VAN BUREN, Martin (1782-1862), President. Autograph letter signed (''M.V. Buren'') with autograph FREE FRANK as Senator, to John Woodworth, Washington, 5 February 1825. 1½ pages, 4to, separated along central fold, otherwise in fine condition.
VAN BUREN, Martin (1782-1862), President. Autograph letter signed ("M.V. Buren") with autograph FREE FRANK as Senator, to John Woodworth, Washington, 5 February 1825. 1½ pages, 4to, separated along central fold, otherwise in fine condition.
VAN BUREN REPORTS ON THE DEADLOCKED ELECTION OF 1824: "JACKSON'S FRIENDS ARE IN THE HIGHEST STATE OF EXASPERATION...LET THE ELECTION TERMINATE AS IT MAY A POWERFUL OPPOSITION WILL BE IMMEDIATELY IN THE FIELD"
An important political letter on the high-level intrigues surrounding the controversial Election of 1824, which Van Buren would later use to help Jackson secure the presidency in 1828. The fragmentation of the Republican consensus from the administrations of Madison and Monroe resulted in multiple Presidential contenders in 1824: John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, William Crawford and Andrew Jackson. But while Jackson led in the popular vote (42 to Adams's 32 and Clay and Crawford's 13, he failed to attain a majority of electoral votes and the decision was thrown into the House of Representatives. Clay, since he could not hope to win the White House, agreed to throw his support to John Quincy Adams in return fo his appointment as Secretary of State. The arrangement between the two men was quickly branded a "corrupt bargain" by Jackson and his supporters.
Here, Van Buren, who had campaigned for Crawford, reports on the status of the election: "The result of the election is extremely doubtful. Mr. Clay & his friends have joined Mr. Adams. It was at first supposed that they would be able to elect him without the co-operation of Mr. Crawford's friends--that is not now believed. Mr. Crawford's friends mean to adhere to him. Mr. Adams & his friends are very anxious for a union with us & openly admit their convictions that the Government cannot be successfully carried on without it. Genl. Jackson's friends are in the highest state of exasperation...Let the election terminate as it may a powerful opposition will be immediately in the field. Old Hickory & his friends will I am persuaded instantly take ground for the next election."
In line with Van Buren's prediction, the Tennessee legislature immediately nominated Jackson for President in 1828. Capitalizing on growing opposition to President Adams and exploiting the "corrupt bargain," Van Buren materminded a national political alliance under the banner of the Democratic Party and propelled Jackson to victory in 1828.
Provenance: Nathaniel Stein (sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet, 30 January 1979, lot 172).