Andrew Jackson Donelson: Jacksonian and Unionist

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Vanderbilt University Press, Oct 2, 2017 - History - 435 pages
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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Contents

A Pleasant Stop in Memphis
1
1 New Lives in that land of promise 1716July 1820
3
2 Emilyand a Triumph and a Tragedy August 1820December 1828
20
3 The Petticoat War January 1829August 1831
35
4 The Rising Politician September 1831December 1835
61
5 Death could not extinguish the light of her spirit December 1835August 1841
81
6 Elizabethand Polk and Texas September 1841August 1844
100
7 The most important mission September 1844March 1845
118
11 If A J Donelson does not please the Democratic Party who can ? December 1849December 1851
199
12 An Obstacle to Harmony December 1851May 1855
219
13 Fillmore and Donelson June 1855November 1856
234
14 Bitter Twilight November 1856June 1871
254
The Family and the Legacy
277
Illustration Gallery
285
List of Abbreviations
293
Notes
295

8 Donelson will have the honor of this important deed March 1845July 1845
138
9 The Fruits of Annexation July 1845February 1848
156
10 Marztage February 1848November 1849
177
Bibliography
401
Index
421
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Richard Douglas Spence is Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.