Childhood and Career of Andrew Jackson

Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson are immigrants from Ireland. They gave birth to Andrew Jackson on March 15, 1767, along with two sons named Hugh and Robert near Lancaster, South Carolina. Andrew Jackson was named after his father, who died before he was born.

Unveil the humble beginnings and numerous tragedies throughout the childhood of Andrew Jackson that influenced him to become a devoted fighter and a man of dispute.

Spirited Youth

He grew up with his single mother, raising him and two elder brothers. She moved to her relatives in Waxhaw settlement, the border region of North and South Carolina. Elizabeth is a pious woman. She hoped that Andrew would become a Presbyterian minister someday; however, Andrew is far from being a minister because of his tendencies in pulling pranks; he even curses and engages in brawls.

When the Revolutionary War broke, Andrew Jackson’s family joined the war effort. Andrew, who was only 13 years old, and his brothers enlisted as soldiers; while their mother worked as a nurse. 

Tragedy struck the Jacksons. During the Revolutionary War, Hugh died of heat exhaustion during the Battle of Stono Ferry; meanwhile, Andrew and Robert were held captive by the British. On one occasion, Andrew refused to shine the shoes of a British officer. The officer then struck him with a saber, which left him with a lasting scar on his head. They got smallpox, and Robert did not survive after their release. Lastly, their mother contracted cholera and died.

He was orphaned at the age of 14. His relatives took care of him and received irregular education. Then, he decided to leave, moved to Charleston, and roomed with different people.

Andrew received an inheritance from his grandfather from Ireland but embarked on the money in gambling. After he ran out of money, he worked as a school teacher despite his disdain in studying.

At the age of 17, Andrew decided to study law. He went to Salisbury, North Carolina, to pursue his ambition. Prominent lawyers apprenticed him. In 1787, he received his license and immediately practiced law in North Carolina. He gained the reputation of being wild, a gambler, drunkard, but charismatic and ambitious.

Career as a Lawyer

At 21, he served as a public prosecutor in the new Mero District of North Carolina with the help of his friend and mentor, John McNairy, who served as the Superior Court Judge in that territory.

In 1791, he met Rachel Donelson Robards as he boarded in her mother’s house in Tennessee. She was married to Captain Lewis Robards but was unhappy. She left her and lived with Andrew; eventually, Captain Lewis procured a divorce against Rachel. After three years, Andrew and Rachel got married.

As a tall man with thin red hair with piercing blue eyes, he was known to have volatile temper and fearless. Many believed that Andrew fought numerous duels. 

In 1806, due to a misunderstanding in a horse race, Andrew challenged Charles Dickinson, a prominent lawyer and an expert marksman in a contest. Charles Dickinson fired the first round and hit Andrew Jackson’s chest, which broke his ribs. Andrew endured the excruciating pain, stood up, and gave a fatal shot and killed Dickinson.

The bullet of Charles Dickinson was too close to Andrew Jackson’s heart, which will be very risky when removed. Andrew Jackson carried the round until his last breath.

Military Career

In 1812, another war broke. Andrew was elected as the General of the Tennessee troops and won several battles.

Because of his victorious military campaigns, people dubbed him as a war hero. The union procured millions of hectares in the Southern region, including Florida.

He earned the nickname “Old Hickory” because he was compared to the determination and toughness of a Hickory tree.

During his hiatus in the military, Andrew got involved in a street brawl in Tennessee against the Benton Brothers, Jesse, and Thomas Hart on September 4, 1813. The duel nearly lost his arm after a slug shattered his shoulder and needs to be amputated.

Political Career

Andrew Jackson was a member of the convention and participated in establishing Tennessee’s constitution. He became the first representative of Tennessee in the House of Representatives. He only served as a senator for eight months then resigned. Then later appointed as a circuit judge in 1804.

Hailed as a war hero, Andrew Jackson became more prominent to the citizens. It paved his way to his political career. He refused the governor position; however, he was interested in John Overton’s proposal to put him in the presidential ticket.

As he was recovering because of the physical injuries to received, he thought he was about to die. Upon his recovery, he kept himself busy by criticizing the corruption during James Monroe’s presidency.

During his candidacy, many threw controversies to him. It includes his controversial marriage to a previously married woman; nevertheless, he firmly fought for his place in the White House and beat his contenders.

Unfortunately, his wife, Rachel, did not live to see her husband’s triumph because she died on December 22, 1828, caused by cardiac arrest.

One of his eccentric policies was the relocation of thousands of Native Americans to the western territories. Cherokee people call it the Trail of Tears by Cherokee people. Around 4,000, migrants died due to hunger, disease, and exhaustion.

Despite being far from perfect, Andrew Jackson’s legacy still lives on until today. He arranged the framework for democracy; he manages to pay off the country’s debt and was able to expand the lands of the United States of America. He was also able to fortify the different relationships and released new currencies.

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