Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) served as the seventh president of the United States.
Born to immigrant parents and orphaned in his youth, Jackson was the first “self-made man” and the first “westerner” to reach the White House.
Founder of the Democratic Party, he reinvented the American Presidency as we know it by establishing that the President represents “the people” and should exercise the powers of the office broadly to carry out their will.
A controversial figure, Jackson’s legacy also includes the ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of Native American tribes from the Southeast to lands west of the Mississippi River.
1767 Born March 15th in Waxhaw settlement in the territory of South Carolina to a family of poor Irish immigrants. His father dies in an accident 3 weeks before his birth.
1780 Enlists at age 13 and serves as a courier in the Revolutionary War. Oldest brother Hugh dies of heat exhaustion at the Battle of Stono Ferry. Jackson and brother Robert are captured by the British and nearly starve to death as prisoners.
1781 Mrs. Jackson secures the release of her gravely ill sons; within days, Robert dies of smallpox. Once Andrew recovers, Mrs. Jackson volunteers to nurse prisoners of war held by the British, contracts cholera, and dies, making Andrew an orphan at 14.
1787 Jackson apprentices himself to a lawyer for three years, and is admitted to the North Carolina bar at age 20. Charismatic, wild, and ambitious, Jackson loves to dance, entertain, gamble, and carouse with friends in taverns.
1791 Jackson marries Mrs. Rachel Donelson Robards, only to discover her first husband had never completed divorce proceedings. Andrew and Rachel remarry in 1794 when the issue is settled.
1796 Instrumental in securing Tennessee’s statehood, Jackson serves as its first member of the U.S. House (1796-97) and is appointed to the U.S. Senate (1797-98) by the Tennessee Assembly. He later resigns to tend to matters at home.
1804 Jackson purchases a 425-acre farm outside of Nashville, which he calls “The Hermitage,” and operates a general store, tavern, and racetrack nearby. He will continue to add land and slaves to his these operations in the coming years.
1809 The Jacksons adopt Rachel’s infant nephew, naming him Andrew Jackson, Jr. They will raise several other children, including a Creek Indian boy, Lyncoya, adopted in 1813.
1812 Jackson fights in the War of 1812, earning the nickname “Old Hickory” from his troops because he “was as tough as old hickory” on the battlefield.
1814 Jackson defeats the Creek Indians in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. A subsequent treaty yields 23 million acres of land to the United States. Jackson becomes a Major General.
1815 Jackson commands a motley American force of 4,000 that overwhelms the 10,000-strong British army at The Battle of New Orleans.
1817 Jackson fights in the First Seminole War and chases the Spanish out of Florida. Becomes a national hero second only to George Washington.
1821 Commissioned as Governor of the Florida Territory. Not liking the climate and fed up with the politics, Jackson resigns to once more become a private citizen.
1824 Jackson wins the popular vote in the Presidential Election, but fails to secure the necessary support when the election is thrown into the House of Representatives. John Quincy Adams prevails.
1828 Makes a direct appeal to the American people for their votes in the 1828 Election, forever changing how presidential campaigns would be run. His victory is marred by Rachel’s death in December, a casualty, Jackson believes, of the vicious personal attacks levied against his family during the campaign.
1829 Inaugurated as America’s 7th president at the age of 61, and serves two terms. Believing he has a mandate from the people to reform the government, Jackson greatly expands the role of the American presidency.
1832 Opposed to the idea of a national bank, Jackson vetoes a bill to renew the charter of the Bank of the U.S., arguing that the bank’s policies favor corporations and moneyed aristocracy.
1834 A chimney fire seriously damages The Hermitage. First a log home, then a two story, Federal-style brick house, it is rebuilt as a Greek-Revival mansion.
1835 Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act. Most tribes agree to move to territories beyond the existing states, but the enforced march of the Cherokees known as “The Trail of Tears” drives them out at a cost of 4,000 lives.
1837 Succeeded by his vice president Martin Van Buren. Retires from public life for the last time but stays in touch with public affairs and activities in Washington.
1845 Jackson dies surrounded by his family and slaves at The Hermitage June 8, and is laid to rest in the garden under the tomb he built for his wife Rachel.
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