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    Rachel Jackson exemplifies her well-known compassion

    Rachel Jackson Letter Signed. One page, 7.75" x 10", Pensacola [Florida], June 29 [1821], to David Cowan of Pensacola. Likely during her husband Andrew Jackson's term as Florida's military governor (March 1821 through November 1821), Rachel, known for her grace and kindness, writes this compassionate letter to the "helpless family" of David Cowan.

    "I have just received your letter at this instant; and have read in tears the distresses which seem to threaten you and your helpless family. If there be any office within the gift of Mr. Jackson, which can relieve your condition, I will with pleasure use my exertions in obtaining it for you. He will be in town in a few days, at which time he will answer your petition. In the mean time I will be glad to see you and lady."

    Rachel and Andrew's marriage in 1791 took place in the dark shadow of her first husband, Lewis Robards. It was two years later that the Jackson's learned that Rachel and Lewis had not finished their divorce proceedings, which meant they were still married. Though the matter was quickly completed, it wasn't forgotten, especially during the nasty presidential campaign of 1828 when Jackson's opponents leveled personal attacks against Rachel's honor. Those same opponents also labeled her as illiterate, which was not true. Though she had no formal schooling as a child, she did learn to read and write, but chose to dictate her letters. She died three days before Christmas 1828 - less than two months after her husband was elected the seventh president of the United States. After four decades of marriage, President-elect Jackson wrote the epitaph on her Hermitage tomb: "Here lie the remains of Mrs. Rachel Jackson, wife of President Jackson. . . . she delighted in relieving the wants of her fellow-creatures, and cultivated that divine pleasure by the most liberal and unpretending methods; to the poor she was a benefactor; to the rich an example; to the wretched a comforter." This letter is a fine example of one of her best-remembered virtues. The paper is toned with smoothed folds and has been silked on both sides. A previous owner obtusely stamped their name on the address panel.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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