Discover more about Eliza McCardle Johnson through C-Span's "First Ladies: Influence and Image" series. The broadcast enables viewers to learn more about this reclusive yet quietly influential First Lady.
Eliza Johnson is credited with teaching her husband to read and write. He actually had the rudiments of an education, and she helped further it along. Andrew Johnson acknowledged his gratitude in some of his speeches.
Nashville's Union and American synopsis from a Johnson speech at Sparta (1853) credited him as saying: "God bless woman! For she had taught him the rudiments of the education which he had."
And from Johnson's remarks at the Tennessee State Fair (1857): "I tell you, my fellow-citizens, the day is coming when it will be seen that the integrity of this government depends upon the education of our daughters."