Events and Dates in 1832

January, 1832

01/01 - de Tocqueville and Beaumont arrive in New Orleans (Source: Pierson, Tocqueville, p392)

01/12 - de Tocqueville and Beaumont encountered Joel R. Poinsett in SC. According to Pierson, p407, he was secretly "a personal agent of President Andrew Jackson", organizing the unionist sentiment of the state. A conversation on their second day together:
Tocqueville:"What is meant by the system of nullification? This system seems to me to come down to the pure and simple annulment of the Union itself?"
Poinsett: "That would be the indirect result, no doubt, however, the Nullifiers deny the charge. They claim only that the individual States have the right to suspend the laws of congress ... The Nullifiers are a party only in South Carolina; even there their majority is doubtful;... this party owed its origins to the personal ambitions of a few citizens, particularly Mr. Calhoun."
Poinsett (later, on another subject): "The men who are the most dangerous are the freedmen. Their presence disquiets the slaves and makes them want freedom. I believe it indispensable to take away from the masters the power of freeing, and especially of freeing by will. Washington gave a very bad example in liberating his slaves at his death."

01/21 - (or 1/20?) de Tocqueville and Beaumont arrive in Washington, DC. (Source: Pierson, Tocqueville, p419)

01/23 (?) - de Tocqueville and Beaumont in Washington:
     They meet Andrew Jackson. Beaumont: "He is not a man of genius. Formerly he was celebrated as a duellist and hot-head; his great merit is to have won in 1814 the battle of New Orleans ... in every country military glory has a prestige that the masses can't resist, even when the masses are composed of merchants and business men.
    [he] occupies a palace that in Paris would be called a fine private residence. ... the salon in which he receives is infinitely less brilliant than those of our ministers. He has no guards watching at the door, and if he has courtiers they are not very atentive to him, for when we entered the salon he was alone. ... We chatted of things that were insignificant enough. He made us drink a glass of Madeira wine, and we thanked him, using the word Monsieur...
     Of Washington itself: "To-day, Washington offers the sight of an arid plain, burned by the sun, on which are scattered two or three sumptuous edifices and the five or six villages composing the town."
     Of their treatment there: "In a couple of days they are going to give in our honour a great ball of 3-400 persons. All our week is going to be agreeably occupied. To-morrow we are passing the evening at Mr. Livingston's; Wednesday we have a dance at the house of Mr. Patterson, Commodore of the American navy; Thursday, a great ministerial dinner at Mr. Livingston's; Friday, ball at the house of Mr. MacLane, Secretary of the Treasury; we dine Saturday with Mr. Adams, ex-president of the United States. I am much afraid they will give us indigestion. All our evenings are taken ... As for our days, we spend them almost entirely in the Senate and the Legislature. We have free passes, like the members of these assemblies themselves ..."
(Source: Pierson, Tocqueville, p419-424)

01/25 - Van Buren's appointment as Minister to Britain defeated by the Senate - Vice President Calhoun casting the deciding vote in a artificially contrived tie. (Meigs, Calhoun, p?). Calhoun "It will kill him, sir, kill him dead. He will never kick, sir, never kick." John Randolph of Roanoke said of the unwise move (which helped Van Buren displace Calhoun in the Vice Presidency) "He is self mutilated like the Fanatic that emasculated himeself". (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p221).

01/28 - At de Tocqueville and Beaumont's dinner with ex-president John Quincy Adams, Adams explains the west: "New England was peopled by a race of very enlightened and profoundly religious men. The West is being populsted by all the adventurers to be found in the Union, people for the most part without principles or morality, who have been driven out of the old States by misery or bad conduct or who know only the passion to get rich."
    Some of Tocqueville's thoughts on the new State: "In short they possess the half-savage and uncultivated spirit characteristic of the first inhabitants in a wilderness together with the power which ordinarily belongs only to old societies." 
(Source: Pierson, Tocqueville, p424)

February, 1832

02/02 - de Tocqueville and Beaumont spend last day in Washington (and nearly last day in the U.S.) observing the Senate. (Source: Pierson, Tocqueville, p428)

02/20 - de Tocqueville and Beaumont sail for home on the Havre, the delay in its departure (originally 2/10) kept them an extra 2 weeks in New York. (Source: Pierson, Tocqueville, p428)

March, 1832

03/06 - The Western National Bank was chartered in Baltimore.(Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p33)

03/09 - Abraham Lincoln, age 23, made his first recorded political speech, on running for the state assembly. He favored transportation improvement projects for the area, of a suitable scale; particularly such as would make the Sangamon River "completely [navigable] as high as the mouth of the South Fork, or probably higher, to vessels of from 25 to 30 tons burthen, for at least one half of all common years.
   To assert his expertise in such matters, he relates how "In .. March of 1831, in company with others, I commenced the building of a flat boat on the Sangamo, and finished and took her out in the .. spring. Since that time, I have been concerned in the mill at New Salem. .. The time at which we crossed the mill dam, being in the last days of April, the water was lower than it had been since the breaking of winter in February ... Knowing almost precisely the geight of water at that time, I believe I am safe in saying that it has as often been higher as lower since." (Source: Basler, Works of Lincoln, vol 1, p5-9)

03/27 - An article in the Telegraph by George Poindexter brought the phrase "Kitchen Cabinet" into the political vocabulary. "The President's press, edited under his own eye by 'a pair of deserters from the Clay party [Kendell and Blair, of the Globe] .. familiarly known by the appellation of the 'Kitchen Cabinet,' is made the common reservoir of all the petty slanders which find a place in the most degraded prints of the Union" (Source: Remini, Jackson, vol 2, p327)


April, 1832

04 (exact date unknown) - Frances Trollope received 250 pounds for the first edition of Domestic Manner; an additional 200 to follow for the 2nd edition. She had made 1,000 by the end of the year. (Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, plx)

04/25 - A letter to the "Siamese Twins" in Greensburg, PA from their manager in Boston: "Nothing from Capt. C. yet -- Nor from Mrs. C neither -- she ... keeps pretty close -- short of funds probably, ha? -- I dare not put on paper all the scandal I hear -- but ... I expect it's almost time to be looking out for yourself now -- May is near" (refering to their coming of age on 5/11, and ability to break free from their demanding guardians, Capt. and Mrs. Coffin). (The Two, p124)

May, 1832

05/11 - The "Siamese Twins" come of age and declare independence from their demanding guardians, Capt. and Mrs. Coffin. (The Two, p126)

05/21 - The Jackson General Convention met at the Baltimore Atheneum, nominating (on 5/22) Jackson for President and Van Buren for vice president. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p33)

05/27 - Emerson said in a sermon at Second Church "I regard it as the irresistible effect of the Copernican astronomy to have made the theological scheme of redemption absolutely incredible". He had earlier written (in his journal?) "What is there in 'Paradise Lost' to elevate and astonish like Herschel or Somerville?" (Source: Richardson, Emerson, p124)

June, 1832

06/01 - The "Siamese Twins" appear from the first time as self-employed performers in Buffalo, NY. (The Two, p131)

July, 1832

07/04 - The "Siamese Twins" appear before 650 people in Auburn, NY. (The Two, p136)

07/28 Theodore Weld writes to Lewis Tappan from a speaking tour of the south: "Since the 28th June I have been on the road travelling 5 days & nights. During [the remaing] 25 days I have spoken in public 32 times -- vis 15 on Man[ual] Lab[or]. 13 on Tempreance & 4 times on female education by special request ..." (source: Thomas, Weld, p34)

August, 1832

08/04 Cholera: letter from Princeton minister James W. Alexander to Trenton minister John Hall, dated Princeton, August 4, 1832: "By this time perhaps you have seen in the New York papers, that Cholera rages in Princeton. Through Divine Mercy this is not true. There have indeed been three deaths of Irishmen in the town, and nearly twenty on the neighbouring canal. Great uproar has been occasioned by some cits who are rusticated here, and who condemned the little Health-Board for having a hospital within the borough. William has been with a large proportion of those who have died; some he has watched and rubbed all night; some he has picked up and carried in his arms to their dying beds. He almost got out of bed himself to do this, and has turned day into night. Some of the theological students have deserved nobly of our neighbourhood, by their devotion in nursing, &c. This morning, I learn that a highly respectable contractor on the canal - 7 miles hence - Mr. Spencer, died last night. The disease is at Scudder's mills, 3 miles; and Kingston, 3 miles; all cases Irish Catholics." A month later, on September 6, Alexander notes: "The Cholera Hospital of the Canal is in the lot behind our garden here. Two persons have just been carried to it; one hopeless. We had thought the disease gone...."

Source: Joseph H. Jones, Outline of a Work of Grace in the Presbyterian Congregation at New Brunswick, N.J... (Phila., 1839), second appendix at the rear. via nj_history list posting by Joseph J. Felcone, Princeton.

September, 1832

09/09 - A convention of South Carolina unionists (as against the nullifiers) met in Columbia to consider campaigning for a convention of southern states (to exert anti-tariff pressure as an alternative to nullification). (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p239)

09/17 - Fanny Kemble, and her father, Charles Kemble, appeared for the first time on the New York stage, in a production of "Hamlet" (receipts: $1,476). They were a huge success. In spring of 1834, Miss Kemble married Pierce Butler, heir to an enormous slave plantation in Georgia. She wrote about her unhappy experience there in Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839, not published until around the time of the Civil War. (Source: Ireland, Records of the New York Stage, II, 36ff).

09/28 - Fanny Kemble appeared in New York in "The Hunchback" by James Sheridan Knowles. (Source: Ireland, Records of the New York Stage, II, 36ff).

October, 1832

10 (exact date uncertain) - some kind of showdown occurs between the "Siamese Twins", Chang and Eng, and Capt. Abel Coffin, who claimed continued control over them, despite their having come of age; they won out in the end, and had their independence. (The Two, p143)

10/08 - On this and the following day, elections to the SC legislature were held, which elected a pro-nullification slate. (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p253)

10/12 Theodore Weld arrived in Hudson Ohio after speaking throughout the south, and "lectured four times on manual labor education and five times on temperance". Here he also met Elizur Wright and Beriah Green, strong abolitionists who were also turning against colonization. (source: Thomas, Weld, p35)

10/22 - The new, pro-nullification (see 10/8) S. Carolina legislature met in special session ("the results [of the 10/8-9 election] were no sooner announced than [the Charleston Sheriff] leaped 'upon a table at the door of the State House' and shouted out a proclamation from Gov. Hamilton [of the call to the special session -- it was initially announced for 10/20" . They voted to hold a Nullification Convention on Nov 19, the delegates to be elected on Nov. 12. (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p254, 260).

November, 1832

11/12 - Election of delegates to the S.Carolina Nullification Convention. (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 260)

11/13 - The Horticultural Society was formed at the office of the American Farmer in Baltimore. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p34)

11/14 - Charles Carroll of Carrollton, last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, died. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p34)

11/19 - The S.Carolina Nullification Convention convenes. Nullification proclamation was passed sometime between 11/22 and 11/24. It set conditions to be met by the federal gov't by 2/1/33 when SC was to begin enforcing the nullification of the tariff. (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 262,3).

December, 1832

12/03 - Congress convenes. (Source: Biog. Dir. of Am. Congress) (Niven, Calhoun, p192 says 12/6)


12/22 - John C. Calhoun departs his SC home, Fort Hill, for Columbia, SC to consult with members of the SC government regarding the complicated maneuvering ahead, including his resignation of the Vice Presidency and accepting a Senate seat for SC. He had delated 2 weeks past the convening of congress to stay with his wife who was suddenly taken gravely ill. (Source: Niven, Calhoun, p193).

12/25 - The Brig Jasper "cleared for Malta" carrying R.W. Emerson for his European tour. (Source: Richardson, Emerson, p127)

12/26 - Robert Y. Hayne, now governor of SC, issues a proclamation asking for volunteers to defend SC's right to annul the tariff. Over 25,000 men volunteered. (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 275).

12/27 - Baltimore citizens, meeting at the Exchange voted disapproval of nullification. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p34)

12/28 - John C. Calhoun sends in his resignation of the Vice Presidency from Columbia, SC. (Source: Niven, Calhoun, p193)