Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson
7th United States President
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In office Mar. 4, 1829 – Mar. 4, 1837
V. President John C. Calhoun
Martin Van Buren
Political Party Democratic
Personal Info
Born Mar. 15, 1767
Died June 8, 1845 (at age 78)
Religion Presbyterianism
Profession Prosecutor, Judge, Planter, General
Wife Rachel Jackson
Children Andrew Jackson
Lyncoya Jackson, John Samuel Donelson, Daniel Smith Donelson, Andrew Jackson Donelson, Andrew Jackson Hutchings, Carolina Butler, Eliza Butler, Edward Butler, Anthony Butler
U.S. Presidents 1-15
1. George Washington (1789–1797)
2. John Adams (1797-1801)
3. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
4. James Madison (1809-1817)
5. James Monroe (1817-1825)
6. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
7. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
8. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
9. William Henry Harrison (1841-1841)
10. John Tyler (1841-1845)
11. James Knox Polk (1845-1849)
12. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
13. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
14. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
15. James Buchanan (1857-1861)
List of All the Presidents

Andrew Jackson was elected as the Seventh President of the United States during the elections of 1828, clearly defeating his opponent, his predecessor, John Quincy Adams. Jackson was a hailed war hero, defeating the Creek Indians during the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, and also the British during the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

Jackson was given the nickname “Old Hickory” because of his tough personality and sometimes his aggressiveness. He had been known to fight in numerous duels, and one in particular had ended fatally for his opponent. But President Jackson was popular among the masses and he tried to act as the representative for the “common man”.

Andrew Jackson’s Early Life

Andrew Jackson was the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson. He was born on March 15, 1767 in the Waxhaws area, a Scottish-Irish community situated between the borders of North and South Carolina. Both his parents were immigrants from Ireland who traveled to America two years before his birth. They brought along their two sons, Hugh and Robert. Unfortunately, Jackson never met his father as he died in an accident just a mere three weeks before he was born.

There are some questions about where his place of birth was exactly. Back then, Waxhaws area was so remote that surveys were yet officially done on the borders of North and South Carolina. Elizabeth, his mother gave birth as she was on a grueling trip home from burying her husband. Jackson claimed that he was born at an uncle’s place in South Carolina while more recent evidences seem to show that he was born in North Carolina.

The Jackson Family and the American Revolutionary War

During the Battle of Stono Ferry, Jackson’s eldest brother, Hugo died because of heat exhaustion. Jackson joined the militia at a young age of thirteen as a courier. He and his other brother, Robert were captured by the British and they were kept as prisoners. Both brothers nearly starved to death.

There was a famous incident during their imprisonment where Andrew Jackson was asked to clean the boots of a British officer. The brave, young Jackson refused to do so and the officer slashed Jackson with his sword, leaving scars on his head as well as his left hand.

On April 27, 1781, Jackson’s mother secured the release of both her sons. Sadly, both brothers contracted small pox while they were imprisoned and just days after they were both released, Robert died. When Elizabeth was assured that her remaining son Andrew would survive, she went as a volunteer to help nurse prisoners of war in Charleston harbor. There had been a cholera outbreak and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson died of the same disease in November of 1781. At 14, Andrew Jackson was left an orphan, and he blamed the British.

Jackson’s Education, Legal and Business Career

Jackson was not educated regularly, but he did receive schooling at a local “old Field” school. For a while, he worked at a saddle maker’s shop, but later he went and taught school. He also began to study law in Salisbury, North Carolina. He was then admitted to the bar in 1787. He moved to Jonesborough and became a county lawyer.

Jackson was not born in a well-known family, and so he had to make a name for himself. In the tough and wild world of the frontier, Jackson by his own sweat, made his law career prosper. He was later appointed as Solicitor of the Western District in 1788. He later became a US representative of the State of Tennessee as well as a member of the Senate. He was also appointed as a judge for the Tennessee Supreme Court where he served for several years.

But Jackson’s success was not limited to his career in law. He too prospered as a merchant, slave owner and planter. In 1803, he built a home as well as the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee. He later bought “The Hermitage” which was a plantation located in Davidson County. The Hermitage started out as a only 640 acres, but it soon grew into 1050 acres. Slaves worked in Jackson’s field in which the primary crop was cotton.

Jackson’s Military Career

President Jackson had an impressive military career. He was a strict officer, but was respected by his troops. He was nicknamed “Old Hickory” because the troops would say “He is as tough as old hickory” when he is on the battlefield. Jackson is quite famous in two battles, one with the Creek Indians, and the other with the British.

The Battle Horseshoe Bend happened in 1814. Jackson, then a colonel, led American forces which defeated the “Red Stick” Creeks (Northern Alabama and Georgia Creek Indians). Jackson’s forces included US regulars, Tennessee militia, Southern Creek Indians, Cherokees and Choctaws. This battle claimed the lives of 800 Red Stick Indians, but Jackson decided to spare one of their Chiefs, William Weatherford.

Subsequent to this victory, the Treaty of Fort Jackson was signed on August 9, 1814. It was agreed in the treaty that 23 million acres of land belonging to the Creek Indians in both Georgia and Alabama will be yielded to the United States. Jackson was then appointed as Major General, and with the end of the Creek War, he now moves south to Louisiana in order to fight the Battle of New Orleans against the British forces.

On January 8, 1815, the Battle of New Orleans was fought between British and American Soldiers. This is a particularly glorious battle for Jackson, and it made him a national hero. He faced the British forces with superior numbers of 7500 men to his own 5,000. Unwavering, Jackson led his men to a decisive victory, incurring incredibly low fatalities and injuries to his troops.

Jackson’s Marriage to Rachel

Jackson met Rachel Donelson Robards in Nashville where he lived as a boarder of Rachel’s mother. Rachel at that time was already married to Lewis Robards, a man known to have “fits of jealous rage”. Rachel and Lewis separated in 1790.

Believing that Lewis Robards had secured a divorce, Jackson married Rachel. They later found out that the divorce was not complete and so their marriage was invalid. Because of this, Rachel was accused of bigamy. When the divorce was finally completed the couple remarried in 1794. In the 1828 elections, her bigamy was one of the favorite topics of those opposing Jackson’s candidacy.

Rachel and Jackson never had children of their own, but they adopted a nephew of Rachel, and raised several other children including one Creek Indian boy. A couple of weeks after Jackson won the 1828 presidential elections, Rachel died of a heart attack. It was said that Jackson blamed the opposing candidate, his predecessor John Quincy Adams, and he never forgave him for it.

Jackson’s Election and Presidency

In the 1824 presidential elections, Jackson lost to John Quincy Adams, because another candidate, Henry Clay gave Adams his support. Later on Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State, causing suspicion that Adams won because of a “corrupt bargain”. Jackson then vowed to unseat Adams in the next elections.

In 1828, Jackson got his wish and won a clear victory over John Quincy Adams. During his inauguration, Jackson was the first of the presidents to welcome the public into the White House.

During the 1832 elections, Jackson replaced Vice President Calhoun with his confidant, Martin Van Buren. Jackson easily won this election and served his second term as president.

The “Spoils System” and the Rotation in Office

Jackson tried to clean up the government because he wanted to purge out the corruption. He began removing different government officials, and replacing them with people from his party or those recommended by them. Many of the replacements have been unfit for the office they held. It was unintentional on Jackson’s part, but he helped in initiating the “Spoils System” meaning there is partisan manipulation.

The Indian Removal

This is perhaps one of the more controversial issues of President Jackson, as many have criticized his actions here. Under his rule, the Indians were forced to be subjected to state laws. Their lands were claimed from them and they were driven out to territories beyond the existing states. Most of the tribes agreed to move, but the Cherokees fought to stay in their ancestral land. In the end, the Cherokees were forced out in the now famous Trail of Tears, where 4,000 Cherokees died as they marched away toward their new home.

The Nullification Crisis

South Carolina had been greatly affected by the fall of the economy in the 1920’s. The state blamed this on the nation’s tariff policy. When Washington failed to do something about the continued complaints about the tariff, South Carolina began to voice out that the state itself has the power to nullify the tariff. This caused a stir in Washington especially since Vice President John C. Calhoun sided with his home state, South Carolina. This caused a split between him and President Jackson.

To prevent a civil war, a “Compromise Tariff” where there was a reduced tariff that is satisfactory to the south, as well as a “Forced Bill” that gave authorization of the military to enforce tariff was passed by congress. With the acceptance of the reduced tariff by the state of South Carolina, they then repealed their Nullification Ordinance and this crisis was averted.

Jackson and the National Bank

Jackson has been opposed to having a national bank, seeing this as a form of monopoly. Jackson was firm on his stance and he was determined to have it closed. He vetoed the bank charter even though it was close to election, and still he won his re-election easily. During his second term of presidency, he continued his battle against the bank, having to remove two of his secretaries just to have his orders enforced.

He asked that all the funds in the national bank be withdrawn and placed in many different smaller banks. A lot of these banks collapsed and resulted to the Panic of 1837 and also greatly pulled the nation’s economy down causing a time of deep depression.

Jackson’s Life after Presidency

After serving two terms, Jackson continued his political life, supporting and advising many of the candidates and future candidates. But age as well as health issues began to catch up with him. On June 8, 1845, President Jackson died at The Hermitage. He was buried in his garden beside his wife Rachel’s resting place.