Rachel Donelson Jackson: The First Lady Who Never Was
Betty Boles Ellison
Rachel Jackson, wife of President Andrew Jackson, never wanted to be First Lady and tried to dissuade him from his political ambitions. Yet she publicly supported his political advancement and was the first wife of a presidential candidate to take to the campaign trail. Privy to his political decisions, she offered valued counsel, and Jackson sometimes regretted not taking her advice. Denied a traditional education by her father, Rachel’s innate business savvy made the Jacksons’ Tennessee plantation and businesses profitable during her husband’s continual absences.
This biography chronicles the life of a First Lady who rebelled against 19th-century constraints on women, overcame personal tragedies to become an inspirational figure of persistence and strength, and found herself at the center of one of the vilest presidential smear campaigns in history.