(7a) Emily Tennessee Donelson


Emily Tennessee Donelson



Death date



Andrew Jackson

Dates of service


Relationship to president


Other marriages 

Andrew Jackson Donelson



First Ladies Never Married to Presidents: Emily Donelson

The White House Historical Assocation: Emily Donelson

Our White House: Emily Donelson

Papers/letters collections

Library of Congress: Andrew Jackson Letter to Emily Donelson

Andrew Jackson Donelson Papers 1944-1846

Historical sites

Historic Sites: Donelson and Hermitage Communities

Emily Tennessee Donelson Gravesite

Fascinating details

  • Emily took over the role of first lady from her aunt, Rachel Donelson Jackson, Andrew Jackson's first and only wife, who died before Andrew Jackson’s inauguration.
  • She supported literacy and education, especially for girls.
  • Andrew Jackson replaced Emily Donelson with Sarah Yorke Jackson, his daughter-in-law, when Emily’s name became associated with the Peggy Eaton (or Petticoat) Affair (a scandal involving President Andrew’s cabinet and their wives).
  • For a period, both Emily and Sarah assumed the role of hostess, although Emily’s tenure gave her more authority.
  • Sarah Yorke Jackson officially took over as first lady when Emily Donelson passed away in 1836. Sarah Yorke Jackson served as first lady from 11/26/1834-03/04/1837.