Offering a 4 pp, approximately 8 x 10, superb political letter, Washington, Feb. 21, 1828, by MA Congressman and former Secretary of the Navy BENJAMIN WILLIAMS CROWNINSHIELD offering his estimates of the chances of John Quincy Adams against Andrew Jackson.
Crowninshield mistakenly predicts Adams’ victory in the 1828 election. He provides an itemized breakdown of several states that he believes will be loyal to Adams. A very fine political letter from the period.
“...You want to know, I suppose, how politicks are going with us, particularly in respects to the Presidential question. Well, we think we stand pretty well, that is, better than we did at the start of the session. To innumerate, North Carolina is gaining every day for the administration, from all quarters there, we hear, the best account & the numbers from the state say they are astonished at what they do hear, so fast is the...of our cause increasing. Virginia too is making a great struggle for us & many men say we may even carry that state; there is certainly great changes among the most intelligent of her men favorable to Mr. Adams. Tis however in Pennsylvania where we believe we are doing the most & we are working might...there the changes are so great & so fast that most influential there say we know there is a majority now in the state for Mr. Adams. I hope so, and I believe we shall carry that state for the Governor: well now from New York, she ‘is not dead, but (sleepth)’ & she is just now awakening from her slumbers & we trust will like Samson, destroy all her foes...She is organizing her troops for a counter so that the western part of the state is firm for Mr. Adams & that he will get the majority of her votes & that the lamented death of Governor Clinton will help his chance for the state. So you see, my dear sir, we have no cause to despair, we have cause to rejoice. I do think we shall re-elect Mr. Adams...
“The tariff not yet under discussion – hear it will pass, we know not. We have nothing to fear from the investigating committee...they are opposed – wish Clinton Resolutions, too, to their dread. Your friend B.W. Crownshield”
Andrew Jackson decisively won the election, carrying 55.5% of the popular vote and 178 electoral votes, to John Qunicy Adams’ 83 electoral votes. The election marked the rise of Jacksonian Democracy and the transition from the First Party System to the Second Party System.
CROWNINSHIELD was born in Salem, MA, on December 27, 1772, and was the son of a sea captain and merchant. He worked in the family business and served at sea.
He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1811 and the state Senate in 1812.
Crowninshield became Secretary of the Navy in January 1815, after the end of the War of 1812, under President James Madison. He managed the transition to a peacetime force. After leaving the Navy office, he served two more terms in the Massachusetts House. He was later elected to four terms in the United States House of Representatives.
Beautifully written. Some light bleed through, but very readable. A couple of short fold tears repaired with archival tape.
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