In the mid-19th century, there was a proliferation of military organizations, usually politically affiliated militias. They owned armories and guns, they marched in parades and were called on during unrest. One of those was Albany's Jackson Corps, which was formed from the Young Men's Democratic Association in 1868 and named for General Andrew Jackson, the hero of New Orleans. A group of Civil War veterans came up with the idea of organizing as a military company; Munsell reports that "the idea was received with enthusiasm, and pushed forward with vigor, resulting int he organization of the Albany Jackson Guards, August 13, 1868." Among the officers, by the way, was one George W. Hoxsie, the namesake of this site.
English: Andrew Jackson - 7 th President of the United States (1829-1837) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To modern ears, having organized groups of armed men with political affiliations sounds like something less than a good idea. But the organization, and others like it, was held in high regard. "For a year of two the organization was known as the Jackson Guards, after which the name was changed to the Albany Jackson Corps. In political campaigns the organization formed the popular Jacksonians, and took part in all the great political demonstrations occurring during the ensuing ten years." They also marked in just about every parade, escorted governors to inaugural ceremonies, attended the laying of the cornerstone of the New Capitol, and were the Guard of Honor as the body of General Grant lay in state in it. When there was rioting during the railroad strike of 1877, the Jackson Corps was dispatched to guard the upper railroad bridge (the Livingston Avenue Bridge) to prevent sabotage.
As noted earlier this week, the building that had served as its armory, at 38 Beaver Street, was transformed into the Hotel Columbia, which burned along with the Second Dutch Church Building in 1892.