His life began with his father dying shortly before his birth, and by the time he was a teenager, he had lost his mother and two older brothers to the Revolutionary War. He grew up a fighter and would always be known as that.
He joined the military and, by the War of 1812, was an influential leader. He had some infamous victories during the war at Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans. He would become a popular Indian fighter as well and defeat great Native American leaders such as William Weatherford.
He was known as the everyman, and after his defeat in the controversial election of 1824, he would come back with a vengeance and easily defeat John Quincy Adams and others in the elections of 1828 and 1832.
During his presidency, he would wield more executive power than any other president. His critics nicknamed him King Andrew I for his overreach. The most famous of his actions took place against the Cherokee Tribe, which resulted in the Trail of Tears. His actions against the Bank of the United States would also hurt the economy.
He was also pro-slavery and not a fan of abolitionists. He viewed abolitionists as a threat to the Union. Jackson was a slaveholder and was known for his brutality. Unlike his predecessors, who also owned slaves but struggled with it, Jackson did not. His treatment of Native Americans and Slaves are his two major flaws.
Despite these weaknesses, he was always popular. He was the first president to come from a poor family who brought himself up by his bootstraps. He was not an aristocrat like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or James Monroe. He also did not have the legal background of John Adams or John Quincy Adams. This resonated with the common man.
After his presidency, he returned to his home, The Hermitage. He died 8 years later, just 15 years before the Civil War.
Andrew Jackson had a complicated family life that was marred with tragedy and irresponsibility.
His parents died tragically. His father died in a logging accident, and his mother would be left alone to raise three boys. She showed remarkable fortitude in raising her children, but tragedy struck her again.
Jackson's older brothers fought during the American Revolutionary War, and both died. His mother took care of them prior to their death. His mother then threw herself into the war effort and went to help her nephews on a prison ship. There, she caught a disease and died and was buried in an unmarked grave. Jackson would search for this grave but never found it. This would leave a mark on his life. He made sure anyone who died that he cared for had a proper burial and tombstone.
Andrew Jackson was affected greatly by the Revolutionary War, especially when he saw what Banastre Tarleton did at the Battle of Waxhaws. He would eventually join the military and become an accomplished leader.
He was known to live a hard life, and it was during this time he met a woman named Rachel. Rachel was previously married and actually still married when Jackson began to pursue her. It upset her husband, who by all accounts was physically abusive, and he would later accuse Jackson of adultery.
Their marriage would occur before Rachel was legally divorced, which meant she was a bigamist and an adulterer. These accusations would eventually lead to her death.
Andrew Jackson and his wife would not have any children, but they would adopt and be legal custodians of many. However, he did not have any direct heirs.
Andrew Jackson died at 78 years of age at his home surrounded by family and friends.
Family Tree Chart
Andrew Jackson (1730 - 1767) - There is not much known about his parents. It is believed his father came from Ireland and moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina. He died in a logging accident prior to his son's birth.
Elizabeth Hutchinson (1740 - 1781) - She endured much but always seemed to have a positive attitude and kept going. She died while helping Revolutionary War soldiers who were sick with fever.
Rachel Donelson (1767 - 1828) - She came from a large family and married in 1785 to John Robards. Their marriage was tough, and Robards was physically abusive. She fled to her family and wanted a divorce. Her marriage to Andrew Jackson was not legal, and she was still married to Robards when they married. This would make her a bigamist and adulterous, even if it were done in ignorance. This plagued her for the rest of her life, and when she died, Andrew Jackson blamed those who accused her and never gave forgiveness.
Andrew and Rachel Jackson did not have any children of their own. They did legally adopt two children.
Andrew Jackson Jr. (adopted) (1808 - 1865) - Andrew Jackson Jr. was a twin and was the biological son of Rachel's brother. The reasons for the adoption are unclear, but he was raised as his son, and he remained close with his twin brother all their lives. When Andrew Jackson became President, it would be Jackson Jr. who would manage his estate.
Lyncoya Jackson (adopted) (1811 - 1828) - Jackson's other adopted son was a Creek Indian who was found next to his dead mother on the battlefield. Jackson was fond of Lyncoya, but due to him being a Native American, it was impossible for him to get into a military school. Lyncoya died of tuberculosis when he was 16 years old.
Hugh Jackson (1762 - 1779) - He was a volunteer in Col. William R. Davie's Regiment in the Revolutionary War. He was killed in the Battle of Sterno Ferry on June 20, 1779. He never married or had any children.
Robert Jackson (1765 - 1781) - Robert Jackson fought and was captured by the British in the Revolutionary War. He died of smallpox in a British prison at the age of 15.