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No combination of statesmen are wise enough to prevent the occasional
recurrence of "hard times." Nearly everyone has a cure for the blight,
and the intervals between them are irregular, but they still descend
upon us, when most unexpected and when it seems we are least prepared to
bear them. No one needs a long memory to recall one or two afflictions
of that nature.


THE FIRST "HARD TIMES."

The first financial stringency visited the country in 1819. The
establishment in 1817 of the Bank of the United States had so improved
credit and increased the facilities for trade that a great deal of wild
speculation followed. The officers of the branch bank in Baltimore were
dishonest and loaned more than $2,000,000 beyond its securities. The
President stopped the extravagant loans, exposed the rogues, and greatly
aided in bringing back the country to a sound financial basis, although
the Bank of the United States narrowly escaped bankruptcy--a calamity
that would have caused distress beyond estimate.

Amid the stirring political times our commerce suffered from the pirates
who infested the West Indies. Their depredations became so annoying that
in 1819 Commodore Perry, of Lake Erie fame, was sent out with a small
squadron to rid the seas of the pests. Before he could accomplish
anything, he was stricken with yellow fever and died. Other squadrons
were dispatched to southern waters, and in 1822 more than twenty
piratical vessels were destroyed in the neighborhood of Cuba. Commodore
Porter followed up the work so effectively that the intolerable nuisance
was permanently abated.


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1824.

There were plenty of presidential candidates in 1824. Everybody now was
a Republican, and the choice, therefore, lay between the men of that
political faith. The vote was as follows: Andrew Jackson, of Tennessee,
99; John Quincy Adams, of Massachusetts, 84; Henry Clay, of Kentucky,
37; William H. Crawford, of Georgia, 41. For Vice-President: John C.
Calhoun, of South Carolina, 182; Nathan Sandford, of New York, 30;
Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina, 24; Andrew Jackson, 13; Martin Van
Buren, of New York, 9; Henry Clay, 2.

This vote showed that no candidate was elected, and the election,
therefore, was thrown into the House of Representatives. Although
Jackson was far in the lead on the popular and electoral vote, the
friends of Clay united with the supporters of Adams, who became
President, with Calhoun Vice-President. The peculiar character of this
election led to its being called the "scrub race for the presidency."


JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President, was born at Braintree,
Massachusetts, July 11, 1767, and was the son of the second President.
He was given every educational advantage in his youth, and when eleven
years old accompanied his father to France and was placed in a school in
Paris. Two years later he entered the University of Leyden, afterward
made a tour through the principal countries of Europe, and, returning
home, entered the junior class at Harvard, from which he graduated in
1788. Washington appreciated his ability, and made him minister to The
Hague and afterward to Portugal. When his father became President he
transferred him to Berlin. The Federalists elected him to the United
States Senate in 1803, and in 1809 he was appointed minister to Russia.
He negotiated important commercial treaties with Prussia, Sweden, and
Great Britain, and, it will be remembered, he was leading commissioner
in the treaty of Ghent, which brought the War of 1812 to a close. He was
a man of remarkable attainments, but he possessed little magnetism or
attractiveness of manner, and by his indifference failed to draw warm
friends and supporters around him. Adams was re-elected to Congress
repeatedly after serving out his term as President. He was seized with
apoplexy while on the point of rising from his desk in the House of
Representatives, and died February 23, 1848.

[Illustration: JOHN QUINCY ADAMS.

(1767-1848.) One term, 1825-1829.]

The country was highly prosperous during the presidency of the younger
Adams. The public debt, to which the War of 1812 added $80,000,000,
began to show a marked decrease, money was more plentiful, and most
important of all was the introduction of the steam locomotive from
England. Experiments had been made in that country for a score of years,
but it was not until 1829 that George Stephenson, the famous engineer,
exhibited his "Rocket," which ran at the rate of nearly twenty miles an
hour.


INTRODUCTION OF THE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE.

The first clumsy attempts on this side were made in 1827, when two short
lines of rails were laid at Quincy, near Boston, but the cars were drawn
by horses, and, when shortly after, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was
chartered, the intention was to use the same motor. In 1829, a steam
locomotive was used on the Delaware and Hudson Canal Railroad, followed
by a similar introduction on the Baltimore and Ohio Road. The first
railroad chartered expressly for steam was granted in South Carolina for
a line to run from Charleston to Hamburg. The first locomotive made by
Stephenson was brought across the ocean in 1831. The Americans set to
work to make their own engines, and were successful in 1833. It will be
noted that these events occurred after the administration of Adams.


THE CHEROKEES IN GEORGIA.

Most of the country east of the Mississippi was being rapidly settled.
Immense areas of land were sold by the Indian tribes to the government
and they removed west of the river. The Cherokees, however, refused to
sell their lands in Georgia and Alabama. They were fully civilized, had
schools, churches, and newspapers, and insisted on staying upon the
lands that were clearly their own. Georgia was equally determined to
force them out of the State, and her government was so high-handed that
President Adams interfered for their protection. The governor declared
that the Indians must leave, and he defied the national government to
prevent him from driving them out. The situation of the Cherokees
finally became so uncomfortable that, in 1835, they sold their lands and
joined the other tribes in the Indian Territory, west of the
Mississippi.


AN IMPRESSIVE OCCURRENCE.

One of the most impressive incidents in our history occurred on the 4th
of July, when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died. It was just half a
century after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, of which
Jefferson was the author and whose adoption Adams secured.

Adams attained the greatest age of any of our Presidents, being nearly
ninety-one years old when he died. He retained the brightness of his
mind, his death being due to the feebleness of old age. When he was
asked if he knew the meaning of the joyous bells that were ringing
outside, his wan face lighted up, and he replied: "It is the 4th of
July; God bless it!" His last words, uttered a few minutes later:
"Jefferson still survives."

[Illustration: "JOHNNY BULL," OR NO. 1.

(The first locomotive used.)]

It was a natural error on the part of Adams, but Jefferson had passed
away several hours before, in his eighty-fourth year. He died quietly,
surrounded by friends, with his mind full of the inspiring associations
connected with the day. His last words were: "I resign my soul to God,
and my daughter to my country."

An important issue of the younger Adams' administration was the tariff.
Naturally the South were opposed to a protective tariff, because they
had no manufactures, and were, therefore, compelled to pay higher prices
for goods than if admitted free of duty. A national convention was held
at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1827, to discuss the
question of the protection of native industry. Only four of the
slave-holding States were represented, but the members memorialized
Congress for an increase of duties on a number of articles made in this
country. In the session of 1827-28, Congress, in deference to the
general sentiment, passed a law which increased the duties on fabrics
made of wool, cotton, linen, and on articles made from lead, iron, etc.
The Legislatures of the Southern States protested against this action as
unjust and unconstitutional, and in the presidential election of that
year the entire electoral vote of the South was cast against Adams.

The "Era of good feeling" was gone and politics became rampant. The
policy of a protective tariff became known as the American System, and
Henry Clay was its foremost champion. Their followers began to call
themselves National Republicans, while their opponents soon assumed the
name of Democrats, which has clung to them ever since, though the
National Republicans changed their title a few years later to Whigs.


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1828.

The presidential election of 1828 resulted as follows: Andrew Jackson,
Democrat, 178; John Quincy Adams, National Republican, 83. For
Vice-President, John C. Calhoun, Democrat, 171; Richard Rush, of
Pennsylvania, National Republican, 49; William Smith, of South Carolina,
Democrat, 7. Jackson and Calhoun therefore were elected.




CHAPTER XI.

ADMINISTRATIONS OF JACKSON, VAN BUREN, W.H. HARRISON, AND TYLER,
1829-1845.

Andrew Jackson--"To the Victors Belong the Spoils"--The President's
Fight with the United States Bank--Presidential Election of
1828--Distribution of the Surplus in the United States Treasury Among
the Various States--The Black Hawk War--The Nullification
Excitement--The Seminole War--Introduction of the Steam
Locomotive--Anthracite Coal, McCormick's Reaper, and Friction
Matches--Great Fire in New York--Population of the United States in
1830--Admission of Arkansas and Michigan--Abolitionism--France and
Portugal Compelled to Pay their Debts to the United States--The Specie
Circular, John Caldwell Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel
Webster--Presidential Election of 1836--Martin Van Buren--The Panic of
1837--Rebellion in Canada--Population of the United States in
1840--Presidential Election of 1840--William Henry Harrison--His
Death--John Tyler--His Unpopular Course--The Webster-Ashburton
Treaty--Civil War in Rhode Island--The Anti-rent War in New York--A
Shocking Accident--Admission of Florida--Revolt of Texas Against Mexican
Rule--The Alamo--San Jacinto--The Question of the Annexation of
Texas--The State Admitted--The Copper Mines of Michigan--Presidential
Election of 1844--The Electro-magnetic Telegraph--Professor Morse--His
Labors in Bringing the Invention to Perfection.


ANDREW JACKSON.

Andrew Jackson, seventh President, ranks among the greatest of those who
have been honored with the highest gift their countrymen can confer upon
them.



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