1865 - 1869
Andrew was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 29, 1808.
He was born in a log cabin.
He was one of two or three Presidents born in North Carolina. (Historians aren't sure if Andrew Jackson was born in North or South Carolina.)
Andrew had an older brother who was born in 1804. He also had a sister who died in childhood. His family was very poor and was from the lowest social class for whites. People in the are referred to the poor people as "Mudsills." A mudsill was a door sill layed on the ground and the lowest sill of the building.
His father saved a man that was drowning. Later that day his father died of a heart attack. Andrew was three years old at that time.
At the age of 10 he was apprenticed to Selby's Tailor Shop. He was bond to this job until he was 21. He left early but could not be a tailor in that state.
He never attended school. He taught himself to read after costumer at the tailor shop taught him the letters of the alphabet. He never went to school. He became an avid reader.
He fell in love with a young girl named Mary Woods. He made her a quilt and later asked her to marry him. She turned him down. Most likely because he was so poor.
In 1826, he and his moved to Greenville, Tennessee. It was an unique town in the south because only 1070 of the 14,140 African-Americans in the town were slaves.
Andrew Johnson was 5' 8" tall and weighed 175 pounds when he was 18.
Andrew opened a tailor shop which was very successful. He charged $3.50 for a coat and a complete suit was $10.00.
Andrew Johnson married Eliza McCardle when he was 18 years and 127 days old. He was the youngest of all President to marry. His wife was 16 years and 213 days old when they were married.
The Justice of the Peace, Mordcai Lincoln, at their wedding was a second cousin of Abraham Lincoln.
In 1829, he was elected as an Alderman in Greenville and in 1830 his fellow Aldermen selected him as Mayor of Greenville. He was only 22 at that time.
Andrew Johnson own six African-American slaves. During the Civil War he freed his slaves and offered them employment as servants in his house.
In 1835, he ran for State Legislator of Tennessee. He won in a landslide. He had 1,413 votes to his opponents 80 votes.
In 1841, he won a close election for the state Senate.
Andrew Johnson became a US Congressman when he was 34 (1843).
He joined the Tennessee Militia and was made a Colonel.
Johnson served in the Civil War.
On October 17, 1853, Andrew Johnson was sworn in as governor of Tennessee. To show he was a common man he walked the streets of Nashville, rather than ride in a fancy carriage.
Perhaps the oddest sharing of gifts between governors involved Johnson. The Governor of Kentucky made fireplace irons. He was a former blacksmith. Gave the irons to Johnson. In return, Governor Johnson made a hand-sewn suit and gave it to the Governor of Kentucky.
In 1857, Andrew Johnson was sworn in as a US Senator. He stated he had "reached the summit of my ambition."
In 1860 Johnson was the only Southern lawmaker to warmly greet president elect Lincoln.
In 1861, when Lincoln took office Johnson who was against succession realized it was too dangerous to stay in Tennessee. He left his family behind and went to Washington.
Andrew Johnson was the only Southern Senator to remain loyal to the Union. He was loved by the North and hated by the South.
In 1862, Tennessee came into the hands of the Union Army. Lincoln then appointed Johnson as Military Governor of Tennessee.
There wasn't a war during his term as President.
The first Easter Egg Role on the White House Lawn was hosted by President Andrew Johnson.
He enjoyed eating fish and jam. (However, not together.)
Some reports indicate that Johnson was drunk at his inauguration.
President Johnson didn't belong to any religion. The only other President to not practice a set religion was Abraham Lincoln who was President when Johnson was Vice President.
Even though he was a Democrat, he was Vice President to Lincoln who was a Republican.
Andrew Johnson was the first President to have a Queen visit during his term. Queen Emma of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) visited during his term. The famous British author Charles Dickens also visit Johnson and his wife in the White House.
Some sources state that Johnson was drunk when he spoke at President Lincoln's inauguration. He was taking alcohol for his fever.
He became President when Lincoln was assassinated. President Johnson didn't have a Vice President. He was the first Vice President to replace an assassinated president.
He became president in April but didn't move into the White House until Mary Todd Lincoln moved out in June.
He took two Jersey cows with him to the White House. He also kept white mice.
People said that Johnson was a good checker player. He also enjoyed watching armature baseball games.
He is one of five Presidents who never ran for the office of President. He was the third President that never had a Vice President.
John Booth planned on assassinating the President, Vice President and the Secretary of State on April 14th. George Atzerodt was assigned to kill Andrew Johnson. Atzereodt had second thoughts and lost his nerve. He left Johnson's hotel without trying to assasinate Johnson.
Johnson was one of four Vice Presidents to take office after an assassination.
Republican Senator Benjamin Wade voted not to convict Johnson though he would have become president if Johnson had been found guilty--Johnson was acquitted by only 1 vote.
President Johnson approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia. Secretary of State, William Seward did most of the negotiations. (It was called Seward's folly because people thought it was a waste of money. $7.2 million wasn't a bad price.)
Check for the purchase of Alaska. (The National Archives)
President Johnson had difficulty with the Congress and Republicans. Republicans wanted to punish the South for leaving the Union and wanted to give African-Americans the right to vote. Johnson pardoned people from the south and said voting should be handled by the states.
President Johnson posted a $100,000.00 reward for the capture of Jefferson Davis. It was the largest bounty in American history at that time. (More was offered for Osama Bin Laden.)
Andrew Johnson was the first president to be impeached(Charged with misconduct). He was acquitted by a vote of 35 to 18 by the U. S. Senate. President Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only Presidents to ever be impeached. He only miss being removed from office by one vote.
The Senate approved a bill for Nebraska and Colorado to become states. President Johnson vetoed the bill.The congress overrode his veto for Nebraska but not Colorado. Nebraska became a state while he was president. It was the only time in history that statehood was granted over ridding a veto by a president.
Senator Charles Sumner visited with President Johnson he placed his hat on the floor. When he went to retrieve his hat as he was leaving he discovered that Johnson had used his hat a a spittoon.
(Sumner was the Senator that was severely beaten with a cain while on the floor of the Senate.
Mary Todd Lincoln had a strong dislike for President Johnson. When he visited Lincoln's grave site in Lincoln, she said he "desecrated" her husband's burial site.
In one of his last acts as president, Johnson granted amnesty to all the Confederacy leaders.
Johnson was the only president to become a U.S. Senator after he was president.
Andrew Johnson died in Carter County, Tenn. on July 31, 1875. He was 66 years and 214 days old.
President Johnson was buried wrapped in a U.S. flag and with his well-worn copy of the Constitution under his head.
When Jefferson Davis was accused of being part of the plot to assassinate Lincoln he stated ask President Johnson "He (Johnson), at least knew that I preferred Lincoln to himself."
"When I die, I desire no better winding sheet that the Stars and Stripes and no softer pillow that the constitution of my country." He got his wish.