Location of Andrew Jackson's birthplace still under debate - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Location of Andrew Jackson's birthplace still under debate, 244 years later

LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - The seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, was born in a log cabin, but the location of that log cabin has brewed controversy for nearly three centuries.

"Some people visit and fight me all day long, [saying] he was not born here [that] he was born in North Carolina," said Laura Ledford, Ranger at Andrew Jackson State Park in Lancaster, South Carolina.

Ledford says Andrew Jackson's father died before "Old Hickory" was born, so Jackson's mother stayed with her sister on James Crawford's plantation, which is now Andrew Jackson State Park.

It's where most historians say Jackson was born and raised with a front-row seat to the American Revolution.

As a boy, Jackson was captured by British soldiers at a different farm near the Catawba River. When the young Jackson refused to shine an officer's boots, the redcoat struck him over the head with a saber, giving Jackson a scar that would stay with him for life.

It's after Jackson's death that family members began the debate where exactly he was born. Ledford says the story began from one of those 'a sister's grandson's mother said' things. "His mother told her that she was present at the birth and the birth occurred at Uncle George and Aunt Peggy's house over in Union County, North Carolina," said Ledford.

Since that time, there's been a rivalry between North and South Carolina over who gets to claim Jackson.

The state of North Carolina put a state-line sign on a dirt road, showing at the end of the road a lone stone marker saying Andrew Jackson was born in North Carolina, at his cousin George McCamie's farm. 

That farm is next door to James Crawford's home. The distance between the two debated birth places is one and a half miles.

North Carolina still claims Old Hickory, even though in a letter Jackson wrote to James Witherspoon of Lancaster, he says that he was born in South Carolina. Jackson even approved an 1825 map of where his place of birth is located.

Even the Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church where Jackson's father is buried, in Lancaster, is where Jackson was baptized.

Ranger Ledford says where Jackson was born should be shared by the community around where Jackson grew up. "I feel like he knew everybody across the state line and he knew everybody on the South Carolina side," said Ledford. "It was more of the church he attended, the community he was a part of, the men he fought in battle with."

Andrew Jackson is buried outside of Nashville, Tennessee, where he lived in his adulthood.

If you want to learn more about Andrew Jackson, you can attend his birthday celebration at the state park March 19.

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