| Andrew Mourns| Retaliation
Nashville Mourns | Obituaries
| Her Memory Honored
shock of Rachel's death
was almost too much for
Jackson to bear.
first he refused to believe she was dead and asked servants to lay
blankets across the dining room table in case she woke up and needed
comfort or warmth. Her body was arranged so that Jackson could lie
by her side the night she died. In the morning, a colleague found
Jackson still sitting in the same position. He remained in the room
nearly all the next day, and basically lost his voice. He was barely
audible when he spoke for the first time at her funeral.
Jackson spoke first during the ritual and then Reverend William
Hume delivered the eulogy. For the first time since her death Jackson
broke down and tears ran freely down his cheeks. He quickly gained
composure and returned to the house.
the northeast room he spoke these words:
and neighbors, I thank you for the honor you have done to the
sainted one whose remains now repose in yonder grave. She is now
in the bliss of heaven, and I know that she can suffer here no
more on earth. That is enough for my consolation; my loss is her
gain. But I am left here without her to encounter the trails of
life alone. I am now President of the United States and in a short
time must take my way to the metropolis of my country; and, if
it had been God's will, I would have been grateful for the privilege
of taking her to my post of honor and seating her by my side;
but Providence knew what was best for her. For myself, I bow to
God's will, and go alone to the place of new and arduous duties,
and I shall not go without friends to reward, and I pray God that
I may not be allowed to have enemies to punish. I can forgive
all who wronged me, but will have fervently to pray that I may
have grace to enable me to forget or forgive my enemy who has
ever maligned that blessed one who is now safe from all suffering
and sorrow, whom they tried to put to shame for my sake!
was buried in her garden on Christmas eve. Some have said she was
wearing the gown and white slippers she planned to wear to her husband's
Inauguration. Jackson never fully recovered from her loss and mourned
for Rachel the rest of his life. It is said that he carried around
a miniature of her during his waking hours and at night he placed
the portrait on his bedside table. He never remarried and was completely
devoted to her memory.
serving two presidential terms, Andrew Jackson returned to the house
he and Rachel loved dearly. In his retirement at the Hermitage he
spent time with family and friends. In 1838, he finally fulfilled
a promise he had made to Rachel many years before. He became a practicing
Christian and joined the local Presbyterian Church.
and Rachel's granddaughter, little Rachel said Andrew visited the
garden and Rachel's tombstone every night. He also had her portrait
hung above his bed so that she was the first thing he saw every
morning when he woke up and last vision before going to sleep.
June 8, 1845, at 78 years old, Jackson died in his bedroom at the
Hermitage. He is buried in the garden next to his beloved Rachel.
Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson, Volume Two, The Course of American
Freedom, 1822-1832 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998)
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
Brothers, 1861) Katherine W. Cruze, An Amiable Woman: Rachel Jackson
(Nashville: The Hermitage and the Ladies Hermitage Association,