Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 in Waxhaws, South Carolina, to Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson. His father died when he was 14 years old and his mother married another man who was a friend of Andrew’s father. Andrew grew up to be a tall man with red hair, freckles and a fiery temper. But he also grew up in a very religious household and was an avid reader of scripture.
In 1782, during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), Jackson and his brother were captured by a British-allied Cherokee tribe in what is now eastern Tennessee. They were taken to Fort Nashborough, where they were forced to participate in a mock “execution” of several hostages by tomahawk dismemberment. This incident earned him the nickname “Sharp Knife” by the Cherokee; after his release from captivity he became known as “The Hero of New Orleans” for his daring capture of Pensacola from Spain in 1814 during the War of 1812 (1812–1815).
Before becoming President of the United States, Andrew Jackson was a planter and a lawyer. He studied law with Thomas Jefferson and soon began his own practice in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1804 he became Tennessee’s first congressman and served as a senator from 1823-25.
Jackson went on to become governor of Florida Territory in 1821 but resigned after being elected president in 1828. During his presidency he gave the presidential veto more power than ever before by making it final over legislation passed by Congress. In addition he made it illegal for Congress to appropriate federal funds for internal improvements such as roads or canals that would benefit only one state at the expense of others.