1865 - 1869
"President Andrew Johnson" our seventeenth President was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of an inn porter and church sexton. President Johnson did not go to school as a child and was apprenticed to a tailor. President Johnson's family moved to Greenville, Tennessee where later he opened his own tailor shop.
President Johnson had taught himself to read, and when he married "Eliza McCardle" she helped him with his education. President Andrew Johnson and Eliza McCardle Johnson had five children.
President Johnson was elected "Alderman", "Mayor", "State Representative", and "State Senator", was a member of "Congress" for ten years, then became "Governor of Tennessee." In 1857 President Johnson was elected to the Senate. While there President Johnson voted as a "Southern Democrat", but with the coming of the "Civil War", President Johnson went against his political party and opposed secession from the Union.
President Johnson was the only "Southern Senator" who refused to join the "Confederacy". This action was cheered in the North, and President Johnson became an important political figure. In 1862, "President Abraham Lincoln" appointed President Andrew Johnson military "Governor of Tennessee."
President Johnson ran as "President Abraham Lincoln's Vice President" in 1864, was elected and became President when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. In reconstructing the South, President Johnson wanted to follow the moderate, forgiving program President Abraham Lincoln had described, but the radical "Republican Party" in Congress had other ideas.
In May, President Andrew Johnson announced amnesty, which would restore "civil liberties" and the vote, to all "Confederate soldiers" and their families except a few of the leaders if the states would repeal their secession laws and ratify the "Thirteenth Amendment", which prohibited slavery.
The radical Republican Party wanted to give all former slaves the vote, on the theory that they would vote Republican, and to keep the vote from "Confederate citizens".
Congress restored harsh military rule over the South and President Johnson was helpless to prevent it, since both the "House of Representatives" and the "Senate" had enough strength to override "President Johnson's veto" of any law he objected to.
President Johnson vetoed one law after another that was designed to punish the South, but each one was passed away. In 1867, Congress passed a law that said the President (President Andrew Johnson in this case), could not dismiss anyone he had appointed with the consent of Congress.
President Johnson, believing this law was "unconstitutional", tested it by dismissing his "Secretary of War", who had been collaborating with the Republican Party. The House of Representatives "impeached President Andrew Johnson" for this and other reasons.
The Senate trial lasted three months, with all sorts of false charges being brought up. Finally a vote was taken on three of the eleven charges and President Andrew Johnson was acquitted by one vote. The other charges were then dropped.
An embittered President Johnson left Washington, D.C. in 1869, but he was returned to the Senate in 1875. President Andrew Johnson died five months after taking his seat.
Photography "NOT" by: