Before serving as seventh president of the United States (1829-37), Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was a member of the House of Representatives, a United States senator, a major general in the army, and the first governor of Florida. The occasion for this formal, military portrait was his triumphal visit to New York in 1819, during which he was celebrated as the hero of the War of 1812 for his decisive victory over the British at New Orleans. The Corporation of the City of New York selected Jarvis's competitor John Vanderlyn to paint the official portrait for City Hall, but Jackson himself gave a commission to Jarvis, who soon painted at least seven more portraits for Jackson's friends and political allies, including Samuel Swartwout who vouched for the accuracy of the likeness. In April 1819, he wrote: "I have just been to see Jarvis's portrait of you. It is imimitable."