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Disappointed Seekers For The Presidency

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The divine injunction, "Seek and ye shall ñnd," does not- at least, in all lts force- apply to all those persons who desiro to be placed at the head of the American Union. As there could havo been but twenty-two elected Presidents of the United otates between 1789 and 1877, even had each President been limited to one torm, and as se ven Presidents were re-electod, it f ollows that the number of suceessful aspirants to our National Chief Magistracy has been but small ; while the nurnber of unsuccessf ui aspirants has been very large, something like a legión, when we count not only those of their numbor who received nominations or electoral votes, but thoso also who were "named f or nominations," or who were puahed forward by adiniring but nöt very judicions friends. Perhaps a running sketch of the history of Presidential aspiration may lipt bc out of place at this time, when Presidontial aspirants are so numerous, and when the host of the disappointed is so sure to be heavily reiuforced beforo the close of the first centuryof the Kepublic's life, not a month ïience - for there are about a score of men now aspiring to be President Grant's euccessor, who havo fair pretensions to the favors of the parties to which they belong ; and yet but two of these men eau becomo candidatos with anything, like wcll-founded hopea of succcbs, and but one of them can be ehosen to the Presidenoy. Then there are twehty taoïe, perhaps, who have been talkcd of, or "thought of" in limited circles, but of whom the great public, the people, haye heard Jittie in any case, and nothing in most cases. The first and second Presidential elections were not contested, so far ar; (he first office was concerned. Washington was made President without open opposition, receiviiig oh böth occasions all the electoral votes ; bnt as the system of voting in the colleges then stood, every man who received a vote was a candidate for one of the two offices that were ülled by the action of the electora ; and there were no less than ten such persons, with the following result : John Adams, 34 ; John Jay, 9 ; 11. H. Harrison, G ; John Kutledge, 6 ; John Hancock, 4 ; (ieorge Clinton, 3 ; Samuel Huntingdon, 2 ; Jolm Milton, 2 ; Jolin Armstrong, 1 ; and Benjamin Lincoln, 1. With two exceptions, all the men who received these votes were famous revolutiouary characters ; and Mr. Adams, thongh he had not a majority of the electoral votes, was legally ehosen to the Vice-Presidency. according to the manner of filling the second office in 1789. Our first contested national clection ocúurfed in 1796 ; and a very close one it was, Mr. John Adams bemg ehosen to the Presidency by 71 votos, and Mr. Jefferson receiving 68 votes ; and these last vetes made Mr. Jefferson Vice President. It that contest that disappointed aspirants began to appear. Some of the ITederalists desired that John Jay, of New York, should be their party's candidate, and probably he would have been supported by that party, and Mr. Adams have been set aside, had it not been for the circumstance that he was lakoriug uuder the odium that followed from his having negotiated the famous treaty with England - "Jay's Treaty," as it was denominated- and henee he was not available. He can be set down as having aspired to the Presidency, though he did not seek it ; and had he remained Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Oourt, and had he taken no part in politics in 1789-'96, in all probabilitv he would have been our secortd President, as he was one of the very iirst men of that period in every respect. But tliere was another aspirant in 1696 who failed. Thomas Pinckney, of South Carolina, a promineut man, was i the Federalist candidato for the Vioe j Presidency ; anditwas intendedbysome of the Federalista that he should be made President, they having aninvincible distrust of Mr. Adams. As Gen. Pinckney must have known whafc it was contemplated to do, we raust set him down as having been a very much disppointcd man when he found that not only had he been defeated lor the Presidency, but that he had failed to get the Vice Presidency. A number of the Adams Federalist electors withheld their votes "from him, the plan that had been formed for the defeat of Mr. A datas being thus turned against Gen. Pinckney himself, with fatal effect. Mr. Adams had 71 votes, Mr. Jeffeison 68, and Gen. Pinekney 59. In consequence, as ah-eady stated, Mr. Jefferson became Vice President. Mr. Adams, it will be seen, carne within two votes of being placed at the very head of the long list of disappointed Presidency seekers. Two Southern electoral votes alone sayed him from having that disagreeable position forced upon him. "A single voico in Virgiuia," says his grandson and biographer, "and one in North Carolina, pronspted by the lingering memory of revolutionary services, had turned the scale. Had these been given to Mr. Jefferson instead, he would have been President. South Carolina, on the other hand, steady to nelther party, manifested the same sectional bias which has ever since marked her policy [thifi was written in 1856] by dividing her votes between Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Pinckney." It was New England that defeated Gen. Pinckney, for she gave eighteen votes against him, which not only placed him third on the list of candidates, but more than neutralized the support ho got in South Carolina. He gained a vote in Pennsyania, but lost three in Maryland. Had eleven of the eighteen New England votes that were given for Ellsworth, Jay and others been given for Pinckney, he would have been chosen to the Vice Presidency, as he would have had seventy votes, oí two more than were given for Mr. Jcfïerson, and one less than the number received by Mr. Adams. Of the sixteen votes of Massaehusetts, thirtoen were given for Pinckney. President Adams failed of a re-election in 1800-1801, and so he must be set down as a semi-disappointed aspirant ; and Mr. Jefferson himself came very near being placed on the roll of sucïi aspirants. He and Ooi. Burr, who were ou the Democratie ticket, received the same number of votes (73), and so no man was chosen to the Presideucy, as the Constitution then stood, and tiie election devolved upon the House of Representatives. Af ter balloting for a week, the House elected Mr. Jefferson, and Ooi. Burr beeame Vice President. Had one of the New York electora withheld his vote from Jelïerson, Burr would have beeu chosen to the Presidency by 73 votes to 72. Barr was the first of the disappointed Democratie aspirants to the Presidency ; and his ruin - which has been pronounced "the profoundest and most striking, with more of moral circumstanco in it than that of almost any other man " - was owing, not to his vices, political or personal, or both, but to the incident that he permitted himself to be run against Jefferson in the House of Ilepresentatives. Yet his conduct, though it may not have been honorable toward his own party, was in strict accord with the requirements of the Constitution und the laws. He had as good a right to be a candidato in the House of Kepresentatives as Mr. Jefferson possessed - exaotiy the same right - and had he been chosen, he would have been entitled to the same treatment as Mr. Jefferson received. But it is not the less true that the Jeffersoiiian party contemplated his overthrow by a resort to arms had he been chosen, though they spoke of their violent intention as if it had reference to action that the Fedeialists might have taken had the House failed to elect any ono to the Presidency. The elcction of 1804 saw thrue Presidential aspirants, who weie to bo dead failures, on tlie two tickets. President Jefforson was renominated for a second term aud re-elecled. Of tlie 17G electoral votos, lie received all büt fovxrteen, so low had tlie Fedcralists fallen. The fourteen votes were given for Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina, eldct brother of Tilomas Pinckney, and a vory distinguished actor in the revolutionary contest. He had boen on the tickot with President John Adams iu 1800, the anti-Adams Federalista hoping to make him President, and makiüg 110 disguise as to their views ; but he rah One vote behind Mr. Adame, which was given for John Jay, by a Rhode Island elector. ïhus he became the Federalist candidato in 1804, but he took nothing byhisnomination. Rufus King was on the ticket with him, as the candidato for the Vice Presidency, and obtained the same support, or fourteen votes, which were given by Coimectiout and Delawal'e and by two Maryland electors. The Democrats had removed Col. Burr from their ticket, and their new nominee for the aecondoiïico was George Clinton, of New York, long Governor óf that State, and the most influential man in it. He received the same number of votes that were given for Mr. Jeflerson. In 1808 there were a ntimber of aspirants for the Presidency. Mr. Jefferson, who had resolved to retiro, wished to be succecded by his Secretary of State, Mr. Madison ; but Jame Monroes thought he had "claims" on the Democratie party, and he and his friends wero vcry restivo. George Clinton wished to proceed, as Mr. Adams and Mr. Jefferson had proceeded, from the Vice Presidency to the Presidency ; and Nejv York supported his claims. But everything had to yielcl to the iron will of Jefferson ; and Clinton ran again for the second place under Madison. The Federalista put up their ticket of 1804, Pinckney and King, and more than trebled the vote they had secured for it in the earlier year. Pinckney and King received 47 votes ; and Mr. Madison had 122 votes, and George Clinton 113. Quito a number of Democratie votes for the" Vice Presidency were diverted from Clinton, I nine being given for John Lanedon, of New Hampshire, threo for Mr. Madison, and tliree for Mr. Monroe. Sis of tho New York electors would not voto for Mr. Madison for the first place, and gave their Presidential votes for George Clinton, These wero the first signs afforded that the tiïumphant party was sufteriug from interna! dissensions. . Four ycars later these dissensions had I much increased, and a great cffort was made to turn out the Virginian dynasty, but with no other result than to place another disappointed Presidential aspirant in the list to which such men belong. Had George Clinton lived, something eflbetive might have been done ; but he died early in 1812, a disappointed man. His nephew, De Witt Clinton, was nominated by the bolting Democrats ; and the Federalists held a convention in New York and resolved to support him. [ Af ter a warm conflict Mr. Madison was re-clected, lie receiving 128 volos ; but the 89 votes that were given for De Witt Clinton showed how strong tho opposition had become, their vote having gone up, per saltum., from 47 to 89, alniost doubling in four years. Elbridge (ierry, of Massachasetts, was chosen Vice President, his voto being 121 ; and T:lVPí1 Til (rír.5rl I nf TonTia-rrltritnia on -ill Federalist, had 86. But before another election coiúd take place, everything had changed. Tho second war with England wae declared iu June, 1812 ; and most of the Northern Federalista had so borne theinseives concerning it as to ereato the irnpression that they were anxious íor the success of the eneruy. Tho rnasses are always patriotic, and they "frownod upon" the Federalists, who never afterward made' any figuro as a natíonal party ; so that when tho Presidential contest of 181C begnn, the Democratie party alone had much to do with it. In making their arrangementa there was auother disappoiuted aspirant placed conepicuously before the coantry, and another Southern man ; and the Federalist candidato made a third, and a fourth had been created a few years earlier. Early in 1813 John Armstrong, of New York, had boon made Secretary of War. He had been a good soldier in tho Revolution, and his reputation as a writer and author has remained high, notwithstaiiding his flnal failure in politics. He wrote the Newburgh Letters, which made him a sort of American Junius. He served in tho National Senate, and he was Minister to France in Napoleon I. 's time. Made a Brigadier General in 1812, he went soon af ter into the Cabinet. He hoped to be Madison's successor in 1817, but the capture of Washington mined him, though he was not responsifile for that disgraceful event. It was believed that the President wanted to get him out of the way, for the purpose of being suoceeded by Mr. Monroe, with whom he had "made up," and who had been appointed Secretary of State, and who acted as Secretary of War after Gen. Armstrong's retirement. The New Yorkers then soughf the nomination of Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins for the Presidency, he having beon very useful in snpporting tho war when at the head of their State ; but he had to give way to Mr. Monroe. Mr. Crawfoud, of Georgia, also haj to yield to the Virginiau. Mr. Monroe had 183 votes, and the same number was given for Gov. Tompkins, who was chosen Vice President. Eufus King, ef New York, the Federalist candidatèT, received only thirty-four votes for the Presidency, and the same number of votes for the Vice Presidency was distributed among four Federalists. Tliere was no ccmtest iu 1820, Monroe and Tompkins being re-elected witli no opposition wortli niontioning. Gonsequently there were no disappointed aspirauts created' at Üiat time; but at tEe olection of ] 82a thoy cropped out strongly. There wero six aspirauts to tlio Presidency as Monroe's administration drew to a close; Mr. J. Q. Adams, Gon. Jackson, Mr. Crawford (who had wiiivcd bis "claims" in 181G), De Witt Clinton, Mr. Clay and Mr. Culhoun. Mr. Crawford was the " caucus candidato;" Mr. Calhouu postponed liis purpose, and became a successful candidato for tlio Vice Presidency ; and De Witt Clinton did not j'ersevere. The contest lay betwecn Crawford and the other three aspirants. There was no dioico made by the electors, and Mr. Adams was chosen by the House of Representatives. In 1828 President Adams was beatón by Gen. Jacksou, and thus he, like his father, was disappointed one-half, as he failed only of a re-election. The contest was conñned to those two great men, no new aspirants appearing in the field; but in 1832 thcro were four candidates, two of whom wero new men in tho l'residculial business. President Juokeon was re-elected, and Mi'. Clay, who had been badly beaten in 1824, was beatón in the sarao inanner in 1832. Mr. Wm. Wirt, who had been United States Attorney General from 1817 te 1829, was the anti-Masonic candidato, and reccived the electoral vote (7) of Verniont; and to John FJoyd, of Virginia, wero given the 11 votes of South Carolina. Thero were five candidatos at the election of 183C, and Daniel Webster, perhaps the greatest of all the disappointed aspirunts, obtained the 14 votes of Massachusetts; 26 were cast for Hngh L. White, of Tennessee, an old Jaekson man; and 73 for Gen. Harrison. Mr. Van Buren was chosen President, the number of his votes being 170. South Carolina gave her 11 votes to Willie P. Maiigun, of North Carolina. Tho great battle of 1840 was a square, st&nd-up fight between tho Democrats and tho united opposition, and the former were beaten, President Van Biiren receiving only 60 votes, and Gen. Harrison 234. Witíi, porbaps, the exception of the campaign of 1872, thore is nothing liko it in our history. There were no new aspirants in it, but Mr. Van Buren was served liko the Adamses, he failing of a re-election. The Whigs lost, or rather they failod to reap, the proper fruits of their victory, because thcy had made an injudicious nomination for the second office, so that President liarrison's early death was ruinous to them in a short time. 1 ut th(j rallied bravely, and came very noar to suecess in 1844, whon Mr. Clay wafi their candidato. A new aspirant was brought forward on the Democratie side, Gen. Cass, whoso appearance was fatal to Mr. Van Buren 's hopes; but the General himself was set aside, and Mr. Polk was nominated and clected. The Liberty party then came forward and j snpported Mr. James G. Birney, and the Wnigs attributed their defeat to that movement, as, they asserted, it took from them more votes in New York alono than would havo sufficed to bring about the election of Mr. Clay. In 1848 theie was a great change. The Demócrata nominated Gen. Cass, and the Whigs Gen. Taylor - which led to bolting on both sidos, and the bolting Barnburnei'S of New York (Van Buren men) united with the bolting Pree Soilers iu support of a ticket bearing the no,mes of Mr. Van Buren and Mr. C. F. Adams. The result was the defeat of Gen. Cass, who never again was nominated. There had been somo talk of nominating either Judge Woodbury or Gen. Wm. O. Butler, of Kentucky, and it was said that both thoso gentlemen aspired to the Prcsidential nomination. Gen. Butler was the Democratie oandidate for the Vice Prcsidency. Anothor chango carne in 1852. Mr. Douglas had then become an aspirant, but the Democrats nominated Gen. Pieice, and he was chosen. Q-en. Scott, who had long been a Presidencyseeker, was the Whig candidato, and lio was utterly ben ten; and perhaps his j feat was as great as that of Mr. Van Buren in 1840, save that ttie popular majority was not so largely adverse to ] bim as it had been to Mr. Van Buren- nor clid it begin to approach the enormous popular majority that "was given against Mr. Greeiey at the last election. Mr. Fillmore, who was serving the anee of the term of President Taylor (who had died in office), had sought i the Whig nomination, and so had Mr. Webster, who was a kind of a candidato, but who died a few days before the eloction was held. The election of 1856, the flrst in which the Republican partly figured, was fought between Mr. Bnchanan and Col. Fremont, while Mr. Fillniore ran as the Know-Nothing candidato. Col. Frcmont was a new aspirant, but Mr. Buchannn long had sought a nomination, and Mr. Fillmore was an old seeker. Mr. Seward had sought the Keiniblican nomination, and was offended because he had faücd to get it; and so, it was rcported, waa the case with Judge McLcan, who had been after a I nomination for years. Mr. Douglas, who had been in the field for sonie time, desirei the Democratie nomination. The campaign of 18C0, which was the overture to the civil war, had an abundance of Presidential candidatos - Abra ham Lincoln, John C. Brtckinridge, I John Bell and Stephen A. Douglas. That of 154 was not so crowded, and Mr. Lincoln was re-electod. Chief Justice Chase desired to havo the Republican nomination, but he failed to got it, as Mr. Boward had failod in 1860. General Frernont continued his aspirations, and was nominated for the Presideney by a few men, who called themselves Radicáis; but he soon left the field. General McClellan was supported by the Deniocrats, but he sucooeded only in beiug placed high aniong the disappointed seekers of the Presidency. In 1868 the mynbor of the disappointed was large. Chief .Tustieo Chase souglrt the Democratie nomination, and so did President Johnson - both in vain. Mr. Pendleton also failod to get it. Horatio Seymour got it and was dofeated. The Republicana were unitod in support of Gen. Grant. Mr. Greeloy - a good man and desorving a botter fate - was the "great disappointed" of 1872, because he feil into the error of accepting an anti-Republican nomination, and because he virtually assentod to bc the Democratie candidato for the Presidency. He had ' been a seekor of the Presidcncy for some years. He must bo set down as having attained to the disagrcoable eminence of being üie worst beaten Presidential candidate rnentioned in our history, bocause of the many and various bitter incidents that marked and characterized his defeat and fall. To snm up : There are several classes of disappointed Presidential aspirante, which can be set forth in order : 1. The men who were regularly nominated for the Prosidency, and beaten, never roaching the office. They are : Charles C. Pmckney, De Witt Clinton, Rufns King, William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, William Wirt, Hugh L. White, Daniel Webster, James G. Birney, Lowis Cass, Winfield Scott. John P. Hale, John C. Fremont, Stephen A. Douglas, Joh Bell, John C. Breckinridge, George B. McClellan, Horatio Seyinour, and Horace Groeley. Mr. Birny and Mr. Halereceivedno electoral vote. 2. The men who, being regularly nominated, sought to be re-eleeted to a second term, they being in offloe, and failed. They are: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Martin Van Buren. 3. The men who, being in office, to which they had been regularly chosen, sought nominations for siecond terms, and fiiilod to get them. They are: James K. Polk, Franklin Pierco, and James Buchanan. 4. The men who had succeeded to the Presidency because of the deaths of Presidente", they ha ving been chosen to tho Vico Presidoncy, and who sought nominations, with the view of being regularly elected. Theyarc: JobnTyler, Millard Fillmore, and Androw Johnson. 5. The men who reccivcd electoral votes for the oflice, bilt who had not been formally nominitcd for the Prosidency. They are, Thomas Pinckney, George Clinton, John Floyd, and Wil'ie P. Mangiun. 6. The men who werc mentioned in eonnection with the regular Presiden tial nornination, but nevor reeoived it. They are - at least in part - John Jay, Daniel D. Tompkms, John C. Calhoun, William Gaston of Nortli Carolina, Jolm Armstroug, William Pinckney, William Lowndes, William Smith of South Carolina, John McLeau, Richard Rush, Louis McLane, Levi Woodbury, John M. Clayton, Richard M. Johnsonj RearAdmiral Charles Stewart, Reverdy Jolmson, Chester Ashley of Arkansas, Salmón P. Chase, Roger B. Taney, Tilomas H. Benton, William O. Butler, William L. Marcy, Thomas Corwin, John J. Crittenden, Jefferson Davia, Thomas H. Seymour, James Guthrie, William R. Iüng, Ciissius M. Clay, William H. Seward, John A. Dix, Henry Wilson, R. M. T. Huntor, Georgo M. Dallas, Albert H. Tracy of New ïork, Theodoro Freling1 nsen, Gen. Hancock, George II. Pendleton, Associate Justicc Davis, Charles F. Adams, Edward Bates, Green Clay Smith, Gen. Sherrnan, and Wendell Phillips. With two or threo oxceptions, the persons here namcd wero "talked of " in connoction with the Presidential nomination before the open beginuing of the present contest. We do not make a list of the present aspirants, the names of whom are printed evei-y week in most of the newspapers, or occur daily in common conversation. 7. It only remains to montion that Aaron Burr forms a class apart from other disappointed aspirants, as he was voted for in the House of Representativos for the Presidoncy, for which office


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