Jul 30, 2020 - Sale 2543

Sale 2543 - Lot 42

Price Realized: $ 11,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000
RAGING AGAINST CENSURE BY CONGRESS JACKSON, ANDREW. Letter Signed, as President, to Thomas K. Gordon, a copy of the letter sent on the same day to the TN legislature justifying his use of public funds to circulate articles arguing against his censure by Congress. 6 pages, folio, written on a folded sheet and on the recto and verso of a separate sheet; horizontal fold reinforced with linen, some scattered loss including a few letters of text from nearly complete separations at folds. Washington, 18 December 1835

Additional Details

"Having understood that exceptions have been taken to . . . resolutions to expunge from the journals of the Senate certain proceedings of that body, condemning my conduct in the removal of the Deposites, I . . . place you in possession of the general considerations which induced me to take that liberty. . . . I was declared guilty of violating the laws and Constitution, notwithstanding the House of Representatives had not impeached me, and I was deprived of the privilege secured to every American citizen of being heard in defence. . . .
". . . I hold myself as clothed legally with the privilege of circulating under my frank any documents or papers which I deem useful to the country . . . . [I]t must be a matter of surprise, to hear that the great right of self defence has not been exercised by me without exciting discontent. Such discontent . . . has never been felt . . . by any person really friendly to . . . the public cause with which I am identified."
On the same day he sent the letter in the present lot, Jackson sent a nearly identical letter to the TN legislature including Representative Alfred O.P. Nicholson. Although the letter was not intended for publication, Nicholson and 24 other members of the House arranged to have the letter appear in a number of publications including the Tuscaloosa Flag of the Union on January 23, 1836 and a week later, the Niles Weekly Register on the 30th. The letter also appears in Correspondence of Andrew Jackson, 5, ed. John Spencer Bassett (Washington, 1931).
On March 28, 1834, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution censuring President Andrew Jackson for having ordered the removal of federal deposits from the Second United States Bank. On January 16, 1837, the Senate voted not only to rescind the censure, but to expunge it from the official record. Hugh Lawson White, a TN Senator whom the Democratic Party had been working to anoint as Jackson's successor, opposed the censure, but found it unconstitutional to make the proposed changes to the public record. Despite the intentions of the Party, President Jackson advanced Vice-President Martin Van Buren as Democratic candidate for the presidential election of 1836. As part of his campaign against White, using public money, Jackson sent Governor William Carroll two volumes of the Congressional Globe containing the speeches of Senator Thomas Hart Benton and other articles arguing in favor of Benton's expungement resolution.
Provenance: Thomas Kennedy Gordon; thence by descent to Lucretia Gordon Topp; thence by descent to Thomas Kennedy Gordon Topp; thence by descent to Elizabeth Gordon Topp Lord; thence by descent to the present owner.