The Andrew Jackson French Quarter Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located on the site of the famous courthouse where Major General Andrew Jackson was indicted for contempt of court and charged with obstruction of justice. A major general in the War of 1812, Jackson became a national hero when he defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans.
The very interesting case occurred during the tenure of United States Attorney John Dick. In 1815, just after the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812, United States Attorney Dick indicted Major General Andrew Jackson on charges of obstruction of justice. Jackson was also charged with contempt of court.
According to the indictment, Jackson had "...disrespectfully wrested from the clerk an original order of the honorable the judge of this court, for the issuing of a writ of habeas corpus in the case of a certain Louis Louallier, then imprisoned by the said Major General Andrew Jackson."
Jackson incurred the charges of obstruction when he imprisoned the judge who had charged him with contempt. When the future President of the United States appeared in court, he refused to answer the interrogatories and promptly received a fine of $1,000. In 1844, Congress ordered the fine with interest ($2,700) to be repaid.
Leaving the courthouse that day, Jackson stopped and spoke to a large crowd that had gathered:
"I have during the invasion of New Orleans exerted every one of my faculties for the defense and preservation of the Constitution and the laws. On this day I have been called upon to submit to their operations, under circumstances which many persons might have thought sufficient to justify resistance. Considering obedience to the laws, even when we think them unjustly applied, is the first duty of the citizen, and I do not hesitate to comply with the sentence you have heard pronounced; and I entreat you to remember the example I have given you of respectful submission to the administration of justice."
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