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Anti-Jackson Broadside in Highly Contested
1828 Presidential Election
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ANDREW JACKSON. Broadside. A Brief Account of Some of the Bloody Deeds of General Jackson, Philadelphia?, 1828. 15¼ x 21 in. 1 p.

Inventory #21417.99       Price: $11,000

Historical Background

This broadside, issued during the contentious election of 1828, in which Andrew Jackson ran against John Quincy Adams, is one of several versions with similar and at times identical text, but typographically different. At least twenty-seven different configurations are known to have been produced.  These “coffin hand bills” originated with Republican editor John Binns (1772-1860) of Philadelphia in his campaign against presidential candidate Andrew Jackson.

This version shows a row of six coffins at the top, referring to the deaths of militiamen during the Creek War. The next series of coffins represent the executions of regular soldiers shot to death near Nashville. The single coffin to the right refers to the execution of John Woods, about who Jackson “repeatedly vociferated, ‘Shoot the damn’d rascal!’” The final four coffins stand for the unwarranted deaths of Indian women and children during the Seminole War. Text within mourning borders. The graphic vignette at the bottom left of the broadside depicts Jackson stabbing Samuel Jackson—a Nashville neighbor of no relation—with whom he quarreled and ran through with a cane sword.

Although this coordinated smear campaign against Jackson may have convinced some voters, Jackson went on to win the Presidency with 56 percent of the popular vote and a two-to-one margin in the Electoral College.

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was born in Waxhaw, South Carolina and trained as a lawyer. Elected to Congress in 1796, and to the U.S. Senate in 1797, representing Tennessee, Jackson later served as a judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court (1798-1804).  During the war of 1812, he served as Commander of the South and secured his military fame through campaigns against the Creek Indians and a victory over the British at New Orleans (1815).  Elected to the Presidency in 1828, he served two terms as the seventh President of the U.S. (1829-1837). Jackson’s politics split the Republican party during his first term, resulting in the formation of the Democratic Republicans, or Democrats, of which Jackson was a member and the National Republicans, or Whigs. Jackson’s election in 1828 was the first in which a great number of people had become involved in electoral politics, and his supporters demanded a share of the spoils.  His administration satisfied them by removing government employees wholesale and replacing them with its friends. This practice would come to dominate American politics for the rest of the century. Jackson relied heavily on the use of his veto and party leadership to assume command rather than defer to Congress in policy-making. His failure to re-charter the Second Bank of the United States, a federally sponsored private corporation, caused its collapse but ultimately won the approval of much of the American public.

Condition

Wide untrimmed margins and deckle edges, foxing, folds.


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