The "lavish" Mr. Van Buren

I added a quote from Rep. Charles Ogle (W-PA) to the Blue Room from his “Gold Spoon” speech decrying President Van Buren’s living habits. It’s a notoriously unfair tirade (which I tried to make clear) but points out some interesting things and is nicely indicative of the haranguing that many presidents take over ordinary expenditures. Seale has an article on it in PDF format.

His speech also covered the East Room and State Dining Room and mentions the Green and (at the time) Yellow Parlors. The dining room bit is especially nasty, in that Ogle implies that Van Buren–and not Ogle’s fellow Whig, Monroe–bought the great gold “plateau.”

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9 thoughts on “The "lavish" Mr. Van Buren

  1. In his little talk, the Honorable Congressman Ogle calls our attention to the “COURT BANQUETING ROOM” … in which I can promise you a sight … a genuine locofoco’s dinner table … this table is not provided with those old and unfashionable dishes, “hog and hominy,” “fried meat and gravy” … with a mug of “hard cider…”

    YeeeeeeHaaaaaa!

    I gather that a “Locofoco” is something like the term “muckymuck”,(as in a “High Muckymuck”) with which Louisiana’s own Huey P. Long used to brand his opponents as high-living, elitist, autocrats, not a bit interested in the problems of the common folks. It worked for Huey too!

  2. In his little talk, the Honorable Congressman Ogle calls our attention to the “COURT BANQUETING ROOM” … in which I can promise you a sight … a genuine locofoco’s dinner table … this table is not provided with those old and unfashionable dishes, “hog and hominy,” “fried meat and gravy” … with a mug of “hard cider…”

    YeeeeeeHaaaaaa!

    I gather that a “Locofoco” is something like the term “muckymuck”,(as in a “High Muckymuck”) with which Louisiana’s own Huey P. Long used to brand his opponents as high-living, elitist, autocrats, not a bit interested in the problems of the common folks. It worked for Huey too!

  3. In the Blue Room quote, I link to Locofocoism on Wikipedia. Locofocos were an early brand of matches, and certain Democrats borrowed the name.

  4. In the Blue Room quote, I link to Locofocoism on Wikipedia. Locofocos were an early brand of matches, and certain Democrats borrowed the name.

  5. Well now see, Derek, if Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet and you hadn’t developed this site, I would have never known what a Locofoco was!

    I love the internet! Just love it!

  6. Obviously Congressman Ogle had never seen the various palaces of Europe! Perhaps he should have gone on a “fact finding” mission before he gave the speech.

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