AUGUST 2017

AUGUST  2017
FACING DOWN THE RULERS OF WALL STREET A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. THEY ARE BACK.

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Friday, August 09, 2013

SMOKE AND MIRRORS

I miss the old smoke filled rooms – sometimes. In the old days there were no passionate amateurs willing to bring on a political doomsday, just to muck things up. The process was dispassionate, calculated and handled by people who saw politics as a job, aided, of course, by political writers who supplied the passion in print. From such combinations, legends were born, such as this one I shall now relate.
On April Fools Day, 1920, bland faced Ohio political manager Harry Daugherty (above) was hastily packing his bags in his room at the old Waldorf Astoria hotel on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Into the room sauntered two reporters seeking a quote. They taunted Daugherty on his boastful support for the turgid and mediocre Ohio Senator, Warren G. Harding for President. Nobody else thought Harding stood a chance. Just who were these senators that Daugherty claimed would support Harding at the Republican Convention, come June? When Daugherty refused to take the bait, the reporters suggested he must be expecting Harding to win the nomination in some hotel back room with a small group of political managers, “reduced to pulp by the inevitable vigil and travail” of a deadlocked convention. Daugherty said nothing, so the reporter suggested further that Daugherty must be expecting the managers to collapse about 2:00 A.M. in a smoke filled room. Weary of the dialog, Daugherty responded off handedly, “Make it 2:11,” grabbed his bags and rushed out to catch the train back to Ohio.
The reporter turned that conversation into this quote, which he stuck into Daugherty’s mouth; “I don't expect Senator Harding to be nominated on the first, second or third ballot, but I think we can well afford to take chances that about eleven minutes after 2 o'clock on Friday morning at the convention, when fifteen or twenty men, somewhat weary, are sitting around a table, some one of them will say, "Who will we nominate?" At that decisive time the friends of Senator Harding can suggest him, and can afford to abide by the result.”
And amazingly, that is almost exactly how it really happened. Except that the back room was a suite of meeting rooms in Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Balboa, room numbers 408 through 410, with Room 404 set aside as the reception room.
The suite had been rented by Will Hays, the big-eared big-talking “mighty little ear of corn” from Indiana. He was the Republican National Chairman, and had hopes of being President himself in 1920. And maybe the greatest compliment you can pay the professional politicians of that era is that they did not let Will Hays become President.
The Republican Convention that June was officialy taking place 9 blocks south of the Blackstone hotel, in the old Chicago Coliseum on South Wabash Avenue. This cavern had been home to every Republican Convention since 1904. It is worth noting that the building had originally been constructed to house a prison, Richmond’s Libby prison, bought lock, stock, and barrel by a Chicago candy millionaire and shipped north to form the centerpice of a Civil War Museum. The museum went bust in 1899, and the owner “re-imagined” the space as a public meeting center.
It was into this den of iniquity that some 2,000 delegates and their alternates marched on Tuesday June, 8th, 1920, sixty years after Republicans had first met in Chicago to nominate William Seward for President, but instead chose Abraham Lincoln. It was an ominous bit of history to consider if you were General Leonard Wood or Illinois Governor Frank Lowden, as they were considered the front runners for the 1920 Republican nomination.
The dour faced Lowden (above) wanted to be president so badly that when both houses of the Illinois state legislature voted to abolish the death penalty, he had vetoed the bill, proving again that politicians are even willing to kill to win a few votes.
In contrast, Leonard Wood (above) had few political skills. He was a  Medal of Honor winner who had then graduated medical school and then risen to Army Chief of Staff, and had even won the New Hampshire primary. And while little Will Hays had not entered any of the twenty primaries held that year, he still had hopes that Wood and Lowden would deadlock, and the convention would turn to the little Hoosier to break the tie.
The convention finally got down to the balloting on Friday evening, June 11th, and immediately things started looking up for Hays. On the first ballot Wood led with 285 votes, Lowden showed 211, Senator Hiram Johnson, of California, a Teddy Roosevelt progressive, was third with 133 votes. Far behind was Governor William Spool of Pennsylvania with 84 votes, followed by New York’s Nicholas Butler with 69 votes and Ohio’s favorite son, Senator Warren G. Harding, who had lost in the Indiana primary and could muster just 65 votes. Six other candidates held the remaining 132 delegates.
On the second ballot Wood gained just ten votes, while Governor Lowden’s total grew by 40. But still nobody was close to the 439 votes needed to nominate. General Wood reached his peak on the fourth ballot with 314 votes, then his support started to slip, and Governor Lowden beat him with 311 votes on the fifth ballot. Still, no one seemed to be gathering enough support to win it all. And the longer this went on, the less confidence actual voters would have in the eventual choice. So the professionals stepped in and the convention adjourned for the night. The negotiations shifted to the infamous fourth floor rooms at the Blackstone hotel.
Actually political junkies were meeting all over Chicago that night, but Hays’ rooms at the Blackstone got all the publicity because that was where Associated Press reporter Kirke Simpson was working. He was there to cover Harry Daugherty, because, as you have seen, Harry was always good for a quote, even if you had to spoon feed it to him.
Also present was George Harvey, who ran Harper publishing, and Republican Senators Wadsworth, Calder, Watson, McCormick and Lodge, Governor Smoot, political fixer Joe Grundy, and Lawyer Charles Hillers, counsel to the R.N.C., as well as his client, R.N.C. Chief, Will Hays. Their problem was that none of them could agree upon who the party should rally around, either.
It was, by general agreement, the original “Smoke filled room”, and the 130 pound Hays was the host. Even though he neither smoked nor drank himself, Hays kept the cigars lit and the booze flowing “Neighbor”, he and once said to Herbert Hoover, “I want to be helpful.”  It was his natural instinct.
Harry Daugherty’s (left) natural instinct, on the other hand, was his drive for his man. He said of Harding (right), “I found him sunning himself, like a turtle on a log, and I pushed him into the water. “
Since the top three vote getters were not willing to compromise with each other, the Senators were now looking for “The best of the second raters.”, and Daugherty suggested that Harding was their man. There is no indication that anybody even mention Will Hays - not even Will Hays.
They dispatched a small delegation to Hardings’ room up stairs, and asked the stunned man in his pajamas if there were any embarrassing episodes in his past. Harding swallowed and said, “No”. He was lying, but that would not come out until Harding was long dead.
It wasn't as if the party managers issued orders and the party regulars fell in line. It would take five more ballots before the crowd at the Collisseum would give up and hand the nomination to Harding. But as of 2:15 A.M., the decision has been made, just as Daugherty had predicted; if nobody seems to be winning, we will rally around Harding and make do.  What a way to pick a president! And it worked.
At 5 A.M. on Saturday June 12, 1920, Kirke Simpston filed a story that included the following phrase, “Harding of Ohio was chosen by a group of men in a smoke-filled room early today.” And that is how the phrase "smoke filled room" entered the vernacular. The connotation became negative because after Warren G. Harding won in a landslide, he and his “Ohio Gang” - his buddies, including Harry Daugherty - moved to Washington D.C.  There, many of them ended up in jail, or disgraced, or at least spending a lot of the graft they had collected on lawyers.
Harding appointed Harry Daugherty as his Attorney General. And after three heady years, Harry was forced to resign when his chief aide, Jess Smith, was caught taking kickbacks from bootleggers. Harry was taking kickbacks too, but the professional politicians decided not to prosecute him, the important thing was that he was gone.
Will Hays served as Hardings’ Postmaster General. But after only one year he smelled the impending scandals and got out. In 1922 Hays took another job, running the Hays Production Code office, which set standards for on- screen morality in the Hollywood film industry. It was the Hays Commission which gave us forty years of married couples sleeping in twin beds, no acknowledgement of drug use, no adultry in marraige without retribution, and endless stories with sacerin sweet "Hollywood" endings. It was the Hays' Commission that turned Rhett Butler’s exit line as he walked out on Scarlet O’Hara into a major social crises, even though the line appeared in one of the most widely read books in America, "Gone With the Wind". It seemed that Mr. Hays had built his entire career selling smoke and mirrors, and he was not going to get out of that business just because he had gotten out of politics.
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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

MR UN-LUCKY

 I don't believe in curses, but the hard luck existence of Alfred James Brady may yet cause me to reconsider this conviction. Alfred was born on October 25, 1910 in the isolated crossroads of Kentland, atop the flatlands of northwest Indiana - four miles from the Illinois border and just about forever from anywhere else. Curse number two was delivered when Alfred was just two years old and his father, Roy Brady, died in a farming accident. His mother Clara eventually remarried, to Mr. John Biddle . He moved her and the boy 140 miles south on the Monon Railroad to New Salem, northwest of Indianapolis. At the age of sixteen Alfred suffered yet another loss, when Clara died in December of 1926. She was just 37. And in 1928 Alfred's stepfather also died. That was four strikes before Alfred was twenty.
It might be well to pause here to discuss the differences between Alfred Brady and that other Hoosier handful, John Herbert Dillinger (above), who grew up forty-one miles south of North Salem in Mooresville, Indiana. Dillinger – or Public Enemy Number One as the FBI liked to refer to him - was seven years older than Alfred, and his mother had died when he was three. But perhaps the most interesting thing these two men had in common was that Dillinger's Prussian born father ran a grocery store, and four months after his own stepfather's death, Afred Brady sought his fortune by walking into a grocery store. He pretended to have a gun in his pocket and demanded all the money in the till. The clerk pulled his real gun and opened fire. Alfred got shot three times, and was arrested – strike number five.
Afred served six months on the Indiana State Prison Farm, learning how to shovel horse manure, and upon his release tried to go straight. Despite the depression Alfred (above) found work as a delivery boy for a hot tamale stand, a stock boy in a men's clothing store, a welder in an automobile factory, and later, in a mattress factory. Alfred's dissatisfaction with entry level jobs reached a crescendo on July 10, 1934, when he was arrested for vagrancy. Alfred was adrift and looking for a career.
The turning point in Alfred's life came when he met James Dalhover. James was a five foot four inch tall career criminal, four years older and two inches shorter than Alfred. James' skill set was mostly at making moonshine, which financed his purchase of a farm outside of Hanover, Indiana -  strategically located along the distribution route between Louisville and Cincinnati. But revenue agents had recently shut down this home industry and James had just been released from the State Farm. This setback, plus his time in jails in New Mexico, Kentucky and Ohio, tempted James to team up with Alfred.
Their first joint venture was robbing a movie theater 50 miles south of Indianapolis, in Crothersville, Indiana. Unfortunately they chose a Monday night for their holdup, and the cash register contained just $18. The two crooks marked this up to a learning curve, and did better on the following Saturday night, October 19th , when they robbed a grocery in Sellersburg, Indiana, about ten miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. This time they walked out with $190 dollars (the equivalent of $3,000 today). The Brady Gang, as it would later be referred to, was in business.
The boys brought in twenty year old Clarence Shaffer, who stood five feet five inches tall. And the new gang began a regular Saturday night robbery routine around southern Indiana and Ohio. James would later boast that by the spring of 1936 they had successfully robbed about 150 gas stations and groceries, and they began to aim higher. On Wednesday, March 4, 1936 they hit a jewelry store in Lima, Ohio for $8,000. So on Monday, April 27, 1936, they returned to the scene of that crime and robed the same store again, this time making off with $27,000 in jewelry. And then, the next morning , fifty miles away, outside of the little town of Geneva, Indiana, Alfred's curse struck again.
In a farmer's field, Geneva Police retrieved one of the numbered boxes taken from the Ohio jewelry store. This meant the proceeds of the felony had crossed state lines. And J.Edgar Hoover, the bureaucrat running the FBI, used that slim opening to label Alfred Brady as the new Public Enemy Number One. You see, 1936 had been a presidential election year, and under pressure, Roosevelt had pulled back on New Deal spending. To ward off those budget cuts, Hoover needed a replacement for his very successful John Dillenger, Public Enemy Number One campaign.  And Dillenger's “neighbor” Alfred Brady looked like the perfect fit.  Hoover's F.B.I. issued wanted posters and held press conferences, and on Wednesday, May 11th, the Indianapolis Police arrested Alfred and Clarence Shaffer. Four days later James Dalhover was arrested in Chicago, where he had gone to fence the jewelry.
To their shock, the three crooks were charged with the murder of an Indianapolis Police Officer. Whether they actually committed this murder is questionable. They were prolific crooks, and they did carry guns, and sooner or later somebody was going to get shot. But if Alfred was so cold blooded, why didn't he shoot the would-be hero who interrupted the robbery by jumping on Alfred's back? In any case Alfred must have realized it was too late now. The F.B.I. had labeled the trio as “mad dog killers”. It was enough to make you think Alfred Brady was cursed.
On Sunday morning, October 11, 1936 a sheriff in the Hancock County Jail was delivering breakfast to the three men when they hit him over the head with an iron bar, stole his .38 revolver and made their escape in his car. If anybody thought to ask, they might have wondered why the blood-thirsty Alfred Brady had left behind the living injured sheriff. But Hoover and the Indianapolis police made certain nobody gave that little conundrum more than a passing thought.
The trio, now permanently allied by circumstances and the police, fled to Baltimore, Maryland. Here they attempted to establish quiet, respectable lives under assumed names. James Dalhover and Clarence Shaffer even married a pair of nice Italian sisters (despite James still having a wife and two children back in Hanover). For his part, Alfred bought himself a bar. Oh, they periodically returned to Indiana to rob grocery stores and banks, but that was just “what” they did. It wasn't “who” they were. It became who they were on May 27, 1937.
The original plan had been to rob a bank in Sheldon, Illinois, but that institution had failed in the 1937 economic downturn. So instead they robbed a bank in Goodland, Indiana, less than ten miles from Alfred's birthplace in Kentland. They walked out with all of $2,528. And in criss-crossing back roads making their getaway, the gang stumbled upon an intersection called Royal Center, where their careers collided with Indiana Highway Patrol Offiicer Paul Minneman (above) and Cass County Sheriff's Deputy Elmer Craig. In the ensuing fulsade of gunfire, Officer Minneman was killed and Deputy Craig was severely wounded. After the attack, Craig reported one of the gangsters approached the car, pointed a rifle at him and asked, “Shall I finish this guy too? ” Another gang member responded, “No, come on, let's get the hell out of here.” Trooper Minneman left behind a wife and an as yet unborn daughter.
Whatever the truth about Alfred Brady's responsibility in the previous killings attributed to the Brady Gang, there can be no doubt about this one. Even if he had not pulled the trigger, or had been the one telling the gunman not to shoot the wounded deputy, he was now legally responsible for the murder of a police officer. Time Magazine quoted Captain Matt Leach, head of Indiana's State Police, as saying that "because of their viciousness and the way they operate, the Brady mob is going to make Dillinger look like a neophyte.” Reading that, Alfred must have known how it was going to end. The only question was “when”.
In late September, the three men drove to Bangor, Maine, looking to purchase guns and ammunition, telling clerks in at least two sporting goods stores that they were hunters. But nobody in Maine could mistake these Indiana hoods for outdoors men. They returned to Bangor in early October to buy even more guns, and paid the owner of Dakin's Sporting Goods for additional ammunition that was not in stock. The store owner told the men to return in a week.  And that was why, at 8:30 on the Tuesday morning of Columbus Day, October 12, 1937, the “Brady Gang” pulled their black Buick sedan over to the curb in front of 25 Central Street, Bangor. Alfred was in the passenger seat. Clarence and James Dalhover got out, with James entering the store.
James Dalhover approached a clerk and asked, “Where's the stuff I ordered?” His answer came when F.B.I. agent Walter Walsh (above) poked a gun into the back of his head. Instinctively James turned, and Walsh hit him across the bridge of the nose with the pistol. Dalhover fell, and immediately struggled to regain his feet.
Outside, Clarence Shaffer saw the assault, and began firing through the store's windows. He hit agent Walsh in the shoulder. But as he did F.B.I. and Maine State Police “marksmen” stationed on the rooftops along Central Street, opened up.
Several stories under those snipers, 19 year old Poppy Valiades was sitting before the front window of her family's restaurant, the Paramount Cafe, typing up the day's menues. She saw Clarence staggering into the street. “ "I saw his clothes - oh, blood spilling out – bullets...he went into a kind of a coil as he moved into the street. I was probable 10 to 15 feet from him when he dropped.”
Inside the store, James Dalhover broke for the back door, and ran right into the arms of two Bangor city cops, who placed him under arrest. Meanwhile, two agents approached either side of the big Buick. They called for Al Brady to give himself up. Alfred put up his hands and responded, “Don't shoot, don't shoot, I'll get out." But he came out of the car firing and running.
He didn't hit anybody and he didn't get very far. The concentrated gunfire from the rest of the fifteen F.B.I. Agents, and 15 Indiana and Maine State Police Officers, dropped the newest Public Enemy Number One in the very middle of the busy street. Alfred had in his cold dead hand the .38 revolver taken from the holster of murdered Officer Minnemen.
Seventy-four years later, Andrew Taber, who had been on his way to the Dakin's when the shooting exploded on the street, remembered seeing Alfred Brady's body lifted into the wicker basket used to transport fatalities. He watched the silver coins glinting in the brisk morning sunlight as they fell out of Alfred's pocket onto the pavement. The two dead gang members had over sixty wounds in their bodies.
The second the shooting stopped people rushed from all over to have a look; Kalil Ayoob was having breakfast in Main Street that morning, and he remembered, “It looked like the running of the bulls in Spain.”
The only surviving member of the “Brady Gang”, James Dalhover, was tried and convicted of the murder of Officer Minneman. And that was the only murder any member of the gang was ever convicted of. James had the dubious distinction of being the last of nine men executed in Indiana's electric chair in 1938, on November 18th, at the Indiana State Penitentiary, Michigan City.
Clarence Shaffer's family sent for his body, and had it brought home to Indiana. But Alfred Brady had no family. In the end,  he was lowered into a charity unmarked grave in Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor. However his brain continued to reside in a jar at the Eastern Maine General Hospital, along the Penobscot River, where curious nursing students could wonder if its convolutions hid an explanation for the violence of its lifetime -  until it finally disappeared. And with it, perhaps the Brady curse also died. As the longtime caretaker for the Mount Hope cemetery often told author Stephen King, “In the end, there's always Hope”.
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Sunday, August 04, 2013

1828 - IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

I'll bet that most contemporary pundits logically assumed the campaign of 1828 was decided on December 4th of 1827, when President John Quincy Adams sent his written State of the Union to Congress. Adams was able to report a budget surplus - about $5 million, constituting a direct repudiation of the Jackson image of Adams as a tariff and spend elitist. And as Adams pointed out, most of the public debt still scheduled to be paid off was not due to big government expenditure for the national road or the construction of canals in Indiana, but “more than three fifths...are for lands within the State of Alabama.” This was the last sad remnant of the “Yazoo Land Fraud” the first great land fraud in America, which had repeatedly enriched the ruling elite in New England and the South, at the expense of average voters and business owners in the west, who the national road was built to serve.
That the election was not decided logically, is usually attributed to one man in particular, the “Little Magician”, “The Careful Dutchman”, “the Red Fox of Kinderhook,” and The Great Manager”, Martin Van Buren (above). His father had been a tavern keeper in the Hudson River village of Kinderhook, New York, and was successful enough to own six slaves. But the driving force in Van Buren's life was his ambitious mother, Francis. It was Francis who took him out of school at fourteen, and apprenticed him to a local attorney. Eventually that led to his training under a powerful City lawyer and ally to the supremely ambitious Aaron Burr, Vice President under Thomas Jefferson. Van Buren passed the bar in 1803, and immediately became immersed in state politics.
It was Van Buren who created “The Buck-tails”, the political machine that controlled New York state politics, and later became known as The “Albany Regency”. Van Buren was smart and always courteous to your face, always proceeded “with an air of evasiveness” was always circumspect to a fault and famous for his skill at being all things to all men. As the election year of 1828 approached, a contemporary historian from neighboring Massachusetts, Jabez Delano Hammond, dispatched a warning to Van Buren. He wrote, “The Southern Atlantic States never have and never will support a northern candidate for the Presidency... .I have neither faith nor hope that either you or I shall live to see another President from north of the Potomac.” Of course, Van Buren had figured that out four years earlier.
In 1824 Senator Van Buren had supported William Crawford from Georgia for President. Then in December of 1826, he formalized an agreement for Vice President John C. Calhoun to be Jackson's Vice President as well. Van Buren himself easily won re-election that February of 1827. And then in the spring he made a trip to Calhoun's home state of South Carolina. On April 23 he wrote from the state capital of Columbia, “When I left Washington it was my intention to have been back by this time: but the extreme hospitality of the Southerners has rendered it impossible.” What Van Buren found so hospitable was the willingness of southern politicians to believe Jackson would repeal any increase in tariffs passed to embarrass President John Quincy Adams. And Van Buren had similar success in convincing the New York, New England and western politicians that the new higher tariffs would remain unchanged.
After a side trip to Crawford's plantation in northwest Georgia, to collect his endorsement of Jackson, Senator Van Buren return to the capital. By now Van Buren was convinced that “we can...not only succeed in electing (Jackson) but our success when achieved will be worth something”. This something was a coalition of the best political activist in New York and across the south, which would gain victory by protecting, in the words of a modern historian, “not only (Jefferson) ideology but also Southern guardianship of slavery.” The Jefferson ideology of “small government” suited the power structure in New York, because “small government” could not interfere with "big business". In short, New York provided the money, and through the 3/5ths provision of the constitution, the Southern slaves would provide the votes. That was the real corrupt bargain of the decade.
In Washington, Van Buren now joined with Tennessee Senator John Henry Eaton, Tennessee Congressman Sam Houston and Vice President Calhoun to form a committee of correspondence. Popular since the revolution, such groups produced a web of letters to influential men around the nation, usually local newspaper editors. And at the center would be The United States Telegraph, a newspaper started by Eaton in Washington D.C., edited by the independently minded Kentuckian, Duff Green, and dedicated to unflinching support of Andrew Jackson for President.
From the committee now streamed letters urging the formation of “Huzza Boys” and “Old Hickory Groups”, who would parade “to the nearest spot of bare dirt to plant a hickory tree, then repair to the nearest watering hole to consume great quantities of something other than water.” In Manhattan there was an elaborate dinner on January 3, to remind the public of Jackson's victory at New Orleans. Across the country there were barbecues and rallies. Hickory poles were erected in town squares, and smaller ones were tied to church steeples, even on the prows of boats. Hickory brooms were appropriated to “sweep out” the corruption in Washington – a theme that would be revisited a few million times over the next 250 years, with varying degrees of success.
The Jackson campaign of 1828 has been called “little short of brilliant”, and Van Buren traditionally gets most of the credit for it. He was at the center, but he was not the source. The Little Magician waved his hand but every participant had their own reasons for working magic for Jackson. And the image of Jackson created by the campaign was succinctly expressed in the Albany, N.Y., Argust – he was a hero and an “Honest, Unassuming Farmer of Tennessee”.
In reality, Jackson's “farm” covered more than 600 acres, and required 95 human beings (above) held in bondage to work it. Over two decades at least ten men of those human beings risked escaping Jackson's Hermitage. One of them, a man named Gilbert, who was recaptured, refused to suffer a whipping as punishment, and was beaten to death. And one of Jackson's nephew's reported in 1815 that the female slaves had been brought “to order by Hickory Oil”, a euphemism for whipping. Jackson himself wrote that his wife's personal servant of 30 years, a woman known only as Betty, was “capable of being a good and valuable servant, but...she must be ruled with the cowhide.” Few of the northern and western farmers who voted for the gallant and courageous Jackson would have recognized him as the man who encouraged a woman under his protection to be whipped with a leather strap.
By 1828 Jackson (above) was 61 years old and frail. He had built a reputation as duelist, in part because he had always been too frail and thin to have been much of a fist fighter or a wrestler, like Lincoln. Jackson  suffered from chronic headaches, and now carried two musket balls in his body. One was ensconced in his abdomen, causing him periodic agony and bringing on bouts of the “national hotel disease” –AKA, dysentery. The second had lodged in his lung and periodically produced an exhausting, hacking, bloody cough. In short, he was not the man he himself or Van Buren,  projected him to be – far from an original political situation. And frustratingly, the public was buying the false image of Jackson, while also buying every outrageous, idiotic lie the Pro-Jackson press invented about President John Quincy Adams.
I have already discussed the charged that Adams (above) had “pimped” for the Russian Czar. Adams brought a chess set and a deck of cards into the White House, and the Jackson press charged he had used public funds to bring gambling into the sacred White House. They questioned Adams' faith, charging that he traveled on Sunday, and had “premarital relations” with his wife. And they pointed out John Quincy had not taken the oath of office with his hand a bible, but rather on a book of Constitutional Law, thus invalidating his presidency. In fact the Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight of the Constitution details the oath, but says nothing about using a bible, does not specify the oath must be verbal, nor does it say anything about a public ceremony.
Meanwhile everything the Adam's side threw at Jackson went nowhere, or even turned against them. The Adams press mocked Jackson for his inability to spell and his lack of a formal education. Jackson responded, “Any man who can only think of one way to spell a word is a damn fool”, and the public joined the laughter. In frustration, the Adams forces, decided to denounce Andrew Jackson's mother.
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