Andrew Johnson: A Biography

By Hans L. Trefousse | Go to book overview

X
VICE PRESIDENT

JOHNSON had always been ambitious, and his ambition grew with each of his successes. He had harbored presidential hopes at least since 1852, expectations that even his failed bid for the presidency in 1860 could not dispel. Then, after his Union speech in December 1860, when he became a popular hero in the North, the thought of future honors never left him. His friends flattered his aspirations, and it was not surprising that in 1864 he should emerge as a strong contender for higher office. 1

Some people thought that the governor was a natural candidate for the presidency. Lincoln was being challenged by Salmon P. Chase as well as by various generals; why should not one of the nation's leading War Democrats be in the running as well? In the fall and winter of 1863-64, various newspapers endorsed the governor, and in February the Fairfield, Illinois, War Democrat advocated a joint ticket of Johnson and John Logan, the Illinois Democrat turned general. Lincoln and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin had done well, the paper conceded, but Johnson was the man who could safely bring the ship of state into harbor. 2

In view of Lincoln's political skill, neither Johnson nor anyone else had much of a chance of displacing him. The second office, however, was another matter. Vice President Hamlin, a radical from Maine, was a gifted politician, but he was unable to add much strength to the ticket. And because the Republicans were anxious to attract as many War Democrats as possible—they would soon rename their organization the

-176-

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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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