The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 143
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Andrew Jackson and the Erving Affidavit
Thomas H. Benton's articles in the St. Louis Beacon in the summer
of 1829, in which Benton, under the signatures "Americanus" and
"LaSalle," urged the "re-annexation" of Texas. Benton had
quoted several documents of the period 1818-1819 tending to show
that Erving could have got the Colorado in Texas as the western
boundary and that Adams knew when he agreed to the Florida
treaty that the Spanish minister, Onis, was authorized, as indeed
he was, to cede more territory than he did; Benton accordingly had
denounced Adams for "dismembering" and yielding to Spain a
portion of the American Louisiana Purchase. Benton no doubt
inspired Jackson's application to Erving for further information.
Erving's "Summary," which did not go beyond what Benton had
already told the public, could hardly have astonished Jackson.
Adams, the last member of Monroe's cabinet willing to yield
Texas to Spain in 1819, hotly contradicted Jackson's "Rio Grande
treaty" version when it first was made public in 1844, and charged
the Old Hero with deliberate fraud. Adams pointed out (as he
had once before, in 1836) that Jackson had been consulted by him
in 1819 and had approved the Sabine boundary in the treaty then
being negotiated. When Jackson denied this Adams had only to
produce his diary for February 1-3, 1819, to show that Jackson
really had a very "bad memory." Further doubt was thrown upon
the "astonishment" and "indignation" which Jackson professed to
have felt in 1829 on receiving Erving's "revelations" when S. L.
Gouverneur, Monroe's son-in-law, published in 1844 the letter
which President Monroe had written to Jackson in May, 1820, ex-
plaining the Florida treaty boundary: "Having long known," wrote
Monroe, "the repugnance with which the Eastern portion of our
union . . . have seen its aggrandizement to the West and South,
I have been decidedly of opinion that we ought to be content with
Florida for the present."
to that effect in the year 1816-as extracted from the despatches and letters
of that minister (100 in number) to the Secrety of State," MS., is in the
Jackson Papers, Vol. 74, in the Library of Congress. This manuscript,
twenty-seven pages in length, has been examined by the present writer. It
quotes profusely from Adams' and Erving's dispatches. It was obviously
written in 1829, but was based (according to Erving's statement in 1844)
upon an earlier syllabus which he had "formed from the records in the
Department of State, immediately after my return to Washington, whilst
Mr. Monroe was yet in office." Erving to a friend, Paris, November 12, 1844,
in Washington Globe, January 13, 1845. J. Q. Adams declares that "there
was not a greater liar upon earth" than Erving.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/159/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.