First Ladies – Rachel Jackson


Rachael Donelson Robards Jackson


  • Born in Virginia, June 15, 1767
  • Married Colonel Lewis Robards in 1785 but they separated in 1790
  • He told her that he had filed for divorce in 1790
  • Married Andrew Jackson in August 1791, however, this marriage was ruled invalid because the divorce had not been filed. They remarried in 1794, although the charge of adultery would follow her for the rest of her life.
  • In 1804, they built their home the Hermitage in Nashville Tennessee
  • Adopted two children
    • Andrew Jackson Jr. December 04, 1808 – April 17, 1865, a nephew of Rachel Jackson
      Lyncoya Jackson, about 1811 – July 1828, an American Indian child that Andrew Jackson found on a battlefield and raised by the Jacksons from age two
      Legal guardians for six boys and two girls, who were nieces and nephews of Rachel Jackson
  • In 1828, Andrew Jackson is elected President
  • She died on December 22, 1828, before Andrew Jackson was inaugurated as President.
  • Interesting facts
    The charge of adultery was used against Andrew Jackson during the campaign for President. It was said she was an adulteress, a bigamist and a divorcee by the factor supporting John Quincy Adams. The shame of this led to a stress on a bad heart. In addition, the death of her son, Lyncoya, in July 1828 added to her stress. She had a heart attack in the fall of 1828, from which she seemed to recover, however she died in December 1828.

    Focus while in the White House
    Andrew Jackson designated Emily Donelson, Rachel Jackson’s niece, to be the official hostess in the White House. The first time a relative of the president was given a formal status in the White House.


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