Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800

By John Ferling | Go to book overview

8
“Our Bonaparte”
Summer 1798 to Autumn 1799

HAMILTON BELIEVED that the military-preparedness steps taken by Congress had almost put the nation “where we ought now to be.” Although he publicly characterized these as defensive measures, Hamilton quietly, and only among his closest confidants, spoke of more aggressive designs. Florida and Louisiana were the “key of the Western Country, ” he declared, and their possession was “essential to the permanency of the Union.” It was his view that the “whole land force”of the United States should be used to seize Spain's dominions from St. Augustine to New Orleans. When military operations began, he added, the “command … would very naturally fall upon me.” 1 This was because during the summer of 1798 Washington had accepted Adams' offer to serve as commander of the Provisional Army, but on two conditions: that he be permitted to remain at Mount Vernon until a French invasion was imminent, and that Hamilton be named inspector general, the second in command. Adams abhorred the prospect of Hamilton being in charge while the titular commander languished at home, but he dared not challenge Washington. 2

Hamilton was not ready to share his grandiose plans with the public, but for some observers the frenetic push by the Ultra-Federalists to create the army, then to get it into Hamilton's hands, was akin to watching the pieces of a puzzle come together. However, not everyone interpreted the

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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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