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    [Andrew Jackson] Retained Carbon Copy of a Letter Addressed in Ink to "Hon. John McLean". Two pages, 8" x 10", December 7, 1830, Washington, with "Confidential" written at top. Less than a year after being appointed by President Andrew Jackson as a Supreme Court Associate Justice, John McLean began to show interest in an 1832 run for the presidency himself. In this letter, the author prods McLean on by reasoning that there is a good possibility McLean could win. According to the letter, McLean's chances depend on President Andrew Jackson's vice presidential running mate. During Jackson's first term, John C. Calhoun had been the vice president, but their disagreement over nullification had caused an irreparable rift between the two; according to the author, "I am not sure that he [Calhoun] will be a candidate for reelection". Instead, the author speculates that Martin Van Buren would be Jackson's vice presidential choice ("The relation which Van Buren & the President bear to each other is well understood.") If, according to the author, that was to be the case - and it would be - then "it is Mr. Van Buren's policy to drive Mr. Calhoun & his friend into opposition under the hope that both you and Mr. C[alhoun] will be placed in such a relation toward the party as to prevent either from coming in competition with him in caucus nomination. The belief that Gen. Jackson second Mr. V[an Buren]'s views has a tendency to produce that result." This, according to the author, could benefit McLean: "Should any thing determine Mr. Clay's friend to adopt another candidate and you should come before the public with a prospect of receiving the united support of the opposition I can see in the political elements much which would throw Mr. Calhoun & his friends in support of your election. In that event I believe your election would be certain. . . . You could, in the opinion of many, take all New England New York, New Jersey, Pa. . . Virginia, North & South Carolina." The author, hoping his argument has been convincing, then advises McLean to prepare for the nomination: "I can venture to say that I believe that there is a group disposition to put you in nomination and you should be prepared to act on the case of the convention to meet here in February should nominate you." The author ends with a warning to McLean to be cautious because "You are surrounded by spies." The signature on this very important letter has been blacked out with period ink, but with difficulty, "D. Barton" can be discerned. (David Barton was a Missouri politician who joined the senate as an Anti-Jacksonian in 1830.) Because of the sensitivity of the contents, Senator Barton likely blacked out his own name, not yet ready to be publicly associated with such extreme anti-Jacksonian politicking. With folds; fine.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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