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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jackson & the Eaton Affair

One of the more interesting, peculiar incidents of Jackson's term as President was the Eaton Affair.  The Eaton Affair was a sex scandal that split Jackson's cabinet.  The issue of Peggy Eaton and her husband, Secretary of War, John Eaton is interesting.  It is something I wish we had more time to discuss in class. It certainly demonstrates both Jackson's distrust of elites and his stubbornness. They didn't call him Old Hickory for nothing.

Shortly before Jackson's inauguration, his Secretary of War, John Henry Eaton, an old army comrade, married Margaret O'Neale Timberlake. Rumors that "Peggy" O'Neale's first husband had committed suicide over her relationship with Eaton soon spread throughout Washington. The wives of prominent politicians, ESPECIALLY VICE PRESIDENT JOHN C. CALHOUN'S WIFE, refused to invite her to social affairs and demanded that their husbands boycott events to which Peggy was invited. These parties and dinners were crucial to Washington politics; they provided a private forum for politicians to discuss legislation, form alliances, and strike deals - without them the business of governing could be seriously hampered.

Which of Jackson's character attributes are demonstrated in the above video?

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