Andrew Jackson Donelson

American diplomat (1799–1871) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Andrew Jackson Donelson (August 25, 1799 – June 26, 1871) was an American diplomat and politician. He served in various positions as a Democrat and was the Know Nothing nominee for US vice president in 1856.

Quick facts: Andrew Donelson, United States Minister to Pr...
Andrew Donelson
United States Minister to Prussia
In office
July 18, 1846  November 2, 1849
PresidentJames K. Polk
Zachary Taylor
Preceded byHenry Wheaton
Succeeded byEdward A. Hannegan
United States Chargé d'Affaires to Texas
In office
November 29, 1844  August 9, 1845
PresidentJohn Tyler
James K. Polk
Preceded byTilghman Howard
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born(1799-08-25)August 25, 1799
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedJune 26, 1871(1871-06-26) (aged 71)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
Know Nothing (1856)
Constitutional Union (1860)
(m. 1824; died 1836)

Elizabeth Martin Randolph
(m. 1841; died 1871)
RelativesRachel Jackson (paternal aunt/adoptive mother)
Daniel Smith Donelson (brother)
EducationUniversity of Nashville
United States Military Academy (BS)
Transylvania University

After the death of his father, Donelson lived with his aunt, Rachel Jackson, and her husband, Andrew Jackson. Donelson attended the U.S. Military Academy and served under his uncle in Florida. He resigned his commission, studied law, passed the bar and began his own practice in Nashville. He assisted Jackson's presidential campaigns and served as his private secretary after Jackson won the 1828 presidential election. He returned to Tennessee after the end of Jackson's presidency in 1837 and remained active in local politics.[1]

After helping James K. Polk triumph at the 1844 Democratic National Convention, Donelson was appointed by U.S. President John Tyler to represent the United States in the Republic of Texas, where Donelson played an important role in the Texas annexation. In 1846, President Polk appointed Donelson as Minister to Prussia. Donelson left that position in 1849 and became the editor of a Democratic newspaper but alienated various factions in the party. In 1856, the Know Nothings chose Donelson as their vice presidential nominee, and he campaigned on a ticket with former Whig President Millard Fillmore. The ticket finished in third place in both the electoral and popular vote, behind the Democratic and the Republican tickets. Donelson also participated in the 1860 Constitutional Union Convention.[1]