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Tommy Carcetti

Tommy Carcetti's Journal
Tommy Carcetti's Journal
December 9, 2022

BREAKING NEWS: Ghost of Martin Van Buren apparates, demands to be re-instated as President

The ghost of Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States who served a single term in office from 1837 to 1841 before losing re-election to William Henry Harrison, mysteriously appeared in a New York cemetery last night in order to raise new grievances that he alleges cost him a chance at a second term as President.

At approximately midnight at the Kinderhook Reformed Dutch Church Cemetery in Kinderhook, New York, a bright, glowing visage could be seen levitating high in midair above the obelisk-shaped monument where Van Buren was buried after his death in 1862. Van Buren’s undead apparition wore a dark colored waistcoat and trousers, with a bald head accompanied by his famed thick sideburns leaving no doubt that it was indeed the spirit of the former President.

“Denizens of the living!” the ghostly Van Buren announced. “I have awakened from my great mortal slumber in order to warn you of treachery and sabotage most foul, acts that now demand recompense through my immediate and unconditioned return to office! Though I shall forewarn you, such a response requires a suspension or termination of certain provisions of the Constitution and all accompanying laws, including laws concerning matters of elections, physics, gravity, time and space, and common sense.”

The basis for Van Buren’s claims centered around John Scott Harrison—the son of William Henry Harrison—and what Van Buren deemed to be “a wretched connivance of the Fourth Estate.”

“At some point during the course of my eternal rest, I found myself visited by a fellow spirit whose name I shall not divulge for the sake of his own privacy,” Van Buren explained. “This kindly and very much deceased gentleman, a woodworker by trade from the State of Ohio, told me it was in October of 1840 that he had been commissioned to handle the refurbishment of a certain Davenport desk belonging to one John Scott Harrison, Major General Harrison’s fifth-born progeny.”

“At first, the task appeared to be quite banal and unremarkable to this tradesman,” Van Buren continued. “That was until he happened to open the desktop compartment of the younger Harrison’s desk. It was there that he found materials of a most shocking and prurient nature, namely self-etchings drawn by Mr. Harrison’s very own hand which revealed a grotesque and crude perversion of the mind and soul.”

But that was just the beginning of the story, the phantom Van Buren insisted.

“Quickly, the woodworker seized the etchings,” he said. “And by horseback he rapidly set out to the offices of the Cincinnati Herald Dispatch and Penny Press, an erstwhile but amply circulated publication of then-good repute. Upon arriving there, he demanded the immediate publication of these wretched etchings, for the public had a right to know that the entire Harrison name sat under a dark cloud of sin and deviance. And yet his insistence went unheeded by the editorial staff.”

Asked for comment, the ghost of Phillip Stuart Kensington—the then-publisher of the Cincinnati Herald Dispatch and Penny Press—defended his newspaper’s decision not to publish John Scott Harrison’s nude etchings.

“The Herald Dispatch and Penny Press is—was?—an institution representing the very highest standards of journalism,” Kensington said while floating above his rather modest gravesite in Cincinnati’s Pioneer Memorial Cemetery. “Such scandal and sensationalism might be sufficient for those plebian hoi polloi readers of the Cincinnati Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, but never for us.”

Van Buren, however, insisted that the story was newsworthy.

“John Scott Harrison’s desktop is real!” he exclaimed.

The Eighth President remained fast to the belief that had the Herald Dispatch and Penny Press published the etchings, it could have had altered the course of the 1840 election, which he lost to the elder Harrison by less than 200,000 votes.

“Clearly if they had been given the chance, our vast electorate of property-owning males of the white race would have taken a great interest in learning of the moral turpitude that has befallen the Harrison family,” Van Buren said. “But tragically, such truth has been silenced! Thus, we have all been banished to the shadows!”

And what sort of redress was the posthumous Van Buren seeking? Nothing short of a full and immediate return to office.

“Like Emperor Napoleon’s return from exile at Grenoble, my immortal ghastly soul shall triumphantly descend on Washington to once again serve as your Eighth President,” Van Buren proclaimed. “Or Forty-Seventh. Frankly, the matter of numeration is but a trifle.”

Once back in office, the ghost of Martin Van Buren says he intends to pick up right where he left off.

“I shall concern myself strictly with the matters of most importance to the citizenry,” Van Buren said. “Namely, I shall see to it that the ongoing conflict with the native savages in the Ever Glades of the Florida Territory is properly resolved to fruition. I shall remain steadfastly opposed to the admission of the Republic of Texas into the Union, negotiate a proper peace with Queen Victoria of Great Britain ensuring their dominion over the Canadian territories, and sufficiently placate the quibbles of Southern plantation owners in the hopes of avoiding greater civil strife and discord amongst the people.”

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