| Andrew Mourns| Retaliation
Nashville Mourns | Obituaries
| Her Memory Honored
Newspapers around the country
Rachel Jackson's death, the wife of the President-elect.
in The National Banner obituary, the focus
was usually on two points that would come to symbolize Rachel's
sixty-one years of life, her basic goodness and the slander that
tore her life apart.
Even in death, her name was still slandered, as in this New
Hampshire paper obituary.
OF MRS. JACKSON
are called on this morning to announce an event of the most awful
and melancholy nature. In the midst of preparation for festivity
and mirth, the knell of death is heard and on the very day when
it was arranged and expected that our town should be a scene of
general rejoicing, we are suddenly checked in our career, and are
called on to array ourselves in garments of solemnity and woe, MRS.
RACHEL JACKSON, wife of General Andrew Jackson, President Elect
of the United States, died last night at the Hermitage in this vicinity.
intelligence of this awful and unlooked for event has created a
shock in our community almost unparalleled. It was known, a few
days since, that Mrs. Jackson was violently attacked by disease,
which however, was supposed to have been checked so as to afford
a prospect of immediate restoration to health. This day, being the
anniversary of an interesting and important event in the last war,
was appropriately selected to testify the respect and affection
of his fellow citizens and neighbors to the man, who was so soon
to leave his sweet domestic retirement, to assume the responsibilities
and discharge the important duties of Chief Magistrate of the nation.
The preparations were already made. The table was well nigh spread,
at which all was expected to be hilarity and joy: and our citizens
had sallied forth on the happy morning with spirits light and buoyant,
and countenances glowing with animation and hope - when suddenly
the scene is changed, congratulations are converted into expressions
of condolence, tears are where, but a moment before, universal happiness
and public rejoicing prevailed. But we have neither time nor room
at present to indulge in further reflections on this melancholy
occurrence. Let us submit with resignation and fortitude to the
decrees, however afflicting, of a just and merciful, though mysterious
and inscrutable Providence.
National Banner, and Nashville Whig., Tuesday, December
23, 1828, p.3 col. 3
Hampshire Statesmen and Concord Register:
Letters and papers from Nashville, confirm the intelligence of the
death of Mrs. Jackson, wife of Gen. Andrew Jackson, at the Hermitage,
at 9 o'clock, on the evening of Dec. 22. Her death was quite unexpected
at Nashville, though it is said she had been ill for some days.
The nature of her disease is not stated. Preparations had been made
for a splendid public dinner at Nashville, in honor of the General,
on the 23d.
is far from our wish to disturb the repose of the dead, or needlessly
to inflict a wound on the feelings on the living. We would 'tread
lightly' on the ashes of the lady whose decease is announced above
and would gladly erase from our memory, and from the records that
we may have been instrumental of giving to the world, any and every
reflections upon the frailties and foibles of her early existence.
Of these we have said less than some others, but we have probably
said something. Of her maturer lifeknowing nothing either
for or against itwe have not presumed to speak. If called
upon to say any thing, it would, from recent testimony, be decidedly
saying thus much, we are constrained to remark, that the maxim,
'nil de mortuis nisi bonum,' seems to us to have been
carried in the present case to an unwarrantable extent. We are content
that newspaper editors should say nothing of the dead, if they cannot
speak wellbut that they should task their vocabulary, as on
the demise of Mrs. Jackson they seem to have done, to furnish out
the most high-sounding and superlative epithets to proclaim her
exemplary virtuesand should, as the editors of the Boston
Statesman and some other papers have done, dress their sheet in
the habiliments of mourningis at once derogatory to the fearless
independence of a free press, and a wanton reflections upon real
living worth and excellence. The standard of female character in
our country can hardly be thought sufficiently elevated, if Mrs.
Jackson, under the known circumstances of the case, is to be spoken
of as exhibiting the most "exemplary virtues and exalted character"
or if the inflated panegyric of the Washington Telegraphcontrasted
with the unpretending notice of thousands who in truth live and
die Mrs. Jackson's superiors in every accomplishment is to
go forth to the world as the test of comparative merit. "A nation,"
says the Telegraph, "mourns in sympathy with her 'favorite' son.
Society has lost one if its brightest ornaments. The friend of the
widow and the orphan; the pious Christian, the amiable wife, the
consort of Andrew Jackson is no more." But enough of such flummery.
In plain truth, Mrs. Rachel Jackson is dead.
New Hampshire Statesmen and Concord Register, January 17, 1829
V. Remini, Andrew Jackson, Volume Two, The Course of American
Freedom, 1822-1832 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
1998) Chapter 8, "Triumph and Tragedy"
Banner, and Nashville Whig., Tuesday, December 23, 1828, p.3, col.
Hampshire Statesmen and Concord Register, January 17, 1829