Andrew Jackson

Nation: United States

President

Birth Date: March 15, 1767
United States Andrew Jackson President Cover
I. Childhood and Journey to Nashville
II. Marriage to Rachel Donelson
III. Early Political Career
IV. The Creek War
V. Battle of New Orleans
VI. First Seminole War
VII. Presidency
External Links
I. Childhood and Journey to Nashville
Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 at Waxhaw, a Scotch-Irish settlement just on the boundary between the two Carolinas, yet he always claimed to belong by birth to South Carolina. His father, who had arrived in 1765, died a few days before Andrew's birth, leaving a widow and three sons to struggle with poverty. At the age of thirteen, Andrew with his brothers joined Sumter's partisan corps, and afterwards while a prisoner was harshly treated. His mother and brothers died of hardships of the Revolutionary War, and Andrew, who narrowly escaped, ever retained vindictive feelings against the British.

In 1785, he entered a law office at Salisbury, NC, but devoted his time chiefly to gaming and horse-racing. In 1788, he removed to the frontier settlement at Nashville, and was soon appointed public prosecutor for the Western District of North Carolina, now Tennessee.

Spofford, A. R., Weitenkampf, F., & Lamberton, J. P. (1899). Andrew Jackson. In The library of historic characters and famous events of all nations and all ages (Vol. 7, pp. 359-360). Boston: Art-Library Pub. Co.
Back To Top


II. Marriage to Rachel Donelson
At the age of twenty-four, Jackson married Rachel Donelson Robards, daughter of Col. John Donelson, who had gone from Virginia to Tennessee. Her former husband, Capt. Lewis Robards, madly jealous of the inoffensive attention shown her by others, had left her. Robards, removing to Kentucky, obtained permission from the Virginia legislature to sue for divorce, and Jackson, hearing a report that the divorce had been granted, married Rachel at Natchez. No divorce, however, was obtained until late in 1793, and Jackson, as the best way out of the difficulty, remarried her in January 1794. From these circumstances his enemies at various times found material to make malignant attacks on his character, while he to vindicate his honor fought several duels. The first was with Charles Dickinson, in which Jackson had a rib broken and Dickinson was killed.

Spofford, A. R., Weitenkampf, F., & Lamberton, J. P. (1899). Andrew Jackson. In The library of historic characters and famous events of all nations and all ages (Vol. 7, p. 360). Boston: Art-Library Pub. Co.
Back To Top


III. Early Political Career
Jackson took part in framing the Constitution of Tennessee and, when that State was admitted to the Union in June 1796, he was elected its representative in Congress. In the next year, he was elected to the United States Senate. He resigned in the following April and was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. As his military ability was recognized, he was made commander of the State militia in 1801. His private affairs demanding his attention, he resigned his judicial position in 1804, moved into a log-house and was for some years an enterprising trader in Indian corn, wheat, horses, and cattle.

Spofford, A. R., Weitenkampf, F., & Lamberton, J. P. (1899). Andrew Jackson. In The library of historic characters and famous events of all nations and all ages (Vol. 7, p. 360). Boston: Art-Library Pub. Co.
Back To Top


IV. The Creek War
When the War of 1812 broke out, Jackson offered to raise and lead against the enemy an army of 2000 men, but for nearly two years his offer was not accepted. In August 1813, a band of Creek Indians, aroused by the English, attacked Fort Mimms in southern Alabama and massacred between four and five hundred people. The neighboring state of Tennessee promptly raised 3,500 soldiers to be sent against the Creeks.

Jackson was the choice for commander, but he was in bed, suffering from wounds received in a quarrel two weeks before. When word reached him, he at once began to issue orders. In three days, he rose from his bed and started on the march to Alabama. When his physician was asked whether the general was able to go, he replied, "No other man would be able in his condition." But Jackson went, with his left arm in a sling and with hardly strength enough to sit on his horse.

Because of the poor facilities for transportation and the sparsely settled country through which the army marched, food for soldiers and horses was very difficult to get. For weeks before reaching the land of the Creeks, General Jackson's greatest problem was how to keep his men from starving. Hungry men are hard to control, and no less than four times did his troops break out in open mutiny. But at all times Jackson was equal to the emergency. This campaign against the Creek Indians lasted eight months and resulted in the complete conquest of the savages.

Foote, A. E., & Skinner, A. W. (1910). Andrew Jackson - War hero and president. In Makers and defenders of America (pp. 171-172). New York: American Book Company.
Back To Top


V. Battle of New Orleans
Near the end of 1814, word came to Jackson that the English, in order to control the Mississippi River, were moving to capture New Orleans. The city was poorly prepared for defense against veteran English soldiers, so Jackson's problem was a difficult one. With great dispatch, he made himself familiar with the surrounding country, and decided to prevent the English from attacking the city itself.

Early in the afternoon of December 23rd, he was told that the English army was within eight miles of the city. He at once summoned the aides, saying, "Gentlemen, the British are below. We must fight them tonight." Messengers were sent ordering every division to its assigned position and, three hours later, Jackson left the city to meet the enemy. The English were surprised on the road eight miles below New Orleans, and the fighting lasted half that night.

The next day, December 24th, the treaty of peace was signed at Ghent in Belgium. But as there was no Atlantic cable, the official news did not reach Jackson until March 6, 1815. The greater part of the fighting near New Orleans took place after the two countries were supposed to be at peace. The campaign lasted two weeks longer, and the great final battle was fought on January 8, 1815, when the brave English soldiers met a crushing defeat in attacking Jackson's line of entrenchments.

Jackson's victory is remarkable because the attacking army was made up of splendidly trained English veterans under brave and experienced commanders. In contrast, many of the American soldiers had never seen a battle and all were poorly armed. Once at a critical moment, 300 recruits came down the river to Jackson's camp, but not a man had a weapon, and there was not one to spare in the camp. Jackson made the best of what he had. His generalship was superb. When he knew he was too weak to attack the enemy, he held his ground doggedly and earned the title, "Old Hickory," that his soldiers loved to call him.

Foote, A. E., & Skinner, A. W. (1910). Andrew Jackson - War hero and president. In Makers and defenders of America (pp. 172-174). New York: American Book Company.
Back To Top


VI. First Seminole War
In 1818, Jackson commanded in another war with the Creek and Seminole Indians, who were living partly in United States territory and partly in Florida. During the war, Jackson followed a band over the line, and finding they received aid from the Spanish settlements, he captured two towns. The government afterwards gave these towns back to Spain, but the raid helped the Spanish to decide to sell the territory, as it was becoming more and more difficult to defend. In 1819, Florida was purchased for $5,000,000, and in 1821 Jackson was appointed the first governor.

Foote, A. E., & Skinner, A. W. (1910). Andrew Jackson - War hero and president. In Makers and defenders of America (p. 174). New York: American Book Company.
Back To Top


VII. Presidency
In 1824, Jackson was nominated for the presidency. None of the four candidates that year received a majority of the 261 electoral votes, and the election went to the House of Representatives, by whom John Quincy Adams was made President. Jackson was hurt because of this selection, and the next four years were one continuous presidential campaign for him. He was elected with a big vote in 1828. A few weeks later, on December 22, his wife died very suddenly. His biographer says that he never recovered from this shock. He had always been a hot-tempered man, given to the use of strong language and having many quarrels which resulted in duels. He now became very much subdued; one of his friends declared, "twenty years older in a night."

Early in January, he started for Washington to assume the duties of President. The route was by steamboat down the Cumberland and up the Ohio to Pittsburg, then across Pennsylvania to the capital. Everywhere he was enthusiastically received as a great hero and the friend of the people. He had always been a man of strong likes and dislikes. He also possessed the notion that a man who did not vote for him was his enemy. He confused political questions with personal feelings. So, when he became President, he promptly dismissed from office those who had not voted for him and appointed his friends, regardless of their fitness for the work. Thus he introduced what has been known as the "Spoils System."

After the War of 1812, a new tariff had been placed on imported goods as a protection to the small manufacturing establishments that had been started in the United States. In 1824, and again in 1828, the tariff was made higher than before. As the southern states did not manufacture but brought from Europe many things in exchange for their cotton, they paid a large proportion of the tariff. Much objection was made by the South. Finally, South Carolina, in 1832, adopted a Nullification Act which declared the tariff laws of the United States null and void in that state. Now President Jackson did not favor a high tariff, and many southern people expected his help. But at a Jefferson birthday banquet in 1830, he had surprised many of his friends by giving a toast of his own choosing, "The Federal Union: It must be preserved."

Jackson kept his word when the crisis came. As President, it was his duty to enforce the laws of Congress in all states alike. So when South Carolina tried to nullify the tariff law, he ordered General Scott to Charleston to enforce obedience. This fearless conduct of President Jackson preserved the Union. In a short time the tariff was reduced by Congress but was not abolished. It was collected in South Carolina as in other states.

In 1837, Jackson returned to his old home, the Hermitage, where he lived until 1845, dying at the age of seventy-eight.

Foote, A. E., & Skinner, A. W. (1910). Andrew Jackson - War hero and president. In Makers and defenders of America (pp. 174-177). New York: American Book Company.
Back To Top


External Links

Click for larger image
Back To Top

Back to United States Entries
Europe
Asia
Africa
Americas
Europe | Asia | Africa | Americas | Middle East
Contact Us | Credits | Home
2018 Yomigaeru Kingdom, LLC
884