The Presidents Code – President Pro Tempore Hugh Lawson White

The Presidents Code – President Pro Tempore Hugh Lawson White

President Pro Tempore Hugh Lawson White Democrat 12/3/1832-12/15/1833
President Pro Tempore Hugh Lawson White
Democrat 12/3/1832-12/15/1833

Hugh Lawson White was Andrew Jackson‘s successor as Senator in Tennessee and a strong ally of his. Later he would switch parties and become a Whig, running for President in 1836 against Jackson’s successor Martin Van Buren. White was President Pro Tempore during the Nullification Crisis and helped negotiate the Clay Compromise Tariff of 1833 which prevented military force from being used against South Carolina. He became the next in line of Presidential succession after John Calhoun became the first Vice President to resign on 12/28/1832.


During this time period White would distance himself from Andrew Jackson and align himself with Henry Clay as he felt Jackson was obtaining too much executive power. This rift between Jackson and White led to Jackson actively campaigning against White in the 1836 election in support of Martin Van Buren. This conflict between White and Jackson displays yet another example of conflict between ‘brothers’ in connection with Cain and Abel. Lawson’s name meaning displays this same conflict.


Hugh comes from the Germanic word ‘hug’ which means heart, mind or spirit.


Lawson comes from and English surname which means son of Laurence. Laurence comes from the Latin word ‘laurus’ which means a laurel tree. Laurel is considered a parasitic vine which displays the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It was this tree which brought sin into the world and it was this fruit which led Cain to murder his brother (Genesis 4:7; 1 John 3:12).


White is the color of purity and atonement (Revelation 19:8; Daniel 7:9; Isaiah 1:18). In names it was used of a baby who was ‘without blemish.’ The name could also refer to a person who lived at a ‘wiht’ which is a bend of a river or a place of suitable grazing. This points to Abel, who was a keeper of sheep (Genesis 4:2). White can also refer to a ‘wait’ which is a place of ambush. This name displays the conflict between Cain and Abel as Cain waited in ambush to kill his brother Abel because God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and not his own (Genesis 4:3-8; Hebrews 11:4).

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