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POLITICAL REMINISCENCES,

INCLUDING

A SKETCH

OF TIIE

ORIGIN AND HISTORY

OF THE

“STATESMAN PARTY"

OF

BOSTON.

PY

JOHN BARTON DERBY,

LATE

DEPUTY SURVEYOR OF THE CUSTOMS.

" They (i. e. the office holders) love Gold.”—Globe.
“ Their God is gold, and their Religion pelf."-R. T. Paine.

Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1834, in the Clerk's office of the District

Court of Massachusetts.

BOSTON:
Printed for the Author, by Homer & Palmer,

Congress-street.

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UNITED STATES,
These humble pages, are respectfully inscribed, by their fellow

citizen, and obedient servant,

>

THE AUTHOR.

E 381 143 pt.l

INTRODUCTION.

The reader will readily perceive, that, in this work, the writer makes no pretensions to taste or refinement of style. He is a “plain, blunt man;" and having a plain statement to communicate to his fellow-citizens, he only “ speaks right on.”

It will also be remarked, that many of his statements are, from their very nature, unsusceptible of proof, save by his solemn declaration. Conversations, between two persons only, can be proved but by one witness, and may be denied by the other. But the writer confides in the good sense of his countrymen to give him credit for veracity in some of his charges, when they discover many others, of a more serious character, for the truth of which be summons numerous and respectable witnesses.

No man, says Hume, can speak long of himself without an exhibition of vanity. This is undoubtedly true, and I would fain avoid it. But in a narrative of transactions in which one acts a conspicuous part, I know not how he can clearly and forcibly impress his readers, without speaking much, too much of himself, and his agency therein. Pardon me, therefore, if I appear presumptuous or conceited. I am sufficiently humbled by the errors of my political course. It is

cause

no small sacrifice of vanity, for a man to confess, that eleven years of his life have been passed under a political delusion.

To the Jackson party, I say, that if thoughtless zeal, if peculiar sufferings, privations, and personal conflicts ;-if unceasing activity, and a total forgetfulness of interest, continued for many years, in the

which finally triumphed by the election of Jackson, merits their consideration and regard, 1 may

1 presume to claim it. In the ardour of political excitement, 1 abandoned an honorable and lucrative profession, and plunged in reckless impetuosity into the arena of politics, spurning aside all my better hopes and prospects. My first unfortunate sally was made in 1823, and the cause was a profound contempt and disgust for the character of J, Q. Adams, then a candidate for the Presidency. On his nomination, 1 stripped for the conflict, resolved never to quit the ring, until he was laid upon his back. It may be asked, why this excessive zeal? Here is my answer.

I remembered the apostacy of Adams in 1807, his abandonment of the federal party, and his calumnious accusation of his own, and his father's political friends, of treasonable designs against the United States. The family to which I belong, was, at that time, among the most influential and respectable in New-England, and decidedly federal. I believed the charge to be false;-for, in my youth, while listening with boyish interest to the political discussions of our family circle, I learned the republican principles which, ever since, have been the covenant of the republican ark.

Again; I had been told by a gentleman in whom

placed confidence, that Mr. Adams not only avowed, in his presence, his intention of deserting the federal party, but gave his reasons for that intention, viz:-to destroy the democratic party by uniting with it, and leading it onward to such excesses, that all rational men would dread its continued supremacy.

To the scorn I felt for his dastardly calumniation of his ancient friends, was thus added an immeasurable disgust and abhorrence of the treachery he meditated against his new associates.

Thus a sense of honor, self-respect, family pride, and patriotism, made me, in 1823, a partizan of Crawford. And when, in 1824, it pleased the Almighty to touch him with his finger, and rebuke the aspirations of genius and ambition, the same sentiments, rather brightened than rusted by the previous struggle, made me a partizan 'of General Jackson.And he never had one more devoted and enthusiastic.

I further claim some consideration from the Jackson party, when they remember that in 1824, and again in 1828, I published, under my own signature, the above facts in relation to Mr. Adams; and that my

;

66 staiement was thought to have materially contributed to the victory of Jackson over his antagonist.”

The vengeance of the Opposition, which fell upon me, in consequence, cannot be forgotten. It began in 1824, and never ceased till 1829. For five years, I was forced to fight my way through a host of atrocious libels, private slanders, loss of professional business, and, for a time, loss of reputation. But I triumphed over my political assailants, and beheld beneath the rainbow of our hopes, Jackson ascending the steps of the Capitol !

At that moment, I could with truth, have said to

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