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Andrew Johnson Collection


Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, N.C. in 1808 to Mary (Polly) McDonough and Jacob Johnson (d. 1811). Johnson moved to Greeneville, Tennessee as a young man. He served as a pre-Civil War Tennessee State Representative, U.S. Representative, Governor of Tennessee, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States, and U.S. Senator until his death in 1875.Includes three documents from Johnson's Tennessee governorship, 1854; two original letters, one from Gov. Jonathon Worth (Jan. 1866) expressing state's gratitude for restoration of civil government and support for President Johnson's policies; and one to Nashville, Tenn. judge and fellow Unionist, John C. Gant (June 1872). ... (more below)

Title

Andrew Johnson Collection

Collection Number

PC.151

Date(s)

1854-1948

Language

English

Physical Description
1.0 boxes
Abstract

Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, N.C. in 1808 to Mary (Polly) McDonough and Jacob Johnson (d. 1811). Johnson moved to Greeneville, Tennessee as a young man. He served as a pre-Civil War Tennessee State Representative, U.S. Representative, Governor of Tennessee, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States, and U.S. Senator until his death in 1875.

Includes three documents from Johnson's Tennessee governorship, 1854; two original letters, one from Gov. Jonathon Worth (Jan. 1866) expressing state's gratitude for restoration of civil government and support for President Johnson's policies; and one to Nashville, Tenn. judge and fellow Unionist, John C. Gant (June 1872). There are typed extracts from memoirs of Dr. A. Jobe that concern a visit by Johnson to Raleigh and Chapel Hill (1867) and the erection of a monument in a Raleigh cemetery to his father, Jacob. Also in the collection are photographs of buildings and monuments relating to Johnson and miscellaneous printed material. There is genealogical information and copies of material, including a marriage bond of Johnson's parents and a reward poster (1824) for escaped bound apprentices, Andrew and his brother, William.

Physical Location

Archives Building, 3B.

Creator

Unknown

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Chronological within material types.


Available for research


All materials transfers or gifts.

Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by Fran Tracy-Walls

Finding Aid by Fran Tracy-Walls


Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), seventeenth president of the United States, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina to Mary (Polly) McDonough and Jacob Johnson. Jacob's untimely death in 1811 left the family in poverty that was unrelieved by Mary's subsequent remarriage. Like his brother, William, Andrew was unschooled and apprenticed at a young age to a tailor. Both boys later ran away, and around 1826 Andrew moved to Tennessee with his mother and step-father. There he began working as a tailor near the town of Greeneville, and during the following year married Eliza McCardle. She assisted the self-educated Johnson in reading and writing, and encouraged his participation in debates at the local academy.

During the 1830s Andrew Johnson entered local, then state politics; and during the 1840s and 1850s he was a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate. During the secession crisis of 1860, Johnson declared himself for the Union and remained in Congress as other Southern senators withdrew. In the Senate and elsewhere he denounced secession while advocating for Southern rights within the Union.

Johnson remained generally in favor with Unionists, and in 1862 President Lincoln appointed him military governor of Tennessee. In 1864 the Republicans nominated Johnson, a Southerner and a Democrat, to serve with Abraham Lincoln as vice president. Duly elected, Johnson was thrust into the presidency following Lincoln's death mid-April of 1865. As the American Civil War ended, Johnson sought to implement Lincoln's vision for reconstruction and his own political and constitutional views. Over the next few years he and Congress could not agree upon the means to restore the ravaged nation. Acquitted by one vote in an impeachment trial, Johnson served out his term, through early March 1869.

Johnson soon returned to his home in Tennessee, where he apparently desired and sought a moderate and independent course between the extremes of unreconstructed former Conferates and radical Republicans. There were complexities and bitter animosities, however, and in later 1869 Johnson was unsuccessful in his run for the U.S. Senate. Likewise in 1872, he lost his bid as representative-at-large to Congress.

In 1874, however, Johnson was successful politically and took his seat in a special Senate session, 5 March 1875. On the 22nd of that month Johnson delivered a speech attacking President Ulysses S. Grant's recent military intervention in Louisiana and his plans to run for a third term. Johnson closed with a plea that "peace and prosperity be restored to the land." After adjournment, Johnson returned home to Greeneville, and several weeks later suffered a paralytic stroke that ended his life by July 31st of that year.

Note: The political, ideological and other issues of the Reconstruction era are complex and remain controversial. Revisionist historians have largely been highly critical of Johnson. Within a 2011 book there is some treatment of many of the various critical works regarding Johnson and his presidency. (Published by the University of Tennessee Press: Andrew Johnson's Civil War and Reconstruction, it is written by Paul Bergeron, editor of the Papers of Andrew Johnson, volumes 8-16, from 1987 to 2000.)


[Identification of item] PC.151, Finding Aid of the Andrew Johnson Collection, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Source unknown for a few items in the collection predating 1981. Letter of Johnson to John C. Gant, 1872, donated by Watts Carr, Jr., Durham, N.C., 1988. Genealogical data on the McDonough/Johnson families donated by Hugh B. Johnson, Wilson, N.C., 1966. Three items, including pamphlet on the cermonies attedning the unveiling of a monument to three presidents, and two photographic copies, including a marriage bond, Jacob Johnson and Polly McDonough, and a reward poster for William and Andrew: transfer from Museum of History, Miscellaneous Collections (Hall of History), February 2008. Additionally two items, including enlarged photocopy of advertisement posting a reward for runaway apprentices; and a phtocopy of copy of reward post for assasins of President Lincoln: transfer from Archives and Records, Andrew Johnson Birthplace files, box C., February 2008.


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS)  http://mars.archives.ncdcr.gov/BasicSearch.aspx

Note that the following document is part of the State Archives of North Carolina holdings: Parole signed by Andrew Johnson dated September 28, 1866 granting Zebulon B. Vance permission to visit any place in the United States subject to the conditions imposed by the parole. Date September 28 1866. Collection: Presidential Signatures. Vault Collection. North Carolina State Archives (Call Number V.C.12).


Includes three documents from Johnson's Tennessee governorship, each from 1854, including an extradition request to North Carolina, signed by Johnson. During the period of Reconstruction, 1865-1876, there are two original letters, one from Governor Jonathon Worth (Jan. 1866) expressing state's gratitude for restoration of civil goverment and support for President Johnson's policies; and one to Nashville, Tenn. judge and fellow Unionist, John C. Gant (June 1872). There are typed extracts from memoirs of Dr. A. Jobe that concern a visit by Johnson to Raleigh and Chapel Hill (1867) and the erection of a monument in a Raleigh cemetery to his father, Jacob. Also in the collection are photographs of buildings and monuments relating to Johnson and miscellaneous printed material. There is genealogical information and copies of material, including a marriage bond of Johnson's parents and a reward poster (1824) for escaped bound apprentices, Andrew and his brother, William. Miscellaneous material includes a small bill and miscellaneous notes written on both sides, with dates entered as 1830 and 1834. Possibly the itemized list relates to tailoring work done by Johnson.


Dictionary of National Biography.


  • Gant, John C.
  • Johnson, Andrew, 1808-1875
  • Johnson family
  • McDonough family
  • Apprentices--North Carolina--Wake County
  • Governors--Tennessee
  • Tennessee--Politics and government--1865-1950
  • United States. President (1865-1869: Johnson)
  • Greeneville (Tenn.)
  • Raleigh (N.C.)

16404
Tailoring Bill and With Miscellaneous Notes on Reverse
1830; 1834

16405
Official Appointment and Affidavit for Extradition Signed by Johnson, Etc.
1854

16406
Letter from President Johnson to N.C. Governor Jonathan Worth
January 1866

16407
Letter from Johnson to John C. Gant, Nashville, Tenn.
June 26, 1872

Scope and Content

This letter was written during a period when Johnson was campaining for the seat of at-large congressman (and defeated in the November election.)

16408
Copy of Marriage Bond Jacob Johnson and Polly McDonough
1801

16409
Photocopy of court minutes recording apprentice bond for Jonhson's brother, William
circa 1814

16410
Copy of Reward Notice from James J. Selby, Tailor
June 24, 1824

16411
Copy of Lincoln Assasination Reward Notice
1865, April

16412
Typed copy of Memoirs of Dr. A. Jobe Regarding Johnson's Visit to Raleigh and Chapel Hill
1868

16413
Copy of [Genealogical] Data on the Children of Andrew McDonough
circa 1975

Scope and Content

Compiled by Martin McDonough, with additions by Hugh B. Johnston, Jr., Wilson, N.C., donor.

16414
Addresses (2) by W.G. McDonough Honoring Grandfather and Uncle of Andrew Johnson
October 29, 1939

Scope and Content

One address honored Andrew McDonough, Sr., presumably born in Beaufort County, N.C. (1759-1846), and who lived briefly in Tyrrell County, then Raleigh, N.C., for fifteen years before moving to Tennessee, Bledsoe and Marion County. Another address honored, his son, and Andrew Johnson's uncle, Andrew McDonough, Jr. (1788-1920). Both men were soldiers, the former during the American Revolution, and the latter during the War of 1812. The file includes a cover letter from W.G. McDonough, Nashville, Tenn., and a typed carbon copy letter of acknowledgement from the N.C. Historical Commission.

16415
Ceremony Program for Unveiling of Monument to Three North Carolina Presidents
October 19, 1948

Photographs include outside view of purported birth house of Andrew Johnson, located on the grounds of what is now Pullen Park, Raleigh, N.C. [Not the original location, it was moved again in 1975 to possibly its final location in Mordecai Historic Park]; Johnson's tailor shop, Greeneville, Tenn.; a monument to Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn.; and a monument to Johnson, Carthage, N.C. erected by town citizens in memory of Johnson, who was thought to have been a resident of Carthage for a while, after running away, circa 1824, from indenture from a Raleigh tailor. See the State Archives of North Carolina Photograph Collection for various other Andrew Johnson-related photographs.

See the State Archives of North Carolina Photograph Collection for various other Andrew Johnson-related photographs.

4368
Purported birth place of Andrew Johnson, located on the grounds of Pullen Park, Raleigh, N.C.
Circa 1935

Scope and Content

The house was moved to Pullen Park in 1904, and later moved to a second site in the park. After some restoration it was opened to the public in 1940.

4369
Johnson's tailor shop, Greeneville, Tenn.
ca. 1925

706
Other photographs
ca. 1945-1955

Scope and Content

Includes monument to Johnson, Greeneville, Tenn.; and a monument to Johnson, Carthage, N.C. erected by town citizens in memory of Johnson, who was thought to have been a resident of Carthage for a while, after running away, circa 1824, from indenture from a Raleigh tailor.

The pamphlets include illustrations made, for the most part, from photographs and portraits. The miscellaneous clippings include a series of articles written by J.G. de Roulhac Hamilton for the Dearborn Independent. Also, there is a handmade pamphlet of a feature article attributed to Fred A. Olds. It includes an account of what happened to Johnson's brother, William. A handwritten note further adds that William is said to have died in Texas in 1874. He did, however, visit Johnson in Washington in 1866.

4370
Our Tailor President, Andrew Johnson
1928

Scope and Content

Pamphlet (30 pages) written by J.G. De Roulhac Hamilton, University of North Carolina and published by The Mothers Club of Greeneville, Tenn.

4371
From Tailor Shop to the White House
undated

Scope and Content

Published by the Mother's Club, Greeneville, Tenn.

707
Andrew Johnson National Monument
1946

708
Miscellaneous Clippings
1927 and undated