Monday, August 16, 2004

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson Biographical sketch includes information on Jackson's role in the War of 1812, as a congressman, a U.S. senator, a judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court, and as president.

From the site:

Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was born in the Waxhaws area near the border between North and South Carolina on March 15, 1767. Jackson's parents lived in North Carolina but historians debate on which side of the state line the birth took place.

Jackson was the third child and third son of Scotch-Irish parents. His father, also named Andrew, died as the result of a logging accident just a few weeks before the future president was born. Jackson's mother, Elizabeth ("Betty") Hutchison Jackson, was by all accounts a strong, independent woman. After her husband's death she raised her three sons at the South Carolina home of one of her sisters.

The Declaration of Independence was signed when young Andrew was nine years old and at thirteen he joined the Continental Army as a courier. The Revolution took a toll on the Jackson family. All three boys saw active service. One of Andrew's older brothers, Hugh, died after the Battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina in 1779, and two years later Andrew and his other brother Robert were taken prisoner for a few weeks in April 1781. While they were captives a British officer ordered them to clean his boots. The boys refused, the officer struck them with his sword and Andrew's hand was cut to the bone. Because of his ill treatment Jackson harbored a bitter resentment towards the British until his death.

Both brothers contracted smallpox during their imprisonment and Robert was dead within days of their release. Later that year Betty Jackson went to Charleston to nurse American prisoners of war. Shortly after she arrived Mrs. Jackson fell ill with either ship fever or cholera and died. Andrew found himself an orphan and an only child at fourteen. Jackson spent most of the next year and a half living with relatives and for six of those months was apprenticed to a saddle maker.

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