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Jackson, Andrew (1767-1845) to James A. Hamilton

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05176 Author/Creator: Jackson, Andrew (1767-1845) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 23 February 1833 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 25 x 20 cm

Summary of Content: Writing to James Hamilton, son of Alexander Hamilton, Jackson comments on the rush of official business at the height of the Nullification Crisis. Mentions that he heard from Hamilton's mother, wife of Alexander Hamilton, and is pleased that she is still well. Asks that Hamilton come to Washington before 4 March 1833, the date of Jackson's second inauguration. Comments on the positions of Henry Clay and John Calhoun on nullification. "Nullification cannot be recognized as a peaceful & constitutional measure, and the American system of M Clay being on the wane, a union between these two extremes are formed, and I have no doubt the people will duly appreciate the motives which have led to it." States that he feels gratified about his course of action which will "give peace & harmony to the union." Also mentions a display of the Star Spangled Banner with the motto "The Federal Union it must be preserved." Marked private.

Background Information: The Nullification Crisis was a sectional crisis during the presidency of Andrew Jackson over the issue of protective tariffs passed by the federal government in 1828 and 1832 that benefited trade in ...the northern states but caused economic hardships for Southern states. In response, a number of South Carolina citizens endorsed the states' rights principle of "nullification," which was enunciated by John C. Calhoun, Jackson's vice president until 1832. South Carolina adopting the Ordinance of Nullification, which declared both the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 null and void within state borders. Senator Henry Clay mediated a compromise between South Carolina and the federal government in 1833 but the crisis deepened the divide between the north and the south and planted the seeds for the Civil War.See More

Full Transcript:
Washington Febry 23d. 1833
My Dear Sir,
I am indebted to you replies to many of your kind letters, & the only apology I can offer is, the continued press of ...business, and lately want of good health - I have been I may truly say, literally, pressed with business from sunrise to 12 at night.
Your last was by your amiable mother, with whom I have been much pleased, & gratified, to find, that she retains all her faculties, and clear recollection of our past history, in which her deceased husband acted so conspicuous a part - She informed me that she walked every day from Mr Hanes to the Capital. I regre[n]ted very much, that my situation [strikeout] [inserted: has been] such that I could not pay more attention to her, & her family with her, than I have done.
I have been looking for you here - when will you be with us - will you come with Mr. V.B. I expect the pleasure of seeing you here before the 4.th of March.
The papers will have given [inserted: you] the [2] Union between Mr Clay & Calhoun How strange? their position - Nullification cannot be recognised as a peaceful & constitutional measure, and the american System of M Clay being on the wane, a union between these two extremes are formed, and I have no doubt the people will duly appreciate the motives which have led to it. I have good reason to be [inserted: content & even] gratified with my own course as I find these men are obliged to adopt it, to give peace & harmony to the union.
I have to attend the funeral at 11 [for New York Congressman James Lent], it is now past ten, & being just visited by the military from Baltimore with a display of the Star Spangled banner, with the motto. The Federal Union it must be preserved, I must close with my respects to your amiable family & believe me yr friend
Andrew Jackson
Col J.A. Hamilton -
Feby 1833
Clay & Calhoun
See More

People: Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845
Hamilton, James Alexander, 1788-1878
Calhoun, John Caldwell, 1782-1850
Clay, Henry, 1777-1852

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: PresidentGovernment and CivicsNullificationWomen's HistoryInaugurationPoliticsCongressUS ConstitutionPeaceAmerican Symbols and SealsAmerican Flag

Sub Era: Age of Jackson

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