March 27, 1829

On This Date in in 1829, President Andrew Jackson appointed John Eaton as his Secretary of War. This proved to be a huge mistake as the rumor mill maintained by the matrons of Washington went into overdrive. Eaton was married to a former tavern maid who had a disreputable past (she was one wild and crazy chick). The gossiping and backbiting got so bad that Eaton had to resign his post to save Jackson’s presidency. The thing to also remember is that during Jackson’s presidential campaign, his opposition smeared and harassed his wife and the fact that she was a divorcee at a time when divorce was a dirty word for women and men. His wife died soon after the 1828 election in December 1828 from heart problems. The scandal over her first marriage and divorce almost cost Jackson the presidency. So, appointing Eaton as his Secretary of War just relit the flames of gossip that had just recently died down after his wife’s death. Sex scandals have always been a part of our political process.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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