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Andrew Jackson

7th President of the United States (1829-1837)

Andrew Jackson portrait
Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States
White House Collection: White House Historical Association

The President of the United States serves as the head of the Executive Branch of our United States Government. Over forty men have been privileged to serve in this role.

Ralph E.W. Earl had been studying painting in Europe. In 1815 he returned to the United States to embark upon an ambitious project to record the history of the Battle of New Orleans. Of course, it would be necessary to include a portrait of the "hero" of that battle in his works.

In 1817, Mr. Earl met General Andrew Jackson at the Jackson home, The Hermitage, in Nashville, Tennessee. Earl cultivated a lifelong friendship with Jackson that would result in numerous portraits of General, later President, Andrew Jackson. Earl even became part of the family when he married Jane Caffrey, the niece of Jackson's wife Rachel, in Natchez, Mississippi in 1819. The marriage was unfortunately short-live when Jane died during child-birth the following year.

From 1818 until 1827 Mr. Earl directed the Nashville Museum of "natural and artificial curiosities" on the Public Square. The museum included ten of Earl's portraits.

When Andrew Jackson's wife Rachel died in 1828, Earl moved into the Hermitage, becoming one of Jackson’s closest friends.

And, when Andrew Jackson was sworn in as the seventh President of the United States, Mr. Earl went to Washington too.

The oil portrait depicted here was painted by Ralph E.W. Earl c.1835 in the middle of Andrew Jackson's second term.

The original portrait belongs to the White House Historical Association and is part of their White House Collection.

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)
Date of birth: March 15, 1767
Birth place: Waxhaw area, on North Carolina-South Carolina border (Not certain which state)
Mother: Elizabeth ("Betty") Hutchison Jackson
Father: Andrew Jackson
Education: Sporadic in the local "old-field" school. Studied law in Salisbury, N.C.
Profession: Lawyer, Soldier
Religion: Presbyterian
Marriage: August 1791 (2nd ceremony, January 17, 1794), to Rachel Donelson Robards (1767-1828)
Children: None
Political party: Democrat
Presidential term: 1829-1837 (Two terms)
Nickname(s): "Old Hickory"
Date of death: June 8, 1845
Place of death: Nashville, Tennessee
Resting place: The Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee
Source: The Whitehouse, www.whitehouse.gov, January 21, 2008
Source: Miller Center of Public Affairs, The University of Virginia, www.millercenter.virginia.edu, January 21, 2008
Source: State Library of North Carolina, http://statelibrary.dcr.state.nc.us/, January 21, 2008

Andrew Jackson's presidency

  • March 4, 1829: Military hero and self-made man Andrew Jackson is swore in as the seventh President of the United States. In his inaugural speech, Jackson articulates the principle of federal office rotation, ushering in the “spoils system” for loyal supporters of presidential candidates. Additionally, Jackson declares that government officials should not be allowed to serve inefficiently for excessive and indeterminate amounts of time; although his words are cause for concern, Jackson will replace only 9 percent of appointed federal officials during his first year in office. Meanwhile, his address is vague on issues such as the Second Bank of the United States, internal improvements, and tariffs.
  • April 13, 1830: Following his anonymous printing of the South Carolina Exposition and Protest in 1828, Vice President John C. Calhoun suggests that his state of South Carolina annul the federally imposed protective cotton tariff. Jackson threatens to deploy federal troops to occupy the state in the event of nullification. On April 13, at the Jefferson Day Dinner in Washington, D.C., Jackson denounces Calhoun and his theory of nullification, declaring, “Our Union—it must be preserved!” Calhoun responds, “The Union, next to our liberty most dear!” The following month, Jackson will receive confirmation that in 1818, Calhoun supported a measure to discipline Jackson for his military involvement in Florida. This discovery generates terse correspondence between the two.
  • May 26, 1830: Congress passes the Indian Removal Act, sanctioning the forcible relocation of Creek, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Seminole tribes to land allotments west of the Mississippi river. Ninety-four removal treaties follow the bill’s enactment. From 1835 to 1838, Cherokee and Creek are forcibly removed from the Southeast onto reservations. Nearly one quarter die along what became known as the “Trail of Tears."
  • May 27, 1830: Jackson vetoes the Maysville Road bill, which would have sanctioned the federal government’s purchase of stock for the creation of a road entirely within Kentucky, the home state of longtime foe Henry Clay. Jackson regards the project as a local matter and thinks its funding should come from local sources. Jackson is not entirely opposed to the federal financing of such projects, supporting the allocation of federal monies for the National Road. Nevertheless, his veto of the Maysville Road bill indicates a shift in how the federal government intends to pay for internal improvements. Meanwhile, opponents interpret the move as an abuse of power.
  • April, 1831: Jackson reshuffles his cabinet following the divisive and ongoing “Peggy Eaton Affair.” The woman’s first husband supposedly committed suicide after discovering her dalliance with Tennessee senator John Eaton, whom Jackson later names secretary of war. Members of Jackson’s inner circle and their wives feud over accusations about the woman’s alleged behavior. Jackson supports the Eatons and is outraged by the charges.
  • July 4, 1831: The French government agrees to a treaty settling spoliation claims by the United States dating back to the Napoleonic Wars. France agrees to pay $5 million but initially declines to make the payment. When U.S. representatives warn the French of American naval superiority, monies flow from French to U.S. coffers, beginning in 1836.
  • July 10, 1832: Jackson vetoes a bill that would have extended the life of the Second Bank of the United States. Henry Clay, running against Jackson in the presidential election, proposes the bill to bring the issue of the Bank to the forefront in the election. Jackson’s opposition to the Bank actually garners him additional popular support.
  • November, 1832: Running on the Democratic ticket, Jackson wins re-election to the presidency, soundly defeating Henry Clay and William Wirt. Jackson scores an impressive victory, amassing 219 electoral votes to Clay’s 49. The election marks the entrance of third parties onto the national scene, with Wirt running on the Anti-Masonic ticket. It also features the use of national nominating committees.
  • December 10, 1832: Jackson issues the Nullification Proclamation, reaffirming his belief that states and municipalities are forbidden from nullifying federal laws.
  • March 1, 1833: Pressed by Jackson, Congress passes the Force Bill, authorizing Jackson’s use of the army to gain compliance for federal law in South Carolina. Vice President Calhoun voices his dissent.
  • March 20, 1833: Jackson commissions Edmund Roberts as a “special agent” of the United States to negotiate commercial trade treaties abroad. Roberts’s efforts result in the first treaties between the United States and a number of far eastern governments, including Siam (now Thailand).
  • March 28, 1834: Viewing his reelection as a mandate to continue his war against the Second Bank of the United States, Jackson issues an order for the Treasury Department to withdrawal federal deposits from the Bank of the United States and place them in state banks. When Secretary of the Treasury William Duane refuses, Jackson fires him. On March 28, the Senate, led by Clay, Calhoun and Daniel Webster, passes a resolution of censure admonishing Jackson. The censure will be officially expunged from the record on January 16, 1837, the result of political bargaining. Jackson will continue to take action against the Bank, which closes its doors in 1841.
  • November 24, 1834: A South Carolina state convention adopts the Ordinance of Nullification, an decree nullifying congressional acts involving duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities. Calhoun resigns as vice president and immediately takes his elected position as senator. No other states join South Carolina in this action.
  • December, 1834: Jackson announces he will terminate the national debt, freeing the United States of foreign and domestic obligations beyond the reserves of the Treasury.
  • March 2, 1836: In Washington, D.C., the delegates of the people of Texas officially and unanimously declare their independence.
  • July 11, 1836: Jackson, along with Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury, introduces the Specie Circular, revealing that the government will accept only gold and silver for land payments. The act serves as an attempt to check rising inflation precipitated by unprecedented land speculation and irresponsible lending.
  • 1836: Hand-picked by Jackson to be his successor, Vice President Martin Van Buren wins the presidential election, running against three Whigs. The Whig Party hoped to split the popular vote so that the House of Representatives would decide the election’s outcome. Van Buren, however, emerged with more votes than his opponents combined.
  • March, 1837: Jackson recognizes the independence of Texas but declines to address annexation in light of threats by Mexico and its concerns about security.
  • March 4, 1837: Martin Van Buren is sworn in as the eighth President of the United States. His inaugural address serves largely as a commemoration of his predecessor, President Andrew Jackson.

Source: Miller Center of Public Affairs, The University of Virginia, www.millercenter.virginia.edu, January 21, 2008

Andrew Jackson's cabinet
Vice President: John C. Calhoun (1829 - 1832), Martin Van Buren (1833 - 1837)
Secretary of State: Martin Van Buren (1829 - 1831), Edward Livingston (1831 - 1833), Louis McLane (1833 - 1834), John Forsyth (1834 - 1837)
Secretary of War: John H. Eaton (1829 - 1831), Lewis Cass (1831 - 1836), Benjamin F. Butler (1836 - 1837)
Postmaster General: William T. Barry (1829 - 1835), Amos Kendall (1835 - 1837)
Secretary of the Treasury: Samuel D. Ingham (1829 - 1831), Louis McLane (1831 - 1833), William J. Duane (1833 -1833), Roger B. Taney (1833 - 1834), Levi Woodbury (1834 - 1837)
Attorney General: John M. Berrien (1829 - 1831), Roger B. Taney (1831 - 1833), Benjamin F. Butler (1833 - 1837)
Secretary of the Navy: John Branch (1829 - 1831) • Levi Woodbury (1831 - 1834), Mahlon Dickerson (1834-1837)
Source: Miller Center of Public Affairs, The University of Virginia, www.millercenter.virginia.edu, January 21, 2008

Andrew Jackson Presidential $1 Coin — First President, YEAR-YEAR

Andrew Jackson Presidential Coin
U.S. Mint image

A citizen of Tennessee, Andrew Jackson was the first president elected from west of the Appalachian Mountains. As a boy, he fought in the Revolutionary War. Jackson gained national prominence as a hero of the War of 1812, and was nicknamed “Old Hickory” for his firm discipline as commander of his troops.

As president, Jackson worked to strengthen the executive branch and vetoed more bills than the six prior presidents combined. His renomination to a second term marked the first use of a national nominating convention to select a party’s candidate instead of a congressional caucus.

A strong proponent of federal supremacy over states’ rights, he took a forceful stance against the state of South Carolina’s attempt to nullify a federal tariff, declaring “Our federal Union: it must be preserved.”

President Jackson authorized three southern branches of the United States Mint in 1835 – New Orleans, Charlotte, and Dahlonega.

Coinage Legislation under President Andrew Jackson

Act of June 25, 1834: This Act regulates the legal-tender value of certain foreign silver coins.

Act of June 28, 1834: This Act regulates the legal-tender value of certain foreign gold coins.

Act of June 28, 1834: This Act sets the standard weight of U.S. gold coins, sets the standard for payment for gold or silver deposited for coinage, sets the rate at which gold coins shall be receivable, and directs the setting apart of gold coins for assay.

Act of March 3, 1835: This Act establishes a branch of the United States Mint for the coinage of silver and gold at New Orleans, Louisiana, and branches for the coinage of gold at Charlotte, North Carolina and Dahlonega, Georgia.

Act of January 18, 1837: This Act:

  • sets forth the duties and increases the salaries of the officers of the United States Mint, with the Director earning $3,500 per year including travel expenses;
  • sets forth the composition and weight of gold and silver coins;
  • mandates that each coin struck at the United States Mint shall have on one side an impression emblematic of liberty with an inscription of the word “Liberty” and the year of the coinage; and that the reverse of gold and silver coins shall have the representation of an eagle with the inscription “United States of America.” The figure of the eagle shall be omitted from the reverse of the dime, half dime, cent, and half cent;
  • makes provisions for gold and silver bullion that is brought to the Mint for coinage.

United States Mint Directors appointed by President Washington

  • 1835: Robert Maskell Patterson, M.D — Sixth Director of the United States Mint.

Andrew Jackson’s Liberty First Spouse $10 Gold Coin - (1829–1837)

Jackson Liberty $10 Coin
U.S. Mint image
Jackson Liberty $10 Coin (reverse)
U.S. Mint image

The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 contains a provision to provide continuity of the First Spouse Gold Coin Program during those times in which a president served without a first spouse. This provision applies to Andrew Jackson, whose wife Rachel died in December 1828, just a few months before his presidential inauguration.

The gold coins issued to accompany any president who served without a spouse will each feature a design emblematic of Liberty on its obverse, as depicted on a United States coin issued during the President’s time in office. For Andrew Jackson’s presidency, the selected image appeared on the Capped Bust, Lettered Edge Half-Dollar coin from 1807–1836, and was originally executed by United States Mint Engraver John Reich.

Reverse Design

Andrew Jackson, known as “Old Hickory,” is remembered as a war hero who led a force of approximately 4,000 American troops against a British Army more than twice that size and emerged victorious in January 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans. Although a treaty had been signed at Ghent, Belgium, weeks earlier, the news had not reached either army, and the American troops’ victory at the Battle of New Orleans helped secure that crucial southern sea port as part of the first successful military defense of the country’s national sovereignty.

Source: The United States Mint, www.usmint.gov, August 26, 2008

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