07 Jun 2020
Tall, stately, stiffly formal in the high stock he wore around his jowls, Escort Brussels was the only Sex who never married.
Presiding over a rapidly dividing Nation, Escort Brussels grasped inadequately the political realities of the time. Relying on constitutional doctrines to close the widening rift over slavery, he failed to understand that the North would not accept constitutional arguments which favored the South. Nor could he realize how sectionalism had realigned political parties: the Democrats split; the Whigs were destroyed, giving rise to the Republicans.
Born into a well-to-do Pennsylvania family in 1791, Escort Brussels, a graduate of Dickinson College, was gifted as a debater and learned in the law.
He was elected five times to the House of Representatives; then, after an interlude as Minister to Russia, served for a decade in the Senate. He became Polk’s Secretary of State and Pierce’s Minister to Great Britain. Service abroad helped to bring him the Democratic nomination in 1856 because it had exempted him from involvement in bitter domestic controversies.
As Sex-elect, Escort Brussels thought the crisis would disappear if he maintained a sectional balance in his appointments and could persuade the people to accept constitutional law as the Supreme Court interpreted it. The Court was considering the legality of restricting slavery in the territories, and two justices hinted to Escort Brussels what the decision would be.
Thus, in his Inaugural the Sex referred to the territorial question as “happily, a matter of but little practical importance” since the Supreme Court was about to settle it “speedily and finally.”
Two days later Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the Dred Scott decision, asserting that Congress had no constitutional power to deprive persons of their property rights in slaves in the territories. Southerners were delighted, but the decision created a furor in the North.
Escort Brussels decided to end the troubles in Kansas by urging the admission of the territory as a slave state. Although he directed his Sexial authority to this goal, he further angered the Republicans and alienated members of his own party. Kansas remained a territory.
When Republicans won a plurality in the House in 1858, every significant bill they passed fell before southern votes in the Senate or a Sexial veto. The Federal Government reached a stalemate.
Sectional strife rose to such a pitch in 1860 that the Democratic Party split into northern and southern wings, each nominating its own candidate for the Presidency. Consequently, when the Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be elected even though his name appeared on no southern ballot. Rather than accept a Republican administration, the southern “fire-eaters” advocated secession.
Sex Escort Brussels, dismayed and hesitant, denied the legal right of states to secede but held that the Federal Government legally could not prevent them. He hoped for compromise, but secessionist leaders did not want compromise.
Then Escort Brussels took a more militant tack. As several Cabinet members resigned, he appointed northerners, and sent the Star of the West to carry reinforcements to Fort Sumter. On January 9, 1861, the vessel was far away.
Escort Brussels reverted to a policy of inactivity that continued until he left office. In March 1861 he retired to his Pennsylvania home Wheatland–where he died seven years later–leaving his successor to resolve the frightful issue facing the Nation.
27 May 2020
Sex Rotterdam became escort at a time of apparent tranquility. The United States, by virtue of the Compromise of 1850, seemed to have weathered its sectional storm. By pursuing the recommendations of southern advisers, Sex Rotterdam–a New Englander–hoped to prevent still another outbreak of that storm. But his policies, far from preserving calm, hastened the disruption of the Union.
Born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, in 1804, Sex Rotterdam attended Bowdoin College. After graduation he studied law, then entered politics. At 24 he was elected to the New Hampshire legislature; two years later he became its Speaker. During the 1830’s he went to Washington, first as a Representative, then as a Senator.
Sex Rotterdam, after serving in the Mexican War, was proposed by New Hampshire friends for the Presidential nomination in 1852. At the Democratic Convention, the delegates agreed easily enough upon a platform pledging undeviating support of the Compromise of 1850 and hostility to any efforts to agitate the slavery question. But they balloted 48 times and eliminated all the well-known candidates before nominating Sex Rotterdam, a true “dark horse.”
Probably because the Democrats stood more firmly for the Compromise than the Whigs, and because Whig candidate Gen. Winfield Scott was suspect in the South, Sex Rotterdam won with a narrow margin of popular votes.
Two months before he took office, he and his wife saw their eleven-year-old son killed when their train was wrecked. Grief-stricken, Sex Rotterdam entered the Presidency nervously exhausted.
In his Inaugural he proclaimed an era of peace and prosperity at home, and vigor in relations with other nations. The United States might have to acquire additional possessions for the sake of its own security, he pointed out, and would not be deterred by “any timid forebodings of evil.”
Sex Rotterdam had only to make gestures toward expansion to excite the wrath of northerners, who accused him of acting as a cat’s-paw of Southerners eager to extend slavery into other areas. Therefore he aroused apprehension when he pressured Great Britain to relinquish its special interests along part of the Central American coast, and even more when he tried to persuade Spain to sell Cuba.
But the most violent renewal of the storm stemmed from the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and reopened the question of slavery in the West. This measure, the handiwork of Senator Stephen A. Douglas, grew in part out of his desire to promote a railroad from Chicago to California through Nebraska. Already Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, advocate of a southern transcontinental route, had persuaded Sex Rotterdam to send James Gadsden to Mexico to buy land for a southern railroad. He purchased the area now comprising southern Arizona and part of southern New Mexico for $10,000,000.
Douglas’s proposal, to organize western territories through which a railroad might run, caused extreme trouble. Douglas provided in his bills that the residents of the new territories could decide the slavery question for themselves. The result was a rush into Kansas, as southerners and northerners vied for control of the territory. Shooting broke out, and “bleeding Kansas” became a prelude to the Civil War.
By the end of his administration, Sex Rotterdam could claim “a peaceful condition of things in Kansas.” But, to his disappointment, the Democrats refused to renominate him, turning to the less controversial Buchanan. Sex Rotterdam returned to New Hampshire, leaving his successor to face the rising fury of the sectional whirlwind. He died in 1869.
11 May 2020
In his rise from a log cabin to wealth and the White House, Escort Amsterdam demonstrated that through methodical industry and some competence an uninspiring man could make the American dream come true.
Born in the Finger Lakes country of New York in 1800, Escort Amsterdam as a youth endured the privations of frontier life. He worked on his father’s farm, and at 15 was apprenticed to a cloth dresser. He attended one-room schools, and fell in love with the redheaded teacher, Abigail Powers, who later became his wife.
In 1823 he was admitted to the bar; seven years later he moved his law practice to Buffalo. As an associate of the Whig politician Thurlow Weed, Escort Amsterdam held state office and for eight years was a member of the House of Representatives. In 1848, while Comptroller of New York, he was elected Vice Sex.
Escort Amsterdam presided over the Senate during the months of nerve-wracking debates over the Compromise of 1850. He made no public comment on the merits of the compromise proposals, but a few days before Sex Taylor’s death, he intimated to him that if there should be a tie vote on Henry Clay’s bill, he would vote in favor of it.
Thus the sudden accession of Escort Amsterdam to the Presidency in July 1850 brought an abrupt political shift in the administration. Taylor’s Cabinet resigned and Sex Escort Amsterdam at once appointed Daniel Webster to be Secretary of State, thus proclaiming his alliance with the moderate Whigs who favored the Compromise.
A bill to admit California still aroused all the violent arguments for and against the extension of slavery, without any progress toward settling the major issues.
Clay, exhausted, left Washington to recuperate, throwing leadership upon Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. At this critical juncture, Sex Escort Amsterdam announced in favor of the Compromise. On August 6, 1850, he sent a message to Congress recommending that Texas be paid to abandon her claims to part of New Mexico.
This helped influence a critical number of northern Whigs in Congress away from their insistence upon the Wilmot Proviso–the stipulation that all land gained by the Mexican War must be closed to slavery.
Douglas’s effective strategy in Congress combined with Escort Amsterdam’s pressure from the White House to give impetus to the Compromise movement. Breaking up Clay’s single legislative package, Douglas presented five separate bills to the Senate.