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Bill Thayer

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Tarnished Warrior
by
James Ripley Jacobs


[image ALT: A photograph of an oil painting, a portrait of an old man, balding and overweight, with a self-satisfied, alert and ever so slightly amused expression; he wears an early‑19c high-collared military dress uniform jacket with heavy tasseled epaulets and a large oval brooch or clasp, but it is for the most part unbuttoned and shows the shirt beneath. It is Major-General James Wilkinson, a controversial figure in American history.]

Frontispiece:
Major-General James Wilkinson
from a portrait by Gilbert Stuart.

Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Henry G. Allen, New Orleans, La.

"Some men are sordid, some vain, some ambitious. To detect the predominant passion, to lay hold of it, is the profound part of political science." Wilkinson to Gardoqui, Jan. 1, 1789, in Fortier, A History of Louisiana, II, 141‑142.

ix

Doctor by Profession, Soldier by Choice

1

Boy-General

17

An Ardent Duelist Acquires a Thankless Job

47

Merchant-Politician of Kentucky

70

A Rising Officer of Regulars

110

Baiting a General and Hoodwinking a Baron

130

The New General-in‑Chief Inspects and Disposes

158

Federal Commissioner in the Reach for Dominion

187

In and Out with Burr

209

A Better Lawyer Than General

240

Promotion and Failure

276

The Ex-General Turns to Books and Foreign Travel

306
341

Maps

facing page

The campaigns of Arnold and Gates in the country of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain

8

Map of the Battle of Trenton

22

Campaigns of Generals Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne

22

Map of the Battle of Freeman's Farm

36

Map of the Battle of Bemis Heights

36

Map of New Orleans and the lower Mississippi

80

Map left by Aaron Burr, just before his arrest near Coles Creek, Mississippi

236

Theatre of Wilkinson's Operations in 1813 and 1814

288

Other Illustrations

Major-General James Wilkinson from a portrait by Gilbert Stuart

Frontispiece

facing page

Major-General James Wilkinson from a miniature by Gilbert Stuart

60

Mrs. Ann Biddle Wilkinson

60

Don Esteban Miró

106

Don Francisco Louis Hector, Baron de Carondelet de Noyelles, Seigneur d'Haine Saint Pierre

106

Wilkinson's Commission as Lieutenant Colonel

114

Fort Washington

120

Major-General Wilkinson, 1808, from a portrait by St. Memin

146

General Anthony Wayne

146

The home of Mr. Duplantier near New Orleans, once occupied as headquarters by Major-General Wilkinson

204

New Orleans in 1803

204

Aaron Burr from a painting by John Vanderlyn

214

Panorama of Vera Cruz in 1846

330

Major-General Wilkinson from a portrait by Charles W. Peale

338
[decorative delimiter]

Technical Details

Edition Used

The edition used in this transcription is the first printing by The Macmillan Company, 1938, but the copyright was not renewed in the appropriate year (1965 or 1966) so the book is now in the public domain: details here on the copyright law involved.

Proofreading

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if successful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

My transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents above, the sections are shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere on this site, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme.

The printed book was well proofread; the few typographical errors are marked, when important, with a bullet like this;º and when trivial, with a dotted underscore like this: as elsewhere on my site, glide your cursor over the bullet or the underscored words to read the variant. Similarly, bullets before measurements provide conversions to metric, e.g., 10 miles.

A number of odd spellings, curious turns of phrase, etc. have been marked <!‑‑ sic ‑‑> in the sourcecode, just to confirm that they were checked.

Any other mistakes, please drop me a line, of course: especially if you have a copy of the printed book in front of you.

Pagination and Local Links

For citation and indexing purposes, the pagination is shown in the right margin of the text at the page turns (like at the end of this line);p57 these are also local anchors. Sticklers for total accuracy will of course find the anchor at its exact place in the sourcecode.

In addition, I've inserted a number of other local anchors: whatever links might be required to accommodate the author's own cross-references, as well as a few others for my own purposes. If in turn you have a website and would like to target a link to some specific passage of the text, please let me know: I'll be glad to insert a local anchor there as well.



[image ALT: A tondo portrait, in right profile, of an old man of military bearing, and wearing a military uniform recognizable only by the tasseled epaulet. He is mostly bald, overweight, and rather expressionless. It is the 19c American general James Wilkinson; the image serves as the icon on this site for the biography of him by James Ripley Jacobs.]

The icon I use to indicate this subsite is a sepia-toned rendering of the portrait of Wilkinson facing p146, one of three portraits of him in the book.


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Site updated: 4 Oct 10