A special gift from President Jackson

  • Former U.S. president Andrew Jackson Library of Congress

For the Monitor
Published: 4/13/2019 9:00:18 PM

The distant coach and horsemen left a trail of dust as they approached from Bow.

A group from Concord had gathered in great anticipation to greet the approaching coach on this warm day, June 28, 1833. The coachman stopped at the Bow line briefly allowing the bystanders to follow into Concord where it stopped at the State House. Many gathered and joy quickly spread throughout the large crowd as President Andrew Jackson stepped from within with a wave and a smile. The president of the United States had arrived on Main Street.

A grand event followed the next day with a reception and abundant food and beverages. The president was touring the New England area with plans to leave Concord and travel to Portland, Maine, to conclude this tour and sit with his people. Our ancestors were quite pleased to meet this great man and they brought their families from the surrounding towns. Jackson, always the gentleman, sat and spoke to each and every person that met with him. He sat in a great chair and picked up the children and hugged each baby. He politely greeted each lady and gentleman with a firm handshake or embrace.

As the days passed, the president was feeling a little ill as a result of injuries that were from an earlier time. Jackson was an experienced military man and had also participated in many duels to defend the honor of his wife. This resulted in both scars and wounds that he would carry until his final day. Jackson and his entourage decided that Concord would be the last stop on the New England tour, omitting Portland, Maine, he would return to Washington, D.C., the next day to rest and recuperate from his journey to New England.

At the next event, the president sat quietly with the children and enjoyed some good-natured banter. Some parents arrived and Jackson soon learned that two children were in the room that had in fact been named after the president when they were born. One child was five and the other six years old.

It was Sen. Isaac Hill that named his son Isaac Andrew in honor of President Jackson. The young five-year-old Isaac was then saluted by Jackson. Isaac climbed up onto the lap of Jackson and admired his features as the president reached into his pocket and placed a new silver half-dollar into his hand. Jackson told the boy “I make the same gift to you as I do to all of my children – the eagle of your country. The eagle of your country, which during my life, I have endeavored to honor and defend.”

He advised the boy to keep this coin in remembrance of him and if our country was ever assailed by a foreign or domestic foe they should rally under its pinions and defend it to the last. The boy was pleased with his shiny, new silver half-dollar that the president had presented to him.

Young Isaac Andrew Hill lived a good life in Concord and grew to be a fine young man. He prospered, did well and remember the message that the president gave to him when this precious coin was presented.

When Isaac was older, he recounted the story and shared the experience from that visit in June 1833. The people would gather and Isaac would repeat the story from his fond memories once again. He would tell the people that he could still see the old hero now, as he stood holding him while the white tuft of hair stood high on the president’s forehead. A fond memory that Isaac Hill carried with him until his last day.

Over the years, Isaac must have told his story about President Jackson many times. Jackson had so impressed the young five-year-old that the fabric of the visit was woven into a story well known. I’m sure the young boy was impressed; you see each time Isaac told this story about his precious coin from President Andrew Jackson he would reach into his pocket and retrieve that very coin to show his audience. The precious coin that he carried until his last days close to his heart as a reminder from his president. The eagle of his country which during his life he also endeavored to honor and defend.

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