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Favorable or Unfavorable #197: William H. Crawford


vcczar

Favorable or Unfavorable #197: William H. Crawford  

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  1. 1. Did you read my first comment?

  2. 2. Favorable or Unfavorable #197: William H. Crawford

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WH Crawford of GA was hugely significant in his time. Sen pres pro tempore was elected then, sort of like a Speaker of the House. He was the first to serve an entire year. Crawford was to the right of both Madison and Monroe. 

In 1824, he gains the support of both Jefferson and Madison for pres. He refuses to drop out of the race after his stroke (and 2nd stroke). He uses his bad health as a bargaining chip "If you drop out and be my VP, it is certain you will soon be pres," something to that effect. He would live over a decade longer though.

He and Monroe did not like each other. Adams and Calhoun were certain he was using his cabinet role in 1823-1824 primarily to help his election changes. At one point, stroke-ridden Crawford is so upset that Monroe wouldn't do his bidding (Monroe had a tendency to give in to his cabinet) that he lumbered at the president with his cane, calling him a "damned infernal scoundral," causing Monroe to pick up two fireplace tongs for self-defense. 

Crawford's stroke was caused not by age, but by bad medicine apparently. He was about 51 years old, but the stroke left him blind and paralyzed for awhile. He made enough of a recovery to see and a be quasi-mobile (as he was when he assaulted Monroe). Soon after he had another stroke that cost him his vision and mobility for awhile. 

JQ Adams wanted to keep Crawford, mainly as a show of harmony, and because he wanted all of the 1824 candidates in his cabinet--Calhoun as VP, Clay as State, Crawford at Treasury, and Jackson at War, but the latter two declined. Had they both accepted, the Corrupt Bargain charge would not have existed and Adams's presidency would have been more productive.

Crawford is one of many figures during this time, including Monroe, that were routinely manipulating situations to enhance their personal power. Crawford, Monroe, James Armstrong, Burr, Hamilton, Clay, Calhoun, etc are all worth studying during the first 25 years of the 19th century. 

His actions:

Crawford, William H 1811 Declines offer of Sec of War by Madison
Crawford, William H 1812 First Pres pro tempore of the Senate to serve for a year
Crawford, William H 1813 Appt Amb to France by Madison
Crawford, William H 1815 Confirmed as Sec of War for Madison
Crawford, William H 1816 JR Pres Candidate for those opposed to Monroe and another member of the VA dynasty
Crawford, William H 1816 Moved from War to Treasury by Madison, presiding during Era of Good Feelings economy
Crawford, William H 1817 Retained as Sec of Treasury by Monroe, presiding during Era of Good Feeling Econ and Panic of 1819
Crawford, William H 1824 runs for president as initial frontrunner before his severe stroke; refuses to drop out of race, helping send it to the US House
Crawford, William H 1825 Declines offer by Adams to continue as Sec of Treasury
Crawford, William H 1828 Candidate for VP at Dem Conv
Crawford, William H 1832 Considers running for pres or VP in the event Jackson declines a 2nd term
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