Old HickoryBy the time Andrew Jackson was inaugurated as the seventh president of the United States, he had already lived a tumultuous life marked by an unflattering reputation. "Old Hickory," as he was known, had a reputation as an uncivil and brutish individual. His beloved wife, Rachel, had died after suffering a heart
His earlier career and life had not been any easier or more pleasant. Jackson had been involved in at least eight different duels, killing one man, Charles Dickinson, in one and being severely wounded in several others. Jackson's temper had become renowned at an early time in his life. In his youth, he had a proclivity to slobber or drool while speaking, a problem which became even worse when he grew ill-tempered or irate. Jackson took measures to improve his image by being elected to the Senate in 1823 but many still saw him in the same regard. His strategies in the Bank war were carefully planned with his close advisers, those who were members of his "Kitchen Cabinet,' a term used to describe his circle of friends who were not necessarily members of his actual Cabinet. He reserved his views on the Bank for his annual address to Congress. Initially, he planned to mention them in his inaugural address but opted against doing so, believing such a subject was not suitable for such an occasion.
With a mixed reputation and an air of irritability from the death of his wife, Jackson departed for Washington to be inaugurated and would become engulfed in a battle unlike any he had ever encountered.