Thursday, June 30, 2016

Andrew Jackson's Parrot

Andrew Jackson:  populist president, war hero, Indian fighter, much-maligned face of the $20 bill

Parrot lover?

An amusing tid-bit turned minor internet sensation, it appears that not only did Andrew Jackson owned a parrot, but during Jackson's funeral, the animal became so upset that it incessantly squawked, chirped, and unleashed enough curse words at the mourners that it had to be removed.

While many question how the bird learned such language (not a great reach with Jackson), or how he came upon owning such a bird, the big question I have is...

Why was the animal in the middle of a funeral to begin with? 

While this could be chalked up to the bird's cage just being in the same room as the body, perhaps something far more sinister is in order. 

Jackson was a successful Tennessee businessman, an officer in the militia, and a country lawyer, with a short stint in the US Congress.  Nothing to truly recognize the personality and dominance we expect later on.

Jackson's largest military actions came during the Creek Campaign in 1812-14, which obviously ran parallel to the War of 1812.  He command not only Tennessee volunteers, but actual US military forces, as well as men from other Indian tribes.

During the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, his troops killed over 800 members of the Red Stick tribe, but he spared the life of their chief, Red Eagle, a half-Scott/half Creek.   As an offering during the surrender, Red Eagle provided Jackson with a gift of a parrot. 

Red Eagle, birth name William Weatherford, went from leading massacres to suing for a strong peace between the other tribes and the United States.  He lived his last few years of his life as a simple landowner, with little acknowledgement to the viciousness of his past acts.

The loss of his prized parrot to Jackson was the reason for this change in heart.   You see the parrot was some twisted manifestation of Yig, or perhaps Ay'yig, and had controlled the half-breed to ensure a place of prominence among the Creek.  Realizing that it's run of success with the tribes was running short, it gifted itself to Jackson and took over the country lawyer's psyche.  It's no doubt that Jackson became more aggressive with his correspondence and action via the US military, renegotiating the Creek treaty that Thomas Pinckney.   The being had no concept of mercy on those that failed it, punishing Red Eagle's tribe severely, and being far from kind to the other tribes.

With the war winding down, it makes one wonder why a British contingent would try to seize New Orleans.  If not for strategic value, what were they looking for?  And how could Jackson (via "Poll" the parrot) assemble such a group of men and scoundrels, if there was not something more powerful that strategic importance up for grabs? 

"Poll" continued it's aggressive dominance of Jackson, through his stint in the US Senate, his vengeful populism during the elections of 1824 and 1828, and well as his attack on the Masonic Bank of the United States, despite the fact that Jackson was a member of Freemasons, albeit a Tennessee lodge.

For reasons unknown to this researcher, "Poll" stayed with Jackson well past his Presidency, and has been documented, to the actual funeral at The Hermitage.  Perhaps the location of The Hermitage was acceptable for the beings plans?  It is pure speculation.

Of course, during the ruckus with the bird, even the household staff that normally cared for the bird could not control it.  It was finally subdued by a young Army officer, fresh from the Military Academy at West Point.  In a rush to send representation to the funeral, the Army sent a color guard that was ultimately rejected by Jackson's son, Andrew Jackson, Jr.  With the throngs of mourners, it was in poor taste to cast them away, so they were invited to stay.  The name of the young officer who conquered the profane avian is lost in the annals of history, but it just might coincide with a young Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant...  Civil War General, future President, and next occupant of the White House to own... a parrot.

No comments:

Post a Comment