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Published by Washington Printed at the Globe Office 1831 (1831)

Used Softcover First Edition Signed

Quantity Available: 1

From: James Pepper Rare Books, Inc., ABAA (Santa Barbara, CA, U.S.A.)

Seller Rating: 5-star rating

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Price: US$ 12,500.00
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About this Item: Washington Printed at the Globe Office 1831, 1831. First Edition. A rare copy of John Henry EatonÕs defense of his wife, Margaret Eaton, against the attacks on her and John EatonÕs conduct by members of Andrew JacksonÕs cabinet. 55 pages in self-wrappers. Reverend Ezra Stiles ElyÕs copy, one of the key figures in the Eaton Affair, with his autograph signature, ÒEzra S. Ely, D.D.Ó on the title page. Accompanied by an original Autograph Letter Signed from Andrew Jackson to Reverend Ezra Stiles Ely, 1 page, quarto, Washington, June 29,1829, written early in JacksonÕs first term Fine and boldly signed, this unpublished letter was sent with his son, Andrew Jackson Jr., asking Ely to take charge of Andrew Jr. while in the city of Philadelphia where Ely was a minister. The recipient has docketed the letter at the extreme lower margin: "The foregoing letter is in the usual, running hand of the President. E.S. Ely.Ó The great irony of this letter is that with ElyÕs introduction of JacksonÕs son to Philadelphia society, Andrew Jr., met the lovely Sarah Yorke of the City of Brotherly Love, whom he married, and she became the loving delight of Andrew JacksonÕs old age, taking care of him and comforting him to the end. Taking place at the beginning of Andrew JacksonÕs Presidency, the Eaton Affair, or ÒPetticoat AffairÓ was the first White House sex scandal in American Presidential history which shocked the entire nation when it broke publicly. Margaret ÒPeggyÓ Eaton was married to JacksonÕs close Tennessee friend and biographer, John Henry Eaton, whom Jackson had appointed Secretary of War in his new administration. Margaret was the beautiful, assertive, and outspoken daughter of a Washington innkeeper whom Jackson had known long before her marriage to Eaton from JacksonÕs stays at her fatherÕs inn. Labeled a Òloose womanÓ by the women of Washington society because of her unconventional ways, Margaret Eaton was snubbed by Vice-President John C. CalhounÕs wife, the wives of JacksonÕs own cabinet members, and even by close members of JacksonÕs family. The attacks on Margaret Eaton reminded Jackson of the outrageous smears that he felt had led to the early death of his wife, Rachel, and caused Jackson to become obsessed with defending MargaretÕs honor, to the point of neglecting good government. Jackson felt that the Eaton attacks were part of a conspiracy to bring down his administration. His vigorous defense of Margaret absorbed the first two years of the Jackson Presidency, finally leading to the forced resignation of his cabinet, and JacksonÕs bitter estrangement with Calhoun which cost Calhoun his chance at the Presidency. The Reverend Ezra Stiles Ely of Philadelphia was a nationally known minister who had heartily pushed for JacksonÕs election to ensure a ÒChristian nation.Ó Shortly after JacksonÕs inauguration, Ely wrote Jackson and boldly brought to his attention the depth of the Eaton problem by telling Jackson he should fire John Eaton because of he and wifeÕs loose morals, that they had had sex before marriage, and that Margaret had slept with assorted men in her fatherÕs boarding house. Jackson was shocked and responded with an impassioned and detailed defense of the Eatons to which Ely quickly backed down. The incident led Jackson summon Ely from Philadelphia to attend a special cabinet meeting (minus John Eaton) whose entire purpose was to prove the virtue of Margaret Eaton and that his cabinet members should impose on their wives to accept the Eatons into Washington society. The effort failed and eventually Jackson asked for the resignations of his cabinet. Margaret Eaton forced her husband to take her to Philadelphia and confront Ely. In a time when women were socially supposed to sit quietly and let their husbands defend them, Margaret Eaton, took charge of their encounter and proceeded to verbally rip Ely to shreds. Ely was devastated and stunned, and despite promises to Jackson, did another turnaround and asserted again she was an unchaste woman. Ely became in JacksonÕs eye. Seller Inventory # 12510J

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