By Carswell Rush Berlin


Originally published by the Magazine Antiques in March 2017

Few houses of historic interest and importance in the United States have as well-documented interior appointments as Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the last thirty years, the curatorial staff has mounted a sustained effort to use that documentation to interpret the rooms to give the modern­-day visitor an astonishingly authentic view of the home as Andrew Jackson experienced it. This rich and fully developed window into the domestic past does not owe its existence solely to the efforts of the curators, however. They were fortunate that many of the furnishings miraculously survived, along with boxes full of original documents relating to them. Miraculous, perhaps, but thanks in part to the Union Army, which posted a guard at the house early in the Civil War to protect it. The State of Tennessee bought the Hermitage in 1856, but members of the family continued to live there until it became a museum in 1889. None of this would have mattered, though, if the hero of the Battle of New Orleans and stern seventh president of the United States had not been a bit of a decorator. Continue reading the full article here.