President Andrew Johnson

President Andrew Johnson

Easton Press Andrew Johnson books

Andrew Johnson Plebeian and Patriot - Robert W. Winston - 1987
Andrew Johnson a Biography - Hans L. Trefousse - 1996

President Andrew Johnson biography

Andrew Johnson, the seventeenth President of the United States, was born on December 29, 1808, in Raleigh, North Carolina. His presidency, which began in tumultuous circumstances after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, was marked by challenges and controversies. Johnson's early life was characterized by poverty, and he had limited formal education. However, he demonstrated resilience and self-motivation, working as an apprentice tailor and eventually entering the world of politics. Johnson's political career started at the local level, and he gradually climbed the ranks, serving as alderman, mayor of Greeneville, Tennessee, and member of the Tennessee state legislature.

With a deep-seated belief in the Union, Johnson, a Southern Democrat, stood out as a staunch Unionist during the secession crisis leading up to the Civil War. This stance led to his appointment as military governor of Tennessee by President Lincoln in 1862. His effectiveness in this role caught Lincoln's attention, and in 1864, Johnson was selected as Lincoln's running mate on the National Union Party ticket.

Following Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency. As president, Johnson faced the daunting task of overseeing the Reconstruction of the Southern states after the Civil War. His approach to Reconstruction, which focused on leniency towards the South, clashed with the more radical views of the Republican-dominated Congress. Johnson's presidency was marked by significant conflicts with Congress over the issue of Reconstruction. The disagreements culminated in his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1868. Johnson narrowly avoided removal from office, as the Senate fell just one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. Despite the controversies surrounding his presidency, Johnson continued to be active in politics after leaving office. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1875, becoming the only former president to serve in the Senate.

Andrew Johnson's tenure as president is often viewed with mixed assessments. While his lenient approach to Reconstruction was criticized for not doing enough to protect the rights of newly freed slaves, he is also credited with preventing more punitive measures that could have exacerbated post-war tensions. Andrew Johnson died on July 31, 1875, in Carter Station, Tennessee. Despite the controversies of his presidency, his life reflects the complexities and challenges of the post-Civil War era, as the United States grappled with the aftermath of the conflict and the path towards Reconstruction and reconciliation.

Plebeian and Patriot

Robert W. Winston's Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot delves into the life of one of America's most controversial figures, Andrew Johnson. This biography provides a comprehensive examination of Johnson's ascent from humble beginnings to the presidency of the United States during one of its most tumultuous periods. Born in 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Andrew Johnson's early life was marked by poverty and hardship. Winston paints a vivid picture of Johnson's upbringing, highlighting his experiences as an apprentice to a tailor and his eventual entry into politics as an alderman in Greeneville, Tennessee.

One of the central themes of Winston's biography is Johnson's unwavering commitment to the principles of democracy and his staunch defense of the Union. As a self-educated man, Johnson rose through the ranks of Tennessee politics, serving as a congressman, senator, and governor before being chosen as Abraham Lincoln's running mate in the 1864 presidential election. However, Johnson's tenure as president was marred by controversy, particularly his handling of Reconstruction following the Civil War. Winston provides a nuanced analysis of Johnson's approach to Reconstruction, exploring his clashes with Congress over issues such as civil rights for freed slaves and the readmission of Southern states to the Union.

Throughout the biography, Winston portrays Johnson as a complex figure, deeply committed to his vision of a reunited nation but often at odds with the prevailing political currents of his time. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources and historical research, Winston offers readers a compelling narrative of Johnson's life and legacy, shedding light on the man behind the presidency. In Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot, Robert W. Winston delivers a meticulously researched and thought-provoking account of one of America's most enigmatic leaders. By exploring Johnson's personal and political struggles, Winston provides valuable insights into the complexities of American history and the enduring challenges of reconciliation and unity.

Andrew Johnson a Biography by Hans L. Trefousse

Andrew Johnson: A Biography offers a captivating portrayal of one of America's most controversial and misunderstood presidents. This comprehensive biography delves into the life and political career of Andrew Johnson, shedding light on his rise from humble origins to the highest office in the land and the challenges he faced along the way. Central to Trefousse's narrative is Johnson's commitment to the preservation of the Union and his vision for a reconstructed nation following the Civil War. As a self-educated man of the people, Johnson forged a unique path in Tennessee politics, serving as a congressman, senator, and governor before assuming the vice presidency under Abraham Lincoln. However, Johnson's ascent to the presidency was met with unprecedented challenges, including the daunting task of overseeing Reconstruction in a divided and war-torn nation. Trefousse offers a nuanced examination of Johnson's presidency, exploring his contentious relationship with Congress, his efforts to implement his own Reconstruction policies, and his ultimately unsuccessful struggle to reconcile the competing interests of North and South.

Drawing on a wealth of primary sources and historical scholarship, Trefousse paints a rich portrait of Johnson as a complex and contradictory figure. He highlights Johnson's steadfast commitment to his principles, as well as his flaws and shortcomings as a leader. Through vivid storytelling and insightful analysis, Trefousse captures the essence of Johnson's character and the complexities of his presidency. In Andrew Johnson: A Biography, Hans L. Trefousse delivers a compelling account of one of America's most polarizing presidents. By illuminating the personal and political forces that shaped Johnson's life, Trefousse offers readers a deeper understanding of this enigmatic figure and his enduring impact on the course of American history.

Andrew Johnson quotes

"Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide."

"If you always support the correct principles, then you will never get the wrong results."

"I feel incompetent to perform duties... which have been so unexpectedly thrown upon me."

"The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people."

"I have lived among Negroes, all my life, and I am for this Government with all my heart, and the best blood of my family was spilled in the late war for the independence of the country. I am for the Government of the United States, but I am not for the Government of the Negroes."

"Slavery exists. It is black in the South, and white in the North."

"I am sworn to uphold the Constitution as Andy Johnson understands it and interprets it."

"I hold it the duty of the executive to insist upon frugality in the expenditure, and a sparing economy is itself a great national resource."

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