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Title Emily Tennessee Donelson
Collection First Lady Dolls
Catalog Number 2015.017.008
Description Emily Tennessee Donelson (1807-1836)
Niece of Andrew Jackson, White House Hostess from 1829-1836

Emily Tennessee Donelson was born on June 1, 1807 at Clover Bottom Farm in Donelson, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Rachel Jackson's brother, John Donelson and his wife Mary Purnell.
Emily was twenty-one when she took over the duties of First Lady and skillfully handled the duties of entertaining; since her initial months as First Lady were during a period of her mourning for Rachel Jackson. In her amber-colored Inaugural Ball gown, Emily attracted great attention from the beginning of the Jackson Administration. In the White House, her responsibilities were primarily that of a traditional hostess, overseeing guest lists, menus and entertaining. She limited her social life to returning social calls.
With a strict sense of propriety and having been taken into the circle of older wealthy women, Emily Donelson immediately established her own intention to follow them. Her extreme youth had made her easily influenced by the older Cabinet wives. There was open confrontation between Emily and the President regarding the treatment of Peggy Eaton, the War Secretary's wife.
Increasingly weakened by what would soon manifest itself as tuberculosis, Emily left the White House in June of 1836 for her Tennessee home. She died there on December 19, 1836, two days before her husband was able to reach her, he being on route from Washington.
NOTE: While Emily Donelson served as Andrew Jackson's hostess in the White House, it was originally intended that his daughter-in-law, Sarah Yorke Jackson, wife of his adopted son, would supervise the management of the Hermitage. A fire at the Hermitage, however, brought Sarah to the White House for lengthier stays and so she and Emily essentially served as co-hostesses, a unique situation in White House history.
Event Bicentennial First Lady Doll Exhibit - Community Project
Creator Park, Phyllis Juhlin
Costume Costume by Gladys Price Phillips
Given Given by Julia Dillman Robinson and Isobel Dillman Batty
Source Uintah County Library