03 Aug ANDREW JACKSON’S FITNESS FOR THE PRESIDENCY QUESTIONED BY A PREDECESSOR
THOMAS JEFFERSON HAD HARSH WORDS FOR JACKSON’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN IN 1824.
Daniel Webster visited the aged former president in his Monticello home in 1824. Webster quoted Jefferson as saying, “I feel much alarmed at the prospect of General Jackson President. He is one of the most unfit men I know of such a place. He has very little respect for law or constitutions, and is, in fact, an able military chief. His passions are terrible. When I was President of the Senate, he was a Senator, and he could never speak on account of the rashness of his feelings. I have seen him attempt it repeatedly, and as often shakes with rage…but he is a dangerous man.” (Parton, James: Life of Andrew Jackson. Volume I, page 219)
Parton questioned the accuracy of some of Daniel Webster’s recollections of this meeting with President Jefferson. Jackson lost his 1824 bid for the presidency, but he triumphed in 1828 and was re-elected in 1832.
Recent history is not the first time that a former president has demeaned the fitness of a successor.