(1808-1875)

President Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 29, 1808.

The presidency was forced upon Andrew Johnson with the assassination of President Lincoln.

The name was readily familiar as Johnson was the Vice-President for the previous three years. He understood the importance and the shoes he would have to attempt to fill, as the new president.

Not an enviable role, to follow Lincoln was political suicide at best. An old-fashioned good old Southern boy, that was the real definition of Andrew Johnson, and now that man was the President of the United States of America.

Honest and impeccably honorable, Johnson kept the oath of office in his head and heart, and would be severely tested from the first day in.

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1808, the young Andrew Johnson was raised in severe poverty. His early life was so difficult and full of strife that he found himself being a runaway teenager, away from the home he knew into the world, alone. He made it all the way from Raleigh to Greeneville, Tennessee.

He found work as a tailor and soon found his political “voice” at town centers and meeting halls and within three years he was on the platform pitching his political affiliations.

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)

To champion the common man, that was what the young Andrew Johnson set out to do after entering politics in 1830. What the North Carolina native set out to do was to eradicate the old way of the Southern Aristocratic manner. This was to be easier said than done. The South had deep roots that were like trying to pull up an oak tree, impossible. One of the most interesting acts that he did as Senator of Tennessee was to make it a law that any poor farmer who demonstrated a need and had the desire to operate a farm would be given the chance. He gave every poor farmer, a farm. Championing the poor in a big, big way.

After the assassination of Lincoln, President Johnson set out to complete what Honest Abe initiated, Reconstruction. This was to be one of the hardest acts he could ever have imagined. The President worked hard and kept long hours drafting the mountains of laws and other documents with the hope of putting the South back together again. As the cold winter of 1865 rolled in, President Johnson continued his work reconciling the North with the South.

Johnson had a falling out with his political party because they believed he was being much to soft on the former Confederacy. This led to his impeachment in 1867. The vote to remove him from office failed. A second attempt was made in 1868 but this also failed by one vote.

President Johnson was not the greatest president the United States ever had, in fact he was probably one of the worst but he was modestly effective. Once again, the unenviable task of replacing a president with the stature of Lincoln would send anyone into hiding. The President did rather well in a time when not many would have done as good as he did. The President retired from office and passed away in 1875.