Andrew Jackson

Stacy Conradt
Stacy Conradt / Stacy Conradt

Every time we so much as touch a toe out of state, I’ve put cemeteries on our travel itinerary. From garden-like expanses to overgrown boot hills, whether they’re the final resting places of the well-known but not that important or the important but not that well-known, I love them all. After realizing that there are a lot of taphophiles out there, I’m finally putting my archive of interesting tombstones to good use.

There’s been some talk lately of booting Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill in favor of honoring a woman instead. The update sounds like it’s gaining support from some pretty important people, so it might not be long before we stop pulling Old Hickory’s face out of our wallets on a regular basis.

For his part, Jackson probably would have been delighted. He was notorious for his hatred of banks, and thought that paper money had no place in a world where you could still deal in gold and silver. In fact, you almost wonder if the people who chose Jackson to replace Grover Cleveland on the $20 bill in 1929 did it to spite him.

Whatever happens with our currency, there’s one place Jackson won’t be forgotten: His old plantation, the Hermitage. Not only is the mansion one of the most accurately preserved presidential estates in the country, it’s home to Jackson’s final resting place.

Stacy Conradt

Jackson knew this spot was waiting for him ever since his wife Rachel died in 1828, mere months before her husband was scheduled to leave for the White House. He buried her on the Hermitage grounds on Christmas Eve, 1828, and addressed his great loss in Rachel’s eulogy, saying, "I am now President of the United States and in a short time must take my way to the metropolis of my country; and, if it had been God's will, I would have been grateful for the privilege of taking her to my post of honor and seating her by my side; but Providence knew what was best for her. For myself, I bow to God's will, and go alone to the place of new and arduous duties…"

Peruse all the entries in our Grave Sightings series here.