Skip to main content

Full text of "A vindication of the character and public services of Andrew Jackson; in reply to the Richmond address"

See other formats


CUxacUr .U pA\ic Ser- 



Vices 



f- KndiTCNA/ jAcksoTi. 










Pass ^3 9. g. 
Book -- •' i 




VINDICATION 



CHAniLCTER AND PUBXIC SERVICES 



iiir®iBiiw ^A®i^i®ir 3 



IN REPI-T TO THE 



RICHMOND ADDRESS, SIGNED BY CHAPMAN JOHNSON, 
AND TO OTHER ELECTIONEERING CALUMNIES. 



ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED !N THE NASHVILLE REPUBLICAN, 

AND ATTRIBUTED TO 

MAJOR HENRY LEE, 

II 

OF VIRGINIA. 



^f 



BOSTON : 

True and Greene, Printers 183S. 



TO THE FEOFIii:. 



The following is a' most ably written and conclusive argument. It has 
not had, in that respect, its superior during the present canvass. 

We solicit for it the candid perusal of all men, who are willing to know 
the truth, and knowing it, to vindicate it against error or designed mis- 
representation. 

No man has rendered more important services to his country, than 
Andrew Jackson. They have shed upon that country and upon his own 
name, imperishable glory. For these services, his country is grateful ; and 
for them and his merits, for his republican character and attachments, and 
for his determination to bring into the councils, of the nation the old 
Democracy instead of the Federalism and Aristocracy which now govern 
us, his country will plai',e the highest of her gifts within his hands. But 
thes*> great services and deeds of devotion to the general welfare, and the 
perilous defence of his native soil, are the sources of envy in the minds of 
malignant partizans and bad-hearted men. They hate what they cannot 
imitate ; and in nearly all cases they condemn now what they condemned 
during a war which they opposed, and the defenders and supporters of 
which thoy then vilified. Such men have filled the country with gross 
misrepresentations of the character and conduct of Gen Jackson. Every 
act of his life is gainsayed or perverted. No man, elevated and noble as 
has been his devotedness under great emergencies and in the most trying 
times, has been so much traduced. No man has been more foully slander- 
ed. The inmost recesses of his family, the honor of his wife, his domes- 
tic peace, — all have been invaded, to serve the purposes and prop up the 
hopes of a falling party — to sustain an administration, which coming into 
power without the consent of the people, seeks by such means to deceive 
that people into its support. Like Tompki.ns, he has been hunted down 
by his enemies and the enemies of his country. Not content with these 
assaults and calumnies upon the private character and domestic life ofa ven- 
erable citizen, they attempt even to scandalize the countiy, and in the very 
language and manner of the pensioned writers of the British press, de 
predate the honors and underrate the victories of the nation. These 
calumnies have called out the following vindication. It is worthy of the 



author, of the subject, and of the country. Let every lover of his coun- 
try read it. — Albany Argus. 

[From the Nashville Republican.] 

To the Editors of the Richmond Enquirer. 

Gentlemen : — The address of the Adams men in Richmond, published 
in your paper of the 2Gth November, is not more remarkable for the re- 
spectnble names attached to it, than for its prodigious errors, boih of fact 
and inference. Such a conflict between persuasive authority and repul- 
sive misrepresentations, is rarely seen, and is difficult to account for, unless 
we suppose the address was fabricated by the editor of the Wfiio-, and 
sijrned under the influence of some unhappy hallucination. Mr. Chapman 
Johnson appears to have given in his adhesion with scruples and reserva- 
tions, inconsistent with that act of fraternit}'^, and incompatible witii the 
sentiments of the party he joins. But his standing as a local pc)litician 
being high, and his name not unknown as an attorney, the signers, devo- 
ted to their cause, and careless of their principles, receive him with open 
arms. They have peifect confidence in tlio probity and honor of Messrs. 
Adams and Clay — he has none. They apprehend no attack on public lib- 
erty, or immediate danger to our institutions, from the election of (Jeneral 
Jackson — he is solemnly convinced [poor man !) tliat " General Jackson is al- 
together unfit and eminently dangerous." Thty consider the opposition 
factious and unprincipled — he does not. These discordances are hard to 
reconcile — unless we reflect on the improbability of finding any varieties, 
of opinion sufficient to place the brother-in-law of the Attorney-General, 
the Attorney of the United States, ann the would-be-successor of Chief 
Justice Marshall, in fair opposition to the Court. One of the first positions 
taken in the address, is, that the election of General Jackson is to be de- 
precated, " as ominous of the decay of that spirit by which alone our in- 
stitutions can be upheld and perpetuated ;" and I perceive, at a trashy 
meeting of Mr. Southard's King George's, this spurious sentiment is 
adopted, and traced to a jealousy of military fame, discoverable in the 
constitution of the United States — an instrument which was framed under 
the eye and auspices of General Washington, and was by him recommend- 
ed to the American people, who made him their first President, when his 
sword was scarce cold in his scabbard, and when the sounds of war were 
just hushed in the land ! It is neither more nor less than another repetition 
of Mr. Clay's charge of Military Chieftainship — an avowal that General 
Jackson's services in repelling the invaders of his country, constitute a 
just ground for his exclusion from civil office. The Legislature of this 
state, wiio know the General at least as well as the readers of the Whig, 
did not think so, when they made him Senator of the United States ; nor 
did iVIr. A'unroe, when he appointed him Minister to Mexico. The laws of 
society require of every man ttie exertion of his abilities and the hazard 
of his life, in defence of the community of which he is a member. The 
laws of this country place arms in the linnds of the citizen, and devoto his 
life to this most sacred d'lty. If he shrinks from the glorious task, he is 
consigned to ignominy : if "he performs it with su|iorior skill and courage, 
he forfeits for ever, in the opinion of the Richmond meeting, public confi- 
dence and civil honors. In their political ethics, the best and the worst 
conduct arc equally culpable ; and the only military .services wliich entitle 
a citizen to political promotion, are such as some of themselves perform- 
ed — viz. wearing uniform, taking pay, and doing nothing. So, because 
(iovernor Harliour tied liimself to a broadsword, and rode behind pistols 
two or three times to Norfolk, and two or three times back, sounding louder 



than an empty barrel, all the while, he was made Senator of the United 
States, in postponement of Mr. Wirt, a man of acknowledged ability. It 
is very true, that neither Mr. Adams nor Mr. Clay is obnoxious to this 
ostracism of the Richmond meeting. While General Jackson was braving 
the ambushed shaft of the Indian, and foiling the discipline shock of Brit- 
ish columns ; was performing toilsome marches ; was enduring thirst and 
hunger, relieved only by the fruit of the oak and the wave of the tonent; 
was°penling his life and pledging his fortune, to save the lives and fortunes 
of his countrymen, these diplomatic gentlemen " were brewing mysteries of 
ruin" against each other, in sumptuous chambers at Ghent — were prepar- 
ing that hostile rivalship, which, in due dramatic succession, rose into the 
production ot separate interests, and sunk into the soft catastrophe of the 
coalition. Mr. Adams carefully duplicating his charges against our 
" weak and penurious government," and Mr. Clay gratifying his love of 
pleasure by excursions to Paris ! Such are the s^^rvices, and such the am- 
bition, which, according to Messrs. Call, Cabell, and Stanard, it is the 
interest of the American people to cherish and reward, in preference to 
the noble patriotism and incorruptible virtue of the laurelled farmer of 
Tennessee ! Absurdity and injustice like this, gentlemen, can never find 
favour in the renowned commonwealth which gave birth to Washington, 
and was the theatre of his greatest military exploit. 

The state of public intelligence is so high in Virginia, that politicians 
who attempt to effect a delusion, prefer hazarding a downright mis-state- 
ment to a train of sophistical reasoning — counting more on want of suspi- 
cion, than want of judgment in the people. With this view, and with a 
claim to this desperate excuse, the Richmond meeting charge General 
Jackson with " an unreasonable desire to fill the office of President." I 
should like to know what circumstances in the conduct of General Jackson, 
indicate even colourably, the " unreasonable desire " here spoken of. 
How are the Richmond meeting to palliate such defamation ? Will they 
refer to his letter to Carter Beverly, which was expressly intended to pre- 
vent misrepresentatiuns. and was published under circumstances of indeli- 
cacy by Mr. Clay himself; or will they rely on his colloquial answer to 
the intrusive question of that person, which having been shown to be true, 
by the testimony of Messrs. Trim de, Buchanan, Isacks and Eaton, is cer- 
tainly blameless. Was General Jackson bound in violation of his princi- 
ples, and his nature to conceal by evasion or falsehood, any facts connectec 
with the last election, out of tenderness to the reputation of Messrs. Ad- 
ams and Clay, who had been for months paying the public money to Binns, 
Hammond and Gales, for slandering himself and his wife ? Or was he to 
commit the incivility of refusing an answer to Mr. Owen's letter of inquiry 
upon points of his public conduct, against an official misrepresentation of 
which, from the war- office, that gentleman was contending at the risk of 
his political fortune ? Would it have been criminal or censurable in Mr. 
Jefferson, to reply to a letter asking for information respecting any topic 
of his history, when his claims were opposed to the elder Adams, and his 
person and his fame vilified by the younger ? No man, enjoying in so large 
a degree, as General Jackson, the admiration and gratitude of the public,ev- 
er endeavoured so studiously to elude its gaze. Curied in our western woods 
he remains, and though unrestrained by the dignity or duty of office, resists 
the importunity of his eminent friends in all quarters of the Union, and 
even his own liberal curiosity ; and has forborne for many years, the usual 
recreation of tours for health or pleasure. While Mr. Adams and Mr. 
Clay, in the enjoyment of salaries, and under the responsibility of office, 
can find time for frequent and distant excursions — to a festival in this state — 
a parade in that — an election in Kentucky — a review in Massachusetts — 



6 

and an ehoivi and topaz entertainment in Baltimore. The discernment of 
the Richmond meetinor is so keen, that they can discover eg'reg;ious ambi- 
tion and a lust for office, in the noiseless retirement and rural pursuits of 
General Jackson ; wliile i" the shameless and unexampled electioneering 
of the cabinet, they see nothing- but Political chastity, and concious recti- 
tude. Is this the exercise of "that benevolence and Christian charity" 
which they plea * in favour of the coalition ? Is it not rather an eruption 
of that abominable spirit, which, to use their own words, "ascribes an ac- 
tion to the worst and most dishonourable motive that could produce it ?" 
However delightful it may be to them,looiFer this sacrifice of truth and jus- 
tice to the o-ods of their idolatry, they are too wise not to calculate on pro- 
voking by it, general ridicule, if not public contempt. On this subject, 
they have another assertion which has about as much reality for its foun- 
dation, as Banquo's ghost, or RedhefFer's perpetual motion. They declare 
that they have " seen with inevitable regret. General Jackson descend from 
his high dignity, to mingle in person in the contest waged for his own 
election." The sincerity of their regret may be best estimated, by reflect- 
ing on the torture to which their invention must have been subjected, for the 
incident from which it flows — the pain of which operation, might have been 
spared them, had the delicacy of General Jackson not been illustrated by 
contrast, with the meddlesome effrontery and corrupting circulation of the 
executive officers; had he met Mr. Adams at Baltimore, Mr. Clay in Pitts- 
burgh, Mr. Southard in Virginia, Mr. Barbour at Annapolis — or had it 
not required the invitation of a sovereign state to draw him from his home, 
to participate in the celebration of a great event in his own and his coun- 
try's story. 

But the temper of the Richmond meeting, their attention to the progress 
of events, the phases of character, and all the circumstances belonging to 
the problem involved in the comparison of General Jackson with Mr. Adams, 
and in the designation of the latter for President, is best explained by their 
own declaration — viz : that they " now think of General Jackson as they 
always did." 

Tt is very well known that about the time Algernon Sidney drew his 
impatient pen e.t inceleres iamhos misitfnrentem against the Hero of New- 
Orleans, the latter was regarded by many persons in Virginia with much 
such sentiments as during the heat of the revolution prevailed in England 
towards General Washington. They believed the execution of Arbuthnot 
and Anibrister to be. in the language of Mr. Clay, (who was then attack- 
ing Mr. Mimroe, through the reputation of General Jackson, for appoint- 
ing Mr. Adam^ Secretary of State in preference to himself,) murder.* 

That the pursuit of the Seminole Indians to their places of refuge and 
recruit in Florida, was lawless and unauthorized — and tiiat General Jack- 
Fon's character was ferocious — his propensities vicious — habits profligate, 
and conduct outrageous. Whereas, now that the excitement of that sea- 
son has subsided, and that time has cast its impartial light upon the matter, 
it is universally known that the execution of Arbuthnot and Anibrister 
was ill strict conl'onnity with tlie laws of nations and usages of war ; was 
perf( ctlv ju.stifiable upon tlie principles of a prudent retaliation ; and was 
a meafuire of justice far loss opposed to mercy than the execution of the 
unfiTttmate Andre. That the invasion of Florida was no violation of the 
neutrality of Spain — it being necessary that neutrality should exist before 
it can bo vioh/tcd, and it being both notorious and attested, that the sove- 
reignty of thit province was. like tiie embraces of a harlot, "open to all 
comers."' and particularly prostituted to our enemy. That this prudent 

♦ Mr. <,'lay uttered iliis outrageous charge in ilebale, but. in tlie report of bis speed) sup- 
prcHRcd it. 



and effective measure corresponded with the orders and policy of the 
government, and like the execution of Arbuthnot and Ainbrister, gave 
serious offence to no statesmen on earth but our own designing politicians. 
It is also known that by the quiet foice of virtue General Jackson has 
lived down the calumnies of his private character, and that a jury of his 
vicinagre, unbought and unsolicited — as respectable for numbers, for knowl- 
edge, for talents, and for worth, as the Adams men of Hichmond, have 
furnished undeniable evidence of his spotle^^s integrity, amiable virtues, 
and unblemished honor. And yet Messrs. Cabell, Call, Stanard & Co. 
"think of General Jackson as they always did !" Examples of intellectual 
perfection ! On a subject so complex, progressive and variable as human 
character — to fix which the canonizing seal of death is required, and to 
ascertain which the patient research of the historian is often insufficient, 
their impeccable opinions are neither to be enlightened by time nor modi- 
fied by evidence ! They listen not to the increasing plaudits of his coun- 
trymen, 01 to the unvarying testimony of his neighbours — they regard not 
the faithful energy with which he has filled civil offices, nor the easy 
grandeur with which he resigned them — and they turn their eyes from an 
act of moderation and magnanimity which has no parallel in the history of 
Grecian or of !< oman greatness. To preserve the freedom of Corinth, 
Timoleon permitted the assassinaticn of his own brother. In defence of 
liberty and law, Brutus stabbed his friend in the capitol ; and poetry and 
oratory delight to portray him brandishing his bloody dagger over the body 
of Csesar, and congratulating Cicero on the freedom of the state. But 
this splendid act, though described in the immortal eloquence of TuUy, or 
in the classical numbers of Akenside, must lose its lustre if compared 
with General Jackson's rejection of Buchanans' overture.* The highest 
object of human ambition was placed within reach of the American patriot. 
No law of the republic was to be violated, no feeling of the heart to be 
outraged, no prejudice of mankind to be shocked — but the secret virtue 
of his inmost soul could not be turned from the path of honor, and he 
subdued the powerful temptation as he subdued the foes of his country. 
Still he is charged with an '■ unreasonable desire to fill the office of Presi- 
dent" — is thought of "just as he always was" by the Richmond meeting! 
It is impossible to conceive that this noble act of General Jackson was un- 
known to the gentlemen. Nor are they bound to dissent from the general 
admiration of it, in order to arrive at a perfect faith in the purity of the 
coalition. The most favourable account that can be given of their en- 
deavour to undervalue or discredit it, is to impute it to a feeling, like that 
of the Athenian citizen, who voted for the banishment of Aristides because 
he could not bear to hear him called the Just. Bui^ men who show no 
mercy to facts, can do little justice to character. 

In approaching the subject of Mr. Adams' merits, they found their zeal 
in his favour upon sympathy excited by the strong and general opposition 
which his election and his measures have provoked — a sentiment for 
which they justly claim the credit of generosity, it being evident that zeal 
for the re-election of Mr. Adams, cannot proceed from a noble love of 
liberty, a prudent regard to the interests of the country, or a proper respect 

* " Ccesare interfetto inquit statim cruentum altc cxtollens Marcus Brutus pugionem Ciceronem 
nominatim exclamavit atque ei recuperatam libertatem est gratulatus." — 2d Philippic. 

" Brutus rose, 
Kefulgent from the stroke of Ctesar's fate, 
Amid the crowd of patriots and his arm 
Aloft extending, like rternal Jove 
When guil; brings down the thunder, call'd aloud 
On I ully's name, and shook his rrimgon steel, 
And bade the father of his country hail ! 
For, lo ' the tyrant ! prostrate in the dust, 
And Rome again is free." 



8 

for its institutions. They thus sum up their articles of faith in the divine 
right of John the 2(1 ; " He is pure and upright in intention — patriotic, 
howevei occasionally mistaken — prudent and indefatitrable in the discharge 
of his public duties — blameless and irreproachable in private life." Tiiat 
honest and sagacious traveller Lemuel Gulliver, dechired that the shade of 
Komer was introduced to the shades of his commentators, in his presence; 
and that the parties appeared to have been totally unacquainted before. 

Should the shade of Lemuel ever visit our country, know Mr. Adams, 
and read this character of him, he would sware he was a stran^-er to his 
best friends. They have drawn the cliaracter of Madison, and given it to 
the public for that of Adams. — Was Vli. Adams, pure and upright in br>b- 
ing Mr. Clay to elect him ; in betraying the federal party with falsehoods 
to Mr. .Teifersoti, and reclaiming it by promises to Mr. Webster — in charg- 
ing a double salary and for a constructive journey, while minister, and pay- 
ing that dishonest charge to himself while Secretary of State ? Was he pat- 
riotic when writing his letter to l^evitt Harris, undervaluing the resources 
and ridiculing the spirit of his country, when that country was involved in 
the casualties of a bloody war? Did patriotism inspire his mind when he 
urged the surrender to England of the free navigation of the Mississippi; 
or when he negotiated away the Colonial trade ; Was he patient and faith- 
ful in the discharge of his duties when he forced on the Post Master Gen- 
eral tlie appointment of the present deputy at Nashville, and repulced with 
petulence tlie representations of this state, whilst respectfully deprecating 
that act of oppression ? His private life, in so far as it can be seperated 
from his public conduct, does not reach beyond the years of puberty — for 
his youth, his manhood, and his age, have been spent in lucrative connex- 
ion with the public treasury. But if the Richmond meeting will answer 
the questions above proposed, with only a "small approach" to acknowl- 
edged facts in the conduct of Mr. Adams, they will render perfectly harm- 
less a warmer zeal and a larger minority, than they represent or express. 
The opposition in this free and enlightened country, stern and general as it 
is, it comports with the modesty and tolerance of these gentlemen, to de- 
nounce, " as a studious misrepresentation of the President's measures," 
" a perversion of his most careless language" — a wanton attack on his 
character and that of his cabinet, as premature and unsupported by the 
real character of the Administration. In such estimation are the motives 
of Macon, Calhoun, Van Buren, and Tazewell, held by gentlemen, who see 
in the career of Mr. Clay nothing but patriotism and virtue! It is very 
true that an opposition to the re-election of Mr Adams, was manifested in 
the country, before his Administration was organized, or the course of his 
policy had pointed Hwards arbitrary power and cabinet succession. But 
the Richmond meetTng do not require to be told, that this opposition was 
the natural effect of his unfair election, and was therefore necessarily an- 
terior to the organization of his government, and independent of the char- 
acter of his measures. An equitable, enlightened and prudent administra- 
tion, might indeed have allayed this original opposition ; but the prudence 
of Mr. Adams' measures has not exceeded the purity of his election, and 
his friends, who are continually boasting of his skill and experience, have 
the mortification to find the policy of his government as fruitful a source 
of opposition as its origin. And it may be fairly affirmed, that when we 
consider his impure election, his extravagant doctrine.--, and mischievous im- 
policy, the opposition is as temperate, as a sentiment so strong and general, 
actuating a body politic as scnsative and robust as the American public, 
can well bo expected to be. 

Which of his measures are conceived to have been " studiously misrep- 
resented" 1 cannot conjecture, but if the Panama mission, and the negotia- 
tion respecting the Colonial trade, are the subjects of this misrepresenta- 



9 

tion, the advisers of Mr. Adams in Richmond, would relieve his reputation, 
and add to their own very much, if they would hasLen to convince the coun- 
try, that the mission of Mr. Serircant eventuated in any tliinu- better than 
indelible ridicule and prodigal expense — and that our profitable trade with 
the British West Indies has really not been transferred to the ports ol the 
St. Lawrence — and the north of Europe. But they tell the people of Virgin- 
ia that the monarchial declarations of Mr. Adams, in his first message, weie 
not serious, were merely " his highness's levity" — " his most careless lan- 
guage." What must ie think of the heads of these loyal Virginians, who 
can invent no better apology for his solemn and considerate expressions ; 
or what must we think of his, for having forced his advocates to such damn- 
ing extremities of excuse. — It is, however, easier to suppose that these 
gentlemen indulged in " most careless language" in framing this absurd 
apology, than that Mr. Adams did, when he asserted in a message to both 
Houses of Congress, and re-asserted to the Senate on the nomination of 
Messrs. Anderson and Sergeant, the " constitutional coinpetancy of the 
executive" to institute embassies and to commission envoys, without the ad- 
vice or consent of the senate ; and when he counselled the national repre- 
sentatives to proceed in promoting the general welfare and in executing 
schemes of internal improvement — in building " Light houses of the sky," 
and watching the radiance and revolutions of the planets — without being 
" palsied by the will of their constituents." 

The object of these and other apologists of the President, is to reconcile 
the country to his unwarrentable pretensions upon the ground that they 
are mere abstract opinions, casually conceived and " carelessly" expressed ; 
which he has never attempted and never will attempt to reduce to practice, 
and which, in the instance of the Panama mission, he actually abstained 
from enforcing. As if the principle were not every thing, and the prac- 
tice in any particular case, nothing ? Hamden did not regard tlie amount 
of ship money levied upon him, but he resented and resisted, at great cost 
and peril, the principle which this tax of 2O3. involved. And his factious 
opposition is called by the loyal Hume himself, " a bold stand in defence 
of the laws and liberties of his country"—" by which he merited great re- 
nown with posterity." The factious opposition of our ancestors to the 
Stamp Act, was not to the particular law or to the modicum of exaction, but 
to \\ie 'principle of taxinsr the people of this countri/ iDiihoui the consent of 
their representatives, as the Adams men may learn by consulting Marshall's 
history of the American Colonies. The same important work will remind 
them, that when that irritating measure was exchanged for the more in- 
vidious one of duties on certain articles of importation, the same principle 
of oppression was descried by the sagacity, and opposed by the indepen- 
dence, of our fathers ; and that when it was attempted to conciliate them, 
by a repeal of all the duties except that on tea, it was regarded as an as- 
.sertion, not a surrender, of the odious principle of taxation without repre- 
sentation, and that the spirit of patriotic resistance, instead of being as- 
suaged, rose higher and higher, untd it flamed forth in open rebellion. 
Marshall observes (page 38t<) " The contest with America was plainly a 
contest of principle, and had been conducted entirely on principle by both 
parties. The amount of taxes proposed to be raised was too inconsidera- 
ble to interest the people of either country. But the principle was, in the 
opinion of both, of the utmost magnitude." So the contest between the 
President and the People of the United States is " plainly a contest of prin- 
ciple," and as such has been " conducted by both parties." He maintains 
the twice declared doctrine of his " constitutional competancy." They 
complain that it militates directly against that principle of the constitution, 
which limits the control of the executive over the objects and expense of 



m 



10 

our diplomatic intercourse. — This principle is of the " utmost magnitude," 
and it differs from that maintained with so much blood and treasure by our 
forefithers, in this, that it is expressly defined and guaranteed by that 
written constitution, which Mr. Adams swore " to preserve, protect, and 
defend." Now Mr. Marshall, who placed Mr. Adams under the '• solem- 
nities of this oath," tells us that so far from the right insisted onby our an- 
cestors, being defined and settled by any written instrument, it existed 
only in their natural sense of justice, and inbred love of liberty, (p. 352.) 
" The deti-ree of authority, which might rightfully be exercised by the 
motlier country over her colonies, had never been accurately defined. In 
Britain it had always been asserted that Parliament possessed the power 
of binding them in all cases whatever. In America, at different times and 
in different provinces, different opinions had been entertained on this sub- 
jeft." The enforcement of this plausible authority, going only to the col- 
lection of an inconsiderable tax, and infringing no written charter of liber- 
ty, roused our ancestors to arms. And yet their sons are persuaded by 
the Richmond meeting to submit to a palpable violation of their bond of 
Union and <iovernment, subjecting them to unlimited expense, and involv- 
ing a vital change of its provisions ! Verily, the patriotism of this conven- 
ticle " passeth all understanding !" 

Taking counsel of their loyalty, they evidently deem lightly of the prin- 
ciple at issue between the country and the cabinet, and conceive that the 
practical waiver of it, on the part of Mr. Adams in the case of the Panama 
mission, ought, of right, to have prevented the opposition, which they as- 
cribe to "a personal and vindictive spirit." In this sentiment they will 
probably be pleased to learn, that they coincide with that prince of novel- 
ists and tories. Sir Walter Scott. In atttrnplimf the life of J^npoleon, he 
reproaches the people of France with " a rancorous and vindictive opposi- 
tion," because thev objected to the king's assuming the right of granting 
a constitution to the nation, and insisted on the constitution's emanating 
from the people. Sir Walter favors the arrogance of the Monarch, and 
says "the objections of the French people were, practically speaking, of no 
consequence." " It signifies nothing," says he, " to the jjcople of France, 
whether the constitution was proposed to the King by the National Rep- 
resentatives, or by the King to them." In the same spirii, the Richmond 
meeting conceive that the limitations of executive power " are, practically 
speaking," of equal value, whether they are secured by the provisions of 
the constitution, or granted by the indulgence of Mr. Adams. But, if they 
do not regard the existing encroachments and actual misrule of the Pres- 
ident of sufficient importance to warrant a transfer of power to more able 
and honest hands, let them remember that Mr. Adams came into office with 
" a smaller approach to unanimity" than any of his predecessors, and that 
his first message and his first term are to be taken as the lowest range of 
his ambition. Elect him again, and ratify liis missayiugs and misdoings 
by the voice of Virginia — that State which, in the language of nurke,once 
was foremost to "augur misgovernment at a distance, and snuff the ap- 
proacii of tyranny in every tainted breeze" — will not his high-born spirit, 
which looks above the constitution for the sources of power, take a bolder 
and a loftier flight ? May he not aim at transforming the line of safe pre- 
cedent into the power of appointing his successor, which would show his 
noble disdain of " the will of his constituents," his diplomatic intimacy with 
the spirit of foreign monarchies, and would rise above his present preton- 
sioiis about as far as tiiey are above the level of the Constitution? 

The first year of Charles the Second's reign, after ho was restored to 
the throne of his father, are admitted on all liands, by round-head and cav- 
alier, wing and tory, to have been legal and moderate. — But as soon as he 



11 

got firmly seated, he showed the people that love of pleasure was inferior 
to lust of power, and that " the most careless language" often escaped from 
the most determined tyrant. 

Louis the XVIII. for the first year or two, was moderate and gentle in 
his sway, but he soon muzzled the press, and effected a complete despot- 
ism. And why should we think that what ia true of a Stuart, or a Bour- 
bon, is not true of an Adams? 

Shall we act prudently to ourselves, and gratefully to our ancestors, or 
justly to our posterity, if for nc other object than the emolument and grat- 
ification of a few unworthy men. we risk our rights and liberties, our in- 
heritance of glory and freedom, in their unclean and incapable hands ? 
When the Richmond meeting ask the people of Virginia " what benefit 
they expect to derive, what triumph of principle they expect to achieve by 
the election of Gen. Jackson," they may be answered, that they expect to 
vindicate the purity of election, by the exemplary punishment of its viola- 
tion, the safety of the constitution, by withholding power from its avowed 
enemy ; and the liberty of the press, by relieving the treasury from the ex- 
pense of its corruption. That they expect to restore dignity and truth to 
our foreign intercourse, economy and justice to our domestic government, 
fidelity to the representative and influence to the constituent, supremacy 
to the law, and satisfaction to the people. 

The Richmond meeting having disinterred from " the tomb of the Cap- 
ulets," the old charges connected with Gen. Jackson's defence of New-Or- 
leans and occupation of Pensacola, I beg leave to invade your columns 
briefly in his defence, at the risk of being denounced, in the same wise and 
equitable spirit, for a violation of the laws of courtesy, and the limits of ed- 
itorial neutrality. Their accusations branched out into the criminating 
accounts of an indictment, and reiterated with the spiteful tautology of at- 
tornies, amount to these two: "that General Jackson has invaded a neu- 
tral country in defiance of orders, and in violation of that provision of the 
constitution, which intrusts the power of peace and war to the President," 
and " has suspended the writ of habeas corpus upon his individual authority." 

How far the invasion of Florida was in defiance of orders, may be deter- 
mined by reference to the following documentary abstract. On the 9th of 
December, 1817, the Secretary of War ordered Gen. Gaines "shotild the 
Indians assemble in force on the' Spanish side of the line, and persevere in 
committing hostilities, within the limits of the United Slates in that event, 
to exercise a sound discretion, as to the propriety of crossing the line for the 
purpose of attacking them and hreaking up their toivns." On the 16th of 
December, he writes to the same, " should the Seminole Indians still re- 
fuse to make reparation for their outrages and depredations on the citizens 
of the United States, it is the ivish of the President, that you consider your- 
self at liberty to inarch across the Florida line, and attach them tvithin its lim- 
its."'^ Soon after this last order the President received intelligence of the 
massacre of Mrs. Garret and her family, and the shocking butchery of 

* This wish of the Pre.iident was of no very recent date. As early as the 19th October, 1813, 
when Gen. Armstrong, then Secretary of War, was on the Canada frontier, Mr. Monroe, Sec- 
retary of State, thus expressed himself to Governor Blount, of Tennessee— " Sir, lam instruct- 
ed by the President toaclinowledge the receipt of your Excellency's letter of the 23th ult." "'Jhe 
menaced invasion of your State hy the hostile Creeks must be met with a decision which will 
not only give security to yourselves, but be felt beneficially through the wliole extent of our 
southern country. Our citizens must not continue to be the victims, either of the aggressions 
of that, or any other tribe, lohether they be voluntary, or be made at the instigation of British or 
Spanish intrigue or seduction.''' 

The letter containing this passage was forwarded by Gov. Blount to General Jackson, and at 
that early day conveyed to his mind a proper notion of the views of Mr. Monroe respe' ting the 
character of the Indian war, and of the energetic measures which would be required to bring it 
to a speedy and effectual conclusion. 



12 

Lieut. Scott and liis detachment of thirty men. Under the melancholy im- 
pression of these events, he had recourse to the well known enersry and 
talent of tlie " Military Chieftain," and called upon him to repair to the 
scene of dang-er and "terminate the conflict." 

The first order he received, dated the 'it^th Dec. 1817, recited "the in- 
creasing display of hostile intentions by the Seminole Indians," and author- 
ized him to call on the executives of the adjoining States for a military 
force sufficient " to beat the enemy." It also informed him that Gen. 
Gaines, his second in command, had been directed " to penetrate from 
AmeHa Island, through Florida, to the Semin;le towns." With this view, 
(the Secntary adds,) " you may be prepared to concentrate your force, and 
to adopt necessary measures, to terminate the conflict." It cannot be flis- 
p'lted that these orders not only authorized General Jackson, but actually 
commanded him, to invade Florida. 

He is inf>rnaed tliat since the order authorizing!; Gen. Gaines "to march 
across the Florida line, and attack the Indians within its limits" were issu- 
ed, the Government had learnt " their increasing display of hostile inten- 
tions," in the murder of Mrs. Garret and family, and nf Lieut. Scott and 
his men, that therefore (j>en. Gaines had been directed to penetrate from 
Amelia Island througt) Flonda, and co-operate in an attack on the Semi- 
nole towns, if his force were sufficient for that offensive operation ; and that 
"with this view" he himself was expected "to concentrate his force, and 
adopt the necessary measures to terminate the conflict." IFith ivhat vieiv, 
let me ask Messrs. Cabel, Call, and Stanard, was General Jackson "to 
concentrate his force and adopt his measures ?" They can only answer, 
with the view of " penetrating into Florida," and carrying on within its 
limits such military operations, as might be " necessary to terminate the 
conflict." — Wliat justification, rather what apology, can they offei against 
the indignation of their readers, and the reproaches of truth, for declaring, 
with the affectation of i-egret too, that this act of Gen. Jackson was " in 
defiance of orders!" The orders themselves correspond with the act, and 
the act conforms to the intei probation given to the orders by the govern- 
ment that issued them. On the 25t!i of March, 1818, the President, in a 
message to Congress, adverting to the course and spirit of the Indian hos- 
tilities, says. Gen. Jackson " was ordered to the theatre oT action, charged 
with the management of the war, and vested with the powers necessary to 
give it effect." And on the l.'lth May, following, the Secretary of War 
writes to Gov. Bibb, " General Jackson is vested with full powers to con- 
duct the war in the manner he may judge best." 

Now, how could General Jackson's discretion, which was intrusted with 
these " full powers," fail to determine on crossing the Florida line, in or- 
der to comply with his instructions '• to beat the enemy" and to " termirr- 
ate the conflict," when that enemy was situated "within the limits of Flor- 
ida?" It is counting nothing on the justice of the Richmond meeting to 
affirm, that even they will admit it was ivipossibl-.. As this act of General 
Jackson was authorized and commanded by tlie President of the United 
States, whom, as a iMajor General in the service, he was bound to obey, it 
is no part of his defence, to disprove the allegation of its being in violation 
of a provision in the constitution. This charge were it sustainable, would 
evidently miss General Jackson and hit Mr. Monroe. But it was debated 
in the House of Representatives with intense eagerness for about three 
weeks; was discussed by 32 members, and inforced by all the boasted 
management and eloquence of Mr. Clay ; and yet was decided in the neg- 
ative by a vote of 100 to 70, with the votes of Messrs. Sergeant, Southard, 
and Newton among the nays. To them I beg to refer the meeting for its 
further discussion, rcniarkin<; only, tliat the entrance of the Arnei-ican 



13 

army into Florida, and their provisional assertion of our belligerent rights. 
in place of tl;e abused or the direlict authority of Spain, was no violation of 
neutrality, much less an act of war ; but an act strictly defensive ; author- 
ized by the principle of self-preservation, which is derived from the law of 
nature itself; is recognized by the law of nations, and conduces to their 
mutual safety, and under the oblig-ations of which the President, to whom 
the constitution commits the defence of the nation, and the assertion of its 
risrhts, was bound to prosecute the war with the Seminole Indians, to a 
speedy and successful issue. 

The right of self-defence, belonging to the nation, and committed to the 
President, carried with it a right to the means of its exercise.* And the 
inability of the Sfianish authorities, or their unwillingness to preserve tow- 
ards us the general obligations of neutrality, or to comply with the positive 
stipulations of a treaty binding them to restrain the Indians, within their 
limits, from hostilities against the citizens of the United States, brought 
Geneial Jackson's military operations, in Florida, strictly within the num- 
ber of these means. But whether regarded as they relate to the constitu- 
tion of this country, or as they effected the rights of Spain, they are equal- 
ly insufficient to inculpate General Jackson. He acted like other com- 
manders, under the orders of his government, and these orders he execu- 
ted with his usual enersry and address. 

He was not responsible for their nature, or for the extent of operations 
which they commanded, and therefore needed no defence. And thefactis, 
that in the flespatch of Mr. Adams, when Secretary of State, to our Min- 
ister in Spain, dated Q8th November, 1818, (which has been so invidiously 
— and I may say ignorantly landed as an able and libeial defence of Gen- 
eral Jackson, and which so far as it reg-ards this matter, is nothing more 
than a verbose and declamatory rehersal of the evidence and arguments 
furnished by the General himself, in explanation of his measuref) the name 
of Jackson is introduced for no other than the usual diplomatic purpose of 
making the officer the scape-goat for the government. 

The next charge of the Richmond meeting, *' he has suspended the 
writ of habeas corpus upon his individual authority," besides the fault of 
expression, in using individual where official was required, and the glar- 
ing incongruity between a belief in these charges and the e^rly declara- 
tion of the meeting, that they apprehend from the General " no attack on 
public liberty," and " repose undiminished confidence m his love of coun- 
try ;" an incongruity which shows that tlic end of their address had for- 
gotten the begining, contains a positive mis-statement of fact. General 
Jackson did not suspend the writ of habeas corpus. I am perfectly aware, 
that the true question growing out of the defence of New-Orleans, is not 
whether the writ of habeas corpus was or not suspended, but whether Gen- 
eral Jackson did or did not, on that memorable occasion, perform his duty. 
I am also satisfied, that no friend to his country, can lay his hand on his 
heart and say, he did not perform it. — But his merit is so rich in relation 
to that defence, that I am willing to pursue the criminal inquiry set on foot 
by the unfounded and irrelevant charge of the meeting, confident of being 
able to show, that their own mode of investigation must demonstrate the 
General's renown, and their own injustice. It appears to me, that the 
public writers in Virginia, who have been shivering their lances against 
the "broad circumference" of General Jackson's fame, and especially the 

* Vattel, page 241. 

t For the arguments and evidences here referred to, See documents (25) accompanving the 
President's Message, December 2d, 1818 ; particularly the General's despatches of tlie 5th of 
May and the 2d of June, 1818, and their enclosures, and compare them with Mr. Adams' letter 
to George Washington Irving. 



14 

contrivers of this address, imitate the acts of necromancers, who, in calling" 
up the dead and communicating with the devil, are represented to begin 
by alarming the spectators with exhibitions of skulls and skoletons.proiigi- 
ous shadows on the wall, magical circles on the floor, blue flames, livid 
smoke, and other such fearful sights. So, the politicians alluded to, always 
endeavour to terrify and mislead the judgment of their reader, by parad- 
ing a number of technical phrases — the writ of habeas corpus, the liberty of 
the citizen, tiie liberty of the press, &c. as if these constitutional blessings 
had been destroyed by General Jackson, and had not, in fact, been pre- 
served to the people of N«w-Orleans, by his prudence, patriotism,and valour. 
This pernicious sophistry results, in part from the absence of facts for the 
foundation of their attack ; in part, from the brood of attornies produced 
by their ponderous jurisprudence ; and, in part, from their exclusive read- 
ing of English history and English law wherein the'se safe-guards of free- 
dom are frequently seen struggling under the gripe of oppression, and 
faintly dawning out after a night of darkness. But here, where they 
are the staflTof our political life as general and current as the air we 
breathe, they should be contemplated without agitation, and handled with- 
out hysterics. If the Richmond meeting would condescend to follow the 
advice of Dr. Franklin to Buffbn, and would ascertain facts before they 
philosophized, they would find, that General Jackson did not suspend the 
writ of habeas corpus. On the contrary in order to prevent any interfer- 
ence of this delicate process of civil authority, at a crisis so dangerous, 
with the military power, he recommended to the legislature of Louisiana, 
as they had assumed the power of laying an embargo and of closing the 
courts of justice, to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. His recommen- 
dation was not complied with.* But, let me ask, did the writ of habeas 
corpus ever discharge a soldier under confinement in the camp of General 
Washington, or of General Greene, or of any other commander, in time 
of war and invasion ? General Jackson had found it necessary, as there 
was a levy, en masse, of the citizens, to incorporate the City of New- 
Orleans within the limits of his camp, by encompassing it with a chain of 
centinels, and extending, of consequence, over it, (what the attornies call 
martial law,) the influence of the rules and articles established by Con- 
ress for the government of the armies of the United States, whether of 
regulars or militia. But this extensive castrametation, which made a 
popular city seem to revolve around a small army, is objected to. Pacts 
will show, with what justice. When General Jackson arrived at New- 
Orleans, he found the population prostrate with fear and despondency. 

His presence, prowess, and activity, awakend a very difl^erent spirit ; the 
patriotic citizens manifesting ardour and confidence, and gradually dis- 
tinguishing themselves from the disaffected French, who, under the aus- 
pices of the French consul, and out of gratitude to the English for the 
restoration of the Bourbons, were discovering " an awful squinting at 
monarchy." Governor Claiborne had written to General Jackson, " the 
country is said to be filled with spies and traitors" — "there is in this city a 
greater spirit of disaflfection than 1 had anticipated" — *' my greatest diffi- 
culty is with the European Frenchmen, who, after giving their adhesion 
to Louis the Eighteenth, have, through the medium of the French consul, 
claimed exemption from the drafts, as French subjects," though they had 
come into the American family of choice, under the treaty of cession, and 
exercised the rights of citizenship ever since, as General Jackson discov- 
ered by inspecting the election polls. The Governor adds, that, after 
consulting legal advisers, he had taken upon himself to banish a suspected 

• Eaton's Life of Jackson, page 278. 



15 

inhabitant, by ordering him "to depart from the state in forty-ei^ht hours." 
So sensible, indeed, were all the faithful citizens, and every prominent 
authority in New-Orleans, of the necessity of removmg all obstructions 
to the enforcement of the paramount law of self-defence, that the Legisla- 
ture having no power under the constitution to regulate or restrain com- 
merce, passed an act laying an embargo, which the Governor sanctioned, 
and the ci.izens acquiesced in. In that case, the Legislature acted, and 
wisely acted, on the principle of self-preservation, recognized in the pream- 
able to the constitution, "to provide for the common defence ;" and did 
that for their constituents whicli Congress, to whom they had delegated 
the power, would if they could, have done for them. The Legislature 
also passed a law, closing the courts of justice for four months, which 
the Governor assented to, and the judiciary solemnly approved. And 
Judge Hall himself, discharged without bail or recognizance, persons 
committed and indicted for capital offences, against the United States — 
concurring with the other departments of power, in their conviction of the 
legal necessity of superseding the less essential and elementry provisions 
of law, by the great law of self-defence. And was General Jackson, who 
held all the power which the United States could exert in defence of 
this important and vulnerable position, to resist these practical analogies, 
and revolt from this great law. at a moment when the writof /laieas corpus 
was perverted to endanger liberty, when the hopes of the nation, the in- 
terests of millions, the lives of thousands, rested on his single arm ? Was 
he to repeat for his country the Bladensburgh races, or to fight for her 
the battle of New-Orleans ? 

Had he fashioned his conduct to suit the taste and win the applause of 
the Richmond meeting, he might have had Generals and Attorney-Gene- 
rals, Barristers and Merchants, from the city, capering about his lines, 
discouraging his men, disconcerting his measures, and scampering away 
from the enemy. He chose rather to have citizen soldiers, and to make 
those who owned the power contended for, share in the toil and danger of 
its protection. A rich and testy dealer in cotton, who looked as if ■' but 
for these vile guns he would himself have been a soldier," accosted the 
General, who was piling up cotton bales against Wellington's invincibles, 
and requested that he '■^ appoint a guard for his cotton.^' "Certainly," 
replied the General, " your request shall be complied with — here, sergeant, 
give this gentleman a musket and ammunition, and station him in the 
line of defence ; no one can be better qualified to guard the cotton, than 
the owner of it." Thus the dealer was delt with. This commanding- 
spirit, confirmed by the example of the other authorities, and by the pres- 
sure of the moment, suggested to General Jackson the prudence of com- 
prehending New-Orleans itself in his camp : of taking the city he was to 
defend under his protection. The measure was discussed with eminent 
citizens in the presence of Judge Hall, and approved by others, was not 
excepted to by him. It was advised and adopted distinctly on the ground 
of public necessity, of which all were convinced, and none even now can 
doubt. If the noted LoUaillier, under the influence of the royalist Blan- 
que, and the officious Judge (whose fault is atoned by the fact that he soon 
repented it, and he died a sincere friend and admirer of Jackson) brought 
without necessity, and upon a secondary principle, the civil authority into 
collision with the millitary power ,when exerted /rom necessity and for the 
primary objects of the constitution, it was no fault of the General. It is 
not the first time that enactments, pvovided for the liberty of the citizen, 
have been found temporarily incompatible with the safety of the state. 
Hence the well known maxim of the civil law. Inter arma silent leges. It 
is not the only conflict that has or can be found between separate provis- 



16 

ions, or between the end and details of our constitution. Treaties, when 
approved by the Senate and ratified by the President, are declared to be 
"the supreme law of the land," and yet members of the House of Repre- 
sentatives claim, and justly too, the rijrht of disregarding this supreme law, 
and of interposing their power ov^r bills of revenue. The right of proper- 
ty is secure under the constitution ; and yet, in certain cases, a military 
officer may seize the means of subsistence or of transportation, leaving 
only a fair compensation to the owner, on the just ground of necessity. 
The trial by jury is the birth-right of the citizen, and a dearer right than 
that secured by the habeas corpus, and yet the judicial power sets tliis right 
at defiance, and punishes for contempt, without the intervention of a jury, 
upon the ground of legal necessity. In violation of the same right, our 
legislative bodies punish abitranly any citizen who may attempt an abuse 
of their dignity or privileges, and Mr. Clay himself exercised this power 
in the case of John Anderson. The truth is, these anomalies must be tol- 
erate.! even in our fair and effective system, on the ground of necessity. 
The}' are essential to the principles they seem to oppose. The inconsisten- 
cy of military power witii the spirit of our institutions, arises from the na- 
ture of things — not from the character of tiiis or that commander — from 
the oppo ite characters of peace and war, and the adverse dispositions of 
mind on which these conditions of society are founded. 

Force is the principle of war. Equity the spirit of peace. These two 
elements, however elaborated by civilization or ramified into consequences, 
cannot be divested of their original discordance. The prudence of our 
magistrates, and the patriotism of our citizen--, have in most instances, 
prevented their collision ; but Louailiier and Judge Hall determined to 
bring them into conflict. On the I3ih of February. Admiral Cochrane 
had written to General Jackson that he had received from Jamaica unoffi- 
cial intelligence of peace. The General received his letter on the 2lst, 
and immediately addressed to iiim this inquiry — " whether he considered 
the intelligence as authorizing a ces-;ation of hostilities ?" which inquiry 
was answered in the negative. But with the retreat of the enemy to their 
ships, the danger appeared to many to be over, and the impatience of 
military duty which tliis impression created, was the motive upon which 
Louaiilier operated. Although the General in a proclamation had caij;non- 
ed the citizens " not to be thrown into false security by the intelligence of 
peace," observing " even if it were true that peace had been signed in Eu- 
rope, it could not put an end to tiic war until it should be ratified by the 
two governments,"* — although the British, who had been re-inforced by a 
larger body of fresh troops, lay in half a day's sail of New-Oi leans, by 
a passage which the batteries at Chef Menleur and Fart Coquillcs de- 
fended, Louailiier published a piece that caused the Louisiana compa- 
nies which mnnned these batteries, to desert, return into the city, and 
leave it exposed. He was arrested for exciting mutiny and descition in 
the camp, an<l for giving intelligence to the enemy, and to discharge him 
from arrest, Judge Hall issued his writ. The writ was resisted. It was 
proved by the testimony of the clerk, that the writ was actually issued be- 
fore the arrest of Louailiier, and that the date had been altered by the 
Judge to suit the occasion. — This was proof of complicity on his part, that 
rendered the proceeding more exceptionable. But General Jackson de- 
clined availing himself of this defect, and met the prinicple fairly, assert- 
ing the necessity of adhearing to his plan of defence, and maintaining 
military power. Nor did he stop to ascertain what statute had conferred 
on a District Judge of the United States, power to issue a process, which, 

* >listorical Moinoirg by Latoiir. 



/ 



17 

iftuching the liberty of the citizen, and being in its nature the Creature of 
statute, would more properly emanate from the state judiciary. As ail 
other commanders in this Union, on occasions of less necessity, had done, 
he kept the civil process out of the camp. And would the gentlemen of 
Richmond have had him yield to the officious Judge and mal-content citizen 
— to suffer his troops to desert, and defences to be abandoned, when a supe- 
rior hostile force, unused to defeat, and intent on " beauty and booty" was 
not farther from New-Orleans than City Point is from Richmond — New- 
Orleans far more important to lose and difficult to recover than Richmond .' 
Was the temporary restraint of Louaillier, the momentary suppression of 
his cacoethes scribendi, a greater evil than the permanent conquest of New- 
Orleans.The meeting described the writ of habeas corpus "as the safe-guard 
of individual liberty," — but at the crisis refered to, the power of General 
Jackson was the safe-guard of the liberty of thousands, and individual lib- 
erty was not to endanger so great a stake. He who brought it into collision 
with this great object, acted like a bitter foe to his country, and was no 
more entitled to respect than he would have been, had he, on the 8th of 
January, interposed his person between the American riflemen and the 
enemy, and insisted on the former not firing for fear of taking his life. 
The truth is, the Judge, the citizens, the army and the people, were all 
embarked in the same vessel, and in the same storm. Measures proper 
for the defence of all, were by the law of necessity, obligatory on all, and 
the pilot to whose strong arm the helm was consigned, would have been 
guilty both of crime and folly, had he relinquished it merely because 
land was in sight. This, General Jackson would not do, and his patriotic 
firmness has excited the lasting gratitude of the American people. The 
sentiments which the same people entertain for those who rail at him for 
serving — nay saving his country — for not permitting his centinels to be 
suhpmna'd from their posts, or his men removed by writ of habeas corpus 
from their guns, acts which lawyers enough could have been found to 
justify — the Richmond meeting will be able to discover, should they, who 
are so pure from all stain of military glory, ever hereafter make an ap- 
peal to their fellow citizens for promotion to political honors. But the 
civil authority, which from its mal-admistration, he was obliged to ofiend, 
he propitiated in a manner so signal, as to return it greater strength and. 
sanctity than the folly of its object and iti agent had taken away. When 
peace was announced, he hastened to appear before Judge Hall in court, 
and offered an argument to show cause why he should not be punished fot 
contempt. 

The Judge refused to hear his defence. At a subsequent day he attend- 
ed to receive sentence, and when the Judge, trembling at the murmurs or 
the indignant crowd, hesitated to pronounce it, "fear not,'" said the illustri- 
ous prisoner, waving the multitude to silence with his hand — " Fear not, 
your honor : the same arm which repelled the invasion of the enemy, shall 
protect the deliberations of the court." The sublime humility of the pat- 
riot General did not end here. The ladies of New-Orleans who^e en- 
chantments had been saved from terror and pollution, not by tlie habeas 
corpus, but by his valour, contributed a fund to discharge the fine. But 
they found he had anticipated them — had paid $1000 out of that small for- 
tune, the whole of which he had pledged to the banks of New-Orleans, to 
raise money for its defence. And when their gratitude would force the 
contribution upon him, he preserved his independence, and displayed his 
humanity, by requesting that the money should be applied to the relief of 
the widows and orphans of the brave citizens who had fallen in the cam- 
paign. Could Washington himself have shown greater respect to the law, or 
greater fidelity to the country ? It has been said that Washington never 
3 



18 

refused to comply with civil process. But he was a dictator, and who ev- 
er dared to oppose the civil process against his power ? Did he not exe- 
cute deserters without even a military trial ? Did he not punish mutineers 
by decrimination and instant death ?* Did he not forage in New-Jersey 
as in an enemy's country — in each case, on the ground of necessity ? He 
did, and his conscience and his country both approved him. While Jack- 
son, acting with less rigour, under equal necessity, is denounced by the 
Richmond meeting, as '• this agent of illegal enormities." 

But Judge Fromentin issued a habeas corpi.s in the case of Callava, and 
as tl)C meeting had doubtless two strings to their bow, I will give a few 
worJs to that subject. If the power and the precept of Judge Hall were 
defective, those of Fromentin were absolutely good for nothing. 

General Jackson, as Governor of Florida, was invested with " all the 
powers and authority heretofore exercised by the Captain General and In- 
tendant of Cuba, and the Governors of East and West Florida, within the 
said provinces, respectively. "The only limitations are contained in a provi- 
so, reserving the power of imposing additional taxes and granting of land. 
Now who ever heard of a writ of habeas corpus being pushed into the face 
of a Spanish governor ? But in addition, it appears that Judge Fromentin's 
powers were as limited as Governor Jackson's were ample. In a letter from 
the department of State he is told by iMr. Adams, "I am instructed by 
the President to inform you that your commission as Judge, was intended 
to apply to the execution only of the laws relative to the revenue and its 
collection, and to the slave trade." Now Merced Vidal had represented 
on oath to Mr. Breckenridge, the Alcade or Judge of Pensacola, that the 
testamentary papers of her father had been taken from among the public 
records before the cession of the province ; that for want of them she 
could not get possession of the estate which she inherited, a great part of 
which consisted in a sum of money deposited with the house of Innerarity 
& Co. and that they were withheld by means of the said Innerarity. 
The papers were found in possession of Domingo Sousa, an agent or sub- 
ordinate of Colonel Calliva, a Spanish officer, who had proclaimed himself 
to be Governor of West Floriila, and acting as such had delivered over 
the provinces to Jackson. When applied for, they v</ere refused to Gov- 
ernor Jackson's commissioners, and returned by Sousa to Callava. Upon 
Callava's repeated refusal to surrender them, he was arrested, the box in 
which the papers were contained, was opened by commissioners, acting 
with a wan ant of the Governor, the papers taken out, deposited in the 
court of Judge Breckenridge for the benefit of the heirs of Vidal, the box 
resealed, and (.'allava discharged. Now, here Governor Jackson was 
actingr strictly within his commission, and clearly for one of the objects of 
his appointment, viz. " maintaining the inhabitants in the free enjoyment 
of their property "f Callava, it was stated on oath, declared his intention 
was to carry off the papers to Havana, where they would have been re- 
tained for a fee from Innerarity — or, if returned to the heirs of Vidal, at 
very heavy costs. To procure the discharge and faciliate the extortion 
an! fraud of Callava, Fromentin, without the petition and affidavit requir- 
ed by law, and without the slightest authority from his commission, issued 
a writ of habeas corpus. 

The Governor disregarded the ridiculous precept, and accomplished the 
objects of justice. As soon as the papers were secured, Callava was re- 
leased. But the Spanish minister and Callava insisted that the latter was 

* Marshall's Life of Washington, Vol. -1, and pagn 404—5. 

t Tlic woril- of his comini!S.sion, enclosed by Mr. Ailains in a despatch from the Secretary 
of Slate, of the 12th March, Itfil. See documeiils accompanying ilic rresident's Message. 
If2l. 



19 

shielded from the Governor's authority by his immunities as a public func- 
tionary of Spain. For this plea, however, there was no cause, although 
Mr. Adams' diplomacy had furnished a pretext. His diplomacy, like the 
beauty of his style, has been the subject of unmeasured praise ; when in 
truth his blunders exceed every thing in the history of international nego- 
tiation. 

In the same treaty he stipulated that with the territory, Spain was to 
cede to the United States the fortifications within it, (which was pretty 
much a thing of cou'se,) but no mention was made of the ordnance or mu- 
nitions with which the fortifications were finished. In several instances 
they exceeded in value the works themselves, and therefore the Spanish 
authorities availed themselves of the incompleteness of phrase in the trea- 
ty, and refused to give them up.* 

The time prescribed for the surrender of the province had expired, and 
the term fixed for the departure of the Spanish officers had passed. Gen. 
Jackson as Governor had possession on the part of America, and the pow- 
ers of Callava, as commissioner xmder the treaty, had ceased with the trans- 
fer of possession ; but he claimed the continuance of these powers, as the 
Spanish Minister did for him, upon the ground that the article respecting 
the fortifications was not yet executed, and that until it was, his powers, 
and with them, his immunities under the law of nations, continued. 

Gen. Jackson, with his usual discrimination, perceived the fallacy of this 
pretension — showed that the non-execution of that article had caused it to 
revert to the ordinary channels of negociation between the two countries, 
and as he had given to Callava on taking possession, a verified list and val- 
uation of, and an official receipt for, the ordnance, &c. this subject could 
never again fall into the hands of a commissioner. He therefore denied 
the privilege of Callava, and by his authority as Governor of the province, 
frustrated his mercenary attempt to defraud the heirs of Nicholas Maria 
Vidal : and defeated the ridiculous and unauthorized endeavour of Fro- 
mentin to favour this villanous project by a writ of habeas corpus. 

When you reflect, gentlemen, on your own repeated publication of Gen. 
Jackson's letter to Dr. Coleman, avowing his sentiments in favour of a ju- 
dicious tariff", and on your reference to one not less explicit, and on the same 
subject, to a member of the Legislature of Virginia, you will confess with 
me the difficulty of finding a decent denomination for the declaration of 
the meeting, that General Jackson "shrouds his opinions of the Tariff" in 
impenetrable mystery." Have either of the signers of the address applied 
to General Jackson for a statement of his opinions on this subject ; and 
were he to publish them voluntarily, would not they all be ready to repeat 
the charge, '' he mingles in person in the contest waged for his own ele- 
vation ?" According to their " benevolence and Christian charity," if si- 
lent, he is sinful, and guilty if he speaks. This charge is no truer than the 
story of Decatur's attempt to bully him in the lobby of the Senate, where, 
in fact, they never met. The reference of the meeting to history, ancient, 
modern, and recent, for the purpose of vamping up their rotten cause, need 
hardly be noticed. 

Any school-boy in Richmond can tell them that neither Sylla, Cromwell, 
nor Bonaparte destroyed the liberties of his country — that in every instance 
demagogues like Mr. Clay and his satellites and instruments, had done that 
first ; and that the usurpers were submitted to in preference to the dema- 
gogues. 

* For Uiis fact see, in documents accompanying the President's Message of December dth, 
1821, the letter of Don Hilario Rivis y Salmon, of tlie 6tii of October, 1821, to Mr. Adams . 



20 

The men vho endeavour to sustain and prolong the corrupt practices of 
the present administration, are the persons who are paving the way for mil- 
itary despotism. They are undermining our institutions, poisoning our 
public spirit and disgusting the people with a form of government which 
cannot subsist without the support of opinion. If histoiy reflects true col- 
ours from the past to the present, the Richmond meeting are now " sow- 
ing the seeds of despotism" in this free country, and endeavouring to draw 
their fellow-citizens to a precipice, the brink of which is adorned with the 
flowers of flattery, and the bottom covered with the ruins of States. Plu- 
tarch, speaking of the usurpation of Sylla, says, " the people were so cor- 
rupt, and the republic in so sickly a condition, that tyrants sprung up on 
every side, nor is it any wonder if Sylla gained the ascendancy at a time 
when such wretches as Glaucias and Saturninus expelled such men as Me- 
tellus," who was denounced like General Jackson as Si, Military Chieftain. 
The tyrany of the long pai-] lament had made its rule and its members so 
odious, that Cromwell kicked them out of their seats without " the least 
opposition," 

Hume relates this fact, and accounts for it by stating, that its "^ dissolu- 
tion was ardently desired by the people, as its commencement had been." 
Who can eay that France was free, when Bonaparte effected the revolu- 
tion of the eighteenth of Brumaire ? Had not the raging cruelty of Ma- 
rat, of Danton, of Robespierre, been slacked in the best blood of France — 
her noble patriots, her lovely females, the grace and chivalry of the land ? 
And were not the corruption and imbecilitj/ of their Directory, the proxi- 
mate causes of Bonaparte's success ? — causes which made his iron rule re- 
lief to the French people ? Or did either of these men resign command, 
and retire to private life for ten years ? But even if Lucius Cornelius 
Sylla had destroyed the liberty of Rome, would that be any sort of an ob- 
jection to the election of Andre-,v Jackson? The characters of the men 
are as different as their ages and countries. Both exhibited great military 
talents, but tlie Roman, great, moral, and political vices. Shall we never 
respect a parson, because Dr. Dodd was hung for forgery ; or a bishop, 
because bishop Jocelyn was banished for an unnatural crime ? What 
would their reverend delegate, Dr. Kerr, say, if the Richmond meeting 
were to direct such logic against him ? And yet the analogy is closer be- 
tween an American and an English priest, than between an ancient and 
a modern (general. 

The Richmond meeting appear to conceive, that the qualifications of 
Mr. Adams for the Presidency are undeniable ; because he has been long 
in public life, and has great practice in diplomacy — and they denounce 
General Jackson, as incompetent and dangerous. But there are such things 
as age without experience, and practice without perfection. Some men 
grow old in bad habits of thought— inveterate in eccentricities — obstinate 
in errors. This happens to those who are conceited ; who have acquired 
a little knowledge, and have credit for a great deal ; who have not mixed 
in the strife and bustle of the world, and felt the springs by whicli it is ac- 
tuated. It is the case with Mr. Adams. He knows something of the man 
in the moon, but nothing of the men on the earth. He thought that the 
appointment of James Barbour would conciliate Virginia — when the small- 
est tact, or even the power of common observation, would have convinced 
him that no man of that state liad less mfluence than Mr. Barbour — and 
that the very idea of flattermg Virginia by such a placebo, was a deep of- 
fence to her pride. But even if Mr. Adams were — what he is not, never 
was, and never will be — an able diplomatist and an elegant writer, would that 
prove him well qualified for the office of President ? Did any one eve^ 



21 

think of Talleyrand as an able chief magistrate — or consider General 
Washington a skillful diplomatist ? The qualities which compose the char- 
acter of Jackson, on the one hand, and which posterity will know him by, 
are a vigorous judgment — a deep insight into character — a generous sen- 
sibility to merit — a prompt indignation at vice — a fiank temper — a free 
hand, and a valliant heart. The rapidity and strength of his reasoning fa- 
culty, and the fervour of all his conceptions, constitute him decidedly a 
man of genius, and give him a force of character which all feel who ap- 
proach him. To such a mind, so prompt, so active, so enterprising, age has 
indeed given experience, and reflection brought wisdom. 

That he may be less odious to the Richmond meeting, I will not men- 
tion the moral qualities that distinguish him from their idol, Mr. Clay — his 
correct habits, simple tastes, upright principles, and lofty honor. But I 
will mention that he too has been an attorney, and even a judge — that he 
stood first at the bar of his state as a criminal lawyer, and high on its bench 
as an equity judge — and that in the society around him, he has maintained 
an intellectual superiority as eminent, and a social influence as endearing, 
as Judge Marshall enjoys in Richmond. Tliink then of his great exploits, 
his heroic self-denial, his sensitive patriotism, his victorious courtesy ;* and, 
to raise your conception still higher, gentlemen, compare him with the 
judges and the attornies who modestly pronounce him incompetent, and 
say whether the people of Virginia can hesitate to prefer him to Mr. Ad- 
ams. If indeed they should hesitate ; if a malignant fate shall ordain suc- 
cess to the counsels and machinations of the Richmond meeting, shall de- 
cree that the great state, which revolted from the honest aristocracy of the 
father, must submit to the perfidious despotism of the son ; then may George 
the 4th hope to replace the jewel which was plucked by our ancestors from 
the British crown ; and expect to see the Cabells, the Stanards, the Talia- 
ferros, and the Calls, lay prostrate at his feet, that liberty which the Wash- 
ingtons the Henrys, the Randolphs, and the Lees, wrested from the grasp 
of his father. 

JEFFERSON. 



* The correspondence between Gen. Jackson and the British commanders, after the battle 
of the 8th, is well worth reading. It shows that the American General was the conqueror of 
his foes, even in humanity and politeness. On the 27th February, Gen. Lambert writes, " on 
the subject of your concluding paragraph, I have only to lemark, that honourable and feeling 
conduct, which has characterized every transaction in which I have had the honour to be con- 
cerned with you:" and General Keene expresses ' his thanks for the kindness he has receiv- 
ed from Gen. Jackson, through the medium of Colonel Livingston." 



[From the Nashville Republican.] 

To the Editors of the Richmond Enquirer. 

Gentlemen — Since my last communication, I have read the address re> 
ported by Mr. Johnson to the Adams convention m Richmond, and I find it 
to be a fabric of stimulated fears raised on a foundation of antiquated slan- 
ders. Void of facts, destitute of truth, and patched up with theological zeal 
and forensic stratagem. It reminds me of the men of straw, dressed in cast 
off hats and coats,and stationed as scare- crows in the corn-fields of Virginia. 
Decked in the pap-stained garments of Binns, Gales, and hlammond, it is 
calculated to deter very close examination, but as it is avowedly the work 
of Mr. Johnson, and looked on by him with the eyes of Pygmalion, I risk 
the displeasure of fastidious readers and undertake to expose it. 

But do not the proceedings of this convention give birth to a reflection 
too solemn to be unuttered — that in the ruling state of this confederacy, a 
commonwealth teeming with patriotism, and rich in renown, which, " when 
asked for her jewels, still points to her sons" — men of high station and re- 
pute should be found, concerting by an organized effort the renovation of 
exploded falsehoods, in order to tarnish the fame ofa private citizen, whose 
great exploits and popular virtues make him formidable to a weak and cor- 
rupt administration ? And does it not add to the gloom of this reflection, 
that the holy places of prayer and the exalted tribunals of justice, should 
furnish recruits to this conspiracy against the character of a venerable 
patriot, and the liberty of a youthful republic ? But let not the lover of 
freedom — let not the votaries of truth despair — let not the friends of the 
country tremble. The People are not only the fountain of political pow- 
er, but of political hope. Guarded by the press, which, in spite of the 
expensive efforts of Mr. Clay to seduce or intimidate it, is yet free, the in- 
stitutions of our country will find strength and perpetuity against the ma- 
chinations of the few, in the pure love of freedom which animates the great 
body of the nation. To their sure and sagacious patriotism, it is perhaps 
fortunate that frequent appeals are necessary. Even the labours of the 
Richmond convention may in this way prove useful, as the serpents which 
Hercules strangled in his cradle, may be supposed to have invigorated him 
for the greater task of cleansing the Augean stable. There is certainly 
much to admire in the rhetoric and the leason of Mr. Johnson, in founding 
a claim for the convention to peculiar sincerity and particular attention, up- 
on the remarkable fact of the month of January (when they chose to assem- 
ble) being an " inclement season !" But he might have mentioned a much 
more extraordinary circumstance, and counted on the attraction of more 
general notice. He might have told the people of Virginia that he and 
his compatriots were careful to select the day which had been consecrated 
by more than half the nation to the honor of General Jackson an<l the pub- 
lic gratitude — the day on which the altars of freemen burn with incense 
and their hearts with joy, for the more signal and embittered oppnrtunity 
of pouring out upon him a collected torrent of abuse. That while the 
people of Louisiana were hailing him as their saviour, the legislature as 
their deliverer, the ladies as their protecter, the children as their guardian, 
and the palriach* as his friend, they had predetermined to be employed 
in denouncing him in the name of that very legislature and that very peo- 
ple, as the slave of ignoble passions, the tyrant of Louisiana, the enemy of 

* Father Antoine 



23 

the people he saved, and the foe of that liberty which he defended. This 
would have constituted as affective an appeal to public notice as the shiv- 
erino^ allusion to a January journey. 

This frigid exordium gives place to a scale of their opinions respecting 
Mi. Adams, tenderly graduated from a shade of modest objection to the 
florid glow of courtly adulation, where the manly tone for which Chapman 
Johnson once had credit through Virginia, is artfully lost in the pathetic and 
pensioned phrases of the Whig ; and for a harsh and unqualified avowal of 
thpir hostility to General Jackson. " Most of us," say they, " approve the 
general course of the administration, have confidence in its virtue, its pat- 
riotism, its wisdom, and see nothing to condemn in the President's inter- 
pretation of the federal constitution." " The measures which some disap- 
prove in the present administration, none could hope to see amended un- 
der that of General Jackson." "The constitution which we would pre- 
serve from the too liberal interpretation of Mr. Adams, we would yet more 
zealously defend against the destroying hand of his rival." 

With these fair and well digested sentiments, Mr. Johnson proceeds to 
controvert the accuracy of the general belief that Jackson is the favourite 
of the people ; in doing which, he tails into what logicians call a vicious cir- 
cle, forgeting evidently that the best possible proof of that fact, is the gen- 
eral belief of it. And it happens accordingly that the only reasonable 
part of his argument on this point, is what he doubtless thought no argu- 
ment at all — viz. a positive denial of it. He next endeavors to rebut the 
objections which have so widely prevailed and been so completely establish- 
ed to the last election by misrepresenting them, as black legs give them- 
selves a command over the cards by stocking them. — " The friends of 
General Jackson," he asserts, " insist that his plurality of votes at the last 
election, proved him to be the choice of the nation " Now, the fact is, the 
friends of General Jackson have done no such thing. They contended 
and do now contend, that his plurality of votes, placing him nearer to the 
point of popular preference, made decisive by the constitution, than either 
of his competitors, it was the duty of the representatives of the people, 
when they came to est'tnate the comparative claims of the candidates, to 
allow this circumstance great weight, and make it overbalance strong pre- 
ferences for his rivals, or strong prepossessions against himself. — They 
further maintained that when the right of choice was transferred from elec- 
tors appointed by the people, to electors deleirated by the states, a fact 
which had not arisen in the first process, should have had a fair operation 
in the second — viz. that in several of the western states, where Jackson 
was second to Clay before the people, he became first as soon as Clay was 
withdrawn. Mr. Johnson describes the primary election as popular and 
the secondary as federal ; and he must admit that the moment which advan- 
ced the process from the primary to the secondary stage, fxpunged the 
name of Mr. Clay from the list of candidates, and left the popular will of 
those States to operate in favor of Jackson, Adams or Crawford. Their 
delegations were bound to give a genuine expression of that will, and to 
gather it from such facts as were then before them. They had to deter- 
mine who are the most popular in their respective States, Jackson Adams 
or Crawford, If the Kentucky delegation looked to their polls, they found 
that the same evidence which proved Mr. Clay to stand before General 
Jackson in the popularity of Kentucky, proved General Jackson to stand 
before Mr. Adams or Mr. Crawford. They knew that some of their own 
body preferred him even to Mr. Clay. That a large majority of the Leg- 
islature of Kentucky were in favor of his election, and that a generjil im- 
pression, resting on a mass of undoubted facts existed, that he was next to 
Mr. Clay in the estimation of the western people. 



24 

These were the only facts upon which they coulH found a faithful course 
of action at the time, and they could leave no doubt that if they made the 
will of the people the rule of their conduct, they should vote for General 
Jackson. The course of events has involved others which confirm that 
conclusion. The elections in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois, have prov- 
ed incontestibly what Mr. Johnson earnestly denies that in the last Presi- 
dential election, " the will of the people was improperly disappointed by 
their representatives." That is, if the people who elected Messrs. Daniel, 
Yancey. Chilton, Lyon, Duncan and Bates, to the present Congress, know 
their own will as well as Mr. Johnson does. 

The charge of corruption, which Mr. Clay fixed upon himself and his 
flexible friends at the last election — under which some of them pine in 
painful obscurity, and he himself writhes in splendid disgrace — Air. John- 
eon affirms, was met by Mr. Clay as soon as it was preferred, and abandon- 
ed by its supporters when they were challenged t'or proof. — This the rea- 
der will at once recognise as the empty and incautious language of Mr. 
Clay himself, on those occasions upon which he has been permitted to ex- 
change his cheap and gascon eloquence, for the wine and mutton of his 
entertainers. Its having been adopted by a set of Virginia politicians, 
removes those objections which occur to giving it even a brief considera- 
tion. 

It is to be observed that the charge of Mr. Kremer was prospective, im- 
ported that Mr, Clay and his friends ivould vote for Mr. Adams, and that 
in consideration thereof, Mr. Clay was to be appointed Secretary of 
State. As soon as this charge was avowed by Mr. Kremer, Mr. Clay ap- 
pealed to the House of Representatives for a solemn investigation of it, be- 
fore the election — before either of the overt acts prospectively charged 
by Kremer could have occuied. Mr. Clay could not vote for Mr. Adams, 
nor Mr. Adams appoint Mr. Clay, before the election. Did it argue any 
thing like innocence in Mr. Clay to defy Mr. Kremer to prove the charge, 
at a time when its consummation, its only substantial proof had not been 
effected ; and when it was in the power of Mr. Clay himself to disappoint 
the most conclusive evidence of intention that could be exhibited, by de- 
clining to give the venal vote, and to receive the mercenary appointment. 
The ;act that he did challenge an investigation at a time when it was im- 
possible to convict him, and has declined one since it was possible, is 
proof sufficient, if other proof did not abound, that the motive of venality 
alleged against him by Mr. Kremer really existed.* Let those who may 

* In a case like Mr. Clay's where the judgment is to operate on the concealed motives of 
the mind, it would appear that the best evidence is to he derived from the justificatory declar- 
ations of the accused person. All other circumstances have but a probable connection with 
his motives, these have a necessary one. The former are directed at them, the latter proceed 
from them ; and wherever they conflict with truth, they shew to demonstration, a conscious- 
ness of guilt, and an effort to conceal it. To apply this rule — in his circular to Jiis con- 
stituents, of March, 1825, his first real .attempt at justification, he says:—" I found myself 
transformed from a candidate before the people, to an elector for the people. I deliberately 
examined the duties incident to this new attitude, and weighed all the facts before me, upon 
which my judgment was to be formed or reviewed. If the eagerness of any of the lieaicd 
partisans of the respective candidates suggested a tardiness in the declaration of my inten- 
tions, I believed that the new relation in which I was placed to the subject, imposed on nie an 
obligation to pay some re^ipect to delicacy and decorum." Here he declares to his constitu- 
ents that lie was tardy in the declaration of his intentions, after he became transformed into 
an elector for the people, both because he was beset by heated partisans, and because his new 
relation to the election imposed on him obligations of delicacy and decorum But in his pamph- 
let, his last, or rather, his latest attempt at justification, he pays, (p. 18.) "Mr. Bouligny, 
Senator from Louisiana, bore to nie the first authentic information which I received of the 
vote of Louisiana, and consequently of my exclusion from the house. And yet in our first 
interview, in answer to an inquiry whicii he made, I told him withouthesitation, that 1 should 
vote for Mr. Adams in preference to General Jackson." Was this tardiness delicacy or de- 
corum ? In the very " first interview," and on the very first inquiry, after he " found himself, 
placed in tlir' new altitude of elector for the people," so far from being tardy , delicate, or decorous, 
on the subject, he avows his intentions " to vole for Mr. Adams in preference to Gen. Jackson 



25 

be so far beg-iiiled by the sophistry of Mr. Cky and his parasites as to hope 
for any relief to his reputation from Mr. Kremer's failure to convict iiim, 
suppose for a moment that Pauldinij, Williams and Van Wart, who cap- 
tured Andre and led to the detection of Arnold's treason, had only charg- 
ed him with iniendincr to deliver up West Point for a lucrative appoint- 
ment in the tJritish Army. Suppose Arnold had then demande'I an inves- 
tigation of this charge before a military tribunal, and had challenged its 
supporters to the proof. Suppose these patriots had failed, as they must 
have done, to convict him — that he had tlien held the treasonable corres- 
pondence with Sir M. Clinton and received the lucrative appointment — 
would it be possible to extract any proof of his innocence from the result 
of the investigation? Could any "friend of his, attempt such an imposition 
on the common sense of mankind ; or would the most sceptical historian 
consider this circumstance as diminishing- by a grain of doubt the mass of 
evidence against him ? The parrellelism of these cases cannot be denied ; 
and the only historical variation between them is that Arnold's eminissary 
was apprehended, and that Clay's has not been. How cruelly absurd 
then is it. for the adherents of the Secretary of State to recur to this 
mock investigation in chanting his praise ; and how desperate must be the 
condition of that man's character, wiiich, when criminated by the circum- 
stances of his own conduct, can be vindicated only by a mode of justifica- 
tion, which leads directly to the demonstration of his guilt ? The author 
of the address adds to this absurdity, another which, as he is an expert 
and approved attorney, is as remarkable as it is obvious. He asserts that 
General Jackson has given the sanction of his name to the charge of cor- 
ruption under which the Secreiary labours. It will be remembered that 
Mr. Clay himself has eagerly assumed this position. But it is in direct op- 
position to truth. Gen. Jackson has never adopted the charge or given it 
the sanction of his name. He has only testified to a fact having connec- 
tion with it. ana instead of being a prosecutor, he is a witness — a distinc- 
tion, to rt hich no ordinary intemperance of zeal could have blinded Mr. 
Johnson. 

These abortive attempts to justify the last election and to criminate all 
who were otTended by its impurity, are preliminary to a formal vindication 
of the con 'uctand doctrines of the President, and to a studied and detailed 
misrepresentation of every feature in General Jackson's character, and 
every act of his life. In conformity with this division of his subject, Mr. 
Johnson imputes the general dissatisfaction which succeeded the first mes- 
sage of Mr. Adams " to unwarrantable inferences " drawn from some of 
his expressions by the "factious opposition:" — thus, notwithstan.'ling his 
loyal hatred of military chieftains, adopting the old military maxim of carry- 
ing the war into the enemy's country. The phrase " palsied by the will of 

Now suppose a man to come to his death by being poisoned with arsenic ; and that a sus- 
pected person wlien airaianed for the murder, should, upon his first examination alfirm, 
that the arsenic which he bought was j11 used in poisoning rats, and on his second, that he had 
bought no arsenic at all, would not his contradiction rivet on the minds of the jr.ry a convic- 
tion of his guilt? And yet it is not so flagrant as that of Mr. Clay — for one branch of his is 
carried out into a camplaint against " heated partisans," and into a claim to the refinement of 
" delicacy and decorum." Again.— He insists (p 18.) that on the 15tli Dec. when the vote of 
Louisiana and his consequent exclusion from the House, were only conjectured from report, 
not authentically known, and of course when he was but half '' transformed into an elector 
for the people, he told Mr. James Barbour, who had himself just been transfoimed from an 
" easer partisan " of Mr. Crawford, to an " eager i)artisan of Ir. Adams, that " in tlie event - 
of the contest being narrowed down to Mr. Adams and tJeneral Jackson, he was in favor of 
Mr. Adams." And to prove still further his " tardiness," '■ de icacy and decorum," he avers 
(pp. 19, 20.) tliat immediately after the -iOth of Dec when Mr. Kouligny gave him the first 
authentic information of his exclusion from the House, and consequent transformation into 
" an elector for the people," he told General La Fayette "that he had concluded to vote for 
Mr. Adams." These contradictions carry the evidence against him as far as the forse of moral 
proof can go. 



26 

oar constituents," he declares, " has been torne from its context, misinter- 
preted ; and used as the authority upon which the President is chirg'ed 
with the heresy, that the representative owes no oblioration to the will of 
his constituents." The spirit of a recent convert seems here to animate 
the lani^uid formality of Mr, Johnson's style, and there is something soft 
if not tender, in his lament, over the fate of this sxquisite figure of Mr. 

Adams. — 

" Oh, hadst thnn cruel ! been content to seize, 
Hairs less in sight, or any hairs but these." 

But Mr. Johnson has evidently nothing of poetry in his soul, but the fiction, 
and his sorrow will accordingly be found to be more causeless than that 
of Belinda. It, that paragraph'of ihe message which begins, " The spirit 
of improvement is abroad upon the earth," the representatives of the nation 
are told that Liberty is power ; that the nation blessed with the largest 
portion of liberty," (intiraatinj- his inbred opinion that even the freest na- 
tion ought to be under a v/holesome reservation of liberty by their rulers,) 
" must in proportion to Its numbers, be the most powerful nation upon 
earth ; and that the tenure of power by man, is. in the moral purposes of 
the creator, upon condition that it shall be exercised to ends of beneficence, 
to improve the condition of himself and his fellow men. While foreign 
nations, less blessed with that freedom which is power, than ourselves, are 
advancing with gigantic strides in the career of public improvement, were 
we to slumber in indolence, fold up our arms, and proclaim to the world, 
that we are palsied by the will of our constituents, would it not be to 
cast away the bounties of Providence and doom ourselves to perpetual in- 
feriority ?" It must be confessed that this passage, which would be as 
well placed on a page of Newton's Priucipia, as in a President's message, 
is sufficiently tumid ana obscure, and not be charged with any very direct 
signification. But its import when carefully interpreted, certainly amounts 
to this. There are two rules of political action for out frovernment — one, 
derived, from that condition, {juredivino) which in the execution of his moral 
purposes the creator attaches to the tenure of foiver and the possession of 
liberty which is power, hi/ man. The other, that ivhich (ininates from the uill 
of the p opk. Under the operation of the frst rule, Jorei<rn nations enjoy- 
ins: less of that liberty ivhich is power, than ourselves, and consequently less 
energetically impressed by the condition attached by the creator, to its tenure, 
are advancing ivith gigantic stndes,in the career of public improvement and 
exerting their power to " ends ofbenefcence,''^ in conformity with the moral 
purposes of our creator. If we do not also advance " ivilh gigantic strides 
in the career of public improvement" — if we forbear to exert our power " to 
ends of beneficence,''^ we shtll " cast away the bounties of Providence and doom 
ourselves to perpetual inferiority to foreign nations." Shall revolt from the 
great rule ivhich is imposed by the creator upon free nations, and shall in 
fact proclaim to the world that we are reduced by the iviU of our constituents, 
to a political impotence as feeble and uncouth as the muscular action of a 
palsied frame. 

It must be admitted that not only are the two rules here proposed, but 
that the power of contrast, and the effect of comparison arc exerted to 
the best of Mr. Adams' ability to induce Congress to prefer the first and 
to despise the second. But in case Mr. Johnson should be disposed to dis- 
pute this point, it may be well to add a little more of the precious context 
from which this " morsel for a King" has been torn by the ruthless republi- 
cans. Mr. Adaiiisproceeds— "In the course of the year now drawing to 
its close we have beheld, under the auspices and at the expense of one 
State of this Union, a new university unfolding its portals to the sons of 
Bcience, and holding up the torch of human improvement to eyes that seek 



27 

the lig'ht. We have seen under the persevering and enlightened enter- 
prise of another state, the waters of our western lakes mingled with those 
of the ocean. If undertakings like these have been accomplished, in the 
compass of a few years, by the authority of single members of our con- 
federation, can we, the representative authorities of the whole union, fall 
behind our fellow servants in the exercise of the trust committed to 
us for the benefit of our common sovereign, by the accomplishmeiit of 
works important to the whole, and to which neither the authority nor the 
resources of any one state can be adequate." Here evidently another 
standard of power is recommended to the Congress, hardly less indefinite 
and alarming than the former. It is urged that inasmuch as the authority 
and resources of Virginia and New York, have been adequate to the 
erection of a new University, and the completion of the Grand Canal, it is 
the duty of the representative authorities of the whole union to exercise 
power and resources sufficient for the construction of works and tlie ex- 
pansion of improvement, as much beyond thes-; particular enterprises as 
the resources of the whole union exceed those of either of these states. 
And the authority of the general government, instead of being measured 
by the grants and reservations of the constitution, is to be regulated by 
the inverse proportion which the whole confederacy bears to a p-irticular 
state. Thus according to Mr. Adams the moral condition of our exis- 
tence, and the physical circumstance of our union, conspire to absolve tJie 
representative from obedience to the will of his constituents. And it can- 
not fail to be perceived, that under his florid and umbrageous diction, lurks 
the oflTensive idea of patronizing the people and improving the states, 
which all men with a spark of freedom in their souls must abhor, as 
strenuously as nature does a vacaum. With equal zeal and success it is 
attempted to justify the terms of infinite assumption and imperious menace 
wiih which Mr. Adams reprehended certain proceedings of the state of 
Georgia. I have not before me that remarkable communication, but I am 
willing to take Mr. Johnson's extenuated statement of its substance, in 
order to prove how richly both its author and its advocate deserve the rep- 
robation of an enlightened people. The latter says " he made an obvious 
though not an avowed referance to his oath of office, as imposing an ob- 
ligation above all human law." Now this is either an intellectual absurdity 
or a political sin. The constitution of the United States, denominated by 
Mr. Johnson himself. " the supreme law of the land" prescribes certain 
duties for the President, among which is that of taking the oath of office. 
To say that the performance of this one duty imposes on the President an 
obligation above the supreme law of the land, and the very law which 
prescribes it, is to say that the creature is above the creator ; and that the 
sanction of a religious ceremony to the obligation of the President to ^re- 
serve, protect and defend the constitution, endows him with a right to violate 
his oath and to destroy the constitution. Again — to say that his oath of office 
imposes an obligation above the supreme law, or requires at his hand the 
performance of other duties, than those prescribed by the constitution, is 
avowing at once that this is not a government of laws, and that the execu- 
tive branch is above the control of the constitution. In the first sense, 
the expression is absurd, in the second criminal, in both sufficiently offen- 
sive, and to be fair with Mr. Johnson, he is welcome to ascribe it as he 
pleases, either to want of sense or want of principle, in his hero. 

In palliating the more questionable demerits of the president in regard 
to his equivocal support of that policy which inclines to an exorbitant tariff 
of duties on imports, for the purpose of encouraging domestic manufac- 
tures, Mr. Johnson shines more as a panegyrist than as an economist or 
civilian. All liberal men agree that error of opinion on this subject in- 



28 

volves no radical defect of principle. Large divisions of our territory and 
population, are the seats of adverse doctrines on this momentous and yet 
experimental matter, and as they are all animated by undoubted patriotism, 
there is every reason to hope tliat the true point beyond which the ri.iht 
of taxation vested in the federal g-overnment ought not to be carried, will 
be seasonably determined by the luminous collision of their respective sys- 
tems. Already important light has been shed on the matter by the author of 
Brutds, in the Charleston Mercury. He maintains that the exercise of 
the taxing power was intended by the framers of the constitution to be 
confine'! to t-he purpose of revenue, and that vv-henever it might become 
expedient for the industry of any quarter of the Union, to encourage the 
production of a particular commodity, it was designed that the state or 
states interested therein, siiould assume the qualified exercise of taxing 
power, " with the con-^ent of Congress, and on cnndition, that the duties 
so raised should be paid into tlie Treasury of the United States." Who- 
ever reads his essays will feel persuaded that his explication of many im- 
portant questions involving the powers of the Geneial Government, is 
both original and profound, and promises the establishment of a fiscal poli- 
cy consonant to the spirit of the constitution and conducive to the preser- 
vation of the Union. I wish it could be said tiiat cither of these great ob- 
jects was likely to be advanced by the dissertation of Mr. Johnson the 
polarity of whose mind seems insensible to their high attraction, and to 
turn with trembling constancy to the foot of the throne. The right of the 
government, accordingly, he deduces from its practice, as an attorney es- 
tablishes principle by precedent, and as if the goverment of the United 
States were to impiove every thing but its own practices. He insists that 
the doctrine of indirect taxation was practised upon by the Administration 
of Washington, and by that of all his successors — giving into a fallacy 
which though it makes his argument plausible, renders it unsound. 

The power of taxation, like other powers vested in the general govern- 
ment, has an object direct and objects resulting. Its direct object is the 
raising of revenue ; among its residiirtfi; objects is the encouragement of 
domestic manufactures. This ii clearly secondary in intention and subor- 
dinate in importance to the first object. It must accordingly be increased 
or diminished, as the scale of taxation is enlarged or contracted. But it 
is an inversion of the order of things, as well as a perversion of the mean- 
ing of the constitution, to say that the scale of revenue is to be enlarged not 
to supply the necessary expenses, or to pay the debts of the nation, but to 
increase the resulting action of the taxing power — a power which plainly 
would never have been intrusted to the general government but for the 
necessity which exists in all governments for its direct object, revenue. 
Hence it does not follow, as Mr. Johnson labours to shew, because Gener- 
al Washington established a tariff of duties, and succeeding administrations 
increased it, that his policy and the policy of his successors was, in this 
respect, the same. General Washington's policy went no further than 
the t/mc/ object of the taxing power required. The lightest duty on tlie 
importation of English boots communicates some degree of encouragement 
to American boot makers and tanners; and as that no similar duties must 
be imposed in order to provide in the most convenient way iiirthe expenses 
of government, it is certainly a mitigation of the necessary evil of taxation, 
that a usetid branch of domestic industry should be promoted by it. But 
the mitigation of an evil does not make it a good. And the objection which 
Jics against the policy of Mr. Adams, and in a less degree against that of 
Mr. Munroc, is, tliat it ])roposes to exercise the taxing power not for its 
dirrcf object, and no doubt-constitutional end, but for its resulting objects — 
not for a sullicient revenue, but for aiuultitudc of manufactures ; thus trans- 



29 

cending the particular design and violating the general spirit of the con- 
stitution, by taxino- one part of the community for the benefit of another ; 
maling the relative condition of the Southern States worse than it was 
before the nnion, giving the manufacturing States greater privileges than 
tiiey would have enjoyed without it; and burthening a great, salutary and 
venerable branch olliuman industry for one less extensive and less favor- 
able to the physical wants and moral condition of mankind. — Let the re- 
port cf Mr. Secretary Rush, in which he proposes the artificial and oppres- " 
sive system of England as a model for the financial policy of this country, 
and talks about re.iculnling every fibre of labor, and every species of pro- 
perty in this vast confe.ieracy of free States, by a nicely balanced ma- 
chinery of encouraging taxation, be examined, and the inordinate and un- 
con.3citntionaI excess of iSJr. Adams' policy in the employment of the tax- 
ing povv'er, will at once be perceived. 

Nor, will the force of this contrast be at all weakened by the 
fact which Mr. Johnson relies on — viz. that the law of '89, laying the 
first duties imposed under the constitution, and advocated by Mr. Madison, 
then a member of Congress, recites in its preamble, that the laying of 
duties " was necessary for the support of government, for the discharge 
of tlie debts of the United States, imd the encouragement and protection of 
domestic manufactures." The government was then new and just getting 
into operation. The important and searching power of taxation was then 
first to be applied to the inhabitants and property of a number of free states 
who had confided it reluctantly, with many misgivings and hesitations, to 
the federal head. Under ihese circumstances, it was the duty of Congress, 
and no doubt their aim, to make the first act of taxation as palitable as 
possible, to recommend it as strongly as they could to the people, upon 
whose opinion they knew the whole fabric of government rested. They 
therefore recited in the preamble, the two great circumstances which ren- 
dered taxation necessary, and the one which was most likely to render it 
acceptable. 'J'he first was addressed to their patriotism, the second to 
tlieii honor, the third to their interest — powerful appeals to paramount 
motives. This was the object of the preamble, as the least insight into 
the circumstance of the period would have tought Mr. Johnson, and as is 
apparent from the fact, that subsequent bills of revenue contain no such 
recitations. It is hard to forbear a smile at reflecting on the derisions and 
surprise with which the sages of '89 would look on this attempt to legal- 
ize a broad and encroaching system of policy, not by expounding the terms 
of analysing the spirit of the constitution, but by italicising a phrase " torn 
from its context" in the corner of a preamble to an act. 

But he contends that whether Mr. Adams be right or wrong in respect 
to the tariff", or his " ineffably gigantic" schemes of internal improvement, 
his friends may applaud and the nation trust him, because his opinions are 
at least as right as those of General Jackson. This, although it will turn 
out to be an improvement upon the old absurdity of ignotum per iscnoiius, is 
probably the most fair and formidable inference in the address, for, as 
Hooker has said, that change even from the ivorse, is sometimes inconven- 
ient, there might be some color of reason in advising the American people 
to rest satisfied with Adams, seeing that Jackson's opinions coincided with 
his. But unfortunately for Mr. Johnson, even this slender argument is 
denied him by the assertion of the Richmond meeting, by which his con- 
vention stands publicly affiliated, and to which he sent in his memorable 
adhesion. That assertion is not disavowed or disputed, and is of course 
adopted by Mr. Johnson's address, and it declares that " Gen. Jackson 
shrouds his opinions of the tariff" in impenetrable mystery." While these 
opinions are thus concealed in " impenetrable mystery," how does Mr. 



30 



^uot tv.c,r rninride exactly with those of Mr. Adams t 

earnest and public affirmations ot a man ^^^^^^^ . and excite a 

Sr„ft^:,a:JrSre;ctur.',!arw[:ich .Uu^ces .,.V^y aud.p. 

endeavored to justify the doctrines o, Mr- a^ and having enjoined upon 
mention of " the ^°"f '^^^^"^t^^^'SS ^J .neanr) the duty of ap- 

the American P^°f,^^^^^at wa no d^ouDt y ^^ ^^^^ indulgent rule 

plying to the considerauon of tj^^ ^'^^^^ .^^ ^^^^er than security to in- 

of construcUon which in^ures^n^^^^^^^^ J^^^ ^^^^^^ of temperature to 
nocence. Mr. Jonnson piui.cc , . , j i;„ ^g f]ut es ot the chief 

make a PO^t-rfi"%^X"imi to the temper and anions of General Jack- 
magistrate, and fierce allusions to the te p ^^^^^ ^^ ^^ ^ 

Bon. No part of the addr^^J.^^"^^;^ ;, i.^e the Roman courtier, in odio 
vent loyalty han this. The I^'^hmonc is ^,^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^ 

sczvus, hlanddoquenhacomis 1\ ^ f ^,7^^^';'^,^^ the faults of the man in 

runmng with l^-^^S^l^^^ fenS n. trea7of an elephant on the virtues 

power, and ^a\'.i"5„^^^|^' ^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^ of that shrewd animal hovv- 

of a private citizen. L I^e Uie iitne p ^ ^ ^ . ^^^ ^,^^ 

''''\}''''i£l^^^^^^^-^^-^ be inflamed into injustice by 
quick-sighted P.«<^P^^"'^''^- ceiled into submission by his gentleness. As 
Mr. Johnson's violence nor deceiveu 1 -^^^ ,^^^^^^^^ and a tone of 

if emphasis were "ot rid^^" o^^^^ ^^'^.^e whose accusations are unsup- 
deep-mouthed -^"P-f J'^^^^^^^^^^ amazing confidence, that Gen- 

P"?T X^on d "t^^^^^^^^^ ^"^^ constitution of his country, 

eral J^^^kson has J-^anip ^^^,, ^^^j^ ^^^ own arbitrary 

^'1, r/Se of In conduct '" But his fundamental position is this-" ca- 
'''^. for cIvUaffairsTn a country like ours, where the road to preferment 
pacity tor civil anairs a / ■ . : ^gver lono- concealed, and sel- 

ls open to merit in every class « ;°'^^f/jj>;^^;j. Ceireral Jackson has liv- 
^Tl '''' 1\rr.e of sixtj ;:a rand was bred to the profession best cal- 
ed beyond the age ot sixty >t- - faculties which civil employments re- 

^"^•^^^^rr Sry o t 'Ahc ^i^^^^^^ those cmploymei tsi told in a 
quire ; but the n-tory " 1 ^.^ biographer. He filled successively 

few brief lines in a bingi- p^ of member of the Tennessee Conven- 

^"•^ '"ncTfotXerr'sta ct:titu"rRepresentative and Senator in 
t.on, which tormea iiieir ^ ^ j- Tennessee, and agam Senator 

Congress, Judge of teSupreme^Gourt^^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^^^.^ ^^ 

in Congress ot the United states. vvne of detail might be ex- 

^^^V^rTutrereTunyl sttut^^ t^iS; lie far beneath the range 
pected. «"\.t;^^^f j;,""' the leader who chooses to consult Eaton's work 
of his romaimc fanc) a thc^e- .^ ^.^.^ employments" is not conta.n- 

wiUfind. .-"f ^^^^","'r .V,.,. ^ork and Mr. Johnson's summary of it is 
ed on a " single page of that work, ana ^'^ ^ ^^^^al, which Wash- 

defective as to the very 'l^P^-" .^"^ ^^^^ot r/^S^ But if we admire the 
ington, no --^^mL^r ha iTe'^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ -curacy of his rea- 

sontg' ' He cotSesTthat us capacity for civil offices is in this country 

General of U.e ^^erraory and sx ye. s Judcc o u.e^^|^ ^^ .^^^^^ ^^^^^^ "="""'"",;: ^',,0', 

of this lasi station was aceepte on t he Mtn Ju y , , ^^^ v\e^t<-rn country, witli wlu m, 



31 

"never long concealed and seldom left in retirement," the frequent appoint- 
ment and repeated election of General Jackson is proof positive of his no- 
torious incapacity to fill them. There is something transcendental in this 
syllogism. And if we reflect that in addition to Mr. Johnson's corrected 
list of civil offices, General Jackson has filled the important ones of com- 
missioner foi receiving the cession of Florida, of Governor of that Territo- 
ry under the Spanish laws, and negociator of several of our most important 
Indian treaties, that he never solicited an office in his life, or abused the 
confidence which his constituents reposed in him— that Mr. Adams never 
filled one which connected him immediately with the people, the great 
central fire which distributes warmth and life to our whole system ; and 
that his seivices were recommended to one party by descent, and to 
the other by purchase, its value as a political argument may be correctly 
es'imated. The evident distortion of Mr. Johnson's judgment seems to be 
chronically confirmed by the fact, that General Jackson resigned several 
of these offices, manifesting a preference for private life, in unison with 
the taste of Cincinnatus, of Washington, and of all the greatest patriots of 
the world, and in opposition to that low ambition which canned exist out of 
the purlieus of the treasury. The classical reader will remember how the 
Roman writers celebrate the reluctance with which the Dictator ab Aratro 
left his farm, and the satisfaction with which, crowned with laurels, he re- 
tired to it. The same disposition was seen and admired in our beloved 
Washington. In a letter to a member of Congress, who was persuading 
him to accept the office of President, then just created, he thus expressed 
himself: " You are among the small number of those who know my invin- 
cible attachment to domestic life, and that my sincere wish is to continue 
in the enjoyment of it solely, to my final hour. My increasing fondness 
for agricultural amusements, and my growing love of retirement, augment 
and confirm my decided predilection for the character of a private citizen." 
And he concludes — " You will perceive, my dear sir, from what is here ob- 
served, that my inclinations will dispose and decide me to remain as I am, 
unless a clear and insurmountable conviction should be impressed on ray 
mind, that some very disagreeable consequences, must in all human proba- 
bility result from the indulgence of my wishes." This letter was written 
when Washington was in his 57th year, and Jackson was 58 when he 
made his last and most splendid resignation. This is the temper and these 
are the habits that render " military chieftains" the defenders of the repub- 
lic in war, and its guardians in peace ; and it is not the least extravagant of 
Mr. Johnson's paralogisms, that in the same breath he should descant on 
the dangerous influence of military renown, and reproach its possessor with 
an obstinate predilection for private life. Mr. Clay and Mr. Adams, it is 
true, have never yetofl^ered to the world that best and most lovely evidence 
of merit, which modesty displays, have never resigned one office without 
the prospect of another, and are not likely to impose on their eulogists the 
task of portraying the grand but quiet virtue of disinterestedness. Yet, 
Washington, the military chieftain, served eight years without giving rea- 
son to doubt his wisdom or integrity, while Messrs. Adams and Clay, the 
diplomatist and the orator, have efiected in less than half that time, a gen- 
eral conviction that they are destitute of both. 

But, says Mr. Johnson, General Jackson not only " resigned three, but 
passed through all these offices, acknowledging his unfitness in two in- 
stances, nianifestly feeling it in all, and leaving no single act, no trace be- 
hind, which stamps his qualifications above mediocrity." Such allegations 
as these are enough (to use Mr. Johnson's peculiar dialect) "to stamp their 
author below mediocrity" — as they abound in misstatement and miscon- 
struction. An individual is appointed to one office, and successively pro- 



32 



motoJ to two others, and because he vacates the subordinate ones in order 
to reach the lii^rhest in tlie series, these acts of resignation are interpreted 
into a confession of his own unfitness. Did Mr. Clay acknowled|e his un- 
fitness for the Speaker's chair, when he resigned it and took office in tl e 
cabinet of Mr. Adams ? Does a Colonel evince a conscious incapacity 
when he accepts the commission of General ? General Jackson resigned 
his seat in the House of Representatives to fill a place in the Senate, and 
this station he resigned with a patriotism and liberality highly honorable 
to him, to make room for General Daniel Smith, his neighbor and tnenu— 
a oentleman whose superior age and scientific attainments gave him pecu- 
lial- claims to public confidence, and inspired a hope that he woulJ prove a 
useful accession to the party which was then opposed to the adnumslration 
of the elder Adams. This disinterested act, whicli tew of the many Wiio 
can make long speeches, would be capable of. is urge! m the address as tur- 
ther proof of mcapacity, and the formidable array ot evidence to that point, 
is completed by the assertion that "no trace," that is. «o speech is left be- 
hind him inJiis civil career, placing him above mediocrity. But beto e t he 
conclusionfere designated can be admitteQ,it mustbe ascertained whether a 
lono- speech in Congress, is not in nine cases out of ten,at least a proot ol ine- 
diocritv * A member of Congress, who, without the possession ot rare oiato- 
rical powers, makes lonir speeches, is known to have given tull exertion to 
his abilities,and has no claim to a reputation higher than that which is acquu- 
ed bv a lar<re portion of his comrades. Whereas a silent member is regard- 
ed as possessed of such strength of mind and dignity of taste, as to disdain 
the slender repute which one or more speeches create, anu is, tor that \er> 
reason, considered far above mediocrity. When Patrick Henry was ask- 
ed " who he thought the L^reatest man" in the famous Coi.gress or /4, tiom 
which he was just returned, he replied-" If you speak ot eloquence, A.r 
Rutledcre of South Carolina, is by far the greatest orator ; but it you speak 
of solid" iudo-inent and sound information, Co'onel Washington is unques- 
tionably the greatest man on that floor."! Yet Washington "passed 
throuo-h and resigned" this and other civil offices, without leaving a 
trace" behind, which in the accurate style and estimation of Mr. Johnson, 
"stamped his qualifications above mediocrity." It is rather untortunate 
for one, who undertakos to instruct the people of Virginia, that his most 
oracular opinions should conflict with the dictates of common sense— the 
iudament of Patrick Henry, and the example of Washmgton. 

The temper of General Jackson is said to be as unsuit;ible as /"^ capa- 
citv,and"the spirit of domination displayed in his ce ebrated letter to 
Go^' Rabun," is referred to as evidence that the othce ot President should 
not be entrusted to his " impetuonsity of temper " and "fiery ^i™ 
In a deep prophetic tone it is added, a foreign war may come, may lage 
with violence and may find General Jackson at the head of the civd gov- 
ernment and commander in chief of the land and naval torces. Dissenti- 
ent views among the statesmen may arise-controversies ^''o^^. "P ,^^f ^^^^^ 
the state and federal authorities-as discussions and ^o"^'';'^^*^ ,^'''" ''^'"^ 
heretofore arisen-and who then, we pray you, can answer f^r ;'\^ ^""^f" 
uenccs of that spirit which sai.l to Gov. Rabun, " when I am in the field 
^ou 1 ave no authority to issue a military order." It may be tLonght snigu- 
L that Mr. Johnson, after having so bitterly reviled ahd l^J^^''^^'}'^.^ ' "- 
fairness of tearing " from their context "the expressions « '^ ^^^^ f ^ 
should when urging a charge so personal m its nature f« /^^^ .:^^4'"^5^^^;^ 
rival, and attaching to it, as a consequence, " the dissolution ot the Union, 



* Frank Johnson made a speech five daye Ion;;, 
t Wirt's life of Henry, page 113, 



33 

anU death to the hopes of every free government upon earth," be guilty of 
this very unfairness hniiself witii a violence too, which cannot be conceiv- 
ed without attending to the following summary of facts : 

When General Jackson assumed the direction ot the Seminole war 
he found General Gaines near Hartford, in Georgia, at the head ot the con- 
tingent force of that State, which he speedily put into motion. Advanc- 
ing with his raw force of one tiiousand men, in the direction ot t ort crcolt, 
he passed on rude rafts and scarce practicable routes, the tenny swamps 
and flooded rivers of that region, impelled by the energy ot his character 
and the hope of findino- the supplies which had been ordered there, at 
Fort Early, liut when°he reached that place, the danger of famine was 
not abated, there being only a bai rel and a half of flour and a few bushels ot 
corn in the Fort. In the neighbourhood lived a small tribe ot Indians, the 
Chehaws. wliose friendship, though doubted, now proved smcere. To 
these sons of the forest in his extremity, he applied, desiring thein to bring 
in such supplies of corn, peas and potatoes as they could spare, and prom- 
ising liberal pay for them. They immediately brought a small supply, 
and on the General's encamping near their village, which lay directly in 
his route to Fort Scott, their aged Chief, Howard, the survivor ot many 
wars with the kino-s of the forest and the foes of his tribe, received him 
as a brother, and tlie simple-hearted community emptied almost to exhaus- 
tion, to relieve the wants of their guests, the small stocK ot food which 
had been collected for their subsistence through the winter. Enthusiasm 
succeeding their kindness— the few warriors of the village joined the 
American standard, and it was only in compliance with Jackson s request, 
that the grandson of Howard, a youth of eighteen, was left to assist that 
patriarch of the woods, in attending to the old men, women and children. 
Thus contidino- in the honor of General Jackson, and in the faith of the 
United States, the Chehaw villagers were left in complete exposure. 
But what had they to apprehend, or what had General Jackson to appre- 
hend for them ? To the command ina" officer of the small garrison lett at 
Fort Early, he had given instruction to consider the ( hehaws as friends, 
and there was no power behind him that could be dangerous to the allies 
of the United States. Having clasped the right hand ot Howard in friend- 
ship, marshalled the warriors of the tribe, and assured the women of peace 
and protection, who, with their " young barbarians," witnessed his depar- 
ture, he hastened onward to the theatre of war. 

Where the lion walks harmless, the wolf prowls most ferociously. A 
Captain Wright, of the Georgia militia, upon some false imformation, 
conceived and communicated to the Governor, the impression, that atler 
the march of General Jackson from the vicinity of Hartford, hostilities 
had been committed on that section of the frontier by the Philonees and 
Oponees— subordinate or rather incorporated septs ot the Chehaw tribe. 
The Governor, on this erroneous representation, issued a very inconsider- 
ate order empowering the Captain to march at the head of t«o compa- 
nies of cavalry, and such infantry as could be drawn from the garrison of 
Fort Early, ao-ainst the supposed aggressors. It was in vam that the 
commanding officer there assured Captain Wright of the friendship and 
innocence ol" the Chehaws, and informed him of tlieir recent aid and hos- 
pitality to General Jackson. But why prolong the dreadful recital ! The 
Governor's party had tiie power and the will to destroy. 1 hey burst like 
a tempest on the devoted vdlage. Helpless age and unresisting infancy 
they confounded in one torrent of destruction. The bayonet, red with the 
blood of the infant, was plunged into the breast of the mother. The aged 
Howard supported by his grand-son, advanced with a white flag, and was 
shot with that emblem of ftith and peace in his feeble hand. The same 
5 



34 

(Jtuel volley despatched his grand-son — the village was given to the flames 
—the women and children to the edge of the sword, orthey fled from in- 
stant slaughter in terror and exile, to famine. Wilder scenes of desola- 
tion have indeed been spread on the face of the globe, when Hyder de- 
scended like a thundercloud from the mountains of Mysore, upon the 
plains of the Carnatio — or when Turreau left La Vendee cshroudedin soli- 
tude and ashes. But a deeper stain of dishonor or a more intense visita- 
tion of wo was never seen or inflicted, than at the secluded village of the 
Chehaws. The massacre of Wyoming was mercy to it, and the revenge 
of Brandt far less cruel than this amity of the United States. It violated 
at one blow, humanity, friendship, and the faith of treaties — the obligatione 
of justice, gratitude and honor — and involved in its consequences the dis- 
grace of the nation, the murder of our citizens, and the probable renewal 
of the war, which was then almost concluded. Against this shameful 
outrage, the heart of Jackson arose, and he resented it with indignation, 
but not without dignity, complaining to the executive of the United States 
and remonstrating with that of Georgia. To the former he says, (7th 
May 1818.) " The outrage which has been committed on the super-anuated 
warriors, women and children of the Chehaws, whose sons were then in 
the field, in the service of the United States, merits the severest chastise- 
ment. The interference too oi" the Governor of Georgia, with the duties 
imposed on me, claims the early attention of the President. All the ef- 
fects of my campaign may by this one act be destroyed, and the same 
scenes of massacre and murder with wliich our frontier settlements have 
been visited, again repeated."* To tiie latter (Ai ay 7 j after referring to 
the massacre as " base and cowardly," and to an enclosed copy of General 
Glascocks letter detailing it, he observes "That a Governor of a State 
should make war against an Indian tribe at perfect peace with and under 
the protection of the United States, is assuming a responsibility that I trust 
you will be able to excuse to the United States, to which you will have to 
answer," and he adds, "you as Governor of a State within my military 
division, have no right to give a military order when I am in the field." 
This last is the phrase which Mr. .Johnson has "torn from its context," 
and repeated with an aggrevating abbreviation, and in alarming italics. 

* Oeneral Jackson was informed of this calamity by a lettfir from General Glascock, tiated 
tlie 30th April 1818, written at Fort Early on his return to eJeorpia, with the contingent of 
that state. The following is an extract : " On arriving within thirty miles of the Chehaw vil- 
lage, I sent on Major obinson, with a detachment of twenty men, to procure beef ; On his 
arriving there the Indians had fled in every direction, the (^hehaw town having been consumed 
about four days before, by a party of men consisting of 2: !0, under Captain \\'riglit, now in 
command at Hartford. U appears that after he assumed the command of that plare, he obtained 
the certificates of several men (ui the frontier, tli.it the f'hehaw liidiiins were engaged in a 
skirmish on the Big Bend. He immediately sent or went to the (iovernor and obtained orders 
to de-troy the town of Phillemee and Open' c. Two c nipanies of cavalry were immediately 
ordered out and placed under his command, and on the 22d he reached this place. He ord red 
Capt. Bothwell to furnish him witlUwenly-five or thirty men to accompany him ; having 
been authorized to do so by the Governor, the oide' was complied with. Captain Koth well 
told him that he could not accompany him himself ; disapproved the | Ian and inf(u nied ( apt. 
Wright that there could be no doubt .f the friendship of the Indians in tliatquailer and slated 
thatoponee had on that day, brougiit in a public horse that had been lost. 'J'his availed 
nothing, mock patriotism burned in their breasts. 'I'hey rrossed the rivei that night and push- 
ed for the town. Win n arriving near there, an Imlian was discoveied gra/inc -ome rattle ; 
he was made a prisoner. I am informed l«y sergeant Jones, that the Imlian proposed 
to go with the interpreter and bring one of the < hiefs, for tlie C^ plaui to talk with. It was 
not attended to— an advance w:is ordc'rcd the cavalry p.i.-lied forward and < omiuenced the 
massacre. Even after the firing and mi.rder coiuiuenrcd, .Major llowaid, an old ( hief, who 
ftjrnished you with considerable corn, came out fnuu his luMise with a white Hag. It was 
not respected ; an order for a i:eneral fire was given and nearly four hundred grns were dis- 
chargi-il at him befiue it look effect. He fell and was bayi'ncltrd. His son >grAnd son) was 
also killed." After conlinuing «uch horrid details as above, General (Mascock adds. " !?ince 
then, three of my cominaud, who i< ere left at Fori Scott, ol>l,iined a furlough, and on their 
way to tliis plaii', one of them was shot." So that the outrage produced by Uiu order of the 
Governor of Georgia, waa already being retaliated on his fellow citi^eus. 



35 

^^When I am in the field yov have no right to issite a military order." Now, 
altliough the negation may at first appear too general, yet the context 
plainly hmits it to the field of command on which Jackson was then em- 
ployed. It obviously was not his intention to say that the Governor had 
no right to regulate the militia concerns of his State, or to order out quotas 
in the service of the United States, but that he had no right, as Governor 
of Georgia, to interfere with his duties, by operations extraneous to the 
sovereignty of the btate, and hostile to the Indians at peace with and 
under the protection of the United States. In this he was perfectly right, 
and evinced a disposition to preserve rather than to disturb the harmony 
so desirable between the States and the general government. The 
power of miking war is vested exclusively by the constitution in the fed- 
eral government, and the equivalent duty imposed on it of guaranteeing 
the integrity and independence of the several States. This duty, the 
federal government was then in the act of discharging in favor of the 
State of Georgia ; and yet, according to Mr. Johnson, the Governor of 
Georgia was to interrupt its military operations, and to murder its friends 
and allies, without the voice of remonstrance or admonition. Let us sup- 
pose for a moment, that after General Brown had concluded a friendly 
agreement with the BufTaloe Indians, and with their supplies of provisions 
and men, had invaded Canada. Governor Tompkins had come on his track, 
burnt the friendly village, and destroyed or dispersed its inhabitants. 
Would it have been an unpardonable offence in General Brown to remon- 
strate against that outrage, and to inform Governor Tompkins that he had 
transcended his authority ? Would it have displayed a " dangerous spirit 
of domination," or an honorable feeling of justice and humanity ? And 
would it have exposed Gen. Brown to the suspicion and execration of his 
fellow citizens, or entitled him to their approbation and support ? Mr. 
Johnson's acquaintance with history will remind him that the taking of 
Saguntum, while in alliance with the Romans, was the immediate cause 
of the second Punic war, and that the destruction of that city excited a 
dignified resentment in the Roman people, which defeat after defeat, and 
slaughther after slaughter, could not subdue, and gave a moral interest as 
well as a political force to the vengeful expression of the elder Cato, " de- 
lenda est Carthago." Not to mention other examples of feeling repugnant 
to the sentiments with which Mr. Johnson contemplates the sensibility of 
General Jackson for the fate of the Chehaws, the pride which on a late 
occasion England took in stretching forth her power as an agis over her 
" ancient ally" may be cited — when Mr. Canning, as the organ of his 
country, declared to the nations in a tone of generous defiance, that lohen 
the march of foreign conquest touched the frontiers of Portugal, it must 
stay its haughty step. Yet, while we admire the spirit of the Roman people 
and of the English Statesman, we are persuaded to believe, by Mr. John- 
son and his star chamber judges, that when our own patriot protested 
against an outrage on humanity a violation of faith, and usurpation of au- 
thority, acquiescence in which would have stained with disgrace our com- 
mon sense, our common nature and our common country, he displayed a 
"fiery misrule of temper," and "a dangerous spirit of domination." 

It may perhaps, be within the extensive circle of his sophistry to 
contend that the Governor of Georgia, as the head of a sovereign state, 
had a rio-ht to make war on the Indians, the right of war being an inci- 
dent inseparable from sovereignty. Waiving the constitutional pact be- 
tween the sta,tes and the federal government, and the laws of Congress, 
placing the Indian tribes under the control and keeping of the United 
States, which would at once defeat this course of argument, it will be 
enough to observe, that even if the Governor had the right of waging' this 



36 

war, he was bound to prosecute it according to the law of nations and the 
usages of war. These would have rendered it his duty to ascertain first, 
whether the injury he complained of was really committed by the Che- 
haws — and if it were, secondly, whether the authorities of that tribe 
would make or refuse proper reparation. This is the practice of all civi- 
lized states — is that of the United States — and was exemplified in the late 
disturbance with the Winnebasfoes. So that, conceding the right of war 
to the Governor, his violation of the laws and usages of war to the injury 
of the Chehaws, justly exposed him to the remonstrances of General 
Jackson, who, as an officer of the United States, the guest of the venera- 
ble Howard, and the commander of the Chehaw warriors, was in strict 
alliance with that tribe, and bound to protect it. The fact is, that the 
Governor of Geor^fia was for a time, so infatuated, as to consider his offi- 
cial dignity mvaded, and hi^ power encroached upon by this reraonsirance 
of the General, and under that impression wrote a letter to him, remind- 
ing him of Georgia s " bleeding frontier,'' and taunting him with affecting 
" a military despotism." The fact is too, that this his letter, made its gas- 
conading appearance in a Georgia Journal, before it was received by the 
General, an ! fell into disreputable oblivion soon after. And the probabil- 
ity is. that Mr. Johnson, wlio though prodigal in charges, is penurious in 
proofs, has been guided to this buried slander by a sense for defamation 
as keen and creditable as that which leads certain winged gnostics to the 
carcases of the dead. But it has as little truth as fragrance. For from 
the time the Georgia Brigade encamped on the Oakmulgee, and under 
the conduct of General Jackson, marched by the way of Fort Early to 
Fort Scott, up to the close of the war, the southern frontier of that State 
could neither have bled nor been exposed. A thousand men either sta- 
tioned on that frontier, or penetrating from it into the Indian country, na- 
turally bore off any thing like hostility ; and accordingly General Jackson 
met with no opposition until he reached the Mickasuky towns, at least 
150 miles south of Hartford. Besides, the Tennessee contingent consist- 
ing also of 1000 men, had marched on the 14th of February from Fay- 
etteville in Tennessee, under the command of Colonel Hayne, of the Uni- 
ted States Army, and after reaching Fort Mitchell, on their way to join 
General Jackson at Fort Scott, had from information that their rationg 
which had given out could not be replenished in the direction of Fort 
Scott, filed off to the left, and by a route nearly parrallel to the advance 
of Jackson," had passed into Georgia, at Hartford ; where Colonel 
Hayne with 400 men remained for the protection of that frontier, until 
after the period of which Governor Rabun represented it to be " bleed- 
ing "* There could therefore have been no real cause, as there was no 
possible justification for the attack on the Chehaws ; and of this the Gov- 
ernor himself was soon sensible, for in a letter of the 11th May, from 
Milledgeville, General Glascock says to General Jackson — " I had an in- 
terview with the agent and the Governor, and they have concluded that a 
talk will immediately be held with the chiefs of that place — ascertain the 
amount of property destroyed, and make ample reparation for the same. 
This is at once acknowledging the impropriety of the attack, and not in 
the least degree throwing off the stigma that will be attached to the 
State." 

The next charge is headed with the following important dictum. " Mi- 
litary men should never be allowed to forget tliat the obligation to obey, 
being the sole foundation of the authority to command, they should incul- 

*Pec Uie dcKpatch of General J.ickBOn to the war departiiioiit of the -JStli Mtirch, from 
Fort (Jadsdcii, three weeks before the inaBsacro of the Chehaws, and also his letter of lh« 
tlth of August to Cjovetnor Uabun. 



^7 

cate subordination not by precept only, but by example." And it is alleg- 
ed that in defiance of it, General Jackson has committed a threefold of- 
fence. " He has offered indignity to the Secretary of War in the very let- 
ter assijrning his reasons for disobeying the order to disband hi- troops — 
he has placed his own authority in opposition to that of the War Depart- 
ment, by a general order forbiding tlie officers of his command, to obey 
the orders of the Department, unless they passed through the channel 
which he had chosen to prescribe — and he disobeyed the order of the Go- 
vernment in his military operations in the Spanish territory." Sweeping 
charges are ahnost always unfounded, because in order to make them 
plausible it is necessary lo suppress the very circumstances which qualify 
the actions tliey inculcate. In the precise tone of Mr. Johnson, an E,r\g- 
lish essayist mig!it say that the Congress of '76 offered an indignity to the 
King of Great Britain, in the declaration of independence as.iigning their 
reasons for disobeyivsc his authority. Every case of the kind is character- 
ized only by its circumstances, and when an expert disputant trained to 
the tricks of the forum, advances a charge and omits the circumstances 
explanatory of its foundation, it is strong evidence th&t he is himself con- 
scious of its injustice. Now it turns out that the alleged disobedience of 
General Jackson was justified by the circumstances of the case, was ap- 
proved by the government and sanctioned by events. Under the acts au- 
thorising the President to accept the services of .50,000 volunteers. Gen- 
eral Jackson, then commanding the 2d division of that militia which he 
soon rendered so famous — tendered to the Government of the United 
States the services of himself and two thousand five hundred men of his 
division, and the tender was accepted The detachment having been em- 
bodied and organized, was ordered to proceed by water to New Orleans. 
Subsequently to his departure, General Jackson was advised to halt near 
Natchez, and in compliance with it, he took a position in the neighbor- 
hood of that city. Here while attending to the health and discipline of 
the corps, he received the laconic mandate from the War Department, 
with disobedience to which he is so grievously reproached. It is first to 
be noticed, that as all men have some degree of fallibility, and some de- 
gree of discretion, and as the imperfections of language and the interpo- 
sition of distance, give ample scope for the operation of both, it may well 
happen that the non-execution of an order is the best possible mode of 
obeying the government. When an officer receives an order, which the 
exercise of a sound discretion convinces him, would not have been issued 
had the condition of the circumstance in which it was to operate been 
known to the authority from which it proceeded, the spirit of his duly 
comes in direct opposition to the letter of his order. Obedience in such 
a ease, consists not in a blind submission to the words, but in a zealous 
fulfilment of the intentions of the government. The order of the Empe- 
ror, it is true, authorized Grouchy to continue his unprofitable contest 
with the Prussians, but the spirit of his duty required his presence and 
exertions at Waterloo. By disregarding the signal which recalled him 
from fight. Lord Nelson fulfilled th<- wishes of his Government, shook the 
throne of Denmark, and shattered the confederacy of northern powers. 
So obvious is the distinction between nominal and real obedience, that it 
could not have escaped the attention of Mr. Johnson, but for the loyal 
amazement with which he is affected at the idea of indignity to the head 
of a department. This seems to overcome all his better faculties, and te 
leave him nothing but the powers of genuflection and obloquy. He for- 
gets that an order may be obscure, and therefore liable to misconstruction, 
and that it may contain imperfections of date, or expression which bring 
into doubt its genuineness. In the case now considered, all these causee 



38 

operated against a strict pxecution of the order. General Jackson could 
not be easily convinced that it was the intention of the President, after 
accepting the services of his volunteers, and removing them six hundred 
miles from their homes in an inclement season, pregnant with disease, and 
beyond a vast wilderness filled with hostility, to deprive them of food to 
save them from hunger — to strip them of tents to cover them from the 
weather, and of arms to defend them from savages. Yet, on the I5th 
March, he received the duplicate of an order addressed to him at New- 
Orleans, requiring him, '• on its receipt, to consider his corps dismissed 
from public service," and to " deliver over to General Wilkinson all arti- 
cles of public property which may ha\'e been put into its possession" — 
not leaving the men a mouthful of food — in the hands of the detachment 
a musket or cartridge — in the possession of the corps a single tent or wa- 
gon, or the smallest accommodation for their sick, of wh )m there were 
more than 150. He received another copy of the same order, which was 
dated nearly a month earlier (before General Armstrong, whose signature 
it bore, had come into the war department,) and contained variations of 
expression which made it appear not to be an exact copy. However 
he determined to obey it with as much exactness and as little delay as 
possible. He saw, what Mr. Johnson does not perceive, that its declara- 
tory part effected itself. He and his detachment were dismissed the ser- 
vice of the United Slates. The order was not a direction to disband, but 
a notification of dismissal, so far effected itself, and required in no degree 
the agency of General Jackson. This Mr. Johnson may assure himself 
of by conceiving that General Jackson, or any other General, were di- 
rected to consider himself and his corps engas;ed with the enemy, and re- 
flecting whether that would be deemed an order for attack. Its manda- 
tory clause relating to public property and admitting of some exceptions, 
he conceived it his duty, both to the government and to his men, not to 
carry into full execution. Viewing ours as a just and paternal govern- 
ment, he considered his detachment pretty much as the law considers a 
pre-termitted child, and determined to do that for his men which the go- 
vernment had, it appeared forgotten to do. In a letter to the Governor of 
Tennessee, under whose authority the order of the .Secretary had repla- 
ced him, he says, " I have, however from the necessity of thp ca^e, deter- 
mined to keep some of the tents, and to march the men back in as good 
order as pos.-'ible, and I will make every sacrifice to add to their comfort. 
I have required of the contractor here twenty days rations, which will 
take my men to Colbert's ; and I must trust in Providence and your exer- 
tions to furnish them with supplies from there to Nashville." To General 
Wilkinson who had enclosed the order, he says, " I have had the honor of 
receiving your letter of the 8th inst. with its enclosures, containing direc- 
tions for me to deliver over public property to you, which is in possession 
of my detachment. The order will be complied with, except a small re- 
servation of tents for the sick, and some other indispensible articles. I 
acknowledge the order was unexpected ; but I coincide with you in senti- 
ment that those who are bound must obey." Let the reader recollect that 
the law under which the services of this corps had been accepted, 
made the arms and accoutrements of the soldier his private property at his 
discharge — operating like a bounty on enlistments — that of course Gen. 
Jackson had no right to apply it to this species of military property, and 
that ho only suspended its execution so far as to retain a few tents and 
other articles indispensable to the care of the sick, until he could get his 
corps through the wilderness, which was already the scene of those Indian 
murders that soon brought on the Creek War. That to effect this patri- 
otic and honorable purpose _he borrowed 500U dollars on his own private 



39 



theLauderdalesandthe Donelsons who fell Math sVmi^h Srv 1°^^^".^ 
had Gen. Jackson, through fear of "indio-nifv " ri;.k "'"7' ^^"^^7 and that 

nity offered to the Secret! rv nf w f ""^ f"'^ ^""°'- ^« *« ^he tW,;o.- 
dience upon which Mr. Johnson found^ the ri^ht'to command R 1'T 

S;.) ^nd 'Z:zS!l^^TSi^Ti ^'^^^^^^J^-r^:^ (S 

Wa/ Department, (3d Feb') assuL the Sel^ret'r^M"''^"^ ^ ^"^« "^« 
"to obey the orde'r and toilTverove'/to the 1-,.^,^ t.t''''rT^t° 
partment all public pronortv in mv hnnH^ Vh 7 quaiter master of the de- 
vemence and health SC^u en ^S;/ '^" ?^ T'"""^ ^''^'^ ^^e con- 

^th:iS!7;uEfei::.^i 

which would a?tend^I';'l„^tlia J d ";^^ ^" *^^ ^-^=^t ^^-tress 

conviction that tlieir arms belo fed o' hem and uS^T'^'^fr'"'' ^'^ 
so neo-Iectful of their feelin-s and intPr^T V 1 Jf surprise that an order 
hand "of an old revolut'onarv Lldier w^^^^^ ^T ^"•"" ^^^^^^ by the 

on his laconic o^defwhifhrniHithnvph^^ " ^'! "'"p ^'^^^ interpretation 
safe, near and plentiful i' Sra and NorS'"b"u 'rh'Y'^"^5!?f ^° 
been incalculably distressin^r to ILtIZ ' but which would have 

is taken into consideration t"? thlttJfZT'T.^' ^'^''^<^^- ^hen it 
cepted in August, thaf they had blej a sembLd in D I'T ^'- ^ 

barked on the Cumberland in Januarv 7hZ.fl December, had em- 

floating ice and stormv weather more'than mfn 'T^l^^' .''^^"" ^'^™«gh 
near Natchez on the 21sTSua?v and h J /? ""k"'' ^^^^ '^^"^ encampid 
ceremony or accommodation o„ the 15?h March'".h''" "^T''''"^ ^^*^°"t 
to conclude that more moderation on thp n f rT*^'' '^^'^^'' '""'^^ ^e apt 
mean spirited, would h^e S " S" P^'^Vl^'^^^'^^on' would have been 
of friendship 'and neighborhood Sl'f''^'' ^f '^'^^ ''''^' '^^^^' 
felt-which did him so much honor -^^^ '^ '^ heroically 

event to his country °"''' ^' ^ "'^°' ^"^ ^^^^ so fortunate in thi 



*0f a merchant of Natchez. 



40 

The winding- course of Mr. Johnson's defamation, brings next into view 
the charoe of "disobedience to the War Department, in the shape of " a 
p-eneral Srder ;" and if a man can lose reputation by making unjust at- 
tacks upon the fame of another, it will tend as little to his honor as those 
which have already been refuted. The circumstances explaming this 
ca'^e are the following :— while Gen. Jackson was m the seivice of the 
United States, il occurred several times, and at seasons ot the greatest 
nressu-e, that officers to whom he had assigned important duties, were 
silentlv withdrawn from their posts by orders from some subaltern in the 
line, stationed as a deputy in tlie adjutant and inspector general s ofhce, 
at Washincrton. On the Isi of October, 1814, for example just a fortnight 
afte-- the first attack on Fort Bowyer, and while the whole British arma- 
ment was hovering between Mobile and New Orleans,* an order was is- 
sued from the War Department, signed John R. Bell, deputy inspector 
general, directing Col. Sparks, and the officers of the 2d regiment, inclu- 
dino- the Tailant Major Lawrence, to proceed forthwith on the recruiting 
service ' "This order was received while Gen. Jackson was effecting the 
timely expulsion of the British from Pensacola, and had lett Mobile in 
char<re of Col. -parks, and Fort Bowver in that of Major Lawrence.- 
With commendable prudence tliese officers declined obedience, and re- 
mained at their posts. General Jackson complained ot it to the govern- 
ment, pointed out the serious consequences that might have been produced 
by it, and suggested the propriety of communicating m tutixre, all orders 
to his subordinates through him, inasmuch as his capacity to defend tie 
extensive and defenceless line of territory committed to his charge, would 
bo destroyed, if the officers on whose vigilance and exertions he depended 
were removed from their stations without his knowledge. 

This representation received no effectual attention from the government 
and the anomalous practice it condemned, ^""^'""^/.^^.V"^ /^t'\^;^<; 
vail. A forcible instance occurred in the person of Major Long, who 
having reported himself under a regular order to Gen. J^^I^^^ /."^^^''t/' 
was directed by him to the Upper Mississippi for the purpose of sketch ng 
the topoo-raphv of a district in that quarter, upon wludi a con ps. vvith the 
Indians was then apprehended. The next thing tlie General heara of his 
CiUwas, while he was anxiously expectmg- h.s leport, through a 
new paper notice in New-York, that the Major had sometime ^^^ice estab- 
Ushed himself m tliat city, in obe.Uence to an order l^-^/'"' ^J =^\,^^- 
nartment. Gen. Jackson (4th Marcii, 1817) again appealed to .Mr. Mon- 
rofr hen President) on the subject, reiterated his former reasons against 
he rregularity, and deprecated with mucii earnestness its prevalenc e in 
1 d vuuon wlfen no em'ergencies of war existed to require it and when 
his he. d quarters were at Nashville, a point of convenient ' J^tribu ion to 
orders directed by mail to the various military stations in he -o^th ^ri 1 
west Tins communication, like the former, proving '-«- J^ ' f^^ :j; 
mined no longer to have more responsibility than power, f'et-;^'^ easu.es 
to brin.r the subject before the government in a way that would admit of 
no further neglect. On the 92d^ April he issued ^.^.f-^' ^t^j^e^art'- 
dintr the officers of his division to obey any order from the War Uepart 
ment whi h d d not pnss through the office of his Adjutant <fl^er^^~ 
SutUvo months af er this, the President still declining any a«c. ion on 
Uie mat!", and suffering it to fester by delay, an order was --ed fr^ni 
the War Department to General Rip ey, then in co >na d at ^ew ur 
leans, which in compliance with Jackson's general "'"•'"/'^f ^^^ ""J^^^^^ 
Finding one of his officers involved in difficulty by an act of mil.taiy .ub 

♦ gco d.spa.rb fron. Mr. Monroe to Gen. J. of tl.e 27lh Sept. a.ul from Gen. J. to Mr. M. 
•f the 34lli anU 'i7ib Augubt. 



41 

©rdination and fidelity, Jackson immediately assumed an attitude which 
none but a Martinet or an Attorney can fail to admire. In a letter to the 
President, {V2th Aug. Idl7) he referred to his former communications on 
this subject, and to the cases which had produced them — repeated the 
substance of his general order, and stated the dillemma of (jeneral Rip- 
ley, and with his characteristic spirit and honor thus relieved him from all 
responsibility. " This has given rise to the proper disobedience of Major 
Gen. Ripley to the order of the Department of War above alluded to, tor 
which I hold myself responsible." He adds — "In the view I took of this 
subject on the 4th of March, I had flattered myself you would coincide, 
and had hoped to receive your answer before a recurrence of a similar 
infringment of military rule rendered it necessary for me to call your at- 
tention thereto. None are infallible in their opinions, but it is neverthe- 
less necessary that all should act agreeable to their convictions of right. 
My convictions in favour of the course I have pursued are strong, and 
should it become necessary, 1 will willingly meet a fair investigation be- 
fore a military tribunal. The good of the service, and the dignity of the 
commission I hold, alone actuate me. My wishes for retirement have al- 
ready been made known to you, but under existing circumstances, my 
duty to the officers of my division forbids it, until this subject is fairly un- 
derstood." The final decision when it came was, that orders to inffriors 
should pass through the commanding officer of the division, always there- 
after, unless in cast of necessity. Admitting the principle contended for 
by Jackson, and terminating a practice, which under the aspect of legal 
authority, was subversive of discipline, injurious to service, and repugnant 
to justice. It is true that by the Constitution the President is Comman- 
der in Chief of the army, and that by a custom almost equivalent to law, 
the orders of the Secretary are considered the orders of the President, 
and that among the illegitimate descendants of this custom, was the 
practice of confiding the power of the Department to Lieutenants of the 
line, whose enormous deviations from propriety, as in the order to Col. 
Sparks, brought it into question and disrepute. But the President is Com- 
mander in Chief, only in the same sense in which the General is com- 
mander of his division, has no stronger claim to the obedience of the 
General than the latter has to the obedience of the Colonel, and his or- 
ders, whether issued under his sign manual, or through the Secretary of 
War, or the imposing instrumentality of a subaltern, are to be restrained 
by the laws of Congress and the principles of the Constitution. No man 
will contend that his authority in the army is absolute — that lie can of 
his own accord inflict capital punishment on a soldier — can make a lieu- 
tenant command a captain, a colonel a general, or exact duty from either 
without allowing him his proper rank. Now the essence of rank consists 
in the superiority of command which it confers, and any order of the 
President, making an inferior disobey the orders of his superior, is a de- 
rogation of the rank of that superior, and produces a disorder, the remo- 
'fal of which necessarily exposes to disturbance in a similar and equivalent 
degree, the authority of the President over the superior. The order to 
Col. Sparks required a direct and violent disobedience to Gen. Jackson's 
command, as that to Major Long effected it. To have rendered these or- 
ders entirely legal and expedient, they should have been communicated 
through t'le commanding General. They would then have preserved the 
just equality between responsibdity and power, which the nature of dele- 
gated authority requires. And instead of causing one act of obedience, 
and one of disobedience, they would have produced two acts of perfect 
obedience, through agents related in due subordination to each other.— 
The course pursued by the government moreover, involved the signal in- 



42 

yisiice of fiKiag publicly the proportion between Gen. Jackson's power 
and responsibility, upon which proportion, it must be presumed, he con- 
sented to assume the latter, and then piivatelij, and without his knrwledge 
reducing the foimer below that proportion, by a proceeding much in the 
nature of an expost facto law. The silence and hesitation persevered in 
respecting his lemonstrances, while they tended to produce an impression 
that the reasons he advanced were not disapproved, created a strong de- 
mand for the decisive measures he adopted, and the fact which is but too 
apparent that the irregularity he complained of was calculated, if contin- 
ued, to disappoint the department, as well as the General, as it might be 
retorted by the latter in various perplexing ways, furnishes another strong 
objection to it. Its only excuse is a complete justification of it, where it 
can be shewn, and a marked condemnation of it, where it cannot be 
shewn, viz. necessitij. To tliis fair adjustment and full redress, Gen. 
Jackson brought this abuse in the service, and for the spirit and judgment 
he displayed on that occasion alone, he deserves the gratitude of the ar- 
my and the respect of his fellow citizens. 

Having in a former number shewn to your readers that his military ope- 
rations in Florida, were in direct obedience to the orders of the War De- 
partment, I shall not he detained by Mr. Johnson's repetition of that un- 
founded charge further than to advert to the clumsy dexterity with which 
he shifts his sfround — at one moment inveighing against the General, for 
disobedience to the orders of the Department, and at the next reviling him 
for conduct in direct obedience to them. From this dilemma he cannot 
escape unless he can prove that the orders vesting General Jackson " with 
full powers to conduct the vvar in the manner he miffht think best " — au- 
thorizinsf him " to march across tlie Florida line and attack the Seminoles 
within its limits " — and requiring him to collect a force sufficient " to beat 
the enemy and terminate the conflict," did not justify his invasion of Flor- 
ida, within the limits of which " Ihe enemy " was situated; or his tempora- 
ry occupation of the Spanish Posts, of which, in defiance of the stipulations 
of a treaty and the duties of a neutral, the Seminoles held either hostile 
control or military possessions. A disposition to avoid labor and repeti- 
tion, suggests the propriety of a similar referrnce for a refutation of the 
charges grounded upon the mis-called declaralion of martial law — an act 
of viffor and forecast, which lU its origin and consequences was vindi- 
cated by urgent necessity, justified by powerful analogies, sanctioned by 
examples, aTid ratified by events ; covering that city with irlory and pro- 
tection, endearing its performer to all who were willing to fight in its de- 
fence, and thrilling every patriotic heart in this Union with emotions ot 
joy and triumph. 

These offences against the law and the Constitution being disposed of, 
we come to those with whicli Mr. Johnson declares " mercy and humanity 
unite in accusing General Jackson." They stand in his catalogue in (he 
following order: — "The cold-blooded massacre at the Horse Shoe" — 
« the decoyed and slaughtered Indians at St. ftlarks " — " tlie wanton and 
unexampled execution of Ambrister "— " and of the still more injured Ar- 
buthnot, a trader ami an advocate for peace." With respect to " the cold 
blooded massacre at the Horse-Shoe," as no order for one was ever given 
by General Jackson, it is a calumny on the courage and humanity of his 
otficers and men, who have added unfa.din<r laurels to those which they 
gained on that desperate day— many of whom, in their unrivalled cam- 
paigns, found honorable wounds or glorious death — and some of whom 
have filled and occupy the highest stations in the esteem and government 
of a grateful country. My business is confined to the correction of the 
more intentional injustice of the address, and therefore, after assuring the 



43 

reader that there is no foundation whatever in truth or in history for such 
a charge, I t^hall do no more ihan submit this inexcusable misrepresenta- 
tion to that sort of destruction which the testimony of a witness undergoes, 
when it is proved, that in order to establish a certain point of interest, he 
has made solemn declarations, which had no foundation in fact, and could 
have none in his own knowledge. General Carroll, the late Governor of 
Tennessee, and a distinguished disciple of General Jackson in war, whose 
rank and presence in this action, gave him a minute acquaintance with its 
features, upon reading Mr. Johnson's address, furnished the following 
statement: — " I have seen the address of the anti-Jackson Convention of 
Virginia, in which General Jackson is charged with the cold blooded 
massacre of the Indians at the Horse Shoe. During the whole of the 
Creek war, I serve ' as Inspector General of the Army — was present at 
the battle of the Horse Shoe, and can say, of my own personal knowledge, 
that the charge is wholly destitute of foundation. Tov\ ards the close of 
the action, after the breast-works had been taken by assault, a number of 
Indians took refuge under a quantity of brush and logs. General Jackson 
advanced within a short distance of the place of their concealment, and 
directed his interpreter, George Mayfield, to assure them, that if they 
would surrender, that they siiould be treated with the greatest liumnnity. 
They answered the proposition by firing upon and wounding Mayfield 
severely in the shoulder. A similar proposition was also made by Jim 
Fife,orold Chinnebte, and the fire of the Indians was the only raply it re 
ceived. After a numi)er of our men were killed and wounded by those 
Indians, and after they had twice refused to surrender upon any terms, 
the brush was set on fire, and but few of them escaped death. The pris- 
oners taken on that day, including a large number of women and children, 
were humanely treated by General Jackson. I have made the above 
statement injustice to General Jackson, and the brave men who fought 
the battle of the Horse Shoe."* 

Tlie testimony of numerous eye witnesses might be added to this state- 
ment, but no multiplication of certificates could render it mofe respecta- 
ble, or more completely effect the explosion of this " cold-blooded " slan- 
der. The reader must be struck with the emphatic, yet forbearing tone 
in which it is expressed, proving that although the writer was sensible of 
the injustice of Mr. Johnson's reflection on himself, he was not at all mov- 
ed by it. 

But perhaps it is intended to impress the public mind with the belief, 
that dislodging those desperate Indians who rejected quarter and prolong- 
ed the battle after resistance was vain, was of itself a " cold blooded mas- 
sacre." Are then, the enemies of the United States, when waging a sav- 
age unsparing war. to requite with wounds and death our olTers of human- 
ity and" protection, and yet be saved from death or retaliation ? Are our 
commanders to begin an action — overpower by great effort, the main force 
of the enemy, and then abandon the field and the victory to a few despe- 
radoes ? General Jackson's duty to his country and his government, 
compelled him, if in his power, to defeat the enemy ; and that operation ne- 
cessarily involves the destruction of every adversary who refuses to yield. 
Had the desperate party at the Horse Shoe, been a detachment of Bona- 
parte's Imperial Guard, the veterans of fifty pitched battles, and command- 
ed by Ney or Soult, they must have suffered the fate of the Indians — as a 
garrison which refuses a summons, may by the laws of war, be blown into 
the air. But who were these determined and deluded savages ? The 

* Ramsay's History, continued, published in 1818, gives an account similiar to this of Gen. 
OarroU's, v. 3. p. 162. 



44 

same who, when the sudden hostility of their nation rose like an inunda- 
tion on the settlements of Alabama, heraing hundreds of women and child- 
ren into Fort Mimms, broke into that asylum with treachery, fire and 
murder. Who followed to that feast of butchery, where quarter was neith- 
er offered nor allowed, the volcanic voice of Weatherford ; and as it rose 
above the shouts of fury and the shrieks of despair, breathings inextin- 
guishable ragfe and demandmtr relentless slaughter, obeyed its ferocious 
summons until but 17 out of 300 of our unarmed citizens were left alive. 
They were the same men who, under cover of a truce granted for their 
benefit by General Jackson, had entrapped and slaughtered the son of 
Chinnibee — the Massanissa of the Creeks — the friend and the ally of the 
American people. * These are the beings, whose self-provoked destruc- 
tion, in a fair and hard-fought action.f the people of Virginia are advised 
to consider, in order to vilify a faithful ofiicer. a " cold-blooded massacre !"' 
The charges " of the decoyed and slaughtered Indians at St. Marks," 
is next in order and equal in truth. Its subject is indissolubly connected 
with the crimes and fate of Arbuthnot and Ambrister, and blends itself in- 
timately with the operations of Jackson in Florida. Hut the scene of these 
transactions was so remote and obscure — coveied by untravelled wilder- 
nesses, unmeasured swamps, and undefined jurisdictions — the characters 
upon which they operated so notorious and yet so unknown, their allegiance 
so diversified, and their motives so various, that the attention even of a 
fair inquirer is often bedimmed and confounded in their study, as the 
strongest eye is mocked in pursuing the ever-changing reflection from 
agitated water. In their present state of indigestion, they form a mass of 
rubbish, behind which every scribbler who chooses to revile Jackson and 
hopes to delude the public, entrenches himself. I confess it was with as- 
tonishment, something like that which the reader of Tom Jones experiences 
on finding the philospher Square meditating on the fitness of things behind 
Molly Seagrim's blanket, I discovered C. Johnson ensconced within it. 
And it is less to expose him, than to prevent the leader of any future con- 
venticlers, who may put their heads and their haunches together for the pur- 
pose of hatching public misrepresentations, that I invoke the patience of the 
reader's attention to the following details. 

* Chinnibee was the Chief of the Natchez tribe. A few days before the battle of the Horse 
Shoe, a party of the hostile Creeks communicated to him their wish to submit to General Jack- 
son, and join the friindly Creeks. For this purpose Chinnibee interceded, and pledged him- 
self as a hostage for their fidelity. They accordingly came into his fort, where they were re- 
ceived as friends. In the course of a few days, they mentioned that they had corn and some 
other provisions secreted in the neighboring hills, and asked for permission and assistance to 
convey it to the fort. »;hinnibee furnished them his horses, and sent with them his youngest 
son. After getting about fifteen miles from the fort they turned upon young Chinnibee, and 
murdered him with the indecency and cruelty peculiar to savages — carried off the hotses — 
joined the hostile Creeks, and were engaged in the battle. To the honor of the noble father 
«)f this unfortunate son, it must be added that after the action had commenced, >'apt. Gordon, 
who commanded the spies discovered, just as the order for storming tlie Indian breast work 
was about to be given, that the women and childen who were within the woiks, miglit be 
.■saved by the intervention of Chinnibee, and would otherwise be destroyed in a successful as- 
sault. .He communicated this to General Jackson, who suspended the order, although his men 
were suffering from the fiie of the Indians, both those prepared to make the assault, and 
those who were swimming the river to support it, and desired old Chinnibee to endeavor to 
get the women and children to a place of safety. Although his son had been murdered so 
cruelly, with a humanity tt ily christian, this old man mounted the breast woik at the hazard 
of liis life, and calling to the women, told them he was ready to save them and their children. 
'J'hey hastened towards him, he sprang into the fort, and the poor creatures clinging to hih- 
hunting shirt and clustering around him like a swarm of bees, were brought out of the fort 
and saved fr^m destruction. The (ieneral then pave the order to stotm, the works were car- 
riou, the enemy destroyed, and ihe victory g:iined. Does this look like a cold-blooded massa- 
cre? And yet fifty witnesses will confirm it if Mr. Johnson is incredulous 

t 'he loss of the Americans in this action, was 55 killed and 146 wounded. Among the 
former were Major Montgomery, of the regular army, an officer of great promise, and 
Jjieutenauls Moulton atid ^omerville. Among the litter, the present General* Carroll and 
Houston, the late and the present (iovernor.of Tennessee. 



45 

The dramatis personte engaged in the catastrophe which Jackson is ac 
cusesi of producing were — Lieut. Colonel Nichols, of the British artillery 
— Woodbine an English adventurer of fine address and desperate morals, 
trainer of hostile Indians, with the title if not the rank of Captain,* and in 
that respect, adjunct and successor of Nichols — Arbuthnot, a Scotchman, 
who had left his wife in Europe, married a colored one in the West Indies, 
and with a son by the former one taken a trading position, in Florida, got 
himself elected Chief of the Indians at war with the United States, and 
as such as had sanctioned the butchery of Lieut.Scott and his party— Am- 
brister, a half otRcer and half buccaneer, who, with the commission of 
" auxiliary lieutenant of colonial marines," given by Admiral Cochrane dur- 
ing the war with his country, wai- taken three years after the peace, leading 
the Indians and fugitive negroes in battle against the troops of the United 
Stales. Hambly and Doyle, subjects of Sjiain, agents of a commercial 
firm in Pensacola, driving the Indian trade in an establishment on 
the Apilachicola, and favorers of peace — Cook, clerk to Arbuthnot, 
also ill fauor of peace — Francis or llillis Hadgo, Chief of the prophets 
of the Creek Nation, appointed by Tecurnseh in his insurrectional visit 
to the Southern tribes m the fall of 181 "2, an inveterate enemy of the 
United States, had refused to unite with his countrymen in the capitulation 
of Fort Jackson, abandoned his country and at the head of the outlawed 
Redsticks. had taken refuge and protection with the Seminoles in Florida, 
instigated them to rapine and murder, and witnessed and encouraged the 
massacre of Lieutenant Scott and his party — Hemithlimaco, a Redstick 
Chief the principle warrior of the prophet, and principle perpetrator of 
that massacre.f 

The motives and liabilities of these men were as various as their names 
and nations. The motive of Nichols was success in his profession and ser- 
vice to his country, stained with the desiirn of debasing the chivalry of 
war, by the employment of savage associates. To this Woodbine added, 
and in a predominating degree, the infamous desire of plunder and profit. 
Lucre was the sole object of Arbuthnot, and his means for procuring it, 
were sai^acious and unscrupulous — proposing to acquire an influence 
over ail the surroundina- Indian tribes, by means of it to disturb their ex- 
isting relations with their civilized neighbors, both as to territory and trade, 
and to engross the entire profits of the latter. A mixed and unprincipled 
thirst for gain and for fame, seems to have actuated Ambrister. Interest, 
which incited Arbuthnot and Ambrister to produce confusion, made Ham- 
bly and Doyle anxious to preserve peace. Cook was engaged to be mar- 
ried to a girl in New Providence, felt therefore an inordinate attachment 
to life, and little disposition to run the hazards of his employer, Arbuthnot. 
The " self exiled" Prophet, loving his country less than he hated her ene- 
mies, was filled with revenge for the disasters of the Creek war, for the 
loss of influences which they had occasioned him, for the severities which 
his refusal to submit to the capitulation^ of Fort Jackson had occasioned 

* Latour, page 37. 

t The Redsticks were a powerful tribe of the Creek Indians, wliose national standard wa» 
a red pole decorated with human scalps. 

" Besmeared with blood, 

" Of human sacrifice, and parent's tears." 
Tlieir possessions once reached from the Alabama to the Mississippi, and one of their princi- 
ple villages was on the latter river, where Baton Rouge (Red Staff) now stands. The " out- 
lawed Redsticks" were that poition of this tribe who, refusing to abide by the capitulation of 
Fort Jackson, were outlawed by the Creeks. 

JThe agreement commonly called the treaty of Fort Jackson, was in reality, a military ca- 
pitulation, so designated and prescribed by the government. In a letter from the War depart- 
ment, of the 20th March, 1814, first addressed to Gen. Pinckney and then communicated to 
•en. Jackson, it is said — " since the date of my last letter, it has occurred to me that the pro- 



46 



him and for the '• examplary punishment" denounced against him bv tlie 
order of the Secretary of War, (16th Jan. 1818) which was committed for 
execution to Gen. Jackson. He was further stimulated by the pride of 
character which a late visit to England, and a flattering reception from the 
rrince Regent had inspired, and by the hope of reviving the hostile spirit 
ot the Creeks and regaining his former influence and possessions With 
a hatred to the United States equally passionate and fierce, Himithlimaco 
was intunated by a natural thirst of carnage, superstitions, reverence for 
the prophetical dignity of Francis, and habitual eagerness to execute hia 
most brutal purposes. 

The agency of these individuals, impelling, moderating or counteract- 
ing each other, and deriving more or less encouragement and aid from the 
Spanish authorities had kept up a state of hesitating war, but unremitting 
robbery and bloodshed on our southern frontier, ever since the terminatiol 
ot the Creek war, in August 1814. In its least off-ensive but most dan- 
gerous form, it was repelled by General Jackson, when he dislodged the 
iJritish armament from Pcnsacola, in November of that year. It is the bu- 
siness of History to record how, with more than mother's care, a patriot's 
hre, and a statesman s foresight, on the first intelligence of its appear- 
ance there, he flew unordered to the protection of Mobile, and fortified 
and garrisoned Fort Bowyer. How, while he awakened by despatches, 
the vigilance of the cabinet, just composed after the capture "of Was ino-I 
ton— he roused the patriotism of the people, and callino- on Coffee and his 
volunteers with a voice in which they heard the triumph of Fame he for- 
ced the British to abandon Pensacola, and the Spaniards to maintain their 
neutrality. How, after securing the left flank of his extensive line of de- 
fence, penetrable by rivers, and accessable by bays, lie passed with in- 
credible expedition, to the banks of the Mississippi, with little other aid 
from the government than slah intelligence, and diplomatic (firerAions* with 
arms, flints and money, collected by himself, with raw, unfurnished and in- 
ferior forces, he vanquished both in attack and defence, the most formida- 
ble veterans of Europe, and surpassed in skill and courtesy, her renowned 
and accomplished Generals. Since the peace with England these lawless 
disturbances had been continued by forays of rapine and murder princi- 
pally on the southern borders of Georgia, which, after some movements of 
troops, many talks with the Indians, and much diplomacy with f^pain, were 

posed treaty with the Creeks should take a form aUogcther wUitani, and should be in Uie m 
*"'.^M ^"P".«'f .«"'•" V'"!''' "'■' '""^ '""''*■■ '^'"'•■'■■^ "'e ">'"« ''''<"' ^^-.i^ concluded. And 
yet Mr. Clay, in his speech (Jan. 18th, 1819,) on the ^eniinole war.attaches hian.e to Con. J.k k- 
son for the dictorial terms" of this treaty, as he calls it. So that then as now, if (Jeneral 
Jackson executed the orders of the government he was censured, and if he onU' appeared lo 
transcend them, abused. ^ api^uaicu lo 

■o^.TI"" .f'"^ ii'te'l'eence which General Jackson received from the government of tlie pro- 
•f ^^i i' ^''.r,". ^""ly 'J'''^a"«' ^vas "I a letter from .Mr. Monroe, (then Secretarv of wan of 
the 7th .sept 1814. But as early as the lOtli A„g. he had despatched by expre.'-s ihe same in- 
tell.gence in a coroborated form to tlie Department, tlie receipt of whicli, and of four other 
despatches of that month, are acknowledged by Mr. Munroe on the 27th Pent. n the letter 
of the 7th, r.ener.il Jackson is cmph-itically told, " you should rep.iir to \ewOrleans as soon 
as your arrangements cai. he completed in the other parts of the district, uuhss vnar presence 
shovtd he 7e>]u,red at other pc.t.s." In a letter of the lO.h iJecember, he is told in a spirit 
quite prophetical, considering he had no efficient supplies from the Department, that h, ta- 
king a suitable jwsitwii m the ruinity of .\>)f Ihleaiis, he irill be enabled " to nrenehcbn the 
fnemy whenever he prsents himself," and this without the .-ecretarv's having anv definite 
knowledge of Jackson's strength or giving any information of the enemv's. i<ut suripose the 
enemy had eot possession of Mobile, which tlie same letter describes us "of liitic importance 
comparatively a trifling object with the British government ." and whicli nothing but Jack! 
. son 8 bold expulsion of them from Pensacola, and persevering maintenance, in spite of the 
order for the officers of Uie 2d regiment to go out thi' recruiting service, fof a e.irrison at 
Fort Bowyer,! prevented— their 14,000 men might liave been passed iij) the Tombeckbee re- 
kindling the Indian war all the way and in four days march fioni the highest navigation of 
that river, have reached the Mississippi it the Chickasaw lilulfs, cutting oH' iNew Orleans 
from supplies and support, ensuring both to themselves, and then JVew Orleans must have 
fallen without a blow. 



47 

persevered in until the Fall of 1817 — murdej" and military execution were 
committed on our unsuspecting soldiers and helpless women and chilcren. 
Public opinion now appealed to the government, and the government to 
General Jackson. He took the field, and with that unerring aim of judg- 
ment and courage, which, like the noble instinct of the mastiff, springs 
right at the heart, he penetrated and destroyed the sources of this cruel 
and infamous war, with the utmost possible expedition and the least practi- 
cable bloodshed. Without provisions, and witli a force of only 1000 raw 
militia and Indians, to whom too, he was a stranger, he entered Florida, 
built Fort Gadsden, routed the Indians at Micasuky, found in their village 
near 300 old scalps, and on the prophet's red pole, 50 fresh ones, most of 
them recognized by the hair to have belonged to the unfortunate party 
of Lieut. Scott. Here ascertaining from the prisoners that a part of the 
enemy had fled to St. Marks, and also ascertaining the criminal complicity 
of the commandant, he formed a determination to prevent any fuither abuse 
of Spanish neutrality and American rights, and took possession of that for- 
tress — where he found " the advocate for peace," Arbuthnot, who with 
the innocent and vacant look, peculiar to his countrymen, when they medi- 
tate shrewd and dangerous designs,* sat an unconcerned guest at the table 
of the commandant. From St. Marks, discovering that the remnant of the 
routed Indians and negroes had retreated down the west coast of East Flor- 
ida, in the direction of Woodbine's grand depot of Virginia and Georgia 
runaway slaves, he pursued and overtook them near the Econfinnah swamp, 
where some were killed, many taken, and the only woman who escaped 
death from the murderers of Lieut. Scott, recaptured. The enemy re- 
treating to the Snawney were not allowed time to renew their strength or 
courage, but were again attacked and routed with such loss and dispersion, 
that the victors hoped they had finished the war. 

On this occasion Ambrister was made prisoner. The army returned to 
St. Marks, where the General having received information from the Gov- 
ernor of Alabama, that a large body of hostile Indians who had been 
committing fresli murders on the Alabama, were assembling near Pen- 
sacola, and were there freely admitted and constantly furnisiied with 
means of subsistence and war, he determined to cut off this last head of 
the Hydrae — to supply any defect of will or power that might exist on the 
part of the Governor to observe his neutrality, and to occupy that place 
for a time also. Marching by the Ocheesee Bluffs, he was confirmed in his 
intention by finding the navigation of the Escambia occluded to his sup- 
plies. He therefore proceeded, and entering Pensacola on the 24th of 
'May, he took Fort Barrancas on the !27th — having in his short campaign 
of three months, and with and undisciplined force, varying from one to 
tvvo thousand, overrun a country larger than Italy — forced a Parthian ene- 
my three times to action, and though once inferior in numbers, thrice de- 
feated him ; without any materials for a military bridge, having passed 
rivers as large and as deep as the Po or the Adige — without other subsis- 
tence frequently than acorns, raw hides and water, having marched more 
than 800 miles ; with scarce any artillery, having taken by force or in- 
timidation three fortresses, and with little more than the energies of his 
own great mind terminated forever this savage, servile and piratical 
war. It was a subject of glory to Pompey the Great, that after 
having worsted Sertorions, he should agree to conduct the war a- 
gainst the Pirates. When General Jackson undertook the Seminole 
War, he had defeated the best troops, and among the finest Generals 
of Europe, and terminated the most glorious campaign of the age. Yet 
he is found as ardent and persevering against these hordes of savages 

*Juniiis to Lord Mansfield. Bcott, passim. 



48 

aud slaves, as aincerely devoted to the country aa any young aspirant 
for fame, little dreaming that in the bosom of that country, ingrati- 
tude was to hatch a brood of Vampires ! During these operations, it hap- 
pened that the Prophet Francis and his instrument Kenhagee, king of the 
Midsissukian, m whose town the 350 scalps were found, had after the mur- 
der of Lieut. Scott and his party seized Hambly and Doyle, at the instiga- 
tion of Arbuthnot, under whose authority as chief, and that of Francis 
they were tried in council and sentenced to be tortured to death, for their 
friendship '.o the United States. From this wretched fate they were res- 
cued by the spirited interference of a negro, J^Tero. the commander of 60 
other negroes in the service of the hostile Chief Bowlegs, and were by 
his agency conveyed, as prisoners of Arbutnnot, and his Indians to St. 
Marks, for safe keepng. Here they were received by the commandant 
as prisoners, and here they saw numerous evidences of the participation 
of the Spanish authorities in the Seminole war, but escaping in a canoe, 
they were taken up by Lieut. M'Keever, of the United States' Navy, in the 
adjacent Bay. With a sort of dramatic coincidence, it came lo pass that 
the thirst for blood having risen in ihe breast of the prophet and his war- 
rior Himithlimaco, tljey soon repented the rescue of Hambly and Doyle, 
and came to St. Marks in quest of them, just after they had made their 
escape. With the ferocious perseverance of wolves they pursued their 
flight along the coast, hoping that weather or weariness would force them 
ashore, and soon descried a vessel at anchor, with British colours flying at 
the mast head. — After some reconnoitering they went aboard, were con- 
ducted into the cabin where they found Hambly and Doyle, who immedi- 
ately indentifying them as the murderers of Lieut. Scott and his party, 
and their own captors and tormentors, they were put in irons by Lieut. 
M'Keever. These circumstances being all made known to Gen. Jackson, 
by a mass of proof and undisputed notoriety, in conformity with the order 
of the Secretary of War "to inflict exemplary punishment on the authors 
of the atrocities" — committed on Lieut. Scott's party, and IVJrs. Garrett's 
family, he had them hung, in accordance with the principles of the law of 
Nations, and in obedience to the dictates of humanity, which their atroci- 
ties had outraged, and to which the terror and example of their fate was 
a just sacrifice, and proved a salutary propitiation. 

The reader wdl see that the only decoying was practiced by Lt. M'Kee- 
ver, and before he can agree to censure that, it must be shewn that our 
naval officers had no right to use such strataofems as the officers of other 
nations practice, although the colours of all nations are furnished them for 
this express purpose ; and it must be farther shown that it was the duty- 
of Gen. Jackson lo see that Lt, M'Keever should dress and manage his 
ship exactly to the taste of Mr. Johnson. These Indians, were taken by 
stratagem and surprise as Andre was, and like that unfortunate officer, 
who never violated a feeling of humanity, they were "slau<>-htered" — that 
is, they were hung. In this punishment, as justice, humanity, and the 
law of nations were satisfied, it is to be observed that they being out of 
the United States, our own laws were not concerned. Had they been 
brought within our limits all their crimes must have gpne unpunished — 
for they bad not violated our municipal, or maritime, or martial laws. — 
But the law of nations vests the right of retaliation in tiie commanding 
general, and the imbecility or dishonour of the Spanish authorities having 
justified the assertion of our beligerent riglits, it was the duty of Gen. 
Jackson to fulfil the instructions of his government and bring these mur- 
derers to punishment.* 

*AlthoiiKh the feelin^ and common sense of every man must convince him that the death 
•f the prophet and Himithlimaco was due to humanity and justice, yet it may be proper to 



49 

Let us now come to the case of Arbuthnot. From the recaptured 
American woman, who was the sole remaining' survivor of Lieutenant 
Scott's party — from Cook his Clerk —from Phenix his acquaintance — from 
letters and papers I'ound in a vessel of his, captured in the mouth of the 
Snawney, and others obtained from the Indians by our agent, it was prov- 
ed incontestibly tliat " tins advocate for peace," by misrepresenting the 
terms of the Treaty of Ghent — the conduct of the American, and tne in- 
tentions of the British government, had inc ted, in time of peace, the 
fceminole Indians to hostiUties against the United States. That to aid 
those hostilities, he had applied in behalf of the Indians, to various func- 
tionaries of Britain for supplies, and to disguise them for protection. — 
That he had furnished them with intelligence and ammunition for niilitaiy 
purposes, and had given them advice and orders in the management of the 
war. That he had directed the seizure and presided at the condemnation 
of Harably and Doyle in conseq lence of their being "the advocates for 
peace" with the United States. That he had instigated and countenanced 
the massacre of Lt. Scott and his party, consisting of about 40 American 
citizens. That as an Indian Chief, he had permitted our gallant officers 
to be assassinated, our brave soldiers to be butchered, and their helpless 
wives to be murdered, or with more horrible cruelty spared to see their 
infants " taken by the heels and their brains dashed out against the sides 
of the boat."* And that when one of the two women who had been 
spared (the wife of an American serjeant)was from pregnancy no longer 
able to keep up with the march of her captors, this "advocate for peace" 
ordered her to be put to death, and that accordingly she was bayoneted 
through the womb ! From the same and other sources of proof it was 
demonstrated that Ambrister had not only instigated the Indians to war, 
against the United States, but had actually joined them with a party of 
runaway negroes and led them in battle — having used his commission as a 
British officer (a nation with which we were at peace) to promote his per- 
nicious influence among them, and having endeavoured by force to convert 
a Spanish fortress into a place of savage hostility against the United 
States. 

These are the men whose crimes had destroyed so many innocent lives, 
for the sake of Otter skins and runaway slaves, and whose punishment 
is lamented with such dignified sorrow by Mr. Johnson, for the sake of 
Messrs. Adams and Clay. The evidence against them satisfied a court of 
gallant and intelligent officers of their guilt — satisfied the representatives 
and the government of the nation — and convinced the Courts of Spain 
and of England of the justice of their punishment. And yet because it is 
too voluminous and intricate to be readily examined,f Mr. Johnson found 

fortify that well founded decision by respectable authority. Vattet says (520, 34) "When we 
are at war with a nation which observes no rules and grants no quarter, they may be cliastised 
in the persons of those of them who may be taken. They are of the number of the guilty, 
and by this rigor the attempt may be made of bringing them to a sense of the laws of human- 
ity." The prophet and Himithlimaco were not only "among the guilty," but the leaders of 
the guilty. 

* Vide in the documents hereafter specified, Cook's letter, and the account obtained from 
the recaptured woman. 

t For the evidence in these cases, see documents (35) accompanying the President's mes- 
sage of the 2d Uecember, 1818, and those (65) accompanying that nf the 28th Dec following, 
particularly the letter from Gen. Gaines of the 2d December, 1817, with its enclosures that 
from Gen. Jackson, of the 8th April, 1818, and the report of Col. Butler of the 3d May, in the 
first set. In the second. Nos. 45, 46 and 61, with the depositiun of Lieut M'Keever and the 
testimony of Phenix and Cook before the Court are chiefly apposite. In addition to the au- 
thority already produced for their execution, and in illustration of the principle that must 
have satisfied the foreign governments on the subject ; the following reference is made to 
Vattel, (52 o. 29.) "We may refuse to spare the life of an enemy whc has surrendered, 
when the enemy has been guilty (a fortiori when he himself has) of some enormous breach 

7 



50 

upon it imputations which with the rancourous, have the retributive pro- 
perty of injustice, and though aimed at the reputation of anotiier, will 
only ariect his own. There is one thing that ought to be mentioned as 
remarkable both in his ire and his grief — namely, his solemn affirmation 
that Arbuthnot who was hung, was "more injured" tlian Ambrister, who 
was only shot — being convinced, as if from experience, that death by 
hanging, is worse than death by shooting. 

When a writer has clearly established his title to disbelief, it cannot be 
necessary to oppose a formal refutation to each of his misstatements, es- 
pecially if, as in the case of Mr. Johnson, his errors have been exposed 
before. It appears that in the list of unfounded charges contained in the 
address, are two which had escaped my notice. They relate to the six 
militia men, and to the alledged usurpation of power to appoint militia- 
officeis. The first of these charges is now before the House of Repre- 
sentatives, and as its determination by that body will not only have the 
authority of truth but of the nation, I shall not enter on the easy task of 
refuting it. The second was long ago demolished by the memorial of 
Gen, Jackson which was presented to the Senate on the 6th of March, 
1820, and which convinced Mr. Jefferson of his "salutary energy" in the 
prosecution of the Seminole War. It will be enough to refer the reader 
to that document, and particularly to the deposition of Col. Hayne and to 
the letter of Cols. Dyer and VVilliamson, in its appendix for proof that the 
charge is absolutely and totally false. Would it were in my power to 
convince him that Mr. Johnson does not know it to be so. 

Having thus completed the exposure of this laboured attempt to degrade 
a great citizen and delude a great state, it remains to look at the charac- 
ter and condition of the body of which it purports to be the offspring. 
In individual character it is enviable, in numbers respectable, but in popu- 
lar influence and constitution, meagre and scant. Like a dying peach 
tree, it has all leaves and no fruit. It appears to be more numerous than 
the House of Delegates, the broadest representation known in the state, 
and yet, consisting as it does of detached and discontented politicians, its 
constituents would hardly form a brigade of militia — and they would be 
all against any thing militdry. It is, in truth, a "most forcible feeble," — 
and the address is the most enterprising experiment on record for pro- 
pelling falsehood by the force of authority. Of this experiment, it is but 
justice to say, Mr. Johnson appears to be the organ, the manager, the Mix. 
But now that his torpid <orpe(/o has exploded, what will he do with his 
corps of engineering judges, misguided by him into the defiles of dilem- 
ma and discredit ? Will he disband them in the wilderness of fallacy 
and falsehood, far from their sitting, and as it would seem their svperior 
parts, bruising their delicate shins or bumping their tender rotundities 
against the stubborn obstructions of fact, and the bold projections of ar- 
gument, stragglinsf and scrambling to make their way back to privacy 
and privilege without steam-boats and without mileage.* In opposition to 

of the laws of nations, and particularly when he has violated the laws of war." Arhuthnot 
and Ambrister had violated the laws of peace and war, (jf Ood and man— and to have treated 
Ihcni like ordinary prisoners of war would have been encouragement. Vattel (;)21) says, 
"retaliation mav be exercised even on the innocent," a principle on which Gen. Washington 
acted in the case of :-ir Charles Asmll, (Marshall 3d, 391.) and that '-when your army is out 
of J our own territory the ripht of letaliation is in the Commanding General, and he has the 
right of sacrilicing tlie lives of the enemy to his own safely or that of his people, if Jic lias 
to contend with an inhuman,enemy, and to treat him as his own people have been treated.— 
See also the details in the House of Lords, Ilth May, 1819. 

* Some iew years ago, a brace of these administration judges took a fancy to travel in 
steam-boats, (tw. of them embarked high up on the I otomac, and liaving coasted an immense 
peninsula, landed in Itirhmond. The other took water on some of the Western rivers, and 



/ 



51 

orders from Washington, he can never dare to "divulge their draggletail- 
ed show" in a regular retreat, as that might " offer an indignity to the 
Secretary of War," and produce his own dismission from service. The 
chaplain of the expedition too, the "oily man of God," what will become 
of his reverence ? But this is a subject too serious for ridicule, too awful 
even for pleasantry. The God of Moses from Sinai's fiery top has said, 
"thou shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbour," and the Re- 
deemer of Mankind, the Lord of meekness and compassion, denounces 
punishment on "evil speaking," and says for every malicious word a man 
shall utter, "he shall give an account at the day of judgment !" For that 
account let the reverend gentleman prepare. 

In respect to Mr. Johnson it can hardly be said that modesty or elo- 
quence is pre-eminent among his political virtues, or that his professional 
ability is likely to be deci eased by infusions of talent into his general wri- 
tings. Of him ii will never be said — 

" How sweet an Ovid was in Murray lost." 

Acknowledging in his letter of adhesion, strong distrust and disapproba- 
tion of Mr. Adams, he yet insists that it is "ineffably stupid" in the peo- 
ple of Virginia, the most alert and spiritual devotees of liberty m the civ- 
ilized world, not to postpone their decided favourite to the object of his 
public dis-esteem. Nor is he entitled to the praise of invention ; for, after 
labouring lustily in the field of fiction, he furnishes his party with nothing 
original. While all his charges are false, not one of them is new ; and 
though all his inferences are fallacious, most of them are trite. An in- 
delicate memory furnishes his premises, and an immoderate presumption 
regulates his conclusions. Insensible to the grandeur of the character 
he traduces, he seems forgetful of the intelligence of the people to whom 
he appeals. But it is strange that an individual so inconsiderate of others 
should not have more respect for himself. He does not appear to consid- 
er that by repeating, he adopts these stories — partakes of the disgraceful 
motion of the scandal, and marked as "the tenth transmitter" of talse- 
hood, descends with the progress of an impenitent sinner, who sinks in 
infamy as he advances in age. 

If these remarks should appear intolerant, it must be remembered that 
the re-action of injustice is proportioned to its violence ; and if long, that 
for the poison of concentrated slander, the most effectual antidote is 
expanded truth. 

JEFFERSON. 

made his way to the Treasury either by Wheeling or New Orleans. In imitation of Mr. 
\dams they charged coastrtictive mtUage, when their legal milpage was on the direct 
irdinary route. The charge of one was thrice the amount of his just claim, that of the other 
about five times. The legislature made them disgorge, although Mr. ' lay had sanctioned 
the doctrine, in allowances, when Speaker, to his western friends. he matter occasioned 
some anger and much fun in Virginia, all at the expense of the steam-boat judges. 



LE N '10