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As the
best material at hand from which to erect breastworks they used
hogsheads of sugar and molasses, which were sent flying in fragments by
the American cannon. Several attacks upon the defenders were repulsed
and the final assault delayed for a number of days.

Sir Edward Pakenham, a veteran of the Peninsular wars, and a
brother-in-law of Wellington, the conqueror of Napoleon, was in command
of the reinforcements. While the advance went on slowly, 3,000 militia
joined Jackson. They were composed mainly of Kentucky and Tennessee
riflemen, the finest marksmen in the world. They were men, too, who did
not lose their heads in battle, but, kneeling behind their
intrenchments, coolly took aim and rarely threw away a shot.

On the morning of Jan. 8, 1815, the English army advanced against the
American intrenchments. They numbered nearly 8,000 veterans, and England
never placed a finer body of men in the field. The American riflemen,
with shotted cannon and leveled rifles, calmly awaited the command to
open on the advancing host. They were formed in two lines, those at the
rear loading for those in front, who were thus enabled to keep up an
almost continuous fire.

[Illustration: WEATHERSFORD AND GENERAL JACKSON.]

Before the outburst of flame the British dissolved like snow in the sun,
but the survivors with unsurpassable heroism persisted until it was
apparent that not a man would be left alive if they maintained their
ground. Then they fell back to decide upon some other method of attack.

Angered by his repulse, Pakenham ran to the head of a regiment bearing
scaling ladders and called upon his men to follow him. Only a few
succeeded in piercing the American lines. Pakenham fell, mortally
wounded; his successor was killed, and the third in command was so badly
injured that he could give no orders. "All that were left of them"
retreated. From the opening to the close of the battle was less than
half an hour, during which the British lost 2,500 in killed, wounded,
and prisoners, one-third being killed. On the American side eight were
killed and thirteen wounded. A few days later the British withdrew to
their ships and sailed for the West Indies, where they learned of the
signing of the treaty of peace.


WORK OF THE AMERICAN NAVY.

It will be noticed that as the war progressed the principal fighting
changed from the ocean to the land. Several encounters took place on the
sea, but they were mostly unimportant, and did not always result
favorably for us. In September, 1814, Captain Samuel C. Reid, in command
of the privateer _Armstrong_, while lying in the harbor of Fayal, one of
the Azores, was attacked by a fleet of boats from three British
frigates. He fought all through the night, and, although outnumbered
twenty to one, made one of the most remarkable defenses in naval annals.

On the 16th of January following, the _President_ was captured by the
British ship _Endymion_. On the 20th of February, while Captain Charles
Stewart was cruising off Cape St. Vincent, in the _Constitution_, with
no thought that peace had been declared, he fell in with two British
brigs, the _Cyane_ and the _Levant_. It was a bright moonlight night,
and, after a brief engagement, in which Stewart displayed consummate
seamanship, he captured both vessels.

But peace had come and was joyfully welcomed everywhere. The war had
cost us heavily in men, ships, and property; the New England factories
were idle, commerce at a standstill, and the whole country in a
deplorable state. But everything now seemed to spring into life under
the glad tidings. The shipping in New England was decked with bunting,
and, within twenty-four hours after the news arrived, the dockyards rang
with the sound of saw and hammer.


WAR WITH ALGIERS.

The Barbary States did not forget their rough treatment at the hands of
the United States a few years before. During the war they allowed the
British to capture American vessels in their harbors, and sometimes
captured them on their own account. In 1812 the Dey of Algiers compelled
the American consul to pay him a large sum of money to save himself,
family, and a few friends from being carried off into slavery. We were
too busily occupied elsewhere to give this barbarian attention, but in
March, 1815, war was declared against Algiers, and Commodores Decatur
and Bainbridge were sent to the Mediterranean with two squadrons to
conduct operations.

They did it to perfection. After capturing several frigates, they
approached the city of Algiers and demanded the immediate surrender of
every American prisoner, full indemnity for all property destroyed, and
the disavowal of all future claims to tribute. The terrified Dey eagerly
signed the treaty placed before him on the quarter-deck of Decatur's
ship. The Pasha of Tunis was compelled to pay a round sum on account of
the American vessels he had allowed the British to capture in his harbor
during the war. When he had done this, the Pasha of Tripoli was called
upon and forced to make a similar contribution to the United States
treasury.


FOUNDING OF THE NATIONAL COLONIZATION SOCIETY.

The negro had long been a disturbing factor in politics, and, in 1816,
the National Colonization Society was formed in Princeton, N.J., and
immediately reorganized in Washington. Its object was to encourage the
emancipation of slaves by obtaining a place for them outside the United
States, whither they might emigrate. It was hoped also that by this
means the South would be relieved of its free black population. The
scheme was so popular that branches of the society were established in
almost every State. At first free negroes were sent to Sierra Leone, on
the western coast of Africa, under the equator. Later, for a short time,
they were taken to Sherbrooke Island, but in 1821 a permanent location
was purchased at Cape Mesurado, where, in 1847, the colony declared
itself an independent republic under the name of Liberia. Its capital,
Monrovia, was named in honor of the President of the United States. The
republic still exists, but its functions were destroyed by the war for
the Union, which abolished slavery on this continent, and Liberia has
never been looked upon with great favor by the colored people of this
country.


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1816.

It has already been shown that the course of the Federal party in the
War of 1812 ruined it. The Federal nominee for the presidency was Rufus
King, of New York. He was a native of Maine, a graduate of Harvard
College, and had served as a delegate to the Continental Congress. It
was he who in 1785 moved the provision against slavery in the Northwest
Territory, and he was an active member of the Constitutional Convention
of 1787, afterward returning to Massachusetts and giving all his
energies to bringing about the ratification of the Constitution. He was
United States senator from New York in 1789-1796; was minister to
London, 1796-1803; and again a United States senator, 1813-1825.

John Eager Howard, the candidate for the vice-presidency, had hardly a
less claim upon the recognition of his countrymen, for he joined the
patriot army at the outbreak of the Revolution, and fought with marked
gallantry at White Plains, Germantown, Monmouth, and Camden, and won
special honor at the Cowpens in 1781. He was afterward governor of
Maryland, declined the portfolio of war in Washington's cabinet, and was
United States senator from 1796 to 1803.

These facts are given to show the character and standing of the
candidates of the Federalists in the presidential election of 1816. The
following was the result: For President, James Monroe, of Virginia,
Republican, 133; Rufus King, of New York, Federalist, 34. For
Vice-President, Daniel D. Tompkins, of New York, Republican, 183; John
Eager Howard, of Maryland, Federalist, 22; James Ross, of Pennsylvania,
5; John Marshall, of Virginia, 4; Robert G. Harper, of Maryland, 3.
Vacancies, 4. Thus Monroe became President and Tompkins Vice-President.

[Illustration: FIRST TRAIN OF CARS IN AMERICA.]




CHAPTER X.

ADMINISTRATIONS OF JAMES MONROE AND JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, 1817-1829.

James Monroe--The "Era of Good Feeling"--The Seminole War--Vigorous
Measures of General Jackson--Admission of Mississippi, Illinois,
Alabama, Maine, and Missouri--The Missouri Compromise--The Monroe
Doctrine--Visit of Lafayette--Introduction of the Use of Gas--Completion
of the Erie Canal--The First "Hard Times"--Extinction of the West Indian
Pirates--Presidential Election of 1824--John Quincy Adams--Prosperity of
the Country--Introduction of the Railway Locomotive--Trouble with the
Cherokees in Georgia--Death of Adams and Jefferson--Congressional Action
on the Tariff--Presidential Election of 1828.


JAMES MONROE.

James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States, was born at
Monroe's Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, April 28, 1758, and died
July 4, 1831. It will be noticed that four out of the first five
Presidents were natives of Virginia, and in course of time three others
followed. It will be admitted, therefore, that the State has well earned
the title of the "Mother of Presidents."

[Illustration: JAMES MONROE.

(1758-1831.) Two terms, 1817-1825.]

Monroe received his education at William and Mary College, and was a
soldier under Washington. He was not nineteen years old when, as
lieutenant at the battle of Trenton, he led a squad of men who captured
a Hessian battery as it was about to open fire. He studied law under
Jefferson, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses, and, when
twenty-five years old, was a delegate to the Continental Congress. He
was minister plenipotentiary to France in 1794, but his course
displeased the administration and he was recalled. From 1799 to 1802 he
was governor of Virginia, and, in the latter year, was sent to France by
President Jefferson to negotiate the purchase of Louisiana. In 1811 he
was again governor of Virginia, and shortly afterward appointed
secretary of State by Madison. He also served as secretary of war at the
same time, and, as the treasury was empty, pledged his private means for
the defense of New Orleans.



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