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TENNESSEE 
HISTORicAL MAGAZINE 

Published under the Authority of 

The Tennessee Historical Society 



EDITOR 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT 




VOLUME I. 

Nashville 

1915 



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TENNESSEE 
mSTORICAL SOCIETY 



Founded 1849 
Incorporated 1875 



OFFICERS 

President 
JOHN H. DEWITT 

Vice-Presidents 
E. T. SANFORD 
PARK MARSHALL 
J. P. YOUNG 
MRS. B. D. BELL 

Recording Secretary 
IRBY R. HUDSON 

Assistant Recording Secretary 
A. P. FOSTER 

Corresponding Secretary 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT 

Treasurer 
JOSEPH S. CARELS 

Financial Agent 
COL. GEORGE C. PORTER 

Committee on Publication 

JOHN H. DEWITT, Chairman 

W. E BEARD ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT 

Business Manager 
JOHN H. DEWITT 
v.^ Stahlman Building 

4^ Nashville, Tennessee 



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CONTENTS OF VOLUME I. 

Number i. March, 1915. 

PAGE 

Foreword i 

ARTICLES 

W. E. Beard Colonel Burr's First Brush with the Law. 3 
Donald L. McMxjrry The Indian Policy of the Federal Govern- 
ment and the Economic Development of 
the Southwest 21 

DOCUMENTS 

I. The loumal of General Daniel Smith, August, 1779, to July, 
1780, as Commissioner of Virginia for Running the Bound- 
ary Line Between North Carolina and Virginia, with In- 
troduction by the Editor 40 

II. Lieutenant McKenzie's Reconnoissance on Mobile Bay, Jan- 

5-14, 181S 66 

HISTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS 

Proceedings of the Society — The Celebration of Jackson Day — 
The Preservation of the State's Archives, with the Archives 
Department Bill — ^Weeks's Index to the Colonial and State Rec- 
ords of North Carolina 70 



Number 2. June, 1915. 

ARTICLES 

John H. DeWitt General James Winchester, 1752-1826 79 

Donald L. McMurry The Indian Policy of the Federal Govern- 
ment and the Economic Development of 

the Southwest (Concluded) 106 

W. E. Beard The Confederate Government, 1861-1865.. 120 

DOCUMENTS 

Mexican War Letters of Colonel William Bowen Campbell, of 
Tennessee, Written to Governor David Campbell, of Virginia, 
1846-1847, with Introduction by the Editor 129 

HISTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS 

Proceedings of the Society — The Tennessee History Teachers* As- 
sociation — Preservation of the Hermitage 168 



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Number 3. September, 191 5. 

PAGE 

ARTICLES 

Park Marshall The True Route of the Natchez Trace. The 

Rectification of a Topographical Error 173 

John H. DeWitt General James Winchester, Concluded, with 
Selected Letters from the Winchester Pa- 
pers 183 

A. P. Foster The Purposes of the Andrew Jackson Memo- 
rial Association 206 

DOCUMENTS 

Letters of James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, 1838-1848, with Intro- 
duction and Notes by the Editor 209 

HISTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS 

The Failure of the Department of Archives Bill — The State Lit- 
erary and Historical Association of North Carolina — Report of 
the Conference of History Teachers, George Peabody College 
for Teachers, Nashville, Tennessee, July 20, 1915 — A Calendar 
of the Draper Manuscripts — Official Letter Books of W. C. C. 
Claiborne 257 



Number 4. December, 1915. 

ARTICLES 

Asa Earl Martin The Anti-Slavery Societies of Tennessee 261 

Albert V. Goodpasture Dr. James White, Pioneer, Politician, 

Lawyer 282 

Wallace McClure The Development of the Tennessee Con- 
stitution 292 

DOCUMENTS 

I. With Walker in Nicaragua. The Reminiscences of Elleanore 
(Callaghan) Ratterman, with Introduction and Notes by 

W. O. Scroggs 315 

II. Walker-Heiss Papers. Some Diplomatic Correspondence of 
the Walker Regime in Nicaragua, with Introduction and 
Notes by W. O. Scroggs 331 

HISTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS 

Proceedings of the Society—Conference of the Tennessee Chapters, 
Daughters of the American Revolution— Tennessee Society, 
Sons of the American Revolution — Index to the Wisconsin His- 
torical Collections 346 

INDEX 350 



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' ' ' - 



Vol. I. MARCH, 1915 No, 1 



TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL 
MAGAZINE 




PUBLISHED BY 

THE TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOaETY 



ISSUED QUARTERLY 
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, $2.00 -SINGLE, NUMBERS, 75 Cts. 



NASHVILLE 

FOR SALE AT THE ROOMS OF THE SOCIETY 
WATKINS HALL - - ' - NASHVILLE . , 

uigiiizea oy 'VwjOOQIC 



• COPYRIGHT 1915 
BY TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



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THE TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAX. SOCIETY 



nfOORPORiLTKD 1870 



OFFICERS 

President, 
JOHN H. DeWITT. 

WnXT. HALE. 

Recording Secretaryf 
ROBERT EWING, 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 
IRBY R. HUDSON, 

Corresponding Secretary, 
PARK MARSHALL. 

Treasurer, 
JOSEPH S. CARELS, 

Financial Agent, 
COL. GEORGE C. PORTER. 



FORM OF LEGACY 

'7 give and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society the 
sum of.. dollars,*' 



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CONTENTS. 



FAGl 
FOIEWOKD I 

OnjONEl Bum's Fbrst Biush with the Law. IV, E. Beard 3 

The Indian Policy of the Federal Government and the Economic 
Development of the Southwest. Donald L, McMurry zi 

Documents— 

L The Journal of General Daniel Smith, August, 1779, to July, 
1780, as Commissioner of Virginia for Running the Boun- 
dary Line between North Carolina and Virginia, with In- 
troduction by the Editor 40 

II. Lieutentant McKenzie's Reconnoissance on Mobile Bay, Jan- 
uary S-14, 181S (66 

Historical Notes and News— 

Proceedings of the Society— The Celebration of Jackson Day— 
The Preservation of the State's Archives, with the Archives De- 
partment Bill— Weeks's Index to the Colonial and State Recx>rds 
of North Carolina 70 

CotHmittee on Publications. 

JOHN H. DeWITT, Chairman, 

W. E. BEARD, ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT. 

Editor of the Magasine. 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT, Professor of History, VanderbUi 

University, 

Business Manager, 
JOHN H. DeWITT, Stahlman Building, Nashville, Tennessee, 

Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the state- 
ments or the opinions of contributors. 



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TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 



Vol. 1. MARCH, 1916. No. 1. 



FOREWORD 



To those interested in the history of Tennessee, The 
Tennessee Historical Magazine, with all becoming mod- 
esty, now presents itself. The venture is not altogether a 
new one, for we look back with gratification and encourage- 
ment to the nine volumes of the American Historical Maga- 
zine, which, beginning in 1896 under the auspices of the 
Peabody Normal College, was later continued until 1904, as 
the organ of the Tennessee Historical Society. For the first 
five years the editor was Professor W. R. Garrett, of the 
chair of American History in the Peabody Normal College ; 
for another year Professor Garrett, as editor, had the as- 
sistance of Mr. John M. Bass; during the last three years 
Mr. A. V. Goodpasture, himself an able contributor to the 
historiography of Tennessee, edited the magazine. Through 
this medium much of value to the student of history w^ 
put into print. Many notable articles and papers were pub- 
lished and documentary material of great importance was 
thus preserved. As a single instance, it may be recalled that 
the entire correspondence of General James Robertson is 
to be found in the earlier volumes. Not a little of this docu- 
mentary material was archival in its nature, and thus the 
magazine accomplished part of a task which the State of 
Tennessee had failed to perform. 

The successor of the American Historical Magazine has 
assumed a more modest title: it is to be the Tennessee His- 



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2 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

TORICAL Magazine. It will be published quarterly, in the 
months of March, June, September, and December. 

The publication of the magazine by the Tennessee His- 
torical Society is made possible through the munificence of 
one who was not a native of Tennessee, but had made this 
State his home and had thoroughly identified himself with 
its development. By his will General Gates P. Thruston 
left a sum of money in trust, the interest on which is to be 
paid to the Tennessee Historical Society. This income, in 
large part, the Society has resolved to devote to the pub- 
lication of the magazine. This income, however, will not 
meet the entire expenses of publication, and the success of 
the magazine will be largely dependent upon the support 
which is given to it by subscribers. 

The purpose of the magazine will be that common to its 
predecessor in Tennessee and to the many similar journals 
of other states. It is designed, first, to transfer to perma- 
nent form as much as possible of that manuscript material, 
so liable to destruction, upon which the historian must ever 
place his first dependence; secondly, to afford a means for 
the publication of papers and articles of an historical na- 
ture; and, thirdly, to be a medium for the publication of 
news as to all the historical activities of individuals of asso- 
ciations in the state. In this connection we shall hope for 
the hearty co-operation of our sister organizations for his- 
torical and patriotic purposes, of the State Department of 
Archives, and of our institutions of learning. If such co- 
operation is extended to us, we have no doubt of the suc- 
cess of the Tennessee Historical Magazine. 



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COLONEL BURR'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW. 



An Account of the Proceedings Against Him in 
Kentucky. 



In the year 1810, some time after the removal of Joseph 
Hamilton Daveiss^ from the office of district attorney, a 
traveler in journeying through the lower part of Kentucky, 
in that region lying south of Green River, found himself in 
the county seat of a sparsely settled community on court 
day. Forest trees still grew on the public square and fur- 
nished a hitching stand for numerous nags whose owners 
were off "cutting the center" for half pints, or were hang- 
ing about the log inn. Strolling into the courthouse of 
hewn logs, the stranger witnessed the dispensing of back- 
woods justice. The judge sat upon a small plank frame- 
work, raised a trifle above the puncheon floor, while directly 
in front of him, at a small table, was the clerk. The attor- 
neys in attendance occupied rude ^benches fashioned of 
planks resting upon blocks of wood.' The first case before 
this rudely environed court was that of an early settler 
and old soldier, in the capacity of guardian and next friend, 
for "words falsely and nialiciously spoken by the defendant 
of and concerning the plaintiffs beautiful seventeen-year- 
old daughter." The attorney for the plaintiff impressed the 
traveler.2 

"He was a tall, athletic man," chronicled the observant 
traveler later, "about 35 years of age, with a fine, manly, 
intelligent countenance, dressed in a hunting shirt of deep 
blue, trimmed with yellow fringe. His face bore those in- 
dubitable marks of genius, and those traces of study and 

'The name of Joseph Hamilton Daveiss is also found spelled Daviess. 
The counties in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky perpetuating his name 
perpetuate it as Daviess. In the old newspapers it will be found spelled 
both ways. Col. Roosevelt in his "Winning of the Wesf uses the spelling 
here used. According to Henry Clay, Daveiss added the "Hamilton" to 
his name after he attained manhood out of admiration for Alexander 
Hamilton. 

*The description of Daveiss here quoted is contained in an article 
signed "Indiana," which, appearing in Hall's Illinois Monthly Magazine, 
was copied in the Western Weekly Review of Franklin, Tenn., of May 13, 
1831. The file of the Review is in the possession of the Tennessee His- 
torical Society. 



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4 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

reflection which cannot be mistaken, while his form bore 
evidence equally strong of habitual fatigue and exposure to 
the elements. I pass over the incidents of the trial — ^the evi- 
dence, which left the pretty client of the buckskin lawyer 
pure and spotless as the driven snow, and several speeches, 
which, though strong and forcible, did not strike me as 
extraordinary. During all this the manner of the lawyer 
in the hunting shirt was distinguished by little else than 
the appearance of indifference; but when he rose to make 
the concluding address to the jury every eye was fixed on 
him, while the deepest silence, the suppressed breathing, 
and the eager looks of the audience attested a sense of the 
presence of a superior mind pervading the whole assembly. 
Even that rough and miscellaneous crowd, composed of 
men, some sober, some half sober, and some not sober at 
all, was at once awed into silence.'' 

The traveler's description was probably a tolerably ac- 
curate one of Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, for he it was, — ^the 
brother-in-law of Chief Justice Marshall, — ^whose habit it 
was to journey from court to court in Kentucky, his rifle 
on his arm and garbed in a hunting shirt; and who held 
the distinction of being the first western attorney to argue 
a case before thie United States Supreme Court. At the 
time of his appearance in behalf of the early settler's daugh- 
ter the attendants upon the backwoods court referred to him 
proudly and affectionately as "Jo Daveiss," and for his 
"skinning" of the defamer of the pioneer's child accorded 
him approval in the shape of "tears by the tinfuU." Some 
of his biographers, however, record that as a result of his 
failure in the proceedings against Aaron Burr, Daveiss lost 
prestige among the good people of Kentucky. 

DAVEISS STARTS PROCEEDINGS. 

It was the fifth day of November, 1806, and the third 
day of the term of the Federal Court for the district of 
Kentucky, sitting at Frankfort, that District Attorney Dave- 
iss arose and stated to the honoraible court that he had a 
motion to make of the greatest importance — a motion, which 
only his ill-health had prevented him making at an earlier 
day in the term. His manner was such as to impress upon 
every one within the sound of his voice that something out 
of the ordinary was about to occur, something which in the 
existing state of the public mind in Kentucky could have 
but one bearing, that is, upon the rumored enterprise of 
Colonel Burr. 

The district attorney forthwith proceeded to read the 
following affidavit: 



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colonel burr's first brush with the law 5 

United States op America,* 
Kentucky District, s. c. t. 

J. H. Daveiss, attorney for the said United States in 
and for said district, upon his corporal oath doth depose 
and say that the deponent is informed, and doth verily be- 
lieve, that a certain Aaron Btirr, Esq., late Vice-President 
of the said U. S., for several months past hath been, and is 
now, engaged in preparing, and setting on foot, and is pro- 
viding and preparing the means for a military expedition 
and enterprise within this district, for the purpose of de- 
scending the Ohio and Mississippi herewith and making 
war upon the subjects of the King of Spain, who are in a 
state of peace with the people of these United States — 
to wit : on the provinces of Mexico on the westwardly side 
of Louisiana, which appertain and belong to the King of 
Spain, an European prince, with whom these United States 
are at peace. 

And said deponent further saith that he is informed, 
and fully believes, that the above charges can be, and will 
be, fully substantiated by evidence provided this honorable 
court will grant compulsory process to bring witnesses to 
testify thereto. 

And the deponent further saith that he is informed, and 
verily believes, that the agents and emissaries of the said 
Burr have purchased up, and are continuing to purchase, 
large stores of provisions, as if for an army ; which the said 
Burr seems to conceal with great mystery from the people 
at large, his purposes and projects, while the minds of the 
good people of this district seem agitated with the current 
rumour that a military expedition against some neighboring 
power is preparing by said Burr, wherefore said attorney 
on behalf of said United States prays that due process issue 
to compel the personal appearance of said Aaron Burr in 
this court; and also such witnesses as may be necessary 
on behalf of said United States; and that the honorable 
court will duly recognize the said Aaron Btirr, to answer 
such charges as may be preferred against him in the prem- 
ises ; and in the meantime that he desist and refrain from 
all further preparation and proceeding in the said armament 
within the said United States, or the territories or depend- 
encies thereof. J. H. Daveiss, A. U. S. 

•The affidavit of the district attorney can be found in the Nashville Im- 
partial Review and Cumberland Repository of November 22, 1806. the file 
of which is preserved in the Tennessee Historical Society. His argument 
in behalf of it is contained in the same issue. 



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6 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

The district attorney, having offered his affidavit, to the 
intense excitement of the hangers-on of the court, whose 
number grew apace, launched forth into an earnest argu- 
ment of his motion. 

"May it please the court," he proceeded, addressing the 
Hon. Harry Innes, presiding judge, "the present subject has 
much engaged my mind. The case made out is only as to 
the expedition against Mexico, but T have information on 
which I can rely, that all the western territories are the next 
object of the scheme — and finally all the region of the Ohio 
is calculated on to fall into the vortex of the now proposed 
revolution. What the practicability of this scheme is, I will 
not say ; but certainly any progress in it might cost our coun- 
try much blood and treasure to undo ; and at the least great 
public agitation must be expected. I am determined to use 
every effort in my power as an officer and as a man to pre- 
vent and defeat it. 

"Having made the affidavit myself," continued the dis- 
trict attorney, "I shall make no comment on its sufficiency. 
In case of felony the affidavit must be positive as to a felony 
actually conmiitted; but in a misdemeanor of this nature, 
where the sole object of the law is prevention, such an oath 
cannot be required ; the thing must rest on belief, as to the 
main point of guilt. 

"I could easily prove positively the purchase of supplies 
of various kinds, but this is no offense. Mr. Burr may pur- 
chase supplies, he may import arms, he may engage men, 
which I am told is actually begun, yet all these things being 
proved make no offense; neither can proof of the declara- 
tions of his known confidents, of which abundance might 
be had, attach guilt to him. It is the design, the intent 
with which he makes these preparations that constitute his 
misdemeanor. There must be a great exertion of supposi- 
tion to imagine a case in which positive proof of his illegal 
design can be had ; it must rest on information and belief. 
The court ought therefore to issue a warrant or capias for 
the accused, and examine witnesses, when the court will 
be able to decide whether Mr. Burr should be bound to good 
behavior in the premises, or recognized to appear here and 
answer an indictment." 

The argument ended, his honor, probably as deeply in- 
terested in the proceedings as any of the intent on-lookers, 
declined for the reason of the importance of the matter 
to give offhand a ruling on the motion, desiring time for 
further consideration. 

A motion of so much interest to the public at large had 



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COLONEL BURR'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW 7 

never before been seen in a Kentucky court, state or fed- 
eral, for all the western country was more or less agog over 
Burr and his plans. His coming to the West, the year be- 
fore, the most important man that had ever deigned to 
honor the section with a visit, had been the occasion for an 
ovation from the AUeghanies to Orleans. This year the in- 
terest in the late Vice-President had been heightened by 
the widespread reports that he was preparing to launch 
some stupendous enterprise. 

In the interval between his comings there had trudged 
into Frankfort from Richmond an elderly-looking man of 
middle size and ordinary dress, with a Godfrey quadrant 
strung over his shoulder, a knapsack on his back and at 
his side a good looking youth. The pair were John Wood, 
formerly of New York, a man of letters, and Joseph M. 
Street, a young man of some newspaper* experience. They 
were on "a voyage of adventure for employment and sup- 
port." They set going the Western World, which promptly 
launched a broadside attack at "western intriguers" in 
such a fashion as to bring one of the pair of knights-errant 
face to face with adventure, armed with two pistols, and 
helped bring on the proceedings against Colonel Burr. 

PREPARATIONS FOR THE EXPEDITION. 

Drifting down the. Ohio in the late summer of 1806, 
Colonel Burr had left the keenest interest in his wake, the 
result of contracts for provisions and for boats. Passing 
from the Ohio up the Cumberland, he renewed old acquaint- 
ances at Nashville. At the Hermitage, the home of Andrew 
Jackson, the future President, he found abundant hospi- 
tality. In the city, at the Talbot* Tavern, a public dinner 
was given in his honor, where many "appropriate toasts" 
were drunk. He'^ dined at the home of (Jen. James Robert- 
son, "the Father of Tennessee," unfolding to him something 
of the plans, though speaking vaguely of the attitude of 
the Federal Government toward them. Reports sifting 
through the wilderness from below at that time indicated 
almost inevitably a war with Spain — one of the to-be-hoped- 

*A notice of the dinner to Burr at the Talbot Tavern in Nashville is 
contained in the Nashville Impartial Review and Cumberland Repository 
of October 4, 1806. 

'It should be mentioned that when Burr returned to Nashville in 
December, 1806, following the proceedings in Kentucky, he found his 
old friends decidedly cool, their suspicions having been aroused regard- 
ing his enterprise. Subsequent to the arrival of the President's proclama- 
tion in Nashville, Burr was burned in effigy on the public square of 
Nashville, this incident occurring on the night of December 30, 1806. 
Burr had left Nashville on December 22. 



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8 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

for contingencies probably counted on by the Colonel for 
the successful execution of his designs. 

Jackson,'''then a major general of militia in Tennessee, 
his expectation of approaching war probably fired by the 
talk of his astute guest, on October 4 issued an order to 
the generals of his division, urging them to take steps to 
bring the Tennessee soldiery into a proper state of discipline 
and suggesting that it be ascertained if the two regiments 
that would probably be ordered out could be obtained by 
voluntary enlistment. 

Leaving Nashville for the more immediate scene of 
preparations, Colonel Burr sent back to Jackson $3,500 to 
be expended for him in boats and provisions. Later an 
additional $500 was dispatched to Nashville. He left the 
impression behind him that his enterprise contemplated a 
settlement on the lands recently acquired upon the Washita, 
and in the event of war with Spain, a warlike expedition 
into Mexico. 

Meanwhile, elsewhere preparations for the enterprise 
were going on apace. 

At Pittsburg, supplies of whiskey and pork were col- 
lecting for the expedition. Near the thriving town of 
Marietta, on the Muskingum, a fleet of boats of large size 
was building, and in the town quantities of provisions were 
being bought and stored away. Down the Ohio, a short way 
from Marietta, was the famous island home of Harman 
Blennerhassett, about which will ever hang a fascination 
by reason of the glowing pictures of it painted in the Rich- 
mond court in the trial of Colonel Burr. The island was a 
narrow strip of land in the river, the half of which Blen- 
nerhassett had bought a few years before for $5,000, and 
in the beautifying of which he had expended a sum variously 
estimated from $10,000 to $40,000. In the fall of 1806, 
the island, a garden spot in the western wilderness, was 
about to become a rendezvous for Burr's corps of adven- 
turous spirits, as well as a depot for supplies. The remains 
of Blennerhassett's wasting fortune were involved in the 
great plans and the man himself — he could not distinguish 
a man from a horse at ten paces owing to near-sightedness, 
and was esteemed by his neighbors as having every sort of 
sense but common sense, according to some reports — 
dreamed of being a factor in changing the map of the west- 
em world. 

•Copies of Jackson's order can be found in the Nashville Impartial 
Review and Cumberland Repository of October 4, 1806, and the National 
Intelligencer of November 5, 1806. 



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COLONEL BURR'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW 9 

Kentucky was wrought up to a considerable extent over 
the rumors of extensive preparations. In that state it was 
reported that supplies were being accumulated for a force 
of 20,000 men. Colonel Burr, following his visit to Nash- 
ville, was much engaged in traveling about the cormnon- 
wealth, as were friends of his from New York. In Shelby- 
ville, long conferences with the most prominent men of the 
community behind closed doors were the order of the day. 
Colonel Burr was also much in Lexington, the most pre- 
tentious city in Kentucky. About his plans, for the gen- 
eral public, there hung an air of mystery, and sometime 
before the motion of Daveiss at Frankfort their legality 
had been questioned. Writing from Lexington to Washing- 
ton on October 30, a correspondent chronicled the following : 

"Various are the conjectures on the subject; some favor- 
able, others unfavorable to the reputation of Colonel Burr. 
That some grand object is in contemplation we have no 
doubt; and we are disposed to think that object not un- 
favorable to the Union.''^ 

Such was no doubt the prevailing opinion at Lexington, 
where Colonel Burr was when an investigation by the Fed- 
eral Court was proposed. Within three hours after Daveiss 
had concluded his affidavit the news had reached him there. 
No man could face a crisis in his affairs with more equani- 
mity than Colonel Btirr. Ignorant of General Wilkinson's 
desertion of the alleged scheme and his plan to upset it, the 
Colonel proceeded at once to the business of meeting the 
emergency. 

COLONEL BURR RETAINS CX>UNSEL. 

The news of the motion of the district attorney at Frank- 
fort spread through Kentucky on the wings of the wind. 
On the one hand, Daveiss, the author of the proceedings, 
known as an intense Federalist and an ardent admirer of 
Alexander Hamilton, whom Aaron Burr not so long ago 
had killed in a duel; on the other. Burr, the late Vice- 
President, the man of fluent tongue and captivating man- 
ner! No wonder that Democratic Kentucky, at least a large 
proportion of it, in weighing the proceedings, at first 
viewed Daveiss' motion as an expression of his bitter politi- 
cal feeling against Burr, grown more intense since the fatal 
duel at Weehawken! 

Colonel Burr, when the news had reached him at Lex- 
ington, promptly applied to Col. John Allen and Henry Clay 

^The dispatch from Lexington is printed in the Washington National 
Intelligencer of November 24, 1806. 



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10 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

to act as his counsel. Colonel Allen^ and Mr. Clay were of 
that portion of the Kentucky public that viewed the action 
of Attorney Daveiss as inspired simply by his hatred of 
Colonel Burr. 

Colonel Burr accompanied his request for their services 
with a considerable fee, which was returned. "Colonel 
Burr/' the two gentlemen agreed, "has been an eminent 
member of the profession, has been attorney-general of the 
State of New York, and is prosecuted without cause in a 
distant State, and we ought not to regard him in the light 
of an ordinary culprit." 

Throughout the various proceedings they gave him their 
services gratuitously. 

The opinion* of the court on the motion of Attorney 
Daveiss was delivered on Saturday morning, November 8; 
present, the Honorable Harry Innes presiding, the district 
attorney, and a respectable proportion of the population of - 
the vicinity. Colonel Burr was there, his extensive display 
of shirt ruffles showing up in striking contrast to the array 
of homespun there to be observed. About 11 o'clock the 
court announced the opinion ready and proceeded to its 
delivery : 



"The United States 

versus 

Aaron Burr. 

"Motion to award process to arrest the defendant on 
suspicion of having committed a 'high misdemeanor* and 
to compel the attendance of witnesses. 

"The motion made by Mr. Attorney Daveiss on the third 
day of this term is predicated upon the fifth section of the 
act of Congress, entitled *An act in addition to the act for 
the punishment of certain crimes against the United 
States'." 

"The circumstances of Burr's retaining Henry Clay and Col. John 
Allen as counsel are contained in a letter written by Mr. Clay to Dr. R. 
Pindell, dated Washington City, October 15, 1828. The letter was written 
to refute charges of the Jackson men that Clay had advised a party to 
go on the Burr expedition. 

•Judge Innes's opinion is printed in the Nashville Impartial Review and 
Cumberland Repository of November 29, 1806, and also in the Washing- 
ton National Intelligencer of December 15, 1806. 



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COLONEL BUER'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW 11 

His honor paused to cite the affidavit made by Attorney 
Daveiss. 

"The question to be considered," pursued the court with 
becoming judicial gravity, "Has this court power to award 
process against the accused and to compel the attendance 
of witnesses upon this motion, and if the court has such 
power, is the evidence adduced sufficient to warrant the 
measure?" 

His honor, before passing to the case of Colonel Burr, 
applied his attention to the various modes of procedure in 
order to convict persons of crimes and misdemeanors, ob- 
serving that the present procedure was not embraced in 
any of those in ordinary practice. "It is a new case," ob- 
served Judge Innes, "resting upon the discretion of the 
court. 

"If the facts stated in the affidavit be true, the project 
ought to be prevented and the offender punished. Yet in 
doing this the regular steps pointed out by usage or by law 
ought to be pursued. If, on the other hand, the accused be 
innocent, the strong arm of power ought to be confined 
within its proper limits — ^the known rules of proceeding — 
and on no occasion but extreme necessity ought a judge 
to be induced to exercise a power which rests on his dis- 
cretion. The law then becomes unknown and the best judge 
may be considered a tyrant, because it then depends upon 
his whim and caprice." 

The judge concluded his observations by declaring the 
evidence presented insufficient and the procedure contem- 
plated too novel to be justifiable, when other well-under- 
stood modes of practice could be employed. The motion 
was overruled, the court ordering the decision entered upon 
the minutes. 

With much dignity, the Colonel arose and addressed the 
court. "I am of the opinion, your honor," said Colonel 
Burr with great composure, "that when the motion was 
made the public prosecutor had reason to believe that I 
had left the state. Fortunately I heard of the proceedings. 
Although your honor has treated the motion as it deserved, 
for fear that something similar might be attempted in my 
absence I have deemed it proper to meet the gentleman at 
the threshold and demand an investigation of my conduct, 
for which, may it please the court, I am always ready. I 
have therefore attended these proceedings." 

Attorney Daveiss held a whispered consultation with 
the marshal, Colonel Crockett. Directly he moved the court 



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12 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

for a warrant to summon a grand jury. This was imtme- 
diately granted, the warrant being placed in the marshal's 
hands for execution. 



GRAND JURY CONVENES. 

The grand jury for which the district attorney moved 
assembled at Frankfort on Wednesday, November 12. As- 
sembled at the seat of justice also was the largest crowd 
which that growing community of a thousand or so had ever 
known. All interest centered in the proceedings. The jury 
was duly sworn and Judge Innes was on the point of de- 
livering his charge when a halt was called by the district 
attorney discoverirfg that one of hi^ material witnesses, 
Davis Floyd, was absent. The fact was made known to 
the court and a continuance asked. His honor, however, 
saw fit to discharge the grand jury; Floyd, it was ascer- 
tained, being out of the state and in attendance upon the 
territorial legislature of Indiana. 

Colonel Burr entered the court room with his counsel. 
The party being promptly apprised of the course affairs had 
taken, Colonel Burr requested that the facts be entered on 
the minutes. Addressing himself to the crowd, he expressed 
regret that the district attorney had been unable to proceed, 
feeling assured, he declared, that the investigation could not 
be otherwise than favorable to himself. "I pray that the 
good people of Kentucky," he concluded, "in the future will 
pass no opinion on me till I have been heard in my own 
defense." 

It was something of a triumph for Colonel Burr. A 
Frankfort paper observed that no one now could fail to see 
that motives inspired this "persecution" of Colonel Blirr. 
He was as much sought after as ever. Evenings frequently 
found him at the home of John Brown, where he came in 
contact with the judge of the district court. 

Floyd, toward the end of the month, returned from 
Indiana and signified his willingness to be present at the 
court in Frankfort about December 1. District Attorney 
Daveiss asked for another grand jury, Floyd being cited 
to appear. 

Colonel Burr again sought the aid of Colonel Allen and 
Mr. Clay. The latter meanwhile had been appointed United 
States Senator to fill out the unexpired term of Gen. John 
Adair, in consequence of which new relationship to the gen- 
eral government. Colonel Burr on December 1 addressed 



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COLONEL BURE'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW 13 

him, a note disclaiming any treasonable designs against the 
Union whatsoever. Accompanied by his counsel, Burr was 
at the court room the following day, among the first. 

That day,** before a legislative committee investigating 
a prominent Kentuckian's alleged pension from the Spanish 
government, Judge Innes presented a deposition containing 
a letter, dated 1797, from an emissary of Baron de Caron- 
delet, offering to set aside $100,000 for the benefit erf Sebas- 
tian, Innes, Nicholas and Murray, if they would exert their 
influence in behalf of a movement to bring about a separate 
western government under the protection of Spain, and a 
copy of the emphatic refusal of Innes and Nicholas. The 
offer from Spain had been kept secret these several years, 
averred Judge Innes, for the reason that the Adams admin- 
istration, then in power, had been disposed upon the slight- 
est pretext to send an army into the state, which would 
have been a sore grievance upon the people of Kentucky. 

MR. CLAY CONTENDS FOR HIS CLIENT. 

On December 2, the second grand jury assembled, and 
following the opening of court was sworn upon the Holy 
Evangelists to weigh properly the evidence adduced. Judge 
Innes gave the jury particular directions not to receive mat- 
ters upon information and not to allow its inquiry to extend 
beyond the limits of Kentucky." 

Attorney Daveiss arose and stated that two material 
witnesses. General John Adair and Mr. Luckett, were absent 
and without them he could not proceed. 

Mr. Clay responded for Colonel Burr. "Colonel Burr," 
said he, "has been only apprehensive of delay to his affairs 
by these proceedings. May it please the court, he finds it 
particularly irksome to be obliged perpetually to dance at- 
tendance upon such a charge in court." 

The district attorney : "I perfectly understand the drift 
of the gentleman. Let the jury go out under the present 
circumstances, in the absence of these witnesses, the charges 
not being proved; they imagine a triumph for Mr. Burr. 
The grand jury has been called to inquire into a subject 

^•A copy of Judge Innes's deposition to which reference is here made 
was printed in the SaletH, Mass., Gazette of January i6, 1807. The file 
is in the possession of the Tennessee Historical Society. 

"The incidents transpiring in the Frankfort court room on December 2 
and 3 are printed in the Washington Natiomd Intelligencer of January 
12, 1807. 



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14 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

that immediately affects the welfare of our country. It is 
no common case and should not be hastily disposed of. 
Mr. Clay complains of the painful inconvenience of Colonel 
Burr's dancing a perpetual attendance upon the court" 
Attorney Daveiss grew more vehement. "Who has asked 
Colonel Burr to dance attendance here? Who has solicited 
his presence in court? His appearance here is entirely 
voluntary; and, I will venture to say, illegal. It is contrary 
to practice universally prevailing in this country. I hope, 
therefore, there will be no further interference on the part 
of Colonel Burr and his counsel until they can be legally 
in court." 

Mr. Clay was on his feet directly. "Will Mr. Daveiss 
tell me," he cried, "after what has passed, is Colonel Burr's 
name to be mentioned and he not appear, because there is no 
deputy marshal directed to take his person?" 

"May it please the court," retorted Mr. Daveiss, "I main- 
tain my right to go on in this business as directed by law. 
By me, neither Mr. Burr nor his counsel are recognized as 
being in court." 

The district attorney referred also to his right to ex- 
amine witnesses before the grand jury, which his honor 
had not acknowledged in his charge. 

The reference brought from Mr. Clay a violent protest, 
concluded with a solann promise never to cease contending 
for the liberties of the country. 

With some show of disdain, Mr. Daveiss declared him- 
self the proper agent of the grand jury and hoped the court 
would agree with him in his opinion. 

He asked an attachment for General Adair. 

Mr. Clay was on his feet again. "If I mistake not," he 
observed, "no hour was mentioned in the summons, and 
consequently no attachment can issue during the whole day 
for which General Adair was summoned." 

In this objection his honor sustained the counsel of 
Colonel Burr. 

Meanwhile the grand jury, which had retired for a short 
period, but found no witnesses sent before them, returned 
into court. His honor called attention to the fact, and an- 
nounced that unless the jurors were given some matter to 
investigate they would be discharged. Mr. Daviess, however, 
called attention to the lateness of the hour, promising to 
give the jury something to do the following morning, and 
adjournment was taken. 



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CX)LONEL BUER'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW 15 



MR. CLAY CARRIES HIS POINT. 

When court convened the following day Mr. Daveiss 
arose and stated to the grand jurors that they might call 
on him if assistance were needed in examination of wit- 
nesses. 

"May the court please," interrupted Mr. Clay, "the privi- 
lege contended for by the public prosecutor is a novel one. 
We hope the court will not grant it." 

"I see nothing novel, nothing out of the common mode 
of procedure except the conduct of Mr. Clay," hotly respond- 
ed Attorney Daveiss. "There is something extremely sin- 
gular and unprecedented in that. No person has a right 
to call me to order in this proceeding but the judge himself. 
I am surprised to see Mr. Burr and his counsel still present 
themselves in court, and much more so when interrupted 
by them in the discharge of my duty." 

Mr. Clay, appealing to the rules of practice in every 
court, declared the claims of Mr. Daveiss to be unknown 
to law or equity. 

Attorney Daveiss urged that the grand jurors being 
ignorant of Colonel Burr's plans would be unable to link 
together the details of evidence without his aid. "I regret 
to encounter on the part of Mr. Burr and his counsel," he 
observed, "the most studied attempts to cut off all investi- 
gation." 

"I maintain, your honor," persisted Mr. Clay, "that the 
right contended for by the public prosecutor is most novel." 

"And I, your honor, see nothing novel about the business 
except the appearance of Mr. Burr and counsel in court, 
thrusting themselves forward to be heard." 

Colonel Allen took issue with Mr. Daveiss, declaring his 
right to be heard, though indifferent in what capacity he 
was considered. He pointed the jury eloqumtly to the spirit 
of the constitution. "The right for which the public attor- 
ney contends," he urged, "if allowed would seriously affect 
the rights of the citizen. In matters of fact the public attor- 
ney has no right to appear before the grand jury. It is sole- 
ly in matters of law that his presence is necessary. Even 
in the government of England this is the case. Much more 
should it be so in the United States, where our constitution 
is much more explicit and better defined." 

Colonel Allen's reference to England was strongly cal- 



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16 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

culated to impress a Kentucky audience, but Mr. Clay was 
prepared to go him one better. 

"I care not in what attitude I am considered," echoed 
the great Kentuckian, just preparing to enter upon thirty- 
six years of almost continuous public service. "I would in- 
stantly renounce Colonel Burr and his cause did I entertain 
the slightest idea of his guilt. 

"You have heard of the inquisitions in Europe; you 
have heard of the screws and the torture made use of in the 
dens of despotism to extort confession; of the dark con- 
claves and caucuses, for the purpose of twisting some inco- 
herent expression into evidence of guilt. Is not the project 
of the attorney of the United States a similar object of 
terror? But it will not do, all the art of the attorney will 
not effect his purpose. I call upon him to produce a single 
instance where the public attorney has been accustomed to 
examine witnesses before the grand jury, to sound the jury 
and enter into all its secrets." 

The day was going against Mr. Daveiss, and he ex- 
pressed the belief that if the court sustained the counsel of 
Colonel Burr the result would be the smothering of all the 
testimony adduced before the grand jury. He vigorously 
recalled the previous court scene when Colonel Burr had 
bewailed the failure of the investigation to proceed. 

"I get better prepared," cried the much beset district 
attorney. "I call for another grand jury. Expresses dart 
through the country from Mr. Burr in all directions. The 
grand jury comes; and before it, comes Mr. Burr — for 
what? To challenge the inquiry? No, sir; no! It is to 
stifle it. It is to display vast management in precluding in- 
vestigation. An attempt was even made this morning to 
get the panel of the grand jury altered. The innocence Mr. 
Burr tries for is an exemption from punishment; but this 
is to be derived with as much eclat as possible. Great cries 
of persecution are stored up ready to issue against me if 
the event will justify. But public clamor, although unpleas- 
ant, never shall alter my course, for after the information 
I have received, and on w^hich my mind implicitly relies, 
even after what I have heard from that gentleman, though 
the whole community should cry out against me and run 
after this adventurer, yet would I stand as a rock left by 
the ebbing sea ever confident that a little time more would 
find me again surrounded by the flood. 

"If there is no scheme, my examination cannot make the 



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COLONEL BURR'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW 17 

witnesses swear there is one ; if there is an enterprise, my 
inquiry may develop it." 

BURR JOINS IN THE CONTROVERSY. 

Colonel Burr himself responded to the eloquent assault 
of Daveiss, with great coolness declaring a willingness to 
grant the public attorney every privilege sanctioned by law 
and equity, but at the same time he said he regarded the 
rights of the citizen in the strongest light. He took ad- 
vantage of the moment stoutly to assert his innocence 
and to recall that several boats descending the Ohio, at 
first reported to be his, had proved to belong to some fam- 
ilies that were moving, except one with guns aboard, which 
had been found to be the property of Mr. Berthoud, of 
Louisville. 

The Court then proceeded to deliver an opinion upon 
the point in controversy. He held that the public attor- 
ney had no right to examine witnesses before the grand 
jury, but should the latter require enlightenment upon any 
point of law, they could invite the attorney to assist them. 

Daveiss interposed to say that on a former occasion the 
judge had given his opinion to the contrary, to which his 
honor is said to have replied that the opinion alluded to 
was given out of court. 

"Nevertheless, your honor," contended the district at- 
torney, "it was given after my motion against Mr. Burr 
was made, and I considered the same opinion would be 
given in court. Had I not thought so, I would never have 
run the country to the expense of calling a grand jury." 

His honor insisted that given out of Court the opinion 
could not be binding, and sent the jury on with the investi- 
gation. 

Within that portion of Kentucky, to which the news had 
gone that another attempt had been made to indict Colonel 
Burr, all ears were turned toward Frankfort, in which 
place business was practically suspended pending the re- 
port of the grand jury. Two presentments had been sent 
up, one against Colonel Burr, the other against General 
Adair. 

Two days after the tourney of the attorneys, the grand 
jury returning its finding — "A very remarkable and unpre- 
cedented address," declared that vehement pioneer journal, 
the Western World, whose youthful representative. Street, 
had not yet had his full of adventure, to all appearances. 



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18 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

The report was as follows:*^ 

'The grand jury are happy to inform the court that no violent dis- 
turbances of the public tranquility, or breach of the laws, has come to 
their knowledge. 

"We have no hesitation in declaring that having carefully examined and 
scrutinized all the testimony which has come before us, as well on the 
charges against Aaron Burr, as those contained in the indictment pre- 
ferred to us against John Adair; that there has been no testimony before 
us which does in the smallest degree criminate the conduct of either of 
those persons; nor can we, from all the inquiries and investigations of 
the subject, discover that anything improper, or injurious to the interest 
of the government of thti United States, or contrary to the laws thereof, 
is designed or contemplated by either of them." 

The demonstration from the crowded court room which 
greeted the report surpassed anything that Henry Clay had 
ever witnessed in a Kentucky hall of justice." When it 
had subsided, Colonel Allen begged leave to have a copy of 
the finding that it might be published. 

Attorney Daveiss assented bitterly. '*I know," he ex- 
claimed, "that much parade of innocence will be aflfected; 
for me, I repose upon events. The public mind may be car- 
ried off, but yet in a few months it will see this project as 
it really is. My conviction is not shaken. The <^rand jury 
seems to have aimed a blow at the root of rumor and sus- 
picion. Let the Court fix the disgrace on me or on thenu" 

BALLS IN CELEBRATION. 

With much public sentiment in favor of Colonel Burr, 
and pitted against Henry Clay, Colonel Allen and the re- 
doubtable Burr himself. Attorney Daveiss was not entirely 
alone in his war on the muchly mooted enterprise. The 
Western World, which made its place in history by sound- 
ing the first note of alarm regarding the plans of Burr, 
stood by him manfully. It boldly alluded to Judge Innes's 
supposed separatist views, in earlier days, in connection 
with the proceedings,^* and for his attendance at the ball 

"The report of the grand jury is contained in the Nashville Impartial 
Review and Cumberland Repository of December 13, 1806. 

"Mr. Cay is authority for the statement made as to the demonstration 
in the court room. The Washington National Intelligencer of January 12, 
1807, tells of Col. Allen asking for a copy of the report and of Daveiss* 
comment. 

"The original chronicler whose account is perpetuated in the Wash- 
ington National Intelligencer manifests bitter hostility toward Judge 
Innes very frequently in his writings. It might be mentioned in this con- 
nection, on the authority of the National Cyclopaedia of American Biog* 
raphy, that the jurist, among his other claims to distinction, enjoyed the 
entire confidence of President Washington. 



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COLONEL BURR'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW 19 

in Burr's honor on the Monday night following the report of 
the grand jury, denounced him in vigorous terms." 

Attorney Daveiss's friends replied in kind to the ball 
given for Colonel Burr, giving a ball the ensuing Thursday 
night at the Bush Tavern '"in honor of the Union and as 
a mark of approbation of the firmness and vigilance of the 
attorney for the United States, Joseph Hamilton Daveiss." 
The supper which followed the ball was pronounced by one 
autiiority the most degant ever given in Frankfort. Thirty 
ladies, "about twenty short of a full assembly," were pres- 
ent, along with sixty or seventy gentlemen, including Gov- 
ernor Greenup, the Secretary of State, both Speakers and 
many leading members of the legislature. After the re- 
tirement of the ladies from the supper room, toasts were 
called for. Gen. Green Clay leading off gallantly with "The 
Patriotic Ladies of Frankfort." 

William Logan, Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives, followed with the violent sentiment, "Damnation to 
All Conspiracies." 

Even then the Ohio Legislature was considering Burr's 
scheme behind closed doors and the President's proclama- 
tion was winging its flight westward, paral3rzing Burr's 
enterprise as it went. Before the month was gone troops 
were mobilized at many points to take him prisoner or 
crush the least suspicion of treason, and Blennerhassett's 
island, the center of operations, was on the road to ruin. 
On December 30, the late idol of the West passed Fort 
Massac with ten boats and sixty unarmed men^*, and on 
out of reach of the backwoods militiamen for the time being. 

Mr. Clay went on to Washington to assume his seat in 
the United States Senate direcfly after the proceedings, 
armed with letters of introduction from Colonel Burr, which 
he never presented, becoming convinced after reaching 
Washington that Burr had meditated treason." Colonel 
Allen, his associate counsel, sometime later an unsuccessful 
candidate for governor, was among the Kentuckians who 
fell at Frenchtown on the river Raisin. 

"Accounts of the balls given at Frankfort following the proceedings 
can be found in the National Intelligencer of January 12, 1807. 

"Gen. Jackson's letter to George W. Campbell, dated January 15, 1807, 
states the size of the expedition when it passed Fort Massac. Jackson 
sent an express to Fort Massac when wild rumors of the expedition 
became current in Nashville. The above was the information brought 
back by the express rider. 

"Henry Qa/s change of views regarding Burr's plans is contained in 
the letter to Dr. Pindell 



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20 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Attorney Daveiss was removed from office, it was said, 
at the instance of Mr. Clay, though this was at a time when 
politics ran riot in the West and charges as flagrant as 
they were numerous were the order of the day. He fell 
at Tippecanoe, where, some years after the battle, the 
traveler introduced to the reader in the Green River coun- 
try paid a visit to his grave.*^ 

"At an angle of the encampment where the carnage had 
been greatest," wrote the traveler eighty odd years ago, 
"was a slight mound of earth scarcely raised above the 
surrounding surface. Near it stood an oak tree on the 
back of which the letters, *J. D.,' were rudely carved. This 
was the only memorial of one of the most favorite of Ken- 
tucky's sons; for under that mound reposed all that re- 
mained of the chivalrous, the generous, the eloquent and 
highly gifted Jo Daveiss." W. E. Beard. 

Editorial Note. — It will be of interest to those who desire to pursue 
further the study of the Aaron Burr Conspiracy to consult the accounts 
in Henry Adams, History of the United States, (1890), vol. iii, chapter xii. 
and J. B. McMaster, History of the People of the United States (1891) 
vol. iii, chapter xv, and the more critical discussion in W. F. McCaleb, 
The Aaron Burr Conspiracy (1903), especially chapter vii. A more recent 
work is that of Joseph Brady, The Trial of Aaron Burr. In the Quarterly 
Publications of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, vol. ix, 
Nos. i and ii (1914), will be found Burr-Blennerhassett Documents, edited 
by Leslie Henshaw. These are documents prepared for the Blennerhassett 
trial in Ohio, after the failure of the trial of Burr in Richmond, Va. 
In the American Historical Magazine for April, 1896 (vol. I, No. 2), will 
be found some very interesting documents relating to the arrest of Burr 
by Lieutenant Edmund Pendleton Gaines, printed from the original mss. 
in the possession of the Tennessee Historical Society. 

""Indiana," writing in Hall's Illinois Monthly. 



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THE INDIAN POUCY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERN- 

MENT AND THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

OF THE SOUTHWEST, 1789-1801. 



During the first decade of the United States the south- 
em Indians were an important element in the economic 
development of the Old Southwest, and the Indian policy of 
the federal government was a matter of vital importance 
to the frontiersmen of this region. The natural outlet of 
the commerce of the states south of the Ohio River, until, 
during the period of canals and railroads, it was diverted 
to the Great Lakes and across the mountains, was by way 
of the Mississippi and its tributaries, or down the rivers 
that flow through the present states of Mississippi and 
Alabama into the Gulf. Two obstacles hampered the free 
use of these routes — the Indians and the foreign powers 
that held New Orleans and the Floridas. The attempts of 
Spain to use the Indian tribes as a buflfer between her pre- 
carious possessions south of the United States, and our own 
western frontier, and the efforts of France to involve them 
in her western scheme of conquest, often complicate the 
Indian question, serious enough in itself as a local problem 
of frontier defense, by involving it in larger diplomacy. 
Questions of acquiring title to Indian lands, and of policing 
the frontier, two things essential to peaceful settlement and 
development, as well as the problem of commercial routes, 
were often complicated by diplomatic difficulties. The In- 
dian policy of the government therefore had two sides : on 
the one hand it must regulate the relations between the 
Indians and tiie frontier settlements, and on the other hand 
prevent the tribes from being affected by foreign influence 
to the detriment of the United States. 

The Indians south of the Ohio River, with which the 
federal government had to deal when it succeeded the Con- 
federation in 1789, were divided into four nations: the- 
Cherokees, the Creeks, the Chickasaws, and the Choctaws. 
A report of Secretary of War Knox to the President, July 7, 
1789, sunmiarizes what knowledge the government had of 
these tribes at this time. 

The Cherokees were located at the headwaters of the 
Tennessee River. Their hunting grounds were from the 



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22 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Cumberland Rivelr along the frontiers of Virginia, North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. They had been the 
first to come into contact with the white frontier, and had 
been in almost constant conflict with the Watauga settlers 
under Sevier. In 1789, when their numbers had been great- 
ly reduced by these wars, they were estimated at from 2,000 
to 2,650 warriors. 

The Creeks were divided into two districts. The Upper 
Creeks were chiefly on the waters on the AlaJbama River, in 
about sixty towns and villages; the Lower Creeks along the 
Appalachicola River in about forty towns and villages. 
They were principally in the United States, but some of 
the southern towns of the Lower Creeks, or Seminoles, 
were within Spanish territory, stretching toward the point 
of Florida. Their warriors were estimated at 6,000. Be- 
sides the chiefs of the respective towns, they were much 
under the influence of Alexander McGillivray, a half-breed 
of exceptional ability, with "a good English education," and 
a standing resentment against the State of Georgia, which 
had confiscated his Tory father's property during the Revo- 
lution. He was a partner in an English trading firm, which 
had a monopoly of the trade of the Creeks, importing goods 
through Spanish territory. 

The Chickasaws were estimated at from 800 to 1,200 
warriors. They inhabited the region which is now South- 
western Tennessee and Northern Mississippi and Alabama. 
By a treaty at Hopewell, April 17, 1786, their limits had 
been fixed at the divide between the Cumberland and Ten- 
nessee Rivers on the north; the Mississippi River on the 
west; the Choctaws and Creeks on the south, and the Chero- 
kees on the east. The boundaries between them and the 
Choctaws were not definitely fixed. 

The Choctaw warriors were estimated at from 4,500 to 
6,000. Their principal towns were at the head of the Pas- 
cagoula and Pearl Rivers, mostly north of the thirty-first 
parallel, although some were in Spanish territory.^ 

The Cherokees and the Chickasaws were located partly 
within the territory which now is the State of Tennessee. 
The Creeks and Choctaws were near enough so that any 
hostility on their part would be immediately felt by the 
Tennessee settlements. The four nations represented al- 
together about 14,000 warriors, who were perhaps a fifth 
of their total population.^ 

'American State Papers, Indian A^airs, T, 36. (Hereafter cited as 
"State Papers, Ind.") 
'Ibid, 39, 79. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 23 

The Cherokees, as early as 1785, seem to have made 
progress toward civilization; the women were learning to 
spin, and wanted to learn how to raise cotton, flax, and 
wool, as well as how to spin and weave them.* The Creeks 
in 1789 were "in a great measure hunters; however, they 
cultivate some Indian com, and potatoes, possess cattle 
and horses, a few slaves, and lately, in some instances, have 
introduced the plow."* They were described as pretty gen- 
erally armed with good rifles.* The Choctaws and Chicka- 
saws were poorly armed, with scarcely any ammunition, and 
were themselves nearly naked.' The Cherokees and Chick- 
asaws cultivated the ground more than any other Indians, 
and possessed cattle in proportionately greater numbers. 
The Choctaws hunted only, were brave and hardy in the 
woods, but indolent at home.* 

The Choctaws and Chickasaws, on account of their dis- 
tance from the wliite settlements, had not complained of the 
encroachments of the white settlers as had the Cherokees 
and Creeks, although a chief whom the Chickasaws had 
sent to Congress in 1787 had spoken of the distressed situa- 
tion of the Cherokees, and had stated that if the encroach- 
ments of the whites were not restrained, his people would 
be obliged to join the Cherokees to prevent them. The two 
Western tribes were less corrupted by association with 
white settlers. "Both the Chickasaws and Choctaws are 
represented as candid, brave, generous, honest, and under- 
standing each other's languages."' 

The tribal districts described above were recognized as 
belonging to the tribes occupying them.® Secretary Knox 
in a report laid before the Senate on June 15, 1789, stated 
that "The Indians, being prior occupants, possess a right 
to the soil. It cannot be teken away from them unless by 
their free consent, or by right of conquest, in case of a just 
war."* The customary method of buying lands from the 
Indians by treaty was fraught with great danger of mis- 
understanding and contention because of the loose organi- 
zation of the tribes, which had no established authority over 
them with an admitted right to dispose of lands or prevent 
individual warriors from violating treaty agreements. The 

"State Papers, Ind., I, 39. 

*Ibid., 78. 

'Ibid.. 79. 

•Ibid, 49. 

^Ibid., 48, 49. 

^Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin 30, i, 21. 

•State Papers, Ind., I, 12. 



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24 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

chiefs ruled only by influence and persuasion ; and warriors 
who had not signed a treaty did not feel themselves neces- 
sarily bound by it. 

During the period of the Confederation Coneress had 
little more control over either the states, or the people of 
the frontier than the chiefs over their warriors. In 1785, 
when a treaty at Hopewell was concluded with the Chero- 
kees, fixing their boundaries, William Blount, agent of 
North Carolina, protested that if the commissioners of 
Congress arranged any other boundary than that fixed by 
the state, the state would consider the treaty a violation 
of her legislative rights, insisting that the stiate was sov- 
ereis^n within her boundaries, including the present state 
of Tennessee.*** When, in the same year, the commissioners 
sent by Congress to treat with the Creeks decided not to 
make a treaty because only a few chiefs attended at the 
appointed time, the agents of Georgia attended the confer- 
ence, protested against the right of the commissioners of 
Congress to treat with the Indians, "except in such cases 
only as may, or shall, lead to continue principles of friend- 
ship, and to explain the occurrences of late wars," and after 
the representatives of Congress left, the state agents en- 
tered into a treaty with the Indians present, obtaining a 
cession of land.** In 1789 Georgia was at war with the 
Creeks over their boundaries, upholding the validity of 
treaties made in 1783, 1785, and 1786, which the Creeks 
objected to on the ground that they were made by the chiefs 
of two tribes only, whereas the lands involved were the 
property of the whole nation.*- The people, who in 1784 
organized the state of Franklin, still further complicated 
the situation by their independent attacks upon the Chero- 
kees, regardless of the policy of either North Carolina on 
the Congress of the Confederation. 

In the exercise of the power to make treaties with the 
Indians, the government was for a time embarrassed by the 
fact that North Carolina, claiming all of what is now Ten- 
nessee, had not yet come into the Union, and no regulation 
of the Indians in this region was possible until the ratifica- 
tion of the Constitution and the cession of lands by North 
Carolina cleared away the difficulties.*^ 

By the act for the government of the territory south of 

"State Papers, Ind., I, 44- 
"Ibid., I, 49. 

-Ibid, I, 15. 55. ^ .. 

"Ibid., I, 55. The North Carolina cession was December 22, 1789. 
Completed February 25, 1790. Treat. National Land System, 114. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 25 

Ohio River, May 22, 1790, "the powers, duties, and emolu- 
ments of a Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the South- 
western department were united with those of the Gov- 
ernor."** "An act to regulate trade and intercourse with 
the Indian tribes," approved July 22, 1790, continued, and 
made important additions to the policy of the Confedera- 
tion. As before, in 1786, it provided that no person was to 
carry on trade with the Indians without a license to be 
granted by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs or other 
person appointed by the President, which might be revoked 
for violation of the government regulations, and he must 
give bond for $1,000, with two sureties for his good be- 
havior. Henceforth there was to be only one method of 
extinguishing the title to Indian lands. Section 4 of the 
act states that "no sale of lands made by any Indians within 
the United States shall be valid to any person or to any 
State, whether having the right of pre-emption to such lands 
or not, unless the same shall be made and duly executed by 
public treaty, held under the authority of the United States." 
Crimes against Indians within the states were subject to 
the jurisdiction of the state as if committed against a white 
person." An act of May 19, 1796, made it a misdemeanor 
for any person not employed under the authority of the 
United States to purchase Indian lands, with the proviso 
that the agents of a state might, in the presence of commis- 
sioners of the United States, adjust with the Indians com- 
pensation for lands within the state extinguished by 
treaty.^* 

For the reason that Indians who had not signed a treaty 
did not feel bound by it, it was advisable to assemble as 
many members of a tribe as possible, and the treaty came 
to be an elaborate affair. A place of meeting was appointed, 
the Indians would gradually gather, until enough were pres- 
ent to begin operations. Distribution of rations, and usually 
presents, was a necessary part of the procedure." The 
House committee of ways and means complained that 
during the year $22,500 had been spent at military posts 
in rations to the Indians issued by commandants of military 
garrisons when holding conferences with the Indians ; that 
this item had increased in the last few years, and might 
continue to grow to an inconvenient extent.^® In some cases, 

^* Annals of Congress, ist Cong., ii, 2227. 
^Annals of Congress, ist Cong., 11, 2241. 
^Annals of Congress, 4th Cong., 2nd Sess., 2913. 
"State Papers, Ind., I, 26, 27, 60. 
"Ibid., I, 644. 



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26 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

at least, it seems to have been customary to furnish lodg- 
ings. At a treaty at Coleraine on the St. Mary's River in 
Georgia, in 1796 there was difficulty because the Secretary 
of the Treasury, who had made a contract for supplying 
the Indians, had not expressly provided for their accommo- 
dations, and tents which happened to be available were 
pitched for them.^' A military escort was necessary for 
the conrniissioners who carried on the negotiations.^® 

The meetings included talks to the Indians by the com- 
missioners of the government, speeches by the chiefs, dis- 
cussion of the articles proffered, and explanations of the 
treaties when drawn up to the Indians present. A confer- 
ence with the Cherokees of Coyatee, in May, 1792, was cele- 
brated by "seasonable drinking of whiskey, ball-playing 
by the Indians, and betting on the games, which resulted in 
some bad feeling on the part of the losers." The proceed- 
ings were delay^ by a few chiefs, one of whom explained to 
the commissioners that they were drunk and not in condi- 
tion to discuss matters of importance." The commissioners 
at Coleraine, "in order to prevent quarrels, improper be- 
havior, or malpractices during the negotiations," adopted 
and posted a set of rigid regulations. The place of the 
Indian encampment was fixed ;the Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs resided within it. No whites, except such as were 
under his direction were permitted to encamp with or near 
the Indians, and none might enter the camp with arms. 
No one might visit, or hold conversation with the Indians, 
except by permission, nor furnish them, by sale or gift, 
any spirituous liquors, or have any commercial traffic with 
them. In spite of these rules the Indians got drunk.^* 

Indian affairs in the whole West during the years 1790- 
1795 were in such a condition that the protection of the 
frontier settlements was a difficult problem. After the de- 
feats of St. Clair and Harmar in the Northwest, the South- 
em tribes were constantly on the verge of hostilities. The 
Cumberland settlements in Tennessee, scattered over a re- 
gion ninety miles long and thirty miles wide, were especially 
difficult to protect from Indian depredations, which were 
committed along the whole frontier, especially by the 
Creeks.^' The government pursued the policy of acting upon 
the defensive, avoiding aggressive tactics, and keeping the 

"Ibid., 589. 
"•Ibid., 27, 586ff. 
**Ibid., 267-a 
"Ibid.. 586ff. 
"Ibid., 329, 476, 547- 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 27 

other tribes as quiet as possible until the Northwestern In- 
dians were properly disposed of." 

When, at a conference with the Chickasaws and Choc- 
taws held at Nashville in 1792, the chiefs showed fear that 
the United States would want more of tiieir lands, Governor 
Blount glibly promised that the United States would never 
want to cross the line established by the treaty of Hopewell.^' 
The Secretary of War objected to establishing a post on 
Bear's Creek, according to treaty arrangements, because it 
might excite fear of exaggerations on Indian lands.^* Secre- 
tary Knox, fearing that the southern Indians could not re- 
main neutral, planned to enlist enough of them in Wayne's 
army to assure the adherence of their tribes to the United 
States; the Indians were willing to fight if arms could be 
furnished them, but General Wayne, not yet ready to re- 
move, counseled delay, and nothing seems to have been 
done." 

The Indians were continually stirred up by foreign in- 
fluence. Carondelet, the Spanish governor of New Orleans, 
and other Spanish officials supplied the Indians with arms 
and ammunition, and promised them more if they would 
defend themselves against the aggressions of the people of 
the United States.^* But any Indian troubles which would 
give Spain a grievance against the United States might in- 
terrupt the negotiations then in progress for the free navi- 
gation of the Mississippi.^ In 1793 Jeflferson felt that Spain 
was trying to pick a quarrel with the United States: the 
whole cabinet expected war, although every effort was being 
made by the administration to avoid it.'® The desire to keep 
peace with Spain and to carry the negotiations with that 
country to a favorable conclusion were doubtless effective 
reasons for avoiding aggressive tactics against the Indians. 

Genet's western schemes in 1793 involved intrigues with 
the southern tribes, and treaties with them by which France 
proposed to guarantee to them the free and peaceable pos- 
session of their lands.'^ 

This combination of conditions — Indian war in the 
Northwest, and French and Spanish plots among the South- 

"State Papers, Ind., 255-6, 266, 487. 
•Ibid.. 1, 282ff. 
•^bid., 253, 266. 
"Ibid., 245, 251, 254, 258. 
"State Papers, Foreign Relations, I, 259. 
•Phelan, James, History of Tennessee, 154. 
"Jefferson's Writings (Ford Ed.), VI, 316, 322. 
"Turner, F. J., The Policy of France toward the Mississippi Valley, 
in American Historical Review, X, 362, 370. 



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28 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

western Indians at a time when vigorous operations against 
the latter might both involve the United States in a general 
Indian war along the whole frontier, and a possible war 
with Spain in opposition to the neutral policy of the admin- 
istration, placed the government in a delicate position. The 
frontiers needed defense; they were too extensive to be 
policed by the forces available, and the Western settlers were 
as hard to control as the Indians. 

The government was not able to carry out consistently 
its nonaggressive policy. In July and August of 1793 Briga- 
dier-General Sevier called out the militia and undertook an 
unauthorized expedition against the Cherokees, although the 
instructions of the Secretary of War had explicitly for- 
bidden offensive operations." In 1794, Robertson, who had 
also been ordered to act on the defensive against the five 
Chickamauga towns of the Cherokees which had gone on 
the war path in 1792, construed the order to mean that he 
should prevent their advance upon the settlements by at- 
tacking the town: the towns of Nickajack and Running 
Water were destroyed.** 

The treaty with Spain of October 27, 1795, provided for 
the removal of two important sources of grievance against 
Spain on the part of the West : Indian aggressions on either 
side were to be discontinued, and the free navigation of the 
Mississippi, with the privilege of deposit at New Orleans 
for three years, temporarily disposed of that problem. This 
treaty, coming soon after the chastening influence of both 
Wayne's victory and the Nickajack expedition, removed the 
most disturbing causes of Indian hostility, although there 
was soon a threat of danger from another direction. 

When, in 1796, Spain went to war with England, appre- 
hensions that France would get control of Louisiana alarmed 
William Blount, then Senator from Tennessee, and others, 
who, like him, were involved in extensive speculations in 
Western lands. A plan was evolved, in which Blount was 
implicated, by which a body of frontiersmen and Indians 
should co-operate with an English fleet and an expedition 
from Canada, to seize Louisiana and the Floridas for En- 
gland. The plot was disclo3ed, England disavowed respon- 
sibility, and Blount resigned. "From the point of view of 
the large diplomatic problem," says Professor Turner, "the 
most tangible result of the affair was the retention by Spain 
of Natchez and the other posts east of the Mississippi, under 
the sincere apprehension that if they were evacuated under 

"State Papers. Ind., I, 585, 586. 
-Ibid., 632ff. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 29 

the treaty of 1795, a clear road would be opened for the 
British into Louisiana." Spain did not evacuate these 
posts until 1798.^* 

During the period when Indian war seemed imminent, 
and foreign powers were successfully exerting influence over 
the Indian nations, the President and the Secretary of War 
had been advocating two methods of controlling them in the 
interests of the United States : resident agents, and govern- 
ment trade. 

The sending of agents authorized by the United States 
to reside with the Indian tribes, to advise and manage them, 
was not an innovation ; they had been sent out by Congress 
during the Revolutionary period, to counteract the influence 
of the British, and had similarly been used during the Con- 
federation. They were desirable from the point of view of 
both the Indians and of the government. 

In 1791 the treaty of Holston, with the Cherokees, stip- 
ulated that the United States might send not more than four 
persons to reside in the nation, to assist the Indians in ad- 
vance toward civilization, to act as interpreters, and to im- 
prove the means of communication between them and the 
government. Three persons were to have lands assigned 
them by the Cherokees. They were not to participate in 
trade of any kind.^*^ In 1792 a deputation of Cherokees 
which came to Washington had as one of its objects the 
request that a "person of reputation" be commissioned to 
reside in the nation as an advisor and protector. Soon after 
this the Secretary of War wrote of the need of resident 
agents and the possibility of managing the chiefs through 
them.^**' By an act of March 1, 1793, the President was au- 
thorized to appoint temporary agents to reside among the 
Indians. In the treaty of Tellico, October 2, 1798, the Cher- 
okees agreed that an agent who was to be appointed to re- 
side among them from time to time should have a sufficient 
piece of ground for his temporary use.'*^ 

The Secretary of War summed up the policy of the gov- 
ernment relative to the agency system in a letter to R. G. 
Harper, chairman of the House committee on ways and 
means, April 16, 1800. "It may be proper to observe gen- 
erally, relative to expenditures in the Indian department, 
that it has been an object with the secretary to render less 

■*Tumer, Policy of France toward the Mississippi Valley, American 
Historical Review, X, 274. 

*KappIer, Indian Treaties, p. 31. 
"State Papers, Ind., I, 259, 261. 
"Ibid, 636; Kappler, Indian Treaties, 54. 



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30 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

frequent the visits of the Indians to the seat of government, 
and to extend the influence of the United States within their 
nations, by the instrumentality of resident agents, and in- 
ternal arrangements and measures, calculated to produce 
these ends. This system, which begins to operate sensibly 
and satisfactorily, while it aims at bettering their moral and 
physical condition, has a direct tendency to bring them into 
narrower compass, and place them more perfectly under 
the management and control of the United States. The 
agents employed in this work (the Governors of the North- 
western and Mississippi territories excepted) are obliged to 
reside constantly with the Indian nations. They have fixed 
allowances and receive their instructions from the Secretary 
of War."«« A letter from James McHenry, of the War De- 
partment, December 2, 1799, states that "Superintendents 
or agents now reside in, or near, most of the Indian nations, 
charged to attend to their wants and concerns."*' 

The success of the agency system depended upon the 
training and character of the agents. A letter from Gov- 
ernor John Sevier of Tennessee, the experienced Indian 
fighter of the Watauga settlements, indicates what the neces- 
sary qualifications of a successful agent were, and the diffi- 
culty of obtaining persons possessing them. He says : "I 
have had an extensive acquaintance with several Indian 
tribes upward of thirty years, and I can with great pro- 
priety say that the more my knowledge is of those people, 
more difficult it is to find a person calculated with address 
to transact the business of a savage nation: A lack of 
knowledge of the human heart (particularly the savage), 
the laws of nature and of nations, disqualifies in general 
such young persons as chiefly undertake this kind of busi- 
ness ; the want of the language occasions them to have re- 
course to persons who have but a mere smattering of one 
or the other of the tongues which oftentimes cause the in- 
terpretation to be very imperfect.*® 

During the Confederation period an ordinance of 1786 
had divided the Indian country into two districts, north and 
south of the Ohio River, each supervised by a bonded super- 
intendent who was forbidden to engage in trade with the 
Indians." From 1785 to 1787 James White was superin- 
tendent for the Southern department/^ In 1788 Richard 

"State Papers, Ind.. I. 645. 
^American Historical Magazine, IV, 371. 

**Sevier to the Secretary of War, July 20, 1796. Mss. in Tennessee De- 
partment of Archives. 

**State Papers, Ind., I. 14. 
"Ibid., 20. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 31 

Winn held this ofBce-*^ Besides the superintendent, com- 
missioners were authorized by Congress to hold conferences 
with the Indians, and from treaties no one was to be allowed 
to trade with the Indians unless he were a citizen of the 
United States, had obtained a license, granted for not longer 
than a year at a time, and had given bond for his adherence 
to the regulations made by Congress/* 

The establishment of trade with the Indian tribes seems 
to have been intended by the Congress of the Confederation, 
and preliminary arrangements for it were made in treaties 
with the Southern Indians concluded at Hopewell, with the 
Cherokees, November 28, 1786 ;** with the Choctaws,*** Jan- 
uary 3, 1786; and with the Chickasaws, January 1, 1786.*^ 
By these treaties all three tribes gave the United States the 
exclusive right to regulate their trade. The Chickasaws 
ceded a tract of land five miles in diameter for a trading 
post at the Muscle Shoals. The Choctaws ceded three tracts, 
each six miles square, to be later selected by the United 
States for trading posts. 

Both Chickasaws and Choctaws seem on the whole to 
have wanted the government to trade with them. A Chicka- 
saw chief, in a talk before the treaty, although complaining 
of white settlers on Indian lands who were of no use to the 
Indians, said that his people welcomed traders.** In 1787 
both of these tribes sent chiefs to Congress who solicited 
the establishment of trade by the government, according 
to treaty." 

In 1789 the Indian commissioners of the south reported 
that "In order to preserve the attachment of the several 
Indian nations bordering upon the United States, it appears 
to us expedient that some adequate means of supplying them 
with goods and ammunition at moderate prices should be 
adopted,'*'' but were unable to agree upon any definite or 
positive plan. They suggested the adoption of some uni- 
form method of granting permits to those aigaged in com- 
merce with the Indians, the fees for which should be mod- 
erate, "to prevent persons of bad character from defrauding 
the Indians, from making still more unfavorable impression 

'^State Papers, Ind., 26. 
•*Ibid., 26. 

**Kapplcr, Indian Treaties, gff. 
^•Ibid., I Iff. 
«Ibid., i4ff. 

*'State Papers, Ind., I, 51. 
**Ibid., 48, 49. I 

-Ibid., 67. 



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32 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

upon inimical tribes, and from alienating the affections of 
friendly tribes from the United States." 

Trade was one of the principal means looked to by Presi- 
dent Washington and Secretary Knox, as well as by the In- 
dian agents, for establishing friendly relations. There was 
danger that the Spanish and English would be able to man- 
age tile Indians in this way if the United States did not. 
The trading company which supplied the Creeks, in which 
McGillivray was a partner, was an English concern, im- 
porting through the Spanish port of Pensacola, where, it 
seems, their goods were admitted at less than the usual 
duties.'- In 1789 the Indian commissioners reported that 
furs to the annual amount of £10,000 sterling were taken 
by the Creeks, and sold principally to traders in the nation 
who exported through the Spanish settlements; and that 
the amount of the European goods imported was £12,000 
annually, furnished by McGillivray's company.*^' In 1785 
it had been reported that McGillivray was an agent of Spain 
with a salary of $600 per year." The Creek war with the 
State of Georgia over their boundaries and the other usual 
sources of trouble — occasional murders and frequent horse- 
stealing*^*^ — lead to constant apprehension on the part of the 
commissioners and the War Department that McGillivray 
would form a confederacy of all the Southern tribes to 
oppose the encroachments of the whites.*** In 1787, however, 
James White, Indian agent, wrote to General Knox that he 
believed that the Creeks and their half-breed leader favored 
a treaty with Congress, hoping for better protection against 
Georgia, and because McGillivray, as a trader, could hope 
for a shorter route and lower duties by importing through 
the United States via the Altamaha River, instead of by 
way of Pensacola, where exorbitant duties were charged.'*^ 

In a statement of the Indian situation sent to the Senate 
on August 22, 1789, Washington suggested that if the Creeks 
had been wronged by the State of (Jeorgia in dishonestly- 
made treaties, part of their indemnification might be "a 
secure port of the Altamaha or St. Mary's Rivers, or at 
any place between the same as may be mutually agreed to 
by the commissioners and the Creeks.^* Such an arrange- 

"State Papers., Ind., I, 79. 

"Ibid., 15, 49. 

"Ibid., 79. 

"Ibid., 49. 

"Ibid., p. 55. 

"Ibid., 16, 29. 

"Ibid., I, 21. 

"Ibid.. 55. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 83 

ment was authorized in the instructions sent to the Indian 
commissioners who were to treat with the Creeks, by Gen- 
eral Knox and the President, August 29, 1789." 

In a message to the Senate of August 22, 1790, Washing- 
ton again stated his views : "As the trade with the Indians 
is a main means of their political management, it is there- 
fore obvious that the United States cannot possess any se- 
curity for the performance of treaties with the Creeks while 
their trade is likely to be interrupted or withheld at the 
caprice of two foreign powers. Hence, it becomes an object 
of real importance to form new channels for the commerce 
of the Creeks, through the United Stat^. But this opera- 
tion will require time, as the present arrangements cannot 
be suddenly broken without the greatest violation of faith 
and morals.'' He therefore suggested a secret treaty by 
which, if the commerce were interrupted, the President 
might designate a person who might import into the Indian 
country through the United States $60,000 per annum worth 
of merchandise, free of duties.'® 

In the instructions to the commissioners to the south- 
em Indians, dated August 29, 1789, they were empowered 
to promise a secure port on the Altamaha River for the 
Creeks, to break their connection with the Spanish colonies.** 
In July, 1790, McGillivray aAd a delegation of Creek chiefs 
were brought to New York, where they were entertained 
and made much of by the Tammany Society. On August 7 
a treaty was concluded with them.'* A secret article gave 
McGillivray the salary of a United States agent and a 
monopoly of furnishing the Indians with supplies.'* 

The treaty with the Chfirokees of July 2, 1791, reiterated 
that the United States should have the exclusive right to 
trade with the nation.'* In the same year a deputation of 
Cherokees called upon the President, and the Bloody Fellow, 
an important chief, complained of the scarcity of game and 
of the difficulty of getting the goods that the Indians needed, 
and desired that the United States should regulate the mat- 
ter.'*^ At the Nashville conference with the Chickasaws and 
Choctaws in 1792, Governor Blount explained that the rea- 
son why the United States had not established a trading 
post at the mouth of Bears Creek, as stipulated in the trea^ 

■•State Papers, Ind., 64. 

•Ibid., 80. 

•Ibid, I, 60. 

"Kappler, Indian Treaties, 2Sff. 

•Schoulcr, History of United States, I. 171-2. 

••Kappler, Indian Treaties, 30; State Papers, Ind., I, 124, 

•State Papers, Ind., I, 20i 

3 



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34 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

of Hopewell, was that ''they had not been in a position to 
do so; now that they are grown strong and rich they will 
do so soon."'* Probably Congress was too busy with other 
matters during the first years of the government to make 
the necessary appropriation for the fitting out of posts. In 
a speech to Congress on December 3, 1793, Washington 
again urged action. Speaking of the danger of Indian war 
on the frontiers, he recommended that as soon as the imme- 
diate ^nergency was provided for. Congress should "ren- 
der tranquility with the savages permanent, by creating 
ties of interest. Next to a rigorous execution of justice on 
the violations of the peace, the establishment of commerce 
with the Indian nations, on behalf of the United States, is 
most likely to conciliate their attachment. But it ought to 
be conducted without fraud, without extortion, with con- 
stant and plentiful supplies, with a ready market for the 
commodities of the Indians, and a stated price for what 
they give in payment and receive in exchange. Individuals 
will not pursue such traffic unless they be allured by the 
hope of profit; but it will be enough for the United States 
to be reimbursed only."'^ 

An act approved March 3, 1795, appropriated $50,000 
to purchase goods for suppljdng the Indians during the 
year 1795, the sale of the goods to be under the direction 
of the President.'® 

A report communicated to the Senate by the Secretary 
of War on December 15, 1795, described what had been 
done up to that time. The war in the Northwest made the 
attempt impossible there; the Six Nations were too much 
surrounded by the whites ; and it remained to make the at^ 
tempt with the southern trib«. Because of the small ap- 
propriation the measure seemed intended merely as an 
experiment, with as little expense as possible. Therefore 
the sum had been divided unequally: over two-thirds had 
been used for opening trade with the Creeks, to whom goods 
could be conveyed by sea, and the remainder for the Chero- 
kees and Chickasaws. A post had been established at Cole- 
raine on the St. Mary's River in Georgia, and Tellico Block 
House in the Cherokee country, which had the added se- 
curity of being already a military post with a small garri- 
son, seemed to be the most suitable location for the other, 
although the final choice of the site had been left to Gov- 
ernor Blount. On account of distance, neither the Chicka- 

-Ibid.. 285. 

•'State Papers, Foreign, I, 22. 

"Annals of Congress, 3rd Congress, 1532. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POUCY AND THE SOUTHWEST 35 

saws or the Choctawts could be much benefited by this post, 
but there was not money enough for more. It was unfor- 
tunate that the trade could not have been earlier com- 
menced, but the pa3anent of goods called for by Wayne's 
treaty, the annuity due the Cherokees, and other supplies 
needed, had so drained the market that no goods were to 
be had^ and the purveyor had had to wait until the arrival 
of the fall ships. "Goods to this amount," says the report, 
"to be regularly supplied, should be imported by the govern- 
ment: they will cost less; they will be of the precise kind 
and proportions demanded; and always in season. If the 
wisdom of Congress should decide on a continuance and 
extension of the Indian trade, on the principle heretofore 
contemplated, and of which the experiment is now in train, 
the importance of importing on the public account will be 
vastly increased." In spite of delays, the goods were on 
the way to the posts at the time of writing.** 

"An act for establishing trading houses with the Indian 
tribes," approved April 18, 1796, contained more elaborate 
provisions. The President was empowered to establish 
trading houses at such posts and places on the Western 
and Southern frontiers, or in the Indian country, as he con- 
sidered most convenient. He could appoint an agent for 
each trading house and prescribe rules for the conduct of 
the business. The agent had to take oath that he would nei- 
ther directly nor indirectly engage in trade except on the 
public account, and to give bond for his good conduct. He 
was required to make up his accounts half-yearly, and re- 
port to the Secretaiy of the Treasury. Other employes were 
under similar restrictions as to private trade. The price of 
goods furnished by the United States should not be dimin- 
ished — ^the business was to be financially self-supporting. 
One hundred and fifty thousand dollars was appropriated, 
exclusive of salaries, for which an additional appropriation 
was made. A clause, apparently to protect the Indians 
from being fleeced, prohibited, under penalty, any agent or 
clerk from receiving from any Indian any gun or other 
article commonly used in hunting, any instrument of hus- 
bandry, or cooking utensil, or article of clothing except skins 
or furs.^*^ The act was to be in force for two years, and 
was renewed from time to time on similar terms. 

This law corresponded throughout to the recommenda- 
tions made by the President in 1793 and earlier. But in its 
execution several of the dangers which he had foreseen 

•State Papers, Ind., I, 584. 

^Annals of Congress, 4th Cong., 2nd session, SSpff. 



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36 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

do not seem to have been avoided. The correspondence of 
Governor John Sevier of Tennessee indicates that the con- 
duct of the Tellico post was satisfactory neither to the 
Indians nor to the people of Tennessee. About three months 
after the passage of the law he expressed doubt as to the 
success of the venture, and feared that it might be attended 
with some embarrassments." On January 29, 1797, he 
wrote to the Tennessee delegation in Congress : "The trad- 
ing house established for the support of the Cherokees is 
not very favorably thought of by these people, and many 
view it as fixed for the destruction of their traders and 
nation. The trading chiefs and white men, who, as you 
know, are the influential party, speak of it with much con- 
tempt, and reprobate, and de$pise the measure, frequently 
calling the President and Congress pedlars and Indian trad- 
ers."" A year later, when tiie act was soon to expire, he 
wrote to the congressmen : "I hope this infamous act will 
(not) be revived. It has given more umbrage to the people 
of this State than any act ever passed since the independ- 
ency of America, and there has went more hunters over the 
line this year, ten to one, than at any former period, and 
should the act continue in force another year, the poor In- 
dians, in my opinion, will scarcely have a bear or a deer 
left. It is my opinion that the peltry received the present 
year at Tellico factory would scarcely defray the expenses 
of five wagons from this to Philadelphia."" Col. James 
Ore, a special emissary to the Cherokees said in a letter to 
Sevier, May 12, 1798: "Tellico Blockhouse is particularly 
oflfensive to a great number of the infiuential men of the 
nation. They say that the goods sold there are old and 
rotten, hardly bear a second washing, and that they receive 
but a small price for their skins."" These extracts show 
that the post wjas embarrassed from the start by scarcity 
of game, due to the increase of the white population of set- 
tlers and hunters, and by the opposition of the traders, as 
well as by mismanagement and attempts to give the Indians 
goods of inferior quality, the kind of exploitation that Wash- 
ington had jforeseen might cause difficulty. 

A report on April 22, 1800, to the House of Representa- 
tives of a committee appointed to "enquire into the opera- 
tion of the acts making provision for the establishment of 
trading houses with the Indian tribes, and into the ex- 

"Letter from Sevier to Secretary of War, July 20, 1796. 
"Sevier to Blount, Cocke, and Jackson, in Cong., January 29, 1797. 
"Sevier to Anderson, Jackson, and Qaibornc, in Cong., January 22. 1798. 
"Jas. Ore to Sevier, May 3i» 1798. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POUCY AND THE SOUTHWEST 37 

pediency of revivingr and continuinfir the acts in force''^* 
reported that two trading houses had been established, but 
that there had been some irregularity in their accounts; 
complained of lack of information as to their true condition ; 
and that their reports ought to have been sent twice a year 
to the Secretary of the Treasury.^* 

The report of the agent for the Indian Factories OflJce 
of November 11, 1801, stated that the trade at Fort Wilkin- 
son, the southern factory, was flourishing, but that at Tel- 
lico it was slow. At Fort Wilkinson a substantial profit 
had been made, at Tellico the profit was small. The great 
disproportion of gain was attributed to the mode of trans- 
porting the goods — ^to the Georgia post mostly by water, 
and to Tellico by land, at a high rate, which ate into the 
profits." 

The accounts of merchandise are not itemized in these 
reports, the statements being mere balance sheets, and con- 
sequentiy they do not indicate what kind of goods were be- 
ing furnished to the Indians. Several itemized lists of pres- 
ents given to the Indians at treaties, or of goods furnished 
for annuities, indicate what sort of things they wanted 
and were receiving. 

A '"memorandum of articles wanted to make up an as- 
sortment of presents to the Indians expected at the head of 
the river St. Mary's," in Georgia, November, 1792, shows 
the following items : 

Five hogsheads of high proof Northern rum. 

One pipe Lisbon or Teneriffe wine. 

Two barrels Muscovado sugar. 

Two hundred pounds coflfee. 

One hogshead tobacco; one box of pipes. 

Five tierces rice. 

Fifty dozen knives, commonly called scalping knives: 
those made in the size and shape of carving knives are best, 
and if bone handles, more acceptable. 

Fifty pieces cotton Romal handkerchiefs. 

Two hundred Caster hats: a box of feathers for ditto. 

One thousand yards white or blue plains, for leggins, 
in order to save giving strouds, which are double the prica 

The commissioner adds : "Gunpowder and lead are al- 
ways expected by the Indians as necessary to support their 

"State Papers, Ind., I, 643. 646. 

"Ibid. In iBdo the House Committee of Ways and Means states that 
it cost the government $10,000 to transport $15,000 worth of goods for 
Indian annuities State Papers, Ind., I, 647. 

"Ibid.. 653. 



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38 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

families by hunting; but I do not wish to give it them if it 
can be avoided. They grumble much at our not giving it 
to them."" 

At this conference there were upwards of a thousand 
men, women and children present.^* 

A letter from David Henly, of the War Department, to 
General Robertson, July 9, 1794, speaks of presents being 
sent to the Chickasaws consisting of "six 3V^-inch howit^ 
zers, 10 qts. ( ?) casks of fine rifle powder, T hun'd lead, 
1,000 flints, ammunition for 100 rounds complete for each 
piece, including 25 grape, for plow irons, with a quantity 
of dry goods, &c., as per invoice, amounting to $2,713 dollars 
and 44/00."8^ 

Agricultural implements were in some demand by the 
Indian, and were given by the government as a means of 
civilizing them. In the treaty of New York with the Creeks, 
August 7, 1798, the United States agreed to give them 
domestic animals and useful instruments of husbandry." 
Instruments of husbandry were also stipulated by the treaty 
with the Cherokees at Holston, July 2, 1791.^^ "The treaty," 
said the Bloody Fellow, in a talk with the President in 1792, 
"mentions plows, hoes, cattle, and other things for a farm: 
this is what we want; game is going fast away from us. 
We must plant com and raise cattle, and we desire you to 
assist us."*'* In 1797 the Secretary of War ordered some 
"utensils of husbandry" to be given to a party of Chicka- 
saws who had asked for them.^ The treaty with the Creeks 
at Coleraine, June 29, 1796, arranged that the Creeks should 
have sent to them, besides goods, two blacksmiths, with 
necessary tools.*** In 1798 these blacksmiths had been at 
work among the Indians for some time.*' 

By 1801 something had been accomplished toward ad- 
vancement in the civilization of the southern tribes, which 
was encouraged and fostered by the Jeflfersonian adminis- 
tration. On December 8 of that year the President, in his 
message to Congress, quoted the statements of the Indian 
commissioner on the advancement made by the Creeks. 

"State Papers, Ind, I, 312. 

"Ibid., 362. 

'^American Historical Magazine, III, 376. 

•*Kappler, Indian Treaties, 28. 

"Ibid., 31. 

•State Papers, Ind., I, 205. 

**American Historical Magazine, IV, 336. 

"Kappler, Indian Treaties, 46. 

** American Historical Magazine, IV, 351. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 89 

Stock-raising was more relished by them than any other 
part of the plan devised for their civilization. The year be- 
fore some sheep had been introduced among them. Agri- 
cultural implements were slowly progressing: the Creeks 
were using plows, fencing in land and growing cotton, and 
there was a nursery of peach trees among the Lower Creeks. 
Eight looms for cotton-weaving were in use in the nation, 
and more were being set up, with the assistance of the gov- 
ernment." Donald L. McMurry. 

(To be continued,) 

"State Papers, Ind, I, 647. 



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DOCUMENTS. 

I. 



The Journal of Genetal Daniel Smith, one of the Commia- 
sionera to Extend the Boundary Line between the Com- 
monwealths of Virginia and North Carolina, August, 
1779, to July, 1780. 



INTRODUCTION. 



To place in a proper historical setting the interesting 
document which is now printed, we believe for the first time, 
it is necessary to recall some of the more important events 
which marked the period covered by General Smith's Jour^ 
nal. Turning first to the general progress of the American 
Revolution one notes that in 1778, the British, having failed 
to crush the rebellion of the Americans in the eastern and 
central theatres of the War, directed their attack anew 
upon the southern region. General Robert Howe, having 
lost Savannah to a British force under Colonel Campbell, was 
succeeded in command, by General Benjamin Lincoln, who 
was likewise doomed to misfortune. Invested at Char- 
leston, South Carolina, by Clinton, Lincoln surrendered with 
his whole army May 12, 1780. On August 16 his successor, 
Horatio Gates, was disastrously routed at the battle of 
Camden. To add to the danger which threatened the Amer- 
ican cause, the treasonable designs of Benedict Arnold were 
maturing, though it was not until September, 1780, that 
the plot was discovered. Throughout this period the south- 
em states were torn by what was really a civil war, in 
which the partisan bands of either side added to the mis- 
fortunes of the people the horrors of an irregular warfare. 

Meanwhile the westward movement was continuing un- 
abated. Taking first the viewpoint of Virginia, we remind 
the reader of the expedition sent out by that commonwealth 
to the Illinois country, which, under the command of George 
Rogers Clark, captured Kaskaskia, and, on February 24, 
1779, brought about the surrender of the British post under 
Hamilton at Vincennes. The summer of 1779 found Clark 
forced to give up his plan of attacking Detroit "for want of 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 41 

a few men."^ Instead, he made the Falls of the Ohio (later 
Louisville) his base, to which, as to other points in Ken- 
tucky, great numbers of immigrants were pouring out from 
Virginia. This immigration was stimulated through the 
opening by Virginia of a land office in the western country, 
for which provision was made in May, and which began 
operations in October. On January 29, 1780, the governor 
of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, sent to Clark instructions 
authorizing him either to attack the Shawnees, to proceed 
against Detroit, or to build a fort at the mouth of the Ohio.* 
The last alternative was chosen by Clark, and to Clark's 
execution of it reference is made by General Smith in the 
Journal.'^ The purpose of this fort upon the Mississippi, 
as explained by Jefferson, was that this "with other posts 
meant to be established upon the Ohio may form a chain 
of defense for our western frontier and at the same time 
protect our trade with New Orleans.'** 

In the summer of 1777 commissioners of North Caro- 
lina and of Virginia made with the northern group of 
Cherokees the Treaty of Holston, commonly known as 
Avery's Treaty. This was after the Indian war of 1776- 
1777, upon the frontiers of southwest Virginia and North 
Carolina. In November of this year North Carolina changed 
Washington District into Washington County, at the same 
time enlarging it to include all her western territory. In 
North Carolina, as in Virginia, a new wave of migration 
developed. In the spring of 1779 James Robertson and his 
companions departed from the Watauga region to make 
their settlement on the Cumberland, where, through the 
winter 1780, at the very time covered by General Smith's 
Journal, they were waiting for the arrival of their families. 
December 22, 1779, the company under John Donelson be- 
gan their voyage on the Holston, and leaving Cloud's Creek 
on February 27, on April 24 reached the Big Ssdt Lick on 
the Cumberland River. 

Meanwhile Virginia and North Carolina had agreed to 
extend westward the boundary line between the two states. 
Of the various stages in the determination of this famous 
line of demarcation, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, 
an interesting account is contained in a scholarly paper by 
W. R. Garrett, entitled, "Northern Boundary of Tennessee," 
which was read before the Tennessee Historical Society 
March 18, 1884, and was printed in the American Historical 

X. Tames, J. A. (ed.)> Gtorgt Rogers Clark Papers, Illinois Historical Collec- 
tions, Vol. 8, pp. cix-cx. 

3. Ihid,, pp. 386 ff, from Draper Mas. 

3. Below, p. 64. 

4. Jefferson to Joseph Martin, Jan. 24, 2780, Clark Papers, p. 385. 



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42 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Magazine.^ The earlier history of the line we may sum- 
marize in a few words. 

By the second charter of Carolina, Charles II fixed as 
the northern boundary of that province the line of latitude 
36° 30'. In 1710 the first effort was made to mark the line, 
but the commissioners failed to agree on the starting point 
The second attempt in 1728 was more successful; the line 
was begun at the coast and carried about 169 miles west- 
ward to Buzzard Creek. Here the North Carolina Com- 
missioners abandoned their work, but the line was carried 
some 72 miles farther by the Virginia Commissioners, one 
of whom, Colonel William Byrd, of Westover, has left in 
his "History of the Dividing Line," tiie most charming 
piece of literature produced in the colonies in his day. The 
point reached by Byrd was known as Peter's Creek, "within 
the shadow of Chariky (Cherokee) Mountains." 

The next extension of the line was undertaken in 1749 
under the supervision of Joshua Fry, professor of mathe- 
matics in William and Mary College, and Peter Jefferson, 
on the part of Virginia, and Daniel Weldon and William 
Churton on the part of North Carolina. Without disagree- 
ment the line was extended from Peter's Creek 88 miles 
to a point on Steep Rock Creek, in all 329 miles from the 
coast. 

Of the next effort to continue westward the boundary 
line between the two provinces Garrett makes no maition. 
In 1771, after the negotiation of the Treaty of Lochaber, 
a line marking the eastern boundary of the Cherokee coun- 
try had been run by Colonel John Donelson.* In the early 
map, of which mention is made hereafter, Daniel Smith 
makes an attempt to trace this line. Either then or later, 
but at some time before March, 1775, Colonel Donelson, 
acting on the authority of Virginia, also extended som^e- 
what the line between North Carolina and Virginia. This 
is attested by a proclamation of Lord Dunmore, in which 
he warned all persons to endeavor to prevent the evil de- 
signs of Richard Henderson.* Upon this information of 
Dunmore's the governor of North Carolina caustically re- 
marked that the survey was "an ex parte proceeding not 
authorized by His Majesty's Royal instructions to the gov- 

5. Vol. 6 (January, 1901), pp. 18*39. 

6. Thwaites, R. G., and Kellogg, L. P., Documentary History of Dunmore's 
War (1905), pp. 5, note, 12a, 239; mywood, John, The Civil and Political History of 
Tennessee (Reprint of 1891), pp. 504, 516. This edition of Haywood is cited throtigh- 
out. 

7. Dunmore's War, map facing p. 30. 

8. Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 9, p. 1169. A photographic repro- 
duction of a printed broadside of this proclamation is published by Archibald Hen- 
derson in Neale's Monthly, Vol. 1 (January, i9>3)f P« 74. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 43 

emors of the two provinces."* As will be seen from Daniel 
Smith's Journal, he was well aware of this line and began 
his official work with an effort to locate it.^® Haywood, it 
may be noted, refers to a line run experimentally in 1771 
by Anthony Bledsoe, as far west as Beaver Creek, by 
which the settlers of northeast Tennessee discovered that 
they would fall into the state of North Carolina upon the 
extension of the boundary line." Of this survey of Bledsoe 
we have thus far found no contemporary evidence. 

In 1777, as a result of the purchases of land made from 
the Indians at the Treaty of Holston, to which we have re- 
ferred above, it became manifest to the commissioners of 
the two states that it would be desirable to extend still 
farther westward the boundary line between Virginia and 
North Carolina." Consequently in October, 1778, the As- 
sembly of Virginia and, a little later, the Assembly of North 
Carolina, passed acts very similar in their provisions to 
extend and mark the boundary." The Virginia Act pro- 
vided that two commissioners should be elected on joint 
ballot by the Assembly, and Dr. Thomas Walker and James 
Madison were chosen. Madison later declined, and Daniel 
Smith was appointed in his stead. By the North Carolina 
Act five commissioners were named for that state, as fol- 
lows: Orandatus Davis, John Williams, Caswell James 
Kerr, William Bailey Smith, and Richard Henderson, any 
three of whom might serve. By both laws the commission- 
ers were authorized to employ surveyors and assistants, and 
were provided with an armed guard for their protection. 
Over the guard and the details of the equipment there was 

9. Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 9, pp. 1243-1244. Probably a part 
of this line is referred to in the "Path Deed" of Henderson^s "Purchase," Hay- 
wood, p. 30. 

xo. Below, p. 48. 

11. Haywood, p. 54. 

12. State Records of North Carolina (hereafter cited as S. R. N. C), Vol. xx, 
pp. 566-568. In his History of Southwest Virginia (1903), Summers gives two 
specinc causes for the extension of the boundary line which differ somewhat both 
from each other and from the statement of the Cfommissioners who made the Treaty 
of Holston. From the records of Washington County Court in Virginia, Summers 
(p. 299) has taken an order of the court, for the arrest of William Cocke, latelv a 
representative of Washington County in the Virginia Assembly, on the ground that, 
in Carter's Valley, on September 30, 1779, Cocke had refused to pay taxes to a 
Virginia deputy sheriff because he was in Carolina and not in Virginia. It was as 
a result of this, says Summers, that the Virginia and North Carolina Assemblies in 
J 779 provided for the extension of the line. This is a sample of careless writing: 
for elsewhere (p. 698) Summers recognizes that the Commissioners to extend the boun- 
dary line had be«n appointed and had begun their work before the date of the Codce 
episode. Summers (pp. 695-696) gives another reason for the extension. In 1777 there 
was a disputed election between Anthony Bledsoe and William Cocke on the one 
hand and Arthur Campbell and William Edmiston on the other. The latter, the 
contestants, urged that the former, who had received a majority of the votes, had 
been elected by the citizens of North Carolina. Bledsoe, says Sununers, introdixced 
tiie boundary bill in the Virginia Assembly. 

X3. For the Virginia act. see Hening, W. W. (ed.), The Statutes at Large, 
Vd. 9 (x8dx), pp. 56X-565. For the act of North CaroUna, see S, R. N. C.» Vol. 24, 
pp. 300-302. 



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44 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

considerable correspondence between Richard Henderson 
and Governor Caswell of North Carolina.** 

Of the North Carolina commissioners who actually 
served,— John Williams, William Bailey Smith, and Richard 
Henderson, — ^the last named is, of course, the most cele- 
brated. Through his connection with the Transylvania 
Company and its famous Purchase of 1775, he was identified 
with the beginnings of Kentucky and Tennessee. As will 
appear below, his name appears frequently in the Journal 
of Daniel Smith. Dr. Thomas Walker, the senior commis- 
sioner of Virginia, was a veteran in the affairs of the west. 
At this time sixty-four years of age, he had for thirty or 
more years been interested in western lands. He was of 
a highly scientific turn of mind. His journal of his ex- 
ploiting tour in 1748 is one of the earliest narratives of 
western Virginia and Kentucky; and he it was who b^ 
stowed many of the place-names now so familiar to us. He 
had served in the French and Indian War, and had been the 
representative of Virginia in the negotiations which led to 
the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768. During the Revolution- 
ary period he was a member of the Virginia Committee of 
Safety and one of the Council of that State.^*^ 

After the commissioners of the two states had deter- 
mined a beginning point and had made some progress west- 
ward, there developed a lack of agreement between the 
commissioners of Virginia and those of North Carolina with ^ 
reference to the observations upon which the runnino: of the 
line must depend. As a result, "the two commissions sepa- 
rated, running parallel lines about two miles apart, the line 
of the Carolina commissioners, generally known as Hen- 
derson's Line, being north of the line of the Virginia com- 
missioners, commonly called Walker's Line. The Carolina 
commissioners continued their line as far as Cumberland 
Mountain. At this point they abandoned the work, after 
sending a letter of protest against Walker's Line. The 
Virginia commissioners continued to Tennessee River, leav- 
ing an unsurveyed gap from Deer Fork*' to the first or 
east crossing of Cumberland River, a distance which they 
estimated to be 109 miles."*^ To this concise summary of 
events Garrett adds an interesting discussion of the length, 
variation, and topography of the two lines, to which the 

14. S. R. N. C, Vol. 14. passim. See Index, Vol. 30, s. v. Virginia and North 
Carolina Boundary and Boundary Dispute. 

15. Sununers, L. P., History of Southwest Virginia, passim, Dunmore's Wor, 
p. 242, note. Johnston (ed.), First Explorations of Kentucky, Filson Club Publi- 
cations (1898). 

16. This should be Qcar Fork. Garrett follows Haywood in the error. 

17. Hening, Statutes, Vol. 9 (1821). pp. s^a-S^S. note. The Virginia report is 
reprinted in Haywood, pp. 487-489. and in Summers, pp. 699-702. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 46 

inquiring reader is referred. His article traces also the 
later history of the dispute between North Carolina and 
Virginia, of that between Tennessee and Virginia, and of 
that between Tennessee and Kentucky, all of which had 
to do with the line surveyed by Thomas Walker and Daniel 
Smith, 

Garrett's account of the dispute between the respective 
commissioners is based on the report made by Walker and 
Smith to the House of Delegates of Virginia, which is 
printed in Hening's Statutes. This report when compared 
with Daniel Smitii's Journal is found to derive much from 
the latter, though as a document to be presented to a legisla- 
tive body, it is, of course, much more elaborately phrased. 
But Henderson and his fellow commissioners also made a 
report to the Governor of North Carolina, which, within 
the last few years, has been printed in the State Records of 
North Carolina.^^ As this North Carolina report does not 
• appear to have been used by Garrett, or by any other writer 
on the subject, and as it is briefer tiian the Virginia report, 
it will be reprinted as an extended note to the Joumal^^ 
The stetement of the North Carolina commissioners differs 
widely, both in tone and in substance, from that of the Vir- 
ginians. Remembering Henderson's personal interest in 
western lands, and observing, the support given to the 
Virginia report by the contemporary private Journal of 
Daniel Smitii, one is inclined to accept the report of Walker 
and Smith as the more trustworthy statement of the facts. 
Daniel Smith, the writer of the Journal, was bom in 
Stofford County, Virginia, October 24, 1748, was educated 
at William and Mary College, and, like Washington, became 
a surveyor. He soon identified himself with the western 
settlements of Virginia, and in 1773 was appointed deputy 
surveyor of Augusto County. The outbreak of Lord Dun- 
more's War found him, together with Colonel William Pres- 
ton, actively engaged in the preparation for the defense 
of the frontier. In 1774 he prepared a map of the head- 
waters of the tributaries of the Tennessee River, or, as 
it was then called, the Holston, which is of great service in 
locating the creeks and rivers of the border land between 
southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. ^^ 

19. S. R, N. C, Vol. 14, pp. 353-355. 

30. Below, p. 48. 

31. A i-eproduction of this map is in Dunmore*s War facing p. 30. In this 
volume, also, are reprinted many letters of Daniel Smith written in i774* Daniel 
Smith for many years contintsed to make survejrs and to plot maps. The "Map of 
the Tennessee Government," in Imlay, G. Topographical Description of tho Wcsttm 
Territory of North America, bearing date of 1795, has the legend "taken chiefly fron 
■nnreys by Genel. D. Smith ft Others." 



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46 TENNESSEE HIST(»tICAL MAGAZINE 

Passing over the period immediately covered by the 
Journal we may remind the reader of the distinguished 
services of Daniel Smith in after years. In 1780 his fellow 
commissioner, Doctor Walker, heartily recommended him 
to the governor of Virginia for appointment, instead of 
Walker himself, as commissioner to settle and liquidate 
claims in the west." Within a few years Daniel Smith 
removed to the Cumberland region, with which he was 
thenceforth definitely associated. In 1788 he was appointed 
Brigadier-General of Mero District, and after filling several 
offices or positions of trust, in 1790 he received the im- 
portant appointment of Secretary of the Territory South 
of the Ohio. Much of his correspondence of this period, 
with Governor Blount, and with the Secretary of War and 
the Secretary of State, has been preserved. In 1794 he built 
"Rock Castle," a notable dwelling, which still exists in the 
possession of his descendants. In 1796 he served as a mem- 
ber of the constitutional convention of Tennessee. In 1798 
and again in 1805 he was a Senator of the United States 
from Tennessee. He died in 1818. A few years prior to 
his death the French traveler, Michaux, visited Rock Castle 
and left an interesting account of the venerable pioneer 
as he was in his comfortable old age." 

From the standpoint of subject matter, the Journal is 
valuable, first, for the light it throws upon the topography 
of the Tennessee-Cumberland region in 1779-1780. In the 
notes, the editor has made no effort to identify all the places 
mentioned, but has been content to select those of most 
importance for the understanding of the route and for the 
chronology of the commissioners' journey. The student of 
local history, however, will be interested in the further iden- 
tification of the places named by Daniel Smith. 

In Smith's Journal and in the report of Walker and 
Smith to the Virginia Assembly references are made to a 
map drav^rn to show the boundary line and the river courses 
as explored and surveyed by the Commissioners. In the 
Draper Mss. what is evidently a portion of a draft or copy 
of this map has been preserved, and it has been attempted 
to reproduce this by photostat process to accompany the 
Journal. Unfortunately it has not proved possible to re- 
produce the lettering with distinctness ; and only a portion 
of the line, — from Blackwater Creek to the "Barrens", — is 

22. Palmer, Wm. P., ed., Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. a, pp. 29^-299* 

23. Cf. Thwaitcs* Early Western Travels, Vol. 3, pp. 255-256; Dunmore's War, 
passim, and especially pp. 3-4, note. In the American Historical Magazine, Vol. 6, 
(1901), pp. 213 ff, will be found some interesting Papers of Gen. Daniel SnUik 
preceded by a biographical sketch from which have been taken some of the facts 
given above. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 47 

showiL This, however, is an important part, as it shows 
something of both the first and second sections of the line 
surveyed. 

Furthermore the Journal gives a vivid picture of the 
hardships that confronted the pioneer surveyors of the 
"western waters/' Cold, hunger, Indians, — all these were 
added to the natural difficulties of the wilderness. From a 
political standpoint the latter part of the Journal puts the 
reader in touch with the statesmanship of Virginia in the 
reaching out of that state for control of the Mississippi 
Valley. Finally, as has been indicated above, the work of 
Smith, together with his colleague Walker, was one of last- 
ing importance in the determination of the territorial limits 
of four of the American commonwealths. 

The original manuscripts of Daniel Smith's Journal and 
Map are among the Draper Manuscripts in the possession 
of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, which has 
kindly consented to the printing of the Journal and to the 
reproduction of the Map by the Tennessee Historical 
Magazine. The manuscript of the Journal is numbered 46 
J 18. The following description is given by Miss Nunns, 
Assistant Superintendent of the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin, to whom we are indebted for the careful colla- 
tion of our press copy with the original : "The document 
consists of nineteen (19) very closely written pages QVhx 
7%. The writing is in ink, a good hand, and aside from the 
first page the edges of the leaves are not greatly worn. 
Doctor Draper had put this diary in board covers, giving it 
title, and the manuscript itself does not give name of author. 
Doctor Draper added a five-page table of contents."^* 

The map is no. 7ZZ51 of the Draper Mss. The size is 
8.25x28 inches. Miss Nunns informs us that the map does 
not bear the name of General Daniel Smith, but that the 
handwriting of the lettering on the map and that of the 
Journal is apparently the same. On the reverse is the en- 
dorsement, "Plan of the Line betw [torn] Virginia & North 
Carolina [torn] with Cumberland River [torn]. 

Finally, for the possibility of thus publishing the Journal 
of Daniel Smith, we wish on behalf of the Tennessee His- 
torical Society and the Magazine to express our obligation 
to Miss Sarah Crosby Berry, of Hazel Path, Henderson- 
ville, Tennessee, a descendant of General Smith, who has 
kindly put at our disposal her transcript of the Journal 
made for her own use, and has in other ways facilitated the 
present publication. g^ ^^^^ ^ ^^^^^^ 

24, Letter to the editor, Madison, Wis., March, 19x5. 



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48 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 



Journal of General Daniel Smith, Aug. 1779, to July, 1780, 
Running Line Between North Carolina and Virginia — 
Termeaeee and Kentucky. ^^ 



Saturday Augt. 14th 1779. Having for a few days been making ready 
to go out with the Commissioners of the Line between this [state] and 
North Carolina as a Surveyor of the same according to my former agree- 
ment with Dor. Walker, this day I sat off and reached the Elk-Garden " 

Sunday 15th. Got to Capt. Dysarts where I met with Dor. Walker 
who acquainted me that I was appointed a Commissioner in the Room 
of Mr. Jas. Madison." 

Monday i6th. got my Ball & Socket mended at Andw. Kinkennon's. 

Tuesday 17th. went to Court, and lodged at Mr. Willoughby's. 

Wednesday i8th. Went to John Keys's on the Laurel Fork," being 
the nearest house to our place of beginning that we knew of. 

Thursday 19th. Rain last night, and to day — rais'd the River so that 
we could not travel till M. 

Monday 23rd. moved to a Camp on Col. Donel son's Line" about 7 
miles west of the white topp'd mountain." 

Tuesday 24th. Having from some accounts of late together with 
Col. Fry's and Jefferson's map of the line, got an opinion that Col. 
Donelson did not begin where Fry & Jefferson left off to day I went 
towards Donelson's beginning to endeavor to trace up the old line taking 
with me Jas. Michie one of the Surveyors. When I got within about a 
mile of the same found the old line and began to trace it up. lay in the 
Mountain which divides New River waters from Holston. 

Wednesday 25th. got back to camp. 

Thursday 26th. this morning the distance Col. Donelson's line was 
south of the old one was measured along a line making a right angle 
with the old one — ^52 poles. The course of the old line by Compass 
not allowing for Variation was N 88** 30' W. the distance was measured 
along a course S i** 30' W. This day we moved to Toole/s river and 
encamp'd just above the little flag meadow, south of the line about a mile. 

Friday 27th. moved to a Waste Cabin on Steep Rock Cr.~ about 

25. Title affixed to the Ms. by Dr. L^rman C. Draper. The original document 
is characterized by a frequent use of superior letters, especially in the abbreviations. 
In the printed text these superior letters have been made uniform with the rest 

26. In 1774 Daniel Smith was living upon Indian Creek, an affluent of Maiden 
Spring fork of Clinch River. Duntnore's War. page 30, note, and map. The Journal 
does not state from which point Smith sUrtcd m 1779, but the reference to the Elk 
(^den, which appears on Smith's map of 1774 only a few miles from Indian Creek, 
makes it very probable that his residence was the same is in 1774. The Elk Garden 
was a fort on Cedar Creek which flows into the Oinch. 

27. Probably the James Madison who was later bishop. He was a cousin of 
the statesman and president. 

a8. A branch of the south fork of the Holston. 

29. Above, p. 4a. 

30. At the southeast of the present Washington County, Va., Haywood, p. 54. 
8a3r8: "Early in 1772 the Colony of Virginia held a treaty with die Cherokees, and 
•greed upon a boundary between them to run west from the White Top Mountain in 
latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes." For this treaty we have found no contemporary 
evidence. 

31. The creek to which Fry and Jefferson had earned the line. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 49 

three quarters of a mile North of the place where the line would strike 
out 

Saturday 28th. This morning Mr. Michie came to camp with out 
ever having seen the line since he parted from us yesterday altho' be 
had carefully continued the same course. 

Sunday 29th. a Number of us went and searched about the creek 
near the place Mr. Michie struck it for the line and could not find it, 
altho the place seemed by the Indian Camp &c to be the place where the 
old line struck it. 

Monday 30th. this evening went to the top of a mountain, eastward 
to adjust the Quadrant and take the Variation of the needle — ^it look'd 
likely for rain, and I came back to camp. Rain all night 

Tuesday 31st lay still waiting for the Carolina CommissicHiers. 

Wednesday ist Sept This morning Major Wm. Bailey Smith a 
Commissioner from Carolina came to our Camp, and this evening Col 
John Williams and Col. Richard Henderson the other Commissioners 
joined. 

Thursday 2d. Sept. Proposed to the Carolina Gent to go back to 
where we knew the old line was and trace it up. They said they would 
give us an answer next morning. 

Friday 3d. They told us that as to keep in Latitude 36' 30" (sic) 
was the main object, thought it better to go and search for the line, 
there take the Latitude if we found it, if right to fun the west line at that 
place, if we could not Rnd it, it would be best to go to some mountain 
proper for Observation and by that run from the place of observation 
North or South till we were right, this was agreed to. 

Saturday 4th. Went to the Top of a Mountain south westerly from 
our camp about 6 miles. 

Sunday 5th. Observed by my instrument the Sun's meridian altitude 
to be 60" 14. after making the proper deduction &c. for refraction. Declina- 
tion &c the latitude we were in was 36* 31' 25*. 

Monday 6th. To day the Sun's Meridian altitude was by my Instru- 
ment 59** 52^ which made the latitude exactly the same with yesterday 
their Instrument likewise agreed with ours, therefore we were agreed 
we were i' 25" north of the line which when we reduced into superficial 
measure we made i mile 201 poles and an half, we agreed that we were 
here in longitude 81** 12' West of London. That Cape Henry was 
75** 27' 20" West of London, that Curratuck Inlet was 75** 30' West of 
London. That in superficial measure we were at steep rock creek 329 
miles west of Curratuck Inlet, we made an abatement for mountainous 
grounds and uneven measure of 12 miles to this place or that we were 
317 miles west of curratuck Inlet, and settled the difference of longitude 
between Curratuck Inlet and this place to be 5* 42' a degree of longitude 
in this Latitude 48.23 Ge : miles or of Statute miles 55 & 1083 Yards." 

This evening by a magnetic line 52** 30' E. the above distance of i 
mile and 201 1-2 poles was measured. 

Tuesday 7th. 14 poles more than the i mile & 201 1-2 po. was measured 
on the South line from that place we began the marked line by running 
N 88 E on their Compass to steep rock cr. 2 po. thence from the place 
we first began to measure on their Compass S88W [blank in Ms.] pa 
to the top of .a spur, here Col. Henderson and my Self went to them 
having settled the Bar: at 3 degrees East on my Compass & 2 1-2* on 
theirs, and directed the surveyors to make this allowance. Vid. plat of 
Steep Rock Cr. for the place of Begg." 

32. These sentences are substantially repeated in the Virginia Commissioners' 
report. Above, p. 44, note 17. 

33. This may refer to some special plat, but more probably this and a later 
reference to a "plat*' are to be considered as referring to tue map. 



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90 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Wednesday 8th. The Latitude being settled, and the Surveyors set 
properly .to [work] it was thought I might go home for a few days with- 
out Injury to the Service, and I accordingly sat off. Lay this night at 
Mr. Logans — ^lost my Horse, but got home on Thursday on a Borrowed 
one which I retumd on Saturday. Sta/d at Home till 

Monday 13th. Sat off in the rain, lay at T. Price's. Tuesday 14th. 
North fork H[igh] but got across it and lay at Mr. Finleys, Wednesday 
15th. got to the Surv^ors about one o'clock where I was informed tht 
Qirc^ina Gentlemen had conceived an Opinion we were too far to the 
sooth of the true L[at]. Much Cloudy weather this week. After many 
Observations, we concluded we were right, and I sat off Wednesday 22d 
for the Island** where I had reascm to believe Dor. Walker was waiting 
with as much impatience with a Party of the Cherokee Indians as I had 
been the last week. Lay at Cornelius Carmacks. Thursday 23d. lay at 
Col. Shelbys who promised to go to the Island with me next day. 24th 
Sept Fri^y. Got to the Island. Met with Capt. Masten in my Way 
there at Major Bledsoe's** — At the Island Dor. Walker informed me that 
this day he & Major W. Smith had given the Indians the following Talk. 
[Blank page in Ms.] 

Saturday Sept. 25th. The Old Tasseir replied as follows : 

Now I am come to the place appointed by my beloved Man to listen 
to the Talks of the beloved Men of Virginia — Here are both the Conuniss. 
I speak to (meaning the Commiss. of both States) now we are on the 
beloved seats you shall hear what I have to say. These are the beloved 
seats where we've held the good Talks and saved the lives of so many of 
our people on both sides, tis now three Days (meaning years) since these 
good Talks were first held. When we first came from Chota" the way 
was very dark and troublesome but it was lies and bad people that oc- 
casioned it to be so, and caused trotible between us like wading thro' blood 
it was when I open'd the Way, and the Doors of Peace and brightned the 
Chain of friendship between us and our elder brothers. I am the man that 
open'd the Doors of Peace when they were fast shut that caused the light 
to shine from each one to the other, and ours and our elder brothers 
people to remain in peace. I've only been talking of the Peace between 
us and our friend and elder brother that sits here (meaning Col. Shelby)" 
who was one of the appointed Commissioners at that time, as they both 
must remember well that everything which passed before that being bad 
was thrown away not to be brought into remembrance any more, insomuch 
that where the dead men lay they were buried so deep that large trees 
, had grown out of their graves — That the beloved Man of Virginia and 
him of (Thota talked together, stretch'd the chain of friendship from 
Virga. to Chota, and appointed Commissioners that if any rust should 
get thereon, they and the beloved men from Chota might brighten it so 
that as their children came to any knowledge of things it might be a gi- * 

34. The Long Island of Holston, famous as the place for "Peace-talks" with tae 
Cherokees. 

«. Anthony Bledsoe, 1733-1788, in 1771-1778 a member of the Virginia As- 
aembnr. He settled at Bledsoe's Lick upon the Cumberland in 1784. See below. 

30. The Old Tassel, or Aayetaeh, of Toquoe, was one of the signers, on the 
part of the Overhill Cherokees, of the treaty known as Avery's Treaty, made at 
the Long Island of Holston, July 20, 1777. An account of his speeches during the 
negotiation of that treaty is in Hajrwood, pp. 505-512. Numerous references to him 
appear in the f^orth Carolina State Records. See Index, Vol. 29, p. 237, s. ▼. "Old 
Tassel." During the troubles connected with the State of Franklin the Old Tassel 
was killed under circumstances of great cruelty. This was in 1788. S, R. N. C, 
Vol. 22, pp. 605-696. Haywood, pp. 195-196. 

37. A "city of refuge" of the Cherokees on Tellico River five miles above old 
Fort Loudon, Ramsey, J. G. M., Annals of Tennessee (1853), p. 85. 

38. Evan Shelby, i7<o-i826. The reference here and again below is to th« 
Treaty of Holston, in i77^> above, p. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 51 

to them and had in remembrance for ages yet to come, and as for my own 
part I will always be assisting in keeping this chain bright. I speak to 
the Commissioners of both States — I often times talk from home that tile 
Governor of N. C. may hear me, but I believe what I say never reaches 
his Ears. I as often speak to the Gov. of Virginia who I believe hears, 
and 1 hope both will hear what I've now said 

A Stnng to the Com: of both States. 

You spake to me yesterday concerning the dividing Line between yon 
which you left me to consider on till to day. .1 do not know how far you 
mean to extend it My hunting grounds and my Lands reaches to Cum- 
berland river — You have your hvings at your Doors, tis not the Case with 
me, I am obliged to slave hard and go 31 great way to get a support for 
myself and children, my hunting grounds extends to the Cumberland 
River, quite to the mouth of it on the south side, which is but a Httle 
place to support so great a number of people as are in my nation. I men- 
tion my people as I expect some of them are on their way for Cumber- 
land there to make their Hunt, I am uneasy to get home to prevent any 
more from going, for if the line is extended thro' that Country you must 
fall in with some of them— moreover if it should pass thro' there and 
cut off any part of our huntg grounds 'twill make me begin to think of 
wiiat I was told some years ago by the Kings people i. e. if our elder 
brothers here overcome them, they would at last take all our hunting 
grounds and bring us to nothing. But I hope this will not be the case, 
and that our elder brothers will have more compassion for us. Last 
Spring Hanging Man was sent by the great Warrior of Chota and talk'd 
with Col. Shelby and Major Martin concerning goods, which I understand 
by what he told me on his return they wou-ld use their best endeavours 
to supply us with — now you see the necessity we are in, jrou see we are 
almost naked, and [tis only by holding our elder brother by the hand. We 
hope you will consider us and try to send us a supply as soon as Possible. 
I speak this to both States. Our concerns with N. C. has always been 
respecting Lands, we have never seen any supplies from them yet, but I 
hope the concerns of Lands will sopn be at an end, then we expect they 
will consider us and send us some Cloathing as well as the other States — 
They by their Commissioners, moved the beloved seats from over the 
river to this place, here they kindled the beloved fire, and reserved the 
wood, the grass and the earth of this Island for our purpose, to hold 
good talks upon with our elder brothers, now I hear there is some man 
lays claim to it, altho the beloved men of the two States have reserved it 
for us. I speak to the Com, of both States 'tis 3 days since we held the 
good talks at this Place, and then with the Comm: of N. C. we fixed a 
boundary between us and their people which was to begin on this river 
where the Virga. line did and run thence by the Chimney Top to the 
**'^ of Camp Cr. on Nonachucka. Mr. English is settled over that 
on a good place which we are not much offended at as we believe 
h*j#i to be a good man, but a great many others are settled far beyond 
him which must of course know they are over the line. Car : has gained 
a great deal of ground of us for which we have never reed, any satis- 
faction no not even so much as trade. The great men in Car: seem to 
hold everything very fast in their hands, they are always getting what they 
can, and lets nothing go, neither guns goods nor ammunition. 

A String to both Commissioners. 

Sunday 26th. Col. Henderson made a speech which they did not seem 
to like very well. 

Monday 27th. Sept. We Spake to them as follows : 

Brothers, Chiefs and warriors of the Cherokee nation. 

We are very glad to meet you our brothers and friends at this place 



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62 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

where we before have had so many good talks to smoke the pipe of peace 
together and keep that chain of friendship clear from every speck of rust 
wluch we ourselves and we hope our children for ages yet to come shall 
feel the good effects of. 

But it gives us some concern to find that our Intention in the running 
the dividing line should be look'd upon by you as a matter that will be 
to your prejudice, as we have no intention of doing any thing with you our 
brothers but what will have a tendency to brighten the great chain of 
friendship which we have fast hold of much less to do any thing which is 
a real injury to you. As we did not conceive that this line would be any- 
wise prejudicial to you so our only reason for acquainting you therewith 
was lest reports by evil minded persons should be carried to you misrepre- 
senting the matter as the best intentions have sometimes been so construed. 
Now brothers we beg of you to listen well to what we are going to say. 
You told us the other day that our living was at our doors, but you had 
far to go and slave hard to support your people, we would recommend 
it to you to live as we do and only hunU for meat and skins to make you 
moccasons, raise com and Cattle horsey and hogs and sell them to cloath 
your wives and Children which you will find much surer and easier than 
your present manner of life. 

We are sorry to see and hear your people are so naked, the great men 
of Virga. ordered Clothes for you from the IHenois which we expected 
would soon be here but we are told the people of Chickamogga and 
Chickasaws will not let them come up this river, therefore we shall write 
to the great men by Your Shelby and your brother martin" will speak 
to them to send you goods from Virga. we are sorry the goods are not 
here to give you some clothes to return to your towns with but the fault 
is in your enemies therefore hope you will not blame us as we are not 
in fault 

You told us you hoped Virga. would not take away your Land, we can 
Assure you Virga. will not take any Land that you have a right to. Your 
beloved Island on which we now stand Virga. had secured to you by law 
if it fallen in that State and we make no doubt as it falls into Carolina but 
the great men there will reserve it for you. Hold fast the chain of friend- 
ship with Virga. and the Virginians will never let it slip out of their hands. 
The people over the water we believe will soon make peace with us and 
then we shall be able to give you a plentiful trade. 

As a Token &c. we give you this String of Wampum. 

Tuesday 28th Sept. moved to the Camp at the millstone Quarry about 
200 Yds. in Virg. 

Wednesday 29th. took Latitude we believe the line is about half a mile 
too far North, corroborated by another Observ. 

Thursday 30th. lay still waiting for the Car :*• who were not ready with 
their Provisions. 

Friday ist Oct. Rain — but sat off in it to go to the Carolinians, only 
got to the Surveyors Camp on the S. E. side of the north fork of Holston. 

Saturday 2d. Octr. Being conscious from what information we had 
obtained that a Sufficient Guard could not be had on the Virga. Side, for 
the pay allowd by Law, because the Carolinians gave at least seventimes 
as much Pay, and being further informed that if we would make a requisi- 
tion of men from the Caro : Com : they would furnish them, and put them 
under the Virga. Commander only leaving the matter to the two Assemf> 
blies to settle, this day we made the demands of fifty men on the Said 
Terms, moved down Carters Valley** and encamp'd about 2 m. east of 
a fort. 

39. Joseph Martin, Indian Agent of Virginia. 

40. Carolinians. 

41. North of the Holston and west of the north fork of that river. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 53 

Sunday 3d Oct. lay sdU. Monday 4th. Do. 

By Observations at this Canip made till Sunday loth. it was made out 
by Mr. Burton and Mr. Guthrie* we were 2' 10" too far south, and mon- 
day nth. we b^^an to measure off the distance on a north Course, we 
had also observed that the Var: was lessend which possibly might have 
caused the error. Tuesday 12th. Rain — ^lay all night on a branch of 
Possum Cr. — Wednesday 13th. began to run back the East Course in com- 
pany with CoL Williams while Dor. Walker and Col. Henderson run on 
West. — lay on a spring branch 2 miles & about a Quarter East of the 
termination of the N, line. 

Thursday 14th. got to where the Kentucky Waggon Road** cross'd 
the North fork of Holston, did not find the Surveyor to night. 

Friday 15th. Went to the Block House — The Surveyor came there 
about i"*. Clock, then went to a branch about i 1-2 miles eastwardly from 
Block House & lay all night 

Saturday i6th. While the Line kept on took the Latitude on a Knob 
about 1-4 m. south of the Line. The Double alt of Sun 89** o' 30". got 
to Abm. Bledsoes.** 

Sunday 17th. Observ'd again at Abm. Bledsoes. here we were in 
Lat 36** 31' 40" N. 

Monday i8th. Observed in Robts. mill pond dble. Alt 87** 3j5'. Major 
Smiths was 87** 42'. This Place is 600 or 700 Yds. in Carolina by the 
first line and my observation nearly proved the sd. line right 

igth. on a knob about 1-4 mile South of the new line observ'd again 
dble Alt 86** 46'. Major Smith's 87** 12'. 

20th. in a Plantation about 1-4 mile North of the line observ'd again 
dble Alt. 86° 3' 30". Major Smiths 86** 14". Went to Major Bledsoe's. 

21 St took the Lat here Dble alt 85** 23'. 

22d. Measured the Distance the two lines were apart it was 838 po. 

23d. Rain all day. lay still. 

24th. took the Lat. again— Dble. Alt 83** if. here I was about 1-2 mile 
North of the first Line. All these Observations made out that the new 
line was wrong and that the old one was nearly right And I came to this 
Conclusion, that either I did not see as others usually do, or that the first 

43. The North Carolina surveyors. Here arose the dispute as to the latitude. 
In tiieir report to the Virginia Assembly, Walker and Smith said: "After running 
the line as far as Carter's Valley 45 miles west of Steep Rock Creek the Carolina 
gentleman conceived the tine was farther south than it ought to be, and on trial, it 
was found that the variation of the needle had altered a little, which must have 
happened very lately, and was owing, we believe, to our being just then near some 
iron ore; be<»use on observing the sun's meridian altitude the line was not too far 
south. As the Carolina gentlemen, by their observations, made out other ways, thc^ 
proposed that the surveyors, on each side, should observe and fix the latitude. This 
was agreed to by one of us, influenced by a knowledge of a small change of the 
variation, and was not dissented to by the other, as most of the observations on the 
part of Virginia had been made bjr him. But quite contrary to our expectations, they 
agreed we were more than two miles too far south of the proper latitude, which dis- 
tance was measured off directly north, and the line ran eastward from that place 
superintended by two of the Carolina gentlemen, and one of us, while from the same 
place it was continued westwardly, superintended by the others for the sake of ex- 
pediting the business. The instruments proper for ascertaining the latitude were 
mostly taken back on the eastern part of the line, in order that those who super- 
intended it, might be farther satisfied: but after going back more than twenty miles, 
and observing every dav on this line, his judgment was unalterably fixed that this line 
was wrong, although the Carolina gentlemen could not seem to be of this opinion, 
and he returned and overtook his colleague on the western part of the line on Black 
Water Creek or thereabouts, to whom he imparted his sentiments, proposing that he 
also should observe for some days — which he did. The result was that we concluded 
our first line was right, and we brought it up accordingly from Carter's Valley, 
where it had been left, and continued on with it to the westward. 

43. For a careful study of the Kentucky or "Wilderness" Road, the "traces" 
which preceded it, and the topography of this region, see Verhoeff, M., The Kentucky 
Mountains, Vol. i, chapters a, 3 (Pilson Club Publication, No. 26, 1911). 

44. Brother of Anthony. 



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54 TENNESSES: HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

line was right. I found there was no dependence to be placed in Major 
Smith's Observations, who as will appear above frequently made us from 
4 to 8 or 9 miles off the Line. I resolved therefore to go back to Mr. 
W^er let him take the Lat If his Observ. made the new line right, I 
would be convinced I did not see like other people. If on the Contrary 
they should agree with mine I would be for correcting the line. Got this 
night to Abm. Bledsoes. 

Mond. 25th, Went by Col. Hendersoil's Camp in Carters Valley, de- 
livered him his Quadrant which had been entrusted to my Care, and which 
I had forgot to mention, I had discovered at Major Bledsoes to make the 
Sun's Alt. less than ours, told him I could not make an observation to 
prove the last line right, on the Contrary, they always proved the first to 
be so. This he said he was surprised at. Lay at John Loonys. 

Tuesday 26th. Overtook Dor. Walker on the North fork of Clinch, 
told him my Sentiments. 

Wednesday 27th. Dor. Walker took the Lat. we were 50 scants [sec- 
onds?] in Virga. altho' considerably south of the Line, lost Horses, could 
not travel till 

Thursday 28th. got to a Lick on Black Water. 

Friday 29th. Saturday 20th [30th] and Sunday 31st. all these days 
Dor. Walker observd and his observations made us at the least 42 seconds 
in Virga. this was the lowest observ the highest i' 20" altho near a mile 
south of the line, wrote to Col. Henderson who had not yet joined us 
that we were satisfied the first line was right and that if his observ. had 
been the same with ours to have it brought up. 

Monday ist Novem. this afternoon Col. Henderson came to us. 

Tuesday 2d. Dor. Walker & Col. Henderson went to the top of the 
Knob— and observed. 

Wednesday 3d Nov. Dor. Walker observed with their Instrument on 
the line which he made 4 miles too far north. 

Thursday 4th. Sent off Mr. Michie to bring up the first line. 

Mr. Burton observed with their Instrument and nearly agreed with 
Dor. Walker. 

Friday 5th. Mr. Burton & Mr. Guthrie observed as they did in Carters 
Valley, look'd at Mr. Gs Instrument, and found what I suspected that the 
reflection sun was too low. began to measure off the Distance south- 
wardly to keep on the line. 

Saturday 6th. finished measuring the line to the South, and started 
Capt. Burton from the 69 mile tree agreed to meet him near Cum : Gap.* 
then crossed Powells moimt** went by our Camp and lay at the Car. 

45. Cumberland Gap. 

46. Powell's Mountain and Pawell's River, the ridge and the tributary of the 
Clinch just east of Cumberland Mountain. 

It seems proper here to introduce the letter written to Governor Caswell, of 
North Carolina, by Henderson and the other North Carolina Commissioners, to which 
reference was made in the introduction. It will be noted that Henderson states that 
the two Commissions were agreed until they reached Powell's Mountain, sixty-seven 
miles from the beginning, whereas Smith and Walker refer the disagreement to 
Carter's Valley, forty-five miles from the start. The letter is found in the State 
Records of North Carolina, Vol. 14, pp. 353-355» and is as follows: 

CuMBKKLAND Gap, 17th November, i779- 
Sib: 

The great expense of preparations for Extending the boundary line between this 
State and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the trouble we have been obliged to 
give your Excellency on that occasion, might have induced a reasonable hope that 
the business by this time was nearly compleated. It would afford us great pleasure 
if that was the case. So far has our attempt failed of success that we are doubtful 
very little, if any, benefit will be derived to our State from the attempt of the 
Commissioners to perform the duty enjoined by the General Assembly. We met 
the Gentn. appointed from Virginia and began the extension to the Westward on 
the Seventh ot September, and after many inevitable delays for various reasons, we* 
"n the first of November, had carried it on Sixty-seven miles and some Chains, by 



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NOTE: — The map is drawn from the view point of Virginia, and m 
of the Cumberland River and the boundary line from the left to the right 
South instead of the North, and North Carolina appears above Virginia. 

As suggested in the introduction, this is but a portion of the map t 
the h'ne from Steep Rock Creek to the Clinch, is missing, as is also the 
"Barrens" westward to the Cumberland and the Tennessee. Most of the 

as pmntvincr intn tViP PiiTwKprlnnH nr#» m/»r»fi/\wA/1 it* tViA fAvt />f tVn^ Tnt 



S5., 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 56 

Sunday 7th. Went back to our Camp on bus.** returned & lay on 
Powells River. 

Monday 8th. Col. Henderson proposed sending his Brothers or Capt. 
Hardin Co. we told him any that would do the duty we would be satisfied 
with lay about 3 miles west of Martins. 

Tuc^ay 9th. Got to a branch about 2 miles E of Cum: Gap. 

Wednesday — Made us a large Sextant to observe with. 

Thursday nth. lay still.. Surveyors not come yet. Capt. Hardin's 
Company Joind us. 

Friday 12th. Mr. Michie came to us. Our observ. at this place were 
that we were 2 miles in Virga. Capt. Burton came to us this evening. 

Saturday 13th. Got Mr. Anderson to act as surveyor, moved over Cum. 
mount lay on flat Cr. 

the unanimous consent of the Commissioners, which brought us to the foot of 
Powell's Mountain, when the gentlemen from Virginia alleged that the line was. 
tnr their observation, too far North; that the Error was from the beginning, and 
that they would not agree to report it as a boundary. On our part we could not 
agree to an alteration to the South, when by repeated tnral we were fully persuaded 
the line was right, excepting a few seconds to the North. Under these circum- 
stances their proposal of moving two miles and ten seconds to the south was inad- 
missable. 

With this state of the case. Your Excellency would naturally suppose all pro- 
ceedings would stop till the difference in opinion could, by some means, be recon- 
ciled. The Gentlemen on the other side observed a different line of conduct, without 
an offer of that kind. They informed us that they cou'd not agree to report the line 
as it stood, and wou'd make an offset of the distance Mentioned, and Mark a line 
at that distance from the one Extended, as well back as forward, and leave the matter 
to be decided thereafter by artists from both states. Remonstrances against such a 
proceeding were ineffectual; they immediately proceeded, and went on with their line 
to the East and West at the same time by different Surveyors. As the Land Office 
for each State was open as far as Cumberland Mountain, we ventured to extend the 
line due West from the End of that run by unanimous consent to this place, as it 
was not far and could be done without much Accumulation of Expence, and not 
without some hope of reconciling the difference of opinion. With respect to an 
accommodation we were greatly deceived; the Commissioners were Resolved to go on. 
without regard to our opinion or protest against the measure, and we hope to be 
excused by the General Assembly for continuing the Guard, &c., a few davs in extend- 
ing the line to the top of this Mountain, making in the whole a line of One Hundred 
Mues in length. Sixty-seven of which was, as before observed, done by the entire 
consent and approbation of Doctor Thomas Walker and Major Daniel Smith, the 
Virginia Commissioners. 

When all hopes of agreeing as to the true latitude were lost, and the partial 
line run by those Gentlemen carried on, with an express declaration of persisting in 
the measure, we thought ourselves bound to dismiss the Escort, stop our proceeding 
and report the case to the General Assembly. We wish to add, on this subject, that 
we have the utmost confidence that the line run by us is as nearlv in the latitude of 
Thirty-six Degrees and Twenty [sic] minutes North as 'tis possible to place it with 
the Instruments in our possession, and that we have procured the best in our power; 
we have also at times had access to the Ch>*<Irant made use of bv the Virginians, 
by which, as well as ours, we are confirmed in the opinion. The difference of Two 
Minutes and Ten seconds of Latitude in making observations with the same Instru- 
ments cannot be accounted for; but the fBct is so, and we have only to lament being 
concerned in this business. We accept this without . . . the service expected. 
The very great expence of this effort wotild have made us yield to anything but a *v 

surrender of our integrity, to have established a boundary, and of course prevented 
the necessity of sending others to perform what we have failed to do. Aa we are 
about to separate, perhaps not to meet again till next spring or stimmer, thought it 
advisable to join in a report to 3rour Excellency of this abortive undertddng. We 
shall, at all times, separated or together, be willing and ready to give any furtlMT 
or other information, as to the particulars of our transaction, and furnish a Draught 
of our Line. 1 

We, Sir, are, with great respect, I 

Your Excellency's most Obdt. and very Hbl. Servts, ■ 

RiCR'd HlICDBftaOH, ' 

JpHW WIU.IAMI, 
WILUAM BaILBT SmFTH. 

His Excellency Richard Caswell, Esqr.. ftc. 

P. S. Herewith youni receive sundry Copies of Letters, a letter from the 
Virginia Commissioners, as to their requisition for fifty men, all of which your 
ExceHencr will please lay before the Gen. Assembly. 

47. Business (?). 



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56 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Sunday 14th. Lay still. Sent Capt. Bledsoe** to explore the G>untry. 

Monday 15th. Lat. 36"" 32' 50" N. Capt Bledsoe return'd. from his 
account concluded it best to go along the Kentucky road, march'd about 
4 miles lay on flat Cr. Capt. Anderson came to us in the night not 
having met with the Escort ^ent him in consequence of some Hunters 
having fallen in with and killed some Indians. 

Tuesday i6th. While we were on our march received an extraordinary 
Letter from the N. Carolina Commissioners, withdrawing Capt Hardin's 
Company from our Service and discharging him — ^lay in the south edge 
of the bottom just below the ford of the Cumberland. 

Wednesday 17th. Nov. Lay here till after 12. Took Lat which was 
36** 41' 58"— march'd on to a small Cr. about S. W. 

Tliursday i8th. March'd about S. W. 7 or 8 miles along a broken 
Valley at the foot of Stone mountn. encamp'd on a Cany Cr. 

Friday 19th. Held on our Course up to the Cr. & out at the head of it, 
fell on two other Branches which we kept up and out at their heads, lay 
on a Cr. that Ran directly into the clear fork about 4 or 5 miles from 
the mouth thereof. 

Saturday 20th. Got to the clear fork* and encamp'd on the N. E. bank 
just below the mouth of a small gut, about a mile above the mouth of 
the Cr. we came' down, a rocky clift being about 1-4 mile above us (on 
the other side of the river) which faced to the north. 

Sunday 21st This morning a party of Cherokee Indians and a White 
Man of the name of Springstone came to us, about i or 2 oclock Capt 
Anderson and his party all came safe to us. 

Monday 22d. Novr. Here a very mutinous spirit began to apear among 
the Guard owirw? to our continuing the line thro* such a mountainous 
desart and we thought it most Prudent to run' the line to the Clear Fork, 
then turn to the North into the Kentucky road and down the North side 
of Cumberland to the valuable Country and there proceed on with it. We 
began to pursue this plan the line strikes the clear fork about 1-2 mile 
above the mouth of the little Cr. in a canebrake on a Poplar & 2 Hack- 
berry trees marked with the initial letters of several names measuring 
from Steep Rock Cr. 123 3-4 miles'* this day after qiiittinsr the line went 
by the Indian Camp and got three of them to go along with us, lay on the 
E. side the river 7 or 8 m. Took the Lat. where the line strikes river tis 
36'30^ 

48. Isaac Bledsoe, brother of Anthony and Abram, himself well acquainted with 
western exploration. Haywood, pp. 91 ff. 

49. One of the headwaters of the Cumberland. 

50. The report of Walker and Smith continues: — "It was once after this 
proposed by us, and agrreed to by the Carolina Gentlemen, that as we differed so much 
in observation, we would each run his own line, encamp as near together as we 
could anl let future observers, hereafter to be appointed, aetermine which was right; 
which mi^fht be done at a small expense. But this they afterwards declined, altho' 
thev earned their line as far as Cumberland Mountains protesting against our line — 
This protest was received in a letter after we had crossed Cumberland Mountain. 
We continued, however, as far as the clear fork, being 123^ miles from Steep 
Rock Creek, marking a poplar and two hackberry trees with initials of our names 
and with November 22nd, i779f and had serious thoughts of going no further. But 
when we considered that, perhaps, three-fourths of the whole expense was already 
incurred, that a number of people were settling to the westward, who imagined they 
were in North Carolina, while we thought they were on the lands reserved for our 
officers and soldiers; — These, and some more of the like considerations, made us 
think it more condusive to the good of the State in General that we should keep on, 
than that we should return. But as the season was far advanced, and the country 
before us, as far as it was known, was very mountainous and barren, not yielding a 
sufficient quantity of cane for our pack horses, which for some time had been their 
principal support; these, among other reasons, made us judge it best to leave off 
running the line here, and go farther to the westward, into a better country, where 
by reason of many people being about to settle, it might be of importance to run 
the line speedily.*' 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 57 

Tuesday 23d. Cross'd the river travelled about 5 or six miles lay on 
W. Side. 

Wednesday 24th. Kept down river cross'd Cum : below the mo : of 
clear fork lay in the bottom on N. side. Cloudy & a little rain 5 or 6 miles. 

Thursday 25th. Cloudy, travelled across from the river to Indian Cr. 
then up, the Cr. N Easterly about 6 or 7 m. Snow to night. 

Friday 26th. lay still. aU day took lat tis 36** 47' 16". 

Saturday 27th. Nov. 1779. Removed from Indian Cr. N. E.ward 5 or 
6 miles and encamp'd on Lynn Camp Cr. a branch of Laurel River." 
Cloudy & like for rain to night 

Sunday 28th. Misty and some rain with thick Oouds. to day Capt. 
Craig's Company were to4d that in Consequence of what had been prom- 
ised them heretofore (especially at Clear fork) we now were ready to 
discharge part of them, or all above 15 Which at length they fumish'd 
us. rain to night 

Monday 29th. Rainy, lay still. Major Bledsoe was settling his Ac- 
counts. 

Tuesday 30th. To day Capt. Craig, and sundry of his men, and also 
the Surgeon left us. — Rainy. 

Wednesday ist Deer. Cloudy travelled N. E. about 5 miles encamp'd 
on another branch of Lynn Camp Cr. — 

Thursday 2d Deer. Windy and showers of Snow latter part of the day 
cloudy Billy Camden got lost and lay out all night. 

Friday 3d. While I went up to the Kentucky road looking the lost 
man Mr. WaJker took the Lat. of this Camp tis 36** 53'. Billy Camden 
came in. We prepared to make an early start tomorrow morning. 

Saturday 4th. Moved into the Kentucky road and along it to Laurel 
River encamp'd about a mile above the road. Snow to night 

Sunday 5th. Snowing, lay still. Monday 6th. Cloudy, lay Still. 

Tuesday 7th. March'd to the first Creek of Rockcastle." Col. Hender- 
son was encamp'd we were told about a half a mile below us. 

Wednesday 8th. This morning Col. Henderson paid us a visit, moved 
near Rock Castle encampd on a Cr. which we called Bever Cr. 

Thursday 9th. Cross'd Rock Castle & left the Kentucky road, en- 
camp'd on the river about 3-4 mile below where the Kentucky road leaves 
it. a Hard wind to night 

Friday loth. lay still, waiting for Major Bledsoe to come up, who 
had been left where we saw Col. Henderson, looking lost Horses, took 
the latitude of this Place 'tis 37° 13' not sure the Inst, right adjusted. 
To night Major Bledsoe came up. 

Saturday nth. Travelled about 8 miles, tho perhaps not more than 
5 orf a right line, our general course about West, lay near the head of 
a branch of Rock Castle at a small Cancbreak. Rain to night. 

Sunday 12th. Much rain to day, all day. lay still. 

Monday 13th. Goudy and some showers of snow. After 12 o'Qock the 
creek not suiting our course from this Camp we travelled along a ridge 
nearly West till we came to a branch of Buck Cr." which we kept down 
till after it Sunk, this evening we fell on a Trace that we suppose led to 
the french Lick, encamp'd on it. A Cold night, our days march 6 m. 

Tuesday T4th. Deer. A Very cold day, but clear, travelled along the 
Trace N. Westerly about 2 m. to buck Cr. which too high to ford lay at it 
all day. an excessive cold night." 

51. Th« next tributary of the Cumberland, considerably north of Clear Fork. 
5a. A still more northern branch of Cumberland River. For an explanation of 
the name see Hajrwood, p. 88. 

53. A stream west of Rock Castle. Smith's route was now turning toward the 

St 

54. This winter was long remembered for its extreme cold. Hajrwood, p. 97. 



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68 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Wednesday 15th. Cold and Cloudy. Travelled up Buck Cr. about i 
mdle on the £. side by which we missed two crossings of the cr : then we 
cross'd it and traveled along the Trace a little to the Southward of west, 
cross'd another fork of Buck Cr. at a lick, up a branch and out at the head 
thereof, then down a branch of Pittman's cr. encampd at the first Cane 
thereon. A little snow tonight 8m, to day. 

Thursday i6th. went down the Cr. by my self about 2 1-2 m. found 
Pittman's and several other families encamp'd there, went back to camp 
lay still all day. 

Friday 17th. Went down Pittman's cr. cross'd it several times, then 
at last left it and travelled across to Fishing cr: which we struck about 
5 m. above the mouth, lay on a small branch at the mouth. Misty all 
day. 12 miles to day. 

Saturday i8th. -lay still, went down cr. to find the river.* I did not 
go far enough, killd a buffaloe & returned. Mr. Michie took Lat 'tis 
^*> 58^. 

Sunday 19th. march'd down the cr. nearly South about 5m. to the 
river then about W. S. W. i m. down the river, and encamp'd. Lat of 
this place on an accurate obser. 36** 54' 42". Dble. Alt ver. ob. 59** 19'. 

Monday 20th. Major Bledsoe went to look for Trees to build Canoes 
and go down by water in pursuance of a resolution which we took at 
Laurel River, having retum'd and found them, next day Tuesday 21st. we 
march'd down the nver about 5 miles to the Place. 

Wednesday 22d. Set about the Canoes, Mr. Michie took Lat 'tis 

36^ 51' 31". 

Thursday 23d. I took the Lat. Meridian dble alt. 59** 22. ver. ob: 
Lat. 36° 53' 31". 

Friday 24th. Do. Do.— 59** 25' rather cloudy 36** 53' 16". 

Saturday 2Sth. Christmas Day. Do. Do. 59** 27'. ver. ob. 36** 53' 16". 

Sunday 26th. No work on canoes these days. 

Monday 27th. Working on Canoes. Qoudy & mi«ty or little rain. 

Tuesday 28th. Do. Do. 

Wednesday 29th. Saw the Sun a little tho not enourfi to take a good 
observation. 

Thursday 30th. Cloudy & a little Snow. 

Friday 31st Clear & cooL Mr. Walker took Lat ver: ob. dble alt 
6o**3. Lat 36.53.58 discoursed a little with Wm. Young who just came 
from Ky. 

Saturday Jany. ist. 1780. Launched one of the Canoes. Jerry Pearce 
came over from Prices & lay with us to nig^t. Snow to night 

Sunday 2d. Thro scarcity of meat went down by water a hunting with 
2 others. Cloudy & some snow. Killed Turkies at night to live on. lay 
4 m. below Station Camp." 

Monday 3d. went about 3 miles lower & killed 6 Buffaloes, late be- 
fpje we got them butcher'd, clear & veiy cold night. 
^Tuesday 4th. moved up the river with two of our Buffaloes. The ice 
was so bad coming down the river we could only reach our Sunday nights 
camp where we lay with Oba. Terrel. 

Wednesday 5th. got back to Station Camp, but some how by accident 
got the britch of my gim broke off. 

Thursday 6th. cold to such a degree the river froze over, and con- 
tinued froze over till Sunday 9th. Jany. 1780 when Major Bledsoe crossed 
over on it to go to prices. In this Time I fixed up my gun Barr in another 
Stock & lock. 

Thursday 13th. Went down the river st hunting in order that less 

55. The Cumberland. 

56. For the name see Haywood, p. 9a. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 59 

provision might serve at our Station Camp as there was no appearance 
of a thaw. J. M. & F. W. went with me. lay at Oba's camp. 

Friday 14th. lay on the Riv. 9 m, below Station camp to go to the 
nearest way killed two buffaloes. 

Saturday 15th. killed another buff aloe. Monday 17th. went alone 
back to Staticm Camp. Thursday 20th. returned to J. Ml & F. W. 

Friday 21st. moved down the river 6 m. lower killed 5 buffaloes. 

Thursday 27th. went back to Station Camp, no appearance of a thaw 
yet. Stay'd here till 

Monday 31st. Mr. Sharp went back down the riv. with me. 

Monday 7th. Feby. Snow a little last night & to day. 

Wednesday the weather had moderated a little. 

Thursday loth Feby. An appearance of a thaw coming on. We went 
to Station camp. Rain to night a litle. 

Saturday 12th. Riv. rose much. Sunday 13th. This morning the Ice 
broke and we launch'd our Canoe. 

Monday 14th. launched another Canoe. 

Tuesday 15th. launchd the other and sat off down the river lay about 
I m. above our first encampment, vid. plat of riv. 

Wednesday i6th. at 39 m. dist. by water from Canoe Camp passed 
byi the mouth of a large Cr. on the S. Side at 57 m. encamp'd at the foot 
of a large bottom on N. Side where the riv. runs E. just above the mouth 
of a small cr, where there was cattle left & Mr. Sharp lay from us^U 

Thursday 17th. at 72 m. passed by a curious nat. bridge on N. Side, 
at 76 m. encamp'd on N. Side in a large bottom. 

Friday 18th. at the mouth of Brushy Cr. found a note of Capt. Bled- 
oe's, who had gone along with the horses, the Lat. of this place 36** 
42' 46" and 91 m. distant at 106 m. pass'd by the mouth of a cr. on N. 
Side, another note from I. B." at 117 m. another cr: on N. Side with 
fresh Blazes where we encamp'd. 

Saturday 19th. at 132 m. Stopp'd on S. Side and took Lat. which was 
36** 34' 51". at 147 m. a cr: on N. Side at 149 m. encamped on N. Side. 

Sunday 20th. went up the bottom, supposing we were in Carolina, to 
the mo. of the last cr. and took Lat. it was 36** 30' 49". I>ble. alt. 85° 12'. 
measured some [down ?] 298 po. to the supposed Line To day Major Bled- 
soe went in search of his brother. 

Monday 21st. Major Bledsoe retumd with his brother. Rain. 

Tuesday 22d. A Wet kind of Snow, all day. Wednesday 23d. Some 
Snow, hunted this afternoon for Turkies. 

Thursday 24th. Clear & Cold, went to the place of Observation Dble. 
alt. 88** 9'. 

Friday 25th. Went again to the place of observation, and as our ob- 
servations had never varied more than 19 seconds fix'd the line. — ^to begin 
at a Beech on the top of the bank. The line crosses the river nearly at 
right angles (55 S W S. W) bottom on both sides the river, mark'd 
our name and the date on the two Beeches, and also marked on the East- 
em hank an east course from the Beech. Our names on two Maple-like 
trees and their Initials on a box elder, having done this the Surveyor ran 
the line West to the top of the first hill. & A creek comes in on the 
N. W. side about a mile above the line and a smaller one on S E side 
about 1-2 mile in Carolina." 

57. Isaac Bledsoe. 

58. The party, after their swing into Kentucky by the Kentucky Road and out 
by the Cumberland, were now where the Cumberland was cut by the supposed 
parallel of 36 degrees 30 minutes. In their report to the Virginia Assembly, Walker 
and Smith continue: — "The map will show our route to a place on Cumberland 
River, where we built canoes to carry our luggage and rest the pack horses, which 
were too much reduced to do senrice that way. And here, to add to the number 
of our difficulties and misfortunes, we were froze up more than forty da3r8 in a river 



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60 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Saturday 26th Feby. To day Mr. Walker sat off with his Party and 
Canoes to secure provisions &c. while I went with Mr. Michie On the 
line. We were to meet at the French Lick or in its neighborhood, at 
least I was to do so with the Quadrant, and Mr. Michie is to run from 
where I shall leave him to where the line crosses Cumberland again. Run 
2 m & 240 po. to a cr: running northeasterly, being the cr. at the mouth 
of which we had taken the Lat : the line keeps near by us the cr. crossing 
it [blank in Mss.] times at 5 m. 1-4 encamp'd in cr: bottom, about 3-4 
m. above a north fork of it 

Sunday 27th. at mid-day to day took Lat. line right at about 7 1-2 m. 
the top of the dividing of the waters between Cumberland & Green River. 
Vid. map. Jine — at 14 3-4 m. encamp'd on a small br. running S. into a Cr. 
of Green R.** 

Monday 28th. at 16 m. — 6 po. Came to the cr. again, and being en- 
tirely without meat and having fasted some time went a hunting — killed 
two large Bull Buffaloes. 

Tuesday 29th. Ran about 6 m. to day. Rain in the Afternoon. Quit 
the line at 22 m. — a few ch. and went down a branch that ran about N70W. 
encamped on a cr : at the mo. of sd. branch, rain. 

Wednesday ist march. It did not clear u^ till near ten o'Qock, — then 
fair, took Lat. found the line very right Dble. Alt. 92* 40 at 23 m. 60 po. 
cross'd cr : we camp'd on, cross'd a steep hill, at 23 m. 104 po. another cr : 
running near north — cross'd another hill, at ^ m. 34 po. another cr : these 
creeks we suppose come together and run into the one we came down 
first at 27 m. 152 po. left line and went to the north about 1-2 m: and 
camp'd on a br. 

Thursday 2d. March, at 28 m. 60 po. cross'd another cr : running N 
then across some very briery ridges at 34 m. 40 po. another cr. running 
to the N. on which we encamp'd. 

Friday 3d. at 38 m, 240 po. a cr: on which we encamp'd — Newton's 
cr: Hunted today but could kill nothing. 

Saturday 4th. at 46 m. 212 came to a cr. on which we encamp'd 
2 Buffaloes kill'd to day poor. 

Sunday 5th. Rain this morning a little, in the afternoon a good deal, 
lay still. 

Monday 6th. Our meat being very lean & it being an unlikely day, 
Capt Bledsoe hunted — I staid at Camp in order if fair to take an Observa- 
tion, which I did tis 36** 30' 15". Dble alt. 96" 30'. As this observ. was 
good I depend much on it. I discovered also as I thought that too little 
variation was allowed. Mem: observe to night — ^'Twas cloudy about 9 
o'clock, and hard rain afterwards till near day but when the Pole Star 
was in the most western part of- his orbit it appeared there was. by taking 
his bearing, to be full six degrees van 

Tuesday 7th. Run to day magnetically S 84 W. at 50 m. 178 p. crossed 
a creek running N. W. on which we killd a Buff, at 51 3;4 "^ got into the 
edge of the Barrens, at 55 m. 242 po. a large cr. running near N about 
10 W. on which we encamp'd Took the Variation to night at Sunset by 
her amplitude and also by the pole Star when on the meridian. I find 
it 7** Degrees R 

Wednesday March 8th. at 64 m. 294 po. a Cr. whose gen : course seems 
never known to be froze before. We went br water from this place until we got into 
(he proper latitude (as we judge one hundred and nine miles west of the Clear 
Fork) and began the line on two Beech trees marked with our names and Febj. s<, 
1780, on the West Bank of Cumberland River, a creek coming in about a mile 
aoove us on the west side, and another one somewhat smaller about a mile below 
us on the East side'* Unfortunately, this portion of the map is not included in 
the copy in the Draper Mss. 

59. Probably a branch of Barren River, which runs into Green River. The 
latter flows throu^ Kentucky, emptying into the Ohio almost opposite EvansvUle, 
Indiana. *, 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 61 

N. W. tho' just where we cross'd it N. E. on the W. Side of which we 
encampd — ^Went hunting found th^ Cumberland Road" about 1-2 mile to 
the West 

Thursday 9th. at 66 m. 14 po. cross'd the Cumberland road running W 
S W. at 73 ni. 231 po. a cr. on which we encamp'd. Took Lat. today. 
36* 29' 52". Dble. alt. 98.51. 

March loth. Obliged to stop to hunt. Capt. Bledsoe killed nothing 
but 2 Deer, took Lat. line very right Dble. Alt 99* 39' 30". 

Saturday nth. ,To day I sat off to the French lick to meet Mr. 
Walker. Got into the Ctunberland road and lay thereon on a small br: 
of Red River." 25 miles to day. 

Sunday 12th. Got to Caspar's Lick." Snow. Monday 13th. lay still. 

Tuesday 14th. Got to the French Lick." 

Wednesday 15th. Sat off to meet Mr. Michie. Lat at Eatons 36** 7"." 
at 30 m. lay on N. side on a high Point — Lost Tomhawk. 

Thursday i6th. at 20 1-2 m. pass'd by the mouth of Harpers" River 
in all 32 1-4 m. Ind. town. 

Friday 17th. only 11 3-4 m to day. Ind. town. 

■Saturday i8th. at 11 3-4 took Lat. 316** 21' 22" at 12 3-4 «ns. of red 
river in all 316 m. lay on high bottom just below where [our dog wounded 
(stricken out in Ms.)] met Shaw to day. 

Sunday 19th. at 17 1-2 m. took Lat. 36** 19' 25" at a pond i m. above 
Sharp's cr. at 23 1-4 Island, at 31 m. lay in rich bottom N. side. 

Monday 20th. at 9 1-2 met with the Surveyor." line too far South 
owing to a change of the Variation, met Carvin to day. 

Tuesday 21st Observed again found as yesterday run the off set. 

Wednesday 22d. After observing again to day, and finding the line 
right Sat off for the Tenasa." 

Thursday 23d. at about 10 O'Clock jo)rfuIly surprized with the sight 
of the Tenasa 140 m. 1-4 from the Cumberland at our crossing it in Feby. 
Tumd back and got to the Cumberland that night These River are but 
9 1-4 miles apart, tho so far from their mouths." 

Friday 24th. got 5 or 6 m. up the river. Dan. Frazier & Jerry Sears 
went up by land with the Horses. 

Saturday 25th. got to the mouth of Sharpes Cr. Set a Sail today, 
little wind. 

60. The road to the French Lick on the Cumberland River. 

61. Sulphur Fork, a branch of Red River, takes ita rise east of the old Kentucky 
Road. The Red River empties into the Cumberland much lower down near Clarkes- 
ville. 

62. For Caspar or Caspar Mansco, and his explorations, see the extensive ac- 
count in Hajrwood, pp. 88 ff. 

JS3. The site of Nashville. It is curious that Smith makes no mention of 
Tames Robertson and the settlers who accompanied him, some of whom were ccr^ 
»ainly now at French Lick. For the route taken by the earlier settlers in the Cum- 
berland region see the account in Haywood, pp. 96-97. It is interesting to compare 
this route and that taken by the company unaer Donelson with that which was fol- 
lowed by Daniel Smith. Haywood, after telling of the arrival of Donelson's party 
at French Lick, says, "About this time Dr. walker, one of the Virginia Commis- 
sioners for running the boundary line between Virginia and North Carolina, arrived 
at the bluff. Henderson soon after erected a station on Stone's River, at the place 
called Old Fields, now Clover Bottom, and he remained there a considerable time." 
Henderson, continues Hajrwood (pp. 107-108), sold land to various persons under 
the deed made in 1775 to his company by the Indians. He was at this time accom- 
panied by his two brothers, Nathaniel and Pleasant. 

64. Eaton's Station, on the other side of the Cumberland. 

65. Harpeth River. Haywood also spells the name Harper's. 

66. Who had been carrying the line across country while Smith visited the 
French Lick. 

67. Smith, of course, had crossed the Cumberland. 

68. In their report Walker and Smith say: — "From this place we extended the 
line across the heads of Green River and Red River, through a country called 
the Barrens from there bein^ little or no timbers in it, in many places; crossed the 
Cumberland again at 131 miles, where there is a clift on the Northeast side, and a 



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62 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Sunday 26th. Easter Sunday, wind agt. us. 27th* Monday, fair wind 
part of the day, flawy. 28th. Tuesday, wind a^. us. pass'd the mouth of 
Red River. 29th. Wednesday wind agt. us. 30th. Thursday no wind. 
31st. Friday got to Harpers Riv." Apl. ist. Saturday got to Tomhawk 
Cam [p] Ap] 2d Sunday got to Amos Eaton's. ApL 3d. Monday Rain. 
Tuesdjiy 4th. Rain. Wednesday 5th. sold four Horses 3 Kettles some Tents 
&c Settled some accts. 6th. Thursday hunted horses. 7th. Friday Horses 
not all found — Received a letter from the governor to go to the Falls of 
Ohio on particular business. Co^. Henderson brought this letter." 8th. 
Saturday. This morning began to recruit a guard to go to the falls. Sun- 
day 9th. loth. Monday CoL Henderson informed 'twas his opinion Caro- 
lina would establish the line we had run. nth.' Tuesday little success in 
the recruiting way." Wednesday 12th. moved to Caspar Mancoes lick. 
Thursday 13th. two horses lost hunted for them all day in rain. Just 
before we left Eatons we reed, of Major Bledsoe £454. 7. but on counting 
it again at a leisure hour found we had made an error that in counting one 
of the parcels we had counted a 35 for a fifty five dollar bill — and 
that the other parcel was £2, i6s. more than the 20o£ which it had been 
counted for. so that we had reed, no more than 45i£ 3 of which I used 11 
Dollars to pay for the making a hunting Shirt and also pd. Caspar Manscoe 
his charge of 30 Dollars for Diet at his house while the Horses were 
hunting. At Caspars reed, also £45 of Major Bledsoes for other Articles 
he had sold, recollected afterwards that the £2.16 was [paid] me by 
Major Bledsoe for expence which I had paid on the Back Line. 

Saturday 15th. Apl. Crossed the line lay on the N. fork of the Red Riv. 

Sunday i6th. at 12 m. came to Skeggs Cr. kept down it crossing it 
sev. times, encamped near the mouth course N 30 E. abt. 27 or 28 m. 
in the whole. 

Monday 17th. cross'd Skegg's cr. and big barren Riv. this morning 
then to rocky Spring course N E. Abt. 13 or 14 m. then N 10 E. (left 
Trace) 4 m. and encamp'd on N. Side Creen Riv." 

bottom about three quarters of a mile broad on the other side, and at the end of 
one hundred and fortv miles, one quarter and eight poles from the two Beech trees 
on the twenty-third day of March found ourselves on the bank of the Tennessee 
River, and. of course, had run the line as far Westward as we were authorized to 
do, notwithstanding the hardships and difficulties we had to contend with. One of 
us kept through the woods with the Surveyor, while the other went down by water, 
by which means a tolerable map of the Cumberland River is taken; a fine river, 
being navigable at least 700 miles from the mouth upwards." This part of the map, 
too, is unfortunately not included in our map from the Draper Mss. 

69. In Colonel John Donelson's Diary, containing the account of the voyage of 
the party under his command, the following entry bears date March 31st: — "Set 
out this day, and after running some distance, met with Col. Richard Henderson, who 
was running the line between Virginia and North-Carolina. At this meeting we 
were much rejoiced. He gave us every information we wished, and^ further informed 
U8 that he had purchased a quantity of corn in Kentucky, to be shipped at the Falls 
of Ohio for the use of the Cumberland settlement" Ramsey: The Annals of Ten- 
nessee, p. 202. Thus this party was within a few miles of Daniel Smith. 

70. In their report Walker and Smith say: — "When we had returned home- 
wards about 160 miles we met with orders from his Excellencv, the Governor, to 
do another piece of service, which we suppose he has made you acquainted with." 
The nature of this service has been explained in part in the introduction, p. 4»' 
For the letter see Clark Papers, pp. 39»-393- Jefferson to Thomas Walker and 
Daniel Smith, dated Williamsburg, January 29. To this letter Jefferson refers in his 
Instructions to Clark, Ibid., p. 386. Walker and Smith were to ascertain and mark 
the point where the boundary of Virginia struck the Mississippi "or Ohio." 

71. Walker and Smith conclude their report to the Virginia Assemblv with the 
following words: "We have also since seen Col. Henderson, one of the North Car- 
olina Commissioners, who with another of his Colleagues has been examining our 
line, and he has repeatedly given us much reason to believe their State will establish 
the line as we ran it." , . . ,* ,. 

72. Smith was now on his way northward through Kentucky towards the Falls 
of the Ohio, the future Louisville. One marks the total absence of any established 
road beyond this point. Smith's route across the upper waters of Green and Salt 
Rivers seems to lie to the cast of the roads to Louisville shown on the old maps. 



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V 

THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 6S 

Tuesday i8th. Moved about lo m. on a course about N lo £. emcamp'd 
on a cr. we called Raccoon cr. 

Wednesday igth. down Raccon Cr. 2 1-2 m. across a hill i m. to a large 
Cr. supposed to be the rolling fork of Salt River held on our course and 
in about 4 m. more came to the sd. cr. again it ran so crooked encamp'd 
on the £. Side. Course about N 30 £. 7 1-2 m. to day in the whole. 

Thursday 20th. to day crossed riv. up a cr. N 20 £ i m. to fork up W 
fork W N W. I m. North i m. along a valley N 10 E. 3 m. to riv. W. i 
m. N 20 W 2 m — ^reduced to a straight N 10 W. 6 1-2 m. lay on W. Side. 

Friday 21st. cross'd cr. twice to day at 5 m. it seem'd to bear so much 
to E. we expect not to cross it again, in aJl reduced to straight N 8 E. 
II 1-2 m. lay at a pond, barrens all day. continued to where I cut my foot. 

Saturday 22d. N 5 K 10 m. (at 7 m. a small cr. running to N. W. at 
8 nL a dry one with a Spring N. W.) to a Buffaloe road, along the Buf- 
iaAot road N 55 E. 3 m. lay on a cr. along this Buffaloe road we saw 
Horse tracks which is the first marks we had seen of any human being 
having been in these desarts from the day we left rocky Spring. 

Sunday 23d. Apl. Cut my foot accidentally this morning, travelled 
N 18 K 12 m. N 80 E. 1-2 N I m. to a Lick. N to E. i 1-2 m. thro 
some knobs to Salt Riv. on which we encampM after beginning a raft 
It forks about 1-2 m. Above us. — Back Water from the Ohio seems to 
come here. 

Monday 24th. Rafted across the River, then N 70 R i 1-2 into a 
Buffaioe road at foot of the hill which bore to left, we kept it about N. K 
5 1-2 m. to Bullets Lick, then North 3-4 m. encamp'd on a br : 

Tuesday 2Sth. N. E. abt. 7 m. into the Trace leading to the Falls along 
it about North 12 m. to the Falls, where we were told Col. Qark had left 
that place 14th Inst, to go to the Iron Banks." One Capt Killer of his 
corps oflFer'd to carry us down to him as he was just going there and 
with him we agreed to go. Rain Thunder & lightning this afternoon— we 
got very wet. found Smith Hansborough here. 

Wednesday 26th. Settled with Mr.*Sharpe who fell in our debt £9 i6s. 
which he paid — he had a bag afterwards. Pd. Edwin Garnet his acct ^75 
4s. Also Jeremiah Sears the Same. Also Wm. West, the Same also Lewis 
Riland the same. Also let Jno. Jenkins have '?«> Dollars and Hugh Hays 
60 Dollars, pd. for my own use 10 Dollars to Mr. Sharpe for a Knife 
and 142 Dollars to Smith Hansborough in exchange of Guns, then em- 
4>arked. Cloudy & misty. If Paper was plenty I would attempt a descrip- 
tion of our uncomfortable situation — with a Xantippe of a Landlady, some- 
thing like a petruchio of Shakespear or Nabal for a Landlord their Dirty 
children leaky boat Drunkenness &c. but I am by no means equal to the 
task." 

Thursday 27th. at day I suppose we were about 15 m. below the mouth 
of Salt River. To day I recollected that the excess of the 2oo£ parcel was 
owing to Major Bledsoe's having paid me 9 Dollars for expence I had 
paid on the back line, drifted all night, we thought we discovered an 
Indian fire on their Shore to night 

Thursday 27th. Nothing remarkable, drifted chiefly or rowed but little 
saw several fires on shore to night which we suppose must be caused 
cither by the woods being on fire or by the Indians drifted all night. 
Friday 28th. rowed & drifted nothing remarkable but scarcity of provision, 
foot painfuL 

Saturday 29th. this afternoon passed the mouth of Green River wrote 
a note to Col. Henderson. Sunday 30th. Strong wind agrt. us tiU after- 

75. An alMndoned French fort on the Mississippi River five miles below the 
mouth of the Ohio. 

f activitiefl and the genera 
Introduction to the Clark Papers, pp. cxix-cxxxvii. 



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64 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

noon lay still till wind abated, then started we lay at Yellow Banks 
last night 

Monday ist. May wind agt. us — ^hunting parties detained us on an 
Island opposite to the mouth of Wabash Riv. till near sun down, then 
Started down & roVd all night 

Tuesday 2d. May. Very sick, came by the mouth of Cum: abt 8 
o'clock this evening. 

Wednesday 3d. This morning at break of day opposite to the old fort 
Massac" this afternoon at 5 o'clock got to the mouth of the Ohio, then 
down the Mississippi about 5 m. to CoL Oarkes encampment, who we saw 
this evening and had some conversation with respecting our business. 

Thursday 4th & Friday 5th. Staid at the Intended Town." 

Saturday 6th. Went down to the Iron Bank, encamp'd on the Spanish 
Shore a little below — rather hazy. 

Sunday 7th. Cloudy, rain last night. Monday 8th. clear in morning 
but cloudy at noon, run some lines to enable us to know the width of riv. 

Tuesday 9th. May. cloudy, but being convinced we were north of the 
line moved to the S. end of the Island — ^abt. S m. 

Wednesday loth. observed. Thursday nth. agreed with Yesterdays 
observ. we were 3' 19" in Virginia — from this point of the Island we ran 
east to the main land where I marked a buck eye elm & Sugar tree then 
South 3 m. 265 po. thence West 106 po. to riv. 96 po. of whidi we mark'd. 
new land is forming here, nothing to mark but cotton trees. — moved up the 
riv. till abt. I m. below Wt Clift — a cr: abt 1-4 m. above wt clift. — ^lay 
in the wet without fire. 

Friday 12th. got up to Col. Clarke. 

Saturday 13th. embark'd again for Kaskaskios.*^ 

Thursday 18th. arrived at Kaskaskios. and remained there (which 
place we made Lat. 37**. 39'. N) till 

Monday 5th. June not well the night of Sth June, left this place to 
go homewards, arrived at Camp Jefferson 

Wednesday 7th. June a few minutes after the Indians had murdered 
3 men near the town. 2 others were missing supposed to be made prison- 
ers and it appeared that had killed another last monday from his bloody 
clothes being found in the Indians Canoes, people much distressed for 
want of provisions and in confusion. 

Saturday loth. June. Col Qark with 2 men sat off to go by land to 
the falb of Ohio. 

Wednesday 14th. June, embarked tofgo to the falls of Ohio with no 
more provision than one quart of unsound com per day for ten days. 
Tuesday 4th. July arrived at the falls. 

Thursday 6th. Sent for our horses and went as far as Col. Floyds, who 
lent us 195 i. T.s of which Jenkins used in Swap of guns and is to be 
charged with. — Monday loth. July got to Harrodsburgh, continued on by 
that place to Willson's Station. 

Tuesday nth. July — got up to Logan's — overtook Col. Henderson on 
the road. 12th. Staid all Day at Logan's. 

Thursday 13th. July, left Logans and got 2 m. S. E. of Chas. English's. 

75. On the Ohio, below the raouth of the Tennessee. 

76. Fort JeflFerson. The building of a fort at this point had been advocated by 
Patrick Henry in 1777. for the purpose of facilitating intercourse with the Spaniards 
at New Orleans. Clark and John Todd had agreed on the adyisability of such an 
occupation. Clark b«gan the establishment of the post in April, 1780. June 8, X78x« 
the post was evacuated for lack of supplies. See note 74. 

77. Kaskaskia, the French settlement in the Illinois country where Clark, over* 
coming a British post under Rochestlave, in July, 1778, began his conquest of the 
northwest for Virginia. 

78. The final course of the journey was across Kentucky by a much mora 
traveled road. 



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THE JOURNAL OF DANIEL SMITH 66 

Friday night 14th. July lay on the most easterly waters of Skegg's cr: 
before we came to rock Castle. 

Saturday night 15th. July, lay on Laurel Riv. Waters. 

Sunday night i6th. July, lay on Rich land cr. 

Monday night 17th. July lay crossed Ciunberland lay on Gear Cr. 

Tuesday 18th. July cross'd Cum : mountains & lay abt 2 m. east of the 
Gap.— to night the Indians stole 7 of our horses. 

Wednesday igth. July followed after our horses and retook them. 

Thursday 20th. July, got to Trading Cr. 

Friday 21st to Crismans Spring — Settled and pd. Hugh Hays 830 & 
270 Dollars. 

Saturday 22d. Juty— parted witih Mr. Walker.— 4ay between the Stock 
Cr. & the Rye Cove.'* 

Sunday 23d. lay at David Guess old place. 

Monday 24th. lay at Chas. Hays's. 

Tuesday 25th. got home. 7th Augt. Monday in the morning early 

[Here Ae Journal breaks off.] 

79. On the Qinch RiTer, near Smith's home. 



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11. 

Lieutenant McKemie'a Recannaiesance an Mobile Bay, Jan- 
uary 5'H, 1815. 

The following journal was found among the papers of 
General James Winchester (of Cragfont, Sumner County, 
Tennessee), who was the brigadier-general in command at 
Mobile during the British invasion of Louisiana in 1814-15. 
On the back of the manuscript is the following: 

**lAeut. M, McKemie'a Journal While on Command, 
Jan'y, 1815." 

At the time of this invasion by the British, it was daily 
expected that they would attack Mobile or commit depreda- 
tions along the coast. Fort Bowyer, an important post, was 
situated on the neck of land on the east side of the entrance 
to Mobile Bay. It was garrisoned by part of the Second 
U. S. Infantry under Colonel Lawrence. It was the key to 
Mobile. The ''Dolphin Island'' mentioned here is, of course, 
Dauphin Island, which is just to the left of the entrance 
to the bay. Just west of it lies Petit Bois Island, and just 
further westward is Horn Island. They are long, narrow 
islands running east and west. The town of Pascagoula 
is situated on the Mississippi coast, where the Pascagoula 
River flows into Mississippi Sound, directly north of Horn 
Island. It was all too likely that the British fleet might 
ravage the coast, sailing through Mississippi Sound to Mo- 
bile Bay and then to Mobile. Lieut. McKenzie seems to 
have been sent with some men in a boat to watch for the 
British fleet. He was not aware of the great events occur- 
ring on the Plain of Chalmette. However, on Feb. 6, 1815, 
three weeks later, the British ships did appear off Dauphin 
Island. A land and naval attack was made on Fort Bowyer, 
and it was surrendered; but news of the Treaty of Ghent 
arrived, and the war was over.^ 

Thursday 5 January 1815-- 

Started from Mobile under orders from Genl. Winchester to recon- 
noitre to the westward of Dolphin Island—left the public Wharf at 11 
o^clock and arrived at Isle Mon Louis late in the evening— wind ahead 
until near night. 

I. This document and the introduction thereto are contributed to the Magaxiics 
hf Mr. John H. DeWitt, President of the Tennessee Historical Society. The orii^nal 
ioctunent is in his possession. It consists of four sheets, much worn. [Ed.] 



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LIEUTENANT MCKENZIE ON DOLPHIN ISLAND 67 

Friday 6 Jany. 

Did not start, on account of the boisterous state of the Weather, 
until 9 o'clock A. M.— ^arrived at Dolphin Island at i o'dodc P. M. 
*«t 1*2 past I with Capt Roney' to the South side of the Island and dis- 
covered a ship, a Brig and schooner— two first appeared of the largest 
class and were standing under easy sail to the Southerd. The Schooner 
appeared standing to the Westward, having all sail set Inasmuch as the 
object of my expedition, as well as the intention of my orders is to ascer- 
tain whether any part of the Enemy's ships, or flotilla, is actually ap- 
proaching, and not having discovered anything from the West end of Dol«- 
phin Island, I determined to set the men to cooking a good part of dictr 
provisions this evening, to have our Oars put in a better state than I found 
them in, and to take Mr. Damour on board to-morrow morning and coast 
to the Westward, as far as Pascagola with the view of carrying [?] bade 
to the Commanding Genl sudi information as he [may] rely on. Arms 
etc. put in the best possible order Wind [N?] Easterly. 

Saturday yth— 

Repaired at day break to the South side of Dolphin Island to recon- 
noitre — no vessel in sight — started at 8 o'clock 'for Pascagola and arrived 
there at 1-2 past i o'clock. Wind blowing very fresh from East — found 
Mr. Hobart there as also a man some time ago detained in Fort Char- 
lotte (Mobile) by Gen'l Jackson. Nothing in view— heard several Can- 
non on the south side of Horn Island— could scarcely see that Island on 
account of the Fog. There is no Guard stationary at this place— the 
Inhabitants visit the neighboring Islands, and have every opportunity 
they can wish to communicate with the enemy if disposed so to do— 
took up a favorable position for a camp and set guard at an early hour — 
night tempestuous. 

Sunday, StK 

Nothing happened during the night. This morning the wind S. E., 
blowing very hard. Compelled to remain — ^till the wind change [?] 
[two words illegible] o'clock it was intimated to me that two men had 
(some words illegible] from Pass Christian with some important news 
from New Orleans. Sent two men to ascertain the fact 2 o'clock Prit- 
chard came to camp and brought with him two written communications 
(one from Croodwin [the other?] from Lewis) rdative to the capture 
of New Orleans, this information however appeared to me so vague 
that I neither credited it nor another paragraph in (loodwin's letter re- 
spectii^ the death of GtXL Jackson. 

[Some lines illegible] this moment heard a cannon from a vessel be- 
tween Round and Horn Island [with?] small arms of Duck hunters 
from this shore on the latter Island. Several Cannon this evening in 
the direction of Ship Island. Wind blowing a Gale from S. E. 

Monday, gth JaiCy 1815. 

Morning tempestuous — wind still from S. K — found it impossible to 
return to Mobile — several heavy cannon heard this forenoon in the direc- 
tion of Ship Island. 

The genera] belief of the inhabitants (that is, of the French) is that 
the enemy will cede this country to Spain, when captured — that the laws 
of the latter will again be ro-established-^which they antidpate with satis- 
faction. 

I am firmly 0% the opinion that a respectable force should be placed, 

a. Upon the bftck of one of the pages of the Mi. it written "Vessel Grinder, 
James Rooey, Commander." 



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68 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

without loss of time, on the east and west sides of the Bay — if, as has been 
represented and as the Inhabitants firmly believe, the enemy contempUube 
landing a force at Baluxey (within 5 leagues of this place) they can 
collect as many Beef Cattle as they please — (Note — ^it is now xi o'clock 
—cannon still is heard somewhat more to the Eastward) as if [some words 
illegible]. 

The name of an inhabitant of Baluxey who has lately been on board 
tile Enemy's fleet at Ship Island is Gload Nicola— the name of another 
who visited Horn Island in the morning of the 6th. Instant is Andr6 
Fnmier, with another of the name of Jacko— it is impossible for these 
men to be on the Island any time unknown to the enemy — of course 
visitors of such description serve only as spies to the enemy. I think 
Mr. Hobart's party could be more serviceable if stationed [beside?] the 
Bay, than being at Madame Jose's, at least four Miles from it 

Mr. Howell, a resident of the Western Side of this Bay says that in 
case of emergency he could bread a company of men for three months^ 
that meal could be had in any quantity^--either from the stocks belong- 
ing to the [Crojuz?] or from Bayou La Batterie-— or even from the west 
Side of the Bay. 

Tuesday loth. 

Finding it impossible to get out of this Bay, determined on sending 
an express to Gen'l Winchester with all the news I could collect— dis- 
patched Dolives & Bamet on that Duty — 2 o'clock P. M. got evenrthing 
on board— determined to take advantage of a light breeze I supposed was 
springing tip from the West and to run over to Horn Island— 3 o'clock 
smart breeze from the West for about an hour, when a tremendous gale 
from the N. E. and soon after from East sprung uiH-obliged to land 
again in a heavy rain — guns heard until late in the night, and from the 
repetition of them must have been signals of distress, as the sea on the 
South side of Horn Island, from the quarter the wind was in, must have 
been very rough — set the usual guard and kept a vigilant eye all night 

Wednesday nth. 

Put everything on board this morning at daybreak and started with 
the wind at N. N. W. — ^having arrived at Grand Batture, wind chop'd 
suddenly to S. El. — ^blowing violently — we shaped our Course for the 
West Eiid of Petit Bois— distant from Horn Island one League— I judge 
from the reports of several cannon heard this forenoon that most of the 
Enemy's vessels were shying their course for the Mississippi, as almost 
all the guns I heard, which were many, appeared to be from time to time 
a little further distant — and in the direction of the Balize— arrived at 
Petit Bois at i o'clock after a dangerous passage — ^having shipped sundry 
large waves — went immediately with my Glass to reconnoitre south side 
of the Island — saw nothing — ^wind continuing contrary, obliged to stay all 
night — accordingly, picked out a favorable position for a camp and kept 
a strong guard. 

Thursday, 12th. Jany. 

Wind still ahead — determined therefore to explore the Island, having 
heard at Pascagola that there were many wild Cattle on it — set out with 
n men and soon found a drove of 5 — ^killed one — ^a seasonable relief this 
as the Inhabitants at Pascagola, after promising me a hog, for which 1 
agreed to pay three Dollars, would not at >last consent to let me have 
It— heard this forenoon more than 100 Cannon in the direction of Balize — 
12 o'clock— wind still contrary and too strong to row against Went out 
again to hunt up the Wild Cattle and kill all we could— the roaring of 
the Cannon in the direction of Balize almost incessant— nothing in view 



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LIEUTENANT MCKENZIE ON DOLPHIN ISLAND 69 

on the South Side of this island to-day — expended a few cartridges in 
killing some gtest — 2 o'clock — the firingr Westward" without intennission — 
none heard in any other quarter — My impression is that the 18 sail seen 
by Mr. Hobart (said by the Inhabitants out? of Pascagola to be 48) 
have some time since sailed to the Balize with the view of aiding the land 
Forces of the Enemy in their attempts on New Orleans. If we are to 
credit the report from Baluxey the number of the Enemy's shipping at 
Ship Island, previous to the departure of those seen by Hobart, exceeded 
150 Sail 6 o'clock P. M. — Discharge of Cannon incessant in the direction 
of Orleans, and continued so until after midnight The Men returned 
late this evening after having killed or wounded most of the Beef Cattle 
on the Island. Several signs of men having been lately on shore on the 
West end of the Island, were discovered this Evening. 

Friday the 13th, 

At 4 o'clock this morning Cannonading recommenced to the West- 
ward — discharges more and more frequent — ^I counted 25 in 8 minutes 
by the Watch, at daybreak the wind ahead tho' light got under way for 
Dolphin Island— 10 o'clock A. M. the wind fresh adbead proceeded slowlv 
— and after a very laborious run, (oars and poles continually going) 
made Dolphin Island late in the evening — Note, Captain Roney heard the 
Cannonade to the Westward since Wednesday last — ^which he represented 
as surpassing every thing he ever heard. No Vessels in sight of Dolphin 
Island for several Days — saw a small sail late in the Evening— supposed 
River Boat. 

Saturday the 14th, 

Late last night — say till no. c— Cannon still heard, as also this morning 
at 4 A. M. — got under way at an early hour — ^Wind ahead — progress^ 
but slowly — The Crew pretty well jaded from the continual Guards kept 
up at night and the three last days extraordinary toil — ^got under way 
at 8 o'c A. M. — ^wind ahead — and arrived in Mobile at 1-2 past 10 P. M. 



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fflSTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS. 

A BEVIEW OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE TENNESSEE HISTOR- 
ICAL SOCIETY FROM OCTORER, 1914, TO MARCH, 1915. 



On October 13, 1914, the venerable Mr. D. F. Wilkin, of the Nashville 
Bar, made the chief address of the evening, relating reminiscences of his 
life in Nashville 'for almost seventy years. Mr. Wilkin came to Nashville 
as a young man in 1847. On the day following the address he was ninety 
years old. The speaker told of Nashville in 1S47, when he first came, and 
related many interesting incidents connected with the growth of the city 
during the late forties and the fifties. Especial mention was made of a 
number of leading lawyers and business men of that day. His description 
of the business district of Nashville in 1847 was especially interesting. 

At the November meeting Professor John Lee Coulter, of the Georg[« 
Peabody College for Teachers, delivered an address on "The EconomK 
History of Farming in Tennessee." In this he described the many re- 
sources of the State and some of the efforts that had been made to de- 
velop them. 

At the December meeting Professor St George L. Sioussat read a 
paper on "The Preservation of State Archives." He told how the many 
states of the Union through their state historical societies or archives de- 
partments were working to save the materials for state history. The 
bills originating the archives departments of many of the southern states 
were read and discussed, with especial reference to their practicability for 
adoption in Tennessee. Especially the states of Mississippi, Alabama, 
North Carolina and Arkansas were stressed. In concluding his paper, 
the speaker outlined a plan for the State of Tennessee. 

At the. January meeting Judge Robert Ewing, the Recording Secretary 
of the Society, related some personal reminiscences in connection with 
the Bar of Tennessee in the fifties and later, especially discussing the life 
and works of Judge Wm. F. Cooper and Judge Edwin H. Ewing. 

Professor G. W. Dyer, State Archivist, made a short report on the 
work of his department, with especial reference to his efforts to collect 
certain valuable records of the county courts of the state. The president 
read a letter from Dr. Sioussat in regard to a fitting memorial to Andrew 
Jackson, i. e., the publication of the most important official letters and 
papers of Andrew Jackson. The subject was discussed by several mem- 
bers and the society requested the president to take up the project with the 
Jackson Memorial Association. 

A report was made on the proposed Capitol Annex. This was referred 
to a standing committee on this subject with instructions to take up the 
matter with the legislature and act in such a way as would be for the best 
interest of the society. 

Dr. A. H. Purdue, State Gologist, gave an illustrated lecture at the 
February meeting on "The Geologic Formation of the North American 
Continent." Tihe lecture was delivered in the assembly room of Watkins 
Hall, adjoining the society rooms, to a large and enthusiastic audience. 

At this meeting President John H. DeWitt presented on behalf of Miss 
Sarah C. Berry, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, a print of "The Death of 
General Andrew Jackson." 



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PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY 71 

Rev. W. F. Qnilliaii, president of the Methodist Training School, deliv- 
ered the address at the March meeting. His strbject was "Southern Poets 
and Southern Poetry." 

Two of the most interesting documents which the society has received 
dtiring the year were received from Mr. Geo. W. Polk, of San Antonia 
Texas. They were the original surveys and grants of two tracts of land 
in Tennessee. One was to Thomas Polk, who was a brother of Ezddd 
Polk, grandfather of President James K. Polk, for a tract of land on De- 
feated Cony Creek of 2,191 acres, which was dated in 1792 and executed 
in 1793. The other was to William Polk for 2,000 acres in Smith County 
in i8oa 

A report was made by the president in regard to moving the most val- 
uable documents and pictures of the society to a vault in the Vandeiinlt 
Law Building. This is in many ways the most important forward step the 
society had made in the attempt to make secure the many valuables in- 
trusted to the society. The society now feels that it is in better position 
to preserve valuables of every description than it has ever been. 

On the request of Mr. McCallom the original copy of his father's manu- 
script — a History of Giles County — ^was turned over to him> on condition 
that the original be returned and that a copy of the printed history be 
given the society. 

The society is in correspondence with several parties in regard to se- 
curing two or three diaries of prominent Tennesseans in the forties. 
Reports are expected on this matter in the next month or two. 

Below is a list of new members from October, 1914. (Unless differently 
indicated, the place of residence is Nashville.) 

W. K Boardman; W. D. Howser; Isaac Ball; Geo. Thomas; W. F. 
Quillian; W. L. McElwee, Rockwell, Tenn.; H. A, Miller, Bolivar; Judge 
Sam Holding, Columbia ; A. J. Haun, Franklin ; Nelson Fisher, Carthage ; 
Paul F. Doran, Sparta; Joshua A. Graham, St. Joseph, Mo.; Chas. A. 
Halley, Washington, D. C; A. J. Hibbett, Waverly; A. L. Dorsey, Spring- 
field; Miss Kate White, Knoxville; Hugh M. Tate, Knoxville; Mrs. Geo. 
White Baxter, Knoxville; Matt G. Lyle, Clarksville; Mrs. Ida Clyde 
Clarke; W. R. Cole; Will A. McTeer, Maryville; Judge J. P. Young, 
Memphis; Henry E. Smith; Wm. Keen, Huntsville; Arthur Crownover, 
Winchester; Chas. A. Stanback, Somerville; C. W. Baker; Mrs* N. B. 
Dozier; Chas. A. Cason; Donald L. McMurry; I. R. Boardman; Halle 
P. Bridges; Dr. Albert Smith Dabney ; Judge B. D. Bell ; Miss Evie Morris. 

Ibby R. Hudson, 
Assistant Recording Sgcretary. 

THE CELEBRATION OF JACKSON DAY, JANUARY 8, 1915, 
IN NASHVILLE. 

1914 and 1915 are for America years of centennial celebration. The 
second week of September, 1914, witnessed in the dty of Baltimore a 
notable memorial to the attack on Baltimore one hundred years befor^ 
when the defense of Baltimore turned the British back from the east and 
gave to the world Francis Scott Key's The Star-Spangled Banner. De- 
cember 24th brought the centennial anniversary of the signing of the 
Treaty of Ghent ; while on January 8, 1915, in the cities of New Orleans 
and Nashville fitting exercises were held commemorative of Jackson's 
defeat of the British in the Battle of New Orleans. In New Orleans the 
celebration was based, like that at Baltimore, particularly on the historic 
interest attaching to the scene of the great event. In Nashville the cen- 
tennial exercises of January 8th were pre-eminently in honor of tiie man. 



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72 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

It seems fitting, therefore, that in this first number of a magazine devoted 
to the history of Tennessee some account should be given of the events 
by which, in 19 15, Jackson Day was celebrated in Nashville. 

The prime movers in the preparations for the exercises were the An- 
drew Jackson Memorial Association and the Ladies' Hermitage Associa- 
tion. It is. the object of the first organization to bring about the erection 
in Nashville a5 a splendid memorial to General Jackson to which in addi- 
tion to private subscriptions, contributions are expected on the part of the 
city of Nashville, Davidson County, the State of Tennessee, and the gov- 
ernment of the United States. The organization of ladies is fortunate in 
that it can look upon results rather than expectations, for it has redeemed 
from danger the dwelling house of Andrew Jackson, and has so cared 
for it that it presents to the visitor a model of what the preservation of 
antiquities ought to be. 

The day began with a parade which, organizing at Broadway and 
Eighth Avenue, moved about ten o'clock through the principal streets of 
the business district of the city to the Capitol Boulevard before the State 
Capitol In the parade were represented many military, municipal, and 
patriotic organizations. Upon the. west side of the Capitol Boulevard, be- 
hind many bales of cotton, two companies of Confederate soldiers engaged 
in a miniature sham battle with two companies of the Tennessee National 
Guard. At the conclusion of this reminiscence of the Battle of New 
Orleans several white doves were released, as a token of peace, by little 

Sirls who acted for the Ladies' Hermitage Association. Upon the Capitol 
oulevard a great throng heard addresses from Governor Ben W. Hooper, 
Major E. B. Stehlman, and Judge S. F. Wilson. 

On the east side of the Capitol were held the most impressive cere- 
monies of the morning under the auspices of the Ladies' Hermitage Asso- 
ciation. Here the equestrian statue of General Jackson was decked with 
wreaths of flowers placed upon it with appropriate remarks by ladies 
representing the various patriotic organizations and by General J. W. 
Lewis, of Pans, Tennessee, and Chief Marshal T. W. Wrenne. The prin- 
cipal address was delivered by Mrs. B. F. Wilson, Regent of the Ladies' 
Hermitage Association. On the same afternoon, in honor of General 
Jackson, a hickory tree was planted at Centennial Park. 

In the evening a banquet at the historic Maxwell House was attended 
by two hundred or more citizens. The toastmaster was Mr. Robert L. 
Burch, and the speakers were Judge John AUison, Judge M. M. Neil, 
of the Supreme Court of Tennessee; Major E. B. Stahlman; Chancellor 
J. H. Kirkland, of Vanderbilt University; Governor B. W. Hooper; the 
Right Reverend Thomas F. Gailor, Bishop of Tennessee, and former Gov- 
ernor Malcolm R. Patterson. The same evening witnessed a brilliant ball 
at the Hermitage Hotel, given under the auspices of the Ladies* Hermitage 
Association. 

Upon the following morning, January 9, the Daughters of 1812. with 
many invited guests, made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Andrew Jackson 
at the Hermitage. The tomb had been appropriately decorated, and the 
exercises were begun by Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, State Treasurer of the 
Daughters of 1812, who introduced the State President, Mrs. W. G. 
Spencer. The first speaker was Mr. John H. DeWitt, President of the 
Tennessee Historical Society, who paid a tribute to the work of the 
women's patriotic societies. He was followed by Mrs. Rachel Jackson 
Lawrence, who gave most interesting persona] reminiscences of General 
Jackson, and read an affectionate letter written by the Graeral to her 
mother. Mrs. B. F. WHson, Regent of the Ladies' Hermitage Association, 
tiien, on the part of that association, tendered a cordial welcome to the 
Daughters of 181 2. Mrs. Albert Sioussat, Historian General of tiie Na- 



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JACKSON DAY CELEBRATION 73 

tional Society of Colonial Dames of America, and a member of the 
Daughters of 1812 in the State of Maryland, told some incidents of the 
attack on Baltimore by the British and the defense of Fort McHenry. 
Mrs. Willis Hitzing, Vice-President of the Daughters of 1812 in Alabama, 
extended the greetings of that State. Remarks were made also by Miss 
Susie Gentry, Mrs. Qeveland, Mrs. Horton, and Mrs. Shannon, all of 
the Franklin, Tennessee, Chapter of the Daughters of 1812. Mrs. Mary 
C. Dorris, with whom originated the idea of the pilgrimage, next spoke 
to the school children of the Old Hickory School, reminding them of 
Jackson's work in the Indian warfare of the southern country. Mrs. P. H. 
Manlove, Miss Louise Lindsley, and Mrs. W. G. Spencer closed iht list of 
speakers. Two wreaths of evergreen gathered from the old church, built 
in 1823 by General Jackson for his wife, were placed upon the graves of 
General and Mrs. Jackson. After these exercises and a luncheon, a paper 
upon Jackson's career was presented by Miss Gentry. Thus was brought 
to a close a day enjoyed to the full by a deeply interested and appreciative 
audience. 

THE PRESERVATION OF THE STATE'S ARCHIVES. 

We reproduce below the text of a bill for the establishment of a 
Department of Archives and History, introduced in the present General 
Assembly by the Davidson County delegation. 

By way of introduction^ it may be pointed out that Tennessee stands 
almost alone, among southern states, in neglect of state support and 
care for the preservation of historical materials. In North Carolina, 
the mother state, there^ is a flourishing commission with an able sec- 
retary, receiving a continuing appropriation of $5,000 annually. To tiic 
West, Arkansas has established a commission on much the same plan. 
Mississippi and Alabama, to the South, were, in their realization of this 
responsibility and their fulfillment of iheir duty, models and sources of 
inspiration, not only for their own section, but for the whole country. 
Kentucky, to the North, has not yet established an archives department 
or commission, but appropriates $5,000.00 annually for the state his- 
torical society. 

The preservation of historical materials in our American states has 
always attached to officers of government In every commonwealth the 
acts of the legislatures, decisions of the courts, the reports of public offi- 
cers, have been deemed worthy of preservation, though in early times 
the guardianship and collection of even some of these were left to private 
initiative. Usually,— in Tennessee, throughout the whole period of state- 
hood, — the publication of the laws and the journals of legislatures has been 
regarded as essential. In addition to this the interests of property have 
demanded the preservation of records not published, such as land records 
and wills. But over and above these there arc many records of govern- 
ment offices which, as soon as their immediate interest has expired,^ as 
soon as they have ceased to be of interest to the lawyer and politician, 
have been, if not destroyed, at least less respectfully treated. Often this 
treatment is not a matter of choice. Shelves, vaults, rooms, even build- 
ings, accumulate more records than they can hold. Officials, busy with 
the current work of their respective offices, lose interest in what is old 
and not subject to use. The result is what every investigator knows — 
total confusion and lack of arrangement of the older records, and in many 
cases the total loss of those documents from which the student of history 
must construct his reproduction of the life of the past. 

To this general statement of conditions the experience of Tennessee 
has furnished no exception. The original depositary for the archives 



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74 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

of Tennessee seems to have been the office of the Secretary of State. In 
1837-38, long before the present state capitol was built, Governor Newton 
Cauonon called attention to the overcrowded condition of the office of 
the Secretary of State. Doubtless the completion of the new capitol in 
1853 furnished for the time being anq>le room; but the fundamental evil 
was not cured. The Secretary of State is an officer actively engaged in 
the performance of current duties in connection with the government, and 
he should not be charged with the preservation of the older archives of 
his predecessors, to say nothing of the mass of material accumulating 
from the overflow of other departments. Moreover, the offices of the 
various departments of government soon again became crowded. 
As long ago as 1897 Governor Tumey stated the need for a capitol 
annex, and the recommendation has been repeated by many other gov* 
emors, but nothing has been done towards the securing of a fireproof 
building into which might be moved those departments which now have 
no adequate room in the capitol. What conditions were in 1903 may be 
learned from an article written in that year by Dr. R. A. Halley, pub- 
lished in the January number of the American Historical Magasint and 
Tennessee Historical Society Quarterly, Some time before, the over- 
crowding of the office of the Secretary of State, had led to the storing of 
tihe overflow in the west crypt of the capitol. Here "they lay piled in 
masses on the stone floor, among old paint barrels, ashes, and trash of 
every description, dirt and grime. They were wet and rotting, and it was 
during this period that the janitor of the c^itol burned up several cart- 
loads because of the fact that they were 'wet and nasty and smelled bad.' ** 

The first st^s towards improvement were taken while the Hon. Benton 
McMillin was governor. By the use of part of the fund for repairs the 
records were moved to the armory in the basement, which was dry. Then 
the legislature made a special appropriation to construct and fit up a room 
for storing the archives. The present quarters are located in the top 
of the capitol. As all of the floors and fittings are of wood, as the rooms 
are traversed by electric light wires, and as the steam heating system does 
not extend to this height in the capitol, there is serious danger of fire. 

But after the archives had reached this destination they were still in 
confusion. Fortunately Governor McMillin. spared some of the appro- 
priation for the expenses of his office for the purpose of employing 
Mr. R. T. Quarles to examine and sort out the miscellaneous collection 
of papers which had been dumped into the new quarters, to which, through 
the energy of Mr. Quarles, great additions were made by the rescue of 
papers from hidden comers of the capitol Thus began a service to the 
state which was endedl only by Mr. Quarles's death. 

This was more than ten years ago. Obviously two things were to be 
done: First, to create by legislative authority a permanent department 
of archives ; secondly, to provide a fireproof depositary in a capitol annex. 
To accomplish these aims was the task undertaken by the Tennessee His- 
torical Society in 1905. The effort failed, and all that was accomplished 
was to provide in the appropriation bill for the continuance of Mr. Quarles's 
services. Subsequent efforts promised better success, but these hopes 
were unrealized. The State has not yet provided the funds for a capitol 
annex, and the care of the archives has hung upon the slender thread 
of an item in the appropriation bill. It is to meet this situation and to 
provide at least for tiie proper care of the archives that remain that the 
bill to which we have referred has been drawn up. 

A third factor in the preservation of historical material is the work 
of this Society. In 1905 when the effort was made to secure a proper 
building and to constitute a department of archives, the Tennessee His- 
torical Society, through its president, ex-Governor Porter, offered to torn 



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THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES BILL 75 

over to the State its rich collection of antiquities and manuscripts, so soon 
as a fireproof place should be provided. This offer is based upon the sinih 
ilar arrangements in other States, where the respective Historical Socie- 
ties act as trustees. The offer is still open, and is included in the bill. 

It is to be hoped that those who, on reading this account of the 
present condition of the archives, are impressed with the need of imme- 
diate and efficient action, will be willing to write to the Senator and 
Representative with whom they are most closely associated, to solicit 
their active cooperation in the passage of the bill. 

Further details as to the history of the archives of Tennessee, to 1908, 
may be found in "A Preliminary Report on the Archives of Tennessee," 
written by the editor of the Magazine and published in the Report of the 
American Historical Association for 1906, Volume 2, pages 197-238^ 
Copies may be had of the Tennessee Historical Society. 

AN ACT. 

To Create, Establish and Maintain a Department of Archives and His^ 
tory of the State of Tennessee, and to Provide Rules and Regula- 
tions to Control and Govern the Same. 

Section i. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of 
Tennessee, That there shall be created and) maintained a department to 
be known and designated as the "Department of Archives and History," 
under rules and regulations hereafter set forth and prescribed, to be 
located in or at the capitol in apartments set apart for its use, the 
object and purpose of same being the care and custody of official archives ; 
the collection of material bearing upon the history of the State from the 
earliest times; the compilation and publication of official records, and 
other historical material; the diffusion of knowledge in reference to the 
history and resources of the State ; the encouragement of historical work 
and research, and the performance of such other acts and requirements 
as may be enjoined and prescribed by law. 

Section 2. Be it further enacted. That said department shall be under 
the management, control and supervision of a Commission to be known 
as the State Commission of Archives and History, composed of the 
Governor (who shall be ex-officio chairman of said Commission), and 
eight other commissioners. Said commissioners shall hold office for the 
term of eight years, or until the election and qualification of their suc- 
cessors. Within thirty days after the passage of this Act the Governor 
shall appoint the first members of said Commission, and thereafter said 
Commission shall have power and authority to fill all vacancies occurring 
therein, but the name of all newly elected members, at the next session 
of the General Assembly, shall be sent to the Senate by the Governor for 
confirmation, and in case of rejection of any of the names proposed the 
Senate shall proceed forthwith to fill the vacancy or vacancies by election. 
The first commissioners shall at their first meeting designate their terms 
by lot, so that the terms of two members shall expire in two years, two in 
four years, two in six years, and two in eight years. The said commission 
shall within ten days after their appointment proceed to organize said 
department. Said Commission may at any time hold special meetings 
at the capitol upon call and notification of the chairman of his own 
motion or at the request and solicitation of three or more members of 
the Commission — five or more constituting a quorum. The said Com- 
mission is empowered to adopt rules for its own government and the 
management of the department; to elect a Director who shall be Secre- 
tary of said Commission ; to provide for the publication of historical mate- 



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76 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

rial pertaining to the history of the State; to have the direction and con- 
trol of the marking of historic sites under the supervision of the Director ; 
to control and expend all appropriations that may be made for the main- 
tenance of the department, including the employment of any assistants 
on other employes, and to fix the compensation of the Director and all 
assistants and employes; and to do and perform such other duties, acts 
and tilings as may be necessary to carry out the intent and purpose of 
this Act. 

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That any State, county, or other official 
is hereby authorized and empowered, in his discretion, to turn over to 
the Department for permanent preservation therein any official books, 
records, documents, original papers, newspaper files, and printed books 
not in current use in their offices. When so surrendered copies there- 
from shall be n»ade and certified by the Director upon the application of 
any person interested, which certification shall have all the force and 
effect as if made by the officer originally in the custody of them and 
for which the same fee may be charged. When such books and records 
are turned over to said Department said officials shall be no further liable 
on their official bonds for the custody of such books, records and papers. 

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That this Department is charged with 
the duty of making special effort to collect data in reference to soldiers 
from' Tennessee in the war between the States, both from the War De- 
partment at Washington, from any department of the State having any 
record or memoranda of same, and also from any private source or indi- 
vidual, and cause the same to be prepared for publication in sudi man- 
ner and at such time as may be provided by law. The Director shall be 
authorized and empowered to solicit appropriations by the several County 
Courts of the State for the ijurpose of having the names of soldiers 
enlisted in their respective counties, ascertained and enrolled, copies thereof 
to be filed among the Archives and Records of the Department. 

Sec. 5. Be it further enacted. That room or space shall be allowed 
to this Department, when the same is available, for the deposit and keep- 
ing of any records, history, relics, mementoes, pictures, or curios of any 
bivouac, camp, chapter, or auxiliary in the State that may be brought and 
offered for preservation, and it shall be the duty of the Director to ask 
for and solicit gifts and contributions of that sort from these several or- 
ganizations, and provide a way for their transportation to the capitol. 
When thus donated they shall become the property of the State and not 
subject to withdrawal. 

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted. That this Department shall be under the 
immediate management and control of a Director to be elected by the 
commissioners as aforesaid, whose term of service shall be six years, and 
until his successor is elected and qualified. He shall take an oath of 
office as other public officials and shall be commissioned in like manner. 
He shall devote his time to the work of the department, using his best 
endeavor to build it up so as to carry out the design of its creation. He 
shall have the control and direction of the work and operation of the 
Department. He shall preserve his collections, care for the official 
Archives that come into his custody, always subject to the scrutiny and 
direction of the Commissioners, and collect as far as possible all material 
bearing upon the history of the State. He shall make an annual report to 
the Commission and report direct to the Governor when called for or 
desired. He shall give a bond in the sum of $5,000.00 for the safe custody 
of all the records, books, funds and other articles of the Department — 
said bond to be approved by the Commission. 

Sec. 7. Be it further enacted. That said Commission is authorized and 
empowered to accept in behalf of the State the offer of the Tennessee 



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THE DEPABTMENT OF ABCHIVBS BILL 77 

Historical Society, made througli ex-<70vernor James D. Porter, its then 
President, in a memorial to the Fifty-fourth General Assembly, to turn 
over to the State of Tennessee to hold in trust and perpetual deposit, as 
soon as the State shall provide a suitable fireproof depository and mu- 
seum, its collection (valued at $100,000.00), consisting of statuary, paint- 
ings, portraits of. Presidents, Governors, soldiers and other distinguished 
men; relics of all wars; busts, masques, mummies, guns, swords, pistols, 
bookB,^ papers, manuscripts, and records of all kinds subject to such 
conditions as may be agreed upon between the said G>mmi8sion and the 
Tennessee Historical Society. 

Sec. S, Be it further enacted, For the purpose of carrying out the 
provisions of this Act, Five Thousand ($5,000.00) Dollars, annually 
hereafter, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated 
out of any monies in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and 
the State Treasurer is hereby authorized to pay out the same, upon the 
warrant of the G>mptroller, upon the presentation of all proper vouchers 
signed by the said Director. 

Sec. 9. Be it further enacted. That this Act shall take effect from and 
after its passage, the public welfare requiring it 

WEEKS'S INDEX TO THE COLONIAL AND STATE REOORDS OF 
NORTH CAROLINA. 

The last year has witnessed the completion of a publication of great 
importance to the study of the history of Tennessee — ^Dr. Stephen B. 
Weeks's Index to the Colonial and State Records^ of North Carolina. This 
Index, in four volumes, covers volumes i-io, indusive, of the Colonial 
Records of North Carolina, and volumes 11-25, inclusive, of the State 
Records of North Carolina. The twenty-sixth volume of the State 
Records was indexed by Dr. Weeks at the time of its publication — 1905. 

Of the immense value of this splendid collection of publications of the 
State of North Carolina, every serious student of the early history of 
Tennessee is well aware. Every such student has also learned to his 
grief the need of an index thereto. To meet this need the first step was 
the preparation! by Dr. Weeks of an index to volumes 23, 24 and 25 of 
the State Records, which was published as a part of volume 25 in 1906, 
and index to volume 26 published in 1905, to which reference is made 
above. Of a far vaster undertaking, an index to the whole series, the 
first volume covering A to E was published in 1909, the second covering 
F to L in 1910, the third covering M to R in 191 1, and the fourth and 
last covering S to Z in 1914. 

The Index is arranged in alphabetical order, but under all important 
titles there are topics and sub-topics. Thus the reader is not obliged to 
hunt blindly for all the pages under the title "Sevier, John," but is assisted 
by such topical headings as "At King's Mountain," "Arrested and Results," 
"Attacks Cherokees," etc Of course, as the arrangement is alphabetical, 
chronological order is sacrificed. 

In addition to the Index proper, the fourth volume includes a section 
devoted to an "Historical Review of the Colonial and State Records of 
North Carolina." Under this modest title Dr. Weeks has published a 
monograph of one hundred and sixty-nine pages which gives in a schol- 
arly form the best guide to the archival material for North Carolina his- 
tory which is available. Dr. Weeks traces the history of the early pro- 
visions for the registration of births, marriages, and deaths, the various 
"Revisals" of colonial laws, and the beginnings of conscious effort to pre- 
serve the records of the Colony and of the State. He then passes to the 



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78 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

work of individual students in gathering historical sources, including 
George Chalmers, Hugh Williamson, Francois Xavier Martin, and, above 
all, Archibald DeBow Murphey. There follows an account of the activity 
of the State from 1826 to 1901, especially the period from 1881 to 1901, 
which brought to successful conclusion the efforts to publish the Colonial 
and State Records. In a second chapter, Dr. Weeks gives a complete 
analysis of the materials printed in the Colonial and State Records. 
The third and final chapter is entitled "Sources Still Uncollected," and 
comprises a valuable bibliography of the manuscript sources scattered 
in many repositories and in private hands which bear upon North Car- 
olina history. Curiously, however, there is no reference tmder this last 
head either to the collections of the Tennessee Historical Society or to 
tiie materials in the archives of Tennessee. 

As the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the best test of the 
usefulness to students of Tennessee history of Dr. Weeks' Index will be 
the employment of it in researches into the history and genealogy of 
early Tennessee. 



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Vol. I. . JUNE, 191S No. 2 I 

TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL 
MAGAZINE 




^ PUBLISHED BY 

THE TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



ISSUED QUARTERLY 
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, $2.00-SINGLE NUMBERS. 75 Cts. 



NASHVILLE 

FOR SALE AT THE ROOMS OF THE SOCIETY 
WATKINS HALL - - - NASHVILLE 



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COPYilGHT 1915 
BY TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



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THE TElSnSTESSEE 
HIBTORIC AL SOCIETY 



INOORPOR^OTEUD 18TS 



OFFICERS 

Presideni, 
JOHN H. DeWTTT. 

Vice-Presidents ^ 
E. T. SANFORD, 
PARK MARSHALL, 

J. P. YOUNG. 

Recording Secretary^ 
IRBY R. HUDSON, 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 
A. P. FOSTER. 

Corresponding Secretary, 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT. 

Treaswer, 
JOSEPH S. CARELS, 

Financial Agent, 
COL. GEORGE C. PORTER. 



FORM OF LEGACY 

"/ «tM and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society the 
ef. dollars:' 



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CONTENTS, 



PACK 

General James Winchester, 1752-1826. John H, DeWitt 79 

The Indian Policy of the Federal Government and the Economic 
Development of the Southwest (Concluded). Donald L, Mc- 
Murry 106 

The Confederate Government, 1861-1865. W. E. Beard 120 

Documents — 

Mexican War Letters of Col. William Bowen Campbell, of Ten- 
nessee, Written to Governor David Campbell, of Virginia, 1846- 
1847, with Introduction by the Editor 129 

Historical Notes and News— 

Proceedings of the Society — The Tennessee History Teachers' 
Association — Preservation of the Hermitage 168 

Committee on Publications. 

JOHN H. DeWITT, Chairman, 

W. E. BEARD, ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT. 

Editor of the Magasine. 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT, Professor of History, Vanderbilt 

University, 

Business Manager. 
JOHN H. DeWITT, Stahlman Building, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the state- 
ments or the opinions of contributors. 



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TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Vol. 1. JUNE, 1916. No. 2. 

GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER, 

1752-1826. 
ANCESTRY AND EARLY CAREER. 

James Winchester was bom on February 6, 1752, in 
Carroll County, Maryland, near Westminster, a town laid 
off by his father, William Winchester, who was a native of 
Westminster, England. William Winchester was bom about 
1708 and arrived at Annapolis on March 6, 1729-30, in the 
ship Hume, Capt Daniel Russell, owned by William Black, 
of London. In 1745 he married Lydia Richards. He died 
on September 2, 1790, and she died on February 19, 1809, 
in her eighty-second year. They had ten children, of whom 
James Winchester was the third and George Winchester 
was the fifth. George Winchester was bom March 6, 1757, 
and his life was closely interwoven with that of his more 
distinguished brother. In 1776 they enlisted in the Revo- 
lutionary Army as privates in the Third Maryland Regi- 
ment, commanded by Col. Nathaniel Gist, which was a part 
of General Washington's army. Both were promoted for 
bravery on the field. James Winchester was commissioned 
as lieutenant on May 27, 1778, George Winchester in 1779. 

At tiie battle of Long Island, in August, 1776, while 
assisting in covering Washington's retreat, James Win- 
chester was wounded and taken prisoner. He endured a 
year of suffering in the British prison ships off New York 
harbor. Being finally exchanged, he rejoined his regiment 
in the South, where it had been transferred to the army 
of Gen. Nathaniel Greene. He served bravely and gallantly 
under Greene until the close of the Revolution. He was at 
Guilford Court House, Hobkirk's Hill, Eutaw Springs, and 
many other battles and skirmishes. On May 27, 1778, he 
was commissioned as lieutenant in Company 8, on January 
1, 1781 he was acting captain, and on Febmary 9, 1782, he 



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80 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

was commissioned as captain, holding this rank at the close 
of the war.^ He was at the surrender of Comwallis at 
Yorktown. His brother George was also made a lieutenant 
in 1779 and served through the struggle in the same regi- 
ment 

A well-founded tradition indicates that from fellow sol- 
diers in the South, James and George Winchester heard 
of the beauty and fertility of the Cumberland country, now 
Middle Tennessee, and that they determined thitiier to come 
and join hands with the heroic men and women who had 
but recently founded the settlements having Nashville as 
their center. It was in 1785 that they arriv^ and chose as 
their domicile the beautiful country along Bledsoe's Creek 
in what is now Sumner County, within a mile of Bledsoe's 
Station, which had been established by the redoubtable 
Col. Anthony Bledsoe and Col. Isaac Bledsoe — a region 
destined to become almost the very choicest part of Sunmer 
County. In that crude time when there was little beside 
the native forest, the buffalo trails centering at Bledsoe's 
Lick, and the perils from hostile Indians, tiiese brothers 
must have discerned the dynamic possibilities of wealth and 
manhood that this country contained. Sons of an aristo- 
cratic family well grounded in an old colony, they had the 
courage and the strength to cast tiieir lot f orevermore with 
the builders of a new commonwealth, and they helped to 
colonize and organize a county that has ever until this day, 
in peace and in war, adorned many of the brightest pages of 
the history of Tennessee. 

The careers of these two brothers were thenceforth in 
close association. George Winchester was in 1786 appointed 
deputy surveyor by Martin Armstrong. In 1787 he be- 
came one of the first magistrates of Sumner County. In 
1790 he was appointed by Gov. William Blount a justice of 
the peace and register of the county, and second major of 
cavalry for Mero District The next year he was appointed 
first major of cavalry for Mero District. He was active in 
the fights with the Indians and was very popular for his 
exemplary character and kindness of heart. On July 9, 
1794, in his thirty-seventh year, he met a tragic death near 
the town of Gallatin while he was on his way to attend 
court, being waylaid, shot and scalped by some Indians. 
He was never married. It is said that he located the first 
permanent water mill in Sumner County, on Bledsoe's Creek 
near Cragfont, the home of the Winchesters, and not far 
from the crossing of the Gallatin and Hartsville pikes. The 
*Heitman, F. B., Historical Register and Dictionary of the United 
States Army, p. 1049. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTESt 81 

detail^ of the pioneer life of these two brothers are so 
meager that ahnost from the crude circumstances and the 
manifest difficulties must be inferred their manner of living. 
They seem not to have entered more than a small amount 
of land, and even then only as assignees of the original par- 
ties; but the trading instinct in tiiem was so strong that 
they acquired extensive and valuable lands lying mainly 
between Bledsoe's Creek and Cumberland River and Bled- 
soe's Lick. They were contemporary in settlement with 
Anthony and Isaac Bledsoe, William Hall, Hugh Rogan, 
David Shelby, Ephraim Peyton, William Cage, John Mor- 
gan, Blackmore, Nathaniel Parker and others in that 
neighborhood. It was a time of constant danger from ma- 
rauding and murderous Indians, and the martyrology of 
those days includes the names of many valiant men and 
heroic women and children. In the organization for the 
common defense James Winchester played a conspicuous 
part In 1787 he was appointed by Governor Caswell as 
"Captain of the Horse in Sumner County." In 1788 Gov- 
ernor Samuel Johnston appointed him lieutenant-colonel of 
a regiment of militia of Sunmer. In April, 1789, he was 
appointed by Gen. Daniel Smith as "Inspector to the Bri- 
gade of the Militia of Mero District." He was appointed 
as a member of the North Carolina Convention of 1788, held 
at Hillsboro, in which it was determined to withhold the 
assent of North Carolina to the Constitution of the United 
States until certain amendments could be obtained. About 
this time he built a mill on Bledsoe's Creek, probably the 
same mill located by his brother George, and his home was 
established near a bluff by the mill and christened "Crag- 
font," as it is known today. Thus was established one of 
the most famous and hospitable homes of Middle Tennessee. 
He was married to Susan Black, of Sumner County, a 
member of an old South Carolina family. 

In the bloody defensive warfare with the Indians, Win- 
chester was very active.* In April, 1788, he was one of ten 
mounted volunteers who followed a party of Indians that 
had murdered John Morgan at Morgan's fort, but returned 
because one of their party was killed by being mistaken 
for an Indian. Late in the fall of 1789, Winchester com- 
manded a scouting party in DeKalb County and discovered 
an Indian trail, which was followed until the Indians were 

*Many of these facts in the earlier life of James and George Winchester 
are taken from reminiscences given in 1844 by his widow and the son of 
General Daniel Smith, among the Draper Manuscripts, Wisconsin His- 
torical Society. (A list of authorities will follow the second instalment 
of this article.) 



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82 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

driven into a heavy canebrake. One of Winchester's scouts 
was killed as he entered the cane. Winchester, after a short 
skirmish, feigned retreat in order to draw the Indians out 
of the cane, but they did not come. The affair terminated 
in a singular manner. There were in the party two brave 
Dutchmen, one of whom was f oolhardly enough to go bound- 
ing into the cane, making loud whoops, and tiiis so terrified 
the Indians that they fled. In this battle the chief "Moon'* 
was killed. These were a band of thieves making their 
headquarters on the Caney Fork in order to plunder and rob 
the settlements. 

In December, 1790, Winchester was appointed by Gov- 
ernor Blount, under the territorial government, "Lieutenant 
Colonel Commandant of the regiment of militia of Sum- 
ner," "to hold the rank and command of Colonel of said 
regiment." At the same time he was appointed a justice 
of the peace by the Governor. In June, 1791, occurred the 
terrible attack on Zeigler's fort, in Sumner County, by a 
band of Creeks, Cherokees and Chickamaugas. There was 
a gallant defense, but three of the settlers were killed and 
several wounded and the houses were burned. Eighteen were 
carried into captivity, but some of these escaped and some 
were afterwards ransomed. The pursuing party which set 
out the next morning was commanded by Colonel Win- 
chester. Near where Lebanon now stands they found 
twenty-one packs of plunder tied up and hung on trees, evi- 
dently to remain there until part of the Indians could return 
and steal enough horses to carry it off. Some of the pur- 
suing party were sent back home with the plunder, and 
the others followed the trail, finding many fresh signs of 
the Indians and their captives, but the pursuit was finally 
abandoned. 

In the horrible conditions of constant warfare and pil- 
lage by Indians, continuing until the Nickajack Expedition 
in 1794, it was Colonel Winchester's duty to conduct the 
defense of the homes of his people, and he was faithful and 
steadfast, so that he should be ranked with Robertson and 
the Bledsoes as a father and founder of Middle Tennessee. 

When the Indian troubles ceased, Winchester became a 
man of affairs. Besides operating a mill, cultivating land 
and trading in land, he entered into a mercantile partner- 
ship at Cairo with William Cage. Cairo, on the Cumber- 
land, was the first county seat of Sumner and was also the 
princip^ trading point. William Cage, the founder of a 
large and substantial family, was a man of much strength 
and prominence. A native of Virginia, a major in the 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 88 

Revolutionary army, he had first settled near the Wataufira 
and was speaker of the House of Commons and later treas- 
urer of the State of Franklin. He removed to Sumner 
County in 1785. He was sh^ff of the county from 1790 to 
1796. He died in 1811. The partaiership between Win- 
chester and Cage lasted until the death of the latter. They 
carried on a large trade, not only in goods imported from 
Baltimore and Philadelphia, but also in tobacco and other 
products shipped by river to New Orleans. Thenceforth the 
development of Sumner County was rapid, all the lands 
were entered by 1800, and the firm of Winchester and Cage 
reaped the full and legitimate advantage of the times. Win- 
chester, however, as through all of his life, lost no oppor- 
tunity to serve his State and country. He was a member 
of the Sumner County Court. In 1794 he was appointed 
by President Washington a member of the Legislative Coun- 
cil of the Territory South of the Ohio, which was composed 
of five of the most prominent citizens of the territory. The 
other members were : Gen. John Sevier, Stockley Donelson, 
Parmenas Taylor and Gen. Griffith Rutherford (also of 
Sumner County). This was the upper body of the territo- 
rial legislature. It met at Knoxville on August 25, 1794. 
Upon the organization of the state government of Ten- 
nessee in 1796, Colonel Winchester was chosen to the State 
Senate and was elected Speaker of the Senate. In 1798 he 
was appointed a commissioner, together with Hugh Nelson 
and James White, for a valuation of lands and dwelling 
houses and enumeration of slaves, for the national govern- 
ment. In 1795 he was appointed brigadier-general of Mero 
District (composed of Davidson, Sumner and Tennessee 
counties), and he was reappointed by Governor Sevier in 
1796. This position he held until he entered the United 
States Army in 1812. In 1802, when the celebrated contest 
for the office of major-general of militia was decided by the 
casting vote of Governor Roane in favor of Jackson against 
Sevier, General Winchester received three votes for that 
high honor. Jackson and Sevier received seventeen votes 
each. General Winchester maintained a keen interest in 
military affairs during the years of peace. He was a warm 
friend of Gen. Andrew Jackson, who was after 1802 the 
major-general of the Tennessee militia; and he was also an 
intimate friend of Judge John Overton and of many other 
distinguished Tennesseans of that day. 

It is a tradition among the descendants of General Win- 
chester that when Aaron Burr came to Tennessee in 1807 
he made overtures to Winchester to come and confer with 
him, probably with a view of enlisting him in his schemes of 



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84 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

empire in the Southwest, but that Winchester refused to 
meet him or to have an3rthing to do with him. Generid 
Winchester was ever intensely loyal to the government and 
to the principles, as well as tiie administottion, of Thomas 
Jefferson. Winchester's home was even at this early time 
celebrated for its hospitality. In Andre Michaux's 
"Travels'* occurs the following entry: 

"Friday, the 12th (June, 1795), came one mile (from 
Bledsoe's Lick) to Colonel Winchester's; slept there two 
nights to rest myself and my horse." 

In 1802-1803, Winchester erected the magnificent stone 
residence, "Cragfont," which still stands in good condition. 
In September, 1802, F. A. Michaux, son of Andre Michaux, 
passed by there and afterwards he inserted in his famous 
"Travels," the following interesting description: 

"We likewise saw, en passant, General Winchester, who 
was at a stone house that was budding for him on the road ; 
this mansion, considering the country, bore the external 
marks of grandeur; it consisted of four large rooms on the 
ground floor, one story and a garret. The workmen em- 
ployed to finish the inside came from Baltimore, a distance 
of nearly seven hundred miles. The stones are of a chalky 
nature; there are no others in all that part of Tennessee 
except round flints, which are found in the beds of some of 
the rivers which came originally from the mountainous re- 
gion, whence they have been hurried by the force of the 
torrents. On the other hand, there are so very few of the 
inhabitants that build in this manner, on account of the price 
of worlmianship, masons being still scarcer than carpenters 
and joiners." 

LITIGATION WITH JACKSON AND EVANS. 

An interesting episode of his mercantile career was his 
litigation with Jackson and Evans, of Philadelphia. In 
tiie year 1793 General Winchester went to Philadelphia and 
proposed to Jackson and Evans, merchants, that he would 
buy from them a stock of merchandise, amounting to 
$5,846.00, and pay for it in military certificates for the pay 
of men who had performed militia service in the Territory 
South of tiie Ohio. They agreed to this if one David Alli- 
son, paymaster of the United States at Knoxville, but then 
in Philadelphia, would examine the certificates and report 
them to be good. Allison did examine them and report them 
to be valid and authentic; whereupon they were left with 
him by direction of Jackson and Evans. Winchester then 
purchased tiie goods and shipped them to Cairo. Soon after- 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTESt 86 

ward Allison became insolvent and Jackson and Evans 
claimed that a considerable balance due on the certificates 
was never paid them. This was the same David Allison who 
involved Andrew Jackson in heavy financial loss over mer- 
cantile transactions. 

In the year 1797, while in Philadelphia, General Win- 
chester was arrested at the suit of Jackson and Evans for 
the amount of the goods, but upon his being brought before 
the Chief Justice, he was discharged without giving special 
bail. At this hearing David Allison testified in favor of 
Winchester and produced an account current signed by 
Jackson and Evans wherein Allison was charged with this 
sum of $5,846, thereby showing that he was the agent of 
Jackson and Evans, and not of Winchester, in the collection 
of the certificates. But Allison died soon afterwards and 
Jackson and Evans proceeded with the suit, claiming that 
they had sold the goods to Winchester entirely on his per- 
sonal credit. In 1800 fiie case was tried. Winchester was 
surprised by the refusal of the court to admit testimony as 
to what Allison had sworn at tiie former hearing, and being 
nine hundred miles away from home, without other wit- 
nesses, he had to edure the rendition of a judgment against 
him. Jackson removed to Nashville and Winchester filed 
a bill against him in equity for relief against the judgment 
recovered in Pennsylvania. The case seemed to appeal very 
strongly to the Tennessee Supreme Court of Errors and 
Appeals. It was, however, the first time that the question 
came before the court as to the conclusiveness of a judg- 
ment rendered in a sister state. This question was new in 
Tennessee and very few courts in other states had passed 
upon it. The defendants pleaded that the judgment ren- 
dered in Pennsylvania could not be inquired into, under 
Article 4, Section 1 of the Federal Constitution, which de- 
clares, ""Full faith and credit shall be given in each State, 
to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every 
other State." The Tennessee Supreme Court construed this 
provision to mean simply that the record of a judgment 
in another State is conclusive evidence that such judg- 
ment was rendered, and held that a court of equity in this 
State is not thereby precluded from inquiring into the 
grounds upon which it was rendered, and granting relief, 
in a proper case, upon the merits. The plea of the judg- 
ment rendered in the sister State was held to be good, but 
it was also held that the complainant might reply to such 
plea and thus have an opportunity of showing that the 
judgment ought, in equity, to have no effect. The case 
was remand^ to the lower court for trial. This was in 



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86 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

1813. Judge Hugh L. White wrote the opinion of the 
court* In 1817 the case was before the court upon an ap- 
peal on the merits, and speaking through Special Judge 
Alfred Harris the court, after a full discussion of the facts, 
held, "that equity will relieve against a judgment rendered 
in a sister State, upon any ground which would entitle a 
party to relief against a judgment in tiiis State"; that the 
judgment ought not to have been rendered in Pennsylvania; 
that General Winchester, by the death of his witness and 
the loss of his papers, was precluded from a full trial of his 
case and was surprised by these circumstances; and that 
if the Pennsylvania court had heard the testimony which 
was presented in this case, it should not, and probably 
would not, have rendered the judgment Thus General 
Winchester was given complete relief against an oppres- 
sive and unjust judgment* 

The doctrine laid down thus so broadly has been long 
since materially modified; and the law now is, that if the 
court in the sister State had jurisdiction of the person and 
the subject-matter, its judgment will be treated as con- 
clusive in this State. 

SERVICE IN THE WAR OP 1812. 

On April 8, 1812, just before the outbreak of the second 
war with Great Britain, General Winchester was appointed 
by President Madison as one of four additional brigadier- 
generals in the United States Army. This appointment 
came partly through the efforts of Senator George W. 
Campbell, of Tennessee, and Representatives Joseph Desha, 
of Kentucky, and Felix Grundy, who was then representing 
the Nashville district/ General Winchester was then sixty 

'Cocke's Report, 421. 

^3rd. Haywood's Reports, 305. 

""I have complied with your request in tendering your services to the 
President of the U. S. — independent of addressing a letter to him on the 
subject — accompanied with such remarks as I thought best calculated to 
insure success. I called on him this evening and had a personal con- 
versation with him on the subject. He is close. I can't say certainly 
what will be the result, as to grade, but I think the prospect flattering, 
and tnist the grade will not be inconsiderable — in my letter of recom- 
mendation I mentioned no particular grade, it was for a high military 
command, that you was worthy of the trust of the most important office, 
even the highest. You have not written to Campbell. Why not? Camp- 
bell is your friend. We had a conversation today on the subject — he 
commands influence here. I am glad you have come forward — war is 
inevitable." Joseph Desha to James Winchester, January 8, 1812. (Ms. 
in possession of the writer.) 

"You may begin to put your house in order. We have succeeded. I 
have this moment understood that you are nominated to the Senate as 
Brigadier-General in the additional army, which I presume will be ap- 
proved in a day or two." Desha to Winchester, March 24, 1812. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 87 

years of agre, and many years had intervened since the Rev- 
olutionary war and the Indian wars. He had grown wealthy 
and was living in elegance and ease. But his patriotic zeal 
and excellent military record made him regarded as well able 
to organize and command an army. His career in the war 
of 1812 was one of great personal merit, but it never re- 
ceived due recognition. While he showed no lack of courage, 
he was the victim of misfortune and defeat. The writers 
of history have shown scant willingness to do him justice, 
if not a desire to cast obloquy upon his name. The rivalries 
and jealousies among the leaders resulted to his disadvan- 
tage, and he had to endure the inevitable blame which 
attaches to a general who leads his army to disaster and 
surrender, although they are beyond his control. The 
people of Tennessee, admiring military prowess and suc- 
cess, have suffered his fame to fall into neglect. Neverthe- 
less, his patriotism, his courage, and even his military skill, 
may be shown to have been of too worthy an order to justify 
the treatment which he- has received. In the year 1816, 
Robert B. McAfee, of Lexington, Ky., published his History 
of the Late War in the Western Country, which was the 
first continuous narrative of the war, and was written too 
early to be historically accurate or free from personal bias. 
This history, however, has been followed by later historians, 
especially in its treatment of Winchester's career. Lossing, 
in his Field Book of the War of 1812, relies materially 
upon McAfee's book. General Winchester wrote and pub- 
lished in the National Intelligencer, at Washington, in 
1817, a defense of his military career which was largely a 
direct reply to McAfee. Unfortunately, while it is a strong 
presentation of the facts, it involved General Winchester in 
a bitter controversy with Gen. William Henry Harrison, 
one of the most popular leaders in the West, and it did not 
overcome the intense prejudice of the people of Kentucky, 
the flower of whose citizenship had gone to death or prison 
at the River Raisin. It is for these reasons especially that 
the character of Winchester has suffered, and while this 
chapter is not written in a partisan spirit, tihe aim will 
be to do justice to a career that was sadly controlled by the 
ruthless currents of adversity. 

In 1812 the country comprising the present States of 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan was thinly settled ex- 
cept eastern Ohio and southern Indiana. Much of it was a 
wilderness, with occasional roads swampy and almost im- 
passable in winter. It was occupied by the Indian tribes 
dominated by Tecumseh, which had been overcome in 1811 
by tiie Americans under William Henry Harrison at the 



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88 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Battle of Tippecanoe. Michigan was a territory with less 
than five thousand inhabitants, its governor being Gen. 
William Hull, and Detroit was its capitol. Across the river 
from Detroit, in upper Canada, the British erected fortifica- 
tions, and near the mouth of the Detroit River, just above 
Lake Erie, they held Fort Maiden. Early in 1812 it be- 
came evident that they were preparing for an invasion of 
the United States by first taking Detroit and then overrun- 
ning Michigan. At Maiden they collected a body of Indians 
and fed, armed and equipped them to go upon the warpath 
against the Americans. Tecumseh was very active in stir- 
ring them to make inroads upon the American settlements 
and render military aid to the British forces. On the 
other hand, it was a part of the American plan of campaign 
that upper Canada should be invaded, as if our government 
could not remember the lessons of terrible disasters suf- 
fered from similar attempts made during the Revolutionary 
war. 

War with Great Britain was formally declared in June, 
1812. A small army had been raised in Ohio by Governor 
Meigs and placed under the command of General Hull. 
After a dreary, toilsome march, it reached Detroit on the 
fifth of July. A fruitless invasion of Canada followed. Hull 
returned to Detroit on August 7. On August 16, after a 
spirited engagement with the British and Indians, in order 
to save the lives of his men and the inhabitants, he sur- 
rendered the place. Two thousand men became prisoners 
of war and Michigan was invested by the British. 

This surrender left a large part of the Northwest Ter- 
ritory in a very defenseless condition. On August 15, Fort 
Dearborn, at Chicago, was evacuated under guaranty of 
safety by a large force of Pottawatomies, who had demanded 
its surrender; but shortly after the garrison and the in- 
habitants had left, they were beset upon the shore of the 
lake and all but twenty-eight were slain or wounded. The 
fort was destroyed. The Indians then openly joined the 
British. Tecumseh's plan was to drive the white people 
from the country north of the Ohio. The war dance was 
engaged in all over the region south of the lakes. 

Fort Wayne, at the head of the Maumee, was attacked 
on September 9, but was saved by the arrival of a large re- 
enforcement. Fort Harrison, near the present city of Terre 
Haute, on the Wabash, was garrisoned by fifty men under 
the conMnand of Capt Zachary Taylor. On September 4 
it was attacked at midnight by the savages, who burned the 
lower block-house, but after a heroic resistance and through 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 89 

the courage and prudence of its commander it was held 
until a force of Kentucky volunteers under Genersd Hop- 
kins arrived and drove away the assailants. An unsuc^ 
cessf ul attempt was even made by these allies of the British 
to capture Fort Madison, near St. Louis, on the bank of 
the Mississippi. 

These disasters and troubles aroused intense indigna^ 
tion among the people west of the AUeghanies. They de- 
termined to wipe out the disgrace, to reconquer the lost 
territory and to protect the settlements. Ohio, after the 
loss of her men at Etetroit, sent twelve hundred men under 
General Tupper to rendezvous at Urbana, on the border of 
the wilderness. Early in May, Kentucky had raised her 
quota of the one hundred thousand men called for by the 
President. William Henry Harrison, Governor of Indiana 
Territory, came to Kentucky, under authority of tiie na- 
tional government, and after a conference with the leading 
men of that State, accepted an appointment from Governor 
Scott as major-general of militia, and. on August 21 he was 
appointed a brigadier-general in the army of the United 
States. Before the fall of Detroit a large portion of the 
fighting strength of Kentucky, 5,500 strong, took the field 
and her troops were sent to various points for the defense 
of the country. An army called the Army of the North- 
west was formed to cooperate with Hull, and General Win- 
chester was assigned to the command of it, but when the 
news of the surrender cam^ it was plain that this army 
would have to march northward immediately. 

Since the early part of May, 1812, General Winchester, 
with headquarters at Lexington, Kentucky, had been re- 
cruiting troops from the South, especially Kentucky. Among 
the troops in the field were three Kentucky regiments under 
Cols. John M. Scott, William Lewis and John Allen, and the 
Seventeenth United States Regiment under Colonel Wells. 
They were ordered to rendezvous at Georgetown, Ky., on 
August 15. There they were addressed by Governor Scott, 
Henry CLe^y and other distinguished citizens. On August 
27 they reached Cincinnati. These troops mainly formed 
afterwards the left wing of the Northwestern Army and a 
part of them were led by General Winchester to the River 
Raisin. They were about 2,200 in number. In all, Ken- 
tuc^ placed nearly seven thousand of her sons in the field. 
Five regiments were intended for the protection of Indiana 
and Illinois. Acting under his commission from the Gov- 
ernor or Kentucky, General Harrison proceeded to Cincin- 
nati to take general comSmand. General Winchester ar- 
rived there about the 28d of August for the purpose of tak- 



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90 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

ing command of the detachment intended for the relief of 
Detroit. In his own narrative he says : 

"About this period General Harrison arrived and inti- 
mated that he had a right to the command, predicated on 
a brevet commission of major-general, then recently re- 
ceived or obtained from the Governor of Kentucky. Objec- 
tions to the intended procedure of General Harrison, founded 
on his absolute want of military authority under tiiat com- 
mission, were made. They were unavailing. He seemed 
to be determined to command. Two or three notes passed 
between us; and, finally, when an interview took place, it 
was agreed that General Harrison might assume liie com- 
mand, but entirely on his own responsibility. I was in- 
duced to concede this point for several reasons. I had my- 
self assumed the command; it was not yet known to the 
President of the United States and might not meet his 
approbation. And in addition, I was determined that the 
public service should never suffer from a personal con- 
tention with General Harrison or any other officer, where 
the least doubt existed as to the legitimacy of my own au- 
thority. On these considerations I returned to Lexington, 
again resuming the superintendency of the recruiting 
service, and General Harrison marched the detachment for 
Fort Wayne." 

General Harrison, on August 28, by a general order 
directed the troops under his command to continue their 
march toward Dayton. They reached there on September 
1, and on the next day while on the march toward Piqua, 
Ohio, Harrison received his commission of brigadier-general 
from the President, with orders to take command of all the 
forces in Indiana and Illinois, and to so cooperate with 
General Hull and with Governor Howard of the Missouri 
Territory. His first object had been the relief of Fort 
Wayne. On September 6 he set out from Piqua for that 
place with a portion of his command. He reached Fort 
Wayne on the twelfth only to find that the savage besiegers 
had fled. He spent some days in destroying the Indian vil- 
lages and crops and then returned to Fort Wayne. On Sep- 
tember 18, General Winchester arrived there with orders to 
take command of the Northwestern Army.. Harrison for- 
mally resigned the command to Winchester. This was an 
unpopular change among the troops, for General Harrison 
was undoubtedly their favorite. He was the hero of Tippe- 
canoe and the troops had great confidence in him. Being 
affable in manner, he was pleasing to the militia, who per- 
haps feared that the discipline of a regular brigadier would 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 91 

be more rigid. But Harrison, in a public address, urged 
the troops to full obedience to their new commander, say- 
ing, among other things, "If ansrthing could soften the regret 
which the general feels at parting with the troops which 
have so entirely won his confidence and affection, it is the 
circumstance of his bommitting them to the charge of 
one of the heroes of our glorious revolution — a man distin- 
guished as well for the services he has rendered his coun- 
try as for the possession of every qualification which con- 
stitutes the gentleman." He furtiier spoke of the fact that 
for the preceding ten days the army had performed severe 
duty "with scarcely a sufficiency of food and entirely with- 
out some of the articles which constitute the ration." 

The next day Harrison left Fort Wayne for St. Mary, 
Ohio, a place to the southeast, where he intended to collect 
a force of mounted men from Kentucky and prepare for an 
expedition against Detroit. On the 24th he reached Piqua, 
eighty miles above Cincinnati, and there he received a dis- 
patch from the Secretary of War informing him that he 
was placed in command of the entire Northwestern army, 
to be composed of the volunteers and militia from Ken- 
tucky and Ohio and three thousand men from Virginia and 
Pennsylvania, with the object of defending the frontiers, 
retaking Detroit and perhaps undertaking to conquer Can- 
ada. He then made his headquarters at Lincolnton and 
Delaware, farther toward the center of Ohio, where he un- 
dertook to accumulate supplies. The troops moving on the 
line of operations from Delaware toward Sandusky, com- 
posed of the brigades from Pennsylvania and Virginia, and 
that of Perkins from Ohio, formed the right wing of the 
army. Tupper's brigade formed the center division. The 
Kentuckians and regulars under Winchester, about two 
thousand men, formed the left wing. For several months 
these different corps were engaged in accumulating and for- 
warding supplies along the routes on which they were to 
march. 

On September 23, 1812, General Winchester with his 
army left Fort Wayne for the old Fort Defiance, fifty miles 
away, at the junction of the Maumee and Auglaize rivers, 
where he intended to wait to form a junction with the Ken- 
tucky infantry who were to come down the Auglaize from 
St. Mary's. He was in the heart of the wilderness, with 
scarcely any roads and with Indians lurking along the line 
of march. The army was composed of the three Kentucky 
regiments under Colonels Scott, Lewis and Allen, the Seven- 
teenth United States Regiment under Colonel Wells, and a 
troop of cavalry under Captain Garrard. The march was 



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92 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

conducted with the strictest caution and vigilance, with the 
greatest facility to act either offensively or defensively, as 
circumstances might require; at the same time guarding 
against the possibility of surprise during the day by the em- 
ployment of videttes, dragoons and spies disposed so as to 
prevent the main body from being taken off their guard at 
any moment To guard against attacks by night, the ground 
for encampment was each time well chosen and strongly 
fortified. With these precautions and having a road to open, 
the army could not advance more than from six to ten miles 
a day. Hostile Indians were frequently hanging on the rear, 
assailing the flanks and even opposing the advance. On 
tbe 25th, Ensign Liggett and four of tibe spies were killed 
and scalped five miles in advance. On the 27th, Captain 
Ballard with the spies and Captain Garrard with a troop 
of horse, while going to bury the dead, found the Indians in 
ambush, attack^ and drove them in every direction. 

These Indians were the advance of a force of two hun- 
dred British regulars under Major Muir and one thousand 
savages under Colonel Elliott, with four pieces of cannon, 
destined, to attack Fort Wajme. They were moving along 
the south bank of the Maumee. They resolved to give Win- 
chester battle at a point about four miles above Defiance, 
at the ford of a creek where Wajme had crossed in 1794. 
But General Winchester ordered a retrograde movement 
of two miles and crossed at a ford without the knowledge 
of the enemy. He had no knowledge of the size of this force, 
but at a council of war he proposed to move a strong de- 
tachment to attack the enemy the next morning at day- 
break. This was objected to by a majority of the officers, 
but when the army marched down the next day they found 
that the enemy had fled precipitately. One Sergeant Mc- 
Coy, of Scott's regiment, having been captured, had told 
Major Muir that Winchester's army was far greater than it 
was, and that another army as strong was coming down the 
Auglaize to join them. This story and the defeat of the 
advance by Ballard and Garrard so disturbed the Indians 
tiiat three-fourths of them deserted ; and the remainder of 
the force fled twenty miles down the Maumee. General 
Winchester, moving forward with great caution, encamped 
on September 80 on a high bank within a mile of Fort 
Defiance. His army was half famished, but the next day 
Garrard arrived with a brigade of pack-horses and supplies 
from St. Mary's. Being on hostile ground and greatly in 
need of adequate supplies. General Winchester with a force 
of 599 officers and men began the erection of a fort, block- 
houses, a storehouse and a hospital, all upon the site of 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 93 

the old fort. On October 2, General Harrison arrived with 
his commission as major-sreneral from the War Depart- 
ment He inspected the work being done, took account of 
the supplies and departed. 

Considering that he had been superseded in the chief 
conunand, General Winchester first thought of resigning, 
but he resolved not to abandon the service until the army 
could be safely lodged within the ramparts of Maiden and 
Indian hostility on the northwestern frontier finally sup- 
pressed. In his narrative he charged that Harrison had 
ever since the departure from Fort Wayne been intriguing 
to sypersede him, and the charge was supported by some of 
his officers; but it seems clear from the proof furnished in 
reply by General Harrison that although the latter's officers 
had signed an address imploring the President to give him 
the command, General Harrison did not participate in this 
effort, but endeavored earnestly to render Winchester's men 
loyal and obedient to their commander. The whole of the 
scattered army under Harrison now amounted to about ten 
thousand men. They were poorly organized, undisciplined 
and scant of supplies. The plan was to unite the army at 
the Maumee Rapids, not far above the present city of 
Toledo. General Winchester was instructed to facilitate the 
transportation of supplies to Fort Defiance and then to go 
to the Maumee Rapids as soon as possible. General Har- 
rison expected within two weeks to press forward to retake 
Detroit, but the expedition never was made because the 
difficulties were insurmountable. 

On October 4, General Tupper arrived with nine hun- 
dred mounted men at Fort Defiance. The murder of one of 
his men by a band of Indians caused General Winchester 
to order General Tupper to pursue the Indians with his 
force. For several reasons, Tupper refused to obey this 
order, but after remaining there some days he broke camp 
and mardied toward the interior of Ohio. He was after- 
wards tried on charges exhibited by General Winchester, 
but it was while Winchester was in prison, and Tupper was 
acquitted. 

On October 20, General Winchester reported that the 
fort was completed, boats were ready for tran^ortation to 
the Rapids and supplies were needed. His troops were busy 
especially in opening a road in front They were anxious 
to move. There was a large supply of com at the Rapids. 
The horses were so weak as to be idmost incapable of mov- 
ing empty baggage wagons. The troops were poorly clothed 
and fed. In this condition the left wing was permitted to 



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94 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

remain at Fort Defiance until the 30th of December, al- 
though Winchester frequently urged upon the War Depart- 
ment the necessity of moving. During this time a new fort 
called Fort Winchester was built about eighty yards away 
from Fort Defiance. Fevers and other diseases raged in 
almost every tent. The sick were exposed not only to hun- 
ger, but also to the inclemency of the season. The great 
trouble lay in the feeble support given by the War Depart- 
ment, and the conditions never arose under which the whole 
of the Northwestern army could unite or its exposed left 
wing could be really efficient 

On December 25 orders came from General Harrison to 
march for the Rapids as soon as ten days' provisions could 
be obtained. Winchester was assured that a cooperating 
force from the center with ample supplies might be ex- 
pected at that point. On the 29th he wrote General Tupper 
that he would expect him to bring supplies. On the 30th 
the army began to advance. The river being frozen, the 
march had to be made through snow two feet deep. The 
men harnessed themselves to sleds carrying the sick, the 
stores and the baggage. The watercourses which were not 
frozen in the center were bridged. In this way these brave 
men marched for eleven days, and on January 13 they ar- 
rived at the Rapids. While on the march General Harrison 
had sent word to General Winchester to remain at Fort 
Defiance if he had not set out, but the condition was not 
fulfilled and the order came too late. Exclusive of garri- 
sons in the rear, this left wing of the Northwestern army 
amounted to about 1,100 effective men. They were worn 
by fatigue and exposure, poorly fed and clothed, but their 
spirite were unsubdued. 

On the north bank of the Maumee, just above Wayne's 
old battleground, the camp was established and fortified. 
Messages were sent to General Harrison and General Tup- 
per, informing them of the arrival of the troops and the 
need of provisions, but a heavy fall of snow delayed the 
messengers. On the 12tii a citizen from Frenchtown, on 
the River Raisin, arrived in camp with the information that 
Colonel Proctor was assembling his force of British and 
Indians at that point and that they were plundering and 
maltreating the inhabitants. The River Raisin, or La 
Riviere Aux Raisins, flows through southeastern Michigan 
into Lake Erie. The land is fertile and a considerable set- 
tlement had grown up, for the most part loyal to the Ameri- 
can cause. Frenchtown was at the present town of Mon- 
roe, near the mouth of the river, and thirty-eight miles 
from the Rapids of the Maumee. On the 13th and 14th 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 95 

other messengers came, pleading for their defenseless peo- 
ple, saying that the Indians were threatening to murder 
the inhabitants and bum the town ; that the British were 
arresting and sending to Canada all who were suspected 
of being hostile to them ; that they were preparing to seize 
all the provisions and stock of the inhabitants; and that 
their avowed intention was to attack the American camp 
at the Rapids the moment their forces, then assembling, 
should be sufficiently strong. On the 16th another messen- 
ger brought word that the force of the enemy was about five 
himdred strong and hourly receiving accessions; that if that 
force were not immediately attacked and dispersed, they 
would soon attack the Americans ; and that in the event of 
an advance of the American forces before tiie contemplated 
robbery by the allies, the inhabitants of Frenchtown could 
and would supply them with provisions. To await an attack 
at the Rapids meant a contest with a larger force. To re- 
treat would be ignominious. To advance would be difficult, 
but the call of humanity required it At a council of war it 
was unanimously resolved upon. On the day before General 
Winchester had written to General Perkins at Sandusky, 
thirty miles away, asking for a battalion of infantry and a 
troop of horse. On the 17th he sent a dispatch to General 
Harrison, who was sixty-five miles away, informing him of 
his purposed advance to Frenchtown. He then sent forward 
Colonel Lewis with 450 men, and Colonel Allen with 100 
men followed and reinforced him at Presque Isle. This 
force, marching largely on the ice of Maumee Bay and Lake 
Erie, appeared in the afternoon of the 18th on the south 
side of Frenchtown. The left was commanded by Major 
Graves, the right by Lieutenant-Colonel Allen, the center 
by Maj. George Madison, afterward Governor of Kentucky. 
Two companies were sent ahead to bring on the engage- 
ment. The enemy being posted in a line on the north side of 
the river, opened upon this force with a howitzer, which 
did little harm. The whole American line crossed the frozen 
river in the face of blazing muskets, the long roll was beaten 
and a general charge was executed, the men leaping the 
garden picket fences.® The enemy fought with obstinacy, 

•**A Frenchman who lived in this village said that when the word came 
that the Americans were in sight, there was an old Indian smoking at his 
fireside; the Indian exclaimed, *Ho, de Mericans come; I suppose Ohio 
men come, we give them another chase* (alluding to the time they chased 
Gen. Tupper from the Rapids). He walked to the door, smoking, ap- 
parently very unconcerned, and looked at us till we formed the line of 
battle, and rushed on them with a mighty shout. He then called out, 
TCcntuck, by G— dl* and picked up his gun and ran to the woods like a 
wild beast" Darnell's Narrative, p, 47. 



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96 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

but were driven from their position and retreated north- 
wardly to a woodland, taking their artillery. They were 
followed by the Americans to the edge of the wood, where 
from three o'clock until dark the conflict was hotly main- 
tained. On the right wing they encountered both British 
and Indians. At nightfall they encamped in the village, 
which the enemy had occupied. That night the enemy re- 
treated toward Maiden. Their loss was never ascertained. 
The Americans lost twelve killed and fifty-five wounded. 
They had fought most bravely and no one was delinquent 
The enemy's force consisted of about 100 British troops and 
400 Indians, all under the command of Major Reynolds, of 
the British army. 

But this success was but the prelude to a terrible trag- 
edy. At Maiden was a large force of at least 2,000, about 
one-half being British regulars and Canadians under Col- 
onels Proctor and St George, the other half being Indians 
commanded by the Wyandot chief. Roundhead. Tecumseh, 
the intrepid leader of all the hostile Indians, was away on 
the Wabash, collecting warriors. When Colonel Lewis con- 
cluded the battle of the 18th he sent to General Winchester 
a report which reached him before dawn. Winchester im- 
mediately sent a report to General Harrison. Winchester's 
message of December 30 had not reached Harrison until 
January 11 at upper Sandusky. Harrison ordered on a 
drove of hogs for the Rapids, and on the 16th he received 
from Perkins a report that Winchester had arrived at the 
Rapids and was planning to move against the enemy. Gen- 
eral Harrison ordered the artillery to advance by the way 
of Portage River, with a guard of 800 men and escorts of 
provisions; but the roads were too bad for progress to be 
made. Harrison then went to Lower Sandusky, where he 
found that Perkins had prepared a battalion, with a piece 
of artillery, to march on the 18th. Harrison determined to 
follow it himself, but before starting he received Winches- 
ter's report of Lewis' advance to the Raisin and the objects 
of the expedition. He thereupon oMered Perkins' remain- 
ing regiment to march to the Rapids. Proceeding with 
Perkins in a sleigh, he received another message with in- 
telligence of the success of Lewis' force on the 18th. On 
the morning of the 20th he arrived at the Rapids only to find 
that Winchester and his force, excepting 300 Kentuckians 
under Payne, had gone the evening before to the River 
Raisin. He dispatched Captain Hart to tell General Win- 
chester to ''maintain the position at the River Raisin at any 
rate." The next day a message from Winchester came to 
the effect that if his force were increased by 1,000 or 1,200, 



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CSSNERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 97 

he could maintain the ground he had gained. . On the even- 
ing of the 21st the regiment of Perfins' brigade arrived. 
On the next morning the remaining Kentuckians under 
Payne were sent forward to the Raisin. Major Cotgrove 
with one piece of artillery arrived at the Maumee Bay that 
evening, but they arrived at the River Raisin one day too 
late. About ten o'clock on the morning of the 22d news 
came to Harrison that Winchester had been attacked at the 
Raisin. He immediately ordered the regiment of Perkins' 
brigade to go forward with all possible dispatch and he set 
out and overtook the reinforcements under Payne. News 
came of Winchester's total defeat and surrender. After 
sending forward some men to assist any who might escape, 
Harrison and his reinforcements returned to the Rapids, it 
being clear that a further advance could then be of no avail. 
Although they had been within but a few miles of French- 
town, Ihe terrible condition of the roads had prevented them 
from reaching Winchester in time. 

When Lewis' message reached the Rapids on the morn- 
ing of January 19, General Winchester, accompanied by 
Colonel Wells with 250 men, marched for Frenchtown. Win- 
chester with a small guard proceeded both day and night 
and arrived at Frenchtown on the morning of the 20th. 
The troops under Wells arrived at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. 
Colonel Lewis' force was encamped in the position from 
which they had driven the enemy — ^a picket fence, consist- 
ing of three sides of an oblong square, being on his front 
and flanks, the longer side facing l^e north, and part of the 
town immediately on the north bank of the river in the 
rear of his troops. Winchester gave orders to strengthen 
the works in the best manner possible, although they had 
little means of bringing timber from the forests and few 
utensils with which to fortify strongly. Colonel Wells was 
allowed to encamp in an open field on the right, just beyond 
the picketing, as being a regular army officer, he claimed 
precedence over Lewis. General Winchester intended to 
fortify a more eligible position as soon as possible, but it 
was hardly to be found. He was hourly expecting supplies 
and reinforcements from General Harrison. He had, as 
Harrison afterward admitted, every reason to expect them. 
He did not Imow that his messages had been delayed. On 
the 21st a place was selected for the whole force to encamp 
in good order. That evening Colonel Wells was granted 
leave to return to the Rapids and bear to General Harrison 
the information that the British were preparing to make an 
attack. McAfee says that this intelligence must have been 
discredited alike by the officers and men, "for no prepara- 



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98 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

tions were made by the one nor apprehensions exhibited 
by the other." He says further: "The most fatal security 
prevailed — ^many of the troops even wandered about the 
town till late in the night Colonel Lewis and Major Madi- 
son alone seemed to be on the alert — ^they cautioned their 
men to be prepared at all times for an attack. Guards were 
placed out this night as usual ; but as it was extremely cold, 
no picket guard was placed on the road on which the enemy 
was to be expected." Winchester says in reply: "On the 
evening of the 21st, so far from indulging a 'fatal security,' 
as stated in the 'History' (McAfee's), spies were pushed as 
far as the vicinity of Brownstown. No indications of an 
advancing enemy were discoverable; and it is a fact, since 
fully ascertained, that the troops who made the attack on 
the morning of the 22nd did not leave Maiden until after 
sunset of the 21st" 

Lossing, in his Field-Book of the War of 1812, repeats 
the accusations by McAfee, and says that four days after the 
battle Major McClanahan wrote to General Harrison that 
ammunition was not properly distributed among the re- 
inforcements, and that the urgent recommendation of Col- 
onel Wells that the quarters of the commander-in-chief and 
the principal officers should be with the troops, was un- 
heeded. He also says that in 1860, Peter Navarre, a French- 
man, told him that on the morning of January 21, 1813, 
General Winchester requested him and his four brothers 
to go on a scout toward the mouth of the Detroit River; 
that they met one Joseph Bordeau, who had escaped from 
Maiden, bringing the news that the British would that night 
be at the Raisin with a large body of Indians ; that Navarre 
hastened back to tell Winchester, but that one Jacques La 
Salle, a resident of PVenchtown, in the interest of the 
British, was present, and asserted positively that it must be 
a mistake; that General Winchester's fears were allayed, 
and that Navarre was dismissed with a laugh and no pre- 
cautions to insure safety were taken. Lossing also says 
that another scout confirmed this intelligence during the 
afternoon, but the general was still incredulous; and that 
late in the evening when word came to Colonel Lewis that 
a large force, with several pieces of heavy artillery, were 
only a few miles distant, the guard was redoubled, but the 
general would not believe the news. Lossing gives no au- 
tiiorily for this latter statement and it is not found in the 
otiier histories. It is true that General Winchester made 
his headquarters at the house of the pioneer, CoL Francis 
Navarre, just across the frozen river nearly opposite the 
left of the picketing; but this was because he could find 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 99 

no other house available that night, because' of the needs 
of the wounded. He had arranged to be among the troops 
the next night In his narrative General Winchester says 
that on the evening of the 21st a French scout returned at 
the moment when he was sealing the dispatch to General 
Harrison, and stated in general terms that it was ttie preva- 
lent opinion, among the people where he had been, that the 
British were making preparations to attack the Americans 
at the Raisin; that this information, although "not dis- 
credited alike by the officers and men,'' induced a belief that 
an attack would probably not be made for some days. He 
says that such information as he received was duly reported 
to General Harrison. McAfee quotes from the journal of 
Colonel Wood, an officer under Harrison, as follows : "Un- 
suspicious and elated with this flash of success (the first 
battle) , the troops were permitted to select, each for him- 
self, such quarters on the west side of the river, as might 
please him best, whilst the general (Winchester), not lik- 
ing to be amongst a parcel of noisy, dirty freemen, took his 
quarters on the east side; not the least regard being paid 
to defense, order, regularity or system in the posting of the 
different corps" — and, further, some caustic remarks on 
tile folly of attempting to fight with so small a force, with- 
out artillery or engineers or an adequate supply of ammuni- 
tion. To this Greneral Winchester says in reply: "Neither 
is it correct that on the night of the 21st not the least re- 
gard was paid to defense, order, regularity or system, in 
posting the different corps ; but as to the remarks translated 
into the History from the journal of Colonel Wood, I have 
only to observe that Colonel Wood was in the rear with 
General Harrison and probably received his information 
from General Harrison or vague report. But Colonel Wood 
is no more — ^the reputation of a fallen hero, who cannot 
appear for himself, shall be sacred — ^the world must judge 
between us!" 

On the night of the 21st the main body of the troops, 
about 750 in number, occupied the north bank of the river in 
tiie positions already described. General Winchester and 
his staff and quarter-guard were at the Navarre house, 
which could not have b^n more than half a mile away. His 
narrative is silent as to the absence of guards from the 
roads leading to the town, and probably they were not there 
because of tiie bitterly cold weather. However, the sentinels 
about the army were well posted. Between four and five 
o'clock in the morning, just as the reveille was beaten, and 
the drummer boy was playing the "Three Camps," the sen- 
tinels fired three guns and the troops were instantiy formed. 



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100 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

The enemy under Proctor began an attack from the north, 
the British being in front and the Indians on the flanks. 
The British opened a heavy artillery fire on the camp, dis- 
charging bombs, balls and grape shot at a distance of 300 
yards. General Winchester says that he was instantly on 
the ground, having only to cross the river. In this he is 
corroborated by Capt. R. Bledsoe, who says that he saw him 
on the line in the rear of his company before a single gun 
was fired at the enemy from iV General Winchester had 
even left the house without his uniform coat He reached 
the open ground occupied by the troops of Wells under 
Major McClannahan on the right. The British had come 
in the night in deep silence and posted their cannon behind 
a small ravine in front. Their first fire was quickly fol- 
lowed by a charge of the British regulars and a general fire 
of small arms. A well directed fire from Lewis' pickets re- 
pulsed them on the left and center; but the troops on the 
right were soon overpowered and driven back toward the 
river. General Winchester ordered them to incline toward 
the center and take refuge behind the pickets. This order 
was so nearly executed Hiat the van of the column was 
within a few paces of the entrance to the enclosure where 
the general stood ; but some of the soldiers, mistaking this 
partially retrograde movement for a retreat, sounded their 
own alarms and the wing broke. Winchester then directed 
a formation under cover of the river bank. A detachment 
from the picket enclosure, followed by Colonels Lewis and 
Allen, came to reinforce the right wing. But the troops 
could not be rallied. The Indians had gained their left flank 
and taken possession of the woods in their rear. In their 
confusion and dismay they attempted to pass along a narrow 
lane which led southward from the village. The Indians 
were on every side and shot them down in every direction. 
A terrible massacre ensued, in which nearly one hundred 
Kentuckians were tomahawked within the distance of one 
hundred yards. Death and mutilation met the fugitives on 
every side, whether in flight or in submission. The gallant 
Col. John Allen was wounded in the thigh, and after sur- 
rendering himself, was killed by an Indian. The snow was 
so deep and the cold so intense that the greater part of the 
men in retreat fell a sacrifice to the fury of the Indians. 
A party of twenty surrendered and then were massacred. 
General Winchester and Colonel Lewis were captured by 
Roundhead at a bridge about three-fourths of a mile from 
the village, stripped of their clothing except shirt, 

^Affidavit of Capt R. Bledsoe, now in custody of the writer. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 



101 



pantaloons and boots, and were taken to the headquarters 
of Colonel Proctor. Here General Winchester had an oppor- 
tunity to estimate the forces of the enemy. In the mean- 







MOTnmiTS AT rSXHOBTOWX. 



From Lossing's Fiild Book of the War of 1812. Sketch by an officer 
who survived the battle. 

time the troops within the picketing, under Majors Graves 
and Madison, had obstinately held their position, though 



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102 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

powerfully assailed. McAfee says that about ten o'clock 
Proctor withdrew his forces, intending to abandon the con- 
test or await the return of the Indians ; that the Americans 
took breakfast within their posts ; that when Proctor learned 
that Winchester was taken, he represented to him that noth- 
ing but an immediate surrender would save the Americans 
from an indiscriminate massacre by the Indians, and that 
Winchester was thus induced to agree to a general sur- 
render. 

General Winchester, however, in speaking from direct 
knowledge, is a more credible witness. He says that from 
Proctor's headquarters he saw his men contending against 
a strong force that was aided by six pieces of artillery, 
which in a short time would annihilate the picketing, witii 
the hopes of those within it; that the right wing was de- 
stroyed and no reinforcements could be obtained. He then 
had an interview with Colonel Proctor, who said that if he 
were compelled to storm the works he could neither be re- 
sponsible for the conduct of the Indians nor the lives of 
the men, but that if Winchester would surrender the troops 
he would be responsible for both. General Winchester then 
replied that if he would send a flag he would recommend to 
Major Madison that he surrender, with the additional con- 
ditions that the private property of the txo6ps should be 
protected, that the sick and wounded should be cared for, 
and the sidearms of the officers returned. These conditions 
were agreed to, the flag was sent, but Madison only agreed 
to the surrender upon the guarantee of the lives and prop- 
erty of his men by the British commander. The troops then 
laid down their arms, but a scene of infamy and perfidy 
followed. Proctor made no effort to restrain the savages 
and they proceeded to plunder the Americans. General 
Winchester remonstrated, but Proctor only replied that he 
could not restrain them.® They were only restrained by 
Major Madison in ordering his men to fire upon or bayonet 
any Indians coming into his lines; but this was of short 
duration. The plundering was resumed. The Indians were 
permitted to retain some of the men whom they had taken. 
Proctor was appealed to in the name of British honor and 

"Statement of surviving officers, at a meeting held at Erie, Pa,, Feb- 
ruary i8, iSis—NUes' Register, Vol. IV, p. 13. Winchester's official re- 
ports are found on pages 9 and 29 of the same volume. On page 83 is a 
statement signed by Col. Lewis, Major Madison and twenty-one other 
surviving officers, dated March 13, 1813. It contains no criticism of 
General Winchester. It recites, among other things, that the surrender 
of the force under Madison was made because their ammunition was 
nearly exhausted, the town would probably be set afire, and assurances 
of protection of prisoners were given. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 103 

justice, but in vain. About noon the prisoners were marched 
off toward Maiden. The wounded were left with only two 
American surgeons and Major Reynolds and two or three 
interpreters as a guard. The greater part of the Indians 
went six miles away toward Maiden, though some remained 
to plunder the town. The wounded spent a night of horror 
and suffering. About sunrise, instead of the promised sleds 
coming for them, about two hundred Indians, painted black 
and red, arrived. The British force had gone. The sav- 
ages determined to kill all the wounded in revenge for the 
loss of their warriors in the battle. They broke into the 
houses of the inhabitants and plundered them, dragged out 
the wounded Ijring in them, stripped them of their clothes 
and blankets and tomahawked them without mercy. They 
set houses afire and threw the dying men into the flames. 
Others were inhumanly mangled and left in the streets. 
Capt Nathaniel Hart, the brother-in-law of Henry Clay, 
was placed on a horse, but two Indians quarreling over him 
as their prisoner, dragged him from his horse, killed him 
with a club and divided the remainder of his clothing and 
his money between them.® Many other atrocious things 
were done. The few wounded men who seemed able to 
march were taken off toward Maiden ; but as often as any 
of them gave out on the way, they were tomahawked and 
left lying in the road. The dead were left unburied. A few 
men escaped and reached their homes after great suffering. 
Seldom in American history has a more terrible or infamous 
affair been perpetrated. 

On the morning of the 23d, Proctor arrived with his 
prisoners at Amherstburg, on the Canadian side of the 
Detroit River. There they were first placed in a lumber 
yard, where they were exposed to a heavy fall of snow 
until the next day, when General Winchester prevailed on 
Proctor to remove them. They were then placed in an open 
warehouse where fire could not be kept and where nothing 
prevented their perishing with cold but the fact that they 
were crowded together in a small space. In a few days 
some of them were sent to Detroit, others to Fort George, 
on the Niagara, where they were mostly paroled, on condi- 
tion that they should not "bear arms against his majesty, 
or his allies, during the war, or until exchanged." General 

*NiM Register (1813), Vol. IV, pp. 10-13. This article, taken from 
the Pittsburg Mercury, is excellently written and is based on statements of 
a number of survivors of the battle who had been paroled at Fort George 
and had passed through Pittsburg on their way to Kentucky. It contains 
a crude plan of the battle, which is said to be the first illustration that ever 
appeared in an American newspaper. 



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104 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Winchester, Colonel Lewis, Major Madison and others were 
taken to Quebec, and at Beauport, near that city, tiiey were 
confined until the spring of 1814, when a general exchange 
of prisoners took place. 

In this terrible affair at the Raisin the American army 
lost 197 in killed, massacred and missing. Only thirty-three 
escaped and returned to the Rapids. The British took 547 
prisoners and the Indians about forty-five. Out of his army 
of about 2,000, Proctor reported a loss of twenty-four killed 
and 158 wounded. He sent to Sir George Prevost, tiie 
British commander-in-chief in Canada, an account of the 
affair that was full of falsehoods, commending, among other 
tilings, the conduct of his Indian allies. He was promoted 
to tile rank of brigadier-general, which he held until he was 
deprived of it for his hasty flight at tiie battle of tiie 
Thames. On that field the horrors of the River Raisin were 
avenged by a splendid victory under Harrison and Shelby. 
The war ciy of Kentucl^r soldiers had been, ''Remember the 
River Raisin.*' 

It is doubtless true that American historians, taking 
their facts from McAfee, Lossing and some of General Har- 
rison's officers, have sadly distorted or exaggerated the 
facts of General Winchester's management of this cam- 
paign. It is impossible to judge fairly without considering 
the whole situation. The relief of the suffering inhabitants 
of Frenditown was a worthy and proper motive. Win- 
chester had a right to believe that Harrison and Perkins 
would join him. If it was physically impossible for them 
to reach him in time, he could hardly appreciate it, as he did 
not know that his message had been delayed. While he felt 
certain that Proctor's army would attack him if he stayed 
at the Rapids, he believed with great reason that it was 
better for the combined force to meet at the Raisin to de- 
feat Proctor and protect the settlements. General Harrison 
was criticised heavily for his failure to reinforce General 
Winchester. It is not clear why, when on the 21st he re- 
ceived from Winchester the urgent call for more men, he 
did not forthwith send forward those remaining Eentuck- 
ians under Pajrne instead of waiting until the next day. It 
would seem, too, that his army could have been brought 
together at an earlier date. But the full details of his sit- 
uation are now too meagerly known to justify a satisfactory 
conclusion. General Harrison the next autumn atoned much 
for tiie disaster by his brilliant victory at the Thames. Any 
lack of diligence on his part was forgotten in the glory of 
his triumph. General Winchester was then a prisoner of 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 105 

war at Quebec, helpless, silent and unable ta share in the 
i^Iendid work of retribution. 

At the River Raisin General Winchester was perhaps 
too incredulous as to the probability of an early attack. The 
troops would have been in a safer position had they been 
posted on the right bank of the river instead of the left; 
but then the town would have been exposed to the first at- 
tack. If the regulars under Wells had been placed behind 
the picketing witii tiie others they would not have been 
thrown into confusion at the first onset and the rout would 
have been prevented. This seems to have been a military 
mistake made at the insistence of Colonel Wells that his 
conmiand should form the right wing. But it seems too 
likely that wherever it might be posted, this half-starved 
and half -frozen army was doomed to defeat at the hands of 
a force much larger in number, well fed and clothed and 
equipped with the six pieces of artillery. Had the general 
sl^t that night among his men and had they been posted in 
the strongest available place, the battle might have lasted 
longer, but the result must have been substantially the 
same. It was hardly possible for it to be otherwise. 

(To be continued.) 

John H. DeWitt. 



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THE INDIAN POUCY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERN- 

MENT AND THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 

OF THE SOUTHWEST, 1789-1801. 



(CONCLUDED.) 

The extent to which the Indians and the Spanish to 
the south of our Western settlements were an obstacle to 
the free development of the Southwest, and the conflict of 
the policy of the federal government, which had other im- 
portant irons in the fire, with the desire of the people of 
the frontier to develop tiieir commerce and prosperity re- 
gardless of any artificial restrictions, are well illustrated 
by the story of the would-be commercial pioneer, Zachariah 
Cox. 

The government had from the beginning taken an in- 
terest in possible trade routes. The commissioners to the 
southern Indians in 1789 were instructed to find out how 
far northward the waters of the Mobile, Appalachicola, and 
Alabama rivers were navigable by boats, and what were the 
nearest land portages "from the northern navigable streams 
of said rivers, to the southern navigable streams of the 
Tennessee River." Their report to the Secretary of War, 
November 20, 1789, stated that the waters of the Mobile 
were navigable for large boats, one branch for 270 miles to 
the Hickory settlement where McGillivray lived, and the 
western branch about 320 miles into the Choctaw and Chick- 
asaw country, and within fifty miles of the great bend of 
the Tennessee River; that the waters of the Appalachicola, 
especially the Flint and the "Chataheekee," and the waters 
of the Altamaha, especially the Oconee and Ocomulgee, were 
navigable for some hundreds of miles. From the northern 
navigable streams of these rivers to the southern navigable 
waters of the Tennessee River there were no established 
portages, but the country was level, good roads might easily 
be made, and the greatest distances were not more than 
100 miles.^ 

The report of the Indian conmiissioners showed that, so 
far as natural obstacles were concerned, several advantage- 
ous trade routes might be developed between the tributaries 

* American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, pp. 67, 79 (1832). 
(Hereafter cited as "State Papers, Ind.") 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 107 

of the Tennessee River and the waters flowing into the 
Gulf. On December 21, 1789, Zachariah Cox and his asso- 
ciates, including John Sevier, in one of the three "Yazoo" 
companies, the Tennessee Company, received a grant from 
the State of Georgia of about IJiree and a half million acres 
of land on the great bend of the Tennessee River. Cox was 
a native of Georgia, who, in 1785, had been interested in 
a scheme to found a settlement in the same vicinity, which 
had failed because of opposition by the Indians. An attempt 
to form a settlement at the Muscle Shoals in 1790 was frus- 
trated by threats from the Indians, and Washington, fear- 
ing that the Indians would be aroused by any further at- 
tempts, issued a proclamation which, combined with action 
by Gov. Blount, effectively prevented any immediate repeti- 
tion of the att^pt. In 1795 another charter was issued by 
Georgia to the Tennessee Company, and, unable to settle 
the Muscle Shoals, Cox founded Smithland on the Ohio, be- 
tween the mouths of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.^ 

The Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Choctaws, remained 
hostile to any attempt to settle at the Muscle Shoals. In 
1792 the prevention of such a move had been stated to be 
one of the objects of a delegation of Cherokees which called 
on the President.* In the spring of 1797 James Robertson 
stated that settlement on the Tennessee by Cox and Com- 
pany would be very offensive to the Chickasaws and Choc- 
taws, and, if attempted, would doubtless bring on an Indian 
War.* The President, in a speech delivered in August 27, 
1798, to some Cherokee chiefs at Philadelphia, explained his 
attitude. "You cannot be ignorant," he said, "how earnest- 
ly I have desired to secure peace on your frontier, nor of 
my unwearied endeavors and the great expense incurred by 
the United States to prevent a certain Zachariah Cox and 
others from carrying an armed force into your country, to 
take possession of it."*^ 

Having thus failed in his attempt to settle near the 
Muscle Shoals, Cox, in 1798, went down the Ohio from 
Smithland with an armed party, ostensibly on an exploring 
expedition. He clandestinely passed Fort Massac, went 

'Cox, I. J. (Ed.), Documents relating^ to Zachariah Cox, in Quarterly 
Publications of the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, Vol. 
VIII, No. 243, P- 32 ff (1913). (Hereafter cited as "Cox Documents") ; 
Haywood, Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 159 (reprint of 
1891). 

•State Papers, Ind., Vol. I, p. 245. 

* American Historical Magazine, Vol. IV, p. 341 (1899); Cox Docu- 
ments) pp. 95. 96. 

•State Papers, Ind., Vol. I, p. 640. 



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108 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

down the Mississippi, and was arrested by the Spanish au- 
thorities at Natchez. The combined opposition of the Span- 
iards, the Indians, and the Federal Government had ef- 
fectually upset his plans.® 

These schemes included far more than ordinary settle- 
ment. Cox was trying to organize a commercial company 
to establish trade wilii the regions west of the mountains 
by way of Mobile Bay, and the rivers flowing into it, witii 
its headquarters at the Muscle Shoals, where a great com- 
mercial center was to be developed. In 1799 he published 
a pamphlet at Nashville, entitled "An estimate of commer- 
cial advantages, by way of the Mississippi and Mobile," in 
which he estimated the cost of the transportation of goods 
by his proposed new routes, and compared them with the 
ones then in use.'' His figiires showed that freight could be 
brought by way of the Mississippi, to Knoxville, Nashville, 
the falls of the Ohio, and even Pittsburg, at a rate much 
less than the cost of hauling across the mountains from 
Philadelphia or the other Atlantic ports, and at a still 
cheaper rate by way of Mobile, the Muscle Shoals, and the 
Tennessee River. "In carrying out this purpose Cox pro- 
posed to consult only the physical factors involved and to 
disregard entirely conventional lines of internation^ obliga- 
tions." "To me it appears strange," said Cox in his pam- 
phlet, "that any government should deem it good policy to 
withhold from a part of her citizens the use of streams 
formed for their benefit, while nations having claims on its 
borders remain unopposed to its exercise" — a supposition 
in regard to Spain's attitude that was not well founded.* 

Sevier, who was familiar with Cox's plans for the Mo- 
bile trade route, wrote, in 1797, to the Tennessee Congress- 
men a letter which indicates that he was heartily in sym- 
pathy with the plans of his old colleague in the earlier 
Tennessee Company. "The prevention of a settlement at 
or near the Muscle Shoals," he said, "is a manifest injury 
done the whole western country, and as long as it is the case 
we should be debarred from the navigation by way of Mo- 
bile, perhaps, an outlet to commerce equal if not superior 
to any in the United States. . . . Will the American 
Congress cramp and refuse to the Western Americans the 
great natural advantages providence had designated for 
and placed before them? Will that body suffer the citizens 
to be drained out of their states by other nations who will 

*Cox Documents, pp. 3S» 50 ff., et passim. 
^Cox Documents^ pp. 39-4^. 
*Cox Documents, pp. 35. 45. 46. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 109 

take advantage of our discords and jealousies, by granting 
to emigrants the privileges of promoting their natural and 
useful advantages? God forbid; I hope they will not."* 

The idea of developing the Mobile and Muscle Shoals 
route for western commerce apparently did not die with 
the failure of Cox's expedition. In the correspondence of 
James Robertson there is a docum^it without date, among 
his letters of 1806, signed by eight persons who petitioned 
C!ongress to be allow^ to develop this trade. They asked 
permission to remove the obstructions to navigation at the 
Muscle Shoals, and to charge tolls sufficient to reimburse 
them within a reasonable time for the expense so incurred. 
If the government would "permit a commercial establish- 
ment to be had at the differ^t heads of navigation in the 
Tombigby River at suitable points in the Indian country," 
they guaranteed to invest a capital of not less than a hun- 
dred thousand dollars in the venture, and ''to^pay any 
reasonable installments to the Indians their agents may 
contract for." They wanted Congress to incorporate their 
company, and to agree to protect them against possible out- 
brei^s of the Indians, whose consent to the establishment of 
their posts they expected to oMain.^® 

The whole scheme in which Cox had been the chief pro- 
moter seems to have been entirely practicable so far as 
physical obstacles were concerned. Spain, the Indians, and 
the policy of the general government prevented its success- 
ful execution until it became obsolete. With the develop- 
ment of steamboat navigation a portage route could not 
hope to compete with one entirely by water." 

Although the government would not risk an Indian w«r 
or trouble with Spain by allowing Cox a free hand in his 
commercial enterprises, it did, in several treaties, make 
arrangements for transportation facilities through the In- 
dian country. By the treaty of Holston in 1791, the Chero- 
kees agreed that the citizens of the United States should 
have the free and unmolested use of the road from Wash- 
ington District to Mero District, and the navigation of the 
Tennessee River." In the treaty of Tellico, in 1798, this 
privilege was extended to the Kentucky road "running be- 
tween the Cumberland Mountain and the Cumberland 

•Sevier to Jackson, Anderson and Qaibome, in Congress, November 
26, 1797. The letters in Sevier's correspondence cited in this article arc 
in the Tennessee Department of Archives. 

^American Historical Magazine, Vol. V, pp. 162-164 (1899). 

^Cox Documents, pp. 31, 32. 

"Kapplcr, C J., Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties, Vol II (Treaties). 
Senate Document No, 319, sBth Congress, 2d Session (1904)* p. 30- 



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110 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

River."" The Chickasaws, in the treaty concluded at Chick- 
asaw Bluffs in 1801, gave the United States permission to 
open a wagon road between the settlements of Mero District 
in Tennessee and those of Natchez, in Mississippi Territory, 
to be used as a highway by the citizens of the United States 
and the Chickasaws. All ferries, inns, etc., were to be the 
property of the Chickasaw nation." The treaty with the 
Choctaws at Fort Adams in 1802 provided for the opening 
of a road from the northern settlements in Mississippi Terri- 
tory to the Chickasaw lands, on terms similar to those in 
the treaty of Chickasaw Bluffs." This was the beginning of 
the famous Natchez Trace. 

Cox's attitude toward the government was tsrpical of 
the frontier. He saw that a commercial outlet was a prime 
necessity to the rapid development of the West, and he had 
discovered a practicable route, and he lawlessly proceeded 
in his att^npts to develop it, disregarding the Indians, the 
Spanish, and the United States Government, in much the 
same spirit in which Sevier and Robertson had attacked 
the Indians to prevent depredations upon their homes, when 
the government had forbidden them to do so. The pioneer 
saw as a rule only the western side of such problems; and 
was unwilling that a government policy which necessarily 
considered many interests conflicting with those of the 
frontier, should interfere even temporarily with his inter- 
ests and those of his section. The correspondence of Gov- 
ernor John Sevier of Tennessee during the years 1797 and 
1798 illustrates this attitude as applied to certain phases 
of Indian relations. He practically insisted that the gov- 
ernment ought to relieve settlers on Indian lands whether 
t^ey had come there in defiance of law or not, and he con- 
sidered the Indians only as enemies and as obstructions to 
the development of the country who deserved little con- 
sideration. In the arguments which he outlined to con- 
vince the Cherokees that they should live by agriculture, 
within narrower bounds, and thereby make room for more 
white settlers, he anticipated a policy which a few years 
later was adopted for a time by President Jefferson. 

The northern Cherokee boundary line had been described 
in the Treaty of Holston of July 2, 1791, and arrangements 
had been made for marking it soon after the treaty. But 
on account of the seriousness of the Indian situation, and 
the danger of displeasing one or both sides when the line 



"TCapplcr, Indian Treaties, p. 53. 
"Kapplcr Indian Treaties, p. 5 
"Kappler, Indian Treaties, p. 51 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POUCY AND THE SOUTHWEST 111 

was fixed, it was not marked until 1797, wben it was dis- 
covered that a number of white settlements were on Chero- 
kee lands,^* and the President ordered their removal. Gov- 
ernor Sevier, in a circular sent to 'The inhabitants settled 
on Indian Lands"^^ expressed sympathy with their situation, 
and the hope that the removid would be conducted with as 
little inconvenience to them as possible. In this and other 
communications with the settlers, and in his letters to the 
Tennessee (>>ngressmen and to the Secretary of War, Sevier 
takes the t31>ical frontier attitude, pleading the deplorable 
situation of the citizens removed from their farms by force. 
"It is painful," he wrote, "to hear the cries of the people 
of this state against a partial conduct in favor of a savage 
tribe, that can only be noticed for their atrocious murders, 
robberies, and desolate wantonness to commit every diabol- 
ical crime that could possibly suggest itself to a savage 
invention.''^^ In pleading the case of the ejected settlers 
with the Secretary of War, Sevier spoke apprehensively of 
the ill effects of driving many of them away from their 
farms, after a hard winter and a drought which were likely 
to bring on 'i;he greatest scarcity of provisions that has ever 
been experienced in this and several of the adjacent states.''^* 
In July, 1798, when negotiations with the Cherokees for a 
cession of land including the farms of the squatters were 
in progress, he wrote to the Tennessee delegation in Con- 
gress: "The success of the pending treaty is big with im- 
portant events, and I pray that such measures may be 
adopted as will once more quiet the minds of the citizens. 
If the treaty fails the art of man could not convince the 
people otherwise than it has been a designed diplomatic 
trick."*® Frontier international law and Indian policy were 
expounded in his instructions to Colonel James Ore, the 
special emissary to the Cherokees : "By the law of nations, 
it is agreed that no people shall be entitled to more land than 
they can cultivate; of course no people will sit and starve 
for want of land to work when a neighboring nation has 
much more than they can make use of. Convince them 
(the Cherokees) by argument the great propriety of al- 
ways being in friendship with the people of this quarter, 
for on such depends their success or .ruin. Impress them 
with the idea that whoever advises them to hold a larger 

"Ka^pler Indian Treaties, p. 29 flF, -51, 52. 
''August 19, 1797. 

"Sevier to Jackson, Anderson and Claiborae, in G>ngress, November 
a6, 1797. 

•Sevier to the Secretary of War, August 22, 1797. 

''Sevier to Anderson and Claiborne in G>ngres8, July I5> 1798. 



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112 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

country, and live by, and following hunting, are their 
enemies, and will in the end cause them to be totally 
ruined/'" The Treaty of Tellico, October 2, 1798, ceded 
new territory beyond the line marked in 1797.** 

The pressure of the settlements upon the Indian coun- 
try on 1797 was already presenting the Cherokees with 
the alternative becoming civilized and living by agricul- 
ture, or of moving if they did not want to starve. The gov- 
ernment monopoly affected the traders, as the scarcity of 
game worked hardships on the hunters. In a letter of Jan- 
uary 29, 1797, Sevier wrote to the Tennessee Congressmen: 
"Rai headed Will as I am informed has already with the 
whole of his large tow!n left the nation to settle on the west 
side of the Mississippi, and his address and influence will 
be the means of a number more going after him. This fel- 
low swore that Congress was scratching after every bit of 
a raccoon skin big enough to cover a squaw — ^that their hunt- 
ing was nearly over, and after that their land was the neict 
object."*' Colonel James Ore, in 1798, accounted for the 
great decrease in the number of the Cherokees within a few 
years by their emigrations to the west of the Mississippi, 
and stated that many more contemplated going.*^ Many 
whites, as well as Indians, were moving into Spanish terri- 
tory, ^'encouraged by a neighboring nation who will be but 
too successful on that head, as the present measures of the 
Federal Government gives rise to much uneasiness among 
many of our useful and respectable citizens, believing that 
they are neglected, and the interest of the Indians only con- 
sulted."**^ This evidently refers to the boundary line dis- 
pute. Sevier expressed fear that half the people of the 
state would descend the Mississippi, as many were doing 
daily, if the objectionable measures of the Government were 
continued.** 

This calamitous side of the Government policy was off- 
set by another, perhaps not so noticeable, but none the less 
eflfective. During the period of hostilities up to 1795, a 
general Indian war in the South had been avoided. By the 
end of this period a steady stream of immigration was flow- 
ing into Tennessee. Sevier desired as rapid and extensive 
immigration as possible, foreseeing that with sufficient in- 

"Sevier to Col. James Ore, May 12, 1798. 
**Kappler, Indian Treaties, p. 52. 

"Sevier to Blount, Cocke and Jackson, in Congress, January 25, 1797. 
••James Ore to Sevier, May 31, 1798. 
"Sevier to Wm. Cocke, July 6, 1797. 

"Sevier to Jackson, Anderson and Qaibome, in Congress, November 
26, 1797. 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 118 

habitants in the state the Indian troubles must vanish.*^ 
Speaking of the possibility of an Indian war in the spring 
of 1796, he says, '*There never has been a time when war 
could have been more ruinous to this country as at the 
present crisis. Scarcely one family in twenty has bread to 
eat, and hundreds crowding the roads every day through 
the wilderness, and thousands in all quarters preparing to 
remove to this country, and should the report of war get 
circulated abroad, all this promising prospect of popula- 
tion would immediately cease/'*' The government continued 
to keep peace with the tribes ; in the summer of 1798 Sevier 
stated that the immigration during the whole winter and 
spring had exceeded his most sanguine expectations.'® 

A land-grabbing policy was necessary to the United 
States, as it had been necessary to the English colonies in 
America, if they wished to develop white civilization in a 
country peopled by nomadic races whose prior right to the 
soil was recognized, and who were dealt with as nations, 
not as individuals. Such a policy inevitably affected the 
relative attitude of the Indians toward the United States, 
and toward European countries. The latter were interested 
in developing trade rather than settlement and occupation 
in their American possessions. In 1797 Sevier expressed 
the opinion that, in case of a war with a foreign power, the 
southern tribes, who had uniformly opposed the English 
colonists and the i)eople of the United States, would prove 
inveterate enemies.'® In 1798 friendly Chickasaws told him 
that the Creeks and lower Choctaws readily received war 
talks sent out by the Spaniards on behalf of the French." 
The traders driven out by the government factories saw that 
it was to their advantage to have some other power than 
the United States control the tribes. 

The Indian policy of the United States government dur- 
ing the first dozen years of its existence, which has been 
discussed in its relations to Tennessee and the Southwest, 
marked a period of beginnings. Remedies and expedients 
to meet immediate problems and dangers had been 
devised, but there had not been a deliberate plan looking far 
into the future. It is interesting to look ahead into Jeffer- 
son's first administration, when the elements developed be- 
fore 1801 were combined into a definitely thought out scheme 

"Sevier to Wm. Blount, October 7, 1796. 
"Sevier to Col. Samuel Wdr, M'ay s, 1796. 
•Sevier to Joseph Anderson, June 28, 1798. 

"Sevier to James McHenry, June 6, 1797; Sevier to Blount, Cocke and 
Jackson, in Congress, January 29,, 1797. 

•"Sevier to Timothy Pickering, July 15, 1798. 



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114 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

intended to be permanent, but almost immediately super- 
seded when the Louisiana purchase so materially changed 
the territorial situation of the country. 

In a message to Congress of January 18, 1803, discussing 
the advisability of continuing the trading posts, Jeiferson 
briefly outlined a scheme more far-reaching than the hand- 
to-mouth policy hitherto pursued. The Indian tribes, he 
said, had for a considerable time been growing more and 
more uneasy at the constant diminution of their territory, 
and were adopting the policy of refusing all further sale 
of lands on any conditions. Now, it excited their suspicions 
to make any attempt to buy lands. To counteract this policy 
and at the same time to provide lands for the increasing 
white population, he made two recommendations. The first 
was that the Indians should be encouraged to abandon 
hunting, raise stock, develop agriculture and manufactures, 
and ^'thereby prove to themselves that less land and less 
labor will maintain them in this, better than in their former 
mode of living." The second was that by multiplying trad- 
ing houses, tiie government should ''place within their 
reach those things which will contribute more to their 
domestic comfort than the possession of extensive, but un- 
cultivated wilds. ... In leading then thus to agricul- 
ture, to manufacture, and civilization ; in bringing together 
their and our settlements ; and in preparing tiiem ultimately 
to participate in the benefits of our government, I trust and 
believe we are acting for their greatest good.'* The gov- 
ernment trading houses, he continued, not being run for 
profit, could undersell private traders, and thus get rid of 
''a description of men who are constantly endeavoring to 
incite in the Indian mind suspicions, fears and irritations 
toward us."" 

Jefferson, in his desire to civilize tiie Indian, was by no 
means impelled solely by his interest in their welfare. The 
advantage to the white settlers were also aj^arent. In a 
letter to Jackson, Jefferson states tliat the two principal 
reasons for keeping agents among the Indians were, first, 
the preservation of peace, and, second, the acquisition of 
more of their lands through leading them to agriculture. 
"When they shall cultivate small spots of earth, and see 
how useless their extensive forests are, they will sell from 
time to time, and help out their personal labor in stockuig 
their farms, and procuring clothes and comforts from our 
trading houses/'** He suggested to Governor Harrison, of 

"State Papers, Ind. Vol. I, p. 684. 

"Washington. A. H. (Ed.), The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol 
IV, p. 464 (1854). - 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POUCY AND THE SOUTHWEST 115 

Ohio, the advantage of having the influential men among the 
trib^ in debt to the trading houses "because we observe 
that when these debts get beyond what the individual can 
pay, they become willing to lop them oif by a cession of their 
lands/'" 

Jefferson's correspondence also shows what he meant by 
the participation in the benefits of our government to which 
he referred in his message. "In truth,'' he says, "the ulti- 
mate point of rest and happiness for them, is to let our set- 
tlements and theirs meet and blend together, to intermix 
and become one people. Incorporating themselves with us 
as. citizens of the United States, this is what the natural 
progress of things will bring on, and it will be better to 
promote it than'to retard it"" He believed that ultimately 
all the Indians would either be incorporated as citizens of 
the United States or emigrate beyond the Mississippi.'® 

Such a policy, which included tlie peaceable acquisition 
of part of llie Indian lands, appealed to the frontiersmen as 
well as to those who were interested in tiie welfare of the 
Indians. Whether the Indians retained their tribal organi- 
zation, and developed within their tribal limits a better form 
of government, or whether they as individuals became citi- 
zens of the states in which they were located, civilization 
and a life of agriculture instead of hunting were necessary. 
The red men faced starvation if they continued their old 
method of life after civilization surrounded them and game 
became scarce. Several years before we have seen that 
Sevier had suggested that in civilization of the Indian there 
was the opportunity to confine the tribes witiiin smaller 
limits, and thus obtain more room for settlers. 

Jefferson suggested another idea which had been rather 
vaguely hinted at before, and which was a logical develop- 
ment from the recognition of the Indian's title to the lands 
which they occupied, and of their sovereignty over this terri- 
tory subject only to the general supervision of the Federal 
government This was tiie idea of an Indian Territory or 
State which might ultimately become a member of the Union 
on an equality with the other states. The suggestions of 
such a plan scattered over a whole century of our history 
have been treated in a valuable monograph by Miss A. H. 
Abel. Those relating to the Southwestern Indians begin 
just before the period covered by this article. In 1785, by 
the treaty of Hopewell, the Cherokees were given the privi- 
lege of sending a delegate to Congress. This provision, 

••Washington, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol IV, p. 472. 
"Washington, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol IV, p. 467. 
"Washington, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. IV, p. 473. 



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116 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

however, which caused no comment by the commissioners 
who negotiated the treaty, was probably simply in line with 
the practice of sending chiefs to present the grievances of 
the tribes to the government, and it does not necessarily 
suggest any change in their relations to Congress or to the 
states. In 1787, Alexander McGillivray, in a letter to Gen- 
eral Knox stating his preference for an alliance with the 
United States rather than with Spain, for better protection 
against Georgia, stated that if the United States would 
''form a body to the Southward of the Altamaha," he would 
take allegiance to it, and obtain a peaceful cession of land 
for Georgia in return for the concession which the forma- 
tion of such a body would involve. This sounds as if Mc- 
Gillivray was thinking of an Indian State, perhaps to be 
ultimately incorporated into the Union.*^ Jeflferson, in his 
message of January 18, 1803, spoke of the desirability of a 
settled frontier along the Mississippi, facing the possession 
of Spain and France on the west Land had been obtained 
from the Indians along a large part of this frontier, but 
there was a serious break in their acquisitions in the Chicka- 
saw country. The Chickasaws were "the most friendly tribe 
within our limits, but the most decided against the aliena- 
tion of their lands." They desired to lead an agricultural 
life, and wanted implements and comforts. "In strengthen- 
ing and gratifying these wants,'' he said, "I see the only 
means of planting on the Mississippi itself the means of its 
own safety." Such a scheme, if it had been carried out, 
would have resulted in a sort of buffer Indian State on the 
western frontier, which, although largely within the bound- 
aries of the State of Tennessee, would have been independ- 
ent of that state so long as the Chickasaws retained their 
tribal organization or some other government of their own, 
and refused to sell their lands.*® The need of an organiza- 
tion of this kind passed away when, shortiy after Jefferson 
had suggested it, the whole province of Louisiana was un- 
expect<^y acquired, and the boundary of the United States 
shifted to the Rocky Mountains. 

The Louisiana purchase played relatively at least as im- 
portant a paji; in the Indian policy of the United States as in 
our territorial development, for it suggested and made pos- 
sible an entirely new plan for disposing of the Indian prob- 
lem, which has been exhaustively treated by Miss Abel. 

•'Abel, Annie H., Proposals for an Indian State. 1778-1878, American 
Historical Association Reports, 1907, Vol. I, pp. 89-90. 

"State Papers, Ind, Vol. L p. 684. Miss Abel does not mention the 
proposal to strengthen the Chickasaws as a means of protecting the 
frontier. 



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THE FEDERAL INDUN POUCY AND THE SOUTHWEST 117 

The idea of Indian removal to the region beyond the Missis- 
sippi "is the significant thing about later Indian histoiy." 
It "implies the interference of the government with Indian 
migrations, and is the expression of a distinct policy that 
sooner or later modified the whole character of official rela- 
tions with the tribes."** The quotations from Sevier's cor- 
respondence given above indicate that before 1803 many of 
the southern Indians were leaving the United States and 
crossing the Mississippi, but they were acting entirely on 
their own initiative. The first expression of the idea of 
removal by the government occurs in Jefferson's draught of 
a proposed constitutional amendment providing for the gov- 
empient of the Louisiana purchase. This document is 
largely taken up with provisions relating to the Indians. 
Louisiana north of the parallel 36"" 30' was to be reserved 
to the Indians, who were to be removed from their lands 
east of the Mississippi to this region. 

Provision was made for inducing the white settlers in 
northern Louisiana to trade lands with Indians east of the 
Mississippi. The government was to regulate trade with the 
Indians, and to establish military posts along the frontiers ; 
the white and Indian settlements were to remain entirely 
separate. "Jefferson contemplated the organization of 
what might become an Indian Territory, perhaps an Indian 
State." He would thus find a use for the extensive new 
territory which he had acquired, and by putting the Indians 
in a region where their lands were not coveted, remove the 
chief cause of troublesome and expensive Indian wars. The 
white settlements would be consolidated west of the Mis- 
sissippi where they could be more easily protected. He also 
thought that the Indians would furnish a buffer against 
Cannula, apparently not suspecting that the Canadians or the 
Mexicans might intrigue with them as France, England and 
Spain had formerly done. Jefferson did not immediately 
follow up this idea, for in his inaugural speech in 1805 
he again recommended the old plan of civilization and ab- 
sorption, but the idea grew until it became a fundamental 
part of the government's policy, in accordance with which 
the Southern Indians were finally removed beyond the 
Mississippi.^^ 

The period from 1789 to 1801 was, then, a time of be- 

"Abel, Annie H., The History of Events Resulting in Indian Consolida- 
tion West of the Mississippi, American Historical Association Reports, 
1906, Vol. I, p. 241. 

**Abel, Ajinie H., The Ifistory of Events Resulting in Indian Consoli- 
dation West of the Mississippi, American Historical Association Reports, 
1906, VoL I, pp. 241-344. 



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118 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

firinnings in the Indian policy of the United States. In de- 
termining its method of dealing with the native inhabitants, 
the government foUowed colonial precedents, treated the 
tribes as political entities, admitted their right to the soil 
which they occupied, and dealt with them by treaty in tech- 
nicaUy the same manner in which they ^rried on negotia- 
tions with foreign nations. In 1790 all other parties than 
the government were forbidden to enter into such treaties, 
a measure which was necessary to prevent the confusion of 
conflicting claims to Indian lands which were prevalent 
during the Confederation period. In their efforts to keep 
peace and to promote friendly relations, the Federal au- 
thorities were embarrassed on the one hand by their ina- 
bility to control the land-hungry pioneers who encroached 
upon the Indian lands, and, on the other, by the interference 
with the tribes of foreign nations unfriendly to the United 
States. The agency system and the government trading 
houses, adopted to drive out and supersede these foreign 
influences, were only partially successful. The former was 
continued with various modifications until provision was 
made to gradually abolish it in 1893.*^ The system of gov- 
ernment trading houses continued to grow for a time; in 
1806 the office of Superintendent of Indian Trade was 
created, but the opposition of private traders, which had 
manifested itself from the very beginning, succeeded in 
getting it abolished in 1822.^' The fundamental difficulties 
resulting from treating as nations the loosely organized 
tribes which had no generaUy recognized authorities to en- 
force treaty stipulations or to seU lands, stiU remained. 

Jefferson's first administration was a period of im- 
portant growth in the Indian policy of the United States. 
In the f&rst place he formulated a plan which gave new 
meaning to several developments begun by his predecessors. 
Previous to the Louisiana purchase he wanted to civilize 
the Indians both for their own benefit and to make more 
room for white settlements. Trading houses, which had 
been originally founded principally to drive out foreign 
influence, now became part of this plan of civilization, sup- 
pljdng the wants which the Indians in their advancement 
gntdually developed, driving out meddlesome private trad- 
ers, and, by keeping important chiefs in debt, providing 
peaceable means of coercing them to sell more lands. He 
anticipated, if not the ultimate absorption of the aborigines 
by the white population, at least their ultimate incorpora- 

*^Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part I, p. 22 (1907). 
^Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part II, p. 799 (1910). 



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THE FEDERAL INDIAN POLICY AND THE SOUTHWEST 119 

tion as citizens. His suggestion for strengthening the 
Chickasaw^ under their tribal organization, as a barrier 
to protect the frontier against the powers b^ond the Mis- 
sissippi, might, if carried out, have created future difficul- 
ties like those threatened farther east when the Cherokees 
adopted a republican government in 1827, but the neces- 
sity for it passed away almost as soon as it was suggested. 
The Louisiana purchase changed the whole aspect of Indian 
affairs by giving the United States vast tracto of unoccupied 
land beyond the Mississippi which were not needed for im- 
mediate settlement. This suggested to Jefferson the idea of 
removal, and perhaps of an Indian State. The removal 
plan, after a gradual development, became, during Jack- 
son's presidency, the dominant idea in Indian policy. 

Donald L. McMurby. 



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THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT, 1861-1865. 



I. The Executive. 

President: Jefferson Davis (Provisional), inaugurated 
February 18, 1861; (Constitutional), February 22, 1862. 

Vice-President: Alexander H. Stephens (Provisional), 
February 18, 1861; (Constitutional), February 22, 1862. 

Secretary of State : Robert Toombs, February 21, 1861 ; 
Robert M. T. Hunter, July 25, 1861, to February 17, 1862; 
William G. Browne, ad interim; Judah P. Benjamin, March 
18, 1862. 

Attomey-Greneral : Judah P. Benjamin, February 25, 
1861; Thomas Bragg, November 21, 1861; Thomas H. 
Watts, March 18, 1862, date of retirement not fixed by the 
war records, but inaugurated governor of Alabama Decem- 
ber 2, 1863 ; Wade Keyes, ad interim; George Davis, Janu- 
ary 2, 1864. 

Secretary of the Treasury : Christopher G. Memminger, 
February 21, 1861; George A. Trenholm, July 18, 1864. 

Secretary of the Navy: Stephen R. Mallory, March 4, 
1861. 

Postmiaster General: Henry T. EUet, February 25, 
1861, declined appointment; John H. Reagan, March 6, 
1861. 

Secretary of War : Leroy P. Walker, February 21, 1861, 
to September 16, 1861 ; Judah P. Benjamin, November 21, 
1861 (also acting from September 17 to November 21, 
1861, and from March 18 to March 23, 1862) ; Brigadier 
Greneral George W. Randolph, March 18, 1862 ; Major Gten- 
eral Gustavus W. Smith (assigned temporarily) , November 
17, 1862; James A. Seddon, November 21, 1862; Major 
Greneral John C. Breckenridge, Fefbruary 6, 1865. 

*Thesc lists arc taken from the Official Records, War of the Rebellion, 
Series IV, Volume 3, the statement being there made that they are com- 
piled from "official records." They are used herewith as a matter of 
interest, in view of the recent Confederate Reunion at the former Con- 
federate capital, fifty years after the restoration of peace. 



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THE CONFEDERATE GOVEBNBfENT, 1861-1865 121 

II. The Confederate (Congresses. 

1. The Sessions. 

THE PROVISIONAL CONGRESS. 

First session : At Montgomery, Ala., February 4, 1861 ; 
adjourned March 16, 1861, to meet the second Monday in 
May, 1861. 

Second sessicm (called) : At Montgomery, Ala., April 
29, 1861; adjourned May 21, 1861. 

Third session: At Richmond, Va., July 20, 1861; ad- 
journed August 31, 1861. 

Fourth session (called) : At Richmond, Va., September 
8, 1861 ; adjourned same day. 

Fifth session: At Richmond, November 18, 1861; ad- 
journed February 17, 1862. . 

FIRST CONFEMIRATB CONGRESS. 

First session: At Richmond, February 18, 1862; ad- 
journed April 21, 1862. 

Second session: At Richmond, August 18, 1862; ad- 
journed October 13, 1862. 

Third session: At Richmond, January 12, 1863; ad- 
journed May 1, 1863. 

Fourth session: At Richmond, December 7, 1863; ad- 
journed February 17, 1864. 

SECOND CONFEDERATE CONGRESS. 

First session: At Richmond, May 2, 1864; adjourned 
June 14, 1864. 

Second session : At Richmond, November 7, 1864 ; ad- 
journed March 18, 1865. 

2. The Members. " 

THE PROVISIONAL CONGRESS. 
February 4, 1861-February 17, 1862. 

Alabama: Richard W. Walker, Robert H. Smith, Jabez 
L. M. Curry, Wm. P. Chilton, Stephen F. Hale, Colin J. 
McRae, John Gill Shorter, Thomas Feam (admitted Feb- 
ruary 8, resigned April 29, 1861) ; David P. Lewis (ad- 
mitted February 8, resigned April 29, 1861) ; Nicholas Davis 
(admitted April 29, 1861) ; H. C. Jones (admitted April 
29, 1861); Cornelius Robinson (admitted November 80, 
1861, resigned January 24, 1862). 



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122 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Arkansas: Robert W. Johnson (admitted May 18, 
1861) ; Albert Rust (admitted May 18, 1861) ; Hugh F. 
Thomason (admitted May 18, 1861) ; W. W. Watkins (ad- 
mitted May 18, 1861); Augustus H. €^land (admitted 
May 18, 1861). 

Florida: J. Patton Anderson (resigned May 2, 1861) ; 
James B. Owens, Jackson Morton (acbnitted February 6, 
1861) ; Greorge T. Ward (admitted May 2, 1861, resigned 
February 5, 1862) ; John P. Sanderson (admitted February 
5, 1862). 

Greorgia: Robert Toombs, Howell Cobb, Francis S. Bar- 
tow (killed at Manassas, Va., July 21, 1861) ; Martin J. 
Crawford, Eugenius A. Nisbet, Benjamin H. Hill, Augustus 
R. Wright, Thomas R. R. Cobb, Augustus H. Kenan, Alex- 
ander H. Stephens, Thomas M. Foreman, (admitted August 
7, 1861) ; Nathan Bass (admitted January 14, 1862). 

Kentucky: Thomas B. Monroe (admitted December 16, 
1861) ; Henry C. Burnett (admitted December 16, 1861) ; 
Thomas Johnson (admitted December 18, 1861) ; John J. 
Thomas (admitted December 30, 1861) ; Theodore L. Bur- 
nett (admitted December 30, 1861) ; Daniel P. White (ad- 
mitted January 2, 1862) ; L. H. Ford (admitted January 4, 
1862) ; Greorge B. Hodge (admitted January 11, 1862) ; John 
M. Elliott (admitted January 15, 1862) ; George W. Ewing 
(admitted February 14, 1862). 

Louisiana: John Perkins, Jr., Alexander De Clouet, 
Duncan F. Kenner, Edward Sparrow, Henry Marshall, 
Charles M. Conrad (admitted February 7, 1861). 

Mississippi: Wiley P. Harris, Walker Brooke, William 
S. Wilson (resigned April 29, 1861) ; William S. Barry, 
James T. Harrison, Alexander M. Clayton (admitted Feb- 
ruary 8, 1861, resigned May 11, 1861) ; J. A. P. Campbell, 
Jehu A. Orr (admitted April 29, 1861) ; Alexander B. Brad- 
ford (admitted December 5, 1861). 

Missouri: Greorge G. Vest (admitted Dec^nber 2, 
1861) ; Caspar W. Bell (admitted December 2, 1861) ; Aaron 
H. Conrow (admitted December 2, 1861) ; Thomas A. Har- 
ris (admitted December 6, 1861) ; John B. Clark (admitted 
December 6, 1861) ; Robert L. Y. Pesrton (admitted Janu- 
ary 22, 1862). 

North Carolina: Greorge Davis (admitted July 20, 
1861) ; W. W. Avery (admitted July 20, 1861) ; W. N. H. 
Smith (admitted July 20, 1861; Thomas D. McDowell (ad- 
mitted July 22, 1861) ; A. W. Venable (admitted July 20, 
1861) ; John M. Morehead (admitted July 20, 1861) ; R. C. 



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THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT, 1861-1866 123 

Puryear (admitted July 20, 1861) ; A. T. Davidson (ad- 
mitted July 20, 1861) ; Burton Craige (admitted July 23, 
1861); Thomas Ruffin (admitted July 25, 1861). 

South Carolina: R. Barnwell Rhett, Sn, Robert W. 
Barnwell, Lawrence M. Keitt, James Chestnut, Jr., Chris- 
topher G. Memminger, W. Porcher Miles, Thomas J. With- 
ers, William ,W. Boyce, James L. Orr (admitted February 
17, 1862). 

Tennessee : Robert L. Caruthers (admitted August 12, 
1861) ; Thomas M. Jones (admitted August 12, 1861) ; J. 
H. Thomas (admitted August 12, 1861) ; John F. House, 
(admitted August 12, 1861) ; John D. C. Atkins (admitted 
August 13, 1861) ; David M. Currm (admitted August 16, 
1861) ; W, H. DeWitt (admitted August 16, 1861). 

Texas: John Gregg (admitted February 15, 1861); 
Thomas N. Waul (admitted February 19, 1861) ; William 
B. Ochiltree (admitted February 19, 1861) ; John H. Rea- 
gan (admitted March 2, 1861); Williamson S. Oldham 
(admitted March 2, 1861) ; John Hemphill (admitted March 
2, 1861; died January 4, 1862) ; Louis T. Wigfall (admitted 
April 29, 1861). 

Virginia: John W. Brockenbrough (admitted May 7, 
1861) ; Waller R. Staples (admitted May 7, 1861) ; Robert 
M. T, Hunter (admitted May 10, 1861) ; William C. Rives 
(admitted May 13, 1861) ; James A. Seddon (admitted 
July 20, 1861) ; William B. Preston (admitted July 20, 
1861) ; W. H. McFarland (admitted July 20, 1861) ; Charles 
W. Russell (admitted July 20, 1861) ; Robert Johnston (ad- 
mitted July 20, 1861) ; Robert E. Scott (admitted July 23, 
1861) ; Walter Preston (admitted July 22, 1861) ; Thomas 
S. Bocock (admitted July 23, 1861) ; James M. Mason (ad- 
mitted July 24, 1861) ; Roger A. Pryor (admitted July 24, 
1861); .Alexander R. Boteler (admitted November 27, 
1861); John Tyler (ex-President), (admitted August 1, 
1861; died January 18, 1862). 

Arizona Territory: Granville H. Oury was recognized 
as a delegate from January 18, 1862. 

First Confederate Congress. 

February 18, 1862, to February 17, 1864. 

Senators. 

Alabama: Clement C. Clay (admitted February 19, 
1862) ; Waiiam L. Yancey (admitted March 27, 1862) ; 
died July 28, 1863) ; Robert Jemison. Jr. (admitted Decem- 
ber 28, 1863). 



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124 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Arkansas: Robert W. Johnson, Charles B. Mitchd. 

Florida: Augustus E. Maxwell, James M. Baker. 

Georsria: Benjamin H. Hill, John W. Lewis (admitted 
April 7, 1862; appointed by the governor); Herschel V. 
Johnson (admitted January 19, 1863) . 

Kentucky: William E. Simms, Henry C. Burnett (ad- 
mitted February 26, 1862). 

Louisiana: Edward Sparrow, Thomas J. Semmes (ad- 
mitted February 19, 1862). 

Mississippi: Albert G. Brown, James Phelan (ad- 
mitted February 19, 1862). 

Missouri: John B. Clark, Robert L. Y. Peyton (died 
December 19, 1863) ; Waldo P. Johnson (admitted Decem- 
ber 24, 1863; appointed by the governor). 

North Carolina: George Davis (resigned January 22, 
1864); William T. Dortch, Edwm G. Reade (admitted 
January 22, 1864; appointed by the governor). 

South Carolina: Robert W. Barnwell, James L. Orr. 

Tennessee: Landon C. Haynes, Gustavus A. Henry. 

Texas: Williamson S. Oldham, Louis T. Wigfall. 

Virginia: Robert M. T. Hunter, William B. Preston 
(died January 15, 1863) ; Allen T. Caperton (admitted Jan- 
uary 26, 1863). 

Members of the House. 

Alabama : E. S. Dargan, William P. Chilton, James L. 
Pugh, Jabez L. M. Curry, John P. Ralls, David Clopton, 
Francis S. Lyon. Thomas J. Foster (admitted February 19, 
1862); William R. Smith (admitted February 21, 1862). 

Arkansas: Felix I. Batson, Grandison D. Royston, Au- 
gustus H. Garland, Thomas B. Hanly. 

Florida: James B. Dawkins (resigned December 8, 
1862) ; Robert B. Hilton, John M. Martin (admitted March 
25, 1863). 

Georgia: Augustus H. Kenan, Hines Holt (resigned 
previous to January 12, 1864) ; Augustus R. Wright, Lucius 
J. Gartrell, William W. Clark, Robert P. Trippe, David W. 
Lewis, Hardy Strickland, Charles J. Munnerlyn (admitted 
February 22, 1862) ; Julian Hartridge (admitted March 14, 
1862) ; Porter Ingram (admitted January 12, 1864, succeed- 
ing Hines Holt). 

Kentucky: Willis B. Machen, John W. Crockett, Henry 
E. Read, (Jeorge W. Ewing, Horatio W. Bruce, James W. 
Moore, Robert J. Breckinridge, Jr., John M. Elliott, Theo- 



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THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT, 1861-1865 125 

dore L. Burnett (admitted February 19, 1862) ; James S. 
Chrisman (admitted March 3, 1862) ; Ely M. Bruce (ad- 
mitted March 20, 1862) ; G^rge B. Hodge (admitted August 
18, 1862). 

Louisiana: Duncan F. Kenner, Charles J. Villere, John 
Perkins, Jr., Charles M. Conrad, Henry Marshall, Lucius 
J. Dupre. 

Mississippi: Ethelbert Barksdale, John J. McRae, J. 
W. Clapp, Israel Welsh, Otho R. Singleton, Reuben Davis, 
Henry C. Chambers (admitted February 19, 1862) ; William 
D. Holder (admitted January 21, 1864, vice Reuben Davis, 
resigned). 

Missouri: Caspar W. Bell, (Jeorge G. Vest, Aaron H* 
Conrow, William M. Cooke, Thomas W. Freeman, Thomas 
A, Harris. 

North Carolina: Robert R. Bridgers, Owen R. Kenan, 
Thomas D. McDowell, Thomas S. Ashe, J. R. McLean, Wil- 
liam Lander, Burgess S. Gaither, A. T. Davidson, W. N. H. 
Smith (admitted February 19, 1862) ; Archibald H. Arring- 
ton (admitted February 20, 1862). 

South Carolina: William W. Boyce, William Porcher 
Miles, Milledge L. Bonham (resigned January 17, 1863) ; 
John McQueen, James Farrow, Lewis M. Ayer (admitted 
March 6, 1862) ; William D. Simpson (admitted February 
5, 1863). 

Tennessee: David M. Currin, Henry S. Foote, Thomas 
Menees, George W. Jones, William G. Swan, William H. 
Tibbs, E. L. Gardenhire, John V. Wright, Joseph B. Heiskell, 
John D. C. Atkins (admitted March 8, 1862) ; Meredith P. 
Gentry (admitted March 17, 1862). 

Texas: John A. Wilcox (died February 7, 1864) ; Peter 
W. Gray, Caleb C. Herbert, William B. Wright, M. D. Gra- 
ham, Frank B. Sexton. 

Virginia: John R. Chambliss, James Lyons, Roger A. 
Pryor (resigned April 5, 1862) ; Thomas S. Bocock, John 
Goode, Jr., Daniel C. De Jamette, William Smith (resigned 
April 6, 1863) ; Alexander R. Boteler, Waller R. Staples, 
Walter Preston, Albert G. Jenkins (resigned August 5, 
1862) ; Robert Johnston, Charles W. Russell, James P. Hol- 
combe (admitted February 20, 1862) ; John B. Baldwin 
(admitted February 27, 1862) ; (diaries F. Collier (ad- 
mitted August 18, 1862) ; Samuel A. Miller (admitted Feb- 
ruary 24, 1863) ; David Funsten (admitted December 7, 
1863) ; Muscoe R. H. Gamett (admitted February 21, 1862). 



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126 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Arizona Territory: Marcus H. MacwiUie (admitted 
March 11, 1862). 

Choctaw Nation: Robert M. Jones (admitted January 
17,1863). 

Cherokee Nation : Elias C. Boudinot (first appeared on 
the rolls January 8, 1864). 

Second Confederate Congress. 

May 2, 1864, to March 18, 1865. 

Senators. 

Alabama: Robert Jemison, Jr., Richard W. Walker. 

Arkansas: Charles B. Mitcbel (died previous to No^ 
vember 8, 1864) ; Robert W. Johnson, Augustus H. Gar- 
land (admitted November 8, 1864, succeeding Senator 
Mitchel). 

Florida: Augustus E. Maxwell, James M. Baker. 

Georgia: Benjamin H. Hill, Herschel V. Johnson (ad- 
mitted May 24, 1864). 

Kentucky: Henry C. Burnett, William E. Simms. 

Louisiana: Thomas J. Semmes, Edward Sparrow. 

Mississippi: Albert G. Brown, John W. C. Watson. 

Missouri : Waldo P. Johnson, George G. Vest (admitted 
January 12, 1865, appointed by the Grovemor) . 

North Carolina: William T. Dortch, William A. 
Graham. 

South Carolina: James L. Orr, Robert W. Barnwell. 

Tennessee: Landon C. Haynes, Gustavus A. Henry. 

Texas: Williamson S. Oldham, Louis T. Wigf all. 

Virginia: Robert M. T. Hunter, Allen T. Caperton. 

Members of the House. 

Alabama : M. H. Cruikshank, William P. Chilton, David 
Clopton, James L. Pugh, James S. Dickinson, Francis S. 
Lyon (admitted May 4, 1864) ; Thomas J. Foster (admitted 
May 6, 1864) ; William R. Smith (admitted May 21, 1864). 

Arkansas : Augustus H. Garland (elected to the Senate, 
November 8, 1864) ; Thomas B. Hanly, Rufus K. Garland 
(admitted May 21, 1864) ; Felix I. Batson (admitted No- 
vember 8, 1864) ; David W. Carroll (admitted January 11, 
1865). 

Florida: Robert B. Hilton, S. St Greorge Rogers (ad- 
mitted Mays, 1864). 



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THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT, 1861-1865 127 

Georgia: Julian Hartridge, William E. Smith, Mark 
H. Blandf ord, Clifford Anderson, John T. Shewmake, Joseph 
H. Echols, James M. Smith, George N. Lester, Hiram P. 
Bell, Warren Akin. 

Kentucky: Willis B. Machen, Henry E. Read, James 
S. Chrisman, Theodore L. Burnett, Horatio W. Bruce, 
Humphrey Marshall, Ely M. Bruce, James W. Moore, Ben- 
jamin F. Bradley, George W. Triplett, George W. Ewing 
(admitted May 24, 1864) ; John M. Elliott (admitted May 

24, 1864). 

Louisiana: Charles J. Villere, Charles M. Conrad^ Lu- 
cius J. Dupre, John Perkins, Jr., Benjamin L. Hodge (ad- 
mitted May 25, 1864) ; Duncan F. Kenner (admitted May 

25, 1864) ; Henry Gray (admitted December 28, 1864, vice 
Hodge, deceased). 

Mississippi: Jehu A. Orr, Israel Welsh, Henry C. 
Chambers, Ethelbert Barksdale, John T. Lamkin, William 
D. Holder (admitted May 4, 1864) ; Otho R. Singleton (ad- 
mitted May 9, 1864). 

Missouri: John B. Clark (admitted June 10, 1864); 
Thomas L. Snead (admitted November 7, 1864) ; Aaron H. 
CJonrow (admitted November 7, 1864) ; George G. Vest 
(admitted November 7, 1864, appointed Senator January 
12, 1865) ; Robert A. Hatcher (admitted November 7, 
1864) ; Peter S. Wilkes (admitted November 8, 1864) ; N. 
L. Norton (admitted November 21, 1864). 

North Carolina: W. N. H. Smith, James T. Leach, 
Josiah Turner, Jr., John A. Gihner, James M. Leach, Bur- 
gess S. Gaither, Gteorge W. Logan, James G. Ramsay, 
Thomas C. Fuller, Robert R. Bridgers (admitted May 24, 
1864). 

South Carolina: William Porcher Miles, William D. 
Simpson, James Farrow, William W. Boyce, Lewis M. Ayer, 
James H. Witherspoon (admitted May 5, 1864). 

Tennessee: Joseph B. Heiskell, William G. Swan, Ar- 
thur S. Colyar, John P. Murray, Henry S. Foote, Edwin 
A. Keeble, Thomas Menees, John D. C. Atkins, John V. 
Wright (admitted May 25, 1864) ; James McCallum (ad- 
mitted May 3, 1864); Michael W. Cluskey (admitted No- 
vember 7, 1864) ; David M. Currin (died May 21, 1864). 

Texas: A. M. Branch, Frank B. Sexton, Simpson H. 
Morgan (admitted May 21, 1864, died January 16, 1865) ; 
John R. Baylor (admitted May 25, 1864) ; Stephen H. Dar- 
den (admitted November 21, 1864) ; Caleb C. Herbert (ad- 
mitted November 21, 1864) . 



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128 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Virginia: Robert L. Montague, Robert H. Whitfield, 
Thomas S. Gholson, Thomas S. Bocock, John Goode, Jr., 
William C. Rives (resigned March 1, 1865) ; Daniel C. De- 
Jamette, John B. Baldwin, Walter R. Staples, Fayette Mc- 
Mnllen, Robert Johnston, Charles W. Russell, David Fun- 
sten (admitted May 3, 1864) ; Samuel A. Miller (admitted 
May 3, 1864) ; Frederick W. M. HoUiday (admitted May 4, 
1864) ; Williams C. Wickham (admitted November 7, 1864) . 

Arizona Territory: Marcus H. Macwillie. 

Cherokee Nation : Elias C. Boudinot. 

Choctaw Nation : Robert M. Jones. 

Creek and Seminole Nations: S. B. Callahan (admitted 
May 30, 1864). 

W. E. Beard. 



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DOCUMENTS. 



Mexican War Letters of CoL WiUumu Bov^en Campbell, of 
Tennessee, Written to Governor David Campbell, of Vir- 
ginia, 1846-1847. 

INTRODUCTION. 



David Campbell (1779-1859) of Washington County, 
Virginia, was the grandson of "White'' David Campbell, 
noted in the Indian fights in western Virginia in colonial 
times, and the son of John Campbell, prominent in Lord 
Dunmore's War and in the Revolutionary warfare in Vir- 
ginia. After service in the War of 1812 David Campbell 
filled successively in Virginia the offices of state senator, 
clerk of the county court of Washington County, and major- 
general of the militia. From 1837 to 1840 he was gov- 
ernor of Virginia. On his retirement from this office he 
lived at his estate, "Montcalm," near Abingdon, Virginia, 
where he died in 1859. 

Governor David Campbell, in many ways a remarkable 
man, possessed among otiier virtues an appreciation of the 
value of historical materials. He carefully preserved his 
papers, and it is to this fact that we owe the correspondence 
now printed. This is part of a long series of letters written 
to Governor David Campbell by his wife's nephew, William 
Bowen Campbell, of Tennessee, — ^who was also a cousin of 
Governor Campbell by descent from "White" David through 
a female line. These letters are now the property of Wil- 
liam B. Campbell's son, Mr. Lemuel R. Campbell, of Nash- 
ville, who has kindly consented to the publication of this 
group in the Magazine.^ 

Between Governor David Campbell and William B. 
Campbell there was a de^ and lasting friendship. Gov- 
ernor Campbell had early interested himself in the educa- 
tion of his young relative from Tennessee and had assisted 

>The genealogy and much of the history of the Campbells of Virginia is to be 
found in the extensire and valuable work by Mrs. J. S. (Margaret Campbell) Pilcher 
of Nashville, entitled Historical Sketches cf the Campbell, Pilcher, and Kindred 
Families, . . . (Nashville, Tennessee, loii, pp. 444.) Included in this volume 
it a sketch of William Bowen Campbell, wrUten by his son, Lemuel R. Campbell, of 
Nashville, from whkh have been taken most of the facts set forth above. In the 
possession of Mrs. PUcher are other interesting and valuable papers of her father. 
Winiam B. Campbell, a considerable group of which also relate to the Mexican War. 



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130 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

him towiards the study of the law under Henry St George 
Tucker, of Winchester, Virginia. Thus William B. Camp- 
bell, who was bom in Tennessee in 1807, spent part of his 
young manhood in Virginia. On his return to Tennessee 
he entered upon the practice of law at Carthage. In 1831 
he was elected by the Legislature to his first office, that of 
one of the attorney-generalships of the state. This led him 
to move to White County, where for some years he made his 
home at Sparta. He left this place to return to Cartilage, 
and in 1835 was elected representative for Smith County. 
In the same year he married Miss Frances I. Owen, daugh- 
ter of Dr. John Owen, of Carthage. Next year he served 
with distinction in the Florida War. A series of letters 
written this year to Governor David Campbell we hope to 
publish in a later number of the Magazine. 

On his return he was elected to Congress from his dis- 
trict, and continued in the house of representatives for two 
terms. He preferred his life at home, and in 1843 declined 
reelection. For a few years he was in private life; then, on 
the outbreak of the Mexican War, he was elected Colonel 
of the First Tennessee Regiment, and served as a volunteer 
for the term of twelve months. Of the campaign in Mexico 
we shall have more to say below. 

The later career of William B. Campbell, well-known to 
Tennesseans, must be summarized briefly. On his return 
from the Mexican service he was elected a judge of tiie 
circuit court in his section of Tennessee. In 1851, after the 
exciting year of the Nashville Convention and the Compro- 
mise, he was nominated by the Whigs for the governorship 
and was triumphantly elected, the last governor to be chosen 
by that party. At the close of one term he refused to run 
again, and entered into business. After a sojourn in New 
Orleans he became president of the Bank of Middle Ten- 
nessee at Lebanon, in which town he thereafter made his 
home. As a private citizen he followed the Whig party to 
its downfall, and in 1860 supported the candidacy of John 
Bell. Strenuously opposing secession, he declined a high 
military command offered by President Davis, and in 1862 
accepted a brigadier-generalship in the Federal army upon 
the understanding that he should not be assigned to active 
duty in the field. In 1864 he gave his support to the Mc- 
Clellan ticket, but through the interference of Andrew John- 
son, the military governor, the electors on this ticket with- 
drew their names. 

William B. Campbell was one of the representatives 
elected to the Thirty-ninth Congress, but was not permitted 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 131 

to take his seat until 1866. He nowi gave his adherence to 
Johnson's administration and was frequently called into 
consultation by the President. On August 9, 1867, he died 
at his home near Lebanon, Tennessee. Few men have been 
more loved in Tennessee, and none have passed through 
political life with more unsullied r^utation. 

It is now proper briefly to describe the political and mili- 
tary situation which existed at the time that William B. 
Campbell volunteered his services and was elected colonel 
of his regiment. 

The month of February, 1846, found General Zachary 
Taylor with United States troops at Corpus Christi, upon 
the Nueces River in Texas near the Gulf Coast, at which 
point he had been encamped for several months. On Feb- 
ruary 4 he received orders from Washington to occupy a 
position on the east bank of the Rio Grande. Preparing 
without haste his plans for carrying out these orders, Tay- 
lor established a base at Point IssJbel, a bluff which com- 
inanded one of the shaUow bays that are found on this part 
of the Texas coast Opposite Point Isabel was a channel or 
arm (Erazo) of the sea which the Mexicans called El Brazo 
de Santiago, and which the American soldiers chose to name 
The Brazos. The channel lay between islands, of which that 
immediately to the south bore the name of Santiago, to which 
also by the Army of the United States the word Brazos was 
applied. A few miles farther to the south the Rio Grande 
emptied into the Gulf. Here in the last days of March Tay- 
lor took up his quarters, opposite the Mexican town of 
Matamoros. A month later, on April 24, a scouting party 
of American dragoons under Captain Thornton was am- 
bushed and sixteen were killed or wounded. Upon this 
Taylor called upon the governors of Texas and Louisiana 
for volunteers. On May 3 the fort at Point Isabel was un- 
successfully bombarded by the Mexicans under Greneral 
Arista. Within a week came the battles of Palo Alto and 
Resaca de Guerrero. The latter name marked a ravine or 
former river bed, and this or one nearby was called by the 
Americans Resaca de la Palma. Victorious in both of these 
encounters the Americans soon forced the Mexican army to 
evacuate Matamoros, and thus by May 18 gained control of 
the lower Rio Grande. 

The news of the outbreak of hostilities had reached 
Washington on May 9, and on the eleventh the President had 
sent in his war message. Within two days the declaration 
of war by Congress was ready for Polk's signature. There 
followed a period of delay in which the administration, em- 



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182 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

barrassed by diflb^ulties with General Winfteld Scott, en- 
deavor to plan a campaign. MeanwhUe Taylor impatiently 
waited at Matamoros. The volunteer troops, which began 
to pour in upon him far more rapidly than his means of 
subsistence and transportation could accommodate, included 
some of which had been raised as a result of a call issued 
by General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, who now, as on 
former occasions, had undertaken without authority to an- 
ticipate directions from the War Department. As indi- 
cated above, Taylor, acting under orders from Washington, 
had requisitioned volunteers from Louisiana and Texas. It 
was supposed that these soldiers had enlisted for six months, 
but it soon developed that under the Act of 1795 they could 
be held for but tiiree months. Some of these short-time 
troops were the first to reach Taylor, and in August large 
numbers of them returned. Meanwhile early in June the 
twelve-month volunteers authorized by tiie war act began to 
arrive at Santiago Island, coming by the Gulf from New 
Orleans. It is stated that "with the exception of two regi- 
ments, one from Georgia and one from Alabama, and a bat- 
talion raised in and near Baltimore, the troops were all 
from the Mississippi Valley — Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Mis- 
souri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.'' 

Justly distrustful of the legality of General Gaines's 
requisition, the governor of Tennessee, Aaron V. Brown, a 
political and personal friend of Polk, merely issued a proc- 
lamation calling upon the citizens to be ready in case a 
summons from the War Department should come. May 16 
this official requisition was issued from Washington, and 
obedient to it, Governor Brown called for the enlistment in 
Tennessee of three regiments, one af cavalry and two of 
infantry, to serve for twelve months unless sooner dis- 
charged. The total number of men desired was about three 
thousand; more than thirty thousand volunteered. The 
Union and Planters' Banks advanced the funds necessary 
for financing the mustering in of the troops. Because of 
the great numbers a choice had to be made by election, and 
the successful competitors were ordered to rendezvous at 
Camp Taylor near Nashville. By June 3 twelve companies 
had been mustered in and were organized into one regiment. 
Thus was established the First Regiment of Tennessee Vol- 
unteers. The field officers were then chosen by election. 

At this point we leave the story to Colonel Campbell's 
own words. In the foot-notes, however, it will be att^tipted 
to add a few necessary explanations and to indicate the cor- 
rect spelling of persons and places. For assistance in the 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 133 

latter regard the editor is under great obligations to Dr. 
Justin H. Smith, of Boston, Massachusetts, who has shared 
with the Magazine the expense of copying these letters. 
General accounts of the Mexican War are readily accessible 
in the histories of Schouler and McMaster, and a more 
detailed narrative in the second volume of Mr. G. L. Rives's 
work, The United Staies and Mexico, 1821-1848 (New York, 
1913.) Appended to the latter is a considerable bibliography 
in which will be found the titles of most of the older works 
upon the Mexican War, such for example as that of Ripley. 
Not listed by Rives, but of some interest as describing close- 
ly the Monterey Campaign, is a little book by T. B. Thorpe, 
Our Army at Monterev^ . . . (Philadelphia, 1847). 
Besides this another work deserves special mention. In the 
Nashville Union, in 1846 and 1847, was published a series 
of letters or articles entitled Reminiscences of a Campaign 
in Mexico; by a Member of "The Bloody First.'' These 
sketches with an historical introduction were republished in 
book form (Nashville, 1849). No author's name appears 
upon the title page, but the preface is signed by J. B. Robin- 
son. This is apparently a misprint, for it is likely that the 
author was J. B. Robertson. The writer was one of the 
soldiers in Colonel Campbeirs regiment, and the book covers 
about the same period as the Letters. From it has been 
taken in part our account of the organization of the First 
Tennessee Regiment. 

With the following exceptions the letters are reproduced 
as Colonel Campbell wrote them: (1) The abbreviation 
"&", used consistently by Colonel Campbell, has in every 
case been expanded to "and;'' (2) omissions of punctuation 
obviously due to haste or carelessness have been supplied ; 
(3) except in the first letter the usual words of farewell have 
been omitted; (4) a few: purely personal allusions have been 
omitted, the omission being indicated in every case by the 
usual sign. St. George L. Sioussat. 



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134 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Wm, B, Campbell to Governor David Campbell, 



I. Nashville, June 4, 1846. 

I write you a few lines in haste today that you may know that I was 
on yesterday elected the Col. Commandant of the ist Regt. Ten.* Voltm- 
teers. It is a noble command being composed of 12 companies of about 
90 men each, each company having 80 privates. I shall be off myself 
with the remainder of Uie command on the morning of the 6th inst. to 
report to Genl. Gaines at New Orleans. I left home on Saturday last 
and did not then believe that I would be elected the Col., and my wife 
will be in deep affliction when she is informed that she will not see me 
again for twelve months. Her health is not very good and I have great 
uneasiness for her, but I could not get out of Uiis business with honor, 
and must now trust in a kind providence for the protection and support 
of my dear<*wife and dear children. I shall expect to hear from you often 
and particularly on the subject of my duties as Col., the etiquette, etc, 
of the army. Do write often to my wife, for she is now nearly heart- 
broken and will need all the consolation and comfort your letters always 
give. The old political companies were those called for by the Govr. and 
it so hap[p]ened that 3-4 of those in my Regt are democratic officers, but 
there is a majority of 200 Democrats of the rank and file, yet I beat a 
Major Genl. and a [Democrat 169 votes. So you see I out ran the 
Whig strength. I will in a hour take quarters with my Regt from 
which I expect not to be separated until we end the service. James 
Campbell is in good health. Present my truest affection to my dear Aunt 
and believe me to be your affectionate and devoted nephew. 

2. Steamboat Tennessee^ 50 Miles Above Memphis, June 8, 1846. 

I am now on my way to the Rio Grande and have with me five com- 
panies of my Regiment, the other seven having gone on ahead. I will 
join them on Saturday in New Orleans. The boat will touch at Mem- 
phis and I will write you a few lines to keep you advised of my where- 
abouts and condition. All my affairs are moving on very well and I think 
I shall have a very fine Regiment when I get to Matamoras.* I go directly 
on to Genl. Taylor's camp and shall remain no longer in New Orleans 
than the transports can be had, which I hope will be ready on my arrival 
there. I have now such a crowd and so much confusion yet that I cannot 
write much now. My men seem willing to obey and to be governed and 
aU are getting on well. I will write you from New Orleans. Direct 
your letters to me at New Orleans to the care of Messrs. Allison, Allen 
and Co., who will forward them to me. 

3. New Orleans, June 14, 1846. 

I have just time to write you a word or two to let you know that I 
arrived here yesterday and have my Regiment of 43 officers and 1,000 
non-commissioned officers and privates, encamped in the lower part of 
this city. I have transports engaged and shall be off on to-morrow or the 
next day with the whole force for Point Isabel We have fine weather 
and but little sickness amongst the men. My own health is very fine and 
I have great confidence that I shall stand, the campaign well. If we 

■Tennessee. 

■Matamoros; but Colonel Campbell's spelling was widely used in contemporary 
American publications. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 135 

shall have fighting to do, I do not calculate that we will have an insignifi- 
cant enemy to contend with. The Mexicans are better soldiers than they 
have character for. Aiter the battle of the 8th* Gen. Taylor called a 
council of his officers 13 being present and 9 of the 13 were opposed to 
fighting on the next day and in favor of entrenching the American army 
at Point Isabel — ^this looks like the Mexicans had convinced them that 
they could fight well. I saw our relation Mr. Campbell Cummings today. 
He resides here. 

[Postscript] My Regiment is said here to be the finest looking R^gt 
that has passed here en route to Genl. Taylor. I hope they will give 
a good account of themselves on the Rio Grande. 

4. Brasos* Island, July 3, 1846. 

My whole Regt. are now laying on this island, encamped, having an- 
chored of [f] the Bar nearly 2 weeks ago, but a whole wedc elapsed before 
it was taken off the transports by the lighters which can only pass the 
bar measuring about 6 to 8 feet of water. It is a most uncertain and 
dangerous place to land and whenever the least wind prevails Vessels 
are thrown on shore. I had the bad luck to be wrecked on the Steamer 
CoL Harney in passing from the vessel which brought me over to the 
shore. She grounded on the bar and we were out all night in the break- 
ers, but no accident occurred to any one on board, although about daylight 
in the morning she bilged and the hull filled with water. My men were 
taken off by small boats and I saw them all safe taken off before I quit 
the wreck. But now we are all in ^ood spirits and in very good health, 
the climate is a very fine one, havmg a breeze here night and day as 
strong as the March winds at Montcalm. The water however is not so 
good as may be had in the hills of Holston, as we here sink a hole in 
the ground and place a flour barrel in it and the water seeps in through 
the sand and although a little brackish is pretty good and I think not 
unhealthy. I shall march from this place in a few days for Barita* on the 
Rio Grande about 30 miles distant below Matamoras on that River, where 
I may be encamped for some time, as that point will be convenient to 
be supplied with provisions. I now think we are to have a most masterly 
inactive campaign, as the troop [s] now on the Rio Grande greatly exceeds 
the means provided for subsistence and transportation, and they are daily 
arriving. There preceded me here six Regts. from La., one from Ky. 
and one from St. Louis, Mo., and several companies from other States, 
and now they are coming in from Tenn., Miss., Maryland and Wash- 
ington City, and expected from Ohio, Indiana, and Klinois, and Miss., and 
Ala., so that I have no idea that Genl Taylor will be able to move the 
whole force now here until about fall. When the secretary* was calling 
so loudly for volunteers, he should have been giving more particular 
attention to the subsistence and Quartermasters department in this region 
and if there should be delay, inactivity or disaster, it will in my opinion 
be properly attributable to the inefficiency of means furnished in those 
two departments. This Island is but a lump of sand and has been 
nearly all overflowed and ;a town once here is to be seen no trace of. 
But iht air is fine and the country along the Rio Grande is represented 
as pleasant and tolerably healthy. The water of that river being deemed 
as good as that of the Mississippi. Genl. Taylor is moving his force in 
detachments up the river above Matamoras slowly, and what he intends 
doing I know not nor have I any intimation of the plans of the Gov- 

«P^o Alto. 

■Usually spelled "Bncos." See the introduction. 

•Btirrita. 

niarcy. 



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186 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

emment as to what is to be done by the army. GenL Taylor from what 
I hear of him is a brave man and a hardy soldier, but not talented and 
I fear not capacity enough for his present position. And since GenL 
Scott has perpetrated suicide,* Taylor will be kept where he is— <here being 
no officer in the U. S. army in whom the admn. of Mr. Polk has sufficient 
confidence to entrust with the command. I do hope we shall during the 
summer be marched upon Monterey, as the route to that city would be 
through a hilly healthy country and the city has a population of 30 or 
40,000 inhabitants. But really I have no news here now than you have 
seen in the papers, for the last 20 day[s] there has been not one word of 
news in relation to the army of occupation and the Mexicans. We can- 
not ascertain whether the Mexicans are raising an army and if they 
are where they are concentrating. I think they are doing iittle or nothing 
towards defending their soil. I have heard the rumor here that the 
Oregon question is settled at 49® with the navigation for a term of years 
to the Hudson Bay Company of the Columbia. For myself I should 
not care to hear of the settlement of the Mexican difficulty as there seems 
to be no prospect of an active campaign and a whole year may pass by 
before another blow shall be stricken. . . . I am by no means in first 
rate spirits as to my Regt. for about 6 companies have fine officers and 
will soon drill finely but the other six, I fear the officers are incapable 
of ever drilling their Companies so as to make them respectable. I shall 
however not despair and will try and bring them all right Politics is 
somewhat in my way as all my field officers are Democrats and are some- 
what jealous of any character I may acquire and therefore do not second 
my exertions to institute rigid discipline, but I shall overcome all that 
and they will be mistaken as to my ulterior views of political stations. 
I hope I shall never again have a desire to ingage in any political contest 
or to seek office. When I return home. I will lead a private life, and seek 
my own and the happiness of my family and dear relatives. This shall 
be my desire and my amibition the remainder of my life. . . . 

I have two fine horses which I brought from Tenn. They have been 
much worsted in the voyage here, but I hope soon to recruit them and 
make them serve me during the campaign, and I have an Irish servant 
who is kind and attentive and serves me faithfully. So do not fear 
but I shall get on well if some disease does not overtake me. . . . 

There are now more than twelve thousand volunteers in the army 
, of occupation scattered along the Rio Grande, here and about Point Isabel 
and towards Matamoras, and if Genl. Taylor had the means of supplying 
his army, he could make an immediate move upon Monterey and could 
strike an effective blow. This is a much worse country to campaign in 
than Florida. Water and wood is so very scarce. I have not seen timber 
yet We cook with coal brought from Ohio or Penn. Florida has an 
abundance of fine timber and excellent water. Again adieu. 

5- LoMBTA,* Rio Grande, July 11, 1846. 

You will see by the above that I am on the move having left Brasos 
Island on the 7 inst and arrived here the same day with one half of my 
Regt. the other half have not yet come up. This place is a small hill on 
the bank of the river just large enough for my Regt. to camp on and the 
word Loma — a hiW—d^ometa — a little hill — indicates the kind of place. 
This is about 20 miles from (the mouth of the river and 4 miles above 
Barita. — the river is now very high, its bankks overflown everywhere and 
all along it from here down presenting the appearance of a ^eat lake— 
the water is fresh to the mouth, but as muddy as the Mississippi,— the 

The reference is to Taylor's cprrespondence with Mtrcy and Polk. 
•Lomita. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 137 

whole country is a prairie with here and there a growth of shrubbery or 
small trees called chaporal,^ no tree being higher than lo or 15 feet and six 
inches through. The army of Genl. Taylor is encamped from Brasos 
Island to Rynoso" on the Rio Grand covering a distance of at least 100 
miles — I suppose there are now in the field under the command of Genl. 
Taylor at least 15,000 volunteers, independent of the Regular army, but 
there is no certainty yet of his intention to strike a blow I fear nothing 
will be done and that we will be kept in camp on this river during the 
summer. I can form no opinion as to the health of this country in the 
latter part of the summer and fall, but at present this is the most delightful 
climate I ever experienced in my life. There is always day and night a 
strong wind and breeze and the air is soft and dry all the time — never 
sultry — far more pleasant than our summers in Ten. or Virginia. This 
place bids fair to be healthy, as I succeeded here a regiment which had 
fine health here for the past month. At Brasos the water was brackish 
and gave every one a dissentery [sic] — ^here the river water is good and 
when it settles tastes agreeable. We are visited here every day by many 
of the Mexicans, who come to our camp with beef, mutton, kid, eggs 
and watermelons, milk in abundance for sale and now we are well sup- 
plied with some of the delicacies of the table. These Mexicans are 
nothing but herdsmen having large droves of cattle and sheep and goats 
and horses and on the Rio Grande cultivate little or nothing and are a 
miserable, ignorant, filthy race, but seem to be healthy and stout The 
immense waste of prairie and water is painful to look upon, with here 
and there a miserable thatched and mud cottage to relieve the view. I 
have lost 3 men by death since I left Ten, and I fear that my principal 
surgeon who is at Matamoras is also dead. . . . 

I am in hopes Genl. Taylor will march this summer on Monterey and 
Saltillio," and if so we will have a fine high healthy country to operate 
in, but we have no accounts that the Mexicans are embodying at any place. 
I am only in fear that the difficulty will be settled before I shall have 
a chance to give my Regt. a trial in battle. As I have come this far I 
would like to have at least one engagement with the enemy. Adieu. 
Direct to Point Isabel, Texas, ist Regt. Ten. Vol. Army of Invasion. 

6. Camp at Lometa, Mexicx), July 31, 1846. 

I have only to say a word to you that my health is still very good, 
although I have much sickness in my camp. I have loss [sic] 7 men 
since I came to this place about 22 days ago, and I have about 130 on the 
sick list, yet I cannot say that this is a sickly place as the sea breeze 
is so strong that the air must be purified by it I hope soon to be ordered 
to march up the country and may get in to a higher and healther rigion 
[sic] or where we may have good water. The six months troops have 
all been ordered home and my Regt. is now the ^nd Regt. of vol. that 
are in the field as to priority and I think now if there is any fighting to 
do I shall have a chance. 

7. LoMETA, Mexico, August 9, 1846. 

I am still encamped at this place, having been here more than one 
month, and although I have orders from Genl. Taylor to go to Carmago" 
as soon as boats can be furnished by the Quartermasters to transport 
my command, yet is very uncertain when I shall leave here, as boats may 

»ChaiMirra]. 

^ReynoM or Rdnosa. 

>Tbe Castilian pronunciation of Saltillo suggests Saltillio. 

**Camargo. 



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138 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

not be tendered me in the next two weeks. You will have seen that all 
the six months volunteers who were accepted by GenL Gaines have all 
been discharged and sent home, and now are kept in service but 12 months 
men and when I arrived at Brasos Sant lago*^ with my Regt I had been 
preceded by only one corps of 12 months men, to wit, a Louisville Ky. 
Regt commanded by Col. Orms^, so that I am the 2nd Regt of the 
volunteers on Mexican territory. It has been consideied as an advan- 
tage to get here first as the first would be moved up the river and into 
the interior first, and so Genl. Taylor stated to all who came, that 
they would take tlieir turn in bein[g] moved up the river. It is very dis- 
agreeable at Brasos St. lago and all desire to be moved forward. Being 
next to the ist Ky. Regt. and having been assured by Genl. Taylor tiiat 
I would move up next to him, I was greatly disappointed at getting an 
order from him a few days ago, designating the the order of the various 
Regts. encamped on the river, to be moved to Carmago, and ist Ky. 
Regt. 1st, Baltimore Battallion 2nd, 3 Ohio Regts. 3, 4, and 5> 2nd Ky. 
Regt 6th, Miss Regt. 7th, and mine the 8th, when I had arrived in this 
country before all but the ist named and most of those placed before me 
had not left home when I landed at Brasos St lago. This injustice on 
the part of Genl. Taylor I will look into and have an explanation, as I 
can prove by four respectable officers that the day before his order 
bears date, he stated to them that my Regt. should move next to the ist 
Ky. Regt. I have been very busy attending to the interest of my Reg^t 
and have not been about the person of Genl. Taylor and this I have no 
doubt is the reason why I have been slorred [sic] over He is a very 
plain man of very ordinary intellect and the battles of Palo Alto, and of 
Resecca [sic] have been puffed up so much in the papers that the old 
fellow thinks he may be president and flattery may have great influence 
with him, and I doubt not that I have been passed over by the artifice 
of officers who have been about the Genl's person a great deal and have 
plastered him over with praise for the battles and feed his hopes with 
promises of the future. But I will not despair of having a part in what 
may yet be to do and will be ready to march in the order I have been 
1- laced. But you will see before the campaign is over that Genl. Taylor 
is altogether inadequate to the station he holds. For the report of every 
man who visits him is that he is a very ordinary man and they fear his 
competency to command an army. Tliere was no ability displayed in 
the battles of Palo and Resacca. Nothing but brute courage won those 
days and this is the opinion of 9 tenths of the officers of the Regular 
army nearly all ^ of whom have a very poor opinion of Genl. Taylor's 
capacity and ability as a Genl. I have been very anxious to leave here be- 
cause my Regt. has been very sickly and I have been very unlucky. At 
this place I nave lost by death 12 men — ^the measels broke out in the 
ranks after I encamped here and having no shelters but tents to pro- 
tect the men from the weather, — ^they could not be so taken care of as to 
save them and nearly half who have taken the measels have died. But 
I wish you not to believe that this country is unhealthy. At Brasos St 
lago the water was so brackish that it produced severe bowel complaints 
but here we use the Rio Grande water which is healthy and there is 
not more sickness in my camp than would be were we encamped in Ten. 
except the measels. We have the sea breeze here constantly and the 
weather is less sultry and never so warm as in Ten. and the shade is 
always cool and the nights the most pleasant I ever experienced any 
where. The dews are so light that they are not fe[l]t and we lay out in 
the open air here without the least injury, — no dampness at all in the 
atmosphere and take it altogether what I have seen in i^ month, it is the 

^Santiago. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 139 

most delightful climate I ever experienced. I visited Matamoras a few 
days ago to see GenL Taylor, but he had left for Carmago and as yet 
I have not seen him. Matamoras is a very old looking Spanish town 
having the appearance of having been a much larger place; it now has 
many very [?J buildings all built in a peculiar manner with flat roofs. 
Many of the best are now appropriated to army uses. It is now the 
most unpleasant town to be in I ever saw, being full daily and nightly 
of the unrestrained Texan soldiers, who are the wildest and most dissipated 
set of men I ever saw. The[y] remind me of the character and descrip- 
tion of the Russian Cossacks, and the Mexican population is of the most 
savage and vicious character, the better class having left The country 
from this place up on both sides of the Rio Grand is the finest lands I 
ever saw for planting purposes. The good lands are covered generally 
with a thick growth of muskete** and dbono" trees and various kinds of 
smaUer growth all covered with thorns like the young locusts and thorn 
bushes of your country which msJces the chaporal or thicket almost im- 
passable, yet the trees are nowhere more than 20 feet high, all of a 
low scrubby order. The whole valley of the Rio Grande is represented 
as a most fertile valley, producing Indian Corn, sugarcane, cotton which 
grows three year-s from one planting, and mellons, — there is not much 
fruit here, — some orange and lime trees and figs all of which are 
cultivated. There are now many large stores in Matamoras and much 
business done there in sales to the soldiers and the Mexicans. The latter 
sell us whatever they have of eatables — but they are a faithless race and 
are not to be trusted. As to our living we are supplied with pickle [d] 
pork, some bacon in sides, crackers in barrels and some flour which many 
of our men prefer. I like the crackers best of any bread. We have 
coffee and sugar and some rice, and are supplied twice a week with a 
ration of fresh beef. This country abounds with cattle the finest in the 
world, and it is bought here by the contractors at about one cent a 
pound and they get from the government 5 cents. I have not space or 
time to inform you of the great frauds that are perpetrated on the Gov- 
ernment here in carrying on this war, the great prices given for old 
steamboats and other extravagant prices paid, no doubt to favorites or to 
persons who share with ofiicers the spoils. There is now some talk that 
Genl. Taylor intends a descent on Monterey from Carmago, after he 
concentrates a force large enough at the latter place. But I think he 
will not move from Carmago before October. There are now about 20 
Govt, steamboats in this river out at Brasos Stiago, and could very soon 
take provisions and men to Carmago, but there is evidently great imbe- 
cility in the movements, and as I have before said Genl. Taylor is not 
adequate to the station, yet this is between us and time will develop the 
truth of my con|ecture. I have been giving close attention to military 
tactics, having Cooper's tactics, and Scott's work on tactics, and the 
Army Regulations. My military library is as large now as I have use 
for, and I am daily improving myself in tactics and in the army regula- 
tions and in the details of the service. My Regiment are in a tolerable 
good state, several companies being well drilled, and in Regimental and 
Battallion drill they all perform several maneuvers very well — such as 
forming column by companies or by divisions of 2 companies and chang- 
ing front o« any company or division — dose column at company or 
division distance-— deplo3ring in to line of battle, passing deflles and form- 
ing hollow squares, — and the manual of arms they perform very well, 
and are getting to march pretty well with the step. I have a very good 
military band. And there is an excellent state of good feeling amongst 

"Mesquite. 
"Ebony. 



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140 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

the officers field and company. I feel very confident in my ability to 
manage my Regt. so as to make it efficient and creditable in the field. 
. . . Your letter of the 3rd July was read last night and I thank you 
and my dear aunt for the interest you take in the welfare of my dear 
family, it is a great consolation to me and would be sweet at a dying 
moment. My health has been better than it has been for two or 3 
years and I have uniform good spirits and I think capable of enduring 
as much as any man in the lines. 

I cannot write more now. Ybu will please direct your letters to Mata- 
moras, Mexico, ist Regt. Tenn. vol. Army of Invasion and I must ask 
you to pay the postage and they will be forwarded to me. If the postage 
is not paid the letters would remain at Matamoras until I sent for them 
specialty and paid the postage. When the postage is paid any passenger 
will brmg them on to the army. Adieu my dear uncle. 

In a few days I with my Regt. will be on our way in passage to 
Carmago. 4 companies will be carried by water and the heavy bag^^e, 
the remaining 8 companies will go by land with such baggage as will be 
necessary on the march and will be encamped I doubt not near Carmago 
until October. 

The measles have been in my camp and about 16 have died of that 
disease, but except measles the health of the Regt. is good. 

8. Camp Near Carmago, August 21, 1846. 

I write todzy in great haste, having got to a new place, and as yet 
not fixed up with any comfort and 9 companies of my Regt. here, the 
remainder daily expected. A portion of the regular force under Gent 
Worth moved off two days ago toward Monterey will go 80 miles and 
await the arrival of all the force that Genl. Taylor takes to Monterey. 
I expect that my Regt will be in the expedition to Monterey and Saltillio. 
We have no definite news about the Mexican army or force at Monterey. 
Genl. Taylor is a very plain man, agreeable and decided, but he is evi- 
dently a man of ordinary ability. The great jealousy that exists here 
amongst all the officers and particularly amongst the volunteers makes 
the service disagreeable, yet I think I am so prudent that I will be able 
to get along without much josteling. I will write you before I leave 
here more in detail the plan of the can^aign, etc My health is excellent 

9. Camp Near Carmago, August 28, 1846. 

I cannot find time to write many letters, and therefore nearly all my 
writing is done to you and to my wife. I have not written six letters to 
other persons since I landed at Brasos Island. My whole Regiment is 
now encamped here, but it is most sorely afflicted with sickness being 
near three hundred on the sick list, and every day one or two are laid 
away in eternal sleep. I have had 32 deaths in my Regiment, and about 
40 discharged from disease and broken down constitutions from disease. 
So you see my Regt. of one thousand is fast wasting away in this tropical 
climate. A majority of the deaths that have occurred were from measles; 
now the men have fever. It is very warm here, and not much breeze 
like we had at Lometa, and no water any where but in the rivers. The 
valley of the Rio Grande is really a thirsty desert,— after having to 
travel 50 or 60 miles without finding a drop of water to quench thirst, 
and when the desert has to be pasls]ed, water must be padced along 
both for man an ho[r]se. Carmago is situated on the bank of the St 
Juan'' about 4 miles from its entrance into the Rio Grande and is now 
a dilapidated village which once had a population of 2000, but now has 

"San Juan. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 141 ' 

not more than 500. About two months ago the rise in the river over- 
flowed the towns and a very large ntmsber of the houses which were 
built of brick dried in the sun, were undermined by the dissolving of 
the brick and the houses tumbled down. The St Juan as well as Ac 
Rio Grande overflows the whole valley at this season of the year. . The 
summer rise came much earlier this season than usual and the rise still 
continues, there being now two months that /the Rio Grande has been 
out of its banks and the whole valley overflown. And the ground that I 
and my Regt are now encamped on, was under water 2 'feet 6 weeks ago, 
it is now however dry. This whole country is covered by a dense growth 
of small timber and shrubbery of the most cragged and thorny I ever 
beheld, — every bush, tree, plant and every insect and serpent here, has a 
sting or thorn. The pridcle pears here grown 6 or 8 feet high and there 
are also other growths here of the same Cactus species. 

The St Juan is navigable tonly for a few miles above this place, and 
this is the highest point towards Monterey that provisions can be trans- 
ported in steam Boots. « 

August 30th. 

I have received orders for Ave hundred picked men of my Regt to 
be held in readiness to march to Monterey; and strange to tell out of the 
one thousand that I left Nashville with, I shall be hard pressed to get 
500 effective men for the order,— eudi • has been the effect of disease in 
my camp for ten days past My average is about a death a day and 
today two have died and several more are expected to die hourly. In 
five or six days my command will march for Monterey and I hope the 
men I take with me will be 1 freed from the infection that seems to pre- 
vail in this climate and at this place. My own health continues good 
and I hope to preserve it as I am very particular in my diet and in not 
exposing myself in any way that can with propriety be avoided. Genl. 
Worth has gone on as far as Seralvo" with a division of the Regular 
Army,— Genl. Percifor" F. Smith has gone on after him with a Brigade of 
Regulars and Genl. Twiggs is about moving with another division of Reg- 
ulars — ^making in all about 4000 men. Genl. Butler of Ky. starts this wedc 
with a division of volunteers of four Regts. of 500 men each, and two Briga- 
diers Genl. to wit Genl. Hamer of Ohio and Genl. Quitman of Missis- 
sippi, and my command composed a part of Genl. Quitmans Brigade. 
Although Genl. Pillow is my Brigadier, I have been temporarily detached 
with 500 men to go in the expedition to Monterey under Quitman who 
is far superior to Pillow in every point of view both as a man of 
talents and as a military man, and therefore I am not displeased at being 
detached and having the honor of gcnng in the expedition. It is quite 
probable that we may march directly to Saltillio if not stop[p]ed by a 
superior force of the enemy. 

Genl. Taylor is still here and I have not learned what day he leaves, 
perhaps he may go with the division of volunteers. The advance now at 
Sea-alvo will not leave there until the whole force intended for Monterey 
get there and then the whole army will move together. I am well pleased 
with Genl. Taylor, who though a plain blunt man is evidently a military 
man of great firmness and decision and is well informed and under- 
stands wdl sdl matters that he has to do with. Genl. Worth is a very 
scientific man and in the army we have many very able and experienced 
officers who are with Genl. Taylor and who can contribute to aid him 
in his conclusions. 

>»Cen»lvo. 
"Persifor. 



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142 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Many of the appointments of Genls. made by the President from civil 
life are very ordinary men, but some are good, and of the best are 
Butler, Hamer and Quitman. GenL Pillow is of the smallest caliber that 
has ever been elevated to so high a command, although he professes to 
be very friendly to me and is tolerably agreeable yet he seems not to 
know what to do and is often directing and interfering in matters which 
he properly has nothing to do with, but I will bear with him as long 
as he seems to be actuated by no unkind or improper feelings towards 
me.** 

From all that can be learned in relation to Monterey, it is believed 
by GenL Taylor that the Mexicans will not fight us at that place, that if 
we should have a fight it will be at Saltillio or in the passes of the moun- 
tains between Monterey and Saltillio. Monterey is about i8o miles dis- 
tant from this place. We cross the St Juan here and go to Meir** and 
thence leaving the Rio Grande to Seralvo. Col. Hayes* with his Regt 
of Mounted Texans left Matamoras about 3 weeks ago and was directed 
by Genl. Taylor ito go to St. Fernando" and Victoria and to Chene**. 
After getting that far without o[p]position or finding an enemy, he left 
^is Regt. and came here and reported a few days ago to GenL Taylor 
and has returned to his Re^ at Chene. Hays thinks we will find no 
emboddied Mexican force this side of the Seira Madre** Mountains and 
that in all probability no fight can be had short of St. Louis Potosi.** 
These Texans are mounted and in this war [?] are in many respects 
like the Cossacks. They are under no drill or discipline, but follow their 
leaders any where and if there is' fighting they enter it with gallantry 
and fight in their own Western way and for service against the Mexicans 
are a first rate troop. Their hatred to the Mexicans is most implacable 
and the Mexicans have a perfect horror of a Texan. They are a most 
bold, hardy and desperate set of men, being inured to the climate, adven- 
turers witii fine constitutions, and often desperadoes and ruffians and 
renegades from the States of the first class. But amongst them are many 
first rate men, of fine talents and first rate characters, and of that number 
I take Col. Hays and Col. Walker to be very worthy and meritorious 
men. I am here just like a machine ready to obey any orders and I 
do not pretend to give my mind any trouble about what will be done by 
our Government in relation to this war, but I am in for twelve months 
and shall not think of returning home until my term of service shall 
have expired and if the war should be ended before that time and I be 
permitted to get home sooner than I expect, I shall be most agreeable 
[sic] disappointed. 

The volunteer Regts. that go forward under GenL Butler are one Ky. 
Regt under Col. Ormsby and one Ohio Regt under Col. Mitdhell— com- 
manded by Brigadier GenL Hamer. And one Ten. Regt under myself 
and one Mississippi Regt. under Col. Davis, commanded by Brigadier 

"Gideon J. Pillow, as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 1844 
had been prominent in bringing about the nomination of Polk, and was not modest 
in laying claim to credit therefor. (See his letters in Atneriean Historical Review, 
Volume XI, pp. 841-843*) Among the letters of W. B. Campbell to Governor David 
Campbell there is a single letter, — the only one which seems to have been preserved, — 
from Governor Campbell to his nephew, filled with denunciation of the nominations 
made bv Polk generally and of that of Pillow in particular. Governor Campbell, a 
Whig, bitterly reprehended Polk for the appointment of Democratic generals. It is 
doubtless in reply to this communication of Governor Campbell that Colonel Campbell 
refers to Pillow. 

»Mier. 

••Hays. 

••San Fernando. 

••China. 

••Sierra Madre. 

••San Luis PotosL 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 143 

Genl. Quitman. I feel gratified at my position and hope that I may be 
blessed with health to go through the campaign. I have this moment 
received my orders from Genl. Butler assuming [?] the conmiand and 
informing me of what will be required to be done preparatory to the 
march and from this time until I learn more I shall be very busy making 
the necessary preparations. 

la Camp Near Monterey, September 26» 1846. 

Since I last wrote you, I and my command have passed through some 
new and most trying and important scenes, — ^The Battle at Monterey has 
been fought. — the enemy have been beaten and all is now quietness and 
composure in camp. The wounded have been transferred to town and 
placed in comfortable quarters. After a severe march from Carmago 
and resting only two days on the wav I arrived here on the evening of 
the 19th inst with the Army under the command of Genl. Taylor. The 
army of Genl. Taylor was composed of three Divisions, one under GenL 
Worth of about 2500 men, one under Genl. Twiggs of between 1500 and 
2000 men and one volunteer Division under Genl. Butler of near 2000 
men, and Genl. Hendersons Brigade of Texian mounted men of about 
1000 men. It seemed to be well understood before we arrived here that 
the whole Mexican force were here and had been actively engaged since 
the battles near Matamonis of Palo Alto and Resica de la Palma, in 
fortifying the town and raising men and preparing to maJke a desperate 
resistance. On our arrival here, meeting with no resistance or impedi- 
ment on the way, — the advanced guard were saluted by a fire from the 
large fort at the North west end of the town and never suffered to 24)- 
p roach nearer than the range of a 12 pounder without b^ng promptly 
fired at. Sunday 20th was employed in reconnoitering until evening when 
GenL Worth moved off with his Division to take post on the west end 
of the town on the road to Saltillio, and to attack and take if possible 
three fortifications in that quarter and a fourth called the Bishops Castle" 
deemed very strong, all of which were in view as they were all situated 
on very high eminences and intended to command the passage west and 
the Saltillio road. On Monday the firing in that quarter showed that 
Worth was actively engaged. He had with him also one Regt. of Genl. 
Henderson ['s] Brigade. The two Divisions of Genl. Twigg and Genl. 
Butler were ordered out, as was said to make a demonstration on the 
town that the force of the Mexican army might be diverted from GenL 
Worth, but shortly after they were brought into the field, (for there is 
an inunense plain m front of the town of more than two miles in extent) 
a part of Genl. Twiggs command became engaged at the north east end 
of the town in an attack upon some fortifications which were there, and 
shortly after the order came to me to move my Regt. to the support of 
the troops engaged in the attack in that quarter. I moved off at a quick 
pace and soon came under the range of the guns of the great fort oJled 
the Citadel at the North west end of the town and the guns of two forts 
directly in my front one about 300 yds in rear of the other. I moved 
on by the left flank of the line. When within 400 yds. of the outer fort 
one cannon ball raked my line, striking it about 10 feet in my rear and 
killed four and wounded badly 3 men of mv Regt. This of course was 
calculated to produce a deep impression if not alarm in my whole line as 
they had all to pass by the spot where lay the dead and wounded. I 
shouted to ^em to march on — no time to stop— to the fort — to the fort, — 
when within 200 yards of the fort my intention was to display [deploy?] 
or rather form in to lines as each company came up and charge imme- 

"The Obiflpado, tittiaUy described m the Bishop's Palace. 



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144 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

diately on the fort, but the fire from the artillery of the fort and the 
small arms in which the head of the line was now in range of, caused 
some confusion in the first company and the second filed off to the left 
and the next to the left of that and so on successively until the line 
was imperfectly formed to the left of the first company. Just at this 
moment the fire was most galling and destructive and caused my whole 
command to recoil and fall back 15 or 20 paces which left me between 
them and the fort. I hastened to ride to them and get in rear and by all 
artifice of language — by threats and by commands, I halted them and or- 
dered them to form in line and charge the fort, — I found so much dismay, 
that I then apealed to the officers to lead their companies by the flank to 
the fort, — this appeal was successful and away they went, — before they 
reached the fort the Mexicans took to their heels and as our men as- 
cended the wall they gave them a volley of musketry which told well upon 
them as they ran off. There was a large stone house with a fiat roof 
in rear of the fort about 30 yds. which had parapet walls and sand bags 
upon the walls and was used as a breast work and 2 or 500 musket men 
were stationed on that building to annoy us in our approach to the fort 
Thev also took to flight. The Mississippi Regt. was on my right and gal- 
lantly came up to the charge and rushed forward with my men, but my 
Regt. being more directly in front of the fort and nearer to it than the 
Miss. Regt. reached it sooner and were the command that stormed the 
fort There was a large fort about 400 yds. in rear of the one taken 
which kept up so constant and heavy fire upon us tiiat it was not deemed 
prudent not to advance upon it, and the men sheltered themselves as well 
as they could behind the walls and houses. I was shortly called on by 
my Brigadier Genl. Quitman to move my command up a street more in 
front of the city to sustain the battery of Capt. Ridgley.** I got together 
as many as I could and passed up a street about 400 yds. under a severe 
and constant cross fire from the enemy of artillery and small arms. 
Ridgley fired a few times and concluded he could effect nothing at that 
point and we returned with him to the fort that we had taken under the 
same deadly fire, having lost two men killed on this street and one badly 
if not mortally wounded. The Ohio Regt. was engaged further up town 
but not in so hot a place as the Ten. and Miss. Regts. were and several 
Regular Regts. were also engaged and some of them suffered much. But 
off [sic] all the Regts. who were on that day engaged in battle or have 
since been engaged none have suffered half so much as the Tennessee 
Regt. I left camp on the morning of the 21st Sept. with 384 officers and 
men, all told. In the rapid march to the field of battle many fell out of 
line from fatigue and other causes such as fear,— so that when I arrived 
within 200 yds. of the fort I had less than 300. My killed on that day 
amounted to 27, and my wounded to ^^, 2 of the wounded have since 
died and six or seven more are mortally wounded. 

This report of my killed and wounded, will tell where my Regt were 
in the fight and whether they were in a hot place or not No Regt suf- 
fered half so much, and my only surprise and wonder is that the regi- 
ment did not run off the field like a gang of wild turkeys, before such a 
destructive fire. I was untouched throughout the whole fight, and that 
seems to be providential, as I was dressed in full uniform with my large 
red sash around me and mounted and along my lines all the time far 
more exposed than any of my men. I was in all my efforts on that day 
most actively and energetically sustained by my Lieut. CoL Saml. R. 
Anderson, who on that day proved himself to be a most gallant and 
brave officer, who was equally exposed on horseback with myself on the 
field and also escaped unhurt— a ball tearing his cap and another passing 

■■Randolph Ridgely, captain 3rd Artillery. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 146 

through his horse's mouth, but doing but little injury to him. My Adjt 
Lieut Heimen* was also on horseback during die action and behaved 
most gallantly. My Major R. B. Alexander was wounded badly early 
in the action and had to retire from the field before the hot work came 
on. He is a gallant and brave man, and was a loss to the Regt. The 
next day, the 22d, but little was done on the north and east side of the 
town, we held on to what we had gained. On the West the work went 
tnavely on under Genl. Worth, and redoubt after redoubt was taken until 
the Bishop's Castle also fell. Worth opened a cannonade from the hills 
south of the town on the town and on the 23d Worth came down into 
the west end of the town and an attack was made by my Regt, the Miss. 
Regt, and a Texan Regt. on the East end and the fire was kept up all 
day on the 22 and 23. I was down with inflammation of the bowels, 
wMch I think I got hurt on the 21st, but on the 23d nothing decisive 
occurred except that Worth placed his command almost in the heart of 
the city. On the morning of the 24 the Mexicans sent in l flag for terms 
and hostilities ceased and Genl Taylor and Genl. Ampudia occupied all 
that day in negotiating and about dark finally agreed that the Mexican 
army should march out with their arms with the honors of war and take 
with them one battery of artillery, and that they should march off beyond 
the River Camadors [ ?] which is the mountain pass to Saltillo about 45 
miles distance, and not to approach Monterey nearer than Lanares*" and 
other designated points for 8 weeks during which time hostilities are to 
cease. The object of this cessation is to hear from the respective Gov- 
ernments in the hope that peace may be nnde without further effusion 
of blood. 

Genl. Worth is evidently the hero of the Monterey battle, and in my 
opinion the most military officer in the army. Genl. Taylor seems to be 
a gallant old fellow — honest, blunt and plain, but I fear not genius enough 
for a commander. I feel like but little genlship was displayed in the sac- 
rifke of my poor Regiment. I cannot learn who is the responsible man for 
placing them before the fort, as Genl. Taylor says he did not intend it 
and Genl. Quitman says he acted under orders — so the matter stands. I 
make no complaint about it and say nothing. Genl. Twiggs is an old 
granny and is unfit for a conunander. Genl. Butler is a fine Gallant gen- 
tleman, was shot through the leg early on Monday morning and left the 
field. One of my Capts. — ^W. M. Allen and Lieut. Putman were killed 
dead — several of the officers were wounded, Lieut Allen has lost his leg 
since bo^ amputation. The whole number of killed in the 3 days fights 
does not reach to one hundred and the wounded does not reach to 300. 
I am now satisfied with war and I would like to get home and I do 
hope peace will be made. I do not fear danger when it is necessary to 
expose one's self, and I was exposed enough on the 21st for the exposure 
of 20 battles. I wish to return to my little ones and wife, and am willing 
to quit off with the fame I have gained on the 21st before Monterey, 
lieut Col Anderson desires me to present you with his highest regards — 
that he would be much gratified to make your acquaintance. He is as 
worthy a man as he is a good soldier. 

II. Camp Allen Near Monterey, November 2, 1846. 

I can only write you a short letter to day to let you know of my 
continuous good health, and that the general health of the army is now 
very^ good. Soon after the battle there were many cases of chills and 

*A. Hdman. 
"^Probably Linares. 



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146 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

fevers throughout the whole army, but that has now almost entirely sub- 
sided. It has been extremely dull in camp since the battle, and every one 
is anxiously awaiting the news from Washington, and hoping t^t some 
arrangements will soon be made by the two hostile Governments that will 
,bring about a peace. In fact, every branch of the army is in favor of 
peace. The privations of a campaign in a foreign land are far more 
serious than was anticipated by many who entered the service, and now 
that they have suffered much from disease and have met the enemy, th^y 
sigh heavily for their homes and friends. But for myself I feel deter- 
mined to give myself no uneasiness and to hold on patiently to the end, 
although my business at home needs my attention very much, and the 
very desponding, depressed state of feelings on the part of my wife 
arouses my anxiety, yet I will pass through the whole service with the 
heart and bearing of a soldier. 

There is much speculation throughout the army as to what movement 
will be next made by the army. Tis reported here on what is regarded 
as reliable authority, that Genl. St. Anna" is at St. Louis Potosi, with 
about 12 or 14,000 men and placing that place in a state of defense as if 
he anticipated an attack upon it from our army, and the reports are that 
the Mexicans are raising an army of 30 or 40,000 men. This does not 
look like they intended suing for peace. It is about 350 miles from here 
to St. Louis Potosi through the mountains to Saltillio and thence much of 
the road passes over arid plains destitute of water, and it will be a most 
difficult mater for an army to pass from Saltillio to St Louis Potosi, 
and that expedition cannot be undertaken without a large army and well 
apportioned train and ample supplies. In fact it is the universal opinion 
here amongst military men that an expedition to St. Louis Potosi ought 
not to be undertaken, — ^that it would be much less expensive in men and 
in money to taJce Vera Cruz than to take St. Louis. 

There is a general impression here now that the next movement of 
our army will be to Tampico, and that the expedition will be put under 
the command of some other Genl. than Taylor. I have no doubt but 
you will see a settled course of attack upon Genl. Taylor by all the 
administration prints throughout the Union, charging him with misman- 
agement, etc His fame and success is giving great uneasiness to the 
administration and they will now feel more anxiety to cut Taylor oflF, 
than to put an end to the war. 

His movement upon Monterey and his success when truly represented 
is a most brilliant affair for he was most poorly supplied witii transporta- 
tion and could on[ly] bring up here about 6,000 men, officers and all, and 
but a small park of artillery and a very limited supply of provisions. Still 
he succeeded in taking one of the strongest fortified towns in Mexico and 
overcoming an army much larger than his which was fort[iie]d and behind 
tile very strongest entrenchments. I regard the success at Monterey as 
far more signal and on a much larger scale than the battles at Palo Alto 
and at Ressica de la Palma and it is so regarded here by our millitary 
men. The whole effective force of Grenl. Taylor on the morning of the 
battle including officers and all was 6,200 and the enemy had near 10,000 
and upwards of 40 pieces of cannon, while we had less than half that 
number. They abundantly supplied with ammunition and our supply very 
limited and our provisions still more limited. 

Under all the circumstances a great victory was gained with compara- 
tively spewing very limited means and a small force. 

>^Santa Anna. 
•Tammulipu. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 147 

Nov. 3<L 

The report to day from St Louis Potosi is that about one half of the 
army at that place was in favor of making St. Anna Dictator and the 
other half opposed to it and that he and the army had gone to Mexico to 
settle the differences there. Should this news be correct the Enemy are in 
a still more distracted State and will not be able to concentrate an army 
any where but at the Qty of Mexico. It is believed here upon the best 
information that can be had that there are at Tampico 4 or 5,000 troops 
and that the fortifications at that point are very strong. But should an 
army of 6,000 men march upon that place it will certainly fall. It is most 
true that the Mexicans will not fight in the open field and that even behind 
walls and in forts they soon give up if attacked with spirit. Genl. Pat- 
terson is a man for show and parade and although he may be brave yet 
you will see that if he has a separate command he [will] not distinguish 
himself, besides he has not force of character with the army. It would 
be a great misfortune to the army and to the country should Genl. Taylor 
be displaced or superceeded in the command, as he is considered brave 
to a proverbt and a fortunate commander and carries great moral weight 
with him in the army. 

12. MoNTEKKY, November 9, 1846. 

As the mail leaves here once a week, and tomorrow is the day for its 
departure I must write you a few lines, that you and my Aunt may know 
that my health continues to be excellent, and that I am yet at this place 
with my Regt awaiting the orders of our General. I have had so much 
business to crowd on me to day that I have been cut out of the time I 
intended to appropriate to writing to you. But I must Write even if it 
should be brief. The armistice of Genl. Taylor was promptly disapproved 
of at Washington and the previous orders to him reiterated, which was to 
advance, Genl. Taylor has sent a notice to the ofBcer commanding at 
St Louis Potosi, informing him that our Government had disapproved of 
the armistice and that it was at an end. So that now I may say that 
hostilities have begun again. The armistice really was of as much or 
more service to our army than to the enemy, as it was impossible for 
Genl. Taylor to get supplies of subsistence and ammunition here sufficient 
to begin a march even on Saltillio in less than eight weeks, — for he had 
moved his army here with very limited means of transportation and with 
but little subsistence and not much ammunition. But so great was his 
anxiety to move forward that he really put too much to hazard in com- 
ing to this place without more means of transportation. There has been 
a most shameful remissness [?] in the Quartermaster's department in not 
supplying Genl. Taylor with the means of transportation as will fully 
appear when the matter shall be investigated. He has not now the means 
to move forward as all our provisions (except what beef we get from the 
Mexicans) are drawn by wagons from Carmago, a distance of one hun- 
dred and fifty miles. Genl. Wool has reached Monclova with his division 
and has written to Genl. Taylor that he cannot move on Chihuahua, as it 
will be impracticable for him to do so, therefore I conjecture that he will 
move down to Saltillio and unite with and co-operate with Genl. Taylor 
in future movements. Tomorrow Genl. Worth moves off to Saltillio with 
Soo men, to take possession of that place which will offer no resistance. 
Genl. Taylor will go there too for the purpose of informing himself as to 
the practicability of moving on St. Louis Potosi. If he should conclude 
not to advance on that place and I think he cannot with the men and 
means at his command, he will move in the direction of Tampico and co- 
operate with Genl. Patterson in an expedition to that place. All yet is in 



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148 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

doubt and unsettled as to the future movements of the army. GenL Tay- 
lor is the safest Genl. now in Mexico and I prefer to be with him above 
any who are here. He has experience, good sen^, a good military man 
and prudent, and withal a most kind, amiable and excellent gentleman. 
He will not foolishly put to hazard his army for the sake of maldng fame 
for himself. Most of the other high in rank officers are out here on a 
political tour to gain reputation to give them importance when they shall 
return home and they will look to no other consideration than their own 
distinction. They are all jealous of each other and are constantly back- 
biting each other, and all these Democratic Gen's, and Col's, and Major's 
and officer's [sic] and men are striking at Genl. Taylor whom they fear 
may be taken up for the Presidency and whose fame they are now jealous 
of. I feel myself not safe amongst men who seem to have no other 
object here but to advance the political party to which they owe their 
elevation. And they will give no quarters to a Whig if he should fall 
in their power. I have no confidence in either Genl. Paterson or Genl. 
Pillow or Genl. Quitman. I have seen enough of them to be well sat- 
isfied that all their sence [sic] of justice and ambition lies in advancing 
the interests of their party and gaining some capital for themselves, and 
any poor WKig who fell under their power would fare badly. They are 
all men of small minds and of contracted and selfish views, and will never 
distinguish themselves unless by accident. To be commanded by Pillow 
is bad enough for me, yet to bear his attempts to injure or mortify me 
will be hard indeed, but I shall bear with it until my term of service 
shall expire and then I shall be free to make some of these minions of 
party feel me. I have hope that I will not be separated from the army 
under the immediate command of Genl. Taylor and if it should be so I 
shall not fear their injustice or their attempts to injure me. 

The President has required Grenl. Taylor to employ Pillow and Shields 
and Patterson and has intimated to him that he wished an expedition 
set on foot to Tampico, to be under the management of Patterson, Pillow 
and Shields to be his coadjutors, and Genl. Taylor will feel disposed as 
any Genl. should to favour the views and wishes of the President, and if 
he finds he cannot march on St. Louis Potosi, — ^the expedition to Tampico 
will be set on foot, and Genl. Taylor will move with such portion of the 
army as can be spared from here, by the way of Lanares and Victoria 
and cooperate with Genl. Patterson who will move from Carmago with 
the main body destined for Tampico and may form a conjunction at 
Victoria. Or Genl. Taylor may place himself in such a position so as to 
cooperate with Patterson if necessary, or sustain the force here if neces- 
sary. I consider the instructions from Washington so far as I am in- 
formed of them calculated to cramp and to cripple Genl. Taylor. He has 
been badly treated by the Quartermaster's Dept Had he been supplied 
with transportation he could have entered Monterey by the ist of August 
at the furthest. It is reported that there are about 5,000 men at Tampico, 
which place is distant from here 400 miles, it is near the same distance 
from Carmago. Genl. St. Anna is at St. Louis Potosi with about 1,500 
men and is said to be fortifying that place, and if so he does not intend 
to give us battle in the open field, but will post himself in forts and forti- 
fied towns. The route from Saltillio to St. Louis Potosi is about 300 
miles and much of the way is barren and badly watered, only supplied 
by ponds and tanks which can be easily drained and we may expect much 
difficulty in making that march on account of the scarcity of water. 

The route to Tampico from here is through a fine country, fertile and 
well watered, and no difficulty will be experienced on that route. I hear 
by a letter from my wife that you contemplate a visit to Tennessee this 
fall and if so you may be there now, fbr I have had no letter from you 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 149 

for 2 weeks. I should rejoice to meet you at my home, but that pleasure 
must be denied me now. 

This is a most pleasant and healthy country and the whole army here 
have fine health with the exception of chills and fevers, which are mild 
and are caused by the change of weather and the exposure of can^ life. 
I have lost eight of those who were wounded in the battle, the remainder 
of the wounded are fast recovering and some have been discharged and 
are on their way home. Nothing would be more agreeable to the whole 
army than the news of peace. AH are tired of this country and would 
rejoice at the prospect of a return to their homes. But I think peace 
will not be made soon, as Mexico will not submit to the terms which 
our Government will impose. They cannot submit to be deprived of 
California after the loss of Texas, and nothing but the conquest by us 
ol their Capitol will force them to such a humiliation. They will give 
us more trouble than heretofore. The invasion and conquest of so large 
a portion of their territory will unite them and they will feel the neces- 
sity of union and that they are fighting for their homes. But we are now 
into the war and we must fight on until our enemy will agree to satiate 
the appetite of our President for new domains. 

I am much pleased with my acquaintance with Genl. Worth, who seems 
to have taken a particular fancy to me. I find and have made many very 
agreeable acquaintances in the army. I am now daily engaged in drilling 
my Regt which I have under very good discipline, although it is now 
cut down by deaths and discharges to about 500 officers and men. It 
acquired a good name in the battle and is regarded by all as a tried Regt 
and to be relied on in an emergency. 

13. Camp Allen, Neah Monterey, Mexico, December 7, 1846. 

Since the battle of Monterey I have written several letters to you, not 
less than three, but I do not remember the number. I also wrote one 
^not a very short one) to Col. John Campbell, and may have given some 
details not written to you. I hope you have seen that letter. For many 
weeks past we have had no occurrence of interest, nothing but the daily 
rounds of camp duty and a stationary camp life is exceedingly monotonous 
and wearisome. I have I may say never for a moment faltered in the 
discharge of my duties, being very strict myself in conforming in all things 
to the armv regulations, a copy of which I have as well as Scotts disci- 
pline (the latest edition) and I have given them much of my time. I am 
verv familiar with company and regimental drill and exercise my Regt 
daif^ Sundays not excepted, which is allotted to inspection. I am also 
familiar with the regulations of the army and the rules and articles of 
war. I have never slept away from my command, but one night since 
I left New Orleans, and then I visited Matamoras to see Genl. Taylor 
on business. I think I may boast that no officer in the army of any 
rank is more attentive to his duties than I am. I write of myself, but 
I need not apologize to you for it. GenL Taylor has determined on a 
movement south auong the base of the Siera Madre to the East to Lanares 
and Victoria, and he leaves here in a few days with Genl. Twiggs* division 
and Genl. Quitman's Brigade and some few companies of dragoons and 
riflemen. The whole force will amount to upwards of 2000 men. I know 
not the design of this move and have no probable conjecture as all is 
speculation relative to it It may be to take possession of the Province 
of Tanaulipass [sic], and open a communication along the base of the 
Siera Madre to Tampico, and he may intend to explore and satisfy him- 
self whether there is a practicable route to St Louis Potosi or to the 
Gty of Mexico from Tampico. Genl. Wool has been ordered to march 
his force to Parras a fijie town situated in the great grain district, on 



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150 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL BCAGAZINE 

the road to Durango about 80 miles from SaltiUio, and the report in camp 
is that he has already reached Parras and took 1000 sacks of flour destined 
for St. Louis Potosi. Thu9 the whole of North Mexico is now sub- 
jugated I may say the states of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Chihauhua, Santa 
Fe" Neuvo Lean,** North Calafornia and Monclovas* are over run by 
our arms. I am of the opinion that, we will not get another fight out of 
these Mexicans, until our army marches upon some of the large cities 
towards the capitol. It is believed that Genl Santa Anna is at St.^ Louis 
Potosi with a large army, at least 25,000 but he will not venture to meet 
the Americans in the field. Your letter of the 24th October was received 
a few days ago, and I agree with your views fully that this country should 
not have been invaded by so small a force. Had there been 2000 more 
men here on the 21st Sept. the town could have been taken by investing 
it without the loss of a single man. They had no provisions laid up in 
store for a siege and I think it probable that they will never be found 
able to stand a siege of a few weeks in any of their fortified towns. 
They have no salt provisions and depend alone upon cattle driven in 
from the range to sustain an army. I am now much engaged in putting 
my command in condition for the march, getting them doathed, etc. It 
is about 100 miles to Lanares and 200 miles to victoria from here, and 
although we will have pleasant weather for marching, it is a long march 
for troops on foot. The weather here yet has been as mild as your sum- 
mers at Abingdon, the sun is very hot during the day, but the nights 
are cool and vegitation is still going on, many fields of com are quite 
green yet and blossoms are abundant Nor has there been a rain since 
the night of the 2i«t of Sept. heavy enough to wet the ground one inch 
deep. The springs of water run flush and pure but warm. I have 
drank no water fresh from the fountain in this region but what would 
be called by you warm water, yet after standing in the shade or through 
the night it becomes cool and very pleasant Tne air is generally colder 
than the fountains of water. I wrote you that the mountain scenery 
here is the finest I ever saw. No part of the Allegheny is to compare 
with it either in abruptness or in hignt, the tops terminating in cones and 
peaks, constantly exhibiting a cloudlike appearance. Although this is the 
finest soil and climate joined I have any Imowledge of yet it never will 
be much of a country while occupied by the present race. They arc all 
semi Indians and must in a short time give place to the civilization of 
North America or North Europe. I had a letter from my wife from 
Nashville, she was on a short visit there about the 9th Novr. I regretted 
to learn that you had had the trouble of a trip to Knoxville to meet 
Virginia and was disappointed in not meeting with her, — she not being 
sufficiently restored to health to go on. I feel very proud of the present 
of your sword, now that I have had the chance to do something that makes 
me in some small degree worthy of it. I hope if you have sent it to Ten- 
nessee, it will not be sent to me here, for I fear it may be lost on the 
wapr. I have an excellent field blade, well suited to my arm, and an ad- 
ditional sword would be an incumbrance here. I wrote to James Campbell 
today and requested him to say for me through the papers at Nashville 
that I would not be a [candidate] for Governor or member of Congrress 
at the next election. When I get through this service I wish to go home 
and attend to my private business. I would willingly continue in the 
army had I a permanent command and of the rank I think I am entitled 
to, but I know Mr. Polk would not appoint me to any thing and I will 
not engage in the volunteer service. It is too much trouble and re- 
sponsibility for the honor. He that undertakes to command a volunteer 

••Santa Fe. 
•*Nuevo Leon. 
••Mondova. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTEatS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 151 

Regt. will have his hands full. In the volunteer service the officers are 
constantly subjected to a public opinion even in camp, which has an 
influence upon him [sic] in spite of all the regulations of the anny. The 
soldiers are writing home constantly and can annoy an officer very much 
and then when the short term of service is over he goes back to a society 
composed in part of his soldiers, but in the Regular Army it is very 
different, no opinions of theirs of their officers goes to the states nor has 
it any influence upon them. They are but machines and obey implicitly 
without murmur. Hence it is an impossible task to drill and discipline 
an army of volunteers like the Regular Army. My Regt. has fine character 
with Genl. Taylor and the whole army for its good demeanor and its 
being under good conmiand, and although it is well drilled for volunteers, 
yet it is far behind the regular Corps, in drill and neatness and economy, 
etc. But at Monterey the volunteers fought as well as the regulars and 
really did more, for at the North East end of the town the fortified 
' works that were taken was done by volunteers, — still I would much 
prefer to command Regulars, I will write you on the march, at Lanares 
and at Victoria. I shall be anxious to hear of your safe return to Abing- 
don and of your and the health of my dear aunt. Direct to me "of the 
1st Ten. Regt Army of Occupation Mexico," and the letters will be 
given the proper destination,— pay the postage,— they will not be forwarded 
to me unless some friend should pay the postage and send them on. 

14. Camp Near Victoria, Mexico, January 2d, 1847. 

Not yet having my mind relieved from the cares and troubles of a long 
march, I can only write you a short letter, that you and my dear Aunt 
may be informed that I am alive, in good health and have reached this 
place in safety with my command Genl. Taylor intended to have come 
here at the head of the army, but on the evening of the 17th Dec. after 
we reached Montemorales** about 60 miles from Monterey, an express 
overtook him from Genl. Worth from SaltiUio, informing him that he 
(Worth) was threatened by a large force from St. Louis Potosi. Genl. 
Taylor instantly concluded to return and on the next morning set out 
with all his regular force, except one battery of 4 guns, left under com- 
mand of Lieut Thomas. Since he left we have not heard one word from 
him. At Montemorales, we were joined by the 2d Tennessee Regt. and 
Genl. Quitman was placed in command of the whole force left to march 
on Victoria. It was organized on the i8di Dec. into a field Division, 
composed of 2 brigades — the 1st composed of the 2 Tennessee Regts and 
placed under my command, Genl. Pillow having returned to New Orleans 
in bad health and the other made up of the Georgia and Mississippi 
Regts. and Baltimore Battallion, commanded by C^l. Jackson of the 
Georgia Regt. Thus organized we proceeded on the march to this place. 
The whole command numbered about 2200 men and about 100 wagons 
and 300 pack mules The march was most successful, not having lost a 
man or a wagon on the whole way. The enemy had about 1000 cavalry 
at this (place) but on our approach they crossed the mountains to Tula 
at which place the Mexicans have a force of 5 or 6000 men. It is 90 miles 
distant from here, but the road is impassable for artillery and wagons. 
We left Monterey on the 14th Dec. and reached here on the 29th. Vic- 
toria is the capital of the State of Tamailepas [sic] has a population of 
3 or 400, most of them very poor. Yet about the town there are some 
very good looking and intelligent peple. On the day of our arrival, the 
whole force marched into the main plaza of the town and had the Amer- 
ican flag hoisted over the State house at a present arms. I am now en- 
camped with the whole division 2 miles from town and in command of the 

**Montemorelos or Monte Morelos. 



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152 TENNESSEE HIST(»tICAL MAGAZINE 

camp, Genl. Quitman having taken his quarters in town with the artillery 
and a few companies for a gard. [sic] It is now most delightful summer 
weather here and I see them daily cutting and grinding sugar cane and 
ploughing and planting also. Nor can anything equal the fruits of this 
count [r]y— the orange and date. The whole course of our march from 
Monterey here was along the base of tiie great range of the Sierra Madre, 
never more t}ian 5 or o miles distant, and every few miles passing the 
finest streams of water I ever beheld even more flush and pure than the 
streams of Washington Va in summer. But the count [t]ry is very thinly 
inhabited. Coidonto,", Lanares and Victoria have each a population of 
3 or 4000, Ville Grand* and Hidalgo less than a 1000 each and but few 
settlements on the road between the towns, but the road was laid out 
[on] the high ground and the settlements are all on the streams and on 
lands that can be irrigated. In the rainy season this road would have 
been impassable on account of the many large creeks or small runs and 
no means of bridging or ferrying. The whcde country from the Moun- 
tains to the Gulph is without large timber. 

Genl. Patterson left Matamoras on the 20th Deer, with 3 regiments — 
2 Illinois foot and one Tennessee Cavalry, — in all about 1600 or 2000 
men. He has also 2 companies of artillery. It was intended that the 
two forces should meet here about the same time, but Genl. P. will not 
be here before the 6th inst. He will be the general in command of this 
division, and what will be done I have no conjecture. It is thought we 
will pass the mountains and move on Tula and attack the force there. 
I have no acquaintance with Genl. Patterson, but from what I hear of 
him he will not do for a commander. He is vain, proud, self conceited 
and in military matters decidedly ignorant, so I think he will not do at 
all. Genl. Quitman is weak, vain, ignorant, ambitious to do something 
to signalize himself, and has the supreme contempt of nearly every officer 
in the command. Nor is he liked by the men. He will not do at all 
for a commander. I deeply regretted to be separated from Genl. Taylor 
but I could not help it I have no confidence in Patterson or Quitman 
and you need not be surprised at the news of disaster under their com- 
mand. The army is very healthy and this is the proper season for cam- 
paigning in this country. The fall and winter is healthy and dry and the 
waters low and passable. I hope Genl. Pillow will soon return to his 
command for I have no desire to occupy a position I am placed in t^ 
accident. If the President gave me the command of a Brigade I should 
command it with pleasure but I prefer my own Regt. under present cir- 
cumstances. I have had no letter from you since about the aoth Octo. 
and now that we have no way open to the sea I know not when I shall 
hear from you. 

[Postscript.] You will direct to me in the army commanded by GenL 
Patterson at Victoria Mexico. It will then follow me. David Cummings 
is with the 2d Regt. from Ten. is the Lieut. Col. — ^is in good health a 
very clever fellow, very amiable, but no part of a military man. 

15. Camp Lagonna de Puerta, Tampico, January 26, 1847. 

I arrived here on the 24th inst from Victoria after a very fatiguing 
march and am now encamped with my Regiment ten miles north of 
Tampico. The health of the army is very good, and all is now preparation 
for the expedition to Vera Cruz. Genl. Scott is daily expected at Tampico, 
and until his arrival nothing can be definitely counted on. Gail Taylor 
received his despatches at Victoria, and immediately returned with a small 
force to Monterey, where he will be continued in command. It b now 

•»CadeTcita(?). 
»VUIa Gnnde. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 168 

understood here that Genl. Scott will have a force of about 12000 men 
for the Vera Cruz expedition. He will have Genl. Quitmans Brigade 
composed of the Georgia, Alabama Regts. and Baltimore Battallion;— 
Genl. Pillows Brigade composed of the three Tennessee Regts., Genl 
Shields Brigade in part composed of two Illinois Regts., and between 4 
and 5000 regulars. Genl. Worth and Genl. Twiggs will be in command of 
the Regulars. I can give you no reliable views about the expedition, 
as it is all new to me and I am going ahead to any point I may be 
ordered, without question. 

I was in Tampico a few hours on yesterday and found it quite a pleas- 
ant town, more American than any I have seen in Mexico, with a oopu- 
lation of 4 or 500a It is well stocked with goods, and eadibles [^J and 
makes a soldier from the interior feel as if he had got back to his own 
land. The country from Victoria to this place is very thinly settled, 
being very dry and destitute of water at this season of the year, and 
we had to make long marches to reach water. We however got on well 
and had no mishaps and the command is in good health and will do good 
service before the wall of St. Juan Ulloa." My health is excellent, and 
I am more able to stand the camp life better than I have been in several 
years. I have received several letters from you and one lately from my 
friend Col. John Campbell. I thank you both sincerely. Present him 
with my sincere affection and that I shall be glad to hear often from him. 
Tell my dear Aunt that I often thmk of her when I behold the innumer- 
able curiosities which the vegetable kingdom of this country produces. 
I know how well she would enjoy the sight of varieties of the cactus, 
the Palms, and other plants the names 01 which I am not acquainted 
with, and then the orange, the date, the plantin and Banana are here in 
great perfection. I have seen a thorn and curiosities that I would like 
to transmit home and to my Aunt, but I can do no more than to admire 
them and regret that I have to leave them behind 

16. Camp Near Tampico, Mexico, February 19th, 1847. 

Your letter of the 15th January was received today. I have had no 
letter of a later date than the 12th December. How it is that my letters 
have miscarried I cannot conjecture. 

Genl Scott arrived here today from Brasos Sant lago and has issued 
orders for an immediate embarkation of the force at this place for Vera 
Cruz. There are not at this place enough transports for the whole force 
here, but transports are hourly expected so that in three or four days it is 
believed we shall all be off. I look upon this expedition to Vera Cruz 
as having began too late and that the troop [s] will be in very great danger 
from the climate of that most sickly place. We cannot expect to be on 
land at Vera Cruz before the lodi of March and should the place take 
from four to six weeks to reduce it we will find that sickness will begin 
it[s] dreadful ravages in our ranks. But we have no alternative but to 
go ahead and stand the utmost hazard of the game. I fear that there is 
sudi a thirst for military distinction amongst our Generals, that they 
will be willing to make any sacrifice of human life to gratify their am- 
bition. Vera Cruz is a most sickly place, being afflicted with yellow fever 
nine mondis in the year and the vomita as malignant nearly as that of 
Africa. I would not have you think that I am desponding — on the contrary 
I have constantly a fine flow of spirits and rarely feel the least depression 
of spirits. From what I learn Genl. Scott calculates on reducing Vera 
Cruz in a short time, and then march on Jalappa,^ Puebla and the city of 

•*Saii Juan de Ulna. 
^Jmlapa. 



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154 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Mexico, so that if he succeeds in his plans we shall have some fighting 
before walled towns, besides that of Vera Cruz. 

In relation to the claim which Col. Davis^ has set up for the Mis- 
sissippi in taking the fort No. i at the battle of Monterey. It is most 
presumptuous, and as soon as I have time to devote to that subject, I 
will expose his false statements. When the division of Genl. Butler was 
drawn up in line of battle about one mile from the town fronting the 
town, — Genl. Hamers Brigade on the right and to the west, Genl. Quit- 
mans on the left and to the east, — ^The Ten. Regt. on the right of GenL 
Quitmans Brigade, — while in this position we heard the fire of artillery 
which was followed by a heavy fire of musketry, towards the east end of 
the town on the north front opposite to the extreme left of the Division, 
the Miss. Regt being on the extreme left. The order was given to me by 
the aid[e] of Genl. Quitman (Lieut. Nickols)** to move my regiment 
by the left flank to the support of the troop that were engaged, where 
we heard the firing. I immediately faced the Regt by the left fisink and 
marched past [the] front of the Miss. Regt and took the road which led 
in the direction of the firing. Just as the head of my line entered the 
road and before the whole Regt. had passed the Miss. Regt. a part of 
the 4th infantry rushed into the road ahead of me and caused a small 
delay until they had got into the road. I led my Regt. and followed on 
the heels of the three companies of the 4th infantry, followed by the 
Miss. Regt. all marching in line of two files and at a rapid step. In the 
rapid march the line was very much extended and probably covered 
one half more space, than it would in a slow march and on parade. The 
fire upon the head of the line of the 4th infantry caused them to file to 
the right and out of the road which led in the direction of the fort, but 
to the right of it about 35 yards. Their movement to the right, placed 
me in full view of the work and gave me a clear field, having no orders 
but what I have named above, and not seeing Genl. Quitman I moved 
on steadily but rapidly down the road until I perceived that the road 
passed the fort to the right I left the road and took a straight course 
towards it through the bushes which were from 2 to 3 feet high, followed 
by my Regt. and on arriving within one hundred yards of the north 
west angle of the fort, l left the head of line and ordered the 
companies to file out to the left, so as to form the line to the left and 
in front of the north side of the fort; the head of the line stopped and 
without orders the whole line as it was forming or moving out to form 
began to fire. I had ordered a charge, but could not be heard for the fir- 
ing or if heard was not obeyed, and I instantly ordered the firing to 
stop and to charge the fort. I passed along the line with great rapidity 
calling loudly to stop the firing and to rush upon the fort I was seconded 
in this by my Lieut Col. and my Adjutant The firing was stopped 
and in a few second [s] I got the whole line under way in the charge. 
It was a raw[?] and a very irregular line, for the firing was so de- 
structive as to break the lines and to produce confusion. I still had no 
orders from any quarter. I saw Genl. Quitman while I was rall3ring my 
Regt. at work in die Miss, which by this time had come down and taken 
position on the right of my Regt., to the left of the Miss, not up to the 
right of mine and as I think in rear and lapping over on my line, and they 
were firing. So soon as I got my Regt to move off, the Miss. Regt 

^The controTcrsy between the First Tennessee Regiment and the Mississippians 
nnder Colonel Jefferson Davis is detailed in Remmiscencet of a Campaigm in Mexico. 
chapter XVIII. For accounts of the battle representiiur the point of view ox 
Colonel Davis and the Mississippi Regiment see Alfriend, F. A., The Lift of Jelfor- 
son Davis (x868), chapter III, and Jefftrson Davis , . . A Msmpir by His Wiit 
(1800), volume I. chapters XXIV, XXV. ^ 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 156 

moved also and we rushed simultaneously to tiie charge. But you will 
observe that I had taken my position first in front of the north front 
of the fort, my right resting at about 95 yards from the North west 
comer of the fort and the line extending thence to the east slightly 
obliking [sic] from the fort so that the extreme left was about 130 years 
from die fort, and along on this alignment lay my killed and wounded, 
and the killed were buried on the ground where thty fdl and there are 
now their graves and bones. I did not dismount until I approached near 
the fort seeing that I could not pass the ditch on horseback and when 
I dismounted many of my Regt were on the walls firing at the retreat- 
ing Mexicans and were the first to enter the work. When I dismounted 
many of my Regt were behind me, and it was there that I called to 
them to come on or follow me, and when I entered the fort many of 
my Regt. and a large number of the Miss. Regt came up and passed on. 
I passed through to the large tannery or fortified house and was giving 
some directions to some men who were firing from the top of it when 
my horse was brought to me and I galloped down into town where a 
portion of my Regt had gone. I did not enter the tannery. It was 
inside of that building that Col. McQing^ was shot, and where the prison- 
ers were taken. I did not see Col. Davis during the fight; he was on 
foot and in citizens dress. Col. McQing was also on foot Nor did I 
receive any order from Genl. Quitman until after the fort was taken. 
He says he gave an order to Lieut. CoL Anderson, who was on the left 
of the Regt. and near to him, to charge. Col. Anderson says that when 
spoken to by Genl. Quitman the Regt. was actually moving and under 
way in the charge. After the fort was taken the two Regt.[s] became 
very much intermingled and the onward move into the town was irregu- 
lar and intermixed. 

Col. Davis's and my Regt. were united in one Brigade at Camargo. 
On the day of our first march together my Regt moved off in front 
We alternated each day throughout the march to Monterey, but when 
drawn up in line of battle, I was on the right, and Genl. Butler misapplies 
terms, when he states that the Miss. Regt. oeing [sic] in front When die 
line should be faced to the left they would be in front, but I immediately 
filed or marched past them and became the front or leading Regt. [the whole 
Brigade marching by the left flank.]** Nothing is more ridiculous and 
untrue, than the insinuation of Col. Davis that he passed through or by 
my Regt. He says he stopped and fired 10 minutes. I am confident my 
Regt. did not make [a]** pause more than 5 or 7 minutes and of course 
my rear came .up to the alignment as soon as the front of the Miss. Regt. 
It is a miserable falsehood that the shot of the enemy passed over the 
heads of the Miss. Regt and took effect on the main army in its rear. 
No portion of any force was in rear of the Miss. Regt. The Miss. 
Regt. formed to the right and west of mine and were rather opposite to 
the west front of the fort but not directly before it. The universal senti- 
ment of the army is against the presumptious claim of Col. Davis. Col. 
Davis says that his Regt. being youngest in service was thrown forward 
on account of its merits. Now there was not a volunteer Regt in service 
but would have contested with the Miss. R^ for precedence on that 
ground; and most of them were far better drilled than them. But Genl. 
Taylor has said in a letter to the Col. of the Ala. Regt. that the reason 
Col. Davis was taken forward was because his Regt. was armed with 
rifles a desirable weapon, "and it (the Miss. Regt) came to the country 
under special instrucHons from the War Department to report immediate' 
ly at the Head Quarters of the Army." So .Davis and Genl. Taylor are 

^Alexander R. McQung, Lieutenant-Colonel of the Blissitsippi Regiment 

««Interlined. 

«InterUned. 



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156 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

at issue as to a fact But Davis is the son in law of Genl. Taylor and 
the latter is very much under his influence and is and has been dis- 
posed to do everything he can for his advancement. But enough of this. 
I will so soon as I have time make a statement for the public which will 
be corroborated by all my officers which you will see. Genl. Scott has 
been very busy smce he came, and this evening the 20th has left for 
the island of Lobos where he will start the convoy. I understand that 
5000 will go forward to effect a landing and that the Tennessee Brigade 
will ,be in that number. My health is good. My horses are fat and 
fine, the two I brought from Ten. My servant Joseph Cox is a raw Irish- 
man that I employed on the Gulph coming over to Brasos in June. He 
is faithful but awkward. 

Our food is generally coarse, being coffee, hard bread and fried bacon. 
When near such a town as this we get vegetables from the market, and 
have had here, fine potatoes, lettuce the finest I ever saw and fish; beef 
is abundant but not first rate. 

February 21st. 

I see to day that Genl. Saint Anna has issued a proclamation, in which 
he represents his army in a most miserable condition, without money to 
buy provisions, without cloathing, and without a supply of the munitions 
of war, and he offers to give up the command. If the picture that is 
drawn in his proclamation be true, we will have no fighting for some 
time as the Mexican army is in no condition to take the field and will 
not be in some time. 

Vera Cruz is obliged to fall an easy prey and we shall march on 
Mexico almost without oposition. The troops are embarking to day, 
Genl. Twiggs Division going first, Genl. Pillows Brigade next, Genl. 
Quitmans next and Genl. Shields last. Col. Gates of the regular army 
remains here in command with the new Regt from Louisiana, the Bald- 
more Battallion, a company or two of regulars for the garrison. The 
climate here is a perpetual summer day being as warm as mid-summer 
in Ten. If we can reduce Vera Cruz in a short time and move out 50 
of 100 [miles] towards Mexico we will be in a high healthy country and 
as safe from disease as in your Virginia Mountains. We may have a 
dangerous time to go home as we will pass Vera Cruz and the Gulpfa 
and New Orleans in the sickly season. Give my love to my dear Aunt 
and to Col. John Campbell. I am your devoted nephew. 

[Postscript] My Regt. will number for field service about 350 men 
and are stout, in good condition and will give a good account when called 
on. 

22nd February 47. 

The weather has been so windy that none of the troop [s] at tWs place 
have yet embarked and I fear that all will not be off for two weeks. Genl. 
Scott has gone to Lobos. The whole cMivoy will move at once for that 
Island. No news, all very busy preparing for the expedition and drilling 
daily very hard, so as to have the men fit for fighting. 

I have received no letters from my wife since I have been here. The 
last letters I have from Ten. are dated about the loth of Dec. 46. Your 
letter of the 14th Jany. 47 has come safe to hand, but no letters from 
my home.^ 

17. Bay of Antoit Lizardo, Miarch 6th, 1847. 

I write you a few lines in haste, that you may be advised of my where- 
abouts. I left Tampico on the ist inst on board the Steamer Alabama, 

«*A crude map of the battles of Monterey it drawn on one of the pages of this 
letter. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 167 

with 7 Companies of my Regt We are still on board and at anchor 
here, where we arrived on the 4th inst We had a very pleasant passage 
from Tampico to this place, which is 8 or 9 miles south of Vera Cruz 
and in sight of that place and the formidable castle of St Juan de Ulloa. 
This place is near the island of Anton Lizarda/^ affords fine anchorage 
for our vessels, where are now lying at Anchor 60 or 70 ships laden with 
troops and more hourly expected. Genl. Scott is here^ and is engaged 
to day making a reconnoissance of the shore for the purpose of selecting 
a place for landing. We have here Genls. Worth, Twiggs, Pillow and I 
should have first named Mjr. Genl. Patterson, who came on the (Ala) 
[sic] with me here and has been very agreeable. Genls. Quitman and 
Shields are hourly expected with their commands. We shall have here 
about 10,000 effective men to invest and to take Vera Cruz with. Genl. 
Scott is going about the work with great system and I have no doubt 
will be successful. The fleet here now presents the most imposing appear- 
ance. Sacrifidos is between this and the city about 3 miles from the 
castle. Green Island is directly east of Sacriflcios one or two miles— ^t 
these two places and at this, our blockading squadron anchors. The par- 
ticular place of our landing is not yet pointed out Nor can we tell 
whether the landing will be disputed. No doubt we shall have hot work 
before the city. I hope it will be reduced in a few weeks, for the yellow 
fever sets in by the 15th April, when we will have to fly from disease. 
The Mexican force is believed to be 5 or 6,000 in the city and castle. 
Our force will be about 10,000. 

We have news that Genl. Taylor has had a battle with St Anna and 
has whiped him. The news comes through the Mexicans, and the re- 
port of the flght is favorable to St Anna who reports his loss at 1,000 
and Genl. Taylor's at 2,000, but says he retired for provisions for his men. 
This news is calculated to inspire our force here with great enthusiasm 
and confidence. You will have heard all about the fight by Genl. Taylor's 
own reports before you get this. I have no doubt but Genl. Taylor was 
successful in the fight and we will be so here, but some lives win be lost 
and no one can tell who may fall My men are in good health and spirits 
and when all together I shall have about 400 officers and men and very 
effective fellows. I hope we shall succeed in reducing the place before 
the yellow fever sets in, which is about the 15th April. If Genl Taylor 
has had the fight reported and succeeded he will be the next President 
and Genl. Scott will be nowhere. If Taylor should be defeated, Scott will 
be received [?].^ If Taylor has succeeded, his force being entirely vol- 
unteers, it will prove the efficiency of that force. I left my horses at 
Tampico to be brought on here on a vessel which was to bring the horses 
of Genl. Patterson. They have not yet arrived. I hope they will come 
safe, as they were fine horses and I cannot walk well. 

I left my servant at Tampico sick and hired another who is with my 
horses. 

I have not kept a journal. I did not begin it at first and have not 
had the resolution to take it up. You shall hear from me when I have 
some news. 

18. Camp Near Vera Cruz, March 20, 1847. 

I have had too much to do to compose my mind sufficiently to write to 
you, and to day I only intend to let you know where I am and that I am 
in good health. On the ninth the army debarked about 3 miles south of 
Vera Cruz opposite the island of Sacrificios without oposition. It was a 
most magnificent sight to see such a flotilla of small boats making to the 

^Anton Lizardo. 

^Ruined (?) The reading it doubtful. 



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168 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL BCAGAZINE 

shore fill[ed] with men and their bristeling bayonets.. Genl. Worth's Brig- 
ade entered the surf boats first and made the lands, the boats returned for 
Gail. Pillow's Brigade and I had the honor of leading that Brigade to the 
shore escorting my Major Genl. Patterson. (By the way I came from 
Tampico on the steamer Ala. with Genl. Patterson and I became well 
acquainted with him and I am disposed to change my opinion of him, 
he is agreeable, polite and clever, and has much more capacity than I had 
attributed to him, he has but little military experience, but he seems to 
demean himself well and particularly to me does he bear himself properly. 
And I may say that Grenl. Pillow is more agreeable than I expected and 
tries hard to be agreeable to me, yet he has no military capacity, and 
can only signalize himself by his valour which he may possess sufficiently. 
He is light, impetuous and with but little judgment and no skill or expe- 
rience, and often renders himself rediculous, yet I am disposed to be 
friendly with him and to sustain him so long as he is disposed to do 
justice to me and to appear friendly.[)] But to return. On shore I arrived 
in the dark and lay on the left of Genl Worth's Brigade on our arms all 
night Next morning early we began to move so as to get around the 
town. Soon my Regt. was thrown forward and reached an old ruin 
which could have been defended by a few men with great effect, from 
thence we were ordered to proceed and takek the magazine which is about 
2^ miles from the wall of the town. We passed forward and found it 
had been evacuated, but got about 7$ English shells and some boxes of 
Rockets. There we rested for the day a few shots having been fired 
at us with cscapets* at a long distance. The other regts. of volunteers 
moved on and became engaged in a skirmish with small bodies of the 
enemy but little damage was done. So we moved on and placed our line 
entirely aroimd the Qty— in the order of Genl. Worth's Brigade first, 
Genl. Pillow's, Genl. Quitman's, G«il. Shields', and Genl. Twigg's on the 
Jallappa road and to the beach to the north of the town. My Regt. is 
stationed on the rail Road and the Medillon road to prevent ingress or 
egress along those routs — next in importance as roads to the Jallappa 
road. We have now encamped along the lines about 12,000 men, but our 
movements are necessarily slow, for since we landed, we have had a 
north wind which prevented any communication with the shipping for a 
week, since then there has been heavy ordinance and stores landed and 
provisions and Quartermaster's stores landing, and we have been engaged 
preparing to plant some batteries. This work until yesterday was con- 
fined to Worth ['s] Brigade. Genl. Pillow's Brigade has a work now in 
operation so we hope in 3 or 4 day[s] to have some heavy morters throw- 
ing shells into the town and castle yet I must say that but a small por- 
tion of the heavy morters and camion ordered by Genl. Scott has yet 
arrived, but looked for dayly. There are here now 10 morters 10 inches 
diameter and 4 Twenty four pounder cannon. , 

It will require a much larger siege train to compel the castle to sur- 
render. I have no doubt but that Vera Cruz is one of the strongest places 
in the world — ^perhaps second only to Gibralter. I cannot now describe 
to you the town and castle, but the castle? is situated m the bay in front 
of the town about 800 yards from the town — ^the water between the town 
and castele deep enough for the largest vessels. 

The town is surrounded by a wall I0 feet high and 3 feet thick, with 
90 guns In batteries along the wall. The country rises from the town 
an[d] is very broken in sand hills and as far out as our camp the sand 
hills are 150 feet high. The hills are barren, but along the small vallies 
a very dense thicket of small growth 15 or 20 feet high, makes it im- 
passable except path[s] are choped out. I think we now have the town 

^Escopeta, the name of a short carbine carrying a large bullet 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 159 

completely cut oS, and if our navy would but do as well as the army 
they would soon have to capitulate for want of provisions. 

But if they do not give up soon we will be Uirowing shells into them 
at a terrible rate. I saw Genl. Scott yesterday. He is very agreeable 
and kind and I ani disposed to think he is managing this affair as well 
as it could be done by any one with his means. He is a noble gallant 
soldier and I am pleased with him. He has capacity and qualifications for 
so large and so complicated a command, and will I doubt not make it 
succeed. Vera Cruz in our possession and Mexico could do but little 
more as the ways will all be open to our arms to enter the heart of her 
dominions. 

Genl. Scott say^ he will take the place with but little sacrifice of life 
and that he will then move out to Jallappa, which is the most healthy and 
delightful climate in Mexico. You will have heard before you get this 
of the great battle of Buenavista, fought by Genl. Taylor and Genl. Santa 
Anna near Saltillio. Old Zack is the most lucky man alive. He is the 
bravest of the brave — kind, good, clever fellow as lives — a mighty good 
man — but his excellence is to fight and Santa Anna forced him to fight, 
and he has fought like a bull dog and whiped him badly. His fame is now 
complete as the greatest military chieftan of the age and he will be the 
next President by acclamation. He will make a good President, and I 
am for him or for Scott or any Whig who may be our nominee. 

It was a terrible battle. He went back expecting to have nothing to 
do, but his star is in the ascendant He has had to do what Genl. Scott 
would have given a kingdom to have done. And what makes the affair 
more glorious is that 5,000 volunteers fought 20,000 Mexicans and killed 
and wounded 4,000, with a loss of 700. Will it ever be said again that 
volunteers cannot fight as well as Regi^Iars? 

The Regular Army are not pleased at the affair as it was won by 
volunteers alone. They will have to do something here, for the voltm- 
teers will eclipse them if they don't mind. I must say that Genl. Worth 
is moving with his brigade and daily gaining laurels. He has an advanced 
work to plant morters, on which the enemy have been firing for 4 or 5 
day[s] and to day they have already discharged more than 150 shot and 
shells at it still it is prosecuted with unwavering firmness and will be ready 
by to night to plant the morters. No damage has yet been done to his 
command at the advanced work. I have had a few very large shells to 
fiall near my lines and the fragments after bursting to tear the tents, yet 
no man of my Regt. has been hurt One ball fell within 20 feet of me (a 
24 pounder) but did no damage. But this firing of shells into an encamp- 
ment is very alarming to the men. From the best information that can 
be had the force in the town and castle is 6 or 7,000, of which less than 
3,000 are Regulars. The women and children have left the town, still they 
are getting scarce of provisions and would soon have to capitulate from 
hunger. Yet they shew no signs as every few minutes we are saluted by 
the sound of^ their cannon. Genl. Morales is in command, and is a brave 
Genl. and will hold out as long as possible. It is very warm here, the 
whole winter here being like midsummer in Ten. The sickly season docs 
not set it until about the ist of May, and I hope long before then, we 
will be at Jallappa or on our way to our homes. I hope the latter as I 
am very anxious to get home and give some attention to my business. 

Present my truest love to my dear Aunt and remember me most affec- 
tionately to Col. John C. and all my friends about Abingdon. 

19. Camp Washington Near Vera Cruz, March 28th, '47. 

I can only write you a few lines in haste, to inform you that the fight 
here is at an end and that the Commander of the town of Vera Cruz and 



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160 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Castle have entered into terms of capitulation and tomorrow at lo Oclk 
A.M. they are to be surrendered up to us and the army to be marched out 
and lay down their arms and become prisoners of war. Although we made 
die landing here on the gth inst, and the enemy) commenced to fire upon 
us at long distance with their heavy artillery which was kept up irregularly 
all the time, yet we did not succeed in opening the first battery upon them 
until the 22(L On the 24th the 2d battery was got into operation. The 
first battery was planted by Genl. Worth's division and when opened con- 
sisted of 7 mortars of 10 inch calibre. The other battery consisted of 6 
guns from the navy of large size — 4 64 pounders and 2 32 pounders. 
After our battery began to fire it was returned with g^reat spirit by 
the town and castle from near 100 guns, still our fire continued steady 
throwing every shell into the town and was kept up night and day. Our 
batteries were placed about 700 yards from the wall of the town. The 
navy guns were opened on the 24th and produced great effect upon the 
wall and in silencing two of the enemy's batteries which were operating 
very fiercely against us. This battery was manned and commanded by 
men and officers of the navy although constructed by the volunteers and 
my Regt. had an active part in it This second battery was complete and 
the guns loaded ready to fire before it was discovered by the enemy such 
was the silence and secrecy observed in its construction, yet when un- 
masked it was on higher ground than the town and in full view some 
bushes prevented the discovery. 

On the morning of the 26th at day* light after a sure" fire of sheU 
into the town, the Mexican commander sent out a white flag proposing 
to capitulate, and ft'om that time until late last night the subject has been 
negotiating, but it is now understood to be settled. On tomorrow at 10 
Oclock A.M. the whole force amounting to between 5 and 6,000, march 
out and lay down their arms and become prisoners of war, the town and 
castle of St. Juan De Ulloa to be given up to us and all the Govt, prop- 
erty of every kind. So that Vera Cruz and the castle are now ours. 
Our loss since we landed is about 16 killed and 25 wounded — only three 
officers— Capt Albertes" of the infantry, Capt "VHnton of the artillery and 
Midshipman Shubrick of the navy have been killed. The loss on the part 
of the enemy is much greater but not yet ascertained the destruction of 
life to the population must have been very great as our bomb shelb 
fell all over the town and no part of it escaped and I can see although 
I have not yet been in the town that the houses are much battered. The 
affair has been a brilliant one and eminently successful. The strongest 
place in North America has been taken by the skill and valour of our 
troops after a siege of two weeks and with a loss of killed and wounded 
of only about 40. We now have the key to the Qty of the Montezumas 
and can go there with little or no oposition. I think the Mexican govt 
will now offer to make peace, — ^they cannot resist us and I think will not 
be able to raise another army in time to meet us before we shall be in 
the City of Mexico (I mean the American Army) for I now think my time 
of service will expire before the preparation can be made to march to the 
Qty of Mexico. I shall be glad when my time arrives to return home, 
and my whole command are anxious to get home. Mr. Polk will be de- 
ceived in his calculations that the volunteers now in service will re-enlist 
for the war — not one out of 100 will re-enlist. Genl. Scott has managed 
the affair here well and Genl. Worth has gained great eclat for his con- 
duct in this whole affair. He is a very active and sprightly officer. I have 
found Genls. Patterson and Pillow very agreeable in all my intercourse 

•Severe (?) 
■^Alburtis. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 161 

with them. But they [are] neither cut out for military men, particularly 
the latter. I have not been able here to signalize myself particularly, but 
have done as much as any officer of my grade. On the 29th at i oclock the 
whole force will march out and surrender their arms in the immediate 
presence of Genl. Worth's and Genl. Pillow's Brigades, on each side of 
them the whole force of the enemy is about 4,000. Since I wrote the 
above I have received your two letters of the 2d and 8th February and 
one from CoL John Campbell of the 3d Feby. I have no expectation of 
remaining in the army and have not given an intimation to any one since 
I entered the service that I desired an appointment in the army from 
Mr. Polk and I do not desire or expect one. I did signify through Col. 
Gentry when the war first broke out that I would accept an appointment 
in the line, in the army. He waved a decision and I have desired my 
friends since to make no application to him for me. I do not wish to 
remain in the army and will if I am permitted return home as soon as 
I can. 

You will have heard of Genl. Taylor's great battle of Buenavista" with 
Genl. St. Anna. Now Taylor's fame is complete and his popularity will 
be as overwhelming as was GcnL Jackson's. I much fear that the adm. 
will excite a rivalry between Scott and Taylor and that they will sustain 
Scott a disposition to affiliate with the enemies particularly of Genl. Taylor. 
I hope this may not be so, but it matters not. Taylor is the people's man 
and he makes an impression on the soldiery. Genl. Scott makes no such 
impression as old Rough and Ready. And Scott will be able to make no 
shew against Taylor. I like Genl. Scott very well, but he is a very vain, 
and light man, but of great acquirements and genius, but too much effort 
to be agreeable to be popular, I" will never reach the Presidency, I 
predict 

March 29th— 47. 

I have just returned to camp with my Regt, having witnessed at a 
great distance, the ceremony of laying down their arms by the army of 
Very Cruz — about 5,000 in number, and as they marched off it seemed that 
the whole population of the city was moving off, being so many women 
along with the armiy. I had a poor chance to see any thing as I was 
ordered to remain with my Regt. Genl. Scott, and Genl. Worth and Genl. 
Pillow are here a sort of triumvirate and Scott is paying Polk for letting 
him come here in his notice of and putting forward Pillow on all occasions. 

Scott is vain and to be reached by flattery which I will not plaster him 
with. I have seen him but once since I have been here and I care not 
whether I ever see him again. 

I feel here as if I had no place, and I am [ ?] can bear with patience 
all that may occur in the next two months,— to be under Scott and Rllow 
longer I would be forced to resign. But I will hang on and do my duty. 
I have no chance to visit the City until it shall please Genl. Scott and 
Pillow to let me go and I will never ask that favor of them if I never 
enter the walls of Vera Cruz. I may not be able to give you any account 
of the city, on account of the policy of our Genls. 

I hope soon to be discharged with my Regt and I will return home 
and no inducement will take me into the army again. 

20. Camp 45 Miles FkOM Vera Cruz on the Road to the City of Mexico, 

April 13th, 1847. 
The weather has been extremely hot and the service I have had to per- 
form has made me both disinclined and unfit for writing to any one. 

"Pebnaanr 22, 33, 1847. 
"Evidnitfy a tlip for "and." 



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162 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

But tomorrow will be a day big with the fate of many a poor soldier and 
I will write you a few lines, not knowing what may happen to your 
affectionate nephew. 

On the 8th inst Gen. Twiggs marched off from Vera Cruz with about 
2000 regulars, and on the pth Genl. Pillow and Genl. Shields Brigade 
under Genl. Patterson marcn[ed] on the same route towards Jallapa. It 
was well understood that the enemy was in force and fortifjring near this 
place. On yesterday Twiggs came up with the position of the enemy 
which is about three miles from this place, and concluded from their force 
and strength of opposition to fall back here and await the arrival of 
Pattersons division, which got here yesterday evening much worn out 
and fatigued with the march. An attack was concluded on by Gen. 
Twiggs who is in command (Genl. Patterson being very sick) on this 
morning at day light, but he was dissuaded from it for the purpose of 
resting the men and making a more perfect reconnoisance of the enemys 
position and works. That has been done to day and at day light we make 
the attack. Our effective force here does not exceed 5000 men. The 
Mexican force is represented to be 15,000 and in a fortified position 
which commands the road. Genl. Scott and Genl. Worth are at Vera 
Cruz and will not be up with us until it will be too late to profit by their 
skill and experience. I feel quite sure that it would be proper to wait 
the arrival of Scott and the additional force which he will bring with 
him, which would at least make the fight a lighter one, and victory more 
certain. But Twiggs now having a separate command and Pillow and 
Shields, are all anxious to strike some blow that will signalize themselves, 
in the absence of Scott and Worth, and they will attempt it tomorrow, 
and I think the chances are much against their success. A repulse ought 
to disgrace them, because the attack is to be made from an utter disre- 
gard of ^e exposure of the command and loss of life, solely to make 
some capital for themselves. I have no confidence in Twiggs' ability, 
no[r] have the intelligent officers of the army any confidence in him. 
Pillow is very light, and the affair on tomorrow will need a better head 
than any of those who are high in command. From all I can learn of 
the Enemys position it is very strong with a very large force, and we 
will be in great danger of a repulse, which will operate very injuriously 
on the future operations of this army, besides disgracing the troops. 
Santa Anna is said to be here, as is also Cannalizo,** La Vega and otiiers 
of high renown, and they are prepared to make a very formidable re- 
sistance. In another day the whole of Worths division and Genl. Quit- 
mans Brigade wiU be here and our force would be more than doubled. 
But delay might place others in command which is to be avoided by 
Twiggs, Pillow and ShieMs. Night before last we staid at the Peuenta 
del Key~ or Kings Bridge, where Santa Anna has a most beautiful 
residence. But we have found the whole country, every house and village 
from Vera Cruz to Uus place abandoned. The men are all with the 
army. There is more appearance of hostility here on the part of the 
population than any part of Mexico we have been in. And I think they 
will dispute every pass with us on the road to their capital. This road 
has been a much superior one to the Cumberland road, being much 
wider and the Bridges the best I ever saw but the face of the road is 
now much worn. The country is poor with a few fine streams at great 
distances apart. From the stream at the Kings bridge to this stream 
called (Plan del Rio) is 15 miles, and not any water on the road. 
(There is a little village here call[ed] Encero.)" 

MCtnalizo. 

"Puente del Rey, — ^the name under the Spanish regime. It was now called 
Poente Nacional. 

**IUo del Plan was the name of the stream; the Tillage was called Plan del Rio. 
Enoerok an estate belonging to Santa Anna, lay some distance beyond. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 163 

I find that there is not as much confidence in the troops as I would 
like to see and I have some fears as to the result of tomorrow. But I 
shall meet whatever occurs with the firmness I have exhibited on other 
occasions, trusting to a merciful Providence, my fate and destiny. 

N. B. Genl. Patterson although very sick has taken the responsibility 
of stopping the attack until the arrival of Genl. Scott, which I think is 
entirely proper. 

14th. 
All well and waiting for Genl. Scott, the express leaves immediately — 
a day or two will tell some news^ 

Palm [sic] Del Rio, 17th April, 1847. 

The fight has not come off yet It was delayed until Genl. Scott 
came up on the 15th and Genl. Worth with his division came up last 
night and tomorrow at dawn of day the fight begins. It is now well ascer- 
tained that Santa Anna is here and that his force is very large say 
15000, and that his whole line is an entrenchment with numerous bat- 
teries and located in a strong mountain pass called the pass of the Sierra 
Gorda." Twiggs is now near the rear of the enem^ with Shields Brigade 
and in the morning will be joined by Worths Division. Pillows Brigade 
attacks the extreme left of their line in front and we shall have a hot 
place. If I shall be spared, you shall have from me a full report Twig^ 
was attacked by the enemy to day, but he beat them off. They are evi- 
dently disposed to fight and with more spirit than heretofore. We shall 
have a hot day of it tomorrow and many lives will be lost I can only 
say that I will not on tomorrow tarnish the fair name of our family or 
shade the name of Campbell. . . . 

Col. J. £. Johnston formerly of Abingdon was badly wounded on the 
1st days approach of GenL Twiggs while he was reconnoitering the posi- 
tion of the enemy— his wound is not mortal. 

21. Plan del Rio, Mexioo, April 18, 1847. 

The battle came off today and the enemy whole force surrendered 
themselves prisoners of war. Genl. Scott came up on the 15th and Worth 
with his Division got here night before last, but much fatigued and were 
rested yesterday. Yet the[y] did not get into the fight at all Twiggs' 
Division and Shields' Brigade did the work. The [y J passed around the 
enemy with much difficulty and took position in his rear and completely 
cut off retreat, not however before Santa Anna had made his escape with 
3000 cavalry. To day they stormed a commanding hi^t at the pass 
called the Sierra Gorda and the enemy immediately capitulated and we 
have now in camp about 5000 of the yellow rascals as prisoners of war 
and 5 general officers, La Vega of the number. The names of the others 
have not been learned, one who more of negro than Indian is named Genl 
Penes." It has been a great hall of our net about 40 pieces of canon 
and a great deal of ammunition and 30,000 dollars in cash in the pay 
chest. The attack on the extreme right" of the enemys works was partial- 
ly made to day by Genl. Pillows Brigade and conq>letely failed with a very 
severe loss to the 2nd Regt My loss was only i killed 6 wounded, llie 
attadc failed and while Pillow was drawing off his Brigade the news was 
brought him of the surrender of the enemys whole force including that 
whi^ had repulsed him. He is no Genl and on the field of action, has 

■'Cerro Gordo. 

■*In a different hand,— -probAbly that of Goremor Darid Campbell, — it interlined 
Pinsan. The name should be PinM&n. 
■•"Right" from the Mexican position. 



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164 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL BfAGAZINE 

no dedsion or judgt He was wounded in the arm, and I may say that 
Genl. Shields who went yesterday with his Brigade to the su(>port of 
Twiggs and whose Brigade was in the fight to day was mortally wounded. 
The enemy would have fallen into our hands without the attadc that was 
made b^ rillow as they did although he was repulsed. 

I think I may say though for myself and my Regt that we conducted 
ourselves so as to draw applause. The calm f ?] soldier like conduct of 
the Regt., its good order under fire, was the subject of remark and is 
well know[n], how much they are under my control in action. 

Genl. Scott is making a blazing campaign through this country — al- 
ready has taken 10,000 prisoners, constituting 2 armies and 400 pieces 
of cannon and 10,000 stands of small arms and tomorrow he will be in 
Jappala, and in two weeks may be in the Gty of Mexico. I wish to go 
on to the Capital, and hope it may be my fortune to see the City of 
Mexico before the campaign is over. We lost about 100 killed and say 
200 wounded— this is a guess. The new Rifle Regt. suffered severely in 
the fight and the 2nd Ten. Regt. suffered severely in Pillows repulse. 
Scott is an able commander but he loves flattery and I have no taste to 
hang about him and offer him praises. He is doing the affair up well 
here now. 

The Battle will be called the Siera Gorda. Twiggs is after St. Anna 
and may get to Jallapa to night. Worth follows in the morning. 

22. Camp Near Jallapa, Mexico, April 25, 1847. 

I can only write you a few lines to keep you advised of our move- 
ments. I wrote you from the Plan del Rio and made an addition to the 
letter after the battle of the i8th at the pass of the Sierra Gorda. Our 
relative Li[eu]t. Col. Cummings was shot through the foot in the action 
but the wound is not dangerous He is said to have behaved well and 
conducted himself gallantly, but the misfortune of the command was 
that they were beaten off by the enemy. On the morning of the 20th 
we took up the line of march for this place, leaving the 2nd Ten. Regt. 
at the Plan del Rio, to take care of the wounded and the ammunition 
and stores and arms taken from the enemy. At night we reached the 
very extensive and favorite Hacienda of Genl. Santa Anna called Encerro. 
It had been very lately occupied by his family and abandoned in haste 
before the approach of our army who pursued the flying enemy. It is a 
most magnificent place, a fine house very richly furnished, a very beau- 
tiful church in the yard nearly completed and for many miles the whole 
country is enclosed with the best stone fence I ever saw. Then near and 
in the rear of the residence is a most beautiful artificial pond (made by 
a dam across a large spring branch) which covers several acres of 
pjound and is so elevated as to water many thousand acres of land by 
irrigating ditches. There is a large sugar manufactory on the same farm. 
Santa Anna is immensely wealthy owning nearly the whole country from 
Jallapa to Vera Cruz. He has three princely residences between those 
points. The Hacienda of Mango del Qavo (Handle of the Key)* is 
15 miles from Vera Cruz — 2 miles from the main road. I saw the place 
from the road. Then at the National Bridge there is another princely 
mansion of his, and Fncerro is 6 miles from Jallapa. Jallapa is a most 
beautiful town, situated in a high mountain region, surrounded 1^ a roll- 
ing but very rich country and as fine a climate as the June climate of 
Abingdon. The mountains here rise very high and the Orizava* with 
its snow clad summit is to be seen every where. We are encamped 3 
miles on the road west from Jallapa. On an aqueduct which conveys 

^Manga d# Clavo, Colonel Campbell's trmntlation is not correct. 
•K>rixalML 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 166 

water to a manufactory of cotton owned by Don Gartia,* the god father 
of Santa Anna. The water, is very pure and as cold as the spring water 
of your country. We have no need of the ice or snow from Orizava, 
and ice is not used here at all except the Indians make ice cream for 
sale on the streets. Jallapa is finely watered and one of the cleanest 
places I ever saw. The population is more of the European than in any 
town I have seen and look respectable and intelligent Yet the mass 
of the population of this country are the unadulterated race and lineal 
descendants of the Indians conquered by Cortez, and are evidently to 
this late day but little improved, their habits being much the same that 
they were 200 years ago. The streets of Jallapa are all paved with stone 
as is the National road from Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico, it is 
rough all the way, but finely graduated and the Bridges are the best I 
ever saw. 

Genl. Twiggs* division is encamped near the town and the whole of 
GenL Pattersons division is encamped in this vicinity. Genl. Worths 
division left here on the 20th and 9 miles from here they found 9 pieces 
of cannon on the road at a pass which the enemy intended to fortify, 
but they had abandoned the place before he approached. He pushed on 
immediately to Perote and found that place also abandoned and took 50 
pieces of cannon. A Mexican CoL appeared and delivered up to him all 
the munitions of war and government stores at that place, saying he was 
directed to do so by the (Government. I cannot tell what further will be 
done, whether Genl. Scott with this army will venture further into the 
interior. He is obliged to draw his supplies or a large portion of them 
from Vera Cruz and his transportation is very small even for his army. 
And then his army will be soon much reduced by the discharge of the 
old volunteers, unless the new Regts. will be out very soon. I do not 
think he can safely move further until the new regiments come out and 
by that time the enemy will be able to raise an army and fortify before 
Puebla and before Mexico and give a large army much trouble yet to reach 
the capital. At present they are without an army, but the whole popula- 
tion of Mexico is extremely hostile to the Los Americanos del Norte, -^ 
No people could evince more hostility or bitterness than they do and it 
will not be wiped out in many generations. Genl. Scott is anxiously ex- 
pecting a proposition from Santa Anna for an armistice and to treat for 
peace, but I think he will be disappointed and that they will suffer town 
after town and state after state to fall into our hands before they will 
bow to ask for peace. It is a stubborn and proud race and all believe 
that their rights have been wantonly outraged by our Govt If Genl. 
Scott had 10,000 men who could remain with him 3 or 4 months he could 
now in my opinion march directly to the City of Mexico, with but slender 
or feeble opposition, but in two or three months they will assemble an 
army and be prepared to dispute the way with him. It is said that in 
Puebla and Mexico, they are melting down the church bells to make 
cannon and are manufacturing arms. This shows that they are not 
yet broken down in spirit 

I shall not expect to go further with my Regt. into the interior than 
this place, and by the 15th or 20th of May hope to be on mv march 
for home. I dread the passage through Vera Cruz and across tne gulph 
and through New Orleans, but I am willing now to pass any danger to 
get home, being tired of the army. 

I have seen very little of Genl. Scott. He is alwavs very polite to me 
when I hap [p] en to meet hhn. But he talks all and I have hardly had 
the chance in his presence to speak a word. He is mightily taken with 
Genl. Pillow who is a light vain man and can flatter Scott to his hearts 

•Tbk should probably be Garcia. 



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166 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

content but is very deceitful and cares nothing for Scott only so far as 
he can use him, being a hand plant of Mr. Polk and ready to do at any 
time any dirty work for him. Pillow has tried hard to demean himself 
properly towards me and as to personal treatment I could not complain, 
yet he is no part of a Genl. or military man and as light as a feather 
and is always making himself ridiculous by his foolishness. 

I am very anxious to be free and to get from under the command 
of such a general. Nor would I ever again take a command in the 
army unless it was in the regtdar service, as there is so strong a feding 
of jealousy and op[p]o8ition to the volunteers, that while the command 
and controul of the army and all its departments is in the hands of Reg- 
ular officers, justice will never be done to the volunteers. The ^ole of 
the officers of the regular army seem to regret that the battle of Buena 
Vista was fought by volunteers and say it will break down the army 
and seem not to rejoice in the success of our arms in the hands of any 
but regulars. And volunteers have hard places, have fewer comforts or 
conveniences than regulars and when any thing is done all the praise 
is given to the Regulars. I will never enter the service again as a vol- 
unteer unless it be to defend my native land and my own hearth stone. 

We will have to take Genl. Taylor for the next President for nothing 
now can prevent his election. I shall support him in preference to a 
democrat. But I know he is nothing but an army man, whose whole 
life has been spent in and devoted to the army and his mind and views do 
not extend beyond that limit He is an honest, brave and clever man, but 
he will be more influenced by the army than any officer of high standing 
that I know of — far more so than would Scott But he has the position 
and no one can oust him from it Scott is a man of a different order of 
intellect from Taylor. He is capable of filling high stations himself, b an 
able general, and an intelligent and accomplished man and I may say 
statesman. But old Zack has the manners to please all, being so plain, 
and easey and affable, that he does not beget jealousy in the breast of 
any one who meets with him. No one feels that he is his superior, but 
his equal or inferior and each thinks he can control and manage such a 
mind, but not so with Scott. He is not so plain and easey in his manners 
and is disposed to make men fed his superiority and that he is the 
great man. 

I will write again soon. Present me to Col. John C. and my sincere 
love to my dear aunt 

[Postscript] I presume Genl. Scott's despatdies will show the par- 
ticulars of the surrender at the Sierra Gordo, and the names of the 
officers of rank who were taken prisoners, and therefore I will not write 
about them. One Genl. officer and one €61. in the Mexican army was 
killed— Genl. Velasques" or some such name.) We have here adl the 
tropical fruits in great abundance. The pine apple, plantin. Banana, 
orange, citron, etc., and vegetables, green peas, snap beans, lettice, rosting 
ears, etc., but in camp we can't enjoy them as we have not the means of 
cooking them and hence we live very rough and plain. My fare has been 
worse since I came to Vera Cruz and on here than it has been since I 
have been in Mexico. 

This is a most delightful climate. The air is always pure, cool and 
elastic— never sultry in the shade— the sun in the day is hot, but the shade 
always cool. 

I saw Col. Joseph E. Johnston the day I left the Plan del Rio (20th). 
He is in good spirits and I have no doubt will recover. He was badly 

**VdasqQa. 



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MEXICAN WAR LETTERS OF W. B. CAMPBELL 167 

wounded. He will be brought to Jallapa as will all the wounded. John- 
ston stands high in the army. 

23. Near the Bauze, La., May ao, 1847. 

I have the pleasure of announcing to you and my dear Aunt the fact 
that I have safely arrived in the United States and am now rapidly ascend- 
ing the Mississippi River on the ship Henry Prat, towed by the Steam 
boat Panther and will arrive on tomorrow at noon at New Orleans. O9 
the 5th inst while at Jalapa, I was ordered to march on towards Mexico 
City at the head of a brigade, Genl Pillow having left for home, but on 
that day Genl. Scott changed his plan and his orders and directed the 
whole of the old volunteers to march to Vera Cruz and thence home by 
the way of New Orleans and there be discharged. I set out from Jalapa 
on the 6th and reached Vera Cruz on the loth embarked with my whole 
Regt on the H^nry Pratt a sail ship, and reach [ed] the mouth of the Miss, 
on the 18U1 and was towed over the bar that day, but lay at anchor until 
this morning. We are now rapidly ascending the river. I hope to get 
off from New Orleans by the 26 or 27 and shall be at home by the 5th 
or 6th June. My Regt. is now in good health. I left two wounded at 
Jalapa. Col. Joseph £. Johnston, I left at Jalapa improving rapidly. 
Present my truest love to my dear Aunt, and remember me to my friend 
Col. John Campbell and all friends I am truly yours. 

[Postscript] — CoL D. H. Cummings who was shot through the foot 
at Cerro Gordo, came on with me to Vera Cruz and has preceded me 
to New Orleans on a steam vessel, he was improving rapidly. 



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HISTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS. 



A REVIEW OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE TENNESSEE HIST(»ICAL SOCIETY SINCE 

MARCH I, I915. 

At the April meeting of the Society, held on April 13, Mr. Frank H. 
Smith, of Columbia, Tennessee, delivered the address of the evening. The 
theme Mr. Smith diosc was the trial and execution of two Confederate 
spies at Franklin, Tennessee, June 3, 1863. Col. William Orton Williams 
and Lieut. Walter Gibson Peters of the Confederate Army, under the 
assumed names of two Federal officers, visited a fort at Franklin. They 
successfully secured all the information they desired and their identity 
was not discovered till they had left Franklin. Some doubt as to the 
correctness of their papers caused the commanding officer of the Federals 
to send for them A personal friend of one of the men who was serving 
in the Federal Army recognized them. Later that night they were tried 
and the next day they were hanged. 

Mr. Smith, who related the story, is one of the few Southerners who 
saw the hanging. As a lad in his early teens he watched the whole pro- 
ceedings. For the last fifteen or more years Mr. Smith has studied and 
investigated all of the records available in regard to these two men. He 
visited Washington, D. C, and saw many of the original orders, and he 
has corresponded with many of the men concerned in this trial. 

Mr. H. P. Figures, of Columbia, Temi., who as a boy lived in Franklin, 
added some remarks on the paper. He has also made a careful study of 
this subject and added some interesting personal information. 

The president, Mi-. John H. DeWitt reported on the Magazine and on 
the Archives Bill. 

The annual business meeting of the Society was held on May 11, at 
which time the reports for the year were given by all of the officers and 
the election of officers for the new year was held. 

Mr. DeWitt reported on the activities of the Society for the past year. 
The depositing of many valuable pictures and documents in a vault in the 
Vanderbilt Building and the increase in membership during the past few 
weeks were two points especially brought out. 

Mr. Carels gave his report of the financial condition of the Society. 

The following officers were elected: 

President— John H. DeWitt 

Vice-Presidents— East Tennessee, E. T. Sanford, of Knoxville; Middle 
Tennessee, Park Marshall, of Nashville; West Tennessee, J. P. Young 
of Memphis. 

Treasurer— Joseph S. Carels. 

Corresponding Secretary — St. George L. Sioussat. 

Recording Secretary—- Irby R. Hudson. 

Assistant Recording Secretary — A. P. Foster. 

At this meeting of the Society there were presented by Mr. Ira P. 
Jones four bound volumes of the Nashville Patriot for 1857, 1858, 1859 
and i860. Mrs. Mary C. Dorris presented a copy of her book, The 
Preservation of the Hermitage, Dr. L. C. Glenn presented two pistol 
holsters used in the Mexican War by Col. Stephens. Two pictures of the 
Jackson statue taken about 1874 were donated by Mr. Douglas Armstrong. 
President DeWitt announced that Miss Skeffington, the State librarian, 



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PROCEEDINGS OP THE SOCIETY 169 

had delivered to the Society the handsome sword of Gen. William Carroll. 

Of the officers elected at this time many have held before offices in 
the bestowal of the Society. Mr. DeWitt has been a member for many 
years holding the place of vice-president at the time of Gen. Thniston's 
death. Since January, 1913, he has been president. Mr. Park Marshall 
was corresponding secretary for several years succeeding the late Mr. 
Robert Quarles. Mr. Josei^ Carels is possibly the oldest active member 
of the society, having been a member for more than forty years. Mr. 
Carels has served for thirty-five years as treasurer. Dr. Sioussat is editor 
of the Magazine and has served on the executive committee of the Society 
for several years. Mr. Irby R. Hudson, who succeeds Judge Robert 
Ewing, was last year assistant recording secretary. Mr. A. P. Foster is 
the efficient secretary of the Nashville Industrial Bureau. 

At an adjourned meeting held on Friday, May 19, Col. W. A. Hender- 
son, of Washington, D. C, and Knoxville, Tennessee, presented to the 
Society a copy of the Diary of John Sevier. The largest gathering in 
the past ten or more years assembled to hear Col. Henderson. He told 
how he became interested in studying this early Tennessee hero, how he 
had written and studied all that could be found of John Sevier and how 
finally he discovered the fact that Sevier had written a diary and that it 
was in the possession of parties in Mississippi. The original is now in 
the archives of the State of Mississippi. 

The speaker read some quotations from the diary to show how human 
even such a hero as Sevier could be, and discussed the publication of the 
diary and the work that ought to be done in preparing it for printing. 

Bishop E. E. Hoss, of East Tennessee, was present and introduced 
Col. Henderson. President DeWitt, on behalf of the Society, accepted 
the Diary. 

Ibby R. Hudson, Recording Secretary. 



THE TENNESSEE HISTORY TEACHERS ASSOOATION. 

In March, 1912, a number of history teachers of Nashville and other 
parts of Tennessee, realizing that the development of historical knowledge 
depended upon sound history teaching in all of the schools of the State 
from the lowest to the highest, considered the advisability of organizing 
a statewide association of history teachers^ Circular letters were sent out 
inviting those interested to meet at room 204 of the Nashville Y. M. C. A. 
Building on the afternoon of April 5, 1912. The Conference for Educa- 
tion in the South was holding its sessions in Nashville at the time and 
a representative body of history teachers and those interested in the 
study of history assembled at the appointed time and place, when a per- 
manent organization was effected. 

At the meeting Professor St. George L. Sioussat of Vanderbilt Univer- 
sity outlined a plan of organization which was heartily approved by those 
present. Among the prominent teachers present were President Brown 
Ayrcs of the University of Tennessee; Dr. Rail, Professor of Education 
in the University of Tennessee; Dr. Kendrick C. Babcock of the U. S. 
Bureau of Education, formerly President of the University of Arizona; 
and Dr. Lillian W. Johnson of Memphis. The provisional constitution 
adopted at the meeting stated the object of the Association to be co- 
operation (i) for the advancement of the teaching of history, and (2) for 
the increase of interest in historical study generally. The title given to the 
Association was "The Tennessee History Teachers' Association." The 
following officers were then elected: President, James D. Hoskins, Pro- 



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170 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

fessor of Histoiy and Dean of the University of Tennessee; Vice-Presi- 
dents, J. A'. Robins, Principal McTyerie School, McKenzie, and A. M. 
Souby, Professor of History, Middle Tennessee State Normal, Murfrees- 
boro; Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. St George L. Sioussat. The Executive 
Committee was to consist of the above officers and the following: Lizzie 
L. Bloomstein, Librarian, George Peabody College for Teachers, Nash- 
ville; Lillian W. Johnson, Professor of Ancient History, Memphis High 
School; and Phoebus W. Lyon, Professor of English and Hjistory, Mary- 
ville College, Maryville, Tennessee. 

One of the incidental benefits of the Association is that any member 
may secure a subscription to the History Teachers' Magazine for $i.oo. 
This is a two-dollar magazine, published under the supervision of the 
American Historical Association, and contains monthly articles on all 
phases of history teaching. 

Since its organization the Association has held annual meetings in 
Nashville, Tennessee, usually during the meetings of some other teachei;s' 
association, such as The Tennessee Teachers' Association and the Middle 
Tennessee Teachers' Association. 

The last annual meeting was held in April, 191 5, during the annual 
meeting of the Middle Tennessee Teachers' Association, the minutes of 
which meeting follow. 

The annual meeting of the Tennessee History Teachers' Association 
was held April i, 191 5, in the Hume-Fogg High School Building, Room 
307, Nashville, Tennessee. 

The main address of the meeting was delivered by Dr. W. F. Russell, 
George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, Tennessee, on "The 
Problem Method in the Teaching of History in Secondary Schools." The 
address was very interesting and vivacious throughout, and drew forth 
ccMnment even before the speaker concluded his remarks. 

The address was an attack on the conventional method of teaching his- 
tory by assigning a definite number of pages in a text-book to be recited 
back to the teadier by the pupil. Dr. Russell insisted that history could 
not be taught to advantage until teachers had definite knowledge of three 
things: (i) The child as he is, what he already knows, and how he 
learns; (2) the child as we wish him to be, the purposes of history, what 
we hope to accomplish; (3) plans, devices and schemes for accomplishing 
the purposes in mind. This would necessitate a reorganizaticm of our 
history courses, and especially of methods of teaching. The essence of Dr. 
Russell's contention was that children must be trained to think by giving 
them something to think about. This is to be accomplished by presenting 
problems to them for solution, especially problems connected with those 
portions of history that are of vitail concern to every day life. The prob- 
lem presented should be clear and definite and should appeal to the pupik 
as worthy of solution. The class work should consist of efforts to dis- 
cover the difficulties encountered by the pupils and to help the pupils in 
removing them. 

Yet Dr. Russell did not advocate any radical change or reorganization 
of courses and methods, but suggested that teachers of history try out 
the problem method of teaching as an experiment, ' noting whether better 
results were secured than by the conventional method. 

The address called forth lively discussion from a number of the 
teachers present, and at times the meeting was enlivened by a series of 
rapid fire questions and answers between some one of the teachers and 
Dr. Russell. The following teachers entered into the general discussion: 
Mr. Foskett, Mr. A. S. Williams, Jr., Mrs. C. W. Mitchell of Columbia, 
Tennessee, Mr. J. T. Paris, Miss Mabel Jones, Mr. I. R. Hudson, Mr. 



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PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOCIETY 171 

W. S. Perry. Mr. D. L. McMurry, and Dr. Sioussat of Vandcrbilt Uni- 
versity, President of the Association. The general opinion was that the 
problem method was valuable as an aid to the teacher and as a means 
of developing the power of the pupils to think, but that it would be un- 
wise to make it the basis of history teadiing in so far as it meant the 
substitution of a series of historical problems for the body of historical 
knowledge systematically and logically arranged in the mind. But Dr. 
Russell stated that his method did not necessarily imply such a sub- 
stitution. 

The officers were re-elected, except that Dr. W. F. Russell was elected 
Second Vice-President in the place of the late Prof. W. E. Everett. The 
present officers of the Association are as follows: 

President — St. George L. Sioussat, Vanderbilt University. 

First Vice-President— James D. Hoskins, University of Tennessee. 

Second Vice-President— ^W. F. Russell, George Peabody College for 
Teachers. 

Secretary-Treasurer— Max Souby, Middle Tennessee State Normal, 
Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

Executive Committee— The foregoing officers and the following: Miss 
Delia Dortch, Hume-Fogg High School, Nashville, Tennessee; C. P. Pat- 
terson, West Tennessee State Normal, Memphis, Tennessee; William 
Hughes, Branham and Hughes School, Spring Hill, Tennessee. 

A motion was carried that the Secretary-Treasurer on behalf of the 
Association be instructed to draw up suitable resolutions on the death 
of Professor W. E. Everett, and that a copy of same be transmitted to 
his parents. 

The Association endorsed a circular prepared by Dr. St George L. 
Sioussat in the interest of the better teaching of history throughout the 
State, and instructed him to make efforts to secure the cooperation of 
the State Department of Public Instruction in printing and distributing 
the same. Max Souby, Secretary-Treasurer. 



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172 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

PRESERVATION OF THE HERMITAGE. 

The Ladies' Hermitage Association is to be congratulated upon the 
appearance of the attractive and interesting volume by Mrs. Mary C. 
iJorris, entitled Preservation of the Hermitage, 1889- 1915 (Nashville, pri- 
vately printed, 1915). In this little book of 221 pages Mrs. Dorris has 
sketched the history of the famous residence of General Andrew Jadcson, 
and has told in detail the story of the organization of the Ladies' Her- 
mitage Association and of the splendid work which that body has done 
to redeem from the possibility of neglect and decay the historic residence 
which it has taken under its care. The work is full of valuable informa- 
tion and interesting personal reminiscence, and is illustrated with pictures 
of the Hermitage, and with portraits of General Jackson and of Mrs. 
Jackson and of many of those who have directed and shared in the work 
of the Association. The book deserves a place in the library of every 
patriotic Tennessean. 



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VoL I. SEPTBMBER, i91S No. 3 

TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL 
MAGAZINE 




PUBLISHED BY 

THE TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



ISSUED QUARTERLY 
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, $2.00^-SINGLE NUMBERS, 75 Qs. 



NASHVILLE 

' FOR SALE AT THE ROOMS OF THE SOCIETY 
WATKINS HALL - NASHVILLE. t 



Enteted as second-class matter, July 1, 1915, at the Postoffice at Nashville, Tenn. 
Under the Act ot Congress, August 24, 1912. 



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THE TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



INOORPOILA.TKD 18TS 



OFFICERS 



PresidetU, 
JOHN H. DeWITT. 

Vice-Presidents, 

E. T. SANFORD, 

PARK MARSHALL 

J. P. YOUNG. 

Recording Secretary, 
JKBY R. HUDSON. 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 
A. P. FOSTER. 

Corresponding Secretary, 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT. 

Treasurer, 
JOSEPH S. CARELS, 

Financial Agent, 
COL. GEORGE C. PORTER 



FORM OF LEGACY 

"7 g$9e and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society 
the sum cf dollars," 



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CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

The Tkue Route of the Natchez Trace. The REcnncATiON of a 
Topographical Error. Park Marshall 178 

General James Winchester, Concluded, with Selected Letters 
FROM THE Winchester Papers. JoknH.DeWiU 183 

The Purposes of the Andrew Jackson Memorial Association. A, P, 
Foster 206 

Documents— 

Letters of James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, 1833-1848, with Introduction 
and Notes by the Editor 209 

Historical Notes and News — 

The Failure of the Department of Arcliives Bill — ^The State Literary 
and Historical Association of North Carolina — ^Report of the Conference 
of History Teachers, George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, 
Tennessee, July 20, 1915 — ^A Calendar of the Draper Manuscripts — 
Official Letter Books of W. C. C. Claiborne 257 

Committee on Publications^ 
JOHN H. DeWITT, Chairman, 
W. E. BEARD, ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT. 



Editor of the Magazine, 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT, Professor of History, VanderhiU University. 

Business Manager, 
JOHN H. DeWITT, Stahlman Building, NaskoiUe, Tennessee, 



Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the statements 
or the opinions of contributors. 



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TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Vol. 1. SEPTEMBER, 1916. No. 3. 

THE TRUE ROUTE OF THE NATCHEZ TRACE. 

THE RECTIFICATION OP A TOPOGRAPHICAL ERROR. 

In the preparation of this article, the chief object of 
the author is to correct what he deems a serious error in 
topographical history,— an error the more serious because 
it has received support in the publications of an office of the 
United States Government — ^the Bureau of American Eth- 
nology. 

The Natchez Trace, or Natchez Road, or as it was offi- 
cially named, the ''Columbian Highway," has been during 
the past one hundred and fourteen years a subject of great 
interest to the people of Tennessee and Mississippi and of 
more or less interest to the whole country. It was "cut" 
and opened under the authority of the United States, i^er 
treaties negotiated with the Chickasaw and Choctaw In- 
dians by the famous, or rather notorious, Greneral James 
Wilkinson, towards the end of the year 1801.^ The Trace 
was designed largely for commercial purposes as it had its 
terminus on the Mississippi in the district of Natchez which 
was at the time separated from our other undisputed pos- 
sessions, and it furnished a direct way for the return jour- 
ney of merchants and traders who descended by water to 
the lower Mississippi country. Still, it had military ad- 
vantages. At the time of Jackson's Natchez expedition, 
which left Nashville January 7, 1813, mainly on fiat boats, 
nearly 700 cavalry under General Coffee traveled the Trace 
to Natchez; the entire army returned by way of the Trace 
in the spring. When the British fleet came into the gulf 
in 1814, Jackson and Coffee were at Pensacola or Mobile, 
whence they went direct to New Orleans, while Carroll 
raised an army at Nashville and conveyed it to New Orleans 
in boats. At this time many squads of volunteers went by 



'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. V. 



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174 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL liAGAZINE 

way of the Trace as far as Natchez. After the battle the 
army returned on this road. In fact there are many in- 
teresting facts connected with this famous highway, but to 
detail them here would be a chapter outside of the purposes 
of this article. 

The Trace began at Natchez, thence ran northward to 
the northeast comer of Mississippi as at present constituted, 
and there it crossed the Tennessee River at Colbert's Ferry 
not far from the mouth of Big Bear Creek, some twenty- 
five miles west of Florence, Alabama ; thence it entered the 
southeastern part of what is now Wayne County, Tennes- 
see, and passed across the head forks of Cypress Creek; 
thence through the western part of Lawrence County it 
reached the southern line of the present Lewis County at 
the village of Napier; thence north-northeast through the 
middle of the present Lewis County, on which stretch it 
passed the place where Meriwether Lewis died and was 
buried in the year 1809; thence it ran to Swan Creek at 
Dobbins' Stand, now the mining town of Gordonsburg 
where tiie Mayfield phosphate mines are situated, seventeen 
miles west from Mt. Pleasant; thence to the northeast cor- 
ner of Lewis and the southeast comer of Hickman Counties; 
thence it ran through a course of six or eight miles in the 
extreme eastern part of Hickman and at an acute angle 
entered the western part of Maury, and here it had Swan 
Creek on the west and Leiper's Creek on the east, and thus 
reached what was Gordon's Ferry on Duck River.* From 
this point the road ran to Lodebar (formerly called Kin- 
derhook) , after passing Jackson's well ; it then ran into Wil- 
liamson County at a point about six miles from its south- 
west comer; three or four miles north of the Williamson 
County line it reached the top of Duck River Ridge, which 
in some old maps is marked "Tennessee Ridge." This last- 
mentioned point, about twenty-seven miles from Nashville, 
as the crow flies, was an important point in the Indian 
boundary line established under the treaties of Hopewell, 
which were made in 1785 and 1786, and retained this posi- 

*It is important to keep this place in mind. It is about sixteen miles 
northwest from Columbia, and on an airline it is about four miles north- 
west from Williamsport. It was the home of the well-known Major John 
Gordon, who belonged to Jackson's army and served in the Indian wars 
of his day, and the tract of 640 acres was given him in 1806 by special 
grant of the Legislature, being actually the first grant of land ever made 
by the State of Tennessee and within one week after the State's power to 
make grants was perfected. It was, in the words of the act, granted or 
given to Major Gordon "as a special privilege," because of his having 
maintained the ferry and otherwise assisted in the operation of the 
Natchez Road. 



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THE NATCHEZ TRACE 176 

tion until 1805. Duck River Rid^re was thus the northern 
terminus of the Columbian Hi^rhway or Natchez Trace 
proper. Work was begun very promptly, upon the comple- 
tion of the Chickasaw and Choctaw treaties, under the 
direction of Captain Robert Butler and Lieutenant E. Pen- 
dleton Gaines, with Indian guides and some ten companies . 
of troops, and finished in due time. 

In June, 1802, the Trace having been opened for traffic, 
it had become necessary to open a connecting road ''the 
most direct way" from Nashville to join the Tfi"ace end to 
end at Duck River Ridge. At this time we find the United 
States army officer, now called Colonel Butler, awaiting the 
proper local authority to cut and open this connecting link. 
This knowledge is derived from a letter written from Frank- 
lin to the Governor of Tennessee by John Overton, dated 
June 11, 1802.^ The letter is a long one, but its main points 
may be briefly stated as follows : Overton appeared before 
the Williamson County Court, and representing the Gov- 
ernor asked the court to order the road to be laid out and 
"cut" through the county on a line the "most direct course'* 
from Nashville to the ridge at the end of the Natchez Trace; 
but the court declined, because such a road would not touch 
Franklin, the county seat, but would pass five miles to the 
westward of Franklin.* Overton said that Colonel Butler 
would leave in a short time unless this question should be 
settled, and therefore advised the Governor to write at once 
to the Secretary of War asking him to authorize Colonel 
Butler to get permission of land owners along the pro- 
posed road, and to open it upon that authority. Such a 
course would be legal, but would not bind the county to 
keep up the road. This Colonel Butler evidently did, for 
the road was opened, and for many years the county did 
not appoint any overseers for it, and it fell into a state of 
bad repair. This connecting road was long called the "Nat- 
chez Road.'' It followed the general course of what is now 
the Hillsboro turnpike, but mostly on high ground west- 
ward of it, but crossing it twice, until it reached Cunning- 
ham's bridge at the end of that pike, a point twenty-five 
miles from Nashville.' 

This letter is now on file in the Tennessee Atchives. 

*It may be stated that the county was not three years old and was a 
wilderness at the time. 

*The reader who is disposed to get a clear understanding of the places 
mentioned is supposed to have a good map of Tennessee before him while 
reading this article. The names of places used in this paper are in gen- 
eral the present-day names. 

Investigators should remember that at the date of the opening of the 



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176 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

In this same letter of John Overton the writer said that 
the county of Williamson intended to open a road from 
Franklin to intersect the proposed firovemment road from 
Nashville to Natchez, and the minutes of the county court 
show that such an intersecting road was opened from Frank- 
lin, joining the Trace just north of Duck River Ridge. In 
the course of time this intersecting road, being improved 
by the county hands, and following a fairly level course 
as well as passing through the ralJier important town of 
Franklin, became the regular line of travel from the north 
end of the original Trace to Franklin and Nashville. The 
map made by Dr. (Jerard Troost, State Geologist, dated 
1830, shows the Trace as bending northeast at the ridge 
and passing over this intersecting road to Nashville -by 
way of Franklin.® 

With this statement of the origin and course of the 
Natchez Trace we now come to the purpose of this paper, 
the correction of a serious error which has been made popu- 
lar by its appearance in a report of the Bureau of Eth- 
nology. 

In two maps prepared by C. C. Royce for the Bureau of 
Ethnology, one of which appears in the fifth annual report 
of that bureau and the other in the eighteenth annual re- 
port, the author represents the Columbian Highway, or 
Natchez Trace, as the road running from Nashville to 
Franklin, thence to Columbia, thence to Mt. Pleasant, and 
thence to what is really the Natchez Trace at Napier on 
Buffalo River at the south border of Lewis County. This 
map misrepresents the historical facts in this regard. That 
the Natchez Trace really ran, and is still to be found, at the 
joint borders of Maury and Hickman Counties, and in the 
midst of Lewis County, is known with certainty by every 
intelligent citizen of those sections, and the line of the Trace 
does not lie nearer than about sixteen miles to either Colum- 
bia or Mt. Pleasant 

The importance of this correction does not lie simply in 
the single fact, without more, that a certain old road has 
been mapped as being at one place whereas it really was 
at another. The map, if received as correct, would convey 
the idea that the area now covered by the western part of 
Maury County and the eastern part of Lewis was Cherokee 
country from 1785 to 1805, whereas it was Chickasaw coun- 

Natchez Trace-^i8oi-2 — ^Andrew Jackson had attained no military promi- 
nence. 

*Now in the Museum at Centennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee. 



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THE NATCHEZ TRACE 



177 



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lifvte'tA-c.TrAeo. ftoS ^^/tir ttts- 
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178 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

try, though claimed by the Cherokees.^ Second, it would 
belie scores of deeds, grants, and surveys, calling for the 
Natchez Trace, on our public records. Third, it would con- 
vey the impression that very many of the leading settlers 
who came into that country from 1807 to 1816, namely, the 
Akin, Love, Lusk, Whitesides, Erwin, Alexander, Peyton, 
Bell, Isom, Biffle, Bums, Armstrong, Mayes, Stephenson, 
Fulton, Fleming, Frierson, Witherspoon, Polk, Gordon, 
families did so in utter disregard of law and of the treaty 
rights of the Indians, who did not in fact give up their title 
to the area west of the Trace until the treaty of 1816. 

This will be made clear when the following facts are 
pointed out Under the treaty of Hopewell the Indian boun- 
dary was Duck River Ridge, which is considerably north 
of Duck River. In 1805 a treaty was made whereby the 
Chickasaws ceded additional territory. Under this iacesty 
the boundary line was Duck River from its mouth to the 
point where the Columbian Highway, or Natchez Trace, 
crosses that stream ; at this point the line turns and follows 
the Natchez Trace until it reaches the hills or ridge of the 
Buffalo River watershed ; there it angles and runs straight 
to the Old Fields (near Hunts ville, Alabama) ; then north, 
going around ttie waters of Elk River; then following Duck 
River Ridge all along until it enters Kentucky. All the 
land within those borders was ceded. The Cherokees were 
not considered as having any valid claim to any of this land, 
yet the government, out of caution, obtained a treaty from 
them which overlapped a part of lands in the area under 
discussion. 

It can readily be seen that, as the line of 1805 ran with 
the Trace, it is in^ortant historically and legally to place 
the Trace in its true position. The government solemnly 
pledged its faith that white people should not settle on the 
Indian lands, that is, on any lands that lay south of Duck 
River and west of the Natchez Trace; nor was it lawful to 
register any deed or grant of lands lying there, though both 
grants and deeds were made to such lands with the under- 
standing that they could not be registered, nor in any man- 
ner be made effective, until the Indian title could, in the 
future, be extinguished by treaty. 

Further, the treaty provided that a certain time must 
elapse after the making of the treaty before settlers could 
lawfully take possession. At the aid of this time a rush 
occurred across Duck River at Gordon's Ferry, sixteen or 

*See report of Wilkinson in American State Papers, Indian Affairs, 
Vol. V. 



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THE NATCHEZ TRACE 179 

seventeen miles northwest from Columbia, comparable to 
what took place at the openin^r of the land for settlement in 
Oklahoma. Of course nothing of the kind could have hap- 
pened at Gordon's Ferry if the Natchez Trace had been any- 
where near Columbia or Mt. Pleasant. The rest of the In- 
dian lands (those lying west of the Trace) were not ceded 
until the treaties made in 1816 and 1818, as is well known. 

The evidences that may be presented to the student, or 
stranger in the land, as to the true course of the Trace are 
abundant and overwhelming and some of them will foe given 
now. These are not needed by any resident of the vicinity, 
as the road is now, and always has been, well known, and 
is still used as a highway in most of its parts. It follows the 
principal ridges and often there is no other practicable 
course between the streams that flow in the valleys on the 
one side and the other. A road in such a situation, espe- 
cially when in almost continuous use, manifestly cannot be 
easily lost except at most in minute and unimportant 
stretches. 

(1) The Natchez Trace is the same line of travel as the 
Chickasaw trail, except as modified to suit the requirements 
of a wagon road instead of a footpath. This was the line 
of march pursued by James Robertson in 1787 in the Cold- 
water expedition which went down Lick Creek and passed 
a salt lick ''as big as a cornfield.'' It is also the course fol- 
lowed by Captain Rains with his company of scouts.' 

Robertson, and even Haywood, supposed the trail to be 
the boundary between the Chickasaw and the Cherokees, but 
it was found that the trail or path was wholly within Chick- 
asaw territory, though this was disputed by the Cherokees.* 

The home of Thomas H. Benton was some twenty-five 
miles from Nashville on the Natchez Road, at the present 
village of Leiper's Fbrk, and a residence still stands on the 
original foundation. Benton says that his mother kept a 
3,000-acre tract there, about which the Indians swarmed, 
"and their great war trail led through iV*^^ 

When General Wilkinson met the Chickasaws at The 
Bluff (Memphis), on October 24, 1801, preparatory to mak- 
ing the treaty for the Natchez Trace, he said, as he reports, 
'TThe Chickasaw path is a very uncomfortable one, and we 
propose to make it suitable to accommodate those who wish 
to use it''" 

•Haywood, John, Civil and Politicai History of Tennessee, pp. 230 flF. 
(Edition of 1891). 

•See American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol V, Wilkinson's report 
"See Preface to Benton, T. H.. Thirty Years' View. 
"American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. V. 



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180 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

W. Jerome Spence, historian of Hickman County, Ten- 
nessee, says, ''Griner moved out on the Natchez Trace and 
had an inn where the Lewis monument now stands/' He 
further says, "The early settler on (north) side of the river 
(Duck) and on the east of the trace obtained his title from 
the United States; the early settler on the (south) side of 
the river and west of the Trace was a squatter." Spence 
then tells the names of a number of the "squatters," in the 
limits of the present Hickman County, who were removed 
from the west side of the Trace to the east side by the gov- 
ernment troops; and gives certain minor deviations of the 
Trace from the Chickasaw trail at the border of Hickman 
Ck)unty.^^ 

All of the foregoing shows that the Chickasaw trail and 
the Natchez Trace were practically one and the same line 
of travel, and that it lay along the east border of Hickman 
County, and through Lewis. 

(2) There are at least three legislative recognitions of 
the position of the Natchez Trace : 

The act of September 13, 1806, says : That whereas John 
Grordon "did make an establishment at the crossing of Duck 
River for the purpose of affording the necessary conven- 
iences for travelers on the route from Nashville to Natchez," 
etc., he is given his tract there of 640 acres. This place is 
at the line between Maury and Hickman Counties. 

The act of November 16, 1807, laying out the County of 
Maury, in giving the boundary says: "Beginning at the 
southwest comer of Williamson County; thence south to 
the Columbian Road ("Natchez Trace") ; thence with the 
said road as it meanders to the point where the Indian boun- 
dary line leaves the same," that is, at the Buffalo River 
Ridge. 

The act of the General Assembly of 1909, Chapter 263, 
confirms an official survey of the line between Maury and 
Lewis Counties; and the calls recited give the names and 
numbers of various grants lying along the Trace. This is 
the last call — "thence north with Whitesides' line 49 poles 
to a white oak on south side of the Natchez Road in Hickman 
County line." The lines of Maury, Lewis, and Hickman 
touch that white oak. 

(3) Meriwether Lewis, the friend of Thomas Jefferson, 
and associated with Clarke in the great exploration to the 
Pacific in 1803-1805, was the Grovemor of Louisiana (that 
is, Missouri) in 1809 when he was ordered to go to Wash- 

"Spencc's "Hickman County," pp. SO, II2 and 331. 



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THE NATCHEZ TRACE 181 

ington, and started to make the trip by water. At Mem- 
phis, because of the fear of warships or privateers, Neely, 
the Indian agent, advised him to go by land by way of 
Nashville. He cut through the country and reached the 
Natchez Trace at Griner's inn, or stand, and the same night 
was shot — ^whether by his own hand or by an assassin is a 
disputed point, with the probabilities on the side of suicide. 
He was buried there by the margin of the Natchez Trace, 
and long afterward the state erected a monument to mark 
the spot. It is near the exact center of the county named in 
his honor. 

(4) North Carolina gave 25,000 acres of land to General 
Nathaniel Greene by act of 1784, but the tract being later 
found to be within the Indian country, the grant did not 
issue until November 28, 1807,— after the treaty of 1805 
ceding the land east of the Natchez Trace." This is men- 
tioned because every part of this large tract, seven miles 
wide, is entirely west of the road from Columbia to Mt. 
Pleasant, but east of the true Natchez Trace; hence not in 
Indian territory after 1805. 

(5) There are a great many very early orders laying out 
county roads, or establishing road districts, on the minutes 
of Williamson and Maury Counties — perhaps as many as 
fifty — ^all showing that the Natchez Trace or road was not 
less than five miles to the westward of Franklin and some 
sixteen miles from Columbia and Mt Pleasant. One of 
these will be quoted here, and the others will be referred to 
in a note for the benefit of anyone wishing to look them 
up. Here is an order for laying out a road in Williamson 
County, made in 1803: Running "from Franklin to the 
Methodist Meeting House; thence a direct line to West Har- 
peth" (a stream five miles west of Franklin) ; "crossing at 
a ford known by (sic) Spencer's ford; thence down said 
river, leaving Perkins' horse mill on the left; thence, as is 
marked, to the Natchez Road." The position of this horse 
mill is well known ; the old stones still are lying at the place. 

(6) The Quadrangles for Franklin, Columbia, and 
Waynesboro, of the Topographical Survey of the United 
States Grological Survey, give the Natchez Trace in the cor- 
rect position as described in this article. The information 
of the surveyors was derived from the common and general 
knowledge of the citizens along the route, and from sundry 
records such as have been referred to. 

The author of this article has in his possession a letter 

"Maury County, Book A, Vol. I, p. 39. 



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182 TENNESSm HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

from the Bureau of Ethnology which quotes a report from 
Mr. Royce, who prepared the Bureau's erroneous maps, 
wherein it is admitted that said maps were not prepared 
from any regular survey. This is true enough, and the 
statement would perhaps have been much better had it 
been admitted that they were not made from any survey 
of any kind, for it is evident that no survey preceded the 
laying out of the Natchez Trace, for the reason that the sol- 
diers began to cut the road just as soon as the Chickasaw 
treaty of October, 1801, was signed, and had Indian guides 
furnished them to show the way. Had there been any pre- 
vious survey no Indian guides would have been needed. 
Besides, no survey of the road has ever been found or re- 
ferred to, in so far as the knowledge of the present writer 
extends. 

(7) The map of Dr. Troost, the maps of the surveyors' 
districts on file in the office of the State Secretary of State, 
several old maps in the Draper Collection at Madison, Wis- 
consin, and a great many plats and deeds in our courthouses, 
all show where the Natchez Trace ran and still runs. 

(8) The map of Lewis County, Tennessee, showing iron 
ore beds and deposits, by Reese S. Rogers of the State 
Geological Survey, gives the Natchez Trace through Lewis 
Coun^ in its true and correct position. This map was 
issued about May 1, 1915. Park Marshall. 



"See Minutes of the Williamson County Court, Volume 1800-1812, 
48^ 53> 70, 79, 9B, 100, 104, 15^ and many others. See Minutes of Maury 
County of December 22, iSo7; March 23, 1808; March 21, 1808; June 20^ 
1808; September 21 1808; September 22, 1808; December 23, 1808; also 
the report of B. C. Mitchell, County Surveyor of Maury County, of July 
19, iSjjS, which many times refers to and gives the definite location of the 
road, incidentally, of course. Also, see deed of Thomas H. Benton to 
Mary Benton, Williamson County, Deed Book, p. 126, year 1817. The calls 
of this deed show the exact position of the Natchez Road at Leiper's 
Fork. The previous division of the Benton land also shows it, but the 
plat of this division has not been found by the writer. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 

(Concluded, with Selected Letters from the Winchester 

Papers.) 

IMPRISONMENT AND RETURN HOME. 

General Winchester, Colond Lewis, Major Madison and 
other oflScers and a number of private soldiers were kept 
in captivity at Quebec until the month of April, 1814. As 
tiie senior American oflScer there, Greneral Winchester, as 
his correspondaice shows,^ was constantly engaged in se- 
curing the best possible treatment of the Americans, some 
of whom were confined in a prison ship. He was courteously 
treated by the British authorities, but the bitterness of his 
lot was ever upon his mind. His eldest son, Marcus B. 
Winchester, who had been a member of his staff, was with 
him during his imprisonment. For the most part they were 
quartered in a private house at Beauport, with certain 
parole limits allowed. General Winchester's letters to the 
British oflScers during this time show that he was always 
endeavoring to secure first the exchange of his associates. 
After his release was eflfected he stopped in Washington on 
his way home. On May 20, 1814, he requested of the Sec- 
retary of War a court of inquiry for the investigation of 

^This correspondence is in the custody of the writer and will be de- 
posited witii the Tennessee Historical Society. It contains, among others, 
five letters from General Sir George Prevost, British conmiander in Can- 
ada, written in elegant style and sealed in wax with his coat-of-amu. One 
of these letters, given below, arose from the capture by the British of 
twenty-three Irish- Americans at the Battle of Queenston. At Quebec 
they were separated from the other prisoners and sent to London on a 
charge of treason on the theory that one born a British subject could never 
expatriate himself. Col. Winfield Scott set apart certain British prisoners 
as hostages; but the British government did not carry out its doctrine of 
perpetual allegiance and the Irish soldiers were never tried. About three 
years later Scott, while passing a wharf in New York Gty, was greeted 
with huzzas bv twenty-one of these Irishmen, who had just landed from 
an emigrant ship (Lossing, Field Book of the War of 1812, p. 409). The 
letter from Sir George Prevost is as follows: 

Montreal, Octr. 25th, 1813. 
Sir: 

In obedience to the commands of His Majesty's Government I have 
ordered twenty commissioned officers, and twenty-six non-commissioned 
officers belonging to the forces of the United States to be placed in close 
confinement as a retaliatory act in consequence of Major General Dear- 
bom having announced to me in the month of June last, he had by order 
of His government put into close confinement twenty-three British sol- 
diers, as hostages for twenty-three British subjects taJcen in arms in the 



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184 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

his conduct while in command of the left wing of the North- 
western army. He had suffered such extreme criticism, and 
the true facts of the campaign were so little known, that 
he demanded this out of a becoming respect for his govern- 
ment, himself and his friends. He asked that the court 
might be directed to give its opinion on the merits of the 
case. The request was immediately granted, but, perhaps 
from the exigencies of the time, the inquiry was never' 
made.' Three years later, after his retirement from the 
army, the request was renewed by him, but was declined for 
want of jurisdiction. 

Returning to Cragfont after an absence of two years, 
General Winchester was privileged to spend a few months 
in rest and recuperation. In June, 1814, he was a guest 
of honor at a reception given by the people of Gallatin to 
Greneral Jackson. On July 9 he was given a dinner at 
Cairo in testimony of the respect of the people for him. 
The committee was composed of William Hall (afterwards 
governor), James T. Wilson, R. G. Gillespie and James W. 
Breedlove. He was escorted by a committee from Cragfont 
to Cairo. On July 23rd he was given a public dinner as a 
mark of respect at Nashville at the house of J. Childress, the 
committee being composed of Hon. Felix Grundy, repre- 
sentative in Congress ; Judge John McNairy, of the United 
States Court; and General William Carroll. He was met 
"at Hinton's at the forks of the road on the north side of 
the river" and was escorted into the city. These were 
strong demonstrations that his fellow-citizens held him in 
high regard and confidence and appreciated his signal labors 
and sufferings. 

affair at Queenston in October, 1812, and sent by me to England, there 
to take their trial as Traitors to their country. 

In addition to the above information, it is my duty to apprize you, 
however painful the subject, that in the event of the government of the 
United States inflicting death on any British soldier as a prisoner of wa^ 
and a hostage, I am commanded instantaneously to execute two American 
officers for every British subject suffering. 

In directing this order to be carried into effect, I have desired an ex- 
ception to be made in favour of your self, and the other general officers 
now on parole, who may continue upon the same footing as heretofore. 

I have the honour to be 
Sir 
Your obedient humble servant 

George Prevost. 
To Brigdr. General Winchester. 

"Letter of Winchester to J. Armstrong, Secretary of War, and reply of 
Armstrong to Winchester, in custody of the writer. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 185 



SERVICE IN THE SOUTH. 

In the autumn of 1814 General Winchester was ordered 
to New Orleans for service in the Seventh Military Dis- 
trict under Jackson, who had been commissioned as major- 
general upon the resignation of William Henry Harrison. 
On August 10, 1814, General Jackson had made a treaty of 
peace with the Creeks requiring them to settle on a reserva- 
tion bounded by the Coosa on the west, the Cherokee terri- 
tory on the north, the Chattahoochee on the east, and on the 
south by a line drawn east and west through Fort Jackson. 
This was to separate them from the Seminoles of Florida 
and remove them from contact with British agents in Flor- 
ida. It was necessary to maintain troops in interior forts 
in what is now South Alabama in order to hold in sub- 
jection the conquered Creeks. Moreover, on September 15 
a small British squadron attacked Fort Bowyer, the prin- 
cipal defence of Mobile harbor. They were badly repulsed. 
It was because this expedition had been fitted out at the 
so-called neutral Spanish port of Pensacola that Jackson 
made his celebrated invasion of Florida and capture of 
Pensacola. It was evident that the British intended to 
harass the Southern coast. The American government pre- 
pared to reinforce Jackson and maintain troops in that re- 
gion for whatever need might arise. The wisdom of this 
became abundantly apparent late in the autumn when the 
existence of Packenham's expedition became known. 

It is probable that General Winchester made the trip to 
New Orleans by flatboat with Major-Greneral William Car- 
roll and Brigadier-General Byrd Smith and the Tennessee 
militia sent to reinforce Jackson's army. Soon after his 
arrival he was stationed at Mobile. General Jackson re- 
turned there from Pensacola on November 16. On Novem- 
ber 28 he departed for New Orleans to prepare to resist the 
British invasion of Louisiana, having learned of the expedi- 
tion from two impressed American sailors found on a Brit- 
ish transport taken by the privateer Young Wasp and 
brought into Mobile Bay. The sailors said that the sup- 
plies were for a large British force assembling at Port 
Royal; that the transport was full of soldiers and that all 
the forecastle talk was about New Orleans. Jackson divined 
the whole plan. He left General Winchester, who was still 
a brigadier in the regular army, to the command of a large 
district with Mobile as his headquarters. A large part of 
the troops under him were Tennessee militia under General 



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186 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL liAGAZINE 

Nathaniel G. Taylor* and Georgia militia under General 
Mcintosh. The troops were not only at Mobile, but were 
also scattered among the forts in that territory, so that the 
force under Winchester at Mobile amounted to only about 
1,700 men. From his military papers still preserved, it 
seems that General Winchester was ever alert, diligent and 
in frequent communication with General Jackson; also that 
he had great difficulty in procuring necessary supplies for 
his troops. The situation of this little force was indeed ap- 
parently critical. Should the British triumph at New Or- 
leans no hope would remain to avoid surrender; but even 
after the battle of New Orleans it was daily expected that 
the British would attack Mobile or commit depredations 
along the coast. However, this apprehension was not fully 
shared by General Jackson.* Fort Bowyer, the most im- 
portant defence of Mobile harbor, was situated on the neck 
of land on the east side of the entrance to Mobile Bay. It 
was garrisoned by part of the Second U. S. Infantry under 
Colonel Lawr«ce. It was the key to Mobile. On February 
6, 1815, the British ships appeared off Dauphin Island, 

'General Taylor was an East Tennessean and was the grandfather of 
Senator Robert L Taylor. 

*The following letters, from the Winchester Papers in the possession 
of the writer of this article throw some light upon the events narrated in 
the text. The first three letters were printed in the Taylor-Trotwood 
Magasine for April, 1910 (Nashville, 1910) : 
Head Quarters: 
7th M. District: 

Camp 4 miles below Orleans 
loth Jan : 1815— i Clk P. M. 

I have this moment received your letter of the 3d Inst. 

I am greatly disappointed that the 3d Regt is not now far advanced on 
its way to afford me succour— believing that the order I had given you 
to hasten them on had been positive. The enemy having concentrated all 
in this quarter, and New-Orleans being his great object, it is of the 
utmost importance that I should, without delay, employ all the means in 
my power to resist his attempts. Such is the understanding, and the wish 
of the Secretary of war. You will therefore order the 3d Regt to hasten 
to join me with all possible dispatch; and when Generals Mcintosh and 
Coalter shall reach you, you will, without delay, order on to join me 
so many of the forces under their command as you may be able to spare 
from the immediate defence of Mobile. That being an object of com»- 
paratively little importance in the enemy's estimation, it is not to be ex- 
pected that much of his force will be directed to that point, — at any, for 
the present 

Enclosed are 2 letters from Genl. Mcintosh, and an order to him; the 
latter of which you will have forwarded by express immediately— under 
cover. 

My army and that of the enemy still occupy their former positions — 
within cannon shot of each other. On the morning of the 8th he made 
a bold attempt to carry my works by storm; but was received with the 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 187 

fronting the point where the fort stood. On the 8th an 
attack was commenced from land and water. The fleet 
formed in two divisions and approached within one and 
two miles. Five thousand men with twenty-one pieces of 
heavy artillery landed and approached the fort by trenches 
protected by strong redoubts, which could not be demolished. 

utmost firmness by my troops, and repelled with very great loss. In 
killed, wounded, and prisoners it cannot be estimated at less than 1,50a. 
Yesterday upwards of 300 of their dead were picked up by my men and 
delivered over to them for burial. We took about 500 prisoners; the 
greater part of whom were wounded — most of them dangerously, and 
many, mortally. 

Our loss was inconsiderable — ^not exceeding twenty -<five in killed and 
wounded. 

I am very respectfully 

Andrew Jackson, 
Major Genl Comdg. 

Brig: General: 
James Winchester: 
Mobile: 

Head Quarters: New Orleans 

7. M. District: 31 Jan: 1815. 

Sir 

The express has just reached me with your letters of the iSth and 
22— Inst[.] 

I lament exceedingly the situation of your supplies; and did hope that 
the precautions which had been used would have prevented a scarcity at 
any point That I might not be disappointed, I had dispatched Capt 
William Lauderdale about the iSth October with ample powers to pur- 
chase, on the failure of the contractors, and with strict instructions to 
push on the supplies with the utmost dispatch to the different points 
ordered. I received a letter from him on his arrival at Ft Strother, and 
have heard nothing of him since. Having had the fullest confidence in 
his activity and zeal, I am greatly astonished, both at his silence, and his 
failure to execute the business upon which he was sent. Be pleased to 
write him and learn the situation of the supplies and the causes which 
have so long delayed their arrival — 

While we rejoice in the happy result which has attended our arms 
and offer up sincere thanksgiving for the remarkable interposition of 
Heaven on our behalf, it is impossible not to lament that the slow pro- 
visions of government, and the dilatory movements of its agents should 
have prevented our success from being complete. Had the arms destined 
for the use of this army reached it in time, I have very little doubt that 
the whole force of our invaders might and would have been captured or 
destroyed [.] 

Whether the enemy will sail direct for Bermuda, or, in a fit of mad- 
ness, attempt something farther before he leaves our coast, is not easy 
to be determined. I am satisfied however that he is too much crippled 
to meditate an3rthing serious. Perhaps Nichols and Woodbine may asrain 
visit the Apalachala, and endeavour to stir up the Indians ; but I believe 
their machinations will be counteracted by the representations of Francis 
and McQueen (should they get back) who were witnesses of the defeat of 
their army here. 



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188 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL BftAGAZINE 

General Winchester sent 1,000 men down the bay under 
Major Blue to aid in the defenses. They surprised and 
captured one of the British outpickets, seventeen men, but 
only to find that the srarrison had surrendered, as resistance 
was useless. The surrender was justifiable though painful 
to the gallant commander of the fort. 

Again General Winchester suffered the unjust censure 

I cannot bring myself to think the enemy will make any attempt on 
Ft Bowyer in returning; yet you will not relax in your former vigilance 
and exertions. I have the honor to be 

very respectfully, 
Y. Ob. St. 
Andrew Jackson 

P. S. Major Genl Comdg. 

31. Our prisoners who had been confined in the [illegible] have 
just returned, and state that the enemy is busily engaged in building flat 
bottom boats. His object may be to move through the pass, Heron, or 
renew his attempt upon this city. 
Big : Genl Winchester : 

Mobile : 

To these is added a letter from Gen. William Carroll, written about the 
first Battle of New Orleans. 

Camp four miles below New Orleans. 
Jany 3d, 1815. 
Sir, 

I had the honour of receiving your letter of the 25 Decemb., and reply 
thereto. I have to advise you that your Baggage came down in my Boat, 
but owing to the representation made by the bearer of your letter of the 
high waters and bad state of the roads, and that it will be impossible for 
him to take any of your articles, without getting them wet or doing 
damage to them and it being so late at night and the mail Boat being 
about ready to cross Lake Ponchartrain, I have thought it best not to 
detain your Express, but will avail myself the first opportunity of for- 
warding the articles in your trunks. 

The enemy made his appearance on the day of the 23d Decemb. and 
Genl Jackson, with the several Corps of Troops under his command 
marched from the city inunediately and met him about seven miles below 
the City of New Orleans and gave him Battle in the night and drove 
him off his ground. 

Genl. Jackson's troops being much exhausted by a rapid march and 
hard fighting for upwards of two hours and twenty minutes. He did not 
think proper to pursue the enemy further[.] 

Genl. Jackson has erected a fortified camp four miles below the Qty 
of New Orleans and we have been fighting the enemy every day since 
the first Battle. 

On the i^t Jany Inst the enemy erected Batteries near our works, and 
kept up a tremendous firing of Cannon Balls, Bomb shells and Congreve 
Rockets nearly all day, but our loss was small considering the constancy 
of their firing. 

We have reed, a reenforcement of Kenty troops just arrived and with 
their assistance and our own exertions, we hope to repel this invasion, 
altho' the enemy is thought to be seven or ei^ht thousand strong and 
are said to be commanded by Lieut. Genl Packenham and Major Generals 
Gay and Kean. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 189 

of McAfee and the hostile criticism of many others. He 
was blamed for the loss of Fort Bowyer; but it is clear 
that the censure was unjust The biographers of Jackson 
very generally say that had the detachment under Blue 
reached its destination, the American loss would only have 
been more severe ; that the British forces were too numerous 
and their means of attack too effectual, for any different 
result to have taken place even if the detachment had 
arrived in time. The very dispatch of troops to render aid 
was of doubtful prudence, for it made it all the more easy 
for the British to ascend the bay and take Mobile. The 
force under Winchester was very inadequate for the defense 
of Mobile or the relief of Fort Bowyer. His own opinion 
was that had not the ardor of the British general Lambert 
been dampened, and his troops been disheartened by the 
dreadful slaughter before New Orleans, aided by the recol- 
lection of the unerring aim of the western riflemen, Mobile 
would have been the object of attack.* There were by land 
at least five ways by which the British might have ap- 
proached the town. They had seventy-five hundred men 
and twenty-six men-of-war. By taking advantage of the 

We congratulate ourselves on checking the enemy on his first approach 
towards this city and hope by the interposition of Heaven and our own 
exertions to make him willing to retire from our shores. 

I am Sir respectfully 
Yr Mo. Obt 
Major General James Winchester, Wm Carroll 

Commanding at Mobile. 

Chocktaw Agency Deer. 30th 1814. 
Sir, 

I had yesterday the honor of receiving your letter of the 20th instant 
I have a letter from Genl. Jackson of the 22 in which he says "I wish 
you to have them (the Chocktaws) forthwith enrolled in the service of 
the United States, and as many of them as you may be able to procure 
as may be prepared for active service marched to join me at this point, 
or at such other as may be directed, as soon as you can possibly get them 
into the field." I will immediately set about enrolling and embodying 
the Choctaws which will afford you time for consulting Genl. Jackson on 
their destination in deed from the number out hunting and the absence 
of some of their principle leaders we will be able to muster but a few 
at a short notice. Mr. Dinsmoor [Dinsmore] who will command them 
will go immediately to the six towns to collect as many there as possible 
and will be joined by the warriors of the other districts as soon as they 
can be collected, he will advise you from thence what may be expected 

I have the honor to be 
with very great respect & esteem 
Your obedient servant 

John McKek 
Brigr. General James Winchester Ind. Agent 

Comm. E Sec. 7 My. District 

•Winchester's Narrative. 



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190 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

flood tide they could have reached Mobile in twelve hours 
and found only a few hundred men to oppose them. It was 
indeed fortunate for the Americans that no such attempt 
was made, and that soon the news came that the treaty of 
peace was signed. 

The war being now over, General Winchester, on March 
31, 1815, resigned from the army and returned to Cragfont 
He was sixty-three years of age and much of his life had 
been spent in the service of his country and in the develop- 
ment of a sturdy commonwealth. He doubtless looked for- 
ward to an old age of rest and solace, but in this he suffered 
.much disappointm^t. In 1816 McAfee's History appeared, 
with its harsh and unjust reflections upon him, and he set 
about to prepare a full reply. He obtained the sworn state- 
ments of many of the officers formerly under his command, 
all of whom were living in Kentucky. These statements 
have been preserved and they evince a general desire to be 
just and fair, some of them completely disproving state- 
ments made or quoted by McAfee. General Winchester's 
narrative was completed in 1817 and published in the Na^ 
tional Intelligencer at Washington. It is a straightforward 
story and must have served to dispel many false impressions 
in the popular mind. Unfortunately it engendered a bitter 
controversy with (Jeneral Harrison, who had the advantage 
of great popularity as the hero of Tippecanoe and the 
Thames. General Winchester devoted much space to his 
charges that General Harrison had be^i successfully in- 
triguing to supersede him in the command of the North- 
western Army and had not efficiently co-operated with him. 
It is obvious that any further settlement of these issues is 
not necessary to an understanding of the causes of the dis- 
aster at the River Raisin. One fact alone which attests 
strongly the courage, the patriotism and the abilities of 
General Winchester is that at all times he enjoyed the 
personal friendship and confidence of Andrew Jackson, 
George Madison, Judge John Overton, and many other lead- 
ing men of that time. 

RUNNING THE CHICKASAW BOUNDARY LINE. 

The friendship between General Jackson and General 
Winchester was again manifest in the establishment and 
development of West Tennessee. In order to have the North 
Carolina land warrants satisfied it was necessary to satisfy 
them out of West Tennessee lands, which were in the pos- 
session of the, Chickasaw Indians. In order to extinguish 
their title Isaab Shelby and Andrew Jackson were appointed 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 191 

to treat with these Indians, and on October 19, 1818, they 
made a treaty in the name of the United States by which 
all the lands between the rivers Tennessee, Ohio and Mis- 
sissippi and lying north of the thirty-fifth parallel of lati- 
tude were purchased for $300,000, payable in fifteen annual 
instalments. This gave to the holders of land warrants the 
right of present possession, and opened a rich and attractive 
country to a rapid settlement. 

In order to determine and mark the line of the thirty- 
fifth parallel and thus designate the southern boundary of 
West Tennessee, General Winchester was appointed as com- 
missioner by President Monroe. In June, 1819, he met 
Major James Colbert and Captain Samuel Seely, chiefs and 
interpreters for the Indian nation, on the Tennessee River 
near the thirty-fifth parallel. The line was run due west, 
crossing the prongs of White Oak, Hatchie and Wolf Rivers, 
to a point on the Mississippi River about three-fourths of 
a mile below the lower end of President Island and ten 
miles below the mouth of Wolf River. It was one hundred 
and ten miles long. The line was marked with blazed trees. 
In the afternoon of one day when the sun was near the 
horizon, the Indian agents appeared to be dissatisfied be- 
cause the compass did not run with the setting sun. It was 
explained to them that the sun did not set in the west in 
midsummer. Early one morning while encamped on a small 
hill General Winchester asked them if the sun rose in the 
east. They answered in the affirmative. He then set the 
sights of the compass to the rising sun and showed them 
how deep such a course would run into their land, and that 
if he should run to the setting of the sun he would run as 
far into the lands of the United States, and that therefore 
the middle course would be the true one. This seemed to 
satisfy them, but when they approached the Mississippi they 
deserted the party with tiie promise to meet them again 
at Chickasaw Bluff, which they did. There they declared 
that the line just run was not the true one, that it must be 
run when day and night should be equal. General Win- 
chester replied that he believed that the line just run was 
the true one, and that he expected that it would never have 
to be run again officially.' The Chickasaws afterwards pro- 
tested against the line, through their official agent, Colonel 
H. Sherburne.^ About 1832 they again protested and there- 

•Official report of General Winchester to John C. Calhoun, Secretary 
of War, copy in custody of the writer, dated August 2, 1819. 

*In the Winchester Papers are the following letters, of which the first 
was printed in the Taylor-Trotwood Magazine. 



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192 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

after for many years the line was in dispute. Finally, after 
many years, commissioners were appointed by Mississippi 
and Tennessee, and it was ascertained that the real line of 
the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude was about four miles 
farther south than the Winchester line. This unexpect^ 
settlement of the question destroyed all color for the old 
contention that Memphis was in Mississippi and not in 
Tennessee. 

THE FOUNDING OP MEMPHIS. 

The city of Memphis, now the most populous in Ten- 
nessee, was of proprietary establishment. Judge John Over- 
ton, Generals Andrew Jackson and James Winchester, be- 
ing the proprietors. The original tract of 5,000 acres at 

Hermitage near Nashville 
April 13th 1819. 
Dr Gcn'l 

I reed by Mr. Wynn last evening yours of the nth Instant, apprising 
me of your having rec'd Instructions and authority from the President 
of the U States to run the line between the State of Tennessee and the 
Chickasaw Nation and asking nie the best mode of notifying the Indians 
agreeably to said Treaty, of the time and place to meet you for this purpose. 

I would recommend you to write to Colo Sherbum their agent re- 
questing him to have the chiefs notified of the time and place on the Ten- 
nessee that you will attend prepared to commence the running of the line 
with a request that they meet you by two of their chiefs for that purpose--* 
I would also recommend that you write to Major James Colbert Inter- 
preter for the nation, requesting him also to notify the chiefs of the time 
and place and requesting him to have a delegation of the chiefs to meet 
you for the purpose of running the line. 

Colberts Ferry will be a proper point for you to assemble and meet 
the chiefs, if you cannot get transportation for all you may obtain a canoe 
for some of your party to pass down the river to the line the balance can 
pass down on the west side of the river, as it may be difficult without a 
boat to cross the Tennessee at the line — ^The distance by land I suppose 
from Colbert s Ferry to the line is about thirty-five miles^^md the length 
of the line you have to run one hundred and eight miles— and mostly 
through a barren or poor country, which skirts a valuable one. 

I thank you for the expression of your good wishes and permit me 
to reciprocate them. I am Dr Sr respectfully 

Yr mo. ob. serv. 

Andrew Jackson 
Gen I James Winchester 

P. S. It will be necessary that you have a canoe where you start the 
line, to enable the surveyor to cross after taking his observations from the 
point where the Territorial line strikes the east bank of the Tennessee — 
It will also be necessary that you know the variation on which that line 
has been run. A. J. 

Chickasaw Agency Aug. 7th. iSip* 
Dear Sir, 

Your letter of the 8th. July was not rec'd until the 26th. I have delayed 
answering of it till this time, that I might give you the result of the 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 193 

the Chickasaw Bluffs, now a very important part of the city, 
was granted by the State of North Carolina to John Rice, 
a hunter and trader, in 1789. For this land John Rice paid 
ten pounds for every 100 acres. In 1791 he was killed by 
the Indians near the present site of Clarksville, Tennessee. 
In 1794 John Overton, then a Nashville lawyer, later a 
Judge of the Supreme Court, and an intimate friend of 
Jackson, bought this tract from Elisha Rice, devisee of 
John Rice, hia brother, for $500. 

As originally laid out Memphis was merely the eastern 
part of the Rice grant, being all of it lying east of the 
present Manassas Street On February 28, 1796, Judge 
Overton sold a one-half interest in this tract to Andrew 

Council of the Nation respecting the line you lately run between the 
U. States & the Nation. Yesterday the Council assembled & gave me in 
writing the following [reasons?] for their objections to the line as run 
by you with a request that I would transmit it to their father the President 
of the U. States, viz. Surveying & laying off a town at the Chickasaw 
Bluff before the line was run, and not giving due notice agreeable to 
treaty — Starting the line without any Commissioners on behalf of the 
Chickasaw Nation; running the line without proper instnmients; Not 
starting the line until eight or nine o'clock in the morning; Not blazing 
the trees as the treaty calls for. They further request that the President 
would appoint Major Freeman to run another line between them & the 
State of Tennessee, as they want nothing but justice done them. 

Thus have I given you a fair & plain statement of the case, & if it 
should prove by another line being run that the present one is incorrect 
no doubt the Nation will receive from our Government ample justice. 

I am respectfully 
Si[r?] 
Your obed. Servt. 
H. Sherburne. Agent for the 

Genl. J. Winchester. Chickasaw Nation of Indians. 

Cairo 25th August 1819, 
Sir 

Your favor of the 7th instant came to hand by the last western mail 
to this place ; giving me the result of a G)undl of the Chickasaw Nation^ 
on the subject of the line I have lately run. It is not true that I surve[ye](l 
and laid off Town at the Chickasaw Bluff before the line was run, bit 
it is true that I was present when a town was laid off and surveyed at 
that place. How this circumstance is supposed to have any effect 00 the- 
running the line alluded to I cannot conceive. With relation to due notice 
agreeably to the treaty, you know the first notice was made to depend 
upon the time of holding a treaty for the Salt Springs on Sandy; which 
was to have beea held the last of May or first of June, and time enough 
was previously given to the best of my recollection, at least a month, the 
treaty was not held it is true, but it was only known about that time that 
it would not be held, and then to obviate aJl possible misunderstandings 
on the subject, I personally attended in the nation, when you was good 
enough to meet me at Mr. Allins and when and where you heard me ask 
Major James Colbert what at that time the cheifs designated to see the 
line run, could meet on the bank of Tennessee river at the place of be- 
ginning, and that he finally fixed on the first Monday in June being the 
7th day; did not all that amount to due and seasonable notice. I made 



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194 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Jackson, the consideration being given as $100." On July 
3, 1797, Andrew Jackson conveyed by two deeds to Stephen 
Winchester of Sumner County and to Richard Winchester* 
an undivided one-eighth interest each, the consideration for 
each one-eighth being given as $312.50. These were 
brothers of General Winchester. On July 3, 1809, Stephen 
Winchester conveyed his one-eighth interest to his brother, 
William Winchester, of Baltimore, for $500.^^ On Feb- 
ruary 15, 1810, Richard Winchester, then of Jefferson 
County, Kentucky, conveyed to (Jeneral James Winchester 
his one-eighth interest for $500.^^ In all of these deeds 
exc^t the last the claims of the Indian tribes to said land 

arrangements to commence the line accordingly but waited for the cheifs 
until Thursday the loth when hearing nothing of them and per- 
ceiving too if I delayed any longer that I should have to send to the 
settlement, near loo miles, for an additional supply of provisions, under 
these circumstances I commenced the line, and on Saturday the I2th when 
we had not progressed more than six miles Major James Colbert joined 
us, and told me the [illegible] chief was sick or they would have met 
me according to appointment or words to that effect, I then reported to 
him when and where I had commenced the line, how far I had progressed, 
with all of which he appeared to be satisfied and we progressed with har- 
mony and friendship. On Monday the 14th of June when we had pro- 
gress [ed] 16 miles Captain Scely the other chief joined, I reported to him 
as I had done to Major Colbert he expressed no dissatisfaction, but went 
t>n very cheerfully except some times of an afternoon he complained that 
the compass run too far from the setting sun. 

The instruments I used were the best which could be. had in the coun- 
try, and I believe they are equal in correctness to any in the united states. 
If it was true that the line was not taken up until 8 or 9 o'clock in the 
morning I cannot see how its correctness could be effected by it. But the 
reverse is the fact, I never saw more persevering industry in private or 
public service than was exhibited on this occasion, the whole party rose 
soon after day light breakfast was cooked and eat and the line taken up 
between 6 & 7 o'clock and continued until about one o'clock when dinner 
was prepared and sent to the party on the line, about one hour was given 
for dinner when the line was again taken and continued until about 
sundown. Not blazing the trees too according to the treaty is 
made a subject of complaint I hazard nothing in saying that this line 
is better marked than any line I ever saw in the united States and that 
the trees on each side of the line arc marked bold according to the treaty. 

You are at liberty to read this letter to the chiefs if you please 

I am very respectfully 
Sir 
Your Most obedient servant 
Col. H. Sherburne J. Winchester 

Agent Chickasaw Nation. 

*Book D, p. 48, Register's Oflke of Davidson County. 

*Book £>, pp. 202 and 207, Register's Office of Davidson County. 

^Book G, p. 530, Register's Office of Davidson County. 

^Book G, p. 620, Register's Office of Davidson County. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 195 

were excepted from the covenants of warranty. On De- 
cenrber 12, 1818, Greneral Jackson conveyed to General James 
Winchester an undivided one-eighth interest in the Rice 
tract for a consideration of $5,000." 

By these conveyances the title to the Rice tract, the 
heart of Memphis, was now as follows : John Overton, one- 
half ; Andrew Jackson, one-eighth; James Winchester, one- 
fourth; and William Winchester, one-eighth. General Win- 
chester, under power of attorney, r^resented his brother 
William in all matters relating to the establishment of the 
town and the development of the property. It was not 
until after the Chickasaw treaty in 1818 that the plans of 
these proprietors could be put into effect. 

There was another tract of 5,000 acres called the Ram- 
sey grant, lying just south of the Rice tract, and in tiiis 
Ramsey tract Judge Overton had an interest. He conveyed 
to General Winchester a part of it, which amounted to 252 
acres when set apart to his heirs in a partition proceeding 
in 1837. This Ramsey tract became South Memphis, a rival 
of Memphis, until the two were united as one city in 1848. 

The proprietors saw the great advantage of the Chick- 
asaw Bluffs for the building of a town. High above the 
Mississippi and running back as a plateau, it was suitable 
for all purposes of human habitation and for river com- 
merce. In January, 1819, Judge Overton and Generals Jack- 
son and Winchester entered into an agreement to lay off 
a town on the Rice tract. The part actually laid off was 
the eastern part of the Rice grant, and this was the begin- 
ning of Memphis. The survey and plat were made by 
William Lawrence. General Winchester was with Judge 
Overton when the town was laid off in 1819. In that year 
there were fifty-three inhabitants. Eight years later tiiere 
were five hundred. It is said authentically that General 
Winchester gave the name, "Memphis," to the town — appro- 
priately taken from the ancient city of the Pharaohs that 
stood upon the banks of another great river. In 1819 a 
public sale of lots was made, but it was disappointing. The 
proprietors were not discouraged, and proceeded to lay the 
foundations for a large city. Gradually the town grew and 
gave indication that destiny had marked it for an important 
interior center of American commerce.^* 

On December 5, 1823, Judge Overton, Generals Jackson 
and Winchester, and the heirs of William Winchester, by 

^Book B, p. 218, Register's Office of Shelby County. 
"Phelan, J., History of Tennessee, Chapter 30. 



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196 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

General Winchester as their attorney in fact, executed a 
deed of partition, setting apart among themselves in sev- 
eralty a large portion of the Rice grant according to the 
survey and division into eight large lots previously made by 
William Lawrence, deputy surveyor and county derk. 
About that time General Jackson sold all of his interest to 
John C. McLemore. He had been criticised ever since the 
treaty of 1818 for having an interest in the Chickasaw 
Bluffs. Those who had first settled there, especially some 
of his old soldiers, having purchased from the Indians, lost 
sight of the fact that the Rice grant had already been sur- 
veyed and located. The rising tide of his political ambi- 
tion and his freedom from financial need caused General 
Jackson to obviate further criticism by making the sale 
to McLemore. Thereafter the proprietors pressed the sale 
of lots, the chief part in the development of the town being 
taken by Judge Overton. He was liberal and far-sighted in 
his plans. In fact, he appears to have attended especially 
to all matters of political and governmental adjustment." 

Shelby County was organized on May 1, 1820. The 
proprietors of Memphis desired greatly to have Memphis 
designated as the county seat. It enjoyed this honor from 
1820 to 1824; but Shelby County became rapidly settled 
until local rivalries involved in uncertainty the permanent 
fixing of the county seat. Some letters written by Judge 
Overton to General Winchester, hitherto unpublished, show 
the anxiety and consequent diligence in behalf of Memphis. 
In April, 1823, Overton said that the question was whether 
it should be a decent little town in their day or a mere 
harbor for a few drunken boatmen beside those then there; 
that this question would be determined by the fixing of the 
courthouse. In November, 1823, he spent much time at 
Murfreesboro laboring arduously with the General Assem- 
bly. An Act was passed on November 13, 1823, appoint- 
ing Abram Maury, William Hall, James Fentress and Ben- 
jamin Reynolds as commissioners to fix on sites for perma- 
nent seats of justice in certain Western Tennessee counties, 

"The following letters from Judge Overton to General Winchester, 
taken from the Winchester Papers give some interesting sidelights. 

Nashville 2Sth Oct. i8i& 
Dear Genl. 

You will see an official account from Genl. Jackson published in the 
Whig that he has made a Treaty with the Chickasaws and purchased all 
their claims to land lying within the States of Tennessee and Kentucky. 
So that the claim to our tracts at the Bluff is also extinguished, and Marcus 
is there long before this. He has fine weather to explore our land there 
and will bring us an accurate description of the Bluff tract. If the balance 



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GENERAL JABfES WINCHESTER 197 

but providing in a special section that an election be held 
on the first Monday of February, 1824, to ascertain the 
wish of the majority of the voters of Shelby County, wheth- 
er or not it was their wish to fix the permanent seat of 
justice thereof at the center, or within three miles of it, or 
at some point on the Mississippi River, or within three 
miles of it Then followed what appears to have been a 
"joker/' It was provided that the sheriff should make a 
return of the result of said election to said commissioners, 
who would accordingly examine for a site and so fix it, 
unless they should be of opinion that a more advantageous 
site could be had in said county, in which case they should 
fix the seat of justice at such last mentioned place. The 
letters of Judge Overton explain with what adroit diplo- 
macy he was steering away from the opponents of Mem- 
phis and yet providing a way for him to rely on a selection 
by commissioners friendly to the proprietors. Unfortu- 
nately, however, Abram Maury and William Hall (after- 

of the Bluff tract is not purchased by Cage before this time, it never will 
by us, as the price of course will be too high. 

If Cage does not purchase you must take the earliest measures to pro- 
cure the consent of Wm. Winchester's heirs to the laying off a town which 
consent must be given from under hand & seal— constituting some person 
as attorney with power to appoint attorneys under their autho to act 
in the business — So soon as you learn from Cage that no purchase is made 
write to your relations that such a course will be necessary — it will pre- 
pare them for the measure and some person will go on from us to get 
the necessary authority to act in due time, hereafter. 

But we must proceed to lay off a town by this time 12 months. I sus- 
pect [if] the Country settles as fast as I think it will-^We must not let 
the owners of property on the Bluffs of the Mississippi above us, be be- 
fore hand in laying off towns, as it might damp the sale of ours. 

Resply yours 

J NO. Overton. 

P. S. In the yam sent to me by the Factory there was a deficiency 
of 6 1-2 cwts. J. O. 

Dec. 1818. 

Dear Sir 

Genl Jackson and myself purchased the Chickasaw Bluff tract about 
the year 1796— I have retained my part of it ever since. I never knew 
and in what manner the Genl disposed of his part Latterly I have in- 
quired of him, and he tells me that he never made Saml Donelson a deed 
as he believes, as said Donelson was in debt to him, nor did he ever 
make any contract to that effect, that he recollects. Hence it seems clear 
that you and the heirs of your Brother William have only one eighth of 
the interest in the Chickasaw Bluff tract of 5000 acres, that I own one- 
half of which there is no dispute, that you and the heirs of your brother 
William half only an eighth of the interest in the Chickasaw Bluff tract 
of 5000 acres — that I own one half, of which there is no dispute — that 
you and the heirs of William Winchester, each an eighth part & Jackson 
a fourth [«V— obviously an inadvertent repetition]. 

It is very important that something should be done as quick as possible. 



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198 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

wards Governor) declined to act, and on September 7, 1824, 
Robert Jetton was by special act appointed to succeed them. 
The histories of Memphis say that William Martin was also 
appointed, but there is no act providing for his appoint- 
ment No record has been found that any election was 
ever held in accordance with the act of November, 1823, 
and it is evident that Judge Overton accomplished another 
fine feat of diplomacy, for on October 21, 1824, the Gen- 
eral Assembly added to an act providing for running the 
boundary lines between Obion and Weakley Counties, a see- 
in relation to the laying off a town at the Bluff, as towns are now the 
fashion, and other sites above may come in competition with it. 

I would therefore recommend, that you immediately apprize your rela- 
tions, the heirs of Mr. William Winchester of the importance of uniting: 
our views — ^that they will constitute an agent here to act for them, mak- 
ing provision for the death of such agent, so that the purchasers of lots 
may not be injured or subject to injury. They should give a power of 
attorney, authorizing A. B. to unite in making deeds for town lots that 
death as to [any] of the heirs shall not annul the power; and [in] case 
of the death of the said A. B. then [?] shall succeed; and in case of his 
death, C. D. shall succeed, and have all the powers and authorities of the 
said A. B. the attorney originally appointed. In this way, no injury will 
arise to purchasers of lots, by the death of any of those interested in the 
land—which so frequently produces injury, and discourages purchasing 
town lots. [The] rest of the proprietors, viz: Overton, J. Winchester, 
[A.] Jackson, will do the same thing, viz: vest similar powers in the 
same person or persons, to make deeds in case of death. 

I beg that you will communicate these things to the heirs of William 
Winchester as quick as possible, if they do not think proper to join in 
laying off the town, we will apply to the Court, and get a partition made, 
setting aside the[ir] part to itself; and Winchester, Jackson and Overton 
will proceed to lay off a town on the part laid off, and set a part to them. 
This not being the interest of the heirs of Wm Winchester, I expect 
they will unite with us, and send out the necessary papers to lay off said 
town, constituting an agent, [or] agents, in case of death, and with a 
provision [ex]pressly that death in any of the parties conce[med] shall not 
annul said power. I am resply 

Your mobs. 
Genl. Winchester Jno Overton. 

Nashville June I2th 1822. 
Dear Genl. 

I suspect there will be a strong effort made to take the Court house 
from the Bluff— It is the unceasing object of my attention — ^McLemore 
I hope will take the place of Jackson — a most important acquisition, as he, 
from his habits of activity, knowledge of men & things, as well as his 
situation as to land matters, will be enabled to get our town and interest 
a little ahead in that quarter— A subject that requires the most particular 
attention shortly, or we shall be run ashore I see no other way Genl, 
than to be liberal in donations to the county— say, let the owners of Ram- 
sey tract and Rice's, give each 2$ acres, joining the line to be sold out 
in lots, and appropriated to the use of the County building Court house 
etc. This alone can fix things there and without it, the plan may be kept 
under for 50 years— Such a step would greatly enhance tfie balance of the 



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GENERAL JABfES WINCHESTER 199 

tion empowering the commissioners appointed by law to fix 
the permanent seats of justice in the counties west of the 
Tennessee River, to select a site and fix the seat of justice for 
Shelby County in any part of said county that they might 
think most conducive to the interest and convenience of the 
inhabitants thereof, any law to the contrary notwithstand- 
ing. But in spite of all skillful laying of plans, the hopes 
of the proprietors were destroyed. In December, 1824, the 
commissioners selected as the most suitable spot for a 

property, fully to the amount of the donation — beside we, in that case, 
would derive some benefit during our lives — otherwise it will be an eating 
moth — ^having a thousand petty adverse interests to contend with. Think 
of these things and let me know your opinion, for I have formed no 
decisive one as yet ; it is only my impression that I state — Consider too, 
until such a step as this, or something like it is taken; some one of us 
will constantly be obliged to keep guard at the legislature, to keep the 
courthouse from going away — a fatiguing, expensive, and disagreeable 
business — which falls to my lot, as it did last Session, & will the next 
Session — Beside all the labor of correspondence, instructions, etc., it is 
too much for me to attend to this too— We must put an end to it some 
how — and if we can do it by present sacrifice, to result in future benefit, 
it seems to me we ought not to hesitate 

Resply yr friend 

Jno. Overton. 

My respects to Mrs. Winchester & family. J. O. 

Genl Winchester 

Nashville 13th March 1823 
Dear Genl. 

W. Cage tells me that as they came up there was no wood for steam 
boats at the mouth of Wolf river. I was grieved at this, as I had par- 
tiailarly urged Marcus to be attentive to keeping a constant supply of 
wood for steam boats — If you travel a high road will you not call at a 
Tavern where the tavern keeper receives you at the door before you get 
down, makes you easy in his house and furnishes you with everything 
you want? I say, yes you will — and every body else too! — until at length 
the tavern keeper's house can't hold his guests — and he gets his neighbor, 
or encourages him, to come and build a house beside him, to accommodate 
the wants of the numerous passengers passing — ^This is the beginning of 
every villa^fe on leading roads — and some of the greatest towns have grown 
out of villages — So, it is, on the river Mississippi, which has the same 
effect as a great road — Sir, let me beg of you to write to your son. 
seriously, on this subject, and everything connected, with (accommodation 
the most polite) to the passengers of the river — It is impossible for me 
to detail to you the important bearings of these things, on the prrowth of 
our interest in that quarter — soon it must be pushed, by liberality of the 
owners and the most assiduous attention of the first settlers or the critical 
moment slips. Write to Marcus & Carr I beg of you. 

Yr friend 
Genl. Jas. Winchester. Jno. Overton. 

Nashville— Apr. 4th. 1823. 
Dear Sir: — 

From some recent hints ^vcn — ^it might have been perceived that I 
viewed our prospects respectmg Memphis in a gloomy way — and that it 



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200 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

county seat Sanderlin's Bluff, on the north side of Wolf 
River. There a town was laid off called "Raleigh,'* and a 
courthouse was built By 1836 Raleigh had 1,500 people. 
Some courts were held there until shortly before the Civil 
War. It was not until 1840 that a Chancery Court for 
Memphis was established. The wonderful development of 
Memphis showed that it was not necessary that it be a 
coun^ seat for it to become a flourishing town. The his- 
tory of Memphis has been well written already, and it is 
only the purpose of this paper to bring out specially a few 
facts that have not been hitiierto published in regard to its 
early history. 

might be necessary for me or one of the owners to go immediately to 
the spot. On my honor I tell you unless I go there immediately and 
adopt some bold, liberal and decisive measure the plan (as to its being 
of consequence or value is gone forever). I have consequently watched 
the opposition made to it— 4iave attended to our Legislature every Session 
on that ground, and must go to the whole of next Session (3rd Monday 
in Sept) as the affairs of Memphis, whether it shall be a decent little town 
in our day (say in 20 or 30 years) or a mere harbor for a few drunken 
boatmen (beside those now there). This is the question to be tried at 
our next Session — and those opposed to Memphis — wishing to take the 
Courthouse away (which will be its ruin) are numerous and active. 
My health is weak, very weak, this spring,--but if alive will be active — 
and confidently believe my judgt. of men, matters and things is superior 
to all of them put together — this may seem arrogant — but 40 years ex- 
perience has given me this confidence. I have full power to act for Jack- 
son, and Marcus has for you. — On the ground I shall decide and act, as 
it is not in my character to be indecisive. 

I repeat without immediate prompt attention and action we are to 
be put down; and we must expect to make temporary sacrifices to secure 
permanent advantages — ^To err is but human. I may do so possibly but 
if I do, our interest being in common, and mine doubly yours, will suffer 
accordingly, — but I have no fear. 

I should be glad to see you as I cannot start from here sooner than 
Monday week. — By letter it would be impossible to detail to you so as 
to give you a full view. So by return of mail drop me a line, if you do 
not come down. Resply. 

(Signed) Jno. Overton. 

P. S. Marcus & Carr are seairely selling their goods — with them 
whether it is a town in their day or not is not so material. Lawrence is 
in the wood surveying. It is not from them I learn things. 

Nashville, April 13th. 1823. 
Dear Sir: — 

On Wednesday morning early I start by the steam boat Nashville to 
Memphis — As I intimated in my last; events are developing themselves, 
shewinpr clearly that all our prospects are lost, unless something is done; 
and nothing will do unless I go myself. 

Every effort is making to take the Court from that place, and fix it 
elsewhere. Believing as T do that everything as to the growth of the 
place depends on keeping the Court, I shall use every reasonable means 
to preserve it. Should Memphis be put back in that way it may never 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 201 

In 1826 Memphis was incorporated and its first mayor 
was Marcus B. Winchester, who had come there about 1818 
and established a store. After two years he was succeeded 
by his mercantile rival, Isaac Rawlings, who was a famous 
character in his day. Marcus B, Winchester was also the 
first postmaster. He was an elegant and polished gentle- 
man and became very famous in the Mississippi Valley. He 
built the finest home in Memphis and in the days of the flat- 
survive so fatal a blow — In all human probability it never would, as some 
other place would take the lead, and keep it; witness Nashville, and every 
other town in whose neighborhood as good cities may be found — ^It but 
illy suits me to ^o — ^as I am in bad health — ^Unless I go now, I cannot 
before next Session of the Legislature when all would be lost; and all 
the plans I have hitherto adopted by attending the Legislature be defeated. 
Tell Mr. Roberts he had better get the suit with Ring disputing the 
land, depending at Lebanon continued. Your friend 

(Signed) Jno. Overton. 
Genl. Jas. Winchester. 

Nashville ist. Nov. 1823. 
Dear Sir 

I am just from Murfreesboro for the sixth time, and my business 
there, the fixing the Courthouse in Shelby County. 

The petition, praying that it may be left to a vote of the people, meets 
with strenuous opposition from the Big Creek people in that County. 
I fear that it will be impossible to get a law passed to that effect, but if 
you think best I think a law can be procured for three commissioners 
to fix the site, without confining it to the centre, if those commissioners 
shall think proper. In this case much will depend on the comrs. They will 
be naturally inclined to the centre, if a good spring can be found, but I 
think there cannot. Lawrence will be here by the 15th this month, and 
I have a thought, if I can, to keep back the proceedings in the Legislature 
until he comes. 

But in case you should approve of Commissioners, I have to state that 
Maj Fentress, Speaker of the H. R. and Maj. Abram Maury will be two 
of them. Much depends on the third Com. in this case, and the Legis- 
lature will not be disposed to appoint any person except some prominent 
Member of the Legislature. What is your opinion of Genl. Hall, your 
Senator? Are you and him on friendly terms and is he as well disposed 
towards you? He is my choice if you know of no particular reason. He 
knows that you are one of the proprietors. 

This business is the most arduous I ever was engaged in — Drop me a 
line by return of mail, or sooner if you can— If Hall should refuse to 
serve I do not know what we should do, suggest some person. 

Yrs. Respt. 

Jno Overton. 
Genl. Winchester. 

Nashville Nov. 23rd. 1823. 
Dear Sir 

Enclosed is a copy of the Act which I procured to be passed, under 
difficulties and opposition, such as I never experienced in all my life. 
You will sec by the date of the Act when it passed. From the commence- 
ment of the Session, I was half my time at Murfreesboro, and had to 
encounter a strong petition against it, from the people on Big Creek, 
beside the opposition of the Senator and Representative from that quarter. 



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202 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

boat trade he was the leading merchant of the town. He 
was always of invaluable aid to his father. In the days of 
their imprisonment at Quebec he had won great popularity 
among the British residents for his engaging manners and 
handsome appearance. He lived until 1856. 

LAST DAYS. 

This early development of Memphis was the last im- 

The last three nights before it passed, I did not sleep three hours of a> 
night, and such was the fatigue and exposure that I have been laid up 
four days with the rheumatism in my back, shoulders, &c. I am just 
getting up but still scarcely able to move. 

It was on the last reading of the bill before I was able to get in the 
4th. Section, having with great difficulty got the bill so amended as not 
to confine the Commissioners in the selection of a site to three miles of 
the centre. To this there was great opposition as it had in former acts 
been usual in that country to confine the selection of the site of counties 
for Courthouse towns to three miles of the centre. For such extra- 
ordinary exertions, believing that no other man could have accomplished 
the object, I must be compensated, in part by the rest of the proprietors, 
and shall accordingly make a charge, to be accounted for in the final ad- 
justment of our accounts The cH>position had an agent on the spot vio- 
lently opposing our election by the people supported by their petition, 
and as many lies as a fruitful imagination could well devise, and as an 
election was an unusual thing, dark suspicion of unfairness & hung for 
a long time over our part of the business, which required herculean labor, 
and all the influence I possessed to dissipate it. And there was no other 
possible mode of getting over these difficulties but to give the Corns a con- 
trolling power over the election. Though I seemed to concede this it 
was what I wished, for two reasons viz. ist, I knew or believed that if wc 
could carry the election in our favor, that these commissioners nor any 
other disinterested that could be appointed, would not deviate from the 
voice of the people, or a majority, so that everything with us depends on 
the event of the election. 2nd, If we succeed in the election and the Corns, 
act upon it, and they confirm what is done by a majority, it will have a 
powerful effect to quiet the opposition upon which the growth & prosperity 
of the town will very much depend. 

I have written Marcus how to deport himself in every point, and I 
would submit to you whether we had not best forward by the first boat 
from 100 to 200 gallons of whiskey to Marcus, as in this article it will 
be necessary to be liberal. Probably new whiskey with you can be got 
low— there is none of any [good] in our neighborhood. — ^Write me imme- 
diately on this subject. If you think it cannot be procured soon and 
sent down, write! to Marcus to purchase it from the river, as quick as 
possible, and that I will replace it. 

McLemore, who is now one of the owners must attend this election, 
write to him urging him to do so, and he must be allowed for his services. 
Consider my age. and infirmities, and the exertions I have employed from 
the first stage (the Indian treaty etc) you will think it reasonable. 

Resply, Yrs 
(Signed) Jno. Overton. 
Genl Jas. Winchester. 

[Postscript] How wd it do to give the County every other lot in the 
town, instead of the 50 acres? 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 203 

portant work of General Winchester's life. His last years 
were spent at Cragfont in the enjoyment of friendly asso- 
ciation with many of the strongest men of the time and 
surrounded by his large family, some of whom were very 
young at the time of his death. He had extensive lands and 
other interests, and he lived in greatest comfort. On July 
26, 1826, he died at Cragfont and his remains were depos- 
ited in a handsome tomb in the garden. A tablet on the 
tomb contains the following epitaph written by Charles 
Cassedy," his secretary and devoted friend : 

"How oft, alas! we see the worthless name 

Bedecked by fraud with trophies of the brave; 
While lost, forgotten, or unknown to fame, 
Oblivion's wing obscures the patriot's grave. 

October 1st. 1825 
Dear Genl 

Last night I returned to this place from the Western District, to which 
place I went in company with General Jackson & his lady. Mrs. Jackson 
went to the neighborhood of Jackson in Madison County, to visit her only 
two surviving sisters. 

The General was invited to partake of a public dinner at Paris in 
Henry County, which detained us a week longer than I expected, and 
kept me from being here on the 29th as I expected. You will therefore 
have to give Mr. Bledsoe another notice, so that I may attend, which I 
will do on being informed of the time. 

I would very much wish that you would spend a day at my house-— 
or a week if convenient, in order that we may talk over your law busi- 
ness — particularly the suit with Walton. 

The Donelson suit I am master of— I am not sure that I am of the 
other. At all events it would be a great service to the cause to talk it 
over, examining each point critically — This is the universal practice with 
lawyers & their clients. Writing is not sufficient. At all times — you know 
me well enough to be convinced that every exertion will be made on my 
part. 

I transmitted you a deed for your interest in the Ramsey tract. Have 
you received it — if so please acknowledge the receipt of it by letter — and 
as the deed discharges the obligation you hold of mine, it is nothing but 
right that you should deliver up that obligation to me, sending it by mail 
or safe private conveyance as soon as you can. Being in years, life is 
uncertain, it is my wish that no obligations should be out, in case of death— 
I presume you omitted to send it when you last wrote to me. I therefore 
expect to hear from you on this subject, being the Only obligations I have 
out in the world. 

Present me to Mr. and Mrs. Breedlove, of whose polite attention, when 
at Orleans I retain a due sense As usual 

Yrs. Respty 
Genl J. Winchester : Jno. Overton 

"Cassedy wrote a life of General Winchester, which was published in 
book form in 1818. It was almost entirely devoted to defending him from 
the aspersions cast upon him by contemporary historians, accordinpr to a 
description of it in a letter wntten by Major William Martin, of Dixon 
Springs, Tennessee, in 1843. This letter is in the Draper Collection at 
Madison, Wisconsin. 



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204 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

But when false claims to glory meet their doom, 
And Truth, with clarion note, once more shall rise, 

The historic muse will point to this lone tomb. 
Where native worth and spotless honor lies." 

The details of General Winchester's life have thus been 
given probably as far as they can now be ascertained. It 
is clear that he was a man of broad proportion, a distin- 
guished citizen of the South. He was a man of good edu- 
cation, extended information and liberal views. For more 
than twenty years he was one of the trustees of Davidson 
Academy, which was later the University of Nashville. He 
was among the first in the Mississippi Valley to appreciate 
the advantages of the steam engine, and was the first to 
employ steamboats, which he did between Cairo and New 
Orleans.^' He was a liberal patron of schools in Sumner 
County and before the beginning of the nineteenth century 
he introduced much of the best literature of the time into 
his conmiunily by selling it at his store in Cairo. 

From all of these details of his life it clearly appears 

"Keating, History of Memphis, p. 149. 

"Supplementary Note on Authorities as to the River Raisin Campaign. 

General Winchester's Order Book from September i, 1812, to January 
II, 1813, was published in Volume XXI (1902) of the Proceedings of the 
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. His Order Book for the period 
prior to September i, 1812, is in the custody of the writer. 

Lossing^s Field Book of the War of 1812 contains much information 
as to the River Raisin affair, but on disputed matters it is, on the whole, 
untrustworthy because of its reliance upon McAfee's History, which is 
unfair and erroneous in many details. The historians of Kentucky have 
generally written of this campaign without a judicious consideration of 
ail the circumstances. Collins, History^ of Kentucky, Vol. I, pp. 29^ et 
seq. ; Smith, History of Kentucky, pp. 469 to 475 — one of the most nearly 
full and fair accounts; Wood, E. D., Journal of the Northwestern Cam- 
paign of 1812-13 under Gen. W. H, Harrison, is found in Geo. W. Cullum's 
Campaigns of the War of 1812-13, New York, 1879. See also: Dudley, 
T. P., Battle of Frenchtown, Cleveland, 1870, reprinted in the Historical 
Magazine, Second Series, Vol. 9, pp. 2S-31. 

Other authorities have heretofore been given. To these are added the 
two following little books, which are well written and which purport to 
give the facts with little comment: 

"A Journal Containing an Accurate and Jnteresting Account of the 
Hardships, Sufferings, Battles, Defeat and Captivity of those Heroic Ken- 
tucky Volunteers and Regulars, Commanded by General Winchester, in 
the Years 1812-13. Also Two Narratives by Men That Were Wounded in 
the Battles on the River Raisin, and Taken Captive by the Indians." By 
JElias DameU, Philadelphia, 1854. Narratives by Timothy Mallory and 
John Davenport. 

"Narrative of^ the Suffering and Defeat of the Northwestern Army un- 
der General Winchester; Massacre of the Prisoners; Sixteen Month/ 
In^risonment of the Writer and Others with the Indians and British; 
by William Atherton." Frankfort, Ky., 1842. 



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GENERAL JAMES WINCHESTER 205 

that in all of the activities and civic movements of his 
time he took an important part. His career is tjrpical of 
the bold and patriotic citizenship of the early days of a 
commonwealth that did its duty magnificently in the devel- 
opment of the great Southwest. His long and varied serv- 
ice to his country, though marred by misfortune in war,^^ 
deserves the generous recognition which is justified by a 
better understanding of his career. He left a large family, 
but several of his children died early. His daughter Almira 
married Col. Alfred R. Wynne, a well known citizen of 
Sumner County, who for nearly sixty years was the owner 
of the beautiful Castalian Springs. One of the youngest 
sons was Maj. George W. Winchester, a prominent lawyer 
and a brave Confederate officer. A grandson, Edmond W. 
Rucker, now a distinguished citizen and coal mine operator 
of Alabama, was a brigadier-general in Forrest's army and 
lost an arm in the battle of Nashville. Many other de- 
scendants of General Winchester have been noted for their 
broad culture and splendid virtues. 

John H. DEWrrr. 



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THE PURPOSES OF THE ANDREW JACKSON 
MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION 

The plans and purposes of the Andrew Jackson Memo- 
rial Association, established formally in Nashville on Jan- 
uary 8, 1914, have assumed, in a measure, definite form in 
the minds of the inaugurators of the movement. These 
definite plans are an evolution of many suggestions oflFered 
at random, constituting a combination of the best of them. 
The majority of those who suggested plans for utilizing the 
memorial fund money favored laying out a beautiful park 
and extending from it a boulevard to the Hermitage. Some 
thought that the memory of this great man could not be 
more fittingly commemorated than by the erection of a 
splendid building of classic architecture to be used for an 
historical museum. 

It was also suggested that a competition be held and 
bids and plans secured from noted architects and sculptors 
of the country for a suitable monument. A site which was 
more than once suggested for this monument was the sec- 
tion south of Broadway and east of Seventh Avenue, which, 
in the days of Jackson was known as the "South Field," 
and was famous as a maneuvering ground for the Middle 
Tennessee militia. This plan was looked upon with favor 
because it would bring about the reclaiming of a disrepu- 
table section which has remained an eye-sore to civic beauty. 

The rather unique suggestion was also made for the 
turning of the Hermitage plantation into a military school. 
Surely this suggestion is in accordance with the fiery char- 
acter and patriotism of Jackson, but in the opinion of many 
would hardly be practicable as a memorial. 

Along this same line it was advocated that a great ob- 
servatory be built on the Jackson farm. In favor of this 
plan it was argued that such an observatory would render 
the universities of the South independent of Chicago and 
Pennsylvania institutions, and would remain a permanent 
memorial, one which would not wear out with usage or in- 
duce satiety. 

Some advocate the idea of turning the Hermitage into 
an up-to-date agricultural farm. This plan would undoubt- 
edly have pleased the nation's paladin who said : "The agri- 
cultural interests of our great country are connected with 
every other, and superior in importance to them all.'' 

In view of many varied suggestions made, and the fact 
that the Board had of necessity to be guided by the amount 



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THE JACKSON MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION 207 

of money which they thought they could raise, the problem 
was not an easy one. The plans in brief which the Board 
has decided upon are as follows : That the city of Nashville 
appropriate for a public park the square bounded by Com- 
merce Street, Broadway and Sixth and Seventh Avenues. 
Also that the city open up and construct a boulevard esi- 
tending from the Capitol Building to this park, through it 
and on to the limits of the city. The County of Davidson 
has been asked to continue the boulevard on to the Her- 
mitage. 

In this proposed park the monument proper will be 
built. In order to interest the country at large, the friends 
of the movement have made it clear that the park and the 
boulevard are to be only accessories of the memorial proper, 
which will be sufBciently large in scale to invite the co- 
operation of people all over the country in erecting it. 

The form which the memorial would assume was in- 
deed an important question for the Board to determine, but 
plans by which the money might be raised was even more 
necessary and important. It was agreed at the first organi- 
zation of the Andrew Jackson Memorial Association that a 
fund of not less than one million dollars be raised from the 
national, state, county and city governments. This original 
plan has been adhered to. The city of Nashville has been 
asked to give the site and construct the boulevard from the 
Capitol, through the park to the city limits. The County 
of Davidson has been asked to continue the construction of 
the boulevard on to the Hermitage. 

It has been estimated that the ground for the park and 
the construction of the boulevard will cost the city of Nash- 
ville $850,000. The continuance of the boulevard to the 
Hermitage will cost Davidson County about $150,000. 
From the Capitol building to the limits of the city the 
boulevard will be eighty feet in width, and from the city 
limits to the Hermitage, sixty feet in width. 

The following plans have been determined upon for the 
building of the monument itself. In a proviso of the bill 
placed before the Tennessee Legislature, the state was asked 
to contribute $250,000. The committee feel sure that if this 
is agreed on by the state, popular subscriptions amounting 
to a large sum will be secured. 

Besides asking that the State of Tennessee make a dona^ 
tion of $250,000 for the memorial, the Association asks an 
appropriation by the national government of $500,000. 

And $250,000 is not too much to ask of Tennessee, for 
the State has too long neglected the memory of Jackson, 



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208 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

and should make atonement for the delay by generously 
contributing to a monument which will be commensurate 
with the fame of Jackson and his place in history; one that 
will properly acknowledge the value of his services to the 
state and the pride it should feel in claiming him as its 
greatest citizen. 

A. P. Foster. 



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DOCUMENTS 
Letters of James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, 1833-1848 

The letters which follow constitute the greater part of 
a collection inherited by the descendants of Cave Johnson, 
of Clarksville, Tennessee. The manuscripts of this collec- 
tion, which, with a single exception, are autograph letters, 
signed, number fifty-three pieces in all, and are sewed or 
fastcoied with metal clasps in an old record book eleven and 
one-half by twelve and one-quarter inches in dimensions. 
Pasted upon the outside cover is a slip bearing the words, 
Polk G. Johnson, ClarksviUe, Tennessee, Letters, &c., to 
Cave Johnson, 1872. The date, 1872, is evidently that at 
which the letters were thus arranged by Polk Grundy John- 
son, the son of Cave Johnson. For permission to copy and 
publish these letters, the Magazine is under obligations to 
Judge C. W. Tyler, of ClarksviUe, Tennessee, in whose 
possession the collection now is. Included in the collection 
are four letters of Andrew Jackson to Cave Johnson, and 
one (a copy) from Jackson to Felix Grundy; and single 
letters from John Tyler and from Martin Van Buren to 
Cave Johnson;^ but the bulk of the collection consists of 
letters from James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, with one let- 
ter (an inclosure) from Polk to Theophilus Fisk. It is this 
latter group which we have selected for publication in this 
number of the Magazine. 

From 1829 to 1845, with the raception of the years 1837^ 
1839, Cave Johnson (1793-1866) represented in Congress- 
the district in which his home town of ClarksviUe is situ-^ 
ated.* Throughout this long period of service he was inti- 
mately associated with the group of Tennesseans whose po- 
litical careers developed in the later days of Andrew Jack-^ 
son. Among these associates was James K. Polk, of Colum- 
bia, Tennessee (1795-1849), whose Congressional experience 
began in 1825 and continued until 1839. In the laUer year 
Polk retired from the House of Representatives and was 
elected Grovemor of Tennessee, but as the anti-Jackson senti- 
ment solidified, Polk was twice, in 1841 and in 1843, defeated 
for re-election as Grovemor of Tennessee. In 1844 Polk 
was elected President of the United States. Among his 
earliest executive appointments was that of Cave Johnson, 
to be postmaster general of the United States. 

The present collection, for the periods which it touches, 
admirably supplements the Polk Papers in the Library of 



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210 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Congress. Though sadly broken, this collection is valuable 
for the light that it throws upon the internal organiza- 
tion and working of the Jackson party of the State. By far 
the most interesting and important group is composed of 
soiwe letters written by Polk in 1844-1845 which have to do 
with the nomination and election of Polk in the presidential 
campaign of 1844. To students of Tennessee history, how- 
ever, the group of 1835 will be of almost equal interest, 
as it concerns the break between Andrew Jadcson and 
Judge Hugh Lawson White, and the early beginnings of the 
Whig party in Tennessee. 

With this general preliminary statement it seems best 
to proceed to a consideration of the respective groups and 
to provide for each group a somewhat more detailed intro- 
duction and explanatory notes. 

St. George L. Sioussat. 

I. James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, April 24, June 20, Sep- 
tember 7, 26, 1833. 
The second or short session of the twenty-second Con- 
gress came to a close on March 4, 1833. This session had 
followed the presidential election of 1832, in which Jackson 
had been triumphantly re-elected, and Clay and the adher- 
ents of the United States Bank had met defeat. At this 
time, in Tennessee, the elections of members of Congress 
were not held concurrently with the presidential election, 
but in the summer after the final adjournment of the Con- 
gress. Thus the letters of 1833 have to do with the can- 
vasses of Johnson and Polk, each of whom was seeking re- 
election, and with their plans for the approaching Congress. 

I. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

April 24, 1833. 
Dear Sir:* I am surprised to learn from your letter of the 17th Inst.* 
that your fidelity to the administration is doubted." In answer to your 
inquiry I have to state, that I have always regarded you as a friend of 

*Thc dates of these letters arc as follows: Andrew Jackson to Cave Johnson, 
Febrtiary 9, November 32, December 11, 1843, and one letter without date; Andrew 
Jackson to Felix Grundy (copy), June 11, 1835; John Tyler to Cave Johnson and 
Others, May 21, 1843; Martin Van Buren to Cave Johnson, October 39, 1843. 

•Sketches of the career of Cave Johnson may be found in Caldwell. J. W.. 
The Bench and Bar of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1898; and in Picturesque Ciarksvitie. 
Fast and Present, 1857. The latter work contains an interesting autobiographical 
note left by Cave Johnson. Johnson was an able and prolific letter writer. In 
'^e Polk Papers in the Library of Congress and the Buchanan Papers in the pos- 
session of the Pennsylvania Historical Society Ire very important series of letters 
written by Czvt Johnson to Polk and Buchanan, respectively. 

•Hereafter the formal address and conclusion is omitted. The word "and" is 
printed in full, instead of the contracted figure. The original spelling is followed, 
except in the case of obvious slips of the pen, and except in the word "separate* 
which Polk consistently spelled "seperate." 

*Not found in the Polk Papers. 

"Compare Johnson to H. L. White, Clarksville, April 30, 1833, and White to 
Johnson, Knoxville, May 16, 1833, in Scott, N. N., A Memoir of Hugh Lamson 
White, . . . Philadelphia, 1856, pp. 363-364. In his letter to White, Johnson 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 211 

the administration, and am well satisfied that you are so regarded by the 
members of the House generally. Your general course has certainly 
sustained the measures of the administration, and I have never for one 
moment doubted the sincerity of vour support Your general conduct, 
when examined, cannot, I should think, bu( be satisfactory to all on that 
point. I am very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

James K. Polk. 

2. James K. Polk, Shelbyville, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Clarksville, Tennessee, June 20, 1833. 

I think I am entirely safe in my election, the probability being that I 
will receive many hundred more votes than both my competitors to- 
gether; have notwithstanding an angry and most violent contest. I am 
assailed from all quarters,--<fu'st upon the Bank question* as you have 
seen, next upoi^ the Military Academy at West Point, — thirdly upon the 
vote upon the proposition to enquire into the expediency of repealing 
or modifying the 25th section of the Judiciary act of 1789, — fourthly upon 
the vote for the outfit and salary of Mr. Randolph to Russia. All these, 
together with some minor matters have been met and in succession put 
down.^ Lastly I am charged with being ^'systematically opposed to bet- 
tering the condition of the soldiers of [the]' Revolution." I do not know 
that it will be necessary but lest it may be, I desire that in reply to this 
you will state whether in conversation upon the subject of the various 
pension bills which have been before Congress since you have been a 
member, 1 have not by my course, and in conversation uniformly ex- 
pressed the opinion that it was unjust to confine the pension granted by 
the Government, to the soldiers of the continental line alone; whether 
I have not uniformly announ[ce]d* my opinion that the pension should 
be extended to the soldiers of the militia, state troops and volunteers, 
who were poor and needy, as well as to the continentals; — providing for 
all alike who had performed services equally meritorious, without regard 
to the line or corps in the army to which they belonged. I voted against 
the House bill of 1832, after having failed by my votes to have it amended 
in such manner as to make it equitable and just. For the Senate bill 
of 1843, which passed and is now the law, upon the question of voting 
it to be ordered to a third reading I voted as the Journal shows in the 
aflSrmative ;— lupon the final passage the yeas and nays were not taken. 
I think I have conversed with you and communicated my opinions, but 

wrote that the rumors of his unsoundness in politics took their origin from Major 
Eaton and W. 6. L[ewis}, in consequence of the course pursued by him as to the 
Chickasaw Treaty; but this was not urged against him locally. He was not aware 
of having departed from his political friends except as to the Force Bill (in con- 
nection with the nullification movement in South Carolina), which he had thought 
necessary after the tariff bill had been passed. White, in his reply, upheld Johnson, 
but expressed the opinion that the Force Bill had been passed first, ana was a proper 
measure. In the National Banner and Nashville Whig, (April 22^ 27, 1833) are letters 
signed "A Voter of the nth Congressional District" which answer a writer "Junius" 
in the Nashville Republican of a recent date, by whom Johnson had been attacked for 
his attitude on the Force Bill. 

•In the report written by Polk for the minority of a committee upon the Bank 
of the United States, March 2, 1833, House Reports, No. lai. Twenty-second Congress, 
Second Session, a severe criticism had been made of the branches of the Bank in the 
West, which was considered to reflect on the credit of the West, and elicited much 
discussion. As to the relation of the "Bank War" to politics in Tennessee, see 
Some Phases of Tennessee Politics in the Jackson Period, by the present writer, in 
the American Historical Review, volume XIV, No. i, (October, 1908). 

Hn the Western Mercury, Extra, of Columbia, Tennessee, June 17, 1833, is a 
Circular to the People of the Congressional District Composed of the Counties of 
Bedford and Maury, written by PoUc, and dated June la, in which the pension mat- 
ter ie defended at great length. 

•The article is omitted. 

*The reading is doubtful. 



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212 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

I have no distinct recollection that I ever did. If I did I wish you to state 
upon receipt of this — ^your recollection of my opinions as expressed to you. 
For such men as Wade Hampton, my kinsman Col. Polk of N. G and 
others who were wealthy; who did not need and had never asked a pen- 
sion, I did not think it necessary to provide, and would have preferred 
that the law which did pass should have been confined to those who were 
in moderately reasonable circumstances, and to [ whom] ^^ the pension 
would be a comfort." 

[I wjish" you to give me an answer immediately on receipt of this, 
but in the mean time I do not care that it should be publicly known that 
I have written to you on the subject, my object being to be prepared to 
meet any false representations which my political enemies may possibly 
attempt to make upon the eve of the election. I am anxious to hear 
what your prospects in your election are. Write me upon that subject 
also." 

Direct your letter to Columbia. 

3. James K. Polk, Columbia^ Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, September 7, 1833. 

It may be a matter of some importance that a proper man be selected 
as speaker of the Senate of the next Legislature, especially in the event 
the present incumbent in the Gubernatorial office" should rceive his long- 
looked-for preferment. Some of our friends here are solicitous that Col. 
Wyley^ the Senator from Green, should be elected. Wyley is a clean 
fellow, and has I believe been always right in his politics. I am aware 
that this is a matter that it does not become you and me to in[ter]fere" 
in much, but at the request of friends I suggest it to you, that if you 
concur with me in opinion you might suggest it to Mr. McMean^^ Ray- 
hurn^* and perhaps to some other friends. I know not who the "little 
knot of politicians"^ at Nashville who undertake to control the politics 
of the State, and who have recently given you as well as myself so much 
trouble, will run, but doubtless they will have their man, and there is as 
little doubt that that man will not be Col. W., for he would not suit their 
purposes. 

You must not fail to meet me at Nashville on Thursday of the first 
week of the Session of the Legislature. I am obliged to be at the Fay- 
etteville Circuit Court on Monday and will come from there to Nashville. 

4. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, September 26, 1833. 

Since I wrote you last I have received letters from some of our friendi 
in Congress, on the subject upon which we have heretofore corresponded;" 

"Ms. torn. 

"The pension matter had been the basis of attack in a handbill signed "Mecklen- 
burg." 

"Ms. torn. 

"Johnson replied June as, 1833, unholdinff Polk: Polk Papers. Polk wrote also to 
other friends, including John Blair ot East Tennessee and C. C. Clay of Alabama. 

"William Carroll, elected governor of Tennessee in 1821, 1823, 1825, 1829, 1831, 
1833. 

"James W. Wyly, of the Senate of Tennessee. 

"Reading doubtful. 

"James R. McMeans of the Senate of Tennessee. 

"John Raybum of the Senate of Tennessee. 

"Throughout Polk's letters of this year one notices a considerable jealousy of 
the Democratic managers at Nashville. 

"The Speakership of the House of Representatives of the United States. Before the 
assembling of the twenty-third Congress, (1833-1835)* in December, 1833* it became 
known that Andrew Stevenson of Virginia, the Speaker of the House of Representa- 
tives of the preceding Congress, would probably be appointed Minister to Great Britain. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTESS, 1833-1848 2ia 

and among others one from our friend Jesse Speight of N. Carolina. I 
think from his letter than he has some views of his own.* I learn too- 
that Judge Wayne of Georgia is now in New York, and is looking to the 
station.** I think it important for me if you have not already done so, 
that you should write to Jarvis of Maine and Hubbard of New Hampshire^ 
and to any others with whom you are intimate, but especially to those 
two gentlemen. I fear I am imposing too much on your kindness, but 
hope I may have it in my power in some way to reciprocate the favour. 

I understand you are to be at Nashville next week. If you should meet 
with Mr. Ferrister or Peyton (Genl. Hall's successor) mention the matter 
confidentially to them. 

I regret that I did not see you at Nashville last week. My impression 
was when I left that our friend G*s election was tolerable secure. His 
friends counted for him 27 votes on the first balloting." You will prob- 
ably be there at the election, and as I start to the Western District in the 
morning, I must ask the favour of you if you are at Nashville when the 
election takes place to drop me a line to Somervitle apprising me of 
the result. 

I expect to be able to leave Murfreesborough for Washington about the 
1st Nov. Inge** spoke of going on horse-back and travelling with us. I 
will write you again more definitely as to the time we will start imme- 
diately on my return from the District 

II. James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, January 7, March 31, 
April 13 ,16, 17, 19, May 7, 25 (2), 26, 27, June 6, 
1835. 

This group of letters has as its central point of interest 
the schism between Andrew Jackson and Hugh Lawson 
White of Tennessee. 

With the election of Jackson to the Presidency in 1828, 
the sentiment in Tennessee in favor of the General became 
well-nigh unanimous, and the former opposition of such 
men as John Williams seemed utterly overthrown. But 
Jackson's appointments to cabinet office, the war with the 

When the twenty-third Congress convened, Stevenson was reelected Speaker, but re- 
signed in 1834. Letters in the Polk Papers (C. C. Clay to Cave Johnson, Hunts- 
ville, Alabama, August 19, 1833, enclosed in letter of Johnson to Polk, August 29, 
1833,) Bhow that Polk was planning to secure the election of himself as Speaker in 
the event of Stevenson's resignation. In the Polk Papers is also a very interesting 
letter of James Walker to Polk (October aa, 1833) in which Walker says that Pres- 
ident Jacl^n gives in to Polk's views and ridicules the objections that he (Jackson) 
is from Tennessee, the President of the Senate (Hugh Lawson White) is also from 
Tennessee, and that it will not look very modest to ask the Speakership for the 
same State. This objection is made to serve the interests of a candidate from 
Georgia. Walker will see W. B. L[ewis] and find out his sentiments: but thinks 
he will be found under the Bell-Foster-Eaton influence. 

When the election for the Speakership took place on June a, 1834, it became 
actually a fact that the President of the United States, the President pro tempore of 
the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Reprsentatives were all from Tennessee. 
But the Speaker was John Bell, who defeated Polk in the election. 

'■Speight was later a candidate for the Speakership. Register of Debates in 
Congress, vol. X, part 4, P< 4371* (June a, 1834). The letter mentioned by Polk i» 
not found in the Polk Papers. 

''Wayne was also a candidate. Register of Debates in Congress, vol. X, part 4,. 
p. 437X <Jtme 2» 1834). 

**On October 8, 1833, upon the fifty-fifth ballot, Felix Grundy was elected United 
States Senator over J. H. Eaton and E. H. Foster. During the balloting John Belt 
had received some votes. 

**W. W. Inge, another of the Congressional delegation from Tennessee. 



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214 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Bank of the United States, and the President's policy as to 
South Carolina all stirred up some phase of resentment 
Especially, in Tennessee, there developed a strong dislike 
of Martin Van Buren, who was understood, however, to be 
the favorite of General Jackson. The election to Congress, 
in Jackson's own district, of John Bell over Felix Grundy, 
which took place in 1827, was full of importance for the 
future, but Bell then in no way broke with the Jackson 
party, and Grundy was later elected to the Senate." The 
first open rebel against the President was the frontiersman, 
David Crockett, but his course led to his defeat and his re- 
moval from the State of Tennessee.** 

The letters of the preceding group, and to a greater 
degree, the Jackson Papers and the Polk Papers in the 
Library of Congress, which bear on this period, reveal the 
factional diflFerences among the professed followers of Jack- 
son, but it remained to be seen whether any of these fac- 
tions or their leaders would, more successfully than Crockett, 
identify themselves with Clay or Calhoun or other party 
opponents of the administration. After the re-election of 
Jackson in 1832 the question of the ''succession" became 
an active one, with the result that in 1834 the old and inti- 
mate friend and counsellor of Andrew Jackson, Hugh Law- 
son White,*^ was nominated for the Presidency by the ma- 
jority of the Congressmen from Tennessee. The larger 
issues of this matter lie beyond the field of this introduc- 
tion, which is concerned with the relation to this revolt 
of John Bell, on the one side, and James K. Polk, Felix 
Grundy, and Cave Johnson, on the other. 

In the election of the Speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, on June 2, 1834,^8 j^j^jj g^n^ j^. ^^^g charged by 



"See above, note 23. The election of Grundy over J. H. Eaton reveals the com- 
l)lexity of factional politics in Tennessee. Eaton, the former Secretary of War, was 
ti devoted friend of Van Buren. The success of Grundy gave evidence of the un- 
popularity of Van Buren in Tennessee. Yet later, when the Bell-White division 
took place, Grundy took the side of Jackson and Van Buren. 

••As to Crockett see Some Phases of Tennessee Politics in the Jackson Period. 
by the present writer, in the American Historical Review, vol. XIV, No. i, pp. 57-58 
(October, 1908). 

''Scott, N. N., A Memoir of Hugh Lawson White, Philadelphia, 1856, reproduces 
valuable papers and letters of Judge White. Compare also, for the whole series of 
events under discussion, Phelan, J.: History of Tennessee, Boston and New York, 



1889. Phelan, in chapter xxxiii of this work, presents an interesting narrative, but 
the chronology is very inaccurate. The whole matter must be rewritten from Ae 
original material in the Jackson Papers and the Polk Papers. 

Judge White, it will be remembered, had refused to accept cabinet office under 
Jackson, who wished him to succeed Eaton, and indeed had invited him to enter his 
-cabinet before calling on Eaton. See letter of Jackson to White, printed in Bassett, 
T. S., Life of Andrew Jackson, vol. II, pp. 533*535 (New York, X911), and Scott, 
ilugh Lawson White, 

**See notes 20, 21, and aa, above. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1883-1848 215 

Jackson and Polk,*» had courted the opposition and se- 
cured his success by aid of the votes of those hostile to 
Jackson. When Judge White, refusing to render obedience 
to Jackson's wishes, accepted the nomination tendered to 
him, the President was grieved and indignant and said bit- 
ter things about White; but his letters'** show that, rightly 
or wrongly, he regarded Judge White as a tool, and that 
the real forcd in the rebellion was considered by him to be 
John Bell. 

The meeting of the General Assembly of Tennessee in 
the autunm of 1833 gave a favorable opportunity for politi- 
cal scheming, but the occasion was considered premature 
and no action was taken.'^ In the following summer there 
met in Nashville the convention which revised the consti- 
tution of the State. In the course of its session a dinner 
was given** to the President, then on a visit to his home. 
In connection with this dinner, apparently, arose the imme- 
diate plans which developed somewhat later in Washing- 
ton.** On December 22, 1834, in the room of Balie Peyton, 
one of the memibers of the Hbuse of Representatives from 
Tennessee, there was held a meeting of the Tennessee dele- 
gation.** There were some absentees, but of these Crockett 
was known certainly to approve the purpose of the meet- 
ing, which was to bring out Judge White for the Presi- 
dency. 

This course was agreed upon. It was also proposed to 
raise funds and establish in Washington a newspaper in 
the interest of Judge White. According to Johnson's ac- 
count, Luke Lea considered himself the special "represen- 
tative" of Judge White, but James Standifer acted as the 
general spokesman of the delegation. John Bell, the Speak- 
er of the House, also took a prominent part in the proceed- 
ings. A wedc later the majority of the delegation ad- 
dressed a formal letter** to White, inquiring if he would 

•Sec below, Polk to Johnson, March 31 and April 19, 1835; C. C. Clay to Polk, 
September 23, 1844, Polk Papers; Andrew Jackson to F. P. Blair, April 3, 1835, 
Jackson Papers; The Globe, Washington, D. C. May a8, 1835. 

"•Jackson to A. Balch, February 16, 1835, Jackson Papers; Jackson to Polk, May 
3, May 12, 1835, Polk Papers. 

•>A. O. P. Nicholson to Polk. December 5, 1835, Polk Papers, 

"Nashville Republican, August 14, 1834. 

••As to this the Globe, which on April 15, 1835, entered upon a terrific attack 
on Bell, made a serious misstatement. It alleged that a formal meeting of the 
members of the constitutional convention had been held with Willie Blotmt, the pre- 
siding officer, in the chair. This Blount specifically denied. The Globe, Washington,. 
May 29. 1835. 

••The delegation consisted of John Bell, John Blair. Samuel Bunch, David Crockett, 
David W. Dickinson. William C. Dunlap, John B. Forester, William M. Inge, Cave 
Johnson, Luke Lea, Balie Peyton, James K. Polk, James Standifer. Phelan incorrectly 
states the date of this meeting as December 19. History of Tennessee, p. 366. 

••December 29, 1834. 



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216 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

accept the nomination, to which White returned an aflBrma- 
tive reply .*• 

Between Johnson and the others who were present at 
the meeting of December 22, there arose a sharp dispute 
as to what had been said by the various speakers, and es- 
pecially the attitude taken by Cave Johnson and the extent 
to which he was authorized to speak for Polk, who was 
absent It was alleged by the majority of the delegation 
that Johnson had acquiesced in the proceedings and had de- 
clared that Polk and Grundy would support Judge White. 
This allegation Johnson denied. The day after the meeting 
he wrote a letter which, his colleagues charged, expressed 
sentiments diflFering from those which he accepted on the 
preceding evening. Eight of the delegation, on January 1, 
1835, addressed to Johnson a long and reproachful com- 
munication, on receipt of which Johnson, as he frequently 
did, wrote to Polk for vindication. Polk's reply to John- 
son, dated January 7, 1835, is the first of the letters of our 
second group.'^ In a letter dated January 18, but not sent 
until January 22, Johnson replied to the delegation, giving 
his version of what had occurred at the meeting. This 
elicited from his colleagues another communication, which 
bore date of February 24. Meanwhile Polk, on January 4, 

••December 30, 1834. 

•»In the Polk Papers arc iorae lengthy documents closely related to the letters of 
this group. Of these documents one is a retained copy dated January 20, 18^5, of a 
letter drawn up by Polk, which gires in detail his story of the relations between 
himself and the rest of the Tennessee delegation. Though dated in January this docu- 
ment was certainly not concluded until March or April. The first part, howerer, was 
sent to Bell as a result of the letter addressed b^ the majority ot the delegation to 
Cave Johnson in reply to his communication of December 23. He had been in- 
formed "jrestcrday," said Polk, by a member of Congress from New York that Mr. 
Bell had shown him a paper signed by eight members from Tennessee, in which his 
<Polk's) name had been used. 

On his way to Washington in November last, Polk continued, he had conversed 
with many on the subject of the presidency, always urging that the friends of the 
administration should agree on one man, and should not be broken up by the oppo- 
sition, which, discouraged as to success with a man of their own by the results in the 
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York elections, would seek a man in the Jack- 
son ranks for their candidate. After he reached Washington, and one or two nights 
before the assembling of Congress, Polk had called to see Grundy, and while with 
him a leading opposition man had come and urged that the Tennessee delegation 
should bring out White. Grundy evaded the proposal. On other occasions Polk 
had heard men of the op^ition declare for the White movement and had determined 
to have nothing to do with it. In a conversation with Blair shortly after Congress 
opened he had opposed a division of the party and had held similar conversations 
with Grundy and with Johnson. 

A few davs before the Christmas holidays, about December 21 or 2a, while Polk 
was in the Committee of Ways and Means discussing various matters, he was ap- 
proached by Standifer, who notified him that next evening there would be a meeting 
of the Tennessee delegation to consult about the plan of bringing out Judge White. 
Polk declined to attend. Outlining his reasons for his refusal, he stated that he 
would support Judge White if he were taken up by friends of the administration. 
He thought the object of the opposition to be the bringing to pass of an election in 
the House of Representatives, where the money of the Bank and the patronage of 
the Government might be used. President-making he considered to be no part of his 
business. The next day after the adjournment of the House he was again invited 
to the White meeting by Luke Lea who walked home with him in conversation. 
Polk told Lea that some of the delegation, unfriendly to him (Polk), had their 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 217 

visiting Felix Grundy at his room in Washington, had met 
there Standifer, the spokesmian of the White supporters; 
and a conversation had «isued of which, too, different ac- 
counts were later given. Grundy wrote out his account, dat- 
ing it January 5, and Polk wrote to Grundy in support of 
this, on January 16. 

It is with this correspondence between Polk, Grundy, and 
Johnson on the one hand, and the majority of the delegation 
on the other, that the letters in our second group written in 
March, April, May, and June, have to do. The letters ex- 
hibit Polk and Johnson as highly exercised over the probable 
publication of the correspondence, which thus far had been 
confidential, and over the effect that such publication might 
have on the canvass which each of the two might have to 
pass through to secure rp-election in his respective district. 

Meanwhile the action of the Tennessee delegation aroused 
the deepest resentment of Andrew Jackson. While Judge 
White was still writing in a friendly way to Jackson,'" the 
General was organizing his friends to crush the Bell-White 
movement. Throughout the spring of 1835 Jackson was 
kept posted as to the activities of Bell and his friends. 
Among his many informants was a Nashville lawyer, A. 
Balch. On April 3, Jackson sent to F. P. Blair, editor of the 
Washington Globe, letters of Balch which, he said, revealed 

selfish purposes in view. The press at Nashville had been made inimical to Polk. 
This conversation was a more general one and not so full of detail as that with 
Standifer. He authorized no one to speak for him at the meeting. If he had done 
BO, he would have put such authorization into writing. 

He referred to the meeting held in Peyton's room and to Cave Johnson's letter. 
In the course of a few davs Luke Lea had handed to him a letter addressed to White 
for him (Polk) to sign. None of the delegation had yet signed it, and Polk refused, 
again stating his friendly feelings for White, but declining to be used by Adams, 
Burgess, etc. A day or two later Cave Tohnson had told him that the letter to 
White had been presented to him, signed by all the delegation, including Crockett, 
except Cave Johnson, Grundy, and Polk. After all this Polk had heard that a letter 
or paper purporting to detail the proceedings of the meeting of December 23 had 
been prepared and signed by several of the delegation as an answer to Johnson. 
On the morning of January 4 he saw Colonel Standifer at Mr. Grundy's room when 
a conversation took place concerning this letter or paper, which had already been 
reduced to writing. On the fifth he had reproached Lea with misstating his position, 
and Lea had asked him if he (Polk) supposed that he (Lea) would be willing to run 
Judge White if he was not supported by their political friends. Polk said that this 
ought to be so clearly expressed in the paper, which would bear a different construction. 
The communication was brought to a close with the recital of some incidents which 
had confirmed Polk in his opinion that the White movement was really engineered 
by those opposed to the administration. 

On the night of January 15 Standifer handed to Johnson an extract from a letter 
of the delegation to Johnson. When Inge next day told Polk of this, he at once 
went to Johnson's room and read the letter. Johnson answered the letter a few 
days afterwards. On the morning of March s Johnson informed Polk that he had 
just received a long letter in reply to his. On March as Polk received at Columbia 
a copy of the correspondence forwarded to him from Washington by Johnson. On 
March s6 he commenced an answer to Johnson's letter. 

••White to Jackson, February so, 1835, Jackson Papers. Just about this time, 
however, there was an exchange of rather acrid letters between White and Polk and 
Cave Johnson. This concerned the matter of an appointment to the district attorney- 
ship of West Tennessee. Polk Papers, February 24, 25, 26, 1835. 



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218 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Bell's "duplicity."" April 15 Blair opened in the Globe a 
terrific onslaugrht upon Bell, which was continued for several 
weeks, and this was accompanied by the blasts of the new 
journal in Nashville, the Union, which made its first appear- 
ance on March 30, and which was filled with the able edito- 
rial articles of S. H. Laugrhlin. On March 5, after Congress 
adjourned, Cave Johnson addressed a letter to his constit- 
uents in which he defended his course. This was published 
in the Union April 10, and extracts appeared in the Globe 
April 28. On April 20 Polk made a speech at Columbia*^ to 
which he refers in his letters below. May 4 John Bell ad- 
dressed a letter to the Nashville RepvbUcan which, after 
some delay, found its way, at least in part, into the Globe 
(May 28), and into the Union (June 19). On May 3 and 
again on May 12 Jackson wrote letters*^ to Polk, in his 
characteristic style, denouncing Bell and expressing his con- 
fidence, which events proved somewhat ill-founded, that 
Tennessee would not follow Bell and White into error. On 
May 10 the convention met at Baltimore and nominated Van 
Buren. 

Just at this time (May 23) the McMinnville Central Gd- 
zette published a part of the letter of the delegation to John- 
son, which was written January 1, 1835. Of this publication 
Polk writes in the letter of May 27 printed below. The ma- 
terial for rebuttal was placed in the hands of Laughlin, the 
editor of the Union, and on June 22 that paper published the 
letter of January 1 from the delegation to Johnson and ac- 
companied it with a letter written by Johnson on January 
1, presumably to Grundy, with Grundy's written account of 
the Standifer conversation, and with Polk's confirmation of 
Grundy's statements. 

Meanwhile a letter from Bell to Charles Cassedy of Bed- 
ford County, written May 11, was published on June 26, in 
which Bell, referring to the approaching contest for the 
speakership of the next Congress, said : "It would not do 
to ask Polk to vote for mie against himself, but he might be 
made to pledge himself to go for me against any other candi- 
date." This of course aroused a storm of Democratic pro- 
test. At once, on June 29, Laughlin published in the Union 
(1) a letter from Cave Johnson, written from CJlarksville, 
June 24, in which Johnson said that he understood that the 
letter of January 1 from the majority of the delegation had 
been published without his reply thereto; (2) Johnson's let- 

"•Balch to Jackson, February 3, 12, 1835; Jackson to Blair, April 3, 1835: Jack- 
son Papers, 

««Printcd in the Nashville Union, May 4, >835. 
*^Polk Papers, 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 219 

ter of December 23; and (3) Johnson's letter of January 18. 
The last gave in detail Johnson's version of the story of thie 
meeting of Decemiber 22. In his letter of June 24 to the 
editor Johnson explained that he would not at present send 
the letters of February 24 and May 1. 

The devotion of Tennessee to Judge Hugh Lawson White 
was shown when, on October 6,. the Assembly, without a dis- 
senting vote, reelected him to the Senate of the United 
States, and when, in November, he received the electoral 
vote of Tennessee. But Van Buren, the regular nominee 
of the Baltimore Convention, was elected President. Polk 
and Johnson were both reelected to Congress; and at the 
opening of the session, Polk, with the stoength of the ad- 
ministration behind himi, defeated Bell for the Speakership. 
Thus Jackson triumphed in national party management, 
while in Tennessee the Whigs, — as they soon called them- 
selves, — ^were victorious. 

5. James K Polk, Washington, D. C, to Cave Johnson, 

January 7, 1835.*' 
At ;rour request I give you a statement of what I have understood 
your views to be upon the subject of Judge White's being run as a candi- 
date for the Presidency. In a casual conversation with you at Nashville last 
summer, when we met at the time the dinneit was given to the President, 
some remark was made about the notice taken in some of the newspapers in 
favor of the Judge for the Presidency. One of us remarked, I do not 
remember which [,] that if he was properly brought out, and was run by 
our political friends, thai it would give us pleasure to support him,— 'in 
which we both concurred. The conversation was casual and but little was 
said upon the subject. For myself I did not at that time think it probable 
he would be a candidate. Since the commencement of the present Session 
of Congress the subject of the next election for President has been much 
spoken of, and in frequent conversations with you as well before as since 
the meeting was held by a part of the Tennessee delegation (at which 1 
was not present) to consult on the subject, I have always understood you 
as being personally friendly towards Judge White and favourable to his 
election, if he was run by our own political party. With this qualification 
I always understood you to speak. You were of opinion and often so ex- 
pressed yourself to me, that our political friends who supported the present 
administration ought not to be divided or distracted about the succession, 
but ought to unite and run but one candidate, and that if Judge AVhite 
should be the man selected by our political friends, as the party candidate 
it would give you pleasure to support him. I understood you as enter- 
tai[ni]g the opinion that it would be unwise and improper to have him 
or any one else run. who was not supported by the grreat body of the 
political party with whom we act. — I know these were the opinions you 
always expressed to me, and at your request I give you this statement. 

6. James K Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

March 31, 1835. 
Private and Confidential. 

1 received your letter of the loth** a few days after I reached home. 

**Of this letter a retained copy is in the Polk Papers. 
*«Not found in the Polk Papers. 



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220 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

together with the copies, and have prepared a letter^ addressed to you, m 
answer to such parts as relate to myself, but will not mail it to you until 
I hear you have reached home. Write me the moment you arrive at 
liome and I will send it As they doubtless have written for publication 
you are at liberty to publish the letter which I have written to you and 
which I will send as soon as you get home; whenever they or you shall 
think proper to publish the balance of the correspondence. As I have been 
attacked about the speaker's election, I shall give you all the facts. As 
war is forced upon me, and as it must come I am prepared to meet it 

You will of course have to answer their last letter.^ It is very vul- 
nerable and you can do it very successfully, — and at the same time in a 
dignified, temperate and firm manner. In my answers I have considered 
Mr. Bell as responsible for the whole of what has occurred and have so 
treated their letters. 

The unworthy imputation that in what you have done or said, you have 
acted — as the mouthpiece or "champion" or "Representative" of myself 
or any body else, I have fully met m my reply.** It was due to you as 
well as myself that I should do so. I did not see you from the timer I 
heard of the meeting until it was over. I did not see your first letter,* 
tmtil you showed me a copy, which you retained. Your second letter* 
consisted chiefly of a detail of facts and conversations occurring at the 
meeting— at which I was not present— all which I have stated and exposed. 
I have also stated my knowledge of occurrences during the winter. Should 
a publication ever be made, it will be important, that your answer should 
be prepared and sent to Standifer or some other of the delegation imme- 
diately. Perhaps it would be best to send it to Standifer* as the former 
correspondence took place th[r]o' him. Send me a copy as soon as it is 
prepared. 

I have no opposition as yet, though movements are I understand being 
made to bring out opposition. The run [?]* is very great here, but our 
side has been heard, — everything like [a] convention" has been rendered 
odious . I will write you more filly again. I go to Bedford tomorrow and 
will make speeches on Friday and Saturday. I shall maintain firmly the 
ground I have taken. 

7. Jambs K. Polk, C6lumbia, Tbnnessee, to Cave Johnson, 

April 13, 1835. 
Private. 

I reed your letter of the 3rd* when I was on the eve of leaving 
home, to make a visit to my constituents in the upper part of Bedford, 
and that must account for die delay in answering it. I returned last 
night; — I found my friends in Bedford and the people generally, appar- 
ently satisfied with my course, and every body saying to me, I will have 
no opposition. How this may be a few weeks will determine. A. A. Hall" 
IS mijcing a tour through Bedford under the pretence of collecting; his 

MA copy is in the Polk Papers, dated March a6. 

^•"They'* were the majority of the delegation. This "last letter" was that of 
Fd>nsary 24, 

^It was charged that Johnson had represented Polk at the meeting. 

"That of Cave Johnson of December 23. 

^That of Cave Johnson of Jantary 18, 183s. 

^ James Standifer, spokesman for the majority of the delegation. 

*The reading is uncertain. 

"'Probably a district convention for the nomination of a candidate for representative. 

"This is in the Polk Papers, — a brief note in which Johnson states that he will 
be pleased to receive Polk's communication. He finds a strong sentiment for White 
in his district. 

**Later one of the most active of the Whig newspaper men in Tennessee. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTEBS, 1883-1848 221 

real object you can conjecture. I accidentally crossed his path in a 
remote part of Bedford the other day. He had just left the House of a 
friend of mine. If his object be to talk politics I will be apt to learn it. 
When he shall report to the junta at Nashville I suppose it will be deter- 
mined on, whether I am to be opposed or not The document which in 
a former letter I promised to send you, shall be forwarded in two or three 
days, as soon as it can be copied. 

I think the oublic mind is now too much excited to do us justice, if 
your correspondence is now published. I would advise you not to pub- 
lish at this time on your part I would answer their last letter thro 
Standifer, and leave it to them to publish it or not, as they may think 
proper. There is another consideration, and that is if they publish it will 
show more clearly their intention to assail us. At present our policy is not 
to produce excitement, but to meet it if they produce it At all events 
kt theirs be the responsibility of commencing it If they do publish, then 
you can furnish my letter, which I will have copied and sent to you in a 
few days. Let me hear from you. 

I saw Grundy at Murfreesboro as I passed on to the upper part of 
Bedford. He told me he would write to you that day. 

8. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Clarksville, Tennessee, April i6, 1835. 

Private and ConMential. 

I send you the letter— I promised!,] by the mail which takes this. I 
could not get it copied, or it should have been sent a day or two ago. 
I send also a copy of Mr. Grundy's statement of the conversation of 
Standifer to him and myself, which is referred to in the letter.** I have 
pr^ared alsp a separate answer** to Mr. Bell's separate letter or post- 
script,** which I will have copied and forward* to you by the next mail ; — 
I will send with it certain proofs in my possession, upon the subject of the 
speaker's election. Both letters with the documents which accompany them 
you are authorized to publish, if they shall make a publication of the 
balance of the correspondence on their part. 

I think you should as promptly as you can answer their last letter, 
and send it to Standifer, retaining of course a copy. There are many very 
vulnerable points in their last letter, in relation to yourself, which you can 
and ought to expose, but which I could not well do without seeming to 
go too far out of my way. Their letter is written in a spirit that will 
require to be met in a corresponding tone on your part. In that part of it, 
where they wish to make the false impression that you attended as the 
mouth-piece of Mr. Grundy and myself, I have met it, as you will see. 
You should indignantly repel the insinuation, for we both know it is 
untrue. The facts as I have stated them you will see. I am satisfied I 
did not see you from the time I was invitecl to the meeting until it was 
over; nor did I see jrour first letter,— or know you intended to write one 
until after it was written, when you showed me a copy of it. They should 
be exposed by you, for suppressing a part of their reply. This was wholly 
indefensible and should be dwelt on. The confused reason they assign 
for suppressing it cannot be the real one, for everything that is severe 
against you, was contained in the ''extract," — sent to you and not in the 
part retained by them. It could not therefore have been to save your 
feelings or to avoid a breach with you that it was retained. 

••These were not actually sent until April 17. The references in this and the next 
letter to Grundy's "statement*' are explained in the introduction above. 

■■Drafts are in the Polk Papers, dated March 38 and March 30. 

■*A communication from Bell not found in the Potk Papers. 

■'Sent April 19. See below. 



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222 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Would it not be important for you to write to Dunlap^ and pro- 
pound interrogations to him, in regard to his recollection of what oc- 
curred at the meeting; and as an honorable man, he must answer. I 
think you told me that his recollection accorded with yours in some im- 
portant particulars. Learn from him, for example, whether he recollects 
Bell's speech which he says he made in the meeting; whether he recollects 
what Standifer and Lea said about Grimdy and myself. And what oc- 
curred when the paper was signed, when Bell objected to Standi fer's 
correcting it, — and whether Standifer has not told him, since, what he 
told you and Grundy and myself, about our opinions as expressed to 
him;-— know of him whether Dickinson was not the person that proposed 
the election of the printer in the meeting. And such other points as may 
strike you. It may finally be very important to have his statement, and 
he is too honorable to refuse to give it, when called. 

I would advise you not to publish the correspondence at this time. 
I think the public mind is too much excited now to do us justice. Let 
them publish if they choose, and let theirs be the responsibility. If they 
publish it will have the appearance of a design to attack us by force of 
their numbers. If you publish, we will occupy the attitude of assailants 
by that act. But when they do publish, then I wish you to furnish my 
letters and documents for publication with the rest. In your answer have 
no reference to any thing I have said, and do not let them know that I 
have even written to you upon the subject. Let your answer appear to be 
wholly independent of mine. Write me immediately whether your recollec- 
tion differs from mine, upon any point stated in my letter. When your 
answer is written, send me a copy, or the original, and I will take a copy, 
and return it by mail. 

P. S. When I begun this letter, my brother who is making the copy, 
told me he would have it ready. I now find it will not be done in time 
to go by the morning's mail; It shall be seat on the next day (Saturday). 

p. James K Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

April 17, 1835, 
Private and Confidential. 

I send you herewith a copy of the conversation reduced to writing by 
Mr. Grundy. I send by this day's mail, the letter I promised. It is too 
long, but I could not well compress it. I send it, in two packages — the 
one containing four, the other five sheets,— paged from i to 9, inclusive. 

I will send you in a day or two, my letter in answer to Mr. Bell's 
separate letter, or postscript. 

I have no opposition yet^ but should not be surprised if I do have. 
Every effort is making to produce excitement here, the main object I have 
no doubt being to reach me. You see our paper is gone beyond recovery. 
Monday is to be a great day here. All the candidates are called out by 
Judge Kennedy and others. They know my opinions and the object is at 
me. I shall stand unshrinkingly on my ground, and shall probably print 
my speech.* 

9. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Clarksville, Tennessee, April 19, 1835. 

Private and Confidential. 

I send you herewith the letter in answer to Col. Bell's Postscript, to- 

"■William C. Dunlap of the delegation in Congress. 

■•The Union of Nashville, the first of which had appeared Monday, March 30, 
1835, under the editorship of S. H. Laughlin, was now the organ of the Middle 
Tennessee Jackson men, and was entering vigorously into the light with the Bell- 
White party. Polk's "speech" was made at Columbia, April 20. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 223 

gether with extracts from, and copies of, letters* from several members 
of the House in relation to the Speaker's election, which I wish published 
with the balance of the correspondence if he should publish. I do not 
think they should know that I have written you this, or my former letter, 
imtil they appear before the public. Write me your opinion of both my 
letters. I think you should in your answer indignantly repel the insinua- 
tion that in the allusion made by you to the Speaker s election, in your 
letter of the i8th January, any [suggestion]* was made to you by me, 
before you wrote it. The fact is as I have stated it, that I had no 
knowledge of it, until after you had written it and you read it to me 
in the rough draft of your letter at your room. You can with more pro- 
priety speak fully of the facts you know, and those disclosed in the 
statements I send you, of his course and mine in that election, and the 
means by which he was elected ;" of his general association and intercourse 
with the opposition, of the efforts made by his brother-in-law and con- 
fidential friends to obtain the votes of the opposition; of his studied and 
cautious silence during the Session; and of the great fact that he was 
elected by a small fraction of our party, united with the opposition 
strength, and that he now wishes to play a similar game as to the Presi- 
dency, and thereby have a sanction for his own course. You might if 
you thought it useful, notice the fact of the circulation during the ballot- 
ing, of the "Kitchen Cabinet'*^ story, and who were busy in the House 
giving it circulation. I thought on reflection that it was best for me not 
to notice it. The whole correspondence must probably come to the public 
at some time. They have made it war to the knife, and should not be 
spared. Every fact, or apparently well authenticated rumour should be 
stated, and if I mistake not, they will have reason to regret that they 
ever assailed us. Their great object is to prostrate us. We are in no 
danger. "Truth is mighty and will prevail." You should take great care 
in preparing your answer, and must not fail to send me the copy you 
retain, as soon as it is prepared. I will take a copy from it and return 
it; or if you choose to send it to me before you forward it to them I 
will return it and give you my opinion upon it. Grundy intends also to 
answer, and for that purpose told me, he intended to request you to bring 
the whole correspondence to Nashville where he could examine it. 

The excitement continues here. Judge Kennedy was in town yesterday 
fanning it, and talking almost like a madman. He is you know Bell's 
relative and was disappointed in not getting the Federal Judgeship. To- 
morrow [. . . .]** day. I shall make a bold speech* f. . . .]•• meet 
them full in the face. The eff[ect may]" be that Kennedy may have him- 
self [brought]* out against me. li so I shall not fear the result. The 
excitement is great about the town, but I do not think it has yet reached 
the County generally. Burn these private letters as soon as read. 

P. S. Bell's course in the Speaker's election is wholly indefensible. 
It is his weak point, and cannot be pressed too hardly. You should state 
Ben. Hardin's" conversation at the White Sulphur Spring which gave rise 
to his letter to you last summer. This will be all necessary, to show 

^^There appear to be no copies of these inclosures in the Polk Papers. 
•*The word is written "suggested." 

•The matter of the speakership is discussed at length in the draft in the Polk 
Papers. 

••The reference is to the alleged activity of W. B. Lewis. 

••Ms. torn. 

••Polk's speech at Columbia, April ao. 

••Ms. torn. 

•»M8. torn. 

••Ms. torn. 

••Benjamin Hardin, a representative in Congress from Kentucky. 



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224 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

first, their boasting of their triumph, and secondly, how it happened that 
he wrote to you. Perhaps you retained a copy of your letter to Hardin, 
in which you may have stated what his conversation was. If so send 
me a copy. 

11. James K. Polk, Columbia^ Tennessee^ to Cave Johnson, 

May 7. i835. 
Fmjaie and Confidential. 

1 am uneasy for fear my former communications to you may have 
miscarried, as I have received nothing from you, acknowledging the re- 
ceipt of them. Write me whether they came safely, to hand. If they 
did not, I retained copies. 

I see from the Banner of yesterday, that an allusion is made to the 
meeting at Washington and the correspondence, and a [banter?]** given to 
publish. Let them publish, if any publication be made. Let theirs be the 
responsibility. It is very important that they should make the publication 
if any be made. We would then appear before the public to be on the 
defensive, — as we really are. Have you prepared your answer? 

I have just returned from Bedford; have no opposition yet, and think 
now I will not have, though it is not absolutely certain. What do you 
think of my speech, and what is said of it? 

12. James K Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson. 

Clakksville, Tennessee, May 25, 1835. 

Private and Confidential. 

I have given the letter which I return to you,** by this day's mail a very 
careful perusal. I find no discrepancy between your recollection and state- 
ment of facts and my own. In the phraseology employed by you and by 
me in my letter to you of the 2Sth March, in the hands of insidious ene- 
mies, some attempt might be made to show a discrepancy, which does not, 
in fact or in truth exist. To avoid this I suggest that the language of 
your reply not affecting the statement or sense, but making both more 
clear and distinct, might be changed. I will state them to you. 1st In my 
letter to you of the 28th March I use this language (you will find it on 
the first sheet of my letter), viz., "You know further that your first letter, 
that of the 23rd Deer., a copy of which you have sent mCj was written by 
you, without consulting me, about the propriety of writing it After it 
was written you showed me a copy of it." On the 4th sheet of your 
letter, and 2nd page of that sheet you say, "to two or three members 
personal friends I showed my letter of the 23rd Deer., and asked their 
opinion as to the propriety of my course. This was before the delivery to 
Col. Standifer, which took place on the morning of the 26th December." 
My recollection is that it was the copy you retained and not the original 
sent, which you showed me. You had written it and showed it to me 
before we conversed on the subject. There is no material difference in 
the two statements, but to give no advantage to our enemies, I suggest 
if it accords with your recollection, that the sentence in your letter be 
changed in its language to read as follows, viz., "To two or three mem- 
bers personal friends, I showed my letter of the 23rd Deer., or a copy of it 
after it was written, but had not consulted them as to tfie propriety of 
writing it." This is precisely true and to prevent your language from 
being misconstrued, had it not better be so stated. 

On the 3rd page of your second sheet a pencil mark is run around 
certain words, which I suggest had best be omitted, as it can now answer 

••Tlie reading is uncertain. 

^A letter from Johnson to Polk, May 33, is in the Polk Papers, but the longer 
communication returned by Polk apparently was not presenred by Johnson. 



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POLK^OHNSON LETTERS, 18S3-1848 225 

no useful ourpose to discuss the convention question, and as it has be- 
come a cant word, and been rendered to some extent odious," it might 
be used to your injury, — at least require you to make explanations. By 
omitting the words indrcled in pencil the sense is not changed, and I 
think they had best be omitted The same remark may be made aboirt 
several other passages in the letter, around which a pencil mark has been 
drawn. I think they had better be omitted. 

Your reply I think as to style, temper, and arrangement of facts, 
a masterly one, and I should have no objection to see the whole published 
if they tmnk proper to publish. You ought to take it or send it to Grundy 
as soon as possible, and then transmit it to them. 

I am not sure I can have time to complete the examination of the 
separate letter before the mail closes. If I cannot, it shall b[e]" for- 
warded tomorrow. I have had n[o time]'* to have a copy made of either. 
WiH you send me a copy, when you send off the original? 

Bum this. 

13. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

May 25, 1835. 
Private. 

I received by yesterday and to day's mail your several communications, 
and regret to learn that you have a competitor.** I have none yet but con- 
tinue to be strongly threatened Letters have come from Nashville to my 
District, urging as I understand that I should be opposed I wish I may 
have no opposition, but do not fear it if it come. I have been busy and 
hope you have been and will be so. There -is no mistake about Boling 
Gordon. He is with us — strongly. 

I have company at my House and have had only time to glance over 
your letter hastily, and approve it. I will have leisure tomorrow and will 
return the papers. 

; P. S. Be busy in your District. We have principle on our side and 
have nothing to fear. 

•"The question of the propriety of a national convention of the Democratic-Repab- 
lican party to nominate a candidate for the presidency had been one of the most 
bitter of those that arose in connection with the White controversy. An article in 
the Nashville Republican of February 10 inspired General Jackson to write to a 
friend in Nashville, the Reverend James Gwnm, a letter dated Washington, D. C.^ 
February 23. which Mr. Gwinn proceeded to publish in the McMinnville Ventrai' 
CoMette, whence it was transferred to the Union, appearing in the first issue of thatc 
paper on March 30, 183 c, and also to the Globe of the same date. In this letter 
Jackson repudiated the idea of a "preference" on his part which had been stiggeste<> 
by the article in the Republican, claimed he had ''carefully abstained from interfer- 
ence with the elective franchise," and recommended a general convention as a proper 
organ for expressing the popular choice of candidates. This was taken up as the 
orthodox position by the true Jacksonians, and Polk, Grundy, and Johnson urged^ 
this course. Tho opposition scoffed at the idea of a convention, however, maintaining 
that it would be a convention of officeholders, and would merely register the will of 
the dicUtor. The Jackson men retorted with scornful denunciation of the discredited! 
"caucus" method followed by the majority of the Tennessee delegation. Discussion 
of "caucus nominations" is frequent in the Nashville Unicn^ throughout April. 

New Hampshire formally proposed a convention, and several states elected dele- 
gates. This body assembled at Baltimore and nominated Van Buren. Tennessee, 
under the feeling for White, had refused to send delegates; but one Rueker who hap> 
pened to be there was allowed to cast the vote of Tennessee. It was acknowledged 
that this could have no effect upon the nomination for the presidency; but as to that 
for the vice-presidency there was some dispute. An apologetic letter of Sucker's 
was printed in the Union, June 3, 1835. 

"Ms. torn. 

'♦Ms. torn. 

**W. K. Turner was this year defeated byt Johnson in the canvass for Representa- 
tive in Congress from this district. 



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226 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

14. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennnessee, to Cave Johnson, 

May 26. 183s, 
Private and Confidential, 

. Enclosed is the separate with one or two pencil corrections which you 
will understand. In the last clause, if you say anything about sendmgr 
Grundy and myself copies, it ought to be, that you have sent them, and 
not that you tvUI send them, because my answer already bears date and 
was written in March last. I submit to you whether the last clause 
might not be omitted, or whether it is necessary to say anything to them 
about sending copies to Grundy and me. The other suggestion made in 
pencil on the 1st page is, that it was after he refused to submit his claims 
to his own party, that you spoke to others. If he had agreed our otvn 
party would have settled it, etc. 

15. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Clarksville, Tennessee, May 27, 1835. 

Private and Confidential, 

I wrote you this morning and returned to you certain papers. The mail 
of this evening brings information that astonishes me. The McMinnville 
*' Central Gazette/' of the 23rd inst contains the reply of the Tennessee 
delegation of the ist of January" to your letter of the 23rd of Deer. Only 
the "extract" first sent to you is published. No other part of the cor- 
respondence is given. The editor does not state how he came by it How 
does it happen? By whose authority has it been done? I know neither 
you nor Grundy could have known any thing about it or you would have 
w^ritten to me. I have conjectured that it may have been one of the 
private copies, that may have been sent home from Washington by 
Forester," to some of his friends, that may have fallen into the Editor's 
hands. It stands very awkwardly as it is. Neither your first letter to 
which it is a reply, nor your answer are given. Nothing but the naked 
^'extract*' is published. But as a part is published and that part too, which 
is most unfavourable to you and to Grundy and myself, I think it is due 
to your character and ours that the whole should now be published. No 
other alternative seems to be left us. I will write to Grundy immediately, 
and my advice to you is to go immediately to see him, correct and send off 
your last letter without delay, and have the whole published. The war 
must come and let us fight it bravely. Presuming that you will do so. I 
will write to Grundy that you will go to Nashville immediately. If you 
dont go write to him forthwith. In anv publication that is made publish 
all my documents about the Speaker's election, and especially not omitting 
Ben Hardin's letter to you." In the publication be particular to distin- 
guish between the '^extract" sent and the part suppressed, so as to show 
what part was sent and what retained. I know you will be busy but write 
me a single line what you intend to do and when. Did you ever write 
to Dunlap or get an answer from him? 

P. S. We have nothing to fear from the controversy. 

N. B. As the publication will have to be made so soon I am the more 
confirmed in the opinion, that you had better strike out altogether the last 
clause in your separate letter to Bell^ that in which you inform him tiiat 
you have or will send Grundy and myself copies of their letter. When 
they wrote to you. they did not notify us, and when we write to you they 
ought not to expect to be notified of it. I suggested this in my letter to 
you of yesterday, but did not then think it of so much importance. 

f*Reprinted in the Nashville Union, June 22. 

^ohn. B. Forester of the delegation in Congress. 

**Not found. 

f*Not found. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 227 

i6. James K Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

June 6, 1835. 
I have received yours from Nashville informing me that you had for- 
warded your reply, and had left all your documents at Nashville ready 
for publication. I think the suggestion you make a good one, to address 
the Editor at McMinnville, and send him a copy of your letter of the 23rd 
Deer., and your reply of the i8th January, and there stop on your part, 
unless they choose to publish further. It is my opinion that it will never 
do to suffer the "extract" they have published to stand unexplained, but 
if you think the further publication now would affect your election, I 
would postpone it for the present. If you think it will not affect you, I 
should think the sooner you publish the better, for the "extract^* will 
unquestionably make its way into papers out of the State, if not in it, 
and will be used to our prejudice. Did you leave my letters to you, with 
the papers accompanying them with your other documents for publication 
also? Grundy wrties me so laconically,** that I learn but little from him. 
I know you must be busy, but if you can conveniently, cause a copy of 
your reply as sent to Bell, to be forwarded to me, I should like much to 
have it I have sent to Grundy to day the part of their letter to you, 
which you had mislaid, — I mean the suppressed part about caucuses and 
conventions. I saw Capt. Gordon (Bohng's brother) on yesterday, who 
informed me you would get from 800 to 900 out of the iioo votes in 
Hickman. He speaks confidently and says there is no doubt of it. Fresh 
efforts are making by Bell to have opposition out to me."* I have the 
proof of it Let it come. I am ready. Write me if your leisure permits, 
but do not neglect your canvass. Beat your man as far as possible. 

P. S. I have not learned whether Grundy has written any thing or not. 

III. James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, April 25, September 
21, 1841. 
These two detached letters fall in the last months of 
Polk's term as governor of Tennessee. Notwithstanding his 
election to that office in 1839, the Whigs had triumphed in 
the national election of 1840 ; and, in the campaign of 1841, 
Polk was defeated for reelection by James C. Jones. The 
letters show Polk's vigor as a political leader. 

17. James K Polk, Dandridge, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Clarksville, Tennessee, April 25, 1841. 

Private, 

I am, as you see, in the stronghold of the Whig party in East Tennes- 
see. As to my prospects I have not time to give you Retails. It is cer- 
tain that I have gained over the vote of Noveniber, in every County 
through which I have passed; and I think will fully maintain my vote of 
1839. This I think will do, even in the Flag County of Sevier. In Blount 
I may not quite reach it, but in other Counties I will exceed it. I find the 
Whigs, (except the leaders) cahn and unexcited and ready to hear. Many 
of them dislike the Cabinet, whilst the ardour of others is cooled bv the 
death of Harrison. Many are doubting and many declaring boldly that 
they will vote for me. 

**EvideiitIy that which Johnson referred to as of May x. See introduction above. 

*Kirundy had written to Polk May 11, advising: him to say nothing. If he had 
before written "laconically," he now made up for it, for in the Polk Papers are letters 
of Grundy to Polk written June 5, 7, 9> 18* 21, 35, 26, 1835. 

■The excitement over the "Cassedy letter" was about to break forth. 



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228 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

I will be compelled to return to Nashville to issue the commissions 
to the members of Congress, who may be elected on the 6th of May. I 
will attend Joneses'* appointments to Rheatown in Greene on the ist of 
May; will cross over to Hawkins and make speeches — every day on my 
return journey (except Sundays and one other day),— and will reach 
Nashville on the evenmg of the 15th May. I will remain there until the 
aoth and on the latter day, leave for Morgan Gty. where I must be on 
the 24th May. I will send Duplicates of your commissions to Washing- 
ton to meet you there, and thus guard against the possible failure of the 
originals to reach you before you leave. I am exceedingly anxious to sec 
you. Can you not meet me at Nashville on the night of the 15th of May? 
You will then have full time to get on. 

I will be at Kingston on my way to Nashville on the loth May, and if 
when you receive this, you think, there is time for a letter to reach me, 
write me to that point. Is Dortch a candidate in Montgomery ? Who arc 
the candidates in the other Counties of your District? What are their 
prospects of election? If you cannot meet me at Nashville, write me to 
that place. 

P. S. Major Jones informed me today that he had some idea of 
abandoning some of his appointments in East Tennessee and returning 
with me. He is much more fatigued than I am, and I think the proba- 
bilities are that he will return to Middle Tennessee with me. 

April 26th, 1841. Ascertaining that the mail would not leave until 
tomorrow, I keot this letter open [until]** this evening. We addressed 
about 500 [?]* here to day. My few friends here, think [I will]" more 
than maintain my vote of 1839 in this County. 

18. James K. Polk, Nashville, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Clarksville, Tennessee, September 21, 1841. 

Private. 

I hear from the Stage contractor (Hough) that your trunk has ar- 
rived here, and that you probably left the stage at Benton's [?] and are 
now at home. If this be so, I congratulate you, upon your safe return, 
after your warm and arduous labours." 

I have only time now to address you hastily upon matters requiring 
immediate attention. We have ascertained with certainty, that the Legis- 
lature will be tied on joint ballot, so far at least as one of the Senators 
is concerned without M arable's** vote, and that his vote can decide the 
election for us. When I saw Hardxvicke** two weeks ago, he considered 
Marable's vote as certain as his own. He informed me that he had been 
instructed by a majority of all his constituents, and would obey, that he 
had so repeatedly declared, and that he (Hardwicke) had no doubt he 
would act with us. Within a day or two a gentleman who had just passed 
through his District and saw (seen?) and conversed with him, brings in- 
formation that he denies having made pledges,— or that he is bound in 
any way to obey instructions, and considers his course doubtful. I have 
not conversed with the gentleman who brings the information, but learn 
that it may be relied on as correct. I have no doubt M arable has been 

"James C. Jones, who defeated Polk {or governor in 1841 and 1843. 

•*Mi. torn. 

"Ms. torn. 

"Ms. torn. 

"Those of the extra session of the twenty-seventh Congress, in the stmnner of 1841. 

"H. H. Marable. member of the Tennessee House of Representatives for Hum- 
phreys and Benton Counties. 

"Member of the Tennessee Senate for Dickson, Stewart, Humphreys and Benton 
Counties. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 229 

powerfully operated upon from here, — and as little doubt that the leaders 
here will prevent him from obeying instructions, if they can. These opera- 
tions must be counteracted, and I know of no way, in which it can be so 
well done, as by getting as many of our leading friends in his District as 
can possibly come, to hk here at the opening of the Session. Can you not 
have this done? It is a matter of great importance and I suggest to you, 
to write to them and send a messenger down immediately. We learn 
here, that the calculation is that Bell will return and be adopted by East 
Tennessee, and elected to the Senate. I have no doubt he will be here 
before the meeting of the Legislature. 

All the Democratic members elect are expected to be here by Tuesday 
or Wednesday next, at which time I hope it may be in your power to be 
here also. Everything will depend upon harmonious action at the opening 
of the Session,** and I know you could do much good in effecting this if 
you were here. Besides I wish to consult you about my message and 
other matters. You must not fail to come up by the middle of the week, 
if you possibly can. 

P. S. I am not sure that Cherry of Stuart" has been written to, to be 
here by Tuesday or Wednesday, Will you write to him? None of your 
colleagues have reached here from Washington. 

IV. James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, Jantuiry 21, March 18, 
21 (2, tvith incloswre, Polk to Theophiltis Fisk, March 
20), May 4, 13, 14, 17, June 8, 21, Jidy 1, 6, 16, August 
20, 22, 23, 26, 28, October 9, 14 (2), 30 (to Cave John- 
son and Hudson Garland) , December 21, 1844. 

In the weeks just before the presidential campaign of 
1840, Polk, with the prestige of two terms of service as 
Speaker of the House of Representatives and of a successful 
canvass for the governorship in the doubtful state of Ten- 
nessee, had been an active candidate for the Democratic 
nomination for the Vice-Presidency ; but the Democratic con- 
vention had made no choice for that office and had left the 
selection to the states. As a result the great majority of 
the Democratic electoral votes were cast for Richard M. 
Johnson of Kentucky. In the election the Whigs, however, 
were successful. 

The death of William Henry Harrison placed in the pres- 
idential chair John Tyler of Virginia, between whom and 
Henry Clay now ensued the battle royal, which rendered 
fruitless the Whig victory of 1840 and brought a Democratic 
majority, — ^thoug:h a discordant majority, — in the House of 
Representatives in 1843. In this situation, superim3)osed 
upon the dangerous friction between the United States and 
Great Britain which marked the dispute over the Northeast- 
em boundary, the Oregon and Texas questions developed to 

**For the attempted election of senators, as to which action was anything bnt 
'^harmonious," see Phelan, History of Tennessee, chapters 36, 37. This was the 
occasion when the "immortal thirteen*' Democratic state senators prevented the choice 
of senators of the United States. 

»Wm. B. Cherry of Stewart County. 



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230 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

critical stages. The Ashburton Treaty was followed by the 
withdrawal of Webster, the last of the Whigs in the cabinet 
of Tyler. Oregon and Texas were left to Tyler and his new 
appointees. To be the Secretary of State he called Judge 
Upshur of Virgmia, to whose hands was entrusted the first 
phase of the diplomatic negotiations. On February 26, 
1844, as a result of an accident on board the Princeton, 
Upshur and Gilmer, Secretary of the Navy, were killed. A 
little later John C. Calhoun was appointed Secretary of 
State, and Mason of Virginia, Secretary of the Navy. The 
negotiations with England, under Calhoun's management, 
were not successful, and the treaty for the annexation of 
Texas failed to secure the necessary two-thirds vote of the 
Senate. On March 1, however, the joint resolution for the 
annexation received the approval of Tyler. 

As his later actions showed, James K. Polk of Tennessee 
was keenly interested in both the Oregon and Texas ques- 
tions. Btit the matter with which the following group of 
letters has to do is the one which, without doubt, was upper- 
most in Polk's mind, — the outcome of the next presidential 
campaign ; and as a part thereof, the securing for himself of 
the nomination for the Vice-presidency by the Democratic 
National Convention, which was to meet in Baltimore in 
May, 1844. In the winter of 1843-1844 conventions in Ten- 
nessee, Arkansas and Mississippi urged his nomination in 
appropriate resolutions. His most formidable rival was the 
former president of the Senate, R. M. Johnson of Kentucky; 
but W. R. King of Alabama was also strongly urged upon the 
party by his friends. It was Polk's plan to preserve the 
entente with Van Buren and to sustain him for the nomina- 
tion for the Presidency, hoping for a reciprocal support for 
his own candidacy. Among the members of Congress and 
the politicians in the states there was miuch hostile plot- 
ting against Van Buren,"* and even in Tennessee there was 
a movement for Cass of Michigan ; but Polk gave no assist- 
ance to this attempt to injure Van Buren, and, as these let- 
ters show, shrewdly avoided an entangling alliance with 
lyier when this was offered in the form of a tentative invi- 
tation, later withdrawn, to accept appointment to a seat in 
Tyler's cabinet. 

On April 20, however. Van Buren, in the celebrated let- 

•■Letters of Cave Johnson to Polk, x 843-1 844, passim, Polk Papers. Correspond- 
ence of Van Buren, 1844, in West. E. H. (ed.); Calendar of the Papers of Martin 
Van Buren, Washington, 1910. The most complete account of the politics of the 
years 1843-18^ in relation to the Texas issue is to be found in Smith, J. H.; The 
Annexation of Texas, New York, loii, especially chapters 5-15, inclusive. There is 
material of value in Tyler, L. G.; The Letters and Times of the Tylers, Richmond- 
Williamsburgh, 1884-1896. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 231 

ter to Hammet, came out in opposition to the annexation of 
Texas ; and General Jackson, in retirement at the Hermitage, 
but very much alive, proved himself still able to exert a 
powerful influence in party aflfairs. Moreover, while the 
Democratic party, fromi 1839 to 1843, had been conspicu- 
ously unsuccessful in Tennessee, there continued in Con- 
gress, returned from strong Democratic districts, some Ten- 
nesseans, especially Cave Johnson and Aaron V. Brown, 
who, with Judge Catron of the Supreme Court of the United 
States, and with Polk in Tennessee, formed a powerful com- 
bination to link the state and the national organizations. 
Now, when Van Buren turned against Texas, Jackson, 
aroused as of old, notwithstanding his sickness and pain 
gave of his indomitable will and energy for the reconstruc- 
tion of his party under new leaders, and for the accomplish- 
ment of the expansion of the Southwest."' His wish to 
redeem Tennessee from Whig control also undoubtedly in- 
fluenced his course. With his disapproval added to the forces 
already hostile to Van Buren, the friends of the latter were 
unable to prevent the adoption of the Baltimore convention 
of the two-thirds rule, which operated to ruin the chances 
of the former President. 

The national convention of the Democratic party met 
in Baltimore May 27, 1844. During the sessions and for 
many days before Polk's correspond«its were more than 
usually active. In the Polk Papers are many letters from 
Cave Johnson, Aaron V. Brown, S. H. Laughlin, Gideon J. 
Pillow, and others, which kept Polk informed of the progress 
of events. The letters of Pillow were published, with notes 
by Professor Jesse S. Reeves, in the American Historical 
Review for July, 1906."* In these letters Pillow laid claim 
to the chief if not the sole credit for the manoeuvres by 
which Polk, the first "dark horse," was nominated by the 
Convention for the Presidential office. A similar claim was 
made by George Bancroft of Massachusetts.'* But Polk's 
letters to Cave Johnson, of May, 1844, printed below, show 
that the possibility of securing the first place upon the ticket 
was discussed at the Hermitage, and that from there the 
suggestion was transmitted by Polk to his closest confiden- 
tial friend, Cave Johnson; while Pillow, also a friend of 

"*Jackson'8 interest in the annexation of Texas of course long antedated this 
period. The importance of the publication in the Richmond Enquirer of March, 
1844, of a letter of Jackson's to Aaron V. Brown with the proper date, February la, 
1843, misprinted as February 12, 1844, has been enormously exaggerated, through a 
too credulous acceptance of Thomas Hart Benton's account of the matter. Jackson's 
activity in its true light is summed up in Smith's The Annexation of Texas, 

**Volume XI, ntunber 4, pp. 83 ff. 

••See Smith, The Annexation of Texas, p. 251 and note. 



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282 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Polk, was apparently the one who attended to the practical 
details, and brought the scheme to fulfillment Polk was in 
a delicate position, conmiitted as he was to Van Buren. He 
himself moved with characteristic caution, and was able 
later to inf omK Silas Wrigiit of New York that he had not 
been a party to any scheme to defeat Van Buren.** 

After the. nomination had been attained it became a 
matter of strenuous effort to carry Tennessee, so long under 
Whig control, for the Democrats. The letters of Polk to 
Johnson written in the summer and autumn of 1844 reveal 
Polk in personal charge of the campaign in the state, ex- 
hibiting the same activity and attention to detail that 
marked his whole career. The latter characteristic appears 
in another and amusing way in the last of the letters for this 
year, in which we find Polk arranging for the economical 
disposition of the arrangements for his hotel accommoda- 
tions in Washington during the period before his inaugu- 
ration. 

19. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee^ to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C. January 21, 1844. 

Confidential, 

I have read the article in the Globe of the 8th inst. signed "Amicus."^ 
I learn from Turned and Laughlin** that an article in reply to it, has 
been prepared, and forwarded by Turney to Mr. Blair ^ under cover to 
for insertion in the Globe. Blair surely cannot do me the injustice to 
exclude it from his columns. It is very important that it should appear 
in time to reach Richmond for the Convention in Va. on 1st February. 
If he refuses, or is likely to delay its ptrt)lication, have it struck off in 
paimphlet form and sent to our friends. If published in time in the 
Globe, — mark the article and send copies of the Globe to Richmond In- 
deed even though Blair shall publish it in the Globe or whether he does 
or not, it will be important to have several hundred copies published in 
pamphlet, — and sent to leading friends and newspapers in every part of 
the Union. Let a copy in pamphlet be directed to every Democratic mem- 
ber of Congress, and to every Democratic member of the Pennsylvania 
Legislature now in Session. You can learn their names from some of the 
Pennsylvania gentlemen. Forward a copy too to each Delegate to Bal- 
timore, who has been appointed, as far as you can learn their names. 

•nVright to Polk, June a; Polk to Wright, June la, 1844. 

"This article, urging the need of care in the selection of a vice-president, argued 
for the selection of Wm. R. King, Alabama, instead of Polk. King was the older 
nuin, had been longer in Congress, and had experienced a more varied service, having 
been in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Especially stressed was 
his service in the War Congress (of 181 1-15). Mr. King's service in the Senate 
constituted another element of superiority. He had a manifest preference in the 
attitude of their friends. Tennessee, which nominated Polk for Vice-President, had 
made no nomination for the Presidency, while Alabama, which nominated King for 
the second place, had come out for Van Buren. Finally King came from a Demo- 
cratic state, while Polk's state was Whig in complexion. 

"Hopkins L. Turney, or his brother, Sam. 

••S. H. Laughlin, formerly connected editorially with the Nashville Union, and 
soon to resume his relation to that newspaper. 

^"Francis P. Blair, editor of the Washington Globe. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1838-1848 238 

Some member of G>ngress from each State can give you their names and 
Post office. They can give you the names also of the Democratic members 
of their respecUve State Legislatures. I deem this of such viUl im- 
portance at this moment that I hope you will not fail to attend to it. I 
fear Mr, Buchanan's influence upon the Pennsylvania Convention which 
meets on the 4th of March ; and therefore I think special and prompt atten- 
tion should be given to that State. The Hon. Henry Hom^ of Phila- 
delphia is the leading spirit of the Van Buren party in that State. He 
was warmly for Van Buren and against Buchanan before the latter de- 
clined, and can do more to counteract his influence upon their convention 
than any other man. It is important I think that you should write a full 
and strong letter to him, fully explaining the action of our State convention 
and the causes of it, our true position in Tennessee, and the importance 
of the Vice-Presidential nomination, to our success, — not only in that 
State, but some others of the Southwestern States. Mr. Horn is my 
personal and political friend, and such a letter from you, would undoubt- 
edly stimulate him to the most active exertions. If he goes into it, as 
I know he will if you will write him such a letter, he will overpower 
the schemers at Washington, who seek to direct public opinion and thereby 
to defeat me. 

A letter received by Dr. Hays of this place to day, — from Jackson, 
Mississippi,-^8tates that the nomination vote in the Mississippi State 
Convention on the 8th of January was — For Mr. Van Buren 62, against 
htm 20; For Polk 59, against him 29, but does not state for whom the 
opposing votes were given. This must give a powerful impulse to my 
prospects if properly improved upon. Will the Globe publish the pro- 
ceedings? If he does will he give it as prominent an insertion as he did 
the proceedings of the Alabama Convention? Or will he suppress it, or 
stick it in an obscure corner as he did the Tennessee and Arkansas nomi- 
nations ? Will you attend to this ? I know. My Dear Sir. that I give you 
much trouble, but I have no one else upon whom to rely^ unless it be 
Brown."* What is the matter with Brown ? He has not written me since 
the gth of December. I have written him so often without an answer, 
that I almost despair of getting one from him. I saw today a short letter 
from him to Mr. Thomas of this place on the subject of the Post office, 
in which he desires him to say to me that the article in the Globe signed 
"Amicus" shall be attended to. If it has been answered before Tumey's 
communication reaches you, still from what I learn of that communication 
I much desire to have it published also, — ^both in the Globe and in pamphlet. 
I understand that it is probably fuller that"* any notice, you would have 
time to take of "Amicus'' would be. Have it published and circulated as 
suggested — by all means and without fail, — no matter what may have been 
published upon the same subject before it reaches you.*** 

I repeat what I said to you in my last. I am satisfied the popular voice 
of the party is for me, and I am resolved to contest the nomination with 
the leaders at Washington who would have it otherwise. They have not 
done me justice. If they shall be able to control the convention, I will 
yield like a true party man should, and will fight on for my principles. 
My friends at Washington will be stimulated I hope to action, and will not 

i^'Hennr Horn, a Democratic representative in the twenty-second Congress, 1831-33, 
defeated for re-election to the twenty-third. 

^••Aaron V. Brown. 

»«A slip for "than." 

^**The Globe, Washington, January 15, 1844, contained a communication signed 
"A Tennessee Democrat,'^ upholding Polk as against King. This was printed in the 
Nashville Union, January 37, 1844* In the issue of the Globe for January 19 an 
unsigned article urged King; January 22, "A Tennessee Democrat^ again defended 
Polk. 



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234 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

give way to a feeling of despondency, because a few powerful leading men 
at Washington have undertaken to direct the public sentiment of the party. 
These leading men at Washington constitute but a small portion of the 
party, and unless my friends at Washington become desponding of suc- 
cess and yield, they cannot carry out their designs. These remarks are 
not make in reference to yourself, far from it, but that you may impress 
them on others, and stimulate my friends to active exertions to counteract 
them — ^in their plans. 

P. S. My friends at Nashville and here are much excited at the ap- 
pearance of "Amicus" in the Globe more than I have ever known them 

upon any subject of the kind. Turney's publication it was thought best 

by my friends to have inserted first in the Globe and printed in pamphlet. 
When it appears it will be copied into the Union. 

Laughlin's services as Editor of the Union and the extra— 4o be called 
"The Star Spangled Banner^ will be secured. He will take charge of the 
paper as soon as the Legislature adjourns, which will be in about ten days. 

20. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C. March i8, 1844. 

Confidential, 

I wrote you hastily from Nashville two or three days ago, in answer 
to your letter*** of the 6th' inst. I said enough in that letter to show you 
clearly that I entirely and fully concurred with you in all the views ex- 
pressed in your letter. The movement which you say is on hand — to pro- 
fess publicly to support Mr. Van Buren, with a secret intention to at- 
tempt to nominate Genl. Cass in the Convention, — can receive no coun- 
tenance from me. I agree with you that "it is obliged to fail altagethery 
You say — "in our State the movement is probably based on your popu- 
larity, and because it is said that you are to be rejected at Baltimore, 
your friends should go for Cass and you." If any such movement is being 
made in this State, it has not come to my knowledge. Should any such 
be made my name shall not be used in that way, and I will take the earliest 
opportunity to discover any such attempted use of it. It is now settled 
that the preference of a large majority of the party is for Mr. Van Buren, 
and the whole party should yield to his nomination and make it unanimous. 
Such men as Duff Green,^** and the discontented in our ranks, may attempt 
to produce confusion by resisting the popular choice of the party, but 
their movements can receive no countenance or support from me. In 
regard to the Vice as I have repeatedly informed you I am in the hands 
of the party, and will cheerfully acquiesce in the decision of the Conven- 
tion. I see from the Intelligencer received to day, that .Col. R. M. J.**^ 
has been nominated at Harrisburg. This I was prepared ot expect Still 
it can scarcely be possible that he can receive the nomination at Baltimore. 
If he does, (and I speak not from any personal or selfish views) you may 
rely upon it that the success of the party is put into imminent jeopardy. 
In this State we would be hopelessly lost. Such a result should therefore 
be opposed by all fair and honorable means. All our Delegates will attend 
at Baltimore. They feel and know the incubus which Col, J.'s nomination 
would be to us, and they believe that the State can and will be redeemed 
with the aid of the nomination which they desire. It is important I think 
that the correspondence of which I have heretofore spoken should be kept 

^^This is in the Poik Papers. Besides the Cass movement, Johnson in this letter 
disctissed the probable political effect of the removal by death of Upshur and Gilmer. 

'••Duff Green was closely associated with John C. Calhoun, whose son married 
Green's daughter. Green's newspaper, the United States Telegraph, bad supported 
Calhoun in 1836. 

^VL, M. Johnson of Kentucky. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 235 

up at Washington. As the period approaches the greater vigilance is 
required, to prevent a few politicians at Washington from giving a false 
direction to the popular sentiment in favour of Col. /. You will see 
the importance of this, and will I know give the proper attention to it. 
A few active men and especially at Washington may make that ai^ear 
to be public sentiment which is far from being so. If this central influence 
can be counteracted, I have the fullest confidence that the Delegates to 
Baltimore "fresh from the people," can never consent to Col. J's nomina- 
tion. Ma jr. Donaldson^^ and one or two other of our Delegates will go 
on early in May, will be at Washington and will be ready to co-operate 
with you in all proper measures to carry out the wishes of my friends. 
Laughlin is now at the head of the Union at Nashville. He is true and 
reliable. You should keep him advised of all that he ought to know, and 
he will make a prudent and proper use of the information in his paper. 

Mr. Calhoun's appointment to the Department of State is well received 
here, and the general wish is that he may accept 

Have you written the letter to Genl. Jackson which I suggested two or 
three weeks ago. Such a letter would induce him to act with all his 
energy. 

21. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Theophilus Fisk,"* 

Washington, D. C, March 20, 1844. 

Confidential 

I have received your kind letter of the 9th instant The information 
which it conveys as well as the proposition made, I need not assure you 
was wholly unexpected. In responding to your inquiries I am frank to 
say, that my personal feelings towards the President are as they have 
ever been of a friendly character. Knowing him personally as I do, I 
have often felt it to be my duty as well as inclination, since he has 
occupied his present exalted position, to vindicate and sustain him in his 
course on the Bank and some other subjects of great public importance, 
against the rude and violent assaults of his political enemies. You desire 
me to intimate to you whether it would meet with my approbation to be 
tendered a place in the cabinet, and whether I would accept the ofike of 
Secretary of the Navy made vacant by the late melancholy and lamented 
death of Gov. Gilmer. I have implicit confidence in the sincerity of the 
declaration which you make, when you say that this inquiry is not made 
to "gratify an idle curiosity merely or upon slight authority." A situation 
in the Cabinet is one which I have never sought or desired under this or 
any preceding administration. If I believed that I could by accepting, 
render any great public service, which others could not more ably oerform, 
it would be my duty not to hesitate. Believing however that there are 
many others, whose services the President can command, who could render 
more service to the country than I could, I must express my disinclination 
to yield to the wishes, which you so earnestly express, and my sincere 
desire that some other may be selected. Declining therefore the proffered 
honour, I have to express my acknowledgements to the President and 
other friends, who may have thought of me for so distinguished and im- 
portant a station. I may add, that all the public preferment which I have 

•••Andrew J. Donclson, of Tennessee, the nephew of Andrew Jackson's wife. 

•••Formerly the editor of the Otd Dominion and clerk of the committee on Sec- 
tions. This letter is printed in Tyler. L. G.: Th^ Letters and Times of the Tylers, 
-volume 3. pp. 133-134 ( Williamsburg. 1896). The copy was furnished by Judge 
C. W. Tyler. A retained copy is in the Polk Papers. Fisk had written to Polk, 
March 9, from Washington, and Cave Johnson and A. V. Brown had written, March 
10, to advise Polk on the subject. A little later. March 13. Fisk wrote saying that 
Judge Mason had changed his plans and that the suggestion must be withdrawn. It is 
somewhat significant that Calhoun, not a regular correspondent of Polk, wrote to him, 
on March la. a friendly political letter. 



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286 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

at any time enjoyed, I have received directly from the hands of the peo- 

?ile, and since I have been in retirement I have often declared to my 
riends. that if I ever again filled any public place, I expected to receive it 
from tne same source. This is well known to my friends Mr, A. V, 
Brown, Mr. Cave Johnson, and other of the Representatives in G>ngres8 
from this State. 

I most anxiously desire that Mr, Calhoun may accept the Department 
of State, which has been tendered to him by the President and Senate. 
Entertaining the most exalted opinion of Mr. Calhoun's talents and pa- 
triotism/** I am quite sure that there is no citizen who could better, if so 
well fill the important station, to which he has been called, in the present 
posture of our foreign affairs, and especially in reference to the Texas and 
Oregon affairs. Were I to occupy a place in the Cabinet there is no 
man in the country with whom I would be more happy to be associated. 
I hope the country may have the aid of his great mind in bringing these 
questions to a favorable settlement Should he undertake the task, and be 
successful, as I have great confidence he would be, it would add to his 
already just claims upon the public consideration, and would entitle him, 
to the lasting admiration and ^atitude of his countrymen. Hoping that 
the President may have no difficulty in filling the office of Secretary of 
the Navy by the selection of some other than myself, I am with great 
respect. 

22. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, March 21, 1644. 

ConMentially, 

That Brown and yourself may be in possession of the precise contents 
of my letter to Mr. Fisk, I send you herewith a copy. In*" my letter of 
todaj?" which is intended as you will see for both of you, I have made no 
mention of sending you a copy, — for the reason that I thought it possible 
that you might think it useful to show the letter without the copy, to Mr. 
Wright."* By showing my letter to him conAdentially, the Northern 
Democracy will know through him, what I have done and the true posi- 
tion which I occupy. You will of course exercise your discretion in this 
respect. My determination heretofore conMnunicated to you is unchanged. 
I calculate my friends will make the best showing they can at Baltimore 
whatever the result may be. I shall not believe it possible until I see it 
that the party are mad enough to place Col. /."* again on the ticket If 
the Democracy of the North and especially of N. York, take ground 
against him in the convention, he cannot possibly be nominated. Mr, 
Wright has too much sense not to see, that his nomination could bring 
no strength in any State in the Union, whilst in several of the States it 
would be a positive incubus, and orobably be the means of defeatin'^ the 
party in the Union, You are sufficiently intimate with him to talk with 
him as freely as you please, and I think it would be advisable to do 
[this]"* in time. If Mr. W. resolves to prevent his nomination, I am 

"•It is difficult to reconcile with this favorable opinion which Polk here expresses 
with reference to Calhoun, the course which Polio pursued when he became president. 
The sectional bias of Calhoun in his negotiations as Secretary of State was, howerer, 
displeasing to Polk, whose point of view was a national one. Moreover, Polk doubt- 
less feared that Calhoun, as a member of his cabinet, might not willingly accommodate 
himself to the control which Polk, as President, intended to exercise. 

"»The word "the" is inadvertently inserted before "my." 

"The letter following this. 

^Silas Wright of New York, Van Buren's closest friend and representative hi 
Washington. 

fl*R. M. Johnson. 

"•"This" omitted. 

"•Silas Wright 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 237 

satisfied he can do so^ in spite of the power of the two B'j."* Col. 
K.^ I presume from all that I sec, has been wholly lost sight of. Am I 
right in this, or has he a few who will still press him. 

23. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C. March 21, 1844. 

Confidential. 

This letter is intended for Broxvn as well as yourself. In a hasty 
note addressed to you jointly last night, I informed you that I had an- 
swered Mr, F%sk*s letter— declining to accept. Without anyone here with 
whom to counsel, I concluded it was better to decide promptly and for 
myself, than to keep the question open by referring it to Brown and your- 
self, as both of you suggested in your letters I might do. I took this 
course because I had really no wish to fill the place, and because my ac- 
ceptance might have left the impression on the minds of some that I was 
among the discontents of the party and towards Mr. Van Buren especial- 
ly who might possibly have been thereby weakened. I did not intend that 
by any act of mine, my motives or position should be questioned. My 
acceptance too would probably have l^en regarded as a retreat from an- 
ticipated defeat before the Baltimore Convention. By declining my true 
position in the party and before the country will be preserved. By re- 
maining at home I may continue to render some service to our cause, and 
shall at all events be freed from all supposed participation in the political 
schemings and intrigues at Washington, for which I profess to have 
neither taste nor talents. I had reason to believe too that the influence of 
Tyler and his administration,— «as far as they may have any, would con- 
tinue, to be hostile to Mr. Van Buren, and I should have been placed in 
a false position, to have been compelled to hold confidential relations with 
him and his advisers. True I was informed that in the event of my 
acceptance, no pledges as to men or measures were required, but that I 
shoiild be left free and untramelled, to act as my own judgment might 
indicate as proper. My answer to Mr. Fisk was of course a civil one, 
but was at the same time decisive as to my declination of the proffered 
honour. I had the utmost confidence in the judgment of yourself and 
Brown, and of Mr. Wright of New York, whom one of you informed 
me you would consult, in the event my decision was left open and re- 
ferred to you. I could not however foresee any possible state of things 
that could arise at Washington, which could change my opinion, and there- 
fore I preferred to act myself, rather than to delay action and cast the 
responsibility upon you. Mr. Calhoun's appointment is well received here. 
If he accepts, I think it probable that he will see that it is his interest to 
co-operate thoroughly with the Democratic party, so heartily for Mr. Van 
Buren, harmonize his friends at the South, and make a great effort upon 
the Texas and Oregon questions, — to place himself if not at the Head, in 
a very prominent position in the party. Placed as he is, this would un- 
doubtedly be the sensible course. It is hard to tell however how far his 
feelings may control his judgment.*" 

The Union of to day you will see has a strong article against the course 
of the discontented in our ranks, who continue to make efforts to produce 
division by still talking about Genl. Cass. Laughlin will follow it up by 
articles of a like cfharacter, and you may have no apprehension that any 
sdsme [sic] can be produced in the party in this State. There arc a few 

u^Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and James Buchanan of Pennsylvania. 

u«William R. King of Alabama. 

i**The difference in tone between this and the former reference to Calhoun (in the 
letter to Fisk) is noticeable. 



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238 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

who would desire it, but their numbers are too small to enable them to 
effect it 

I see CoL J. has been nominated in Pennsylvania. Without speaking 
in reference to myself personally, you and all others in this State know, 
that if the same nomination be made at Baltimore, our defeat in this State 
is inevitable, and the success of the party in the Union is put in imminent 
jeopardy. Let me hear from you on receipt of this.** 

24. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C. May 4, 1844. 

Confidential. 

I went to Nashville on the day I last wrote you. was there and at the 
Hermitage on yesterday and returned today. I found Genl Jackson in 
better health than I have seen him for years. He manifests great anxiety 
about the approaching contest, and particularly about the nominations 
to be made at Baltimore. He avows his preference to all who visit him 
and declares publicly that Col, J. is too heavy a weight to be carried by 
the Democracy. He says he has written to many of his friends to this 
effect and assured me that Mr. B.*" who lately visited him entertained 
similar opinions. 

Col. Laughlin will leave for Baltimore on tomorrow, and will join 
Blair^ and Powell^ at Jonesborough and travel from there via Richmond 
to Washington. Majr. Donaldson and Genl. Pillov^ will leave Nash- 
ville about the loth or nth and will travel via Cincinnati and Columbus. 
I hope there will be a full attendance of Delegates from the State, and 
that they will be at Washington some days before the meeting of the Con- 
vention. You will find Pillow as soon as he learns how the land lies, a 
most efficient and energetic man. The managing politicians at Washfngfton 
will have everything arranged to their liking at Washington, before the 
Convention meets if possible. It will require some activity and vigilance 
to counteract their movements. This can and should be done by my 
friends, otherwise the tru* chdce pf the party may be defeated. 

^**Johason replied March 29^ April 10 he reported the confirmation of King as 
Minister to France and that of Shannon as Minister to Mexico. April is he wrote 
that Fisk had told him that the Secretaryship of the Treasury would probably soon 
be vacant, and also the mission to England. In a letter of April 28, Johnson dis- 
cussed the letters of Clay and Van Buren on Texas. April 30 he spoke of the opinion 
that a third man (other than Clay or Van Buren) might be necessanr. Among other 
interesting letters of this period, found in the Polk Papers, are one of S. H. Laughlin, 
April 34, on the visit of B. F. Butler to the Hermitage, and one of Williamson Smith, 
April 20, in whch he urged Polk to come out strongly for Texas. This might be 
useful, he said, in case Van Buren were dropped. This Polk had already done in a 
letter of April 23 addressed to S. P. Chase and other persons in Ohio. 

»*>Benjamin Franklin Butler of New York had visited Jackson in April and had 
reported to Van Buren an account of his conversation with the General (April 29, 
1844; West E., Calendar of the Papers of Martin Van Buren, p. 515, Washington, 
1910). In thd Jackson Papers arc many letters, both of those written to Jackson and 
those written by him. which bear on the campaign of 1844. May 13, Jackson wrote 
to Van Buren in criticism of the latter's letter to W. H. Hammet on the Texas 
issue, which had been published in the Globe, 

***John Blair, Representative in Congress from the Jonesboro district in East 
Tennessee from the eighteenth to the twenty-third Congress, inclusive. His long 
service and his power in East Tennessee made him one of the most influential Demo- 
crats in the state. 

"•R. W. Powell, of Carter County. 

"*Gideon J. Pillow, connected by marriage with Aaron V. Brown and closely 
allied with Brown in political matters, played a considerable part in Tennessee politics 
during this period. So'me phases of the careers of these two men are treated in 
papers by the present writer: Tennessee and National Political Parties, 1850- 1860, to 
appear in the Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 19x4; and 
Tennessee, the Compromise of i8<o, and the Nashville Convention, to appear in a 
future number of the Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 239 

I received today the Arkansas Banner (Democratic) of the 24th 
ultimo, containing the proceedings of the second Democratic State con- 
vention in that State. So far as President and Vice-President is con- 
cerned they have confirmed and reaffirmed the nominations made at the 
first convention held in December last, and have appointed their Dele- 
gates to Baltimore to carry out their expressed wishes. Among the Dele- 
gates, you will see from the paper which I will forward to you with this 
letter, are Messrs. Sevier and Fulton^ of the Senate and Mr. Cros^ 
of the Ho. Repts. The appointment of the former of the three was per- 
haps a little unfortunate, — though I suppose none of them will disregard 
Hie wishes of the Convention. It may be well however for you to see 
Fulton and Cross before the other Delegates from the State reach Wash- 
ington. I send you the paper containing the proceedings of the conven- 
tion; I receievd another letter from Brown this morning. His wife is 
worse and therefore he could not leave. There is no certainty when he 
can do so. 

Clay's anti-Texas letter reached Nashville last night. If Van Buren 
will now take ground for annexation as I hope and believe he will, and 
the Convention shall make a proper nomination for the Vice, the Democ- 
racy will certainly and beyond all doubt be again in the ascendancy in this 
State, — as I have no doubt it will be in all the Southern and Southwestern 
States, unless it be Kentucky, and even there the contest will be doubtful 
I have not in my letters disguised from you the fact that I feel an interest 
(I hope a proper one) in the result of the deliberations at Baltimore. I 
hope you will write to me often after you get this letter*", giving me all 
the movements, developments and prospects as you may learn them. One 
thing I repeat in conclusion and that is, that my name will in no event be 
voluntarily withdrawn, but I desire it to go before the convention, what- 
ever the result may be. It is better for me that this should be so, though 
it was certain that I would be defeated. My interests are committed to my 
friends and mainly to yourself. I hope you may be able by a proper 
appeal to Genl. Anderson of Knoxville,** if he attends as a Delegate, to 
prevent him from doing mischief. Farquharson of Lincoln who was 
the only other of our Delegates who was impracticable, will not go on 
as I learn. Your credentials as the Delegate for the State at large in 
Coe*^ place were made out, and Cheatham"* told me thev would have 
been sent on, but he had been waiting for Brown to pass on, by whom he 
had intended to send them. They will be forwarded by mail. 

25. James K Polk, Nashville, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, Monday Night, May 13, 1844,*" 

Strictly Confidential 

At the urgent solicitation of Maj. Donaldson, Genl. Armstrong^ and 
one or two other friends who wrote to me, I came to this place on yes- 

^''Ambrose S. Sevier, Senator from Arkansas, 1 836-1848; William S. Fulton, Sen- 
ator from Arkansas, 1836-1844. 

^Edward Cross, Representative from Arkansas, 1 839-1 845. 

^"It hardly needed this exhortation, as Johnson had been a frequent writer for 
weeks. Seven letters writteA during May are in the Polk Papers, which contain also 
several letters from Aaron V. Brown. 

^'"Alexander Anderson of Knoxville. 

"•Levin H. Coc of West Tennessee. 

"•Leonard P. Cheatham presided over the Democratic state convention in Tennes- 
see in 1843. Nashville Union, November 35, 1843. 

"»This letter is printed in Tyler, L. G.: Tht Letters and Times of the Tylers, 
VoL III, pp. 136-138. This letter, like that of Polk to Fisk, was copied for L. G. 
Tyler by Judge Tyler of Clarksville. The letter does not appear to have been used 
by historians. 

"■Robert Armstrong. 



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240 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

terday. Today Genl. A. and myself visted the Hermitage. On our way 
up we met Donaldson with a letter from Genl. J. for publication in the 
Union,"^ reiterating and reaffirming his views upon the subect of the 
annexation of Texas. He urges immediate annexation as not only impor- 
tant but indispensible. He speaks most affectionately of Mr. Van Buren, 
but is compelled to separate from him upon this great question, and says 
both he and Mr .Benton have by their letters cut their own throats politi- 
cally. He has no idea that Mr. V. B. can be nominated or if nominated 
that he can receive any Southern support. He is not excited but is cool 
and collected, and speaks in terms of deep regret at the fatal error which 
Mr. V. B. has committed. He says however that it is done and that the 
convention must select some other as the candidate. The truth is and 
should no longer be disguised from yourself and other friends, — that it 
will be utterly hopeless to carry the vote of this State for any man who- 
is opposed to immediate annexation. The body of the Whigs will support 
Clay, regardless of his opinions, but hundreds. — indeed thousands of them 
will abandon him, and vote for any annexation man who may be nomi- 
nated by the Baltimore Convention. If such a man shall be nominated 
we will carry the State with triumph and with ease. If an anti-annexa- 
tion man is nominated, thousands of Democrats and among them many 
leading men will not vote at all and Clay will carry the State. The Texas 
question is the all-absorbing one here and swallows up all others at 
present. It is impossible to arrest the current of the popular opinion and 
any man who attempts it will be crushed by it. What you can or will da 
at Baltimore God only knows. My earnest desire is that you shall har- 
monize and run but one man. Genl. J. thinks that Mr. V. B. becoming 
sensible that his opinions are not in harmony with those of the people 
will withdraw and hopes he will do so. For myself I attribute Mr. V. 
B[*s\ course to Col B — ton^ Genl. J. says the candidate for the first 
office should be an annexation man, and from the Southwest, and he and 
other friends here urge that my friends should insist upon that point. 
I tell them and it is true, that I have never aspired so high, and that in 
all probability the attempt to place, me in the first position would be utterly 
abortive. In the confusion which will prevail and I fear distract your 
counsels at Baltimore,— there is no telling what may occur. I aspire ta 
the 2nd office and should be gratified to receive the nomination, — ^and 
think it probaible that my friends may be able to confer it upon me. I am 
however in their hands and they can use my name in any way they may 
think proper. Genl. Pillow and Col. Laughlin left here last night IVm. 
G. Childress^ leaves tonight and Majr. Donaldson on tomorrow night. 
They can give you more in detail the state of things here. I repeat that 
I wish my friends to place my name before the convention, — no matter 
what the result may be. 

I deplore the distraction which exists in the party. It has all been pro- 
duced by at most half a dozen leaders, who have acted with a view to- 
their own advancement. Add to this the Texas question and I have great 
solicitude for our safety as a party. Surely there is patriotism enough 
among these leaders yet to save the party. This can only be done by 
uniting upon one candidate, and he must be favorable to the annexation 
of Texas. I have stood by Mr. V. B. and will stand by him as long as 
there is hope, but I now despair of his election— even if he be nominated. 

The idea which has been suggested of running three candidates — 
Mr. Clay, the Whig, a Texas annexation Democrat in the South, and an 

uBThis letter was dated May 13. It amd the annexation of Texas and expressed 
continued confidence in Van Buren. On the effect of it see Smith, The Annexation, 
of Texas, p. 246. 

»«*T. H. Benton. 

"•A brother-in-law of Polk. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTEBS, 1833-1848 241 

anti-Texas annexation Democrat in the North — ought not to be enter- 
tained for a moment If that is attempted it insures Cla^s election. We 
would have triple tickets in almost all the States, which would enable a 
plurality— less than a majority — to give the electoral vote of the State 
to Clay. I shall expect you to write me daily after the receipt of this, 
until the convention is over. 

P. S. I learn that GenL Jackson's letter will not appear in the Union 
of tomorrow, — the pj^er having no space for it. It will appear in Thurs- 
day's paper unless he changes his mind about its publication and with- 
draws it, which is not probable. W. G. Childress can give you its contents 
in detail. 

26. James K. Polk, Nashville, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, May 14, 1844- 

ConHdential. 

I wrote to you last night. I leam that Donaldson took the letter back 
to Genl. J. for further consultation. He will be down again today and 
will take the sta^e for Washington tomorrow morning. My opinion is 
that the Genl. thinks his reputation requires its publication at this time. 
If I am right in this, it will appear in^ the next Union. He is as kind to 
Mr. V. B. as to his manner of expressing himself as he can be, to differ 
with hicn so widely as he does upon the Texas question. If the letter 
appears, it will reach Washington on the Thursday evening before the 
meeting of the Convention. It will require care on the part of my friends 
to prevent Mr. V. B!s friends from becoming excited at the letter and 
withdrawing from my support in the Convention. Genl. J. says that 
Mr. V. B. had his views before him when he wrote his letter He says 
he has been misled and ruined unless he can lind some plausible ground to 
modify his opinions. Even then the public mind has taken such a direc- 
tion that it would be almost impossible to rally the Democracy for him. 
Judging at this distance, and from the additional lights given by your 
letter of the 5th which I received here after I had mailed my letter to 
you last night, the opinion of Armstrong and other friends is that I may 
receive the nomination, and that I will do so, unless Mr. V. B.'s friends 
should abandon me. Genl. J. has written a private letter to Mr. V. B.^ 
and also to Blair^ in which he has spoken frankly and plainly. He is of 
opinion that Mr. F. B. seeing the impossibility of his election even if nomi- 
nated, will and ought to withdraw. He has great confidence in his pa- 
triotism and thinks he will do so. He regards this step of Mr. V. B. (his: 
opinion on Texas) as the only great and vital error he has committed 
since he has known him. He thinks this single error however must be- 
fatal to him. He thinks the candidate for the Presidency should be air 
annexation man and reside in the Southwest, and he openly expresses, 
(wiiat I assure you I had never for a moment contemplated) the opinion 
that I would be the most available man ; taking the Vice-PresidentiaJ can- 
didate from the North. This I do not expect to be effected. Nothing 
could effect it, but the state of confusion which exists in the party. The 
much greater probability is that a new man for President if one be taken 
up will hail from the North, and in that event I would stand in a favor- 
able position for the nomination for the second office. Should Mr. V. B. 
be withdrawn his friends will probably hold the balance of power and 
will be able to control the nominations for bodi offices, and therefore the 
great importance of conciliating them. It will never do for the Convention 

"Wot listed in West, Calendar of thM Papers of Martin Van Buren, but see note 
I SI abore. May 16, Donaldson, who was iinaaeially indebted to Van Buren, wrote 
an apologetic letter to the latter. West, Calendar of tha Papers of Martin Van Bnren, 
p. 5*3. 

'"Editor of the Globe. 



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242 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

to break up in confusion or without a nomination. Any and every sacrifice 
sliould be made to effect a nomination in harmony. This done and we 
are safe. It will never do to break up in confusion and thus force*" the 
party upon Tyler.^ This the Democracy can never do. In a word noth- 
ing can prevent Clay's election but a reunion of our party, and a harmo- 
nious support of the nominations to be made at Baltimore. I have but 
little hope that union or harmony can be restored among the members of 
Congress, but I have hopt that the Delegates "fresh from the people'*— 
who are not members of Congress — and have not been so much excited 
can be brought together. Let a strong appeal be made to the Delegates 
as fast as they come in, to take the matter into their ozvn hands, to control 
and overrule their leaders at Washington, who have already produced such 
distraction, and thus save the party. The Delegates from a distance can 
alone do this. I suggest as a practicable plan to bring them to act, — to 
get one Delegate from each State who may be in attendance to meet in a 
room at Brown's Hotel or somewhere else, and consult together to see 
if they cannot hit upon a plan to save the party. If you will quietly and 
without announcing to the public what you are at, undertake this with 
energy and prosecute it with vigor, the plan is feasible and I think will 
succeed.*** If the preliminary meeting of a Delegate from each State can 
egrea upon the man, then let each one see the other Delegates from his 
own State, and report at an adjourned meeting the result. This is the 
only way to secure efficient action when the Convention meets. In this 
way let the few men at Washington who would break us up, be controlled. 
Something of the kind must be done to save us. I make these sugges- 
tions because I deem them important. Some one has to take the lead and 
no one can do it with more prospect of success than yourself. Show this 
to Genl. Pillow confidentially who will be a most efficient man in carr3ring 
out such a plan. My old friend Williamson Smith of Miss, is a delegate 
and will do any and every thing he can. So will Turner of Alabama. 
In setting on foot such a movement, of course you ^ould keep your own 
counsels, — for if known to all there would be troublesome spirits who 
would set to work to defeat it. I am on the eve of starting home and have 
written in great haste. 

27. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, May I7[i4], 1844."* 

Highly Confidential, 

All that I have said in the enclosed letter is strictly true and ex- 
presses tihe opinions which I honestly entertain. I have however omitted 
to embrace in it some things which I design for your own eye alone. 
I thought it possible that you might think it useful to our cause or to 
myself individually, to show the enclosed {confidentially of course if you 
do so at all) to Silas Wright, and in that event I desire not to embrace 
in it what I am now about to say. It is this and is for yourself alone. 
Mr. W right's declaration to you, in the conversation which you detail in 
your letter of the 8th"* that I was "the only man he thought the Northern 

>**Reading doubtful. 

i^^Who would represent the annexation issue. 

*«0Thi8 suggestion is highly characteristic of Polk and explains part of his political 
strength. 

"iThe date of this letter, as written, is apparently May 17. The reference to "the 
enclosed letter," however, and the allusion to the visit to. General Jackson "two dava 
ago," suggest May 14 as the date; and the figure 4, hurriedly written, is easily made 
to appear as 7. 

i^his letter, in which Cave Johnson gave an account of the conversation with 
Wright, held the evening before, is in the Polk Papers. Wright would not allow 
himself to be substituted in the place of Van Buren and expressed the sentiment 
which Polk here quotes. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1838-1848 243 

Democrats would support if Van Buren was set aside, because I was 
known to be firm and true to the cause," is precisely the opinion which 
Genl, J. expressed to me when I saw htm two days ago. The General 
had previously expressed the same thing to others. He thinks the man 
should come from the Southwest You know that I have never aspired 
to anything beyond the second office, and that I have desired. Until re- 
cently I have regarded the nomination of Mr. V. B. as certain, and the 
contest for the^Vice Presidency, to be between Col. J. and myself The 
recent explosion at Washington,*** and the incurable split in the party 
there and elsewhere, puts a new face on things. "Fortuna is in a frolic," 
occasionally and in the midst of the confusion which prevails, there is no 
telling what may happen. In view of Mr. V. Bfs withdrawal by his 
friends, — which is not only possible, but I think probable, — his friends 
will undoubtedly hold in their hands the controlling power in the selection 
of the candidate, and therefore it will be very important to consolidate 
them before the event occurs. Among the Texas annexation delegates 
opposed to him I will undoubtedly have many friends, and if they and the 
friends of Mr. V. B. can unite, the whole object will be effected. It will 
require judgment and delicacy in managing the matter. If however it 
shall be first settled that V. B. is to be withdrawn, I see no reason why 
my friends should not make the effort. If the feeling of the Northern 
Democrats continues to be such as Mr. Wright expressed it to be, in the 
conversation with you, — they would probably yield to a compromise, — 
if my friends in the South and Southwest would propose it as a compro- 
mise. These speculations, arising out of the unexpected events of the last 
few days, may turn out to be very ridiculous. If sq, they are committed 
to yourself alone. If a new man is to be selected, my friends at Nashville 
think that my position and relations to the party give me more prominence 
than any other. You will be on the spot and will be best able to judge. 
Whatever is desired to be done, conununicate to Genl. Pillow.^** He is 
one of the shrewdest men you ever knew, and can execute whatever is re- 
solved on with as much success as any man who will be at Baltimore. 
Lead"* him therefore into all your views."* He is perfectly reliable, is a 
warm friend of F. B.'s, and is my friend, and you can do so with entire 
safety. 

After all however, I think it probable that my chief hope will be for 
the second office, and if so, I wish my name to go before the Convention 
at all events. I have made up my mind that it would be better for me 
to be defeated by a vote, than to be withdrawn. Whatever is done will 
undoubtedly be settled upon at Washington before you assemble at Balti- 
more, and everything will depend upon the vigilence of my friends and 
their prudence in conciliating the Delegates who may be there [assem- 
bled].* I calculate that this letter will reach you on the Friday before 
the meeting at Baltimore. If any new suggestion comes to me I will write 
to you by tomorrow's mail. I hope you will not fail to be a Delegate 
at Baltimore yourself. 

Our friend A. V. Brown cannot be back in time. The rumor here 
to day is that his wife is dead. I think it probably true. Two days ago 
she was extremely ill,, and her recovery had been despaired of by her 
physicians and friends. 

>^*Tlie attack on Van Burea as a result of the Hammet letter. 
^^K^ompare with this paragraph the letters of Gideon J. Pillow cited in the introduc- 
tion to this group. 

^Reading doubtful. 
<««Reading doubtfuL 
'''The word is written "assembly." 



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244 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

P. S. I conclude to send the letter whidi purports to be enclosed in 
this, under a separate envelope, so that this will be seen by no one but 
yourself. 

N. B. If you think it best not to show the letter confidentially to Mr. 
Wright, retain it and do not do so. You will be the judge. 

28. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Washing- 
ton, D, C. June 8, 1844, 
Confidential, 

Your letter of the 29th ultimo, with many others of the same date» 
conveyed to me the first reliable intelligence of my nomination at Balti- 
more. Rumors to the same effect had reached [me]"* the day before, 
but they were not of a kind to make it certain. The effect here and as 
far as I have heard has been to inspire a new spirit in our party. Many 
instances are reported of Whigs who say they will now act with us. I 
am under many personal obligations to my friends-Hand to yourself es- 
pecially — for the agency which I know you had in bringing about the 
result 

I have as yet received no official announcement of my nomination by 
the committee of the Convention, and cannot of course answer until I 
do. By a letter from Philadelphia, I learn that Mr. Dallas has been noti- 
fied of his nomination for the Vice Presidency and has accepted. In the 
Globe of the 30th ult I see it stated that "Mr. Hubbard of New Hampshire, 
chairman of the committee to inform Messrs. Polk and Wright of their 
nomination, stated that they had forwarded communications to both these 
gentlemen." If any was forwarded to me, it has not come to hand.** 

I shall desire to see you as soon after your return as possible. In the 
new position which has been assigned me, there are several weighty mat- 
ters about which I wish to consult you. Our people here have resolved 
to have a great public dinner at this place on the 29th Instant, to which 
you will of course be invited. If you get home in time, you must not fail 
to attend. In the mean-time you will great oblige me, by giving me any 
suggestions before you leave Washington, which you may think will be 
useful. I may expect to be interrogated upon all the great questions of 
the day, and at the same time I shall answer frankly and independently. 
I shall desire to do so prudently. I am already advised that I will prob- 
ably be called on soon upon the subject of the tariff. I see in the In- 
telligencer of the 1st,"* which came today, a correspondence on that sub- 
ject and in reference to my opinions between Mr. James Irvin of the 
House, and Mr. John J. Hardin of Illinois. Whether the latter be a 
member or not I do not know. His article was manifestly written by 
Milton Brown^ and signed by Hardin. It is a repetition of my contro- 
versy with Brown at Jackson in the Spring of 1843, about which no one 
else but Mr. Brown had any information. This Mr. Hardin had merely 
lent his name to Brown and been used by him. Brown and the trick 
should be exposed. It contains a garbled and any thing but a fair ac- 
count of my views. 

If you have time before you leave cause Brown to be exposed in the 
Globe. Write me on receipt of this. 

^••Inadvertently omitted by Polk. 

^••Wright declined the nomination, and George W. Dallas of Pennsylvania was 
substituted. 

"^Really the issue of the Intelligencer for May 31. The article emphasized Polk's 
alleged free trade views and his hostility to the tariff of 1842. 

"^Representative from Tennessee in the twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, twenty* 
ninth Congresses, and author of the House resolution for the annexation of Te — 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 245 

29. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Jobnson, Clarks- 
viLLE, Tennessee, June 21, 1844- 

I received on yesterday your letter of the 21st from Louisville. I 
wrote to Genl. Jackson to day — ^putting him on his guard against any at- 
tempt which may be made to get up a sectional or Southern convention.*" 
No countenance must be given to any attempt should it be made. 

A great mass-meeting has been appointed for the 24th July at Nash- 
ville. I think the time too short to enable our distant public men to 
attend. I have written to Genl. Armstrong to call the State Committee 
together immediately to consider of the propriety of postponing the day 
until about the middle of August. I think it should be so postponed and 
that invitations should be sent to every Democratic member of Congress 
and other leading men from the North, the South, the East and the West 
to attend. Call upon the whole Democracy to attend the great mass- 
meeting, and thousands would seize the occasion to make a pilgrimage 
to the Hermitage. The meeting would be, what it ought to be, an im- 
mense assemblage. The moral and political effect too, of bringing to- 
gether the great men of the nation, would be incalculable. If such a 
thing is resolved on the State Committee should make an appeal to the 
whole Democracy, beginning with Maine, then the granite State, and 
ending with Louisiana, calling upon all to come up to the great gathering 
in the vicinity of the Hermitage.*^ What do you think of these sugges- 
tions ? 

I wrote you to Washington in time as I thought to reach you before 
the adjournment. 

In my letter of acceptance^ which was addressed as requested to Robert 
Rantoul, Jr., Esqr. of Boston. I took occasion to express my determina- 
tion in the event of my election to retire at the end of four years. I 
said nothing to commit the party upon the one term principle, but ex- 
pressed simply my own determination. 

I have received many letters, and especially from Pennsylvania on 
the subject of the tariff, some of them pressing me for a re-declaration 
of my opinions. I have addressed a letter upon that subject to Hon. John 
K. Kane of Philadelphia, with a request that he would show it to Mr. 
Dallas and Mr. Horn, and if in their judgment, it was absolutely neces- 
sary, they were at liberty to publish it, but not otherwise."* It is but a 
re-declaration of the opinions upon which I have acted on that subject; 
it was carefully prepared and upon its doctrines I am ready to stand. It 
is very short. In the course of a few days I will know whether they 
deem it necessary to publish or not 

I desire very much to see you, and must do so as soon as I can. We 
will have a mass-meeting at this place on the 13th July (a Dinner given 
to the Delegates to Baltimore, electors, and members of Congress) at 
which you must not fail to attend. On next Saturday the 29th Turney and 
Bell have a meeting here. When can I meet you at Nashville? If you 
will name a day I will write you whether I can be there. 

My letters from all parts of the Union continue to give the most 
flattering prospects. The Union of our party seems to be perfect, and 
the greatest enthusiasm is every where prevailing. My correspondence 
is immense. I am overwhelmed with letters. I endeavor to give very short 
answers to most of them. 

"•Polk's opposition to- the idea of a sectional Southern Convention contrasted with 
Calhoun's advocacy of that plan which bore fruit in 1850. 

"•These ideas were carried into effect The great Democratic convention met in 
Nashville, August 15-17, 1844, and Cave Johnson was made the President Among 
the leaders present from other states those of chief importance were Cass of Michigan, 
and Douglas of Illinois. Others are named by Polk in a later letter. 

»*Thi8 "Kane letter," es^ially directed towards winning votes in Pennsylvania^ 
figured largely in the campaign of 1844. 



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246 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

P. S. I wish you to send to Genl. Armstrong at Nashville immediate- 
ly a Congressional Directory of the present Congress if you have [one],"* 
with a mark or note designating who are Whigs and who are Democrats. 
The object is to enable the Committee to send invitations to the Demo- 
cratic members. 

30. James K. Polk^ Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, July i, 1844. 

ConAdential. 

I received your letter of the aSth"* to day. All your suggestions arc 
sound and accord with my own opinions. I write now to say that it is 
important you should be here on the 13th Instant, at the dinner to be 
given to the Delegates, electors, and members of Congress. Coe has been 
written to and I have no doubt will come. Our friends desire to make it 
the occasion of holding a consultation and laying down the plan of the 
campaign in the State, and of coming to an understanding of the part 
each is to act There is another reason why you should come and bring 
as many as possible with you. It is this. The Whigs are making ex- 
tensive preparations to have a grand rally here (at my door) with a view 
to effdct abroad. Our friends desire very much that ours shall be a 
great meeting, otherwise the Whigs will give it out that it was a failure 
and that there is no enthusiasm at home. There is still another reason 
why you should not fail to come. You have been several times invited 
here and have never attended. Our whole democracy are exceedingly 
desirous to see you. You must come to my house the night before 3ie 
meeting. It will be impossible for me to meet you at Nashville or the 
Hermitage at the time you suggest. I have said to our friends that they 
could make it public, that you would certainly be here. I suggest that 
you answer their letter immediately, that it may be published some days 
in advance of the dinner. 

31. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee^ to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

ville, Tennessee, July 6, 1844. 

Private, 

I write mainly to urge upon you that it is on many accounts very im- 
portant that our mass-meettng here on the 13th Inst, should be well at- 
tended from a distance. This is the place of my residence: — ^the Whigs 
here are making great efforts to have a grand rally of their part at this 
place (at my door) shortly after ours is over. If our meeting on the 
13th should not be well attended it will be given out that it was a failure 
and was evidence of want of enthusiasm in Tennessee. There will be 
a great disappointoent if you do not. Come prepared to make one of 
the main speeches. It will be expected. Bring Garland Chase*" and as 
many others with you as you can prevail on to come. There is no other 
point in the State so far as effect abroad is concerned, that is half so 
important as this. You must impress this on your friends. You must 
yourself be at my house on Friday the 12th. There will be speaking on 
Friday night and Saturday and Saturday night, and at Spring Hill on the 
way to Nashville on Monday. The Nashville and Gallatin military com- 
panies have promised to attend. You will of course say nothing to any 
one about my having written to you on the subject. 

"■The word "one" omitted. 

"mUs is in the Polk Papers. 

^''Hudson S. Garland, of Montgomery Co.: Laden B. Chaae, Repreaentative from 
the Clarksville District in Tennessee in the twenty-ninth and thirtieth Congresses; 
presidential elector in the Polk ticket for the ninth Congressional District 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 247 

P. S. We fear we may be scarce of speakers and on that account 
Garland and Chase must come with you. 

Nicholson and Bartly^ Martin will be at Hopkinsville Ky. on the 
nth and they will go from Tennessee. 

32. James K Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

vn.T.F, Tennessee, July 16, 1844. 

Private, 

On Sunday after you left a servant man called at my house with the 
enclosed note for you, which I promised to enclose to you. He is a 
stout likely servant, and is anxious to live with you, so that he may be 
near his wife. 

If you have not done so, I hope you will without delay, write to our 
leading Northern and North-Westem friends, urging them to attend our 
fnofj-meeting at Nashville on the 15th August. Write especially to Wright, 

Woodbury, Hubbard, Ma jr. A, [ ],"• Genl. Cass, Buchanan, Allen and 

Duncan of Ohio, and also Col, Medary of Columbus, Hanley of Indiana, 
and any others you may choose.** It will be very important for the 
effect of the meeting, that distinguished men — residents of the State 
should be present. Write also to our friend Dromgoole of Virginia."* 
I think he will come. Tell Garland I was much gratified to receive a 
very kind and candid letter from his father on yesterday. I will answer 
it to day. 

33, James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

ville, Tennessee, August 20, 1844. 

Private, 

I saw the Hon. George Houston of Al. after you left Nashville."* 
The appointments for you and himself have been made — commencing at 
Pulaski on the 29th Inst., and thence through Lawrence, Wayne, Etc., 
crossing the Tennessee River at CarrollviUe, Hand bills have been struck 
and circulated for the appointments East of Tennessee River. The ap- 
pointments West of the Kiver will be circulated by Hon, Austin Miller 
and Mr, Williamson of Somerville, both of whom I saw after you left. 
I will send you a full list of all the appointments to-morrow. I have 
not now time to make a copy before the mail leaves. The printed notices 
or hand bills are in your name alone. As Houston was a non-resident 
it was thought best that his name should not appear in tde hand-bills. 
He will fall in, and authorized me to assure you that he would certainly 
accompany you. Miller says he will see to it that you will be met by some 
leading friend, probably himself as soon as you cross Tennessee River, 
who will accompany you through the route. The whole of the notices 
will be given forthwith by hand-bills, though they will not appear in the 
Union. I regard this tour of immense importance. Your name will draw 
great crowds to hear you and much good will be done. Nothing I hope 
will occur by which you will by possibility disappoint them. I told Houston 
I had advised you to travel in a buggy. He approves it, and says he 

'■'Barclay (or Barkley) Martin, Representative from Tennessee in the twentjr- 
ninth Congress. 

"•Illegible. 

'••Many of the replies of those who were invited to the Nashville rally have been 
preserved and may be published at a later time in the Magazinb. 

'•'George C. Dromgoole^ member of Congress from Virginia in the twenty-fourth, 
twenty-eighth and twenty-nmth Congresses. 

'••This was just after the great Democratic rally at Nashville. Many of the dis- 
tinguished visitors were still in the state, rendering assistance to Polk in the cam- 
paign in Tennessee. 



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248 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

will be on a fine riding horse, so that you may interchange to suit your 
convenience. 

Judge Douglas of III. and Judge Brice of Louisiana made speeches at 
Spring Hill"* on yesterday. Tomorrow they will speak at Mt Pleasant 
Melville will probably be at Mt, Pleasant. They will then attend thdr 
appointments m Giles and Marshall, aqd be at the great mass-meeting at 
Shelbyyille on the 27th Inst. Picken^^ of South Carolina I learn reached 
Nashville on Monday, and [will] be at Shelbyville Probably. He will 
be here on to day or to-morrow or next day. I would like very much 
for you to be at Shelbyville on the 27th. It is a fine turn-pike road from 
Nashville to Shelbyville. From Shelbyville to Pulaski — where you would 
have to be on the 29th — is about 40 miles over a good road. Write to 
me whether you will be at Shelbyville. I would like for you to meet 
Pickens there and have a conversation with him before he speaks. 

34. James K Polk^ Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

August 22, 1844. 
Private, 

I send you two-hand-bills containing your appointments as far West 
as Hiardiman. As Houston was a non-resident it was thought best not 
to insert his name. He will however certainly be with you. .Judge 
Douglas of ///. and Judge Brice of Louisiana are here and will speak at 
Mt. Pleasant to day. Melville^"* of N. Y. and Pickens of S. C. will be 
here to day, and will speak at Lynnville in Giles tomorrow, and return 
to a Hickory pole raising here on Saturday. They will all be Shelbyville 
on the 27th, where I hope you can meet them on your way to Giles. 

Your appointments in the District*" after Whiteville in Hardiman on 
the nth Sept. will be made by your friends there. They will have some 
two or three large mass-meetings at which youTstU,Craighead and others 
are desired to be. 

35. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, 

August 23, 1844. 
Private. 

Mr. Williamson of Somerville (who was the Democratic candidate for 
the Senate in 1843), left here on yesterday, and took with him the hand- 
bills giving notice of your appointments in the District. You will have 
large crowds and you must on no account fail to fill them. Houston oi 
Al. promised me positively that he would meet you and go the route with 
you. He would not however go alone. Leonard P. Cheatham was here 
to day. He says if you will meet him at Shelbyville on the 27th and 
desire it, that he will go with you also, so that in that event, you would 
have three speakers in company, and would be under no necessity of 
speaking, except when you felt perfectly able to da so. He will go or 
not as you may desire. He will not of course go unless you meet him at 
Shelbyville and request it. It is no flattery when I say to you that your 
fame will draw out large crowds and you must not disappoint them ; you 
must be present and if on any occasion you do not feel like speaking, 
you can make the proper apology and let Houston or Cheatham (if he 
is along) speak. 

I hope Garland has given extensive notice of Coe's appointments in 
your District. Will you see him on the subject? I still hope A. V. 

>**SpringhilI and Mt. Pleasant are near Columbia. 

'••Francis W. Pickens, member of Congress from South Carolina from the twenty- 
third to the twenty-seventh Congresses, inclnsive. 

'•Kiansevoort Melville, then prominent in the Tammany organization in New York. 

"••The western division of Tennessee, which lies between the Tennessee and Mis- 
sissippi Rivers. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 249 

Brown will agree to go to East Tennessee. I think it important. If you 
meet him at Shelbyville urge it upon him. If he will go Bright^^ of 
Fayetteville will accompany him. 

We had a glorious meeting of between 3,000 and 4,000 thousand [sic] 
people at Mount Pleasant in this County to day. Judge Brice of Louisiana, 
Cheatham and Judge Frierson of Ala. made speeches. There will be a 
still larger meeting at Lynnville on the line between Giles and Maury on 
tomorrow. The speakers who were at Mt, Pleasant to day, with Judge 
Douglas of Illinois who is here will be there. They will all be at 
Shelbyville, Melville of N. Y., Pickens of S. C, Gov. Clay, Col, Terry, 
Col, McClung of Alabama*" 

P. S. I advise you to travel in a Buggy, It will give you much less 
fatigue than on horseback. The road from Nashville to Shelbyville is 
a fine Turnpike; and at this season you will find the roads all good, and 
especially West of Tennessee River, where there is no rock. 

36. James K. Polk, Columbia^ Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

viLLB, Tennessee, August 26, 1844. 

Private. 

The Hon. Geo. S. Houston writes me under date of the 22nd that 
he has made all his arrangements to meet you at the appointment at 
Pulaski on the 29th and to accompany you through the whole list. He 
says however that he cannot go without you, and fears as he has not heard 
from you since he made the agreement with you, that possibly you might 
disappoint him. He will be at Pulaski at all events on the 29tn. I have 
written to him that if you did not meet him at Pulaski on the 29th that 
you certainly would at Lawrenceburg on Saturday the 31st, if life and 
nealth permitted. Your whole list of appointments have been forwarded 
in Hand-Bills along the whole line. Col Jones and Mr. Williamson of 
Somerville passed here on Thursday and would give extensive notice of 
them as they went down. It is a very important route. Great good will 
be done if you attend the appointments, and great harm if the people are 
disappointed. Not having heard from you since you left Nashville, I 
write thus urgently, to say that I hope nothing has, or can occur to induce 
you to fail to fill the appointments. You will have immense crowds, such 
as no other man in the State could draw out. If you desire it, L. P, 
Cheatham of Nashville will go with Houston and yourself, and so make 
your personal labors still the lighter. Pickens of S. C. was here on yes- 
terday, and has gone to Shelbyville. Judge Douglas of Illinois and Mr. 
Brice of Louisiana spoke at [a] very numerously attended meeting in this 
County and Giles last week, and will be at Chapel Hill in Marshall to day. 
We have now decidedly the advantage of our opponents in the State, 
and if the present enthusiasm and activity can be kept up, the State is 
perfectly safe. Within the next three weeks, the whole people will have 
settled down in their opinions and but few changes will take place in the 
State after that time. Your appointments are of more importance than 
any others, and I should regard it as most unfortunate if any accident 
should prevent them from being filled. I repeat if any accident has pre- 
vented you from being at Pulaski on the 29th, you must if possible join 
Houston at Lawrenceburg on the 31st. If you do not Houston will turn 
back and go home, and the people will be disappointed at all the other 

'•'John M. Bright of Fayetteville, member of the Tennessee Legislature, 1847-1848; 
member of Congress from Tennessee from the forty-scond to the forty-sixth Con- 
gresses, inclusive. 

**C. C. Clay* Sr., governor of Alabama, 1836-1837; United States Senator, 1837- 
1841; Nat Terry, Speaker of the Alabama Senate; J. W. McClung, Speaker of the 
House of Representatives of Alabama. After these names the Ms. is torn. 

'••Robert L. Caruthers, Whig member of Congress from the Lebanon Dbtrict in 
the twenty-seventh Congress; presidential elector on the Clay ticket in 1844. 



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250 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

places. A, V. Brown's engagements are such that he cannot go with 
Houston, 

37. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, August 28, 1844. 

PrixKkte. 

I received your letter of the 22nd on yesterday. I most deeply regret 
your state of health, and the disappointment which the people will feel at 
your inability to meet your appointments. I still hope that when you re- 
ceived my last letter you may be able to come to Lawrenceburg. I have 
written to Armstrong this morning that L. P. Cheatham should come 
to Lawrenceburg. I will send a messenger to Boling Gordon's to day to 
see if he cannot go. Gordon however is an tmcertain man and will 
probably not be ready upon such short notice. The appointments will 
call out great crowds and are vastly more important than Caruthers's 
appointments in your District. Every effort will be made to induce Hous- 
ton to go on ; but I have fears he may be inclined to return home, unless 
he has assurance that he will be joined by you. I have written to Pulaski 
explaining to him why you will not be there. What adds to the em- 
barrassment is, that A. V. Brown passed here on yesterday, as I hear, 
in the stage to Nashville, and will not of course be at home. If he was 
there, he could go with him. As it is we will do the best we can. I hope 
you will strike your line of appointments at the earliest possible day; 
at Lawrenceburg if you feel able. 

38. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, October 9. 1844. 

Private, 

I was glad to learn from your letter of the 4th that you had reached 
home in improved health, and that you bring good news from the District. 
I am glad to learn that you will return and spend 10 days before the 
election in that part of the State. I think it very important that it should 
be canvassed closely up to the election. Fitsgerald^^ wrote pressingly for 
help in the Northern part of the District, some two or three weeks ago. 
I immediately saw Nicholson who was here, who authorized me to write 
to him as I did so to make a list of appointments for him commencing 
at Paris on the 21st and at such other points as he might select I have 
received no answer from Fitzgerald and fear he may have been absent 
from home. Will you write immediately to Fitzgerald or some other 
friends at Paris to make the appointments for Nicholson if they have not 
done so, commencing at Paris on Monday the 21st and continuing up, 
to the 1st Nov. He must be back at Nashville at the election. Nicholson 
will be at Clarksville on the 21st and his calculation is to go from there 
to Paris, He desires also that one appointment shall be made for him 
in Stewart on Saturdajr the 19th which he can attend on his way from 
Clarksville to Paris. Will you write to Cherry or some one else in Stewart 
to have it made. Let them get up a Barbacue and have an exclusive 
Democratic mass-meeting if possible. Baling Gordon and Wm, V, Voor- 
hees^^ start on a tour through Wayne, Hardin, McNairy and Perry today. 
A. V. Brown and Gov. Clay of Al. will start to East Tennessee on to- 
morrow. 

The State is now safe, if we can keep her so. To do this will require 
all our energy and vigilence. There is great danger of illegal voting and 

*'»Willi»m Fitzgerald, Representative from Tennessee in the twenty-second Congress. 

^"William V. Voorhees (also spelled Voorhies), later a confidential clerk of Polk 
in the latter's presidency, and, as agent of the Postmaster General, in 1848, entrusted 
with Polk's message to the people of California. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 251 

frauds apoif the ballot box, and especially in the Counties bordering the 
Kentucky line. The election comes on on different days in Kentucky and 
Tennessee, and unless you have the boxes in your District in every pre- 
cinct bordering on the Kentucky line guarded by men chosen for that 
purpose, there will be hundreds of Kentuckians imported, who will vote 
in Tennessee. I beg you to attend to this in your counties. Do not leave 
it to accident or general prombes of our friends to guard these boxes. 
Let the men be appointed by your Committee before hand, let them be 
sure and take their pledges that they will stand by the box in their re- 
spective precincts and watch. A general rule which I think should be 
adopted all over the State, is, — ^to swear every man who offers to vote 
out of his own precinct, that he has not voted at any other place and 
will not attempt to do so in that election. Urge this upon our friends 
wherever you go. 

All my news from abroad is of the most cheering character. 

P. S. Do not fail to write the letter about Nicholson's appointments 
as soon as you get this letter. He will go to Clarksville calculating to 
make the trip, and wilf be greatly disappointed if the appointments are 
not made for him. Have it attended to without fail. 

39. James K. Polk^ Columbia. Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clakks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, October 14, 1844. 

Private. 

Yours of the loth came to hand today. It will I fear be disastrous 
to our prospects in that part of the State if you fail to attend your ap- 
pointments in the Western District It will certainly be so, unless you 
can prevail upon Mr. Nicholson to take your place. He has no engage- 
ments to prevent him from doing it. It will never do to rely on Ewell 
to meet Heiskeliy^ The notices having gone out in your name, large 
crowds will no doubt be out, and they will be greatly disappointed unless 
you or Nicholson attend them. If you find you cannot possibly go, re- 
quest Mr. Nicholson from me to do so. Show him this letter and urge 
him without fail to attend your appointments. 

The Whig party in Tennesee seem to regard this State is the turning 
point in the Presidential election. I scarcely think it is so, but still it 
may be. I am satisfied that the State is now ours, but it will require great 
energy and constant effort up to the day of election to keep her so. I 
think your appointments are arranged through a country where more 
good can be done than in any other part of the State, provided that an 

able and [ ]"• speaker can attend them. Say to Nicholson that I think 

he can do vastly more good by attending your appointments with Heiskell 
(if you cannot) than in any other part of the State, and that it is my 
urgent request that he will do so. One of you fMtst attend them. Noth- 
ing must prevent it We all know that Tennessee is a closely contested 
State. She is as we all think now safe, but the smallest accident might 
lose her. 

You will have received all the returns of the elections— diat I have, 
unless it may be from Georgia. I have two letters today by the Southern 
mail giving cheering accounts from that State. Hon, David Hubbard 
(Formerly of Congress) writes me on the nth from the Eastern part of 
Alabama, where he was travelling in the stage— as follows— to wit 

"We have beat them in Georgia, carrying 5 certain and 6 probable of 
the Congressmen, and an estimated popular majority from 5,000 to 8,000, 
so says an intelligent traveller in the stage who joined me today in 

^**Thoni»t Ewdl, presidential elector on the Polk ticket for the Eleventh Con- 
gressional District 
^^nilegiMe. 



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262 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Eastern Ala. near the Georgia line." In a postscript he adds "I have 
no doubt of the truth of what has been reported, — three other travellers 
all agree." This is confirmed by a letter from the Post Master at Tus- 
cumbia, Alabama, of the 13th Inst., who says he golf it directly from an 
intelligent traveller, who left Washington Wilkes Cty, Georgia, on the 
morning after the election and had ccrnie directly on. If you use this in- 
formation at your mass-meetingi on the 17th of course you will not say 
thatyou derived the information from me. 

The last word I have to say is, to be^ that you or Nicholson — will 
one of you fill your appointments with HetskeH. Say so to Nicholson, 

40. James IC Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clakks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, October 14, 1844. 

Private, 

The returns from the elections as far as they have reached me are 
most favourable. Whilst we are doing so well in other states, we must 
look closely to our operations at home. Our opponents in this State are 
at this moment making a noiseless but desperate struggle. All their small 
as well as large debaters are out. In this and the Counties between this, 
they are holding small meetings in remote places daily. Many of their 
appointments are never published in the newspapers, and some of them 
pass off before it is known out of the neighborhood that there is to be 
a meeting. You know this is a very closely contested State. I think she 
is now safe, but we must not relax our exertions or be too confident. 
When our debating friends meet at Qarksville I hope they will hold a 
consultation, and act in concert, so as to cover every part of the ground 
that is possible. I wrote to you that Nicholson had authorized FtUtfterM 
td make appointments for him commencing at Paris on the 21st. I was 
surprised to receive a letter from Fitsgerald on Saturday informing me 
that Nicholson had written to him subsequently and requested to be ex- 
cused from attending any but the one at Parti on the 21st When you 
see him at Qarksville, inquire how this is. Where will he be after the 
2ist? Has he any other appointments made? I see your appointments 
with Heiskell as published in the Jackson paper commence in Henry on 
the 2 1 St. I hope you will not fail to attend them. As I said to you in 
my last,— the contest in the State is in my calm judgment to be decided 
by the vote — of the Western District and of East Tennessee. But little is 
now to be done in the Middle Division. Our opponents know this, and 
hence Jernigan^''* has gone to the District, and their main forces have gone 
either to the East or West. I do not know where Jemigan's appoint- 
ments in the District are. They are not published and probably will not 
be, because he will desire to go alone. If Nicholson has no appointments 
beyond Paris, urge him to ascertain where Jernigan is, and go with him. 

Do not fail to guard the Northern border of your District against im- 
ported and fraudulent votes from Kentucky. This you can do during 
your great meeting at Qarksville. Let me hear from you. 

P. S. Boling Gordon and W. V. Voorhees are now making a tour 
through Wayne, Hardin, and Perry and will probably extend it to Benton 
and Humphreys. I hope whilst yoti are gone to the District, that Gar- 
land, Voorhees of Dickson and every other debating man we have will 




The least relaxation at the close of the canvass might loose her. 



iT^Spencer Jarnagin, elected United Statet Senator in 1843 as a Wtiiff, after the 
interregnum of 1841-1843, and serving out the term to March 3, 1847. 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 188S-1848 268 

41. James K. Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cave Johnson, Clarks- 

viLLE, Tennessee, October 30, 1844. 

Confidential. 

In the present aspect of probable results in the several States, it has 
become vastly important that we should carry Tennesee. If possibly we 
should lose New York, the vote of Tennessee may and probably will 
decide the contest in the Union. My friends in New York write to me 
up to the i6th Inst, expressing great confidence that they will carr^ that 
State, but the^ may be mistaken. A powerful effort is now making to 
induce the Natives^^ and Abolitionists to unite with the Whig party 
proper. If this movement is successful and a complete union of these 
factions with the Whigs shalll be effected, the contest in New York will 
be close and the result doubtful. I think the following states may be put 
down as reasonably sure for the Democracy — to wit — Maine, N. Hamp- 
shire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, S. Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, 
Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. These 
States give 134 electoral votes, and if we carry Little Delaware (for which 
our chances are best) we will have 137 electoral votes, or within one vote 
of enough to make our election,— it requiring 138 electoral votes to make 
choice by the Colleges. 

Our opponents must carry all of the five closely contested States of 
Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, N. Carolina, and Ohio, — and also 
both New York and Tennessee, to enable them to succeed. If they lose 
any one of them, they will be defeated. They think they will carry the 
five first States named. Of New York and Tennessee they have more 
doubt. 

How vastly important therefore is it, that we shall carry Tennessee. 
We can and we must save her, but to do it will require our whole energy, 
and the unceasing labour of every man whether he be a debater or not, 
every hour until the election is over. My information satisfies me the 
State is now safe, but by a close vote, and if we lose her it will be by the 
superior vigilence of our opponents, or by fraudulent and illegal voting. 
There is great danger of double voting and of imported Whig votes from 
Kentucky. Two or more active men should be appointed to watch every 
poll and challenge suspected persons who offer to vote. Let every man 
who offers to vote out of the Civil District in which he resides — ^be sworn 
that he has not voted at any other place and that he will not offer to 
vote at any other place in that election. This is very important and es- 
pecially in the border and strong Whig Counties. For the few remain- 
mg days before the election, I hope that our leading friends at Garks- 
ville will mount their horses and ride through Robertson and Mont- 
gomery and have these suggestions carried out. Let our friends ride on 
Saturday and Monday through every [ ]"* District, see every Demo- 
cratic voter, and urge him to attend the polls. Let no Democrat, not one 
remain at home on the day of the election. I make these suggestions 
to you because I am deeply impressed with their importance, and because 
if they are observed throughout the State, we must I think carry the 
State by a handsome majority. 

P. S. After writing this letter, it occurred to me that you might be 
absent at the Gallatin meeting on Friday, and therefore I address it 
jointly to yourself and Mr. Garland. 

42. James K, Polk, Columbia, Tennessee, to Cavb Johnson, 

Washington. D. C, December 21, 1844. 

Private and Confidential. 

I have received your several letters of the ist, 6th, and 12th Instant, 

"^Native Americans. 

»"lllegiblc. 



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264 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

for which I thank you. I should have written you more frequently but 
that every moment of my spare time has been occupied by company or 
other indispensable engagements,— and even now I seized a moment to 
write you very hastily. I will leave here between the ist and loth of 
February, — it being my intention to reach Washington about the aoth. I 
prefer to stop at Coleman's (formerly Gadsby's) to any other place. On 
yesterday I wrote to Brown and Jtuige Catron to eng^age apartments at 
Coleman's for me,--i)rovided they could make a bargain in advance that 
I might know precisely what I had to pa^. You know I have no money 
to spend unnecessarily,— and to avoid bemg subjected to an extravagant 
or enormous charge, it is necessary that a distinct bargain shall be made 
in advance. A gentleman called on me on yesterday who left Washington 
ten days ago. He informed me that Coleman showed him rooms which 
he had reserved for me; that he asked him what he charged for them, — 
and that Coleman replied just what I pleased. Now I will not take them 
upon such terms. I must know before-hand,— distinctly what his terms 
are. I greatly prefer to go to Coleman's and will do so, if his charges 
are not exorbitant and beyond all reason. Will you see Brown and tell 
him so. As to the route which I will travel I take the same view that 
you do. I shall take a boat at Nashville and travel the usual route by 
the River to Wheeling, and then direct to Washington. I have already 
declined numerous invitations to depart from the main route and visit 
various places. I shall travel with as little ostentation or parade as pos- 
sible, — stopping only a few hours, as I shall be compelled to do, at the 
principal towns on the route. Such an idea as visiting Phila. and New 
York never entered my mind. 

All the speculations at Washington and in the newspapers about my 
Cabinet,— you may rely upon it, are mere speculations, I would write 
you freely upon this subject, but for the danger that my letter might 
possibly fall into other hands before it reached you and because I expect 
to see you in full time {20th Feby.) to confer freely and unreservedly 
with you. In the meantime I will thank you to keep me advised of all 
the speculations, opinions, and wishes which you may have on the sd>- 
ject. One thing I can say to you, and that is, that I am under no pledges 
or commitments to any of the cliques (if such exist) mentioned by the 
newspapers. My object will be to do my duty to the country, and I do 
not intend if I can avoid it, that my counsels shall be distracted by the 
supposed or not conflicting intents of those cliques. Another thing I will 
say — ^that I will if I can have a united and harmonious set of cabinet 
counsellors, who will have the existing administration and the good of 
the country more at heart than the question who shall succeed me, and 
that in any event I intend to be myself President of the U. S. I shall 
rely much on you for the information which you may give me, which I 
hope may be free*" and unreserved. As to the press which may be re- 
garded as the (jovernment organ, one thing is settled in my mind. It 
must have no connection with, nor be under the influence or control of 
any clique or portion of the party which is making war upon any other 
portion of the party — ^with a view to the succession and not with a view 
to the success of my administration.*" I think tre view you take of it 
proper and of the proposed arrangement the best that can be made. I 
hope it may be effected. 

P. S. May I ask you to see Brown and Judge Catron, and if neces- 

^^^eftdiaff doubtful. 

^^*The process by which Francis P. Blair's newspaper. The Globe, was displaced as 
the organ of the administration, and the Union established under the editorship of 
Thomas Ritchie is described in Ambler, C. H.: Life of Thomas Ritehitt pp. S51 ff. 
(Richmond, 191 3)> 



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POLK-JOHNSON LETTERS, 1833-1848 266 

sary confer with them about engaging apartments at Coleman's. I pre- 
fer that to any other house, if the terms are at all reasonable. 

VI. James K. Polk to Cave Johnson, June 26, 1845, May 
20, 21, 1847, December 18, 1848. 
These letters, of which the two of 1847 relate to the same 
matter, belong to the period of Polk's presidency. Sufficient 
comment is to be found in the footnotes. 

43- James K Polk, Washington, D. C, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, June 26, 1845. 

Some days ago I returned to your Department the papers in the case 
of the Post office affair at Columbus, Ohio, with an order that Sarah*" 
Medary be appointed Dept. P. M. at that place. Commissions in other 
cases sent to your office have been laid before me for my signature. No 
commission for the Columbus office has been presented. It is possible 
the case may have been overlooked in your Department. 

44. James K. Polk, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, May 20, [1S47.] 
I am astonished to learn by a letter received by tonight's mail from 
Dr. /. G, M. Ramsey,^ Post Master at Mecklenberg, Tennessee, that he 
has been removed from his office. He is one of the best men and most 
faithful public officers in the Union. Surely that must be some mistake 
about it You certainly could have known nothing of it. I wish you to 
investigate the matter immediately. I enclose you his letter. He is an 
honest upright man and one of the best personal and political friends I 
have in the world. The error must be corrected immediately. I will 
see you tonight if you can come up. I wish to answer his letter by the 
first mail 

P. S. I am so concerned about this matter that I must see you to- 
night if practicable. 

45. James K. Polk, Washington, D. C, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, May 21, 1847. 

The removal of Dr. J. G. M. Ramsey as Post Master at Mecklen- 
burg, Tennessee, as announced to me in his letter which I transmitted to 
you last night, is the more I think of it, the more unaccountable. In 
your note in reply to mine of last night you state that no complaint had 
ever been made against him, and that you had never before heard a 
syllable on the subject of his removal. He is among the best men and 
most faithful officers in the Union. He is a man of high intelligence and 
character, and is very naturally deeply mortified at receiving from your 
Department a notification that he had been removed. He must be re- 
stored to his office without delay. In the meantime I wish you to insti- 
tute an immediate examination, and ascertain through whose agency— 
among your subordinate officers so inexcusable a blunder has occurred, 
and by whom so great an outrage has been perpetrated, for I intend to 
hold any subordinate in your Department who has had an agency in it, 
to a strict accountability. I wish you to cause a report in writing to 

^^Reading doubtful. 

I'^The author of the Annals of Tennessee. Dr. Ramsey was a faithful corre* 
spondent of Polk, keeping him informed as to the opinions of the Calhoun wing of 
the Democratic party, with which he was in close touch. 



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266 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAQAZINB 

be made to you by any such subordinate, and have it transmitted to me 
that I may judge of it. 

46. James K. Polk, Washington, D. C, to Cave Johnson, 

Washington, D. C, September 18^ 1848. 

I invite your attention to two publications, which appeared in the 
New York Evening Post of the 28th of July, and were re-published in 
the National Intelligencer on the ist of August last, the one hearing the 
signature of Benjamin Tappan and the other that of Frsmcis P. Blair 
Shortly after my arrival in Washington in February, 1845, I invited you 
to accept a place in m>r cabinet. After you had signified your willmgr 
ness to accept the position tendered to you, T was upon terms of confi- 
dential and unreserved intercourse with you. That you might be fully 
informed in advance, of the principles on which my administration would 
be conducted, I submitted to you, for your examination^ Uie Inaugund 
Address, which I afterwards delivered to my fellow-citizens, and con- 
ferred freely with you in relation to public affairs. No opinions which 1 
entertained upon any public subject, upon which we may have conversed 
were withheld from you. The subject of the annexation of Texas to the 
United States, was at that time under consideration in Congress. You 
were a member of the House of Representatives and took part in the 
proceedings which were had in relation to it As it may become proper, 
chat I should at some future period, take some notice of the publications 
of Mr. Tappan and Mr. Blair, I request that you will furnish me with a 
statement of all that you may know of any opinions, or acts of mine, as 
well before as after my inauguration as President, relating to the sub- 
ject of the annexation of Texas to the United States. I desire that you 
will state any conversations, which I may at any time have held with you, 
and any opinions I may have expressed to you, either individually or in 
Cabinet, on the subject of the annexation of Texas; and also, all that 
you may know, if any thin^, in relation to the matters set forth by Messrs. 
Tappon and Blair in their publications. I desire that nothing I have 
ever said or done on the subject, shall be concealed from the public The 
annexation of Texas was a measure of the highest national importamce, 
conceived and consummated with pure and patriotic motives, and it is 
proper and especially after the publications referred to that the opinions, 
and actions, of all the public functionaries, intrusted at any sta^e of its 
progress, with its management should be fully known. With this object 
in view, I address you this letter. 



''^Tappan and Blair had charged Polk with breaking a promise to employ that 
alternative in the joint resolution on annexation which authorised the Preaideat 
to appoint commissioners to bring the matter to pass. For extended comment by Polk 
on the statements of Tappan and Blair, see Quaife, M. M., (ed.) The Diary of J§mts 
K. Polk during His Prestdency, 1845 to i849t Vol. 4, pp. 38-47, S'l i8s-i88. A letter 
is in Moore, J. B.. [Ed.] The Works of James Buehancn. Vol. 8, p. ao8 (PhOadel' 
in almost identical terms, addressed by Polk to James Buchanan, September 30, 18481 
^hia, 1909). 



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HISTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS 



THE FAILURE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES BILL. 

It is with regret that we r^ort another postponement in the matter 
of establtshing* a Department of History and Archives in Tennessee. The 
bill presented by the Tennessee Historical Society (printed at length in 
the Magazine for March, 1915) was introduced in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and the prospects of its enactment seemed favorable. But the 
financial situation of the state was considered by the powers that be to be 
such that expansion at this time was not wise and the bill died upon the 
calendar. However, in Uie appropriation bill there was inserted a provision 
by which the sum of $900 was appropriated for each of the next two years 
to continue the services of Mr. Robert Quarles, Jr., as keeper of the 
archives, with $1,000 a year for office expenses. This will insure that at 
least there shall be no retrogression during tiie two years that follow. 
Meanwhile it must be the endeavor of all who realize the necessity for a 
proper establishment of this important department to develop a widespread 
pubKc sentiment that will prevent the further sidetracking of this under- 
takii^g. 

THE STATE LITERARY AND HISTORICAL ASSOCTATION OF NORTH CARCMLINA. 

Bulletin No, 18 of Hie Publications of the North Carolina Historical 
Commission is made up of the Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Ses- 
sion of the State Literary and Historical Association of North Carolina. 
This substantial volume of one hundred and fifty pages is a splendid wit- 
ness to the activities of the Association of the Old North State, and to 
the energy of its president, Professor Archibald Henderson, and of its 
secretary, Hon. R. D. W. Connor, who is also Secretary of the North 
Carolina Historical Commission. 

Besides an address by the Argentine Ambassador to the United States, 
Hon. R. S. Naon; the paipers read at a conference on North Carolina 
literature, an account of the proceedings of a meeting in honor of "O. 
Henry," and the official minutes of the session, the Bulletin contains a 
stirring address by President Henderson, in which is made a vigorous ap- 
peal to North Carolinians for the development of literature and culture 
along with the material economic progress of the New South. Moreover, 
the Association devoted one of its meetings to a conference on county 
history, in which several excellent papers were devoted to this important 
topic, full of fine suggestions for Tennessee and Tennesseans. Nothing 
would do more to develop a popular interest in history in our own state 
than a greater activity in the writing of county history. There has been 
some excellent work of this sort, but how little in comparison with what 
mifirht be done! In Mississippi, under the direction of Professor F. L. 
Riley, there has been developed an important group of studies in the 
history of Reconstruction! in the counties of that state. These arc not 
mere geneatocHcal or statistical compilations, but serious productions based 
upon a definite plan. To suggest such a plan for North Carolina was the 
purpose of this conference, and these suggestions are recommended to our 
readers in Tennessee. The Bulletin may be obtained bv writing to Hon. 
R. D. W. Connor. Secretary of the North Carolina Historical Commis- 
sion, Raleigh, North Carolina. 



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268 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

REFOKT OF THE CONFERENCB OF HISTORY TEACHERS, GEORGE FEABODY CXHXEGE 
FOR TEACHERS, NASHVHXE, TENNESSEE, JULY 20, IQIS-* 

This report was made by the secretary of the meeting, Mr. Womack, 
both for the History Teacher's Magazine and the Tennessee Historical 
Magazine. 

The second conference for history teachers in the George Peabody Col- 
lege for Teachers was held July 20, 191 5, under the direction of Dr. St. 
George L. Sioussat, of Vanderbilt University; Dr. W. L. Fleming, of 
Louisiana State University; Dr. R. P. Brooks, of the University of 
Georgia; Dr. F. M. Fling, of the University of Nebraska; Dr. E. C Brooks, 
of Trinity College, and Dr. C. A. McMurry, Dr. W. F. Russell, and Mr. 
Thomas Alexander of Peabody College. Dr. Sioussat presided. Mr. R, E. 
Womack of Arkansas State Normal School was chosen to act as secretary. 
The chairman called attention to the second History Exhibit of the Peabody 
Summer Quarter, displayed in the room in which the conference was held. 
This consisted of maps, charts, pictures, text-books, source books, and 
other materials auxiliary to the teaching of history. After the announce- 
ments concerning the exhibit were made. Dr. Thomas Alexander delivered 
a short address on the teaching of history in the elementary schools of 
Germany. He sketched the history of historical instruction in these 
schools, spoke of the purpose of historical instruction from the standpoint 
of German teachers, told how the oral method of instruction predominated, 
and closed by reading a lesson which was reported stenographically. 

Dr. Fling next spoke on "What History Is and Why It Should Be 
Taught." He defined history as "the science of the unique evolution of 
man in his activities as a social being." He declared that men have tried 
to make of history a natural science, which it is not. Since this is true, 
history cannot be taught from types. The teacher must treat it as a whole, 
so that our present stage of development may be appreciated. Condensa- 
tion will, therefore, be necessary, and so each must work out his phitosophv 
of history, must have a set of values. Social institutions, he declared, 
are only a means toward the development of a spiritual individual. In 
history we are dealing with purposeful activity, striving after the bigirest 
value in life. It is a "struggle to nut a spiritual content into life." The 
work of the history writer and teacher is an absolute necessity. We must 
know just what part of our world problem remains unsolved, so that each 
generation may take it up where the one preceding left off. Dr. Flinfl: 
declared that the trouble with Germany today is that the schools are train- 
ing natriots who have no regard for world-society or world institutions. 
Pcrhans the United States had a better conception of world society than 
any other country. 

The last address during the conference was made bv Professor E. C 
Brooks, of Trinity College, on the subiect.^ "History in the Elementan' 
Schools in the United States." He emphasized the use of bioeraohv. of 
stories, of type studies, suited to the acre and develonment of the oupil 
rather than a condensed text-book. Since children have little sense of 
time, there is no place for chronological study in the elementary crades. 
What the nunil needs is plentv of concrete illustrations which will wv^ 
him an insieht into man's activity in society. Later when a text-book 
is nut into his hands the interesting material learned earlier falls into its 
proper place. 

After the program was rendered Dr. McMnrrv led In a very interesting 
discussion on the mooted question of t3rpe studies. 

The exhibit was left open for the remainder of the week. 

Among the teachers present were Thomas Alexander. Agnes Amis. 



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HISTORICAL NOTES AND NEWS 259 

F. M. Fling, Rosa Wyatt, Thomas Dyke, Zona Gilliam, R. P. Brooks, E. 
VilHo, Dora Register, Lula J. Crecelius, Hattie B. Moseley, Nellie V. 
Mullen, T. Robt. Owens, Robt. N. Chenault, Mabel Jones, Sue M. Powers, 
Carrie B. Smith, Elizabeth Nixson, D. M. Russell, Mrs. C. A. McMurry, 
Mr. C. A. McMurry, E. C. Brooks, R. E. Womack, A. W Birdwell, Mar- 
garet S Mosby, Margaret M. Heard, Willie Jones, R. Cora Armistead, 
Q. M. Smith, R. E. Bruner, Pattie Sue Arnold, G. C. Watkins, J. R. 
DeMoss, Bartie Moore, Chas. E. Little, Alfred I. Roehm. 

A CALENDAR OF THE DRAPER MANUSCRIPTS. 

A very important step towards rendering accessible the vast body of his- 
torical documents in the Draper collection in Madison is manifested in 
the beginning of a published calendar of this material. Volume i of a 
Calendar Series of the Publications of the State Historical Society of 
Wisconsin (Madison, published by the society, igiS), a stout volume of 
over 350 pages, describes the contents of two "series" of the Draper Mss., 
as listed in the Descriptive List of Manuscript Collections of the State 
Historical Society of Wisconsin, edited by Dr. R. G. Thwaites and pub- 
lished in 1906. The first of these series is the Preston Papers, in six bound 
volumes of Mss.; the second the Virginia series, in sixteen volumes. 
The work of calendaring and preparation has been done by members of 
the State Library staflF, under the general editorship of Dr. M. M. Quaife. 
There is a full index. 

These two series contain many items of interest to Tennesseans, 
including some relative to James Robertson, Daniel Smith, John Sevier, 
and other Tennessee pioneers, but the Tennessee material in these series 
is relatively small, and we shall await with much expectation the con- 
tinuation of the Calendar Series with the Frontier Wars Mss., the Ken- 
tucky Mss., the North Carolina Mss., the Tennessee Mss., and the other 
groups that bear upon the Southwest. 

This seems an appropriate occasion for suggestions to those of our 
friends who urge the copying of the Draper Mss. relative to Tennessee. 
With our limited resources it would certainly seem the part of wisdom 
to avoid unnecessary labor and expenditure, and above all to avoid useless 
duplication. Recently the Tennessee Society of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution, with a spirit for which there cannot be too high 
commendation, undertook to provide for the copying of some of the Draper 
Mss. relating to the early history of Tennessee. It is indeed most de- 
sirable that this materia] should be made available to students who must 
of necessity remain within the limits of Tennessee. It will be much 
better, however, to await the completion of the process of calendaring by 
the Wisconsin Historical Society before proceeding further with copying 
which is not based on any large preconceived plan.. 

OFFICIAL LETTER BOOKS OF W. C. C. CLAIBORNE. 

Dr. Dunbar Rowland, Director of the Department of Archives and 
History of Mississippi, proposes to publish, through the Archives Pub- 
lishing Co. (Jackson, Miss.), the official Letter Books of William C. C. 
Claiborne, as Governor of the Mississippi Territory and the the Province 
and State of Louisiana. For the work, which will appear in not more 
than six volumes. Dr. Rowland invites subscriptions at the price of five 
dollars per volume. These documents will be of peculiar mterest and 
importance to students of the early history of Tennessee. 



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Vol.!. DECEMBER, 1915 No. 

TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL 
MAGAZINE 




PUBLISHED BY 

THE TENNESSEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



ISSUED QUARTERLY 
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION, $2.00 -SINGLE NUMBERS. 75 Cts. 



NASHVILLE 



FOR SALE AT THE ROOMS OF THE SOCIETY 
WATKINS HALL - - - NASHVILLE 

i -^<-j 



uigmzea oy 'vjv./v./^^iv^- 



Q,y 



^ 



Entered as second-cIasB matter, July 1, 1915, at the Post Office at 
Nashville, Tenn., under Act of Ck>ngresB, August 24, 1912. 



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THE TEI^ISTESSEE 
HISTOMCi^L SOCIETY 



iroXJNJDKJD 1849 
IKCX>RPORJLTBr> ISTfJ 



OFFICERS 



President, 
JOHN H. DeWITT. 

Vice-Presidents f 

E. T. SANFORD, 

PARK MARSHALL 

J. P. YOUNG. 

Mrs. B. D. BELL 

Recording Secretary, 
IRBY R. HUDSON. 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 
A. P. FOSTER. 

Corresponding Secretary, 
ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT. 

Treasurer, 
JOSEPH S. CARELS, 

Financial Agent, 
COL. GEORGE C. PORTER 



FORM OF LEGACY 

"I give and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society 
the sum of dollars.** 



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COIVTENTS. 



PAGF 

The Anti-Slavery Societies op Tennessee. Asa Earl Martin 261 

Dr. James White. Pioneer, Politician, Lawyer. Albert V, Good- 
pasture 282 

The Development of the Tennessee G)NSTiTunoN. Wallace Mc- 
Clure 292 

Documents — 

I. With Walker in Nicaragua. The Reminiscences of Elleanore 
(Callaghan) Ratterman, with Introduction and Notes by 
W. O. Scroggs 315 

II. Walker-Heiss Papers. Some Diplomatic Correspondence of 
the Walker Regime in Nicaragua, with Introduction and 
Notes by W. O. Scroggs 331 

Historical Notes and News — 

Proceedings of the Society— Conference of the Tennessee Chapters, 
Daughters of the American Revolution — Tennessee Society, 
Sons of the American Revolution — Index to the Wisconsm 
Historical Collections 346 

Index 350 



Committee on Publications 

JOHN H. DEWITT, Chairman 

W. E. BEARD ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT 

Editor of the Magazine 

ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT. 

Professor of History, Vanderbilt University 

Business Manager 

JOHN H. DEWITT, 

Stahlman Building, Nashville, Tennessee, 

Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the 
statements or the opinions of contributors. 



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TENNESSEE 
HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Vol. 1. DECEMBER, 1915. No. 4. 

THE ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES OF TENNESSEE. 



The number of those who opposed slavery in the South 
and particularly in the border states has been greatly un- 
derestimated. Consequently the organized efforts in behalf 
of the slave, which were of considerable importance in many 
sections, have not been fully appreciated. This is especially 
true of the first three decades of the nineteenth century, 
when the membership of the anti-slavery societies in the 
slave states usually exceeded that of those in the free states, 
and when gradual emancipation was recognized both in the 
North and in the South as the only safe and practical method 
of abolishing slavery. 

This gradual emancipation movement, by which slavery 
was abolished in most of the Northern states, made thou- 
sands of converts also in Maryland, Virginia, North Caro- 
lina, Kentucky and Tennessee, where it bid fair to accom- 
plish the same end. Its progress, however, was checked 
and the prospects of success destroyed by the radical, aggres- 
sive modem abolitionists, whose abusive language, heaped 
upon the slaveholder, and whose ardent advocacy of imme- 
diate, unconditional, uncompensated emancipation forced the 
conservative gradual emancipationists of the South either 
to a justification of slavery or to a temporary suspension of 
all anti-slavery agitation. Because of this radical aggres- 
siveness an undue amount of attention has been given to 
modem abolHionism, and consequently the strength of the 
sentiment in favor of gradual emancipation has been greatly 
underestimated by the writers upon the subject. While the 
conditions were similar in all the border states, this study 
will be limited to Tennessee, and particularly to one aspect 
of anti-slavery, namely, the organization and the work of 
the anti-slavery societies. 



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264 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Soon after this society had been organized and its pur- 
poses made known, similar societies were formed in Greene, 
Sullivan, Washington, Blount, Grainger, Knox and other 
counties.** At first the local societies framed constitutions 
to suit their own views, but finding their objects to be the 
same, a correspondence took place between them concerning 
the consolidation of all into one body. To accomplish this 
end delegates elected from the different societies assembled 
in a state convention November 21, 1815, at the Lick Creek 
Meeting House of Friends in Greene County and effected a 
permanent state organization and adopted a common consti- 
tution under the name of the "Manumission Society of Ten- 
nessee."' 

The most conspicuous individual leader in this move- 
ment was the Quaker minister, Charles Osbom, who not 
only was the originator of the first branch of the society, 
but also aided materially in the formation of most of the 
other branches.^ In this work Osbom was ably assisted by 
the Rev. John Rankin, of the Presbyterian Church, who 
was destined, during the three decades preceding the Civil 
War, to occupy a position of first importance among the 
anti-slavery workers of the United States. In 1825, he pub- 
lished his famous "Letters on Slavery," which went through 
many editions and exerted a very great influence. Many 
Western men have called him the "father of abolitionism," 
and it was not an uncommon thing in the thirties to hear 
him spoken of as "the Martin Luther of the cause."® 

The organization of both the local and the state anti- 
slavery societies was, as a rule, very simple. It provided for 
president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer as the 
regular officers, and usually for one or more committees. 
The Manumission Society of Tennessee was organized on 
the same plan as the American Convention for Promoting 
the Abolition of Slavery, which embraced most of the anti- 
slavery societies in the United States. Each auxiliary 
branch in the state society was to be represented in the an- 
nual convention by one-twentieth of its members, excepting 

V6irf., Temple, op. cit., p. 86. 

•Hoss op. cit, p. II ; Temple, op. cit., p. 86; Birney, op. cit,, p. 76; Adams. 
op, cit., p. 131; Weeks, S. B., Southern Quakers and Slavery (1896), p. 
235 ; Julian, op. cit., p. 539. The four last named authors have confused the 
organization of the state society in November, 1815, with the preliminary 
meeting of the first branch in December, 1814. 

^In 1816 Osbom removed to Ohio, where he published The Philan- 
thropist, a weekly anti-slavery paper. Two years later he again removed 
to Indiana, where he spent the remainder of his life. 

•Birney, op. cit., p. 168; Rankin, A. T., Truth Vindicated, and Slander 
Repelled, pp. 7^. 



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ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIBS 265 

that when a branch did not contain twenty members it was 
entitled to one delegate. Often when a number of societies 
existed in one county they combined to form a county or- 
ganization modeled after that of the state society. In 1823 
and also in 1827 five such county organizations were affili- 
ated with the Manumission Society of Tennessee.* A fee, 
which in 1827 amounted to 12 1-2 cents, was levied upon 
every member of the state society.^® 

The work of the state society in general consisted of 
holding annual meetings, publishing addresses or general 
information on the subject of slavery, issuing memorials 
and petitions to the officials of the state and nation, defend- 
ing in court negroes claimed as fugitives, and opposing both 
the foreign and the domestic slave trade. ITie auxiliary 
branches held regular meetings, some as often as once a 
month, and sought in every way possible to further the ob- 
jects of the society in their special vicinity." A few in- 
stances have been found, however, when addresses were 
issued by a branch independent of the state society." 

Much difference of opinion prevails concerning the atti- 
tude of the anti-slavery societies of Tennessee toward im- 
mediate unconditional emancipation during the first two 
years of their existence. The constitution of the Tennessee 
Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, quoted 
above, declared for neither immediate nor gradual emanci- 
pation. Article 2, which forbade its meml]KBrs from voting 
for governors or legislators, when they believed them to 
be opposed to emancipation, indicated a strong and un- 
compromising attitude on the subject, yet it did not in spe- 
cific terms call for immediate or unconditional emancipa- 
tion. No documentary evidence appears to be extant which 
indicates that the society ever advocated these doctrines, 
though that has often been claimed for it The constitu- 
tion of the Manumission Society of Tennessee which was 
formed the following year was also indefinite on this point, 
although from 1816 until the dissolution of the society 
about 1830 the doctrine of gradual emancipation was clear- 

*Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 7, p. 194. The county organ- 
izations were in Blount, Greene, Washington, Jefferson and Knox coun- 
ties. Local branches were located at Bethesda, Beaver Creek, Carter's 
Station, Chestooy, Dumplin Creek, French Broad, Hickory Creek, Holston, 
Knoxville, Little River, Maryville, Middle Creek, Mount Gilead, Nolu- 
chucky, Powell's Valley, Stock Creek, Turkey Creek, and Rock Creek. 

^Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 7, p. 194. Hoss, op. cit., p. 13. 

"Temple, op, cit,, p. 87; Hoss, op. cit,, pp. lo-ii. 

"Temple, op. cit., pp. logff. 



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266 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

ly expressed in the numerous memorials and addresses 
issued by the society." 

While the anti-slavery societies of Tennessee never ad- 
vocated immediate emancipation, a considerable number of 
the early members believed in it and endeavored to secure 
its adoption by the society. Chief among these were Charles 
Osbom, John Rankin, Jesse Willis and Jesse Lockhart, all 
of whom moved to the Northwest Territory between 1816 
and 1825, where they were active in anti-slavery work for 
many years." 

At the second annual convention of the Manumission So- 
ciety of Tennessee, held in Greene County in November, 
1816, when sixteen branches, with a membership of 474, 
were represented, all of whom were residents of East Ten- 
nessee, Thomas Doan, Aaron Coppock, James Boyd, Jesse 
Cain and Elihu Embree were appointed a committee to issue 
an address to the religious denominations of the United 
States, setting forth the purposes of the society and prajring 
for co-operation in the work. The object of the society was 
again declared to be, "the gradual abolition of slavery of the 
people of color in our nation ... by having laws 
passed declaring all those bom after some fixed period, to be 
free at some reasonable age, and as a qualification for free- 
dom that they be taught to read the Holy Scriptures and 
taught some occupation." The churches individually and 
collectively were asked to co-operate in these efforts to se- 
cure the passage of laws designed to encourage individual 
emancipation "instead of retarding it as at present," to- 
gether with laws which would ameliorate the condition of 
tiie free negro and prevent the separation of families among 
the slaves, since slavery "is this day almost unanimously 
acknowledged to be a great national evil."" 

Three years later, Elihu Embree, one of the leading mem- 
bers of the society, after securing its approval and co-opera- 
tion, began the publication of a weekly anti-slavery paper at 
Jonesborough (Jonesboro) in East Tennessee under the 
name of "The Manumission Intelligencer," the first number 
of which appeared in March, 1819. This bears the distinc- 

"Niles* Weekly Register, vol. 14, PP. 32iff; Temple, op. cit, p. 86; 
Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 4, p. 73; vol. 5, p. 42; vol. 7, p. 
194; vol. 8, pp. 93ff ; vol. i, p. 151. 

"These names are frequently mentioned in the numerous published 
reports of the anti-slavery societies of that region. See also, Julian, op, 
cit,, and The Truth of Anti-Slavery, in ibid., voL 13, pp. 437-454 ; Johnson, 
Oliver, Charles Osborn*s Place in Anti-Slavery History, in the Inttr- 
national Review (1883), vol. 13. pp. ipiff ; Weeks, op. cit,, pp. 235ff. 

^Niles' Weekly Register, vol. 14, p. 321. 



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ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIBS 267 

tion of having been the first paper established in the United 
States devoted wholly to anti-slavery.*' Very little is known 
concerning this periodical. It is mentioned by but few his- 
torians, and then only briefly and vaguely. So far as we 
are able to learn no library contains even a partial file of 
the fifty or more numbers that were issued. Some eight 
or ten numbers, however, are in the possession of various 
individuals of Washington County." 

In April, 1820, the weekly issue was replaced by an octavo 
monthly and the name of the paper changed to "The Eman- 
cipator," though the publication continued under the same 
editorship.*® Because of the untimely death of the editor, 
December 12, 1820, "The Emancipator" had an existence 
of only eight months. Although a pronounced abolition pa- 
per, it was well received by the public. At the time of 
Embree's death it could boast a subscription of 2,000, which 
was in all probability as large as that of any paper in the 
state.** In this connection Embree himself said, "I have 
no hesitation in believing that less than twenty years ago a 
man would have been mobbed and his printing office torn 
down for printing and publishing anything like *The Eman- 
cipator,' whereas it now meets the approbation of thousands, 
and is patronized perhaps at least equal to any other in the 
state. . . . But little by little, times are much changed 
here, until societies of respectable citizens have arisen to 
plead the cause of abolition, and instead of it being a dis- 
grace to a man to be a member of these societies, it is rather 
a mark of the goodness of his heart and redounds to his 
honor."2® Although a strong anti-slavery sentiment existed 
in East Tennessee, which was in part responsible for the 
unusual success of the paper during its short existence, yet 
the ability and the high standing of the editor contributed 
largely to that end. S. B. Weeks says of him, "He had in him 
the stuff of which enthusiasts and martyrs are made, for he 
was a radical, outspoken and aggressive abolitionist. . . . 
Had he lived a decade longer, he would have made a name 
for himself/*" and Niles, in a brief announcement of his 

"Hoss, op, cit., p. 1 1 ; Temple, op cit,, p. 8^. 

"Temple, op. cit, p. 91. 

*Weeks, S. B., Anti-Slavery Sentiment in the South, in the So. Hist 
Pubis., No. 2 (1898) ; Hoss, op. cit.: Temple, op. cit., p. 91. 

"Hoss, op. cit. Smith, in his History of East Tennessee, p. 159, says 
that between 1816 and 1820 there were but two newspapers in East Ten- 
nessee, which doubtless in part accounted for the large circulation of 
the Emancipator. 

*Hoss, op, cit,, pp. I7ff. 

"Weeks, Anti-Slavery Sentiment in the South, op. cit., p. 103. 



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268 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

death, spoke of him as "a man of a very strong mind and 
one of the most enterprising citizens of the state/'*^ 

The work begun by Embree was not permitted to lag 
very long. In July, 1821, Benjamin Lundy established at 
Mount Pleasant, Ohio, "The Genius of Universal Emancipa- 
tion," a paper destined to have a long and renowned career. 
When the fame of this paper reached East Tennessee, where 
the friends of Elihu Embree were lamenting the loss of "The 
Emancipator" and its editor, they at once asked Lundy to 
bring his publication to that section. After due considera- 
tion he located at Greeneville, where Volume 1, Number 10 
appeared in April, 1822. The publication, which was well 
supported, was continued at this place until August, 1824, 
when it was removed to Baltimore, Maryland.^' 

After Lundy's plans were made known to the society 
with which he had been closely affiliated during his resi- 
dence in Tennessee, the society at its annual meeting in 1824 
discussed at length a project for establishing an anti-slavery 
paper, but no decision was reached on the question. When 
the subject came up again the following year the plan was 
definitely decided upon and arrangements were made for 
the establishment of such a paper at Greeneville under the 
name of "The Manumission Journal."^ No further infor- 
mation has been found concerning this publication and the 
probabilities are that it was never issued. 

The Manumission Society of Tennessee was always dili- 
gent in its efforts to secure the passage of laws that would 
further the general objects of the society. In 1821, a peti- 
tion was presented to the legislature of the state prajdng 
for the passage of laws for the relief of the slave popula- 
tion, such as allowing masters who were convinced of the 
impropriety of holding slaves to emancipate them on terms 
that would not involve themselves. The present policy of 
"forcing men by unjust restrictions to hold slaves in bondage 
contrary to the dictates of conscience and humanity" was 
bitterly denounced. They further asked for a law providing 
some plan of freeing the descendants of slaves bom after 
some fixed date at a given age and "to enjoin on those hav- 
ing the raising of such to teach them to read the Scriptures 
and to follow some useful employment," and also to pre- 

"Niles" Weekly Register, vol. 19, p. 384. 

"Earic, Thomas, Life of Benjamin Lundy, pp. 20, 22; Temple, op. 
cit., pp. 92, 94. See also Genius of Universal Emancipation, April, 1822; 
August, September, 1824. 

'^Genius of Universal Emancipation, September, 1825. The Minutes of 
the Eleventh Annual Convention of the Manumission Society of Tennes- 
see, held in August, 1825, are also given in this number of the "Gaiius." 



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ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES 269 

vent by legislation the "inhuman practice of separating hus- 
band and wife."^*^ This petition was referred for considera- 
tion to a special committee, of which Jacob Peck was chair- 
man. *« The unanimous report of this committee is an ex- 
ceedingly interesting document as portraying the sentiment 
of a considerable number of the lawmakers of the State on 
the subject of slavery. In part it is as follows : "That in 
all cases where chance or fortune has given the citizen do- 
minion over any part of the human race, no matter of what 
hue, and whose reflection has taught him to consider an 
exercise of that dominion inhuman, unconstitutional or 
against the religion of his country, ought to be permitted 
to remove that yoke without the trammels at present im- 
posed by law. . . . Your committee, therefore, recom- 
mend an amendment to the law granting the prayer of the 
petition so far as respects the young, healthy slave not likely 
to become a county charge. 

"On the second point, your committee are of the opinion 
that it is worthy the consideration of tiie legislature to 
examine into the policy of providing for the emancipation 
of those yet unborn. ... On a subject so interesting it 
cannot be improper to inquire, therefore, as a question of 
policy, it is recommended to the sober consideration of the 
General Assembly. 

"Your committee also advise a provision by law, if the 
same be practicable, to prevent, as far as possible, the sepa- 
rating husband and wife."^^ 

The general objects of the society were again set forth 
in the address of the seventh annual convention of the Manu- 
mission Society in 1822 as contemplating "a gradual re- 
form of laws, so as to soften the bonds of slavery to those 
who now groan under the yoke, and to avert the evil from 
generations yet unborn. To this end we recommend to unite 
in your endeavor to elect men to represent you whose prin- 
ciples and conduct in life give the best hopes that they will 
support the principles you profess."" 

For four successive years the convention sent memorials 
to Congress. The first, in January, 1822, praying for the 
gradual abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, 
and for the giving by Congress of every facility in its power 

"The society repeatedly asked both the Legislature of Tennessee and 
Congress to pass such a law. Niles' Weekly Register, vol. 21, p. 173. 
The Minutes of the American Convention for 1823 (pamph.), p. 18. 

■•Jacob Peck was a citizen of Jefferson County, East Tennessee. He 
later became one of the Supreme Court judges of the state. 

"Niles* Weekly Register, vol. 21, p. 173. 

''Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. i, p. 151. 



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270 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

to effect the final abolition of slavery in the whole United 
States.** The memorial of 1823 asked for legislation pro- 
hibiting the separation of families and for the abolition of 
the domestic slave trade.^*^ In 1824 they prayed for laws 
which would prevent the further extension of slavery into 
the states then free and into the territories of the United 
States.'^ In 1825, in addition to everjrthing included in 
the above petitions, they asked for the passage of a law 
freeing the post nati, emphatically declaring that such legis- 
lation would be constitutional.** At various other times me- 
morials were sent to Congress dealing with the evils of 
slavery.** In each instance these were referred to a com- 
mittee according to the subject-matter of the petition, but 
no further action appears to have been taken. 

In 1823 the society embraced the colonization idea as a 
plan of gradual emancipation and recommended it to the 
American Convention in its address to that body. It further 
suggested that Congress be petitioned to appropriate a par- 
cel of land on the continent of America to be devoted ex- 
clusively to the colonization of those who might after that 
time become free. The education of the slave was declared 
to be necessary to insure the success of the undertaking.** 

In this same address the Manumission Society reported 
twenty branches with a membership that was "supposed to 
exceed six hundred." The auxiliary branches were spoken 
of as flourishing and enjoying a steady growth against a 
strong prejudice.*"^ The Address to the branches the follow- 
ing years speaks of "lukewarmness" on the part of some of 
the members, but of the attitude of the general society as 
earnest and uncompromising.** 

The society at the annual meeting of 1825 took a decided 
stand on the question of the education of the slaves, when 
the following resolution was adopted : "That all slavehold- 
ing members of the Manumission Society who shall here- 
after refuse or neglect to educate their slaves, so far as it is 
practicable, be excommunicated, and no longer be consid- 

'^ Annals of Congress, 17th Cong., i Sess., p. 709. 

•/Wrf., 2 Sess., p. 642. 

'^Ibid,, i8th Cong., i Sess., p. 93i. 

"Minutes of the American Convention for 1825 (pamph.), p. 18. 

"Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 7, p. 19.^. A complete report 
of the proceedings of the thirteenth annual convention of the Manumis- 
sion Society of Tennessee is given in this number. 

'^Minutes of the American Convention for 1823, p. 18. 

"Ibid, 

"Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 11, p. 21; vol. 4, pp. I56ff. 



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ANTI-SLAVEBY SOCIETIES 271 

ered members of this society."*^ During the entire life of 
the society it was its policy to encourage and promote the 
education of the slave population. 

The thirteenth annual convention assembled in August, 
1827, in the Lost Creek Meeting House of Friends in Jeffer- 
son County, with ten branches represented and five absent." 
Of the reports from the various branches some gave evidence 
of "remaining animation and increase," while others ap- 
peared to be in a less prosperous condition.'* The society as 
a whole, however, was very active. Memorials were sent to 
Congress, to the legislature of Tennessee, to the religious 
denominations and to the various branches, dealing with 
the different objects of the society. Among other things, a 
resolution was passed forbidding members to assist in any 
way the escape of slaves from their legal owners. Any 
member charged with such an offense was to be tried by the 
branch of which he was a member and, if found guilty, he 
was to be expelled. The proceedings in such trials were to 
be sent to the next annual convention to be recorded in its 
minutes for publication.*® This resolution is especially in- 
teresting because it indicates that the society was being sub- 
jected to severe criticism by havinc: its members charged 
justly or unjustly with the above offense. The society was 
attempting to answer the criticism by taking a firm stand 
against such acts. 

In the address of the society read before the convention 
by Thomas Doan, the following statement was made: 
"Slavery is unfriendly to a genuine course of agriculture, 
turning in most cases the fair and fertile face of nature into 
barren sterility. It is the bane of manufacturing enterprise 
and internal improvements; injurious to mechanical pros- 
perity; oppressive and dei?rading to the poor and laboring 
classes of the white population that live in its vicinity ; the 
death of religion ; and finally it is a volcano in disguise, and 
dangerous to the safety and happiness of any government on 
earth where it is tolerated."*^ 

The convention also appointed a committee, with James 

'^Genius of Universal Emancipation, July, 1825; Thomas, Earle, Life 
of Benjamin Lundy (1847). p. IQQ. 

''Genius of Universal Bmancipation, vol. 7, p. 194. In the Genius for 
October 13, 1827, Lundy said that there were twenty-five anti-slavery 
societies in Tennessee with a membership of 1,000. He also estimated 
the number of societies in the free states at twenty- four, with a total mem- 
bership of 1,500, and those in the slave states at 106, with 5,125 members. 
Of these, about 4,000 were located in North Carolina and Tennessee. 

'^Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 7, p. 194. 

''Ibid. 

"^Ihid., vol. 8, p. 93ff. 



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272 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Jones, who had been president of the society for many years, 
as chairman, to conmiunicate with the American Conven- 
tion. His report began with these suggestive words : "To 
the American Abolition Convention for Promoting the 
Rights of Oppressed Man : Friends and fellow advocates in 
the cause of suffering humanity ... I am anxious that 
the friends of freedom may be firm and encouraged to per- 
severe with Christian fortitude in promoting the great cause 
of justice." He considered it strange that the people did 
not more seriously consider the interests of themselves and 
posterity. "I wish," he continued, "tiiat the several Relig- 
ious and Benevolent Societies could be prevailed upon 
throughout this Union to consider the propriety of petition- 
ing the several legislative authorities on the all-important 
subject of negro emancipation, but more particularly to 
load the tables of Congress with such memorials, especially 
referring that august body to the (little spot ten miles 
square) District of Columbia, over which Congress holds 
entire control. If Congress have power to regulate com- 
merce between the several States, etc., and who questions 
this fact, let all friends of man solicit the Congress to pro- 
hibit . . . the internal slave trade." After a bitter de- 
nunciation of the traffic, he continued : "It is time for peo- 
ple to be aroused to their duty, and ask their rulers to 
abolish such things in plain, explicit terms."*^ 

Again in 1830, James Jones, in a letter to Benjamin Lun- 
dy, spoke of his own and the society's efforts to have abol- 
ished the internal slave trade. He enclosed a copy of the 
memorial which the society had sent to Congress in 1829, 
asking Lundy to publish the same in The Genius of Univer- 
sal Emancipation. In conclusion, he said: "For if Con- 
gress will not listen to the voice of humanity until destruc- 
tion Cometh, I wish posterity to know that some among us 
are now desirous to have justice done."*' 

The Manumission Society of Tennessee must have passed 
out of existence during the early thirties, for no record of 
the proceedings of its meetings or of the memorials and 
addresses that had been issued previously with such reg- 
ularity has been found. Though the society appeared to be 
as strong and as active as ever during the late twenties, yet 
certain forces were at work which were destined to under- 
mine and destroy the organization. The society was never 

^'Minutes of the American Convention for 1828 (pamph.), p. 57. The 
Manumission Society of Tennessee was represented in the American 
Convention a number of times, twice by Benjamin Lundy. Addresses 
were sent to that body when it was not possible to send a delegate. 

**Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 11, p. 3. 



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ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES 273 

radical in its aims, becoming less and less so as it grew 
older. The most outspoken and aggressive of the early 
members, among whom were Osbom, Rankin, Willis and 
Underbill, removed to the free states north of the Ohio river 
soon after the organization of the society. Elihu Embree, 
referring to these changes as early as March, 1820, said: 
"Thousands of first-rate citizens, men remarkable for their 
piety and virtue, have within twenty years past removed 
from this and other slave States to Ohio, Indiana and Illi- 
nois, that their eyes might be hid from seeing the cruel 
oppressor lacerate the back of his slaves, and that their ears 
might not hear the bitter cries of the oppressed. I have 
often regretted the loss of so much virtue from these slave 
States, which held too little before. Could all those who 
have removed from slave States on that account to even the 
single state of Ohio have been induced to remove to, and 
settle in, Tennessee, with their high-toned love for Universal 
Liberty and aversion to slavery, I think that Tennessee 
would ere this have begun to sparkle among the true stars 
of Liberty."" 

As the radical element disappeared and the sectional lines 
over slavery became more pronounced both in the free and 
in the slave states, the anti-slavery societies of Tennessee 
as well as those in the other parts of the South, became 
either protective associations laboring for the general ame- 
lioration of the condition of the slave population or gradual 
emancipation and colonization societies. We have already 
noticed a distinct tendency toward the colonization idea. In 
1822 there was but one colonization society in Tennessee, 
while there were twenty-five anti-slavery societies. But by 
1831 the colonization societies had increased to nineteen, 
while the anti-slavery societies had entirely disappeared.*'^ 

The rise of the modern abolition movement in the North 
about 1830 and the general opposition to it throughout the 
South were also important elements in the dissolution of 
the gradual emancipation societies of Tennessee. There 
seems to have been a uniform impression among the great 
majority of the citizens of the State that the abolition move- 
ment was wrong as it stood related to the political fabric 
and that it had in it the germ of incalculable injury. In 
Tennessee, as in other sections of the country, a decided 
attempt was made to suppress all anti-slavery agitation, 
at least until the radical abolitionists should cease their 
activities. This opposition was based especially, first, upon 

**The Emancipator, quoted from Hoss, op, cit. 
•"Adams, op, cit., p. io6. 



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274 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

the unpreparedness of the slave for immediate emancipation 
and the fear of insurrection fed by such incidents as the 
Nat Turner raid in Virginia in 1831 ; second, upon the con- 
stitutional guarantee of the right of property in slaves, and, 
third, upon the Northern interference in the South's in- 
ternal affairs, which, whether justly or unjustly, was looked 
upon as an impertinence. 

Among the members of the Manumission Society of Ten- 
nessee the Quakers and the Presbyterians took the most im- 
portant part. Of the sixteen branch societies in 1816 at 
least ten were located in strong Quaker settlements/' The 
first society in the State was organized in a Quaker meeting- 
house, as were many others. It appears from the records 
that a large majority of the annual State conventions of the 
society were held also in Quaker meeting-houses, whose doors 
were always open to such efforts. Though the Covenanters 
and the Quakers differed in religious doctrines, they were 
united in their attitude toward slavery and worked harmo- 
niously together to bring about the abolition of that institu- 
tion. Therefore, it would be difficult to determine the exact 
influence and importance of each in the work, although it 
may be safely said that up to 1825, and possibly later, the 
Quakers, though not so numerous, played the more important 
part. A considerable number of Methodists and Baptists 
were also identified with the anti-slavery societies and con- 
tributed a great deal to the work. 

The names associated with the society stand for the very 
best of the old East Tennessee families. Nearly every one of 
them is known today through their descendants.*^ Among 
the members of the society no single member deserves more 
credit for the long and continued life and activity of the 
society than the Quaker, James Jones, another of the many 
members of that religious body, who contributed so much 
to the anti-slavery cause.*® James Jones, in addition to act- 
ing as president of the society, during a large part of its 
existence, also wrote many of tiie addresses that were issued 
by the society. While his education was limited he possessed 
a strong mind and a soul wholly wrapped up in the cause. 
He kept up a close correspondence with the anti-slavery 
workers not only in Tennessee but also in other sections of 
the United States.*"" His death in 1830, just at the time 

•^ccks, Southern Quakers and Slavery, p. 400 (Map). 

•Temple, op. cit, p. 87. 

Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 11, p. 2; Adams, oP, cit, p. 
133. See also Appendix. 

^Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 11, p. 2; Minutes of the 
American Convention for 1828, p. 12; Temple, op. cit., p. 86. 



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ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES 275 

when his services were most needed, doubtless had an im- 
portant relation to the dissolution of the society about that 
time. In the "Genius of Universal Emancipation" for April, 
1830, Lundy paid him the following tribute : "A great man 
has fallen, one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of Ameri- 
can Philanthropists has set, has set to rise no more. James 
Jones, president of the Manumission Society of Tennessee — 
the steady, ardent and persevering friend of universal eman- 
cipation, is numbered with the dead. ... No language 
can impress upon the mind an adequate idea of his many vir- 
tues. SuflSce it to say that few men living can fill the sta- 
tion that he held, with equal honor and usefulness. Long 
shall the poor oppressed African mourn his irreparable 
loss."^'« 

Although the organized anti-slavery agitation was con- 
fined almost entirely to the mountainous section of the State, 
where the institution was not adapted to the economic life 
of the people, there were also individuals in Middle and West 
Tennessee, the great "planting" sections of the State, who 
held and openly advocated the inalienable and equal rights 
of man with as much force as did their co-workers in East 
Tennessee. They, however, were not so numerous and con- 
sequently exerted less influence. 

In December, 18^4, at Columbia, Maury County, was 
formed the "Moral Religious Manumission Society of West 
Tennessee." Its objects were to be attained by arguments 
and persuasion. The preamble to the constitution declared 
that slavery "exceeds any other crime in maomitude," and 
Article 6 of that document spoke of it as being "the greatest 
act of infidelity" rnd as absolutely incompatible with the 
spirit of Christianity, and as "we think that the Gospel of 
Christ, if believed, would remove personal slavery at once by 
destroying the will of the tyrant to enslave, and as we do 
believe that the glory is due to Christ alone, that it cannot be 
given to another, we do agree to hold it up to others to the 
best of our skill, so as to convince them of the truth." Article 
7 said, "As we believe that slavery will exist while men of 
talents are willinor to tyrannize, and as we are convinced 
that nothing: but the moral and religious principle can make 
men unwilling to tyrannize, we therefore deem it unneces- 
sary to make use of any other means but arfl^urrent."''' "^^is 
society differed from the other societies of the state in that 
the membership was restricted to non-slaveholders. 

'^Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. il, p. 2. 

"/Wrf., vol. 4, pp. 76, 142; Birncy, op. cit., p. 76; Adams, op. cit., p. 133. 
The con5!titution of the society was printed in full in the Genius for Feb- 
ruary, 1825. 



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276 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

This society held meetings at regular intervals, issued 
memorials, addresses, etc., as similar societies did, although 
it was, perhaps, more radical and unpractical in its aims. 
In 1824 a memorial was sent to the Methodist Episcopal 
Conference at Columbia, Tennessee, which was carefully 
considered by a committee appointed for that purpose. Hav- 
ing been referred back to the Conference by tiie committee, 
that body made the following declaration in regard to it: 
"That so far as the address involves the subject of slavery 
we concur in the sentiment that slavery is an evil to be de- 
plored and that it should be counteracted by every judicious 
and religious exertion."" In 1825 the society sent an ad- 
dress to the various manumission societies of the state, ask- 
ing them to appoint July 4th of that year as Jubilee Day for 
appropriate celebration and urging them to send out mis- 
sionaries to preach to slaveholders." The following year 
an address was sent to the American Convention, but con- 
trary to the custom of that body the address was not printed, 
because it was said to express sentiments not in accord with 
those of the convention.'** Since the American Convention 
was recognized as a rather liberal body, the sentiments ex- 
pressed by the "Moral, Religious Manumission Society" must 
have been exceedingly radical or else they would have been 
received in the same way as those of other societies. Noth- 
ing further has been found concerning the society. It was 
probably dissolved in 1826 or 1827. 

Although no anti-slavery societies existed, the anti- 
slavery sentiment survived the pro-slavery movement re- 
ferred to above, which was designed to kill or silence all 
agitation of the question of slavery. This fact was par- 
ticularly noticeable in the constitutional convention in 1834, 
when considerable pressure was brought to bear on the con- 
vention to have inserted in the new constitution some pro- 
vision for the gradual abolition of slavery. Petitions pray- 
ing for such action, with 1,804 signatures, of which at least 
105 were of slaveholders, from sixteen of the sixty-two 
counties of the state, were presented to that body. Of these 
sixteen petitions, eleven were from East Tennessee and five 
from Middle Tennessee." The plans proposed by the me- 

"Goodspeed, History of Tennessee (i886), p. 670. 

"Genius of Universal Emancipation, vol. 4» P- 142; Adams, op, cit., 

p. 134. 

**Minutes of the American Convention for 1826, p. 48. 

'^Journal of the Convention, pp. 26, 87ff, 104, i25fF. Emancipation 
petitions were presented from the following counties : Maury, Robertson, 
Lincoln, Bedford, Overton, Roane, Rhea, Knox, Monroe, McMinn, 
Blount, Sevier, Cocke, Jefferson, Greene, and Washington. There were 
273 signers from Washington, 378 from Greene, 105 from Lincoln, and 
139 from Bedford. 



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ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES 277 

morialists are interesting. It appears that Washington 
County alone did not present a definite plan. About half of 
the petitions asked that all children of slaves in the state 
bom after the year 1835 be made free in 1855 and that 
they be sent out of the state. The others requested that all 
slaves be made free by 1866 and that they be colonized.*** 
These proposals resemble in every respect those endorsed 
and advocated consistently by the anti-slavery societies of 
the state for nearly twenty years, and were doubtless copied 
from them or drawn up by men who had been affiliated with 
the societies.**^ 

As there were fewer slaves in Bast Tennessee than in 
almost any other part of the South, little patrolling was done 
in many places, and as the feeling on the subject was not 
so high, the anti-slavery workers in a few instances con- 
tinued to work through regularly organized societies. As 
late as 1835 an immediate emancipation society was formed 
at Rock Creek, in East Tennessee, with nine charter mem- 
bers. James Kennedy was elected the first president and 
Allen Leeper secretary. The society had an existence of only 
two years. During this time, however, it was one of the 
three anti-slavery societies in the South, the others of which 
were located in Kentucky and Virginia, respectively.*^^ 

The Emancipator (of New York) tor March 8, 1838, 
made the following comment upon the anti-slavery work in 
East Tennessee: "We are rejoiced to know that in East 
Tennessee and directly in the very center of the slaveholding 
country, among the fastnesses of the American Alps, God 
has secured a little Spartan band of devoted abolitionists of 

**Ibid., pp. I25ff. 

"During the early days of the convention a special committee of thir- 
teen — one from each Congressional district — was appointed to take into 
consideration the propriety of designating some period from which 
slavery should not be tolerated in the state. About three weeks later 
the committee presented a long and elaborate report, which was followed 
by a minority report, both of which are printed in the Journal of the 
Convention. In the beginning the report of the committee is a severe 
arraignment of slavery. But while it abounds in expressions denouncing 
slavery in the strongest terms, it advises against interference with the 
institution at that time on the ground of inexpediency and the injury 
which, it was said, would necessarily result to the negroes. When the 
report was put to a vote it was carried by 44 against 10. In addition to 
the discussion of this aspect of the question, there were many other dis- 
cussions of slavery, but no other facts of particular interest were devel- 
oped. These slavery discussions in the Convention are discussed by 
Temple in his East Tennessee and the Civil War, and by Caldwell in his 
Constitutional History of Tennessee, pp. 135-140. 

'*The Liberator, July 25, 1835; American Anti-Slavery Almanac for 
December, 1836, p. 47. 



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278 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

the best stamp, whom neither death nor danger can tum."**^ 
And a student of the Theological Seminary at Maryville, in 
a letter to a New England lady, December 23, 1838, said: 
"We take the liberty to uphold and defend our sentiments^ 
whether it is agreeable or not to the selfishness of the slave- 
holder. We would thankfully receive any communication 
on the subject. We have some friends in the country around, 
among whom we have the privilege of distributing without 
fear a considerable number of pamphlets. . . . About 
thirty students in the Theological Seminary at this place 
are preparing for the ministry, of whom twelve are aboli- 
tionists."*® Mr. R. G. Williams, also a resident of Maryville, 
in a letter to the Emancipator, February 24, 1838, after 
earnestly requesting that abolition literature be sent to him 
for distribution in that vicinity, said: "We could form a 
good anti-slavery society in this part of the State, but we 
choose to work in an unorganized manner a while yet, before 
we set ourselves up as a target. Notwithstanding the strict 
laws of Tennessee, we meet through the country and discuss 
the merits of abolition and colonization ; the former is ably 
defended by Rev. T. S. Kendall, pastor of the Seceder Church 
in this county (Blount) , and several others."*^ As late as 

1837, Elijah Eagleston, an ardent abolitionist and pastor of 
the Presbyterian Church at Madisonville, secured the ex- 
pulsion of two of his most prominent members because they 
had yielded to the temptation offered by the high price of 
slaves in 1836 and had each sold a slave or two.** 

Although no anti-slavery societies existed in Tennessee 
after 1837, a strong sentiment in favor of gradual, constitu- 
tional abolition continued to prevail in the state. This feel- 
ing was especially pronounced in East Tennessee, where the 
social and economic conditions were so antagonistic to the 
institution of slavery. Previous to the advent of the mod- 
em abolition movement about 1830, this region was re- 
garded as one of the most fertile fields for anti-slavery work 
in the entire country. As late as 1827, East Tennessee alone 
contained nearly one-fifth of all the anti-slavery societies of 
the United States and nearly one-sixth of the total mem- 

'^The Emancipator, March 8, 1838, p. 175. 

^Ibid., March 16, 1838, p. 178. Mr. Williams in this number said 
that at least half of the thirty students in the Marjrville Seminary were 
decided abolitionists. 

■/Wrf., April 19, 1838, p. 198; November 15, 1838, p. 116. Unfortunately 
for the anti-slavery cause in East Tennessee, Elijah Eagleston died in^ 

1838. Thouph a man of middle age at the time of his death, he had becni 
identified with the anti-slavery work for more than fifteen years. 



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ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETIES 279 

bership.«» AD the anti-slavery societies of the State with 
the single exception of the "Moral, Religious Manumission 
Society of West Tennessee" had been located in the eastern 
part of the State, the bulk of these being in the counties of 
Sullivan, Carter, Hawkins, Greene, Washington, Union, 
Claiborne, Hancock, Grainger, Jefferson, Johnson, Cocke, 
Knox, Sevier and Blount. This difference of sentiment was 
the result of natural and historical causes. Tennessee was 
<»mposed of three grand divisions, which were in several 
essentials so different as to be almost separate States. In 
fact, the citizens of one division spoke and thought of those 
of the others very much in the same manner as of the citi- 
zens of the adjoining states. In topography and soil the 
difference of these divisions was very marked. East Ten- 
nessee consisted of rugged mountains and narrow valleys 
and was in no way suited to the cultivation of cotton and 
tobacco, the two products with which slave labor was most 
advantageously used. Middle Tennessee consisted of long 
mountain slopes and plateaux and undulating lands, and 
West Tennessee of broad alluvial plains. These conditions 
naturally influenced the people in their attitude toward slav- 
ery. There was also a radical difference in the character, 
the sentiment and the traditions of the people of the east 
and the west divisions, which had been inherited from the 
original settlers. East Tennessee was settled at a time when 
hostile Indians inhabited the region in such numbers as to 
make life and property unsafe. Slave labor did not seek 
such a home. The Scotch-Irish and the German settlers from 
Pennsylvania and the North and the poorer people from Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina were the first settlers. On the 
other hand, West Tennessee was settled after the Indians 
had been subdued or removed westward and by men of con- 
siderable means from the seaboard, who brought their slaves 
with them and engaged in the cultivation of cotton and to- 
bacco on a rather large scale. In East Tennessee the ratio 
of slaves to whites was about 1 to 12 ; in Middle Tennessee 
1 to 3, and in West Tennessee 3 to 5. In no county in Bast 
Tennessee was the ratio greater than 1 to 6, while in sev- 
eral counties it was 1 to 60, and in two-thirds of the divisions 
it ranged from 1 to 20 to 1 to 60. 

Although small in membership when compared with the 
total population of the state, the anti-slavery societies per- 
formed a most valuable service. They kept alive anti-slavery 
discussion by a continuous advocacy of the subject; they 
strenuously opposed and materially checked the domestic 

^Genius of Universal Emancipation, October 13, 1827. 

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TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 



slave trade by pointing out the horrors of the system ; they 
defended the free negro before the law and labored to better 
his condition by raising his standard of life ; they endeavored 
to ameliorate the condition of the slaves and to prevent the 
separation of families. Associated with these undertakings 
were, naturally, numerous plans for gradual emancipation 
and colonization. While it is true that they did not wholly 
succeed in any one of these things, they did succeed, in part^ 
in all of them. Asa Earl Martin. 

Pennsylvania State College. 



APPENDIX. 

The following men have been mentioned, in the records examined, as 
officers of the anti-slavery societies of Tennessee or as delegates from the 
branches to the annual convention of the Manumission Society of Ten- 
nessee : 



Robert Anderson. 
James Boyd. 
Stephen Brooks. 
Sauty Brazleton. 
John Canaday. 
Aaron Coppock. 
Joseph Cain. 
Andrew CriswcU. 
Archibald Callen. 
John Coulson. 
Andrew G>wan. 
James Caldwell. 
James Cummings. 
Hiram Daily. 
David Dalzcl. 
Thomas Doan. 
Elijah Eagleston. 
Lawrence Earnest. 
Wesley Earnest 
Elihu Embree. 
Abner Frazicr. 
Asa Gray. 
William Garrett 
James Galbraith. 
Aaron Hammer. 
Elisha Hammer. 
Isaac Hammer. 
Aaron Hackney. 



T. S. Kendall. 
William Lee. 
Allen Leeper. 
Jesse Lockhart. 
Alexander Logan. 
Benjamin Lundy. 
Samuel Mainess. 
William Malcu^A. 
John Marshall. 
David Maulsby. 
John McCroskey. 
Francis McCorkle. 
James B. McGellan. 
James McCampbell. 
Samuel McNees. 
William Milliken. 
John Morgan. 
John Moore. 
Joseph Newman. 
Charles Osbom. 
J. Osbom. 
John Pardoe. 
Ellis Pickering. 
John Rankin. 
William Robert. 
Isaac Smith. 
William Snoddy. 
David Stanfield. 



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ANTI^LAVEEY SOCIETIES 281 



Thomas Hoge. John Swain. 

John Hooks. Elihu Swain. 

James Houston. John Swan. 

Isaiah Harrison. Joseph Tucker. 

Justice Huffaker. Richard Underhill. 

James Jones. Jesse UnderhilL 

Isaiah Jones. Richard Williams. 

Isaac Jones. Jesse Willis. 

Thomas Jones. George Wills. 

John Keer. P. N. Wilson. 

James Kennedy. W. W. Woods. 

Ephriam Lee. Henry Yerkley. 



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DR. JAMES WHITE. 

PIONEER, POLITICIAN, LAWYER. 



The Old Southwest exhibited no more picturesque ca- 
reer and furnished few more important characters than that 
of Dr. James White; still, his life and achievements are 
almost wholly unknown to us. I have seen only two short 
sketches of him, and these are confused, imperfect and un- 
reliable, and do not touch any of the more striking events 
of his life. 

A paper. Brief Biographical Sketches of the Professional 
Dead of Middle Tennessee, contributed to the medical annals 
of Tennessee in 1876, by the distinguished surgeon and au- 
thor. Dr. Paul F. Eve, contains this reference to Dr. White : 

"White, doctor, lawyer, divine. Dr. Felix Robertson 
believed he was the first of the profession who settled in 
Nashville, and came here in 1784. He had studied divinity, 
law and medicine, and was, therefore, well educated; but 
exhibited many eccentricities; would even get on drunken 
sprees and then become very offensive. He was the first dele- 
gate sent to Congress from this district. On his way to 
Washington he met a young girl in North Carolina and 
married her. Their son was Edward D. White, of Louis- 
iana, Governor and Senator to Congress from that State."* 

This sketch is not only short and incomplete, but is in- 
accurate, and does injustice to one of the interesting char- 
acters in the pioneer history of Tennessee; an individual, 
moreover, who is entitled to consideration on account of 
his illustrious descendants, for he was the father of Edward 
Douglas White, Judge, Congressman and Governor of Louis- 
iana, as well as grandfather of Edward Douglas White, 
Chief Justice of the United States. Wishing to rescue the 
memory of this distinguished pioneer, and restore him to 
his proper place in our annals, some years ago, while I was 
editing the American Historical Magazine, I requested Jus- 
tice WTiite (since Chief Justice) to furnish me a biography 
of his grandfather. He referred my letter to a kinsman 
who, he said, was better informed on their family history, 
and promised that he would comply with my request, but 
he failed to do so. 

^Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of Tennessee, 1876, 
p. 89. 



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DR. JAMES WHITE 283 

Since then a Biographical Congressional Directory has 
been published by the government and distributed as a pub- 
lic document. In this publication Dr. James White, the dele- 
gate in Congress, is confounded with Col. James White, the 
founder of Knoxville, and father of Hugh Lawson White, 
and the sketch contains more events in the life of the latter 
than of the former. It is short, and as it is curious, I quote 
it in full, italicizing those sentences that refer to the life of 
Col. James White, of Knoxville : 

"White, James, a Delegate from the Territory South 
of the Ohio River; born in Philadelphia, Pa., June 16, 1749; 
attended a Jesuit college in St Omer, France; returned and 
studied medicine in the University of Pennsylvania ; joined 
the Continental army at the outbreak of the Revolution and 
received pay from North Carolina in a land warrant on a 
tract on the Holston River; located it in 1787 as a part of 
the proposed State of Franklin; erected a fort, built a grist 
mill, made a treaty with the Cherokees and platted the em- 
bryo city of Knoxville; member of the territorial assembly ; 
elected a Delegate from the Territory South of the Ohio 
River in the Third Congress March 4, 1793-March 3, 1795) ; 
took his seat Nov. 18, 1794 ; State Senator of Tennessee and 
Speaker of the Body in 1796 ; resigned in December, 1797, 
to make a place for WiUiam Blount, who, for alleged trea^ 
son, had been expelled from the United States Senate; com- 
missioned brigadier-general of Tennessee; went to Louis- 
iana in 1799, and was elected to the bench as a judge of 
Western Louisiana, and died in Attaxapas, La., in October, 
1809." 

In view of these imperfect and misleading sketches, I 
have collected some of the prominent events in the life of 
Dr. White, and present them here as my offering to the 
memory of an enterprising pioneer of Tennessee. 

Dr. James White was a native of Pennsylvania, having 
been born in Philadelphia, June 16, 1749. Of his early life 
I have no inmformation, except that he attended a Jesuit 
college in St. Omer, France, and subsequently studied medi- 
cine in the University of Pennsylvania. His wife is said to 
have been of the old Wilcox family of Philadelphia, whose 
early members sleep in St. Mary's churchyard. His son 
and grandson bear the name of Col. Edward Douglas, a 
pioneer lawyer and politician of Sumner County, Tennessee, 
but I do not know of any connection between the two fam- 
ilies. 



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284 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

INDIAN AGENT. 

Dr. White made his initial appearance before the public 
as the first United States superintendent of Indian affairs 
for the Southern department, to which position he was ap- 
pointed November 29, 1786.^ Indian affairs were then a 
subject of much delicacy and responsibility demanding of 
an agent courage, energy, tact and diplomacy. At the close 
of the Cherokee war of 1760, the British government created 
the oflSce of superintendent of Indian affairs for the South, 
with powers simflar to those exercised by Sir William John- 
son in the North. Capt. John Stuart, a gallant officer who 
had distinguished himself at the siege of Fort Loudon, was 
appointed to the position and acquired great influence over 
the Southern tribes. At the outbreak of the Revolution he 
organized an Indian invasion of the back settlements, but 
upon the failure of that enterprise he fled from his home in 
Charleston and took refuge with the Spanish in Florida, 
North Carolina th6n appointed Capt. James Robertson agent 
to the Cherokees, and required him to reside at their prin- 
cipal town of Chota. Soon afterwards Joseph Martin was 
appointed agent for Virginia, and, upon the resignation of 
Robertson, was commissioned agent of North Carolina also. 
But in 1786 the United States government determined to 
take charge of Indian affairs, and though Martin was an 
applicant for the position of superintendent, and was strong- 
ly endorsed by the Governor of North Carolina, the appoint- 
ment fell to Dr. James White. 

SPANISH EMISSARY. 

His duties as superintendent of Indian affairs for the 
Southern department brought Dr. White into sympathetic 
relations with the people of the Southwest, among whom 
he had chosen to make his home, and made him familiar 
with the two great questions that lay nearest their hearts, 
namely : Indian depredations and the navigation of the Mis- 
sissippi River. He knew better than most men the paraly^s- 
ing sense of weakness, or indifference, that deterred the 
United States from attempting to protect their Southwest- 
ern frontiers ; and his intercourse with the Spanish minister, 
then here on tiiat business, must have disclosed to him the 
improbability that the United States could secure for than 
the free navigation of the Mississippi River. He was at 
the same time aware that Spain, with a wave of the hand, 
could stay Indian depredations from their homes; and by 

•Weeks, Stephen B., Gen, Joseph Martin and the War of the Revolu^ 
Hon in the West, p. 459. 



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DR. JAMES WHITE 285 

a stroke of the pen, open the Mississippi to their commerce. 
Moreover, he knew that to obtain these blessings they had 
only to put themselves under Spanish protection. Under 
these circumstances, about the first of May, 1788, he re- 
signed his position of superintendent of Indian affairs for 
the Southern department,' and was employed by the Spanish 
minister, Don Diego Gardoqui, to incite the inhabitants of 
Franklin and Cumberland to separate themselves from the 
United States and form an alliance with Spain.* 

At this distance his conduct may appear disloyal and un- 
patriotic, but it did not seem so to the people of Franklin 
and Cumberland in 1788. They saw distinctly the causes of 
their sufferings, and felt intensely the failure of their gov- 
ernment to remedy them. As early as 1787 the representa- 
tives from Davidson and Sumner Counties, in a memorial 
to the General Assembly of North Carolina, pointed out the 
source of these evils, and suggested a remedy: 

"They and their constituents, they say, have cheerfully 
endured the most unconquerable difficulties in settling the 
Western country, in full confidence that they would be 
enabled to send their produce to market through the rivers 
which water the country ; but they now have the mortifica- 
tion, not only to be excluded from that channel of com- 
merce by a foreign nation, but the Indians are rendered more 
hostile through the influence of that very nation, probably 
with a view to drive them from the country, as they claim 
the whole of the soil. They call upon the humanity and 
justice of the State to prevent any further massacres and 
depredations of themselves and their constituents, and claim 
from the legislature that protection of life and property 
which is due to every citizen; and they recommend, as the 
most safe and convenient means of relief, the adoption 
of the resolves of Congress, of the 29th of October, last" 
(recommending the cession of their western lands to the 
United States) .» 

"Weeks, p. 459. 

*Gayarre, C. E. A., History of Louisiana, vol. 3, p. 261. In Miro's letter 
to Gen. James Wilkinson. April 23, 1789, he says: "Don Diego Gardoqui 
drew to the interests of Spain James White, a member of Congress, who 
has possessions in Miro District, formerly Cumberland." This might lead 
the casual reader to suppose Dr. White was acting as Spanish agent while 
a member of Congress. But a comparison of dates will show that this 
was not a fact. Miro was mistaken as to the office Dr. White held. H* 
was not then, and never had been, a member of Congress. He was after- 
wards, in 1794, elected a delegate to Congress from the Southwest Ter- 
ritory, but that was two or three years after Miro had resigned his office 
and returned to Spain. 

•Ramsey, J. G. M., Annals of Tennessee, p. 503. 



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286 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

The history of our negotiations with Spain on the subject 
of the Mississippi River is a sad story. The United States 
showed little disposition to protect the interests of the West, 
and for some time seemed willing to trade them off for the 
benefit of the East. The negotiations opened in 1785, be- 
tween Don Diego Gardoqui, Spanish minister, and John Jay, 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In 1786, Mr. Jay 
advised Congress to abandon to Spain the exclusive naviga- 
tion of the Mississippi River for twenty-five or thirty years, 
in consideration of the agreement by Spain to purchase many 
articles from the United States, of which whale oil and cod- 
fish were especially insisted upon.' Accordingly the clause 
in his instructions making the free navigation of the Missis- 
sippi River a sine qua non, was repealed. Then two years 
were consumed in resolutions and votes, in which Maryland 
and all the South voted one way, and New Jersey and all 
the North voted the other. The best the friends of the West 
could do was to take advantage of a lucky accident and carry 
a resolution referring the whole matter to the new govern- 
ment, under the presidency of George Washington, which 
was to go into operation in 1789. 

Mr. Jay's proposition was received with bitter resent- 
ment in the Southwest. While it was still pending, with the 
issue uncertain. Dr. White, who had resigned from the In- 
dian department about the first of May, 1788, entered the 
employment of Gardoqui, and was sent to Franklin and 
Cumberland to enlist their leaders in an effort to separate 
their districts from the United States and attach them to 
Spain. His mission seems to have borne immediate results, 
if we may judge from the scanty correspondence on the 
subject still preserved. 

August 3, 1788, Col. James Robertson, writing to the 
Creek chief, General McGillivray, says : 

''I have provided a gun which Mr. Hoggatt thinks will 
please you. I have caused a deed to a lot in Nashville to be 
recorded in your name, and beg you will let me know whether 
you will accept a tract or two of land in our young country. 
I could say much to you respecting this same country, but 
am fully sensible you are better able to judge what may 
take place in a few years than myself. In all probability 
we cannot long remain in our present state, and if the 
British or any commercial nation who may be in possession 
of the mouth of the Mississippi would furnish us with trade, 
and receive our produce, there cannot be a doubt but the 

•Wright, Marcus J., Some Account of the Life and Services of William 
Blount, p. 127. 



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DR. JAMES WHITE 287 

people of the west side of the Appalachian Mountains will 
open their eyes to their real interests."^ 

September 12, 1788, ex-Governor John Sevier wrote the 
Spanish minister, Gardoqui, to inform him that the inhabit- 
ants of Franklin were unanimous in their vehement desire 
to form an alliance and treaty of commerce with Spain 
and put themselves under her protection.* 

Having sounded the people of Franklin and Cumberland, 
Dr. White returned to New York and reported to Gardoqui 
that the affair was progressing favorably ; that the principal 
inhabitants were ripe for separation, and that, after having 
affected it, they would swear allegiance to Spain, obligating 
themelves to form no alliance or connection whatever with 
any other power, and to take up arms for the defense of the 
province of Louisiana, from whatever quarter be the attack, 
and only reserving the privilege of governing themselves.* 

Gardoqui then despatched Dr. White to Louisiana, and 
recommended him to the favor, patronage and assistance of 
Governor Estevan Miro, to facilitate his operations. He 
accordingly proceeded to New Orleans, and on April 18, 
1789, addressed a communication to Governor Miro, in which 
he said : 

"With regard to Frankland, Don Diego Gardoqui gave 
me letters for the chief men of that district, with instruc- 
tions to assure them that, if they wished to put themselves 
under the protection of Spain and favor her interests, they 
should be protected in their civil and political government, 
in the form and manner most agreeable to them, on the 
following conditions : First, it should be absolutely neces- 
sary, not only in order to hold an oflSce, but also any land in 
Frankland, that an oath of allegiance be taken to his majes- 
ty, the object and purport of which should be to defend 
his government and faithful vassals on all occasions and 
against all enemies, whoever they might be. Second, that 
the inhabitants of that district should renounce all submis- 
sion or allegiance whatever to any other sovereign power. 

"They have eagerly accepted these conditions, and the 
Spanish minister has referred me to your favor, patronage 
and assistance, to facilitate my operations. With regard to 
Cumberland, what I have said of Frankland applies to it 
with equal force and truth.''^^ 

Four days later he writes Governor Miro: 

4 

^American Historical Magazine, vol. i, p. 8i. 
•Gayarr^, vol. 3, p. 257. 

•Gayarr^, vol. 3» p. 2(61. , 

"Gayarre, vol. 3, p. 259. 



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288 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

"M. Gardoqui has informed me that, considering I was 
in the service of Spain, my expenses would be paid out of the 
royal treasury,'' and concludes by asking about $400 to fa- 
cilitate his dealing decently and commodiously with those 
he was to influence. This sum was immediately granted 
him. 

While Dr. White was still in Louisiana, Governor Miro 
received two letters, one from Brig.-Gen. Daniel Smith, 
dated on the 4th of March, and the other from Col. James 
Robertson, dated the 11th of January, both written from the 
district of Miro. The first letter was carried by a militia 
oflScer named Fagot, a confidential agent of General Smith, 
and informed Miro that the inhabitants of Cumberland, who 
had lately named their district "Mero," in his honor, would 
in September send delegates to North Carolina in order to 
solicit from that State an act of separation, and that, as soon 
as this should be obtained, other delegates would be sent 
from Cumberland to New Orleans with the object of placing 
that territory under the dominion of his Spanish Majesty.^* 

Miro, in answer to White's application, delivered to him 
a diplomatically worded paper, enumerating the favors and 
advantages to be granted to such as would emigrate to Louis- 
iana, and the condition annexed to them, conceding to the 
people of Franklin and Cumberland the privilege of carry- 
ing their produce down the Mississippi to the market of 
New Orleans at a duty of 15 per cent, which duty he might 
reduce to such men of influence as should solicit that favor, 
and be made known to him by Dr. White, but declining to 
assist or foment their separation from the United States. 
Nevertheless, if they should succeed in securing for them- 
selves a complete independence from the United States, then 
His Ma j sty would grant them, out of his royal munificence, 
all the favor, help and advantages which might be adapted 
to their condition and compatible with the interests of the 
Spanish monarchy.^^ This paper was to be shown to the- 
principal men of Franklin and Mero, but, verbally, he ener- 
getically recommended that Dr. White use the most strenu- 
ous efforts to procure the desired separation." 

At the same time Governor Miro wrote to General Smith 
and Colonel Robertson, in general terms, referring them for 
particulars to Dr. White, who carried his letters to these 
gentlemen. He assured Colonel Robertson of his efforts to 
protect his people from Indian depredations, invited him to 



"rayarre, vol. 3, p. 262. 
"rayarre. vol. 3, pp. 2.S9-260. 
"Cayarre. vol. 3, p. 264. 



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DR. JAMES WHITE 289 

remove with his family to Louisiana, offering him freedom 
from molestation on account of his religion, a market free 
from duty and lands gratis.^^ To General Smith he says: 
"The giving of my name to your district has caused me much 
satisfaction, and I feel myself highly honored by that com- 
pliment. It increases my desire to contribute to the develop- 
ment of the resources of that province and the prosperity 
of its inhabitants." 

In the meantime the legislature of North Carolina had 
passed an act ceding its western territory to the United 
States, December, 1789, and the cession was accepted by 
Congress, April 2, 1790 ; the whole business of the Spanish 
treaty had been referred to the new government inaugurated 
in 1789, in whose President the West had great confidence; 
Minister Gardoqui had finally returned to Spain," and Gov- 
ernor Miro was preparing to do so. These events sealed the 
fate of the separation movement on the part of Franklin and 
Cumberland, and nothing more is heard of it. 

MEMBER OF TERRITORIAL ASSEMBLY. 

North Carolina having ceded her western lands to the 
United States, in 1790 they were erected into the Southwest 
Territory, of which William Blount was appointed Gov- 
ernor. When they became entitled to a Legislative Assem- 
bly in 1794, Dr. James White was elected to represent Da- 
vidson County in that body. To Dr. White, the "enlightened 
representative from Davidson County, is due the immortal 
honor of having made the first legislative effort, in the Ter- 
ritorial Assembly, in behalf of learning." August 29, 1794, 
he presented a bill, which became a law, creating a Literary 
Institution in Greene County, under the name of Greeneville 
College. 

The ordinance for the government of the Territory pro- 
vided that as soon as a legislature should be formed in the 
district, the Council and House, assembled in one room, 
should have authority, by joint ballot, to elect a Delegate 
in Congress. Accordingly the Council met the House at the 
Courthouse, and on September 3, 1794, by a majority of 
both houses elected James White, of Davidson County, a 
Delegate to Congress.^® He carried with him a memorial to 
Congress in favor of the people south of French Broad, of 
which he was the author, and was instructed to take an early 

^^ American Historical Magazine, vol. i, pp. 87-88. 

"Gayarr^, vol. 3, p. 263. 

"Haywood, J., CivU and Political History of Tennessee, p. 437« 

"Ramsey, p. 627. 

"TUmsey, p. 628. 



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290 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

opportunity to exhibit to the President the additional list 
of one hundred and five citizens who had suffered by the 
Creeks and Cherokees since their memorial to Congress in 
the spring, ''and to assure his Excellency that if the people 
of this Territory have borne with outrages which stretch 
human patience to its utmost, it has been through our ven* 
eration for the head of the Federal Government"^* 

MEMBER OF CONGRESS. 

The most interesting question with which Dr. White had 
to do while a delegate in Congress was that of the admission 
of the Southwest Territory into the Union as a state. Ten- 
nessee was the first state admitted to the Union from a Ter- 
ritory. Neither Vermont nor Kentucky had ever been a 
United States territory. There was no precedent for the 
procedure to be followed. Statesmen differed as to the 
proper practice. December 31, 1794, a member of Congress 
advised Governor Blount that in the course of that session 
a bill would be brought in for the admission of the terri- 
tory into the Union as a state, and he believed would pass.** 
Dr. White, however, upon trying the question privately, 
reached the conclusion that such an effort to prepare the 
way for the admission of the Territory into the list of 
states would prove useless. He suggested that, if the people 
wished to be admitted into the Union, the proper procedure 
would be to call a convention for the purpose of framing a 
constitution, to take effect as soon as Congress should pass 
an act of admission. ^^ 

The Governor accepted this plan, and immediately con- 
vened the legislature, which passed an act for the enumera- 
tion of the inhabitants of the territory, and authorizing 
the Governor, in the event such enumeration should show 
a population of sixty thousand, to call a convention for tiie 
purpose of framing a constitution for the permanent govern- 
ment of the state. 

The territory being found to have more than sixty thou- 
sand free inhabitants, the constitutional convention met, 
framed a constitution for the State of Tennessee, and aban- 
doning their condition of tutelage, provided for the disso- 
lution of the Territorial government after a day fixed for 
the organization of the state government, and demanded ad- 
mission to the Union as a matter of contract right, declaring 
their purpose to continue as an independent state, if they 

"Ramsey, pp. 632-633. 

'^American Historical Magazine, vol. 4, p. 171. 

^American Historical Magazine, vol 4, p. 178. 



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DR. JAMES WHITE 291 

should not be admitted by Congress." The convention be- 
lieved the territory, having attained the requisite popular 
tion, was entitled to become a state by virtue of the original 
compact between the United States and the State of North 
Carolina, and this view finally prevailed in Congress. 

LOUISIANA JUDGE. 

In 1799 Dr. White removed to Louisiana, and when that 
Territory was transferred to the United States he became 
the first Parish Judge of what was then known as the Atta- 
kapas region in Southwestern Louisiana, and here he ended 
his eventful career,^' in October, 1809. 

Albert V. Goodpastuee. 

'^Journal, Constitutional Convention of 1796, p. 23. 

"Carson, Hampton L., History of the Supreme Court, vol. 2, p. 569. 



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THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TENNESSEE 
CONSTITUTION. 



I. The North Carouna Constitution op 1776. 



The constitutional history of Tennessee properly begins 
with the adoption by the revolutionary congress of North 
Carolina, in 1776, of a permanent "Constitution or Form of 
Government" for that state. The congress was elected for 
the particular purpose and sat from November 12 to Decem- 
ber 18. The citizens of this commonwealth and the other 
colonies were already revolutionists, or were soon to become 
so, and, so far as North Carolina was concerned, the results 
of the revolution in government were formulated and ex- 
pressed by the constitution promulgated by the congress. 

It must not be supposed, however, that anythin-? politi- 
cally radical was done, or that any violent changes were 
provided for. That is not the function of constitutions. 
They but give authoritative utterance to revolutions and 
changes that have already taken place, and they often lag 
behind so far as to deserve Mr. Wells'* denomination as "the 
last crippling recognition of needs so clamorous and impera- 
tive and facts so aggressively established as to . . . 
threaten the very existence" of the governing power that is. 

No revolution had taken place in the minds of the people 
relative to the ordinary political institutions of the State and 
in the constitutional history of North Carolina the 1776 in- 
strument is but a link in the chain of development. Of 
course the student may trace backwards as far as his inclina- 
tion dictates the history of anything in the present, but for a 
constitutional essay bearing the name '^Tennessee," the 
North Carolina constitution that went into effect just when 
the settlement of its western lands, the future Tennessee 
country, was getting well under way, forms the only rea- 
sonable point of departure. 

This constitution is a modest instrument, of somewhat 
less than 5,000 words, divided into two main parts, " ^ Dec- 
laration of Rights, &c.," and "The Constitution, or Form of 
Government, &c." The former contains twenty-five sub- 
divisions, the latter forty-six, besides a lengthy preamble, 
justifying the action of the representatives of the freemen 



^The World Set Free, p. 57- 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 293 

of North Carolina by reason of the withdrawal of protection 
by the British Crown and the declaration by the Continental 
Congress of the independence of the "Thirteen United Colo- 
nies/' 

The two parts of the instrument are less distinct in fact 
than in form. The "Constitution" particularly declares that 
it includes the bill of rights and, indeed, contains within 
itself passages expressive of rights rather than regulation of 
governmental functions, e. g., freedom from compulsory 
pajonents for the support of any religious organization, im- 
munity from imprisonment for debt, except in case of fraud, 
provided the debtor should deliver up all his property for 
the benefit of his creditors, and the right to bail except in 
capital offenses where the proof is evident or the presump- 
tion great. On the other hand, the declaration of rights con- 
tains the admonition "That the legislative, executive and 
supreme judicial powers of government ought to be forever 
separate and distinct from each other," which, in substance, 
declares a type of government contemplated — ^though not 
entirely realized — ^by the constitution-makers. 

The rights declared to belong to the people — ^apparently 
used synonymously with "freemen"^-of North Carolina in- 
clude the possession of all political power and all authority 
to regulate the "internal government and police" of the 
state; freedom from taxation without their own consent or 
the consent of their representatives and from the suspension 
or execution of laws without the latter's consent; liberty to 
assemble and petition their representatives; free and fre- 
quent elections ; freedom of worship and the press ; the right 
to bear arms consistent with the strict subordination of mili- 
tary to civil authority. Public privileges to private parties 
are forbidden save in return for public service; hereditary 
emoluments, privileges and honors are prohibited, as are 
also retrospective legislation and perpetuities and monopo- 
lies. It is declared "That a frequent recurrence to funda- 
mental principles is absolutely necessary, to preserve the 
blessings of liberty." 

About one-third of the declaration of rights is devoted to 
setting forth the private rights of individuals in connection 
with the law; trial by jury in both criminal and civil cases; 
freedom from general warrants, the guarantee "That every 
freeman, restrained of his liberty, is entitled to a remedy, to 
inquire into the lawfulness thereof, and to remove the sa • 
if unlawful; and that such remedy ought not to be denied 
or delayed"; exemption from answering criminal charges 
save by indictment, presentment or impeachment, and from 
excessive bail and fines and cruel and unusual punishments; 



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294 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

trial in open court and the right to know whereof one is 
accused, to confront his accusers with witnesses and not 
to be compelled to grive evidence against himself. 

In the final subdivision of the declaration of rights, since 
"The property of the soil, in a free government," is "one 
of the essential rights of tiie collective body of the people,*' 
the boundaries of the state are set forth followed by pro- 
visions against disturbance of the Indians within limits 
secured by legislative act, against the upsetting of titles 
claimed by reason of grants made during the colonial period, 
and against the construction of the language of the declara- 
tion "so as to prevent the establishment of one or more 
governments westward" of the state, by consent of the 
legislature. 

The prevention of "anarchy and confusion," for which 
end the new government was declared to be established, was 
entrusted to a legislature of two houses, a senate and a 
house of commons, empowered to appoint a Governor and 
other executive officers, and judges of the supreme courts 
of law and equity and of admiralty. The old colonial legis- 
lature had proven the faithful bulwark of popular conten- 
tions in the days when popular authority was extending 
itself gradually from few to many things and that its suc- 
cessor should be entrusted with the many things now at- 
tained was both natural and logical. The members of this 
General Assembly, however, were to be kept in close touch 
with the popular fountain of authority by annual elections 
to be taken by ballot. 

From the point of view of present-day conceptions, this 
fountain was of somewhat restricted flow, including the sen- 
timents of taxpayers and land owners only— the former, if 
they fulfilled certain age and residence requirements, being 
allowed to vote for representatives, and the latter, if, in 
addition, they were freeholders of six months' standing, to 
the extent of fifty acres in the county, being allowed to vote 
for senators. In certain towns which were entitled to sepa- 
rate representation in the House, freemen possessed of free- 
holds could vote whether resident or not. Property qualifi- 
cations upon the suffrage were thoroughly characteristic of 
the state constitutions of that early period. 

Each county of the state was represented by one senator, 
who must have "usually resided" therein for one year and 
must during that time have possessed within the county 
three hundred acres of land in fee. 

In the House of Commons each county had two members 
with similar residence requirements and having similarly 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 295 

owned for six months one hundred acres either in fee or as 
a life estate. 

Six of the towns of the state had each one member of 
the House and the townsmen were not entitled to vote for 
members from their counties. TTie town members, appar- 
ently, could be citizens of the county outside the town. 

When assembled, these representatives were vested with 
all the legislative authority of the state. Each house elected 
a speaker, passed upon the qualifications of members, 
directed writs of election to supply vacancies and prepared 
bills for passage, after reading three times in each, and 
which were required to be thereupon signed by the re- 
spective speakers. A majority was necessary to form a quo- 
rum; on motion the yeas and nays of all votes had to be 
entered upon the journals. These journals were to be 
printed and made public immediately after adjournment. 
Any member could have included in the journal his protest 
against any action taken. Each house sat upon its own 
adjournments and jointly they could adjourn to any other 
time or place. 

By joint ballot the two houses were to elect a Governor 
for one year. He must be thirty years of age and a resident 
for five years and must own in the state "a freehold in lands 
and tenements above the value of one thousand pounds/' 
and he must not be elected for more than three terms in 
six years. To advise with the Governor, they were to elect 
a Council of State of seven persons, of whom four should be 
a quorum, and who must keep a journal of their advice and 
proceedings. 

By joint ballot, also, they were to elect the more impor- 
tant judges and an attorney-general, who were to be com- 
missioned by the Governor and hold office during good be- 
havior; also they could appoint certain militia and army 
oflScers and were to elect annually a treasurer or treasurers 
and triennially a secretary of state. 

All state officials were made liable to impeachment by 
the legislature and to presentment of the grand jury of any 
court of supreme jurisdiction for offending against the 
state, by violating any part of the constitution, or for "mal- 
administration, or corruption." No person could hold more 
than one lucrative office at a time — a fact stated in general 
and, in several instances, particularly — ^but militia service 
And the oflSce of justice of the peace were not considered 
lucrative. OflScials handling public "monies" were made 
ineligible to other oflSce until they should have satisfactorily 
accounted for them. Officers in the service of the United 
States and contractors or agents furnishing military sup- 



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296 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

plies were ineligible to the Legrislature and Council of State, 
as were also clergymen. Persons denying certain Protestant 
doctrines, or whose religious principles were incompatible 
with the "freedom and safety*' of the state could hold no 
civil office of trust or profit. All officials were required to 
take an oath to the state and an oath of office. 

The General Assembly was authorized to qhoose annually 
by ballot, so long as necessary, delegates to the Continental 
Congress, subject to be superseded at any time, and in no 
case to serve for more than three successive years. 

The Governor was given permission to exercise all the 
executive powers of government, within the limitations im- 
posed by tiie constitution and laws of the state. With the 
advice of the Council of State, he could fill vacancies while 
the Legislature was not in session, and t|he powers of this 
office, in case of absence from the State, or disability, were 
to be exercised by the speaker of the Senate and then by 
the speaker of the House until his successor should be named. 
The Governor was also the commander-in-chief of the mili- 
tia, and, in the absence of the Legislature and with the ad- 
vice of the Council, he could "embody the militia for the 
public safety." He could likewise "prohibit the exportation 
of any commodity," for not exceeding thirty days, at any 
one time. 

Except in cases carried on by the Legislature, he could 
ordinarily grant pardons. He was the keeper of the great 
seal of the state and performed the financial functions that 
might have been expected of a comptroller in that time; that 
is, he was to "draw for and apply such sums of money as 
shall be voted by the General Assembly, for the contingen- 
cies of government, and be accountable to tihem for the 
same." He had to sign all commissions and grants of the 
state. 

After making the Governor practically a dependency of 
the Legislature it is not surprising that the Constitution- 
makers neglected specifically to assign any recipient of the 
supreme judicial power. The courts formed, however, were 
not averse to declaring unconstitutional and void acts of 
the Legislature to whom they owed their existence.^ 

Individual representatives were to recommend, for ap- 
pointaient during good behavior, justices of the peace in 
their counties, who were to be thereupon commissioned by 
the Governor. The constitution orders a sheriff, coroner 
or coroners and constables for every county, but does not 
specify their mode of election. 

■See Bayard v. Singleton, Court of Conference of North Carolina, 1787*. 
I Martin, N. C, 42. 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 297 

It has doubtless been noted that all of the contents of this 
constitution heretofore mentioned have been confined to 
statements of rights and provisions for the framework of 
government, together with a few perfectly elementary direc- 
tions concerning the use of l^he ballot and deportment in 
office. They include almost the entire constitution. There 
is, however, a noteworthy clause enjoining the Legislature 
to establish "a school or schools" "for the convenient in- 
struction of youth," and also "one or more universities." 

Furthermore, there are several passages reflecting the 
economic conditions of the times. In studying later con- 
stitutions it will probably be most profitable to divide them 
into two main divisions, the economic and political, — ^which 
in turn usually are influenced, directly or indirectly, by the 
economic life of the time, — and to examine the two sets of 
provisions separately, remembering that while the strictly 
political provisions are by far the most numerous and 
lengthy, those essentially economic cause the greatest con- 
flicts and most clearly mark the progress of the state. A 
word only need be said, however, concerning the economic 
provisions of the Constitution of 1776. 

Among these should be mentioned first the clause, "That 
every foreigner, who comes to settle in this State, having 
first taken an oath of allegiance to the same, may purchase, 
or, by other means, acquire, hold, and transfer land, or other 
real estate ; and after one year's residence, shall be deemed 
a free citizen," reflecting as it does the State's desire for 
immigration and for a market for its own and its citizens' 
lands. Experience had shown the confusion resulting from 
Indian sales to speculators or groups of settlers, and such 
sales were accordingly prohibited. Such purchase-rights 
were reserved for the public acting through the Legislature. 
Other clauses already mentioned sought to check encroach- 
ments on Indian hunting grounds and to preserve inviolate 
colonial land titles. 

The manner of holding land was regulated by the clause 
that the Legislature shall regulate entails so as to prevent 
perpetuities. As the provision authorizing embargoes, al- 
ready mentioned, was a diplomatic and militaiy rather than 
an economic measure, it may be said that, while the simple 
govemm^it set up betokened an agricultural community 
with no need for any but the most elementary sort of legis- 
lation and administration, the economics reflected was sole- 
ly that which concerned land. 

II. The Convention op 1796. 
Land was, indeed, the watchword of the great westward 



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298 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

movement then taking place and which was the prime eco- 
nomic event of the period. For many years past the waste- 
ful methods of agriculture in use in the tidewater districts 
had been rendering desirable land less and less plentiful and 
the increasing population at home,' augmented by unprece- 
dented immigration from abroad, was forcing the frontier 
farther and farther inward. Already the foremost settle- 
ments, pursuing the line of least resistance, had followed in 
the wake of the hunter and tradesman down the western 
valleys of Virginia to the headwaters of the Tennessee River 
and, crossing the parallel of latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes, 
had unconsciously entered the western country of North 
Carolina. Lands had been purchased from the Indians and 
a temporary government — independent and thoroughly 
democratic — had been set up on the Wautauga by 1772. 

Ever in the vanguard were to be found men of ambi- 
tious schemes, seeking wealth in prior claims to the soil, 
which would be disposed of to those who should come after, 
seeking to make it fruitful. Pushed on by economic neces- 
sity and led by dreaming speculators — ^and perhaps by some, 
too, who dreamed rather of fame or empire — people came 
in ever-increasing numbers to endure the hardships of pio- 
neer life, to tempt the bitter cruelty of the Indians and, 
most important, to make a clearing, plant a field of com and 
seize possession of the land, in fact. 

It was not without some misgivings that they invaded a 
country that seemed to belong already to its natives ; but the 
irresistible logic, expressed long afterwards by Robertson 
when ho said, "I have doubts whether a tribe of Indians set- 
tling a hundred or two miles in villages, should have, and 
hold, a good title to a large unsettled Country about them,"* 
must have been evident even to speculators, and gradually 
by fair means or foul the white man made the land unde- 
niably his own. 

In 1778, all of its western territory having been organ- 
ized as Washington County, North Carolina opened a land 
office and allowed persons desiring lands to file with the 
entry taker a description and location, giving the remark- 
able natural objects by which it could be identified, after 
which it would be surveyed and a grant for it would be issued 
by the state. A price was charged, and the amount enter- 
able by one person limited, but the restrictions of this and 
the later laws which disposed of land were easily evaded 
and special grants to individuals and companies (who did 
not hesitate to bring every possible influence to bear with 

•Lett'-T to Willie Blount, i8ii. Draper Mss. U, V, 192. 

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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 299 

legislatures) soon resulted in enormous and valuable hold- 
ings centered in the hands of a few — sometimes, apparently, 
only a small fraction of the free white men of twenty-one 
years and up^vards being land holders.* 

These men were keen as to what created land values, as 
is interestingly indicated by William Blount, who, in writing 
to ask assistance for a friend in buyng Cumberland lands, 
added, "I think it would be best not to say any Thing about 
the General's going to Cumberland, the Report of Men of 
his Rank going may raise the Price."*^ 

The main thing, however, was to attract settlers, and to 
do this trade must be started, export routes procured, and 
the Indian peril definitely disposed of. The governments 
east of the mountains, clogged with their own weakness, 
well-nigh overcome with the magnitude of their own tasks, 
and none too conversant with conditions on the frontier, 
failed to make headway toward a solution of these problems. 
The Indians continued their ravages. Spain continued to 
restrict Mississippi navigation. Many reckless and short- 
sighted frontiersmen were ready to separate from the United 
States and unite with Spain or drive the Spaniards from 
New Orleans and set up independent governments of their 
own. The Franklin movement was but a local crystalization 
of the separatist instinct that pervaded the whole West and 
its leaders, having once thrown off the North Carolina re- 
strictions upon the acquisition of land, were ready to unite 
with the United States, or, if necessary, with Spain, in order 
to gain their economic ends.*^ 

Happily the counsels of the conservatives prevailed. The 
children of the first settlers were yet young men when the 
Indians were effectually quelled by the destruction of Nicka- 
jack and a stronger Federal government had procured the 
treaty of San Lorenzo, concluding the long, bitter contro- 
versy over the navigation of the Mississippi by opening the 
great river to commerce with right of deposit at New 
Orleans.^ 

The time was rightly one of exuberance, and, with agri- 
culture firmly established, despite occasional crop failures, 
the farmers could look forward not only to sending their 
pork, tobacco, hemp, rice and indigo over the wagon roads to 

^Manuscript N. i, 6, Tenn. Hist Soc. Library. 

'Letter to John Gray Blount, Oct 12, 1795. Draper Mss. XX, 11, 48. 

•The separation of Franklin took place upon the first cession of the 
western counties by North Carolina in 1784 — an action which was shortly 
revoked. 

Vohnson, A., Union and Democracy (Riverside History of the United 
States), p. 87. 



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300 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

eastern seaports and down the rivers to New Orleans, but 
to extending their exportable products to cereals, flax and 
dairy products. In exchange would come the longed-for 
products of the industrial world — only just beginning to ex- 
tend itself to Tennessee in the manirfacture of iron and 
homespun cloth. Natural resources were known to be varied 
and abundant.^ 

In 1795, the year following the Nickajack expedition, 
and which witnessed the San Lorenzo Treaty, an enumera- 
tion of the people showed that the country was eligible for 
statehood, and the next year, 1796, a convention assembled 
at Knoxville to frame an organic law for the new common- 
wealth. The utterances of tiie convention reflect in several 
ways the economic interests of the state as conceived by its 
members. 

The most strikingly patent of these provisions is the 
resounding declaration "That an equal participation of the 
free navigation of the Mississippi is one of the inherent 
rights of the citizens of this State; it cannot, therefore, be 
conceded to any prince, potentate, power, person or persons 
whatever."* 

It was expressly declared that no law should be made im- 
pairing the obligation of a contract — ^a provision scarcely 
necessary in view of the requirement of the Federal Consti- 
tution. 

Industry, not to be left behind by trade, found recogni- 
tion in the clause that "No article manufactured of the 
produce of this State shall be taxed otherwise than to pay 
inspection fees." As in 1776, the prohibition of perpetuities 
and monopolies is an ancient principle rather than an indi- 
caton of current economic abuse, and should not be included 
here. The remaining economic provisions pertain to land, 
and are (1) declarations having in view the settlement of 
certain vexed questions of title to the lands south of the 
French Broad, Tennessee and Big Pigeon rivers by securing 
the residents in the tracts occupied by th«tn, and (2) the 
method adopted for taxing land. 

The tax clause is the most remarkable feature of the 
Constitution as enunciated in 1796. It made all privately 
owned lands taxable, but added "that no one hundred acres 
shall be taxed higher than another, except town lots," which 
should not "be taxed higher than two hundred acres of land 
each"; furthermore that the free poll tax should not be 
greater than the tax on one hundred, and the tax on slaves 
not greater than that on two hundred acres of land. No 

*A Short Description of . , . Tennessee, Phila., 1796. 
•This orovision is still in the constitution. Const. 1870, I, 29, 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 301 

limit was placed upon the taxation of other property, except 
manufactured goods, as already noted, but according to the 
practice of the times the property mentioned had to be 
relied upon for most of the public revenue. 

There was nothing deserving criticism in the fact of the 
specific taxation instead of attempting to tax property ac- 
cording to its value ; that was the usual custom throughout 
the country then and the people of Tennessee had become 
used to it while under the jurisdiction of North Carolina. 
Anything else would probably have been administratively 
impossible. 

Nevertheless, the possibilities of the tax for their harm 
or help were known to the landowners. The question of its 
amount had been strenuously disputed in the territorial as- 
sembly in 1794 when the Council, a majority of which — ^per- 
haps all — ^were among the landed barons, had appointed one 
of its members, the largest landowner in the territory, to 
draw up its tax proposals, and had striven long for poll taxes 
and low land taxes against the reverse contention of the 
more popular portion of the assembly. 

The interesting and significant things were that such a 
rule of taxation should have been placed in a fundamental 
law intended to be permanent, at a time when the country 
was growing rapidly and when, consequently, divergences in 
land values must constantly become greater, and that the 
taxation of town lots should have been limited by what 
might be deemed reasonable in taxing rural lands. The 
limitation upon the poll taxes amounted to a concession to 
the party opposed to the large landowners. 

The political changes which the twenty years' experience 
between the conventions of 1776 and 1796 had produced are 
scarcely less noteworthy and much more numerous than 
the economic. The sway of the North Carolina Constitution 
had been intermittent in Tennessee. There had been several 
isolated communities that found it necessary to adopt tem- 
porary forms of government until the state's rule could be 
extended to them. Chief of these was Cumberland, which 
in 1779 and 1780 was started apparently as a part of the 
vast speculation schemes of Richard Henderson, and which 
drew up its celebrated compact, taken up to a considerable 
extent with land regulations, but providing for a representa- 
tive court, in which was vested all the governmental powers 
granted. 

The Franklinites adopted the North Carolina Constitu- 
tion, but not, however, until a very earnest effort had been 
made to have chosen a document drawn up chiefly by Rev. 
Samuel Houston, providing for manhood suffrage, a single- 



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302 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

chambered Legislature and a Governor elected by the people. 

Finally, in 1790, the United States accepted North Caro- 
lina's cession of its western possessions. During the inter- 
regnum the government was for the most part under the 
control of a Governor appointed by Congress, though toward 
the end of the period, as already intimated, there was an 
assembly, including, besides the Governor, a House of Rei>- 
resentatives elected by the people, and the Council, consist- 
ing of five persons appointed by Congress from ten nom- 
inees of the House. 

Meantime other states had been framing constitutions 
and the convention of 1796 could draw from outside as well 
as from home experience. 

The first thing that strikes one about the instrument it 
drew up is the now familiar subdivision into articles and 
sections. A preamble declares the right of the people to 
enter the Federal Union as a member state and that they 
mutually "agree with each other" to form themselves "into a 
free and independent State by the name of the State of Ten- 
jsee." 

There follow eleven articles, the last of which is a bill of 
rights, and a schedule, comprisincr altogether about 7,000 
words. The work of the convention was not submitted to 
popular vote. While not expressly declaring that the powers 
of government are distributed or separated among three 
branches, the instrument devotes an article to each of the 
legislative, executive and judicial functions, at the begin- 
ning of which are the declaration that they are respectively 
vested in the Legislature, Governor and courts. 

Omitting the provisions about frequent elections and re- 
currence to fundamentals and those which declared that 
no law should be suspended without consent of the Legis- 
lature, and that no man was entitled to privileges from the 
public save in return for services rendered, the convention 
of 1796 proceeded to retain the other North Carolina 
"rights," expressing them sometimes in similar, sometimes 
in diverse or qualifying language, and to add unto them 
others. 

Since government is instituted for the common benefit, 
"the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and 
oppression" is declared to be "absurd, slavish, and destruct- 
ive to the good and happiness of mankind." Religious test 
for public office is forbidden.*® 

Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, in 
addition to general warrants, is asserted. Quartering of 

"But in another place denial of certain Christian tenets disqualifies 
one from holding office, as in the 1776 instrument. 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 303 

soldiers in time of peace without consent of the owner of the 
house is forbidden. Citizens unless in the army of the 
United States or the militia in actual service are exempt 
from corporal punishment under martial law and compulsory 
military service is not to be required of citizens willing to 
pay an equivalent; nor are any man's services or property to 
be taken for public use without the consent of his representa- 
tives and just compensation. 

Bills of attainder are forbidden and to freedom of the 
press is added freedom of communication, but responsi- 
bility for abuse is provided for. Truth, however, is allow- 
able in evidence on prosecution for publications conceminfir 
public officials, and the jury is to determine both law and 
facts. The writ of habeas corpus is made suspendable dur- 
ing rebellion or invasion if the public safety so danands. 
"Judgment of his peers," as well as the "law of the land," 
may deprive one of life, liberty or property. Prisoners must 
not be treated with unnecessary rigor, nor may any one for 
the same offense be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb. 
To the former rights of a person accused of crime are added 
right of hearing by himself and counsel, compulsory process 
for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and, finally, a jury of 
the county or district where the crime was committed — 
a provision laden with much trouble for the future. 

Viewed by modem standards, democracy is far from 
triumphant in the utterances of the first Tennessee con- 
vention, but tiiere was a distinct advance and it was accom- 
panied by a decrease in fear of government which the ab- 
sence of experience with foreign rulers and the frontier 
aporeciation of the need for leadership had rendered pos- 
sible. 

The suffrage provisions were greatly simplified and 
democratized. Adult free men — nothing was said about 
color — ^who were inhabitants of the state could vote in a 
county where they resided and were possessed of a freehold ; 
if inhabitants of the counly for six months they could vote 
without further qualification. Electors were to be privi- 
leged while going to and from the polls. 

The General Assembly provided for consisted of a 
Senate and a House of Representatives. Members of the 
House were apportioned among the counties according to the 
number of taxable inhabitants, to be ascertained by periodi- 
cal census, tiie number to be not "less than twenty-two nor 
greater than twenty-six until the number of taxable inhabit- 
ants shall be forty thousand, and after that event at such 
ratio that the whole number of representatives shall never 
exceed forty." 



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804 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

The Senators were to be from one-third to one-half 
as numerous as the Representatives and were to be appor- 
tioned among districts fixed by the Legislature containing 
such number of taxable inhabitants as to be entitled to not 
more than three. No county was to be divided in forming 
a district and counties joined must be adjacent. The term 
of office was two years. 

To be eligible to either House one must be twenty-one 
years old and "possess in his own right" two hundred acres 
in the county he represented. He had to be a resident of the 
state three years, and of the county one year. 

The powers of the Legislature were more fully specified 
than in 1776. The quorum was raised to two-thirds, but a 
smaller number could compel the attendance of absentees." 

The issuance of writs of election to fill vacancies passed 
from the Legislature to the Governor. Each house could 
make its own rules, punish disrespect and, with concurrence 
of two-thirds, expel a member, though not a second time 
for the same offense. Members had limited privilege from 
arrest going to or from sessions and were not elsewhere 
responsible for utterances therein. Instead of voting joint- 
ly on extraordinary adjournments they were now merely re- 
quired to agree. Rejection of a bill was to be final for the 
session. Sessions were ordinarily to be open. 

To the former safeguards of the public purse was added 
the definite requirement that no money should be drawn 
from the treasury but in consequence of appropriation by 
law. Ineligibility to more than one office was very different- 
ly expressed, but to the same purport The clause render- 
ing contractors of military supplies ineligible did not com- 
mend itself for retention in times of peace. Justices of the 
peace and militia officers were expressly declared not m- 
eligible to the Legislature. 

The Governor, elected for two years, and meligime for 
more than three consecutive terms, was to be chosen by the 
electors of the Legislature, and the election returns opened 
in the presence of a majority of each house, who. in case 
of a tie or contest, should decide who should be Governor. 
The minimum gubernatorial age was reduced from thirty 
to twenty-five years, the property qualification was to be 
somply a freehold of five hundred acres, and residence in the 
State four years. The new powers given him were (1) to 
grant pardons without limitation, save in cases of impeach- 

"Houston's constitution proposed that in case of no q"oru"\,f^;f^,^^ 
sentees withoue '^reasonable excuse" should pay the expenses of the house 
untlr a Quorum was reached. Sec. 5, Ramsay, J. G. M., Annals of Tin^ 
nessee, p. 327- 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 305 

ment, (2) to require information from executive officers, 
(3) to convene the Legislature on extraordinary occasions, 
stating to it the causes thereof. The powers to draw money 
from the treasury and to lay embargoes were not retained. 
The Governor was, finally, given the duty of informing tiie 
Legislature concerning the state of the government and of 
recommending legislation, and was commanded to take care 
that the laws should be faithfully executed. The expressed 
succession to the office of Governor extended only to the 
speaker of the senate. 

The term of the Secretary of State was increased to four 
years and his duties of keeping records of the Governor's 
acts and doing whatever the Legislature might require were 
made mandatory. The Treasurer's term was increased to 
two years. All appointments not otherwise directed were 
expressly stated to be by the Legislature. 

The power of impeachment of civil officers was vested in 
the House of Representatives. Conviction could be obtained 
only on concurrence of two-thirds of the Senate, sitting on 
oath as a court of impeachment, judgment to extend to 
deprivation of and disqualification from office. Liability to 
trial in the regular manner was not to be removed by im- 
peachment. 

In place of the brief paragraph concerning the organiza- 
tion of courts is found an article of twelve sections defining, 
in considerable detail, the judicial system of the state, but 
leaving the establishment of the courts and appointment of 
the judges entirely to the Legislature within the general 
mandate for "superior and inferior courts of law and 
equity," which must be accorded certain powers specified, 
and that a certain number of justices of the peace must be 
established in each county. Later on, as the function of 
the courts to decide between constitutional provisions and 
ordinary legislation in case of alleged conflict grew apace, 
dependence by the courts for their very existence upon the 
Le^slature, jealous of this judicially-assumed power, be- 
came more and more illogical. There was danger of a legis- 
lative response in the nature of abolishing the court, which, 
indeed, actually occurred in Kentucky in the 1820's, the act 
for accomplishing which was in turn declared unconstitu- 
tional and gave rise to party issues.^^ 

Several details of common law procedure such as for- 
bidding judges to charge juries with respect to matters of 
fact were incorporated ; every court was to appoint its own 
clerk during good behavior; the Legislature was to appoint 

"The court finally prevailed. 

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306 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

an attorney or attorneys for the state. Citizens of the 
state could not be fined more than fifty dollars save by a jury. 
Justices of the peace were not to exceed two for each 
captain's company," except the one including tiie county 
town, which could have three. They continued to hold office 
during good behavior. 

The county court was expressly made the appointing 
power for other county officers, to whom was added a trus- 
tee — ^to hold office for two years. The sheriff and coroner 
were to be commissioned by the governor. The court could 
also appoint a register and a ranger, to hold ofRce during 
good bdiavior. 

Lengthy provisions for an exceedingly democratic militia 
system were added. Officers were for the most part 
appointed by vote of their inferiors, in no case by the legis- 
lature. The governor was to appoint the adjutant-general. 

Among the miscellaneous provisions were continuance 
of religious qualifications, somewhat moderated; addition 
of an embryonic corrupt practices law, relating to bribery 
of electors ; regulation of the establishment of new counties ; 
a clause declaring laws in force in the territory continuing 
in force in the state if consistent with the constitution ; and, 
finally, a method of calling another convention to alter the 
constitution — by two-thirds vote of the Legislature, ratified 
by a majority of those voting at the next election for mem- 
bers of the House of Representatives. In that event the 
Legislature was to call a convention to consist of the same 
number of delegates as it should have members, and to be 
similarly chosen. 

in. The Convention of 1834. 

The generation and more following the admission of the 
state and preceding the constitutional convention of 1834 
was marked by the passage of the frontier beyond the bor- 
ders of Tennessee; Tennesseans themselves became emi- 
grants. It was an era of expansion and of aspirations for 
greater expansion. The population of the state, between 
1800 and 1830, increased more than six-fold— from 105.602 
to 681,904 — ^while the population of the country as a whole 
little more than doubled. The slave population was increas- 
ing still faster and was setting another barrier between the 
mountains of the east and the hills and lowlands west of 
the Cumberlands. The attitude toward free negroes was 
growing intolerant, while abolition movements were begin- 
ning to spring up. Land holdings grew smaller, but, ex- 

"The county subdivision then used. 

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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 307 

cept following the opening of new districts to settlement, 
land was no longer to be cheaply bought. Business enter- 
prise of various kinds was springing up and bearing fruits. 
Banks, both state and national," were coming to the aid of 
commercial transactions. The extension of commercial 
opportunities was eagerly sought and the proposal was actu- 
ally made that the state itself should become "the carrier of 
the surplus produce of the country," hiring barges and men 
and making charges for the service. 

This plan did not meet with favor, but the people were 
taking advantage of steam for navigation and were ready to 
lead the triumph of the agricultural sections of the coun- 
try, which were striving for foreign markets and low tariffs, 
against the manufacturing interests of the northeast, when 
they sent Jackson to the White House in 1829. 

It was during his second administration that, yielding 
to the influence of the ascendant political democracy of the 
times, to dissatisfaction with land taxation that took no 
account of value, and to the desire for express authoriza- 
tion for state aid to internal improvement schemes, the peo- 
ple sent their representatives to Nashville for a constitu- 
tional revision. 

In response to the economic demands of the times, the 
new instrument ratified by the electorate in 1835, while 
retaining the provisions already in force — except the specific 
land tax — added (1) that a "well-regulated system of in- 
ternal improvement . . . ought to be encouraged by 
the general assembly"; (2) an express provision that the 
legislature could grant charters of corporation ; (3) that the 
legislature should fix a uniform rate of interest; (4) that 
laws for the emancipation of slaves without the consent of 
their owners should not be passed; and finally (5) that all 
property reserved for taxation should be taxed "according 
to its value." 

Land, bank stock and slaves between the ages of twelve 
and fifty were made mandatorily taxable, and the legislature 
was empowered to add to the list indefinitely. Continuance 
of the practice of taxing "merchants, peddlers and priv- 
ileges" was made permissive. A tax on white polls and the 
exemption of free negroes was ordained. 

The constitution as revised in 1834 contained some 9,500 
words, divided among a preamble, reciting the sources of 
authority of the convention and recommending the product 
of its labor to the ratification of the people, and eleven arti- 
cles, the first of which was a declaration of rights — merely 

^. e. Branch of the Bank of the United States. 

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308 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

the retention of those before declared, save that it failed to 
recognize a right in free negroes to bear arms. A schedule 
was appended. 

Increased democracy — ^but democracy limited to the 
white race — ^was the keynote of the convention's work. 
Property qualifications both for voting and holding office 
were swept utterly away, so far as officials named in tiie 
constitution were concerned. Free white men who were 
citizens of the United States and had been citizens of the 
county for six months constituted the electorate. Disfran- 
chisement for crime was, however, authorized. 

The distribution of powers amongst three separate divi- 
sions of government was recognized at the outset in the pro- 
vision, unexpressed in the constitution of 1796, that "the 
powers of government shall be divided into three distinct 
departments, the legislative, executive and judicial." When, 
in 1853, the election of the judges was assumed by the elec- 
torate, the separation of powers, each equally dependent on 
one sovereign, the people, reached its logical conclusion. 

The apportionment of the General Assembly by "taxable 
inhabitants'' gave way to apportionment according to the 
"qualified electors," and representatives' districts no longer 
had to be co-extensive with counties; a provision was in- 
serted, however, to the effect that any county having two- 
thirds the required population should be entitled to a 
member. 

It was specified that counties should not be divided in 
forming senatorial districts and that, when practicable, in- 
equalities in apportioning the representatives should be 
atoned for in determining them. 

The minimum age for a senator was raised to thirty 
years. Legislators were expressly disqualified from offices 
to be filled by the governor as well as by the general assem- 
bly, except the trusteeship of a literary institution. In num- 
ber the representatives were not to exceed seventy-five until 
the population of the state totaled a million and a half," 
and in no case to exceed ninety-nine. Senators were not to 
exceed one-third the representatives. 

Instead of vesting in the Legislature the appointment of 
all officers whose appointment was not otherwise directed 
by the constitution, the new instrument provided that such 
appointments should be made in such manner as the Legis- 
lature should direct. There were several minor additions 
to the provisions governing legislative procedure. 

Little change was made in the executive department- 

"This did not occur until after the Convention of 1870. 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 309 

The governor's age requirement was increased to thirty 
years and he was given authority to determine the business 
which the Legislature could consider in extraordinary ses- 
sions. 

Instead of leaving the establishment of the judiciary sys- 
tem almost solely to the legislative discretion, the convention 
sought to remedy the evils of the old plan by vesting the 
judicial power of the state in "one supreme court" and in 
"such inferior courts" as the legislature should provide for. 
The Supreme Court was to consist of three judges, one from 
each grand division of the state, thirty-ftve years of age and 
appointed for twelve years by joint vote of both houses of 
the legislature. Other judges, as under the constitution as 
previously in force, were to be similarly appointed, but 
were to hold oflfice for eight years instead of during good 
behavior. They must have been thirty years of age. An 
amendment adopted in 1853 made all judges elected by the 
people and the term eight years. 

Attorneys for the state were likewise to be appointed 
for six years, and both attorneys and judges were made 
removable of concurrent vote of two-thirds of each house of 
the Legislature. The amendment of 1863 provided that all 
public attorneys should be elected by the qualified voters. 

The limitation of the right of bringing suit against the 
state to its own citizens was removed. 

Provision was made for civil districts, subdividing coun- 
ties, to be laid off by the Legislature, superceding the cap- 
tain's company of pioneer origin. 

A sheriff, trustee, coroner and ranger for two years and 
a register for four years were provided for, to be elected 
by the qualified voters in each county, and a constable by 
those of each civil district. Formerly there had been pro- 
vision for a sheriff, coroner, trustee and "a sufficient num- 
ber of constables," to be appointed by the county court. 
Justices of the peace, in whom was vested a portion of the 
judicial power of the state, were now to be elected by the 
people instead of by the Legislature, and the latter could 
establish courts to be held by them. 

The long-complete cessation of Indian warfare and the 
consequent diminished importance of the militia resulted in 
a great simplification of the constitutional provisions con- 
cerning it. 

Religious disqualifications for office were continued, but 
the increasing civilization of the people was manifest in a 
section disqualifying duelists from office^* and making them 
punishable as the Legislature might direct. 

^•Dueling was already a crime at common law. 



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810 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

A disposition to limit the activity of the Legislature in 
various ways was apparent — ^the fruit of unhappy experi- 
ence. Divorces must henceforth be granted only by tile 
courts. The authorization of lotteries was prohibited. The 
power of passing private legislation was restricted and there 
was added the provision that powers over local affairs might 
be vested in the courts. 

Education was discussed in a declamatory section, 
which, however, sought to protect the school fund and made 
it the duty of the legislature to appoint a board to super- 
intend it. All land or money from land granted to the state 
by the federal government was to be devoted to education 
and internal improvements. 

Finally instead of the provision for calling a convention 
to change the constitution there was devised a method of 
amendmg it by vote of two successive Legislatures and 
submission to the electorate. 

IV. The CONVENTION of 1870. 

The years following the adoption of the democratized 
constitution, as framed in 1834, are usually thought of as 
Tennessee's golden age. Brought to tiie forefront of the 
nation's politics by the leadership of Jackson and later by 
the presidency of Polk, the state stood in the very midst of 
the new democracy of the time. In the production of its 
great staple of pioneer days and ever afterward the state 
also took the lead, and when the first agricultural census 
was taken in 1840 Tennessee proved to be the greatest corn- 
producing state. In the same year and in 1850 it was the 
fifth state in population. Between 1830 and 1870 the state 
grew from 681,904 to 1,258,520, about eighty-five per cent. 

Great schemes for internal improvements were under- 
taken. Early in the thirties railroad building began to be 
agitated and, though little had been accomplished before 
1850, the following decade witnessed the construction of 
upwards of 1,200 miles. 

Prosress was by leaps and bounds and lacked in steadi- 
ness, but doubtless that would have soon succeeded naturally 
had not the economic foundation of the state's agriculturjd 
prosperity — slavery — ^paved the way for secession and the 
debacle of civil war. 

The convention of 1870 met as a result of a successful* 
political coup, made possible by dissentions in the ranks of 
the party which had opposed secession and was an expedient 
whereby the Democrats sought to realize permanently again 
their ante-bellum control of the state. Beyond this the con- 
vention as a whole did not care to proceed, and evidently^ 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 311 

thought that more settled times were at hand when a suc- 
ceeding convention could more efficiently renovate the con- 
stitution. 

The revised instrument, like its predecessor, contains a 
preamble setting forth the outline of the previous consti- 
tutional enactments of the state, and eleven articles, the 
first of which is a declaration of rights, followed by a 
schedule of temporary adjustments. 

It contains approximately twice as many words as the 
1796 instrument, that is, about 14,000. Though much 
longer, it is, as has been intimated, very similar to the work 
of the convention of 1834. 

There are few provisions which can be said to be the 
direct voluntary result of the economic developments of the 
period preceding its adoption. The old ones generally 
were retained, with some extensions, as that the interest 
rate must not be more than ten per cent, and that laws for 
the creation of corporations must be general and alterable 
at will, provided such alteration does not disturb vested 
rights. There are also provisions concerning the state 
finances and state aid to private undertakings, but these 
can be more appropriately mentioned later. The property 
tax section, making mandatory the taxation of all prop- 
erty, merely puts into the constitution what statutes, 
gradually adding items to the list as the variety of property 
increased, had already accomplished. Its all-inclusiveness 
naturally led to certain specific exemptions, permissive save 
in the case of products of the soil in the hands of the pro- 
ducer and his immediate vendee" and one thousand dollars' 
worth of personalty to each tax payer. The latter provision 
and the homestead exemption from sale under legal process, 
within certain circumstances, may be evidenced as signs of 
growing social democracy, as may also the absolute prohibi- 
tion of imprisonment for debt in civil cases. The permissive 
income tax on stocks and bonds not taxed according to 
value was intended to draw revenue from the holders of 
of federal government bonds. 

The constitution has remained unchanged since 1870. 

The convention's first answer to the policy of the Union- 
ist party is found in the fourth section of the Declaration 
of Rights, which adds to the prohibition of a religious test 
for eligibility to office that no poltical test "other than an 
oath to support the Constitution of the United States and of 
this State" shall be required for that purpose. This party 

"This must be extended to include products of the soil of other states. 
Darnall v. Memphis, 208 U. S., 113 (i5K>8). 



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312 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

had enforced a variety of oaths not only for office holdingr 
but for voting, and had in that way maintained its power. 

To the Unionist policy of enforcing its decrees by a free 
use of military power it was replied "that martial law, in 
the sense of the unrestricted power of military officers, or 
others, to dispose of the persons, liberties, or property of the 
citizen, is inconsistent with the principles of free govern- 
ment, and is not confided to any department of the govern- 
ment of this State." 

The possibility of the passage of laws by a minority of 
the legislators was eliminated by requiring therefor a 
majority of all the members of each house. The quorum was 
changed from "two-thirds of each house" to "not less than 
two-thirds of all the members to which each house shall be 
entitled." Furthermore, a bill was not to become law until 
it should have received the Governor's signature, or, in case 
of his veto, should have been passed again (by the same 
majority). If the Governor should neither sign nor veto 
it, the bUl would become law Sfter five days, Sundays ex- 
cepted, unless the adjournment of the Legislature should 
prevent its return. 

Joint resolutions, save concerning adjournments, must 
be similarly enacted. 

The regular legislative session was effectually limited to 
seventy-five, and an extraordinary session to twenty days, 
by denying the legislators their pay after those periods 
should have expired. 

The Governor's power to enforce his will on the people 
was checked by providing that "the militia shall not be called 
into service except in case of rebellion or invasion, and then 
only when the general assembly shall declare by law that the 
public safety requires it." 

The influx of negro voters into the electorate tempted 
the convention to the provisions that "each voter shall give 
to the judges of election, where he offers to vote, satisfactory 
evidence that he has paid the poll taxes assessed against him 
for such preceding period as the legislature shall prescribe, 
and at such time as may be prescribed by law ; without which 
his vote cannot be received," and "the general assembly 
shall have power to enact laws requiring voters to vote in 
the election precincts in which they may reside, and laws 
to secure the freedom of election and the purity of the ballot 
box." 

The Legislature was declared to have power to relieve a 
person from the penalties imposed upon any person dis- 
qualified from holding office by a court of impeachment. 
This provision was the direct result of the impeachment 



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THE TENNESSEE CONSTITUTION 313 

of the judge who had granted habeas corptia to the legis- 
lators who were arrested to secure a quorum for approving 
the fourteenth amendment to the federal constitution. 

Schools receiving state aid were not to receive both white 
and colored pupils, and the inter-marriage of the races was 
prohibited. 

County offices created by the Legislature must be filled 
by the people or the county court 

In addition to these partisan changes, a number of minor 
alterations resulted merely from the development of the 
state and its experience since 1834, or were made manda^ 
tory by the Constitution of the United States. 

Among them are the substitution of "every male person" 
for "every free white man" in detailing the qualifications 
for the suffrage; the provisions, which had already been 
placed in the constitution by amendment in 1866, that 
"slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment 
for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted 
rre forever prohibited in this State"; and that "the general 
aissembly shall make no law recognizing the right of prop- 
erty in man"; the sections forbidding state aid to private 
companies and municipalities, state ownership of banks or 
the stock of private companies or municipalities, and the 
issuance of state bonds to any railroad defaulting in its 
ijiterest payments on bonds previously loaned or having 
^solutely disposed of any of the same for less than par. 
Hie state debt was the chief political question for the decade 
and more following 1870. 

The Legislature is expressly authorized "to regulate the 
wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime," and must 
provide for suitable prisons and humane treatanent of in- 
mates. 

The passfige of private acts is still further restricted. 
Experience with acts of the Legislature embracing a most 
heterogeneous subject matter led to the provision that no 
bill shaJl embrace more than one subject, which subject shall 
be expressed in the title. 

The Comptroller is made a constitutional officer; the 
Circuit and Chancery Courts are made constitutional courts, 
and the election of the Attorney General is taken from the 
people and vested in the judges of the Supreme Court, the 
places of holding which are specified. 

The authorization of game and fish laws was not con- 
sidered beneath the dignity of the state's organic law. 

Religious liberty is given an additional safeguard in the 
prohibition of requiring public service in time of peace from 
any person on the day set apart for rest by his religion. 



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314 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

Finally, there was inserted a clause permitting the legis- 
lature, at its discretion, to submit to the electorate the ques- 
tion of holding a constitutional convention, to be called if a 
majority of the votes should be favorable. 



Had the progress of the state not been arrested and its 
economic institutions overthrown or brought to a standstill 
by the war, Tennessee would have been ripe for several gen- 
uine constitutional changes in 1870. The most important 
of these would have been provisions for more efficiently 
administering the state's business, especially in controlling 
the new industrial organisms that had grown up in the 
forties and fifties — railroads and other corporations, which, 
as has been noted, were not altoeether neglected by the con- 
vention despite its determination to do as little as possible. 
It was hardly to be expected, however, that the statesmen of 
the time would have been far-sighted enough to perceive 
this or the equally important desirability of providing for 
a business-like control of the state's finances and for the 
efficient administration of county affairs 

These needs have been greatly intensified as the state 
has grown and its life become more complex. Tennessee 
remains predominantly agricultural, but the characteristic 
trend of the last generation has been a proportional de- 
crease in the importance of the farm and a great growth of 
manufacturing and the extractive industries accompanied 
by the growth of cities and the frequent absolute decline in 
the population of various agricultural communities. 

Meanwhile political experiments in other states have 
pointed the way to more efficient governmental machinery 
and discouraging failures of governments, state and local, 
to respond to popular demands have pointed out the need for 
greater directness and simplicity in the enactment and 
administration of law. Clearly the state is both econom- 
ically and politically ripe for further constitutional revision. 

Wallace McClure. 



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DOCUMENTS. 
I. 



With Walker in Nicaragua. The Reminiscences of 
Elleanore (Callaghan) Ratterman. 

[For pennission to reproduce that part of the narrative of Mrs. 
Ratterman which is of historical importance in connection with the ac- 
tivities of William Walker, the Magazine is indd)ted to the members of 
Mrs. Ratterman's family now resident in Nashville, especially to Mrs. 
Thomas J. Tyne and Mrs. W. B. Ratterman. The original manuscript 
which is understood to have been in the form of a diary, has been mis- 
placed and the text here printed reproduces a typewritten copy compiled 
some years ago. This copy has been followed literally, with no change 
other than the supplying in brackets of a letter or word obviously dropped 
out The mistakes of the typewritten copy, which are frequent, are cor- 
rected, in important cases, in the notes. 

Extensive extracts from this document were published in the "Woman's 
Edition" of the Nashville Banner in the number for Saturday evening, 
October 12, 1912. But this reproduction omitted a great deal of the paper 
and much was compressed and modified. 

For the introduction and notes the Magazine is under obli^tion 
to Dr. William O. Scroggs, Professor of Economics and Sociology m the 
Louisiana State University, the author of a Ufe of William Walker to 
be published in the near future. Dr. Scroggs's intimate acquaintance 
with the material bearing upon Walker's career has made it possible for 
him to contribute the explanations and comments, which greatly increase 
the value of the document] — Ed. 

INTRODUCTION. 



The following narrative, written by Mrs. Elleanore Rat- 
terman, nee Callaghan, after her return from a sojourn of 
four years in Nicaragua, contains an interesting account of 
affairs in that country after its invasion by William Walker, 
the noted filibuster. This remarkable man, who plays the 
leading role in Mrs. Ratterman's story, was bom in Nash- 
ville on May 8, 1824. His father, James Walker, was a 
Scotchman who had settled in Nashville in 1820 and had 
married Mary Norvell, of Kentucky. There were three 
other children, Norvell, James, and Alice. William Walker 
graduated from the University of Nashville in 1838, and 
in 1843 received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the 
University of Pennsylvania. After two years of study and 
travel in Europe, he returned to Nashville with the inten- 
tion of following his profession in that city. Finding this 
vocation uncongenial, he next studied law and opened his 



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316 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

office for practice in New Orleans. Meeting with no success 
as a lawyer, he turned to journalism, and in 1848 became 
one of tiie editors of the New Orleans Crescent. Late 
in 1849 he severed his connection with this journal and in 
the following year migrated to San Francisco, where for a 
year he engaged in newspaper work. In 1851 he removed 
to Maiyville and again took up the practice of law. Short- 
ly thereafter he conceived the plan of "colonizing" the 
Mexican states of Sonora and Lower California with Amer- 
icans, and in 1853 led a filibustering expedition into this 
region. He met with a series of misfortunes, however, and 
in May, 1854, was driven back across the American border. 

Undaunted by this failure. Walker soon turned his at- 
tention to Nicaragua, where a revolution was in progress. 
The leader of one of the revolutionary parties invited him 
to bring a company of American "colonists" to that coun- 
try. The "colonists" were to have the privilege of bearing 
arms and were to receive grants of land for such services 
as they might render the government. On May 4, 1855, 
Walker set sail from San Francisco with fifty-eight fol- 
lowers. Reinforcements were sent in large numbers by 
his associates in San Francisco, and in October the filibust- 
ers and their native allies had brought the revolution to an 
end and set up a provisional government. Walker was 
made commander-in-chief under the new regime, and be- 
came therefore the real head of the State. The news of 
his success caused adventurers from the United States to 
join his army in such large numbers that many of the na- 
tive leaders became alarmed and fled to the neighboring 
republics, where they succeeded in effecting a coalition of 
the Central American States against the fUibiisteros. In 
the meantime, Walker, perceiving the growing disaffection, 
took the bold step of having himself chosen President of 
Nicaragua by the votes of his soldiers, who were mainly 
Americans. 

This was the situation when Miss Callaghan, the author 
of the narrative, arrived at Walker's headquarters in the 
city of Granada. Her first reference to Walker shows him 
at war with the Central American allies. 

W. 0. SCROGGS. 

A Short Sketch of My Life for the Last Four Years in 
Nicaragtui. 

In the year of our Lord 1856, the 4th day of April, My Sister and 
her husband and child, Brother and self and a little slave boy, left Council 
Bluffs, Iowa, to emigrate to Nicaragua, then the rendezvous of all classes 



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WITH WALKER IN NICARAGUA 317 

of speculators: On the 7th day of May we embarked at New Orleans 
on a small schooner, (called the Minnie Schiffer) in company with 
about 150 men, soldiers who^ were going to join their fortunes wiUi Genl 
Wm Walker's, to Americanize, that garden of the world: — Also there 
were about six families going to colonize — from the great inducements 
held out to foreigners, by the President, Patricis* Rivas — On the 28th 
of May we landed at Greytown, under the guns of a English Man of 
War called the "Everydice,"' whose officers came aboard to see if there 
were any "filibusters," and if so, to prevent their landing. There was 
not a gun, nor a missile of war to be seen, and all and each were emi- 
grants. Without any delay they proceeded to Granada, on small River 
Steamer's belonging to the Transit Company, and reached that city about 
the first of June. All the families were taken with the "Fever" of that 
country, and about the 12 of July my niece died, a few days after my 
sister, and a short time after my brother in law. I was left entirely alone, 
with only my brother, and our slave;* after trying to return home twice, 
I gave up to fate to await my destiny. Genl Walker was constantly en- 
gaged in skirmishes with the enemy,* after he was elected President, 
-which event took place on the 12th of July* — his popularity with the native 
population decreased in a degree, as rapidly as it had increased up to that 
time. The first great battle which took place after my arrival in Nicar- 
agua was on the 13th of October. 

Genl. W. left Granada for Masaga* about ten o'clock on the nth with 
^very man that was able to walk that distance' which is 12 miles, and left 
the garrison under the charge of Brigadier Genl Fry. which all told, 
counting the sick, and wounded, citizens, numbered about 150. About I 
o'clock the cry was the "Enemy is coming,"* when the rain came down in 
such torrents it seemed that the whole town was deluged, many of the 
citizens did not wish to go to the church, which was on the Plaza or 
Square, and if there was to be a pitched battle Genl W. was determined 
to keep the Square if every other point was taken. And when he left 
he gave such orders, that one and all had to be taken to the Church. The 
€nemy was right in our midst, and we were fearful to leave our house, 
for fear of meeting them. However, we started, towards the Lake of 
Nic[aragua] which is about half a mile from the City of Granada, when 
some American, called to us for God sake to return and go to the Church as 
the enemy was waiting, in ambush, in case we went to the steamer, to 
attack us. We turned and advanced a few steps towards the Church 
when about 100 of those savages rushed from their hiding places down 
another street, they intended to fall upon our party but as soon as one 
of their dusky forms were seen, there was volley after volley fired at them 
from the tower of the Church, until they all disappeared. — ^When at last 

»Patricio. 

•Eurydice. 

»As slavery had been abolished in Nicaragua since 1824, it is interesting to note 
that Miss Callahan retained possession of a negro slave in that country. On Septem- 
ber 22, 1856, Walker repealed the laws against slavery, but this was several months 
after the narrator had arrived in Nicaragua. 

*The enemy here referred to consisted of disaffected Nicara^ans and troops from 
San Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Costa Rica was invited to join this coali< 
tion and later did so. 

^The author has here confused the date of Walker's election with the date of 
bis inaugural. He was elected — in form rather than in fact— on June 29, and was 
inaugurated on July 12. 

"Masaya. 

^When Walker advanced to attack Masaya he led a force ol 800 men, the largest 
number he had ever commanded in battle. 

^During Walker's attack on Masa^ a contingent of Guatemalans in the neighbor* 
ing village of Doriomo, instead of going to the support of their allies, took the road 
to Granada, expecting to find that city undefenaed. The small garrison of civil 
employes and hospital attendants sustained an attack of twenty-foi^ hours before 
Walker returned and drove out the enemy. It is this attack on the city which it 
here described. 



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318 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

we reached the Qiurch, everything was consternation and dismay, women 
and children shrieking, and screaming that all was lost, that if our General 
was here all would be safe. We fired a signal gun for the Genl to return, 
but he was very busy fighting, in Masaga,* and thought he could depend 
on the Citizens, who were fighting for their lives and interest, the 
welfare of their families, and well did they sustain the confidence placed 
in them by him. I who had never witnessed bloodshed was sickened by 
the sights I saw during the next 24 hours — Our citizens, and the sick 
soldiers were being constantly brought in wounded, the Ladies under- 
skirts, and other underclothes were torn in Bandages for the poor fel- 
lows, and if more was needed, it would have been given with a free 
heart — All day there was a constant firing kept up. We had nothing to 
eat — and when night came there was so much excitement, there was no 
need of sleep — the next day was a repitition of the same, only about 
twelve o'clock, some one of the soldiers saw a fine hog which he appro- 
priated to his own use, therefore it became the Ladies to turn cook, a 
young lady and self got that honor of cooking the breakfast or dinner, 
which ever you might call it at one o'clock on Monday 14th of October. 
We all remained, in the Church till Friday morning when the cry was, 
that the Genl was coming. What hope, what enthusiasm, was expressed 
by all. He heard the signal gun and came to relieve us. As he was 
coming in the main entrance to Granada, the enemy was in ambush on 
both sides of the road. Genl W. was advised to alight, when his reply 
was *1et the cowards" shoot the more balls^ that are thrown at me, the 
less will my men feel" After he arrived in the City, about a quarter 
of an hour, the Enemy retreated, and we were left to talk about the ex- 
citement 

There was constant excitement and alarms, up the 25 of Nov when 
it was secretly whispered that Granada was to be evacuated and de- 
stroyed by fire." and the advice of all, was for the Lady's and children 
to embark on the Steamer, to leave G, for when the Natives, saw their 
City, their churches leveled to the ground, they would raise, and come 
down to G. prepared to fight, and to besiege us. Brother and I prepared 
ever3rthing our trunks and baggage and left in charge of our Brother in 
Law to send to us, to the Steamer." When the Steamer pulled up her 
anchor, and left for the Island of Ometepec a Volcanic island situated 
in the middle of Lake Nicaragua." 

Genl W had passed a decree, that all should be taken there, and there 
remain, till he had fixed on his headquarters. Therefore I left G. with 
only the clothes I had on. When all had left Granada except 100 men 
and a few females, who were to embark at two o'clock as the steamer 
was lying at the wharf, when about twelve o'clock, 2000 of the Allied 
troops of Central America, marched in and cut the Americans off from 
the Steamer, placed themselves between the Lake and the main Square, 
where the Americans, at that time were, — The Steamer when she saw this, 
conmienced firing, but being at such a distance could not effect what 



•Masaya. 

^^Walker had made Granada his headquarters for about thirteen months, and his 
occupation of the capital city gave him a kind of moral advantage in the eyes of the 
natives. The location, howcven was exceedingly unhealthful, and when Costa Rica 
joined the hostile coalition in November, 1857, he found it necessary to evacuate the 
place for both strategic and sanitary reasons and occupy the more advantageously sit- 
uated towns of Rivas and Virgin Bay. 

"This sentence and the next are confused, probably because of defective punctua- 
tion in the copy. 

^*This island was thirteen miles from the mainland, and the non-combatants and 
sick and wounded placed there were safe from attack oy the invaders. The Indiana 
who lived on the island, however, resented the intrusion, as the narrative shows far- 
ther on. 



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WITH WALKER IN NICARAGUA 319 

she wished. Genl Hemmingsen" then comman[d]ed the American party 
and a better commander never could have been found. 

At the time that the enemy came in, there was about 7 men on the 
wharf." All were taken prisoners except one who swam to the Steamer, 
during which time many balls were fired at him, tho' he luckily escaped." 
When the Steamer saw there was no help, for the Americans, left her 
anchorage and went to Virgin Bay, Where our Genl then was, who im- 
mediately embarked and went to try to investigate the affairs, and to try 
to relieve them, but he could not effect a ' landing and he returned to 
await fresh recruits. Now to return to the besieged. At first they reveled 
in every luxury that could be found, they were extravagant in their 
liquor, in eating and every thing when at last they became so reduced 
for the want of provisions, and exposure, as they had no roof to pro- 
tect them from the rain, which at that time was very bad as it was the 
breaking up of the rainy season — ^they felt the change so quickly after en- 
joying every luxury then to be reduced to piece of mule meat about four 
inches square for twenty four hours — No salt, nor anything but mule 
meat^ and coffee, that the handfuU of men dwindled down to a mere 
nothmg. They died at the rate of three a day, and were buried about 
three yards from where the people eat, and slept, as it was dangerous 
to bury them any distance on account of the enemies balls. At this 
time the balance of Walkers men were on Ometepee," where we ex- 
perienced a secon[d] siege. There was no provision, except plantain and 
Beef and those who had a little pocket change were fortunate, but other- 
wise suffered, living some of us in sheds with only the name of a roof 
over our heads no sides to the house. Myself and Brother found a 
Friend in a german Lady, who had five children, we shared her board 
and bed such as it was — the bed consisted of straw thrown on the ground 
and over that a quilt was laid, thereon eight in family slept, as the climate 
is such that thick covering was useless, we fared well. But oh! the suf- 
fering I saw there, never can be realized again. Men dying in roads, 
every day the Ox Cart would hail at your door enquiring if any person 
dead was lodged within who wished to be buried. Once a Lady in com- 
pany with Self were walking towards the Lake, to see if we could see 
anything of the Steamer (as the suspense we were in was terrible, not 
knowing, what had become of the besieged, no communication between 
us) we saw a poor fellow lying on the ground in a dying state, lying 
in mud. — ^We went to him bathed his face and hands, and rubbed his 
throat with oil, to relieve his breathing, and placed him in a comfortable 
position, laying as he was on the ground. When as we concluded to 
proceed on our walk, he grasped our dresses and made signs to feel 
his pocket, but we felt a delicacy in so doing, and remained with him a 

"Charles Frederick Henningsen, whom Walker charged with the destruction ol 
Granada after its abandonment, was a soldier of fortune of world renown. A native 
of England, he had served under Don Carlos in Spain, in the Russian army in 
Circassia, and had gone to Hungary to aid that country in its struggle for inde- 
pendence; but finding the Hungarian cause already lost, he followed Kossuth to 
America and later joined Walker in Nicaragua. He attained the rank of bri8;ddier- 
general in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Literature as well as military 
matters engaged his attention, and he nas left several volumes of travel and reminis- 
cences which have substantial value. 

"The actual number was twenty-seven. 

"The narrator has here confused two diflFerent events. The man who swam to the 
steamer was a young Hawaiian called "Kanaka John," who carried Walker a message in 
a bottle from ftenningsen, and was not one of the besieged party on the wharf. One of 
the latter did escape, deserting to the enemy and showing them a way by which his 
former comrades might be attacked from the rear and exterminated. He was a 
Venezuelan named Tejada, whom Walker had found in chains and set free when he 
entered Granada a year before. The filibuster's kindness was thus repaid with 
treachery. 

^•Ometepec 



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320 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

few minutes longer, when we started, and in less than a half hour after 
he was dead, he was searched as is the rule,' and in his pocket was $75» 
and letters to his wife, which I suppose he meant for us to take, so as it 
should not fall in the hands of those Robbers — as the officers under Genl 
W. was nothing else. Death had become so familiar, to me, that I could 
have no pleasure then to assist the dying, and to help bury the Dead — 
It is so pleasant to know you have cheered or been of assistance to some 
poor unfortunate, it has paid me often for my lon[e]iiness and misery, to 
think I have done some one good. The same evening or rather the 
next morning at three o'clock, the alarm near the church was given that 
the enemy were coming, as we were situated living between the Square 
and the Lake, we could not make our way to the garrison, therefore 
rushing from our beds — and catching what we could, we ran to the Lake, 
this German Lady and family, went also. When we reached there, there 
was a Barge filled with half full of water, but we all tumbled in pell-mell 
— above our waists in water, when the men had to bail it out with their 
hats and us Ladys assisted with our shoes — , there were a considerable 
numbers of others, one who happened to be officer he took command, 
there we were till day light broke, our anxiety being great about those 
who had been left there, also the dying. When it was day light we dis- 
covered the Steamer which then appeared as a speck on the horizon, until 
it gradually came in sight. The Genl was on his way to see the prospect 
of assisting the besieged, and mistook us for a party of the enemy, and 
had we not hoisted a shirt as a flag of truce, we would have been fired 
into and perhaps sunk to the bottom of the Lake. When the Genl saw 
our flag of truce he bore down to us — and had us all to come aboard and 
have refreshments, whilst he sent a Company of his men ashore to see 
if the danger was over, they returned, and said the enemy had retreated^ 
and then he sent us ashore again but with the hope that he was going 
to liberate us in thirty-six hours, how anxiously did we all wait and look 
for the time to roll around. At about 24 hours afterwards we heard the 
shrill whistle of the Steamer. What joy, what hope, to each and all, at 
last about ten o'clock, at night the word was given that all was aboard, 
when the Steamer pulled up her Anchor and left, about ten minutes after 
our sailing, we observed the heavens glaring in a light, which was caused 
from all the baggage of the poor sufferers — being set on fire on the bank 
of lake Nicaragua, those who had saved some little from the fire of 
Granada was all now destroyed. 

The order from Genl W. was for all to be brought to San Jorge or 
Georre, then his headquarters, when we had just anchored, the Steamer 
San Carlos, hove in sight, and a short time after, she dropped her anchor, 
she had aboard about 150 men, recruits from N. G. N. O. and California, 
which Genl. W. embarked on board the Steamer La Virgin, and at ten 
o'clock at night on the 15 of Dec 1856," he went to raise the siege of 
Granada, and succeeded. I have heard from those who were so unfortu- 
nate to be there, that after Gen. W. fired on the Enemy, and made them 
beat a re*reat, that the thanks, the joy which was expressed on each 
countenance paid them for their trouble, and anxiety. Some died imme- 
diately from eating so much, after living about 15 days on a small bit of 
mule meat, without salt, without bread, they indulged too freely. Some 
of the men, when liquor, tobacco, cigars gave out, lived on opium, till it 
killed them.** The greatest sight of misery of poverty was seen the 
morninc: when all came to San George. Mothers eagerly asking of some 
friend if her son was d^ad or living, with hope that he might be one of 

*The correct date is December 11. 

"•During the siege of seventeen days 120 of those left in the city died of disease, 
X24 w^re killed or wounded, two were captured, and forty deserted, hsinginff the 
total loss <o 286 and leaving only 135 whole survivors. Many of these succumlNKl- 
later as a result of their trying experiences. 



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WITH WALKER IN NICARAGUA 321 

the few saved, and still fearful to hear the truth. Wives, and sisters 
inquiring also, with the same feeling of hope and fear. When I saw my 
Brother in Law I did not know him, he was so emaciated, at last the 
disease which he had contracted in the siege, terminated fatally on the 6 
of April 1857, the very anniversary which we had left Iowa the year be- 
fore. Therefore in the short space of 9 months I had seen three of the 
[sici my family buried, all of my property, and health, clothes and every- 
thing gone, never to be recovered, as I then thought, not knowing what 
was to be my fate. 

On the 20 of Dec. the cry was that the Barricades in Rivas (a city 
built three miles inland from San Jorge) were so very high, that the 
whole town was surrounded by a walls of barricades." Genl. W. sent 
out detached companys to see if there was really any danger if the enemy 
was there according to report, when about the 22d he gave orders for all 
to march to Rivas, which was to be his headquarters, for the present 
time; — Miles and my Brother in law and self all were sick, but we con- 
trived to get to Rivas as well as we knew how. Mr. Tarbox rode on a 
Government wagon, and I walked the short distance of three miles which 
appeared to me the distance of 12 miles. 

We fared extremely well for the entire first two months There was 
constant attacks from the enemy, and false alarms, when at the dead 
hour of night we were forced to leave home and go to the strongest 
citadel or fortress, sometimes with nothing, sometimes perhaps, without 
shoes or stockings. I at last resorted to this plan, which was not to un- 
dress, for near four months I did not know what it was to sleep un- 
dressed; — On the first of Feb.** W. marched on the enemy, who had 
taken possession of San George. Three hundred of the enemy were 
killed, and only ten killed and wounded on our side, he gave them two 
other attacks, the last one on the 26 of March," on the 20 he was sur- 
rounded by them, so confined were we, that we could not even get plan- 
tains, our bread, which is of the same family as Bananas, except a great 
deal larger, that beinp^ the "pan del Pais" or bread of the country. Genl 
W. used it also, as his bread, on the 25 of March" we commenced eating 
mule meat — Coincident to this we were anxiously awaiting the arrival 
of Col Lockridge, with forces — but he, the black hearted villain, sold us, 
for the paltry sum of [ ]** Reports every day was spread, about his 

coming, untill we had no hope; and was awaiting with Christian sub- 
mission, our fate. We never knew till after the "Capitulation" what had 
become of him, which was this.** He had started up the River on one of 

"Rivas was a small town with thick-walled adobe houses, and had been barricaded 
and used as a fortress by the Costa Ricans in their invasion during the spring of 1856. 

*>The correct date is February 4. 

**The correct date is March 16. 

■•Other accounts give this date as March 27. At first mules were slaughtered at 
flight and their meat mixed with that of a few beeves, so that the men for a short 
time did not suspect their change in diet. 

"The sum is not given. 

••Colonel S. A. Lockridge, of Kentucky, whom the narrator castigates so severely, 
had been in charge of recruiting for Walker in Texas and the Middle West, and late 
in 1856 he had gone to Nicaragua with nearly 300 recruits for Walker's service. On 
landing at Greytown he discovered that the steamers on the San Juan River and on 
Lake Nicaragua, which were the sole means of reaching Walker m the interior, had 
fallen into the hands of the Costa Ricans. He succeeded in recapturing several of the 
steamers, but was unable to force his way oast Castillo Viejo, a fort on the river 
in the hands of the enemv, and returned to Greytown. On the return trip the boiler 
of the steamer Scott exploded, killing and injuring a number of officers and men. 
Fortunately, the accident occurred while the steamer was moored to the bank, and 
most of the men were ashore. The narrator's statement that "all were killed imme- 
diately or died shortly after" is incorrect. Amon^ those who escaped was Walker's 
brother Norvell. Two of the officers who were miured by the explosion have left 
accounts of this episode, and no one associated with Lockridse accused him of 
treachery, as does the author of this narrative. See the story of Marcellus French in 
Overland Monthly, n. s., XXL, $17-33; and of Charles W. Doubleday in his Remin- 
iscences of the "Filibuster" War tn Nicaragua (New York, 1886). 



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322 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

the little Steamers but sold us to the enemy, in this wise, he placed gun- 
powder in the wood to be used as firewood, and of course the poor fire- 
men, who worked their own death, did not know it, he and others who 
were his accomplices, did not go aboard. O! no, their good for nothing 
carcass, was to[o] good to be bio wed up with their victims. All were 
killed immediately or died a short time after. Genl W. was so anxiously 
waiting for their assistance, to relieve us, from our unpleasant position, 
but his hopes were placed, in a man who was every way unworthy of the 
confidence of such a man as> the "eagle eyed man of destiny." The siege 
of Riyas was protracted from the 20 of March till the 25 of April, when 
hostilities were suspended, during that time they fired 200 cannon balls, 
each one weighing 24 lbs. Only three of our men were killed. About 
the 8 of April, myself, in company with two other Ladys, and my Brother 
(as my Brother in law had died on the 6th) were sitting near our front 
door, very busily engaged in a conversation, when each one of us and 
all were surprised to notice something like a flash of lightning directly 
opposite to us, but before either could speak the Ball strudk the pavemend 
[sic] and rebounded, took off half of a very large door, broke the back of a 
chair in which a Lady was sitting, broke open a trunk scattered the con- 
tents in the air, and then disappeared in a wall. All which transpired 
in one second, or quick as thought. A Spanish Lady who was present 
said "O ! Dios mitunieo."" I was knocked on the floor in a kneeling posi- 
tion. You could not have told who or what color we had ever been. 
About the 15, I was cooking our supper about 5 oclock in the evening, 
when a ball came within three feet of my feet, in a place which I had 
stood a moment before, the fire was put out, all was completely covered 
with dirt as the houses are adobe, a kind of brick, made of straw and mud 
mixed and then well baked in the sun, each one is about 3 feet long by 
two wide, of course when it has been used for such a length, of time, it 
becomes very dry. 

Genl W. expected, that on the nth of April that we would have a 
serious attack, as it was their feast day, and they claimed a victory 
gained by them over us on the nth preceding,** and of course they were 
sure of conquering, every one was expecting it, when about 3 oclodc in 
the morning, a signal from them was fired, when we were to be attacked 
on all sides, which if done would have compelled our few men to have 
yielded, (but as the American people, knows not the meaning of that 
word) owing to some misunderstanding we were attacked from only 
one point:— 300 of the Cx>sta Ricans, entered the Square, took possession, 
of a building in which there was two lonely females who had been left 
widows about three months, one of the Ladys had two children, they 
broke open the door, and entered whether or no. Some said she had 
written to them, to come and gave her place as a place of rendezvous. 
Grenl. W. sent them word the day before, to leave that house, as he ex- 
pected they would enter, PERHAPS, that building, her obstinancy in 
remain remaining [j»V] gave room for persons to blame her. 

7 men were all that was defending or in the building. Genl W. had 
the cannon of 6 lb. balls placed directly opposite the house when some 
one of his officers remarked, that it was dangerous for the lives of the 
two Ladys, he replied, "Shall I endanger the lives of all of my men 
for the obstinacy of two women," No! He gave orders for a constant 
firing to be kept up, when our skirts came in requisition again as wadding 
for the cannon which we freely gave. Genl. had a few men only assisting 

"Possibly "Dios me tumbo" — ^"God has knocked me down;" or "Dios mt tenga**'-^ 
"Godprotect me." 

'"This is a reference to the so-called first battle of Rivas of April xx, 1856. Tlie 
result of this engagement was indecisive, but both sides claimed a victory. 



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WITH WALKER IN NICARAGUA 323 

him in the cannonade, about 12 men. We at that time were at the Genl 
house for protection. We crawled along^ under the eves of the houses for 
fear we should be seen, were in ear shot of the cannon, one of the 
Ladys in the house was wounded in the foot, the Dr. neglected to 
amputate immediately, and when he did, it caused her death, which 
was 13 of April About 9 oclock the firing ceased. Genl had taken 
100 prisoners, and 3 officers: — ^and had .sent 30 wounded ones to 
their camp, as he offered first, if they would exchange cattle for the 
prisoners, allowing ten head for each officer and one head for each 
man, he did not have sufficient food to feed his own men. (They 
would not ransom their prisoners) much less waste on these wounded. 
The wells in Rivas were filled with their dead bodies so much so, 
we feared to drink the waters. 

The enemy constantly kept up firing their missiles of death and 
we had always to send a armed force to the plantain patches for 
protection to those, who went to bring the Plantains but after while 
ihey became to be attacked so frequently that it was even dangerous 
for them to go for our bread. 

On the evening of the 26 of April, there was a dead silence reigning 
around everything, when we saw a native enter with a flag of truce, pro- 
ceed on to the Genl. quarters a few moments after we saw him return, and 
in about half a hour after St Hustin" of the U. S. Brig. St Mary" came in 
to see if the Gen would give permission for the Ladies and children to 
go to San Juan del Sur, to be under the protection of our flag. Cap 
Davis* had heard that W was going to leave Rivas with his few well men, 
and the women children and sick men would get out the best way pos- 
sible. I firmly believe that this report was basely false. Capt D. knew 
the character of these savages, and thought if such is the case I wSlf 
provide for the helpless. Genl W. gave his consent, and about sundown 
there was an order issued, for us all to be ready, by nine oclock the fol- 
lowing evening, to leave for San Juan. Some were willing to leave and 
others did not wish to go, I for one. I had seen all go, and I felt as if I 
wanted to remain with my brother but that was contrary to order, and 
if permitted for one would be looked for for others. At first the word 
was that we all had to walk to San Juan a distance of about 21 miles, 
I left as much I could in the clothes line, and what I thought would 
be absolutely necessary and no more When at last we got to the enemys 
camp, we heard the provision was made. Some of us had to ride over 
others went in a wagon, as there were so many that we had to take it 
by turns, to the village of St. George a distance of three miles, there to 
wait till morning and all go, together, in two very large wagons — ^The 
firing had ceased for 36 hours, or from the time St H" entered the city 
until we left the camp. To see those people enjoying everything in the 
line of victuals and luxuries, such as tobacco, cigars and liquor made 
me feel so bad to think that our race was absolutely starving, and were 
almost crazed, for the loss of tobacco and this race of Mestigs or negroes ' 
to be enjoying these pleasures it made me feel indignant. And they e:^- 
ercised so much inquisitiveness to find out W's real position,- but we all 
were political we told them, in such a manner as to make thefn clasp their 
hands, and make sign of the cross, a mark of utter astonishment and 
wonder When at last we arrived in San Juan," we all were rejoiced, and 

"Lt. [Lieutenant] Huston. 

«5*. Mary's, 

"Commander Charles H. Davis had arrived at San Juan del Sur in the United 
States sloop-of-war St. Mary's early in February, 18^7, with instructions ot safe- 
guard American citizens and property during the disturminces in Nicaragua. 

••Lt. [Lieutenant]. 

*^San Juan del Sur, on the Pacific, should not be confused with the Atlantic 
port of San Juan del Norte, also called Greytown. 



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324 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

but one thing marred our pleasure, to know that our relations and 
friends were constantly in danger. Capt I>avis sent us many little nicities 
from his ship, which he was aware the" we had not enjoyed in some 
time: — He also held divine worship and invited all the Ladies, to join 
him, after the refreshments were set out for us all to regale, which I 
assure you we did. . . .** Excursions on the Pacific, he had us all to 
join, to try to divert us from melancholy thoughts. When at last he** 
was induced to go to Rivas, to capitulate," he went I believe, instigated by 
Charity and good feeling to his countrymen; he went on the ist of May, 
he effected what he wanted, establish peace he did not but he effected 
what he wanted, which was to save Genl W. and to cause hostilities to 
subside 1 — But be it understood, that the conditions of the treaty he made 
to suit himself, which was that all Americans, who looked for protection 
from Genl W. be sent home to some port in the U. S. He himself" 
chose i6 of his men, who he wished to have with him on board of the 
St Marjr's.*' This showed the real disposition of Genl W. when he 
would not accept the treaty, till all and each had been provided for. 
Some blame him for selfishness but tell me is there ought of self in this? 

As I said before we all had heard of the treaty, but we heard con- 
flicting rumors, when at last on the ist of May about 8 oclock in the 
evening, we heard it whispered that they" had passed the bridge, about 
a quarter of a mile from town we all congregated on the balconies of the 
Hotel to see if we could recognize any of our relations: — ^As they came 
galloping up to the Hotel. When Gen. W and Capt Davis alighted and 
entered the Consuls office, at the same time," they fired a signal for the 
Cap's gig to be sent over to take himself and the Gen abroad the Brig, 
as the officers could go in the small boat, of the Boats crew: — It was 
done more as a mark of respect to the then President of Nicaragua 
When all last word was brought that, Capt Davis desired Gen W ta 
fix upon some day to leave, the Gen declined doing so, then it suited all 
for him to leave on the 8th of May, just two years to the day" that he 
left California with 56 followers to help a race of people, whose charac- 
teristics are deceit, jealousy, ingratitude, to have seen all most adoration 
given to Gren W. by these people, it is all most impossible to believe that 
they are the same who tried to expel him and those who followed in his 
footsteps, nevertheless, it is true. 

When at last the ship drew in her anchor at 7 oclock at night, every 
sail was expanded, and seemed like a messenger bird with her wings 
open to the breeze, when the farewell cannon shot, came across the water, 
then it was we began to realize that, all hope was gone, that it was true 
that Genl W was going to leave us, we who had joined our fortunes to 
his, for better or for worse, was with him in prosperity, and suffered 
with him in adversity. Some of us watched, until the ship was lost to 
sight and then, and not till then, did we ask the question What is to be- 

"That 

"The indication of an omission is in the copy. 

"Davis. 

"That is, to persuade Walker to capitulate, not to the natives but to Com> 
mander Davis.' 

"Walker. 

"By the terms of capitulation Walker was allowed to choose sixteen of his offi- 
cers to accompany him aboard the St, Mary's and proceed to Panama, while the rest 
of his men were to be taken to Panama by another route, accompanied by a United 
States officer. Unlike the author of this narrative. Walker's men did not regard 
his care for his officers as an indication of nnselfishness, and his rank and file 
bitterlv resented his leaving them behind. 

"Walker and his sixteen officers. 

"The narrator is again in error as to details. Davis did not accompany Walker to- 
San Juan del Sur, but arrived there the following day. 

«AValker left San Francisco for Nicaragua on Mav 4* i8ss* The statement that 
he left Nicaragua on the anniversary of his sailing from the United States to thi» 
country is therefore incorrect 



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WITH WALKER IN NICARAGUA 325 

come of us? Wc asked of several officers before we could get any an- 
swer, at last we asked the Consul, he replied that we all were going to 
Virgin Bay on the loth, to embark on the Steamer to proceed thence to 
Greytown, where we all would embark, to proceed to N. Y. he said I am 
not certain but I think that is the arrangements. All passed as usual 
until Sunday the 9th inst when we received a order to be ready the next 
morning at 9 oclock to leave for HOME What joy, what a disapoint- 
ment to many. I forgot to say that my Brother had arrived in San Juan, 
a day or two previous, to our Genl leaving, all the soldiers who were 
able to walk was marched from Rivas to Virgin Bay and from there 
to Punta Arenas in Costa Rica, but my Brother told St** McCorckle the 
I Lt of the St Mary, that he had a sister in San Juan, then he received 
a permit to proceed to San Juan to join me.*" On Monday the nth of 
May we all arose an hour earlier, to prepare for the journey. Chess 
our slave, I could not Hnd no where I looked every where that I thought 
it possible he might be in; even sent aboard a small schooner, which was 
expecting to leave for Panama, I suspicioned that he wanted leave, his 
owner, who is my Brother. All [xtc] last I gave it up, at nine odock we 
all left for Virgin Bay : — Seeing a acquaintance at her door I beckoned to 
her, and requested if she saw Chess to send him to me the following day 
as an officer and his Lady were coming over 

We reached Virpn Bay at 8 oclock that night, a distance of only 12 
miles: — ^but the natives who were the drivers drove slow, to annoy us. 
Tired and jaded almost to death I proceeded to Mrs. Walsh's an English 
Lady, with whom I was acquainted in Grenada. She offered me a place 
to lodge, and refreshments, during my stay which I thought would be 
no longer, than the Steamer, could come down to take us to Greytown : — 
which would be at the farthest on the 13th. After I had retired, a courier 
arrived, from the Governor of San Juan, writing to me an order declar- 
ing if I took that boy Chess, out of Nicaragua, I should suffer according 
to military law. 

WJiat could I do? it was all we had to fall back on. Some advised 
me to go on, that they the remaining Filibusters would see me through. 
I was timid, and I knew if I did so I would not receive the protection 
of my government, I am sor[r]y I did not do so. When the boy made his 
appearance, with the officer, I was almost sorry, for I had given up the 
hope of seeing him again, and was willing to see him suffer for his in- 
gratitude. Others told me ere three months rolled past Walker would 
return, and advised me to remain, and keep a eye on him.** there all 
my hopes of coming home were blasted ! I consulted with Mrs. Walsh. 
She advised do as I thought best, if I staid her house was my home; if 
I thought it best to leave of course I knew best; I concluded to remain 
any way two or three months, to see if Walker did return. The Steamer 
came and all left but my brother and self.** We remained with Mrs. 
Walsh. My brother doing what he could, and I also in the same capacity 
doing her sewing and mending, for my board, and fortunate were we to 
get this ; this I knew, and tried every way in my power to make myself 
agreeable and I suffered many slights, at first from her daughter in law, 
and her child, a Boy about 4 years; Mrs. W grand child, her only son's 

"Lt. r Lieutenant]. 

•After Walker and his sixteen officers boarded the St, Mary't they were taken 
to Panama. The rest of his men were also sent there on another vessel. The 
women, children, sick and wounded, however, were sent to Greytown. This arrange- 
ment would have separated Miss Callahan from her brother, if he had not secured 
the snecial permit here referred to. 

^■The negro Chess. 

♦•There were thirteen women and five children who left for Greytown along with 
the disabled combatants. The total number leaving was 14a. From this port they 
w^re t^ken to Aspinwall, and from there to New York on the United States frigate 
WabasK 



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326 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

child, who had died in the aud. 1854; but Mrs. Walsh was a perfect 
Lady and christian. We lived there together, as one family, till August, 
when as Mrs Walsh had a great quantity of dry goods, that she could not 
sell, in Virgin Bay, and she thought she would do well to send her 
daughter to San Jorge, a village about 9 miles from Virgin, accessible, 
either by water or land, as it was situated on the Lake. She asked me 
if I would go in Company to mitigate the lonesomeness of her feelings, 
I consented to go also my brother. 

I could not at that time speak a single word in Spanish, so I thought 
too, I would have a fine chance of learning to speak the language, not 
hearing nothing else, it was unavoidable. After I arrived in San Jorge 
I was prevailed upon to take a class in English but you might as well 
have tried to teach a brickbats as those numbskulls — ^besides being very 
illiterate theyr are suspicious they wished to learn English in one month, 
to write and to speak it fluently in the course of one month, they there- 
fore cheated me out of my small pay: — ^and I had become so disgusted 
with them, I was glad to play quits. 

In the meantime. I had procured for my brother a situation on board 
of one of the Lake Steamers as Steward to the Captain with the expec- 
tation of a small pay. I thought it best to keep his mind and hands em- 
ployed even at no pay, than to be idle, as **idleness is the mother of all 
evil." He went aboard the Steamer ist of September, the Steamer made 
two or three trips to San Jorge afterwards, but toward the latter end 
of October war broke out between Costa Rica and Nicaragua and all 
communication was broke up between V. and San Juan del Norte, the 
Steamer in which Miles was, was taken by the Costa Ricans, and of 
course not permitted to return to her running ports.* Therefore no 
words can express the suspense my mind was undergoing at that time. 
I thought of my brother only as one among the dead ; my own situation 
was sufficiently unhappy; without having this miserable pain; not being 
able to express myself sufficient to be understood in Spanish; my actions 
and words were misinterpreted, which led to harsh, feelings, I became 
convinced the only remedy for this was to learn the language, I there- 
fore commenced and in one months time. I understood, and could con- 
verse pretty well, from which I derived niuch pleasure, still I continued 
to improve myself. On the morning of the 18 of Dec. 1857 we heard 
that Gen. Walker himself was at Greytown,** that his men had come up 
the River and taken possession of the fort Castillo, as well as the Steamer 
Virgin (in which was my brother) Fort Castillo is renowned in history 
as being the ground on which Lord Nelson once fought, it is situated 
on a high hill, with a commanding view of many miles up and down the 
River, at the time of the English War This fort was inhabitated by a 
party of monks and nuns, who on seeing that the fort was taken rushed 
to the subterrean [xic] vaults, whereupon the English closed the entrance, 
and there the poor wretches starved to death. 

42 Americans with the gallant Col. Frank Anderson*' took possession 

•«>Thc war between Costa Rica and Nicaragua here referred to was largely one of 
paper and ink. The boundary between the two countries had long been a matter of 
dispute, and after Walker's withdrawal Costa Rica deemed the time opportune to make 
good her claims, as Nicaragua was exhausted and was also under obligations to 
Costa Rica for its aid in expelling the filibusters. Rumors of Walker's impending 
return caused the two republics quickly to bury the hatchet and make common cause 
against the dreaded Ulihusiero. ... <»,...„,.. . ^ 

^After eluding the vigilance of the Federal authorities at Mobile, Walker had 
landed at Grcytown on November 24 with at>out 270 followers. ^ 

♦^Colonel Frank Anderson, of New York, had served with Walker throughout his 
first campaign, and was one of the filibuster's most trusted officers. Before Walker 
could reach the interior of Nicaragua it was necessary to recapture the river and lake 
steamers, which were still in the hands of the Costa Ricans. Anderson was placed in 
command of a picked companv and was charged with this undertaking. He met with 
success, but Walker and his followers were arrested by Commodore Hiram Pftuldu«, 
of the United States navy, before the steamers were brought down the nver to Grey- 
town. 



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WITH WALKER IN NICARAGUA 327 

of the fort, without a firing of a gun When this news was received at 
Rivais, the city s^out 3 miles from San Jorge the Governor issued a de- 
cree that all Americans male and female should present themselves to 
the government at Rivas, within 3 days and if they did not do so they 
could be dealt with accord [sic] to military law. I thought it best 
to go, to avoid any unnecessary trouble. When I presented myself to 
the Gov he gave me a receipt, stating that I had presented myself there- 
fore was not liable to the law, from the effects of that walk I took a 
fever, and my feet was so badly blistered, as to unable me to walk 4 or 
five days: — When I returned from Rivas there was a courier in the vil- 
lage who had just arrived stating that Walker was taken prisoner by the 
U. S. What a death blow to all our hopes and expectation we were 
anxiously expecting his arrival, then to hear this, was too much for poor 
humanity to stand. When Genl Walker arrived at Greytown he sent a 
party to take the Steamer Virgian** and to treat all on board as prison- 
ers, he expecting to find deserters he wished to make them suffer for their 
inconstancy, therefore my Brother being as he was on board was taken 
prisoner, and marched to Greytown where he was released as soon as 
they saw who he was. 

It seems that about this time Commodore Paulding interfered to pre- 
vent Gen W. from^landing. When he, the Gen, threw up barricades and 
would have given battle, when on consideration he thought it best to 
surrender, What a death blow to all Americans, when on hearing that 
he was in the country everybody, was so delighted, and had commenced 
to raise many air castles, when they were completely overthrown by the 
news that Gen W. had surrendered his title and claim, to G>mmodore 
Paulding, what a downfall to all of our hopes.* 

A merchant of Rivas called on me about the 18 of Tan. and told me 
he was going to Greytown, and if I had any commands for that place. 
I told him I had but one, which was if he saw my brother (or heard 
anything of him to let me know) to bring him up, and he would be set- 
tled with afterwards : — As there had been nothing like communication be- 
tween St George and Greytown, I had not heard an3^hing of my Brother 
since the October in the year preceding, and therefore wnen Mr. Canton 
was ready to start home ward, he had not that facility of Telegraphing 
or the speedy messenger by Rail Road, therefore I knew not if Miles 
was commg to me, or if he had died, or perhaps had joined Walker to 
return home, the thought was painful, agonizing, in the extreme, that per- 
haps, he had left me alone. On the 5 of Feb 1858 I had concluded that I 
must die, I had such a spell of sickness. Mrs. Walsh's daughter in law 
had left St. George to proceed to Virgin Bay, on act. of her child being 
so sick and consequently I was left in charge of everything until her re- 
turn. When I was reclining on the coudi such thought came in my 
mind; how sweet to die among kindred, to feel, and to know, that kind 
friends will perform the last sad duties towards a beloved friend that 
we will be missed from the fireside, from the table, and in every capacity, 
to know they will remember us with affection, with kindness. In my 
belief this knowledge will soothe the dying, but on the contrary to know 
there is not one who would shed affections tears at your loss, or to per- 
form those duties, which I regard sacred, such as putting away the dead, 
so sacred were they, that I performed them frequently in regard to my 
friends, them that I knew in other days or other climes, and when it 

^Virgin. 

^*The author is wrong in stating that Walker threw tip barricades and thotight of 
resisting the American commander. Three war vessels had trained their broadsides 
on his camp, and he told his men that resistance would be the height of folly. It 
is well to note that this demonstration of force by the American navy was made in 
the port of a friendly foreign nation and therefore a technical violation of interna- 
tional law. The government of Nicaraeua, however, instead of complaininfl[, officially 
extended it thanks to Commodore Paulding for this forcible removal of an invader. 



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328 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

fed [sic] to my lot to lose my sister and her child, (I had never but 
once before witnessed death, that was many years before when my dear 
Father was called home) then there was no willing hand to lend a aid 
to assist the poor ignorant sister to perform those heart rendering serv- 
ices, No all were afraid to come near the house on act of her dying 
with cholera. I alone [had] done what I now have not the nerve to do; 
the same with her child, and then I made it a point whenever I heard 
of one of my own sex being sick or dying I always visited them to try 
to relieve their wants for I felt I knew not how soon that this sad 
ceremony would have to be performed for me and I would do to others 
what I would wish they would do to me. As these thoughts passed 
through my mind; I heard some one call me at the front door, but being 
so weak I made no attempts to answer the call, When again I was called 
and told that my Brother was coming up the street, I was so astonished 
at this I knew not what to think, as I had no' intimation of his coming. 
I started to proceed to the door when he came in, the excitement, the 
joy, of seeing him kept be buoyed up, I felt weak, but not in a dying con- 
dition as before, he remained with me full twenty four hours and then 
proceeded to Virgin Bay to see Mrs. Walsh. Mrs. Walsh had always 
been the mother, therefore he felt it a duty to see her as soon as possible, 
a few days afterwards Don Anselmo Rivas was there on a business 
visit, he proposed to Mrs. Walsh to take some child to learn them the 
printing business, and to raise said child as his own, Mrs. W. told him 
of a widowed Lady who had one, only, and she thought it would be 
charity to take the child from its mother as she was so destitute as not 
to have hardly the means of living, during the conversation my Brother 
was present and Mrs Walsh proposed that if he was willing, and Mr 
Rivas, that it would be an advantage to him, and until he learnt the busi- 
ness he was to assist Mr. Rivas in teaching his junior class in English, 
as at that time he had a fine school teaching English, French, and Span- 
ish. When Mrs. Walsh wrote to me advising with me, I was truly glad 
that there was something in which Miles could employ his time, as he 
was so desponding, so thoughtful as to spend hours, after hours wrapt in 
thought so contrary to his nature, about the 14th of March he left Virgin 
Bay for Grenada, passing through St George to bid me Good Bye: — he 
remained in Grenada about 14 months, and from there Mr Rivas estab- 
lished a printing office in Managua, (the capital) to publish the Govern- 
ment documents, My Brother being the best hand he had about him of 
course he had to move with the office, he remained there up to the time 
of our coming home. After his leaving St George, I had a spell of 
sickness. When Mrs Walsh sent for me to come to Virgin Bay to change 
the air when I proceeded to Virgin Bay I embarked in a canoe, knowing 
if the wind was favorable I could reach there in two hours. We had 
not proceeded far when a terrible wind blew up with rain, which is con- 
sidered very dangerous," we were then a mile from the coast, and it 
would be a hard pull to pull upon the coast but the wind favored us, and 
almost dashed us to pieces on the rocks, when by skilful management we 
landed I was wet to the skin. No house in four miles of us. So there- 
fore I contented myself in drying "slowly but surely" I expected the rain 
and wind would have subsided in a few hours the rain lasted about two 
hours, but the wind there was no hope, for two days and two nights it 
was excruating [jic] to hear the wind whistle throug the water, and our 
place of refuge was a shed by the wayside, which had once been a house, but 
the walls had moldered with time, the place on which I laid for a bed, 
was a stationary table about three feet long and the same width, had noth- 
ing to eat for one whole day, and the second day Plantains and Beef 

■•Lake Nicaragua is subject to sudden and very severe wind storms, and 11 
regarded as a very dangerous body for navigation by small boats. 



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WITH WALKER IN NICARAGUA 329 

boiled together, on the second morning at 4 oclock I was aroused by the 
Captain telling me to get ready that the wind was favorable: — and with 
joy I made my preparations and at once embarked, again on the lake: — 
I reached Virgin Bay at 7 o'clock much to the joy of Mrs. Walsh, who had 
heard of my coming, and of my unfortunate trip, she was making prepara- 
tions to send a horse for me, such were her kind feelings to me. I re- 
mained in Virgin Bajr from the 24th of July till the 24 of June of the 
following year. Nothing particularly transpired, Mrs. Walsh would re- 
main in her home in Virgin Bay a short time, and then visit her store in 
St George, her time was divided, between the two places when she was 
with me, it was very pleasant, and then when she would leave me, I would 
feel so lonesome, when I had become weaned from her society, she would 
return, and then I would miss her company doubly. However being so 
entirely alone with only a servant I employed my time in reading, and 
raising flowers, which employment I advise, I consider them types of 
the human character and disposition, placed here by an All Wise Creator, 
who it seems study, to please and gratify his creatures, and we are so 
ungrateful, as to rebel against him, if misfortunes crowd upon us, such 
as the death of a friend, loss of property or sickness. Oh talk of your 
ingratitude to an earthly parent; but do you ever think of your ingrati- 
tude, to your Almighty: I answer for you No, you do not. In Dec we 
heard that Gen W had left New Orleans, with his forces, and then was 
on his way to Nic We were hopeful, but alas, our hope was drowned 
to disappointment In Jan 1859, the news was confirmed, that Col Frank 
Anderson and his gallant band were taken by some British vessel off the 
Baiize and brought home:" — we were truly rejoiced that "Uncle Billy**" 
was not with them, I shall now give a description of the country. The 
climate is very mild, and with comfort you can sleep under a blanket 
There is only two seasons, the wet and the dry, the wet season resembling 
our winter and the dry our summer. The winter or wet season, com- 
mences the latter part of April or the i of May, continues till November, 
when the Summer sets in and last[s] till April or May. Vegatison 
[j»V] is so very Rank, that is is almost impossible to keep the weeds from 
growing in your doors, the soil is very grateful, anything you plant will 
soon come to perfection The fruits adapted to the climate are oranges, 
lemons, pine apple, cocoa nut, papaya, Nispero, mamya, Zapota, Banana 
and various others, too numerous to mention, which at first all foreign- 
ers indulge in, but soon do we long for our home fruits, such as apples, 
peaches and pears The cause of so many of Walkers men dying, when 
they first landed there was too frequent use of Aguadiente (or the native 
Liquor) and these various fruits, if you place a Banana in a glass of 
rum, the rum will turn like ink, and of course, that in the human system, 
is perfect poison, It is the Garden of the world, if only in the hands 
of an enlightened race, or a race who could and would appreciate the 
advantages of their country, You can seldom find a pure Castilian, as 
they are a people mixed with the Spanish, the Indian and negro: — Their 
costumes and habits dates back coincident to the flood. The jars they 
use for carrying water, are the same, which we see in representation of 
the ancients carrying water on their heads in the Bible. They still use 
sandals, and in the Bible where it is said, that "Two Women will be to- 
gether grinding, one shall be taken and the other left," they still use the 
grinding stone, to prepare their Tortillas, which is used as bread, and 
prepared thus, the com is boiled in lye, till the skin is ready to peal oflF, 

"The muthor here refers to Walker's third filibustering attempt upon Nicaragua. 
On December 4 the vanguard of this third expedition. 120 men under the command of 
Anderson, sailed from Mobile without a clearance m the schooner Susan. On the 
x6th the vessel struck a coral reef about sixty miles from Belize. The men were 
stranded on a small island, where they were rescued by the British sloop-of*war 
Basilisk and taken back to Mobile. 

""Uncle Billy" was Walker's nickname among his followers in Nicaragua. 



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330 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

then it is well washed, to take any taste of the ashes off, it is ground on 
this stone till it becomes equivalent to our corn meal dough, it is then 
baked in a stone bowl, very thin, when it is well made and baked it is 
a good substitute for corn bread, Flour selling at the rate of 40$ a bar- 
rel few of us could enjoy that great rarity bread. Rice, coffee, sugar, 
cocoa or chocolate is grown there, indigo also, and if cultivated prdpcrly 
the ground would yield ten times more than at present. You can raise 
three crops of com in the year, and as they cultivate it, with no trouble 
They make an incision in the ground and there place five or six grains 
of com, that is all the work and trouble. They are a set so lazy that 
it is an effort for them to breathe, Smoking is a habit with them, from 
the little child three years old to the aged man and woman, it is a great 
rarity to find a native woman that does not use the weed. With such 
a country, our U. S. would have a "garden of Eden," As it is it is a 
punishment for any enlightened person to be compelled to live there 
not having the means to use, nor to have they must make "necessity 
the Mother of invention." . . .** 

"*Miss Callahan, in 1859^ established commtinication with relatives in the United 
States, and through the assistance of General M. B. Lamar, American Minister to 
Nicaragua. Governor I. G. Harris, of Tennessee, and others, was enabled to return 
home. The remainder of the manuscript is of merely personal interest. 



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n. 

Walker-Heiss Papers. Some Diplomatic Correspondence 
of the Walker Regime in Nicaragua. 

[tThe following documents are part of a collection of papers left by 
Major John P. Heiss, long a resident of Nashville, Tennessee. For the 
use of this collection the Society and the Magazine are under obligations 
to Robert Lusk, Esq., of Nashville. 

The papers now published are those which bear upon the Walker 
R^p^ime in Nicaragua, with which, as will appear below. Major Heiss was 
intimatelv associated. Besides these manuscripts there are two large scrap 
books filled with clippings collected by Major Heiss covering many phases 
of the conplicated Latin-American relations of this period. 

In future numbers of the Magazine there will be published other 
selections from the Heiss Papers, which relate to earlier and later parts 
of the active career of Major Heiss. 

For the introduction and notes to the documents which follow the 
Magazine is again indebted to Professor W. O. Scroggs. In the transla- 
tion of the Spanish documents, Mr. G. P. Winton has given assistance.] 
—Ed. 

INTRODUCTION 



Major John P. Heiss, from whose papers the following 
documents have been collected, may be appropriately desig- 
nated as the Johannes Factotum of the filibuster government 
in Nicaragua, His experience as editor of the Washington 
Union during Polk's administration had given him a detailed 
knowledge of public questions and a wide acquaintance and 
friendship with men in public life. He possessed also first- 
hand information concerning conditions in Nicaragua, hav- 
ing been sent to that country in February, 1856, as bearer 
of dispatches for the American State Department. He took 
advantage of this mission to engage in a small business ven- 
ture in that country, as the second document in the series 
shows. When Major Heiss arrived in Nicaragua the coun- 
try was under a provisional government with Patricio Rivas, 
a man of neutral character, as president, and William 
Walker, the filibuster leader, as commander-in-chief of the 
army of the Republic. The real power lay in the hands of 
Walker, and he succeeded in winning the enthusiastic sup- 
port of Heiss, who was a former fellow townsman, and who 
returned to the United States as a "naturalized" Nicaraguan 
and devoted his energies to serving the filibuster cause. For 
a short time he acted as charge d'affaires for the Nicaraguan 



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332 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

legation in Washington, and in September, 1856, was 
accredited by Walker, then claiming to be President of 
Nicaragua, as a special commissioner to the United States 
and Great Britain to adjust the controversy arising out of 
the British claim to a protectorate over the Mosquito terri- 
tory on the eastern coast of Nicaragua. As neither England 
nor the United States at that time recognized Walker's claim 
to the presidency, Heiss had no opportunity to exercise this 
diplomatic function. He was able, however, to serve the 
filibuster regime in a number of other ways. When Walker 
needed newspaper publicity, or a defender against the 
attacks of his critics, or a spokesman who could reach the 
ear of the administration at Washington, he usually called 
on Heiss. 

The warmth of friendship between the two men, as 
revealed in their correspondence as late as the autumn of 
1857, tends to emphasize the absence of letters during the 
remaining years of Walker's life (1858-60). It is likewise 
worthy of note that in his book. The War in Nicaragtui, pub- 
lished in Mobile in 1860, Walker takes pains to recognize 
the special services rendered him by his supporters, but is 
ominously silent with regard to Heiss. A rupture in the 
friendly relations of the two men is apparently indicated. 

W. 0. SCROGGS. 
Walker-Heiss Papers. 

I. Offictal Recognition of Hitiss as Bearer of Dispatches for the 

United States. 
No. 416. 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 
DEPARTMENT OF STATE. 

To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that 
the bearer hereof, John P. Heiss, Esquire, is proceeding to Granada, Nic- 
aragua, bearing dispatches from this Department, to the Legation of the 
United States there. 

These are therefore to request all whom it may concern, to permit him 
to pass freely without let or molestation, and to extend to him such 
friendly aid and protection, as would be extended to Citizens and Sub- 
jects of Foreign Countries, resorting to the United States bearing Des- 
patches from their Governments. 

In testimony whereof, I, William L. Marcy, Secretary of State of the 
United States of America, have hereunto set my hand and caused the 
seal of this Department to be affixed at Washington, this twenty-second 
day of February, A. D. 1856, and of the Independence of the United 
Stetes the 8oth. 



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WALKEB-HEISS PAPERS 333 

2. A Business Contract. 

[Copy] 

John P. Heiss and Sam F. Butterworth have this day jointly pur- 
chased from R. L. Allen & Co., of New York City, a bill of agricultural im- 
plements consisting of two com mills, horse power, sett of tools, etc., 
etc., for which Butterworth has given his note payle at 4 months from 
date. These articles are to be shipd to San Juan de Nicaragua in the 
first vessel to J. P. Heiss, who will receive them and dispose of them 
on joint account. These articles are bought on joint account each of us 
to pay one half of their cost and all expenses and the proceeds of their 
sale or use to be equally divided without charge on the part of either 
for personal services connected therewith. This agreement shall apply to 
all future purchases that may be made by us for t^at market 
Feb. 2Sth, 1856. 
New York. 

John P. Heiss. 

Sam F. Butterworth. 

3. Chas. Morgan,* New York, to John P. Heiss, 

June 20th, 1856. 

Your two favors of i8th and 19th. inst. I received this morning. I 
immediately called on Mr. Randolph* and gave him your letter. He is 
quite unwell. I am to take the Padre* to see him at 6 o'clock this even- 
ing. Mr. Randolph agrees with me fully that you must take the charge 
of Nicaragua Government affairs in Washington. I think the matter 
will be settled this evening when we meet. 

4. Father Vijil to the Secretary of State. 

ICopy] 

Legacion de Nicaragua 

NuEVA York Junio 23 de 1856. 
El infrascripto Enviado Extraordinario y Ministro Plenepotendario 
de Nicaragua cerca del Gobiemo de loz Estados Unidos tiene el honor 
de participas [sic] al Sr. Wm. L. Marcy Secretario Estado de dicho Gobier- 
no que hallandose en la necesidad de ausentarse de esta pais debe nombrar 
un Encargado de Negocios que atienda a los de Nicaragua durante la 
ausencia del infrascripto, y nombra con tal caracter al Sr. Jno P. Heiss. 

El infrascripto aprovecha esta oportunidad de ofrecer de nuevo sus 
respecto [sic] al Sr. Wm. L. Marcy. 

AuGUSTiN Vijil [sic] 
Al Sr. Wm. L. Marcy 
Secre'o. de Estado de los Estados Unidos. 

K^harles Morgan (i 795-1 878) was a prominent American captain of industry of 
the nineteenth century, and was especially active in promoting and managing coasts 
wise steamship lines. Tlie well-known "Morgan Line" of today perpetuates his name. 
When Walker went to Nicaragua Morgan was interested In a steamship company 
engaged in conveying passengers and freight between San Francisco and the Atlantic 
ports by way of Nicaragua, and he was thus brought into close relations with the 
filibuster leader. 

*Edmund Randolph (1819-61) was a grandson of the Virginia statesman of thm 
same name. He and Walker had known each other as struggling young lawyers in 
New Orleans, and when thev met again in San Francisco their association was re- 
newed. Randolph gave Walker much assistance in planning his expedition to Nica- 
ragua and later secured for him manv recruits in California. At the time this letter 
was written Randolph was in New York in consultation with Charles Morgan, the 
manager of the steamship company on whose boats recruits were being taken to 
Nicarauga in large numbers. 

*Pftdre Augustin Vigil, Walker's minister to the United States. 



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334 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

ZTranslation] 

NiCARAGUAN LEGATION 

New York June 23 1856 
The undersigned Envoy Extraordinaiy and Minister Plenipotentiary 
of Nicaragua to the Government of the United States has the honor of 
informing Mr. Wm. S. Marcy, Secretary of State of the said Govern- 
ment, that having found it necessary to be absent from this country he is 
obliged to name a charg^ d'affaires who may attend to those [affairs] 
of Nicaragua during the absence of the undersigned, and names in such 
a character Mr. Jno. P. Heiss. 

The undersigned improves this opportunity of offering anew his re- 
spects to Mr. Wm. L. Marcy. 

AUCUSTIN Vijiu 
To Mr. Wm. L. Marcy 

Sec. of State of the United States. 

5. John P. Heiss, New York, to Hon. W. L. Marcy, Secretary of 

State, 

[Copy] 
The accompanying communication will inform ^our Excellency, that 
Don Augustin Vijil, Envoy Extraordinary and Mmistcr Plenipotentiary 
of the Republic of Nicaragua, to the United States, having necessarily 
been compelled to absent himself for a time from this country, has com- 
missioned the undersigned to represent the interests of Nicaragua at this 
Government during the interum [sic].* 

6. Wm. Walker, Granada, to the Minister Plenipotentiary of Nic- 

aragua, 

June 29. 1856. 
office of the commander-in-chief of the army 

OF the republic of NICARAGUA. 

[Copy] 

I refer you to the letter which on the 21st inst. was addressed to your 
Honor through Gen. Domingo de Goicouria," wherein an exact account of 
the events of Nicaragua and of the reasons that caused the change of 
the Provisional Administration of Senor Patricio Rivas is given. I now 
think convenient to add by this opportunity that the two persons belong- 
ing to that refractory Executive composed of Sres. President Rivas and 

^Padre Vigil's stay in Washington was not an altogether pleasant experience. 
Ministers from other Central American republics not only snubbed him, but pro- 
tested vigorously against his reception. His fellow clergymen in the United States 
treated him coldly, even insulted him, and on June 23, less than six weeks after 
his official reception, he took his departure for Nicaragua, leaving John P. Heiss aa 
charge d'aif aires. 

•Domingo de Goicouria was a wealthy Cuban, who had been forced to leave his 
native island on account of his liberal ideas. During his residence in the United 
States he was a prominent member of the Cuban revolutionary junta in this country 



and co-operated with Lopez in 1849-53 and with John A. Quitman in 1853 in raising 
expeditions for the liberation of the island. In 1855 Walker and the Cuban revolu- 
tionists in New York pooled their interests. The Cubans agreed to aid Walker in 



pacify ii 
of "Cu 



ying Nicaragua, and after this was accomplished he was to assist them in behalf 
Cuba and her freedom." Goicouria, in accordance with this agreement, arrived 
in Nicaragua in March, 1856, and was commissioned as a brigadier-general in the 
filibuster army. In June Walker designated him as a special envoy to England. On 
his way to London the Cuban stopped in New York to use his influence in secttring 
subscriptions to a Nicaraguan loan. While there he became embroiled in a quarrel 
with Walker and severed his connection with the filibuster government For full 
details concerning Walker's relations with the Cuban revolutionists, the reader ia 
referred to the article, "William Walker's Designs on Cuba," in the Mississippi 
Valley Historical Review, I., 198-21 1. 



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WALKER-HEISS PAPERS 335 

Oeneial Jerez have continued giving unequivocal proof of their treachery.* 
These gentlemen, after having left open the western frontiers, and after 
sending emissaries with the object of delivering Nicaragua into the hands 
of the enemies of public liberty that are now in [^sic] the frontiers, still 
remain in that Department' with the flattermg illusion that they will be 
protected by people upon whom they looked before as upon implacable 
enemies, because in the Republic of Nicaragua their insidious object and 
their perverse intentions do not find any support. The proof of this 
assertion is found in the fact that when the American Detachment evac- 
uated the city of Leon thev in vain beat the general calling and resorted 
to every artifice that coulcl excite the people through fanatism [sic] and 
calumny, because they did not succeed in gathering even the smallest force 
in a people that was convinced that the contrary was the case, as well for 
the good behavior of the American forces, as for the good services and 
relevant patriotism of the Rev. Vicar General.* 

Therefore the march of the present administration of Nicaragua will 
be inalterable and the country shows itself in favor of maintaining order 
and, public tranquility. There are only a few indications that are to be 
made to your Honor in order that your Honor may present them as the 
Representative of this Government near the Cabinet at Washington.* 

Your Honor must know that Senor Don Thomas Manny [Manning]'* 
an English subject and Vice Consul of England claims against Nicaragua 
the enormous sum of one hundred thousand dollars and upwards, for 
which amount he thinks himself to be a creditor; and that this sum has 
been formed with several sums that had been acknowledged by this Gov- 
ernment in different periods from the year 848 [sic] or thereabouts, as 
for loans, merchandise, money, bonds and interests, which from time to 
time have been included in the capital after the agreement to pay two per 
cent a month. 

I have private information through trustworthy persons that Mr. 
Manning intends claiming or has claimed the protection of the British 
Government to compel Nicaragua to the payment of the sum that he 
claims and pretends to receive. I presume that these steps are taken by 
Mr. Manning in concert with the Ex-Government and with the object of 

'Patricio Rivas, the provisional president, and Maximo Jerez, the minister of war. 
in June, 1856, began to show signs of defection toward Walker, fearing that he had 
designs on the presidency. They therefore circulated stories which roused the 
populace against the Americans and also sent messengers to the neighboring republics 
calling for their aid in driving out the filibusters. 

n'his is a reference to the Occidental Department, in northwestern Nicaragua. 

•The details of the incident in Leon to which Walker here refers were as fol- 
lows: One of Walker's officers there had dismissed a guard of native soldiers sta- 
tioned in the cathedral tower and replaced them with Americans. Jerez, the war 
minister, then in Leon, countermanded the order. The officer refused to comply 
without orders from Walker, who had left the city for Granada the day before, and 
he prepared to hold the place by force. This threw the natives into great excitement, 
and they thronged the plaza shouting, "Death to the Americans r* When word 
reached Walker he ordered the American guard withdrawn, but the mischief had 
already been done. 

*It will be noted that Walker seeks to minimize the importance of his breach 
with President Rivas and desires that Padre Vigil shall reassure the authorities at 
Washington, who had doubtless heard rumors of serious trouble in Nicaragua. 

^•Of Thomas Manning, who gave the filibuster government no little trouble. 
Walker says, in his War in Nicaragua, pp. 170-71, that he belonged to a type of 
English merchants frequently found in Spanish-American states. "Arriving in 
Nicaragua without means — a sailor, it is said, on a merchant vessel — he had married 
a woman of the country and soon built the foundations of a fortune. Without any 
education or any habit of regarding political events in the light of principle or fixed 
policy, he yet had that keen instinc*- for property and his own interests which en- 
abled him to use the British power to aid his trading ventures. He sometimes lent 
money to the Republic, only, however, when it was in great straits and promised 
esctravagant interest, and when the principal and interest had accumulated to a 
suitable sum. he would call on the British fleet to blockade the porta of the States 
tmtU the debt was paid." 



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336 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

blockading the ports of this Republic, as has been the case before this 
time in Central America with that Government. 

It is therefore necessary that your Honor should address the Govern- 
ment of the United States in order that, understandinsr the possibility of 
an undue British interference in favor of a private man, and which may 
be accompanied with political objects, they may stretch their protecting 
hands in favor of this friendly and sister Republic that is firmly for the 
continental Cause. 

7. J. A. Thomas, Assistant Secretary, Department of State, Wash- 

ington, TO John P. Heiss, Esquire, Etc. 

July 5. 1856. 
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 28th 
ulto. announcing the return to Nicarag^ua of M. Vijil, the Minister of 
that State, and enclosing his letter nominating you as Charge d'Affaires 
during his absence. 

8. A Land Warrant Issued by Walker. 
Certifico; Que D. N. Ingraham. 

6 su representante 6 cesionario tiene derecho 4 quinientos acres de 
tierra en los realengos del Estado, conforme a las facultades dadas al 
General William Walker por el Supremo Gobiemo Provisional con fecha 
de veinte y seis de Julio de 1855. 

Firmado de mi mano y con el Sello de Estado de la Republica, hoi 29 
Julio de 1856. 

Wm. Walker 

Presidente de Nicaragua 
M. Carrascasa 

Ministro del CrSdito Piiblico 

\ ' [Translation] 

I certify: 

That D. N. Ingraham 
or his representative or cessionary has a just claim to 500 acres of land in 
the unappropriated [land] of this State, conforming to the powers given 
to General William Walker by the Supreme Provisional Government on 
the date of July 26, 1855 " 

Signed by my hand and with the seal of State of the Republic, today 
July 29, 1856 

Wm. Walker 

President of Nicaragua 
M. Carrascasa 

Minister of Public Credit. 

9. John P. Heiss, Washington, D. C, to President Franklin Pierce, 

August 26th, 1856. 
Enclosed please find a copy of the despatch recognizing me as Charg^ 
d'Affaires of the R^ublic [of] Nicaragua during the absence of His Ex- 
cellency Senor Don Augustin Vigil. 

"The decree of July 26, 1855, was drawn up shortly after Walker's arriral in 
Nicaragua. The original agreement with the leaders of the Democratic faction, under 
which Walker and his followers had gone to Nicaragtia, designated the filibusters ma 
"colonists." This was done to avoid the appearance of violating the neutrality tawa 
of the United States. Once in Nicaragua, however. Walker threw aside all pretence 
of colonization and secured a new decree, as indicated above, authorizing him to 
enlist 300 men for military service, who were to receive one hundred dollars a 
month and 500 acres of land at the end of the campaign. Sec Wklker, IVor «» 
Nicaragua, 75. 



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WALKER-HEISS PAPERS 337 

10. Ratification of the Proposed Treaty of 1855 by Nicaragua, 
Republica de Nicaragua 
$ecretaria de estado 
£n el despacho de 
relaciones exteriores No. 51 

Granada, Setiembre 27 de 1856 
Al Senor John P. Heiss. 

El S. P. E. se ha servido dictar el decreto siguiente — 
"El Prcsidente de la Republica de Nicaragua, a sus habitantes — 
Condderando que el tratado de amistad, comercio y navegaci6ii hecho 
en Granada el dia 20 de Junio del ano de 1855, requiere que las debidas 
ratificaciones sean canjeadas en la Cuidad de Washington dentro del t6r- 
xnino de dies y ocho meses despues de firmado, por tanto, en uso de sus 
facultades. 

DECRETA 

Art. I Se ratifica y establece por este decreto, en todos sus condiciones, 
el tratado de amistad, comercio y navegacion hecho en Granada el dia 
20 de Junio del ano de 1855 entre Nicaragua y los EE. UU. de America. 

Art 2 Se autorisa el Senor John P. Heiss, ciudando debidamente 
naturalisado de esta Republica, pa el canje de las ratificaciones de la misma 
de parte de Nicaragua, conforme a las condiciones que establece el art 
17 de este tratado— 

Art. 3 Communiquese 4 quienes corresponde-Dado en Granada 4 27 de 
Setiembre de 1856 — William Walker — Al Sefior Secretario de Estado en 
el despacho de Relaciones exteriores Licencia[do?] Don Fermin Ferrer, 

Y de suprema 6rden lo comunico 4 V. para su inteligencia y efectos, 
incluyendole una copia del tratado 4 q. se refiere este decreto; quedando 
de V. atento serv. 

F. Ferrer 

^Translation] 

Republic of Nicaragua 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE 

In the ofiice of 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS 

Granada, September 27 1856 
To Mr. John P. Heiss 

The Supreme Executive Powef has seen fit to dictate the following 
decree — 

"The President of the Republic of Nicaragua to his people — Knowing 
that the treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation made in Granada 
on June 20, 1855 " requires that the ratifications be exchanged in the 
city of Washin^on within eighteen months after the signing; for such 
reason, in exercise of his powers, 

DECREES, 

Art I This decree ratifies and establishes in all its conditions the 
treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation made in Granada June 20 
1855 between Nicaragua and the United States of America. 

Art 2 Mr. John P. Heiss, a duly naturalized citizen of this Republic, 
is hereby authorized to exchange ratifications of the same under the 

*Tbe convention of June 20, 1855, had been negotiated by the American min- 
ister, John H. Wheeler, with the government then recognized by the United States. 
This government had been overthrown by Walker's efforts in behalf of its opponents, 
the Demorcrats, and for this reason the convention had not been ratified. In the 
decree of September 27, 1856, Walker affirms the validity of this act of the defunct 
government. 



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338 TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 

terms of Article 17 of the said treaty, on behalf of the republic of Nic- 
aragua. 

Art 3 Let it be communicated to all concerned. — Given in Granada 
September 27, 1855. William Walker.— To the Secretary of State, Fermin 
Ferrer, Esq., in the Office of Foreign Relations. 

And 

By superior orders I communicate the same to you for your in- 
formation and to be carried out, inclosing herewith a copy of the treaty 
to which reference is made, remaining as ever 

Your faithful servant, 

F. Ferrbr.** 

II. The Secretary of State of Nicaragua to the Secretary of State 
OP Great Britain Authenticating the Appointment of Heiss. 

Republica de Nicaragua 

SECRETARIA DE ESTADO 

En el despacho de 

RELAaONES EXTERIORES 

Granada, Setiembre 29 de 1856 
Al muy Honorable Condc de Clarendon 
Secretario de Relaciones de S. M. B. 
Seiior 
Tengo orden de mi Gobiemo para participar 4 V. E. que en esta 
fecha ha sido nombrado comisionado es()ecial cerca de los Gobiemos de 
S. M. B. y los Estados Unidos de America, el Senor John P. Heiss con 
el fin de arreglar definitivamente la cuestion pendiente respecto del terri- 
torio de Mosquito, y asegurar la neutralidad del Ystmo en todos los casos 
y sircumstancias, segun se impondra V. E. por el decreto que en copia 
autorizada me hago el honor de acompanarle. 

Esta occasion me proposiona el honor de ofrecer 4 V. E. mis respecto* 
y distinguida consideracion con que me suscribo su atento 

Servidor 

F. Ferrer 

Secreto de Esiado. 

[Translation] 
Republic of Nicaragua 

DEPARTMENT OF STATE 

In the office of 

FOREIGN RELATIONS 

Granada, S^tember 29 1856 
To the very Honorable Earl of Qarendon 
Secretary of Affairs of Her British Majesty 
Sir 
I am ordered of my Government to inform Your Excellency that on 
this date John P. Heiss has been named special commissioner to the 
Governments of Her British Majesty and the United States of America 
with the power of adjusting definitely the question pending in respect to the 
mosquito territory" and assuring the neutrality of the Isthmus in all events 

"Fermin Ferrer, who became secretary of state after Walker's inaaffuratkm a» 
president, was one of the few natives of prominence who remained faithful