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Jackson, Andrew (1767-1845) to William B. Lewis

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05661 Author/Creator: Jackson, Andrew (1767-1845) Place Written: Nashville, Tennessee Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 28 August 1832 Pagination: 4 p. ; 24.8 x 20.2 cm

Summary of Content: Writes to Lewis about the widespread opposition to the issue of nullification. Declares that "Alabama is firm as a Rock for [Martin] Van Buren and against nullification," and names a few men opposed to it as well. Proclaims that nullification is " ... too absurd to be attempted by the patriotic south... South Carolina to do an act to destroy her own Liberty & property, ... to become a vassal of a foreign government, or to fall a victim to the barbarous hands of their own slaves." Informs that he is " ... prepared to act with promptness & energy and should the laws be resisted ... the laws will be duly executed and the Union preserved." Advises Lewis not to fear and confidently declares that he "could raise in Tennessee 10,000 Volunteers to put down opposition to the laws and nullification." Asserts that the nullifiers are exaggerating their support to alarm the administration.

Background Information: Lewis was a planter, politician, and quartermaster for Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812. He served as second auditor of Treasury and was a member of Jackson's Kitchen Cabinet.

Full Transcript: Hermitage
August 28th. 1832
My Dr Major
I have recd your letters of the 15th. & 17th. instant, and after a careful perusal, cannot help believing that you are a little hipped, ...and under that atmosphere, greatly alarmed. I assure you I have no information that would induce me to be alarmed; I have no fears of the republic - I am told by Mr. Brown, a Georgian, and who is well acquainted with judge Clayton, that he is misrepresented, and altho opposed to the tariff, more so against Calhoun & nullification - I have no fears of Sumpkin his letters to me give evidence of his firmness and opposition to nullification, or any act with the Indians to involve the Executive [2] Alabama is as firm as a Rock for Van Buren and against nullification. I have just recd. a letter from Genl Coffee and another from the Recd. A.J. Crawford, Creek Nation near Georgia, which gives the most flattering account of V.B. popularity and of Moors prostration. I pray you fear not, and say to Blair to treat the Idea of nullification as too absurd to be attempted by the patriotic South is what, So Carolina to do an act to destroy her own Liberty & property, and the best hopes of the world, to become the vasal [sic] of a foreign government, or fall a victim to the [struck: to the] [inserted: barbarous] hands of their own slaves - Every act will be taken to magnify & alarm - I am prepared to act with promptness & energy - and should the laws be resisted, to enforce them with [3] energy & promptness - our government is sufficiently strong for self preservation, and under my administration, the laws will be duly exercised and the union preserved, regardless of the reckless course of the great nullifier of the South and all his [illegible] [inserted: or any result that can flow from it.] The former Calhounites [inserted: in Tennessee] are open mouthed against his course, and ready to seize their musketts, to execute the laws - I never heard a more united voice against any thing than against nullification. I could raise in Tennessee 10,000 Volunteers to put down opposition to the laws and nullification - fear not, the union shall be preserved. I regret the absence of so many of the heads of Departments [4] and I will hasten back as early as I can. I shall leave here by the 10th. proximo & reach the city as early as I can by easy stages - arouse my friends and the friends of the union, despair not. The nullifyers will [strikeout] exagerate to alarm, & increase their own strength, the best way to athwart them is by laughing at their folly, weakness, and wickedness, shewing no alarm but a readiness allways to execute the laws - We have gained a [triump] in Ky. Breathit is elected by a majority of upwards of 1700 - this is true, notwithstanding all the fears of the timid. I saw Mary & Eaton, both well; they will be with me on thursday. give my respects to all inquiring friends. I inclose this to Mr Kendall, that he may read & inclose it to you. in haste yr friend
Andrew Jackson

Major Wm B Lewis -
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People: Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845
Lewis, William Berkeley, 1784-1866
Calhoun, John Caldwell, 1782-1850

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: PresidentNullificationSlaverySlave RebellionAfrican American HistoryPoliticsLawGovernment and Civics

Sub Era:

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