17th President of the United States. Born near Raleigh, North Carolina to Mary 'Polly' McDonough, a laundress and seamstress, and Jacob Johnson a hotel porter. His father died when he was about three years old. As a boy, he was apprenticed to a tailor. In 1826, he moved to Greenville Tennessee, and went into business as a tailor. In 1829, he was elected alderman for Greeneville. He was elected mayor of Greeneville in 1834, and the following year he was sent to the Tennessee state legislature. In 1843, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he advocated what would become the Homestead Act. In 1853, he left the House of Representatives to become governor of Tennessee, but left the governorship in 1857 to take a seat in the U.S. Senate where he advocated the preservation of the Union. In June 1861, Tennessee voters approved secession from the Union, Johnson had been traveling across his state speaking out against secession, and was the only senator from the South to remain loyal to the Union after his state seceded. He gave up his seat in the Senate in 1862 when President Lincoln appointed him Tennessee’s military governor. In 1864, the president chose him as his running mate over the incumbent vice president, as a Southerner and a Democrat. They were sworn into office on 4 March 1865. When the president was assassinated some five weeks later, Johnson was sworn in as president. Despite an initial appearance of vindictiveness, he soon dropped punitive actions against Confederates in his Reconstruction policy, and leaned far more toward conciliation. In May 1865, he recognized a Reconstruction government in Virginia and issued a proclamation of amnesty which restored full citizenship to many former Confederates if they would swear allegiance to the Union. Congress, however, found the president far too conciliatory, and moved to refuse a seat to any Senator or Representative from the pre-war South. In April 1866, a Civil Rights Act, which was designed to nullify the Black Codes imposed in the former Confederacy by guaranteeing equal civil rights to blacks, was passed over Johnson’s veto. In February 1868, the president notified Congress that he had removed Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War, the fallout for which were impeachment proceedings against the president. During May 1868, there were three votes in the Senate, on all three occasions, thirty-five Senators voted guilty and nineteen voted not guilty, and as the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority for conviction in impeachment trials, he was acquitted. He issued a general clemency for all former Confederates that same year. By the end of his term in office, the Republicans had nominated U. S. Grant as their presidential candidate and the Democrats nominated Horatio Seymour as their candidate, and Johnson was out of the running. He ran instead an unsuccessful bid for election to the Senate, and was again unsuccessful in an 1872 run for the House of Representatives. In 1874, however, he was elected to the Senate and served from 4 March 1875 until his death in July that same year. He is the only President to have served in the Senate following his presidency.
Bio by: Iola
Eliza McCardle Johnson
1810–1876 (m. 1827)
Seventeenth President of the United States.
Born Dec. 29, 1808,
Died July 31, 1875.
His faith in the people never wavered.