Andrew Johnson: A Biography

By Hans L. Trefousse | Go to book overview

II
TENNESSEE
TAILOR

THE LURE of the West, which enticed so many young Americans, now drew Andrew toward the lofty mountain ranges dividing North Carolina from Tennessee, where imagined opportunities beckoned. Footsore and hungry, he reached Chapel Hill, the seat of the University of North Carolina, some thirty miles from Raleigh, at around sunset. Not knowing where to get supper and a place to sleep, he trudged along wearily to the house of David L. Swain, later the president of the university, and asked where he could find food and lodgings. He was told that a kind and hospitable citizen, James Craig, was living just beyond the town, so Johnson sought him out.

Craig proved as good as his reputation. Warmly welcoming the poor journeyman, Craig invited him to a hearty supper and a good night's rest. The next morning, he also gave his guest breakfast and provisions to take along on the road to Tennessee. 1

At the same time Johnson was trying to reach the West, a well-to-do Carolinian named Brown was moving to Tennessee with a train of covered wagons, slaves, and household goods. After Brown had crossed the mountains into the Volunteer State, he saw a boy sitting on the side of the road. The youngster was poorly clothed and was resting with his pack beside him. Brown, feeling sorry for the wanderer, gave him a ride. 2 In this way the future president reached Knoxville. Boarding a flatboat to sail down the Tennessee River, Johnson got off at Decatur, Alabama, and took a job in a tailor shop in the small town of Mooresville on the

-25-

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Andrew Johnson: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Andrew Johnson - A Biography *
  • Contents 9
  • Illustrations 11
  • Preface 13
  • I - Raleigh Poor White 17
  • II - Tennessee Tailor 25
  • III - Greeneville Politician 35
  • IV - Fledgling Congressman 51
  • V - Veteran Congressman 69
  • VI - Governor of Tennessee 84
  • VII - United States Senator 109
  • VIII - Unconditional Unionist 128
  • IX - Military Governor 152
  • X - Vice President 176
  • XI - Unionist President 193
  • XII - Presidential Reconstructionist 214
  • XIII - Pugnacious President 234
  • XIV - Beleaguered President 255
  • XV - Defiant President 272
  • XVI - Fighting President 293
  • XVII - President Impeached— President Acquitted 311
  • XVIII - President in Limbo 335
  • XIX - Ex-President 353
  • XX - Epilogue 375
  • Abbreviations 381
  • Notes 383
  • Index 447
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