You’ve seen him on your twenty dollar bills, but how much do you really know about Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of these here United States?
1. Andrew Jackson was immensely proud of his coiffure. He greased it with whale blubber every dawn and again before he went to sleep, earning him the famous nickname “Old Blubberhead”. Jackson in turn affectionately dubbed his hair “My most majestic follicles.”
2. Between 1832 and 1833, Jackson’s Vice President was the mysterious No One. I struggled to dig up any information on him other than his name and I haven’t been able to find anything. Why has this been erased from the national memory? Is there a dark secret involved? Does this have anything to do with a national treasure?
3. If Donald Trump’s feelings about Andrew Jackson could be summed up in one word, that word would be “megaboner”. Trump has such a tumescence for Jackson that one of the first things he did after his inauguration ceremony was dig out an old painting of Jackson to hang in the Oval Office.
This week Trump laid a wreath on Jackson’s tomb at the Hermitage and gave his dusty old bones a salute. Why does Trump feel such a connection to the man? Like Trump, Jackson was a populist; like Trump, Jackson had distinct hair; like Trump, Jackson did all he could to make Other people go away.
4. If there was one thing Jackson excelled at, it was racism. He owned 110 slaves (which was the style at the time) and was responsible for the Indian Removal Act. The IRA amounted to a culturally and physically genocidal policy, as it resulted in the displacement and deaths of thousands of indigenous peoples. You may have heard of this before. It’s known as the Trail of Tears.
5. Andrew Jackson fought up to 100 duels in his lifetime, even killing a man in 1806. Upon reflection, I suppose there were two things Jackson excelled at: racism and surviving duels.
6. Say what you will about the man, but he could throw one hell of a cheese party.
7. Andy was a gambling junkie. One time, he lost a considerable amount of money betting on a cockfight. He had to hand over Lyncoya, the orphan child he had adopted after finding him on a battlefield, to pay the debt. He then challenged Lyncoya’s new guardian to a duel and won the child back, and thus narrowly averted winning the “Worst Dad of the Year” award.
8. Jackson was responsible for something else you’ve heard of: The Democratic Party. So if you were in search of someone to thank for the donkey clan, look no further than Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson.
9. Jackson died at his plantation The Hermitage, having lived to the ripe old age of 78. It was a national tragedy. I’m sure I’m not alone in wishing he had died much earlier, whether during a slave revolt, one of his many duels, in battle against an indigenous tribe, a particularly painful wasting sickness or simply from tripping and falling down the stairs. There are many ways to die, and I don’t see why Old Blubberhead had to putter around mucking things up for so long.
10. Andrew Jackson hated paper money. It seems only fitting then that paper currency displaying his visage is jammed up people’s noses so they can get stupid high.
(Year Zero/Day Fifty-Seven)