Salute to President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
Who is that man on the $20 bill?
He is General Andy Jackson. A national hero of the War of 1812, defeating the British in 1815 at New Orleans. And the 7th President of the United States. His nickname was “Old Hickory,” but he preferred to be called the “General.”
The General was the first President to come from a frontier family. He born on March 15, 1767 near the North Carolina-South Carolina border and enlisted in the military to fight in the Revolutionary War when he was 13 years old. After the war he studied law and practiced in Tennessee. He served Tennessee as a Congressman, a Senator, and as a judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court. He also served as governor of Florida.
He and his wife, Rachel Donelson Robards, lived at the Hermitage, a farm located east of Nashville where they welcomed visitors and were known to even have the hallways filled with overnight guests.
He was elected President in 1828. One month after he was elected and three months before he began his first term his beloved wife Rachel passed away. Nevertheless, a saddened General Jackson moved from his farm in Nashville to Washington DC to serve his country as the 7th President.
While President, he prevented the potential breakup of the Union when South Carolina nullified the Federal tariff laws, but he knew that there would eventually be secession and a war between the States. He dissolved the Bank of the United States that was controlled by powerful people who didn’t have the best interests for a young America. He warned future Americans against allowing a Federal Reserve system, such as we have today.
He returned to The Hermitage after serving two terms as President. He enjoyed another eight years there. The General was then laid to rest in the garden in June 1845 at the age of 78.
Visitors are still welcome at The Hermitage. It has been visited by over 15 million people, who have come from around the world, since it was restored in 1889. I commend it to you. It is a great place to learn more about the General and the history of the Union in the early 1800’s.