Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the House, repeating the assertion with minute particulars, and with his own hand revised the report of his remarks for publication. From that revised report we take the following extract, viz:

“The treaty was signed on the 22d February, 1819, and he presumed it was in the recollection of many members of the House, that Gen. Jackson was at that time in this city, as that was the celebrated session during which his proceedings in the Seminole war were subjects of deliberation in both Houses of Congress ; and General Jackson was here during the consideration of that subject, and was here at the time of the conclusion of the treaty.

“But to come to the precise point. After the treaty had been framed, and ready to receive the signatures of the contracting parties, but before there was any obligation upon our part to sign it, by the express direction of Mr. Monroe, he (Mr. A.) took the treaty, drawn up as it was, to General Jackson, not as to the military commander of the army of the United States, but as to a highly distinguished citizen of the United States, whom, being here at the time, the then President of the United States thought proper to consult upon a subject of such great importance. He took the treaty to him at his lodgings, which were in a house at that time kept, he believed by Mr. Strother. He took and delivered that treaty into the hands of General Jackson, with the particular request from Mr. Monroe, that he would read it over, and give his opinion upon it. He would state further, that General Jaekson kept the treaty some time, possibly not more than one day, but he kept it a sufficient time to form a deliberate opinion upon it, and that he (Mr. A.) called upon him after a day or two, and that he returned the treaty with his approbation of that particular boundary."

The Globe replied to this specific statement, and proved it false in all its circumstances by the following testimony, viz:

By an official note from Mr. Adams to the Spanish Minister, dated 13th February, 1819, it was shown that a counter-project for a treaty was that day sent to that Minister.

By an official note from Mr. Adams to the same Minister, dated 19th of February, 1819, it was proved that “a copy of the treaty, as definitively drawn up and acceded to by the Pres. ident,” was then sent, “ several of the modifications proposed on the part of Mr. de Onis” having been agreed to.

By extracts from the National Intelligencer, dated the 232 and 25th February, 1819, it was proved that the treaty was communicated to the Senate on the 22d February, and was unanimously ratified by that body.

By an extract from the National Intelligencer, it was proved

that General Jackson left Washington on a tour to the North on the 11th February, 1819.

By extracts from the Baltimore Patriot, Philadelphia Franklin Gazette, New York Columbian, and Niles' Register, it was proved that he arrived in Baltimore on the evening of the 11th; that he left Baltimore for Philadelphia on the morning of the 14th; that he arrived in Philadelphia on the evening of the 15th; that on the 20th he arrived in New York; that on the 22d he visited the navy-yard at Brooklyn ; that on the 23d he was honored with a public dinner in New York; and that on the 27th he was expected in Baltimore on his return to Washington, although he had not arrived when Niles' article was written.

Thus was it established, beyond controversy, that while the treaty was still passing between the negotiators in projects and counter-projects, General Jackson left the city, and did not return until it was agreed upon, reduced to form, signed, sent to the Senate, and ratified. It was evident, therefore, that Mr. Adams's story, garnished off with so many particulars to make it plausible, was a sheer fabrication. He could never have shown the treaty to General Jackson at all; for the General was not at Washington after it was put in form until it was ratified.

The old man malignant, notwithstanding this exposure, persisted in saying that he was substantially correct, referring to his diary for proof, but stating that it was not in the city, and he could not then quote from it.

After eight years silence, he has had the hardihood to publish extracts from the diary; and what do they prove? They prove, as clear as day, his own reckless fabrication and falsehood ! Read them :

“ MONDAY, Feb. 1, 1819.-Called upon the President, and had a conversation with him upon this renewal of negotiation with the Spanish minister. There are various symptoms that, if we do come to an arrangement, there will be a large party in the country dissatisfied with our concession from the Rio del Norte to the Sabine, on the Gulf of Mexico. He desired me to see and converse with General Jackson on the subject, and to ask confidentially his opinion.”

6. FEBRUARY 2, 1819.-I called on General Jackson, and mentioned in confidence to him the state of the negotiation with the Spanish minister

and what we had offered him for the western boundary, and asked his opinion of it. He thought the friends of the administration would be satisfied with it, but that their adversaries would censure it severely, and make occasion for opposition from it. He thought even that it would bring us again in collision with the Indians, whom we are removing west of the Mississippi. But as we had no map at hand, I could not give him a precise idea of the proposed line, by mere description, and he promised to call at my house tomorrow morning at ten, and look it over upon the map."

FEBRUARY 3, 1819.-General Jackson came to my house this morning, and I showed him the boundary line which has been offered to the Spanish minister, and that which we propose to offer, upon Melish's map. He said there were many individuals who would take exception to our receding so far from the boundary of the Rio del Norte, which we claim as the Sabine, and the enemies of the administration would certainly make a handle of it ! to assail them; but the possession of the Floridas was of so great importance to the southern frontier of the United States, and so essential even to their safety, that the vast majority of the nation would be satisfied with the western boundary, as we propose, if we obtain the Floridas. He showed me on the map the operations of the British force during the last war, and remarked that while the mouths of the Florida rivers should be accessible to a foreign naval force, there would be no security for the southern part of the United States."

Reader, now look back, and see what Mr. Adams asserted in 1836.

He said Gen. Jackson was in Washington at the time the treaty was concluded, which was on the 22d February, 1819. The extracts from his diary show that he was here on the 1st, 2d and 3d of February.

He asserted that,“ by the direction of Mr. Monroe, he took the treaty, DRAWN UP AS IT WAS, to General Jackson, fr." The extracts prove that he took no treaty to General Jackson at all, and showed him no paper concerning it, except Melish's map!

He asserted, that "he took the treaty to him at his lodgings, which were in a house at that time kept, he believed, by Mr. Strother.” The extracts prove that he took neither treaty not paper to himnot even Melish's map.

He asserted that he took and delivered that treaty into the hands of General Jackson.” The extracts prove that he neither took nor delivered any such paper, or any other paper.

He asserted that General Jackson kept the treaty some timepossibly not more than one day; bat he kept it a sufficient time to form a deliberate opinion upon it. The extracts show, that

he never kept the treaty, not even “possibly" for one day.

He asserted,“ he called upon him [General Jackson) after a day or two. The extracts show that General Jackson called on Mr. Adams.

He asserted that General Jackson then returned the treaty." The extracts prove that he had no treaty to return.

Finally, Mr. Adams brings this tissue of fabrications, shown to be such by his own evidence, to a close, by asserting that General Jackson “returned the treaty with his approbation of that particular boundary.The extracts show, not only that this assertion is not true, but that it is the reverse of truth.

Reader, look back and read again the extracts from Mr. Adams' diary: Is there a word in them approving the Sabine as our western boundary? NOT ONE WORD. On the contrary, he makes General Jackson say, He thought even that it would bring us again in collision with the Indians whom we are

removing west of the Mississippi.This is so worded as to ! show that it was part only of an argument used by General

Jackson against that boundary. He thought "even," or he i thought also, showing that some other objection had preceded.

In the last interview, General Jackson is made to discuss the importance of Florida, and to say that, in case it were obtain

ed, “the VAST MAJORITY OF THE NATION would be 1 satisfied with the western boundary as we propose.” Not a word

as to HIS being satisfied; not a word showing that he approved, or would ever agree, were he President, to give up Texas even for Florida. And is there a man living who believes that he would?

These extracts, therefore, show that Mr. Adams was as wickedly false in the main question, as he was in the artful web of circumstances, woven out of his own imagination, to give his assertion point and weight. His diary does not show that General Jackson approved the Sabine boundary; but as far as it gives his individual views in that respect at all, shows that he disapproved it.

There is another circumstance connected with this transaction which makes us look upon this man with perfect loathing. The first extract from his diary shows that he was directed by President Monroe to ask General Jackson's opinion “CONFIDENTIALLY." The second shows that he did consult him “ IN CONFIDENCE.” He was the mere agent of the President, bound, by every obligation of honor, to keep in confidence what was committed to him in confidence. What right had he to put on his diary what was committed to him by the Presi. dent in confidence, or received from General Jackson in confidence? Making a record of that which ought to have died with him unless disclosed by the consent of parties, was itself a breach of confidence, and a betrayal of trust. The man who keeps a “diary" of confidential communications, or even of private daily conversations, is a spy upon society, and a traitor in heart. He who will pencil down the casual expressions of his friends and visitors, and lay them aside, felicitating himself on the use he may make of them thereafter for his own benefit or other's injury, is fil only for an assassin, and should be driven out of society. We would as soon associate with one whom we knew had a dagger under his cloak, ready to stab us when he wanted our purse, and could get us by the throat. But such a man Mr. Adams has proved himself to be. Shame to those who once made him President! In his “Volumes" of Diary he has a store of daggers for all who erer gave him their confidence or conversation.

But if a man be warranted in transferring to paper the confidence reposed in him expressly or implicitly, and thus endanger its exposure by his death or other accident, is he at liberty, years afterwards, without the consent of the parties trusting him, to make use for it to his own advantage?

In this matter, a! Mr. Adams knew of General Jackson's opinions was, according to his own showing, obtained in confidence. When, in 1836, he undertook to speak of General Jackson's opinion, he had obtained the consent of neither the General nor Mr. Monroe, releasing him from his word of honor, nor had either of them assailed him so as to furnish the pretext of self-defence. If, therefore, Mr. Adams' dairy had contained all he said it did, he would, for divulging it under such circumstances, have been a traitor to every principle of honor held sacred among men, But what measure of infamy belongs to the man who notes down what passes in confidence between him and his friends, and becoming afterwards estranged, makes asser

« AnteriorContinuar »