Growing up, I wondered about the origin of my last name. Needless to say, the jokes and comparisons to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, were near endless. I really didn’t like going to school.
Anyway, when I moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2012 I eventually ran into a statue of Andrew Jackson in the Downtown area. I did not know he was the Military Governor of my home state in 1821 before becoming the 7th President of the U.S. 1829-1837.
I also read that his supporters founded what is now the Democratic Party. He served on the House of Representatives, then the U.S. Senate. He also won battles in the “War of 1812” before fighting off a Spanish garrison on Florida’s peninsula. Spain was in control of Florida at that time. After this battle, the state was formally added to the U.S.
I’m not thrilled with Congress passing and Jackson enforcing the “Indian Removal Act” which “relocated” many Native American tribes to what is now the state of Oklahoma. 😦 As I continued to read tidbits on this, I became more sad. I realize even more now that probably more than 80 percent of the citizens in the United States today are not native to America. The roots of our family trees are planted elsewhere.
For Andrew Jackson, his parents were Scots-Irish, his dad from Northern Ireland. Of course, I ask: “How in the world could my last name be connected to someone in from Ireland?” I’ve never been on that side of the Atlantic Ocean. The story says, Jackson’s parents emigrated to the U.S. in 1765 and probably settled down in Philadelphia. That is a long trip.
I would have to find a trail to follow in order to figure out how my dad ended up with the Jackson name. Along with African-American, my family has five different tribes of Native Americans in it. My great grandmother was Cherokee. I believe my great grandfather was Caucasian. So, I didn’t grow up with the mindset that race matters. We’re all human beings.
I just wish everyone saw it that way.
Eric Christopher Jackson