President Andrew Jackson swore a lot, and so did his parrot, Poll. The parrot was said to be an African grey parrot and was originally purchased as a gift for his wife, Rachel. Still, after her death, President Jackson became the parrot’s caretaker. But did you know that Poll learned to mimic Jackson’s language?
Poll, President Andrew Jackson’s parrot, was his pet. He was present at Jackson’s funeral when he died but had to be removed due to swearing and yelling profanities, which he learned from Jackson himself.
Poll the Swearing Parrot
Poll, intended initially for Jackson’s wife, Rachel. But after she died, Jackson took care of the African Grey. So, how did the parrot get such a foul mouth? We don’t know for sure. But given what we know about Jackson, a man so demanding and temperamental that he was nicknamed Old Hickory, it’s safe to assume the bird picked up the habit from his owner.
On June 8, 1845, the country’s seventh Commander in Chief died of unspecified causes. Poll, who squawked, squeaked, and swore like a sailor, was among the thousands who gathered to pay their respects.
Before the sermon and while the crowd was gathering, a wicked parrot that was a household pet got excited and commenced swearing so loud and long as to disturb the people and had to be carried from the house. The presidential parrot was excited by the multitude and let loose perfect gusts of ‘cuss words.’” People were “horrified and awed at the bird’s lack of reverence.William Menefee Norment, Reverend who presided at Andrew Jackson’s Funeral
President Andrew Jackson’s Death
Jackson’s willingness to confront his and his wife’s numerous assailants earned him a reputation as a squabbling man. Jackson even challenged one of his accusers, Charles Dickinson, to a duel in 1806. Despite being shot in the chest by his opponent, Jackson held his ground and fired a round that killed Dickinson. The bullet from that fight and one from a subsequent duel remained lodged in Old Hickory’s chest for the rest of his life.
Jackson returned to Tennessee after completing his second term in the White House, where he died on June 8, 1845, at age 78. The lead poisoning caused by the two bullets that had remained in his chest for several years was the cause of his death. He was buried alongside his beloved Rachel in the plantation’s garden.
The day of the funeral, almost as if his best friend had departed, he squawked and squeaked and chirped and yes, said a few bad words.Judy Holland, Historic Researcher at The Hermitage
Jackson is widely regarded as one of the most influential US presidents in history and one of the most aggressive and divisive. His zeal for individual liberty fueled political and governmental change, resulting in numerous prominent and long-lasting national policies. (Source: Biography)
Image from Grunge