Monthly Archives: August 2016

006 – Sources Used

The Downfall of Mother Bank, 1833, courtesy of HarpWeek and the Library of Congress
The Downfall of Mother Bank, 1833, courtesy of HarpWeek and the Library of Congress

As always, should you have any questions, comments, or show ideas, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog, post on the Harrison Podcast Facebook page, or send an email to

  • Achenbach, Joel. The Grand Idea: George Washington’s Potomac and the Race to the West. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004.
  • Ashworth, John. “Agrarians” and “Aristocrats”: Party Political Ideology in the United States, 1837-1846. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
  • “Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Louis McLane (1786-1857).” Office of the Historian, US Department of State. Last Accessed: 5 August 2016.
  • Boller, Paul F, Jr. Presidential Campaigns. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984.
  • Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin, 2004.
  • Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin, 2010.
  • Coit, Margaret L. John C Calhoun: American Portrait. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1950.
  • Cole, Donald B. The Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993.
  • Curtis, James C. The Fox at Bay: Martin Van Buren and the Presidency, 1837-1841. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1970.
  • Fowler, Dorothy Ganfield. The Cabinet Politician: The Postmasters General 1829-1909. New York: Columbia University Press, 1943.
  • Gunderson, Robert Gray. The Log-Cabin Campaign. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1977 [1957].
  • Holt, Michael F. The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Leonard, Thomas M. James K Polk: A Clear and Unquestionable Destiny. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc, 2001.
  • Lepler, Jessica. 1837: Anatomy of a Panic. Dissertation, Brandeis University, 2008. UMI Number 3290956.
  • McGuiness, Colleen, ed. American Leaders 1789-1994: A Biographical Summary. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1994.
  • Meacham, Jon. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. New York: Random House, 2009.
  • Nettels, Curtis P. The Emergence of a National Economy: 1775-1815; The Economic History of the United States, Volume II. White Plains, NY: M E Sharpe Inc, 1962.
  • Niven, John. Martin Van Buren: The Romantic Age of American Politics. Newtown, CT: American Political Biography Press, 2012 [1983].
  • Peterson, Norma Lois. The Presidencies of William Henry Harrison & John Tyler. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1989.
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson: Volume One: The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821. New York: Harper & Row, 1977.
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832. New York: Harper & Row, 1981.
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.
  • Remini, Robert V. Daniel Webster: The Man and His Time. New York and London: W W Norton & Co, 1997.
  • Remini, Robert V. Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union. New York: W W Norton & Co, 1991.
  • Stone, Irving. They Also Ran: The Story of the Men Who Were Defeated for the Presidency. New York: Doubleday, Doral & Co Inc, 1943.
  • White, Leonard D. The Federalists: A Study in Administrative History. New York: Macmillan Co, 1948.
  • Widmer, Ted. Martin Van Buren. New York: Times Books, 2004.
  • Wilentz, Sean. Andrew Jackson. New York: Times Books, 2005.
  • “William J. Duane (1833).” US Department of the Treasury. Last Accessed: 5 August 2016.

006 – Panics, Specie, and Divorce, Oh My! The Jacksonian Finance System

A government on the brink of disaster, a nation facing financial ruin and social strife, and even a guest appearance from everyone’s favorite Founding Father with his own musical. The Jacksonian finance system may not be the first subject that one would think of for an interesting episode, but there was more going on than folks are typically aware that had an impact on our world today. Join me on this week’s episode as we finally learn what the Specie Circular was, why Jackson felt he had to kill the Bank of the United States, and how it all fit in to the economic calamity that began in 1837.

The sources used for this episode can be found on

Request for Listener Questions

As I’m planning an episode devoted to answering listener questions for release on Sunday, September 4th, 2016, I’m inviting anyone with questions to submit them either via email at, through the new Harrison Podcast Facebook page, or as a comment on the blog. Be sure to get in your questions by next Wednesday, August 31st and thanks so much for listening!

005 – To the Victor Go the Spoils: The Antebellum Spoils System

“Price Current” cartoon from 1838 about the Swartwout scandal, HarpWeek, courtesy of the Library of Congress

Corruption, political back-scratching, embezzlement of funds. No, this isn’t a ‘ripped from the headlines’ discussion. This week’s episode takes a look at the evolution of the spoils system in the US up to Harrison’s administration in 1841 including the largest theft of public funds in the antebellum period. We’ll explore how the Postmaster General position became one of the most important offices in the nation at the time as well as how and why William Henry Harrison wanted to reform the civil service over forty years prior to the passage of the Gilded Age civil service reform act.
Sources Available by Selecting Link

004 – It’s My Party and I’ll Sing If I Want To: Party Politics in 1840

Silk ribbon for Harrison Rally, courtesy of Wikipedia Silk ribbon from the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, MD, courtesy of Wikipedia

This week’s episode provides a general overview of party politics leading up to 1840. While different in many respects from our modern politics, there are some commonalities that listeners in 2016 will pick up on. The primary focus of the episode is on the organization of the Democratic and Whig parties, but I do discuss the third-party option that was available on some ballots in 1840 – the Liberty Party – and its significance in the history of the United States despite the fact that its candidate, James G Birney, only earned just over 7,000 votes in an election where 2.4+ million Americans cast their ballots.

Sources Available by Selecting Link

1840 Political Cartoons

In anticipation of our upcoming episode on Party Politics in 1840, I wanted to share the following political cartoons found on the HarpWeek website with this series of images courtesy of the Library of Congress. There are tons more, but these were just a few of the more interesting ones in my opinion (Seriously, Van Buren being chased by an alligator and a buffalo? It doesn’t get much better than that.). More information on each can be found by clicking on the image.

I promise, I did try to find some anti-Harrison ones, but they were few and far between in this collection. I did find this broadsheet which does illustrate some of the charges used against Harrison:

003 – The Revolutionary Generation in 1840

Daniel Waldo, 1864. Illus. in: The last men of the revolution / E.B. Hillard. Hartford : N.A. & R.A. Moore, 1864, opp. p. 23. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Reproduction Number LC-USZ62-98760 (b&w film copy neg.)

This episode is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother, a member of another generation that is passing on.

As the idea of legacy is key to understanding William Henry Harrison and his time, in this episode, I examine how the revolutionary generation was considered by folks in 1840 – what they made of their legacy and how their ideas of the past were shaped by the circumstances of their present.

As a sidenote, I wanted to share a link to this article about photos discovered of Revolutionary War veterans that were taken in the Antebellum and Civil War period. One can only wonder what they thought of the changing world around them.

Please feel free to send any questions, comments, or suggestions for the podcast to or to comment below, and thanks for listening!

Sources used for this episode:

  • Arnold, Samuel George. The Life of George Washington: First President of the United States. New York: T Mason and G Lane, 1840.
  • Bartoloni-Tuazon, Kathleen. For Fear of an Elective King: George Washington and the Presidential Title Controversy of 1789. Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press, 2014.
  • Burstein, Andrew. America’s Jubilee: How in 1826 A Generation Remembered Fifty Years of Independence. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2001.
  • Butler, Lindley S, ed. The Papers of David Settle Reid, Volume I: 1829-1852. Raleigh, NC: Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, 1993.
  • Cappon, Lester J, ed. The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson & Abigail & John Adams. Chapel Hill, NC and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1987.
  • Carwardine, Richard. “Evangelicals, Whigs and the Election of William Henry Harrison.” Journal of American History. 17:1 (April 1983), 47-75.
  • Cave, Alfred A. “The Shawnee Prophet, Tecumseh, and Tippecanoe: A Case Study of Historical Myth-Making.” Journal of the Early Republic. 22:4 (Winter 2002), 637-673.
  • Chernow, Ron. Alexander Hamilton. New York: Penguin, 2004.
  • Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life. New York: Penguin, 2010.
  • Coleman, Mrs. Chapman. The Life of John J Crittenden, with Selections From His Correspondence and Speeches, Volumes I and II. Philadelphia, PA: J B Lippincott & Co, 1873.
  • Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency: George Washington. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2004.
  • Harrison, William Henry. Harrison’s Speech at the Dayton Convention, September 10, 1840. Boston: Whig Republican Association, [1840].
  • Hopkins, James F, and Mary W M Hargreaves, eds. The Papers of Henry Clay, Volume 4: Secretary of State, 1825. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1972.
  • Malone, Dumas. Jefferson and His Time, Volume Six: The Sage of Monticello. Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1981.
  • National Archives. Founders Online. Last Accessed: 2 Aug 2016.
  • Norton, Anthony Banning. The Great Revolution of 1840: Reminiscences of the Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaign. Mount Vernon, OH and Dallas, TX: A B Norton & Co, 1888.
  • Seager, Robert, II, ed. The Papers of Henry Clay, Volume 9: The Whig Leader, January 1, 1837-December 31, 1843. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1988.
  • Stearns, Edward. “Christian Politics.” Quarterly Christian Spectator. 10:3 (August 1838), 421-439.
  • Thomas Ewing Family Papers, Box 5, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.
  • Witte, John, Jr. “’A Most Mild and Equitable Establishment of Religion’: John Adams and the Massachusetts Experiment.” Journal of Church and State. 41:2 (Spring 1999), 213-252.