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Iowa Families:

The Myths and Legends

Andrew Jackson’s Walking Stick

 By Sharon Workman

This second one sure qualifies as a "family legend" as I cannot prove its authenticity, but knowing some of the principals, I believe it without much doubt.

My grandmother (Bernice Bauman Workman 1882-1955) gave her oldest son, my father (Floyd Workman 1903-1997) a primitive walking stick, clearly fashioned by hand.  I have it now.  It looks very old.  The story is that it was made by Andrew Jackson in 1815 during the Battle of New Orleans and passed from one person to another until it came into the possession of my grandmother's father, Samuel Henry Bauman 1855-1955.

Along with the walking stick, she gave my dad a small thick paper, looking something like heavy cardboard, measuring about 2 inches wide by 4 inches long.  On it, in very old looking script and ink was what I recognized to be my grandmother's handwriting.  It was the provenance of the walking stick.  It reads....

Orange wood sprout which Andrew Jackson cut on the battle field of New Orleans 1815 which he carried and gave to a friend in Baltimore who gave it to his friend Henry Kiek Utica Iowa who presented it to S. H. Bauman Birmingham, IA.  This battle was fought after peace had been declared.

Of course, she was right about the battle happening after the peace.  Shows her education, and how important it was to her.

Too bad that friend in Baltimore that received the walking stick from Jackson was unnamed.  Otherwise, we could trace out the course of it and give it more credibility.


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