Andrew Johnson: Military Governor of Tennessee

Presidential History Blog

So few nifty stories come up about Andrew Johnson that when they do, they are worth passing along!

Legislator Andrew Johnson of Tennessee

No President (and that includes Lincoln!) had more hardships in his impoverished childhood than Andy Johnson. His laborer father died when Andy was only two, his mother remarried a man even more impoverished, and by ten, Andy and his brother were apprenticed out to a local tailor in Raleigh, NC. Learning a trade was considered a kindness to the children – and it spared the parents the extra mouths to feed.

At seventeen, Andy fled both his apprenticeship and North Carolina and arrived in Tennessee with a price on his head – but apprenticeship laws did not apply in TN. He worked hard, learned to read, write and do sums, and became involved in local politics – all before he was 25.

Then he served Tennessee in…

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