Saturday, December 08, 2018

(Photos) Andrew Jackson and Nashville

What Abraham Lincoln is to Illinois, what Harry S. Truman is to Missouri, Andrew Jackson is that man for Tennessee.

There is Old Hickory, the seventh US president, on horseback at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.

About twenty miles south Nashville is Franklin, which is best known for being the site of an 1864 Civil War battle, a major Confederate defeat.

In downtown Franklin there is an historical marker which reads, "On his return from New Orleans Andrew Jackson gave a brass cannon to Franklin. A part of his soldiery camped here on their way to New Orleans. Erected 1917. Placed by Col. Thos. Hart Benton Chapter U.S.D. of 1812."

The US Daughters of 1812 still exists.

The Battle of New Orleans was a stupendous victory over the British in 1815. While the peace treaty ending the war had been signed a month earlier in Europe and word hadn't reached the armies, technically the war was ongoing as neither Congress or the British Parliament had ratified it.

Okay, we're back in Nashville in front of the historic Ryman Auditorium, the place where the Grand Ole Opry became famous. Yes, that's Andy there, "Nashville's First Rockstar," carrying an electric guitar. The guitar isn't a stretch. In 1998 an F-3 tornado passed through the Hermitage, Jackson's plantation. While it missed the mansion and the family graveyard it knocked down 1,000 trees, some of which may have been planted by Old Hickory. Wood from some of those trees were used by Gibson build 200 officially sanctioned Old Hickory guitars.

Ten miles northwest of downtown Nashville lies the Hermitage. There is your Blogger Laureate of Illinois wearing a MAGA, that is, a Make America Great Again hat. On the sign Jackson is declared "the People's President." The 45th president is a big fan of the 7th--Trump has a painting of Old Hickory in the Oval Office. Last year on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Jackson's birth, Trump visited the Hermitage and laid a wreath at Jackson's grave, which is on the plantation's grounds.

Just as Jackson battled the entrenched interests in government, especially the federally-chartered Bank of the United States, Trump fights "the Swamp" in Washington and says he is looking out for ordinary Americans, the Deplorables, as Hillary Clinton labeled them. "The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer," Trump said in his inaugural address.

That's the Hermitage from the rear.

The Hermitage is America's fourth most-visited presidential residence, after the White House, where of course Trump lives, Mount Vernon, George Washington's home, and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's plantation.

The Hermitage is a non-profit run by the Andrew Jackson Foundation. For over 100 years the group was known as the Ladies' Hermitage Association. Among the Board of Trustees is Jon Meacham, author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. Meacham was one of the speakers at George H.W. Bush's funeral three days ago.

My next Jackson post will go into more detail about the Hermitage, and yes, slavery.

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