Dr. Vickery’s prologue of his biography of Andrew Jackson, Jackson The Iron Willed Commander, begins with a description of the day of Jackson’s inauguration as the seventh President of the United States. On March 4, 1829 history was made. Jackson was a southerner from humble beginnings . His achievements and accomplishments are legendary. And so, on this date a man of the people took office and thousands came to celebrate the occasion. Dr. Vickery work puts forth the history of Jackson’s life based on information from a variety of sources.
“The early life of Andrew Jackson was marked by sorrow, hardship and poverty”. His father died before he was born. He was raised by his mother and she saw to his education. However, he was not a stellar student . He was not known for being well read and his spelling was creative- to say the least. What he lacked in these areas he more than made up for in others. He understood people and was assertive. He was passionate and he was well known for his swearing. He was thirteen years old when he became a messenger for Major William Davie during American Revolution. By the time he was fifteen he had already been taken prisoner, survived smallpox, became an orphan and lost his brothers. These tragedies are in part the foundation that he used to build and develop his strengths which included tolerating pain and dealing with grief. He taught himself to overcome adversity . He believed sacrifice was necessary in the quest for freedom and he would require it of those who served under him as well as of himself. His military career included fighting in the War of 1812 where he fought the Creek Indians as well as his amazing prowess in New Orleans against the British. Loyalty to his troops and his motivational skills added to his many other leadership qualities. His troops loved him. Even though he had practiced law and served as a judge, it was his military career that defined him. Just as important as his love of freedom and country was his love of his wife , Rachel. He remained protective and devoted to her for her entire life.
Dr. Vickery has successfully written an excellent biography of Andrew Jackson. I found it to be objective and easy to read. Andrew Jackson’s story is both motivational and inspiring. He is perhaps one of the most fascinating United State’s Presidents. I highly recommend reading this book. There is a great deal to learn from doing so.
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