Andrew Jackson and The Peggy Eaton Affair

Presidential History Blog

Andrew Jackson came to Washington wearing a mourning band. His beloved wife Rachel had died only weeks before his inauguration in 1829.

miniature Andrew Jackson wore a miniature of his beloved Rachel around his neck on a silver chain. He wore it all his life.

Jackson believed his sixty-one-year old wife was killed by the poisoned arrow of slander and calumny. (That she had a bad heart condition did not matter to him.) The hapless Rachel had been divorced before she became Mrs. Jackson, and their marriage had questionable overtones: Her divorce from an abusive and violent husband had not been finalized before their marriage. The scandal was revived regularly throughout the next thirty five years.

Peggy O’Neale Timberlake

One of Jackson’s young political supporters was John Eaton, a fellow Tennessean and who had penned Jackson’s “official” campaign biography. Prior to Jackson’s election, Eaton had been named Senator from Tennessee at…

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