Martha and Charles, the first two children of the Johnson family, were born in the rear room of the small rented house on Main Street. Robert and Mary came while their parents lived down on Water Street, and Andrew, Jr., the baby, arrived during his father's governorship and after the family had moved for the third time to their permanent home. Until this last move, the home surroundings had been cramped, without yard, garden or other open space.
In September 1851, however, Congressman Johnson purchased nearly an acre of land on Main Street in the residence section of Greeneville, only a short walk from the tailor shop. On the lot at that time was an unfinished brick dwelling. The owner, being unable to complete the building, agreed to exchange it with Johnson for the Water Street property and nine hundred and fifty dollars additional. Accordingly, the trade was made and as soon as the building could be finished, probably about January 1, 1852, the family moved in. Andrew Johnson's "sweet conception," as he called one's home and appurtenances, was realized at last. He could now proclaim, "I have a home, an abiding place for my wife and for my children."1 It was not entirely accidental that the lot purchased was the same lot on which twenty-five years before, on a September night, the run-away apprentice boy and his brother, Bill, and their mother and Turner Dougherty, her impecunious spouse, had camped. Essentially Andrew Johnson was a home-loving body, loyal not only to persons but to places.
And it was a great day, we may be sure, when Andrew Johnson and his wife, with sons and daughters, moved into their new and spacious residence, not showy or expensive, yet comfort____________________