The Francis Preston Blair Family in Politics - Vol. 1

By William Ernest Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
BLAIR AND VAN BUREN

Supremacy of the Laws and the Constitution.

--THE GLOBE, May 19, 1837.


1

VAN BUREN'S inaugural ball was held on the eve of Jackson's departure for Tennessee. The Globe described the ball as being graced with more loveliness and beauty than was ever seen before in the city of Washington. "Not a circumstance occurred to clash, for a moment, the general joy, nor any of its pleasant associations." Jackson attended the first of the few presidential levees held by Van Buren and had the supreme satisfaction of receiving the greetings of the thousands who paid their respects to the new President.1

The relief from the cares of office and the triumph of his principles exemplified in the voice of the people at the presidential election served as a momentarily exhilarating tonic to Jackson. He showed it in his alacrity and gaiety of spirit when he departed for the Hermitage on March 18, 1837, accompanied by James K. Polk, Major Donelson, and Colonel Earle. The Cabinet went as far as the railroad extended westward. Van Buren took a most affectionate leave of Jackson and promised to visit him in the summer of 1838. A large majority of the representatives absented themselves from the capital while the Senate remained in a dull session to pass on nominations. The Globe found its most interesting news in the announcements of the progress of the homeward-bound party, and its editor tried to adjust himself to meet the adversaries of President Van Buren.

Jackson left Washington a poor man, but, nevertheless, a

____________________
1
The Globe, Mar. 7, 1837; Samuel C. Busey, Pictures of the City of Washington in the Past ( Washington, 1898), 361. Blair was a member of the committee to plan the Inaugural Ball.

-124-

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