Tag Archives: President Jackson

Samuel Pryor Associate of President Andrew Jackson?

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Who’d want to run for the President of the United States? All the name calling, all the allegations… well what’s true in 2018 was true in 1827! When General Andrew Jackson was starting to position himself to run for office every allegation imaginable (and some of them true) surfaced in the press. A story from a Virginia newspaper was reprinted in Vermont — it names a Sam. Pryor or Samuel Pryor from Virginia who was a gamester and Jackson “crony”.


From the Richmond Whig of the 22nd ult.

The affair of Honor, in which the general deliberately shot Charles Dickinson, took place in the summer of 1806. The record of that bloody transaction, has for many years been in possession. We heard it also in 1816, at Plattsburg. When we were in company with Dr. J. Ramsey, of Charleston. From the mouths of an officer of the United States Engineer Corps, then at that station, with all its particulars. He stated, that Charles Dickerson threw away his fire, the General Jackson then advanced, and presented the pistol to the man’s head, and with an oath bid him make concessions or die Dickerson refused, Jackson took down his pistol, picked the flint, and presented it a second time, with similar remarks, and with the like effect, and after repeating this several times, finally shot the man dead on the spot. Several gentleman in the city have heard the same story the last winter, with all the circumstances attending it, from to wealthy, intelligent, and respectable gentleman, natives of New Jersey, who now live in Nashville, and have long lived there.

Appalling  as the statement is, we have circumstance to add to it, which made our informants blood run cold, when we heard it, as well it might. Soon after the duel, Jackson wrote a letter to Sam. Pryor, a noted gamester, and a crony of the general, then residing in this state, giving him an account of it. In the letter  HERO expressed himself to this affect: “I reserved my fire, and when I did shoot him, you may be assured I left the damned rascal weltering in his blood.” It is many years since our informant heard the letter read. But the expressions, he says, and we can believe it, made an impression upon his mind which time cannot obliterate while memory indoors.

National Standard, Middlebury Vermont, July 10th 1827 page 2

Alexander Donelson Estate and the Pryor Family in Nashville

President Alexander Hamilton

I had figured out Alexander Donelson a while ago, however I’m just getting around to correcting his ID on the TNPryors.com website. Donelson was the elder brother of Rachel Donelson, wife of President Andrew Jackson.

I had gone on a dig for Alexander Donelson’s will. It was signed 9 September 1826. He appointed Nicholas B. Pryor as his executor. It’s important to look at documents – a transcript provided by another Pryor family researcher identified a witness as “Lain B. Pryor.”  There is no record of a Lain B. Pryor. I think the signature is Zach B. Pryor– Zachariah B. Pryor was counted on the line above Alexander Donelson on the 1820 Census in Davidson County, TN.

Alexander Donelson will Nicholas B Pryor executorAn obit for Alexander Donelson (see Find A Grave) indicates he died 23 May 1834. I looked for an inventory of his estate to see if Nicholas B. Pryor signed it as executor. Probably not because his family recorded his death as January 1833. I’m guessing Donelson’s estate may have gone into Chancery Court for an administrator to be appointed due to the death of the executor.

obit for Alexander Donelson

Nicholas B. Pryor moved in some pretty elite crowds. His sister married Thomas Jefferson’s brother and he was associated with the in-laws of another president.