John Donelson

John Donelson

Virginia, USA
Death 1785 (aged 66–67)
Kentucky, USA
Cenotaph Hermitage, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 6639237 · View Source
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Colonial Frontiersman. One of the two founders of Nashville, he joined with James Robertson to lead the first settlers to began a new settlement on the Cumberland River at the French Lick. A land speculator and surveyor, he had served in the Virginia House of Burgesses before moving to the Watauga settlements on the Holston and Watauga rivers in East Tennessee. where he met James Robertson. While Robertson led a group of mostly men and boys overland with pack horses and livestock, John Donelson organized and led a flotilla of approximately thirty boats from the Holston River to the Tennessee River,up the Ohio River,and then up the Cumberland River to the present site of Nashville, approximately 1000 miles. Most of his passengers were the wives and children of the men who went with Robertson. John Donelson was mysteriously killed on the trail between Kentucky and Nashville in 1785. His tenth child (out of eleven) was Rachel Donelson Jackson, the future wife of Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States.

Family Members


In Memory Of
Rachel Stockley Donelson Who Lies Here
Born in VA 1715 Died 1794
And Her Husband Col. John Donelson
Born in VA. 1718
Killed by Indians in Kentucky 1785
Erected by their descendants and
Rachel Stockley Donelson Chapter D.A.R.
Her children arise up and call her blessed
April 24, 1933


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: grave hunter
  • Added: 26 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6639237
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Donelson (1718–1785), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6639237, citing Hermitage Churchyard Cemetery, Hermitage, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .