You can read about how I came to know about Dr. Boyd McNairy and his connection to my Sims family here. I updated this page in June 2013 with a chart showing the maternal links among the McNairy, Shelby, Minnick, Hodgekinson and Sims families.
Indenture entered into this 6th day of June 1817 between Thomas Williamson of Davidson County and State of Tennessee of the one part and Boyd McNairy and John Shelby of the same place of the other part, witnesseth said Williamson for and in consideration of the sum of $7,500 to him in hand paid by said Boyd Mcnairy and John Shelby, receipt acknowledged, has granted and conveyed to said McNairy and Shelby their heirs and assigns forever a certain tract of land situated in Davidson County and in the town of Nashville, known in the plan of the said town as part of town Lot Ten.
Beginning at the corner of said lot at the south corner of John Young’s Lot to run down main street twenty eight feet to a stake, thence at right angles eighty feet to a stake, thence at right angles twenty four feet to the line of the aforesayd John Young’s lot, thence with said line one hundred and twenty feet to the beginning, being part of the ground conveyed by G K L Marr to Thomas G Bradford on 23 Jun 1810 and registerd in Book I Page 207 and conveyed by said Bradford to Alpha Kingsley on 3 May 1814 and recorded in Book K 602-603 and conveyed by said Kingsley to Thomas Williamson by deed 28 July 1815.
To have and to hold, etc.... Thomas Williamson (seal) Wit Elmore Douglass Alfrend Flournoy William Arm
Proved September Term 1819 Test R McGavock, clerk of Supreme Court of Errors and Appeals for the 4th circuit
Reference: Davidson County, Teneessee Deeds, Book N, pps. 332-333, copy in Family History Library, Salt Lake, Utah, microfilm #0,332,663
This man's effrontery is almost without a parallel; it is only equalled by his depravity. He talks of his moral character, as if he was not himself aware of his entire destitution of principle! He makes assertions and gives certificates, as if he himself deemed them worth of belief! With nothing of reputation to loose—his character having already reached the speculative degree of infamy—he is wholly reckless of consequences feeling perfectly secure under the panoply of his own worthlessness. It cannot be expected that we should condescend to bandy epithets of personal abuse, with such a man. No charges of his against us, of any description, can excite our wrath, or in the slightest degree disturb our equanimity; and the public exhibition of his true character, which we now make, is not in consequence of any accusation he may have made against us, but is for the purpose of shooing to the world "what manner of man he is," who on his own responsibility, assail the reputation of Andrew Jackson, and has the impudence to compare his moral character, black and deformed as it is, with that of the citizen and solider of Tennessee. We assert then, and it will not be denied that Andrew Erwin has been charged in a public report of the Attorney General of the United States, with the crime of perjury!—we aver furthermore, that afar much solicitation on the part of the said Erwin, the Attorney General—Mr. Wirt—did review this report with all the evidence on the subject which he could obtain, and instead of changing his opinion and retracting the charge of perjury against the said Andrew Erwin, he reiterated it, and substantiated it more completely than was done in the first report. We have not a copy of this second report by us—application has been made at the proper place for one, but it has not been received; and to the truth, we very much doubt whether the authorities at Washington will permit a copy to be taken In the absence, therefore, of the report itself, we give the opinion of a gentleman of unquestionable veracity and respectability, who saw and examined it. It is contained in the following extract of a letter: DEAR SIR—Your letter of the 19th inst. was received this morning. I regret that I have not a copy of the Attorney General's second report on the subject of the introduction of African slaves into the United States by the Erwins, and others. The second report was made by the Attorney General to the Secretary of War, on the 3d of January, 1824. Some time before I left Washington, I called at the War Department for the purpose of seeing it, but after some apparent search, was informed by one of the Clerks that it could not be found. I afterwards called at the office of the Attorney General, and there read it from his opinion-book. It fixes upon Col. E in the most forcible and incontrovertible manner, the charges made against him and his son, in the first report." If it should be objected that this letter may have been written by a person inimical to Col. Erwin, and contains probably, a prejudiced view of the report; we reply, published the report. Col. Erwin will meet with no difficulty in obtaining a copy—and if it do not sustain the writer of this letter, or if it exonerates Col. Erwin in the slightest degree from the odious accusation of perjury, we will, with great cheerfulness, give it a place in our columns. It appears, then, that the man who has been authorised by Mr. Clay to organize the administration forces in this state—who has for the last month or two, been vaporing and blustering about here, charging Gen. Jackson with negro trading—challenging him to deny it—measuring moral characters with him—furnishing Doct Armstrong with certificates, and impugning our veracity, stands charged by the Attorney General of the U. States, in two successive reports, with the crime of PERJURY! A pretty fellow truly, to talk about moral character! But this is not all. The following extract from the affidavit of John Allison of the state of Georgia will show that the subornation of perjury was ever present to Col. Erwin's mind. John Allison, one of the heirs of David Allison, together with the other heirs, had executed to Gen. Jackson a deed of conveyance of their rights to 85,000 acres of land in this state. This deed, as it is well known, interfered much with the designs of Colonel Erwin. By what means he attempted to evade its force, will be seen from the following extract from John Allison's deposition: "This deponent further states, that some time during the last spring, a certain Andrew Erwin called upon deponent, and wished him to give to said Erwin an affidavit which would go to invalidate the deed first alluded to, and to obtain a certificate from my neighbors which would be to certify that I was a man of truth and veracity; that he had procured from my brother Alexander Allison such an affidavit and certificate, and that he wished me to give a similar one, or all the poor people living on the land in dispute, would be (smudged). I in positive terms refused to make an affidavit, as he then desired, upon which said Erwin threatened that if I did not comply, that he would by a suit, drag me to Nashville, in Tennessee." With these testimonials touching the character of Andrew Erwin, we submit it to the public, whether any statement of his can be worthy of belief—whether accusations from such a source of entitled to any weight—and finally, whether any cause would not be disgraced by such an advocate. We shall now proceed to the consideration of the proof adduced by Col. Erwin, in support of his charge of negro trading against General Jackson; and the first of the evidence itself, and then of the mode by which it was obtained. After all his blustering notes of preparation, the only title of evidence that he has been able to exhibit in support of the charge, is contained in the following memorandum which he asserts, may be found in the bank book of General Jackson in his own proper hand writing: "A Jackson's proportion of cash for negroes bought of Richard Apperson $929,45." Really, the confident, swaggering tone of Col. Erwin had induced us to expect something more formidable; but, "a mountain in labour, and produced a mouse." He conduct on this occasion reminds us of the famous Dutch tumbler of antiquity, who having pompously proclaimed his intention of tumbling over a certain precipitous hill, took a runing of three miles, and when he reached the foot of the hill, very leisurely walked over it. A slight examination into the transaction will be sufficient to evince Col. Erwin's profound ignorance of the circumstances connected with it. Seeing the some of $929,45 entered on Gen. Jackson's private bank book in the manner discribed above, he immediately concluded and hazarded the assertion that this sum was advanced by Gen. Jackson as his prop[sic]tion of the first payment—that Coleman paid a like sum, together amounting to $1958,90, constituted the amount of the first payment. Hence he inferred, that as Gen. Jackson advanced an equal propo[sic]tion of cash with Coleman, he was equally interested in the profits which might accrue. Both premises and conclusion in this instance are wholly false, as will clearly appear from the subjoined statement of facts. On the 18th May 1811 Joseph Coleman, Horace Green, and Andrew Jackson entered into articles of agreement with R. Apperson for the purchase of a number of negroes. The terms of payment were, $2050 in hand, $4,000 at the expiration of six, and $4,000 more at the expiration of twelve months For the payment of the two last mentioned sums, Coleman, Green and Jackson, were to give their bills on a House in Philadelphia, and for the further security in case the bills were dishonored, they gave their notes for similar sums, payable in the Bank of Nashville. These are the provision of the contract, on which the charge of negro trading has been preferred against General Jackson*. In reply to the accusation, we have before alleged, and we affirm again that Gen. Jackson had no interest whatever in the transaction other than as a security for the payment of the purchase money, and that he never desired, nor was it intended that he should participate in the profits. These allegations Col. Erwin denies, and insists that General Jackson was an interested partner. To the proof then and the testimony:— The only item of evidence on which Col. Erwin bottoms his charge against General Jackson, of a participation in the profits, is the advance of the $929,45 which he alleges Gen. Jackson made, as the half of the first payment, Jos. Coleman paying the other half, and both constituting the full amount of the first payment to wit, $1958,90. If therefore, we shall show, that such advance was made by Gen. Jackson, and that there was no payment to be made at any stage of the transaction, of the some of $1958,90 which seems to have troubled Col. Erwin's imagination so much, the conclusion which he drew from the supposed payment of proportions, equal sums, &c. &c. will fall to the ground. To do this, it is only necessary to refer the reader to the provisions of the agreement. The sum of $2050 was paid down, and the receipt acknowledged. The $929,45, then, in the memorandum, could not have been part of that sum, for the memorandum, according to Col. Erwin's own acknowledgement, was made "six months" after the purchase of the negroes; neither could it have been a proportionable part of either of the four thousand dollar payments, or in fact of any sum of money stipulated to be paid at any time to Apperson for the negroes. Thus it seems, that the sum of $929,45 was not, nor could it have been Gen. Jackson's proportionable part of any payment made in the course of the transaction, and the "first payment" of "$1858,90" spoken of by Col. Erwin, was never heard of by the parties, but had existence only in his own crazy imagination. Having now demonstrated, that the premises of Col Erwin are entirely false, and his conclusions wholly fallacious, we shall feel perfectly satisfied in submitting the case to the consideration of the public; but for the purpose of putting the matter completely to rest, we shall proceed to the proof of a negative, as General Jackson's friends have often done before, and prove conclusively that the was not interested in the purchase of Apperson's negroes, further than as security for the payment of the purchase money. The very face of the agreement indeed would be sufficient to convince a man of business of this fact. General Jackson was known to be a man of property and credit—Green was a young man just commencing bu[sic]isness without fortune—and Coleman's circumstances any thing but flourishing. If then it had been the understanding of the parties that General Jackson was a principal in the transaction, would not his name have been put first in the contract? Would it not haven Jackson, Coleman and Green, instead of Coleman, Green and Jackson? This consideration of itself, is sufficient to rebut the supposition that he was a principal in the transaction. But the following endorsement on the back of a copy of the original articles, copied by J. Anderson, the Cashier of the bank, and certified by him to be a true copy, which endorsement is also witnessed by him, will for ever remove all doubt upon the subject.
"Note.—The said Andrew Jackson has no interest in the purchase from R. Apperson of the negroes, or cotton and Tobacco from B(smudged) Smith, he only holds a lien on them for the payment of the purchase money, for which he is bound as security, for Jos. Coleman. May 19th, 1811 Signed, ANDREW JACKSON J.A. This endorsement witnessed ty the Cashier of the bank, is conclusive—no loop is now (smudged) whereby there can hang a doubt. If any of our readers feel desirous of knowing how General Jackson became subsequently interested, and for what resins he assumed the management of the property, they have only to free to our previous account of this business. The bill of $4000, payable in six months (crease, smudge), protested; General Jackson was in consequence, compiled to pay the corresponding note in Bank, which had been given him by Coleman, Green and Jackson, as farther security† it was then, that to save himself, h took a transfer of Coleman's interest, brought back the negroes from the lower country, and disposed of the greater part of them here.—This transfer of Coleman's to him, will explain the memorandum on the strength of which Col. Erwin has founded his accusation. That the sum of $929 45 mentioned in this memorandum, was not money advanced by Gen. Jackson for the purchase of the negroes, we have already demonstrated, by reference to the amount and dates of the several payments designated in the articles of agreement. As Gen. Jackson took a transfer of Coleman's interest, it was right that in a future settlement, which would necessarily have to be made with Green, he should be allowed any expenses which Coleman had incurred in relation to the negroes. And this sum of $929 45, we doubt not, was for expenses incurred by Coleman before he assigned his interest to Gen Jackson—including, possibly, the sums of money expanded on the negroes by the latter, after he assumed the control of them, all of which would, of course, be allowed in a subsequent settlement with Green, and of which it was necessary for Gen. Jackson to keep an account. In conclusion, we shall submit a few reflections relative to the manner by which the contents of a private bank book, deposited in bank for safe keeping, had been, in utter contempt of all the obligations to secrecy thereby imposed, published to the world. The publications of Col. Erwin, in all probability, have deceived, (as they were intended to deceive,) a large portion of the community. Doubtless, when the honest, unsuspecting reader, saw the formal dignified note of Dr. Boyd M'Nairy the President refusing permission to Col. Erwin to examine the Bank, and the verbal refusal of Wilkins Tannehill, Esq. the Cashier, to the same effect, he exclaimed in simplicity of his heart, "what a magnanimous President"! What a conscientious Cashier!! Now, a will it be believed, that these pinks of magnaminity and propriety at the very moment they uttered their refusal to Col Erwin, knew well that he stood in no need of the permission he had desired of them? We say, will it be believed that Col. Erwin, at the time he desired permission to examine the private papers of an individual deposited in the bank for (smudged) information in his picket? And that too, with connivance of these very officers who thus publicly denied him the priviledge of examination. We state it as a fact susceptible of proof—it will not be denied—that the private bank book of Gen. Jackson, which he deposited in bank for safe keeping, a short time previous to his departure for the Seminole war, has been exhibited to various individuals of the administration party in this place. We have no doubt that Dr. M'Nairy and Wilkins Tannehill, Esq. have chuckled over this private memorandum an hundred times. Tow or three months ago we were informed by a gentleman, of the existence of such a memorandum, and of the intention of the enemies of Gen. Jackson in this place to use it to his prejudice; and the formal demand by Col. Erwin of the President and Cashier for permission to examine the private papers of the Bank, and their refusal, were a perfect mockery, and alone designed to screen them from the contempt and indignation which a knowledge of their agency in this business, must necessarily produce in the public mind. A for-warn soldier on the eve of his departure to meet and conquer the enemies of his country, deposits his private books and papers in a bank as a place of trust and security, and ten or twelve years after their contents are published by the connivance of the President and Cashier, for the purpose of injuring him in the estimation of his countrymen! A grosser breach of confidence—a dirtier, more pitiful business, we have rarely seen. Whether those engaged in it, can have a very nice sense of honor, we leave it to the community to determine.
* See a certified copy of the articles of agreement, in our possession. † See the original note in our possession.
Reference: United States Telegraph (Washington, DC), 28 Jul 1828, p.1 as indexed at Genealogybank.com
To Boyd McNairy, Nashville, Tenn., March 7, 1850. Reports that the executive branch shows "no disposition to oblige me, or to pay respect to recommendations of mine." Suggests, therefore, "that if Govr [Neill Smith] Brown would signify his wish that your son should be appointed his Secy in the Russian mission, that would be the most likely way to gratify your wishes." Adds: "Ah! my freind how often I am pained that I am powerless in ability to serve my true & faithful friends."
Editor's notes: For Brown—governor of Tennessee (1847-49) and minister to Russia (1850-52). Colin M. Ingersoll, rather than McNairy's son, received the appointment.
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 9 The Whig Leader 1837-1843, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 1988; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 685
I send with great pleasure, according to your request, a letter of introduction of your son1 to my friend Mr. [William N.] Mercer, who does not like to be addressed as Dr.
We are here in the midst of great excitement on the Slavery question. I do not yet see land, but hope for the best, whilst fearing the worst.
The Mission filled by Mr. Donelson remains vacant,2 and I beleive for the present is intended not to be filled. If it should be determined to fill it, I hadhear to what I said in a former letter in regard to it and yourself. My relations to the present [Taylor] Administration are not hostile, but I have no reason to feel that it has any particular disposition to oblige me...
1. John Sims McNairy, first noted in 5:922, but not otherwise identified.
2. Proabably Andrew Jackson Donelson who had served as minister to Prussia 1846-49; however, he had been succeeded by Edward A. Hannegan in 1849. Hannegan was recalled in Jan. 1850, and in August President Millard Fillmore nominate Daniel D. Barsard for the post. He was confirmed on Sept. 2, 1850...
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 9 The Whig Leader 1837-1843 University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1988; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, pps. 654-655
To Boyd McNairy et al., Nashville, July 10, 1840. Thanks them for their invitation to visit Nashville on August 17 next [McNairy to Clay, September 21, 1839], but pleads that he is "worn down by the fatigures of an exhausting Session of Congress" and cannot come so soon. Suggests late September or October instead.
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Vol 9 The Whig Leader 1837-1843, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, ky, 1988; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 432
From Boyd McNairy, Nashville, September 28, 1831. Reports that "The strongest wish of your friends in this quarter is that you should be elected Senator—It is not your interest alone we look to, but our country also, and the condition of our public affairs at present requires the best heads and the most patriotic hearts to avert the impending danger—Your enemies will continue to abuse you, but let them, nothing can or will stop them—You must not be surprised if you hear of [John] Eaton being our next Senator, I am told from good Authority orders have been issued from the City—At present [Felix] Grundy is opposed by a warm and personal friend of mine Colo. [Ephraim] Foster—and if the election can be brought on he will certainly defeat him—They have certainly become tired of Grundy as I believe, indeed I have no doubt Old [John] Overton and other Jackson men of the same grade will try and keep off the elections, hoping that in one year that Eaton can be elected—If the election is brought on your friends will try & make Foster defeat Grundy, he is also a strong Jackson man, but he is a gentleman, and I cant say that of Grundy." In a postscript dated September 29, adds: "I think you may rely upon it, that the election will be put off. So that Eaton will die."
Editor's comments: The Tennessee legislature tried and failed to put together a majority to elect a U.S. senator both at the 1831 regular session and at the 1832 special session. At the end of the session in 1833, after 55 ballots, Ephraim H. Foster withdrew as a candidate and Felix Grundy was elected. See Brian H. Walton, "A Matter of Timing: Elections to the United States Senate in Tennessee Before the Civil War," THQ (Summer 1972), 31: 134; and Thomas P. Abernethy, From Frontier to Plantation in Tennessee (Chapel Hill, 1932), 296.
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 8 Candidate, Compromiser, Whig 1829-1836, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, ky, 1984; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 407
From Boyd McNairy, Nashville, May 11, 1830. Mentions "in confidence" that the Governor of Tennessee, William Carroll, said "in a large company of strong Jackson men...that the Jackson party favored you more than all men in the U. States, and as a personal friend of no gentleman stood before you with him." Suggests that if it is "consistent with your views, I should like by some means or other you could renew your correspondence with him, if you feel a delicacy in doing so, through me you can effect it with perfect security—If we could get him openly with us, and I know there is strong predisposition that way, the state or a majority would be certain, (that is Jackson off the field) I am [a] very sanguine man, and probable govern[e]d it too much by my feelings, but I fear not the contest or result between yourself V. B. or Calhoune [sic, Calhoun]—All things would be certain if Carrolle [sic, Carroll] was with us. your friends must have an independent intelligent gentleman as editor in Nashville, one who will tell the truth fearless of consequences and he must have character—Your daughter Mrs. J[ames] erwin passed through Nashville some days ago well, Cant you pay her a visit next month, how your friends in this state would rejoice to hear that you intended to visit us, and your enemies I have no doubt a great many would be rendered neutral—"
Reference: Robert Seager II, ed., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 8 Candidate, Compromiser, Whig 1829-1836, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, ky, 1984; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, pps. 206-207
Your letter1 came to hand informing me the prospects of my son getting a birth [sic] in west point school. your attention to this matter has conferred a lasting favour— Our United States district Attorney Colo. Crabb2 has resigned his office: there will be a great many Richmonds3 in the field: I dont know that I ought to say one word to your department, but I cannot remain silent having a particular friend whos mertis & qualifications are equal to any man in our country, who is desireous [sic] of the appointment. The gentleman I recommend to your atention is Thomas H. Fletcher esqr.4 If you can render him any service in this matter, you will confer a great obligation—Your daughters heath [sic] Mrs. Irwin5 is good With high respect Your friend
1. not found
2. Henry Crabb
3. William Shakespeare, Richard III, Act V, Sc iv, line 9
4. McNairy to Clay, November 13, 1826 and Yeatman to Clay, December 29, 1826
5. Mrs. James Erwin
Reference: James F. Hopkins and Mary W.M. Hargreaves, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay Volume 5 Secretary of State 1826, University Press of Kentucky, 1973; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 1054
You will excuse a second application on the same subject. I want my son John Sims McNairy1 got in West Point University. Any attention you may render on this subject, will be greatfully acknowledged [sic], Majr. Eaton2 during the last Session of Congress informed me his name was placed in the war office Since that time, things have occured [sic] which will prevent Any exertion on his part; All the great men of our state would be opposed to the appointment, the only reason, I am an administration man—It is presuming a great deal probable [sic] to write; but Sir, feeling as I do, and being openly opposed to the Aristocracy of our state, I feel great solicitude about future results—Do not fail to Operate effectively in the state of New York, that point gained every thing secure— If there should be a vacancy in the Marshalls place of our state, permit me to recommend to your consideration Theo. R. Bradford3 of Bedford county to fill the vacancy. He is a gentlman fully qualified to perform the duties, and is violently opposed by the ruling party of our state, & has been so, in all matters & things for 10 years upon the same grounds— With high respect
Your daughter Mrs. Irwin4 Well [sic]— Boyd McNairy
McNairy, son of John McNairy, had been brought in his childhood from North Carolina to Nashville, where, after being graduated from the Medical School of the University of Pennsylvania, he practed his profession for over fifty years.
1. Not further identified. He did not receive the desired appointment.
2. John H. Eaton.
3. Theodorick F Bradford had published a newspaper in Clarksville, Tennessee, 1810-1011, and had established the first newspaper in Bedford County, the Shelbyville Tennessee Herald, which he conducted from 1816 to 1818. He was in 1826 a member of the Tennessee Legislature, where he served four terms. There was no subsequent appointment of a marshal in Tennessee during the Adams administration.
4. Mrs. James Erwin.
Reference: James F. Hopkins and Mary W.M. Hargreaves, eds., The Papers of Henry Clay, Volume 5 Secretary of State 1826, University Press of Kentucky, 1973; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, p. 922
N.B. The editors of this work incorrectly identify Boyd McNairy as the son of John McNairy. His father was Francis McNairy. Boyd McNairy had a much older brother, Judge John McNairy.
N.B.—This letter touches on five topics, the second, third and fourth of which are of interest to this blog. To understand why someone might not make a show of acceptance into polite society, the reader is referred to the so-called Petticoat affair , which raged during Andrew Jackson's first term as President.
To Martin Van Buren
Washington Novbr. 14th. 1831—
My Dear Sir,
I have the pleasure to acknowledge your several letters, viz; the one at sea, one of the 21rst. & two of the 28th. of September last. Please accept for each, and all of them my thanks, and permit me to congratulate you and your son wupon the fine health you enjoyed on your passage, and say to Mr Vail that I regret much to hear of his sufferings. Your two last letters came in good time as we were just preparing a communication to transmit to the Senate with the award, and it was highly important to be informed of the views of the British Government on that subject, before making this communication to the Senate. You cannot, therefore, doubt of having my full approbation of the manner in which you have executed my wishes as expressed to you in my letter of the 10th. of August last, and I hope the communiction promised to be sent on this subject to their minister here, will reach Washington before the meeting of Congress. The friendly feelings of the Government of England, as expressed by the King & his Ministers toward thigs, are highly regarded, and, on a proper occasion, you can assure the Minister that those friendly feelings are duly reciprocated by me. I am truly gratified at the kind reception you have met with from all, and do not doubt but you will maintain the confidence of that, and advance the interest of our own Government. Your letter at sea affords some valuable suggestions, which will be beneficially used, any suggestions your leisure will permit, and you may choose to make on any subject will be kindly received. I think we will be able to manage the business in respect to the award pretty well; but the opposition no doubt for political effect will throw as many dificulties in the ways as possible, and attempt to use it to my prejudice. I have but one doubt as to the propriety of my course on this subject, and that is, whether I aught not to have taken the open ground of supporting the award. The doubt is created by the fact that, on this subject, the national faith was pledged by the acts and Treaties of my predecessor, and if great Britain might take possession of the soil to the limits of her antient claim, which would lead to direct war. My advisers think it would be best for me not to avow a positive determination to support the award, as it is believed congress will advise the award to be carried into effect rather than hazzard the probability of a war, and thereby disturb the good understanding which now so happily exists between the two countries. Nevertheless there appears something awkward, which may be construed as a srinking from responsibility, under existing circumstances, which on reflection I do not like, in laying the subject before the Senate as it may return the communication, and say that the matter belongs to the Executive, and when he calls upon us for the necessary aid to carry the award into effect, or for further negotiation on the subject, they we will answer the call. We have however finally determined on adhering to & pursuing the course first agreed upon before you left me.
I have prepared the outline of my message. we have found that we will be able, with the use of the Bank stock, to pay the public debt by the 3rd of March 1833. and we will recommend to the next congress the propriety of taking up the Tarriff, and making a judicious reduction of duties to meet the wants of the Government after the Public debt is paid, and consequently to go into operation on the 4th of March 1833. This will annihilate the nullifiers as they will be left wityout any pretext of complaint. Af if they attemp disunion it must be because they wish it, and have only indulged in their vituperations against the Tarriff for the purpose of covertly accomplishing their ends.
The appeal of Major Eaton has had the most powerful and beneficial effect thruout the union. Messhrs. Calhoun, Ingham, Branch and Berrien are completely prostrated. I send you a Nashville paper that will give you some idea of the reaction in that place. Judge Overton writes me that there was but one lady—Mrs. Doctor McNairy—in Nashville who did not visit Mrs. Eaton, and I am further informed that fifty four members of the Legislature (out of 69 the whole number, one being dead) attended the dinner, and that in the evening Eaton & his wife were invited to attend the Theatre which was crowded by an audience the most fashionable and respectable.1 But poor Branch, the worst of the matter for him is not yet told. He reached Nashville the evening of the dinner, and, on the next day went to the assembly room, where Mr. Bell and Major Eaton were by invitation, and, after remaining in the lobby for some time without any attention being paid to him, he retired. He doubtless exclaims in his anguish "Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness," as he now discorvers his sad mistake in supposing that he, Ingham, Berrien, and Calhoun Duff Green & Co, could raise up and crush whom they pleased at pleasure, and destroy me by prostrating Eaton and yourself. Thos men have "fallen, unwept, unhonered, & unsung," except by a few of their satilites, and like Lucifer, to rise no more.2 Their project now is to impeach me, and reject yourself, McLane & Livingston in the Senate. This is to alarm. I fear them not, nor need you. You are gaining strength daily in the nation, and will continue to do so, and rise in public estimation in opposition to all their intrigues to prevent it. Your enemies might as well attempt to change the running of the water in the Mississippi as to prevent you from obtaining the increased confidence of the people. To shew you the baseness and further duplicity of Calhoun I enclose you the Globe, Read Speers letter, What must a moral world, or community think of a man so perversly prone to secrete lying as J. C. Calhoun is proven to be? But I must close posponing for another letter the ballance which I now intended to communicate.
I recd. Judge Overtons letter you enclosed, & forwarded it to him.3 The old jedge is in improved health and your sincere friend—you can rely on him. My best respects, with that of my son, Major Donelson & Lady Miss Easton, Major Lewis & Col Earle are all affectionately tendered to you, your son and Mr. Vail, to which is added my prayers for your prosperity & happiness. Andew my son will be married the 24th instant, unless there should be a slip between the cup & the lip, to a young lady of beauty and accomplishments, & of respectable connections, I sepak from information never having seen her myslef. Mr. Toland gives me the above character of her.4 Adieu & believe me your friend
1. Boyd McNairy's wife was Anna Maria Hodgkinson McNairy (1788-1869)
2. Shakespeare, Henry VIII 3.2.351-72; Sir Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 6.1.16
3. On September 21 Van Buren had written John Overton in care of AJ about his arrival and reception in London...
4. Henry Toland (1785-1863) was a Philadelphia merchant.
Reference: Daniel Feller, Laura-Eve Moss, Thomas Coens, Erik B. Alexander, eds., The Papers of Andrew Jackson, Volume IX 1831, University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2013; copy in Kresge Library, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, pps. 693-696