Images, broadsides, manuscripts, and letters that help to define the life of the 7th President.
Andrew Jackson's influence on Tennessee and the United States was profound and transformative, continuing to this day. From humble frontier beginnings to the highest office in the land, Jackson embodied the American dream. His brilliant military leadership, steadfast political convictions, and penchant for controversy left an indelible mark on our state and early republic. The rich collections of the Tennessee State Library & Archives highlight the people, places, and events that shaped Jackson into an American icon.
This online presentation features rare images of Jackson as a hero from victories over the British and Creeks during the War of 1812, as well as political broadsides depicting him as a villain. Letters show his fiery temper and sense of honor that won him devoted friends and bitter enemies. Other documents reveal the ideology behind the removal of Native Americans from the Southeast and lesser-known aspects of Jackson's life such as family, land speculation, and plantation ownership. The 1820s through the 1840s have become known as the Age of Jackson. This collection provides insight into how and why an early Tennessean was accorded such an honor.
John Overton was the collector in Tennessee of the first Federal excise tax, the so-called Whiskey Tax. The entries from his ledgers list distillers in Tennessee by county. The record details those who distilled spirits, the number of pots or stills, their annual production of distilled spirits in gallons, and the amount of tax owed. The earliest volume, 1796-1801, includes entries for Andrew Jackson and his whiskey operations at Hunter's Hill outside Nashville, his residence before purchasing the Hermitage property.
This tax volume is a product of the earliest federal tax in the United States, an excise on all distilled spirits produced in the United States. This tax was the revenue-generating part of Washington's Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton's grand plan to repay the bonded debt owed from the Revolutionary War and to establish the fiscal standing of the national government. Because it was done on the backs of farmers, many of whom distilled their corn into value-added whisky, the excise was widely unpopular in rural areas; it sparked the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania and discontent generally. Distilling was a staple rural industry in frontier America, and particularly in this largely Scot-Irish state, where many Tennesseans distilled whiskey to sell, imbibe, and as a dietary and medicinal supplement.