|It is said that Andrew Jackson |
looked like his mother.
Her children were ages two and six months when she and her husband, who were Presbyterians, fled from Ireland to Waxhaw, SC, to escape religious persecution and tariffs from the ruling Anglicans. When she was six-months pregnant with Andrew, her 27-year-old husband died, and she sought refuge nearby with her sister Jane’s family. On March 15, 1767, she gave birth to Andrew, naming him in honor of her deceased husband.
In the role of poor relation, Elizabeth cared for her invalid sister and worked as a housekeeper for the Crawford’s for a decade. She was said to be a very cordial, industrious woman who could spin flax beautifully, “the best and finest ever seen.”
|Elizabeth was known for her excellent weaving. |
Here family grew flax, which she wove into fine linen.
Elizabeth was 36 when the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Her oldest son, Hugh, died fighting for the patriots.
Soon after the British captured Charleston in 1780, British soldiers and Tories looted the countryside. Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton’s men razed much of the Waxhaw settlement, surprising a force of several hundred American patriots, killing more than a hundred, massacring the wounded, and mutilating the bodies. About 150 wounded made their way to the Waxhaw Presbyterian church where residents, including Elizabeth, tended their wounds.
At age 13 and 15 respectively, Andrew and his brother, joined the patriots, but were captured after the defeat at the Battle of Camden, SC. Prisoners, they both contracted smallpox. After walking 40 miles from Waxhaw to Camden, Elizabeth arranged for their exchange. Despite her efforts, Robert died two days after arriving home.
|After the Battle of Camden, Andrew had a run in with |
a British officer who slashed Andrew's face with a sword.
On November 2, 1781, Elizabeth was laid to rest wearing a dress of her caregiver Mrs. Barton, and in a casket constructed by Mr. Barton, in a simple unmarked grave about one mile from what was then called Governor’s Gate, near the forks of Meeting and Kingstree Roads. The exact site of her grave is unknown.
Elizabeth’s legacy to her son was far greater than the meager personal effects she left behind. Before leaving for Charleston, she gave her 14-year-old son, Andrew, the following parting gift:
Andrew, if I should not see you again, I wish you to remember and treasure up some things I have already said to you. In this world you will have to make your own way. To do that you must have friends. You can make friends by being honest and you can keep them by being steadfast. You must keep in mind that friends worth having will, in the long run, expect as much from you as they give to you.
To forget an obligation or be ungrateful for a kindness is a base crime, not merely a fault or a sin, but an actual crime. Men guilty of it sooner or later must suffer the penalty. In personal conduct be always polite but never obsequious. None will respect you more than you respect yourself.
Avoid quarrels as long as you can without yielding to imposition. But sustain your manhood always. Never bring a suit in law for assault and battery or for defamation. The law affords no remedy for such outrages that can satisfy the feelings of a true man. Never wound the feelings of others.
Never brook wanton outrage upon your own feelings. If you ever have to vindicate your feelings or defend your honor, do it calmly. If angry at first, wait till your wrath cools before you proceed.