On this day in 1845, Old Hickory, politician, army general, United States Senator from Tennessee, Military Governor of Florida, the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson died at The Hermitage, his home near Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 78, of chronic tuberculosis, dropsy, and heart failure. Born on 15 March 1767 in the Waxhaws region on the border of North and South Carolina. His parents were Presbyterian Scotch-Irish colonists. Jackson had red hair and blue eyes and was about six feet, one inch, tall.
Jackson defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans (1815) and the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814). His enthusiastic followers created the modern Democratic Party, and the 1830-1850 period later became known as the era of Jacksonian democracy. Jackson was nicknamed “Old Hickory” because of his toughness and aggressive personality that produced numerous duels, some fatal. He was a rich slave owner who appealed to the masses of Americans and fought against what he denounced as a closed undemocratic aristocracy. As president, he supported a small and limited federal government but strengthened the power of the presidency. Jackson was strongly against the national bank, and vetoed the renewal of its charter and ensured its collapse. Whigs and moralists denounced his aggressive enforcement of the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forced relocation of Native American tribes to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Jackson served as POTUS from 4 March 1829 to 4 March 1837. His legacy is now seen as mixed by historians. Jackson is praised as a protector of popular democracy and individual liberty for American citizens, but criticized for his support for slavery and Indian removal. Jackson married Rachel Donelson (1794-1828 her death). The Final Footprint – Jackson was entombed next to Rachel at The Hermitage. There are many memorials dedicated to Jackson and many streets, counties, cities, parks and schools are named after him. I have been to Washington DC and seen the huge bronze equestrian statue of Jackson that was cast from a bronze cannon captured in his last campaign against the Spanish and has graced Lafayette Park since 1853. I have spent some time enjoying Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
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