Robert Jemison, Jr. (1802 -71) was major bridge builder, owner of flour and saw mills, toll roads, a foundry, surface coal mines, a stage line, six plantations, and more than five hundred slaves.
Senator Jemison served the state of Alabama well in many capacities and for many years. A practical and pragmatic man, he trained many of his slaves with marketable skills learned on his plantations and in his mills and factories. In January 1861 he argued forcefully against seceding from the Union at the Secession Convention in Montgomery. However, when the vote went against him, he responded to his duty to his state, ultimately serving in the Confederated Senate.
One of the leadership hallmarks of Jemison's tenure as a State Senator in Alabama, was as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. During this time he led the state out of a finanical crisis in 1847.
Jemison was a major advocate for the construction of a hospital for the humane treatment of the state's mentally ill. Largely through his efforts Tuscaloosa was selected as the site for the Bryce Hospital.
Jemison spared no expense to build the Italianate style mansion for his family, once home of The Friedman Library, but now on the National Register of Historic Place and known as The Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion, located on the corner of Greensboro Avenue and 13th Street in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Priscilla Cherokee Taylor Jemison
Elizabeth Jemison Jones
Margaret Jemison Walker
John Steele Jemison
Mary Mariah Jemison Arrington
William Henry Jemison
Joseph Marshall Jemison
Caroline Helen Jemison Plane
Cherokee Mims Jemison Hargrove