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Turnover and Turmoil

November 14, 2018

Samuel D. Ingham was Treasury Secretary from the beginning of Jackson’s first term until June 1831.  He resigned along with several other cabinet members as a result of the Eaton Affair, also known as the Petticoat Affair.

Louis McLane replaced Ingham.  He was largely responsible for the plan which retired the national debt in January 1835, but he refused Jackson’s order to remove Federal deposits from the 2nd Bank of the United States (B.U.S.).  The President got rid of him by making him Secretary of State!

William J. Duane became Treasury Secretary on June 1, 1833.  He had been reluctant to accept the appointment because there had been so much turmoil in Jackson’s Cabinet.  By the beginning of July, Duane was wondering how long he would last.  He had received a letter from the President instructing him to make immediate preparations to remove the deposits from the B.U.S.  Duane replied: “Legislators alone could duly investigate such important subjects.”  Jackson countered: “My object, sir, is to save the country, and it will be lost if we permit the bank to exist.”

Meanwhile, Jackson sent his friend Amos Kendall, editor of the Argus of Western America, on a mission.  He returned in late August and reported there were more than enough sound state banks which could receive the Federal deposits.  Jackson presented the report to his Cabinet on September 10, 1833.  Surely now they would see the light.

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