Monday, April 11, 2011

Cookeville Museum Gets Historic Letters

The Cookeville History Museum has received copies of letters of Mrs. Rutledge (Graeme McGregor) Smith about a portrait of President Andrew Jackson's wife that was presented to the White House. In 1940, Smith, a native of Putnam County, realized that no portrait of Rachel Donelson Jackson hung in the White House, as did portraits of all other presidents' wives at that time. Smith spearheaded a campaign to have such a portrait made. According to the Cookeville Herald-Citizen, the process was done and presented to the White House in 1943 and is among its collection of U.S. presidents' wives today. Included among the letters are ones from U.S. Sen. Kenneth McKellar, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Edwin Watson, who was secretary to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.