Jacob Jackson

Jacob Jackson

Son of George and Elizabeth Brake Jackson


Generation No. 1


1. Jacob3 Jackson (George2, John1) was born 25 January 1783 in Harrison County, (West) Virginia, and died August 1810 in Muskingum County, Ohio. Jacob is listed on an 1810 Muskingum County Ohio tax list, but when his mother died in 1812 her obit indicted that she had four living sons, which implied that Jacob was dead by 1812. No further record of him has been found and since his father’s 1831 will does not mention him we assume that he died without heirs.

Jacob was a second lieutenant in the Army as an artillery man. He was a key player in the Aaron Burr Controversy. In January 1807, former Vice President Aaron Burr tried to seduce Jacob to leave his post as commanding officer of a small garrison in Chickasaw Bluffs (at the confluence of the Mississippi and Wolf Rivers — now Memphis, Tennessee) and follow –> — Burr in his plan to “invade the –> — Spanish dominions.” — style=”mso-spacerun: yes”>  –> — President Jefferson and others –> — when they heard of Burr’s plans, felt –> — that Burr’s intentions of starting war –> — with the Spanish dominions with his own –> — private army was cause for –> — treason. Jacob Jackson supplied key testimony in Burr’s trial for treason. [i]

Lt. Jackson gave his deposition in Richmond on 19th & 20th October 1807 and his resignation became effective the following month, after 20 months of service.

A Harrison County, West Virginia deed from July of 1808 identifies Jacob Jackson’s residence as Muskingum County, Ohio. [ii]


Evidence of Lieutenant Jacob Jackson, delivered in court, on Monday the 19th of October, 1807, which evidence was revised, and again sworn to by him, on Tuesday the 20th of the same month, in the form of a deposition:


“I, Jacob Jackson [a son of George Jackson, age 24], a second lieutenant in the regiment of artillerists, do certify and say, that, on the 3d or 4th day January, 1807, Aaron Burr arrived at the Chickasaw Bluffs [at the confluence of Mississippi and Wolf Rivers, now Memphis, Tennessee], in the night time, with one boat, and sent to the commanding officer of the garrison, wishing to know whether he could have quarters in the garrison during the night. Being the commanding and only officer there, I informed the messenger that the said Burr could be accommodated. Accordingly, he came to the garrison in company with several other gentlemen; and the next morning he asked me whether I had heard of the attempts made in Kentucky to prosecute him, under an apprehension that he was about to invade the Spanish dominions. I answered that I had not. He then went on to observe that he had been prosecuted, but that nothing could be made out against him; that he was going on a project which many wished to know, but that from their inquisitiveness he was not disposed to gratify them. “It was a project, however,” said he, “which was honorable to myself, and which would be the making of those who should follow me, provided they survived the undertaking.” He continued to observe that the subjects of Spain were in a very distressed situation, and that his project would tend to relieve them from the tyranny of their Government. I was then asked by him what I thought the opinion of my brother (a member of Congress) [John George Jackson] was on the subject. I answered that I did not know. He then asked me what I thought of such a project myself. I answered, that, if the United States were going to war with Spain, I should be very glad to embark in the enterprise. On which he remarked, that the leading characters in the United States did not mean openly to carry on a war against the Spaniards, but that they secretly favored his views. I then told him that, if such was the case, I was willing to engage in the enterprise; and, after telling me again that the leading men in the United States (by which I supposed he meant to include the heads of departments) approved his measures, he remarked that he wished to engage young men; that he wished me to go with him, for one; and that, in case I complied, he would give me a captain’s commission. Fully believing, from the conversation and high standing of said Aaron Burr, that a war was secretly to be carried on by the United States, against some of the territories of Spain, I finally consented to engage under him. He then observed that I might probably want some money to raise a company. I replied that I did not want more than was sufficient to take me home, and mentioned one hundred and fifty dollars. He inquired whether I could not let him have some arms and ammunition. I replied that I had a small supply of these articles, but that I did not think myself authorized to furnish him. On which he observed, that he had got some at another garrison, and that I should be justified in supplying him. To which I replied, that I did not wish to implicate myself. He then requested me to let some of my men repair two or three muskets, and run him some balls, (the lead he procured at the public factory,) as he wanted, in descending the Mississippi, to kill game for the use of himself and the residue of his men who were behind; and I accordingly suffered the muskets to be repaired and the balls to be run.

In the course of various conversations, he frequently requested me to let him have some soldiers to go with him, which I as often refused. At last, he wished me to let him have a soldier to carry a letter to Colonel John McKee, in the Chickasaw nation; and, on my refusal, he requested me to give one of my soldiers a pass for twenty days, and observed, that if he did not return, I could not be blameable. This I also refused. In the course of this conversation, he asked me whether I could not then go with him, or soon follow him, and take with me the soldiery under my command. In answer to which, I remarked (being somewhat alarmed at his propositions) that I was about to send in my resignation; and that, as soon as I was discharged from the service, I had no objection to following him; but that I could not undertake to seduce the soldiery from their duty while I held a commission. I also observed, that my family was respectable, and that I would not do anything to injure the feelings of my relations, or to wound my reputation as an officer; and that, whatever might be his projects, I did not wish to hear anything more about them, unless they were honorable. To which he replied, that his views were honorable, and that, by complying with his request, I should not incur any blame; that many of the Army were actually engaged with him, and that he expected to derive great assistance from the present military force; that General Eaton was coming round with the Navy, and that he expected soon to receive ten thousand stands of arms. He moreover observed, that as he was acquainted with my father [George Jackson], he should like to have me join him, and the sooner I did it the better. I replied that it might be some time before I could receive an answer to my resignation, but that, when I did, I would follow him, provided I found him patronized by the United States. He then observed, that it would not do to delay business, and would therefore furnish me with money to raise a company. He asked me the expense of a man to carry a letter to Colonel McKee, in the Chickasaw nation. I replied, about fifteen dollars. He then asked me how many Indians I thought Colonel McKee could raise in the Choctaw nation. My reply was, that I did not know; but that Colonel McKee had resided there some time, and his influence was probably considerable.

On the morning of the 6th of the said January, just before he started down the Mississippi, on my entering the room where the said Burr was, he said to me, there is something for you on the mantel-tree piece, over the fire; on which I took from thence one hundred and fifty dollars in bank notes, and a draft on John Smith for five hundred dollars, which he at the same time presented me, observing that a draft was easier carried than money; that as to a receipt for the money, he should not take any; and that, in case I disliked his plans, he relied on my honor to return it. This money and draft were given me by the said Burr for the expressed purpose of raising a company of men to join him, and for building a boat calculated to ascend currents, particular instructions about which he gave me.

He further observed, that he intended to fix himself in the Spanish dominions, and there proclaim his intentions; that if I was not informed of them before he left the Bluffs, he wished me, on my way to Virginia, to call on General Tupper, at Marietta, to whom he should communicate his intentions, as soon as he had fixed himself in the Spanish dominions, and that he would communicate them to me. And, at the same time, he gave me a letter to said Tupper, which I burned as soon as I received the President’s proclamation. And, on his leaving the Bluffs, he pressed me to leave the garrison in fifteen days, and not to wait for the acceptance of my resignation; and, on my way down the Mississippi, to endeavor to get as many of the soldiery at the Bluffs to accompany me as possible.


And further this deponent saith not.


Lieutenant regiment of artillerists.


Henrico County, sct:

Sworn to before me, in due form, agreeable to law, this 20th October, 1807.


Justice of the Peace for said county.” [iii]





[i] Trial of Aaron Burr, Appendix, pages 683-686.

[ii] For an account of his Army service refer to “Burr Under The Saddle”, by John C. Jackson, Jackson Brigade Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 4, August 2004, pg. 7-8.

[iii] Trial of Aaron Burr, Appendix, pages 683-686.

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