Description

    Andrew Jackson Autograph Letter Signed as a U.S. Senator. Seven pages, 8" x 10", the Hermitage [Tennessee], June 29, 1822. Late in the year 1822, the Tennessee Legislature nominated Senator Andrew Jackson, war hero and so-called champion of the common man, to be a candidate for president in the upcoming 1824 election. Writing to Captain R. K. Call before his nomination, Jackson discusses his views on the current president, James Monroe, and his fellow candidates for president.

    Jackson begins by expressing his happiness that Capt. Call had "...declined holding a poll for delegate - you have got into a handsome practice - the moment you would enter congress some person would supplant you in the practice and as your population is growing fast, by intrigue, might supplant you in your popularity." Jackson gives his own advice, urging him to "...stick to law...preparing the way in the mean time, for your future views; and by the time you come into the union your circumstances, and popularity will be such...you may come into congress."

    He continues: "I have read with attention your remarks on Mr. Monroes conduct of the appointment of officers for the Floridas - I sincerely regret with the course he has pursued, it has lost him the esteem of his friends, and hes giving ample scope for his political enemies to assail him. In short sir his popularity is fleeting from him...he has lost his popularity by seeking it...never looking to the welfare of the republic...by which he has disgusted his friends, sacrificed the interest of his country and practically damd [sic] himself." Jackson, were he president, would naturally do things differently: "...I would remove all who have come out as candidates for the presidency - and fill my Cabinet with those whose whole time would be devoted to the duties of their office, and not to intrigue for the presidency." Several members of Monroe's cabinet, to whom Jackson refers, had announced themselves as fellow candidates in the 1824 election. Of them he comments: "it is passing strange that he [Monroe] sticks fast to [William H.] Crawford - as far as I know Mr. [John Quincy] Adams, he steers a straitforward [sic], correct course - attends to the duties of his office well." Another potential candidate, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, Jackson believes is like Adams.

    Jackson appears to believe that Adams could be the front runner after a failed smear campaign which he calls "...a wicked thing." "Mr. Adams has turned the tables on Clay & Crawford," says Jackson, "and has given Russell [who had attacked Adams' reputation concerning the proceedings at Ghent] as sever a drubbing as any rascal ought to receive - it has placed Mr. Adams on high ground, extended his popularity - and forever damd [sic] Russell and all concerned in the vilanous [sic] scene."

    He returns to the subject of the Florida appointments: "Mayor Easton...informs me that the Judge appointed for West Florida has refused to accept the appointment...if he [Monroe] can find another that he thinks by the appointment he can make his friend, he will give it to him." On the question of American citizenship, Jackson opines: "The inhabitants ceded with the Territory have the right to become citizens of the U. States if they choose...I think it will be well for the legislative council of Florida to give this subject an investigation."

    As for seeking the White House, he says: "the voice of the people I am told would bring me to the Presidential chair, and it is probable, some of the legislatures may bring my name before the public - but I have long since determined to be perfectly silent. I never have been a candidate for office, I never will. The people have a right to call for any mans services in a republican government - and when they do it, it is the duty of the individual to yield his services to that call, I will be silent...altho I have been often solicited."

    Following the dissolution of the Federalist Party, the Democratic-Republicans were the sole political entity on the national scene. With the approach of the 1824 election, the Republicans split, with four separate candidates vying for the presidency: Secretary of State John Quincy Adams; Senator Andrew Jackson; Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford; and Speaker of the House Henry Clay. The election was inconclusive, as no candidate acquired the necessary majority votes, and it was up to the House to decide. The House gave the presidency to Adams, despite the fact that Jackson had garnered the most popular and electoral votes of any candidate. It was a shocking turn of events and resulted in one of the most contentious elections in U. S. history.

    Slight weakening to the folds has caused some minor separation, especially on the edges. Small holes are evident in places along the folds with some minimal loss of text. There is light ink bleed-through on all pages. The upper edge is bent and there are two small spots of staining. The lower corner of page5-6 shows some damage.

    W.C. Putnam Collection for the benefit of the Acquisition and Conservation Fund of the Putnam Museum.


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