“Andrew Jackson’s family all die during the American Revolution.”
City Directories and History: Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the United States. Andrew Jackson birthplace site is a 360 acre State Park that includes a statue by Anna Hyatt Huntington, “The Boy of the
Waxhaws”, a marker designating Jackson’s birthplace in 1767, a reconstructed blockhouse/home, a picnic shelter, lake, camp sites, and residences for the superintendent and manager.
A Story of Courage: In the late summer of 1780, General Charles Cornwallis, the British southern commander, gained a strong upper hand following the battle of Camden, which left the patriots in tatters. As Cornwallis marched towards the Waxhaws, a yearlong battle of attrition began. After a small engagement near Waxhaw, Jackson and his remaining brother, Robert, hid in the house of their relative, Thomas Crawford. British dragoons discovered the two–thus beginning a nearly fatal chapter of Jackson’s life. Upon discovering the two Jackson boys, the British detachment began to destroy the house, tearing apart household belongings and breaking windows. The prisoners cowered in the living room until the British commander ordered Andrew to clean the mud from the soldiers’ boots. Jackson refused, replying, “Sir, I am a prisoner of war and claim to be treated as such.” In an angry response, the soldier raised his sword and swung at the boy’s head. Jackson managed to deflect part of the blow with his left hand, but he received a serious gash on his hand and another on his head–two scars of British ire that Jackson would bear for the rest of his life. When Robert also refused to clean the boots, he was sent staggering across the room by a blow from the officer’s sword.
The British took the two Jackson boys and twenty other prisoners from the battle to Camden, nearly forty miles away. There, the British placed all of them into a small prisoner camp with 250 other men, with no medicine, no beds, and only a small amount of food. Both boys became infected with smallpox and would have likely died had their mother, Elizabeth, not helped to arrange a prisoner transfer–the patriots turned over thirteen redcoats and the British freed seven prisoners, including the two Jacksons. Andrew walked the forty miles back to Waxhaw, while his mother and his dying brother rode beside him. Robert died two days after returning home, and it was several weeks before Andrew regained enough of his strength enough to leave his bed.
After Andrew regained his strength, his mother left to tend to other soldiers in Charleston. She and other Waxhaw helped soldiers held prisoner in prison ships in the harbor. The work was hard, and she took ill with “ship’s fever”–cholera–and passed away at the house another relative in Charleston. As a notice of Elizabeth’s death, relatives sent Andrew a small pile of her belongings. In short order, then, the war had claimed every remaining member of Andrew’s family. (Information courtesy of Spark Notes: Andrew Jackson@ sparknotes.com)
Postcard Gallery: a collection showing images of the Hermitage and other associated Jackson history:
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