Historic Markers Across Tennessee

A Landscape Of Inequality

Marker ID:  
Location: on Rachel's Lane, Hermitage, TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 12.917    W 086° 36.78
  36.21528333    -86.613
Waymark: None


A Landscape Of Inequality
Enslaved Life at The Hermitage

The idyllic planter’s life presented to white visitors by the Jackson family was based on the unpaid labor of over 150 enslaved black men, women, and children. Without the grueling labor of these individuals, the Jackson family could not have lived so lavishly. Of the enslaved workers that Andrew Jackson owned at the end of his life, only about ten worked in and around the mansion. A few more, such as the blacksmith and carpenter, had special skills. The majority of the enslaved, however, worked in Jackson’s fields, tending and harvesting his crops. With the variety of crops grown at The Hermitage, this sun-up to sundown fieldwork was nearly year round. Andrew Jackson followed a common “farm management” practice of his time keeping enslaved families together. Owners thought that this practice discouraged running away, since it was unlikely that an entire family could safely make their passage to freedom. In addition to encourage family units, Jackson also chose to cluster housing for the enslaved tightly to confine them to a small easily monitored area.

It was on this landscape of inequality that the enslaved forged their lives.


More information:
The Hermitage, The Home of President Andrew Jackson
Wikipedia: Andrew Jackson
The White House: Andrew Jackson
Wikipedia: Slavery