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    Description

    Andrew Jackson Autograph Endorsement Signed, "A.J." on the address panel of a letter to him, an Autograph Letter Signed of Stockly Donelson, nine pages 8.5" x 11.75", (no place, [Tennessee]), March 5, 1839. Donelson, one of Jackson's neighbors, writes a letter that Jackson details on the address panel as being "abusive." Donelson viciously attacks Old Hickory over an incident in which one of Jackson's slaves murdered a man owned by Donelson. Jackson's neighbor accused the former president of framing an innocent slave in order to shield his own slaves from criminal prosecution. The nine page missive, endorsed on the address panel by Jackson: "Stockly Donelson's abusive letter to be kept on file, A.J." is an angry attack on Jackson's character and reads, briefly: "...your powers of epistolary writing seem to be quite extensive of late, whether it is the result of a disturbed conscience or otherwise I shall not stop to conjecture but as they have particularly aimed at myself I will again try and answer them..." Donelson saw Jackson's letters as "a wanton attack on my feelings and from what I had heard of your expressions...I could not view it in any other light than the ebullition your vindictive and unjust feelings toward me - showing in bold relief that remarkable trait in human character...that the man who inflicts an injury upon his fellow man, is always the most inveterate and most anxious to heap still further injustices upon the object of his hatred...I went over to see you on Sunday before I proceeded against them [Jackson's slaves]. Your reception of me, your language, Views, and expressions were so far from what I had a right to expect of a neighbor when I laid before you the daring and outrageous murder that had been perpetrated on the body of my servant by yours, that no alternative was left me - particularly after you bantering manner and invitation to an investigation before the tribunals of the country...I cannot believe you were the projector of the unjust attempt to fix the murder upon an innocent man who was merely attempting peaceably to save the life of his fellow servant from the attack of cold blooded Murderers from justice. But you say 'my Jake' was 'one' of the guilty fellows' who were the others. A jury of the country have said it was not your Jake, nor squire, nor Alfred. Who then were the balance. Let us have it out - It will come! The old saying that murder will out has not been often falsified - My opinion always has been that George was most guilty I am in favor of having him and my Jake tried at the next term. George it was who commenced the attack and instigated the murder and my opinion always has been that he is the man that should suffer..." Donelson then appears to digress into another dispute over the closure of a public road that ran through Jackson's property, threatening an investigation "into the fact as to what right you have to close up a mill road and throw the citizens of the bend through your gates - if you have a right to do all this - then we will petition to be exempted from taxation military duty &c..." Apparently these issues were related, Donelson wrote further that he heard "Mr. Dismukes Boy had been castigated for passing perhaps the wrong gate...To inflict injury upon the master a servant upon some pretext..." The letter continues on in a similarly aggressive and often manic tone, jumping between the issue of the road and violence between slaves belonging to Jackson and Donelson. An incredible piece of history documenting the hostile relationship between the former president and some of his neighbors and likely relations by marriage. Jackson was well known for his extreme temper and he was no stranger to dueling. Even at age seventy-two, in declining health; he had not lost his appetite for conflict. Provenance: Forrest H. Sweet, 1953. Usual folds, small loss to address panel from seal tear, else very good condition. Ex. Henry E. Luhrs Collection.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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