The Hermitage has significant mark on the United States history because it does not only represent the life history of Andrew Jackson, but also the presidency of the United States during 1828 to 1834. Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States who originated from a humble background as a Tennessean. During his early life before he entered politics, Andrew Jackson was a lawyer as well as a farmer.
He owned a large tract of land, approximately 1000 acres at Nashville, which was a cotton plantation. In the plantation, Andrew Jackson built a mansion, the Hermitage, in Nashville where he lived before and after his presidency. In his life, Andrew Jackson became a hero in both military and political arenas, which made him a significant figure in the United States history. The Hermitage is a historic landmark and museum that mirrors the life history of Andrew Jackson and the history of the United States.
Thus, the hermitage is a historic site that reminds Americans of a great leader like Andrew Jackson, who made a considerable contribution to the United States history and presidency. Therefore, this essay explores the significance of the Hermitage and evaluates the effectiveness of its exhibits with the objective of establishing salient lesson learned about the site.
The Hermitage is tremendously significant to Americans because it is a historic landmark of the 19th century, a presidential home and a plantation. It depicts life history of Andrew Jackson as a Tennessean who rose from a humble background and ascended into power. During his childhood, Andrew Jackson was poor because he grew as an orphan. His father died before he was born, while his mother together with his brothers died before he attained the age of 14 years.
Thus, Andrew Jackson began his life as a lonely man who had no family ties to support him to achieve both financial and political stability. At the age of 21 years, Andrew Jackson became a lawyer and gradually started to own large tract of land in Nashville that eventually reached about 1000 acres. To achieve financial freedom, Andrew Jackson turned his farm into cotton plantation where he employed slave labor.
Moreover, Andrew Jackson entered politics and managed to lead American for two terms from 1828-1834. He built the Hermitage in 1819 and lived there with his wife, Rachel Donelson, who died in 1828 and 1945 respectively, and buried there. Hence, the Hermitage depicts life history and family of Andrew Jackson as the United States president during the 19th century.
Since Andrew Jackson employed slave labor in cotton plantation, the Hermitage is a historic plantation. Andrew Jackson acquired immense tract of land gradually and progressively recruited slaves to work on his farm. While Andrew Jackson and his wife lived in the Hermitage mansion, the slaves lived in cabins within the farm.
By 1850, the plantation had expanded to 1000 acres with 137 slaves who were working on it. Therefore, history of the Hermitage plantation shows how slavery made significantly contribution to the farms of affluent people in Tennessee and across the United States. Given that Andrew Jackson rose from a humble background, slave labor enabled him to amass more wealth that led him to expand his farm and slaves with time.
Gradually expansion of the plantation and an increasing number of slaves indicate that Andrew Jackson was progressively achieving financial freedom that he has been grappling with a mere lawyer in Nashville. Hence, the Hermitage is a historic plantation due to the use of slavery in cultivation of cotton.
The hermitage is also significant to political history of the United States because Andrew Jackson mobilized his army and defeated the British army at the Battle of New of New Orleans. For three years, from 1812 and 1915, American army battled against British army, which invaded America.
In 1815, Andrew Jackson led his army of about 4000 American soldiers to battle against more than 10,000 British soldiers. Even the though the British army significantly outnumbered American army, Andrew Jackson employed his military prowess and tactics to overpower British invasion in the battle of New Orleans. Americans attributed the victory of the battle of New Orleans to Andrew Jackson and made him a military hero.
Thus, the battle of New Orleans did prepare the foundation for Andrew Jackson to ascend into the political arena and seize political power as American president for two terms, 1828 to 1834. The Americans voted for Andrew Jackson to become the seventh president because he was one of the dominant military heroes in the history of the United States. Because of his victory in battle of New Orleans, Americans named him Old Hickory, a tough military leader who made Americans overcome its enemies.
After the battle of New Orleans, the Americans transformed the Hermitage from a mere cotton plantation to a historic site where diverse people across the world visited because military and political legend emerged from it. Prior to the battle of New Orleans, Americans hardly noticed Andrew Jackson as a national figure who would transform United States by offering critical leadership that shaped history of United States.
Battle of New Orleans and the presidency of Andrew Jackson are two significant events that have made the Hermitage a historic site where legendary leaders and ordinary people visit. Since the United States noted historic significance of the Hermitage, it bestowed Ladies’ Hermitage Association responsibility to manage the Hermitage as the national museum.
Ladies’ Hermitage Association envisaged that the Hermitage would become a “Mecca” for all patriots and strangers to visit. Hence, due to its historical significance, the Hermitage has become a historic site and a museum in the United States of America. It has also become a national model of preserving and conserving of historic things and a place of conducting archeological studies.
The Hermitage effectively presents its exhibits because visitors view them through the glass, thus preventing unnecessary damage due to constant touch or handling. Normally, the Hermitage receives approximately 180,000 visitors every year, who contribute millions of dollars that have enabled Ladies’ Hermitage Association to maintain exhibits as they were during the 19th century.
Currently, plans are underway to restore the magnificence of the Hermitage by painting, repairing columns and observing various architectural elements that are exceedingly fragile. For more than a century, the Ladies’ Hermitage Association has managed the Hermitage remarkably well by ensuring that repairs and maintenance do not distort authenticity of original artifacts in the Hermitage.
Hence, repairs and maintenance efforts are effective in preservation of the Hermitage and its artifacts. Currently, exhibits and multimedia are still authentic as they were during the time of Andrew Jackson, implying that Ladies’ Hermitage association is effectively managing the site as a home and a farm of a legend that Americans celebrate.
The most fundamental lesson learned about the Hermitage is that it was a home and a plantation of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States during 1828 to 1834. Hence, the Hermitage depicts life history of not only Andrew Jackson, but also the United States. When patriots of the United States and strangers from across the world visit the Hermitage, they perceive how influential man like Andrew Jackson lived and managed to be a hero who led American army to conquer British army in the battle of New Orleans.
The Hermitage reminds visitors of how Andrew Jackson transformed the United States during the war against British invasion and as remarkable president who brought democracy. Moreover, the plantation is significant because it depicts how slavery played a critical role in cotton farms that extend to 1000 acres. Hence, battle of New Orleans and the presidency of Andrew Jackson are significant events associated with the Hermitage and the plantation.
The Hermitage is significant to history of the United States during early 19th century because it was a home and a plantation of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. Andrew Jackson became a military hero when he led American army to defeat the British army in the battle of New Orleans.
Because of his military prowess and tactics, Americans made him a president for two terms, 1828 to 1834. Currently, the Hermitage is a magnificence museum that patriots and other people visit to celebrate the life of Andrew Jackson and history of the United States.
Bartoy, Kevin. 2008. The Heritages of the Hermitage: Critical Archeology as Applied Anthropology at a Presidential Shrine. The Hermitage, 2, no.3, 1-14.
Haas, Irvin. 1991. Historic Home of the American Presidents. New York: Courier Dover Publications.
Hankins, Paula, Tony Guzzi and Howard Kittell. 2010. Roosters Declare the Hermitage Is Open: History Unveils a Face-Lift. The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson, 5, no. 1, 1-3.
Hoobler, James. 2008. A Guide to Historic Nashville, Tennessee. New York: The History Press.
- Irvin Haas. 1991. Historic Home of the American Presidents. New York: Courier Dover Publications, 35.
- James Hoobler. 2008. A Guide to Historic Nashville, Tennessee. New York: The History Press, 27.
- James Hoobler. 2008, 27.
- Irvin Haas. 1991, 33.
- Kevin Bartoy. 2008. The Heritages of the Hermitage: Critical Archeology as Applied Anthropology at a Presidential Shrine. The Hermitage, 2, no.3, 1
- Paula Hankins, Tony Guzzi and Howard Kittell. 2010. Roosters Declare the Hermitage is Open: History Unveils a Face-Lift. The Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson, 5, no. 1, 2.