some of Overton's letters regarding key political questions and assured the judge that the New Yorker agreed with the Tennessean. Finally, when in 1829 a number of the Jackson inner circle in Washington feared that the general might die, they got him to write a letter to Overton in which he praised Van Buren and made clear his hope that his northern friend would succeed him as president. 12 That letter may well have been the first blow to the loyalty of some of the other lieutenants and the beginning of an opposition party. That it was addressed to Overton was a comment on the degree to which Jackson trusted and consulted him on all key matters. Friends of the president knew that what he wrote to Overton, his closest confidant, would be seen as a true indication of his wishes. We know that in the midst of the Eaton-Timberlake affair Jackson got Overton to invite the couple, while in Tennessee, to a dinner at his house, a dinner that brought out the state's social, economic, and political leaders. One did not reject invitations to dine with Judge Overton.
To his death, John Overton seemed to wish he had been more like Andrew Jackson. Jackson could only mourn that his friend of nearly forty years had taken so much abuse for the loyalty and devotion he had shown toward him.