Brief Biographies from the Jackson/Van Buren Era (J):


Jackson, Andrew (March 15, 1767 - 1845):

Born near the border of North and South Carolina, in the log cabin home of an immigrant Scotch-Irish couple. His father died before Andrew was born.

In his early teens he joined a rebel regiment. He and his brother were captured by the British; they were maltreated somewhat, and became extremely ill. Their mother came and somehow secured their release, but the brother died on the way home. Jackson's mother, who apparently hated the British like many Scotch Irish, died of illness gotten while tending American prisoners aboard English prison ships.

[This very short piece is unfinished. For a relatively extended biography of Jackson, click ==>here].


Jackson, Andrew Jr. 1809 - 1865:

b.12/22
Adopted son of Andrew Jackson, one of two twins born to relatives of Jackson's wife, Rachel. His mother was sick and unable to care for him, so his parents allowed the Jacksons, who had tried unsuccessfully to have a child, to adopt him. Somewhat profligate, given to excessive drinking and financial foolishness. "Marrying Sarah [Yorke of Philadelphia] was the best thing he ever did for his father. (Source: Remini, Jackson, vol 1, p161, vol 2, p334-5)


Jackson, Rachel 177? - 1828:


Jacobs, Harriet (1813? - 1897):

A Virginia slave girl who wrote Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Harriet Jacobs, who had a free grandmother, managed to run away but could not get far so she lived for 7 years in her grandmother's attic before an occasion was found for her to run away to free soil.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, besides being separately printed with excellent notes, can be found (without the notes) as part of The Classic Slave Narratives, edited and with an introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


James, John W. (of Friends of Ireland Soc.):

"A Yankee, son of a Revolutionary War patriot, and longtime partisan of the Irish cause. A "Democrat in the Federalist-Whig stronghold". Initial president of Boston's chapter (the first established in the U.S.) of the Friends of Ireland Society.

Source: Ignatiev, How the Irish..., p15.


Jefferson, Thomas 1743 - 1826


Jocelyn, Nathaniel 1796 - 1881:

b.1/31,d.1/13
Painter and engraver, who was born in, and mostly lived in, New Haven. Brother of Simeon Jocylyn, who tried, in association with the New York Tappans, to establish something between a college and what today would be called a trade school for African Americans.

Son of a watchmaker; helped found the National Bank Note Engraving Company; began painting portraits at 25; was exhibited, and praised, at the National Academy. He was somewhat of a protege of Samuel F. B. Morse, who encouraged him in the early 1820s when they both lived in New Haven. He traveled and studied in Europe in the late 1820s through 1830, and at least crossed paths with Morse over there. Back in New Haven, he set up a studio, and got into trouble for promoting the idea of the negro school. Made a famous portrait of Cinque, the leader of the Amistad revolt, which hangs in the building of the New Haven Colony Historical Society, along with a portrait of himself. (Source: DAB; Wyatt-Brown, Lewis Tappan, p87ff)


Jocelyn, Simeon ? - ?:

Tried unsuccessfully, with help from the New York Tappans, to establish something between a college and what today would be called a trade school for African Americans. He hoped to enroll Yale professors in the cause, but New Haven turned out en masse against the idea. Brother of the painter, Nathaniel Jocelyn.


Johnson, Richard Mentor 1780 - 1850 :

Vice president under Van Buren, 1837-41. Represented Kentucky in Congress for 30 years, from 1807-37; as Senator from 1819-29, and the balance in the House of Representatives.

Even while a congressman, he was commissioned a colonel in 1813, in the War of 1812; fought under Harrison on October 5, 1813 in the Battle of the Thames, and was sometimes credited with personally killing the famous Tecumseh (a doubtful claim). He was a vocal anti-Sabbatarian whose words on the subject can be easily found in the Annals of America, vol 5, selection 20 (p284).

He was the only vice president whose election had to be decided in the House of Representatives. No doubt his anti-Sabbatarianism contributed to the dislike some people had for him; as well as the openness with which he espoused his paternity of his mulatto daughters (at least this was claimed at the time).

Richard John's Spreading the News characterized him as doing (at least what today would be called) a corrupt influence business with postal contractors, who were among the most vocal anti-Sabbatarians (except for the "six day" stage lines).


JOHNSTON, Josiah Stoddard, 1784-1833

Years of Service: 1824-1825; 1825-1829; 1829-1833 Party: Adams-Clay Republican; Adams; Anti-Jackson

Representative and a Senator from Louisiana; born in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Conn., November 24, 1784; moved with his father to Kentucky in 1788; returned to Connecticut to attend primary school; graduated from Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky., in 1802; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Alexandria, La. (then the Territory of Orleans); member, Territorial legislature 1805-1812; during the War of 1812, raised and organized a regiment for the defense of New Orleans, but reached the city after the battle; engaged in agricultural pursuits; State district judge 1812-1821; elected to the Seventeenth Congress (March 4, 1821-March 3, 1823); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1822 to the Eighteenth Congress; appointed to the United States Senate in 1824 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Brown; elected to the Senate in 1825 and reelected in 1831 and served from January 15, 1824, until his death, caused by an explosion on the steamboat Lioness, on the Red River in Louisiana, May 19, 1833; chairman, Committee on Commerce (Nineteenth Congress); interment in Rapides Cemetery, Pineville, La.

Source: Biog. Dir. of Am. Congress.