“It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.”
“The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests.”
Andrew Jackson was the first “log cabin” President and he represented a marked change from the previous Presidents, who had come from wealth and privilege. As President, Jackson was a strong commander, hiring and firing Cabinet members at will. His success as President was mixed. On the one hand, the people appreciated his down-to-earth manners and outlook. On the other hand, he supported slavery and developed policies that hurt Native Americans. He had a fiery temper and was involved in many duels.
- Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 in a log cabin somewhere in the Carolinas. He was born just a few days after his father’s death.
- Andrew Jackson grew up in poverty and had little education. He could read though and read the Declaration of Independence to his neighbors, who could not read.
- Jackson was the last President to fight in the Revolutionary War. At age 13, he became a messenger for American soldiers. He was captured by the British. He refused to polish a British officer’s shoes. The officer attached Jackson, leaving a nasty scar on his face.
- Jackson was a fierce military leader. During the War of 1812, he led American troops against the British and won, killing or wounding over 2,000 British soldiers. Only 71 American soldiers died in the fight.
- Jackson was very popular with ordinary people. The people mobbed the White House at Jackson’s inauguration, climbing on silk chairs and breaking china. Jackson fled through the backdoor and hid in a nearby hotel.
- Andrew Jackson married Rachel Donelson Robards in August 1791 (also, 1794). Rachel was shy and quiet and disliked political publicity. She was criticized for her weight and her lack of education. She said that she would rather “be a doorkeeper in the house of God than live in that palace in Washington.” She died of a heart attack before Jackson became President.
- At the White House, Jackson once served a wheel of cheddar cheese weighing 1,400 pounds.
- The Democratic and Republican parties we know today emerged during Jackson’s Presidency.
- An assassin shot two guns at Jackson at close range in the U.S. Capitol building. Both guns misfired. Jackson beat the gunman with a cane.
- Andrew Jackson had two bullets lodged in his chest from gunfights. These bullets caused lead poisoning, which he died from at the age of 78.
- At Andrew Jackson’s funeral, his parrot was removed for using swear words, probably learned from Jackson, himself.
Questions and Answers
Question: How many terms did Andrew Jackson serve?
Answer: Jackson ran and lost against John Quincy Adams, who remained a bitter enemy. After his victory in New Orleans, his popularity soared and he ran again, this time winning. Jackson served two terms as President.
Visit Andrew Jackson’s mansion, The Hermitage, and learn more about this interesting U.S. President.