Miller Center

American President

Andrew Johnson (1808 - 1875)

Portrait of Andrew Johnson

Facts at a Glance

17th President of the United States (1865–1869)
December 29, 1808, Raleigh, North Carolina
No formal affiliation
May 17, 1827, to Eliza McCardle (1810–1876)
Martha (1828–1901), Charles (1830–1863), Mary (1832–1883), Robert (1834–1869), Andrew (1852–1879)
Tailor; Public Official
Political Party
Democrat; Unionist
Papers of Andrew Johnson, 8 vols., ed. by L. P. Graf et al. (1967-90)
July 31, 1875, Carter’s Station, Tennessee
Greeneville, Tennessee
A Life in Brief
Andrew Johnson gives truth to the saying that in America, anyone can grow up to become President. Born in a log cabin in North Carolina to nearly illiterate parents, Andrew Johnson did not master the basics of reading, grammar, or math until he met his wife at the age of seventeen. The only other man to attain the office of President with so little formal education was Abraham Lincoln. Whereas Lincoln is esteemed as America’s greatest President, Johnson, his successor, is ranked as one of the worst. More »
The grief of the nation is still fresh.
December 4, 1865

Essays on Andrew Johnson and His Administration

Andrew Johnson
A Life in Brief
Life Before the Presidency
Campaigns and Elections
Domestic Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Life After the Presidency
Family Life
The American Franchise
Impact and Legacy
Key Events
First Lady
Eliza Johnson, Martha Johnson
Vice President
Secretary of State
William H. Seward (1865–1869)
Secretary of War
Edwin M. Stanton (1865–1868)
Ulysses S. Grant (1867–1868)
John M. Schofield (1868–1869)
Postmaster General
William Dennison (1865–1866)
Alexander W. Randall (1866–1869)
Secretary of the Interior
John P. Usher (1865–1865)
James Harlan (1865–1866)
Orville Browning (1866–1869)
Secretary of the Treasury
Hugh McCulloch (1865–1869)
Attorney General
James Speed (1865–1866)
Henry Stanbery (1866–1868)
William M. Evarts (1868–1869)
Secretary of the Navy
Gideon Welles (1865–1869)

Consulting Editor: Elizabeth R. Varon

Professor Varon is the Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia. Her writings include:

Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 (University of North Carolina Press, 2008)

Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, a Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy (Oxford University Press, 2003)

We Mean to Be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (University of North Carolina Press, 1998)