|Died||1785 (aged 66–67)|
|Occupation||frontiersman, ironmaster, politician, city planner, explorer|
|Spouse(s)||Rachel Stockley Donelson|
|Children||Rachel Jackson, Jane Donelson Hays, Mary Donelson Caffery|
|Relatives||Andrew Jackson (son-in-law)
Daniel Smith Donelson
John Donelson Martin
John Donelson (1718–1785) was an American frontiersman, ironmaster, politician, city planner and explorer, who, along with James Robertson, co-founded the frontier settlement of Fort Nashborough, in Middle Tennessee, which would later become the city of Nashville, Tennessee. Donelson was also the father-in-law of future United States president, Andrew Jackson, who married his daughter, Rachel.
Donelson served in the Virginia House of Burgesses before moving to the Watauga settlements on the Holston and Watauga Rivers in Washington District, North Carolina. From about 1770 to 1779, he operated the Washington Iron Furnace at Rocky Mount, Franklin County, Virginia. Along with James Robertson, he co-founded Fort Nashborough, in 1780, which would eventually become Nashville, Tennessee. A collection of his diaries are kept in Cleveland Hall, in Nashville.
Death and legacy
Donelson, Tennessee was named in his honor.
- 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" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
- John Donelson entry, from the Tennessee Encyclopedia
- City of Nashville biography
- John Donelson Journal[permanent dead link] - 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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