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The New York herald. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, June 19, 1875, Image 3

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A Further Review of the Diary of John (luincy
Adams?Social Life Fifty Yean Ago.
Lafayette's Visit to America and
His Triumphal Progress.
A Quadrilateral Contest?Adams, Craw
ford, Clay and Jackson.
The Rise and Progress of Adams
as a Candidate.
"If Chance Will Have Me King Why
Chance May Crown Me."
P0R?N3 op HIS 1)ia?y from 1195 TO 1843.
Edited by Charles Francis ?Y0U
Philadelphia: J. B. Llppincott & Co. Iat5.
We uad occasion a few duyssinoe to review
lome of the questions dlacussod by Mr. Adams in
mis most interesting book. We now return to
tho subject, and propose to follow tbe author
through that period or his career which termi
nated his service as Secretary of State, and was
signalized by ills entrance upon toe President.},
rue meat value of this book wilt be understood
wu? .. remiuii our r.ua.r.
oue or tho most interesting episodes m
our history, the episode marking the cl
or "the era ol good reeling" and the
contest between Adams, Clay, J*ck90a
ind Crawford tor the Presidency; the rallure of
the Electoral College to unite upon a 'W^aUS,
ind tne election by the House, and the
?f a now desilny in our politics. Ibis boon Is vir
tualiy the dividing lino between tho old and the
new, the past and tho present or the Republic, the
period or the Revolution and what will be known
herealter In history as the period ol emancipation.
Leior? entering upon these stormy passages
let us note some aspects of social Hie In Washing
ton fllty years ago. lu 1822 Charles Mathews en
tertains llr, Adams and a company at Washing
ton with "The Trip to Paris," and "The Diligence,
in which he personated tan or twelve characters,
male and lemale. This entertainment was
??wouderlul and amusiug and continually
laughable." but ?'most or the hearers were
weary before It was over. It Is a picture of
reuiers, or of Jan Steen, imitation to admire of
that which lu nature is onty despised. ' 'ihe en
tertainment was injured by tue enthusiasm of the
periormer ou tho piano, who was "so rapt m
ectacj at the exhibition or Matnews himseir as
to be never lu time for his own." Tnere was a
famous dinner party on tne 2d of November, 18?
which is not without Interest, seeing that amoug
the guests was John A. Dlx. DU was in Wash
Ington, endeavoring to lurther the interests or
John C. Calhoun. Mr. Adams notes tnat at tt.is
dinner there was a controversy between laze
weil and himself on the subject of Tokay wine.
Tazewell was a Virginian, who died at the verge
or the war in extreme old ago. At tho time or
this dinner he was a Commissioner under the
Florida treaty. "U? perseveriugly insisted that
Tokay was a species of Rheuisb wine. Alter
insisting to the contrary for some
time, in perfeot good humor and civility,
as be still persisted, in the warmth or the colli
sion I said, 'Why, you never oranx a drop of To
kay in your lire1' I set this down as a token of
?elf-dlsapprobatlon for having said it." Ibis act
of discourtesy made a deep Impression upon tho
writer's mind, ror again he says, "l have no good
apology to make to mysalf for this incivility, lor
tnat Tazewell himseir ? not sparlujr or feelings In
the clash or conversation, and had been much
nberwiso even at this dinner, is uo Justification
to me." One or the Secretary's ravonte amuse
ments was swimming in the Potomac, to which
habit he makes lrequenl reference. There was
tome excitement as to how to properly bury the
Baron Ureuttn, Prussian Minister, and tho first
foreign diplomatist who had died In Washington,
and much correspondence about funereal eti
quette. One diplomatist proposed that Baron Mal
Utz should carry tbe ribbon and cross ol the Order
of the Red Eagle on a cushion before the hearse. "I
advised them," says Mr. Adams, "not to carry the
cushion with tne ribbon and tho cross, lor If they
aid there wou.a t. danger that toe people would
take them !or Freemasons." The Baron was prop
erly burled, however, Oaliatin, Adnms aud south
aid attending the procession, which numbered
twenty-live catriages, "tho rain pouring in tor
rents." on the 8th of January, 1S24. tne annlver
Bury of tbe battle ol New Orleans, a great ball
was given to Ooneral Jackson, newly arrived aa
Senator from Tennessee, at which a thousand per
auns attended. Tuis ball was the great event of
the season, auo was celebrated in the newspapers
in poetry and prose. At this time Jackson and
Adams were unusually friendly, Adams courting
the military splendor oi Jackson's name, and
areaming of running for the Presidency with
Jackson on his ticket for Vice Preaidont. Jackson
himself was profuse In Ills own hospitalities, for
w? bate a dinner party at which Clay and Cal
houn and Adams attended, clay became
??warm, vehement and absurd upon the
tariff" "so ardent, dogmatical and over
bearing that It was exiremely difficult to pre
serve the temper of frlsudly society with him.
There was a visit to the theatre to see "lho
Bchool lor Scandal." witn Cooper as diaries Sur
face and Mr. and Mrs. Barnos as Sir Peter and
Lady Teazle. This was Thomas A ithorp Cooper,
ward oi William Oodwin, who had beon playing
for thirty years, and m hi. day. sevsnty mw
ago mauaged the old Park Tneatre. At another
performance, at whicn was played "Damon
and Pythias" and "Katharine aud Petrucnlo,
am ns the audience wsro Monroe, Lafajette,
General Jackson and Mr. Crawford. "The per.
romance w.i good, but Cooper Is getting into
the decline ol age." We lear it was drir.lt and
high life, lor Cooper was really about utty. naere
waa another dinnerparty, wiucu is not without
interest, lor among the guests were Uennlson,
afterward speaker of the House of Commons; and
..come a Lord Oasoryj
the lamous Lord uerby. father of the preaen
Karl; Whortley, afterward Lord \\ harncltjfe. su
Labouchere. arterwarJ to be Lord Taunton. So
thai, although ur. Adama w.ts distressed by the
newspapers and beginning to leel the le>er of
Prealdential ammtion. he stl I maintained to more
than an ordinary degree a brilliant, aoe al IU?.
There were son- lines published by a fashionsb e
pott at ilia time, aud wuich sppt-are on
morning or the 8th ol January, t., wulcn we hav
referred, an extract irom which may i>e o n
?at now, as shoving tne social tomt er t is
vailed dm lu* the era oi good leeilng:?
Wand you with ih? world to nigiit ?
irutrn And tair und wiit iw wiwji
Kyfi thai uuai in #?.4? ol lisut,
La u filing mottthi ana dtnipkti pf* * ^*
Utiles at& i matron*. mala* ami m**aktft?.
All .ir?* iont- i?? Mr*. Aim in*. , .
jiiert tS? miit of in? m.urt. th? *loc?^;
Alt men into iUii? S- the warm flanos ofipieeaara
And tun only regret la, lu?t unlluu too last.
Mauiiea< ?uouid uiuva oft In tto? nildat #1 a maaaura.
Wend you with the worlJ to aifnt!
lvs?l *n<t wf ?t and a>juth ana north,
Fnrin a cuaaiaiiatioii bris'it
An<i pour a ?j)ienilid orllltanee fa'th.
LU* Utie ?? uaitton n?wm<i
'TU the noon of bcantv'a reIglt.
Weliiter, Hamilton* are .
iMsifiu l.oytl an l Miutlifri: llavne;
Western Thosuafc. KaylV Miming;
norland. Nature'* pn.t <j ;
Yuunn Uc Wolle, all ln *m begnlling;
Morgan. I anion. Hr>)?n ana l.ee
Heller anii matron*, maids and madames.
ill are vione to Mr*. AUauia'.
The Pie-utennal qucstiou grew in importance,
| auU the opinions of Mr. Adaius upon hi* contuiu
| porurles are controlled lur^ely*t)y his estimate or
I their political sympathies or the danger of their
wrputiuft from him tho diadem of the Presidency.
Clay especially, who was afterward to be his own
Secretary of State. and whom he was to defend
In later yc&rs with an earue.stness almost pa*
ihctic. Is scarcely alluded to by Mr. Adams, ex
cept in hurab terms, until the exigencies of the
canvass made him bis supporter and no longer
his rival, on June 20, 1822, he says:?"Clay's
conduct has been hostile to me and generally in
sidious. From the time ol the Ghent negotiation
1 have been in tho way of his ambition, and by
himself and his subordinates he has done all in
his powor to put me out ol It." And a month
later:?"this is a miserable plot against me de
vised by Clay at Ghent, and lu which he has made
a tool of Russell. Clay and Russc:i are the
eagle and the worm of Iierder'i fable?Clay soars
and llussell crawls to the top of the mountain."
In November, li>23, Adam* accuses Clay ol endeav
oi inn to sacrifice the administration to his own
popularity. Still later Clay "Is the most impru
dent man in tbo world." We have allusl< n to
Clay's "Parisian shafts" and "his subsequent
flinching from the contest whlcn he had chal
lenged." When Clay speaks of his election to the
Presidency as being certain Adams answers.?
'?He plays brag as he has done all bis life."
Mr. Webstekdces not lare much better at the
hand's of the ex-Presluenu Althougn not much
older than Mr. Clay he h;id come later luio Con
gress, and was now serving his third term as a
Representative lrom Boston. He was aiterwatd
to become a leader of the lrlends ot Mr. Adams'
administration; but the relations betweeu tnem
during these early Presidential movements
were not cordial. In January, 1624, Mr. Adams
iears that the conduct ol Mr. Webster is
??equivocal and somewhat su-.plcious," but that
h$ "reserved his op.nlou upon Webster's mo
tives." April, 1324, he is convinced "that Webster
had Jftmtively engaged to support Calhoun lor the
Presidency, and was now ready to support any
one else." "Caluoun and Crawford had both
I taken hold of his ambition, and he had fallen into
their tolls." Wo hirvo Rufus King complaining of
Webster being "shy and uns<cial," mainly be
I cause of King's friendship for Adams. Still later
it was feared that Mr. Weoster was bclui? lured
by the friends of Jackson. In May, 1824, Mr.
Adaius is convinced that "Webster is to have an
i ofllcj of high distinction In the eveut of Craw
' ford's election as President," and his course had
presented "a combination of talent, of ambitloD,
, of political management and of heartless injus
tice." A month later ilila becomes the "timid,
I insidious and treacherous pai tiailty of Webster."
j Then came u longing to go to England as the
, American Minister on tbo part of Mr. Webster,
\ which Mr. Aciums thought mmtit be -gratifled
j hereaiter," but not immediately, a longing, in.
, deed, that was never to be matiiiod, for Webster
only visited England as a private gentleman.
John C. Calhoun is one of the most conspicuous
caaraciers in this history. The impression Mr.
Adams conveys or this distinguished mau Is not
that oi the austere, bltth-minued, uusclflsh patriot
wnich south Carolina history has created. Cal
houn's ambition is a source of constant uneasi
ness. in July. 1822, Adams complains of Calhoun's
partisans attempting to degrade him In the pub
lic opinion, aud a coolness had arisen between
them, turning relations which had once been
confidential into those of simple ceremony. West
Point is sustained by Calhoun because of "the
patronage which belongs to tho War Department,
stnd to which he clings." It seems Adams had de
sired to limit West l'olnt and to reduce the ex.
peiue ol the military education, but Calhoun would
not permit it. At another time Calhoun is spoken
of as one who "has a candidate always ready
?or everything." and who was especially profuse
in candidates as the election for President drew
near. There Is an Intimation that Calhoun would
really like war, so anxious he is to strengthen the
patronage ol his department. When tho mission
to France is considered Calhoun, in nominating
among others De W1M Clinton and Edward Living
Bton, has "in all his movements ol every kind an
eye to himself.'" January, 1824, Calhoun Is "tam
pering wltJ the Massachusetts federalists for his
electioneering purposes." Adams objects to tho
appointment ot Mr. Dallas as Minister to Mexico
in January, 1824, because he is an avowed parti
san or Mr. Calhoun. There is a noto ol a con vet -
gallon with b. D. Ingham, a conspicuous politician
in Pennsylvania, who was alterward to be Secre
tary of the ireasurj under Jackson and to-be
driven out of his Cabinet, and who represented Mr.
Calhoun's interests, respecting a. M. Dallas, and
generally respecting tho treatment of Artatns by
Mr. Calhouu snd his lrlends, "tho professions of
friendship and the acts of insidious hostility."
The election ol Calhoun to the Presidency Adams
plslnly opposed in this conversation, mainly be
cause he was too young a man.
The entry in tho diary on this point is worthy of
reproduction, as showing the conservative mind
of tr.e writer, "Hut ours was practically more a
government of personal consideration and in
fluence than or written articles. There wbs in
the genius or our institutions a graduated
subordination among the persons by whom the
governmeut was administered. Reputation was
the basis or our elections. The emblem or lis or
ganization was a pyramid, at the point of which
was the chief, under whom men of high consider
ation, though not equal to his, naturally lound
thelr'places. Among the sourcos or this consid
eration ago aud experience had tuelr share, and,
unless superseded by very transcendent merit, a
decisive share. This bad never yet been other
wise under our present constitution. Not a
single instance had occurred of a person
older than the President of tho United
States accepting office as a head of
department under him. This was
not the result of any wrlttea law,
but It arose from the natural operation ol our
system, wnat tbo effect ol such a departure
from It as the election ol ilr. Calhoun might oe I
could not undertake to say."
Between Calhoun and Jackson, Adams was
preferably Tor Jackson. lie continued tuts friend
ship until after bis own election, when It broke
Into vindictive and angry Hostility on account of
Jacxaon's treajlietous nnd slanderous accusation
01 "bargain and saie." It is curiou* to note tnat
General Scott floats through these pages as seek
ing an election to Congress from Virginia in the
interest of Calnoun. so proud was Scott nu
Virginia blood tlt.it. evidently not lorcseelug the
tremendous eveuta which were to coma forty
rears later, ho took pains to say tbat "nothing
could ffivo him more pain tiisn to (Hirer in c pi. ion
upon any subject from the people or Virginia."
We have glimpses of Horace money, now living in
the n:net}-?ixth year oi hie age in 1'uiiadeiphia,
as Mr. Adams' candidate for the mission to
France, wiille our veuerabie and illustrious towns
man, governor Dlx. is present in W.:snlngton m
Apt II, 1824, busily concerned about the Presi
dency and endeavoring to reconcile u>? interests
oi Calhoun and Adams and Jackson. bix was
tneu a lively young politician of twenty-six; out
he mast have been nitth in toe councils of the con
trolling spirits, for Aiiatns ?ajS:?"Dix afterward
hinted to laylor thai cainoun's friends wished
Mm to be Seersitry oi State," a place it was .sup
posed mignt be va ant. lUveruy Johnson Is pre
sented at May 31, l?Ji, then hi the twenty-eliilith
)ear ol his age, as William Win's candidate for
tiio District Attorneyship of Ualtiuiore. Mr.
Adams' objection to Johnson ie ''that no is a very
young man."
liat all tills timo tue really strong mun in the
eyes of the countiy, although It does not appear
to nave been so either to Aaams or Clay, or Oal
houn or Crawford, waa Andrew Jacason, senator
from Tennessee, in 1S3S, wnen it was proposed
to send Jackson aa Minister to Mexico.
tad criticism upon tho appointment was
that lie might be "sometimes wo Im
patient and violent." At this ttuio Jacksu*
had been nominated by the Legislature of Ten
nessee for the Presidency, ami Mr. Adams ex
pressed trie lurtiici fear that his nomination to a
mission might look like an atiempt to send him
out of tho country In tlie interests of rival candi
dates. Then there comes a series of attentions
on the part of Auauis to Jackson, showing thui
in the combinations of that time 11 was the aim
of the New Enitland statesmen to niakj an alli
ance with the Tennessee general, Bat the Ten
nessee example reaction Pennsylvania, and tn
March, 1S24, the Legislature of that State nomi
nated Jackson by 1-1 votes out of 126, for election as
President, with John C. Calhoun as Vice President.
The gooa feeling during tins era was so paramount
that notwithstanding the political quarrels, the
personal lnterconrse of these chiels continued
j unbroken. One of the objections |c
; nominating General Jackson as Vice Pres
ident was expressed by Mr. Llvermore,
who feared the etleut of his candidature In New
England because or a letter to Mr. Monroe. Just
published, wherein he says "he would liave hanged
the three principal leaders of the Hartford Con
vention as spies." To this Mr. Adams responded
"I said the Vice Presidency was a station in
which the Ueueral could hauii no one and in
which he would need to quarrel with no one.
His name and character would sarve to restore
the forgotten dignity of the piaco and it would
afford an easy, dlgniliod retirement to his old
age." JacK?on was then in the flfty-clgnth year
of his age, but two months older than Mr. Adams
himself. He was not to be quietly pensioned off into
histoiy as the Incumbent of a nominal and almost
usoless office. Even at this lapse of flfty years,
when these events and tno actors in them and
the passions engendered are hushed aud buried,
we can scarcely read without a smile 01 tho efforts
01 the great men of tne time to ignore the rude
and lusty Captain of the West, who was to become
one of the transcendent ilgures in our politics and
to be greater in action and political power and in
influence upon his country than the eloquent
Clay, the logical Caihoun or tho scholarly and
accommlRhflfl Ailam-i
Among tbe moat lu;cresting events of the pe
nou was tlie visit of the lllmtrloua Lafayette,
w!io came here la the sixty-seventh year of his
aire to see the country he hint sirved so uobi.v lu
lilsyoutu. Wnen the invitation was extended to
Lalayette there was a lear lest it mlgiit be cou
strued in France us "indicating strong hostility to
the bourbons." The proposition to send a national
irlgate to brine him wan declined by Lafayette,
who bad the good sense to know what construs
tlon would be placed on that transaction, and
who bad experience enough of tlie variable moods
ol republicanism at home to hesitate about taxing
the kindness of his friends in the United States.
Adams first met Lafayette in Philadelphia on the
2d of October, 1824, Tnere was a ball with inscrip
tions and mottoes and painted scenery and
a visit to Christ church, where Charles J.
Ingersoll and Lalayette attended public ser
vice. A visit to the Peters larm. now em
braced in the grounds or the Centennial build
ing, followed. Adams was shown a Spanish chest
nut tree, the nut of which was planted by Presi
dent Washington Just belore ills retirement from
the Presidency. Tnere was on inspection of the
Penitentiary prisoners. "Tbe contrast of desppra
; tion, malice, hatred, revenge, Impudeucc. treach
ery and scorn displayed upon this collection of
criminals was more remarkable from tho cnecr
' fulness, kind feehug and Joy visible In tho counte
nances of the people crowding about the General
; wnerever be goes." On the 3th of October, 1824,
I Lalayette was received In the liall of Indepen
i deuce, toe interior ol which Mr. Adams notes "has
j bsen entirely changed since tho time when the
< Congress of the Coniederation mat tnere." After
tlie reception La.ayetto reviewed tho children of
tbe public schools, nearly lour thousand in num
ber, lrom seven to fourteen years of age, from the
steps of the south front door of the State House.
There were addresses, banners and song, and "a
tpoecu in French by General CadwaliaUor'a son, a
lod of about fourteen." This procession toot up
three hours In passing, during which "the Gen
eral declined being seated or covered, even witb
an uinorella." From Philadelphia Lafjjette
continued to Baltimore, accompanied by Adams
as secretary of Stato. When he lauded he was
entertained In a tent ' used by General Washing
ton during tbe Revolutionary war, borrowed
from Mr. Cusils, of Arlington." Among those
whorecoived Lafayette were CbarUa Carroll, of
Ctrrollton. Celonei John E. HcftvarU, "one or the
highly distinguished officers of the Revolution,"
and "several other veterans of t.ie same class, all
deeply ailected by the scene, which was truly
pathetic." On tee lOtb of Ucccmtier Lafayette
was received by the House of Representatives,
Mr. Clay being the Speaker. '-O. W. Lafayette's
observation to me:-'What a glorious day for his
latherf " on the l9t of January there was a din
ner given by members of both Llousei of Con
gress, attended by tbe President; "a storm of
rain arterwards turning to snow." Mr. Clay
made a speech about Bolivar and tbe cause of
South America, "and seemed very desirous of
eliciting speeches from me and Mr. Calhoun. lie
told me that he should be glad to huve with me
soon seme confidential conversation apon public
There is a glimpse of tlie venerable John
Adams, the father of the writer, theu closing bis
long and glorious lite at (juincy, August i?, lszi,
Mr. Adams writes:?"At one we arrived at my
father's bouse, and 1 was deeply affected at seeing
him. lie is bowed with age, and scarcely can
walk across a room wlthoat assistance." a week
later ho engaged Stewart to paint tho picture of
his father. The artist promised that be would
"take with him hit best brush, to paint a picturo
of-affection and of cnriosity for future times."
There was a rumor among the political scandals
| of tbe oar that Jonn yuincy Adams was under tbe
displeasure of bis lather, woo had made a will
leaving bis son without an Inheritance. Tins
rumor was brought to the attention of Adams,
who, In an entry on March 25, 1824, says:?"My
lather's conduct to me has been tliat of a most af
icctionate lather. Uo had not left it to the disposal
ol the will to bestow upon ms my portion of the es
tate; he had conveyed it to me by deed irrevoca
ble by lumsel:." on septemoer, 1S24, a year later,
there Is auothcr visit t j John A clans*, whose
, "mind is still vigorous, but cannot dwell long
npon any one subject." "Articles oi news ao i of
political speculation in the newspapers are read
to hiOl, on wiucn he remarks with sound discern
ment." The ex-Presidont was then nearly ninety
years of ago. liis sight was so dim that he could
ncltner read nor write; he could not w?u with
out aid. and Ills hearing was partially affected.
"iio receives somo letters," says Mr. Adams, "and
dictates answers to tiiem. In general, tho most
remargaWe circumstance of his present state is
tbe total prostration of his physical powor*. leav
ing his mental (acuities scarcely impaired at all."
There is a glimpse of Washington tu a story toid
"twice over" by trawiorJ at a meoiing of ti:?
, Cabinet, October 10, li24. In tuo early
part of Uis administration Washington bail
gone to tbe Senate with the project ol a treaty to
l>? negotiated, and waited during the delivers
lions. "Tney debated it," says AJams, "and | re
posed alterations; so that when Washington lelt
the Senate Chamber lie said he would be damnod
If he ever went titers again, and ovor sinca that
time treaties have been negotiated by the Execu
tive before sanralttlng them to tiio consideration
of the senate."
There Is a iurther story wiilch, now that we are
In it Revolutionary episode, we may rescue from
obiivion?a story oi Pa trick Henry wnicli is worthy
oi historical lnqnlry. "On March 21, 1848," says
Mr. Adams, "i called a; the beginning ui tae even
ing upon Colonel John Taylor, tho Senator rroin
Virginia, and R. P. Garueit, *?? member of tbe
House, woo has just returned lrom a visit home.
Taylor continues low in health and feeble. lie
repeated to iuc tae anecdote concerning Patrick
Henry, which he bad related some weeks since
at my house, that la toe campaign lu 1TS1
Henry actually proposed in secret session
of the Legiaiaturo si Virginia tast toe should be
the 13rst to submit to Great Britain, In order that
alio might obtitfa trie most favorable tvruis. Tay
lor was himse.f a memoer of the Legislature, and
hear i lilm move to po into secret session, tticre to
make tlie proposition unit support it by an elo
quent speech. It met with *ucti immediate indig
nant and universal opposition tnat when tlie de
uate ciosed lie had eaatig*; I Ills side und was
among the most ardent and mu-t sanguine for
pt-r^everance In tlie war. Taylor thinks there 14
a great exaggeration la the panegyric upon
lleury by Mr. Wirt, and aavs thai Ueury bad
much less eitlclent agency m Hie Kovoiuuon than
many others." This Colonel John Taylor was the
irieud of Jefferson, who was to die within a lew
week* arter this conversation lie hid been a
member of the senate In 170:2, thirty years pre
viously, aud ha 1 taken an important part in the
strangles or Virginia.
roLincs dckino THE diu op good fkklinq.
Tt.e most valuable part of Mr. Adams' book is
that which concerns the election for the Presi
dency in 1824. At the close or what is called "the
era of good feeling" parries were in a hazy, unue
lined position. The federalist* or republicans
ceased tueir distinctive party quarrels; tue con
troversies arising out of the war of 1812 aud the
! principles involved iu tae lormatlon of the gov
ernment had grown dimmer and dimmer. Jefler
' son, wnose InUnence had been dominant for
twenty-live years, was living lu ex'ieme old age
< lu Munticeilo, while Adam3, ills great rival, was
j verging upon ills ninetieth year at yuincy. Both,
In a very tew tnotiius, were to pass lrom the scene
ol their labors, their achievements and their en
during renown. Mr. Monroe's administration
seemed to be governed by the principle of avoid
ing all responsibility, lnourriug no trouble and
tiding the country ovor the effects 01 the war of
1812. Around him were daring, gifted men, am
bitious for the honors of the Presidency. There
was William II. Crawford, a famous name in those
days, but now lost In the roar 01 noisier events.
Secretary or the Treasury, a Virginian, settled in
Georgia, who had been Minister to France under
Madison, acting Vice President In the Senate
during a part of Jefterson's administration and
Secretary or iho Treasury under Monroe. Craw
ford was trie representative of the Jeitersonian
influence, or what remained of It, and at this
time was sufferiug from an attack of paralysis or
rheumatism, which made it impossible lor him
even to sign the warrants of the Treasury. An
I drew Jackson was Senator lrom Tennessee, hav
ing won military position of the highest rank by
his victories over the uritish In 1316 and over the
, Seminoles lu Florida afterward. lie had Just re
tired from the army, reslgnlug iho rank ol major
' general, aud was now entering uoon the political
phase of his career, which was afterward to be
come so remarkable aud to exercise so important
an influence upon the couutry. Ueury Clay was
1 speaker of * the House and lu the lortj-seventh
I year of his age, in the full possession of his
! brilliant and remarkable faculties. Calhoun.
in the forty-second year of his axe, bad
j attained a rare eminence as one of tne
1 coming men of the Kepublic. 'these were the
| leading candidates for the Presidency. There
were whispers of the nomination of?Rafaa King,
' then drawing toward tho close of his life, and re
garded by Adams aa one of "the wisest and best
men in public ille." De Witt Clinton was urged
by iriends in New York, but New York did not
have the strength iu politics possessed by Vir
ginia or the south, and the ambitioua leader of
the Empire State waa compelled to content him*
self with lesser honors.
It la difficult to understand the questions that
animated this canvass lor the Presidency. Looted
at irom this distance of time, and even with the
advantage ol Mr. Adams' invaluable information,
they become purely personal. There was no
question to exclto the passions. The Missouri
compromise settlement had so determiued the
question of slavery that tnere Is not an
allusion to the subject m this sixth volume
of these "Memoirs," altliougn la otaer pages
Mr. Adams wrote with burning and bitter
i anger uj-ou* the efforts of the Southern meu to ex
tend the area of slavery. The most important
questious ware foreign. These never extended
beyond the dUcusslons of the Cabinet. The ora
i tors talked about Greek independence, and liberty
In South America and Panama missions. Sow aud
then Mr. Clay made shallow speeches on the tariff,
but this had not assumed a tangible shape. The
era of good reeling seems really to nave beeu a
kind of armed truce. Monroe was to be permitted
to pass out or the Presidency, aud whichever of
feu rivals, by management. Intrigue or personal
lAipularity, eould attain the largest number of
votes was to capture tuc office. It was a canvass
of passion and not of principle.
James Monroe, once President of the United
biat?s, has become a faded memory, it is diffi
cult to gather from Adams any luiprossion of the
character or ability or the ex-President. Atone
time, in 1833, in August, bo had an attack of
cramp, and lay two hours In insensibility, and
was believed to bo dying, la which event w?
shoild probably bave had Daniel D. Tompkins,
then Vice President, among our list of forgotten
Chief Magistrates. In on3 entry we note tnat Mr.
Adams thinks "the President is often atraldof the
skittishness of mere popular prejudices. I am
always disposed to brave them." Monros evi
dently had an exaggerated Idea of the influence
of European politics upon America. There are
many refeiences to the "alarm and dejection"
and the concern with which be dreaded com
munications tsom foreign Powers. There was a
scandal on one occasion about the appropriation
lor furnishing tne President's bouse, and the
President furnished a memorandum upon the
subject, "ibis memorandum," says Mr. Adams,
"enters into details ol a very humiliating charac
ter, und which ought never to have been or to be
required oi him." "There appears to be nothing
real.y censurable in all these transections."
?'Tltero arises irom all this an exposure of do
mestic aud household concerns almost as incon
gruous to tuo fetation of a President of the
I'nlted States as it would b? to a blooming virgin
to exhibit beisoU uaked before a multitude, l'ho
malignity of political opposition hss no reeling of
delicacy." In this era of good feeling there wero
kttuupn cabinets, aud on one occasion Adams
rears tne French Legation "has access to tuo
President through another whimpering gallery.
Such is sue way of the world; there are winding
suits In every direction." on December lfl, 1S24,
Adams liss an interview with George Sullivan,
who comcs to tell him th.it the President is la
stralgntened circumstance* ana is anxious to have
a claim presented to Congress on nis behalf before
it shall decide on the grant to be made to General
Laiajette. These embarrassments were occa
sioned uy the pavment of money to bis brother in
Kngisnd; they lolloweii him to tbe end of his lira.
Alter bis retirement from tbe Presidency he was
compelled to and relugc with his relatives in Kew
York, where tie died in 1SJ1, ou the 4th of July,
almost absolutely in want.
the mnsroumar. uit-tmn grows mourn.
in \ta President Jackson had really no party in
Congress. Tnere wore three parties?one for
crawiord, one for Clay and one tor Calhonn. Tne
strengtn ot JacKsou and Adams, such as they had.
key outsldj ol that t^dy. Toe flrst appearance ol
Adams us a candidate arose irom the efforts or ins
frlcuds iu tho North Atlantic states, in volume
6, pujto #7, us far back us lewuary, u&J, there it a
note of a convention between Mr. Adams and
Judge ilopklnsou, of Philadelphia, iu which Mr.
Uopkinson urtfed Mr. A lams to became a candi*
date. Adams replied tuai ho would take no step
in advance or promote pretentions to tbe 1 resi
dency. "If," ho sa.is, "that offico Is to be tne
prize o; canal and intrirftu . oi partisan newspa
pers, brining Uy appointments or bargaining for
foreign mis ions, i have no ticket in that lottery."
At tno eud ol this conversation Mr. Adams ft
mark..:?"if there has ever been an ?lection of a
President oi tho United stales witnout canvassing
and lutr hub there has been noue stuco
that or mr rattier; tltero win probably
never be anotlier. The materials for canvassing
aro and for some time iiuvo been plentifully offered
to me and pressed upon me. I could not be Igno
rant ot tne consequences of declining tnese oCers,
but I cowtf not accept them with satisfaction to !
myself or with that consciousness of ngut which '
i never bave lot ieited and wuel it dvarsr to me !
man any station lo which It 1. in the power of
wan or nature to raiso me."
? the MlCBt-ld POLICY."
Two years hud elapsed since this conversation
toon place, arid Mrs. Aduuis, wifeoi tbe Secretary,
found herself a guest at the House of the same
judge Hopklnsou, lu tlietr country place at uor
deutowu.or. me Delaware. the Judge bad not
abandoned Ills lutentton to support Adams; bu ,
finding it impossible 10 approacu uim on tue sub
ject, addressed a coutldeutial letter to Mrs.
Adams, wnichshe might, 11 she saw fit. show to
her husband. This letter begins with the follow
ing quaint sentencesJoseph JlopkiiUion to Mis.
Adamx?Sow wo are spcaklug of Bordentoun.
let me beg yoa to consider lor a moment tbat ycu
and 1 are sitting wltn or without a bright moon,
as you please, on the piazza looking into
the garden, In famtlUr char. In such
circumstances we may say many
which it would be by no means proper to write to
me second lady of the ltepublic, that shall be lira
herealter." Mr. Hopklnsou then cjntlnues to say
that >ir. Adams "is too lastldious and reserved on
a certain subject as interesting to the country aa
to himself;" that he "chills and depresses the
kind fooling and lair exertions ol nia lrlends.
Hts total indifference annoys them, and the Mac
beth policy "If cnance will make niu king why
clunce may crown me' w.Unot answer where
little is left to chance or merit. Kings are made
by politicians and newspapers. The man who sits
down waiting to be crowned either bv chance or
Just right will go bareheaded all his life." Mr.
Hopkinson pointed out that among others Robert
Walsh, tne editor ol the national Gazette, in Phila
delphia, a man - of warm disposition and
great ability" and willing to Bupport
Aaams, feared thn? lie had been discour^
aged and checned in ms exertions. -But.
Mr. iiopklnsou in conclusion, my speech is
unite long enough lor a piazza chat and I wait ior
your reply." ?i\ S.-you will understand I would
not dare to say or write half of the above to Mr.
A., but you may do what you choose with it.
Mrs. Adams taking the discreet occasion laid the
paper before Her husbauU, who wrote a reply on
January 23, 1823, under the title of 'The Macbeth
Pollc*" in tula statement, which la too long to
bo republished, Mr. Adams laid down the prin
ciple that the Presidency should be ???JgBoa to
"tue most able and tue most worthy;" tnat the law
ol friendship was a reciprocation of good offices,
and that to ask or accept iriendly service im
plied the obligation of returning it; that if a can
didate ior the 1'res.dency asked the service of his
mends und was elected he was bouud to render
them a service in return, which in principle would
be essentially, vitally corrupt. As to checking or
dlsneartenlng Mr. Walsh he had no such purpose.
His only wish was that Mr. Walsh would do what
he thought was best for nisown interest. As to his
own candidature it was uncertain. Ue had seen
no disposition on the part ol the people In any
section ol the * Union. not even in
New England, to make him a candidate.
The Richmond Erujulrer had pronounced him out
of the combat; his career had not attracted either
the federal or the republican party, because he had
been Independent of party. "The ledorallsts re
garded him as a deserter, tho democrats as an
apostate. 'All rising to great places,'says Lord
Bacon, 'is by a winding stair; and if there be Mo
tions it is good to side a man's sell while he Is in
the rising ana to balance himself when ne is
Disced."' "I have neither," continues Mi. Adama,
? ascended by the winding stair nor sided myself
in the rising." "Tnis independence of party will
always in warm, factious times be mistaken and
uiis-ep-escnt2d by common politicians for un
steadiness of principle; and the man who acu
upon it must make his account to stand or lall on
broader grounds than lie within Re bounds
oi a geographical subJlvlsion and with
other props than political sectarianism or
individual intrigue, if your ?atch ha.
mainspring you will not keep time by
turning round the minute hand. 11 i cannot
move the mass I do not wish to trifle with the in
dicator " "ir my countrymen preier others to me
I must not repine at their choice. Indifference at
the heart Is not to be won by wooing The ser
vices that nave no tonaue to speak ior tbemselve.
would be 1H aided by the loudest trumpet. Men
and lust right in this country will oe heard. And
In any case, if they are not heard -without my
stir' I shall acqulesoe in the conclusion that it is
oecause tn.y do not exist."
This is the first presentation of Mr. Adams'
opinions on the question of the Presidency. A
year later. January, 18*4, and we have a conversa
tion with Mr. Fuller, in which Adams is asked ir
he would accept the nomination of Vice President
with Crawford as President. "I told Fuiier% he
,ay?, "U.at I kuew something of these mines and
counter mines or Crawford and Calhouu for the
Presidency; they were disclosing tnemseives from
d y to day more and more and there was
Tot much to be discovered." A da,
or two later he was informed that Craw
lord had made a hid to the friends of Mr.
ciar lor tbe Presidency, offering Clay the
second place, and he knows that there was "can
cusing and persevering effort on the part ol the
tt lends ol Mr. Crawford to bring about this re
.T" ?i nomination ,or tue Y,c. KMd.ncj,?
say. Adams, "in co-operation with one for Mr.
crawlor.l as President, could have n6 charms ior
m *n ne did not despise the Vice Presidency or
? wish peevishly to reject tho second place ^ause
no. ob,.in ... ir.?i" ?nt
buiievo in a nomination by a c#ucus of Congress
r. on tt. ?.n of J.nu.rf C.O?l R. M. JMn
.on, ?rterw.rn to M Vlco tt?Wcn? n.u.r u.rtIn
v., Bnr.n. 1>I0 to warn. tt.t c.'noun W J..
???? an ,,r.n??.?? ?J "IT. ?r YlS
supported as President, with Jackson for Vice
President, and that Clay should have the Secre
tarysbip 01 State and Calhoun have the Secretary
imp of tne Treasury, "not as a bargain or coali
tion out by the common understanding of
our'mutual friend.." To this Adams made
no response, in his diary he notes that It dis
closes the forioru hope of Calhoun, wnicn is to se
cure a step of advancement to himself and tue
Toll Exclusion 0. craw ord, even from bis pre*
offlce at the head of the Treasury. There is
further conversation with the venerable Hulus
King, who does not appear to be as cordial in his
support of Mr. Adams aa the Secretary could wish
-He bad." says Adams, "atone time during the
present administration hopes of being the nexiin
succession and there is a spice or disappointment
tn all tais opinions." "King." he adds, 'is on. of
the best and widest men among us. but bis owa
amtmlon was Inflamed by splendid success In early
life lollowert by vicissitudes of popular favor and
hoi'?< d'ererred nntll he has arrived nearly at the
nose of his public career." It w?. really at the
close, for King died t*r? ? *fwr' al
L. I.
pr.ors and coin r?u pr.ou.
Congress wan in session, and tne canvass for the
Presldeucr continued without pause, Webster
pretended to fear that tn the event of Mr. Adam*'
nomination there would be "a general proscrip
tion of federalist* from office." ( lay was confi
dent or carrying eight States, which was dlemwsed
as -'a same of Drag." In April, ;S24, there was a
publication in the New York Patriot statin.' that
Adams bad offered the Vice Presidency to Mr.
Clay. and It was suggested that Adams should
prosecute the publisher for libel. Adams denied
that he bad made any such proposal to Clay, "yet
tritnds of mine and friends of Clay, too, had oiten
suggested tt to me aa desirable, nor la there any
thing id it unconstitutional, illegal or dishonora
ble." DeWitt Clinton seat a message to the
effect that he wished to see Adams President,
with Jacksou as Vice rreslient, and evidently en
deavoring to lay pipes wuh the new administra
tion. Adams sent a gracioua response to Clinton,
although he did not entertain the highest opinion
of his character, aa will be seea in previoua pages
of the dury. The nomination of Jacksou, by the
Legislature of Pennsylvania, in March, 1324. gave
tobim his prominence in the canvaas and made
htm reaiiy the moat important figure in the con
troversy. a month after tun tnere was another
proposition of n coaiu on. Cltnton offering to sap
port Adam*, provided he would be made secretary
01 State, withCaluoun secretary ol the lreasury.
Adams replied that "he was not dlsnoasd to soli the
skin before the animal was taken, and that while
ma own aiasuon was tn doabt he should not da*
liberate in bi* own mind, much less announce to
other*, wti? should compose his Cabinet." Mr. C'Hil
ton's political luture and power were go change
ful thul he nitglit one day be as gure to lose lor at
administration of winch be should be a me tube r
ihe gupport oi New Yuri as ttie preceding or fol
lowing duj be might obtain it.
New York did not liave a much better reputa
tion in those days than it ha* now. Postmastei
General McLean carried a story to Adams in
August to tbe effect tnat De Witt Clinton believed
that the Legislature of New York would eleoi
electors favorable to Crawloru. The truth wai
that a majority of them voted for Adama. De Witt
Clfuton said to McLean, "a number sutUcleut to
make a majority win be bought, and that the
same might be bougbt lor any purchaser and
by any purchaser?even a foreign Power." ThU
statement was made tlity years ago by no less a
man than De Witt Clinton and to no less a man
than John McLean, afterward to be Judge of the
Supreme Court and a candidate for the Presiden
tial nomination in 1856 against Fremont. Upon 11
Mr. Adams makes this strange comment:?"De
Wut Clinton ought well to know the people oi
New York and their Legislature. He has mmseU
applied lor his own advancement to the Presb
deucy so much money as to have ruined bla own
fortunes. He has, tnereiore, no scruple against tin'
use ol money for that purpose, and bus perhaps is
lormer times bought gome of the very individuals
oi whom he now speaks thus. I hope bettei
j things, and believe tnat corruption has not yel
I quite arrived at that pitch. That the Legislature oi
New York will sell all the autfrage of the State 1
think more tnan probable, and must And satis*
faction in the certainty that it will not be gold to
. me."
Clearly the contest was more and more betweea
; Jackson and Adams. We have Senator Jonnson,
j of Kentucky, professing neutrality between Jack
I sou and Adams, and have an expression, on the
part of Clay, of his sorrow tor having opposed
Adams. Tne Electoral College had voted without
result. Jackson received ninety-nine votes, John
tjuincy Adams eighty-four, Crawiord lorty-one and
Henry Clay thirty-seven. The States tnat voted
1 for Jackson were New Jersoy, Pennsylvania,
| North Carolina, south Carolina, Tennessee, In
diana, Mississippi and Alabama, with scattering
| votes in New York, Maryland, Louisiana
j and Illinois. Adams received the votes
of New England, the majority of tbost
in Mew York and a few In Deia
i ware, Maryland, Louisiana ana Illinois. Crawford
! was supported by Virginia and Georgia, with liva
I votes in New York, two In Delaware and one in
Maryland. Clay received Kentucky, Ohio and
Missouri, and four votes in New Yurie. If the
Electoral college In any way expressed the sense
oi the countrr, Jackson certainly was the choice
of the people, for his strength extended over
North and South, while tha others received local
and sectional gupport. Under the constitution
there was no election, and the matter, there
fore, went to the House. Clay was out of the can
vass and the first expression we have of his atti
tude is an entry in the diary, dated January IT,
1826, "Clay says his course is fixed, and he should
consider the elevation of the hero Jackson as the
greatest calamity which could befal the country-"
We have looked into this diary carefully to dis
cover, It possible, if there could be any basis for
the charge that afterwards became one of the
notorious political scandals of the time, that be
tween Clay and Adams there was a "bargain and
sale" of the offloe oi the Secretary of State In re
turn for Clay's support of Adams as President.
On the 17th of December, Congress having been
In session and tne unfortunate result ot the
Electoral College being known, Robert P. Lctcher,
of Kentucky, .a member of Congress afterward
Governor of that State, the intimate friend of
Clay, called upon Adams "ostensibly about a
i matter of business, but really to talk about the
Presidency." Letcher was anxious to know the
sentiment of Adams towards Clay. "The drift of
bis talk was," says Adams, "that Clay would will
ingly support me if he could thereby serve hlrn
soit Tne subject of his meaning was that If
! Clay's friends could know thst he would bave a
prominent share In the administration that might
Induce tnem to vote for me. even lu the face of
Instructions. Letcher did not profess to
| have any authority from Clay for what
| be said and be made no definite pro
| posala. He spoke of this interview with me
as altogether confidential, and in my answers
to blm I spoke in mote general terms." This ta
1 the first int mation we have or any desire on tbe
part of Clay to support Mr. Aaams; and the fact
that this conversation took place between
?dams (a can.il.iate for election) and Letcher?an
avowed and intimate iriend of clay?end tbat tbe
substance of 1' was in reference to patronage and
appointments to office under an administration
tbat as yet bad not bean formed, is certainly a
singular revelation of tbe ln:erest and feeUng in
spired and ita moral tone, oy tbe canvass.
On tbo 1st of January, 1825, Letcher called
axain upon Adam* and asked him if be would
meat Clar for conversation: tbat the differences
between Clar ard Adam* uad "given concern to
some of ttie members of tbe Kentucky delegation."
Later, on the same day, Clay and Adams met at
the Lafayette dinner, and Clay himself expressed
a desire to have a confidential conversation. This
conversation seems to have taken place on the 9th
or January, ltm, Sunday evening. Clay called on
Adams at six, remained and spent the evening
In a long convocation, explanatory of the
past and prospective of the luture. He said that
the iline was drawing near wben ths choice must
be made in the House or Representatives or a
President from the three candidate* presented by
the Electoral Collere; tbat be had been much
urged and solicited with regard to tUe part In thai
transaction that he sbonld take, and he had not
been Ave minutes landed at his lodging* before ha
bad been applied to by a friend of Mr. Craw.'ord's
in a manner so gross tbat it had disgusted hi in:
tnat some of my friends also. disclaiming indeed to
have any authority from me, had repeatedly ap
plied to blrn, directly or Indirectly, urglnp consid
erations personal to blmceif a* motive* to bis
cause. He bad thougnt It best to reserve tor somi
time his determination t.o himself?flr?t, to give s
decent time for his own mneral solemnities as i
candidate, and, second, to prepare and predis
pose ail bis friends to a state or neutrality be
tween the tbree candidates who woula b? before
tbe House, so that they wight be free ultimately
to tace tnat course wblcb might i.e most con
ducive to the public interest. The time bad now
come at which he might be cxpllctt in bis cortf.
munlcation with me. and he had for that purpose
asked this confidential interview. He wished me,
as far as 1 might think proDer, to eatuiy him wltb
regard to some principles of great pnbllc import
ance, bat without any personal consideration lor
himself. In tbe question to com* before tbo
House, between General Jackson. Mr. Crawford
and myie t he had no Hesitation In saying that
bis preference would be for me."
This i* the first intimation of an alliance be
tween Clar and Adams. Alliances were made and
suught In otber directions. Jackson called on
Crawiord, and wben President Monroe beard ol
this be waa "greatly allocked," and said it was
"horrible to thine of." Calboan expressed him
?ell as neuttal between Jackson and Adams,
wtnoh Adama regarda aa "contrasting singularly
wltb the conduct of bis partisans." On tbe 26tb
of Janaary there waa mucn excitement in tba
Hoase on tbe occasion oi Clay and a majority ol
tbe Onto and Kentucky delegations expressing
tbelr determination to rote for Adams, "tbe effect
of wmcb would be to knit tbe coalition
of tbe Souib with Delaware." Loots McLane, of
Delaware, a member of Congress, who waa after
ward to be Secretary of state under Jackson,
said tbey "would overthrow the Capitol aoonei
tkan vote for Jackaon." On tbe S7ih or Janaary
Rufue King called upon Adams to ezyress bis eon
licence In tbe result. Cbaries Carroll, or Carroll
ton, oi tba Kevoiution, and Taney, oi Uaitimora
afterward Cbief Justice or tbe United Stares, ex
pressed themselves lor Jackaon, much to .tM
regret of Adans, wno, la making note of the faos,
deth.ro* tbat be would aever b? at tbo head ol aa
administration "ol prascrlptien to any party,
Doiitiuai or geographical" on tbe SBtu of J a*.

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