JACKSON, ANDREW. (1767-1845). Seventh President of the United States (1829-37). Interesting, and historically important, Manuscript Document Signed, “Andrew Jackson, Major Genl”. One page, oblong narrow octavo. No place, March 31, 1813. Fine condition. Jackson writes:
“The commis[ary] will give to Negro Bob, a driver of one [of] the baggage waggons, of the detachment of Tennessee Volunteers in the Service of the United States, one day’s rations, commencing 31st March 1813, ending same day. Andrew Jackson, Major Genl.”
During the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson served as commander of the Tennessee Volunteers. A strict officer, he nonetheless remained popular with his troops. (The very month this document was signed, they honored him with nickname “old hickory” for his bravery on the battlefield!) Jackson, here ensuring that “Negro Bob” receive his rightful share of rations, proved himself a staunch supporter of racial equality throughout the conflict with Britain. On September 21, 1814, he stood before an assembly of African-American soldiers at the Headquarters of the Seventh Military District and, in an extension of the sentiment found in our document, proclaimed:
“Through a mistaken policy you have heretofore been deprived of a participation in the glorious struggle for national rights in which our country is engaged. This no longer shall exist…To every noble-hearted, generous freeman of color, volunteering to serve during the present contest with Great Britain, and no longer, there will be paid the same bounty in money and lands, now received by the white soldiers of the United States. ” (Library of Congress, From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet, 1824-1909)
An important document with revealing Black-Americana content. Written at an important moment in both American, and Andrew Jackson’s military career. In our many years of dealing with Presidential material, this item is only one-of-a-handful of such documents that begin to reveal this important facet of our history. Exceptional in many ways, and worthy of inclusion in the finest of collections.