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David James McCord letter to David Bailie Warden

Letter, 29 June 1831, of D[avid] J[ames] McCord (1797-1855), Columbia, to D[avid] B[ailie] Warden, Paris, includes a lengthy discussion of nullification-era politics and the political intrigue surrounding the Jackson administration. It also forwards the text of a letter from Joel R. Poinsett, 10 May 1831, relative to the improbability of Warden's diplomatic appointment. An editor, attorney, and political agitator, McCord in 1823 assumed editorship of the Columbia Telescope in 1823, the most assertive of all the nullification papers.

Alluding to difficulties during the most recent election and the outcry against him, McCord wrote—"In Carolina the party to which I belong, called the State Rights & Free Trade party, having for their politics the doctrines of Mr. Jefferson & republicans of his day, and for their object the repeal of the present prohibitory system—called American, were opposed to the Union Party or Federalist. Our object was to go into convention, and to declare there laws unconstitutional & void & to resist them. If force was to be applied it would come from the general government none was necessary on our part but a refusal to obey."

McCord also discusses at some length the Eaton affair and growing discontent with the Jackson administration. "Van Buren has acquired a commanding influence over him & such a scene of low intriguing has been going at Washington for the last twelve months as was never witnessed in this country....[Jackson's] disgraceful conduct in relation to Eaton his Secretary of War (whose wife is a whore or was one before he married her) has utterly confounded us all. His dismission of his Cabinet on account of this woman & their discordant materials, so illy filling the views of his friend & would be successor Mr. Van Buren, and his whole administration together with the pittyful conspiracy of that poor creature Crawford who has become a sot, has completely disgraced Gen. Jackson in the eyes of any one who regards the character of the first officer of the country. I hope in Europe the affair will not be fully comprehended for it is too disgraceful to this country."

"Our country is in a wretched condition," the letter continues. "The South, except the new states where the lands yield enourmously, & the people are ignorant, is in a state of half revolution. Their riches taken from them—their commerce distroyed, and they ruled by an insulting majority in violation of the Constitution & their oaths. Indeed Sir the majority has become the most despotick & unprincipled government in the world, regarding the constitution less than Charles the X did & caring for nothing but securing the majority, which they now openly avow have the right to gevern, without any other controul than their discretion." In closing, McCord, who served as trustee for South Carolina College expresses interest in purchasing for the College selected volumes from Warden's private library.

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