1824

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 1824

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 1824

Election Day Date: October 26 – December 1, 1824

Winning Ticket: John Quincy Adams (57, Unitarian) John Calhoun (42, Unitarian) Democratic-Republican 114,023 31.5% 113,142 30.92% 84 32.2% 13 54.2%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • Andrew Jackson (57, Presbyterian), John Calhoun (42, Unitarian) Democratic-Republican 152,901 42.5% 99 37.9% 7 29.2%
  • William Crawford (52), Nathaniel Macon (66), Democratic-Republican 46,979 13% 41,032 11.21% 41 15.7% 4 16.7%
  • Henry Clay (47, Episcopalian), Nathan Sanford (47), Democratic-Republican 47,217 13% 37 14.2% – 0.0%
  • Unpledged Republican-Republican 6,616 1.81% 0 0.0% – 0.0%
  • Others– 6,230 1.70% 0 0.0% – 0.0%

Voter Turnout: %VAP 26.9%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters: Contrafacta (well known songs and tunes which have been lyrically altered to promote political agendas and candidates); political cartoons and partisan writings; new genre of campaign biographies

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes: The end of the Congressional Caucus “King Caucus” as the central vehicle for nominating candidates

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day: James Monroe, Daniel D Tompkins, Democratic-Republican, 1817-1825

Population: 1824: 10,795,000

Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $0.75 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $17.30
GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%) 4.32 Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $69 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $1,602

Number of Daily Newspapers: 42

Average Daily Circulation: N/A

Method of Choosing Electors: Popular vote except in 6 of 24 states.

  • Each Elector appointed by state legislature: Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, South Carolina, Vermont
  • Each Elector chosen by voters statewide(General Ticket system, usually winner take all): Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia
  • State is divided into electoral districts, with one Elector chosen per district by the voters of that district: Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee
  • Two Electors chosen by voters statewide, One Elector chosen per Congressional district by the voters of that district: Maine

Method of Choosing Nominees: State legislatures; caucus

Central Issues (Nomination/Primaries): The legitimacy of the Congressional Caucus questioned

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

  • General Andrew Jackson United States Senator Tennessee
  • John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, Massachusetts
  • William H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury, Georgia
  • Henry Clay, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Kentucky
  • John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, South Carolina

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

  • The “A.B. Plot” accusations of corruption against Willliam Crawford made first anonymously by Ninian Edwards signing his letters  “A.B.”
  • Push for universal suffrage

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

  • The end of the Congressional Caucus (King Caucus) method of nominating candidates.
  • John C. Calhoun first tried for the Presidency, but when he could not even get support from his home state of South Carolina, he began his ultimately successful push for the Vice Presidency.
  • Frontrunner and caucus nominee William Crawford became paralyzed and blind in September 1823, either from a stroke or a drug overdose to treat a staph infection, erysipelas. Eight weeks later he recovered partially but remained feeble. Conventions (Dates & Locations):

February 1824, 66 Republicans, (Democratic-Republicans)

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

No formal party nominations

  • Legislature of Tennessee, 1822 and Convention of Pennsylvanian Democratic-Republicans, 1824, nominated Andrew Jackson
  • Congressional caucus nominated for President William Crawford and for Vice-president Albert Gallatin

General Election Controversies/Issues:

  • New York state fight between supporters of DeWitt Clinton and his opponents, “The Bucktails,” whose leaders, including Martin Van Buren, were known as the “Albany Regency.”

Campaign Innovations (General Election):  

  • John C. Calhoun plunged into the campaign in unprecedented ways, participating on the editorial staff of The Patriot, a partisan paper supporting him.
  • Andrew Jackson’s public statements and letters encouraged a new, more democratic kind of grassroots campaigning.
  • First campaign biographies, for all four leading candidates, especially Senator John Henry Eaton’s Life of Jackson, first published in 1817, updated and rereleased in 1824.

Major Personalities (General Election):

Campaign Tactics:

  • Andrew Jackson’s letter writing to clarify his positions on the issues.

Turning Points (General Election):

  • Andrew Jackson’s rise in popularity to become the front-runner in the election
  • October 12, 1824: Gallatin withdrew from the race late in the campaign according to Rhode Island American.

Popular Campaign Slogans:

  • pro-Adams: “John Quincy Adams, Who can write,/Andrew Jackson, Who can fight”; “Be Firm for Adams”
  • pro-Jackson: “Andrew Jackson, Hero of the Battle of New Orleans”; “Old Hickory”

Campaign Song:

  • Andrew Jackson “Hunters of Kentucky:
  • “But Jackson he was wide awake, And was not scared at trifles, For well he knew Kentucky’s boys, With their death-dealing rifles.”

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

  • Praising Andrew Jackson as “the soldier, the statesman, and the honest man; he deliberates, he decides, and he acts; he is calm in deliberation, cautious in decision, efficient in action.” Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives, July 20, 1822
  • Resolved, that this convention entertained the highest respect for the distinguished talents and public services of the honorable John Q. Adams, and do fully believe that no man possesses better qualifications for the important office of president of the United States.” Maine Legislative caucus, January 16, 1823
  • E.P. in Washington National Intelligencer – asked all others to withdraw in favor of Jackson, “the only surviving hero of the Revolution… the second Washington.”

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):  

Defining Quotation (Losing Candidate):

  • “The office of chief magistrate . . . is one of great responsibility. As it should not be sought . . ., so it cannot, with propriety, be declined. . . . My political creed prompts me to leave the affair . . . to the free will of those who have alone the right to decide.” Andrew Jackson, January 1823

Campaign Quotations:

  • “The sickly thing is to be fed, cherished, pampered for a week, when it is fondly hoped it will be enabled to cry the name of Crawford, Crawford, Crawford.” Baltimore newspaper
  • “I cannot believe that killing 2,500 Englishmen at New Orleans qualifies for the various, difficult, and complicated duties of the Chief Magistracy.” Henry Clay to Francis Preston Blair, January 29, 1825

Significant Books:

  • Senator John Henry Eaton. The Life of Andrew Jackson (1817, revised 1824).

Further Reading:

  • Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822–1832. (1981)

Election Issues:

  • None of the candidates received a majority of the votes needed for election. Under the 12th Amendment, the House of Representatives decided the election. On February 9, 1825 when the House voted, Speaker of the House Henry Clay supported John Q. Adams, even though Andrew Jackson won the popular vote. Adams won a majority on the first ballot. Jacksonians charged there was a “corrupt bargain” between Adams and Clay after Adams named Clay Secretary of State.

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • This election marked the end of the Congressional Caucus (King Caucus) and the “era of good feelings.”
  • The Jacksonians’ cries of “Corrupt Bargain” advanced the democratic revolution that would bring them to power four years later and popularize campaigning.

 

CHRONOLOGY

  • August 10, 1821: “Missouri is admitted as the twenty-fourth state of the Union.”
  • The “A.B. Plot” accusations of corruption against William Crawford made first anonymously by Ninian Edwards signing his letters “A.B.”
  • July 20, 1822: Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Praising Andrew Jackson as “the soldier, the statesman, and the honest man; he deliberates, he decides, and he acts; he is calm in deliberation, cautious in decision, efficient in action.”
  • January 1823: “The office of chief magistrate . . . is one of great responsibility. As it should not be sought . . ., so it cannot, with propriety, be declined. . . . My political creed prompts me to leave the affair . . . to the free will of those who have alone the right to decide.” Andrew Jackson,
  • September 1823: Frontrunner and caucus nominee William Crawford becomes paralyzed and blind, either from a stroke or a drug overdose to treat a staph infection, erysipelas. Eight weeks later, he recovers partially, but remains feeble.
  • January 16, 1823: Maine Legislative caucus convenes and “Resolved, that this convention entertained the highest respect for the distinguished talents and public services of the honorable John Q. Adams, and do fully believe that no man possesses better qualifications for the important office of president of the United States.”
  • October 1823: Philadelphians endorse Andrew Jackson; “he has always been a uniform and consistent democrat” and “a friend to the rights of man and universal suffrage.
  • December 2, 1823: “In his annual address to Congress, Monroe formally articulates the foreign policy position that becomes known as the “Monroe Doctrine.” It meets with widespread approval and political consent. Monroe’s repudiation of further American hemispheric colonization speaks to the claims of Britain and Russia, as well as Spain. The enunciation of American exclusivity and European non-interference is a seminal event in United States foreign policy.”
  • February 14, 1824: Congressional caucus nominates William Crawford for President and Albert Gallatin for Vice-president “The sickly thing is to be fed, cherished, pampered for a week, when it is fondly hoped it will be enabled to cry the name of Crawford, Crawford, Crawford.” Baltimore newspaper
  • February 15, 1824: Massachusetts state caucus nominates John Quincy Adams for President. Adams’s supporters want Andrew Jackson to agree to the Vice Presidency, but he refuses.
  • March 4, 1824: The Pennsylvania Convention convenes in Harrisburg and nominates Andrew Jackson for President and John Calhoun for Vice President.
  • May 22, 1824: “Monroe signs the Tariff of 1824 into law, implementing protectionist measures in support of local manufactures and goods. Complaints arise in the South with cotton-growers fearful of British retaliation for the increase in price. Northern manufacturers are pleased with the law.”
  • 1824: John C. Calhoun first tries for the Presidency, but when he could not even get support from his home state of South Carolina, he begins his ultimately successful push for the Vice Presidency.
  • March 30, 1824: Henry Clay’s “American System” term first mentioned on the floor of the House of Representatives: greater federal involvement, road improvements, tariffs, national bank (Bank of the United States)
  • 1824: New York state fight between supporters of DeWitt Clinton and his opponents, “The Bucktails,” whose leaders, including Martin Van Buren, were known as the “Albany Regency.”
  • August 6, 1824: Clay supporters in Ohio nominate Nathan Sanford of New York as Clay’s running mate. More Clay lead slates follow.
  • 1824: Andrew Jackson’s public statements and letters encourage a new, more democratic kind of grassroots campaigning.
  • 1824: First campaign biographies, for all four leading candidates, especially Senator John Henry Eaton’s Life of Jackson, first published in 1817, updated and rereleased in 1824.
  • October 12, 1824: Gallatin withdraws from the race late in the campaign according to Rhode Island American.
  • 1824: Crawford asks Clay to run with him, but he refuses.
  • 1824: Virginia’s Caucus ticket nominates Nathaniel Macon for Vice President.
  • 1824: Georgia’s Caucus ticket endorses Martin Van Buren for the Vice Presidency
  • 1825: None of the candidates received a majority of the votes needed for election. Under the 12th Amendment, the House of Representatives decides the election.
  • 1825: E.P. in Washington National Intelligencer – asks all others to withdraw in favor of Jackson, “the only surviving hero of the Revolution… the second Washington.”
  • January 29, 1825: Henry Clay to Francis Preston Blair “I cannot believe that killing 2,500 Englishmen at New Orleans qualifies for the various, difficult, and complicated duties of the Chief Magistracy.”
  • February 9, 1825: The House votes and Speaker of the House Henry Clay supports John Q. Adams, even though Andrew Jackson wins the popular vote. Adams wins a majority on the first ballot. John Quincy Adams is elected President and John Calhoun is elected Vice President.
  • February 12, 1825: Jacksonians charge there is a “corrupt bargain” between Adams and Clay after Adams names Clay Secretary of State.
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