U.S. President Andrew Jackson in 1845, months before his deathA recent correspondent sent me a link to a post on a possible African-American descendant of President Andrew Jackson. I have never heard of the enslaved family from which the correspondent is descended, but in their response to his query, Prof. Henry Lous Gates, Jr., and Katrina Fahy do a good job of examining the available evidence and suggesting further avenues of research.

The claim of being descended from Andrew Jackson isn’t unusual. I’ve written previously about Hannah, an enslaved woman at Jackson’s Hermitage plantation. Some of Hannah’s descendants claim that Jackson fathered at least one of her children, as I noted in this article. It’s a disputed topic that deserves further exploration. That historians haven’t done more work on it is disappointing. I’ve previously attributed much of that inattention to John Spencer Bassett’s influence, but as Dan Feller and the editorial team at the Jackson Papers proceed quickly through Old Hickory’s presidency, it becomes less about Bassett and more about the profession’s unwillingness to grapple with Jackson as anything other than a one-dimensional caricature.


4 thoughts on “A Possible African-American Descendant of Andrew Jackson?

  1. The book Unholiest Patrimony by Dorothy Price-Haskins tells the story of Charlotte Jackson, a daughter of Andrew Jackson and Hannah. Charlotte’s picture is on the front cover of the book and she greatly resembled Andrew Jackson.

    1. The woman on the cover could be any 19th century white woman. No proof where that photo came from. And there are several Andrew Jacksons who couldve been the father, who were named after him. One is Andrew Jackson Donelson…the story probably became embellished through the years and thats how the myth came about. In addition some of his soldiers were suspected of raping the slaves. Over the years myths arise, and it is very suspicious that dorothy doesnt publish charlottes accounts AS THEY ARE, but instead makes it into historical fiction. And she writes, take whatever you want from this as truth. Basically saying it might not be true. Be careful of myths because people will say what they want to believe. Its more powerful for them to believe andrew jackson fathered them instead of someother white guy. And by the way hannah was andrews wife rachels personal slave, thus its not believable that he would risk rachel finding out about an affair. Rachel wouldve known if hannah had given birth to a white baby who looked like jackson. Rachels wouldve left him, she wasnt afraid of leaving her 1st husband who had sex with his slaves. Andrew would never risk that. Rachel and her family the donelsons were everything to him. Even biographers who are hostile to him acknowledge this. Anyway there is no dna evidence as he had no bio kids, nieces or nephews. The onky evidence lies in a book labeled historical FICTION.

  2. A relative entered Andrew Jackson as the father of her great grandmother Charlotte on ancestry.com.. I am wondering also if he fathered my great great grandfather who was born in 1820.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s