on March 15, 1767, on the border of South Carolina, Andrew Jackson grew up to
become the seventh President of the United States of America. Before he was born, his dad had died, and his
mother had already had two other boys, Hugh and Robert. Jackson received an education from the
elementary public schools. Hugh (His oldest
brother) went into training for the army in the Revolutionary War. Robert and Andrew both were too young to do
the same as Hugh, so they fought with American irregulars. Hugh had died from a heatstroke, and Robert
ended up dying from smallpox. Jackson
and Robert had been captured in 1781 and contracted smallpox, and Robert died
after their release. His mother also had
gotten sick, and she died as well. After
the Revolutionary War, Andrew jumped around when choosing jobs. He taught at a school for a while, then
continued to study law in North Carolina.
Next, in 1788, he served as a public prosecutor in North Carolina, with
its seat at Nashville on the Cumberland River.
There, he met Rachel Donelson Robards.
She was married when Andrew met her, but once she got a divorce with her
husband, they got formally married. When
he was running to become President, many of his opponents held this against him
and called him a wife-stealer. He
responded by saying that they had believed that she was already divorced, and
that Rachel’s marriage was already broken.
Andrew and Rachel stayed together throughout his presidency and past
that, very much in love with each other.
While living in Tennessee and still working in politics, he became a
delegate to the state constitutional convention. He then continued to become Tennessee’s
congressman, then senator. After
resigning as a senator, he became a judge.
He also wanted to be elected as major general in command of the state
militia. The man he was running against,
John Sevier, used to be in the Revolution, much like Andrew, and was also the
state’s leading politician. Andrew
Jackson ended up beating him for the generalship, but the rivalry between the
two resulted in a duel. This duel was
one example of Jackson’s hot temper. His
attitude was the cause of many outbreaks and showdowns. Another one of these examples was between him
and Charles Dickinson. This fight
emerged from a small misunderstanding over a horse race. Even though Andrew won the duel, he was shot
in the chest and had to carry that bullet for the rest of his life. In addition to this duel, a street fight against
the Benton brothers, Jesse and Thomas gave him a bullet that almost took his
arm. All of these conflicts resulted in
him being labeled as a very violent man.
Once he resigned as a judge and became the militia commander, he bought
a cotton plantation where he and Rachel would live out their lives. Further on in his life, he began to want to
go back to a military life. He met Aaron
Burr, who was looking for people for his own conquest. Jackson joined this band, but quit just in
time to avoid getting arrested for treason, but that conquest made him
determined to join and fight in the military.
When the U.S. declared war on Britain in 1812, Jackson became a war
general and led 2,000 troops to defend New Orleans. However, the War Department discharged them, Jackson
kept his army together long enough for them to go home. He got the nickname “Old Hickory” because of
his willingness to share his men’s privations on this march. In 1813, Jackson led an army against violate Indians,
who had killed more than 400 people at Fort Mims. Jackson’s troops successfully fought these
Indians, called the Creeks’, in their homeland.
In 1814, Andrew Jackson slaughtered the main Creek force. The next couple of years, Jackson created and
gave out treaties with multiple groups of Indians who lived in the western
territory. To many, he became a war
hero. He was commissioned a U.S. major
general and controlled the southern frontier.
When he heard that Britain was going to attack New Orleans, Jackson organized
an army. He assembled a line of soldiers
along the Mississippi River, and when the British attacked, the American troops
dominated the field. The British lost
more than 2,000, while Jackson only lost 71.
A couple of years later, he was ordered to suppress the Seminole
Indians. They had been attacking across
the border of Spanish Florida. Jackson
decided to capture the forts near St. Marks and Pensacola. He arrested two British officials and
executed them for assisting the Indians.
Many felt that Jackson should be punished for his unauthorized invasion,
but the Secretary of State and the President said no. Finally, an 1819 treaty made Spain leave
Florida and Jackson ended up resigning as army commissioner. He was then selected to be the governor of
the new Florida land. He moved the
authority from the Spanish, then went home to Tennessee. Later on, he would run for President in 1824.