Jacksonian Democracy in Mississippi

By Edwin Arthur Miles | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
A LAST LOOK

"He [ Andrew Jackson] was ever the fast and unchanging friend of Mississippi. Firm and inflexible in his purpose, wise in council and terrible in war; he possessed a mind to comprehend and will to serve our wants--his was a heart without guile, and in his bosom the fires of patriotism never went out . . . . He has descended to the tomb, but it is left with us to manifest our respect and veneration for his name."

Governor Albert Gallatin Brown1

January 8, 1840, marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Since it fell at the beginning of an election year, Democratic leaders throughout the nation reasoned that the presence of the Old Hero at the site of his victory on that date would aid the cause of his presidential successor, Martin Van Buren, in his campaign for re-election. They recalled that the general's last visit there, in 1828, had dramatized his own successful campaign for the presidency.

When plans were announced for the New Orleans celebration, Mississippians determined to invite Old Hickory to visit their state upon his return from the Louisiana city. On November 28, 1839, in a meeting in the Capitol, a bi-partisan group issued a formal invitation to the former President. A committee of the state's leading citizens, including Whigs as well as Democrats, was chosen to make arrangements for the reception. Marshal William M. Gwin urged his old friend to accept. "I have never seen such enthusiasm as was exhibited at the meeting called for the purpose of inviting you to visit us," he wrote, predicting that "your reception here will be the most enthusiastic that ever has been known in America." Jackson, poor and ill, was finally persuaded to make the southern journey--a decision made primarily in the hope of borrowing money from old friends in Louisiana and Mississippi to relieve the heavy financial obligations of his adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr.2

Already near exhaustion from the effects of the New Orleans reception, the aging Jackson arrived at Natchez on January 15. During his four-day visit in Mississippi he shook countless hands and attended

____________________
1
Mississippi House Journal ( 1846), 39.
2
Jackson Mississippian, November 29, 1839; Gwin to Jackson, November 30, 1939, Jackson Papers; Marquis James, Andrew Jackson, Portrait of a President ( Indianapolis, 1937), 447.

-160-

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Jacksonian Democracy in Mississippi
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I - "The Hog Round for Old Hickry" 3
  • Chapter II - A State Divided 18
  • Chapter III - Whole Hogs, Half Hogs, and Aristocrats 33
  • Chapter IV - A Senator of Lofty Bearing 44
  • Chapter V - A Nation Dividing 55
  • Chapter VI - Mr. Biddle's Bank 70
  • Chapter VII - The Jackson Star 87
  • Chapter VIII - An Angry and Embittered Contest 102
  • Chapter IX - Flush Times 117
  • Chapter X - Hard Times 130
  • Chapter XI - The Bargain of 1839 146
  • Chapter XII - A Last Look 160
  • Bibliography 172
  • Index 187
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