ANDREW JOHNSON
17th U.S. President 1865-1869
LIFETIME: 1808-1875, of Scotch-Irish and English ancestry
Andrew Johnson

PRIMARY HOME: Greeneville TN - a three-story brick home, Federal style with some Greek Revival features, sitting directly on the street in northern Irish tradition
PHOTO CREDIT: 2004 Calendar of Presidential Homes, photography by Garren Zuck

BIRTHPLACE: Raleigh NC - a tiny wood frame kitchen house located behind an inn
PHOTO CREDIT: Homes and Libraries of the Presidents by William G. Clotworthy


Born to poor and illiterate parents, Andrew Johnson was indentured to a tailor to learn a trade. At age 18, Johnson moved to Tennessee, opened his own tailor shop, and soon could afford both a house and a spouse.

His wife Eliza taught him to read and write, and tutored him in many subjects while he worked. Within a few years he was first elected mayor of Greeneville, Tennessee, then moved into the statehouse as Governor, was elected to the U.S. Congress, and on to the office of Vice-President of the United States.

After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Johnson's presidential years were marred by impeachment proceedings related to his Reconstruction policies after the Civil War. He was cleared by a single vote. After his death in 1869, Johnson's wishes were fulfilled when his body was wrapped in the American flag with his head resting on a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

 

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