History & Culture
Courtesy of the NPS
On his journey to the Executive Mansion, this self-taught man held nearly every political office available - without attending a single day of school.
Andrew Johnson's extraordinary life is marked by passionate debate and controversy. He lived during a time of triumph and turmoil. Many of the decisions and policies made during his Presidency still impact the country today. On this page you can find a brief overview of Johnson's life, as well as a time-line and several of the topics that are trademarks of his legacy. Discover more about your 17th President as you explore these links, several transcribed from Johnson's own words.
A short overview of Johnson's life.
ANDREW JOHNSON AND SLAVERY
ANDREW JOHNSON'S LAST WORDS ON MARY SURRATT
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
THE VETO PRESIDENT
Below you will find a partial list of Bills vetoed by Andrew Johnson. At first glance it is not easy to understand why Johnson vetoed much of what appeared to be such beneficial legislation. To understand Johnson's reasoning, click on the highlighted bills to discover the explanations Johnson supplied when he returned his vetoes to Congress.
Civil Rights Bill
Colorado Statehood Bill
District of Columbia Franchise Law
Nebraska Statehood Bill
Tenure of Office Act
First Military Reconstruction Act
Second Military Reconstruction Act
Third Military Reconstruction Act
Judiciary Act Amendment
Arkansas Statehood Bill
Admission of Six Southern States
Restrictions of Electoral Votes
Did You Know?
Samuel Shaver, a renowned Tennessee artist, taught at the Oddfellows Female Institute in Rogersville, TN where Johnson's daughter Mary was a student. A Shaver portrait of Johnson was saved during the Civil War by a Greeneville lady who wrapped it in newspaper and hid it in front of her fireplace.