The last presidential home we visited on our April vacation was the Hermitage of Andrew Jackson. I must admit that I had read various things about “Stonewall” before I visited and there was not much of what I read that I liked. After visiting his home just outside of Nashville Tennessee and learning more about him I can say I like him even less today. Sorry to all you Jackson fans but he was just not the type of person I would ever admire.
The Hermitage was a huge mansion compared to the other four presidential places we visited the previous week. I forget exactly but I think it was over 10,000 square feet and all of was decorated in total opulence. I guess Andy made a LOT of money as a lawyer and a plantation slave owner before he became president. Like other very wealthy people he loved showing off his wealth. Mr. Jackson was just one of several presidents who had a hyper-inflated ego. He was an “in-your-face” type guy and undoubtedly the most racist president we have every had. African-Americans along with Native-Americans were sub-human to him. He treated both with an almost total disdain. When he moved out of his temporary house to move into the mansion. He gutted it, took down the top story and then whitewashed it before turning it into slave quarters. He did not want his slaves to get uppity on him I guess.
The early part of Mr. Jackson’s life he became famous for his war skills and killing Indians. They say he had quite a love for his wife Rachel Donelson but the scandal of the day was that he jumped in and married her before she was even divorced from her first husband.
He was a president who enjoyed locking horns with other politicians of his day. His arrogance and bravado reminds me Rush Limbaugh except that Andy actually accomplished some things instead of just talking/ranting about them. 🙂 He spent his political career saying that he was for the common man but didn’t seem to live his life practicing those words. The one thing I am grateful for with Andrew Jackson and some other presidents after him is that the U.S. did survive his presidency without too many setbacks. Although like the Republicans today he came very close to ignorantly closing down the country over monetary matters.
So, here is to you Mr. Jackson. It was interesting to visit your lavish home and get to know you a little better.
And the journey goes on…