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He was born of Scotch-Irish parents, at Waxhaw Settlement, on the
line between North and South Carolina, March 15, 1767. His parents were
wretchedly poor and he received only a meagre education. His father died
just before the birth of his son, who enlisted in the patriot army when
but thirteen years old, and was captured at the battle of Hanging Rock.
When a British officer ordered the boy to clean his boots, he refused.
He was brutally beaten for his stubbornness; he told the officer that he
might kill him, but he could never make a servant of him.

Shortly afterward he was seized with smallpox and was abandoned to die,
but his mother secured his release and nursed him back to health. She
died soon afterward, and, while still a boy, Andrew was left without a
single near relative. At the close of the Revolution, he took up the
study of law, pursuing it in a desultory way, until his removal to
Nashville, at the age of twenty-one years. He threw his law books aside
when the Indians began their outrages, and we have told of his striking
services as a soldier and military leader, culminating with his great
victory at New Orleans, the anniversary of which is still widely
celebrated. Jackson became the idol of his countrymen, and he possessed
many admirable qualities. Never, under any circumstances, did he betray
personal fear. He was ready to attack one man, ten men, a hundred, or a
thousand, if he deemed it his duty to do so. He was honest to the core,
intensely patriotic, and he either loved or hated a man. He would stand
by a friend to the death, unless he became convinced of his
unworthiness, when he instantly became his unrelenting enemy.

[Illustration: ANDREW JACKSON.

(1767-1845.) Two terms, 1829-1837.]

He fought numerous duels, and stood up without a tremor in front of one
of the most famous of duelists. When his opponent's bullet tore a
dreadful wound in his breast, he resolutely repressed all evidence of
pain until he had killed his antagonist, in order that the latter should
not have the pleasure of knowing he had hurt Jackson.

While carrying one arm in a sling from this wound, he led a strong force
into the Creek country. When the men were close upon starvation, they
mutinied. Jackson rode in front of them, pistol in hand, and declared he
would shoot the first one who refused to obey his orders. Not a man
rebelled. At the same time he divided all the food he had among them,
which consisted solely of acorns. Nevertheless, he pressed on and
utterly destroyed the Indian confederation.

Added to these fine qualities was his chivalrous devotion to his wife,
the unvarying respect he showed to the other sex, and the purity of his
own character. Such a man cannot fail to exercise a powerful influence
upon those with whom he comes in contact. In Jackson's estimation, the
only living person whose views were right upon every question was
himself. He was intolerant of opposition, and merciless in his enmity of
a personal opponent. He made mistakes, as was inevitable, and some of
them wrought great injury; but even his opponents respected while they
feared him, and the qualities which we have indicated gave him a warm
place not only in the affection of his own generation but in the
generations that came after him.

When his tempestuous career came to a close, Jackson retired to his
home, known as the Hermitage, in Tennessee, where he passed his
declining years in quiet and peace. He became a devout Christian, and
died of consumption, June 8, 1845.


"TO THE VICTORS BELONG THE SPOILS."

It need hardly be said that when Jackson became President he shared his
authority with no one. He made up his cabinet of his personal friends,
and, on the principle of "To the victors belong the spoils," that an
administration to be successful must be composed of those of the same
political faith with its head, he began a system of removals from
office. The total number of such removals made by his predecessors was
seventy-four, some of which were for cause. A year after his
inauguration, Jackson had turned 2,000 office-holders out, and, since
their successors were obliged in many instances to remove subordinates,
in pursuance of the same policy, it will be seen that the President
adopted no halfway measures.

He regarded the members of his cabinet as simply clerks, and, when he
wished to consult with trusted friends, called together a certain number
of boon associates, who became known as his "Kitchen Cabinet."


JACKSON'S FIGHT WITH THE UNITED STATES BANK.

One of the President's unbearable aversions was the United States Bank.
He believed that its strength had been exerted against him, and in his
first message to Congress, in December, 1829, he charged that it had
failed to establish a uniform and sound currency and that its existence
was contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. Its charter would expire
in 1836, and Congress passed an act renewing it for fifteen years.
Jackson vetoed the measure, and the two-thirds majority necessary to
pass it again could not be obtained.

By law the deposits of the bank were subject to the secretary of the
treasury, who could not remove them without giving Congress his reasons
for the step. Jackson ordered his secretary to remove the deposits, and
when he very properly refused, the President removed him. He made Roger
B. Taney, afterward chief justice of the United States, his new
secretary of the treasury, and that pliable official promptly
transferred the deposits to certain banks that had been selected.


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1832.

Although the fight caused much excitement, and the action of Jackson was
bitterly denounced, it added to his popularity, as was proven in the
presidential election of 1832, when the following electoral vote was
cast: Andrew Jackson, 219; Henry Clay, of Kentucky, National Republican,
49; John Floyd, of Georgia, Independent, 11; William Wirt, of Maryland,
Anti-Masonic, 7. For Vice-President, Martin Van Buren, Democrat, of New
York, received 189 votes; John Sergeant, of Pennsylvania, National
Republican, 49; Henry Lee, of Massachusetts, Independent, 11; Amos
Ellmaker, of Pennsylvania, Anti-Masonic, 7; William Wilkins, of
Pennsylvania, Democrat, 30. On the popular vote, Jackson had more than a
hundred thousand in excess of all the others in a total of one million
and a quarter. It was a great triumph for "Old Hickory."

[Illustration: SAMUEL HOUSTON.

One of "Old Hickory's" volunteers, afterward famous in the Texan War for
Independence.

(1793-1863).]

It rarely happens in the history of any country that the government
finds itself in the possession of more money than it wants. It became
clear, however, that not only would the public debt soon be paid, but a
surplus would accrue. In view of this certainty, Henry Clay secured the
passage of a bill in 1832, which reduced the tariff, except where such
reduction came in conflict with home labor. Several years later, the
surplus, amounting to $28,000,000, was divided among the States.


BLACK HAWK WAR.

In the year named occurred the Black Hawk War. The tribes known as the
Sacs, Foxes, and Winnebagoes lived in the Territory of Wisconsin. The
Sacs and Foxes made a treaty with the United States in 1830, by which
they ceded all their lands in Illinois to the government. When the time
arrived for them to leave, they refused, and the governor called out a
military force to compel them to remove beyond the Mississippi. Black
Hawk, a famous chieftain of the Sacs, left, but returned at the head of
a thousand warriors, gathered from the tribes named, and began a savage
attack upon the settlements. The peril was so grave that the government
sent troops under Generals Scott and Atkinson to Rock Island. On the way
thither, cholera, which had never before appeared in this country, broke
out among the troops and raged so violently that operations for a time
were brought to a standstill.

When Atkinson was able to do so, he pushed on, defeated the Indians, and
captured Black Hawk. He was taken to Washington, where he had a long
talk with President Jackson, who gave him good advice, and induced him
to sign a new treaty providing for the removal of his people to the
Indian Territory. Then Black Hawk was carried on a tour through the
country, and was so impressed by its greatness that, when he returned to
his people, he gave no more trouble. It is worth remembering that both
Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln served in the Black Hawk War.


NULLIFICATION MEASURES IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

South Carolina had long been soured over the tariff measures, which,
while they helped the prosperity of other sections of the Union, were
oppressive to her, because there were no manufactures carried on within
her borders. When Congress, in the spring of 1832, imposed additional
duties, she was so angered that she called a convention in November, at
which her governor presided. The new tariff was declared
unconstitutional, and therefore null and void, and notice was given that
any attempt to collect the duties would be resisted by South Carolina,
which, unless her demands were granted, would withdraw from the Union
and establish herself as an independent government. Other States
endorsed her action and the situation became serious.

President Jackson hated the tariff as much as South Carolina, but his
love for the Union was unquenchable, and, having sworn to enforce the
laws, he was determined to do it in the face of any and all opposition.
Because Vice-President Calhoun sided with his native State, Jackson
threatened to arrest him. Calhoun resigned, went home, and was elected
United States senator.

President Jackson issued a warning proclamation on the 10th of December,
but South Carolina continued her war preparations, and the President
sent General Scott, with the sloop-of-war _Natchez_, to Charleston, with
orders to strengthen the garrison in the harbor. Scott displayed great
discretion, and won the good-will of the citizens by his forbearance and
courtesy. The other Southern States condemned the rash course of South
Carolina, within which gradually appeared quite a number of supporters
of the Union.



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