Andrew Jackson Hotel: A Piece of New Orleans History
The grounds on which this stately boutique hotel now stands were once the site of an all-boys boarding school. The Spanish Colonial Government opened the school in 1792 as a response to all of the children that were often in need of schooling (and a home). This need was due to the fact that many children lost their parents to the Yellow Fever epidemics that attacked the city each summer. For this reason, the boarding school was often referred to as the orphanage, and in its very early stages, it was successful.
However, in 1794, two large fires swept through the city, and in December of that same year, many buildings were destroyed, including the boarding school. Several children perished in the fire and are believed to still take up residence in the hotel today, laughing in the courtyard and playing tricks on guests.
After the boarding school crumbled amid the flames, the site became the home of a U.S. Federal Courthouse that was most famously known for being the place where United States District Judge Dominick Hall fined Major General Andrew Jackson $1,000 for contempt of court. This charge occurred soon after Jackson and his troops defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.
Judge Hall had formerly been arrested by Jackson and banished from the city during a period of martial law that had been imposed by Jackson himself. The arrest was in response to Judge Hall’s request that a senator by the name of Louis Louaillier be released from prison after Jackson had ordered the senator’s arrest for criticizing Jackson’s tactics of maintaining martial law. When the Treaty of Ghent was ratified on February 16, 1815, Jackson released and pardoned all prisoners. Judge Hall almost immediately demanded that Jackson appear at the courthouse and tried him with no jury, indicted him for contempt of court, and charged him with obstruction of justice.
When Andrew Jackson was fined, many of the city’s residents offered to pay it for him, but Jackson declined and asked that the people use their money to help the widows and orphans who had lost their husbands, brothers, and fathers in the Battle of New Orleans. Andrew Jackson went on to become president from 1829 to 1837, and in 1844 (the year before he died), Congress actually ordered that the fine be repaid to Jackson plus interest, and Jackson received $2,700.
The courthouse remained until the late 1800s until it was eventually demolished. In its place, the construction of the current two-story building began in 1888. Today, the Andrew Jackson Hotel maintains its rich character and charm which helps paint vivid pictures of its storied past. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also considered one of the most haunted hotels in New Orleans.
Today, this sense of history is met with modern amenities and conveniences, giving you everything you could want during your visit to the Big Easy. When you enjoy the magic of the French Quarter, enhance your experience with a stay at the famous Andrew Jackson Hotel. You’ll enjoy all of the comforts of home while residing in an authentic piece of New Orleans history.