Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States, was a controversial figure known for his military background, fiery personality, and populist politics. But despite his reputation as a larger-than-life figure, his final resting place remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. In this article, we’ll explore the question of where Andrew Jackson died and examine some of the evidence surrounding his final days.
The Life and Times of Andrew Jackson
Born in rural North Carolina in 1767, Andrew Jackson rose to national prominence as a general during the War of 1812. He became a hero to many Americans after the Battle of New Orleans, in which his outnumbered troops helped defeat a British army.
After the war, Jackson entered politics and quickly made a name for himself as a champion of the common man. He was elected president in 1828, and his two terms in office were marked by controversial policies such as Indian removal and the “Bank War” against the powerful Bank of the United States.
The Mystery of Andrew Jackson’s Death
Despite his many achievements and controversies, Andrew Jackson’s final years were marked by declining health. He suffered from a range of ailments, including chronic headaches, eye problems, and pain in his limbs.
On June 8, 1845, Jackson suffered a stroke while working in his garden at The Hermitage, his estate in Tennessee. He was partially paralyzed and remained bedridden for several weeks, attended by his family and physicians.
Theories About Jackson’s Death
Although Jackson eventually recovered somewhat from his stroke, his health continued to decline in the months that followed. On June 28, 1845, he suffered a second stroke and died later that day.
Despite the apparent cause of death, there has been some speculation over the years about whether there were other factors at play. Some have suggested that Jackson may have been poisoned or that he died from complications related to mercury poisoning.
However, there is no strong evidence to support these claims, and most historians believe that Jackson’s death was a result of natural causes related to his age and declining health.
Where Did Andrew Jackson Die?
Given his status as a prominent public figure, you might expect that Andrew Jackson’s final resting place would be well documented and easy to find. However, the reality is somewhat more complicated.
According to most accounts, Jackson died at The Hermitage, his estate near Nashville, Tennessee. However, there is some disagreement over the exact location within the property where he passed away.
The Bedroom Theory
One theory about Jackson’s death suggests that he died in his bedroom at The Hermitage. This is based on the recollections of some family members and visitors who claimed to have seen him in bed in the days leading up to his death.
Advocates of this theory point to a room on the second floor of the mansion that was reportedly used as Jackson’s bedroom. However, there is no definitive proof that this is where he actually died.
The Garden Theory
Another theory proposes that Jackson died while sitting in a rocking chair on his back porch, overlooking the garden. This theory is based on the account of a man named James W. Hunt, who claimed to have witnessed Jackson’s death from a distance.
Hunt’s account has been disputed by some historians, who argue that he may not have had a clear view of what was happening. However, the idea of Jackson dying in the garden remains popular with many visitors to The Hermitage.
The Burial of Andrew Jackson
After Jackson’s death, his body was embalmed and placed in a casket in the front parlor of The Hermitage. Thousands of mourners came to pay their respects, and the funeral was a major event.
Several days later, Jackson was buried on the grounds of The Hermitage, in a spot that he himself had chosen. His burial place is marked by a tall obelisk, which bears the words “The Grave of Andrew Jackson” and his birth and death dates.
The Controversy Over Jackson’s Burial
Despite the public outpouring of grief that followed Jackson’s death, there was some controversy over his burial in the years that followed. Many criticized the decision to bury him on his own property, arguing that it violated the principles of democracy and equality that Jackson had espoused during his lifetime.
Regardless of where he died and where he was buried, there is no doubt that Andrew Jackson left a lasting mark on American history. He was a complex and controversial figure, whose legacy continues to be debated and reinterpreted by scholars and the general public.
While the question of where Andrew Jackson died may never be fully settled, there is little doubt that his life and legacy continue to fascinate and inspire Americans today. Whether you visit The Hermitage or explore his history through books and other sources, the story of Andrew Jackson remains one of the most compelling and controversial in American history.
FAQs About Andrew Jackson’s Death and Burial
- Q: Was Andrew Jackson poisoned?
- Q: Where exactly did Andrew Jackson die?
- Q: Was Andrew Jackson buried at The Hermitage?
- Q: Why was there controversy over Jackson’s burial?
- Q: What is Andrew Jackson’s legacy?
A: There is no strong evidence to support the theory that Jackson was poisoned or that his death was anything other than a result of natural causes.
A: The exact location of Jackson’s death at The Hermitage remains a matter of debate among historians and visitors.
A: Yes, Jackson was buried on the grounds of The Hermitage, in a spot that he himself had chosen.
A: Many critics argued that burying Jackson on his own property violated the principles of democracy and equality that he had championed during his lifetime.
A: Jackson’s legacy is complex and multifaceted. He is remembered by some as a champion of the common man and a defender of American democracy, while others criticize him for his harsh treatment of Native Americans and his support for slavery.
- Bassett, J. S. (1912). The Life of Andrew Jackson. New York: Doubleday, Page & Company.
- Remini, R. V. (1981). Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. New York: Harper & Row.
- Wilentz, S. (2005). Andrew Jackson. Washington, D.C.: National Portrait Gallery.