Section #4 - Early sectional conflicts over expanding slavery lead to the Missouri Compromise Of 1820

Chapter 38: James Monroe’s First Term


Run-up To The Election Of 1816

As the presidential race of 1816 begins, the popular momentum enjoyed by the Federalist Party  during the early struggles of the War of 1812 has dissipated, and their desperate ploy in selecting  DeWitt Clinton to run against Madison has left them without a viable candidate going forward.  

Largely by default, they put forward Senator Rufus King of New York, who has already been  defeated twice, in 1804 and 1808, for the Vice Presidency.  

King’s credentials are actually quite credible. Graduate of Harvard College, a brief militia stint  during the first war with Britain, member in 1787 of the Committee On Style that drafted the  Constitution, first-rate orator and outspoken opponent of slavery, close ally of that essential  Federalist, Alexander Hamilton.  

In 1796 Washington offers him the Secretary of State post, which he turns down in favor of the  Ambassadorship to Britain. Remarkably when Jefferson becomes President in 1800, he retains  King in that critical assignment until 1803.  

Along with the 61 year old King, some Federalists put forward 64 year old John Howard of  Maryland as a Vice-Presidential candidate. Howard is an ex-Revolutionary War hero, who owns  a large slave-holding plantation, has previously served back in 1803 as a U.S. Senator, and  appears to have little in common with King. 

By contrast, a genuine race for the presidential nomination develops among the Democratic Republicans. 

The hand-picked candidate of both Jefferson and Madison is their fellow Virginian, James  Monroe, currently serving as Secretary of State and Secretary of War.  

However, the long-term anti-Jefferson faction of the Party decides to contest the top slot. This  wing is led by John Randolph of Roanoke, who argues that Madison’s policies have become no  more than:  

Old Federalism, vamped up into something bearing the superficial appearance of  Republicanism. 

Their option to Monroe is the formidable Georgian, William Crawford, who has served under  Madison as Minister to France and Secretary of War.

Crawford is the first of several politicians from his state who will emerge on the national stage  with a reputation for arriving at independent positions and promoting them aggressively.  

He is another self-made man, growing up in Appling, Georgia, along the eastern border with  South Carolina. As a young man he is a farmer and teacher, before receiving a classical  education at Carmel Academy under tutelage of the well-known Presbyterian minister, Moses  Waddel. He is an excellent student and briefly joins the Academy staff before leaving to teach at  Richland Academy, where he also studies law and passes the bar in 1799, at 27 years old. His  scholarship on Georgia law and his outgoing personal style carry him readily into politics. 

Crawford is physically and verbally a brawny man, and he engages in two bloody duels early in  his career, both times involving political rivals backing future Governor John Clark. In 1802 he  kills a Clark supporter named Peter Van Allen, and in 1806 is wounded in another duel, by Clark  himself. 

Later that year he is off to Washington, where he serves as U.S. Senator for six years, and is a  popular choice as President pro tem in 1812. Madison appoints him Minister to France in 1813  and then Secretary of War in 1815. 

Unlike the “Warhawks,” Clay and Calhoun, Crawford is initially opposed to fighting another  battle with Britain, but his considerable influence in the Senate fails to carry the day. In 1813 he  declines Madison’s offer to become the new Secretary of War, and instead takes a posting as  Minister to France. After the conflict ends, he accepts the War slot, and serves there from 1815  to 1816, after which he becomes Madison’s Secretary of the Treasury, a position he will continue  to hold over a nine year stretch, until 1825. 

Crawford has just begun his new duties when various supporters put him forward as an option to  Monroe for the 1816 nomination.  

They tend to see in him a commanding presence, inclined to favor “old school” domestic virtues:  power to the states over the national government; concerns about a centralized bank; free trade  rather than debilitating embargos; limited taxation and Bill of Rights guarantees on freedom; a  laissiz-faire attitude toward slavery. 

Others simply see him as an end to the monopoly that Virginians seem to have on the presidency. 

Over time, Crawford’s flexibility on many issues will fail to conform to the “assumed preferences” of his backers – but in the 1816 caucus they put up a good fight. In the final balloting for the nomination, he comes up just short, garnering 54 votes against 65 for Monroe.

1816 Presidential Nomination
Candidates Votes
James Monroe65
William Crawford54

As has become the norm by 1816, selection of a running mate for Monroe is more about geographically balancing the party ticket than about lining up a successor for the presidency. If anything, that path for the Democratic-Republicans now runs through tenure as Secretary of  State.  

The Political Fate Of Early Vice-Presidents Vs. Secretaries Of State 
Year President Vice PresidentSecretary of State Presidential  Nominee
1788 Washington Adams Jay, Jefferson
1792 Washington Adams Jefferson, Randolph,  PickeringAdams in 1796
1796 Adams Jefferson Pickering, Lee, Marshall Jefferson in 1800
1800 Jefferson Burr Lincoln, Madison Jefferson in 1804
1804 Jefferson Clinton Madison Madison in 1808
1808 Madison Clinton/Vacant Smith/Monroe Madison in 1812
1812 Madison Gerry/Vacant Monroe Monroe in 1816

In the end, the party settles on Daniel Tomkins, the sitting Governor of NY, as its nominee.  Tompkin’s fame rests on his personal efforts to strengthen the state militia during the War of  1812. Unfortunately this has involved sizable loans to purchase equipment, which he backs against his personal wealth. In the end these bankrupt him and turn him to drink and an early death only three months after his term as Vice-President is underway.

November-December 1816

Monroe Wins In A Landslide

Actual voting in the election of 1816 is completed between November 1 and December 4. The popular turn-out is down dramatically from the 1812 race which featured intense controversy over both the trade embargos and the war with Britain. 

Popular Voting For President & Number Of States Where Electors Chosen By Their Votes
1788 17921796 18001804 1808 18121816
43,782 28,579 66,841 67,282 143,110 192,691 278,786 112,370
7 of 12 6 of 15 9 of 16 6 of 16 11 of 17 10 of 17 9 of 18 10 of 19

As expected, Monroe wins in a landslide, carrying 16 states, losing only in traditionally  Federalist strongholds, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  

Results Of The 1816 Presidential Election
Candidates StatePartyPop VoteTot EVSouthBorderNorthWest
James Monroe VaDem-Rep76,59218370208211
Rufus King +  localsNY Federalist34,740340310
Total 112,370217702311311
Needed To Win109
Note: South (Virginia, NC, SC, Georgia, TN, La), Border (Delaware, Maryland, Ky), North (NH, Mass, NY, NJ, Penn, RI, Conn, Vt), West (Ohio, Indiana) Total # electors voting = 217; must get more than half to win = 109.

His margin of victory in the Electoral College is well ahead of what Madison accomplished before him, and almost comparable to Jefferson’s victory in 1804. 

Winning Margin In Electoral Votes Actually Cast
Year Candidates Party Electoral Votes
1804 Thomas Jefferson Democratic-Republican 162 of 176/92%
1808 James Madison Democratic-Republican 122 of 175/70%
1812 James Madison Democratic-Republican 128 of 217/59%
1816 James Monroe Democratic-Republican 183 of 217/84%
November-December 1816

The Democratic-Republicans Strengthen Their Control Over The House

Two new states – Indiana and Mississippi – participate in the election of the 15th Congress. Both end up in the Democratic-Republican column, sending one House representative and two Senators to Washington. 

First Time Voting Among New States
Year SouthBorderNorthWest
1791 Vermont
1792 Kentucky
1796 Tennessee
1812 Louisiana
1817 Mississippi

Overall the election represents the beginning of the death spiral for the Federalist Party in the House. They give back all of the gains they recorded in 1812 and 1814, and end up with only 40 of the 185 total seats.

Election Trends – House Of Representatives 
Party 1801 1803 1805 1807 1809 1811 1813 1815 1817
Democratic-Republicans 68 102 114 116 93 107 114 119 145
Federalist 38 40 28 26 49 36 68 64 40
Congress # 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th

Democratic-Republican dominance extends across all geographic regions. They continue to “own” the South, losing only a few seats in Virginia and North Carolina. In the North, they win the big states of Pennsylvania (23 seats) and New York (27) by wide margins, and even take 9 of 20 races in Massachusetts.  

House Trends By Region 
Democratic Republican TotalSouthBorderNorthWest
1803 1024213461
1805 1144813521
1807 11647 12561
1811 1074312511
1813 1144916436
1815 1195114477
1817 1455416687

The Federalists hold their own in the Senate. Three states – Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland  – remain in their control, and they strengthen their hand near term in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

Election Trends – Senate 
Party 1801 1803 1805 1807 1809 1811 1813 1815 1817
Democratic Republicans172527282730282629
Congress #7th8th9th10th11th 12th 13th 14th 15th

But the Democratic-Republicans continue to shut them out across the South and the West.  

Senate Trends By Region
Democratic Republican TotalSouthBorderNorthWest
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President James Monroe: Personal Profile

James Monroe  1
James Monroe (1758-1831)

James Monroe is born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, also the birthplace of George Washington and Robert E. Lee. His roots are considerably more humble than the three other presidents who precede him in the so-called “Virginia dynasty.”

His father, Spence Monroe, inherits some 500 acres of land, and builds a four room wooden cabin on it, which measures a mere 58×20 feet. He and his wife have five children and apparently own “several slaves,” who help him raise tobacco, corn, barley and livestock. The family is considered well off, but by no means aristocratic.

James Monroe works the farm, while also attending Campbelltown Academy, where he is tutored, along with his friend John Marshall, by the Scottish Reverend, Archibald Campbell, of the Church of England. In 1774, his father dies, and, as the oldest son, he inherits the plantation.  

At this point he also comes under the ongoing influence of an uncle on his mother’s side, Judge  Joseph Jones. Jones has served on the Virginia Courts, as a member of House of Burgesses, and later as representative to the Continental Congress. His friendships include Washington,  Jefferson and Madison. Jones steers Monroe to enroll at the College of William & Mary. 

But his education is interrupted after one year by the war with Britain. His father, Spence, had been outspoken in his criticism of abuses in colonial taxation, and now his son is eager to pick up arms as open conflict begins. He joins the 3rd Virginia Militia and, within two weeks of the Concord battle, he participates in a raid on the arsenal at the Governor’s palace in Williamsburg. He is seventeen years old at this time.  

Monroe’s military career will extend over five years. His regiment is with Washington in August, 1776, when British Generals Clinton and Howe almost trap it in Manhattan. He then joins in the long retreat north, and from there across the Hudson and back south to New Jersey.  On Christmas Day, 1776, he crosses the Delaware along with Washington and attacks the  Hessians at the Battle of Trenton, where he almost loses his life. A musket ball severs an artery in his shoulder during a heroic assault, and he nearly bleeds out before a doctor saves him. Monroe’s combat role ends with Trenton, although he does continue to serve in the militia almost until the end of the war.

Monroe’s early experiences in life will mirror Washington more so than Jefferson or Madison. His perspectives on America are formed on the battlefield rather than in the library, and they endow him with a bias toward independent thought, leadership and action. 

After the war he returns to Virginia, and the need to attend to his personal finances, something that will plague him through-out his life. He picks up the study of law, not out of particular interest, but as a proven path to required income. His connections result in two distinguished tutors, Jefferson and his former teacher, George Wythe, who has also apprenticed John Marshall,  Edmund Randolph and Henry Clay in the law.  

In 1783 he sells his inherited farm, passes the bar, and opens a practice in Fredericksburg. But his interest in politics continues. He serves in the state assembly and then as a delegate to the fourth session of the Congress of the Confederation. He is now on the national stage, and focused already on issues of national security and westward expansion that will mark his political future. 

There are before us some questions of the utmost consequence…whether we are to have standing troops to protect our frontiers or leave them unguarded…whether we will expose ourselves to the…loss of the country westward…and the intrusion on settlers by European powers who border us.  

While in New York at the Congress, he falls in love with Elizabeth Kortright, whose family is prominent in local society. Their marriage in 1786 will span 44 years and produce a son, who dies in infancy, and two daughters. 

When time comes for the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Monroe is still “ranked” by other Virginians, and, to his annoyance, is left out of the delegation. His stated views exhibit a streak of political independence. Like the Federalists, he favors a strong central government, and supports its authority to nationalize the militia in times of crisis. But he stands with the Anti-Federalists in demanding the inclusion of a personal Bill of Rights.  

Monroe steps up to challenge James Madison, who is eight years his senior, for a House seat in America’s first election, in 1788. He loses, but is soon selected as a U.S. Senator in 1790. In Philadelphia, he boards with Madison and Jefferson, and aligns with the Democratic-Republican  Party. After four years, he is entrusted by his old war commander, George Washington, with his first ministerial assignment, to a Paris dominated by Napoleon.  

His task there, a thankless one, involves coddling France while his counterpart in London, John Jay, negotiates his Amity Treaty of 1794 with the British. Jay keeps him in the dark from start to finish, and Monroe ends up being humiliated when the French learn of the treaty in the press.  The fiercely pro-French Monroe lashes out publicly against Jay, and Alexander Hamilton convinces Washington to recall him. This wound is not forgotten, and Monroe is involved in exposing the “Reynold’s adultery affair” which forces Hamilton to resign in 1795.  

He returns home to resume his law career and set up his new plantation called Highland, situated on 1,000 acres immediately adjacent to Jefferson’s Monticello. His true calling, however, is politics, and in 1799 he is elected Governor of Virginia. Then Jefferson becomes president in 1801 and grooms both Madison and Monroe as likely successors. As special envoy to France, Monroe helps negotiate the Louisiana Purchase. He serves as Minister to Britain from 1803- 1808, and rejects attempts by an anti-Jefferson wing of the Democratic-Republican Party to have him run against Madison in the 1808 election. Madison rewards his loyalty by naming him  Secretary of State, an office he holds from 1811-1817. After the British burn Washington on  August 24, 1814, he also assumes the post of Secretary of War until the fighting is over.

In 1816 he is a natural candidate to succeed Madison, and he goes on to complete two terms  (1817-25) during a period that becomes known as the “Era of Good Feelings” – despite the nation’s first tremor around the issue of slavery, leading to the 1820 Missouri Compromise. His own recorded thoughts about slavery mirror Jefferson, and he is an early sponsor of the  American Colonization Society. The capital city of Liberia, Monrovia, is named after him.


Sidebar: For Sale – Monroe’s Plantation, Including A Stock of Cattle And Slaves


For sale on Thursday, the 21st of December next on the premisies, the tract of LAND on which the late Judge Jones resided in Loudoun County with about 25 slaves, and the stock of Horses, Cattle, and Hogs, on the estate. The tract contains nearly 2000 acres [8 km²], and possesses many advantages which entitle it to the attention of those who  may wish to reside, in that highly improved part of our country. Two merchant mills are  in the neighbourhood, one on the adjoining estate, and the other within two miles [3  km]. It is 10 miles [16 km] from Leesburg, 35 [56 km] from Alexandria and 40 [64 km]  from Georgetown. The new, Turn-pike from Alexandria crosses a corner of the land, and terminates at the nearest merchant mill. The whole tract is remarkably well watered,  Little river passing through the middle of it, and many small streams on each side  emptying into that river. About 50 or 60 acres [200,000 or 240,000 m²] are already well set with timothy, and at leats 300 acres (1.2 km²) are capable of being made excellent meadow. It will be divided into tracts of different dimensions to suit the convenience of purchasers. A credit of one, two and three years will be allowed. Bonds with approved security, and a trust on the land will be required. The negroes are supposed to be very valuable, some of them being good house servants, and the others, principally, young  men and women. For them the same terms of credit will be allowed, and that of a year for every other article.

N.B. The above lands, being yet unsold, notice is given that they will be disposed of, by private sale, upon terms which will be made known on application to Israel Lacy Esq. of Goshen, Col. Armstead T. Mason, near Leesburg, Maj. Charles Fenton Mercer of Leesburg, or to the subscriber, near Milton in  Albemarle county.

December, 23d 1809.
March 4, 1817

Monroe’s First Inaugural Address

James Monroe 2
James Monroe (1758-1831)

The Capitol is still being rebuilt after the 1815 fire, when James Monroe is inaugurated, on March 4, 1817. The ceremony takes place in the temporary quarters of the House, known as the Brick Capitol. He is sworn in by his childhood friend, Chief Justice John Marshall, and then sets a precedent by stepping outside to deliver his address to a gathered crowd.

His speech begins by reflecting on the current state of the nation, which he finds flourishing under the government institutions in place since the Revolution.

I should be destitute of feeling if I was not deeply affected by the strong proof which my fellow-citizens have given me of their confidence in calling me to the high office whose functions I am about to assume… From the commencement of our Revolution to the present day almost forty years have elapsed… During a period fraught with difficulties and marked by very extraordinary events the United States have flourished beyond example. Their citizens individually have been happy and the nation prosperous.

He then outlines several of his proposed priorities: strengthening the national defense; developing infrastructure and manufacturing to expand the domestic economy and export trade abroad; managing public finances; and achieving harmony between western settlers and the Indian tribes.

In commencing the duties of the chief executive office it has been the practice of the distinguished men who have gone before me to explain the principles which would govern them in their respective Administrations.
National honor is national property of the highest value…To secure us against dangers our coast and inland frontiers should be fortified, our Army and Navy, regulated upon just principles as to the force of each, be kept in perfect order, and our militia be placed on the best practicable footing.
Other interests of high importance will claim attention, among which the improvement of our country by roads and canals, proceeding always with a constitutional sanction, holds a distinguished place. 
Our manufacturers will likewise require the systematic and fostering care of the Government 
Equally important is it to provide at home a market for our raw materials, as by extending the competition it will enhance the price and protect the cultivator against the casualties incident to foreign markets.
With the Indian tribes it is our duty to cultivate friendly relations and to act with kindness and liberality Equally proper is it to persevere in our efforts to extend to them the advantages of civilization. 
The great amount of our revenue and the flourishing state of the Treasury are a full proof of the competency of the national resources for any emergency, as they are of the willingness of our fellow-citizens to bear the burdens which the public necessities require 
It is particularly gratifying to me to enter on the discharge of these duties at a time when the United States are blessed with peace. It is a state most consistent with their prosperity and  happiness. It will be my sincere desire to preserve it…

Monroe concludes with comments on the favorable state of the nation, and a wish for help from both citizens and the Almighty in the job that lies ahead.

Equally gratifying is it to witness the increased harmony of opinion which pervades our Union. Discord does not belong to our system.
Never did a government commence under auspices so favorable, nor ever was success so complete. 
Relying on the aid to be derived from the other departments of the Government, I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my fellow-citizens with my  fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be pleased to continue to us that protection  which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.

March 4, 1817 – March 3, 1821

Overview Of Monroe’s First Term

In assembling his cabinet, Monroe begins with a heady move by naming John Quincy Adams as his choice for Secretary of State. Adams’s foreign experience begins at age eleven when he accompanies his father to his post in Britain. From there he serves as a U.S. Senator, then as minister to the Netherlands, followed by Prussia, Russia and, from 1814-17 in England, where he first establishes a level of respect and trust with then Secretary of State Monroe that endures.  Politically, Adams has grown up a Federalist, but he is forced out of the party in 1807 when he helps to draft the 1807 Embargo Bill and caucuses with the Democratic-Republican side in choosing Madison as their 1808 nominee. The partnership between Monroe and JQA will compare with that between Jefferson and Madison.

The new President retains Crawford in his Treasury post, and reaches out to Congressman John Calhoun, an outspoken supporter of the 1812 conflict. These two, along with Adams, will contend to succeed Monroe when the 1824 presidential race begins.

James Monroe Cabinet In 1817 
Position Name Home State
Vice-President Daniel Tompkins New York
Secretary of State J Quincy Adams Massachusetts
Secretary of Treasury William Crawford Georgia
Secretary of War John C. Calhoun South Carolina
Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield
Attorney General Richard Rush Pa son of Benj

Adams, like Monroe, believes that America is poised in 1817 to put aside its external concerns about safety and concentrate on its many opportunities for internal development.  

Every serious difficulty which seemed alarming to the people of the Union in 1800 had been removed or sunk from notice in 1816. With the disappearance of immediate peril,  foreign or domestic, society could devote all its energies…to its favorite objects. 

This outlook is so pervasive that, in July 1817, the Columbia Sentinel newspaper declares that  the nation has entered an “era of good feelings.” Symbolic of this view is the start of work on an audacious engineering project that will last for eight years – the construction of the Erie Canal,  which will ultimately create a water route for commerce from Lake Erie to New York harbor. 

Unfortunately, the rosy outlook predicted upfront fails to materialize as planned.  

First off, Monroe finds that the War of 1812 has had serious residual effects on the American economy, and these lead to the so-called “Panic of 1819.” 

Then events in 1820 multiply the challenges. 

In South America, the famous liberator, Simon Bolivar, is busily overthrowing Spain’s colonies,  with the effects reaching all the way up to America’s southern neighbor, Mexico. Concerns mount about incursions from Spain or surrogates back into the Western Hemisphere. Troubles in Spanish Florida around rebel Seminole Indians increase these worries. 

Then comes another shock, this time from a Pennsylvania congressmen, James Talmadge, who offers up an amendment to a bill involving statehood for Missouri that sets off a firestorm around the longsuppressed topic of slavery. It will prove to be the opening thrust in a 40 year conflict between the South and the North that ends up in civil war.  

The good news is that, by the close of his first term, Monroe has navigated many of these setbacks quite well.

Key Events: Monroe’s First Term (1817-1821)
March 4 Monroe inaugurated
July 4 Construction begins in Rome, NY on DeWitt Clinton’s Erie Canal project
July 12 Columbia Sentinel newspaper dubs the period “the era of good feelings” in  America
Sept 27 Ohio Indians cede 4 million acres of land to state of Ohio
Oct 8 John C. Calhoun named Secretary of War
November First Seminole War begins
Dec 2 Monroe asserts that federal funds can be used for infrastructure projects
Jan 8 Sharp post-war declines in manufacturing output are recorded
Feb 28 New York passes bill requiring debts be paid with specie or US banknotes
May 24 General Andrew Jackson takes Spanish outpost at Pensacola, Florida
June 20 Connecticut becomes the first eastern state to drop property requirement for  suffrage
July 1 Second US Bank tightens money supply by requiring states to pay off debts in  gold
Aug 23 First steamship trip goes across Lake Erie to Detroit
Oct 19 Chickasaw Indians cede lands between Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers
Oct 20 US and Britain sign Convention of 1818 on Canadian borders, except for Oregon  region 
Nov 20 Bank of Kentucky suspends operations, causing public panic 
Nov 28 JQ Adams informs Spain that it must either control Seminoles or cede Florida to  US
Dec 3 Illinois admitted as 21st state
January Beginning of widespread bank failures, foreclosure and financial collapse
Jan 12 Clay bill to condemn Andrew Jackson’s unilateral actions in Florida fails to pass
Feb 2 In Dartmouth v Woodward, Supreme Court says corporate charters are valid  contracts 
Feb 13 James Tallmadge seeks to amend Missouri statehood bill by ending slavery there
Feb 22 In Adams-Onis Treaty, Spain cedes East Florida to US for $5MM and “hands-off  Texas”
Feb 27 After Tallmadge Amendment passes in House on Feb 17, the Senate votes it  down
Mar 6 In McCulloch v Maryland, Supreme Court says USB is legal and state cannot tax  it
May 5Sermon by William Ellery Channing announces Unitarian schism with Christian churches
June 20Steamship Savannah completes trans-Atlantic journey to Liverpool
Dec 14Alabama admitted as 22nd state
Jan 23The House votes to admit Maine as 23rd state, but the senate holds this up
Jan 26The House supports the Taylor amendment allowing Missouri o enter as a slave state
Feb 6Ship carrying 86 free blacks sets sail from New York headed to Sierra Leone
Feb 17The Thomas amendment in the Senate adds the 36’30” free/slave dividing line in La. land
Mar 3Missouri Compromise admits Maine as free, Missouri as slave state and 36’30” as redline
Mar 15Maine is admitted as 23rd state, making 12 free and 11 slave at the moment
April 24Public Land Act passes: price/acre down from $2 to $1.25; minimum plot from 160 to 80
May 15To stop smuggling of foreign slaves into US, congress deems this piracy punishable by death
July 19Initial Missouri constitution bars free blacks and mulattos from entering the state
Dec 6Monroe wins second term in a landslide
DecemberKentucky Relief Party set up to relieve debtors, opposed by Clay, supported by Jackson
Jan 17Spain gives Moses and son Stephen Austin okay to settle 300 Americans in San Antonio 
Feb 24Mexico declares independence from Spain
Mar 2Congresses agrees to admit Missouri, if it drops unconstitutional ban against free blacks
Benjamin Lundy begins publishing Genius of Universal Emancipation newspaper