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
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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.