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Lemuel Donelson
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Birth: Sep. 6, 1789
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Jun. 21, 1832
Williamson County
Tennessee, USA

Lemuel Donelson was the 5th child of John and Mary Purnell Donelson of Davidson County, Tennessee. He was said to have been named for Lemuel Purnell Montgomery, for whom the city of Montgomery Alabama is named.

In 1814 Lemuel fought in the Creek Indian War with his uncle, Andrew Jackson, John Coffee (husband of his sister Mary) and brother Alexander, who was killed in the conflict.

On July 15, 1819, Lemuel married Elizabeth Jane Whyte, who he and other relatives called "Betsey". They moved to Williamson County and resided on their farm there for the rest of their lives.

Lemuel appears to have devoted much of his time to farming. In a letter to Coffee, he enclosed samples of Sea Island cotton he had grown.

In addition to farming, Lemuel built and operated mills. In a letter to A. J. Donelson, dated October 8, 1829 he indicated that making mills was currently his "chief employment", claimed that his sawmill had "excelled on the little stream running though my pasture, every sawmill on the river" and that he was in the process of adding a grist mill.

Letters and court records also reflect that Lemuel was also involved in a number of land speculations.

Lemuel died on June 21, 1832 and was buried in the Donelson family cemetery located on his farm. Betsey was apparently ill at the time of his death and died on December 5, 1832. She was buried beside him and the marker was later erected by their children.

At the time of Lemuel's death the farm consisted of "771 acres and 31 square poles", which were sold by the Donelson children to another Williamson County pioneer, Matthew DeGraffenreid, in February, 1843 for $15,426. Part of the Donelson farm, including the cemetery, was subsequently owned by Jesse Andrews and, later, by the Russel Sullivan family. The marker was repaired by Patrick Sullivan as an Eagle Scout project.

Following their parents death the Donelson children are believed to have been raised by their maternal grandparents, Judge and Mrs. Whyte or by Mary Purnell Donelson.

Following her marriage, the Donelson's daughter, Phereby, resided on a portion of what had been the Donelson farm. An 1839 letter indicates that they were residing at "Uncle Lem's place" and the 1840 Census confirms that they were living there in 1840. They resided in Nashville after the farm was sold, until relocating to Mississippi in the mid 1850s.

The Donelson's son, John, may have resided on the farm, also, prior to moving to Mississippi in 1842.

According to Williamson County historian Virginia Bowman, Lemuel's sister Rachel Donelson Eastin was visiting at his home when she died in childbirth in November, 1822, and was believed to be buried here as well.

Family links: 
  John Donelson (1755 - 1830)
  Mary Purnell Donelson (1763 - 1848)
  Elizabeth Jane Whyte Donelson (1802 - 1832)*
  John Whyte Donelson (1820 - 1855)*
  Phereby Elizabeth Rachael Donelson Sheppard (1822 - 1898)*
  Tabitha Donelson Smith (1781 - 1854)*
  John Donelson (1787 - 1840)*
  Lemuel Donelson (1789 - 1832)
  Rachel Jackson Donelson Eastin (1791 - 1822)*
  Mary Donelson Coffee (1793 - 1871)*
  William Donelson (1795 - 1864)*
  Elizabeth Donelson McLemore (1796 - 1836)*
  Catherine Donelson Martin (1799 - 1836)*
  Stockly Donelson (1805 - 1888)*
  Emily Tennessee Donelson Donelson (1807 - 1836)*
*Calculated relationship
West face: "Beneath this stone in the rest of the grave repose the remains of Lemuel Donelson and Eliza Jane his wife."

North face: "Lemuel Donelson, born Sept 16 AD 1789. Died June 21 AD 1832. In him were found happily united the qualities of a kind husband and affectionate father and accomplished scholar and gentleman. My days are finished like the snow before the blast."

East face: "Man blooms a little April day, and with the dying ray he fadeth as a leaf. He fadeth but the silver reign may wake the fainting flower again and call it into life."

Donelson Cemetery
Williamson County
Tennessee, USA
Maintained by: T. Brady
Originally Created by: Rembert Woodroof (inacti...
Record added: Nov 12, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 5952356
Lemuel Donelson
Added by: T. Brady
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- grave hunter
 Added: Feb. 24, 2012

- Trish Holaway
 Added: May. 6, 2006

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