Saturday, September 17, 2011


THE WHITE HOUSE - Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson was born March 15, 1767 three weeks after his father was killed in an accident in February. Raised in colonial America Andrew had a harsh childhood. At age 14 he lost his mother Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson to cholera. She was a nurse tending to prisoners of war on board two ships in Charleston harbor, during an outbreak of the disease. His two older brothers already dead, Andrew was suddenly forced to fend for himself all alone in the wilderness.

The White House ( ca. 1846)

After winning the election for President in 1828, his wife Rachel Donelson Robards died suddenly of a heart attack on December 22, 1828, before his inauguration, and was buried on Christmas Eve.

Jackson in 1824, painting by Thomas Sully
Jackson's life didn't get any easier after moving into the White House on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Many crises occurred during his presidency.  Widowed, Jackson realized the nation didn't have a first lady so he invited his wife's niece Emily Donelson to serve as the hostess at the White House.  Emily died from tuberculosis in 1836.

Jackson stood at 6 feet, 1 inch (1.85 m) tall, and weighed between 130 to 140 pounds (64 kg). Jackson also had an unruly shock of red hair, which completely grayed by the time he became president at age 61. He had penetrating deep blue eyes and was one of the more sickly presidents this nation ever had, suffering from chronic headaches, abdominal pains, and a hacking cough, caused by a musket ball in his lung that had never been removed. He often brought up blood and it sometimes made his whole body shake. After leaving Washington in 1837, Jackson retired to Nashville. He was 78 years old and suffered from chronic tuberculosis, and dropsy,  He died at his home called The Hermitage on June 8, 1845 from heart failure. His life was full of hardship and he wore his nickname "Old Hickory" with pride, earned through his obvious fortitude and tough exterior.

Some occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue say that the Rose Room is one of the most haunted in the White house, it contains the canopy bed of former President Jackson. Lincoln's first lady Mary Todd Lincoln, told friends that she'd heard him stomping through the White House halls and swearing some twenty years after Jackson's death. Truman wrote in a letter to his wife Bess in June of 1945, "I sit here in this old house and work on foreign affairs, read reports, and work on speeches--all the while listening to the ghosts walk up and down the hallway and even right in here in the study. The floors pop and the drapes move back and forth--I can just imagine old Andy [Jackson] and Teddy [Roosevelt] having an argument over Franklin [Roosevelt]."

Andrew Jackson visited the Bell Witch hauntings

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