Page images

its course on the questions of the tariff and internal improvements, and its failure to protect the Cherokee Indians against the outrageous and inhuman treatment of them by the State of Georgia.

One of the most important acts of the convention was the adoption of a resolve recommending that a national gathering of the young men of the party be held in Washington on May 11, 1832. The body met as appointed, William Cost Johnson, of Maryland, presiding. After ratifying the nominations of Clay and Sergeant it adopted the following platform:

"1. Resolved, That, in the opinion of this convention, although the fundamental principles adopted by our fathers, as a basis upon which to raise a superstructure of American independence, can never be annihilated, yet the time has come when nothing short of the united energies of all the friends of the American republic can be relied on to sustain and perpetuate that hallowed work.

"2. Resolved, That an adequate protection to American industry is indispensable to the prosperity of the country; and that an abandonment of the policy at this period would be attended with consequences ruinous to the best interests of the nation.

"3. Resolved, That a uniform system of internal improvements, sustained and supported by the general government, is calculated to secure, in the highest degree, the harmony, the strength, and the permanency of the republic.

"4. Resolved, That the Supreme Court of the United States is the only tribunal recognized by the Constitution for deciding in the last resort all questions arising under the Constitution and laws of the United States, and that upon the preservation of the authority and jurisdiction of that court inviolate depends the existence of the nation.

"5. Resolved, That the Senate of the United States is preëminently a conservative branch of the Federal government; that upon a fearless and independent exercise of its constitutional functions


depends the existence of the nicely balanced powers of that government; and that all attempts to overawe its deliberations by the public press or by the national Executive deserve the indignant reprobation of every American citizen.

"6. Resolved, That the political course of the present Executive has given us no pledge that he will defend and support these great principles of American policy and the Constitution; but, on the contrary, has convinced us that he will abandon them whenever the purposes of party require it.

"7. Resolved, That the indiscriminate removal of public officers, for the mere difference of political opinion, is a gross abuse of power; and that the doctrine lately 'boldly preached' in the Senate of the United States, that 'to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy,' is detrimental to the interests, corrupting to the morals, and dangerous to the liberties of this country.

Resolved, That we hold the disposition shown by the present national administration to accept the advice of the king of Holland touching the northeastern boundary of the United States, and thus to transfer a portion of the territory and citizens of a State of this Union to a foreign power, to manifest a total destitution of patriotic American feeling, inasmuch as we consider the life, liberty, property, and citizenship of every inhabitant of every State as entitled to the national protection.

"9. Resolved, That the arrangement between the United States and Great Britain relative to the colonial trade, made in pursuance of the instructions of the late Secretary of State, was procured in a manner derogatory to the national character, and is injurious to this country in its practical results.

"10. Resolved, That it is the duty of every citizen of this republic who regards the honor, the prosperity, and the preservation of our Union, to oppose by every honorable measure the reëlection of Andrew Jackson, and to promote the election of Henry Clay, of Kentucky, and John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania, as President and Vice-President of the United States."

[graphic][merged small]

James Madison, 4th president; born at Port Conway, Va., March 16, 1751; lawyer; member of first general assembly of Virginia, 1776; congress, 1789-1797; secretary of state under Jefferson, 1801-1809; president of the United States from March 4, 1809 to March 3, 1817; died at Montpelier, Orange county, Va., June 28, 1836.

Democratic Party

The last of the national conventions to assemble preparatory to the campaign was that of the dominant party, the Democrats. It met in Baltimore, May 21, 1832, delegates from twenty-three States attending. Robert Lucas, of Ohio, presided.

In effecting its organization according to the custom of deliberative bodies the convention appointed a committee on rules, which took into consideration, among other matters, the question of the number of votes to be required for nominations. As it was known that President Jackson would be renominated unanimously, no provision was considered proper in relation to the Presidency; but concerning the Vice-Presidency the committee reported the following resolution, which was adopted by the convention:

"Resolved, That each State be entitled, in the nomination to be made for the Vice-Presidency, to a number of votes equal to the number to which it will be entitled in the Electoral Colleges under the new apportionment in voting for President and Vice-President; and that two-thirds of the whole number of votes in the convention shall be necessary to constitute a choice."

This was the origin of the two-thirds rule that has ever since governed Democratic national conventions. For President, Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee, was nominated unanimously; for Vice-President, Martin Van Buren, of New York, by 208 votes against 49 for Philip P. Barbour, of Virginia, and 26 for Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky. The choice of the VicePresidential candidate was dictated by Jackson, who at all times placed the strongest reliance upon Van

« PreviousContinue »