As early as 1829, people of the new Western Frontier rejoiced. Why were they so happy?
On March 4, 1829, Andrew Jackson, frontiersman, moved east to become the seventh President of the United States. Up until this time, all the presidents before him had either been well-to-do men from Virginia, or members of Boston's mighty Adams family.
Along came Jackson, a plain and simple man who came from a log cabin in the Carolina backwoods. Jackson was born March 15, 1767, in Waxhaw South Carolina. His father passed away before he was born leaving the family quite poor.
As a youth Jackson seemed to enjoy getting into fights, and even enlisted in the American Revolution when he was only thirteen years old. After the war, he experimented with farming and working in stores, and later became a famous Indian fighter.
When he was in his twenties, he married, and still didn't know how to read or write until his wife taught him.
Who would have thought he would one day be President of a great nation?
People started calling him "Old Hickory" and he became a hero known throughout the entire West. History tells that Sam Houston admired Jackson greatly. When Jackson took office as the President of the United States, frontier people came in great crowds to see their champion.
They didn't get all decked out for the occasion. Instead, they wore homemade clothes and coonskin caps to the grand inauguration party. Andrew Jackson had invited the whole nation.
The people gathered in the streets until the guards were unable to hold them back. Soon they bolted through the White House doors like a herd of wild buffalo. People were packed so tight that many items like dishes and vases were broken, and men stood in good chairs with muddy boots just to get a better view.
It became so bad that attendants served large tubs of punch as bait, outside on the White House lawn. It worked, and the crowds gathered on the green for treats and conversation.
To this day, there has never been an inauguration party like that one. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said, "The wild asses of the West, led by Andy Jackson, will ruin the government."
Andrew Jackson served eight years as President of the United States. Jackson died on June 8, 1845 at his home, the Hermitage in Nashville Tennessee.
Firth, Leslie. Who Were They? New York.
Our Great Heritage. Chicago.
The Look Up Book of Presidents. NY
The Golden Book: History of the United States.N.Y., 1963.
© 2001 jcpinkerton