Forgive me, my love story post isn't from the old west, but it is a love story...
Even though he was known as the “People’s President” when elected as the 7th U.S. President, Andrew Jackson was not known as an endearing man. Often demonstrating a volatile temper and aggressive behavior, Jackson was nicknamed “Old Hickory,” (also due in part to the rugged life he led as a frontiersman). However, despite his toughness, when loved called, Andrew fell hard.
Born in 1767, Jackson was twenty-one in 1788 when he met Rachel Robards, a beautiful, vivacious young woman, while staying at her mother’s boarding house in Tennessee. At the time, Rachel, also born in 1767, was married to a man named Captain Lewis Robards, who was known for his jealous outbreaks. In 1790, when Jackson heard of Rachel’s separation from Robards and subsequent divorce, he immediately courted her. The two fell deeply in love and solely devoted to one another, married in 1791. Two years into their marriage they discovered Rorbards had never divorced Rachel. Supposedly a divorce proclamation had been published in a newspaper owned by Robard’s friend, but Lewis had not obtained an actual divorce.
Not only was divorce frowned upon at the time (Rachel’s was the first divorce in Kentucky), Andrew and Rachel refused to refrain from living together and Rachel continued to refer to herself as Mrs. Jackson. When her divorce was finalized in 1794, the two married again. Many disparaging and cruel remarks were made against Rachel, and Jackson spent a good amount of time in duels defending his wife’s honor. In one such duel, Jackson was struck by a bullet, which was lodged so close to his heart it could never be removed.
Though Rachel was known as a gentle, generous and religious woman, during Jackson’s bid for Presidency in 1828 his enemies insulted her non-stop, citing Rachel as a woman of loose morals and a bigamist. Despite all, Jackson won the Presidency in a downslide. However, two weeks later in December 1828, two months before her husband would take office, Rachel died of a heart attack.
Jackson, refusing to believe his beloved was dead, insisted she be covered with blankets so she wouldn’t get cold before waking. Ultimately, he built a tomb for her in her flower garden, and according to family, visited her grave every night before retiring.
Andrew blamed his political opponents for her death, and never forgave them. He appointed one of Rachel’s nieces, Emily Donelson (who was married to Rachel’s nephew), to act as his ‘First Lady’ fulfilling the role of hostess of the White House. Emily became estranged from Jackson during the Petticoat affair. (A scandal created by one of his cabinet members marrying a widow shortly after her husband died. Andrew, still mourning Rachel, agreed with the quick wedding, while all others thought a longer waiting period was needed.) Jackson’s daughter-in-law stepped in as acting First Lady until the scandal absolved, (after most of Jackson’s cabinet members were replaced). When Emily once returned to her role, it was the only time in history the White House had two First Ladies.
Dedicated to remaining faithful to Rachel, Jackson never married again. It’s said he kept her portrait at the foot of his bed so she was the last thing he’d see every night and the first thing he’d see every morning.
Jackson died in 1848, having proclaimed, “Heaven will be no heaven for me if Rachel isn’t there.”
Blurb: Kit Becker travels to Nevadaville prepared to use any pretense necessary to discover why she must share her inheritance, and with whom.
Clay Hoffman knows a thing or two about money-grabbing females, so when he finds one posing as his new ward, he's determined to get beneath every delicious layer of her disguises. Discovering she's telling the truth, Clay is torn--he should be protecting her, not thinking about making her his bride! All he knows for sure is that he's inherited a whole heap of trouble!
Excerpt: Not realizing she’d closed her eyes, Kit was surprised to see him standing beside her, holding out a small tin. “What’s that?”
He glanced around as if assuring their privacy, and then leaned closer to whisper, “For the saddle sore on your rump.”
“My r—” She swallowed the rest of the word, aghast.
“Yes, your rump.” Though he looked as if he was about to burst out laughing, he didn’t. “Saddle sores are a common ailment, and nothing to be embarrassed about.” His expression turned serious. “They’re also nothing to mess with. Especially once the boil forms.”
The intense heat of mortification covered her face. “I do not have a boil,” she insisted.
“Maybe not yet, but you will by the time we get to Black Hawk if you don’t take care of it.” He took her hand and laid the tin in her palm. “Go behind the trees and rub some on.”
Right now, she was willing to try most anything. The pain had become unbearable. “Will it hurt?” she asked.
She snapped her head up. The laughter was gone from his eyes. Sincerity and honesty shone there instead.
A large lump formed in her throat. “Yes?”
He nodded. “At first it’s going to sting like h— really sting, but within a few minutes it’ll ease up and soon the spot will be numb. You won’t feel a thing the rest of the way to town. At which point you’ll want to have Doc look at it. He may need to lance it.”
Her insides shook. “Lance it?”
Again there was nothing but truthfulness in Clay’s gaze. That and compassion. “Go on,” he insisted, turning her about by grasping her shoulders. “Andrew and I will wait here.”
Kit wished she had an alternative. Well, she did, but the thought of a boil wasn’t much of a choice, and she honestly didn’t think she could climb back on Andrew the way her backside stung—as if she’d backed up against a cookstove. “You won’t peek?”
Clay fought the urge to laugh. It wasn’t funny. Her backside had to be stinging as if she’d sat on a hornets’ nest. He doubted there was a person alive who hadn’t ended up with a saddle sore at one point in his or her life. Including him. But she looked so darn cute. “No,” he assured. “Neither Andrew nor I will peek.” The flicker of annoyance dancing in her coffee-colored eyes had a grin tickling the edges of his lips. He winked. “Yell if you need help, though.”