Andrew Johnson Facts - 17th President of USA

Seventeenth President of the United States of America Andrew Johnson facts. He was born on December 29, 1808, and died on July 31, 1875. He was the 17th President of the United States. After President Lincoln was assassinated, he became the President during the aftermath of the American Civil War.

Andrew Johnson Facts

Andrew Johnson Biography

Andrew Johnson Facts - While the Southern states seceded, Andrew Johnson was a U.S. Senator from Greenville of East Tennessee. He was a Unionist; therefore he was the only southern senator who did not quit his position when the South seceded. He was the most well known of War Democrats from the South, and he supported the military policies of President Lincoln while the Civil War was going on from 1861-1865. Lincoln appointed Andrew Johnson to the position of military governor of Tennessee, and he was very energetic and effective fighting the rebellion as well as the starting transition of Reconstruction.

In 1964, Andrew Johnson was nominated as Vice President for the National Union Party. In November of 1964, Lincoln and Johnson were elected. When Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865, Andrew Johnson became the Vice President. As President, Andrew Johnson had control of Presidential Reconstruction. This continued until the Radical Republicans had control of Congress in the elections of 1866. He had conciliatory policies to the South, and he was also in a hurry to reincorporate the Confederate states into the federal union. Because he vetoed civil rights bills, he was in a big dispute between some Republicans. He was impeached in 1868 by the Radicals in the House of Representatives. He was charged with having violated the Tenure of Office Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1867 over his veto.

Johnson represented both the National Union Party and the Democrats. While president, he did not really identify with either of the two parties. However, he did attempt to gain the Democratic nomination in 1868. Johnson was considered an independent while president. He was the first United States President to become President after the assassination of the former President and the first to be impeached. Historians usually rank him as one of the worst U.S. Presidents.

Early Life

Andrew Johnson was born on December 29, 1808, in Raleigh, North Carolina. His mother was Mary McDonough and his father was Jacob Johnson. When Andrew was about three years old, his father died, and his family became very poor. His mother began spinning and weaving to help support the family, and later she remarried. When Andrew was between ten and fourteen years old, she bound him to an apprentice tailor. He worked as a tailor in Laurens, South Carolina, and had no formal education. He did know how to read and write by teaching himself. When Andrew was about 16 or 17 years old, he left his apprenticeship and ran away, moving to his brother in Greeneville, Tennessee. There he began working as a tailor. When he was 18 years old, he married Eliza McCardle. They had five children togethImage Andrew Johnson: Martha, Charles, Mary, Robert, and Andrew Jr. His wife taught him arithmetic, basic algebra, and tutored him to help him improve his reading and writing skills.

Political Career

Andrew Johnson began participating in local debates at the academy at Greeneville, Tennessee. He later helped to organize a worker's party and he was elected the alderman in 1829. He continued with this position until he was elected as mayor in 1833. In 1835, Johnson was elected to the House of Representatives in Tennessee, but he only served one term and was not re-elected.

Johnson became interested in Andrew Jackson's Democratic Party. He began speaking out for the yeomen farmers and the mountaineers against the wealthy planter elite families that garnished the political control in the state and country. In 1839, he was again elected to the Tennessee House, and in 1841, he was elected to the Tennessee Senate. During his time in the House and Senate, he pushed for a free farm for the poor bill, so that farms could be given to farmers without land. Andrew Johnson continued as a U.S. Representative for five terms in total until 1853 when he was elected to the governorship of Tennessee.

Andrew Johnson served as governor from 1853 until 1857. He then was elected as a Democrat to the Senate of the United States, and he served from October 8, 1857, until March 4, 1862. While serving as U.S. Senator, he pushed for the Homestead Act, which eventually passed in 1862. Once the Civil War started, the Southerners resigned from the U.S. Congress. Johnson started to take the middle road over the slavery issue. He did oppose the antislavery Republican Party due to his belief that the Constitution gave the right to own slaves. However, he also approved the Lecompton Constitution which was proposed by the proslavery settlers of Kansas. He also made it clear that he was more devoted to the Union than in the right of citizens to hold slaves.

Because he was in favor of keeping the Union together and the right to own slaves, he made a logical candidate of compromise for the Presidency. Yet he was not nominated due to a split that occurred in the delegation in Tennessee. The Tennessee delegation nominated him for President at the Democratic National Convention, but when the party and the convention broke up, he withdrew from the race for President. He then supported John C. Breckinridge from Kentucky.

Johnson was appointed to the military governor of occupied Tennessee by Lincoln in March of 1862. While he was in office, he worked to get rid of all Confederate influences in the state. Because he was committed to the Union, Lincoln favored him as Vice President. He was elected Vice President of the United States and was inaugurated on March 4, 1865. Johnson gave a rambling speech at his inauguration, and many thought he was drunk. He may have been, as he had been drinking, according to him, to offset the pain he was feeling from typhoid fever. His speech included talk of hanging traitors such as Jefferson Davis.

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed by John Wilkes Booth. Booth had plans to kill Lincoln, Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and William H. Seward that same evening. Grant survived because he did not attend the theater with Lincoln, and Seward just barely survived his wounds. Johnson escaped attack because his planned assassin, George Atzerodt did not go through with Booth's plan.

Andrew Johnson Presidency 

Andrew Johnson was sworn in as the President of the United States on April 15, 1865. He was the first vice president to become president because of the death of a president and the third president to become president after a sitting president died. There were demands for harsh policies from Johnson because of the death of Lincoln and the tremendous number of human casualties due to the war. Rather than continuing his hard line of punishment and hangings for Rebel traitors, Andrew Johnson Sits instead took a softer line after becoming president, and gave amnesty to many. It was also clear that Andrew Johnson had much resentment against the wealthy class.

Johnson did little to support the civil rights of freedmen. His appointed government officials passed and upheld Black Codes which gave freedmen second class status. Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights bill, objecting to the message that it gave citizenship to freedmen. He believed that this was a country for white men and he intended to keep it a government of white men. The Democratic Party said it was the party of white men of the North and South. The Republicans overrode the veto of Johnson and the Civil Rights measure became law. The Civil Rights Act, also promoted by Trumbull, would give citizenship to all people born in the United States (with the exception of Native Americans on reservations). It also would penalize any states that did not give the right to vote to freedmen. It also created new federal civil rights that would be able to be protected through the federal courts. It would void all Confederate war debts and guaranteed the federal war debt. Johnson tried to block the ratification of the amendment. An all-out war of politics ensued between the Republicans and on the other side the Democrats in the North and conservative groups in the South and Johnson. In the election of 1866, Southern states were not allowed to vote.

During his presidency, two attempts were made to impeach President Johnson from the office. In the fall of 1867, the first attempt was made, when the House Judiciary Committee produced a bill of impeachment that had a number of complaints against Johnson. The vote to impeach him failed. The second attempt occurred when Johnson told Congress that he had removed Edwin Stanton as the Secretary of War and was replacing him. This violated the Tenure of Office Act. The Senate and the House began debating. There were three different votes. The first was on May 16 for the 11th article of impeachment, and the second and third were on May 26, and all three of these votes ended with 35 senators voting guilty, and 19 votings not guilty, so this did not meet the requirement View Of Andrew Johnson of a 2/3 majority for impeachment by just one vote. One of Johnson's final acts as President was giving unconditional amnesty to all Confederates on Christmas Day in 1868.

Andrew Johnson Later Life 

Johnson attempted election to the United States Senate from Tennessee in 1868 and to the House of Representatives in 1872, but he did not get elected. Yet in 1874, the Tennessee legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate. He served there from March 4, 1875, until he died from a stroke close to Elizabethtown, Tennessee on July 31 of 1875. He is the only former president to serve as a senator. He was buried in the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery located in Greeneville, Tennessee. His body was wrapped in an American flag and under his head was placed a U.S. Constitution as he wished. At this time, the cemetery is a part of the National Historic Site of Andrew Johnson.

Read Andrew Johnson Facts

The Veto President

December 29, 1808, in Raleigh, North Carolina

Mary (Polly) Mcdonough

Jacob Johnson



Eliza McCardle May 17, 1827, in Warrensburg, Tenn.

Marth, Charles, Mary, Robert, and Andrew

Greenville, Tenn.

Self Educated

No Denomination


Served as military governor of Tennesse in the Civil War


Greeneville, Tennessee Alderman (1828-1830)
Greeneville Mayor (1830-1833)
Tennessee House of Representatives(1835-1837)
and (1839-1841)
Tennessee state senator (1841-1843)
US Representative (1843-1853)
Governor of Tennessee (1853-1857)
US Senator (1857-1862)
The military governor of Tennessee (1862-1864)
Vice President (March-April 1865)
US President one term
(Assumed the Presidency upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln)


April 15, 1865, in Kirkwood House, Washington D.C. at the age of 56. He did not give an inaugural address

Andrew Johnson Administration

Assumed the Presidency upon President Lincoln's assassination
One term (April 15, 1865-March 4, 1869)
The first president to be IMPEACHED


Eliza Johnson (1865-1869)
Facts About Eliza Johnson
Biography of Eliza Johnson


Nebraska (1867)

14th Amendment

Andrew Johnson Cabinet

William H. Seward, Continued post from Lincololn's cabinet (1865-1869)

Hugh McCullough, Continued post from Lincololn's cabinet (1865-1868)

Edwin M. Stanton continued post from Lincololn's cabinet (1865-1868)
John M. Sheffield (1868-1869)

James Speed continued post from Lincololn's cabinet (1865-1866)
Henry Stanberry (1866-1868)
William M. Evarts (1868-1869)

William Dennison continued post from Lincololn's cabinet (1865-1866)
Alexander W. Randall (1866-1869)

Gideon Welles, continued post from Lincololn's cabinet (1865-1869

John P. Usher continued post from Lincololn's cabinet (1865)
James Harlan (1865-1866)
Orville H. Browning (1866-1869)


Senator of the state of Tennessee

July 31, 1875, in Carter's Station, Tenn. at the age of 66

Andrew Johnson National Cemetery, Greeneville, Tenn.

Mordecai Historic Park, Raleigh, N.C. (relocated birthplace)
Johnson National Historic Site, Greenville, Tenn.
(Includes two residences and grave)

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