Thursday, November 04, 2010
One of the things l enjoy the most about our RVing journey is the ability to visit so many of the historical sites that are part of our history and give a personal touch to our past. Just outside of Nashville is the home of our 7th President, Andrew Jackson. It strikes me that our early presidents had amazing experience and selflessness that they brought to their service of this country. I often wonder, where did we go wrong after that?-but I digress.
At 13, Jackson served in the Revolutionary War as a runner and messenger. He came to national prominence as the heroic leader in the victory against the British in the 1812 Battle for New Orleans. He eventually became president, but always considered himself to be a farmer at heart. His life and presidency is an interesting study in service and contradictions, especially in regards to slavery. He was a strong advocate of federalism and would have been dismayed at Tennessee and his own family siding with the Confederacy during the Civil War. While President, there was talk of some states leaving the union. He made clear to the governor most outspoken on this issue, that he would send federal troops and hang him in the public square, if he continued on this course.
The Hermitage was his farm and home for much of his life, but he was often away in service to his country. The history of his home and life there is an impressive story in itself. The farm is preserved as it was during his years after he returned from two terms as President and where he spent his final years.
The museum and grounds, along with the guides provide an excellent glimpse into both the man and life on the farm in the pre Civil War period. One of the stories you will want to explore is: how did a former slave who worked at the plantation, named Alfred, come to be buried near President Jackson and his beloved wife Rachel in the garden.
This is a must see historical site. Take the wagon ride to the farm fields to hear where and how the field slaves lived and worked.