Rachel Jackson

“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than live in that palace in Washington.”

Rachel Jackson, 1828

In 1791 Andrew Jackson married Rachel Jackson. Theirs was the great presidential love match. Jackson loved “his Rachel” to idolatry, and in his eyes she was perfection.

Born in 1767, she was the daughter of Colonel John Donelson, the co-founder of Nashville.   Her family were among the first settlers in Tennessee.  A great beauty in her youth, she attracted the attention of many suitors.  In 1785 she married Lewis Robards, a Revolutionary War veteran and a land speculator.  The match was not a happy one, with rumors abounding that Robards treated her with cruelty.  They separated in 1788.\, with Robards filing for divorce in 1790.

In 1794 the Jacksons learned to their intense dismay that  Robards, had not divorced her prior to 1791 as she and Jackson had thought, but had merely filed a document with the court stating his intention to divorce her. The divorce was not granted until 1793.  (Demonstrating how confused the whole process was, Robards had remarried on December 28, 1792 before the final decree of divorce was entered.) The Jacksons quickly remarried. His political enemies used the scandal against him for the rest of his life, to the intense and bitter anger of Jackson. He often said that he could easily forgive what his enemies said against him, but that he could never forgive their attacks against Rachel. As Rachel grew older she became more religious and caused Jackson to become more religious. By all accounts she was a very good and charitable woman, and it was the great tragedy of Jackson’s life that she died just before he left for Washington to assume his duties as President.

Published in: on August 16, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Rachel Jackson  
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