Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of the life and public services of Major General Andrew Jackson"

See other formats


Copy 2 


r/.^*"=^^ /.yiC^.'/X 

,"^ .' 

•, ^-^ 



*•"' ^' 


■i^^ • 


q, **Tr,'* aO 


<•. c-» 




y .. 'V'^.Tr-'y' "o^^^*^**/ V-^-'y 







^ 1828. 










Andruw Jackson, now a candidate for the office of President of the United 
States, was the youngest of three sons of an Irish emigrant, who came to this 
country in the year 1765, and " shortly afterwards purchased a tract of land in 
what was then called the Waxsan settlement, about forty-five miles above Cam- 
den," in South Carolina. (1) While he was yet very young he had the misfortune 
to lose his father; and his mother intending him for the ministry, sent hira to an 
academy held in the VVaxsau meeting-house. (2) 

Here he continued until the ravages of war interrupted the opportunities of 
education. " A state of neutrality or quiet" became quite unattainable in South 
Carolina. (3) The measures of Lord Cornwallis " were calculated to admit of 
no neutrality among the people." (4) " The licentiousness of a soldiery, spread 
through a rich and feeble country, can seldom be restrained: in South Carolina 
it was scarcely attempted. The spirit of plunder seems rather to have been 
countenanced;" (5) and Wassau was the scene of one of (he most bloody and 
disastrous conflicts, where " no quarter was given" (6) by the British under 
Tarleton, when a corps of American cavalry were almost entirely destroyed. 
At about this juncture — the precise time is not specified by the biographer — 
Andrew Jackson, with one of his brothers, joined a party of militia, retreating 
from the advance of the enemy, and accompanied them " into the interior of 
North Carolina," (7) to which part of the country the disturbances had not 
then extended. It is not stated by Major Rcid or Mr. Eaton, whether their 
mother went with them; but it seems scarcely probable she could have safely 
remained behind, considering the disturbed condition of the country, the licen- 
tiousness of the invaders, and that her place of residence had already been the 
scene of a bloody and cruel massacre. Her eldest son had previously joined the 
army, and lost his life at the time of the " battle of Stouo," in consequence of 
fatigue and the heat of the weather. (8) 

" When Lord Cornwallis crossed the Yadkin," in North Carolina, these fugi- 
tives ventured to I'cturn " in small detachments" to their own state.(9) " They 
found Camden in possession of Lord Rawdon, and the surrounding country in a 
state of desolation. "(10) 

Soon afterwards, a number of the Waxsau settlers were surprised at the 
meeting-house by a party of tories and British, and were obliged to make a 
rapid flight.( 11 j 

Andrew Jackson and his brother Robert were there — whether as spectators 
or otherwise is not stated — and escaped into the woods; but being pressed with 

1 The authority for this fact, as well as for many that follow, is the well known work 
entitled " The Life of Andrew Jackson, Major General in the service of the United Statss, 
&c.; commenced by John Reid, Brevet Major, U. S. Army. Completed by John Henry 
Eaton. Published at Philadelphia, 1817.'' And (he second edition of (he same, " by John 
Henry Katon, S€na(or of the United States," published in 1&24. (2) lb. page 10. (3) Mai- 
shall'sLifc of Washington, v. 4, p. 162. (4) lb. J65. (5) lb. 16«. (6) lb. 160.(7) Eaton's 
Life, p, 10. (8) lb. p. 11. (9) lb. (10) lb. (11) lb. 12. 

2 Life of 

huQger, came out, and were taken into custody along with several of the ael- 

They were treated with much unkindness aud seventy while they remained 
in the power of the British; until a few days after the battle of Camden, in 
Aug-ust, 1780, when they were released. (2) 

The eldest brother had recently died; Robert died soon after his release in 
consequence of disease contracted and ill usage received during his captivity; 
(3) their mother also died about this period, and Andrew found himself the 
sole survivor of the family, and the uncontrolled master of his actions and his 

" He entered upon the enjoyment of hisestate, which, though small, would 
have been sufficient, under prudent management, to have completed his educa- 
tion on the liberal scale which his mother had designed. Unfortunately, how- 
ever," according to Mr. Eaton, " like too many voung men, sacrificing future 
prospects to present gratification, he expended it with rather too profuse a 
hand. (4) 

He continued this course of self-indulgence and unworthy "■ gratifications" 
through the three last years of the war, during which, the utmost excitement 
generally prevailed among the youths of Carolina. Though master of his pro- 
perty, it is not said that he devoted (he least particle of it to the cause of freedom^ 
and while uncontrolled in his own actions, he avoided, during the splendid cam- 
paigns of Green, Lee, and Marion, any further exposure to the perils of military 

When he was eighteen years of age, or more, (5) he " abandoned the pulpit 
for the bar," (6) ancT commenced law student at Salisbury, in North Carolina, 
where he was licensed as an attorney, in 1786. (7) 

In 1788 he removed " through the wilderness" to Nashville, where but one 
lawyer had previously resided. (8) Here he settled, and soon after obtained the 
appointment of District Attorney for the territory of Tennessee. (9) 

In 1796 he was a member of the convention which met to form a constitutioQ 
aind state government, under the act of congress, permitting Tennessee to come 
into the Union(lO) as a state. 

1 Eaton's Life, 12. (2) lb. l.S. f3; lb. (4) lb. 13, 14. (5) His age— the pre- 
cise period of bis birth, and consequently the place of his nativity, seem involved in some 

It should not be considered any disparagement to him to say he was born in Ireland, if 
such were the fact. But bis biographer, who is als/) his friend, — Mr. Senator Eaton, — 
falls into inconsistencies tliat cannot but raise a suspicion of a design to conceal the whole 
truth. The 15th of March, 1767, is named by Mr. Eaton as the day of his birth. But it is 
said, that " at the age oC fourteen he joined the American camp," — and this was a long 
time previous to the battle of Camden, which occurred on the 16th of August, 17S0. But 
if there is truth in Arithmetic, there cannot be fourteen years between March 15th, 1767, 
and August 16th, 1780, independent of the months or weeks to be allowed for the retreat 
into North Carolina, the stay there, the cautious return, the residence at home, the cap- 
ture, and the long and distressful captivity. 

The statement of Mr. Eaton is therefore wrong, somehoio, beyond question. But it is 
stated lie was admitted to the bar in 17S6. If of legal age at that time, as must be pre- 
sumed, he could not have been born later than 1765; — in part of which year his parents 
were residing in Ireland. Further it is said, that in 1780 he entered upon the " manage- 
ment" and " enjoyment" of his patrimonial estate; and " squandered" it in personal " gra- 
tifications." This can hardly be said of a "young man" of less than sixteen years old. 
The personal " gratifications" of the idlest boy of thirteen, fourteen, or fifteen, could 
scarcely require so ruinous an expenditure. If even sixteen when he thus ' squandered' 
his estate, he must have been born in 1764, a year before his parents left Ireland. 

There is a niystery about this vvbich may never be explained. To have been born in 
Ireland implies no reproach. Bui, if lie was of an age to bear arms, it is difficult to excuse 
his voluntary absence from Eutaw springs and the Cowpens. 

6 Eaton, p. 14. (7) lb. 

S Eaton, p. 15. Second edition, 16. (9) lb. 15. (10) lb. 16. First edition. Act 
uf congress, June 1st, 1796. 

Andrew Jackson. S 

la this assembly he arrajed himself on the anti-republican side, and opposed 
the democratic principles of universal suffrage and equal rights. He joined in 
establishing the rule which allows the rich man to vote in evety county where 
he has land; but confines the poor man to one vote where he resides. And he 
also approved and advocated the exclusiou of all men from a seat in the legisla- 
ture, except those who possessed two hundred acres of land in their own right. 

The following extract from the "Journal of the Tennessee Convention," 
shows the part which he took in support of these distinctions: 

" Tuesday, Jan. 12, 1796. On motion of Mr. Robertson, resolved that there 
be appointed * a committee of two members from each county, to draft a consti- 
tution, <^c.' and Messrs. M'Nairy and JACKSON were appointed on said 
committee for the county of Davidson." [See p. C, of the Journal.] ' 

" Wednesday, Jan. 27. The committee reported a draft of a constitution." — 
[See p. 12.] 

Sec. 1. ".4/Z freemen of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, jjossessing 
afreehold in the county vihere they may offer to vote, and being iniiabitants of this 
state; and all freemen who have been inhabitants of any one county, within the 
state, six months immediately preceding (he day of election, shall be entitled 
to a vote for members of the General Assembly, for the county in which they 
shall respectively reside." — [See Journal of Convention, page m. ] 

" Wednesday, Feb, 3, 1796. Mr. Cocke moved, and was seconded by Mr. 

" Tluit no person shall be eligible to a seat in the General Assembly unless he 
has resided three years in the state and one in the county, immediately pre- 
ceding the election, and shall possess i?i his own right in the county which he 
represents, not less than two hundred acres of land, and shall have 
attained the age of twenty-one years." Which was agreed to. — [See p. 29.] 

It must be observed also, as indicative of his sentiments, that in the same 
convention he moved to expunge the article providing, that '' No person who 
publicly denies the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punish 
ments, shall hold any office in the civil department of the state." 

In the same year he was chosen a member of congressj and took his seat in 
time to vote with Mr. Giles, and against Mr. Madison, on the subject of a re- 
spectful address to Washington, who was then about to retire from the Presi- 

It was customary at that period for cougress to reply to the President's com- 
munications. A committee, of whicli Mr. .Madison was a member, reported, on 
the 12th of December, an address, which contained these words, " for our 
country's sake, for the sake of republican liberty, it is our earnest wish that 
your example may be the guide of your successors, and thus, after being the 
ornament and safeguard of the present age, become the patrimony of our de- 

Mr. Giles moved to expunge all such expressions; and said, " as to those 
parts of the address which speak of the wisdom and firmness of the President he 
must object to them; he was one who did not think so much of (he President as 
some others do; he wished him to retire, and that the moment of his tetiringhad 
come." Mr. Giles did not succeed in ^his motion. — Madison, Gallatin, and other 
leaders of the republicans, voting, as well as the federalists, in favour of so just 
a tribute fo the virtues of Washington. Jackson voted with Giles, and a very 
few others, to insult that great and good man, by striking out all that was re- 
spectful in the address. 

Except thus recording his enmity against Wasliington, General Jackson took 
little part in the business of the session, and did not afterwards resume his seat 
in the House of Representatives. (2) 

The session closed on the 3d of March, but owing to the urgency of public 
business a session was held a few weeks after, commencing on the 15th of 
May, 1797. 

1 See the Journals of Congress of the Session, commencing Dec. 5th, 1796, nnd ending 
March Sd, 1797. 
2Eaton'«rjf(», p. 18. 

4 Life of 

He did fiot attend this session, although he still held his membership. It was not 
a time for politicians or patriots to be absent from their posts; but he threw away 
the opportunity of opposing the celebrated slamp act, which was passedduring this 
summer session. 

At the session of 1797-8, he appeared as a member of the Senate, and remained 
until the 12th of April, 1798, when he obtained leave of absence and went home. 
Mr. Senator Eaton states that, * ' On the alien law, and the effort to repeal the 
stamp act, he was present, voting in the minority," &c. 

But this is manifestly untrue, for the Journal shows that he took leave of ab- 
sence on the 1 2th of April, and Senator Eaton says that " about the middle of April 
business of an important and private nature imposed on him the necessity of ask- 
ing leave of absence and returning home."[l] It is also certain, that the first 
suggestion of the alien law was not until April 25th — the bill was reported and 
read for the first time. May 4th, and passed the senate on the 8th of .June- 
went through the other house on the 22d, and was approved by the president on 
the twenty-fifth. 

The only vote which Mr. Eaton could mean to refer to, was on the 8th of 
January, 1798, when Mr. Anderson asked leave to bring in a bill to repeal the 
stamp act of the preceding summer. On this occasion the vote stood eleven to 
fifteen and the motion was lost. General Jackson voted in the minority. 

Among the eleven who voted to give Mr Anderson the leave he asked for, 
were Mr. Green and Mr. Foster of Rhode Island, and Mr Livermore of New 
Hampshire — all decided and unwavering federalists. 

Nearly all the important measures of the party then in power— ^the measures 
which caused the fall of Mr. Adams' administration — were carried through Con- 
gress during the latter part of this session, after General Jackson had gone home. 
The act for raising a provisional army which was said to be urged particularly 
by Hamilton and his friends against the judgment of the President — was passed 
in May. The alien law was passed in June; the act authorising the capture of 
French vessels, and the sedition law in July. 

At the time of the passage oi all these bills General Jackson was a member of 
Congress but did not attend in his place to oppose any one of them. 

He resigned his seat in the Senate according to Senator Eaton, in 1799. But 
it is certain that he never attended after April I2lh, 1798. 

He took leave, ou this occasion, of political life " for the intrigues of which," 
says Mr Eaton "he declared himself unfit. "(2) 

It is difficult to comprehend what ' intrigues' General Jackson would have been 
obliged to carry on, if he had remained in the senate ; but perhaps the station re- 
quired qualities of mind and temper of which he felt himself destitute; or possi- 
bly he had not yet made up his mind as to those strong measures which charac- 
terised the then existing administration. 

At least he could not have disapproved of those enactments very earnestly or 
he would not have stayed away, and lost the opportunity to vote against them. 

About this time he became a major general of militia, and was appointed a 
judge; but, aware of the mischief his incompetency might create, [3] he shortly 
resigned the judical station, and retired to a plantation ten miles from Nashville, 
where ho has since resided. [4] 

In 1806, he killed a young gentleman, named Charles Dickinson, with circum- 
stances of peculiar vindictiveness. 

A particular account of the duel was published in the National Journal, on 
the authority of a respectable citizen who received it from Dr. Catlett, one of 
the seconds. The other second, Mr. Overton, has not contradicted it. 

It seems they both had race horses and quarrelled about foul play in a race 
which Gen. Jackson won. Jackson challenged. Dickinson's ball grazed Jack- 
son's breast, slightly touching the skin; Jackson's pistol went to half cock. He 
nodded to tho seconds, re cocked his pistol, took deliberate aim, and killed 

The Nashville paper, called the " Impartial Review and Cumberland Reposi- 

1 Eaton, p. IS. (2) lb. [3] lb, p. 19. [4] lb. p, 17. * ~ 

Andrew Jackson. 5 

tory," of June 7th, 1806, also contains an account of the duel; and a note from 
Gen. Jackson to the editor to prevent his putting the paper in mourning, as a 
tribute of respect to Dickenson's memory, and a consolation to his widow and 

The latter part of 180G, and the following year were marked by the agitations 
caused by the discovery — so far as K was discovered — of Burr's conspiracy. 

Burr was an intimate friend of Gen. Jackson, and the intimacy continued after 
his projects were well known to be treasonable.[l] 

in 1812, when the war commenced, Gen. Jp.ckson's division of militia raised 
a volunteer force of 2500 men, with which he descended the Mississippi toNat- 
chez.(2) But as there was no enemy in tiiat quarter, he was directed to dismiss 
the men. He disobeyed, and marched them back to Tennessee. (3) 

In the following summer, be had a quarrel with Colonel Benton, of the army, 
now senator from Missouri, which led to an attempt, on his part, to commit a 
deliberate murder. The statement published by Colonel Benton, relative to 
this transaction, has not been controverted by General Jackson — It was dated 
at Franklin, in Tennessee, September 10th, 1G13,— as follows, viz: 

" A difference which had been for some months brewing between Gen. Jack- 
son and myself, produced, on Saturday the 4t.h instant, in the town of Nashville, 
the most outrageous atlray ever witnessed in a civilized country. In communi- 
cating this affair to my friends and fellow-citizens, I limit myself to the statement 
of a few leading facts, the truth of which I am ready to establish by judicial 
proofs : 

'* 1. That myself and my brother Jesse Benton, arrived at Nashville on the 
morning of the affray, and knowing of General Jackson's threats, went and took 
our lodgings in a difl'ereut house from the one in which he staid, on purpose to 
avoid him. 

"2. That the General and some of his friends came to the house where we 
had put up, commenced the attack by levelling a pistol at me, when I had no 
weapon drawn, and advancing upon me at quick pace, without giving me 
time to draw one. 

" 3. That seeing this, my brother fired upon Gen. Jackson, when he had got 
within eight or ten feet of me. 

"4. That four other pistols were fired in quick succession: one by Gen. 
Jackson at me, two by me at the, and one by Colonel Coffee at me. In 
the course of this firing. General Jackson was brought to the ground, but I 
received no hurt. 

" 5. That daggers were then drawn. Col. Coffee and Mr. Alexander Don- 
aldson made at me and gave me five slight wounds. Captain Hammond and Mr. 
Stukely Hays engaged my brotiier, who being still weak from the effect of a 
severe wound he had lately recieved in a duel, was not able to resist two men. 
They got him down, and while Capt. Hammond beat him on the head to make 
him lay still, Mr. Hays attempted to stab him, and wounded him in both arms as 
be lay on his back, parrying his thrusts with his naked hands. From this situa- 
tion, a generous hearted citizen of Nashville, Mr. Summer, relieved him. Be- 
fore he came to the ground, my brother clapped a loaded pistol to the breast of 
Mr. Hays, to blow him through, but it missed fire. 

1 The Richmond Enquirer of January 20th 1807, contains the following extract from (he 
Tennessee Gazette published at Nashville, viz: 

"Col. Burr arrived on Sunday evening last, at Gen. Jackson's about 9 miles from this 
town; and has been in this place several times this week. He appears to be preparing for 
some movement, we know not where. Should be attempt any hostile movement, we will 
make it known." 

General Adair of Kentucky in an address to the public several years since openly tmmled 
Gen. Jackson with having organized troops, superintended (he building of boats, &c. for 
Col. Burr. 

2 Eaton's I.ifc, p. 22. (3) lb. 22. " He lost no time in making known to the secretary of 
war, (he resolution be had adopted to disregard the order he had given," &c. Eaton, p. 22, 

6 Life of 

" 6. My own and my brother's pistols carried two balU each; for it was our 
intention, if driven to arms, to have no child's play. The pistols fired at me 
were so near, that the blaze of the muzzle of one of them burnt the sleeve of my 
coat, and the other aimed at my head, at a little more than an arm's length from 

" 7. Captain Carroll was to have taken part in the affray, but was absent by 
the permission of General Jackson, as he has since proved by the General's cer- 
tificate: a certificate which reflects less honour, I know not whether upon the 
General, or upon the Captain. 

" 8. Thai' this attack was made upon me in the house where the judge of the 
district, Mr. Searcy, had his lodgings! So little are the laws and its ministers 
respected! Nor has the civil authority yet taken cognizance of (his horrible out- 
rage. THOMAS HART BENTON, Lieut. Col. 39th Infantry." 

The assassin like charater of this transaction, must be considered far from 
honorable to the spirit of assailants. Murder in a duel is redeemed from shame 
by the display of courage and the generous provision for equal danger. But the 
deliber'ate attack by five armed men upon only two — the suddenness of the onset, 
the firing on Col. Benton before he had a weapon drawn, and this within ten feet, 
— all this was plainly murderous in intention without being brave. 
No notice of this outrage was taken by the police or magistracy. 
While Gen. Jackson was still suffering with the fracture of his arm, received 
in this afrray,(l) he was obliged to take the field against the Creek Indians. 

His former expedition, as we have seen, had been entirely ineffectual, when 
he descended the river to Natchez, and returned without seeing an enemy. 
Other commanders had been more lucky. Col. Newman, with a party of 
Georgia militia, had made a successful inroad, and killed about fifty of the war- 
riors .(2) 

Colonel Williams also had led a body of volunteers from East Tennessee, had 
fought three battles with the Indians, killed thirty-eight and wounded many 
more, besides taking a large number of prisoners; had burnt several towns, de- 
stroyed the corn, and brought off a rich booty, consisting of four hundred horses 
and an equal number of cattle. (3) 

These successes had been gained during the period of Gen. Jackson's fruit- 
less expedition to Natchez; and so much had the Indians been beaten, that " it 
was the opinion of Col. Hawkins, (the agent) and also of Gen. Hampton, who 
passed through the Creek country during these transactions, that they might 
safely rely on the peaceful conduct &nA friendship of all the Creeks, excepting 
only the Seminoles."(4) 

In 1813, the massacre at Fort Mims showed that, though the strength of the 
Indians was impaired, their spirit was not subdued. It was in consequence of 
this calamity the legislature of Tennessee ordered a force of 3,o00men to be 
embodied, of which Gen. Jackson took the command, in October, 1813.(5) 

Early in November, he reached the Ten Islands on the Coosa river. He de- 
tached Gen. Coffee with nine hundred men to destroy the Talluschatche town; 
which service was effectually performed. Every min in the town was killed; and 
some of the women and children, unavoidably, perhaps, in the midst of such 
shocking butchery of their husbands and; fathers, and " in consequence of the 
men flying to their houses and mixing with their families."(6) 

Gen. Jackson had thus been preceded by several other commanders in this 
work of destruction against the miserable Creeks; a iew days afterwards, how- 
ever, at a place called Talladega, he had an opportunity to emulate their ex- 
ploits. Coming up with a body of Indians, which he completely surrounded, a 
massacre took place not at all inferior to those which had gone before. " In their 

1 Mr. Walsh's Biography, in the American Monthly Magazine, p. 73. Eaton's Life, 
first edition, p. 36. Eaton omits all description of the fight in which it had been injured. 

2 M'Affee's History, p. 466. (3) lb. (4) lb. (5) Eaton, p. 31, 36. 
6 Gen. Coffee's ofBcial report. M'Afee's History, 7, p. 466. 

Andrew Jackson. f 

flight, the Indians were met at every turn, and pursued in every (lirection."fl) 
"It was the opinion of the General, that if he had not been compelled to dis- 
mount his reserve, scarcely any of the enemy could have escaped c}estrudion.''\2) 
" Probably ybtfl escaped unhurt. "(3) The loss of the Indians, as stated by them- 
selves, was not less than six hundred. 

The residue of the campaign was marked by a series of disputes between the 
General and the militia, such as have never occurred in any other part of the 
military service of this country. The zeal of Gen. Jackson was unquestionable; 
his desire to punish the Creeks, to emulate the successes of Col. Williams, and 
to push the war boldly towards the Florida frontier, perhaps, led him into errone- 
ous views of his own power, and into too contemptuous an opinion of the rights 
of the militiamen. 

After some difficulties, arising from the extreme want of provisions, tbe ap- 
proach of the day when their term of service expired, gave to the volunteers an 
occasion to claim their right to return. They had volunteered for one year, from 
December 10th, 1812. But when the 10th December, 1813, arrived, Gen. Jack- 
son claimed to hold them longer; alleging that the Act of congress contemplated 
an actual service of three hundred and sixty-five days; and as they had been 
discharged by the war department, and by him in the preceding spring, and now 
called out again, they were not entitled to go till they had served much longer. 
(4) Col. Martin, who commanded one of the regiments, addressed a respectful 
letter to the General, setting forth their determination to remain only till the 
10th, and assured him " that all had thought themselves finally discharged on the 
20th of April last, until they saw the order of September 24lh," requiring them 
to rendezvous at Fayetteville on the 4th of October; and that the officers assured 
them their services would terminate on the 10th of December. "(5y 

General Jackson called them mutineers and deserters if they attempted to 
leave him as they intended. (6) And on the 10th, the " artiller}- with two field 
pieces, and the militia under the command of Col. Wynne, on the eminences, in 
advance, were ordered to prevent the departure of the volunteers." (7) He want 
as far as to order " the artillerist to prepare the match. "(8) The officers, it 
seems, desirous to avoid bloodshed, agreed to remain a few days longer. An at- 
tempt was made to persuade them to continue, by an address, in which they 
were threatened with ' disgrace,' &c. But " this appeal failed of the desired 
efrect,"(9) and they went home. 

Gen. Coffee's brigade was the next to give trouble. They had been called out 
for three months, in September, 1813; — their three months had expired, but it 
was said their officers had agreed for them to continue through the winter. This 
they protested against as being done, if at all, without authority from them, and 
they insisted on going home. (10) General Jackson insisted on the Act of Feb- 
ruary 6th, 1812.(11) Not adverting to its repeal eight months previous to their 
being drafted; told them that " patriotism was not to be measured by months 
and weeks and days,"( 12) — called them deserters,(V3) but could not prevent their 
going home. 

The brigade of West Tennessee militia also claimed their right to go home at 

1 M'Aflee's History, p. 46S. (2) lb. 

3 Eaton, p. 57, first edition. (4) The Act of congress which Gen. Jackson cited, was 
thatof February, 6th, 1812. [Eaton, p. 29] This Act, Sec. 2d, provided that the volun- 
teers, if accepted by the president, " shall be bound to continue in service for the term 
of twelve months after they shall have arrived at the place of rendezvous, unless sooner 
discharged," Laws of the U. S. v. 4, p. 375. These volunteers tendered their services ia 
November, and rendezvoused on the 10th Dec, 1812, from which day, for twelve months, 
they were bound to do military duty, if ordered, unless discharged; but their discharge was 
ordered by the government on the 5th of January, 1813, [Eaton's Life, first edition, p. 19,] 
The Act of congress was repealed on the 29th of January, 1813, [Laws of the U. S. v. 4, 
p. 444,] And were "dismissed from service'' in the spring. [Eaton, p, 23, first ed.] It is 
unaccounts^jle that Gen- Jackson should have relied on such a foundation foi his claim to 
detain these men. 

(5) lb. 77, 78. (6) lb. 84. (7) lb. (8) lb. 85. (9) lb. 89. (10) lb. 90, 
[11] lb. 94. [13] lb. 96. [13] lb, 93. 

8 Life of 

the expiration of their three months. Gen. Jacksou conteniled that as they were 
called out for the purpose of subduing the Indians, and that object was not yet 
attained, they were not entitled to leave the service. (1) As this rule would 
have subjected them to an indefinite term of duty, they would not submit to it. 
Gov. Blount told them they were entitled to go home. (2) But Gen. Jacksou 
"believing it to be his duty to keep them," on the day their term of service 
expired by law, " issued an order, commanding all persons in the service of the 
United States, under his command, not to leave the encampment without his 
written permission, under the penalties annexed to the crime of t7eser<ton.(3) A 
Lieutenant Kearley of this brigade, who was about to leave the camp, was or- 
dered to be arrested — his men were about to protect him, but Gen. Jackson 
levelled a pistol at his breast and induced him to surrender. " A scene of blood- 
shed was narrowly escaped. "(4) For what purpose it was risked cannot be con- 
jectured, as the "rest of the brigade, except Capt. Willis' company and twen- 
ty-nine of his men, continued their march towards home. "(3) 

A regiment whose time was to expire soon after this occurrence, was plied 
with an address intended to work upon their feelings, and induce them to re- 
main; but persuasion was equally fruitless with the force before resorted to: 
" what was hoped for did not result," — they united in going, nor could they be 
persuaded to stay even for twenty days. 

What could have made the General so unpopular with (he militia does not ap- 
pear, unless the pretension of a right to determine the length of their service. 

Anxious to be again in command of a respectable army, he urged the gover- 
nor to order a further draft. But governor Blount, as he had executed the Act 
of Assembly and obeyed the requisition from Washington, justly considered his 
powers on this subject at an end, unless in case of emergency. (6) Gen. Jack- 
son urged him to proceed without law or authority of any kind, and wondered at 
his " waiting for a definition of his powers. "(7) 

The governor having been persuaded to order out 2,500 men for a three 
months term, a part of another division refused to join Gen. Jackson's camp, 
because "he would, with the regular force under his command, compel them 
to serve as long as he pleased;"(8) so entirely had his proceedings destroyed all 
confidence in bis character! They also considered the draft irregular, under 
which they had come out; and one hundred and eighty went home.(9) 

A force of 5,000 effectives[10] being at last collected. Gen. Jackson marched 
them towards the Creek country, and with three thousand, besides friendly In- 
dians, came up with about one Ih'ousand Creeks, at a place called Tohopeka or 
the Horseshoe. Deluded by their prophets, these unfortunate children of the 
forest stood their ground against so vast a superiority of force. Nearly all of 
them were killed, [11] with little loss to the Tennesseeans. 

The work of destruction continued long after all attempts at resistance had 
ceased; and it must be owned, that Gen. Jackson sullied the American military 
character, and particularly his own, by the barbarity of his massacre, in cold 
blood, of unresisting fugitives and those who attempting neither escape nor re- 
sistance, could be regarded only in the light of prisoners. He recorded this un- 
happy exploit in his own words in a letter to Major Gen. Pinckney, dated March 
25th, 1814, published in Niles' Register, vol. 6, p. 130. Viz. 

" Determining to exterminate them, I detached General Coffee, with 
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 the encampment, and to 
surround the bend in such a manner., as that none of them should escape, by at- 
tempting to cross the river. Five hundred and Jlfty-seven were left dead on the 
Peninsula, and a great number of them itere killed by the horsemen in attempting 
to cross the river; it is believed that no more than ten had escaped. We 
continued,^' he adds, " <o hestrov 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 which had been concealed. 

(1) Eaton, first edition, p. 100. (2) lb. p. 110. (3) lb. lb. (4) lb. 111. 

(5) lb. 112. (6) lb. 101. (7) lb, 102. (8) lb. 146. (9) lb. 145. (10) lb. 142. 
ai)Ealon, 145. 

Andrew Jackson. 9 

General Jackson is the only American commander that has ever encouraged 
and premeditated the imitation of [ndian barbarities, iu the slaughter of cap- 
lives and unresisting men. And iu his case it was the more marked, because a 
whole afternoon and night had elapsed after the excitement of bailie bad passed 

This aflfair scarcely deserved the name o( victory, — the immense superiority of 
force on the part of the Tennesseeans, rendered all attempts at resistance, on 
the part of the Indians, merely desperate. 

The Creeks now totally broken down by the havoc made among them by 
Newman, Williams, Floyd, White, and lastly by Jackson, sued for peace; and 
Gen. Pinckney taking the immediate command, ordered the Tennessee militia 
to be discharged. (2) 

Gen. Jackson, in an order issued at Nashville on the 24th of May, 1814, de- 
clared that "the Creek war had been brought to a happy termination," (3) but he 
was not disposed to remain in the quiet and unimportant condition of a militia 
general otEicer not in service. He ordered a draft of 1 ,000 men from his division 
to be mustered on the 20th June, for a tour of six months duly against the Creeks . 
It is said this order was issued by the governor's directions, — if so, it is not 
easy to account for the boldness of issuing an order so manifestly in contempt of 
the laws of the United States. 

It must, in all probability, have been known to Gov. Blount, that the Act of 
1812, authorizing such drafts, had expired, by limitation, in April, 1814; and 
that the law of 179,5, in force, expressly directed the militia tour to be three 
months only; and, also, that the very recent Act passed April IfJth, 1014, pro- 
vided the same limitation in favour of the militia men, leaving a discretionary 
power in the President only, to extend the term to six months. 

Perhaps the governor did not advert to the expiration of tiie law of 1812. Of 
Gen. Jackson it may fairly be presumed, after his conduct and avowed opinions 
of the past year — that he did not consider the legal right a very important ques- 
tion, in reference to the service to be exacted from militia. 

Just at this time Gen. Harrison resigned, and president Madison thought pro- 
per to appoint Gen. Jackson in his stead a Major General in the army of the 
United States. 

^ Various new military fcfts were established in the Creek country, and Gen 
Jackson received orders to negotiate or prescribe a treaty of peace and cession 
with the almost exterminated tribe. 

The orders of the secretary of war to Gen. Jackson on this subject were, 
" that the proposed treaty should take a form altogether military, and be in the 
nature of s. capitulation; ia which case the whole authority of making- and con- 
cluding the terms will be in you exclusively, as commanding General. ("4) 

The accompanying instructions, as to the terms to be prescribed, looked 
merely to indemnity and security to the United States; but the General thus en- 
trusted with full power to dictate the terms, concluded a treaty, in which, be- 
sides a large cession to the United States, there was also stipulated a cession of 
three miles square of land for himself, one mile square for Col. Hawkins, and one 
mile square for the interpreter. These unprecedented and very improper stipula- 
tions were not confirmed by the senate. (5) 

The treaty of cession with the Creeks being concluded. Gen. Jackson pro- 
ceeded to Mobile, and had an extensive command of regulars and militia. 

Upon the 1st of September, he received intimation of an intended attack 
on New Orleans. (6) He ordered a number of Indians to be taken into the pay 
of the government, and took measures to raise volunteers in Tennessee — pre- 
ferring that irregular course rather than-a lawful draft by the governor's order. 
(7) Two thousand men were actually collected in Tennessee, — three regiments 
of regulars were with him at Mobile, besides the militia, — every thing was pre- 
sently in complete readiness, and the troops "collected .'"or the can)paign, in high 

1 General White killed 60 and captured 256. See his official account id Ndes' Re- 
gister for December 25th, 1813. General Floyd, at Atossce, killed 200 — but all in action. 
Official letter in the same paper. (2) Eaton, p. 182. (3) Niles Register, vol. 6, p. 298. 
(4) Eaton's Life, 198. (5) lb. 209. (G) lb. p. 226. (7) lb. 227. 

10 life of 

spirits, set out for the point to which danger, duty, and their country called 
thera."(l) This '' pmnt," doubtless, was New Orleans; "an attack on the coun- 
try bordering on Mobile was an event not much to be apprehended. "(2) 

General Jackson was unfortunately led to postpone all measures for the de- 
fence of New Orleans for the sake of a very fruitless visit to Pensacola. 

He had been carrying on an angry correspondence with the Spanish gover- 
nor of that place for some time — and, at last, on the 7th of November, he took 
forcible possession of it. 

His army, on this occasion, amounted to 4000 men;(3) the opposing force was 
only 300 or thereabouts; (4) no regular defence was made, but a few straggling 
shots killed eight of the Americans. 

The object of this invasion was to get possession of a fort sis or seven miles 
from Pensacola at the Barancas:(5) but in this he was disappointed, as it was 
blown up and destroyed by the Spaniards after Pensacola was entered.(6j 

Why the fort was not made the first object of attack is not very clear. At all 
events the expedition was thus foiled, and the array returned to fort Montgo- 

The march of 4000 men to Pensacola for a purpose which was entirely baffled, 
was an unfortunate loss of time in the preparations for defending New Orleans. 
Gen. Jackson did not set off from Mobile for that most important point, until 
the 22d of November, (7_) which was nearly three months after he had been in- 
formed of the attack intended on that place by the British. (.8) 

Gen. Jackson's partiality for going into Florida has at various times been 
excessive; on this occasion his mililary character had to answer, not only for 
this extreme dilatoriness in repairing to New Orleans, — but also for the deci- 
sion which he made to leave the greater part of his army, of 4,000 men, near 
Mobile, where no attack was apprehendcd,{D) and take with him only a small 
detachment to the place where there was most need of a strong force;(10) where, 
in fact, he expected to meet a prompt attack. His motive for leaving so large a 
force of regulars where he expected no attack — and where, indeed, there was 
no temptation to the enemy — must be looked for in his anxiety to enforce his 
notions of mihtia discipline, and to be revenged for the vexations which he had 
been obliged to endure in the preceding year, from the militia so frequently in- 
sisting on leaving him when their term of service, according to their construc- 
tion, had arrived. 

The detachment drafted under the division order of May 24th, had assem- 
bled on the 20th of June, and, previous to the march to Pensacola, had been 
stationed at Fort Jackson, one of the posts erected in the Creek country. 

It was notorious that Gen. Jackson had openlj' contended for the right to de- 
tain militia after the expiration of their term of service, if he thought the object 
of the campaign required their sta3';( 11) and that the militia of Tennessee re- 
sisting this novel and despotic pretension, had, on several occasions, carried 
their point — and exercised their legal right to go home, and make room for 
others to take their places.(12) 

In this last drafted regiment the same determination prevailed which had been 

lEatoD,227. (2) lb. 226. (3) National Intelligencer, December ] 0th, 1814. f4) lb. 
Gov. Blount's letter to Gov. Shelby. (5) lb. (6) lb. (7) Eaton's Life, 256. (8) lb. p. 226. 
"The order reached Col. Butler at Nashville September 9th, urging him to hasten the vol- 
unteers intended for the defence of New Orleans, and raised in consequence of the anti- 
cipation of an attack there. "(9) Eaton, p. 226. (10) National Intelligencer, January 2d, 
1815. " Information from New Orleans. Gen. Jackson, with a detachment of his army, 
arrived there on the 1st of December, and on the 2d proceeded down the river," &c. 

There wcic at Mobile in November, of regular troops " the 3tl regiment, part of the 
44th, and the 391h." [Eaton's Life, p. 225.] Of these he took only the 44lh to New Or- 
leans. — See the Nat. latclligeuccr of January 21sf, 1816, — leaving the 39th and 3d, — of 
which the 3d followeil sometime after — but not till the fighting was all over. 

11 Eaton, p. 100, 115, 121, Sec. (12) " The riflemen insisted, that they could not be 
held in service after the 24th, that being three months from the time they had been mus- 
tered." Eaton's Life, p. 97. 

Gen.'^Jackson being advised by Gen. Coflee, not to attempt to detain them, p. 98, an- 
swered: that they were going home as deserters, p. 100, and that '• they must be luke- 

Andrew Jackson. 11 

80 often exhibited before; and their tour having been called a nx tnonlht tour by 
the General, ihey knew was only like his having, in 1813, held the service of 
the volunteers to be 3(55 dajs in two rr.ARSjfl} — when his endeavours to de- 
tain them by that claim totally failed. 

Two of tlieir officers told them that three months was to be the lenglhof their 
tour; — as did a brigadier general before they left Tennessee.(2) 

Under this impression they made arrangements, as liad formerly been done, 
for a departure, and, at the expiration of the three mouths, about 180 set off for 

Gen. Jackson instaiftly ordered them to be pursued and brought back. Many 
of them, hearing this, came voluntarily back to the fort. The expedition to 
Pensacola prevented an immediate trial; but a court martial was ordered by 
Gen. Jackson. 

Before it could convene he was obliged to set off for New Orleans. 
It is impossible to imagine any good reason for leaving the two regiments of 
regulars at Mobile when their presence was so much wanted at New Orleans, 
except an anxiety to ensure the enforcement of his often declared, but as often 
baffled, pretensions to the control of the militia beyond the term of service 
provided for by the Act of congress. 

Mr. Senator Eaton states in his preface, that in writing his "Life of Gen. Jack- 
son and History of the War, in the south" he had " the opportunity of constant 
and repeated intercourse" with General Jackson; and he builds on this fact an 
assurance of his perfect accuracy. 

It may therefore be considered Gen. Jackson himself who declares that an 
attack on Mobile or its vicinity ivas not apprehended. For defence against the 
enemy, therefore, those regiments were not needed at Mobile; but the safety of 
New Orleans was jeopardized for the sake of revenging himself for the former 
disrespect of the militia, by a severe punishment to be inflicted, by means of the 
regulars, upon tlie one hundred and eighty men who ventured to have their own 
opinions upon their legal obligations. 

Gen. Jackson reached New Orleans on the 1st of December, and, on the 2d, 
left it to examine tlie forliljcations on the river.(3) lie returned on the 9th, and 
was occupied in preparing for an attack. 

The most patriotic spirit prevailed universally in New Orleans,(4) the expec- 
tation of a visit from the enemy had existed for more than two months, during 
which time the arrival of Gen. Jackson and his army, which was known to be 
4000 strong, and within a few days march — iiad been anxiously expected. 

The legislature liad appropriated S50,000(5) for additional fortifications, 
and placed SG,000 in the hands of Commodore Patterson, who commanded the 
United States naval force on that station. 

With this money, used as extra bouniies, the Commodore fully manned two 
armed vessels on the river (6) 

The whole population devoted itself to the defence of the country. A levy 
en masse was effected. Even the old men organized themselves into companies, 

warm patriots, who, in (he moment of danger and necessity, can hah in (he dischaq;c of 
their duty to argue and quibble on the construction of laws and statutes." p. 102. " Never- 
theless, except a few officers and three or four privates, they persisted in the determina- 
tion to abandon the service." Sec p. 10(). 

Several simdar instances are recorded in " Eaton's Life," — and in no one case was any 
punishment attempted to be indicted. 

lEaton, p. 86. (2) Trial of Capt. Strother, &c. Official proceedings. (3) Nat. Intel- 
ligencer, January 9(h, 1815. Eaton, p. 259. (4) This is testified in the strongest terms by 
♦' Major Latour, principal engineer in the Seventh Militnvy District." an active partici- 
pator in the campaign — high in the General's confidence, of whom he was an ardent ad- 
mirer. See his " Historical Memoirs of the War in West Florida, and Louisiana," dedica- 
ted, with the assurance of respect and devotion, to General Jackson. " All the inhabitants 
of Louisiana, without the distinction of birth, colour, age, or sex, vied in zeal for the ser- 
vice of their country, and strained every nerve to repulse the enemy." Latour, p. 228. 
" Their conduct is the most emphatic refutation of the unjust charges of their calumni- 
ators.'" lb. (5) National Intelli»ciiccr, .Tanuaiy 21sf, 1S15, (6) Letter from €om. Pat- 
terson to the secretary of the navy, National Intelligencer, Feb. Mth, Latour, G8. 

12 Life of 

the ladies employed themselves io making clothes for the militia, and coloured 
people became volunteers, and were allowed to join in the preparations to repel 

This general co-operation and £jocd feeling continued; differer.t detachments 
of volunteers and militia continucJ to arrive; and the Louisiana volunteers, es- 
pecially the French natives, improved themselves by constant drilling, under the 
instruction of several officers who had served in Europe. 

The first event which interrupted this happy state of harmony and general 
good will, was the refusal of Gen. Jackson to accept^the services of the city- 
volunteers, because they desired to stipulate that their ' probable destination' 
should be the defence of their own state, — and that they should not be marched 
off to garrisons in the Creek country or elsewhere at a distance. [2] 

Gen. Jackson insisted that they should place themselves on the footing of re- 
gular soldiers — and be subject to whatever military service he might require of 
them. He told them that " soldiers who entered the ranks must forget the habits 
of social life, and be willing and prepared to ^o wherever duty and danger called 
them — such were the kind of troops he wanted, and none other would he have." 
[3] The citizens of Louisiana were much disappointed and surprised by this 
refusal. They sincerely desired to expose their lives in defence of New Orleans, 
but were not willing to be sent to Florida, or against the Indians on distant cam- 
paigns as regular enlisted soldiers, with a General who was known to regard his 
own view of the occasion for their future services, as the only boundary to the 
extent of their tour of duty; and to contemn the mihtia laws as affording only 
subjects for ill-timed " quibbles.'X4] 

It is not impossible that he thought more seriously of the dangers impending 
over New Orleans, than he had done when he lingered so long in Florida after 
being apprised of the expected attack,--or when he lefttwo regiments of regulars 
behind him. But even such an increase of apprehension does not account either 
for this treatment of the volunteers, nor for the request which he suddenly made 
on the 151h of December to the legislature, that they would siispend Ihe writ of 
Habeas Corpus. [5) 

1 Besides the positive declarations of Major Latour, there is abundant evidence of the 
od spirit that pervaded this community, 

A large town meeting was held so early as September 15th, at which the most patriotic 
resolutions were adopted. They repelled with scorn the " English assertion of disaffection 
ill the state," — which tliey call an " unfounded and calumnious insinuation." 

They resolved, also, that they " considered the crisis serious, but not alarming," — that 
the country was " capable of defence," — that they did " not desjiair of the republic," — 
and would " at the risk of their lives and fortunes defend it," Sic-Latoui's Appendix, p. 26. 

The same sentiments were repeated in toasts at a great dinner on the 19th October, 
National Intelligencer of December Ifith, 1S24. 

Thus the injormalion from J\''tw Orleans is said in the Intelligencer of January 2d, 1815, 
comprising dates up to the 12lh December, to be that "The people are all in high spirits, 
and no doubt was entertained, with their present force, of being able to repel and defeat 
any expedition the enemy may send against them." 

Thus, also. Gov. Claiborne, of Louisiana, wrote to Gov. Blount: — " We are united as 
one man, and a spirit prevails which ensures our safety." Nat. Intel. Jan. 30th, 1815. 

And Gen. Jackson in an address to the mayor declared, that he was " deeply impressed 
with the unanimity and patriotic zeal displayed by the citizens," &c. and spoke of his ex- 
alted sense of their patriotism, love of order, "attachment to the principles of our excel- 
lent constitution," — their courage, — fortitude, — humanity, — liberality, &c. — Latour's Ap- 
pendix, p. 73, &c. 

2 He had issued a proclamation addressed to the Louiiianians, on the 2d of Septem- 
ber — urging them to arm, ^c., and apprising them that any volunteer companies, &c. would 
be organized which should offer, and be informed of Iheir probable destinalion. Latour's 
Appendix, p. 30. 

3 Eaton, p. 300. (4) lb. 102. (5) Eaton's Life, &c. p. 300. The reasons stated 
for desiring a measure yet, happily, unprecedented in America, even during the worst pe- 
riod of the revolution, are, that intimations had been privately given to him that some dis- 
affected persons were to be found in New Orleans — This was one of the "English asser- 
tions" which the meeting of September 13th had repelled as calumnies, — and in adopting 
such insinuations as the foundation of so strong a measure, he insulted and offended the 
whole state. 

Andrew Jackson. IS 

The tegislaturc appointed a committee to consider this request; and a re- 
port was made tbe next day unfavourable to the adoption of a measure which the 
committee declared to be entirely unnecessary, and likely to weaken the de- 
fence of tbe city by iuterrupting the excellent feeling then prevailing — and 
calculated only to create the disaffection which did not then exist. 

The legislature, however, passed an Act suspending all 3ivil suits and pro- 
cesses, and shutting up the courts.(!) 

Gen. Jackson without waiting to ascertain what the legislature would do as 
to the writ of Habeas Corpus, proclaimed martial law, and thus took all power 
exclusively into his own bandsj(2) and made himself despotic master of the whole 

Necessity has been called by Milton the " tyrant's plea." It has been the 
excuse offered for all establishments or acts of tyranny, including all the dicta- 
torships and military despotisms in history. In this case it was freely used, (3) but 
the fact of such nete««Yy was not made out. The force under Gen. Jackson's 
command and within a few days march, could not have been less than 10,000 
men in arms;(4) no proof of disaffection ever has appeared, and it is not easily 
conceivable how the suspension of the Habeas Corpus or the abolition of all law 
could allay, restrain, or detect disaffection if it existed. 

This assumption of despotic power was followed by some measures of very 
dubious propriet}' and policy. 

The pirates of Barataria with their noted chief Lafitte, were allowed a safe- 
conduct, and enrolled with the soldiers and volunteers. (5) The jails were 
emptied, and the convicts placed in the ranks along side of the " best blood of 
the country. "(C) And all persons whatsoever found in the city, strangers, so- 
journers, passengers, and inhabitants, were pressed into the service under the 
General's orders. (7) 

These proceedings, of course, occasioned much disappointment and dissatis- 
faction ;(8) but the disposition was very general to bear with all such excesses 
of authority, to look at them as proofs of energy, and to sacrifice all considera- 
tions to the main object — a successful defence. The expecta,tion of an imme- 
diate attack at least postponed all complaints. 

ISew Orleans can only be approached from the ocean by ascending the river 

1 Act of December 15th, 1814. Latour's Appendix, p. 40. (2) Eaton, .301. This 
was on the IGth December. General Jackson's construction of the new rule was, that al! 
tbe country was a camp, — every ;jerson a soldier, — all civil rights suspended, &c. [See his 
disapproval of the acquittal of Mr. Louailier,] It is impossible to imagine a more debased 
slavery than the condition of persons not actually soldiers and yctbeing within a camp, where 
only military laws prevail. Such was precisely the condition of the poor Greeks under the 
Turkish domination — and the Helots in Sparta — each man a slave having a thousand masters, 

(3) " the long approved doctrine of neccssUas m," Eaton, 301. (4) In New Orleans 

4,000. Letter from J. Johnson, Esq. National Intelligencer, of January 9th, On their way 
4,000 under Coflee and Carroll, who arrived the 21st of December, — National Intelligen- 
cer of January 21st,— and the rest at Mobile. (5) lb. M'Affec, 526, Latour 71. The 
employment of pirates and convicts — men in whose fidelity there could be no reliance — 
was a strange measure, at a time when there were more men than arms for them to use — 
for " a considerable portion of cur troops were inactive and useless for want of arms to put 
into their hands." Eaton, 371. 

If treason and disafi'ection existed in the city, these men were so many recruits provided 
for the internal enemies. The employment of such degraded wretches in the same posts 
with intelligent and respectable volunteer corps, must have been extremely annoying, and 
the more particularly, because in a proclamation issued September 21st, General Jackson 
had adverted to the willingness of the British to associate with these same pirates, in very 
contemptuous terms: " Can we place any confidence,'' he asked, " in the honour of men 
who have courted an alliance with pirates and robbers? Have not these noble Britons, &c, 
done this? Have they not made offers to the pirates of Barataria to join them in their holy 
cause? And have they not dared to insuU you by calling on you to associate with them and 
this hellisli banditti," S(c. Latour's Appendix, p. 30. Nevertheless, he afterwards asso- 
ciated the same bandilli with the gentlemen of New Orleans in the defence of his lines, 
where the regulars left at Mobile should have been. 

6 Latour, p. 09. [7] lb. Afee, p. 507. [8] Eaton, p. 302. " This rigid course was 
by no meaas well received."— National Intelligencer of January 12lh, 181», 

14 Life of 

or passing through some one of the narrow creeks from Lake Borgne — or 
by a circuitous approach by land from Florida. It vvas incumbent on the 
General to watch these approaches with care, and it would have been prudent 
to concentrate his force at New Orleans, — the central point, so as to be ready 
to meet an enemy approaching by either of the few practicable passages. 

It must be acknowledged that the General was less successful and energetic 
in his preparations to meet the enemy, than he was in putting down the civil 
authority in New Orleans. 

It was not till the 15th of December that he sent orders to Generals Coffee 
and Carroll of the Tennessee, and Gen. Thomas of the Kentucky militia, to 
expedite the march of their respective armies to New Orleans. (1) This was 
the day after our naval force on the Lakes was captured by the enemy, whose 
squadron, lying off the coast, had been so much augmented, as to leave no doubt 
that a considerable military force v/as on board. (2) 

On the 18th December the General issued a general order, announcing that 
he expected the enemy "in a few days. "(3) The appearance of the British 
squadron on the Lake, and the capture of our gun boats, there gave fair warn- 
ing that their approach would be by that passage — and, indeed, the river was 
too intricate and well defended by a fort, and by Com. Patterson's armed ves- 
sels, to allow of the possibility of their ascending it. The Lake, which is open to 
the ocean, lies to the north-east of New Orleans; creeks called baijous extend 
the navigation towards the plantations along the east side of the Mississippi, and 
several of these plantations had canals for the purpose'^of communicating with 
the navigable waters. 

The importance of watching, obstructing, and defending these bayous and 
canals, was too obvious to be overlooked. 

Accordingly, very soon after his arrival he had " sent orders lo Gov. Clai- 
borneto cause all the bayous to be obstructed. "(4) 

And on the 21st December, " when the orders that had been given for ob- 
structing the different canals of the bayous >vere presumed to have been executed, 
a detachment of the 3d regiment of militia, consisting of eight white men and a 
sergeant, two mulattoes and one negro were sent by Major Viliere to the vil- 
lage of the Spanish fishermen on the left bank of the bayou Bienvenu, a mile 
and a half from its entrance into Lake Borgne, for the purpose of discovering 
whether the enemy might try to penetrate that way, and to give notice of such 
attempt. "(5] 

That Gov. Claiborne was censurable for not'having executed the orders re- 
ceived three weeks before, and that Major Viliere, a militia officer, was equally 
remiss in sending such a guard to an outpost so important, and removed not less 
than six miles fro?n his station, — is equally clear. But it is difficult to explain 
why Gen. Jackson — with his numerous staff, his regulars, his fine cavalry, and 
his own character for activity, should only have "presumed" the bayou had 
been obstructed, without examining it himself, and should have suffered so im- 
portant an approach to be watched, at such a crisis, — two days after he had 
declared he expected the enemy, — by no cavalry, no regulars, no staff officer, 
no officer at all, indeed, and thus allow the British to be on shore twelve hours, 
within a few miles o/JSTew Orleans, without liis knowing of their having landed!!! 

So it happened however. The sergeants' guard, of e/eren men, were sur- 
prised and captured in the night of the 22d.[6] The British landed in considera- 
ble numbers, moved across the country from the creek to the river, about 
six o'clock to Mr. Villere's plantation, where they surprised and captured a 
company in broad daylight, after ten o'clock in the morning of the 23d. [7J 
And Gen. Jackson, who was only six miles ofT— in the city — knew nothing of it 
till after one o'clock. [8J 

Even then he must have been very imperfectly informed; for he at first " was 

1 Latour, p. 65. (2) National Intelligencer of January 9th, 1815. Letter from New 
Orleans, dated December 16th. " Intelligence was received last Monday of the arrival of a 
fleet off Cat Island, with 6,000 men on board, &c." (3) Latour, p. 69. [4] lb. p. 64. 
[6] lb. 77. [6] lb. 84. [7] lb. 86. [8] lb. 88. 

Jlndrew Jackson. 15 

of opinion tbey were a mere plundering partj', and fears were cnlerlaioed lest 
they should retreat to their boats and escape. "[1] And Col. Hayne, the In- 
spectorGcueral, after rccounoitring, reported the enemy lobe only two hundred 
men. [2] The Britis-h had landed above two thousand men; and as they were at 
Viilere's plantation within six miles from New Orleans, with no intervening 
obstructions, three hours before Gen. Jackson heard of their landing, and his 
force was scattered in every direction, it cannot be doubted that if Gen. Keane 
the Brilisli commander, had pushed on, he would have taken the city of New 
Orleans with perfect ease and certainty. [3] 

Gen. Jackson took measures to collect his troops — but it occupied him six 
hours, from half past one till half past seven, to get them ready and march them 
six miles from the city, to the neighbourhood of the British. 

The numbers on the British side engaged in the skirmish which followed, are 
not easily ascertained with precision. [4] 

The number of men that Gen. Jackson took into the skirmish is also uncer- 
tain. (5) He left a large part of his force behind, and giving Gen. Coffee com- 
mand of the Tennessee mounted men and some volunteers, besides the Missis- 
sippi dragoons, sent him to take post on the north of the British. 

The river runs eastwardly from New Orleans. He directed, as he says, [or 
requested, as the Commodore says,] Com. Patterson to attack the enemy with 
his sloops of war. The Carolina accordingly moved down, and at half past seven 
opened a destructive fire on the British, which threw them into confusion. [6] 

Gen. Jackson, with the right division, moved down the river road, but his 
troops got into confusion in the march in consequence of being marched in line 
over ground much obstructed. [7] Coffee was obliged to abandon his horses, — 
and leave the Mississippi dragoons behind;[8] he advanced gallantly on foot to- 
wards the British from, the direction in which they had come in the morning, 
and met a large number of them retreating from the fire of the ship. There was 

1 National Intelligencer, February 4th, 1815. Letter from J. H. Johnson, Esq. of 
New Orleans, dated December -SOth, 1814. [2] Latour, 90. This blundering report of 
Col. Hayne, which was made, it seems, late in the afternoon, shows strikingly how miser- 
ably the patrolling, videtiing, and reconnoitring service must have been arranged. 

3 Gen. Morgan, with the Louisiana drafted militia, was at the • English turn,' several 
miles further from New Orleans, down the river, and was thus ml off. Latour, p. 101. 

The volunteer uniform companies were at Bayou -St. John, several miles to the north, 
lb. 87. The Tennessee troops and Mississippi dragoons were encamped four miles 
above the city. lb. The regulars were in the city. 

4 Gen. Jackson says 3,000, in his official letter to the secretary of war. National In- 
telligencer, January SOth, 1815. Latour's Appendix, p. 16. 

The ' principal engineer' and historian. Major Latour, who was there, and received 
Gen. Jackson's compliments for his good conduct, says, Ihcy amounted to 2,250 — being the 
halfof Keane's division, — the other half arriving in the course of the night. 

The impression at New Orleans, at the time, was, that this sffair was a mere skirmish 
of the advance guards. Thus a letter dated at New Orleans, December 23d, at midnight, 
to the Post-Master general — published in the Intelligencer of January 2lst, 1815, states, 
that" an engagement took place last evening between the advance guards, in which the 
enemy was repulsed; — the General has taken a position three miles in tlie rear," &c. 

And Gov. Claiborne, who was in the fight, wrote to a senator, December 30lh: "To- 
wards dark (on the 23d) the vanguard of our army had a brisk engagement with the ene- 
my, in whicii we had several killed, many wounded, and some missing," &c. Intelligencer 
of January SOth. 

5 Major Latour says — p. 105. — the right, commanded by Gen. Jackson, consislcd of 
1,500 men; the left, under Gen. Coffee, had 732. Gen. Jackson, in his official report, said, 
they did not all exceed 1,500. Latour's Appendix, p. 14.— Mr. Eaton says 2167. p. 327. 

6 Official report of Com. Patterson to the secretary of the navy. Also, Gen. Jackson's 
official letter. And letter of Mr. Johnson, National Intelligencer of February 4th, 1815, 
Also, Eaton, p, 312, 

7 "The consequence was an early introduction of confusion into the ranks, whereby he 
was prevented from the important design of uniting the (no divisions," Eaton, p, 316. 

" The centre became confused and was foi;ccd into the rear." lb. This " checked the 
rapidity of his advance," &c. lb. 322. 

8 The ground was not suitable for cavalry, yet all the mounted men were in this divi- 
sion, Eaton, 312. 

16 Life of 

not much order, but a great deal of gallant fighting;— the city rifle company 
were brave even to rashness, and suffered severely.[J] 

Gen. Jackson's wing having got into confusion very "ear/?/," never ap- 
proached nearer than about 1,200 yards ot the British main body.[2J They had 
an engagement with an advance guard which they drove in. They then retired 
leaving the dead on the ground, [3] at half past eight— after an hour's skirmishing; 
but whether they were taken at once to the place where an entrenchment was 
afterwards made, or remained inactive in the dark, close by the enemy, is diflS- 
cult to state. [4] 

The events of this day and night can scarcely, on an impartial review of them, 
be considered as adding to the military reputation of the General. The British 
army, long expected and looked for, reached Viilere's plantation early in the 
morning, and were on land all day without being molested, till an hour or more 
after sunset. Tliey were all this time within " two leagues"[5] of New Orleans, 
where Gen. Jackson was in command of not less than 5000 men well equipped, 
[6] whom he had scattered so as to be unable to concentrate them for five hours 
after he knew the British were at hand. He had also the co-operation of two 
well armed sloops of war, that could reach the enemy with their cannon balls 
and grape shot. The Carolina threw the enemy into confusion by an unexpect- 
ed and destructive fire, [7] and with this favourable opportunit} for attack, with 
all the advantage of superior numbers, fine artillery, and superior knowledge of 
the ground, he left the killed, as a trophy of victory in the hands of the enemy. 

Instead of concentrating his force upon a weak point, or any one point, of the 
enemy's line — as was the well known practice of Bonaparte — and the obvious 
policy of the attacking army — he spindled them out into utter feebleness — so 
that " an express" had to inform the commander of 2167 men, what his right 
wing was doing. [8] Carroll's Tennesseans were purposely left out of action till 
late at night; the Mississippi cavalry were sent where they could not act at 
all — [g] Morgan's brigade was cut off, and knew nothing of the landing of the 
enemy till they heard the firing.[l0] And his own wing was arrayed in line, 
long before they came near the enemy, [1 1] while Coffee's 600 armed only with 

1 " CaptaiD Beeler's company penetrated into the very camp of the enemy," &c. La- 
tour, p. 99. 

2 The diagram, or map, accoinpanying Major Latour's History 'of this affair, shows 
this fact. The Tennesseeans were much nearer. 

3 Mr. Johnson's letter. National Intelligencer of February 4th, 1825. The loss in this 
action is not stated by Gen. Jackson's official despatches. A letter from New Orleans, 
dated December 30th, states the killed, wounded, and missing at 250. National Intelli- 
gencer, February 4th, 1815. Eaton says, 24 killed, 115 wounded, 74 made prisoners, p. 

4 Letter from the Lieutenant of Beale's Rifle Company. National Intelligencer of 
January 21st, 1815, dated December 23d, at midnight: " An engagement took place last 
evening between the advance guards, &c,; the general has taken an advaatageous position 
three miles in the rear, where he is entrenching, &c." 

And Gen. Jackson says in his first official despatch, — " The heavy smoke occasioned by 
an excessive fire, rendered it necessary that I should drmo off" my troops, after a severe 
conflict of upwards of an hour," &c. Latour's Appendix, 44. 

But in a subsequent despatch dated the next day, the ' heavy smoke' is changed into a 
' thick fog,' — and he says, " I contented myself with lying on the field that night, and at 
four in the morning assumed a stronger position two miles nearer the city." lb. 45. 

5 General Jackson's official despatch. 

6 Eaton says there were 2167 in the skirmish — Morgan's brigade were further down 
the river, and Carroll's brigade and the city militia were left behind on the Gentilly road. 
See also a letter from an officer of the United States army dated New Orleans, December 
16. [Before the arrival of Coffee and Carroll.] " We are weak here at present, say 1200 
regulars and 2000 militia. We expect Coflfee with 2000 in a day or two,' &c. Nat. Int. 
January l4th, 1815. And another letter " from one of the most respectable inhabitants," 
dated December 22d. " Yesterday Generals Collee and Carroll arrived with 2000 Ten- 
nesseans," Nat. hit January 21st. Of the 2000 Tennesseans only 600 were in the action. 

7 Com. Patterson's o^cial despatch to the secretary of the navy. 

8 " The express despatched to Gen. Jackson /row the leftwing,^' ^c. Eatoo, p. 319. 

9 Eaton, 323. [10] Latour. [11] Eaton, 316. 

Oetieral Jacksov. 17 

rilles, were allowcJ uiisuppoilcd, to make a rash attack on a I'orcc estimated by 
tlie General at three thousand. 

It is manifest tliat if the British had pressed forward ag^aiiist Gen. Jackson's 
feeble line while "in confusion," as described b}' Mr. Eaton, and too remote from 
Cofleo to derive any assistance from him, — the Americans with whatever bra- 
very they might have fought, must have been overwhelmed and beaten in de- 
tail. Fifteen hundred men m confusion never could stand against three thousand 
— or even 2250 equally well armed and in military order. 

i3ut happily Geu. Keane who commanded this British division, was not com- 
petent to take advantage of his antagonist's error. 

The consequence was, as inigiit have been anticipated, an unnecessary waste 
of lives in skirmishing with advanced guards without making any impression on 
the main body, and finall}- leaving the enemy in possession of many prisoners 
and of ou»- dead — a circumstance very irreconcilable to the boast of victory. 

General Jackson having lost the opportunity to destroy the 2250 British, by 
attacking them with his whole force — land and naval, in day-light — went to 
woric to throw up a strong embankment two miles nearer the city, behind which 
his army was from this time posted, in considerable strength and apparent 

The British received reinforcements, and so did the Americans. 
It cannot be ascertained with precision how many men either army compris- 
ed. The numbers were probably about equal. [1] And it is clear that if the regu- 
lars had all been brought from Mobile, the British might have been attacked 
with every probability of their l)eing totally destroj'ed or captured. 

The British having resumed tlie offensive, several cannouadings from a dis- 
tance took place without any elTect. During this period Gen. Jackson having 
heard an intimation that the legislature were disposed to capitulate, [2] sent an 
aid to the governor v/ith orders to investigate the charge and if true to blow 
Ihcm up into the air. The aid or the governor without any investigation intro- 
duced an armed force into the hall of the legislature and turned them out at the 
point of the bayonet. 

This was not directed by the General: but he afterwards justified and sanc- 
tioned it. 

Except occasional and distant cannonading, the opposing armies remained 
quiet— the Americans behind the embankment that every day was made more 
perfect, until the 8th of January, the day of the final attack. 

The armies lay on the left or east side of the river, the Americans four or 
five miles below iVcw Orleans. The other side of the river had been neglected, 

1 Letter from Govcniui- Claiborne of Louisiana, to one of the senators, dated Decem- 
ber 30th, 1814. National Intelligencer, January 30th, 1815. 

" The force of General Jackson before the enemy, is from six to seven thousand men, 
and is drawn up in lines behind a high and strong entrenchment impenetrable to musketry 
and the shot of small cannon. In front is a wet ditch along its whole length; the right flank 
is covered by the liver, die left by an impenetrable swamp, and the whole front is defend- 
ed with several pieces of cannon of various calibres," [32, 24, 12, and 6 pounders] None, 
even the most timid, entertain any apprehension of tiie enemy's ability to force our lines" 

The same letter slates that the " enemy have not less than four and not more than TOGO 
men, and of this number 1000 or 1500 are blacks." 

Governor Ciai«ofne counted tlie British from 4000 to 7000 at this time, and the 
Americans from GOOO to 7000. Another letter, (Nat. Int. of Januaiy 30th, 1816,) states 
the American force at 7500 before the arrival of the Keutucky troops — and adds that the 
" greatest confidence prevailed." 

A letter from the camp dated January 6th, published in the Intelligencer of the SOth, 
says, " all deserters from the enemy agree thai their force is from 7000 to 9000, but wc 
gentially suppose it to be about 6000." And that the Kentucky troops, near 3000 had ar- 
rived, mal;ii>g " our force better than SOOO." 

Another letter mentions the mrival of the Kentnckians on (he 2i" li of December, and 
estimates the elfeetive force at 10,000. And the Intelligencer declaies, January 30th, 1815, 
that many other letters corroborate these. 

2 Eaton, 303. This charge the members of the lcj;islature always treated as a calum- 
ny, and their conduct certainly gave no colour to it. The French parly predon)iimted, and 
the insinuition came from Abner L- Duncan, who was politically oppose d to them. 

18 Life of 

[1] and on the nigiitof tlie 7tli, Geu. Jackson, to repair the error, ordered *i smaJJ 
detachment ol" Kentuclcians [about five hundred,of whom only two hundred ac- 
tually went,] to he posted there, near the Louisiana regiment, already behind a 
redoubt on that side. [2] On the 8th the enemy attempted to scale the embank- 
ment — advancing in close columns, sixty men in front, and offering a mark for 
the gunnery of the Americans that could not be missed They were shot down 
as fast as they came near, till having lost 1,500, two of their three generals, and 
a large number of officers, and having killed but thirteen of the Americans, they 
gave up the attempt and retired. [3] 

Never was a victory more easily gained. No change of position was necessary 
on our side — to load and fire was all the men had to do, and that in almost per- 
fect safety. What part General Jackson took in the affair is not mentioned by 
any Historian of the transaction;[4] — in fact the General officers had little or 
nothing to do, but to stand quietly as spectators. 

Gen. Adair in a letter dated October 27th, 1817, republished in Niles' Regis- 
ter for November 25th, 1826, declared that he marehed his Kentucky brigade 
without orders to that part of the line where the attack was made, and that he 
has ever been of opinion it was owing to this circumstance the enemy were repulsed. 

Latour states, p. 244, " The battalions of Plauche, Daquin, Lacoste, with 
tliree-fourths of the 44th regiment, that is to say, our whole centre, did not fire 
a single shot. The majority of the troops under Gen. Coffee did not fire at all, 
so that but one-half ol' our line was engaged. This is a fact for the truth of 
which I appeal to the individual testimony of every man in the army,"&c. 

On the opposite side of the river, the omission to provide fortifications or men 
to defend the passage, had well nigh proved of fatal importance; and nothing but 
the corresponding neglect of the enemy, a second time, saved New Orleans from 
being cn;jlured.[5] 

Two hundred Kentuckians, of whom thirty were quickly killed or wounded, 
wore posted to defend a line of three hundred yards in extent; without any pro- 
teclioji ia front or flank. They were driven in by a British regiment, which, if 
it had pressed on, might have reached the city, while the armies were engaged 
with each other, five miles below. (6] 

These Kentuckians deserved no censure for giving way before 1,000 British 
regulars, advancing in solid column. ^7) But they were charged by Com. Pat- 
terson, with having run away, in a " most shnmeful and dastardly manper,"- 
Aod Gen. Jackson, adopting Patterson's prejudice, accused them of cowardice, 
in his official despatch, 

1 Latour states, that on that side Gen. Moi'gan was posted with only 550 men; that he 
began a breastwork 200 yards in length, leaving a large space " on the right of the 200 
yards, where (he breastwork had been begun, without any other defence than a ditch, and 
exposed to be turned." p. 166. Some of Morgan's militia were not armed. lb. 

2 " In the evening of the 7th, Gen. Jackson ordered Gen. Adair to send a detach- 
ment of 500 men to reinforce Morgan's camp." Latour, p, 169, Of these 600, only one- 
fourth had arms, and only 200 arrived at Morgan's line at four in the morning, " spent 
with fatigue and faint for want of food." lb. 170. 

3 Latour, 156, Latour's description of this affair is clear and satisfactory. He was 
jirescnf, and the officers had leisure to see all that passed. 

•1 Gen. Jnckson was not at the place where the most vigorous assault was made, and 
uhcre Col. liannce with a few Uritish soldiers, actually entered the redoubt; but being 
informed of this event, he sent a reinforcement, previous to the arrival of which, the Bri- 
tish had oeen driven back, and Cul. Rannec killed. Eaton, 369. 

5 It appears in Com. Patterson's official despatch, that he notified Gen. Jackson on 
the 7th of the preparations making by the British to throw a force across the river. Na- 
tional Intelligencer, February 14th, 1815. (6J Latour, 174. 

7 Eaton, 377, palls tJeneral Jackson's accusation " a censure they did not merit.'' 
And Gen. Ailair in a letter to Gov. Shelby, January 13lh, 1815, National Intelligencer, 
February 1 ttli, declared " they have been cahimnialed.'^ 

\ court of incjuiry being held they were acquitted of all blame, and the facts were es- 
tablished that they were spread along a line of 300 yards, and unprotected, while the 
Louisiana militia, 500 strong, stood behind a breastwork only 200 yards long. Nat. In(slli» 
i^cncer, .•\pnl IJth, 1S15, 

Andrew Jackson. 19 

General Adair of Kentucky, insisted on a retraction of this charge, and after 
a court of inquiry had been held, General Jackson expressed his satisfaction 
that they liad been " acquitted of any conduct deserving of ccnsure."(l) This 
matter was, sometime after, the subject of a very angry correspondence between 
the two Generals, in which accusations oi falsehood were freely interchanged. 

General Jackson, through the tenaciousness of military pride, never could be 
induced to do justice to the injured men, and finally he returned to the original 
charge in its most aggravated shape, and declared that they " fled in a most 
shameful and dastardly manner. ''[2J 

So the matter has rested since, and tlicse Kentuckians remain branded by 
General Jackson, as cowards and ' dasta7-ds.'\2] 

The British did not renew the attack. On the right or east bank of the river 
there was nothing to prevent the Britisli force of 1000 men under Col. Thorn- 
ton, from moving up till they should be opposite the town. But happily they did 
not know our weakness in that quarter. 

When General Lambert of the British army proposed a temporary suspension 
of hostilities for the purpose of burying the dead. Gen. Jackson stipulated that 
the truce should not extend to the right bank; — the British commander either 
deceived by this a belief that his detachment on that side of the river was 
in danger, or else being resolved against any renewal of the attack, withdrew 
those troops — and measures were then taken by Gen. Jackson to repair the 
omission which had left the right bank unprotected. 

On the 19th of January, the enemy had entirely disappeared, and reimharked 
in the vessels off the Florida coast. And on the 20th and 21st, Gen. Jacksonded 
his army back to New Orleans.[4] 

At this time arrived the 3d regiment of U. S. infantry 000 strong from Mo- 
bile, where they had remained during all the preceding month, at a distance 
from the scene of danger but within easy call. 

Their arrival now only excited anew the wonder that they had not been 
brought in time to co-operate in the affair of the 23d of December, when with 
their aid the whole of Keane's division might have been captured. 

The return of the army at the end of the campaign, was hailed with joy in 
New Orleans.[5] The people had not been inspired with any confidence by 
General Jackson. His repeated declaration, that they were not themselves to 
be trusted, had weakened their mutual confidence: and they liad dreaded not 
only the enemy, but the destruction with which ho had menaced the city, in 
case he should be obliged to retreat. [6] 

A little intoxication of spirits, is excusable on such an occasion ; yet the re- 
publican and the christian cannot fail to regret, that the authorities of the city 
should have chosen to offer, or the General to accept, such inappropriate modes 

1 GeneralJackson's letter to Gen. Adair, April 2, 1815. 

2 Gen. Jackson's letter to the Editors of the Kentucky Reporter, April 11, 1817. 

In the Kentucky Legislature, on the 3d Feb. 1816, Mr. Rowan, now a Senator of the 
United States, offered a resolution approving the conduct of Gen. Adair, for " vindicating a 
respectable portion of the troops of Kentucky from the inajifro-finate imputation of cowar- 
dice." [Journals of the H. of R. session 1815—16, p. 258, &c.] 

The same sentiment was expressed in the same body on the 8th January, 1818, and Jan. 
7, 1824. 

One of the regular toasts at a dinner given to Gen. Adair, at which Gov. Shelby was pre- 
lent, was " our distinguished gueat; in the hour of peril, his country's shield — in the day of 
sionder, an advocate for the soldier's honour." 

3 This is not the only insta-ace of injustice in the official reports. The gallant Major 
Carraick of the Marines had his horse shot under him, his Ihum shot off, a bullet in iiis arm, 
another in bis head, and several balls perforated his hat [Letter from N». Orleans, Nat. In- 
telligencer Feb. 2, 1816] yet he never was mentioned in general orders, although almost 
every other officer present was complimented. It is known that he was personally not on 
good terms with the General; but on such an occasion private differences ought not to in- 
terfere with the justice due from a commander to the brave officers who fight and bleed to 
exal t his name. 

4Latour, 197. EatOD,89€. [6] Eaton, 396, 397. [6] Ibid, 344. 

20 Life of 

of doing him honour as were adopted. lie was publicly crowncil,[l} and going- 
to the principal Catholic Church in full military pomp — not to worship, but to 
be worshipped, — ' he was conducted in and seated near the altar' — a' wreath of 
laurel' was presented to him by the Priest — ' children dressed in white were 
employed in strewing the way with flowers— and a flattering ode produced for 
the occasion saluted his ears. '[2] 

At the time of these proceedings the conclusion of the court martial at Mo- 
bile, held by Gen. Jackson's orders for the trial of the 180 Tennessee militia, 
was heard of. Six had been condemned to die, the rest to have their heads 
shaved. Gen. Jackson, on the 22nd January, — after his triumphal entry, and 
when all was joy and festivity around him [3] issued tlie order for shooting the 
six in four days after the arrival of the order at Mobile [4] 

The /ads of the case as laid open in the evidence taken before the court 
martial, do not seem to have called for such severity. [5] 

It is certain that the men believed their term of service had expired. It is 
also certain that they were so informed by officers who had better opportuni- 
ties of knowing than they had. (6) 

It is certain, too, that this error was their only offence, their conduct up to 
the time when they thought their military obligations had terminated, having 
been as correct as that of militia in a detached camp, not in the vicinity of an 
enemy, generally has been. (7) 

1 M'Afec's History, p. 525. " Tbey crowned their adored General with laurels." 
The ceremony was attended by a numerous concourse of people, and conducted in a very 
splendid manner. " There were many citizens of New Orleans, however, and still more, 
in many other parts of the Union, who condemned i\\K regal ■pomp, as inconsistent with that 
republican simplicity which ought always to be preserveii in our country, and as tending to 
corrupt the minds of our citizens, and inspiring them with sentiments of false glory, and 
sinister schemes of ambition." [Ibid. p. 526.] 

" A fritimpbal arch was erected opposite the principal entrance to the cathedral. Under 
the arch weretwoyoungchildren— 'he received the crown,' kc. Latour, p. 200. 

2 Eaton's life, p. 398, 399. 

3 On the 20th of January, Gen. Jackson entered ISew Orleans in triumph — 'a scene 
well calculated,' says his biographer, ' to excite the tenderest emotions.' — Ealon^s Life, 
&c. p. 396. 

[4] ' Mjuianl General's Office, J^eio Orleans, January 22, 1825. 
' Major General Jackson approves the proceedings and sentences of the Court, and or- 
ders them to be carried into effect. With respect to those: sentenced to the punishment of 
DEATH, their sentence will be carried into execution /owr days after the promulgation of 
this order at Mobile. ' 

5 In the official accounts lately published by congress. 

6 Extract from the official record of the trial of John Harris, one of the sullerers, 
The prisoner staled, in his defence, ' that he was totally unacquainted with the nature 

of the militia service, that he had frequently heard bis officers say that tbey knew of no 
law compelling militia to remain longer than three months, and from the opinion of other 
men of respectability and infoimalion conceived his time of service had expired — returned 
his gun to his captain under that impresssion, took up the receipt he had given for it, and 
departed from fort Jackson, conscious of HAvrNG discharged his duty.' 

On the trial of captain Strotlier the charge was « Exciting Mutiny.' 

Specification' ' In this — that on the march between FortDeposite and Fort Jackson, 
between the 4lh of July and 31st of the same, he stated in presence of some of the troops, 
there was no law to compel them to serve longer than t/i)ve months, am] unless he was 
shown a better law than he had seen, he would march his company home at the end of that 

Capt. Strother was convicted and broke, and so was a lieutenant, for giving this opinion. 
In the course of the evidence in the trial of Harris, as appears from the record: — 

' James Nelson, a private in Capt. Mebane's company, testified that he heard General 
Worthington of Tennessee, say, that he did not know whether the men were ordered out 
for a tour of three or six months — (hat he had wrote to the Governor, but had received no 
answer to his letter on the subject.' 

7 The evidence as detailed in the document recently published shows that all those 
condemned to die were acquitted of every charge implying disorderly conduct — and found 
guilty only of going away — And that one of them — David Morrow was regularly received 

Andrew Jackson. 21 

AuJ it is certain tliat the severity of their execution was quite unprcccdcnt 

cd. [1] 

As to the le^al question whether they were lawfully bound to serve six 
months or three, opinions mayperhaps differ. It seems clear that the Acts of 
congress and Laws ol' Tennessee limited the term to three months. [2] 

But it is enough that the question had difficulties. [3] If they were mistaken 
they suffered for an innocent mistake in a difficult question of law. 

And then it was cruel to put them to death; — if they were right in their ' law 
opinion,' it was not only cruel but murderous to take their lives. 

It cannot, in either case, be considered honourable to Gen. Jackson; and so 
he must have thought, wken he subsequently published an earnest denial of all 
participation in the matter, and shifted the responsibility entirely upon Gen. 
VVinchester. [4] 

back and pardoned by Gen. Taylor; after which in violation of Gen. Taylor'a pledge of 
safety he was shot. 

1 The instances of the execution of Jeseriers to the enemy have been cited in extenuation of 
this massacre, but the difTcrcncc is manifest. In deserting to the enemy a crime is commit- 
ted with the worst motives, and no mistake is made; in going home, when the tour of duty is 
believed to be faithfully performed, the intent is certainly innocent. Without evil inten- 
tion there can be no crime. 

2 The Act of Congress, of Feb. 25, 1796, sec. iv. (Laws of the U. S. v. 2. p. 480,) pro- 
vides that ' no officer, non-commissioned or private of the militia, shall be compelled to 
serve more than three months after his arrival at the place of rendezvous, in anyone year, 
nor more than in due rotation with every other able bodied man of the same rank in the 
battalion to which he belongs.' 

Under no other law than this could militia men have been drafted. 

Another Act of Congress, passed April 18, 1814, [Laws of the U. S, vol. 4. p. 703.] pro- 
vides that ' the mihtia when called into service of the United States by virtue of the be- 
fore recited act [Feb. 28, 1795,] may, if iji the opinion of the President of the United States 
the pubZtc interest require it, be compelled to serve for a term not exceeding six months af- 
ter their arrival at the place of rendezvous, in any one year.' 

No subsequent order of the President prolonging the term of duty has been shown, and 
the records of the war department comprise no mention of any such. 

Gen. Armstrong, Sec. at war, wrote to Gen. Blount Jan. 3, 1814. " The militia may 
be considered as having been called out under the law of 1795 which limits their service 
to three months." [Documents lately published by congress.] 

The militia referred to here are those drafted in 1813, whom Gen. Jackson, in Dec. 1813, 
pronounced " deserters" because they insisted on going home at the end of three months as 
the Sec. of war said they had a right to do. 

It is curious that six men should be shot for acting on the construction of their military 
duties as given by the Sec. at war. 

Of the militia thus to be considered [ as the law provided] in service for three months. 
Gov. Blount was authorized to augment the number — by letter from the Sec. at war Janua- 
ry 11, 1814— [ Document No. 2] 

The question then rose whether he might also enlarge the time as to which he had no war- 
rant in the law? 

3 It appears in the Documents that Gov. Blount wrote to the Sec. of war for his opinion, 
— that capt. Strother applied to Col. Pipkin for his opinion — and also ensign Martin — that 
Gen. Washington of Tennessee had written to Gov. Blount for his opinion — that captain 
Earp, Col. Cbetham and Gen. Johnston were all of the same opinion with those who were 
shot, S(c. 

4 Gen. Jackson's fast letter on the subject, dated Sept. 4, 1826, and published originally 
at Baltimore, contains these words: ' The case you allude to, [viz. the death of the Ten- 
nessee militia men,] might as iceW be ascribed to the President of the United States, as 
commander-in-chief of the land and naval forces, as to me.' 

' The ringleaders, Harris at their head, were after some time apprehended and brought 
to Mobile in irons, after 1 had left there for New Orleans, and had charged Gen. VVinches- 
ter with the cummand of that section of the country.' 

' They were tried by a court-martial and condemned to die; five were shot, and (he ba- 
lance pardoned. 

There is not one word in this letter which betrays the fact that he ordered the court-mar- 
tial, and he ordered the men to be shot to death; — but the blame is tDdcavoured to be shif- 
ted upon Gen. Winchester. 

2^ Life of 

The severity of Gen. Jackson towards the Tennessee militia, however un- 
justifiable under the circumstances of the case, was not of such terrible con- 
sequence as that which he exercised towards the Louisiana volunteers, and 
Kentucky militia. 

We have seen that a dispute had occurred between him and some of the 
New Orleans volunteers, as to their right to limit their service to the time du- 
ring which the enemy should be actually present. (1) 

The Kentuckians had also been much discontented with the tardy and imper- 
fect justice done to their ' calumniated' (2) companions. 

These men were punished with excessive rigour. When the army returned 
to New Orleans the Kentucky militia and a Louisiana regiment were still kept 
in the mud, (3) on the plantations, while the regulars, even those freshly arrived 
from Mobile were quartered in the city. (4) 

For a few weeks the uncertaintj' of the enemy's movements furnished an 
apparent reason for keeping up a station so destructive to the lives of the mili- 
tia, although no such encampment had been thought necessary, up to the period 
of the actual landing of the British, and when the enemy had been just where he 
now was. 

This indulgence of the regulars in the luxuries of the town, while the town 
militia and Kentuckians were obliged to keep the field, had a strange appear- 

But soon the motive became obvious. They were kept there in a condition 
of extreme sufferiug, long after all idea of further hostilities had passed away. 
Fevers and dysenteries, the natural result of such exposure, among men 
wholly unused to a soldier's fare, — made dreadful havoc among them; before 
they were allowed to come into the town and share the accommodations of tiie 
regular soldiers, not less than five hundred were thus unnecessarily, and, it 
must be added, unfeelingly sacrificed. (5) 

The sicklj condition of these men did not move the General's compassion 
even after the news of peace. 

The British had departed on the 19th of January. The news of peace was 
brought by Col. Livingston from the British fleet on the 10th of February. (6) 

1 Eaton, p. 300 

2 Gen. Adair's language in his letter to Gov. Shelby, dated Jan. 13, [ Nat. Intelligencer 
of February 14, 1815.] 

It was not till the 19tb of February the general order was published acquitting the Ken- 
tuckians of cowardice. 

3 " Immediately after the departure of the English troops from the shores of the Missis- 
sippi, a body of the Kentucky militia was encamped on the plantation of Dupre, and the re- 
mainder on the right bank of the river." [Latour, 224.] On the 20th of January, the 2d 
Regiment of Militia was ordered to encamp oa Villere's plantation. [Ibid. 197.] 

4 " On the 21st of January, General Jackson entered New Orleans, at the head of a 
long suffering and victorious army. [Eaton, p. 395.) 

" The Kentucky and Louisiana militia, — occupied their posts [on the plantation] 
until the disbanding of the army. [ March 13th,] ib. 

3 "The hardships they were obliged to endure, added to the unhealthiness of a con- 
stanlly wet soil, caused them to contract pernicious fevers and dysenteries, which soon be- 
came epidemical. The effect of these disorders was speedily seen and terribly felt; in the 
space of one month 500 men perished in this way." [Latour, p. 225.] 

The nature of their accommodations after the return of the regulars to the city is not 
precisely described by the historians, except that the encampment was upon a " constantly 
wet soil" — But the following is Major Latour's account of the sufferings of the Kentuc- 
kians in common with tbe Tennesseeans previously to the 20th of January. " The ground 
was so low and difficult to be drained that the troops were literally encamped in the water, 
walking knee deep in mud; and the several tents were pitched on small iles or hillocks sur- 
rounded with water or mud." " Those who have not seen the ground cannot form an idea 
of the deplorable condition of the troops," &c. " Those brave men supported all their hard- 
ships with resignation, and even with alacrity," ^c. p. 149. 

6 Eaton 400, and Latour 216. But perhaps it should be the 19th, see Latour's Ap- 
pendix 84. That was the date of the order announcing it. 

Jndrew Jackson. *S 

A general order was issued, dated "February 19lli," by General Jackson, 
announcing that the " flag vessel has returned, and brings intelligence of peace," 

The Louisiana militia on the wet plantation being very sickly, and being in 
Mr. Eaton's language " owners of the soil, men who had families anxiously con- 
cerned for their safety, and whose happiness depended on their return" 2) be- 
came very impatient; and the newspapers began to criticise the unnecessary 
waste of valuable lives. 

Between the 16th and the 24th of February, General Jackson imposed a re- 
striction on the newspapers, which entirely destroyed the freedom of the press; 
and established a censorship equal to that which despotism has restored in France 
— but which in no other instance was ever attempted in America. 

A general-order — which like the ukase oi the Russian autocrat now was the 
substitute for law, directed that no publication relating to, or aflecting the army, 
was to be published in any newspaper without first obtaining permission. 

How far this arbitrary and oppressive edict which was certainly not necessary 
as a measure of defence against the enemy, was provoked, by the expression of 
public opinion through its natural organs, the newspapers, can now be only con- 
jectured. (^3) 

The legislature had continued to meet, notwithstanding their forcible expul- 
sion from the hall by armed men, and the establishment of military government 
in the city. Indeed the performance of their functions was necessary, for the 
purpose of voting assistance to the sick, wounded, and destitute, among the 

On the 2d of February, they passed a vote of thanks to the brave citizen 
soldiers, the subaltern officers, and the Generals; omitting all notice of General 

At such a time the legislative body would not have cast so strong an implied 
censure on the conduct of the General, unless they were backed and supported 
by public opinion. It seems to have been for the purpose of smothering the ex- 
pression oi such opinions that the muzzle was put upon the press. 

It is remarkable that although the vote of thanks passed on the 2d of February, 
[4J it was not communicated to the officers who were complimented in it, till the 
25th of that month. [5] 

1 Latour's Appendix 90. And Nat. Intelligencer of March 26, 1815. 

2 Eaton p. 408. 

3 General Jackson had before this written to the secretary of war, " there is little 
doubt that the last exertions of the enemy have been made in this quarter for the pre- 
sent season." National Intelligencer of February 13th, 1815. Latour's appendix, 57. 

He had announced the news of peace, and he had written to Admiral Cochrane to 
" reciprocate his congratulations on that event.'' Latour's appendix, 86. 

He had published an address to the mayor of the city e.Tpressing his ' exalted sense' 
of the ' unanimity' and * patriotic zeal,' ' love of order' and ' attachment to the princi- 
ples of the constitution' — ' courage,' ' fortitude,' ' humanity,' ' liberality,' &c. of the 
people of New Orleans, his ' admiration,' ' thanks,' &c. &c. Latour, appendix 84. 

Yet he would not restore the laws or constitution to which he praised them for being 

A people deserving these praises surely might be trusted with liberty of speech. 

4 Latour, 205. 

6 Latour's appendix, 25, &c. Governor Claiborne's letters to Generals Thomas, Car- 
roll, Adair, Coffee, and Colonel Hinds, all of that date. 

No one of these officers in reply mentioned the omission to thank General Jackson, 
except Coffee. 

The legislature did not act without provocation in this maik of disrespect. The in- 
sult which they had received, in being violently expelled from their hall; and the insin- 
uations made against the patriotism of their citizens, in the General's orders declaring 
martial law — insinuations which had been amply refuted by the good conduct of the 
whole population, and yet had not been withdrawn, seemed to them to require apolo- 

24 Life of 

Whether the power or the influence of Gen. Jackson occasioned its suppres- 
sion, for so long a period as three weeks, is not known. 

Among the Frenchmen that had volunteered and had fought bravely, and con- 
ducted themselves in all respects so well, there were many who were still detain- 
ed in the mud on the open fields. They became utterly disgusted with the op- 
pression so needlessly exercised, after a treaty of peace had been known to be 
concluded. To save their lives from the " dysenteries and fevers" which were 
sweeping off such numbers in the camp where they had been cruelly confined, 
while the more hardy regulars did not share the exposure, they claimed their 
rights as subjects of France. 

A new UKASE or edict, exceeding in arbitrariness all that had gone before, 
banished the French citizens to a distance of one hundred and twenty miles from 
New Orleans.(l) 

It is diflicult to find an apology for this proceeding. The class of people on 
whom this heavy sentence fell, comprised a large portion of the gallant comba- 
tants in the battles of the 23d December and 8th of January. The French ar- 
tillery corps had been eminently useful. The gallantry with which they had 
behaved, had been emphatically declared by the General himself. (2) 

If there was still danger of a renewed invasion — two weeks after the news of 
peace — New Orleans was by this order deprived of an efficient portion of its de- 
fenders — If no further occasion for their services was apprehended, the prolong- 
ed detention of their compatriots in the pestilential fields was without excuse, 
and a just cause of murmur. 

Mr. Louallier, a member of the legislature — distinguished for his patriotism, 
[3J wrote, in one of the public papers, somfe remarks on this order, and on the 
unnecessary continuance of military despotism, while all other parts of the 
United States were in the uninterrupted enjoyment of laws and republican in- 

General Jackson immediately scut Mr. Louallier to prison under a military 
arrest. [4 j 

This was on the 4th day of March. 

gy and explanation. They were displeased with the ill-timed introduction of the press- 
gang system, when all were so willing to serve without being pressed. They thought 
such a severity calculated only to create the disaffection, which they did not believe 
existed at the time of General Jackson's asserting it. They disapproved of the injus- 
tice of keeping their citizens of the drafted militia — the householders of New Orleans 
— still in a sickly camp, when the more hardy regulars were allowed to lounge idly in 
the streets and taverns of New Orleans. They disliked also the crorujiing', and other 
excessive honours paid to, and accepted by General Jackson to the exclusion of all 
others, as if he alone deserved praise, and the gallant Coffee, Adair, Carroll, &c. meri- 
ted no compliment. They wished to show especially their sense of the merits of those 
officers and their troops, to whom there had been yet no honours or acknowledgments 

1 Nat. Intelligencer of April 18, 1815. Eaton, 406. [an imperfect relation of this 

2 In an address to the Mayor of New Orleans, Jan. 27, 1814. Latour, Appendix, 
73. Also ia the official despatches and general orders. 

3 Latour 141. " Louallier a member of the house of representatives obtained from 
the legislature the sum of iff;(iOOO which was put at the disposition of a committee for 
the relief of the Kentucky troops who arrived in a ' deplorable condition.' " Iffc. 

" Though the gratitude of their fellow citizens S{c. be to Mr. Louallier and to 
Messrs Uulieys and Soubie, who co-operated with him in his honourable exertions a 
sufficient reward, yet I must be allowed to pay those gentlemen the tribute of applause 
so justly due to them." 

Major Latour adds: " with pleasure I take this opportunity to do justice to the patriot- 
ic and highly praiseworthy conduct of the legislature not only on this occasion, (the 
extension of the pay of the wounded and other charitable and patriotic provisions) 
' but during the whole session." &c. 

It is to be observed that Major Latour was the ' principal engineer' and his book is 
dedicated to Gen. Jackson as a ' tribute to hit merits, and with an assurance of ' res- 
pect and devotion." 

4 Ealon, 410. 

Andrew Jackson. 35 

Mr. Louallier applied for the benefit of tliat remedy, Ihe wi]l of habeas corpus, 
which the legislature had refused to suspend. Judge Hall, to whom the applica- 
tion WHS made, was officially bound to ^rant it. The writ commanded the sheriff, 
in the name of the commonwcallh of Louisiana, to call on General Jackson for 
the reasons of Mr. Louallier's confinement. 

On the 5th of March, in ihe evening. General Jackbon bent judge Hall to the 
same prison. 

Either the same day or early the next day, an express arrived at New Or- 
leans with intelligence of the ratification of the treaty of peace.(l) 

Every person supposed that all arbitrary proceedings would now cease — the 
press be unmuzzled, the laws restored, and the suffering Kentuckians relieved 
immediately from their exposure in the sickly encampment. 

But their hopes were disajjpointed. Gen. Jackson still kept Judge Hall in 
confinement as well as Mr. Louallicr. 

The Judge applied to Judge Lewis, for a Habeas Corpus. The General or- 
dered Judge Lewis and also the attorney, l\Ir. Dick, who acted for Hall, to be 
arrested. (2) 

On the 8Lh of March, a general order was issued reciting an application from 
Major Planche's battalion and Major Lacoste and Daquin for a suspension of 
the order of Feb. SHth banishing the Frenchmen; and announcing that this 
petition had been granted as a matter of favour merely to the petitioners, and that 
from the suspension Major Tousard was excepted. (3) 

The same day the " levy en masse" of the Louisiana militia was discharged 
by a general order. [4) 

On the eleventh of March Judge Hall was banished; and Mr. Louallier was 
still detained/or trial.' (5) 

Mr. Louallier, whose patriotism had been jn'oved, was brought before a court 
martial subsequently to all these occurrences — and there " tried" on charges 
involving life and death, by the general's command. 

The charges were 

1. Mutiny, 

'-'. Exciting to Mutiny, 

3. General Misconduct, 

4. Being a Spy, 

5. Disobedience to orders. 

6. Writing a wilful and corrupt libel, 

7. Unsold lerly conduct. 

The specification was the same on each charge, namely the publication in the 
newspaper on the 3d of March. (6) 

1 Latour's appendix 94. Gen. Jackson's letter to Gen. Lambert .announcing the 
news, dated March 6, 1815. 

Also General Carroll's letter of the same date to Governor Blount " an express has 
arrived with intelligence of the ratification of peace." National Intelligencer, May 
6, 1815. 

2 Mr. Louallier's statement. 

3 National Intelligencer, April 18, 1815. Major Tousard was then French consul. 
He had served in our army in the revolutionary war and lost an arm 

4 National Intelligencer of same date as above. Latour, appendix 99. 

5 " On the 11th of the month sent him [the Judge] from the city," &c. Eaton 411. 

6 The publication which General Jackson sought to punish by the death of Mr. 
Louallier, commenced thus: " Mr. Editor, to remain silent on this late general order, 
directing all Frenchmen who now reside in New Orleans to leave it within three days, 
and to keep at a distance of 120 miles of it, would be an act of cowardice which ought 
not to be expected from a citizen of a free country; and when every one laments such 
an abuse of authority, the press ought to denounce it to the public." 

It then proceeds to argue from the treaty of cession, th.Tt Fitnrhmen are entitled to 
all the privileges of Americans— and that the Frenchmen had behaved gallantly in the 
late battle— and that they ask no other reward than to be permitted peaceably to enjoy 
the rights the treaty and the laws, of the United States, and that if the French 
were to choose to abjure their native country, they could not at once be made Ameri- 
CBB citizens. " It is therefore better to remain a iaithful Ffenchman, than to be scar- 

26 Life of 

Mr. Louallier was cctiaitily not ameuable to such a tribunaJ, (1) but the 
court martial acquitted him ot" all the charges; General Jackson disapproved 
the acquittal, and still kept him in confinement until the 13th of March. [2) 

Mr. Eaton says that Mr. Louallier was prosecuted under 2nd section of the 
rules and articles of war and that the section was published by order, for the 
information of all concerned. It is to be hoped this is a mistake, for certainly 
there could not have been a grosser perversion of military power than an at- 
tempt to take the life of a citizen residing at home and a member of the legisla- 
ture attending its sittings, for any publication — by pretext of that section, 
which provides that all persons, not citizens of or owing allegience to the U. S., 
who shall be found lurking (is spies in or about the fortifications or encampments 
of the armies of the United States, shall suffer death, &c. (Laws of the U. S. 
Vol. 4. p. 23.) 

It is more probable that the true motive for the harsh and angry proceedings 
against Mr. Louallier and the French volunteers, is to be found in the avowal 
made by the General in his reasons for disapproving the acquittal of M. Loual- 
lier, — namely that his i-eksonal dignity was implicated. [3] 

On the 13th of March, having received orders from the war department to 
discharge the militia, ho revoked the order relating to martial law, [4] and the 
next day the militia were ordered to be marched home to be discharged. [5] 

The Kentucky troops were now, but not until now, relieved from their 
encampment in the mud, where they had been continued a week after the ex- 
press arrived with intelligence of the ratification of the treaty of peace — three 
days after the levy en 77iassc of the Louisiana militia were discharged — about 
one month after the news of the signing of tlie treaty and nearly two months af- 
ter the General had declared his confi<ient opinion that (he " last exertion of 
the enemy" had been made. 

Each day of tiieir detention had increased their loss by disease — and no rea- 
son has ever been given for the gieater care taken for the comfort of the regu- 
lars, in comparison with these meritorious citizen soldiers. [6] 

ed even by the martial law; a law useless when the presence of the foe and honour calls 
us to arms, but which becornes degrading when their shameful flight suffers us to en- 
joy a glorious rest, which fear and terror ought not to disturb. 

The communication then closes with these sentences^ which probably gave the of- 
fence, viz: " It is high time the laws should resume their empire; that the citizens of 
this State should return to the full enjoyment of their rights; in acknowledging we are 
indebted to General Jackson for the preservation of the city and the defeat of the Bri- 
tish, we do not feel much inclined through gratitude to sacrifice any of our privileges, 
and less than any other that of expressing our opinion about the acts of his administra- 
tion. That it is time the citizens accused of any crime should be rendered to their 
natural judged, and cease to be bro'.ight before special or military tribunals, a kind of 
institution held in abhorrence even in absolute governments; and that after having 
done enough for glory the moment of moderation has arrived; and finally, that the acts 
of authority which the invasion of our country and our safety may have rendered ne- 
cessary, are, since the evacuation of it by the enemy, no longer compatible with our 
dignity, and our oath of making the constitution respected." 

1 As a member of the Legislature, he was exempt from military service. General 
Jackson described him as a " citizen not enrolled in any corps." — [order issued March, 
IS 16, disapproving of the acquittal] — and the Constitution of the U. S. fifth amend- 
ment, provides that ' no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infa- 
mous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases 
arising in the land or naval service, or in the militia tvlun in actual service.'' 

2 Mr. Louallier's statement, and Gen. Jackson's general order disapproving of 
the sentence of acquittal, with his reasons at length, in which all ciri/ privileges are de- 
clared to be suspended by a state of war. Niles' Register vol. 15, 395. 

3 Niles' Register, vol. 1.5, p. 395, [4] Latour 219. [5) lb. 220, National Intelli- 
gencer, of April 19, IS15. 

6 These men seem to have fallen a sacrifice to the General's very high toned no- 
tions of military power and subordination. We have seen that he considered militia 
bound to remain in service beyond their period of duty as prescribed by law; and that 
he refused to accept the services of volunteers with any limitation — but required, and 
litially compelled them, by pressing them into service — to be placed precisely on the 

Andrew Jackson. 27 

Before liis departure from New Orleans — which was on the 6th of April, 1815, 
he had the satisfaction to receive intelligence of resolutions adopted in congress, 
thanking him and the army under his command for tlicir services, and voting 
him a gold medal as a testimou}' of approbation. 

Immediately after the conclusion of the war a reduction of the army was ef- 
fected, two Major Generals only were relamed. It was a matter of much diffi- 
culty to make the selection, and the duty devolved chiefly on Mr. Dallas, then 
acting secretary at war. General Jackson made a visit to the city of Washing- 
ton, and the arrangement was made by which he was retained as second in rank 
to General Brown. [1] 

He returned to his plantation, wliere he remained enjoying his full pay, im- 
proving his estate, and amusing himself will) llie pleasures of the race course, for 
which he still kept his fondness, and in which he was generally successful, as 
the owner of the best running horses. 

In the latter part of 1816, he was authorised to superintend the cession of 
certain Indian lands. (2_) At this time the department of war was vacant, and Ge- 
neral Jackson felt a lively interest in the appointment to be made. He volun- 
teered his advice to the new president, [3] and strongly recommended the ap- 
pointment of Colonel Drayton of South Carolina, and remonstrated against the 
reported intention of the president to appoint Governor Shelby of Kentucky, 
whose great military services, patriotism, integrit}', and high character, he ar- 
gued did not entitle him to an office, for the complicated duties of which, his 
acquirements did not qualify him. 

footing of regulars — (Eaton, p. 300.) In an address to the Kentuckians at New Or^ 
leans, he told them <• one of the most dangerous faults in a soldier, is a disposition to 
criticise and blame the orders and characters of his superiors." Latour, Appendix, p. 

Against these principles — rather inapplicable to militia composed of freemen — and 
against this desire to reduce them to a mere passive machine, the Tennessee militia at 
Mobile had oflFended, even more than the Kentuckians and Louisianians at New Or- 
leans. The punishment was in each case excessive. Five hundred of the latter per- 
ished on the banks of the Mississippi — and six of the former had been shot at Mobile 
for the purpose of establishing the arbitrary principles which he avowed; 

1 Act of March 3, 1815, permitted the President to retain two Major Generals 
and four Brigadiers. General Brown, a northern man, was under this act put at the 
head of the army, and General Jackson, a southern man, next. Then General Ripley 
and General Macomb of the north, and General Scott and Genera] Gaines of the south, 
were the four Brigadiers. 

2 On this occasion Gov. Shelby of Kentucky was associated with him in the com- 
mission. They had very serious disputes arising out of a belief on the part of Shelby, 
that General Jackson was about to obtain a cession of lands in pre-emption to himself, 
as had been done in 1814 at the treaty with the Creeks. The circumstance is freely 
told by the friends of Gov: Shelby. 

S His letter to thePresident. Niles, vol. 26, 163. 

In the course of this correspondence, which has often been cited as very creditable 
to Gen. Jackson, he advanced some opinions that were peculiar and characteristic. 

He told the President, that he had considered Mr. Madison " one of the best of 
men, and a great civilian," but had not been in favor of making him President, because 
*' he could not look on blood and carnage with composure. "(Niks, vol. 26, p. 167.] 
And in the same correspondence, he declared, that if he had been in the neighbour- 
hood of the Hartford Convention, he would iiave hanged the principal members, un- 
der the " 2d section of rules and articles of war." This does not seem to have been an 
oversight. His opinions as avowed in his defence before Judge Hall at New Or- 
leans [Eaton, 451.] and in his reasons for diEapproving of Louallier's acquiltal, [Nijen 
l."}, 395.] go the whole length of considering the entire country a camp ' here none but 
military rule, military power, military distinction, and military tribunals can be allow- 
ed — and this not merely in emergencies but at all times from a declaration of war till 
the ratification of peace, 

This doctrine and the General's application of the 2d (■ection, would make every 
man a spy from Maine to Georgi.i whom the general officers might choose to call so 
— and there would be but one tenure of life, property and reputation — namely the 
will of a niilittry ma»ter. 

28 LiJ^ of 

He received a friendly answer from Mr. Monroe, aud continued to write on 
this interesting subject, until the appointment of Mr. Calhoun. At about this 
time he issued an order commanding' all the officers in the southern half of the 
United States, to yield no obedience to any communication from the president 
as commander in chief, through tlie ordinary channel of the war department, 
unless from, or through himself. 

It is difficult to reconcile this proceeding, either with the respect just before 
expressed for the President, or those principlesof strict subordination, which he 
had so often and so recently asserted. [1] 

The year 1818 was marked by some murders, committed on the borders of 
Georgia by the Seminole Indians, a tribe of little strength. (2) General Jack- 
son was ordered to make a requisition on the Governor of Tennessee, for a mi- 
litia force, in aid of the Georgia militia, already called out — and to take the ne- 
cessary steps for restoring order. 

He preferred raising volunteers, to whom he could appoint officers; and col- 
lected a force of 2500 men, without authority, whom he organized by the ap- 
pointment of officers, and then led into Florida, to capture the Spanish posta, 
from which the Indians, as it was said, had obtained supplies. 

No resistance was made, and the war was soon ended. It was disgraced by 
an act of cruelty towards some of the Indians, committed by a captain of the 
Georgia militia and also by certain severities on the part of Gen. Jackson. 

Two Englishmen were taken prisoners and put to death. They were said 
to have instigated, as well as aided the Indians, but their execution was justified 
by General Jackson, simply on the ground of their being to ji A the Indiansia 
open war. (3) 

The execution of prisoners, had never before been permitted by American 
officers, except in the instance of the massacre the day after the battle at the 
Horse Shoe, under Gen. Jackson's orders, in 1814. 

A few Indians also, who were decoyed into his power by means of false co- 
lours — an expedient unworthy of an officer of high rank and character — were 
hanged without trial, and in cold blood. The Englishmen perhaps deserved their 

1 *• Head Quarters, Division of the South, Nashville, April 22, 1S17. " The com- 
manding General, considers it due to the principles of subordination, which ought and 
must exist in an army, to prohibit- the obedience of any order emanating from the de- 
partment of war, to officers of this division, who have reported and assigned to duty, 
unless coming through /lim." Niles's Register, vol. 12, p. 320. 

The reasons for this order, as set forth in it, are the recent removal of an officer from 
the division, without the General's knowledge, and the publication through the De- 
partment of War, of some topographrcal surveys. 

General Scott having expressed an opinion against the regularity of this order. Gen . 
Jackson wrote him several angry letters on the subject, and offered to fight a duel with 
him. But General Scott declined such a mode of deciding a mere difference of opi- 

The correspondence was afterwards carefully exhibited by General Jackson to his 
acquaintances, and at length published in Niles's Register, vol. 16, p. 123, &c. never 
seemed to be convinced that the order was mutinous or irregular. 

2 They did not exceed 1000: " To oppose them, there were 1800 Georgians and 
1000 friendly Indians called out, besides the 2500 men which General Jackson muster- 
ed. (Report of the committe of Senate. The effectives when in Florida were 3300, 
according to the testimony of the Adjutant Butler. [Documents, 2d Session 15 Con- 

3 His order states, that " it is an established principle of the law of nations, 
that any individual of a nation, making war against the citizens of another nation, they 
being at peace, forfeits his allegience and becomes an ou</aw and a j)ira<e.'' (Niles's 
Register, vol. 15, p. .395.) 

This principle would condemn as outlaws and pirates, not only Gen. Lafayette and 
other foreign officers of the revolution — and a multitude of our citizens, who have aided 
the South Americans against Spain — but also, those gallant Frenchmen who served the 
artillery with so much effect, on the 8th January, 1815, and received the praises of the 
Gen. for their excellent conduct. 

The sams idIr would also brand Commodore Porter, as a pirate- 

Andreio Jackson. 29 

fate, but the poor conftdiog Indians would have been spared, if they had fallen 
into the power of any other American officer. [1] 

One of the Indians thus deluded and put to death had educated his family as 
christians, and taught them the langunge and manners of the whites. His 
daughter had saved the life a Georgia officer when a prisoner among the Semi- 
noles, and on these facts an appeal to the General's mercy was founded,--but with- 
outeffiict. The crime of being /n(/i(ms was unpardonable, — and to compass their 
death he resorted to the meanness of /a/se colours, and the violence of illegal 

In the course of this disturbance, which could scarcely be called a war, as 
no opposition was made — an angry correspondence took place between Gen. 
Jackson and Gov. Rabun of Georgia. A portion of the Georgia militia had 
been ordered out to protect the frontiers of that state, while Gen. Jackson was 
penetrating Florida, and leaving, as Gov. Rablin complained, the threatened re- 
gion of country defenceless. The General sent home the Georgia militia, 
and kept the force which he had raised and olBcered himself. 

The irregularity of thus raising an army without law, and for the purpose of 
distant operations was sustained by the claim on his part as Major General of 
the U. S. army to have the sole and exclusive control of the whole militia in 
the southern division of the Union. After acting on Ibis principle in calling out the 
Tennessee volunteers without the intervention of the executive of that state, he 
proclaimed it in a letter to the Governor of Georgia — in which he told him, "you 
sir, as Governor of a State, within my division, have no right to give a military 
order, wliile I am in the field. [2] 

It must be allowed, that very dangerous doctrine is contained in those 
.words. The President allotted the superintendence of the military affairs of the 
nation, in equal divisions to two Major Generals; General Jackson being sta- 
tioned at home, in the south. If he construed his powers correctly, correlative 
authority must be allowed to General Brown in the north, and the state govern- 
ments, as to their power to apply their physical force to their own protection, 
within their own borders, must be considered as totally abrogated. 

Gov. Rabun's just and indignant reply was: " Wretched and contemptible in- 
deed crust be our situation, if thisbe the fact. When the liberties of Georgia 
shall have been prostrated at the feet of a military despotism, then, and not till 
then, will this imperious doctrine be tamely submitted to." 

The events of this expedition into Florida, beame the subject of a warm dis- 
cussion in congress. In each house, a report was made by a committee, censur- 
ing the General's proceedings. 

The Spanish envoy complained of the violation of Spanish territory, and it was 
expected that the British government would take offence at the military execu- 
tion of its subjects. The condemnation of the General, would have seemed a 
triumph to the foreign powers; the feelings of congress therefore, inclined against 
passing censure; and the session went by without any decisive vote on the sub- 

In the house of representatives, the committee founded their censure on the 
unnecessary putting to death of the prisoners, after the war was closed — the ir- 
regularity of their trial — the unfairness of refusing them the benefit of the evi- 

1 General Jackson's letter from " camp before St. Marks, dated 9th April, 1S18," 
published in Niles's Register, June 13, 1818. «' Capt M'Ever having hoisted Eng- 
lish colours on board his boat; Francis the Prophet, and Hoemotchemucho, and two 
others, were decoyed on board. These have been /iit7ig- to-day — to morrow I march to 
Suwanney, ^c. 

2 Governor Rabun's letter to General Jackson, Niles's Register, vol. 15, p. 255. 
General Jackson's motive for the visit to Floiida, was said to rest on .«ome land specu- 
lations. But no evidence of it was ever shown, except that some friends of his own, 

^ and relatives by marriage, had in the preceding fall made extensive purchases of land, 
there, viz. Messrs James Jackson sen. James Jackson jr. J. H. Eaton, J. C. M'Dowal, 
J. M'Crea, John Jackson, T. Childress, and J. Donnelson. The General was not 
proved to be interested. (Document, No. 100, 2d Session 15th, congress.) 
May 1, 1818. Niles Regi.«ter, vol. 15, p. 254. 

so Life of 

dence they desired — the erroneous principles of national law advanced — and the 
execution of one against, the opinion and sentence of the court martial. [Nilea' 
Reg-ister, vol. 15, p. 395.] 

The impropriety of invading- Florida, being the subject of a correspondence 
between the Spanish envoy and our secretary of state, was not taken into view 
by the Committee. 

In the senate, the committee reported very much in detail, and in very strong 
terras of censure. 

" It is with regret," the committee said, they were " compelled to declare, 
that General Jackson has disregarded the positive orders of the department of 
war, the constitution, and the laws." " The committee find the melancholy fact 
before them, that at this early stage of the republic, military officers have, without 
the shadow of authority, raised an army of at least 2500 men, and mustered them 
into the service of the United States. Two hundred and thirty officers have been 
appointed, and their rank established, from an Indian brigadier general, to the 
lowest subaltern of a company. To whom were these officers accountable for their 
conduct.'' Not to the president of the United States, for it was not considered 
necessary even to furnish him with a list of their names; and not until the pay 
was demanded, were the persons known to the department of war." Many dis- 
tinguished members of bolli houses, condemned the conduct of General Jack- 
son, as of most dangerous example. Among these Mr. Lowndes of South Caro- 
lina, and Mr. Clay of Kentucky, made the most eloquent arguments. 

General Jackson came to Washington., in January, 1819, (1) and while his 
conduct was under discussion in congress, he extended his journey to Baltimore, 
Philadelphia, and New York, at each of which places he received public enter- 
tainments, and other compliments ;[2] when he returned to W ashington, and pub- 
lished a defence of his invasion of Florida. 

He was very angry and perhaps excessively enraged, at the censures uttered 
against him. At a dinner party in Baltimore where he first saw the report to the 
senate, he openly threatened to do violence to the person of Mr. Laycock the 
chairman of the committee. (3) 

There was an occurrence in this Seminole war, or in the military occupatioD of 
Florida, which forcibly exemplified the danger of permitting men to dispense 
with the laws, at their own discretion. 

Colonel King, who commanded at Pensacola in the summer and autumn of 

1 Niles' Register, January 30tb, 1819." [2] lb. February, 1819. 

3 Messrs. John Sullivan, Hugh Boyle, Andrew Hall, James L. Ilaikins, John F. Poor, 
&c. of Baltimore, heard these menaces spoken by the General. 

Mr. Lacock, the chairman of the committee, made the following statement in the National 
Intelligencer, in March, 1819, over his name; it was also published with Mr. Lacock's sig- 
nature, in Niles' Register, April 3d, 1819 — and not contradicted by the General or his 
friends, viz. " The personal invectives indulged in, in the Strictures, [a publication ascribed 
to General Jackson,] correspond entirely with his previous observations in the public tav- 
erns and ball rooms of Washington. For it is a fact notorious, and cannot be denied, that 
on these occasions he was vociferous in his imprecations, and violent in his threats of per- 
sonal vengeance, even to the cutting off the ears of some of the members of the select com- 
mittee, — and this, while the subject was before the senate." 

It is certain also that the lamented Decatur mentioned to several gentlemen, among 
whom may be nanr/ed iiis estimable and intimate friend Daniel Smith, Esq. of Philadelphia, 
and the honourable Joseph Hopkinson, formerly member of congress — that he met General 
Jackson going to the senate chamber for the purpose, as he avowed, of inflicting personal 
chastisement on one of the senators in that place; that he expostulated and remonstrated 
perseveringly and earnestly with the General and finally induced him to abandon his rash 

General Jackson has recently written for the public papers, a note to Felix Grundy, Esq. 
which is taken for a denial of this occurrence. 

But it really applies only to unessential particulars as to which recollection may err. 
Whatever mistakes may have been made as to place and language, %inqueslionably the sub- 
stance of Decatur's statement is such as just related. And the substance remains uncontra- 
dicted by General Jackson, who by ai. evasion more ingenions than magnanimous ha» 
aetmed to contradict what in reality be cannot gainsay. 

Andrew Jackson. SI 

1 01 8, Ihonglit proper to set aside the act of congress prohibiting the use of cor- 
poral punishments,(l) and to restore their use in his camp. He also considered 
courts martial and trials for offences quite useless, and ordered liis men to shoot 
deserters wherever found. [2) This extraordinar)' innovation, by which the lives of 
the soldiers were to be taken without proof of crime, he reported immediately to 
General Jackson. (3) 

It will be observed that this rule if introduced in season, would have saved the 
trouble of trying the 180 Tennessee militia men at Mobile in 1814-5, who might 
all have been shot as fast as they were overtaken, or met returning. It would 
also have put an end to the difliculties with the volunteers in December, 1813, 
when General Jackson denounced the whole 1200 as deserters. 

Only one man happened to suffer death under this truly Turkish regulation. (4) 

Colonel King was sometime afterwards brought before a court mar- 
tial [5] on charges of other improprieties, and this new fashioned rule was also 
adverted to. 

The Colonel in his defence, boldly avowed and justified the proceeding, as part 
of a system sanctioned by the authority of General Jackson. " The war cry is 
raised," he said, " against military despotism and instantly the enemies of Gene- 
ral Jackson, the government and the enemy join in, and the yell is resounded 
from Boston to New Orleans." " With calmness and contempt I listened to^h» 
clamours, alike indifferent to its origin, its course and ils result." 

in this insolent avowal of contempt for p\iblic opinion, coupled with regrets 
that Mr. Calhoun, the secretary of war, was not a. soldier, and therefore could 
not kuow how to appreciate the privileges of the army — in his making common 
cause with General Jackson and pronouncing all to be his enemies who disap- 
proved of these lawless proceedings, we see plainly marked out a specimen 
of the consequences to be expected from an unwise lenity towards the usurpa- 
tions and tyranny of the military power. 

Colonel King declared on his trial that he had reported to General Jackson, 
the order to shoot without trial, all such as his Serjeants and corporals might 
choose to consider deserters; and that the General had " approbated the mea- 

In proof of this lie produced a letter from the General dated at Nashville, 
April 13th, 1819, in which he said "your conduct in the evacuation of Pensacola, 
as well as on every other occasion during your unpleasant command in the Spanish 
province, meets my entire approbalwn.'\6) 

In the Spring of 1821, Congress made a further reduction of the army, leav- 
ing only one Major General in service, (7) General Brown being selected as the 

1 Act 16th May, 1812, sec. 7, 

2 Documents, 1st Session 16th cougrcss, Doc. 119, p. 67. He also ordered ears to be 
cut oflf, heads to be shaved, &c. 

3 " Without delay," ib. p. 52. 

4 One of the witnesses at the court martial was Cornelius Jackson, a private of the 4th 
regiment, who testified that he was one of the party sent in pursuit of Niel Cameron a pri- 
vate of the same regiment, and was with the sergeant, when he came upon Cameron asleep, 
tliey waked him up, he said he was going back, but was told he must be put to death. He 
begged to he taken back, as he was a prisoner and without arms, and ought to be tried. The 
sergeant told him there was no use in his being tried, and told the witness to fire at him. 
The witness refused. The sergeant tbcn took the gun, Cameron being unarmed, and snapped 
it twice, Cameron still begged for his life— even for a short respite to repent of his sins — 
but the sergeant " blowcd him through" and left him dead, but unburicd where they had 
found him. The sergeant and witness returned to camp, and the commanding oflScer told 
them they had done " exactly right." 

5 In November, 1819. Documents, &c. 

6 Ib. p. 97. &c. 

7 Act March 2, 1821. Section 1. From and after the 1st of June next, the military 
peace establishment of the United States, shall be compo.sedof4 regiments of artillery, 

^ and 7 regiments of infantry, &c. Section 5. There shall be one Major General, with 
two aids de-camp, (ico brigadier generals, &c. 

32 Life of 

chief of tli6 army, Gen. Jaoksou was thus deprived of the raak, as well as splea- 
did emoluments of his commissiou. [1] 

The President, however, made him ample amends, by appointing him commis- 
sioner to receive the cession of Florida, and temporary Governor of the newly 
acquired territory. 

He took possession of his new station about the first of June 1821, and held 
it a ie\7 months, during which, he had again the pleasure of exercising absolute 
power, and enjoyed an allowance so ample as to support the dignity of Gover- 
nor and intendant, in a style of great magnificence. (2) 

The possession of executive power led him into new violence; and the impri- 
sonment of the district judge and certain indignities offered to the person of the 
Spanish commissioner, marked his short rule as a reign of terror. (3) 

He remained onl}^ about five months in Florida, and in October or November, 
1821, returned to Nashville, [4] and shortly afterwards resigned his commission. [5] 

In July, 1822, the legislature of Tennessee first placed his name before the 
public as a candidate for the presidency, [6] and the nomination was repeated by 
a meeting in Dauphin county Pennsylvania, in January, 1823. (7) 

He was not, however, yet considered seriously as a candidate, and in February, 
1828, president Monroe appointed him minister plenipotentiary to Mexico. [8] 

' *1 The following is his account, as it stands on the books of the second and third 
auditor of the Treasury, viz, 

From January 1, 1820 to December 31, 1820. 

Pay as Commissioner from 
the 14th Sept. to the 21st 
Oct. 37 days at 8 dollars 
per day 296 00 

Expenses for General Jack- 
son and suite, on their 
return 851 50 

Pay as Commissioner on 
return, from the 21st of 
October to the 10th No- 
vember, -20 days at 8 
dollars per day 160 00 


$2,400 00 


1,098 00 

Extra rations 

1,098 00 


612 00 



240 00 


292 00 


140 16, 

Rent of Quarters 

400 00 


224 00 

Transport'n of baggage 


Holding treaty with Choc- 

taw Indians, travelling 

expences for self and 

suite to Dokes' stand 

425 83 

Bill at Dokes' 

156 78 

Total $8,109 67 

From these accounts it will be seen that he received his full pay, subsistence, extra 
rations and forage, hire of servants, feeding and clothing them, as if in service; rent of 
his own house , 400 dollars per annum, and for burning his own wood 224 dollars. 

He continued to hold his commission to the latest day possible. 

On the first of June it terminated, and in May he published his farewell address to 
the army. 

He had been without intermission in the enjoyment of the rank, pay and emolument 
of a Major General since May 1814 — yet he most unaccountably wrote to Mr. Swar- 
tout in February 1825, that, " the war over and peace restored I retired to my farm to 
private life, when but for the call I received to the Senate of the Union, I should have 
contentedly remained," &c. " Nor have I ever been willing to hold any post longer 
than I could be useful to my country, not myself," &c. Niles' Register, March 12, 1825. 

It would be naturally inferred from these expressions, that he had resigned, which 
was far from the case. 

2 His allowance during this period was $ 6907, 79. In his account there was one 
item for wines, liquors &c. for his family of $1047,39. See the accounts in the public 

3 Mr. VValsh's biographical sketch, treats these proceedings as justifiable. They were 
at least harsh. If the judge erred, in supposing himself obliged to take cognizance of Cal- 
lava's imprisonment, the mistake could scarcely have deserved so severe a punishment. 
Courts often mistake the extent of their jurisdiction, but the judges are not, therefore, sent 
to jail. 

4 Ni3c«' Register, v. 21, p. 128, and 214. (5) lb. 266, and 287. [6] Niles' Regiiter, v. 
22, p. 402. [7] Niles, 26, p. 50. (8) National Int. February 16th, 1823. 

Jlndrew Jackson. 33 

The acceptance of this appointment would manifestly have injured his prospect 
of further support as a candidate for the presidency, and he prudently declined 

In the following June, a popular meeting in Tennessee reiterated his nomina- 
tion for the presidency, and recommended him expressly on the ground of his 
MILITARY SKILI-, which thosc citlzcns declared was peculiarly needed in the 
chief magistrate. [ 1 ] 

He was elected by the legislature to the senate of the United States, and took 
his seat in December, 1823. 

His situation there was embarrassing. He had obtained his seat as a friend 
to the tariff oi additional duties for the protection of American manufactures, 
and in the place of Colonel Williams who was known to be opposed to that mea- 
sure [2] 

The tariff as passed by the house of reprcsentutives after a close struggle, was 
the subject of earnest discussion in the senate, and generally, throughout the 

General Jackson had by this time received several other nominations for the 
presidency, and was the favourite candidate in some of the southern states, and 
also in Pennsylvania. To avoid offending either Pennsylvania or the Carolinas, 
seemed impossible. He took a middle course with better fortune than commonly 
attends such a policy ; he voted for the tariff, but also voted to render it less ef- 
fectual than its friends intended. [3] 

He obtained the votes of eight states, and part of the votes of several others, 
and was returned to the house of representatives, as one of the three candidates 
not having a majority — one of whom was to be chosen by that body. 

He remained in the senate until the election was over; and in the course of 
the winter of 1824-5, an occurrence took place, which was not known of until 
he brought it into view, long after, by a conversation, that must be allowed to 
have been very indiscreet. 

It was expected, that the members of congress from such states as had shown 
a decided preference for one of the three, then present, candidates, would vote 
in cooformity with sucli preference; which would leave to the members from the 
states that had voted for Mr. Clay, a weight almost decisive in the election. 
There was, therefore, much effort made by the partizans of each, to persuade 
those members to vote with them respectively. 

General Jackson's friends were zealous, active, and perhaps imprudent in 
their efforts of this kind. [4] And one of then)[5] conceived and undertook a 
scheme of management, by which he hoped to induce the Kentucky members 
to vote for the General. Immediately after it was ascertained that Mr. Clay was 
not one of the three candidates,[6] this gentleman consulted with another friend, 

1 Nilcs, V. 24. p. 247. (2) See the debates iia the Tennessee legislature, reported in 
the National Banner, November 9th, 1827, particularly the speech of Mr. Williams. 

3 Sec his votes in Niles' Kegister, v. 26, p. 69, 122, 158, &c. in favour of rciZucing the 
duty on woollens and cotton. 

4 Mr. F. Johnson of Kentucky, published in the National Intelligencer of March 29tb, 
1325, a statement, which has never been contradicted, of the most direct importunities and 
assurances on the part of Mr. Sandford and Mr. Krcmer, as friends of Gen. Jackson. 

General M'Arthur of Ohio has also stated, in a letter to Dr. Watkins lately published, 
that " ihe General's friends appeared to be willing to make any promises which they thought 
woiiKI induce the friends of Mr. Clay to vote for General Jackson." 

Mr. Sloune and General Vance of Ohio, have also testified to the. importunities o( the 
friends of General Jackson. And so has 'Mr. Scott of Missouri who held the vote of that 
state at bis disposal, and declares the General's partizans assured him that General Jack- 
son was a man o£ sttooggrtdilude, and would go the whole for his/ricju/s." 

5 " Friend and efficient supporter." So the- gentleman is described by Mr. Isaacks in a 
published letter, dated September 5th, 1827. 

6 The Louisiana vole was heard of December 25th, 1824, until which time, ii was not 
known '.vliether Mr. Crawlbrd or Mr. Clay would be returned. See Niles' Register of that 
day, and Ihe National Intelligencer of December 29th. 

See Mr. Buchanan's statement, published in nearly ail Ihe papers, in August, 1827, He 
wrote to a friend ♦ high in office" in Pcnnnjlvania, on the subject, received bis advice, and 

34 Life of 

out of congress, and liaviug /iw approbation, lie called on senator Eaton, the col- 
league of General Jackson, and declared to him, in confidence, that he thought 
the General ought to further his own election, by means of " overtures respecting 
cabinet appoi7dTHents."[\] And for such purpose, " should state whom he would 
make secretary of state," and if he would say positively, his choice for that office 
should "nof be Mr. Adams,'''' such a declaration ^'- would answer the purpose." 

The purpose being to further his election by such a declaration, Mr. Eaton 
declared he did not believe the General would make it. The " efficient friend 
and supporter," nevertheless, declared he would call on the General and try to 
get such a declaration, for such object, and did seek and have a private inter- 
view the next day,[-2] for the purpose, as afterwards avowed by him, of obtaining 
a reply that would " operate on the vote of Mr. Clay and his friends. "[3] The 
gentleman put his question, but General Jackson and he differ in their recollec- 
tion as to the language of the answer. Their interview was, however, very 
friendly — the General '^ declared he had not the least objection to answer the 
question, "[4] and the gentleman received " such an answer as he expected,"[5] 
and which he considered it a " privilege"[6] to be allowed to repeat, and which 
General Jackson told him he might repeat " to whomsoever he might think pro- 
per," and particularly "to Mr. Clay and his friends."[7] 

The General, it must be confessed, forgot the dignity of his situation, and sul- 
lied his own honor when he gave a privilege to one of his partizans to carry to 
the voters, who were not his friends, a reply, with which that partizan intended 
" to operate on the votes" of those to whom it was to be communicated j add 
which indeed, that friend considered as " answering as well" as a direct" over- 
ture on the subject of cabinet appointments. "[8] 

on the same day, the 29th, called on senator Eaton, and held the conversation related by 
that gentleman. The time being ascertained, Mr. Buchanan says, by the answer in his pos- 
session from his rennsylvania friend, dated December 27th. From Mr. Buchanan's state- 
ment of dates, it is plain that he made a very early start in the business. He must have 
written his letter the very day of the arrival of the news from Louisiana. 

1 Senator Eaton's statement, published in the ' Nashville Republican, September 18th, 
1827, and in many other papers. 

" I was called upon by ?.lr. Buchanan, of Pennsylvania. He said, it was pretty well un- 
derstood, that overtures were making by the friends of Adams, on the subject of cabinet 
appointments. That Jackson should fight them with their otvn iceapons. He said the opinion 
was that Jackson would retain Adams, and that it was doing him injury. That the General 
should state whom he would make secretary of state, and desired that I would name it to him. 
My reply was, that I was satisfied General Jackson would say nothing on the subject. Mr. 
Buchanan then remarked: " Well, if he will merely say, he will not retain Mr. Adams, 
that luill answer.''^ I replied, I was satisfied, General Jackson would neither say who should, 
or who should not be secretary of state — but that he [Mr. B] knew him well, and might 
talk with him as well as I could — Mr. Buchanan then said, that on the next day, before the 
General went to the house, he would call. He did so, as I afterwards understood. 

2 Mr. Buchanan's statement, and General Jackson's statement. 

3 Telegraph of August 17th, 1827. Statement made by the editor, General Duflf 
Green, of the declarations personally made by Mr. Buchanan to him, in those words. 

4 " The General told ine he had not the least objection to answer the question, &c. 
Mr. Buchanan's statement. 

5 " I told him this answer was such an one as I expected to receive, &c. Ibid. 

6 I then asked him if I were at liberty to repeat his answer. He said I was perfectly 
at libeity to do so to any person I thought proper." " I need not say that I afterwards 
availed myself of the privilege.'' Ibid. 

7 General Jackson's address to the public, published at Nashville, 18th July, 1827. 
" In giving him (Mr. Buchanan) my answer, I did request him to say to Mr. Clay and 
his friends, what that answer had been." 

8 Mr. Buchanan so represented the intended use to be made of the answer which he 
expected — (General Green, in the Telegraph of Aug. 17th,) — and that the answer was 
suck as he expected to use for this purpose, he declared in his statement. He told Mr. 
Eaton, according to that gentleman, that such a reply would ansiver, as well as a direct 
declaration by the General, that he would make a particular individual secretary of 
state, and would be ' fighting' the friends of Mr. Adams, by means of "overtures re- 
specting cabinet appointm^its." 

Andrew Jackson. 35 

The friend thus privileged., declares that he availed himself of the privilege; 
but in what maDner, or with what efTecl, is not precisely known. But it is said, 
he went very far in the 'overtures' which he had thougiit expedient. [1] Notwith- 
standing this effort, and infinite exertions made by his other friends, in and out 
of congress. General .Jackson was disappointed in the election. 

He stayed at Washington long enougii to congratulate Mr. Adams with great 
seeming cordiality, on his success, and refused an invitation to a dinner offered 
to him by a number ot his political friends, least it should be construed as " car- 
rying exception, murmuring, and feelings of complaint." 

His declaration tiiat he took no exception to the election, and his congratula- 
tions of Mr. Adams, were much applauded; it is to be regretted, that he has 
since shown they were not sincere. [2] 

.'\fter voting against Mr. Clay's appointment as secretary of state, he return- 
ed to Nashville, and being again nominated for the presidency, by the Nashville 
legislature, he resigned his seat in the senate of the United States. 

In the succeeding year, the execution of the Tennessee militia became a topic 
of discussion in the newspapers, and a general incredulity was at first expressed, 
respectiug an occurrence which had remained in comparative obscurity. He 
wrote a letter on this subject, in answer to inquiries, in which he gave to the 
public an absolute denial n( all agency in that bloody tragedy, and placed the 
blame entirely on General Winchester. [3] The proofs being subsequently pro- 
duced, however, he was compelled to admit that the whole responsibility rested 
on himself, and that General Winchester had nothing to do will) it. [4] 

It is impossible to reconcile his positive denial, with a regard to truth. But 
it should be inferred, from his stooping to so disingenuous a method of escaping 

Mr. Buchanan states, that General Jackson Aifirsl declared, if he believed " his right 
hand knew v/hat his left hand would do, &c. he would cut it off and cast it in the fire." 

There is a curious coincidence between this preface to his answer, and a similar one 
used by him on a former occasion. ^ When a committee of the Louisiana legislature 
called on him between the 2.3d and' 28th December, 1814, to ask if it was liue he in- 
tended to burn the city, his answer, as related by himself, was, '* if I thought the hair 
of my head knew my thoughts, I would cut it off and burn it." 

But he adds, •' I told them that if I was so unfortunate as to be driven from the lines, 
I then occupied, &c. they would have a xcatm session of it." (General Jackson's letter to 
the Post Master General, respecting Fulwar Skipwith, March 22d, 1824.) The same 
circumstance is mentioned by Eaton, in his life of Jackson, p. 447; and that his inten- 
tion was to set fire to the city. 

Thus did the General, after using this strong expression, to signify his determination 
not to give any answer, conclude with giving one that was perfectly explicit. And so 
in the conversation with Mr. Buchanan, he first protested against giving any answer, 
and then he gave exactly the answer, such as was expectedj'And liberty to repent it to the 
voters that held the balance in their hands, and who would be, as Mr. Buchanan said, 
operated on by it. 

1 Mr. M'Duffie, another efficient friend of General Jackson, in a speech at Augusta, 
published in the National Palladium, July 24lh, 1827, declared that a ' significent nod,' 
without any thing more explicit, was thought to be sufficient to influence the election, 
and there is reason to believe that in availing himself, of the privilege, of operating on 
the votes of certain of the members — the friend thus authorised, hinted an or>erlure as to 
cabinet appointments more intelligibly than by a ' nod.' Amos Kendall, a writer of some 
distinction on General Jackson's si(le, in a bitter attack on the presiilciit,Sic. published 
in the Richmond Enquirer of October 26th, 1827, mentions, as an unfloubied fact, that 
Mr. Buchnnan assured some of the Kentucky members, that if Genernl Jackson were 
elected he would offer the department of state to Mr. Clay. 

2 In his letter to Swartout, (Niles' Register, vol. 28, p. 20.) apd his 'Address to the 
public,' July 18th, 1827. 

3 This letter, dated September 4th, 1826, was published extensively, throughout the 
United States. It contains an explicit, but uncandid denial, viz: " The r.nse you allude 
to, might as well be ascribed to the president of the United Stales, as commander in chief of 
the land and naval forces, as to me; but as you ask for a statement of the facts, I send 
them in a concise form." The narrative which follows, is full of gross and unaccounta- 
ble misstatements. 

4 His letter to Mr. Owens, " Kentucky Gazette" of August 2d, 1827. 

S6 Life of 

censure, that he knew his conduct admitted of no justification. This denial being 
proved untrue, the general seemed determined to direct public attention towards 
a new object, and accordingly, early ia the spring of 1827, he tluew off all re- 
serve, and made a distinct cliarge against the ser-retary of slate, of having, be- 
fore the election, made a corrupt olfer to vote for him, on certain improper con- 
ditions. [I] 

This was soon spread abroad, and at length as it found its way to the newspa- 
pers, and Mr. Clay having declared it to be totally false, the Mr. Beverly, who 
had first repeated the general's assertion, called on him to support it. 

Having thus made the opportunity, he published a letter to Mr. Beverly, de- 
scribing a conversation, held in January, l.'i25, with a member of congress, af- 
terwards named as Mr. Buchanan, in which the suggestion of a corrupt arrange- 
ment was made to him, which he believed came from Mr. Clay. [2] 

To this, Mr. Clay gave a prompt and indignant denial, so far as it affected 
him; and the general then issued an address to the public, dated July 18, 1827, 
giving up the name of Mr. Buchanan, as the bearer of the supposed proposition, 
and maintaining still the belief, that he acted by authority from Mr, Clay. [3] 

The disclosure of Mr. Buchanan's name, brought out that gentleman's state- 
raent,[4] which wliolly failed to support the general's charge, and entirely ac- 
quitted Mr. Clay. 

It is difficult to excuse the conduct of general Jackson in this affair by taking 
any possible view of it, consistent with the facts. He has declared that, from the 
frst, he looked on Mr. Buchanan as the bearer of a corrupt proposal. Then it is 
impossible to justify his willingly listening to it. Every man of honour feels that 
an attempt to corrupt him is an insult; which if not repelled and resented is a dis- 
grace. But he not only listened patiently to a scheme of villainy, as he at the 
time considered it, but encouraged it by the most friendly reception of the sup- 
posed messenger of corruption, and by giving him exactly an answer " such as 
was expecled,^^ with a "■privilege" to use that answer for the purpose of injluenc- 
ing, if not corrupting, votes. This seems so totally irreconcilable to the rules 
of honour and virtue, that he has written the severest condemnation of himself in 
merely stating that such was his understanding. 

Omitting Mr. Buchanan's testimony, yet the general is not acquitted. His 
own statement shows the most friendly reception of that gentleman, and his pur- 
pose. His subsequent betrayal, therefore, of that " efficient friend and support- 
er" whom he has held up to public view as a willing pandar of corruption, and 
whose prospects and political character he has sought to sacrifice for the sake of 
endeavouring to implicate Mr. Clay, — this treachery alone is sulBcient to fix 
an indelible stain on the reputation of General Jackson. 

Since the defeat of this attack ou the reputation of Mr. Clay, General Jackson 
has remained quietly at his plantation, except a visit to New Orleans, whither 
he lately went for the purpose of joining in the annual commemoration of the 
battle of the 8th of January. 

He is now before the public as a candidate for the presidency, and of course, 
as a politician; but of his present politics it is difficult to speak with certainty. 

On the 4th of July he permitted an orator, in his presence, to claim as his sup- 
porters the " federalists of the Hamilton school. [5] 

1 Carter Beverly's Btatement, dated March 8, 18-27, of genera! Jackson's declaration at 
his house, before " a large company" published in most of the ncwspaiiers. 

2 Letter to Mr. Beverly, June 6, 1827. 

S " Address to the Public," July 18, 18-27. In this extraordinary paper, general Jack- 
son, although he still maintains that Mr. Buchanan was Mr. Clay's agent; ["so I still 
think," is the expression,] and though he declares tlie " origin, the beginning of this char:;e, 
was at his own house and fireside," — yet declares, he is not the public, nor the responsible 
accuser of Mr. Clay. 

Between the condition of a public, and that of a private accuser, men of honour never 
prefer the latter. That he was an accuser — and the accusation heavy, no man could doubt. 

4 Published at Lancaster. The amount of his statement is given above, pages 34, &c. 

3 See the account of his attending the oration of Andrew Hays, Esq. and the oration 
itself in the ' National Banner and Nashville Whig,' of July 7, 1827. 

Andrew Jackson. 

General Hamilton's political principles were distinguished from those of other 
federalists, chiefly, by his proposing in the convention of 1707, that the president 
should hold his office for life.[1] But no party now approves of such a scheme. 

General Jackson is now the only man of any political prominence, in the whole 
nation, whose principles are not known as to the great questions respecting in- 
ternal improvements and the encouragement of agriculture and manufactures 
by protecting duties. 

As he maintains a guarded silence on these subjects, his principles can only 
be judged of by those professed by his most distinguished friends and partizansj 
and THEv in South Carohna, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania, 
are generally distinguished for their vehement opposition to internal improve- 
ments and to American manufactures. [2] It must be concluded therefore that 
HE has changed his principles, and is also now an enemy of the policy which has 
been called the AMERrcAN system. 

Before the commission of this last error, he had given so many proofs of anti- 
republican principles, — of disregard or ignorance of laws and constitutions — of 
vindictiveness and cruelty — of tyranny in the exercise of power — of contempt of 
the people's rights — of exclusive confidence in military men — of inconsistency 
and insincerity — and of a total want of talent or acquirements, suitable for civil 
office — that we cannot wonder at the strong expression of opinion uttered by flie 
venerable Jefferson, when he said, " one might as well make a sailor of a cock, 
or a soldier of a goose, as a president of Andrew J ackson.[3] 

1 The Georgia senate have, apparently, adopted the principles of this school, if there 
be any such. For they solemnly resolved, December 21st, 1827, that they would not 
only " advance by all honorable means the election of General Jackson" — But also 
that they will " think of no other person" (as president, or candidate,) " so long as he 
shall be blessed with his usual bodily and mental energies." — Georgia Journal, published 
at Milledgeville, January 14th, 1828. 

2 The South Carolina legislature, devoted to general Jackson, declare by solemn reso- 
lutions that the protecting duties provided in 1824, 1S22, and 1816, must all be rescinded; 
and recently in the senate of the United States, Mr. Smith of South Carolina, presented 
the resolution of the legislature instructing the members from that state to oppose every ap- 
propriation for internal improvements. — (See the report of proceedings on Friday, January 
11, 185:8. 

The Georgia legislature have adopted the report of a committee containing similar senti- 
ments. In Virginia, the message of governor Giles is quite explicit. In Tennessee the de- 
bates of the legislature November 9th, 1827, show the state of feeling there. 

The chief justice of Pennsylvania, whose name is at the head of the Jackson electoral 
ticket, has declared in presence of several gentlemen, that his objection against the present 
administration is founded on their policy in respect to the encouragement of manufactures. 

The Pennsylvania delegation in congress comprises three very active friends of General 
Jackson; Messrs. Ingham, Kremer, and Stevenson. They all have voted against every re- 
cent measure proposed for the promotion of manufactures or improvements. 

In the session of 1826-27, on the tariff or woollens bill, which Mr. M'Duffie called " em- 
phatically an administration measure"^from Virginia only one, from Tennessee only one, 
from South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, nol 07ie member voted for it. Yet it was 
passed by the representatives of the people, and sent to the senate where it was killed by 
the votes of General Jackson's friends from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Geor- 
gia, Tennessee, &c. and the casting vote of the vice-president. See Journal of the house 
of representatives, 2d session, 19 congress, p. 282, and of the senate; same session, p. 245; 
and see also a similar note on the Illinois and Indiana canals, in the house; same journal, p. 
374. Likewise on the Cumberland road, p 314, and senate journal p. 285. And very 
lately, that on Internal Improvements. — J^''ational Intelligencer oC Mmch 10th, 1828. 

3 See the letters of governor Coles of Illinois, formerly private secretary to president Ma- 
dison, and of Thomas VV. Gilmer, Esq. of Charlotteville, Virginia: published in December, 
1827, and testifying explicitly to Mr. Jefferson's having uttered these very words. 



,^ - 'o V 




< ^ ' ' . . • 

V ^-.>,^' 

• o. 

■0* » 

^- -J 

i^;!i=J/jr N. MANCHESTER, 
INDIANA 46962 


^^•n^. V