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Andrew Johnson
Birth: Dec. 29, 1808
Raleigh
Wake County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Jul. 31, 1875
Elizabethton
Carter County
Tennessee, USA

Governor of Tennessee, US Congressman and Senator, US Vice President and President. He served as the 17th US President from April 1865 until March 1869. A Democrat who became President Abraham Lincoln's running mate on the National Union ticket in 1864, he became the US President upon Lincoln's assassination by John Wilkes Booth. He has the distinction of being the first American president to be impeached, and was acquitted in the US Senate by one vote. Born into humble beginnings, his father died when he was three years old. His mother worked as a washerwoman to support the family. He received little formal education and at the age of ten, he was apprenticed to James Selby who ran a tailor shop. When he was fifteen, he ran away with his brother, who was also apprenticed to the same tailor, and went to Carthage, North Carolina and then on to Laurens, South Carolina where he worked as a tailor. Returning to Raleigh, North Carolina he attempted to buy out his apprenticeship but was unable to, and traveled to Mooresville, Alabama and then to Columbia, Tennessee, working as a tailor. He returned again to Raleigh and at his mother and stepfather's request but decided to go west, stopping at Greeneville, Tennessee where he settled and established a successful tailoring business. In 1827 he married Eliza McCardle, the 16-year-old daughter of a local shoemaker, and she taught him arithmetic, reading, and writing, as he never received the proper education to do these things. He became a voracious reader and books about famous orators aroused his interest in political dialogue, and he had private debates with customers with opposing views on issues of the day. He also took part in debates at Greeneville College. In January 1834 he became mayor of Greeneville. The following year he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives and joined the Tennessee Militia, attaining the rank of colonel with the 90th Regiment. After losing his seat in 1837, he ran as a Democrat for the same seat in 1839 and was elected. In 1841 he was elected to the Tennessee Senate, serving a two-year term. By this time he had sold his profitable tailoring business to concentrate solely on politics. In 1842 he was elected to the US House of Representatives and served for 5 terms, from 1843 until 1853. He was pro-slavery (he owned less than ten slaves), supported the Mexican-American War, and authored the Homestead Bill, which would grant 160 acres to people who were willing to go out West to the newly acquired territory gained from Mexico and settle the land, which failed to pass in the US Senate. In 1853 he was elected Governor of Tennessee and served for two terms until 1857, when he was elected to the US Senate. He rejuvenated his Homestead Bill but in 1859 it failed on a procedural vote when Vice President John Breckenridge broke a tie against the bill. In 1860 a watered-down version passed the US House and Senate, only to be vetoed by President James Buchanan at the urging of Southerners. His opposition to secession alienated Southerners, and he returned home when Tennessee took up the issue. Although hiss eastern region of Tennessee was against secession, in June 1861 Tennessee joined the Confederacy. Believing he would be killed if he stayed, he fled the state. He became the only member of the US Senate from a state that seceded to the Confederacy. In 1862 President Lincoln appointed him military governor of Tennessee with the rank of brigadier general after much of the seceded state had been recovered. With the eastern part of the state where his family lived still in Confederate hands, they were allowed to pass through the lines to join him in Nashville. In 1864 he emerged as a potential running mate in Lincoln's re-election bid. Running under the banner of the National Union Party, Lincoln was easily nominated at its convention and Johnson was voted as the vice-presidential candidate on the second ballot and they won the election. Six weeks after he was sworn in as Vice President, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington DC and he became President. He then presided over Lincoln's funeral ceremonies in Washington DC. As President, he implemented his own form of Presidential Reconstruction that consisted of a series of proclamations directing the seceded states to hold conventions and elections to re-form their civil governments. When Southern states returned many of their old leaders, and passed Black Codes to deprive former slaves of many civil liberties, Congress refused to seat legislators from those states and advanced legislation to overrule the Southern actions. He vetoed their bills, and Congress overrode him, setting a pattern for the remainder of his presidency. He opposed the 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship to African-Americans. As the conflict between the branches of government grew, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, restricting him in firing Cabinet officials. When he persisted in trying to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, he was impeached on February 24, 1868 by the US House of Representatives for intentionally violating the Tenure of Office Act. On March 5, 1868 his impeachment trial began in the US Senate and lasted almost three months, and they failed to get the two-thirds majority for impeachment by one vote. During his administration, the US purchased Alaska from Russia in March 1867 under an arrangement conducted by Secretary of State William H. Seward. In 1868 he sought the Democratic nomination for US President but lost decisively to former New York governor Horatio Seymour. One of his last official acts as President was on Christmas Day 1868 when he issued a final amnesty for the former Confederacy, including its President, Jefferson Davis. After leaving the presidency, he returned to his home in Greeneville, Tennessee and launched a bid for the US Senate, but was defeated in the Tennessee legislature. In 1872 he sought the Democratic nomination of a special election for an at-large congressional seat for Tennessee but when he saw that it would go to former Confederate General Benjamin F. Cheatham, he ran as an independent and was defeated. In March 1875 he was elected by the Tennessee legislature to the US Senate by a margin of one vote and to this day he remains the only former US President to have served in the Senate. The following July he decided to travel to Ohio to give speeches during their gubernatorial race and on July 29, he stopped at his daughter Mary's farm near Elizabethton, Tennessee. While there, he suffered a stroke, followed by another stroke the next day and he died at the age of 66. According to his wishes, he was buried with his body wrapped in an American flag and a copy of the US Constitution placed under his head. His burial ground was dedicated as the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in 1906, and with his home and tailor's shop, is part of the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site. A memorial in his honor is at the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh, consisting of a statue of him and Presidents Andrew Jackson and James Polk. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Jacob Johnson (1778 - 1812)
  Mary McDonough Johnson Daugherty (1782 - 1856)
 
 Spouse:
  Eliza McCardle Johnson (1810 - 1876)*
 
 Children:
  Martha Johnson Patterson (1828 - 1901)*
  Charles Johnson (1830 - 1863)*
  Mary Johnson Brown (1832 - 1883)*
  Robert Johnson (1834 - 1869)*
  Andrew Johnson (1852 - 1879)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Stroke
 
Burial:
Andrew Johnson National Cemetery
Greeneville
Greene County
Tennessee, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 548
Andrew Johnson
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Andrew Johnson
Added by: kimshockey (reb) (inactive)
 
Andrew Johnson
Added by: HP
 
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- bob tarte
 Added: Oct. 10, 2014
God bless you throughout Autumn, the beautiful, fiery season of the Harvest. Rest in Peace.
- Richard S. Barzelogna
 Added: Oct. 8, 2014
God bless you. Rest in Peace.
- Rick
 Added: Sep. 4, 2014
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Current ranking for this person: (4.5 after 228 votes)
 

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