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Andrew Johnson Biography Essay

1131 words - 5 pages

The Life of Andrew JohnsonAndrew Johnson served as the 17th President of the United States from April 15, 1865 to March 3, 1869. He is most known for being the first president to be impeached, but also as the creator of the Reconstruction program after the end of the Civil War.Early LifeSon of Jacob and Mary McDonough Johnson, Andrew was born in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 29, 1808. Jacob Johnson worked as a handyman in a tavern while his mother, Mary, was a maid in the tavern. When Andrew was only 3 years old, his father, Jacob passed away. Andrew's widowed mother supported her children by sewing and taking in washing for local residents.Andrew's mother apprenticed him to a tailor when he was 13 years old. It has been predicted that the shop foreman probably taught him how to read since tailors usually employed someone to read to the workers as they sat at their tables stitching clothes. Through reading newspapers and a few books, young Andrew became really familiar with the Constitution, American history, and politics.Johnson's independent spirit set himself up as a tailor in Carthage, North Carolina, and then at Laurens, South Carolina. He soon moved west into Tennessee to seek a fresh start. In 1826, Johnson brought his poverty-stricken mother and stepfather to Tennessee in 1826. They settled in Greeneville.On May 17, 1827, Andrew Johnson married Eliza McCardle, the daughter of a Scottish shoemaker. She taught him to write and to solve simple arithmetic. She also encouraged him to read and to study.Through hard work, Johnson built a profitable tailoring business and bought property in town. He was a known to be a devoted father of 5 who worried about the health, education, and values of his children. When Johnson was away on government service, he wrote his children letters of advice. Unfortunately, there were some family tragedies. One son developed tuberculosis, another was an alcoholic, and a third dies when thrown from his horse.Political CareerAndrew Jackson, a fellow Tennesseean and Democrat, became Johnson's political role model. They both had a strong faith in the common people. Andrew Johnson was proud of his humble origins. He saw himself as the "champion of small white farmers and craft workers against the great landowners who controlled Tennessee." Johnson's powerful voice and quick mind helped him attract large crowds.In 1829, the year Jackson became President; Johnson won his fist election as Alderman of Greeneville, in which he served from 1830 to 1833. In 1834, he was elected Mayor of Greeneville. In 1835, voters again elected him to the Tennessee House of Representatives. In 1843, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Then, Johnson served as the Governor of Tennessee from 1853 to 1857. In 1857 to 1862, he finally got to gain his political needed power by being elected as a United States Senator. From 1862 to 1865, Johnson was elected the Military Governor of Tennessee. Then served as...

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