His Scots-Irish parents emigrated from Ireland two years before his birth, which was March 15, 1767. His father died before he was born. At age 13, Andrew Jackson joined a local militia to fight during the Revolutionary War. His eldest brother, Hugh Jackson, died during the Battle of Stono Ferry, June 20, 1779.
Andrew Jackson and another brother, Robert, were taken prisoner and nearly starved to death. Robert contracted smallpox in prison and died.
A British officer ordered young Andrew Jackson to polish the boots. When Andrew refused, the officer drew his sword and slashed him across the head, arm and hand, leaving Andrew with permanent scars.
On May 29, 1780, British forces, numbering 14,000, laid siege to Charleston, South Carolina. After six weeks, Continental Major General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered. Nearly 6,000 Americans were taken captive, the largest number of Americans prior to the Civil War. Buildings were converted into prisons, and many prisoners were put on British starving ships, where they contracted diseases.
Andrew Jackson’s mother, Elizabeth, along with other women, volunteered to care for the sick American prisoners. Tragically, Elizabeth contracted “ship fever” and died, being buried in an unmarked grave.
Andrew Jackson was an orphan at age 14. He supported and educated himself, eventually becoming a frontier country lawyer. In 1788, at the age of 21, was appointed prosecutor of the Western District.
In 1796, at the age of 29, Jackson was elected as a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention, where he is credited with proposing the Indian name “Tennessee.” Tennessee citizens elected Jackson a U.S. Congressman then U.S. Senator. In 1798, Jackson served as a judge on Tennessee’s Supreme Court. Speculating in land, Jackson bought the Hermitage plantation near Nashville and was one of three investors who founded Memphis.
During the War of 1812, Red Stick Creek Indians were instigated by the British to massacre 500 Americans at Fort Mims, Alabama. The French pronunciation of Red Stick was “Baton Rouge.” Andrew Jackson was sent to fight the Red Stick Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.
Sam Houston and David Crockett both served under Jackson. A strict battlefield officer, Jackson was described as being “tough as old hickory,” leading to his nickname “Old Hickory.” Against overwhelming odds, Andrew Jackson defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans in Jan. 8, 1815. Over 2,000 British were killed or wounded, as compared to only 71 American casualties.
Jackson invaded Spanish Florida, defeated Seminole Indians and served as the territorial governor of Florida. The city of Jacksonville, Florida is named after him.
Andrew Jackson carried bullet fragments in his body from duels, most notably from defending his wife’s honor. The stressful personal attacks during his presidential campaign contributed his wife Rachel’s death just three months before he took office.
The seventh U.S. president, Andrew Jackson stated in his second inaugural: “It is my fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our Republic to the present day … that He will … inspire the hearts of my fellow-citizens that we may be preserved from danger.”
Andrew Jackson is considered the founder of the modern Democrat Party.
Most presidential administrations have a combination of both negative and positive aspects, with a more recent example being that of Democrat President Bill Clinton. Though Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury in a sexual scandal with Monica Lewinsky, and he interjected a sexual revolution in the military with his “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy; yet Clinton balanced the budget, reduced the number of welfare recipients, and signed the Defense of Marriage Act – defining marriage as one man and one woman.
In like fashion, Andrew Jackson – the first Democrat President, had negative and positive aspects. Though Jackson held the Democrat position of supporting slavery of Africans, and signed the infamous Indian Removal Act – a big government solution disregarding Indian sovereignty; yet Jackson paid off the national debt – the only president ever to do so, and curtailed the power of globalist-type bankers in the Bank War.
The Bank War began when Nicholas Biddle sought to have his Second Bank of the United States gain monopoly control over the nation’s financial system. Twenty percent of the bank was owned by foreign investors. Andrew Jackson withdrew the federal funds out of the Second Bank of the United States and vetoed a renewal of its charter, stating in 1832: “Controlling our currency,receiving our public moneys, and holding thousands of our citizens in dependence, it would be more … dangerous than the naval and military power of the enemy. …”
Jackson continued: “Some of the powers … possessed by the existing bank are unauthorized by the Constitution, subversive of the rights of the States, and dangerous to the liberties of the people.”
Andrew Jackson told his Vice President Martin Van Buren: “The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it.”
During the Bank War, there was an assassination attempt on Andrew Jackson, Jan. 30, 1835. The assailant fired two pistols at point blank range, but the damp fog in Washington, DC., caused the gunpowder to misfire. Davy Crockett wrestled the assailant down.
On Jan. 30, 1835, Senator Thomas Hart Benton wrote how the incident: “… irresistibly carried many minds to the belief in a superintending Providence, manifested in the extraordinary case of two pistols in succession – so well loaded, so cooly handled, and which afterwards fired with such readiness, force,and precision – missing fire each in his turn, when leveled eight feet at the president’s heart.”
King William IV of England heard of the incident and expressed his concern. President Jackson wrote back, exclaiming: “A kind of Providence had been pleased to shield me against the recent attempt upon my life, and irresistibly carried many minds to the belief in a superintending Providence.”
Since Andrew Jackson’s wife had died before he took office, his nephew’s wife, Emily Donelson, served as the unofficial First Lady. When Emily Donelson died, Andrew Jackson wrote to her husband, Colonel Andrew Jackson Donelson, Dec. 30, 1836: “We cannot recall her, we are commanded by our dear Saviour, not to mourn for the dead, but for the living. … She has changed a world of woe for a world of eternal happiness, and we ought to prepare as we too must follow … ‘The Lord’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.'”
On March 25, 1835, Andrew Jackson wrote in a letter: “I was brought up a rigid Presbyterian, to which I have always adhered. Our excellent Constitution guarantees to every one freedom of religion, and charity tells us (and you know Charity is the real basis of all true religion) … judge the tree by its fruit. All who profess Christianity believe in a Savior, and that by and through Him we must be saved. …”
Jackson concluded: “We ought, therefore, to consider all good Christians whose walks correspond with their professions, be they Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist or Roman Catholic.”
On June 8, 1845, “Old Hickory” died.
Citing the Bible as the foundation of individual rights, Andrew Jackson stated: “That book, Sir, is the Rock upon which our republic rests.”
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