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living in the same compound in Fort Nashborough, Rachel and Andrew
soon met and became friends; eventually their friendship grew into
one of the greatest
in American History.
the time, Rachel was still married to Lewis Robards. Rachel and
her first husband attempted reconciliation several times, the last
ending when Robards falsely accused Rachel and Andrew of an affair.
The gallant Andrew, anxious to protect Rachel from what he thought
was abuse, confronted Robards about his treatment of Rachel. Since
his mother's death, Andrew was notorious for his chivalry and need
to rescue women in distress. After a particularly threatening confrontation
with Robards, Jackson moved out. Robards soon followed, returning
to Kentucky without Rachel.
After rumors that Robards was returning to claim her a second time,
Rachel decided she could no longer live with her first husband,
accused of unreasonable jealousy, and fled down the Mississippi
to Natchez, escaping having to return to Kentucky with him. When
Jackson learned of Rachel's plans to flee he expressed extreme sorrow
claiming he was "the most unhappy of men, in having innocently and
unintentionally been the cause of the loss of peace and happiness
of Mrs. Robards, whom he believed to be a fine woman." 
then announced his decision to accompany Rachel and the Starks family
on their Mississippi river voyage. In his biography on Jackson,
Remini comments that this is a strange move when he is accused of
being the third party of this marital triangle. And also says his
decision to accompany the Stark family is "either absolute folly
or absolute calculation. His actions confirmed Robards' suspicions
and gave Robards the evidence he needed to commence divorce proceedings."
While in Natchez, Rachel learned her first husband was pursuing
divorce from Andrew Jackson, who came from Nashville to deliver
the news. Thinking that Robards had divorced Rachel, Jackson asked
her hand in marriage. In 1791, they returned to Tennessee together
as husband and wife. >>>
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Hardships | Once Together | Unconquerable
1. Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson, Volume
One, The Course of American Empire, 1767-1821 (Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1998) p. 58.
Ibid., p. 59.