↎ Free Read EUR 0,00 ⇩ American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House  ↔ Ebook By Jon Meacham ✷ ↎ Free Read EUR 0,00 ⇩ American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House ↔ Ebook By Jon Meacham ✷ Chapter 1Andy Will Fight His Way in the WorldChristmas 1828 should have been the happiest of seasons at the Hermitage, Jacksons plantation twelve miles outside Nashville It was a week before the holiday, and Jackson had won the presidency of the United States the month before How triumphant Andrew Donelson said of the victory How flattering to the cause of the people Now the president elects family and friends were to be on hand for a holiday of good food, liquor, and wineJackson was known to serve guests whiskey, champagne, claret, Madeira, port, and ginand, in this special year, a pageant of horses, guns, and martial glory.On Wednesday, December 17, 1828, Jackson was sitting inside the house, answering congratulatory messages As he worked, friends in town were planning a ball to honor their favorite son before he left for Washington Led by a marshal, there would be a guard of soldiers on horseback to take Jackson into Nashville, fire a twenty four gun artillery salute, and escort him to a dinner followed by dancing Rachel would be by his side.In the last moments before the celebrations, and his duties, began, Jackson drafted a letter Writing in his hurried hand across the foolscap, he accepted an old friends good wishes To the people, for the confidence reposed in me, my gratitude and best services are due and are pledged to their service Before he finished the note, Jackson went outside to his Tennessee fields.He knew his election was inspiring both reverence and loathing The 1828 presidential campaign between Jackson and Adams had been vicious Jacksons forces had charged that Adams, as minister to Russia, had procured a woman for Czar Alexander I As president, Adams was alleged to have spent too much public money decorating the White House, buying fancy china and a billiard table The anti Jackson assaults were colorful Jacksons foes called his wife a bigamist and his mother a whore, attacking him for a history of dueling, for alleged atrocities in battles against the British, the Spanish, and the Indiansand for being a wife stealer who had married Rachel before she was divorced from her first husband Even Mrs J is not spared, and my pious Mother, nearly fifty years in the tomb, and who, from her cradle to her death had not a speck upon her character, has been dragged forth and held to public scorn as a prostitute who intermarried with a Negro, and my eldest brother sold as a slave in Carolina, Jackson said to a friend.Jacksons advisers marveled at the ferocity of the Adams attacks The floodgates of falsehood, slander, and abuse have been hoisted and the most nauseating filth is poured, in torrents, on the head, of not only Genl Jackson but all his prominent supporters, William B Lewis told John Coffee, an old friend of Jacksons from Tennessee.Some Americans thought of the president elect as a second Father of His Country Others wanted him dead One Revolutionary War veteran, David Coons of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, was hearing rumors of ambush and assassination plots against Jackson To Coons, Jackson was coming to rule as a tribune of the people, but to others Jackson seemed dangerousso dangerous, in fact, that he was worth killing There are a portion of malicious and unprincipled men who have made hard threats with regard to you, men whose baseness would in my opinion prompt them to do anything, Coons wrote Jackson.That was the turbulent world awaiting beyond the Hermitage In the draft of a speech he was to deliver to the celebration in town, Jackson was torn between anxiety and nostalgia The consciousness of a steady adherence to my duty has not been disturbed by the unsparing attacks of which I have been the subject during the election, the speech read Still, Jackson admitted he felt apprehension about the years ahead His chief fear That, in Jacksons words, I shall fail to secure the future prosperity of our beloved country Perhaps the procession to Nashville and the ball at the hotel would lift his spirits perhaps Christmas with his family would.While Jackson was outside, word came that his wife had collapsed in her sitting room, screaming in pain It had been a wretched time for Rachel She was, Jacksons political foes cried, a black wench, a profligate woman, unfit to be the wife of the president of the United States Shaken by the at tacks, Rachelalso sixty one and, in contrast to her husband, short and somewhat heavyhad been melancholy and anxious The enemies of the General have dipped their arrows in wormwood and gall and sped them at me, Rachel lamented during the campaign Almighty God, was there ever any thing equal to it On the way home from a trip to Nashville after the balloting, Rachel was devastated to overhear a conversation about the lurid charges against her Her niece, the twenty one year old Emily Donelson, tried to reassure her aunt but failed No, Emily, Mrs Jackson replied, Ill never forget it When news of her husbands election arrived, she said Well, for Mr Jacksons sake I am glad for my own part I never wished it Now the cumulative toll of the campaign and the coming administration exacted its price as Rachel was put to bed, the sound of her cries still echoing in her slave Hannahs ears.Jackson rushed to his wife, sent for doctors, did what he could Later, as she lay resting, her husband added an emotional postscript to the letter he had begun P.S Whilst writing, Mrs J from good health, has been taken suddenly ill, with excruciating pain in the left shoulder, arm, and breast What may be the result of this violent attack god only knows, I hope for her recovery, and in haste close this letter, you will pardon any inaccuracies A J Yet his hopes would not bring her back.Rachel lingered for two and a half days Jackson hovered by her side, praying for her survival He had loved her for nearly four decades His solace through war, politics, Indian fighting, financial chaos, and the vicissitudes of life in what was then frontier America, Rachel gave him what no one else ever had In her arms and in their home he found a steady sense of family, a sustaining universe, a place of peace in a world of war Her love for him was unconditional She did not care for him because he was a general or a president She cared for him because he was Andrew Jackson Do not, My beloved Husband, let the love of Country, fame and honor make you forget you have me, she wrote to him during the War of 1812 Without you I would think them all empty shadows When they were apart, Jackson would sit up late writing to her, his candle burning low through the night My heart is with you, he told her.Shortly after nine on the evening of Monday, December 22, three days before Christmas, Rachel suffered an apparent heart attack It was over Still, Jackson kept vigil, her flesh turning cold to his touch as he stroked her forehead With his most awesome responsibilities and burdens at hand, she had left him My mind is so disturbed that I can scarcely write, in short my dear friend my heart is nearly broke, Jackson told his confidant John Coffee after Rachels death.At one oclock on Christmas Eve afternoon, by order of the mayor, Nashvilles church bells began ringing in tribute to Rachel, who was to be buried in her garden in the shadow of the Hermitage The weather had been wet, and the dirt in the garden was soft the rain made the gravediggers task a touch easier as they worked After a Presbyterian funeral service led by Rachels minister, Jackson walked the one hundred fifty paces back to the house A devastated but determined Jackson spoke to the mourners I am now the President elect of the United States, and in a short time must take my way to the metropolis of my country and, if it had been Gods will, I would have been grateful for the privilege of taking her to my post of honor and seating her by my side but Providence knew what was best for her Gods was the only will Jackson ever bowed to, and he did not even do that without a fight.In his grief, Jackson turned to Rachels family He would notcould notgo to Washington by himself Around him at the Hermitage on this bleak Christmas Eve was the nucleus of the intimate circle he would maintain for the rest of his life At the center of the circle, destined both to provide great comfort and to provoke deep personal anger in the White House, stood Andrew and Emily Donelson They had an ancient claim on Jacksons affections and attention, and they were ready to serve.While Andrewwho was also Emilys first cousinwas to work through the president elects correspondence, guard access to Jackson, and serve as an adviser, Emily, not yet twenty two, would be the presidents hostess Attracted by the bright things of the fashionable world and yet committed to family and faith, Emily was at once selfless and sharp tongued Born on Monday, June 1, 1807, the thirteenth and last child of Mary and John Donelson, Emily was raised in the heart of frontier aristocracy and inherited a steely courageperhaps from her grandfather, a Tennessee pioneer and a founder of Nashvillethat could verge on obstinacy It was a trait she shared with the other women in her family, including her aunt Rachel All Donelsons in the female line, wrote a family biographer, were tyrants Charming, generous, and hospitable tyrants, to be sure, but still a formidable lotwomen who knew their own minds, women who had helped their husbands conquer the wilderness or were the daughters of those who had Now one of them, Emily, would step into Rachels place in the White House.On Sunday, January 18, 1829, Jackson left the Hermitage for the capital With the Donelsons, William Lewis, and Mary Eastin, Emilys friend and cousin, Jackson rode the two miles from the Hermitage to a wharf on a neighboring estate and boarded the steamboat Pennsylvania to travel the Cumberland River north, toward their new home He was, as he had said to the mourners on the day of Rachels burial, the president elect of the United States.Before he left Tennessee, he wrote a letter to John Coffee that mixed faith and resignation His thoughts were with Rachel, and on his own mortality Whether I am ever to return or not is for time to reveal, as none but that providence, who rules the destiny of all, now knows, Jackson said.His friends hoped that service to the nation would comfort him The active discharge of those duties to which he will shortly be called, than anything else, will tend to soothe the poignancy of his grief, said the Nashville Republican and State Gazette in an edition bordered in black in mourning for Rachel In a moving letter, Edward Livingston, a friend of Jacksons and a future secretary of state, saw that the cause of country would have to replace Rachel as Jacksons central concern Referring to America, Livingston told the president elect She requires you for her welfare to abandon your just grief, to tear yourself from the indulgence of regrets which would be a virtue in a private individual, but to which you are not permitted to yield while so much of her happiness depends upon your efforts in her service Jackson understood To rule, one had to survive, and to survive one had to fight.The travelers wound their way through the country to the capital, passing through Louisville, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, where it snowed The president elect was complaining of sore limbs, a bad cough, and a hand worn out from greeting so many well wishers He was very much wearied by the crowds of people that attended him everywhere, anxious to see the Peoples President, Mary Eastin wrote her father.Ten days into the voyage, Emily Donelson finally found a moment to sit down For her the trip had been a blur of cannons, cheers, and tending to coldsshe had one, as did her little son Jackson I scarcely need tell you that we have been in one continual crowd since we started, Emily wrote her mother Their quarters were overrun by guests, and there were ovations and shouts of joy from people along the banks of the river The social demands of the presidency had begun, really, the moment Jackson and his party left the Hermitage But Emily was not the kind to complain, at least not in her uncles hearing She loved the life that Jackson had opened to her and her husband.You must not make yourself unhappy about us, my dear Mother, Emily added, sending warm wishes to her father The handwriting was shaky as the letter ended the water was rough, the pace of the craft fast I hope you will excuse this scrawl, Emily said, as it is written while the boat is running.The speed of the boat did not seem to bother Andrew Jackson, but then he was accustomed to pressing ahead He was constantly on the run, and had been all his life For him the journey to the White House had begun six decades before, in a tiny place tucked away in the Carolinasa place he never visited, and spoke of only sparingly, called Waxhaw.Jackson grew up an outsider, living on the margins and at the mercy of others Traveling to America from Ireland in 1765, his father, the senior Andrew Jackson, and his mother, Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, moved into a tiny community a few hundred miles northwest of Charleston, in a spot straddling the border between North and South Carolina Waxhaw came from the name of the tribe of native Indians in the region, and from a creek that flowed into the Catawba River Though the Revolutionary War was eleven years away, the relationship between King George III and his American colonies was already strained The year the Jacksons crossed the Atlantic, Parliament passed the Quartering Act which forced colonists to shelter British troops and the Stamp Act which levied a tax on virtually every piece of paper on the continent The result the Massachusetts legislature called for a colonial congress in New York, which issued a Declaration of Rights and Grievances against King George III Striking, too, was a remark made by a delegate from South Carolina, the Jacksons new home There ought to be no New England men, no New Yorkers, said Christopher Gadsden of Charleston, but all of us Americans Jacksons father, meanwhile, was trying to establish himself and his family in the New World Though a man, his son recalled, of independent means, he was, it seems, poorer than his in laws, who might have made him feel the disparity While the other members of the extended family began prospering, Jackson moved his wife and two sons, Hugh and Robert, to Twelve Mile Creek, seven miles from the heart of Waxhaw His wife was pregnant when the first Andrew Jackson died unexpectedly It was a confusing, unsettling time The baby was almost due, a snowstormrare in the Southhad struck, and Jacksons pallbearers drank so much as they carried his corpse from Twelve Mile Creek to the church for the funeral that they briefly lost the body along the way.Soon thereafter, on Sunday, March 15, 1767, Mrs Jackson gave birth to her third son, naming him Andrew after her late husband He was a dependent from delivery forward Whether the birth took place in North or South Carolina has occupied historians for generations Jackson himself thought it was South Carolina , but the important fact is that Andrew Jackson came into the world under the roof of relatives, not of his own parents Growing up, he would be a guest of the houses in which he lived, not a son, except of a loving mother who was never the mistress of her own household One of Mrs Jacksons sisters had married a Crawford, and the Crawfords were affluent than the Jacksons The loss of Mrs Jacksons husband only made the gulf wider When the Crawfords asked Mrs Jackson and her sons to live with them, it was not wholly out of a sense of familial devotion and duty The Jacksons needed a home, the Crawfords needed help, and a bargain was struck Mrs Crawford was an invalid, wrote James Parton, the early Jackson biographer who interviewed people familiar with the Jacksons days in Waxhaw, and Mrs Jackson was permanently established in the family as housekeeper and poor relation Even in his mothers lifetime, Jackson felt a certain inferiority to and distance from others His childish recollections were of humiliating dependence and galling discomfort, his poor mother performing household drudgery in return for the niggardly maintenance of herself and her children, said Mary Donelson Wilcox, Emily and Andrews oldest daughter He was not quite part of the core of the world around him He did not fully belong, and he knew it.God and war dominated his childhood His mother took him and his brothers to the Waxhaw Presbyterian meetinghouse for services every week, and the signal intellectual feat of his early years was the memorization of the Shorter Westminster Catechism Most stories about the young Jackson also paint a portrait of a child and young man full of energy, fun, and not a little fury Like many other children of the frontier, he was engaged in a kind of constant brawl from birthand in Jacksons case, it was a brawl in which he could not stand to lose ground or points, even for a moment.Wrestling was a common pastime, and a contemporary who squared off against Jackson recalled I could throw him three times out of four, but he would never stay throwed As a practical joke his friends packed extra powder into a gun Jackson was about to fire, hoping the recoil would knock him down It did A furious Jackson rose up and cried By God, if one of you laughs, Ill kill him Perhaps partly because he was fatherless, he may have felt he had to do than usual to prove his strength and thus secure, or try to secure, his place in the community Mother, Andy will fight his way in the world, a neighborhood boy recalled saying in their childhood Clearly Jackson seethed beneath the surface, for when flummoxed or crossed or frustrated, he would work himself into fits of rage so paralyzing that contemporaries recalled he would begin slobbering His prospects were not auspicious here was an apparently unbalanced, excitable, insecure, and defensive boy coming of age in a culture of confrontation and violence It was not, to say the least, the best of combinations.His mother was his hope His uncles and aunts apparently did not take a great deal of interest They had their own children, their own problems, their own lives Elizabeth Jackson was, however, a resourceful woman, and appears to have made a good bit out of little There was some money, perhaps income from her late husbands farm, and gifts from relatives in Irelandenough, anyway, to send Jackson to schools where he studied, for a time, under Presbyterian clergy, learning at least the basics of the dead languages He learned his most lasting lessons, however, not in a classroom but in the chaos of the Revolutionary War.The birth of the Republic was, for Jackson, a time of unrelenting death A week after Jacksons eighth birthday, in March 1775, Edmund Burke took note of the American hunger for independence The temper and character which prevail in our Colonies are, I am afraid, unalterable by any human art, he said Within sixteen months Burke was proved right when the Continental Congress declared independence on July 4, 1776, a midsummer Thursday By 1778, the South was the focus of the war, and the British fought brutally in Georgia and the Carolinas In 1779, Andrews brother Hugh, just sixteen, was fighting at the front and died, it was said, of heat and fatigue after a clash between American and British troops at the Battle of Stono Ferry, south of Charleston It was the first in a series of calamities that would strike Jackson, who was thirteen.The British took Charleston on Friday, May 12, 1780, then moved west The few things Jackson knew and cherished were soon under siege On Monday, May 29, at about three oclock in the afternoon, roughly three hundred British troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton killed 113 men near Waxhaw and wounded another 150 It was a vicious massacre though the rebels tried to surrender, Tarleton ordered his men forward, and they charged the Americans, a rebel surgeon recalled, with the horrid yells of infuriated demons Even after the survivors fell to the ground, asking for quarter, the British went over the ground, plunging their bayonets into everyone that exhibited any signs of life.The following Sunday was no ordinary Sabbath at Waxhaw The meetinghouse was filled with casualties from the skirmish, and the Jacksons were there to help the wounded None of the men had less than three or four, and some as many as thirteen gashes on them, Jackson recalled.He was so young, and so much was unfolding around him the loss of a brother, the coming of the British, the threat of death, the sight of the bleeding and the dying in the most sacred place he knew, the meetinghouse The enemy was everywhere, and the people of Waxhaw, like people throughout the colonies, were divided by the war, with Loyalists supporting George III and Britain, and others, usually called Whigs, throwing in their lot with the Congress As Jackson recalled it, his mother had long inculcated him and his brothers with anti British rhetoric, a stand she took because of her own father, back in Ireland The way Mrs Jackson told the story, he had fought the troops of the British king in action at Carrickfergus Often she would spend the winters night, in recounting to them the sufferings of their grandfather, at the siege of Carrickfergus, and the oppressions exercised by the nobility of Ireland, over the labouring poor, wrote John Reid and John Eaton in a biography Jackson approved, impressing it upon them, as their first duty, to expend their lives, if it should become necessary, in defending and supporting the natural rights of man These words were written for a book published in 1817, after Jackson defeated the British at New Orleans and preparatory to his entering national politics, which may account for the unlikely image of Mrs Jackson tutoring her sons in Enlightenment political thought on cold Carolina evenings But there is no doubt that Jackson chose to remember his upbringing this way, which means he linked his mother with the origins of his love of country and of the common man.In the split between the revolutionaries and the Loyalists Jackson saw firsthand the brutality and bloodshed that could result when Americans turned on Americans Men hunted each other like beasts of prey, wrote Amos Kendall, the Jackson intimate who spent hours listening to Jackson reminisce, and the savages were outdone in cruelties to the living and indignities on the dead.Lieutenant Colonel Tarletonknown as Bloody Tarleton for his butcheryonce rode so close to the young Jackson that, Jackson recalled, I could have shot him The boy soaked up the talk of war and its rituals from the local militia officers and men Months passed, and there were battles, killing Boys big enough to carry muskets incurred the dangers of men, wrote Kendalland Jackson was big enough to carry a musket.In April 1781, after a night spent on the run from a British party, he and his brother Robert were trapped in one of their Crawford relatives houses A neighboring Tory alerted the redcoats, and soon Andrew and Robert were surrounded The soldiers ransacked the house, and an imperious officer ordered Jackson to polish his boots.Jackson refused Sir, he said, with a striking formality and coolness under the circumstances for a fourteen year old, I am a prisoner of war, and claim to be treated as such The officer then swung his sword at the young man Jackson blocked the blade with his left hand, but he could not fend it off completely The sword point reached my head and has left a mark there on the skull, as well as on the fingers, Jackson recalled His brother was next, and when he too refused the order to clean the boots, the officer smashed the sword over Roberts head, knocking him to the floor.In some ways, Andrew was strengthened by the blows, for he would spend the rest of his life standing up to enemies, enduring pain, and holding fast until, after much trial, victory came Robert was not so fortunate The two boys were taken from the house to a British prison camp in Camden, about forty miles away The journey was difficult in the April heat The prisoners were all dismounted and marched on foot to Camden, pushed through the swollen streams and prevented from drinking, Jackson recalled The mistreatment continued at the camp No attention whatever was paid to the wounds or to the comfort of the prisoners, and the small pox having broken out among them, many fell victims to it, Jackson said Robert was sick, very sick Their mother managed to win her sons release, and, with a desperately ill Robert on one horse and Mrs Jackson on another, a barefoot Andrewthe British had taken his shoes and his coathad to, as he recalled, trudge forty five miles back to Waxhaw.They made a ragged, lonely little group En route, even the weather turned against them The fury of a violent storm of rain to which we were exposed for several hours before we reached the end of our journey caused the small pox to strike in and consequently the next day I was dangerously ill, Jackson recalled Two days later Robert died During his confinement in prison, Jacksons earliest biography said, Robert had suffered greatly the wound on his head, all this time, having never been dressed, was followed by an inflammation of the brain, which in a few days after his liberation, brought him to his grave.Two Jackson boys were now dead at the hands of the British Elizabeth nursed Andrew, now her only living child, back from the precipiceand then left, to tend to two of her Crawford nephews who were sick in Charleston.Jackson never saw her again In the fall of 1781 she died in the coastal city tending to other boys, and was buried in obscurity Her clothes were all that came back to him Even by the rough standards of the frontier in late eighteenth century America, where disease and death were common, this was an extraordinary run of terrible luck.For Jackson, the circumstances of Elizabeths last mission of mercy and burial would be perennial reminders of the tenuous position she had been forced into by her own husbands death First was the occasion of her visit to Charleston to care for the extended family, leaving her own son behind However selfless her motivesshe had nursed the wars wounded from that first Waxhaw massacre in the late spring of 1780Elizabeth had still gone to the coast for the sake of Jacksons cousins, not her own children The uncertainty over the fate of her remains was a matter of concern to Jackson even in his White House years He long sought the whereabouts of his mothers grave, but to no avail Perhaps partly in reaction to what he may have viewed as the lack of respect or care others had taken with his mothers burial, he became a careful steward of such thingsa devotee of souvenirs, a keeper of tombs, and an observer of anniversaries The first woman he ever loved, his mother, rested in oblivion The second woman who won his heart, Rachel, would be memorialized in stateliness and grandeur at the Hermitage after her death, and in his last years he would spend hours in the garden, contemplating her tomb Bringing his mother home had been beyond his power The story of Jacksons life was how he strove to see that little else ever would be.Rachel Jackson believed her husband drew inspiration from his mothers trials It was from her courage in facing what Rachel called many hardships while on this earth that Jackson obtained the fortitude which has enabled him to triumph with so much success over the many obstacles which have diversified his life.Jackson often recounted what he claimed were his mothers last words to him In 1815, after his triumph at New Orleans, he spoke of his mother to friends Gentlemen, I wish she could have lived to see this day There never was a woman like her She was gentle as a dove and as brave as a lioness Her last words have been the law of my life Andrew, if I should not see you again, I wish you to remember and treasure up some things I have already said to you in this world you will have to make your own way To do that you must have friends You can make friends by being honest, and you can keep them by being steadfast You must keep in mind that friends worth having will in the long run expect as much from you as they give to you To forget an obligation or be ungrateful for a kindness is a base crimenot merely a fault or a sin, but an actual crime Men guilty of it sooner or later must suffer the penalty In personal conduct be always polite but never obsequious None will respect you than you respect yourself Avoid quarrels as long as you can without yielding to imposition But sustain your manhood always Never bring a suit in law for assault and battery or for defamation The law affords no remedy for such outrages that can satisfy the feelings of a true man Never wound the feelings of others Never brook wanton outrage upon your own feelings If you ever have to vindicate your feelings or defend your honor, do it calmly If angry at first, wait till your wrath cools before you proceed.No matter how many of these words were hers, and how many were created by Jackson and ascribed to her memory, Elizabeth Jackson cast a long shadow in the life of her only surviving son.Jackson spiraled downward and lashed out in the aftermath of his mothers death Before now, living in other peoples houses, Jackson had learned to manage complicated situations, maneuvering to maintain a passably cheerful and grateful face among people who gave him shelter but apparently little else He once said he never remembered receiving a gift as a child, and that, after his mothers death, no kind, encouraging words ever greeted his ear, recalled Mary Donelson Wilcox.The Revolutionary War drew to a close with the American victory at Yorktown, Virginia, on the afternoon of Friday, October 19, 1781 Two years later, on Wednesday, September 3, 1783, came the Treaty of Paris, and the United States was now an independent nation For Jackson, though, the end of war brought little peace Living for a time with some Crawford relatives, Jackson got into a fight with one of their guests, a Captain Galbraith Jackson thought him of a very proud and haughty disposition, and the two found themselves in an argument, and for some reason, Jackson recalled, I forget now what, he threatened to chastise me Jackson replied with a flash of fire I immediately answered, that I had arrived at the age to know my rights, and although weak and feeble from disease, I had the courage to defend them, and if he attempted anything of that kind I would most assuredly send him to the other world That was enough for Jacksons current Crawford host to shuffle him off to another relative Having the unstable orphan around presented too many problems, not least the possibility of his attacking other guests.Then came a crucial interlude in Jacksons life a sojourn in the cultivated precincts of Charleston He had come into some moneyeither from his grandfather or perhaps from the sale of his mothers propertyand used it to finance a trip to the coast where he fell in with a fast, sophisticated circle Some Charlestonians had retreated to the Waxhaw region during the worst of the fighting on the coast, so Jackson had something of an entre when he arrived Here he found the pleasures of the turf, of good tailors, and of the gaming tables There can be little doubt that at this period he imbibed that high sense of honour, and unstudied elegance of air for which he has been since distinguished, wrote the early Jackson biographer Henry Leeas well as little doubt that his love of racehorses and fine clothes had its beginnings in Charleston, too.After Jackson returned to Waxhaw, he grew restless From 1781 to 1784, he tried his hand at saddle making and school teachingneither seems to have gone very welland then left South Carolina for good For the rest of his life, for a man who adored talk of family, friends, and old times, Jackson mentioned Waxhaw very little, the only exceptions being conversation about his mother and about Revolutionary War action in the regionboth things that he could claim as his own.Decade after decade, he never chose to find the time to go to Waxhaw Acknowledging the gift of a map of the region the year before he was elected president, Jackson wrote a well wisher A view of this map pointing to the spot that gave me birth, brings fresh to my memory many associations dear to my heart, many days of pleasure with my juvenile companionswords that might, taken alone, suggest warm memories of his frontier youth.Referring to his juvenile companions, Jackson said, but alas, most of them are gone to that bourne where I am hastening and from whence no one returnsin other words, they were dead I have not visited that country since the year 1784, he addedwhich, since he was writing in midsummer 1827, means that forty three years had passed since he bothered to return Turning as close to home as he could, Jackson concluded The crossing of the Waxhaw creek, within one mile of which I was born, is still, however, I see, possessed by Mr John Crawford, son of the owner Robert who lived there when I was growing up and at school I lived there for many years, and from the accuracy which this spot is marked in the map, I conclude the whole must be correct With that Jackson signs off The subject is closed.Still, the roots of Jacksons intellectual and rhetorical imagination lie in Waxhaw Down the years Jackson could quote Shakespeare, Plutarch, and Alexander Pope, and almost certainly read books than his harshest critics believed, but the foundations of his worldview most likely came from his childhood Sundays in South Carolina, where he spent hours soaking in eighteenth century Presbyterianism.Elizabeth Jackson wanted her Andrew to be a minister, an ambition for him that may have been among the reasons he was able to envision himself rising to a place of authority Even so than in succeeding American generations, clergymen played a central and special role in the life of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries They were often the most educated men in a given place, conversant not only with scripture but with ancient tongues and the touchstones of English literature They held center stage, with a standing claim on the time and attention at least feigned of their flocks, and they presided at the most important public moments of a Christians lifebaptism, communion, marriage, death Jacksons sense of himself as someone set apartthe word ordain derives from the word order, and an ordained figure is one who puts things in order, arranges them, controls and even commands themmay have come in part from hearing his mother speak of him in such terms.Jackson found other, larger spheres over which to preside than Carolina churches, but it would be a mistake to pass too quickly over the lasting influence his churchgoing had on the way he thought, spoke, wrote, and saw the world He attended services at the Waxhaw meetinghouse throughout his early years, and these childhood Sabbaths are worth considering in trying to solve the mystery of how a man with so little formal education and such a sporadicif occasionally intenseinterest in books developed his sense of history and of humanity.The service the Jacksons attended most likely started in midmorning A psalm was sungbut without organ music, for Presbyterians were austere not only in their theology but in their liturgyand a prayer said Church historians suspect such prayers could stretch beyond twenty minutes in length Then came a lesson from scripturethe selection could range from an entire chapter of a book of the Bible to a shorter reading followed by an explicationfollowed by the centerpiece of the morning the ministers sermon, an address that could range in length from thirty minutes to an hour Another psalm or hymn closed the morning, which had by now consumed two hours of the day There was a break for lunch, then an afternoon version of the same service, which everyone attended as well.From his babyhood, then, Andrew Jackson probably spent between three and four hours nearly every Sunday for about fourteen years hearing prayers, psalms, scripture, sermons, and hymns highly formalized, intense language evoking the most epic of battles with the greatest of stakes In the words flowing from the minister on all those Sundays, Jackson would have been transported to imaginative realms where good and evil were at war, where kings and prophets on the side of the Lord struggled against the darker powers of the earth, where mans path through a confusing world was lit by a peculiar intermingling of Christian mercy and might God may well plan on exalting the humble and meek, but Jackson also heard the call of Gideons trumpetthe call to, as Saint Paul put it, fight the good fight.Throughout his life, when he was under pressure, Jackson returned to the verses and tales of the Bible he had first heard in his childhood He referred to political enemies as Judases, and at one horrible moment during the attacks on Rachels virtue in the 1828 campaign, Jacksons mind raced to the language and force of the Bible in a crowded collection of allusions Should the uncircumcised philistines send forth their Goliath to destroy the liberty of the people and compel them to worship Mammon, they may find a David who trusts in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob, for when I fight, it is the battles of my country, Jackson wrote a friend.That the image of King Davidancient Israels greatest monarchcame to Jacksons mind is telling, for the connection he himself was drawing between Davids struggles and his own suggests the breadth of Jacksons heroic vision of himself David was a ruler who, chosen by the prophet Samuel, rose from obscurity to secure his nation and protect his people A formidable soldier, he was a man of greatness and of God who was not without sin or sadness that he stole Bathsheba, another mans wife, stretches the analogy further than Jackson would ever have gone, but the story of lost fathers and sons in the tale of the death of Davids son Absalom echoed in Jacksons own life The Lords promise to David in II SamuelAnd thine house and thine kingdom shall be established for ever before thee thy throne shall be established for everwould have resonated in Jacksons imagination, for his life was dedicated to building not only his own family but his nation, and perhaps even founding a dynasty in which Andrew Donelson, as his protg, might, as Jackson put it, preside over the destinies of America.Jackson said he read three chapters of the Bible every day His letters and speeches echo both scripture and the question and answer style of the Shorter Westminster Catechism If the Bible, psalms, and hymns formed a substantial core of Jacksons habits of mind, books about valor, duty, and warfare also found their way into his imagination Jackson had only a handful of years of formal educationhe was the least intellectually polished president in the short history of the officeand his opponents made much of his lack of schooling When Harvard University bestowed an honorary degree on President Jackson in 1833, the man he had beaten for the White House, John Quincy Adams, a Harvard graduate, refused to come, telling the universitys president that as myself an affectionate child of our Alma Mater, I would not be present to witness her disgrace in conferring her highest literary honors upon a barbarian who could not write a sentence of grammar and hardly could spell his own name Adamss view was common in Jacksons lifetime.Jackson was not, however, as unlettered as the caricatures suggest He was no scholar, but he issued elegant Caesar like proclamations to his troops, understood men and their motives, and read rather than he is given credit for I know human nature, he once remarked, and he had learned the ways of the world not only on the frontier but also in snatches of literature There was Oliver Goldsmiths 1766 novel The Vicar of Wakefield, a story of redemption the vicar faces much misfortune, yet perseveres through faith to a happy ending It is not difficult to see why Jackson was drawn to the tale The hero of this piece, Goldsmith wrote in an Advertisement for the book, unites in himself the three greatest characters upon earth he is a priest, an husbandman, and the father of a family.Jacksons surviving library at the Hermitage is full of books of theology, history, and biography There are numerous volumes of sermons most, if not all, of them Rachels , and a fair collection of the works of Isaac Watts His secular shelves are heavy on Napoleon, George Washington, and the American Revolution.A favorite book was Jane Porters The Scottish Chiefs The story of Sir William Wallacea reluctant, noble warrior brought into combat against the domineering and cruel English when the kings soldiers murder his wifeaffected Jackson perhaps than any other piece of writing outside scripture I have always thought that Sir William Wallace, as a virtuous patriot and warrior, was the best model for a young man, Jackson once wrote In him we find a stubborn virtue the truly undaunted courage, always ready to brave any dangers, for the relief of his country or his friend.The story, published in 1809, is something of a potboiler More colorful than subtle, it is nonetheless a powerful book, and Jackson thrilled to it God is with me, Wallace says as he realizes his wife is dead I am his avenger God armeth the patriots hand The cause of Scotland became one with Wallaces personal crusade for justice.Jackson, too, had lost those he loved to the English Orphaned in Waxhaw, he would struggle to build and keep a family everywhere else In those distant forests, makeshift battlefields, and richer relatives houses he had seen the centrality of strength and of self confidence Both elements, so essential to his character and his career, can be traced to his mothers influence, which was brief but lasting In his mind she remained vivid and her example did, toothe example of strength amid adversity and of persevering no matter what It is also likely that her dreams remained with him chiefly her ambitious hope that he would become a clergyman, thus exercising authority and earning respect, all in the service of a larger cause In the end Jackson chose to serve God and country not in a church but on battlefields and at the highest levelsbut he did choose, as his mother had wished, to serve.What passes for political drama today pales in the reading of Jon Meachams vividly told story of our seventh president The rip roaring two fisted man of the people, duelist, passionate lover, gambler and war hero, was also a prime creator of the presidency as the fulcrum of executive power to defend democracyMeacham argues that Jackson should be in the pantheon with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln for this and for his role in preserving the Union and rescuing democracy from elitism He makes the historians case with wit and scholarship but Meacham also has the novelists artof enthralling the general reader much as David McCullough did for the lesser figure of John Adams Reading American Lion one is no longer able to look on the gaunt, craggy face on the 20 bill without hearing the tumult of America in the making Tina BrownJon Meacham s splendid new book on Andrew Jackson shrewdly places presidential politics in the context of Jackson s family life and vice versa With an abundance of gripping stories, and with admirable fairness, Meacham offers a fresh portrait of one of the most controversial and consequential men ever to occupy the White House Sean Wilentz, Princeton University, author of The Rise of American Democracy Jefferson to LincolnEvery so often a terrific biography comes along that shines a new light on a familiar figure in American history So it was with David McCullough and John Adams, so it was with Walter Isaacson and Benjamin Franklin, so it is with Jon Meacham andAndrew Jackson A master storyteller, Meacham interweaves the lives of Jackson and the members of his inner circle to create a highly original book Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of Team of Rivals The Political Genius of Abraham LincolnIn magnificent prose, enriched by the authors discovery of new research materials, Jon Meacham has written an engrossing and original study of the life of Andrew Jackson He provides new insights into Jacksons emotional and intellectual character and personality, and describes life in the White House in a unique and compelling way Scrupulously researched and vividly written, this book is certain to attract a large and diverse reading public Robert V Remini, National Book Award winning historian and biographer of Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and Daniel WebsterFinally, a book that explains our nation s most enigmatic hero, a man who was revered and reviled and little understood Jon Meacham brilliantly takes us inside the family circle that sustained Andrew Jackson s presidency and provided his steadiness of faith It s a vivid, fascinating human drama, and Meacham shows how the personal was interwoven with the political Jackson presided over the birth of modern politics, and this book s brew of patriotism and religion and populism tastes very familiar In helping us understand Jackson, Meacham helps us understand America Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein His Life and Universe and Benjamin Franklin An American Life American Lion is a spellbinding, brilliant and irresistible journey into the heart of Andrew Jackson and his unforgettable circle of friends and enemies With narrative energy, flash and devotion to larger issues that are truly Jacksonian, Jon Meacham reveals Old Hickory s complicated inner life and recreates the excitement of living in Jackson s Washington Most of all, Meacham s important book shows us how the old hero transformed both the American Presidency and the nation he led.Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789 1989An admiring, vividly composed portrait, full of colorful anecdotes and sentimental personal detail Andrew Jackson s presidency remains controversial but even those who, like myself, prefer John Quincy Adams s statesmanship to that of Old Hickory will find themselves engaged by Jon Meacham s skillful narrative Daniel Walker Howe, author of What Hath God Wrought The Transformation of America, 1815 1848, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History 2008 American Lion Andrew Jackson in the the White House Kindle edition by Jon Meacham Download it once and read on your device, PC, phones or tablets Use features like bookmarks, note taking highlighting while reading American by received Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Jackson, LionHe is also author New York Times bestsellers Thomas Jefferson The Art Power, Gospel, Franklin WinstonMeacham, who teaches at Vanderbilt University South, a fellow Society The President Wikipedia romantic comedy drama film directed Rob Reiner written Aaron SorkinThe stars Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen, J Fox, Richard DreyfussIn film, Shepherd Douglas widower pursues relationship with environmental Andrew Parks Lawrence born March , an television actor Born Los Angeles, California to actors Larry Betty Garrett, made debut age but did not continue acting career another eight years, beginning Strawberry Statement His feature credits Tennessee Performing Arts Center Nashville PREVIEW Lloyd Webber s School Rock celebrates music, fun, Wild Inauguration Trump s Jan Seeking portray Donald as man people, some closest advisers have said he natural successor America architect political Guard King Wiki FANDOM animated spin off series inspired that premiered one hour November was followed Disney Junior, which released preview episode December first I wanted personally thank you team outstanding job performed during Express recent conferenceJon Meacham latest book from Meacham, Soul Battle Our Better Angels, published Random Tuesday, May In this new book, helps us understand present moment politics life looking back critical times our history when hope overcame division fear renowned presidential historian, contributing writer Book Review, editor TIME, winning be Monday, Destiny Power biographer House, Winston, Odyssey George Herbert Walker Bush, distinguished visiting professor Suggests Committed Treason at Impeachment seems mind liberal historian lately predicted newly elected Democrat will impeach season finale word obsession returned Tuesday Morning Joe suggested somehow committed treason Praise Fascinating insightful Many books been about life, few created such vivid portrait immerses reader period explain behavior era nation contradictory extraordinary Time Read stories Time Constitution stop discusses divided That subject focus newest Thomas Lion, bestselling He Winston GospelExecutive executive vice president magazine, former Meacham End Christian newsweek percentage self identified Christians has fallen points past two decades How statistic explains we are now what, We re Conservative Country It grand evening On Thursday, Dec Plaza Hotel, William F Buckley Jr rose toast United States occasion th anniversary National American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *