Weekly Obsession: Old Jack City

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 11:57pm

With the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, it comes as no surprise Andrew Jackson would be lauded by his hometown.

The complicated, much-deconstructed figure is loved nowhere else as much as he is loved in Nashville.

There’s a mounted statue of him in front of the Capitol, and around the corner there’s a state office building named for him (and another named for his wife).

Opryland’s showboat is an homage to his military service.

There’s a North Nashville street and a Belle Meade boulevard adorned by his surname. In Hermitage — named for his stately home — a parkway bears his full name. And the city’s major ring road carries his nickname, “Old Hickory,” as does a town within Metro, a Corps of Engineers dam and the lake the dam creates.

It’s impossible to swing a big block of cheese in this town — if one were so inclined — and not hit something honoring the seventh president.

But apparently, we need more reminding of the deeds of the great man.

The Old Hickory Veteran’s Memorial Park — which is on one of the many branches of Old Hickory Boulevard, across from the Old Hickory Post Office and near Donelson Avenue, named for Jackson’s father-in-law — is gearing up to dedicate a new monument to Andrew Jackson.

The stone obelisk lists the prouder accomplishments of Jackson, which indeed are legion: president, military governor of Florida, hero of New Orleans — perhaps the most important battle ever fought after a war had officially ended.

It’s not to say that Jackson doesn’t deserve to be lauded, and if he can’t be memorialized in stone in a town named for him, then there’s no sense in memorializing him at all.

But, surely, by now, we get the point. Jackson memorials are nearly as ubiquitous as King James Bibles. And James K. Polk — “Young Hickory” — he just gets a couple of streets, a mausoleum and an office tower. The guy came up with Manifest Destiny and he can’t even get a decent suburb named for him.

Filed under: City News

2 Comments on this post:

By: spooky24 on 5/16/12 at 6:22

American Heritage last months issue had a wonderful long article on the treason trial of Aaron Burr for which I had never studied-only the feud and ultimate dual between Mr. Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
President Jackson figured into the trial and I, like so many other AH readers, were not aware of his---association if I may into the entire confusing affair.
Doubt they will be erecting any monuments to Andy Jack for that bit of politicking.


By: cannoneer2 on 5/16/12 at 8:14

Yeah, lets celebrate the Spoils System, dueling, genocide (Trail of Tears)....... what a guy!