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Andrew Jackson - the Nation's 7th President - Remains Revered and Reviled in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

In his day, Andrew Jackson was a "rock star" president. In the modern era his legacy is more skewed when viewed through today's filter of wokeism as America reevaluates its place in the world and comes to terms with how she ultimately came to be. Though "Old Hickory" remains a lightning rod of controversy there is no doubt that his historical home known as The Hermitage houses a whole lot of educational opportunities no matter what side of the political or cultural fence you might find yourself on.

Discover the "Age of Jackson" in Nashville at The Hermitage.

The Hermitage located at 4580 Rachel's Lane, Nashville, Tennessee is the third most visited Presidential Home in America. Upon a recent trip to The Hermitage we discovered the reasons why. This informative museum is only 10 miles east of downtown Nashville. The 1,000 plus acre site was owned by Andrew Jackson from 1804 until his death at The Hermitage in 1845. It also serves as his final resting place. The expansive grounds are inviting and are home to a number of stately magnolia trees and plenty of native plants.

Andrew Jackson is the story of both historical and modern America. We learned that he lost close family members at an early age yet overcame and achieved much success in his lifetime. Andrew was a war hero who came from humble roots and would become one of the country's most influential Presidents. He was for the common man yet owned a plantation that was wholly supported by slaves. Plus, his handling of Indigenous populations remains one of the most controversial policies of his term and is closely associated with the "Trail of Tears" road signs that dot the landscape in Mid-Tenn and beyond.

The Museum outlines Andrew's life with artifacts, a film, plenty of information panels and portraits. Docents are on site to answer questions and lead personalized tours. The Mansion is impressive as many of the artifacts are original pieces and visitors are told how life may have been back in the mid-1800's based on the pieces of the puzzle that remain at the house. The staff at The Hermitage is concerned with getting the history correct even when it does not show President Jackson in the best light.

In his day this carriage represented the height of luxury for General Jackson.

The Hermitage Enslaved: A Horse Drawn Wagon Tour - presented by Carriage Rides Through Time - is an add-on that is well worth it as it presents the hard life of the slaves in comparison to the life of luxury in the main house. We were informed that Jackson generally treated his slaves well but it was implied that it was more for economic reasons. It was not uncommon for his servants to be whipped and even children had to meet quotas. We were given samples of cotton and there is a small cotton patch on the grounds for folks to see that picking and cleaning these white puffs was not an easy task.

The Hermitage honesty depicts both the good and bad sides of Andrew Jackson. The scenic grounds are home to the Jackson's mansion, the slave quarters, work buildings and tombs of the Jackson family. In addition to the stately structure that marks the grave of the President is the headstone of Alfred a former slave who would also become the first Hermitage tour guide when the property was opened to the public.

The Hermitage can be booked for events and they also have wine tasting on site. The Hermitage is an impressive and interesting place that tells the story of Andrew Jackson who in turn still reflects America in the modern era. Today, we are still dealing with corruption in government as well as the unfair treatment of certain citizens yet we believe in the American Dream where a person like Jackson can be born into poverty yet still become president. The Hermitage is inspiring and well worth a visit.

The Hermitage Enslaved: A Horse Drawn Wagon Tour - presented by Carriage Rides Through Time.

Andrew Jackson Facts Learned at The Hermitage:

First we learned that Andrew Jackson - the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837 - was elected by popular vote. Jackson was raised in the Carolinas where he received a limited education but he learned how to read law in his teens and would become a lawyer in Tennessee. He grew up during the Revolutionary War and later would serve in the military to achieve the high rank of General - a nickname he preferred even when it raised comparisons to the notorious Napoleon.

Yet, as much as Andrew Jackson was an advocate for the people he did not consider the moral question of owning slaves or his Indian Relocation Policy. In colonial times relations between Indians and whites were tense and sometimes violent as a result of territorial conflicts. In the past these situations managed to play themselves out with minimal interventions. By Jackson's time, a growing popular and political push demanded strong action on the issue. Thus, Jackson devised a relocation policy that forced Indians to move further west with many dying on the journey.

In the role of President he did his best to battle corruption in government. He and his supporters are credited with founding what would become The Democratic Party. Jackson also led a political movement primarily aimed at providing greater democracy for the common man, which became known as Jacksonian democracy and in turn would influence future political events in American history.

The Hermitage is a must see tourist attraction in Tennessee.

Related Links: For more information on THE HERMITAGE and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - The Hermitage | The Hermitage in Nashville Is Where American History Comes Alive in Music City


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