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[ by Charles Cameron — Jefferson and Adams reverberating still ]

For your current interest: words eschanged between two candidates for the Presidency of the United States some two centuries back, as presented in a neat DoubleQuote today by John Robb:

I can’t improve on John’s presentation of thesse two quotes — but I might perhaps point out that they were similarly relevant to poiitical discourse in 2010, when ReasonTV posted the following video on YouTube:


As a conoisseur of coincidence, I appreciate the fact that Jefferson and Adams died within hours of each other — fifty years to the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As Jorge Luis Borges observed of the rival theologians Aurelian and John of Pannonia, “The end of this story can only be related in metaphors since it takes place in the kingdom of heaven, where there is no time.”

One Response to “Echolalia?”

  1. Grurray Says:

    The 1828 election between incumbent John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson is widely regarded as the dirtiest ever.

    The Adams camp called Jackson’s mother a whore who married a mulatto. They accused Jackson of being an adulterer and his wife of being a bigamist. When she died shortly after the election, Jackson blamed Adams and vowed never to forgive him, which was a grudge to be taken seriously from a man who was involved in several brawls, duels, and shootouts over the years.

    Jackson’s campaign accused Adams of having pre-marital sex with his wife, pimping his chambermaid to the Czar of Russia while he was there serving as ambassador, and gambling in the White House with public funds.
    They continued their feud after the election. Adams refused to attend the inauguration, just as his father did with Jefferson. When Jackson was set to receive an honorary degree at Harvard awarded by Adams’ cousin Josiah Quincy, the president of the university at the time, Adams was invited but refused to attend. He wrote in a letter to his cousin, “I could not be present to see my darling Harvard disgrace herself by conferring a Doctor’s degree upon a barbarian and savage who could scarcely spell his own name.”

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