Ohio History Journal




OHIO IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1824

OHIO IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1824.

 

 

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

 

The characterization of the period of Monroe's presidency as

the "Era of Good Feeling" has done much to obscure the true

nature of the decade 1815-1825. It has been rather generally

thought of as a period in which the Jeffersonian Republican party

so completely dominated that the rival presidential candidates of

1824 represented substantially the same principles and policies.

Recent scholarship is showing the superficiality of this view, and

revealing the fact that the years in question were years of disin-

tegration for the Republican as well as for the Federalist party,

and of recombination of political elements into new party group-

ings.

The basic fact in the party transformation of this epoch is

the revolutionary change which took place in the relations of the

great economic interests and geographical sections. The Federal-

ist and Republican parties were originally organized on the basis

of conditions existing about the time of the adoption of the con-

stitution. Their geographical basis was the region between the

Alleghany Mountains and the Atlantic. But by the end of the

first quarter of the nineteenth century a new world had come into

being west of the mountains. One person in fifteen of the popu-

lation of the United States lived beyond the mountains in 1790;

in 1830 the ratio was six in fifteen. This relative increase in the

West meant that the center of economic and political power, as

well as of population, was moving westward. One result was an

alteration of the relative weight of the economic groups engaged

respectively in ocean commerce, manufacturing, staple-growing,

and farming. Another result was a disturbance of the political

alliance between economic groups and geographical sections in-

volved in the two original parties. Finally, new groupings and

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alliances resulted, forming the new party groupings of the Jack-

sonian Era.

To these changes is due, in the last analysis, the decline and

fall of Federalism. To them is due also the disruption of Re-

publicanism; for the Republicanism of the original southern states

was at odds in many ways with the "young" Republicanism of the

rising West. In consequence of differing interests, on questions

of internal improvements, the protective tariff, and interpretation

of the constitution, especially, the Old South and the New West

diverged. By 1824 the Republican name had ceased to represent

any vital union between the two wings of the party.

The working of the influences which disrupted the Repub-

lican party and foreshadowed the new party groupings can no-

where be studied to better advantage than in the State of Ohio.

By 1824 Ohio led the western states in population and ranked

fourth in the Union. Unlike Kentucky and Tennessee, she had

no son of her own in the campaign of that year, so that her

attitude was less affected by local pride. Moreover, the mingling

of sectional elements in her population made the conflict within

her bounds fairly typical of the contest in the country at large.

With these considerations in mind, it is evident that Mr.

Roseboom's monograph is more than a study in local Ohio politics.

It throws light upon the political situation in the entire United

States. It is an example of that intensive analysis of local con-

ditions upon which alone sound generalizations can be based.

Mr. Roseboom's study was presented as a thesis in candi-

dacy for the degree of Master of Arts in American History in

Ohio State University.

HOMER C. HOCKETT,

Department of American History,

Ohio State University.



CONTENTS

CONTENTS.

 

PAGE

I.  INTRODUCTION  .............................................  157

1. General features of election of 1824.

2. Ohio in election of 1824.

II.  SITUATION  IN  THE  BEGINNING ..............................  161

1. Probable issues.

2. Candidates. Strength and weaknesses.

3. Possible alignments.

III. THE PRELIMINARY CAMPAIGN.............................. 170

1. The legislative nomination.

2. The Clinton movement.

3. Politics of 1823.

4. Revival and decline of Clinton.

5. Calhoun in Ohio.

6. The Congressional caucus and its effects.

IV. PARTIES AND CONVENTIONS ................................. 180

1. The Jackson movement.

2. The Clay electoral ticket.

3. The Adams electoral ticket.

4. The Adams-Jackson proposed alliance.

5. The Jackson convention.

6. The Clay meeting at Columbus.

7. The Adams meeting at Columbus.

V. THE CAMPAIGN FOR CLAY .................................. 191

1. Tariff and internal improvements.

2. Other features of Clay's strength.

3. The slavery issue.

4. The Bank issue.

5. Charges against Clay's private life.

6. The Clay-Crawford coalition charge.

7. Rumors of withdrawal.

VI. THE CAMPAIGN FOR JACKSON .............................. 200

1. Personal nature.

2. Jackson and western interests.

3. Idea of united west.

4. Attitude of other parties toward Jackson.

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156 Contents

156                           Contents.

 

PAGE

VII. THE CAMPAIGN FOR ADAMS ................................ 205

1. Adams' arguments.

2. Attacks on Adams personally.

3. Adams and the domestic policy.

VIII. THE ELECTION BY THE PEOPLE.............................. 214

1. The vote.

2. Analysis of the returns.

3. Results of the popular election.

IX. THE HOUSE ELECTION ..................................... 218

1. The Ohio situation.

2. The House election.

3. Effects in Ohio.

4. Was the result acceptable?

BIBLIOGRAPHY  ....................................................  223



OHIO IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1824

OHIO IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1824.

 

 

BY EUGENE H. ROSEBOOM, M. A.

 

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION - GENERAL FEATURES.

When James Monroe became president of the United States

it seemed to many superficial observers that party divisions were

at an end and that the country would never see a recurrence of the

bitter party spirit so evident in that period of our history when

foreign relations were of primary importance. The close of the

Napoleonic Era seemed to mean the end of party strife in the

United States, and the terms Federalist and Republican lost their

early meaning. But the disappearance of party divisions could

not be permanent. New problems were arising during Monroe's

administration which were to be the sources of party and sec-

tional divisions, which have never since been absent from

American politics.

In the election of 1824 these problems first show themselves

as political issues and out of this election comes a new alignment

of parties and the complete break-up of the old Republican party

so long dominant in national affairs. Because it is the great

transition election from the old era to the new, the election of

1824 is of more than ordinary importance.

In this campaign appear the beginnings of the characteristic

features of the American party system as it is known today.

Party conventions, addresses to the people, semblances of party

organizations, division of local parties on national issues, all be-

gin to take form while the old party machinery, of which the

congressional caucus was a conspicuous feature, is relegated to the

scrap heap. New machinery better fitted for growing democracy

was in process of construction.

The most obvious feature of the campaign of 1824 and the

one by which it is best remembered is the large number of can-

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didates. Under the Virginia presidents the election of the chief

executive had ceased to be a real contest but the year 1824 showed

that such a condition was not to become permanent. Growing

democracy was demanding a larger share in choosing the presi-

dent, and statesmanship and long training were beginning to be

regarded with distrust in some quarters. In this campaign at one

time or another there were at least seven candidates, though not

all formally nominated, and one or two others were considered

as possibilities. Adams, Calhoun, and Crawford from Monroe's

cabinet, Clay and Lowndes from Congress, DeWitt Clinton, and

Andrew Jackson comprise the active list. This number was re-

duced to four at the election.

The number and prominence of the candidates and the bit-

terness of the campaign have caused many historians to overlook

the issues and regard the campaign as largely decided on personal

grounds. To take this view is to overlook the underlying sec-

tional issues. The personality of a candidate always plays a

strong part in presidential campaigns, and this was true in 1824 as

it has been since. But to pass by the issues is to lose what is per-

haps the most significant feature of this election.

The strong national feeling following the war of 1812 was

giving way to the demands of sectional interests. The South,

feeling the burdens of the tariff, was aligned in opposition to the

protective system and was showing a noticeable lack of en-

thusiasm over internal improvements by the national government.

New England was divided between her commercial and manufac-

turing interests but was still inclined to oppose the tariff. The

Middle States were strongly for protective tariff to encourage

their manufactures and for internal improvements to secure

western markets. The West, almost wholly agricultural and suf-

fering from lack of markets, was strongly in favor of both in-

ternal improvements and tariff. It felt that its demands had been

too long ignored by the national government and that the time

had come when western interests should be given the considera-

tion the size and importance of that section deserved.

Then, too, there was the partially dormant slavery question

which had arisen in 1820 over the Missouri question. At first

it seemed probable that this would play a leading part in the

presidential campaign, but, as nothing appeared to cause further



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

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friction, it was pushed into the background by more pressing

questions, though it still had a real influence on the election.

With these opposing sectional interests at work no candidate,

with so many competitors in the field, could hope to carry the

election unless he conciliated opposing interests. This explains

why the candidates themselves said so little about the issues and

conducted the campaign on personal grounds. But their sup-

porters in the various states fought it out on these issues and it is

to the local campaigns that one must go to understand the real

significance of the election.

Ohio in this election offers an interesting study of the forces

of sectionalism. By 1824 Ohio had become the most important

of the western states and ranked fourth in the whole union in

population although she had been a state for only two decades.

Her population had come from all sections in varying numbers

and this partly explains the sectional character the contest of 1824

assumed in the state. Ohio was both western and northern in her

interests. Drawn to the other western states by their common

need for internal improvements and a protective tariff, she was

partly repelled by the slavery existing in some of them. United

with New York and Pennsylvania in opposition to slavery and in

favor of tariff and internal improvements, she was kept from a

union with the rest of the North by the opposition of the com-

mercial Northeast to western policies. Though the South had

been the chief market for the products of Ohio, the opposition of

that section to the tariff and internal improvements, besides

the slavery question, made a union of the South and the North-

west an impossible thing. Thus Ohio found herself both western

and northern in her interests, and the attempts to choose the

presidential candidate who would best represent her resulted in

a bitter struggle which remained in doubt to the very last.

Of the more important states only New York and Ohio were

really doubtful. This situation in the former state was due

largely to the fact that the legislature chose the electors and its

attitude was very uncertain. But in Ohio it was a question of

how the people would vote and partisanship reached a white heat.

This was an unusual situation as previous presidental campaigns

had aroused but slight interest in the state, the vote always fall-

ing far below that cast at state elections. Ohio was so over-



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Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   161

 

whelmingly Republican that the small minority of Federalists had

made but slight efforts for their candidates. Besides, the elec-

toral vote of Ohio had not been of sufficient importance to affect

the general result and the country at large was little interested in

what the state did. But in the electoral college of 1824 she was

to have sixteen electoral votes, and, furthermore, was not com-

mitted to any one candidate. It was a prize well worth fighting

for. Thus in 1824 for the first time, Ohio played that important

part in a presidential election which has been attributed to this

state in so many campaigns since.

 

CHAPTER II.

 

THE SITUATION IN THE BEGINNING.

The Ohio campaign began as in other states very early in

Monroe's second term but it can hardly be regarded as other

than political maneuvering and sounding of public sentiment

until the legislative caucus, early in January, 1823. From this

time on the campaign was actually under way though it did not

assume its final form until the spring of 1824 when the field of

candidates was reduced in Ohio to the three who finally made

the race.

In the early stages the slavery issue resulting from the

Missouri Compromise loomed large. It was expected that this

would largely determine the election. Charles Hammond, who

played an important part in the Ohio campaign and who dis-

liked Adams because of his desertion of the Federalist party,

wrote at the time of the Missouri struggle: "A new state

of parties must grow out of it. Give me a Northern President,

whether John Quincy Adams or DeWitt Clinton, or anybody

else, rather than that things should remain as they are."1 Yet

Hammond, always an opponent of slavery, found this issue

so subordinated in 1824 that he took charge of Clay's campaign

in Ohio and opposed the northern candidate.

Edward King, writing from Ohio to Rufus King in No-

vember, 1822, said of the situation: "Ohio is decided at present

 

1Smith, Charles Hammond, 32.

Vol. XXVI-11.



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for Mr. Clay, and I know no person, who would be able to alie-

nate her, except Clinton, who would receive the support of the

North and Eastern part of the State. He (Mr. Clay) will un-

doubtedly be the first choice, and I think Mr. Adams the second.

If, however, the Missouri question should present itself, in the

contest, Ohio probably would leave her favorite and support

Mr. Adams."2 King was not personally friendly to Adams.

Some two months later he further expressed his belief

that the Missouri question would play a part in the election.

"It does not appear to me," he said, "that the country has not

so soon recovered from the Missouri question, and that the

Eastern States, if they find the South and West too strong,

will be inclined to cry out 'No Slavery', and by these means

compel Ohio and the Western free states to abandon their

choice and unite in this policy."3

The editor of the Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette,

James Wilson, grandfather of Woodrow Wilson,4 expressed in

rather violent language his opinion of southern threats to

divide the union.5  He charged that Clay was the friend of

slavery, that he had yielded to southern threats in the Missouri

question and might yield to them on the tariff for the supposed

integrity of the union.6  Yet by the spring of 1824 this same

editor was ready to declare for Clay. He explained that, while

he had hoped the Missouri question would have a strong effect

on the election, the northern states had selected their candidates

without reference to it and there was no further use in agitating

it when there were nearer and more vital interests at stake.7

This was the view of many who had been strongly opposed to

the Missouri compromise.

Clay himself was keenly aware of the Ohio situation in

regard to the slavery issue. Writing to Francis Brooke in

 

2King, Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, VI, 487.

3Ibid., VI, 497.

4Hunter, "The Pathfinders of Jefferson County," Ohio Archaeolog-

ical and Historical Society Publications, VI, 271.

5Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, March 1, 1823.

6Ibid., March 22, 1823.

7Ibid., April 24, 1824.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    163

February, 1824, he said: "As I have told you before the north-

western states will go for Mr. Adams, if they cannot get me.

They will vote for no man residing in a slave state but me,

and they vote for me because of other and chiefly local con-

siderations, outweighing the slave objections. On that you may

depend."8 This was doubtless true at this time. The Jackson

movement had not yet developed great strength, and its partial

success in the Northwest at the election must be attributed

largely to Jackson's personal popularity and to the fact that

Clay had to face two candidates in each of these states. With

the slavery issue more prominent Jackson would probably have

been injured more than Clay in the North.

With the absence of any further events to stir up the

slavery question and with economic interests demanding to be

taken care of, tariff and internal improvements became the

dominating issues, or rather issue, as they were usually taken

together to form one policy known as the "domestic policy".

For some years prior to 1824 there had been a growing

demand in the West for legislation by the national govern-

ment to provide for western interests. With increasing agri-

cultural production, very inadequate and unsatisfactory markets,

and general business depression in the early twenties, Ohio and

her neighbors came to regard their future as inseparably con-

nected with internal improvements and a protective tariff.

The cost of transportation over the mountains restricted

the eastern market. New Orleans, the principal outlet of the

West, had serious disadvantages. The voyage down the Mis-

sissippi and back was long and difficult, navigation was unsafe

due to obstructions in the river, the climate was not healthful.

Shippers in the northwestern states had to wait until there was

sufficient water in the Ohio and upper Mississippi, which caused

all shipments to be made at one time and thus flooded the New

Orleans market, so injuring prices that often Ohio farmers

preferred to let their produce go to waste at home. The falls

of the Ohio at Louisville offered a further disadvantage. On

the other hand, the eastern market could be reached only through

 

8Clay, Works, IV, 86.



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a national system of roads and canals. The Cumberland road

had reached Ohio, the Erie canal was nearing completion in

New York, and a Chesapeake and Ohio canal was under dis-

cussion. Ohio desired to take advantage of new routes to the

East by a system of canals which would connect the interior

counties with the Ohio River and Lake Erie and thus enable

them to make use of both the Ohio river outlet to the South

and the Erie canal to the East. Extensive preparations were

being made for the proposed canal system in Ohio and the

assistance of the federal government was especially desired.

Furthermore, the southern part of the state was interested in

a proposed canal around the falls of the Ohio. Hence internal

improvements became a kind of obsession with the people of

Ohio and visions of wonderful prosperity floated before them.

Closely connected with this was the tariff question. The

development of home manufactures through the tariff in order

to furnish a home market for agricultural products and make

the United States economically self-sustainng was a western

ideal. This would relieve the unprofitableness of agriculture,

diversify industries, open new channels for capital and labor,

and the whole country would profit thereby. Internal improve-

ments would enable the products to reach the markets cheaply,

the tariff would enlarge these markets by furnishing new de-

mands for raw materials and food supplies.

Ohio newspapers were full of articles showing the necessity

of such a policy. "Unless the western country can prevail upon

the government to provide means for transporting its surplus

agricultural produce to a certain and safe market, and unless

their manufactures be so protected as to be placed on a per-

manent footing, property will continue to depreciate, and poverty

and misery will be our constant companions,"9 said the Steuben-

ville Gazette. The picture of conditions in Ohio as seen by the

Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette was depressing. Ordinary

channels of wealth were overcrowded, professions full, com-

peting merchants and shopkeepers driving each other into bank-

ruptcy, agriculture overcrowded and declining. In the fall and

 

9Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, Feb. 7, 1824.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.     165

 

winter of 1822-3 most of the provisions shipped from the Cin-

cinnati market involved almost all shippers in loss; in the winter

of 1823-4 shipments of provisions were nearly one-half less than

those of the previous year; land sales had greatly fallen off. If

the markets of the European wars could be brought back, said

the editorial, industry would revive; but that situation would

not likely recur soon again, and now Europe was feeding her-

self. In the United States eighty-three out of every hundred

persons were farmers raising a surplus. The remedy, then,

concluded the article, must be a large and permanent home mar-

ket, and this could only come by increasing duties to foster

manufactures and to furnish new openings for labor.10

With such sentiments so general it is not surprising that

Ohio felt such an interest in the presidential election. Congress,

it was felt, was favorably disposed toward the West11 but ex-

tensive plans for internal improvements had been checked by

the executive. Monroe was tolerated rather than liked. His

administration received some praise in general terms, but for

the most part the end of his term was awaited with impatience

by westerners, who desired the succession of a man with fewer

constitutional scruples.

The Cincinnati National Republican declared that there was

no hope for national aid to internal improvements during the

Monroe administration.   "There is a party of politicians at

Washington, whose consciences are so tender, or whose minds

are so contracted, that no general system of internal improve-

ments can be anticipated, from the councils of the nation, until

there is a radical change in the Executive department."12  A

little earlier this same paper expressed similar sentiments on

the tariff bill then before Congress, whose failure it attributed

to the influence of the treasury department.  "How   long we

shall be compelled to suffer by the contracted view of our public

interests, which can embrace only the growth of cotton and

tobacco, and the necessary means to provide for these articles,

 

10 Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, May 18, 1824.

11Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, March 25, 1824.

12Cincinnati National Republican, July 23, 1823.



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a profitable foreign market, we pretend not to say; but we in-

dulge a hope, that the proceedings of the present Congress will

awaken a spirit of universal inquiry among the people, and

produce such a change in the federal administration, as will

ensure to it that wisdom which can discern the necessities of

the country, and that liberality of feeling which will prompt to

the adoption of the most efficient measures for its relief."13

It was all-important, therefore, that the next administration

be favorable to western interests. The candidate Ohio supported

must above all else be an advocate of the domestic policy. Said

the Cincinnati Gazette: "So far as we have been able to learn

the sentiments of this state, we believe, however they may differ

on other subjects, that they pretty generally agree in this one

important point:-that we ought to support that man for the

Presidency, other things being equal, who will most effectually

encourage domestic manufactures and internal improvements."14

Other papers uttered similar sentiments. The Steubenville

Gazette declared that "the question is not now whether this can-

didate or that candidate is a democrat or a federalist, but

whether he is a friend or an opponent to domestic industry and

internal improvements."15 As the Chillicothe Supporter and

Scioto Gazette, ardently for Clay, expressed it, "this is a sine

qua non - an article of faith, to which every political aspirant

must subscribe, before he can expect to be honored with their

suffrage."l6

With this "article of faith" in view, the chances of the

various candidates may now be considered. William H. Craw-

ford, the Secretary of the Treasury, was at first regarded as the

leading candidate by the nation generally but he did not have

the slightest chance at any time of carrying Ohio. The fact that

he was most strongly supported in the southern states where

tariff and internal improvements were most unpopular was alone

enough to condemn him. His silence on these questions com-

 

13 Cincinnati National Republican, March 4, 1823.

14Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, Jan. 6, 1824.

15Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, in Scioto Gazette, Aug.

2, 1823.

16Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Aug. 2, 1823.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   167

pleted his destruction in the west. The fact that he was from

a slave state and the supposed intrigues in which he was engaged

for the presidency were further counts against him. His few

supporters in Ohio were largely personal friends and, in the

absence of a Crawford electoral ticket, supported Clay.

The other southern candidate was Calhoun, the death of

Lowndes giving him South Carolina's united backing. He was

quite favorably regarded in Ohio despite the fact that he was

from a slave state. His advocacy of national measures, espe-

cially internal improvements, won him many supporters in Ohio

and early in the campaign he seemed to have a chance in the

state. But Calhoun could not compete with Clay in advocating

tariff and internal improvements while the latter had the further

advantage of being a westerner. His candidacy overshadowed

Calhoun's.

Henry Clay was the leading candidate in Ohio almost from

the beginning. He was a westerner, a strong advocate of both

protective tariff and internal improvements, and a champion of

western interests. He was well known personally in Ohio and

had a host of friends in the state. On the vital issues there was

no man whose sentiments were better known or more strongly

expressed. Indeed, Clay made himself so acceptable to the West

that he ruined his cause in the other sections. But to Ohioans

there were at least two important objections to Clay as their

candidate, namely, his attitude toward the Missouri Compromise

and his connection with the United States Bank, which was un-

popular in the state. His apparently southern views on the

Missouri question aroused considerable opposition to him at first

but declined in importance as the campaign progressed. His

position as attorney for the United States Bank injured him in

certain localities, yet the opposition on this score was not wide-

spread. Certain political charges raised against him proved to

be as important as these objections just mentioned.

Adams as the northern candidate drew to his support in Ohio

those opponents of slavery who believed in the necessity of elect-

ing a northern president to end the long monopoly the South had

maintained over the executive department. As the state of Ohio

was practically unanimous against the extension of slavery, in



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the absence of other issues, Adams might well have succeeded

in carrying the state in 1824, as Clay's friends at first greatly

feared. But the domestic policy as the dominant issue worked

injury to Adams. His apparent silence on this question was

misconstrued in many quarters as opposition to tariff and internal

improvements and played an important part in the election.

DeWitt Clinton never announced himself as a candidate be-

cause his own state would not support him but he was regarded

as a possible candidate up to the time the electoral bill failed

in the New York legislature. In Ohio Clinton found strong

support. He was from a northern state, as Adams was. But

unlike the latter, he was known as the great apostle of internal

improvements, for the Erie canal was largely his work. Thus

Clinton seemed to many Ohioans to be the one candidate who

could draw western support from Clay and northern support

from Adams, and unite the two sections behind him for the in-

terests of both. The Ohio movement for Clinton had a real

popular basis, and had New York appeared favorable to her

native son, he would have run a very strong race in the

Northwest.

Andrew Jackson was not taken seriously in Ohio at first but

his personal popularity drew to him a party which grew as the

campaign progressed until it seemed as if Ohio would be swept

away by the magic name of Jackson. But it would be a mistake

to assume that the Jackson party had only a personal basis. Its

candidate was proclaimed as the strong advocate of western in-

terests as well as democracy, and though his stand on the tariff

and internal improvements was rather uncertain compared with

Clay's attitude, it satisfied his supporters who demanded a united

West back of him.

From this general survey of the candidates it is seen that

Ohio was drawn two ways. The Clay men, and after them the

Jackson followers, urged the necessity of a united West behind

a western candidate to secure the triumph of western interests,

which, they asserted, were, after all, the true national interests.

This union of all the western states appealed strongly to the

people of Ohio but was open to a serious objection which the

Ohio Monitor, friendly to Adams, set forth early in the campaign.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    169

It declared that the idea of a western sectional alignment was

delusive, that the division would be northern and southern, as

the North required protection to agriculture and manufactures

while the South opposed such a policy. Then the editorial went

at the heart of the question. "If a western interest is intended

to effect the election of a president, as is proposed by all who

speak of the feasibility of electing a western president, it must

include all the southern states, and one or more of the middle

states, and if a western candidate is elected by such votes he

must be governed by their policy."17 In other words the western

states were not strong enough to elect their own candidate on

such a frankly sectional platform as Clay's, while southern votes

could only be secured at the sacrifice of those interests most

vital to the West.

Ohio's other alternative was a union with the states to the

east of her on the basis of their common interests in regard to

slavery, the tariff, and internal improvements. Both Adams from

New England and Clinton from New York were prospective

northern candidates. If a union were to be effected between

Ohio and her western neighbors and the East, then one section

would have to give up its favorite candidate. That the former

as the younger and less populous should yield to the older section,

was the argument of the Adams and Clinton men.18 "The west",

said the Steubenville Gazette, "has no interest distinct from the

interest of the grain growing and manufacturing states to the

east."19 But however true this may have been, there could be

no agreement on the candidate they were to support in common.

Since the states in each section found it impossible to agree on

a single candidate for their section, it was too much to expect

the two sections to unite. The results of the election showed this.

Yet in the House election of 1825 it was just such a union

of West and East as this proposed one that elevated John Quincy

Adams to the presidency. Had it been effected before the election

of 1824 it might have produced happier consequences for all

concerned.

17 Ohio Monitor, Feb. 15, 1823.

18Delaware Patron, Mar. 18, 1824.

19Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, Mar. 1, 1823.



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The chief interest of the Ohio campaign lies in this struggle

between northern and western candidates and the attempted union

of sections.

 

CHAPTER III.

 

THE PRELIMINARY CAMPAIGN.

The campaign of 1824 in Ohio may be said to have begun

with the legislative caucus early in 1823. Prior to this time

there was no definite alignment of parties though newspapers

advocating their favorites were having preliminary skirmishes.

When the legislature met in December, 1822, it was seen that

sentiment was nearly equally divided for and against a legisla-

tive caucus to nominate a presidential candidate. Henry Clay

had just been nominated by the Kentucky legislature1 and his

friends were anxious to see the Ohio legislature take similar

action. An attempt made early in the session failed as it was

deemed inexpedient to take action so long before the election.

But the friends of Clay in Congress were very urgent that the

Ohio legislature take action. "The idea of some holding back

in expectation that Clinton will be brought forward is most

extraordinary," wrote Representative Barber, who urged Clay's

nomination and declared that the contest lay between Crawford

and Clay in the country at large.2 Representative David Trimble

of Kentucky, writing to Allen Trimble, then speaker of the Ohio

Senate, urged immediate action. "All depends upon Ohio, but

it is especially necessary that she should express her mind by

some mode that will leave no doubt of her intentions. A state

caucus, or something like that. Think of this seriously, and if

you do anything, the sooner the better."3

The Clay men worked energetically and succeeded in having

a caucus called for January 3, 1823. Of the 102 members of the

legislature about 90 were present. Speaker Trimble presided. A

motion that it was inexpedient to proceed to make a nomination

1Frankfort (Ky.) Argus, in Columbus Gazette, Dec. 5, 1822.

2Cutler, Life and Times of Ephraim Cutler, 182.

3Papers of Gov. Allen Trimble, Old Northwest Genealogical Quar-

terly, X, 301.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.     171

 

at that time was voted down by the close vote of 43 to 47.

Whereupon most of the friends of the other candidates withdrew

and left the Clay men in control. A vote was then taken on the

presidential question, Clay receiving 50, Clinton 5, Adams 1,

Calhoun 1.4

The Clay men were much pleased with their success, the

Columbus Gazette claiming that many of those who had opposed

a nomination at that time and had withdrawn from the caucus

were friends of Clay.5 Henry Clay, himself, who arrived in

Columbus a few days after the holding of the caucus, wrote to

Francis Brooke expressing his satisfaction with the result. "Con-

sidering the great efforts made from without to prevent any legis-

lative expression of public opinion, the proof which is afforded

by the vote here is extremely strong."6

Naturally, the supporters of other candidates were dis-

pleased at the action of the legislators. It was declared pre-

mature and inexpedient,7 and not deserving any consideration

since Clay had obtained only fifty votes, less than half of the

membership of the legislature, despite all the efforts made by

his partisans.8

The Ohio nomination certainly added prestige to Clay's

cause in the state and elsewhere, but it had a tendency to turn

the fire of the supporters of all the other candidates against

him, while the circumstances of the nomination led to charges

of intrigue and disregard of public sentiment, which were

repeated and enlarged until they came to be urged as one

of the principal reasons why Clay should be defeated. The

Jackson press especially delighted to compare the popular

nomination of Jackson with the caucus endorsement of Clay,

which was classed with the very unpopular congressional

caucus as means by which intriguing politicians subverted the

people's will.

 

4Columbus Gazette, Jan. 9, 1823; Ohio Monitor, Jan. 4, 1823.

5 Columbus Gazette, Jan. 9, 1823.

6 Clay, Works, IV, 70.

7John McLean to Allen Trimble, Jan. 31, 1823, Papers of Gov. Allen

Trimble, Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, X, 302.

8 Cincinnati National Republican, Jan. 14, 1823; March 4, 1823.



172 Ohio Arch

172       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

At about the same time the legislators were taking action

at Columbus, a movement of another sort was in progress

at Cincinnati. On December 24, 1822, a poplar meeting was

held to express a presidential preference. A preliminary meet-

ing on December 7 had appointed a committee to consider the

various candidates, and this committee reported to the meet-

ing of the 24th. The report recommended DeWitt Clinton

for the presidency. The resolution as adopted pointed out the

importance and mutual interdependence of agriculture, com-

merce, and manufactures, the necessity of their protection

and fostering care by the government, and the need of a

chief executive who should be free from contracted views and

local prejudices; declared that DeWitt Clinton possessed the

necessary attainments including liberal and enlightened views

of national policy to qualify him for the high office; and

recommended him to the people of Ohio and the Union as a

candidate.  Legislative  nominations were  disapproved  of,

and committees of correspondence were formed to further

Clinton's cause. More than three hundred attended the meet-

ing and only three negative votes were cast on the resolutions,

according to a friendly newspaper.9

This was the beginning of the Clinton movement in Ohio

which for a time caused much uneasiness in the Clay follow-

ing and not without cause. Clinton was strong in two sections

of the state where Clay was weak. Around Cincinnati Clay's

connection with the United States Bank had injured him

while Clinton, the friend of internal improvements, was highly

regarded.  In the northern and eastern parts of the state

Clinton was popular because he was both a free state man

and a friend to roads and canals while Clay's slavery views

were distrusted by the people there, who were largely from

northern states. The Cincinnati National Republican in its

advocacy of Clinton put special emphasis on his friendliness

to internal improvements. The Western Herald and Steuben-

ville Gazette in the other section of the state urged his candi-

dacy first of all because he was a northerner and opposed to

 

9Cincinnati National Republican, Jan. 1, 1823.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   173

 

the extension of slavery. Thus he possessed the chief elements

of strength of both Adams and Clay without their weaknesses.

His cause was warmly advocated by at least two important

newspapers while some others, apparently for Adams, were

quite friendly. The Delaware Patron, an Adams paper, openly

expressed its belief that Clinton could carry the state but de-

clared his election out of question because he was not con-

sidered in his own state.10

Through the spring and summer of 1823 the Clinton move-

ment made little progress, largely because New York was not

favorable, but late in the year a concerted movement for him

took place in Ohio which for a time made him a strong rival

of Clay and Adams. This can best be taken up in another

connection.

The Adams following in the state, while not so large as

Clay's in numbers, was not easily drawn to other candidates.

Composed largely of former New Englanders, this party clung

tenaciously to the New England candidate and made ability,

integrity, morality, and opposition to slavery its chief tenets

while at the same time asserting its candidate's friendliness to

protective tariff and internal improvements. Those to whom

opposition to slavery seemed of first importance joined the

Adams movement making the Secretary of State a strong can-

didate throughout the whole Northwest.

An attempt had been made in 1822 to discredit Adams in

the West by the publication of the Russell letters in which it

was charged that Adams had proposed at Ghent in 1814 to

grant to Great Britain the right of navigating the Mississippi

in return for the use of the Newfoundland fisheries by the

Americans. 11 Adams successfully refuted the charge but it

aroused him against Clay, whom he thought responsible.

Writing of this in his diary, he said, "Clay's conduct through-

out this affair towards me has been that of an envious rival--

a fellow-servant whispering tales into the ear of a common

master. He has been seven years circulating this poison against

 

10Delaware Patron, in the Ohio Monitor, May 3, 1823.

Niles' Register, XXII, 198, 209, 220, 296, 327; XXIII, 6, 9.



174 Ohio Arch

174     Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

me in the West, and I have now no doubt that Russell's letter

was brought forth upon suggestions originating with him."12

Adams was more friendly to Calhoun, and Clay to Crawford at

this time. Clay was partially drawn into the Russell affair

by a letter 13 he wrote denying certain statements make by

Adams but offering no proof because, he said, he did not desire

to get into a controversy with him.14 Adams demanded com-

plete proof15 but Clay refused to enter further into the affair.

His action did him no good, and even his friends thought it

unwise that he should have written the letter at all.16  The

charge raised by Russell was used against Adams in the Ohio

campaign but played a very minor part as the latter's able de-

fense had deprived it of its importance. His opponents found

a more effective means to discredit him in Ohio. The whole

affair only served to make a wider gap between Adams and

Clay, which was unfortunate for both.

Considering the long period until the election would take

place the year 1823 was surprisingly full of presidential politics.

Charges and countercharges were hurled back and forth by

ardent partisans. In Ohio the Clay men had to bear the brunt

of the attack because of the leading position Clay was holding

and because of the prestige the legislative nomination had given

him as Ohio's candidate.

The National Republican of Cincinnati took the lead in at-

tacking caucus nominations, whether congressional or state.

It regarded Clay in an unfriendly light and attacked Crawford

as the prince of intriguers. Calhoun was declared to be too

young and lacking in the experience of statesmanship.17 Jack-

son was praised for his great services to the country, but was

declared utterly unfit for the presidency as his talents were

those of a soldier. His advocates were urged to cease their

 

12J. Q. Adams, Memoirs, VI, 49.

13J. Q. Adams, Memoirs, VI, 116; Cincinnati National Republican,

Jan. 7, 1823.

14 Clay to Brooke, Jan. 8, 1823, Works of Clay, IV, 70.

15J. Q. Adams, Memoirs, VI, 117.

16 Clay to Brooke, Jan. 31, 1823, Works of Clay, IV, 71.

Cincinnati National Republican, March 14, 1823.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    175

officious efforts.18 Yet, curiously enough, in less than a year

this same paper was strongly urging the election of Jackson.

But the National Republican was not the only paper guilty

of changing its politics.  The Steubenville Gazette was so

bitter against the southern states and any candidate from that

section that the Scioto Gazette was led to advise the Steuben-

ville editor, James Wilson, to go forth and preach a crusade

against the "southrons".19  Yet before many months had passed

the fiery editor had come out for Clay, admitting that slavery

would play little part in the election.20

The Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette favored Calhoun

but at his withdrawal went over to Clay.21 There was no in-

consistency in this, however, as both Clay and Calhoun were

regarded as friendly to internal improvements and the tariff,

and this paper put these issues above all others.

These are only examples of the shifting of party groups

in the state before the contest became definitely limited.

A proposal of an eastern paper, made early in the cam-

paign, to run Governor Morrow or former Governor Worth-

ington for vice-president was looked upon unfavorably by the

Clay leaders as an attempt to secure Ohio's support to Adams

by an offer of the second place to the western state. The Scioto

Gazette declared that the people of Ohio were determined to sup-

port Henry Clay for president and that nothing but "the act

of God" could induce them to alter their resolution.22  This

rash statement returned to plague its author again and again

during the closely fought campaign. The suggestion of an

Ohio man for the vice-presidency dropped out of sight, finding

little support anywhere.

Late in 1823 the Clinton movement took on renewed life.

The National Republican in a significant editorial urged the peo-

ple of the middle states and the west to put an end to the

 

Cincinnati National Republican, May 6, 1823; May 13, 1823.

19 Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Aug. 2, 1823.

20Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, April 24, 1823.

21Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, March 5, 1824.

22 Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, in the Columbus Ga-

zette, June 5, 1823.



176 Ohio Arch

176       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

intrigues and cabals and factional strife and unite on a candi-

date, DeWitt Clinton, who was decidedly the most popular in

Ohio. The West would yield the "partialities of personal at-

tachment" to higher considerations.23

On December 2, a large meeting of Jefferson county citizens

held at Steubenville nominated Clinton for president and Andrew

Jackson for vice-president.24  The National Republican on the

same day announced that New York would support Clinton

and that he would be a candidate, 25 an assertion at variance

with the real situation. On December 16 a public meeting was

held at Cincinnati to name a presidential candidate, Mayor Bur-

net presiding. The crowd proved so large that the building

could not hold it. The Steubenville resolutions were adopted

and Clinton named for the presidency by a vote of 450 for him

to 330 for all other candidates.26

The Cincinnati meeting aroused much enthusiasm among the

Clinton followers and plans were immediately set on foot to

hold a meeting at Columbus early in January which would be

more than a local expression of sentiment. The meeting, when

held, did not prove to be a Clinton endorsement affair at all.

About four-fifths of those present were from Columbus and

vicinity, and were more inclined towards Clay than Clinton.

After much hot debating, especially over slavery charges

directed against Clay, the meeting voted to adjourn without

making a nomination. The Clinton followers desired to re-

main and nominate their candidate but the confusion became

so great that they were forced to give up the attempt.27  The

National Republican charged the Clay men with adjourning

the meeting to prevent Clinton's nomination since Clay could

not have received a majority.28

The Columbus meeting injured the Clinton movement and

 

23National Republican, Sept. 19, 1823.

24Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, Dec. 4, 1823.

25National Republican, Dec. 2, 1823.

26Ibid., Dec. 19, 1823.

27 Columbus Gazette, Jan. 15, 1824; Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Ga-

zette, Jan. 20, 1824.

28 National Republican, Jan. 27, 1824.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.     177

 

gave opposing papers an opportunity to cast ridicule upon it.29

But the decline of the movement was not due to this failure

but to the very apparent fact that Clinton had never an-

nounced himself a candidate and that New York had shown

little enthusiasm  for him.  A  few  other Clinton meetings

were held in Ohio30 but his cause was declining. The Western

Herald and Steubenville Gazette early in February admitted

that Clinton's chances were doubtful.31 The National Repub-

lican would not concede his cause hopeless until news came

of the failure of the bill in the New York legislature to pro-

vide for popular election of the presidential electors.32  This

doomed the Clinton movement as the New York legislature,

which chose the electors, was completely dominated by Van

Buren and his friends, who were hostile to Clinton.     The

National Republican blamed the Clay men in New York for

the defeat of the electoral bill33 and grew increasingly hostile

to Clay, eventually declaring for Jackson.

On April 1O the Clinton committee of correspondence at

Cincinnati formally dissolved.34  Of the ten members seven

declared for Clay, three for Jackson. The Cincinnati Gazette

declared that the majority of the Clinton men followed the

majority of the committee and joined the Clay forces, but the

remarkable growth of the Jackson strength around Cincinnati

seems to indicate that Jackson benefited most by Clinton's

failure there. The movement for Clinton was an ambitious

project to unite New York and perhaps New England with

the Northwest but it failed because local considerations were

too strong in each case. Thus Adams was left as the only

northern candidate to compete for Ohio's vote with two western

candidates.  This necessitates a brief account of the disap-

 

29 Scioto Gazette, Jan. 17, 1824; Hamilton Intelligencer and Adver-

tiser, Jan. 27, Feb. 17, 1824; Cincinnati Gazette, Jan. 20, 1824.

30National Republican, Feb. 13, Feb. 24; Cincinnati Gazette, Feb.

17, 1824.

31 Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, Feb. 7.

32 National Republican, April 9, 1824.

33 Ibid., April 9, April 13, April 16, 1824.

34 National Republican, April 13; Cincinnati Gazette, April 16.

Vol. XXVI-12.



178 Ohio Arch

178       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

pearance of the Calhoun party, for Calhoun was still in the

race in the early months of 1824.

Calhoun was popular in Ohio because of his strong stand

for internal improvements but he was never a leading candidate.

With Clay in the field he could hardly hope to win the state's

electoral votes from the great western advocate of the domestic

policy. Still his friends kept up the fight in his behalf and

had several newspapers quite friendly to his cause. So long

as he had a chance to carry Pennsylvania, Calhoun was given

consideration in Ohio. Neither the Adams nor the Clay men

were very hostile to him, as each probably had hopes of eventu-

ally securing the support of his followers in case his chances

did not warrant a contest in the state. The Scioto Gazette

did, however, question whether Calhoun's tariff sentiments

were exactly in unison with those of Pennsylvania and the

West though it gave approval to his past career.35

The National Republican, favoring Clinton, was hostile to

Calhoun. It declared him not qualified in age, experience, or

public service,36 and later charged him with trying to supplant

Adams whom it was supposed he would ultimately support.37

It referred to him as "a man of second-rate talents, although

of first-rate pretentions."38 and when his withdrawal was an-

nounced declared he had never had any real popularity and

was just discovering the fact himself.39 Yet this same paper

was soon obliged to give Calhoun its hearty support for the

vice-presidency on the Jackson ticket.

Calhoun's leading Ohio supporter was William McLean, the

Postmaster General. He was quite active in urging Calhoun's

claims40 and was much disappointed at the action of the Ohio

legislators in naming Clay as their choice.41 But his activities

35Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Feb. 26, 1824.

36 National Republican, March 14, 1823.

37 National Republican, Jan. 9, 1824.

38 Ibid., Jan. 13, 1824.

39Ibid., March 5, 1824.

40Trimble, "Memoirs of an Old Politician," Jour. of Amer. History,

III, 617.

41McLean to Trimble, Jan. 31, 1823, Papers of Gov. Allen Trimble,

Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, X, 302.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    179

subjected him to some criticism, especially his use of the mails

for Calhoun pamphlets and newspapers.42  The declaration of

the Harrisburg convention in Pennsylvania for Jackson led to

Calhoun's withdrawal. His leading newspaper in Ohio, the

Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, went over to Clay as the

champion of the domestic policy and the Calhoun movement

quietly dissolved. The race in the state was now between

Adams, Clay and Jackson.

In national politics the most important event of the early

campaign was the holding of the congressional caucus in Feb-

ruary, 1824, which named William H. Crawford as the Repub-

lican candidate for the presidency.43  The caucus was very un-

popular in Ohio and the West. Western democracy was very

bitter against the selection of a presidential candidate by mem-

bers of Congress as this meant to westerners intrigue and cor-

ruption and perversion of the people's will. The fact that

Crawford, most disliked of all candidates in the West, was

the beneficiary of the caucus only added fuel to the flame. In

Ohio, even the Clay papers, which had been rather friendly to

Crawford, joined in the general denunciation of the sixty-six

members of Congress who had dared to hold a caucus. Only

one Ohio man, Benjamin Ruggles, United States Senator, at-

tended the caucus, and he was chosen its chairman. For this

he brought down upon himself an avalanche of criticism, which

for a time threatened to blast his political career.

A few extracts from leading newspapers will show how in-

tense feeling was against the caucus and its nominee. The Na-

tional Republican called it "the second edition of the Hartford

convention" and declared its members were principally apostate

Federalists.44 The Delaware Patron, an Adams organ, ex-

pressed its gratification that "amidst all the blandishments of

intriguers and the arts of corruptionists, but one member of

the Ohio delegation has been seduced from the path of duty,

 

42Columbus Gazette, Feb. 26, Mar. 11, Mar. 25, 1824; Cincinnati

Advertiser, Jan. 10, 1824.

43Washington Republican, in Hamilton Intelligencer, Mar. 2, 1824.

44 National Republican, Feb. 27, 1824.



180 Ohio Arch

180      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

to the imminent hazard of his popularity and usefulness."45 The

Columbus Gazette, a Clay paper, declared the conduct of Mr.

Ruggles "at variance with that of the balance of our representa-

tion in Congress, and also with that of the great body of the

people of this state."46  Clay himself was quite aroused and

wrote to Brooke that "the miserable attempt at a caucus" would

destroy whatever prospects Crawford had.47

The only expression of sentiment favorable to the caucus

was a public meeting at Zanesville held to indorse its action.

But the opponents of the caucus controlled the meeting and the

few favorable to it were forced to withdraw to another room

where they passed resolutions approving the action of the

caucus.48 The failure of this attempted indorsement only caused

further ridicule and showed how impossible it was for Crawford

to expect any support in Ohio.

All discussion of the Crawford candidacy could be omitted

from this account of the Ohio campaign were it not for its rela-

tions to the Clay candidacy and the threatening complications

which resulted therefrom; for Clay's opponents capitalized the

unpopularity of Crawford in the state and used it with effect

against Clay. But this will be taken up in connection with the

Clay campaign.

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

PARTIES AND CONVENTIONS.

The Ohio campaign was now definitely limited to Adams,

Clay, and Jackson. The rise of the Jackson movement needs

to be explained as it was the most striking political phenomenon

of the spring of 1824. The candidacy of Andrew Jackson had

previously aroused little attention in Ohio, and though it found

some newspaper support, in general it was not taken seriously.

Adams and Clay were the leading candidates with Clinton

45Delaware Patron, Mar. 4, 1824.

46Columbus Gazette, Feb. 26, 1824.

47 Clay, Works, IV, 86.

48 Ohio Republican, Mar. 6, in Scioto Gazette, Mar. 11; Steubenville

Gazette, Mar. 13.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.  181

threatening and Calhoun a kind of second-choice favorite of

the Clay and Adams men. But the democratic character of the

Jacksonian movement and the personal popularity of the "old

hero" could not help but make a strong appeal to the west,

and with the decline of Clinton and Calhoun this became very

evident.

In Cincinnati the trend toward Jackson was surprisingly

strong. The Cincinnati Advertiser had been urging Jackson's

cause but it was joined in April by the National Republican, thus

giving the Jackson men two influential newspapers in their sup-

port. The nomination of Jackson by the Harrisburg convention

had caused much jubilation and, coming at the same time as

the failure of the Clinton and Calhoun movements, raised the

hopes of the Jackson men in Ohio to a high pitch. Jackson

meetings were held in some counties in April to forward his

candidacy.1 A Cincinnati meeting on April 17 proved rather

small compared with the large Clinton meeting of the previous

December2 but it was the beginning of the Jackson organization

at Cincinnati.

In May the Jackson corresponding committee of Cincinnati

and Hamilton county issued an address3 which was the first

general statement of the principles of Jacksonian democracy in

Ohio. It attacked the system of appointing members of Con-

gress to offices in the administration as a source of danger;

declared that "ill-founded constitutional scruples" had intervened

to prevent appropriations for national purposes, while truly un-

constitutional measures were pursued with avidity when it suited

those in power, that talent and respectability had no weight in

securing offices in opposition to executive favor; and demanded

a thorough reformation. It declared that the situation called

for a man who "will always consider talent and integrity the

only qualifications for promotion", "whose mind has never been

contaminated with the corruption of foreign courts, nor seduced

by the etiquette of the minions of arbitrary power-who pro-

motes and encourages the manufactures of his own country, and

National Republican, April 27.

2Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, April 20.

3National Republican, May 18.



182 Ohio Arch

182       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

was never duped by the wily insinuations of foreign ministers;

the man who never linked himself in with the corruptionists

of the day, nor put himself forth for public office in any case

but where his services were essential to the safety and welfare of

the nation." It closed with a stirring appeal to the uncorrupted

part of the community to support the savior of his country,

called forth like the great Cincinnatus of old to save the nation.

This was the war cry of Jacksonian democracy, the appeal

to the people. But it is to be noticed that the address did not

neglect the questions of the domestic policy, for it is to be

doubted whether the appeal would have gotten very far had

Jackson been suspected of unfriendliness to the fundamental

western interests. Nevertheless the Jackson campaign was based

first of all on the popularity of Jackson, other issues being rather

subordinated.

On May 29 the Jackson committee called a convention to

be held at Columbus on July 14 to form a Jackson electoral

ticket.4 Meanwhile friends of the other candidates had not been

idle. Both Clay and Adams electoral tickets had appeared.

The Columbus Gazette of March 25 printed for the first

time a list of Clay electors headed by William Henry Harrison

and former Governor Thomas Kirker, and containing the names

of a number of members of the last legislature. This ticket had

been agreed upon the previous winter by friends of Clay at Co-

lumbus, principally members of the legislature. It was imme-

diately attacked as a Crawford ticket in disguise,6 as the work

largely of a leading Federalist, and as containing former Federal-

ists on it.7

The leading Federalist referred to was Charles Hammond,

campaign manager for Clay in Ohio. Because of his prominence

in the campaign Hammond deserves some notice here. He had

come to Ohio in 181O, a young lawyer of Maryland birth, but

became editor of the Ohio Federalist at St. Clairsville, arousing

much feeling against himself by opposing the war of 1812. After

4 Cincinnati Advertiser, June 2.

5Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, April 15.

6National Republican, March 30, April 2.

7Ohio Monitor, in Hamilton Intelligencer, April 20.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    183

this he served in the legislature for several years, became supreme

court reporter, and, because of his unusual ability, was retained

as attorney for the state in the famous case of Osborn vs. The

Bank of the United States, when Ohio attempted to tax the

Bank. He was pitted against Clay, counsel for the Bank, but

felt no personal animosities and in 1824 became his political ad-

viser and campaign manager. Although the son of a slave-holder,

Hammond was nevertheless a strong opponent of slavery and

would have favored Adams in 1824 but for the latter's desertion

of the Federalist party years before. Nominally becoming a Re-

publican after his party's disappearance, Hammond really re-

mained a Federalist at heart. He disliked Jackson very much

and continued to oppose him until he retired from public life.8

With headquarters at Cincinnati, the heart of the Jackson

territory, Hammond directed Clay's campaign with skill and

moderation though subjected to bitter attacks personally. His

letters to the newspapers, especially the Liberty Hall and Cincin-

nati Gazette, of which he later became publisher, show a clear

perception of the true situation of the Clay forces and how it

was to be met.

The Clay electoral ticket had hardly appeared before an

Adams ticket was also published. On February 18 the members

of the legislature friendly to Adams met, and after passing

resolutions expressing their determination to support a candidate

opposed to the slaveholding policy, recommended an Adams

electoral ticket and appointed a committee of correspondence.9

Calvin Pease, who had been chief justice of the supreme court,

headed the ticket. He had headed the Federalist electoral ticket

in 1812, a fact which the Clay men did not neglect to point out.10

The list of proposed electors contained several members of the

legislature, among them Nathaniel McLean, brother of that ardent

Calhoun leader, Postmaster General McLean.11

And now appears one of the strange features of the cam-

 

8Smith's Charles Hammond, 12-36; Mansfield, Personal Memories,

174-179.

9Ohio Monitor, in Delaware Patron, April 29.

10 Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, April 29.

11 Ohio Monitor, in Delaware Patron, May 20.



184 Ohio Arch

184      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

paign - the attempt of the Adams men to secure the support of

the Jackson following by making Jackson their vice-presidential

candidate. The plan was not confined to Ohio nor did it origi-

nate there. Adams himself was probably the one who suggested

the idea; at any rate it at once found favor with him. Southard,

his cabinet colleague, warned him that this might strengthen

Jackson for the presidency, but Adams believed the idea cor-

rect in principle and the vice-presidency especially suited to Jack-

son.l2 The plan was to unite Jackson and Calhoun with Adams

by giving Jackson the vice-presidency and Calhoun some place,

presumably in the cabinet, more suited to his youth and activity.

This would strengthen the coming administration against the ex-

pected alliance of Crawford and Clay and add to it the much

desired western support.13

The Adams men in Ohio took up the plan, and even before

their electoral ticket was published, the Delaware Patron carried

the names of Adams for president and Jackson for vice-president

at the head of its columns.14 With the appearance of the "Free

Electoral Ticket", as the Adams list was called, Jackson's name

appeared regularly as the vice-presidential candidate. A Cin-

cinnati Adams follower, much alarmed at Jackson's strength in

the Miami country, suggested a ticket pledged to Adams and

Jackson and free to vote for either for president as circumstances

should require.15 But the Adams men had no intention of thus

weakening their support of the New England candidate. They

continued to support Jackson for the second place until late in

the summer when his name was quietly dropped from the ticket.

This attempted union was doomed to failure because Jack-

son had shown too much strength as a presidential candidate to

be easily put into an inferior place. His followers were too con-

fident of success to be willing to unite themselves with the "aristo-

cratic candidate." Neither the Adams nor the Clay men in

 

12Adams, Memoirs, VI, 253.

13 P. P. F. DeGrand to Gen. Dearborn, Jan., 1824, Magazine of

Amer. Hist., VIII, 629.

14 Delaware Patron, April 8.

15 Cutler, Life and Times of Ephraim Cutler, 189, H. D. Ward to

Cutler.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   185

Ohio seemed to have realized the strength of Jackson's follow-

ing and each hoped for its eventual union with themselves. The

Adams newspapers rather avoided attacking Jackson's candidacy

until late in the campaign when union was seen to be hopeless.

The Clay papers for the most part were quite conciliatory

toward Jackson and his supporters until it became evident that

he would not be withdrawn in Ohio. The Cincinnati Gazette,

facing two Jackson papers at Cincinnati, let loose at them rather

early, and in March was inviting General Jackson to expose the

supposed corruption in the national government and show what

was to be reformed.16 But it was in an exceptional situation.

Throughout most of the state newspapers were divided principally

between Clay and Adams and spent most of their time attacking

each other to the neglect of Jackson.

The Jackson presses were not at all lenient with Clay and

Adams, but, led by the National Republican, indulged in a cam-

paign of such abuse and vilification that Hammond formally pro-

tested through the Gazette against the attitude of the National

Republican and urged that the campaign be carried on without

indulging in personalities as there were real grounds of difference

between the candidates.17  His protest went unheeded, and as a

result, before the campaign was over, the Gazette and the Na-

tional Crisis, an Adams paper, were both attacking the Jackson

men with their own weapons. The fierce attacks of the Jackson

presses on their opponents and the fact that Jackson was the

leading candidate around Cincinnati had a tendency to draw the

Adams and Clay men somewhat more closely together there than

elsewhere. They did not cease their warfare, it is true, but they

did center their attacks on the Jackson party. The way was thus

made easier for their eventual union.

No Jackson electoral ticket was presented at the time the

other tickets appeared, but meetings were held in various counties

in May and June and certain individuals recommended as electors

in the different congressional districts. The Jackson men con-

trasted the popular character of these nominations with the man-

 

16 Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, March 19.

17 Ibid., May 21. Letter Signed "L."



186 Ohio Arch

186       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

ner in which the Clay and Adams tickets were prepared.18 The

final arrangement of the electoral ticket and the formal presenta-

tion of Jackson's candidacy were to be done by the state conven-

tion called by the Cincinnati Jackson committee.

This convention was to be composed of delegates chosen by

the people of the various counties. This was the nearest ap-

proach to a regularly constituted delegate nominating convention

that Ohio had yet seen. It was neither a state nor a national

nominating convention but a kind of state presidential ratifying

convention. It was one of the new political practices of Jack-

sonian democracy and was on the model of the Pennsylvania

Jackson convention at Harrisburg.

As it actually occurred the Ohio convention proved a deep

disappointment to the followers of Jackson.  It met on July

14 but only a few delegates were present, variously estimated

at from eleven to thirty, with only eight or nine counties rep-

resented.19 It framed an electoral ticket and appointed a com-

mittee to prepare an address to the people. For some reason

the committee delayed publication of the address until Septem-

ber, but as it was a kind of Jackson platform it may be con-

sidered in connection with the convention

The address,20 after praising Jackson's integrity, patriotism,

and talents, proceeded to attack the principle of legislative nomi-

nations as an interference with popular elections and pointed out

as a horrible example of legislative domination the state of New

York, expressing the fear that Ohio would likewise become "the

sport of intriguing demagogues" and "subject to the wickedness

and distraction of an organized system of office brokerage, and

aristocratic domination." Both congressional and state caucuses

were attacked.

The system of cabinet succession to the presidency was as-

sailed because cabinet members through their power and use of

the patronage could create powerful parties in their favor. The

address declared that if either Adams or Crawford were success-

18Hamilton Intelligencer, June 15; National Republican, July 23.

19Columbus Gazette, July 22; Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette,

July 23; National Republican, July 23.

20Hamilton Intelligencer,Sept. 27, Oct. 4.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   187

ful the nation would be distracted with two contending parties,

"losing sight of the interests of the people in a virulent and selfish

contest for power." Hence, a man should be chosen, aloof from

intrigues and cabals, who would call into public service "the most

intelligent and virtuous part of the community."

Then it took up the question of Clay's candidacy. This was

greatly deplored as unfortunately producing a division among

those who entertained the same sentiments as to a national policy,

and Clay was urged to withdraw on the ground that there was no

reasonable expectation that he would receive sufficient support to

reach the House of Representatives. Another reason was that

he was much younger than his competitors and could easily wait,

and being from the same section as Jackson, should give way to

that hero and devoted patriot of two wars. Furthermore, the

time honored practice of selecting the president from the vener-

able sages of the nation should not be departed from. Jackson

the last of the Revolutionary patriots, without a congressional

caucus or cabinet influence to back him, was emphatically the

candidate of the people and should be chosen.

Part of the address was given over to a biography of the

candidate and a eulogy of his talents and abilities. Among other

things it was stated that "his views of public policy, as to inter-

nal improvements and protection to domestic manufactures,

eminently qualified him for the chief seat in our national coun-

cils." This rather equivocal statement contains the only direct

mention of the burning issues in connection with Jackson, al-

though his friendliness to the domestic policy is implied in several

places.

In conclusion Jackson's prospects were set forth, 120 elec-

toral votes, including Ohio's 16, being claimed for him and,

in case of Clay's withdrawal, Missouri and Kentucky also, giving

him 137 votes, 6 more than a majority. If all remained in the

race and the election went to the House, the result would be im-

possible to foretell; "but from the general impression which pre-

vails, that that body would elect the candidate who had received

the greatest number of electoral vates, and not incur the respon-

sibility and obloquy of selecting one less popular with the people,

it is believed General Jackson would there be chosen." Thus



188 Ohio Arch

188       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

early appears the democratic theory of Benton and the other

Jackson men that it was the duty of the House merely to ratify

the popular will by choosing the candidate with the highest vote.

Calhoun was indorsed for the vice-presidency because of his ad-

vocacy of internal improvements and protection to manufactures.

This address of the Jackson committee shows very clearly the

nature of the appeal that was made for Jackson's election. It is

not his advocacy of any particular measure nor his stand on im-

portant issues but his personality, his services to the nation, his

democracy, and his freedom from intrigue and corruption that

are set forth in his behalf. Sectional feelings and great economic

questions are subordinated to a popular appeal for the election of

a popular man. Democracy was asserting its own importance.

The Jackson convention was not the only one held in Ohio.

Both the Clay men and the Adams folllowers held meetings at

Columbus in this same month which, while not strictly delegate

conventions in the sense that the Jackson assemblage was, were

quite similar to it in most respects.

On July 15 the friends of Henry Clay attending the sitting of

the Federal Court at Columbus held a public meeting to present

the claims of their favorite to the people.21 Though only an in-

formal meeting it was, nevertheless, more like a convention in

size and number of counties represented than the Jackson party's

convention. There were about 300 present and the meeting was

in charge of the three members of the central committee of cor-

respondence. The committee reported the written pledges of the

Clay electors to support Clay to the end. This was to offset the

charge that they were to be delivered to Crawford. Resolutions

were adopted by the meeting in favor of Clay for president and

Nathan Sanford of New York for vice-president, and a general

committee of one from each county was appointed. As the elec-

toral ticket had been prepared the preceding winter, the principal

business of the meeting was to issue an address, which, unlike the

Jackson statement, appeared at once.

It discussed the origins of Clay's candidacy, pointed out the

evils which reflecting men saw, as Monroe's retirement ap-

 

Columbus Gazette, July 22; Scioto Gazette, July 22, July 29.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   189

preached, in a struggle between members of the cabinet for the

presidency and the dangers of continuing "the same influence in

office, which virtually would be a departure from the maxim, that

rotation in office was essential to the preservation of the re-

public." Thus, on the principle that no member of the cabinet

should be chosen, attention was naturally directed to Henry Clay,

intimately acquainted with western needs, known to the nation as

a liberal, intelligent statesman and to the world as a fearless

American leader, successful at Ghent and the first to raise his

voice for South America. On these grounds, declared the ad-

dress, the citizens of the West determined to nominate him as

Monroe's successor, and they support that nomination on broad

national grounds, not sectional as has been asserted.

Then followed a paragraph setting forth Clay's strong ad-

vocacy of internal improvements at national expense and the pro-

tection of domestic industry together with an account of his work

to secure these objects.

Jackson's candidacy received consideration. The presence

of another candidate in the West supported with the same objects

in view was deeply regretted but the opinion was expressed that

"the diversion will be much less extensive and mischievous than

is by some supposed."

It is frankly admitted in the address that Clay's only hope

of election was through the House of Representatives but the

blame for this was placed upon the presence of another candi-

date from the West. It was denied that Clay's withdrawal

would result in an election by the electors or would mate-

rially change the situation, except possibly to place a member

of the cabinet in the presidential chair, "an event, which it

was the first object of the friends of Mr. Clay to prevent;

not in reference to the men, but to the principle."

Then followed a list of the states in which Clay had

strong hopes and a forecast of how Ohio would vote. Nathan

Sanford of New York, chancellor of that state and a former

United States senator, was put forward as Clay's running mate

on the ground that he was devoted to the same great national

interests.

In their opposition to cabinet succession to the presidency



190 Ohio Arch

190       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

both the Clay and Jackson addresses express similar sentiments

though the sentiments of the former are more restrained. As

to the need for a united West they are agreed; but as to

which candidate shall withdraw they disagree. But the Clay

address makes a very different kind of appeal to the voters.

Clay's election is urged because of what he has accomplished

as a statesman and what he is advocating. The economic and

sectional issues appear prominently in the address. It is more

concerned with the issues, the Jackson address with Jackson.

Soon after this meeting was held Clay himself arrived in

Columbus to attend the sitting of the Federal Court. His pres-

ence doubtless accounts in part for the large number of Clay

men in Columbus at this time. He was much pleased with the

general situation and wrote to J. S. Johnston that the evidence

derivable from popular meetings all over the state placed be-

yond all doubt the final result.22

The third meeting of this month was the Adams gather-

ing, held on the same evening as the Clay meeting by the friends

of Adams attendant on the Federal Court.23 It was called on

short notice and only a small number was present. But an

address was issued, nevertheless, calling upon the followers of

Adams to work harder and setting forth his claims to the presi-

dency. It began by charging the opposition, especially the Clay

partisans, with striving to create distrust in the Adams ranks

and causing them to lose confidence in their own strength. On

the vital question of Adams' attitude toward western interests,

the address said: "Prejudices were attempted to be excited

against Mr. Adams by representing him as being unfriendly

to the interests of the West. The whole tenor of his conduct

refutes the charge. We might retaliate on our opponents, that

under a pretense of advocating the rights of the West they are

advocating the interests of the slaveholding section of the

nation. But this is not our wish; we wish to create no sec-

tional feelings. We believe that Mr. Adams, if elected presi-

dent, will be in fact a president of all the states, that he will

 

22Clay to J. S. Johnston, July 21, 1824, Works of Clay, IV, 97.

23 Ohio Monitor, in Delaware Patron, July 22.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   191

not become subservient to the views of any party of men or

the local interests, of any part of the public."

Then followed a forecast of the possibilities of Adams in

Ohio to show his followers that there was plenty of incentive

to action. Especially was encouragement derived from  the

belief that Adams had the best chance in the electoral college

and that Ohio's vote would prevent a House election. Return-

ing to the question of western interests, the address declared

Adams a consistent supporter of internal improvements and

favorable to a protective tariff, and concluded with a statement

of his high qualification for the presidency.

As a whole the address gives the impression that the Adams

men were on the defensive and at a certain disadvantage. The

considerable space given to the issues of tariff and internal im-

provements shows the difficulties the Adams men were having

over these questions while their desire to see the slavery issue not

entirely overlooked is evident. It illustrated the strength and

the weakness of the Adams movement in Ohio.

With these meetings at Columbus and the addresses issued

by them the campaign entered on its final stages. It now be-

came a desperate scramble for votes and there was little in the

public or private life of a candidate that was overlooked. To

understand the importance of the questions raised and their in-

fluence upon the final result, a somewhat detailed consideration

of the campaigns carried on by the partisans of each candidate

is necessary.

 

CHAPTER V.

 

THE CAMPAIGN FOR CLAY.

The Clay campaign was vitally connected with the interests

of the West. Clay's record, so far as these were concerned, could

not be attacked and his followers made much of his strong stand

on these questions. If the campaign was to be fought out on the

issue of the friendliness of the candidates towards the tariff and

internal improvements, then Clay was Ohio's logical candidate.

Had there been any doubts as to his attitude on these ques-

tions previously, there were certainly no grounds for any after



192 Ohio Arch

192       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

the session of Congress of 1823-4 ended. The General Survey

Bill, in which the advocates of internal improvements felt such an

interest, received his hearty support, while the tariff of 1824 was

strongly advocated by him. His speeches1 were reprinted with

favorable comment in newspapers all over Ohio. Even the Cin-

cinnati Advertiser, strongly for Jackson, praised Clay's defense

of the tariff2 and refused to attack him during the whole cam-

paign though it urged his withdrawal in Jackson's favor. The

Scioto Gazette probably expressed the general opinion of Ohio

on the tariff of 1824 when it declared it not quite equal to the

wishes of the friends of domestic industry but a favorable be-

ginning.3

Clay thus came through the session of Congress in a position

to make a strong bid for a united western support. His vigorous

fight for both the protective system and internal improvements

strengthened him generally throughout the West and probably had

much to do with his success in Ohio. But the very fact that he

was such a strong supporter of western interests gave his can-

didacy such a sectional character that he proved very unacceptable

to the other parts of the country. His lack of support outside his

own section was a disappointment to him.4 But his attitude dur-

ing the whole campaign was probably expressed in his letter to

Brooke in February, 1823, when he said, "Connect yourself with

the West, and are you not, whether the election is won or lost, on

the vantage ground?"5

Clay had other things in his favor. He had been a firm and

consistent member of his party. His advocacy of South Ameri-

can independence had endeared him to the West as the fearless

champion of human rights. His followers declared he had been

the particular guardian of western interests at the negotiation of

the treaty of Ghent.6 In short, Clay's previous career had in it

much for western Americans to admire and little for them to

 

1Columbus Gazette, April 8, May 6.

2Cincinnati Advertiser, March 3.

3Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, July 1.

4Clay to Brooke, Aug. 28, 1823; Works of Clay, IV, 78-83.

5Works of Clay, IV, 74.

6Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Feb. 26, 1824.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    193

criticise. But his attitude on the Missouri question was a weak-

ness in Ohio. Very early in the campaign he was charged with

opposing the restriction of slavery in Missouri and bringing about

the second Missouri compromise in order to add another slave

state to the Union.7 His opposition to the views of the Ohio

congressional delegation on that question was pointed out and

urged as a reason why Ohio should not support him.8 Because

Adams was a northerner and would profit most from the slavery

issue the Adams men relied largely on Ohio's dislike of slavery

to injure Clay's chances. This was their best weapon and they

made the most of it. It was kept before the people, even in the

last stages of the campaign, in the effort to injure Clay, but was

generally displaced in public interest by other questions. A lead-

ing Adams paper, urging Ohio not to support the advocate of

slavery, exclaimed despairingly: "The ignis fatuus 'western in-

terest', is like to absorb every sound moral and political considera-

tion."9

It is probable that the slavery issue did keep many sincere

friends of internal improvements, especially those of New Eng-

land birth, from supporting Clay. But there were many others,

like Charles Hammond and James Wilson, the Steubenville

editor, who were willing, though opponents of slavery, to see it

slip into the background and more pressing problems take its

place. Clay's friends were not without a defense against charges

of friendliness to slavery. It was stated that he had worked to

secure emancipation in the Kentucky convention of 1798; that he

was a supporter of the American Colonization Society; that he

never appeared at the bar against slaves suing for their freedom

but had acted on behalf of many; that his attitude on the Missouri

question was due to his constitutional views and that he had

privately urged a member of the Missouri convention to work

for gradual emancipation.10 At any rate it was quite evident that

he was not an ardent pro-slavery advocate or even from the

 

7Ohio Monitor, Feb. 22, 1823.

8Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette, Mar. 22, 1823.

9Ohio Monitor, in Delaware Patron, Sept. 16.

10 Article by "Seventy-Six," Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette,

May 7, 1824.

Vol. XXVI- 13.



194 Ohio Arch

194       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

South. He was a western man and this overshadowed his sup-

posed southern sympathies.

But there was an incident in Clay's career which threatened

to injure his chances in Ohio as much as his slavery attitude.

This was his connection with the United States Bank. The bank

had been very unpopular in the state for its actions during and

following the panic of 1819. The attempt to tax the bank, one

result of this dislike of that institution, had brought on a bitter

contest in which the state had not succeeded. Clay was one of

the principal attorneys for the great corporation and thus caused

himself much criticism. The contest was ended by 1824, how-

ever, and though the bank was by no means popular in the state,

the question was regarded generally as a dead issue, - so dead,

in fact, that the chief counsellor for the state in the bank con-

troversy, Charles Hammond, became Clay's campaign manager

while other opponents of the bank were his supporters. But

there was a smouldering resentment which occasionally showed

itself during the campaign in certain newspapers unfriendly to

Clay.11

The connection of Clay with the bank did not injure him

greatly except in the southwestern section of the state where

local interests were involved. The activities of the branch at

Cincinnati in 1821 and 1822, when the business depression was

at its worst, had aroused much bitterness. The branch had

suddenly called in its loans and then discontinued business

causing much distress. Debtors were shown no leniency and

as a result the bank acquired a considerable amount of valuable

real estate.12 Clay, as legal advisor for the institution, was

held partly to blame for this. While this was not put forward

as strongly as some other charges, it appeared often enough to

show that there was sufficient deep-seated resentment against

Clay in Cincinnati to prevent his cause from making much

headway. An article signed "Cassius",appearing in the National

Republican, charged that Clay, though opposed to the first

United States Bank, had favored chartering the second and had

11 Ohio Monitor, Mar. 1, 1823; Hamilton Intelligencer, Feb. 24, 1823;

Steubenville Gazette, Mar. 22, 1823.

12Burnet, Notes on the Northwest Territory, 408.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.     195

allied himself with it in order to have its wealth and power back

of him in his efforts to reach the presidency, and that he was

using his power as counsellor for the bank to secure the support

of those indebted to it.13 Other articles intending to discredit

him through his connection with the bank appeared in the closing

weeks of the campaign.14  But the most significant of all is the

admission in the Clay organ of Cincinnati, the Liberty Hall and

Cincinnati Gazette, that much prejudice has heretofore existed

against Mr. Clay among the citizens of this place on the sup-

position that he advised the commencement of the suits against

the debtors of the branch bank." The editorial admitted that

it still prevailed to some extent but expressed the belief that it

was wearing away as it was without foundation.15 It evidently

persisted, however, for the vote in Cincinnati showed Clay least

popular of all the candidates. Charges and misstatements of

facts can be combatted openly but prejudices such as this one

persist in spite of all denials. The bank issue, fortunately for

Clay, was largely confined to Cincinnati and vicinity.

Though his opponents centered their attack on Clay as a

public man, his private life was not neglected. The Jackson

men, though indulging in personalities against their opponents,

did not attack Clay's private character because their own can-

didate was not invulnerable in this respect. But the Adams

partisans, proud of their candidate's character, hardly used the

proper restraint in attacking Clay. He was charged with being

a gambler and a duellist and utterly disqualified for the presi-

dency as to moral character.16   Crawford and Jackson were

not entirely neglected on this point either. "When men of im-

moral character and dissolute principles ascend to the helm of

government," said one writer, "she will soon become the scoff

and derision of the world."17  Charges against Clay's private

life, however, were of little importance compared to other ques-

 

13National Republican, Aug. 13, 1824.

14Ibid., Aug. 17, Oct. 15, Oct. 22, 1824.

15Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, May 14, 1824.

16 Numerous statements in the Ohio Monitor and the Delaware

Patron.

17Letter to the National Crises, in Delaware Patron, Sept. 2, 1824.



196 Ohio Arch

196      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

tions raised against him. But it was neither his public career

nor his private life that furnished the most successful issue

against him but a certain political charge that appeared during

the campaign, was widely circulated, and immediately disap-

peared at its close. This was the supposed Clay-Crawford

coalition.

The friendliness of Clay and Crawford was quite apparent

early in the campaign, and caused Adams and Calhoun to draw

more closely together. There was a feeling that the first two

would be eventually found on the same side.l8 The hopeless-

ness of Crawford's cause in the West led his supporters there

to join the Clay party. They were quite welcome, but it led the

way to the charge that this union was a part of a general plan

whereby the Clay and Crawford forces were to unite and, in

case of either's cause becoming hopeless, the other was to receive

the combined support of the two. Since Crawford had little

strength in the West and Clay in the East and South, it was

supposed that this alliance would work well. But as Crawford's

chances were much brighter throughout the nation as a whole,

this supposed agreement would give Clay's western support to

Crawford in the end. The opponents of Clay in Ohio seized

upon this charge as the best weapon to use against his popularity.

If Ohioans could be made to believe that support of Clay meant

eventually support of Crawford, "the intriguer and corrup-

tionist" and opponent of Western interests, then Clay's cause

would be irretrievably ruined.

As an actual fact this coalition never had any existence ex-

cept in the newspapers of the opponents of Clay. It had been

suggested by the Crawford men at different times during the

campaign as it would have been greatly to their advantage to

secure western support, if not in the electoral college, at least

in the House of Representatives where the election seemed cer-

tain to go. But Clay rejected all their overtures. He was

unwilling to see his own chances lessened, and besides saw the

impossibility of getting the West to support Crawford. He wrote

to Brooke that Crawford's friends were trying to exclude him

 

18 DeGrand to Dearborn. Jan., 1824, Mag. of Amer. Hist., VIII, 629.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    197

 

(Clay) from the House of Representatives in the hope that the

western support would go to their candidate. He declared this

plan utterly impossible because the northwestern states would

certainly go for Adams in case of his own exclusion from the

House election.19 Nevertheless the Crawford party held on to

some hope of a coalition, for Hammond, late in the campaign,

was urged from Washington to form a union of the Clay and

Crawford forces. Clay apparently to receive the vice-presidency.

He declined to act as agent in this affair, for which refusal he

was commended by Clay, who declared his purpose to refrain

from any arrangement or compromise.20 That is as far as the

idea of a coalition got. But some knowledge of these overtures

and the statements of certain Crawford papers outside of Ohio

and some Clay papers in the state furnished sufficient basis to

the opponents of Clay to raise a coalition charge and keep it from

losing force.

It appeared quite early in the campaign21 and apparently

was causing some trouble for the Columbus Gazette found it

necessary in January, 1824, to make a formal denial that Clay

intended to go over to Crawford in expectation of becoming

Secretary of State.22 The appearance of the Clay electoral ticket

in March brought forth the charge in definite form. The Na-

tional Republican, most persistent in raising this issue, declared

that the electoral ticket looked like a Crawford ticket, that Clay

might withdraw, and that Ohio must be on guard lest the state

be sold to Crawford.23

This at once drew an answer from Charles Hammond, who

stated that the electoral ticket was a Clay ticket through and

through and that so far as their second choice was known a

large majority of the proposed electors preferred Adams. He

admitted a personal preference for Crawford.24  The Cincin-

nati Gazette at the same time issued a denial of Clay's reported

 

19Clay to Brooke, Feb. 23, 1824, Works of Clay, IV, 86.

20Smith, Charles Hammond, 36-37.

21For example, Delaware Patron, Aug. 6, 1823.

22Columbus Gazette, Jan. 22, 1824.

23 National Republican, March 30.

24Ibid., April 2.



198 Ohio Arch

198       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

withdrawal.25 The Scioto Gazette pointed out the absurdity of

the electors having a second choice since they were pledged to

Clay and could cast only one ballot.26 But the National Repub-

lican kept up the coalition charge, pointing to the union of Clay

and Crawford men against the electoral bill in New York,27 and

the statements of certain Clay papers in Ohio friendly to Craw-

ford.28 The Muskingum Messenger and the Mad River Courant

appeared unnecessarily friendly toward the "Treasury candi-

date." A letter from Chillicothe to the Richmond (Va.) En-

quirer, declaring that Crawford had many influential friends in

Ohio but could not get the state's vote until the election reached

the House, was produced as additional proof.29  The Adams

partisans circulated the coalition charge quite as industriously

as the Jackson leaders and warned the people that voting for

Clay meant voting for Crawford.30

Coupled with the coalition charge were frequent reports of

Clay's withdrawal. These two things were by no means con-

sistent with each other, for the coalition charge was based prin-

cipally on the belief that Clay would remain in the race to hold

the West for Crawford, if not in the electoral college, at least

in the House. His withdrawal before election could hardly mean

that a Crawford ticket would carry the state. But the Adams

and Jackson followers desired to see Clay withdrawn in their in-

terest if possible; if not, that he should be so discredited by the

coalition charge that he would lose Ohio. Hence, both reports

were put forth, regardless of their lack of consistency.

A Washington dispatch to the Columbus Gazette declared

authoritatively that Clay would remain in the fight to the end as

his withdrawal would only result in the division of his followers

and would produce no effect on the final result, whereas, "if, con-

trary to all probability, Mr. Clay should not be returned to the

 

25Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, April 2.

26Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, April 15.

27 National Republican, April 16.

28Ibid., April 16, June 1.

29Ibid., June 22.

30Circleville Olive Branch, in Delaware Patron, June 24; Delaware

Patron, July 15.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    199

House, his friends having done their duty, will be able, by con-

centration, to control the event."31 The Chillicothe Supporter

and Scioto Gazette declared that Clay's withdrawal would give

Ohio to Adams.32 As has been seen, at the Columbus Clay meet-

ing of July, signed pledges of the Clay electors to vote for Clay

alone were produced to put a stop to both coalition and with-

drawal reports.33 But it did not end here.

The National Republican charged that the patronage of the

Treasury Department was being bestowed on the friends of Clay

in Ohio and pointed to the appointments of two Clay editors to

positions as public land agents.34  It kept up the charges of a

Clay-Crawford alliance to the end of the campaign with increas-

ing bitterness. The Adams party likewise continued it.35

The Scioto Gazette denied the truth of it again and again,

and finally declared that, if Clay's friends preferred Crawford,

the friends of the other candidates had no right to complain as

their bitterness towards Clay had labored to produce this very

result. It charged Adams and Jackson with being in alliance in

Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and the Carolinas. "And is it

not now in contemplation to make another transfer of all this

interest, so soon as the great question at issue shall come before

the House of Representatives? If so, is it becoming in the parti-

sans of Adams and Jackson to prate about "coalitions" . . .?36

In view of what actually happened in the House election, this

statement appears in a very curious light indeed.

The closing days of the campaign were marked by rumors

of Clay's withdrawal which gave his followers much concern.

Handbills and pamphlets were distributed, principally by Jack-

son partisans, declaring that Clay had withdrawn and that his

friends in Kentucky had gone over to Jackson.37 The Clay men

at Cincinnati prepared for such rumors by organizing a "Clay

 

31 Columbus Gazette, July 1.

32Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, July 8.

33 Columbus Gazette, July 22.

34 National Republican, Aug. 13.

Ohio Monitor, in Delaware Patron, Sept. 16.

36 Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Sept. 30.

37 Ibid., Oct. 14, Oct. 21.



200 Ohio Arch

200       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

 

Committee of Vigilance" to counteract any false reports and keep

the Clay followers on guard. A double-column warning was pub-

lished in the Gazette urging the voters to pay no attention to these

withdrawal rumors.38

The fact that Clay would receive little support in the East

and the growing doubt that he would have sufficient electoral

votes to reach the House were severe handicaps for his followers,

as he well knew39 That they succeeded in Ohio must be attri-

buted largely to the strength of the party of western interests

which was able to overcome the worst objections raised against

their candidate. The support of the Crawford men in Ohio

probably did Clay's cause as much harm as good, for their activi-

ties furnished the basis for the strongest objection which the op-

ponents of Clay could make use of. In this way alone could any

doubt be raised that a Clay victory in Ohio meant a sacrifice of

western interests. Clay was distinctively the candidate of the

tariff and internal improvement men of the West, while Craw-

ford was just as distinctively not. Had the coalition been effected

it would probably have cost Clay the vote of Ohio and perhaps

the whole West. As it was, the supposed existence of such an

alliance proved a serious factor, and only the direct open manner

in which Hammond, General Harrison and other Clay leaders

met the charge saved the day.

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI.

 

THE CAMPAIGN FOR JACKSON.

The nature of the Jackson campaign has already been given

some consideration. As has been stated, the campaign was based

largely on the personality and popularity of the "old hero". It

was the man of the people against the aristocratic party on the

one hand and the intriguers and corruptionists on the other. Such

a campaign seemed irrational and without basis to the Clay and

Adams leaders, who were inclined to regard the Jackson move-

 

38Liberty Halland Cincinnati Gazette, Oct. 1.

Clay to J. S. Johnston, Aug. 31, 1824, Works of Clay, IV, 98.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.      201

ment as a temporary outburst which would soon pass away.

Each hoped to gain by it. Jackson was regarded as a good sol-

dier but out of question for the presidency.1

The attitude of Jackson toward western interests deserves

notice. His supporters all asserted his friendliness to the tariff

and internal improvements and declared that, being the stronger

candidate, he should have a united West back of him. People

generally seemed to have taken it for granted that, because he

was a westerner, he was naturally a tariff man and friendly to

internal improvements. At least there was not much inclination

to raise the charge of unfriendliness to western interests against

him. Jackson men could point to his vote in the Senate for the

tariff of 1824 and his letter to Dr. Coleman as evidences of his

favorable attitude towards the tariff. The Coleman letter aroused

enthusiasm among the Jackson followers2 and doubtless aided his

cause with the friends of the tariff, moderate though its expres-

sions were.

The Cincinnati Gazette accused Jackson of voting without

principle on the tariff bill because he had voted to strike out

duties on cotton bagging to please the South, so it was charged,

and for the bill as a whole including the duty on iron to please

Pennsylvania.3  It had already expressed its suspicions of him

because his strongholds were in the South, which was opposed

to the tariff.4 The Gazette later argued that the next president

must be a friend of internal improvements and domestic manu-

factures, and that the domestic system had a thousand friends

more decided and efficient than General Jackson.5 But this was

not directly charging Jackson with hostility to western interests

and so did not carry far.

The partisans of Jackson were constantly urging Clay to

withdraw so that their candidate could have a united western

 

1For example, Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Feb. 21,

1824; Aug. 19, 1824.

2Hamilton Intelligencer, June 29; National Republican, Aug. 24.

3Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, May 28.

4Cincinnati Gazette, April 27.

5Cincinnati Gazette, in Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette,

Aug. 12.



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support since both stood for the same interests. But the Na-

tional Republican seemed to believe that this could only be

accomplished by bitterly attacking the Clay men as intriguers

and corruptionists and referring to them as "the caucus junto"

in order to discredit the Clay movement. The Cincinnati Adver-

tiser took a most unusual attitude, quite the reverse of the

other Jackson paper. It supported Jackson but expressed great

admiration for Clay as a friend of western interests and desired

him to withdraw, even suggesting that he be made Secretary

of State if Jackson were elected.6  Its attitude was that the

West should unite on its strongest candidate as against the can-

didates unfriendly to the West. The editor, Moses Dawson,

proceeded on the theory that Jackson and Clay had everything

in common in opposition to Adams.7 But plausible as it sounds,

this was not actually the case. Clay was represented more

especially the economic demands of the West, Jackson, western

democracy; and these were by no means identical, as the next

few years were to show.

Hammond answered the Advertiser in a letter which shows

that he was under no delusions as to a Jackson-Clay alliance.

He expressed his belief that Clay's withdrawal would give Ohio,

as well as New York, New Jersey and Indiana, to Adams. De-

claring the opposition of the great body of Clay followers to

Jackson, he said, "It is their sincere and honest conviction that

he does not possess the political intelligence and judicial in-

formation indispensable in a president of the States."  He

warned the Jackson men not to attribute the failure to elect a

western president to Clay: "Those who support him are not

liege subjects, whom he can transfer to General Jackson." He

declared that if Clay reached the House, there might be a west-

ern president.  "I believe that no man pretends that General

Jackson can be chosen by the House."8

The Scioto Gazette in the last days of the campaign de-

clared that there was not "the most remote probability" of

Jackson's election by the House and expressed the belief that

6Cincinnati Advertiser, Feb. 7, Feb. 28, Mar. 3, 1824.

7 Cincinnati Advertiser, Sept. 11.

8 Ibid., Sept. 11, Letter signed "L."



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    203

his interests would be transferred to Adams.9 An Adams paper

had also expressed the same views.10 Both Clay and Adams

parties seemed to have regarded the possibility of Jackson's

election by the House as a political absurdity. Their leaders

distrusted him to such an extent that any other candidate would

have been preferred to him. John C. Wright, an Adams con-

gressman from Ohio, wrote to Ephraim Cutler, expressing his

alarm at having "a military chieftain, who has frequently been

known to be too violent to be restrained by law, to rule over

us."11 This was the typical attitude of many Adams and Clay

men.

But Hammond went far beyond this. While he showed a

commendable moderation and restraint in his public writings,

his private views of Jackson exhibit a most astonishing bitter-

ness. "How is it", he wrote to Clay, "that no one speaks freely

of this man? Instead of being a frank, open, fearless, honest

man, is he not the victim of strong passions and prejudices,

violent when irresponsible, cautious when differently situated,

ambitious, vain and hasty, a fit instrument for others to work

upon, subject to be governed by flatterers, and still inclined to

hate every man of talents who has the firmness to look through

him and speak of him as he deserves? I think he is strongly

endowed with those traits of character, and that if classed as a

mere animal, he would be a kind of monkey tiger. I do not

know but that it would be well for such a monster to be placed

in the Presidential chair for the next term. King Snake suc-

ceeding King Log, and the citizen frogs made to scamper. I

am almost sure that if I had been this winter at Washington

I should have contrived to quarrel with him. I dislike him

for cause, I hate him peremptorily, and I could wish that his

supporters for the presidency, one and all were snugly by them-

selves in some island of Barrataria, and he be their king, pro-

vided, that they constituted the entire population. They would

make a glorious terrestrial pandemonium, and as fast as they

 

9Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Oct. 21.

10 Delaware Patron, Sept. 16.

11 Cutler, Life of Cutler, 185.



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cut each other's throats the world would be rid of very trouble-

some politicians, and in general, right worthless citizens."12

The bitter sarcasm of the Clay leader shows that he would

hardly have supported Jackson under any circumstances, and

there are indications that this feeling was rather general among

the leading Clay men. Considering these things the eventual

union of the Clay and Adams parties was not such an unrea-

sonable and unexpected event as the Jackson presses later pro-

claimed it to be.

The attacks on the Jackson movement in Ohio did not show

much force until late in the campaign when Jackson's chances

appeared bright. They were confined principally to attempts to

show Jackson's personal unfitness for the presidency and do

not require much consideration here. His past life was ex-

plored, and it was charged that he was a duellist, had killed

Charles Dickinson and fought Benton; had imprisoned Judge

Hall without authority; had resigned as senator and as a judge

because he was not qualified; had opposed universal suffrage in

Tennessee and was an aristocrat; had engaged in controversies

with the governors of Georgia and Louisiana and with the Sec-

retary of War; had violated the laws of war and shown unusual

violence in the Seminole war; had indulged in the sports of

the turf and the cockpit; in short, possessed "an energy beyond

the law" and a number of personal failings very undesirable in

a chief executive.13 A number of pamphlets were circulated

against Jackson, the most important one being sent from Ten-

nessee to Ohio under the signature of a long-time enemy, Jesse

Benton, and enumerating in detail the violent acts of Jackson's

earier life.14

Little restraint toward their opponents was shown by the

followers of any of the candidates, especially at Cincinnati, but

-an abusive campaign of personalities almost from the beginning.

Yet when their opponents used the same tactics, Elijah Hay-

ward, editor of the National Republican, who was also chair-

Smith's Charles Hammond, 35.

13Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, Sept. 2, 14, 21, 24, Oct. 1;

Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Oct. 21.

14 National Republican, Oct. 19.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    205

man of the Ohio Jackson committee, complained of their

unfairness and attempted to show that Jackson had been badly

abused and maltreated.15 His lack of consistency was quickly

taken advantage of by the Clay partisans and he was silenced.16

Jackson's strength had greatly increased in Ohio during the

progress of the campaign until it became generally apparent that

he would run ahead of Adams and possibly defeat Clay. It

now becomes necessary to consider the course of the Adams

campaign and the decline of his chances.

 

 

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

THE CAMPAIGN FOR ADAMS.

John Quincy Adams was probably the most severely attacked

and certainly the least understood in the state of all three can-

didates. His cause was more vitally affected by the important

issues at stake than either of his competitors. This makes a

consideration of the Adams movement of unusual interest.

The partisans of Adams carried on the campaign with two

important arguments for their candidate, namely, the necessity

of electing a man from the free states and the high qualifications

of the New England candidate. The slavery issue has already

been discussed and needs little further consideration here. It

drew to Adams the New Englanders and many from the Middle

States who believed opposition to slavery the vital issue. One

element in the Adams following was the Society of Friends, then

the principal opponents of slavery, who were represented on the

electoral ticket.1 But, as has been seen, the Adams movement

by no means included the whole number of the opponents of

slavery but rather those who put opposition to slavery above all

other considerations. To the extent to which the Adams men

could make the slavery question the leading issue depended their

chances of success in Ohio. They realized that this was their

 

15National Republican, Oct. 1.

16 Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Sept. 30, Oct. 7.

17 Ohio Monitor, in Delaware Patron, May 20.



206 Ohio Arch

206       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

strength and made the most of it.2 But circumstances were un-

favorable and other issues proved more important.

The Adams partisans were very proud of the talents, learn-

ing, experienced statesmanship, and high moral character of their

candidate. In the emphasis they placed on this last qualification

can be seen the New England influence in the Adams camp. The

high qualifications of Adams were recognized, even by his op-

ponents, who would have found it difficult to attack him on these

grounds, but such qualities, though everywhere admitted, were

not of the sort to arouse popular enthusiasm. And there were

certain points where prejudices could be developed against him.

The opponents of Adams attacked him very bitterly on per-

sonal grounds. He was called a Federalist and an aristocrat, a

friend of England, the son of his father, a disbeliever in Chris-

tianity, and even a slave-holder.3  Every prejudice was appealed

to in order to injure his chances, and every conceivable act of

his life that could be used was twisted into something to his dis-

credit. For example, the fact that he was a Unitarian furnished

grounds for some severe attacks on his religious views in a

variety of forms4 and led the Miami Republican, an Adams paper,

to urge that these persons who questioned his religious beliefs

should hold a convention, not to decide what these beliefs really

were but to determine what they should be called so that there

might not be so many inconsistencies.5

Federalism was another charge used quite extensively, for

Federalists had never been popular in the West. Adams was

attacked both for belonging to that party and for deserting it to

become a Republican.6 This was intended to injure him with

both parties. The acts of the administration of John Adams, the

Cunningham correspondence, the Pickering controversy, some

early writings and speeches, were all used to show the Federal-

2See Ohio Monitor, Delaware Patron, Chillicothe Times, leading

Adams papers.

3See especially National Republican, Cincinnati Advertiser, and the

Scioto Gazette.

4For example, National Republican, Sept. 10, Nov. 26.

5Miami Republican, in Chillicothe Times, Aug. 11.

6For example, Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, April 29,

June 24, Sept. 9, Oct. 21.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    207

ism and the political inconsistencies of the New England candi-

date. The National Republican declared the contest was be-

tween the "second Washington", referring to Jackson, and the

"second Adams".7

The Adams men answered the charge of Federalism by

pointing out that Pickering, Otis, and other old Federalists were

supporting Crawford8 while in Ohio Charles Hammond, Judge

Burnett, Henry Bacon, Elisha Whittlesey, General Beecher and

other former Federalists were supporting Clay and that not a

leading Federalist was for Adams.9 So far as any conclusions

may be drawn from the returns Adams probably received the

bulk of the former Federalist vote in Ohio, though this was of

slight importance. The reason was that he was a New Englander

and received the votes of former New Englanders, which in-

cluded most of the Federalists. His supposed Federalism prob-

ably had little to do with the result.

Closely connected with this charge was the attempt to arouse

feeling against Adams by calling him an aristocrat and a mon-

archist. The acts of his father were recalled to show what might

be expected of the son. It was charged that he was the aristo-

cratic candidates and that he possessed monarchical principles,11

the "Royal Candidate" of the "hereditary house,"12 "that bigoted

aristocrat, whose principal merits consist in a talent for sly

cunning, which distinguishes the titled vassals of European gov-

ernments."13 Such a system of attack could not help but appeal

strongly to the prejudices of many western democrats, for in the

West a charge of aristocracy ranked not far below high treason

in seriousness. Adams did nothing to lessen these prejudices;

on the contrary, his very aloofness from politics and his refusal

to make a public play for support seemed to substantiate the

charges against him.

 

7National Republican, Sept. 3.

8Delaware Patron, Mar. 11, Oct. 7.

9Ibid., Oct. 7, Oct. 21.

10 Mad River Courant, in Columbus Gazette, May 29, 1823.

11Boston Statesman, in Hamilton Intelligencer, July 26, 1824.

12National Republican, Aug. 24; Scioto Gazette, Sept. 9, 1824.

13 National Republican, Oct. 29.



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Rufus King's opinion of Adams may well be given here. He

said of him: "The opinion of his integrity and of his superior-

ity as a learned statesman, is not disputed by anyone; but with

these qualifications, which are of great worth, a disinclination

toward him, grounded on the imputed infirmities which belonged

to his father, and added to the want of those properties which

produce and maintain personal attachments, prevails to an ex-

tent that it will be found difficult to overcome."14

The Adams movement lacked the popular appeal of the

Jackson party. Hence, to carry the West, it was all the more

necessary for the Adams men to make a strong appeal to the

vital western interests in order to win the friends of tariff and

internal improvements. Such an appeal, in connection with the

prevailing dislike of slavery, might have succeeded. But this is

where the Adams movement failed utterly. The most remark-

able feature of the whole Ohio campaign is found in this failure,

for it proved to be the one insurmountable weakness of the

Adams candidacy-his supposed unfriendliness to western in-

terests.

The Russell affair, previously mentioned, had had this ob-

ject in view but had failed. The question of the domestic

policy was then brought forward to embarrass Adams. It had

made Crawford an impossible candidate in the West and was

to prove a stumbling block for the northern candidate. Be-

cause he was a New Englander, Adams was regarded with some

suspicion in the West as New England had been considered

unfriendly to western interests. It was necessary for him to

prove that he was not narrowly sectional and that the West

would not be made to suffer for the benefit of commercial New

England. This he was unable or unwilling to prove. Some

explanation of his attitude is necessary.

The views of John Quincy Adams towards the protective

system and internal improvements were not those of the Vir-

ginia presidents. He was not troubled by constitutional scruples

and was favorable to a national system of roads and canals.

While not as strong a tariff man as Clay was, he was satisfied

14King to C. Gore, Feb. 9, 1823, Life and Correspondence of Rufus

King, VI, 499.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   209

with the tariff of 1824 and believed opposing interests could

be conciliated by mutual concession.15 There was nothing in

his attitude on these questions which could be regarded as

unfriendly to the West, but rather the reverse was true  Rufus

King, who was well acquainted with the views of all the can-

didates, classified Adams with Clay and Calhoun as a friend

of roads and canals and protection to manufactures.  This

seemed to be the general impression at Washington, yet quite

early in the campaign the question began to be raised in the

West whether Adams was not unfriendly to western interests.

A clear direct statement from him would have greatly aided his

cause but none came. Clay and Jackson by their votes and

speeches in Congress could show where they stood. Adams in

the office of Secretary of State had not this opportunity and

refused to make one.

It was his firm belief that the presidency should not be the

object of political intrigue but should come to the best man as

the unbiased choice of the people would show.17 So he utterly

refused to play politics and thus handicapped his own cause.

It was quite in line with this policy that he should refuse to

make public appeals to the voters or permit his views on im-

portant questions to be publicly known, as that would be play-

ing politics. Thus there came from him no open irrefutable

statement of his views on tariff and internal improvements,

despite the efforts of his friends to obtain one.

But there was another reason. The campaign was being

fought along sectional lines, and to secure the support of one

part of the country by a strong expression of opinion on an

important issue meant to lose the support of another section.

An unequivocal indorsement of protective tariff by Adams would

have caused him some embarrassment in New England and per-

naps aroused opposition where he was strongest. He had strong

hopes of securing southern votes, as there was a considerable

Adams following in several southern states. To declare strongly

 

15Adams, Memoirs, IV, 353.

16 Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, VI, 495, 499.

17 Quincy, Life of Adams, 130; Adams, Memoirs, VI, 132.

Vol. XXVI -14.



210 Ohio Arch

210       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

for tariff and internal improvements would destroy utterly his

chances in these states, as the example of Clay had shown. On

the other hand it might not win him the West, as he could

hardly hope to make himself as acceptable there as Clay. Thus

policy as well as principle dictated that he should avoid any

strong expressions of opinion.

Looking back over the situation in the light of what hap-

pened later it seems likely that Adams made a mistake. His

southern support did not materialize and his hopes in the West

were destroyed, so he gained nothing by his silence. On the other

hand, a stronger stand on the domestic issues would not likely

have hurt him much in New England as local pride and dis-

like of southern candidates were very strong. At the same time

he might possibly have carried some western states; but what

is of equal importance is that he would probably have run sec-

ond in the important Clay states and thus secured a stronger

claim to the vote of these states in the House. The circum-

stances under which they did go for him were such as gave

rise to the "bargain and corruption" charge and furnished the

basis for the rise of a strong Jacksonian party in these western

states.

The Ohio Adams leaders were quite aware of the danger

confronting his candidacy in the state and did their best to

offset it by evidence showing that his views were entirely

friendly to western interests. Ephraim Cutler wrote to a friend

in the District of Columbia for some expression of the views

of Adams. The latter answered that he could state positively

that Adams had very recently expressed himself clearly in favor

of the constitutional power of the government to carry on works

of internal improvement and was quite favorable to the idea;

that he was generally in favor of protecting manufactures in

all cases where it could be done without too much affecting

other interests.18 But this was information at second hand.

On May 8 Postmaster-General McLean asked Adams for

leave to send a letter the latter had written him favorable to

internal improvements to his brother in Ohio, who was on the

 

18Cutler, Life of Cutler, 186.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   211

Adams electoral ticket and on whose behalf McLean had secured

this expression of Adam's opinion. The Secretary of State de-

clared he had no objection to this but wished him not to permit

the letter to get in the newspapers "as that would look too

much like advertising my opinions". McLean said he would

take care of that.l9 Thus the very purpose of the letter was

defeated.

The Delaware Patron tried to explain the attitude of Adams

from the letter of a correspondent at Washington saying that

Adams could not openly avow his views because he was habit-

ually opposed to electioneering but that he was really the father

of internal improvements as he had offered the first resolution

in the Senate in 1807 calling for a report from the Secretary of

the Treasury on roads and canals. Gallatin's report was a re-

sult of this.20 This statement had been made before and an-

swered by the Scioto Gazette, which published an extract from

the Richmond (Va.) Enquirer to show that Worthington of

Ohio was the author of the resolution in the Senate which had

really called for Gallatin's report; that the report, when sub-

mitted, had been ordered printed in large numbers by a com-

mittee of which Adams was chairman simply to postpone action;

that Adams in 1807 had voted against a bill concerning removal

of obstructions to navigation on the Ohio; that he had voted

against the Cumberland road amendment in 1804.21 This evi-

dence was neither very recent nor very strong but it served its

purpose in raising doubts as to the real views of Adams.

The Gazette followed this up by pointing out that three-

fourths of the representatives from New England and New York

voted against the General Survey Bill, most important to the

cause of internal improvements, and that the most active friends

of Adams were in this number.22 It continued to emphasize the

necessity of the West supporting no man whose sentiments on

these questions could in any way be considered doubtful. "The

friends of Mr. Adams appear to be very sensible, that if the

19Adams, Memoirs, VI, 323.

20 Delaware Patron, Feb. 5, 1824.

21 Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Jan. 10, 1824,

22Ibid., Feb. 26.



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Presidential election turns on this point- as most assuredly it

will - his prospects of support, in any one of the states west of

New York, are not very flattering.23

The passage of the tariff bill brought further trouble. The

vote of the Massachusetts delegation against it was taken as evi-

dence of Adams's opposition to it.24 The Richmond (Va.) Con-

stitutional Whig, a Virginia Adams paper, took this very attitude

and assured the people of Virginia that Adams was opposed to

the "ruinous policy" of the tariff and that the interests of

Massachusetts and Virginia in regard to the tariff, and roads and

canals, were one.25 At once the Clay and Jackson presses in

Ohio seized upon this as authoritative evidence that all they had

been saying about Adams was true.26 Furthermore, the New

York American, an anti-tariff newspaper of New York City, de-

clared for Adams.27 This seemed to be further proof. Thus the

activities of Adams partisans in other states were a continual

source of embarrassment to his followers in Ohio. This illus-

trates clearly the sectional aspect of the campaign, which made

it so difficult for any candidate to take a definite stand.

The friends of Adams published many extracts from his

speeches and writings to show his friendliness toward western

interests but usually these were rather general in their terms and

not of very recent date.28  Letters were printed from persons

who were acquainted with Adams, purporting to give his opin-

ions,29 but the indirect nature of this evidence only made it all

the more apparent that he was making no clear public statements

of his views.

 

23Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Mar. 25.

24Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, Apr. 27; National Republi-

can, June 18.

25Richmond Constitutional Whig, in Columbus Gazette, June 3.

26Cincinnati Advertiser, May 22; Scioto Gazette, June 24, July 1;

Nat. Rep., June 18.

27Cincinnati Gazette, in Scioto Gazette, June 24.

28For example, Miami Republican, in Delaware Patron, June 3;

National Crises, in Delaware Patron, July 23; Hamilton Intelligencer,

July 6, Letter by a Subscriber.

29Torch Light in Delaware Patron, Aug. 12; National Crisis, in

Chillicothe Times, June 23.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    213

Still the evidence was strong that Adams had been favorable

to internal improvements and even the tariff, and ordinarily

would have been considered sufficient. But in the heat of a

presidential campaign only the most direct, unequivocal, public

expression of sentiments could be accepted as proof, and this

was what was lacking. The burden of proof, unlike the case of

Jackson, rested with the Adams party and the doubts were not

cleared away. The Adams meeting at Columbus in July devoted

a large part of its address to an attempted refutation of the

charges of their candidate's unfriendliness to the domestic policy,

but the source of information, in which they had "implicit con-

fidence", remained unrevealed.30

The campaign went to its conclusion with doubts still being

expressed as to the real sentiments of the New England candi-

date and the burden proved a heavy one for his followers to

bear. The Scioto Gazette, in one of its last issues before the

election, reiterated the charges that it had been among the first

to make. "It has been proved beyond the possibility of a doubt",

declared its editor, "that he (Adams) always has been, and now

is, decidedly hostile to internal improvements and the protection

of national industry."31 The final appeal of that ardent Clay

supporter deserves to be given here. "The western states, op-

pressed almost beyond sufferance by the changes which have re-

cently taken place in the political world, and by a system of policy

which renders unavailing the fertility of their soil, and the in-

dustry of their citizens, must inevitably sink to the lowest depth

of human wretchedness, should the election terminate in the

choice of a president unacquainted with their wants, or indif-

ferent to their complaints."32

In that statement lies to a considerable degree the reason

why John Quincy Adams did not carry Ohio. He had not met

the vital issues in a way that would win for him the confidence

of the West. It is one of the paradoxes of political history that

the candidate least affected by sectional prejudices or constitu-

tional scruples toward these vital interests should be badly de-

30 Delaware Patron, July 22.

31 Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette, Oct. 21.

32Ibid., Oct. 21.



214 Ohio Arch

214       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

feated in the state where they were most popular largely because

he was believed to be unfriendly or indifferent toward them.

His failure to carry Ohio was very costly to him. The sixteen

electoral votes of the state added to his total would have given

him 100 electoral votes, one more than the total for Andrew

Jackson. Thus Adams, and not Jackson would have come be-

fore the House as the leading candidate, and Clay, in throwing

his influence to Adams, would have been ratifying the popular

will. The "bargain and corruption" cry, if raised at all, would

have lost much of its force and the future have been changed

for all concerned. This is, of course, mere speculation but it

shows the interesting possibilities that lay in Ohio's electoral vote

in 1824.

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

THE ELECTION BY THE PEOPLE.

Election day came with numerous pamphlets and final ap-

peals to the voters being circulated. Despite the heat of the

campaign and the bitterness of its last stages the vote cast was

disappointing. At the election for governor, held early in Octo-

ber, the total vote was 76,634,1 the largest vote ever cast in the

state, although the campaign of Allen Trimble against Governor

Morrow had received little attention in the newspapers, being

almost entirely obscured by the presidential contest. But the

total vote at the presidential election was only 50,024,2 two-

thirds that of the gubernatorial election.

The Clay men attributed this to the overconfidence of their

friends in the interior counties who did not attend the polls in

large numbers.3  The Cincinnati Advertiser blamed the defeat

of Jackson on the apathy of the people in the northern and north-

eastern counties.4 A better explanation is that it was generally

expected all over the country that no candidate would receive a

majority of the electoral vote and that the election would cer-

 

1Ohio Election Statistics, 1914; p. 3.

2Ibid., p. 3.

3Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, Nov. 16.

4Cincinnati Advertiser, Nov. 17.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    215

 

tainly go to the House of Representatives. Hence the choice of

the electors was not of so much importance.

Though the Ohio vote was not so large as was expected it

was far larger than that cast at any previous presidential con-

test, the largest vote prior to 1824 having been 10,721 in 1812.5

Ohioans had not been in the habit of voting at presidential elec-

tions as they had at elections for governors, when large votes

were usually polled; so that, after all, the vote in 1824 was a de-

cided advance. The absence of a real contest in earlier elections

explains the light votes prior to 1824. In 1828 the total was

130,993,6 an astonishing increase.

Early returns from the populous southwestern counties

seemed to indicate that Jackson was successful, but as the returns

from the interior and northern counties came in Clay's vote grew

until the final returns read: Clay, 19,255; Jackson, 18,489;

Adams, 12,280.7

A brief consideration of the returns shows some interesting

results. Jackson carried the southwestern counties from Darke

on the Indiana border to Adams county on the Ohio River, ex-

cepting only Preble. This group included Darke, Montgomery,

Warren, Butler, Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, and Adams. Of

these, Hamilton and Butler were the largest counties in popula-

tion in the state. In each of these counties, except Montgomery

and Warren, Jackson had an actual majority over both his op-

ponents.

Pike, which touches Adams county, and perhaps should be

included in this group, was carried by Jackson as was one in-

terior county, Perry. In the eastern part of the state, he was

successful in the adjoining counties of Columbiana, Jefferson,

and Harrison, and two near this group, Wayne and Coshocton.

The fact that Clay was able to carry Stark and Tuscarawas kept

Jackson from having a solid block of counties just south of the

Western Reserve.

To the surprise of his followers Adams did not carry all the

 

5 Ohio Election Statistics, 1914, p. 2.

6Ohio Election Statistics, 1914, p. 2.

7Ohio Election Statistics, 1914, p. 3; Columbus Gazette, Nov. 11,

1824.



216 Ohio Arch

216       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Western Reserve, losing the four middle counties, Lorain, Cuya-

hoga, Medina, and Portage, to Clay. In the geographical center

of the state the New England candidate carried the three ad-

joining counties of Union, Marion, and Delaware. In the south-

east on the Ohio River, the three Adams counties were Wash-

ington, Meigs, and Athens. Greene, adjoining the Jackson group

in the southwest, was the only other county in which Adams was

successful.

Clay had all the others, including most of the interior and

northwest, portions of the eastern and southern parts of the

state, and the four Reserve counties and Preble, mentioned be-

fore.

With two or three exceptions the counties carried by each

candidate were in groups. In the southwest Jackson's victory

was probably due to the prejudices against Clay there, as has

been explained, and the strong Jackson organization at Cincin-

nati, which sent out newspapers and pamphlets, and organized

committees all over the Miami country. In the eastern part of

the state the counties settled largely by Pennsylvanians went for

Jackson, as Pennsylvania was overwhelmingly for him and this

influence reached across the border. The number of Germans,

or Pennsylvania Dutch, was large in several of the eastern coun-

ties,8 and to these the Jackson committee had made a special, and

rather alarming, appeal.9

The portions of the state carried by Adams were in nearly

every case those settled originally by New Englanders and con-

taining an influential New England element, as in the Western

Reserve, the Delaware group, and the three southeastern coun-

ties, where the first permanent settlers in the state had located.

But the Adams men were disappointed at the result in the Re-

serve where Clay had run very well, probably because of the

great popularity of internal improvements there. The Erie canal,

nearly completed, would give the Lake counties a waterway to

New York City while the proposed Ohio canal system would

connect them with the interior of the state. Cleveland would

then become a city of real importance.

8Faust, German Element, I, 422.

9Letter of Atwater, Delaware Patron, Nov. 25.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.   217

Clay's vote requires little explanation. It was natural for

Ohio to support the candidate who best represented her interests,

and his plurality would probably have been larger had his

chances in the whole country seemed brighter. As it was, with

a real doubt existing as to whether he would have sufficient votes

to reach the House of Representatives, he had carried the largest

state west of the Alleghanies despite the appeals of those oppos-

ing him for Ohio not to throw away her votes on a hopeless can-

didate. It shows the hold the domestic policy had upon the peo-

ple of the state. Most of the Scioto Valley, the interior coun-

ties, with few exceptions, and the thinly settled northwest gave

Clay large pluralities. These parts of the state felt especially

the necessity for roads and canals to give them outlets to the

markets and to make their lands profitable. Although Clay had

less than two-fifths of the total vote, he had carried more than

half the counties of the state. The distinctly rural counties, ex-

cept where peopled by New Englanders, had gone largely for

him.

It is a significant fact that about four-fifths of the counties

were so decided in their preference that they gave the candidate

of their choice a majority over both his competitors, not a mere

plurality. In most localities there was a decided predominance

in favor of some one candidate. The strength of parties had

not become generally distributed throughout the state.

The result of the election caused satisfaction but not jubila-

tion among the Clay partisans for their plurality had been very

narrow. The Jackson presses immediately set up the cry of

coalition. It was charged that a portion of the Adams "Swiss

Corps", as the National Republican called them, had joined with

the friends of Clay to defeat Jackson when they saw that the

cause of Adams was hopeless.10 Clay's large vote in the Western

Reserve was pointed out as proof of this. Such an idea had

not even been hinted at by the Jackson papers before the elec-

tion, for the Clay and Adams parties had been showing any-

thing but a friendly spirit toward each other.

 

10Cincinnati National Republican, Nov. 19; Cincinnati Advertiser,

Nov. 17.



218 Ohio Arch

218       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

This charge was at once denied by the Cincinnati Gazette

and the absurdity of such a coalition in the lake counties and

nowhere else was pointed out.11 But the National Republican

reiterated its belief in it, though no proof was given, and blamed

the "Caucus Junto" for dividing the West and laying the founda-

tions of another Burr intrigue in the House of Representatives,

"without promoting the restless ambition of their chief."12 The

Advertiser hoped that the Clay electors would vote for Jackson

and thus undo the damage,13 but such an idea was never con-

sidered.

With the meeting of the electoral colleges interest turned

to the approaching House election.

 

 

CHAPTER IX.

 

THE HOUSE ELECTION.

It was not definitely known until after the electoral colleges

had met that Clay would not be among the first three, so his

friends generally avoided expressing any opinion as to the House

Election. But Clay had virtually decided already to support

Adams. He had written to Hammond late in October that

Crawford's caucus nomination, the state of his health, and the

principles he feared his administration would adopt were strong

objections to his (Clay's) supporting him.1 The Clay-Crawford

coalition charge had disappeared with the election and a new

Adams-Clay coalition seemed to be forming.

That the Jackson party was well aware of this is shown by

the attitude of the Cincinnati National Republican. It began to

express great fears of intrigue as did the Advertiser as well.2

On December 28 the former made a bitter attack on the "Ohio

Caucus Junto." "We understand," it said, "that some of the

leaders of this aristocracy, since the fall of their idol, have

directed all their mighty forces to rendezvous at Washington

11Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, Nov. 19.

12National Republican, Nov. 23.

13Cincinnati Advertiser, Nov. 17, Nov. 24.

1Smith's Charles Hammond, 37.

2 Cincinnati Advertiser, Dec. 4.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    219

City, where they are destined to follow in the train of John Q.

Adams, and serve as whippers-in to his party. It is really amus-

ing to observe with what facility some of the chief men of the

Clay party in Ohio, men who have pretended to be the cham-

pions of a liberal and enlightened policy for the protection of

Domestic Manufactures, can veer about, as interest or ambition

may dictate, and become the humble supporters of a man notori-

ously opposed to 'domestic measures.' Is the public sentiment

of Ohio to be not only disregarded, but outraged? The vote

of this state, in Congress, cannot be given to Mr. Adams with-

out a wanton and flagrant violation of trust."3

This was the warning of the Jackson party but it went

unheeded. The National Republican now began to assume that

Jackson's election was certain and spoke of the bright prospects

before the people in his approaching administration.4 It declared

the reported Adams-Clay coalition was to be expected from the

course some of Clay's partisans had been taking in Ohio but

that Clay would not succeed in dividing the West.5 This con-

fident tone was doubtless assumed for effect, for it had no basis

in fact.

Meantime Clay had written his letter to Blair declaring his

intention of voting for Adams and expressing his fear that

pernicious results might come from the election of a military

candidate. "What has great weight with me is the decided

preference which a majority of the delegation from Ohio has

for him (Adams) over General Jackson."6

Although most of the Ohio representatives had probably

made up their minds already, as Clay's letter and the threaten-

ing attitude of the Jackson papers indicate, a meeting was held

to determine finally their action and to make public their inten-

tions.7 Soon afterwards it was publicly announced by the Ohio

and Kentucky delegations that they would support Adams.8

3National Republican, Dec. 28.

4Ibid., Jan. 14, 1825.

5Ibid., Jan. 18, Feb. 15, 1825.

6Clay to Blair, Jan. 8, 1825, Works of Clay, IV, 107.

8 Adams, Memoirs, VI, 478.

7Adams, Memoirs, VI, 473; Address of Clay to The Public, 1825;

Append., p. 31, Letters of McArthur and others.



220 Ohio Arch

220       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

Amid great excitement the House election was held and

Ohio gave her vote to Adams. The delegation voted, ten for

Adams, two for Crawford, two for Jackson.9 Bartley, Beecher,

McArthur, McLean, Sloane, Vance, Vinton, Whittlesey, Wright

and Patterson voted for Adams; Wilson and Ross for Craw-

ford; and Gazlay and Campbell, from the southwestern part

of the state, for Jackson. The vote of the representatives was

thus decisively for Adams.

The news of the election was quietly received in Ohio. The

Adams party was well pleased with the result,10 the Clay men

apparently satisfied,11 and the Jackson partisans indignant. The

National Republican published the news under the heading, "The

long agony is over - the Bourbons are restored."12 In its suc-

ceeding issues it bitterly attacked the Ohio congressmen for

misrepresenting their constituents and the interests of the West.13

The Hamilton Intelligencer warned the people to remember those

representatives who had been faithful to their trust and those

who had trampled upon the wishes of the people.14

It now remains to consider whether the result was really

satisfactory to the state or whether it was a violation of the

expressed public will, as the Jackson partisans declared. They

made much of the fact that Jackson, according to the popular

vote, was the second choice of the state, and should have re-

ceived its vote, with Clay excluded from the House. But this

is a doubtful claim, for there is no way of finding out with

entire certainty which candidate was the second choice of the

19,000 voters who had supported Clay as their first choice. If

their leaders rightly represented their wishes, and there is nothing

to indicate otherwise, then Adams was their choice and the Ohio

delegation in Congress was correctly interpreting public senti-

ment, for the combined Adams-Clay vote in the state was a

large majority of the whole. The best evidence that Ohio was

satisfied is found in the congressional election of 1826, when

twelve of the fourteen representatives elected were administra-

9National Intelligencer, Feb. 11.

10Delaware Patron, Feb. 24.

11 Columbus Gazette, Feb. 24; Scioto Gazette, Feb. 20.

12National Republican, Feb. 13.

13Ibid., Feb. 22, Feb. 25, March 8.

14Hamilton Intelligencer, Feb. 28.



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.    221

 

tion supporters.15 Of the ten who voted for Adams in the

House election, eight were candidates at this election and all

were re-elected. This does not indicate any repudiation by the

people.

The charge that the members of the Ohio delegation voting

for Adams were tools of Clay and were sacrificing western in-

terests to his ambition is without basis. Their preference for

Adams is not at all surprising when the general distrust of

Jackson felt by the Clay leaders in Ohio is considered. As has

been shown before, they had always regarded Jackson as an

impossible choice. Hammond, in a letter already referred to,16

written the preceding September, had stated the opposition of

the great body of Clay men to Jackson because of his lack of

fitness for the office and warned the Jackson men that the Clay

supporters were not liege subjects to be transferred at will to

Jackson or any one else, as Clay saw fit. The explanations of

some of the Ohio representatives who voted for Adams in the

House may be given here as serving to corroborate what has

already been sufficiently dealt with, the incongruity of a Jack-

son-Clay alliance, and to make clear the basis of the Adams-

Clay union.

Duncan McArthur, afterwards governor, declared that

Ohio's interests were being jeopardized by the course Jackson

and his friends were pursuing towards internal improvements

and the tariff. "On the other hand, it was evident, that, for the

support of those measures, our only reliance was upon the

friends of Mr. Adams, the identity of interest between Northern

and Western States, and the liberality of the Eastern members

of Congress."17 This statement contains the reason why the

Clay to the Public, Appendix, 30-61.

Adams-Clay alliance was a natural logical union. Members of

Congress were in a position to know the real views of the can-

didates towards the tariff and internal improvements, and, with

the heat of the campaign past, the Ohio members were far more

inclined to trust Adams than Jackson with his large southern

support. McArthur further declared that an even more serious

15 Niles' Register, 155-6.

16 Cincinnati Advertiser, Sept. 11, Letter signed "L."

17Letters of Ohio Representatives given in An Address of Henry



222 Ohio Arch

222       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.

consideration was the qualifications of the candidates. "So far

as I was acquainted with the sentiments of Mr. Clay's friends,

I do not believe that they could have been prevailed upon to

have supported the election of General Jackson upon any con-

ditions whatever . . ." This statement is quite in line with

the views of Hammond expressed long before.

Mordecai Bartley, also a future governor of Ohio, stated

that it was well known that Clay's friends from Ohio would

not in any event have supported Jackson because Adams was

their second choice and was believed to be the second choice of

a majority of the people of the state. Bartley declared he would

not have voted for Jackson in any event as he was far inferior

to all other candidates in abilities and was no real friend to

tariff and internal improvements.

Samuel F. Vinton, another member of the delegation, said

that his constituents knew many months before the election that

Adams was his second choice. Elisha Whittlesey, who for many

years represented the Western Reserve in Congress, declared that

there was never any doubt about whom Clay and his friends

would support. Other members of the delegation expressed

similar views.

Considering the general attitude of the Clay men during the

campaign and after, there is little inconsistency to be found.

They had never at any time given the Jackson party grounds

for believing that they would support Jackson. They had at-

tacked Adams because there was doubt about his friendliness

to tariff and internal improvements. They had not attacked

Jackson especially on these questions because they believed him

utterly unfitted for the presidency regardless of what his views

on these questions were. In the House election they had chosen

the former because they believed him better qualified and be-

cause they believed western interests would be made secure by

him rather than by Jackson with his large southern support.

It was an economic alliance of the North and West. There

was no sacrifice of western interests, as the Jackson partisans

charged, by the election of Adams. Rather the reverse was

true, if the policy of the new president toward internal improve-

ments be considered. The House election saw the union advo-

cated at the beginning of the campaign by the Adams and



Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824

Ohio in the Presidential Election of 1824.           223

 

Clinton followers finally achieved, but in a way no one had

then foreseen and under conditions which made its permanence

very doubtful. The economic alliance of North and West, based

on their harmony of interests, proved too strong for the South

to break, but the political union, resting on this, succumbed

before the rising tide of Jacksonian democracy.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY.

NEWSPAPERS.

I. OHIO NEWSPAPERS.

Chillicothe.

Friend of Freedom, February 18 and 25, 1824. (Discontinued.

Only three numbers published.)

***Chillicothe Times.  (Succeeded Friend of Freedom.     First

number April 21, 1824.)

*Chillicothe Supporter and Scioto Gazette.

Cincinnati.

*Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette.

**National Republican and Ohio Political Register.

**Cincinnati Advertiser.

Columbus.

*Columbus Gazette.

***Ohio Monitor and Patron of Industry. (For 1823 only.)

Delaware.

***Delaware Patron.

Hamilton.

**Hamilton Intelligencer and Advertiser.

Steubenville.

*Western Herald and Steubenville Gazette. (Scattering num-

bers, 1823-24.)

II. NEWSPAPERS OUTSIDE OHIO.

Baltimore.

Niles' Register.

Washington.

National Intelligencer. (Dec. 23, 1824-Nov., 1825.)

National Republican and Steubenville Gazette were originally for

Clinton. Friend of Freedom opposed Clay and was probably for Clinton.

Cincinnati Gazette was originally for Calhoun.

The common practice used by newspapers of copying important

articles from other papers makes the above list more extensive than it

*For Clay.

**For Jackson.

***For Adams.