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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: Andrew Jackson
Sculptor: Clark Mills
Location: Lafayette Park
( Pennsylvania Ave. & 16th )
Jackson (1767-1845) is shown here as he appeared following the Battle of New Orleans (fought, unfortunately, two weeks after the treaty to end the War of 1812 was signed). The United States was reluctant to send military support to protect the "western" lands (Tennessee and Kentucky), so Jackson paid for the Tennessee militia out of his own funds. (He was later reimbursed by Congress, although not without great difficulties). Jackson went on to defeat the Spanish occupying Florida and served for a brief while as governor of the Florida Territory. The cannon surrounding the memorial are four rare Spanish cannons he captured in Pensacola.
Jackson served in the U.S. House of Representatives for less than a term and as U.S. Senator for a single term. He ran for the presidency against a field of four candidates and won the highest number of both electoral and popular votes.
However, he did not garner a majority of the electoral votes so the election was thrown into the House of Representatives. The second-highest vote getter, John Quincy Adams, cut a deal with his opponent Henry Clay, promising Clay the position of Secretary of State in return for his support. Adams won.
Jackson returned to defeat Adams and serve two terms as the seventh president of the United States, the first one elected from outside the original thirteen colonies.
Jackson's supporters were so ecstatic over his election, they followed his inaugural parade to the White House, trashed the furniture, and only left when the White House staff lured them outside with barrels of whiskey.
Jackson holds the distinction of being the only president ever to kill another man in a duel. The duel was fought to defend the honor of his wife, Rachel, who was attacked during his senatorial campaign as an adulteress. She married Jackson while she was still married to a Virginian; an incorrect report from friends in the East informed her her first husband had divorced her. Rachel lived to see her husband elected president but died before he moved into the White House.
This is the first equestrian statue ever erected in the United States. It was cast less than a mile from its current location at the foundry of its sculptor, Clark Mills. Mills had never seen an equestrian statue before and practiced making many little wooden models in order ot get the balance just right. He was justifiably proud of his accomplishment.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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