• Tariffs, Texas Annexation Highlighted 1844 Presidential Election

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    3 pp, 7 7/8 x 9 3/4, October 27, 1844, Preston, Chenango County, New York, ALS, William F. Gould to his brother Wilarde Gould of Abington, Connecticut.  Gould writes a somewhat chatty letter before touching on the most sensational news of the day – the presidential election of 1845 during which tariffs and the annexation of Texas were major issues, pitting James K. Polk against Henry Clay. Our writer William clearly favored Clay, even writing a sarcastic poem.

     “...Hope these few lines will find you and your family enjoying the same blessing...I wish you was here a few days with me to go and kill a few squirrels. We should not have to go as far to kill fifteen or twenty as you do in ole Connecticut. I went out a few days ago and was not gone but a short time and shot ten...five gray ones and five black squirrels. I have not been out but two or three times. I shot twenty-one in all...


    “The most cheering news that I get at this time is that Henry Clay must be our next President and will be if every man does his duty in November and the Whigs can truly say let us back at things as they stand at this time between the two parties and then let us make up our minds...which of the two candidates is the most fit for the Presidency. While James K. Polk is against the Tariff and Henry Clay for it and also the tax question. We know the opinion of both of these gentlemen and therefore I shall not say anything more at this time...My mind is on politics...”


    William’s four stanza poek: “O pour Gimmy K [James K.]/Stand back pour Gimmy K/K stands for kick; we’ll kick you out/And clear the track for Clay”


    In 1844, Martin Van Buren was expected to win the Democratic nomination for President and Henry Clay was expected to be the Whig nominee. Both Van Buren and Clay tried to take the expansionist issue out of the presidential campaign while Polk publicly asserted that Texas should be re-annexed and all of Oregon re-occupied.  The older Andrew Jackson sensed that people favored expansion and urged the choice of a candidate committed to the nation’s “Manifest Destiny.”  His view prevailed and Polk was nominated at the convention on the ninth ballot and won the presidency.  Before Polk could take office, Congress passed a joint resolution offering annexation to Texas. In doing so, they prevented Polk from having war with Mexico, which soon severed diplomatic relations.  Polk would add a vast area to the United States, but its acquisition precipitated a bitter quarrel between the North and the South over expansion of slavery.

    Toning, folds. Overall in very good condition and very readable.

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