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August 11, 1835. I AM now at home in Weakley county. My canvass is over, and the result is known. Contrary to all expectation, I am beaten two hundred and thirty votes, from the best information I can get; and in this instance, I may say, had is the best. My mantle has fallen upon the shoulders of Adam, and I hope he may wear it with becoming dignity, and never lose sight of the welfare of the nation, for the purpose of elevating a few designing politicians to the head of the heap. The rotten policy pursued by "the Government" cannot last long; it will either work its own downfall, or the downfall of the republic, soon, unless the people tear the seal from their eyes, and behold their danger time enough to avert the ruin.
I wish to inform the people of these United States what I had to contend against, trusting that the expose I shall make will be a caution to the people not to repose too much power in the hands of a single man, though he should be "the greatest and the best." — I bad, as I have already said, Mr. Adam Huntsman for my competitor, aided by the popularity of both Andrew Jackson and governor Carroll and the whole strength of the Union Bank at Jackson. I have been told by good men, that some of the managers of the bank on the days of the election were heard say, That they would give twenty-five dollars a vote for votes enough to elect Mr. Huntsman. This is a pretty good price for a vote, and in ordinary times a round dozen might be got for the money.
I have always believed, since Jackson removed the deposites, that his whole object was to place the treasury where he could use it to influence elections; and I do believe lie is determined to sacrifice every dollar of the treasury to make the Little Flying Dutchman his successor. If this is not my creed I wish I may be shot. For fourteen years since I have been a candidate I never saw such means used to defeat any candidate, as were put in practice against me on this occasion. There was a disciplined band of judges and officers to hold the elections at almost every poll. Of late years they begin to find out that there's an advantage in this, even in the west. Some officers held the election, and at the same time had nearly all they were worth bet on the election. Such judges I should take it are like the handle of a jug, all on one side; and I am told it doesn't require much schooling to make the tally list correspond to a notch with the ballot box, provided they who make up the returns have enough loose tickets in their breeches pockets. I have no doubt that I was completely rascalled out of my election, and I do regret that duty to myself and to my country compels me to expose such villany.
Well might Governor Poindexter exclaim "Ah! my country, what degradation thou hast fallen into!" Andrew Jackson was, during my election canvass, franking the extra Globe with a prospectus in it to every post office in this district, and upon one occasion he had my mileage and pay as a member drawn up and sent to this district, to one of his minions, to have it published just a few days before the election. This is what I call small potatoes and few of a hill. He stated that I had charged mileage for one thousand miles and that it was but seven hundred and fifty miles, and held out the idea that I had taken pay for the same mileage that Mr. Fitzgerald had taken, when it was well known that he charged thirteen hundred miles from here to Washington, and he and myself both live in the same county. It is somewhat remarkable how this fact should have escaped the keen eye of "the Government."
The General's pet, Mr. Grundy, charged for one thousand miles from Nashville to Washington, and it was sanctioned by the legislature, I suppose because he would huzza! for Jackson; and because I think proper to refrain from huzzaing until he goes out of office, when I shall give a screamer, that will be heard from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, or my name's not Crockett — for this reason he came out openly to electioneer against me. I now say, that the oldest man living never heard of the President of a great nation to come down to open electioneering for his successor. It is treating the nation as if it was the property of a single individual, and he had the right to bequeath it to whom he pleased — the same as a patch of land for which he had the patent. It is plain to be seen that the poor superannuated old man is surrounded by a set of horse leeches, who will stick to him while there is a drop of blood to be got, and their maws are so capacious that they will never get full enough to drop off. The Land office, the Post office, and the Treasury itself, may all be drained, and wet shall still find them craving for more. They use him to promote their own private interest, and for all his sharp sight, he remains as blind as a dead lion to the jackals who are tearing him to pieces. In fact, I do believe he is a perfect tool in their hands, ready to be used to answer any purpose to promote either their interest or gratify their ambition.
I come within two hundred and thirty votes of being elected, notwithstanding I had to contend against "the greatest and the best," with the whole power of the Treasury against me. The Little Flying Dutchman will no doubt calculate upon having a true game cock in Mr. Huntsman, but if he doesn't show them the White feather before the first session is over, I agree never to be set down for a prophet, that's all. I am gratified that I have spoken the truth to the people of my district regardless of consequences. I would not be compelled to bow down to the idol for a seat in Congress during life. I have never known what it was to sacrifice my own judgment to gratify any party, and I have no doubt of the time being close at hand when I will be rewarded for letting my tongue speak what my heart thinks. I have suffered myself to be politically sacrificed to save my country from ruin and disgrace, and if I am never again elected, I will have the gratification to know that I have done my duty. — Thus much I say in relation to the manner in which my downfall was effected, and in laying it before the public, "I take the responsibility." I may add in the words of the man in the play, "Crockett's occupation's gone."
Two weeks and more have elapsed since I wrote the foregoing account of my defeat, and I confess the thorn still rankles, not so much on my own account as the nation's, for I had set my heart on following up the travelling deposites until they should be fairly gathered to their proper nest, like young chickens, for I am aware of the vermin that are on the constant look-out to pounce upon them, like a cock at a blackberry, which they would have done long since, if it had not been for a few such men as Webster, Clay, and myself. It is my parting advice, that this matter be attended to without delay, for before long the little chickens, will take wing, and even the powerful wand of the magician of Kinderhook will be unable to point out the course they have flown.
As my country no longer requires my services, I have made up my mind to go to Texas. My life has been one of danger, toil, and privation, but these difficulties I had to encounter at a time when I considered it nothing more than right good sport to surmount them; but now I start anew upon my own hook, and God only grant that it may be strong enough to support the weight that may be hung upon it. I have a new row to hoe, a long and a rough one, but come what will I'll go ahead.
A few days ago I went to a meeting of my constituents. My appetite for politics was at one time just about as sharp set as a saw mill, but late events has given me something of a surfeit, — more than I could well digest; still habit they say is second natur, and so I went, and gave them a piece of my mind touching "the Government" and the succession, by way of a codicil to what I have often said before.
I told them to keep a sharp look-out for the deposites, for it requires an eye as insinuating as a dissecting:, knife to see what safety there is in placing one million of the public funds in some little country shaving shop with no more than one hundred thousand dollars capital. This bank, we will just suppose, without being too particular, is in the neighbourhood of some of the public lands,
I where speculators, who have every thing to gain and nothing to lose, swarm like crows about carrion. They buy the United States' land upon a large scale, get discounts from the aforesaid shaving shop, which are made upon a large scale also, upon the United States' funds; they pay the whole purchase money with these discounts, and get a clear title to the land, so that when the shaving shop comes to make a Flemish account of her transactions, "the Government" will discover that he has not only lost the original deposite, but a large body of the public lands to boot. So much for taking the responsibility.
I told them that they were hurrying along a broad M'Adamized road to make the Little Flying Dutchman the successor, but they would no sooner accomplish that end, than they would be obliged to buckle to, and drag the Juggernaut through many narrow and winding and out-of-the-way paths, and hub deep in the mire. That they reminded me of the Hibernian, who bet a glass of grog with a hod carrier, that he could not carry him in his hod up a ladder to the third story of a new building. He seated himself in the hod, and the other mounted the ladder with his load upon his shoulder. He ascended to the second story pretty steadily, but as he approached the third his strength failed him, he began to totter, and Pat was so delighted at the prospect of winning his bet, that he clapped his hands and shouted, "By the powers the grog's mine," and he made such a stir in the hod, that I wish I may be shot if he didn't win it, but he broke his neck in the fall. And so I told my constituents that they might possibly gain the victory, but in doing so, they would ruin their country.
I told them moreover of, my services, pretty straight up and down, for a man may be allowed to speak on such subjects when others are about to forget them; and I also told them of the manner in which I had been knocked down and dragged out, and that I did not consider it a fair fight any how they could fix it. I put the ingredients in the cup pretty strong I tell you, and I concluded my speech by telling them that I was done with politics for the present, and that they might all go to hell, and I would go to Texas.
When I returned home I felt a sort of cast down at the change that had taken place in my fortunes, and sorrow, it is said, will make even an oyster feel poetical. I never tried my hand at that sort of writing, but on this particular occasion such was my state of feeling, that I began to fancy myself inspired; so I took pen in hand, and as usual I went ahead. When I had got fairly through, my poetry looked as zigzag as a worm fence; the lines wouldn't tally, no how; so I showed them to Peleg Longfellow, who has a first-rate reputation with us for that sort of writing, having some years ago made a carrier's address for the Nashville Banner, and Peleg lopped off some lines, and stretched out others.; but I wish I may be shot if I don't rather think he has made it worse than it was when I placed it in his hands. It being my first, and no doubt last piece of poetry, I will print it in this place, as it will serve to express my feelings on leaving my home, my neighbours, and friends and country, for a strange land, as fully as I could in plain prose.
Farewell to the mountains whose mazes to me
Were more beautiful far than Eden could be;
No fruit was forbidden, but Nature had spread
Her bountiful board, and her children were fed.
The hills were our garners — our herds wildly grew,
And Nature was shepherd and husbandman too.
I felt like a monarch, yet thought like a man,
As I thank'd the Great Giver, and worshipp'd his plan.
The home I forsake where my offspring arose:
The graves I forsake where my children repose.
The home I redeem'd from the savage and wild;
The home I have loved as a father his child;
The corn that I planted, the fields that I clear'd,
The flocks that I raised, and the cabin I rear'd;
The wife of my bosom — Farewell to ye all!
In the land of the stranger I rise — or I fall.
Farewell to my country! — I fought for thee well,
When the savage rush'd forth like the demons from hell.
In peace or in war I have stood by thy side
My country, for thee I have lived — would have died!
But I am cast off — my career now is run,
And I wander abroad like the prodigal son
Where the wild savage roves, and the broad prairies spread,
The fallen — despised — will again go ahead!