BUCHANAN SPECULATES ON ANDREW JACKSON’S CABINET CHOICES
FOLLOWING THE 1828 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
JAMES BUCHANAN. Autograph Letter Signed, Washington [DC], 18 December 1828. 1 page, 8" x 9¾".
An early letter from future President James Buchanan in which he mentions two other Presidents – Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. A Pennsylvania politician who served in Congress, the Cabinet, and as the U. S. Minister to Russia and to Great Britain before becoming President in 1857, Buchanan was in the U. S. House of Representatives at this date. He writes here to a constituent just a month after Andrew Jackson had won the Presidential election of 1828.
Buchanan first attends to his correspondent’s business. “I called this morning at the Pension Office & exhibited your letter to Mr. Edwards the Chief Clerk,” he explains. “He informed me that Jacob Hartman had been placed on the Pension list previous to the capture of Washington by the British in 1814, & that his application & all the documents by which it was sustained had been burnt.”
Then Buchanan, who had supported Jackson’s election, turns to political affairs in the capital, observing, “We have no news here. A most perfect calm has succeeded the storm. There are many conjectures afloat concerning the composition of the new cabinet. The name of Van Buren for Secretary of State seems to be the most prominent. Those of Tazewell & Livingston are also often mentioned. All however is mere conjecture, as no person pretends to know the views of General Jackson on the subject.” He has signed, “from your friend James Buchanan.”
Martin Van Buren, then a U. S. Senator from New York, did become Jackson’s first Secretary of State, serving from 1829 to 1831. He was Vice President during Jackson’s second term and succeeded him as President in 1837.
Littleton W. Tazewell was a U. S. Senator from Virginia who did not win any Cabinet post. Interestingly, although he had endorsed Jackson in 1828, Tazewell would end up opposing many of the President’s most significant actions in office.
Edward Livingston, who had been Jackson’s aide-de-camp at the battle of New Orleans, was a Congressman from Louisiana who advanced to the U. S. Senate in 1829. He was not part of Jackson’s original Cabinet, but he did later become his Secretary of State, serving from 1831 to 1833.
The letter has a narrow paper border from having previously been inlaid. It is in very good condition. $2000.00
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