Sir, I have received your letter of the 20th ultimo, and it affords me great pleasure to be informed of your safe arrival at Fernandina and your preparation to visit the Governor of East florida.
From the date of the sailing of the U States vessel the NonSuch from the Havanna to St. Augustine, with Don Aredondo bearer of the order of the Captain General and Governor of Cuba to the Governor of East Florida for the delivery of the same --- she could not have reached St. Augustine before the 13 instant. She was to sail from the Havanna the day after the Hornet sailed from thence to Pensacola and the Hornet only arrived on the evening of the 9th instant, since which I have not lost a moment in preparation for the possession of the country ceded. I would have been in possession by this time had it not have been for the unfortunate loss of one of our Transports, and the unfavorable weather which has detained the vessel since chartered at Orleans and the Transport sent for the garrison of St. Marks: as soon as they arrive possession will be had. I hope my two letters by mail have reached you---they will have advised you of the causes and reasons, why I did not communicate to you by express at a more early day than the present.
The want of a vessel to transport Col Gadsden has detained him some time to my great regret---He will give you a copy of my commission to take possession of the country ceded, with the powers to appoint others under me; this may become necessary, because of Col Forbes having been viewed by the Captain General, the Commissioner to receive East Florida, and from a fear that Genl Gains may not have committed the copy to you, which was furnished him. From Col. Gadsden you will also receive Blanks signed by me to be filled with such sums or bills on the Department of State, as may be necessary to cover the expense of taking possession of that part of the country ceded---you will receive the Proclamations necessary to be made public on receiving possession of the country, which you will promulgate as soon as your receive the country, or if in possession as soon as you receive them. I send by Col. Gadsden a form of a Process verbal which will be proper and necessary to be signed by the commissionary of Spain appointed to deliver the country, and yourself: to which it will be necessary to add after islands "including all the Tortugas," that thereafter no dispute may arise with regard to the right to them---You will receive also the form of an agreement entered into preparatory to the delivery of the country, which if you receive in time will be well for you to adopt, that we may have all things uniform in this transaction.
In my last I informed you that some difficulties had arisen with respect to the Artillery appertaining to the Fortifications ceded---you will receive information of the course pursued by me here and acceded to by the Governor of Pensacola, which it will be proper for you to adopt if Col. Gadsden reaches you in time ---
Finding that the President of the United States has appointed a Secretary for East as well as West Florida, (as it appears from instructions) to aid me in the Government of the whole, and to keep up the same distinction which existed under the Spanish Government; I have thought proper by Commission to clothe Mr. [William Grafton Dulany] Worthington with all the powers exercised by the Governor of East Florida under the rule of Spain ---Col. Gadsden is the bearer of this commission and all the necessary instructions to him on this important subject. When you have received the Archives with the possession of the Country and proclaimed the same, you will hand over to Mr. Worthington the commission and instructions with the Archives taking his receipt for the same; and charge him with the administration of the Government as confided to him by me --- Having performed this with all the other duties confided to you by me --- Having performed this will all other duties confided to you by me --- having settled all public accounts and taken duplicate receipts for the same; you will repair to Pensacola in the vessel that carried Col. Gadsden to your, or by land, and make a reort to me of all the matters and things over which you have had charge; that agreeably to my instructions I may make a report to my Government, and close all accounts that have accrued in taking possession of and occupying the Floridas--- I am with great respect your Most Obt servant.
(Signed) Andrew Jackson
note, A few lines relative to Col Butlers furlough, and the situation of his and Genl J's family are not inserted, as they relate not to Col B's instructions or the occupancy of E Florida.
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Butler arrived in St. Augustine on May 24, 1821. The legal document effecting the transfer of East Florida to the United States, did not explicity include the Dry Tortugas, now part of Monroe County, Florida. Gladsden reached St. Augustine on July 10, the day of the transfer. Butler left St. Augustine on July 14, over a month previous to Worthington's arrival on August 17. Issues regarding possession of the East Floridas