|Spouse(s)||Rachel Stockley Donelson|
|Relatives||Andrew Jackson (son-in-law)
Donelson Caffery (great-grandson)
Patrick T. Caffery (great-great-great grandson)
John Donelson (1718–1785) was an explorer and adventurer.
John Donelson was born in 1718.
He served in the Virginia House of Burgesses before moving to the Watauga settlements on the Holston and Watauga rivers in East Tennessee. From about 1770 to 1779, he operated the Washington Iron Furnace at Rocky Mount, Franklin County, Virginia. Along with James Robertson, he cofounded Fort Nashborough in 1780, which would eventually become the city of Nashville, Tennessee. His diaries are kept in Cleveland Hall, Nashville. He also led 1000 people to the Cumberland plantation.
Personal life and legacy
He died in 1785. His great-grandson Donelson Caffery of Louisiana, was a U.S. Senator from 1892–1900 and his great-great-great grandson, Patrick T. Caffery of Louisiana, was a U.S. Representative from 1969 to 1973.
Donelson, Tennessee was named in honor of the colonel.
- Crabb, Alfred Leland (1957). Journey to Nashville: A Story of the Founding. New York: Bobbs-Merrill.
- National First Ladies' Library: Rachel Jackson
- Anne Carter Lee (September 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Washington Iron Furnace". Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
- City of Nashville biography
- John Donelson Journal - Transcription and scan of journal about 1779 river journey.
- John Donelson's "Journal of the Adventure" - in J.G.M. Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century (1853).
- John Donelson at Find a Grave
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