Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

By John Ferling | Go to book overview

2
“An Affection That Can Never Die”
Adams and Jefferson

VICE PRESIDENT JEFFERSON did not call on President Adams when he arrived in the capital late in November 1800. Nor did Adams invite the vice president to the President's House. Once these two had been close friends. As late as 1791, in fact, Adams had spoken of a bond of fifteen years “between Us without the smallest interruption.” 1 They had worked together easily while serving in Congress, and later, while in Paris on diplomatic assignments, their friendship flowered to the point that Abigail Adams called Jefferson “the only person” with whom her husband “could associate with perfect freedom and unreserve.” 2

Jefferson had believed that Adams possessed the attributes necessary for extraordinary statesmanship, including honesty, a rare ability to persevere in the face of foreboding hostility, formidable intelligence, and remarkable disinterestedness. Adams, Jefferson added, was “profound in his vision … and accurate in his judgment, ” and his tireless energy ensured that he would get things done. 3 Jefferson saw blemishes in Adams, noting that he was vain and irritable, somewhat naive, and unduly cynical. Nevertheless, his virtues easily outweighed his faults, Jefferson had concluded in 1787. Adams was a gregarious and warmhearted soul, he said, and advised Madison that he “is so amiable, that I pronounce you will love him.” 4

At first blush it seems odd that an affinity ever existed between Adams and Jefferson, given their mismatched temperaments and disparate lifestyles.

-18-

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Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Adams Vs. Jefferson *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents ix
  • Editors' Note xi
  • Illustrations and Maps xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Adams Vs. Jefferson *
  • 1 - Election Eve, 1800 1
  • 2 - “an Affection That Can Never Die” 18
  • 3 - Creating the New National System, 1786–1792 36
  • 4 - Partisanship, 1793–1796 57
  • 5 - Jefferson and Adams on the Eve of the Battle in 1796 69
  • 6 - The First Contested Presidential Election, 1796 83
  • 7 - The Partisan Inferno, 1797–1798 99
  • 8 - Summer 1798 to Autumn 1799 113
  • 9 - Winter and Spring, 1800 126
  • 10 - The Campaign of 1800 135
  • 11 - The Election of 1800 162
  • 12 - The House Decides the Election 175
  • 13 - Jefferson's Inauguration 197
  • Epilogue - “the Revolution of 1800” 207
  • Abbreviations 217
  • Notes 221
  • Index 251
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