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Correspondence of Hon. George W. Campbell, of Tennessee--original letters from distinguished men.

[Through the kindness of our old friend, Colonel Campbell Brown, of Tennessee, who was widely known as a gallant officer on General Ewell's staff, we have received a number of original letters of the correspondence of his distinguished ancestor, Governor George W. Campbell. We propose to publish such as have never been in print, and are of historic interest.]


Letters from General Jackson.

camp Craigs, April 13th, 1804.
Dear Sir,--Having a direct opportunity for the conveyance of a letter to Knoxville, I embrace it to address a few lines to you. The opportunity is extremely grateful to me, as I had not the pleasure of having that conversation that I wished yesterday when we met on the road. Acts of disinterested friendship always leave a lasting impression upon my mind, and always remembered with the liveliest emotions of gratitude by me. Your disinterested friendship towards me on a recent occasion merits and receives all those lively sensations that they ought to inspire in a susceptible breast; and should the chance fall upon me (of which I have not a sanguine hope), my endeavors shall be that the feelings of those of my friends that recommended me never shall be carroded, their minds filled with regret for the action, and, let the choice fall on whom it may, my gratitude towards my friends will be the same; and as long as my breast beats with life, it will beat high with lively sensations for your friendship upon this occasion. I write in haste and in a crowd. I shall write you from the city. Receive assurances of my warmest esteem and respect.


[39]

City of Washnigton, April 28th, 1804.
Dear Sir,--I reached this place on last evening. I have been detained on my journey, since I had the pleasure of meeting you, four days by high waters and an inflammation in my leg, which has in a great measure subsided, but I am not free from pain.

The President is at Monticello. He has lost his daughter, Mrs. Epps. Not a hint who is to be appointed to the government of New Orleans. I did not call to see the President. My reasons I will concisely state, and leave you to judge whether they are or not founded upon just premises. It was not known to me whether he had made the appointment. In case I had waited upon him, and the office of governor of New Orleans not filled, it would have been perhaps construed as the call of a courtier; and of all characters on earth my feelings despise a man capable of cringing to power for a benefit or office. And such characters as are capable of bending for the sake of an office are badly calculated for a representative system, where merit alone should lead to preferment. These being my sensations and believing that a call upon him under present existing circumstances might be construed as the act of a courtier, I traveled on, engaging my own feelings; and let me declare to you that before I would violate my own ideas of propriety, I would yield up any office in the government, were I in possession of the most honorable and lucrative. Who the choice is to fall on is not known here, unless to the Secretary of State. But I have reasons to conclude that Mr. Claibourne will not fill that office. I have also reasons to believe that if a suitable character can be found who is master of the French language that he will be preferred. I think that a proper qualification for the governor of that country to possess, provided it is accompanied with other necessary ones. I never had any sanguine expectations of filling the office; if I should, it will be more than I expect. But permit me here again to repeat that the friendly attention of my friends, and those particularly that I am confident acted from motives of pure friendship to me (among whom I rank you), never shall be forgotten. Gratitude is always the concomitant of a bosom susceptible of true friendship, and if I know myself my countenance never says to a man that I am his friend but my heart beats in unison with it. Permit me here, with that candor that you will always find me to possess, to state that I am truly gratified to find that your constituents alone are not the only part of the Union that think highly of your legislative conduct; it extends as far as your speeches have been read, and you are known as a member of the representative branch. May you continue to grow in popularity on the basis of your own merit, [40] and as long as you are guided by your own judgment, this will continue to be the case. This is, in my opinion, the only road to a lasting popularity, for the moment a man yields his judgment to popular whim, he may be compared to a ship without its rudder in a gale — he is sure to be dashed against a rock. Accept, my dear sir, my warmest wishes for your welfare.

G. W. Campbell:

Sir,--This will be handed you by Mr. Powell, against whom Brehan has brought suit by writ of ejectment in the Federal court. I hear, since I spoke to you, that you are appointed one of the judges of the court of errors and appeals. If you accept, will you continue to practice in the Federal court here? This, when I first see you, I will be anxious to learn. At any rate, I wish you to enter the pleading for Mr. Powell at this term; at next June I expect it will be tried. Your fee I will be (Mr. Powell's) security for.

Yours, with respect,

Andrew Jackson. November 30th, 1809.


Letter from James Monroe.

Washington, October 16, 1813.
Dear Sir,--I lately received a letter from Mr. Grundy, informing me that your State had voted an additional force of 3,500 men to be employed against the hostile Creeks, in the expectation that they would be taken into the service and pay of the United States. The subject has been considered by the President, and he has resolved to give his sanction to the measure. I have answered Mr. Grundy's letter to that effect, but lest he might not be at Nashville, have the pleasure to communicate the same to you, and to request that you will have the goodness to inform the Governor that I shall write him a letter to communicate it officially in a few days.

Our wavering policy, respecting Florida, has brought on it all the mischief that usually attends such counsels. I hope that we shall profit of the horrible lesson lately given us at fort Mims. About the time you left this, I paid a visit to my farm in Virginia, from which I returned on the 10th, with Mrs. Monroe, in good health.

With great respect and esteem,

Sincerely yours,



[41]

Extract of letter from Hon. George W. Campbell, then United States Senator, to General Jackson.

18 February, 1817.
I feel confident, sir, you would not mistake my motives in declining to engage, at a stipulated price, an agent to procure the passage of a law on which it might become my duty to vote; and certainly I did not misconceive yours in applying to me on the subject. I trust we shall be disposed to duly appreciate the motives of each other, not-withstanding there may be shades of difference in the opinions we entertain on the same subject.


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