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Jackson on a Creek War Expedition to Pensacola, Politics, and a Friend Who He Hopes Will Stay Sober and Pursue his Profession
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“if he does this he will & must succeed ... this prudent course will ensure him wealth & respectability”

Writing to comrade-in-arms Richard Call, Jackson discusses cattle procurement for his troops in the Creek War in Florida: “On my march to Pensacola a fresh trail of Cattle was discovered diverting its course...  The Spanish guard at Capt. Bayles was surprised & captured & six Indians killed...” Jackson was still concerned with the rightful owners being paid.

Recognition as a hero after the War of 1812, especially his victory over the British at the Battle of New Orleans, catapulted Jackson into the political arena. Here, soon-to-be U.S. Senator Jackson looks for support from Alabama. Turning to the topic of a mutual friend, Captain Easter, Jackson urges recipient Call to encourage Easter to stay sober and focus on his career.

ANDREW JACKSON. Autograph Letter Signed, to Richard K. Call. “The Hermitage,” near Nashville, Tenn., February 3, 1823. 3 pp, 8¼ x 12¾ in., on two conjoined sheets. With address leaf in Jackson’s hand, and light partial “NASH.T. FEB 5” postmark.

Inventory #23213.02       Price: $13,500

Transcript

                                                                                    Hermitage  Febry 3rd 1823

Dear Call

            I have just recd your letter of the 22nd Decbr last, and of yours of the 15th of the same month accompanying one from Mr. Manuel, with his memorial and affidavits. These I have prepared to forward to Major [John Henry] Eaton [Jackson’s future Secretary of War and protagonist in the “Petticoat Affair” scandal] although I have just recd his letter advising me that he has recd one from you on the subject of those claims, and 
stating that it is useless to forward them. - in looking over the letters & reports of Sept. Octbr & November 1814, and Col. Bentons [later Sen. Thomas Benton] communications who in Sept. & October commanded at Ft. Montgomery - Capt. Bayles & Mr Collins came up under the pretext of buying Cattle; about that time, all the Cattle in the neighbourhood
 of Chrispo Cowpens west side of the Perdedo was carried away by Indians, and great quantities from Alabama River above Ft. Montgomery. Two persons exerted that Mr Collins & Bayles were endeavouring to obtain supplies for the Indians & British - Bayles was confined & sent to Mobile, and I believe Collins was also detained, as it was reported--he was contractor for furnishing Pensacola with Beef –

On my march to Pensacola a fresh trail of Cattle was discovered diverting its course toward Pensacola, The Spanish guard at Capt. Bayles was surprised & captured & six Indians killed, and Bayles taken by me as a guide - There we received information that this drove of Cattle had been secreted in a bend of the Perdedo on the East side, a detachment was sent after them with orders to pursue the trail, collect and bring them in - This order was executed - the cattle delivered to the contractor with orders to kill for the army - such as - <p. 2>  might be fit & to issue it to the army on proper returns, to keep the marks & brands, and pay the owners for the beef slaughtered, and return the stock cattle to the proper owners - The greater part of those cattle were claimed by citizens of the United States, returned to them, and those slaughtered paid for by the contractor or reported to me; These cattle having been drove from the Territory of the U. States, their trail followed & regained, should any of Mr. Manuels Cattle have been found with them, and slaughtered, the contractor having got full returns for the Beef & ordered to pay for it, will have to be looked to for remuneration - all these facts are before congress if the call is made & Col. Benton in the Senate – Therefore I have no idea that the claim will be admitted. –

            Major Blue commanded the Indians, I never heard that a solitary horse had been brought away by them - and indeed it is not likely that thered sticks [Creek Indians]- would leave any Horses west of the escambia When they
 had so much use for them, and when they had sole control & possession of that country so long. from these facts you can say to Mr. Manuel all I can do is to send
 them to Major Eaton, my report of these facts, one in the hands of the Government. –

            Before this reaches you, you will have been advised that [William R.] King & [William] Kelly
 are elected senators for Alabama - I regret that our friend Colo. King could not have been brought in. – [John W.] Walkers resignation was kept secret - and Kelly only heard
 of it & repaired to the assembly and arived there only three days before the election. The plan to favour the views of the Secretary of the Treasury has failed but it was a hard contest. Still I be <p. 3> lieve many votes were given for, [William H.] Crawford & [John] McKinly by men not in the support of the Sec. of the Treasury. –

            I am happy to hear of your success in your profession. I really hope that
 our friend Easter may meet with equal success. I hope he will abandon every thing 
but his profession and pursue that with attentive industry - if he does this he will
 & must succeed - should he ever return to disopation [sic] he is gone to ruin – I write him to day - I have been gratified by being informed, that he is attentive
 to business, and sober - a continuation in this prudent course will ensure him wealth & respectability - Should you see in him any symtoms of a departure from this, as my friend & his friend, I pray you admonish him, but I trust & hope that his own prud[ence] will guide him right. We have calculated on seeing you in this country next fall - Mrs. J & the little Andrews request to be presented to you affectionately - present me to Mgr Nicholas, Colo. Miller, Mr. Overton if with you, Mr. David[s]on and all friends
 and accept assurances of my [friend]ship & Esteem-

                                                                                    Andrew Jackson

Capt Richard K Call   

[Plus address leaf and docketing]

Historical Background

Jackson begins by returning to unpaid claims from an expedition into West Florida from December 1814 to January 1815 during the Creek War.  Roaming the Escambia River in search of Creek warriors who escaped Jackson’s capture of Pensacola from the Spanish on November 7, 1814, Major Uriah Blue and the 39th U.S. Infantry suffered from lack of supplies, especially beef, until a large quantity of stolen cattle was captured from the Indians. Jackson explains the actions he ordered to allow the rightful owners to be paid for cattle used by his troops, but some of those claims were still unpaid and it was now up to Congress to act.

Jackson spends the second part of the letter on politics. In 1822, the Tennessee legislature nominated Jackson for president and appointed him to the Senate to strengthen his political credentials. He was sworn in on March 4, 1823, a month after writing this letter. With the 1824 presidential contest and regional “favorite son” politics in mind, Jackson mentions key players in early Alabama politics: William R. King and John W. Walker were elected as Democratic Republicans as the first United States Senators when the state was admitted to the Union in 1819. King served until 1844, but Walker became ill and was replaced by William Kelly on December 12, 1822.  John McKinley, also mentioned, lost by one vote in the Alabama legislature. 

Another character briefly mentioned in the letter, Thomas Hart Benton raised a company and served on Jackson’s War of 1812 staff. But in 1813 Jackson was William Carroll’s second in a duel against Jesse Benton, causing a falling out with his brother that eventually resulted in a bloody tavern brawl, leaving Jackson with a bullet in his shoulder. The two would renew their friendship in 1823 when both were in the Senate.

William H. Crawford of neighboring Georgia, who had served as Madison and Monroe’s Treasury Secretary from 1816-1825, was nominated through a traditional, if informal, Congressional caucus. Jackson was nominated by a Pennsylvania convention a month later. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay also ran. Jackson had the greatest number of votes (both popular and electoral), but no clear majority, so the election was thrown into the House of Representatives, which elected Quincy Adams in what many called the “corrupt bargain.” Jackson would win the presidency in 1828.

Richard Keith Call (1792-1862) was a Special Aide to Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans (1815). He was promoted to captain in 1818, resigned in 1822, and settled in Florida territory. He became a Pensacola lawyer and was a member of the Territorial Council in 1822, a brigadier general of the West Florida militia in 1823, a Delegate to the U.S. Congress (1823-1825) and Governor of the Territory of Florida (1835-1840, 1841-1844).

Condition

Very Good. Scattered soiling, some loss at folds and from seal, losses in-filled and folds reinforced by a professional conservator.


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