I’ve completed several hours of research regarding Andrew Jackson over the last few days.
Andrew Jackson and I are old friends. You see I’m from Georgia and, you can’t be from Georgia and not know how Jackson impacted our young state.Georgia had many of her true natives ripped from their family farms and homes so they could be forced to march along the Trail of Tears. This occurred during Jackson’s presidency. Many of the Cherokees were rounded up and held in open pens close to my father’s property at Fort Buffington. There is no evidence of the fort now, but there is an elementary school near the site. My mom’s family used to hold family reunions at the school and, I would sometimes walk out to the road to read the historical marker concerning the fort.
Jackson is one of those presidents that history teachers simply can’t ignore. His life story is just too good to leave out of our American story. I like to begin introducing Jackson during my colonization unit as we begin talking about the frontier. I always tell students, “Now remember that name…Andrew Jackson… you’re going to hear about him again.” Later he can be brought up during the American Revolution when we discuss how children and women helped in the war effort. Jackson was also very influential in the settlement of Tennessee and served as a military leader during the Seminole Wars. By the time we reach the War of 1812 Jackson has become an old friend to my students. They can look at his entire life and begin to predict his actions or understand some of his choices. Students begin to analyze…a real skill they need in the real world.