This letter was written by Captain Andrew Johnson on June 1st, 1842 in Platt County, Missouri. He sends the letter to the Committee of Invitation regarding an anniversary celebration of the Battle of the Thames. The names that are included on this list are: E. Best, M.W. Jackson, Seth Sallisbury, D. Bullock, Wm. Elwell, Wm. Overfield, J.H. Broadhead, Samuel Myers, Samuel A. Smith, Abel M. Griffiths, John W. Ryon, John Galbraith, M.B. Lowry, J. Johnson, George F. Lehman, James Patton, J.P. Steele, Samuel P. Callings and Daniel L. Sherwood. There are others listed, but they have been crossed out.

He acknowledges his receipt of the invitation to the ceremony which is to be held at Danville, Pennsylvania on the 5th of October, 1842. He says the “hero of the Thames”, Colonel Richard Johnson is expected to be there. Andrew Johnson received a special letter of invitation because he is one of the surviving officers of the Kentucky Mounted Regiment. He regrets that he will not be able to attend the event because he lives near the western border of Missouri and he is bound by his duties.

He writes about the Colonel effusively in passages such as “His manly bearing and fire that lighted his countinence (sic) inspired us all with a sure presage of history”. Captain Johnson says that he served under the Colonel in 2 campaigns. He claims to have been a witness to the death of Tecumseh which took place on October 5, 1813. He describes how the Colonel approached Tecumseh who was flanked by “savage warriors”. He laid Tecumseh low, but he received a severe wound. The Indians gave way when their leader fell. Andrew Johnson writes about his emotion and tears at the thought that Colonel Johnson was hurt. Captain Johnson thanks Heaven that the Colonel did not die. He is very pleased that Colonel Johnson was rewarded with “the most honourable station in the world”. [Captain Johnson writes as though the Colonel has, or will become president of the United States, however he is the Vice President]. It is signed “I am truly yours Andrew Johnson”.

Click here to view Eye Witness Account of the Death of Tecumseh by Captain Andrew Johnson, 1842 finding aid: http://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/13238/Eye%20Witness%20Account%20Letter%20of%20Tecumseh%27s%20Death%20RG%20635.pdf

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