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Western members had been urging this as a predicted it would be. Parties still conreason why they ought not to support him tinued immovable and uncertain. It was in preference to Adams. His illness, and difficult to tell where either had lost, or the serious afflictions with which he had been where either had gained. Calhoun bad visited, were well known to Clay. He been elected Vice-President by a large maspoke of them often, and always with un- jority, and refused to take part or mingle feigned kindness and sympathy. Anxious in the election either way. He was known, and interested partisans had, it is true, sent however, to be bitterly opposed to Crawford, abroad through the country very exag- and he afterwards declared that he had no gerated accounts of his convalescence and preference as between Adams and Jackson, improving state of health, but in Wash- though his friends were already zealous ington the whole truth was known. But for the latter. Clay maintained a steady his immediate friends attempted no con- and decorous reserve, which many whose cealment, although they were sincere in the anxieties were zealously excited, characbelief that he was rapidly growing better, terized as mysterious and politic. The Crawand would soon be sufficiently restored to ford party no longer expected his coöpeenter profitably into the discharge of any ration, and the Adams party, relying on his official duty to which he might be called. well-known distrust of Jackson, and fully Under this illusory impression, in order as informed of Crawford's wretched health, conwell to confute the malicious as to convince fined their electioneering efforts to an interand persuade the doubtful, they resolved course marked only by cordiality and reupon a course which, though corroborative spect. There is not on record the least parof their sincerity, resulted fatally to their ticle of evidence that they ever made any hopes and expectations. It had been now overtures to Clay's friends, or approached a long time since Crawford had mingled himself improperly. But the partisans of with the public. He had not been present Jackson pursued a different policy altoat any of the numerous festive and social gether. It is in proof, on their own testimeetings for which this season is famous. To mony, that prominent members of their drawing-rooms and soirées he was an utter party consulted frequently as to the prostranger. Only a select and intimate few priety of coaxing Clay's friends to support were in the habit of visiting him, even at Jackson by an intimation that, in the event his home. A few days previous to the time of the latter's election, the second office of of election, however, and to the surprise of the government” would be tendered to nearly all Washington, his friends conveyed Clay. They even went so far, in guarding him to the Capitol, and kept him there in against the rumor that Jackson had decompany for several hours. The old man clared his intention of continuing Adams in looked much better than was generally ex- the State Department in case of election, to pected, and deported himself with accus- persuade Jackson to allow them to announce tomed amenity and dignity. Many who publicly and by his authority, that he had saw him only from a distance, were most made no such declaration, that he had not agreeably disappointed. Those with whom decided as to any official appointments, and he shook hands and spoke, however, were that, if elected President, he should be free observed to leave him with grave faces, and to fill the offices of government as he chose. with all the signs and tokens of a melan- While doing this much, however, Jackson choly interview. Among these last was took very especial pains to denounce all Clay himself; and it was afterwards re- attempts at intrigue or improper collusions, marked by one of Crawford's friends, who and expressed himself with characteristic was present, that his manner on that occa- emphasis and honesty of purpose. We sion told plainly enough that their hopes of must candidly say that we believe Jackson his coöperation and support were at an end. himself was intent on running the race with “Defects were but too evident,” as Cobb had Adams for the Presidency fairly and indewritten to his friends, and these sounded the pendently; although we must further say funeral knell to his chances for the Presidency. that his subsequent conduct showed a vin
The contest was at length narrowed down dictiveness that is wholly irreconcilable with to the issue between Adams and Jack- the general frankness and manliness of his son, as nearly every one had, from the first, I disposition.
It has not transpired whether these decla- | admonished him to do nothing without rations were ever formally communicated to advice. That he was a mere tool of others the friends of Clay. But when the Jackson is seen by his original letter, in which he party found that Clay's resolution was still makes charges that he afterwards denied fixed not to sustain the pretensions of their were charges of either bargain or bribery, and favorite; that neither persuasion, nor flatter- about which he evidently understood nothing ing intimations, nor attempts to intimi- at all. That he was a vain-glorious blusterer date could move him from his purpose; is proven by his vaunting reply to Clay' that the star of the hated Adams was card denouncing the charges of his letter a rising to ascendency; that Clay and his false. That he was a driveler, if not a fool, i friends would certainly make Adams the evidenced by his whole subsequent conduct President, their rage seemed to know no His cringing denials, his bolstered reäffirma bounds. Their execrations were uttered tions in the face of those denials, his verba without regard to decency or propriety. confessions to Clay's friends, his written state Then it was that the first hoarse whispers of ments given to Clay's enemies, his challenge the “bargain and intrigue" were heard. before the committee, and his subsequen They were hissed serpent-like through the disgraceful retreat, at one time boasting, a political circles of Washington, though the another time begging, and always blindly venom was first discharged within the bosom obedient to his dictators, all these show clearly of a quiet and obscure rural district in a that, he was much better fitted to moul neighboring State. No one doubted then, cheeses and to manufacture sourkrout thai no one doubts now, the source from whence to conduct a plot or discuss state affairs. Hi those charges sprang. It is one of the in- only redeeming quality is to be found in firmities of our nature to judge others by our Clay's own admission, that “ he may havi selves. They who had so cautiously dis- possessed native honesty." cussed the policy of illicit overtures within Such was the man and the instrumen their own cabal, were naturally unable to which was thrust forward by the contriver account for their defeat upon any other than of this atrocious plot to confront and accus the ground that they had been outbidden by Henry Clay. Having failed to flatter o their wittier adversaries. But they directed to frighten him into the support of Jackson their attack behind a masked battery, and at they now assailed him through the mor tempted to resolve the controversy into a trying medium of his sensibilities. The personal issue between Clay and an old, endeavored to compel his support by leaving simple-minded Pennsylvania Dutchman, by to bim only a choice between compliane the name of Kremer. Kremer was a mem- and the chances of political destruction. Thei ber of Congress, and from his character, scheme failed as to the first, as every
body habits, and standing, was evidently selected knows. Clay was not shaken for an instani with special reference to all these, as the in- but challenged investigation and defied con strument to fire the train of this infernal viction. At the same time he caused hi machine. It seems that he was notorious friends to assert publicly and positively for ignorance, insignificance, and vulgarity. that he had resolved not to sustain Jackson In his address to the House, Clay alludes to under any circumstances short of the mos him with a species of kind contempt, im- extreme and improbable necessity. But th plying less of malevolence than scornful in- conspiracy, especially in view of its subse difference; and afterwards he tells his con- quent identification with Jackson himsel stituents that to have held such a man who endorsed the accusations in the ver responsible would have subjected him to zenith of his gigantic popularity, did indee universal ridicule. Nobody believed that result in the destruction of Clay's chance Kremer composed either his original letter for the Presidency. The strongest armamen charging Clay with corruption and bribery, of proof that was ever before arrayed in or the subsequent elaborate letter which was similar case, (and that, too, the proof of sent to the committee raised to act on those negative,) has not been sufficient to clea charges. The only thing he himself did him, before the masses, of these groundles write, which was a positive contradiction of charges. Every effort to make him Presi his original charge, was seized and pocketed dent, from that day to this, has failed, solel by one of his friends, who at the same time in consequence of the unwelcome fact, tha his friends have been met at every corner a solid sea of uncovered heads; nor was there, with these deathless charges of the bargain perhaps, a solitary individual of that vast and intrigue of 1825. It was in vain that number who had not made a choice and a they were disproved; that all proof was in- preference between the three opposing candivited and challenged; that it was shown no dates for President. It was the second time proof existed, or ever had existed. One in the history of the government, and within letter of five lines from the Hermitage, con- a quarter of a century, that such a high taining the mere declaration that the opinions duty and responsibility had devolved on the of its revered and idolized master had “under- House of Representatives. Most of those gone no change" on the subject, was enough present were alive and in political life when to confute a world of substantial evidence, Burr and Jefferson came as contestants and to stamp the baseless charge with the before the same assembly, and some had seal of divinity.
been actors in that memorable scene. They It is a significant and an instructive fact that now recalled with misgiving the frightful the friends of Crawford, so far from aiding and recollections of those seven days' ballotings, abetting this unworthy attempt to destroy which had been carried on amidst threats of the character of a high-minded opponent, rebellion and of armed interference. It was with the view to force him to a course which now to be tested whether the lapse of twentyhis judgment and inclination both con- five years, years allied with glory, with greatdemned, accorded to Clay their generous ness, and with unparalleled prosperity, had and steadfast support in all attempts which imparted the salutary influences necessary to were made to obtain the action of the House dispel and subdue seditious resorts, and to on the charges contained in the Kremer substitute a spirit of allegiance for a spirit of letter. Forsyth came zealously to his aid, anarchy. The foreign ministers present, and put forth in his cause the splendid observing the immense concourse, and the parliamentary accomplishments and abilities absence of soldiers and guards, seemed by which made him the ornament of Congress. their looks to have agreed that the occasion Crawford himself turned his face against the would fully confirm or disprove the repubconspiracy, with feelings that appeared to lican theory of our political system. But have partaken of both horror and disgust, there were no indications of a character that and afterwards wrote to Clay a letter express- seemed likely to lead to any untoward deive of surprise that he should ever have been velopment. At the usual hour, the Speaker thought capable of believing such charges, and ascended to his chair, and the rap of his assuring him that he "should have voted just hammer brought the House to order. The as he did, as between Jackson and Adams.” roll was called; and the first business being At the same time, the Crawford party, warmly to proceed with the election for President, in devoted to their chief, never pretended to dis- conformity with the terms of the Constitution, guise their hostility to Clay, in consequence tables were duly arranged, and tellers apof his preference for Adams over their own pointed. John Randolph presided at the candidate. They were mostly of a school of table on the Speaker's left, and Daniel Webpolitics which repudiated the latitudinous ster at that on his right hand. The vote constitutional theories of the day, and con- was to be taken by States, and amidst breathsidered Adams as being more obdurate and less stillness and the most painful suspense, unreliable on such score than Crawford. the balloting commenced. When all the
At length the day of election arrived._It votes had been deposited and counted out, was a cold, stormy day of February. The Webster rose, and with deep, sonorous tones, hall was beset and crowded at an early announced that, at his table, Adams had rehour by every class of spectator. Every ceived thirteen votes, Jackson seven, and member was at his post, and the area was Crawford four. Scarcely had he again taken jammed with privileged dignitaries, senators, his seat, when the wild, shrill voice of Ranex-members of Congress, members of State dolph was heard ringing high above the buzz Legislatures, judges, and foreign ambassadors. which followed Webster's announcement, as Doubt was portrayed in every countenance, he proclaimed a similar result at his own table, anxiety throbbed in every bosom. The but so varying Webster's phraseology as to galleries and lobbies, filled to an excess that say that the respective candidates had realmost stifled the eager multitude, presented Iceived the votes of so many States, instead of so many votes. There being at that time I was there, but the same frigid and callous but twenty-four States of the Union, and a deportment which always belonged to him majority only required to elect, it appeared was not exchanged for a manner of even that Adams had obtained just the comple- seeming warmth. The bright and piercing ment, and was, of course, duly and constitu- eye alone gave token that deep feeling, and tionally elected President of the United stormy passions, and acerbities of tempei States.
that partook of stern Jesuitism, dwelt within So soon as this result had been officially a bosom to all appearance so impervious made known, there was heard some slight and phlegmatic. The polished amenity and demonstration of applause in one of the gal- winning suavity of Jackson shone in marked leries. McDuffie, a member from South contrast with the less engaging manner of Carolina, and a fierce partisan of the Jackson his successful rival. There was not the faction, sprang to his feet ere scarcely the first slightest symptom of even a lurking disapsounds were distinctly heard, and in a man- pointment observable in his mild, dignified ner that indicated every symptom of anger deportment. He shook hands with and and keen mortification, moved that the gal-congratulated Adams with a cordiality that leries be instantly cleared. This motion, and seemed to defy scrutiny or question. No the corresponding order which was imme- one could have ventured to predict that the diately given by the Speaker, seemed to pro- frank and friendly courtesies of that evening duce great surprise among the foreigners would so soon be exchanged for a persona present, in view of the immense and excited warfare, vindictive beyond what has ever crowd which filled the hall. It seemed to occurred in the history of the republic. Yet them incredible that such an order at such no one will now question but that Jackson's a time could be carried out, and that, too, by behavior on that occasion was forced and an invisible force. But their surprise was insincere, and that his bosom was even ther lulled, and their incredulity satisfied com- burning with wrath and the desire of ven pletely, when the Sergeant-at-arms proceed- geance. How these were afterwards wreaked ed quietly to motion the crowd to the doors, against both Adams and Clay, history has and when that crowd quietly obeyed; and told with a particularity of detail more truth all skepticism, if any had really been en- ful than welcome. tertained, as to the binding influence of law Crawford was not present; disposition in the absence of physical force, must instant- and tastes would have withheld him from ly have vanished, when, in a few moments, going, even had his state of health allowed those spacious seats, which were so recently Besides, the result of the morning's contest teeming with conscious, anxious spectators, had both astonished and disappointed him presented nothiny to the eye but the mag- He had never, perhaps, shared the sanguine nificent colonnade, and the long rows of ness of his friends, but we are told by one empty benches. The House now soon ad- who had long stood in a very confidentia journed, and every body quitted the Capitol, relation to him, that he was evidently no some filled with joy, and others struggling prepared for so early and abrupt a termina to conceal the defeat of expectations which tion of the struggle before the House. Hi: had been more fed by hope than by reason. friends were prepared no better for a decision The important question had been irretrieva- on the first ballot. They had hoped and bly decided by a first vote, notwithstanding wrought for a protracted contest, consciou:
had anticipated that a struggle that Crawford's only chance lay in some sud similar to that of 1801 was about to occur den turn of the game which might spring again.
from the animosity of the stronger factions On the evening of the same day, the draw- and finally benefit him as a compromise can ing-rooms of the Presidential mansion were didate. Consequently, they were astounded thrown open, and all Washington flocked to when the vote was announced, though they witness the scene. The gathering was bril- betrayed no outward sign of chagrin or mor liant beyond parallel or precedent; and amid tification. Some of the most intimate o the universal exhibition of good feeling and their party repaired to Crawford's dwelling apparent vivacity, it was difficult for a stran- shortly after the adjournment, and among ger to distinguish the victors in the morn- these were Macon, Lowry, and Cobb. Th ing's contest from the vanquished. Adams I first two of these went immediately into th
room where Crawford was calmly reclining return home, and we must do the best we can in his easy-chair, while one of his family read with him. Should he and our friends wish that he to him from a newspaper. Macon saluted should again go into the Senate, the way shall be him, and made known the result with deli- here, and wish for nothing so much as private life.
open for him. I am sick and tired of every thing cacy, though with ill-concealed feeling. The My ambition is dead." invalid statesman gave a look of profound surprise, and remained silent and pensive for The events of this memorable campaign, many minutes, evidently schooling his mind and their consequences, afford an instructive to a becoming tolerance of the event which page of history, and may be easily traced to had for ever thwarted his political elevation. an intimate connection with the party poliHe then entered freely into conversation, and tics of the country from that day to the commented on the circumstances of the elec- present. They served to form the tempest tion as though he had never been known as which succeeded to the calm of the preceda candidate. He even jested and rallied his ing eight years. The absence of all princifriend Cobb, whose excess of feeling had for- ples from the contest, gave to it peculiar bidden him to see Crawford until the shock virulence and acrimony, and made defeat to had passed—for he knew that the enfeebled be far more keenly felt. It caused a genreteran would be shocked. The conversa- eral prevalence of the belief, that the cessation, on the part of these friends, was not tion of party strifes, based upon honest difuntinged with bitterness and spite, vented ferences of opinion on the fundamental theagainst the prominent actors in both the ad-ories of the government, was rather injuriverse political factions, but more especially ous and hazardous than beneficial to the against those of the successful party, as be- political safety of the republic. Hitherto, ing more immediately responsible for the since the day of Washington, on whom even crushing overthrow of their own beloved his opponents bestowed their suffrages, the candidate. Crawford himself refrained from conflicts of the political world had turned giving utterance to the least exceptionable on substantial and great principles. From sentiment, and behaved, during the remain- 1824 to 1848, competition has turned prinder of his stay in Washington, with a mild- cipally upon personal attachments and preness and an urbanity befitting one of his ferences on one side, and personal antipathy exalted station, who had just staked and and hatred on the other. Andrew Jackson lost his political fortune. As a proper con- was not the man to restore harmony; and clusion to this portion of our task, we again his advent, at such a period and crisis, must draw some extracts from the correspondence ever be regarded as having materially balked of Thomas W. Cobb, under date of the thir- and impeded the progress of the great nateenth of February, just four days after the tional interests, although no one can consistcontest had been decided in the House. ently question his honesty or his patriotism;
while all must admit that, in the eye of the * The Presidential election is over, and you will world, his administration gave a character have heard the result. The clouds were black, and and tone to the American name which the portentous of storms of no ordinary character. They broke in one horrid burst, and straight dis- lapse of many future generations will not pelled. Every thing here is silent. The victors alter or obliterate. His passions and his have no cause to rejoice. There was not a single pride were alike unregulated, and the perniwindow lighted on the occasion. A few free ne cious and corrupting principle of favoritism groes shouted, “Huzza for Mr. Adams !" But they were not joined even by the cringing popu.
was a prominent element of his nature. He lace of this place. The disappointed submit in gave out to his friends to expect from him zalien silence. The friends of Jackson grumbled every thing in the way of patronage, and at first like the rumbling of distant thunder, but warned his opponents to expect nothing. the old man himself submitted without a change He very seldom showed quarter in battle, of countenance. Mr. Crawford's friends nor him. self changed not their looks. They command uni- never in the political world after his accestersal respect. Adams has caused it to be an- sion to the Presidency. These strong pasnounced that they shall have no cause to be dissa- sions came to be mutual and reciprocal as tisfied. Two days ago, the Treasury Department between the leaders and followers of both a tendered to Crawford, and refused.” On the same day, General Jackson paid him a friendly parties; and they increased in intensity unand civil visit, but nothing passed but an inter- til, at last, the politics of the country was change of civilities.
Crawford will resolved into personal idolatry, a sort of