kids encyclopedia robot

Andrew Johnson facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Andrew Johnson
Monochrome photograph of the upper body of Andrew Johnson
17th President of the United States
In office
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
Vice President None
Preceded by Abraham Lincoln
Succeeded by Ulysses S. Grant
16th Vice President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1865 – April 15, 1865
President Abraham Lincoln
Preceded by Hannibal Hamlin
Succeeded by Schuyler Colfax
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
March 4, 1875 – July 31, 1875
Preceded by William Gannaway Brownlow
Succeeded by David M. Key
In office
October 8, 1857 – March 4, 1862
Preceded by James C. Jones
Succeeded by David T. Patterson
Military Governor of Tennessee
In office
March 12, 1862 – March 4, 1865
Appointed by Abraham Lincoln
Preceded by Isham G. Harris
(Governor of Tennessee)
Succeeded by William Gannaway Brownlow
(Governor of Tennessee)
15th Governor of Tennessee
In office
October 17, 1853 – November 3, 1857
Preceded by William B. Campbell
Succeeded by Isham G. Harris
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 1st district
In office
March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1853
Preceded by Thomas Dickens Arnold
Succeeded by Brookins Campbell
Mayor of Greeneville, Tennessee
In office
Personal details
Born (1808-12-29)December 29, 1808
Raleigh, North Carolina
Died July 31, 1875(1875-07-31) (aged 66)
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Resting place Andrew Johnson National Cemetery
Greeneville, Tennessee
Political party Democratic
Other political
National Union (1864–1868)
Eliza McCardle (m. 1827)
Children 5
  • Jacob Johnson
  • Mary McDonough
Profession Tailor
Signature Cursive signature in ink
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service Seal of the United States Board of War.png United States Army
Years of service 1862–1865
Rank Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Battles/wars American Civil War

Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875) was the 16th Vice-President and 17th President of the United States. He was the first president to be impeached, but he was not removed from office. This happened because he fired the Secretary of War even though Congress made it illegal. Congress disliked him because he didn't want to help former slaves. His main accomplishment as president was the Alaska purchase.

Early life

Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 29, 1808, to Jacob Johnson (1778–1812) and Mary ("Polly") McDonough (1783–1856), a laundress.

He had a brother William, four years his senior, and an older sister Elizabeth, who died in childhood.

Johnson's birth in a two-room shack was a political asset in the mid-19th century, and he would frequently remind voters of his humble origins.

Andrew and his brother became apprentices to tailor, James Selby and at age ten he was legally bound to serve Selby until his 21st birthday. One of Selby's employees taught him how to read and write.

Johnson was not happy at James Selby's, and after about five years, both he and his brother ran away. Selby responded by placing a reward for their return.

Andrew moved west to Greeneville, Tennessee where he started a successful tailoring business.


In 1827, at the age of 18, he married 16-year-old Eliza McCardle, the daughter of a local shoemaker. The pair were married by Justice of the Peace Mordecai Lincoln, first cousin of Thomas Lincoln, whose son would become president.

The Johnsons were married for almost 50 years and had five children: Martha (1828), Charles (1830), Mary (1832), Robert (1834), and Andrew Jr. (1852). Eliza taught her husband mathematics skills and tutored him to improve his writing.

Political career

Before becoming Vice-President, he was a Governor and U.S. Senator from Tennessee. When Tennessee and ten other Southern slave states declared they were no longer part of the United States, he was the only member from such a state to not quit his seat in the U.S. Congress. A southern Democrat, he was elected as Abraham Lincoln's vice-president on a "National Union" ticket in 1864.

He became president in 1865 after Abraham Lincoln was killed. Congress was then run by Republicans, and after Lincoln's assassination, they wanted stricter terms than Johnson did for the Reconstruction of the Southern states that had rebelled. As a result, he vetoed 29 bills passed by Congress, and is the president to have the most vetoes overridden (15) by Congress.

He was also the first President to be impeached, but was later acquitted by one vote, and finished the rest of his term.

The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million (the price was 2 cents per acre) while he was president.


In late July 1875, he went to his daughter Mary's farm near Elizabethton, where his daughter Martha was also staying. That evening he suffered a stroke, but refused medical treatment until the next day, when he did not improve and two doctors were sent for from Elizabethton. He seemed to respond to their ministrations, but suffered another stroke on the evening of July 30, and died early the following morning at the age of 66.

Johnson's funeral was held on August 3 in Greeneville.

The burial ground was dedicated as the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in 1906, and with his home and tailor's shop, is part of the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Andrew Johnson Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.