Date: Thu, 11 Jul 1996 12:20:14 -0400 (EDT)

From: Hal Morris <>

I've been reading Remini's _The Election of Andrew Jackson_, and am wondering about some things said about the campaign of 1828 as directed to certain ethnic groups.

"[accusations of Adams' supposed] extraordinary waste ... worked wonders in the West, especially among the Germans, Dutch, and recent immigrants.

[p104, 1963 Lippencott Preceptor edition]

The question in my mind is why were these groups more incensed by governmental waste than others? How do we know they were? How was it expressed (pointers to newspaper articles, etc.)?

The 2nd point is expressed by 'In Boston, the leaders, "proclaiming Jackson as an Irishman ..."

[bottom of p104 and ff]

>From other references, I take the target audience to be largely Catholic Irishmen - see p105 especially. Now Jackson's people, like those of so many south-westerners, were originally Scottish and Presbyterian, and spent a generation or two in Scotland, I gather as pawns of the English, helping to subdue and attempt to protestentize Ireland. On the other hand, these Scottish had their own anti-British traditions based on recent history. But I gather the Scotch-Irish who stayed in Ireland are now the folks who are at war with the IRA in Northern Ireland.

Did the Scotch-Irish and the native Catholic Irish [in America at least] have, in the Jackson era, a friendly view of one another? And where can I read about their relations to one another?

Thanks, Hal Morris

Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 08:17:03 -0400 (EDT)

From: "J. Douglas Deal" <deal@Oswego.OSWEGO.EDU>

On Thu, 11 Jul 1996, Hal Morris wrote:

> Did the Scotch-Irish and the native Catholic Irish [in America at least] have, in the Jackson era, a friendly view of one another? And where can I read about their relations to one another?

Interesting question. Kerby Miller, in EMIGRANTS AND EXILES (1985), observes that "from 1800 through the 1828 election of Andrew Jackson, son of emigrants from County Antrim, a common republicanism obscured old antagonisms between Americans and Irishmen, Protestants and Catholics" (p.189). This was the heyday of the United Irishmen. Protestant Irish emigrants greatly outnumbered Catholics until the late 1820s, early 1830s, when the proportions were reversed. Undoubtedly there were more Protestant than Catholic Irish on the voting rolls in 1828, but this does not rule out an appeal to (or from?) Catholic voters in Boston. Charles Sellers notes the common bond of attraction for Old Hickory this way: "Ethnicity mainly reinforced these alignments of linked class and culture. Jackson's class appeal to farmers and workers was especially strong for Germans clannishly attached to their peasant tradition, and for Scoth-Irish farmers and Catholic Irish laborers as a compatriot who had humiliated their British oppressors" (THE MARKET REVOLUTION, p.299).

For a useful review of the literature on the Scotch-Irish in (mainly colonial) America, see Maldwyn Jones's essay in Bernard Bailyn and Philip Morgan, eds., STRANGERS WITHIN THE REALM.

Doug Deal


Date: Sat, 13 Jul 1996 07:28:13 +0000

From: "Robert V. Remini" <>

In response to Hal Morris' query about Jacksonians and ethnicity most of the quotation about the campaign were taken from the US Telegraph or the National Intelligencer. Although there were other newspapers I used, e.g. Albany Argus, New York Evening Post and some southern papers that I do not now recall. The New York Historical Society had (has) a near complete run of the Telegraph and National Intelligencer from 1824 to 1828 and beyond. They can be checked for particular quotations. Apparently the Germans and Dutch were regarded as frugal and therefore the comment(s) were aimed directly at them. As I recall, and you must remember this is over thirty years ago, both newspapers attempted to target particular groups in making claims and/or accusations. As for Catholics, indeed the quotation by Bishop England was aimed at Catholics as well as the comment about the leaders in Boston. Whether the Scotch-Irish and the Catholic Irish in America had a friendly view of one another, frankly I do not know or remember. I do know that Jackson, a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian himself, was fed any number of horror stories about the British, and, as you will recall, during the campaign Jackson's mother was accused of being a prostitute brought to this country to service British soldiers. I can refer back to my notes about the 1828 campaign if there are and other questions.

Robert V. Remini

Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 09:54:31 -0400 (EDT)

From: Hal Morris <>

What I wish I could do is get an intimate feel for the election of 1828. I'm grateful to Prof. Remini for discussing his sources. Now I know I can look at the Telegraph, Intelligencer, Albany Argus, etc., and wish in time to do so.

Still I was hoping to hear of some work that had been done in the area of how these votes were courted by the Jacksonians, and the general attitudes of voters of these ethnic groups.

Someone mentioned the "heyday of the United Irishmen", which seems a very useful angle to pursue. The only insight I have into that is a fictional one - Steven Maturin (sp?) of the Patric O'Brien novels having been a former member of that group, and a Protestant (perhaps a skeptic raised as Protestant rather), I think, and his complicated relationship with a Catholic former member of the group. Anyway, the immigration that brought the parents of Andrew Jackson, David Crockett, Sam Houston, etc. to American shores predated the United Irishmen, I suppose.

There has always seemed something paradoxical to me about the Scotch-Irish immigrants, many of whose great...great nephews are now so heatedly pro-British and anti-Catholic. Yet the Jacksonian generation were great British-haters.

I still wonder about the appeal to German-Dutch frugality. The Dutch, at least, are proverbially frugal (like the Scottish-in the South if you want to find a really cheap motel, look for one with a plaid-motif).

But sometimes the most frugal people are most willing to see government expenditures for what they consider worthwhile causes; or the most well-to-do and extravagant people are the most opposed to government power and spending.

Perhaps the German attitudes something to do with their attitudes to the governments they had run away from? Perhaps the Dutch had a tradition of frugality _in_ government? "Dutch" may have referred to many other Germanic types, I suppose. If it refers to those with ancestors from Holland, perhaps they begrudged the usurping british-american running of things, and withdrew into their little communities.

I'm grateful to Prof. Remini for responding, and more so for his huge contribution to the field, and, yes, the book was written a long time ago - the blurb on the back introduces him to the reader as the "author of _Martin Van Buren and the Democratic Party_, and a contributer to scholarly journals", which made me chuckle. Anyway, he is one of several reasons I am looking forward to Nashville.

Regards, Hal Morris

[Ed. footnote (PBK): Aside from the large literature on ethnoreligious impulses in voting behavior, Kathleen Conzen's _Immigrant Milwaukee_ (1976) comes to mind on German immigrant culture & voting behavior during the period after 1828 -- has anything more recent been published? Subscribers are invited to send suggestions.)

Date: Wed, 17 Jul 1996 09:17:29 +0000

From: "Robert V. Remini" <>

In response to Prof. Morris' very kind reference to my work yesterday which I read today I find it a most welcome salute on this my birthday for which I thank him. I am 75 and it is good to know that the years spent researching and writing have been beneficial for some. But stand back. I'm not finished yet. I have just completed a massive (1479 manuscript pages) biography of-hold your breath-Daniel Webster, and trust it will be published next year.

Again, Hal Morris, my sincerest thanks. You've made my day.


Robert V. Remini