On March 15, 1767, Andrew Jackson, the future seventh president of the United States of America, was born to Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson in the Waxhaw settlement, the border region of Carolinas.
Andrew’s father died before his birth, and his mother moved with their relatives.
Early Life and Education
The Revolutionary War wiped out his remaining kin. Andrew and his eldest brother, Robert, fought with the Irregular Forces. During their captivity, he refused to clean the boots of a British officer. The office struck him with a saber, which left a lasting scar. Andrew and Robert contracted smallpox in 1781, which caused Robert’s death. His mother died due to cholera as she nursed sick and injured soldiers, leaving him orphaned. He received sporadic education. Hardened by the adversities he faced at a young age, it led to a lifelong grudge against the British.
His uncles raised Andrew. He drifted from his extended family and roomed with various people. He became a saddle maker for quite sometime before becoming a teacher.
After leaving the Waxhaw region, he studied Law in Salisbury, North Carolina, and passed the bar examination in 1787.
After passing the bar examination, he served as a public prosecutor in the new Mero District of North Carolina, which later become Tennessee, with the help of John McNairy.
In 1788, Andrew arrived in the new town. He started to practice his legal career and eventually ventured into trade and became a wealthy landowner and even owned slaves.
He fought his first duel by challenging one of the prominent lawyers in the region, Waightstill Avery. Avery corrected Andrew Jackson after he covertly replaced the volume of Francis Bacon’s legal text into a strip of bacon. Andrew got embarrassed after Avery opposed him in a case and challenged Avery into a duel in the field of honor. They intentionally missed each other upon firing, leaving them friends at the end.
Boarding in Rachel Stockly Donelson, he became acquainted with her daughter, Rachel Donelson Robards. She was in an unhappy marriage with Captain Lewis Robards. The two started living together in 1791 until Rachel separated with her husband after he procured a divorce. Three years later, Rachel and Andrew were formally married. The two remained devotedly in love with each other throughout their lives.
Andrew Jackson became a member of the convention which established the Tennessee Constitution. Elected as Tennessee’s first representative in the House of Representatives, he eventually became a senator but only served for eight months. Andrew Jackson was appointed as a circuit judge on the Superior Court of Tennessee until 1804.
In 1802, as Andrew Jackson’s political career is budding. He developed a rivalry against the Governor, John Sevier. Although he lacks military experience, Andrew dared John Sevier against the Major General election. Andrew succeeded, which ended up with a duel in Knoxville.
Served as the Major General in the War of 1812, he led the troops against the British forces who massacred the settlers in Fort Mims, now Alabama.
The five-month campaign was a success and culminated with their victory in March 1814 in the Battle of Tohopeka or the Horseshoe Bend. He also led the American forces to win in the Battle of New Orleans. His numerous victories raised him as a war hero.
After the war, Andrew Jackson led his forces without any order to invade Florida. They were able to capture the Pensacola outpost in November 1814. He then pursued the British troops in New Orleans. Although outnumbered, they unexpectedly won against the British in the Battle of New Orleans. It was also his last engagement in the War of 1812.
He earned his nickname “Old Hickory” because of his ruthlessness in the battlefield and dubbed as a national hero was received a gold medal recognition from the Congress.
His volatile temper also associated him with his nickname. He quickly gets into fights and brawls due to his wrath. In 1806, he had a minor misunderstanding over a horse race. He challenged Charles Dickinson, a lawyer, and an expert marksman, into a duel. Charles Dickinson fired his pistol, which hit Andrew Jackson in the chest and broke his ribs. Eventually, Andrew stood up and gave no sign of pain. He aimed his gun towards Charles Dickinson and delivered a fatal shot causing his death.
The doctors believe that the bullet through Andrew Jackson’s chest was too close to his heart to be removed. He carried Charles Dickinson’s round for the rest of his life.
On September 4, 1813, Andrew got involved in a street brawl in Nashville against the Jesse and Thomas Hart, which is also known as the Benton brothers. Andrew’s left shoulder shattered by a slug that needs to be amputated; however, Andrew decided to keep his arm.
After the war, Andrew Jackson suffered physical agony. Knowing that there are two bullets in his body and exhaustion from military campaigning, he thought he was at the brink of death; however, he was able to recover. Andrew recuperated and started to meddle with national affairs. He preoccupied himself with the Monroe Administration’s corruption and detest against the Second Bank of the United States due to contract credits and caused the Panic of 1819.
He declined the governor’s position; instead, he accepted John Overton’s proposal to nominate him as president.
Many appreciated him because of his vocal criticisms on the banks.
Birth of Democratic Party
During the presidential election of 1824, Andrew Jackson received warm support from the South and West territories. He referred his supporters as the Democrats. Martin Van Buren established the Democratic Party and assembled a group of politicians to put Andrew Jackson in the presidential seat.
Personal attacks bashed Andrew Jackson as he strived to campaign for the position. They accused Rachel and Andrew of bigamy and adultery because of Rachel’s previous marriage before theirs.
Shortly after winning, Rachel Jackson died. Rachel was extremely stressed and struggled; that is why Andrew Jackson believed that the negative comments caused Rachel to fall ill.
Having no children, their closest niece, Emily Donelson, served as his hostess in the White House.
Andrew Jackson was the first president to invite the public to attend his inauguration reception and earned him popularity. The large crowd broke furniture and dishes in the White House, giving him a new nickname, “King Mob.”
On January 30, 1835, Richard Lawrence attempted to assassinate Andrew Jackson in the funeral of Representative Warren R. Davis. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Richard Lawrence ended up beaten by Andrew Jackson with his cane.
One of his most significant accomplishments as a president was his battle against the monopoly of the Second Bank of the United States. He believed that it might advance a few at the expense of many. He was able to shutter it in 1836.
His most controversial decision as a president was his dealings with the Native Americans. He approved the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and compulsorily relocated the tribes westward. There are approximately 4,000 who died due to starvation, dry, and disease. It was called the Trail of Tears.
After serving for two terms in the office, he suffered ill health and remained significant in national and state politics.
At the age of 78, he died on June 8, 1845, due to chronic dropsy and heart failure.