15, 1767, on the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson. His father died a few days before the birth of his son. Three weeks after the birth of her son Mrs. Jackson moved to the house of her brother-in-law, Mr. Crawford, just over the border in South Carolina. .
His career as a fighter began early. In the spring and early summer of 1780, after the disastrous surrender of Lincoln's army at Charleston, the British overran the whole of South Carolina. Young Jackson fought in the Battle of Hanging Rock at age 13. He was captured by British forces and asked by an officer to shine his boots; Jackson refused and was struck with the flat side of a saber. For years after, he could remember how he had been carried as prisoner to Camden and nearly starved there. Two of his brothers, as well as his mother, died from hardships sustained in the war. Orphaned now at the age of 14, Jackson was brought up by a well-to-do uncle in central South Carolina. In his late teens he read law, and he became an outstanding young lawyer in Tennessee. .
In 1791 Jackson married Rachel Robards. The couple mistakenly believed that her divorce from a previous husband had been finalized. It had not and the couple had to marry again in 1794. Fiercely jealous of his honor, he engaged in brawls, and in a duel killed a man who cast a slur on his wife Rachel. The irregularity of the marriage was indeed atoned by forty years of honorable and happy wedlock, ending only with Mrs. Jackson's death in December 1831.
He never completely mastered law; but in that frontier society a small amount of legal knowledge went a good way, and in 1788 he was appointed public prosecutor for the western district of North Carolina. By age 20, he was practicing law, and he later served as prosecuting attorney in Tennessee. In 1796 he helped draft the constitution of Tennessee, and for a year he occupied its one seat in the House of Representatives.