Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Donelson, Andrew Jackson

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DONELSON, Andrew Jackson, politician, b. near Nashville, Tenn., 25 Aug., 1800; d. in Memphis, 26 June, 1871. He studied in the University of Nashville, and was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1820, standing second in his class. From 1820 till 1822, while 2d lieutenant in the engineers, he served as aide-de-camp to his uncle, Gen. Andrew Jackson, when the latter was governor of the recently-acquired territory of Florida, and then as assistant to the board of engineers. He resigned from the army in February, 1822, attended law-lectures in the Transylvania university at Lexington, Ky., and was admitted to the bar in 1823, but turned his attention to cotton-planting on his estates in Bolivar county, Miss. On Jackson's election to the presidency, he became his confidential adviser and private secretary, continuing in that capacity until the close of his second administration. The annexation treaty between the United States and Texas having been rejected by the senate in April, 1844, Mr. Donelson was asked to undertake new negotiations, and accordingly was appointed chargé d'affaires to the republic of Texas. In 1846 he was appointed minister to Prussia, and in 1848 to the federal government of Germany, which office he resigned in 1849. He assumed the editorship of the Washington “Union” in 1851, but relinquished it during the following year. After the inauguration of President Pierce in 1853, he abandoned the Democrats and joined the American party, receiving the nomination of vice-president on the ticket with Millard Fillmore in 1856. After his defeat in the election that followed, he retired from public life, and devoted himself to the management of his extensive estates. Subsequent to the civil war he practised his profession in Memphis. He published “Reports of Explorations” (Washington, 1855).