by JC Pinkerton
As early as 1829 the people of the new Western Frontier were rejoicing. Why were they so happy? On March 4 of that year Andrew Jackson, their fellow frontiersman moved east to become the seventh President of the United States.
Up until this time, all of the presidents before him had either been well-to-do men from Virginia or members of Boston's mighty Adams family. Along comes Jackson, a plain and simple man who came from a log cabin in the Carolina backwoods. Jackson was born March 15, 1767 in Waxhaw South Carolina. His father passed away before he was born leaving the family quite poor.
As a youth Jackson seemed to enjoy getting into fights and even enlisted in the American Revolution when he was only thirteen years old. After the war, he experimented with farming and working in stores and later became a famous Indian fighter. By the time he was in his twenties he married and still didn't know how to read or write until his wife taught him how. Who would have thought he would one day be President of a great nation?
People started calling him "Old Hickory" and he became a hero known throughout the entire West. Sam Houston admired him greatly and when Jackson took office as the President of the United States, frontier people came in great crowds to see their champion. But they didn't get all decked out for the occasion.
Instead they wore homemade clothes and coonskin caps to the grand inauguration party. Andrew Jackson had invited the whole nation and he didn't give a hoot what they wore. The people gathered in the streets until the guards were unable to hold them back. Soon they bolted through the White House doors like a herd of wild buffalo.
The people were packed so tight that many items like dishes and vases were broken and men stood in good chairs with muddy boots just to get a better view. It became so bad that attendants had to serve large tubs of punch as bait outside on the White House lawn. It worked, and the crowds gathered on the green for treats and conversation.
To this day there has never been an inauguration party like that one. Can you imagine the glory of being there? The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said, "The wild asses of the West, led by Andy Jackson, will ruin the government." As the years passed things worked out well for Andrew Jackson and he served eight years as President of the United States. Jackson died on June 8, 1845 at his home, the Hermitage in Nashville Tennessee. He proved that a man from the backwoods could not only grow up to become a great leader, but the President of his country as well.
© 2001 jpinkerton