8.24.2014

Letter to Mateo Gonzalez Manrique from Andrew Jackson

Head Quarters 7 Military District Town of Mobile
August 24th. 1814

Sir

          I had the honor (accidentally)  to receive your reply to my note of the 12th. ultimo, handed to you by my friend Captain Gordon.
          Passing in silence the motives which induced your reply--I will remark that I regret extremely the hostile evasive spirit which prevades you whole letter, to inconsitant with the frank high Spanish character you have assumed. You are the Governor and (I suppose) the representative of his Catholic Majesty, who is professedly in a state of peace amity and strict  nutrality with the United States--bound by solemn Treaties to use force to keep the Indians inhabiting the Territory of his Majesty from levying war or depredating on the citizens of the United States, their property, or the Indians residing within our Territory. Under these solemn obligations you urge motives of humanity and the rights of hospitality as your Justification for extending to the creeks at war with the United States and at peace with Spain, the friendly open arms of your government. A murderous rebellious barbarous Banditti who have not only embrued their hands in the innocent blood of our helpless women and children, But raised the exterminating Hatchet against their own nation, who had been excited to these horrid deeds of butchery by an open enemy great Britain, and supplied with the means of carrying on the war by his Catholic Majesty. In possession of all these facts Our Christianity would blush at taking shelter under the benign influence of humanity and hospitality for Justification. Yet we may not possess that refined meek christian forgiveness which has operated on your Excellency in washing from your recollection the Savage brutal and indiscriminate massacre of our helpless women and children at Fort Mimmes Duck River and elsewhere, and we could not take them to our parternal bosoms without any evidence of their repentance, and put into their hands the means for a repetition of such acts in open violation of solemn Treaties without anticipating a day of retribution. I enclose you an extract from the treaty entered into by your government with the United States for your inspection presuming you must have forgotten its existence in as much as you do not mention it once in your letter--I have also the honor to inform you that on the 9th. Instant a capitulation and Treaty of peace was concluded between the Creek nation and the United States, By which the creek nation has ceeded to the united States all the lands adjoining the Spanish Territory, And having received information that the refugee Banditti from the creek nation now in Pensacola are drawing rations from your government and under the drill of a British officer preparing with your knowledge (if not consent) for resuming their acts of barbarity against the citizens of Our frontier, I have directed my patrols to reconoitre the country North of the Spanish line, and treat all those renegadoes as enemies who are caught above your line, until you explicitly avow them under your Jurisdiction, and hold yourself accountable for their conduct, as stipulated by the treaty of 1795. I beg your Exellency will receive my unfeigned thanks for your liberal and unasked for acknowledgement that the Territory washed by Appalachicola is not claimed by the Spanish government and that the United States are at liberty to expel her enemy who has taken possession of that point and occupy the same as Indian terrytory. To sum up the whole, Justice to my government compells me to remark if your Excellencys researches after facts had equalled your industry for evasion and inuendo, you might have acquired information that Monsieur La Fitte commander of the piratical band had been long since arrested and confined, and that he is now under legal trial for the multifarious crimes and piracies complained of--As your Excellency should have Francis, McQueen Peter and others forming that Matricidal band for whom your christian bowels seem to sympathize and bleed so freely. But to conclude, in part a Just retaliation has been taken by the United States, And if again excited she has still means of retaliation and vengeance within her grasp.
        The powers of Spain are competent, she must assume the nutral character she is pledged to the United States for, and restrain the Tomhawk and Scalping knife, or the head which excites their use shall feel the sharpness of their edge. I know that head. I am well advised of the head, which has heretofore furnished and excited the use of these savage implements. But it is not on defenceless women and children that retaliation will be made but on the head which countenanced and excited the barbarity. He is the responsible person and more barberous than the savage whom he makes his instrument of execution. An Eye for an Eye, Toothe for Toothe, and Scalp for Scalp--
         Mr. Hobert a citizen of this place of good character, who has business in Pensacola, will hand you this communication, which I hope will reach you with more expedition than yours did me to which this is an answer--I shall expect you to give protection to Mr. Hobert, and shield him from savage insult whilst in your city--
         With a tender of respectful regard for the person of your Excellency, I have the honor to be very respectfully yr. mo obedt Servt

                                                                                                           Andrew Jackson
                                                                                                           Major Genl. Comdg.

Courtesy of the Andrew Jackson Papers Project 

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