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Title:[Letter] 1803 Oct. 9, Knoxville, Tennessee [to] John Sevier / Andrew Jackson : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Jackson, Andrew

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: October 9, 1803
Extent: 4p
Summary:This document is a letter dated October 9, 1803 from Andrew Jackson challenging John Sevier to a duel, either in Knoxville, Tennessee or at the Indian boundary. Jackson demands reparation for the insults that Sevier inflicted on Jackson's wife Rachel.
Collection:Tennessee Historical Society
Box:Miscellaneous documents J1

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Knoxville October 9th 1803

After this note I will bid you adieu, it being the last you will receive from me on the point of honour the subject of my first note to you dated the first Instant— From the Tenor of yours of the third Instant in answer to my note of the morning of the same day, I did believe that all that sermounted [surmounted] to be done, was for our friends immediately to point out the place to which we were instantly to repair, and the satisfaction required in my note of the second was immediately to be given—as I had named to you in my note of the third, that unless you did meet me between then & the hours of four Oclock in the evening of the same day— or set out immediately to the Indian boundary line a place named by me (to remove your squeamish fears) that I would advertise you as a coward and poltroon— but Judge my astonishment, (when it was stated to me by my friend after application to Capt [Captain] Sparks your friend to put the time and proceed to a place to be named agreeable to your note) that in express contradiction thereto he stated, that you had instructed him not to name a day sooner than the Eight instant— I directed my friend to state to him expressly, if he did not agreable [agreeable] to your note, immediately proceed to name time and place, that after four oclock I would advertise you as a coward and poltroon and that censure might attach to him, as he was by your

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note authorised [authorized] to act— he replied, he hoped I would not advertise you, but if I did he could not help it, that he was [unclear: freely ] pursuing your instructions of which I have no doubt as I believe him to be a man of truth— I then had a right to expose you— I thought I would that evening post you as a coward— but to leave you no subterfuge, I determined to wait to the Eighth the day of your choice, on the seventh Instant Capt [Captain] White waited on Capt [Captain] Sparks your friend to be informed of your determination— and did emphatically state to you thro [through] Capt [Captain] Sparks, that we had waited your own time, and expected you had instructed him to state, that on the morning of the Eight, that you would be ready to meet me in the vicinity of Knoxville , or be ready to set out to the Indian boundary line, there to satisfy my demand— The answer was no arrangement yet made not still ready— Capt [Captain] Sparks was again told to state to you, unless you did meet me on the Eighth instant, you would be posted as a coward and poltroon— on the Eighth an answer was given to my friend Capt [Captain] A. White that you could not see me untill [until] the [unclear: Gosmettce ] business was over— these delays I well thought were intended as a mere subterfuge for your cowardice you will recollect, that you on the first instant in the publick [public] streets of Knoxville appeared to part for the combat, you ransacked the vocabulary of vulgarity for insulting and blackguard Expressions— You [unclear]

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without provocation made the attack, and in an ungentlemanly manner took the sacred name of a lady in your polluted lips, and dared me publickly [publicly] to challenge you— and ever since you gave the insult, has cowardly evaded an interview you on that day appeared to court— you ought at least before you make a premeditated attack to be ready to repair the injury at the call of the injured— I have waited your time, I have named the indian [Indian] boundary line, to prevent you from having any subterfuge—to which you agreed— all in vain— cowardice is now your only shield, to that you have resorted, and as you will not give me that redress in the field, that the injury you have done requires— and as your old age protects you from that Chastisement you merrit [merit]— the justice I owe to myself and country urges me to unmask you to the world in your true colours; In the Gazzet [Gazette] of Monday Inst— [Instant] I have spoke for a place in the paper for the following advertisement— and I have named publickly [publicly] that you are the greatest coward I ever had anything to do with— The advertisement as follows, To all who shall see these presents Greeting—Know yea that I Andrew Jackson, do pronounce, publick [public], and declare to the world, that his Excellency John Sevier Esqr [Esquire], Captain General and commander in chief of the [unclear: cond ] and Naval forces within the State of Tennessee is a base coward and poltroon, He will

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basely insult, but has not courage to repair
Andrew Jackson

you may prevent the insertion of the above by meeting in one or two hours after the receipt of this, my friend who will hand you this is authorised [authorized] to say so[added: to Declare] on a written note signed by you being delivered to him stating time [added: as above] and place and on no other Terms— I shall set out for home on the tenth Instant, about the middle of the day, I hope it will not be said that I ran away for fear of you or your friends— Adieu—

Andrew Jackson

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