Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Hermitage

Andrew Jackson was the 7th U.S. President, serving from 1829 to 1837. On Wednesday, Bob and I, along with our friends Mike and Retha, visited his home in Davidson County, TN which is located about 10 miles east of downtown Nashville.

We started out in the visitor's center where we learned some interesting facts about this man. He was the:
First President to be a resident of a state other than Massachusetts or Virginia.
First President to ride a train.
First President to be assaulted while in office.
First President to be the target of an assassination attempt.
First President born to immigrant parents.
Last President to have served in the Revolutionary War (he participated at age 13.)
Only President to have been held as a prisoner of war.
Only President to have raised a Native American child--Lyncoya, who was found orphaned after the battle of Tallushatchee in 1813.
Only President to have paid off the national debt.
First President to install running water and indoor toilets to the White House.

In addition, we learned these interesting facts:
Jackson was largely self-taught and was a prolific reader.
Jackson did not free any of his slaves.
Jackson was only the second President to be photographed.
While he was in office, some farmers gave Jackson a 1,400 pound wheel of cheese. He invited all comers to help themselves and, for weeks after, the White House reeked of cheese.
Jackson's pet parrot, Poll, attended his funeral service, but had to be removed after he started cursing at the mourners.

The museum provided some interesting displays, including Jackson's presidential carriage.

We then walked to the Hermitage, which Jackson built for his beloved wife, Rachel. Unfortunately, Rachel died of a heart attack soon after Jackson was elected to office, and she never resided in the home she had helped to design. She was 61 when she passed, and Jackson lived until the age of 78. He never remarried. Their tomb is on the property, overlooking the garden.
We toured the Jackson home, meeting with junior docents around the property who shared with us snippets of life in the 1800s.

 This bedroom was used by such dignitaries as Martin Van Buren, Sam Houston, and Davy Crockett.
General Jackson (he preferred that title over President Jackson) entertained guests in this dining room.

This was Andrew and Rachel Jackson's home before the Hermitage was built. It was later converted to slave quarters.

Uncle Alfred, Jackson's head slave, lived in this cabin.

I love visiting historic homes such as the Hermitage. I always feel like I have learned far more than I ever did in history class.

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