Skip to main content

Full text of "Oration of the Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, on the inauguration of the Jackson statue, at the city of Washington, January 8, 1853"

See other formats





. Vn" : 

py* : 



- :•#? 










11 A T 1 O N 















JANUARY S, 1853, 

. . a 










JANUARY 8, 185 I. 

W A S II I N G T O N : 










From the " Union" of January 9, 1S53. 

At an early hour yesterday it was perceptible that the citizens of Washington were 
intent on something beyond the ordinary routine of business. The sky was clear, the 
air soft and bland, like that of the Indian summer, and not like that of mid-winter. 
The occasional boom of a gun, and the pavements thronged with persons moving toward 
Lafayette Square, would have indicated to an utter stranger that some interesting cere- 
mony engaged the public attention. That ceremony was the inauguration of a statue of 
Andrew Jackson, which the gratitude of the people, whom he had served with more 
than Roman devotion in the field and in the cabinet, had erected to commemorate his 
heroism, his genius, and his virtues. The day chosen was fit and appropriate, being 
the anniversary of the closing struggle of the second war of Independence— the anniver- 
sary of the day when our citizen soldiery, animated by the example of Andrew Jackson, 
and directed by his skill, overthrew the most formidable army which ever invaded our 

The procession was formed in front of the City Hall, under the direction of George 
W. Hughes, Esq., of Maryland, late a colonel in the United States Army, distinguished 
for his eminent services in the Mexican war, who was appointed by the Managing Com- 
mittee of the Monument Association chief marshal of the day. By the direction of 
Colonel Hughes and his aids and assistant marshals, the procession moved in imposing 
numbers and admirable order lo Pennsylvania avenue, and thence toward Layfayette 
Square. Every available position along the route was filled with ladies and gentlemen — 
the balconies, and in many instances the house-tops, being filled with spectators. Ring- 
gold's celebrated battery of flying artillery, under the command of Major Taylor, led 
the column, and attracted marked attention by its precise movements, and by the 
glorious reminiscences which it awakened. Then came a company of United States 
marines, commanded by Lieutenant Henderson; the Washington Light Infantry, Cap- 
Tate; the National Greys, Captain Bacon; the Continental Guards, Captain Wilson; 
the Walker Sharpshooters, Captain Bradford; the German Yagers, Captain Swartzman; 
and the Boone Riflemen, Captain Bright— all under the direction of Colonel William 
Hickey, Lieutenant Colonel Riley, Major Keywortb, and Adjutant Tait. The civil 
procession, consisting of the city officers, members ot Congress, the Democratic Asso- 



ciations of Washington, Georgetown, and Alexandria, with delegations from Baltimore 
followed. Conspicuous positions were allotted to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army 
and his staff, to the artist whose untutored genius had produced the statue, and to the 
Committee of Management charged with its erection. Proceeding up Pennsylvania 
avenue, the procession entered the grounds of the Executive Mansion, passing around 
the semi-circle in front, and saluting the President, who was attended by the members 
of his cabinet and distinguished officers of the army and navy. The military, led by 
Ringgold's battery, then moved around Lafayette Square, entering it from the northern 
gate — the civic procession moving down the avenue, and entering through the southern 

Rev. Clement C. Butler, Chaplain to the Senate, opened the crcmonies by an elo- 
quent and appropriate prayer. Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, Senator from Illinois, the 
orator of the occasion, was then introduced to the multitude, and riveted its attention 
while he delivered, in the happiest manner, the able, graphic, stirring address we pub- 
lish to-day, which cannot fail to command the attention and applause of every reader 
by the happy spirit in which it was conceived, by its admirable sketch of the civil and 
military services of Andrew Jackson, by its freedom from party illusions, by the patri- 
otic sentiments it contains, and by the stirring language in which it was announced. 

When the orator had concluded, amidst the shouts of the thousands who surrounded 
him, Clark Mills, Esq., was introduced. He had no words to express his feelings, and 
in lieu of words he pointed to the veiled statue; the veil was instantly withdrawn, and 
Jackson on his steed, as if in full action, full of life and energy, was revealed. That 
was his speech, and none could have been more appropriate. Without instruction, 
without instruments or appliances, with but little encouragement, and against the re- 
monstrances and hinderances of men of art and men of science, he had labored for 
years, and by a simple gesture he pointed to the result of his labors. The scene was 
most picturesque. The speaker's stand was filled with eminent men — the President 
and his cabinet, Gen. Scott and his staff, distinguished Senators and Representatives — 
while at least twenty thousand of the people occupied the square and the neighboring 
house tops. The bands played a salute, and Taylor's battery answered with the guns 
which had done such good service against the enemies of the country. The Rev. Mr. 
Gallagher, Chaplain of the House of Representatives, closed the ceremonies in a most 
appropriate manner. Then the various military companies fired off amidst the cheers 
and the music of their bands, many citizens lingering in admiration of the matchless 
work which the hands of a man of the people had fashioned. 

Thanks to Colonel Hughes and to his aids and assistants, everything was so wel! 
ordered that no untoward accident happened. The streets and the square were crowd- 
ed, yet every movement was so organized and arranged that no collision occurred, and 
the imposing ceremonies connected with the inauguration of the statue were concluded 
as bcfitied the occasion. 






JANUARY 8, 1853. 

All nations have marked the period of their highest civiliza- 
tion and greatest development by monuments to their illustrious 
men. The hero, the statesman, the benefactor of the age, thus 
passes on to succeeding generations, and carries with him the 
glories of his time and the memory of the people associated with 
his achievements. Trajan, on his historic column, illustrated to 
successive generations the brilliant achievements in the field and 
wise acts in council, which imparted lustre and immortality to 
his reign. Constantine, from his storied arch, for centuries has 
proclaimed religious toleration to the humble Christian, and 
proudly recounted the glorious deeds of his life and times. The 
sculptured marble, above the urns that hold their sacred ashes, 
delineates the animated scenes in which that fame was won, and 
command the admiration, if not the homage, of the world. The 
best of emperors, Marcus Aureliu*, looks from his fiery steed on 
the realm he exalted — a group in monumental bronze the nob' 
in all antiquity. It yet survives the ruin of his country, in sub- 
lime majesty perpetuating the glories of the man and the grati- 
tude of the Roman people, amidst a degradation to which it now 
imparts a hope of regeneration. The statue before you is the 
work of a man exalted by his enthusiasm for the glorious d< 
and wise acts of a hero and statesman. It is the work of a 
young, untaught American. I rannot call him an artist. He 
never studied nor copied. He never saw an Equestrian Statu- 1 . 
not even a model. It is the work of inborn genius, aroused to 
energy by the triumphant spirit of liberty which throbs in the 


great heart of our continent — which creates the power of great 
conceptions, the aspiration and the will, the mental faculty and 
the manual skill, to eternize the actors who ennoble the country, 
by giving their forms and expressions to imperishable materials. 

Proudly may we compare to the Equestrian Statues of Europe 
that noble Roman figure, which preserves the form and features 
of our hero, and that colassal war-horse in bronze which will 
bear him in glory through future ages ! I have seen delineations 
of the Equestrian Statutes of Peter the Great, of Frederick the 
Great, and of the Duke of Wellington, which are esteemed, I be- 
lieve, the best specimens of that description of sculpture that 
modern Europe has been able to contribute to her collection of 
works of art. The horse of the great Cznr is supported in its 
rampant position by the aid of an unsightly contrivance. Be- 
tween its legs a serpent, by a bend in the body, connects with 
the tail of the steed, and is fastened to the pedestal. That of the 
great Prussian monarch, which is designed to appear in motion,. 
has one fore foot and another behind fixed to the pedestal ; a third 
is maintained in an elevated position by means of a prop, which 
is introduced to give stability to the statue by sustaining the 
weight, while but one is left free to give the semblance of life 
and movement. The rearing steed of the Duke of Wellington, 
like that of Peter the Great, maintains its rampant position by 
the hind legs and tail being riveted to the massive pedestal. 
What a wonderful triumph has our untaught countryman achiev- 
ed over those renowned trophies of European art in the hot and 
fiery charger before you, leaping " so proudly as if he disdained 
the ground," self-poised and self-sustained on the single point 
whence he derives his motion ! No props, no serpents, no unnatu- 
ral contrivances, are here. Nature, which has taught the impe- 
tuous steed to poise his weight and gather his strength to spring 
into the air, has given the genius which fashioned this group the 
power to impart grace and energy to the finely-balanced attitude, 
which makes the weight, that others prop and hold up by rivets, 
furnish to the work its strength and stability. 

But the real power of the noblest monument consists in the 
moral grandeur of the recollections it recalls. The exquisite 
beauty of the statue of Nero, by its contrast with the monster it 
brings to mind, makes the heart recoil as from the shining folds 
of a polished serpent. How different the beholder in the pre- 

sence of the august form before us ! The image of the resistless 
hero, who drove the the last invader from our shores, turns back 
our thoughts to the eager boy who shed his stripling blood in the 
Revolution, and to the resolute sage who withstood the corrup- 
tion and phrenzy of his times, and to the patriot statesman whose 
life and deeds mark a most eventful era in our national history. 
Let me glance at some of the events in his glorious career, and 
close with a view of him in his retirement at the Hermitage. 

In the year 1765 a small vessel arrived in the harbor of Charles- 
ton with a number of Irish emigrants on board, who had fled from 
tyranny and persecution in the old world to find peace and free- 
dom in the new. Among them was a family by the name of 
Jackson, consisting of Andrew and his wife, and their two sons, 
Hugh and Robert. They immediately proceeded to the upper 
country, and selected for their new home a lonely spot in the val- 
ley of the Waxhaw. Two years after, Andrew Jackson, whose 
illustrious deeds have filled the world with his renown, was born. 
The father died a few months after the birth of the son, who was 
to inherit his name and render it immortal. Nobly did the wid- 
owed mother perform her duty to those fatherless children. The 
earlier years of our hero's boyhood were spent in the peaceful 
abode of Waxhaw Academy. He was there when the Revolu- 
tion burst upon the world. The war-cry, from the bloody fields 
of Lexington, and Concord, and Bunker Hill, aroused the people 
of all the colonies to a just sense of their wrongs, and inspired 
them with the firm resolve to assert and vindicate their rights. 
The disastrous campaign which succeeded the first brilliant 
achievements — the heroic movements of Washington at Tren- 
ton—the sufferings of the army at Valley Forge— the glorious 
victory at Saratoga — excited, in alternation, the fears and hopes 
of the people, and roused their patriotism to the highest point. 
When the tide of desolation rolled over the scattered settlements 
of the Carolinas, the whole population, old and young, proved 
themselves worthy of freedom by the spirit in which they met the 
ruthless oppressor. Hugh, the elder brother of Andrew Jackson, 
fell in his first battle at Stono. Robert became a matyr to lib- 
erty, and lost his life from wounds received while in captivity. 
The mother descended to the grave, a victim to grief and suffer- 
ing, in ceaseless efforts to rescue and save her sons. Andrew 
was thus left alone in the world at a tender age, without father 


or mother, brother or sister, friend or fortune, to assist him. All 
was gone save the high qualities with which God had endowed 
him, and the noble precepts which a pious and sainted mother 
had infused into his young heart. He had already, at the age of 
fourteen, become a soldier of the Revolution — had borne the 
fatigues and privations of the march with his musket on his 
shoulder — had displayed the coolness, intrepidity, and fortitude of 
the veteran in his first engagements with the enemy — had en- 
dured the sufferings of a cruel captivity ; and, for his manly re- 
fusal to perform menial services while a prisoner, he had received 
a wound from the sword of a British officer, the scar of which he 
carried with him to his grave. 

The enemy repulsed, the young hero returned to his studies to 
prepare himself for the practice of the law, which he had selected 
as a profession. 

In the meantime the noble work of political regeneration was 
pressed forward — the union of the colonies confirmed by the Arti- 
cles of Confederation — the independence of the American States 
acknowledged by the powers of Europe — the laws and institu. 
tions of the several States revised and moulded in conformity 
with the inalienable rights of man — the fundamental principles 
of civil and religious liberty established in the State Constitu- 
tions — and, growing out of, and resting upon these, was the or- 
ganization of the Federal Government under that wonderful in- 
strument, the Constitution of the United States. America then 
stood forth a power on earth, with the immortal Washington at 
its head. At peace with the nations of the Old World — with a 
wise foreign policy, admirably adapted to our condition and rela- 
tive position — with a wide-spread and rapidly increasing com- 
merce — what more natural than that the energies of the people 
should be directed to the settlement and development of that vast 
and fertile wilderness in the valley of the Mississippi, and that 
the Father of his Country should exert all rightful authority for 
their protection in so laudable an enterprise? The several States 
claiming title to those expansive regions, animated by a patriotic 
and self-sacrificing spirit, had voluntarily executed deeds of ces- 
sion and relinquishment, in order to create a common fund in the 
hands of the Federal Government, with which to discharge the 
debts of the Revolution. The ordinance of 1787, establishing 
Territorial Governments, and providing for the erection of not 


less than three nor more than five States, had opened to immigra- 
tion and settlement the country northwest of the river Ohio ; 
while the extension of the main provisions of that act to the 
country south of that river had created a civil government for the 
people of the Southwest Territory. The tide of immigration had 
commenced rolling westward, and was rushing across the Alle- 
ghanies through every pass and gorge in the mountains. The 
bold adventurer, rejoicing in danger and novelty — the unfortu- 
nate, who hoped to regain his lost position — the poor emigrant, 
with his wife and children, all that he could claim as his own on 
earth — could be seen wending their way, by the Buffalo paths 
and Indian trails, to what seemed to them a promised land. The 
Carolinians had descended the French Broad, had stretched along 
the Holston, and penetrated the valley of the Cumberland. These 
early pioneers were a peculiar people — hardy, daring, impatient 
of restraint, and simple in their habits of life. Imbued with an 
exalted sentiment of personal liberty and a keen perception of in- 
dividual rights, they were ever ready with their lives to repel 
aggressions or redress wrongs. Beneath these qualities w r ere 
clearly descernible all the elements of political organization, of 
social development, and of a pure, unadulterated religious rever- 
ence. Foremost among the people, giving tone to their counsels, 
and taking the lead in all important movements, was Andrew 
Jackson. If Indian ravages upon the scattered settlements were 
to be arrested — if the savage perpetrators were to be punished — 
if daring outlaws were to be brought to justice — if the lonely 
immigrant in the wilderness was to be rescued from the toma- 
hawk or starvation— Jackson always led the gallant band. At- 
torney General of the Territory, by the appointment of Washing- 
ton — member of the Convention which laid the foundations of 
the State Government — major-general of the militia intrusted 
with the defence of the inhabitants against the tomahawk and 
scalping knife — a member of the House of Representatives, and a 
Senator in the Congress of the United States — Judge of the Su- 
preme Court of his State — the genius of Jackson was everywhere 
indelibly impressed on the character of the people and the laws 
and institutions of his own beloved Tennessee. 

Amicable relations being established with the Indian tribes, and 
symmetry and consistency imparted to their political and social 
organizations, the people of Tennessee naturally turned their at- 


tention to the development and enjoyment of all those advanta- 
ges with which soil, climate, and Nature, in its luxuriance and 
magnificence, had surrounded them. Now, Jackson felt himself 
at liberty to gratify an inclination he had long cherished, of with- 
drawing from the cares and toils of official positions, and retiring 
to his farm, rejoicing in the society of his devoted and beloved 
wife, and surrounded by all the comforts and enjoyments his 
tastes could suggest or his heart desire. He carried into retire- 
ment, and displayed in the management of his farm, and his in- 
tercourse with his fellow-citizens, the same high qualities which 
had stamped invincibiltiy upon his character and success upon 
his movements. His hospitable mansion was a home to the 
stranger and the pioneer — his name was upon every tongue, and 
his praises were heard wherever his influence was felt. Becom- 
ing a silent partner in a mercantile establishment, he soon dis- 
covered the misfortune of his associate, by which the firm was 
reduced to bankruptcy. Instantly recognizing the moral obliga- 
tion to discharge the last farthing of indebtedness, he disposed of 
his lands, his stock, his home — all the proceeds of his toils — and 
became the humble tenant of a rude log-cabin, in preference to 
the humiliation of pecuniary vassalage. 

Such a man can always rise above misfortune. By the force 
of his character, and the judicious application of his vast mental 
resources, he soon recovered from his pecuniary embarrassments, 
and became a flourishing and even wealthy farmer. From his 
retirement he viewed with indignation the long series of British 
aggressions on the commerce and flag of his native country. He 
was an ardent supporter of the principles of Jefferson and Madi- 
son, and especially of all those measures calculated to maintain 
the rights of his country and redress the wrongs of his country- 
men on the high seas. Had he succeeded in his aspirations to 
the command which was unfortunately assigned to Winchester, 
who can doubt, at this day, that the series of disasters on the 
northern frontier, which filled the country with humiliation, and 
clothed so many families in mourning, would have been averted ? 
The terrible massacre at the river Raisin, succeding the disgraceful 
surrender of Detroit by Hull, encouraged Tecumseh and the Pro- 
phet to almost superhuman efforts for the accomplishment of their 
grand design of an alliance between the Bitish and all the savage 
tribes, from the Gulf of Mexico to the northern lakes, for the 


purpose of exterminating with the sword and the tomakawk 
the white race in the Mississippi valley, and of restoring all that 
vast and fertile region — the heart of the American continent — 
to its aboriginal proprietors, and of consecrating it to perpetual 
barbarism under the protection of the British Government. The 
arrangements were already perfected so far as the northwestern 
country was concerned. Immediately after the massacre, Te- 
cumseh, who possessed genius equal to any conception, and a 
force of character commensurate with the magnitude of his 
plans, started south, in fulfilment of his mission, going from tribe 
to tribe, electrifying them by the power of his eloquence, and 
driving them to madness byhorible pictures of monstrous wrongs 
perpetrated by the American people. The Creeks, the Chickasaws, 
the Choctaws, and the Seminoles, were the principal tribes yet 
to be added to this savage alliance. The British, through the 
Spaniards in the Floridas, with whom they were also in alliance, 
had prepared the minds of the southern tribes for the favorable 
reception of Tecumseh. The mission proving successful, savage 
war, with all its horrors and tortures, burst upon the defenceless 
settlements like a thunderbolt. What tongue can describe or 
pencil paint the revolting scene at Fort Mimms, or wherever 
else the infuriated savage could find the objects of his vengeance ? 
Neither age nor sex was spared. All were doomed to instant 
destruction, or reserved for a slower process, by being subjected 
to brutalities and barbarities worse than sudden death. Amid 
the universal alarm and consternation all eyes were turned to 
Jackson — every voice proclaimed him the chosen leader to arrest 
the sweeping torrent of desolation. 

Who can describe the wild and frightful scenes of that unpar- 
alleled Indian campaign — the heroism of the leader — the celerity 
of his movements — the fatigues of the march — the privations of 
the men — the impetuosity of the charge — every skirmish a vic- 
tory ; every battle a triumph — the barbarian alliance dissolved — 
the savage tribes dispersed and pursued in every direction, and, 
finally, reduced to submission in the brief period of six months? 

The importance of these decisive and overwhelming achieve- 
ments can hardly be realized. The British allies of the confede- 
rated savages, in pursuance of the plan of campaign as agreed 
upon with Tecumseh and the Prophet, were hovering around the 
Gulf coast; arming and drilling the Indians in the Floridas. medi- 


tating a descent upon Fort Bowyer and Mobile, preparatory to 
the concentration of the confederated forces upon New Orleans 
and Louisiana. Concurrent events in Europe were favorable to 
the success of the mighty scheme. The abdication of Napoleon 
and his flight to Elba had restored the hereditary monarchs to 
the thrones of their ancestors, and enabled Great Britain to with- 
draw her veteran troops from the continent, and hurl them upon 
the defenceless shores of the Gulf of Mexico, in concert with 
their savage allies. The destruction of the barbarian league by 
Jackson, and the submission of the scattered tribes, had broken 
the force of the impending blow, and opened the way for a trial 
of strength, single handed, between the soldiers of freedom and 
veterans in the cause of oppression. At the critical moment, and 
as if by the hand of an overruling Providence, Jackson was ap- 
pointed major general in the army, and assigned to the command 
of the Southern division. Time will not allow me to more than 
glance at the most striking events in the campaign. The British 
were occupying the Spanish forts at Pensacola, stimulating the 
Indians to a renewal of hostilities, and preparing for a descent 
upon Fort Bowyer and Mobile, and ultimately upon New Orleans, 
as the chief point of attack. Jackson's remonstrances with the 
Spanish Governor against harboring the enemy in what was pro- 
fessedly neutral territory being disregarded — his application to his 
own Government for permission to vindicate the violated laws 
of neutrality remaining unanswered — the absence of instructions 
on points of vital importance at a time when inaction was ruin — 
who does not remember with what resistless energy he threw 
his protecting arm at ound Mobile, provided for Lawrence's heroic 
defence of Fort Bowyer, planted his little army in front of Pen- 
sacola, and when his messenger was fired upon by the orders of 
the Governor, stormed the batteries, entered the town, hauled 
down the British flag, drove the enemy into the sea, and had 
the Spanish Governor at his feet, imploring mercy and forgive- 
ness for the past, and faithfully promising a religious observance 
of the laws of neutrality in the future? Who can describe the 
rapidity of his movements for the defence of New Orleans — the 
magic effect of his presence in suppressing treasonable purposes — 
infusing confidence into the hearts of the desponding — his sleep- 
less vigilance in watching the movements of the enemy within 
and without his camp — and his capacity for creating elements of 


defence where none had been provided? Who can forget his 
glorious victories on the 23d of December and the 8th of Jan- 
uary ? Who has not admired the self-sacrificing courage of the 
hero, who, to save the city and prevent the dismemberment of 
the Republic, assumed the awful responsibility of superseding, 
the civil authorities in the hour of extreme danger, in order, im- 
mediately, afterwards to lend his patriot arm to the maintenance 
of the supremacy of the law 1 Who can paint the moral gran- 
deur of the scene where the victorious soldier — the benefactor of 
the nation and the saviour of the city — fresh from the theatre of 
his glory, with his triumphant army around him, stands calmly 
before the judge, whose dignity he had recently offended, in the 
performance of an imperative duty, and meekly submits to an 
ignominious sentence and a heavy pecuniary penalty ? Behold 
him quieting the murmurs of the indignant multitude, and ex- 
tending his protection to the trembling judge, and bidding him 
proceed with his sentence. Follow him as he leaves the court, 
receiving the homage, the thanks, the prayers of a grateful peo- 
ple, mingled with resentments and imprecations upon the judge! 
Hear him, in tones of eloquence and power, enjoining upon them 
strict obedience to the civil as the paramount authority, since the 
necessity which caused its suspension had ceased to exist, and 
his conduct requires no other vindication. 

With the battle of the 8th of January the war is closed ; New 
Orleans is saved ; Louisiana remains a part of the American con- 
federacy ? the idea of a barbarian empire is exploded ; the Mis- 
sissippi valley is reserved for the abode of civilization and Chris- 
tianity; the proposition of the British commissioners at Ghent, 
that an unalterable boundary should be established for the In- 
dians, from Cleveland, through the mouth of the Kentucky river, 
to the Gulf of Mexico, is rendered impossible; the British scheme 
of erecting an impassible barrier to the growth and extension of 
our great Republic is abandoned. These are some of the results 
of Jackson's wonderful Indian and Southern campaigns, which 
terminated with his glorious achievements at New< Means. Had 
the Indian war resulted adversely, the torch would have blazed 
from the lake to the gulf — New Orleans must have inevitably fal- 
len without a struggle, and the greater portion of the Mississippi 
valley passed under the posses-ion of the British barbarian league. 
Twelve States and four organized Territories have since been 


erected out of the country which was thus to have been dedicated 
to barbarism under British protection ! The tide of emigration, 
carrying with it all the elements of political progress, social de- 
velopment, and industrial enterprise, continues to roll westward 
until it mingles with the waves of the Pacific. With the return 
of peace the business of the country revives, credit is restored, 
energy and enterprise pervade every department of industry, and 
the country leaps forth upon the swelling tide of prosperity in its 
career of greatness. 

Jackson was not permitted long to enjoy the social endearments 
and quiet repose of the Hermitage. At the instigation of Span- 
ish officials and Britsh emissaries, the tomahawk and scalping- 
knife of the Seminoles were again spreading desolation and car- 
nage over our southern borders. Jackson was ordered to repair 
to the scene of slaughter, with instructions to drive back and 
chastise the savage invaders, and with authority, if necessary for 
that purpose, to pursue them into the Floridas. You have not 
forgotten with what terrible energy he hurled his forces upon the 
enemy's headquarters at St. Marks — demolished their works — 
seized and executed the British incendiaries who instigated the 
massacres — pursued the fugitive savages — disregarded the pro- 
tests and threats of the Spanish Governor — descended on Pensa- 
cola — pursued the terrified Governor, with the murderers under 
his protection, to Fort Carlos, and planted the stars and stripes 
upon its battlements. By the swiftness of his movements, the 
power of his example, and the terror of his name, he reduced the 
savage tribes, humbeld the Spanish authorities, and expelled the 
British emissaries. 

He was thus enabled to terminate the war, provide security and 
repose to our frontier settlements, and return the same year to the 
shades of the Hermitage. This campaign laid the foundation for 
the acquisition of the Floridas, and the dispersion of the innu- 
merable hordes of bandits and pirates who infested the coast, 
committing depredations upon our settlements and commerce, and 
finding shelter in the bayous and everglades. Upon the ratifica- 
tion of the Florida treaty, Jackson was appointed by the President 
commissioner to receive the ceded provinces, and Governor of the 
new territory, endowed with all the civil and judicial as well as 
military authority which the Spanish Governors had wielded. 
Clothed with almost unlimited power, he exercised with a firm 


hand and unyielding nerve whatever authority was necessary for 
the protection of society and the suppression of violence. Ex- 
hausted by duty and exposure, his physical system sunk under the 
effects of the climate, and he was borne upon a litter through 
the wilderness to his beloved home on the banks of the Cumber- 
land . 

He declined the mission to Mexico, tendered by President Mon- 
roe, and would gladly have remained in retirement, had not the 
affection of Tennessee placed him in the Senate of the United 
States, and the grateful voice of the people called him to preside 
over the destinies of the Republic. Jackson came into the Presi- 
dency with his political principles well matured and immutably 
fixed. The exalted sentiment of personal freedom and sacred re- 
gard for individual rights which he had conceived in the turbulent 
times of the Revolution, and which had been so clearly discernible 
in all the vicissitudes of his eventful career, it was now his mis- 
sion to carry into the practical administration of the Government, 
and impress upon the public policy of the country. Time will 
not permit, even were the occasion appropriate, a detailed expo- 
sition of the leading measures and great acts of his brilliant ad- 
ministration. Nor, indeed, can it be necessary. The great and 
striking events of that animated period remain fresh in the memo- 
ry, and vivid before the mental vision. He met each question 
as it arose with a directness and frankness in harmony with his 
previous life. He seemed to solve the most intricate problem of 
statesmanship by intuition. He perceived truth in its totality, 
without the tedious process of analysis, and was able to see the 
remotest consequences of an act while the wisest around him 
could only perceive its immediate results. 

The high qualities which, on a different theatre, had sustained 
him in every emergency — enabled him to rise superior to all resist- 
ance — never failed him in his civil administration. Calm, patient, 
and even deferential in counsel, when his opinion was matured 
and his resolution formed, he threw all the fiery energy of his 
nature into its execution. The history of his civil career, like 
that of his military campaigns, consists of a rapid succession of 
terrific conflicts and brilliant achievements, in which he never 
lost a battle or failed in a skirmish. His state papers will stand 
forth, so long as the history of this Republic shall be read, as im- 
perishable monuments to his statesmanship. While the present 


generation offers up the homage of grateful hearts for patriotic 
services to the noble spirits who were engaged in those fiery con- 
flicts, time must determine and history record the relative merits 
of the respective systems of political policy. 

At the expiration of General Jackson's second Presidential term 
he retired forever from public life, and repaired to the shades of 
the Hermitage. He continued to feel an abiding interest in pub- 
lic affairs without the least desire to re-enter the political arena. 
He had the satisfaction of seeing the line of policy, in support of 
which his mighty energies had been so long exerted, receive the 
sanction of the nation. He had the consolation of knowing that 
his official conduct had been approved by the constituted au- 
thorities of his country, in obedience to the voice of the people, 
on every point in which it had been seriously called in question. 
He felt that his work was done — his mission fulfilled. The re- 
mainder of his days were spent in the society of his family, in im- 
proving his farm, and dispensing a generous, unbounded hospi- 
tality. In the social circle, and around the domestic hearth, he 
was as simple as a child, remarkable for his amiability and his 
capacity for making all happy around him. Much of his time 
was occupied in conversations and meditations upon religious 
subjects. He who never feared the face of man was not ashamed 
to confess his fear of God and his faith in the Redeemer. In the 
fullness of hope he serenely approached the end of his earthly 
career, and died in the triumphant consciousness of immortality 
beyond the grave. His death produced a profound impression 
upon the hearts and minds of men. The voice of partisan strife 
was hushed, while a continent was clad in mourning and bathed 
in tears. All felt that a great man had fallen. Yet there was 
consolation in the consciousness that the lustre of his name, the 
fame of his great deeds, and the results of his patriotic services, 
would be preserved through all time — a rich inheritance to the 
devotees of freedom. He still lives in the bright pages of his- 
tory, in the marks of his genius upon the institutions of his coun- 
try, and by the impress of his character upon that of his coun- 
trymen. He lives in his own great example and by his heroic 
achievements. He lives in the spirit of the age — the genius of 
progress which is to ennoble and exalt humanity, and preserve 
and perpetuate liberty. 

- • 



*&/*-*< • -: 


II llll 

Ml I II 

011899 435 8 g 


*L. #i* 



• . -.V ' . *'.