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After losing his beloved wife, Rachel, Andrew Jackson asked Emily Donelson, Rachel's favorite niece, to serve as his White House hostess. Though only 21, Emily skillfully cared for her uncle, her husband, her four children (three born at the mansion), many visiting relatives, and official guests. Praised by contemporaries for her wonderful tact, she had the courage to differ with the president on issues of principle. Frail throughout her lifetime, Emily died of tuberculosis in 1836.

During the last months of the administration, Sarah Yorke Jackson, wife of Andrew Jackson, Jr., the presidents adopted nephew, presided as hostess of the Executive Mansion in Emily Donelson's stead.

Click here to learn more about the enslaved household of the Jackson family.

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