Death | Andrew Mourns| Retaliation
Nashville Mourns | Obituaries
| Her Memory Honored
his three volume Jackson biography,
Robert Remini wrotemore
times than anyone realized, Rachel broke down and cried over what
was being said about her during the campaign in 1828.
found it harder each day to face the criticism of her husband's
political enemies. She needed rest. She needed relaxation. In the
summer of 1828, she sometimes seemed so weary that she could barely
function around the house. She complained of heart palpitations
and suffered bronchial distress. It was said that she could hardly
walk and often scarcely talked above a wheeze.
in June, Rachel suffered a debilitating blow when her son, Lyncoya,
died suddenly at sixteen years old. Rachel was grief stricken and
never fully recovered. Still, she tried to manage a brave face for
her husband. Little did he know that his ambition was slowly turning
her into a tired, sick, and weary old woman.
According to "Old Hannah," Rachel's faithful servant, Rachel drew
her last breath in "Old Hannah's" arms. James Parton, author of
the first three-volume biography on Andrew Jackson, published in
1860, says he learned the story of Rachel's death from "Old Hannah."
"It was Wednesday morning, December
17 (1828). All was going on as usual at the Hermitage. The General
was in the fields . and Mrs. Jackson, apparently in tolerable
health, was occupied in her household duties. Suddenly she (Old
Hannah) heard a horrible shriek, placed her hands upon her heart,
sunk into a chair, struggling for breath, and fell forward into
Hannah's arms. While messengers hurried away for assistance, Old
Hannah employed the only remedy she knew to relieve the anguish
of her mistress, 'I rubbed her side,' said the plain spoken Hannah,
'till it was black and blue.'" 
General came in, alarmed beyond description. The doctor arrived.
Mrs. Jackson continued to suffer, for the space of sixty hours,
during which her husband never left her side for ten minutes. Rachel
was concerned about her husband knowing he had to attend a great
banquet planned in Nashville to celebrate his victory. After several
days in bed, On December 22, 1828, Rachel felt well enough to get
up and she begged Andrew to get some rest. The doctor remained in
the house, and servants Hannah and George agreed to sit up with
their mistress. The General bid his wife good night and retired
to the next room. He was gone only five minutes. At her bidding
the servants lifted Rachel from her bed to arrange her sheets. While
sitting in the chair, supported by Hannah, Rachel suffered another
severe attack. She let out a long, loud cry. There was "a rattling
sound in her throat." Her head fell forward onto Hannah's shoulder
and she died. 
James Parton, Life of Andrew Jackson, Volume III (New York: Mason
Brothers, 1861) pp. 154-5.
2. Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson, Volume
Two, The Course of American Freedom, 1822-1832 (Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1998) p. 151.
V. Remini, Andrew Jackson, Volume Two, The Course of American
Freedom, 1822-1832 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
1998) Chapter 8, "Triumph and Tragedy."
Parton, Life of Andrew Jackson, Volume III (New York: Mason
Katherine W. Cruze, An Amiable Woman: Rachel Jackson (Nashville:
The Hermitage and the Ladies Hermitage Association, 1994)