Presidents: Andrew Jackson

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Andrew Jackson is considered the founder of the Democratic Party and was the only President to eliminate National debt.

young Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 to Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson. His parents had only emigrated to the United States two years before his birth, bringing two older brothers with them. They settled in an area known as the Waxhaws, along the border of North and South Carolina. Three weeks before Andrew was born, his father died in an accident. He was only 29 years old.

In 1824, Jackson wrote a letter stating he was born on his uncle’s plantation in Lancaster, SC. Other evidence states he was born at another uncle’s home in North Carolina.

Jackson was thirteen years old when he served as a local militia as a courier during the American Revolution. He had one brother die during the war. Jackson and another brother were captured and held by prisoners by the British. One soldier slashed him, when he refused to clean the soldier’s boots, and left scars on his left hand and head. This time also lead to an intense hatred for the British.

Days after his mother secured her sons release, Jackson’s other brother died from small pox. His mother died later that year from cholera while nursing prisoners of war. So in November 1781, at the age of 14,Jackson became an orphan with no immediate family.

Jackson’s education seems to be sporadic at best. He eventually studied law and eventually began to make a name for himself. In 1788, he was appointed solicitor.

Andrew Jackson in military uniform

His height of 6’1 and penetrating deep blue eyes must have made him an intimidating man even at a young age. He is said to have unruly shocks of red hair, but it had completely grayed by the time he became president.

Upon arriving that year in Nashville, Jackson lived as a border in the home of a widow named Rachel Stockly Donelson. He soon met and became acquainted with her daughter, Rachel Donelson Robards. Rachel was unhappily married to Captain Lewis Robards. The Robards separated in 1790 and upon learning Captain Robards obtained a divorce, Rachel married Andrew Jackson. However, they latter discovered the divorce was never completed and remarried in 1794, once it was completed. This would become fodder in Jackson’s presidential campaign many years later.

Rachel and Andrew Jackson had no children of their own. They adopted three sons, an Indian named Theodore; Rachel’s nephew, Andrew Jackson, Jr; and a Creek Indian named Lyncoya, who was orphaned.

The couple also served as guardians to three additional nephews of Rachel’s, a grand nephew of Rachel’s and the four orphaned children of family friend, Edward Butler, upon his death.

In 1796, he was elected to the Tennessee constitutional convention. Upon statehood, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He had a short term in the U.S. Senate before being appointed a Tennessee State Supreme Court Judge in 1798. This was a role he would hold for the next six years.

In 1801, he was appointed commander and colonel of the Tennessee militia. In 1802, he reached the rank of Major General.

In 1803, he built a home and the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee. The following year he purchased a plantation named, The Hermitage, outside Nashville,

Andrew Jackson


In 1806, Jackson fought a duel against Charles Dickinson over reports of Rachel Jackson’s honor. The bullet that struck Jackson was so close to his heart it could never be recovered. Dickinson was killed, which led to Jackson becoming a social outcast.

Jackson served in the War of 1812 and dealt with the Creek War, under which David Crockett and Sam Houston served him. In 1814, he won the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

During the War of 1812, his men stated he was “tough as old hickory” wood on the battlefield and the name “Old Hickory” stuck. Some authors also claim the Creeks referred to him as “Jackson, old and fierce”.

In December 1817, under President James Monroe, Jackson led a campaign against the Seminole and Creek Indians in the First Seminole War.

In 1818, he negotiated a purchase of land from the Chickasaw Nation. The following year he became one of three investors to found Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1822, Jackson returned to the U.S. Senate. He also ran for president against John Quincy Adams. Jackson received the popular vote but not the electoral vote. The House of Representatives voted for John Quincy Adams as president, which led Jackson to call them corrupt. This led to ugly mudslinging on both sides for the next four years.

Andrew Jackson

Jackson’s opponents referred to him as a jackass, which eventually led the animal to become the symbol for the Democratic party.

Jackson won the presidency in 1828, but it was marred by sorrow when his beloved Rachael died a few weeks later. She was buried on Christmas Eve. Jackson could not forgive the things that had been said about his wife by the opponents. Earlier that same year, Jackson’s adopted son Lyncoya died on June 1, 1828.

Jackson was sworn in as president on March 4, 1829 and was the first president to take the oath on the East portico of the Capitol building. He was also the first to invite the public to the White House ball after his inauguration, but it turned out to be a disaster.

With Rachel’s death, her niece Emily Donelson served as hostess at the White House. In 1834, Sarah Yorke Jackson, the wife of Andrew Jackson, Jr also served as co-hostess. “It was the only time in history when two women simultaneously acted as unofficial First Lady.” Emily died in 1836, and Sarah took over the hostess duties.

He dealt with vicious rumors that became known as the Petticoat Affair in the early days of his presidency.

Daguerreotype photo of Andrew Jackson

His involvement with Indian relations did not end, and he began to advocate for land west of the Mississippi River be set aside for the Indian tribes. This would eventually lead to the Trail of Tears in 1838.

In 1832, he passed the Service Pension Act to provide pensions for veterans. Later that year he won re-election.

Jackson also had to deal with the Second Bank of the United States closing and was instrumental in setting up a new bank, improving credit and leaving the United States debt free. However, all of this led to the Panic of 1837.

On January 30, 1835 the first known assassination attempt against a sitting president was made on President Jackson by Richard Lawrence.

In 1837, after serving two terms as president, Andrew Jackson retired to his home at The Hermitage. However, he remained influential in politics.

On June 8, 1845 he died at his plantation, at the age of 78.



7th President of the United States
(March 4, 1829 to March 3, 1837)Nickname: “Old Hickory”

Born: March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaw area, on North Carolina-South Carolina border
Died: June 8, 1845, at the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee

Father: Andrew Jackson
Mother: Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson
Married: Rachel Donelson Robards (1767-1828), in August 1791 and in a second ceremony on January 17, 1794
Children: Andrew Jackson, Jr. (adopted)

Religion: Presbyterian
Education: No formal education
Occupation: Lawyer, soldier
Political Party: Democrat

  • Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1796-97
  • United States Senator, 1797-98
  • Justice on Tennessee Supreme Court, 1798-1804
  • Governor of the Florida Territory, 1821
  • United States Senator, 1823-25

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year

  • 1829
    • Estate of James Smithson funded the establishment of the Smithsonian.
    • About 2,000 of Jackson’s supporters given government jobs. Jackson also set up a “kitchen cabinet” of informal advisers.
  • 1830
    • Jackson authorizes Indian Removal Act of 1830.
  • 1831
  • 1832
    • Jackson reelected.
    • Jackson vetoed the rechartering of 2nd Bank leading to the creation of the Whig Party.
    • South Carolina attempted to nullify federal tariff laws. Federal troops sent to South Carolina on December 10.
  • 1835
    • U.S. became debt free (briefly) for the only time in history.
  • 1836
    • 6000 Mexicans defeated 190 Americans in 12 days at the Alamo on March 6.
      The Specie Circular ordered that gold and silver were the only currency acceptable for the purchase of federal lands, issued on July 11.
  • 1835
    • Jackson signs Treaty of New Echota with unrecognized leaders of Cherokee Nation, which allows him to force the Cherokees to move to land in what is now Oklahoma. 4,000 Native Americans die on this journey, also known as the Trail of Tears.


1767 Born on March 15, 1767 in Waxhaw, South Carolina to a family of poor Irish immigrants. Andrew Jackson’s father died before he was born and his mother and 2 brothers died before he was 14.

1775 – 83 The American Revolution, the American War of Independence, led by George Washington was fought between Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.

1780 He joined the Army at the age of just 13 to fight in the Revolutionary War (1775–83)

1791 Andrew Jackson married Rachel Donelson Jackson who was a widow with 11 children. He helped raise her children as if they were his own.

1796 – 97 Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1796-97

1797 – 98 United States Senator, 1797-98

1798 -1804 Justice on Tennessee Supreme Court, 1798-1804

1812 He fought in the War of 1812 which has also been called the second War for Independence, between the United States and Great Britain

1817 – 1818 He fought in the First Seminole War when American slave owners travelled to Spanish Florida in search of runaway African slaves and Seminole Indians who had been trading weapons with the British in the War of 1812.

1821 Governor of the Florida Territory, 1821

1823 James Monroe implemented the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 which declared against foreign colonization or intervention in the Americas.

1823 – 25 United States Senator, 1823-25

1829 He became the 7th President of America in 1829 at the age of 61 and served for 8 years until 1837

1835 Second Seminole War begins. President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act

1835 – 1836 The Texas Revolution (October 2, 1835 – April 21, 1836) which included the famous Battle of the Alamo. Texas settlers from the United States to join the Texan Army which defeated the Mexican Army

1838 1838-1839: The Trail of Tears

1845 He died of consumption, dropsy and tubercular haemorrhaging on June 8, 1845 near Nashville, Tennessee.


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