Rachel Donelson Jackson

The First Lady Who Never Was

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About the Book

This biography of Rachel Jackson, wife of President Andrew Jackson, delves into how the relatively forgotten figure rebelled against the 18th-century restraints on women and overcame many personal tragedies to become an inspirational figure of persistence and strength. Though her father did not allow Rachel a traditional education, her savvy and insightful decisions made the Jackson’s Tennessee plantation and businesses profitable during her husband’s continual absences. Rachel’s input in the Jacksons’ marriage has been overlooked in historical narratives about him but research indicates that Rachel was privy to Jackson’s political decisions and that, in some instances, he regretted not taking her advice.
Rachel and Jackson’s decision to present themselves as a married couple before her first husband divorced her took its toll decades later when Rachel became the object of the vilest presidential campaign in history. Rachel never desired to be a first lady and tried to dissuade Jackson from his political and military ambitions. Despite this, Rachel publicly supported, defended and celebrated her husband’s political advances, became the first presidential candidate’s wife to go on a campaign trip with her husband, and was a successful businessman and entrepreneur.

About the Author(s)

Betty Boles Ellison, a former journalist and noted historian, is a nationally recognized historical researcher as well as an established author. She prepared the script for the prize-winning documentary, Dreamers and Doers: Voices of Kentucky Woman. An avid and longtime historical preservationist, she is a board member of Friends of Kentucky Libraries, which proves support for the commonwealth’s public libraries. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Betty Boles Ellison
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7018-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3897-3
Imprint: McFarland