His reason was like lightning and his action like a thunderbolt. Amos Kendall on Jackson
The dissemination of Jackson's image was primarily accomplished through the rhetorical forms of the day; in speeches, popular songs, cartoons and newspapers. Jacksonian propaganda was sometimes initiated by Jackson, but more often carried out by his followers. Actually, Jackson was often kept from speaking in public due to his habit of replying rashly and speaking out of turn (Cole, 18). By 1827-28, he had also lost most of his top teeth and had increasing difficulty delivering speeches (Remini, 117). Yet his supporters utilized his image as hero and farmer politician, describing him as a latter-day Cincinnatus merely doing his duty to his country and then returning to his home.
The democratic nature of Jackson's politics was no ploy, but rather a heartfelt belief that the will of the people was absolute. He believed in the collective wisdom of the majority with a conviction that no president before had shown. Though his ideology was no intellectual match for the well educated Revolutionaries like Jefferson and Madison, his sagacity and determination to advance democracy to its farthest limits was a radical idea. The fear of a majority controlling and degrading a minority within a democratic society was strong, particularly among elite and powerful politicians in Washington. This line of argument was merely an acceptable form of expressing a fear of the common man gaining power. Yet Jackson believed that a "virtuous people ...[would] arrive at right conclusions."
Jackson's rhetoric on a political level was in keeping with the public creation of his ideals. His handling of the White House is a telling example of his dedication to the people. He considered it the "People's House" and he served as their "steward." A description of Jackson's drawing room follows, "Such a crowd & such a motley crowd from Cora Livingston [the secretary of state's daughter] to a woman in a crimson velvet hat & gown--from the vice President to an intoxicated canal labourer in a dirty red plaid cloak--you have probably never seen assembled. It is a striking picture of democracy, & truth to tell, it strikes me with disgust." Though complaints about such occurrences were common, Jackson's response was, "Our institutions are based upon the virtue of the community" and it was necessary to interact with and understand the different members of the American community (Remini, 351).
This "Hunters of Kentucky" poster represented a popular method of celebrating Jackson's image. This song emphasized ideas of the frontier soldier overcoming the well trained Englishman by way of his instinctive, untrained sharp-shooting abilities. This was not the actual reason for the American victory at New Orleans, but it appealed to people on an intimate level. The "Hunters of Kentucky" was picked up by pro-Jackson newspapers and widely distributed by his supporters, becoming a campaign song that expressed all the patriotism and pride of the Jacksonian movement (Ward, 16).
The most vital aspect of the distribution of a united Jackson image was the party controlled press. By the end of Jackson's second term, the Democrats had increased their pool of editors to include around 400 newspapers with the Washington Globe at the center. The Richmond Enquirer, the Albany Argus and the Boston Morning Post were largely influential Jacksonian papers, not to mention a range of smaller Democratic papers that worked to spread "Jacksonian Democracy" to the most remote of locations (Cole, 250).
At the close of Jackson's political career, the first philosophical attempt to explain the Jacksonian position appears in "An Introductory Statement of the Democratic Principle" from The United States Magazine and Democratic Review. It defines the stand taken by the Democratic party, originally built around the image of Jackson, but lasting as an example of democratic government.