hermitage

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.