Episode 10: Dollop: The Jackson Cheese

Dave: The shot that hit him in the duel ended up close to his heart, so it couldn’t be removed–

Gareth: Much like that whore.

Dave: Yes, much like that whore wife of his.

Presidential term: March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837; his State of the Union Address

Imacon Color Scanner

Sharp Knife

Let’s get this out of the way: Manifest destiny, land grab, Trail of Tears, a whole lot of Not Funny acts against the people who were here first. As I say loudly and often, damn it, white people:
Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab * Steve Inskeep

vintage footballNow, about that football game argument:

I grew up in North Carolina, and so what I knew about Jackson as a child is that North Carolina and South Carolina have a friendly/not-so-friendly feud about where Jackson was born. He was born in the area of the state border before it was drawn. I don’t know if the tradition has continued, but, in my childhood, Jackson’s birthplace was regularly settled with a regional high school football scrimmage game. The winner got to claim Jackson for that year.

I know I talk a big, silly game, but I am not making this up.

I love being a Southerner. We embrace our quirkiness right the fuck out in the open, instead of hiding it in asylums or up in the attic (I am giving you stinkeye, Joseph Kennedy. Really. Aggressive. Stinkeye.)

And, yes, Sharp Knife was the first president to suffer an attempt assassination. I quote the pedia of Wiki (first smiting, then first attempted assassination):

The first recorded physical attack on a U.S. president was directed at Jackson. Jackson had ordered the dismissal of Robert B. Randolph from the navy for embezzlement. On May 6, 1833, Jackson sailed on USS Cygnet to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother. During a stopover near Alexandria, Randolph appeared and struck the President. He fled the scene chased by several members of Jackson’s party, including the well-known writer Washington Irving. Jackson decided not to press charges.

On January 30, 1835, what is believed to be the first attempt to kill a sitting President of the United States occurred just outside the United States Capitol. . .Richard Lawrence, an unemployed house painter from England, aimed a pistol at Jackson, which misfired. Lawrence pulled out a second pistol, which also misfired. Historians believe the humid weather contributed to the double misfiring. Lawrence was restrained, and legend says that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane. Others present, including David Crockett, restrained and disarmed Lawrence.

. . .He blamed Jackson for the loss of his job. He claimed that with the President dead, “money would be more plenty” (a reference to Jackson’s struggle with the Bank of the United States) and that he “could not rise until the President fell”. Finally, he told his interrogators that he was a deposed English King—specifically, Richard III, dead since 1485—and that Jackson was his clerk. He was deemed insane and was institutionalized.

Afterwards, due to public curiosity concerning the double misfires, the pistols were tested and retested. Each time they performed perfectly. Many believed that Jackson had been protected by the same Providence that they believed also protected their young nation. The incident became a part of the Jacksonian mythos.

Jacksonian mythos. . .youngest POW in US history (most likely), dueled several times with dangerous and foolish techniques, lived with so many bullets in him that he jingled, survived the giant wheel of cheese only to punk van Buren with another. . .down through the ages to a yearly football game to claim temporary rights to his birthplace. Dude, this guy was his era’s Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris v. Andrew Jackson

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House * Jon Meacham
A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson * Patricia Brady

That would mean that Rachel Brady was–

slips on sunglasses

–a liontamer.

cue The Who

CSI: History opening credits, as Carla gets into her convertible. . .

Bands from this episode (sooo many):

  • Cheesegate
  • Cheese Party
  • Lackadaisical Ladies
  • Moldy Hallway
  • Uninvited Cheese
  • Patriotic Cheese
  • Presidential Cheese
  • Old Hickory (cover 1980’s hair band)
  • Jinglecheese

Cultural references from this episode:

Not cheesy enough? the weird ongoing saga of American food

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About Carla

This Bluestocking bookworm is your friendly Dollop web-wrangler and digital library curator. In other words, pay no attention to that woman behind the curtain. I'm just here to John Nash all this stuff together. It's all about connections. IT'S ALL CONNECTED. I live atop a mountain, geographically isolated for the protection of others. Yes, an American mountain.