According to Metro Nashville police public information officer Don Aaron, a security representative for the Hermitage called police Friday morning to report someone spray-painted Jackson’s grave overnight.
According to an official statement from the organization, the grave was vandalized with obscenities in black and red spray paint.
“Ever since Andrew Jackson was laid to rest in 1845, joining his beloved wife who died in 1828, their tomb next to Rachel’s garden at the Hermitage has been preserved and undisturbed, until now,” the statement said. “This is the first time in the history of the home that something like this has happened. It’s a sad day for all of us. Until the damage is repaired, with respect for Andrew and Rachel Jackson and the home’s visitors, the tomb will remained covered.”
Bob McDonald, CedarStone Bank president and vice-regent on the Hermitage board of trustees, said board members were setting up to take a picture on site when they discovered the vandalism.
“It was a most unfortunate finding for us,” said McDonald. “It’s a tradition that goes back more than 100 years that the trustees have their picture made at the tomb. So, we arrived out in front of the mansion, and we learned that overnight, some vandals came on the property.”
McDonald said the property has 24-hour security, as well as cameras set up.
“It’s the first time ever, in 200 years,” he said. “We’re very mindful, just like any business. You’ve got to be mindful of security and those types of things. We endeavor to have appropriate security in place, but they found a hole; they found a gap somewhere.”
As far as repairs, McDonald said the organization would spare no expense in restoring the vandalized areas.
“We’ve contacted, I think, it’s three different companies in different parts of the country who specialize in cleaning up of historical markers like this,” said McDonald. “We’ll hear what their evaluation is. We’re hoping we can restore it back and get it back to where it was.”