National Society of Colonial Dames of
America in Tennessee
















Metro Davidson County Collection - Nashville Public Library


Portrait #880
Subject/Title:
Shelby, John (1786-1859)
Artist:Unknown
Date Created:ca. 1840
Owner/Location:Special Collections Division
Nashville Public Library
615 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37219
Frame Dimensions:38 x 33
Image Dimensions:
Materials/Media:Oil on canvas
Date Documented:6 August 2007
Condition:Excellent

Description:John Shelby in his middle age, with dark hair and wearing a dark jacket and white shirt.
History of Work:Presented to the library in memory of Shelby's great granddaughter Anna Williams Fassman by her daughter Shelby S. Cox. The portrait was restored at Cumberland Art Conservation Center in 2002.
Notes:Born in 1786, John Shelby was a physician, a Postmaster, and a civic and church leader. He is said to have been the first child of European descent born in Sumner County. Shelby married Anna Maria Minnick of Philadelphia in 1809. He served as Hospital Surgeon under Andrew Jackson in Col. Edward Bradley's regiment during the Creek War. He was wounded and lost an eye as a result. After the war he returned to practice medicine in Sumner County and served as state Senator for Sumner County from 1815 to 1817. Shelby moved from Sumner County to Nashville in 1817 and set up a medical partnership with his neighbor, Dr. Boyd McNairy. He served as Postmaster of Nashville from 1849 to 1853. Shelby played a role in the establishment of the short-lived Shelby Medical School in 1858. He died in May 1859 and was interred at Nashville City Cemetery.

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