Andrew Jackson
Burial Location Visited President Grave #
Nashville, Tennessee July 22, 2006 31st Visited

On June 8, 1845, General Andrew Jackson
died at his Nashville estate, the Hermitage.
He was interred in the plantation's garden
beside his beloved wife, Rachel Donelson,
who passed away in December 1828, ten
weeks before her husband's inauguration.

The Greek-style tomb was designed in 1831
by architect David Morrison, with likely input
from "Old Hickory" himself. The president
penned his wife's epitaph, which covers the
entirety of Mrs. Jackson's flush grave slab.

Jackson was very protective of
his wife, who was targeted as
a bigamist in the 1828 election 
because she unknowingly wed
him before her first marriage was
dissolved. When Rachel Jackson
died shortly after the contest, the
president-elect blamed her death
on his political opponents.

The president's marker includes a
far shorter epitaph. It bears only
his name, lifespan, and preferred
title of general.

* Fast Facts * *

- First Lady: Emily Tennessee Donelson (1829-1834)
    Sarah Yorke Jackson (1834-1837)

  - Spouse: Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson (m. 1794-1828)

- Political Party: Democratic Party

- Term: 1829-1837

- Vice President: John Caldwell Calhoun (1829-1832)
   Martin Van Buren (1833-1837)

- Born: March 15, 1767

- Died: June 8, 1845

- Age: 78

- Cause of Death: Heart Failure

- Last Words: "Be good children and we will all meet in Heaven."

- Cemetery: Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee
- GPS Coordinates: 36°12'53.2"N 86°36'42.9"W

* Background on Andrew Jackson * *

* General Jackson made a name for himself during the War of 1812 as the commander of successful campaigns against Great Britain and its Native American allies. He led troops through Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana, which was where he made himself a household name. On December 1, 1814, Jackson and his mixed contingent of army regulars and militia men arrived in New Orleans to protect it from an advancing British fleet. New Orleans’ location at the mouth of the Mississippi River made it advantageous for whoever controlled it. The Louisiana State Legislature considered surrendering to the British, which was unacceptable to Jackson, who threatened to blow up the legislature instead. The general imposed martial law and jailed a federal district judge who issued a writ of habeas corpus. Meanwhile, he added to his army by recruiting pirates and free black men. The forces were largely untrained, but were protected well enough behind ramparts to stave off the British troops that attacked from an open field at dawn on January 8, 1815. Britain suffered over 2,000 casualties in the brief battle, while just thirteen Americans were killed. Word of the decisive victory spread across the U.S., followed soon after by news of a peace agreement. Because of this, many Americans credited Jackson, the “Hero of New Orleans,” with ending the war. In reality, the treaty was approved in Ghent, Belgium, on Christmas Eve, two weeks before the battle. It simply had taken time for the news to come from overseas.

* In 1825, John Quincy Adams brought to the White House an extensive agenda that required the power of a strong central government like his father’s now-defunct Federalist Party once advocated for. In an address to an unconvinced Congress, Adams encouraged legislators not to be “palsied by the will of our constituents.” This did not sit well with members like Senator Martin Van Buren, who began to drum up support for Andrew Jackson, whom Adams defeated in the 1824 election. Like Thomas Jefferson, Jackson was wary of a strong central government, yet he believed in a powerful chief executive who could execute the will of the "common man" that Adams urged Congress to disregard. Some viewed Jackson as the heir to Jefferson's ideals, although the "Sage of Monticello" regarded the Tennessean as "a dangerous man." In his second bid in 1828, Jackson campaigned against what he viewed as an aristocratic and corrupt Washington. He was presented to the voting public as a political outsider, even though he was once a member of the House of Representatives and served parts of two terms in the Senate. His message had an impact on non-elite white men, who experienced greater enfranchisement and voted in unprecedented numbers in the 1828 presidential election. This time, Jackson received a majority of popular and electoral votes.

* President Jackson viewed Native American presence as a threat to the Union and expansionism, a perspective he shared with previous presidents such as James Monroe. In his final address to Congress in 1825, Monroe asserted that tribal relocation was of “very high importance,” in that it would allow the United States to thrive and simultaneously “shield [natives] from impending ruin.” Jackson followed his predecessor’s lead, but initially expressed that relocation “should be voluntary.” Nevertheless, Jackson supported the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Opponents argued removal was immoral and that past treaties with tribes should be recognized, but both houses of Congress passed the bill, which the president signed. Jackson and Secretary of War John Eaton met with chiefs in Tennessee and Mississippi to give them an ultimatum: submit to U.S. laws or be forced from their homes. Forced emigration to Indian Territory commenced, and Jackson ignored the subsequent Supreme Court ruling that confirmed tribal sovereignty in 1832. The removal policy continued under the administration of Martin Van Buren, and as many as 8,000 natives died along the “Trail of Tears,” including approximately 4,000 members of the Cherokee Nation.

Sources Consulted                                                                                                                                                     

"A Brief History of the Trail of Tears." Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center. Accessed March 30, 2019.

Heidler, David S., and Jeanne T. Heidler. Henry Clay: The Essential American. New York: Random House, 2010.

Heidler, David S., and Jeanne T. Heidler. "It's Time We Stop Seeing Donald Trump as Another Andrew Jackson." History News Network, December 15, 2018.

"Jackson's Tomb." Andrew Jackson's Hermitage. Accessed March 30, 2019.

Lamb, Brian, and the C-SPAN Staff. Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?: A Tour of Presidential Gravesites. New York: PublicAffairs, 2000. Reprinted. New York: PublicAffairs, 2003.

Meacham, Jon. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. New York: Random House, 2008.

"Monroe's 1825 Message to Congress." Digital History. Accessed March 30, 2019.

The Presidents. "John Q. Adams to Polk (1825-1849)." History Channel, 2005.

"US Presidents Freemasons." Grand Lodge of Virginia. Accessed July 4, 2019.

The War of 1812. Directed by Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey. Walpole, NH: Florentine Films, 2011.

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