HERMITAGE, TN — In what officials at the home call "unprecedented" in the 200-year history of The Hermitage, the tombs of President Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel were vandalized overnight Thursday.
Members of the Andrew Jackson Foundation, the successor to the Ladies Hermitage Association, which owns The Hermitage, discovered the vandalism Friday morning, saying that red and black spray paint covered the tomb and that profanity was spray painted on the tombs as well.
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Metro Nashville Police are investigating.
Rachel Jackson died December 22, 1828, just six weeks after her husband’s election to the presidency. The president always blamed his political enemies for her death. In proof that allegations of adultery are nothing new in politics, Jackson’s opponents accused Rachel Jackson of bigamy because her first husband, Lewis Robards, had filed for but never finalized a divorce in Kentucky.
"May God Almighty forgive her murderers," Jackson said at her funeral. "I never can."
After eight years in the White House, Jackson returned to The Hermitage. When his failing health allowed, Jackson visited Rachel’s tomb daily and situated his office so he could always see her burial place. He died 17 years later and was laid to rest next to her.
Image via Hulton Archive/Getty Images