Andrew Jackson's Letters and Papers
Thousands of Andrew Jackson’s papers survive. Among them are his letters, military orders, presidential records, government records and business and legal documents. Most are housed in libraries, museums, archives and private collections throughout the world.
The Library of Congress in Washington, DC, has the largest single collection of Jackson’s papers with over 20,000 items. Many official records are in the National Archives.
Additionally, The Hermitage owns about 300 items. The Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville holds a small collection of Jackson letters, as well. Because of their fragility and value, access to original Jackson manuscripts is often highly restricted.
Andrew Jackson Papers Project
Since 1971, the Andrew Jackson Papers project has been working to make all of Jackson’s documents available to the public. Currently based in the Department of History at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, the project has collected copies of his papers from various sources and has preserved their images on microfilm. Many major research libraries have purchased this series.
A great resource, The Papers of Andrew Jackson: Guide and Index to the Microfilm Editions, published by Scholarly Resources in 1987, gives the location on microfilm for every item. It identifies the documents by the name of Jackson’s correspondent and by its date. Anyone who wants to know if Jackson exchanged letters with a particular person should first check this publication.View publication
Full Texts Available
The Jackson Papers project is now publishing the full text of Jackson’s letters and other papers in a chronological series of volumes entitled The Papers of Andrew Jackson. When completed, it will provide a comprehensive documentary record of Jackson’s entire life and career.
To date, eight volumes have been produced. These cover Jackson’s life up to 1831. An additional volume, The Legal Papers of Andrew Jackson, covers his career as a lawyer and judge. All are available for purchase from the publisher, University of Tennessee Press, or on loan from libraries.
There is also an older seven-volume collection, Correspondence of Andrew Jackson, which was edited by John Spencer Bassett and published from 1926 to 1935. Bassett’s edition covers the entirety of Jackson’s life but contains a much narrower selection of documents than The Papers of Andrew Jackson series, which is designed as a replacement.
Researchers interested in consulting Jackson’s papers should check with the nearest major library to see if it has The Papers of Andrew Jackson or can procure them on loan. The Hermitage regrets that because of staff limitations we cannot research the papers except to answer specific questions. Likewise, the Jackson Papers project will not respond to queries that researchers can answer by consulting the volumes themselves.
Publication of The Papers of Andrew Jackson has been supported by the University of Tennessee, The Ladies Hermitage Association, the Tennessee Historical Commission, two agencies of the federal government, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Sam B. Smith and Harriet Owsley founded the project and produced its first volume. Harold D. Moser edited the next five volumes and the microfilm. The current editor and project director is Daniel Feller, who is also Betty Lynn Hendrickson Professor of History at the University of Tennessee.
Contact Information for The Papers of Andrew Jackson:
The Papers of Andrew Jackson
213 Hoskins Library
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-4000