Zest of the Day: The Great Robert Remini, Jacksonian and Congressional Historian Dead at 91

This is not really a Florida story at all but we leave Florida for the day because one of my favorite historians passed away recently it was announced this morning.

Remini’s historical works about Andrew Jackson are among the best works about arguably the most important figure in American political history. (note I said political history) Jackson has been characterized by many historians, both liberal and conservative, but Remini painted a portrait of an egalitarian who opened up politics and government to the masses. One of the most important lessons Remini taught me was despite the perception that Jackson was a typical southern racist of the day, he in fact enlisted and paid black soldiers the same as his white men in defending New Orleans in 1815. Her did this against the advice of the other officers in the US Army.

Jackson is also responsible for Florida being a part of the union, and his invasion of Florida helped secure settlers from the continuing Indian raids encouraged by foreign agitators both Spanish and British. Modern Florida would not be possible without him.

Remini’s works about Congress and the House of Representatives are also timeless classics. Much of my understanding about the greatest legislators in American history, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun comes from his writings and his works.

A great historian, his passing is a loss for the nation.

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