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and profligacy. On both sides the press was virulent, libellous, and mean. No privacy was safe, no confidence was sacred; even the tombs of the illustrious dead were violated, and their ashes defiled. The arts of party warfare were more insidious than the arts of savage treachery, and its arms more ruthless than the tomahwk or the scalping knife. Calumny and falsehood were the usual resources of the most violent partisans, and the only weapons that they never for a moment laid aside. The brave soldier was described as a malignant savage, and the experienced statesman as a man who had purchased by intrigue a position that he was determined to maintain by corruption. It must be most sincerely hoped that an era may never again arrive in our history to be stamped so indelibly with the brand of shame; that public opinion will ever require of the public press a more decent regard to the charities of life, and the duties of truth.
Since he was succeeded in the Presidency by General Jackson, Mr. Adams has still taken an active part in public affairs, and represented his native district in Congress. In this body he has taken the stand to which his eminent talents and distinguished services fully entitle him. His reports on the Bank of the United States and on Manufactures are among the ablest papers to be found among the records of our political bodies. His speeches are marked with the stern and singular independence which has characterized his whole life, and command the respect and attention which must always be awarded to a man of fearless and uncompromising integrity. Long may he be spared to the councils of the nation—long enough to witness the passing away of party preju, dices, and to enjoy the fruition of that fame which has been purchased by the devotion of a life to his country.
ANDREW JACKSON was born on the 15th day of March, 1767. His father was an Irishman, who landed at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1765, and settled at Waxaw, about forty-five miles above Camden, where the subject of our narrative was born. Soon after his birth his father died, leaving three sons to be provided for by their mother. She appears to have discharged the duties devolved upon her, in an exemplary manner. She had not the means to give all her children a liberal education; but Andrew, whom she intended for the ministry, was sent to school, where he continued until the war of the revolution interrupted his studies.
At the age of fourteen, Andrew Jackson, in company with his brother Robert, entered the American camp, and commenced his career in the service of his country. He was prompted to this course partly by the recommendations of his mother, and partly by the example of his elder brother, who had previously joined the army, and fallen a victim to the fatigues of his first campaign. Jackson met with no opportunity for the display of his military talent during this period. A circumstance, however, which strongly illustrates the unyielding and independent obstinacy of his character, may be related. In an attack of the British on Waxaw, eleven Americans had been taken prisoners, and among them were the two Jacksons. The evening after their capture, Andrew was accosted by a British officer, who ordered him, in an imperious tone, to clean his boots. This order he scornfully refused to obey, alleging that he expected such treatment only as was due to a prisoner of war. Incensed at bis reply, the officer aiined a blow at his head with a drawn sword, which the boy parried by throwing up his left hand, not, however, without receiving a wound, of which the scar yet remains. His brother, for a similar offence, received a deep and dangerous cut on his head.
The brothers were conveyed to jail, where their wounds were wholly neglected. That of Andrew was slight, but his brother's brought on an inflammation of the brain, which, a few days after his liberation, ended in death. They were soon exchanged, and returned to their mother, who died shortly after her son. Andrew Jackson was thus left alone in the world, afflicted with disease brought on by the hardships he had undergone, and with the small-pox, which broke out on him at the same time.
His life was for a while in great danger. On his recovery, he somewhat injudiciously began to squander his estate, but at length, foreseeing the consequences of his extravagance, he betook himself to a regular course of study. He acquired some knowledge of the learned languages, and continued his literary pursuits until he reached the age of eighteen. The pulpit, for which he had been designed by his mother, was now abandoned for the bar. He commenced the study of law in 1784, at Salisbury, in North Carolina, under the direction of Spruce M'Cay, Esq., and subsequently continued it under Colonel John Stokes. At the end of two years, he obtained a license from the Judges to practise law, and continued in the State until the spring of 1788.
He had come to the conclusion that this State presented few induce ments to a young attorney. There was no chance of his rising by the aid of influential relations. The world was all before him where to choose. The ties which bind man to his birthplace, were with him obliterated by the death of his kindred. The western parts of Tennessee, about this time, offered alluring prospects to young adventurers; and there we find Jackson soon after his departure from North Carolina. The state of society in the west, at this period, was not of the most refined or settled description. Tennessee was then a new, wild country, principally occupied by hardy borderers, among whom knowledge was scarce, and law a mystery. Jackson took up his residence at Nashville. There was but one lawyer in the country, and the knavish part of the community had so contrived as to retain him in their interest. Many merchants were entirely deprived of the means of enforcing the payment of their honest dues.
In this state of things, Jackson made his appearance at Nashville. Applications were immediately made to him for his professional services, and the morning after his arrival he issued seventy writs. His presence soon became a terror to the debtors in the place, and he was consequently involved in a great many broils, which, however, did not prevent his enjoying a profitable practice. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed Attorney General for the district, in which office he remained for several years. Indian depredations being then frequent on the Cumberland, Jackson was accustomed to aid actively in garrisoning the forts, and in pur. suing and chastising the enemy. In 1796, he was chosen a member of the Convention for framing a Constitution for the State. He was the same year elected a member of the House of Representatives in Congress, for the State of Tennessee. While in this capacity, it is on record that he gave his support to a measure, which offered an unhandsome slight to Wash. ington. When that great man was about to retire from his high station, a committee, of which James Madison was a member, drew up an address to him, in which his wisdom, firmness, and other eminent qualities, were eulogized in the warmest terms. Mr. Giles, of Virginia, moved to er punge all expressions of respect, as he wished him to retire, and thought that the time for lim to do so had arrived. This motion had the support of Mr. Jackson.
In Tennessee his popularity continued to increase, and in 1797 he was elected a Senator of Congress. His vote for a repeal of the alien law, was his only official act of note while he filled this station. About the middle of April, he asked leave to return home on private business. Permission was granted, and before the next session he resigned his seat. He was but a little more than thirty years of age, and hence, scarcely eligible by the Constitution at the time he was elected.
On his return to Tennessee, he was appointed Major General of the militia of that State. He held this commission till the year 1814. Soon rupt his
after his resignation of his seat in Congress, he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of the State. He subsequently resigned this office through a distrust of his legal acquirements. He retired to a plantation ten miles from Nashville, and for several years nothing occurred to inter
repose. The acts of Congress of the 6th of February and July, 1812, authorized the President to accept the services of fifty thousand volunteers. General Jackson addressed the militia subject to his orders, and the appeal to their patriotism was promptly answered. “Twenty-five hundred brave men placed themselves under his command, armed and equipped for war, and being duly authorized, he assembled them at Nashville in December. The weather, for that latitude, was very severe, and the earth was clad in white; but the hardy backwoodsmen bore their hardships as patiently as the trees of their native forests. They descended the Mississippi in January, in spite of cold and ice, to Natchez. Much honor is due to their chief for his exertions to preserve their ardor unabated, and his endeavors to establish discipline among them. But as there was no appearance of war in the south-west, their services were not needed, and General Jackson received an order from the Secretary of War to disband his troops, and deliver the public property in his possession to General Wilkinson. This order General Jackson thought fit to disobey. In spite of all opposition, he broke up his camp, and marched his troops homeward through the forests, sharing their hardships, and setting them an example of untiring patience and perseverance. At the close of the march, he disbanded his men, who returned to their respective homes. In a letter to the Secretary of War, he stated, that had he dismissed his forces on receiving the order, the sick would have suffered, and many would have been compelled by want to enlist in the regular service. In fine, his conduct was approved, and the expenses incurred were paid by government."
The volunteers, who had descended the river, having been discharged early in May, there was little expectation that they would again be called for.
Tennessee was too remotely situated in the interior of the country to expect their services would be required for her defence, and hitherto the British had discovered no serious intention of waging operations against any part of Louisiana. Their repose, however, was not of long duration. The Creek Indians, inhabiting the country lying between the Chatahochee and Tombigbee, and extending from the Tennessee river to the Florida line, had lately manifested strong symptoms of hostility towards the United States. This disposition was greatly strengthened through means used by the northern Indians, who were then making preparations for a war against the United States, and who wished to engage the southern tribes in the same enterprise.
An artful impostor had, about this time, sprung up amongst the Shawnees, who, by passing for a prophet, acquired astonishing influence among his people. He succeeded in exciting a hatred against the inhabitants of the United States, which soon after broke forth in acts of violence. His brother Tecumseh was dispatched to the southern tribes, to kindle in them the same temper. Hostilities began to spread along the whole line of our southern and south-western frontier. A regular communication was kept up between
the Creeks or Muscogees and the northern tribes ; whilst frequent depredations were committed on the border settlers. By one of the incursions, in the summer of 1812, several families had been murdered in a shocking manner, near the mouth of the Ohio ; and, shortly afterwards, another party, entering the limits of Tennessee, had butchered two families of women and children. These acts were not sanctioned by the Creek government, for on application to the chiefs, the offenders were punished with death. No sooner was this done, however, than the spirit of the greater part of the nation suddenly kindled into civil war. War clubs, painted red, were seen every where among them, and it was evident that some deep and settled purpose of revenge was working in their minds.
The first ebullition of their rage fell upon those of their countrymen who were known to be peaceably disposed towards the United States. Incited by Wetherford, one of the principal chiefs, they then proceeded to the attack of Fort Mimms in the territory of Mississippi. This fort contained at that time about one hundred and fifty men, besides a considerable number of women and children, who had fled there for protection. The Indians carried it by assault. The slaughter was indiscriminate. Nearly three hundred persons, including women and children, were put to death with the most savage barbarity. But seventeen of the whole number in the fort escaped to tell of the dreadful catastrophe.
The news of this outrage produced a great excitement in Tennessee. A number of respectable citizens convened at Nashville, and after conferring with the Governor and General Jackson, urged the propriety of immediately marching an army into the heart of the Creek nation. This measure was recommended to the Legislature, and that body passed a law authorizing the executive to call into the field three thousand five hundred of the militia. Three hundred thousand dollars were voted for the support of these men. By order of the Governor, General Jackson, though yet suffering from a fractured arm, (the consequence of an affray, which has been variously represented,) called out two thousand of the volunteers and militia of his division. To this force were joined five hundred horsemen, under Colonel Coffee, who was authorized to add to his corps as many mounted riflemen as he could gather. He was ordered forthwith to proceed to the frontier, and take measures for its defence, while General Jackson should collect and organize as many as possible of his former army.
Every exertion was now made to hasten the preparations for a vigorous campaign. The day of rendezvous being arrived, and the General not being sufficiently recovered to attend in person, he forwarded by his aid. de-camp, Major Reid, an address to be read to the troops, accompanied by an order for the establishment of the police of the camp. His orders may produce a smile on the countenance of the disciplined soldier, but to the rude and independent settlers under his command they seemed intolerably rigorous and severe.
For the police of the camp, he announced the following order:
“ The chain of sentinels will be marked, and the sentries posted, precisely at ten o'clock to day.
“No sutler will be suffered to sell spirituous liquors to any soldier,