Library Finds Document Signed by Andrew Jackson in Old Book

by Donald Gantz, Director of Special Collections and Archives

Editor’s note: Followers of news about libraries know that, from time to time, historical treasures are discovered in the world’s great libraries, such as a medicinal recipe by Hippocrates uncovered last year at St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai. One of the treasures in Regent Library’s Special Collections has just such a story. The following article by Library Archivist Don Gantz was originally published in the February 2006 issue of Library Link. The article, written shortly after the manuscript’s discovery, is cautious about its authenticity. The letter has since been authenticated by Lee Shepard, retired Director of Manuscripts and Archives at the Virginia Historical Society.

Kathy Watson shows the letter fastened into the book she was cataloging.

Thanks to the alertness of Kathy Watson, cataloging assistant in the University Library, we have found what appears to be an 1813 arrest order signed by Major General Andrew Jackson. Jackson is famous for defeating the Creek Indians and the British at New Orleans during the War of 1812 and later for becoming the seventh president of the United States.

Kathy was cataloging books acquired from the William Tyndale College library when she found this document fastened between the blank fly leaves of Augustus Buell’s 1904 History of Andrew Jackson. This brief hand-written document orders the arrest of a Sergeant Baldrige and his detention by a special guard in the fort.

The document seems to have evidence of an official seal which secured it after it was folded several times. It had “Gen’l Order, Dec 9, 1813” written on the outside after the folds, and the outside was soiled from handling. It’s placement in the book likely served to preserve it.

Our conclusions about the authenticity of the document remain to be confirmed by having it examined by an expert on historical documents. Our best transcription so far of the hard-to-read hand-scrawled document is:

The adjutant general will immediately arrest Sergeant Baldrige of Capt. Thomas Williamson’s, Company 2 Regt. V- and place him under the provost guard within the Fort,- and warn Lt. Masons who commands the provost guard of this day to attend with his guard within the Fort.

Andrew Jackson
Major Genl
Headquarters, Fort
Strother Decbr 9th 1813

1813 Arrest Order signed by Major General Andrew Jackson

The date of the document, December 9, 1813, and the location, Fort Strother, Alabama suggest it is not a routine document reflecting a routine discipline problem. At this time Jackson was commander of the Tennessee militia and the Tennessee volunteers. Both groups had already attempted defection but had been dissuaded by Jackson’s heavy-handed intervention.

The volunteers, however, were determined to leave on the next day, December 10, 1813, when their one-year enlistment expired. Jackson was equally determined that they would stay until March 10 because they had been given three months at home during that period and he was demanding twelve months of actual service. There were military lawyers in the camp telling the volunteers they had the right to leave. Given Jackson’s iron will, a confrontation was inevitable.

On December 9 (the date of the arrest order), the volunteers’ intentions to leave became clear. But before they made their move, Jackson made his. He ordered the loyal militia to line up above the road to Tennessee and do whatever was necessary to prevent the volunteers’ departure. He ordered the mutinous volunteers to be brought out to parade on the west side of the fort. Jackson then ordered the loyal artillery gunners to aim their two fieldpieces on the volunteers. He mounted his horse, rode up and down the ranks, and exhorted them not to desert. Finally, to force a decisive response, Jackson told the artillery gunners to light their matches, one small step from firing. Jackson was also in the line of fire. He said, and demonstrated, if they chose to desert, it would be over his dead body.The volunteers decided they would stay until the expected reinforcements arrived. Jackson accepted their decision and the mass mutiny was prevented.

December 9, 1813 was an unforgettable day in the military career of Andrew Jackson. It was also the beginning of a series of serious setbacks. Three days later, December 12th, 1,500 reinforcements arrived and Jackson was obliged to keep his word and let the Tennessee volunteers return home. When they had just departed he learned that all the reinforcements’ terms of service would expire within a few weeks. He was eventually left with too few men to defend the fort, which was situated deep in enemy territory, let alone finish his campaign against the formidable Creek Indians.

This period of Jackson’s military career reads like a suspense thriller, and its events leave us itching to learn more about Sergeant Baldrige and why he was arrested on that fateful day, December 9, 1813.

Additional Reading

Buell, Augustus C. History of Andrew Jackson, Pioneer, Patriot, Soldier, Politician, President. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1904.

James, Marquis. Andrew Jackson, the Border Captain. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1933.

Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire, 1767-1821. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.

Watch the World Cup at the Library

Watch the entire game or just a few minutes at the Library.

The quadrennial FIFA World Cup is a global event like no other. Over a billion people around the world watched the 2014 final match in Rio de Janeiro, but perhaps even this pales when compared to the artificial earthquake set off last Sunday by jubilant fans in Mexico City following their team’s stunning 1-0 upset over defending champion Germany.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off last Thursday and will continue through the July 15 final in Moscow. Sadly, the United State did not qualify this year, but you have a choice of 32 other teams to cheer for.

The official 2018 World Cup ball has a pixelated pattern in homage to the classic Telstar design of 1970.

The Library invites soccer fans (as well as the merely curious) to watch the World Cup at the Library. We will be showing all matches televised on Fox when the Library is open for the duration of the tournament. Remember, the Library is closed on Sundays during the summer, so you’ll have to find another location for those matches, which includes the final!

Hone your Strategic Thinking this Summer

When two tigers fight, what is left is
one dead tiger and one wounded one.
-Chinese Proverb

Traditional Go equipment, made of natural materials like wood, slate, clamshell or white stone, adds to the beauty of the game.

Still looking for a rewarding summer project? Consider learning the ancient game of Go.

Go is a board game that originated in China over 2,500 years ago. Like chess, Go has always been valued as a tool for developing strategic thinking, but the mentalities required for success in the two games could hardly be more different.

Chess is a game of decisive battle. Each player strives to capture the opponent’s king by annihilating his capacity to resist. In contrast, the object of Go is to build and control more territory on the board. While chess tends to reward daring, Go rewards patience.

Unlike chess, which is concerned exclusively with the strategic mentality of warfare, Go is a closer metaphor of business or international relations.. Experience and judgement are essential, and greed is punished.

Go writer Peter Shotwell writes that “Japanese executives learned to look at the national and international corporate worlds as Go boards and designed many of their strategies accordingly…One should try to win, but that had to involve allowing the opponent to win something too, because all-out fights might destroy both competitors.”*

The Library has a good-quality beginning Go set in front of the reference desk. Learning this ancient and rich game will give you insight into the psychology and strategic thinking of countries like China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, where Go is part of the cultural heritage.

Intrigued? Check out this short tutorial on the rules:

https:youtu.begECcsSeRcNo

If you are interested in learning to play Go, contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu for suggestions on getting started.

______________________________

*Peter Shotwell, Go! More Than a Game, (Ruland, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 2003), xi.
http:library.regent.edurecord=b1545173~S0

Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/494762709037943549/

 

Online Foreign Language Learning

Do you know what foreign language your friends at Regent are learning? Between May 2017 and April 2018, the Regent community studied more and 40 modern and ancient languages courses using the Mango Languages software. 70% of all learning sessions were on mobile devices, with an average session length of 11 minutes, which indicates that a just few dedicated minutes per day is all that is required to make meaningful progress in a foreign language.

Here, by order of registered learners, are the twenty most popular Mango languages at Regent during the past year:

Rank Language Regent Learners
1 Spanish (Latin American) 195
2 Korean 152
3 Japanese 93
4 French 92
5 German 91
6 Hebrew (Modern) 89
7 Italian 87
8 Portuguese (Brazil) 37
9 Chinese (Mandarin) 33
10 Hebrew (Biblical) 30
11 Greek (New Testament) 26
12 Tagalog 24
13 Arabic (Levantine) 22
14 Russian 18
15 Arabic (Egyptian) 12
16 Latin 8
17  Irish 7
18 Greek (Ancient) 5
19 Greek (Modern) 5
20 Romanian 5

Mango offers an amazing array of language and cultural products available 24/7 to current Regent users and alumni, including 72 foreign languages, 17 ESL courses, and special cultural training courses, such as Arab etiquette, Chinese feng shui, and the language of romance in Italy and France. For advanced learners, Mango even has full-length foreign films with subtitles and special learning tools.

Whether you are planning a mission trip to Brazil, getting in touch with your Irish roots, or have always wanted to read the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek, Mango Languages can help you achieve your goals. Language study is a crucial component for understanding another culture. While complete fluency in a language requires years of study, even basic proficiency will make you feel more at ease when abroad and impress your overseas contacts with your good manners in taking the time to learn some of their language. It will also make your time in a foreign country much more rewarding. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “No man should travel until he has learned the language of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby, so helpless and so ridiculous.”

To begin your journey with Mango, click here.

Book Discussion: The Benedict Option, by Rod Dreher

French and American editions of The Benedict Option

In one of the most discussed Christian books of 2017, Rod Dreher calls on American Christians to prepare for the coming Dark Age by embracing the way to St. Benedict of Nursia. At a time of moral chaos, Benedict built  communities based on principles of order, hospitality, stability, and prayer. His spiritual centers of hope were strongholds of light throughout the Dark Ages and saved not only Christianity but Western civilization.

On Thursday, May 24 at 12:00, the Library Book Club will discuss The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation. Professor of Theology Dr. Dale Coulter will lead our discussion.

The Library has multiple copies of the book available for checkout. Reviews and a generous excerpt are available on the publisher’s website.

Distance students and faculty are invited to join the discussion via Collaborate Ultra: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/a48790b68d0642a69e6150250d3bca2d. No Regent login credentials are required to use this link.

Update: Dr. Coulter’s article on The Benedict Option was just published on May 24 in First Things, one of the nation’s leading journals of faith and culture. Read it by clicking here.