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It may be said that since then the earth has been
girdled by telegraph lines, numbers of which pass under the ocean,
uniting all nations and the uttermost extremities of the world.

In the preceding pages we have done little more than give the results of
the various presidential campaigns. The two leading political parties
were the Whigs and the Democrats, and many of the elections were of
absorbing interest, not only to the participants, but to the country at
large. Several were distinguished by features worthy of permanent
record, since they throw valuable light upon the times, now forgotten,
and were attended in many instances by far-reaching results.

It seems proper, therefore, that a chapter should be devoted to the most
important presidential campaigns preceding and including one of the most
memorable--that of 1840--often referred to as the "hard cider
campaign."

[Illustration: CAMPAIGN SPEECHMAKING IN EARLIER DAYS.]

[Illustration: OLD GATES AT ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA.]




CHAPTER XII.

FAMOUS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS PREVIOUS TO 1840.

The Origin of the "Caucus"--The Election of 1792--The First Stormy
Election--The Constitution Amended--Improvement of the Method of
Nominating Presidential Candidates--The First Presidential
Convention--Convention in Baltimore in 1832--Exciting Scenes--The
Presidential Campaign of 1820--"Old Hickory"--Andrew Jackson's
Popularity--Jackson Nominated--"Old Hickory" Defeated--The "Log-Cabin"
and "Hard-Cider" Campaign of 1840--"Tippecanoe and Tyler Too"--Peculiar
Feature of the Harrison Campaign.


The presidential nominating convention is a modern institution. In the
early days of the Republic a very different method was pursued in order
to place the candidates for the highest office in the land before the
people.


THE ORIGIN OF THE "CAUCUS."

In the first place, as to the origin of the "caucus." In the early part
of the eighteenth century a number of caulkers connected with the
shipping business in the North End of Boston held a meeting for
consultation. That meeting was the germ of the political caucuses which
have formed so prominent a feature of our government ever since its
organization.

The Constitution of our country was framed and signed in the month of
September, 1787, by the convention sitting in Philadelphia, and then
sent to the various Legislatures for their action. It could not become
binding until ratified by nine States. On the 2d of July, 1788, Congress
was notified that the necessary nine States had approved, and on the
13th of the following September a day was appointed for the choice of
electors for President. The day selected was the first Wednesday of
January, 1789. The date for the beginning of proceedings under the new
Constitution was postponed to the first Wednesday in March, which
happened to fall on the 4th. In that way the 4th of March became fixed
as the date of the inauguration of each President, except when the date
is on Sunday, when it becomes the 5th.

Congress met at that time in the city of New York. It was not until the
1st of April that a quorum for business appeared in the House of
Representatives, and the Senate was organized on the 6th of that month.
The electors who were to choose the President were selected by the
various State Legislatures, each elector being entitled to cast two
votes. The rule was that the candidate receiving the highest number
became President, while the next highest vote elected the
Vice-President. The objection to this method was that the two might
belong to different political parties, which very condition of things
came about at the election of the second President, when John Adams was
chosen to the highest office and Thomas Jefferson to the second. The
former was a Federalist, while Jefferson was a Republican, or, as he
would have been called later, a Democrat. Had Adams died while in
office, the policy of his administration would have been changed.

There could be no doubt as to the first choice. While Washington lived
and was willing thus to serve his country, what other name could be
considered? So, when the electoral vote was counted on the 6th of April,
1789, every vote of the ten States which took part in the election was
cast for him. He received 69 (all); John Adams, 34; John Jay, 9; R.H.
Harrison, 6; John Rutledge, 6; John Hancock, 4; George Clinton, 3;
Samuel Huntingdon, 2; John Milton, 2; James Armstrong, Benjamin Lincoln,
and Edward Telfair, 1 each.


THE ELECTION OF 1792.

At the next election, in 1792, the result was: Washington, 132 (all)
votes; John Adams, 77; George Clinton, 50; Thomas Jefferson, 4; Aaron
Burr, 1; vacancies, 3. It would have been the same at the third election
had the illustrious Father of his Country consented to be a candidate;
but he was growing feeble, and had already sacrificed so much for his
country, that his yearning for the quiet, restful life at Mount Vernon
could not be denied him. So he retired, and, less than three years
later, passed from earth.


THE FIRST STORMY ELECTION.

What may be looked upon as the first stormy election of a President took
place in 1800. When the electoral votes came to be counted, they were
found to be distributed as follows: Thomas Jefferson, 73; Aaron Burr,
73; John Adams, 65; Charles C. Pinckney, 64; John Jay, 1. Jefferson and
Burr being tied, the election was thrown into the House of
Representatives, where the contest became a memorable one. The House met
on the 11th of February, 1801, to decide the question. On the first
ballot, Jefferson had eight States and Burr six, while Maryland and
Vermont were equally divided. Here was another tie.

[Illustration: A TYPICAL VIRGINIA COURT-HOUSE.]

Meanwhile, one of the most terrific snowstorms ever known swept over
Washington. Mr. Nicholson, of Maryland, was seriously ill in bed, and
yet, if he did not vote, his State would be given to Burr, who would be
elected President. Nicholson showed that he had the "courage of his
convictions" by allowing himself to be bundled up and carried through
the blizzard to one of the committee rooms, where his wife stayed by his
side day and night. On each ballot the box was brought to his bedside,
and he did not miss one. The House remained in continuous session until
thirty-five ballots had been cast without any change.

It was clear by that time that Burr could not be elected, for the
columns of Jefferson were as immovable as a stone wall. The break, when
it came, must be in the ranks of Burr. On the thirty-sixth ballot, the
Federalists of Maryland, Delaware, and South Carolina voted blank, and
the Federalist of Vermont stayed away. This gave the friends of
Jefferson their opportunity, and, fortunately for the country, Thomas
Jefferson was elected instead of the miscreant Burr.


THE CONSTITUTION AMENDED.

As a result of this noted contest, the Constitution was so amended that
each elector voted for a President and a Vice-President, instead of for
two candidates for President. It was a needed improvement, since it
insured that both should belong to the same political party.

During the first term of Washington, the country was divided into two
powerful political parties. Men who, like Washington, Hamilton, and
others, believed in a strong central government, with only such
political power as was absolutely necessary distributed among the
various States, were Federalists. Those who insisted upon the greatest
possible power for the States, yielding nothing to Congress beyond what
was distinctly specified in the Constitution, were Republicans, of whom
Thomas Jefferson was the foremost leader. Other points of difference
developed as the years passed, but the main distinction was as given.
After the election of John Adams, the Federalist party gradually
dwindled, and in the war of 1812 its unpatriotic course fatally weakened
the organization.


THE COUNTRY DIVIDED IN PARTIES.

The Republican party took the name of Democratic-Republican, which is
its official title to-day. During Monroe's administration, when almost
the last vestige of Federalist vanished, their opponents gradually
acquired the name of Democrats, by which they are now known. After a
time, the Federalists were succeeded by the Whigs, who held well
together until the quarrel over the admission of Kansas and the question
of slavery split the party into fragments. From these, including Know
Nothings, Abolitionists, Free Soilers, and Northern Democrats, was
builded, in 1856, the present Republican party, whose foundation stone
was opposition to the extension of slavery. Many minor parties have
sprung into ephemeral life from time to time, but the Democrats and
Republicans will undoubtedly be the two great political organizations
for many years to come, as they have been for so many years past.


IMPROVEMENT OF THE METHOD OF NOMINATING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.

It will be noted that the old-fashioned method of nominating
presidential candidates was clumsy and frequently unfair. Candidates
sometimes announced themselves for offices within the gift of the
people; but if that practice had continued to modern times, the number
of candidates thus appealing for the suffrages of their fellow-citizens
might have threatened to equal the number of voters themselves. The more
common plan was for the party leaders to hold private or informal
caucuses. The next method was for the legislative caucus to name the
man. The unfairness of this system was that it shut out from
representation those whose districts had none of the opposite political
party in the Legislature. To adjust the matter, the caucus rule was so
modified as to admit delegates specially sent up from the districts that
were not represented in the Legislature. This, it will be seen, was an
important step in the direction of the present system, which makes a
nominating convention consist of delegates from every part of a State,
chosen for the sole purpose of making nominations.

[Illustration: THE WHITE HOUSE AT WASHINGTON, D.C.]

The perfected method appeared in New Jersey as early as 1812, in
Pennsylvania in 1817, and in New York in 1825.



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