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Gadsden, James

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 1 month ago


James Gadsden










In the beginning...

 James Gadsden was born May 15, 1788 in Charleston, South Carolina to Phillip and Catherine Gadsden. After enduring an undistinguished adolescence, Gadsden graduated from Yale College in 1806. He returned to Charleston and entered into the field of business, eventually abandoning that career for the United States Army where he served under General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812.




Mr. Gadsden and Mr. Jackson

After Andrew Jackson's invasion of Spanish Florida in the The First Seminole War of 1818, Florida came under American ownership as a result of the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819. However, the wars against the Seminole Indians were far from over. Jackson was appointed first U.S. governor over the Florida territory and subsequently launched an attack on the Seminoles still inhabiting the peninsula. Colonel James Gadsden, fighting alongside future president Andrew Jackson, was appointed Indian commissioner. He was asked to draw up a new treaty with the Seminoles which forced the Indians out of Florida and to the West in order "to render... [the Seminoles] perfectly subservient to the views of the government. Unfortunately, Mr. Gadsden's relationship with Mr. Jackson was doomed. In 1832, James Gadsden refused to support President Jackson's Tariff Act and lost the support and friendship of his comrade in arms.



A pen and ink drawing that portrays a Seminole Indian following a trail during the First Seminole War, led by General Andrew Jackson.


Seminole Indian



(Click here to learn more about the Seminole Indians!) 




The Gadsden Purchase of 1853

During President Pierce's term in office, James Gadsden was appointed minister to Mexico through his close friend, Jefferson Davis, the chief counselor and Secretary of War in Pierce's cabinet. In 1853, Gadsden was sent to Mexio City in order to negotiate Indian settlements and purchase a small piece of land to build a railway to the Gulf of California. While in Mexico, Gadsden seized the opportunity to obtain as much land as possible from Mexico's desperate leader, Santa Anna. Upon sending a wire to Washington to tell of this good fortune, the government sent orders for Gadsden to purchase as much land as possible for $50,000. However, Gadsden spent well over the allowed amount and was later dismissed from his position as minister to Mexico for going overboard on spending. The land he purchased, which is now a part of Arizona and New Mexico, became known as the Gadsden Purchase of 1853






In Honor of Mr. James Gadsden

In 1846, four friends of Colonel James Gadsden, Gabriel and Joseph Hughes, John Moragne, and General D.C. Turrentine purchased land in Alabama with the intent of forming a new town. In James Gadsden's honor, the four named the town Gadsden. In the town of Gadsden, Leonidas Grant and T.J. Cox founded The Gadsden Times to further commemorate the man who gave their town its name.










In the end...


James Gadsden ended up spending ten million dollars for the Gadsden purchase. He is best known for securing this piece of land in order to build a Pacific railroad connecting the South to the West. Gadsden did not live to see the construction of the railroad.


On December 25, 1858, James Gadsden died in Charleston, South Carolina.










James Gadsden : Sources


The Life of James Gadsden: Questions



Back to List of Prominent Individuals






Page created by:  Monica G

Avon High School, Avon, Indiana

Date created: May 21, 2008



Comments (4)

Anonymous said

at 8:52 pm on Mar 23, 2008

Great start Monica! I like the links, and your page on A.J. Don't forget to put your sources in, because this is live and anyone can see this, so you need to cite your sources as you go.

Anonymous said

at 7:46 pm on Apr 7, 2008

Great wiki page the fonts and colors kept my attention. The set up made it easy to follow and read the pictures were interesting and so was the information. You could have used a couple more links though to explain maybe some of the people u mention like Santa Anna, or a link to explain who the Seminole Indians were, links like that. Over all the page is good!

Anonymous said

at 8:42 pm on Apr 7, 2008

You did a good job of making Gadsden's story interesting. The whole relationship with Andrew Jackson and Santa Anna provided depth into Gadsdent's life and explained many of the decisions he made. Your information was very specific and to the point.

By the way, Megan, you used the letter u as a substitute for you. Shame on u!

Anonymous said

at 7:23 am on Apr 10, 2008

I liked the link to the Seminole War, because I had forgotten about it. Making the font spacing a little better would make it easier to read. (I know that's hard to do on these pages though)

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