the Tennessee legislature for the pre- 
sidency — Is elected to the senate of the United States — 
Lafayette visits him at the Hermitage — President elect- 
ed by the house of representatives — Mr. Adams chosen 
— General Jackson again nominated — Resigns his seat 
in the senate i7i consequence — His address to the Ten- 
nessee legislature on that occasion — Visits various 
towns in Tennessee — His replies to addresses made to 
him by his fellow-citizens — Receives an invitation to 
oAtend the celebration of the 8th January at Neiv Or- 
leans — Description of that celebration. 

General Jackson had for a long series of years been 
arduous and unremitting- in his endeavors to serve his 
country, and his success in every attempt must have af- 
forded him the richest consolations, as must also the de- 
monstrations he every where met with, of the respect and 
gratitude of his countrymen. He wished for retirement, 
and as his country was in the enjoyment of peace and 
unrivaled prosperity, to the production of which he had 
so largely contributed, he could with honor to himself 
retire to private life, and in seclusion enjoy the fruits of 
his privations and hardships. This wish he expressed 
in a letter to the secretary of state. He accordingly re- 
signed his government of the Floridas, and returned to 


He was not, however, permitted long to enjoy the re- 
pose he so much needed. In May, 1822, the legislature 
of Tennessee nominated him a candidate for the presi- 
dency of the United States. He was elected in the au- 
tumn of the same year to the United States senate. A 
new tariff was enacted the next session, which received 
his support. 

The second term of office exercised by Mr. Monroe as 
president of the United States, was approaching its ter- 
mination, and the question of his successor was at this 
period agitated with much bitterness of party spirit 
throughout the Union. The candidates were General 
Jackson and H. Clay, of the west, Messrs. Crawford and 
Calhoun, of the south, and J. Q. Adams, of the north. 
Concerning the merits of General Jackson's competitors 
for the presidency, it is not our province to comment. 
But we can say of General Jackson, that he was decided- 
ly the popular candidate. The unyielding integrity of 
his character — the courage, ability, and lofty patriotism 
exhibited in a life of devotedness to the welfare of his 
country in seasons of her greatest peril — the prosperous 
security and renown which the energies of his mind and 
the prowress of his arm had achieved for her, were YiM 
without a grateful response from a large majority of his 
fellow-citizens. The proof of this was found in the re- 
sult of the presidential canvass in 1824. 

While the friends of the several candidates were press- 
ing the claims of their respective favorites, General La- 
fayette made his memorable visit to the United States. 
The spontaneous bursts of gratitude with which he was 
every where received, are fresh in the recollection of 
every reader. The tour which he made of the United 
States brought him at length to Nashville, Tennessee. 
Levasseur, secretary to General Lafayette, during his 
journey through the United States, after speaking of the 


cordial reception of the nation's guest by General Jack- 
son and the inhabitants of Nashville, thus happily des- 
cribes the visit of General Lafayette and suite, to the resi- 
dence of General Jackson's upon the banks of the Cum- 

" At one o'clock, we embarked Avith a numerous com- 
pany, to proceed to dine with General Jackson, whose 
residence is a few miles up the river. We there found 
numbers of ladies and farmers from the neighborhood, 
whom Mrs. Jackson had invited to partake of the enter- 
tainment she had prepared for General Lafayette. The 
first thing that struck me on arriving at the general's, 
was the simplicity of his house. Still somewhat influ- 
enced by my European habits, I asked myself if this 
could really be the dwelling of the most popular man in 
the United States, of him whom the country proclaimed 
one of her most illustrious defenders ; of him, finally, who 
by the will of the people was on the point of becoming 
her chief magistrate. One of our fellow-passengers, a 
citizen of Nashville, witnessing my astonishment, asked 
me, whether in France, our public men, that is to say, 
the servants of the public, lived very differently from other 
citizens ? ' Certainly,' said I ; ' thus, for example, the 
majority of our generals, all our ministers, and even the 
greater part of our subaltern administrators, would think 
themselves dishonored, and would not dare to receive any 
one at their houses, if they only possessed such a resi- 
dence as this of Jackson's ; and the modest dwellings of 
your illustrious chiefs of the revolution, Washington, 
John Adams, Jefferson, &c., would only inspire them 
with contempt and disgust. They must first have in the 
city an immense and vast edifice, called a hotel, in which 
two large families could live with ease, but which they 
fill with a crowd of servants strangely and' .ridiculously 
dressed, and whose only employment, for the most part, 


is to insult those honest citizens who come on foot to visit 
their master. They must also have another large esta- 
blishment in the country, which they call a chateau, antf 
in which they accumulate all the luxuries of furniture, 
decorations, entertainments, and dress — in fact, every thing 
that can make them forget the country. Then they must 
have, to enable them to go from one to the other of these 
habitations, a great number of carriages, horses, and ser- 
\'ant«.' ^ Very well,' interrupted the Tennessean, sha- 
king his head as if in doubt, ' but who provides these 
public officers with all the money thus swallowed up in 
luxury, and how do the affairs of the people go on ?' '• If 
you ask them, they will tell you that it is the king who 
pays them, although I can assure you that it is the nation, 
which is borne down by taxes for the purpose ; as to busi- 
ness, it is both well and badly attended to, but generally 
the latter.' ' And why do you submit to such a state of 
things ?' ' Because we cannot remedy it.' ' What ! you 
cannot remedy it ? A nation so great, so enlightened as 
the French, cannot prevent its officers, magistrates, and 
servants, from enjoying, at their expense, a scandalous 
and immoral luxuriousness, and at the same time not at- 
tending to their duties ! whilst we, who have just assumed 
our name among nations, are enjoying the immense ad- 
vantage of only having for magistrates, men who are 
plain, honest, laborious, and more jealous of our esteem 
than solicitous for wealth. Permit me to believe that 
what you have told is only pleasantry, and that you wish- 
ed to amuse yourself for a moment with a poor Tennes- 
sean who has never visited Europe. But rest assured, 
that however ignorant we may be of what passes on the 
other side of the water, it is not easy to make us credit 
things which militate so strongly against good sense and 
the dignity of man.' Do what I could, I could never 
make this good citizen of Nashville believe that I was 


not jesting, and was obliged to leave him in the belief that 
we were not w^orse governed in Franc^e than in the United 

" General Jackson successively showed us his garden 
and farm, which appeared to be well cultivated. We 
every where remarked the greatest order, and most per- 
fect neatness ; and we might have believed ourselves on 
the property of one of the richest and most skillful of the 
German farmers, if, at every step, our eyes had not been 
afflicted by the sad spectacle of slaveiy. Every body told 
us that General Jackson's slaves were treated with the 
greatest humanity, and several persons assured us, that it 
would not surprise them, if, in a short time, their master, 
who already had so many claims on the gratitude of his 
fellow-citizens, should attempt to augment it still more, 
by giving an example of gradual emancipation to Tennes- 
see, which would be the more easily accomplished, as 
there are in this state but 79,000 slaves in a population of 
423,000, and from the public mind becoming more in- 
clined than formerly to the abolition of slavery. 

" On returning to the house, some friends of General 
Jackson, who probably had not seen him for some time, 
begged him to show them the arms presented to him in 
honor of his achievements during the last war ; he ac- 
ceded to their request with great politeness, and placed on 
a table, a sword, a sabre, and a pair of pistols. The 
sword was presented to him by congress ; the sabre, I 
believe, by the army which fought under his command at 
New Orleans. These tw^o weapons, of American manu- 
facture, were remarkable for their finish, and still more 
so for the honorable inscriptions, with which they were 
covered. But it was to the pistols, that General Jackson 
wished more particularly to draw our attention ; he hand- 
ed them to General Lafayette, and asked him if he re- 
cognized them.. The latter, after examining them atten- 


lively for a few minutes, replied, that he fully recollected 
them, to be a pair he had presented in 1778 to his pater- 
nal friend Washington, and that he experienced a real 
satisfaction in finding them in the hands of one so worthy 
of possessing them. At these words the face of old 
Hickory was covered with a modest blush, and his eyo 
sparkled as in a day of victory. ' Yes ! I believe myself 
worthy of them,' exclaimed he, in pressing the pistols 
and Lafayette's hands to his breast ; ' if not from v,hat I 
have done, at least for what I wished to do for my coun- 
try.' All the bystanders applauded this noble confidence 
of the patriot hero, and were convinced that the weapons 
of Washington could not be in better hands than those of 

Mr. Calhoun withdrew from the canvass of 1824, and 
the contest was maintained between the other candidates, 
the result of which was, no choice by the people. Gene- 
ral Jackson received 99 electoral votes ; J. Q. Adams 84 ; 
W. H. Crawford 41 ; and Henry Clay 37. Consequent- 
ly the choice, by a constitutional provision, devolved on 
the house of representatives. To this method of election 
there are many weighty objections. It deprives the peo- 
ple of their legitimate right of suffrage, and places it in 
the hands of their national representatives ; and as the 
vote is given by states, the smallest state in point of po- 
pulation has a weight equal to the largest, a circumstance 
which destroys the equilibrium of suffrage. It also paves 
the way to bribery and corruption, for the practical effect 
of the system will often place it in the power of one or 
two individuals to decide the political destiny of the com- 
petitors for the presidential chair, in a manner that will 
result in the production of their own emolument or ag- 

That this influence raised Mr. Adams to the presidency 
in 1825, has been asserted by a large majority of the 


American people. Whether such was the fact, it is not 
our purpose to prove ; we shall only state the facts as 
they existed, so far as they are connected with the history 
of General Jackson, and our readers, after satisfying them- 
selves of their truth, will be enabled to make their own 
inferences. The method of election, where no choice is 
made by the people, is pointed out by the constitution of 
the United States. The members of the house of repre- 
sentatives are to proceed to a choice, each state being al- 
lowed one vote. A majority of the members from any 
one state, decide what vote that state shall give. Three 
candidates only, those who receive the greatest number 
of electoral votes, can come before the house. On the 
election of which we speak, Messrs. Jackson, Adams, 
and Crawford, were the individuals having the greatest 
number of electoral votes, and therefore, came into the 
house. It was now that the anti-republican results of the 
constitutional method of electing a president by the re- 
presentatives of the nation, appeared in their most forbid- 
ding form. Mr. Clay had received the votes of three 
slates ; it therefore became obvious that his vote as a re- 
presentative from Kentucky, would influence a majority 
of the members of the house from his own state, and also 
a majority of those from the states of Ohio and Missouri, 
which states gave him their votes when the election was 
before the people. Next to Mr. Clay at this period. Ge- 
neral Jackson was the choice of Kentucky. Mr. Clay 
and his colleagues were advised of this, not only from their 
own knowledge, but from the instructions of the Kentucky 
legislature ; yet the vote of that state, contrary to the 
wishes of a majority of its inhabitants, was given by Mr. 
Clay to Mr. Adams, and he was elected, and immediate- 
ly appointed Mr. Clay to the office of secretary of state. 

This result of the election, brought against Messrs. 
Adams and Clay direct charges of bargain and corrup- 


tioii. An investigation of the subject took place in tho 
Kentucky legiskiture, where it was proved by a number 
of highly respectable individuals, that, after the return of 
General Metcalfe and Mr. Trimble, of the Kentucky de- 
legation, they avowed their reason for voting for Mr. 
Adams was, that they had ascertained that he would 
make Mr. Clay secretary of state, and General Jackson 
would not. Our readers will ascertain the correctness 
of this, by a reference to the report of the proceedings of 
the Kentucky legislature in that investigation. 

In October, 1825, General Jackson was nominated by 
the Tennessee legislature a candidate for the presidency. 
The proceedings of the legislature, and General Jack- 
son's resignation of his seat in the United States senate 
in consequence, are as follows : 

In the senate Mr. Kennedy submitted " tkat General 
Andrew Jackson, of this state, be recommended to the 
freemen of the United States, as a fellow-citizen, who, by 
his numerous and faithful public services, in the cabinet 
and in the field, his energy and decision, liis political 
qualifications, and strict adherence to the principles of re- 
publicanism, merits to be elected to the oflicc of chief ma- 
gistrate of this Union, at the next presidential election." 

This resolution was agreed to in both houses, with 
only one or two dissenting voices. 

" On Friday, October 7th, the house of representatives 
received from the senate a message informing this houso 
that they had adopted the following resolutions, in Avhich 
they asked a concurrence : 

" Resolved, as an evidence of the respect and attach- 
ment entertained by this legislature, in common with our 
fellow-citizens, towards General Andrew Jackson for his 
high personal qualifications, and numerous and impor- 
tant services rendered to his country, that the two branches 
of this general assembly will receive him on the day 


next after his arrival at the seat of government, at 12 
o'clock, in the representative hall. 

" Resolved, that one or both of the speakers, on behalf 
of the two houses, shall deliver, at such time, to General 
Jackson, an address, expressive of the high personal sa- 
tisfaction they feel in relation to the course he pursued, 
during the pendency of the late presidential election. 

" Resolved, that a joint select committee be appointed 
to wait upon General Jackson, on his arrival at the seat 
of government, to inform him of the foregoing resolutions, 
and conduct him wdthin the bar of the house of represen- 
tatives, and that Mr. Hall and Mr. Kennedy are appoint- 
ed said committee on the part of the senate. 

" The house of representatives concurred in the fore- 
going resolutions, and appointed Messrs. Gibbs, Desha, 
Turney, and Fitzgerald, to be of the committee on their 

" The general arrived at Murfreesborough on the 13lh 
ultimo, and was immediately waited upon by the commit- 
tee of the legislature. On the I4th, at 12 o'clock, he was 
conducted to the hall and addressed by the speakers of the 
two houses, to which he made an appropriate reply, and 
then handed in a resignation of his seat in the senate of 
the United States." 

The following is General Jackson's resignation to tha 
legislature of Tennessee. 

*' Two years ago, by the unsolicited suffrage of the le- 
gislature of Tennessee, I was appointed to the situation of 
senator in congress. Pursuing the principle by which I 
had ever been governed, neither to seek after or decline 
office, the appointment conferred was accepted. Awara 
of the practice which had long prevailed, of selecting from 
each extreme of the state, a person for the high and re- 
sponsible situation of senator, I felt regret at being brought 
forward to disturb a system which had so long obtained ; 


yet, inasmuch as the legislature, without any knowledge 
or understanding on my part, had called me to the situa- 
tion, it was impossible to withhold my consent ; and ac- 
cordingly the appointment was, though reluctantly, ac- 
cepted ; not, however, without its being previously pro- 
fessed by my friends, that a longer term of service than 
one congress would neither be required nor expected. 
That service has been performed. I was still though, 
pondering and in doubt, whether exceptions to my re- 
signing might not be taken ; and if it might not be pro- 
per for me to execute the full term which you had assign- 
ed me, when my mind was brought to a conclusion by 
some late proceedings of your own, and a determination 
formed to surrender immediately back into your hands 
the responsible trust you had heretofore confided. 

" One inducement to my determination is, that travel- 
ing to the city of Washington, twice a year, imposes no 
inconsiderable fatigue ; and, although this is a minor 
consideration, and one which would have been met with 
cheerfulness, if business, involving the interest of our 
happy country, had required the exertion ; yet I am awaro 
of nothing of great national importance which is likely to 
come before congress, excepting a subject that you have 
lately had before your body — the amending the constitu- 
tion of the United States in relation to the choice of a 
chief magistrate. Upon this matter I greatly doubted 
whether it might not be my duty again to appear in the 
senate, and extend my feeble aid towards producing an 
alteration in which great interests with the people of the 
United States exist, and on which the security of our re- 
publican system may depend. But having been advised 
of a resolution of your honorable body, presenting again 
my name to the American people, for the office of chief 
magistrate of this Union, I could no longer hesitate on 
the course I should pursue; doubt yielded to, certainty, 


and I determined, forthwith, to ask your indulgence to 
be excused from any further service in the councils of tho 

" Thus situated, — my name presented to the freemen 
of the United States for the first office known to the con- 
stitution, — I could not, with any thing- of approbation on 
my part, consent either to urge or encourage an ahera- 
tion, which might wear the appearance of being induced 
by selfish considerations ; by a desire to advance my own 
views. I feel a thorough and safe conviction, that impu- 
tation would be ill founded, and that nothing could prompt 
me to any active course on that subject, which my judg- 
ment did not approve ; yet, as from late events, it might 
be inferred, that the prospects of your recommendation 
could be rendered probable only by the people having the 
choice given to them direct, abundant room would be af- 
forded to ascribe any exertions of mine to causes apper- 
taining exclusively to myself. Imputations, thus made, 
would be extremely irksome to any person of virtuous 
and independent feeling : they would certainly prove so 
to me ; and hence the determination to retire from a situa- 
tion where strong suspicions might, at least, attach, and 
with great seeming propriety. I hasten, therefore, to 
tender this, my resignation, into the hands of those who 
conferred it, that, in the exercise of their constitutional 
rights, they may confide it to some one deserving their 
confidence and approbation. 

" Being about to retire again to private life, it is pro- 
bably the last time I shall have an opportunity of address- 
ing you. Permit me, then, to suggest some remarks 
upon the amendment which you have proposed to the 
constitution of the United States. Our political fabric 
being regulated by checks and balances, where experi- 
ence assures us that those which have been resorted to 
are inefficient ; or that, however well their boundaries 


have been defined on the parchment of the constitution, 
some new barrier to the encroachments of power or cor- 
ruption, in any of the departments of government, is ne- 
cessary ; a corrective should be applied; and, under 
such circumstances, it is the duty of the people to see that 
one is provided. There is no truth more sacred in poli- 
tics, and none more conclusively stamped upon all the 
state constitutions, as well as the federal constitution, than 
that which requires the three great departments of power, 
the legislative, judicial, and executive, to be kept separate 
and apart. But simple and manifest as this truth is, the 
difficulty of arriving at, in practice with constitutional 
restraints, still remains, and presents a question, whether 
the wisdom and virtue of the present generation, with a 
view to amendment in this important matter, may not be 
usefully employed. Gratitude to the founders of our 
happy government, cannot be lessened by honest efforts, 
on our part, to improve, or rather to fortify, the blessings 
which have been transmitted to us, with such additional 
guards as experience has proved to be necessary. Upon 
this principle, I venture fully to accord with you, in the 
contemplated change proposed to the constitution; and, 
indeed, would go further. With a view to sustain, more 
effectually in practice, the axiom which divides the three 
great classes of power into independent, constitutional 
checks, I would impose a provision, rendering any mem- 
ber of congress ineligible to office, under the general 
government, during the term for which he was elected, 
and for two years thereafter, except in cases of judicial 
office ; and these I would except for the reason, that va- 
cancies, in this department, are not frequent occurrences, 
and because no barrier should be interposed in selecting, 
to the bench, men of the first talents and integrity. Their 
trusts and duties being of the most responsible kind, the 
widest possible range should be permitted, that judicious 


and safe selections might be made. The politician may 
err, yet his error may be presently retrieved, and no con- 
siderable injury result ; but with judges, particularly in 
the last resort, error is fatal, because without a remedy. 

" The effect of such a constitutional provision is ob- 
vious. By it congress, in a considerable degree, would 
be free from that connexion with the executive department 
which, at present, gives strong ground of apprehension 
and jealousy on the part of the people. Members, instead 
of being liable to be withdrawn from legislating on the 
great interests of the nation, through prospects of execu- 
tive patronage, wou\d be more liberally confided in by 
their constituents ; while their vigilance would be less 
interrupted by party feelings and party excitements. Cal- 
culations, from intrigue or management, would fail ; nor 
would their deliberations or their investigation of subjects 
consume so much time. The morals of the country 
would be improved, and virtue, uniting with the labors of 
the representatives, and with the official ministers of the 
law, would tend to perpetuate the honor and glory of the 

" But if this change in the constitution should not be 
obtained, and important appointments continue to devolve 
on the representatives in congress, it requires no depth of 
thought to be convinced, that corruption will become the 
order of the day ; and that, under the garb of conscien- 
tious sacrifices to establish precedents for the public good, 
evils of serious importance to the freedom and prosperity 
of the republic may arise. It is through this channel 
that the people may expect to be attacked in their consti- 
tutional sovereignty, and where tyranny may well be ap- 
prehended to spring up, in some favorable emergency. 
Against such inroads every guard ought to be interposed, 
and none better occurs, than that of closing the suspected 
avenue with some necessary constitutional restriction. 


We know human nature to be prone to evil : we are 
early taught to pray, that we may not be led into tempta- 
tion ; and hence the opinion, that, by constitutional pro- 
vision, all avenues to temptation, on the part of our politi- 
cal servants, should be closed. 

'' My name having been before the nation for the office 
of chief magistrate during the time I served as your se- 
nator, placed me in a situation truly delicate ; but delicate 
as it was, my friends do not, and my enemies cannot, 
charge me with descending from the independent ground 
then occupied, with degrading the trust reposed on me, 
by intriguing for the presidential chair. As, by a reso- 
lution of your body, you have thought proper again to 
present my name to the American people, I must entreat 
to be excused from any further service in the senate ; and 
to suggest, in conclusion, that it is due to myself to prac- 
tice upon the maxims recommended to others ; and hence, 
feel constrained to retire from a situation where tempta- 
tions may exist, and suspicions arise, of the exercise of an 
influence tending to my own aggrandisement. 

"Accept, &c. &c. Andrew Jackson." 

After the resignation of his seat in the United States 
senate, General Jackson retired again to the Hermitage, 
on the banks of the Cumberland. Business, however, 
called him occasionally abroad. On one occasion, the 
inhabitants of Jackson, Tennessee, addressed him, to 
which address he made the following characteristic reply: 

" If, in my march through life, it has been my good 
fortune to be an actor in scenes which eventuated benefi- 
cially, my greatest satisfaction is in knowing that, at this 
day, they are considered as they were intended, for the 
benefit and advancement of our common country. The 
last spot on the globe where liberty has found a resting 
place, will not, I hope, want defenders, and sincere ones, 
whenever an assault may come. The world cannot re- 


main at peace. Human nature is restless — and man, as 
he ever has been, is ambitious. Because our govern- 
ment is formed upon new principles, we must not trust 
alone to that ; but mark, with care and caution, the secret 
and silent inroads, which intrigue, ambition, and cunning, 
from time to time, may originate. In selecting, at any 
time, any agent to discharge those important functions, 
which, under our form of government, must necessarily 
be confided to him who represents us, let mind be one 
great consideration ; but, above all, let it be ascertained 
that virtue and purity have, w^ith him, taken up their 
abode, dwelling with him, and he with them. By this 
means, and only this, can our government u;o- down un- 
impaired to posterity. Mere form and ceremony in the 
guidance of our affairs, can avail but little. We must be 
careful and vigilant to adhere to those great principles, 
which characterize and mark the government we possess.*' 

In May, 1826, General Jackson was nominated for the 
presidency, by a meeting of citizens in Philadelphia ; 
and it now became evident that he would be the only 
competitor with Mr. Adams for that station. His popu- 
larity increased rapidly, and many observers of the signs 
of the times were sanguine of his success. At an anniver- 
sary of our independence at Fayetteville, Tennessee, in 
July following, he was present ; and in reply to an ad- 
dress made to him, said : 

" Your cordial welcome is grateful to my feelings. It 
recalls to my recollection the urbanity and hospitality 
which were extended to me and my troops by the citizens 
of this town and country, 1813, while encamped in its 
vicinity, on their march to protect our southern frontier 
from the ruthless savage. Sir, the orderly conduct of the 
brave men I had the happiness then to command, was 
honorable to them, to me, and to their country. Those 
high-minded men, whom patriotism alone had led to the 


tented field, to defend their country and their country's 
rights, could not trespass on, or infringe the rights and 
privileges of their fellow-citizens of Fayetteville and of 
Lincoln county. These were the wealth and sinew of 
your country — they were the citizen-soldiers, who appre- 
ciated, above all earthly blessings, their liberties achieved 
by their forefathers, and had sworn to hand them down, 
unimpaired, to their children, or die in the attempt. With 
auch an army your rights could not be infringed, nor your 
property molested. In the ranks of such men, order, 
discipline, and strict subordination, were easily introduced 
and maintained. It was the prowess of those citizen-sol- 
diers that enabled me so promptly and eftectually to ter- 
minate a savage war — to meet and vanquish their more 
savage allies, the British, at New Orleans, which gave 
security to your borders, and peace to the nation. I, sir, 
was only a humble instrument in the hands of a wise 
and superintending Providence, for the accomplishment 
of those important and beneficial objects. 

" My humble efforts in the service of my country, 
whether in the field or cabinet, I am fearful, are too high- 
ly appreciated by you. I can with candor, however, de- 
clare, that in every situatiwi, to which I have been called 
by my fellow-citizens, my best judgment has been exer- 
cised, and unceasing exertions been employed, to promote 
the best interests of my country. How far I have suc- 
ceeded, is evidenced by your approbation. 

** You, sir, have been pleased to pass in review my 
conduct in the late presidential contest. I trust you will 
believe me candid, when I assure you, that I have too 
long practiced the pure principles of republicanism to 
abandon them at this late period of my life. I have al- 
ways been taught to believe that ours is a government 
based upon the will of the people, and established for their 
prosperity and happiness exclusively. In the adoption 


of our constitution, the people secured to themselves the 
right of choosing their own agents to administer the go- 
rernment agreeably to their own \vill, as expressed by the 
voice of a majority. Surely, then, in the exercise of these 
important rights, they ought to be left to the dictates of 
their own unbiassed judgments. Acting, sir, in accord- 
ance to these fundamental principles of our government, 
and having laid it down as a rule from which I have 
never departed, * neither to seek, nor decline office, when 
freely offered by the people,' I could not interfere, in any 
manner whatever, in that contest, while either before the 
people, or the people's representatives. Your approbation 
of my course is, therefore, truly gratifying, and particu- 
larly so, as my conduct on that occasion was dictated by 
my best judgment. 

** For the kind solicitude you have expressed for my 
promotion in the estimation of my fellow-citizens, I tender 
you my sincere thanks." 

On another public occasion, in reply to the address of 
one of his fellow-statesmen of Giles County, Tennessee, 
who was delegated for that purpose, he said : 

" Sir — I am at a loss for words to express the feelings 
which have been excited by the remarks you have just 
addressed to me. The return of this joyous day to our 
country, and the privilege of uniting in its celebration 
with so many of my old associates in arms, and this 
large and respectable assemblage of my fellow-citizens, 
by whom I am so much honored ; all concur to heighten 
those emotions of gratitude and joy with which this me- 
morable era never fails to fire the bosom of every friend 
and lover of his country. 

" In the retrospect, sir, which you have taken of our 
revolutionary war, allow me to thank you for the flatter- 
ing notice of my youthful efforts, although I cannot but 
be sensible that your kindness has given them too much 


importance. The humble part which I acted in that 
eventful struggle, served to impress upon my mind th© 
great principles which were secured by it — and to the 
support of which, if my subsequent labors in the cause of 
my country have at all contributed, the pains and 
privations endured are more than compensated. The 
spirit, sir, which blazed through the deeds of these revo- 
lutionary fathers, was the inspiration of Deity to a just 
cause, and needed not the unforgiving and ruthless bar- 
barity of the foe to make it unconquerable, even on the 
field of repeated defeats and disaster : no, sir, cherished 
by the Author of all good, supporting and supported by 
the love of liberty and virtue, it achieved more than could 
have been, more than ever was done, by the unaided 
powers of man — the establishment of a free and happy 
government, dependent alone upon the will of the people. 
Let it then be our solemn duty to perpetuate this govern- 
ment by recurring often to the first sacrifices with which 
it was obtained, and to the lessons of wisdom with which 
its sagss have stamped its history. 

" The second war of our independence grew out of a 
system of outrage and insult renewed by the same enemy, 
and, no doubt, with the hope of annihilating the fair fa- 
bric which the first had erected : but how vain were his 
hopes ! Our sons proved worthy of their fathers, many 
of whom witnessed the struggle, and in the accomplish- 
ment of their prayers, saw their independence gloriously 
confirmed and re-established, and hailed us worthy the 
sacred heritage commemorated by this day. To the brave 
officers and soldiers, sir, a part of whom are now before 
me, who aided in this struggle, the deserved gratitude of 
our country has been freely offered ; and with them, as 
with me, I know that no higher reward could be received 
or desired. 

*' I tender to you, sir, my most sincere thanks for the 


favorable manner with which you have been pleased to 
speak of my services in the various civil stations to which 
I have been called by my country, and particularly by 
this state. In these, as in all situations of my public life, 
I am much indebted to the liberality and indulgence of 
my fellow-citizens ; and I beg leave once more to assure 
them of the consolation which their cheering approbation 
has always afforded me." 

These spontaneous responses of General Jackson to tho 
congratulatory addresses of his fellow-citizens, exhibit, in 
the most interesting point of view, the purity and disin- 
terestedness of the motives which had been the governing 
principles of the acts of his eventful life ; they were the 
generous outpourings of his mind delightfully agitated by 
the recollections of the perils and dangers, which his 
courage and energy had averted from the land of his 
birth, in a manner so signally glorious to himself and be- 
neficial to his country. 

The discussion of the question of succession to the pre- 
sidency increased in bitterness, as it approached the crisis 
for decision ; but General Jackson, with his characteris- 
tic delicacy and sense of propriety, kept aloof from every 
act that might possibly be construed into an aim towards 
his own aggrandizement. Towards the close of the 
summer of 1826, he received a letter from a distinguished 
gentleman in Kentucky, requesting him to visit that state 
for the purpose of counteracting the intrigue and manage- 
ment of certain prominent individuals against him. The 
following is his reply, which does him honor : 

*' Hermitage^ July 31, 1826. 

"My dear sir — Your favor of the 21st instant is re- 
ceived, reassuring me of the wish of many of my friends 
in Kentucky that I should visit the Harrodsburg Springs. 
I had spoken early in the spring of this visit, because 
those waters had been recommended as necessary to the 


restoration of Mrs. Jackson's health, and there was addi- 
tional gratification derived from the hope that I would 
see many of my old friends in Kentucky, whose company 
at all times Avould be pleasing to me. But inasmuch as 
Mrs. Jackson is lately so far improved as not to render 
this trip necessary, it seems to me very questionable 
whether, without this necessity, I ought to yield to the 
other considerations, at this juncture. I know that so 
far as Kentucky is concerned, the unjust imputations 
which it is my wish to avoid, would never be raised ; or 
rather, that a great proportion of her citizens would attri- 
bute to their proper origin, the objects of my visit ; yet, 
when I reflect upon the management and intrigue which 
are operating abroad, the magnitude of the principles 
which they are endeavoring to supplant, and the many 
means which they can draw to their assistance from the 
patronage of the government, I feel it is not less due to 
myself and to principle, than to the American people, par- 
ticularly so far as they have sanctioned my political creed, 
to steer clear of every conduct out of \vhich the idea 
might arise that I was manoeuvring for my own aggran- 
dizement. If it be true, that the administration 
gone into power contrary to the voice of the nation, and 
are now expecting, by means of this power, thus acquired, 
to mould the public will into an acquiescence with their 
authority, then is the issue fairly made out — shall the 
government or the people rule ? and it becomes the man 
whom the people shall indicate as their rightful represen- 
tative in this solemn issue, so to have acquitted himself, 
that, while he displaces these enemies of liberty, there 
will be nothing in his own example to operate against the 
strength and durability of the government. 

" With this candid expression of my feelings on this 
subject, I hope you will recognize nothing inconsistent 
with the claims which my friends in Kentucky have upon 


me. Were I unconnected with the present contest, you 
may rest assured that wherever my presence or my labor 
would be useful in arresting the efforts of intrigue and 
management, I should not hesitate to repair to the post 
which my friends might indicate as the most exposed. 
It is a source of much regret to disappoint your wishes, 
and others, our mutual friends in Kentucky, but as things 
are, unless Mrs. Jackson's health should render it ne- 
cessary, I think you will coincide with me, that a visit to 
Kentucky would be improper at this period. I shall be 
happy to hear from you on the receipt of this. 

" Hastily, your friend, Andrew Jackson." 

In the spring of 1827, General Jackson received a let- 
ter from H. Johnson, Esq., transmitting a copy of a reso- 
lution, in which the legislature of Louisiana, expressed a 
wish that the illustrious defender of New Orleans, should 
participate in the celebration at that city, of the next an- 
niversary of the glorious victory achieved under his aus- 
pices. His presence there, the gentleman added, on the 
return of that auspicious day, would be hailed with en- 
thusiasm by the whole population of Louisiana. The 
general replied, by requesting, that to the legislature of the 
state of Louisiana might be conveyed the expression of 
the great pleasure it would afford him to comply with 
their wish on this occasion, and to assure them that no- 
thing but the interposition of Divine Providence Avould 
prevent him from uniting with them and the citizens of 
Louisiana, his associates in arms and in those privations 
and dangers which rendered glorious the day intended 
to be celebrated. 

In accordance with the intentions, expressed in his let- 
ter. General Jackson several days previous to the 8th of 
January, 1828, commenced his journey to New Orleans, 
the scene of his former exploits — the spot where his valor 
had achieved so much honor for himself and glory for his 


country. The description of the celebration to which 
he was invited, is thus given by one who witnessed tho 
scene : 

The steamboat Courtland, with the committee appointed 
to meet the guest of Louisiana, left New Orleans on the 
28ih lilt. It was pleasing to observe, as we proceeded on 
our way, that the enthusiasm kindled in the city was fek 
intensely in distant parts of the state. In Concordia, as 
well as in the city of New Orleans, the people knew their 
deliverer ; every heart palpitated at the sound of his name, 
and the anticipation of his arrival. We reached Natchez 
on the first of January, an auspicious day, and pregnant 
with glorious remembrances. That city was filled with 
a vast muhitude, impatiently waiting for our guest. On 
the morning of the fourth, the day he had fixed for reach- 
ing Natchez, the heights on the river were filled with 
spectators ; all eyes were turned upon the stream in breath- 
less expectation. At last a white smoke, curling like a 
mist over the tops of the cypress trees, proclaimed the ap- 
proach of the Pocahontas. The surrounding hills rang 
with loud huzzas, greeting their arrival. I cannot dwell 
with minuteness on the pleasing scenes which followed. 
A procession along the picturesque margin of the river ; 
a dinner, at which ardent devotion was guided and tem- 
pered by decorum and politeness, and a ball at which the 
beauty of Mississippi was exhibited with all that taste 
could add to natural charms and native grace : the enthu- 
siasm of the whole population, the shouts of the multitude, 
proclaimed that Louisiana and Mississippi were united by 
ennobling sympathies. 

At tw^elve o'clock at night. General Jackson re-em- 
barked in the Pocahontas ; some hours afterwards, the 
committee of Louisiania followed in the Courtland ; and 
then both boats, united together, descended the stream, 
checking occasionally their velocity, as it was intended to 


reach New Orleans on the 8th. On the 7th, the weatheif 
portended a storm for the morrow ; it rained several times 
throughout the day, and frequent rainbows gave us no fa- 
yorable signs for the great day. The boats anchored above 
the city about seven in the evening. We were crowded 
with visitors during the night. We learnt that the legis- 
lature had met in the morning, and the. governor had an- 
nounced the arrival of their invited guest ; and the legis- 
lature of the state, in obedience to public sentiment, had 
appointed a joint committee to act in conjunction with that 
of the people. Every thing was done that the honor of 
Louisiana demanded — .in haste, it is true — but still it was 
done : and it was sufficient ; the enthusiasm of the people 
filled up the outline, imperfectly sketched by their repre- 

At last the morning of the auspicious day dawned upon 
New Orleans. A thick mist covered the water and the 
land, and at ten o'clock began to rise into clouds ; and 
when the sun at last appeared, it served only to show the 
darkness of the horizon, threatening a storm in the north. 
It was at that moment the city became visible, with its 
steeples and the forest of masts rising from the waters. At 
that instant too a fleet of steamboats was seen advancing 
towards the Pocahontas, which had now got under way, 
with twenty-four flags waving over her lofty decks. Two 
stupendous boats, lashed together, led the van. Th« 
whole fleet kept up a constant fire of artillery, which was 
answered from several ships in the harbor and from the 
shore. General Jackson stood on the back gallery of the 
Pocahontas, his head uncovered, conspicuous to the whole 
multitude which literally covered the steamboats, the ship- 
ping, and the surrounding shores. The van which bore 
the revolutionary soldiers and the remnant of the old Or- 
leans battalion, passed the Pocahontas, and, rounding to, 
fell down the stream, while acclamations of thousands of 


spectators rang from the river to the woods, and back to 
the river. 

In this order the fleet, consisting of eighteen steam- 
boats of the first class, passed close to the city, directing 
their course towards the field of battle. When it was first 
descried, some horsemen only, the marshals of the day, 
had reached the ground. But in a few minutes it seemed 
alive with a vast multitude, brought thither on horseback 
and in carriages, and poured forth from the steamboats. 
A line was formed by Generals Planche and Labaltat, and 
the committee repaired on beard the Pocahontas, in order 
to invite the general to land and meet his brother-soldiers 
and fellow-citizens. I have no words to describe the scene 
which ensued. It would require a bolder pencil than 
mine. The addresses delivered to the general, and his an- 
swers, may be given ; but that which cannot be given, is 
the expression of his venerable features, and the intense 
feelings of his heart, portrayed in every look. It would 
be equally difficult to depict the joy and pride of the peo- 
ple in again beholding their " country's great benefac- 
tor." Strangers, who had come from afar to behold the 
scene, caught the contagious sympathy. When he be- 
gan to speak, the noise was hushed — every one seemed 
eager to catch the sound of his voice. He spoke of his 
own deeds with modesty, of his surviving companions 
with affection, and of the dead with fond regret. As it 
grew late, he was hurried back to the Pocahontas, and 
the fleet ascended the river. The general ianded oppo- 
site the house of Mr. Marigny. The United States troops, 
under Colonel T'aylor ; the legion, under Colonel Roffig- 
nac ; a splendid and well disciplined company of volunteers 
from Natchez, under Lieutenant Walker ; the first brigade 
of militia, under the command of General Robertson, and 
Maj. Gen. Lacoste, surrounded by a brilliant stafl^, were 
drawn up in line of battle to receive him. The crowd or 



the bank of the river was immense ; the windows, the 
balconies, even the roofs of the houses, the decks, tops, 
and rigging of the ships, were covered with spectators. 
Their shouts, when the general touched the shore, were 
as loud as the artillery, which thundered from the land and 
the water ; he marched along the line of the troops with 
his head uncovered. 

The procession was then formed — the general on foot — 
and after moving through the principal streets in the city, 
reached the government-house, where the governor in- 
troduced him to the same legislature who had invited him 
to Louisiana. The governor's address was concise and 
pertinent ; the general answered 'lim with frankness and 
energy, no less remarkable in his language than in his 
actions ; each member was presented to him in turn ; and 
all acknowledged the courtesy, the ease, and unaflected 
dignity of his manners. From the legislature he pro- 
ceeded to review the troops at the invitation of the gover- 
nor ; the procession was again formed — and the general, 
attended by the governor and the legislature, repaired to 
the Catholic church, where religious exercises were per- 
formed. When the ceremonies were terminated, the ge- 
neral was conducted by the committee to the house pre- 
pared for his residence. He was then informed that he 
was invited to a dinner at Davis' hotel, which was given 
in commemoration of the day. The tables occupied two 
rooms of vast dimensions, at which at least two hundred 
persons sat down. Mr. Marigny was chosen president of 
the day. General Jackson was placed on his right, Gover- 
nor Houston of Tennessee on his left — the venerable Father 
Antonio and the Abby Monni, sat on the general's left. 
Generals Carroll and Hends, and Judge Overton, also 
sat in the vicinity of the president. The gentlemen com- 
posing the deputations of Ohio, New York, Pennsylva- 
nia, Kentucky, and Mississippi, were placed near or oi>- 


posite General Jackson ; the friends who had accompa- 
nied him sal next to the three vice presidents. Many toasts 
were drunk — they were warm and patriotic — nothing va- 
pid in them. When the president announced the name 
of Jackson, the company rose up, as if moved Ky one 
impulse, and rent the air with loud and repeated huzzas. 
When silence was restored, Mr. Marigny, in a sp(>( ch de- 
livered with an energy of manner in unison with the ar- 
dor of his feelings, bestowed a merited tribute of praise 
upon the services and character of the guest of his native 

From the dinner I followed the general to the French 
theatre, w here a cantata, composed for the occasion, was 
sung with admirable taste and effect. When the first act 
of the opera was over, the general proceeded to the Ame- 
rican theatre, where he was greeted with the same salu- 
tations which had followed him from the battle-ground to 
the city. At 1 1 o'clock he retired to his house, accompa- 
nied by the committee. 

Mrs. Jackson, who, with several ladies from Tennessee, 
Accompanied her husband on his visit to Louisiana, was 
met and waited upon, the moment she landed from the 
Pocahontas, by Mrs. Marigny, and other respe<Uible la- 
dies, who, after having congratulated her on her safe ar- 
rival, conducted her to Mr. Marigny's house, u htre re- 
freshments had been prepared, and where she received 
the salutations of a large and brilliant circle. 

The following address^ while the general was upon the 
battk-ground, was made to him by Mr. John R. Grymes, 
one of his aids during the invasion : 

** General — I have been deputed by the citizens of New 
Orleans, and your old companions in arn)s, to rtccive you 
on this epot, consecrated to the honor and gloiy of our 
country, and in their name to testify to you their feciingj 
on the occasion, which has again brought us together^ 


" To do this, no language at my command, is adequate 
Bui._you, sir, will be able fully to appreciate them, when 
I declare our solemn conviction, that to your conduct on 
the memorable day, whose anniversary we celebrate, we 
are indebted for our homes, our liberties, our all. Accept 
then, sir, every sentiment of gratitude, which a devoted 
and patriotic people can feel towards him, who has pre- 
served to them the inestimable blessings of our constitu- 
tion, and the sacred institutions of our country : and ou 
fervent prayers, that your deeds may meet with their just 
reward from the present generation, and that their re- 
membrance may extend to our latest posterity." 

The general replied as follows : 

*' Sir — Thirteen years have revolved since, fellow-citi- 
zens, and fellows in arms, we met on these plains. Our 
country was then shaken by the storms of war, and we 
had repaired hither to resist its rudest shock. This lovely 
land, rich in its present aspect, and far richer in its future 
destinies — the pride of western commerce and the key of 
western independence — was insulted by invasion, and 
threatened by conquest. An army, strong in renown and 
powerful in numbers, haughty from success and eager for 
spoil, came from amidst distant seas to pour its pride and 
fury upon Louisiana. This formidable foe we met ; and 
though inferior in number and discipline ; though not 
furnished with the regular means of defence; though 
hastily assembled from various states ; we were determined 
to live or to die free ; we acted with concert, we fought 
with confidence, and we conquered. The justice of our 
cause gave us courage, and the favor of Heaven granted 
us victory, and requited our days of toil, and nights ot 
watching, with the glory of giving deliverance to our 
country and security to our fellow-citizens. In common 
with them we have since enjoyed the fruits of peace, and 
pursuing the various callings of life, have been dispersed 


OTcr different regions. But though separated by time 
and space, the bond of fraternity cemented on this field 
has not been weakened — our countrymen hallowed it with 
iheir gratitude. With what pleasure do I embrace you 
again ! In what language shall I express my emotions? 
Must I not regard this assemblage of my martial brothers 
as a peculiar mark of the goodness of Providence ? Shall I 
not esteem this concourse of my fellow-citizens, collected 
from different quarters of the union, as evidence, that the 
nation accepts it as worthy of commemoraiion, and rejoices 
in bestowing its honors on those who shared its dangers? 
What greater good than this, within the sphere of human 
events, can fall to the lot of man ? what higher incentive 
to the discharge of his duty as a citizen and a soldier ? 
And what an inspiring theme does it afibrd for our sup- 
plications to that God, in the hollow of whose hand is the 
fate of man and the destiny of nations ! — These conside- 
rations prepare me to receive the cordial welcome with 
which I am honored, and in behalf of the valiant men, to 
whose perseverance and undaunted spirit, I owed my suc- 
cess, I receive it with pride and joy. 

*' I thank you, sir, for the kind assurance of the regard 
of my fellow-citizens. My conduct in defending your 
city has been misunderstood by some, and misrepresented 
by others ; but this day's testimony in its favor repays 
me for injury and injustice ; and it is far more valuable 
than any gratification, which the pride of power or the 
pomp of office can confer. Most of you were witnesses 
of the scene in which I was engaged, and know the mea- 
sures which I adopted to destroy the proud foe, and pro- 
tec* this fiiir city. From the part you acted, and the re- 
lationsyou sustained, you are competent to weigh the cir- 
cumstances by which I was surrounded, and to e.slimitd 
the motives by which I was governed. Vour approba- 
tion, therefore, gives me consolation, and satisfies me that 


the course which I pursued was required by the interest 
and honor of the country. In that perilous crisis I thought 
it my duty to obey, in favor of my country, the great law 
of necessity, the great principle of self-defence — to sacri- 
fice this shadow for the substance, and to save the consti- 
tution by suspending, within the compass of sentinels, the 
impending action of certain legal forms. This step I 
took, neither without reflection, nor without advice, nor 
without example. And when I review it, my mind ad- 
heres to the judgment, which I have formed. Your appro- 
bation, I repeat, confirms this opinion. It will, I believe, 
signalized as it is by this public solemnity, have a higher 
effect. It will exhibit to posterity a salutary example ol 
patriotism and justice, and thus be instrumental in secur- 
ing our country from future dangers. Like the glory ol 
that bright day which saw us rise into national existence, 
it may blaze on the altars of liberty, and rekindle from 
age to age the sacred love of freemen for their country. 

" I salute you, fellow-citizens, and embrace you, my 
brothers in arms, and offer my prayers to Heaven for 
your individual happiness, and for your country's glory." 

Mr. Davezac, also one of his aids, then addressed him 
a« follows : 

" General — I should be insensible indeed, if I could 
express the deep feelings which crowd on my mind, when, 
after viewing the surrounding scene, I cast my eyes on 
him whom I now address ; this ground, made holy by 
deeds of eternal renown ; this plain, where patriotism and 
valor triumphed over numbers and discipline. What no- 
ble subjects can be offered to the meditation of philoso- 
phy ? What nobler theme can excite the genius of an 
orator ? But when to these are now superadded the 
shouts of an enthusiastic multitude, the roar of artillery, 
and the magnificent spectacle of so many floating palaces, 
displaying to the winds, as they glide along, the striped 


banners on which shine so bright the auspicious stars, 
the happy emblems of new-born republics ; I may be al- 
lowed to hope, that the inspiration of the scene may sup- 
ply the talent which ought to have been possessed by him, 
on whom devolves the task of expressing the gratitude oi 
his brother-soldiers. It was a happy conception of the 
legislature of our country, to invite the conqueror of the 
8th of January, to the field of his glory ; there to gladden 
his eyes by the spectacle of a nation's gratitude ; to ofter 
to his sight, after thirteen years had elapsed, crowned 
with the choicest gifts of nature, enriched by the tributes 
of commerce, of industry, and of the arts, Louisiana, 
whom he had beheld in the days of her mourning, in the 
hour of calamity. 

" Prosperity does not harden the hearts of freemen, foi 
it is in the midst of all the felicity which Providence can 
bestow on a favored people, that Louisianians delight to 
look back to an epoch marked by dread portents and ac- 
tual perils ; and it is at the very moment when they feel 
most intensely their present happiness, that they recall 
the remembrance of the day when you appeared among 
them for the first time. You found them ready to pour 
out their hearts' blood in defence of their country ; but 
they had been waiting for a chief, for one firm of purpose, 
capable of breasting the approaching tempest. They 
were aware, that at such a crisis, unity of command was 
their only safety, and that you alone could collect the scat- 
tered reeds, bind them together, and give them, thus united, 
a force that would defy all hostile eflx)rts. You called on 
the brave, wherever born, and you uttered the sacred words 
Honor ! — Country ! All hearts vibrated at the sound — 
what once was rivalry became emulation — what had been 
envy was changed into a noble jealousy of fame. Vari- 
ous languages were spoken at these memorable times ; 
but in every tongue the valiant vowed to conquer or to die. 


You had inspired all your warriors with your own pre- 
saging hopes. 

** We have come this day to salute, at the very instant 
when he treads again this hallowed ground, the hero of 
this great anniversary. We come too, like the Greeks of 
old, when they visited the field of Marathon, to honor the 
warriors whom fate forbade to join in the triumph they 
purchased at the price of their lives. But why do I de- 
tain you so long, even on this field of your fame ? While 
these veteran soldiers press the hand of their chief, a 
whole city waits the return of the vessel which bears the 
guest of Louisiana. The legislators of our state have 
suspended their deliberations; the multitude cover the 
banks of this great river, the temples are opened, the in- 
cense ascending to heaven, together with the blessings of 
a grateful people. Go, happy conqueror! Go, and hear 
the voice of mothers greeting the hero who brought them 
back their sons. Go, and hear the cheerings of the wives 
and daughters from whom you averted the insults of a 
lawless soldiery. Go, and meet the kind, the rapturous 
welcome of the new generation ; the children born since 
1815, the future men of Louisiana, await also the deli- 
verer of their fathers." 

General Jackson thus replied : 

*' Sir — Your language and imagination, attest the 
fervor of the clime you inhabit, and do justice to the ge- 
nerous people you represent. They do justice also to my 
brave associates, who enriched the field before us with 
glory, and filled it with recollections which so powerfully 
excite your enthusiasm, and are regarded with such li- 
beral interest by your state. While I rejoice with you in 
the prosperity of Louisiana, which smiles on the banks 
and floats on the current of its majestic river, I take 
pleasure in reflecting that it is the just reward of the 
Talor and patriotism she displayed under a pressure 


of danger, which valor and patriotism alone have sup- 

" In this assembly, I see many of her sons, whosa 
»\vords opposed a rampart to the powerful foe, and whose 
lives were preserved in honor, because they were offered 
a sacrifice to glory. You, sir, are one of this chivalric 
band, and doubtless, when you witness this scene, you aro 
filled with those emotions, which your fancy compares to 
the feelings of the soldiers of Miltiades, when they re- 
visited the field of their victory. Here 1 rejoice to meet 
you, and to mingle my exultation with yours in the pros- 
perity and glory of our common country." 

Many other details of this highly interesting celebration 
might be given, but we are necessitated to omit them. On 
the 12th of January, General Jackson and suite left New 
Orleans, on his return to the Hermitage. After his arri- 
val, he addressed a letter to one of the members of the 
Louisiana legislature, expressive of his sentiments rela- 
tive to the cordial reception he there met with, of which 
the following is an extract : 

" I seize upon this occasion to make to you and the 
other members of the committee of the legislature ol 
Louisiana, a tender of my sincere thanks for your very 
kind and polite attention while I was in your hospitable 
city. The liberality and politeness of the governor and 
legislature of Louisiana, bestowed upon me during my 
late visit, are treasured up with the most lively recollec- 
tions of gratitude, and will be cherished through life with 
the warmest emotions." 



Violence of party spirit — General Jackson elected presu 
dent of the United States — Death of Mrs. Jackson — 
General Jackson declines the acceptance of invitations 
to public entertainments, on his way to Washington — 
He repairs to the seat of government — His reception — 
Inauguration — Inaugural address — His cabinet — Ue- 
movals from office — Defence of the measure — His first 
message to co?igress. 

As the presidential election approached, the hostility 
of the poliiical parties towards each other increased. 
Never, it is believed, has a political contest been waged 
wiih such a bitter uncompromising spirit — such a total 
disregard of those principles which almost invariably 
govern the contests of honorable men for p]ace or pow- 
er, as that of 1828. General Jackson was the candi- 
date of the people ; he had devoted his \\ hole life to 
the advancement of the prosperity and glory of his coun- 
try, and his fellow-citizens were ready to bestow their 
favors upon him with a willing hand. His opponents 
were aware of this, and resolved, if possible, to counteract 
4heir intentions. With this end in view, almost every act 
of his life, either public or private, was represented as 
embodying some crime which degrades and dishonors our 
common nature. But his fame passed every ordeal with 
»i renovated brilliancy. In the autumn of 1828, the elec- 
tion took place which resulted in the choice of General 
Jackson, by a large majority. 


In December, he met willi a severe affliction, in the 
death of Mrs. Jackson. She was an amiable and excel- 
lent woman, and was greatly })eloved by nil within the 
extensive circle of her acquaintance. This melancholy 
event happened on the evening of the 22d, and the intel- 
lio-ence spread a deep gloom throughout the vicinity of 
the Hermitage. The following day, being the anniver- 
sary of an interesting and important event in the last war, 
had been appropriately selected to testify the respect and 
affection of his fellow-citizens and neighbors to the man 
who was so soon to leave his sweet domestic retirement, 
to assum.e the responsibilities and discharge the important 
duties of chief magistrate of the nation. Preparations 
had been made — the table well nigh spread, at which all 
was expected to be hilarity and joy ; the citizens of Nash- 
ville had sallied forth on the happy morning with spirits 
light and buoyant, and countenances beaming with ani- 
mation and hop" — when suddenly the scene was changed ; 
congratulations were converted into expressions of con- 
dolence, tears were substituted for smiles, and a general 
mourning pervaded a community, where, but a moment 
before, universal happiness and public rejoicing prevailed. 

The funeral of Mrs. Jackson, was attended by an im- 
mense concourse of people. Her remains interred 
in the lower part of the garden of the Hermitage. The 
general was supported to the grave by General Coffee 
and Major Rutledge. It is said by those who witnessed 
the scene, that the exhibition of grief on the part of the 
relatives and friends of the deceased was excessive be- 
yond description. Some of her domestics seemed stupi- 
fied by the event, others wTung their hands and shrieked 
aloud. These were testimonials of the worth and excel- 
lence of the departed, which are seldom discoverable in 
the solemn pomp and heartless mummery that often attend 
the obsequies of the illustrious dead. 


-^ The severity of the blow upon her partner was heavy 
beyond conception. A gentleman fronn Philadelphia who 
was present at the funeral, wrote thus to his brother : 

" After the funeral, the general came up to me, took 
my hand and shook it. Some of the gentlemen men 
tioned my name. He again caught my hand with a fer- 
vent pressure, but could not speak. I never shall forget 
his look of grief." 

The time was now at hand when it would be necessary 
for General Jackson to repair to the seat of government. 
Previous to his departure, he received numerous invita- 
tions to pass through various places on his route, and 
partake of the hospitalities of his friends. The following 
is a reply to a letter from a committee of the citizens o- 
Lynchburg who invited him to pass through that place, 
and receive the respects of its inhabitants : 

Hermitage, Dec. 9th, 1828. 

" Gentlemen — I have received your letter of the 22d 
ultimo, presenting to me the congratulations of my friends 
in Lynchburg, and its vicinity, and inviting me in their 
name to pass through that section of country, on my way 
to Washington, in the event of my election. So lively an 
expression of regard for my character and services, as 
that, gentlemen, which you have been pleased to convey 
on this occasion, is received with every sentiment of res- 
pect : and I beg leave to offer, in return for it, the grate- 
ful assurance that it would afford me great satisfaction to 
accept the invitation, were it probable that I could comply 
with it. But as I shall feel myself bound to await the 
complete ascertainment of the election, before I make any 
arrangement on this result ; and then, in event of my 
election, would be compelled to take the most expeditious 
route in order to reach the city by the 4th of March, the 
pleasure of paying you my personal respects, must be 
postponed to some future period. 


** I pray you to accept for yourselves, and present to 
those you represent, the assurance of my respect and high 
consideration, and believe me, very sincerely, your obe- 
dient servant, Andrew Jackson." 

In reply to an invitation from the members of the Penn- 
sylvania legislature, received after the afflictive event of 
Mrs. Jackson's death, to visit Harrisburgh on his way to 
Washington, he said : '<■ It having pleased the Author of 
all mercies, by a late dispensation of his providence, to 
remove from this world the stay and solace of my life, 
feelings, of which I need not attempt the description, 
compel me to decline the invitation with which the mem- 
bers of the Pennsylvania legislature, friendly to my elec- 
tion, have honored me. I am not, however, even in this 
hour of affliction, insensible to jour kindness ; and I can- 
not but feel obliged to you, gentlemen, for the polite and 
favorable terms in which you have communicated it to me 
in your letter of the 8th inst. The obligations I owe to 
the people and legislature of Pennsylvania, for repeated 
evidences of genuine partiality and support, impress me 
with a sense of gratitude and deference for that great and 
patriotic state, which in every vicissitude of life I shall 
cherish, and which, under less mournful circumstances, I 
should be proud to manifest by attending her capital, and 
paying respects in person to her citizens." 

Towards the close of January, 1829, General Jackson 
and suite left the Hermitage for the seat of government. 
The inhabitants of the places through which he passed 
assembled and paid him their congratulations ; his recent 
bereavement, however, made him desirous of dispensing 
with all unnecessary ceremony, a wish which was com- 
plied with on the part of his friends, by a delicate forbear- 
ance, evincive of their respect for his character, and sym- 
pathy in his affliction. 

He arrived in Washington early in February, in a 


plain carriage, and escorted by only ten or twelve horse- 
men, and was received with very little ceremony, at his 
own particular request. It is the great glory of our 
institutions, that one president retires from and another 
enters upon the duties of the office, as if without effort — 
or as a natural effect of our republican establishments. 
It is this more than any thing, that excites the astonish- 
ment of king-ridden Europeans. They wonder at the 
operation of the laws, without the exhibition of force. 

After counting the electoral votes, and ascertaining that 
General Jackson was elected, a committee, consisting of 
Mr. Tazewell from the senate, and Messrs. Hamilton and 
Bell of the house, were appointed to notify General Jack- 
son of his election. Soon after they were ushered into the 
drawing-room, the president elect also came in, when Mr. 
Tazewell, the chairman, met him, and addressed him to the 
fol] owing effect : 

" Sir — In obedience to the orders of the senate and 
house of representatives of the United Slates, and by the 
direction of their joint committee, appointed for that spe- 
cial purpose, it is my duty to notify you, that you have 
been duly elected president of the United States, for the 
term of four years, to commence with the 4th day of March 
next. While performing this act of duty, I beg leave 
to offer you my own and the cordial congratulations of 
each of my associates of this committee, on this event, 
an event which we all very confidently believe, will re- 
dound not less to your fame, and to the future benefit of 
our common country, than any other of those occurrences 
which have sigijalized your past life, and secured to you 
that respect, and esteem, and confidence of your fellow- 
citizens, which have been so fully illustrated in your re- 
cent election. The particulars of this election will be 
made known to you by the record which I now have the 
feonor to place in your hands ' 


Mr. Tazewell then handed him a transcript of the jour- 
nal of the two houses, containing their proceedings on 
the day of opening and counting the ballots. 

To this address General Jackson very appropriately 
and feelingly replied : " Sir — The notification that I have 
been elected president of the United States for four years 
from the fourth of March next, by the directions of the se- 
nate and house of representatives, you have so politely pre- 
sented, is received with feelings of the deepest sensibility. 

" I desire you to communicate to the respective houses 
of congress, my acceptance of the high trust, which has 
been conferred by my fellow-citizens, with an acknow- 
ledgment of the responsibility which it enjoins ; and that 
I can make no suitable return for so flattering a proof of 
their confidence and attachment. All that I can offer, 
is my willingness to enter upon the duties which they 
have confided to me, with an earnest desire to execute 
them in a m.anner the best calculated to promote the pros- 
perity and happiness of our common country, and to the 
attainment of these objects, shall my unceasing efl[brts be 
directed. I beg you, sir, to convey to the senate and 
house of representatives, assurances of my respect and 

On the fourth of March, the ceremony of his inaugu- 
ration took place in the senate-chamber. General Jack- 
son entered it at half past eleven o'clock, attended by the 
marshal of the district, and the committee of arrange- 
ments, and took his seat immediately in front of the se- 
cretary's desk. The chief justice of the United States, 
and associate judges, entered soon after, and occupied the 
seats assigned for them on the right of the president's chair. 
The foreign ministers and their suites, in their splendid 
official costumes, occupied seats on the left of the chair. 
A large number of ladies were present, and occupied 
seats in the rear of the senators, and the lobby under the 


eastern gallery. The western gallery was reserved for 
the members of the house of representatives. 

The senate adjourned at twelve o'clock, and a proces- 
sion was formed to the eastern portico of the capitol, 
where, in presence of an immense concourse of spectators 
filling the portico, the steps, and the inclosure, the presi- 
dent of the United States delivered his inaugural address 
as follows : 

" Fellow-citizens : About to undertake the arduous duties 
that I have been appointed to perform, by the choice of a 
free people, I avail myself of this customary and solemn 
occasion, to express the gratitude which their confidence 
inspires, and to acknowledge the accountability which my 
situation enjoins. While the magnitude of their interests 
convinces me that no thanks can be adequate to the honor 
they have conferred, it admonishes me that the best re- 
turn I can make, is the zealous dedication of my humble 
abilities to their service and their good. 

" As the instrument of the federal constitution, it will 
devolve upon me, for a stated period, to execute the laws 
of the United States; to superintend their foreign and 
confederate relations ; to manage their revenue ; to com- 
mand their forces ; and, by communications to the legis- 
lature, to watch over and to promote their interests gene- 
rally. And the principles of action by which I shall en- 
deavor to accomplish this circle of duties, it is now proper 
for me briefly to explain. 

*' In administering the laws of congress, I shall keep 
steadily in view the limitations as well as the extent of the 
executive power, trusting thereby to discharge the func- 
tions of my office, without transcending its authority. 
With foreign nations it will be my study to preserve 
peace, and to cultivate friendship on fair and honorable 
terms ; and, in the adjustment of any difference that may 
exist or arise, to exhibit the forbearance becoming a 


powerful nation, rather than the sensibility belonging to a 
gallant people. 

" In such measures as I may be called on to pursue, in 
regard to the rights of the separate states, I hope to be 
anmxated by a proper respect for those sovereign members 
of our Union ; taking care not to confound the powers 
they have reserved to themselves, with those they have 
granted to the confederacy. 

" The management of the public revenue — that search- 
ing operation in all governments — is among the most deli- 
cate and important trusts in ours ; and it will, of course, 
demand no inconsiderable share of my official solicitude. 
Under every aspect in Avhich it can be considered, it would 
appear that advantage must result from the observance of 
a strict and faithful economy. This I shall aim at the 
more anxiously, both because it will facilitate the extin- 
guishment of the national debt — the unnecessary duration 
of which is incompatible with real independence — and 
because it will counteract that tendency to public and pri- 
vate profligacy, which a profuse expenditure of money by 
the government is but too apt to engender. Powerful 
auxiliaries to the attainment of this desirable end, are to 
be found in the regulations provided by the wisdom of 
congress for the specific appropriation of public money, 
and the prompt accountability of public officers. 

" With regard to a proper selection of the subjects of 
impost, with a view to revenue ; it would seem to me that 
the spirit of equity, caution, and compromise, in which 
the constitution was formed, requires that the great inter- 
ests of agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, should 
be equally favored ; and that, perhaps, the only exception 
to this rule should consist in the peculiar encouragement 
of any products of either of them that may be found essen- 
tial to our national independence. 

" Internal improvement, and the diffiision of knowledge, 


SO far as they can be promoted by the constitutional acts 
of the federal government, are of high importance. 

" Considering standing armies as dangerous to free go- 
vernments, in time of peace, I shall not seek to enlarge 
our present establishment, nor disregard that salutary 
lesson of political experience which teaches that the mi- 
litary should be held subordinate to the civil power. The 
gradual increase of our navy, whose flag has displayed, 
in distant climes, our skill in navigation, and our fame in 
arms ; the preservation of our forts, arsenals, and dock- 
yards ; and the introduction of progessive improvements 
in the discipline and science of both branches of our mili- 
tary service, are so plainly prescribed by prudence, that 
I should be excused for omitting their mention, sooner 
than enlarging on their importance. But the bulwark of 
our defence is the national militia, which, in the present 
state of our intelligence and population, must render us 
invincible. As long as our government is administered 
for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will ; 
as long as it secures to us the rights of person and of pro- 
perty, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be 
worth defending ; and so long as it is worth defending, a 
patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable aegis. 
Partial injuries and occasional mortifications we may be 
subjected to ; but a million of armed freemen, possessed of 
the means of war, can never be conquered by a foreign 
foe. To any just system, therefore, calculated to strength- 
en this natural safeguard of the country, I shall cheer- 
fully lend all the aid in my power. 

" It will be my sincere and constant desire to observe, 
towards the Indian tribes within our limits, a just and 
liberal policy ; and to give that humane and considerate 
attention to their rights and their wants, which are con- 
sistent with the habits of our government and the feelings 
of our people. 


** The recent demonstration of public sentiment inscribes 
on the list of executive duties, in characters too legible to 
be overlooked, the task of reform ; which will require, 
particularly, the correction of those abuses that have 
brought the patronage of the federal government into con- 
flict with the freedom of elections, and the counteraction 
of those causes which have disturbed the rightful course 
of appointment, and have placed, or continued power, in 
unfaithful or incompetent hands. 

" In the performance of a task thus generally delineated, 
1 shall endeavor to select men whose diligence and ta- 
lents will insure, in their respective stations, able and 
faithful co-operation — depending, for the advancement of 
the public service, more on the integrity and zeal of the 
public officers, than on their numbers. 

" A diffidence, perhaps too just, in my own qualifica- 
tions, will teach me to look with reverence to the exam- 
ples of public virtue left by my illustrious predecessors, 
and with veneration to the lights that flow from the mind 
that founded, and the mind that reformed, our system. 
The same diffidence induces me to hope for instruction 
and aid from the co-ordinate branches of the government, 
and for the indulgence and support of my fellow-citizens 
generally. And a firm reliance on the goodness of that 
Power whose providence rnercifully protected our national 
infancy, and has since upheld our liberties in various vi- 
cissitudes, encourages me to offer up my ardent supplica- 
tions that he will continue to make our beloved country 
the object of his divine care and gracious benediction." 

When he had concluded his address, the oath to sup- 
port the constitution of the United States was administer- 
ed to him by Chief Justice Marshall. Salutes were fired 
by two companies of artillery, stationed in the vicinity of 
the capitol, which were repeated at the forts, and by de- 
tachments of artillery on the plains. When the president 


retired, the procession was re-formed, and he was con- 
ducted to the presidential mansion. He here received 
the salutations of a large number of persons, who came 
to congratulate him on his induction to the presidency. 

General Jackson organized his cabinet by appointing 
Martin Van Buren, of New York, secretary of state; 
Samuel D. Ingham, of Pennsylvania, secretary of the 
treasury ; John H. Eaton, of Tennessee, secretary of 
war ; John Branch, of North Carolina, secretary of the 
navy ; and John M. Berrien, of Georgia, attorney gene- 

Among some of the first acts of General Jackson's ad- 
ministration, was that of removing from offices, within the 
executive gift, those incumbents who were considered 
either incompetent or unworthy of the trusts that had been 
reposed in them. For this he was censured, as possess- 
ing a spirit of proscription. Each removal made, was 
blazoned over the country, as evidence of a persecuting 
and intolerant spirit. Many of the removed officers even 
appealed to the people, as though their rights had been 
violated. But when we consider the circumstances under 
which General Jackson was elected, we ought perhaps 
rather to be astonished at the fewness than at the number 
of the removals. 

For eight and twenty years, the line of " safe prece- 
dents" had remained unbroken. The supreme magistracy 
of this country had passed as regularly from the presi- 
dent to his secretary of state, as the crown of Great Bri- 
tain descends from father to son. In the mean time, there 
had been but few if any changes in the subordinate offi- 
cers at Washington, except such as occurred in the course 
of nature. Mary men had grown gray in office ; and 
their children had been provided for out of the public 
purse. The people thought it was time to change this 
order of things. They believed that abuses existed in 


the executive departments at Washington. They knew 
that liberty was Hesperian fruit, an(^ ought to be guarded 
with watchful jealousy. They therefore determined, 
that the transactions of the federal government should be 
subjected to a thorough examination, that the light should 
penetrate the obscure recesses of the different executive 
departments. In short, they desired to know, in what 
manner the men who had been in office twenty-eight 
years had conducted their affairs. This was a principal 
cause of the changes that were made. 

Had General Jackson continued all the subordinate 
officers in the department ; had he folded his hands quiet- 
ly, and suffered the concerns of government to flow on in 
the same unbroken streams ; he would have disobeyed 
the commands of the people, and would have violated one 
of the most important trusts ever conferred upon man. 
The people did not elect him president as a reward for 
his past services merely, great and distinguished as they 
were, but because they believed his life had furnished as- 
surances that he possessed sufficient integrity and firm- 
ness to examine and correct all abuses wherever they 
existed. It was his solemn duty to remove such of the 
officers as he believed would stand in the way of this in- 
vestigation — ^the public good required it. His adminis- 
tration stood pledged to the people to make this examina- 
tion; and that pledge he meant should be fully redeemed. 
How then is it possible he could have redeemed this 
trust, had he continued those very officers in power 
whose past conduct was to be the subject of examination ? 
Is it to be supposed that he would employ them to sit in 
judgment upon themselves? There is good reason for 
presumption that he removed such of them only as the 
public good required.* 

The other acts which marked the commencement of 
♦ Buchanan's speech. 


General Jackson's administration, were such as had been 
expected from the well known energy of his character, 
and the purity of the motives which had ever been found 
to govern his public and private life, and they were met 
by the approbation of a large majority of the American 

On the opening of congress in December, 1829, Gene- 
ral Jackson presented his first message to the representa- 
tives of the nation. It is a very able production ; and as 
it contains an interesting history of our national relations 
at that period, and also of the policy that had been com- 
menced, and which was intended to be pursued by Gene- 
ral Jackson in the administration of our government, we 
transcribe it : 

" Fellow-citizens of the senate and of the house of re- 
presentatives : 

" It affords me pleasure to tender my friendly greetings 
to you on the occasion of your assembling at the seat of 
government, to enter upon the important duties to which 
you have been called by the voice of our countrymen. 
The task devolves on me, under a provision of the consti- 
tution, to present to you, as the federal legislature of 
twenty-four sovereign states, and twelve millions of hap- 
py people, a view of our affairs ; and to propose such 
measures as, in the discharge of my official functions, 
have suggested themselves as necessary to promote the 
objects of our union. 

" In communicating with you for the first time, it is, to 
me, a source of unfeigned satisfaction, calling for mutual 
gratulation and devout thanks to a benign Providence, that 
we are at peace with all mankind ; and that our country 
exhibits the most cheering evidence of general welfare 
and progressive improvement. Turning our eyes to 
other nations, our great desire is to see our brethren of 
the human race secured in the blessings enjoyed by our- 


selves, and advancing in knowledge, in freedom, and in 
social happiness. 

" Our foreign relations, although in their general cha- 
racter pacific and friendly, present subjects of difference 
between us and other powers, of deep interest, as well to 
the country at large as to many of our citizens. To ei^ 
feet an adjustment of these shall continue to be the object 
of my earnest endeavors ; and notwithstanding the diffi- 
culties of the task, I do not allow myself to apprehend 
unfavorable results. Blessed as our country is, with 
every thing which constitutes national strength, she is ful- 
ly adequate to the maintenance of all her interests. In 
discharging the responsible trust confided to the executive 
in this respect, it is my settled purpose to ask nothing 
that is not clearly right, and to submit to nothing that is 
wrong ; and I flatter myself, that, supported by the other 
branches of the government, and by the intelligence and 
patriotism of the people, we shall be able, under the pro- 
tection of Providence, to cause all our just rights to b« 

" Of the unsettled matters between the United States 
and other powers, the most prominent are those which 
have, for years, been the subject of negotiation with Eng- 
land, France, and Spain. The late periods at which our 
ministers to those governments left the United States, ren- 
der it impossible, at this early day, to inform you of what 
has been done on the subjects with which they have been 
respectively charged. Relying upon the justice of our 
views in relation to the points committed to negotiation, 
and the reciprocal good feeling which characterizes our 
intercourse with those nations, we have the best reason 
to hope for a satisfactory adjustment of existing differ- 

" With Great Britain, alike distinguished in peace and 
war, we may look forward to years of peaceful, honora- 


ble, and elevated competition. Every thing in the con- 
dition and history of the two nations is calculated to in- 
spire sentiments of mutual respect, and to carry convic- 
tion to the minds of both, that it is their policy to preserve 
the most cordial relations : such are my own views, and 
it is not to be doubted that such are also the prevailing 
sentiments of our constituents. Although neither time 
nor opportunity has been afforded for a full development 
of the policy which the present cabinet of Great Britain 
designs to pursue towards this country, I indulge the 
hope that it will be of a just and pacific character ; and 
if this anticipation be realized, we may look with confi- 
dence to a speedy and acceptable adjustment of our affairs. 
" Under the convention for regulating the reference to 
arbitration of the disputed points of boundary under the 
fifth article of the treaty of Ghent, the proceedings have 
hitherto been conducted in that spirit of candor and libe- 
rality which ought ever to characterize the acts of sove- 
reign states, seeking to adjust, by the most unexceptionable 
means, important and delicate subjects of contention. — 
The first statements of the parties have been exchanged, 
and the final replication, on our part, is in a course of 
preparation. This subject has received the attention de- 
manded by its great and peculiar importance to a patrio- 
tic member of this confederacy. The exposition of our 
rights, already made, is such as, from the high reputa- 
tion of the commissioners by whom it has been prepared, 
we had a right to expect. Our interests at the court of 
the sovereign who has evinced his friendly disposition, 
by assuming the delicate task of arbitration, have been 
committed to a citizen of the state of Maine, whose cha- 
racter, talents, and intimate acquaintance with the sub- 
ject, eminently qualify him for so responsible a trust. 
With full confidence in the justice of our cause, and in 
the probity, intelligence, and uncompromising indepen- 


dence of the illustrious arbitrator, we can have nothing to 
apprehend from the result. 

" From France, our ancient ally, we have a right to ex- 
pect that justice which becomes the sovereign of a power- 
ful, intelligent, and magnanimous people. The beneficial 
effects produced by the commercial convention of 1822, 
limited as are its provisions, are too obvious not to make 
a salutary impression upon the minds of those who are 
charged with the administration of her government. — 
Should this result induce a disposition to embrace, to 
their full extent, the wholesome principles which consti- 
tute our commercial policy, our minister to that court 
will be found instructed to cherish such a disposition, and 
to aid in conducting it to useful practical conclusions. 
The claims of our citizens for depredations upon their 
property, long since committed under the authority, and, 
in many instances, by the express direction, of the then 
existing government of France, remain unsatisfied ; and 
must, therefore, continue to furnish a subject of unplea- 
sant discussion, and possible collision, between the two 
governments. I cherish, however, a lively hope, found- 
ed as well on the validity of those claims, and the estab- 
lished policy of all enlightened governments, as on the 
known integrity of the French monarch, that the injuri- 
ous delays of the past will find redress in the equity of 
the future. Our minister has been instructed to press 
these demands on the French government with all the 
earnestness which is called for by their importance and ir- 
refutable justice ; and in a spirit that will evince the re- 
spect which is due to the feelings of those from whom the 
satisfaction is required. 

" Our minister recently appointed to Spain has been 
authorized to assist in removing evils alike injurious to 
both countries, either by concluding a commercial con- 
vention, upon liberal and reciprocal terms ; or by urf^ing 


the acceptance, in their full extent, of the mutually bene- 
ficial provisions of our navigation acts. He has also been 
instructed to malre a further appeal to the justice of Spain, 
in behalf of our citizens, for indemnity for spoliations up- 
on our commerce, committed under her authority — an 
appeal which the pacific and liberal course observed on 
our part, and a due confidence in the honor of that go- 
vernment, authorize us to expect will not be made in 

" With other European powers, our intercourse is on 
the most friendly footing. In Russia, placed by her ter- 
ritorial limits, extensive population, and great power, 
high in the rank of nations, the United States have al- 
ways found a. steadfast friend. Although her recent in- 
vasion of Turkey awakened a lively sympathy for those 
who were exposed to the desolations of war, we cannot 
but anticipate that the result will prove favorable to the 
cause of civilization, and to the progress of human hap- 
piness. The treaty of peace between these powers hav- 
ing been ratified, we cannot be insensible to the great 
benefit to be derived by the commerce of the United 
States, from unlocking the navigation of the Black Sea — 
a free passage into which is secured to all merchant ves- 
sels bound to ports of Russia under a flag at peace with 
the Porte. This advantage, enjoyed, upon conditions, by 
most of the powers of Europe, has hitherto been with- 
held from us. During the past summer, an antecedent, 
but unsuccessful attempt to obtain it, was renewed under 
circumstances which promised the most favorable results. 
Although these results have fortunately been thus in part 
attained, further facilities to the enjoyment of this new 
field for the enterprise of our citizens are, in my opinion, 
sufiiciently desirable to insure to them our most zealous 

" Our trade with Austria, although of secondary impor- 


lance, has been gnidually increasing ; and is now so ex- 
tended, us to deserve the fostering care ot'the government. 
A negotiation, commenced and nearly completed with that 
power, by the late administration, has been consummated 
by a treaty of amity, navigation, and commerce, which will 
be laid before the senate. 

'• During the recess of congress, our diplomatic relations 
with Portugal have been resumed. The peculiar state of 
things in that country, caused a suspension of the recog* 
niiion of the representative who presented himself, until 
an opportunity was had to obtain from our official organ 
there, information regarding the actual, and as far as prac- 
ticable, prospective, condition of the authority by which 
the representative in question was appointed. — This infor- 
mation being received, the application of the established 
rule of our government, in like cases, was no longer with- 

*' Considerable advances have been made, during the 
present year, in the adjustment of claims of our citizens 
upon Denmark for spoliations ; but all that we have a 
right to demand from that government, in their behalf, 
has not yet been conceded. From the liberal footing, 
however, upon which this subject has, with the approba- 
tion of the claimants, been placed by the government, to- 
gether with the uniformly just and friendly disposition 
which has been evinced by his Danish majesty, there is a 
reasonable ground to hope that this single subject of dif- 
ference will speedily be removed. 

*' Our relations with the Bnrbary powers continue, as 
they have long been, of the most favorable character. 
The policy of keeping an adequate force in the Mediter- 
ranean, as security for the continuance of this tranquillity, 
will be persevered in ; as well as a similar one for the 
protection of our commerce and fisheries in the Pacific. 

*' The southern republics, of our own hemisphere, have 


not yet realized all the advantages for which they have 
been so long struggling. We trust, however, that the 
day is not distant, when the restoration of peace and in- 
ternal quiet, under permanent systems of government, se- 
curing the liberty, and promoting the happiness of the 
citizens, will crown, with complete success, their long and 
arduous efforts in the cause of self-government, and ena- 
ble us to salute them as friendly rivals in all that is truly 
great and glorious. 

" The recent invasion of Mexico, and the effect thereby 
produced upon her domestic policy, must have a controll- 
ing influence upon the great question of South American 
emancipation. We have seen the fell spirit of civil dis- 
sension rebuked, and, perhaps, forever stifled in that re- 
public, by the love of independence. If it be true, as ap- 
pearances strongly indicate, that the spirit of independence 
is the master spirit, and if a corresponding sentiment pre- 
vails in the other states, this devotion to liberty cannot be 
without a proper effect upon the counsels of the mother 
country. The adoption, by Spain, of a pacific policy to- 
wards her former colonies — an event consoling to human- 
ity, and a blessing to the world, in which she herself can- 
not fail largely to participate — may be most reasonably ex- 

" The claims of our citizens upon the South American 
governments, generally, are in a train of settlement ; while 
the principal part of those upon Brazil have been adjust- 
ed, and a decree in council, ordering bonds to be issued 
by the minister of the treasury for their amount, has re- 
ceived the sanction of his imperial majesty. This event, 
together with the exchange of the ratifications of the trea- 
ty negotiated and concluded in 1828, happily terminates 
ail serious causes of difference with that power. 

" Measures have been taken to place our commercial 
relations with Peru upon a better footing than that upon 


which they have hitherto rested ; and if met by a proper 
disposition on the part of that government, important be- 
nefits may be secured to both countries. 

" Deeply interested as wc are in the prosper ily of our 
sister republics, and more particularly in that of our im- 
mediate neighbor, it would be most gratifying to me, were 
I permitted to say, that the treatment which we have re- 
ceived at her hands has been as universally friendly as the 
early and constant solicitude manifested by the United 
States for her success gave us a right to expect. But it 
becomes my duty to inform you that prejudices, long in- 
dulged by a portion of the inhabitants of Mexico against 
the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of 
the United States, have had an unfortunate influence upon 
the affairs of the two countries, and have diminished that 
usefulness to hs own which was justly to be expected fftm 
his talents and zeal. To this cause, in a great degree, is 
to be imputed the failure of several measures equally in- 
teresting to both parties; but particularly that of the Mex- 
ican government to ratify a treaty negotiated and conclud- 
ed in its own capital and under its own eye. Under these 
circumstances, it appeared expedient to give to Mr. Poin- 
sett the option either to return or not, as, in his judgment, 
the interest of his country might require ; and instructions 
to that end were prepared ; but, before they could be dis- 
patched, a communication was received from the govern- 
ment of Mexico, through its charge d'affaires here, request- 
ing the recall of our minister. This was promptly com- 
plied with ; and a representative of a rank corresponding 
with that of the Mexican diplomatic agent near this go- 
vernment was appointed. Our conduct towards that re- 
public has been uniformly of the most friendly character ; 
and having thus removed the only alledged obstacle to har- 
monious intercourse, I cannot but hope that an advanta- 
geous change will occur in our affairs. 


" Injustice to Mr. Poinsett, it is proper to say, that my 
immediate compliance with the application for his recall, 
and the appointment of his successor, are not to be as- 
cribed to any evidence that the imputation of an improper 
interference by him, in the local politics of Mexico, was 
well founded ; nor to a want of confidence in his talents 
or integrity ; and to add, that the truth of that charge has 
never been affirmed by the federal government of Mexi- 
co, in its communication with this. 

" I consider it one of the most urgent of my duties to 
bring to your attention the propriety of amending that 
part of our constitution which relates to the election of 
president and vice president. Our system of government 
*was, by its framers, deemed an experiment ; and they, 
therefore, consistently provided a mode of remedying its 

" To the people belongs the right of electing their chief 
magistrate : it was never designed that their choice should, 
in any case, be defeated, either by the intervention of elec- 
toral colleges, or by the agency confided, under certain 
contingencies, to the house of representatives. Experi- 
ence proves, that, in proportion as agents to execute the 
will of the people are multiplied, there is danger of their 
wishes being frustrated. Some may be unfaithful ; all are 
liaijble to err. So far, therefore, as the people can, with 
convenience, speak, it is safer for them to express their 
own will. 

" The number of aspirants to the presidency, and the 
diversity of the interests which may influence their claims, 
leave little reason to expect a choice in the first instance : 
smd, in that event, the election must devolve on the house 
of representatives, where, it is obvious, the will of the peo- 
ple may not be always ascertained ; or, if ascertained, 
may not be regarded. From the mode of voting by states, 
the choice is to be made by twenty-four votes ; and it may 


often occur, that one of these may be controlled by an in- 
dividual representative. Honors and offices are at the 
disposal of the successful candidate. Repeated ballotings 
may make it apparent that a single individual holds tl>e 
cast in his hand. May he not be tempted to name his re- 
ward I But even without corruption — supposing tlie pro- 
bity of the representative to be proof against the powerful 
motives by which he may be assailed — the will of tl^ 
people is still constantly liable to be misrepresented. One 
may err from ignorance of the wishes of his constituents : 
another, from a conviction that it is his duty to be govern- 
ed by his own judgment of the fitness of the candidates : 
finally, although all w^ere inflexibly honest — all accurate- 
ly informed of the wishes of their constituents — yet, un- 
der the present mode of election, a minority may often 
elect a president : and when this happens, it may reason- 
ably be expected that eftbrts will be made on the part of 
the majority to rectify this injurious operation of their 
institutions. But although no evil of this character should 
result from such a perversion of the first principle of our 
system — that the majority is to govern — it must be very 
certain that a president elected by a minority cannot en- 
joy the confidence necessary to t!ie. successful discharge 
of his duties. 

" In this, as in all other matters of public concern, po- 
licy requires that as few impediments as possible should 
exist to the free operation of the public will. Let us, 
then, endeavor so to amend our system, that the office of 
chief magistrate may not be conferred upon any citizen 
but in pursuance of a fair expression of the will of the 

" I would therefore recommend such an amendment of 
the constitution as may remove all intermediate agency in 
the election of president and vice president. The mode 
may be so regulated as to preserve to each state its pre- 


sent relative weight in the election ; and a failure in the 
first attempt may be provided for, by confining the second 
to a choice between the two highest candidates. In con- 
nexion with such an amendment, it would seem advisable 
to limit the service of the chief magistrate to a single 
term., of either four or six years. If, however, it should 
not be adopted, it is worthy of consideration whether a 
provision disqualifying for office the representatives in 
congress on whom such an election may have devolved, 
would not be proper. 

" While members of congress can be constitutionally 
appointed to offices of trust and profit, it will be the prac- 
tice, even under the most conscientious adherence to duty, 
to select them for such stations as they are believed to be 
better qualified to fill than other citizens ; but the purity 
of our government would doubtless be promoted by their 
exclusion from all appointments in the gift of the presi- 
dent in whose election they may have been officially con- 
cerned. The nature of the judicial office, and the neces- 
sity of securing in the cabinet and in diplomatic stations 
of the highest rank, the best talents and political experi- 
ence, should, perhaps, except these from the exclusion. 

^' There are perhaps few men who can for any great 
length of time enjoy office and power, without being more 
or less under the influence of feelings unfavorable to a 
faithful discharge of their public duties. Their integrity 
may be proof against improper considerations immediate- 
ly addressed to themselves ; but they are apt to acquire a 
habit of looking with indifference upon the public inter- 
ests, and of tolerating conduct from which an unpractised 
man would revolt. Office is considered as a species of 
property ; and government, rather as a means of promot- 
ing individual interests, than as an instrument created 
solely for the service of the people. Corruption in some, 
and in others, a perversion of correct feelings and princi* 


pies, divert government from its legitimate ends, and make 
it an engine for the support of the few at the expense of the 
many. The duties of all public officers are, or, at least, 
admit of being made, so plain and simple, that men of 
intelligence may readily qualify themselves for their per- 
formance ; and I cannot but believe that more is lost by 
the long continuance of men in ofHce, than is generally to 
be gained by their experience. I submit therefore to your 
consideration, whether the efficiency of the government 
would not be promoted, and official industry and integrity 
better secured, by a general extension of the law which 
limits appointments to four years. 

" In a country where offices are created solely for the 
benefit of the people, no one man has any more intrinsic 
right to official station than another. Offices were not es- 
tablished to give support to particular men, at the public 
expense. No individual wrong is therefore done by re- 
moval, since neither appointment to, nor continuance in, 
office, is matter of right. The incumbent became an offi- 
cer with a view to public benefits ; and when these require 
his removal, they are not to be sacrificed to private inter- 
ests. It is the people, and they alone, who have a right 
to complain, when a bad officer is substituted for a good 
one. He who is removed has the same means of obtain- 
ing a living, that are enjoyed by the millions who never 
held office. The proposed limitation would destroy the 
idea of property, now so generally connected with official 
station ; and although individual distress may be some- 
times produced, it would, by promoting that rotation which 
constitutes a leading principle in the republican creed, 
give healthful action to the system. 

" No very considerable change has occurred, during 
the recess of congress, in the condition of either our agri- 
culture, commerce, or manufactures. The operation of 
the tariff'has not proved so injurious to the two former, or 


as beneficial to the latter, as was anticipated. Importa- 
tions of foreig-n goods have not been sensibly diminished ; 
while domestic competition, imder an illusive excitement, 
has increased the production much beyond the demand 
for home consumption. The consequences have been 
low prices, temporary embarrassment, and partial loss. 
That such of our manufacturing establishments as are 
based upon capital, and are prudently managed, will sur- 
vive the shock, and be ultimately profitable, there is no 
good reason to doubt. 

*' To regulate its conduct, so as to promote equally the 
prosperity of these three cardinal interests, is one of the 
most difficult tasks of government ; and it may be regret- 
ted that the complicated restrictions which now embarrass 
the intercourse of nations, could not by common consent 
be abolished, and commerce allowed to flow in thosa 
channels to which individual enterprise — always it-s su- 
rest guide — might direct it. But we must ever expect 
selfish legislation in other nations ; and are therefore com- 
pelled to adapt our own to their regulations, in the man- 
ner best calculated to avoid serious injury, and to har- 
monize the conflicting interests of our agriculture, our 
commerce, r.nd our manufactures. Under these impres- 
sions, 1 invite your attention to the existing tariff, believ- 
ing that some of its provisions require modification. 

" The general rule to be applied in graduating the du- 
ties upon articles of foreign growth or manufacture, is 
that which will place our own in fair competition with 
those of other countries ; and the inducements to advance 
even a step beyond this point, are controlling in regard to 
those articles which are of primary necessity in time of 
war. When we reflect upon the difficulty and delicacy 
of this operation, it is important that it should never be 
attempted but with the utmost caution. Frequent legisla- 
tion in regard to any branch of industry, affecting its va- 


lue, and by which its capital may be transferred to new 
channels, must always be productive of hazardous specu- 
lation and loss. 

'* In deliberating, therefore, on these interesting sub- 
jects, local feelings and prejudices should be merged in 
the patriotic determination to promote the great interests 
of the whole. All attempts to connect them with the 
party conflicts of the day are necessarily injurious, and 
should be discountena)iccd. Our action upon them should 
be under the control of higher and purer motives. Le- 
gislation, subjected to such influence, can never be just ; 
and will not long retain the sanction of a people, whose 
active patriotism is not bounded by sectional limits, nor 
insensible to that spirit of concession and forbearance, 
which gave life to our political compact, and still sustains 
it. Discarding all calculations of political ascendency^ 
the north, the south, the east, and the west, should unite 
in diminishing any burthen, of which cither may justly 

" The agricultural interests of our country is so essen- 
tially connected with every other, and so superior in im- 
portance to them ail, that it is scarcely necessary to invite 
to it your particular attention. It is principally as manu- 
factures and commerce tend to increase the value of agri- 
cultural productions, and to extend their application to the 
wants and comforts of society, that they deserve the foster- 
ing care of government. 

'* Looking forward to the period, not far distant, when a 
sinking fund will no longer be required, the duties on those 
articles of importation which cannot come in competition 
with our own productions, are the first that should engage 
the attention of congress in the modification of the tariff^ 
Of these, tea and coflee are the most prominent : they 
enter largely into the consumption of the country, and 
have become articles of necessity to all classes. A r« 


duction, therefore,' of the existing duties, will be felt as a 
common benefit ; but, like all other legislation connected 
with commerce, to be efficacious, and not injurious, it 
should be gradual and certain. 

'* The public prosperity is evinced in the increased re- 
venue arising from the sales of the public lands ; and in the 
steady maintenance of that produced by imposts and ton- 
nage, notwithstanding the additional duties imposed by 
the act of 19th May, 1828, and the unusual importations 
in the early part of that year. 

" The balance in the treasury, on the 1st of January, 
1829, was five millions nine hundred and seventy-two 
thousand four hundred and thirty-five dollars and eighty- 
one cents. The receipts of the current year are estimated 
at twenty-four millions six hundred and two thousand two 
hundred and thirty dollars, and the expenditures for the 
same time, at twenty-six millions one hundred and sixty- 
four thousand five hundred and ninety-five dollars ; leav- 
ing a balance in the treasury, on the 1st of January next, 
of four millions four hundred and ten thousand and seventy 
dollars and eighty-one cents. 

" There Avill have been paid, on account of the public 
debt, during the present year, the sum of twelve millions 
four hundred and five thousand and five dollars and eigh- 
ty cents ; reducing the whole debt of the government, on 
the first of January next, to forty-eight millions five hun- 
dred and sixty-five thousand four hundred and six dollars 
and fifty cents, including seA^en millions of five per cent.' 
stock, subscribed to the bank of the United States. The 
payment on account of the public debt, made on the first 
of July last, was eight millions seven hundred and fifteen 
thousand four hundred and sixty-two dollars and eighty- 
seven cents. It w^as apprehended that the sudden with- 
drawal of so large a sum from the banks in which it was 
deposited, at a time of unusual pressure in the money 


market, might cause much injury to the interests depend- 
ent on bank accomodations. But this evil was wholly 
averted by an early anticipation of it at the treasury, aid- 
ed by the judicious arrangements of the officers of the bank 
of the United States. 

" This state of the finances exhibits the resources of the 
nation in an aspect highly flattering to its industry ; and 
auspicious of the ability of government, in a very short 
Time, to extinguish the public debt. When this shall be 
done, our population will be relieved from a considerable 
portion of its present burthens ; and will find, not only 
new motives to patriotic affection, but additional means 
for the display of individual enterprise. The fiscal power 
of the states will also be increased ; and may be more ex- 
tensively exerted in favor of education and other public 
objects : while ample means will remain in the federal go- 
vernment to promote the general weal, in all the modes 
permitted to its authority. - ' 

"After the extinction of the public debt, it is not pro- 
bable that any adjustment of the tariff, upon principles sa- 
tisfactory to the people of the union, will, until a remote 
period, if ever, leave the government without a consider- 
able surplus in the treasury, beyond what may be requi- 
red for its current service. As then the period approaches 
when the application of the revenue to the payment of 
oebt will cease, the disposition of the surplus will present 
a subject for the serious deliberation of congress ; and it 
may be fortunate for the country that it is yet to be decided. 
Considered in connexion with the difficulties which have 
heretofore attended appropriations for purposes of inter- 
nal improvement ; and with those which this experience 
tells us will certainly arise, whenever power over such 
subjects may be exercised by the general government ; 
it is hoped that it may lead to the adoption of some plan 
which will reconcile the diversified interests of the statet, 


and strengthen the bonds which unite them. Every 
member of the union, in peace and in war, will be bene- 
fited by the improvement of inland navigation and the 
construction of highways in the several states. Let us 
then endeavor to attain this benefit in a mode which will 
be satisfactory to all. That hitherto adopted, has, by many 
of our fellow-citizens, been deprecated as an infraction 
of the constitution ; while by others it has been viewed as 
inexpedient. All feel that it has been employed at the ex- 
pense of harmony in the legislative councils. 

•* To avoid these evils, it appears to me that the most 
safe, just and federal disposition which could be made of 
the surplus revenue, would be its apportionment among 
the several states according to their ratio of representa- 
tion ; and should this measure not be found warranted by 
the constitution, that it would be expedient to propose to 
the states an amendment authorizing it. I regard an 
appeal to the source of power, in cases of real doubt, and 
where its exercise is deemed indispensable to the general 
welfare, as among the most sacred of all our obligations. 
Upon this country, more than any other, has, in the pro- 
vidence of God, been cast the special guardianship of the 
great principle of adherence to written constitutions. If 
it fail here, all hope in regard to it will be extinguished. 
That this was intended to be a government of limited and 
specific, and not general powers, must be admitted by all ; 
and it is our duty to preserve for it the character intended 
by its framers. If experience points out the necessity for 
an enlargement of these poweis, let us apply for it to those 
for whose benefit it is to be exercised ; and not undermine 
the whole system by a resort to overstrained constructions. 
The scheme has worked well. It has exceeded the hopes 
of those who devised it, and become an object of admira- 
tion to the world. We are responsible to our country, 
and to the glorious cause of self-government, for the prd- 


servation of so great a good. The great mass of legisla- 
tion relating to our internal affairs, was intended to be left 
where the federal convention found it, — in the state go- 
vernments. Nothing is clearer, in my view, than that w« 
are chiefly indebted for the success of the constitution un- 
der which we are novs' acting, to the watchful and auxili- 
ary operation of the state authorities. This is not the re- 
flection of a day, -but belongs to the most deeply rooted 
f onvictions of my mind. I cannot therefore, too strongly 
or too earnestly, for my own sense of its importance, warn 
you against all encroachments upon the legitimate sphere 
of state sovereignty. Sustained by its healthful and invi- 
gorating influence, the federal system can never fall. 

*' In the collection of the revenue, the long credits au- 
thorized on goods imported from bej^ond the Cape of 
Good Hope are the chief cause of the losses at present 
sustained. If these were shortened to six, nine, and 
twelve months, and warehouses provided by government, 
sufficient to receive the goods offered in deposite for se- 
curity and for debenture ; and if the right of the United 
States to a priority of payment out of the estates of its in- 
solvent debtors were more effectually secured, — this evil 
would, in a great measure, be obviated. An authority to 
construct such houses is, therefore, with the proposed al- 
teration of the credits, recommended to your attention. 

" It is Avorthy of notice, that the laws for the collection 
and security of the revenue arising from imposts, were 
chiefly framed when the rates of duties on imported goods 
presented much less temptation for illicit trade than at 
present exists. There is reason to believe that these laws 
are, in some respects, quite insufficient for the proper se- 
curity of the revenue, and the protection of the interests 
of those who are disposed to observe them. The injuri- 
ous and demoralizing tendency of a successful system of 
smuggling is so obvious as not to require comment, and 


cannot be too carefully gfuarded against. I therefore sug-- 
gest to congress the propriety of adopting efficient mea- 
sures to prevent this evil, avoiding, however, as much as 
possible, every unnecessary infringement of individual 
liberty, and embarrassment of fair and lawful business. 

" On an examination of the records of the treasury, 1 
have been forcibly struck with the large amount of pub- 
lic money which appears to be outstanding. Of the sum 
thus due from individuals to the government, a consi- 
derable portion is undoubtedly desperate ; and, in many 
instances, has probably been rendered so by remissness 
in the agents charged with its collection. By proper ex- 
ertions, a great part, however, may yet be recovered ; and, 
whatever may be the portions respectively belonging to 
these tAvo classes, it behooves the government to ascertain 
the real state of the fact. This can be done only by the 
prompt adoption of judicious measures for the collection 
of such as may be made available. It is believed that a 
very large amount has been lost through the inadequacy 
of the means provided for the collection of debts due to 
the public ; and that this inadequacy lies chiefly in the 
want of legal skill, habitually and constantly employed in 
the direction of the agents engaged in the service. It 
must, I think, be admitted, that the supervisory power 
over suits brought by the public, which is now vested in 
an accounting officer *of the treasury, not selected with 
a view to his legal knowledge, and incumbered as he is 
with numerous other duties, operates unfavorably to the 
public interest. 

" It is important that this branch of the public service 
should be subjected to the supervision of such profession- 
al skill as will give it efficiency. The expense atiendaiu 
upon such a modification of the executive department, 
would be justified by the soundest principles of economy. 
I would recommend, therefore, that the duties now as- 


sig-ned to the agent of the treasury, so far as they relate to 
the superintendence and management of legal proceed- 
ings, on the part of the United States, be transferred to 
thft attorney general ; and that this officer be placed on 
the same footing, in all respects, as the heads of the other 
departments, — receiving like compensation, and having 
such subordinate officers provided for his department, as 
may be requisite for the discharge of these additional du- 
ties. The professional skill of the attorney general, em- 
ployed in directing the conduct of marshals and district 
attorneys, would hasten the collection of debts now in 
suit, and hereafter save much to the governm.ent. It might 
be further extended to the superintendence of all criminal 
proceedings, for offences against the United States. In 
making this transfer, great care should be taken, however, 
that the power necessary to the treasury department be not 
impaired; one of its greatest securities consisting in a 
control over all accounts, until they are audited or report- 
ed for suit. 

" In connexion with the foregoing views, I would sug- 
gest, also, an inquiry, whether the provisions of the act 
of congress, authorizing the discharge of the persons of 
debtors to the government, from imprisonment, may not, 
consistently with the public interest, be extended to the 
release of the debt, where the conduct of the debtor is 
wholly exempt from the imputation of fraud. Some more 
liberal policy than that which now prevails, in reference 
to this unfortunate class of citizens, is certainly due to 
them, and would prove beneficial to the country''. The 
continuance of the liability, after the means to discharge 
it have been exhausted, can only serve to dispirit the debt- 
or ; or, where his resources are but partial, the want ot 
power in the government to compromise and release the 
demand, instigates to fraud, as the only resource for se- 
curing a support to his family. He thus sinks into a state 


of apathy, and becomes a useless drone in society, ot a 
ricious member of it, if not a feeling witness of the rigor 
and inhumanity of his country. All experience . proves, 
that oppressive debt is the bane of enterprise; and it 
should be the care of a republic not to exert a grinding 
power over misfortune and poverty. 

" Since the last session of congress, numerous frauds 
on the treasury have been discovered, which I thought it 
my duty to bring under the cognizance of the United 
States' court for this district, by a criminal prosecution. 
It was my opinion, and that of able counsel who were 
consulted, that the cases came within the penalties of the 
act of the 17th congress, approved 3d March, 1823, pro- 
viding for the punishment of frauds committed on the 
government of the United States. Either from some de- 
fect in the law, or in its administration, every effort to 
bring the accused to trial, under its provisions, proved in- 
efiectual ; and the government was driven to the necessi- 
ty of resorting to the vague and inadequate provisions of 
the common law. It is therefore my duty to call your at- 
tention to the laws which have been passed for the pro- 
tection of the treasury. If, indeed, there be no provision 
by which those who may be unworthily intrusted with its 
guardianship, can be punished for the most flagrant vio- 
lation of duty, extending even to the most fraudulent ap- 
propriation of the public funds to their own use ; it is time 
to remedy so dangerous an omission. Or, if the law has 
been perverted from its original purposes, and criminals, 
deserving to be punished under its provisions, have been 
rescued by legal subtleties ; it ought to be made so plain, 
by amendatory provisions, as to baffle the arts of perver- 
sion, and accomplish the ends of its original enactment. 

" In one of the most flagrant cases, the court decided 
that the prosecution was barred by the statute which limits 
prosecution for fraud to two years. In this case all the 


evidences of ihc fraud, and indeed all knowledge that a 
fraud had been committed, were in possession of the party 
accused, until after the two years had elapsed. Surely 
the statute ought not to run in favor of any man, while he 
retains all the evidences of his crime in his own posses- 
sion ; and, least of all, in favor of a public officer who 
continues to defraud the treasury, and conceal the trans- 
action for the brief term of two years. I would therefore 
recommend such an alteration of the law as will give the 
injured party and the government two years after the dis- 
closure of the fraud, or after the accused is out of office, 
to commence their prosecution. 

" In connexion with this subject, I invite the attention 
of congress to a general and minute inquiry into the con- 
dition of the government ; with a view to ascertain what 
offices can be dispensed with, what expenses retrenched, 
and what improvements may be made in the organization 
of its various parts, to secure the jToper responsibility of 
public agents, a-nd promote efficiency and justice in all its 

" The report of the secretary of war will make you ac- 
quainted with the condition of our army, fortifications, 
arsenals, and Indian affairs. The proper discipline of 
the army, the training and equipment of the militia, the 
education bestowed at West Point, and the accumulation 
of the means of defence, applicable to the naval force ; 
will tend to prolong the peace we now enjoy, and which 
every good citizen — more especially those who have felt 
the miseries of even a successful warfare — must ardently 
desire to perpetuate. 

" The returns from the subordinate branches of this ser- 
vice, exhibit a regularity and order highly creditable to its 
character ; both officers and soldiers seem imbued with a 
proper sense of duty, and conform to the restraints of ex 
act discipline, with that cheerfulness which becomes th* 


profession of arms. There is need, however, of further 
legislation, to obviate the inconveniences specified in the 
report under consideration ; to some of which it is proper 
that I should call your particular attention. 

*' The act of congress of the 2d March, 1821, to reduce 
and fix the military establishment, remaining unexecuted 
as it regards the command of one of the regiments of ar- 
tillery, cannot now be deemed a guide to the executive in 
making the proper appointment. An explanatory act, 
designating the class of officers out of w^hich this grade 
is to be filled — whether from the military list, as existing 
prior to the act of 1821, or from it, as it has been fixed 
by that act — would remove this difficulty. It is also im- 
portant that the laws regulating the pay and emoluments 
of officers generally, should be more specific than they 
now are. Those, fur example, in relation to the pay- 
master and surgeon general, assign to them an annual 
salary of two thousand five hundred dollars, but are si- 
lent as to allowances, which, in certain exigencies of the 
service, may be deemed indispensable to the discharge of 
their duties. This circumstance has been the authority 
for extending to them various allowances, at different 
times, under former administrations : but no uniform rule 
has been observed on the subject. Similar inconveniences 
exist in other cases, in which the construction put upon 
the laws, by the public accountants, may operate unequal- 
ly, produce confusion, and expose officers to the odium 
of claiming what is not their due. 

" I recommend to your fostering care, as one of your 
safest means of national defence, the ^iiilitary academy. — 
This institution has already exercised the happiest influ- 
ence upon the moral and intellectual character of our ar- 
my ; and such of the graduates as, from various causes, 
may not pursue the profession of arms, will be scarcely 
less useful as citizens. Their knowledge of the military 


art will be advantageously employed in the militia ser- 
vice ; and in a measure, secure to that class of troops the 
advantages which, in this respect, belong to standing ar- 


" I would also suggest a review of the pension law, for 
the purpose of extending its benefits to every revolution- 
ary soldier who aided in establishing our liberties, and 
who is unable to maintain himself in comfort. These 
relics of the war of independence have strong claims 
upon their country's gratitude and bounty. The law is 
defective, in not embracing within its provisions all those 
who were, during the last war, disabled from supporting 
themselves by manual labor. Such an amendment would 
add but little to the amount of pensions, and is called for 
by the sympathies of the people, as well as by considera- 
tions of sound policy. It will be perceived that a large 
addition to the list of pensioners has been occasioned by 
an order of the late administration, departing materially 
from the rules which had previously prevailed. Consi- 
dering it an act of legislation, I suspended its operation 
as soon as I was informed that it had commenced. Be- 
fore this period, however, applications under the new re- 
gulation had been preferred, to the number of one hun- 
dred and fifty-four : of which, on the 27th March, the 
date of its revocation, eighty-seven were admitted. For 
the amount, there was neither estimate nor appropriation ; 
and besides this deficiency, the regular allowances, ac- 
cording to the rules which have heretofore governed the 
department, exceed the estimate of its late secretary, by 
about fifty thousand dollars : for which an appropriatioji 
is asked. 

" Your particular attention is requested to that part of 
the report of the secretary of war, which relates to the 
money held in trust for the Seneca tribe of Indians. It 
will be perceived that, without legislative aid, the execu- 


tive cannot obviate the embarrassments occasioned by the 
diminution of the dividends on that fund ; which origi- 
nally amounted to one hundred thousand dollars, and 
has recently been vested in United States' three per cent, 

" The condition and ulterior destiny of the Indian tribes 
within the limits of some of our states, have become ob- 
jects of much interest and importance. It has long been 
the policy of government to introduce among them the 
arts of civilization, in the hope of gradually reclaiming 
them from a wandering life. This policy has, however, 
been coupled with another, wholly incompatible with its 
success. Professing a desire to civilize and settle them, 
we have, at the same time, lost no opportunity to pur- 
chase their lands, and thrust them further into the wil- 
derness. By this means they have not only been kept in 
a wandering state, but been led to look upon us as unjust 
and indifferent to their fate. Thus, though lavish in its 
expenditures upon the subject, government has constantly 
defeated its own policy; and the Indians in general, rece- 
ding farther and further to the west, have retained their 
savage habits. A portion, however, of the southern 
tribes, having mingled much with the v.hites, and made 
some progress in the arts of civilized life, have lately 
attempted to erect an independent government, within the 
limits of Georgia and Alabama. These states, claiming 
to be the only sovereigns within their territories, extended 
their laws over the Indians ; which induced the latter to 
call upon the United States for protection. 

*' Under these circumstances, the question presented 
was, whether the general government had a right to sus- 
tain those people in their pretensions? The constitution 
declares, that ' no new state shall be formed or erected 
within the jurisdiction of any other state,' without the 
consent of its legislature. If the general government is 


not permitted to tolerate the erection of a confederate state 
within the territory of one of the members of this union, 
against her consent, much less could it allow a foreign and 
independent government to establish itself there. Georgia 
became a member of the confederacy which eventuated in 
our federal union, as a sovereign state, always asserting 
her claim to certain limits ; which having been originally 
defined in her colonial charter, and subsequently recog- 
nized in the treaty of peace, she has ever since continued 
to enjoy, except as they have been circumscribed by her 
own voluntary transfer of a portion of her territory to the 
United States, in the articles of cession of 1802. Alaba- 
ma was admitted into the union, on the same footing with 
the original states, with boundaries which were prescribed 
by congress. There is no constitutional, conventional, or 
legal provision, which allows them less power over the 
Indians within their borders, than is possessed by Maine 
or New York. Would the people of Maine permit the 
Penobscot tribe to erect an independent government with- 
in their state ? and unless they did, would it not be the 
duty of the general government to support them in resist- 
ing such a measure ? Would the people of New York 
permit each remnant of the Six Nations within her bor- 
ders, to declare itself an independent people under the 
protection of the United States ? Could the Indians esta- 
blish a separate republic on each of their reservations in 
Ohio ? and if they were so disposed, would it be the duty 
of this government to protect them in the attempt ? If the 
principle involved in the obvious answer to these questions 
be abandoned, it will follow that the objects of this govern- 
ment are reversed ; and that it has become a part of its 
duty to aid in destroying the states which it was establish- 
ed to protect. 

"Actuated by this view of the subject, I informed the 
JndiLins inhabiting parts of Georgia and Alabama, that 


their attempt to establish ,an independent government 
would not be countenanced by the executive of the United 
States ; and advised them to emigrate beyond the Missis- 
sippi, or submit to the laws of those states. 

'* Our conduct towards these people is deeply interest- 
ing to our national character. Their present condition, 
contrasted Vith what they once were, makes a most 
powerful appeal to our sympathies. Our ancestors found 
them the uncontrolled possessors of these vast regions. 
By persuasion and force, they have been made to retire 
from river to river, and from mountain to mountain ; 
until some of the tribes have become extinct, and others 
have left but remnants to preserve, for a while, their once 
terrible names. Surrounded by the whites, with their 
arts of civilization, which, by destroying the resources of 
the savage, doom him to weakness and decay ; the fate 
of the Mohegan, the Narragansett, and the Delaware, is 
fast overtaking the Choctaw, the Cherokee, and the 
Creek. That this fate surely awaits them, if they remain 
within the limits of the states, does not admit of a doubt. 
Humanity and national honor demand that every effort 
should be made to avert so great a calamity. It is too 
late to inquire whether it was just in the United States to 
include them and their territory within the bounds of 
new states whose limits they could control. That step 
cannot be retraced. A state cannot be dismembered by 
congress, or restricted in the exercise of her constitutional 
power. But the people of those states, and of every state, 
actuated by feelings of justice, and regard for our national 
honor, submit to you the interesting question, whether 
something cannot be done, consistently Avith the rights of 
the states, to preserve this much injured race ? 

'* As a means of effe<:ting this end, I suggest for your 
consideration, the propriety of setting apart an ample 
district west of the Mississippi, and without the limits of 


any state or territory, now formed, to be guaranteed to 
the Indian tribes, as long as they shall occupy it : each 
tribe having a distinct control over the portion designated 
for its use. There they may be secured in the enjoyment 
of governments of their own choice, subject to no other 
control from the United States, than such as may be 
necessary to preserve peace on the frontier, and between 
the several tribes. There the benevolent may endeavor 
to teach them the arts of civilization ; and by promoting 
union and harmony among them, to raise up an interest- 
ing commonwealth, destined to perpetuate the race, and 
to attest the humanity and justice of this government. 

*' This emigration should be voluntary : for it would 
be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon 
the graves of their fathers, and seek a home in a distant 
land. But they should be distinctly informed, that if they 
remain within the limits of the states, they must be sub- 
ject to their laws. In return for their obedience, as indi- 
viduals, they will, without doubt, be protected in the en- 
joyment of those possessions which they have improved 
by their industry. But it seems to me visionary to sup- 
pose, that, in this state of things, claims can be allowed 
on tracts of country on which they have neither dwelt 
nor made improvements, merely because they have seen 
them from the mountain, or passed them in the chase. 
Submitting to the laws of the states, and receiving, like 
other citizens, protection in their persons and property, 
they will, ere long, become merged in the mass of our 

" The accompanying- report of the secretary of the navy 
will make you acquainted with the condition and useful 
employment of that branch of our service, during the pre- 
sent year. Constituting, as it does, the best standing se- 
curity of this country against foreign aggression, it claims 
the especial aitention of government. In this spirit, the 


measures which, since the termination of the last war, 
have been in operation for its gradual enlargement, were 
adopted ; and it should continue to be cherished as the 
offspring of our national experience. It will be seen, 
however, that, notwithstanding the great solicitude which 
has been manifested for the perfect organization of this 
arm, and the liberality of the appropriations which that 
solicitude has suggested, this object has, in many import- 
ant respects not been secured. 

*' In time of peace, we have need of no more ships of 
war than are requisite to the protection of our commerce. 
Those not wanted for this object, must lay in the harbors, 
where, without proper covering, they rapidly decay ; and, 
even under the best precautions for their preservation, 
must soon become useless. Such is already the case with 
many of our finest vessels ; which, though unfinished, will 
now require immense sums of money to be restored to 
the condition in which they were when committed to 
their proper element. On this subject there can be but 
little doubt that our best policy would be to discontinue 
the building of ships of the first and second class, and 
look rather to the possession of ample materials, prepared 
for the emergencies of war, than to the number of vessels 
which we can float in a season of peace, as the index of 
our naval power. Judicious deposites in navy yards, of 
timber and other materials, fashioned under the hands of 
skillful workmen, and fitted for prompt application to their 
various purposes, would enable us, at all times, to con- 
struct vessels as fast as they can be manned ; and save the 
heavy expense of repairs, except to such vessels as must 
be employed in guarding our commerce. The proper 
points for the establishment of these yards, are indicated 
with so much force in the report of the navy board, that, 
in recommending it to your attention, I deem it unneces- 
sary to do more than express my hearty concurrence in 


their views. The yard in this district, being already fur- 
nished with most of the machinery necessary for ship 
building, will be competent to the supply of the two se- 
lected by the board as the best for the concentration of 
materials ; and, from the facility and certainty of com- 
munication between them, it will be useless to incur, at 
these depots, the expense of similar machinery, especial- 
ly that used in preparing the usual metallic and w^ooden 
furniture of vessels. 

" Another improvement would be effected by dispens- 
ing altogether with the navy board, as now constituted, 
and substituting, in its stead, bureaus similar to those al- 
ready existing in the war department. Each member of 
the board, transferred to the head of a separate bureau, 
charged with specific duties, would feel, in its highest 
degree, that w^holesome responsibility which cannot be di- 
vided without a far more than proportionate diminution of 
its force. Their valuable services w^ould become still more 
so, when separately appropriated to distinct portions of the 
great interests of the navy ; to the prosperity of which each 
would be impelled to devote himself by the strongest mo- 
tives. Under such an arrangement, every branch of this 
important service would assume a more simple and precise 
character ; its efficiency would be increased, and scrupu- 
lous economy in the expenditure of public money promoted. 

" I would also recommend that the marine corps be 
merged in the artillery or infantry, as the best mode of 
curing the many defects in its organization. But little 
exceeding in number any of the regiments of infantry, that 
corps has, besides its lieutenant colonel commandant, five 
brevet lieutenant colonels, w-ho receive the full pay ana 
emoluments of their brevet rank, without rendering pro- 
portionate service. Details for marine service could as 
well be made from the infantry, or artillery — theye being 
no peculiar training requisite for it. 


'• With these improvements, and such others as zeal- 
ous watchfulness and mature consideration may suggest, 
there can be little doubt that, under an energetic ad- 
ministration of its affairs, the navy may soon be made 
every thing that the nation wishes it to be. Its efficiency 
in the suppression of piracy in the West India seas, and 
wherever its squadrons have been employed in securing 
the interests of the country, will appear from the report 
of the secretary, to which I refer you for other interest- 
ing details. Among these, I would bespeak the atten- 
tion of congress for the views presented in relation to 
the inequality between the army and navy as to the pay 
of officers. No such inequality should prevail between 
these brave defenders of their country ; and where it does 
exist, it is submitted to congress whether it ought not to 
be rectified. 

*' The report of the postmaster general is referred to ais 
exhibiting a highly satisfactory administration of that de- 
partment. Abuses have been reformed ; increased ex- 
pedition in the transmission of the mail secured ; and its 
revenue much improved. In a political point of view, 
this department is chiefly important as affording the 
means of diffusing knowledge. It is to the body politic 
what the veins and arteries are to the natural, — conveying 
rapidly and regularly, to the remotest parts of the sys- 
tem, correct information of the operations of the govern- 
ment, and bringing back to it the wishes and feelings of 
the people. Through its agency, we have secured to 
ourselves the full enjoyment of the blessings of a free 

" In this general survey of our affairs, a subject of high 
importance presents itself in the present organization of 
the judiciary. A uniform operation of the federal go- 
vernment in the different states is certainly desirable; 
and, existing as they do in the union, on the basis of per 


feet equality, each state has a right to expect that the 
benefits conferred on the citizens of others should be ex- 
tended to hers. The judicial system of the United States 
exists in all its efficiency in only fifteen men>bers of the 
union : to three others, the circuit courts, which consti- 
tute an important part of that system, have been imper- 
fectly extended : and to the remaining six, altogether de- 
nied. The effect has been to withhold from the inhabi- 
tants of the latter the advantages afforded (by the supreme 
court) to their fellow citizens in other states, in the whole 
extent of the criminal, and much of the civil authority of 
the federal judiciary. That this state of things ought to 
be remedied, if it can be done consistently with the public 
welfare, is not to be doubted ; neither is it to be disguised 
that the organization of our judicial system is at once a 
difficult and delicate task. To extend the circuit courts 
equally throughout the different parts of the union, and, 
at the same time, to avoid such a multiplication of mem- 
bers as would incumber the supreme appellate tribunal, 
is the object desired. Perhaps it might be accomplished 
by dividing the circuit judges into two classes, and provi- 
ding that the supreme court should be held by those classes 
alternately — the chief justice always presiding. 

" If an extension of the circuit court system to those 
states which do not now enjoy its benefits, should be de- 
termined upon, it would, of course, be necessary to re- 
vise the present arrangement of the circuits ; and even if 
that system should not be enlarged, such a revision is 

" A provision for taking the census of the people of 
the United States will, to ensure the completion of that 
work within a convenient time, claim the early attention 
of congress. 

*' The great and constant increase of business in the 
department of state, forced itself, at an early period, upon 


the attention of the executive. Thirteen years ago, it 
was, in Mr. Madison's last message to congress, made 
the subject of an earnest recommendation, which has 
been repeated by both of his successors ; and my compa- 
ratively limited experience has satisfied me of its justness. 
It has arisen from many causes, not the least of which is 
the large addition that has been made to the family of 
independent nations, and the proportionate extension of 
our foreign relations. The remedy proposed was the 
establishment of a home department — a measure which 
does not appear to have met the views of congress, on 
account of its supposed tendency to increase gradually, 
and imperceptibly, the already too strong bias of the 
federal system towards the exercise of authority not de- 
legated to it. I am not, therefore, disposed to revive the 
recommendation ; but am not the less impressed with the 
importance of so organizing that department, that its secre- 
tary may devote more of its time to our foreign relations. 
Clearly satisfied that the public good would be promoted 
by some suitable provision on the subject, I respectfully 
invite your attention to it. 

*' The charter of the bank of the United States expires 
in 1836, and its stockholders will most probably apply 
for a renewal of their privileges. In order to avoid the 
evils resulting from precipitancy in a measure involving 
such important principles, and such deep pecuniary in- 
terests, I feel that I cannot, in justice to the parties in- 
terested, too soon present it to the deliberate considera- 
tion of the legislature and the people. Both the consti- 
tutionality and the expediency of the law creating this 
bank, are well questioned by a large portion of our fel- 
low citizens; and it must be admhted by all, that it has 
failed in the great end of establishing a uniform and 
sound currency. 

»♦ Under these circumstances, if such an institution is 


deemed essential to the fiscal operations of the g-overn- 
ment, I subniit to the wisdom of the legislature, whether 
a national one, founded upon the credit of the government 
and its revenues, might not be devised, which would avoid 
all constitutional difficulties, and at the same time secure 
all the advantages to the government and country that 
were expected to result from the present bank. 

" I cannot close this communication without bringing 
to your view the just claim of the representatives of Com- 
modore Decatur, his officers and crew, arising from the 
re-capture of the frigate Philadelphia, under the heavy 
batteries of Tripoli. Although sensible, as a general 
rule, of the impropriety of executive interference under 
a government like ours, where every individual enjoys 
the right of directly petitioning congress ; yet, viewing 
this case as one of a very peculiar character, I deem it 
my duty to recommend it to your favorable consideration. 
Besides the justice of this claim, as corresponding to those 
which have been since recognized and satisfied, it is the 
fruit of a deed of patriotic and chivalrous daring, which 
infused life and confidence into our infant navy, and con- 
tributed, as much as any exploit in its history, to elevate 
our national character. Public gratitude, therefore, stamps 
her seal upon it ; and the meed should not be withheld 
which may hereafter operate as a stimulus to our gallant 

" I now commend you, fellow citizens, to the guidance 
of Almighty God, with a full reliance on his merciful 
Providence for the maintenance of our free institutions ; 
and with an earnest supplication, that, whatever errors 
it may be my lot to commit, in discharging the arduout 
duties which have devolved on me, will find a remedy in 
the harmony and wisdom of your counsels. 

Andrew Jackson." 



Approbation of the Message — Maysoille Road Bill — 
Returned to the House by General Jackson, with his 
objections — Mr. Barbour'' s defence of this offi,cial act 
— Meeting of Congress in 1830 — Ge7ieral Jackson^ s 
Message — Remarks upon it — Correspondence betioeen 
him and Mr. Calhoun — Developments made by that cor- 
respondence — Its be7ieficial results to General Jackson. 

The message of President Jackson met with a more 
gracious reception, from the political party which opposed 
his election, than could have been anticipated, from the 
violent animosity they had uniformly manifested against 
him and his acts. It was indeed a production of distin- 
guished ability ; it developed with clearness the policy 
that would be pursued by the administration, and the 
principles on which its measures were based. General 
Jackson, as the head of that administration, had acquired 
for himself a brilliant reputation in serving his country; 
but was in retirement when the people besought him to 
return to public life. He had yielded to their ardent 
wishes ; but his election had been resisted by all the 
energies that could be put in motion by a bold, active 
opposition party in power, determined on the prolongation 
of it. This resistance had been met and overcome by 
the combined efforts of a large majority of the American 
people, acting under the influence which had enabled 
them, in 1801, to achieve a similar triumph by the elec- 
tion of Mr. Jefferson. 

Thus far had General Jackson's administration answer- 


cd the anticipations of its friends ; the work of reform 
had been auspiciously commenced ; corruption, which 
had found its way into oiiicial stations, had been exposed 
and punisiied; the work of retrenchment had been be- 
gun ; the constitution, as far as it regarded the executive 
power, was correctly expounded ; in short, most that had 
been cherished and admired in the fortunate administra- 
tion of Jefferson, was renewed in that of Jackson. 

Many questions, of deep interest to the American union, 
came before this session of our national congress. But no 
one act of national legislation was more deeply inter- 
esting to the people of the United States, or served more 
admirably to show the firmness, patriotism, and regard 
to the constitution, by General Jackson, than the bill 
which originated in the house of representatives, and 
passed that house, and also the senate, for authorizing a 
subscription of the stock of the Maysville and Washing- 
ton Turnpike Road Company, in Kentucky. This bill 
was returned to the house from which it originated, with 
the objections of the president, detailed at length, against 
its passage. His reasonings clearly evinced the uncon- 
stitutionality of the bill, and the injurious tendency of its 
practical operations, and they received a cordial acqui- 
escence from a large majority of the American people. 

On the reconsideration of the bill, by the house, several 
distinguished members ably defended this official act of 
the president. We have room only for an extract from 
a speech of Mr. P. P. Barbour, on that occasion. 

" Mr. Speaker, I feel impelled, by an imperative sense 
of justice,, to say something in vindication and justifica- 
tion of the chief magistrate of the union, against the 
strong animadversions in which gentlemen have indul- 
ged towards him, because he has dared to do his duty. 
If, in doing this, I shall use the language of commenda- 
tion, let no man suppose that it is in the spirit of personal 


adoration. I never have been, and trust in God I never 
shall be, a worshipper of men. I never have felt the in- 
fluence of a single ray of executive patronage. 

" But when a public functionary, at a period of great 
political excitement, like the present, has advanced with 
a firm and fearless step, to the discharge of his public 
duty, as the president in this case has done, 'uncaring 
consequences,' as they regarded himself, — when, by this 
manly and independent course, he has contributed essen- 
tially to promote the happiness, the prosperity, and the 
best interests of a mighty community of states — whilst I 
will do no homage to the man, I must, I will do justice 
to the rare and distinguished merit of the ofHcer ; and if 
this cannot be done, without ascribing to him even the 
highest degree of praise, then that praise is a tribute justly 
due to him, and which I most cheerfully pay. 

" But let us inquire, what has the president done which 
calls forth this loud complaint ? Why, forsooth, he has 
dared to put his veto upon a bill, passed by both houses of 
congress, and has returned it with his objections. And 
has it come to this, that it is cause of complaint, that the 
chief executive magistrate, constituting, as he does, a co- 
ordinate branch of the legislature, has ventured to perform 
his constitutional function, in dissenting from a law, which, 
in his judgment, would be ruinous in its consequences. 
Was it in the contemplation of those who framed the con- 
stitution, that the president should be set up as a mere 
pageant, with powers possessed in theory, but never to be 
reduced to practice; or was it intended that this veto upon 
legislation, like every other power, should be exercised, 
whensoever the occasion should occur to make it neces- 
sary ? Do not gentlemen perceive that they might, with 
as much reason, complain, that the senate had negatived 
one of our bills ? for they, too, are only a co-ordinate branch 
of the legislature, as is the executive magistrate. 


•* Sir, each department, and every branch of each de- 
partment of the government, has its appropriate functions 
assigned. The country expects and requires every one 
to do his duty, whether it consists of one man or a plu- 
rality of men. And whosoever shall fail to do so, though 
he may hope to consult his own safety, by an avoidance 
of responsibility, will find that he has forfeited the es- 
teem and confidence which are inevitably awarded by 
public opinion, to firmness and fidelity in the perform- 
ance of public trusts. The constitution proceeds upon 
the idea that congress, composed of the senate and house 
of representatives, is not infallible. It has, therefore, 
erected the additional barrier of the executive veto, against 
hasty or injudicious action. It contemplates that veto as 
countervailing the opinion of one third of both houses, 
because its interposition makes the concurrence of two 
thirds of both houses necessary. To complain, then, of 
its exercise, is to quarrel with the form of government 
under which we live. It is the precise reverse of a com- 
plaint which we have often heard of in a European mo- 
narchy. There the king complained whenever the par- 
liament refused to register his edicts. Here the congress 
are to complain, vvhenever the chief magistrate declines 
to register their will. 

" I rejoice, sir, that he has so declined. I congratu- 
late my country, that, in this instance, the chief magis- 
trate has displayed as much of moral, as he heretofore 
did of physical courage, — as much decision and energy 
in the cabinet, as he heretofore did in the field ; by which 
he will, in some degree at least, arrest the progress of a 
system, which, in its unrestrained career, threatens to 
produce more mischief than any man, either in or out of 
congress, can pretend even to estimate. 

" Mr. Speaker, I heard with surprise, nay, with asto- 
nishment, the bitter, the acrimonious, and I must add, th« 


unjustifiable invective, which the member from Ohio pour- 
ed forth, in a torrent, against the chic;f magistrate upon 
this occasion. The main purpose of the gentleman seem- 
ed to be, to inculcate the opinion that the rejection of the 
bill in question was with a view to acquiring popularity. 
What, sir, an attempt at popularity ! Look for a moment 
at the circumstances of the case, and then tell me if this 
opinion can be sustained. 

" The bill was not only carried by a majority, as it 
must have been, but by a decisive majority of both houses 
of congress. Can any man suppose that a president, who 
set out on an adventure in quest of popularity, would 
make his first experiment against a question, which, by 
passing both houses of congress, seemed to carry with it 
the approbation of the states and the people of the states? 
On the contrary, if he were going for himself, rather 
than for his country, would he not, by approving the bill, 
have just floated down the current of apparent public 
opinion, without encountering the least impediment in his 
course? Instead of ihis, sir, what has he done? Regard- 
ing his country more than himself — looking, with an eye 
that never v/inked, to the public good, and not his personal 
aggrandizement — he has withholden his approval from this 
bill, which was a favorite bantling with a majority of con- 
gress ; he has thus placed himself in a position Avhere he 
has to win his way to public approbation, in this respect, 
under adverse circumstances, as the mariner who has to 
row up stream against wind and tide. And this is said to 
be seeking after popularity ! Credat Judccus Apella. 
Sir, it is any thing but seeking after popularity, in the 
obnoxious sense in which that expression has been appli- 
ed to him. But if I know any thing of the character of 
my countrymen, — if a rare example of political integrity 
and firmness will constitute a claim to their esteem, — if 
disinterestedness and self-denial be any evidence of virtue 


in public men, — then, indeed, without seeking, will he 
have found popularity, — not of that mushroom kind which 
is acquired without merit, and lost without a fauk, but 
that more noble kind which is always bestowed by all 
good men, as the just reward of virtuous actions, and is 
always withholden from those who, without deserving it, 
endeavor to acquire it." 

On the assembling of congress .in December, 1830, 
General Jackson presented his second message to the 
representatives of the nation. It was a production which 
admirably sustained the high reputation of its immediate 
predecessor, before presented to the reader. It elicited 
general commendation from political supporters and op- 
ponents. In the language of another, " it abounds with 
important suggestions — some of them new — all of them 
interesting — and most of them admirably adapted to the 
interests and institutions of our country. It presents a 
most pleasing and brilliant sketch of our foreign rela- 
tions. Its views of the Indian question, are, like those 
of the former message, just and powerful in their con- 
ception ; beautiful and eloquent in their expression. He 
has explained and expanded the principles of the veto 
message — his views of the tariff are similar to those he 
has previously expressed — asserting the constitutionality 
of the measure, and recommending its review^, modifica- 
lion, and the most practicable equalization of its burthens. 
He objects to the present bank of the United States, and 
explains the principles of the institution, to v/hich he al- 
luded in his former message. There are just and elo- 
quent eulogiums interspersed through the message, both 
upon the rights of the states, and the value of the union." 

It was before the close of this congressional session, that 
the controversy betvv^een General Jackson and Mr. Cal- 
houn, vice president of the United States, took place, which 
brought out on the part of the latter, a voluminous corres- 


pondence between the parties, interested in the subject mat- 
ter of dispute. 

" It was a matter of general wonder, that a man pos- 
sessing Mr. Calhoun's tact and prudence, should have 
brought a subject of the nature of this correspondence 
before the public. The only point in the discussion, ex- 
cept such as Mr. Calhoun had himself created, was aito- 
gether personal. By his private letters, and by those of 
Mr. Monroe, by his whole public conduct, and by pub- 
lications in the newspapers, General Jackson had been 
led to believe, that Mr. Calhoun had been uniformly his 
friend, in the cabinet of Mr. Monroe as well as out of it, 
vindicating all his conduct in the Seminole campaign. 
Under this impression, he had given Mr. Calhoun his 
warmest friendship and firmest confidence ; compelled, at 
length, by facts and circumstances, to doubt the sincerity 
of his supposed ancient friend, he determined to know 
the truth ; with this view, he obtained, in an authentic 
shape, the charges which had been made of Mr. Cal- 
houn's course in the cabinet, so different from w^at he 
had supposed, submitted them directly to the person im- 
plicated, and asked, whether they were true? Mr. Cal- 
houn admitted their truth. General Jackson expressed 
his surprise at the admission, and said that Mr. Calhoun 
had pursued a course of duplicity towards him. The 
latter declared the charge of duplicity to be unfounded. 
With this issue the correspondence closed. What was 
there in this which required an appeal to the public ? It 
was a mere private difference. It concerned only the 
bearing of the two gentlemen towards each other." 

But the matter has been brought before the world, and 
is, therefore, entitled to notice, which will be given as 
briefly as the subject will admit. 

" Sometime in the year 1826, General Jnckson was 
furnished by a member of congress, with a ?fatemeni 



signed by Dr. Wallace of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 
which Mr. Southard, the secretary of the navy, was re- 
presented as having remarked in that place, that General 
Jackson deserved no credit for the defence of New Or- 
leans — that he had left the army without orders, and was 
returning home, when he was met by a positive order 
from Mr. P.Ionroe, then secretary of war, to return forth- 
with to his command — that it was owing to his order, 
and the active preparations made by IMr. Monroe, for the 
security of that portion of the country, that C4eneral Jack- 
son was able to make the defence he did ; and therefore, 
that the merit of that defence was due to Mr. Monroe, 
and not to General Jackson. These remarks were so 
iniurious to the character of the general, and unfounded 
in fact, that he felt himself bound to submit them to Mr. 
Southard, and if they had not been erroneously stated, 
to inquire respectfully on what authority he had taken 
the liberty to make them. The secretary replied in a 
very long, labored, and diplomatic letter, admitting sub- 
stantially the statement of Dr. Wallace, and appealing to 
what he called the history of the tim€S, written, 'printed, 
anil verbal, as his authority for making it. The general 
having never left the army commanded by him at New 
Orleans, or slept out of his camp when he had one, gave 
Mr. Southard such an ans\\'€r as he thought truth and 
justice warranted : it exposed him, however, to the bitter- 
est assaults from his political opponents, and in connexion 
with the conduction of the Seminole war, became the 
text of denunciations against him, as having violated his 
orders and the constitution of his country in both cam- 
paigns. A confidential letter written to Mr. Monroe, had 
also a place in the subsequent array of authority, written, 
printed, and verbal, against him. 

" Under these circumstances, the presses still violent 
afrainst him, General Jackson was toasted at the celebra 


tion of the 8th January, 1827, by the republicans in the 
city of Washing-ton. His friend, Judge White of the 
senate, being present, rose, and with the expression of his 
thanks to the meeting, added a few remarks upon the 
character and services of the general as a response to the 
favorable notice which had been taken of them. These 
remarks gave offence to Mr. Monroe, as was manifested 
by the correspondence on the subject which he originated 
with Judge White ; of w^hich General Jackson w^as ad- 
vised. The expression was also public and common soon 
after, that Mr. Monroe was in the composition of a book, 
the tendency of which would confirm the prejudices so 
industriously circulated against General Jackson at that 
\ime for political purposes." 

" About this period, a member of congress enclosed to 
General Jackson a copy of a letter, purporting to be from 
Mr. Monroe to Mr. Calhoun (confidential,) the object, of 
which was to induce Mr. Calhoun to enter into a friendly 
correspondence with the general, and draw from him an 
acknowledgment that in his operations in Florida, he 
had transcended his orders. This letter declared at the 
same time, that the general maintained that he had not 
transcended his orders, and that there Avas nothing on re- 
cord in the department to shev/ that he had. It also ad- 
verted to a confidential letter w^hich he, Mr. Monroe, pro- 
posed to address General Jackson on the subject, and 
which Mr. Calhoun was authorized to forward if he ap- 
proved it — this was received. 

*' The member of congress, who enclosed to General 
Jackson the copy of this letter from Mr. Monroe to Mr. 
Calhoun, at the same time informed him that he under- 
stood it was done with the consent of Mr. Calhoun ; and 
that the original would be placed in his hands by the 
same person who had handed him the copy. General 
Jackson afterwards received the original from the hands 


of a friend as he had always understood of Mr. Calhoun, 
as advised in the letter of the member of cong-ress. 

'* GeneralJacksoii having always understood Mr. Cal- 
houn to have been his supporter, throughout the proceed- 
ings of the Seminole war, and believing him a high 
minded and honorable man, naturally inferred that this 
disclosure of Mr, Monroe's feelings was made as an act 
of justice, and intended to guard him against the effects 
of the book, which Mr. Monroe Avas about writing. As 
there never had been an intimation from the president or 
himself until the campaign was ended, that the general 
had transcended his orders, it seemed to General Jackson 
perfectly consistent with the claims of friendship, and 
honor, that Mr. Calhoun in 1827, finding that new views 
had been taken of the Seminole war, and that the fair 
interpretation of his orders were about to be grossly 
evaded, felt himself at liberty to defeat the object of those 
who were thus employed, by exposing the letter "which 
has been referred to." 

" Some short time after the original letter just spoken, of, 
was handed to the General in 1827, he received a letter 
from Mr. Calhoun, stating that he had been informed that 
a confidential letter from Mr. Monroe to him, had been 
placed in his hands, and desiring to know if such were 
the fact, through what channel it had been received ; wel: 
assured that no person near him could have given this 
information to. Mr. Calhoun. General Jackson replied 
to him., that such a letter was in his possession — tha', 
first a copy, and afterwar.ds an original, as has been 
stated, was placed in his hands, with the declaration 
that it was done with the consent of Mr. Calhoun ; 
and, that if he would inquire of those who informed him 
that such a letter was in his hands, they could give 
him more information than he knew, of the channel in 
which it came. Mr. Calhoun requested a return of the 


letter, denjdng that he had any knowledge of the man- 
ner by which it got out of his possession, and protest- 
ing that it would have been dishonorable in him to have 
violated the confidence, reposed by Mr. Monroe. The 
original letter w^as forthwith returned to him. The ge- 
neral knew not how the letter was obtained from Mr. 
Calhoun, unless the statement of the member of congress 
accounts for it, whose situation was not such as to make it 
probable that he could have had any other agency in the 
affair, than that of a mere receiver. This statement was 
besides strongly confirmed b}^ the fact that the gentleman 
who handed the original was well known as the friend 
of Mr. Calhoun, and possessed too much character for 
justice and honor, to be suspected of resorting to improper 
means to obtain it, or even under any crrcumstances to 
use it, vvithout having reasons to believe that Mr. Cal- 
houn himself had authorized such use." 

" It was the controversy with Mr. Southard, and the 
subsequent correspondence between Mr. Monroe and 
Judge White, connected with the intimations contained 
in the comments of the presses inimical to General Jack- 
son, that his confidential letter to Mr. Monroe, in relation 
to the Seminole war, would be published, that suggested 
to the friends of General Jackson, the propriety of ascer- 
taining what had occurred, on the latter subject, in Mr. 
Monroe's cabinet. This suggestion could not have been 
dictated by hostility to Mr. Calhoun, because none of 
General Jackson's confidential friends had ever entertain- 
ed a doubt of the part he acted. The minds of all were 
firmly impressed with the belief that he had been the ad- 
vocate and friend of the General throughout. But it was 
otherwise with Mr. Cravv^ford, who was almost as gene- 
rally believed to have taken the opposite course, notwith- 
standing Mr. Monroe's declaration, that no movement 
had been made in cabinet council to arrest or punish 


General- Jackson for u violation of orders. For the pur- 
pose of ascertaining- tlierefore, the justice of the imputa- 
tions or the charges made against Mr. Crawford on 
this subject, was the enquiry made of him, which being 
answered, was submitted to Mr. Calhoun, and produced 
the correspondence between him and General Jackson, 
and which was by the former made public." 

" General Jackson had no v/ish to excite public feeling, 
or produce political eflect through it, and did not, there- 
fore, desire that publicity should be given to it. But he 
felt it due, both to Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Crawford, and 
also to himself, that an explanation should take place, and 
the difficulties arising from conflicting statements become 
thoroughly understood. General Jackson and Mr. Craw- 
ford had been alienated 'm friendship before the Seminole 
war. Mr. Crawford had predicated an article in an In- 
dian treaty, and made grants to the Indians, upon the sup- 
position that they had been despoiled of their property by 
the army commanded by General Jackson. No such in- 
justice had been committed, and General Jackson resent- 
ed the Avrong done to himself and the army by a treaty 
implicating their character, Avithout, as he thought, suf- 
ficient care being taken to obtain proof of the real state 
of the facts. When the Seminole question arose, General 
Jackson Vwas the more readily induced io attribute the 
attacks made upon him to Mr. Crawford, because of his 
previous difference. Notwithstanding this, the wile cf 
General Jackson had still maintained an intercourse cf 
kindness with the family of Mr. Crawford, and after the 
election of 1825 in the house of representatives, for presi- 
dent, had taken place, and while Mr. Crawford vras pros- 
trated by disease, General Jackson was prevailed upon 
to pay a visit to him, as an earnest that he was willing 
to forget the dissensions which had produced enmity be- 
tween them. There was, however, no explanations or 


conversations with regard to the causes which had sepa- 
rated them. The meeting- was in the presence of a num- 
ber of friends, and marked, on the part of Mr. Crawford, 
by the deepest _sensibility. 

By a recent letter, received by General Jackson from 
Mr. Crav\-ford, a state of facts w^as presented, going to 
fc-hovv- on the one hand, that the General had long con- 
demned in his heart, an innocent man for the efforts made 
to destroy his character as a patriot, and tarnish his lau- 
rels as a soldier. On the other hand, one whom he sup- 
posed always to have been his friend, and his most zealous 
vindicator in this particular instance, stood charged ^vith 
having been the man who impeached him in the cabinet 
for a violation of orders. If this were the true state of 
things, the General felt that he owed to his own and the 
feelings of Mr. Crawford, reparation for having wronged 
him in his opinions, and felt bound also to reject from his 
mind any conclusion as to the conduct of his long pro- 
fessed friend, Mr. Calhoun, until he had an opportunity 
for explanation. For these reasons the letter of Mr. 
Crawford was submitted to him by General Jackson. In 
his letter accompanying that submission, he says : " The 
submission you perceive is authorized by the writer. 
The statements and facts it presents being so different 
from v/hat I had heretofore understood to be correct, re- 
quires that it should be brought to your consideration. 
They are different from your letter to Governor Bibb, of 
Alabama, of 13th May, 1818, where you state, ' General 
Jackson is vested with full power to conduct the war in 
the manner he may judge best,' and different too, irom 
your letters to me at that time, which breathe throughout 
a spirit of approbation and friendship, and particularly 
the one in which you say, ' I have the honor to acknow- 
ledge the receipt of your letter of the 20th ultimo, to ac- 
quaint you with the entire approbation of the president of 



all tlie measures you have adopted to terminate tlic rupture 
with the Indians.' ?.Iy object in makin;!,'' this connnuni- 
ration, is to announce to you the great surprise \vhicli I 
felt, and to learn of you 'whether it be possible that the 
information given is correct ; whether it can be, under 
all the circumstances of vrhich you and I are both in- 
formed, tliat any attempt seriously to aflect me was moved 
and sustained by you in the cabinet council, when, as is 
known to j^ou, I was but executing the wishes of the go- 
vernment, and clothed v/ilh the authority to ' conduct the 
war in the manner I might judge best.' " 

The reply of Mr. Calhoun to General Jackson's letter 
was not the frank yea or nay which was all that was re- 
quired. He commenced an answer of great length, by 
denying his responsibility to General Jackson for Avhat 
passed in Mr. Monroe's cabinet. This was entirely un- 
called for; the president, nor anyone else, having claim- 
ed such responsibility on the part of Mr. Calhoun. He 
also stated that it vras not his intention to ofier any apo- 
logies or excuses for his conduct. General Jackson re- 
quired no apologies or excuses. He only asked ichai 
that conduct was ? 

Mr. Calhoun then aflected not to understand the presi- 
dent, but supposed he meant that they did not put the 
same construction upon his orders in the Seminole cam" 
paign, and that he had been guilty of some duplicity in 
that respect. The president's letter was a direct inquiry 
of Mr. Calhoun, whether his course had been hostile to 
him in ?vTr. IMonroe's cabinet, as was represented. He 
did not ask how Mr. Calhoun understood his orders, or 
v.'hether they understood them alike. He only desired 
to hmov.-, v.helher he had been secreili/ hosUle, while pro^ 
fessedly and iJuhlicly his friend. But Mr. Calhoun, in- 
stead of answering directly, led off into a long discus-, 
sion about the orders and the manner in which they vreru 

3^70 fttOGRAPHY Of 

understood, points, which were not at all involved in th* 
inquiry to which he was replying. 

The disappointment of General Jackson in not receiv- 
ing- a direct reply to the inquiry made in his letter, is 

evinced in the following extract from his reply to the 
answer- of Mr. Calhoun : " I regret to find that you have 
entirely mistaken my note of the 13th instant. There is 
no part of it which calls in question either your conduct 
or your motives in the case alluded to. Motives are to 
be inferred from actions, and judged of by our God. It 
had been intimated to me many years ago, that it vrns 
you and not Mr. Crawford, who had been secretly en- 
deavoring to destroy my reputation. These insinuations 
I indignantly repelled, upon the ground that you, in all 
of your letters to me, professed to be my personal friend, 
and approved entirely of my conduct in the Seminole 
campaign. I had too exalted an opinion of your honor 
and frankness, to believe for one moment that you could 
be capable of such deception. Under the influence of 
these friendly feelings, (which I always entertained for 
you) when I vras presented with a cop}- of Mr. Craw- 
ford's letter, with that frankness which ever has, and I 
hope ever will characterize my conduct, I considered it 
due to you and to the friendly relations which had always 
existed between us, to lay it forthwith before you, and 
ask if the statements contained in that letter couJd be true? 
I repeat, I had a right to believe that you were my sin- 
cere friend, and until now, never expected to have occa- 
sion to say of you in the language of Caesar, Et tu Brute? 
The evidence which brought me to this conclusion is 
abundantly contained in your letter novr before me. In 
your and Mr. Crawford's dispute, I have no interest 
whatever ; but it may become necessary for me hereafter 
when I shall have more leisure, and the documents at 
hand, to place the subject in its proper light, to notice the 


nistorical facts and roferences in your communication, 
which will give a very diflerent view of the siihjcct. It 
is due to myself, however, to state that the knowledge of 
the executive documents and orders in my possession 
will show conclusively, that- 1 had authority for all I did, 
and that your explanation of my powers as declared to 
Governor Bibb, shows your own understanding of them. 
Your letter to mc of the 29th, handed to-day, and now 
before me, is the first intimation to me that you ever en- 
tertained any other opinion or view of them. Your con- 
duct, words, actions, and letters, I have ever thought 
show this. Understanding you now, no further commu- 
nication on this subject is necessary." 

After much unnecessary verbosity and circumlocution, 
Mr. Calhoun at length admitted that Mr. Crawford's 
statement was substantially true ! He said to the presi- 
dent, " / iva,s of I he impreasion that you had ex<: ceded 
your orders — / camt to the meeting of the cabinet under 
the impression that the usual course ought to be pursued in 
this case, which I supported by presenting fully and freely 
all the arguments that occurred to me.'^ 

Here the charge, so far as General Jackson was con- 
cerned, w^as admitted to be true. No room for controver- 
sy was left, except in relation to Mr. Calhoun's condtict 
towards General Jackson. The general says to him, 
*' in all your letters to me, you professed to be my perso- 
nal friend, and approved entirely my conduct in relation 
to the Seminole campaign." 

But this correspondence convinced the General of the 
aggravated nature of the deception that had been prac- 
tised upon him, and in his last communication to Mr. 
Calhoun, after repeating, that he had always met the in- 
timations of Mr. Calhoun's having made injurious move- 
ments before the cabinet, in secret council against liim, 
with flat and positive denial — after stating that he had 


rebutted every insinuation against Mr. Calhoun for hav- 
ing- thus conducted, by bringing into view his uniform 
and full approval of the conduction of the Seminole cam- 
paign — after stating that the high character that Mr 
Calhoun had sustained for fair, open, and honorable con- 
duct in all things, was entirely opposed to the secret, un- 
candid, and unmanly course ascribed to him, and that he 
had ever banished from his mind what he conceived to be 
unjust imputations upon that gentleman's honor, by as- 
cribing duplicity to him, until he had learned the import 
of the written statement of Mr. Crawford, and had re- 
quested to see it Avith the object of laying it before Mr. 
Calhoun, supposing it would meet his prompt and posi- 
tive negative, he concluded as follov/s : " But I regret 
that instead of a negative, which I had a right to expect, 
I had the poignant mLortification to see in ^'•our letter an 
adm.ission of its truth. Understanding the matter now, I 
feel no interest in this altercation, and leave you and Mr. 
Crawford, and all concerned, to settle the affair in your 
own way, and now close this correspondence for ever." 

A defence of General Jackson's measures in the Semi- 
nole campaign, has before been given to the reader : 
nothing further on that subject Vv^ill therefore be necessa- 
ry. This correspondence resulted to the benefit of no 
one except General Jackson, he learned from' it, that the 
man whom he had ever supposed to be his firm friend 
and defender from the assaults of his enemies, was his 
secret and inveterate foe ; and on the other hand, the in- 
dividual who he had been led to believe was his enemy, 
who in secret had endeavored to blight his reputation as 
a soldier and a patriot, was innocent of the imputations 
which reflected upon his ingenuousness and honor. 



Dissolution of the cabinet — Letter of resignation from the 
secretary of state — General Jackson^s reply — Causes 
which led to the dissolution — Its effects — Reorganiza- 
tion of the cabinet — Meeting of the 22d congress — 
Preside?ifs message— Remarks upon it — Rejection by 
the senate of Mr. Van BurerU s nomination — Motives 
that led to it — Bill for re-chartering the United States' 
banl; passes both houses of congress — Is presented to the 
president — He returns it with his veto — Veto message — 
Its effects — His honor and character — Anecdotes — Coji- 

An interesting crisis was now approaching in the cabi- 
net, which General Jackson had selected to aid him in the 
discharge of the arduous duties of government. This 
was its dissolution. The causes which led to this result, 
were clearly and concisely developed in the letter of Mr. 
Martin Van Buren, secretary of state, tendering his resig- 
nation to the president. The subsequent detail of Major 
Eaton entered more minutely into the particulars, and 
gave a clear, consistent, and satisfactory relation of the 
primary, and other causes, which produced the dissolution. 

The following is the letter of Mr. Van Buren tendering 
his resignation of the department of state ; in which the 
grounds for taking the step, are fully and distinctly stated. 
" Washing t07h April Wth, 1831. 

*' Dear Sir — I feel it to be my duty to retire from ih^ 


office to which your confidence and partiality called me. 
The delicacy of this step, under the circumstances in 
which it is taken, will, I trust, be deemed an ample 
apology for stating more at large, than might otherwise 
have been necessary, the reasons by which I am influ- 

** From the moment of taking my seat in your cabinet, 
it has been my anxious wish and zealous endeavor to pre- 
rent a premature agitation of the question of your succes- 
sor ; and, at all events, to discountenance, and if possible 
repress the disposition, at an early day manifested, to con- 
nect my name with that disturbing topic. Of the since- 
rity and the constancy of this disposition, no one has had 
a better opportunity to judge than yourself. It has, how- 
ever, been unavailing. Circumstances, not of my crea- 
tion, and altogether beyond my control, have given to this 
subject a turn which cannot now be remedied, except by 
a self-disfranchisement which, even if dictated by my in- 
dividual wishes, could hardly be reconcilable Avith pro- 
priety or self-respect. 

" Concerning the injurious eflTects which the circum- 
stance of a member of the cabinet's occupying the rela- 
tion towards the country to which I have adverted, is 
calculated to have upon the conduct of public affairs, there 
cannot, I think, at this time, be room for two opinions. 
Diversities of ulterior preference among the friends Oi 
an administration are unavoidable ; and even if the res- 
pective advocates of those thus placed in rivalship be 
patriotic enough to resist the temptation of creating obsta- 
cles to the advancement of him to whose elevation they 
are opposed, by embarrassing the branch of public service 
committed to his charge, they are, nevertheless, by their 
position, exposed to the suspicion of entertaining and en- 
co'uraging such views : a suspicion which can seldom fail 
in the end, to aggravate into present alienation and hos- 


lility the prospective differences which first gave rise to 
it. Thus, under the least unfavorable consequences, in* 
dividual injustice is suffered, and the administration em- 
barrassed and weakened. Whatever may have been th« 
course of things under the peculiar circumstances of the 
earlier stage of the republic, my experience has fully 
satisfied me that, at this day, when the field of selection 
has become so extended, the circumstance referred to, by 
augmenting the motives and sources of opposition to the 
measures of the executive, must unavoidably prove the 
cause of injury to the public service, for a counterpoise 
to which we may in vain look to the peculiar qualifica- 
tions of any individual ; and even if I should in this be 
mistaken, still I cannot so far deceive myself as to believe 
for a moment that I am included in the exceptions. 

*' These obstructions to the successful prosecution of 
public affairs, when superadded to that opposition which 
is inseparable from our free institutions, and which every 
administration must expect, present a mass to which the 
operations of the government should at no time be volun- 
tarily exposed : — the more especially should this be avoid- 
ed at so eventful a period in the affairs of the world, when 
our country may particularly need the utmost harmony 
in her councils. 

" Such being my impressions, the path of duty is plain : 
and I not only submit with cheerfulness to whatever per- 
sonal sacrifices may be involved in the surrender of the 
station I occupy ; but I make it my ambition to set an 
example which, should it in the progress of the govern- 
ment be deemed, notwithstanding the humility of its 
origin, worthy of respect and observance, cannot, I think, 
fail to prove essentiall}'- and permanently beneficial. 

" Allow me. Sir, to present one more view of the sub- 
ject : — You have consented to stand before your constitu- 
ents for re-election. Of their decision, resting as it doe* 


upon the unbought suffrages of a free, numerous, and 
widely extended people, it becomes no man to speak with 
certainty. Judging, however, from the past, and making 
a reasonable allowance for the fair exercise of the intel- 
ligence and public spirit of your fellow citizens, I cannot 
hesitate in adopting the belief, that the confidence, as well 
in your capacity for civil duties as in your civic virtues, 
already so spontaneously and strikingly displayed, will 
be manifested with increased energy, now, that all candid 
observers must admit their utmost expectations to have 
been more than realized. 

" If this promise, so auspicious to the best interests of 
■mx common country, be fulfilled, the concluding term of 
your administration will, in the absence of any prominent 
cause of discord among its supporters, afford a most fa- 
vorable opportunity for the full accomplishment of those 
important public objects, in the prosecution of which I 
have witnessed on your part such steady vigilance and 
untiring devotion. To the unfavorable influence which 
my continuance in your cabinet, under existing circum- 
stances, may exercise upon this flattering prospect, I can- 
not. Sir, without a total disregard of the lights of experi- 
ence, and without shutting my eyes to tlie obvious ten- 
dency of things for the future, be insensible. Having, 
moreover, from a deep conviction of its importance to the 
country, been among the most urgent of your advisers 
to yield yourself to the obvious wishes of the people, and 
knowing the sacrifice of personal feeling which was in- 
volved in your acquiescence, I cannot reconcile it to my- 
self to be in any degree the cause of embarrassment to 
you during the period which, as it certainly will be of 
deep interest to' your country, is moreover destined to 
bring to its close, your patriotic, toilsome and eventful 
public life. 

^' From, these considerations, I feel it to be doubly my 


duty to resign a post, the retention of which is so calcu- 
lated to attract assaults upon your administration, to which 
there might otherwise be no inducement — assaults ol 
which, whatever be their aim, the most important as well 
as most injurious effect is, upon those public interests, 
which deserve and should command the support of all 
good citizens. This duty, I should have discharged at 
an earlier period, but for considerations, partly of a pub- 
lic, partly of a personal nature, connected with circum- 
stances which were calculated to expose its performance 
then to misconstruction and misrepresentation. 

-" Having explained the motives which govern me in 
thus severing, and with seeming abruptness, the official 
ties by which we have been associated, there remains but 
one duty for me to perform. It is to make my profound 
and sincere acknowledgments for that steady support 
and cheering confidence which, in the discharge of my 
public duties, I have, under all circumstances, received at 
your hands ; as well as for the personal kindness at all 
times extended to me. I i, 

" Rest assured, Sir, that the success of your adminis- 
tration, and the happiness of your private life will ever 
constitute objects of the deepest solicitude with 

Your sincere friend and obedient servant, 

M. Van Buren. 
The President.'' 

To which letter, the President made the following 
reply : 

«' Washiiigton, April \2th, 1831. 

" Dear Sir, — Your letter resigning the office of secre- 
tary of state was received last evening. I could indeed 
wish that no circumstance had arisen to interrupt the re- 
lations which have, for two years, subsisted between us, 
and that they might have continued through the period 
during: which it may be my lot to remain charged with 


the duties which the partiality of my countrymen has 
imposed upon me. But the reasons you present are so 
strong that, with a proper regard for them, I cannot ask 
you, on my own account, to remain in the cabinet. 

*' I am aware of the difficuhies you have had to con- 
tend with, and of the benefits which have resulted to the 
affairs of your country, from your continued zeal in the 
arduous tasks to which you have been subjected. To say 
that I deeply regret to lose you, is but feebly to express 
my feelings on the occasion. 

" When called by my country to the station which I 
occupy, it was not without a deep sense of its arduous 
responsibilities, and a strong distrust of myself, that I 
obeyed the call ; but, cheered by the consciousness that 
no other motive actuated me, than a desire to guard her 
interests, and to place her upon the firm ground of those 
great principles which, by the wisest and purest of our 
patriots, have been deemed essential to her prosperity I 
ventured upon the trust assigned me. I did this in the 
confident hope of finding the support of advisers, able 
and true ; who, laying aside every thing but a desire to 
give new vigor to the vital principles of our union, would 
look with a single eye to the best means of effecting this 
paramount object. In you, this hope has been realized to 
the utmost. In the most difficult and trying moments of 
my administration, I have always found you sincere, able 
and efficient — anxious at all times to afford me every aid. 
If, however, from circumstances in your judgment suffi- 
cient to make it necessary, the official ties subsisting be- 
tween us must be severed, I can only say that this neces- 
sity is deeply lamented by me. I part with you only be 
cause you yourself have requested me to do so, and hava 
sustained that request by reasons strong enough to com- 
mand my assent. I cannot, however, allow the separa- 
tion to take place, without expressing the hope, that thi« 


retirement from public aflairs is but temporary ; and tliat 
if, in any other station, the government should have occa- 
sion for services, the value of which has been so sensibly 
felt by me, your consent will not be wanting-. 

" Of the state of things to which you advert, I cannot 
but be fully aware. I look upon it with sorrow, and re- 
gret it the more, because one of its first effects is to dis- 
turb the harmony of my cabinet. It is, however, but an 
instance of one of the evils to which free governments 
must ever be liable. The only remedy for these evils, as 
they arise, lies in the intelligence and public spirit of our 
common constituents. They will correct them — and in 
this there is abundant consolation. I cannot quit this 
fubject without adding, that with the best opportunities for 
observing and judging, I have seen in you no other de- 
sire than to move quietly on in the path of your duties, 
and to promote the harmonious conduct of public affairs. 
If on this point you have had to encounter detraction, it 
is but another proof of the utter insufficiency of innocence 
and worth to shield from such assaults. 

" Be assured that the interest you express in my hap- 
piness is most heartily reciprocated — that my most cordial 
feelings accompany you, and that I am, very sincerely, 
your friend, Andrew Jackson. 

Martin Yan Bure?i, 

Secretary of StateV 

The resignation of Messrs. Eaton, Branch, Ingham, 
and Berrien, immediately followed that of Mr. Van Bu- 
ren. The reasons which induced those gentlemen to re- 
sign their stations, were variously stated by each ; those 
however, given by the secretary of war, in connexion 
with those given by the secretary of state, seem to be er>- 
titled to the greatest weight, as faithful and correct expo- 
sitions of the true nature of the facts and circumstances 
eonnected with the dissolution of the cabinet. 


From the expose of Major Eaton, it appeared that his 
own situation in the war department was never sought 
for by him, but was bestowed upon him by the president, 
who feh anxious when entering upon the arduous duties 
to which he had been called, to have near him some one 
of his long tried personal friends, in whom he could con- 
fide with safety. 

Mt. Van Buren was appointed, because the pTesident 
had confidence in his talents and integrity, and because 
he appeared to be the expectation of the country. Mr. 
Ingham was selected for the reason that the president 
was induced to believe that the democracy of Pennsylva- 
nia desired it. Mr. Barry, from a confidence reposed in 
him by the president, derived from a personal knowledge 
of his worth and merits. Mr. Branch and Mr. Berrien 
were selected as men whose talents and capabilities would 
insure a faithful discharge of the duties appertaining to 
the respective stations to which they were called. At 
the time the cabinet was organized, all its members ap- 
parently harmonized, and were seemingly anxious to 
lend every assistance in their power for facilitating the 
administration of government. But subsequent events 
proved conclusively, that such was not the relation in 
which the respective members of the cabinet stood to 
each other ; nor were they all solicitous that President 
Jackson's administration should be such a one, as would 
promote the complicated and vital interests of this vast 

It appeared from the statements of Messrs. Berrien and 
Ingham, after making their resignations, that they came 
into the cabinet with hostile feelings towards Major Ea- 
ton ; this hostility increased ; covert attacks were made 
upon him, and the sanctuary of his domestic circle was 
rudely invaded. 

Time passed and slowly developed the aims of the re- 


spective members of the cabinet. Subsequent K.^■ iAS have 
rendered it clearly manifest, that the vice president, Mr. 
Calhoun, was well aware that the expiration of his pre- 
sent term of office would complete the length of time, 
which, by a custom equivalent to a positive law, would 
prevent him from becoming a successful candidate for the 
office he now filled. He was ambitious and fond of power, 
and could ill brook the reflection that he was so soon to 
take his leave of the station he occupied, with no very 
flattering assurances that he should at a subsequent period 
be able to attain to one more exalted. He therefore re- 
solved by one desperate stroke to attain the object of his 
ambitious views, by procuring his own elevation to tlui 
next presidency, or sink beyond the hope of recovery. 

With this object in view, the first preliminary and im- 
portant step to be taken, was to prevent if possible the re- 
nomination of General Jackson to the presidency. To 
supply himself with the necessary aid for producing this 
important result, he attached Messrs. Ingham, Branch, 
and Berrien, of the cabinet, and Mr. Dufl" Green, editor 
of the Washington Telegraph, to his fortunes. When 
the subject, therefore, of a candidate for the next presi- 
dency, was agitated by the friends of General Jackson, 
the editor of the Telegraph manifested his hostility to 
that gentleman, and his devotion to Mr. Calhoun. The 
same disposition Avas evinced in the cabinet by Messrs. 
Ingham, Branch, and Berrien, added to their hatred of 
Mr. Eaton. The correspondence between General Jack- 
son and Mr. Calhoun, removed from the latter the mask 
of pretended friendship and regard, behind which he had 
80 long hidden his enmity and inimical designs — the ex- 
plosion of the cabinet soon followed — it resolved itself 
back to its original elements, but its firm and patriotic 
head stood "unhurt amid the wreck of matter," and no- 
bly triumphed over the machinations of his enemies. 


The dissolution of the cabinet was productive of no 
prejudice to General Jackson ; it did not injure or em- 
barrass the operations of government ; an angry ferment- 
ation only, was for a time produced amongst a portion of 
its dissolving elements ; when every thing connected 
with the peace and harmony of the administration assumed 
its accustomed aspect, and its vigorous and politic mea- 
sures were prosecuted with the same zeal and fidelity 
that characterized the operations of its energetic head, 
previous to the dissolution. 

General Jackson re-organized his cabinet by appoint- 
ing Edward Livingston, of Louisiana, secretary of state; 
Levi Woodbury, of New Hampshire, secretary of tho 
navy ; Louis M'Lane, of Delaware, secretary of the 
treasury; and Louis Cass, of Ohio, secretary of war. 
Roger B. Taney, of Maryland, was appointed to the of- 
fice of attorney general. A more judicious and popular 
cabinet could not have been formed. Each individual 
member was well known to the whole Union for eminent 
talents, sterling patriotism, business habits, and liberal 
devotion to the public good in every section of the United 
States, With it, General Jackson proceeded in the ad- 
ministration of the general government with renewed 

The 22d congress of the United States convened in 
December, 1831, when General Jackson presented to the 
representatives of the nation his annual message. Ii 
was an interesting and valuable document : an able Avri- 
ter thus remarks upon it : 

" The condition of our country, as presented by this 
document, is a source of high and heartfelt gratifica- 
tion. We point to it with equal pride and pleasure. 
It challenges the admiration of every American citi- 
zen, and of free minds every where, who look to the 


progress of our government as the great experiment of 
the people. 

" The long pending negotiations with England are ter- 
minated in the recovery of a trade of the highest advan- 
tage to our merchants and agriculturists, and our present 
minister is charged with the adjustmenf of every question 
of possible collision and difficulty. The claims of our citi- 
zens upon France have been acknowledged, and indemni- 
ty obtained. Our claims against Denmark and Sweden 
have been adjusted by satisfactory compensation on their 
part, and advantageous treaties of commerce renewed ; 
the negotiations for the adjustment of our claims against 
Naples, have been opened under flattering auspices ; 
commercial treaties with Austria, the Hanseatic towns, 
and Prussia, have opened new and invaluable sources of 
trade to the enterprise of our countrymen, w^ith the ex- 
tended countries of the north and south of Germany ; a 
treaty favorable in the highest degree, has been establish- 
ed with the Porte, and our ships, seamen, and pro- 
ducts, find their way to seas and countries, from which 
they have been hitherto excluded ; our relations with 
Russia are placed, in all respects, upon a footing with the 
most favored nations ; precise instructions have been 
given to bring our unsettled differences with Spain and 
witii the two Sicilies to a speedy issue, and in relation to 
che former, if at last it shall be of an unfriendly nature, 
the president will ask the determination of congress in a 
case * where negotiation for redress of injury fails.' 
Our commerce with China and the East Indies is continu- 
ed with increased facilities ; whilst a frigate has been dis = 
patched to demand redress for an outrage committed in those 
distant seas, on an American merchantman, at Sumatra ; 
a valuable trade has been opened with the interior pro- 
vinces of Mexico, and the ratification of an advantageous 
•ommercial treaty urged with vigor ; our treaty with th« 


republic of Central America has been faithfully observed, 
and promises an extended and beneficial commerce be- 
tween the two countries ; our negotiations with Colom- 
bia have been attended with success, in a considerable re- 
duction of duty on flowr, and a stipulation of indemnity 
for injuries received by our merchants for illegal seizures. 
Efficient measures have- been taken for the protection of 
our commerce and fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, in re- 
ference to the civil commotions in Chili and Peru ; re- 
dress of injuries, and indemnity for losses, have been 
promptly demanded of the government of Brazil ; aiM an 
armed vessel has been dispatched to the Falkland Islands, 
and a public functionary to the government of Buenos 
Ayres will soon follow, to inquire into the nature of the 
recent depredations upon our commerce, and to protect 
it from aggression for the future ; indeed, at every foreign 
court, in all countries, and in every sea, have the public 
interests been carefully guarded, the rights and interests 
of our citizens protected, the national honor maintained, 
and the national faith preserved. 

*' Such are the results of the 'diplomacy' of General 
Jackson's administration. Such are its practical efiects, 
through the entire circle of our foreign relations. Never 
did the nation stand upon a higher and more commanding 
eminence. We owe it, not to the subterfuges and eva- 
sions of a mere diplomatic and artificial intercourse, but 
to a frank, honest, and upright policy, fearlessly adopted 
and steadily pursued ; and to a rigid adherence to the 
golden rule with which the present chief magistrate 
commenced his administration, * to ask nothing that was 
not clearly right, and to submit to nothing that was 

" The condition of the internal affairs of the country is 
equally a subject of felicitation. The Indian question is 
settled — an extended trade and increasing revenue — re- 


forms in the public offices and in the different departments 
of the government — an annual income of nearly twenty- 
eight millions, and an expenditure of fifteen millions — 
the payment of upwards of forty millions of the public 
debt in less than three years — a farther modification of 
the tariff and a diminution of its burdens — a more rapid 
and extended transportation of the mails — and the en- 
tire extinguishment of the national debt within one 
year, are among the fruits of the policy of this adminis- 

This session of congress was remarkable for the tur- 
bulence of party spirit evinced by many members, in their 
action upon various subjects presented for their delibera- 
tions. While some questions of deep interest, and vital 
importance to the nation, were adjusted in a manner that 
is believed will produce the happiest results ; there were 
others, the decision of which was produced by motives 
which should never influence the representative acts of 
high-minded and honorable men. 

A prominent act of the latter description was the rejec- 
tion by the senate, of the nomination of Martin Van Bu- 
ren, by the president, as minister to England, This gen- 
tleman was selected by General Jackson for his acknow- 
ledged worth, talents, and public services ; and yet the 
senate rejected the nomination by the casting vote of its 
presiding officer. The act itself, was a constitutional 
one, and as such was not obnoxious to censure ; but all 
delegated powers are in some degree discretionary, and 
for motives alone, which prompt the exertion of consti- 
tutional privileges, are public servants amenable. When 
the present period of high political excitement is past, and 
men can look at this act with unbiassed and unprejudiced 
minds, in searching for the motives which produced the 
rejection of the president's nomination of Mr. Van Buren, 
none, it is confidently believed, will be found, that were 


not based upon personal or political hostility. As no 
other reasons were given for rejecting this nomination, 
that were entitled to any degree of weight, we deemed 
it important to say thus much in defence of the nomi- 

But to pass over minor subjects, we come directly to 
the question which was agitated in both houses of con- 
gress on the passage of a bill to renew the charter of 
the present bank of the United States. After much dis- 
''ussion this bill passed the house and senate, and was 
suomiiied lo the president for his sanction or disapproval. 
His sentiments on the subject of a renewal of the charter 
of the United States bank, with all its powers and privi- 
leges retained, were well known ; he had early, earnestly, 
and fearlessly expressed his convictions, that this institu- 
tion was unconstitutional in its origin, and clothed with 
powers, which no corporation under a republican govern- 
ment ought to possess — powers that might be exerted in the 
overthrow of our free institutions, and the destruction of 
our liberties. When entering upon the duties appertain- 
ing to the presidency of the nation, some of his friends 
suggested to him the policy of not embarrassing his ad- 
ministration by an early expression of his views upon this 
question, which did not call for immediate legislative ac- 
tion ; — " No," exclaimed the single-hearted patriot; " my 
sentiments upon this subject must be expressed ; I could 
not quietly rest in my grave, were I to die without having 
performed this duty which I owe to my country." And 
nobly indeed has that duty been discharged ; — he weighed 
the subject with much deliberation, and gave to it that 
patient and careful investigation which its imporiance de- 
manded ; and then, with an eye that looked only to the glo- 
xy and safety of his country, and its invaluable institutions ; 
regardless alike of his own personal responsibility or in- 
diTidual aggrandizement, he returned the bill with a nies- 


sage, detailing his reasons at length for withholding his 
sanction to iis becoming a law. They were powerful, 
convincing, and unanswerable. No synopsis which we 
could make, would do justice to this admirable produc- 
tion ; we therefore give it entire : 

Message from the President of the United StateSy 
Returning the Bank Bill, with his objections, «&c. " " 

To THE Senate: — 

The bill to ''modify and continue" the act, entitled, 
" an act to incorporate the subscribers of the Bank of the 
United States," was presented to me on the 4th of July 
instant. Having considered it with that solemn regard to 
fhe principles of the constitution which the day was cal- 
culated to inspire, and come to the conclusion that it 
ought not to become a law, I herewith return it to the 
Senate, in which it originated, with my objections. 

A Bank of the United States is, in many respects, con- 
venient for the government and usefufto the people. 
Entertaining this opinion, and deeply impressed with the 
belief that some of the powers and privileges possessed 
by the existing Bank are unauthorized by the constitu- 
tion, subversive of the rights of the states, and dangerous 
10 the liberties of the people, I felt it my duty, at an early 
period of my administration, to call the attention of Con- 
gress to the practicability of organizing an institution 
combining all its advantages, and obviating these objec- 
tions. I sincerely regret that, in the act before me, I 
can perceive none of those modifications of the Bank 
charter which are necessary, in my opinion, to make it 
compatible with justice, with sound policy, or with the 
Constitution of our country. 


The present corporate body, denominated the President, 
Directors, and Company of the Bank of the United States, 
Avill have existed, at the time this act is intended to 
take effect, twenty years. It enjoys an exclusive privilege 
of hanking under the authority of the General Govern- 
ment, a monopoly of its favor and support, and, as a ne- 
cessary consequence, almost a monopoly of the foreign 
and domestic exchange. The powers, privileges, and fa- 
vors'bestowed upon it, in the original charter, by increas- 
ing the value of the stock far above its par value, operat- 
ed as a gratuity of many millions to the stockholders. 

An apology may be found for the failure to guard 
against this result, in consideration that the effect of the 
original act of incorporation could not be certainly fore- 
seen at the time of its passage. The act before me pro- 
poses another gratuity to the holders of the same stock, 
and, in many cases, to the same men, of at least seven 
millions more. This donation finds no apology in any un- 
certainty as to the effect of the act. On all hands it is 
conceded that its passage will increase at least twenty or 
thirty per cent, more, the market price of the stock, sub- 
ject to the payment of the annuity of $200,000 per year, 
secured by the act ; thus adding, in a moment, one fourth 
to its par value. It is not our own citizens only who are 
to receive the bounty of our government. More than 
eight millions of the stock of this Bank are held by 
foreigners. By this act the American republic proposes 
virtually to make them a present of some millions of 
dollars. For these gratuities to foreigners, and to some 
of our own opulent citizens, the act secures no equivalent 
whatever. They are the certain gains of the present 
stockholders under the operation of this act, after making 
full allowance for the payment of the bonus. 

Every monopoly, and all exclusive privileges, are 
granted at the expense of the public, which ought to re- 


ceive a fair equivalent. The many millions which this 
net proposes to bestow on the stockholders of the existing 
Bank, must come, directly or indirectly, ont of the earn- 
ings of the American people. It is due to them, there- 
fore, if their government sell monopolies and exclusive 
privileges, that they should at least exact for them as 
much as they are worth in open market. The value of 
the monopoly in this case may be correctly ascertained. 
The twenty-eight millions of stock would probably be at 
an advance of fifty per cent., and command in market at 
least forty-two millions of dollars, subject to the payment 
of the present bonus. The present value of the mono- 
poly, therefore, is seventeen millions of dollars, and this 
the act proposes to sell for three millions, payable in fif- 
teen annual instalments of $200,000 each. 

Tt is not conceivable how the present stockholders can 
have any claim to the special favor of the government. 
The present corporation has enjoyed its monopoly during 
the period stipulated in the original contract. If we must 
have such a corporation, why should not the government 
sell out the whole stock, and thus secure to the people 
the full market value of the privileges granted ? Why 
should not Congress create and sell twenty-eight millions 
of stock, incorporating the purchasers with all the powers 
and privileges secured in this act, and putting the pre- 
mium upon the sales into the Treasury ? 

But this act does not permit competition in the purchase 
of this monopoly. It seems to be predicated on the erro- 
neous idea, that the present stockholders have a prescrip- 
tive right, not only to the favor but to the bounty of 
government, tt appears that more than a fourth part of 
the stock is held by foreigners, and the residue is held by 
a few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of the richest 
class: for their benefit does this act exclude the whole 
American people from competition in the purchase of thi« 


monopoly, and dispose of it for many millions less than 
it is worth. This seems the less excusable, because some 
of our citizens, not now stockholders, petitioned that the 
door of competition might be opened, and offer to take a 
charter on terms much more favorable to the government 
and country. 

But this proposition, although made by men whose ag- 
gregate wealth is believed to be equal to all the private 
.stock in the existing Bank, has been set aside, and the 
bounty of our government is proposed to be again bestowed 
on the few who have been fortunate enough to secure the 
stock, and, at this moment, wield the power of the exist- 
ing institution. I cannot perceive the justice or policy of 
this course. If our government must sell monopolies, 
it would seem to be its duty to take nothing less than their 
full value ; and if gratuities must be made once in fifteen 
or twenty years, let them not be bestowed on the subjects 
of a foreign government, nor upon a designated and favor- 
ed class of men in our own country. It is but justice 
and good policy, as far as the nature of the case will ad- 
mit, to confine our favors to our own fellow citizens, and 
let each in his turn enjoy an opportunity to profit by our 
bounty. In the bearings of the act before me upon these 
points, I find ample reasons why it should not become a law. 

It has been urged as an argument in favor of re-charter- 
ing the present Bank, that the calling in its loans will 
produce great embarrassment and distress. The time 
allowed to close its concerns, is ample, and if it has been 
well managed, its pressure will be light, and heavy only 
in case its management has been bad. If, therefore, it 
shall produce distress, the fault will be its own, and it 
would furnish a reason against renewing a power which 
has been so obviously abused. But, will there ever be a 
ime when this reason will be less powerful? To ac- 
knowledge its force, is to admit that the Bank ought to be 


perpetual, and as a consequence, the present stockholders, 
and those inheriting their rights, as successors, be estab- 
lished a privileged order, clothed both with great political 
power and enjoying immense pecuniary advantages from 
their connexion with the government. 

The modifications of the existing charter, proposed by 
this act, are not such, in my view, as make it consistent 
with the rights of the States or the liberties of the people. 
The qualification of the right of the Bank to hold real 
estate, the limitation of its power to establish branches, 
and the power reserved to Congress to forbid the circula- 
tion of small notes, are restrictions comparatively of little 
value or importance. All the objectionable principles of 
the existing corporation, and most of its odious features, 
are retained without alleviation. 

The fourth section provides, " that the notes or bills of 
the said corporation, although the same be on the faces 
thereof, respectively, made payable at one place only, shall, 
nevertheless, be received by the said corporation at the 
Bank, or at any of the ofiices of discount and deposit 
thereof, if tendered in liquidation or payment of any 
balance or balances, due to said corporation, or to such 
ofllice of discount and deposit, from any other incorporated 
Bank." This provision secures to the State Bank a 
legal privilege in the Bank of the United States, which 
is withheld from all private citizens. If a State Bank in 
Philadelphia, owe the Bank of the United States, and 
have notes issued by the St. Louis Branch, it can pay the 
debt with those notes; but if a merchant, mechanic, or 
other private citizen, be in like circumstances, he cannot 
by law pay his debt with those notes, but must sell them 
at a discount, or send them to St. Louis to be cashed. This 
boon, conceded to the State Banks, though not unjust in 
itself, is most odious, because it does not measure out equal 
justice to the high and low, the rich and the poor. To 


the extent of its practical effect, it is a bond of union 
among the banking establishments of the nation, erecting 
them into an interest, separate from that of the people, and 
its necessary tendency is to unite the Bank of the United 
Slates and the State Banks in any measure which may be 
thought conducive to their common interest. 

The niiith section of the act recognizes principles of 
worse tendency than any provision of the present charter. 

It enacts that " the cashier of the Bank shall annually 
report to the Secretary of the Treasury the names of all 
stockholders who are not resident citizens of the United 
States, and on the application of the Treasurer of any 
state, shall make out and transmit to such Treasurer, a 
list of stockholders lesiding in, or citizens of such state, 
with the amount of stock owned by each." Ahhough 
this provision, taken in connexion with a decision of the 
Supreme Court, surrenders, by its silence, the right of the 
states to tax the banking institutions created by this cor- 
poration, under the name of branches throughout the 
union, — it is evidently intended to be construed as a con- 
cession of their right to tax that portion of the stock 
vrhich may be held by their own citizens and residents. 
In this light, if the act becomes a law, it will be under- 
stood by the states, who will probably proceed to levy a 
tax equal to that paid upon the stock of banks incorpo- 
rated by themselves. In some states that tax is now one 
per cent., either on the capital or on the shares, and that 
may be assumed as the amount which all citizens or resi- 
dent stockholders will be taxed under the operation of this 
act. As it is only the stock held in the states, and not that 
employed within them, which would be subject to taxation ; 
and as the names of foreign stockholders are not to be re- 
ported to the Treasurers of the states, it is obvious that 
the stock held by them will be exempt from this burden. 
Their annual profits will, therefore, be one per cent. 


more than the citizen stockholders, and as the annual di- 
vidends of the Bank may be safely estimated at seven per 
cent., the stock will be worth ten or fifteen percent, more 
to foreigners than to citizens of the United States. To 
appreciate the effects which this state of things will pro- 
duce, we must take a brief review of the operations and 
present condition of the Bank of the United States. 

By documents submitted to Congress at the present ses- 
sion, it appears that ou the 1st of January, 1832, of the 28 
millions of private stock in the corporation, S8,405,500 
were held by foreigners, mostly of Great Britain. The 
amount of stock held in the nine western and southwest- 
ern states, is 8140,200 ; and in the four southern states, 
is $5,623,100; and in the middle and eastern states, is 
about $13,522,000. The profits of the Bank in 1831, as 
shown in a statement to Congress, were about $3,455,598, 
of this there accrued in the nine western stales, about 
t^l, 640,048; in the four southern states, about $352,507 ; 
and in the middle and eastern states, about 1,463,041. 
As little stock is held in the west, it is obvious that the 
debt of the people in that section, to the Bank, is princi- 
pally a debt to the eastern and foreign stockholders ; that 
I he interest they pay upon it is carried into the eastern 
states and into Europe ; and that it is a burden upon their 
industry and a drain of their currency which no country 
can bear without inconvenience and occasional distress. 
To meet this burden, and equalize the exchange opera- 
tions of the Bank, the amount of specie drawn from those 
^•tates through its branches within the last two years, as 
shown by its official reports, was about 86,000,000. More 
than half a million of this amount does not stop in tho 
eastern states, but passes on to Europe to pay the dividends 
of the foreign stockholders. In the principle of taxation 
recognized by this act, the western states find no adequate 
compensation for this perpetual burden on their industry. 


and drain of their currency. The Branch Bank at Mo- 
bile made, last year, $95,140; yet, under the provisiona 
of this act, the state of Alabama can raise no revenue from 
these profitable operations, because not a share of the 
stock is held b)^ any of her citizens. Mississippi and Mis- 
souri are in the same condition in relation to the branches 
at Natchez and St. Louis ; and such, in a greater or less 
degree, is the condition of every western state. 

The tendency of the plan of taxation which this act pro- 
poses, will be to place the whole U. States in the same 
relation to foreign countries, which the western states now 
bear to the eastern. When by a tax on resident stockhold- 
ers, the stock of this bank is made worth ten or fifteen 
per cent, more to foreigners than to residents, most of it 
will inevitably leave the country. 

Thus will this provision, in its practical effect, deprive 
the eastern, as well as the southern and western states, of 
ihe means of raising a revenue from the extension of busi- 
ness, and great profits of this institution. It will make 
the American people debtors to aliens in nearly the whole 
amount due to this Bank, and send across the Atlantic 
from two to five millions of specie every year to pay the 
Bank dividends. 

In another of its bearings this provision is fraught with 
danger. Of the twenty-five directors of this Bank, five 
are chosen by the government, and twenty by the citizen 
stockholders. From all voice in these elections, the fo- 
reign stockholders are excluded by the charter. In pro- 
portion, therefore, as the stock is transferred to foreign 
holders, the extent of suffrage in the choice of directors is 
j-.urtailed. Already is almost a third of the stock in foreign 
hands, and not represented in elections. It is constantly 
passing out of the country, and this act will accelerate its 
departure. The entire control of the institutionwould ne- 
cessarily fall into the hands of the few citizen stockholders, 


and the ease with which the object would be accomplish- 
ed, would be a temptation to designing- men to secure that 
control in their own hands by monopolizingthe remaininj^ 
stock. There is danger that a President and Directors 
would then be able to elect themselves from year to year, 
and without responsibility or control, manage the whole 
concerns of the Bank during the existence of its charter. 
It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and 
its institutions might flow from such a concentration of 
power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people. 

Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a 
Bank, that in its nature has so little to bind it to our coun- 
try ? The President of the Bank has told us, that most 
of the state banks exist by its forbearance. Should its in- 
fluence become concentrated, as it may under the opera- 
tion of such an act as this, in the hands of a self-elected 
Directory, whose interests are identified w^ith those of the 
foreign stockholder, will there not be cause to tremble for 
the puiity of our elections in peace, and for our indepen- 
dence in w^ar ? Their power would be great whenever they 
might choose to exert it ; but if this monopoly were regu- 
larly renewed every fifteen or twenty years, on terms pro- 
posed by themselves, they might seldom, in peace, put 
forth their strength to influence elections or control the 
affairs of the nation. But, if any private citizen, or public 
functionary, should interpose to curtail its powers or pre- 
vent a renewal of its privileges, it cannot be doubted that 
he would be made to feel its influence. 

Should the stock of the Bank principally pass into the 
hands of the subjects of a foreign country, and we should 
unfortunately become involved in a war with that country, 
what would be our condition ? Of the course which would 
be pursued by a Bank almost wholly owned by the sub- 
jects of a foreign power, and managed by those whose in- 
terests, if not afTections, would run in the same direction. 


there can be no doubt. All its operations within, would 
be in aid of the hostile fleets and armies without ; control- 
ing our currency ; receiving our public moneys, and hold- 
ing thousands of our citizens in dependance, it would be 
more formidable and dangerous than the naval and mili- 
tary power of the enemy. 

If we must have a Bank with private stockholders, 
every consideration of sound policy, and every impulse of 
American feeling, admonish that it should be purely 
American. Its stockholders should be composed exclu- 
sively of our own citizens, who, at least, ought to be friend- 
ly to our government, and willing to support it in times of 
difficulty and danger. So abundant is domestic capital, that 
competition, in subscribing for the stock of local banks, 
has recently led almost to riots. To a Bank, exclusively 
of American stockholders, possessing the powers and pri- 
vileges granted by this act, subscriptions for two hundred 
millions of dollars could be readily obtained. Instead of 
sending abroad the stock of the Bank, in which the go- 
vernment must deposit its funds, and on which it must rely 
to sustain its credit in times of emergency, it would ra- 
ther seem to be expedient to prohibit its sales to aliens 
under penalty of absolute forfeiture. 

It is maintained by the advocates of the Bank that its con- 
stitutionality in all its features ought to be considered as 
settled by precedent, and by the decision of the Supreme 
Court. To this conclusion, I cannot assent. Mere pre- 
cedent is a dangerous source of authority, and should not 
be regarded as deciding questions of constitutional power, 
except where the acquiescence of the people and the States 
can be considered as well settled. So far from this being 
the case on this subject, an argument against the Bank 
might be based on precedent. One Congress in 1791 der 
cided in favor of a Bank ; another in 1811 decided against 
it. One Congress in 1815, decided against a Bank ; ano- 


ther in 1816 decided in its favor. Prior to the present 
Congress, therefore, the precedents drawn from that 
source were equal. If we resort to the States, the expres- 
sions of Legislative, Judicial, and Executive opinions 
against the Bank, have been probably to those in its fa- 
vor, as four to one. There is nothing in precedent, there- 
fore, which, if its authority were admitted, ought to weigh 
in favor of the act before me. 

If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole 
ground of this act, it ought not to control the co-ordinate 
authorities of this government. The Congress, the Exe- 
cutive, and the Court, must each for itself be guided by its 
own opinion of the constitution. Each public officer, who 
takes an oath to support the constitution, swears that he 
will support it as he understands it, and not as it is under- 
stood by others. It is as much the duty of the house of 
representatives, of the senate, and of the President, to de- 
cide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution 
which may be presented to them for passage or approval, 
as it is of the supreme judges, when it may be brought be- 
fore them for judicial decision. The opinion of the judg- 
es has no more authority over Congress than the opinion 
of Congress has over the judges, and on that point the Pre- 
sident is independent of both. The authority of the Su- 
preme Court must not, therefore, be permitted to control 
the Congress or the Executive, when acting in their le- 
gislative capacities, but to have only such influence as the 
force of their reasoning may deserve. 

But in the case relied upon, the Supreme Court have 
not decided that all the features of this corporation are 
compatible with the constitution. It is true that the Court 
have said that the law incorporating the Bank is a consti- 
tutional exercise of power by Congress. But, taking into 
view the whole opinion of the Court, and the reasoning 
bv which they have come to that conclusion, I understand 



them to have decided that, inasmuch as a bank is an ap- 
propriate means for carrying into effect the enumerated 
powers of the general government, therefore, the law in- 
corporating it is in accordance with that provision of 
the constitution which declares that Congress shall " have 
power to make all laws which shall be necessary and pro- 
per for carrying those powers into execution." Having 
satisfied themselves that the word " necessary,'''' in the 
constitution, means ''needful,'' " requisite,'''' ''essential,'^ 
*' conducive to,'' and that " a bank" is a convenient, a 
useful and essential instrument in the prosecution of the 
government's " fiscal operations," they conclude, that to 
" use one must be within the discretion of Congress," and 
that " the act to incorporate the Bank of the U. States is a 
law made in pursuance of the constitution :" "but," say 
they, ''where the law is not prohibited, and is really 
calculated to effect any of the objects entrusted to the 
government, to undertake here to inquire into the de- 
gree of its necessity, would be to pass the line which 
circumscribes the judicial department, and to tread on 
legislative ground." 

The principle here affirmed is, that " the degree of its 
necessity," involving all the details of a banking institu- 
tion, is a question exclusively for legislative consideration. 
A bank is constitutional ; but it is the province of the le- 
gislature to determine whether this or that particular 
power, privilege or exemption is *' necessary and proper" 
to enable the Bank to discharge its duties to the govern- 
ment, and from their decision there is no appeal to the 
courts of justice. Under the decision of the Supreme Court, 
therefore, it is the exclusive province of Congress and the 
President to decide, whether the particular features of this 
act are " necessary and proper," in order to enable the 
Bank to perform conveniently and efficiently the public 
duties assigned to it as a fiscal agent, and therefore consti- 


tutional, or unnecessary and improper^ and therefore un- 

Without commenting on the general principle affirmed 
by the Supreme Court, let us examine the details of this act 
in accordance with the rule of legislative action which they 
have laid down. It will be found that many of the powers 
and privileges conferred on it, cannot be supposed necessary 
for the purpose for which it is proposed to be created, and 
are not therefore means necessary to attain the end in view, 
and consequently not justified by the constitution. 

The original act of incorporation, section 21 , enacts " that 
no other Bank shall be established by any future law of 
the United States during the continuance of the corporation 
hereby created, for which the faith of the United States is 
hereby pledged, Provided, Congress may renew existing 
charters for Banks within the District of Columbia, not 
increasing the capital thereof, and may also establish any 
other Bank or Banks in said district, with capitals not ex- 
ceeding in the whole six millions of dollars, if they shall 
deem it expedient." This provision is continued in force, by 
the act before me, fifteen years from the 3d of March, 1836. 
. If Congress possessed the power to establish one Bank, 
they had power to establish more than one, if, in their 
opinion, two or more bank, had been " necessary" to faci- 
litate the execution of the powers delegated to them in the 
constitution. If they possessed the power to establish a 
second bank, it was a power derived from the constitution, 
to be exercised from time to time, and at any time when 
the interests of the country or the emergencies of the 
government might make it expedient. It was possessed 
by one Congress as well as another, and by all Congresses 
alike, and alike at every session. But the Congress of 
1816 has taken it away from their successors for twenty 
years, and the Congress of 1832 proposes to abolish it for 
fifteen years more. It cannot be " necessary^'' ox ^^proper^^ 


for Congress to barter away or divest themselves of any oi 
the powers, vested in them by the constitution, to be exer- 
cised for the public good. It is not '■^ necessary''^ to the 
efficiency of the Bank, nor is it '■^proper'''' in relation to 
themselves and their successors. They may properly use 
the discretion vested in them ; but they may not limit the 
discretion of their successors. This restriction on them- 
selves and grant of a monopoly to the Bank, is, therefore, 

In another point of view, this provision is a palpable at- 
tempt to amend the constitution by an act of legislation. 
The constitution declares that the " Congress shall have 
power to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases what- 
soever," over the District of Columbia. Its constitutional 
power, therefore, to establish Banks in the District of 
Columbia, and increase their capital at will, is unlimited 
and uncontrollable by any other power than that which 
gave authority to the constitution. Yet this act declares 
that Congress shall not increase the capital of existing 
Banks, nor create other Banks Avith capitals exceeding in 
the whole six millions of dollars. The Constitution de- 
clares, that Congress shall have power to exercise exclu- 
sive legislation over this District, " in all cases whatso- 
ever ;" and this act declares they shall not. Which is the 
supreme law of the land ? This provision cannot be 
" necessary,'^'' or ^'' proper ^^'' or constitutional^ unk'ss the 
absurdity be admitted, that whenever it be '• necessary and 
proper," in the opinion of Congress, they have a right to 
barter away one portion of the powers vested in them by 
the Constitution as a means of executing the rest. 

On two subjects only does the Constitution recognise in 
Congress the power to grant exclusive privileges or mono- 
polies. It declares that " Congress shall have power to 
promote the progress of science and useful arts, by secur- 
ing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, the ex- 


elusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." 
Out of this express delegation of power, have grown our 
laws of patents and copyrights. As the Constitution ex- 
pressly delegates to Congress the power to grant exclusive 
privileges in these cases as the means of executing the 
substantive power '* to promote the progress of science and 
useful arts," it is consistent with the fair rules of construc- 
tion to conclude that such a power was not intended to be 
granted as a means of accomplishing any other end. On 
every other subject which comes within the scope of Con- 
gressional power, there is an ever living discretion in the 
use of proper means which cannot be restricted or abolished 
without an amendment of the Constitution. Every act of 
Congress, therefore, which attempts by grants of mono- 
polies, or sale of exclusive privileges for a limited time, 
or a time without limit, to restrict or extinguish its own 
discretion in the choice of means to execute its delegated 
powers, is equivalent to a legislative amendment of the 
constitution, and palpably unconstitutional. 

This act authorises and encourages transfers of its stock 
to foreigners, and grants them an exemption from all state 
and national taxation. So far from being '■'■ necessary and 
proper''^ that the bank should possess this power, to make 
it a safe and efficient agent of the Government in its fiscal 
operations, it is calculated to convert the Bank of the 
United States into a foreign bank, to impoverish our peo- 
ple in time of peace, to disseminate a foreign influence 
thi ough every section of the republic — and in war, to en- 
danger our independence. 

The several States reserved the power at the formation 
of the constitution, to regulate and control titles and trans- 
fers of real property, and most, if not all of them, hare 
laws disqualifying aliens from acquiring or holding lands 
within their limits. But this act, in disregard of the un- 
doubted right of the States to prescribe such disqualihca- 


tions, gives to aliens, stockholders in this Bank, an interest 
and title, as members of the corporation, to all the real 
property it may acquire within any of the States of this 
Union. This privilege granted to aliens is not " neces- 
sary,'' to enable the Bank to perform its public duties, nor 
in any sense ''proper,'' because it is vitally subversive of 
the rights of the States. 

The government of the United States have no constitu- 
tional power to purchase lands within the States, except 
'' for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards, 
and other needful buildings," and even for these objects 
only "by the consent of the legislature of the state in 
which the same shall be." By making themselves stock- 
holders in the Bank, and granting to the corporation the 
power to purchase lands for other purposes, they assume 
a power not granted in the constitution, and grant to others 
what they do not themselves possess. It is not necessary 
to the receiving, safekeeping, or transmission of the funds 
of the government, that the Bank should possess this 
power, and it is not proper that Congress should thus 
enlarge the powers delegated to them in the constitution. 

The old Bank of the United States possessed a capital 
of only eleven millions of dollars, which was found fully 
sufficient to enable it, with despatch and safety, to perform 
all the functions required of it by the government. The 
capital of the present Bank is thirty-five millions of dol- 
lars — at least twenty-four more than experience has 
proved to be necessary to enable a bank to perform its 
public functions. The public debt which existed during 
the period of the old Bank, and on the establishment of 
the new, has been nearly paid off, and our revenue will 
soon be reduced. This increase of capital is, therefore, 
not for public, but for private purposes. 

The government is the only " proper" judge where its 
agents should reside and keep their offices, because it best 


knows where their presence will be " necessary.''* It can- 
not, therefore, be ' necessary'' or ^proper'' to authorize the 
Bank to locate branches where it pleases, to perform the 
public service, without consulting- the government, and 
contrary to its w^ill. The principle laid down by the Su- 
preme Court concedes, that Congress cannot establish a 
bank for purposes of private speculation and gain, but only 
as a means of executing the delegated powers of the gene- 
ral government. By the same principle, a branch bank 
cannot constitutionally be established for other than public 
purposes. The power which this act gives to establish 
two branches in any State without the injunction or request 
of the government, and for other than public purposes, is 
not ' necessary' to the due execution of the powers delegat- 
ed to Congress. 

The bonus which is exacted from the Bank is a confes- 
sion upon the face of the act, that the powers granted by 
it are greater than are 'necessary'' to its character of a 
fiscal agent. The government does not tax its officers and 
agents for the privilege of serving it. The bonus of a 
million and a half, required by the original charter, and 
that of three millions proposed by this act, are not exacted 
for the privilege of giving " the necessary facilities for 
transferring the public funds from place to place, within 
the United States, or the territories thereof, and for dis- 
tributing the same in payment of the public creditors, 
without charging commission or claiming allowance on ac- 
count of the difference of exchange" as required by the act 
of incorporation, but for something more beneficial to the 
stockholders. The original act declares, that it (the bonus) 
is granted "in consideration of the exclusive privileges 
and benefits conferred by this act upon the said Bank," 
and the act before me declares it to be, "in consideration 
of the exclusive benefits and privileges continued by this 
act to the said corporation for fifteen years as aforesaid." 


It IS, therefore, for "exclusive privileges and benefits'* 
conferred for their own use and emolument, and not for 
the advantage of the government, that a bonus is exacted. 
These surplus powers, for which the Bank is required to 
pay, cannot surely be *' necessary,^'' to make it the fiscal 
agent of the treasury. Tf they were, the exaction of a 
bonus for them would not be ^^froper^ 

It is maintained by some, that the Bank is a means of 
executing the constitutional power " to coin money and 
regulate the value thereof." Congress have established 
a mint to coin money, and passed laws to regulate the 
value thereof The money so coined, with its value so 
regulated, and such foreign coins as Congress may adopt, 
are the only currency known to the constitution. But if 
they have other power to regulate the currency, it was 
conferred to be exercised by themselves and not to be 
transferred to a corporation. If the Bank be established 
for that purpose, with a charter unalterable, without its 
consent. Congress have parted with their power for a term 
of years, during which the constitution is a dead letter. 
It is neither necessary nor proper to transfer its legisla- 
tive power to such a Bank, and therefore unconstitutional. 

By its silence, considered in connexion with the de- 
cision of the Supreme Court in the case of McCulloch 
against the state of Maryland, this act takes from the states 
the power to tax a portion of the banking business carried 
on within their limits, in subversion of one of the strong- 
est barriers which secured them against federal encroach- 
ments. Banking, like farming, manufacturing, or any 
other occupation or profession, is a business, the right to 
follow which is not originally derived from the laws. 
Every citizen and every company of citizens in all our 
states, possessed the right until the state legislatures 
deemed it good policy to prohibit private banking by law. 
If the prohibitory state laws were now repealed, eyeiy 


citizen would again possess the right. The state banks are 
a qualified restoration of the right which has been taken 
away by the laws against banking, guarded by such pro- 
visions and limitations as in the opinion of the state legis- 
latures, the public interest requires. These corporations, 
unless there be an exemption in their charter, are, like 
private bankers and banking companies, subject to state 
taxation. The manner in which these taxes shall be laid 
depends wholly on legislative discretion. It may be upon 
the bank, upon the stock, upon the profits, or in any 
other mode which the sovereign power shall will. 

Upon the formation of the constitution, the states 
guarded their taxing power with peculiar jealousy. They 
surrendered it only as it regards imports and exports. In 
relation to every other object within their jurisdiction, 
whether persons, property, business or profession, it was 
secured in as ample a manner as it was before possessed. 
All persons, though United States officers, are liable to a 
poll tax by the states within which they reside ; the lands 
of the U. States are liable to the usual land tax, except in 
the new states, from whom agreements, that they will not 
tax unsold lands, are exacted when they are admitted into 
the Union : horses, wagons, any beasts or vehicles, tools 
or property, belonging to private citizens, though employ- 
ed in the service of the U. S., are subject to state taxation. 
Every private business, whether carried on by an officer 
of the general government or not, whether it be mixed 
with public concerns or not, even if it be carried on by the 
government of the U. S. itself, separately or in partner- 
ship, falls within the scope of the taxing power of the 
state. Nothing comes more fully within it than banks and 
the business of banking, by whomsoever instituted and 
carried on. Over this whole subject matter, it is just as 
absolute, unlimited, and uncontrollable, as if the constitu- 
tion had never been adopted, because in the formation ©f 
that instrument, it was reserved without qualification. 


The principle is conceded, that the states cannot right- 
fully tax the operations of the general government. They 
cannot tax the money of the government deposited in the 
state Banks, nor the agency of those Banks in remitting it ; 
but will any man maintain that their mere selection to 
perform this public service for the general government, 
would exempt the state Banks and their ordinary business 
from state taxation ? Had the United States, instead of 
establishing a Bank at Philadelphia, employed a private 
Banker to keep and transmit their funds, would it have 
deprived Pennsylvania of the right to tax his Bank and 
his usual Banking operations ? It will not be pretended. 
Upon what principle, then, are the banking establish- 
ments of the Bank of the United States and their usual 
banking operations, to be exempted from taxation. It is 
not their public agency or the deposits of the government 
which the states claim a right to tax, but their banks and 
their banking powers, instituted and exercised within state 
jurisdiction for their private emolument — those powers and 
privileges for which they pay a bonus, and which the 
states tax in their own banks. The exercise of these 
powers within a state, no matter by whom, or under 
what authority, whether by private citizens in their 
original right, by corporate bodies created by the states, 
by foreigners or the agents of foreign governments 
located within their limits, forms a legitimate object of 
state taxation. From this, and like sources, from the 
persons, property, and business, that are found residing, 
located, or carried on under their jurisdiction, must the 
states, since the surrender of the right to raise a revenue 
from imports and exports, draw all the money necessary for 
the support of their governments, and the maintenance of 
their independence. There is no more appropriate subject 
of taxation than banks, banking and bank stock, and none 
to which the states ought more pertinaciously to cling. 


It cannot be necessary to the character of the bank, as a 
fiscal agent of the government, that its private business 
should be exempted from that taxation to which all the 
state banks are liable ; nor can I conceive it " proper''^ 
that the substantive and most essential powers reserved 
by the states shall be thus attacked and annihilated as a 
means of executing the powers delegated to the general 
government. It may be safely assumed that none of 
those sages who had an agency in forming or adopting 
our constitution ever imagined that any portion of the 
taxing power of the states, not prohibited to them nor 
delegated to Congress, was to be swept away and anni- 
hilated as a means of executing certain powers delegated 
10 Congress. 

If our power over means is so absolute that the Supreme 
Court will not call in question the constitutionality of an 
act of Congress, the subject of which is " not prohibited, 
and is really calculated to effect any of the objects entrust- 
ed to the government," although, as in the case before me, 
it takes away powers expressly granted to Congress, and 
rights scrupulously reserved to the States, it becomes us 
to proceed in our legislation with the utmost caution. 
Though not directly, our own powers and the rights of 
the states may be indirectly legislated away in the use of 
means to execute substantive powers. We may not enact 
that Congress shall not have the power of exclusive legis- 
lation over the district of Columbia, but w^e may pledge 
the faith of the United States that, as a means of executing 
other powers, it shall not be exercised for twenty years or 
forever. We may not pass an act prohibiting the states 
to tax the banking business carried on within their limits, 
but we may, as a means of executing our powers over 
other objects, place that business in the hands of our 
agents, and then declare it exempt from the state taxa- 
tion in their hands. Thus may our own powers and the 


rights of the states', which we cannot directly curtail 
or invade, be frittered away and extinguished in the use 
of means employed by us to execute other powers. 

That a bank of the U. States, competent to all the duties 
which may be required by the Government, might be 
so organized as not to infringe on our own delegated 
powers, or the reserved rights of the states, I do not enter- 
tain a doubt. Had the Executive been called upon to 
furnish the project of such an institution, the duty would 
have been cheerfully performed. In the absence of such 
a call, it was obviously proper that he should confine 
himself to pointing out those prominent features in the act 
presented, which, in his opinion, make it incompatible 
with the Constitution and sound policy. A general dis- 
cussion will now take place, eliciting new light and 
settling important principles ; and a new Congress, 
elected in the midst of such discussion, and furnishing an 
equal representation of the people according to the last 
census, will bear to the Capitol the verdict of public 
opinion, and I doubt not bring this important question to 
a satisfactory result. 

Under such circumstances, the Bank comes forward 
and asks a renewal of its charter for a term of fifteen 
years, upon conditions which not only operate as a gra- 
tuity to the stockholders of many millions of dollars, but 
will sanction any abuses, and legalize any encroachments. 

Suspicions are entertained, and charges are made, of 
gross abuse and violation of its charter. An investiga- 
tion, unwillingly conceded, and so restricted in time as 
necessarily to make it incomplete and unsatisfactory, 
discloses enough to excite suspicion and alarm. 

In the practices of the principal Bank partially un- 
veiled, in the absence of important witnesses, and in 
numerous charges, confidently made, and as yet wholly 
uninvestigated, there was enough to induce a majority of 


the committee of investigation, a committee which was 
selected from the most able and honourable members 
01 the house of representatives, to recommend a suspension 
of further action upon the bill, and a prosecution of the 
inquiry. As the charter had yet four years to run, and 
as a renewal now was not necessary to the successful 
prosecution of its business, it was to have been expected 
that the Bank itself, conscious of its purity and proud of 
its character, would have withdrawn its application for 
the present, and demanded the severest scrutiny into all its 
transactions. In their declining to do so, there seems to 
be an additional reason why the functionaries of the 
government should proceed with less haste and more 
caution in the renewal of their monopoly. 

The bank is professedly established as an agent of the 
Executive branches of the government, and its constitution- 
ality is maintained on that ground. Neither upon the pro- 
priety of the present action nor upon the provisions of this 
act was the Executive consulted. It has had no opportu- 
nity to say that it neither needs nor wants any agent clothed 
with such powers, and favored by such exemptions. There 
IS nothing in its legitimate functions which make it ne- 
cessary or proper. Whatever interest or influence* 
whether public or private, has given birth to this act, it 
cannot be found either in the wishes or necessities of the 
Executive Department, by which present action is deemed 
premature, and the powers conferred upon its agent not 
only unnecessary, but dangerous to the government and 

It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often 
bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. 
Distinctions in society will always exist under every 
just government. Equality of talents, of education, 
or of wealth, cannot be produced by human institutions. 
In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven, and the fruits 


of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is 
equally entitled to protection by law. But when the laws 
undertake to add to these natural and just advantages, ar- 
tificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive 
privileges, to make the rich richer, and the potent more 
powerful, the humble members of society, the farmers, 
mechanics, and labourers, who have neither the time nor 
the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a 
right to complain of the injustice of their government. 

There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils 
exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal 
protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its fa- 
vors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor ; 
it would be an unqualified blessing. In the act before me, 
there seems to be a wide and unnecessary departure from 
these just principles. Nor is our government to be maintain- 
ed, or our Union preserved, by invasions of the rights and 
powers of the several States. In thus attempting to make 
our general government strong, we make it weak. Its true 
strength consists in leaving individuals and states, as much 
as possible, to themselves — in making itself felt, not in its 
power but in its beneficence, not in its control but in its pro- 
tection, not in binding the States more closely to the centre, 
but leaving each to move unobstructed in its proper orbit. 

Experience should teach us wisdom. Most of the diffi- 
culties our government now encounters, and most of the 
dangers which impend over our Union, have sprung from 
an abandonment of the legitimate objects of government by 
our national legislation, and the adoption of such princi- 
ples as are embodied in this act. Many of our rich men 
have not been content with equal protection and equal be- 
nefits ; but have besought us to make them richer by acts 
of Congress. By attempting to gratify their desires, we 
have in the results of our legislation, arrayed section 
against section, interest against interest, and man against 


man, in a fearful commotion which threatens to shake the 
foundations of our Union. It is time to pause in our ca- 
reer, to review our principles, and if possible to revive 
that devoted patriotism and spirit of compromise, which 
diiitinguished the sages of the revolution, and the fathers 
of our Union. If we cannot at once, in justice to inter- 
ests vested under improvident legislation, make our go- 
vernment what it ought to be, we can at least take a stand 
aq-ainst all new grants of monopolies, and exclusive privi- 
leges, against any prostitution of our government, to the 
advancement of the few at the expense of the many, and 
in favor of compromise and gradual reform in our code 
of laws and system of political economy. 

I have now done my duty to my country. If sustained 
by my fellow-citizens, I shall be grateful and happy ; if not 
I shall find in the motives which impel me, ample grounds 
for contentment and peace. In the difficuhies Avhich sur- 
round us, and the dangers which threaten our institutions, 
there is cause for neither dismay nor alarm. For relief 
and deliverance, let us firmly rely on that kind Provi- 
dence which, I am sure, watches with peculiar care over 
the destinies of our republic, and on the intelligence and 
wisdom of our countrymen. Through His abundant 
goodness and their patriotic devotion, our liberty and 
Union will be preserved. 

Andrew Jackson. 

Washington, July 10, 1832. 

The sensations produced throughout the union on the 
promulgation of the veto message, were such as were 
never before created, by the exercise of a similar execu- 
tive power. A large majority of the American people, 
it is believed, wished for it, and expected it ; and yet, when 
it came, they were struck with wonder and admiration at 
the fearlessness, purity, and patiotism of the man, who, 
auder such circumstances, had dared to perform so much 

412 Bi06RAi»HV OF 

for his country. The following remarks on the subjec? 
of the veto message, by the conducter of a public journal, 
politically opposed to General Jackson, are magnanimous 
and just : 

*' It is a remarkable state paper, and its production will 
long be remembered by the people of the United States, 
and will, as we hope and trust, teach many of them that 
we have one man among us at least, who is resolved to 
preserve the constitution, and who is not ready to gran! 
monopolies to the few, in defiance of the constitution, to 
the deep injury of the many, and the total subversion of 
ihe legitimate principles of republican independence. 

" The hostility of General Jackson to the present bank 
of the United States, is not only remarkable for its ardor, 
but for its lofty carriage, and manly independence. Any 
other man than Andrew Jackson, standing in the relation 
of a candidate for the presidency of the United States, 
would have supported the bank bill from pure fear of con- 
sequences ; and it is not improper to add, in this place, 
that more than one public personage, on the catalogue of 
candidates for high offices, has supported the bank of the 
United States, from an impression and firm belief that the 
influence of a monied power, the influence of a mighty 
bank, would accelerate his march towards the political 
goal at which he aimed. If General Jackson was not a 
bold and fearless man, he would not venture to assail an 
institution possessing the immense wealth and patronage 
that the United States bank does ; — if he was not honest, 
he would not dare expose its iniquity, its corruption, and 
its base designs upon the constitution of the country. li 
Andrew Jackson was not an honest man, a man who looks 
to the happiness of his fellow-citizens, before he stops to 
count the effect which this or that step will have on his 
popularity, he would have favored the bank bill, and thus 
secured its patronage and the friendship of its ten thou- 


sand hanger« on and partisans. If he had advocated and 
sanctioned its re-charter, he would have secured the vote 
of every president, stockholder, cashier, under officer, 
and porter ; but with an independence of mind, which 
would seem to scorn to purchase popularity at the expense 
of the true interest of the people, he has opposed the pro- 
ject of re-chartering the bank of the United States, and 
has thus nobly and manfully discharged his duty. We 
admire him for the design, and we honor him for the com- 
pletion of the act. 

" The effect of the veto cannot be mistaken, nor can its 
consequences fail to find a timely appreciation in the bosom 
of every patriot, every friend of the union. It will place 
the banking operations of the country on their proper 
footing — it will sustain the states in the free exercise of 
their rights, and it will teach foreign capitalists that they 
cannot place their funds in this country, without their 
being subject to the same burdens and taxations that are 
endured by the American people. It will teach all, that 
monopolies will nol be granted, and that the few shall not 
be favored at the expense of the many, and that this is a 
country where equal rights and equal liberty is alike se- 
cured to all classes of human society. 

" The rigid demands upon the dimensions of our columns 
by another subject, forbid that we should indulge in these 
remarks to the extent that w^e contemplated, and we must 
dismiss the message of General Jackson, with the hope 
that a document so able and so important, Avill be found in 
the hands of every citizen of the United States. It is a 
production that the American people have just cause to be 
proud of; — it reflects immortal honor on the head and 
hand of the president, and in future ages will be hailed 
as the proudest eminence in the landmarks of pre-emi- 
nence and patriotic devotion. In saying this much, we 
do ample and exact justice to the president ; we yield to 


him what his conduct has merited, and offer to him the 
Increase of individual and humble approbation. The 
message cannot be successfully assailed by any of the 
master spirits of the United States Congress ; indeed they 
have not attempted any thing of the kind, but beholding 
with wonder the splendor of the document, and the ma- 
jesty of mind, and purity of patriotic devotion, which it 
so ardently breathes, they look around them with amaze- 
ment and wonder at their own insignificance and puerility." 

The political party opposed to the re-election of General 
Jackson to the Presidency, evinced much exultation as 
the news of his rejection of the bill for re-chartering the 
Bank of the United States spread throughout the country. 
They augured a disgraceful termination of his political 
career in consequence ; partisan presses were loud and 
boisterous in their denunciations of the veto, and his 
enemies, one and all, looked forward in confident expecta- 
tion to the period of the election, when they imagined that 
General Jackson would reap the reward of his official act 
by a sad reverse in his political fortunes. 

The Bank itself adopted a most reprehensible course in 
reference to the election. All its powers were put in exer- 
cise to prevent the re-election of the man, who had opposed 
Its re-charter from the purest motives that ever actuated a 
patriot's breast. But the efforts of his enemies proved un- 
availing. The election took place, and resulted in his re- 
election by an overwhelming majority — a majority, beyond 
the expectations of his most sanguine friends. He re- 
ceived two hundred and nineteen of the two hundred and 
cighty-six electoral votes — an admirable demonstration of 
his popularity, and the approval of his official acts by the 
American people. 

Immediately after the presidential question was decided, 
the disaffection of a portion of the citizen^ of South-Caroli- 


na, in regard to tnc operation of the Tarifl' laws, began to 
assume a threatening aspect. The disatfected in that 
section, opposed to the Tariff^ boldly advocated the doc- 
trine of nullification : — meetings were held — inflammatory 
speeches were made and resolutions adopted, until at last 
these misguided men assembled in convention, and issued 
an Ordinance, indicative of their hostility to the Tarifl^ — 
10 the General Government, — to the President, and to the 
union of the States; teeming with violent and dangerous 
doctrines — doctrines, which, if carried into effect, would 
undermine the foundations on which rests the fair fabric of 
our civil polity — dismember the Union, and entail upon 
our country all the evils incident to internal divisions, and 
civil strife. 

President Jackson met the Ordinance promulgated by 
the Nullification party in South Carolina with his charac- 
teristic decision and firmness, and on the lOlh December, 
he issued a proclamation in reply. It was a powerful and 
eloquent exposition of the rights of the States, — the rights 
of the General Government, and duties of the people, — and 
was every where received tbroughout the country, by the 
friends of the Union, with the utmost cordiality and appro- 
bation. It is universally conceded, that a more popular 
state paper has never issued from any department of the 
General Government since the period of its commence- 
ment. We give it entire, well assured that its sentiments 
and doctrines will be ardently cherished by every friend 
of the unity and harmony of the free institutions of his 
country, so long as a spark of patriotism kindles the emo- 
tions of his heart. 

416 fiXOGRAl'UY OF 


By Andrew Jackson, President of the United Slated. 

Whereas a Convention assembled in the Stale of South 
Carolina, have passed an Ordinance, by which they declare, 
" That the several acts and parts of acts of the Congress 
of the United States, purporting- to be laws for imposing of 
duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodi- 
ties, and now having actual operation and effect within the 
United States, and more especially," two acts for the same 
purposes passed on the 29th of May, 1828, and on the 14th 
of July, 1832, "are unauthorized by the Constitution of 
the United States, and violate the true meaning and intent 
thereof, and are null and void, and no law,^' nor binding 
on the citizens of that State or its ofiicers : and by the said 
Ordinance, it is further declared to be unlawful for any of 
the constituted authorities of the Slate or of the United 
States to enforce the payment of the duties imposed by the 
said acts within the same State, ^and that it is the duty of 
the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to 
give full efiect to the said Ordinance : 

And whereas, by the said Ordinance it is further ordain- 
ed, that in no case of law or equity, decided in the courts; 
of said State, wherein shall be drawn in question the va- 
lidity of the said Ordinance, or of the acts of the Legis- 
lature that may be passed to give it effect, or of the said laws 
of the United States, no appeal shall be allowed to the 
Supreme Court of the United States, nor shall any copy 
of the record be permitted or allowed for that purpose, and 
that any person attempting to take such appeal shall be 
punished as for a contempt of court ; 

And, finally, the said Ordinance declares, that the peo- 
ple of South Carolina will maintain the said Ordinance at 
every hazard ; and that they will consider the passage of 


any act by Cougress abolisliing or clobing the ports of the 
jaitl State, or otherwise obstructing the free ingress or 
egress of vessels to and from the said ports, or any other 
act of the Federal GovernnK'nt to coerce the State, shut up 
lier ports, destroy or harrass her commerce, or to enforce 
ilic said acts otherwise than through the civil tribunals of 
the country, as inconsistent with the longer continuance 
of South Carolina in the Union ; and that the people of 
the said State will thenceforth hold themselves absolved 
from all further obligation to maintain or preserve their 
political connection with the people of the other States^ 
and will forthwith proceed to organize a separate govern- 
n)ent, and do all other acts and things -which sovereign 
and independent States may of right do ; 

And whereas, the said Ordinance prescribes to the peo- 
j)le of South Carolina a course of conduct, in direct viola- 
lion of their duty as citizens of the United States, contrary 
to the laws of their country, subversive of its constitution, 
and having for its object the destruction of the Union — 
that union, which, coeval with our political existence, led 
our fathers, wiihoul any other ties to unite them than those 
of patriotism and a common cause, through a sanguinary 
struggle to a glorious independence — that sacred Union, 
hitherto inviolate, which, perfected by our happy Consti- 
tution, has brought us by the favor of Heaven to a state 
of prosperity at home, and high consideration abroad, 
rarely, if ever, equalled in the history of nations. To 
preserve lliis bond of our political existence from destruc- 
tion, to maintain inviolate this slate of national honor and 
prosperity, and to justify the confidence my fellow-citizens 
iiave reposed in me, I, Andrew Jackson, President of the, 
United States, liave thought proper to issue this my pro- 
clamation, stating my views of the Constitution and laws 
applicable to the measures adopted by the Convention 


of South Carolina, and to the reasons they have put forth 
to sustain them, declaring the course which duty will re- 
quire me to pursue, and, appealing to the understanding 
and patriotism of the people, warn them of the conse- 
quences that must inevitably result from an observance of 
the dictates of the Convention. 

Strict duty would require of me nothing more than the 
exercise of those powers with which I am now or may 
hereafter be invested, for preserving the peace of the Union 
and for the execution of the laws. But the imposing as- 
pect which opposition has assumed in this case, by cloth- 
ing itself with Slate authority, and the deep which 
the people of the United States must all feel in preventing 
a resort to stronger measures, while there is a hope that 
any thing will be yielded to reasoning and remonstrance, 
perhaps demand, and will certainly justify, a full exposi- 
tion to South Carolina and the nation of the views I en- 
tertain of this important question, as well as a distinct 
enunciation of the course which my sense of duty will 
require me to pursue. 

The Ordinance is founded not on the indefeasible right 
of resisting acts which are plainly unconstitutional and 
too oppressive to be endured ; but on the strange position 
that any one Slate may not only declare an Act of Con- 
gress void, but prohibit its execution — that they may do 
this consistently with the Constitution — that the true 
construction of that instrument permits a State to retain 
its place in the Union, and yet be bound by no other of 
its laws than those it may choose to consider as constitu- 
tional. It is frue they add, that to justify this abrogation 
of a law, it must be palpably contrary to the Constitution ; 
but it is evident, that to give the right of resisting laws 
of that description, coupled with the uncontrolled right 
to decide what laws deserve that character, is to give the 


power of resisting all laws. For, as by the theory tliere 
is no appeal, the reasons allei^ed by the State, good or 
)jad, must prevail. If it should be said that public opinion 
is a sufficient check against the abuse of this power, ii 
may be asked why it is not deemed a sufficient guard 
against the passage of an unconstitutional Act by Coii- 
gress. There is, however, a restraint in this last case, 
Avhich makes the assumed power of a Slate more indefen- 
sible, and which does not exist in the other. There are 
two appeals from an unconstitutional Act passed by Con- 
gress — one to the Judiciary, the other to the People and 
the States. There is no appeal from the State decision in 
theor}^ and the practical illustration shows that the Courts 
are closed against an application to review it, both judges 
and jurors being sworn to decide in its favor. But rea- 
soning on this subject is superfluous when our social com- 
pact in express terms declares, that the laws of the United 
States, its Constitution, and treaties made under it, are the 
supreme law of the land — and for greater caution adds, 
" that the judges in every State shall be bound therebv, 
any thing in the Constitution or laws of any State to the 
contrary notwithstanding." And it may be asserted with- 
out fear of refutation, that no Federative Government could 
exist without a similar provision. Look for a moment to 
the consequence. If South Carolina considers the reve- 
nue laws unconstitutional, and has a right to prevent their 
execution in the port of Charleston, there would be a clear 
constitutional objection to their collection in every other 
port, and no revenue could be collected any where; for ail 
imposts must be equal. It is no answer to repeat, that 
an unconstitutional law is no law, so long as the question 
of its legality is to be decided by the State itself; for eve- 
ry law operating injuriously upon any local interest will 


be perhaps thought, and certainly represented, as uncon 
stitutional, and, as has been shown, there is no appeal. 

If this doctrine had been established at an earlier day, 
the Union would have been dissolved in its infancy. — The 
excise law in Pennsylvania, the embargo and non-inter- 
course law in the Eastern States, the carriage tax in Vir- 
ginia, were all deemed unconstitutional, and were more 
unequal in their operation than any of the laws now com- 
plained of; but fortunately none of these States discovered 
that they had the right now claimed by South Carolina. 
The war into which we were forced to support the digni- 
ty of the nation and the rights of our citizens, might have 
ended in defeat and disgrace instead of victory and honor, 
if the States who supposed it a ruinous and unconstitu- 
tional measure had thought they possessed the righi of 
nullifying the act by which it was declared, and denying 
supplies for its prosecution. Hardly and unequally a8 
those measures bore upon several members of the Union, 
to the Legislatures of none did this efficient and peaceable 
remedy, as it is called, suggest itself The discovery of 
this important feature in our Constitution was reserved to 
the present day. To the statesmen of South Carolina be- 
longs the invention, and upon the citizens of that State 
will unfortunately fall the evils of reducing it to practice. 

If the doctrine of a State veto upon the laws of the 
Union carries with it internal evidence of its impracticable 
absurdity, our constitutional history will also afford abun- 
dant proof that it would have been repudiated with indig- 
nation had it been proposed to form a feature in our Go- 

In our colonial state, although dependent on another 
power, we very early considered ourselves as connected 
by common interest with each other. Leagues were form- 
ed for common defence, and before the declaration of In- 


dependence we were known in our aggregate character, 


and important step was taken jointly. We declared our- 
selves a nation by joint, not by several acts, and when the 
terms of our confederation were reduced to form, it was in 
that of a solemn league of several States, by which they 
agreed that they would collectively form one nation for 
the purpose of conducting some certain domestic concerns 
and all foreign relations. In the instrument forming that 
union is found an article, which declares, " that every State 
shall abide by the determinations of Congress on all ques- 
tions which by that confederation should be submitted to 

Under the confederation then, no State could legally an- 
nul a decision of the Congress, or refuse to submit to its ex- 
ecution j but no provision was made to enforce these deci- 
sions. Congress made requisitions, but they were not 
complied with. The Government could not operate on 
individuals. They had no Judiciary, no means of collect- 
ing revenue. 

But the defects of the confederation need not be detail- 
ed. Under its operation we could scarcely be called a 
nation. We had neither prosperity at home nor consider- 
ation abroad. This state of things could not be endured, 
and our present happy Constitution was formed, but form- 
ed in vain, if this fatal doctrine prevails. It was formed 
for important objects that are announced in the preamble, 
made in the name and by the authority of the people of 
the United States, whose delegates framed, and whose con- 
ventions approved it. The most important among these 
objects, that which is placed first in rank, on which all the 
others rest, is, " to form a more perfect U7iio?i." Now, 
is it possible that even if there were no express pro- 
vision giving supremacy to the Constitution and laws 


of the United States over those of the States — can it bo 
conceived, that an instrument made for the purpose of 
'''forming a more perfect Uriion,''^ than that of the confede- 
ration, could be so constructed by the assembled wisdom 
of our country, as to substitute for that confederation a form 
of government dependent for its existence on the local in- 
terest, the party spirit of a State, or of a prevailing- faction 
in a State? Every man of plain, unsophisticated under- 
standing, who hears the question, will give such an an- 
swer as will preserve the Union. Metaphysical subtlety, 
in pursuit of an impracticable theory, could alone have de- 
vised one that is calculated to destroy it. 

I consider then the power to annul a law of the United 
States, assumed by one State, incompatible with thk 


After this general view of the leading principle, we 
must examine the particular application of it which is 
made in the Ordinance, 

The preamble rests its justification on these grounds : 
It assumes as a fact, that the obnoxious laws, although they 
purport to be laws for raising revenue, were in reality in- 
tended for the protection of manufactures, which purpose 
it asserts to be unconstitutional; that the operation of 
these laws is unequal ; that the amount raised by them is 
greater than is required by the wants of the govern- 
ment; and finally, that the proceeds are to be applied 
to objects unauthorized by the Constitution. These are the 
only causes alleged to justify an open opposition to the 
laws of the country, and a threat of seceding from the 
Union, if any attempt should be made to enforce them. 


The first virtually acknowledg^es, that the law ii) question 
was passed under a power expressly given by the Consti- 
tution, to lay and collect imposts ; but its constitutionality 
is drawn in question from the motlcc of those who passed 
it. However apparent this purpose may be in the present 
case, nothing can be more dangerous than to admit the po- 
sition that an unconstitutional purpose, entertained by the 
members who assent to a law enacted under a constitutional 
power, shall make that law void : for how is that purpose 
lo be ascertained ? Who is to make the scrutiny? How 
often may bad purposes be falsely imputed — in how many 
cases are they concealed by false professions — in how ma- 
ny is no declaration of motive made ? Admit this doc- 
trine, and you give to the States an uncontrolled right to 
decTide, and every law may be annulled under this pre- 
text. If, therefore, the absurd and dangerous doctrine 
should be admitted, that a State may annul an unconsti- 
tutional law, or one that it deems such, it will not apply to 
the present case. 

The next objection is, that the laws in question operate 
unequally. This objection may be made with truth, to 
every law that has been or can be passed. The wisdom 
of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that 
would operate with perfect equality. If the unequal ope- 
ration of a law makes it unconstitutional, and if all laws 
of that description may be abrogated by any State for that 
cause, then indeed is the Federal Constitution unworthy 
of the slightest effort for its preservation. We have 
hitherto relied on it as the perpetual bond of our Union. 
We have received it as the work of the assembled wisdom 
of the nation. We have trusted to it as to the sheet anchor 
of our safety in the stormy times of conflict with a foreign 
or domestic foe. We have looked to it with sacred awe 
as the palladium of our liberties, and with all the solemni- 


ties of religion have pledged to each other our lives and 
fortunes here, and our hopes of happiness hereafter, 
in its defence and support. Were we mistaken, my coun- 
trymen, in attaching this importance to the Constitution of 
our country? Was our devotion paid to the wretched, inef- 
ficient, clumsy contrivance, which this new doctrine would 
make it ? Did we pledge ourselves to the support of an 
airy nothing, a bubble that must be blown away by the 
first breath of disaffection ? Was this self-destroying, vision- 
ary theory, the work of the profound statesmen, the exalted 
patriots, to whom the task of constitutional reform was 
entrusted? Did the name of Washington sanction, did the 
States deliberately ratify, such an anomaly in the history 
of fundamental legislation? No! We were not mistaken 
The letter of this great instrument is free from this radi- 
cal fault; — its language directly contradicts the imputa- 
tion : — its spirit — its evident intent, contradicts it. No, 
we did not err ! Our Constitution does not contain the ab- 
surdity of giving power to make laws and another power 
to resist them. The sages whose memory will always be 
reverenced, have given us a practical, and as they hoped, 
a permanent constitutional compact. The Father of his 
country did not affix his revered name to so palpable an 
absurdity. Nor did the States, when they severally ratified 
it, do so under the impression that a veto on the laws of 
the United States was reserved to them, or that they could 
exercise it by implication. Search the debates in all their 
Conventions — examine the speeches of the most zealous 
opposers of Federal authority — look at the amendments 
that were proposed ; — they are all silent — not a syllable ut- 
tered, not a vote given, not a motion made, to correct the 
explicit supremacy given to the laws of the Union over 
those of the States — or to show that implication, as is now 
contended, could defeat it. No — we have not erred! 


The Constitution is still the object of our reverence, the 
bond of our Union, our defence in danger, the source of 
our prosperit}' in peace. It shall descend as we have re- 
ceived it, uncorruptcd by sophistical construction, to our 
posterity; and the sacrifices of local interest, of State pre- 
judices, or personal animosities, that were made to bring 
it into existence, will again be patriotically offered for its 

The two remaining objections made by the Ordinance 
to these laws are, that the sums intended to be raised by 
them are greater than are required, and that the proceeds 
will be unconstitutionally employed. 

The Constitution has given expressly to Congress the 
right of raiding revenue, and of determining the sum the 
public exigences will require. The States have no con- 
trol over the exercise of this right, other than that which 
results from the power of changing the Representatives 
who abuse it, and thus procure redress. Congress may 
undoubtedly abuse this discretionary power, but the same 
may be said of others with which they are vested. Yet 
the discretion must exist somewhere. The Constitution 
has given it to the Representatives of all the people, 
checked by the Representatives of the States, and by the 
Executive poAver. The South Carolina construction gives 
it to the Legislature or the Convention of a single State, 
where neither the people, of the different States, nor the 
States in their separate capacity, nor the Chief Magistrate 
elected by the people have any representation. Which is 
the most discreet disposition of the power? I do not ask 
you, fellow citizens, which is the constitutional disposition 
— that instrument speaks a language not to be misunder- 
stood. But if you were assembled in general convention, 
which would you think the safest depositary of this dis- 
cretionary power in the last resort ? Would you add a 


clause, giving it to each of the States, or would you sanc- 
tion the wise provisions already made by your Constitu- 
tion ? If this should be the result of your deliberations 
when providing for the future, are you, can you be ready, 
to risk all that we hold dear, to establish, for a temporary 
and a local purpose, that which you must acknowledge 
to be destructive and even absurd as a general provision? 
Carry out the consequences of this right vested in the 
different States, and you must perceive that the crisis your 
ronduct presents at this day would recur whenever any 
law of the United States displeased any of the States, and 
that we should soon cease to be a nation. 

The Ordinance, with the same knowledge of the future 
that characterizes a former objection, tells you that the 
proceeds of the lax Avill be unconstitutional!}'- applied. If 
this could be ascertained with certainty, the objection 
would, with more propriety, be reserved for the law so 
applying the proceeds, but surely cannot be urged against 
the laws levying the duty. 

These are the allegations contained in the Ordinance. 
Examine them seriously, my fellow citizens — judge for 
yourselves. I appeal to you to determine whether they 
are so clear, so convincing, as to leave no doubt of their 
c rrrectness : and even if you should come to the conclu- 
sion, how far they justify the reckless, destructive course, 
which you are directed to pursue. Review these objec- 
tions, and the conclusions drawn from them, once more. 
What are they? Every law then for raising revenue, 
according to the South Carolina Ordinance, maybe right- 
fully annulled, unless it be so framed as no law ever will 
or can be framed. Congress has a right to pass laws 
for raising revenue, and each State has a right to oppose 
their execution — two rights directly opposed to each other 
— and yet is this absurdity supposed to be contained in an 


instrument drawn for the express purpose of avoiding 
collisions between the Stales and the General Govern- 
ment, by an assembly of the most enlightened statesmen 
and purest patriots ever embodied for a simMar purpose. 
In vain have these sages declared that Congress shall 
have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and 
excises — in vain have they provided that they shall have 
power to pass iaws which shall be necessary and proper 
to carry those powers into execution, that those laws and 
that (^'onstitulion shall be the supreme law of the land, 
and that the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, 
any thing in tiie Constitution or laws of any State to the 
'* contrary notwithstanding." — In vain have the people of 
the several States solemnly sanctioned these provisions, 
made them their paramount law, and individually su-orn 
to support them whenever they were called on to execute 
any office. Vain provisions! ineffectual restrictions ! Viic 
profanaiion of oaths ! miserable mockery of legislation ! 
— if a bare majority of the voters in any one State may, 
on a real or supposed knowledge of the intent with which 
a law has been passed, declare themselves free from its 
operation — say here it gives too little, there too much, 
and operates unequally — here it suffers articles to be free 
that ought to be taxed — there it taxes those that ought to 
be free — in this case the proceeds are intended to be aj)- 
plied to purposes which we do not approve? — in that the 
amount raised is more than is wanted. Congress, it is 
true, are vested by the Constitution with the right of de- 
ciding these questions according to their sound discretion : 
Congress is composed of the representatives of all the 
States and of all the people of all the States; but wt, 
part of the people of one State, to whom the Constitu- 
tion has given no power on the subject, from whom it 
has expressly taken it away — we, who have solemnly 


agreed that this Constitution shall be our law — ire, most 
of whom have sworn to support it — we, now abrogate 
this law, and swear, and force others to swear, that it 
shall not be* obeyed — and we do this, not because Con- 
gress have no right to pass such laws, (this we do not 
allege,) but because they have passed them with improper 
views. They are unconstitutional from the motives of 
those who passed them, Avhich we can never with cer- 
tainty knou' — from their unequal operation, although it is 
impossible from the nature of things that they should be 
equal — and from the disposition which we presume may 
be made of their proceeds, although that disposition has 
not been declared. This is the plain meaning of the Or- 
dinance in relation to laws which it abrogates for alleged 
unconstitutionality. But it does not stop there. It repeals, 
in express terms, an important part of the Constitution 
itself, and of laws passed to give it effect, which have never 
been alleged to be unconstitutional. The Constitution 
declares that the judicial powers of the United States ex- 
tend to cases arising under the laws of the United States, 
and that such laws, the Constitution, and treaties, shall 
be paramount to the •'^fate Constitutions and laws. The 
judiciary act prescribes the mode by which the case may 
be brought before a Court of the United States, by appeal, 
when a State tribunal shall decide against this provision 
of the Constitution. The Ordinance declares there shall 
be no appeal — makes the State law paramount to the Con- 
stitution and laws of the United States — forces judges and 
jurors to swear that they will disregard their provisions, 
and even makes it penal in a suitor to attempt relief by 
appeal. It further declares, that it shall not be lawful for 
the authorities of the United States, or of that State, to 
enforce the payment of duties imposed by the revenue 
laws within its limits. 


Here is a law of the United States, not even pretended 
10 be unconstitutional, repealed by the authority of a small 
majority of the voters of a single State. Here is a pro- 
vision of the Constitution, which is solemnly abrogated by 
the same authority. 

On such expositions and reasonings the Ordinance 
iiiounds not only an assertion of the right to annul the 
laws of which it complains, but to enforce it by a threat 
of seceding from the Union if any attempt is made to ex- 
ecute them. 

This right to secede is deduced from the nature of the 
Constitution, Avhich they say is a compact between the 
sovereign States, who have preserved their whole sove- 
reignty, and therefore are subject to no superior : that be 
cause they made the compact, they can break it, when, in 
their opinion, it has been departed from by the other 
States. Fallacious as this course of reasoning is, it enlists 
state pride, and finds advocates in the honest prejudices of 
those who have not studied the nature of our government 
sufficiently to see the radical error on which it rcstSs 

The people of the United States formed the Constitution, 
acting through the State Legislatures in making the com- 
pact, to meet and discuss its provisions, and acting in sepa- 
rate conventions when they ratified those provisions ; but 
the terms used in its construction, show it to be a govern- 
ment in which the people of all the States collectively are 
represented. We are oxe people in the choice of the 
President and Vice-President. Here the States have no 
other agency than to direct the mode in which the votes 
chall be given. The candidates having the majority of 
all the votes are chosen. The electors of a majority of 
the States may have given their votes for one candidate, and 
yet another may be chosen. The people, then, and not 
the States, are represented in the Executive branch. 


In the House of Representatives there is this difference, 
that the people of one State do not, as in the case of Presi- 
dent and Vice President, all vote for the same officers. 
The people of all the States do not vote for all the mem- 
bers, each state electing only its own representatives. But 
this creates no material distinction. When chosen they 
are all representatives of the United States, not representa- 
tives of the particular State from which ihey come. They 
are paid by the United Slates, not by the State, nor are, tney 
accountable to it for any act done in the performance of 
their legislative functions ; and however they may iu 
practice, as it is their duty to do, consult and prefer the 
interests of their particular constituents when they come 
in conflict with any other partial or local interest, yet it is 
their first and highest dut}', as representatives of the 
United States, to promote the general good. 

The Constitution of the United States, then, forms a 
governvunU not a league, and whether it be formed by 
compact between the States, or in any other manner, its 
character is the same. It is a government in which all 
the people are represented, which operates directly on the 
people individually, not upon the States — they retained all 
the power they did not grant. But each State having ex- 
pressly parted with so many powers as to constitute jointly 
with the other States a single nation, cannot from that period 
possess any right to secede, because such secession docs 
not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation, and 
any injury to that unity is not only a breach which 
would result from the contravention of a compact, but it is 
an offence against the whole Union. To say that any 
State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that 
tile United States are not a nation ; because it will be a 
jBolecism to contend that one part of the nation might dis- 
solve its connexion with the other parts, to their injury 


and ruin, without committing any oftencc. Secession, like 
any other revolutionary act, may be morally justified by 
the extremity of oppression : but to call it a constitutional 
right, is confounding the meaning of terms, and can only 
be done through gross error, or to deceive those who are 
willing to assert a right, but would pause before they 
made a revolution, or incur the penalties consequent on a 

Because the Union was formed by compact, it is said 
the parties to the compact may, when they feel themselves 
aggrieved, depart from it : but it is precisely because it is 
a compact that they cannot. A compact is an agreement 
or binding obligation. It may by its terms have a sanction 
or penalty for its breach, or it may not. If it contains no 
sanction, it may be broken with no other consequence than 
moral guilt ; if it have a snnction, then the breach incurs 
the designated or implied penalty. A league between 
independent nations, generally, has no other sanction than 
a moral one ; or if it should contain a penalty, as there is 
no common superior, it cannot be enforced. A govern- 
ment, on the contrary, ahvays has a sanction, express or 
implied; and, in our case, it is both necessarily implied 
and expressly given. An attempt by force of arms to 
destroy a government, is an offence, by whatever means 
the constitutional compact may have been formed ; and 
such government has the right, by the law of self-defence, 
to pass acts for punishing the offender, unless the right is 
modified, res-rained, or resumed, by the constitutional act. 
In our system, although it is modified in the case of 
treason, yet authority is expressly given to pass all laws 
necessary to carry its powers into efiect, and under this 
grant, provision has been made for punishing acts which 
obstruct the due administration of the laws. 

It would seem superfluous to add any thing to show the 


nature of that union which connects us ; but as erroneous 
opinions on this subject are the foundation of doctrines the 
most destructive to our peace, I must give some further 
development to my views on this subject. No one, fellow- 
citizens, has a higher reverence for the reserved rights of 
the States, than the Magistrate who now addresses you ; 
no one would make greater personal sacrifices, of official 
exertions to defend them from violation ; — but equal care 
must be taken to prevent, on their part, an improper inter- 
ference with, or resumption of, the rights they have vested 
in the nation. The line has been so distinctly drawn as 
to avoid doubts in some cases of the exercise of power. 
Men of the best intentions and soundest views may differ 
in their construction of some parts of the Constitution ; but 
there are others on which dispassionate reflection can 
leave no doubt. Of this nature appears to be the assumed 
right of secession. It rests, as we have seen, on the 
alleged undivided sovereignty of the States, and on their 
having formed, in this sovereign capacity, a compact which 
is called the Constitution, from which, because they made 
it, they have a right to secede. Both of these positions are 
erroneous, and some of the arguments to prove them so 
have been anticipated. 

The States severally have not retained their entire 
sovereignty. It has been shown that in becoming parts of 
a nation, not members of a league, they surrendered many 
of their essential parts of sovereignty. The right to make 
treaties — declare war — levy taxes — exercise exclusive ju- 
dicial and legislative powers — were all of them functions 
of sovereign power. The States, then, for all these import- 
ant purposes, were no longer sovereign. The allegiance 
of their citizens was transferred, in the first instance, to the 
Government of the United States — they became American 
citizens, and owed obedience to the Constitution of the 


United States, and to laws made in conformity with the 
powers it vested in Congress. This last position has not 
been, and cannot be denied. How then can that State be 
said to be sovereign and independent, whose citizens owe 
obedience to laws not made by it, and whose magistrates 
are sworn to disregard those laws, when they come in con- 
flict with those passed by another? What shows conclu- 
sively that the States cannot be said to have reserved an 
undivided sovereignty, is, that they expressly ceded the 
right to punish treason, not treason against their separate 
power, but treason against the United States. Treason is 
an offence against sovereignty, and sovereignty must reside 
with the power to punish it. But the reserved rights of 
the States are not less sacred because they have for their 
common interest made the General Government the de- 
pository of these powers. The unity of our political 
character (as has been shown for another purpose) com- 
menced with its very existence. Under the Royal Govern- 
ment we had no separate character ; but opposition to its 
oppressions began as United Colonies. We were the 
United States under the confederation ; and the name 
was perpetuated, and the Union rendered more perfect, by 
the Federal Constitution. In none of these stages did we 
consider ourselves in any other light than as forming one 
nation. Treaties and alliances were made in the name of 
all. Troops were raised for the joint defence. How, then, 
with all these proofs, that under all changes of our position, 
we had, for designated purposes, and with defined powers, 
created national Governments — how is it, that the most 
perfect of those several modes of union, should now be 
considered as a mere league that may be dissolved at plea- 
sure % It is from an abuse of terms. Compact is used as 
synonymous with league, although the true term is not 
employed, because it would at once show the fallacv of 


the reasoning. It would not do to say that our Consti^ 
tution was only a league, but it is laboured to prove it a 
compact, (which in one sense it is,) and then to argue that, 
as a league is a compact, every compact between nations 
must of course be a league, and that from such an engage- 
ment every sovereign power has a right to secede. But 
it has been shown, that in this sense the States are not 
sovereign, and that even if they and the national Consti- 
tution had been formed by compact, there would be no 
right in any one State to exonerate itself from its obliga- 

So obvious are the reasons which forbid this secession, 
that it is necessary only to allude to them. The Union 
was formed for the benefit of all. It was produced by 
mutual rsacrifices of interests and opinions. Can those 
sacrifices be recalled ? Can the States, who magnani- 
mously surrendered their title to the Territories of the 
West, recal the grant ? Will the inhabitants of the inland 
States agree to pay the duties that may be imposed without 
their assent by those on the Atlantic or the Gulf for their 
.own benefit? Shall there be a free port in one State, and 
onerous duties in another? No one believes that any 
right exists in a single State to involve all the others in 
these and countless other evils contrary to engagements 
solemnly made. Every one must see that the other States. 
in self-defence, must oppose it at all hazards. 

These are the alternatives that are presented by the 
Convention : A repeal of all the acts for raising revenue, 
leaving the Government without the means of support • 
or an acquiescence in the dissolution of our Union by the 
secession of one of its members. When the first was 
proposed, it was known that it could not be listened to for 
a moment. It was known if force was applied to oppose 
the execution of the laws, that it must be repelled by force — 


that Congress could not, without involving itself in dis- 
grace and the country in ruin, accede to the proposition : 
and yet if this is not done in a given day, or if any attempt 
is made to execute the laws, the State is, by the Ordinance, 
declared to be out of the Union. The majority of a Con- 
vention assembled for the purpose have dictated these 
terms, or rather this rejection of all terms,, in the name of 
the people of South Carolina. It is true, that the Gover- 
nor of the State speaks of the submission of their grie- 
vances to a convention of all the States ; which, he says, 
they "sincerely and anxiously seek and desire." Yet 
this obvious and constitutional mode of obtaining the sense 
of the other States on the construction of the federal com- 
pact, and amending it, if necessary, has never been at- 
tempted by those who have urged the State on to this 
destructive measure. The State might have proposed the 
call for a general convention to the other States ; and Con- 
gress, if a sufficient number of them concurred, must 
have called it. But the first magistrate of South Carolina, 
when he expressed a hope that, " on a review by Congress 
and the functionaries of the General Government of the 
merits of the controversy," such a convention will be 
accorded to them, must have known that neither Congress 
nor any functionary of the General Government has 
authority to call such a Convention, unless it be demanded 
by two thirds of the States. 

This suggestion, then, is another instance of the reck- 
less inattention to the provisions of the Constitution with 
which this crisis has been madly hurried on ; or of the at- 
tempt to persuade the people that a constitutional remedy 
had been sought and refused. If the legislature of South 
Carolina "anxiously desired" a General Convention to 
consider their complaints, why have they not made appli- 
cation for it in the way the Constitution points out. The 


assertion that they " earnestly seek" it is completely nega- 
tived by the omission. 

This, then, is the position in which we stand. A small 
majority of the citizens of one State in the Union have 
elected delegates to a State Convention : that Convention 
has ordained that all the revenue laws of the United States 
must be repealed, or that they are no longer a member of 
the Union. The Governor of that State has recommend- 
ed to the legislature the raising of an army to carry the 
secession into effect, and that he may be empowered to 
give clearances to vessels in the name of the State. No 
act of violent opposition to the laws has yet been commit- 
ted, but such a state of things is hourly apprehended, and 
it is the intent of this instrument to proclaim not only that 
the duty imposed on me by the Constitution, to " take care 
that the laws be faithfully executed," shall be performed 
to the extent of the powers already vested in me by law, 
or of such others as the wisdom of Congress shajl devise 
and entrust to me for that purpose; but to warn the citi- 
zens of South Carolina, who have been deluded into an 
opposition to the laws, of the danger they will incur by 
obedience to the illegal and disorganizing Ordinance of 
the Convention, — to exhort those who have refused to sup- 
port it to persevere in their determination to uphold the 
Constitution and laws of their country, — and to point out to 
all the perilous situation into which the good people of that 
State have been led, — and that the course they are urged to 
pursue is one of ruin and disgrace to the very State whose 
rights they affect to support. 

Fellow citizens of my native State, let me npt only admon- 
ish you, as the first Magistrate of our common country, not 
to incur the penalty of its laws, but use the influence that a 
Father would over his children whom he saw rushing to 
certain ruin. In that paternal language, with that pater- 


nal feeling, let me tell you, my countrymen, that you are 
deluded by men who are either deceived themselves or 
wish to deceive you. Mark under what pretences you 
have been led on the brink of insurrection and treason, on 
Avhich you stand ! First a diminution of the value of your 
staple commodity, lowered by over production in other 
quarters, and the consequent diminution in the value of 
your lands, were the sole effect of the Tariff laws. The 
effect of those laws was confessedly injurious, but the evil 
was greatly exairgerated by the unfounded theory you 
were taught to believe, that its burthens were in propor- 
tion to your exports, not to your consumption of imported 
articles. Your pride was roused by the assertion that a 
submission to those laws was a state of vassalage, and 
that resistance to them was equal in patriotic merit, to the 
opposition of our fathers offered to the oppressive laws 
of Great Britain. You were told that this opposition 
mi^ht be peaceably — might be constitutionally made — that 
you might enjoy all the advantages of the Union and bear 
none of its burthens. Eloquent appeals to your passions, 
to your State pride, to your native courage, to your sense 
of real injury, were used to prepare you for the period 
when the mask which concealed the hideous features of 
DISUNION, should -be taken off. It fell, and you were 
made to look with (Complacency on objects which not long 
since you would have regarded with horror. Look back 
to the arts which have brought you to this state — look for- 
ward to the consequences to which it must inevitably lead ! 
Look back to what was first told you as an inducement to 
enter into this dangerous course. The great political 
truth was repeated to you, that you had the revolutionary 
right of resisting all laws that were palpably unconstitu- 
tional and intolerably oppressive — it was added, that the 
right to nullify a law rested on the same principle, but 


that it was a peaceable remedy ! This chatacler which 
was given to it, made you receive with too much confi- 
dence the assertions that were made of the unconstitu- 
tionality of the law and its oppressive effects. Mark, my 
fellow citizens, that by the admission of your leaders the 
Unconstitutionality must be palpable, or it will not justify 
either resistance or nullification ! What is the meaning of 
the word palpable in the sense in which it is here used? — 
that which is apparent to every one, that which no man of 
ordinary intellect will fail to perceive. Is the unconstitu- 
tionality of these of that description ? Let those among 
your leaders who once approved and advocated the prin- 
ciple of protective duties, answer the question ; and let 
them choose whether they will be considered as incapable, 
then, of perceiving that which must have been apparent 
to every man of common understanding, or as imposing 
upon your confidence and endeavouring to mislead you 
now. In either case, they are unsafe guides in the peri- 
lous path they urge you to tread. Ponder well on this 
circumstance, and you will know how to appreciate the 
exaggerated language they address to you. They are not 
champions of liberty, emulating the fame of our Revolution- 
ary Fathers, nor are you an oppressed people contending, as 
they repeat to you, against worse than colonial vassalage. 
You are free members of a flourishing and happy Union. 
There is no settled design to oppress you. You have in- 
deed felt the unequal operation of laws which may have 
been unwisely, not unconstitutionally passed : but that in- 
equality must necessarily be removed. At the very mo- 
ment when you were madly urged on to the unfortunate 
course you have begun, a change in public opinion had 
commenced. — The nearly approaching payment of the 
public debt, and the consequent necessity of a diminution 
of duties, had already produced a considerable reduction. 


and that too on some articles of general consumption in 
your State. 

The importance of this change was underrated, and 
you were authoritatively told that no further alleviation 
of your burthens Avas to be expected, at the very time 
when the condition of the country imperiously demanded 
such a modification of the duties as should reduce them 
to a just and equitable scale. But, as if apprehensive of 
the effect of this change in allaying your discontents, you 
were precipitated into the fearful state in which you now 
find yourselves. 

I have urged you to look back to the means that were 
used to hurry you on to the position you have now as- 
sumed, and forward to the consequences it will pro- 
duce. Something more is necessary. Contemplate the 
condition of that country of which you still form an im- 
portant part ! — consider its government, uniting in one 
bond of common interest and general protection so many 
different States — giving to all their inhabitants the proud 
title of American citizen — protecting their commerce — 
securing their literature and their arts — facilitating their 
intercommunication, defending their frontiers — and ma- 
king their name respected in the remotest parts of the 
earth ! Consider the extent of their territory, its increas- 
ing and happy population, its advance in arts, which ren- 
der life agreeable, and the sciences which elevate the 
mind ! See education spreading the lights of religion, 
morality, and general information, into every cottage in 
this wide extent of Territories and States ! Behold it as 
the asylum where the wretched and the oppressed find a 
refuge and support ! Look on this picture of happiness 
and honor, and say, we, too, are citizens of America 
— Carolina is one of these proud States : her arms have 
defended — her best blood has cemented this happy Union ! 


And then add, if you can, without horror and remorse — 
this happy union we will dissolve — this picture of peace 
and prosperity we will deface — this free intercourse we 
will interrupt — these fertile fields we will deluge with 
blood — the protection of that glorious flag we renounce — 
the very name of Americans we discard. And for w^hat, 
mistaken men ! for what do you throw away these inesti- 
mable blessings — for what would you exchange your share 
in the advantages and honor of the Union'? For the 
dream of a separate independence — a dream interrupted 
by bloody conflicts with your neighbors, and a vile de- 
pendence on a foreign power. If your leaders could suc- 
ceed in establishing a separation, what would be your 
situation? Are you united at home — are you free from 
the apprehension of civil discord, with all its fearful con- 
sequences ? Do our neighboring republics, every day 
suffering some new revolution or contending with some 
new insurrection — do they excite your envy? But the 
dictates of a high duty oblige me solemnly to announce 
that you cannot succeed. The laws of the United States 
must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the 
subject — my duty is emphatically pronounced in the Con- 
stitution. Those who told you that you might peaceably 
prevent their execution, deceived you — they could not 
have been deceived themselves. They know that a for- 
cible opposition could alone prevent the execution of the 
laws, and they know that such opposition must be repelled. 
Their object is disunion: but be not deceived by names: 
disunion, by armed force, is trbason. Are you really 
ready to incur its guilt ? If you are, on the heads of the 
instigators of the act be the dreadful consequences — on 
their heads be the dishonor, but on yours may fall the 
punishment — on your unhappy State will inevitably fall 
all the evils of the conflict you force upon the Govern- 


ment of your country. It cannot accede to the mad pro- 
ject of disunion of which you would be the first victims — 
its first Magistrate cannot, if he would, avoid the perform- 
ance of his duty — the consequence must be fearful for you, 
distressing to your fellow citizens here, and to the friends 
of good government throughout the world. Its enemies 
have beheld our prosperity with a vexation they could 
not conceal — it was a standing refutation of their slavish 
doctrines, and they will point to our discord with the tri- 
umph of malignant joy. It is yet in your pov.'cr to dis- 
appoint them. There is yet time to show that the de- 
scendants of the Pinkneys, the Sumpters, the Rutledges, 
and of the thousand other names which adorn the pages 
of your revolutionary history, will not abandon that Union, 
to support which, so many of them fought, and bled, and 
died. I adjure you as you honor their memory — as you 
love the cause of freedom, to which they dedicated their 
lives — as you prize the peace of your country, the lives 
of its best citizens, and your own fair fame, to retrace 
your steps. Snatch from the archives of your State thv5 
disorganizing edict of its Convention — bid its members to 
re-assemble and promulgate the decided expressions of 
your will to remain in the path which alone can conduct 
you to safety, prosperity and honor; tell them that com- 
pared with disunion, all other evils are light, because that 
brings with it an accumulation of all — declare that you 
will never take the field unless the star-spangled banner 
of your country shall float over you — that you will not be 
stigmatized when dead, and dishonored and scorned while 
you live, as the authors of the first attack on the Consti- 
tution of your country ! — Its destroyers you cannot be. 
You may disturb its peace — you may interrupt the course 
of its prosperity — you may cloud its reputation Tor stabili- 
ty — but its tranquillity will be restored, its prosperity will 


return, and the stain upon its national character will be 
transferred, and remain an eternal blot on the memory of 
those who caused the disorder. 

Fellow citizens of the United States ! The threat of 
unhallowed disunion — the names of those, once respected, 
by whom it is uttered — the array of military force to sup- 
port it — denote the approach of a crisis in our affairs on 
which the continuance of our unexampled prosperity, our 
political existence, and perhaps that of all free governments, 
may depend. The conjuncture demanded a free, a full, 
and explicit enunciation, not only of my intentions but of 
my principles of action ; and as the claim was asserted, of a 
right by a State to annul the laws of the Union, and even 
to secede from it at pleasure, a frank exposition of my 
opinions in relation to the origin and form of our govern- 
ment, and the construction I give to the instrument by 
which it was created, seemed to be proper. Having the 
fullest confidence in the justness of the legal «ind consti- 
tutional opinion of my duties which has been expressed, 
I rely with equal confidence on your undivided support in 
my determination to execute the laws — to preserve the 
Union by all constitutional means — to arrest, if possible, 
by moderate but firm measures, the necessity of a re- 
course to force; and, if it be the will of Heaven that the 
recurrence of its primeval curse on man for the shedding 
of a brother's blood should fall upon our land, that it be 
not called down by any offensive act on the part of the 
United States. 

Fellow-citizens ! The momentous case is before you. 
On your undivided support of your government depends 
the decision of the great question it involves, whether 
your sacred Union will be preserved, and the blessing it 
secures to us as one people shall be perpetuated. No one 
can doubt that the unanimity with which that decision 


will be expressed, will be such as to inspire new confi- 
dence in republican institutions, and that the prudence, the 
wisdom, and the courage which it will bring to their de- 
fence, will transmit them unimpaired and invigorated to 
our children. 

May the great Ruler of nations grant that the signal 
blessings with which He has favoured ours, may not by 
the madness of party or personal ambition be disregarded 
and lost: and may His wise Providence bring those who 
have produced this crisis, to see the folly, before they feel 
the misery of civil strife ; and inspire a returning vene- 
ration for that Union, which, if we may dare to pene- 
trate His designs he has chosen as the only means of at- 
taining the high destinies to which we may reasonably as- 

In testimony, whereof, I have caused the seal of the 
United States to be hereunto affixed, having signed 
the same with my hand. 
Done at the City of Washington this 10th day of Decem- 
ber, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and thirty-two, and of the Independence 
of the United States the fifty-seventh. 

By the President : 

Edw. Livingston, 

Secretary of State. 
The proclamation of President Jackson gave great um- 
brage to the disunionists of South Carolina. Governor 
Hayne issued a counter-proclamation, in which he une- 
quivocally maintained the sentiments that had been previ- 
ously adopted by the nullification party, and proclaimed 
that a forcible resistance to the laws of the Union would 
be ultimately made. But the threatenings of these infatua- 
ted men have never yet been executed, and, happily for 


our country, the storms of civil commotion which menaced 
the safety of our invaluable Union are hushed, and internal 
quietude, peace, and unbounded prosperity, are again the 
peculiar blessings of the American Republic. 

The inauguration of General Jackson to his second 
term of office took place on the 4th March, 1833, with 
the ceremonies usual on similar occasions. The follow- 
ing is his brief, though appropriate inaugural address. 


Of the President of the United States. 
4th March, 1833. 
Fellow Citizens: 

The will of the American People, expressed through their 
unsolicited suffrages, calls me before you to pass through 
the solemnities preparatory to taking upon myself the du- 
ties of President of the United States for another term. 
For their approbation of my public conduct, through a 
period which has not been without its difficulties, and for 
this renewed expression of their confidence in my good 
intentions, I am at a loss for terms adequate to the expres- 
sions of my gratitude. It shall be displayed to the extent 
of my humble abilities, in continued efforts so to adminis- 
ter the Government, as to preserve their liberty and pro- 
mote their happiness. 

So many events have occurred within the last four 
years, which have necessarily called forth, sometimes un- 
der circumstances the most delicate and painful, my views 
of the principles and policy which ought to be pursued by 
the General Government, that I need on this occasion but 
allude to a few leading considerations, connected with some 
of them. 

The foreign policy adopted by our Government soon 


after the formation of our present Constitution, and very 
generally pursued by successive administrations, has 
been crowned with almost complete success, and has ele- 
vated our character among the nations of the earth. To 
do justice to all, and submit to wrong from none, has been, 
during my administration, its governing maxim ; and so 
happy has been its results, that we are not only at peace 
with all the world, but have few causes of controversy, 
and those of minor importance, remaining unadjusted. 

In the domestic policy of this government, there are 
two objects which especially deserve the attention of the 
people and their representatives, and which have been, and 
will continue to be, the subjects of my increasing solici- 
tude. They are, the preservation of the rights of the 
States, and the integrity of the Union. 

These great objects are necessarily connected, and can 
only be attained by an enlightened exercise of the powers 
of each within its appropriate sphere, in conformity with 
the public will constitutionally expressed. To this end, it 
becomes the duty of all to yield a ready and patriotic sub- 
mission to the laws constitutionally enacted, and thereby 
promote and strengthen a proper confidence in those insti- 
tutions of the several States and of the United States, which 
the people themselves have ordained for their own govern- 

My experience in public concerns, and the observation 
of a life somewhat advanced, confirm the opinions long 
since imbibed by me, that the destruction of our State go- 
vernments or the annihilation of their control over the 
local concerns of the people, would lead directly to revo- 
lution and anarchy, and finally to despotism and military 
domination. In proportion, therefore, as the General Go- 
vernment encroaches upon the rights of the States, in the 
same proportion does it impair its own power and detract 


from its ability to fulfil the purposes of its creation. So- 
lemnly impressed with these considerations, my country- 
men will ever find me ready to exercise my constitutional 
powers in arresting measures which may directly or indi- 
rectly encroach upon the rights of these States, or tend to con- 
solidate a political power in the General Government. But 
of equal, and indeed of incalculable importance, is the Union 
of these States, and the sacred duty of all to contribute to its 
preservation by a liberal support of the General Govern- 
ment in the exercise of its just powers. You have been 
wisely admonished to " accustom yourselves to think and 
speak of the Union as of the palladium of your political 
safety and prosperity, watching for its preservation with 
jealous anxiety, discountenancing whatever may suggest 
even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned, 
and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of any 
attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the 
rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link toge- 
ther the various parts." Without union our independence 
and liberty would never have been achieved — without 
union they can never be maintained. Divided in twenty- 
four, or even a smaller number of separate communities, we 
shall see our internal trade burthened with numberless re- 
straints and exactions; communications between distant 
points and sections obstructed, or cut off; our sons made 
soldiers to deluge with blood the fields they now till in 
peace ; the mass of our people borne down and impoverish- 
ed by taxes to support armies and navies ; and military 
leaders at the head of their victorious legions becoming 
our lawgivers and judges. The loss of liberty, of all 
good government, of peace, plenty, and happiness, must in- 
evitably follow a dissolution of the Union. In supporring 
it, therefore, we support all that is dear to the freeman and 
the philanthropist. 


The time at which I stand before you is full of interest. 
The eyes of all nations are fixed on our republic. The 
event of the existing crisis will be dtteisive in the opinion 
of mankind, of the practicability of our federal system of 
government. Great is the stake placed in our hands; 
crreat is the responsibility which must rest upon the people 
of the United States. Let us realize the importance of 
the attitude in which wc stand before the world. Let us 
exercise forbearance and firmness. Let us extricate our 
country from the dangers which surround it, and learn 
wisdom from the lessons they inculcate. 

Deeply impressed with the truth of these observations, 
and under the obligation of that solemn oath which I am 
about to take, I shall continue to exert all my faculties to 
maintain the just powers of the Constitution, and to trans- 
mit unimpaired to posterity the blessings of our federal 
Union. At the same time, it will be my aim to inculcate 
by my official acts, the necessity of exercising, by the Gene- 
ral Government, those powers only that are clearly dele- 
gated ; to encourage a simplicity and economy m the ex- 
penditures of the government ; to raise no more money 
from the people than may be requisite for these objects 
and in a manner that will best promote the interests of all 
classes of the community, and of all portions of the Union. 
Constantly bearing in mind, that in entering into society, 
"individuals must give up a share of liberty to preserve 
the rest," it will be my desire so to discharge my duties as 
to foster with our brethren in all parts of the country, a 
spirit of liberal concession and compromise ; and by re- 
conciling our fellow-citizens to those partial sacrifices 
which they must unavoidably make, for the preservation 
of^ a greater good, to recommend our invaluable govern- 
ment'' and Union to the confidence and affections of the 
American People. 


Finally, it is my most fervent prayer, to that Almighty 
Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in 
his hands from the Infancy of our Republic to the present 
day, that He will so overrule all my intentions and actions, 
and inspire the hearts of my fellow-citizens, that we may 
be preserved from dangers of all kinds, and continue fore- 

Of the person and character of General Jackson, we 
give what has been heretofore faithfully delineated. In 
person he is remarkably tall, erect, and thin. His weight 
bears no proportion to his height, and his conformation 
appears to disqualify him for hardship; yet, accustomed 
to it from early life, few are capable of enduring fatigue 
to the same extent, or with less injury. His dark blue 
eyes, with brows arched, and slightly projecting, possess 
a marked expression ; but when from any causes excited, 
they sparkle with peculiar lustre and penetration. In his 
manners he is pleasing — in his address commanding; 
while his countenance, marked with firmness and deci- 
sion, beams with a strength and intelligence that strikes 
at first sight. In his deportment, there is nothing repul- 
sive. Easy, affable, and familiar, he is accessible to all. 
Influenced by the belief that merit should constitute the 
only diflference in men, his attention is equally bestowed 
on honest poverty and titled consequence. No man, how- 
ever inconsiderable his standing, ever approached him 
on business, that he did not patiently listen to his story, 
and aflford him all the information in his power. His mo- 
ral character is without reproach, and by those who know 
him most intimately, he is most esteemed. Benevolence 
in him is a prominent virtue. He was never known to pass 
distress without seeking to relieve it. The truth of this re- 
mark is admirably illustrated in the following anecdotes ; 


A young missionary, from the Dutch reformed church, 
while on his way some years ago to his station among 
some of the western Indians, fell sick near Nashville, 
Tennessee. His funds were small, and the Classis of 
Albany, or thereabouts, from which he came, were slow 
in remittances. His money soon went away for medicine 
and boarding ; his horse followed ; and after a while he 
had little remaining of the things of this world but a re- 
lapsed bilious fever, and a scanty pair of saddle bags. 
He called his landlord, and announced his condition: his 
remnant of clothing, he said, would scarcely defray the 
expenses of his burial : and if he continued longer a liv- 
ing inmate of the tavern, it must be without the hope of 
compensation to those around him. The innkeeper was 
embarrassed ; for his own slender means did not invite 
to the exercise of costly hospitality ; yet his conscience 
refused to turn the sick stranger from his house. A plan 
at last struck him for the relief of both parties : " You 
must he carried," he said, "to the Hermitage, to General 
Jackson's." It was, indeed, a severe trial for the young 
missionary, to become the volunteer guest of so formida- 
ble a personage, one of whose dark and bloody deeds 
such frightful relations had been made. But there was 
no alternative : he had no right to remain where he was ; 
and w^hen the general's carriage arrived to convey him 
away, he entered it with a determined feeling of a mar- 
tyr. His disease was violent and obstinate ; but after a 
fortnight of almost unremitting delirium, during which 
his imagination w^as busy with scalps, and tomahawks, 
and deeds of blood, his constitution triumphed. Awak- 
ing to a consciousness of his situation, he found himself 
in an airy, comfortable apartment, where every thing was 
quiet, simple, and unostentatious. The elderly matron, 
who sat watching silently by his pillow, might have serv- 
ed for a model of that charity, which suffereth long and 


is kind ; and her venerable partner, who came in soon 
after, had nothing about him of the fierce and vindictive 
expression, with which a morbid fancy had painted him. 
As his strength returned, the stranger had many oppor- 
tunities of studying the character of his host, and of ob- 
serving the estimation in which others held him. He saw 
him frank, intelligent, and kind-hearted ; the guardian 
of the orphan, the adviser of the friendless, and the favo- 
rite depository of all those trusts, which are considered 
most responsible and sacred among men. He found his 
house the refuge of the widow and the poor, and his table 
the pattern of the simple but cordial hospitality of the 
west. He stood with him in the morning and evening 
circle of family devotion, and heard him pray for the for- 
giveness of his enemies. He smiled at his own delusion, 
as he contrasted the excellent old chief with the portrait 
which his imagination had delineated. Some four weeks 
afterwards, the young clergyman was seen, renewed in 
health, well mounted, and his purse well filled by the ge- 
neral's liberality, plodding his way to the missionary sta- 
tion. His first letter to his friends told of all these things, 
and invoked the blessings of Heaven on the good Samari- 
tan who had relieved him in his hour of need. 

Another illustration of the warmth and benevolence of 
his heart is exhibited in his visit to the orphan asylum at 
Washington, soon after he assumed the duties of chief 
magistrate. This asylum is under the supervision of a 
most amiable order of religious women, denominated th*^ 
" sisters of charity." They are chiefly known for their 
maternal care of the sick, but the instruction of youth 
forms a prominent object in their beneficent vocation. 
This institution, at which twenty-three orphan girls were 
supported and educated, and about thirty day scholars re- 
ceived instruction, being considerably in debt, a number 
of pious ladies undertook the conduct of a fair for its re- 


lief. It being ascertained tliat the president elect intend- 
ed to assist at the charitable enterprise, the little suppli- 
cants for the bounty of the public, determined to prepare 
for him an appropriate reception. Accordingly, as in his 
progress through the crowded rooms he approached the 
principal table, about fifty young female voices burst 
forth in the following stanzas, which, if they may not be 
of the highest order of poetry, yet are duly characterizea 
by two of its essential attributes, truth and appropriate 

He conies ! the chief — liis country's defender — 
The boast of the free and the pride of the brave — 
Hist'ry has written his name in splendor, 
The hero who fought his country to save. 

Then weave for his brow the laurel's green leaf, 
For deeds in the field his valor hns won — 
Then weave for his brow the oak's civic wreath 
For the hero, the sage, Columbia's son. 

Ah ! check'd is our joy — the tender vine 's gone, 
So sweetly that hung on the boughs of the pine — 
The mother of orphans for ever we'll mourn, 
Sorrow in c3-pross our hearts shall entwine ! 

At this sudden and delicate allusion to his deceased 
partner, the veteran's firmness failed — he burst into tears. 
That voice which had often swelled upon the roar of bat- 
tle, inciting his soldiers to victory, was choked with deep 
emotion. At length, subduing his feelings with a power- 
ful eflbrt, he grasped the hand of the nearest orphan and 
exclaimed, " Yes my child, I will be a father to you." 
A liberal benefaction aflbrded proof of his sincerity. 

It is imputed to General Jackson, that he derives from 
his birth a temper irritable and hasty, which has had the 
effect to create enemies, and involve him in disputes. In 
him, however, these defects of character exist to an ex- 
lent as limited as with most men ; and the world is in 
error in presuming him under a too high control of feel- 


ing and passion. A fixed devotion to those principles 
which honor sanctions, renders him scrupulously atten- 
tive to his promises of every description. 

No man has been more misconceived in character. 
Many, on becoming acquainted with him, have been heard 
to admit the previous opinions which they had entertain- 
ed, and how great had been their mistake. Rough in 
appearance, positive and overbearing in his manner, are 
what all, upon a first introduction, expect to find; and yet 
none are possessed of milder manners, or of more conci- 
liating address. The public situations in which he has 
been placed, and the circumstances which surrounded 
him, are doubtless the cause that those opinions have 
become so prevalent ; but they are opinions which an 
p.'^^j'^aintance with him tends to remove. The difficul- 
ti >^ -^nrler which he labored at New Orleans, were such 
as might well have perplexed, and thrown the mind aside 
from every thing of mildness. 

Light and trifling pleasantries often mark character as 
distinctly as things of consequence. General Jackson 
one day, during the siege of New Orleans, was approach- 
ed by an ofiicer of the militia, who stated his desire to 
leave the service, and return home ; for that he was made 
game of, and called by the company, pewter foet. He ma- 
nifested great concern, and an anxious desire to be relieved 
from his unpleasant situation. The general, with much 
apparent sympathy for him, replied, that he had ascertained 
there was a practice in the camp of giving nicknames ; and 
had understood too, that very many had dar«d to call him 
Old Hickory ; *' Now," said he, " if you prefer mine, I 
am willing to exchange ; if not, remain contented, and 
perform your duty faithfully, and, as soon as we can get 
clear of those troublesome British, our wrongs shall be 
inquired into by a court-martial, and the authors punish- 
ed ; for then, and not till then, shall we have an end of 


those insults." The effect was happy, and induced the 
complaining officer to retire, perfectly satisfied to learn, 
that his grievance would be united with the generaPs, 
and both ere long be effectually redressed. 

General Jackson possesses ambition, but it rests on 
virtue ; an ambition which, regulated by a high sense of 
honorable feeling, leads him to desire that '* applause 
which follows good actions — not that which is run after." 
No man is more ready to hear and respect the opinions 
of others, and none, where much is at stake, and in con- 
flict with his own, less disposed to be under their influ- 
ence. He has never been known to call a council of 
war, whose decisions, when made, were to shield him 
from censure. His council of war, if doubting himself, 
was a few officers, in whom he fully confided, whose ad- 
vice was regarded if their reasons were conclusive ; but, 
these not being satisfactory, he at once adopted and pur- 
sued the course suggested by his own mind. 

It is well known, many apprehended that our govern- 
ment, under the administration of General Jackson, would 
pass to a military despotism. No fears were ever more 
groundless. Mr. Robertson, an eminent foreign writer, 
from, whom, when he expresses sentiments commendatory 
of our institutions and distinguished characters, we may 
look with confidence for impartiality, in closing his 
sketch of General Jackson, remarks : " He has now ad- 
ministered the government for nearly three years', and 
has shown nothing of the disposition to act the military 
chieftain. No gens d'arms guard his door, no halber- 
diers his person. He has never as yet amused the good 
citizens of Washington with a military execution, himself 
preceded by laurelled lictors with their fasces and axes, 
and with the master of the horse at his heels. If the ap- 
prehensions of those who foretold such things were ho- 
nest, they are happily disappointed. If they mistook not 


the man, as I believe they did, they certainly misundet- 
stood the genius of the people. They forgot the omnipo- 
tence of public opinion in a great and a free country. 
Every thing political must be shaped by it, every thing 
exist by it. Public opinion may be as volatile as the air 
around us, but nevertheless as vital to republican institu- 
tions as that is to animal life. Mind in this country is 
operating upon mind, and opinion struggling with opi- 
nion for light and knowledge. Every facuUy of man is 
in a state of improvement. Intelligence meets with, and 
combats ignorance, and ignorance becomes illumined by 
the conflict, infidelity is overcome by faith, and truth 
elicited by error. In such a state, while every man is 
testing his own powers, and examining the rights and ca- 
pacities of others, and attempting to place all things on 
the basis of philanthropj^ and justice, although there may 
be a good share of evil abroad, yet the dread of the talents, 
fame, or influence of any one man, is not one of these 

*' If military ambition once burned in the breast of Ge- 
neral Jackson, it should be recollected that he has reached 
that period of life, when the flame would begin to dimi- 
nish. He is more than double the age of Alexander 
when he died, and much older than Caesar when he fell 
Age always holds on what it has gained, but seldom de- 
sires to make exertions for new honors, particularly mili- 
tary ones. I have entered into this subject more particu- 
larly, not that I ever thought he would give the nation a 
military cast of character, any more than a civilian, but 
because the politicians of England ; and in fact in all Eu- 
rope, afiected to believe that this nation was rapidly pass- 
ing to a military despotism, because they had elected 
General Jackson for their president, and argued from it 
the downfall of the liberties of the country, citing ancient 
instances of the insatiable appetite of military clueftaiiiS, 


There is no parallel in the cases — there is no force in 
the argument." 

The exalted reputation acquired by General Jackson 
in the field, has been admirably sustained in the cabinet. 
It has been remarked with much truth, that, " under his 
administration, frauds have been detected and purged — 
extravagances have been suppressed — monopolies ruined 
— privileged orders exposed — the national debt reduced — 
the authority of the state governments, and the rights of 
individuals, have not been invaded — interference in re- 
ligions avoided — advantageous treaties with civilized 
powers, and with the Indian tribes, have been negotiated 
and ratified — and the constitution reverenced." 

Having thus imperfectly sketched the prominent inci- 
dents in the career of this remarkable individual, we are 
now arrived at that point where our relation must cease. 
We have seen him in every varied scene that checkers 
•the course of human existence — in every situation that 
develops the energies of the human mind — tries its firm- 
ness — tests its fortitude, and reveals its hidden springs of 
action. From the undaunted stripling in the ranks of our 
revolutionary fathers — the sole survivor of his kindred 
who fell in that sanguinary conflict, we have seen the 
insulated, unfriended child of fortune, rise by his own 
energies to the acme of military renown ; thence onward 
to the period w^hen the confidence and gratitude of .his 
country made him the recipient of the choicest favour in 
her bestowment : and his stern integrity, firmness of pur- 
pose, unwavering courage, soundness of judgment, up- 
rightness of heart, and love of his country, have been ad- 
mirably manifested in all the leading incidents of his 
eventful life, and have proclaimed him the fearless assert- 
er and defender of the rights of man. 

He still presides over our united country, and the close 


of his present term of office will probably restore him to 
the Hermitage, on the banks of the Cumberland, in the 
quietude of that delightful seclusion, to await, in the calm- 
ness of conscious rectitude and honour, the close of his 
brilliant and eventful day.