If you follow along on my Instagram, you’ll know that Bjorn and I actually went road tripping through the south last week!! We left Minnesota on Monday and headed straight for Nashville, Tennessee! (We swung up through St. Louis on our way back home later in the week and spent wonderful time with my grandma and aunt and uncle and cousins!)
We had a list of sites we wanted to see (remember how I’m married to a history teacher?) so even though we only had a couple days in the Nashville area, we we really packed our days with fun adventures. Bjorn and I LOVE the south, so much. We had a taste of it when we lived in Virginia for 3 months last summer and we quickly fell in love. There is so much rich history, great food, beautiful homes and trees and hills….the list goes on. So we were thrilled to be “back” last week. 🙂
Bjorn obviously leans toward the history-oriented outings (things like battlefields and Civil War museums) but I’m not that different, I’ve discovered! While I do love the more touristy shopping, local food, or photo opportunities, I am still a huge fan of touring and learning about historic homes. 🙂 All in all, though, we are absolutely passionate about remaining lifelong learners, which makes these trips that much more fun!
Today, I’m sharing with you our excursion to President Andrew Jackson’s home, the Hermitage.
To give you some background on today’s post, here’s a blurb from the (literal, haha!) Resident Historian, Bjorn:
Future President Andrew Jackson purchased this mansion in 1804. The Hermitage was a large plantation with a focus on cotton. The interesting thing about this is that the plantation is in Nashville, TN, which is basically the northernmost area where cotton can actually be produced due to the climate. This would have made it a very risky business where a whole crop could be destroyed in the event of an early frost. Since the time Jackson purchased it, the mansion has undergone a ton of remodeling and architectural change, from a log cabin all the way to a mansion fit for a president.
For those of you who may be a little rusty on your presidential history: Andrew Jackson was the last president to fight in the American Revolution and he was only around 13 years old! During the war he was captured with his older brother and eventually released because they were both deathly ill. The boys went home where the entire family, minus Andrew, would die from that illness. Andrew eventually becomes a military commander fighting in the War of 1812 where he wins an OUTSTANDING victory against the British at the Battle of New Orleans. He then spends then next decade fighting against Native Americans including the Seminoles which through Jackson’s performance the United States gains the state of Florida from the Spanish. In 1824 he runs for president and loses. He runs again in 1828 and wins. Today Andrew Jackson is known as quite a controversial president because of his actions towards the Native Americans on what has been called the Trail of Tears. While this event is a tragic and inexcusable event, it is important to understand that Jackson had spent twenty years of his life fighting Native Americans in events where white settlers were the targets. Andrew Jackson was doing what he believed he had to do in order to protect his people. The way the Trail of Tears was conducted is inexcusable, but as historians we have to evaluate every event from both sides before we can pass judgement.”
^^ The entrance to the garden out back ^^
^^ view of the back of the house ^^
^^ slave quarters – just a reproduction of one of the dozens that you would’ve seen when the plantation was at its height ^^
^^ springhouse – where the family got their fresh water ^^
Have you been to the Hermitage in Nashville? What are your favorite historic sites to visit?