Robert Jemison Jr was born September 17th 1802 in Lincoln County, Georgia. He owned several business including toll roads and bridges, a stagecoach line, grist and sawmill, and a hotel. He also owned six plantations in Alabama totaling about 10,000 acres of land and about 500 slaves. He lived on the largest known as Cherokee Place plantation in Northport, Alabama. His main occupation was in bridge building.
Jemison was against Alabama succeeding. He attended the Secession Convention in Montgomery, Alabama in January 1861, where he argued against taking that action. Once the state joined the Confederacy however Jemison supported them finically. He served in the Confederate Senate beginning December 28th 1863 through till the end of the Civil War.
Jemison died October 16th 1871 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at the family home the Jemison Van de Graaff Mansion. He is buried in the Jemison Family Cemetery in Northport, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.