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who had the prestige of military reputation, was found in General William Henry Harrison of Ohio, and he was finally nominated. This, however, was accomplished only after a series of votes by the separate state delegations and comparison of the results, in which Clay at first had 103 votes to 94 for Harrison and 57 for General Winfield Scott, but which ended with 148 for Harrison to 90 for Clay and 16 for Scott.1 After the nomination had been made, a letter from Clay to the Kentucky delegates, received some days before, was read, in which he stated that appeals had been made to him to withdraw for the sake of harmony in the party; he considered the convention free to choose as it thought best, and promised that he would support the nominee. This pledge he redeemed in the canvass that followed.
The convention then proceeded to nominate a candidate for the vice-presidency, and John Tyler of Virginia received the votes of all the delegates except those of his own state, whom for delicacy's sake he had persuaded not to vote. Tyler was a pronounced state-rights man, who concurred heartily in Jackson's opposition to a national bank, and had put himself on record to that effect by his speeches and his votes. He had, however, become alienated from Jackson in 1833 by his strenuous anti-nullification policy, and from that time on he acted with the conglomerate party of opposition, which soon became known as Whig. The nomination for the vice-presidency was said to have been promised him before the meeting of the convention, by Clay, on condition that Tyler should withdraw his opposition to the election of William C. Rives as United States senator from Virginia; but the circumstances do not indicate that Tyler ever consented to any such bargain.1
1 Stanwood, Hist, of the Presidency, 195; cf. Tyler, Tylers, I., 1 Tyler, Tylers, I., 474-493, 592; Wise, Seven Decades, 157-161. 'Tyler, Tylers, I., 596, n. 1.
The Whigs adopted no platform, nor could they well have agreed on one; for the party was made up of the most incompatible elements, varying from an original nucleus of National Republicans to the most extreme state-rights men like Tyler, and any attempt to define its principles must have resulted in its dissolution.2
The national convention of the Democracy gathered at Baltimore, May 4, 1840. Immediately after organizing, the convention adopted a platform. The party had been in charge of the government for nearly twelve years; its policy was recorded in a series of measures to which it was committed, and it had less to lose than to gain by a definition of its attitude. It declared in general terms in favor of strict construction and the withdrawal of government money from banking institutions; and against internal improvements, the assumption of state debts contracted therefor or for any other purpose, the unequal fostering of industries, the raising of more revenue than was required for the necessary expense of government, the chartering of a national bank, interference with slavery by Congress, and abridgment of the privilege of becoming citizens and owners of land.1
The convention then proceeded to nominate its candidates. That it should put forward the incumbent of the presidency for a second term was a foregone conclusion. The two-term precedent was already well established; and even if the smooth and conciliatory Van Buren was not the fittest exponent of the rough and aggressive Jacksonian system, he was at least thoroughly identified with the Jacksonian regime. A resolution presenting him to the people as the choice of the Democracy was unanimously adopted. As to the vice-presidency, however, there was no such accord. The opposition to Colonel R. M. Johnson, who was then holding the office, was so decided as to prevent his nomination, and the convention finally declared by a unanimous vote that it was inexpedient to make a nomination for vice-president.2
There was a third convention, but its proceedings were unimportant except as a symptom of the conflict between the sections that was in progress. It was held by the Abolitionists, and met at Albany on April 1, 1840. Its nominees were James G. Birney of New York and Thomas Earle of Pennsylvania. They received a popular vote of a little over seven thousand, scattered through all the free states except Indiana.1
* Proceedings in Niles' Register, LVIII., 147-152.
* St an wood, Hist, of the Presidency, 201.
The campaign on the part of the Whigs was marked by unprecedented enthusiasm and noisy demonstrations, by enormous gatherings and monster parades.2 The Whigs had little to say of what they believed, but more of what they did not believe. The Baltimore American sneeringly remarked that Harrison would be satisfied to stay in Ohio if he could have a log cabin and a barrel of cider. In reply the Whigs, to make it appear that their candidate was a man of the people and of the West, adopted the log cabin as their campaign symbol; and the effectiveness of the device was increased by adding a barrel of cider and adorning the cabin with a coon-skin or a live coon. It was men rather than measures that claimed attention. There was no general outcry for a national bank, which would have pleased some of the Whigs, nor for states rights, which would have appealed to others; but a wild and universal shout of "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!" and "Down with Van Burenism!" There was a general condemnation of the alleged abuses of the presidential office; and there were rather vague promises of reform, including at least one specific pledge from Harrison, who took part personally in the canvass, that if he became president he would stop the interference of office-holders in the elections.1 But most of the Whig leaders resorted to the makeshifts of evasion and denial of every positive policy, especially that of organizing a national bank.
1 Hart, Slavery and Abolition (Am. Nation, XVI.) chap. xxi.
1 See, e. g., the account of the national convention in Baltimore, May 4, 1840, to ratify the nominations, in Niles' Register, LVIII., 153-159.
The Democrats looked on the noisy campaign of the Whigs with contempt, which, as the canvass proceeded, gradually became mingled with alarm. The time for the choice of electors was not then uniform, and it occupied nearly a month. This made the shouting method all the more effective, for the earlier successes of the Whigs supplied enthusiasm for the struggles to follow and accelerated the movement in their favor. The increase in the popular vote over the election of 1836 was enormous, that of the Democrats rising from 762,978 to 1,129,102, and that of the Whigs from 736,250 to i,275,oi6.2
The result was that Van Buren, though backed by strong and coherent influences, was thoroughly beaten, receiving only 60 votes out of 294 in the electoral college. To contemporaries it seemed like a complete political revolution.3 It was the first
1 Schouler, United States, IV., 336; NUes' Register, LIX., 71. 1 Stanwood, Hist, of the Presidency, 185, 203. »Niles' Register, LIX., 201-307; Stanwood, Hist, of the Presidency, 206. Vol. xva.—4