The three swords.--That indomitable patriot, President Jackson
, had, in his day, to deal with secession.
It was then called Nullification; but it was in its elements secession pure and simple.
He designated it by its right name when he denounced it as treason, and he appreciated its nature when he dealt with it as such.
Had he been made of different stuff; had he been less imbued with patriotism; had he lacked courage; had he been weak of purpose, or imbecile from age; had he sympathized with their objects, or for years associated with the conspirators, taken them to his counsels, or yielded to their influences; had he been content with entreaty where he had the right to command; there would have been rebellion in his time under the auspices of Calhoun
and his followers, as we have it now under the guidance of Jeff. Davis
and his associates.
But a Jackson, and not a Buchanan, was at the head of the State
, and he waited not an hour for treason to gather strength.
He throttled it at once.
The sword and the gallows were waiting the conspirators, and sharp justice was ready with its retribution.
Treason shrunk dismayed at these preparations, and the repose of the country was secured by the man who saved it at New Orleans.
's life was full of opportunities for the display of patriotism and courage, if not always of practical wisdom and calm statesmanship.
He was certainly to an unexampled degree an object of popular idolatry.
presented him with a sword; the citizens of Philadelphia
gave him another; and the riflemen of New Orleans endowed him with a third.
We mention only these among the hundred other testimonials that honored his active career or graced his retirement, because they have a history connected with the present as well as the past,--a history which, were the dead permitted to speak,. would evoke a voice of indignant denunciation from the old hero's grave.
By his will, Gen. Jackson
bequeathed the first of these three swords to his nephew and adopted son, Andrew Jackson Donelson
, the second to his grandson, Andrew Jackson
, and the third to his grandnephew, Andrew Jackson Coffee.
The clause relative to the first runs thus:--
--I bequeath to my well-beloved nephew, Andrew J. Donelson
, son of Samuel Donelson
, deceased, the elegant sword presented to me by the State of Tennessee
, with this injunction
, that he fail not to use it, when necessary, in support and protection of our glorious Union, and for the protection of the constitutional rights of our beloved country, should they be assailed by foreign enemies or domestic traitors
Where is Andrew J. Donelson
now, and to what uses is he applying this legacy of his great kinsman, confided to his presumed patriotism, accompanied with so solemn an injunction?
In the ranks of rebellion, fighting against “our glorious Union!”
Among “domestic traitors,” battling for the overthrow of “the constitutional rights of our country,” through the destruction of the Constitution
“I bequeath to my beloved grandson, Andrew Jackson
, son of Andrew Jackson, Jr.
, and Sarah, his wife, the sword presented to me by the citizens of Philadelphia
, with this injunction, that he will always house it in defence of the Constitution and our glorious Union, and the perpetuation of our Republican system
And where is this Andrew Jackson
, honored by his patriotic grandfather, and where the sword intrusted to his keeping?
It is rusting in its scabbard at home, while treason is hewing at the Constitution
, and the cannon of rebellion thundering against the Union
The degenerate grandson is himself on the side of the traitors, aiding by his influence and his money the conspirators who are thus in arms against both, and who are battling for the overthrow of “our republican system.”
“To my grand-nephew, Andrew Jackson Coffee, I bequeath the elegant sword presented to me by the Rifle Company of New Orleans, commanded by Capt. Beal
, as a memento of my regard, and to bring to his recollection the gallant services of his deceased father, Gen. John Coffee
, in the late Indian
wars, under my command, and his gallant conduct in defence of New Orleans in 1814-15, with this injunction, that he wield it in protection of the rights secured to the American citizen, under our glorious Constitution, against all invaders, whether foreign foes or intestine traitors
Where, again, is Andrew Jackson Coffee, and in what cause is he wielding the gift of his benefactor?
He too is among the traitors, and the sword placed in his hands for the “protection of the rights secured to American citizens under our glorious Constitution,” is pointed at the hearts of loyal men, and whetted for the destruction of that “glorious Constitution” that he was so solemnly enjoined to defend.
Such is thus far the melancholy history of these three swords, each the legacy of a great man to his kinsmen, and such the uses to which they are applied.
If facts were wanting to illustrate the commonplace touching the degeneracy of the successors of great men, how abundantly are they furnished in the story of this will and its consequences?--N. Y. Daily Times, May 31