As far as American history is concerned, Andrew Jackson is probably the most important person to come from Tennessee.
But he had a rough life. Jackson’s father died before he was born; his mother and both his brothers died before he was 14. Luckily for him, he found a job as a lawyer’s apprentice when he was a teenager.
At the age of 20, Jackson was appointed to be a prosecutor (sort of like a judge) in the “Mero District” of the Southwest Territory (present day Middle Tennessee). Jackson then came to Nashville and would start to make his reputation as a good lawyer, an honest man and a tough man.
When Tennessee became a state in 1796, Jackson became Tennessee’s first Congressman.
Jackson was a tall, slender, hot-tempered man, and he made a great general. His greatest military victory ever was over the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. In 1828 he was elected president of the United States – the first person to ever hold that office who was not from one of the thirteen original colonies.
Today, people still argue about things Andrew Jackson did as president. He dissolved the Bank of the United States. He paid off the national debt. But the most controversial thing he ever did was order all Native Americans moved west–a migration known as the Trail of Tears.
Andrew Jackson’s home in Nashville was The Hermitage, and today this place is preserved in much the way it looked when he lived there.
For more about Andrew Jackson, click here for a tour “In Search of Andrew Jackson,” here for a virtual tour of The Hermitage; here for a tour of Horseshoe Bend, and here for a tour of Chalmette Battlefield in New Orleans.