Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 in Lancaster County, South Carolina. As a child he would receive only a sporadic education in backwoods schools, and at age thirteen, Jackson would join the Revolutionary War as a courier with a local patriot regiment. During his time in the American Revolution, Andrew and his brother Robert would be captured by British forces, and would almost starve to death. While being held captive, young Andrew refused to clean the boots of a British officer, so the officer drew his sword, and slashed Andrew across the face, which left scars on his left hand and face. Both Andrew and Robert contracted the Smallpox virus while in captivity, and Robert would die only days after he and Andrew were released. These incidents would result in a lifelong hatred of Great Britain. Jackson would be the last president to have served in the Revolutionary war, and the only president to have ever been a prisoner of war.
By 1787, Andrew was now living in the state of Tennessee. Jackson would become a successful frontier lawyer, and would go on to be elected as the state's first congressman when Tennessee offically became a state in 1796. Jacson would be appointed to the United States Senate in 1797, he would resign in 1798, and then he would take a seat on the state supreme court. Jackson would also serve as a colonel in the state militia, and during the war of 1812, Jackson would defeat the Red Stick Creeks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama on March 27, 1814. Jackson's military career reached its height, however, at the Battle of New Orleans, which was fought on January 8, 1815. In this battle, Jackson led a force of six thousand against a British force of twelve thousand, and defeat them easily. Jackson would earn the nickname "Old Hickory", due to his legendary toughness.
As a politican, Jackson proved to be a divisive figure. He was the founder of the modern day Democratic party, and came to personify the ideals of "Jacksonian Democracy". First elected in 1828, after losing a disputed election to John Quincy Adams in 1824, Jackson at various times took stands defending the institution of slavery, promoted the genocide of Native Americans, and his economic policies sent the country into an economic depression. Despite all of these things, Jackson would remain extremely popular with most Americans, and would leave the presidency in 1837, handing the reigns of government over to his hand picked successor, Martin Van Buren. Jackson died at his home in Nashville, Tennessee in 1845.
This report prepared by Nathaniel Ford