Unusual Americana from David Lesser Antiquarian Books
Here is another aspect of current American politics that is nothing new - vicious personal attacks on candidates. One Philo-Jackson stated his views in 1824 in his The Presidential Election, Written for the Benefit of the People of the United States, but Particularly for Those of the State of Kentucky. That was an odd election year, as there were four serious contenders for president, even if all were nominally from the same party. The author favored the candidacy of General Andrew Jackson, who would be elected president, but not this time. Kentucky favorite son Henry Clay, he says, "is not a great statesman, republican, or a patriot." William Crawford, he claims, is "rude, insolent and vulgar," a "demi-savage," who lacks "truth, candor, moral rectitude, or...gratitude." As for the eventual winner, John Quincy Adams, Philo-Jackson describes his "overbearing and unyielding, dogmatical, pedantic and egotistical" nature. Of course, a number of these things might have been somewhat descriptive of General Jackson too, but the author ignores this. Item 98. $750.
Aaron Burr is a name synonymous with treachery and other bad things in American history. A conniver who almost created a desperate constitutional crises in 1800 when he tried to wrest the presidential election from the intended winner, Thomas Jefferson, his reputation was permanently destroyed a few years later when he killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. A bizarre attempt to create a new country in the West a few years later further tarnished an already bad reputation. However, that was all Aaron Burr, Jr. Most people don't know about Aaron Burr, Sr., his father. Senior was a noted clergyman in Colonial America. Married to the daughter of the charismatic religious figure Jonathan Edwards, he and Edwards split with the President of Yale College over theological doctrines. They thereby formed the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University. In 1747, at the age of 32, he became the college's second president. However, Burr Sr. was stricken down by a fever in 1757 and died at the age of just 42, when his more famous namesake son was but one year old. Item 20 is A Sermon Preached Before the Synod of New-York...September 30, 1756. By Aaron Burr... In it, he warns that God is seriously displeased with the colonists. He sees that in defeats during the French and Indian War, which was not going that well in 1756, but which would in time be a major victory for the colonies. $1,350.
David M. Lesser Fine Antiquarian Books may be reached at 203-389-8111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.lesserbooks.com.