Andrew Jackson’s Farewell Address on Silk
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“You have no longer any cause to fear danger from abroad... It is from within, among yourselves, from cupidity, from corruption, from disappointed ambition, and inordinate thirst for power, that factions will be formed and liberty endangered.”
“At every hazard and by every sacrifice, this Union must be preserved.”
This powerful speech, delivered on March 4, 1837, is considered a classic example of American oratory. Jackson sternly warns against the expansion of federal government, abuse of taxing power, national banks and, quoting from George Washington’s Farewell Address, the dangers of sectionalism. Ironically, Jackson’s address was drafted in large part by Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, whose 1857 decision in the Dred Scott case would prove a lightning rod in the country’s bitter division over slavery. Moreover, Jackson himself had arrived in Washington as staunch supporter of states’ rights, but eight years in the presidential seat (and multiple crises over federal power and nullification) had converted him to both a Federalist and defender of the Union. ANDREW JACKSON.
Broadside. Farewell Address of General Andrew Jackson, to the Citizens of the United States.
L.G. Hoffman Printer. [after March 4, 1837]. On white silk. Matted, approximately 22 x 16 in.
“…Our Constitution is no longer a doubtful experiment, and at the end of nearly half a century we find that it has preserved unimpaired the liberties of the people, secured the rights of property, and that our country has improved and is flourishing beyond any former example in the history of nations…At every hazard and by every sacrifice, this Union must be preserved. The necessity of watching with jealous anxiety for the preservation of the Union was earnestly pressed upon his fellow citizens by the Father of his country, in his farewell address. He has there told us, that “while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who, in any quarter, may endeavour to weaken its bonds;” and he has cautioned us, in the strongest terms, against the formation of parties, on geographical discriminations, as one of the means which might disturb our union, and to which designing men would be likely to resort. The lessons contained in this invaluable legacy of Washington to his countrymen should be cherished in the heart of every citizen to the latest generation ... The Federal constitution was then regarded by him as an experiment, and he so speaks of it in his address, but as an experiment upon the success of which the best hopes of his country depended, and we all know that he was prepared to lay down his life, if necessary, to secure to it a full and fair trial. The trial has been made. It has succeeded beyond the proudest hopes of those who framed it. Every quarter of this widely extended nation has felt its blessings and shared in the general prosperity produced by its adoption. But amid this general prosperity…the dangers of which he warned us are becoming every day more evident… Knowing that the path of freedom is continually beset by enemies, who often assume the disguise of friends, I have devoted the last hours of my public life to warn you of the dangers. The progress of the United States, under our free and happy institutions, has surpassed the most sanguine hopes of the founders of the republic… My own race is nearly run: advanced age and failing health warn me that before long I must pass beyond the reach of human events and cease to feel the vicissitudes of human affairs. I thank God that my life has been spent in a land of liberty, and that he has given me a heart to love my country with the affection of a son. And filled with gratitude for your constant and unwavering kindness, I bid you a last and affectionate farewell.”
Good. Scattered separations and some minor losses.