Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The First Hermitage

Marker ID:  
Location: along the pathway beyond the Springhouse at the Hermitage historical site, 4580 Rachels Lane, Hermitage, TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 13.014    W 086° 36.695
  36.2169    -86.61158333
Waymark: None


The First Hermitage
Worlds Apart, Side by Side

These log buildings tell a remarkable American story unlike any other. From 1804 to 1821, as a two-story farmhouse and kitchen outbuilding, the First Hermitage housed future United States President Andrew Jackson and his family. Here, Jackson lived out, and became a symbol of, the American Dream—the belief that anyone can rise to great success.

After Jackson moved to his new brick mansion in 1821, he reconfigured his old log farmhouse to a one-story slave cabin. Until the Civil War, these buildings sheltered some of Jackson’s enslaved workers—a group of people for whom freedom remained a dream deferred. Today, these unassuming buildings stand as a symbolic reminder of the conflict between democracy and slavery that continues to haunt our understanding of American life and culture.

As you explore the First Hermitage, you’ll find the interwoven story of two American experiences. Within the shadow of Andrew Jackson’s life in these buildings, also exists the very different story of the many enslaved African Americans who lived and toiled here. Look carefully.

Erected by The Hermitage


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