Tony Turnbow, author of “Hardened to Hickory,” will be at Lewis County Public Library on Saturday, June 15 at 1 p.m. to discuss the missing chapter in Andrew Jackson’s life and the turbulent months and expedition down the Mississippi River and Natchez Trace that transformed Tennessee into the “Volunteer State” and Andrew Jackson into “Old Hickory.” Copies of “Hardened to Hickory” will be available for purchase and signing.
Unpublished documents discovered by Turnbow reveal how the backwoods Andrew Jackson, who had never commanded a battle, stepped forward to take on the mantle of General George Washington.
Before Jackson became the next general to drive the British army from American soil, he first had to defeat the commander of the U.S. Army, General James Wilkinson, who embodied a privileged and unproductive establishment, and worse, who had sold his loyalty to work as a spy know as “Agent 13” on the payroll of a European enemy. It was a battle of wits and wills between two American titans.
The missing piece of the puzzle in this Jackson biography is how he was transformed into “Old Hickory” by his intense will to succeed and his ability to recover from his own mistakes.
This special literary event is being co-hosted by the Lewis County Historical Society, the Lewis County Public Library, and the Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.
Tony Turnbow has studied the history of the Old Natchez Trace for more than 30 years. He practices law in Franklin. With a Bachelor of Arts and a concentration in southern U.S. history from Vanderbilt University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Law, he has continued to use his training to explore unpublished primary sources about the Natchez Trace.
He authored “The Natchez Trace in the War of 1812” in The Journal of Mississippi History, and he has published articles in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly and the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation journal, “We Proceeded On.”
Turnbow also wrote a full-length play “Inquest on the Natchez Trace” about the mysterious death of explorer Meriwether Lewis. In the course of writing a book about Lewis’s death, Mr. Turnbow discovered unpublished accounts of Andrew Jackson’s 1813 Natchez Expedition.
Tony Turnbow is a past president of the Lewis County Historical Society and served two terms as a Hohenwald City Councilman. He represented the Natchez Trace Parkway Association on the Tennessee War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, and he was the recipient of the Tennessee Society U.S. Daughters of 1812 “Spirit of 1812” award. He has spoken frequently about his research to meetings of DAR, SAR, Colonial Dames, U.S. Daughters of 1812, General Society of 1812, and historical organizations.
This event is being held as part of “A Universe of Stories,” the library’s 2019 Summer Reading Program. For more information about this and other library events this summer, stop by or call the library at (931) 796-5365.