Andrew Jackson, the 7th President

Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. He was born in the Waxhaws on the border of North and South Carolina. Which side is an historical debate, even though his parents lived in North Carolina. His father's name was Andrew and his mother's name was Elizabeth Hutchison Jackson.

Just weeks before Andrew was born, his father died from a logging accident. Andrew was born the third child of Scots-Irish descent on March 15, 1767. After Andrew's father died, his family moved to South Carolina to live and raise her children with one of her sisters.

"The Declaration of Independence" was signed when Andrew Jackson was nine and at thirteen he joined the Continental Army as a courier. All three Jackson brothers fought in the Revolution. His brother Hugh died after the Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina in 1779.

In 1781, Andrew and his brother Robert were taken prisoner for a few weeks. They both contracted smallpox during their imprisonment and Robert died just before they were released.

Later that year his mom went to Charleston to help nurse prisoners of war and died from either ships fever or cholera after she arrived. Andrew was an orphan at fourteen living with relatives for the next year and a half. During this time Andrew worked as an apprentice to a saddle maker.

After the war Andrew taught school but didn't like it and decided to study law instead. At seventeen he went to Salisbury, North Carolina and studied law. In 1787 he was admitted to the North Carolina Bar where that spring he was appointed to the Superior Court in Nashville, Tennessee, as a prosecuting officer. Tennessee was part of the Western District of North Carolina.

In June 1796, Tennessee became the sixteenth state and Andrew was elected as their first congressman. The following year he was elected as a U.S. Senator for one session and resigned. He then served as a judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court for six years.

In 1802 Andrew Jackson was elected Major General of the Tennessee Militia. In 1812 Tennessee Governor Willie Blount gave him the rank of Major General of the U.S Forces.

After the Creek wars with the American Indians, Andrew was promoted to Major General in the regular Army. He became a national hero from the war of 1812 because of the decisive defeat of the British at the "Battle of New Orleans". It was during this time that he got the nickname "Old Hickory".

Jackson was ordered to march his troops from Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. When he got there he was ordered to disband the troops, but instead he marched them back to Tennessee and because of his strict discipline on that march his men said he was as tough as hickory. Later he led his troops during the First Seminole War.

Before Jackson bought the Hermitage farm in 1804, he had lived on two other Davidson County farms. One was called Poplar Grove now in Hadley's Bend, and the other Hunters Hill due north of the Hermitage. It was a well developed farm on the Cumberland River.

In 1819, Jackson began construction on a large brick house that would be called the Hermitage.

Jackson had three adopted children, Andrew Jackson Jr., the son of Rachel's brother Severn Donelson in 1808, Lyncoya, a Creek Indian orphan who lost his parents after a battle with Jackson, and Andrew Jackson Hutchings, the orphaned grand niece of Rachel Jackson.

Andrew Jackson ran for president of the United States in 1824 against John Quincy Adams, but lost due to electoral votes. Jackson referred to this election as the "Stolen Election" because he won by popular vote, but didn't have enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

The House of Representatives had to decide the election. Henry Clay of Kentucky, Speaker of the House, John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Secretary of the House, felt Jackson was a badly educated bumpkin with little preparation for high office.

In 1828, Jackson ran for president again against John Quincy Adams. This time, on the position of the "Stolen Election" by the elite, Jackson defeated Adams, and in 1832, defeated Henry Clay.

Andrew Jackson's campaign in 1828 had to deal with a scandal of adultery with his wife Rachel Donelson Jackson. In 1790, the Kentucky Legislature passed a resolution granting her first husband, Robards, permission to sue for divorce, which he didn't do.

In 1791, Andrew and Rachel married, not realizing Rachel was still married. Robards finally sued for divorce in 1793, accusing Rachel of adultery with Jackson, and the Jacksons remarried in 1794. Rachel Jackson died a few weeks before her husband's inauguration in 1828. Andrew blamed the stress from public discussion for her death.

Jackson always had trouble with his health, and it seemed while president, he wouldn't live through it. In 1837, after his presidency, Andrew retired to "The Hermitage", the home that he and Rachel built near Nashville, Tennessee. When they first built at "The Hermitage", they constructed a small cabin, but later it was expanded into a spacious plantation house.

Even after Andrew Jackson's Presidency, his influence in politics helped to secure the Presidency for Van Buren in 1840. Jackson also worked for the annexation of Texas, and supported James K. Polk during his presidency.

Jackson's last years was plagued with bad health and died at "The Hermitage" on June 8, 1845. Andrew and Rachel were childless, but adopted three children. One of Rachel's nephews whose adopted name was Andrew Jackson Jr was willed The Hermitage, but Jackson Jr's debts forced the sale of "The Hermitage" to the State of Tennessee in 1886. Today it is an historical site open to the public.

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