Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:May 30th, 2007 05:44 EST
Tough As Hickory

Tough As Hickory

By Sean Stubblefield

It seems unusual that Andrew Jackson would die of something so commonplace as disease and heart failure. He wasn’t nicknamed “Old Hickory” for nothing-- a name given to him by his troops during the War of 1812, who considered him a strong and strict, but fair, task master. General Andrew Jackson, who would later become the 7th President of The United States, was a tough man, physically and temperamentally.
13 years old, he joined the Continental Army as a courier, just 4 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. While a captive of British forces, he was struck on the arm by a sword for disobedience, and soon got small pox… but recovered.
In his time as a lawyer and politician, he had a reputation well earned for being egotistical and short tempered, which involved him in several feuds and duels. Some fights were over comments made about his wife and marriage. One prominent example is a dual, when “Old Hickory” permitted an opponent to shoot first, as Jackson stood exposed. Jackson reportedly took a bullet to the chest, and then calmly killed the man with one shot.

And all this before he even made the rank of Major General.


8 years after retiring as President, he died of chronic tuberculosis and heart failure at age 78, at his home in Nashville on June 8, 1845.



1.      What does Jackson have in common with Al Gore?
2.      Jackson was an attorney and a House of Representatives delegate for what state?
3.      How many children did Andrew Jackson have?
4.      How many times was Jackson married?
5.      In which armed forces did Jackson serve as a Major General?

1.      While Jackson got the popular vote, he did not have enough electoral votes to win the presidency. An election had to be decided by the House of Representatives, which he lost.
2.      Tennessee
3.      None, but adopted his wife’s nephew, and raised 3 other of his wife’s nephews, as well as an Indian boy orphan.
4.      Twice, to Rachel Donelson Robards. A second wedding ceremony was held when if was discovered her divorce from her widower husband wasn’t official.

5.      (trick question) Tennessee militia and U.S. Army, 10 years apart.