4 Mar: Trashing the White House

When Andrew Jackson was inaugurated on 4th March, 1829, large crowds of recently emancipated, enthusiastic voters turned up to the Capitol to watch the former Army commander become President. But the event soon spiraled out of control, descending into, at best, chaos; and, at worst, a brawl. 

Eyewitness Margaret Bayard Smith wrote: “No arrangements had been made no police officers placed on duty and the whole house had been inundated by the rabble mob… At one time, the President who had retreated and retreated until he was pressed against the wall, could only be secured by a number of gentleman forming around him and making a kind of barrier of their own bodies.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider Jackson’s legacy, and the routine comparisons with President Trump; ask how reliable the eyewitnesses are, given that many were part of the political elite that Jackson despised; and reveal the novel technique deployed by White House staffers to disperse the crowds…

Further Reading:

• ‘Andrew Jackson, The 7th President of the United States’’ (White House Historical Association, 2006): https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/andrew-jackson/

• ‘Was the White House Really Trashed at Andrew Jackson’s First Inauguration?’ (HowStuffWorks, 2021):


• ‘Donald Trump’s Hero is Andrew Jackson’ (Brut America, 2020):

#Politics #US #1800s

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