Monday, June 6, 2011

Life of Andrew Jackson edited by John S. Jenkins, A.M.

Andrew Jackson.


Old Hickory.

The Battle of New Orleans.

Seventh president of the United States of America.

"Whatever may be the views in regard to his merits as a warrior, or his abilities as a statesman, his conduct in both capacities was such as must necessarily command attention.  His admirers will always be eager to discover some new object for their remembrance and regard; while those who are unwilling to approve his course, either in the camp or the cabinet, will feel impelled, from curiosity, if from no other motive, to examine the incidents of his memorable life."  John S. Jenkins, A.M. in Life of Andrew Jackson - originally published in 1850, re-published in February 2011 by Attic Books.

Jackson Square--a familiar site to me.  Did I really understand what caused the people of New Orleans to erect that famous statue so many years ago?  No.  Not until reading Life of Andrew Jackson, that is.

Though he was a controversial man, this biography is full of historical recountings of his wilderness, military and presidential battles.  This man inspired and instilled courage in anyone who joined him in battle.  He stood strong against overwhelming opposition, and his never-give-up/no-excuses attitude led troops in repeatedly defeating much larger and better supplied foes than themselves.  Because of this great man, I am now blessed to work in the beautiful, unique city of New Orleans.  Had he backed down when facing daunting odds, as most would have done, I would not have had the joy of falling in love with a city and a people the way I have with my beloved NOLA.  (New Orleans, La - get it?)

Did you know that during his time battling the Indians, he actually brought home to his wife an abandoned Indian baby boy and adopted him and they raised him as if the boy was their own?

During the days and swampy battles leading up to the Battle of New Orleans, according to John S. Jenkins,
"It was unnecessary for their general (Andrew Jackson) to encourage and allure them to deeds of valor:  his own example was sufficient to excite them.  Always in their midst, he was cool and collected.  Unmindful of danger, he continued to remind his troops that they had often said they could fight, and now was the time to prove it."
When speaking to his men after The Battle of New Orleans, the great General Jackson is quoted in this book as saying,
"Who, that never experienced your sufferings, will be able to appreciate your joys?  The man who slumbered ingloriously at home, during your painful marches, your nights of watchfulness, and your days of toil, will envy you the happiness which these recollections will afford--still more will he envy the gratitude of that country, which you have so eminently contributed to save."
Whatever your opinion of him, this book is packed full of detailed recounts of the uncountable battles Andrew Jackson faced from the time of his difficult family losses in boyhood throughout his time leading the Tennessee Volunteers and all the way through his presidency and even to his death.

Though it is a straining, difficult read at times due to the paragraph structure akin to books written in the 1800's, this historic biography is definitely worth the read.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Attic Books, an imprint of New Leaf Publishing Group. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

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