_C ~ ~ ADIE YoASO.9
the seventeenth Presii
l i dent of the United
_ A 1 States, 1865-'9, w as
born at Raleigh,
-f ^ North Carolina, De4
H^ cember 29, i8o8.
His father died when
I ff he was four years old, and in
his eleventh year he was apV*
I prenticed to a tailor. He never
attended school, and did
not learn to read until late in
his apprenticeship, when he
suddenly acquired a passion for
obtaining knowledge, and devoted
all his spare time to reading.
After working two years as a journeyman
tailor at Lauren's Court-House, South
Carolina, he removed, in 1826, to Greenville,
Tennessee, where he worked at his
trade and married. Under his wife's instructions
he made rapid progress in his
education, and manifested such an intelligent
interest in local politics as to be
elected as " workin-gmen's candidate " alderman,
in 1828, and mayor in I830, being
twice re-elected to each office.
During this period lihe cultivated his talcnts
as a public speaker by taking part in a
debating society, consisting largely of students
of Greenville College. In 1835, and
again in 1839, he was chosen to the lower
house of the Legislature, as a Democrat.
In I84i he was elected State Senator, and
in 1843, Representative in Congress, being
re-elected four successive periods, until
1853, when he was chosen Governor of
Tennessee. In Congress he supported the
administrations of Tyler and Polk in their
chief measures, especially the annexation
of Texas, the adjustment of the Oregon
boundary, the Mexican war, and the tariff
In I855 Mr. Johnson was re-elected Gov.
ernor, and in 1857 entered the United
States Senate, where he was conspicuous
as an advocate of retrenchment and of the
Homestead bill, and as an opponent of the
Pacific Railroad. He was supported by the
Tennessee delegation to the Democratic
convention in I860 for the Presidential
nomination, and lent his influence to the
Breckenridge wing of that party.
When the election of Lincoln had
brought about the first attempt at secession
in December, I860, Johnson took in the
Senate a firm attitude for the Union, and
in May, i86i, on returning to Tennessee,
he was in imminent peril of suffering from
ANDRE W .70HNSON.
Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas.. Chicago, Illinois. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/. Accessed April 21, 2015.