Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Hermitage- September 30

Yesterday we toured the home of President Jackson,and I learned a lot about this man and his presidency. He owned about 150 slaves,was against woman's rights and sent the Cree Indians on the Trail of Tears(to move them out of Florida). Not a kind of man I would vote to be president! But,according to the PBS film at the visitor center,as president he espoused the tenets of democracy which would,many years later,bring about civil rights for those same disenfranchised people. I have to also give him his due;he was a product of his times,born and raised in the south. He won the Battle of New Orleans,and as a young lad had been a messenger boy for the Patriots during the Revolutionary War. Also, very much a self-made man,having lost all of his family at the time of the Revolutionary War-either to disease or because of the war. I have posted here pictures of the front of the Hermitage,it has scaffolding there as some much needed repairs are getting under-way on the home. Also of interest is the other picture of a slave cabin. Before the Hermitage was built Jackson lived here with his family. For them it had been a two story building complete with wallpaper and other fine furnishings. To make it appropriate for slaves to live in,he removed one floor and took down the wall paper so he could white white-wash the walls! Probably about twelve slaves then had to live in the home. As I kept telling myself,one has to understand the context of those times.

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