JACKSON, Andrew. Autograph letter signed ("Andrew Jackson") with autograph FREE FRANK ("Free Andrew Jackson") TO SAMUEL HOUSTON (1793-1863), President of the Texas Republic, the Hermitage, [Nashville, Tennessee], 25 May 1842. 3 pages, 4to, silked, several small holes affect some letters of text, framed, unexamined out of frame.
JACKSON COMMENTS ON THE MILITARY EXPEDITION TO SANTE FE AND OFFERS HOUSTON MILITARY ADVICE ON "YOUR...SUCCESS AGAINST MEXICAN TYRANNY"
An exceptional letter between two larger-than-life American historical figures: Jackson and Houston. The two men had venerable connections, for Houston had served as ensign and later aide to Jackson during the Creek Indian campaigns of the War of 1812. In 1832, Jackson had sent Houston to negiotiate with the Indians in Texas, and Houston ultimately settled there. As commander of the army of the Texas provisional government, Houston defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto in April 1836, and was in the middle of his second term as President of the Texas Republic (1868-1838 and 1841-1844).
In 1841, Mirabeau Lamar, then President of Texas, had dispatched an expedition, 300-strong, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, with the expectation that the residents of the territory might wish to join with Texas. The Spanish Governor had arrested the entire party as soon as it crossed the Texas border. On this futile exercise Jackson observes: "The Wild Goose campaign to Santa Fee [sic] was an ill judged affair and their surrender without the fire of a gun, has lessened the prowess of the Texians in the mind of the Mexicans and it will take another Sant Jacinto [sic] to restore their character."
Then Jackson offers general military advice in the event Houston is obliged to mount a full-scale invasion of Mexico: "You ought to be well provided & well organized before before [sic] an attempt to invade Mexico is made, and great care ought to be taken, that your first blow should be one, that would carry with it disarray & destruction to the Mexicans, and introduce panic amongst them, and you may rest assured that the Mexican afterwards, would fight faintly & sue for peace." Jackson notes a recent attack by Mexican forces on San Antonio: "It was to be much regretted that the marauding party of Mexicans that entered your territory and sacked St. Antonio had not been destroyed. It would have a good effect yet if a well organised body of troops would, by a coup de main, track them and give to them a severe chastisement, treating the peaceful citizens kindly, but the guilty capture and exchange them for the Santafee prisoners." (Jackson was unaware that the prisoners of the Santa Fe expedition had been released in April). He offers Houston a final caution on his plans for Mexico: "never attempt to invade Mexico for conquest until you are perfectly prepared. Mexico can never reach you with a formidable army as long as you have command of the Gulf. Therefore, good policy will dictate to you to act on the defensive, until you are fully prepared to carry conquest to the City of Mexico."
VERY RARE. No other letter between Jackson and Houston has been sold at auction in at least a quarter century, according to American Book Prices Current.