Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF)

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A Jackson/Butler Family Tree

​​Blue Boxes represent US treaty signers

​Andrew Jackson, champion of the Indian Removal Act, was related to treaty signers through the family of his wife Rachel Donelson. The Donelsons were land speculators in Tennessee; Jackson speculated in partnership with his nephew John Coffee. Several of the Donelsons were involved in the Glasgow Land Fraud, an 18th century conspiracy to accquire millions of acres of land. One legend has it that Jackson blew the whistle on the fraud because the family had not told him Rachel was a bigamist. The Donelsons were also related to Daniel Smith, one of the founders of the State of Franklin, another early land speculation enterprise. 

The Donelson family had ties to the "Fighting Butler Brothers," champions of federal rather than state control of Indian policy.​ During the Yazoo land fraud in the late 1700s, family patriarch Colonel John Donelson mounted a private military force to sieze control of a large part of Alabama which he claimed to own. His troops were stopped by the intervention of Thomas Butler. 


John Brahan
​Thomas Butler
Andrew Jackson

Edward Butler
John Coffee
Daniel Smith

Richard Butler
Andrew Jackson Donelson

​Robert Butler
Lemuel Donelson