U.S. President Andrew Jackson After the Presidency
About the U.S. President Andrew Jackson, biography and history of his post-presidential career.
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AFTER THE PRESIDENCY
When Jackson left the White House in 1837, he was nearly 70 years old and in poor health. Plagued by attacks of dysentery, fever, and failing vision, he had to spend much of his time in bed. When he returned to the Hermitage, however, his hopes for a peaceful retirement were shattered by the need to cover the many debts of his adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr. Jackson spent most of the remaining eight years of his life in frantic efforts to avoid the bankruptcy threatened by the spendthritt habits of his son. He also maintained an active interest in national politics. In 1840 he campaigned for his old friend Martin Van Buren, and in 1844 his influence was the decisive factor in winning the Democratic nomination for the dark-horse candidate, James K. Polk. Jackson had the satisfaction of seeing Polk, his protege and fellow Tennessean, defeat Jackson's old enemy Clay and be sworn in as president in 1845. A few months later Jackson died, telling the slaves who gathered around his bedside: "I hope to meet each of you in heaven. Be good children, all of you, and strive to be ready when the change comes."
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