Front Page Titles (by Subject) CRAWFORD TO GALLATIN. - The Writings of Albert Gallatin, vol. 2
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CRAWFORD TO GALLATIN. - Albert Gallatin, The Writings of Albert Gallatin, vol. 2 
The Writings of Albert Gallatin, ed. Henry Adams (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1879). 3 vols.
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CRAWFORD TO GALLATIN.
Washington, 9th October, 1816.
My dear Sir,—
The arrival of Mr. Vail excited a hope that I should receive a letter from you. The disappointment was not great, as the present state of France presents nothing inviting to a correspondent who does not indulge in conjecture nor delight to sport in the regions of imagination.
At home we have cause of exultation as well as of regret. In many respects the nation was never more prosperous. Domestic articles of almost every description bring the highest prices, and many of the articles of foreign growth or manufacture are sold at first cost.
The crops have generally been bad from one end of the continent to the other, especially of Indian corn. Those of wheat, in the Middle States, were abundant and of superior quality. In the two Carolinas, a large emigration must take place for the purpose of finding subsistence. In Georgia the corn crops are good, but the cotton will be short, as no rain fell in the month of August.
Our political horizon has been overhung with one continued storm, raised by the Compensation Bill. In most cases, especially in the West and South, the opposers of the bill have been confounded with its supporters by the public indignation. In Kentucky, Clay, Johnson, and Desha have been re-elected. The latter voted against the bill, and the two first owe their success to the political character of their opponents. Mr. Pope was the competitor of Mr. Clay, and was beaten about 650 votes. Colonel Johnson was elected by a larger majority.
In the State of Georgia it is supposed that the whole representation has been turned out, upon the old maxim that the receiver is as bad as the thief. They voted against the bill, but received the salary.
Bibb, whose election takes place next month, it is believed has no chance of success. In Tennessee, their county meetings have requested the Senators and Representatives to resign, and I have been denounced and burnt in effigy there on account of the Cherokee convention, and in the Mississippi Territory for being disposed to remove the intruders from the public lands. The bad temper of the first will, I suppose, evaporate, as two treaties have just been made with the Cherokees and Chickasaws, which connected the settlements of Tennessee with the Gulf of Florida. This cession embraces all the western part of the bend of Tennessee, and all south of that river embraced by a line running up Caney Creek to its head; then due south to Gaines’s road; thence along that road to the cotton-gin port on the Tombigby River, and down that river to the Choctaw line, on the west; and on the east by a line drawn due south from the Tennessee River, where it is intersected by the eastern line of Madison County, until it is intersected by a line drawn due west from the Ten Islands in the Coosa, a little above Fort Strother.
This cession, which the Tennessee people contended was ceded by Jackson’s treaty, in many points of view is the most important which has been obtained for many years. The only objection which I have to it, and to Jackson’s treaty itself, is that the contract with Georgia has been most scandalously violated. By that compact the United States bound itself to extinguish the Indian title to the whole of the territory retained by the State “as soon as practicable.” As Jackson’s treaty was declared, it was just as easy to have obtained a cession of all the Creek claims within the limits of Georgia as that which was obtained. The cession demanded and yielded will prevent a cession to Georgia for a century at least.
We have just obtained an extension of the Illinois purchase to the shores of Lake Michigan, embracing twenty miles of coast. This cession has been obtained by the relinquishment of all that part of the Illinois cession lying north of the northern line of Ohio when extended to the Mississippi.
A large amount of presents and an annuity of a thousand dollars a year in goods for twelve years have also been given to obtain the relinquishment of the claims of those tribes to that part of the Illinois purchase lying south of the said line. This purchase, considered with a view to war with our northern neighbors, is of vast importance. It will be surveyed and brought into the market with the least possible delay. Upon the whole, notwithstanding the complaints which have been made against the government for favoring the Indians, and against them for pertinaciously holding lands of which they make no use, I think more has been done this year in Indian negotiation than in any former year. If the Choctaw claim east of the Tombigby can be satisfactorily adjusted, we have nothing further to desire in the West for many years.
Some agitation prevails in Louisiana, arising from the apprehension of a Spanish invasion in that quarter. The information is implicitly relied upon by Colonel Jessup, who commands at Orleans; but, as he has not disclosed either the source or the details of it, we cannot form a correct estimate of the credit to which it is entitled. Under these circumstances, we have only ordered the concentration of the force assigned to the southern division at such points as will most effectually guard against the apprehended invasion. In doing this, we have directed the movements to be made as silently as possible, and that the object of the movement may not be disclosed. The predisposition to a war with Spain is so strong in this nation, especially in the section adjoining that which is menaced, that a slight excitement might be productive of consequences which the power of the government would not be able to control.
I presume you have been made acquainted with the ridiculous dispute in which we have been engaged with Russia, in consequence of a criminal procedure against Kosloff, the consul-general. It now has a most unpromising aspect, arising wholly from Daschkoff’s improper conduct. The French minister seems to have as little prudence, but, I hope, more good faith.
Mr. Monroe arrived in the city last evening, and I have heard that the President reached it this evening. To enable the President to bring Mr. Clay into the Cabinet, I consented to take the Treasury Department, but limited my acquiescence to the disposition of that gentleman to take the War Department. He has declined, and still the President writes to me that he has offered the War Department to Mr. Lowndes. He further stated that Mr. Monroe was with him, and that he had availed himself of his advice. As my consent was given on a condition which has failed, I ought not to be pressed further on the subject. There can be no mistake in the case, as my consent was in writing.
Present my respects to Mrs. Gallatin and the other members of your family, and accept the assurance of my sincere regard.
I am yours, &c.