• This voting record of the electoral college in the presidential election of 1824 shows that Andrew Jackson earned more votes than each of his opponents, but not a majority of the 261 total votes. The House of Representatives was empowered to elect the president in such circumstances and, rather than endorse Jackson’s win, they voted in favor of John Quincy Adams. Jackson perceived this as evidence of elitist corruption. Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration.

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    Tally of the 1824 Electoral College Vote
    • Creator
    • U.S. Senate. 3/4/1789-.
    • Description
    • This tally sheet documents the last presidential election in which no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, throwing the election into the House of Representatives. John Quincy Adams won the presidency over Andrew Jackson.
    • Rights
    • Unrestricted.
    • Partner
    • National Archives and Records Administration
    • Contributing Institution
    • Center for Legislative Archives

  • Andrew Jackson earned fame as a military commander in the 1810s in the Creek War and War of 1812, particularly after his courageous and well-executed victory at the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson continued his military career during the First Seminole War, in which he led attacks against Native American settlements and self-emancipated African American communities in Spanish Florida. This 1833 print depicts Jackson as a distinguished military hero, reinforcing the prevailing public persona of President Jackson. Courtesy of National Portrait Gallery via Smithsonian Institution.

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    Andrew Jackson
    • Date
    • c. 1833
    • Creator
    • Risso & Browne Lithography Company, active 1832 - 1838?
    • Rights
    • National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.
    • Partner
    • Smithsonian Institution
    • Contributing Institution
    • National Portrait Gallery

  • The election of 1828 featured some of the earliest negative campaign messaging. Jackson’s opponents tried to use his military record against him, highlighting incidents of ruthless killing and violence in a series of “coffin broadsides.” This one memorializes David Morrow, a soldier who was executed as a deserter by the order of Andrew Jackson during the Creek War, and implores voters to consider Jackson’s “bloody deed” before election day. Courtesy of Missouri History Museum via Missouri Hub.

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    Coffin broadside printed to discredit presidential candidate, Andrew Jackson, who had approved the execution of mutinous militiaman, David Morrow, in 1815, July 24, 1828
    • Description
    • Decorated with a skull and crossbones, the broadside reads, ?Here lie the mortal remains of David Morrow, a brave and conscientious soldier in the Militia of the Creek War. His term of service had expired, and he returned to his home justified by the... more
      Decorated with a skull and crossbones, the broadside reads, ?Here lie the mortal remains of David Morrow, a brave and conscientious soldier in the Militia of the Creek War. His term of service had expired, and he returned to his home justified by the officers of every grade. Fearing that his legal tour of duty had possibly not expired, he voluntarily returned to camp, expressed great contrition for his errors, if any had been committed, and thereupon received from his general a written pardon. He was nevertheless arrested, tried, and shot to death, by the orders of General Andrew Jackson, on the 21st February, 1815. Oh! Reader! whoever you are, let not the splendour of military renown blot out from your indignant recollection this bloody deed, done by a hero! The mites of widows and orphans, have contributed to raise this slab, to the memory of a brave man, on the 4th July, 1828.? less
    • Rights
    • For rights relating to this resource, visit http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/176269.
    • Partner
    • Missouri Hub
    • Contributing Institution
    • Missouri History Museum

  • In addition to his career as a military commander, Jackson was a wealthy landowner and planter. Jackson enslaved hundreds of people on his 1,000 acre plantation, The Hermitage.  Betty, pictured here with two of her great-grandchildren, was enslaved at The Hermitage. In this photo, she sits outside a ramshackle cabin that served as housing for enslaved families on Jackson’s property. Courtesy of Hermitage via Digital Library of Tennessee.

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    Betty Jackson in front of a slave cabin with two little girls
    • Date
    • 1867
    • Description
    • The photo is probably of Betty Jackson, former slave of President Andrew Jackson in front of one of the brick slave cabins at The Hermitage. The two children are her great grandchildren. Betty is probably between 75 and 80 years old. She is wearing a... more
      The photo is probably of Betty Jackson, former slave of President Andrew Jackson in front of one of the brick slave cabins at The Hermitage. The two children are her great grandchildren. Betty is probably between 75 and 80 years old. She is wearing a jacket that appears to be made of silk, possibly from a discarded Hermitage drape. The photo is from a stereo view. less
    • Standardized Rights Statement
    • http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/
    • Partner
    • Digital Library of Tennessee
    • Contributing Institution
    • Hermitage

Andrew Jackson had some insider credentials when he first ran for president in 1824; he had briefly served in Congress and as territorial governor. However, Jackson defined his candidacy not on his political experience but on his outsider status—a “man of the people” who proved his presidential qualifications on the battlefield, not the ballot, and who appealed to new white male voters, many recently enfranchised as states lifted property qualifications for suffrage rights during the early 1800s. Despite Jackson’s “common man” appeal, he was in fact a wealthy landowner whose fortune was wholly dependent on the labor of hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children.

The election of 1824 was a turning point in the evolution of the two-party system. Four candidates, each largely bolstered by geographically sectional support, all ran for the same Democratic Republican party. Andrew Jackson won more votes than his opponents but, since Jackson failed to win a majority of votes, the power to elect the president went to the House of Representatives. There, Jackson was defeated by the alleged insider political alliance of his opponents, Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams. House Speaker Henry Clay supported second place finisher John Quincy Adams, who won the presidency.

The 1824 defeat heavily shaped Jackson’s 1828 campaign. Jackson’s supporters doubled down on his image as military hero and favorite of the American people, while his opponents used his violent military record against him. In 1828, Jackson’s victory was decisive, ushering in the era of Jacksonian Democracy, which redefined the role of the “common” (white) man in American politics.