The Hermitage


The Hermitage
Image: Library of Congress LC-DIG-pga-01171

 

The Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson, is one of the largest and most visited presidential homes in the United States; it is located 12 miles east of downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

 

 

From 1804 until his death in 1845, Andrew Jackson resided at The Hermitage. He lived in the log farmhouse from 1804 to 1821 and the brick mansion from 1821 to 1845. At the time of his death, 161 slaves operated the cotton plantation and resided in dozens of slave cabins scattered about the 1,050-acre plantation.

 

 The Hermitage, Front View
The Hermitage, Front View
Image: Library of Congress

 

The Hermitage, Rear View
The Hermitage, Rear View
Image: Library of Congress

 

The State of Tennessee purchased the property from the Jackson family in 1856. In 1889, Tennessee chartered the Ladies’ Hermitage Association (LHA), an organization modeled directly on the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union (who had purchased and opened George Washington’s Mount Vernon as a museum in 1860) to care for the property as a historic museum. By the 1920s, the LHA had successfully purchased most of the mansion furnishings from the Jackson family, making The Hermitage a national model for authenticity, conservation, and preservation. Today, the LHA manages 1,120 acres, which includes the entire 1,050-acre tract that Andrew Jackson owned when he died in 1845.

 

The Hermitage, Rear ViewThe Hermitage, Rear View
Image: Photographer: W. T. Washington. Library of Congress HABS TENN,19-NASH.V,1-2

 

Proceeding up a long avenue flanked with pine trees, the house is reached. This house is of the type so familiar in the days of the Colonial period up to just before the Civil War as a residence of the well-to-do. In these houses the owners of broad acres lived a life of dignified ease and luxury surrounded by large families, supplemented by numbers of guests. Surrounding the house are grouped the slaves quarters and other dependent buildings, while at one side is a beautiful old-fashioned garden, full of carefully tended plants and shrubs.

 

The HermitageEntrance hall with cantilevered elliptical center staircase.
Image:  Library of Congress HABS TENN,19-NASH.V,1-55

 

The wide central hall's cantilevered elliptical center staircase is flanked on both sides with rooms and still boasts its original chandelier. Here you also find Rachel Jackson’s original scenic wallpaper mural depicting themes from Greek mythology that has been preserved for nearly two centuries.

 

The HermitageDetail drawing of cantilevered elliptical center staircase with mural.
Image:  Library of Congress

 

The HermitageDetail of wall paintings on west wall of entrance hall between front wall and door to front parlor.

Image: Photographer: w. Jeter Eason. Library of Congress HABS TENN,19-NASH.V,1-10

 

The first floor has two parlors, a dining room, and Andrew and Rachel Jackson’s bedroom. The parlors are decorated with the original beautiful mahogany furniture (including the piano bought by President Jackson for his granddaughter) and two portraits of Jackson on the walls. One portrait was painted by artist George Healy about a week prior to Jackson’s death in 1845.

 

parlorDouble parlor, looking northwest.
Image: Library of Congress HABS TENN,19-NASH.V,1-60

 

Dining roomDining room, looking northeast.
Image: Library of Congress HABS TENN,19-NASH.V,1-57

 

LibraryLibrary, looking southeast.
Image: Library of Congress HABS TENN,19-NASH.V,1-61

 

The windows are draped with reproductions of the original red fabric curtains, while the table holds Rachel's glasses beside a book of poems given to her by Jackson. The Italian marble mantle in the front parlor is also original. The various bedrooms in the upper story each have a four-poster bed while the broad porches afford a pleasant shelter from the heat of the southern sun. All preserve the atmosphere of the day when Jackson sought this dignified retreat to rest from an arduous life.

 

Andrew Jackson bedroom
Andrew Jackson bedroom on second floor.
Image: Library of Congress HABS TENN,19-NASH.V,1-62

 

Since The Hermitage opened as a museum in 1889 over 15 million people have crossed its threshold. The Hermitage includes 1120 acres, thirty-two historic buildings, dozens of archaeological sites, two springs, a formal garden, a vegetable garden, and a cotton patch.

 

Rachel and Andrew Jackson's tomb
Rachel and Andrew Jackson's tomb
. The inscription on his tomb reads:
“General Andrew Jackson, March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845. 

 

For more information regarding The Hermitage, visit "The Hermitage - Home of President Andrew Jackson" web site: www.thehermitage.com.