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The Master Is Away, 1829-1837:
During Jackson's presidency, he only visited The Hermitage four times, staying a month or two in late summer or early fall. In his absence, Andrew Junior managed the farm, with the assistance of constantly changing overseers who dealt with daily operations. As when Rachel was alive, nearby friends visited and sent Jackson reports on the farm and the health and welfare of the slaves.
Despite the press of duties in Washington, Jackson remained interested in farm operations and frequently requested more details about situations. Andrew Junior's management of the farm seems to have frustrated Jackson intensely. Only twenty when Jackson went to Washington, Jackson often criticized Andrew Junior regarding farming decisions. In 1834, he wrote, "When you calculate the amount of rope and bailing used by you this year for about 38,000 pounds of cotton, you will find that when I was at home, I sent to market 50,000 pounds of cotton at the same expense that you have thirty-eight. This, my son, is bad economy." Toward the end of Jackson's first term, he hired architect David Morrison to design a tomb for Rachel, as well as make some improvements to The Hermitage mansion. Unfortunately, in the fall of 1834, a fire heavily damaged the house and it had to be remodeled again.
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