Andrew Jackson: 7th President: Hot Temper & Tough as Old Hickory
Andrew Jackson, nicknamed Old Hickory due to his tough demeanor, was our seventh President. He was well-respected as a man, despite being a slave owner with a hot temper. He treated his slaves very well, so much so, that one of them chose to live with Jackson even after he was given freedom and eventually was buried on the land.
In Jackson's political career, he was a man who had a hard beginning, yet was determined to excel. He was orphaned as a young child and chose to value the family he had. Due to being orphaned, he was not well-educated as a youth, yet sought education as an adult. He was a man who proved that it's not life's circumstances that make you who you are, it is the choices.
Adulltery and Murder
Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, in Waxhaw Settlement on the North Carolina and South Carolina border. He lacked formal education until he reached his teens when he began studying law extensively. His wife Rachel Donelson Robards was abandoned by her first husband. Jackson asked her to move in with him and eventually married her in August of 1794 soon after her divorce was final.
During his political career, many would point out this adulterous relationship, since they did live with one another while she was still married. Despite the drama, their marriage was a very loving and devoted one. They had only one child, in which they adopted. He was their nephew and they adopted him soon after birth, naming him Andrew Jackson Jr. They were a very close-knit family. Jackson Jr and his wife Sarah kept Jackson company in his declining years, along with their children.
His adulterous relationship was not the only personal fault people found. He was known for his hot temper and getting into brawls. During one of these heated fights, Charles Dickenson, an American attorney, spoke disrespectfully about Jackson's wife Rachel. Feeling that he needed to defend her honor, he became exceedingly angry, fighting with Dickensen. As a result of the fight, Dickenson died.
His hot temper and stubborn personality did not bring out all bad things, for it has helped him excel in his work life. During the Revolutionary War, he started his first job as a courier for the local militia. He was thirteen years old at the time and his father and oldest brother had already passed away. While working as a courier, he and his middle brother Robert were captured. While imprisoned, he refused to polish a British man's boots, which resulted in receiving a scar on his hand and forehead. Once he was released, his brother Robert died shortly thereafter. Less than a year later, his mother also died, leaving him an orphan.
Despite his rocky education in his early youth, he ended up studying law for two years as a teen. His first professional job was as a lawyer. Through his training, he became a very successful, influential lawyer. Although since he did not come from a distinguished family as many lawyers of his time did, he had to become noticed by his own merit.
Shortly after Tennessee became a state, he became the first man to take a spot on the House of Representatives for the state of Tennessee. Later, he became a Senator, then resigned after only a year in order to serve as a judge on the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Cause of Death
March 15, 1767 - Waxhaw between the Carolinas
Tennessee Militia United States Army (colonel and major)
American Revolutionary War • Battle of Hobkirk's Hill Creek War • Battle of Talladega • Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek • Battle of Horseshoe Bend War of 1812 • Battle of Pensacola • Battle of New Orleans First Seminole War Conquest of Florida • Battle of Fort Negro • Siege of Fort Barrancas
Age at Beginning of Presidency
62 years old
Term of Office
March 4, 1829 - March 3, 1837
How Long President
John C. Calhoun (1829–1832) None (1832–1833) Martin Van Buren (1833–1837)
Age and Year of Death
June 8, 1845 (aged 78)
War of 1812
In 1801, he was appointed as a colonel. A year later, he was promoted to be a major general. He continued to be in the military for many years serving as a major general.
During the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson became a national hero when he and his men defeated the British in New Orleans. It was during this time that he received his nickname Old Hickory due to his fierce stern presence. Although he was popular with his troops, he was hard on them. They often referred to him as "tough as Old Hickory." It may have been this determination that allowed him to have success in the War of 1812.
He continued to serve in the military until he ran in the Election of 1824, which he lost to John Quincy Adams, due to Henry Clay's support of Adams. That did not stop him from trying again.
King Andrew: His Presidency
Andrew Jackson worked hard to become President, losing his first race to John Quincy Adams. His second race was a success; he won by a landslide and ended up being much more popular President than his predecessor.
One of his most valuable creations to American society was that he created the Democratic Party, which still exists today. In fact, there were two parties that were created as a result of his Presidency: the Republican-Democratic Party or Democratic Party, as well as the Whigs or National Republicans that opposed him.
As President, he had an interesting way of handling Congress. Instead of deferring to Congress, he used his presidential power of veto when making policies, as well as his party leadership to maintain power. This caused him to be very disliked by some critics. There were cartoonists who portrayed him as King Andrew, to express their strong disapproval of being governed by a "king." This would be a slap in the face to Jackson, as he strongly opposed the British monarchy, especially due to his experience of being captured by the British when he was thirteen.
One of his greatest battles was with the Second Bank of America, which acted as a government-sponsored Monopoly. Both Jackson and the Bank threw their power against one another. He was quoted saying, "The bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!" He then vetoed a re-charter bill challenging the bank saying they had the undue economic privilege. This act actually caused a growth in popularity for Jackson, which ultimately allowed him to receive 52 percent of the electoral votes in his next election -- the election of 1832.
He died in the garden that was on his estate on June 8, 1845, in Nashville, Tennessee. He left behind a great legacy of hard work and dedication. Before dying he spent many years with his son and family.
Andrew Jackson Video
- After his first inaugural address on March 4, 1829, he had to escape through a window, because the crowd became so excited and rowdy, they began crashing china and glassware.
- The first to be in Office that did not come from money and privilege and was the first to be born in a log cabin.
- He was orphaned at age 13.
- Had a scar on his forehead from a saber blow he received after being taken as a prisoner and refusing to clean a British officer's boots.
- Charles Dickenson (not to be confused with the author by the same name) died as a result of a brawl with Andrew Jackson.
- His wife Rachel died right before he began as president.
List of American Presidents
1. George Washington
16. Abraham Lincoln
31. Herbert Hoover
2. John Adams
17. Andrew Johnson
32. Franklin D. Roosevelt
3. Thomas Jefferson
18. Ulysses S. Grant
33. Harry S. Truman
4. James Madison
19. Rutherford B. Hayes
34. Dwight D. Eisenhower
5. James Monroe
20. James Garfield
35. John F. Kennedy
6. John Quincy Adams
21. Chester A. Arthur
36. Lyndon B. Johnson
7. Andrew Jackson
22. Grover Cleveland
37. Richard M. Nixon
8. Martin Van Buren
23. Benjamin Harrison
38. Gerald R. Ford
9. William Henry Harrison
24. Grover Cleveland
39. James Carter
10. John Tyler
25. William McKinley
40. Ronald Reagan
11. James K. Polk
26. Theodore Roosevelt
41. George H. W. Bush
12. Zachary Taylor
27. William Howard Taft
42. William J. Clinton
13. Millard Fillmore
28. Woodrow Wilson
43. George W. Bush
14. Franklin Pierce
29. Warren G. Harding
44. Barack Obama
15. James Buchanan
30. Calvin Coolidge
45. Donald Trump
- American Presidents | Series | C-SPAN.org. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.c-span.org/series/?presidents
- Freidel, F., & Sidey, H. (2014). Andrew Jackson. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/andrewjackson
- JACKSON, Andrew - Biographical Information. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=j000005
- Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “Andrew Jackson.” Accessed April 21, 2016. http://millercenter.org/president/jackson.
- Sullivan, George. Mr. President: A Book of U.S. Presidents. New York: Scholastic, 2001. Print.
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz