REPARTEE. — Robert Tyler addressed a crowd of persons at a recent term of the Northampton Superior Court, in Jackson, N. C. — Being asked who would probably be the nominee of the Democratic National Convention, he replied as follows: —
“Gentlemen, it is difficult to answer that question, but if Calhoun is the nominee, Clay will beat him 190,000 votes — if Van Buren should be selected, Clay will beat him 170,000 votes; but if the administration runs, it will succeed without difficulty. In fact, gentlemen, Clay has his all staked on the hazard of a single die.” “Yes,” interrupted a whole souled Whig, “and he’ll throw sixes, sir, and no mistake.” Bob looked blue, and a hearty laugh repaid the witty repartee.
Robert Tyler (1816-1877) was the son, and personal secretary, of President John Tyler. He was a published poet. Later, he went on to be the Confederate secretary of the treasury. His signature appeared on Confederate paper money.
Calhoun was John C. Calhoun, a Democrat, senator from South Carolina. Van Buren was Martin Van Buren, another Democrat, president of the USA from 1837-1841. “The administration” would be President Tyler, formerly a Whig but thrown out of the Whig party (and not accepted by the Democrats). As it happened, John Tyler wasn’t even considered at the Democratic Nominating Convention. No one at the time of this “witty repartee” could have suspected that the original “Dark Horse,” James K. Polk, would be the Democratic nominee in 1844.
Tomorrow: The ‘Coon Song