The New Student's Reference Work/Johnson, Andrew

John′son, Andrew, the seventeenth president, was born at Raleigh, N. C., Dec. 29, 1808.  When Andrew was four, his father was drowned.  He left his family no property, so that Andrew very early was apprenticed to a tailor, whom he served for seven years, without any previous schooling.  In 1825, with his mother, he emigrated to Tennessee, where he settled at Greenville.  Here he worked at his trade about a year and then married.  His wife was better educated than Johnson, and became his teacher in writing and arithmetic.  At this time he could read, but his knowledge went no farther.  Johnson naturally was a political leader.  In 1830, when the town became a city, he was elected mayor, an office he held for three years.  In 1835 he was chosen member of the legislature, and in 1841 member of the senate.  In 1843 he was elected to congress, where for ten years he worked for the Democratic party.  He was twice chosen governor of Tennessee, and in 1857 was made United States senator.  Here he opposed all disunion schemes, and during the Civil War was the leader of the southern union men.  In 1862 he was appointed war governor of Tennessee.  In this position he gave such satisfaction that the Republican party nominated him for vice-president, and he was elected with Lincoln in 1864.  On April 14, 1865, by the assassination of President Lincoln, Johnson became president.  His administration is memorable because of the contest between him and Congress, though both were elected by the Republican party.  Johnson’s policy toward the south was held to be too lenient by Congress, which passed what are known as the reconstruction measures over his veto.  There was a great deal of ill-feeling; the president was accused of being disloyal; and his removal of Secretary Stanton from the department of war brought on the crisis.  Charged with violation of the tenure-of-office act, the president was impeached, but was acquitted.  Mr. Johnson was chosen a United States senator in 1875, but died in Tennessee on July 31.  See his Life by Savage.

Andrew Johnson