1Biography of Andrew JacksonEarly LifeBorn to poor Irish immigrants on March 15, 1767, near Camden, South Carolina, no one could have possibly written the story that would become Andrew Jackson’s life. Two years earlier, his parents, Andrew and Elizabeth, and two older brothers, Hugh and Robert, had emigrated from Northern Ireland. Jackson was named after his father who had died shortly before he was born. Jackson spent his early life in the Waxhaw settlement located near the North and South Carolina border. Raised by his widowed mother, Jackson grew up with a large extended family--aunts, uncles, and cousins— who were also Irish immigrant farmers. As a youth, Jackson attended a good school and his mother had hopes of him becoming a Presbyterian minister. However, young Jackson’s propensity for pranks, cursing, and fighting quickly dashed those hopes. From 1778 to 1781, the American Revolutionary War raged in the Carolinas. The war had a devastating impact on Jackson’s life. When he was thirteen, Jackson and his brothers joined the patriotic cause and volunteered to fight the British. His oldest brother Hugh died of heat stroke following the Battle of Stono Ferry in 1779. The following year, Jackson saw battlefield action in the Battle of Hanging Rock. In 1781, Jackson and his brother Robert were captured. After their capture, a British officer slashed Jackson with his sword because he refused to polish his boots. He and his brother Robert were taken prisoner-of-war and both contracted smallpox in prison. Jackson’s mother arranged for their release in a prisoner exchange. Jackson eventually recovered, however, his brother died. After he recovered, his mother traveled to Charleston to aid the war effort by nursing injured and sick soldiers. She contracted cholera and died. By war’s end, Jackson was an orphan. After the war, Jackson briefly resided with members of his mother’s family, but soon went to Charleston and embarked upon a campaign of youthful adventure and mischief. When his money ran out, Jackson finished school and although he disdained studying, he even worked as a schoolteacher for a short period. Tall and lanky with red hair and piercing blue eyes, Jackson was known for his fiery temper, fearlessness, playful personality, and daring spirit. At age seventeen, Jackson made the decision to become an attorney. He moved to Salisbury, North Carolina, where he studied law by apprenticing with prominent lawyers. In 1787, after three years of studying law, Jackson received his license to practice law in several counties scattered through the North Carolina piedmont. To supplement his income, he also worked in small-town general stores. While living in North Carolina, Jackson gained a reputation for being charismatic, wild, and ambitious. He loved to dance, entertain, gamble, and spent much of his free time with friends in taverns.