From Nursing Clio by Melissa J. Gismondi:
In our era of political “bromances” between leaders who value aggression and belittle sensitivity, it’s easy to forget that expectations as to how men should interact with other men are always changing. In the 1820s, President Andrew Jackson, whose legacy Donald Trump has embraced, fashioned himself as one of the most virile men of his era. His campaign biographies described Jackson’s gallant protection of defenseless white women and children from Indigenous warriors. The biographies also assured readers that only Jackson could save the virtuous American citizenry from the moneyed, eastern elite.
But Jackson’s masculinity also embraced sentimentality from other men. Indeed, in the first few months of his presidency, Jackson received letters from a devoted admirer named Ezra Stiles Ely. Ely declared his love for Jackson and stressed the overwhelming “attachment” that he felt to the new president.
Ely was a minister and theologian from New England. In 1814, he had married Mary Ann Carswell, whose father knew Jackson well. When Jackson ran for the presidency in 1828, Ely supported him at a time when most ministers sought political neutrality. Ely hoped that Jackson would resuscitate America’s Christian spirit and he was thrilled when Jackson defeated the incumbent, John Quincy Adams.
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Categories: History of Culture