Andrew Jackson Donelson: Jacksonian and Unionist
This richly detailed biography of Andrew Jackson Donelson (1799-1871) sheds new light on the political and personal life of this nephew and namesake of Andrew Jackson. A scion of a pioneering Tennessee family, Donelson was a valued assistant and trusted confidant of the man who defined the Age of Jackson. One of those central but background figures of history, Donelson had a knack for being where important events were happening and knew many of the great figures of the age.
As his uncle's secretary, he weathered Old Hickory's tumultuous presidency, including the notorious "Petticoat War." Building his own political career, he served as US chargé d'affaires to the Republic of Texas, where he struggled against an enigmatic President Sam Houston, British and French intrigues, and the threat of war by Mexico, to achieve annexation. As minister to Prussia, Donelson enjoyed a ringside seat to the revolutions of 1848 and the first attempts at German unification. A firm Unionist in the mold of his uncle, Donelson denounced the secessionists at the Nashville Convention of 1850. He attempted as editor of the Washington Union to reunite the Democratic party, and, when he failed, he was nominated as Millard Fillmore's vice-presidential running mate on the Know-Nothing party ticket in 1856. He lived to see the Civil War wreck the Union he loved, devastate his farms, and take the lives of two of his sons.
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4 The Rising Politician September 1831December 1835
5 Death could not extinguish the light of her spirit December 1835August 1841
6 Elizabethand Polk and Texas September 1841August 1844
7 The most important mission September 1844March 1845
11 If A J Donelson does not please the Democratic Party who can ? December 1849December 1851
12 An Obstacle to Harmony December 1851May 1855
13 Fillmore and Donelson June 1855November 1856
14 Bitter Twilight November 1856June 1871
The Family and the Legacy
List of Abbreviations
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affair AJD to Buchanan AJD’s AJDLC American Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson Donelson annexation appointed April arrived assured August Banner Berlin Blair brother Buren Calhoun called Coffee Collection Congress convention County Daniel December delegates Democratic departed Despatches EAMD Eaton election Elizabeth Emily Emily Donelson February Fillmore friends George German Hermitage Historical hope House Houston ibid important Jackson Papers James January John Jones July June letter Lewis Major March Martin Mary meeting Memphis Mexico Military minister Nashville Union nephew never nomination November October Old Hickory party Point political Polk Correspondence present president presidential printed Prussia quotation Rachel received remained reported Republican Robert secretary Senate September Smith Society soon South Southern Tennessee Texas tion uncle United University Press Washington West Whig White Wilcox wrote York