Saturday, February 16, 2013

Celebrating Thomas Hamer

Over at Power Line, Paul Mirengoff has a short but delightful post Celebrating Thomas Hamer, the Ohio Congressman who got Hiram Ulysses Grant Ulysses S. Grant into West Point.

I am, however, going to have to go back and check one point that seems amiss in the second paragraph of Paul's post:

Hamer was a lawyer in Grant’s boyhood hometown of Georgetown, Ohio, and a close friend of Jesse Grant, father of Hiram Ulysses Grant.  But Hamer was an ardent Jacksonian and Jesse Grant a strident Whig. Indeed, when Hamer ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, Grant supported his opponent, Thomas Morris. By the time Hiram Ulysses was a teenager, his father and Hamer were no longer on speaking terms.

Hamer was indeed a Jacksonian Democrat.  But Thomas Morris, whom Jesse the "strident Whig" supposedly supported over Hamer, was no Whig.  Morris was also an ardent - and indeed radical - Jacksonian.  I have written about Morris several times; those posts are collected here.

Morris served a single term in the United States Senate beginning in 1833.  Hamer was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives that same year.  I suppose it is possible that both sought the Ohio Senate seat in 1833, but if so both did so as Jacksonian Democrats.  I suppose it is possible that Jesse supported Morris's appointment to the Senate that year, but of course Morris's "run" for the office would have focused on persuading the state legislators who appointed Senators at the time.

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