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Nashville Attractions

The Hermitage

4580 Rachel's Lane
Nashville, Tennessee 37079

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Andrew JacksonAndrew Jackson was the first President not to come from aristocracy. Despite his ordinary heritage, he built The Hermitage in Nashville, a stunning Ante-bellum plantation now restored as a museum dedicated to Old Hickory. In addition to revolving exhibits, a film on the history of the President and costumed tour guides, visitors will certainly want to see the first Hermitage cabins, where the former penniless orphan and future political leader and his beloved wife, Rachel, lived before achieving financial and political stability.

 

In 1804, when Jackson bought the first 425 acres of what would become The Hermitage, middle Tennessee was still dangerous frontier. When Jackson arrived in 1788, Nashville's population barely numbered a thousand. As a 21-year-old lawyer licensed to practice in the North Carolina territories west of the Appalachians, Jackson's quick temper and tendency to back his actions with fists or pistols attracted controversy. During the 1828 presidential campaign his marriage became an embarrassment when it was revealed that he had married Rachel Donelson Robards before her divorce was (a fact neither knew). After her divorce was finalized, Rachel and Jackson married a second time. In 1806, he killed a man in a duel over the results of a horse race and was ostracized by the Nashville community.

 

Nonetheless, Jackson forged ahead. On the frontier, land meant power, and Jackson attempted to make money through land speculation, with mixed results. Plunging into political life, he became a member of Tennessee's Constitutional Convention, was elected its first U.S. congressman and later US senator and was for six years a Tennessee Superior Court judge. At The Hermitage, Jackson worked hard at farming. Using slave labor, he raised cotton as his primary crop. Slave quarters and farm outbuildings such as the smokehouse, springhouse and kitchen are part of the self-guided tour of the grounds.


Designed in the Greek Revival style, The Hermitage was erected in 1819. Many prominent people of the early nineteenth century visited The Hermitage, including the Marquis de Lafayette (May 1825). Rachel died in 1828 and was buried in the Hermitage gardens on the east side of the home. Shortly after her death, Jackson was inaugurated the seventh president of the United States and served two terms. In 1834, while he was in Washington, the Hermitage was severely damaged by fire. In 1837, Jackson had the house rebuilt with the front of the home was painted white to conceal the smoke that blackened the bricks. Jackson died in 1845 and was buried in the gardens next to his beloved Rachel.

 

Today, The Hermitage is one of the most popular attractions in Nashville. It has been meticulously furnished just as it was in 1836 during President Jackson's retirement.


 

10 Facts About Andrew Jackson

  • Andrew Jackson was the first President from a state west of the Appalachian Mountains.
  • Andrew Jackson was the first Tennessean to serve in the US House of Representatives.
  • Andrew Jackson was the first Governor of Florida.
  • Andrew Jackson was the first person to serve as a US Representative, Senator, and President.
  • Andrew Jackson exercised his veto power twelve times as President, more than all of his predecessors combined.
  • Andrew Jackson was first President to articulate that he represented all people and that will of majority must govern.
  • Andrew Jackson helped found and was the first US President to represent the Democratic Party.
  • Andrew Jackson is only President censured by US Senate. Censure expunged in the last year of presidency.
  • Andrew Jackson was first President to be target of assassination attempt (January 30, 1835).
  • Andrew Jackson was only President to pay off the national debt and leave office with the country in the black.