He was the first Tennessean to serve as president of the United States – and his legacy remains hotly debated to this day. Andrew Jackson was a larger-than-life figure in American politics, a war hero who rode a wave of populism into the White House. Yet the soldier-turned-statesman known as “Old Hickory” is also a polarizing figure, primarily because of his sometimes prickly disposition and his treatment of Native Americans.
Now the Tennessee State Library and Archives has an online collection of materials that will make it easier to learn about the nation’s seventh president. The 109-item collection includes digitally scanned copies of many of Jackson’s personal letters, original maps from the War of 1812, political cartoons, campaign broadsides, engravings, lithographs and a rare photograph of him. Also included are papers from some of Jackson’s chief associates, including John Overton, John Coffee, James Winchester, William Carroll and William B. Lewis.
“The Library and Archives has two equally important roles – preserving historical documents and making those documents accessible to the public,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “The physical documents featured in this collection have been preserved and made available to those who want to inspect them at the Library and Archives for years. However, this digital collection now makes the same records available, free of charge, to people who are unwilling or unable to visit the Library and Archives building in downtown Nashville. This is part of our ongoing efforts to put as much of Tennessee’s rich history online as quickly as our resources allow.”