Andrew Jackson, in the author's words, was "mild, polite, polished,
benevolent, and democratic." It would not be in anyone's favor to question the
validity of the his words, but to understand them with unrestrained faith in
those words will help to insure complete insight into the book. Moreover, this
book stresses the immortal fact that Jackson's private life had as much irony
and agony as his political/outside life did. With those factors understood,
Jackson's life and the times he lived in, will become clear to all.
The important point to understand about most things in this world is the
nature of their origins, Andrew Jackson is no different. Born with no idea as to
what his father looks like, Andrew Jackson Jr., third son from Elizabeth and
Andrew Jackson Sr., will be raised at the home of Elizabeth's sister and
brother-in-law, the Crawfords in the state of South Carolina. Andrew Jackson Sr.
descended from a long line Ulster families that were thrown out of Ireland,
seeking refuge in the United States, made their home in South Carolina. Jackson
Sr., dying suddenly before his son's birth, left Andrew to grow up without a
male parental figure. Living in the Crawfords gave young Andrew little rewards;
he was given very little schooling of basic reading, writing, and figuring. So,
how, in fact, does a man that receives less education than the average American
at that time, not to mention the likes of John Adams or Thomas Jefferson, be, in
the many historians minds, greater than Adams or Jefferson? The long answer to
that question will start when "Andy" as the young, and slim Jackson is called,
attains to the age of 13.
The year was 1780, British troops had taken South Carolina, Andy's oldest
brother had joined the American regiment fighting in their home town, but died
due to heat exhaustion in battle. At the sight of his deceased brother Hugh,
Jackson joins the army as a mounted messenger. After the fighting halted, both
Andrew Jackson and his brother Robert (who had also joined the American army by
now) went back home to the Crawfords. Even though official battles had been
temporarily stopped, the "civil war" raged on as Patriots fought Tories in the
towns of South Carolina, catching young Andrew Jackson in the midst of the fight.
In one bloody encounter, Jackson and his brother were taken prisoner by British
dragoons. A British officer ordered Andrew to clean his boots. The boy refused,
claiming his right as a prisoner of war not to be treated like a servant. The
furious officer whipped out his sword and slashed at the boy's head. Luckily
for Jackson, his stealth saved him from certain death, but leaving him with
scars on his left hand and head which he carried with him his whole life, along
with a hatred for the British. Thrown into prison camp, Elizabeth Jackson would
not let her sons rot in British cells, and making deals for exchange of...