The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913 Page: 104
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the latter won the election in the house of representatives. This
is not to say, however, that the understanding was a corrupt one.
Van Buren fares better than one is wont to expect, appearing as
a sincere and devoted friend of Jackson, who frequently advanced
his policies by frankness and their own worth and not by the
craft of the sycophant. Calhoun appears less favorably.
Of Jackson a few brief characterizations and summaries will
show the writer's estimate: "There is no record that Jackson
ever changed an opinion once formed, whatever the proof offered
him." His nature was "frank to the point of rashness." "He
was apt to speak his mind clearly, although he could on occa-
sion . .. be as diplomatic as a delicate case demanded."
In his use of the patronage he but reflected "the forces which
ruled public life at the time. Any man who could have been an
exponent of the democratic movement would probably have be-
lieved as Jackson believed in regard to appointments." He was
"probably stronger through his forceful personality than any other
American since Washington. He was no economist, no financier,
no intelligent seeker after wise and just ideals, and his temper
and judgment were bad; but his will was the coherent force of a
party organization more complicated, and yet better adjusted, than
existed before that time in our government. Courage, knowledge
of the people, simplicity of manner, the common man's ideal of
honesty and patriotism, and a willingness to. discipline his sub-
ordinates when necessary were the qualities which kept the party
organization effective." "The secret of his power was his adjust-
ment to the period in which he lived. Other men excelled him in
experience, wisdom, and balanced judgment; but the American
Democrats of the day admired neither of these qualities. They
honored courage, strength, and directness. They could tolerate
ignorance but not hesitancy. Jackson was the best embodiment of
their desires from the beginning of the national government to his
The book is based chiefly on the Jackson and the Van Buren
Manuscripts in the Library of Congress, and is documented with
numerous extracts from Jackson's letters which have not before
EUGENE C. BARKER.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 16, July 1912 - April, 1913, periodical, 1913; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101058/m1/110/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.