JACKSON, ANDREW, President. Autograph letter signed ("Andrew Jackson") to Col. Mounsel White, Hermitage, 1 January 1841. 2½ pages, 4to, 250 x 200 mm. (9¾ x 8 in.), address leaf slightly soiled, folds neatly strengthened, seal hole (affecting three words). [With:] Autograph free frank ("Free Andrew Jackson") on integral address leaf in Jackson's hand to "Col Mounsel White Merchant New Orleans."
JACKSON ON ANGLO-AMERICAN RELATIONS: "A TEMPORISING POLICY WILL NEVER ATTAIN JUSTICE FROM ENGLAND"
A lengthy letter in which the former President acknowledges receipt of money for cotton from "our plantation on the Mississippi," promises to show every kindness to a visiting Englishman, and calls for a very firm U.S. policy towards Britain: "...Our situation with England at present is critical. But a firm and energetic course if adopted by our Government will soon bring her to her senses. If she at once was told to restore the Negroes taken from the Creole, or reprisals would be forthwith made, and a pledge on the part of Britain demanded that the like infringement upon our national rights should not again be repeated, and that if indemnity for the past and a pledge for the future was not given, that we would at once batter down the forts of her Island and make reprisals, haughty Britain would yield to our demands and hereafter act justly by us. A temporising policy will never attain Justice from England -- the motto should be, Justice to all nations, permitting injury from none. The sufferings of the labouring class in England...are so great and must end in revolution..."
By 1837, relations between the United States and Great Britain had deteriorated. In the wake of an attempted revolt against English rule by Canadian insurgents, in which a U.S. steampship was set afire and destroyed, President Van Buren, Jackson's chosen successor, denounced both incidents and sent American troops to the region. Van Buren, however, ultimately refused to ask for a declaration of war and maintained American neutrality. Anglo-American relations remained tense until the signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842.