Old Hickory's Story

"Like us and our America, Jackson and his America achieved great things while committing grievous sins."  Jon Meachem, "American Lion"

The National Historical site of his home "Hermitage" (video tour)

The American Lion

       “Jackson valued two things in life above all others: his country and his family. He saw little distinction between the two, and his instinct to fight and to defend both – to be a father twice over – drove him from his obscure birth in the Carolina’s to the pinnacle of power.” … 

“Jackson saw his life and the life of the country as one. America he said was, ‘one great family.” …”The nation, then, played a decisive role in his emotional universe. Jackson carried an image of the Union around in his head, a vision of the United States and its people as an extension of his own clan in which he could fit, find reassurance and stability, and come to control.” (American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham pg xvii)

         "Andrew Jackson, his intimate circle of friends, and his tumultuous times are at the heart of this remarkable book about the man who rose from nothing to create the modern presidency. Beloved and hated, venerated and reviled, Andrew Jackson was an orphan who fought his way to the pinnacle of power, bending the nation to his will in the cause of democracy.
         Jackson’s election in 1828 ushered in a new and lasting era in which the people, not distant elites, were the guiding force in American politics. Democracy made its stand in the Jackson years, and he gave voice to the hopes and the fears of a restless, changing nation facing challenging times at home and threats abroad. To tell the saga of Jackson’s presidency, acclaimed author Jon Meacham goes inside the Jackson White House.
         Drawing on newly discovered family letters and papers, (Meachem) details the human drama–the family, the women, and the inner circle of advisers–that shaped Jackson’s private world through years of storm and victory. One of our most significant yet dimly recalled presidents, Jackson was a battle-hardened warrior, the founder of the Democratic Party, and the architect of the presidency as we know it. His story is one of violence, sex, courage, and tragedy. With his powerful persona, his evident bravery, and his mystical connection to the people, Jackson moved the White House from the periphery of government to the center of national action, articulating a vision of change that challenged entrenched interests to heed the popular will–or face his formidable wrath. The greatest of the presidents who have followed Jackson in the White House–from Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt to FDR to Truman–have found inspiration in his example, and virtue in his vision.
         Jackson was the most contradictory of men. The architect of the removal of Indians from their native lands, he was warmly sentimental and risked everything to give more power to ordinary citizens. He was, in short, a lot like his country: alternately kind and vicious, brilliant and blind; and a man who fought a lifelong war to keep the republic safe–no matter what it took.Jon Meacham in American Lion has delivered the definitive human portrait of a pivotal president who forever changed the American presidency–and America itself..." (from the good read's review - link cite above)

 C-span Book Discussion with author Jon Meachem (video)

        "Mr. Meacham contends that President Jackson, the founder of the Democractic party and American’s seventh president, was a man of many contradictions who was responsible for the removal of Indians from their land and alternately encouraged granting greater power to the electorate... Jon Meacham is the editor of Newsweek magazine. He is the author of "Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship" and "American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation."

NPR audio Interview with author Meachem on American Lion

Jon Meachem Quotes on Andrew Jackson  
        “Always take all the time to reflect that circumstances permit, but when the time for action has come, stop thinking.” AJ
     “Jackson was a transformative president in part because he had a transcendent personality; other presidents who followed him were not transformative, and served unremarkably.”  JM
     “Or, as Jackson would have said: The people, sir-the people will set things right." JM
     “Politics was at once clinical and human, driven by principles and passions that he (the leader) had to master and harness for the good of the whole.” JM
     “A contemporary recalled that when Emily’s children and, later, those of Sarah Jackson, Andrew Jackson, Jr.’s wife, were infants and became “restless and fretful at night, the President, hearing the mother moving about with her little one, would often rise, dress himself, and insist upon having the child, with whom he would walk the floor by the hour, soothing it in his strong, tender arms, while he urged the tired mother to get some rest.” At White House meals, Jackson wanted the family’s youngsters to dine at the table with him: they were not to be kept in the kitchen or nursery, but at the center of the household.” JM
     “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes...” AJ
     “have apparent confidence in all, real confidence in none, until from actual experience it is found that the individual is worthy of it—from this rule I have never departed.… When I have found men mere politicians, bending to the popular breeze and changing with it, for the self-popularity, I have ever shunned them, believing that they were unworthy of my confidence—but still treat them with hospitality and politeness.” AJ
     “when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society—the farmers, mechanics, and laborers—who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their Government.” AJ

Biography of Old Hickory via White House gov
      "Born in a backwoods settlement in the Carolinas in 1767, he received sporadic education. But in his late teens he read law for about two years, and he became an outstanding young lawyer in Tennessee. Fiercely jealous of his honor, he engaged in brawls, and in a duel killed a man who cast an unjustified slur on his wife Rachel.
         Jackson prospered sufficiently to buy slaves and to build a mansion, the Hermitage, near Nashville. He was the first man elected from Tennessee to the House of Representatives, and he served briefly in the Senate. (note: appointed himself Governor of Florida). A major general in the War of 1812, Jackson became a national hero when he defeated the British at New Orleans." entry 
     "Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, to Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, Scots-Irish colonists who emigrated from Ireland in 1765. Though Jackson’s birthplace is presumed to have been at one of his uncles' houses in the remote Waxhaws region that straddles North Carolina and South Carolina, the exact location is unknown since the precise border had yet to be surveyed. Jackson’s birth came just three weeks after the sudden death of his father at the age of 29."

Wiki Page on Old Hickory
Old Hickory's Youth 

Growing up an orphan
     "Jackson was left with a permanent scar from his imprisonment after a British officer gashed his left hand and slashed his face with a sword because the young boy refused to polish the Redcoat’s boots. While in captivity the brothers contracted smallpox, from which Robert would not recover. A few days after the British authorities released the brothers in a prisoner exchange arranged by their mother, Robert died. Not long after his brother's death, Jackson's mother died of cholera contracted while she nursed sick and injured soldiers. At the age of 14, Jackson was orphaned, and the deaths of his family members during the Revolutionary War led to a lifelong antipathy of the British. source

Various pix of Andrew Jackson's Home

OH's home

Historic Jonesborough

Brief Bio
     Dutch University entry

Before the Presidency

      "The Revolutionary War ended Jackson's childhood and wiped out his remaining immediate family. Fighting in the Carolina backcountry was especially savage, a brutish conflict of ambushes, massacres, and sharp skirmishes. Jackson's oldest brother Hugh enlisted in a patriot regiment and died at Stono Ferry, apparently from heatstroke. Too young for formal soldiering, Andrew and his brother Robert fought with American irregulars. In 1781, they were captured and contracted smallpox, of which Robert died shortly after their release. While trying to retrieve some nephews from a British prison ship, Andrew's mother also fell ill and died. An orphan and a hardened veteran at the age of fifteen, Jackson drifted, taught school a little, and then read law in North Carolina. After admission to the bar in 1787, he accepted an offer to serve as public prosecutor in the new Mero District of North Carolina, west of the mountains, with its seat at Nashville on the Cumberland River. Arriving in 1788, Jackson thrived in the new frontier town. He built a legal practice, entered into trading ventures, and began to acquire land and slaves." (link cite above)

From AJ's papers at the Univ of Tenn
    "Jackson’s presidency defined itself in two central episodes: the nullification crisis and the “Bank War.”  Jackson took office amid mounting sectional acrimony over the “American System” program of fostering economic development through transportation subsidies and through protective tariffs on imports to aid American manufacturers.  Many Southerners believed these policies promoted Northern growth at their expense.  Jackson curbed the American System by vetoing road and canal bills beginning with the Maysville Road in 1830.  However, in 1832 the state of South Carolina declared the existing tariff unconstitutional, null and void.  The state took steps to block tariff collections within its borders.  Though he favored a lower tariff, Jackson acted quickly to uphold federal supremacy by force if necessary.  In a ringing proclamation, he declared the Union indivisible and branded nullification as treason." (cite from UofTenn)

Early Years
       Dutch University entry

Battle of Stono Ferry
       Wiki Entry

Captured by the Brits 
        "Groups of soldiers and Tory sympathizers began to loot and pillage the countryside. Three hundred soldiers under the command of Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton leveled much of the Waxhaws settlement, surprising a force of several hundred American patriots and killing more than hundred of them. The massacre sparked widespread outrage, as many bodies were mutilated and some had suffered more than a dozen wounds." sparknotes entry

Illnesses and Medical record
     "As an adult, Jackson was six feet tall, but never weighed over 145 pounds. His thin frame actually saved his life in the 1806 duel with Charles Dickinson. Dickinson was an expert marksman, while Jackson was neither a quick shot nor an epecially good one. Jackson decided not to compete with Dickinson for the first shot, but to take the hit, and rely on his willpower to sustain himself until he could aim deliberately and shoot to kill. On the day of the duel, Jackson wore a dark blue frock coat and trousers of the same material. Dickinson got a shot off first, as Jackson had planned. James describes what happened: "A fleck of dust rose from Jackson's coat and his left hand clutched his chest. For an instant he thought himself dying, but, fighting for self-command, slowly he raised his pistol. Dickinson recoiled a step horror-stricken. "My God! Have I missed him?"   Overton [Jackson's second] presented his pistol. "Back to the mark, sir!" Dickinson folded his arms. Jackson's spare frame straightened. He aimed... and fired. Dickinson swayed to the ground... [and later died]." Jackson's surgeon found that Dickinson's aim had been perfectly true, but he had judged the position of Jackson's heart by the set of his coat, and Jackson wore his coats loosely on account of the excessive slenderness of his figure.
        ...."Dickinson's bullet shattered two of Jackson's ribs and buried itself in his chest, near his heart. Jackson's left boot filled with blood from the wound. More than a month passed before he could move around without difficulty. The wound never properly healed and caused Jackson considerable discomfort for the rest of his nearly 40 years. 
         ...."During a September 1813 gunfight with the Benton brothers in downtown Nashville, the cause of which is a little cloudy, Jackson was shot by a slug and a ball. The slug shattered his left shoulder and the ball embedded against his left humerus. Jackson bled profusely, soaking two mattresses after being moved to a room in the Nashville Inn. Every physician in town tried to stanch the flow of blood, and all but one recommended amputation of the left arm. Jackson refused: "I'll keep my arm" was the last thing he said before becoming unconscious. Both wounds were dressed with poultices."
     (Note: According to the Bio clip (right side of the page), in later years Jackson was plagued by his ailments, and took to "blood letting" himself with his own pocket knife. A hair analysis done from Jackson hair at the Hermitage shows Old Hickory died of lead poisoning from the two bullets lodged in his body.  (As if the two men who put them there, had their final victory over him years after the fact.)  From Nebraska dept of Public Health:

 "Once it is in the body, lead can be stored in your organs and bones where it can cause serious and permanent damage to your kidneys, brain, heart, and reproductive system. Lead can damage the body even if you are exposed to small amounts of lead over a long period of time. Lead exposures can cause:  
High blood pressure, Digestive problems 
Decreased sex drive, infertility (NOTE: children were adopted) 
Memory loss and difficulty concentrating
Irritability and mood disorders"
    From US National Library of Medicine:  The symptoms of lead poisoning may include:   
  • Abdominal pain and cramping (usually the first sign of a high, toxic dose of lead poison)
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Anemia
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Hearing loss
  • Irritability
  • Low appetite and energy
      "To say that Andrew Jackson had medical problems would be the understatement of the century. Starting with a head wound sustained while a prisoner during the Revolutionary War — he was only 13 at the time, Jackson’s entire life was spent plagued with one malady or another. He was shot at least twice in duels, both leading to chronic injuries. He also very likely got malaria during the War of 1812. This situation was complicated by the fact that the standard treatments for maladies during the 19th century was ingestion of heavy metals (either calomel — mercurous chloride — or sugar of lead — lead acetate) and chronic bloodletting....
         ....Jackson reported chronic diarrhea, abdominal complaints, and constipation throughout his life. It is difficult to attribute these to any specific cause considering that Jackson had so many. It is possible that the malaria caused the diarrhea, but exposure to heavy metals can also do that. He also reported coughing and chest pain....  He had the bullet removed from his shoulder with no anesthetic. He regularly bled himself, so he was walking around with all these diseases with less blood than he should have had. This, I think, explains why he could be hot tempered: he was constantly in pain." source:
Takes a Bullet In a Street Fight
          "Jackson's rise in Tennessee politics was meteoric, attesting to his strength of character. In quick succession, he was a delegate to the state constitutional convention in 1795, then Tennessee's first congressman, then a senator. He resigned his Senate post after one year to take a job closer to home, as judge of Tennessee's superior court. In 1802 he challenged Governor John Sevier for election as major general in command of the state militia. Jackson's senior by more than twenty years, Sevier was a veteran of the Revolution and of many Indian campaigns, and the state's leading politician. Jackson beat him for the generalship, but the aftermath brought the two men to a showdown in the streets of Knoxville, followed by preparations for a duel.
           ....The Sevier feud was only one of many explosive quarrels involving Jackson. Jackson's hot temper, prickly sense of honor, and sensitivity to insult embroiled him in a series of fights and brawls. The most notorious of these affairs, in 1806, began with a minor misunderstanding over a horse race and ended in a duel with pistols between Jackson and Charles Dickinson. Dickinson, a crack shot, fired first and hit Jackson in the chest. Jackson gave no sign of being hurt but coolly stood his ground, aimed carefully, and killed his foe. Jackson carried Dickinson's bullet for the rest of his life. Later, in 1813, during a hiatus in his military service during the War of 1812, Jackson fought in a Nashville street brawl against the Benton brothers, Jesse and Thomas Hart. There he took a bullet that nearly cost him an arm.

Religion and Fraternal Order
 Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge
      "Jackson was initiated into Harmony Lodge No. 1 in Tennessee. He would be instrumental in founding other lodges in the state. He was the only President to have been a Grand Master of state (high ranking Freemasons included Washington, Monroe, Benedict Arnold) until Harry S. Truman in 1945"

             "Although he had little interest in religion early on, Jackson became increasingly religious, eventually joining the Presbyterian church in 1838...Jackson found no conflict between his religious views and his strong support for the institution of slavery; nor did he perceive any conflict with his support for the forcible relocation of Native Americans. Jackson believed that the Constitution required a strict separation of church and state.

 Quotations: young Nashville lawyer: "Mr. Cartwright, do you believe there is any such place as hell, as a place of torment?"  Rev. Peter Cartwright: "Yes, I do." young Nashville lawyer: "Well, I thank God I have too much good sense to believe any such thing." Andrew Jackson: "Well, sir, I thank God that there is such a place of torment as hell." young Nashville lawyer: "Why, General Jackson, what do you want with such a place of torment as hell?" Andrew Jackson: "To put such damned rascals as you are in, that oppose and vilify the Christian religion." -- date unspecified, from Autobiography of PeterCartwright 

       "I was brought up a rigid Presbyterian, to which I have always adhered. Our excellent constitution guarantees to every one freedom of religion, and charity tells us, and you know Charity is the real basis of all true religion, and charity says judge the tree by its fruit. All who profess Christianity, believe in a Saviour and that by and through him we must be saved. We ought therefor to consider all good Christians, whose walk corresponds with their professions, be him Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist or Roman Catholic. Let it be remembered by your Grandmother that no established religion can exist under our glorious constitution." -- letter to Ellen Hanson, 25 March 1835

Old Hickory's Military Record

"His health miraculously restored, Andrew Jackson personally led the militia against the Red Sticks. In retaliation for the massacre at Fort Mims, Jackson burned the Creek villages of Tallussahatchee and Artussee and massacred the men, women, and children (Jackson adopted a young Creek boy whose parents had been killed and raised him as his own son). ‘We shot them like dogs,’ recalled a young Davy Crockett, who regretted the savage revenge and would later become one of Jackson’s staunchest foes. At Horseshoe Bend, Jackson, with the help of the Cherokee, defeated the remnant of the Red Sticks and accepted the surrender of the Red Stick chieftain, Red Eagle (William Weatherford, a ‘half-breed’ son of a white trader and a Creek woman). From his service in the Creek War, Jackson became known as ‘Old Hickory’ among Americans and ‘Jacksa Chula Harjo’ (‘Jackson, Old and Fierce’) among the Creek." source:   

12 minutes on the war of 1812

Battle of 1812
      "Although he lacked military experience, Andrew Jackson was appointed a major general of the Tennessee militia in 1802. During the War of 1812 he led U.S. troops on a five-month campaign against the British-allied Creek Indians, who had massacred hundreds of settlers at Fort Mims in present-day Alabama. The campaign culminated with Jackson’s victory at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in March 1814... After this military success, the U.S. military promoted Jackson to major general." source

     "A Hero Emerges After this striking success as a militia commander, Jackson was commissioned a United States major general in May 1814 and given command of the southern frontier. The British were planning an attack on New Orleans, strategic gateway to the American interior. To block them, Jackson assembled a motley force of regulars, volunteers, militia, free blacks, and pirates. The British made landfall and advanced to near the city, where Jackson had fortified a line straddling the Mississippi River. On January 8, 1815, British General Sir Edward Pakenham led a frontal assault on Jackson's position. Some inexperienced Americans on the west bank broke and ran but in the main attack on the east bank, Jackson's men mowed down the advancing enemy with artillery and rifle fire. British casualties exceeded two thousand; Jackson lost thirteen dead, fifty-eight wounded and missing. Unbeknownst to both sides, the Treaty of Ghent ending the war had been signed two weeks earlier, so the battle had no effect on the outcome. Still, this epic victory, with its incredible casualty ratio and its stirring image of American frontiersmen defeating hardened British veterans, passed immediately into patriotic legend. Jackson became a hero, second in the national pantheon only to George Washington.

        Florida Jackson remained in the regular army after the war. Late in 1817, he received orders to subdue the Seminole Indians, who were raiding across the border from Spanish Florida. Liberally interpreting his vague instructions, Jackson effected a lightning conquest of Florida itself. He captured its bastions at St. Marks and Pensacola and arrested, tried, and executed two British nationals whom he charged with abetting the Indians. Foreign diplomats and some congressmen demanded that Jackson be repudiated and punished for his unauthorized invasion, but at the urging of Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, President James Monroe stood firm. Whether anticipated by the administration or not, Jackson's action served American ends of nudging Spain to cede Florida in an 1819 treaty. A private controversy smoldered for years between Jackson, Monroe, and Secretary of War John C. Calhoun over whether Jackson had in fact exceeded orders. It finally broke open in 1831, contributing to a political rupture between then-President Jackson and his vice-president Calhoun. Jackson resigned his army commission and was appointed governor of the new Florida Territory in 1821. He presided over the transfer of authority from the Spanish, then resigned and came home to Tennessee, where his friends were planning to promote him for the presidency in 1824." source:

Various Pix

History Channel version
  "Early in the War of 1812, he earned the grudging respect of his soldiers, and the nickname Old Hickory, when he refused an order to disband his troops in Mississippi and instead marched them back to their base in Tennessee."

Eyewitness accounts
       (Battle of 1812) "Just then the wind got up a little and blew the smoke off, so that we could see the field. It then appeared that the flag had been raised by a British Officer wearing epaulets. It was told he was a Major. He stepped over the brestwork and came into our lines. Among the Tennesseans who had got mixed with us during the fight, there was a little fellow whose name I do not know; but he was a cadaverous looking chap and went by that of Paleface.
          As the British Officer came in, Paleface demanded his sword. He hesitated about giving it to him, probably thinking it was derogatory to his dignity, to surrender to a private all over begrimed with dust and powder and that some Officer should show him the courtesy to receive it.
   Just at that moment, Col. Smiley came up and cried, with a harsh oath, 'Give it up-give it up to him in a minute.' The British Officer quickly handed his weapon to Paleface, holding it in both hands and making a very polite bow. A good many others came in just about the same time.
       ...When the smoke had cleared away and we could obtain a fair view of the field, it looked, at the first glance, like a sea of blood. It was not blood itself which gave it this appearance but the red coats in which the British soldiers were dressed. Straight out before our position, for about the width of space which we supposed had been occupied by the British column, the field was entirely covered with prostrate bodies. In some places they were laying in piles of several, one on the top of the other." (anonymous eyewitness)

The Smithsonian on his Cherokee Policies
     "In March 1814, Jackson tracked the Red Sticks to Horseshoe Bend, a peninsula formed by the Tallapoosa River in what is now Alabama, and launched a frontal assault on their breastworks. His troops might have been repulsed had the Cherokees not crossed the river and attacked from the rear. Caught between two attacking forces, the Red Sticks lost nearly 900 warriors in what proved to be the decisive battle of the war.
        That day, a Cherokee named Junaluska saved Jackson from an attacker, prompting the Tennessean to declare, “As long as the sun shines and the grass grows, there shall be friendship between us.” But in the peace treaty he negotiated with the Creeks, Jackson confiscated 23 million acres of land in Alabama and Georgia—some of which belonged to the Cherokees.
          In 1816, the Cherokees’ principal chief, Pathkiller, sent a delegation to Washington to reclaim that land. The delegates, who included Ross and Ridge, made quite an impression while mingling with the city’s elite. Ridge sang a Cherokee song so raunchy his interpreter declined to translate it. (“It’s just like a white man’s song,” Ridge joked in his limited English, “all about love and whiskey.”) Even so, a reporter from one newspaper, the National Intelligencer, wrote that “their appearance and deportment are such to entitle them to respect and attention.”
        Because of his fluency in English, Ross became one of the Cherokees’ lead negotiators, and he proved more than a match for Secretary of War William Crawford. “It is foreign to the Cherokee principle to feign friendship where it does not exist,” Ross said, implying a contrast with Washington bureaucrats. “You have told us that your Government is determined to do justice to our nation and will never use oppressive means to make us act contrary to our welfare and free will.” The treaties the Cherokees had signed generally required them to give up large tracts of land but guaranteed their rights to whatever remained. Now they wanted those rights enforced.     --   After more than a month of back-and-forth debate, Crawford finally relented: the United States would restore the bulk of the land the Cherokees claimed. 
 (From Smithsonian article: The Cherokees Vs. Andrew Jackson")

Overview of Military Record
           "Not all his enlisted men were enthusiastic for the fighting. There were mutinies; the men were hungry, their enlistment terms were up, they were tired of fighting and wanted to go home. Jackson wrote to his wife about "the once brave and patriotic volunteers .. . sunk ... to mere whining, complaining, seditioners and mutineers.. .." When a seventeen-year-old soldier who had refused to clean up his food, and threatened his officer with a gun, was sentenced to death by a court-martial, Jackson turned down a plea for commutation of sentence and ordered the execution to proceed. He then walked out of earshot of the firing squad.

   Jackson became a national hero when in 1814 he fought the Battle of Horseshoe Bend against a thousand Creeks and killed eight hundred of them, with few casualties on his side. His white troops had failed in a frontal attack on the Creeks, but the Cherokees with him, promised governmental friendship if they joined the war, swam the river, came up behind the Creeks, and won the battle for Jackson."

Old Hickory in Washington 

 4 minutes on Jackson in Washington posters

Jackson Betrayed by Electoral College

       "America has never seen a presidential candidate like this before. Detractors point to his lack of political experience, his poor grasp of policy, his alleged autocratic leanings and his shady past. They believe this man without much of a political platform (but with interesting hair) has neither the qualifications nor the temperament to be president. Yet in defiance of conventional wisdom, he is leading his three main rivals in the race for the White House, and party bigwigs are at a loss how to respond. No, it’s not Donald Trump. His name is Andrew Jackson, and the year is 1824...
            "Known by his supporters as Old Hickory, Jackson stirred passions in the American people that his presidential rivals John Quincy Adams, William Crawford and Henry Clay could only dream of. Tens of thousands flocked to the charismatic outsider who positioned himself as a steadfast defender of the Republic. Jackson’s rallies dwarfed those of his rivals. Yet he had little political experience and plenty of baggage. Jackson was, his rivals believed, more of a celebrity than a serious candidate.
         "In the election, held in December 1824, Jackson stunned his rivals to win a clear plurality in the popular vote and Electoral College. With 99 Electoral College votes to Adams’ 84, Crawford’s 41 and Clay’s 37, Jackson was short of an outright majority, but undoubtedly had the strongest claim to the White House. However, with no overall winner, the decision was put to the House of Representatives, which was then under the speakership of failed candidate Henry Clay. Clay threw his support not to Jackson but to second-placed John Quincy Adams. When Adams became America’s sixth president he returned the favor, appointing Clay his secretary of state.
           ...The old general, who Clay referred to condescendingly as a “military chieftain”, was a polarizing figure who had fallen short of an outright majority. Adams, meanwhile, was a highly capable politician—indeed in the words of historian Daniel Feller he was “probably the most qualified man to be president the United States has ever produced.” Clay and his allies believed Adams could be a consensus choice, a man with the integrity and experience to unite the nation. A furious Jackson, however, blasted the deal as a “Corrupt Bargain.” From his perspective, Clay and Adams had conspired against him, putting their own interests above of the will of the people.
            "Whatever the truth, the deal backfired. The snub steeled Jackson for revenge and allowed him to paint the administration as corrupt and out of touch. What’s more, it fired up Jackson’s supporters and united a broad coalition of politicians and voters including many who had not supported him the first time round. This coalition would grow into a brand new political entity—the Democratic Party. It would also catapult Jackson to the White House just four years later, where he became one of America’s most consequential and controversial presidents. 
            ...."After the controversy of 1824, the election of 1828 was surely the most ill-tempered presidential campaign in history. Jackson’s supporters slammed Adams as effete and elitist. In an assault that puts Trump’s insults to shame, they claimed, falsely, that as minister to Russia, Adams procured an American virgin for the Czar. They were, in effect, calling the president a pimp. Meanwhile Adams and his allies hit back, attacking Jackson as barely literate, as a bigamist and as a murderer who had executed several of his own soldiers for minor infractions. Astonishingly, all these accusations were true, and yet—in a sign that should worry Trump’s antagonists—none of them stuck. Instead, they seemed to make Old Hickory even more popular, underscoring the fact that he was quite unlike most politicians. Jackson won the 1828 election in a landslide. Politico: Source

Birth of the Democratic Party
         "The negative reaction to the House's decision resulted in Jackson's re-nomination for the presidency in 1825, three years before the next election. It also split the Democratic-Republican Party in two. The grassroots supporters of “Old Hickory” called themselves Democrats and would eventually form the Democratic Party. 
         Jackson's opponents nicknamed him "jackass," a moniker that the candidate took a liking to—so much so that he decided to use the symbol of a donkey to represent himself. Though the use of that symbol died out, it would later become the emblem of the new Democratic Party."

 As President
    "Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and other Whig leaders proclaimed themselves defenders of popular liberties against the usurpation of Jackson. Hostile cartoonists portrayed him as King Andrew I. Behind their accusations lay the fact that Jackson, unlike previous Presidents, did not defer to Congress in policy-making but used his power of the veto and his party leadership to assume command. The greatest party battle centered around the Second Bank of the United States, a private corporation but virtually a Government-sponsored monopoly. When Jackson appeared hostile toward it, the Bank threw its power against him. Clay and Webster, who had acted as attorneys for the Bank, led the fight for its recharter in Congress. "The bank," Jackson told Martin Van Buren, "is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!" Jackson, in vetoing the recharter bill, charged the Bank with undue economic privilege. source

Wild First Inauguration
     It was one of the foulest presidential campaigns in American history. The race for the White House in 1828 pitted incumbent John Quincy Adams against Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans.... Jackson was America's first "Frontier President" – the first president who did not come from the nation’s east-coast elite. His victory was seen as a triumph for the common man and for democracy. The celebration of his inauguration was an opportunity for America’s ordinary citizen to rejoice. Margaret Smith was a long-time pillar of Washington society. She describes Jackson's inauguration in a letter to a friend: "[Washington] March 11th, Sunday [1829]
     "Thursday morning. . . Thousands and thousands of people, without distinction of rank, collected in an immense mass round the Capitol, silent, orderly and tranquil, with their eyes fixed on the front of that edifice, waiting the appearance of the President in the portico. The door from the Rotunda opens, preceded by the marshals, surrounded by the Judges of the Supreme Court, the old man with his grey locks, that crown of glory, advances, bows to the people, who greet him with a shout that rends the air, the Cannons, from the heights around, from Alexandria and Fort Warburton proclaim the oath he has taken and the hills reverberate the sound. It was grand, - it was sublime!
      ..."When the speech was over, and the President made his parting bow, the barrier that had separated the people from him was broken down and they rushed up the steps all eager to shake hands with him. It was with difficulty he made his way through the Capitol and down the hill to the gateway that opens on the avenue. Here for a moment he was stopped. The living mass was impenetrable. After a while a passage was opened, and he mounted his horse which had been provided for his return (for he had walked to the Capitol) then such a cortege as followed him! Country men, farmers, gentlemen, mounted and dismounted, boys, women and children, black and white. Carriages, wagons and carts all pursuing him to the President's house. . . . [W]e set off to the President's House, but on a nearer approach found an entrance impossible, the yard and avenue was compact with living matter."
      ..."But what a scene did we witness! The Majesty of the People had disappeared, and a rabble, a mob, of boys, negros [sic], women, children, scrambling fighting, romping. What a pity what a pity! No arrangements had been made no police officers placed on duty and the whole house had been inundated by the rabble mob. We came too late.

        At one time, the President who had retreated and retreated until he was pressed against the wall, could only be secured by a number of gentleman forming around him and making a kind of barrier of their own bodies, and the pressure was so great that Col. Bomford who was one said that at one time he was afraid they should have been pushed down, or on the President. It was then the windows were thrown open, and the torrent found an outlet, which otherwise might have proved fatal.
("")The President, after having been literally nearly pressed to death and almost suffocated and torn to pieces by the people in their eagerness to shake hands with Old Hickory, had retreated through the back way or south front and had escaped to his lodgings at Gadsby's.        Cut glass and china to the amount of several thousand dollars had been broken in the struggle to get the refreshments... Ladies fainted, men were seen with bloody noses and such a scene of confusion took place as is impossible to describe, - those who got in could not get out by the door again, but had to scramble out of windows. 

Vs Supreme Court
      Worcester V Georgia.

Cherokee Case
    PBS: Landmark Cases. The Cherokee Indian Cases 

Indian Removal Act
   Indian Removal Act - via 

Law during OH's administration
           "Many point the finger at President Andrew Jackson. After Marshall read the Court's ruling, Jackson is reputed to have said, "Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it."20 Some question the authenticity of the remark—but for many the comment seems consistent with Jackson's persona and his Indian policies. Throughout this legal battle, Jackson supported Georgia's attempts to assert state authority over the Cherokee people.(cite link above)

Smithsonian's account of Indian Act
      "Despite his popularity and success, Jackson's presidency was not without its controversies. One particularly troubling aspect of it was his dealings with Native Americans. He signed and implemented the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which gave him the power to make treaties with tribes that resulted in their displacement to territory west of the Mississippi River in return for their ancestral homelands. 
         Jackson also stood by as Georgia violated a federal treaty and seized nine million acres inside the state that had been guaranteed to the Cherokee tribe. Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in two cases that Georgia had no authority over the tribal lands, Jackson refused to enforce the decisions. As a result, the president brokered a deal in which the Cherokees would vacate their land in return for territory west of Arkansas. The agreement resulted after Jackson’s presidency in the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation westward of an estimated 15,000 Cherokee Indians that claimed the lives of approximately 4,000 who died of starvation, exposure and illness.
           Jackson also nominated his supporter Roger Taney to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate rejected the initial nomination in 1835, but when Chief Justice John Marshall died, Jackson re-nominated Taney, who was subsequently approved the following year. Justice Taney went on to be best known for the infamous Dred Scott decision, which declared African Americans were not citizens of the United States and as such lacked legal standing to file a suit. He also stated that the federal government could not forbid slavery in U.S. territories." source  

First Lady Rachel
      "The Jacksons never had any biological children but adopted three sons, including a pair of Native American infant orphans Jackson came upon during the Creek War—Theodore, who died in early 1814, and Lyncoya, who was found in his dead mother’s arms on a battlefield. The couple also adopted Andrew Jackson Jr., the son of Rachel's brother Severn Donelson. On December 22, 1828, two months before Jackson's presidential inauguration, Rachel died of a heart attack, which the president-elect blamed on the stress caused by the nasty campaign. She was buried two days later, on Christmas Eve." (cite link above)

Controversial Wedding 
       "Why was their union controversial? Because she was married to somebody else when they met. Her husband was abusive and unappreciative; he constantly accused her of flirting with other men. Divorce was really unusual at that time, and it was really hard to get. Her husband, at that point, did file for divorce, but then he took a lot of time to actually get it. During that time, she and Jackson had eloped and then came back to the frontier, where her family accepted him as their sister's new husband, and so did the neighbors and the friends. Then the former husband's divorce finally came through, and he charged her with adultery. She could've gone and fought the divorce, but then she'd still be married to a man she couldn't stand, and so they just let it go through." (cite link above)

White House Version of Rachel's Bio
 "Rachel Donelson Jackson was buried in the garden at The Hermitage, her home near Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas Eve in 1828. Lines from her epitaph--"A being so gentle and so virtuous slander might wound, but could not dishonor"--reflected his bitterness at campaign slurs that seemed to precipitate her death." from white

Brittannica Bio
 "Rachel was known as a friendly, vivacious young woman. When she was 17, she met Lewis Robards, whom she married on March 1, 1785. However, he proved a pathologically jealous and abusive husband who falsely accused Rachel of adultery despite having had adulterous relationships himself. The couple separated in 1788, and despite several attempted reconciliations, his fierce temper and violent behaviour convinced her to leave him permanently in 1790. Aided by the young lawyer Andrew Jackson, who had been boarding at her mother’s house, Rachel journeyed to Natchez, Mississippi, to live with relatives."

   "When Andrew Jackson arrived in Nashville in 1788, he met Rachel Donelson Robards, who, at the time, was unhappily married to but separated from Captain Lewis Robards. Rachel and Andrew married before her divorce was officially complete—a fact that was later brought to light during Jackson's 1828 presidential campaign. Although the couple had legally remarried in 1794, the press accused the candidate’s wife of bigamy.
     Jackson's willingness to engage his and his wife's many attackers earned him a reputation as a quarrelsome man. During one incident in 1806, Jackson even challenged one accuser, Charles Dickinson, to a duel. Despite being wounded in the chest by his opponent’s shot, Jackson stood his ground and fired a round that mortally wounded Dickinson. “Old Hickory” carried the bullet from that fight—along with that from a subsequent duel—in his chest the rest of his life."

        tragic love story
             US News version of the affair

The Petticoat Affair
       Wiki version 

Children (including a native American orphan) 
         "In 1808, the Jacksons took in one of the infant twins of Rachel’s brother Severn Donelson and raised him as their own. They named him Andrew Jackson Jr. (1808-1865)

          ...In addition to being the adopted father of (Rachel's son from her previous marriage) Andrew Jr., Jackson served as guardian for numerous children although not all of them lived with the Jacksons....Among these were the children of General Edward Butler who had named Jackson as their guardian. Caroline, Eliza, Edward, and Anthony did not always live at The Hermitage.
            Jackson also served as guardian for Rachel’s brother Samuel Donelson’s sons after Samuel died in 1804. The boys, John Samuel, Andrew Jackson and Daniel did live part-time at The Hermitage...  Andrew Jackson Donelson (1799-1871) who became his protégé. Jackson assured that he received an appointment to West Point and that he studied law at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Eventually, Donelson served as personal secretary to Jackson during his presidency.
            Lyncoya, Jackson's Native American Child. In 1813, Andrew Jackson sent home to Tennessee a Native American child who was found on the battlefield with his dead mother. This boy, Lyncoya, (c1811-1828), may have originally been intended as merely a companion for Andrew Jr., but Jackson soon took a strong interest in him.
            Lyncoya was educated along with Andrew Jr., and Jackson had aspirations of sending him to West Point, as well. Unfortunately, political circumstances made that impossible, and he instead trained as a saddle maker in Nashville. He died of tuberculosis in 1828.
           ...The last of the children embraced by the Jacksons was Andrew Jackson Hutchings (1812-1841). Hutchings was the grandson of Rachel’s sister and the son of a former business partner of Jackson’s. Both of his parents died by the time he was five. So in 1817, little Hutchings, as the family called him, came to live permanently at The Hermitage. He attended school with Andrew Jr. and Lyncoya."

Adoption of Lyncoya
         "The Battle of Horseshoe Bend in central Alabama, was a particularly brutal engagement. Scores of Creek Indians lay dead. One of Jackson’s soldiers discovered a little boy, perhaps three-years-old, wandering around nearby, crying in search of his family... The soldier brought the child to General Jackson, asking what he should do with him... “Bring him to Mrs. Jackson,” he instructed.
         ...Rachel Donelson and Andrew Jackson had been married for more than twenty years, but had been childless... The Donelsons were a large family (there were ten children but none from their marriage).
composite jacksons

Lincoya Becomes a Jackson
           "Although it may have been more like foster-parentage than formal adoption, the little Indian boy was named Lincoya, nurtured by the Jacksons and raised as their own. He was fed and clothed and educated the same as his “brother” Andrew Jackson Junior – and the other nieces, nephews and wards that the Jacksons raised in guardianship. 
            ...By the time he reached puberty, he had become a gifted horseman, and had natural instincts for the basic survival skills of his Indian heritage, energies that may well have been admired by the rambunctious Jackson himself.... Lincoya never seemed to be able to become the “young master” of the Hermitage like his foster-brother Andrew Jackson, Jr. He tried to run away several times while he was still a young boy, hoping to rejoin his Creek tribe. It does not appear that he faulted either his adoptive mother or father. In the little that is known of him, Lincoya always spoke well of the Jacksons, and admitted that he had only received kindness at their hands... (source link above)

Old Hickory Legend and Death
(via the Hermitage)


"After completing his second term in the White House, Jackson returned to the Hermitage, where he died on June 8, 1845, at the age of 78. The cause of death was lead poisoning caused by two bullets that had remained in his chest for several years. He was buried in the plantation’s garden next to his beloved Rachel.
    " source 
     "Andrew Jackson evaded death many times in his life. After dying at the age of 78, researchers many years later analyzed a strand of Jackson’s hair to discover his real cause of death. Official cause was listed as heart failure and dropsy. His friends said he died from (the drug) calumel. In 1999, researches at Ohio U analyzed his hair, it was reported that the real cause was lead poisoning leached from the duelists bullets. "Jackson's enemies would never know they finally achieved satisfaction."  source. 

His last words:    "When I have Suffered sufficiently, the Lord will then take me to himself -- but what are all my sufferings compared to those of the blessed Saviour, who died upon that cursed tree for me, mine are nothing." -- statement made during his final illness, 1 June 1845 

    "God will take care of you for me. I am my God's. I belong to him, I go but a short time before you, and I want to meet you all in heaven, both white & black. 
    "What is the matter with my Dear Children, have I alarmed you? Oh, do not cry -- be good children & we will all meet in heaven." 

    -- final words, 8 June 1845

     "In January of 1832, while the President was dining with friends at the White House, someone whispered to him that the Senate had rejected the nomination of Martin Van Buren as Minister to England. Jackson jumped to his feet and exclaimed, "By the Eternal! I'll smash them!" So he did. His favorite, Van Buren, became Vice President, and succeeded to the Presidency when "Old Hickory" retired to the Hermitage, where he died in June 1845." source

Shifting Legacy
      "Of all presidential reputations, Andrew Jackson’s is perhaps the most difficult to summarize or explain. Most Americans recognize his name, though most probably know him (in the words of a famous song) as the general who “fought the bloody British in the town of New Orleans” in 1815 rather than as a two-term president of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Thirteen polls of historians and political scientists taken between 1948 and 2009 have ranked Jackson always in or near the top ten presidents, among the “great” or “near great.” His face adorns our currency, keeping select company with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Jackson is the only president, and for that matter the only American, whose name graces a whole period in our history. While other presidents belong to eras, Jackson’s era belongs to him....
         The image of Jackson as a quintessential product of American democracy has stuck. Yet always complicating it has been the interplay between the personal and the political. If Jackson is a potent democratic symbol, he is also a conflicted and polarizing one. In his own lifetime he was adulated and despised far beyond any other American. To an amazing degree, historians today still feel visceral personal reactions to him, and praise or damn accordingly.
           Jackson’s outsized, larger-than-life character and career have always offered plenty to wonder at and to argue about. His lifelong political antagonist Henry Clay once likened him, not implausibly, to a tropical tornado. Jackson’s rough-and-tumble frontier youth and pre-presidential (mainly military) career showed instances of heroic achievement and nearly superhuman fortitude. Mixed in with these were episodes of insubordination, usurpation, uncontrolled temper, wanton violence, and scandal. Jackson vanquished enemies in battle everywhere and won a truly astonishing victory at New Orleans. He also fought duels and street brawls, defied superiors, shot captives and subordinates, launched a foreign invasion against orders, and (disputably) stole another man’s wife. As president he was, depending on whom one asked, either our greatest popular tribune or the closest we have come to an American Caesar." source

Social Legacy
     "Andrew Jackson’s presidency marked the introduction of a real maverick to the White House: a frontiersman from Tennessee, not part of the Washington elite, who brought the ideas of the people to the national government — or, at least that’s what his supporters claimed. But Jackson’s lasting political legacy instead comes from expanding the vote to all white males (not just landholder), and the tragic effects of the Indian Removal Act of 1830." (cite link above)

Dark Legacy Belongs To US
       "When I asked Phillips why he named the award after Jackson, a Democrat, he simply replied that Jackson was the greatest American president who ever lived." Abraham Lincoln, he said, was the worst.(cite link above)

From Revered to Reviled 
      "It's no secret that Andrew Jackson's legacy is complicated. He's described by the organization that wants him off the $20 bill as "the slave-trading, Indian-killing seventh President."Yet, his humble origins as a poor orphan with little education exemplified the American dream that anyone could become president. Biographer James Parton put it this way: "He was a democratic autocrat, an urbane savage, an atrocious saint."

Worst Great President
         "But Jackson's sense of honor was far less about protecting a good reputation than instilling a fearsome one through terrible violence. He was a smoldering latrine fire of resentments and rage. And in many ways, quarrels about honor obsessed his presidency." (cite link above)

Harriet Tubman Ousts Jackson off the $20
        Library of Congress photo. H Lindsay
    ..."Tubman, an African-American and a Union spy during the Civil War, would bump Jackson — a white man known as much for his persecution of Native Americans as for his war heroics and advocacy for the common man — to the back of the $20, in some reduced image along with the White House. " source:


Washington Post Conference with Meachem Audio

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