John Donelson

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John Donelson
Born1718[1]
Died1785 (aged 66–67)
NationalityAmerican
Occupationfrontiersman, ironmaster, politician, city planner, explorer
Spouse(s)Rachel Stockley Donelson
ChildrenRachel Jackson, Jane Donelson Hays, Mary Donelson Caffery
RelativesAndrew 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.

Career[edit]

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.[2] Along with James Robertson, he co-founded Fort Nashborough, in 1780, which would eventually become Nashville, Tennessee.[1] A collection of his diaries are kept in Cleveland Hall, in Nashville.

Personal life[edit]

Donelson married Rachel [née Stockley] Donelson (1730-1801) in 1744.[1] Their daughter, Rachel Jackson, married the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson.[1] His daughter Mary married Captain John Caffery and John Donelson's great-grandson, Donelson Caffery II served two terms as a U.S. Senator from Louisiana and was the first nominee for president of the "Democratic National Party" in 1896 but declined the nomination. Later, in 1900, he was nominated to head the presidential ticket of the "National Party" but declined that nomination as well.

Death and legacy[edit]

Donelson was shot and killed on the banks of the Barren River in 1785, en route to Mansker's Station after a business trip.[3]

Donelson, Tennessee was named in his honor.

See also[edit]

  • Cherokee–American wars
  • Sycamore Shoals
  • Mary Donelson daughter of Captain John Donelson III and Mary Purnell; Mary Donelson was the paternal niece of Rachel Donelson Jackson and wife of General John Coffee
  • Andrew Jackson Donelson {Grandson of John Donelson and brother to Daniel Smith Donelson)
  • General Daniel Smith Donelson CSA {Grandson of John Donelson and nephew of Andrew Jackson)
  • Colonel John Donelson Martin CSA (Grandson of John Donelson}
  • Judge John Donelson Martin Sr. (grandson of Col John Donelson Martin and great-great-grandson of John Donelson}
  • U.S. Senator Donelson Caffery II (great-grandson of John Donelson and son of Donelson Caffery I, agent of Andrew Jackson)
  • U.S. Representative Patrick Caffery (son of Ralph Earl Caffery, grandson of U.S. Senator Donelson Caffery II and great-great-great grandson of John Donelson)
  • Captain John Cafffey, (son-in-law of John Donelson, Agent of Andrew Jackson, Sheriff of Bedford County VA., whose daughter Mary Caffery married Andrew Jackson portraitist Ralph Earl and is buried at the Hermitage.)

References[edit]

  • Crabb, Alfred Leland (1957). Journey to Nashville: A Story of the Founding. New York: Bobbs-Merrill.

External links[edit]