Feb 15, 2019
Tony Turnbow, author
Hardened to Hickory: The Missing Chapter in Andrew Jackson's Life
 
Unpublished documents reveal an Andrew Jackson who committed mutiny and shed tears as he thought his mistakes would lead to the deaths of teenage soldiers under his command. Indians saved him. The backwoods Jackson, who had never commanded a battle, presumed to take on the mantle of General George Washington.

Before Jackson became the next general to drive the British Army from American soil, he first had to defeat the commander of the U.S. Army, General James Wilkinson. Wilkinson embodied a privileged and unproductive establishment. Worse, he had sold his loyalty to work as a spy known as "Agent 13" on the payroll of a European enemy. It was a battle of wits and wills between two American titans. The missing piece of Jackson's biography is how he was transformed into "Old Hickory" by challenges that would have crushed almost anyone else, an intense will to succeed, and an ability to recover from his own mistakes.

 

Tony L. Turnbow has studied the history of the Natchez Trace for more than 30 years. He practices law in Franklin, Tennessee. With a Bachelor of Arts and a concentration in southern U.S. history from Vanderbilt University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Law, he has continued to use his training to explore unpublished primary sources about the Natchez Trace. He authored "The Natchez Trace in the War of 1812" in The Journal of Mississippi History, and he has published articles in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly and the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation journal "We Proceeded On." He also wrote a full-length play "Inquest on the Natchez Trace" about the mysterious death of explorer Meriwether Lewis. In the course of writing a book about Lewis's death, Mr. Turnbow discovered unpublished accounts of Andrew Jackson's 1813 Natchez Expedition.

 
 
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