1832

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN & ELECTIONS

OVERVIEWS & CHRONOLOGIES: 1832

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

OVERVIEW

Election Year: 1832

Election Day Date: November 2 – December 5, 1832

11/2 – OH, PA; 11/3 – CT; 11/5 – GA, IL, ME, MA, MO, NH; 11/5-6 – NJ; 11/5-7 – NY, VA; 11/6 – KY; 11/6-7 – LA; 11/12 – AL, MD; 11/13 – VT; 11/15 – NC; 11/15-16 – TN;
11/21 – RI

Winning Ticket:

  • Andrew Jackson (65, Unitarian), Martin Van Buren (50, Dutch Reformed), Democratic 688,242 54.5% 219 76.0%

Losing Ticket(s):

  • Henry Clay (55, Episcopalian), John Sergeant (53), National Republican 473,462 36.93% 49 17.0%
  • John Floyd (49, Roman Catholic), Henry Lee (50), Ind. Democrat 0 0.00% 11 3.8%
  • William Wirt (60, Presbyterian), Amos Ellmaker (45, Episcopalian), Anti-Masonic 101,05199,817 7.78% 7 2.4%
  • Others– 7,061 0.55% 0 0.0%
  • John Floyd’s electoral votes came from South Carolina
    Two electors from Maryland did not cast votes

Voter Turnout: 55.4%

Central Forums/Campaign Methods for Addressing Voters: Speeches, tracts, pamphlets, journals, partisan papers, cartoons / torchlight parades, barbecues, glee clubs, mass meetings with orators, parades, sky rockets, Roman candles, Political/fraternal Lodges

Election Law/Campaign Finance Changes: All major parties nominated Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates at conventions.

Incumbent President and Vice President on Election Day: Andrew Jackson, John C Calhoun, Democratic 1829-1832

Population: 1832: 13,676,000

Nominal GDP (billions of dollars): $1.12 Real GDP (billions of 2005 dollars): $25.61
GDP Deflator (index 2005=100%) 4.37 Population (in thousands): 13,676
Nominal GDP per capita (current dollars): $82 Real GDP per capita (year 2005 dollars): $1,873

Number of Daily Newspapers: 1828: 65 dailies; fewer than 900 newspapers in total

Method of Choosing Electors: Popular vote everywhere except in South Carolina where electors were appointed by the state legislature

Method of Choosing Nominees: National party conventions

Central Issues (Nomination/Primaries):

  • The Peggy “Eaton Affair” – dissension in Jackson Cabinet ranks
  • Fights with Calhoun: Jackson “Our Federal Union, it must be preserved,” April 13, 1830
  • Calhoun writes “Fort Hill Letter (1831)” justifying nullification
  • The Second Bank of the U.S. as “Mammoth Monopoly”: “The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it.” Andrew Jackson
  • Tariff,
  • Growing sectional tensions

Leading Candidates (Nomination/Primaries):

Democratic Vice-President

  • John Calhoun
  • Martin Van Buren
  • Philip P. Barbour
  • Richard M. Johnson

Main Controversies (Nomination/Primaries):

Feud between Vice President John C. Calhoun and Secretary of State Martin Van Buren

Campaign Innovations (Nomination/Primaries):

  • Democratic Convention Credentials Committee: The convention voted 126-153 against giving DC delegates a vote. States received the same number of delegates as they had electors. Balloting was by state not individual delegates, with one delegate per state announcing their state’s vote. Two-thirds of the delegates’ votes was required for the nomination. Nomination speeches were banned, but this measure was soon abandoned.
  • National Republican convention, Washington, DC, May 7, 1832: — Henry Clay appears before the delegates to thank them for the nomination, first appearance of a nominee at a meeting to accept a nomination.
  • Also, first party platform – to protect American industry, advance internal improvements, condemn the spoils system, and support the Senate against an aggressive President and press.

Major Personalities (Nomination/Primaries): John C. Calhoun; Martin Van Buren

Turning Points (Nomination/Primaries):

  • On January 25, 1832, Vice President Calhoun voted against Van Buren’s confirmation as Minister to Great Britain after the vote in the Senate ended in a tie

Conventions (Dates & Locations):

  • Democratic National Convention, (first Democratic convention), May 21, 1832 to May 23, 1832, The Athenaeum, Baltimore, Maryland, Robert Lucas (Ohio), 1st ballot, Andrew Jackson (Tennessee), Martin Van Buren (New York)
  • National Republican Party nomination, December 12-15, 1831, the Athenaeum, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Anti-Masonic Party nomination (first party convention) September 26-28, 1831, the Athenaeum, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Barbour Democratic Party convention nominated Andrew Jackson with Philip P. Barbour, June 1832, Staunton, Virginia.

Convention Turning Points:

National Republican Convention:

  • Only convention of a major party in which the chairman called upon all delegates individually for their votes
  • Peter Livingston (NY) gave the first convention nominating speech in presidential history.
  • John Sergeant of Pennsylvania (Vice-Presidential Nominee)

Democratic National Convention:

  • The convention passed a resolution regarding Andrew Jackson: “We most cordially concur in the repeated nominations which he has received in various parts of the union.”
  • The party refused to renominate John Calhoun for Vice President because of his tariff policy and support of the nullification doctrine, which would allow states to nullify federal laws.
  • The party nominated instead, Martin Van Buren for the Vice Presidency.

Number of Ballots to Choose Nominees:

Democratic Party nomination

Presidential vote

  • Andrew Jackson 283

Vice Presidential vote

  • Martin Van Buren 208
  • Philip P. Barbour 49
  • Richard M. Johnson 26

National Republican Party nomination

Presidential balloting

  • Henry Clay 64

Vice Presidential balloting

  • John Sergeant 2
  • Abstaining 1
  • Abstaining 6

Third Party Candidates:

Anti-Masonic Party nomination 

Presidential balloting

  • William Wirt 108
  • John C. Spencer 1
  • Abstaining 2

Vice Presidential balloting

  • Amos Ellmaker 108
  • Richard Rush 1
  • Abstaining 1

Barbour Democratic Party nomination

  • President: Andrew Jackson
  • Vice-President: Philip P. Barbour

(Barbour withdrew, but ticket appeared on the ballot in 5 states (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia).

Convention Speaker: Explains the call for a convention, which originated in New Hampshire: “The representatives of the people of New Hampshire… believed that the example of this convention would operate favorably in future elections; that the people would be disposed after seeing the good effects of this convention in conciliating the different and distant sections of the country, to continue this mode of nomination.” Frederick A. Sumner, New Hampshire

Convention Chairman:

  • Democratic Temporary and Permanent Chairman: Gov. Robert Lucas, OH
  • National Republican: Temporary Chairman: Abner Lacock, PA; Permanent Chairman: James Barbour, VA

General Election Controversies/Issues:

  • Second Bank of the United States, Jackson hated “ragg, tagg banks.” On July 10, 1832, he vetoed the renewal of the Bank’s charter and withdrew federal deposits from the Bank.
  • Protective Tariff Bill of 1832, South Carolina planned a convention for November 1832 to nullify the tariff within the state’s borders.

Campaign Innovations (General Election):

Business funding, Political Cartoons (Caricatures)

Campaign Tactics:

  • National Republican Biddle distributed 30,000 copies of Jackson’s Veto; Clay’s supporters in Philadelphia received funding from the banks to attack Jackson’s use of presidential veto power, this included anti-Jackson newspapers, pro-Bank Congressmen, anti-Jackson speeches, tracts, pamphlets, and journals were distributed to thousands.

Major Personalities (General Election): Henry Clay; Nicholas Biddle (Philadelphia’s B.U.S. President); Thomas Hart Benton

Turning Points (General Election): Employers threatened their workers not to vote for Jackson.

Jackson convinced the public that he vetoed the bank to protecting the people from the “privileged elite.”

Popular Campaign Slogans:

  • Democratic Andrew Jackson: “Stand by the Hero”
  • “Jackson, Sutherland, Democracy and No Bank: Equal Rights to All Legal Voters”
  • “reform, retrenchment and economy|”
  • Let us  focus on “measures not men”
  • Clay: The spirit of Jacksonianism is JACOBINISM … Its Alpha is ANARCHY and its Omega DESPOTISM.
  • Washington National Intelligencer: “The Constitution is gone.… It is a dead letter, and the will of a DICTATOR is the Supreme Law.”
  • MVB “The Little Magician”
  • William L. Marcy, a Jacksonian said: “to the victor belongs the spoils of the enemy,” so Jackson’s opponents attacked the “spoils system.”
  • Cartoon mocking “King Andrew the First” captioned:  “Born to Command,” “of veto memory” “had I been consulted|.”
  • anti-Jackson editorial: editorials and cartoons are great “but a hickory pole, a taking cry, a transparency, a burst of sky rockets and roman candles (alas! that it should be so!) have a potency over a large third of our voters that printed eloquence can not exert.”

Campaign Song:

  • Democratic Andrew Jackson Supporters, “Hunters of Kentucky” (Battle of New Orleans anthem)

Influential Campaign Appeals or Ads:

  • Democratic “NO BANK! DOWN WITH THE BANK! NO RAG MONEY!”; “Gold and silver, the only currency recognized by the Constitution!”; “Emperor Nicholas”; “Czar Nick”; “Old Nick.”
  • National Republican “King Andrew” (Cartoons) (Tyrant, Usurper, Dictator, King Andrew I, King of Kings); “THE KING UPON THE THRONE: The People in the dust!!!”
  • barbecues, parades, sky rockets, Roman candles, Lodges
  •  “Jackson, Sutherland, Democracy and No Bank: Equal Rights to All Legal Voters”
  • AJ “reform, retrenchment and economy|”
  • AJ” Let us  focus on “measures not men”
  • Clay: The spirit of Jacksonianism is JACOBINISM … Its Alpha is ANARCHY and its Omega DESPOTISM.
  • Washington National Intelligencer: “The Constitution is gone.… It is a dead letter, and the will of a DICTATOR is the Supreme Law.”
  • Martin Van Buren as ”The Little Magician”
  • William L. Marcy, a Jacksonian said: “to the victor belongs the spoils of the enemy,” so Jackson’s opponents attacked the “spoils system.”
  • Cartoon mocking “King Andrew the First” captioned:  “Born to Command,” “of veto memory” “had I been consulted|.”

anti-Jackson editorial: editorials and cartoons are great “but a hickory pole, a taking cry, a transparency, a burst of sky rockets and roman candles (alas! that it should be so!) have a potency over a large third of our voters that printed eloquence can not exert.

Money Spent (Each Campaign/Party/Overall):

National Republican: The Bank spent an estimated $100,000 on the campaign

Defining Quotation (Winning Candidate):

  • “Gentlemen, I never until now believed that Calhoun could poison the minds and pervert the souls of that gallant people. But now I see he has done it. Of course I shall be re-elected. It will be my duty, if God spares my life, to enforce the laws of the United States, and preserve our Federal Union as it is until the 4th of March, 1837-more than four years hence.”  Andrew Jackson
  • “The veto works well. Instead of crushing me as was expected and intended, it will crush the Bank.” Andrew Jackson

Defining Quotation (Losing Candidate(s)):

  • “I am surprised and alarmed at the new source of executive power which is found in the result of a presidential election. I had supposed that the Constitution and the laws were the sole source of executive authority . . . that the issue of a presidential election was merely to place the Chief Magistrate in the post assigned to him. . . . But it seems that if, prior to an election, certain opinions, no matter how ambiguously put forth by a candidate, are known to the people, those loose opinions, in virtue of the election, incorporate themselves with the Constitution, and afterward are to be regarded and expounded as parts of the instrument.” Henry Clay
  • “My opinion is that he may be President for life if he chooses.” William Wirt about Jackson

Campaign Quotes:

  • “I fear the Bank influence more than anything else. I have no doubt that the Bank managers will expend a large sum of money,” said one Jackson supporter.

Further Reading:

  • Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822–1832. (1981, 1998)

Lasting Legacy of Campaign:

  • First Democratic National Convention held.
  • First Party Platform adopted (National Republican)
  • Andrew Jackson’s landslide re-election victory

 

CHRONOLOGY

  • December 19, 1829: South Carolina’s legislature nullifies the tariff
  • May 1830: Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, President Jackson sign the act into law; “An Act to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians . . . and for their removal west of the river Mississippi”
  • April 13, 1830: Following his anonymous printing of the South Carolina Exposition and Protest in 1828, Vice President John C. Calhoun suggests that his state of South Carolina annul the federally imposed protective cotton tariff. Jackson threatens to deploy federal troops to occupy the state in the event of nullification.
  • April 13, 1830: Jackson fights with Calhoun over nullification of the tariff “Our Federal Union, it must be preserved.” (“At the Jefferson Day Dinner in Washington, D.C., Jackson denounces Calhoun and his theory of nullification, declaring, “Our Union it must be preserved!” Calhoun responds, “The Union, next to our liberty most dear!” The following month, Jackson will receive confirmation that in 1818, Calhoun supported a measure to discipline Jackson for his military involvement in Florida. This discovery generates terse correspondence between the two.”)
  • May 26, 1830: “Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, sanctioning the forcible relocation of Creek, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Seminole tribes to land allotments west of the Mississippi river.”
  • 1831: Calhoun writes “Fort Hill Letter” justifying nullification.
  • April 1831: The Peggy “Eaton Affair” – dissension in Jackson Cabinet ranks, all Jackson’s cabinet member resign, because Jackson appointed John Eaton as Secretary of the Navy. (“Jackson reshuffles his cabinet following the divisive and ongoing “Peggy Eaton Affair.” The woman’s first husband supposedly committed suicide after discovering her dalliance with Tennessee senator John Eaton, whom Jackson later names secretary of war. Members of Jackson’s inner circle and their wives feud over accusations about the woman’s alleged behavior. Jackson supports the Eatons and is outraged by the charges.”)
  • September 26-28, 1831: Anti-Masonic Party nomination (first party convention), convenes at the Athenaeum in Baltimore, Maryland, and nominates William Wirt for President.
  • December 12-15, 1831: National Republican Party nomination convenes at the Athenaeum in Baltimore, Maryland, and nominates Henry Clay. Only convention of a major party in which the chairman calls upon all delegates individually for their votes. Peter Livingston (New York) gives the first convention nominating speech in presidential history.
  • January 25, 1832: Vice President Calhoun votes against Van Buren’s confirmation as Minister to Great Britain after the vote in the Senate ends in a tie
  • May 13, 1832: The House and Senate pass the “Tariff of Abomination.”
  • May 21-23, 1832: Democratic National Convention convenes at the Athenaeum in Baltimore, Maryland. Robert Lucas (Ohio) serves as Chairman. Convention nominates on the 1st ballot, Andrew Jackson (Tennessee) for President, and Martin Van Buren (New York) for Vice President.
  • June 14, 1832: Barbour Democratic Party convention in Staunton, Virginia nominates Andrew Jackson for President and Philip P. Barbour for Vice President.
  • July 10, 1832: President Jackson vetoes the renewal of the Second Bank of the United States’ charter and withdraws federal deposits from the Bank.
  • July 14, 1832: Senate debates the Second Bank of the United States’ charter, Henry Clay recounts a fight Jackson had with Missouri Thomas Hart Benton, and Benton’s then opinion of Jackson, which Benton denies, heated debate/fight on the floor of the Senate ensues. “I apologize to the Senate for the manner in which I have spoken,” Benton says after their fight is broken up “but not to the Senator from Kentucky.” Clay retorts, “To the Senate I also offer apology. To the Senator from Missouri, none!”
  • July 14, 1832: Congress reduces the Tariff.
  • August 11, 1832: First “labor” party forms in Philadelphia, also in Boston and New York
  • Biddle distributes 30,000 copies of Jackson’s Veto.
  • Clay’s supporters in Philadelphia receive funding from the banks to attack Jackson’s use of presidential veto power, this included anti-Jackson newspapers, pro-Bank Congressmen, anti-Jackson speeches, tracts, pamphlets, and journals distributed to thousands.
  • Employers threaten their workers not to vote for Jackson.
  • Jackson convinces the public that he vetoed the bank to protecting the people from the “privileged elite.”
  • November 2 – December 5, 1832: State Election days.
  • November 2, 1832: Ohio, Pennsylvania have their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 3, 1832: Connecticut has their elections and chooses their Presidential Electors.
  • November 5, 1832: Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire have their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 5-6, 1832: New Jersey has their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 5-7, 1832: New York and Virginia have their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 6, 1832: Kentucky has their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 6-7, 1832: Louisiana has their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 12, 1832: Alabama, Maryland have their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 13, 1832: Vermont has their elections and chooses their Presidential Electors.
  • November 15, 1832: North Carolina has their elections and chooses their Presidential Electors.
  • November 15-16, 1832: Tennessee has their elections and chooses their Presidential Electors.
  • November 21, 1832: Rhode Island have their elections and choose their Presidential Electors.
  • November 24, 1832: Protective Tariff Bill of 1832, South Carolina plans a convention for to nullify the tariff within the state’s borders.
  • December 5, 1832: Presidential Electors meet to cast the electoral in their state capitols.
  • February 13, 1833: Congress assembles to count the electoral votes. Democrats Andrew Jackson is reelected President and Martin Van Buren is elected Vice President
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