Happy Birthday Old Hickory

Happy Birthday to Andrew Jackson–the president claimed as a native son by North and South Carolina, but who was elected while a resident of Tennessee. As a person who was educated entirely within the confines of and by the State of North Carolina, I was convinced that our southerly neighbor’s claim to Old Hickory was bogus. Yes, he was born on March 15, 1767, in the nebulous Waxhaw region, which lies along the border of the Carolinas near present-day Charlotte, but we had a statue on the State Capitol grounds in Raleigh claiming him (along with James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson) as our own. Well, I can’t offer the definitive answer on the controversy and different opinions still exist, but according to Robert V. Remini’s biographical sketch of Jackson in American National Biography, Old Hickory “always believed and repeatedly stated that he was born in South Carolina.” I wonder if a similar disagreement will arise if John Edwards is elected as president.

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