Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 50 of 1,110
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48 PRSDAT op rEUIE TTS
soon entered a saddler's shop, and labored
diligently for six months. But gradually,
as health returned, he became more and
more a wild, reckless, lawless boy. He
gambled, drank and was regarded as about
the worst character that could be found.
He now turnedschoolmaster. He could
teach the alphabet, perhaps the multiplication
table; and as he was a very bold boy,
it is possible he might have ventured to
teach a little writing. But he soon began to
think of a profession and decided to study
law. With a very slender purse, and on
the back of a very fine horse, he set out
for Salisbury, North Carolina, where he
entered the law office of Mr. MIcCay.
Here he remained two years, professedly
studying law. He is still remembered in
traditions of Salisbury, which say:
"Andrew Jackson was the most roaring,
rollicking, horse-racing, card-playing, mischievous
fellow that ever lived in Salisbury.
He did not trouble the law-books much."
Andrew was now, at the age of twenty,
a tall young man, being over six feet in
height. He was slender, remarkably graceful
and dignified in his manners, an exquisite
horseman, and developed, amidst his
loathesome profanity and multiform vices, a
vein of rare magnanimity. His temper was
fiery in the extreme; but it was said of him
that no man knew better than Andrew
Jackson when to get angry and when not.
In 1786 he was admitted to the bar, and
two years later removed to Nashville,
in what was then the western district of
North Carolina, with the appointment of solicitor,
or public prosecutor. It was an office
of little honor, small emolument and
great peril. Few men could be found to
And now Andrew Jackson commenced
vigorously to practice law. It was an important
part of his business to collect debts.
It required nerve. During the first seven
years of his residence in those wilds he
traversed the almost pathless forest between
Nashville and Jonesborough, a distance of
200 miles, twenty-two times. Hostile Indians
were constantly on the watch, and a
man was liable at any moment to be shot
down in his own field. Andrew Jackson
was just the man for this service-a wild,
daring, rough backwoodsman. Daily he
made hair-breadth escapes. He seemed to
bear a charmed life. Boldly, alone or with
few companions, he traversed the forests,
encountering all perils and triumphing
In I790 Tennessee became a Territory,
and Jackson was appointed, by President
Washington, United States Attorney for
the new district. In I791 he married Mrs.
Rachel Robards (daughter of Colonel John
Donelson), whom he supposed to have been
divorced in that year by an act of the Legislature
of Virginia. Two years after this
Mr. and Mrs. Jackson learned, to their
great surprise, that Mr. Robards had just
obtained a divorce in one of the courts of
Kentucky, and that the act of the Virginia
Legislature was not final, but conditional
To remedy the irregularity as much as possible,
a new license was obtained and the
marriage ceremony was again performed.
It proved to be a marriage of rare felicity.
Probably there never was a more
affectionate union. However rough Mr.
Jackson might have been abroad, he was
always gentle and tender at home; and
through all the vicissitudes of their lives, he
treated Mrs. Jackson with the most chivalric
Under the circumstances it was not unnatural
that the facts in the case of this
marriage were so misrepresented by opponents
in the political campaigns a quarter
or a century later as to become the basis
of serious charges against Jackson's morality
which, however, have been satisfactorily
attested by abundant evidence.
Jackson was untiring in his duties as
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/50/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.