We Are All Republicans, We Are All Federalists

Chapter One: The Birth of an Alliance
  • Chapter One: The Birth of an Alliance

    President-elect John Adams and Vice-President-elect Thomas Jefferson​

    It was in the aftermath of the election of 1796 that John Adams began to fully realize the monumental task that lay before him. Not only would he had to hold the reins of a nation that was dissolving into factionalism, was caught in the middle between Britain and France, and was a little over two decades old, but the hands he would be receiving the reins from would be the closest mortal to a god in the eyes of the American people: George Washington. Perhaps it was this realization that caused Adams to draft one, if not the most consequential letters in American history, or perhaps it was merely a gesture from an overwhelmed man in search of help and guidance from an old friend. Whatever the cause, the effects would reverberate throughout the history of the nation the two men had helped found. For President-elect John Adams was drafting a letter to his vice-president elect and friend Thomas Jefferson, with an offer to help stop the ever growing divide between the two men. In the letter, Adams acknowledged that regardless of the result of the election, the man elected to the presidency would be unable to break out of Washington's shadow on his own. But if two of the most prominent men in the founding of the nation banded together, perhaps this result could be achieved. In effect, Adams was trying to change his former role as vice-president from the rather irrelevant part it had played in most circumstances to a position of more power. He offered that Jefferson bring himself into Adams' personal circle of advisors, focusing most of his efforts on diplomacy, an unsurprising offer from Adams considering Jefferson's former role as Secretary of State, and the mutual loathing John Adams shared with Timothy Pickering, Washington's Secretary of State who Adams felt obliged to maintain in his current role. Knowing also that the moment that the letter arrived in the hands of Jefferson, it would be viewed by James Madison, Adams also included a paragraph offering to name the Father of the Constitution as the head of the next diplomatic mission to France.

    Representative James Madison​

    When Jefferson received the letter, he quickly consulted with Madison, as Adams expected. Jefferson was interested in the offer, while Madison was more wary, and feared a possible scheme of the Federalist Party to some how humiliate the two most prominent leaders of the Democratic-Republicans. Jefferson ultimately decided he would discuss the contents of the letter with Adams during Washington's farewell banquet. The day of the feast arrived, and Jefferson approached Adams to try and decipher any hidden meanings behind the offer. After some discussion, Adams revealed that the offers in the letter were genuine, after that he would actually prefer working with Jefferson rather than Alexander Hamilton, leader of the Federalist Party that Adams was a member of. Both men feared Hamilton as a potential American Napoleon, and on a subconscious level believed that he hadn't really earned the status he had achieved, but had gotten it by riding Washington's coattails. Eventually, Jefferson agreed to the offer, but both men realized the impact of this. Jefferson served as the figure head of his party, and by accepting the offer, the future of both the Democratic-Republicans and the portion of the Federalist Party that were loyal to Adams remained unclear. Would a coalition form between them for the duration of Adams' time in office? Would their be a merger between the followers of the great leaders into one party? And most importantly, which men would follow Jefferson and Adams, and which would turn their nose up and the prospect of working with their former enemies. To figure this out, Jefferson and Adams agreed to another dinner, with both men bringing the leaders of their parties to answer these questions. To help with the organization of the whole affair, the pair would turn to three known moderates: Benjamin Rush of Pennsylvania, Edmund Randolph of Virginia, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts. When the three men accepted the role of hosting and organizing the tremendous event, Adams and Jefferson went about figuring out which leaders to include in the important meeting.

    Benjamin Rush, Edmund Randolph, and Elbridge Gerry
    Both men would find trouble in bringing together the men for the dinner. For Adams, the problem revolved around the fact that many Federalist held a closer loyalty to Hamilton than himself, and were united with Hamilton in opposition to anything Jeffersonian, regardless of the thoughts of the president. Jefferson, who had the benefit of being solidly the head of his party, also would encounter this problem, but on a smaller scale than Adams. Some men in his party were simply unwilling to work with Federalists, whether they be High Federalists like Hamilton or moderates like Adams. Among the group was Thomas Sumter, William B. Giles, John Randolph of Roanoke, John Taylor of Caroline, Samuel Smith, and most prominently Aaron Burr. Others, such as George Clinton and Nathaniel Macon agreed to accompany Jefferson, but were uncertain if they would support any resulting coalition or merger. Ultimately, Adams would be accompanied with 5 Federalist leaders, while Jefferson would come along with 11 Democratic-Republican leaders [1]. After a meal that was by all accounts delicious and satisfying, the leaders of two parties got into the business of figuring out their future. After much debate, the men agreed to the formation of the Liberty Party, which was organized to be a moderate party, with an unspoken agreement that the political leaning it took would come with the executive it elected. When word of the formation of this party reached the public, it was initially quite bad for both Jefferson and Adams. Despite both Clinton and Macon agreeing to support this new party, all of the leaders who had refused Jefferson's invitation also refused to support the new party, and formed their own party maintaining the name Democratic-Republicans. As a result of this, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe had to begin a public relations campaign to convince the members of their party to join the Liberty Party rather than the Democratic-Republicans. It is generally agreed that the farther north in the country they went, the more successful were their efforts to convince the Democratic-Republicans to join the Liberty Party rather than the Democratic-Republican, although there were exceptions to this, with young and upcoming Georgian William H. Crawford joining the Liberty Party, and Aaron Burr taking on the role of leader of the Democratic-Republicans. For Adams and his fellow supporters of the Liberty Party, they became exiled from the Federalist Party, which now fell solely under the control of Hamilton, as almost all of Adams supporters had followed him to the Liberty Party. With this, the seeds for the 1st U.S. Party System were planted.

    Aaron Burr, leader of the Democratic-Republicans and Alexander Hamilton, leader of the Federalists​

    [1]: Adams would come along with John Marshall, Henry Knox, Charles Lee, Samuel Dexter, and Benjamin Stoddert. Jefferson would come with James Madison, James Monroe, Albert Gallatin, Nathaniel Macon, Frederick Muhlenberg, George Clinton, John Langdon, Robert Livingston, Henry Dearborn, Peter Muhlenberg, and John Breckinridge. Also present at the meeting were the three hosts, Benjamin Rush, Edmund Randolph, and Elbridge Gerry.
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    Chapter Two: The Adams' Presidency, 1797-1801
  • Chapter Two: The Adams' Presidency, 1797-1801

    President John Adams
    As soon as Adams assumed office, his cabinet fell to pieces. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott Jr., and Secretary of War James McHenry all resigned, as Hamilton had instructed them to abandon the president who he viewed as a traitor to his party. Adams had been expecting this, as he knew those three cabinet members held a greater loyalty to Hamilton and the Federalists than himself and the Liberty Party. In response to this, Adams began preparing to fill the three senior roles in his cabinet. For Secretary of State, Adams would turn to the former Federalist turned Liberty Party member he trusted most: John Marshall. For Secretary of the Treasury, Adams would go with Elbridge Gerry, after briefly considering Frederick Muhlenberg, who was currently serving as House Speaker after narrowly being elected over Federalist Jonathan Dayton and Democratic-Republican Samuel Smith. For Secretary of War, Adams would initially turn to former Secretary of War Henry Knox, who declined saying he wanted to stay in retirement. After briefly considering Senator Peter Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, Adams would finally decide to offer it to former New York Governor George Clinton. Adams' reasons for nominating Clinton were three-fold. First, Adams wanted a New York man in his cabinet to help to secure the state as a Liberty Party state. Second, Adams knew that Hamilton had a disliking of Clinton, and by nominating him, he was making it clear that he and his former Federalists in the Liberty Party were fully independent from Hamilton's influence. Finally, despite having run against each other for the vice-presidency in the 1792 election, Clinton was able to work more harmoniously with Adams than many other people, although they would occasionally come into conflict. With Attorney General Charles Lee staying at his post, and making it known that he was of the Liberty Party, Adams' cabinet was complete.

    Adams' new secretaries: John Marshall, Elbridge Gerry, and George Clinton
    One of the immediate problems Adams faced upon taking on the office of the presidency was foreign relations with France. Although France had helped the United States gain its independence, and they had signed a treaty of alliance in 1778, Adams was unsure about to handle them in foreign policy. The Federalists were in favor in supporting Great Britain in the fighting caused by the French Revolution and subsequent Napoleonic Wars. The Democratic-Republicans favored siding with the French. While opinion varied from Liberty party member to member, they tended to gravitate towards trying to seek negotiations with both sides, although not in a way to the disadvantage the U.S.. By now, both the British and French navies were harassing American merchant ships, and Adams hoped to find a way to halt this practice. To do this, he formed a diplomatic team to send to France to negotiate for an end of the harassment. The team was headed by James Madison, as Adams had promised in the letter that had started the Liberty Party, and was further consisting of Elbridge Gerry and New York Chancellor Robert R. Livingston. When the diplomatic trio arrived on French shores and tried to present their credentials, they were refused to allow their diplomatic overtures to be heard until bribes had been paid to both the French government, and the French Foreign Minister Charles Talleyrand. The French diplomats who informed the Americans of this referred to themselves merely as "X", "Y", and "Z" Stunned by this breach of diplomatic protocol, Madison would refuse the offer, and write to Adams informing him of the development. After a four-month period in which the three diplomats awkwardly boarded in Paris without any formal recognition, Adams' reply was received, in which he refused to offer payments, and told his diplomats that if the French refused to recognize them without payments, then they should consider their mission over, and return home. Once again, the French refused to recognize the Americans without payment, and Madison, Gerry, and Livingston returned home. This event would subsequently be known as the "XYZ Affair".

    American diplomat Robert R. Livingston, a political cartoon satirizing the XYZ Affair, and French Foreign Minister Charles Talleyrand
    When news of the "XYZ Affair" broke, and became public knowledge, many in the general public, especially Federalists, were outraged. They could not believed that not only was their former ally seizing their property, but they had also refused to recognize American diplomats, in effect refusing to recognize them as a sovereign nation. Many believed that the only result of this could be war. Adams was also enraged by the display of French arrogance, but was not quite ready for war yet. He did approve, however, sending out American ships to harass French ships in return for their harassment of American ones. This begun an unofficial war known as the "Quasi War". In recognition of this, Adams would approve an increase in the size of the American navy, and he also created a new cabinet post, the Secretary of the Navy. After Commodore John Barry turned down the position, Adams would offer it to Marylander Benjamin Stoddert, who would accept the post.

    Naval Secretary Benjamin Stoddert​

    He would also agree to increasing the size of the U.S. in preparation for any hostile French actions, although he made clear that this army would solely be used in self-defense. For command of the newly-expanded force, Adams would turn to America's oldest hero, George Washington. Despite rather enjoying his retirement, Washington agreed to serve his nation once more, although it was clear that almost all decision-making would fall into the hands of his second-in-command. Each of America's political parties supported a different candidate. The Liberty Party came out in support of Henry Knox, who was eager to come out of his retirement if it meant serving with his beloved commander once more. The Federalists originally seemed to support Hamilton for their candidate, but Hamilton declined any interest in the role. Many at the time expected this to be the result of a presidential run Hamilton was rumored to be planning. The Federalists would eventually coalesce around Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, an American Revolution veteran and former minister to France. The Democratic-Republicans wanted James Wilkinson, the former senior army officer before the arrival of Washington to be given the post. Eventually, the squabbling politicians appealed to Washington himself. After some deliberation, Washington informed them of the order he wished the men to be ranked, with Knox as second-in-command, Pinckney as third, and Wilkinson as fourth. This would be greeted by some mumbling by the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, but it was the words of the man the country revered above all, and they were put into effect.

    Henry Knox, Charles C. Pinckney, and James Wilkinson
    As if to spite the Federalists after their defeat in getting the man they wanted nominated to second in command of the army, Adams would also send out a second diplomatic mission to France consisting of Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth and North Carolina Governor William R. Davie to attempt again to negotiate, and to work alongside William Vans Murray, who had been serving as U.S. Minister to the Netherlands, and who Adams had made the unofficial Minister to France. The deliberations would continue throughout the rest of the Adams presidency. Meanwhile, as the wave of anti-French feelings was reaching its climax, the Federalists created a bill they intended to use to help target one their rival parties. The bill, known as the Alien and Sedition Bill, made citizenship harder to attain for immigrants, and made it a crime to speak out against the government. Both of these were targeted measures at the Democratic-Republicans, as immigrants were an important base of support for the party, and they had been the one party to speak out against President Adams' actions. By including the provision about speaking out against the government, which was currently in a slight Liberty Party majority, the Federalists hoped to coax members of the Liberty Party into voting for the bill, and for President Adams to sign it. In the Senate, Federalists Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts, Jacob Read of South Carolina, and John Laurence of New York were able to get it narrowly passed over the objections of John Langdon of New Hampshire and John Breckinridge of Kentucky for the Liberty Party, and Alexander Martin of North Carolina and Pierce Butler of South Carolina for the Democratic-Republicans. In the House, however, the bill would meet its end, as James Madison, Nathaniel Macon, Henry Dearborn, and Albert Gallatin were able to convince the Liberty Party to work together with the Democratic-Republicans to prevent a bill which they claimed was intending to strangle the free rights of America. The most famous speech of the debate would Tennessee Representative and Democratic-Republican Andrew Jackson's response to a eloquent oratory delivered by Massachusetts Representative and Federalist Fisher Ames in favor of the bill. Jackson would famously show off his scarred forehead, and declared that he had not faced the wrath of a British officer during the American Revolution only for his rights to be taken away now. This speech would be heavily applauded by Democratic-Republicans, and Vermont Representative Matthew Lyons would claim it was the best he had heard since he was first elected to the House. The bill would be defeated in the House.

    Tennessee Representative Andrew Jackson
    As the debates of the Alien and Sedition Bill died down, the fruits of Adams' second diplomatic mission to France began to appear. This time, the French had been willing to negotiate, and a treaty was produced. Although the French were not required to give payments for all the property they had stolen, they did agree to stop attacking American merchant ships, with the Americans agreeing to do the same, thus ending the Quasi War. These negotiations would be known as the Convention of 1800. All of this information would not be known until after the Election of 1800, however. During his time in office, Adams would appoint three judges to the Supreme Court. First, Adams would appoint Bushrod Washington, nephew of the famous hero, to replace James Wilson. Second, Adams offered the post vacated by Justice's James Iredell's death to Senator John Langdon of New Hampshire, but he would decline. Eventually, Adams would nominate Samuel Dexter, a man agreeable to almost everyone in the Liberty Party. Finally, the role of Chief Justice was left opened by Oliver Ellsworth after his retirement due to poor health. Adams would consider several men for the post. Jefferson advocated for Elbridge Gerry, Robert R. Livingston, James Sullivan, or Levi Lincoln Sr. for the post. In the end, Adams would decide to go with his Secretary of State, John Marshall, for the highest judicial position in the land. Jefferson, who had a rivalry with Marshall ever since both served in Adams' administration, would make clear that he disproved of the decision, but would do nothing to stop it. As the election of 1800 drew near, the country braced for a tight race, and began wondering who would put themselves into the running.

    The Convention of 1800​

    Adams and his cabinet:
    President: John Adams
    Vice-President: Thomas Jefferson
    Secretary of State: John Marshall
    Secretary of the Treasury: Elbridge Gerry
    Secretary of War: George Clinton
    Attorney General: Charles Lee
    Secretary of the Navy: Benjamin Stoddert
    Chapter Three: The Election of 1800
  • Chapter Three: The Election of 1800

    A Democratic-Republican political cartoon depicting Thomas Jefferson as an enfeebled dog under the ownership of John Adams
    With the upcoming election of 1800, many saw it as a test of whether the Liberty Party would be able to hold together. Everyone knew Adams would seek a second term, but the question was whether or not vice president Jefferson would put himself up as a candidate for the presidency. All worry of the collapse of the party, however, would be put to rest when Jefferson declared that he would not seek the presidency, and would be contented to continue with the vice presidency as long as Adams wanted to continue seeking the presidency. A concern would later be raised midway through the campaigning season that Jefferson might attract faithless electors from the Democratic-Republican Party, and accidentally receive the presidency by gaining more electoral votes than Adams as a result of this. Jefferson affirmed, however, that if the Liberty Party was to win the election, and he received more electoral votes than Adams, then he was step aside, and allow Adams to remain in the Executive Mansion. Adams' wife Abigail would call this "...one of the most admirable declaration of an admirable career." and comparison of Washington's rejection of absolute power was soon drawn in comparison of this.

    John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
    As the Federalists gathered, they were unsure of their ticket at first. Hamilton, the figure head of the party, had made no statements to any the leaders saying he was going to seek their nomination. Small factions formed around men such as Theodore Sedgwick, John E. Howard, and Charles C. Pinckney, but none of the men were able to gather much support other than the people who supported them from the start. After several hours of rather directionless and pointless debate, the door of the room the congressional nominating caucus was using burst open. Into the meeting walked Alexander Hamilton, followed by a group of supporters including Rufus King, John Laurence, Philip Schuyler, Thomas Pinckney, Timothy Pickering, Oliver Wolcott, and James McHenry. It is generally agreed by historians in modern times that Hamilton did this as a way of showing the Federalist Party how rudderless they were without him, and that they needed him to get things done. As soon as Hamilton arrived and announced he would be willing to be nominated for the presidency, he was unanimously selected for the Federalist presidential nomination. For the vice-presidential nomination, the man Hamilton supported, Thomas Pinckney, would be chosen. Hamilton's performance at the caucus is generally considered brilliant by historians, and it helped firm up the lines drawn between the Federalist and Liberty Parties.

    Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Pinckney
    Unlike Hamilton, Burr made it clear as soon as he became head of the Democratic-Republican Party what his ambitions were. Stepping on the toes of the tradition of the time, which required men to act as if they were disinterested in power, Burr declared his intent to run for the presidency, which shocked his supporters by the breaking the precedent, and soon came under fire from the Liberty and Federalist Party. For his vice-presidential running mate, he would turn to South Carolina representative, Revolutionary War hero, and Carolina Gamecock Thomas Sumter. Sumter had little interest in governing from the executive branch, but could appeal to veterans and had a war hero status, all of which Burr was quite fine with.

    Aaron Burr and Thomas Sumter
    As soon as campaigning season began, the critical state in the election appeared to be New York. The Democratic-Republicans were expected to carry the Southern states, while the Middle and Chesapeake states seemed likely to vote Liberty. With New England seeming firm in the Federalist pocket, with the possible exception of Massachusetts, this left New York as the biggest battle ground state for the three parties. For the Democratic-Republicans, the hope of carrying New York seemed like a lost cause until Burr ran as their candidate. He had many connections in the state, and was certain he would carry it for his party in the election. Hamilton also hoped to use his connections and popularity in the state to carry. The Liberty Party, meanwhile, hoped that arch-rivals Burr and Hamilton would exhaust themselves fighting each other in the state, leaving it only a matter of the Liberty Party coming in and putting both parties in their place. The western states of Kentucky and Tennessee also seemed like they would be hard-fought, but only the Liberty and Democratic-Republicans seemed to have any chance of winning the states. Scandals broke out for all three campaigns. For Hamilton is encompassed the dredging up of the Reynolds Affair again, with Hamilton making no public comment on it. When asked why he would not respond to the attacks, Hamilton would explain that he already had, and brought up the 1797 Reynolds Pamphlet. For Jefferson, however, a new scandal would appear when Democratic-Republican muckraker James T. Callender would allege that Jefferson had engaged in a scandalous affair with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. To the accusation, Jefferson would make no public response, although he would secretly back newspapermen including Benjamin F. Bache and Philip Freneau in their writing of stories denying the claim. The scandal targeted at Burr would hit closest to home, however. It told of Burr sending off his beautiful socialite daughter, Theodosia Burr, to engage in affairs with powerful men to secure their support, with the list of men he reportedly sent her off to including Andrew Jackson, DeWitt Clinton, and Joseph Alston. Unlike Hamilton or Jefferson, Burr would explode at the unsubstantiated rumors. Despite the suave appearance of calm he normally projected himself as, he would erupt and fiercely and publicly decry anyone who spread the story, or even mentioned that he would send off his beloved daughter in such a way. Despite the rumor being through discredited come election day, both the Liberty and Federalist Party were able to portray Burr as unstable man with short fuse that could be set off by the slightest provocation.

    Theodosia Burr
    When the results came in, John Adams had been narrowly reelected. Adams would secure 76 electoral votes from Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Hamilton would finish second with 35 electoral votes from New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Burr would finish third with 27 electoral votes, securing North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia to his cause. For the vice-presidential candidates, Jefferson would receive 75 electoral votes, Pinckney would receive 34 electoral votes, and Sumter would receive 27 electoral votes. The thrown away vice-presidential vote for the Liberty Party went to John Marshall, while for the Federalists it went to Theodore Sedgwick. The Democratic-Republican who was supposed to cast his vote for a different candidate for the vice-president failed to do so, but it did not ultimately affect the election. This election made clear that the bars of dignified politics had been broken, and that personal attacks were no longer off limits for the supporters of the candidates, even if the candidate himself would not dare to publicly start one.
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    Chapter Four: The Adams' Presidency, 1801-1805
  • Chapter Four: The Adams' Presidency, 1801-1805

    President John Adams
    When Adams entered his second term in office, it was generally agreed that national division was at an all-time high, but an event would shake the nation and, albeit briefly, put a halt to the increasing trend. This event would be the death of the man almost unanimously viewed as the father of the United States, George Washington. With Washington's death, an outpouring of national grief began, and Adams, despite never being personally close to the man or viewing him as a friend, declared a time of national mourning. People looking to the future, however, worried if America would be able to hold together without him. For the present, however, the nation was united in their sorrow for his passing.

    George Washington (1732-1801)
    It was in this time of the nation coming closer together that Adams and his supporters guiding through Congress a new amendment. In this amendment, it set apart the presidential and vice-presidential electoral vote. Now, instead an elector casting two votes, and the winner becoming president with the runner-up becoming his vice-president regardless of political affiliation, the members of the electoral college could cast one vote for president, and one vote for vice-president. Despite this amendment originating from the Liberty Party, it enjoyed bipartisan support, and was easily passed through Congress. Another initiative that Adams wanted to start with his new term was to find a new secretary of state, as John Marshall had gone on to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. After much deliberation, Adams would offer the post to former Chief Justice and new elected senator Oliver Ellsworth. Despite some initial hesitations, Ellsworth would accept the post, and be confirmed by the Senate. Ironically, his replacement would be the man he had defeated in his run to again assume a seat in the Senate, Uriah Tracy. Ellsworth, however, was content to leave most of the complex workings of diplomacy to Vice-President Jefferson, while he stayed on as figure head.

    Oliver Ellsworth
    With diplomacy on the mind, President Adams began to draw up plans concerning the French Louisiana Territory, especially New Orleans. Despite his recent success in reestablishing Franco-American relations, Adams was still wary about the large swath of French territory to their west, especially considering the volatile nature of France now, and that there were rumors that Napoleon Bonaparte intended on using it as a launching ground for taking over the United States and creating a French empire in America as well as in Europe. France also controlled New Orleans, the key to the all important Mississippi River. It was Adams' goal to gain control of this all important port, and to accomplish this mission, he would form a three main diplomatic team: Vice-President Jefferson, Senator Madison, and veteran diplomat Livingston. Adams would have preferred to include a former Federalist in the team, but was well aware of the importance of this mission's success, and knew that the French generally preferred former Democratic-Republicans to former Federalists. When the team arrived in France, they quickly found out that France was offering them a much better deal than they expected. They offered not only New Orleans, but all of the Louisiana Territory for a mere 16 million dollars. Surprised and perplexed by the offer, they would accept it quickly before the French changed their mind. Debate on the reasoning behind this offer continues to the modern day, but it is generally believed that it came down to Napoleon, seeing the amount of men, money, and resources being bogged down in Haiti, deciding to abandon his dreams of an American empire, and deciding to commit his attention to Europe. Whatever the reasoning for the decision, when news of it reached America, it met an eager populace. It also divided both the Federalist and Democratic-Republicans. Although some Federalist supported the vast increase in territory, other Federalists, led by Hamilton, argued against it in an attempt to deny Adams such a large victory. Meanwhile, almost all east coast Democratic-Republicans opposed it, as they viewed it as overstepping the power given to the president by the Constitution. Democratic-Republicans in Western states, however, would see the great opportunity presented in the offer, and decide to go against the party in supporting it. Despite it being clear that the measure was going to pass, Virginia representative John Randolph of Roanoke would make a name for himself because of his opposition to the it. His fervent speeches against it launched him into the national spotlight, but would ultimately prove to be not enough to stop it. To explore the newly acquired territory, Adams would turn to his scientifically-gifted vice-president Thomas Jefferson to form a team to explore the new land. To head the newly formed "Corps of Discovery", Jefferson would turn to his inquisitive secretary, Meriwether Lewis, who would in turn ask William Clark of the U.S. Army to join him in leading the expedition. These two men, along with 43 other individuals, would go out and explore the territory. The fate of the exploration would not be known until 1806.

    Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
    Despite the brilliant diplomatic victory that Adams and Jefferson had just won, in their next major diplomatic event, they found themselves in opposition to each other. Ever since America's independence had begun, they had become subject to the raids of the pirates of the Barbary Coast. An American ship, the Enterprise, had also engaged in a skirmish with a Barbary ship that appeared to be preparing to attack a nearby American merchant ship during its patrols in the Quasi-War. Jefferson wanted Adams to take strong actions against the pirates, with him even considering war as a possibility, rather than pay the bribes they demanded to cease their actions. Adams, however, would continue in the precedent of Washington, and agree to pay the bribes. All of this was in correspondence with Adams trying to wind down America's military. While he is not in favor of weakening America's navy, he was also not in favor of putting it to any test for the moment. He also shrunk down the American army, as he believed that the time of national crisis that had necessitated its increase in size had passed. Despite weakening the American military, however, Adams would also sign into law the bills establishing a national military institute to train young men into officers for the U.S. Army. To serve as president of this new college, Adams would turn to a man who had been working to try and form one since the American Revolution, Henry Knox. Knox eagerly accepted what he viewed as the retirement of his career in service to his country, as well as the financial stability he hoped it would provide.

    The skirmish between the USS Enterprise and the Barbary ship
    With his second term in office winding to a close, Adams announced he would follow the example of Washington, and not seek a third term. With office now opened a new man, members of each political party prepared to pursue the the role of the presidency for the election of 1804.
    Chapter Five: The Election of 1804
  • Chapter Five: The Election of 1804

    "Emperor Thomas I of America of the House of Jeffersonicus", a Democratic-Republican political cartoon
    With Adams declining to run for a third term to follow the precedent of Washington, the eyes of the Liberty Party turned to his vice-president, Thomas Jefferson. Adams had endorsed Jefferson to be his successor, and with his support along with that of all of the former Democratic-Republicans, Jefferson was ensured the nomination. The larger question was who would receive the vice-presidential nomination. The men that both Adams and Jefferson would have preferred to put in that role, John Marshall and James Madison respectively, were unable due to sharing their home state with Jefferson. Following this, small movements began around nominating a variety of candidates, including Naval Secretary Benjamin Stoddert, Associate Justice Samuel Dexter, and Senators Albert Gallatin, Nathaniel Macon, and John Breckinridge. In the end, however, the man who received the nomination was once again the man that Adams endorsed, Secretary of War and former New York Governor George Clinton. Knowing the influence that Clinton controlled in the state, many members of the Liberty Party hoped he would be able to bring their electoral votes to their column. There were some murmured complaints that two former Democratic-Republicans had been nominated on the ticket, instead of a former Democratic-Republican and a former Federalist, but these were few and far between, as the longer the Liberty Party continued, the more the former Democratic-Republicans and Federalists were able to get past their old rivalries.

    Thomas Jefferson and George Clinton
    When the Democratic-Republicans gathered, it was clear who their party was going to nominate, as Burr still had a firm grip on the reins. The question was more who was going to be his vice-president. Eventually, in a surprise decision, they would go with Vermont representative Matthew Lyon. Lyon's nomination surprised meaning as he was known to be a moderate within a generally extremist party. He would sometimes cross the aisle, and vote with the Liberty Party in Congress, leading to a movement spearheaded by Representative William B. Giles of Virginia to expel him from the party. Lyon would weather the storm, however, and manage to hold until his party membership even though he continued in his voting habit. Lyon's nomination was a calculated move by the Democratic-Republicans, as it appeared that North Carolina and Tennessee might fall to the Liberty Party due to the perceived extremism of the Democratic-Republicans, as evidenced by the Liberty Party's Nathaniel Macon defeating Alexander Martin in the race for one of the North Carolina Senate seats, although the other seat was maintained by Democratic-Republican David Stone. With Lyon on the ticket, they hoped to hold onto these two states, as well as to try and possibly win Vermont.

    Aarron Burr and Matthew Lyon
    Alexander Hamilton would find controlling the Federalist Party not as easy as Burr had found controlling the Democratic-Republicans. With Hamilton being out of the government for almost a decade, as well as hurting his reputation with the Reynolds Affair, and opposing the Louisiana Purchase and shrinking the army, the Federalists believed they could probably nominate someone better than the man many in the country were beginning to refer to as "America's Failed Napoleon". He had also recently lost two of his greatest allies in the deaths of father figure Washington in 1801 and father-in-law Schuyler in 1804, slightly before the caucus. The coup would occur during the Federalist nominating caucus. Hamilton would enter the caucus expecting to easily be nominated. It was when the caucus began that his dreams of an easy nomination were shattered. Instead of nominating him, the party that Hamilton had played a key role in creating turned instead to Massachusetts Senator Theodore Sedgwick. Hamilton would try desperately to stop the inevitable, but soon found that not only had the party generally turned away from him, but even some of his closest allies, including Rufus King, Charles C. Pinckney, Timothy Pickering, and Benjamin Tallmadge had come to support Sedgwick over him. Taking the few Federalist who still supported him with him, Hamilton would abandon the nominating caucus. With Hamilton and the remains of his supporters gone, nominating Sedgwick was easy. After some debate about who to give the vice-presidential nomination to, with both Pinckney and John E. Howard in consideration, the caucus would end up supporting former South Carolina representative William L. Smith.

    Theodore Sedgwick and William L. Smith
    Despite being rejected by the party he had founded, Hamilton's presidential ambitions for the 1804 election were neither beaten nor sated. Rallying what supporters he could, he formed his own nominating caucus, hosted at his mansion. After their unanimous support of Hamilton for the presidential candidate, however, it rapidly proved to be a disorganized affair. This is highlighted by the fact that former New York senator John Laurence was nearly nominated as Hamilton's running mate despite both being from New York. This event was only halted when former Treasury secretary Oliver Wolcott Jr. pointed it out. With Laurence now out of contention, the race turned to be between former Secretary of War James McHenry and Hamilton's running mate in the previous election Thomas Pinckney. After Pinckney withdrew his name from contention, McHenry was chosen to run with Hamilton.

    Alexander Hamilton and James McHenry
    In the campaign season, it seemed that the Democratic-Republicans and the Liberty Party were pitted against each other in battles over Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Vermont. In the eyes of the general populace, these were America's two most dominant political parties, as the Federalist were losing power, prestige, and office holders to them in every election cycle since 1796. The Federalists, meanwhile, were distracted by Hamilton petulantly attacking them, even to the point of ignoring the Liberty and Democratic-Republicans in his attacks. More and more, however, Alexander Hamilton was beginning to appear as a maniac, such as attacking popular policy decisions, and even going so far as attacking the popular President Adams in a pamphlet titled Letter from Alexander Hamilton, Concerning the Public Conduct and Character of John Adams, Esq. President of the United States. Despite this, Hamilton was able to pull a decent number of votes away from the Federalists. Meanwhile, Jefferson and Burr, the former allies, had their cronies launch brutal verbal and written assaults against each other. The Liberty Party attacked both Burr's war record and his known ambitions which he often flaunted. They would restrain, however, from dredging up the old rumors about Theodosia, with Adams, Jefferson, and Clinton all approving of letting the hurtful story against someone not even involved die. The Democratic-Republicans, meanwhile, pointed out Jefferson had never even seen combat, and also brought up his time as Virginia's governor, and how it was under his governorship that Richmond burned. James T. Callender would also bring up the Sally Hemings story again, although it received much less attention than in the previous election, and it was generally disavowed, although modern genetics would ultimately prove the story true.

    A photograph of Hamilton's pamphlet
    When the results came in, it had been a landslide for Jefferson and the Liberty Party. He had managed to win 5 of the 6 states that were being severely contested between the Liberty and Democratic-Republican Parties. He would secure 143 electoral votes from Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. His victories in North Carolina, Vermont, and Massachusetts had been extremely close, however, with his victory in the latter coming down to a matter of a couple dozen votes. In second place came Aaron Burr, securing 21 electoral votes from Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia. Theodore Sedgwick would end the election with 12 electoral votes from Delaware and Connecticut, and Hamilton would finish with no electoral votes, although he did manage to beat Sedgwick for the popular vote in several states including New York. Their tremendous victory would secure the Liberty Party as a political organization, while this election also marked the beginning of the slow and painful death of the Federalist Party.
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    Chapter Six: The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, 1805-1809
  • Chapter Six: The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, 1805-1809

    President Thomas Jefferson
    As soon as Jefferson entered office, he set about doing something he had long waited to do while serving as Adams' vice-president. He believed that paying the Barbary states bribes only encouraged them to keep raiding American ships, and that the only way to halt them was to bring war to their countries. He would wait, however, until an incident of pirate raiding occurred, wanting to have something to show to the nation as his casus belli. In the meantime, he worked on constructing his cabinet. Realizing the coalition nature of his party and popularity of his predecessor, he hoped to maintain as many of Adams' cabinet officials as he could. In the end, however, he only managed to maintain one of Adams' secretaries, Naval Secretary Benjamin Stoddert. Secretary of State Ellsworth had only been serving as temporary figure head, and Treasury Secretary Gerry was hoping to return home to Massachusetts and engage in state politics, leaving the stress of the Treasury department behind. Clinton had been elected as Jefferson's vice-president, and Attorney General Lee was eager to return to his lucrative law office. To fill the holes in his cabinet, Jefferson would appoint James Madison to state, Albert Gallatin to treasury, Henry Dearborn to war, and John Breckinridge as attorney general. Although many historians agree Jefferson had formed the most harmonious presidential cabinet up until that point, some others point out that in choosing the men that he did, he removed three of his firmest advocates from the Senate, Madison, Gallatin, and Breckinridge, leaving behind only James Monroe, Nathaniel Macon, and John Langdon to be the voice piece of the president in the upper branch of Congress. Just as Jefferson was finishing assembling his cabinet, the opportunity he had been waiting for arrived.

    Jefferson's New Cabinet Members: James Madison, Albert Gallatin, Henry Dearborn, and John Breckinridge
    The scandal that Jefferson had been looking for would occur when a pirate ship hailing from the nation of Tripoli, one of the Barbary states Adams had bribed not to attack America, assaulted a U.S. merchant ship. The decision to go after the American ships once again had been made by Yusuf Karamanli, Pasha of Tripoli. Knowing the stance that Jefferson took concerning his nation, as soon as he heard that Jefferson had won the office of the presidency, Yusuf decided to strike first and ordered his ship to again harass U.S. merchant vessels. When Jefferson was informed of this, he had all that he needed to launch a strike against Tripoli. Jefferson did not wish to only humiliate Tripoli, however, he wished to make an example of them, as there were three other North African states that engaged in piracy, although not to the notoriety of Tripoli. To accomplish this goal, Jefferson would assemble a fleet of U.S. naval ships, many of which had been built under order from his predecessor. For command of the fleet, Jefferson would turn to Commodore Edward Preble, a veteran of the Revolutionary and Quasi Wars who had made a name for himself as a capable, calm-headed, and determined officer. Serving under Preble would an array of some of America's finest naval officers, including William Bainbridge, Oliver Hazard Perry, Isaac Hull, Andrew Sterett, Thomas Macdonough, James Lawrence, David Porter, Daniel Patterson, Richard Somers, Isaac Chauncey, and the Decatur brothers, Stephen and James. Commanding the U.S. Army forces Jefferson sent would be Brigadier General William H. Harrison.

    Edward Preble and William H. Harrison
    Preble would lead his fleet and the army convoys across the Atlantic, and right off the shores of Tripoli Harbor, capturing several pirates vessels on the way. He would then position his fleet to bombard the harbor's defenses, and soften them up for the amphibious invasion of Harrison and his troops. Despite their seeming ferocity, Tripoli's defenses were antiquated, and twice during the bombardment an old cannon would explode, killing the crew servicing it. Other soldiers of the Pasha would report seeing their cannon ball firing from their cannon only to travel a few yards before rolling down the fortifications due to the poor quality of their powder. In the lopsided artillery exchange, the Americans very much got the better of the Triplotians, with only a single American killed, and five others wounded, as opposed to the dozens of Yusuf's soldiers killed or severely wounded. With Tripoli's harbor defenses disabled, Preble would give the go ahead for Harrison to land his troops. Harrison's men would storm into the town, rapidly routing the shoddy militia that guarded the beaches. It was in the tight streets, however, that the Americans faced their greatest challenge. Companies of men would get separated from their regiments, and disorganization ruled the day as pot shots from the old buildings rung out at the Americans soldiers every few seconds. The most famous of these separated units would ultimately be Lieutenant Presley O'Brannon, who, with a dozen other marines, was separated from their fellow Americans.

    A painting of Preble's bombardment of Tripoli​

    Confused by the winding streets, O'Brannon and his men were unable to find their way back before several dozen Triplotian defenders began firing on the men. Hiding behind broken pieces of old houses, O'Brannon and the marines desperately tried to hold out and await reinforcements. Fighting alongside O'Brannon would be Private John E. Wool, an orphan he had joined the expedition hoping to make a name for himself. As all hope seem lost, O'Brannon would be rescued by the arrival of two artillery batteries under Major George Armistead and Captain Alexander Macomb, which fired at the old buildings hiding the defenders and collapsed several. The arrival of five companies of infantry under Captains Zebulon Pike, William Eaton, Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, and Jacob Brown cleared out the rest of the Triplotians, and allowed O'Brannon and his four remaining marines, including Wool, to rejoin the American forces. Not long after O'Brannon's relief, American forces breached the Pasha's palace, and were able to capture Yusuf himself, ending the battle and the war. The Americans would depose Yusuf, and instead place his brother Hamlet on the throne, as he was much more favorable to America. The Tripoli War as it came to be known would go on to be important for several reasons. Most immediately, it put a stop to the Barbary States' harassment of U.S. vessels, and marked the beginning of the rapid decline of the Barbary pirates. Secondly, it brought into the limelight several capable young officers who would go on to distinguish themselves in later service. Most importantly, perhaps, would be that it was America's first oversea victory, and helped bring respect to the U.S. in the eyes of other nations.

    Lieutenant Presley O'Brannon
    The Tripoli War would be the most prominent event of Jefferson's term, although another national stir would occur with the return of the Corps of Discovery minus 36 of its members. Lewis and Clark, both of whom served the expedition, would report they had had several run-ins with the Natives on the land, although many of them had been diffused by the presence of Sacagawea, a pregnant female guide who had helped guide them and often served as mediator between the expedition and the Native Americans they encountered. With Sacagawea's death during child birth, however, the expedition had lost their most important member, and they started losing members from there. Several members had died of starvation, a few more of diseases, but the largest number had been killed by attacks by hostile tribes. In their reports to Jefferson, both Lewis and Clark lamented the loss of Sacagawea, saying her presence could have saved the lives of many of the men who died. Another controversy would occur when Democratic-Republicans in Congress championed a bill referred to as the Embargo Bill, which would halt foreign trade with Britain and France as a result of their harassment of U.S. merchant vessels. Many in New England, whose livelihoods depended on this trade, feared that Jefferson and his former Democratic-Republicans in the Liberty Party would vote in favor of the bill. Following the advice of Naval Secretary Stoddert, however, Jefferson made it known that he was opposed to the bill, and would veto it if it was approved by Congress. This declaration caused the Liberty Party to unite against the bill, and kill it in Congress. Finally, two vacancies to the Supreme Court would open during Jefferson's term. First, Associate Judge William Paterson, a staunch Federalist who had supported Hamilton in the 1804 election, would die in 1806. Jefferson would replace him with Robert R. Livingston, a man well-liked among the Liberty Party. His second appointment would come with the creation of 7th seat in the Supreme Court in 1807. To fill this seat, Jefferson would follow the advice of John Adams and appoint Robert T. Paine, a fellow signer of the Declaration of Independence and a justice in the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Although hesitant to accept and eager to retire, letters from Jefferson, Adams, and Benjamin Rush would convince Paine to accept the role. As the next election approached, Jefferson believed that he had done well in his term, and believed in his ability to be reelected.

    Robert R. Livingston and Robert T. Paine
    Jefferson and his cabinet:
    President: Thomas Jefferson
    Vice-President: George Clinton
    Secretary of State: James Madison
    Secretary of the Treasury: Albert Gallatin
    Secretary of War: Henry Dearborn
    Attorney General: John Breckinridge
    Secretary of the Navy: Benjamin Stoddert
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    Chapter Seven: The Election of 1808
  • Chapter Seven: The Election of 1808

    A Federalist pamphlet printed in Rhode Island for the 1808 election
    With Jefferson carrying on the popularity and success of his predecessor's second term, he was ensured renomination, and many people believed he would sweep the election even more so than he did in 1804. All three parties would nominate candidates, however. The Liberty Party would enjoy a quick and easy convention, a luxury denied to the two other parties. Both Jefferson and Clinton would enjoy overwhelming support for their renomination at their nominating caucus. By now, the few men who were distraught about the ticket from the previous election's caucus had come to rally around Jefferson and Clinton, and no other names were mentioned for the candidacy except their's.

    Thomas Jefferson and George Clinton
    When the Democratic-Republicans gathered for their nominating caucus, they found that the man who in the past had always been eager to receive their nomination for the presidency, Aaron Burr, suffering from indifference. Burr had managed to win the governorship of New York following John Jay in 1804, and many believed that upon being elected to this role he had finally given up his ambitions for the presidency and had settled down, even walking his daughter Theodosia down the aisle during her marriage ceremony to DeWitt Clinton. So when the Democratic-Republican nominating caucus gathered, he made no efforts to receive their nomination. The party, however, struggled to choose a candidate besides Burr. Former New York senator John Armstrong Jr., Maryland Senator Samuel Smith, and Virginia Representative John Randolph Jr. were all considered, but none managed to gather the excitement and fervor that had accompanied Burr, although Randolph with his impassioned dictations came close in the eyes of many. Eventually, Armstrong would drop his candidacy, and join several others in trying to convince Burr to run one last time. Burr would turn down their advancements at first, but when his son-in-law DeWitt Clinton and his daughter Theodosia both started suggesting he give it one last try, he caved in and agreed to be nominated. With Burr once more becoming their presidential nominee, the proceedings for the vice-president began, and they eventually gathered around Smith after Randolph declined to be nominated.

    Aaron Burr and Samuel Smith
    For the Federalists, they had managed to bring most of break off members of their party back into the party, with the notable exception of Hamilton himself, who now claimed to be a political independent and to have retired from politics. Despite the leadership of the party managing to regain most of its cohesion, the party was starting to suffer from a lack of new members joining, as well as their membership base slowly seeping over to the Liberty Party among the rank and file. They also noticed more and more they, instead of the Democratic-Republicans, were beginning to be ostracized as the extremist and regional party, with them rapidly becoming known as the party of New England merchants. This sobering reality, which was becoming more and more clear to the Federalist Party, cast a pall over the Federalist caucus. Both of the Pinckney brothers declined to be nominated, saying they were seeking to retire. Eventually, the party would settle on former New York senator Rufus King for their presidential nomination, and Massachusetts Representative and former Secretary of State and War Timothy Pickering for their vice-presidential nomination.

    Rufus King and Timothy Pickering
    The campaigns for the 1808 election were generally characterized by the general apathy suffered in the Federalist and Democratic-Republican Parties due to the viewed certainty of Liberty Party victory. No one personified this better than the Federalist and Democratic-Republican presidential candidates themselves. Burr put no effort into campaigning for his candidacy due him having no real desire for victory, and King had personally very little criticize the Jefferson's administration for due to the tinge of former Federalist influence found in the Liberty Party. The one exception to this trend would be Timothy Pickering, who would go out and criticize the Adams and Jefferson administration in the most merciless terms. His speeches, however, only helped the Liberty Party paint the Federalists as the party of extremism, and the party that hoped to establish American dictatorship by subjugating all other occupations to mercantilism. When election day arrived, the question of many people's minds was not who would win, but rather how large the margin of victory the election was going to be.

    A Democratic-Republican cartoon criticizing Jefferson for his opposition to the Embargo Bill. It depicts King George the III and Napoleon continuing to harass Jefferson, who has given up his opposition to it. This political cartoon would be one of the few examples of cartoons created by the Democratic-Republicans for the election.
    When the results came in, the election had given Jefferson a second landslide victory. He had secured 142 electoral votes from Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Trailing behind him would be Burr securing 21 electoral votes from Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, and King's 12 electoral votes from Connecticut and Delaware. This election would witness two states firmly entrenched in their respective parties, Tennessee to the Democratic-Republicans and Delaware to the Federalists, nearly have their electoral votes go to the Liberty Party. With his large margin of victory in both the popular and electoral vote, Jefferson confidently looked forward to his next term in office. Unfortunately for him and the Liberty Party, however, his second term would be much more tumultuous than his first.
    Chapter Eight: The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, 1809-1813
  • Chapter Eight: The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson, 1809-1813

    President Thomas Jefferson
    It was a few days into Jefferson's second term in office that he lost his sole cabinet hold-out from the Adams' administration. Secretary of the Navy Stoddert, tired after working hard for the past eleven years, decided to retire and return home to his family. He believed that he had put America's navy into a secure enough state, both in terms of logistics and the number of ships, to allow a successor to take over. Jefferson would accept his resignation, and offer the post to former congressman William Jones. Jones had served in the American Revolution, and had experience working in shipyards and the merchant industry, making him the perfect choice in Jefferson's eyes. Jones would accept the offer, and become the nation's second Secretary of the Navy.

    William Jones
    The issue that would dominate Jefferson's second term, however, was British impressment of U.S. citizens. While a decent portion of the men being taken off U.S. ships were actual deserters from the Royal Navy, a large number of others were just unfortunate American seamen. Jefferson was split about what to for the situation. Part of him leaned towards reconsidering the Embargo Bill as a possibility, and this was supported by Madison and Breckinridge in his cabinet. He also remembered Stoddert's arguments against the bill, however, and thought about the embarrassment it would bring to his party if they decided to switch their stance on the bill a mere year after they had voted it down. He also considered the political victory it would be for the Democratic-Republicans, as well as the fact that he had come to believe it would likely to be ineffective. Both Gallatin and Jones in his cabinet argued against bringing the bill back to Congress. In the end, Jefferson decided to let the bill stay dead, but he and the Liberty were unable to come up with a solution sans economic sanctions or war, neither of which they wanted. In the nation's eyes, the Liberty Party was being indecisive and mulling too long over a decision that required immediate action.

    A drawing depicting British sailors impressing American merchants
    It was this general reaction by the public that historians hold up as the reason for the Liberty Party losing their 10 year long majority in Congress. When the results for the 1810 midterm election came in, the Democratic-Republicans had taken the House of Representative with a slight majority, although the Senate remained in Liberty Party hands. This midterm would also witness the sweeping out of most of the remaining Federalist representatives, leaving the Senate to be their last remaining enclave in the federal U.S. government. For House Speaker, John Randolph of Roanoke, the long time leader of the Democratic-Republicans in the House, defeated incumbent Joseph B. Varnum of the Liberty Party.

    John Randolph and Joseph Varnum
    One thing that the Jefferson administration would deal with rapidly, however, would be the new threat posed by Tecumseh's Confederacy. Created by Tecumseh in an attempt to regain land lost to encroaching white settlers, Tecumseh would unite warriors from his tribe, the Shawnee, with men from six other tribes to oppose the expansion of the American and to try and set up a Pan-Indian Confederacy in the Midwest. Aiding him in this effort would be a religious revival lead by his brother Tenskwatawa, otherwise known as "The Prophet" due to the visions he reported receiving. For the capital of his new nation, he would establish a village known as Prophetstown. Tecumseh uniting the Native Americans worried Jefferson, and soon he had cause for greater concern when he started hearing rumors that the British were covertly supplying them. Deciding that this would be a good opportunity to present to the public decisive action taken by the Liberty Party, Jefferson would dispatch hero of the Tripoli War Major General William H. Harrison alongside 500 regular army soldiers to scatter the warriors of Tecumseh's Confederacy and burn Prophetstown, expecting militia to join him along the way. When news of this mission reached Tecumseh, who had been in South trying to convince Natives there to join his Confederacy, raced back to try and gather his warriors and prepare for an attack, knowing that his brother Tenskwatawa, who was leading the coalition in his absence, was no warrior.

    Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa
    Tenskwatawa would launch an attack before Tecumseh could arrive, however. With his scouts finding a camp of soldiers bearing the U.S. flag, they reported they had located the camp of Harrison's force. What in actuality they had found was the camp of an Ohio militia that had come to reinforce Harrison and had made contact with him, but decided to finish the last few miles of the march to his camp the next day. Soon, Tenskwatawa had the camp of roughly 75 man surrounded with his roughly 500 warriors, and launched an all-out assault. Taken completely by surprise, the militia panicked and desperately tried to ready for battle, firing off a volley, which would only halt Tenskwatawa and his warriors momentarily. This time, however, allowed one of three riders they dispatched to escape the assaults, although the other two were hacked apart when they accidentally ran into Native lines. When this rider reached Harrison, he ordered his force to the relief of the battered force, and went ahead of his men to survey the situation accompanied by his aides Sergeant John E. Wool and Privates Stephen W. Kearney and William J. Worth, as well as an Indiana dragoon militia under Major Joseph Hamilton Daveiss. When Harrison arrived on the scene, he managed to begin to stabilize the situation, and launched several assaults against the Natives with his dragoons. Tenskwatawa, surprised by the rapid turning of the tide, and receiving reports that the Natives that had been dispatched a flank guards being overwhelmed by the U.S. regular army force, ordered a withdrawal. When the main U.S. Army force arrived at the militia camp, they found that the Natives had withdrew. With his forces consolidated. Harrison ordered them to march forward towards Prophetstown. When they arrived, they found Tenskwatawa directing the Natives in escaping from their capital, with the time taken by the U.S. Army force to ford the river giving him enough time to make his second escape. Although Tenskwatawa and the majority of his warriors who had survived the battle did manage to get away, Harrison would see their capital burn to the ground before returning to Washington to declare victory.

    Tenskwatawa's ambush of the Ohio militia's camp
    President Jefferson would make three more appointments to the Supreme Court during his term. The first would occur when William Cushing died in 1810. To fill this vacancy, Jefferson would offer the position to both his Attorney General John Breckinridge and fellow Declaration of Independence signer George Clymer, but both would decline. Eventually, Jefferson settled on nominating Levi Lincoln Sr., a man he had previously considered for the attorney general post. The next would occur in 1811 with the death of Samuel Chase. To fill his seat, Jefferson would nominate Caesar A. Rodney, a former Delaware representative and a lawyer of note, as well as a cousin to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His last appointment would occur as the result of an earlier appointment of his, Robert R. Livingston, dying in office. Jefferson considered many men for the role, but eventually decided to give the position to James Sullivan, a long time supporter of him and a man who desperately wanted to be on the Court, even if he did have ever declining health. Sullivan would be confirmed by the Senate, but die before he could assume office. To replace Sullivan, Jefferson would nominate former Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court William Ellery, who would also be confirmed, but this time would live long enough to take his seat. As the next election drew closer and closer, Jefferson announced he would not run for a third term. He was starting to get worried, however, as increasingly the Democratic-Republicans in Congress, especially the younger members, were advocating war with Britain as the solution to American impressment. Nevertheless, Jefferson still believed it was possible for a Liberty Party candidate to win, despite their losses in the 1810 midterms.

    Levi Lincoln, Caesar Rodney, James Sullivan, and William Ellery​
    Chapter Nine: The Election of 1812
  • Chapter Nine: The Election of 1812

    Citizens of a small Virginian town voting in the election
    The election of 1812 would much more contentious than America's previous few elections. It pitted a pro-war party against an anti-war party, and left it to a public tired of what they viewed as government inaction to decide who won. The Liberty Party would meet for the congressional nominating caucus uncertain of who was going to be nominated. By far the favorite was Secretary of State James Madison, who Jefferson supported to be his successor. Critics of him, however, pointed out his Virginia heritage and said they wanted a man from a new state to be their candidate after eight years of a Virginian. People who agreed with this rallied around men like the aging vice-president George Clinton, New Hampshire Senator John Langdon, Secretary of War Henry Dearborn, or Massachusetts Governor Elbrigde Gerry. Others wanted a man not as closely associated with Jefferson as Madison was, as they believed Jefferson's popularity was on the decline. They supported men like Senators James Monroe, Nathaniel Macon, or John Langdon. Finally, there were men who wanted to nominate a candidate from a state that they were afraid they might lose in the election, like Senator Macon from North Carolina or Attorney General John Breckinridge from Kentucky. Others wanted a former Federalist to run, worried that a former Democratic-Republican might finally cave in and approve the Embargo Bill. These people tended to gravitate around Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall. The pool of candidate would clear up, however, as men announced they did not want the office. Clinton, Gerry, and Breckinridge all claimed that they were in ill-health and did not want to be considered. Neither Monroe or Marshall did not want to challenge Madison, and Macon was angling for the position of President Pro Tempore of the Senate, currently held by Langdon. To secure this position, Macon threw his support behind Langdon. Dearborn would do the same when he realized his campaigning efforts were failing to gain much traction. Despite all the names that people put up against him, however, Madison would have little trouble securing the nomination. For the vice-presidential role, Langdon was chosen due to his supporter among many of the groups that had been hesitant to nominate Madison.

    James Madison and John Langdon
    The Democratic-Republicans had be reinvigorated since their last presidential effort, and decided that promising to declare war on Britain would be what was needed to sway the public to their side. The party that had four years earlier nominated a man who had not even want the nomination was now flooded with candidates. One man who did not want this nomination however was Aaron Burr. He instead pointed to son-in-law DeWitt Clinton, the newly elected senator for New York. Another candidate was Senator William B. Giles, who had managed to win his position in a close and surprise election. Senator Matthew Lyon considered running, but ultimately decided he was not popular enough and he also opposed war with Britain. The man who would ultimately be the candidate, however, was Speaker of the House John Randolph of Roanoke. Similar to Lyon, he personally opposed war with Britain. Unlike Lyon, however, he willing to support it if it was what the party wanted. After receiving the endorsement of Giles, Randolph had the number of supporters needed to defeat Clinton. To appease Burr, who still remained a potent force in the party, they would nominate Clinton to be his running-mate.

    John Randolph and DeWitt Clinton
    The Federalist Party had effectively reached their end, losing every election they participated in, and gaining almost no new members to replace the members they were losing. In light of this, the few remaining Federalist congressmen agreed to renominate their candidate from the previous election, Rufus King. King, who was trying to ease over to the Liberty Party, at first tried to decline the nomination, but was ultimately convinced to just run. In an attempt to get Hamilton to again be a member of their party, which many viewed as their only opportunity to survive, they would nominate former Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott Jr., a known friend of Hamilton. Despite the fact they had nominated a ticket, almost no one agreed to campaign for them, and absolutely no one expected them to win the election. They believed it would be lucky if they could even win a state's electoral votes.

    Rufus King and Oliver Wolcott Jr.
    The issue that dominanted the election was what to do about British impressment, as well as the rumors that had now been proven true that they had been providing weapons to Tecumseh's Confederacy. Madison and his supporters would point to the Battle of Tippecanoe to show the Liberty Party's decisive actions towards Tecumseh's Confederacy, but they still did not have a promise about what to do about British impressment. This put them at a disadvantage to the Democratic-Repubublicans, who promised that they would make the British sorry for their harassment of Americans, and take Canada from them. Their campaign rallies often took the form of the supporters dressing up in militia uniforms and marching through towns while Randolph supporters waved banners and shouted his praises. They would also drill in fields to impress the public. The Federalist supported negotiating with Britain, although many in the general populace were unaware of this due to the lack of Federalist campaigning. King wasn't even on the ballot on more than half the states, only appearing in Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the New England states. For the Liberty Party, their campaigning efforts focused on the west and south, where support for the war was large. Meanwhile, the Democratic-Republican focused on Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York, the four states worth the most electoral votes, and where they hoped they could spread their pro-war message. If they could secure these four states, they would need to win only eight more electoral votes to win the election. When election day arrived, neither side was certain in their ability to win the election.

    A drawing of a Tennessee militia doing a campaign drill for Randolph's campaign
    When the results came in, it was the closest election in terms of electoral votes in U.S. History. Madison had won both the popular vote and more states. He would not win this election, however, due to one faithless elector. The faithless elector, the man who decided the election, was William Marbury from Maryland. Madison had won the state of Maryland, and in theory the election. This was prevented, however, when Marbury was selected to be one of the states electors. A member of the Liberty Party, Marbury held a grudge against Jefferson, however, as he believed that he had prevented him from being appointed by President Adams to a judicial position. As a result of this, he decided to spite Jefferson by voting against his designated successor in the election. When he cast his vote, he was unaware of the monumental impact it would have. In doing it, he gave Randolph the final electoral vote he needed to win the election, and denied the same to Madison. Randolph would secure 109 electoral votes from Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and New York, as well as Marbury's deciding vote. Madison would secure 108 electoral votes from Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Conneticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. King would secure no electoral votes. When the Liberty Party discovered what Marbury had done, they quickly voted to expel him from the party, and in the heavily Liberty Party state of Maryland, he was rapidly ostracized. The Liberty Party was surprised, however, that Virginia and especially New York had gone for the Democratic-Republicans, even if both were by narrow margins. For both, historians generally agree that it merely boiled down to public discontent with the Liberty Party and the effective campaigning efforts of the Democratic-Republican Party. With the Democratic-Republicans managing to narrowly gain the number of Senate seats needed to declare war, to many in America war seemed imminent.

    William Marbury​
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    Chapter Ten: The Randolph Presidency and the Beginning of the War of 1813
  • Chapter Ten: The Randolph Presidency and the Beginning of the War of 1813

    President John Randolph
    Having narrowly won his election to the presidency, John Randolph saw to it that a declaration of war made its way through Congress, although technically it would start in the final days of the Jefferson administration. Under the oversight of newly elected Speaker of the House, warhawk John C. Calhoun, the bill easily passed through the House. In the Senate, Randolph was not initially expecting a problem when his election to the presidency had been announced. The Democratic-Republican Party had managed to win just enough seats, and expected everything to go easily. All of this came to a screeching halt, however, when Democratic-Republican Senator Matthew Lyon announced he would vote against the declaration of war, which would kill the Democratic-Republican Party's biggest campaign promise. Unfortunately for Lyon, he was up for reelection, and he was defeated in his efforts by a Democratic-Republican who was willing to declare war. Following this humiliation, Lyon would switch his party allegiance to the Liberty Party. The other Vermont senator, long serving Stephen R. Bradley of the Liberty Party praised Lyon's principled stand, although he too would lose his seat in his next election in 1814. When Randolph was inaugurated and the declaration of war reached the Senate, Senators Langdon, Macon, Bradley, and newly seated Kentucky senator Henry Clay all would deliver passioned oratories against the bill, although Clay would do so more due to party platform than his actual beliefs, as he personally saw this upcoming war as an opportunity for expansion. They hoped to switch over just one Democratic-Republican senator, although their efforts would be in vain, as the bill would pass and be signed by President Randolph. In a show of political acumen and a painful fact to the Liberty Party, Randolph would withhold from appointing Senator William B. Giles to be his Secretary of State until after the vote, knowing the Liberty Party controlled Virginia legislature would likely elected Madison to take his place and then the Liberty Party could defeat the bill. The day after the declaration was approved, Randolph appointed Giles to be his Secretary of State, and as he expected Madison was elected to replace him. It was too late for the Liberty Party to stop the war, however. All they could do was buckle down and hope for the best.

    John Calhoun, Stephen Bradley, Nathaniel Macon, Henry Clay, and William Giles
    With war declared, Randolph went about making the preparations for it. Consulting with Senior Officer of the United States Army Major General James Wilkinson, he would devise a three-pronged offensive into Canada to seize it from the British. The smallest wing would be lead by Brigadier General William Hull along with 2,500 soldiers, mostly militia, headquartered in Fort Preble. Their goal was to march north and seize Quebec, the capital of the Lower Canada Territory. Wilkinson was to lead 4,000 soldiers, again mostly militia but with more regular troops than Hull, from Fort Niagara to seize York, the capital of the Upper Canada Territory. The final prong was for Major General Wade Hampton I to launch his campaign with 7,500 soldiers from Fort Detroit and destroy the warriors of Tecumseh's Confederacy, which were rumored to have retreated in Canada following Tippecanoe, alongside any British forces accompanying them. With this completed, he was to march to York to join with Wilkinson on marching on Ottawa and then Montreal. Hampton's army had the best of the regular U.S. Army forces, with 4 of the 9 regular infantry regiments. The other five regiments were scattered throughout the rest of nation, with two accompanying Wilkinson, one going with Hull, and one each stationed in Washington and New Orleans. With his plans set and the campaigns planned, Randolph would order the offensives to begin. Thus began the "Campaigns of Humiliation", as the first half of the War of 1813 came to be known.

    William Hull, James Wilkinson, and Wade Hampton
    During his time in office, Randolph would get to appoint two men to the Supreme Court. The first vacancy would occur with the 1814 death of Justice Robert T. Paine. To replace him, Randolph initial offered the post to New York Governor Aaron Burr, who would decline. Following this, Randolph would follow the advice of his Secretary of War Samuel Smith and nominate his brother Robert Smith. Although murmurs were heard about this, Smith's nomination would be passed, albeit narrowly. His second appointment would occur with the 1816 death of Justice Samuel Dexter. To replace him, Randolph would nominate Virginia representative Wilson C. Nicholas, who was also approved, but with a much larger margin than Smith due to him being seen as moderate by the Liberty Party, who by then controlled the Senate, and one of the few Virginian Democratic-Republicans who still respected and was associated with Thomas Jefferson.

    Robert Smith and Wilson C. Nicholas
    Randolph and his cabinet:
    President: John Randolph
    Vice-President: DeWitt Clinton
    Secretary of State: William B. Giles
    Secretary of the Treasury: John Armstrong Jr.
    Secretary of War: Samuel Smith
    Attorney General: Thomas Sumter
    Secretary of the Navy: Paul Hamilton
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    Chapter Eleven: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part One
  • Chapter Eleven: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part One

    A depiction of the Battle of York, part of Wilkinson's campaign to capture the town

    When word of the Americans declaring war on Britain reached him, George Prévost called his two chief subordinates in the Canada territory, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada Isaac Brock and his subordinate Gordon Drummond. Since Tecumseh ordered a retreat of the warriors of his confederacy to the north, Brock had been communicating with them in preparation for the war he was expecting might occur with the Americans. From the scouts of Tecumseh's Confederacy, as well as some U.S. newspapers, Brock had gathered where the three points of attack were going to be, as well as rough estimates of their size. From this information, Prévost would form a battle plan. He would stay with a token garrison in the heavily fortified city of Quebec to repulse any advances made by Hull. He would give the bulk of the forces in the Canada territory to Brock, who, alongside the warriors of Tecumseh's Confederacy, were to halt Hampton's offensive. Drummond, meanwhile, was to perform a delaying movement and attempt to hold York. All three men would know, however, that considering the man that Drummond had at his disposal, he would likely be unable to halt the advances of the numerically superior force under Wilkinson. With this mind, Drummond was to make sure to avoid excessive casualties, while trying to inflict as heavy casualties on the Americans as possible. If York fell, then when Brock had defeated Hampton, he would unite his force with Drummond's and force Wilkinson back. With the plan set, both officers hurried back to the posts and took what little time they could to prepare a defense against the incoming Americans.

    George Prévost, Isaac Brock, and George Drummond
    When each of the three American commanders received the orders to start their offensives from Randolph, both Hull and Wilkinson would delay in starting to execute their plans. Only Hampton, the most aggressive of the three commanders, would move out from Fort Detroit, and begin marching into Canada. It was here that the first official battle of the War of 1813 would occur. In the Battle of Windsor, Canadian militia from the town would put up a stout defense, and twice repulse charges made by American militia. Eventually, Hampton would decide to commit his tactical reserve to the battle, the 4 regiments of regular infantry. In an attack lead by Jacob Brown, commander of the 7th U.S. Infantry regiment, the four infantry regiments would storm the hastily erected Canadian works while his two superior officers, Major General Hampton and Brigadier General Stephen Van Rensselaer, awaited the results from the rear. After a brutal hand to hand fight in the Canadian trench, the leader of the Canadian militia, Colonel Phineas Riall of the British Army, would agree to surrender his force and the town of Windsor. Hampton would triumphantly ride up and down his lines in the aftermath of this battle, and would write to President Randolph afterwords how the Canadian rabble had routed in the first sight of his arrival. Meanwhile, in a personal letter to his wife, Brown would commend the Canadians and their defenses, as well as Colonel Riall, who he said surrendered only after the utmost pressure had been applied and defeat was inevitable.

    A painting of the Battle of Windsor, with a mounted Brown leading the charge
    While Hampton was shedding the first blood of the war, Hull remained inactive. Many of the New England militiamen who he had been promised either did not show up or were being denied to him by the governments of the nearby states. Remembering the Canada campaign from the American Revolution, he refused to move his army on the offensive until the men he had been promised arrived. This would be a costly decision, as it only gave more time for Governor-General Prévost to raise more Canadian militia and strengthen his position in Quebec. Eventually, Randolph would see to it that Hull received the number of men he requested, and expected him to open a new front. In response to this, Hull would reply that he again needed more men to be able to take on the increased numbers now facing him because of Prévost's recruitment efforts. Following this debacle, Randolph would relieve Hull of command and replace him with Alexander Smyth, a man who had been serving as the commander of Washington's defenses, and had constantly been intriguing for a command. When Randolph summoned him to his Executive Mansion for a meeting with himself and Secretary of War Samuel Smith, Smyth would lay out his complicated and convoluted plan for taking Quebec. Figuring that probably anyone would be better than Hull, Randolph would approve Smyth as his replacement, and the campaign that he had wanted to begin months earlier finally was launched.

    Alexander Smyth
    While that was happening, Wilkinson launched his campaign to seize York. Facing him was 1,500 soldier under George Drummond, consisting of a few dozen regular British Army troops stationed as garrison, roughly 100 Native warriors from the Mohawk tribe, and the rest consisted of Canadian militia. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against him, Drummond delivered a brilliant result. Working closely with Lieutenant Colonel Charles de Salaberry, the commander of the Regular troops and his best subordinate in this campaign, Drummond would engage in a slow retreat towards York, making it cost Wilkinson in both men and supplies for every mile he moved forward. Hit and run attacks and sabotaging of American supply wagons were the prime elements of his strategy. Eventually, however, he would reached the outskirts of York, and he knew he would have to fight at least one traditional battle lest he lose his command. Coordinating with Salaberry, Drummond would organize a battle in which he would launch a surprise attack American forces. After the shock of the attack wore off, and the Americans rallied and steadied, they were to fall back and withdraw from the battle. Drummond has two goals in this battle. First was to buy time for any citizen of York who wanted to leave the town. Secondly was to make sure Wilkinson received a bloody nose before gaining the capital of the Upper Canada Territory. When Salaberry launched his assault, the American militia he first encountered panicked and broke, leaving it to the American regulars to establish a secure battle line for them to rally around. Once this occurred, Salaberry withdrew his troops in good order, and allowed Wilkinson to move in on his prize. Once he entered the city, Wilkinson, who some assumed might have been drunk at the time, ordered it to be burnt to the ground. Drummond at the head of his column would watch smoke billow upwards from the capital of the Upper Canada Territory.

    Lieutenant Colonel Charles de Salaberry and the Burning of York. In the background of the illustration, there is a defiant Canadian waving the British flag and American officer threatening him with his sword
    With York secured, Wilkinson tuckered down and awaited the arrival of Hampton. As far as he was concerned, his time campaigning was over until his arrival. Hampton, however, was starting to have troubles of his own. The further into Canada he marched, the more incidents against his army increased, and more and more Native warriors, presumed to be over Tecumseh's Confederacy, were launching lightning raids against his troops. Although the arrogant Hampton refused to admit it himself, his subordinates and soldiers were beginning to question the campaign they were undertaking, especially as rumors of Brock's and Tecumseh's force of British, Canadian, and Native drawing near grew more prevalent. At one point, Rensselaer would send Wilkinson a letter begging him to march out and come in support of Hampton's column. Wilkinson, who was very content in staying put where he was, would reply that he would only come if Hampton himself requested it, knowing that the vain general would never do such as thing. While the American generals argued among themselves, Brock and his close ally Tecumseh readied themselves for a retaliatory movement against Hampton to avenge the fall and burning of York. Thus the pieces were set and the players were ready for what would be the most humiliating event of the whole campaign characterized as the Campaign of Humiliation.
    Chapter Twelve: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part Two
  • Chapter Twelve: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part Two

    Desperate members of Hampton's army try to break out the encirclement at the Widow's Cabin during the Battle of Spencer Creek
    As Hampton drove deeper into Canadian territory and marched ever closer to linking up with Wilkinson, he began to more and more dismiss the reports of a united force of British, Canadian, and Native soldiers. Despite reports from his scouts and sympathizing civilians to the contrary, he believed that the force of Brock and Tecumseh were not near to him, and that the British forces he was facing he far outnumbered. When word of these beliefs reached Brock, he decided he could use them to his advantage. He would position himself alongside Spencer Creek, which he knew was along the path that Hampton was following based on reports he had received from spies he had in Hampton's camp. Knowing the low opinion that Hampton held of Canadian militia, he positioned them on a small ridge. Also knowing that the dense forest would act as a bottleneck to Hampton's forces, and that he would have to charge his men forward in a very thin formation, he then stationed Tecumseh's warriors into that forest, and they were to charge and shatter the American column into two on his command. Finally, with the few British regulars he had, he positioned them to get behind the American column, and try and block the Hampton from retreading the easy path he had followed when he retreated, forcing him and his men to haphazardly escape through the woods, which concealed many of Tecumseh's warriors. With his plans sets, he readied himself for the arrival of Hampton's forces.

    A view behind the lines of the Canadian militia moments before the battle begun
    For Hampton, he again ignored warnings that Brock had set an ambush for his army, and to not march along Spencer Creek, as it was a trap. When Hampton reached the narrow winding path that clung to Spencer Creek, he arranged his column as follows. At the front, he placed three of his regular infantry regiments. Behind them, he rode alongside the cavalry militia that served as his bodyguard. Behind them was the infantry militia, which had his second in command Brigadier General Stephen Van Rensselaer at its head. Finally, at the rear of his column marched the 7th U.S. Infantry Regiment under Colonel Jacob Brown. Brown had fallen out of favor with Hampton as Brown's reports about the Battle of Windsor contradicted the glowing narrative as told by Hampton. As punishment, Hampton placed his regiment at the rear of the column to deny him an important role in any upcoming battle, and to be the last to unite with Wilkinson when they marched into York. When the Hampton spotted the Canadian militia on the ridge, he halted the column, and began to ride back to Rensselaer to create a plan about what to do with about the men. At this time, one of the Canadian militiamen fired his rifle, which killed a lieutenant in the U.S. infantry regiment that stood across from their line. Enraged by this, Hampton decides to forego his meeting with Rensselaer, and order a charge of his regular infantry to sweep the infantry off the ridge. Thus began the Battle of Spencer Creek.

    The charge of the 6th U.S. Infantry Regiment, which was at the head of Hampton's column.
    As the initial American charge stalled out in front of the Canadian defense, Hampton dispatched an aide to Rensselaer ordering him to bring the 7th U.S. Infantry up to help in the charge. It was as Rensselaer was speaking with Brown and preparing to make the necessary preparations to clear the militia out of the way for Brown's advance that Tecumseh's launched his attack. The American militia, which Hampton had placed under Rensselaer's command, were now for the most part separated from the commander, and began panicking. As Tecumseh sliced the American column in two, Hampton began to realize the devastating mistake he had made in ignoring the warnings. Hoping that they could still break through, Hampton ordered his regular infantry to continue trying to break through the defense of the Canadian militia. At first, Hampton planned on using the infantry militia trapped in the pocket with him in a coordinated attack to break out, but all order had been lost among the infantry militia in the pocket, so Hampton turned to the sole remaining reserve he had, his cavalry militia. Leading a charge into the dense undergrowth, Hampton began his efforts to break out. It was at this time that a shot, reputedly fired by Tecumseh's chief warchief Roundhead, struck Hampton in the shoulder, dismounted him, and led to his capture. After the battle, as a reward for his accuracy, Tecumseh's would take Hampton's large plumed hat and give it to Roundhead as a trophy. At heavy loss, the rest of the cavalry militia, now under Colonel Richard M. Johnson managed to cut a swath through Tecumseh's line and what they believed to be freedom.

    Richard M. Johnson and Native riflemen during the battle. In the distance, it depicts Hampton falling wounded from his horse.
    As Johnson lead his cavalry to what he assumed to be freedom, he was horrified to realize the nightmare was not over yet. What he arrived to see was a desperate battle between the 7th U.S. Infantry and Brock's regular soldiers, centered around a cabin owned by a former Loyalist widow, which became known as the Widow's Cabin. Rensselaer and the remaining infantry militia that had not been caught in the encirclement had begun fleeing by now, leaving it to Brown to fight his way out. Johnson decided to commit his forces to breaking the British line. By now, both Brown and Brock, who was leading the regular British infantry, had been lightly wounded in the fighting, although both continued in the fight. As Johnson's cavalry crashed into the side of the British line, the shock provided the advantage that Brown needed, and he was able to create a temporary break in Brock's line, allowing for the majority of the 7th to flee. Johnson would not live to see this result, however, as he had been shot from his horse to fatal effect.

    Johnson's cavalry charging into Brock's infantry
    Despite large portions of the 7th Infantry escaping, as well as the majority of the cavalry and infantry militia who had not gotten trapped in the pocket, Brock believed he could still deliver a devastating blow, if only the Canadian militia could contain the rest of the regular U.S. infantry in the pocket a little while longer. It was at this time, however, that they finally managed to break through. Realizing the desperate situation they were in, the commanders of these men took no time to gloat, and ordered their men to retreat through the forest. Thus began a hellish nightmare for the men as Native ambushes on small scales picked off a few men at a time until they finally managed to escape the forest. The infantry militia that remained trapped in the pocket, seeing the futility of further resistance, agreed to surrender. This would bring an end to the battle, but Brock was not done of his destructive plans for the remains of Hampton's army. He instead looked to finish the job he had started, and after a night of rest ordered his men to move out.
    Chapter Thirteen: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part Three
  • Chapter Thirteen: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part Three

    Brock and Tecumseh in a meeting, with Roundhead approaching them at right and informing them of Rensselaer's request for surrender
    After the thorough beating he and his army had received at the Battle of Spencer Creek and the subsequent retreat, Rensselaer, who now commanded the army, hoped to receive a reprieve from the enemy to rebuild his force and gather the scattered elements of it. To provide a central point for the disparate parts of the army to rally to, Rensselaer positioned the portion of the army that he still held command over in Fort Detroit, and he sent out the remnants of the cavalry militia, now under Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Hamilton Daveiss of Tippecanoe fame, to spread the word and raise more militiamen. Brock, ever the aggressive commander, was intent on denying this to Rensselaer, and as soon as the next morning came after Spencer Creek he began his preparations to crush Rensselaer.

    Stephen Van Rensselaer
    A mere two weeks after Rensselaer and his force had settled in to Fort Detroit, Brock was within miles of the stronghold. Rensselaer sent urgent letters to Daveiss ordering him to return with the cavalry and any new recruits he had gained from his mission. When Daveiss arrived back at the fort, he presented to Rensselaer the fifty men he had managed to gather. Of these men, only half had come with arms, and even fewer had actually served in the army previously. Not long after Daveiss arrival, Brock slammed the door shut on escape or reinforcement, and laid siege to Fort Detroit. The last letter Rensselaer had sent out before being the siege's beginning was to Brown, who with the 7th Infantry had not yet come to fort. When Brown received the letter, he ignored it. On a strategic level, this made sense, as all that would be accomplished by him bringing his forces to join Rensselaer would be the loss of even more of the U.S.'s precious regular troops. Historians also believe that Brown's decision to stay where he was and leave Rensselaer to his fate with influenced by how Rensselaer had abandoned him and his men during Spencer Creek. As Brown showed no sign of coming, and more and more of the warriors of Tecumseh's Confederacy came to join in the siege, Rensselaer began to lose hope of escaping.

    Rensselaer awaiting a reply from Brown days before the siege. This illustration also shows the civilians soon to be trapped in the fort​

    In this desperation, he had approved three break out missions for three different small groups of his army. The first he let occur was a plan by Colonel Zebulon Pike of the 8th Infantry for him and a few compatriots to slip out and try and contact Brown. Pike and his half dozen fellow escapees successfully eluded the guards, and slipped into the night. A few days later, the men would stumble into Brown's camp. At this point, Pike relayed his message to Brown, but Brown again refused to go out on a suicide mission. He did allow Pike and his six men to stay with them to wait out the end of the siege. Next to occur would be when Major Thomas Jesup of the 6th Infantry asked for permission to escape alongside the remaining men of companies A, B, and C of his regiment. These companies had been the hardest hit companies of the hardest hit regular regiment during the Battle of Spencer Creek, and the total number of men asking to leave numbered no more than two dozen men after hard fighting at Windsor and Spencer Creek. In his appeal, Jesup would tell Rensselaer that he had these men had not survived these battles only to captured now. Rensselaer, by this point an increasingly broken man, nodded when Jesup finished his request. During the escape from the fort, the musket of one of the men would accidentally fire, but no action was taken against them. This had led many to believe that both Brock and Tecumseh knew men were escaping, and decided to allow it on a small scale to sow fear in the local populace to prevent the raising of another force. The final force trying to escape they would not ignore, however. Rensselaer ordered Daveiss and his cavalry regiment to attempt to escape and raise a relief force. Daveiss would comply, and once again under the cover of darkness they would exit the fort. Seeing the large number of men, and fearing that it was a sally out, Tecumseh would begin move forces to the point where Daveiss was attempting to breach. After he had managed to break through the siege line and open a path of escape, he did just that, much to Tecumseh's surprise. Following this, however, both Brock and Tecumseh would crack down on escape attempts, and when a few Americans soldiers attempted to flee the next night, they were shot dead.

    Zebulon Pike, Thomas Jesup, and Joseph Daveiss
    As Brock and Tecumseh began to really apply the pressure, Rensselaer began to lose heart. He consulted with Colonel William H. Winder, his second in command and commander of the 9th U.S. Infantry, concerning surrendering of the fort. Both men were shaken by the recent serious of reversals, and both had also lost their faith in the return of Brown, Pike, or Daveiss. They also believed they were heavily outnumbered. In reality, they still had the numerical advantage. Eventually, Rensselaer's spirit broke. This has often been attributed to a time during which he reviewing the fortress. He spotted a young militia officer walking with his family. Moments later, a cannon shot would rip in, eviscerating his head and upper torso, and splattering his wife and young daughter with his innards, although some cite this story as apocryphal. Regardless of this was true or not, Rensselaer's will would break, and on October 14, roughly five months after the campaign began with the Battle of Windsor, Rensselaer would send a messenger out to treat for terms of surrender. When Brock and Tecumseh received word of this, they rapidly agreed to meet. The meeting between delegates would be swift. The British would send out Roundhead to represent them. Rensselaer originally planned to send out Colonel Duncan McArthur, the commander of his militia forces, but McArthur did not believe surrender was necessary, and was unwilling to negotiate something he did not believe in. After McArthur's rejection, Rensselaer would turn to Winder. When the surrender proceedings began, Roundhead knowingly took advantage of the stereotypes many American held about Natives, and made good use of this in the negotiations with the weak-willed Winder who feared a massacre. Roundhead would bring back to Brock and Tecumseh an unconditional surrender of the American forces in Fort Detroit. On October 17, the ceremony would proceed, and Rensselaer would surrender his sword to Brock. Despite destroying the army containing the cream and largest portion of America's regular army, Brock would again not rest for long. After two days of rest, he would again march off into Canada with the British regulars and the majority of the Canadian militia, leaving Tecumseh and his warriors alongside a small number of Canadian militia to garrison the fort and harass Midwestern militiamen. Although America's humiliation had reached its zenith, it was not over quite yet.

    Rensselaer's surrender to Brock​
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    Chapter Fourteen: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part Four
  • Chapter Fourteen: The Campaigns of Humiliation, Part Four

    The American assault on Quebec, with the mortally wounded Alexander Smyth at center
    Following his crushing victory at the Siege of Fort Detroit, many were expecting Brock to rest his forces before moving them out again. Brock, however, still had one last goal he desired to complete before the finish of his campaign season for the year. York, capital of the Upper Canada Territory, of which he was Lieutenant Governor, still remained in American hands. With Hampton's invasion force now not only repulsed, but destroyed and scattered, Brock intended to liberate the city from the Americans occupying it. When he arrived near the outskirts of the town, he linked his force up with that of George Drummond, who despite abandoning the town due to being outnumbered still remained in the vicinity, acting as a guerrilla and harassing American patrols and supply trains. With the two forces united, as well as the arrival of some fresh Canadian militia, they now outnumbered the American garrison in the town, which was still under the control of James Wilkinson, who was content to get heavily inebriated while receiving reports of the failures of Hampton and Rensselaer. When his scouts brought in reports that the British forces now outnumbered his, and were approaching their defenses, he dismissed the aide and told him to let him plan their strategy. Following a delay of two days, something that would prove very costly for the Americans, Wilkinson announced that he believed that the American forces would be unable to hold the town, and ordered a retreat. Third in command Brigadier General George Izard railed against this decision, claiming that the American defenses were solid, and that they were not that heavily outnumbered. Wilkinson was secured in his decision, however, when second-in-command Brigadier General Thomas H. Cushing, a fellow American Revolution veteran and frequent drinking companion, decided to endorse the command. With the plan receiving the support of both the commander and the second-in-command, Izard realized he could not win out, and promised to support the movement.

    George Izard and Thomas H. Cushing
    Brock was, for one of the few times in his campaigns, surprised by the movement of the enemy. He had been preparing for an all-out assault on York. Instead, he triumphantly rode at the head of the column alongside Drummond and Salaberry as they marched back into York and reclaimed the town. With enemy retreating and their supply lines feeble, Brock thought that now was a prime time to attack. Only allowing his men to stay in York for the night, he moved out the next day to attack Wilkinson's column. With the Americans moving rather slowly due to being burdened down by loot and having not been drilled for a while, Brock caught up to them at Queenstown Heights, where Wilkinson had established his camp when reports came that Brock was pursuing them. When Izard was informed that they were making their stand here, he was enraged. He personally berated Wilkinson for retreating from the better defensive position they previously had. This outburst nearly cost Izard his command, although he did force Wilkinson to acknowledge the folly of his decision. But it was too late for the Americans to retreat any further, as Brock had arrived and was positioning himself for an attack, in what would become known as the Battle of Queenston Heights.

    General Brock personally scouting out the American position at Queenston Heights, as the buff of smoke of a sniper taking a shot at him can be seen in the distance
    Wilkinson's plan for the battle was simple. Izard's division, consisting entirely of militia, would hold the left of his defensive position on the hill, while Cushing's division, consisting of the regular troops and militia, would hold the right, with the regular troops holding the right flank. Brock's plan was similarly simple, charge up and sweep the Americans from their hilltop positions. When informed of the plan, General Roger H. Sheaffe, commander of Brock's militia contingents, balked at the idea of storming the American position atop the hill. Turning to General Drummond, the man he had placed in charge of the regular troops, Brock said he would personally charge with the regular troops against the harder position of the American right, leaving Sheaffe to attack the easier target of the American left. With the plan set, Brock told the commanders to position their troops for battle. On his order, all of his troops advanced. On his right, Sheaffe and the militia made little head way against the stout resistance posed against them under Izard. On the British left, it was a different story. Following the example of Brock, the regulars were determinedly advancing under a hail of fire from Cushing's men. Roughly two dozen yards from the American line, Brock would go down with a wound slightly below the knee. Despite the injury, Brock urged his men on, and soon they were in the American defenses. Then, a struck of luck occurred for the British. Cushing, rather than shifting men from his regular troops which were under less pressure, ordered a withdrawal. Whether this was due to drunkenness, cowardice, or sheer stupidity his later court-martial could not decide. Regardless, Cushing's men began to fall back, forcing Izard to retreat as well lest he be flanked by the British. Thus, Brock had won what he would refer to as his greatest battle, even if his left leg would have to be amputated as a result. Despite the glory he viewed in it, it would also be his final battle in the war. Due to the hard campaigning and brutal battles, Brock's army was heavily used up. Because of this, Governor-General Prévost would order the battered remains of Brock's force to rejoin him in Quebec, as the Upper Canada Territory was now secure. Despite wanting to continue the fight, orders were orders, and Brock began his march to Quebec, leaving behind a small garrison in York under Salaberry. He would not arrive at the town, however, before the American force sent to attack it arrived.

    General Brock leading his men forward during the Battle of Queenston Heights
    When placed in command of the American column to assault Quebec, Smyth would follow the example of his predecessor, and procrastinate for a month before beginning his movement. Randolph would prove to be less patient with Smyth than Hull, however, and he began applying the pressure for Smyth to start moving. Seeing that the implication of remaining in place would likely be the loss of command, Smyth ordered his column to begin the march. The day after they began moving, the ill-fated Siege of Fort Detroit began. Despite this, Smyth continued his movement, and after a month of marching, he finally reached Quebec's outer defenses by mid-November. By then, snow had began to lightly fall, and it soon started covering the ground. It was at this moment that Smyth realized the terrible implication of his task. He was to capture a heavily fortified city with roughly 2,000 tired men with snow beginning to fall. Despite the terrible odds, Smyth still ordered an assault on the city walls. It went as well as it would seem, and over 400 Americans became causalities before the massacre ended, including a fatally wounded Smyth. The one bright spot in the battle would be Knox's Artillery Militia. Major General Henry Knox, commander of West Point Academy, organized and financed the regiment for service in the upcoming war, making sure to assign three of his best artillery students to command the batteries. He intended to lead the regiment into battle, but Randolph refused to let Knox leave his post, although he would let the artillery regiment join Smyth's column. It was during the battle that regiment would gain notoriety. With batteries under Lieutenants Thomas Biddle, Samuel Ringgold, and Thomas Childs the cannon pounded the fort's defenses. At one point, Governor-General Prévost himself would walk out to oversee the fight. It was at that moment that a stray grape shot round managed to knock his hat off his head, which would eventually blow over to the American lines, where the artillery men would "capture" it, and parade it after the battle. In sharp-tipped newspaper reports after the remains of the army retreated back into America, they would claim that the only thing that had been gained in the campiagn was Prévost's hat, although the three lieutenants of Knox's Artillery Militia would be welcomed home with much acclaim for their conduct.

    Thomas Biddle, Samuel Ringgold, and Thomas Childs
    Following the terrible failure of all three of the offensive columns into Canada, Randolph began to despair. This was only made worse when he received reports that the British had sent out to forces to land on American soil in retaliation, one to strike their capital in Washington, and the other to attack the crucial trading hub at New Orleans. To his administration's credit, Randolph had been able to foresee that these two cities might come under assault, and had placed a regular infantry regiment in each to defend them. As Randolph and his Secretary of War Samuel Smith began desperate preparations to protect these two towns, they also authorized the transfer of most of the remaining troops from the former three prongs to the Midwest, where recently promoted Brigaider General Jacob Brown was preparing a campaign to retake Fort Detroit and scatter the enemy forces in the area. He left the two skeleton garrisons left behind to the command of Brigadier General Henry Dearborn and Major General Henry Knox to replace the shamed Wilkinson and dead Smyth. These two officers he had previously denied field commands, but desperation again drove Randolph's decision making. Just when all hope seemed lost, Randolph received reports that in Lake Erie Master Commandant Oliver H. Perry had managed to defeat a British naval force, and that Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough had managed to do the same in Lake Champlain. For once, the war seemed to be looking up for the American side, and President Randolph hoped to be able to turn the whole affair around and win some victories before sending out peace negotiators to end the war that he was growing to hate more and more.

    Jacob Brown, Henry Dearborn, Henry Knox, Oliver H. Perry, Thomas Macdonough​
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    Chapter Fifteen: The Washington Campaign
  • Chapter Fifteen: The Washington Campaign

    A picture of the Battle of Lookout Creek, highlighting Andrew Jackson's role in the engagement
    With all three of their offensive prongs all rebuffed, America was now a nation of the defensive. As far as President Randolph was concerned the dreams of conquering Canada were shattered, replaced by the reality of having to prepare two of America's most important coastal cities, Washington and New Orleans, for defense against British landings. Then landed the hope of being able to wrest control of the Midwest from Tecumseh's Confederacy, but it would take time for General Brown to organize his forces. What remained important now was the most pressing threat, the British invasion of Washington, scheduled to land first. As soon as word had reached London of the American declaration of war, the government had decided on the two American cities for invasion. The nature of finding troops to divert from the Napoleonic Wars, and the subsequent Atlantic voyage they would have to undergo had delayed this endeavor. But the time that the British ships were spotted off the shore could not have been a better time for them. American morale was at an all-time low. Their main armies could not reach Washington in time, even if they were in good enough shape to have made much of a difference. Overall, when Major-General Robert Ross, himself being a very competent officer, entered into the Chesapeake Bay, he was a man confident of victory.

    Major General Robert Ross
    What Ross didn't know was that he was about to face one of the greatest personnel choices of the Randolph presidency. Once Alexander Smyth was deployed to take command of the New England theater of command, Randolph had not bothered to appoint a new commander of Washington's defenses, content to leave it to Secretary of War Samuel Smith to see to them, as he was unaware of the planned British offensive. It was shortly afterwards that he brought former fellow Democratic-Republican congressman Andrew Jackson to the capital, as Jackson was looking for a military posting, and Randolph was eager to give him one. It was a few days after Jackson's arrival that news reached Randolph of the planned British landings, and he saw the perfect opportunity for Jackson. He appointed Jackson to the command of Washington's defenses, and left it to Jackson to save the nation's capital. Jackson would meet with his senior officers, and be pleasantly surprised by their competency. Commanding the regular infantry regiment posted in Washington was Colonel Alexander Macomb, while commanding the Virginia militia brought up for the crisis was Robert B. Taylor. Macomb was a distinguished veteran, having seen service in the army raised in preparation for the Quasi War, as well as the Tripoli War. Taylor, meanwhile, had not seen combat prior to the war, but was a diligent and courageous officer, and willing to listen to orders. Commanding Washington's artillery and serving as Jackson's de facto chief of artillery was Major George Armistead of the regular army, another veteran of the Tripoli War. Finally, serving of chief engineer was Lieutenant Sylvanus Thayer, a graduate of West Point and a promising officer of much potential. With his officers, Jackson began making his preparations for battle, such as overseeing the strengthening of defenses, studying the lay of the land, and raising more militia, including the arrival of the Maryland militia under John Stricker, a capable officer and a veteran of the distinguished Maryland Line during the American Revolution.

    Washington's Defenders: Andrew Jackson, Alexander Macomb, Robert B. Taylor, George Armistead, Sylvanus Thayer, and John Stricker
    As Jackson had expected, Ross had planned his landings to come up from the Chesapeake Bay, and then to march north to seize Washington. In preparation for this, Jackson and his men fortified the high ground in front of the beaches, which he hoped would ensure that any British landing would be a costly endeavor. Macomb, however, raised the point that the British might land further north if they saw Jackson's defenses. After some debate with his council of war, Jackson would agree to dispatch Macomb with most of the regular infantry north to move in correspondence with any British attempt to slip past his fortifications. This decision would prove to be one of the most fortuitous of the war. As Jackson had expected, however, Ross had planned his landings at the site of Jackson's fortifications, and decided to attack rather than delay the movement and lose face. Thus began the Battle of Lookout Creek, named for the nearby body of water. What followed was a seeming repeat of Bunker Hill, but with the Americans secure in their ammunition supply. Armistead's artillery pounded the British landing craft and its occupants, and atop the fortifications designed by Macomb and Thayer, the American militia poured lethal fire into the British ranks. All their attempts to overrun the defenses were repulsed, but General Ross was not quite ready to admit defeat yet, and under the cover of darkness he withdrew his battered troops and prepared his movements for the next day.

    A lithograph of the Battle of Lookout Creek
    Despite the opinion of some of his subordinate commanders that a renewed assault in the morning could break through the American lines, Ross was adamant he would not commit his troops to another slaughter. He instead decided to leave a diversionary force on the front from that day's fighting, while shifting most of his forces north than driving into the rear of Jackson's line. In theory, this plan was sound. Unfortunately, the site that Ross choose to be his second landing ground was also were Macomb and the regular infantry were stationed. Thus, when Ross and his already tired men landed, they were brutally surprised by volleys from Macomb and his men obscured in the forest. Thus began the Battle of Deep Creek as it is informally referred to, although many historians consider it merely a continuation of the previous day's battle. Facing the prospect of another assault, but this time against a unseen foe, many in the British ranks wavered. To boost their morale, Ross mounted his horse and led them in their next attack, which would ultimately come to naught. Rallying his men once more, Ross again urged them to attack the Americans obscured in the woods. This time, an American sniper would shoot him fatally from his horse, and in the subsequent rout, the Americans burst forth from the woods and fell upon the British, with fighting on the beach reminiscent of Marathon as the American bayonetted their panicking foe. In the end, the remaining British forces, left leaderless following the fall of second-in-command Colonel Arthur Brooke on the first day and the death of Ross on the second, decided to abandon the Washington campaign although. For this decision, the returning men would face ridicule and humiliation when they returned home to their native land. On the whole affair, one disgruntled sergeant who had seen combat in both the Battles of Lookout Creek and Deep Creek would say "Let the poltroons in Parliament say what they want. I would not charge those defenses again, or force my men to do the same, to protect me from all their censures and words of dishonor they could muster."

    A painting of the Battle of Deep Creek​
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    Chapter Sixteen: The Battle of New Orleans, the Creator of Legends
  • Chapter Sixteen: The Battle of New Orleans, the Creator of Legends

    A painting of the Battle of New Orleans created for a Crockett biography, with General Harrison standing the in the center in blue, and Lieutenant Crockett kneeling beside him
    Ever since the great battle was fought, the Battle of New Orleans has been cemented into American legend and folk tale. It was everything needed for a great story. A formerly highly esteemed officer sent off to do menial work by his superiors finally having a chance to bring himself once more into the spotlight, an ambitious general seeking out glory finally spotting his chance to make a name for himself if only he can achieve victory, and so many men in supporting roles that would eventually achieve prominence that it almost seems ludicrous. All of this can be found in the annals of this most iconic of War of 1813 battles. The beginning of this story can be found with Brigadier General William H. Harrison. An officer of distinguished conduct for his role in leading forces in the Tripoli War and the Battle of Tippecanoe, Harrison had always enjoyed the confidence of the administration, as was known to be a devoted member of the Liberty Party. All of this changed with the rise of John Randolph to the presidency. Knowing Harrison's great prestige and close association with the Liberty Party, as well as seeing him as a threat in the future, Randolph would see to it that Harrison was denied a place in any of the three offensive prongs at the beginning of the war and was instead place far from the line of battle. Thus, he was stationed to be the commander of New Orleans' defenses. As to make this not seem to nefarious, he was accompanied by a regular infantry regiment under Colonel Winfield Scott, as well as regular artillery under Major Zachary Taylor. As such, Randolph believed he had successful curbed Harrison's rising star. But fate was to intervene. The second British attack under Major-General Edward Pakenham was scheduled to attack New Orleans, and it was too late for Randolph to transfer Harrison out, less he run the risk of the British capturing and ransacking a crucial American trading hub, and America yet another crushing defeat. So with apprehension, Randolph allowed Harrison to call up the militia and do all that was necessary to secure New Orleans.

    Winfield Scott, Zachary Taylor, and Edward Pakenham
    The militia Harrison raised, mostly from Louisiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky, had an astonishingly large amount of future prominent politicians. Included in this number were Colonel Thomas H. Benton, commander of a Tennessee militia regiment, Major Sam Houston, serving in another Tennessee militia regiment, and Lieutenant Davy Crockett, serving in a third Tennessee militia regiment. Perhaps Harrison's most interesting ally, however, would be Pushmataha, a chief in the Choctaw nation. Resisting Tecumseh's offer to join his confederacy, Pushmataha instead argued for his nation siding with the Americans, and he raised 500 warriors when Harrison began his efforts for recruitment. In honor to his loyalty to the United States, he would be given the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army, and he became a trusted member of Harrison's defenses. He would lead efforts to draw in more Choctaw and Chickasaw warriors in the lead up to the battle, ultimately having command of roughly 950 Natives, as well as roughly 60 former slaves, of which he would have command in the battle. Combining his motley force of regular troops, militia, Natives, and freemen of color, Harrison's force numbered around 6,200 men. With this, he would have to face down over 8,000 regular British troops under a veteran of the Peninsular War. Harrison still held hope, however, that he and his garrison could hold the town.

    Chief and Colonel Pushmataha of the Choctaw
    As British ships were spotted by the naval scouts Harrison dispatched, he grew more and more anxious about the battle to come, a fact he admitted to his three aides, Lieutenant John E. Wool and Sergeants William J. Worth and Stephen W. Kearney. All three men had served alongside Harrison since Tippecanoe, and they had never seen their general in a greater state of apprehension. His entire plan hinged upon the Americans being able to hold the line behind their defensive line he had established at a choke point with a river to his right and swamps to his left. He openly admitted to his staff that if the British could mass their troops at one point they might be able to break through. It was at this point that Colonel Pushmataha and General John Coffee, commander of the Tennessee militia, offered their advice. They suggested that Harrison keep the regular infantry, militia, and artillery behind the defensive line, while he dispatched Pushmataha and his regiment to hide out in the swamp to attack the British flank at an opportune moment. Seeing potential in the idea, Harrison approved it. Not long after Pushmataha had moved his men, the British landed their troops and began marching towards Harrison's line. Upon seeing the defensive position, Pakenham did exactly as Harrison worried he might do, and formed two columns to slam through the American line. A cannon shot fired by Taylor himself opened the battle, and soon the British columns charged the American defenses.

    A painting of the Battle of New Orleans
    Despite the fierce resistance the Americans put up, including a shot that mortally wounded Pakenham often accredited to Crockett, the British soldiers were able to reach the defenses and start climbing them. At this time, Colonel Winfield Scott fell wounded with painful, bloody, but non-lethal shot to the shoulder, and had to be hauled to the rear. Just as Harrison began to worry that something had happened to Pushmataha and his men, or even worse, that they deserted, they launched a brutal assault on the British right unleashing a war cry. The stunned British were sent reeling, and soon the men not in the defenses began to fall back, leaving the men in the defenses to try and fight their way out under Major-General Samuel Gibbs, who would be mortally wounded and captured. Almost all of these men were forced to surrender or face death. Harrison had won his decisive victory, and had succeeded in bringing himself back into the public mind.

    A drawing of the African-Americans of Pushmataha's regiment charging into the panicked British flank guards.
    The Battle of New Orleans would go down in history as the most famous battle of the War of 1813, at least in America. This distinction can be partially attributed to the interesting characters and surprising results of the battle. In more recent years, however, the battle has been held up in the national spotlight due to the role that mixed-race cooperation played in it. Pushmataha went down in history as one of the most famous Native Americans in U.S. history, and certainly the most famous one to fight alongside the Americans. His name became a rallying cry for the battle to bring about equal rights and fair treatment for America's indigenous population, and his name can be found attached to many public works, especially in Louisiana and out west. The battle would also play an important role in launching the political and military careers in many men who fought in it. Combining this with the important role it played in raising the lowered American morale, and the battle was firmly committed to the halls of legends and folk tale.

    A famous but highly romanticized painting of the Battle of New Orleans created for its centennial, with many of its famous combatants including Harrison, Wool, Taylor, Scott, Crockett, and Gibbs. Notably, however, it condemns Pushmataha's attack to the background on the left.​
    Chapter Seventeen: The War for the Midwest
  • Chapter Seventeen: The War for the Midwest

    A painting depicting the charge of Daveiss' Cavalry Militia into the Canadian militia
    When the Americans surrendered at Fort Detroit, many on the British side simply assumed that the war in the midwest was over. The one exception to this was Tecumseh, who from experience knew the American ability to bounce back after a series of defeats. After much debating, General Brock, who had come to respect Tecumseh, was convinced to leave a small garrison of Canadian militia behind, despite not fully believing that the Americans would return. Ultimately, Tecumseh would be proven right, but not for months to come. In the meantime, newly promoted Brigadier General Jacob Brown was left to pick up the pieces of the shattered American forces. The first thing he would do would to combine all the broken remnants of the regular American regiments into one command, which he placed under Colonel Zebulon Pike, with newly promoted Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Jesup serving as second-in-command. Meanwhile, he and Daveiss went out to try and rally the militia. This would prove to be a long and far-reaching mission, and by the end of it, they had militia from as far away as western Pennsylvania, as well as a promise from General Harrison to march north with his command, although they would not arrive in time for the campaign. His force would be further supplemented by President Randolph transferring many of the men from the other prongs on the Canadian front, including the famous Knox's Artillery Militia.

    General Brown greeting some the newly arrived transferred troops
    Eventually, Brown had gathered his entire force together and was ready for combat. Tecumseh, meanwhile, was far from ready. Many of his war chiefs and their war bands had come to believe that their victory was secure once no American attacks came after a few months. Despite desperate pleas from Tecumseh, they would return home, leaving Tecumseh with only the war bands loyal to him, including Roundhead's, and the Canadian militia. Thus when Brown and his force finally did arrive, Tecumseh sent out panicked messengers asking for the war bands to return. Similar to Harrison, they would not arrive in time, leaving Tecumseh with only the troops he had at hand. Despite this, and the fact he was outnumbered, Tecumseh still had hopes of victory. Deciding that he had a better chance of victory in an pitched battle rather than a siege, he ordered his troops out of Fort Detroit, and ordered them to hide in the forest to attack Brown's column in a battle similar to Battle of Spencer Creek. But rather than a repeat of that disaster, Brown had learned from his predecessors mistakes, and had cavalry all along his flanks. So when Tecumseh launched his assault, the Americans were ready and put up stiff resistance, repulsing any attacks. At one point, Brown gathered Daveiss and his cavalry, as well as some recently arrived cavalry militia from Ohio and Kentucky under returned prisoner General Duncan McArthur, and ordered a attack on the Canadian militia, which scattered them and precipitated a rout among Tecumseh's men. Luckily for him, however, by withdrawing at the time that he did, he was able to escape before Brown could bring his artillery into effect.

    Duncan McArthur and the attack on the Canadian militia
    Following this humiliating defeat, Tecumseh retreated back to Fort Detroit. His next strategy that he planned was to engage in guerrilla warfare and wear down American morale, especially that of the militia. Despite this being a good plan, the Canadian militia refused to accept it, and said that they would hold at Fort Detroit or they would return home. Not wanting to lose a crucial part of his army, Tecumseh would consent to their demands and stay in the fort. This would prove to be a critical mistake. Any advantages Tecumseh did have were lost with staying in the fort, and the Canadian militia had suffered such heavy losses during the previous battle that many modern historians say it probably would have just been better for Tecumseh to allow them to leave. Nevertheless, Tecumseh had made his decision, and he was going to hold out for as long as possible. Soon Brown and his men advanced to the fort. Studying the layout, they realized there was a crucial weakness in the defenses. Brock had taken all the artillery from the fort when he left, so Tecumseh's men could only fire small arms at his men. Knowing this, Brown planned to seize the fort the next day. When dawn rose on the next day, Brown and his men were ready for combat, and charged the fort. Tecumseh had been expecting this, and had roused his war bands and were at the ready. The Canadian militia were still asleep when the attack began, however, and the U.S. regular infantry was targeting their portion of the defense. It was only a matter of minutes before they broke in and started causing havoc. Having grown fully exasperated with his Canadian allies, Tecumseh withdrew his war bands and left them to their fate. Those who were killed were captured, but Tecumseh and his war bands successfully managed to evacuate from the fort with most of his Native warriors. Despite this, Tecumseh had suffered a string of stinging defeats, and his trials were not over yet. He knew, however, that if he could escape to Canada, he would be safe.

    Colonel Zebulon Pike, mounted, leading his men forward, with Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Jesup waving his sword
    Fleeing towards the Detroit River and Canada, Tecumseh and his remaining men were constantly harassed by Daveiss and his cavalry militia, but this was not the worst of it. They would find that when they reached the bank of the river. Positioned high up was all of Brown's artillery, and it would be able to rain fire down on anyone trying to cross. Having no boats available, and already having cannon balls smashing into his ranks, Tecumseh realized that fate had finally caught up with him. Unleashing a war whoop that by all accounts was terrifying, he lead a final charge into the American lines. Hacking away at anything that moved, Tecumseh seemed like a man possessed, and he only fell after he had been hit by seven shots. With his death, however, the dream of his confederacy was over. Not far from him lay Roundhead, also slain in the final charge. The bodies of some Natives who had attempted to flee across the river were washed up on the banks, while other were swept along with the river. The U.S. Army assumed this was what happened to Tenskwatawa, otherwise known as the Prophet and the commander of Native forces at Tippecanoe, who had been accompanying Tecumseh in all of his campaigns. This assumption would prove to be a costly error, but the effects of this was not to rise for a long while. For now, all that the Americans knew were that they were victorious, Tecumseh's confederacy was shattered, and that they had once again secured the Midwest.

    Knox's Artillery Militia firing during Tecumseh's Last Stand. Lieutenant Ringgold can be seen at the center directing fire​
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    Chapter Eighteen: The War Over Peace
  • Chapter Eighteen: The War Over Peace

    A Democratic-Republican cartoon positing that America should continue the war now that it was in their advantage
    With all the external threats to the United States repulsed, and the year 1815 dawning on the nation, the time had come to reevaluate the war. In the latest series of battles, America had proven victorious, but the memories of the bloody defeats and repulses were far from wiped from the minds of the populace. Some men, such as Secretary of the Treasury John Armstrong, Dean of the House William Findley, or House Speaker John C. Calhoun advocated for continuing the war and attempting to once again invade Canada now that they had found their competent generals, Tecumseh's confederacy was shattered, and the pool of British manpower had been severely drained. Others, meanwhile, said that they should end the war now on a high point, rather than rolling the dice again and risking having to negotiate from a disadvantage. Even some Democratic-Republicans took this standpoint, such as Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton or Associate Justice Wilson Nicholas. In the House, the cause of peace was championed by Thomas M. Randolph of Virginia and Joseph B. Varnum of Massachusetts, while in the Senate the voices of James Monroe of Virginia and William H. Crawford of Georgia, the first ever Liberty Party senator from that state, rang out for seeking peace. Even old men of the Revolution, such as John Stark or George Rogers Clark would voice their opinion, with both men favoring peace.

    John Stark and George Clark
    Eventually, President Randolph made up his mind. The man who had hardly been interested in starting the war to begin with decided to finally put an end to the strife. With this in mind, he set about choosing the men he was going to send on his diplomatic mission. He would approach John Taylor of Caroline, who he hoped to place at head of the team. Taylor, a former Virginia senator, would accept the offer and agree to lead the mission. Taylor, however, had not been his first choice to lead the team. He had originally hoped to send New York Governor Aaron Burr to lead, but Burr declined. This stemmed from the precarious position of his governorship, as many of his most trusted lieutenants, such as Dewitt Clinton or Stephen Van Rensseslaer, had been taken from him, and he now faced a very real threat in the upcoming race against Daniel D. Tompkins, who had the support of New York's brightest up and comer Martin Van Buren. After securing Taylor, Randolph would next bring in Treasury Secretary John Armstrong, Virginia representative Wilson C. Nicholas, and Representative William Findley onto the mission. For the final man, after much deliberation, Randolph would choose Speaker John Calhoun, who he hoped would provide a fire and vigor to the team. This choice was not without controversy, however. The Liberty Party, who had agreed to support Randolph's efforts for peace, hated Calhoun, and hoped that a member of their party, such as Monroe, Crawford, or Gallatin, would be offered the post. Angered by the lack of a Liberty Party member on the team, but also understanding the reasoning behind the choice, the Liberty Party would send an ultimatum to Randolph saying that he must replace Calhoun with Henry Clay, another vibrant young congressman, or they would torpedo his mission. After some thought, however, they withdrew this, as they realized that doing that would only risk prolonging the war, something they could not stomach. They would have to be satisfied with Wilson Nicholas, another Democratic-Republican like Mathew Lyon who frequently blurred the lines between his party and that of the Liberty Party. Thus it came to pass a team consisting of two men looking for peace (Taylor and Nicholas) and three men looking for war (Armstrong, Findley, and Calhoun) were chosen to represent America in her mission for peace.

    John Taylor, John Armstrong, William Findley, Wilson Nicholas, John Calhoun
    With the team created, Randolph would dispatch them to Britain to begin negotiating for peace. Great Britain, more occupied with Napoleon's escape from Elba and return to power, dispatched some minor officials to end the war that to them had grown to be a nuisance. The men they sent consisted of naval officer Lord James Gambier, The British Undersecretary of State for War and the Colonies Henry Goulburn, and lawyer William Adams. Isaac Brock also had wanted to serve as one of the commissioners, which the one legged general would be granted, but he arrived at the negotiations after they had finished. Of the actual negotiations, of which there was little due to both sides seeking status quo antebellum due to Britain no longer engaging in impressment or harassing American merchant vessels, much of came down to Taylor, Findley, and Nicholas, as it was generally agreed that Calhoun lacked the temperament of a diplomat, and Armstrong was often distracted in the streets of London and rarely attended meetings. The final peace treaty, known as the Treaty of Amsterdam due to the city were the men meet, was exactly what before sides had expected coming into the negotiations: a white peace. Thus the War of 1813 came to an end, being forever known as a rather pointless war filled with heroics, bravery, and dash.

    A picture of the front page of the Treaty of Amsterdam​
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    Chapter Nineteen: The Election of 1816
  • Chapter Nineteen: The Election of 1816

    A painting meant to depict election day in Philadelphia
    With the War of 1813, with both its tremendous failures and fantastic victories, still remaining brightly in the minds of Americans, many viewed the election of 1816 as giving the people the opportunity to judge how well they believed the war had been executed, and what they thought of the performance of Democratic-Republicans in the executive office. Despite suffering humiliating congressional setbacks during the 1814 midterm elections, the Democratic-Republicans remained convinced that this was only due to the string of defeats that had occured, and now that they had won several majors victories and settled peace on what they viewed as honorable terms, they felt certain that the public would elect them to another four years in the presidency. As such, the renomination of the ticket of John Randolph for president and DeWitt Clinton for vice-president faced little opposition. The largest threat to them was a grassroots effort attempting to displace Randolph with hero of the Washington Campaign, Andrew Jackson. Jackson, however, would stop these efforts, and he was unwilling to turn against the man who had once again brought him into the national spotlight. With this idea squashed, the Democratic-Republican caucus quickly nominated the expected candidates.

    John Randolph and Dewitt Clinton
    The Liberty Party caucus, meanwhile, proved to be less harmonious. Once again, the leading candidate was Virginia senator James Madison, who still held some bitterness from being cheated out of the presidency in the previous election. Others, meanwhile, thought that Madison's defeat in the previous election might hurt their chances in this election, and instead looked for a new man, such as Senators James Monroe, Nathaniel Macon, or William Crawford. Despite facing some opposition, Madison would once again secure the nomination. His running-mate from the previous election, John Langdon, had died the year prior, however, and again debate started over who should fill the role. At first, men seemed to gather around Crawford, but he quickly informed the caucus that he would prefer a cabinet position or to be President Pro Tempore rather than be vice-president. In light of this, some eyes to the newer, younger generation of Liberty Party men, such as John Quincy Adams or Henry Clay, but the old guard preferred one of their own, and still had enough power to make sure that Major General Henry Knox, noted for his service in mopping up the wreckage of the Canadian front in the War of 1813, secured the nomination. At first, Knox stated to close confidants that he felt inclined to decline due him wanting to spend more time with family, but arguments that the role was minimally intensive and mostly just entailed presiding over the Senate was enough to convince him. Thus, the Liberty Party had their ticket.

    James Madison and Henry Knox
    The remnants of the Federalists, meanwhile, gathered into their congressional caucus uncertain of their future. Many of their former members had joined the Liberty Party in opposition to the war, leaving them with almost no one currently holding national office to nominate, let alone someone whose name could be recognized by the majority of the U.S.'s voting population. After much acrimonious debate, the Federalists turned to the candidate in the previous two elections, Rufus King. King, who had managed to regain his New York Senate seat through a coalition of former Federalists and the Liberty Party, as was now a member of the latter party, proved unwilling to put this at risk by running for president with his former party. After this failure, the caucus proved unable to agree upon another candidate. As such, they ended the meeting, and instructed the remaining Federalist voters to vote for which Federalist candidate they favored, as they weren't going to win the election anyway. As such, come election day, the remaining Federalists would vote for many different candidates, with Alexander Hamilton, Timothy Pickering, Oliver Wolcott Jr., and Harrison Gray Otis receiving the largest amount of these votes.
    1963-02-3 Oliver Wolcott Jr.jpg

    Alexander Hamilton, Timothy Pickering, Oliver Wolcott, and Harrison Gray Otis
    As election day drew nearer, the Democratic-Republicans began growing more and more worried about their chances of victory. Liberty Party men were making sure that the residents of the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, both states that had previously gone for Randolph, were reminded that under Randolph, their states had been subjected to raids from the Native Americans, contrasting it with how under the Liberty Party, the Natives had been defeated. In New York, a state that had proven crucial to Randolph's election, Burr was beginning to lose the grip he formerly held over the state. Facing increased opposition headed by men such as Morgan Lewis, Daniel D. Tompkins, Peter B. Porter, and Martin Van Buren, Burr wasn't even sure if he could hold on to his governorship, let alone deliver the state to Randolph. Meanwhile, the Liberty Party worked hard to win back states that had formerly voted for them but had voted for Randolph in the previous election, such as Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. All the while, Randolph hardly put any effort into campaigning, only sending out of few documents he had written to his loyal newspaper publishers, all of which was rapidly drowned out by the flood of campaign propaganda produced by both sides. It seemed that he was almost shell shocked by the war, and how violent and seemingly pointless it had been. It was reported that when he saw a veteran on crutches hobbling down the street, he broke down in tears. All of this did not bode well for his campaign, which was trying to convince the populace that the war had been a grand success.

    A Liberty Party political cartoon created to remind voters of the Native raids that had occurred under Randolph
    When election day arrived, the result was a humiliating electoral defeat for the incumbent president, the first time this had occurred in American history, although the popular vote was much closer. James Madison had secured 162 electoral votes from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Maryland, easily crushing Randolph's 45 from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The stunning turn in this election can likely be attributed to a successful Liberty Party campaign to remind the nation of their defeats in the War of 1813, and them successfully propagating the idea that the war had been a waste of thousands of lives with no gain. Despite his crushing electoral defeat, Randolph's popular vote was only 5% behind Madison's, make this election a slightly less embarrassing defeat for him.
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    Chapter Twenty: The Presidency of James Madison, 1817-1821
  • Chapter Twenty: The Presidency of James Madison, 1817-1821

    President James Madison
    When Madison won the election of 1816, he was prepared to assume the office that had been denied to him in 1812 by a careless elector. In the course of four years, however, America had changed drastically. Increasingly, power was shifting out of the hands of the Revolutionary War generation, and into the hands of a new one that had yet to be defined. In all prior presidential cabinets, there had been at least three veterans of the American Revolution included. Madison's cabinet would be the last to follow this trend. In fact, it would be the last to have veterans of the American Revolution present at all. This occurrence in Madison's administration would lead to his administration being labeled as the final one of the Founding Era.

    A photograph of four generations of Americans
    The changing of America's era can also have been in seen in the focus of the Madison administration. While the most of presidencies of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson had been focused on establishing the U.S. government into a solid and stable body and garnering the respect of international nations, Madison's presidency differed. All of this had been pretty through established by the time Madison entered office, and he could look towards internal improvement. Under his watch, many roads, canals, and other like things were built. Prominent among these projects were the Erie Canal, which linked New York City to the Great Lakes, and the National Road, which served to connect the tradition 13 U.S. states to the Midwestern ones, providing settlers with a more stable route west. He would also oversee the creation of the Second Bank of the United States. The First Bank's charter had failed to be renewed when the Democratic-Republican controlled Congress failed to pass it, denying President Jefferson the opportunity to renew it. Under Madison, the bank would be given a second life, with Albert Gallatin, a close friend of Madison and former secretary of the treasury, serving as its first president.

    A modern photograph of the building in which the Second Bank was located and a photograph of Albert Gallatin from 1848
    Ultimately, however, it would not be these issues that defined the Madison's term in office. Rather, it was for two other events that he is mostly remembered for. First would be the Panic of 1819. This financial depression would be the first major one since the implementation of the U.S. Constitution. It was caused by a variety of reasons, but there were three major ones. First, the country was ramping down war production, and many men were returning home from active combat. In effect, this amounted to jobs disappearing as more people entered the civilian workforce, creating unemployment. This was also going on abroad as the Napoleonic Wars finally ended, lowering foreign demand for American products, especially war materials. Secondly, without the oversight of a national bank, money had been printed out of control and its value was deflating, and even with the reemergence of a national bank, their efforts proved ineffective. Finally, many people had engaged in public land speculation and had saturated the market, making land less and less valuable. All of these combined into a terrible recession, which was effectively out of the control of the Madison administration, but he still took flak for.

    A depiction of a bank run caused by the panic
    The second thing that came to define the Madison administration was Missouri. In the time of national strife as the panic continued, House Speaker John W. Taylor sought to bring Missouri into the United States as a free state. Normally, this probably would have gone smoothly like all other previous states had been approved. This time, it would prove to be different, however. Perhaps it was caused by the anger started by the panic, or perhaps tension over the issue finally reached the surface, but more and more the free and slave state divide was beginning to affect the nation. Missouri for the most part wished to enter the U.S. with slavery, and northern congressmen were for the most part decidedly against this. This split would create a rupture in the previous strong Liberty Party, and it was over this that the Liberty Party lost considerable ground in southern states like Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. There even was dissension in Madison's cabinet, with Treasury Secretary Nathaniel Macon and Attorney General Daniel Webster frequently getting into heated arguments about the subject, while Secretaries of State and War James Monroe and Henry Clay respectively tried to keep the peace. During this time, a movement was started to displace current speaker John W. Taylor of the Liberty Party with Democratic-Republican William J. Lowndes, with the Democratic-Republicans hoping enough dissatisfied Liberty Party members would vote their way to enable it to work. The motion would fail narrowly, although it would thoroughly humiliate Taylor.

    John Taylor and William Lowndes
    Eventually, the following compromise would be reached. Missouri would be allowed to enter the Union as a slave state, as most of its residents desired. To balance this in the eyes of free staters, however, the Maine territory would be detached from Massachusetts, and made into a free state. This compromise faced two major road bumps along the way, both of which nearly doomed the plan. First, when Vice-President Knox voiced his support for their plan, many Southerners would be quick to point out that Knox owned much land in Maine, and rapidly started a theory that the compromise had been engineered by Knox to increase the value of this land. It was only after a determined campaign against this, including Knox personally stating that he had played no role in crafting the compromise, that this was put to rest. Secondly, Taylor, who still remained a determined anti-slavery man, hoped to include a clause making a dividing line for slavery, with no slavery being allowed north of the Southern Missouri border. This would be fiercely attacked in Congress, and despite receiving the support of several people within the Madison administration, including Clay and Webster, Taylor failed to get it included. Although, to his credit, Taylor ensured that a provision that would have automatically guaranteed slavery in all points south of that line was not included either. This plan would ultimately pass, and a belated president Madison would sign it into law, hoping to settle the issue before he had to face re-election. Thus, the slavery issue was solved for the moment, but neither side was left happy with the result, and both were crafting plans for the future to further their cause.

    A map showing the line that Taylor proposed to divide free and slave territory, which would ultimately be rejected
    During his presidency, Madison would have to appoint three new judges to the Supreme Court, all occurring in 1820. First, Associate Justice William Ellery would die on February 15, 1820. Madison was in the process of searching for his replacement when Associate Justice Levi Lincoln Sr. would die as well, passing away on April 14, 1820. Having already decided on one new justice, Thomas M. Randolph, a Virginia representative, former candidate for House Speaker, and son-in-law to Thomas Jefferson, Madison was thrown into a panic by Lincoln's death. Hoping to appoint a New Englander to replace Lincoln, who was from Massachusetts, Madison would ultimately decide on Joseph Story, a man whom he had previously only briefly considered. With both of his appointments approved, and the flurry of action over for the moment, Madison would enjoy his respite from nominating justices, only for it to reappear a few months later. Associate Justice Wilson C. Nicholas, a man who had been a friend to both Jefferson and Madison, passed away on October 10, 1820. Saddened by his death, Madison would take longer than usually to nominate a replacement justice. Eventually, he would put Martin Van Buren in as a replacement for Nicholas. As the 1820 election approached, Madison was uncertain of his chances for reelection. Nevertheless, he still held out hope for re-election.

    Thomas Randolph, Joseph Story, and Martin Van Buren
    Madison and his Cabinet:
    President: James Madison
    Vice-President: Henry Knox
    Secretary of State: James Monroe
    Secretary of the Treasury: Nathaniel Macon
    Secretary of War: Henry Clay
    Attorney General: Daniel Webster
    Secretary of the Navy: Smith Thompson


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