Skip to main content

A Dim View Of Presidential Prospects

March 2023
1min read

Timothy Pickering and Richard Peters were both prominent patriots and members of the Continental Congress’s “board of war” during the Revolution. By 1806 both were ardent Federalists, and on April 13 of that year Pickering wrote Peters a letter that included this passage:

If Jefferson had not been five years our President, I should not have believed it possible for one man, controuled by precise constitutional rules and laws, to produce such a revolution in politics and morals as we now see.… The national spirit and dignity are gone—never to rise while Jefferson bears rule. And who will succeed? A man of character & ability? No! The feeble, timid Madison, or the dull Monroe. … Fools and knaves will continue to be the general favourites of the people, until the government is subverted.

From Essex Institute Historical Collections, October, 1958

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "June 1968"

Authored by: Robert Shogan

The President’s popularity was waning, and he was facing an able Republican as well as two rebels from his own party. At hand was the with the nation in peril at home and abroad. Then Harry S.Truman set out to give ’em hell.

Authored by: Robert S. Gallagher

The fearless sailors who manned America’s whaling fleet in the nineteenth century were no strangers to danger, but even the bravest trembled at the unknown prospects of becoming castaways on forbidden shores

Authored by: Byron Riggan

Surviving encounters with an awesome variety of enraged wildlife—rhinos, lions, tsetse flies, studio brass—Trader Horn, Hollywood’s first jungle spectacular, became the progenitor of hundreds of white-hunter-meets-white-goddess epics

Authored by: David Lavender

The plundering miners have been replaced by the plundering tourists. Can the Rockies survive this new invasion?

Authored by: Ellsworth S. Grant

Samuel Colt’s life was brief but eventful. He was an imaginative inventor and an ambitious pitchman whose legacy included scandal and success—and firearms that were revolutionary in more ways than one

Authored by: John T. Cunningham

The last old soldiers of the Revolution were fast fading away when Benson J. Lossing set out to catch history alive—in 1,100 pictures and 700,000 words

Authored by: John Castillo Kennedy

Back when Panama was a jumping-off place for Eldorado, a piece of melon became a symbol that led to a massacre. Its seeds of anti-Yankee resentment are still bearing fruit

Featured Articles

Rarely has the full story been told about how a famed botanist, a pioneering female journalist, and First Lady Helen Taft battled reluctant bureaucrats to bring Japanese cherry trees to Washington. 

The world’s most prominent actress risked her career by standing up to one of Hollywood’s mega-studios, proving that behind the beauty was also a very savvy businesswoman. 

Often thought to have been a weak president, Carter was strong-willed in doing what he thought was right, regardless of expediency or the political fallout.

Why have thousands of U.S. banks failed over the years? The answers are in our history and politics.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.