ITION OF ■\X.Jf THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL THE COLLECTION OF NORTH CAROLINIANA PRESENTED BY Durham County Public Library CB J13d5 UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 00032195188 FOR USE ONLY IN THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION ,Vo, A -368 THF PRESERVATION OF THE HERMITAGE 18 8 9-1915 ANNALS, HISTORY, AND STORIES TKe Acquisition, Restoration, and Care of tKe Home of Gen- eral Andrew Jackson hy tKe Ladies' Hermitage Association for over a Quarter of a Century MRS. MARY C. DORRIS CopyrigKt, 1915 By Mrs. Mary C. Dorris Bo The Memory of MRS. MARY L BAXTER. Regent MRS. ALBERT S. MARKS, Acting Regent i MRS. J. BERRIEN LINDSLET. Regent <W» This Lttle Volume Is Affection- "^ ately De<jicate<i 5 a Ladies of the Hermitage Association: The home of Gen. Andrew Jackson has been in- trusted to your care and management by the Legislature of the great State of Tennessee. As long as you hold to this trust you are se- cure in your possession. See to it that no mod- ern enterprise breaks in upon the hallowed spot and changes it. Let no vandal hand desecrate it in the name of progress or commercialism. As the home of Gen. Andrew Jackson, in which he lived and died, future generations will desire to see it as it was when he lived and lingered there. Let there be one spot in all our State dedicated to patriotism. This is your trust, and upon you rests this duty. Mrs. Mary C. Dorris. (5) PREFACE. It was a conscientious principle with Andrew Jackson that caused him to build the log house at the Hermitage, a spot destined to become historic and where he spent forty-one years of his eventful life. While serving as senator at Philadelphia, then the seat of government, he sold some of his wild acres of Tennessee land to one David AlHson. Notes instead of currency were paid for the land ; and Andrew Jackson bought a stock of merchandise suitable for the needs of the frontier and gave the notes in payment. David Allison failed in the panic of 1793, and the merchant of whom Andrew Jackson bought the goods came back to him for the money. When Jackson was notified that he was to meet an indebtedness of nearly seven thousand dollars it staggered him, for there was nothing so scarce at that time in Tennessee as currency, barter taking its place. Andrew Jackson owned at that time more than fifty thousand acres of wild Tennessee land and a comfortable home, much better than anv of his neighbors, at Hunter's Hill, (7) 8 Presentation of the Hermitage. some three miles distan" from the present Her- mitage. The Hunter's Hill home was his most available asset, and it had to be sacrificed to aid in meeting the obligation. He sold more of his wild acres and paid the entire debt, principal and interest, as it fell due, but it required an effort and great sacrifice. Nothing daunted, he built the log house and, in the year 1804, moved once again into the wilderness. The log house was a two-story building, one large room below and two above, with several other log houses surrounding it, making a comfortable, if not a very preten- tious, home. The brick house on the present site was built in 1 8 19, the brick being manufactured on the place. It was burned in 1834 and rebuilt the following year on the same site and in very nearly the same style. General Jackson died in 1845, willing the entire estate to his adopted son, Andrew Jack- son, Jr. In 1856 the adopted son sold five hundred acres of the farm to the State of Tennessee for forty-eight thousand dollars and moved to a plantation in Mississippi. The Civil War Preface. 9 came on; and at the invitation and solicitation of Gov. Isham G. Harris, Andrew Jackson, Jr., returned to the Hermitage to become its cus- todian. He died there in 1865, and his widow, Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, and her widowed sister, Mrs. Marion Adams, were permitted by the State authorities to retain their residence there until death claimed them, Mrs. Adams preceding her sister to the grave several years. Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson died in 1887, and in 1889 the Ladies' Hermitage Association was organized. Of this organization, its founding, and the preservation of the Hermitage, I have endeav- ored to give a true, unprejudiced, and impartial account. Necessarily in writing these annals and this history I have, from the very facts in the case, been compelled to make much use of the pro- noun "I," but it was unavoidable. The state- ments, the histor}^ the stories are all my own personal experiences. The entei*prise has been a life work with me, and T have liked it from the beginning. Could it have been possible, I would have preferred that another and not the author lo Preservation of the Hermitage. had written these annals; but there is no one who has had such close contact with the very first movement as has the author, who knows of all its struggles and efforts in those first uncertain and formative days. After the first election Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, who was chosen Regent, was my constant coworker, and her enthusiasm was equal to my own. We worked together, directing and almost sustaining the work for the first six years. Noble women, with energy and enterprise, have built up this organization until it ranks now with the greatest and best in the State. The author has enjoyed the friendly inter- course with these ladies who have from time to time constituted the Board of Directors of the Ladies' Hermitage Association. The writer has for years contemplated this publication and now presents it to the public, hoping that it may interest, even entertain, all who read the pages of this little volume and that all may redound to the glory of Gen. Andrew Jackson. The Author. CONTENTS. Chapter I. pj^^^ The Work of Founding 13 Chapter II. Newspaper Reports 21 Chapter IV. The Charter Taken Out 33 Chapter III. The By-Laws Are Made 48 Chapter V. The Option on the Relics — Active Work Begun.... 62 Chapter VI. Mrs. Mary L. Baxter 71 Chapter VII. The Regents 86 Chapter VIII. Uncle Alfred and Gracey Ii6 Chapter IX. Uncle Alfred's Story 129 12 Preseri^aiion of the Hermitage. Chapter X. Pao». The Ghost at the Hermitage . 15X Chapter XI. Brides at the Hermitage .....,,.,.. 162 Chapter XH. The Hermitage Church 176 Chapter XHI. The Artist at the Hermitage 193 Chapter XIV. The Hermitage Garden 198 Appendix 211 CHAPTER I. The Work of Founding. Twenty-five years ago an inspiration came to Mrs. Andrew Jackson III., wife of General Jackson's grandson, that there be a memorial association organized to preserve and care for the Hermitage after the manner of Mount Ver- non. Mrs. Jackson had come as a bride to the Hermitage a few years prior to the death of Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, her husband's mother, and was vitally interested in the fate of the old historic homestead ; and she, like others, knew that the property, which had so long been owned by the State, would now be taken in charge and probably a permanent disposition made of it. There were many enterprises sug- gested, and several parties were trying to get possession of the property, the most formi- dable of which was the Confederate Soldiers' Home Association. It was then that the idea occurred to Mrs. Jackson of the formation of a memorial asso- 14 Presentation of the Hermitage. elation, and the successful efforts of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association encouraged her to beheve that a similar effort might be made on behalf of the Hermitage. Of this inspiration Mrs. Jackson says: I remember the exact conditions at the Hermitage when I broached the idea of a memorial association to Colonel Jackson, who was in deep distress as to the disposal of the Hermitage collection should the Sol- diers' Home be established there. Suddenly, while en- gaged in some household work, it flashed into my mind : "Why not have a memorial like Mount Vernon estab- lished here?" The idea appealed to Colonel Jackson; so we took that long, bitter-cold ride from the Hermit- age to the home of Mrs. Aaron V. Brown, Tennessee Vice Regent of Mount Vernon, eighteen miles or more, in a driving wind-and-dust storm, leaving the bugg>' but once from nine o'clock in the morning to eleven o'clock that night. We had as a result of the day's work the promise of Miss Narcissa Saunders, Mrs. Brown's daughter, to mail to Mrs. D. R. Dorris the memoranda of the Mount Vernon by-laws, etc On the first day of January, 1889, Mrs. Jack- son came to see me at my home, and we talked about the Hermitage affairs. According to my recollection, Mrs. Jackson did not speak of the memorial association at the first meet- ing, but rather of the value of the relics and their probable sale in a New York market. At I'he Work of Founding, 15 that time my husband, the late Duncan R. Dorris, Sn, was a newspaper man and a cor- respondent of the New York Herald and other Northern and Eastern journals, and Mrs. Jack- son had an idea that his newspaper influence might enable her to put the relics upon the market in one of those cities, where such things were appreciated. In a day or two Mrs. Jackson came to see me again, and this time she spoke of forming a memorial association. The idea at once ap- pealed to me. I grasped the situation, and it was my opinion that it was practicable. My enthusiasm was aroused, and I saw the possi- bilities of the enterprise. I had known the Hermitage from early childhood. My mother was reared within a mile of the historic home- stead, at the pretty old Clifton farm, on the banks of the Cumberland River. Much of my childhood was spent at the old home place, and a visit to the Hermitage was a charming and frequent event. I remembered the lovely garden with its odor of lilac and hyacinth, its other pretty blossoms, its graveled walks, and the air of mvsterv. For was it not the home of Gen- 1 6 Preservation of the Hermitage. eral Jackson ? I remembered the pretty things in the house, the beautiful Httle children of Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence, granddaughters of Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, and the many pigeons that came at their call. And, more- over, I was connected by ties of blood with the family. As Mrs. Jackson's idea took posses- sion of me I grew at once deeply interested in anything that proposed to keep sacred the hal- lowed spot that I had always known, loved, and revered. Of later years it was not an imusual thing for my husband to receive a commission from some of his Northern journals to write a good story of the Hermitage. In a buggy we would take the long drive to see Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, \vho was living at an advanced age at the Hermitage, and he would obtain from her an interesting interview. I had seen the Hermitage in its palmy days of beauty and plenty, and I had seen it when a joyous family lived there. I saw it again in its desolation, after the horrors of war had left its imprint, after the splendid fortune left by General Jackson had all been swept away, when its fences were all down, the beautiful lawn By permission of the Army and Xavy Magazine, from the White House liaUery. The Work of Founding, 17 grown up in sprouts as high as a man's head, the garden overgrown like a wilderness, and the evidence of decay everywhere present. I had seen very little of Mrs. Andrew (Amy) Jackson then and knew her but slight- ly; but as the idea of a memorial association developed we soon became very intimately and harmoniously associated and worked together to a great end. On January 8, 1889, the State Legislature assembled, and plans were to be made and ideas formulated, to be prepared to launch the enter- prise before the General x\ssembly. Mr. W. A. (Alex) Donelson, a kinsman and near neighbor of Colonel Jackson, was much inter- ested and soon joined in the councils and helped form plans for the great memorial association that was to be. We knew that there was hard work before us; for there was opposition, and many other enterprises were on foot to obtain possession of the Herm.itage property. But we had resolved to make the effort ; for we knew that the name of Jackson was a mighty one to conjure with, and the respect and veneration always shown his memory ar- gued full success for our undertaking. 2 i8 Preservation of the Hermitage. There were four persons, and only four, who had faith in an association, and these four were Colonel and Mrs. Jackson, the writer of this histor\% and Mr. Alex Donelson. The four met together frequently in the author's home ; and it was in her home that all the plans were made, all the ideas discussed, the name given, and the charter prepared for registra- tion. How often we met, I do not now remember; but the meetings were many, almost every day, for a while, and of the same four at the same place (my home). Mrs. Jackson re- mained in the city at one time for about two weeks, and then we talked together every day. While preparing this history I called upon Mrs. Jackson for her recollections concerning the organization and the first steps, and she wrote : You know I did not attend nearly all of the meet- ings. After the week or two while I stayed at Mrs. Lawrence's [then living in Nashville], I returned to the Hermitage and took no active part in the proceed- ings until after we gave the four years' option to the Association. We began to watch the legislative proceed- ings, to note everything said and done on the The Work of Founding. 19 streets, in the newspapers, and in legislative halls concerning the Hermitage. On Sunday morning, January 2y, 1889, there appeared in the Nashville American an article over a col- umn long which I had written, as we thought it about time to begin to advertise the enter- prise, and my husband had put it in as a local story. The article began as follows : What will be done about the Hermitage? This question has been a fruitful topic of debate and was yesterday the subject of a new suggestion from one who for years has taken an active interest in this matter. Said this person : "One General Assembly after another has convened and retired without being able to dispose of the question in a manner at once satisfactory and creditable to the State and at the same time with re- spect to the memory of the old hero who sleeps there." Then it goes on to suggest a memorial asso- ciation and says that there was a probability of such an association's being formed, and that the idea of this association was to purchase three hundred acres of the Hermitage farm for the establishment of an Andrew Jackson memorial. This was the initial bow to the public of what was afterwards to be the Ladies' Hermitage Association. It was the very first hint in the 20 Preservation of the Hermitage. public press that such a movement was con- templated. The hope seemed to be so forlorn and so visionary that no one then could ever have conceived to what strength and dignity this little seed could grow. The suggestions were merely in the nature of possibilities, for all was then so shadowy and uncertain that nothing could be stated positively. The Leg- islature was in session, and the ordinary rou- tine of legislative work was progressing; but it was not until January 2^ that Gov. Robert L. Taylor was inaugurated and the Legislature was fully organized for business. CHAPTER II. Newspaper Reports. Ik order that this history of the organi- zation of the Ladies' Hermitage Association might be absolutely correct and perfect in all particulars, the writer visited Carnegie Library recently and examined the files of the Nashville American to get correct dates, reports, and all the published data there obtainable. The news- paper articles herein made use of are copied from the files of 1889. On February 2 the Legislature took a recess to last until February 12 at noon. On Saturday morning, February 2, an article appeared in the American, saying: Senator Crews has introduced a bill of much interest to the people of the State. It contemplates turning over for twenty-five years the Hermitage property to a Con- federate association of the State, to be used as a home for indigent Confederate soldiers and their families. It also contemplates an appropriation of ten thousand dollars to equip it and put it in good condition. Senator Crews thought that after the first year it would be self-sustaining by letting the old soldiers farm the land. (21) 2Z Preservation of the Hermitage. On Thursday, February 7, an article ap- peared in the American, saying: The bill introduced into the General Assembly by Senator Crews to convert the Hermitage property into a Confederate home, to be further equipped for that purpose with an appropriation of ten thousand dollars, is meeting with hearty favor in many quarters. On Saturday, February 9, in an article over a column long in the American, many citizens expressed themselves heartily in favor of a Confederate soldiers' home at the Hermitage. This article was in the nature of interviews with a large number of our most prominent citizens, and it presented formidable opposition to our cherished plans. In the meantime we were not idle. We had meetings nearly every day while the Legisla- ture was taking a recess, and in that interim we laid out most of the plans. Great interest was manifested, and there was much talk on all sides. It was not long before the public learned that there was a movement on foot, and a very vigorous one, to establish a Hermit- age Memorial Association. The four founders and coworkers decided to call a mass meeting of citizens at the Newspaper Reports. 23 Maxwell House to see if they could awaken some interest in the work they were proposing to do. The movement to establish a Confed- erate soldiers* home was a very popular one and presented formidable op-position. Colonel Jackson was a Confederate soldier, and we were all, except Mrs. Jackson herself, Confed- erates; but the idea of preserving Andrew Jackson's home had taken possession of us, and we could not turn aside from that enter- prise. The legislative recess was nearly over, and the mass meeting was to be held before the reassembling. We sent out postal cards to about twenty-five ladies and gentlemen whom we thought might be interested and called the meeting for Monday, February 1 1, at the Max- well House, at three o'clock in the afternoon. An able chairman was needed to preside, as much depended upon the success of the meet- ing. On Sunday afternoon my husband went with me to call upon Dr. Thomas A. Atchison at his office and asked him to preside at the meeting we had called. He accepted the invi- tation readily. After discussing the plans with 24 Presewation of the Hermitage. him, he heartily indorsed the idea and gave much encouragement. The Tuesday morning (February' 12, 1889) Ainerican had a report of the meeting nearly two columns in length, which was as follows: The meeting called for the purpose of organizing a Hermitage Association met yesterday afternoon at three o'clock in the parlors of the Maxwell House. There was a representative assemblage present, most of whom were in favor of establishing a memorial association and others who had in hand the plan for the Soldiers* Home Association. The latter were invited to be present to listen to such suggestions and remarks as might be made with the hope of harmonizing the two movements. Dr. T. A. Atchison was called to the chair and in one of his smoothest and most eloquent addresses placed before the meeting the objects and aims in view.* They were there to organize a Hermitage Associa- tion for the preservation of the home of Jackson. Dr. Atchison said : "This is a most praiseworthy object, and it is meet that Tennessee and Nashville take the initiatory steps toward the formation of such an association. Tennes- see has not the exclusive right to claim the great man whose mortal remains lie within her border. "As I understand it, this movement is to be a national association, not to be confined by any geographical limit, •I remember that Dr. Atchison prefaced his talk with the remark: "I am glad to preside over so large and respectable a meeting. I am large, and Dr. Witherspoon is respectable." Nezvspapcr Reports. 25 as his great name knew no such boundaries. I have no antagonism to anything looking to an ex-Confeder- ates' home. On the contrary, I wish to say that I heartily approve of that measure. "The Hermitage ought to be kept in perpetuity to the honor of General Jackson. This is an organization not to ask favors, but to purchase them. It will be devel- oped upon the plans of Mount Vernon, than which there has not been a greater success. That was originated by a lady in South Carolina, and this is to be a ladies' association. "Women are the first to appreciate true heroism, and whenever they undertake a charge they are apt to make of it a success. This proposed organization can raise all the necessary funds to compass their ends, and they certainly will do it." Dr. C. D. Elliott moved that reporters present be requested to act as secretaries, and the motion carried. Dr. Elliott said that he understood that the association proposed to purchase the Hermitage and keep it in perpetual preservation. Mrs. D. R. (Mary C.) Dorris here stated that it was proposed to organize an association operated and con- ducted upon the plan of the Mount Vernon Association and m this connection read the following letter: "Gro\ttown, Ga., January 5, 1889. "Col. Andrew Jackson, the Hermitage, Tenn. "Dear Sir: Mrs. Philodea E. Eve, Vice Regent of the Mount Vernon Association for the State of Georgia, mentioned to me having received a letter from her sister-in-law, Mrs. Paul F. Eve, asking in your behalf about the original organization of the Ladies' Mount 26 Preservation of the Hermitage, Vernon Association. As she does not feel equal to the effort of writing, having been quite out of health for several months, she requests me to make the following statements : "In 1853 there was some talk of the possibility of arrangements being made between John A. Washington and a manufacturing company to transfer Mount Ver- non into the hands of the latter. There had been an idea suggested that the ladies of the South purchase Mount Vernon and make of it an American Mecca. This proposition startled some of the ladies interested in this project, and it was made the basis of several of their appeals. Subscriptions were sought and in some instances generously responded to. It was proposed that the subscriptions be one dollar each, but larger ones of any amount would be acceptable. This continued in the Southern States three fiv four years. Enthusiasm on this subject having greatly subsided, our Northern sisters being desirous to join us, it was made a Na- tional Ladies' Association in 1856. The money was all procured by subscriptions, many quite large, by en- tertainments, fairs, etc., and by the efforts of Edward Everett. It was there that the money was gained, and Mr. Washington was paid two hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars. "The peculiarity of this Association is that it was sug- gested and founded by women and has been legislated for and governed by women, and no defalcation has ever been known among any of the ladies who had any- thing to do with it. I rather think that our organiza- tion will not suit the case of the Hermitage, as the State of Tennessee stands ready to do honor to her noble son and perhaps needs no outside assistance. Newspaper Reports. ^7 "Hoping that you may succeed in making it what it should be to do justice to our Southern hero, I am, dear sir, "Yours respectfully, Philodea E. Eve. By Julia B. Culver." Mrs. Dorris stated that Jay Gould had recently given to the Mount Vernon Association two thousand five hundred dollars with which to purchase an additional thirty-three and one-half acres adjacent to Mount Ver- non which they desired. She also stated that the ladies now proposed to purchase from the State the three hundred acres immediately surrounding the Hermitage, for which they proposed to pay full value. With the funds accruing from the sale of this three hundred acres the State could found the Confederate Soldiers* Home in a locality much better suited to their wants than the Hermitage property. The chairman recommended that a committee be appointed to procure a charter, which was done. Mrs. J. B. Lindsley, Mrs. George W. Fall, and Mrs. E. H. East were appointed. A Committee on Permanent Organization was appointed, consisting of Mrs. An- drew Jackson, Mrs. W. A. Donelson, and Mrs. D. R. Dorris. Mr. C A. R. Thompson suggested that two hundred acres detached would make desirable summer homes in the event the Hermitage was made a permanent memo- rial. Rev. Jerry Witherspoon said that he had a deep interest in the movement for the Confederate home and that it was not proposed to antagonize that movement in this organization. He wished to see both proposi- tions harmonized and felt that they did not conflict and 28 Preservation of the Hermitage. that one proposition could aid the other. In this re- spect he called upon Mr. George B. Guild, Dr. Roth- rock, and Judge Frank T. Reid, who were present, to make remarks on their side of the question. Dr. C D. Elliott then made a very good talk upon the subject. He said that it had once been proposed that the Grand Army of the Republic have a home at the Hermitage. This idea gave exasperation to the other side, and the proposal to have a home for ex- Confederate soldiers would produce the same feeling in certain quarters. All felt a national interest in Jack- son, and nothing should be done that would disturb the national character of his home. Judge Frank T. Reid said that he and the gentlemen with him had expected to take no part in the meeting; but as he had been invited, he would make a few re- marks. He did so in favor of the State's making pro- vision for her disabled and .indigent soldiers. Mr. George B. Guild followed, making his remarks at some length, favoring a soldiers' home, making a stirring appeal for those unfortunate survivors of the war that were now in poverty. They asked only for the loan of the place for twenty-five years. Mrs. Dorris then stated that at the end of twenty- five years the entire aspect of the Hermitage will have been changed. New buildings will have been erected and the old one so altered as not to be the same; but the greatest change would be in the interior of the building. There, after a lapse of forty-five years, ev- erything remained the same; but what would it be after the lapse of twenty-five more years? There were the beautiful parlors, the walls covered with the por- traits of Jackson and his family. There was the cabinet of curiosities which the hand of the dead General ac- Newspaper Reports, 29 cumulated. There on the folding door was the por- trait of him on his war horse. In the hall was the chair of General Washington; and, above all, there was the room in which "Old Hickory" died, the bed- stead on which he rested, the washstand, the bureau- all were there. Over the mantel was the portrait of his beloved wife, of whom he said, "Heaven would be no heaven to me were she not there," and on which his dying gaze rested. All these things would be taken away from the place; there would be great changes. At the end of twenty-five years how could all these things, once removed, be restored? Dr. J. B. Lindsley then said that he could not see why this should not be a powerful organization. Sixty million people felt an interest in General Jackson, and it would not be long before two hundred million would feel an interest. There are only four places upon which the gaze of the world rests. Two of these are Mount Vernon and the Hermitage. The Hermitage, only ten miles from Nashville, is an unusual object of interest to the people of Tennessee. The General Assembly pur- chased this historic spot, to be perpetuated in the mem- ory of Andrew Jackson, to their great glory. He died on the 8th of June, 1845.* "When I first heard of the Confederate movement I thought it was a splendid idea, but then the idea of an association had not presented itself to me. Now I think that by all means an asso- ciation ought to be formed. I recognize the fact that with the lapse of time the Hermitage, unless perpetu- ated by such an association, will be changed and the relics all swept away. The whole American people have an interest in this Association without regar d to any •Dr. Lindsley was present at the deathbed scene. 30 Preservation of the Hermitage. section whatever. It was not Grant at the head of his enormous columns, nor Lincoln in his chair at Washr ington ; it was the soul of Jackson, who said, 'The Fed- eral Union must and shall be preserved,' that defeated us in the War of the States. I say it is a shame, a damnable shame, that the Confederate soldiers have not been taken care of. They fought for four long years and laid down their lives and ought to have had the care of this State. But twenty-five years after the war Tennessee is just now beginning to think of her Confed- erate veterans. She has simply been idle and done nothing for them. She should have taken care of the veterans long before the funded debt was paid, but the Hermitage should be preserved forever." C. D. Elliott said that perfect harmony should exist in the two propositions already submitted. He thought that the Legislature would take favorable action on both. Dr. Rothrock said that* he came not expecting to say anything. The property had been in the hands of the State for twenty-two years, and why had not this proposition been made before? It was only when they proposed to make a Confederate home that any propo- sition of this kind had been advanced. He said that the proposed association wanted to get possession of three hundred acres, leaving them the two hundred acres detached in which to build their home. He said that one of the objections they had to combat in the Legislature was that so many soldiers as would be cared for there could not get a living out of the home, and the Legislature would have to make continual ap- propriations to support the home. If they could not live on the five hundred acres, how could they make the home self-supporting on the two hundred acres of in- Newspaper Reports, 31 ferior quality? He spoke of the suffering and poverty of the uncared-for and impoverished soldiers. Dr. Atchison suggested that a conference be held between committees favoring each subject, and he had not a doubt that the two propositions — the one about selling the Hermitage and three hundred acres to the Association and the other with the funds thus realized to found a soldiers' home— could both be carried before the Legislature by storm, and everybody would be sat- isfied. A Committee of Conference was appointed, as fol- lows: Dr. J. B. Lindsley, Rev. Jerry Witherspoon, W. A. Donelson, Mrs. L. F. Benson, Mrs. Andrew Mar- shall, Mrs. W. C. Dake, Mrs. Andrew Jackson, Mrs. W. A. Donelson, and Mrs. D. R. Dorris. This committee will meet the Committee on the Sol- diers* Home this morning at ten o'clock in the office of Dr. J. B. Lindsley at the Capitol. D. R. Dorris moved to adjourn, and the motion car- ried. Pursuant to the foregoing, the committee met in the office of Dr. Lindsley at the State Capitol, as proposed. The daily American of Wednesday, February 13, made the following report of this meeting, with headlines as fol- lows : The Hermitage. a proposition made to the iviemorial association and rejected. A committee from the proposed Hermitage Memorial Association, consisting of Dr. J. B. Lindsley, Rev, 32 Preservation of the Hermitage, Jerry Witherspoon, W. A. Donelson, Mrs. L. F. Ben- son, Mrs. W. C. Dake, Mrs. D. R. Dorris, Mrs. W. A. Donelson, and Mrs. Andrew Jackson, met yesterday morning according to appointment in the office of Dr. Lindsley at the Capitol. For some time no other par- ties appeared, and the interim was spent in making preparations for getting out a charter and otherwise perfecting the organization. After some delay Mr. Hickman, reflecting the views of the committee he represented, proposed to compromise by giving to the Association the building and twenty-five acres imme- diately surrounding it, which they proposed to add as an amendment to the Crews bill. This announcement for a time created great excite- ment with the ladies, who had based their hopes upon a much greater area. They thought that fully two hundred and fifty acres would be necessary to develop their plan and to aid in making the Memorial Associa- tion self-sustaining. It will deprive them, they argued, of the use of any of the farm land wherewith to sup- port the superintendent and other employees necessary to conduct it and of the woodland, which would be the part most capable of being beautified. Therefore the proposition was not accepted, but it is believed that there can yet be a harmonious adjust- ment of the two projects. Another conference will be held this morning in the library rooms at 9 a.m. This later conference, it seems, never ma- terialized, for there is no report of one in the American, nor do I remember any such meet- ing, and matters rested as they were. CHAPTER III. The Charter Taken Out. The mass meeting had been called, an in- terested few had attended, committees were appointed, and all done that could be done at such a meeting*. Was there a widespread interest awakened? Did our citizens hasten to the support of the Memorial Association? Not so. After the meeting the world moved on much as usual, and only the faithful four who had done all the preliminary work continued to remember and work for the memorial that was to be established to the memory of Andrew Jackson. The average citizen is coldly indifferent to the building of monuments, and it is "every- thing for charity, nothing for monuments." As the soldiers* home was a very popular charity and the other enterprise merely a mon- ument and a sentiment, naturally sympathy was largely against the latter. Only a slight inter- est had been awakened. Some were indiffer- ent, some bitterly opposed, and some scoffed, 3 r3,o 34 Preservation of the Hermitage, ridiculing the idea as utterly impracticable and impossible. But, after all, a germ was planted, and it was destined to grow, Mrs. Jackson, being so far away, could not come very frequently for consultation. Mr. Donelson and the writer talked together nearly tvery day. One day, when all four were pres- ent, we decided on a name. Here, again, we used the Mount Vernon precedent and decided upon the euphonious name, Ladies' Hermitage Association, and the organization is so called. Then the charter was discussed. A com- mittee was appointed at the ]\laxwell House meeting, but it was prepared by the four. Of this Mrs. Jackson says: "I certainly recall the meeting when the taking out of a charter was discussed, for no one present seemed to be quite certain how to go about it." A blank printed charter, such as is used for all organi- zations and clubs not intended for issuing stock or making money, was obtained, probably by Mr. Donelson, who brought this paper to me and asked me to write a suitable introduction conforming to the objects and desires of our new Association, which I did, writing as fol- lows : The Charter Taken Out. 35 State of Tennessee — Charter of Incorporation. We, the undersigned parties, apply for a charter of incorporation of the Ladies' Hermitage Association, the object of which corporation is to purchase from the State of Tennessee two hundred and fifty acres of land, including the residence and tomb of Andrew Jackson, and to beautify, preserve, and adorn the same through- out all coming years in a manner most befitting the memory of that great man and commensurate with the gratitude of his countrymen. This intrcxluction Mr. Donelson copied upon the blank, and afterwards I was told that he submitted it to Judge E. H. East for advice and approval, and he was told by Judge East that it was all right and needed nothing more. The next step was to get the necessary sig- natures. Five names were needed; and as it was to be a woman's organization, these should be the names of women. It was the opinion of Col. A. S. Colyar, who was taking great interest in the proposed memorial association, that only femme soles were eligible to sign the charter. This cut out some of our best helpers and forced us to get signatures of unmarried ladies, whether they proposed entering in the work or not. Very soon after this, one cold afternoon in 36 Preservation of the Hermitage. February, Mr. Donelson had his buggy at the door, and together we started out to secure the necessary signatures. Our first thought was of !^.Irs. Rachel Jackson Lawrence, who was then living in the city. She was the first to sign the document that was to make the Ladies' Hermitage Association a regularly chartered institution. Our next visit was to Miss Mary White May, who was with Mrs. R. B. Lea, at the corner of Vine Street (now Seventh Avenue) and Union Street. It was late when we started on our important errand and was now nearly dark; but we continued our work, going next' to see Mrs. Mary Hadley Clare, who was living then on the west front of the Capitol. It was now so late that the gas was lighted on the streets and in the homes. On entering, we found Gen. G. P. Thruston with Mrs. Clare. He pointed out to her that she could "sue and be sued," but assured her that there was no personal risk to her proper- ty, and she thereupon signed the document. We now had only three signatures. Mr. Don- elson had to drive twelve miles to his home near the Hermitage that night, and he left the charter with me. The Charter Taken Out. 37 The next day the writer procured the signa- tures of Mrs. E. L. Nicholson, her neighbor, at the Nicholson House, and that of Miss Louise Grundy Lindsley, who was also a neighbor, living only a few doors from her home. That completed the necessary five signatures. Re- membering her friend, Mrs. Henry Heiss, and her sympathy with the movement, her signature also was secured. Armed with the charter and these signatures, the writer went alone to the County Court Clerk's office to take out the charter of incor- poration, and on February 19, 1889, the char- ter was duly entered. When I reached the County Court Clerk's office I found that I would have to swear to the signatures and that my name would have to go in as a charter member. I also learned that it would have been perfectly legitimate for the other interested married ladies to have signed the charter, but it was then too late to remedy the matter. The County Court Clerk, W. T. Smith, who knew my husband well, was so interested in the enterprise that he charged me only two dollars for registration, which I paid. Later 38 Preservation of the Hermitage. Mrs. Jackson returned to me the two dollars, saying that she wished to pay for it herself. Afterwards we took the charter to the State Capitol, and it was there duly registered, and the Ladies' Hermitage Association became a chartered institution. The following are the papers of registra- tion: We, the undersigned, apply to the State of Tennessee, by virtue of the laws of the land, for a charter of in- corporation for the purposes and with the powers, etc., declared in the foregoing instrument. This 19th day of February, 1889. Mrs. Rachel J. Lawrence, Mary.W. May, Mrs. Mary Hadley Clare, Mrs. E. L. Nicholson, Miss Louise Grundy Lindsley, Mrs. Henry Heiss. Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Witness to the above signatures. State of Tennessee, Davidson County. Personally appeared before me, W. T. Smith, Clerk of the County Court of said county, Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, subscribing witness to the attached instrument, who, being first duly sworn, deposes and says that she is personally acquainted with the within-named Mrs. Rachel J. Lawrence, I^.Iary W. May, Mrs. M. H. Clare, Mrs. E. L. Nicholson, Miss L. G. Lindsley, Mrs. Henry The Charter Taken Out. 39 Heiss, the bargainers, and that they acknowledged the same in her presence to be their act and deed, for the purposes therein contained. Witness my hand at office, this 19th day of February, 1889. W. T. Smith, Clerk. By D. KuHN, D. C. State of Tennessee, Davidson County. Register's Office, February 20, 1889. I, T. S. Lusty, Deputy Register for said county, do certify that the foregoing instrument and certificate are registered in said office, in book No. 76, page 123; that they were received February 20, 1889, at 10 o'clock A.M., and were entered in Note Book 10, page 149. T. S. Lusty, Deputy Register, Davidson County. I, Charles A. Miller, Secretary of the State of Ten- nessee, do certify that the foregoing instrument, with certificates of acknowledgment of probate and regis- tration, was filed in my office for registration on the 19th day of February, 1889, and recorded on the 20th day of February, 1889, in Corporation Record Book "O," in said office, page 104 et seq. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto sub- scribed my official signature and, by the or- [seal.] der of the Governor, affixed the great seal of the State of Tennessee, at the department, in the city of Nashville, this 20th day of February, A.D. 1889. C. A. Miller, Secretary of State. So much done and yet so far from the goal I The next step was to get a bill drawn up and 40 Preservation of the Hermitage. presented in both houses of the General As- sembly. Mr. Donelson and I succeeded in getting the bill introduced, but only "by re- quest.*' The solons, having before them a bill for the establishment of the soldiers' home, did not care to antagonize this interest and hesi- tated to introduce a bill for the Association and would do so only "by request," which meant that they would not support it before the body. Mr. Donelson and I continued to frequent the legislative halls — almost daily — and as we entered we heard such comment as, "Here comes the Ladies' Hermitage Association.*' In our bill we insisted on the purchase of two hundred and fifty acres. On February 14, 1889, an interesting card from Dr. C. D. Elliott appeared in the American, as follows : Allow me space, at least as a personal favor, to define my position as to the Hermitage, not correctly reported and perhaps at the most not given with sufficient dis- tinctness. The Hermitage is a natural Mecca, a shrine where only "I am an American citizen" gives the right to worship. No sign, no name, no inscription to sug- gest to worshipers antagonism in sentiment and action among American citizens should appear there. To illustrate: "The Federal Union — it must be preserved." The Charter Taken Out. 41 Yet I say as a Confederate that he meant the consti- tutional Union for which we Confederates fought, and at once Confederates and Federals are fighting at the tomb of Jackson. It is right and proper that the guard- ianship of this natural shrine should be committed to women. They need Confederate and Federal soldiers to see to it that the charter and all official preliminary actions are "national." My honor, they will be faithful wardens of that tomb to the end of time. To my mind there is not the slightest obstacle in the way of perfect harmony of all personal interests involved ; and, this secured, this General Assembly will agree, nemine contradicente, to the proposition submitted. Let the bill now before the Assembly halt and see what can be done. C. D. Elliott. On February 15 N. E. Alloway had a card in the American relative to the estate of Gen- eral Jackson. He said : The Hermitage farm at the time of General Jack- son's death consisted of twelve hundred acres, and there were one hundred negroes, besides stock of all kinds. The property sold to the State was worth fifty thousand dollars, but two thousand dollars was held as a rental for the two years before Andrew Jackson, Jr., moved from the place. The estate when Jackson died was worth somewhere near one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and General Jackson was not in debt when he died. This was in answer to a communication saying that General Jackson was in debt when he died. 42 P-reserz'ation of the Hermitage. Another communication from W. E. Travis, on February i8, gives the circumstances of its purchase by the State. Another communica- tion signed "G" was in lighter vein and inclined to hold the Association Vi'r> to ridicule, speaking of the inaccessibility of the Hermitage and advocating a dummy line, then so popular. On February i6, 1889, the writer addressed another communication to the daily American over a column in length, telling of having called upon a number of gentlemen in the interest of the work. Continuing, the article reads: If such an Association is not formed now, it will never be, for this seems to* be a crisis in the fate of the Hermitage. It may seem a little thing now and even a noble one to pervert it to other uses; but when the twent>'-five years have rolled away and it is too late, the generation of that day will say: "What a pity it was that Jackson's home was not preser\'ed !" We need some good orator to champion our cause before the Legislature, some one who knows all the facts and who will work for us fearlessly. Then we may feel as- sured that from such a small beginning has arisen a memorial association that will survive the ages. The article also argued further : Twenty-five acres, or even seventy-five, in the country is very little ground. If we establish the memorial, we wish it to be a national affair. . . , That Jackson's The Charter Taken Out, 43 home should have remained so nearly as it was at the time of his death, forty-four years ago, is something remarkable and owing to the fact that the State al- lowed Andrew Jackson, Jr., and his son subsequently to occupy the premises. This was signed by Mrs. D. R. Dorris. A strong article signed "A'* also appeared, urging the Legislature to "sell" to the Associa- tion "such portion of the estate as may be nec- essary to fulfill the obligation we as a body propose to assume." I do not recall who "A" was. I reproduce these communications to show the desire of the Association at its very inception to possess a larger portion of Andrew Jackson's farm for the memorial and also the original desire that it be national in character. The arguments used are almost identical with those that members of the Association brought forward when they made contention for more land before the General Assembly of 1913. On February 25 the writer had another arti- cle in the paper urging the Legislature to sell to the Ladies* Hermitage Association, and this article was signed "Mrs. D. R. Dorris, Secre- tary of the Ladies' Hermitage Association,*' using that title for the first time. Dr. C. D. Elliott, who was taking a great 44 Preservation of the Hermitage. deal of interest in the matter and who strongly favored the woman's Association, said in a communication on February 20, 'The State of Tennessee can never in honor part with its right to the Hermitage" ; but he thought it all right for the Legislature to convey it "in trust" to the woman's Association. The bill for the Confederate soldiers' home had right of way before the Legislature, and the sentiment ever^'where was strongly in fa- vor of it, and when it came up it passed prac- tically without opposition. The soldiers' home bill had been amended so as to exempt the house, tomb, and twenty-five surrounding acres. Matters looked blue for the memorial associa- tion. Col. J. M. Crews, who had introduced the soldiers' home bill, had become a stanch friend to the memorial enterprise; and he it was who formulated a new bill for the Ladies' Hermitage Association and introduced it into the Legislature. It was Senate Bill No. 461 and "conditionally" conveyed to the "Ladies* Hermitage Association twenty-five acres of the Hermitage tract, including the mansion and tomb of General Andrew Jackson." The very last day of the session of 1889, The Charter Taken Out. 45 April 5, had arrived, and even this act had not passed. It seemed as if the **house, tomb, and twenty-five acres" and the Ladies' Hermitage Association would be left out in the cold. The act had passed the necessar>^ three read- ings in the Senate and needed only to pass the third reading in the lower house. All who were in any way interested in the passage of the bill were there to urge it on the members. The writer, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Donelson, Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, Mrs. Benson, Mrs. W. C. Dake, and probably others were present in the House of Representatives on that day. Dr. J. B. Lindsley, who had become the stanch friend and counselor of the author in all she was doing, entertained grave fears and advised Mrs. Lindsley to be on the floor of the House and urge the passage of the bill. It was she who influenced Col. John H. Savage, the "old man of the mountain," as he was called, who had opposed the act, to vote for the bill and withdraw his opposition. When it came to a vote the bill passed, and the workers were so overjoyed at the happy consummation that it was never thought whether the act was passed by a great or a small majority. It did not 46 Preservation of the Hermitage. matter, since the Ladies' Hermitage Associa- tion was given possession of the property. The responsibility was taken without one dollar of appropriation from the State or any source of revenue whatever. But this handful of earnest, devoted women left the State Capitol with the determination to redeem their trust and cause the State of Tennessee to rejoice at the hour when it gave the beautiful Hermitage into the care and keeping of the Ladies' Hermitage Association. The act passed on April 5, 1889, and was approved by Gov. Robert L. Taylor on April 6, and the Ladies' Heimitage Association was ready to enter upon its trust. The act of conveyance called for nine trus- tees — 'two from East Tennessee, two from West Tennessee, and five from Middle Tennes- see. These were to be commissioned by the Governor upon "recommendation of the La- dies' Hermitage Association." My husband, being a newspaper man, was well acquainted with prominent men all over the State, and I had him select the names of nine gentlemen for me to nominate as trustees to the Governor. Very soon after the Legislature adjourned my The Charter Taken Out, 47 husband went with me to Governor Taylor's office at the State Capitol. Then and there the first nine trustees were nominated before the Governor, and he had the necessary commis- sions sent to them. Governor Taylor's only choice was Adolph S. Ochs, of Chattanooga. These trustees were : Ex-Gov. James D. Porter, Paris, Tenn. ; Dr. J. Berrien Lindsley, Nash- ville, Tenn. ; Gen. W. H. Jackson, Nashville, Tenn. ; Ex-Gov. John C. Brown, Nashville, Tenn. ; L. F. Benson, Nashville, Tenn. ; W. R. French, Tullahoma, Tenn.; E. S. Mallory, Jackson, Tenn. ; Adolph S. Ochs, Chattanooga, Tenn. ; and H. H. Ingersoll, Knoxville, Tenn. Before selecting these gentlemen I had talked with L. F. Benson, Dr. Lindsley, and probably others who were interested. Mr. Benson suggested W. R. French, and Governor Taylor himself selected Adolph S. Ochs. Then the writer, as Secretary, called a meeting of the Board of Tnistees, and the first meeting was held in the office of Dr. J. B. Lindsley at the Capitol. Ex-Governor Porter was elected President and Dr. Lindsley Secretary. CHAPTER IV. The By-Laws Are Made. One of the provisions of the act of convey- ance of the twenty-five acres from the Legis- lature was that the trustees be empowered to **make and enforce such by-laws as may be necessary to put into operation and continual execution the objects and purposes for which this trust is created." That w^as more than twenty-five years ago. Women had not dem- onstrated their abihty to do things as at pres- ent, and the wise solons no doubt thought that the women would never be able to "make and enforce by-laws." Even so the provisions of the act remain to this present day, and the Association must work under the by-laws as given by the Board of Trustees. The by-laws have been amended several times at the request and suggestion of the Board of Directors as the needs and require- ments of the Association developed, but the making of them still rests with the trustees. It may be added that thev have been ver>' satis- ^48) The By-Laws Are Made, 49 factor}'; and it is very well that the matter stands as it does, for it saves complications. After the first meeting of the Board of Trustees and the appointment of a By-Law Committee, on that same day that committee made the by-laws. The committee appointed consisted of Dr. J. Berrien Lindsley, of Nash- ville, Tenn., E. S. Mallory, of Jackson, Tenn., and W. R. French, of Tullahoma, Tenn. These three gentlemen met at the residence of Mrs. Mar}^ L. Baxter, that lady and the writer of these annals being present. In these by-laws paragraph 2 reads: "The first biennial meeting of the Association shall be held on the third Wednesday in May, 1889, and every two years thereafter at such place in Nashville, Tenn., as may be designated in the call." This by-law^ is as unalterable as the law of the Medes and Persians and must never be evaded. The first biennial election was held at the residence of Mrs. J. B. Lindsley. Again it was my privilege to select the first Board of Directors. Dr. Lindsley and l^.Ir. Benson were the advisers of the writer. Tlie following Board was elected and the other offices filled as 4 50 Preservation of the Hermitage. follows: Mrs. Nathaniel Baxter, Sr., Regent; IMrs. A. S. Colyar, First Vice Regent; Mrs. J. M. Dickinson, Second Vice Regent ; Mrs. D. R. Dorris, Secretary; Mrs. William Morrow, Mrs. John Ruhm, Mrs. W. A. Donelson, directors; L. F. Benson, Treasurer; Mrs. Nathaniel Bax- ter, Sr., Mrs. J. M. Dickinson, and Mrs. W. A. Donelson, Executive Committee; Col. J. M. Crews, Memphis, Tenn., General Agent. Nine ladies were elected directors, but two took no interest and were soon dropped. And now the Ladies' Hermitage Association must begin the work of putting money into its purse to carry out the obligations of its trust. It had accepted a great work and a difficult one without one dollar of appropriation from the State or any resource whatever. The Associa- tion hoped to raise the money by private sub- scriptions and by giving such entertainments as might be possible. Knowing that funds would be needed before anything at all could be done, the writer, as- sisted by Miss Will Allen Dromgoole, on April 10, II, and 12, 1889, produced the beautiful lit- tle operetta "Birds of Tennessee" at the Ven- dome Theater for the benefit of the Ladies' The By-Laws Are Made, 51 Hermitage Association. The operetta was Miss Dromgoole's own composition. It was a most pleasing musical extravaganza and was well patronized. Miss Dromgoole personally superintended the production, while the writer gathered seventy-five or one hundred children and grown people to participate, rented the the- ater, and was advertising agent, business mana- ger, and general utility man. We had wonder- ful success and cleared about $125, which was put in a bank for the needs of the Association at its first call. Aside from the money spent for the charter, there were a number of incidental expenses, which were personally paid by the writer. Mrs. W. A. Donelson contributed ten dollars from her "Old Folks' Concert" receipts, and afterwards she gave an "Old Folks' Concert" for the benefit of the Association, turning over to the Association forty dollars as the result of her efforts. ■ This small sum of money represented the en- tire assets of a great enterprise that was to in- terest the whole nation and build up a suitable memorial to our great hero, Andrew Jackson. At the meeting of the Board of Trustees Gen. 52 Preservation of the Hermitage. William H. Jackson, who had had much experi- ence in such matters, advised that I get out ter thousand booklets to send broadcast over the land for advertising purposes. Acting under this advice, I prepared a booklet, containing an address to the public, the names of the trus- tees and directors, the charter of incorporation, the act of the Legislature, and the by-laws, making sixteen pages. The address to the public in this booklet is even now good matter and may interest the present-day reader. It is as follows: An Appem. to the Public. The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee has assigned to the care of the Ladies' Hermitage Associa- tion the house and tomb of General Jackson and twenty- five surrounding acres to improve, beautify, and keep forever in perpetual memory of the great hero. The Association proposes to do its work thoroughly — to purchase the relics, to renovate the house, to beautify the grounds, and to make the Hermitage the most beau- tiful spot, as it has been the most interesting spot, in all the Southland. It will be a national museum, inviting pilgrims from the North, the South, the East, and the West, who will delight to honor the memory of him who said : "The Federal Union must and shall be pre- served." The Association proposes to keep in continual repair the house and tomb and ground^. For many years The By-Laws Are Made. 53 nothing has been done in this regard. There is conse- quently great need for a repairing fund, and the first money collected into the treasury will be devoted to restoring to its original beauty the grand old historic mansion, the tomb, and to adorning the grounds. The Association also wishes to purchase the relics and furniture now at the Hermitage and owned by Col. Andrew Jackson and which have been pledged to said Association. These relics are both valuable and inter- esting, and a large sum of money will be required to purchase them. It will readily be seen that to put the homestead in thorough repair, to purchase the relics, and to create an endov/ment fund by which the Asso- ciation is to become self-sustaining, a large sum of money will be required. The Association is national in its character, as An- drew Jackson was national in reputation. He belonged to the people, and to them the Association now appeals for assistance in this great work. The by-laws require a membership fee of one dollar. By this means the Association hopes to realize at least one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, as it is the belief that there are fully that many citizens in the United States who would gladly give that sum to the restora- tion of "Old Hickory's" home. Contributions of any sum from one dollar or less to any great sum a munifi- cent benefactor may be willing to give are solicited. Any contribution may be sent to the Treasurer, L. F. Benson, Nashville, Tenn., and will be receipted by him and placed to the credit of the Association. We hope that this appeal will strike the keynote of patriotism and that in a very few years the home of Andrew Jackson, the beautiful Hermitage, will be the Mecca of 54 Presentation of the Hermitage. all true patriots in the United States and of historic interest to the touring stranger. Mrs. Nathaxiel Baxter, Sr., Regent; Mrs. a. S. Colyar, First Vice Regent; Mrs. J. M. Dickinson, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. D. R. Dorris, Secretary. Ten thousand of these booklets were printed, costing about one hundred dollars of the little fund. At that time the writer had not an idea how great a bulk ten thousand booklets would make, and her house w^as entirely over- run with them. They were in every closet and on every available shelf. It was too many to get out at one time; but they have served a good purpose, and to. this day, after twenty- five years, they are still doing duty as a matter of information. If the writer was going to be the Secretary, she knew^ that she would need a minute book; so she invited Mrs. Lindsley to go with her to purchase one. This book showed her faith in the Ladies' Hermitage Association, for she purchased a leather-bound "cap-size" record book of seven hundred pages. This book did duty for sixteen years, from the organization, May 1 6, 1889, to May, 1905. It is a complete record of all the transactions of the Associa- The By-Laws Are Made. 55 tion during that time. All of its struggles, all of its enterprises, all of its successes are here recorded and may be preserved forever. When the Ladies' Hermitage Association took possession of the Hermitage it found the property in a state of extreme dilapidation. The fences were down, and the lawn had grown up in sprouts as high as a man's head. The house v\^as in bad shape. The roof leaked, shutters were off, glass panes were out of the windows, and the old historic cabin was a tum- bling ruin. During the Civil War Gen. George H. Thomas, commandant of the post at Nashville, had placed an armed guard at the Hermitage to protect it during the internecine strife. While this prevented the house from being pillaged and the outhouses from being burned, it did not check the ravages of time. The adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr., after selling the place to the State of Tennes- see in 1856, moved from there in 1858 to a Mississippi plantation. At the invitation and solicitation of Gov. Isham G. Harris he re- turned to the Hermitage at the breaking out of the Civil War, probably in 186 1. He died 56 Preservation of the Hermitage. there in 1865, and his widow remained as cus- todian until her death, in 1887. Col. Andrew Jackson III. lived at the Hermitage, his moth- er's support and protector. They knew not what day they would be asked to surrender possession of the property, therefore they did not make repairs, nor did they have the means to sustain so large a place. The State did nothing, with the exception of putting an iron rail around the tomb, which was done during the administration of Gov. William B. Bate, when he was the State's chief executive, in 1882. There was ever}'thing to do and no money to do it with, and the very first problem was to determine how to gatlier money to carry on the work. Edward Everett had gone out over the en- tire nation and lectured for the benefit of the Mount Vernon Association. He was the finest orator in the United States, and he turned over to that Association the munificent sum of $69,964, but not until they too had struggled and almost failed. The Ladies' Hermitage Association had no such champion; but its promoters thought that by solicitation alone monev in sufficient sums would flow into its The By-Lardjs Are Made. 57 coffers and that $150,000 would soon be raised. But not so. The money came in slowly and by the most strenuous efforts. Y.\tvy kind of entertainment was given here in the city of its founding, from a ten-cent mirror show to the Theodore Thomas Orchestra concerts. The mirror show proved the best money- maker. The Theodore Thomas Orchestra proved a disastrous venture, and the Associa- tion had to pay a large deficit. It was the only losing proposition ever entered into. There were four concerts, costing fifteen hundred dollars each. The Mendelssohn Quintet Club netted to the Association two hundred dollars. It was managed by the Secretary and Mrs. Maggie L. Hicks, a director, who sold one hundred dollars' worth of tickets. Blind Tom played under the auspices of the Association twice, the first time netting two hundred dol- lars and the second seventy-five dollars. Miss Louise Baxter, daughter of the first Regent, brought in many contributions. Mrs. John G. Carlisle gave a concert in Washington City for the benefit of the Asso- ciation and sent as a net result six hundred dollars on May i, 1894. Emma Abbott, the 58 Preservation of the Hermitage. prima donna, presented to the Association one hundred dollars, and the Nashville Hibernian Society made a donation of twenty-five dol- lars. Gen. Andrew Jackson became a mem- ber of the Hibernian Society of Philadelphia in 18 19. Other friends in Washington City helped gather funds, notably Mrs. Joseph E. Washington, wife of the Congressman from the Hermitage District, Hon. James L. Norris, and Miss Mary E. Wilcox, whose mother was born at the White House during Jackson's administration. The Andrew Jackson Club in Chicago sent substantial assistance; and our sister city of Memphis gave two splendid Jackson Day balls, which netted six hundred and seventy dollars to the Association. A number of individuals contributed as much as one hundred dollars, some fifty, others twenty-five, ten, and on down to the one dollar membership fee — all helping to swell the fund for the patriotic work. Little by little the funds were accumu- lated, and little by little the work of repairing went on. No salaries have ever been paid to any member of the Association. At one time a The By-Lcnvs Are Made. 59 very capable lady, Mrs. C. P. Wright, who was called the Secretary at Large, was engaged. By a \'igorous canvass she brought in a con- siderable amount and was given twenty per cent of all moneys collected. As pointed out in the letter of Mrs. Philodea Eve, the Mount Vernon precedent and organ- ization did not exactly suit that of the Ladies' Hermitage Association. The very fact that the property was owned by the State prevented contributions in many instances. A notable one was that of Daniel E. Sickles, who was solicited for a contribution. He said : "I do not see how it is possible that the State of Tennessee could allow any one to aid in pre- serving Andrew Jackson's home." And yet was not Andrew Jackson a national hero? In this connection it is well to make a state- ment in regard to a matter which has caused much misunderstanding and will continue to do so unless explained. When the by-laws were made. Dr. J. Berrien Lindsley, a warm friend and constant adviser of the writer in all the work she was doing, had inserted in the by-laws the clause "and receive for her service a salary of twenty-five dollars per month." 6o Preservation of the Hermitage. Dr. Lindsle}' had said to the writer before the by-laws were made: "Now, you must be the Secretary, for you know that the Secre- Ury is the drudge worker." Dr. Lindsley himself was the Secretary of the State Board of Health and appreciated the duties of secre- tary. At a general meeting of all the mem- bers on March 24, 1897, there was a large attendance. In the minutes of that day, on page 300 of the minute book, there is the following self-explanatory entr}': Mrs. Mary L, Baxter, Regent, and Mrs. Albert S. Marks, Acting Regent : This is to certify that I hereby donate to the Ladies' Hermitage Association any 'and all amounts due me as Secretary of the Association for the past eight years. This receipt is given inasmuch as at the last meeting of the Board of Trustees it was at my request that by- law No. 5 was amended by striking out the words "and receive for her service a salary of twenty-five dollars per month." This salary I have never drawn, knowing full well the inability of the Association to pay such a salary and believing that the service should be gra- tuitous. In Ma5% 1^2, I managed the May Musical Festival of Theodore Thomas for the benefit of the Association. There was a deficit of $336.70, which the Association paid and which was accredited to me as back salary, but from which I received no personal benefit. I make these statements and present this receipt that The By-Laws Are Made. 6i there may be no future legal complications arising and that the gift of this salary, to which I was legally en- titled, be full and free to this Association and not sub- ject to the claims of either myself, my heirs, or assigns. I hereby give my receipt in full. Very respectfully, Mrs. Mary C. Dorris^ Secretary. March 24, 1897. CHAPTER V. The Option on the Relics — Active Work Begun. Closely following upon the first biennial election a meeting was called by Mrs. Mary L. Baxter at her home June i8, 1889, which was the very first meeting of the new organization. It is worth while to note the names of those present, representing almost the entire strength of the Association at that time. These were Mesdames Nathaniel 'Baxter, William Mor- row, J. M. Dickinson, A. S. Colyar, John Ruhm, W. A. Donelson, and D. R. Dorris. To carry out the national idea the effort was made to appoint vice regents in every State of the Union, and the following ladies were appointed: Mrs. Grover Geveland, of New York; Mrs. Potter Palmer, of Illinois; Mrs. A. K. McClure, of Pennsylvania; Mrs. Judge Grant, of Iowa; Mrs. William Mack, of In- diana; Mrs. Lee, of Virginia; Mrs. Merrick, of Louisiana; ]\Irs. William E. Eakin, of Con- necticut; Mrs. W. C. P. Breckenridge, of Ken- (62) option on Relics — Active Work Begun. 63 tucky; Mrs. Henry W. Grady, of Georgia; and Mrs. Ellen Call Long, of Florida. They were notified by the Secretary, but none of them took up the work nor did anything, with the single exception of Mrs. Ellen Call Long, of Florida, whose father, General Call, was one of Jackson's aids. Later others were selected. The immediate business of the meeting was to arrange all the details of an excursion to the Hermitage and of the concerts to be given dur- ing the meeting of the National Educational Association in Nashville in July. This was the very first effort of the new Association after organization was effected. The Hermitage w^as then thrown open for the first time in its history as a public institution. The date was from July 17 to 20, 1889. It was a difilicult matter to handle owing to the great inaccessibility of the place. Boats were chartered, landing on the Cum_berland River three miles distant from the Hermitage. It was the landing from which General Jackson shipped his cotton to New Orleans and received from there sugar, molasses, and other supplies for the plantation, and often furniture and household articles not to be procured in Nash- 64 Preservation of the Hermitage. ville. Trips were made by rail, the station also being three miles from the Hermitage. Either vray there was a three-mile drive to be made ere the Hermitage was reached. Wag- ons were engaged, and after meeting the train they had the trip to m.ake to the river over a rough and unused road. About one thou- sand persons visited the Hermitage during the four days, and a great advertisement was given the enterprise, but very little money was left in the treasur}^ after all the expenses were paid. An interesting event of the occasion was the arrival at the Hermitage, just one hour before the first pleasure wa^n of excursionists got there, of a little stranger, the last one of the Jackson name ever to be born at the Hermitage. The visitors were much interested in the new arrival ; and a committee of the educators pre- sented the little boy with an up-to-date primer, laying the baby hands upon it when he was but a few hours old. The President of the Na- tional Educational Association was Albert Prescott ]Marble, a most worthy gentleman from New England, and the little fellow was named Albert Marble Jackson in his honor. On June 25, 1889, another meeting was option on Relics — Active Work Begun, 65 held by the Board of Directors to take action upon an option given by Col. Andrew Jackson on the relics. At the time the Ladies' Hermit- age Association was organized the relics, fur- niture, and belongings were all in the house, just as they had been in General Jackson's life- time. There were beautiful and costly things there, for General Ja,ckson's house was a per- fect and handsome* type of the old Southern homestead, and all the furnishings were not only pretty but elegant. The house is a large two-story brick, with a spacious central hall and rooms opening into it from each side. These rooms, four down- stairs and four upstairs, are twenty feet square. The two wings give eleven rooms in the main building; and while there are not so many rooms, it is a large and commodious house. Large porticoes on the front and rear, sup- ported by fluted columns, give a grand and imposing appearance to the mansion. All of these rooms were elegantly furnished with solid mahogany, plain but handsome. All of this furniture was the property of Col. An- drew Jackson, having been willed to him by his mother. One of the first thoughts of the 5 66 Preservation of the Hermitage. Association was to secure these relics and this furniture, for they were the actual belongings of Gen. Andrew Jackson and were owned and used by him. There were the bed he died upon and his room just as it was the day he died, June 8, 1845. There were mirrors, portraits, tables, chairs, bedsteads, sofas, and, in fact, all the belongings of a well-to-do Southern household. On these relics Colonel and Mrs. Jackson gave an option for $17,500 and four years' time for all that was in the house, including silver, cut glass, souvenirs, bric-a-brac, etc., to the number of five 'hundred articles, w'hich were catalogued and given in the option. Colonel and Mrs. Jackson continued to reside at the Hermitage as its custodians, awaiting the result of the efforts of the Association to raise the fund for the purchase of the relics. The Association not having possession of the Hermitage farm. Colonel Jackson was left entirely without resource; and as there was not a superabundance of money coming in, it was difficult to make suitable arrangements for his necessary expenses. A plan was made by which lie was to receive three per cent on option on Relics — Active Work Begun. 6y the value tied up in the relics. This was paid part of the time; but all arrangements proved more or less unsatisfactory, for the needs of his family were not sufficiently provided for. To redeem the Association's trust to the State it was necessary that the bulk of the funds accumulated be devoted to the work of repairing and improving. The very first work done was on the old historic cabin, which was the first home of Andrew Jackson on the Her- mitage farm. This old log house, at once a re- minder of pioneer days as well as a reminder of Andrew Jackson, was at one time a two-story building, with other log houses around it, and was erected in 1804. Aaron Burr was enter- tained there in 1805. The little baby boy, An- drew Jackson, Jr., the son of his adoption, was taken there in 1809, and in 1815 Gen. Andrew Jackson returned to its humble doors a conquering hero and the idol of the nation. In this block house hospitality reigned su- preme, and it is said that in his home "the humblest peddler was as welcome as the Presi- dent of the United States" and that Andrew Jackson was the "prince of hospitality." 68 Preservation of the Hermitage. From the minutes of the Association is taken the following : Shortly after the National Educational Association excursions in July  the precarious condition of the old historic cabin was pointed out to the Secretary; and, although limited in funds, the order was given and a contract made for its proper restoration. The chim- ney had fallen, the sills on one side were rotted away, and its downfall seemed imminent. Several visits were made to the Hermitage during its renovation by the Regent and Secretary, that its historic character might not be lost, and the cabin was restored as near to its original character as possible. The chimney was re- built of the same fallen brick and in the same style. Six new sills were added. A new board roof was put in the place of the one that had been lost by decay and a new floor put in. The old pieces of wood not decayed were used to make souvenirs— -dainty match safes and toothpick holders — and all sold well to visitors going to the Hermitage. When the work of renovation was going on, the carpenters doing the work called the atten- tion of the Regent and Secretary to the beaded joists forming the ceiling of the first floor room, but w^hich are now supporting the ground floor and which can be seen only by looking up under the house as it now stands. Cornelius Hankins, then a vouno: artist, vis- option on Relics — Active Work Begun. 69 ited the Hermitage the day after the Associa- tion was given possession and asked permis- sion of Col. Andrew Jackson to paint a picture of the cabin and was referred to the Regent. The artist came back to the city, and that night a heavy windstorm blew down the chimney and careened the whole cabin, making it all the more picturesque for the artist's purpose, but causing dismay to the Association. A copy of the picture was presented to the Asso- ciation by the artist, and it may now be seen at the Hermitage in the relic collection of in- teresting articles and shows one of the things that the Association had to contend with. The old block house was changed by Gen- eral Jackson himself from the two-story to a one-story house and was used for years as one of the cabins for the habitation of his negro slaves. The brick house on the present site was built in 18 19. General Jackson said that he built it for his wife, that she might have the comforts of a suitable home after his death. His health was much broken by his arduous campaigns, and his thought was that the woman he loved would long survive him. But such was not the case; for his beloved 70 Preservation of the Hermitage. Rachel died at the Hermitage December 22, 1828, just before the President elect left his home for Washington City to be inaugurated President of the United States. She did not live to share his triumphs nor to sustain him in his greater work to the nation. The brick house was burned in 1834 while Jackson was absent at Washington, when the adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr., and his family were sojourning there. It was rebuilt in 1835 upon the same site and in very much the same style. CHAPTER VI. Mrs. Mary L. Baxter. It seems that the Association, through all its vicissitudes, had moments of inspiration; and it was some such moment as this which prompted the writer, after the Association was founded and chartered, to ask ^Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, w4fe of Judge Nathaniel Baxter, to become its Regent. Mrs. Baxter was a woman of much culture, fine intellect, and great experi- ence in organized work. She entered upon the duties of Regent of the Ladies' Hermitage Association with a faithfulness and zeal which was characteristic of her and which argued well for the Association. From the time she accepted the position until laid upon a bed of illness, during a period of eight years, she showed an untiring zeal and energy that many a younger woman might have envied, giving almost her entire time and thought to the work. She was prominent in social circles and had a broad acquaintance not only in this city and State but all over the Union. This wide ac- (70 72 Preservation of the Hermitage. quaintance was of great value to the Associa- tion and enabled her to bring to her support many influential people. After the first elec- tion, when i\Irs. Baxter Avas made Regent, the Secretar>% who lived only two blocks away, often ran up to see her on business of the Asso- ciation or talked with her over the telephone, until it was laughingly said : "The Ladies' Her- mitage Association is always in session." In these early days efforts were made to interest as many persons as possible. Meetings were held whenever necessary, but it was some time before a regular, definite day was settled upon. All the meetings were held at Mrs. Baxter's home. The Association had taken the trust, as has been said before in these pages, without one dollar of appropriation from the State and conducted the work, repairing and improving, without the State's aid for six years. Those first months were truly busy ones, and every- body or organization that came to the city was solicited for funds. While a great deal came from outside the State, the continued, persistent efforts were sustained by the citizens of Nash- ville. Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, 73 The National Prison Association, of which Ex-President Rutherford B. Hayes was Pres- ident, met in this city, and from it Mrs. Maggie L. Hicks, a most heroic worker, se- cured forty members. The Prison Association was taken on an excursion to the Hermitage. Of it I find in the minutes, under the date of November 12, 1889, the following: "The Association finds a greater gain in these excur- sions than in almost any other form of adver- tising, the beautiful Hermitage and its inter- esting relics speaking for themselves." Another fine source of revenue, and one of the best-patronized events, was, and is, the an- nual celebration of Jackson Day, January 8, the anniversary of the battle of New Orleans. The custom is to give a brilliant ball, as that was the mode of entertainment in Jackson's time. An effort has always been made to give the ball a historic feature, and many pretty ideas have developed as each Regent put her best thought into it. The first celebration of Jackson Day after organization was such a beautiful affair that it is even now remembered with pleasure. It was a historic costume reception, and Andrew 74 Preservation of the Hermitage. Jackson, Mrs. Rachel Jackson, the Cabinet, and diplomatic corps were personated by ladies and gentlemen of the city. Handsome engraved cards of invitation were issued, fifteen hundred in number. An admission card was inclosed, for which three dollars was charged for two persons. Copying from the minutes of January 13, we find the following : The day was a grand success. The citizens entered heartily into the enthusiasm of the day, and the city was elaborately decorated with bunting for the occasion. It was a general holiday, and the streets were thronged with people. Col. Jere Baxter called out the militia; and the day, which was bright, beautiful, and balmy, the sunshine glorious, began with a grand military pageant through the streets, in which prominent citizens acted as marshals, Governor Taylor and his staff also par- ticipating. The troops passed in review before Governor Taylor and staff and the Ladies' Hermitage Association on the south side of the State Capitol. Entering the Capitol, speeches were made by prominent citizens, and the Jackson Club was formed, with Col. A. K. McClure as President. The Jackson flower, the hyacinth, was largely worn. Beautiful floral tributes from President Harrison and from the Governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Arkansas, Florida, and Wisconsin were placed on the Jackson statue and afterwards taken to the Hermitage. The floral tributes were pho- tographed. . . . Mrs, Mary L. Baxter, 75 The Andrew Jackson Historic Costume Reception was a brilliant success. Andrew Jackson and his wife, Mrs. Rachel Jackson, the entire Cabinet, and diplomatic corps were personated by handsomely dressed ladies and gentlemen, the most prominent people of the city. An interesting feature was the lighting of the historic can- dle found in Lord Cornwallis's tent at Yorktown. It was held aloft by Col. Jeremiah George Harris (at one time purser of the navy and who represented General Jackson) and allowed to burn only one minute. This candle was presented to General Jack- son with the suggestion that he light it on every 8th day of January, which custom he always observed. The candle was one of the relic collection owned by Colonel Jackson. The gross receipts from this reception were four hundred and eighty dollars ; but the net receipts were rather small, for the expenses were heavy. On March 30, 1890, the Association tried to lease seventy-five acres of the woodland from the soldiers* home trustees, to pay therefor five dollars per acre. The proposition was not ac- cepted. I find from the minutes that in April, 1890, a new roof had been put on the main building and all of the outhouses covered with the old tin which was removed. The latter, of an extraordinarily good quality, was probably put on when the house was rebuilt after the 76 Preservation of the Hermitage. fire in 1835. The roof was in very bad condi- tion, leaking badly, causing the plastering to fall in upstairs bedrooms and on the porticoes. The pictorial wall paper, representing the "Legend of Telemachus," was hanging in shreds and threatened with destruction. An expert wall paper man was sent out and spent two weeks putting the paper back on the wall. As Mrs. Baxter aptly remarked, "It was like so much darning'' ; but it was rescued from de- struction and is now in a very fair state of preservation. A general utility man was sent there and spent days repairing locks, insert- ing lost screws, putting in window panes, and doing like odd jobs that hardly showed for the work put ujxin them, yet it was much needed and added to the general renovation. A new fence was put around the entire twenty- five acres. About this time Mrs. Baxter and her co- workers made great efforts to get a railroad to the Hermitage, its inaccessibility making 'it very difficult to handle anything out there. All repair work cost more, workmen were hard to get, material difficult to deliver, and, in fact, into every enterprise this inaccessibility inter- Mrs, Mary L. Baxter. ^y jected itself disagreeably. Therefore one of the very first efforts was to get a railroad. Mrs. Maggie L. Hicks and Mrs. Isabella M. Clark had been added to the Board of Directors and were made a Railroad Com- mittee. They reported that the probable cost would be ten thousand dollars for four miles of track, but a regular railroad would cost at least thirty thousand dollars and would be a constant expense. However, the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway made the proposition, through IMaj. J. W. Thomas, to build and equip a road from the station to the Hermitage if the Association would secure the right of way and raise five thousand dollars. It was this sum that Mrs. Baxter was working for. She succeeded in getting three thousand dollars subscribed, but could never attain to the greater sum, and the plan was finally aban- doned. To this day the crying need for the successful operation of the work of the Asso- ciation is a railroad or a trolley line to the old historic Hermitage. On May 20, 1 891, was held the second bi- ennial election. In the reports It was found that three thousand five hundred dollars had 78 Preservation of the Hermitage. been raised and expended in the two years. The election resulted as follows : Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, Regent; Mrs. Albert S. Marks, First Vice Regent; I\Irs. J. B. Lindsley, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. D. R. Dorris, Secretary; Mrs. William Morrow, Mrs. John Ruhm, Mrs. W. A. Donelson, Mrs. John M. Gaut, Mrs. Mag- gie L. Hicks, directors; Dr. William Morrow, Treasurer. While the reports did not show a very large business, yet it was still progressive and in a fair way to do more and better things. One of the most successful of the enter- prises of the Association was a grand ball given at the Ponce de Leon Hotel, in St. Augustine, Fla., on February 4, 1892. The hotel was given the Association free of charge by Mr. Henry M. Flagler, the New York millionaire. Mrs. Baxter and Mrs. C. P. Wright visited St. Augustine and made all the arrangements, and the latter put it through. The net result was $2,082, and it was the best enterprise the Association had ever managed. A large dele- gation went from the city of Nashville. This money was put in the bank as a "nest tgg^' for the purchase of the relics. Acting under the advice of Dr. Lindsley and Mrs. Mary L. Baxter. 79 Gen. W. H. Jackson, the Legislature was asked to appropriate fifteen thousand dollars for the purchase of the relics, but not then nor ever afterwards did such effort succeed. The option on the relics expired in July, 1893; and still, not having secured the pur- chase money, there was no alternative but to allow the valuable collection to be removed by their owner. Colonel and Mrs. Jackson moved away from the Hermitage, taking with them everything in the house, leaving bare walls and naked rooms, in which there was but a memory. It became necessary to engage a caretaker to superintend the premises and protect it from all dangers. A suitable man, one who under- stood horticulture, for there was great need in that direction, was engaged. It was very necessary, with the limited income of the Asso- ciation, that the caretaker be also a man who could give a good day's work on the grounds or house if needed. The new caretaker did good work in the garden, which was a perfect wilderness and overgrown with weeds, and im- proved its appearance not a little. He trans- planted bulbs, moved shrubs, cut down trees which had voluntarily sprung up, dug up So Preservation of the Hermitage. sprouts, and otherwise brought order out of chaos. He remained at the Hermitage two years and performed a wonderful amount of very much needed work. Then a stalwart young farmer from the neighborhood was engaged. He happened to be not only a good farmer but a good carpen- ter, a fair painter, and, in fact, an ingenious, industrious man, ready to turn his hand to any- thing that was needed. He had not been long married; and his wife, a comely little matron, was equally adapted to the work. Both fitted into the place m.ost admirably and have proved to be the right persons in the right place. The fact that they have continued in the service of the Association for twenty years and at this writing are still there proves their eminent fit- ness for the position. Their only child was born there. They have grown up, so to speak, with the Association. They understand its needs and know its wishes as well as do the members of the Board themselves. They are Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Baker and may still be found rendering faithful and efificient service at the Hermitage. In 1895 Mrs. Albert S. Marks, wife of Ex- Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, 8l Governor Marks and First Vice Regent of the Association, after consultation with the Board of Directors and free discussion of the subject, went before the State Legislature and secured an appropriation of fifty dollars per month from that body, the first that had ever been appropriated by them for the benefit of the Association. This enabled the Board to pay their caretaker without exertion on their part. On May 2;^, 1895, an admission fee at the door was first charged; and as there was then very little to be seen inside the building, this fee was put at ten cents. As the minutes state, this was to "ser\^e as a restraint to large visit- ing bodies, who were apt to overstep the bounds of privilege while there, rather than as a source of revenue." In 1896-97 Mrs. Baxter's health, always del- icate, began to fail. For eight years she had stood bravely to the forefront, working with a zeal and a will to see the Association put upon a firm foundation. She had seen a measure of success in the improved appearance of the Her- mitage house and grounds, though it was far from being as she most desired it. She saw an Association still determined, still indefati- 6 82 Preservation of the Hermitage. gable, working to carry out its trusts ; and now she must leave it to other hands and minds to carry on the work she so loved and could only look on for many more months from her bed of pain. Into the hands of ]\Irs. Albert S. Marks, First Vice Regent, the work was intrusted, and she took up the burdens of administration. Mrs. Baxter had been so efficient, so loyal, so brave, and had carried on the work so suc- cessfully, even when physically unable to take upon herself any burden, that it was hard for any one to take her place. In Mrs. Marks she found a worthy coworker, though Mrs. Marks herself was of fragile health. Mrs. j\Iarks conducted the affairs of the As- sociation whenever Mrs. Baxter was unable to preside, taking the chair first at a meeting May 13, 1896. It was during Mrs. Mark's admin- istration as Acting Regent that the Tennessee Centennial Exposition was held in Nashville, and she carried to a successful issue the repre- sentation of the Ladies' Hermitajre Association o at the exposition. It was while this exposition v/as going on and during the administration of Mrs. ]\larks that the first purchase of the MRS. MARY C. DORRIS. Mrs, Mary L, Baxter. 83 valuable and interesting relics owned by Colo- nel Jackson was made and the return of the relics to their old home in the Hermitage was actually begun. While the exposition was going on Colonel Jackson wrote to the Association, offering the old historic State coach used while Andrew Jackson was President and in which he made several trips to and from Washington City during his administration, the journey requir- ing thirty days. The price asked was one hun- dred dollars, and the Association immediately became the purchaser of this most interesting and quaint old carriage, and it was put in the transportation building at the exposition as one of its most interesting exhibits, where it at- tracted a great deal of attention. The next acquisition was the bedroom fur- niture of Gen. Andrew Jackson which he used during his life, consisting of a bed, a dresser, a washstand, a couch or sofa, a table, chairs, fender and andirons, all the portraits, and a scrap of carpet. The price asked was one thou- sand dollars. This the Association gave, and the furniture was shipped by Colonel Jackson from Cincinnati. From this time on the relic 84 Presentation of the Hermitage. furniture began to flow back to its old home. The hah furniture came next; and from time to time, as the Association accumulated the money, some coveted article was secured, and the good work went on. ^Mrs. Marks continued to administer the af- fairs of the Association from 1896, relieved at times by Mrs. Baxter, whenever able, and oc- casionally by Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, at whose home a great many of the meetings w^ere held. On April 5, 1898, Mrs. Albert S. Marks, having failed in health, requiring tlie attend- ance of trained nurses and physicians, resigned the acting regency and from the Board. Now and then Mrs. Baxter was able to pre- side; but the burden of administration fell upon Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, assisted sometimes by Mrs. P. H. Manlove, who had been elected Treasurer, the first woman to hold that office. Mrs. Baxter was Regent for ten years, but for at least three years of that time she was too ill to manage the affairs of the Association. In 1897 the by-laws were revised, and a limit of four years, or two terms of two years each, was put upon the office. On May 9, 1902, Mrs. Mar\^ L. Baxter died Mrs. Mary L. Baxter. 85 after years of illness. The regular meeting of the Board of Directors, which was in session when her death was announced, adjourned out of respect to her memory. A beautiful floral tribute was sent, and the Association attended the funeral in a body. Resolutions of respect to her memory were passed. CHAPTER VII. The Regents. In 1899, at the regular biennial election in May, Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley was elected Re- gent, another happy choice in the selection of a leader. Mrs. Lindsley had been connected with the Association from its very first organization and always had its every interest at heart. Her husband, Dr. Lindsley, was one of the first trustees, and her daughter. Miss Louise Grundy Lindsley, was a charter member. She had been a lifelong friend of the Jackson family; and in girlhood she had often been a welcome guest at the Hermitage house parties with the fair young Rachel Jackson, the granddaughter of the old hero. During her administration many relics were added to the collection, and the old home began to look as it did when Jackson's tall form was reflected in the long mirrors. The relic collection had grown to such an ex- tent that it became necessary to place iron guards at the doors to protect the furnishings. (86) The Regents. ^7 Mrs. Lindsley's house became the home of ilie Association; and all the meetings were held there, her spacious parlors affording- ample ac- commodations for any number of guests. During Mrs. Lindsley's administration the admission fee was raised from ten cents to twenty-five cents. The, sale of flowers was in- augurated, by which much money was made. The colors of green and white were selected for the Association, and a badge designed by Miss Louise Lindsley was adopted. The badge is a wreath of hickory leaves of green enamel with the intitials *'L. H. A." in white enamel. Some distinguished visitors were entertained at the Hermitage during Mrs. Lindsley's ad- ministration—Admiral and Mrs. Dewey and Admiral and Mrs. Schley. Admiral Dewey and his wife came in the summer time, when the garden was a glorious flower bed. A bar- becue was given him, and the tables were laid beneath the beautiful spreading maples of the rear yard. Hundreds of guests were present. Admiral and Mrs. Schley came in the winter season, in the very coldest weather. During Mrs. Lindsley's administration in- surance was taken out on the house and fur- 88 Preservation of the Hermitage. niture and has since been carried in reasonable but not large amounts. If destroyed, articles in the house could never be replaced, and every precaution is being taken to prevent fire. Just after the Tennessee Centennial Exposition eight fire extinguishers were purchased and put in the building. It was also during Mrs. Lindsley's regency that an appropriation of one thousand dollars was made by the State for needed improve- ments and repairs. Previous to this five hun- dred dollars had been appropriated by the State for the same purpose. On June 4, 1903, the Board of Directors met with the Regent, Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, and much important business was transacted. It was the last time those present ever had an opportunity of meeting with the beloved and honored Regent. By the next meeting, July 3, the angel of death was hovering near; and two days later, July 5, 1903, she passed away, her life having been a benediction to all around her. The Hermitage and its works in the twelve years that Mrs. Lindsley was connected with it had been the one thing in life that interested The Regents, 89 her. She was ever gracious and tactful and gentle in her rulings, and the Association pros- pered in every way under her administration. On August 5, 1903, the vacancy caused by Mrs. Lindsley's death was filled by electing her daughter, Miss Louise Lindsley, on the Board of Directors, and Mrs. A. M. Shook was elect- ed Regent. During Mrs. Shook's regency there was much done. At a meeting on September 2, 1903, the Treasurer, Mrs. Walter Allen, re- ported that Mr. A. P. Foster had turned over to her $276.03 as a result of the canvass made by Col. Jere Baxter, son of Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, through the Nashville News, to apply on the purchase of the relics. The effort was made to raise ten thousand dollars with which to purchase those relics still owned by Mrs. Andrew Jackson; but less than three hundred dollars w^as raised, though the utmost efforts were put forth by the News Company to se- cure the necessary amount. All of which goes to prove that it was only by continued efforts that the relics have been purchased, and not by any easy or whirlwind methods. The State of Tennessee, through private 90 Preservation of the Hermitage. committees of citizens, reproduced the Hermit- age as the State building at the World's Uni- versal Exposition, held at St. Louis in 1904. Andrew Jackson's bedroom was reproduced, an exact replica of his room at the Hermitage, the Association using some of the historic furniture for the purpose, which added much to the in- terest of the exhibit. Another interesting fea- ture of the World's Fair Hermitage w^as the presence of Mrs. Rachel Jackson Lawrence, granddaughter of General Jackson, as the host- ess of the Tennessee building on the exposition grounds. The writer was' appointed by Mrs. Shook and the Board to represent the Association at this same exposition and remained in St. Louis for seven months, or during the entire time it was being held, Mrs. W. J. McMurray serv- ing as Secretary during the regular Secretary's absence. The writer was also a commissioner of the State and lived in the W^orld's Fair Hermitage, which was the State's building. Maj. E. B. Stahlman and Maj. E. C. Lewis were the promoters of the work of replicating the Hermitage; and they carried out the fur- nishings in ever\' detail, creating a most beau- The Regents. 91 tiful replica of the historic Hermitage, which made a grand appearance with the other histor- ic State buildings on the exposition grounds. The pictorial wall paper of "Telemachus'* was reproduced by hand-painting on canvas, the young lady artist sitting in the halls of the Hermitage for three months to make the copy. After the exposition closed this hand-painted copy was presented to the Ladies* Hermitage Association; and it is now on the walls of the upper hall, all the papering there having been lost by the damp and the depredations of relic hunters. The Hermitage building, being an old brick one and not having had fire in any of the cham- bers for many years, was dreadfully affected by the dampness. Whenever there was a change in the weather it caused a dense fog in the rooms, which gathered into water on the walls and trickled down to the floor. Mrs. Shook caused to be installed an up-to-date hot- air furnace, which corrected all the dampness, has made the building warm and comfortable through the severest weather, and is one of the most needed and best improvements ever made there. Mrs. Shook also caused a tele- 92 Presentation of the Hermitage. phone to be placed there, which had ahva}s been a necessity; but up to that time the Asso-- ciation had never felt able to afford such an expense. On May 17, 1905, the writer of this history was elected Regent, having served continuously as Secretary during the entire life of the Asso- ciation, sixteen years. One of the first works of this administration was to build a two-room cottage for a dining room and kitchen for the caretaker, which gave to the family a home privacy and allowed the old historic kitchen, always interesting, to be fitted up as a part of of the exhibit. In 1907 President Roosevelt, then the chief executive of the nation, visited the Hermitage, and it was the privilege of the writer as Regent to receive him. The venerable Mrs. Rachel Jackson Lawrence, granddaughter of General Jackson, the Board of Directors, and the mem- bership generally, assisted. The President was so pleased with his visit and so enthusiastic with the work that he pledged himself to secure from Congress an appropriation for the benefit of the Association. The President urged the matter in his message to Congress; and Sena- The Regents. 93 tor James B. Frazier and Congressman John W. Gaines secured an appropriation of five thousand dollars, which enabled the Regent to carry out some long-cherished plans. A system of waterworks was installed, bring- ing water from the spring to the garden and the house. The spring has a capacity of from fifty thousand to sixty thousand gallons daily. The spring itself was greatly improved, and a stone wall was put around the pool in a sub- stantial and permanent manner. The interior woodwork was painted for the first time since the State became its owner, in 1856. The woodwork was in very bad condition and need- ed numerous coats of paint to whiten it, the mantelpieces requiring no less than seven coats of paint to bring them to the desired condition. The wall paper in the upper chambers is the same that was put on when Andrew Jackson lived, and the house was rebuilt in 1835. This paper is very quaint and old-fashioned. In a guest room at the head of the stairway the pattern is in huge bunches of roses, each design being in a block of paper not more than three feet long and not in a continuous roll, as is done at present. Owing to the damp 94 Preservation of the Hermitage. and the falling off of the plastering in this room, when the plaster was renewed some years previously there was a large section in the northwest corner that showed only the white finish on the wall. This white corner, extending almost halfway on each side, was deftly and beautifully frescoed in by an artist, who reproduced the huge bunches of roses so perfectly that even the closest inspection fails to note any difference between the frescoing and the old wall pajDer. Each of the Regents after 1897 has added to the relic collection; and some very valuable articles were purchased during the administra- tion of the writer, including the very valuable and historic portrait of Jackson known as the Healy portrait. There are only two of Healy's paintings of Jackson extant. One hangs at the Hermitage and the other in the Louvre, at Paris. There are many duplicates, for it is a favorite subject of copy ; but there are only two original Healy's. The story of the painting at the Hermitage is very interesting. The artist, Healy, had been commissioned by Louis Philippe to paint the portraits of prominent Americans for the The Regents. 95 French gallery. Healy was at the home of Henry Clay, in Kentucky, when he learned that Andrew Jackson was in a low state of health and liable to pass away any day. He hastened to the Hermitage, having to travel by private conveyance, and arrived there while Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, the General's daughter-in-law, had gone to the city for the day. The old hero was placidly awaiting his final summons in his bedchamber when the artist arrived at the door. Dick, the house man, an- swered the artist's ring and told him that Gen- eral Jackson was very ill. The artist presented his card and sent it into the sick chamber. Dick returned and said that General Jackson was too feeble to meet him. But the artist did not give up and sent the man back, following him into General Jackson's bedchamber. The old General was seated in front of a small wood fire, for the day was a cool one in early June. The artist rushed past the serving man and threw himself upon his knees at the feet of the sick man. Startled and astonished, the old General, retaining his poise, said : "Rise, sir; rise! Kneel to no one but your Maker!" Reassured, the artist sprang to his feet, reached 96 Preservation of the Hermitage. in his pocket for his papers, and presented the commission from Louis PhiHppe. The old General read them and slowly and feebly said : "Young man, never forget your credentials." This was just eight days before the old hero's death. The artist began his sittings and made two portraits, one for the gallery of the Louvre and the other for the Hermitage. He was domi- ciled as a member of the family during the sit- tings and remained there for some time, mak- ing a third portrait, which he copied from a painting there. This he presented to Mrs. Marion Adams, the widowed sister of Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, who was a member of her household. This latter portrait was after- wards sold in New York City. The price paid by the Association for the Healy portrait was seven hundred and fifty dollars. Other valuable and interesting relics were purchased during the administration of the writer. The home of the Regent became the home of the Association, and all the meet- ings were held there. At each general meeting light refreshments were served and a social hotu* enjoyed. The membership increased GEN. ANDREW JACKSON — THE HEALY PORTRAIT. The Regents, 97 largely during this administration, growing from seventy-five accredited voters in 1905 to two hundred and thirty-eight in 1909. At the close of the regency, which expired by limita- tion after four years* incumbency, the retiring Regent again took the office of Secretary, which office had been ably filled by Mrs. Walter Allen during the writer's administration as Regent. In 1909 Miss Louise G. Lindsley, a charter member and daughter of one of the first trus- tees and the second Regent, Dr. and Mrs. J. B. Lindsley, was elected to the regency and entered upon the work with ability and enthu- siasm. Her familiarity with the work qualified her in no small way for the requirements of the position. The former administration had left in the treasury two thousand five hundred dol- lars of the congressional appropriation, and she had this fund to continue to apply to the work of improvement. The writer might here state that no moneys ever appropriated by the State or given by Con- gress has ever been applied to the purchase of relics. All the moneys, a total at this writing 7 98 Preservation of the Hermitage. of fifteen thousand dollars, has been raised by the Ladies' Hermitage Association. At this writing the Hermitage is beautifully and completely furnished with the genuine rel- ics and furniture, the actual belongings and mementos of General Jackson. All these rel- ics and this beautiful furniture have been pur- chased by the Ladies' Hermitage Association. The Association alone is the sole owner, not even the State of Tennessee having the slight- est claim upon them. From the first founding of the Association there has been no retrograde movement. The progress has been slow but sure. The improve- ments are of the most substantial and perma- nent character. The Association has always been conducted upon a high plane, and year by year it has grown in power and influence and has always ranked as one of the finest organi- zations in the State. By clever management the Association has almost made one dollar do the work of two, and with the assistance of the caretaker himself it has accomplished wonders with a minimum outlay. The ladies have proved good financiers, and thev have never had a debt which was not well The Regents. 99 in hand. In buying relics an obligation was usually made, but the obligation was amply provided for and paid when it fell due. From 1899 to 1 90 1 Mrs. A. M. Shook served as Treasurer. From 1901 to 1904 Mrs. Walter Allen held the ofifice. Then, at the special re- quest of the Board, Mrs. P. H. Manlove again took the books and has managed the finances to the present writing, her ability and judg- ment and her correct and conscientious han- dling of the funds making her a valuable mem- ber of the Board. The new Regent, Miss Lindsley, entered ac- tively into the work and carried on the improve- ments to a higher degree. The cottage, con- sisting of just two rooms and a pantry, was moved farther to the north and the rear. Sev- eral rooms were added, with a bathroom and all conveniences, hot and cold water, and an altogether livable, habitable place of abode was fitted up for the caretaker and his family, giv- ing them the privacy of their own home. At the same time this arrangement allowed the entire main building to be thrown open as an exhibit. The two rooms (the bedrooms of Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson) formerlv ncmpied loo Preservation of the Hermitage. by the caretaker were fitted up with some of the genuine furniture. The former nursery adjoining was fitted up as a museum, none of the nurser}^ furniture being available. The purchase of relics continued. Colonel Andrew Jackson died in Knoxville, Tenn., in December, 1906; but his widow, Mrs. Amy Jackson, continues to sell the relics, holding them until such time as the Association is able to purchase. Miss Lindsley inaugurated the system of regular monthly payments upon the purchases, which not only made it easy for the Association to meet the obligations, but gave a regular income to Mrs. Jackson. One of the most important purchases was that of Hiram Powers's bust of Jackson, which was not only a historic relic, but a work of art as well. The price paid for it was three thousand dollars, the highest-priced and most valuable single article ever purchased by the Association. Another very important work of Miss Linds- ley's administration was that of the "tree doc- tor" on the splendid old monarchs of the forest on the front lawn. Eight hundred dollars was piit into this work, repultinjr ven^ benefici^llv to The Regents, loi the grand old trees which were threatened with decay. Miss Lindsley's administration brought in more money than any previous administration ; for she managed successfully several very large outings and barbecues for various organiza- tions. One of the most brilliant affairs was the entertainment of the Secretary of War in President Taft's Cabinet, Hon. Jacob McGav- ock Dickinson, who was in Nashville during a grand military encampment in July, 19 lo. Under Secretary Dickinson's direction all the United States soldiers of the encampment were ordered to the Hermitage, and a President's salute of twenty-one guns was fired over Jack- son's grave. Many distinguished bodies and many distin- guished men have visited the Hermitage during the twenty-five years of the Association's life; and it has become the one spot that all visitors to the city are shown by their hosts, whether individually or as guests of our commercial organizations. These visits always result in financial benefit to the Association, for an ad- mission fee of twenty-five cents is charged at the door. The automobile has greatly helped 102 Presewation of the Hermitage, the attendance at the Hermitage. Every effort to secure a trolley line has failed, and yet many thousands of visitors go there annually. Another feature of Miss Lindsley's adminis- tration was the increase in 191 1 in the State's appropriation from six hundred dollars to twelve hundred dollars annually. Among the painful experiences of the La- dies* Hermitage Association are the dangers which have threatened the Hermitage. Had it not been for the effort in the beginning, there would to-day be no Hermitage, no attractive historic place for tourists to visit and admire. Were it not for the vigilance of the Associa- tion, other things would have come in and hemmed the memorial in on all sides with a boundary of only twenty-five acres. A few years ago it was suggested that the reform prison be placed on the Hermitage farm, and the proposition was warmly advo- cated in certain quarters; but the Ladies* Her- mitage Association, ever vigilant and jealous of any infringement upon their rights to the beloved Hermitage, were soon up in arms and defeated the project. From the very inception of the memorial it has been the desire of the The Regents. 103 Association to possess more ground and to de- vote, not a small plot of twenty-five acres, but a glorious farm of three hundred or even the whole five hundred acres to the memory of the great Andrew Jackson. It had always been the thought of the ladies that when the Confeder- ate Soldiers' Home Association ceased to use it as a home the memorial association would be given possession of the entire tract, and to that end it has always worked. In 191 3, during the regency of Miss Linds- ley, the most formidable of all rivals appeared upon the scene. The Seaman A. Knapp School of Country Life entered a petition before the State Legislature for the entire four hundred and seventy-five acres of the Hermitage farm. The idea came as a surprise to the Association ; but the Regent, Miss Lindsley, immediately took alarm and, summoning her workers around her, v/ent before the Legislature and called their attention to the fact that they were about to part with the title to Andrew Jack- son's home, which the State had so long owned. The Knapp School is a most laudable and worthy enterprise; but the Association con- tended that there were other smiling acres in I04 Preservation of the Hermitage. Tennessee for the establishment of a memorial, and, as the Rev. C. D. Elliott said twenty-five years ago, "The State can never in honor part with the title to the Hermitage." The result was that the Hermitage remained as it had been for the past twenty-five years, and the State gave to the Seaman A. Knapp Memorial School twenty-five thousand dollars in lieu of the Hermitage farm. The time limit of four years having expired, Miss Louise Grundy Lindsley retired from the regency, and IMrs. B. F. Wilson was elected. The election was in May, 1913, and Mrs. Wil- son was traveling in .the Riviera. She was cabled the news of her election, and she ac- cepted. Miss Lindsley, who became First Vice Regent, acted until the new Regent came home. Upon Mrs. Wilson's return she took up the reins of government with an earnest determi- nation that argued well for her administration and undertook the w^ork with enthusiasm and ability. She is a social leader with a great deal of taste and tact and with an unlimited gener- osity tow^ard the work that causes her to help out many an enterprise that would otherwise fail. She has effected the purchase of many a The Regents. 105 relic that might not have been procured but for her liberaHty. The membership now boasts four hundred persons, most of whom are in Nashville; but there are members all over the Union, and such sustaining members are always desired. There are a good many life members, who have paid twenty-five dollars for membership and who continue to take an interest in the work. For years the Association had looked for- ward to the one hundredth anniversary of the battle of New Orleans with a resolve to make it a memorable and brilliant occasion and to celebrate it with all the pomp and ceremony that such a great event demanded. The attention of the Regent, Mrs. Wilson, was early given to the work; and to insure full and complete cooperation, such as was de- sired, she called upon the Andrew Jackson Me- morial Association, of which Maj. E. B. Stahl- man is President, to join in and assist with the celebration. At a joint meeting held with the before-mentioned organization Mrs. Wilson fired tliem with her enthusiasm and spirit and kindled within them the desire to observe the day properly ; and to that end work was begun, io6 Preservation of the Hermitage. and all planned together to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Andrew Jackson's great victory and the one hundred years of peace between the United States and Great Britain which began with the close of the battle of New Orleans. At the request of Mrs. Wilson the day had been declared a holiday both by the Governor of the State and the Mayor of Nashville. Dur- ing the time of the passing of the parade the stores were closed, and the streets were thronged with spectators. In fact, Nashville responded enthusiastically, with patriotic unity, in her observance of the anniversary ; and thou- sands of her citizens left their homes and their places of business to take part in the elaborate program which had been arranged to honor the memory of Andrew Jackson, Tennessee's great soldier and statesman. The members of the General Assembly, which was just convening, took a recess and left the legislative halls to join with the citizens of Nashville in doing honor to "Old Hickory." The events of the day were begun with a mammoth procession, in which the various de- partments of the city government, military The Regents, 107 organizations, business associations, and other bodies joined in making a demonstration un- surpassed in the history of the city. Mrs. Wilson was particularly happy in the selection of a grand marshal; and when she invited Mr. Thomas W. Wrenne to plan for the day and arrange the demonstration, she made success doubly assured. Mr. Wrenne immediately began to marshal his forces and had in line a detail of police, the uniformed Confederate companies, under Gen. John P. Hickman, and two companies of the National Guard, under Maj. J. H. Samuel, each with its staff of officers, and every available body to make more imposing the parade. Reduced railroad rates brought a large contingent from the neighboring tov/ns, including some of their military bands, of which there were six in line. The entire procession passed in review be- fore Chief Marshal Thomas W. Wrenne and staff. Gov. B. W. Hooper and officials, and prominent citizens. On Capitol Boulevard, fronting our beautiful State Capitol, a sham battle, replicating the battle of New Orleans, was had, cotton bales being used as they were one hundred years ago. io8 Preservation of the Hermitage. The sham battle over, speeches were in or- der, and fine addresses were made by Gov. B. W. Hooper, Judge S. F. Wilson, and Maj. E. B. Stahlman. Members of the Ladies* Hermitage Association were seated on the speakers' stand ; and !Mrs. Wilson made a beau- tiful address preceding the flight of white doves, the messengers of peace between the two countries, the United States and Great Britain. Three little girls, granddaughters of the principal participants, released the white doves, which sped over the city. The ceremonies on Capitol Boulevard over, the Ladies' Hermitage Association adjourned immediately to the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson on the Capitol grounds, followed by a large crowd, in which were the State legislators, for the crowning of "Old Hickory." The statue had been beautifully decorated for the occasion with flags and bunting. Upon the head had been placed a laurel wreath ; and with appropriate sentiment Mrs. Wilson placed on the statue an immense wreath made from the evergreens around the tomb at the Hermitage, tied with the national colors. On one of the ribbons were the words, 'The hero of New The Regents. 109 Orleans/' The head of each patriotic society present placed a bunch of evergreens on the base of the statue, forming a garland entirely around it, each expressing some sentiment as the token was placed. The company generally and the school children present all paid this same tribute and placed a bunch of evergreens on the statute, thus completing the beautiful decorations. In the afternoon at three o'clock the Andrew Jackson Memorial Association, in the presence of a large audience, planted a hickory tree at Centennial Park. Superintendent Keyes, of the Nashville public schools, brought his high school trained chorus, and there were patriotic songs and speeches. At 6 P.M. the Andrew Jackson Memorial Association had a grand banquet at the Max- well House, where there was more brilliant oratory, and mingled with the grand tributes paid to the old hero himself were warm words of commendation of the great work the Ladies' Hermitage Association was doing in preserv- ing his home and keeping his memory green. The day closed with the usual brilliant ball at the Hermitasre Hotel, in which the vouth no Preservation of the Hermitage. and the beauty of the city participated. The ballroom was decorated with Jackson vine and beautifully made cotton bolls and many United States flags. The portrait of the old hero looked down in approval upon the scene, surrounded with flags used in the centennial celebration of the battle of the Horseshoe, which forever broke the power of the red man in America. The loggia, where refreshments were served, was elaborately decorated with the colors of the Association, Jackson vine, and white snowballs. The important battles were noted in the different stations, Talladega, Emuckfau, Horseshoe,* Mobile, leading up to New Orleans. A pretty feature of the ball was the eighteen States of the Union at the time the battle of New Orleans was fought, represented by eighteen young ladies suitably attired with sashes in the national colors, who danced a special dance, with flags for the oc- casion. On Saturday, January 9, the United States Daughters of 18 12 made a pilgrimage to the Hermitage and held beautiful exercises there. The State President, Mrs. William G. Spen- cer, spoke of the great good fortune of the The Regents. 1 1 1 Ladies' Hermitage Association in having the home of Jackson, the tomb, and his venerable granddaughter, Mrs. Rachel Jackson Law- rence, to inspire them, which the Tennessee organization of the United States Daughters of 1812 could also enjoy with them. The Ladies' Hermitage Association, in ap- preciation of the grand three days' celebration held at New Orleans, sent two handsome wreaths made of evergreens growing about Jackson's tomb, tied with ribbons in the na- tional colors and bearing the words, "181 5 — Greetings, Ladies' Hermitage Association— 191 5." One of the wreaths was placed by the United States Daughters of 1 812 on the mon- ument erected on the field of Chalmette, the other on the equestrian statue of General Jackson, in Jackson Square at New Orleans, by the Louisiana Historical Society. The general observance of the day by the Andrew Jackson Clubs, Tennessee societies, and other patriotic organizations all over the United States, the grand three days' celebra- tion at New Orleans, made most im.posing and impressive, and, above all, the very elaborate and distinctive pageant and ceremonies in 112 Preservation of the Hermitage, Nashville were very gratifying to the Ladies' Hermitage Association, which had worked so long and so faithfully to that end. And now to continue this great work there is the present Board of Directors, consisting of the following: Mrs. B. F. Wilson, Regent; Miss Louise G. Lindsley, First Vice Regent; Mrs. A. M. Shook, Second Vice Regent ; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Secretary; Mrs. P. H. Man- love Treasurer; Mrs. Bettie M. Donelson, Mrs. Maggie L. Hicks, Mrs. R. A. Henr\', Miss Carrie Sims. Two meetings each month are held — the directors' meeting, when all the busi- ness is transacted, and the general meeting, which is largely social. The present Board of Trustees are: Gen. J. W. Lewis, Paris, Tenn., President; Mr. Percy Warner, Nashville, Tenn., Secretary; Col. A. M. Shook, Nashville, Tenn. ; Hon. John W. Gaines, Nashville, Tenn. ; Gen. John A. Fite, Lebanon, Tenn. ; Ex-Senator James B. Frazier, Chattanooga, Tenn. : Hon. Samuel G. Heiskell, Knoxville, Tenn. ; Mr. Lewis R. Donelson, Memphis, Tenn.; Mr. John M. Gray, Nashville, Tenn. It will alwavs seem a most wonderful and The Regents, 113 marvelous thing that the Legislature of a great State should have seen so much of promise, a long time ago, in the efforts of a few patriotic women organized, it is true, but at best a very small band to put into their hands so great a trust. It was well that the act was hedged about with provisos and regulations in case the Ladies' Hemiitage Association "failed" or "refused" to carry out the trust. It would seem that the Providence that overrules all things had exercised a special care over the Hermitage. Circumstances strange and in- scrutable had preserved it through a long stretch of years until the memorial association idea had time to be conceived and to grow and become a possibility. Another decade such as had passed, and rescue would have been almost impossible, for the relics would have been scattered and the old Hermitage destroyed, ut- terly obliterated. It seemed as if all the cir- cumstances of years had worked together for good to the home of Andrew Jackson, preserv- ing it so that it might ever be a monument to him and an object lesson to the rising genera- tions. Was all this work accomplished in a day 8 114 Preservation of the Hermitage, or in a year ? Not so. Untiring has been the zeal, devoted the fidelity that has clung to the one idea. Andrew Jackson himself could not have shown more tenacity of purpose nor more- heroic fortitude than these women banded to- gether under the name of the Ladies' Hermit- age Association. Perhaps it is its continuity that explains the secret of its success. The organization now has four hundred local members and others over the Union and occupies a dignified and exalted position among the women's organizations of the State. It has done the State a great serv^ice in preserv- ing this interesting memorial, which is appre- ciated more and more by our State govern- ment, by its legislative body, and by our com- mercial organizations as the years go by. Regularly a biennial meeting of the trustees is held and a report made to the Legislature, and never once has either the Governor or the General Assembly . said to the Association, *Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not" do this or that, but has looked on apparently with sat- isfaction and seen the work progress and the place grow in beauty. Day by day and step by step the work of The Regents, 115 repairing and improving has gone on, here a little, there a little, and all the time the valu- able relics were drifting back to their old home, adding a renewed interest as each piece was returned to its accustomed spot in the building. The slender means of the Association were made to accomplish a great deal, and, woman- like, the managing board has held fast to its dollar until it was quite sure that it had se- cured a full dollar's worth of material or serv- ice. Many of the experiences were truly grat- ifying, some were ludicrous, some very disap- pointing, and some even disastrous; but all were interesting. But there was always a for- ward movement, and the Association has made its way to the heart and interest of the people. And now, after the grand celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the battle of New Orleans and of peace between the Eng- lish-speaking people, the Ladies' Hermitage Association is better prepared than ever to continue its work and keep in perpetual remem- brance the hom.e of Gen. Andrew Jackson. CHAPTER VIII. Uncle Alfred and Gracey. When the Ladies' Hermitage Association was given possession of the Hermitage, it was also given a ward in the person of Uncle Alfred, the old colored man who for so long told the story to visitors. He was one of the most unique and interesting characters in all Tennessee. Born a slave on the Hermitage farm, in the smaller of the two' cabins forming the kitchen of General Jackson's frontier house, Uncle Al- fred had never lived anywhere but at the Her- mitage. His life was bounded by its horizon. He was born there, lived there, died there, and was buried there by the Association. He was with the family of the Hermitage through all their joy and prosperity and remained with them through all their sorrows and vicissi- tudes. He witnessed the changes through nearly a century of time, for he was ninety- eight years old when he died. The death of Uncle Alfred was the break- (ii6) Uncle Alfred and Gracey, 117 ing of another link that bound the present day with the old slave times of long ago. The class to which Uncle Alfred belonged is fast passing, and soon a genuine specimen of the old plantation slave of long ago will have en- tirely disappeared. Uncle Alfred was a thor- ough type of the plantation negro. He pos- sessed all of his characteristics, cherished all of his superstitions, and, despite constant associa- tion with educated white people, spoke his lan- guage and used his dialect. In his way Uncle Alfred was a haughty aris- tocrat. He had always been a faithful and trusted servant in a wealthy and prominent family, which, coupled with the fact that "old marster'' was President of the United States, warranted him in thinking "a powerful sight o' hisself,*' as he expressed it. There were grades and classes among slaves in those days as well as among their owners. The slave of a rich and powerful citizen felt that part of the family distinction fell upon him and that he was really better than the slaves on the adjoining plantation whose owner had not near so many acres, raised smaller and more insignificant crops, and owned fewer negroes. 1 18 Preservation of the Hermitage. On the plantation itself there were grades in station. The housemaids, nurses, seamstresses, coachmen, and house men felt themselves su- perior to their fellows and the ordinary ''corn- field nigger," whom they spoke of contemp- tuously. Indeed, they did have an advantage ; for con- stant association and close contact with master and man, mistress and maid produced a meas- ure of culture from which the better class of the negro race come to-day. The old planta- tion families in those days were surrounded with maids and servants who anticipated their slightest wish, did their bidding, and deftly and neatly waited upon and served them. Uncle Alfred was very chivalrous and cour- teous in his own individual, characteristic way, which served him well when he became the guide at the Hennitage after it was made a public place. He had an unerring instinct in meeting genuine ladies and gentlemen, or those whom he quaintly designated as "de fust class," and every attention was paid them. But he was apt to be impertinent sometimes to those whom he discovered to be "de second class." His judgment of those with whom he came in Uncle Alfred and Gracey. 1 19 contact was entirely with themselves and founded upon the conduct of the individual while he was guiding him over the Hermitage. To him Gen. Andrew Jackson was the em- bodiment and concentration of all human grandness and nobility of character. No man who had ever lived approached him in attain- ments. No general had ever achieved such victories. No President had ever equaled his hero. He had facts to support his beliefs, and his memory was stored with incidents of Jack- son's career. His loyaUy to General Jackson, his exaltation of his fame, and his devotion to his memory approached the sublime and made of Uncle Alfred a great man in his own way and an invaluable as well as interesting guide at the Hermitage. Any want of appreciation of Gen. Andrew Jackson, his ideal and hero, any slur on his memory, or any lack of respect to the place, was sure to bring forth a tart remark about ''de fust class" and "de second class." In fact, he held visitors on their honor not to deface, mutilate, or destroy anything on the place or surreptitiously appropriate a souvenir by saying with all due reverence and respect : "Now, when de fust class comes here I doesn't I20 Preservation of the Hermitage. have any trouble, but when de second class gits in I has to watch 'em." Then he would say: "De ladies had to put dese guards [pro- nounced by him gyuards] here to keep out de second-hand folks." Uncle Alfred was very intelligent. He was a full-blooded negro and, had he chosen, could have been a leader among his people. But he never seemed to care for latter-day politics nor to take any very active interest in the rise or fall of the political parties. Possibly he would have been a Democrat because General Jack- son was, but he was probably a Republican from policy. He had a marvelously retentive memory and could tell by the hour stories of the history of the Hermitage, of the early Indian wars, and of the crowning victory at New Orleans. He remembered the names of the generals and officers with whom Jackson was associated, knew the names of statesmen and politicians, was particularly apt with dates, and he had woven it all into an eloquent story, which he repeated again and again to visitors until he became one of the most interesting features of a visit to the Hermitage. When it was known UNCLE ALFRED. Uncle Alfred and Gracey. 121 that a party was going there or a visitor was to come from a distant city, the injunction always was : **Be sure to see Uncle Alfred.'* He had an excellent judgment and a com- prehensive grasp of ideas really wonderful. He was a natural orator, rising to a climax in his story and winning applause from his listeners. After a particularly good story, hands would go down into pocketbooks, and the coin would jingle in his palm. If visitors forgot or neglected this important part, he would say pleadingly, "Yer ain't a-gwine ter fergit de old man, is yer?" which produced the desired effect. He was apt in rejoinder and frequently paid a delicate compliment, sur- prising even to those who knew him best. Uncle Alfred came from a very long-lived family and nearly attained his century mark. So did his mother and his grandmother. The latter lived so long and was so shriveled and mummy-like that all the children on the place, black and white, and not a few of the elders, believed that she was a w^tch. The grand- mother had cooked for General Jackson, but had resigned the work to the hands of her daughter. Betty, Alfred's mother, even before 122 Preservation of the Hermitage. they moved to the Hermitage farm, prior to 1804. Bettie was a skillful cook, a thorough adept in the requirements of a frontiersman's kitchen. She desired nothing better than the great yawning, cavernous fireplace, with its spits and cranes, its pots and skillets, and its roar- ing log fire, to prepare a most delicious meal. The spring, nature's cool, abundant foun- tain from which the family drew its water supply, was not less than a quarter of a mile av/ay; and this, with other duties, required the services of several little dusky satellites, who churned, "toted" water, or kept a brisk fire with fresh wood from the woodpile. These same little satellites, with but one coarse long garment to cover them, were pic- turesque figures of the farm life in those days. The bare brown feet v/ere nimble and quick, and never a drop was spilled of the clear crys- tal water in the cedar pail balanced deftly upon the woolly heads as they ran nimbly with it from the spring. One of these same dusky pickaninnies was employed to wield the fanci- ful fly brush, made of peacock feathers, while the family were at meals. Uncle Alfred and Gracey, 123 Betty cooked at the Hermitage until her death, in 1852, having been for more than fifty years the cook in General Jackson's fam- ily. Those old plantation days were not so bad. Oftentimes there was genuine affection and esteem between owner and slave, and this was the case with Uncle Alfred. He was very expert with horses and was sometimes a teamster on the farm. He frequently rode General Jackson's horses in the races and was a good carriage driver. He had a favorite team which he called Dicey and Sugar Stick, and when hauling, his stentorian tones could be heard afar off, before he neared the house. He was faithful in the performance of every duty, and the utmost confidence was placed in him by the family. When he was driving the carriage, the ladies always felt safe. Uncle Alfred was constantly in attendance upon General Jackson or his son. The latter sometimes took pleasure trips with Alfred as his valet, who always managed to get the very best there was for his young master. Once they were traveling on a steamboat, and the accommodations were very poor. All the pas- 124 Preservation of the Hermitage. sengers washed their faces in the same basin on the deck. One morning young Andrew heard loud voices and a contention in which he recognized Alfred's tones. Quickly dress- ing, the young man went out and found Alfred with the basin under one arm and the towels under the other, vowing that no one should use them until his young master had bathed. While living in Washington during Presi- dent Jackson's administration Mrs. Sarah Jackson met a Colonel Hebb, an excellent and once wealthy gentleman of Virginia and own- er of many slaves. He became financially in- volved and felt compelled to sell his negroes. He was a kind and considerate master, and he was much concerned and troubled at the neces- sity that forced him to part with them. Hop- ing to avoid separating families, he gave them permission to select homes and purchasers for themselves. From one of the families a grown woman named Gracey was sent for by a sister, a f reed- woman living in Washington City. The latter had been employed as pastry cook at the White House and knew Mrs. Sarah Jackson. This sister sent Gracey to Mrs. Jackson, who was Uncle Alfred and Gracey, 125 so favorably impressed with her and interested in the situation that she took her in to see the President and laid the matter before him. Without a moment's hesitation he purchased the whole family, consisting of the old mother, three daughters, and one son. The mother, one daughter, and the son were sent on to the Hermitage; but Gracey and her sister Louisa remained at the White House as nurses to Mrs. Sarah Jackson's two children, Rachel and Andrew. General Jackson gave Gracey to his daughter as her own maid, and a warm friendship sprung up between them which lasted until death, both living to an advanced age at the Hermitage. When the family returned to the Hermitage, Alfred for the first time met Gracey. He soon desired to marry her and did so in the fall of 1837. Mrs, Sarah Jackson took the greatest interest in the affair. She had the couple stand in the large hall while they were mar- ried and gave them a fine wedding supper. These two favorite servants were given a cabin very near the house. They reared a family and lived an exemplary married life for over fifty years. 126 Preservation of the Hermitage. Since Uncle Alfred's death a curious rem- iniscence of the Emancipation Proclamation was found among his papers. After Lincoln's proclamation all of the newly freed slaves were told to legalize their marriages made as slaves, remarrying by license according to the law of the State where it was to be solemnized. Un- cle Alfred and Gracey, who had lived together, faithful and true, for twenty-nine years, feel- ing the new command or injunction to be ob- ligator}% were remarried April 29, 1866. Gracey did not disappoint the expectation of her mistress, for she relieved her of most of the household cares, supervised the other serv- ants, nursed the children, and was an expert seamstress. She was invaluable in illness, and nothing could soothe the mistress as did the ministrations of Gracey. Her needlework was unexcelled. In those days, when every stitch had to be put in by hand, a good seamstress was a very necessary adjunct and a valuable acquisition to every family. One of the beau- tifully made ruffled shirts of General Jackson, made by Gracey 's deft fingers, is now preserved at the Hermitage. The ruffles are of thread cambric and the shirt of linen. Gracey made Uncle Alfred and Gracey, 127 them in sets of one dozen at a time, and the one now owned is one of a dozen made while Jack- son was yet an active man. This excellent servant won not only the esteem but the affection of the family, and even now she is spoken of gratefully. She had no superiors, few equals, and her life was a chapter in the old slave days full of beauty and interest. Gracey joined the Hermitage Church^ and lived a consistent communing member until her death. Her children were taken there when in- fants and baptized. Alfred joined this Church after Gracey's death, but later moved his mem- bership to a Church of his own people in the neighborhood. Alfred and Gracey were the witnesses and participants in all that happened to the family at the Hermitage, in their greatest joy, their heaviest sorrow. After the beginning of the Civil War, when the effects of it began to be felt more and more at the Hermitage, the qualities of Alfred and Gracey showed the greatest. After the Emancipation Proclamation all the former slaves took advantage of their new- 128 Preservation of the Hermitage. found freedom and left for other homes. Some came to the city, and others took posses- sion of little cabins and set up housekeeping for themselves in the country. But Alfred and Gracey elected to remain in their log cab- in on the old farm. In a measure they re- versed the old order of things, particularly after the death of the adopted son, and became the protectors of Mrs. Sarah Jackson and her sister, Mrs. Adams, all that were left of the once sunny household. It was Gracey who prepared the now frugal meals, and it was Al- fred who did the man's work of the household. The business of farming no longer went on, and the Hermitage household was conducted upon very simple and economical plans indeed. When the war was over and a new order of things was instituted, Alfred and Gracey still lived at the old home, from which at last death removed them, Gracey preceding her mistress to the grave but a few months. CHAPTER IX. Uncle Alfred's Story. After the Ladies' Hermitage Association was organized, Uncle Alfred, by a sort of nat- ural arrangement, drifted into the position of guide to show visitors over the place. All the fireside stories of General Jackson's exploits, the history of the Indian wars, the battle of New Orleans, and the incidents of family life, were now Uncle Alfred's stock in trade. He delighted visitors with his quaint way of tell- ing the story and won the plaudits of his hearers. The old man was rugged and highly pictur- esque in his personal appearance. His hair and stubby beard were iron-gray, his form was bent, his sight was defective (one eye had a cata- ract), one hand was twisted by the ravages of rheumatism, making him appear like a gnarled and knotted oak that had withstood the stomis of many winters, as indeed he had. After the Hermitage became a public insti- tution, visitors were more numerous and Uncle Alfred more interesting. He had his own way 9 (129) 130 preservation of the Hermitage, of telling the story, was systematic, taking a certain round, and sometimes arbitrary; but he was so quaint, so original, and so pro- nounced a type that visitors, as well as the Association of ladies, overlooked his short- comings and regarded his story as a product of the old plantation days, of which Uncle Alfred was a most interesting exponent. When visitors arrived he would invite them to register by saying: "Jes' write yo* name in dat book over dar. De ladies put dat book dar, an* dey wants ever}'body to write down dey name." His strong suit was his dates. He would give dates for ever3^thing, remem- bering marvelously, and was generally correct. He would begin his story thus: **Dis here is de wall paper General Jackson put on in 1835. It was fetched from Paris an* cum up de river on a steamboat from New Orleans an' was bought for General Jackson's house. Dar is de umberel stan', an* dat*s de hatrack, an* dis here is de sofa General Jackson always lied upon after he done et dinner. Dis here is one o* de pier tables, an* de bust is Lewis Cass. He was in de President*s Cabinet. An* dat's de portrait of Christopher Columbus." Uncle Alfred's Story. 131 Opening the parlor doors with great cere- mony, he would say: "Dese is General Jack- son's parlors; an' many's de time I've seed him take Mis' Sarah (dat's de 'dopted son's wife) an' dance up an' down dese floors when de parlor was full o' company. General Jackson bought dat sofa right dar in de year 1825, an' up over it is de picture of de battle of New Orleans an' de death o' Pakenham. Dat's him right down dar in de front o' de picture. Dis is one o' de pier tables; t'other one's over dar. We got four o' dese, all General Jack- son ever had. Dis is de bust o' Levi Wood- bury. He was in General Jackson's Cabinet. Dat's de letter what he writ when he sont it to him. Dese is de damask curtains dat was bought in 1837, when dey all come back from Washington. Dis is de portrait o' Mis' Ra- chel Jackson an' was give as a present to Gen- eral Call, who stole his bride an' was married right over dar in dis parlor in 1825. Mis' Jackson stood right dar while Colonel Earl drawed her, [Uncle Alfred had the modern photography slightly mixed with the old-time portrait-painting.] General Call's daughter give it back to de ladies arter de things was 132 Preservation of the Hermitage. all tuk away. Dis here is de H'ltalian mantel- piece put here in 1835, an' dese andirons was bought in 1836. Dis center table was present- ed to General Jackson an' Mis' Jackson in 181 5 by de citizens of New Orleans. It is one o' de things saved when de house got burned down in 1834. Dis mantelpiece is jes' like t'other one, an' hit's made o' Tennessee mar- ble." Uncle Alfred's memory was of great assist- ance to the Ladies' Hermitage Association in replacing the furniture in the house as it was purchased from time to time. He was fre- quently called upon to say where certain arti- cles belonged. Among other purchases were three pairs of brass andirons. "Uncle Alfred," said one of the managers, "these andirons that you say belong to the bedroom upstairs are handsomer than those in General Jackson's room." "Course dey is ! course dey is ! Dey's bought fur Miss Rachel; an' didn't Marse Andrew an' Mis' Sarah think dat Miss Rachel was er angel jes' cum down from heaven? 'Twarn't nothin' too good fur Miss Rachel." Uncle Alfred's Story. 133 A lace cap worn by Mrs. Rachel Jackson when the beautiful pearl miniature was painted is one of the articles secured by the patriotic Association. It has been mounted upon a stand and placed in a mirrored glass case, lined with blue satin, in the museum. Uncle Alfred's sight was very poor, and he could but dimly see the outline of articles he was pointing out. His story was told more by memory than by sight. He had a great scare once about the lace cap. "Now, ladies an' gentlemen, dis here's Mis' Jackson's cap," said he as he stood in front of the case. "Where, Uncle Alfred?" chorused the crowd, looking into the case and seeing noth- ing. "Dat's hit right dar in dis case." "There's no cap there. Uncle Alfred." Thrusting his hand into the space, he found it vacant; then he was seized with a panic. "Tore Gawd, somebody's done tuk Mis' Jackson's cap !" "Miss Ulsey ! Miss Ulsey !" he called to the curator's wife. "Whar's dat cap o' Mis' Jack- son's?" She had removed it until the case could be 134 Preservation of the Henn'Uage. made more secure, for she, as well as Uncle Alfred, knew that the relic hunter would **think it no harm" to cut off just a little piece of lace for a souvenir. This is what has happened to the fringe of the silk curtain at the window. One tassel after another disappeared, no one knew when or how. Some of the historic man- tel of hickory has been taken, piece by piece, and even the historic wall paper has not been sacred from the petty pilferer. Uncle Alfred was fretted, nevertheless, about the cap and returned to his party grumbling, "Wish folks would *tend to dey own business," and it was some tinae before he regained his equilibrium. *'Dese mahogany cheers was here in 1824. Dese four portraits yo* see roun* here is Gen- eral Jackson's staff. *His military family,' he called 'em. Dis one behin' de door is Lieuten- ant Eastland, dat one over dar is Colonel Gadsden, dis one is Dr. Bronagh, an' dis one is General Coffee. Dese is General Jackson's candlesticks, an' dat lookin'-glass was carried off by one o' de servants. De ladies bought it an' put it back here." Uncle Alfred would nev^er tell that the look- U^icle Alfred's Story. 135 ing-glass was bought from Hannah, also a valued and esteemed servant at the Hermitage and a rival to Uncle Alfred in longevity and reminiscences. He never mentioned Hannah, for there was a feud between them and a riv- alry as to which would live the longest and tell the best story of their recollections. "Uncle Alfred, we want to see the tomb," an impatient visitor once remarked. "We'se coming to dat bime-by, madam. You jes* wait till we gits dar." He didn't mean to be impertinent, but took privileges and was al- lowed some that belonged to no other. A lady visitor expressed doubt one day concerning some piece of furniture, saying: "This never belonged to Jackson." "Ef you knows more about it den I does, madam, den you jes' go on an' tell it." A French clock that was in the house during Mrs. Rachel Jackson's lifetime was purchased. It is a beautiful clock, but its days of useful- ness were over long years ago. The idea of setting the hands at the hour the old hero died suggested itself, and investigation was made as to the correct hour. Accepting Uncle Al- fred's recollection, the hands were set at twen- 136 Preservation of the Hermitage. ty minutes past two. A further investigation and consultation with Mrs. Lawrence proved the hour to have been twenty minutes past six. The next time one of the directors went to the Hermitage the hands of the clock were changed to the correct hour. "Uncle Alfred," she said, "we had this clock wrong. General Jackson died at twenty minutes past six." "Who sez so?" he asked quickly. "Mrs. Lawrence." "Mis' Lawrence fergits." "Well, history says so too." "Dat's all right den* jes' suit your own self *bout it. I ain't gwine to 'spute 'bout it." He was afterwards heard to give the cor- rect hour in his narrative. He tacitly admit- ted that he was wrong, though he did not often yield a point. Some young girls rushed up to him one day and exclaimed : "Uncle Alfred, did you tell us that General Jackson was born in this house or in that log cabin over yonder?" pointing to the historic log cabin some distance away. "Huh!" said Uncle Alfred contemptuously. "Yo's got yo' hist'ry mixed. He wam't Uncle Alfred's Story. 137 borned dar, an* he warn't borned here; he's horned in South CaroHna." Uncle Alfred always reached his climax when he told the story of the ''eighth of Jan- uary" mantelpiece in the large State dining room, where Uncle Alfred was fond of telling, and truly, that seven Presidents had dined. Gathering his listeners around him in front of the mantelpiece, he would say: "Now, la- dies an' gentlemen, dis here is de *eighth day o' January mantelpiece/ Dey warn't nair bit o' work done on it 'ceptin' on de eighth day o' January, an' den it was give to General Jackson on de eighth day o' January. An' de pieces o' hickoi-y what yer see dar was cut of- fen de fort w^har de battle was fought, down dar at New Orleans, at de mouf o' de Missis- sippi River. You-all knows whar 'tis." *Tell us about it, Uncle Alfred," chorused the crowd. "Well, den. On de mornin' de battle was foug:ht General Pakenham — he's de British general — sont General Jackson word he gwine ter eat his breakfas' in New Orleans; an' Gen- eral Jackson sont him back word ef he et his breakfas' anywhar he gwine ter make him eat 138 Preservation of the Hermitage. it in hell. Den he drawed his sw-word an* say : 'Come on, my brave boys, de day is cum/ He's ridin' Juke [Duke] dat day; he warn't ridin' Sam Patch, dat 'ar white horse hangin' dar in de parlor what Ise already done tol' yer about. He's ridin' Juke. An' Juke he dance Yankee Doodle on three legs; an' he dance it so plain dat de ban' struck up and play : 'Jackson, Jackson, yer's de man for me; Jackson, Jackson, yer set us all free.* Den General Jackson say : *De star-spangled banner, long may she wave O'er de Ian' o' de free .an* de home says de brave.*" This was Uncle Alfred's masterpiece, and it brought forth showers of silver coin by way of appreciation. He would rise to real elo- quence and in his ow^n quaint negro dialect give the story. With his rugged form and his own peculiar characteristics he was an ob- ject of the greatest interest, especially to vis- itors from the North, to whom his type and reminiscences of old slave days were a novelty. From the dining room Uncle Alfred took the visitors to the General's bedroom, and here he would tell his story of the deathbed scene. The Uncle Alfred's Story, 139 chamber is as it was the day the old hero died, all the furniture and belongings having been secured by the Ladies' Hermitage Association and restored to their places. Iron guards pre- vent the visitor from entering, which Uncle Alfred explained was to keep "de second class*' from taking things. He continued his story of the deathbed scene : "Early dat morning Mis' Sarah sont me to Nashville arter Dr. Esselman an' Major Lewis an' fer some medicine an' things. When I cum back Mis' Sarah say: 'Alfred, you got to go back.' An' I got me a fresh horse an' went back to Nashville an' fetched out some more things. When I got back to de Her- mitage all de servants was standin' 'roun' de front window, an' I knowed General Jackson was wusser. I tuk de things an' went in de room an' stood a roun' an' waited on him. Den me an' George an' Dick hilt him up. De servants was at de window, an' some of 'em was in de room. Major Lewis say, 'Hadn't we better send 'em away?' but General Jack- son say, *No.' Dey'd been faithful servants, an' he wanted 'em to stay right whar dey wuz. When he see 'em all a-cryin' he say : 'Weep not 140 Preservation of the Hermitage. fer me; weep fer yo'selves.' Den he say: *Dere'll be no mo' reunion 'less everybody be good.' "Dat's de picture o* Mis' Jackson over de mantelpiece dar. Dat was de las' thing he looked at 'fore he died. Dis picture over here is de 'dopted son, and t'other one is Miss Rachel, de 'dopted son's daughter. Dat little picture over de do' was tuk by a young man dat come here from de East. General Jack- son 'lowed he didn't want to be pestered wid havin' his picture tuk, but de young man say he was a poor man an' wanted to make a hon- es' livin'. Den General Jackson say: *Ef it's anything to yo', go 'long an' take it.' De picture's got writ on it — let me see — I fergits — ^jes' wait a minute. *No free country can exist widout virtue among its people,' dat's hit, an' it's writ 'roun' on the picture. "Dis is de office. You-all calls it de library, but 'tain't no library ; hit's de office, an' here's whar General Jackson seed all de great men dat come here to ax him something or to jes' see him." For thirty years, or from the great victory at New Orleans in 181 5 until the death of Uncle Alfred's Story. 141 General Jackson in 1845, the Hermitage was the political center of the United States, and all the countr}^ paid deference to the old hero passing away there. The library, or office, ad- joins the bedroom of General Jackson; and the old General received all visitors in this li- brary and transacted all business there, holding council with all the great men of the country, who came and stayed for days and sometimes for weeks, seeking advice and inspiration from him. The library is a beautiful room now. It was one of the most abused in all the house when the Ladies' Hermitage Association took possession. It contains General Jackson's five bookcases, filled with his books, four hundred and fifty volumes; the old walnut secretary used by Jackson when he was a practicing at- torney; a chair presented to Jackson by Chief Justice Taney; and a chair presented to the Ladies' Hennitage Association by Miss Ellen DeQ. Woodbury, daughter of Levi Woodbury, whose bust is in the house. Showing the visitors the carriage drive one day, Uncle Alfred said : "Yo' sees dat o-it-dar," waving his hand toward the front. 142 Preservation of the Hermitage. *'0 yes, Uncle Alfred, you rot there all right." *'l means de git-dar." *'Yes, we understand," and they laughed. **Pretty clever. You always get there. Uncle Alfred." "That's not what he's telling you," said one of the informed ones. ''Don't you see the drive is shaped like a guitar." "O, to be sure !" and the guests had the laugh turned on them and ever afterwards told it as one of Uncle Alfred's best. Uncle Alfred never approached the tomb without reverence, and* he exacted the same reverence from others. A member of the As- sociation upon one occasion thoughtlessly stepped upon the slab immediately above Gen- eral JacksoiVs remains bearing the inscription. He rebuked her respectfully but in such a man- ner that the lesson w^as never forgotten. Uncle Alfred could neither read nor write, but when he reached the tomb he was always asked to "read" the beautiful inscription upon the tablet above Mrs. Jackson's remains. With uncovered head he stepped to the foot of the slab, looked at it as if he were seeing every Uncle Alfred's Story. 143 word, and from memory **read," without an error from beginning to end, the beautiful tribute. He would pronounce the words in his own way, in the plantation dialect, giving an added charm. His stories had nothing set and stilted, but, while following the main facts, were varied according to questions asked him, the inspira- tion of the moment, or as memory called up new facts long hidden in her secret storehouse. His life had been lived at the Hermitage, and he viewed everything from this point of view. The visitors w^ho came there were the only strangers he ever saw, but all his life he had been thrown more with white people than with those of his own race. When large conven- tions or organizations visited there. Uncle Al- fred was introduced as the most interesting relic on the place. Admiral and Mrs. Dewey, with a large as- semblage of Nashville people, visited the Her- mitage IMay II, 1900. They were permitted to enter General Jackson's bedchamber. The party stood within General Jackson's room, and Uncle Alfred was telling the story. Pointing to the portrait of Mrs. Rachel Jackson over 144 Preservation of the Hermitage > the mantel, he said to Mrs. Dewey: *'I hope you'll have better luck den she did, madam." Many a Beau Brummel might have failed of as pretty and delicate a compliment. It was understood at that time that Admiral Dewey would be a candidate for the presidency. Mrs. Rachel Jackson had died after her husband's election and before his inauguration. Uncle Alfred could never be induced to ad- mit that any man had ever been or ever could be as great as General Jackson. Members of the Ladies' Hermitage Association were much mortified on one occasion at the old man's bluntness. Ex-President Rutherford B. Hayes, while attending the National Convention of the Prison Association which met in Nashville, was extended the courtesies of the Hermitage and was taken there by some members of the Ladies' Hermitage Association. Calling Uncle Alfred forward, he was introduced with the remark: "Uncle Alfred, this is President Hayes. Come and shake hands with him." He grasped the ex-President's hand and said: **Ef you'd been as great a man as General Jackson was, I could a'most er shook yer han' off." r O tn 2 ^ x[ XI "< ^ 7C > S CD W Uncle Alfred's Story. 145 One time a prominent judge visited the Hermitag-e before Uncle Alfred began to show the feebleness of age, although he was past eighty years old. He was vigorous and stal- wart and proud of his great age. ''Now, Judge, how old does yer think I is?" he asked after a conversation. **Well, I should say about fifty," replied the Judge, thinking to please him. "O, Judge!" whispered a lady who overheard the remark. "You break the old man all up. Tell him a hundred." "Well, sir, Ise eighty-nine years old." Another time he was asked what he thought of a distinguished visitor. He thought it over and said : "Folks has got a right to think what dey please, but when dey tells what dey think dey gets 'emselves in trouble." A lady visitor, having very indistinct ideas about the old institution of slavery and very wanting in tact, asked him: "Uncle Alfred, did General Jackson ever try to sell you?" The question irritated him, and he replied tartly, "Did any of your folks ever try to sell you, madam ?" which closed the query box. Another of the same kind asked him one day: "Uncle Alfred, how do you like being 10 146 preservation of the Hermitage, free?" "What does yer call being free?" he replied. " 'Tain't nobody free as I know on. But if yo* means go whar yo' please an* when yo' please, I always is done dat." The old man's delight at seeing each article of relic furniture, a portrait, or a chair re- turned knew no bounds. Every article was recognized by him as an old friend. He told the story of its purchase, some interesting fact connected with it, and designated its place in the house. He longed to see the work of res- toration complete, but that pleasure was denied him. There was one pair of articles that he de- sired above all things to see in the old house. "Can't you-all get dem ar Mexican leggin's?" he would ask time and again. He must have thought they were pretty. They were present- ed to General Jackson by Sam Houston, and in Uncle Alfred's eyes they were of inesti- mable value. The Association has never yet procured the leggings. The directors of the Association visited the Hermitage frequently to supervise its affairs, rearrange its furniture, or restore some new acquisition to its place. On one of these visits Uncle Alfred's Story, 147 the office was being arranged. Two steel en- gravings were removed from the hall and transferred to the office. As soon as Uncle Alfred entered the hall he missed the pictures. To his defective vision they were nothing more than dark blurs upon the wall, but he had missed the blur. He had incorporated them in his story and did not approve of their change of position. "What's you-all done wid dem pictures o' George Washington an' William de IV.?" he asked. "We have put them in the office, Uncle Alfred." "Good God-a-mighty ! You-all's ruinin' dis here place." Uncle Alfred understood thoroughly the value of a relic and the preservation of the memorial place, and he assisted the Association in keeping the entire premises just as General Jackson had. The time came when it was apparent that Uncle Alfred would one day be missed at the Hermitage and a new-made grave be all that was left of him. The idea suggested itself of preserving his voice and story by having him repeat it in a graphophone. An operator and an instrument were taken to the Hermitage and 148 Preservation of the Hermitage. an effort made to get the story. He had never seen and probably had never heard of a graph- ophone, and yet when he had received instruc- tions he seated himself before the instrument and told his story as if pointing out and ex- hibiting each article. But the experiment was not a success. His voice was then too feeble and too guttural to reproduce in the instrument. It was not many months before Uncle Al- fred was confined to his cabin, the same in which he had lived when he married. He was never confined to his bed — "jest porely/' he expressed it. He C9ntinued ill nearly a year, and during that time visitors went to see him in his own cabin. He would try to tell the old stories and throw some of the old-time fire into them. His mind never seemed to fail nor his miem.ory to be less active, and to the very last he retained his faculties. When asked how he felt, he would always say, "I'm mend- in' a bit," and then add: "Ise gwine ter try ter git ter de house an' see dem t'other things you-all bought since I bin down here." Uncle Alfred w^as given every comfort and was grateful. When he died, the Association Uncle Alfred's Story, 149 superintended his funeral and interment, bury- ing him in the garden near the "old marster" he had loved so loyally — a last longing desire with him. His funeral was characteristic and in keeping w^ith the long life he had lived. His - body was brought from his cabin and the casket set in the hall where, sixty-four years before, he had been married. More white people attended his funeral than colored ones, and the services were conducted by both white and colored preachers. The colored people sang *'0n Jordan's stormy banks I stand," a favorite with the old man. The singing was indescribable. The song was lined out in a sort of chant or monotone, then caught up and carried with a wail and a hang- ing on to the tones, now up, now down, quaint and peculiar, impossible to describe and never to be forgotten by those who heard it. It was a song that would lose by any attempt to imitate or put it in written form, such a song as only the plantation negroes of long ago knew and sang and which is now sung only in the rural districts far away from the educa- tional centers. 150 Preservation of the Hermitage. A neat stone marks Uncle Alfred's resting place, inscribed: Alfred Jackson, 1803-1901, A Faithful Servant. It is located just north of the tomb of Gen. Andrew Jackson. CHAPTER X. The Ghost at the Hermitage. After Col. Andrew Jackson, the third of that name, and his family moved away from the Hermitage, in 1893, and had taken with them all the relics, furniture, and entire house- hold belongings, there was left behind only a memory of things that had been. Not a single piece of furniture was left in the house. All belonged to Colonel Jackson, and all had been taken away. The grand old homestead, shorn of its adornings that for three-quarters of a century had been a part and parcel of the place, looked most pathetic and desolate. The mirrors that had reflected the tall, commanding form of the old General were missed from their accustomed places over the mantels. The portraits that had looked down upon him as he walked through the rooms, the chairs he sat in, the table over which he presided when hospitality reigned supreme, the sideboard laden with cut glass and silver, with its decanters and wine (151) 152 Preservation of the Hermitage. glasses, no longer fitted up the beautiful Her- mitage. The great empty rooms seemed to gain an immensity of space for want of a chair or a curtain to break the outline. The bare halls echoed to ever}^ footstep. Not a scrap of paper, not a broken chair, not a battered picture was left of all that had once belonged to the famous place. The walls that had once been adorned with portraits of the family and friends were now bare and but added to the forlorn desolateness. The vast chimney places that had glowed with roaring log fires, around which gathered merry and happy groups in the long ago, when joy reigned supreme, were now dark and cold. They had become the home of hundreds of chimney swallows, whose burrings and flutter- ings and tv/itterings made unearthly sounds as their restless wings beat against the sides, loos- ening bits of mortar and soot, which fell to the open space below. While the parlors, hallways, and living rooms downstairs were desolate and pathetic, the upper chambers were truly ghostly, the bare and vacant halls echoing to every footstep. There was something uncanny about it even in > o w o 12! The Ghost at the Hermitage, 153 broad daylight, with the bright July sun driv- ing away the vapors and dispelling all ghostly thoughts. Isolation, desolation, death characterized the once famous Hermitage. Some divine hand seemed to have written "Ichabod" on the walls. Walking through the hall and upper chambers, deep in meditation and memory, one could well exclaim : "I feel like one who treads alone Some banquet hall deserted, Whose lights are fled, whose garlands dead. And all but he departed." Outside, the lawn was green and beautiful and the trees full-leaved; but the soughing winds, now soft and tender, now rustling gen- tly, now whispering mysteriously, but added to the melancholy that brooded over the place. Beautiful flowers were abloom in the garden, and. the birds sang as sweetly and joyously as of yore ; but the house itself was a bare, empty shell. The beings who had peopled it with life were all gone. The General and his beloved Rachel had long slumbered in the garden. The little babe who was adopted into their heart, their home, and their name had lived, loved, 154 Preservation of the Hermitage, and died, and in time his wife had followed him to the tomb. Two little infant children, whose brief span was soon over, had two little mounds and a stone to their memory near their illustrious grandsire. Other graves were in the burial plat, and kindred dust crumbled together in the garden. Memories, memories, memories everywhere ! The house that had been so full of bustling life and illustrious history, with all of its achievements, ambitions, hopes, loves, and suf- fering, was now but a memory. Devoted women were there to revive anew the memory of Jackson, to summon back his spirit, and to show to all the world the house of the illus- trious man, preserved, restored, that no icon- oclastic hand might m.utilatc or destroy it. The spirit of "Old Hickory" lived in the hearts of these patriotic women, and they said : "The Hermitage must and shall be preserved.** Into the hands of women, organized into an Association, the State Legislature had intrust- ed the preservation of Andrew Jackson^s home. Two of these patriotic women arrived at the Hermitage early one Saturday morning in July, soon after Col. Andrew Jackson moved The Ghost at the Hermitage, 155 away, prepared to spend as many days and nights as were necessary in the protection of the historic homestead until a permanent care- taker could be installed on the premises. Some small necessary articles for a temporary resi- dence had been purchased — a few chairs, two small tables, a mattress, and several cooking vessels. A young negro girl was employed from a neighboring farm to come each day and prepare the simple, necessary meals, but at night she returned to her home. Through the long, hot July days the Her- mitage was a most pleasant place — in fact, an ideal resort. The cool halls and spacious rooms were grateful retreats from the July sun. The day was spent by the two ladies, the Regent and Secretary, in making a thor- ough examination of the house and grounds, in forming plans for the future, in writing letters, and in devising ways and means for sustaining the enterprise. When nightfall came, a frugal supper was served in the old historic kitchen, having been prepared in the open, yawning fireplace by the colored maid with a few simple cooking vessels. Assisted by the colored maid, a careful inspection was IS6 Preservation of the Hermitage. made of the house, the windows closed, the doors locked, the mattress spread as a pallet on the floor of the front parlor, and the self- constituted guardians prepared to spend their first night alone in Gen. Andrew Jackson's house. Old Uncle Alfred, it was true, was in his cabin some distance from the house; but he was old, nearly deaf, nearly blind, and not to be left in charge of so important a trust nor depended upon in case of danger. The two custodians brought two of their newly purchased chairs, stiff-backed, uncom- fortable things that they were, to the front portico and sat with the quiet of nature all about them. The dusky form of the tempo- rary cook as she left for her home was the last living thing that enlivened the landscape or gave to the self-constituted guardians a glimpse of the life to which they were accustomed. A kerosene lamp, one of the purchases, was lighted and placed upon one of the tables in the vast, quaint hallway. Its dim light fell but faintly upon the pictorial wall paper, the "Legend of Telemachus," that adorns the walls, the only familiar thing in all the house. The Ghost at the Hermitage, 157 As it burned faintly it was of itself ghostly, and ghostly shadows lurked in the recesses of the hallway. The darkness deepened, and the avenue of cedars seemed a vast tunneled arch in which the shadows played and lingered. The moon arose and cast poetic shadows all around the old house, peeping under the trees, silver- ing the woodland. A mocking bird, stimulated by what prom- ised to be a glorious night, poured out a joy- ous song from the magnolia tree that kept sentinel watch over the sleeping dead at the tomb in the garden. A tree, said to be the shittim wood, the sam.e of which Noah's ark was built, stood to the v/est of the house. As the two talked over their plans the quaint, weird, plaintive cry of a screech owl rang out from this old tree. It w^as hollow, and the birds had nested there. The shrill call to its mate had more of the sound of warning and alarm than of joy. The effect was mournful and piercing. Time dragged on, and it seemed to be grow- ing late ; but when they consulted their watches really at an earlier hour than was customary with them in their city homes, they sought 158 Preservation of the Hermitage. their pallet on the floor in the front parlor and were soon wrapped in a profound slumber. Did General Jackson's spirit hover over that empty, ghostly room and the memories of the sweet-faced daughter-in-law, Sarah, come up before him while they danced again the Vir- ginia reel in the spacious rooms? Hours passed, and the two ladies slept calm- ly. Suddenly there arose through the house the most terrific noises. The pantry, which was near, seemed to have tossed all of its pans and dishes in a confused heap upon the floor, chains were heard clanking over the porticoes, and a confusion of sounds made a most deaf- ening clatter. It was as if General Jackson had mounted his war charger and was riding with a victorious shout at the head of his mili- tary forces through the hall and corridor. In a moment both ladies were thoroughly awake; and if fear possessed them, each was too brave to let the other know it. Both sat up on the pallet. The elder said to the younger, speaking calmly: **Light the lamp. You will find the matches on the floor near your head." The lamp was lighted, and as suddenly as the noises came they ceased en- The Ghost at the Hermitage. 159 tirely. The ladies looked at each other in- quiringly. "Do you think any one was trying to break in?" said one. "It might have been the rats," said the other. The lamp was left lighted. The two talked together a little while, then dropped off to sleep again and heard nothing more. The next day was Sunday, a beautiful, calm July Sabbath day in the country. The maid came and prepared breakfast. The ladies did not discuss to a great extent the occurrences of the night before, and the noises were still unaccounted for. There was no sound of Sunday service, no bells ringing, no throng wending its way to church, and none of the characteristics of a Sabbath day in the city. There was no service in the historic Hermit- age church, but a half mile distant. The younger woman, without consulting the older, inspected the house thoroughly from one end to the other, spied into closets, peered up chimneys, examined the cellar, and investi- gated every possible nook and cranny that could by any means have harbored a ghost, to ascertain if the noises could be explained by any natural causes. A baffling sphinxlike con- i6o Preservation of the Hermitage. dition met her at every turn, and there was discovered absolutely nothing to account for the sounds. Sunday was passed as the other days, in walking over the place, meditating in the gar- den, and enjoying the cool quiet of the place. Literature had been brought from the city to while away the time. No visitor or stranger came to break the monotony of a long summer day. Again nightfall came, and again the care- takers seated themselves on the front portico. The moon was later in rising, and a few clouds flecked the sky. Ov^r to the west a long, low phosphorescent light showed where lay the city, with its teeming life and its busy people, the thought of which made more lonely and isolated the work of the caretakers. The owl again set up his plaintive cry, and the mocking bird's song sounded away over in the distant forest. At about the same time as the evening be- fore the two ladies retired to their pallet. This night the lamp was not extinguished, and both soon fell into a sound slumber. As nearly as the ladies could judge, at the same time the The Ghost at the Hermitage » i6i same sounds were heard, unmistakable and ghostly — ^the same dishes falHng down in the pantry, the same sound of chains, the same war horse tread, the same arousing out of sleep, wondering what it could all mean, and the same willingness to leave it all to conjec- ture. Although very brave, two city ladies did not care to investigate mysterious noises in a large, empty country house at the mid- night hour. It was a long time afterwards before these two ladies could discuss, even together, the ghost at the Hermitage and laugh at their un- canny experience. But they never learned what caused the sounds and finally concluded that they had had an actual experience with ghosts. II CHAPTER XI. Brides at the Hermitage. For all his stern military qualities, Gen. An- drew Jackson had a most romantic side to his nature, which needed nothing stronger to prove it than his own chivalrous marriage to Rachel Donelson. His was an unusually happy mar- riage and carried with it a beautiful home life. His devotion to his wife was not lessened even after her death. Nothing had so softened and subdued him as the loss of this beloved com- panion. He became so patient and so gentle that all wondered at the change in him, and it was said that he never uttered an angry word and scarcely ever an impatient one after her death. Long years ago Amos Kendall, who was in the Cabinet, wrote for the Democratic Review, a paper published in Washington during the Jackson administration, the following inter- esting article on the man himself and also paid a graceful tribute to Mrs. Jackson, Said he: The practice of reading or listening to a chapter of Holy Writ and sending up fervent aspirations to heaven (t62) Brides at the Hermitage, 163 every night before he retired to rest General Jackson brought with him into the presidency. No man had a deeper sense of dependence on the Giver of all good or a more sincere and earnest desire to avail himself of the wisdom which comes from on high in the dis- charge of his arduous duties. But it cannot be doubted that in his devotional fervor there was mingled a holy and never-dying affection for his departed wife, whose presence was in his susceptible imagination as neces- sary an incident of heaven as that of the angels. A portrait of this dearest object of his earthly af- fection hung in his chamber. "Is that a good like- ness?" said a lady to him in my presence. "Pretty good," said he, "but not so good as this," taking a miniature from his bosom. On another occasion, calling upon him on some urgent business, I was invited into his bedchamber. I found him too ill to sit up. The curtains in front of his bed were open, and he lay with his head some- what elevated on a full pillow. Opposite the foot of his bed, nearly touching the post, stood a little table, and on it was the miniature of Mrs. Jackson leaning against a small Bible and a prayer book which had been hers. It was evidently so placed that he might, as he lay, gaze upon the shadow of those loved fea- tures which had enraptured his youthful heart and contemplate those virtues which in old age, even in death, rendered them dear to the bosom of the hero and statesman beyond any other earthly object. I was not then so thoroughly acquainted with Gen- eral Jackson as I afterwards became; but in witnessing this scene I said to myself: "This must be a good man." None other could entertain so deep, so abiding an afifection for a departed companion* however cher- 164 Preservation of the Hermitage. ished while living. Love like this is all good, all heavenly, all divine, as nearly as anything on earth possibly can be. It cannot dwell in a bad heart; it can- not assimilate with a perverted mind. I had never seen Mrs. Jackson, but from that mo- ment I pronounced her a superior woman. None but a woman of surpassing virtues could so fix the affec- tions of such a man. None other could maintain such a hold on such a mind amidst the enjoyment of glory, the gratification of ambition, the cares of State, and the never-ceasing excitements sufficient to overpower and swallow up the kindly affections of ordinary men. None other could occupy in life and in death so broad a space in the remembrance and affections of one who in devotion to his country never had a superior. And I could not but regret that she had not lived, not so much to enjoy a signal, triumph over her own and her husband's traducers, but to comfort, advise, and sustain her devoted companion in the midst of never-ceasing evils and vexations, the heartlessness of false friends, and the assaults of unrelenting enemies. History has not been as kind to the memory of Mrs. Jackson as might be — in fact, very unkind — ^but she was indeed a superior woman, a beautiful housekeeper, a kind mistress to her slaves, an affectionate and generous sister, a devoted wife, and a pious Christian woman. The little Hermitage church was built that she might have Church privileges. While on one of his Eastern trips Andrew Brides at the Hermitage. 165 Jackson purchased for her a piano, on which she played all the tunes of that day, *'Money Musk," *'Fisher*s Hornpipe," and others. One of their favorite evening pastimes was performing duets for piano and flute, she play- ing sweetly all his favorite tunes and singing his favorite songs. It was a home where love sat at the fire- side, presided over the abundantly provided board, glowed in every corner of the dwelling, hovered with wings of peace over the house- hold, and dwelt contentedly in the hearts of its inmates. General Jackson mourned his wife's death inconsolably, and this is the tribute he paid her memory : We lived together, happy husband, loving wife, for nearly forty years. In all those many years, whenever I entered my home it seemed hallowed by a divine presence. I never heard her say a word that could sully an angel's lips, nor knew her to commit an act her Maker could have condemned. What I have accom- plished I owe to her. Had I always taken her advice, deeds I now regret would have never been committed. She made earth a paradise for me. Without her there could be no heaven. The romantic vein in his own composition i66 Preservation of the Hermitage, made Andrew Jackson sympathize heartily with the loves of young people, and the Her- mitage became the Gretna Green of more than one romantic marriage. One of the most ro- mantic affairs he was ever connected with oc- curred before he built the log house at the Hermitage and while he was still a resident at Hunter's Hill. Samuel Donelson, the brother of Mrs. Ra- chel Jackson, was the law partner of Andrew Jackson and was a gay, dashing young fellow. He fell in love with Mary Smith, the only daughter of Gen. Daniel Smith, of Revolu- tionary fame. In Sumner County, Tennessee, still stands a comfortable dwelling, erected in the early years of the last century, called Rock Castle, built entirely of stone, in which General Smith and his family lived. Mary Smith was a piquant beauty and had suitors by the score; but none pleased her as did this same Samuel Donelson, but he did not meet with her father's approval. The saucy lady had a head of her own and a due appre- ciation of her charms. In a frolicsome mood she chose the family Bible in which to pour out her thoughts and therein inscribed: Brides at the Hermitage. 167 Mary Ann Mickey is my name, And happy is my life. Happy will the young man be Who gets me for his wife. The Bible is an heirloom in the family now and is known and treasured as the Mary Smith Bible. Encountering parental opposition, the lover proposed an elopement, which at once appealed to her romantic nature. The elopement was planned, and the day arrived, but she gave no sign of the approaching event. Her listening ear ever and anon caught the sound of a wood- man cutting timbers in the forest. The sound was not unusual in those days, and she alone of all the household knew that a grapevine ladder was being constructed for the escapade that night and that the future President of the United States was assisting her husband that was to be. Night came, and the two drew near. The watchdog gave a sharp, questioning bark; but as the dog was acquainted with both visitors, a pat upon the head converted into a friend what might have been a frustrating enemy. The window of the fair one was on the oppo- 1 68 Preservation of the Hermitage. site side of the hallway from that of her fa- ther, and she listened to his deep, stertorous breathing before she gave the signal for her lover to advance. Stealthily the grapevine ladder was thrust up to the window. Two dainty white hands grasped it and, with the ropes already attached, made it fast within. Unhesitatingly she clam- bered down and was received into the arms of the expectant bridegroom. The latter and his friend each caught her by the hand, helping her over rough places and tangled brush until they reached the spot where two horses and a preacher with a marriage license awaited them. In the dim light of the rising moon the two were made one, wnth Andrew Jackson for a W'itness. General Jackson w^as often heard to aver that the only man in the world he was afraid of was General Smith. The honeymoon was spent beneath the roof of Andrew Jackson at Hunter's Hill. The Gretna Green proclivity has clung to the posterity of Mary Smith through four generations, nearly every family having a run- away marriage. After moving once more to the wilderness MRS. RACHEL JACKSON. (The Miniature.) Brides at the Hermitage, 169 and taking possession- of the log house at the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson and his good wife were surprised one morning, before their early breakfast was served, by the arrival of Robert Armstrong and Miss Margaret Nichol, daugh- ter of Josiah Nichol, one of General Jackson's best friends. The parents of the young lady had chosen a husband for her other than the one she most desired, who possessed more money, but, in her opinion, was not the equal of the gallant Robert Armstrong. They had come on horseback, brought the preacher with them, and presented themselves to be married. Andrew Jackson's "God bless you, my chil- dren," carried with it a benediction, for the marriage proved a most happy one. The young girl's confidence was not misplaced, for her husband became not only wealthy but dis- tinguished. A long line of prominent citizens live to-day to tell the romantic story of the marriage of their grandparents at the Her- mitage. After General Jackson built the large brick mansion General Call, one of his favorite staff officers of the Florida war, stole his bride, Miss Mary Kirkman, hastened to the Hermit- i/o Preservation of the Hermitage. age, and was married beneath its roof. There were no automobiles in those days. The surest and swiftest mode of travel was on horseback, and the young couple that morning rode two fine horses that were sure and swift. General Jackson gave them as a bridal present por- traits of himself and wife executed by Earl. The portrait of Mrs. Jackson was presented to the Ladies' Hermitage Association by Mrs. Ellen Call Long, Vice Regent for Florida. She was a daughter of General Call and was herself an elderly woman at the time the As- sociation was organized. When Andrew Jackson went to Washington to be inaugurated, his adopted son was just twenty-two years of age. He was one of the handsomest men in all the country and of courtly, polished manners. He was a great favorite in Washington society and, being the son of the President, was much sought after. While visiting Philadelphia with a friend, Captain McCauley, of the United States army, he met one day the most beautiful lady he had ever seen. The young lady was accompanied by an elder lady, and both knew Captain Mc- Caulev. The latter raised his hat, as did also Brides at the Hermitage, 171 the young Andrew Jackson, the ladies ac- knowledging the salutation with a bow. As they passed, Andrew Jackson, Jr., turned to look back for another glimpse of the beauty. At the same moment she too turned, and a saucy, piquant face flashed a smile at him. Both had fallen in love at first sight. Intro- ductions soon followed, and the young Andrew Jackson at once began an ardent wooing of the beautiful Miss Sarah Yorke. An engage- ment followed and in a short time a marriage. The adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr., took his bride to the White House, where she pre- sided as lady of the White House during the latter part of the Jackson administration, Mrs. Emily Donelson occupying that exalted posi- tion in the earlier years of the administration. Later Andrew Jackson, Jr., took his bride to the Hermitage. The President sent to his prospective daughter-in-law a cluster pearl ring with a lock of his hair beneath the set- ting, which was used as a wedding ring. This lovely young woman entwined herself around the old General's heartstrings, and he loved her with a fervent devotion. Her chil- dren filled the declining years of the old hero's 172 Preservation of the Hermitage. life with sunshine and happiness. After his return to the Hermitage from the two admin- istrations, it is said of him : "He grew so quiet and so tender that one never heard him utter an Singry word and scarcely ever an impatient one." The little granddaughter Rachel was his pet and fireside companion, and upon her he showered all the wealth of his affection. This granddaughter still lives near the Hermit- age, and her reminiscences of ^'Grandpa" are indeed sweet. Not until this little Rachel was grown to womanhood was there another bride at the Hermitage. In those romantic days many suitors had paid court to the fair Rachel ; and in time she married Dr. John M. Lawrence, who was a most worthy mate for the beautiful daughter of the Hermitage. The wedding was one of the grandest affairs ever witnessed in this part of the countr}^ and occurred on Jan- uary 25, 1853. Great preparations were made for the event, new furniture for the bridal chamber was brought from Philadelphia, and more beautiful articles purchased for the al- ready beautifully furnished house. Prominent MRS. W. D. BRADFIELD. i^Nee Miss Carrie I^awrence.) Brides at the Hermitage. 173 citizens, friends from all over the State, were invited, and the house was filled with guests. The auspicious beginning of their marriage was but an earnest of the long, happy years when children, little olive branches, sprang up around their table. The many vicissitudes that befell the Hermitage did not affect their hap- piness; and twenty-five years afterwards the couple celebrated their silver wedding in the same parlors, with the same surroundings, grown sons and daughters standing by their side. Time leaps forward, and the bright-eyed tots of to-day are the brides of to-morrow. Miss Sazie Lawrence, the eldest daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence, was the next whose marriage was to be witnessed by the long mir- rors in the Hermitage parlors. Two other daughters were married in the city and were given receptions at the Hermitage. Miss An- nie Lawrence married Joshua Smith, and Miss Marion Lawrence married J. Cleves Symmes. The last daughter of the household, Miss Carrie Lawrence, was married to Rev. W. D. Bradfield in the parlors of the Hermitage. Her bridal paraphernalia was that worn by 174 Preservation of the Hermitage. her grandmother, Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, when she married the adopted son in Phila- delphia in 1 83 1. The bridal gown was an imported French embroidered tissue (chiffon we would call it now), very rich and elegant and beautiful even now. The bridal veil was of pointe aplique lace. A necklace, bracelet, and brooch of the richest cluster pearls were the bridal jewels. The same pearl ring sent by the President of the United States to his son's bride was worn by Mrs. Rachel Jackson Lawrence when she was married and by her four beautiful daughters, and it was. always used as a wed- ding ring. The entire bridal outfit is pre- served in the family as a priceless heirloom and will doubtless be worn by another genera- tion of brides. The marriage of Miss Carrie Lawrence in the spring of 1892 was the last one to take place at the old Hermitage of any member of the family which had so long been identified •with the place. Even then it was under the control of the Ladies' Hermitage Association. In 1885 Col. Andrew Jackson, son of An- drew Jackson, Jr., brought his bride to the old Brides at the Hermitage. 175 homestead. He was already becoming an elderly bachelor when he met Miss Amy Rich, of Hamilton, Ohio. He was soon attracted by her brilliance, her vivacity, and her beauty. He laid siege to her heart and had the joy of bringing to the Hermitage his own bride ere he should surrender possession of it forever. They had two fine sons, one of whom bears the name of Andrew Jackson, the fourth in line of the name. CHAPTER XII, The Hermitage Church. Hardly less historic than the Hermitage itself is the Hermitage church, built by General Jackson upon his own farm in 1823. Mrs. Rachel Jackson was a most pious Christian woman, but had long been denied Church privileges with any degree of regularity. The neighborhood had grown populous, and a house of worship was needed. As soon as this was built it wgs incorporated into the Presbytery of Nashville and supplied with a minister. The leading denomination then in Tennessee was the Presbyterian, and it was the boast of many of the citizens of that day that they had been Presbyterians for more than two hundred years. Mrs. Rachel Jackson's grandmother, the first American Mrs. John Donelson (originally spelled Donaldson), was a sister of Rev. Samuel Davies, D.D., one of the early presi- dents of Princeton College. Her Presbyteri- anism was inherited from a long line of dis- (176) The Hermitage Church. 177 tinguished ancestors, just as her husband had his from the old Scotch-Irish ancestry. There were strong, sturdy Christians in those days, who, once committed to Church membership, would not for worlds be guilty of an act not countenanced by the Westminster Confession of Faith. They were stanch and stolid in their beliefs and had a faith that made devout women and strong men. General Jackson gave the ground for the church edifice on his own farm, then headed a subscription list with his own name and in- vited his neighbors and kinsmen to assist in erecting a house of worship. He did not be- lieve in committees, he said, and superintended the work himself. Shortly after the church was built Mrs. Jackson became a communing member and urged her husband to do the same, but he pointed out to her that if he did so then he would be accused of taking the step for polit- ical effect; but he promised her that as soon as he was "out of politics" he would join the Church. The building is fifty feet long by thirty feet broad and is substantially built. Four win- 12 178 Preservation of the Hermitage. dows were originally in the building (one on each side has been closed) ; the floor was of brick, afterwards covered with flooring, except the aisle, which is still of brick. Two huge fireplaces, one at each end, warmed the church to a comfortable degree. Later a change was made in the entrance. One fireplace was closed up, and the pulpit was placed at that end. The pulpit was once an anti- quated box affair, shaped like a half hexagon, and approached by a short stairway. The pews were substantial but somewhat heavy. A door of entrance was made on each side of the other fireplace afid continues there to this day. Some of the most distinguished Presby- terian divines of Tennessee have held services in the Hermitage church, among them being Revs. Dr. Scott, Carr, Hume, John Todd Ed- gar, J. Berrien Lindsley, and later J. W. Hoyte, E. D. Finney, and others of a still later day. The pastors of the distant city Churches fostered the work and delighted in discoursing to the cultured congregations assembled there to hear them. As long as Mrs. Rachel Jack- son lived the Church flourished : but after her The Hermitage Church. 179 death and during General Jackson's absence in Washington the Church languished until the family returned to the Hermitage in 1837, when it was reorganized and again used regu- larly. It was under the ministrations of Rev. John Todd Edgar, D.D., then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Nashville, that Gen- eral Jackson made public profession of the faith he had always held and which had sus- tained him through many a trying hour. As soon as he became a communing Church mem- ber he was elected unanimously a ruling elder, but he declined, saying: "No; the Bible says, 'B?e not hasty in laying on of hands.' I am too young in the Church for such an office. My countrymen have given me high honors, but I should esteem the office of ruling elder in the Church of Christ a far higher honor than any I have ever received." He needed no argument to win him to a belief in his God; for he had always had a strong and abiding faith, the foundation stones of which were laid by his sturdy mother and had rooted and grounded his beliefs. But with him to publicly stand up before the man of i8o Preservation of the Hermitage, God and a waiting congregation was a mo- ment of due solemnity and vast import. He was fully alive to the obligations and the defi- niteness of his action. After the service at the church and partici- pation for the first time in the holy communion of the Lord's Supper, he returned to the Her- mitage silent and full of thought. His son and daughter, Andrew and Sarah Yorke Jack- son, were with him, but scarcely a word was spoken. Reaching his own front door, he took his daughter by the arm, conducted her to his own bedchamber, then knelt and poured out his soul in prayer. This man, who was so gifted in oratory, so powerful in inspiring address, so magnetic before the masses, was not abashed when talking to his God. His acquaintance with and constant reliance upon the God of his mother, the God of his wife, and his own God was so great and strong that he could and did pray often in the inner circle of home as long as he lived. From that hour General Jackson was a con- stant attendant at church, always using the same pew, which is now marked with a silver plate. The sermons then were the good old 7' he Hermitage Church, i8i '& doctrinal Calvinistic discourses once so cus- tomary and acknoAvledged as the orthodox quality in all the Churches, and the songs were those grand old hymns that followed the psalm-singing of the earlier Christian Church and that even now hold their own, a perpetual classic in Church hymnology — **How firm a foundation!" "How tedious and tasteless the hours!" "Come, thou Fount," "When I can read my title clear," and others that linger in the heart and well up in the memory of those who have ever once made them their own. There was only congregational singing in those days. Some good old tuneful brother would "raise" the tune, and every voice would blend in the harmony of the religious refrain and feel a spiritual comfort as it rose and fell. The communion season was particularly re- freshing and soul-stirring. There in that little house of worship a solemn hush would fall over the congregation, broken only by the words of the preacher as he read, "This do in remembrance of me." Outside the bright sunshine and balmy air would all seem in ac- cord; and there is no doubt that in these sea- sons the souls of the waiting congregation i82 Preservation of the Hermitage, were lifted into a higher atmosphere, and all would drive away to their homes more thoughtful, more subdued, nearer to their God. Even the children were impressed. Chil- dren in those days were told that they were to be "seen and not heard," and their young souls were left each to find out for itself the mys- teries of life. Among the congregation were two little girls, aged, respectively, ten and twelve years, who lived in the neighborhood and were brought regularly to church by older sisters, their mother being dead. Their im- pressionable minds had imbibed the ideas in- culcated at the church and delighted in the songs. A deep religious impression pervaded their souls. A valued old slave belonging to their fa- ther, named Uncle Claiborne, died on their plantation. They had scarcely heard of death, and the mysterious awe that clung around it was to them distressing. They were mother- less children, but their mother's death had faded from their minds even if they were not too young when it occurred for it to impress them. Their minds were filled with the superstitions of the negroes; and many The Hermitage Church. 183 of their ideas had been gathered from the old black "mammy" who had ministered to them and nursed them and from the little ebony- hued playmates with whom they were thrown most constantly. When they knew that Uncle Claiborne was dead and went to the cabin, none forbidding, to see his stiff, stark form, sheet-covered, they were overwhelmed with a nameless dread, a haunting fear, they knew not of what. All day, frightened and silent, they went around the house and yard or through the cabin where the dead slave lay. No one noticed the chil- dren; and if they questioned their elders, they were put off with an impatient word of rebuke. Night came on, and with it their fear in- creased, but all unnoticed. They were sent off to bed in a distant upper chamber. Sleep would not come to their eyelids; and they clung to each other, not daring to whisper what they felt, but clinging, each helpless, frightened little one, to the other. Uncle Claiborne had been a noted negro with his race. He had that force of intellect sometimes found in the cabin of the Southern slave and was esteemed by his master and re- 184 Preservation of the Hermitage. spected by every one of his race. That night from other plantations near and remote the dusky forms began to come from ever}' direc- tion, to gather at the humble cabin where the mortal remains of the dead slave lay. The children could hear the arrivals and, connect- ing the sounds of footsteps with their fears, grew more and more terror-stricken. The night was intensely still, and the silence was oppressive. It was in midsummer, and the summer moon cast ghostly shadows in the nursery chamber. Hours had perhaps passed, and the little girls had reached the tenseness of suffering and fear .that was almost unen- durable. Suddenly on the still night air there arose a sound. It was the negroes singing. The musical rhythm and cadence of their voices, mingled with the voice of the katydid and cricket, rising and falling in the still night air, the words of the song reaching the ears of the little listeners, "How firm a founda- tion, ye saints of the Lord!" the beautiful words of the old, old song sung to the old familiar tune, quaint and plaintive, sung by negro voices, brought comfort and peace and The Hermitage Church. 185 banished all fear. Never in a long lifetime did those two forget the feeling of relief that the grand old song brought to their souls. Tears sprang to their eyes, and, sobbing but comfort- ed and clinging to each other, the little ones fell asleep. One of the characteristic spectacles at the church was the assembling of the vehicles on the church lawn. The congregation came from far and near and comprised the well-to- do farmers from all the country around. From the fact that the leader of the Church was Mrs. Emily Donelson, the lady of the White House, and one of its members the President of the United States, great elegance and even extravagance was displayed in the dress of the congregation, quite unusual with a country Church at that time. A glance at the pew of General Jackson or of Maj. Andrew J. Donelson aroused in the bosoms of many admiration and possibly the envy of more than one who worshiped there. As was natural, the church became a kind of social tryst; and after the congregation was dismissed the people lingered to discuss af- fairs of mutual interest — ^the crops, the latest 1 86 Preservation of the Hermitage. • news, and, it must be admitted, gossip. To go to church was as good as reading a weekly newspaper. Upon one occasion a distinguished State geologist visited the neighborhood for a week's stay. He was connected by marriage with some of the families ; and as everybody in the neighborhood was more or less connected either by blood or marriage to ever}'body else, the visitor was something of a kinsman to the entire neighborhood. The hospitality of that day w^as : **Come early, bring your knitting or your patchwork, and stay all day." The good doctor was invited the rounds, one day at the Hermitage, one day at Tulip Grove, one day at Clifton, and so on. He was a whole-souled, genial man, happy anywhere and under any circumstances, and enjoyed nothing better than his occasional visits to the good people around General Jackson's home. The Sunday following the doctor's visit was a fine, bright day, very conducive to piety, and a full congregation was present at the service. At the after meeting the week's guest was the prominent subject of conversation. The housewives present began, as housewives will, The Hermitage Church. 187 to tell what each one gave the distinguished guest for dinner, the good old-fashioned noon- day meal. "What did you have for dessert?" "The nicest fritters I ever made." "La, did you have fritters ? So did I." "And so did I." "And so did I," chorused each hostess in turn. Fritters! Don't you know what they are? Visit the Southland and ask any old "Aunt Hannah" to make some for you. But, after all, the good doctor was very fond of fritters, and that was before indigestion was invented. The church was a favorite meeting place for the beaux and belles, and many a match was made in or near that same Hermitage church. But Church purposes were not all for which the little brick church was used. It also ser\^ed for a schoolhouse, and the pastor was sometimes the schoolmaster. The chil- dren in the community were sent to the Her- mitage church to school. The curriculum was very ambitious, and the pupils were given Lat- in almost simultaneously with the old blue- back speller. French too and even Greek 1 88 Preservation of the Hermitage. were conned. The boys were prepared foi college and the girls fitted for the finishing seminaries, though many had only the Her- mitage church for their Alma Mater. There were good spellers in those days, none better anywhere, and many a little slip of a girl took the head of her spelling class early in the ses- sion and defied the foremost scholars in the school to dislodge her. Many of the older citizens of that commu- nity cherished to their dying day the fondest and brightest recollections of their school days. A gentle elderly lady, one of the most earnest students that ever attended the school, had the thought of it so interwoven into her being that through a long life ever in her dreams she was again and again at the Hermitage church, go- ing to school or attending church. Then the dream would change, and she had taken up her abode there and was living in it as a dwell- ing. Memory would cling around the old edifice and bring back the forms of loved ones who had gathered with her there, and the vi- sion would be most sweet. Dear sisters long since gone, girlhood friends, and the young boys with whom she associated came trooping The Hermitage Church. 189 through memory's train, and she lived again in the past. A young sister had died in her early youth, and this sister was ever with her. The school had its fun and its frolics, its hopes and ambitions, its scholars and its dul- lards. AA hen a new teacher made his advent in the neighborhood the pupils were very anx- ious to present a fine appearance and impress him with the extent of the scholarly attain- ments in that vicinity. One day two little fel- lows brought some chestnuts gathered in the near-by forest. The new teacher asked : "How do they sell, my little man?" *Ten cents a point" was the reply. The church is still used week by week even to this day and maintains a regular Church organization. In those years long gone by the communion service was a silver cup and a sil- ver dish from the Hermitage. The cup is a silver tankard, one of a pair made in London, and is beautifully chased. The pair were pre- sented to General Jackson. The plate is one of the Martin Van Buren dishes purchased by Jackson. This same cup and plate are still used and are brought to the church on communion occasions by Mrs. Rachel Jackson Lawrence, 190 Preservation of the Hermitage. who lives about two miles distant. Mrs. Sarah Jackson presented a table of solid mahogany from the Hermitage furnishings for a com- munion table. At the same time the Ladies' Hermitage As- sociation was being organized ( 1889) Mrs. W. A. (Bettie M.) Donelson was interesting herself on behalf of the Hermitage church. It, like the rest of the Hermitage property, was showing the marks of the finger of time and was in a very dilapidated condition. The roof was leaking, the plastering fallen in a great many places, several window panes were out, and the frame was rotting away. With won- derful executive ability Mrs. Donelson, un- aided and alone, got up an "Old Folks Con- cert," which she gave at the Vendome Theater in Nashville. There were many participants, and she offered as a prize a locket made of the hair of General and Mrs. Jackson to the one selling the most tickets. Hundreds of tickets were sold and nearly every seat taken. As a net result she had five hundred dollars for her effort. This money she expended on the church and put it in fine condition. Mrs. Don- elson lives in the Hermitage neighborhood and The Hermitage Church. 191 is a constant attendant, member, and worker in all its affairs. She is a daughter-in-law of Maj. Andrew Jackson Donelson, private sec- retary to President Andrew Jackson. One of the greatest events of recent years was the visit of Admiral and Mrs. Schley to the Hermitage when they visited Nashville in 1902. The visit was made on Sunday, the only day at their disposal, and services were held in the church. It was one of the coldest days of an unusually cold winter, but many braved the weather and went out from the city to attend the services held especially for the occasion in honor of the distinguished visitor. Members of the Church in the vicinity decorated the pulpit and Jackson's pew with evergreens from the Hermitage garden. A huge log fire burned in the old-fashioned fireplace and warmed the church comfortably. There is a cabinet organ there, and a city choir furnished the music. Admiral Schley was seated in General Jack- son's pew. He was an Episcopalian, the offici- ating minister, Rev. D. C. Kelley, was a Meth- odist, and the Church Presbyterian, making of it an interdenominational service. After serv- ice in the church the party and guests went to 192 preservation of the Hermitage, the Hermitage, lingered there several hours, and had breakfast served ere they returned to the city. The State Legislature, at the session of 1913, conveyed to the trustees of the Hermit- age Church living in the neighborhood two or three acres, more or less, surrounding it, and a manse for the pastor has been built in the churchyard. A pastor has been engaged, services will be held regularly, and the historic church will continue in a plane of usefulness. CHAPTER XIII. The Artist at the Hermitage. An interesting person at the Hermitage in those long gone by years was Ralph E. W. Earl. He had a distinguished lineage and was one of the collateral descendants of James Prime, who was at Mil ford, Conn., in 1644. The name and family of Prime are of Flem- ish origin, and a descendant of the Primes — viz., Ralph E. Prime — has compiled the gene- alogy of the family as far back as 1638 and traces it down, to present generations, and from this line of descendants we learn the genealogy of Ralph E. W. Earl. His grandfather, Ralph Earl, was born No- vember 13, 1726, at Leicester, Mass. He was a patriot and served as captain in the patriot army in the Revolution. He had the distinc- tion of having offered to him at the same time a commission as captain in each army and chose the patriot commission. His father, Ralph Earl, was born May 11, 1757. He was an artist of distinction, a pupil of Sir Benja- 13 (i93> 194 Presentation of the Hermitage. min West, and painted the first picture of Niagara Falls ever painted, which still exists in England. He also painted many portraits of the nobility and some of the royal family of England and portraits of many prominent New England people. He was also a soldier in the Revolutionary War. His mother was Sarah Gates Earl. They had four children, of whom Ralph E. W. Earl was the third. Ralph E. W. Earl was born in 1788. Tak- ing up his father's profession as an artist, he made a distinguished reputation of his own. He painted many pictures of distinguished per- sons in England, Prance, and America. He was a friend of General Jackson and married Jane Cafifrey, a niece of Mrs. Rachel Jackson, and thereafter became one of the family at the Hermitage. His young wife lived only a few months, but he never married again and continued to reside at the Hermitage. He was given the room immediately above General Jackson's bedroom, which he also used as a studio. Earl was an industrious worker and left many beautiful specimens of his handiwork. His portraits of Jackson are so fine and so I The Artist at the Hermitage. 195 varied in style and position as to make a not- able exhibit all to themselves. His work is excellent, bearing the stamp of the true artist who had perfected himself in his profession. The beautiful portraits of Mrs. Rachel Jack- son, of the adopted son and his wife, Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, and of little Rachel were all his work. Portraits of prominent people all over the country were painted by him. He went with General Jackson to the White House and was dubbed the "court painter" or "portrait painter to the king." After return- ing with General Jackson to the Hermitage, he died the same year, September 16, 1837, and is buried in the garden. His friend and patron marked his grave with a stone and put upon it, in addition to the name and dates, the words, "Friend and companion of Gen. Andrew Jack- son." After Earl's death all of his possessions, souvenirs, and relics were returned to his fam- ily connections as far as the Hermitage family were able to collect them. But in the collection of Andrew Jackson's books purchased from his heirs, numbering over four hundred and fiftv volumes, is one volume which evidentiv 196 Preservation of the Hermitage. at one time was the property of Colonel Earl. It is a copy of Lord Byron's works, and in the volume, carefully pasted to the fly leaf, is an autograph letter from the great poet himself. This is a souvenir evidently picked up by Colo- nel Earl during a visit to or residence in Paris. It is old and worn and torn, but is thoroughly Byronic in character and very interesting. It is as follows: To the Editor of Galignani's Messenger. Sir: In various numbers of your journal I have seen mentioned a work entitled "The Vampire" with the addition of my name as that of author. I am not the author and never heard^ of the work in question until now. In a more recent paper I perceive a formal an- nunciation of "The Vampire," with the addition of an account of my residence in the Island of Mitylene, an island which I have occasionally sailed by in the course of traveling some years ago through the Levant and where I should have no objection to reside, but where I have never yet resided. Neither of these perform- ances are mine, and I presume that it is neither unjust nor ungracious to request that you will favor me by contradicting the advertisement to which I allude. If the book is clever, it would be hard to deprive the real writer, whoever he may be, of his honors; and if it is stupid, I desire the responsibility of nobody's dullness but my own. . . . You will excuse the trouble I give you. The imputation is of no great importance, and as long as it has been confined to surmises and reports I The Artist at the Hermitage. 197 should have received it, as I have received many others, in silence. But the formality of a public advertisement of a book I never wrote and a residence where I have never resided is a little too much, particularly as I have no notion of the contents of the one nor the inci- dents of the other. I have a personal dislike to vampires, and the little acquaintance I have with them would by no means in- duce me to divulge their secrets. You did me a much less injury by your paragraph about "my devotion and abandonment of society for the sake of religion," which appeared in your Messen- ger during last Lent, all of which are not founded on fact ; but you see I do not contradict them because they are merely personal, whereas the others, in some degree, confuse the reader. You will oblige me by complying with my request for contradiction. I assure you I know nothing of the work or works in question and have the honor to be (as the correspondents to magazines say) your con- stant reader and very obedient humble servant, Venice, April 27, 1819. Byron. Monsieur Galignani, 18 Rue Viviene, (Parigi.) Paris. The room the artist occupied at the Hermit- age is still called Earl's room and is now simply furnished with a colonial bedstead, dresser, wardrobe, washstand, straw matting, and white muslin curtains, a prevailing summer style at the Hermitage while Andrew Jackson lived. CHAPTER XIV. The Hermitage Garden. When Gen. Andrew Jackson built the man- sion for his wife in 1819 he set apart near its eastern doorway an acre of ground for a garden to supply the family with vegetables and at the same time to be a flower garden. The acre plat is laid off in four regular squares bisected by gravel walks some six or eight feet wide. A similar walk extends en- tirely around the outer edges about six feet from the inclosing fence. In the center of the garden where the main walks meet is an art circle for flow^er beds laid out in artistic de- sign, v;ith little walkways threading between them. All the walks are outlined by bricks made for the purpose when the house was built. They are one-half longer than an or- dinary brick and beveled upon the upper and projecting edge. The mistress of the Hermitage loved her flowers; and one of the greatest pleasures of her devoted husband was to procure for her (198) The Hermitage Garden, I99 new and rare plants, which he did when serv- ing as honorable senator in Philadelphia. The sweet spring blossoms that answer to the first warm kisses of the early sunshine are every- where abundant. They are the old-fashioned flowers that our mothers loved and that are to be found only in old-fashioned gardens. In all the long years since they were planted they have grown and flourished until now they are huge shrubs. The lilacs, white and purple, are large bushes; so are the crape myrtle and the snowballs, and they flower beautifully in the spring. Many curious plants are there that are sel- dom grown now, but their beauty ever attracts attention to them. The dainty white fringe tree droops its fragile blossoms at the garden gate, and one flourishes at the tomb near the head of Mrs. Jackson. The smoke tree, with its curious blossoms, stands opposite a huge purple magnolia, the first harbinger of spring, with its sweetly scented blossoms. The fra- grant calacanthus is there, and the woodbine and honeysuckle climb over trellises near clumps of syringa and woo the honeybee to sip the sweets concealed in their dainty cups. 200 Preservation of the Hermitage. All the shrubs have grown and flourished, undisturbed in the long years, and now have luxurious strength and fill with rich perfume the old historic garden. The early breath of spring calls from their slumbering beds hyacinths, lilies of the valley, jonquils, narcissi, purple shades, and the violet- odored bluebottles. Among the first of the early spring blossoms are the bluebells, found growing wild on the bluffs of the Cumberland. They were probably among the first of nature^s beauties to find their way to the garden. The native woodland and river banks also fur- nished the yucca, which thrives in many places in the garden and outlines the walk to the springhouse, and which, when in bloom, pre- sents a scene of great beauty. The orange- colored butterfly plant, or sesclepias, and the beautiful spirit lily also come from the native woodland. In the early spring the garden is a wilderness of bloom, for these plants have multiplied to a vast supply. Peonies planted long years ago, white, red, and pink, flourish all over the garden and have grown strong roots, producing a wonderful quantity of flowers. In their season the flowers may be cut by the wag- JACKSO^^ S TOMB. President Roosevelt received by the Regent, Mrs. Dorris, and the Ladies' Hermitagfe Association. The Hermitage Garden. 201 onload, and the Ladies' Hermitage Association has turned this to account and made it a source of revenue. A chairman of a flower committee is appointed, the flowers (a wagonload) sent to the city, and the chairman and her commit- tee stand on the streets and sell them out, which is soon done. They also take orders and have sold many hundred dollars' worth of flow^ers. The old fragrant hundred-leafed rose has overnm some of the flower beds and even thrust its sprouts, trespassing, into the gravel walks. Along on the fence, supporting them as a trellis, are many climbing rosebushes, the fragrant micrafilia and the multiflora, the lat- ter in clusters, each a nosegay all to itself. The musk cluster, the pink cluster, and the old- fashioned daily rose that never fails to bloom all the year round, and the Louis Philippe, a brilliant red rose, are some of the other roses. Growing by the hundreds in strong, vigorous clumps are the ascension lilies, filling the gar- den with delicious perfume in the month of June. The poetic side of life was then in the as- cendancy, and flowers were often made the means of conveying the tender sentiment. 202 Preservation of the Hermitage. Every flower had an emblem with which the young people were acquainted. Flowers were then, as now, sent as gifts, but always from one's own garden. Nothing was considered in worse taste nor a surer indication of ex- treme poverty or great penuriousness than for one to think of selling flowers. This was some- thing for the aesthetic taste alone, around which no commercial idea clung. Even then flowers were used for the dead. When the widow of Lewis Randolph (who was Miss Elizabeth Martin and was married at the White House during Jackson's administration to Lewis Randolph, 'the grandson of Thomas Jefferson) lived at home again with her father, near the Hermitage, she lost a beautiful, bright little boy just four years old named Lewis Jack- son Randolph. It was in the early summer, and the fragrant white ascension lilies were in full flower. All around and upon the little stilled form these sweet blossoms were placed. The young aunt, a girl of twelve years, loved the little fellow tenderly and grieved for him with all a child's strength of affection. She lived to be an elderly woman; but she never caught the odor of the lilies nor saw the fair The Hermitage Garden. 203 blossoms but that the memory of this, her first childish grief, came back to her, and the spirit of the child was with her again. The sweet musk cluster and the dainty pink cluster, fra- grant little things that they are, pinned in tiny sprays all over the winding sheet used in those days, were nature's last offering to the dead. When Mrs. Rachel Jackson died at the Her- mitage it was in the beautiful garden that her grave was made, in the corner nearest the ris- ing sun. Her sad death will be remembered as occurring very suddenly of heart failure on the eve of the departure of her distin- guished husband for his inauguration as Presi- dent of the United States. The grave planted there in the chill of a midwinter day, forlorn and desolate, was ever a sacred place to her bereaved husband. His last act before leaving for Washington was to plant four willows, something that would grow, about her last resting place. He never lost interest in the garden nor the willows in all his long absence from the Hermitage. May 19, 1832, he wrote a letter to Mrs. Sarah Yorke Jackson, his daughter-in-law, from which the following is an extract : 204 Preservation of the Hermitage, I sincerely regret the ravages made by the frost in the garden, and particularly that the willow at the gate is destroyed. This I wish you to replace. The wil- lows around the tomb I hope are living, and a branch from one of these might replace the dead one at the garden gate. It will grow if well watered and planted on receipt of this. When Andrew Jackson, Jr., sold the Her- mitage to the State of Tennessee he reserved a plat of one-fourth of an acre as a burial ground for himself and family. He and his wife are buried in the plat near the tomb, and there are several other famil}^ graves. The tomb of General Jackson and his wife is in- closed by an iron railing. A mysterious effort was made to rob the tomb of General Jackson in the summer of 1894. An old man and his family had been installed in the Hermitage as custodians. One day in August a strange dark man appeared at the Hermitage, was shown over the house, visited the tomb in the garden, and talked for a long time with Uncle Alfred. He seemed in no hurry to leave and apparently took an unusual interest in the place. He questioned closely about the family, inquired into the family life, discussed the family histon^ and The Hermitage Garden. 205 was deeply interested in the tomb. He left about midday and, as was afterwards discov- ered, went to the little country store on the Lebanon road and procured a lunch. In the afternoon he returned, which was very un- usual, for visitors generally took the train in time to reach the city before nightfall. Twi- light found the man still on the premises. The custodian and his family became suspi- cious and uneasy, causing them to use extra precautions in closing doors and windows that night. To their relief, when they had about decided to order him off, the man took his departure, and they never expected to see or hear of him again. The next morning when the old man, as was his custom, went into the garden, he was horrified to discover that a large hole fully six feet in diameter had been dug on the west side of the tomb, extending dow^n to the solid masonry of the foundation. It was in August, and there had been a long and distressing drought. The ground was hard and baked, making excavation no easy matter. When the vault was reached, a solid block of old-time, honest masonry protected tlie bones of the 2o6 Preservation of the Hermitage. great man and his wife within the tomb. Nothing short of dynamite would have had the sHghtest effect upon it. These conditions and the early coming of dawn prevented what might have been the demohtion of Jackson's tomb and the theft of his bones from the strong vault which had so long held his per- ishing dust. Every effort was made to discover the iden- tity of the perpetrator. It was undoubtedly the strange dark man who had lingered there so long; but who was he, and where had he gone? Mrs. Baxter and the Secretary went immediately to the ' Hermitage and endeav- ored to find out the perpetrator, consulting the most famous detective of the city; but there was absolutely no clew beyond the facts already noted. There had been no actual dam- age that was not easily repaired ; and as the Ladies' Hermitage Association had no money to waste on useless inquiry, the mystery was left unsolved. Two other facts developed. An iron fence surrounds the tomb, and the gate is kept locked, but the fence is not so high that a man cannot easilv vault over it. The more readily The Hermitage Garden, 207 to get within the inclosure, the marauder had used a plank from the near-by fence to aid him in chmbing over. The entire neighbor- hood was deeply interested. It further devel- oped that from the nearest neighbor the mys- terious stranger had the day before borrowed a spade, which he had punctiliously returned by leaving it within the yard inclosure, not waiting to say *'Good morning^' or even "Thank you." The spade, when loaned, was dull and rusty from disuse and was bright and shiny when returned, giving evidence of its contact with the hard, dry earth. The sequel ? Well, it came in a strange and incidental way. Some months after the occur- rence a correspondent from New York City, writing to an enterprising Cincinnati paper, told of a man who had just died in a hospital in New York. He was an Italian, and his name was Torrianni. His profession was that of a resurrectionist. Before his death he talked of his work and seemed to take a pride in his successes. He confessed that it was he v;ho had stolen the body of the father of President Harrison, who died just before his son became President. The rabberv was dis- 2o8 Preservation of the Hermitage. covered immediately and the body found in a medical college and reinterred. The act caused a wave of indignation to sweep over the coun- try. Further than this, and what more nearly concerned the Ladies' Hennitage Association, the man also confessed that it was he who made the attempt upon the tomb of Andrew Jackson in the summer of 1894. When the retiring President was again in his home at the Hermitage, the family of his adopted son were the joy and solace of his life. Particularly was he fond of little Rachel, the namesake of his dear wife. She was his con- stant companion rn his rides around the farm, at his fireside, and in his walks about the place. He had a habit which he indulged in tv^ry evening at twilight. His footsteps would turn to the garden; and little Rachel would drop "grandpa's" hand, for she had learned that he desired to be alone. Oi>ening the gate, with bowed head and bent foi*m, his stick striking upon the graveled walk, mingled with the mournful cadences of the katydids, the old hero turned his footsteps to the tomb. There in the silence of the deepening twilight he communed with his God while the spirit of the The Hermitage Garden, 209 gentle Rachel hovered near. The tomb had long been built under General Jackson's own supervision, and upon the slab had been put the beautiful inscription, the beauty and tenderness of which strike every one who reads it. It is : Here lie the remains of Mrs. Rachel Jackson, wife of President Jackson, who died the 22d of December, 1828, aged sixty-one years. Her face was fair, her person pleasing, her temper amia- ble, her heart kind. She delighted in relieving the wants of her fellow creatures and cultivated that divine pleasure by the most liberal and un- pretending methods. To the poor she was a ben- efactor; to the rich an example; to the wretch- ed a comforter; to the prosperous an ornament. Her piety went hand in hand with her benevo- lence, and she thanked her Creator for being permitted to do good. A being so gentle and so virtuous slander might wound, but could not dishonor; even death, when he bore her from the arms of her husband, could but transport her to the bosom of her God. When General Jackson died, he was placed by the side of his wife, and upon the slab are the simple words : General Andrew Jackson. Born March 15, 1767. Died June 8, 1845. 14 2IO Preservation of the Hermitage. All his brilliant career, all his glorious re- nown are left to the historian and to live in the hearts of his countrymen. To-day the home of Andrew Jackson is as it was in the days wlien he and his beloved Rachel welcomed all with cordial hospitality. The old homestead is so filled with sweet memories of their devoted love, of the after happy life, when loving son and daughter ministered to his heart's longing and prattling babes grew up around him, that the visitor cannot fail to be impressed with the tender, loving side of the brave warrior as well as feel a pride in his heroic achievements. As one passes down the flower-bordered walks of the garden the sweet, fragrant blossoms seem to speak in their quaint poetic language of those who dwelt there in the long ago. In reverence one pauses and gazes in silence on their tomb. Sweetly and peacefully they lie sleeping there within the shadow of the home they loved so well, and the soughing winds sing an everlasting re- quiem over their last resting place. APPENfDIX. APPENDIX. Some years ago it occurred to the writer that the time would come when the history of the founding of the Ladies' Hermitage Associa- tion would be written and that it would add to the interest of this history and annals to have the testimony of some who were closely connected with the work in its formative days. The following statements are taken from the minute book, in which they are written by the persons whose names are signed. The first one is from Mrs. Mary L. Baxter herself and is as follows: This is to certify that I was first asked to become the Regent of the Ladies' Hermitage Association by Mrs. Mary C. Dorris in 1889. May 18, 1897. Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, Regent At the solicitation of Mrs. Mary C. Dorris I was the first one to sign the charter of organization of the Ladies' Hermitage Association in the spring of 1889. June 20, 1906. Rachel Jackson Lawrence. In the spring of 1889 Mrs. Mary C. Dorris came to see me one night and asked me to sign the charter of the Ladies' Hermitage Association. I did so, becoming a charter member at her request. June 20, 1906. Mrs. Mary Hadley Clare. (213) 214 Preservation of the Hermitage. This is to certify that in April, i8^, shortly after the act conveying the Hermitage house and tomb and twenty-five acres to the Ladies' Hermitage Associa- tion, and in accordance with said act, authorizing the appointment of nine trustees for the State, Mr. and Mrs, D. R. Dorris came to my office to secure the ap- pointment of said trustees. Mrs. Dorris, as an officer of the Association, had a list of names which she rec- ommended, all of whom were appointed, Mr. Adolph S. Ochs being my selection, the others being selected and named by Mrs. Dorris. Robert L. Taylor, Governor. , At the suggestion of Mrs. Dorris I presided over the first meeting of the Hermitage Association. To her untiring efforts is largely, due the success of the praise- worthy effort of the Association to rescue the home of the immortal Jackson from the hands of strangers and to dedicate it to the memorj' of his great achievements in the field and forum. T. A. Atchison. Mrs. Mary C. Dorris has just called to ask my signature, which I give cheerfully. She has been a hard and earnest worker in the Ladies' Hermitage Association from its first conception, and to her it owes much of its success. I signed the charter at her request. July I, 1910. Mary G. Heiss. In January or Februar>', 1889, Mrs. Mary C. Dorris brought me the charter of the Ladies' Hermitage Asso- ciation, which I signed in her presence, mine being the fifth signature. Louise G. Lindsley. November 16, 1910. Appendix. 215 For several years after moving to Nashville my husband, Robert B. Currey. and I lived with his mother at our old home, at the corner of Church and Spruce Streets. Mr. and Mrs. Dorris and their children also lived there. One day Colonel and Mrs. Jackson drove in from the Hennitage to make Mrs. Dorris a visit They came to ask her advice and interest her in the preservation of the Hermitage. She grasped the idea at once, becoming enthusiastic, and from that time on she was untiring in her devotion to the work. There was a great deal to be done, a great many people to be seen. Day after day she spent at the Capitol trying to get the Legislature to authorize a memorial associa- tion and give them control of the property. Often Colonel and Mrs. Jackson would come in from the Hermitage and hold a long consultation with Mrs. Dorris. Sometimes Mr. Alex Donelson made one of the party, and it was he who went with Mrs. Dorris to procure a charter for the Ladies' Hermitage Asso- ciation. All the work of founding the Ladies' Hermit- age Association was done in our old home, at the corner of Church and Spruce Streets, and I remember these meetings distinctly, but Colonel and Mr. Jackson, Mrs. Dorris, and Mr. Alex Donelson were the only ones then interested. Others of our family would occasionally be with them and hear them discuss the organization and knew every step that was taken. In fact, so much of Mrs. Dorris's time, talent, and energies were taken up that her brother (my husband) and her mother complained that she was neglecting her own interests for the Hermitage work. Once when Mrs. Jackson was present Mrs. Dorris's mother spoke of her devoting so much of her time to the Ladies' Hermitage Association. Mrs. Jackson said: "Hush, 2i6 Preservation of the Hermitage. woman! She is making history. The day will come when her family will be proud of the work she has done." In 1890 I spent a delightful summer with Colonel and Mrs. Jackson at the Hermitage. The Association was still in its infancy. Mrs. Baxter was Regent, and Mrs. Dorris was Secretary'. i\lrs. Jackson and I were constantly thrown together, and our talks often turned to the Ladies' Hermitage Association, Mrs. Jackson predicting that it would be a great success. I often heard her say: 'Tt was an inspiration when Colonel thought of Mary Dorris, and from the day we saw her and she took hold of the idea I knew it would succeed." From that day to this her interest has never flagged. May 4, 1913. Mrs. Robert B. Currey. It is a privilege to say a word for Mrs. Dorris and for her book, a work whith has been to her a labor of love and of patriotic interest. The long years of beau- tiful service she has given to the upbuilding of the Ladies' Hermitage Association and her unswerving de- votion to it deserve the commendation of the whole country; for the Hermitage is not a local interest, but is one dear to the heart of the whole American peo- ple. It was my privilege to have the honor of being in- strumental in raising the first funds for this notable work, and my chance came to me through Mrs. Dorris. I had written, however crudely, my first production, or attempted production, for the stage, the production tak- ing the form of a little operetta for young people, "Birds of Tennessee." One morning I confided to Mrs. Dorris this attempt on my part and ran over the libretto to her. She said: "Why, that's good! Let's give it Appendix. 217 for the benefit of the Ladies' Hermitage Association." We did. With her help the work was put before the public and produced at the Vendome Theater for two or three evenings and made quite a pleasing little hit. Some of the best and most gifted of Nashville's young people came to our help. There wasn't a line of music written, but the airs were my own. I hummed them over to the leader of the orchestra, who caught them and arranged them for the other members, and in this crude fashion the singing parts were put together. Justin Thatcher, the sweet singer of Nashville, was one of those who helped us; and Robert Nichol was our mocking bird and was, of course, the leading figure in a carnival composed entirely of the song birds of Tennessee. Billy Porter and the late Ed Stahlman were also in the caste, Mr. Porter being a blackbird and Mr. Stahlman as good an owl as ever adorned the night Tom Norton was our jaybird and, as "the stylish Mr. Jay," was one of the real successes of the play. Mr. Norton also sang without music and learned the air of his song from having it hummed over to him. He aUo sang it in Franklin, when the play was produced there, and again made a great hit. On the last occasion the play was shown in Nash- ville the late distinguished and beloved Dr. J. Berrien Lindsley arose in the audience and said some very pleasant things of the play, the people in the play, and of the author. In the name of the Ladies* Hermitage Association he thanked all parties connected with it. These are very pleasing things to remember; and for this pleasure the author of that crude little play is in- debted to Mrs. Dorris, whose book, "Preservation of the Hermitage," now appears, . 2i8 Preservation of the Hermitage, Mrs. Dorris should have a large and whole-hearted audience, and her work should appeal both to the inter- est and affection of the people of Tennesese. A hard and sincere toiler among the women of her State, she has not hesitated to grapple with the problem of meet- ing life alone and fighting her way, a soldier's sword in one hand and a woman's pen in the other. She has kept fair and beautiful her gracious gift of womanhood and has been a ready and appreciative listener to other women toiling along the same rough road her own feet have followed. Through all hardships and struggles and doubts and adversities she has not failed to keep the lamp of love aglow in her forehead, as beautiful as a star upon a rugged night at sea. A glad coworker in all that pertains to the welfare of her sex, her State, and her country, she has been an inspiration to many women. The public owes a good deal to Mrs. Dorris. A cordial reception on the part of the public is due her story, "Preservation of the Hermitage," and the Ladies' Hermitage Association, which has accomplished the real work of rescuing from oblivion or worse than oblivion the most notable building of the State, the home of the most noted man Tennessee ever produced. For, had it not been for the Ladies' Hermitage Association, the historic homestead would without a doubt long ago have suffered the fate of other notable landmarks of Nashville. As a pioneer in this great work Mrs. Dorris is entitled to a royal reception for her book. It is a privilege to speak for it. Will Allen Dromgoole. February lo, 1915. Appendix. 219 The following directors have had control of the Ladies' Hermitage Association since its or- ganization : Elected May 15, 1889.— Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, Re- gent; Mrs. A. S. Colyar, First Vice Regent; Mrs. J. M. Dickinson, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Secretary ; L. F. Benson, Treasurer ; Mrs. William Mor- row, Mrs. John Ruhm, Mrs. Bettie M. Donelson. Elected May so, 189 1.— Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, Re- gent; Mrs. Albert S. Marks, First Vice Regent; Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Secretary; Dr. William Morrow, Treasurer; Mrs. William Morrow, Mrs. John Ruhm, Mrs. Bettie M. Donelson, Mrs. John C. Gaut, Mrs. Maggie L. Hicks. Elected June 7, i^pj.— Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, Regent ; Mrs. Albert S. Marks, First Vice Regent; Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, Second Vice Regent; Mr. Edgar Jones, Treasurer ; Mrs. John Ruhm, Auditor ; Mrs. John C. Gaut, Mrs. Bettie M. Donelson, Mrs. Isabel M. Clark, Mrs. J. M. Dickinson. Elected October 30, i895.—Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, Regent; Mrs. Albert S. Marks, Acting Regent; Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, Secorid Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Secretary ; Mrs. P. H. Manlove, Treasurer ; Mrs. John Ruhm, Auditor; Mrs. Hugh Craighead, Mrs. Bet- tie M. Donelson, Mrs. John C. Gaut, Mrs. Isabel Clark. Elected May 19, 1^97.— Mrs. Mary L. Baxter, Re- gent; Mrs. Albert S. Marks, Acting Regent; Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C Dorris, Secretary; Mrs. P. H. Manlove, Treasurer; Mrs. R. G. Thome, Mrs. J. M. Dickinson, Mrs. M. S. Cockrill, Mrs. A. M. Shook, Mrs. John C. Gaut. Elected May 17, i^pp.— Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, 220 Preservation of the Hermitage. Regent; Mrs. J. M. Dickinson, First Vice Regent; Mrs. Eugene C. Lewis, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Secretary; Mrs. A. M. Shook, Treasurer; Mrs. R, G. Thorne, Mrs. M. S. Cockrill, Mrs. John C. Gaut, Mrs. J. C. Buntin. Elected May 15, /po/.— Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, Re* gent; Mrs. A. M. Shook, First Vice Regent; Mrs. M. S. Cockrill, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Secretarj' ; Mrs. J. Walter Allen, Treasurer; Mrs. Wil- liam J. McMurray, Mrs. Thomas M. Steger, Mrs. John C. Gaut, Mrs. J. C. Buntin. Elected May 13, Jpoj.— Mrs. J. Berrien Lindsley, Regent; Mrs. A. M. Shook, First Vice Regent; Mrs. M. S. Cockrill, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C Dorris, Secretary; Mrs. J. Walter Allen, Treasurer; Mrs. John C. Gaut, Mrs. W. J. McMurray, Mrs. Thom- as M. Steger, Mrs. J. G Buntin. (Mrs. Lindsley ex- piring July 5, 1903, Mrs. A. M. Shook was elected Re- gent and Miss Louise G. Lindsley a director.) Elected May 17, J905.— Mrs. Ivlary C. Dorris, Regent ; Mrs. M. S. Cockrill, First Vice Regent; Miss Louise G. Lindsley, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. J. Walter Allen, Secretarj^; Mrs. P. H. Manlove, Treasurer; Mrs. W. J. McMurray, Mrs. Thomas M. Steger, Mrs. J. C Buntin, Mrs. A. M. Shook. Elected May 15, 1907. — Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Re- gent; iMrs. J. Walter Allen, First Vice Regent; Mrs. A. M. Shook, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Walter Allen, Secretary; Mrs. P. H. Manlove, Treasurer; Mrs. !M. S. Cockrill, Mrs. Thomas M. Steger, Mrs. B. F. Wilson, Mrs. Joseph W. Ford. Elected May 19, 1909. — Miss Louise G. Lindsley, Re- gent ; Mrs. J. Walter Allen, First Vice Regent ; Mrs. A. M. Shook, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, 'Appendix. 221 Secretary; Mrs. P. H. Manlove, Treasurer; Mrs. M. S. Cockrill, iMrs. Cleves Symmes, Mrs. B. F. Wilson, Mrs. Joseph M. Ford. (Mrs. M. S. Cockrill expired in 1910, and Mrs. D. Shelby Williams was elected director.) Elected May J/, ipii.— Miss Louise G. Lindsley, Re- gent; Mrs. J. Walter Allen, First Vice Regent; Mrs. B. F.' Wilson, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C Dor- ris, Secretary-; Mrs. P. H. Manlove, Treasurer; Mrs. J. Cleves Symmes, ^Irs. John C. Brown, Mrs. A. M. Shook, Mrs. James H. Campbell. Elected May 21, 191 3.— Urs. B. F. Wilson, Regent; Miss Louise G. Lindsley, First Vice Regent; Mrs. A. M. Shook, Second Vice Regent; Mrs. Mary C. Dorris, Secretary; Mrs. P. H. Manlove, Treasurer; Miss Car- rie Sims, Mrs. R. A. Henry, Mrs. Bettie M. Donelson, Mrs. Maggie L. Hicks. The following gentlemen have served on the Board of Trustees: Ex-Gov. John C Brown;* L. F. Benson;* Ex-Gov. James D. Porter;* Dr. D. F. Porter,* Memphis; Hon. Julian A. Trousdale;* Hon. E. S. Mallory,* Jackson; Gen. John A. Fite, Lebanon; Hon. A. C. Floyd, Chat- tanooga; Judge H. H. Ingersoll, Knoxville; Gen. W. H. Jackson;* W. R. French;* Dr. J. Berrien Linds- ley;* Gen. John F. Wheless;* Judge J. M. Dickinson; Dr. Thomas A. Atchison;* Hon. James M. Head; Nat Baxter, Jr.;* Gen. G. P. Thruston;* Gen. J. W. Lewis, Paris; Percy Warner; Col. A. M. Shook; Hon. John W. Gaines; John M. Gray, Jr.; Ex-Senator James B. Frazier, Chattanooga; Hon. Sam G. Heiskell, Knox- ville; Lewis R. Donelson, Memphis. *Deceased.