(Rachel Donelson Jackson Birthplace)
- Eight miles northeast of Chatham, Virginia, on route #685, thence east three and six tenths miles on Route #686, on south side of road. (No sign of building left.)
- John Donelson, 1744;
- Colonel John Markham, 1778;
- Mary Markham, 1807;
- G. C. Creasy, 1919;
- Thomas G. Creasy, 1920;
- F. O. McCormick, 1920;
- R. Wilson Davis, 1928;
- J. B. and John M. Andrews, 1932;
- Latane H. Motley, 1936.
- HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE:
- In 1744, John Donelson of Accomac county patented two hundred eighty acres of land on Banister River. Here me hade his home and was an outstanding figure in the life of this section for thirty-five years.
- Colonel John Donelson married Rachel Stockley of Accomac County. His daughter Rachel, who was born here on the banks of the river, grew up and became the wife of President Andrew Jackson. This lovely girl is one of whom Pittsylvania County will always be proud. It is said of Rachel that those who knew her never tired of telling of her beauty, her goodness, sweetness, and natural charm, and she became the guiding star in the brilliant, though stormy, career of her distinguished husband.
- Colonel Donelson was a man of ability and education, filling with honor the many positions of trust conferred upon him. he served as Justice of the Peace, vestryman, first Lieutenant of military forces of the county, surveyor of Halifax and Pittsylvania counties, and member of the House of Burgesses. In 1772, he was appointed to survey the state line westward, giving the Indians certain limits. While he was making this survey, the Indians told him of the beauty and fertility of Tennessee land and so aroused his interest, he visited the great bend of the river in Tennessee. Finding it to be like the Indians had pictured it, he decided to make his home there, so he sold his home, then containing one thousand acres, to Colonel Markham, from whom the place took the name. Colonel Markham lived here until his death, his property being left to his wife and children.
- The house was torn down a few years ago, and only a few rocks from the chimney mark the spot where the building stood. Teachers in the Markham school took the pupils through this old house yearly, as long as it was standing.
- SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
- Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Woodbridge, Java, Virginia.
- Court Records, Pittsylvania County, Virginia:
- Volume 5, page 98;
- Volume 162, page 438;
- Volume 163, page 111;
- Volume 164, page 315;
- Volume 200, page 449;
- Volume 216, page 133.
- Pittsylvania County History by Clement.
Clement: History of Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Hurt: Eighteenth Century Landmarks of Pittsylvania County
Fitzgerald: Pittsylvania: Homes and People of the Past
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Copyright © 2004 Patricia B. Mitchell.