Biographies of Key People
Tecumseh was a great American Indian leader who tried to unite all Native American tribes and form an alliance, or confederacy, whose purpose was to stop the white settlers from unrightfully seizing their lands. Tecumseh, which means shooting star or meteor, was born in 1765 to a Shawnee chief in Columbus, Ohio. Tecumseh was a strong warrior and a gifted speaker. He and his brother, Tenskwatawa traveled across the country recruiting other Indian tribes to help in the crusade to stop the invasive white settlers. Tecumseh felt strongly against the Americans since his two brothers and his father were all killed by them. He also opposed them because he knew that they took and claimed lands from the Natives unjustly.
Tecumseh fought in the Battle Tippencanoe in November of 1811 he condemned a treaty that William Henry Harrison, an American official, had made with the Indians. In 1812, he joined the British in fighting against the Americans in the War of 1812. Tecumseh hoped the Americans could be defeated. However, he did not live to see this happen, as he died in battle leading Indian forces against American Commander Oliver H. Perry in Canada.
Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, was born in 1767 to Andrew and
Elizabeth Hutchinson, poor Scotch-Irish immigrants in Waxhaw Settlement, South Carolina.
Jackson grew up on the frontier of the Carolinas. At 13, he had his first military
experience when he joined the South Carolina militia. Jackson taught school in 1783 for a
short while near his home in South Carolina. He then became a lawyer in 1788 in Tennessee,
at which he was very successful. This introduced Jackson into the field of politics.
In 1791, Jackson married Mrs. Rachel Donelson Robards, who was the
daughter of Mrs. John Donelson. Mrs. John Donelson was the owner of the
boardinghouse where Jackson was staying. Mrs. Robards had been married to Captain Lewis Robards, an army officer. After quarreling, she left and went to Mississippi. Believing that she and her husband obtained a divorce, Jackson and Mrs. Robards were married. However, this was not true, and Jackson and Rachel Robards were remarried on January 17, 1794. The entire incident was viewed as scandalous and would effect Jackson later when he ran for President. The couple had no children of their own, but adopted in 1809.
Jackson was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1796 after serving as a delegate to the state constitutional convention that organized Tennessee's admission into the Union. In 1797, he was appointed to the US Senate. In October of 1798, the Tennesse legislature elected him as a justice of the state supreme court. In the War of 1812, Jackson was quick to offer his services. Important battles led by Jackson include victories at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and the Battle of New Orleans. In1824, Jackson campaigned for President against John Quincy Adams, but lost. In 1828, he won the election. He won again in 1832. One of the major issues concerning Jackson during his time in office was the Indian Issue. Jackson proved to be a bigot and very prejudiced towards the native Americans. He wanted to move them out of the east coast and push them westward. A famous piece of legislatioin that was passed during Jackson's presidency was the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This ignored any Native American rights and forced tribes including the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw to move west of the Mississippi. Many Native Americans died during this migration, especially on the famous "Trail of Tears".
In his later years, Andrew Jackson caught tuberculosis and dropsy. On June 8, 1845, he fell unconcious. He died that evening and was buried next to his wife in Nashville Tennessee.