06 November 2007

Andrew Jackson

Ok, so for the rest of my trip, I followed the Waxhaws Tour, as outlined in the book Touring South Carolina's Revolutionary War Sites. As a note, the Waxhaws museum just north of the North Carolina border is open weekends only, for those who may have the book. So the first few stops involve the birth of Andrew Jackson. This is a unique situation, as thw Waxhaws sits on the NC/SC border, and conroversy over his exact birth state has never been put to rest. Part of this lies in that at the time the border was not properly defined, and was later shifted. The main reason for this debate is because he was born a few days after his father died, and it is known that he was born at a family friend's house. North Carolina claims it was McCamie house, on their side of the line. South Carolina claims it was the Crawford house on their side of the line. While the SC claim is usually the accepted one, this may never be fully put to rest. The statue above is in the Jackson State Park, where South Carolina says he was born. But regardless of where he was born, his name seems to pop up on this blog sometimes. To say he was a valuable figure to the south (and the US) would be an understatement. Born in 1767, he was only 9 when the Declaration of Independence was signed. But it was only four years later that he became a courier for local Patriot militia, and both he and his brother were captured. Sadly, he was the only one of his immediatte family to survive the war. Having only sporadic education, he set out to the frontier in Tennessee, where he was appointed Colonel in the militia during the War of 1812. In this capacity, he helped lead the fight against Creek Indians, incited by the British and their own desire to see the Americans leave their land. The Creeks were defeated in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and Jackson went on to what would become his ultimate fame: the Battle of New Orleans, where he led 4000 militia to defeat 10,000 British Regulars. Following the War of 1818, in 1817, Jackson was ordered to lead the First Seminole War, to drive the Seminole Indians out of Georgia and Alabama, and to ensure that runaway slaves could not escape to Spanish Florida. Jackson launched a campaign that led to his capturing West Florida (now called the Panhandle region) and the US eventually convincing Spain to cede Florida to the US. After the war, the military was downsized, and rather than kicking Jackson out of the army entirely, he was made the first Military Governor of Florida. And that is how Jacksonville, FL got its name. In 1824, Jackson ran for President, but lost to John Quincy Adams. He did, however, win the 1828 election, becoming the 7th President, and the last one to be a Revolution veteran. During his time in office, he did away with the National Bank, signed the Indian Removal Act, and enforced the national Tariffs, despite his dislike for them personally. This was also the only time in history that the entire National Debt was fully repaid. After his time in office, he continued in politics and eventually retired to the Hermitage, in Tennessee, where he died in 1845.

The site of the McCamie House, where North Carolina says Jackson was born.
This marker, on the same road as the marker above, points to wher SC says he was born.

Replica of a Waxhaws school house, the kind Jackson would have been in.
This marks the Crawford house, where South Carolina says Jackson was born. This is in the Jackson State Park.
Just an example of the confusion that helped lead to the NC/SC Jackson controversy

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