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ANDREW JACKSON: THE WOMEN WHO INFLUENCED THE SEVENTH US PRESIDENT

ELIZABETH HUTCHINSON JACKSON, HIS MOTHER, A PIONEER IN THE EARLY REPUBLIC

In 1765 Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson immigrated to America with her husband Andrew Jackson and their two infant sons. A second Andrew, their third and final child, was born in America’s Carolina highlands in 1767.

The Jacksons were Scots-Irish, a hardy and durable race of people well known for their ferocious ability to survive under the most adverse of environments. In the early 1600s, James I, King of England and Scotland, opened up Northern Ireland, then called the Ulster Plantation, to settlement by migrants from the Scottish Lowlands. Hundreds of thousands grasped the opportunity, but a century later, starting 1n 1717, when the Ulster soil turned less fertile, and the Church of England’s persecution of the Presbyterian Scots-Irish waxed, many Northern Ireland residents looked to America as their next home.

During the 1700s, between 200,000 and 250,000 braved the four to six week hazardous trans-Atlantic sea journey to America, the Jackson family amongst them. They sailed with Elizabeth’s sister and brothers-in-law in 1765. Four Hutchinson sisters had preceded them to the Waxhaw settlement that sat on the border of North and South Carolina.

The senior Andrew Jackson was a poor provider for his family in Waxhaw, just as he previously had been in Ulster, and his young family barely subsisted. This changed in early 1767 after Jackson was badly injured in a work accident to die shortly thereafter.  One month later, Andrew, the Jacksons’ youngest son was born; consequently neither Andrew had knowledge of the other. After her husband’s demise, Elizabeth was forced to abandon their unproductive rental farm, and like nomads seek shelter and a place to give birth with one of her relatives. Andrew Jackson was born in the home of one of his aunts on March 15, 1767.

Controversy has always followed President Andrew Jackson. The location of his place of birth is no exception – was he born in his aunt Margaret’s home in North Carolina or in second aunt’s home, Jane Crawford’s in South Carolina. During his lifetime Jackson probably settled this dispute since he consistently claimed South Carolina as his native state.

Elizabeth became the housekeeper at her sister Jane Crawford’s home, since Jane was chronically ill. Consequently, Andrew’s mother toiled to raise not only her three sons, but also Jane’s abundant brood.

The War of the American Revolution came to the Waxhaw in 1781-2 when the English army shifted its campaign to America’s southern states. There the English cause was aided by the Tories, Americans loyal to the English king.

The hardships and deaths that the British inflicted upon Elizabeth Jackson and her three sons will be detailed in the next post. Thanks for reading.

 

Lud Historian
ludmhist@comcast.net
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