Historic Presidential Land Grant Signed President Andrew Jackson & Countersigned by Andrew Jackson Donelson
This historic original Presidential land grant is steeped in Tennessee History | It is signed by President Andrew Jackson and countersigned by Andrew Jackson Donelson, the adoptive sone of President Andrew Jackson | Dated June 1, 1831, this land grant of 160 acres in Fort Wayne, Indiana features a raised seal, and the recipient of the grant was Jacob Rupel of Elkhart County | The grant was executed when Andrew Jackson Donelson was President Andrew Jackson’s private secretary in the White House | The document is framed and encapsulated under two layers of archival glass
This antique historic original Presidential land grant is steeped in Tennessee History | It is signed by President Andrew Jackson and countersigned by Andrew Jackson Donelson, the adoptive sone of President Andrew Jackson | Dated June 1, 1831, this land grant of 160 acres in Fort Wayne, Indiana features a raised seal, and the recipient of the grant was Jacob Rupel of Elkhart County | The grant was executed when Andrew Jackson Donelson was President Andrew Jackson’s private secretary in the White House | The document is custom framed and professionally encapsulated under two layers of archival glass | Approx. Dimensions: 18″ x 12″ | Provenance: This 19th Century Signed Presidential Land Grant is from the estate of a very well-known and well-respected lifetime Civil War collector in Upstate New York.
Andrew Jackson Donelson (August 25, 1799 Ð June 26, 1871) was an American diplomat and the Know Nothing nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1856 on a ticket with former President Millard Fillmore. One of the three sons of Samuel and Mary Donelson, Andrew Jackson Donelson was born in Nashville, Tennessee. His younger brother, Daniel Smith Donelson, was the Confederate brigadier general after whom Fort Donelson was named. Donelson’s father died when Donelson was about five. When his mother remarried, Donelson moved to The Hermitage, the home of his aunt, Rachel Donelson Jackson, and her husband, Donelson’s namesake, future President of the United States Andrew Jackson. Rachel and Andrew Jackson adopted all three Donelson sons, including Andrew.
Donelson attended Cumberland College in Nashville Tennessee and then joined the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduating second in his class in 1820. His two years as an officer in the United States Army were spent as aide-de-camp to Andrew Jackson, by then a major general, as Jackson campaigned against the Seminoles in Florida. With the campaign over, Donelson resigned his commission and studied law at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. A year later, he started practicing law in Nashville and, less than a year after that, had married his first cousin, Emily Tennessee Donelson.
Donelson assisted his uncle during the 1824 and 1828 presidential campaigns and, in 1829, he became Jackson’s private secretary when his uncle was inaugurated as President of the United States. His wife Emily served as White House hostess and unofficial First Lady of the United States due to Rachel Jackson’s death in December, 1828. Donelson remained Jackson’s private secretary throughout his administration. During his stay in Washington, Donelson had his new home, Poplar Grove (later renamed Tulip Grove), constructed on the land he had inherited from his father, which was adjacent to the Hermitage.
In 1836, Tulip Grove was completed. Shortly afterward Emily died of tuberculosis, leaving four young children. Donelson moved back to Nashville after Jackson’s retirement the following year, where he helped Jackson sustain the Democratic party in a variety of ways for the next seven years. These services included writing newspaper editorials defending Democratic principles and helping Democratic candidates campaign for state, local, and national offices. In 1841, Donelson married another cousin, Elizabeth (Martin) Randolph, with whom he would have eight more children. Elizabeth Martin Randolph was a widow of Meriwether Lewis Randolph, a son of Martha Jefferson Randolph, and a grandson of Thomas Jefferson).
In 1858, Donelson sold Tulip Grove and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. He participated primarily in local politics there, although he was a delegate to the Constitutional Union party’s national nominating convention, which nominated his old Tennessee nemesis, John Bell, as its presidential candidate. During the Civil War, Donelson was harassed by both sides of the conflict. He also lost two of his sons in the war. During Reconstruction, he split time between his Memphis home and his plantation in Bolivar County, Mississippi. He died at the Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tennessee and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
About Samuel Donelson (Andrew Jackson Donelson’s Father):
Samuel Donelson, Davidson County lawyer and landowner, was the eighth of eleven children born in Virginia to Colonel John Donelson II and Rachel Stockley Donelson. Samuel Donelson was among the party of emigrants that Colonel Donelson led to Middle Tennessee, arriving at the Cumberland settlement on April 24, 1780. The Donelson family became well established in Nashville, and Samuel Donelson’s closest friends and business associates included his brother-in-law Andrew Jackson and John Caffey. These men assisted Donelson in eloping with Mary Polly Smith, the only daughter of General Daniel Smith, in 1797. The Donelsons had three sons, John Samuel (1798-1817), Andrew Jackson (1799-1871), and Daniel Smith (1801-1863). After Donelson’s death ca. 1804, his sons went to live at the Hermitage with Andrew and Rachel Jackson. Mary Polly Donelson remarried six years later, to Colonel James Saunders, a wealthy planter.
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