Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gansevoort Melville reports to Andrew Jackson from "the Jerusalem of Whiggery" (Lexington, KY) in September 1844

Image Credit: Library of Congress
One month before Herman Melville arrived in Boston harbor on the frigate United States:

Private & Confidential
Lexington Ky September 15th, 1844
General Andrew Jackson 
My dear Sir,
It is with great pleasure that according to your request I communicate to you the result of the Democratic meeting held yesterday in this city which is the Jerusalem of Whiggery and as yet under the dominion of a false God. At 2 PM the meeting which was very large was called to order. It was held at the Court-House. Many Whigs were present. The people were overflowing with enthusiasm and so hungry for good democratic doctrine that they compelled me to talk full four hours and then still cried “Go on” “Go on!” In the course of my remarks I reviewed the manifold inconsistencies of the political career of Henry Clay and endeavored to expose the dangerous and anti-republican tendency of the measures now advocated by the Whig party and “the great embodiment” and put the gaff to the aforesaid “great embodiment” as well as I was able and with hearty good will. Altho’ so many Whigs were present no interruption was offered from beginning to end. In the eve[nin]g the Hon. J. F. Marshall spoke a couple of hours at the same place and with his usual marked ability. The Democracy here are in fine spirits and say that if in October we elect Tod in Ohio and Shunk in Pa that the Kentucky Democracy can prostrate Mr. Clay at home. God grant that this may be the case. Let him be defeated not only in the Union—but in his own state—and the rebuke will be the greater to Henry Clay and his associated political profligates, and the moral lesson the deeper and the more abiding.

In the mo[rnin]g I leave for Cincinnati where I have an appointment the following day and thence to Columbus, Cleveland, Erie & Buffalo and thence through the state of N. York to the city speaking at the points named & other prominent ones on the route. On my arrival in New-York I promise myself the pleasure of communicating to you full particulars of our bright prospects there. 
With remembrance of my visit to the Hermitage that never can be effaced, and which will be prized as long as memory remains, and with my most respectful regards to the ladies of your family to Andrew Jackson Jr. and Major Donelson
I am
With sentiments of reverence and love
Your humble friend & obdt servant 
Gansevoort Melville

His Excellency
General Jackson

Gansevoort Melville to Andrew Jackson, September 15, 1844
Andrew Jackson papers via Library of Congress
Gansevoort Melville to Andrew Jackson, September 15, 1844 
Andrew Jackson papers via Library of Congress

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