The Hermitage was home to our 7th U.S. President, Andrew Jackson. The plantation ranks as one of the most visited historic site museums in the country. The Andrew Jackson Foundation relies on private contributions and exhibits to maintain and preserve the property located a few miles east of Nashville, Tennessee.
Andrew Jackson’s life spawned stories of both heroism and controversy. General Jackson was considered a war hero for his decisive actions in the War of 1812, but once killed a man in a duel. As President, Jackson fought for “the people”, but personally owned over 100 slave laborers.
President Andrew Jackson was different than his predecessors. He made executive decisions based on his personal beliefs and did what he could to protect the common man. Jackson served two terms from 1829 – 1837 and became the leader of the new Democratic Party.
Today, Andrew Jackson is one of the most recognizable presidents from the 19th century due to his image gracing our nation’s currency as the face of the $20 bill.
The Hermitage Today
The Hermitage attracts visitors from all over the world; thus, the audio walking tours are available in five languages.
The Entrance Hall
The entrance hall greets visitors with scenic printed wallpaper, chosen by Jackson’s wife, Rachel, a grand staircase, and two busts of Jackson’s cabinet members.
Rear Of The Hermitage
From the rear of the house, the three remaining slave cabins are visible. At one time, there were at least thirteen slave dwellings in different parts of the property.
Most of Jackson’s wealth came from slave labor. The Jackson family’s survival was made possible by the profit garnered from the crops worked by slave laborers. When Andrew Jackson bought The Hermitage in 1804, he owned nine people. That number swelled to over 100 through purchase and reproduction in just 25 years. At the time of his death in 1845, Jackson owned approximately 150 people who lived and worked on the property.
Built in 1841, this cabin has been named, Alfred’s Cabin. Former slave to Andrew Jackson, Alfred Jackson, lived in it as a free man until his death in 1901.
In 1831, Jackson hired an architect to build the limestone and copper roofed tomb as a final resting spot for himself and his recently deceased wife, Rachel. The tomb design strongly resembled a Greek temple found in the scenic wallpaper that Rachel had chosen for the home’s entrance hall. Andrew Jackson died on June 8, 1845, the tomb is his final resting place.
The Hermitage Museum
The Hermitage Museum and Visitor Center greets visitors as they approach the property to tour the house and grounds of the plantation. The newest exhibit in the museum provides a look into the life of Andrew Jackson. As part of its commemoration of Andrew Jackson’s astounding victory at New Orleans, The Hermitage is inviting all U.S. military personnel, active and retired, to visit Andrew Jackson’s home free of charge.
Photos and historical information courtesy of The Hermitage - Home of the People’s President.