Resolved,That we believe with General Jackson (as set forth in his inaugural address in 1829,) “that the recent demonstration of public sentiment inscribes on the list of Executive duties in characters too legible to be overlooked, the task of reform, which will require particularly, the correction of those abuses that have brought the patronage of the Federal Government into conflict with the freedom of elections, and the counteraction of those causes, which have disturbed the rightful course of appointment and have placed or continued power in unfaithful and incompetent hands.”2
Resolved, That we believe a derogation from those principles is anti-republican and should not be tolerated by a free people.3
1On December 23, 1836, John Dawson introduced the resolution in the House of Representatives. On December 24, representatives offered amendments to the resolution, and the House tabled the resolution and the proposed amendments until the first day of the next session of the General Assembly, by a vote of 49 yeas to 17 nays, with Abraham Lincoln voting nay.
Illinois House Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 119-21.
“Inaugural Address of the President of the United States, March 4, 1829,” in Veto Messages, Protest &c. of Andrew Jackson 2nd ed., (Baltimore: Edward J. Coale, 1835), 3.
3Dawson introduced this resolution immediately after the House of Representatives passed a resolution endorsing Andrew Jackson and his administration and disavowing charges made against him in Governor Joseph Duncan’s annual message. One of the charges Duncan levied against the president was that he abused his patronage and appointment powers.
In amendments to the resolution, John J. Hardin and Albert G. Leary argued that it was inexpedient and “injudicious to consume the time of this House...in the disquisition of abstract principles of national policy” while the House was facing important topics like the internal improvement system and public education. Hardin had offered a similar amendment to the resolution endorsing President Jackson.
Illinois House Journal. 1836. 10th G. A., 1st sess., 15-26, 102-19, 120, 121.
Printed Transcription, 1 page(s), Journal of the House of Representatives of the Tenth General Assembly of the State of Illinois, at Their First Session (Vandalia, IL: William Walters, 1836), 119