Andrew Jackson and His Tennessee Lieutenants: A Study in Political Culture

By Lorman A. Ratner | Go to book overview

our fathers periled their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor and bring reproach upon our memory when we are numbered with the dead." 12

In 1840, when in ill health Judge White resigned his Senate seat, he became a supporter of the man Jackson hated most, Henry Clay. White died that year on his way home from Washington to Knoxville, undoubtedly convinced that the great struggle to keep the republic pure, was about to be fought again. The sins that were the result of human corruption had been repeated, this time by his friends and comrades-in- arms and he stood now with new allies once again to seek to wash them away. At least for Hugh Lawson White, the Whig Party's raison d'etre was neither to produce a change in economic policy nor a transfer of power from one set of hands to another for the sake of power. It was about reform--about purification, about honor, about principles held by both the Founding Fathers and his own father. In all of this Jackson and White held the same beliefs and took the same positions on key issues but White's rejection of Jackson as a sincere believer in republican principles is what divided them. While they shared a political culture their bond of trust was to be broken. To Andrew Jackson, Hugh Lawson White, for whatever reasons, had succumbed to the Federalists. He had become a new Tory, not a new Whig. He was an apostate!


NOTES1
1.
For details regarding White's life and for a source of many of his letters and speeches see Nancy N. Scott, ed., A Memoir of Hugh Lawson White ( Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1856). Also of some value is Floyd H. Amburn, "The Political Career of Hugh Lawson White" (unpublished master's thesis, Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 1933).
2.
Quoted in Scott, White, 116.
3.
John Spencer Bassett, Correspondence of Andrew Jackson ( Washington, DC: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1926) vol. 4, 180.
4.
Bassett, Correspondence, vol. 4, 267.
5.
Quoted in Scott, White, 145.
6.
Quoted in Scott, White, 179.
7.
Scott, White, 349.
8.
Quoted in Scott, White, 254.
9.
Quoted in Scott, White, 314.
10.
Quoted in Scott, White, 315.
11.
Quoted in Scott, White, 318.
12.
Quoted in Scott, White, 353.

-82-

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Andrew Jackson and His Tennessee Lieutenants: A Study in Political Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 4
  • 1 - Home Left, Home Found 7
  • Notes 16
  • 2 - Andrew Jackson: In Search of Honor, in Defense of Reputation 19
  • Notes 33
  • 3 - John Overton: The Power Behind the Throne 35
  • Notes 40
  • 4 - John Coffee: Kin but by Blood 41
  • Notes 48
  • 5 - George Washington Campbell: Jackson's Man in the East 49
  • Notes 55
  • 6 - William B. Lewis: The Loyal Retainer 57
  • Notes 64
  • 7 - William Carroll: The People's Advocate 65
  • Notes 71
  • 8 - Hugh Lawson White: The Tennessee "Brutus" 73
  • Notes 82
  • 9 - John Henry Eaton: A Lost Man 83
  • Notes 90
  • 10 - James K. Polk: The Cause Above All Else 91
  • Notes 96
  • 11 - Sam Houston: The Prodigal Son 99
  • Notes 107
  • Epilogue 109
  • Bibliography 111
  • Index 119
  • About the Author 123
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