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Andrew Jackson ameaçou matar o vice-presidente?

Andrew Jackson ameaçou matar o vice-presidente?

Na minha aula de Governo e Política outro dia, fomos ensinados que Andrew Jackson ameaçou matar o vice-presidente. Isso soou um pouco estranho para mim, então eu escrevi em minhas anotações e resolvi dar uma olhada nisso mais tarde. Não encontrando muito na Internet (além do incidente com Charles Dickinson), voltei-me para o History SE.

Agora, eu primeiro presumi que fosse John C. Calhoun, o próprio vice-presidente de Jackson. Claro, suponho que o vice-presidente mencionado poderia ter sido outro servindo os EUA durante a vida de Jackson, ou mesmo o vice-presidente de outra organização. Portanto, minha pergunta é tripla: (1) Andrew Jackson ameaçou matar um vice-presidente? (2) Se sim, quem? (3) Para qual organização essa figura serviu como vice-presidente?


Esse seria John C. Calhoun. A resposta é provável. Andrew Jackson pode ter ameaçado matar seu vice-presidente John C. Calhoun. Andrew Jackson definitivamente disse que se arrependeu de não tê-lo matado.

Duas citações vêm à mente. A primeira, que algumas fontes dizem, é contestada se Jackson realmente disse isso. Wiki Quotes. No entanto, a citação é amplamente divulgada, incluindo (Washington Post, Charlotte Observer e Dictionary Quotes) e está no personagem de Jackson um homem que lutou 103 duelos antes de se tornar presidente, ameaçou repetidamente as pessoas que ele sentia que o prejudicaram e que uma vez espancaram um homem armado assassino quase à morte com sua bengala depois que o homem tentou atirar nele, duas vezes. ver Richard Lawrence

"John Calhoun, se você se separar de minha nação, eu separarei sua cabeça do resto de seu corpo.", Andrew Jackson fonte

A segunda ocorreu depois que Jackson deixou o cargo. Seu vice-presidente e amigo, Martin Van Buren, foi recentemente empossado como o próximo presidente e Jackson é questionado por um repórter se ele se arrepende de seus 8 anos no cargo.

“[Que] eu não atirei em Henry Clay e não enforquei John C. Calhoun.” fonte Andrew Jackson

Você atira em iguais em duelos. Você enforca criminosos e traidores. Isso é o que ele pensava de Calhoun.

Calhoun foi vice-presidente de John Quincy Adams e mudou de partido durante a eleição, e permaneceu em Washington como vice-presidente quando Jackson foi eleito.

As tensões começaram entre os dois sobre questões sociais e políticas.

  • A esposa de Calhoun se recusou a convidar ou participar de eventos que incluíam o Secretário da Guerra de Jackson, a esposa de John Eaton, Peggy, devido a um escândalo sobre como ela e John Eaton ficaram juntos e seu primeiro marido. O caso Petticoat, ou caso Eaton Jackson, que perdeu sua própria esposa depois que ela foi condenada ao ostracismo, ficou do lado de Eaton.

  • Jackson e Calhoun entraram em confronto por causa de um projeto de lei rodoviária federal (projeto rodoviário de Maysville) que Jackson acreditava ser porco e Calhoun favorecido.

  • Então, em uma festa para comemorar Thomas Jefferson, Calhoun tentou fazer com que Jackson endossasse sua plataforma de direitos estaduais. Jackson brindou à União, fazendo Calhoun parecer um tolo.

  • Finalmente Calhoun renunciou ao cargo de vice-presidente em favor de se tornar senador pela Carolina do Sul, onde defendeu os direitos dos estados. Estados tendo o direito de "anular as leis federais" de que não gostaram. Quando a legislatura estadual da Carolina do Sul, seguindo o conselho de Calhoun, tentou anular um impopular Federal Tarif, ocorreu uma crise. crise de anulação

A Carolina do Sul preparou tropas.

Em novembro de 1832, a Convenção de Nulificação se reuniu. A convenção declarou que as tarifas de 1828 e 1832 eram inconstitucionais e inexequíveis no estado da Carolina do Sul depois de 1º de fevereiro de 1833. Eles disseram que tentativas de usar a força para coletar os impostos levariam à secessão do estado. Robert Hayne, que seguiu Hamilton como governador em 1833, estabeleceu um grupo de 2.000 homens de minutemen montados e 25.000 infantaria que marchariam para Charleston no caso de um conflito militar. Essas tropas deveriam estar armadas com $ 100.000 em armas compradas no Norte.

Todos queriam saber o que Jackson faria. O próprio Jackson apoiou os direitos dos estados, mas neste caso Jackson acreditava que a anulação e a sucessão iam além dos direitos dos estados e ele traçou uma linha. Um visitante da Casa Branca da Carolina do Sul perguntou a Jackson se ele tinha alguma mensagem para o povo de seu estado. Resposta de Jackson:

Sim, eu tenho; por favor, dê meus cumprimentos aos meus amigos em seu estado e diga a eles que, se uma única gota de sangue for derramada ali em oposição às leis dos Estados Unidos, vou enforcar o primeiro homem em quem eu puder pôr as mãos noivado tal conduta traiçoeira, na primeira árvore que posso alcançar. Andrew Jackson

Em dezembro de 1832 ... Jackson faria a seguinte proclamação na Carolina do Sul, levantando o espectro de um confronto militar.

Considero, então, o poder de anular uma lei dos Estados Unidos, assumida por um Estado, incompatível com a existência da União, contrariada expressamente pela letra da Constituição, não autorizada pelo seu espírito, incompatível com todos os princípios sobre os quais foi fundada e destrutiva do grande objeto para o qual foi formada - Andrew Jackson dezembro de 1832

Jackson fez o congresso aprovar a Lei da Força, permitindo-lhe enviar oito navios da Marinha e 5.000 soldados para Charleston. A crise foi evitada quando o Congresso concordou em modificar a censurável tarifa ao longo da próxima década, e apenas na Carolina do Sul, e olhando para um confronto militar com o sindicato recuou.

Em 1o de maio de 1833, Jackson escreveu: "a tarifa era apenas um pretexto, e a desunião e a confederação do sul o objetivo real. O próximo pretexto será o negro, ou a questão da escravidão".

Andrew Jackson era um cara mau. Certa vez, ele lutou um duelo com alguém que atirava melhor do que ele. (Charles Dickinson) Sua estratégia era segurar o fogo, levando um tiro bem no meio do peito e matando calmamente o oponente. Quando questionado sobre suas táticas, ele diz: "Eu o teria matado se ele tivesse atirado em meu cérebro."


Houve uma declaração geral de Andrew Jackson de que poderia referiram-se ao seu vice-presidente John C. Calhoun.

"Não se deixe enganar por nomes. Desunião por forças armadas é traição ... Vou enforcar o primeiro homem deles em que eu conseguir colocar as mãos, na primeira árvore que encontrar."

Isso foi dito a um bando de carolinanos do sul, dos quais Calhoun era um deles. Eles se entreolharam e perceberam que poderia ser qualquer um deles, incluindo Calhoun. Afinal, ao compartilhar a Casa Branca, ele poderia ser "o primeiro homem em quem posso colocar as mãos".

Então Jackson ameaçou enforcar alguém, disse que ele não foi "enganado por nomes" e que a primeira vítima poderia ser qualquer um, incluindo Calhoun, não que seria ser.

Uma referência mais específica e direta a Calhoun parece ser falsa. Por um lado, a linguagem não era a que Jackson teria usado, incluindo a referência à decapitação. Ele enforcou Robert Arbuthnot e atirou em Alexander Ambrister na Flórida.


12 das melhores linhas de Old Hickory

Andrew Jackson era muitas coisas: teimoso. Brilhante. Cruel. Romântico. E incrivelmente citável. De seu ódio ao banco ao seu ódio pela grafia correta, Jackson tinha muito a dizer sobre muitos tópicos. Aqui estão alguns de seus maiores sucessos.

1. e 2. Na banca

“O banco, Sr. Van Buren, está tentando me matar. Mas eu vou matá-lo. ” Três dias depois, Jackson anunciou seu veto à carta patente do banco.

“Tenho medo de bancos.” Jackson é frequentemente citado como tendo dito "Eu tenho sempre Tive medo de bancos ", mas a citação real foi:" Desde que li a história da Bolha dos Mares do Sul, tenho medo de bancos ".

3. Sobre matar Charles Dickinson em um duelo

Embora Dickinson tenha atirado primeiro e acertado Jackson em cheio no peito, quase o matando, o Velho Hickory disparou calmamente como se não tivesse sido ferido. Quando um amigo expressou seu espanto com a compostura de Jackson, Jackson afirmou: "Se ele tivesse atirado no meu cérebro, senhor, eu ainda deveria tê-lo matado."

4. Sobre a candidatura à presidência

"Eles acham que sou um idiota por pensar que sou adequado para presidente dos Estados Unidos? Não, senhor, sei para o que sou adequado. Posso comandar um corpo de homens de uma maneira rude, mas não estou adequado. para ser presidente. "

5. Em seu comportamento

"Eu nasci para uma tempestade e uma calma não combina comigo."

6. Na vida

“Eu tento viver minha vida como se a morte pudesse vir para mim a qualquer momento.” Embora isso possa ser verdade, ele também estava preparado para lutar contra a morte com unhas e dentes. Quando um assassino tentou matá-lo em 1835, Jackson o espancou no rosto com sua bengala.

7. Na ortografia

"É uma mente muito pobre que só consegue pensar em uma maneira de soletrar uma palavra."

8. Sobre arrependimentos

Um dia depois de Van Buren ser eleito presidente, Jackson teve tempo para refletir sobre sua própria presidência com um amigo. Quando questionado se ele se arrependia dos últimos oito anos, esta foi sua resposta: “[Que] eu não atirei em Henry Clay e não enforquei John C. Calhoun.”

9. Mais reflexões sobre John C. Calhoun

"John Calhoun, se você se separar de minha nação, eu separarei sua cabeça do resto de seu corpo." Como A semana diz, este não foi verificado, mas dado o caráter de Jackson e o relacionamento com Calhoun, é provável.

10. No privilegiado

“É de lamentar que os ricos e poderosos muitas vezes curvem os atos do governo para seus próprios objetivos egoístas.”

11. Sobre impostos

"A sabedoria do homem nunca inventou um sistema de tributação que funcionasse em perfeita igualdade."

12. Em Kentuckians

Kentucky enviou 2.300 milicianos para apoiar Jackson durante a Batalha de New Orleans em 1815. Surpreso de que tantos deles apareceram sem armas, ele proferiu a citação agora famosa que está orgulhosamente estampada como o orgulho de Kentucky em camisetas: “Nunca na minha vida vi um Kentuckiano que não tivesse uma arma, um baralho de cartas e uma jarra de uísque.”


Andrew Jackson ameaçou matar o vice-presidente? - História

O congresso americano votou pela renovação da carta patente do The Second Bank of The United States, Andrew Jackson respondeu usando seu veto para impedir a aprovação do projeto de renovação. A resposta de Andrew Jackson nos dá uma visão interessante. & # 8220Não são nossos próprios cidadãos que receberão apenas a generosidade de nosso governo. Mais de oito milhões das ações deste banco são detidas por estrangeiros & # 8230 não há perigo para nossa liberdade e independência em um banco que em sua natureza tem tão pouco para vincular a nosso país?

Andrew Jackson disse que, controlar nossa moeda, receber nosso dinheiro público e manter milhares de nossos cidadãos na dependência & # 8230 seria mais formidável e perigoso do que uma potência militar do inimigo. Se o governo se limitasse a proteção igual e, como o Céu faz suas chuvas, derramar seu favor igualmente sobre os altos e baixos, os ricos e os pobres, seria uma bênção irrestrita. No ato diante de mim, parece haver um afastamento amplo e desnecessário desses princípios justos. & # 8221

Em 1832, Andrew Jackson ordenou a retirada dos depósitos do governo do Segundo banco e, em vez disso, colocou-os em bancos seguros. O chefe do Second Banks, Nicholas Biddle, foi bastante franco sobre o poder e a intenção do banco quando ameaçou abertamente causar uma depressão se o banco não fosse re-fretado, citamos. & # 8220 Nada além do sofrimento generalizado produzirá qualquer efeito no Congresso & # 8230 Nossa única segurança é seguir um curso constante de restrições firmes e não tenho dúvidas de que tal curso acabará por levar à restauração da moeda e ao re-regimento do banco. & # 8221

Nicholas Biddle 1836 Ao solicitar os empréstimos existentes e recusar-se a conceder novos empréstimos, ele causou uma depressão massiva, mas em 1836, quando o contrato acabou, o Segundo Banco deixou de funcionar. Foi então que ele fez estas duas declarações famosas: & # 8220O banco está tentando me matar & # 8211 mas eu vou matá-lo! & # 8221 e mais tarde & # 8220Se o povo americano apenas entendesse a injustiça grosseira de nosso sistema financeiro e bancário & # 8211 haveria uma revolução antes da manhã & # 8230 & # 8221

Quando questionado sobre o que ele sentia ser a maior conquista de sua carreira, Andrew Jackson respondeu sem hesitação & # 8220Eu matei o banco! & # 8221


Caçando escravos em fuga: os anúncios cruéis de Andrew Jackson e "a classe mestre"

“Pare o Fugitivo”, Andrew Jackson pediu em um anúncio colocado no Tennessee Gazette em outubro de 1804. O futuro presidente deu uma descrição detalhada: Um “Homem Escravo Mulato, cerca de trinta anos de idade, um metro e oitenta e cinco de altura, robusto e ativo, fala com sensatez, inclina-se no andar e tem um pé notávelmente grande, largo na raiz dos dedos dos pés - passará por um homem livre. ... ”

Jackson, que se tornaria o sétimo comandante-chefe do país em 1829, prometeu a qualquer um que capturasse este "Escravo Mulato" uma recompensa de US $ 50, mais despesas "razoáveis" pagas.

Jackson acrescentou uma linha que alguns historiadores consideram particularmente cruel.

Ele oferecia "dez dólares extras, para cada cem chicotadas que qualquer pessoa lhe desse, no valor de trezentos".
O anúncio tinha a assinatura “ANDREW JACKSON, Near Nashville, State of Tennessee.”

Jackson, cujo rosto está na nota de US $ 20 e a quem o presidente Trump prestou homenagem em março, era dono de cerca de 150 escravos em The Hermitage, sua propriedade perto de Nashville, quando morreu em 1845, segundo registros. Na segunda-feira, o presidente Trump criou furor quando sugeriu em uma entrevista com Salena Zito do Washington Examiner que Jackson poderia ter evitado a Guerra Civil.

O anúncio de escravos de Jackson é um dos milhares que estão sendo catalogados pelo departamento de história da Universidade Cornell, que lançou o projeto "The Freedom on the Move" para digitalizar e preservar anúncios de escravos fugitivos e torná-los mais acessíveis ao público.

“Nosso objetivo é, em última análise, coletar todos os anúncios fugitivos que sobreviveram”, disse Edward E. Baptist, um professor de história da Cornell que está colaborando no projeto com Joshua D. Rothman, na Universidade do Alabama, e Molly Mitchell, no Universidade de Nova Orleans.

Baptist disse que os anúncios fornecem informações valiosas sobre a história.

“São essas janelinhas”, disse Baptist. “Eu os chamo de tweets da master class. O objetivo é alertar o sistema de vigilância que era todo o corpo dos brancos no Sul para ajudar esse indivíduo a recuperar essa propriedade humana. ”

Os anúncios costumam descrever em detalhes os fugitivos: suas habilidades, dentes faltando, altura, peso. Eles dão uma ideia de como as pessoas escravizadas viviam e se comportavam. Os anúncios também fornecem uma sensação de resistência e desafio, junto com punições severas. Eles descrevem espancamentos recentes, cicatrizes e dedos cortados. Em um anúncio datado de 5 de junho de 1788, veiculado no Virginia Herald and Fredericksburg Advertiser, uma mulher chamada Patty, que tinha cerca de 18 anos e um metro e meio de altura, é descrita desta forma: “Suas costas parecem ter sido acostumadas ao chicote."

Alguns anúncios incluíam idiomas falados além do inglês: holandês, francês ou idiomas africanos. Outros ofereceram evidências de que os escravos fugitivos eram alfabetizados e capazes de escrever passes.

Ensinar escravos a ler e escrever era proibido, especialmente após a revolta de Nat Turner no condado de Southampton, Virgínia, em 1831, disse Baptist. “Houve uma onda de leis anti-alfabetização. Os proprietários de escravos sabiam que se alguns homens e mulheres fossem alfabetizados, eles poderiam escrever passes para a liberdade. ”

Alguns anúncios incluíam a cláusula irônica "fugiu sem justa causa".

“Fugiu sem motivo”, disse Baptist, “isso significa‘ sou um bom proprietário de escravos, não a tratei com uma crueldade incomum ’. É difícil não fazer conexões com a história das relações raciais nos Estados Unidos. Os brancos precisam se definir como virtuosos ”.

Em muitos anúncios, os fugitivos eram descritos como “mulatos” ou carregando crianças “mulatos”.
Às vezes, eles foram descritos como astutos, insolentes ou "agradáveis ​​quando falados".

As cores da pele variavam da cor clara ao cobre e "perfeitamente preto". Um anúncio que buscava Thomas, que tinha cerca de 30 anos quando fugiu, o descreveu como "5 pés e cinco polegadas de altura, uma cor clara de bacon, robusto, rosto cheio, cabelo espesso, tem uma ligeira interrupção em sua fala e foi mal chicoteado. ”

Às vezes, os anúncios davam dicas de suas esperanças e aspirações - que eles podem ter se dirigido para cidades ou plantações próximas onde tinham uma mãe ou um pai ou uma esposa ou marido ou filho.

Um anúncio de jornal que apareceu em julho de 1826, conta a história de Mary, que escapou com seu bebê nas costas. Quando o anúncio apareceu, quatro meses se passaram e a recompensa por seu retorno foi de $ 20.

“RANAWAY, há cerca de quatro meses a negra chamada MARIA, com cerca de 26 a 36 anos, tamanho normal, tendo perdido quase todos os dentes da frente, o lábio embaixo é grosso e pendurado”, dizia o anúncio. Mary falava francês e inglês com “a mesma facilidade”.

Em poucas linhas, o leitor aprende isso sobre Maria: Ela teve um bebê, uma criança pequena de 6 meses, “que geralmente carrega consigo”.

Provavelmente Mary estava procurando seu marido. “A dita negra é muito íntima de um negro chamado William, de Mde Gaudin e os dois mantêm relações há muito tempo com o pescador negro do Bayou.”
O anúncio foi assinado E. FORSTALL.

Sete anos antes de redigir a Declaração de Independência, Thomas Jefferson colocou um anúncio no Virginia Gazette em 14 de setembro de 1769, procurando “uma escrava mulata chamada Sandy”. Sandy, que tinha cerca de 35 anos, foi descrita pelo futuro presidente como “inclinada à corpulência”. Sua tez era “clara”. Ele era sapateiro de profissão e canhoto. Ele também era hábil em carpintaria e "é uma espécie de jóquei de cavalos". O anúncio explicava que Sandy era “muito viciado em bebida e, quando bêbado, é insolente e desordenado, em sua conversa ele pragueja muito e em seu comportamento é astuto e desonesto”. Sandy aparentemente escapou com um cavalo branco. Ele também pegou suas ferramentas de sapateiro “e provavelmente se esforçará para conseguir um emprego dessa forma”, alertava o anúncio. A recompensa por Sandy estava listada em $ 40.

Um homem chamado Antoine, que usava o pseudônimo William, fugiu em 29 de janeiro de 1851. Antoine foi descrito como um "padeiro jornaleiro", cerca de 40 anos, 5 pés 7 ou 8 polegadas de altura, "com pele amarelada, constituição forte, cabeça grande, nariz grande, lábios grossos, pés grandes e chatos. ” O anúncio fazia alusão à dor da vida de Antoine em cativeiro. Ele tinha "uma grande cicatriz queimada no peito, um pedaço de uma orelha arrancado". Ele falava inglês e francês. Dizia-se que Antoine tinha uma esposa em Nova Orleans ou Lafayette. O anúncio prometia uma recompensa de US $ 35 para “qualquer um que trouxer de volta um escravo para seu mestre”.


Jackson vs. Calhoun - Parte 1

É raro na história política americana que presidentes e vice-presidentes não se dêem bem ou não gostem, mas aconteceu. John Adams e Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower e Richard Nixon e John Kennedy e Lyndon Johnson são três pares que vêm imediatamente à mente. No entanto, a relação mais contenciosa entre um presidente-executivo e seu substituto pode ser a dupla do presidente Andrew Jackson e do vice-presidente John C. Calhoun.

Jackson era um self-made man do sertão do Tennessee e um herói militar. Em 1828, foi eleito presidente com base em uma plataforma de reforma política e financeira e de proteção dos direitos dos estados. Calhoun veio da aristocracia da Carolina do Sul e faria qualquer coisa para proteger e defender seu estado natal.

O relacionamento entre Jackson e Calhoun começou mal quando, logo após a posse em 1829, a esposa de Calhoun, Flordie, se recusou a entreter ou reconhecer Peggy Eaton, esposa de John Eaton. Eaton era um senador do Tennessee e um bom amigo de Jackson, a quem Jackson nomeou Secretário da Guerra. O primeiro marido de Peggy Eaton, um marinheiro chamado Timberlake, morreu durante um cruzeiro no Mediterrâneo - uma missão que Eaton, como Secretário da Guerra, havia arranjado. Não está claro se Timberlake morreu de causas naturais ou se cometeu suicídio ao saber do caso entre Eaton e Peggy, mas o fato de ter sido designado para o cruzeiro pelo Secretário de Guerra para tirá-lo do caminho era escandaloso. Para piorar as coisas, John e Peggy viveram juntos enquanto Timberlake estava no mar e se casaram pouco tempo após a morte do marinheiro.

Esse comportamento de uma mulher era absolutamente inaceitável para Flordie Calhoun, então Flordie se recusou a convidá-la para os grandes eventos sociais que a esposa de um vice-presidente era obrigada a celebrar para a elite de Washington. As ações de Flordie fizeram com que muitas das outras esposas de funcionários do gabinete seguissem o exemplo.

Essa afronta ao amigo de Jackson enfureceu o presidente, especialmente depois dos rumores horríveis que se espalharam sobre ele e sua esposa, Rachel, durante a campanha presidencial anterior. Um calafrio se desenvolveu entre Jackson e Calhoun, e Eaton finalmente renunciou ao cargo em 1831. No entanto, vários anos depois, Jackson nomeou Eaton governador do Território da Flórida.

Na frente política, Jackson e Calhoun discutiram sobre melhorias internas e direitos dos estados. Sobre a questão das melhorias internas, Calhoun apoiou o uso de verbas federais para a construção de estradas, canais e qualquer outra coisa que ajudasse a ligar as diferentes partes do país, especialmente para o benefício do comércio e do comércio que pode ajudar Carolina do Sul.

Jackson, por outro lado, embora apoiasse algumas melhorias com dinheiro federal, foi fortemente influenciado pelos oponentes das melhorias internas, especialmente por seu Secretário de Estado, Martin van Buren. Quando o Congresso enviou o Maysville Road Bill para Jackson para assinatura, um projeto que teria feito o Governo Federal comprar ações de uma empresa privada em Kentucky, Jackson vetou-o. Seu motivo era simples e correto: como a Maysville Road Bill alocou dinheiro para um projeto que estava exclusivamente no estado de Kentucky e, portanto, não beneficiaria nenhum outro estado além de Kentucky, Jackson não poderia apoiá-lo. Ele puxou o selo de veto e o usou.

Em sua mensagem de veto, Jackson disse que, uma vez que o dinheiro alocado pelo Congresso para o bem geral "sempre esteve sob o controle do princípio geral de que as obras que poderiam ser assim auxiliadas deveriam ser" de caráter geral, não local, nacional, não estatal , & # 39 character [,] & quot, não seria adequado ser aprovado na Maysville Road Bill. Ele afirmou ainda que, uma vez que todo o dinheiro iria para um projeto que estava "exclusivamente dentro dos limites de um estado", isso abriria um precedente ruim que "necessariamente levaria à subversão do sistema federal".

Mas as diferenças sobre etiqueta social e projetos de barril de porco não seriam nada comparadas à luta em que Jackson e Calhoun estavam prestes a se envolver.


Jackson vs. Calhoun - Parte 2

As divergências que o presidente Andrew Jackson teve com o vice-presidente John C. Calhoun no início de sua administração não foram nada comparadas ao que aconteceria sobre a questão das tarifas.

As tarifas, ou impostos sobre as importações, estavam prejudicando a já difícil Carolina do Sul, que tentava lidar com os preços baixos do algodão e os preços altos dos produtos manufaturados importados. Em 1828, antes de a chapa Jackson-Calhoun ser eleita, o Congresso aprovou a tarifa de 1828. Em resposta, Calhoun escreveu a South Carolina Exposition and Protest. No documento, que ele não assinou, Calhoun argumentou que o & quot sistema inteiro de legislação que impõe direitos sobre as importações, - não para receitas, mas a proteção de um ramo da indústria em detrimento de outros, - é inconstitucional, desigual, e opressor, e calculado para corromper a virtude pública e destruir a liberdade do país. . . . & quot Ele argumentou que um estado, quando acreditasse que uma lei federal era inconstitucional, poderia anular a lei naquele estado e não aplicá-la. Muitos na Carolina do Sul esperavam que, quando a chapa Jackson-Calhoun fosse eleita, a tarifa de 1828 fosse abandonada ou reduzida e a anulação não se tornasse necessária.

As diferenças entre Jackson e Calhoun começaram a surgir um ano após a administração de Jackson. Até este ponto, as opiniões do presidente Jackson sobre o assunto permaneceram um mistério, mas Calhoun estava diretamente no campo dos direitos dos estados. Em um jantar em 1830, Jackson foi convidado a fazer um brinde, o que ele fez, proclamando a preservação da União acima de tudo. Suas opiniões agora eram conhecidas - ele era contra a anulação. Calhoun tentou responder defendendo a liberdade antes da união, mas fez pouco e a questão permaneceu sem solução por enquanto.

Poucos meses depois do jantar, a separação entre Jackson e Calhoun aumentou ainda mais. Jackson tomou conhecimento de documentos escritos por seu vice-presidente em 1818 pedindo censura a Jackson pela invasão de Jackson na Flórida e a captura de Pensacola durante a Primeira Guerra Seminole. Jackson teve o suficiente. Ele isolou Calhoun e removeu os aliados de Calhoun e # 39 do gabinete.

Em 1830, o debate sobre as tarifas começou a esquentar quando o senador de Connecticut Samuel A. Foot propôs uma resolução que restringiria a venda de terras de propriedade federal nos estados do oeste. Os ocidentais denunciaram a proposta como uma tentativa de fortalecer a economia dos estados do leste às custas dos do oeste. Os sulistas aderiram ao assunto. Eles ecoavam os sentimentos do oeste e esperavam que os ocidentais percebessem que isso era igual à tarifa protetora que estava prejudicando o sul.

Em vez de discutir a posição dos ocidentais em relação à proposta do senador Foot & # 39s, o senador da Carolina do Sul Robert Y. Hayne discutiu a questão dos direitos dos estados e a teoria do compacto de estados com o governo federal. Ele disse que, como o Governo Federal era um pacto entre os estados, um estado ou estados poderiam anular uma lei federal quando acreditassem que o Governo Federal havia extrapolado sua autoridade.

O presidente Jackson fez um esforço para apaziguar os anuladores, pedindo a redução das tarifas. O Congresso aprovou algumas reduções em 1832, mas não foram suficientes para satisfazer os descontentes.

Em 1832, a Carolina do Sul realizou uma convenção especial, na qual aprovou um decreto declarando a inconstitucionalidade dos atos tarifários de 1828 e 1832 e ordenou que nenhum imposto fosse recolhido. No mesmo ano, a legislatura da Carolina do Sul elegeu o senador Foot como governador e, para substituir o governador Foot no Senado, elegeu John C. Calhoun.

Calhoun renunciou à vice-presidência e tomou assento no Senado, onde defendeu a posição de anulação da Carolina do Sul.

Em resposta ao decreto de anulação da Carolina do Sul, o presidente Jackson enviou vários navios de guerra e centenas de soldados sob o comando do general Winfield Scott a Charleston para fazer cumprir as leis do país. A Carolina do Sul, por sua vez, suspendeu a Portaria de Nulificação e o Congresso aprovou uma lei reduzindo as tarifas ao longo de uma década.

No final, Jackson provou o poder do Governo Federal para fazer cumprir as leis, mesmo quando os estados não gostam delas ou sentem que representam um prejuízo para seu estado ou causa. O derramamento de sangue sobre a questão dos direitos dos estados foi evitado - mas apenas por 30 anos.


Por que o fantasma de Andrew Jackson assombra a moderna presidência dos EUA

Apenas um presidente dos EUA tem uma era inteira com o seu nome. E não é Washington, Kennedy, Roosevelt ou Lincoln. O homem que detém essa distinção é Andrew Jackson, um comandante-chefe por dois mandatos que serviu de 1829 a 1837.

“Chamamos a época de Washington de eras revolucionárias e fundadoras, não de era de Washington. Lincoln pertence à era da Guerra Civil, Theodore Roosevelt e Woodrow Wilson na era progressiva ”, escreveu Daniel Feller, um professor da Universidade do Tennessee, em um ensaio para o Instituto Gilder Lehrman de História Americana. & quotMas o intervalo aproximadamente da década de 1820 a 1840, entre o rescaldo da Guerra de 1812 e a chegada da Guerra Civil, muitas vezes foi conhecido como a Era Jacksoniana ou Idade de Jackson. & quot

Enquanto todos os presidentes parecem aumentar e diminuir na consciência pública em algum grau, o nome de Jackson aparece regularmente, ainda mais nos últimos anos. Mas por que o fantasma de um presidente que morreu em 1845 ainda assombra o discurso político contemporâneo?

A resposta é, como Jackson, complicada.

Para começar, o presidente Donald Trump tem o hábito de citar Jackson, a quem admira, a tal ponto que pendurou um retrato de seu herói no Salão Oval.

& quotVisita inspiradora, tenho que lhe dizer. Eu sou um fã ”, disse Trump durante uma visita de 2017 à mansão de Jackson em Nashville, de acordo com o The Washington Post. Jackson e Trump conquistaram o poder em parte alimentando o ressentimento da classe trabalhadora em relação aos ricos e famosos, chamando-se campeões dos oprimidos da sociedade, apontou o Post.

Mas, ao contrário de Trump, que nasceu rico, Jackson foi um self-made man que literalmente lutou para chegar ao topo. Ele também serviu com distinção nas forças armadas e foi eleito para vários cargos governamentais vitais antes de assumir a presidência.

& quotA imagem de Jackson como um produto quintessencial da democracia americana permaneceu. No entanto, sempre complicando isso tem sido a interação entre o pessoal e o político. Se Jackson é um poderoso símbolo democrático, ele também é conflituoso e polarizador ”, escreveu Feller.

Como homem, Jackson era conhecido por seu temperamento violento, vontade de ferro e sua determinação sob fogo. Outros notaram sua justiça, autoconsciência e brilhantismo político. Ele também era um racista descarado, fanático e narcisista.

Não importando suas falhas pessoais, ele superou probabilidades incrivelmente difíceis em seu caminho para o sucesso.

Nascido para lutar

Andrew Jackson nasceu em 1767, poucos anos antes da Guerra Revolucionária. Ele se inscreveu para lutar com a tenra idade de 13 anos. As primeiras dificuldades foram tangíveis - dois de seus irmãos e sua mãe morreram durante a guerra, e Jackson atribuiu suas mortes diretamente aos britânicos.

Como um órfão pobre, ele cresceu em vários lares adotivos e teve pouca educação formal. No entanto, ele trabalhou para vários advogados e - vitalmente - conseguiu aprender o suficiente sobre o sistema legal para se tornar um advogado. Essas habilidades o serviriam bem para o resto de sua vida.

Ao se mudar para o Tennessee, que então era considerado parte do oeste indomado, Jackson lentamente cresceu em poder e riqueza, por meio de negociações de terras e politicagem astuta. Em 1796, foi eleito o único representante dos EUA no novo estado. No ano seguinte, ele foi eleito senador dos EUA, onde seu ódio por sutilezas políticas tornou-se abundantemente claro.

Miserável, ele voltou ao Tennessee e foi eleito juiz da Suprema Corte do estado. Em 1804, ele renunciou, alegando problemas de saúde.

Em meio a essas conquistas, Jackson também era proprietário e comerciante de uma plantação de algodão, que possuía talvez 150 homens, mulheres e crianças como escravos. Esse é um dos motivos da recente campanha para que a ex-escrava e abolicionista Harriet Tubman o substituísse na nota de US $ 20, uma mudança que o governo Trump suspendeu.

In May 1806, a man named Charles Dickinson accused Jackson of cheating him out of a horse race bet he also insulted Jackson's wife, Rachel. Jackson challenged Dickinson to a pistol duel. Dickinson shot first and struck Jackson near his heart, but Jackson stood and returned fire, killing his opponent. Contrary to legend, which contends that Jackson engaged in anywhere from five to 100 duels during his lifetime, it was the first and only formal pistol duel that he ever fought.


American History Series: Split Divides Jackson, Vice President Calhoun

The trouble grew from a problem in the cabinet -- and Andrew Jackson's discovery that John Calhoun had once called for his arrest. Transcript of radio broadcast:

Welcome to the MAKING OF A NATION – American history in VOA Special English.

Andrew Jackson became president of the United States in March of eighteen twenty-nine. Thousands of his supporters came to Washington to see him sworn-in. Many were there, however, only to get a government job. They expected President Jackson to dismiss all the government workers who did not support him in the election. Jackson supporters wanted those jobs for themselves.

This week in our series, Frank Oliver and Maurice Joyce continue the story of Andrew Jackson and his presidency.

Most of the jobs were in the Post Office Department, headed by Postmaster General John McLean. McLean told Jackson that if he had to remove postmasters who took part in the election, he would remove those who worked for Jackson as well as those who worked for the re-election of President John Quincy Adams.

Jackson removed McLean as postmaster general. William Barry of Kentucky was named to the position. Barry was willing to give jobs to Jackson's supporters. But he, too, refused to take jobs from people who had done nothing wrong.

Many government workers had held their jobs for a long time. Some of them did very little work. Some were just too old. A few were drunk most of the time. And some were even found to have stolen money from the government. These were the people President Jackson wanted to remove. And he learned it was difficult for him to take a job away from someone who really needed it.

One old man came to Jackson from Albany, New York. He told Jackson he was postmaster in that city. He said the politicians wanted to take his job. The old man said he had no other way to make a living.

When the president did not answer, the old man began to take off his coat. "I am going to show you my wounds," he said. "I got them fighting the British with General George Washington during the war for independence."

The next day, a New York congressman took President Jackson a list of names of government workers who were to be removed. The name of the old man from Albany was on the list. He had not voted for Jackson. "By the eternal!" shouted Jackson. "I will not remove that old man. Do you know he carries a pound of British lead in his body?"

The job of another old soldier was threatened. The man had a large family and no other job. He had lost a leg on the battlefield during the war for independence. He had not voted for Jackson, either. But that did not seem to matter to the president. "If he lost a leg fighting for his country," Jackson said, "that is vote enough for me. He will keep his job." Jackson's supporters who failed to get the jobs they expected had to return home.

Next, the president had to deal with a split that developed between himself and Vice President John C. Calhoun. The trouble grew out of a problem in the cabinet. Three of the cabinet members were supporters and friends of Calhoun. These were Treasury Secretary Samuel Ingham, Attorney General John Berrien, and Navy Secretary John Branch.

A fourth member of the cabinet, Secretary of State Martin van Buren, opposed Calhoun. The fifth member of the cabinet was Jackson's close friend, John Eaton.

Eaton had been married a few months before Jackson became president. Stories said he and the young woman had lived together before they were married. Vice President Calhoun tried to use the issue to force Eaton from the cabinet. He started a personal campaign against Missus Eaton.

Calhoun's wife, and the wives of his three men in the cabinet, refused to have anything to do with her. This made President Jackson angry, because he liked the young woman.

The split between Jackson and Calhoun deepened over another issue. Jackson learned that Calhoun -- as a member of former president James Monroe's cabinet -- had called for Jackson's arrest. Calhoun wanted to punish Jackson for his military campaign into Spanish Florida in eighteen eighteen.

Another thing that pushed the two men apart was Calhoun's belief that the rights of the states were stronger than the rights of the federal government. His feelings became well known during a debate on a congressional bill.

In eighteen twenty-eight, Congress had passed a bill that -- among other things -- put taxes on imports. The purpose of the tax was to protect American industries.

The South opposed the bill mainly because it had almost no industry. It was an agricultural area. Import taxes would only raise the price of products the South imported. The South claimed that the import tax was not constitutional. It said the constitution did not give the federal government the right to make a protective tax.

The state of South Carolina -- Calhoun's state -- refused to pay the import tax. Calhoun wrote a long statement defending South Carolina's action. In the statement, he developed what was called the Doctrine of Nullification. This idea declared that the power of the federal government was not supreme.

Calhoun noted that the federal government was formed by an agreement among the independent states. That agreement, he said, was the Constitution. In it, he said, the powers of the states and the powers of the federal government were divided. But, he said, supreme power -- sovereignty -- was not divided.

Calhoun argued that supreme power belonged to the states. He said they did not surrender this power when they ratified the Constitution. In any dispute between the states and the federal government, he said, the states should decide what is right. If the federal government passed a law that was not constitutional, then that law was null and void. It had no meaning or power.

Then Calhoun brought up the question of the method to decide if a law was constitutional. He said the power to make such a decision was held by the states. He said the Supreme Court did not have the power, because it was part of the federal government.

Calhoun argued that if the federal government passed a law that any state thought was not constitutional, or against its interests, that state could temporarily suspend the law.

The other states of the union, Calhoun said, would then be asked to decide the question of the law's constitutionality. If two-thirds of the states approved the law, the complaining state would have to accept it, or leave the union. If less than two-thirds of the states approved it, then the law would be rejected. None of the states would have to obey it. It would be nullified -- cancelled.

The idea of nullification was debated in the Senate by Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Robert Hayne of South Carolina. Hayne spoke first. He stated that there was no greater evil than giving more power to the federal government. The major point of his speech could be put into a few words: liberty first, union afterwards.

Webster spoke next. He declared that the Constitution was not the creature of the state governments. It was more than an agreement among states. It was the law of the land. Supreme power was divided, Webster said, between the states and the union. The federal government had received from the people the same right to govern as the states.

Webster declared that the states had no right to reject an act of the federal government and no legal right to leave the union. If a dispute should develop between a state and the federal government, he said, the dispute should be settled by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Webster said Hayne had spoken foolishly when he used the words: liberty first, union afterwards. They could not be separated, Webster said. It was liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable.

No one really knew how President Jackson felt about the question of nullification. He had said nothing during the debate. Did he support Calhoun's idea. Or did he agree with Webster. That will be our story next week.


ANDREW JACKSON

by State Library of North Carolina. Edited and updated by Steven Case, 2009.

March 15, 1767 - June 8, 1845.

Without union our independence and liberty would never have been achieved without union they never can be maintained. . The loss of liberty, of all good government, of peace, plenty, and happiness, must inevitably follow a dissolution of the Union.

---Andrew Jackson, Second Inaugural Address, 1833

Jump to: Childhood • The American Revolution • Public Career • Politics and Elections • The Presidency • Retirement

Childhood

Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was born in the Waxhaws area near the border between North and South Carolina on March 15, 1767. Jackson's parents lived in North Carolina but historians debate on which side of the state line the birth took place.

Jackson was the third child and third son of Scots-Irish parents. His father, also named Andrew, died as the result of a logging accident just a few weeks before the future president was born. Jackson's mother, Elizabeth ("Betty") Hutchison Jackson, was by all accounts a strong, independent woman. After her husband's death she raised her three sons at the South Carolina home of one of her sisters.

The American Revolution

The Declaration of Independence was signed when young Andrew was nine years old and at thirteen he joined the Continental Army as a courier. The Revolution took a toll on the Jackson family. All three boys saw active service. One of Andrew's older brothers, Hugh, died after the Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina in 1779, and two years later Andrew and his other brother Robert were taken prisoner for a few weeks in April 1781. While they were captives a British officer ordered them to clean his boots. The boys refused, the officer struck them with his sword and Andrew's hand was cut to the bone. Because of his ill treatment Jackson harbored a bitter resentment towards the British until his death.

Both brothers contracted smallpox during their imprisonment and Robert was dead within days of their release. Later that year Betty Jackson went to Charleston to nurse American prisoners of war. Shortly after she arrived Mrs. Jackson fell ill with either ship fever or cholera and died. Andrew found himself an orphan and an only child at fourteen. Jackson spent most of the next year and a half living with relatives and for six of those months was apprenticed to a saddle maker.

Public Career

After the war Jackson taught school briefly, but he didn't like it and decided to practice law instead. In 1784, when he was seventeen, he went to Salisbury, North Carolina where he studied law for several years. He was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in September 1787 and the following spring began his public career with an appointment as prosecuting officer for the Superior Court in Nashville, Tennessee, which at that time was a part of the Western District of North Carolina.

In June 1796 Tennessee was separated from North Carolina and admitted to the Union as the sixteenth state. Jackson was soon afterward elected the new state's first congressman. The following year the Tennessee legislature elected him a U.S. senator, but he held his senatorial seat for only one session before resigning. After his resignation Jackson came home and served for six years as a judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Jackson's military career, which had begun in the Revolution, continued in 1802 when he was elected major general of the Tennessee militia. Ten years later Tennessee Governor Willie Blount (of the North Carolina Blount family) gave him the rank of major general of U.S. forces. In 1814, after several devastating campaigns against Native Americans in the Creek War, he was finally promoted to major general in the regular army. Jackson also later led troops during the First Seminole War in Florida.

General Jackson emerged a national hero from the War of 1812, primarily because of his decisive defeat of the British at the Battle of New Orleans. It was during this period he earned his nickname of "Old Hickory." Jackson had been ordered to march his Tennessee troops to Natchez, Mississippi. When he got there he was told to disband his men because they were unneeded. General Jackson refused and marched them back to Tennessee. Because of his strict discipline on that march his men began to say he was as tough as hickory and the nickname stuck.

Politics and Elections

All his life Jackson was a loyal friend and a fierce enemy. This was never more true than during his years in politics at the national level beginning with the 1824 presidential election.

Jacksonians often referred to the 1824 election as the "Stolen Election" because while Jackson swept the popular vote hands down, he did not have enough electoral votes to automatically win the presidency. Therefore the election had to be decided by the House of Representatives.

Jackson's opponents were Henry Clay of Kentucky, John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, and William H. Crawford of Georgia who were respectively speaker of the house, secretary of state, and secretary of the treasury. Adams was horrified at the thought of Jackson becoming president. The patrician New Englander thought this parvenu from the west was a badly educated bumpkin with little preparation for high office. Because Clay's opinion of Jackson was similar, the Kentuckian threw his support to Adams on the first ballot and Adams was elected. Jackson never forgave either one of them, especially after Adams named Clay his secretary of state in what seemed to be a payoff for Clay's votes.

In the years leading up to the 1828 election Jackson and his followers continually criticized the Adams administration. Jackson took the position he was the people's candidate and never lost an opportunity to point out that the people's choice in 1824 had been disregarded by the elite. This tactic proved successful and Jackson defeated Adams in the 1828 election and four years later defeated Clay in the election of 1832.

Loss of the "Stolen Election" was not the only thing Jackson held against Adams. During the 1828 campaign the Adams camp charged Jackson and his wife with adultery. The claims grew out of naivete on the Jacksons' part. Rachel Donelson had a first, unhappy marriage with Lewis Robards. In 1790 the Kentucky legislature passed a resolution granting Robards permission to sue for divorce, though he did not do so at the time.

Andrew and Rachel confused the permission to sue with an actual declaration of divorce. They married in 1791, not realizing Rachel was still legally married. Robards finally sued for divorce in 1793 citing Rachel's "adultery" with Jackson. The Jacksons remarried in 1794, but the embarrassing and often malicious gossip persisted. Rachel Jackson died a few weeks before her husband's inauguration and Jackson blamed her early death on stress caused by the public discussion of their supposed immorality during the campaign.

The Presidency

Andrew Jackson may have been our seventh president, but he was first in many ways. He was the first populist president who did not come from the aristocracy, he was the first to have his vice-president resign (John C. Calhoun), he was the first to marry a divorcee, he was the first to be nominated at a national convention (his second term), the first to use an informal "Kitchen Cabinet" of advisers, and the first president to use the "pocket veto" to kill a congressional bill (legislation fails to become law if Congress adjourns and the president has not signed the bill in question).

Jackson believed in a strong presidency and he vetoed a dozen pieces of legislation, more than the first six presidents put together. Jackson also believed in a strong Union and this belief brought him into open opposition with Southern legislators, especially those from South Carolina. South Carolina thought the 1832 tariff signed by President Jackson was much too high. In retaliation, the South Carolina legislature passed an Ordinance of Nullification, which rejected the tariff and declared the tariff invalid in South Carolina. Jackson , always a strong Unionist, issued a presidential proclamation against South Carolina. On the whole Congress supported Jackson's position on the issue and a compromise tariff was passed in 1833. The immediate crisis passed, but the incident was a precursor of the positions that would lead almost thirty years later to the War Between the States.

Another major issue during Jackson's presidency was his refusal to sanction the recharter of the Bank of the United States. Jackson thought Congress had not had the authority to create the Bank in the first place, but he also viewed the Bank as operating for the primary benefit of the upper classes at the expense of working people. Jackson used one of his dozen vetoes, and the Bank's congressional supporters did not have enough votes to override him. The Bank ceased to exist when its charter expired in 1836, but even before that date the president had weakened it considerably by withdrawing millions of dollars of federal funds.

Jackson's record regarding Native Americans was not good. He led troops against them in both the Creek War and the First Seminole War and during his first administration the Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830. The act offered the Indians land west of the Mississippi in return for evacuation of their tribal homes in the east. About 100 million acres of traditional Indian lands were cleared under this law.

Two years later Jackson did nothing to make Georgia abide by the Supreme Court's ruling in Worcester vs. Georgia in which the Court found that the State of Georgia did not have any jurisdiction over the Cherokees. Georgia ignored the Court's decision and so did Andrew Jackson. In 1838-1839 Georgia evicted the Cherokees and forced them to march west. About twenty-five percent of the Indians were dead before they reached their new lands in Oklahoma. The Indians refer to this march as the "Trail of Tears" and even though it took place after Jackson's presidency, the roots of the march can be found in Jackson's failure to uphold the legal rights of Native Americans during his administration.

During Jackson's presidential years two states were admitted to the Union (Arkansas in 1836 and Michigan in 1837) and the rulings of Roger Taney, one of his Supreme Court appointments, had an impact on American life long after Jackson's retirement. In 1836 Taney succeeded John Marshall as chief justice. One of Taney's early rulings gave permission for states to restrict immigration, while another destroyed a transportation monopoly in Massachusetts, establishing for the first time the principle in U.S. law that the public good is superior to private rights. But Taney is best known for his pro-slavery position in the Dred Scott case in 1857. Chief Justice Taney authored the majority opinion which refused to recognize that Congress had the authority to ban slavery in territory areas. In addition he said Blacks were "inferior" beings who had "no rights which the white man was bound to respect."

Aposentadoria

Jackson's health was never good and there were times during his presidency when it seemed he would not live to complete his term. But complete it he did and in 1837 retired to his home near Nashville which he and Rachel had named The Hermitage. When the Hermitage was first built it was little more than a small cabin, but by Jackson's retirement it had been expanded, remodeled, and rebuilt into a spacious plantation house.

Jackson remained a force in politics in his latter years. For example it was very much Jackson's behind the scenes maneuvering which secured the presidency for his successor Martin Van Buren and in 1840 he actively campaigned for Van Buren in Van Buren's unsuccessful candidacy for re-election. Jackson also worked for the annexation of Texas and remained loyal to future President James K. Polk (another North Carolina native). Polk had been one of Jackson's strongest supporters in Congress as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

In his last few years Jackson's health deteriorated badly and he died at the Hermitage on June 8, 1845.

Andrew and Rachel Jackson did not have any children of their own, but adopted one of Rachel's nephews and gave him the name of Andrew Jackson, Jr. Jackson willed the Hermitage to Andrew Jr., but young Jackson's debts forced the sale of the property to the State of Tennessee in 1886. The Hermitage is today open to the public as an historic site.

References and additional resources:

Hoffmann, William S. 1958. Andrew Jackson and North Carolina politics. The James Sprunt studies in history and political science, v. 40. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

The Papers of Andrew Jackson. Selected Papers available online from the Avalon Project at Yale University.

Remini, Robert Vincent. 1977. Andrew Jackson and the course of American empire, 1767-1821. New York: Harper & Row.

Remini, Robert Vincent. 1981. Andrew Jackson and the course of American freedom, 1822-1832. New York: Harper & Row.

Remini, Robert Vincent. 1984. Andrew Jackson and the course of American democracy, 1833-1845. New York, N.Y.: Harper & Row.

Schlesinger, Arthur M. 1989. The age of Jackson. The American past. New York: Book-of-the-Month Club.

Selected Papers. Andrew Jackson. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC, USA. (The bulk of Andrew Jackson's papers are housed in the Library of Congress)


Andrew Jackson: The Petticoat Affair—Scandal in Jackson’s White House

President Andrew Jackson was irate, convinced that he was the victim of “one of the most base and wicked conspiracies.” For him, the scandal known as “the petticoat affair” was a social matter that his enemies had exploited and blown out of proportion. It was true that the situation had taken on a life of its own. “It is odd enough,” Senator Daniel Webster wrote to a friend in January 1830, “that the consequence of this dispute in the social . . . world, is producing great political effects, and may very probably determine who shall be successor to the present chief magistrate.”

Always eloquent, in this case Webster also proved prophetic. For the imbroglio to which he referred—involving the young wife of the secretary of war, a woman much favored by Jackson but snubbed by Washington’s gentility for her outspokenness and allegedly sordid past—did ultimately help decide the fortunes of two powerful rivals eager to follow “Old Hickory” into the White House. The cause of the turmoil was the young and vivacious Margaret “Peggy” Eaton, although she was still Margaret Timberlake when Jackson initially made her acquaintance. She was the daughter of William O’Neale, an Irish immigrant and owner of a commodious Washington, D.C., boardinghouse and tavern, the Franklin House on I Street. The tavern was especially popular with congressmen, senators, and politicians from all over the growing United States. Margaret, the name she apparently preferred over “Peggy,” was born at those lodgings in 1799, the oldest of six O’Neale children. She grew up amidst post-prandial political clashes and discussions of history, international battles, and arcane legislative tactics. Margaret observed the nation’s lawmakers at their best and at their worst, and the experience taught her that politicians were as flawed and fallible as anybody else. Far from home and family, these gents were easily charmed by the precocious and beautiful girl and did their best to spoil her rotten. “I was always a pet,” she later remarked.

It was a curious upbringing for a girl in those days, when women were expected to be submissive and demure, domestic and irreproachably virtuous, and utterly uninterested in politics, much less able to argue governmental issues with anything approaching insight. Margaret’s parents could only try to balance her exposure to the often coarse world of men by sending her to one of the best schools in the capital, where she learned everything from English and French grammar to needlework and music. When she showed a talent for dance, Margaret took private lessons, becoming skilled enough by the age of 12 to perform for First Lady Dolley Madison. Moreover, many a guest at the Franklin House remarked on Margaret’s piano-playing prowess. Jackson once wrote to his wife, Rachel, at home in Nashville, Tennessee, that “every Sunday evening [she] entertains her pious mother with sacred music to which we are invited.”

Jackson met Margaret in December 1823, when he traveled to Washington as the new junior senator from Tennessee and boarded at the Franklin House. Like so many others in federal service, Jackson had had no intention of relocating to the capital. At that time it was a scattered, muddy, and manifestly Southern town that had recovered from the British invasion of 1814 but remained short of municipal conveniences. Furthermore, the wickedly humid weather in the spring and summer prompted lawmakers to complete their sessions by early April, then escape to cooler climes.

The Franklin had been recommended to Jackson by John Henry Eaton, Tennessee’s senior senator and the author of a biography that affirmed Jackson’s heroism as the general who vanquished the British army at New Orleans in 1815. Jackson had taken a liking to hotelier O’Neale and his “agreeable and worthy family.” He was especially fond of Margaret, the 23-year-old wife of navy purser John Bowie Timberlake, with whom she bore three children (one of them dying in infancy). She was, Jackson said, “the smartest little woman in America.” Rachel Jackson was equally impressed by Margaret when she accompanied her husband to Washington in 1824.

It was Old Hickory’s friend Senator Eaton, however, who appeared most thoroughly bewitched by the dark-headed, blue-eyed, and fine-featured tavern-keeper’s daughter. A handsome and wealthy widower nine years older than Margaret, Eaton had known her ever since he began staying at the Franklin House as a newly appointed senator in 1818. That was long enough for him to have heard all the rumors about Margaret’s premarital teenage romances. The gossip included tales of how one suitor swallowed poison after she refused to reciprocate his affections how she had briefly been linked with the son of President Jefferson’s treasury secretary and how her elopement with a young aide to General Winfield Scott had gone seriously awry when she had kicked over a flowerpot during her climb from a bedroom window, awakening her father, who dragged her back inside.

Such stories—coupled with the fact that Margaret Timberlake tended toward flirtatiousness, enjoyed serving men in her family’s tavern, and shared her opinions and jokes too loudly and liberally—led others in the capital to presume that she was a wanton woman. Eaton, though, saw her quite differently. He had become a confidant of John Timberlake and even fought, though unsuccessfully, to have his Senate colleagues reimburse the often financially troubled purser for losses Timberlake sustained while at sea. Moreover, when Timberlake was away, Eaton was glad to escort his wife on drives and to parties, enjoying both her humor and intelligence.

Margaret called Eaton “my husband’s friend . . . he was a pure, honest, and faithful gentleman.” Rumormongers, however, credited the relationship between the Timberlakes and Eaton with far less innocence. They slandered John Timberlake as a drunk and ne’er-do-well and claimed that the real reason he kept sailing away from home was because he couldn’t face either his financial woes or his wife’s patent philanderings.

This talk grew uglier when, in April 1828, Timberlake died of “pulmonary disease” while serving in Europe aboard the USS Constitution. Amidst the widow’s grieving, rumors spread that the purser had not perished naturally at all but had committed suicide in despair over his wife’s behavior. The situation caused distress not only to Margaret and Eaton, but also to Jackson, whose recent memories of defending his own wife against malicious murmurs made him all the more sympathetic to Margaret’s plight.

Jackson’s first campaign for the White House in 1824 ended with his winning the bulk of the national popular vote but losing the presidency when his failure to gain a majority in the Electoral College threw the race to the House of Representatives, which preferred John Quincy Adams. It was a particularly dirty contest, as Adams’ backers strove to undercut Jackson’s appeal in any way possible. Their tactics included ridiculing his lack of education and accusing him of everything from blasphemy to land frauds and murder. They even resurrected allegations that Rachel Jackson had been a bigamist and adulteress.

Those last charges stemmed from Rachel’s first marriage to a rabidly jealous Kentucky businessman named Lewis Robards. The pair had wed in 1785, but Robards believed that his wife was unfaithful and sought a divorce in 1790. A year later, assuming that she was once more a free woman, Rachel married Andrew Jackson, an ambitious, red-headed young attorney whom she’d met when he boarded at her mother’s home in Nashville. Not until 1793 did the Jacksons learn that Robards had only just been granted a divorce and that they’d been living very publicly in sin for more than two years.

To quash further scandal, the Jacksons promptly retook their vows. Yet claims of Rachel’s immorality haunted the couple. Early in the 1828 presidential race, rumors arose again in pro-Adams newspapers, one of which asked in an editorial, “Ought a convicted adulteress and her paramour husband to be placed in the highest offices of this free and Christian land?” Jackson went on to win that election, becoming the first president from the emerging West and creating what is today the Democratic Party. Yet when Rachel died of a heart attack less than three months before his inauguration, Jackson blamed the political defamers for hastening her demise. “May God forgive her murderers,” the president-elect said at his wife’s funeral, “as I know she forgave them. I never can.”

Even if Rachel had survived, Jackson would likely have supported Margaret Timberlake against character assaults he had a long record of precipitant gallantry. Following Rachel’s death, however, Jackson became still more stubborn in championing the hotelier’s daughter, equating her with his late mate as a woman unjustly scorned. When John Eaton told Jackson of his wish to do what was “right & proper” by marrying Mrs. Timberlake, the president counseled swift action. Damn the gossipers, he insisted, “if you love Margaret Timberlake go and marry her at once and shut their mouths.”

Unfortunately, the candle-lit nuptials held at the O’Neale residence on January 1, 1829, only incited fresh criticism of the couple. Louis McLane, an eminent Maryland politician (who would hold the positions of secretary of the treasury and state in Jackson’s second cabinet), sniped that the 39-year-old Eaton had “just married his mistress—and the mistress of 11-doz. others!” Margaret Bayard Smith, a Washington society maven whose husband was president of the local branch of the Bank of the United States, proclaimed Eaton’s reputation “totally destroyed” by this union with a woman who hadn’t even waited a respectful period of time before marrying again.

Floride Calhoun, wife of John C. Calhoun —the South Carolinian who had served John Quincy Adams as vice president and would hold the same office under Jackson—accepted a social call from the Eatons after their wedding. Nevertheless, she steadfastly refused to pay a return visit, which in the protocol-bound world of Washington could only be interpreted as a calculated snub. This left John Calhoun to ponder “the difficulties in which [such a rebuffing] would probably involve me.”

Worried that fallout from this fracas might wound the president-elect, some of Jackson’s partisans tried to dissuade him from naming Eaton to his cabinet. It was the wrong approach. Jackson had said many times, “when I mature my course I am immovable.” Since Rachel’s death, he had found greater need of his friend Eaton’s advice, and he wasn’t apt to abandon the man simply because of attacks by “malcontents” on Margaret’s propriety. Jackson reportedly thundered at one Eaton detractor: “Do you suppose that I have been sent here by the people to consult the ladies of Washington as to the proper persons to compose my cabinet?” Jackson soon announced the appointment of Eaton as his secretary of war.

Hopes that this prestigious position might help to rehabilitate Margaret’s reputation were dashed as early as Jackson’s inauguration in March 1829, when the spouses of other cabinet members and politicos obviously slighted the seventh president’s “little friend Peg.”

According to modern Jackson biographer Robert V. Remini, at a grand ball on inauguration night, “the other ladies in the official family tried not to notice as Peggy Eaton swept into the room and startled everyone with her presence and beauty.” Even Emily Donelson, Jackson’s beloved niece and his choice as the new mistress of the White House, turned a chilly shoulder to Margaret. She claimed that Eaton’s elevation to the cabinet had given his wife airs that made her “society too disagreeable to be endured.”

During his early months in office, Jackson had intended to concentrate on replacing corrupt bureaucrats. Instead he was plagued by what Secretary of State Martin Van Buren dubbed the “Eaton Malaria.” Jackson decided to delay his formal post-inaugural cabinet dinner, fearing bad blood between Mrs. Eaton and the rest of the political wives. The president was continually distracted from the nation’s business by having to defend Margaret—despite her protestations that she did “not want endorsements [of virtue] any more than any other lady in the land.”

On the evening of September 10, 1829, Jackson concluded that if this flap was to end, he must take decisive action. With Vice President Calhoun at home in South Carolina and John Eaton not invited, the president summoned the balance of his cabinet, plus Reverends John N. Campbell and Ezra Stiles Ely, who had recently criticized Margaret’s morals. Though ailing from dropsy, chest pains, and recurring headaches, the 62-year-old president proceeded to proffer evidence—affidavits from people who had known Mrs. Eaton—that he said absolved her of misconduct. When one minister dared to disagree, Jackson somehow forgot that Margaret was the mother of two surviving children from her marriage to John Timberlake as he shot back: “She is as chaste as a virgin!”

Thinking the matter was settled, Jackson finally held his overdue cabinet dinner in November 1829. While it provoked “no very marked exhibitions of bad feeling in any quarter,” recalled Van Buren, the event was nonetheless awkward and tense. Guests rushed through their meals in order to avoid discussion of or with the Eatons, who had found places of honor near Jackson. The next party, hosted by Van Buren (who had neither daughters nor a living spouse to inhibit his societal intercourse), drew every member of the cabinet—but their wives contrived excuses for staying away.

By the spring of 1830, Jackson had come to believe that the situation did not result merely from connivances among the gentry, but from scheming by his political foes. Initially he imagined the plot was led by his renowned Kentucky rival Henry Clay, who would doubtless benefit from his administration’s “troubles, vexations and difficulties.” As the president watched his cabinet split over this petticoat affair, however, he couldn’t help noticing that those advisors most opposed to the Eatons were also the strongest followers of John Calhoun—a man he was coming to distrust.

Tall, wiry, and earnest, Calhoun had helped elect Jackson to the White House, and many assumed that he’d be Old Hickory’s successor. Nevertheless, the vice president eschewed the capital during most of the Jackson administration’s tumultuous first year, and what the president remembered from Calhoun’s brief time there—notably, his wife Floride’s refusal to reciprocate Margaret Eaton’s social call—rubbed him the wrong way. One historian, J.H. Eckenrode, argued a century later that it was Calhoun’s “vain and silly wife” who, by spurning Margaret, ruined her husband’s career “at its zenith.” Certainly Floride Calhoun’s obstinacy, when combined with policy differences between her husband and Jackson—especially on the question of whether states should be allowed to nullify federal laws—drove a deep wedge between the nation’s two highest-ranking officials.

At the same time that Calhoun was falling from grace with the president, Secretary of State Martin Van Buren’s fortunes were rising. The former governor of New York, charming in person and a skilled behind-the-scenes strategist (allies and enemies alike called him “the Little Magician”), Van Buren had won the president’s regard by showing respect for John and Margaret Eaton. He became Jackson’s dear friend, someone the president felt was well qualified to one day fill his shoes. Calhoun’s backers realized that Jackson’s dwindling faith in the vice president played to Van Buren’s advantage. Daniel Webster wrote that since Jackson had become so dependent on his secretary of state, “the Vice President has great difficulty to separate his opposition to Van Buren from opposition to the President.” Calhoun could only pray that his public approval or a Van Buren slip-up would still propel him into the presidency.

For two years the press and pundits savaged the administration over Jackson’s support for the Eatons. The nastiest rumors about the couple spread with impunity. One even averred that the war secretary had fathered a child with a “colored female servant.” Van Buren saw as well as anybody how Margaret Eaton had become a liability for the Democrats and a personal burden to Jackson. The president had even sent his nephew and private secretary, Andrew Jackson Donelson, and his wife, Emily, back to Tennessee when they refused to associate with the Eatons. Andrew Donelson expressed his sadness in parting from his uncle, “to whom I have stood from my infancy in the relation of son to father.” Harmony needed to be restored within the administration. Yet if the president discharged the anti-Eaton minority from his cabinet, he risked alienating Calhoun’s contingent of the party, and if he dumped his secretary of war after all this time, he would seem to have caved in to his critics.

The solution was presented to Jackson in April 1831 by Van Buren, when he offered to resign and suggested that John Eaton do likewise. This would permit the president to ask the remainder of the cabinet to do the same and allow for a reorganization. Though a few members resisted, later protesting their departures in print, they all relinquished their seats.

The capital reeled at this turn of events, and some people predicted that it portended governmental collapse. Newspapers were quick to trace the cause of the cabinet’s fall to Margaret Eaton. One publication likened the event to “the reign of Louis XV when Ministers were appointed and dismissed at a woman’s nod, and the interests of the nation were tied to her apron string.” Henry Clay figured Calhoun could now “take bolder and firmer ground against the president,” dooming Jackson’s chances of reelection in 1832 and maybe improving Clay’s own chances of winning the White House. Others hoped that John Eaton’s resignation would finally end talk of his blackballed wife, giving rise to that season’s most popular toast: “To the next cabinet—may they all be bachelors—or leave their wives at home.”

Elected to a second term, Jackson was eager to end the debate that had threatened to bring down his first administration. He hustled John Eaton and his wife off to the Florida Territory, where John became governor. Two years later Jackson appointed Eaton as the United States’ minister to Spain, and Margaret and John enjoyed life in Madrid for four years.

Bitter over the decline of his political fortunes, Vice President Calhoun sought revenge against Martin Van Buren. In 1832, Calhoun cast the tie-breaking vote against the New Yorker’s confirmation as U.S. minister to Great Britain. This rejection, Calhoun told a colleague, “will kill him, sir, kill him dead.” On the contrary, it won Van Buren sympathy with the American public. In 1832, Van Buren became Jackson’s running mate for the upcoming presidential election, and in 1836, he was voted into the White House himself. Calhoun, meanwhile, resigned the vice presidency in 1832 to return to the Senate.

Amazingly, despite their history, Eaton eventually turned on Jackson. In 1840, when President Van Buren recalled Eaton from Spain for failing to fulfill his diplomatic duties, Eaton announced his support for Van Buren’s presidential rival, William Henry Harrison. Jackson was infuriated by Eaton’s political disloyalty, claiming that “He comes out against all the political principles he ever professed and against those on which he was supported and elected senator.” The two men didn’t reconcile until a year before Jackson’s death in 1845.

John Eaton died in 1856, leaving a small fortune to his wife. Margaret lived in Washington and, after her two daughters married into high society, finally received some of the respect she craved. She didn’t enjoy it for long. At age 59, the once-vivacious and now wealthy tavern-keeper’s daughter married her granddaughter Emily’s 19-year-old dance tutor, Antonio Buchignani. Five years later, Buchignani ran off to Italy with both Emily and his wife’s money.

Margaret died in poverty in 1879 at Lochiel House, a home for destitute women. She was buried in the capital’s Oak Hill Cemetery next to John Eaton. A newspaper commenting on her death and on the irony of the situation editorialized: “Doubtless among the dead populating the terraces [of the cemetery] are some of her assailants [from the cabinet days] and cordially as they may have hated her, they are now her neighbors.”

This article was written by J. Kingston Pierce and originally appeared in the June 1999 issue of American History magazine. For more great articles, subscribe to American History magazine today!


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