The New York American ( 1819-1845) was then a liberal semi-weekly paper supporting the Jacksonian wing of the Democratic Party. On the day preceding this editorial Andrew Jackson of Tennessee had succeeded John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts as President of the United States. As will be evident in his later tribute on August 4, 1843, Bryant had grown by then to admire Adams for his opposition to slavery and championship of free speech.
"The long agony is over," as the American says, and the new Administration, the strongest ever seen in this country since the days of Washington, has entered upon its career. Of the past we will not say much, since we can say no good. The country has been rendered contemptible abroad and distracted at home. Of Mr. Adams himself we must be permitted to state that his acts have all shown that we were not wide of the truth when we said, as may be seen in our files, that although not deficient in literary acquirements, he has certain defects of character that unfitted him for directing the affairs of a great empire; and that his prejudices against that nation, with which it more behooves us to be on good and amicable terms than with all Europe besides, were so blind and so inveterate that we ventured to predict that no satisfactory settlement could ever be effected with it during his Administration. The event has proved that our fears were not chimerical. As to his Cabinet friends and advisers, we shall dismiss them from our consideration at this time by congratulating the country on its escape from what was once called by an eminent English statesman "the worst of evils that could predominate in our country: men without popular confidence, public opinion, or general trust, invested with all the powers of government."
The artist who had lived in Italy was probably Bryant's friend Robert Weir, whom in 1834 he would recommend successfully for the position of instructor in art at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The "distinguished Hollander" was probably Roger Gerard Van Polanen, a Dutch diplomat living in New York, whom Bryant had met in 1827. William Kitchener was a Scottish physician and scientific writer in Glasgow. The British poet George Crabbe is best remembered for The