Andrew Jackson
Served 1829-1833, 1833-1837

Andrew Jackson was born March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaw area on the border between North and South Carolina. (Both states claim his birthplace.)

As a teenager, he fought in the Revolutionary War and was captured by the British. After the war, he moved to Tennessee where he became a lawyer and soon earned the name of “Old Hickory” because he was always ready for a fight. He married Rachel Donelson Robards in August, 1791, and again on January 17, 1794, when they discovered her divorce had not been made final. They had no children.

Next PageIn the War of 1812, Jackson, now a general, was the commander of the army that defeated the British in the final battle at New Orleans. After that victory, his reputation grew nationwide. He ran for President in 1824 in a three-way race and won more electoral votes than John Quincy Adams, but not a majority. Pursuant to the Constitution, the House of Representatives decided the election and voted to award the Presidency to Adams.

Rather than use the old Democratic-Republican party banner, Jackson’s supporters called themselves simply “Democrats.” Jackson’s popularity grew during Adams’s Presidency, and in 1828, Jackson won the election. After his inauguration in 1829, in a break with the White House tradition of elegance, hundreds of people came into the White House, drinking and carousing, some leaving with White House property.

Jackson was a very popular President as he was from a poor family but worked hard to make something of himself. He believed in the common people and good common sense. Andy, as he was called, liked to breed racehorses and fighting birds and play cards. He was famous for his “Kitchen Cabinet” of advisors, a group of common folks who he felt were more his friends than traditional White House political advisors. His Vice Presidents were John C. Calhoun and Martin Van Buren. During his term, Arkansas and Michigan became 25th and 26th states admitted to the Union.

Jackson was the only President to fight a duel. At least one was over an insult to his wife, and he supposedly fought in more than 100. He died of natural causes on June 8, 1845.

» White House biography

Leave a Reply