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[Library of Congress]
1767 - 1845
7th President (1829 - 1837)
Education: no formal education
Occupation: lawyer, planter, soldier
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Organizational Affiliation(s): Mason
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
Summary of Religious Views:
Jackson was brought up in a Presbyterian family. Although he had little interest in religion early on, Jackson became increasingly religious, eventually joining the Presbyterian church in 1838.
Views on Religion & Politics:
Jackson found no conflict between his religious views and his strong support for the institution of slavery; nor did he perceive any conflict with his support for the forcible relocation of Native Americans.
Jackson believed that the Constitution required a strict separation of church and state.
young Nashville lawyer: "Mr. Cartwright, do you believe there is any such place as hell, as a place of torment?"
Rev. Peter Cartwright: "Yes, I do."
young Nashville lawyer: "Well, I thank God I have too much good sense to believe any such thing."
Andrew Jackson: "Well, sir, I thank God that there is such a place of torment as hell."
young Nashville lawyer: "Why, General Jackson, what do you want with such a place of torment as hell?"
Andrew Jackson: "To put such damned rascals as you are in, that oppose and vilify the Christian religion."
-- date unspecified, from Autobiography of Peter Cartwright
"I trust that the god of Isaac and of Jacob will protect you, and give you health in my abscence, in him alone we ought to trust, he alone can preserve, and guide us through this troublesome world, and I am sure he will hear your prayers. We are told that the prayers of the righteous prevaileth much, and I add mine for your health and preservation untill we meet again." -- letter to his wife, Rachel Jackson, 21 December 1823 (this is typical of Jackson's letters to his wife)
"I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation from the political concerns of the General Government." -- letter to the Synod of the Reformed Church of North America, 12 June 1832, explaining his refusal of their request that he proclaim a "day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer."
"Your letter convaying the molancholy intelligence of the death of your dear little babe, has been some time recd -- I tender to you and your dear Mary my heartfelt condolence on this sad & mournful occasion. I am truly happy to find that you both have met this severe bereavement with that christian meekness & submission as was your duty. This charming babe was only given you from your great creator and benefactor, it is probable you doated upon him too much, to the neglect of him who gave the boon, & he has taken him from you, to bring to your view that to him your first love is due, and by this chastisement, to bring you back to your duty to god -- it is to him that we owe all things -- it is he that giveth, and he has a right to take away, and we ought humbly to submit to his will, and be always ready to say, blessed be his name. We have one consolation under this severe bereavement, that this babe is now in the boosom of its saviour, a sweet little angel in heaven, free from all the temptation, pains & evils of this world and we ought to prepare to unite with him & other sorts[saints?] who have gone before us to those mansions of bliss, where the weary are at rest -- Then let us not mourn for the dead but for the living, and prepare to follow him to the mansions of bliss." -- letter to Andrew Jackson Hutchings, 25 January 1835
"I was brought up a rigid Presbeterian, to which I have always adhered. Our excellent constitution guarantees to every one freedom of religion, and charity tells us, and you know Charity is the reall basis of all true religion, and charity says judge the tree by its fruit. all who profess christianity, believe in a Saviour and that by and through him we must be saved. We ought therefor to consider all good christians, whose walk corresponds with their professions, be him Presbeterian, Episcopalian, Baptist, methodist or Roman catholic. let it be remembered by your Grandmother that no established religion can exist under our glorious constitution." -- letter to Ellen Hanson, 25 March 1835
"When I have Suffered sufficiently, the Lord will then take me to himself -- but what are all my sufferings compared to those of the blessed Saviour, who died upon that cursed tree for me, mine are nothing." -- statement made during his final illness, 1 June 1845
"God will take care of you for me. I am my God's. I belong to him, I go but a short time before you, and I want to meet you all in heaven, both white & black.
"What is the matter with my Dear Children, have I alarmed you? Oh, do not cry -- be good children & we will all meet in heaven." -- final words, 8 June 1845
References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links
Joseph Glover Baldwin, "'Representative Men': Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, Part I," Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. 19, Iss. 9, September 1853, pp 521-530
Joseph Glover Baldwin, "'Representative Men': Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, Part II," Southern Literary Messenger, Vol. 19, Iss. 10, October 1853, pp 585-598
Richard Hofstadter, "Andrew Jackson and the Rise of Liberal Capitalism," in The American Political Tradition: The Men Who Made It, Knopf, 1948
Arda S. Walker, "The Religious Views of Andrew Jackson," East Tennessee Historical Society?s Publications, Vol. 17, 1945, pp. 61-70
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