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Monroe; a system with which he was identified-with which he should rise or fall—from which he could not turn aside to espouse the cause of any man or set of men.
Between individuals as connected with measures he had always taken a bold and decided part-he had openly and with all his influence opposed Mr. Crawford and his party, because he sincerely believed their system of measures calculated to degrade the country and impair its energies. He was defeated; the question of principle was settled: the question between Mr. Adams and General Jackson was a personal question, and in it he could take no part. It was, however, submitted by him, as the subject had been brought before him, to the reason of Mr. Adams's friends whether they would not more effectually promote his interest by connecting his (Mr. Calhoun's) name with him as Vice-President than the name of General Jackson. He had never considered himself at the disposition of the public ; it was the opinion of his friends that he could be more useful to the country and himself in the Vice-Presidency ; his own opinion was in accordance with theirs, and he was, therefore, resolved to stand before the people, where he had been placed, as a candidate for the office. Such is the substance of the conversations I had with Mr. Calhoun on this subject. He always held the strongest language in relation to his resolutions of neutrality; and I cannot recollect an exception from which I was authorized to infer that he preferred Mr. Adams to General Jackson, or General Jackson to Mr. Adams. The only observation I can recollect, from which any inference could be forced, was that the course of Mr. Adams's public life must be considered as giving him in some respects an advantage over General Jackson in administering the government. But with regard to a situation in Mr. Adams's Cabinet, he more than once said, in expressing his determination to decline all overtures to that effect, that he had serious doubts of Mr. Adams's ability to sustain himself; there was danger that he would err, and that those who were connected with him might find themselves responsible for measures in which they had no share. His knowledge of Mr. Adams's peculiarities of temper justified these apprehensions, and he could not consent to become a member of bis Administration.
In October and November, 1824, General Brown had fre
quent conversations with Mr. Adams, as the mutual friend of Mr. Adams and Mr. Calhoun, on the subject of associating their names on the same ticket; and, at the same time, I bad almost daily conversations with General Brown on the same subject. At his suggestion I addressed several letters to Mr. Taylor on the subject, both before and after the determination was formed to substitute Mr. Calhoun's name for General Jackson's on Mr. Adams's ticket. With Mr. Taylor I had long been in habits of friendly intercourse and correspondence; but these letters were written expressly at the suggestion of General Brown. It is a fact very generally known that the general is so disabled by the paralytic affection, under which he has been laboring for more than three years, that he writes only with his left hand, and with great difficulty. His confidential correspondence has been carried on almost exclusively by myself, and in the communications with Mr. Taylor, to which I have just referred, I spoke his sentiments and not my own. In opening a correspondence of this sort with any individual, I have always been careful to state that I was merely acting as the amanuensis of the general
, though I may not have deemed it necessary in every succeeding communication to state my authority. I consider it impossible, however, that any one of my correspondents could have labored under any misapprehension on this point.
In my correspondence with Mr. Taylor I remember distinctly that expectations were held out which my conversations with Mr. Calhoun did not warrant. It is due to truth to say that they were derived from my conversations with General Brown, and given upon his authority. He certainly did think that Mr. Calhoun secretly preferred Mr. Adams to General Jackson ; but I am compelled to believe that this impression was the work of his own sanguine and enthusiastic temper, and that it was not authorized by any assurance on the part of Mr. Calhoun. A review of the whole ground forces this conviction upon me, and I am confirmed in it by recent conversations with General Brown himself. The tenor of Mr. Calhoun's conversations with the general, as repeated to me by the latter, is in accordance with all Mr. Calhoun said to me. He left it to Mr. Adams's friends to act as their interest dictated, maintaining himself an attitude of neutrality between Mr. Adams and General Jackson. It is to be remembered that General Brown, although the friend of Mr. Calhoun, was also, and still is, the warm friend of Mr. Adams; that he has done everything in his power to promote his election; and those who know him well are aware that his warm and generous devotion to his friendsa trait of character in which he is excelled by no man livinghas sometimes biassed his judgment in favor of his wishes. In my correspondence with Mr. Taylor I was governed by his impressions, and can only be held responsible for communicating them correctly. My letters were always submitted to him before they were sent, and error of this sort is, therefore, not to be presumed. I have made this statement in consequence of an intimation recently made to General Brown that my correspondence with Mr. Taylor may, in case of necessity, be used to establish the fact of a pledge on the part of Mr. Calhoun to support the election of Mr. Adams. I do it from a sense of duty to Mr. Calhoun, and to put the whole transaction on its true ground. I do it of my own motion, and without the knowledge of any person whatever. That General Brown was betrayed by the warmth of his feelings into opinions which his conversations with Mr. Calhoun did not authorize, I cannot doubt. That I should be equally in error is less remarkable. I supposed-what I can no longer believe-that Mr. Calhoun had given General Brown assurances which, from my youth, he had not thought proper to confide to me. It will not be considered surprising that these impressions were so readily adopted by me, when I acknowledge that my own wishes were in accordance with them; that, although I have never had any personal preference for Mr. Adams, and although I am well aware of his defects of temper, I have considered him better fitted by the course of his experience than General Jackson to administer the government.
John A. Dix. Washington City, February 20, 1825.
On this paper is the following endorsement :
“Cooperstown, New York, Norember 17, 1828. “The above is a copy of a memorandum made by me, and specified in order to guard against any misrepresentations of a transaction therein explained. I have never communicated its contents to any one, excepting a friend in New York, and that in the year 1826, more than twelve months after it was written. In September last I thought proper to apprise Mr. Calhoun of the existence of such a paper, and it is now for the first time communicated to him, to be put on file among his papers, and to be used whenever it may be necessary to repel unfounded imputations in relation to the matter of which it treats.
“Joux A. Dix."
(Vol. I, page 156.)
LETTERS RELATING TO THE CANADIAN REBELLION IN 1837.
Thomas G. Ridout to John J. Morgan,
Toronto, December 19, 1837. MY DEAR SIR, -The extraordinary events which have taken place here and throughout this Province within the last fortnight have, no doubt, excited a good deal of interest at New York, particularly with yourself and Mrs. Morgan. I am now happy to say that the insurrectionists are entirely broken down and dispersed, several hundred infatuated men being taken prisoners, and the principal leaders either concealed or fled to the United States.
Among the latter Dr. Rolph is included, as well as Mr. Bidwell, both formerly friends of Dr. and Robert Baldwin. I understand that they have gone down to New York; and as you might still suppose that their friendship continued, I think it but justice to Robert to let you know that Dr. Rolph, before his departure, acted a very treacherous part toward Robert Baldwin, on the occasion of being bearers together of a flag of truce from the Governor to the rebels, on Tuesday, the 5th instant; for it appears that, after delivering their message and receiving a reply, Dr. Rolph lingered a few minutes behind Robert, and took that opportunity to advise the rebels not to lose another half-hour in making their attack upon the city, from which they were only one mile distant. This advice, it seems, they had not courage to follow; and the doctor, finding that the rebels had lost their only chance of success, decamped from town that very night, and made his escape across the river Niagara. He went on horseback, and was twice stopped on the road by parties of our militia ; but, telling some very plausible story respecting his journey, they let him go. His papers have since been seized, and it is discovered beyond a doubt that he was the prime mover of all our disturbances.
Mr. Bidwell left the Province at his own request, and with the Governor's permission. It is supposed that he is in some degree implicated. At all events, suspicion attached to him, and it was the most prudent course he could take.
Robert Sullivan and his family have moved into town, and are staying at the doctor's, as he was threatened with destruction had he remained in the country, and is even now afraid that his house will be burnt. Augustus is a lieutenant in the militia, on duty at the garrison, and Henry has attached himself to the bank guard. We consist of a Spartan band of thirty dreadful fighters, with sixty stand of arms and two thousand rounds of ball cartridge, a week's supply of provisions, wood, and water; doors and windows barricaded with eight-inch timber, having every convenience in the way of loop-holes, etc. For the first three days (viz., 5th, 6th, and 7th of December) we held the bank with a devoted garrison one hundred and twenty strong-all doomed men, in our own opinion-and occupied three of the nearest houses with eighty more. However, we were in little or no danger after the first night, having then only eighteen men in the building; and had the rebels marched directly into town, as they first intended, they might have succeeded, as we had only two hundred and fifty men under arms, and those very much scattered. Their booty would have been great, as we had in this bank alone $600,000 in gold and silver coin; there were besides six thousand stand of arms at the City Hall, and large quantities of ammunition and public stores of every description, besides two field-pieces at the garrison, with only twenty men to guard them. The prisoners now say that their first attack was to have been made upon the Bank of Upper Canada, and that Mackenzie had promised them for their share £40,000 of the plunder, reserving the remainder to carry on the war. The next night (viz., Tuesday, the 5th) we were pretty well prepared, having a force of ninety men in the bank, and the doors barricaded ; and on the following day we completed the defence of our windows under the directions of Captain Ma