How to Have Andrew Jackson Courage
The Andrew Jackson Courage Tactic
It was a dreary Friday in January, 1835 as Andrew Jackson stepped out from the capital building.
A man then walked up to the president, whipped out a pistol, and pulled the trigger.
But nothing happened.
Jackson then lunged toward him, but then the man pulled out another pistol and fired again.
But nothing happened again!
Jackson then proceeded to beat the man with his cain until the secret service pulled the 67 year old president off of the failed assassin.
Both guns were later tested and discovered to be in working order. There was a 1 in 125,000 chance of both guns misfiring! The moist air is believed to have clogged the gun power.
After Andrew Jackson returned home to the White House, one can imagine him leaning back in an armchair and pondering his near death.
I try to live my life as if death might come for me at any moment. — Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was no stranger to death.
Over the course of his life, it’s believed he partook in as many as 103 duels!
I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me. — Andrew Jackson
One time he was shot square in the chest and yet he maintained his composure as he fired back. Someone ran up to him and asked how he could remain so calm and Jackson responded…
If he had shot me through the brain, sir, I should still have killed him.
Andrew Jackson also courageously confronted death on the battlefield.
He was the major general during the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812 where the British suffered 2000 causalities and the Americans 8. His wartime success catapulted him into The United States Presidency.
He also courageously confronted power.
As president he wanted to end the national bank because he saw it as a threat to freedom, but it had many well-financed proponents who threatened to destroy Jackson’s reputation and presidency.
The bank…is trying to kill me, but I will kill it! — Andrew Jackson
The people of his day disputed his intelligence and temperament, but no one disputed his courage.
His courage wasn’t an absence of fear.
I have always been afraid of banks. — Andrew Jackson
His courage was despite it. He did what he thought was right regardless of the consequences to his life, finances, or reputation.
Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.
How to Have Andrew Jackson Courage
Make things personal. Whenever a major event happened to him he would take it personally, which spurred him into action!
- When his family died during the American Revolution due to disease, thereby making Andrew Jackson an orphan at age 14, he blamed their death on the British.
- When his wife died of a heart attack at the start of his presidency, Andrew Jackson blamed her death on the mean things his political opponents (The Whigs) said about her during the presidential campaign.
- After the failed assassination, Andrew Jackson blamed the national bank for the assassination attempt even though there is zero evidence to support such a claim (the deranged assassin was institutionalized).
Andrew Jackson’s personal sense of vengeance propelled him to defeat his enemies: the British, the Whigs, and the National Bank.
His ability to take things personally also enabled him to feel a deep sense of gratitude to the nation he served.
I feel in the depths of my soul that it is the highest, most sacred, and most irreversible part of my obligation to preserve the union of these states, although it may cost me my life.
The United States wasn’t an abstract concept to him. It was its people. The people he personally met and fought alongside with.
This sort of populism was powerful because he wasn’t afraid to step on toes to get things done if he believed it was in the interest of the people.
One Man with Courage Makes a Majority — Andrew Jackson
But this sort of populism could also be dangerous because a foundational belief of The United States was NOT that it was a nation of people, but that it was a nation of laws.
When the supreme court ruled that Georgia’s policy of Indian removal was unconstitutional, Andrew Jackson reportedly replied…
John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.
Ultimately, by making things personal it gave him more chutzpah, but it also led to more conflict.
If he were on your side, he would do all he could to protect you. If he believed you a foe, then he was a ferocious and merciless predator. — Andrew Jackson Biographer, Jon Meacham
Choose carefully what you make personal because it can propel you into action, but it can also propel you into a duel to the death with a bullet in the chest.
Thanks for reading! Anthony Galli writes about the greats so that we may become great. Watch his series @ The Great Life.