Andrew Jackson

W.W.A.J.D.?

The spookiest, most offbeat story I can think of is the fraying fabric of a united America. Are you shaking in your boots yet?

This tale begins with the American Oligarchy uncurling their long, pointy fingers from a dark corner, summoning you (whites only, though) to JOIN (a church) OR DIE (burning in hell losers who couldn’t afford health care).

Next, a Trumpian Two Minutes Hate at a Muslim “Boogeyman” while a Golem formed from systematic machismo lurks behind every window, every door; separating wives from husbands, and turning friend against friend (an estimated one in 14 reporting they have lost friends over the election).

Beyond the sheer terror of a crumbling separation of Church and State, another horrifying outcome from Trump’s rise to power is his comparison to Tennessee’s own, Andrew Jackson.

On the surface, the two have some things in common:

  • Insane hair
  • Temper
  • Land deals/real estate
  • Campaigned on a rigged system/corruption in Washington
  • Won by Electoral Vote
  • The Hermitage/Mar-a-Lago
  • Can hold a hell of a grudge
  • Reputations based on 20 years before presidency
  • Employed “terrorism” as justification for White Nationalism (Indian Removal Act/Muslim Ban)
  • The “common man” who voted for them suffer(ed) the most (Jackson’s Bank closure which led to the Panic of 1837 to Trump’s repeal of healthcare, tax cuts for the rich, impossible anti-globalist industry promises)

But here is where the real comparisons end friends. You see, Old Hickory is everything the Shitgibbon would like himself to be, but instead Trump is a Populist poseur. Sad!

AJ was actually a man of the people, not a faux champion for the working class. An orphan at an early age, Jackson inherited $300 and sent himself to law school. Both are “theoretical” self made men, but Trump is a marketing concept, a brand – a lie.

Jackson despised “big business” and although the Wolf in sheep’s clothing promised the American people he would “drain the swamp” it appears he is just replacing career politicians (READ: anyone with experience) with his big business cronies. Jackson was a “celebrated” war hero (depends on who you ask) who served in both the House and Senate before his road to the White House. He also co-wrote Tennessee’s Constitution. Trump’s qualifications: millionaire “deal-maker”which has many questioning if he has even read the constitution.

Jackson was a unifier of the American people (unless you were Native). When South Carolina began secessionist talk, Jackson raised an army and threatened that secession meant war. Under Jackson’s presidency, popular vote TRIPLED as he grew democracy in America. To contrast, Stephen Miller’s cries on voter fraud will lead to more voter suppression.

Image result for stephen miller mr burns

Jackson was a man who believed in honor and behaving honorably, while the Donald and his goons can’t stop embarrassing themselves on an International scale. Jackson was the first and only President to get the U.S. out of debt vs. Trump whose proposal to build a 26.1 billion border wall is  not only costly to the American taxpayers, but irresponsible, and dangerous.

No, the orange-faced Scooby Doo villain with the vocabulary of a fourth grader it turns out is NOT like Jackson where it counts, even though Steve Bannon and Giuliani are trying to force that conclusion.

So, what would Andrew Jackson do about Donnie baby? I think he’d ask him to walk ten paces and turn…

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The Mystery of Lyncoya

Did you know that Andrew Jackson never had children of his own, but the brain child of the Indian Removal Act adopted a Creek child? Paradoxical enigma that he is, Jackson sent home a child found on a battlefield (disputed either the Battle of Talladega or the Battle of Horseshoe Bend) with his dead mother and raised him as his own. His name was Lyncoya. Lyncoya received the very best education and had hopes to attend West Point but because of his ethnicity he could not. Instead, he became a saddle maker and died of tuberculosis when he was around 16 years old.

As with anything Andrew Jackson, there is perhaps a darker side to the story.

Historians speculate that Lyncoya may have been brought home as a plaything or ‘pet’ for his other adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr. It was not uncommon for African slaves to tour the world in “Human Zoos,” and some think that his initial intentions might have been more along those lines given Jackson’s betrayal of Native Americans just two short years after Lyncoya’s death.

For whatever reason, historians can document that Lyncoya was well cared for, although the romanticism that he warmed Jackson’s cold, black heart may be just that as his body has never been found. In 2003, cadaver dogs searched the property of the Hermitage looking for slave burial grounds and for Lyncoya. While the rest of the family, and even Jackson’s most loved slave Alfred are buried in the same area, but Lyncoya still remains lost today.

Below are the graves of Alfred (buried close but still separate) to the large gazebo-esque monument atop Jackson and his wife, Rachel. The rest of the family lie in the bottom right section of the grave site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Jackson’s Giant Wheel of Cheese

cheese

 

I’m deviating outside of the location of Tennessee; however, since the story regards my favorite Tennessean, I feel justified in telling  it.

Completely insane patriot and dairy farmer Colonel Thomas S. Meacham and Jackson’s followers wanted to show their thanks to the new democracy by giving Jackson what he loved best: cheese. This idea was not original, but was an ode to Jackson honoring the giant cheese (15 inches thick, four feet wide, 1234 pounds) given to Thomas Jefferson by the town of Cheshire, Connecticut in 1802. The Cheshire cheese was a symbol of “profound respect…to the popular ratification of his election” for Jefferson.

Jackson’s followers knew this story and in 1835 commissioned Meacham to create a monster wheel of cheese that was two feet thick, four feet around and weighed 1400 pounds.

The only problem was, even now in the days of refrigerators and air conditioning a four foot wheel of cheese is completely ridiculous and unmanageable.  In 1837 (two years after he had received the “gift”) Jackson, known as the “people’s president” decided to invite his constituents (over 10,000 attended) to the White House lawn to cut the cheese, if you will.

The enormous symbol of Jacksonian Democracy was devoured within two hours.  The reception was his last public appearance as President before Jackson returned to the Hermitage, but the smell of the rotting cheese was talked about by Washingtonians for years after his death.

The Brass Stables – Nashville’s Only Exotic Dance Club

Nashville’s got plenty of strip clubs, just ask Pac Man Jones (never forget!) –

But it only has one “exotic” dance club which has been grandfathered in to have different regulations than the other strip clubs in town (i.e. their dancers do not have to follow the “three feet” rule because the building is so narrow, they literally cannot be three feet away from their clients).  It is not only the oldest “exotic” club in town, but it is also the one with the richest history.  The Brass Stables began as a fancy pants restaurant called the Brass Rail Stables and Lounge.  The restaurant was located on the second floor of the building, and the stables were below.  Today you can still see the original wood from the stables on the wall in the Brass Stables.

Andrew Jackson, then Governor of Tennessee and founder of the modern Democratic Party himself, kept his horse boarded there.  At the time, the restaurant and ‘lounge’ was really more of a brothel, which was where Andrew Jackson’s three week journey (read: wild party and celebration) to Washington began after he found out that he had won the Presidential Election.  Now, in case you missed that, Jackson’s presidency in theory started at what is now the Brass Stables in Nashville, TN.  Jackson was inaugurated on March 4, 1829 and his reception was so drunk and rowdy that Jackson climbed out of the window of the White House and went to a hotel.  The crowd refused to leave until bowls of liquor and spiked punch were put out around the White House lawn and eventually everyone got extra drunk. It took three months to restore the White House to the condition it was in before the Jackson inauguration party, all of which *technically* began at the Brass Stables.

Tate’s Lane – Haunted Mt. Juliet

Mt.  Juliet, Tennessee is a bedroom community in the suburbs of Nashville.  It was originally farm land, but grew quickly after the 1929 Great Depression where the people established schools, churches (in abundance), and locally owned businesses. The “feel” of the old Mt. Juliet is all but gone, except in a couple of places; the pig farm on Hwy 70 that stands in the middle of endless shopping centers and urban sprawl, and Tate’s Lane.

Tate’s Lane is a one lane, incredibly narrow forest road lined with tall trees, so that if you meet an oncoming car one of you has to back up until the other can pass. There are all sorts of tales about mysterious things happening on the property, like if two cars crash head on they can enter another universe, and the ghost victim of a duel with Andrew Jackson who wanders around but none more widely known that what we call “the curse.”

The lane begins at the Masonic Temple, and ends at a Baptist Church. These facts alone give me the serious creeps, but the history of the property adds some insight as to who – or what – might be hanging out around there.

W.N. Tate was a civil war hero who fought in 37 battles.  He returned home to Mt. Juliet, married Allie Cawthon and the two built a home on a large farm on Tate’s Lane.  The story I was told, shivering in the dark in the Tate family cemetery on a Halloween long ago, was that W.N. was a brutal slave master, and that there was an area of the property on the South end of Tate’s Lane where he hung the slaves who disobeyed him.  The slaves were still practicing witchcraft and one of the slaves placed a curse on the land that it would claim the lives of 100 white men each year for eternity.

Rumor is that the Masonic Temple has satanic cult rituals and the KKK meet up in the woods, but one thing is for certain; Tate’s Lane is responsible for over 100 accidents per year still to this day.

Putting the Dick in Dickerson

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I’ve always loved maps because learning street names will tell you a lot about a place.  From the Cherokee “Hiwassee” Street and River in Georgia/North Carolina/Tennessee; the Algonquin “Montauk” Highway in Long Island; the Shoshone “Shoshone Drive” existing in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming; the “charming,” quaint New England tendency to add old to common things like “Old Barn Road;” to all the damn Peachtree streets in Atlanta, Georgia; you can start to imagine the history of a place instantly.

Ten years ago, if you drove down Dickerson Road in Nashville on a hot summer night you would see the throngs of prostitutes, junkies and pimps and you might wonder if the name begets the action of the place, or if the actions begat the name.  Today, the “victimless crimes” are not so blatant, but still there and it had me researching the origin of the road because the innuendo has always been a real high-brow joke in Nashville…

While its roots are disappointingly not lascivious, they are nonetheless entertaining.  It starts with Tennessee’s pride and joy; Old Hickory himself.  To you folks ain’t from around here, we’re talking about Andrew Jackson.  Andrew Jackson had a real reputation for his temper and rumor had gotten back around to him that prodigy sharpshooter, Charles Dickinson, had basically been running around town calling Rachel Jackson a slut.  Andrew challenged Charles to a duel, but clever as he was, decided his only real shot of living was to let Charles go first in the off chance the wound would not be fatal.  He hedged his bets correctly, and once taking two shots to the chest, he turned around and aimed true at Charles; killing him point blank.

People in Nashville were not pleased about this effrontery, especially because Charles was such a talented and promising young man.  It was proposed that a main thoroughfare in town be named after him, Dickinson Road, but a clerk wrote the name down as “Dickerson,” sealing the fate for the its future glory.