The Papers of Andrew Jackson, volume 12, 1834

  • Author(s): Feller, Dan, editor
  • Series: Papers of Andrew Jackson
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2022-11-23
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Hardcover - Cloth: Price $125.00 | Buy Now

 

This volume presents more than five hundred annotated original documents from Andrew Jackson’s sixth presidential year. They include his private memoranda, intimate family letters, official messages, and correspondence with government and military officers, diplomats, Indian leaders, political friends and foes, and plain citizens throughout the country.

The year 1834 began with Jackson battling the United States Senate. Pursuing his campaign against the federally chartered Bank of the United States, Jackson in 1833 had installed Roger Taney as interim Treasury secretary to transfer the government’s deposits to selected state-chartered “pet” banks. The Bank retaliated by curtailing its business, setting off a commercial crisis and a political frenzy. In 1834 the Senate, controlled by the new opposition Whig Party led by Jackson’s old nemeses Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, rejected a slew of Jackson’s nominees for office, including Taney, and adopted an unprecedented (and still unparalleled) resolution of censure against Jackson himself. Jackson returned a scathing protest, which the Senate rejected. Meanwhile the administration struggled to implement its “experiment” of conducting government finances through state banks.

Throughout the year Jackson pursued his aim of compelling eastern Indians to remove west of the Mississippi. In May the Chickasaws signed a removal treaty. But brazen frauds complicated the administration’s scheme to induce individual Creeks to emigrate from Alabama, while the Cherokees, led by Principal Chief John Ross, stood fast in resistance. In June some unauthorized dissident Cherokees signed a removal treaty, but it died in the Senate.

In 1834 Jackson continued his longstanding effort to pry the province of Texas loose from Mexico, while the U.S. hurtled toward confrontation with France over French failure to pay an indemnity due under an 1831 treaty. Other matters engaging Jackson included corruption scandals in the Post Office Department and at Mississippi land offices, fractious disputes over rank and seniority among Army and Navy officers, and a fire that gutted Jackson’s Hermitage home in Tennessee. Unfolding these stories and many more, this volume offers a revelatory window into Andrew Jackson, his presidency, and America itself in 1834.

 

DANIEL FELLER is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Associate Editors THOMAS COENS and LAURA-EVE MOSS and Assistant Editor AARON CRAWFORD are research faculty in the Department of History.