Kitchen Cabinet

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Kitchen Cabinet, in U.S. history, popular name for the group of intimate, unofficial advisers of President Jackson. Early in his administration Jackson abandoned official cabinet meetings and used heads of departments solely to execute their departmental duties, while the policies of his administration were formed in meetings of the Kitchen Cabinet. The members of the informal cabinet included the elder Francis P. Blair, Duff Green, Isaac Hill, Amos Kendall, and William B. Lewis. John H. Eaton of the regular cabinet met with the group; Martin Van Buren also was taken into its confidence. Several members of the Kitchen Cabinet were able journalists and editors of influential regional newspapers. They continued to wield effective pens in defense of the administration measures after they came to Washington. Kendall—perhaps the ablest and most influential member—vigorously defended the policies of Andrew Jackson in the Globe, the administration journal edited by Francis P. Blair. Following the cabinet reorganization of 1831, the Kitchen Cabinet became less important.

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"KITCHEN CABINET," a title derisively applied by President Andrew Jackson's political enemies to an informal group of advisers who were credited with exercising more influence on the president than his regular cabinet. From 1829 until 1831, when the cabinet was reorganized, the Kitchen Cabinet, or "lower cabinet," as it was often called, was especially influential. Thereafter, Jackson re-lied less on his informal advisers and more on regular members of the cabinet. The most important members of the Kitchen Cabinet were Amos Kendall, Francis Preston Blair, Sr., William B. Lewis, A. J. Donelson, Martin Van Buren, and John H. Eaton.


Latner, Richard B. "The Kitchen Cabinet and Andrew Jackson's Advisory System." Journal of American History 65 (September 1978): 367–388.

Erik McKinleyEriksson/l. t.

See alsoJacksonian Democracy ; President, U.S.

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kitch·en cab·i·net • n. a group of unofficial advisers to the holder of an elected office who are considered to be unduly influential.