ANDREW JACKSON - GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA (1821)

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). He was the military governor of pre-admission Florida (1821) and the commander of the American forces at the Battle of New Orleans (1815) and is an eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy. A polarizing figure who dominated the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s, his political ambition and widening political participation shaped the modern Democratic Party.

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

Early life and career Parents and birth
Jackson was born on March 15, 1767. His parents were Presbyterian Scotch-Irish colonists Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, who had emigrated from Ireland two years earlier. Jackson's father was born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in Ireland around 1738. The house that Jackson's parents lived in, in the village of Boneybefore in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is now preserved as the Andrew Jackson Centre and is open to the public.

When they emigrated to America in 1765, Jackson's parents probably landed in Pennsylvania and made their way overland to the Scotch-Irish community in the Waxhaws region, straddling the border between North and South Carolina. They brought two children from Ireland, Hugh (born 1763) and Robert (born 1764).

Jackson's father died in an accident in February 1767, at the age of 29, three weeks before Jackson was born. Jackson was born in the Waxhaws area, but his exact birth site is unclear because he was born around he time his mother was making a difficult trip home from burying Jackson's father. The area was so remote that the border between North and South Carolina had not officially been surveyed yet.

In 1824, Jackson wrote a letter saying that he was born at an uncle's plantation in Lancaster County, South Carolina. But he may have claimed to be a South Carolinian because the state was considering nullification of the Tariff of 1824, which Jackson opposed. In the mid-1850s, second-hand evidence indicated that he may have been born at a different uncle's home in North Carolina.

Revolutionary War
During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, at age thirteen, joined a local militia as a courier. His eldest brother, Hugh, died from heat exhaustion during the Battle of Stono Ferry, on June 20, 1779. Jackson and his brother Robert were captured by the British and held as prisoners; they nearly starved to death in captivity. When Jackson refused to clean the boots of a British officer, he slashed at the youth with a sword, giving him scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British. While imprisoned, the brothers contracted smallpox. Robert died a few days after their mother secured their release, on April 27, 1781. After his mother was assured Andrew would recover, she volunteered to nurse prisoners of war on board two ships in Charleston harbor, where there had been an outbreak of cholera. She died from the disease in November 1781, and was buried in an unmarked grave, leaving Jackson an orphan at age 14. Jackson's entire immediate family had died from hardships during the war; Jackson blamed the British.

Jackson was the last U.S. President to have been a veteran of the American Revolution.

Legal and political career
Jackson received a sporadic education in the local "old-field" school. In 1781, he worked for a time in a saddle-maker's shop. 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. This area later became the Southwest Territory (1790), the precursor to the state of 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 assault and battery. In 1788, he was appointed Solicitor of the Western District and held the same position in the government of the Territory South of the River Ohio after 1791.

In 1796, Jackson was a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention. When Tennessee achieved statehood that 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.

Planter, merchant, and investor
Besides his legal and political career, Jackson prospered as a slave owner, planter, and merchant. In 1803 he owned a lot, and built a home and the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee. In 1804, he acquired the Hermitage, a 640-acre (2.6 km2) plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville, Tennessee. Jackson later added 360 acres (1.5 km2) to the farm. The plantation eventually grew to 1,050 acres (425 ha). 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. Throughout his lifetime Jackson may have owned as many as 300 slaves.

Jackson was a major land speculator in West Tennessee after he had negotiated the sale of the land from the Chickasaw Nation in 1818 (termed the Jackson Purchase) and was one of the three original investors who founded Memphis, Tennessee in 1819 (see History of Memphis, Tennessee).

Military career War of 1812
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.

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. Alexis de Tocqueville later commented in Democracy in America that Jackson "...was raised to the Presidency, and has been maintained there, solely by the recollection of a victory which he gained, twenty years ago, under the walls of New Orleans."

Source: Wikipedia

Luciano Mende

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