AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, DATED WASHINGTON, 29 MARCH 1824, FROM NEW YORK CONGRESSMAN JAMES STRONG TO FUTURE CONGRESSMAN AND JUDGE AARON VANDERPOEL, ESQ. OF KINDERHOOK, NEW YORK, COMMENTING ON THE UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: "... I CANNOT TELL YOU WHO WILL BE PRESIDENT. I SUPPOSE NO MORTAL CAN TELL. ONE OF OUR MEMBERS TOLD ME TODAY THAT VIRGINIA WOULD GIVE UP MR. CRAWFORD IF N.Y. DID NOT GO FOR HIM. THIS MUST BE TAKEN WITH SOME GRAINS OF ALLOWANCE. VIRGINIA IS MUCH DIVIDED - AND SHE IS IN A FAIR WAY TO BE IN AS FINE A PICKLE AS N.Y. YOU KNOW I HAVE LITTLE CHOICE BETWEEN THE FOUR. I AM CLEAR FOR ONE THING - IF WE DO NOT HAVE A NORTHERN PRESIDENT - I AM FOR HAVING THEM BOTH, NAMELY, THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT SOUTH OF THE POTOMAC & OHIO. IF WE HAVE NOT WIT ENOUGH TO PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER AND MAKE A PRESIDENT AT THIS TIME OF OUR OWN LIKING, WE NEVER SHALL DO IT, UNTIL WE HAVE LEARNED WISDOM IN OUR FOLLY. "IF MR. ADAMS CAN GET THE VOTE OF N.Y., IT IS THE BETTER OPINION HERE, THAT HE WILL STAND THE BEST CHANCE OF BEING ELECTED. NEXT IN ORDER GEN. JACKSON, MR. CRAWFORD, & MR. CLAY. "I AM NOT ABLE TO SAY WHETHER OR NOT IT IS BEST TO KEEP UP THE OLD ORGANIZATION IN THE COUNTRY? THIS MUST BE DETERMINED BY THE TEMPER, SPIRIT AND WISHES OF THE PEOPLE. ONE THING I CAN SAY. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS DIVIDED UPON THE QUESTION OF PRESIDENT, AND I HAVE NO DOUBT THIS DIVISION IS IRRECONCILABLE. THE BREACH IS DAILY GROWING WIDER. IT MUST INEVITABLY RESULT IN TWO GREAT NATIONAL PARTIES. THEY DIFFER NOT ONLY ABOUT MEN- BUT THEY ALREADY BEGIN TO DIFFER ABOUT MEASURES. AN ATTENTIVE EXAMINATION OF THESE THINGS MAY SERVE TO INDICATE THE PRESENT CAUSE. WHATEVER MAY BE THAT COURSE, FRIENDS SHOULD GO TOGETHER "I HAVE BEEN INFORMED FROM OTHER QUARTERS ALSO THAT W.C.L. INTENDED TO BE MY SUCCESSOR. WELL, I SHALL NOT QUARREL ABOUT IT. I OWN I SHOULD LIKE TO BE CONTINUED HERE- BUT IF THE PEOPLE PREFER HIM OR ANY OTHER ONE TO ME, I AM CONTENT...".
9-3/4" x7-3/4". , [1- free-frank address, seal remnant] pp, on two loose leaves of unlined paper, completely in ink manuscript. Old light folds, a few short closed edge tears, some small all chips at edges from when wax seal was opened [no text loss]. Good+ .
James Strong [1783-1847] was a New York Congressman, from 1819-20 and 1823-1830. Originally a Federalist, he migrated to the Adams-Clay wing, and finally to the Anti-Jackson opposition, the precursor of the Whig Party. Here he writes of the upcoming and hotly contested four-way presidential election, certainly one of the most chaotic and complex in American history. Aaron Vanderpoel [1799-1870] was a judge, lawyer, and leading member of the New York Bar. Admitted to the Bar in 1820, he became a judge of the New York Superior Court and later of the New York Supreme Court. He was a Jacksonian New York Congressman 1833-1837 and 1839-1841.
The 1824 presidential contest was one of our most chaotic, with four credible candidates, ultimately decided by the House of Representatives. Andrew Jackson won the plurality of popular votes but lost the election to John Quincy Adams. Strong's Letter presciently notes the growing division between north and south which, of course, would ultimately result in the disintegration of the Democratic Party, the election of Abraham Lincoln, and Civil War. Item #35296