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Andrew Jackson Gets Rich
February 14, 2011
by William P. Meyers

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Andrew Jackson would grow up to be a President of the United States of America and the founder of the Democratic Party.

Continued from Stealing Rachel

In the 1790's Andrew Jackson concentrated on getting rich, mainly through the practice of the law as attorney general in Nashville. He did not neglect militarism, becoming "judge advocate of the county militia," for which he received in pay two young cows. He "had only a rough idea of how much land he owned or laid claim to. Much of it he had never seen." It would become valuable as more settlers arrived. Although treaties had been signed to protect the Cherokee lands from white invaders, no such protection was offered by the U.S. government in reality. In 1793 the Cherokee tried to run off the white invaders, as was their treaty right. Jackson was among those who fought and eventually defeated them. Even a new treaty, to regularize what had already been stolen, did not meet with Jackson's approval. Indian troubles to Andrew meant a chance to kill men and gain more land.

"A military foray from Nashville in defiance of Federal authority completed the subjugation of the Cherokees and opened the way to riches for Andrew Jackson. The volume of new settlers doubled and trebled." Land prices rose [James page 74]. In the spring of 1895 Jackson sold some thirty thousand acres and bought thousands of dollars worth of goods to start a store. Back home he argued that President Washington should be impeached for making a treaty with the British allowing them to search American ships at sea. He also bought a larger plantation, Hunter's Hill, and began building a mansion. He even hired an overseer for his slaves, no doubt having grown tired of whipping them with his own hand.

In January 1796 slaver Jackson attended the convention in which it was proposed that Tennessee should graduate from being a territory to become one of the United States. The state constitution had some interesting aspects, including the right of any white male resident in the state for six months to vote [most states then restricted the vote to men who owned considerable property]. To keep the state safe from the rabble, to be elected to the legislature a man had to own at least 200 acres of land. Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796, becoming the 16th state. It was entitled to one Representative in Congress, and in an uncontested election, Andrew Jackson was chosen.

When he left for Philadelphia (then still the U.S. capital) Andrew was only 29 years old. Yet he had acquired vast land holdings, owned a store, and worked his land with slaves. George Washington, another slaver, was still President. Yet all was not right. Another man's note (IOU) that Jackson had signed for had gone bad, leaving Jackson himself strapped. The U.S. economy was already not doing well when the Bank of England suspended exchanging hard (gold and silver) currency for the notes it had issued, plunging the world into an economic depression.

Next: Judge Andrew Jackson's Law

Main source: The Life of Andrew Jackson by Marquis James, Bobbs-Merrill company, 1938.

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