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tv   Andrew Jackson as a Southerner  CSPAN  June 6, 2015 9:05pm-9:56pm EDT

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demagogic. he was consumed by his own power. >> he was a maverick. he gave just as much grief to his own writing leadership as he did to the opposition party. the senate has always me -- has always needed some mavericks but if they were all mavericks, nothing would get done. we have been fortunate that the ua longs have been in the distinct minority in this institution. announcer: don ritchie and former house sent -- former house historian talks about the house sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's u.n. day. -- c-span skua day. announcer: cumberland university history professor mark cheathem talks about his book "andrew jackson, southerner." he argues that presenting president
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jackson as a frontiersman is too simplistic. he believes that jackson's upgrading -- upbringing in the south is more in line with an elite southern gentleman. this 50 minute program was hosted by the library of congress. professor cheathem: thank you. my name is jeff flanery, i would like to welcome you to the library of congress. the menu for the -- the manuscript library is related to american history and culture. among our collection of personal papers of 23 u.s. presidents and numerous other well-known americans including such notables as walt whitman orville and wilbur wright, carl sagan, and civil rights icon rosa parks. 170 years after his death andrew jackson still dominates
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the. between the onslaught of the slavery crisis that overran midcentury america. one could mark the expansion of democracy, trace the development of modern political parties, and witness a wave of political partisanship that would not look unfamiliar to modern already and says. -- modern audiences. the library's manuscript division. it is here that the collection and personal papers of the nation's leading figure shed light on the motivations strategies, hopes, and ambitions very the division not only host the most significant collection of papers for jackson himself but also includes those of many of his associates and rivals. martin van buren, henry clay it daniel webster and pulled to name a few. the primary source collections are amply complemented by the
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library's vast collections of. newspapers, pamphlets, maps, and books. researchers studying the age of jackson would be a standard by the wealth of material available here at the library of congress -- commerce. we have one of the finest young scholars in the field of jacksonian studies. dr. mark cheathem is that native of cleveland, tennessee and earned his ba in history from cumberland university. his phd was earned from mississippi state university. marcotte at mississippi university for women, this is city state university before returning in 20 oh eight to his undergraduate alma mater where he is a professor of history and history program director. i can readily attest that during his many visits to the library over the years, mark has proven to be a determined researcher whose devotion to pursuing
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documentation in the era is second to none. dr. cheathem is the author or editor of five books including "andrew jackson and the rise of the democrats." he has concluded a new book. he is here today to speak about andrew jackson, southerner which one the 2013 book award from tennessee. please welcome dr. mark cheathem. [laughter] [applause] professor cheathem: thank you for that introduction and thank you for coming out. i know it is lunchtime. i am accustomed to that. i teach students. when you teach them in the morning, they are still recovering from breakfast. if you teach them right before lunch, they are hungry. if you fall asleep, it will not bother me. hopefully you will not. i consider it a privilege to
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speak here. i was telling my wife before i came that this will probably be the height of my professional speaking career. i really do appreciate the opportunity. i am going to talk about andrew jackson as a southerner today but before i do that i want to give you some background about how i came to study andrew jackson. it is important for listeners to understand where someone is coming from. when i was an undergraduate at cumberland university which is about 30 miles east of nashville, i hadn't undergraduate professor -- i had an undergraduate professor who told me when i was entering my senior year, mark, you need to work at the hermitage. he was a check -- he was a jackson expert. i trusted him and i worked there for a summer. he did not tell me i had to dress in. cost you. i will be honest with you. dressing in period costume which
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involves multiple layers was not exactly the most pleasant thing. it was certainly not the coolest thing. as a young 21-year-old college didn't. in any case, that is where i became enamored with andrew jackson. i gave the tour's and learned about him and learned about his family. coming to realize that this was a man who is very instrumental in american history. i wrote my dissertation on one of his nephews. andrew jackson donelson who was a prominent diplomat. he ran for the vice presidency in 1856. when i finished that book, i was looking for a new topic. my graduate mentor who has worked on william tecumseh sherman and is now the editor of the grant papers he threw out some ideas and suggested i tackle jackson. little did i know that a guy
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named john meacham was working on a biography that would win a pulitzer prize. if i had known that, i probably would not have started down this path. i did not know and so i did. andrew jackson, southerner came out in 2013. it has been a mild success, i guess you could say in some terms. let me give you the premise of the book and then i will talk about some of the aspects that led me to interpret jackson as a southerner. i can't go into everything but during the q and a afterwards i can tell -- i can talk to you more about this. historians have looked at jackson in a number of different ways. one of the ways, one of the most significant ways they have looked at him is as a westerner. they looked at his progress from the carolinas to nashville,
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tennessee which was considered the west in the late 1700s. they see jackson almost as an early form of a cowboy. he waltzed into town. if you have ever seen the trial -- the charleston heston uvc, that is kind of how he comes across in the movies as a roughhewn cowboy who is there to win rachel's heart. historians have treated jackson that way to some extent. one historian treated him that way. if you look at where he came from, if you look at when he arrived in nashville and what he did when he was there, it seems fairly clear that that was the west but jackson is not a
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westerner per se. he has western characteristics and he considered himself a westerner. he is also a southerner. his life exudes that identity. i want to walk you through some of those characteristics of jackson's southern identity. in case you don't know, andrew jackson was born on march 15, 1767 along the north carolina-south carolina border. this is an area that if you are familiar where charlotte is, it is about 70 miles east of charlotte. there is some dispute about whether jackson was born in north carolina or south carolina because his family and then his relatives lived all along the border. jackson believed he was born in south carolina. that is what he always said. regardless, this area was the
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back country. this was frontier area. it was an area that had been occupied by native americans. white settlers had moved from the east coast into the area and pushed out the natives living there and had established a small settlement. jackson's periods moved from ireland -- jackson's parents moved from ireland about two years before he was born. he had two older brothers. his parents were not well off. he had two uncles living in the area who were. i mean that they owned a substantial amount of land and they owned slaves. slave property was an investment , a capital investment. for you to invest in one slave or more was an indication that you had some kind of money. even though this was back country, and a frontier, the region was connected to charleston.
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if you know anything about charleston, you know that it was a port city that connected to not just the rest of the colonies, but was connected to the transatlantic world. it was connected to europe africa, and the caribbean. i make that point because it is important to understand that the region was where people moved back and forth from the region to charleston. news and product travel back and forth. to think about this community as being isolated and backwards really does not give a good testament to actually how connected it was to charleston. that is important to understand because jackson is attuned to what is happening in trials did. during the revolution, jackson loses most of his family. his father dies around the time he is born in 1767. he loses an older brother during
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a battle in the revolutionary war. his mother and other brother died because of disease from prison camps during the revolution. by the time jackson is an early adolescent he doesn't have any immediate family. he is and, uncles, and cousins. he decides to leave the region and go to charleston and try to make it there. when we are thinking about jackson during the early part of his life through his early adolescent years, the thing to understand about him is that he is not oriented westward. he is looking towards houston. he is oriented towards the coast. once he is there, he doesn't stay there long. he is involved in some gambling disputes. he leaves charleston and moves north to charlotte, north carolina. that is where he begins to change his life. he falls in with a group of young men who were very well
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connected locally, statewide, and nationally with prominent political leaders. many of them were sons of these political leaders. he probably falls in with this group through drinking and gambling but then he decides that he wants to become a lawyer because he had noticed that entering the legal profession was one way for you to move upward in the world. jackson studies for the law and becomes a lawyer. as a result of his connections with these other young men he is given the opportunity to move to nashville. that had been settled in the late 1770's and early 1780's. it was about a decade old at that point. by the time jackson makes it to nashville, he is a 21-year-old lawyer. and that is a significant difference, if you think about where we are in our development at 21 years of age. i teach primarily 18 to
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21-year-old students. 21 is not quite as mature as they think it is or as i thought it was but it is certainly not the same as someone who is 14. even 200 years ago. the reason i am emphasizing this is because it is important to understand that while we change and mature as we get older, at the time you are 21 years old you have a pretty firm sense of who you are and who -- and your personality and the direction in life you are going. and that is jackson when he arrives in nashville. on his way to nashville, jackson gets involved in a dispute. if you know anything about jackson, you probably know that he gets into these disputes periodically. speaking of personality, he has a very temperamental personality. violent even at times. jackson, on his way to
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nashville, stops in jonesboro, tennessee near knoxville. he has to stop there because there are native american attacks between knoxville and nashville. they spend a few months there. he needs to make money so he practices law. he gets involved in a dispute with another lawyer. avery was princeton educated and very prominent. the point of the dispute is not clear. there was a court case, avery and jackson were on opposite sides. avery said something that insulted jackson so jackson wrote him a letter and challenged him to a duel. the two men actually do go out to the dueling grounds. and settle things and move on. let me explain something about dueling. dueling is something that, as we get closer to the civil war, is
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associated very closely with southern men. and with elite, white, southern men. certainly among the upper class. jackson issued this challenge which said that he believed that he was a member of the elite upper-class. avery accepted the challenge which indicated his believe that jackson was of the elite, upper-class. why is that important? dueling was something that only occurred among elite, white, southern men. you do not have slaves women middle-class -- the lower classes engaged in dueling. you certainly don't see tools happening between men of unequal right. unequal social rank.
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jackson issued the challenge and avery -- if avery did not think he was on the same rank with him, he would have beaten jackson with a cane or a wet. that was the risk -- that would be the response if you felt someone was not at the same social rank. the point of dueling was not to kill each other despite the cartoon imagery. the point of dueling, most of the time, was to protect your public reputation. and it turned that was used at that point was honored. how people perceive you. particularly how men of your same social rank perceive you. while there are some instances where men fought duels to kill
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each other, most of the time they fought to go out, face the opponent and you have to be willing to face death. in doing so, you preserve your reputation. you show the people that you are a man, and you're willing to die for that sentiment. jackson and avery fight this dual. they fire into the air and go about their business. things are settled. you may think that is a failure but it is not. jackson has just proven to other people in his party traveling with him, to people in jonesboro
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that he is accepted as one of their own. jackson, throughout the course of his life, will get involved in other duels. not as many as you read on the internet. i have seen some websites say that jackson fought hundreds of tools or dozens. he fought to in half. he fought the one with avery. he has an encounter with another that was supposed to be a duel what but -- but wasn't a duel. in 1806, he fights a duel with charles dickinson and killed him. that is the only time that jackson killed anyone in a duel. don't believe everything you read on the internet. jackson would get involved in other violent encounters. there is a man who insults him. jackson take so with to him. that takes a whip to him.
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he has these other encounters throughout his life. violence is one of those things, not just solely characteristic of southerners, but when you pair it with honor and where jackson is coming from, to me it indicates that jackson has a southern identity at this point. your eyes glazed over just as my students do. we are not going to go through every person on here. i will use this as an illustration of something. one of the key characteristics of southern life in this. and of jackson's life was the characteristic of kinship. there are different kinds of kinship. billingsley has written extensively about this. lori glover has also written extensively about this. there are three types of kinship. you have a luncheon, people who are related to you genetically.
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you have marital kin, people who marry into your family or his family you marry into. and then there is a third type of kinship called fictive kinship. this type of kinship is the type in which you are not related genetically or even merrily to someone, but you still consider them family. i will give you an illustration. we have three children. our two oldest are girls. when they were younger, there was a woman we knew who was like their grandmother. the girls called her grammy. she spoiled them. like grandparents tend to do. more sugar. and then sends them home. you know how that goes. this woman was not related to us in any way, but she was a member of our fictive and ship. she believed that we were family
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and we believed that she was family. i would venture to say that most people in this room probably have something like that or have had something like that in their lives. when you look at kinship in jackson's life, his blood ken his immediate family was dead. his extended genetic family, he really doesn't have anything to do with once he leaves that region. later in life, some extended relatives right him but that is the extent of it. what becomes important for jackson are the marital kinship ties and the fictive kinship ties. let me talk about the marital kinship ties first. when jackson moves to nashville he barely -- he very soon after falls in love with a one and named rachel donelson. she was the daughter of one of the cofounders of nashville.
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john donelson had come from virginia. he was a prominent wealthy man from virginia. he had taken his family to nashville. he had died by this point. jackson moves to nashville falls in love with rachel donnelson. there is a slight problem. rachel is married. eventually, her husband laser probably in part because of jackson. andrew and rachel traveled to stand up -- spanish naxos. they come back and say they are married. it just a couple years later, it turns out that rachel had not divorced her first husband. there is a lot of controversy about this. by 1794, they are legally married. if you think about jackson as someone who is not a member of the elite class, because donelson was a leak.
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if he is not a member of the elite class, why would rachel donelson's brothers have accepted him given all of the questionable circumstances. if you have a young man come into your family, he starts to take up emotionally or physically with your married sister brothers have away in the south of handling that. the donelson brothers do not. they do not reject jackson. they don't throw him out of town or take him out. they accept his and rachel's version of their relationship. part of the reason i think they are able to do that and are willing to do that is because ac jackson -- they see jackson on an equal social rank with them. someone who is a much better choice for rachel and her first husband. again, there are a lot of circumstances there. part of jackson's success is that he moved to nashville coming from his connections with
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the donelson's. there are many donelson's. when i do genealogy, you have to wade through a lot of andrew jackson's and donelson's. it is very confusing. you have this donelson family network in nashville that helps jackson find legal cases to prosecute, jobs, helps him to speculate in land. the donelson's are very key to him advancing in tennessee. in terms of his political career, jackson depends not just on those family connections, but he also depends on this fictive connections. people he considers family. there are a couple of men who are part of a fictive kinship network that jackson utilizes to create advantage during his
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political career. those two men are william lewis on the bottom right, and then his brother-in-law, john henry eaton. these two men are the men in tennessee most responsible for jackson running for the presidency and for him winning the presidency. john eaton becomes a notorious player because he marries a woman named margaret and that sets up a sex scandal early in jackson's presidency. before that, john eaton had served with jackson during the work of 1812. had supported jackson's political campaigns in 1824 and 1828. he had been jackson's unofficial campaign manager. coordinating a lot of the official correspondence and attacks and responses. william lewis was a g gordon liddy of his day.
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i like the washington crowd. my students say -- who? lewis was instrumental in a different way. he did a lot of the things that jackson and eaton and others did not want to do or could not do. he would dig up dirt on henry clay for example, or try to dig up dirt on john quincy adams. he did a lot of the dirty work. the behind the scenes work. btw men who were brothers-in-law are part of the kinship that jackson uses to advance himself politically. we won't talk about everyone but if you notice on one side, you have the stokes family. a very prominent, north carolina family that william lewis marries into after his first wife dies. the stokes family is very much involved in getting support for jackson in north carolina. on the other side, the claver and family is a prominent family in louisiana. this family was a very -- was
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very strong in its support of jackson and the democrats. jackson utilizes this one kinship network politically and there are multiple kinship networks like this. this is not necessarily uncommon in the early republic. jackson who is not part of those virginia families understands that this is something he needs to advance himself in his career. these fictive ties in particular very much become part of the southern network, and in some cases, they have stronger bonds in those communities than you would ever have even with your own family members as we see in jackson's case. one of the things that makes jackson successful, and this is
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one of the clearest markers of his southern identity is the fact that he owns other human beings. this is one of the most prominent ways that he acquires wealth and produces well. this graph gives you an indication of some of that wealth. these are not all of those that he was the master over. he owns plantations in mississippi and alabama that also have fleas. these are just the ones at the hermitage in middle tennessee. jackson starts out purchasing his first leave. young woman by the name of nancy on his weight to nashville -- on his way to nashville for north carolina. he quickly understand that if he is going to advance economically, he will have to acquire more sleep very he does that for the rest of his life. at one point, he owns close to 200 slaves. in his lifetime, he probably owns well over 300.
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the hermitage has identified over 300 names of people living and serving. this is a very prominent piece of jackson's growing reputation, a prominent part of him being up member of the -- of the upper class. when you consider that the most valuable slaves in terms of cost, if you think about this in economic terms, if you look at young, male field hands, if you look at their equivalent value today as being about $45,000 that gives you some sense of what it meant to invest in a slave property. if you own one slate, even if that slave is not a male field hand, let's say it is an older
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woman, even if it is $20,000 or $50,000, that is a fairly steep investment. if you multiply that i 10 or 100, then he is a multimillionaire. that doesn't include the property, the crops that are produced and sold. when you look it jackson and you try to understand him as a southerner, you have to understand that his slave ownership is very much a part of that identity. all of these things tied together. everything i've talked about ties together. the linchpin of all of this is slaveholding. without this, jackson does not advance to prominence and stay at that rank. as he does throw most of his life. one of the questions that i get at least in tennessee, is what kind of slave owner was jackson? this goes to the other side of
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slavery. we have talked about the economic side and how it benefited jackson. there is the other side. what was it like for these enslaved people whom jackson owns? i can give you many examples. i will just say that jackson is a fairly typical slaveowner. our times when he expresses -- there are times when he expresses sympathy or regret about things happening to his enslaved people. he also sometimes ordered them to be beaten or punished for things that they did. using that he is an example. he was a young girl when he purchased her and her mother. at this point in 1867, post-civil war. you can tell she is an older woman at this point. this is the episode i want to talk about and it happens in 1821. jackson is in florida. he had gone to florida to meet the governor of the state.
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he takes with him rachel, his wife, some relatives, and he takes some members of their slave household. that he was one of those. she is in her 20's at this point. jackson is off doing the things that a politician does. he is governing the territory and working out the transfer from spain. rachel writes in a letter complaining about betty. complaining that betty is putting on airs. you can almost see jackson. here he is doing this important work, he expects his wife to handle these issues. you can almost see him roll his eyes with exasperation. he writes back. he writes back, not to rachel, but to some of the mail members of his household including his nephew. he told these men, tell betty to stop putting on airs, and if she does not comply, take her
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out in public, and with her. -- whip her. we do not know what happened. we don't know if she was w hipped. what is interesting about this particular episode is that what rachel was complaining about was that betty was doing neighbors laundry. that was what rachel was upset about. whether that was a pattern of disobedience or is that he was expressing her independence, we do not know. rachel was concerned about her doing other people's laundry and that was what jackson ordered her punished for it. jackson could express concern and sympathy and he also could order a slave woman to be beaten for doing other people's laundry. and that is why i say he is typical. it is rare to find slaveowners who are sadistic. and it is rare to find slaveowners who are overly
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compassionate. what you usually find is something in the middle. jackson is probably most known today for removal. jackson like many white southerners believed that native americans were in the way. they would be better served becoming like white americans or by moving. during the were of 1812 and after and during his presidency, jackson try to accomplish that. he does that through violence during the war of 1812. he does that through treaty and chicanery and deception. after the word of 1812, and as president, he uses paternalism and eventually forced to remove native americans. in doing so, he provides one of
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the most important contributions that he could have made as a southerner. he opens up the deep south to white settlement. he has plenty of help in that regard including soldiers, other people working for the same goal. jackson is the driving force during and after the war of 1812 and during his presidency to remove these native americans from the southeast. in doing so, he opens up this territory for white settlement. those white settlers often bring with them slaves. the slaves are often working comp. when you look at the end he bellows the south that we think of, when you think of gone with the wind. when you think of the old south jackson is not the only one, but he is a main instigator of that because of the removal of native americans and the land vacuum that opens up and filled with white settlers. this is something that jackson firmly believes in.
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he believes in manifest destiny and that the land belongs to white settlers and the nation. he believes that with native americans removed, the united states will be much better off in the end. this continues out west, in texas, he is very much involved in the annexation of texas with sam houston and others. he is someone that when you look at the map geographically, of the south, prior to the civil war, he is in large part responsible for what that map looks like. that is one of the main contributions that he made as a southerner and a reflection of how he viewed himself as a southerner. that is not a western phenomena. i could talk more and more about jackson. i would be happy to take questions if you have any. let me stop because i can't go on and on. i should stop.
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[applause] yes her. -- yes, sir. >> do you think jackson's opinion about the union -- was jackson's view of native americans and africans similar to that of thomas jefferson? professor cheathem: first question was was jackson's view of the union similar to sam houston's in 1861? let me answer it this way. if jackson were alive in 1861, before fort sumter, i think he would have been like sam houston. i have thought about this.
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it seems to me that jackson had a strong support of the unit -- of the union that came from his military background. if he had been alive during the crisis, initially, he would have supported the union. once fort sumter happened, would jackson have gone with tennessee? that is a good question that i don't have an answer to. before fort sumter, he would have supported the union. the second question was -- was jackson's views of the native americans and african similar to thomas jefferson's? jefferson expresses it more eloquently. jackson doesn't have the same education. the two men are more similar than people like to recognize. jefferson talks about what happens if we free slaves. jefferson is very much involved with native americans.
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i would say that they are very similar or more similar than we would like to give them credit for. there are a couple of things that make jackson different. he didn't write the declaration. a lot of things are forgiven of jefferson because he wrote the declaration. jackson is much more blatant and open about what he is doing and he is also more successful about it. his success in that regard, the matter how we view it today, comes off as something that is a negative and not a positive. other questions. >> what would you say is the slave population and native american population around 1814 in the south? professor cheathem: a great question. i wish i had access to google. in the south, you are looking at
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, in terms of native americans tens of thousands. from the 18th -- from the 1800s until the 1840's, about 60,000 native americans are displaced from the southeast. tens of thousands. in terms of african-americans in the south at that point, there were 8 million in 1860, there were a little over half a million in 1790, you are looking at maybe between one and 2 million. that would be my best guess. >> i know this is one of those counterfactual. how do you think the jackson presidency would've been different if rachel was alive? professor cheathem: i don't know. rachel did not like politics.
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she didn't like washington. she considered it problem -- babylon. she is an interesting character because when she was younger she was very vivacious and flirtatious. she was the big girl. as she got older, she became religious and pious and hour and boring. -- dour and boring. it would have changed things. i think he would've reacted with much less emotion to the easton scandal. -- the beaten scandal. eaton scandal. in that regard, i think you would of thing that seemed things turn out differently. he was gone most of the time so how could she. other questions.
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>> jackson -- how did he -- what education did he achieve through his career? professor cheathem: jackson has some schooling. when he studies to become a lawyer, you read lots so you worked for a lawyer and you can't copy cases. after you did that for a certain amount of time, you would come before three lawyers and they would determine whether or not you could practice law. he did not have to go to law school. he did not have to get a license.
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he is a lifelong reader. he makes biblical references throughout his correspondence. he makes classical references to ancient rome and ancient greece and aged philosophers. he seems to us been a self educated man, for the most part. someone interested in growing his knowledge. he is not as illiterate as people think he is. he is certainly someone that did not have the advances or the education of jefferson or calhoun or henry clay. other questions. >> you said earlier historically he is viewed as a westerner. when i studied american history you get the sense that he is a southerner.
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is it a matter of geography? or are there other reasons that he is seen as a westerner. professor cheathem: you have frederick jackson turner who depicted jackson as a westerner. another historian depicted him as fighting against the moneyed interests. by the time the 1960's roll around, a lot of their study of jackson focuses on him in indian removal. it almost seemed like one of those questions about jackson that is obvious if you step back and look. if you look at where he comes from geographically. how he develops over the course of his early life before he moved to tennessee. it is an obvious question that i
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think historians have missed. part of that may be because jackson is easy to stereotype. if you stereotype him as a westerner, that explains why all of those people showed up in washington at his inauguration. it can't be because they were looking for jobs. it is easy to stereotype him into a black and white figure and not see the nuances of his identity. he was a westerner. i want to be clear. he did have western characteristics but if you look at his life, he makes more sense as a southerner. no one has asked me about the $20 bill so i will bring it up. thank you for that segue. sort of. a lot of the things that you read about jackson today in regards to the $20 bill, and i am agnostic about it.
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doesn't matter to me. a lot of the arguments that you read about why he should be removed, it could make the same arguments about jefferson or washington or grant. there are a lot of things, these are all flawed human beings. does that mean we have to keep them on the currency? is that a reason to kick them off? i don't know. i would rather have seemed -- has seen a different reason than that he was a mean guy and he hated native americans. that was typical of his time. if there is a reason to remove him to honor a woman, that make sense to me. to get rid of him because he killed native americans, you could say that about many people. >> i thought he didn't like national banks. professor cheathem: that is one reason people bring up. i think jackson would agree with that. he would not have wanted to be on the paper money.
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he probably would be happy if he was taken off. >> hamilton loved banks. jackson, who didn't like the national banks, you get them from the atm. >> the supreme courts decision -- [indiscernible] are the donelson's irish or scottish. professor cheathem: your second question. the donelson's are scots irish. which jackson was as well.
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your first question, i am not sure about the court case you are referencing, but jackson was very much opposed to the idea of a national bank. he was opposed to the idea of money, government money, eating used to influence political elections. he tried to destroy the national bank because he believed that the president had used government money to try to defeat jackson in 1828. jackson holds grudges. at that point, he is not holding tools, that he can hold grudges. that seems to be the impetus behind why he combats the bankrupt his presidency. we will do the quiz if there are no more questions. thank you. [applause] announcer: this weekend, the c-span city towards has partnered with time warner cable
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to learn about the history of lincoln, nebraska. >> cavett was one of the most important writers. she was given every award possible before she died. except for the nobel prize. she was known for some of her masterpieces, like the professor's house. in 1943, she had made a will which had a few restrictions including she did not want her letters to be published, or be quoted in whole or in part. she left behind 3000 letters that we know about now. the biggest collection was left here in nebraska. in her will, she left one more important thing. she left the discretion of her trusty whether or not to enforce her preference.


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