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Donelson, Andrew Jackson (25 August 1799–26 June 1871), presidential aide, diplomat, and politician, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Samuel Donelson, who kept a store in partnership with his brother-in-law Andrew Jackson, and Mary Smith. In 1805 Jackson became his namesake’s guardian, Donelson’s father having died and his mother having remarried. Raised at the “Hermitage,” Donelson studied at Cumberland College in Nashville and later at the U.S. Military Academy. In 1820, after only three years, he graduated from West Point, second in his class. He subsequently served Jackson, by then territorial governor of Florida, as aide-de-camp. Donelson left the army in 1822 to study law at Transylvania University in Kentucky. Admitted to the bar the following year, he established a practice in Nashville. In 1824 he married a cousin, Emily Tennessee Donelson, whose dowry included both land and slaves. Establishing their home adjacent to the Hermitage, the couple eventually had four children....

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Flynn, Edward Joseph (22 September 1891–18 August 1953), political leader and adviser, was born in New York City, the son of Henry T. Flynn and Sara Mellon. His Roman Catholic parents had immigrated from Ireland after his father graduated from Trinity College, Dublin; the family settled in the Bronx and was relatively well off, providing Flynn with a more comfortable and secure environment than was the case in most immigrant families of the time. Flynn graduated from Fordham University Law School in 1912 and began the practice of law. In 1924 he went into partnership with Monroe Goldwater, with whom he developed a profitable legal practice that continued for the rest of his life. In 1927 he married Helen Margaret Jones; the happy and successful marriage, centered in their Bronx home, produced three children....