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Union. United States' Gazette and True American for the Country 1/9/1819 1:1-3

  • Law
  • Political Science


Article Title: The Execution of the Captives No. I. Although the title implies an article on Arbuthnot and Ambrister affair, this article actually lays out the case that the United States invaded Spanish Florida without Congressional sanction. Author: Published in: Union. United States' Gazette and True American for the Country Place of Publication: Philadelphia, PA Publication Date: 1/9/1819 FOR THE UNION THE EXECUTION OF THE CAPTIVES No. I. Messrs. Editors, The proceeding of General Jackson throughout the whole of his late campaign in Florida, are marked by so many circumstances of cruelty and outrage, as hitherto I had supposed to have rendered animadversion upon him unnecessary. Among a people generally mild, boasting of their pacifick temper, and willing to rely upon the virtues of justice and moderation, rather than their force for protection, it could not but have been imagined, that the extraordinary rigour, and excessive violence of this conduct, would be followed by universal indignation, and immediate and adequate punishment. On this expectation, however, it is now evident that no sufficient reliance can be placed. Not only has he hitherto escaped all manner of censure from the government, but his must lawless and extravagant measures are openly extolled, and the national character unreservedly and unhesitatingly staked upon their propriety. I therefore solicit your attention, Messrs. Editors, while I examine the grounds on which his justification is rested, and think I shall very easily convince you, that, on legal and constitutional principles, he is in every part of his conduct wholly inexcusable; and particularly, that the execution of Arbuthnot and Ambrister constitutes a case of clear and unquestionable murder. In the consideration of the subject, three questions naturally propose themselves. 1. Was the war against the Indians legal? If not so, it is obvious that every proceeding which is justified as incidental to the war, must have been illegal. 2. Was any legal offence charged

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