Andrew Jackson's Tragic Love Story

Historian Patricia Brady writes of President Andrew Jackson's tragic loss of his wife.

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How did her death impact his presidency?

He was practically crazy for the whole first term. He missed her so badly. The whole first term was very taken up with the role of the wife of one of his friends that the women of Washington refused to receive and insulted badly. He was determined to protect her and take care of her, because of course he identified her with Rachel and the slander against her. So he really did not spend that much time on the real business of governing.

What made their love story epic?

They stayed together for life at a point when they were no longer attractive; they were elderly. They both had a lot of health problems, and yet being together was for both of them their greatest pleasure. I think it's a very American story. They really still loved each other when he was described as being a toothless skeleton and she was a fat little dumpling.

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