charles cotesworth

comicalterror  asked:

Fun facts about Rufus King?

  • When he was ten years old, after the Stamp Act 1765 was imposed, a mob ransacked his house and destroyed most of the furniture. Nobody was hurt, but the next year the mob burned down his barn.
  • King graduated from Harvard in 1777 and began studying law soon after but this was disrupted when he joined the militia in 1778. 
  • At the Constitutional Convention he was one of the youngest members, however, was one of the most powerful orators. 
  • It was Alexander Hamilton who convinced him to quit his law practice and move to New York. 
  • King was indirectly responsible for the passing of the ratification of the Constitution in Massachusetts. 
  • King was a famous and vehement opponent of slavery.
  • During the Jay Treaty controversy, King published his defense of the document with Alexander Hamilton in a series of essays in New York under the pen name of Camillus.
  • King was outspoken against potential Irish immigration to the United States in wake of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in which the leaders were publicly hanged. 
  • In 1808 Rufus King and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney were the candidates for Vice President and President of the declining Federalist Party
  • In September 1812 during the War of 1812, King led an effort at the Federalist party caucus to nominate a Federalist ticket for the presidential election that year.
  • King was an avid supporter of Hamilton and his Fiscal programs and unsurprisingly that he would find himself also become one of the directors of the Hamilton-sponsored First Bank of the United States. King however found himself denying the reopening of the Second National Bank in 1816.
  • King was first elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1805, and was also elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1814. In 1822, he was admitted as an honorary member of the New York Society of the Cincinnati.
  • He ran for president one more time but lost to James Monroe. 
  • At the time of his death in 1827, King had a library of roughly 2,200 titles in 3,500 volumes. In addition, King had roughly 200 bound volumes containing thousands of pamphlets. 

rhilex  asked:

This might be a loaded ask, but... What on earth started John Adams' hatred of Hamilton? Why did he dislike him so much that he basically made it his life's mission to do so in every way?

I made a post a couple weeks ago where I stated I think the Adams-Hamilton feud was the result of three things: personality conflict, political differences, and culture clash rooted in xenophobia (in that post I discussed Adams’s hangups about Hamilton’s being a Scotch West Indian). So let’s discuss some of the former.

Let’s start with the political. In actuality, Hamilton and Adams had a lot of political beliefs in common, though Adams was more of a moderate Federalist and Hamilton the leader of the High Federalists. Both believed in a strong centralized government and were wary of France. But there were some key differences: Adams did not trust banking systems, whereas Hamilton obviously wanted to consolidate the state banks into a centralized banking system that answered to the federal government. Hamilton believed a standing army was becoming necessary to combat European forces in the West, but Adams believe a strong Navy would keep them at bey. 

But what really caused the political conflict started when, after Washington stepped down after two terms, it came up for a vote for who would take his place. Adams, naturally, thought as having been vice-president, he was the natural choice. Hamilton wanted someone more along High Federalist values, and so lobbied for Thomas Pinckney: in Hamilton’s ideal world, he wanted Pinckney as president and Adams back as vice-president (and he did the thing period to keep Jefferson from being either, remember this is when the person with the second highest votes became VP). Obviously it didn’t work, with Adams becoming president and Jefferson his VP. But Adams never forgot and never forgave Hamilton was his meddling - nor would the Republicans let him. 

During Adams’s presidency, he inherited Washington’s Cabinet and didn’t make any changes. The Cabinet members, being High Federalists, increasingly started going to Hamilton for his opinions on matters. This, understandably, upset Adams, tho he never actually cleaned out his Cabinet until it was too late. Then he and Hamilton got into an ugly mess with regards to the army being built after the XYZ Affair and the Quasi-War - after making Hamilton the second-in-command, Adams began pushing for peace with France, which upset Hamilton who suspected France was just going to fake peace with America and then later use its connections via its allyship with Spain and land in North America to launch an attack. Adams got his peace (and Jefferson lucked out when France did begin sending troops to the New World) and disbanded the army. That, coupled with a lot of nasty personal remarks leveled at Hamilton made the latter issue an affair of honor against the POTUS, which Adams understandably ignored, and then that pushed Hamilton to release the infamous Adams Pamphlet.

Then the Election of 1800 happens, and since it obviously worked so well the first time, Hamilton pushed the Federalists to vote for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and withhold enough votes from Adams to make him the VP again. Many factors ended up getting the Republicans elected (the biggest ones being the 3/5ths Clause, and Cotesworth Pinckney’s cousin Charles Pinckney straight-up bribing South Carolina electors to vote for Jefferson and Burr) but Hamilton got the blame and Adams never forgave him for his loss of a second term.

With regards to the personality conflict: Adams was an older statesmen, had been part of the Revolution since Massachusetts started the thing, and so believed he was due a degree of deference he frequently didn’t feel he was getting. He was utterly appalled by what he felt was the lack of respect he was getting from Washington’s administration, being stuck in the Senate where people wouldn’t listen to him. But then Washington’s listening to Hamilton, this young “upstart” in Adams’s view, giving him responsibilities and seeking out his counsel. This was a problem when Adams became president. Hamilton was used to having older statesmen seek out and agree with his opinions, but Adams found this aspect of Hamilton insolent. Hamilton found Adams’s snubbing of him, that he wasn’t grateful for his opinions, to be degrading.

They were also both really bad at compromising when they believed themselves to be in the right opinion, they were both extraordinarily indiscreet, very vain, and both seemed to have a sort of “fuck this I’m going to blow this mother up” mentality when things got to their boiling points rather than keep level headed. 

Now had they both sat down and actually got it all out with one another, I think things might have turned out for the better. But Adams always aimed his hatred of Hamilton to anyone who wasn’t Hamilton, meaning Hamilton was getting all of this info from his friends who were telling him that Adams was saying all of these terrible things about him (that he’s an agent of the British, constant snipes at his illegitimacy, etc.) that Adams would refuse to admit or source; Adams had been much the same with Benjamin Franklin. Which was a bit of a core difference: Hamilton’s hypersensitivity made him start issuing challenges when he was insulted; Adams stewed on abuse for years before confronting it via a third party (he didn’t respond to Hamilton’s pamphlet against him until nine years later, five years after Hamilton’s death when Hamilton couldn’t counter). 

There was also things about Hamilton that Adams just found morally repugnant. He, of course, found his adultery to be a sign of weak character, tho later used this as an excuse to believe the worst in Hamilton whenever he heard - or made - an amorous story about him (Timothy Pickering said Adams collected such stories obsessively). He also had huge hangups about Hamilton’s illegitimacy, basically believing that good fathers produced good sons, and because Hamilton was born a bastard, he was exempt from ever being capable of good character. 

Tbh it’s really tragic that Adams and Hamilton just constantly assumed the worst of each other because if they had been capable of working together, things nationwide might have had better outcomes in the long run. 

Diplomatic uniform coat, 1790s. 

This blue silk coat belonged to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746-1825), South Carolina lawyer, statesman and politician. Pinckney was the son of Judge Charles Pinckney and famed Eliza Lucas. Although he fought in the Revolutionary War, it is more likely that this coat is from his service as Ambassador to France under George Washington and John Adams. Pinckney became part of what was called the XYZ Affair, an attempt to establish relations between the American and French governments. He later ran for vice president with John Adams and then for president several times, but was never successful.

 From the collections of the Charleston Museum

The Signs as Founding Fathers
  • Aries: Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, Rufus King
  • Taurus: James Monroe
  • Gemini: Patrick Henry
  • Cancer: Timothy Pickering
  • Leo: Henry Knox, Edmund Randolph, George Clinton, Nathanael Greene
  • Virgo: Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, John Rutledge
  • Libra: Sam Adams, Caesar Rodney, John Marshall, James Wilson
  • Scorpio: John Adams, John Laurens, James McHenry, John Dickinson, Charles Pinckney
  • Sagittarius: John Jay
  • Capricorn: Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Oliver Wolcott Jr., Benjamin Rush
  • Aquarius: Aaron Burr, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Gouverneur Morris, Albert Gallatin, Richard Henry Lee, Robert Morris
  • Pisces: George Washington, James Madison, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Henry Laurens

I feel like Alexander Hamilton gets more blame for the outcome of the Election of 1800 than he actually deserves (though he does deserve some of it), especially from Adams’s and Jefferson’s biographers who seem to turn him into the scapegoat for everything that blew up.

Yes he and John Adams let their hate boners for one another split the party at the worst possible time. His Letter Concerning John Adams was nothing more than an ill-advised whine-fest that should never have seen the light of day.

And his ultimate decision to support Jefferson over the Federalists’ last-minute desperate ploy to support Burr rested on three main arguments: 1) He knew Jefferson was a hypocrite and unlikely to shake the boat when it came to presidential power; 2) Hamilton thought Jefferson may have had the wrong principles, but it was better than having allegedly no principles, which is what he charged Burr; and most importantly 3) When shit did hit the fan, which he assumed was only a matter of time, he wanted the Republicans to be held responsible instead of the Federalists - whereas if Burr had done anything wrong the Federalists would have had to answer for him - so when it happened the Federalists would be in position to follow an unpopular president (too bad he couldn’t foresee the Louisiana Purchase).

But. Though I might not personally agree with his decision, he was absolutely within his rights to push for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney as an alternative to Adams. And he had wanted Adams to return to the vice-presidency, so did his part to heal the rift in the party long enough to try and get the outcome he wanted. And too many historians are acting like it was the Adams-Pinckney split that caused the outcome of the Republican victory. I’m not denying there was a lot of hostility between the Northern Federalists voting for a Southerner, and vice versa, but considering that the majority of Federalists did split their votes evenly, that also tends to ignore the bigger issues here.

Like Republican candidate Aaron Burr getting prominent men in New York to put their names on the ballot of the state legislature, even though none of them were serious on holding such positions, so they would later be in position to select Republican electors to get him and Jefferson elected (which is exactly what happened).

Or when Cotesworth Pinckney’s cousin Charles Pinckney went through the South Carolina legislature promising patronage to any man who’d switch his vote to Republican, getting Jefferson and Burr all eight votes through outright bribery. 

And, of course, the extra votes given to the Southern states via the three-fifths clauses that boosted Jefferson and Burr’s votes, without which we would have had Adams return as president with Pinckney as vice-president. 

But all of that would undermine and delegitimize the Jeffersonian presidency, so it seems easier just to blame the losers - especially their leader- than to admit Jefferson stole the election.

And then there was South Carolina. The Federalists had high hopes for South Carolina’s eight votes [in 1800]; their vice presidential candidate was that state’s immensely popular general Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Many southern Federalists even planned to promote Pinckney by awarding him all eight votes while withholding a few from Adams. Had they succeeded in this effort, the nation would have witnessed the inauguration of President Pinckney in March 1801. That this inaugural did not occur seems largely the result of the actions of Charles Pinckney, a second cousin of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and a Republican. This Pinckney worked furiously in the legislature to prevent the election of his cousin, promising patronage to those who wavered, and successfully seeing that Jefferson and Burr received all eight votes. Though each of these electors won by a very small margin, their eight votes were exactly the Republican margin of victory. What if the Republican Pinckney had put family values first and worked as hard for his cousin’s victory? What if his patronage bribes had been exposed and the assembly had responded in disgust by turning to Adams and Pinckney. Obviously it did not happen, but it easily could have.
—  Michael Bellesiles, “The Soil Will be Soaked with Blood”: Taking the Revolution of 1800 Seriously