The Hermitage in Nashville: Home of President Andrew Jackson - WanderWisdom - Travel
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The Hermitage in Nashville: Home of President Andrew Jackson

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

The Hermitage

The Hermitage

Seventh President of the U.S.

One year, on our way to vacation in the Smoky Mountains, my husband and I decided to stop off in Nashville, Tennessee, to view Andrew Jackson's home—The Hermitage.

Andrew Jackson led a fascinating, influential, and colorful life that many people would applaud. His life actions also left a wake of individuals who would never sanction some of the decisions he made over the years.

His rise up the ranks to that of being the seventh President of the United States was a bumpy one. He did not win that position on his first try running against John Quincy Adams, although he won the popular vote.

Resigning his position of being a United States Senator in Tennessee, he finally attained the rank of the Presidency against his former competitor and sitting President in the 1828 election. Andrew Jackson was President from 1829 to 1837. He left much behind him by way of his political actions and words. The birth of the Democratic Party is one lasting piece of Andrew Jackson's legacy.

Portraits of Andrew Jackson and Rachel

The portrait below of Andrew Jackson, painted by Ralph E. W. Earl in 1837, shows him as he looked in the last year of his Presidency. Serving as President of the United States seems to age all who reside in that office for a time. It is a position of power and influence and perks, but also a heavy burden of responsibility.

Also, below is a portrait of Rachel, who was Andrew Jackson's wife. Sadly she died just before his inauguration as President, so she never saw him assume that title. She did live through the presidential campaign (which was quite nasty even back then) before the election.

Both of these portraits are hung and on display in The Hermitage.

Slavery

It is undeniable that Andrew Jackson was a slaveholder. The time frame was before the Civil War. Many wealthy plantation owners who grew cotton utilized the services of slaves in the fields to do the cotton farming. Other slaves served in various capacities to maintain the large plantation houses.

Some slaves were treated reasonably well, and others were treated horribly with families torn apart and little regard given to their feelings. Of course, anytime a person is forced to do things against his or her free will, it is a travesty.

The history of slavery goes back to the earliest of times and in all cultures.

One gentleman slave after emancipation chose to not only remain at the Jackson plantation but also served as a docent at The Hermitage until his death. He requested and was granted permission to be buried there. Hopefully, this is an example of how Andrew Jackson treated the majority of the slaves that he at one time owned.

Below is a photo of the tomb on the site of The Hermitage, where President Andrew Jackson and Rachel Jackson are buried.

Andrew Jackson Tomb

Andrew Jackson Tomb

The Trail of Tears

A very black mark attributed to President Andrew Jackson was his attitude towards westward expansion and the taking of Native American lands. They were offered some money for their land but the Native Americans were truly given no choice in the matter. Many tribes reluctantly headed west to Oklahoma and other regions.

One tribe (the Cherokees) won a decision in the Supreme Court, enabling them to stay on their ancestral lands. Still, Jackson ignored this and used the military to force them to leave. This enforced evacuation of the entire tribe (women, children, and elderly) caused many of them to die en route. Forever after, it has been known as "the trail of tears."

"Old Hickory"

Andrew Jackson got this nickname because of his toughness. He survived a rough frontier existence with his father dying before he was born, and his mother and brother both dying when he was still a teenager. Despite this, his aggressiveness towards the battles of life prevailed.

A self-starter (after some wiles of youth) saw him as a successful lawyer followed by a noteworthy military career and then a thriving political career in addition to his farming practices. From a background with nothing of material means, he became a wealthy man.

Andrew Jackson will probably always remain a controversial figure. Nonetheless, he achieved much in his lifetime.

Paper Currency vs. the Gold Standard

The seventh President of the U.S. is on every $20 bill printed, although he genuinely believed paper money to be wrong and preferred gold and silver to be the currency of choice.

We have gotten far removed from the "gold standard," and now the printing of excess dollars to meet government expenses causes the devaluation of every paper dollar. Perhaps Andrew Jackson foresaw problems like this? We will never know.

Fall Foliage at The Hermitage

My husband and I learned much about former President Andrew Jackson on our visit to his 1,000+ acre plantation and retirement home. It was the fall of the year, and the colorful leaves just added to the beauty and our enjoyment of visiting this historic site.

I would highly recommend a visit to anyone traveling near there, no matter the time of year.

Where President Andrew Jackson's home is located:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2015:

Hi Bobbi,

I know what you mean. We often learn history as children but much of it is tucked away in the recesses of our minds. Nice that reading this refreshed your memory. Thanks for your comment and the shares.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 20, 2015:

Hi Paul,

So glad you liked this mini history lesson regarding President Andrew Jackson. Visiting places in person makes one much more interested in learning (or refreshing the memory of learning) history. Thanks for the shares.

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on April 20, 2015:

Hi,

This is my first hub reading today and it was most enjoyable. My memory needed to be refreshed like my computer pages sometimes.

I will share this with Twitter, G+ and pin on my re-pin page at Pinterest.

Have a wonderful week.

Bobbi Purvis

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 20, 2015:

What an awesome article this is! It is so interesting and useful and I really learned a lot reading this hub. I never realized Jackson was so ruthless with the Cherokees. Voted up and sharing with HP followers and on Facebook.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on November 07, 2014:

Hello Larry Engel,

You have made an interesting point with your comment. Thanks!

Larry Engel on November 04, 2014:

Boy Oh Boy! Do I wish President Jackson was our president today! He understood that in 700 A.D. bankers learned they could conquer a nation if the controlled that nations credit! larryengel9@gmail.com

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 02, 2012:

Hi angela_michelle,

Glad to know that you enjoyed reading this hub about some of Andrew Jackson's life and seeing the photos of his home, etc. Come back and let me know when you publish your hub! We can link them together. Thanks!

Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on April 02, 2012:

This was a very good review of Jackson's life. Thank you. I was working on an article about him, and I will cite this article, when it is published!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 22, 2012:

Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals,

I think that as most people age, they become more interested in history which is good, because we can learn from it. President Andrew Jackson's home is a beauty! Glad that you enjoyed this look at it and thanks for your comment and votes regarding this hub about some of his life.

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on March 22, 2012:

Peggy, what a beautiful house. I think you are right about becoming more interested in history as you grow older. I had heard somewhere that he treated his slaves better than average. I hate to think of anyone owning another person but at least he wasn't cruel. Up, useful, interesting and awesome.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 28, 2011:

Hi Alastar,

My husband will be pleased with your comment. :)) Yes, President Andrew Jackson as well as his wife Rachel are both buried there. That monument is larger than it looks in the picture. Thanks for your comment and hope that you make that trip in the near future to see it for yourself.

Alastar Packer from North Carolina on October 28, 2011:

What a beautiful place. Glad I saw this Peggy cause it reminded that I wanted to see this one and the Chattanooga one too(Me Pops was from there) Was Jackson's body in the tomb, I mean it doesn't look like it would fit? Anyway like the look your hubby gives in the second to last pic, handsome feller. Thanks for another great trip Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 28, 2011:

Hi thelyricwriter,

Always appreciate your visits. Nice to know you enjoyed this hub about the former President Andrew Jackson. Can't think of a prettier time of year to visit The Hermitage than the Fall of the year when the leaves are turning those gorgeous colors. Thanks for your comment.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on October 28, 2011:

up, useful, and interesting. Another wonderful educated full of useful informations, history, and ellegant photos by Peggy. What more can I say? Very well done, great important facts and highlights on Jackson. Once again, I commend you for your hard work.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 27, 2011:

Hi James,

So happy to hear that you liked this hub about the Hermitage and Andrew Jackson. I know you like your history! Thanks for your comment.

James A Watkins from Chicago on October 27, 2011:

Thank you for this outstanding Hub! I enjoyed it immensely. It is beautifully put together.

I have spent a lot of time in Nashville, and still have relatives there, but I never been to the Hermitage. Not much on houses I guess. But I am intrigued now and if I ever go back to Nashville the Hermitage will be at the top of my list of things to see.

I love history!

I have noticed, yes, how the presidents age while in office.

Your Fall Colors photograph is extraordinary. Thanks again. And congratulations on the 100 Author Score!!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 26, 2011:

HiPrasetio,

Thanks for visiting this hub about former President Andrew Jackson. His home called The Hermitage is certainly situated on gorgeous grounds. Hope your wish comes true and that you get to see it in person someday. Thanks for your comment and vote.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on October 25, 2011:

This was awesome. I had never heard about Andrew Jackson's home. But I am glad to know this information from you. Thanks for share with us. I wish I could see this place one day. You got my vote, Peggy. Have a good day! Cheers....

Prasetio

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 25, 2011:

Hello agusfanani,

Glad that you learned something about President Andrew Jackson through reading this hub. The fact that some of the slaves wanted to remain there and one was even buried there (per his request) is testimony to how they were treated. This takes nothing away from the fact of all slavery in any form being bad. Thanks for your comment.

agusfanani from Indonesia on October 25, 2011:

A beautiful and informative story about an ex-president. I didn't know anything about Andrew Jackson but then become more informed after reading this hub. I agree that any kind of slavery is travesty but he seemed treated his slaves more humanely so that some still wanted to serve him although they had regained right to free.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 24, 2011:

Hello Marisa (MissOlive),

I would imagine that as our knowledge of history grows each and every year there is less time to devote to any one subject unless one specializes or unless something spectacular and out of the ordinary happened. With respect to President Andrew Jackson, I am happy to be able to add some information to your base of knowledge. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 24, 2011:

Hi Hello, hello,

Glad that you liked this hub about Andrew Jackson and thanks for your comment.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on October 24, 2011:

Peggy - this hub is beautiful! I love historical homes and facts. You have supplied us with some wonderful photos as well. It is also nice to hear about Andrew Jackson's life and to hear about the former slave becoming a docent. It's a shame that Jackson was not exactly a main topic in my history classes.

I really enjoyed reading this - Thank you, MissOlive / Marisa

Hello, hello, from London, UK on October 24, 2011:

Another interesting hub of a beautiful place. Thank you, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 23, 2011:

Hi Candie,

The only other President that I have written about was when we visited the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum and gravesite in Iowa. That was fascinating! Thanks for your "vote" of confidence. Ha!

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on October 23, 2011:

That's what happened! LOL! I've been 'blipped!' I thought I'd remembered something about that misshooting! Are you going to do a series on Presidents? You should!!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 23, 2011:

Hi again Candie,

I changed the comment section to where I approve it before it is seen...that is why it did not show up. Only once or twice have I disallowed a comment and for good reason.

I think that there are pros and cons wherever those casinos are built, but like you said, if it is on Indian territory...they have the right. I'm not much of a gambler but know that many people can easily become addicted. That is a problem all unto itself!

Yes, Jackson was a man of his times. History is always interesting and enlightens and teaches when put to good use. Thanks for leaving another comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 23, 2011:

Hi Candie,

The first attempt to kill a sitting President happened against Andrew Jackson by an unemployed housepainter from England by the name of Richard Lawrence. The pistol misfired and Jackson fired back at him but his pistol also misfired so he hit him with his cane according to the Wikipedia account while Lawrence was being restrained. So your memory is partially right. Glad you liked this hub. :))

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on October 23, 2011:

Ok.. so where did my comment go? Ha! Oh well...

This is a good hub on a president we never spent any time on. His treatment of slaves and Indians will be argued for a lifetime.

What I get is that for his time, with popular opinions, he did what was common for that generation. He was a popular president, elected by popular vote. We can judge his actions based on hindsight and current beliefs, but as you said, Peggy we can't and shouldn't try to rewrite history. Whether the tribes have made out well is a testament to their leadership and a desire of the people to rise above their history. They are a sovereign nations.

Gambling, while it is 'big money business' and allows extra employment opportunities, is not always a benefit to the people as individuals (gambling addictions and since we are not a dry county - alcohol issues) and has given them many many problems they have to address. That the tribes (locally) are allowed to have casinos where gambling is illegal causes a lot of heated arguments in my area.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 23, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

It is true that some of the Indian tribes have made out well because of the discovery of riches on their assigned lands (originally unknown to the settlers who pushed them there) and also because of being able to have casinos, etc. Good for them! As you say...making lemonaide out of lemons!

Candie V from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure! on October 23, 2011:

Peggy, this was a good tribute to a president we didn't spend much time on. In fact, I was thinking he was the first one assassinated? I may be mistaken and need to do my own research! Thank you for sharing this hub!

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on October 23, 2011:

True, the Cherokees paid dearly for Jackson's stubborness, but tribes that were forced to move to Oklahoma have done amazingly well. Definitely a case of turning lemons into lemonade! Whenever I have a choice, I patronize tribal businesses instead of non-tribal. ;D

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 23, 2011:

Hi dahoglund,

Andrew Jackson certainly did not come from aristocracy, but more from his own bootstraps...an old term people used to say.

A forced relocation involving everyone from babies to the elderly would have been harder than normal everyday life...therefore more stress, and if smallpox was also involved...it is no wonder so many of the Indians died on that "trail of tears."

As to being "better off in the west" quite often the lands that the Indians were given were considered to be quite worthless. I'm talking in general. When people are forced to leave their ancestral lands by force it is not a good part of our American history expansion westward no matter who is telling the story.

Thanks for adding your comments to this hub about President Andrew Jackson.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on October 23, 2011:

Hi JamaGenee,

I agree with you in that the focus of the early American Presidents were on others. Andrew Jackson started out with many hard knocks of life...losing both parents at a young age, etc. It is amazing to me what he accomplished. He was barely out of his teens when he had become a lawyer! Obviously he was intelligent and self-motivated. From all accounts, he also was very opinionated and strong willed. No one...even the Supreme Court!...was going to sway his intent regarding the Indian lands. The Cherokees paid dearly for that! Thanks for making the first comment.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 23, 2011:

Hi Peggy W

Jackson is a complex character. He believed in slavery but is reputed to have treated his slaves fairly. According to the book Andrew Jackson, His Life and Times by H.W. Brands he moved the Indians because he feared they would be better off in the West as the part of the country they were in was being over run by settlers. To be fair most of the deaths on the "Trail of Tears" was from smallpox that was something that could not have been anticipated.He was a westerner in his attitudes of have strong opinions and a strong sense of what he considered fairness.

My History professor did not like what Jackson represented. That is the country turning to what some have called mobocracy. Away from the "natural aristocracy" that Jefferson I believe talked about. That is the idea that by eliminating a hereditary elite the best people would rise to the top.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on October 23, 2011:

Andrew Jackson is one of the presidents I never paid much attention to in school. Seemed like the focus was on Washington, the Adamases (father and son) and Madison, and then there was a big leap to Abe Lincoln. Thank you for sharing tidbits of the life of POTUS #7 and your photos of his beautiful home. ;D