Matthew G. Schoenbachler

in Murder and Madness

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125664
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135373 | DOI:

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On Tuesday, May 21, 1824, a legislative special committee submitted a report that excoriated Clark for advocating principles “incompatible with the constitutional powers of the Legislative department of this government, subversive of the best interests of the people, and calculated in their consequences to disturb the tranquility of the country”. The general elections in the summer of 1824 served as a referendum on both the judiciary's assault on the relief program and the majority party's hyperpopulism. Sharp's position on the reorganization act revived the old charge that he was a “trimmer”, a political “Proteus” who “turned completely round in politics, to catch the popular breeze”. The usual frenzy of Kentucky politics was compounded by both the proximate issue of the court battle and the deeper antipathies that had been bred and nursed in the previous six or seven years. After initially planning to kill Sharp during the August elections, Beauchamp claimed to have been forced to postpone the assassination until early November, when the General Assembly convened. An example of Jereboam Beauchamp's routine misdirection is shown, and the chapter points anew to the difficulty in unraveling the Kentucky Tragedy.

Keywords: Jereboam Beauchamp; Kentucky Tragedy; Kentucky politics; Sharp; assassination; elections

Chapter.  10658 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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