• Andrew Johnson with Sioux delegation at White House

    Andrew Johnson

    National Historic Site Tennessee

The Freedmen's Bureau Bill

Freedmen's Bureau Bill

First Veto:

1. Johnson was opposed to the use of the military during peacetime.

2. Johnson felt the Bill was a Federal encroachment into state matters.

3. Johnson felt this was "class legislation" for a particular segment of society that:

a. Would keep the ex-slaves from being self-sustaining, and

b. Had not been done for struggling whites (like he had been as an ex-apprentice).

4. Johnson did not feel that Congress should be making these decisions for unrepresented states.

Second veto:

Johnson's second objections were the same as his first.

Did You Know?

Sam Johnson

Martha Johnson Patterson, Andrew Johnson's daughter, said their slave Sam would boast that he was Johnson's servant. "But in truth," she continued, "Andrew Johnson belonged to Sam." Andrew Johnson gave Sam land for a church and school for the freedmen of Greeneville, TN.