James Israel Standifer

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This must read article was published in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly in the Summer, 1991 edition.  It was written by Steven D. Byas, a descendant, and contributed to this web site by him.  Many thanks, Steven!

James Standifer, Sequatchie Valley Congressman

   By 1830, the frontier state of Tennessee had developed extraordinary political clout. Not only had Andrew Jackson routed President John Quincy Adams in the the election of 1828, the state's congressional delegation was exceptionally dynamic.  The case has been made that, "no state had a stronger representation in Congress than Tennessee possessed."1

    The Tennessee delegation consisted of John Bell, John Blair, David Crockett, Robert Desha, Jacob Isaacs, Cave Johnson, Pryor Lea, James K. Polk, and James Israel Standifer.  Crockett achieved historical immortality with his heroic defense of the Alamo in 1836, while John Bell served as Speaker of the House of Representatives before his run for president in 1860 on the Constitutional Union Party ticket.  James Polk won the presidency in 1844.

    Felix Grundy and Hugh Lawson White represented Tennessee in the U. S. Senate at the time.  The presidential candidacy of White in 1836 split the Democratic party in Tennessee, giving birth to a Tennessee Whig party in Tennessee Whig party that carried the state in presidential elections for the next twenty years.2

   President Jackson demanded that the Tennessee Democratic party support his vice-president, Martin Van Buren, in the 1836 campaign.  From a review of the historical record, it is clear that Congressman James Standifer, who represented the Sequatchie Valley just west of modern Chattanooga, was the chief instigator of the presidential campaign of Hugh Lawson White.3

   Standifer and White were long-time friends and political allies.  James White, the father of Hugh White, and William Standifer, the father of James Standifer, had served together in the militia of Hawkins County, North Carolina (now Tennessee), in the 1790s.   James White, the founder of Knoxville, and later a hero of the War of 1812, was first major, while William Standifer served as a lieutenant.4

    Congressman James Standifer descended from an enterprising family with an avid interest in public affairs.   Standifer's ancestry has been trace by several genealogists to John Standifer, who was in Virginia by 1661.  His son, John Standifer, junior, married into the prominent Skelton family in 1711 with his marriage to Margaret Skelton.5

    While no documented link has been found, it is probably that Margaret Skelton was related to Bathurst Skelton, Thomas Jefferson's college roommate. When Skelton died, Jefferson married his widow.   There is no question that the Standifers took great pride in the Skelton name.   Several Standifer children were given the Skelton name in some form.   Congressman Standifer named one of his own children, born about 1815, Skelton Carroll Standifer.6

    James Standifer, Senior, the son of John Standifer, Junior, and the grandfather of Congressman James Standifer, is credited with owning a large race track on his 3,000 acre plantation.   In fact, the history of Franklin County, Virginia, states that "the Standifers brought to America the English Gentlemen's sport of breeding and training fast horses."7  When Congressman Standifer enlisted for duty in the War of 1812, he provided his own horse.8

    At the age of 62, James Standifer (the congressman's grandfather) renounced allegiance to the King of Great Britain.  His son William served in the Revolutionary War as an ensign (second lieutenant).9

    Moving to a western part of North Carolina which eventually became the state of Tennessee, William Standifer quickly became a pillar of the community.  He was an officer in the militia, and a commissioner to select the site of a court house, prison, and stocks for Anderson County.   Anderson County was created in 1801 from fractions of Knox and Grainger Counties.   Knox County had been created from fractions of Greene and Hawkins counties in 1792.   By 1802, William Standifer owned three slaves.  In 1803, he was a candidate for the Tennessee legislature.10

    William's son, James Israel Standifer, was born in Virginia, most likely in 1782.  The Standifers moved to the area of around Knoxville in the 1790s and James married a cousin, Patsy Standifer, on February 2, 1801.11

    About 1805, after treaties had been made with the Cherokee, the Standifer family moved into the Sequatchie Valley.   The Sequatchie Valley has been described as a "canoe shaped bowl" and merges into the valley of the Tennessee River near the point where the boundary between Georgia and Alabama runs into the Tennessee line.  The Cumberland Plateau lies to the west, with Walden Ridge lying to the east.  The Sequatchie River flows into the Tennessee River two miles south of Jasper, Tennessee.12

    James Standifer settled into the life of a typical Tennessee farmer, purchasing slaves as his farming enterprise expanded.  He also inherited a male slave when his father William died in 1828.   James and Patsy had several children, including William, Luke, Jesse, Skelton Carroll, James Madison and Eliza Ann.13

    Standifer's life as a frontier farmer was interrupted with the outbreak of war with Great Britain in 1812.   He enlisted as a private in a regiment of the East Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Militia commanded by Colonel John Brown.  Elected as company captain, he was later reimbursed by General Cocke for the "use and risk of his horse."  Attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel, Standifer was present, along with General James White, Hugh White's father, when Major General Andrew Jackson won his spectacular victory at New Orleans.14

    In an age when military experience was almost a prerequisite to a successful political career, Standifer had his ticket.  His rise from private to lieutenant colonel indicated a capacity for leadership.  Returning from the war, James Standifer plunged quickly into politics, winning election in 1815 to the Tennessee legislature, representing Anderson, Bledsoe, Rhea and Roane Counties.  In 1823, he won election to Congress as a staunch Jacksonian Democrat.15  Despite the statement in the the Biographical Directory of Congress that Standifer was elected "as a Whig" in 1823, 16 it is clear that Standifer did not become a Whig until after his split with President Jackson in the dispute over White's presidential bid.  No Whig party existed until the 1830s.

   Standifer remained close to Senator Hugh White throughout his political career, but he also developed a close relationship with a fellow Tennessee congressman, young James Knox Polk.  Not only did the two often exchange letters, State Senator James W. Wyly wrote a letter in 1833 to Standifer and Polk jointly.  A close reading of the letter reveals that Standifer and Polk were intimate political allies.  Wyly asked the two Tennessee congressmen, "Did Coln. Standifer procure Coln. Jacobs & Doct. Cock to write the piece against his opponent James T. Green which lately appeared in the Knoxville Register?"17

    Such sharing of "political intelligence" in a joint letter indicates that Standifer and Polk were politically close in 1833.  It was also evident upon reading Wyly's letter that he knew of the support of both Polk and Standifer for President Jackson's stand against nullification in South Carolina.18

    In August of 1834, with the split over the candidacy of Senator White still in the future, Standifer wrote to Polk from Standifer's Mount Airy, Tennessee, home.  After discussing the good condition of his crops, Standifer informed his friend about the political talk at two courthouses in the congressional district.  Alluding to the recent contest of Polk against fellow Tennessean John Bell for Speaker of the House, Standifer assured Polk that he had not seen "the first man but what says they would rather have James K. Polk's standing that John Bell's Speakers place and all."19  Despite a college education at East Tennessee College (the forerunner of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville), Standifer used the poor grammar typical of his day.20

    A review of the record of debates in Congress indicates that Standifer usually did not take part in floor debate, and rarely initiated legislation.  He did ask for an amendment on an appropriations bill to give $15,000 to some Tennesseans who volunteered to fight the Seminoles in Florida.  Despite his speaking "at length," his motion failed, 38-98.21

    Before the White controversy, there is not the slightest indication that Standifer was siding with John Bell against President Jackson and Congressman Polk.  On the contrary, Standifer wrote Polk, "The people are for the man that stands up boldly for the President and his measures.  They are for no other sort of man these times."22   An experienced and talented politician, Standifer surely took note of Jackson's incredible popularity when he moved to oppose the President in 1835 through 1836, and understood the potential political consequences.

    Standifer had stood with Jackson on almost all the great questions of the day.  Standifer voted for the "Force Act," which authorized President Jackson to use force to insure the tariff was collected in South Carolina.23  Like Jackson, Standifer supported a lower tariff rate, but he could not support the divisive "nullification doctrine."24

   While both White and Standifer later differed with Jackson over the use of force in removing the Cherokee, Standifer supported passage of the Indian Resettlement Act of 1830, as desired by President Jackson.  Written by Senator White, the bill authorized the President to enter into negotiations with the "civilized tribes" from the southeastern states for the purpose of securing treaties to "re-settle" the Indians west of the Mississippi River.25

    Standifer supported the Maysville Road Bill, although it was vetoed by President Jackson.26   Standifer had generally opposed internal improvements financed by the federal government, as did Jackson.  The bill would have allowed the expenditure of federal funds to build a road from Maysville to Lexington, Kentucky.  Jackson vetoed the bill, citing lack of constitutional authority for federal funds to build intrastate roads.   Many historian have questioned Jackson's sincerity, however, since he had previously signed legislation permitting the building of intrastate roads.  Kentucky was the home state of Jackson's despised rival, Henry Clay, and it is at least possible that Jackson allowed the personal vendetta to reinforce his "constitutional objections." Standifer's vote on the Maysville bill indicated, however, that he, while generally supportive of the general principles of Jacksonian Democracy, was prepared to differ should circumstances dictate.

    The most controversial issue of the day proved to be the debate over the re-chartering of the Second Bank of the United States.  The Democratic party opposed the bank on constitutional grounds.   The bank was also an example of a chartered monopoly, opposed by most Democrats.   Bank President Nicholas Biddle brought the recharter question up four years early, partly to help the presidential campaign of Henry Clay.  Standifer's friend and political ally, Hugh Lawson White, led the opposition in the Senate.  Jackson vetoed the bill, and James Standifer voted to sustain the veto.27

    It is clear, the, that James Standifer was not a Whig until later in his political career.  As Andrew Jackson neared the end of his second term, Standifer would have been considered a typical and loyal Jacksonian Democrat.  Two issues led to Standifer's split from Andrew Jackson to join the rival Whig party: the removal of the Cherokee, and the presidential candidacy of Hugh Lawson White.

    Following Jackson's re-election in 1832, many Tennessee political leaders began to consider his successor, since it was obvious that Jackson would not stand for a third term.28   Problems developed, however, because Jackson's vice-president, Martin Van Buren, had little popularity with the Tennessee delegation.  Many suspected that the New Yorker was a closet abolitionist, and in fact, Van Buren did run for president on the Free Soil party in 1844.29

    White had been elected, with Jackson's blessing, to succeed "Old Hickory" in the U. S. Senate in 1824.   White had led the fight against the re-chartering the Second Bank of the United States, and had been the author of the Indian Resettlement Act, both desired by President Jackson.30  Jackson chose to insist on the support of the Van Buren in 1836 as a test of personal and party loyalty.

    Although urged to run in 1834 by several Tennesseans, White expressed no burning desire to be President.31   Perhaps in an effort to discourage White, Jackson announced that should White run, he would make White's name "odious to society" in Tennessee.32   This bold threat appeared to have the opposite of the effect intended.  White also opposed, in principle, the chief executive's attempt to dictate his successor.33

    Congressman Standifer, convinced that Senator White should be the next President of the United States, arranged a meeting of the Tennessee congressional delegation in December of 1834 to get the movement gong.34 It is not likely that Standifer would have taken such a bold step with White's consent.

    What Standifer had not anticipated was the effect of the feud between John Bell and James Polk.  Polk had lost to Bell in a contest for Speaker a few months earlier.  Standifer had supported his friend and ally Polk vigorously in that contest, although White had remained neutral.35   Polk's opposition to White's candidacy surprised Standifer.36

    Polk took the defeat very hard, and began to attack Bell in a very personal manner for the rest of 1834.37   When Standifer asked Polk in the Ways and Means Committee room to attend a meeting to discuss running White for president, Polk declined.  While Polk expressed high regard for Senator White, he told Standifer that he could not collaborate with Bell in anything.  Senator Felix Grundy supported Polk's position.38   Polk also told Standifer that he feared White's candidacy could split the party and play into the hands of the rivals.39

    Despite his personal friendship with Polk, Standifer was determined to persuade White to make a presidential bid, with the united support of the Tennessee congressional delegation.  Therefore, he approached Bell with an invitation to attend the meeting.  As Bell and Standifer walked together along Pennsylvania Avenue on their way to the Capitol, Bell accepted the invitation.

    Standifer's prior support of Polk in the race for Speaker caused Bell to be wary, but Bell recognized the potential benefits to his own political career.  Bell eventually became a leader in the White campaign, leading Polk, Grundy, and President Jackson to believe that Bell had originated the idea.  The idea for the delegation meeting, however, was clearly Standifer's.40

   Bell later admitted that he had not conceived the idea for the delegation meeting to support White.  Congressman Luke Lea of Knoxville, who sat behind Polk on the floor of the House of Representatives, also attempted to convince Polk to attend, but Lea was as unsuccessful as Standifer.41

    Polk and Grundy attempted to convince Standifer that Bell's earlier flirtation with supporting Van Buren indicated that the Speaker was really just playing a "double game."  Standifer told Grundy, "If he (Bell) was playing a double game, I was too old a politician not to catch him."  Standifer had an additional reason to hold the meeting.  He told White, "Another object with me, which I did not disclose, was to ascertain who was playing the double game."42 Standifer feared Polk was seeking a safe political haven in the upcoming battle between White and President Jackson, Tennessee's two most popular politicians.43

    Standifer told White that he had a good reason to believe Polk and Grundy were playing a "double game."   Standifer had heard that Polk, while passing through Pennsylvania, had spoken "in opposition to Judge White."44  (Senator White had served as a judge, along with Andrew Jackson, on the Tennessee Supreme Court).   Standifer had also heard of critical comments Grundy had made against White, but Grundy denied the report, telling Standifer, "No man can say so and tell the truth."45

    At the meeting of the Tennessee congressional delegation, held December 23, 1834, in Washington City, the group decided to ask White's permission to use his name as a candidate for president.46   Polk and Grundy, who had not been in attendance, refused to sign the letter.   Bell began to use their refusal as a means of political attack.47   Standifer told Polk, Grundy, and Congressman Cave Johnson that he objected to Bell's attacks on them.48

    Polk feared that his absence from the meeting would be interpreted that he was "unfriendly to Judge White."49  Polk expressed the hope that Standifer would fairly explain Polk's view, because he considered Standifer "too honorable to refuse."50  Senator Grundy, however, told Polk in June of 1835 that, "I suspect old Standifer has played the dog," and was assisting Bell in the attacks upon Grundy.51

    Polk had made his decision to follow the dictates of President Jackson, while Standifer crossed his Rubicon to support Senator White.

    Events moved quickly.   On January 16, 1835, Congressman William May of Illinois, a Polk political ally, visited Hungerford's boarding house "to see some ladies," but stumbled onto a White caucus.  When he arrived, he was surprised to see Speaker John Bell and some other congressmen in the lobby.  Bell raised the issue of the next presidential campaign with May.  May told Bell that he opposed dividing the party.  At that point, in came Standifer, Luke Lea, and Senator White.52

    While Bell's presence at the caucus indicates that he had thrown in with the White campaign, it is equally clear that the true political intimacy existed with Standifer, Lea, and White.  The political careers of these men were now tied to the 1836 campaign of Hugh Lawson White.

    The resulting campaign split the Democratic party so badly that no Democrat carried the state again until 1856.   Even when Polk won the White House himself in 1844, he failed to carry his home state.53  Tennessee sent no delegates to the Democratic national convention held in Baltimore, Maryland, and one Tennessean, Ed Rucker, who happened to be in Baltimore at the time, cast all of Tennessee's votes for President Jackson's handpicked successor, Martin Van Buren.

    Van Buren won the election nationally, but White won Tennessee by a large margin, even taking Jackson's "Hermitage" precinct.  Jackson expressed determination to destroy the political fortunes of those who had sponsored the White presidential campaign.54   In the congressional elections of 1837, a "warm Jackson man," General William Stone, was pitted against Standifer.55   Standifer was triumphantly re-elected.

    In the Tennessee gubernatorial election, the Polk-Grundy candidate, Robert Armstrong, received 154 votes in Standifer's home Bledsoe County, while the White-Bell candidate, Governor Newton Cannon captured 515 votes.56 This gives a good indication of Standifer's vote-getting strength in his home county of the fourth congressional district.

    The intensity of the White-Van Buren presidential contest probably contributed greatly to the decision of Senator White and Congressman Standifer to oppose the forced removal of the forced removal of the Cherokee.

    Standifer's district bordered the Cherokee Nation, and he took understandable interest in Indian affairs.   He was a witness to the signing of a treaty with the Chickasaw in 1834.57

    Senator White had written the 1830 Indian Removal (or "Resettlement") Act, and Standifer had voted for the bill, along with every other member of the Tennessee congressional delegation, with the sole exception of David Crockett.58

    Although the estrangement with the Jackson Administration surely helped intensify Standifer's eventual opposition to Cherokee removal, there were other factors involved in what could not have been a politically popular position in eastern Tennessee.  An agreement in 1802 between the federal government and the State of Georgia provided that the U. S. government would extinguish Indian title to all lands in the same can be peaceably obtained on reasonable terms."59  It should be noted that the agreement contained nothing about remove (that became an option after the Louisiana Purchase the next year), and certainly nothing about forced removal.

    In 1830, Standifer voted for the bill which allowed the federal government to negotiate for peaceful removal of the Cherokee. Standifer believed, as did an important faction of the Cherokee themselves,60 that removal was in the best interest of the Indians.  In a letter to Indian agent Benjamin F. Currey in March of 1834, Standifer expressed the hope that the removal plan could, "bring a close" to this subject.

    "I am astonished," Standifer wrote, "they should hesitate a moment, for the longer they put it off the worse, for it will be the means of a great number of the poor class almost starving."61

    Despite Standifer's view that the Indians should sign a treaty, and move west, for their own good, he evidently balked at forced removal

    Then, in early 1834, a Cherokee named John Walker wrote to Congressman Standifer with complaints against Cherokee agent Benjamin Currey.  The complaints evidently alleged that Currey had perpetrated frauds in valuing white men's improvements for Cherokees.62   Senator White suggested that Currey was deliberately delaying the removal process so Currey was deliberately delaying the removal process so Currey could continue to draw his salary.  Currey had also been accused of offering Chief John Ross a bribe of $50,000 to accept removal.63

    Standifer informed Currey that he had turned the letters over to the Secretary of War, Lewis Cass, who desired that Currey make "an answer" to the complaint.  Cass also wanted Walker to proved proof of his complaint.64  Currey believed that there existed a "systematic effort to obtain my removal, without giving me an opportunity to meet my accusers." He charged that Standifer was "the individual who countenanced such an effort."65

    Standifer told Ross's brother, Andrew Ross (who unlike John, favored removal), about the charges against Currey. Standifer told Andrew Ross that he was "obliged to lay this before the President."  Ross pleaded with Standifer not to do so because the charges were "malicious, and that to investigate them would ruin the cause of emigration."66

    Andrew Ross wrote Currey that, "Colonel Standifer....always talked in favor of Indian removals, although his acts in this particular gave a death blow to the cause."67

    Standifer opened an investigation into the conduct of officers engaged in the emigration of the Cherokees.68   Major Ridge, a leader of the pro-removal Treaty party, believed the investigation was a "diplomatic expedient" of which John Ross and "his party have ever shown themselves so capable."69

    As the intensity of the political war between Senator White and President Jackson increased, White, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, broke with Jackson's Indian policy, as it related to the Cherokees.  He introduced a resolution requesting the President to negotiate with the State of Georgia for a portion of her territory for the use of the Cherokee.70  Although not adopted, Currey considered it to have been introduced to "raise serious and lasting obstacles to the efforts which have been since made to negotiate a treaty for the removal of those Indians."71

    White believed that Currey had written a letter to Senator Felix Grundy attacking White, to be used to hurt his presidential campaign effort.72 As the presidential campaign turned increasingly bitter, Standifer slid more and more into opposition to Jackson's Indian policy.  James Standifer and John Ross, the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, had two things in common: opposition to Andrew Jackson, and their membership in the Masonic Lodge.73

    When Major Ridge and some other Cherokee leaders became convinced that Ross was leading the Cherokee into destruction with his obstinate anti-treaty policy, they signed the Treaty of New Echota in December, 1835.74  Ross had agreed to a treaty, in principle, they charged, and his delays were simply causing increased suffering in the Nation.75

    Standifer protested against Senate ratification of the treaty on the grounds that it had not been signed by the legally constituted Cherokee government.76

    Finally, upon the request of Chief Ross, Standifer asked for a meeting with President Jackson in September of 1836.  Standifer asked Jackson if he would modify the treaty with "a supplemental article admitting the Ross's and their delegation in as chiefs. "Jackson told Standifer that there would be "no alteration," and that "the treaty is to be religiously fulfilled."77

    Failing to persuade Jackson from any deviation from his course, Standifer, Ross, and Whig Party leader Henry Clay sent a letter to the editor of the Athens, Tennessee newspaper, condemning the removal policy.78   It was to no avail, however.  The Cherokee did face a forced removal eventually--the infamous "Trail of Tears."  By that time, James Standifer was dead.

   wpe1.jpg (6029 bytes)

The ruins of Standifer's home, built around 1820 in Mount Airy, Tennessee

    Following his re-election in triumph in July of 1837, Standifer mounted his horse, bidding goodbye to his wife Patsy and his family for what would be the last time.  Perhaps flushed with his great victory, he told his family that he might just run for president himself in 1840.79

    He stopped at the residence of Colonel Joseph Byrd, a good friend, near Kingston, Tennessee, in Roane County.80   He died, suddenly, on August 20, 1837, at Byrd's home.  The cause of his death is uncertain.  Some sources cite pneumonia, others claim that he was assassinated.81/82 Pneumonia does not fit the description of a "sudden death" often given.  Newspaper accounts neglect to give the cause of death, perhaps adding fuel to the charge of foul play.

    The next day, upon hearing of Standifer's death, the Kingston, Tennessee, Masonic Lodge "brethren" formed a procession and marched to the house of Colonel Byrd, and then assisted in depositing the remains of Standifer in "the cold and silent--tomb agreeable to Masonic usages." The Masonic resolution referred to his death as "sudden and unexpected."82

    When word reached Washington City, Senator Hugh White rose to announce his death, and offered a resolution that "the Senate go into mourning, by wearing crape on the left arm for thirty days."  Interestingly, White's proposal came immediately after the Senate had come out of an executive session.  He then proposed "that as an additional mark of respect of the memory of the deceased," the Senate should adjourn.  Both of thee resolutions were adopted unanimously.83

    John Bell announce Standifer's passing in the House of Representatives.  Bell also described Standifer's death as "sudden."   Bell spoke of Standifer as a man "remarkable for an equanimity of temper," and a man with a "reputation for honesty which he nobly earned, and continued to maintain by the most scrupulous regard for truth and justice in all his transactions, public and private."  It is worth noting that Polk made a similar comment about Standifer's truthfulness, even in the midst of their deep political division over the candidacy of Senator White.  The House also voted to wear crape on the left arm for thirty days.84

    With Standifer's passing, William Stone won a special election to finish out Standifer's term of office.85

    Bell's comments also alluded to Standifer's simple style of living.   A look at a photograph of Standifer's modest home, built in 1820, gives an insight into the lifestyle of a frontier congressman in the early part of the 19th century.

    Yet, the impact of James Israel Standifer upon the history of his state and his nation was significant.  As a result of his support for Senator White, Standifer played an important role in the development of a modern two-party system in Tennessee, in particular, and in the United States, generally.  His efforts also helped prevent allowing the President to simply dictate his successor.

    James Standifer's role in Tennessee history has been overlooked by many who have concentrated on the more colorful personalities of Jackson, Polk, Bell, White, and Crockett.  Yet, Standifer did play an important role, albeit with less color.

The AuthorStephen D. Byas received his B. A. in History and an M.Ed. from Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma.  Byas lives in Norman, Oklahoma, and teaches American history at Dibble High School.


Paul K. Conkin is a native of upper East Tennessee.  He completed his B. A. at Milligan College, and did graduate work at Vanderbilt University, where he is now a Distinguished Professor of History.

Mary S. Hoffschwelle is a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University.  She previously served as executive director of Oaklands Historic House Museum in Murfreesboro and as curator of the Original Governor's Mansion in Helena, Montana.  She has published in the South Atlantic Quarterly.

James B. Jones, Jr. is a public historian with the Tennessee Historical Commission.   He administers the State Historic Preservation Office's Comprehensive Cultural Resource Management Planning Section.  He received the D. A. in history from Middle Tennessee State University in 1983.  His work has appeared in Civil War History, The Public Historian, the THC newsletter, the Courier, both of the state's regional journals and the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.

Charles L. Lufkin received his doctorate in history from Memphis State University in 1988.  He is a prior contributor to the Tennessee Historical Quarterly and is currently at work on a book on Union military units of West Tennessee in the Civil War.


1.  John T. Moore, Editor, Tennessee, The Volunteer State, I (Nashville, 1923), 403

2.  Ibid, 407

3.  Powell Moore, The Revolt Against Jackson in Tennessee, 1835-1836, 2 (August, 1936):338

4.  Clarence Edwin Carter, Editor, The Territorial Papers of the United States, III, The Territory South of the River Ohio, 1790-1796 (Washington, 1936), 437

5.  Harry Standefer, Standefer, A Family History (San Diego, 1989), 96. Congressman James Standifer spelled his name with an "i" not an "e".

6.   Dumas Malone, Jefferson the Virginia (Boston, 1948), 432; Standefer Family Records viewed by the author in the Tennessee Library Archives.  Confirmed in several other sources.

7. Standefer, A Family History.

8.  Military Service Records of James Standifer in the War of 1812, obtained by the author from the National Archives.

9. Standefer, A Family History

10. Carter, Territorial Papers Pollyanna Creekmore, "Early Tennessee Taxpayers and Petitioners," East Tennessee Historical Society Publications, 23 (1951): 116,117,128: Sherida K. Eddleman, Genealogical Abstracts from Tennessee Newspapers, 1791-1808 (Bowie, Md. 1988), 294.

11. Standifer Family Records. Also listed in marriage records of Knox County, Tennessee.  It is not known whether Patsy Standifer was James' first or second cousin.

12. Ora Layne, Sequatchie County, History and Development (Dunlap, TN, 1969), 9.

13. Bill of Sale from James Ore to James Standifer for three Negroes, Bledsoe County Deeds Roll #34), 380; Will of William Standifer (Marion County, TN), registered October 23, 1828; James L. Douthat, Sequatchie Families (Signal Mountain, TN 1983), 97.

14. Military Service Records of James Standifer; Standefer, A Family History, 75.

15. Douthat, Sequatchie Families. The voting record and political affiliations until 1835 proves this assertion.

16. Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1961 (Washington, 1961), 1643.

17. Hereinafter cited as Polk Correspondence.

18. Ibid., 16

19. Letter, James Standifer to James K. Polk, Polk Correspondence, II, 560.

20. Biographical Directory.  Whether or not Standifer graduated is uncertain.  The records for the first five years of the college do not exist, according to Stanley Folmsbee, "Blount College and East Tennessee College," East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications, 27, 11-50.

21. Register of Debates in Congress (Washington), 13. 1917-20.

22. Standifer to Polk, Polk Correspondence, II, 460.

23. Register of Debates, 9, 1903.

24. Wyly to Polk and Standifer, Polk Correspondence. II, 16.

25. Cherokee Phoenix, June 19, 1830. I. Available on microfilm at Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma.  The Phoenix was the official newspaper of the Cherokee Nation before the removals.  It covered national and world news, as well as tribal affairs. Carl Vipperman, Forcibly If We Must: The Georgia Case for the Cherokee Removal, 1812-1822, "Journal of Cherokee Studies (Spring 1978); 104

26. Register of Debates, VI, 1147-48.  Constitutionalist John Randolph also voted to over turn Jackson's veto.  Perhaps Randolph also perceived Jackson's veto as personal and political.

27. Lunia Paul Gresham, Public Career of Hugh Lawson White (Nashville, 1943), 207-09; Register of Debates, VIII, 3852.

28. Powell Moore, The Revolt Against Jackson, 335.

29. Joseph Nathan Kane, Facts About the Presidents (New York, 1960)

30. Gresham, Public Career, 181 and also 207-09.

31. Ibid., 275

32. Ibid.

33. Ibid., 276

34. Letter, James Standifer to Hugh White in Nancy Scott, Editor. A Memoir of Hugh Lawson White, with Selections from his Speeches and Correspondence (Philadelphia, 1856), 260-62.  Scott was a relative of White.

35. Letter, Standifer to Polk, Polk Correspondence, II, 460

36. This is clear from a reading of the various accounts of Polk's decision to support Van Buren over White.

37. Powell Moore, The Revolt Against Jackson, 337.

38. Scott. A Memoir of Hugh Lawson White, 261.

39. Letter, Polk to James Walker, Polk Correspondence, II, 598

40. Joseph Howard Parks, John Bell of Tennessee (Baton Rouge, 1950), 85

41. Letter, Polk to Walker, Polk Correspondence, II, 599

42. Scott, A Memoir of Hugh Lawson White, 262

43. Congressman Polk had no desire to offend either Jackson or White, but his support of Jackson enabled him to capture the nomination of the Democratic party in 1844, when he narrowly defeated Henry Clay.

44. Scott, A Memoir of Hugh Lawson White, 262.

45. Ibid.

46 Parks, John Bell, 87.

47. Letter, Polk to Cave Johnson, Polk Correspondence, III, 147.

48. Ibid., 156

49. Letter, Polk to James Walker, Polk Correspondence, II, 600.

50. Polk to Johnson, Polk Correspondence, 156

51. Letter, Felix Grundy to James Polk, Polk Correspondence, III, 215.

52. Letter, Polk to John Blair et al, Ibid., 51

53. Gresham, Public Career, 517

54. Parks, John Bell, 108-109

55. Letter, John Gillespy to Polk, Polk Correspondence, IV, 171

56. Letter, Robert Reynolds to Polk, Ibid., 207

57. Charles Kappler, Editor, Indian Treaties, 1778-1883 (New York, 1973), 423

58. Cherokee Phoenix, June 19, 1830, 1.

59. Vipperman, Forcibly If We Must, 105

60. The Treaty party case for removal is well made in Thurman Wilkins, Cherokee Tragedy (Norman, OK, 1986)

61. 25th Congress, Second Session, Senate Document 120 (Serial 315), 563.  Hereinafter cited as Senate Document 120.  Available on microfiche at the University of Oklahoma.

62. Ibid.

63. Ibid., 557

64. Ibid., 562-63

65. Ibid., 550

66. Ibid., 561

67. Ibid.

68. Ibid., 560

69. Ibid. 562

70. Ibid., 551

71. Ibid., 552

72. Ibid., 559

73. Knoxville Register, August 30, 1837, 1.

74. Thurman Wilkins, Cherokee Tragedy, 264-90

75. Ibid., 279

76. Letter, John Ross to John Tipton, Gary E. Moulton, Editor, The Papers of Chief John Ross (Norman, 1985), 424.

77. Senate Document 120, 672

78. Ibid., 690

79. Interview with Robert A. Standifer of Fort Worth, Texas, a direct descendant of Congressman James Standifer.  According to Robert Standifer and other Standifer descendants with whom I spoke, James Standifer had told his family that he intended to run for president in 1840.  Robert Standifer stated that the family story was that James Standifer had a falling out with President Jackson over the removal of the Cherokee.

80. Knoxville Register, August 23, 1827, 1, and August 30, 1837, 1.

81. Standefer, A Family History, 76; According to Robert Standifer, the family always believed that James Standifer had been shot while riding his horse back to Washington.  The circumstances of Standifer's death are murky at least.

82. Knoxville Register, August 30, 1837, 1

83. Congressional Globe, V. 16

84. Ibid., 17; Register of Debates in Congress, XIV: 583-84

85. Biographical Directory, 1643

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