Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson

In office
March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
Vice President John C. Calhoun (1829–1832)
None (1832–1833)
Martin Van Buren (1833–1837)
Preceded by John Quincy Adams
Succeeded by Martin Van Buren

1st Territorial Governor of Florida
Military Governor
In office
March 10, 1821 – November 12, 1821
President James Monroe
Preceded by None (Spanish territory)
Succeeded by William P. Duval

In office
September 26, 1797 – April, 1798
Preceded by William Cocke
Succeeded by Daniel Smith
In office
March 4, 1823 – October 14, 1825
Preceded by John Williams
Succeeded by Hugh Lawson White

In office
December 4, 1796 – September 26, 1797
Preceded by None – first TN Congressman (statehood)
Succeeded by William C. C. Claiborne

In office
1823 – 1825
Preceded by John Williams
Succeeded by William Henry Harrison

Born March 15, 1767(1767-03-15)
Waxhaws area
Died June 8, 1845 (aged 78)
Nashville, Tennessee;
Nationality American
Political party Democratic-Republican and Democratic
Spouse Widowed. Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson. (Niece Emily Donelson Jackson and daughter-in-law Sarah Yorke Jackson were first ladies)
Children (all adopted:)
Andrew Jackson, Jr.
Lyncoya Jackson
John Samuel Donelson
Daniel Smith Donelson
Andrew Jackson Donelson
Andrew Jackson Hutchings
Carolina Butler
Eliza Butler
Edward Butler
Anthony Butler
Occupation Prosecutor, Judge, Farmer (Planter), Soldier (General)
Religion Presbyterian
Signature Andrew Jackson Signature
Military service
Service/branch Tennessee Militia
United States Army
Rank Colonel
Major General
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War
*Battle of Hobkirk's Hill
Creek War
*Battle of Talladega
*Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek
*Battle of Horseshoe Bend
War of 1812
*Battle of Pensacola (1814)
*Battle of New Orleans (1815)
First Seminole War
Conquest of Florida
*Battle of Fort Negro
*Battle of Fort Barrancas
Awards Thanks of Congress

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). He was military governor of Florida (1821), commander of the American forces at the Battle of New Orleans (1815), and eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy. A polarizing figure who dominated American politics in the 1820s and 1830s, his political ambition combined with widening political participation, shaping the modern Democratic Party.[1] His legacy is now seen as mixed, as a protector of popular democracy and individual liberty, checkered by his support for Indian removal and slavery.[2][3] Renowned for his toughness, he was nicknamed “Old Hickory”. As he based his career in developing Tennessee, Jackson was the first president primarily associated with the American frontier. His portrait appears on the United States twenty-dollar bill.

Early life and careerEdit

Andrew Jackson was born to Presbyterian Scots-Irish immigrants Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, on March 15, 1767, approximately two years after they had emigrated from Carrickfergus, in Northern Ireland.[4][5] Three weeks after his father's death, Andrew was born in the Waxhaws area near the border between North and South Carolina. He was the youngest of the Jacksons' three sons. His exact birth site was the subject of conflicting lore in the area. Jackson claimed to have been born in a cabin just inside South Carolina.[6]

Jackson received a sporadic education in the local "old-field" school. During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, at age thirteen, joined a local regiment as a courier.[7] Andrew and his brother Robert Jackson were captured by the British and held as prisoners of war; they nearly starved to death in captivity. When Andrew refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the irate redcoat slashed at him with a sword, giving him scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British.[8] While imprisoned, the brothers contracted smallpox. Robert died a few days after their mother secured their release. After Jackson's mother was assured Andrew would recover, she left in order to nurse soldiers and later died from disease. Jackson was orphaned by age 14. (His eldest brother, Hugh, died from heat and exhaustion during the Battle of Stono Ferry in 1789.) Jackson's entire immediate family had died from war-related hardships for which Jackson blamed the British.

Jackson was the last U.S. President to have been a veteran of the American Revolution, and the second president to have been a prisoner of war (Washington was captured by the French in the French and Indian War).

In 1781, Jackson worked for a time in a saddle-maker's shop.[9] Later, he taught school and studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1787, he was admitted to the bar, and moved to Jonesborough, in what was then the Western District of North Carolina and later became Tennessee.

Though his legal education was scanty, Jackson knew enough to be a country lawyer on the frontier. Since he was not from a distinguished family, he had to make his career by his own merits; soon he began to prosper in the rough-and-tumble world of frontier law. Most of the actions grew out of disputed land-claims, or from assaults and battery. In 1788, he was appointed Solicitor of the Western District and held the same position in the territorial government of Tennessee after 1791.

In 1796, Jackson was a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention. When Tennessee achieved statehood that same year, Jackson was elected its U.S. Representative. In 1797, he was elected U.S. Senator as a Democratic-Republican. He resigned within a year. In 1798, he was appointed a judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court, serving until 1804.[10]


Jackson refusing to clean a British officer's boots (1876 lithograph)

Besides his legal and political career, Jackson prospered as a planter and merchant. In 1803 he owned a lot, and built a home and the first general store in Gallatin. In 1804, he acquired the Hermitage, a 640-acre (2.6 km2) plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville. Jackson later added Template:Convert/LoffAoffDbSoffNa to the farm. The primary crop was cotton, grown by enslaved workers. Jackson started with nine slaves, by 1820 he held as many as 44, and later held up to 150 slaves.[11]

Military careerEdit

War of 1812Edit

Main article: Creek War

Jackson was appointed commander of the Tennessee militia in 1801, with the rank of colonel.

During the War of 1812, Tecumseh incited the "Red Stick" Creek Indians of northern Alabama and Georgia to attack white settlements. Four hundred settlers were killed in the Fort Mims Massacre. In the resulting Creek War, Jackson commanded the American forces, which included Tennessee militia, U.S. regulars, and Cherokee, Choctaw, and Southern Creek Indians.

Jackson defeated the Red Stick Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Eight hundred "Red Sticks" were killed, but Jackson spared chief William Weatherford. Sam Houston and David Crockett served under Jackson in this campaign. After the victory, Jackson imposed the Treaty of Fort Jackson upon both the Northern Creek enemies and the Southern Creek allies, wresting twenty million acres (81,000 km²) from all Creeks for white settlement. Jackson was appointed Major General after this action.

Jackson's service in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom was conspicuous for bravery and success. When British forces threatened New Orleans, Jackson took command of the defenses, including militia from several western states and territories. He was a strict officer but was popular with his troops. It was said he was "tough as old hickory" wood on the battlefield, which gave him his nickname. In the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Jackson's 5,000 soldiers won a victory over 7,500 British. At the end of the day, the British had 2,037 casualties: 291 dead (including three senior generals), 1,262 wounded, and 484 captured or missing. The Americans had 71 casualties: 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing.[12]

The war, and especially this victory, made Jackson a national hero. He received the Thanks of Congress and a gold medal by resolution of February 27, 1815.

First Seminole WarEdit

Main article: Seminole Wars

Jackson served in the military again during the First Seminole War. He was ordered by President James Monroe in December 1817 to lead a campaign in Georgia against the Seminole and Creek Indians. Jackson was also charged with preventing Spanish Florida from becoming a refuge for runaway slaves. Critics later alleged that Jackson exceeded orders in his Florida actions. His directions were to "terminate the conflict."[13] Jackson believed the best way to do this would be to seize Florida. Before going, Jackson wrote to Monroe, "Let it be signified to me through any channel... that the possession of the Floridas would be desirable to the United States, and in sixty days it will be accomplished."[14] Monroe gave Jackson orders that were purposely ambiguous, sufficient for international denials.


Military governor Jackson was sworn in at Plaza Ferdinand VII in Pensacola, Florida

The Seminoles attacked Jackson's Tennessee volunteers. The Seminoles' attack, however, left their villages vulnerable, and Jackson burned them and the crops. He found letters that indicated that the Spanish and British were secretly assisting the Indians. Jackson believed that the United States would not be secure as long as Spain and the United Kingdom encouraged Indians to fight and argued that his actions were undertaken in self-defense. Jackson captured Pensacola, Florida, with little more than some warning shots, and deposed the Spanish governor. He captured and then tried and executed two British subjects, Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot, who had been supplying and advising the Indians. Jackson's action also struck fear into the Seminole tribes as word spread of his ruthlessness in battle (Jackson was known as "Sharp Knife").

The executions, and Jackson's invasion of territory belonging to Spain, a country with which the U.S. was not at war, created an international incident. Many in the Monroe administration called for Jackson to be censured. Jackson's actions were defended by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, an early believer in Manifest Destiny. When the Spanish minister demanded a "suitable punishment" for Jackson, Adams wrote back, "Spain must immediately [decide] either to place a force in Florida adequate at once to the protection of her territory ... or cede to the United States a province, of which she retains nothing but the nominal possession, but which is, in fact ... a post of annoyance to them."[15] Adams used Jackson's conquest, and Spain's own weakness, to get Spain to cede Florida to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty. Jackson was subsequently named military governor and served from March 10, 1821 to December 31, 1821.

Election of 1824Edit

Main article: United States presidential election, 1824

The Tennessee legislature nominated Jackson for President in 1822. It also elected him U.S. Senator again.

By 1824, the Democratic-Republican Party had become the only functioning national party. Its Presidential candidates had been chosen by an informal Congressional nominating caucus, but this had become unpopular. In 1824, most of the Democratic-Republicans in Congress boycotted the caucus. Those who attended backed Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford for President and Albert Gallatin for Vice President. A Pennsylvanian convention nominated Jackson for President a month later, stating that the irregular caucus ignored the "voice of the people" and was a "vain hope that the American people might be thus deceived into a belief that he [Crawford] was the regular democratic candidate."[16] Gallatin criticized Jackson as "an honest man and the idol of the worshippers of military glory, but from incapacity, military habits, and habitual disregard of laws and constitutional provisions, altogether unfit for the office."[17]

Andrew Jackson statue County Courthouse KC Missouri

Statue of Jackson as General in front of Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri

Besides Jackson and Crawford, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and House Speaker Henry Clay were also candidates. Jackson received the most popular votes (but not a majority, and four states had no popular ballot). The Electoral votes were split four ways, with Jackson having a plurality. Since no candidate received a majority, the election was decided by the House of Representatives, which chose Adams. Jackson supporters denounced this result as a "corrupt bargain" because Clay gave his state's support to Adams, and subsequently Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State. As none of Kentucky's electors had initially voted for Adams, and Jackson had won the popular vote, it appeared that Henry Clay had violated the will of the people and substituted his own judgment in return for personal political favors. Jackson's defeat burnished his political credentials, however; many voters believed the "man of the people" had been robbed by the "corrupt aristocrats of the East."

Election of 1828Edit

Main article: United States presidential election, 1828

Jackson resigned from the Senate in October 1825, but continued his quest for the Presidency. The Tennessee legislature again nominated Jackson for President. Jackson attracted Vice President John C. Calhoun, Martin Van Buren, and Thomas Ritchie into his camp (the latter two previous supporters of Crawford). Van Buren, with help from his friends in Philadelphia and Richmond, revived the old Republican Party, gave it a new name as the Democratic Party, "restored party rivalries", and forged a national organization of durability.[18] The Jackson coalition handily defeated Adams in 1828.

During the election, Jackson's opponents referred to him as a "jackass." Jackson liked the name and used the jackass as a symbol for a while, but it died out. However, it later became the symbol for the Democratic Party when cartoonist Thomas Nast popularized it.[19]

The campaign was very much a personal one. Although neither candidate personally campaigned, their political followers organized many campaign events. Both candidates were rhetorically attacked in the press, which reached a low point when the press accused Jackson's wife Rachel of bigamy. Though the accusation was true, as were most personal attacks leveled against him during the campaign, it was based on events that occurred many years prior (1791 to 1794). Jackson said he would forgive those who insulted him, but he would never forgive the ones who attacked his wife. Rachel died suddenly on December 22, 1828, prior to his inauguration, and was buried on Christmas Eve.


Main article: Andrew Jackson 1829 presidential inauguration

Jackson was the first President to invite the public to attend the White House ball honoring his first inauguration. Many poor people came to the inaugural ball in their homemade clothes. The crowd became so large that Jackson's guards could not hold them out of the White House. The White House became so crowded with people that dishes and decorative pieces in the White House began to break. Some people stood on good chairs in muddied boots just to get a look at the President. The crowd had become so wild that the attendants poured punch in tubs and put it on the White House lawn to lure people out of the White House. Jackson’s raucous populism earned him the nickname King Mob.

Election of 1832Edit

Main article: United States presidential election, 1832

In the 1832 presidential election, Jackson easily won re-election as the candidate of the Democratic Party against Henry Clay, of the National Republican Party, and William Wirt, of the Anti-Masonic Party. Jackson jettisoned Vice President John C. Calhoun because of his support for nullification and involvement in the Eaton Affair, replacing him with long-time confidant Martin Van Buren of New York.

Presidency 1829–1837Edit

The Jackson Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Andrew Jackson 1829–1837
Vice President John C. Calhoun 1829–1832
None 1832–1833
Martin Van Buren 1833–1837
Secretary of State Martin Van Buren 1829–1831
Edward Livingston 1831–1833
Louis McLane 1833–1834
John Forsyth 1834–1837
Secretary of Treasury Samuel D. Ingham 1829–1831
Louis McLane 1831–1833
William J. Duane 1833
Roger B. Taney 1833–1834
Levi Woodbury 1834–1837
Secretary of War John H. Eaton 1829–1831
Lewis Cass 1831–1836
Attorney General John M. Berrien 1829–1831
Roger B. Taney 1831–1833
Benjamin F. Butler 1833–1837
Postmaster General William T. Barry 1829–1835
Amos Kendall 1835–1837
Secretary of the Navy John Branch 1829–1831
Levi Woodbury 1831–1834
Mahlon Dickerson 1834–1837

Federal debtEdit

See also: Panic of 1837

In 1835, Jackson managed to reduce the federal debt to only $33,733.05, the lowest it had been since the first fiscal year of 1791.[20] President Jackson is the only president in United States history to have paid off the national debt. However, this accomplishment was short lived. A severe depression from 1837 to 1844 caused a ten-fold increase in national debt within its first year.[21]

Electoral CollegeEdit

Jackson repeatedly called for the abolition of the Electoral College by constitutional amendment in his annual messages to Congress as President.[22][23] In his third annual message to Congress, he expressed the view "I have heretofore recommended amendments of the Federal Constitution giving the election of President and Vice-President to the people and limiting the service of the former to a single term. So important do I consider these changes in our fundamental law that I can not, in accordance with my sense of duty, omit to press them upon the consideration of a new Congress."[24] The institution remains to the present day.

Spoils systemEdit

Main article: Spoils system

When Jackson became President, he implemented the theory of rotation in office, declaring it "a leading principle in the republican creed."[22] He believed that rotation in office would prevent the development of a corrupt bureaucracy. To strengthen party loyalty, Jackson's supporters wanted to give the posts to party members. In practice, this meant replacing federal employees with friends or party loyalists.[25] However, the effect was not as drastic as expected or portrayed. By the end of his term, Jackson dismissed less than twenty percent of the Federal employees at the start of it.[26] While Jackson did not start the "spoils system," he did indirectly encourage its growth for many years to come.

Opposition to the National BankEdit

Main article: Second Bank of the United States

The Second Bank of the United States was authorized for a twenty year period during James Madison's tenure in 1816. As President, Jackson worked to rescind the bank's federal charter. In Jackson's veto message (written by George Bancroft), the bank needed to be abolished because:

  • It concentrated the nation's financial strength in a single institution.
  • It exposed the government to control by foreign interests.
  • It served mainly to make the rich richer.
  • It exercised too much control over members of Congress.
  • It favored northeastern states over southern and western states.

Following Jefferson, Jackson supported an "agricultural republic" and felt the Bank improved the fortunes of an "elite circle" of commercial and industrial entrepreneurs at the expense of farmers and laborers. After a titanic struggle, Jackson succeeded in destroying the Bank by vetoing its 1832 re-charter by Congress and by withdrawing U.S. funds in 1833.


1833 Democratic cartoon shows Jackson destroying the devil's Bank.

The bank's money-lending functions were taken over by the legions of local and state banks that sprang up. This fed an expansion of credit and speculation. At first, as Jackson withdrew money from the Bank to invest it in other banks, land sales, canal construction, cotton production, and manufacturing boomed.[27] However, due to the practice of banks issuing paper banknotes that were not backed by gold or silver reserves, there was soon rapid inflation and mounting state debts.[28] Then, in 1836, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, which required buyers of government lands to pay in "specie" (gold or silver coins). The result was a great demand for specie, which many banks did not have enough of to exchange for their notes. These banks collapsed.[27] This was a direct cause of the Panic of 1837, which threw the national economy into a deep depression. It took years for the economy to recover from the damage.

The U.S. Senate censured Jackson on March 28, 1834, for his action in removing U.S. funds from the Bank of the United States. When the Jacksonians had a majority in the Senate, the censure was expunged.

Nullification crisisEdit

Main article: Nullification Crisis

Another notable crisis during Jackson's period of office was the "Nullification Crisis", or "secession crisis," of 1828 – 1832, which merged issues of sectional strife with disagreements over tariffs. Critics alleged that high tariffs (the "Tariff of Abominations") on imports of common manufactured goods made in Europe made those goods more expensive than ones from the northern U.S., raising the prices paid by planters in the South. Southern politicians argued that tariffs benefited northern industrialists at the expense of southern farmers.

The issue came to a head when Vice President Calhoun, in the South Carolina Exposition and Protest of 1828, supported the claim of his home state, South Carolina, that it had the right to "nullify"—declare void—the tariff legislation of 1828, and more generally the right of a state to nullify any Federal laws which went against its interests. Although Jackson sympathized with the South in the tariff debate, he was also a strong supporter of a strong union, with effective powers for the central government. Jackson attempted to face down Calhoun over the issue, which developed into a bitter rivalry between the two men.

Particularly notable was an incident at the April 13, 1830 Jefferson Day dinner, involving after-dinner toasts. Robert Hayne began by toasting to "The Union of the States, and the Sovereignty of the States." Jackson then rose, and in a booming voice added "Our federal Union: It must be preserved!" – a clear challenge to Calhoun. Calhoun clarified his position by responding "The Union: Next to our Liberty, the most dear!"[29]

Andrew Jackson Presidential $1 Coin obverse

Jackson Presidential Dollar

The next year, Calhoun and Jackson broke apart politically from one another. Around this time, the Petticoat Affair caused further resignations from Jackson's cabinet, leading to its reorganization as the "Kitchen Cabinet." Martin Van Buren, despite resigning as Secretary of State, played a leading role in the new unofficial cabinet.[30] At the first Democratic National Convention, privately engineered by members of the Kitchen Cabinet,[31] Van Buren replaced Calhoun as Jackson's running mate. In December 1832, Calhoun resigned as Vice President to become a U.S. Senator for South Carolina.

In response to South Carolina's nullification claim, Jackson vowed to send troops to South Carolina to enforce the laws. In December 1832, he issued a resounding proclamation against the "nullifiers," stating that he considered "the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed." South Carolina, the President declared, stood on "the brink of insurrection and treason," and he appealed to the people of the state to reassert their allegiance to that Union for which their ancestors had fought. Jackson also denied the right of secession: "The Constitution... forms a government not a league... To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union is to say that the United States is not a nation."[32]

Jackson asked Congress to pass a "Force Bill" explicitly authorizing the use of military force to enforce the tariff. But it was held up until protectionists led by Clay agreed to a reduced Compromise Tariff. The Force Bill and Compromise Tariff passed on March 1, 1833. and Jackson signed both. The South Carolina Convention then met and rescinded its nullification ordinance. The Force Bill became moot because it was no longer needed.

Indian removalEdit

Main article: Indian removal
File:Andrew jackson head.gif

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of Jackson's presidency was his policy regarding American Indians.[33] Jackson was a leading advocate of a policy known as Indian removal, which led to the ethnic cleansing of several Indian tribes.[34] Jackson had been negotiating treaties and removal policies with Indian leaders for years prior to his election as president. Many tribes and portions of tribes had been removed to Arkansas Territory and further west of the Mississippi River without the suffering and tragedies of what later came to be known as the Trail of Tears. Further, many white Americans advocated total extermination of the "savages", particularly those who had experienced frontier wars. Jackson's support of removal policies can be best understood by examination of those prior cases he had personally negotiated, rather than those which took place in post-presidential years. Nevertheless, Jackson is often held responsible for all which took place in the 1830s.

In his December 8, 1829 First Annual Message to Congress, Jackson stated:

This emigration should be voluntary, for it would be as cruel as unjust to compel the aborigines to abandon the graves of their fathers and seek a home in a distant land. But they should be distinctly informed that if they remain within the limits of the States they must be subject to their laws. In return for their obedience as individuals they will without doubt be protected in the enjoyment of those possessions which they have improved by their industry.[35]

Prior to his election as president, Jackson had been involved with the issue of Indian removal for over ten years. The removal of the Native Americans to the west of the Mississippi River had been a major part of his political agenda in both the 1824 and 1828 presidential elections.[36] After his election he signed the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830. The Act authorized the President to negotiate treaties to purchase tribal lands in the east in exchange for lands further west, outside of existing U.S. state borders.

While frequently frowned upon in the North, the Removal Act was popular in the South, where population growth and the discovery of gold on Cherokee land had increased pressure on tribal lands. The state of Georgia became involved in a contentious jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokees, culminating in the 1832 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Worcester v. Georgia) which ruled that Georgia could not impose its laws upon Cherokee tribal lands. Jackson is often quoted (regarding the decision) as having said, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!" Whether or not he actually said it is disputed.[37]

In any case, Jackson used the Georgia crisis to pressure Cherokee leaders to sign a removal treaty. A small faction of Cherokees led by John Ridge negotiated the Treaty of New Echota with Jackson's representatives. Ridge was not a recognized leader of the Cherokee Nation, and this document was rejected by most Cherokees as illegitimate.[38] Over 15,000 Cherokees signed a petition in protest of the proposed removal; the list was ignored by the Supreme Court and the U.S. legislature, in part due to unfortunate and tragic delays and timing.[39] The treaty was enforced by Jackson's successor, Van Buren, who ordered 7,000 armed troops to remove the Cherokees. Due to the infighting between political factions, many Cherokees thought their appeals were still being considered until troops arrived.[40] This abrupt and forced removal resulted in the deaths of over 4,000 Cherokees on the "Trail of Tears."

By the 1830s, under constant pressure from settlers, each of the five southern tribes had ceded most of its lands, but sizable self-government groups lived in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. All of these (except the Seminoles) had moved far in the coexistence with whites, and they resisted suggestions that they should voluntarily remove themselves. Their non-violent methods earned them the title the Five Civilized Tribes.[41]

In all, more than 45,000 American Indians were relocated to the West during Jackson's administration. A few Cherokees escaped forced relocation, or walked back afterwards, escaping to the high Smoky Mountains along the North Carolina and Tennessee border.[42]

During the Jacksonian era, the administration purchased about 100 million acres (400,000 km²) of Indian land for about $68 million and 32 million acres (130,000 km²) of western land. Jackson was criticized at the time for his role in these events, and the criticism has grown over the years. Remini characterizes the Indian Removal era as "one of the unhappiest chapters in American history."[43]

Attack and assassination attemptEdit


Richard Lawrence's attempt on Jackson's life, as depicted in an 1835 etching

The first attempt to do bodily harm to a President was against Jackson. Jackson ordered the dismissal of Robert B. Randolph from the Navy for embezzlement. On May 6, 1833, Jackson sailed on USS Cygnet to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother. During a stopover near Alexandria, Virginia, Randolph appeared and struck the President. He then fled the scene with several members of Jackson's party chasing him, including the well known writer Washington Irving. Jackson decided not to press charges.[9]

On January 30, 1835, what is believed to be the first attempt to kill a sitting President of the United States occurred just outside the United States Capitol Building. When Jackson was leaving the Capitol Building out of the East Portico after the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren R. Davis, Richard Lawrence, an unemployed and deranged house-painter from England, either burst from a crowd or stepped out from hiding behind a column and aimed a pistol at Jackson which misfired. Lawrence then pulled out a second pistol which also misfired. It has since been postulated that the moisture from the humid weather of the day contributed to the double misfiring.[44] Lawrence was then restrained, with legend saying that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane, prompting his aides to restrain him. Others present, including David Crockett, restrained and disarmed Lawrence.

Richard Lawrence gave the doctors several reasons for the shooting. He had recently lost his job painting houses and somehow blamed Jackson. He claimed that with the President dead, "money would be more plenty" (a reference to Jackson’s struggle with the Bank of the United States) and that he "could not rise until the President fell." Finally, he informed his interrogators that he was actually a deposed English King—specifically, Richard III, dead since 1485—and that Jackson was merely his clerk. He was deemed insane, institutionalized, and never punished for his assassination attempt.

Afterwards, due to curiosity concerning the double misfires, the pistols were tested and retested. Each time they performed perfectly. When these results were known, many believed that Jackson had been protected by the same Providence which had protected the young nation. This national pride was a large part of the Jacksonian cultural myth fueling American expansion in the 1830s.

Supreme Court appointmentsEdit

Major Supreme Court casesEdit

States admitted to the UnionEdit

Family and personal lifeEdit

Andrew Jackson-1844-2

Daguerreotype of Andrew Jackson at age 77 or 78 (1844/1845)

Shortly after Jackson first arrived in Nashville in 1788, he took up residence as a boarder with Rachel Stockley Donelson, the widow of John Donelson. Here Jackson became acquainted with their daughter, Rachel Donelson Robards. At the time, Rachel Robards was in an unhappy marriage with Captain Lewis Robards, a man subject to irrational fits of jealous rage. Due to Lewis Robards' temperament, the two were separated in 1790. According to Jackson, he married Rachel after hearing that Robards had obtained a divorce. However, the divorce had never actually been finalized, making Rachel's marriage to Jackson illegitimate. After the divorce was officially completed, Rachel and Jackson re-married in 1794.[45] However, there is evidence that Donelson had been living with Jackson and referred to herself as Mrs. Jackson before the petition for divorce was ever made. [46] It was not uncommon on the frontier for relationships to be formed and dissolved unofficially, as long as they were recognized by the community.

The controversy surrounding their marriage remained a sore point for Jackson, who deeply resented attacks on his wife's honor. Jackson fought 13 duels, many nominally over his wife's honor.[citation needed] Charles Dickinson, the only man Jackson ever killed in a duel, had been goaded into angering Jackson by Jackson's political opponents. In the duel, fought over a horse-racing debt and an insult to his wife on May 30, 1806, Dickinson shot Jackson in the ribs before Jackson returned the fatal shot; Jackson actually allowed Dickinson to shoot first, knowing him to be an excellent shot, and as his opponent reloaded, Jackson shot, even as the bullet lodged itself in his chest. The bullet that struck Jackson was so close to his heart that it could never be safely removed. Jackson had been wounded so frequently in duels that it was said he "rattled like a bag of marbles."[47] At times he would cough up blood, and he experienced considerable pain from his wounds for the rest of his life.

Rachel died of a heart attack on December 22, 1828, two weeks after her husband's victory in the election and two months prior to Jackson taking office as President. Jackson blamed John Quincy Adams for Rachel's death because the marital scandal was brought up in the election of 1828. He felt that this had hastened her death and never forgave Adams.

Jackson had two adopted sons, Andrew Jackson Jr., the son of Rachel's brother Severn Donelson, and Lyncoya, a Creek Indian orphan adopted by Jackson after the Creek War. Jackson had planned to have Lyncoya educated at West Point,[8] but he died of tuberculosis in 1828, at the age of sixteen.[48][49]

The Jacksons also acted as guardians for eight other children. John Samuel Donelson, Daniel Smith Donelson and Andrew Jackson Donelson were the sons of Rachel's brother Samuel Donelson, who died in 1804. Andrew Jackson Hutchings was Rachel's orphaned grand nephew. Caroline Butler, Eliza Butler, Edward Butler, and Anthony Butler were the orphaned children of Edward Butler, a family friend. They came to live with the Jacksons after the death of their father.

Andrew Jackson Tomb

The tomb of Andrew and Rachel Donelson Jackson located at their home, The Hermitage

The widower Jackson invited Rachel's niece Emily Donelson to serve as hostess at the White House. Emily was married to Andrew Jackson Donelson, who acted as Jackson's private secretary and in 1856 would run for Vice President on the American Party ticket. The relationship between the President and Emily became strained during the Petticoat Affair, and the two became estranged for over a year. They eventually reconciled and she resumed her duties as White House hostess. Sarah Yorke Jackson, the wife of Andrew Jackson Jr., became co-hostess of the White House in 1834. It was the only time in history when two women simultaneously acted as unofficial First Lady. Sarah took over all hostess duties after Emily died from tuberculosis in 1836.

Jackson remained influential in both national and state politics after retiring to The Hermitage in 1837. Though a slave-holder, Jackson was a firm advocate of the federal union of the states, and declined to give any support to talk of secession.

Jackson was a lean figure standing at 6 feet, 1 inch (1.85 m) tall, and weighing between 130 and 140 pounds (64 kg) on average. Jackson also had an unruly shock of red hair, which had completely grayed by the time he became president at age 61. He had penetrating deep blue eyes. Jackson was one of the more sickly presidents, suffering from chronic headaches, abdominal pains, and a hacking cough, caused by a musket ball in his lung which was never removed, that often brought up blood and sometimes even made his whole body shake. After retiring to Nashville, he enjoyed eight years of retirement and died at The Hermitage on June 8, 1845 at the age of 78, of chronic tuberculosis, "dropsy" and heart failure.

In his will, Jackson left his entire estate to his adopted son, Andrew Jackson Jr., except for specifically enumerated items that were left to various other friends and family members. About a year after retiring the presidency,[50] Andrew Jackson became a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville.


His legacy is now seen as mixed, as a protector of popular democracy and individual liberty, checkered by his support for Indian removal and slavery.[2][3]



Jackson Square in New Orleans.

Old hickory

Jackson Statue near the White House in Washington, D.C.


In popular cultureEdit

Actor Charlton Heston portrayed Jackson twice: once in The President's Lady (1953), with Susan Hayward as Rachel, and in DeMille's The Buccanneer, with Yul Brynner as pirate Jean Lafitte. The former film focuses on the issue of Rachel's separation and divorce from Robards and the effects, and is based on the best-selling biographical novel of the same name by Irving Stone. The latter is about the Battle of New Orleans. Both films have been glamorized for Hollywood and neglect some historical facts, but Heston as Jackson is interesting casting.

See alsoEdit


  1. Wilentz, Sean. Andrew Jackson (2005), p. 8, 35.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Finkelman, Paul (2006). "Jackson, Andrew (1767–1845)", in Encyclopedia of American Civil Liberties, 3 vols., Routledge (CRC Press), ISBN 978-0-415-94342-0, vol. 2 (G-Q), p. 832–833.
  3. 3.0 3.1 See also: Remini 1988, The Legacy of Andrew Jackson: Essays on Democracy, Indian Removal, and Slavery.
  4. "Andrew Jackson". Information Services Branch, State Library of North Carolina. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers Centre". Northern Ireland Tourist Board. 
  6. "Museum of the Waxhaws and Andrew Jackson Memorial". Retrieved on 2008-01-13.  Controversies about Jackson's birthplace went far beyond the dispute between North and South Carolina. Because his origins were humble and obscure compared to those of his predecessors, wild rumors abounded about Jackson's past. Joseph Nathan Kane, in his almanac-style book Facts About the Presidents, lists no fewer than eight localities, including two foreign countries, that were mentioned in the popular press as Jackson's "real" birthplace – including Ireland, where both of Jackson's parents were born.
  7. "Andrew Jackson". Library of Congress. Retrieved on 2007-06-03. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Crocker III, H. W. (2006). Don't Tread on Me. New York: Crown Forum. pp. 105. ISBN 9781400053636. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Paletta, Lu Ann; Worth, Fred L (1988). The World Almanac of Presidential Facts. World Almanac Books. ISBN 0345348885. 
  10. Jackson, Andrew, (1767 – 1845),. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  11. Remini (2000), p.51 cites 1820 census; mentions later figures up to 150 without noting a source.
  12. Remini, Robert V. (1999) The battle of New Orleans, New York: Penguin Books. p. 285
  13. Remini, 118.
  14. Ogg, 66.
  15. Johnson, Allen (1920). "Jefferson and His Colleagues". Retrieved on 2006-10-11. 
  16. Rutland, Robert Allen (1995). The Democrats: From Jefferson to Clinton. University of Missouri Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0826210341. 
  17. Adams, Henry. The Life of Albert Gallatin (1879), 599.
  18. Rutland, Robert Allen (1995). The Democrats: From Jefferson to Clinton. University of Missouri Press. pp. 55–56. ISBN 0826210341. 
  19. Nickels, Ilona; "How did Republicans pick the elephant, and Democrats the donkey, to represent their parties?"; "Capitol Questions" feature at; September 5, 2000
  20. "Historical Debt Outstanding - Annual 1791 - 1849". Public Debt Reports. Treasury Direct. Retrieved on 2007-11-25. 
  21. Watkins, Thayer. "The Depression of 1837-1844". San José State University Department of Economics. Retrieved on 2007-11-25. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Andrew Jackson's First Annual Message to Congress". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved on 2008-03-14. 
  23. "Andrew Jackson's Second Annual Message to Congress". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved on 2008-03-14. 
  24. "Andrew Jackson's Third Annual Message to Congress". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved on 2008-03-14. 
  25. The Spoils System, as the rotation in office system was called, did not originate with Jackson. It originated with New York governors in the late 18th and early 19th centuries (most notably George Clinton and DeWitt Clinton). Thomas Jefferson brought it to the Executive Branch when he replaced Federalist office-holders after becoming President. The Spoils System versus the Merit System. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  26. Jacksonian Democracy: The Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Retrieved on 2006-11-21.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Digital History
  28. Sparknotes
  29. Ogg, 164.
  30. Martin Van Buren biography at Encyclopedia Americana
  31. Parton, James (2006). Life of Andrew Jackson. 3. Kessinger Publishing. pp. 381–385. ISBN 1428639292. . First published in 1860.
  32. Syrett, 36. See also: "President Jackson's Proclamation Regarding Nullification, December 10, 1832". Retrieved on 2006-08-10. 
  33. For an attack on Jackson see Cave (2003). 65(6): 1330–1353. For a defense see Remini (2001).
  34. In particular, see Schama (2008) p. 325-326
  35. "Andrew Jackson: First Annual Message". Retrieved on 2008-11-01. 
  36. Remini,"Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822–1832" pp. 117, 200
  37. Cave (2003); Remini (1988).
  38. "Historical Documents - The Indian Removal Act of 1830". Retrieved on 2008-11-01. 
  39. PBS
  40. Indian Removal
  41. PBS: Judgement Day. “Indian removal.” (accessed January 12, 2008).
  42. Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians - History
  43. Remini (2001).
  44. Jon Grinspan. "Trying to Assassinate Andrew Jackson". Retrieved on November 11 2008. 
  45. Remini, 17–25
  46. Meachem, Jon. "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House", (2008).
  47. Wallace, Chris (2005). Character : Profiles in Presidential Courage. New York, NY: Rugged Land. ISBN 1-59071-054-1. 
  48. Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson. From: National First Ladies' Library. Retrieved November 7, 2007.
  49. Rachel Jackson. From: Retrieved November 7, 2007.
  50. Wilentz, Sean (2005). Andrew Jackson. Macmillan. pp. 160. 

Secondary sourcesEdit

  • Brands, H. W. Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times (2005), ISBN 0385507380; ISBN 978-0385507387; ISBN 1400030722; ISBN 978-1400030729 biography emphasizing military career.
  • Brustein, Andrew. The Passions of Andrew Jackson. (2003).
  • Bugg Jr. James L. ed. Jacksonian Democracy: Myth or Reality? (1952), excerpts from scholars.
  • Cave, Alfred A.. Abuse of Power: Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act of 1830 (2003).
  • Gammon, Samuel Rhea. The Presidential Campaign of 1832 (1922).
  • Hammond, Bray. Andrew Jackson's Battle with the "Money Power" (1958) ch 8, of his Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War (1954); Pulitzer prize.
  • Hofstatder, Richard. The American Political Tradition (1948), chapter on Jackson.
  • James, Marquis. The Life of Andrew Jackson Combines two books: The Border Captain and Andrew Jackson: Portrait of a President, 1933, 1937; winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1938.
  • Latner Richard B. The Presidency of Andrew Jackson: White House Politics, 1820–1837 (1979), standard survey.
  • Mabry, Donald J., Short Book Bibliography on Andrew Jackson, Historical Text Archive.
  • Ogg, Frederic Austin ; The Reign of Andrew Jackson: A Chronicle of the Frontier in Politics 1919. short popular survey online at Gutenberg.
  • Parton, James. Life of Andrew Jackson (1860). Volume I, Volume III.
  • Ratner, Lorman A. Andrew Jackson and His Tennessee Lieutenants: A Study in Political Culture (1997).
  • Remini, Robert V. The Life of Andrew Jackson. Abridgment of Remini's 3-volume monumental biography, (1988).
    • Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire, 1767–1821 (1977); Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom, 1822–1832 (1981); Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833–1845 (1984).
  • Remini, Robert V. The Legacy of Andrew Jackson: Essays on Democracy, Indian Removal, and Slavery (1988).
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and his Indian Wars (2001).
  • Remini, Robert V. "Andrew Jackson", American National Biography (2000).
  • Rowland, Dunbar. Andrew Jackson's Campaign against the British, or, the Mississippi Territory in the War of 1812, concerning the Military Operations of the Americans, Creek Indians, British, and Spanish, 1813–1815 (1926).
  • Schama, Simon. The American Future: A History (2008).
  • Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr. The Age of Jackson. (1945). Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History. history of ideas of the era.
  • Charles Grier Sellers, Jr. "Andrew Jackson versus the Historians," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 44, No. 4. (March, 1958), pp. 615–634. in JSTOR.
  • Syrett, Harold C. Andrew Jackson: His Contribution to the American Tradition (1953).
  • Taylor, George Rogers, ed. Jackson Versus Biddle: The Struggle over the Second Bank of the United States (1949), excerpts from primary and secondary sources.
  • Ward, John William. Andrew Jackson, Symbol for an Age (1962) how writers saw him.
  • Wilentz, Sean. Andrew Jackson (2005) short biography.

External linksEdit

Find more about Andrew Jackson on Wikipedia's sister projects:
Wiktionary-logo-en Definitions from Wiktionary

Wikibooks-logo Textbooks from Wikibooks
Wikiquote-logo Quotations from Wikiquote
Wikisource-logo Source texts from Wikisource
Commons-logo Images and media from Commons
Wikinews-logo News stories from Wikinews

Wikiversity-logo-en Learning resources from Wikiversity
Political offices
Preceded by
John Quincy Adams
President of the United States
March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
Succeeded by
Martin Van Buren
Government offices
New title Military Governor of Florida
Succeeded by
William P. Duval
as Territorial Governor
United States Senate
Preceded by
John Williams
United States Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
1823 – 1825
Served alongside: John H. Eaton
Succeeded by
Hugh Lawson White
Preceded by
William Cocke
United States Senator (Class 1) from Tennessee
1797 – 1798
Served alongside: Joseph Anderson
Succeeded by
Daniel Smith
Preceded by
John Williams
Chairman of the Senate
Military Affairs Committee

1823 – 1825
Succeeded by
William Henry Harrison
United States House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's At-large congressional district

1796 – 1797
Succeeded by
William C. C. Claiborne
Party political offices
New political party Democratic Party presidential candidate
1828, 1832
Succeeded by
Martin Van Buren
Preceded by
James Monroe
Democratic-Republican Party
presidential candidate

Party broke up
Honorary titles
Preceded by
James Madison
Oldest U.S. President still living
June 28, 1836 – June 8, 1845
Succeeded by
John Quincy Adams
Preceded by
Richard Stockton
Baby of the United States Senate
1796 – 1797
Succeeded by
Ray Greene
Notes and references
1. The Democratic-Republican Party split in 1824, fielding four separate candidates: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William Harris Crawford.

Template:Governors of Florida Template:Jackson cabinet

ang:Andrew Jackson

ar:أندرو جاكسون az:Endrü Cekson bn:এন্ড্রু জ্যাক্‌সন zh-min-nan:Andrew Jackson be:Эндру Джэксан bcl:Andrew Jackson bs:Andrew Jackson bg:Андрю Джаксън ca:Andrew Jackson ceb:Andrew Jackson cs:Andrew Jackson co:Andrew Jackson cy:Andrew Jackson da:Andrew Jackson de:Andrew Jackson dv:އެންޑްރޫ ޖެކްސަން et:Andrew Jackson el:Άντριου Τζάκσον es:Andrew Jackson eo:Andrew Jackson eu:Andrew Jackson fa:اندرو جکسون fr:Andrew Jackson ga:Andrew Jackson gv:Andrew Jackson gd:Andrew Jackson gl:Andrew Jackson ko:앤드루 잭슨 hr:Andrew Jackson io:Andrew Jackson id:Andrew Jackson is:Andrew Jackson it:Andrew Jackson he:אנדרו ג'קסון pam:Andrew Jackson ka:ენდრუ ჯექსონი sw:Andrew Jackson la:Andreas Jackson lv:Endrū Džeksons lb:Andrew Jackson lt:Andrew Jackson hu:Andrew Jackson mk:Ендру Џексон mr:अँड्रु जॅक्सन arz:اندرو جاكسون ms:Andrew Jackson nl:Andrew Jackson ja:アンドリュー・ジャクソン no:Andrew Jackson nn:Andrew Jackson oc:Andrew Jackson pnb:اینڈریو جیکسن pl:Andrew Jackson pt:Andrew Jackson ksh:Andrew Jackson ro:Andrew Jackson ru:Джексон, Эндрю sq:Andrew Jackson scn:Andrew Jackson simple:Andrew Jackson sk:Andrew Jackson sr:Ендру Џексон sh:Andrew Jackson fi:Andrew Jackson sv:Andrew Jackson tl:Andrew Jackson ta:ஆன்ட்ரூ ஜாக்சன் th:แอนดรูว์ แจ็กสัน tr:Andrew Jackson uk:Ендрю Джексон ur:اینڈریو جیکسن vi:Andrew Jackson war:Andrew Jackson yi:ענדרו זשעקסאן zh:安德鲁·杰克逊

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.