As Published on, Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson, Tea Party President?

As published at:…

It turns out that even in 1833, Americans were arguing over the intent of the Founders. This month, we were contacted by a descendant of both the families of Andrew Jackson’s wife (Donelson) and of former president James Knox Polk with a letter that had passed down in his family, a letter from President Andrew Jackson. This letter is unpublished, its content previously unknown. Stop me when the language sounds familiar.

“The opposition will not be quiet, but by the continuation of my course of ‘taking truth & principle for my guide & the public good my end’, I trust under the auspices of a kind Providence I will… restore the administration to the original reading of the Constitution.”

Andrew Jackson bestrode his era like a colossus, so much so that it is called the Age of Jackson. His principle accomplishment is the rise of Popular Democracy. At his inauguration in 1829, to make the statement that the government now belonged to the people, the White House was thrown open to everyone, with frontiersmen standing elbow to elbow with prominent citizens. This letter demonstrates the popular strength and confidence, even bravado, that is at the heart of Jackson’s legacy. But it is also a reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same. This same attitude is draped in the flag of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It is remarkable that so close to the ratification of the Constitution, a debate existed already about the intent of the Founders, with each side claiming Constitutional legitimacy.

Andrew Jackson, Tea Party President?

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