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¿Andrew Jackson amenazó con matar al vicepresidente?

¿Andrew Jackson amenazó con matar al vicepresidente?

En mi clase de Gobierno y Política el otro día, nos enseñaron que Andrew Jackson amenazó con matar al vicepresidente. Esto me pareció un poco extraño, así que lo escribí en mis notas y resolví investigarlo más tarde. Al no encontrar mucho en Internet (además del incidente de Charles Dickinson), recurrí a History SE.

Ahora, primero asumí que se trataba de John C. Calhoun, el propio vicepresidente de Jackson. Por supuesto, supongo que el vicepresidente mencionado podría haber sido otro que sirvió en los Estados Unidos durante la vida de Jackson, o incluso el vicepresidente de otra organización. Entonces, mi pregunta es triple: (1) ¿Andrew Jackson amenazó con matar a un vicepresidente? (2) Si es así, ¿quién? (3) ¿Para qué organización sirvió esta figura como vicepresidente?


Ese sería John C. Calhoun. La respuesta es probable. Andrew Jackson podría haber amenazado con matar a su vicepresidente, John C. Calhoun. Andrew Jackson definitivamente dijo que lamentaba no haberlo matado.

Me vienen a la mente dos citas. El primero que dicen algunas fuentes se discute si Jackson realmente lo dijo. Cotizaciones Wiki. Sin embargo, la cita es ampliamente divulgada, incluyendo (Washington Post, Charlotte Observer y Dictionary Quotes) y es en el personaje de Jackson, un hombre que luchó 103 duelos antes de convertirse en presidente, amenazó repetidamente a personas que sentía que lo hacían mal y que una vez golpeó a un armado. asesinarlo casi hasta morir con su bastón después de que el hombre intentara dispararle dos veces. ver a Richard Lawrence

"John Calhoun, si te separas de mi nación, separaré tu cabeza del resto de tu cuerpo", fuente de Andrew Jackson

El segundo ocurrió después de que Jackson dejó el cargo. Su vicepresidente y amigo, Martin Van Buren, acaba de prestar juramento como próximo presidente y un reportero le pregunta a Jackson si se arrepiente de algo después de sus 8 años en el cargo.

"[Que] no disparé a Henry Clay y no colgué a John C. Calhoun". fuente Andrew Jackson

Disparas a iguales en los duelos. Cuelgas a criminales y traidores. Eso es lo que pensaba de Calhoun.

Calhoun había sido vicepresidente de John Quincy Adams y había cambiado de partido durante las elecciones, y permaneció en Washington como vicepresidente cuando Jackson fue elegido.

Las tensiones comenzaron entre los dos por cuestiones sociales y políticas.

  • La esposa de Calhoun se negó a invitar o asistir a eventos que incluían a la secretaria de Guerra de Jackson, la esposa de John Eaton, Peggy, debido a un escándalo sobre cómo ella y John Eaton se habían unido y su primer marido. El asunto Petticoat, o asunto Eaton Jackson, que había perdido a su propia esposa después de que ella fuera condenada al ostracismo, se puso del lado de Eaton.

  • Jackson y Calhoun luego se enfrentaron por una ley de carreteras federal (ley de carreteras de Maysville) que Jackson creía que era la carne de cerdo y Calhoun favorecía.

  • Luego, en una fiesta que celebraba a Thomas Jefferson, Calhoun trató de atrapar a Jackson para que respaldara la plataforma de derechos de su estado. Jackson brindó por la Unión haciendo que Calhoun pareciera tonto.

  • Finalmente, Calhoun renunció como vicepresidente a favor de convertirse en senador de Carolina del Sur, donde abogó por los derechos de los estados. Los estados tienen derecho a "anular las leyes federales" que no les agradan. Cuando la legislatura estatal de Carolina del Sur, siguiendo el consejo de Calhoun, intentó anular una tarifa federal impopular, se produjo una crisis. crisis de anulación

Carolina del Sur preparó Tropas.

En noviembre de 1832 se reunió la Convención de Anulación. La convención declaró que los aranceles de 1828 y 1832 eran inconstitucionales e inaplicables dentro del estado de Carolina del Sur después del 1 de febrero de 1833. Dijeron que los intentos de usar la fuerza para recaudar los impuestos conducirían a la secesión del estado. Robert Hayne, que siguió a Hamilton como gobernador en 1833, estableció un grupo de 2.000 hombres de minutas montados y 25.000 infantes que marcharían a Charleston en caso de un conflicto militar. Estas tropas iban a estar armadas con $ 100,000 en armas compradas en el Norte.

Todo el mundo quería saber qué haría Jackson. El propio Jackson había apoyado los derechos de los estados, pero en este caso Jackson creía que la anulación y la sucesión iban más allá de los derechos de los estados y trazó una línea. Un visitante de la Casa Blanca de Carolina del Sur le preguntó a Jackson si tenía algún mensaje para la gente de su estado. Respuesta de Jackson:

Sí tengo; por favor, felicite a mis amigos en su estado y dígales que si una sola gota de sangre se derrama allí en oposición a las leyes de los Estados Unidos, colgaré al primer hombre al que pueda poner mi mano involucrado en conducta tan traidora, sobre el primer árbol que pueda alcanzar. Andrew Jackson

En diciembre de 1832… Jackson emitiría la siguiente proclama a Carolina del Sur, levantando el espectro de un enfrentamiento militar.

Considero, entonces, la facultad de anular una ley de los Estados Unidos, asumida por un Estado, incompatible con la existencia de la Unión, contradecida expresamente por la letra de la Constitución, no autorizada por su espíritu, incompatible con todos los principios sobre los que se rige. fue fundada, y destructiva del gran objeto para el que fue formado - Andrew Jackson, diciembre de 1832

Jackson hizo que el Congreso aprobara la Ley de la Fuerza, lo que le permitió enviar ocho barcos de la Armada y 5.000 soldados a Charleston. La crisis se evitó cuando el Congreso acordó modificar el Arancel objetable durante la próxima década, y sólo Carolina del Sur, y ante una confrontación militar con el sindicato retrocedió.

El 1 de mayo de 1833, Jackson escribió: "El arancel era sólo un pretexto, y la desunión y la confederación sureña el objetivo real. El siguiente pretexto será la cuestión de los negros o la esclavitud".

Andrew Jackson era un tipo malo. Una vez se batió en duelo con alguien que era mejor tirador que él. (Charles Dickinson) Su estrategia era contener el fuego, recibir un disparo en el pecho y luego matar tranquilamente a su oponente. Cuando se le pregunta sobre sus tácticas, dice: "Lo habría matado si me hubiera disparado en el cerebro".


Andrew Jackson hizo una declaración general de que podría se han referido a su vicepresidente John C. Calhoun.

"No te dejes engañar por los nombres. La desunión por la fuerza armada es traición ... Colgaré al primer hombre de ellos que pueda tener en mis manos, en el primer árbol que encuentre".

Esto se dijo a un grupo de habitantes de Carolina del Sur, de los cuales Calhoun era uno. Se miraron y se dieron cuenta de que podía ser cualquiera de ellos, incluido Calhoun. Después de todo, al compartir la Casa Blanca, podría ser "el primer hombre al que pueda tener en mis manos".

Entonces Jackson amenazó con colgar alguien, dijo que no fue "engañado por los nombres", y que la primera víctima podría ser cualquiera, incluido Calhoun, aunque no haría ser.

Una referencia más específica y directa a Calhoun parece ser falsa. Por un lado, el lenguaje no era el que habría usado Jackson, incluida la referencia a la decapitación. Había ahorcado a Robert Arbuthnot y le había disparado a Alexander Ambrister en Florida.


12 de las mejores líneas de Old Hickory

Andrew Jackson fue muchas cosas: terco. Brillante. Implacable. Romántico. E increíblemente citable. Desde su odio por el banco hasta su odio por la ortografía adecuada, Jackson tenía mucho que decir sobre muchos temas. Éstos son algunos de sus grandes éxitos.

1. y 2. Sobre banca

El banco, señor Van Buren, está intentando matarme. Pero lo mataré ". Tres días después, Jackson anunció su veto a los estatutos bancarios.

"Le he tenido miedo a los bancos". A menudo se cita a Jackson diciendo "Tengo siempre he tenido miedo de los bancos ", pero la cita real era:" Desde que leí la historia de la burbuja de los mares del Sur, he tenido miedo de los bancos ".

3. Sobre matar a Charles Dickinson en un duelo

Aunque Dickinson disparó primero y golpeó a Jackson de lleno en el pecho, casi matándolo, Old Hickory disparó con calma como si no hubiera sido herido en absoluto. Cuando un amigo expresó su asombro por la compostura de Jackson, Jackson declaró: "Si me hubiera disparado en el cerebro, señor, aún lo habría matado".

4. Sobre la candidatura a la presidencia

"¿Creen que soy tan tonto como para pensar que soy apto para presidente de los Estados Unidos? No, señor, sé para qué soy apto. Puedo comandar un cuerpo de hombres de una manera ruda, pero no estoy en forma para ser presidente ".

5. Sobre su comportamiento

"Nací para una tormenta, y la calma no me conviene".

6. Sobre vivir

“Intento vivir mi vida como si la muerte pudiera venir a por mí en cualquier momento”. Aunque eso puede haber sido cierto, también estaba preparado para luchar contra la muerte con uñas y dientes. Cuando un asesino intentó matarlo en 1835, Jackson lo golpeó en la cara con su bastón.

7. Sobre la ortografía

"Es una mente muy pobre que sólo puede pensar en una forma de deletrear una palabra".

8. Sobre los arrepentimientos

El día después de que Van Buren fuera elegido presidente, Jackson se tomó el tiempo para reflexionar sobre su propia presidencia con un amigo. Cuando se le preguntó si se arrepintió de los últimos ocho años, esta fue su respuesta: "[Que] no disparé a Henry Clay y no colgué a John C. Calhoun".

9. Otras reflexiones sobre John C. Calhoun

"John Calhoun, si te separas de mi nación, separaré tu cabeza del resto de tu cuerpo". Como La semana dice, este no está verificado, pero dado el carácter y la relación de Jackson con Calhoun, es probable.

10. Sobre los privilegiados

“Es de lamentar que los ricos y poderosos con demasiada frecuencia desvíen los actos del gobierno para sus propios propósitos egoístas”.

11. Sobre impuestos

"La sabiduría del hombre nunca ideó todavía un sistema de impuestos que operara con perfecta igualdad".

12. Sobre los habitantes de Kentucky

Kentucky envió a 2300 milicianos para respaldar a Jackson durante la Batalla de Nueva Orleans en 1815. Asombrado de que tantos de ellos aparecieran sin armas, pronunció la ahora famosa cita que está adornada con orgullo como el orgullo de Kentucky en las camisetas: "Nunca en mi vida había visto a un kentuckiano que no tuviera una pistola, una baraja de cartas y una jarra de whisky".


¿Andrew Jackson amenazó con matar al vicepresidente? - Historia

El congreso estadounidense votó para renovar el estatuto del Segundo Banco de los Estados Unidos, Andrew Jackson respondió usando su veto para evitar que se apruebe el proyecto de ley de renovación. La respuesta de Andrew Jackson nos da una idea interesante. & # 8220No son nuestros propios ciudadanos los únicos que recibirán la recompensa de nuestro gobierno. Más de ocho millones de las acciones de este banco están en manos de extranjeros & # 8230 ¿no hay peligro para nuestra libertad e independencia en un banco que por su naturaleza tiene tan poco para vincularlo a nuestro país?

Andrew Jackson dijo que controlar nuestra moneda, recibir nuestro dinero público y mantener a miles de nuestros ciudadanos en dependencia & # 8230 sería más formidable y peligroso que un poder militar del enemigo. Si el gobierno se limitara a una protección igual y, como el cielo hace sus lluvias, derrama su favor por igual sobre los altos y bajos, los ricos y los pobres, sería una bendición incondicional. En el acto que tengo ante mí, parece haber una desviación amplia e innecesaria de estos principios justos. & # 8221

En 1832, Andrew Jackson ordenó el retiro de los depósitos del gobierno del segundo banco y, en su lugar, los colocó en bancos seguros. El director de Second Banks, Nicholas Biddle, fue bastante sincero sobre el poder y la intención del banco cuando amenazó abiertamente con causar una depresión si el banco no se reestructuraba, citamos. & # 8220 Nada más que el sufrimiento generalizado producirá algún efecto en el Congreso & # 8230 Nuestra única seguridad es seguir un curso constante de restricción firme y no tengo ninguna duda de que tal curso conducirá en última instancia a la restauración de la moneda y la reestructuración de la banco. & # 8221

Nicholas Biddle 1836 Al solicitar préstamos existentes y negarse a conceder nuevos préstamos, provocó una depresión masiva, pero en 1836, cuando se agotó la concesión, el Segundo Banco dejó de funcionar. Fue entonces cuando hizo estas dos famosas declaraciones: & # 8220El banco está tratando de matarme & # 8211 ¡pero lo mataré! & # 8221 y más tarde & # 8220Si el pueblo estadounidense solo entendiera la enorme injusticia de nuestro dinero y sistema bancario. & # 8211 habría una revolución antes de la mañana & # 8230 & # 8221

Cuando se le preguntó cuál creía que era el mayor logro de su carrera, Andrew Jackson respondió sin dudarlo & # 8220 ¡Maté al banco! & # 8221


Cazando esclavos fugitivos: los crueles anuncios de Andrew Jackson y "la clase magistral"

"Stop the Runaway", instó Andrew Jackson en un anuncio publicado en la Gaceta de Tennessee en octubre de 1804. El futuro presidente dio una descripción detallada: Un "Esclavo Mulato, de unos treinta años, seis pies y una pulgada de alto, robusto y activo, habla sensato, camina agachado y tiene un pie notablemente grande, ancho a lo largo de la raíz de los dedos; pasará por un hombre libre ... "

Jackson, quien se convertiría en el séptimo comandante en jefe del país en 1829, prometió a cualquiera que capturara a este "esclavo mulato" una recompensa de 50 dólares, más los gastos "razonables" pagados.

Jackson agregó una línea que algunos historiadores encuentran particularmente cruel.

Ofrecía "diez dólares extra, por cada cien latigazos que le dé cualquier persona, hasta la cantidad de trescientos".
El anuncio estaba firmado, "ANDREW JACKSON, Near Nashville, State of Tennessee".

Jackson, cuyo rostro figura en el billete de 20 dólares y al que el presidente Trump rindió homenaje en marzo, era dueño de unas 150 personas esclavizadas en The Hermitage, su finca cerca de Nashville, cuando murió en 1845, según los registros. El lunes, el presidente Trump causó furor cuando sugirió en una entrevista con Salena Zito del Washington Examiner que Jackson podría haber evitado la Guerra Civil.

El anuncio de esclavos de Jackson es uno de los miles que está catalogando el departamento de historia de la Universidad de Cornell, que lanzó el proyecto "La libertad en movimiento" para digitalizar y preservar los anuncios de esclavos fugitivos y hacerlos más accesibles al público.

"Nuestro objetivo es, en última instancia, recopilar todos los anuncios fugitivos que han sobrevivido", dijo Edward E. Baptist, profesor de historia de Cornell que colabora en el proyecto con Joshua D. Rothman, en la Universidad de Alabama, y ​​Molly Mitchell, en el Universidad de Nueva Orleans.

Baptist dijo que los anuncios brindan información valiosa sobre la historia.

“Son estas pequeñas ventanas”, dijo Baptist. “Los llamo los tweets de la clase magistral. El propósito es alertar al sistema de vigilancia que fue todo el cuerpo de personas blancas en el Sur para ayudar a este individuo a recuperar esta propiedad humana ”.

Los anuncios a menudo describen en detalle a los fugitivos: sus habilidades, dientes perdidos, altura, peso. Dan una idea de cómo vivían y se comportaban las personas esclavizadas. Los anuncios también brindan una sensación de resistencia y desafío, junto con severos castigos. Describen golpizas recientes, cicatrices y dedos cortados. En un anuncio con fecha del 5 de junio de 1788, que se publicó en el Virginia Herald y el Fredericksburg Advertiser, se describe a una mujer llamada Patty, que tenía unos 18 años y medía metro y medio de estatura: “Su espalda parece haber estado acostumbrada a la látigo."

Algunos anuncios incluían idiomas que se hablaban más allá del inglés: holandés, francés o idiomas africanos. Otros ofrecieron pruebas de que los esclavos fugitivos sabían leer y escribir y podían escribir pases.

Se prohibió enseñar a los esclavos a leer y escribir, especialmente después de la revuelta de Nat Turner en el condado de Southampton, Virginia, en 1831, dijo Baptist. “Hubo una ola de leyes contra la alfabetización. Los dueños de esclavos sabían que si algunos hombres y mujeres sabían leer y escribir, podrían escribir pases a la libertad ".

Algunos anuncios incluían la cláusula irónica "se escapó sin motivo".

"Me escapé sin motivo", dijo Baptist, "eso significa que soy un buen dueño de esclavistas, no la traté con una crueldad inusual". Es difícil no establecer conexiones con la historia de las relaciones raciales en los Estados Unidos. Los blancos necesitan definirse a sí mismos como los virtuosos ".

En muchos anuncios, se describía a los fugitivos como "mulatos" o llevando consigo niños "mulatos".
A veces se los describía como astutos, insolentes o "agradables cuando se les hablaba".

Los colores de la piel iban desde el color claro al cobrizo hasta el "perfectamente negro". Un anuncio en el que se buscaba a Thomas, que tenía unos 30 años cuando se escapó, lo describía como "5 pies y cinco pulgadas de alto, un color tocino claro, robusto, rostro lleno, cabello tupido, tiene una interrupción muy leve en su discurso y ha sido mal azotado ".

A veces, los anuncios daban indicios de sus esperanzas y aspiraciones: que es posible que se hubieran dirigido a ciudades o plantaciones cercanas donde tenían una madre o un padre o una esposa o un esposo o un hijo.

Un anuncio de periódico que apareció en julio de 1826 cuenta la historia de María, que escapó con su bebé a la espalda. Para cuando apareció el anuncio, habían pasado cuatro meses y la recompensa por su regreso era de $ 20.

“RANAWAY, hace unos cuatro meses, la mujer negra llamada MARY, de entre 26 y 36 años de tamaño normal, habiendo perdido casi todos los dientes frontales, su labio inferior es grueso y cuelga”, decía el anuncio. Mary hablaba francés e inglés con "la misma facilidad".

En unas pocas líneas, el lector se entera de lo siguiente sobre Mary: tuvo un bebé, un niño pequeño de 6 meses, "que por lo general lleva consigo".

Lo más probable es que Mary estuviera buscando a su marido. “Dicha mujer negra es muy íntima con un negro llamado William, perteneciente a Mde Gaudin y ambos han tenido durante mucho tiempo relaciones con el pescador negro en el Bayou”.
El anuncio estaba firmado E. FORSTALL.

Siete años antes de escribir la Declaración de Independencia, Thomas Jefferson colocó un anuncio en el Virginia Gazette el 14 de septiembre de 1769, buscando "un esclavo mulato llamado Sandy". Sandy, que tenía unos 35 años, fue descrita por el futuro presidente como "proclive a la corpulencia". Su tez era "clara". Era zapatero de oficio y zurdo. También era experto en carpintería y "es una especie de jinete de caballos". El anuncio explicaba que Sandy era "muy adicto a la bebida, y cuando está borracho es insolente y desordenado, en su conversación jura mucho y en su comportamiento es ingenioso y pícaro". Sandy aparentemente escapó con un caballo blanco. También tomó sus herramientas de fabricación de calzado "y probablemente se esforzará por conseguir un empleo de esa manera", advirtió el anuncio. La recompensa por Sandy estaba listada en $ 40.

Un hombre llamado Antoine, que usaba el alias William, se escapó el 29 de enero de 1851. Antoine fue descrito como un "panadero oficial", de unos 40 años, 5 pies 7 u 8 pulgadas de alto, "con tez amarillenta, constitución fuerte, cabeza grande, nariz grande, labios gruesos, pies grandes y planos ". El anuncio aludía al dolor de la vida de Antoine en cautiverio. Tenía "una gran cicatriz quemada en el pecho, un pedazo de una oreja arrancado". Hablaba inglés y francés. Se decía que Antoine tenía esposa en Nueva Orleans o Lafayette. El anuncio prometía una recompensa de 35 dólares para "cualquiera que devuelva un esclavo a su amo".


Jackson contra Calhoun - Parte 1

Ha sido raro en la historia política estadounidense que los presidentes y vicepresidentes no se lleven bien o no se agraden, pero ha sucedido. John Adams y Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower y Richard Nixon, y John Kennedy y Lyndon Johnson son tres parejas que vienen a la mente de inmediato. Sin embargo, la relación más polémica entre un director ejecutivo y su respaldo podría ser la pareja del presidente Andrew Jackson y el vicepresidente John C. Calhoun.

Jackson era un hombre hecho a sí mismo de los bosques de Tennessee y un héroe militar. En 1828, fue elegido presidente en una plataforma de reforma política y financiera y de protección de los derechos de los estados. Calhoun provenía de la aristocracia de Carolina del Sur y haría cualquier cosa para proteger y defender su estado natal.

La relación entre Jackson y Calhoun tuvo un mal comienzo cuando poco después de la inauguración en 1829, la esposa de Calhoun, Flordie, se negó a entretener o reconocer a Peggy Eaton, la esposa de John Eaton. Eaton era un senador de Tennessee y un buen amigo de Jackson, a quien Jackson nombró como Secretario de Guerra. El primer marido de Peggy Eaton, un marinero llamado Timberlake, murió mientras se encontraba en un crucero por el Mediterráneo, una asignación que Eaton, como secretario de Guerra, había arreglado. No está claro si Timberlake murió por causas naturales o si se suicidó al enterarse del romance entre Eaton y Peggy, pero el hecho de que el Secretario de Guerra lo había asignado al crucero para sacarlo del camino fue escandaloso. Lo que empeoró las cosas, John y Peggy vivieron juntos mientras Timberlake estaba en el mar y se casaron poco tiempo después de la muerte del marinero.

Este comportamiento de una mujer era absolutamente inaceptable para Flordie Calhoun, por lo que Flordie se negó a invitarla a las grandes funciones sociales que la esposa de un vicepresidente estaba obligada a realizar para la élite de Washington. Las acciones de Flordie hicieron que muchas de las otras esposas de los funcionarios del gabinete hicieran lo mismo.

Este desaire del amigo de Jackson enfureció al presidente, especialmente después de los feos rumores que se habían difundido sobre él y su esposa, Rachel, durante la campaña presidencial anterior. Un escalofrío se desarrolló entre Jackson y Calhoun, y Eaton finalmente renunció a su puesto en 1831. Sin embargo, varios años más tarde, Jackson nombró a Eaton gobernador del Territorio de Florida.

En el frente político, Jackson y Calhoun discutieron sobre mejoras internas y derechos de los estados. En el tema de las mejoras internas, Calhoun apoyó el uso de dinero federal para la construcción de carreteras, canales y cualquier otra cosa que ayude a vincular las diferentes partes del país, especialmente en beneficio del comercio y el comercio que pueda ayudar. Carolina del Sur.

Jackson, por otro lado, aunque apoyó algunas mejoras con dinero federal, fue fuertemente influenciado por los opositores a las mejoras internas, especialmente por su secretario de Estado, Martin van Buren. Cuando el Congreso envió el proyecto de ley de Maysville Road a Jackson para que lo firmara, un proyecto de ley que habría hecho que el gobierno federal comprara acciones de una empresa privada en Kentucky, Jackson lo vetó. Su razón era simple y sólida: dado que el proyecto de ley de Maysville Road asignó dinero para un proyecto que estaba únicamente en el estado de Kentucky y, por lo tanto, no beneficiaría a ningún otro estado que no fuera Kentucky, Jackson no podía apoyarlo. Sacó el sello de veto y lo usó.

En su mensaje de veto, Jackson dijo que dado que los dineros asignados por el Congreso para el bien general "siempre han estado bajo el control del principio general de que las obras a las que se pueda ayudar deben ser" de carácter general, no local, nacional, no estatal. , & # 39 carácter [,] & quot no sería apropiado aprobar el proyecto de ley de Maysville Road. Afirmó además que, dado que todo el dinero se destinaría a un proyecto que & quot; cotizaría exclusivamente dentro de los límites de un Estado & quot; sentaría un mal precedente que & quot; conduciría necesariamente a la subversión del sistema federal & hellip & quot.

Pero las diferencias sobre la etiqueta social y los proyectos de barril de cerdo no serían nada comparadas con la pelea en la que Jackson y Calhoun estaban a punto de participar.


Jackson contra Calhoun - Parte 2

Los desacuerdos que tuvo el presidente Andrew Jackson con el vicepresidente John C. Calhoun al comienzo de su administración no fueron nada comparados con lo que sucedería sobre el tema de los aranceles.

Los aranceles, o impuestos sobre las importaciones, estaban perjudicando a una Carolina del Sur que ya estaba en apuros, que estaba tratando de lidiar con los bajos precios del algodón y los altos precios de los productos manufacturados importados. En 1828, antes de que se eligiera la boleta Jackson-Calhoun, el Congreso aprobó la Tarifa de 1828. En respuesta, Calhoun escribió Exposición y protesta de Carolina del Sur. En el documento, que no firmó, Calhoun argumentó que `` todo el sistema de legislación que impone aranceles sobre las importaciones, no para los ingresos, sino para la protección de una rama de la industria a expensas de otras, es inconstitucional, desigual, y opresivo, y calculado para corromper la virtud pública y destruir la libertad de la Patria. . . . ”Argumentó que un estado, cuando cree que una ley federal es inconstitucional, puede anular la ley en ese estado y no hacerla cumplir. Muchos en Carolina del Sur esperaban que cuando se eligiera el boleto Jackson-Calhoun, el Arancel de 1828 sería abandonado o disminuido y la anulación no sería necesaria.

Las diferencias entre Jackson y Calhoun comenzaron a surgir un año después de la administración de Jackson. Hasta este momento, las opiniones del presidente Jackson sobre el asunto habían permanecido como un misterio, pero Calhoun estaba directamente en el campo de los derechos de los estados. En una cena en 1830, se le pidió a Jackson que brindara, lo que hizo, proclamando la preservación de la Unión por encima de todo lo demás. Ahora se conocían sus opiniones: estaba en contra de la anulación. Calhoun trató de responder defendiendo la libertad antes que la unión, pero logró poco y el problema permaneció sin resolver por el momento.

Unos meses después de la cena, la división entre Jackson y Calhoun aumentó aún más. Jackson se enteró de los documentos escritos por su vicepresidente en 1818 instando a censurar a Jackson por la invasión de Florida por Jackson y la captura de Pensacola durante la Primera Guerra Seminole. Jackson había tenido suficiente. Cortó a Calhoun y eliminó a los aliados de Calhoun del gabinete.

En 1830, el debate sobre los aranceles comenzó a calentarse cuando el senador de Connecticut, Samuel A. Foot, propuso una resolución que restringiría la venta de tierras de propiedad federal en los estados del oeste. Los occidentales denunciaron la propuesta como un intento de fortalecer la economía en los estados del este a expensas de los del oeste. Los sureños saltaron sobre el tema. Se hicieron eco de los sentimientos en el oeste y esperaban que los occidentales se dieran cuenta de que esto equivalía a la tarifa protectora que estaba perjudicando al sur.

En lugar de discutir la posición de los occidentales con respecto a la propuesta del senador Foot, el senador de Carolina del Sur, Robert Y. Hayne, argumentó el tema de los derechos de los estados y la teoría del pacto estatal con el Gobierno Federal. Dijo que debido a que el Gobierno Federal era un pacto entre los estados, entonces un estado o estados podrían anular una ley federal cuando creyeran que el Gobierno Federal se había excedido en su autoridad.

El presidente Jackson hizo un esfuerzo por apaciguar a los anuladores instando a la reducción de aranceles. El Congreso aprobó algunas reducciones en 1832, pero no fueron suficientes para satisfacer a los descontentos.

En 1832, Carolina del Sur celebró una convención especial, en la que aprobaron una ordenanza que declaraba inconstitucionales las leyes arancelarias de 1828 y 1832 y ordenó que no se recaudaran impuestos. El mismo año, la legislatura de Carolina del Sur eligió al senador Foot como gobernador y, para reemplazar al gobernador Foot en el Senado, eligió a John C. Calhoun.

Calhoun renunció a la vicepresidencia y ocupó su escaño en el Senado donde defendió la posición de nulidad de Carolina del Sur.

En respuesta a la Ordenanza de Anulación de Carolina del Sur, el presidente Jackson envió varios buques de guerra y cientos de soldados bajo el mando del general Winfield Scott a Charleston para hacer cumplir las leyes del país. Carolina del Sur, a su vez, suspendió la Ordenanza de Anulación y el Congreso aprobó una ley que redujo los aranceles en el transcurso de una década.

Al final, Jackson había demostrado el poder del gobierno federal para hacer cumplir las leyes, incluso cuando a los estados no les agradan o sienten que representan un perjuicio para su estado o causa. Se evitó el derramamiento de sangre por la cuestión de los derechos de los estados, pero solo durante 30 años.


Por qué el fantasma de Andrew Jackson acecha a la presidencia moderna de los Estados Unidos

Solo un presidente de los EE. UU. Tiene toda una era que lleva su nombre. Y no es Washington, Kennedy, Roosevelt o Lincoln. El hombre que tiene esa distinción es Andrew Jackson, un comandante en jefe de dos mandatos que sirvió desde 1829 hasta 1837.

“Llamamos a la época de Washington la era revolucionaria y fundacional, no la era de Washington. Lincoln pertenece a la era de la Guerra Civil, Theodore Roosevelt y Woodrow Wilson a la era Progresista ”, escribió Daniel Feller, profesor de la Universidad de Tennessee, en un ensayo para el Instituto Gilder Lehrman de Historia Estadounidense. `` Pero el intervalo aproximadamente desde la década de 1820 hasta la de 1840, entre las secuelas de la Guerra de 1812 y la llegada de la Guerra Civil, a menudo se conoce como la Era Jacksoniana, o la Era de Jackson ''.

Si bien todos los presidentes parecen tener altibajos en la conciencia pública hasta cierto punto, el nombre de Jackson aparece con regularidad, incluso más en los últimos años. Pero, ¿por qué el fantasma de un presidente que murió en 1845 todavía acecha el discurso político contemporáneo?

La respuesta es, como Jackson, complicada.

Para empezar, el presidente Donald Trump tiene la costumbre de quitarle el nombre a Jackson, a quien admira, hasta tal punto que colgó un retrato de su héroe en la Oficina Oval.

--Visita inspiradora, tengo que decirte. Soy un fan '', dijo Trump durante una visita en 2017 a la mansión de Jackson en Nashville, según The Washington Post. Tanto Jackson como Trump ganaron el poder en parte al avivar el resentimiento en la gente de la clase trabajadora hacia los ricos y famosos, llamándose a sí mismos campeones de los desamparados de la sociedad, señaló el Post.

Pero a diferencia de Trump, que nació rico, Jackson fue un hombre que se hizo a sí mismo y, literalmente, luchó para llegar a la cima. También sirvió con distinción en el ejército y fue elegido para varios cargos gubernamentales vitales antes de asumir la presidencia.

“La imagen de Jackson como un producto por excelencia de la democracia estadounidense se ha mantenido. Sin embargo, siempre lo ha complicado la interacción entre lo personal y lo político. Si Jackson es un símbolo democrático potente, también es conflictivo y polarizador '', escribió Feller.

Como hombre, Jackson era conocido por su temperamento violento, voluntad de hierro y su decisión bajo fuego. Otros han notado su imparcialidad, conciencia de sí mismo y brillantez política. También era un racista descarado, intolerante y narcisista.

Independientemente de sus fallas personales, superó probabilidades increíblemente difíciles en su camino hacia el éxito.

Nacido para pelear

Andrew Jackson nació en 1767, pocos años antes de la Guerra Revolucionaria. Se inscribió para luchar a la tierna edad de 13 años. Las primeras dificultades fueron tangibles: dos de sus hermanos y su madre murieron durante la guerra, y Jackson atribuyó sus muertes directamente a los británicos.

Como huérfano empobrecido, creció en varios hogares de acogida y tuvo poca educación formal. Sin embargo, trabajó para varios abogados y, de manera vital, logró aprender lo suficiente del sistema legal para convertirse él mismo en abogado. Estas habilidades le servirían bien por el resto de su vida.

Al mudarse a Tennessee, que entonces se consideraba parte del salvaje oeste, Jackson ascendió lentamente en poder y riqueza, a través de tratos de tierras y astucia politiquería. En 1796, fue elegido como el único representante estadounidense del nuevo estado. Al año siguiente, fue elegido senador de los Estados Unidos, donde su odio por las sutilezas políticas se hizo muy claro.

Miserable, regresó a Tennessee y fue elegido juez de la Corte Suprema del estado. En 1804 dimitió alegando problemas de salud.

En medio de estos logros, Jackson también era propietario y comerciante de una plantación de algodón, que poseía quizás 150 hombres, mujeres y niños como esclavos. Esa es una de las razones de una campaña reciente para que la ex esclava y abolicionista Harriet Tubman lo reemplace en el billete de 20 dólares, un cambio que la administración Trump puso en espera.

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."

Jubilación

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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