History's Hook

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Show Notes

We conclude an important three-part series as we explore the lives of Tennessee’s First Ladies, Rachel Jackson, Sarah Polk, and Eliza Johnson.  We end with the first, the wife of the 7th President of the United States, Rachel Jackson. A woman of the American frontier, Mrs. Jackson is an enigmatic figure to historians.  At times portrayed as a rube, at others, a refined woman and astute business manager, all historians agree that she was one of the most maligned women in American History.  Her controversial marriage to Andrew Jackson, a polarizing military and political figure, gave plenty of fodder to Jackson’s enemies who saw his wife as a target with which to attack Jackson.  Those attacks would likely contribute to her sudden death just four months before her husband took the oath of office.  Andrew Jackson never forgave his political enemies and openly blamed them for his beloved wife’s death.

Joining Tom Price is Betty Boles Ellison.  Mrs. Ellison is a former journalist and noted historian and author.  Among her many and varied works are the books, The Early Laps of Stock Car Racing: A History of the Sport and Business Through 1974, Illegal Odyssey: 200 Years of Kentucky Moonshine, and The True Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography.  Her most recent work just out last month is Rachel Donelson Jackson: The First Lady Who Never Was published by McFarland & Company.

What is History's Hook?

History’s Hook is a weekly audio-media series that uses local stories…stories found in everyone’s backyard…to explore national and world history. The show features experts and eye-witnesses to events that make those connections in history. The show’s host, Tom Price is a veteran historian who has spent nearly 30 years working in museums and archives finding those documents and objects that tell the stories of all of us. He has published numerous articles on U.S. History and has curated fifteen major exhibitions related to American History and culture.