Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Jackson, Andrew

JACKSON, ANDREW, an American statesman and soldier; 7th President of the United States; born in the Waxhaw Settlement, N. C., March 15, 1767. His father died before his birth. His education was very limited, and he was not given to study. After serving a short apprenticeship with a saddler, at the age of 18 he entered a law office in Salisbury to prepare for the law. His practice was large and prosperous. In 1791 he married Mrs. Rachel Robards. Tennessee was admitted to the Union in 1796, and Jackson was sent as its Representative to Congress. He was elected to the Senate in 1797, but resigned his seat in 1798 to become judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court, where he served six years. When the War of 1812 broke out, he offered his services to Madison, then President, with 2,500 volunteers of Tennessee militia, of which he was commander-in-chief. In 1814 Jackson was made a major-general, and put in command of the Department of the South. He asked permission to drive the British out of Florida, where, by Spanish permission, they had established a base of operations. Failing to receive an answer because of the capture of Washington by the British, Jackson proceded on his own responsibility. He repulsed the enemy at Mobile, took Pensacola by storm, and then marched to New Orleans, where he fortified the city. A force of 12,000 of Wellington's veterans, relieved by the victory of Waterloo for American service, landed below the city. Jackson had 6,000 men to meet them, but they were well protected by breastworks. The British general, Packenham, resolved to take the defenses by storm. Jackson's victory was complete. The British were repulsed in half an hour, with a loss of 2,600 men, Packenham himself being among the slain. This great and decisive victory, achieved with but the loss of eight men, coming in the wake of several reverses to the American cause, made Jackson the hero of the nation. When, in 1819, the United States purchased Florida, Jackson was appointed governor. In 1823 he was elected to the United States Senate. In 1824 he was nominated by the Federalist and by the Republican conventions for the presidency. The election went to the House of Representatives, which chose John Quincy Adams. But in 1828 Jackson was again nominated, beating Adams by a large electoral and popular majority. His administration was memorable and stormy. He introduced the theory that “to the victors belong the spoils,” and made wholesale removals of Federal officials to make room for his own appointees. South Carolina, under the lead of John C. Calhoun, the Vice-President, attempted to nullify the tariff law, calling a convention Nov. 19, 1833, which declared the law unconstitutional. Jackson sent a naval force under Farragut to Charleston harbor. He attacked the United States Bank, opposing the renewal of its charter, which would expire in 1836. He vetoed the bill renewing the charter. He was re-elected in 1832 by largely increased majorities. He succeeded in securing the removal of the public funds from the United States bank to various State banks. After his second term of office as President, Jackson lived mostly in retirement at “The Hermitage” near Nashville, where he died June 8, 1845.

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Source: “Jackson, Andrew,” Collier's New Encyclopedia, V (New York: P.F. Collier & Son Company, 1921), pp. 220–221.