17th U.S. President: Andrew Johnson

About the seventeenth President of the United States Andrew Johnson, his birth, death, his impeachment, biography, description, facts and quotes.

17th President ANDREW JOHNSON

Born: December 29, 1808, Raleigh, N.C.

Died: July 31, 1875, Carter's Station, Tenn., not far from his longtime home in Greeneville.

Career: Apprenticed to a tailor at age 12, ran away, worked at transient jobs, opened a tailor shop in Greenville, active in local debating society, elected alderman, mayor, and to the Tennessee State legislature. U.S. congressman at 35, governor of Tennessee, U.S. senator. Only Southern senator to remain loyal to the Union during the Civil War; served as military governor after Union troops took over his State. Six years after he left the White House, Tennessee sent him back to Washington as a U.S. senator.

Personal Life: Married at 18; his wife taught him to read and write. (Johnson had never spent a day in school.) Of his 5 children, 2 sons were alcoholics. Deep religious convictions held his marriage together during difficult times.

His Person: Stocky, 5' 10" tall, powerful build, unruly hair, heavy brows, grim mouth. His short temper was legendary.

Election: In 1864, the Republicans placed Johnson on the ticket as Lincoln's running mate in order to appeal to the broadest possible range of opinion--Johnson was a Democrat, and a pro-Union Southerner. After Lincoln's assassination, Republican leaders were startled to find this "stranger in their midst" President of the U.S.

Term of Office: April 15, 1865-March 4, 1869 (3 years, 324 days). Johnson's single-minded opposition to Negro rights and congressional efforts at Reconstruction led the House of Representatives to vote a Resolution of Impeachment, by the lopsided margin of 126 to 47. In the Senate trial that followed, Johnson avoided removal from office by only one vote, with a majority of the senators (35 of 54) actually voting for conviction.

Little-Known Facts: Johnson was always proud of his skill as a tailor. During most of his life he made his own clothes, and while governor of Tennessee he complimented the governor of Kentucky by making a suit for him.

Quotes from Johnson:

"Of all the dangers which our nation has yet encountered, none are equal to those which must result from success of the current effort to Africanize the southern half of the country."--Commenting on proposals to grant blacks the right to vote

"Let them impeach and be damned!"

Quote about Him:

"He is surrounded, hampered, tangled in the meshes of his own wickedness. Unfortunate, unhappy man, behold your doom!"--Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, during Impeachment proceedings

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