The Federalism of James A. Bayard

The Federalism of James A. Bayard

The Federalism of James A. Bayard

The Federalism of James A. Bayard

Excerpt

The subject of this study was the progenitor of Delaware's most famous political family, a family which has remained active in national affairs to the present day. He himself served in the lower and upper houses of Congress for more than a decade, was renowned for his legal and oratorical abilities, saw service as the leader of the Federalist party in Congress, and as a minister helped to fashion the Treaty of Ghent. Subsequent generations of Bayards have performed similar functions for their country. Like the Adams family of Massachusetts, but on a minor scale, the history of the Bayards of Delware provides a capsule history of the United States. This is reason enough for a study of James A. Bayard, a figure historians have sometimes confused. William E. Dodd, for example, in his biography of Nathaniel Macon, refers to Bayard as a congressman from New Jersey. Katharine Anthony, in her work on Dolly Madison, misunderstands the relationship between Bayard and Margaret Bayard Smith. Samuel F. Bemis, in his study of John Quincy Adams, confuses Bayard's early career with that of his cousin Samuel Bayard.

But there was still a further purpose of this study, to discover the nature of Bayard's Federalism. Did the fertile soil of the Delmarva peninsula produce a different character than the colder, more arid New England? Was Bayard as rabid as the Essex Junto, or can his name be equated with the Federalism of John Adams? What were the Delawarean's relations with Federalist figures as diverse as Alexander Hamilton, John Marshall, and Timothy Pickering? Outside the orbit of the New York -- New England center of Federalism, to what extent did Bayard concur in his party's policies? In order to understand the character of . . .

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