Felix Robertson

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For the general, see Felix Huston Robertson.
Dr. Felix Robertson
The Cooper portrait

Felix Robertson (1781–1865) was an American pioneer, physician and Jeffersonian Republican politician.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] He served twice as the Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee from 1818 to 1819 as well as from 1827 to 1829.[1][2][4][5][6][7]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Felix Robertson was born on January 11, 1781 at the fort Freeland's Station, which was later commemorated as a neighborhood of Nashville.[1][7] He was born to General James Robertson and his wife Charlotte Reeves Robertson, who had arrived with the first large group of settlers in Middle Tennessee.[3][4][7] He was the first known white child born in the settlement now called Nashville, while his father is regarded as the "Father of Tennessee" in history books.[3][5]

Career[edit]

Robertson studied medicine under the direction of Benjamin Rush at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received his M.D. degree in 1806.[6][7] He went on to practice medicine in Nashville for forty years.[6] He served as Mayor of Nashville from 1818 to 1819 as well as from 1827–1829.[1][4] He later took part in Robertson's Colony with his cousin Sterling C. Robertson, but they returned to Tennessee.[1][7] He delivered a speech at the 26th annual meeting of the Tennessee Medical Society detailing the early physicians and medical practices in the early settlement of Nashville.[3] He went on to work as a professor of medicine at the Old University of Nashville.[4][5] He served as director of Medical Society of Tennessee from 1834 through 1840 and again in 1853 for two years.[6] He was a close friend and personal doctor of President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).[6] He worked on his 1828 presidential campaign.[6]

Personal life[edit]

He married Lydia Waters on October 9, 1808.[1] They had five sons, James Waters, Benjamin, John E. Beck, Felix (died as infant), and Felix Randolph, and two daughters, Elizabeth, Elnora Reeves.[1] He died on July 10, 1865, and he is buried in the Nashville City Cemetery.[1][3][5][7] His tombstone is inscribed with the epitaph "First white child born in settlement now called Nashville; Distinguished as a physician; Foremost as citizen."[8]

Legacy[edit]

His portrait, painted by Washington Bogart Cooper in July 1839, hangs in the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Friends of Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County, TN
  2. ^ a b Nashville Library
  3. ^ a b c d e f Tennessee Portrait Project
  4. ^ a b c d e Jeanette T. Acklen, Tennessee Records: Tombstone Inscriptions and Manuscripts, Genealogical Publishing Com, 2009, p. 7 [1]
  5. ^ a b c d e E. D. Thompson, Nashville Nostalgia, Westview Publishing Co., 2003, p. 17 [2]
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Nashville City Cemetery, Mayors
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Malcolm D. McLean, "ROBERTSON, FELIX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fro25), accessed March 25, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  8. ^ Nashville City Cemetery
Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Cantrell, Jr.
Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee
1818-1819
Succeeded by
Thomas Crutcher
Preceded by
Wilkins F. Tannehill
Mayor of Nashville, Tennessee
1827-1829
Succeeded by
William Armstrong