Letter from Andrew Jackson to Simeon Knight

March 30, 1815

    The quarter Master General Simeon Knight will pay for the powder stated in the above account agreable to the recpt of Henry Flower of the 23d. Of Decbr 1814 and the certificate of Major Genl Philamon Thomas of the 14th. of March 1815 hereto annexed, whatever was the markett price of rifle powder at the date of the delivery thereof-- and not more-- one dollar pr pound appearing to be extravagant--

Andrew Jackson
Mjor Genl comdg
7th . M. District--


Head Quarters
Isle Dauphine
March 18th 1815--

    I received with great pleasure by the hands of Major Woodruff on the evening of the 16th. About 9 oclock yours of the 13th Inst. I communicated the contents immediately to Rear Admiral Malcolm and orders were issued for the cessation of hostilities, and to all detached Posts and ships to be withdrawn in our Respective Commands. I daily expect an Official communication (similar to what you received) from Mr Baker, in the meantime every preparation is making for the embarkation of this Force, and Ships are now sent away when we are able to put sufficient Provisions on board to take them to Bermuda, Victuallers from Jamaica must be here in a very few days when everything will be put on boards as quickly as possible and should I, by that time not have received any intelligence the Admiral and myself will have no hesitation of putting to Sea directly. I have requested Major Woodruff who went up to Mobile yesterday to acquaint the Commanding Officer that I would let him know the moment we were prepared to give up the For, which would be when the Transports could get out of the Bay, the Fort would be restored in every respect as when it fell into our possession with the exception only of a Brass Mortar cast in George the 2nd reign which had been sent away the day after.
    In the fulfilling the 1st Article of the Treaty I cannot consider the Meaning of “not causing  any destruction or carrying away any Artillery, or other Public Property, originally captured in the said forts or Places, and which shall remain therein upon the exchange of the ratification of this treaty, or any Slaves or other Property” having reference to any antecedent Period to the 18th Febry. The day of the exchange of Ratifications, because it is only from that time that the Article could be fulfilled in a long War; If those Negroes (the matter now in Question) belonged to the territory or City we were actually in occupation of, I should conceive we had no right to take them away; but by their coming away, they are virtually the same as Deserters or property taken away at any time of the War. I am obliged to say so much in justification of the right, but I have from the first, done all I could to prevent, and subsequently together with Admiral Malcolm have given every facility, and used every persuasion, that they should Return to their Masters, and many have done so; but I could not reconcile it to myself to abandon any, who from false reasoning perhaps, joined us during the Period of Hostilities, and have thus acted in violation of the laws of their Country and besides become obnoxious to their masters.
    Had it been an object to take the Negroes away they could have been embarked in the first Instance, but they have been permitted to remain in the hopes, that they might Return.
    I am much obliged to you for your offer of supplies and comforts for the sick and wounded. I send a Commissary to make a few purchases, and have directed him to call Upon Mr Livingston with this letter. I have the honor to be Sir Your obedient Servant.

John Lambert
General Commd


Letter from Andrew Jackson to Jean Baptiste Plauche' et al.

March 16, 1815

Fellow Soldiers--
    Popular favor has always been with me, a secondary object. My first wish, in political life, has been to be useful to my country. Yet I am not insensible to the good opinion of my fellow citizens; I would do much to obtain it; but, I cannot, for this purpose, sacrifice my own conscience, or what I conceive to be the interests of my country.
    These principles have prepared me to receive, with just satisfaction, the address you have presented. The first wish of my heart, the safety of your country, has been accomplished, and it affords me the greatest happiness to konw that the means taken to secure this object have met the approbation of those who have had the best opportunities of judging of their propriety, and who, from their various relations, might be supposed the most ready to censure any which had been improperty resorted to. The distinction you draw, gentlemen, between those who only declaim about civil rights and those who fight to maintain them, shews how just and practical a knowledge you have of the true principles of liberty-- without such knowledge all theory is useless or mischievous.
    Whenever the invaluable rights wheich we enjoy under our own happy constitution are threatened  by invasion, privileges the most dear, and which, in ordinary times, ought to be regarded as the most sacred, may be required to be infringed for their security. At such a crisis, we have only to determine whether we will suspend, for a time, the exercise of the latter, that we may secure the permanent enjoyment of the former. Is it wise, in such a moment, to sacrifice the spirit of the laws to the letter, and by adhering too strictly to the letter, lose the substance forever, in order that we may, for an instant, preserve the shadow? It is not to be imagined that the express provisions of any written law can fully embrace emergencies which suppose and occasion the suspension of all law, but the highest and the last, that of self preservation. No right is more precious to a freeman than that of suffrage, but had your election taken place on the 8th of January, would your declaimers have advised you to abandon the defense of your country in order to exercise this inestimable privilege of the polls? Is it to be supposed that your general, if he regarded the important trust committed to his chage, would have permitted you to preserve the constitution by an act which would have involved constitution, country and honor, in one undistinguished ruin?
    What is more justly important than personal liberty; yet how can the civil enjoyment of this privilege be made to consist with the order, subordination and discipline of a camp? Let the sentinel be removed by subpoena from his post, let writs of habeas corpus carry away the officers from the lines, and the enemy may conquer your country, by only employing lawyers to defend your constitution.
    Private property is held sacred in all good governments and particularly in our own, yet, shall the fear of invading it prevent a general grom marching his army over a cornfield, or burning a house which protects the enemy?
    These and a thousand other instances might be cited to shew that laws must sometimes be silent when necessity speaks. The only question with the friend of his country will be, have these laws been, was to made to be silent wantonly and unnecessarily? If necessity dictated the measure, if a resort to it was important for the preservation of those rights which we esteem so dear, and in defense of which we had so willingly taken up arms, surely it would not have been unbecoming in the commander in chief to have shrunk form the responsibility which it involved. He did not shrink from it. In declaring martial law, his object and his only object, was to embody the whole resources of the country for its defense That law, while it existed, necessarily suspended all rights and privileges inconsistent with its provisions. It is matter of surprise, that they who boast themselves the champions of those rights and privileges inconsistent with its provisions. It is matter of suprise, that they who boast themselves the champions of those rights and privileges whould not, when they were first put in danger by the proclamation of martial law, have manifested that lively sensibility of which they have since made so ostentatious a display. So far, however, was this form being the case, that this measure not only met, then, the open support of those who when their country was invaded thought resistance a virtue, and the silent approbation of all-- but even received the particular recommendation and encouragement of many who now inveigh the most bitterly against it. It was notuntil a victory, secured by that very measure, had lessened the danger which occasioned a resort to it, that the present feeling guardians of our rights discoered that the commanding general ought to have suffered his posts to be abandoned through the interference of a foreign agent-- his ranks to be thinned by desertion, and his whole army to be broken to pieces by mutiny; while yet a powerful force of the enemy remained on your coast and within a few hours sail of your city.
    I thought and acted differently. It was not until discovered that the civil power stood no longer in need of the military for its support, that I restored to it its usual functions; and the restoration was not delayed a moment after that period had arrived.
    Under these circumstances, fellow soldiers, your resolution to let others declaim about privileges and constitutional rights, will never draw upon you the charge of being indifferent to those inestimable blessings-- your attachment to them has been proved by a stronger title-- that of having nobly fought to preserve them.  You who have thus supported them against the open pretensions of a powerful enemy will never I trust, surrender them to the underhand machinations of men who stand aloof in the hour of peril, and who, when the danger is gone, claim to be the “defenders of your constitution.”
    An honorable peace has dissolved our military connection; and, in a few days, I shall quit a country endeared to me by the most pleasing recollections. Among the most prominent of these, gentlemen, are the those I shall ever entertain of the distinguished bravery, the exact discipline, the ardent zeal and the important services of your corps. The offered friendship of each individual composing it, I receive with pleasure and sincerely reciprocate. I shall always pride myself on a fraternity with such men, created in such a cause.

Andrew Jackson
Maj. Gen. Com'dg 7th military dist.

Letter from Andrew Jackson to James Monroe

Head Quarters 7. M. District
New Orleans
16th March 1815

    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 16th. Ulto advising me of the ratification of the Treaty of peace between Gt Britain & the United States.
    In conformity with your directions I have forwarded to the officer commanding His B. Majesty's forces in this quarter, information of that event.
    The Tennessee & Kentucky  militia will be immediately marched to their respective states & discharged, without receiving any pay beforehand. The Louisiana & Mississippi militia will be discharged & receive their payment, here. It is hoped that the necessary funds will be provided for the payment of the former, in suitable time.
    Difficulties are experienced from the want of means to procure forage & transportation on the return march-- Capt Simeon Knight having not yet arrived. On this account I have offered my Bills on the Governor of Tennessee payable in Treasury  notes at Nashville.
    I have received no intelligence from Capt. Knight except by your letter of the 7th. Ulto.
    The greater portion of the Regulars in this District, having engaged to serve, during the war, expect to be immediately discharged. As you have not mentioned them in your instructions, I shall be glad to hear from you on the subject as soon as possible.
    So soon as I get the troops mustered out of service, here, it is my intention to remove my Head Quarters to Nashville; at which place I shall expect to receive the orders of my government. Major General Gaines will be left in the immediate command of this section of the District, & I am happy to commit it to one in whom the Government has such high & deserved confidence. I have the honor to be sr yr. Very obt st.

Andrew Jackson
Major Genl. Comdg.

P.S. I enclose you a copy of my general order discharging the militia.
A. J.


Proclamation of Peace

General Orders                                                                                    Head-Quarters, 7th Military District
Adjutant's General's Office,
New-Orleans, March 13, 1815

    The commanding general, with the most lively emotions of joy and of gratitude to Heaven, announces to the troops under his command that a treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain, was ratified and exchanged at Washington, on the 17th of February last.
    In consequence whereof, he loses not an instant in revoking and annulling the general order issued on the 15 [16] day of December last, proclaiming martial law, which is hereby revoked annulled and countermanded; and he orders all hostilities immediately to cease against the troops and subjects of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
    And in order that the general joy attending this event may extend to all manner of persons, the commanding general proclaims and orders a pardon for all military offences heretofore committed in this district, and orders that all persons in confinement under such charges, be immediately discharged, By order,

Robert Butler
Adjutant General

Letter from Andrew Jackson to John Lambert

Head Quarters 7th. Military District
New Orleans March 13th. 1815

    It is with great satisfaction that I inform you of my having received this day official advice of the ratification and interchange of the treaty of peace between the United States and Great Brittain
    A copy of the treaty and of the ratification will be presented to you by <my Aide de Camp Mr Livingston> major Joseph woodruff of the 3d Infty, who will express to you more fully than I can in the compass of a letter those sentiments which the new state of things between the two nations inspires.
    I have by special direction of the Secretary at War ordered an immediate cessation of hostilities and by the like order make this communication to you.
    Mr. Livingston is empowered to make such arrangements for the restorations required by the 1st. Articles of the treaty and to receive all places now in your possession, as well as the slaves mentioned in your former letters, and all public property, conformably to the provisions of the said treaty.
    Any facility or accomodation that may be required for your supplies or the comforts of your sick or wounded in my power will be given, with the greatest pleasure. I have the honor to be With the greatest Respect Sir Your most obdt. Servt.

Andrew Jackson
Major Genl comdg.


Letter to Thomas Jefferson from James Madison discussing Treaty of Ghent and other news

March 12, 1815
President Madison discusses the Treaty of Ghent and other international news in a letter to Thomas Jefferson:
Washington Mar 12, 1815
Dear Sir,
 It was long desirable that an Expose of the causes and character of the War between the U. S. & G. B. should remedy the mischief produced by the Declaration of the Prince Regent & other misstatements which had poisoned the opinion of the world on the subject. Since the pacification in Europe & the effect of that and other occurrences in turning the attention of that quarter of the World towards the U. S. the antidote became at once more necessary & more hopeful. It was accordingly determined soon after the meeting of Congs. that a correct & full view of the War, should be prepared & made public in the usual Demiofficial form. The commencement of it was however somewhat delayed by the probability of an early termination of the Negotiations at Ghent, either, in a peace, or in a new epoch particularly inviting a new appeal to the neutral public. The long suspension of intelligence from our Envoys, & the critical state of our affairs at home, as well as abroad, finally overruled this delay, and the execution of the task was committed to Mr. Dallas. Altho' he hastened it as much as the nature of it, and his other laborious attentions admitted, it was not finished in time for publication before the news of peace arrived. The latter pages had not even been struck off at the press. Under these circumstances, it became a question whether it should be published with a prefatory notice that it was written before the cessation of hostilities, and thence derived its spirit & language; or should be suppressed, or written over with a view to preserve the substantial vindication of our Country against prevailing calumnies, and avoid asperities of every sort unbecoming the change in the relations of the two Countries. This last course, tho' not a little difficult might have been best in itself, but it required a time & labour not to be spared for it, and the suppression was preferred to the first course, which wd. have been liable to misconstructions of an injurious tendency. The printed copies however amounting to several hundred are not destroyed, and will hereafter contribute materials for a historical review of the period which the document embraces. I have thought a perusal of it might amuse an hour of your leisure; requesting only that as it is to be guarded agst. publication, you will be so good as either to return the Copy, or to place it where it will be in no danger of escaping. You will observe, from the plan & cast of the Work, that it was meant for the eye of the British people, and of our own, as well as for that of the Neutral world. This threefold object increased the labor not a little, and gives the composition some features not otherwise to be explained.
The dispatch vessel with the peace via France, has just arrived. It brings little more than duplicates of what was recd. via England. The affairs at Vienna remain in a fog, which rather thickens than disperses. The situation of France also has yet it would seem to pass some clearing up shower. The peace between this Country & G. B. gives sincere pleasure there as relieving the Govt. and the Nation, from the dilemma, of humiliating submissions to the antineutral measures of G. Britain, or a premature contest with her. In Spain, every thing suffers under the phrenzy of the Throne, and the fanaticism of the People. But for our peace with England, it is not impossible, that a new War from that quarter would have been opened upon us. The affair at New Orleans will perhaps be a better Guarantee agst. such an event.
Mr. Smith will have communicated to you the result of our consultation on the transportation of the Library.
We are indulging hopes of paying a trip soon to our farm; and shall not fail, if it be practicable, to add to it the pleasure of a visit to Monticello.
Always & with sincere affection yrs.,


Reply of Admiral Cockburn to Capt. John Clavell re: Black Batallion

(Copy) Head Quarters Cumberland Island the 10th March 1815.

Should this letter find you still in the Chesapeake, you are on the receipt hereof (notwithstanding the former Instructions conveyed to you by the Madagascar) to leave that Bay with all the Vessels remaining with you of those lately acting under your Orders, (excepting only the Menelaus which Ship conveys
this, and whose Captain has Separate Instructions from me) you are however to understand that you are to bring with you all the Ordnance and Stores of every description from Tangier Island, as by the Treaty such things only as were captured thereon are to be left, and the Commander in Chief desires in particular that on no account a Single Negro be left, except by his own request, if he joined you prior to the Ratification of the Treaty which took place at 11 PM of the 17th February.
The Commander in Chief also wishes you to take down the Barracks etc. erected by us on Tangier, and to bring the Materials with you if you can manage it, and whenever you have so evacuated this Place and brought everything from it, you are to repair with the Ships under your Orders to Bermuda, where you will receive Instructions for your further Guidance;
It may however be right I should add that in the event of your having formally given up our possessions within the Chesapeake prior to receiving this Letter, you cannot with propriety repossess them, for the purpose of making alterations.
I am Sir Your Most Obedient Humble Servant
(Signed) G: Cockburn Rear Admiral


Letter to Andrew Jackson from Alexis Daudet

Mh. 8. 1815

    Some while ago I addressed to yo fifteen Copies of a Play called “Jackson Camp” which I had the honor to dedicate to your Excellency; this work kindly received by the Public, has been printed at my own expences and has occasioned disbursements which I am unable to support. I therefore hope enough in your Justice to believe that you will be pleased to order that the said copies by reimbursed to me. I have the honor to be your most obedt Servt.

A. Daudet
Menager of theatre


Letter from Andrew Jackson to the Louisiana Militia

General Orders                                                                                             Head Quarters 7h. M. District
New Orleans March 7h. 1815

    In consequence of the impressions made by recent advices from the Seat of Government, the commanding General feels at liberty to discharge from actual service such of the Louisiana militia as were levied in mass.
    No Conclusive information of peace has yet arrived. Official dispatches destined for this place have by some extraordinary Occurrence not yet reached it and there exists a possibility their containing no more than has been already leart from another source. Yet unwilling to tax the patriotism of the Inhabitants, where any plausible pretext offers for releiving them, And as these m ilitia reside on the scene of action and have exhibited such alacrity in obying the first call to the field The Commanding General will restore them to their families and their homes.
    The Militia thus releived will however be prepared should another call be made for their Services, again to defend their country, and again to prove themselves worthy the blessings of a free government; And in returning to the pursuits of private life they will guard against the devices and intrigues of the turbulent, malicious, envious and disappointed, who are ever ready to reap the harvest of their Country's ruin, who would sever the affections of the Soldiers from their officers, Substitute irresolution, and timidity for energy, and Order, make Subordination irksome, and discipline hateful.  Without Confidence in the commander all military operations are unhinged. What then must be the thoughts of those men, who, in the moment of danger, hesitating and doubtfull, will yet, when their fond wishes lull them into security, irritate, harrass, & weary, those whose sole aim has been the defense of their country, who first compell the exercise of harsh measures, and then make them a pretext for undermining the authority from which they eminate.
    The Commanding General in parting with the Militia, is enabled in all the Simplicity of truth, to say, by these men the invinibles of Wellington were foiled, the Conquerors of Europe Conquered.
    Let them then preserve with solicitude the Character they have won, and may that tranquility they so manfully contributed to attain prove to them a blessing and endear those privileges for which they have fought.

Andrew Jackson
Majr. Genl. Comdg.


Letter to Andrew Jackson from Edmund Pendleton Gaines

Barrack st. N. O.
March 6. 1815

    I had the honor to receive your note of this date, and in compliance with your request, submit to you the result of my reflections upon the subject of your note.
    1st. Any citizen of the united states may be tried by a court martial for the offences designated in the 56 and 57th article of the rules and articles of war and the latter is probably applicable to the case now pending-- inasmuch as the accused may be charged with “giving information directly or indirectly to the enemy.” It is as follows: “Whosoever shall be convicted of holding correspondence with or giving intelligence to the enemy, either directly or indirectly shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court martial.”
    2nd. The law limits the powers of courts martial in cases of mutiny, sedition &c. exclusively to persons “belonging to or serving with the army”; and contains no provision whatever authorising them to try citizens, not followers of the army. (see 7th. And 8th. Section of the rules and articles of war).
    That the commanding officer has a right to chalk out the proper limits of his camp, in time of war, to enforce obedience within those limits; and to confine any and every disorderly person found therein, there can be no doubt. He is held responsible for the defense of the place, and the good order & discipline of the forces under his command-- Hence the right to enforce obedience, and to confine disorderly person not of the army.  A right, if not expressively given by the national legislature, is so strongly implied, as to leave no ground to doubt of its existence. It has been established by universal custom, and maybe considered as one of the clearest rules of the common law of the army. It is matter of regret that the power to try and punish such persons, under present circumstances, does not also exist. But the tribunal constituted by law to try and punish, are precluded from the authority of this common law-- they are sworn to “try and determine the matter between the united states and the accused according to the provisions of  'an act establishing rules and articles for the government of the armies of the united states' &c.  The national legislature always regardful of the civil rights of citizens and habitually opposed to the growth of military power; have restricted the jurisdiction of courts martial, as regards our own citizens, to persons belonging to or serving with the army—expecting only the offences embraced in the 56th & 57th. Articles as above mentioned. The offences here designated are such as demand the most prompt and exemplary punishment-- The offence of mutiny or sedition is likewise of a very high grade, and in many cases calls for capital punishment; but the seditious citizen is supposed to be within our camp, where he can be confined, or from whence he may be sent to the civil authority, in the interior of the state, where he may be tried and punished. It will but seldom happen that the mutiny or sedition of a citizen, not a service, or having little opportunity of mixing with the troops, can amount to an offence so enormous, as that of “relieving the enemy” or corresponding with him.
    The court, or a majority of the court may, however, think differently with me upon this case; nor indeed am I so much wedded to my own opinons as not to lay them aside whenever I find others better supported by reason. I hold myself ready therefore to attend the court. I have the honor to be with perfect respect & esteem your obd servt

E.P. Gaines

Letter from Andrew Jackson to Thomas Beale

Head Quarrters 7 M D
N Orleans March 6 1815

    The conspiracy which has existed in my camp for some weeks and has given rise to the desertion of my troops from Chef Menteur, and mutiny within the city begins to develop itself.
    The enemy is still on our coast and near us.  His Agents and spies are within the city.
    It therefore becomes my duty before he can renew his attempts upon us, to probe his designs to their source, that I may be prepared to guard against them.
    I must consequently request of you to detail in writing of the declarations of Govr. Claibourn in your presence when you were at a Ball together in the city-- and as near as you can the time when those declarations were made.
    I hope Sir you will pardon me for asking of you this disclosure: and believe that nothing but a sense of duty to my government would have prompted me to ask of you the detail of a conversation in a ball room. I am respectfully yr. Obedt Servant

Andrew Jackson
M G comdg

Letters from Pierre Louis Morel to Dominick Augustin Hall

March 5, 1815

To the Honble. D. A. Hall: Judge of the United States District Court in & for the District of Louisiana--
    Louaillier an inhabitant of this District & Member of the House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana-- Humbly Sheweth that he has been this Day illegally Arrested by F. Amelung an officer in the forty fourth Regiment, who informed your Petitioner that he did Arrest your Said Petitioner agreeable to orders Given to him (the Said F. Amelung,) by His Excellency Major General Jackson, and that your Said Petitioner is now illegally Detained Pursuant to Said Orders
    Wherefore your Petitioner Prays that a writ of Habeas Corpus be issued to bring him before your Honor, that he may be Delt with according to the Constitution & the laws of the United States.--

P.L. Morel
Atty. For the Petitioner

P.L. Morel being Duly Sworn Declares that the facts stated in Said Petition relative to the Arrest of the Said Louaillier are true, in testimony Whereof he Subscribed the Present in New Orleans on the 6th. Day of March 1815--

P.L. Morel

Sworn & Subscribed before me.

Dom. A. Hall. Dis: Judge

R Claiborne

Let the prayer of the pettier be granted & the per. Be brought before me at 11 Oclk tomorrow Mar 6.

Dom. A. Hall
6th Mar: 15

R Claiborne

Statement of the Marshall Duplessis, within Shewing that on the 5th of March the fiat of Judge Hall was shewn him by the clerk, and the clerk told him that on the evening of the 5th. Judge hall had altered the date from the 5th. To the 6th. Of March on the 5th. Hall was arrested-- A.J.