Peggy Eaton, Andrew Jackson, and the Half-slip Occasion – Transcript

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Peggy Eaton, Andrew Jackson, and the Underskirt Intimacy

Updated on Venerable 29, 2019

Doug Westward


Tangency Source


Few were surprised when the military leader and war submarine Andrew Jackson won the administration of the Joined States in 1828. The biggest surprisal that came is legal out of his administration was that his assurance and repute could be threatened by such an invisible outcome as the marriage of two of his friends, Lav Eaton and Margaret O’Neale Timberlake. How could this campaign a political engagement? It all started when Floride Calhoun, wife of V.p. Lavatory C. Calhoun, and the wives of Jackson’s locker members refused to socialise with Can and Peggy Eaton, accusative them of doubtful ethics. Rumors were circulating that the brace had an two-timing function patch Peggy’s kickoff economize was calm life.

Although it began with harmless gabfest among the members of Jackson’s locker, the Underskirt function sour into a veridical feud betwixt Andrew Jackson, Calhoun, and their several supporters. Andrew Jackson had to consecrate a considerable come of vigor to deal the effects of the outrage and finally was strained to rase the console to finalize the issuing. An ill-famed instalment of chronicle, the Half-slip intimacy finished many self-colored relationships and shook American government.

Floride Calhoun, wife of V.p. Calhoun.

The Outrage

Margaret “Peggy” O’Neale Timberlake Eaton was the girl of William O’Neale, an Irish immigrant who owned Franklin Theater, a tavern and boardinghouse in Washington D.C. Always since she was a fry, Margaret exhausted much of clock in the troupe of influential men since her father’s patronage was largely formed of politicians. As she grew up, Margaret started to oeuvre in the bar and to harbour the guests by playacting forte-piano for them. Vivid and magic, she much took share in conversations that were differently out-of-bounds to women. Rumors began dissemination approximately her e’er since she was a offspring teenaged miss, although few of the rumors were straight. As a beautiful and self-asserting miss, she attracted much of care from men, which made her parents feeling forward-moving to beholding her marital, particularly afterward her effort to scat with a officer. In 1817, dismissing all her early suitors, the 17-year-old Margaret O’Neale marital Lavatory Timberlake, a U.S. Navy purser, who had the report of a rummy and was besides in large debt.

In 1818, Peggy and Lavatory Timberlake met Lavatory Eaton, a affluent attorney who had been late elective U.S. Senator and was a near protagonist of Andrew Jackson . Acquainted with Timberlake’s fiscal difficulties, Eaton gainful Timberlake’s debts and institute him another more remunerative situation inside the U.S. Navy. Rumors roughly Bathroom Eaton and Peggy O’Neale Timberlake slow emerged during this menstruum. Many believed that Eaton was nerve-wracking to mail Timberlake outside from Washington lonesome so he could expend clock with his wife. In April 1828, Timberlake died spell on a embark off the slide of Spain – approximately say it was self-annihilation due to his wife’s dalliances. Sole 8 months afterward his destruction, without conformist to the bereavement custom of the clip, Peggy marital Privy Eaton. Andrew Jackson himself had well-advised them to espouse as he was lovesome of both of them.

Aft Andrew Jackson formed his Console and prescribed Lav Eaton Escritoire of War, rumors most Peggy and Lavatory Eaton began to circularise in the inside circles of the governing. The rumors implied that Peggy’s yesteryear was pronounced by intimate promiscuousness and that patch operative at her father’s tavern, she had had affairs with the clients. The gabfest was promote provoked by the fact that Peggy had marital Lavatory Eaton soon afterwards the end of Timberlake, which made many conceive that she had been faithless to her outset economize. Rallied about Floride Calhoun, the wife of Lav C. Calhoun , the wives of the over-the-counter Console members refused to receive Can and Peggy Eaton to societal events or parties. They called Peggy an “indecent picayune thing” and argued that her comportment among them was an onrush on morals.

Upon earreach all the complaints, Andrew Jackson refused to trust that the rumors were lawful. Because of the political dissensions ‘tween him and Toilet Calhoun, Jackson believed that the v.p. and all his supporters treasured to cave his authorization victimization the rumors astir Can and Peggy Eaton as an alibi. Jackson saw the dirt as a personal onrush upon himself, a cabal aimed at enfeebling his establishment. The approximation of beingness told whom to bear in the Console enraged him. Furthermore, the outrage had fey a personal mettle, as Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachel, had besides been a dupe of malicious rumors. To countermine his candidature for the presidential billet, Jackson’s opponents had repeatedly attacked his wife, accusatory her of fornication and bigamy because her disjoint from her low economise had not been formally realised when she marital Andrew Jackson, although she believed that it had. Jackson opinion that the perpetual attacks caused Rachel unbelievable hurt and moved her wellness, leadership to her wrong destruction upright earlier Jackson took position. The Eaton thing reminded Jackson of the offense behaviour his dear wife had standard and perceiving a interchangeable occurrent in the lawsuit of Peggy, he mat a solid motive to pureness the remembering of his wife by defending Peggy.

To root the outlet, Jackson summoned the Locker members to a confluence where he threatened to contract their jobs if their wives would not variety their nervy conduct towards the Eatons. The firm determine that the women exerted on their husbands made the fight intensify cursorily into an administrative tragedy because, disdain Jackson’s threats, the console wives refused to relinquish the outlet. They argued that by her intimate promiscuousness earlier wedding and her discourtesy for the sanctitude of matrimony, Peggy Eaton had disordered a lesson codification that guided the lives of all American women. They too claimed that it was their responsibleness to repair accolade in the console. Historians consider that thither was likewise a soupcon of jealousy in the ladies’ uncongenial conduct towards Peggy. Later disbursement her youthfulness in the companionship of men and as a extremely questioning womanhood, Peggy was conversant with topics that were considered unequal for women and was levelheaded adequate to bear her own opinions.

Privy Eaton was not daunted by the outrage that knotty him and his wife but sought-after retaliation on Lav Calhoun. In 1830, Eaton played a major persona in having around crucial reports revealed, in which it was intelligibly declared that in 1818, as Escritoire of War, Calhoun cherished to castigate Jackson for invasive Florida without an prescribed club. This uncovering maddened Jackson and thusly the political breach ‘tween him and Calhoun grew into aggression. Furthermore, from his situation as v.p., Calhoun was in unceasing foe to Jackson’s policies and was quest to blockage Jackson’s reelection in the undermentioned presidential safari.

Lav Eaton.

The Resolving

The coveted nature of the President’s Console was to deliver all the appointive statesmen cooperate expeditiously, but the Half-slip amour made this unsufferable for Jackson’s Console. In an effort to work the outlet, Secretaire of Commonwealth Martin Van Buren , who was one of Jackson’s nighest advisors and confidants, and who had his own feud with Calhoun loss on, made his own alliance against the v.p., his wife, and their supporters. Jackson comprehended vastly that Martin Van Buren sided with him.

As a widowman, Van Buren was able-bodied to frolic a mediating function in the intimacy, without causation advance disagree ‘tween the statesmen and their wives. He suggested to Jackson to clutter the battle by dissolution the locker. Jackson invoked the demand of a reorganisation and asked for the surrender of his total console. To forefend accusations of favouritism, Van Buren resigned his post likewise. This colonized the Underskirt affaire, but by now, many political and personal relationships were finished.

The Half-slip intimacy was too the cause backside the egression of the “Kitchen Cabinet”, which was an unofficial grouping of advisors and supports of the chairman, meant to buffet the fact that the chairperson had problematic dealings with his prescribed Console.

Gubernatorial portraiture of Martin Van Buren by Daniel Huntington.


In the consequence of the Half-slip occasion, the animus betwixt Jackson and Calhoun sour into a all-out enmity, spell Van Buren base a new opposition in Calhoun. Jackson distinct to name Toilet Eaton to positions remote Washington. Eaton became regulator of Florida and subsequently rector to Spain. He and Peggy lived in Madrid from 1836 to 1840. Jackson continued to conceive that Peggy had been the dupe of his opponents’ undertake to injure him by quest demerit in the masses he encircled himself with.

In 1832, hardly months earlier the end of his condition, Bathroom C. Calhoun resigned as v.p. and was elective to the U.S. Sen. Presently he constitute an chance of avenge on his political opponents when Andrew Jackson proposed Van Buren for the billet of parson to Enceinte Britain. Calhoun shape his ballot against the nomination and the proposition was jilted by a narrow-minded ballot. He was confident that this frustration would displace Van Buren’s political calling but it really had the paired essence. Not just that Van Buren remained one of Jackson’s almost authoritative advisors, but he gained a gravid understanding that relieved his way towards vice-presidency. Furthermore, Van Buren became Andrew Jackson’s replacement for the presidentship.

For age abaft the Underskirt amour, Peggy Eaton continued to track a controversial aliveness. Aft Can Eaton passed out in 1856, Peggy establish herself in the ownership of a pocket-sized chance as his widow. At age 59, she matrimonial an Italian terpsichorean, who had been her granddaughter’s coach. Cinque eld afterwards, Peggy’s 3rd wedlock concluded short when her jr. economise ran off with Peggy’s granddaughter and her money. Margaret O’Neale Timberlake Eaton worn-out her conclusion eld in poorness, life in a abode for free women in Washington D.C. She died in 1879.

Account Abbreviated: the Peggy Eaton Dirt


Wilentz, Sean. Andrew Jackson . Multiplication Books. 2005.

Andrew Jackson: The Underskirt Amour, Outrage in Jackson’s Gabardine Theater . December 6, 2006. Account Net . Accessed May 25, 2018.

Marszalek, Lav F. (2000) The Half-slip Thing: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson’s Albumen Family . Billystick Blusher: LSU Pressure.

Westward, Doug. Andrew Jackson: A Brusk Life: One-seventh Chairperson of the Joined States . C&D Publications. 2018.

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