Recently the GO Educational Tours team met on Plum Island, MA for a company retreat for training and team building and preparations for the 2017 travel season. At that retreat, a question was raised of everyone that attended: Which person from history would you choose to help you during a zombie apocalypse? My answer was an easy one, Andrew Jackson. Yes the seventh President of the United States. He has been one of my most favorite people to study in United States history; being born in South Carolina doesn’t hurt either.
On your next class trip to Washington DC you see his statue in the center of Lafayette Square.He was probably the biggest tough guy to hold the office of president. As a young boy during the American Revolution, he refused to clean the boots of a Dragoon officer. As a result the Dragoon officer slashed boy Jackson in the face with his sword causing a scar that Jackson carried with him the rest of his life. This is a reason why many of the portraits of Andrew Jackson are of his left side of his face, not the right.
Before ever becoming president, Jackson fought 103 duels–mostly defending the integrity of his wife. As a result, Jackson is said to have kept 37 pistols ready to be used in a duel at all times. One such duel, with Charles Dickenson, Jackson took a bullet to the chest from Dickenson, but still stood tall and shot Dickenson dead. That bullet was so close to Jackson’s heart that surgeons of that day did not want to risk operating, so the bullet stayed with Jackson, like the facial scar, the rest of this life.
At 67, now President of the United States, Jackson was the first American President to experience an assassination attempt. The pistol of the attacked misfired, and before the attacker could reload and fire again at Jackson, the President leapt from the US Capitol steps in Washington DC and proceeded to club the attacker with his walking cane. Jackson’s aides had to pull Jackson off the attacker before Jackson could killed his attacker.
These are just a few examples of how much of a tough guy Andrew Jackson was as a man and President. I could go on and on about his military involvement in the Creek War, War of 1812 at the Battle of New Orleans or even protecting the settlers of Southern Georgia/ Alabama and Northern Florida during the 1st Seminole War. When you see his statue in Washington DC during your educational tour remember President Jackson. He was rough, brave, honorable and loyal to his friends and family. Someone that would stick with you when zombies are starting to chase after you.
Have a great 4th of July everyone.