Jackson in 1837
Jackson served as the commander of the Tennessee militia and continued building a prosperous cotton plantation, eventually reaching more than a thousand acres, which, in his lifetime included a workforce of about 300 slaves. He built a fortune as a merchant and planter. Jackson remained in politics, befriending and supporting the controversial Aaron Burr, and backing James Monroe against Madison for President in 1808. Andrew Jackson’s national popularity, however, came from his military service. He took 2,000 Tennessee volunteers into Alabama territory in the midst of the War of 1812 and decisively defeated the “Red Stick” Creek tribe in their revolt against white encroachment on their lands, and civil war against the more numerous “White” Creeks, who sought to accommodate the frontier settlers from the United States.
General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815
He then took his army to defend New Orleans, and defeated a veteran British Army in January of 1815. From there, the hero seized Florida from Spain and then inserted himself into Washington politics again, in a run for President of the United States. Jackson served two terms as President, hugely popular with the common man. He hand-picked his successor to carry on his policies, so his influence transcended his actual time in office. The lean red-headed Jackson’s stormy years as President put his stamp of populist democracy on the country and his reputation for honesty and plain-spokenness, as well as his willingness to go against the political tides, brought him into contention with many other politicians. They formed a national party based solely on opposing Andrew Jackson and his policies.
President Andrew Jackson
Much more could be said of the life of Andrew Jackson, and has been written in many biographies and articles since his day. No single man had a greater impact on the United States and its direction in history than the man known as the “Hero”, “Old Hickory”, “King Andrew I”, and some unprintable titles. He is still a target of assassins, and his magnificent equestrian statues in New Orleans, Nashville, and Washington, DC are targets of rioters and revolutionaries in our iconoclastic times. The statues, like their subject, have repelled all attackers so far. The $20.00 bill, not so much. Don’t grow too fond of the images on the ones, twos, fives, and fifties either.
Daguerrotype of Andrew Jackson in 1845 at the age of 78, months before his death