The events of the period covered in this volume are described with some fullness in all of the general American histories. Of these, two are especially noteworthy for literary quality and other elements of popular interest: Woodrow Wilson’s History of the American People, 5 vols. (1902), and John B. McMaster’s History of the People of the United States, 8 vols. (1883-1913). The Jacksonian epoch is treated in Wilson’s fourth volume and in McMaster’s fifth and sixth volumes. On similar lines, but with more emphasis on political and constitutional matters, is James Schouler’s History of the United States under the Constitution, 7 vols. (1880-1913), vols. III-IV. One seeking a scholarly view of the period, in an adequate literary setting, can hardly do better, however, than to read Frederick J. Turner’s Rise of the New West (1906) and William MacDonald’s Jacksonian Democracy (1906). These are volumes XIV and XV in The American Nation, edited by Albert B. Hart.
Biographies are numerous and in a number of instances excellent. Of lives of Jackson, upwards of a dozen have been published. The most recent and in every respect the best is John S. Bassett’s Life of Andrew Jackson, 2 vols. (1911). This work is based throughout on the sources; its literary quality is above the average and it appraises Jackson and his times in an unimpeachable spirit of fairness. Within very limited space, William G. Brown’s Andrew Jackson (1900) tells the story of Jackson admirably; and a good biography, marred only by a lack of sympathy and by occasional inaccuracy in details, is William G. Sumner’s Andrew Jackson (rev. ed., 1899). Of older biographies, the most important is James Parton’s Life of Andrew Jackson, 3 vols. (1861). This work is sketchy, full of irrelevant or unimportant matter, and uncritical; but for a half-century it was the repository from which historians and biographers chiefly drew in dealing with Jackson’s epoch. John H. Eaton’s Life of Andrew Jackson (1842) describes Jackson’s earlier career, mainly on the military side; but it never rises above the level of a campaign document.
Among biographies of Jackson’s contemporaries may be mentioned George T. Curtis, Life of Daniel Webster, 2 vols. (1870); Henry C. Lodge, Daniel Webster (1883); John B. McMaster, Daniel Webster (1902); Frederic A. Ogg, Daniel Webster (1914); Carl Schurz, Henry Clay, 2 vols. (1887); Gaillard Hunt, John C. Calhoun (1908); William M. Meigs, The Life of John Caldwell Calhoun, 2 vols. (1917); John T. Morse, John Quincy Adams (1882); Edward M. Shepard, Martin Van Buren (1888); Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Hart Benton (1888); and Theodore D. Jervey, Robert Y. Hayne and His Times (1909).