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Alfred's Cabin -- The Hermitage, Hermitage TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 36° 12.934 W 086° 36.768
16S E 534802 N 4007927
Quick Description: A sign of history at The Hermitage at the cabin of Alfred Jackson, a trusted former slave of Andrew Jackson
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 4/15/2019 6:44:06 AM
Waymark Code: WM10CQZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
This sign of history stands along the walkway to Alfred's cabin, behind the main mansion of The Hermitage. The cabin was built in the 1840s as slave housing, Alfred moved in to this cabin in the 1880s, and remained here until his death in 1901.

Alfred Jackson is buried near Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel in the Jackson Family Graveyard by special permission granted by the Ladies Hermitage Association which took over the Hermitage Ridge in 1889. The LHA granted Alfred's request because he gave them a mirror used by Andrew Jackson that he had purchased, but also in recognition of his long history serving the Jackson family, and the fondness that existed between President Jackson and Alfred.

The sign reads as follows:

"ALFRED'S CABIN
A Life of Toil

While the bold and dramatic claim center stage, history is also written in quiet humble ways . . . And lives. Alfred Jackson was unique among the enslaved at the Hermitage. Born at The Hermitage to Betty, the cook, and Ned, the carpenter, Alfred became the wagoner in charge of Hermitage vehicles and horses. He married Gracie Bradley, Sarah Jackson's personal maid, with whom he had 2 children, Augustus and Sarah. Alfred lived nearly his entire life here. He witnessed the growth of The Hermitage into a bustling cotton plantation, then it's decline before and after the Civil War, and finally its rebirth as a shrine to Jackson.

After the Civil War, Alfred worked for the Jackson family and rented 24 acres from them, where he raised food and produced a small amount of cotton and butter for sale. By the 1880s he had moved into this log dwelling that over time would become known as Alfred's cabin. When the Ladies Hermitage Association took over the Hermitage in 1889, Alfred worked for them as a caretaker and a guide for visitors. Today Alfred's cabin is maintained as it looked shortly before his death in 1901.

[photo]
Built in the early 1840s as slave housing, Alfred's Cabin is similar in size and layout to the brick Hermitage slave quarters. It is unusual because of its log construction and center chimney. Little is known about this building's earlier use as a slave quarter.

[photo]
because Alfred Jackson remained at The Hermitage after it became a public museum, we know more about him and have more amide's of him then any of the other formerly enslaved. Early Hermitage visitors often asked Alfred to pose for for pictures. This photograph shows Alfred with several women in The Hermitage garden.

[photo]
Alfred Jackson purchased a bed, mirror, and water cooler in 1867 estate sale held to settle Andrew Jackson Jr.'s debts. Alfred's heirs sold the bed and water cooler, shown here, to the Ladies Hermitage Association after his death. Alfred had already given a mirror to the LHA in return for their promise to bury him next to Andrew and Rachel Jackson's tomb.

[photo]
ALFRED'S QUESTION
in 1848, Andrew Jackson Junior hired Roeliff Brinkerhoff to tutor his two sons and his wife's nephews. As they walked the grounds one evening, Brinkerhoff encountered a gloomy Alfred. Alfred said to him, you white folks have easy times don't you." Brinkerhoff countered by pointing out the benefits of Alfred situation, such as a kind master in a pleasant home. He even told Alfred that "freedom has its burdens, as well as slavery." At this, Alfred looked up at Brinkerhoff and asked, "how would you like to be a slave?" Brinkerhoff had no answer."
Group that erected the marker: The Hermitage

URL of a web site with more information about the history mentioned on the sign: [Web Link]

Address of where the marker is located. Approximate if necessary:
The Hermitage
Hermitage, TN


Visit Instructions:
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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Benchmark Blasterz visited Alfred's Cabin -- The Hermitage, Hermitage TN 3/11/2019 Benchmark Blasterz visited it