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Thomas Jefferson on Andrew Jackson

I feel much alarmed at the prospect of seeing General Jackson President.  He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place.  He has had very little respect for laws and constitutions, and is, in fact, an able military chief.  His passions are terrible.  When I was President of the Senate, he was Senator; and he could never speak on account of the rashness of his feelings.  I have seen him attempt it repeatedly, and as often choke with rage.  His passions are, no doubt, cooler now; he has been much tried since I knew him, but he is a dangerous man.
Daniel Webster’s Interview With Jefferson,” 1824, 4060

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Tomorrow, March 15, is the 245th birthday of Andrew Jackson, born in 1767.
Jackson had had a notable military and political career since the late 1790s. By 1824, he was a U.S. Senator from Tennessee and one of four candidates for President. He received the most popular and electoral votes but not a majority in the Electoral College. The House of Representatives decided the Presidency, which went to John Quincy Adams.
Note the characteristics that make Jackson unfit to be President:
– No respect for laws or constitutions
– Too passionate
– No self-control, given to rages.
Jefferson was just the opposite.
He gave Jackson credit for being “an able military chief,” but his disrespect for the law made Jackson susceptible to favoring military rather than civilian government.
He also allowed that Jackson had probably moderated his passions over the 16 years since his own Presidency but not enough to make him a safe choice for that office.
Jackson was elected President in 1828, two years after Jefferson’s death.

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17 Responses to Thomas Jefferson on Andrew Jackson

  1. HERE! HERE!
    Andrew Jackson – one of the five worst presidents in US History……and just a bad, mean old, bitter man overall. Can’t think of two positive things to say about him post-military career.

    Go, Tom Jefferson!

    Bruce W.

  2. Irvin John Weeks says:

    Brant’s biography “Daniel Webster” said the young Webster wrote a friend after his 1824 visit to Monticello that old Mr.Jefferson spoke much about how he defeated the British and his days in France;alas but little of the business at hand. That was whom should be elected President when no one had received a majority of electoral votes.

  3. Irvin John Weeks says:

    After the Gabriel Prosser slave revolt, Jefferson wrote Governor Monroe,hang not too many,for this would give occasion to our enemies. Were they the Federalists? the British? or both?

  4. John says:

    When the Federal government began printing paper money during the Civil War,a rumor at the time went that the Republicans, angry at Jeffersonian Confederates, placed Jefferson on the two dollar bill as a subtle insult,because two dollars was then the fee of a prostitute.

  5. Irvin says:

    I think Congress sent Webster to ask Jefferson whom he preferred for president in the disputed election of 1824. The canny old Jefferson refused to choose any one man but said he did not want Jackson.

  6. Irvin says:

    The Virginia state hangman, my grandmother’s ancestor, Scotch-Irish immigrant John Bowman gallantly asked Gabriel Prosser if he had any last words. Prosser replied, “I only wanted to do for my people what George Washington did for the white people.”

  7. Irvin says:

    Is the two dollar bill not being made any more?

    • Thomas Jefferson Leadership says:

      Yes, but they are not commonly in circulation. You can request them from any bank. I have one on display in my office.

  8. Irvin says:

    In “Lions of the West,” Robert Morgan wrote that Nicholas Trist had been Jefferson’s law clerk and married Jefferson’s granddaughter. Jackson sometimes asked him, “What did Mr.Jefferson think of me?” when he was aide to Jackson. Morgan did not say what Trist answered.

  9. Jack Palmer says:

    Not a huge Jefferson fan, but agree with Bruce Wallace. Jackson is one of the worst presidents we have had. I can’t believe he is consistently rated in the top 15 best presidents in many rankings! Trail of Tears! Enough said.

  10. Pingback: Jefferson and the $20 Bill – Clay Jenkinson

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  12. Brian Mumford says:

    I have a lot of respect for Thomas Jefferson, but in this case, he was wrong in my opinion as Andrew Jackson was exactly what we needed to get rid of the national [international] banking cartel at the time; something Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington’s attorney general, Edmund Randolph, were unable to prevent from coming to fruition in 1791 despite all three men putting into writing that our first central bank was absolutely & patently unconstitutional. George Washington nonetheless signed the bill into law without being able to articulate a reason to Jefferson in a private conversation. Congress refused to renew its charter when it expired after 20 years, but Madison signed it into law before leaving office anyway (and I’m not sure why). It was Andrew Jackson, however, who ended it again as president, and the central banking cartel did not directly control our monetary policy until it was nefariously reenacted in December of 1913 (the Federal Reserve Act).

  13. Tom Ferguson says:

    Andrew Jackson was the best President in United States history. Jackson prevented the union from breaking apart when South Carolina was threatening secession because of the 1828 Tariff of Abominations, destroyed the corrupt Second Bank of the United States and in 1835 became the only President in U.S. history to pay off the national debt.

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