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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1849
AUTHOR: Andrew Jackson (1767–1845)
QUOTATION: Our Union: It must be preserved.
ATTRIBUTION: President ANDREW JACKSON, toast at a Jefferson Day dinner, April 13, 1830.—Marquis James, Andrew Jackson: Portrait of a President, p. 235 (1937).

The account by James emphasizes the shocked reaction of Jackson’s vice president, John C. Calhoun, to this toast, since it was clear he had lost Jackson’s support of the Southern cause of nullification. When Calhoun’s turn came, his toast was: “The Union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States and by distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union” (pp. 235–36).

According to Martin Van Buren, Autobiography, vol. 2, p. 415 (1920, reprinted 1973), at the urging of General Hayne, Jackson altered his toast to “Our Federal Union” before it was given to the newspapers, and it was reported in this form in many sources including James Parton, Life of Andrew Jackson, vol. 3, p. 283 (1860), and Thomas Hart Benton, Thirty Years View, vol. 1, p. 148 (1854, reprinted 1883).