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President Jackson's Unlikely Escape

President Andrew Jackson 

Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the USA, and 7, as you know, is a blessed sort of number. It was in 7 days that God with Jesus at His side created all things and then rested from doing so. Seven days make up the week. The word of God is like silver, refined in a furnace of clay, purified 7 times, scripture tells us.  Jesus gave John messages for 7 churches in the Book of Revelation.  Seven is a number of completion and fullness sometimes, and of purity sometimes. 

So being the 7th President may have extra significance, but that's just a guess.

Whatever the case, Andrew Jackson was no ordinary fellow in some ways.

He was a 'frontiersman' of Scotch-Irish descent, living in the rough and ready settlement days of the USA. His birth place is claimed by more than one location, but Jackson himself claimed he was born in a cabin just inside South Carolina near the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

Jackson's parents were Presbyterian Christians. His father died in Jackson's infancy. He lifted a heavy log and injured himself internally, from all reports, and died days later. Jackson grew up anyway. His mother dug in and raised her three boys.

As a 13 year old, Jackson became a courier in the Revolutionary War. Both he and his brother were captured by the British and held as POW's. (Prisoners Of War)

While a prisoner, a British officer tried to force young Jackson to shine his boots. When he refused, the officer took out his sword and gave him a few hard swats with the flat side of it, for his insolence. Jackson sustained some injuries and was a pretty committed enemy of the British Army after that - a sentiment that lasted a lifetime.

His brother died of disease - small pox - that both boys caught while prisoners of war. Their mother won permission to have the boys released, but her one son died, as mentioned. She stayed around long enough to ensure that Andrew recovered, but then she left him in someone's care and went off to assist with the war effort, where she herself soon caught a disease and died. Andrew's last remaining brother was a soldier, and died of heat exhaustion at the Battle of Stone Bridge, also in the Revolutionary War. At 14 years old, Andrew Jackson was an orphan.

Later in his life, as a military officer for the US, Jackson slightly exceeded the actual wording of his orders and, under the auspices of chasing down a renegade Indian tribe that was fleeing into Florida, seized functional control of Florida, a Spanish holding at that time.  This made it quite a lot easier for the President to convince far away Spain to cede it to the United States. After all, they were obviously not able to defend it....from officers that slightly exceeded the scope of their orders. 

Jackson's over step caused an international incident, but Jackson himself emerged as a quite popular figure because of it when it was all said and done.  Much land had been added, and one less 'foreign' power held land in the USA.  (Well, Spain had fewer holdings, anyway.  There was still the South West to consider.)  Jackson became Florida's temporary governor.

And later he successfully defended the city of New Orleans, Louisiana in a battle against his good buddies the British in the War of 1812. This battle victory cemented his position as a very popular public figure in the USA, and gave generations of American school children a fun song called the 'Battle of New Orleans' to sing on the school bus. And the mainly rural people of the USA loved his home spun ways and his dislike for the rich, the elite, and the large corrupt business interests of his time.

Civilization's traditions, comforts, and niceties, as such, were often many miles away from the frontier. Sometimes things that were always done a certain way in town were .......well, just done as best they could be on the frontier.

Take Jackson's marriage. His dearly loved wife, Rachael, had been previously married to a man given, it is said, to mad fits of temper. The story goes that he was just too insane to live with. They agreed to divorce, and he was supposedly taking care of the divorce paperwork. They parted ways, and went on with their lives. She met Andrew Jackson, they fell in love and married, and Jackson loved nothing in life so much as his Rachael.

But when Jackson ran for President the second time (and won for the first time) the election was hotly contested. Someone (Jackson believed it was his political opponent, John Quincy Adams) found out that Rachael's divorce paperwork had never been properly processed. She was still 'married'. The Jacksons lived in sin! She was a bigamist.

That bit of information was turned into as large of a scandal as possible by Jackson's opponents. Rachael was villified and spoken of as a shameful woman. She was apparently deeply deeply affected by this, and just weeks before her victorious husband's inaugeration, she died. Jackson never got over that, and he never forgave certain people for it.

And it was risky to make Andrew Jackson angry. It's hard to imagine one of our more modern Presidents  having a duel...you know, with real pistols, and maybe someone dies. (Except maybe Reagan) But Jackon did. At 6' 1" and 140 lbs, Jackson was a pretty slim fellow, and that's basically good if you are going to be a target in a duel. I myself have a much higher 'cross section for absorbtion' to borrow a nuclear phrase. 

And Jackson must have been pretty hard to kill as well. He was in about a dozen duels in his life, from what I have read!

Some duels apparently involved Rachael's honor. Sometimes he was hit with a bullet - a number of times, actually. In fact, he had a bloody cough during his Presidential years from a bullet lodged in his lungs. That came from a man who was reputed by some to be the best shot in Tennessee.  Jackson allowed him - the "best shot in Tennessee" - to take the first shot.  It hit Jackson, and broke ribs.  Jackson then raised his pistol, aimed deliberately, and fired, killing the man.  Jackson was without any doubt a warrior and a man of courage, though killing is in no way a good thing.

Some joked that Jackson had so many bullets in him that he rattled.

Apparently only this one man, among all of his dueling opponents, died. Not so many for a dozen duels, but a dead man just the same.  And it also further highlights Jackson's courage.  He was apparently not the world's deadliest duelist....just a prolific one. 

But as we know, Jackson himself never died in a duel. That was good, because as President he was a truly pivotal figure.

Not all that he did was good, in my eyes at least. He was a large scale slave owner, having literally hundreds working his land over the course of his life. And he was pretty heartless towards some of the Native American Indian tribes from today's vantage point.

But he did love freedom! (For most people of his own race.) And so, though he is a faulted 'hero' if a hero at all, he did have a great impact on his times. And to be honest, he mirrored the feelings and attitudes of many men and women of his time. He was a southerner from the times prior to the American Civil War. Southern agriculture was very slave dependent.

He was stubborn, fiery tempered, and determined...like many other red-heads are accused of typically being.

Jackson was a fierce arguer of his view points. He was called a 'jackass' by his opponents at some point. It is said that he kind of liked the name. In fact, it was then used as the symbol of his party for a while, then that sort of died out, then it was resurrected again after Jackson's time by the party that was once the Republicans but has now become the Democrats. Yes, the jacksass symbol of the American Democratic Party is claimed to have derived from Andrew Jackson.

One of his hardest fought and most crucial battles while President was to kick the legs out from under the Second Bank of the United States. It had been given a 20 year charter under President Madison, and its time was up.  Jackson wanted it dead, but others wanted it to keep on living and growing.  It was a danger to US interests, Jackson felt, to let banks grow too powerful, and this bank was exactly the sort he feared.

In a political war of massive proportions Jackson and those in Congress who thought like him finally killed this government bank by successfully vetoing its 1832 recharter.

Jackson was very clear minded in seeing that banks will use any method to increase their power and influence, including corrupting congress, and that financial bondage is the price that the people of a nation will always eventually pay if the banks get and keep the upper hand. People of his time (his supporters, anyway) saw it as the successful killing of a monster.

Jackson also headed off a succession movement by some of the states over the issue of trade tarrifs. Had he not done so, the United States would have become a divided nation in his day, rather that in Abraham Lincoln's. This could have had drastic consequences for our 'One Nation Under God'.

Jackson is the only U S President to have ever completely paid off the national debt of the United States.....at least for part of his two term presidency!

Jackson also tried but was unable to get rid of the Electoral College. Now that might have been a good thing.

He was a fierce promulgator of the attitude that Americans should never ever trust the motives of big business, or big government, or allow either to steal away American liberties.

So, all of these things I've mentioned because I believe that God may have saved Andrew Jackson from assassination. Many people in his day believed it. It happened when there was about 2 years left in his second 4 year term.

On Jan 30, 1835, just outside the east portico of the US capitol building, Jackson and a party of attendees of the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren Davis were just then walking outside onto the sidewalk. As they stepped outside, a British man named Richard Lawrence (an unemployed house painter originally from England) stepped out from behind a column of a building and, at close range, pointed his pistol at Jackson and pulled the trigger.

Click. The gun misfired.

He quickly pulled out a second pistol, aimed and fired.

Click. The second pistol misfired as well. Richard Lawrence was now out of pistols.

Andrew Jackson went after the man with his walking cane, prompting aids to restrain him.  As the man tried to flee, several bystanders, including famous American frontiersman Davy Crockett, wrestled the man down.  The would be assassin was later judged insane. 

The first recorded U.S. Presidential assassination attempt had just failed.

A Depiction of the Jackson Assassination Attempt From Media of that Time.  Jackson is the Taller Figure Between the Columns.

 

The news papers of the day had soon informed the bulk of the nation about this occurrence, and public interest in the rare event of a double misfire was keen. The original explanation was that it must have been moisture in the air. Yet the public curiosity persisted. The pistols were obtained and tested by competent authorities of the day, and it was found that they both were reliable pistols that fired well each time they were tested.

Perhaps God moved to ensure the fate of a young nation. Or perhaps Jesus was unwilling to let tragedy enter the lives of Andrew Jackson's children - his 10 children - all adopted. Or maybe it was moisture....but even then, wouldn't it be God's moisture?

And maybe God was saving the soul of Andrew Jackson, who - after leaving the Presidency - became a member of a Presbyterian church in Nashville, Tennessee, near his home. The First Presbyterian Church of Nashville.

But, like so many things, only God knows.

Andrew Jackson (affectionately known as Old Hickory) died in his old age at his home, 'The Hermitage', at the age of 78, from a combination of diseases.  Pictures of him (small ones) can be obtained for no more than $20.00 throughout the United States at the present time. 

Just to get a flavor for the man, here are some quotes attributed to Andrew Jackson:

It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word.

The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests.

There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses.

Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that... the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.

The great constitutional corrective in the hands of the people against usurpation of power, or corruption by their agents is the right of suffrage; and this when used with calmness and deliberation will prove strong enough.

The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer... form the great body of the people of the United States, they are the bone and sinew of the country....men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws.

©2017 Daniel Curry & 'Deeds of God' Website