President Andrew Jackson led an interesting life, too, up until he was elected President 1829-1837. He was one of a special breed that really has never been duplicated in public office. Over his life he surrounded himself with family, friends and people he dealt with since his early years.
He had been in active military service for 40 years from the beginning of the American Revolutionary War thru the War of 1812-1818 and won his battles. He was fearless and planned military operations far in advance of his years. His friends helped him win his first election as President in 1828 and reelected in 1832.
To thank them for their vote of confidence he put 2000 of his closest supporters in public office. These he trusted for awhile, but when money is concerned he knew human nature sometimes changes with the times. Those in authority without the knowledge of President Jackson turned greedy in the heyday of land speculations and joined the ranks as speculators to pad their own pockets. Most overspent their savings and bought wild and free treaty lands on credit borrowing at 31% + which later became their downfall when income owed didn't outweigh debt payments.
Jackson replaced quite a few officials at the start of his second term. Over the years as the Panic of 1836 swept over America they drowned in their own credit fiasco they helped create. Many lost all they gained and bankruptcy followed.
Andrew Jackson Jr. (President's son) despite his father's warnings not to get involved in land speculation did the opposite. He lived the high life with friends and investors then when the financial bubble burst he lost nearly everything and begged for help from his father to bail him out. As any loving father would do for any of his children the President paid off young Andrew's debts before he left office in 1837.
For seven grueling years the President (a.k.a. Old Hickory) managed to reduce America's national debt to a zero balance. Jackson had become the only President to clear away all of Washington's national debts since the early days of George Washington. At one time he thought that George Washington should have been impeached for circumventing by executive privilege the Constitution of the United States he helped draft.
President Jackson as citizen Andrew Jackson was quite wealthy in 1835. He saved his money and didn't buy on credit. He paid his bills monthly with cash, but in 1835 he did something spectacular for America. With his own bankrolled savings he purchased special minted gold and silver coins from Italy and Spain. He used them for Indian annuity payments in the Spring of 1838 to Michigan's "People of Three Fires" of the Grand River Valley according to the Treaty of 1836 they signed.
Only the Chief's were paid with gold coins. He paid the rest in silver and as the Indian's traded and bartered for goods the money spent found its way into the financial banks. Jackson paid the Indians forward out of his own personal accounts. (continued)