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 Eliza <I>McCardle</I> Johnson

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Eliza McCardle Johnson

  • Birth 4 Oct 1810 Telford, Washington County, Tennessee, USA
  • Death 15 Jan 1876 Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
  • Burial Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
  • Memorial ID 19667

Presidential First Lady. She was the wife of Andrew Johnson, who served as the 17th US President from April 1865 until March 1869, following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. She holds the distinction of marrying at a younger age that any other First Lady. Born into humble beginnings as an only child in Telford, Tennessee, her father was a shoemaker who died when she was in her teens and moved with her mother to Greenville, Tennessee. She received her primary education at local schools. At age 15 she met Andrew Johnson and married him on May 17, 1827. Her husband worked as a tailor and she helped to educate him, as he had never attended school and could barely read or write. Supportive of her husband's political career, she avoided making public appearances when she could. During the American Civil War, Confederate General Kirby Smith ordered her to evacuate her home in Greeneville and she took refuge in Nashville, Tennessee. When her son Charles was killed in April 1863 after being thrown from a horse and fracturing his skull, she never emotionally recovered. A few months after her husband became the US President, she joined him in the White House, but she was not able to serve as First Lady due to her poor health. She remained confined to a room on the second floor, leaving the White House hosting duties to her daughter, Martha Johnson Patterson. She only appeared publicly as First Lady on two occasions, first at a reception for Queen Emma of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1866 and at the President's birthday party in 1867. She died at the age of 65 in Greenville, Tennessee from complications due to tuberculosis.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 20 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19667
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Eliza McCardle Johnson (4 Oct 1810–15 Jan 1876), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19667, citing Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .