This letter was written by Connecticut native Lewis Judson (Abt1780-Aft1840) of Mobile, Alabama. He was a leading merchant in Mobile, the first president of the first city commission (1814) and a slave-owner. The Hallett’s, mentioned in this letter, were relatives of his sister.
This letter was written to Capt. Abraham Lyson Sands (1783-1841), the son of Edward and Catherine (Lyson) Sands of Sands Point, Long Island. At the time, Capt. Sands was in the U.S. Navy but he was formerly an artillerist in U.S. Army. He was a cadet of the Military Academy from 1808-1809 and then assigned to various Atlantic Posts 1809-1812. He was on recruiting service at Fort Charlotte in Mobile, Alabama during the War of 1812, and was an Aide-de-Camp to Major General Andrew Jackson during the attack and capture of Pensacola, Florida and the Capture of Fort Bowyer on the Florida Frontier in 1814-15. He served as the Battalion Adjutant of Artillery in Jackson’s Campaign of 1817-18 against the Seminole Indians and the seizure of of Pensacola (May 1818) and the bombardment and capture of Fort San Carlos de Barrancas, Florida in May 1818. He later served as the Acting Adjutant-General of the 8th Military Department (1820-21) and at St. Marks, Florida (1821-22. He resigned in 1821-22.
The 21 September 1820 issue of the New York Gazette reported that Capt. A. L. Sands of the corps of Artillery was married to Miss Maria A. Tabele, daughter of the late William Tabele of New York. The wedding took place at Mobile on the 16th of August 1820.
Addressed to Capt. A. L. Sounds, Sands Point Long Island, New York
January 17th 1829
My Dear Sands,
I had come to the conclusion that you were either dead or in love or on a courting expedition until a few days since when I had the pleasure of your esteemed favor which informed me that you was among the living and of course you must be in love for a man in love thinks of nothing but his love. You say you have been over head and ears in shoving Mortar Bank bats &c. but I strongly suspect that it is the other thing that you are so engulfed in.
I am quite glad to hear that my friend Miss McMenomy married and presume you had a pleasant party but damn cruel to keep the parties so long out of bed.
Our carnival has commenced and we have had some dancing and on the 8th ____ we had a splendid ball in the Court House. 150 ladies were present — some stars from the North whose sparkling eyes were like buleants of the first water.¹ We have but one wedding on the carpet at present and that is the widow of Old Vulcan — alias Robeshow — to some country man.²
William Hallett talks of coming on next Spring and should they come my Rib [wife] talks of coming with him but it is not decided yet whether any of them come.
The Presidential Election over and your friend [Gen. Andrew Jackson] elected but I think the people may yet regret their choice. The General I think will disappoint his Southern friends in the formation of his cabinet and that he will become a convert to the American System yet.³
What a few days since another fire in Dauphin Street which consumed a batch of small wooden buildings which were not any loss to any person.
Mrs. J. joins me in wishing to be remembered to Mr. & Mrs. Hand and our friend.
Sincerely yours, – L. Judson
We should have been very happy to have spent the evening of the 2d at Mr. Hands and should be glad to Mr. & Mrs. Hand and the Capt. at Bill Grove Cottage at any time when convenient.
¹ “First Water” means of the highest quality.
² The “Old Vulcan” was Alvan Robeshaw [or Robeshaw] (1766-1817), who was an early Justice of the Peace in Mobile. His widow, Marie Josephine Krebs (1795-1870) married Valentin Delmas (1789-1840), we learn, in 1829.
³ Congressman Henry Clay of the Democratic-Republican Party promoted the “American System” which called for a strong tariff, a national bank, and federally funded internal improvements. But Jackson proved himself a friend to the South by vetoing road and canal bills and vetoed the bill to extend the National Bank charter.