Manuscript/Mixed Material Image 1 of Andrew Jackson to William Savin Fulton, July 4, 1824

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Hermitage, July 4, 1824.

D'r Sir, I have Just recd your friendly letter of the 29th ult. for which I thank you.

Genl Call writes you by this days mail and will inclose you my letter to Doctor Coleman, N. Carolina, which has went the rounds of the papers which will give you fully the outlines of my opinion upon the Subject of our National Independence, defence, and Domestic oeconomy, and the Tariff , with a historical account of the proceedings on the Tariff Bill in both Houses of Congress. There are none so dangerous as hypocritical friends, who profess friendship, but by falshood, and false colouring attempt to assail you under the sheres[?] pretext of sorrow and friendship; every one of my intimate acquaintance long since knew my opinion upon the Subject of political oeconomy; They knew as long as I had a voice it would be raised in favour of the Independence of our Nation, by cherishing and fostering the means of our National defence, that when war came, we would have the means within ourselves of defending our Liberty, of which we boast, our constitution and our Country.

The experience of the late war convinced me that our Liberty was too precious, to be left for the means of its defence upon the precarious supply to be derived from commerce in a state of war, when that war was to be waged with maritime powers who wield the power of the Deep, and who by witholding from us the means of defence, could make us an easy conquest: whoever recollects the distresses of the late war, how many of our brave men fell victims to climate for the want of necessary cloathing in the field, and the Hospital, will dispell from his mind all ideas of cupidity, and British influence and prepare our country for defence in time of peace by nourishing and protecting the means of national defence; at least by a fair protection , that will place the american labour in a fair competition with that of urope. This is as far as I would go; Thus far the Bill does not go —sail Duck, Hemp and iron has not been increased as much as with an eye to revenue they would well bear. These are some of the means of national defence, and ought to have been raised as high as Genl Saml Smith in 1817 in his revenue Bill placed them. But Genl Smith altho he acknowledged on the floor that two cents pr lb on hemp and $1.00 pr ton on iron would be a fair duty on these articles; still he voted against the whole, because we did not want Revenue. 1 Whilst he was thus declaring, what is the fact; two Bills are presented to us and passed creating stock to the amount of 10,000,000—five to meet the Florida debt and five to meet the 7 pr. ct. debt which fall due shortly. Still say the Radicals we do not want Revenue. If a national debt is considered a national blessing then we like great Britain, can get on by borrowing. But as I believe it a national curse, my vow shall be to pay the national debt, to prevent a monied aristocracy from growing up around our administration that must bend it to its views, and ultimately destroy the liberty of our country.

1 Annals, 18 Cong., 1 sess., I. 738–743.

On the subject of my votes were those doublefaced Hypocritical political friends of mine as anxious in search of truth as they are falsehood; they would find that my votes were bottomed upon national principles, of equality, and perfect reciprocity, to all sections of the union. If they would look at the Journals, they would find in committee of the whole, the bill was laid before us, on all Fabricks of Hemp, there were specific duties imposed; on cotton Bagging, and course woolings and progressive duty—cotton Bagging 4.½. 5.½. This being taken up first; my vote reduced cotton bagging to 4.½—when sail Duck, Burlaps, and other course fabricks of Hemp, Genl Chandler2 voted for striking out the whole duty imposed, which left all coarse fabricks of Hemp at 15 pr cent advalorum. When the Bill was reported to the house on principles of general Justice I voted to alter the duty on cotton Bagging to an advalorum duty of 25 pr ct. as the other fabricks were charged to an advalorum duty. I ask Sir, is not here uniformity of principle and of general Justice. The delegation from Alabama will answer in the afirmative, so will those most opposed to the Bill. But the anti Tariff men say this Bill will lead to Direct Tax by destroying the Revenue. This is not true, it will promote agricultural labour, create a home markett for it, and add 3 millions and a half of revenue. It is the only way to prevent a direct Tax, if we pay the national debt.

2 Senator John Chandler, of Maine. Annals, 18 Cong., 1 sess., I. 594–595.

And what is the situation of the american agriculturist—have we at present either a home, or foreign markett for the product of agricultural labour, except our cotton, and our sugar—both of which are well protected; and when we take a view of the Spanish main South america, and portugal, and Egypt—the foreign markett for our cotton cannot be of long duration. Let me then ask unless a home markett for the surplus labour of agriculture can be made, must not the farmers, live on the product of their own farms, and withdraw themselves from the consumption of dutiable articles: In proportion as the consumption is lessened so is your revenue—which must be made up by internal Revenue, direct or indirect, at a time when the agriculturists are not able, for the want of a markett for their products, to pay a tax. Hence the policy of a Judicious Tariff, to promote the Interest of the agriculturists by opening to them a sure, and safe home markett for the products of their labour. This can only be done by withdrawing the surplus labour from agriculture and applying it to manufa[c]tories. It is to be regretted that we have two little national feeling, and two much sectional. We are governed too much by British influence, and commercial, to the great injury of our agriculturist, which is the main pillow of our national prosperity, and upon which our Independence and wealth as a nation rests, and out of which manufactures and commerce must grow and prosper, if prosper the[y] do.

I have been amused with the absurdity of the ground taken by the anti Tariff men, they say the Tax upon cotton bagging is onerous and destructive to the cotton growers; now the truth is, the cotton grower does not pay one cent of the duty, it is the buyer—the rope and Bailing is sold as Cotton; and last year I made 5 cents and one 8th upon the rope and 2 cents upon the Bailing—but admit we do—is it not right when we are the only part of the agriculturists that have a foreign, and home markett, for the product of our Labour that we should pay a proportion of the revenue. we consume at home better than one sixth of all the cotton that is produced in the union—added to this, 100,000 of foreign cotton last year introduced, the duty paid, and manufactured at our manufactories. Still the southern gentlemen refused to aid Major Eaton who proposed an amendment by the aditional duty on cotton of 3 cents pr lb. the manufacturers in the east are now buying South american cotton in South america, at 6 and 7 cents best quality. In a few years of peace where will be our cotton markett unless we secure it at home. This Tariff and Adams meeting is truly a Farsical thing. Mr Adams, is an open candid man, he has at my Table Publickly answered Mr Clay that he was in favour of a Judicious Tariff —every person that knows him knows this. now it is the greatest peace of Hypocrisy, to say that because I voted as every body who knew me, had read my words for years, knew I would—would make this objection. I love a candid open enemy, but a hypocritical friend, who professing friendship acts the hidden enemy, I despise. It is such that injure most. I have good feeling toward Mr Adams, and there is no conduct of Hypocritical friends that can alter this feeling. I wish you so soon as the meeting is over to give me the names of those apostate hypocritical friends that I may know them. They can do me no harm. I never have, or will ask any favour of them I am etc., etc.,

About this Item

Andrew Jackson to William Savin Fulton, July 4, 1824
Contributor Names
Fulton, William Savin (Correspondent)
Jackson, Andrew (Author)
Created / Published
July 4, 1824
Subject Headings
-  United States
-  Manuscripts
7 pages
Call Number/Physical Location
Series: Series 1, General Correspondence and Related Items, 1775-1885
MSS 27532, Vol. 64
Source Collection
Andrew Jackson papers, 1775-1874
Manuscript Division
Digital Id
Online Format
online text

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Chicago citation style:

Fulton, William Savin, and Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson to William Savin Fulton, July 4. July 4, 1824. Manuscript/Mixed Material.

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Fulton, W. S. & Jackson, A. (1824) Andrew Jackson to William Savin Fulton, July 4. July 4. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

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Fulton, William Savin, and Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson to William Savin Fulton, July 4. July 4, 1824. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.

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