Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

October 19, 2013

NIAGARA DISCOVERIES: Samuel Works, 'old school' politician

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

Works encountered men from all of these political backgrounds when he went to Albany early in 1837.  He quickly became allied with Whig leaders William Seward and Thurlow Weed, boarding at Weed’s house while he was in Albany. 

The most pressing issues of that time included internal improvements (how much to spend on roads, bridges, and canals); whether the United States Bank should be re-chartered (Andrew Jackson had abolished it); whether imprisonment for debt should be suspended; the use of paper money versus the silver standard; and a host of other issues.

In addition, Works had to contend with numerous office seekers sending letters touting their merits for a particular job while others warned him not to give a particular job to a certain person. 

Keeping his constituents happy was not Samuel Works’ only concern while holding a seat in the Senate. In 1838, Hannah Works took ill and returned to her family in Vermont where she died on May 21. They had no children and Works returned to Albany and his term in the Legislature. In 1840 he was elected to a second term.

Also that year, Whig candidate William Henry Harrison was elected to the presidency, only to die one month after his inauguration in 1841. He was succeeded by John Tyler, a former Democrat and a southerner who was not well liked by members of his newly adopted party.

Works continued to push for more internal improvements in the Western New York region, particularly in relation to the Erie Canal, which was of particular importance to him. Once again, however, he was beleaguered by his constituents for appointments and promotions. 

Works tried his best to keep himself above the political infighting in Albany, but as early as 1842, the lines were already being drawn for the 1844 presidential election. In June, Works was invited to attend and speak at a meeting in New York City “for the purpose of presenting the name of the Hon. Henry Clay of Kentucky as the Whig candidate for the Presidency of the United States.” 

Dissatisfaction with the pro-Southern, former Democrat turned Whig John Tyler had grown considerably over the past year and the Whigs were anxious to disassociate themselves with Tyler and nominate Clay for the Presidency. Samuel Works was one of those who supported Clay.

NEXT WEEK: Samuel Works retires to Lockport.

 

 

 

Ann Marie Linnabery is the assistant director of the History Center of Niagara.

Text Only
Columns
Featured Ads
Photos


Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Front page
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Seasonal Content
Helium debate
Helium
Section Teases

Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.