Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot

By Robert W. Winston | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

I would not venture to say when I first became interested in Andrew Johnson, but it must have been as early as 1865, when I was a mere child. A thousand times I have passed Casso's Inn and the little cabin in the rear, where "Andy" was born. When a barefoot boy I waded in the old swimming holes around Raleigh, where Andy and his brother Bill and Selby',s other "bound" boys, fifty years before, had dived and ducked each other. I tramped the same woods and caught suckers and goggle-eyed perch from the same streams. Well do I remember a famous watch and chain President Johnson presented my elder brother, valedictorian of his class, spouting an oration on the Constitution and the Union in June 1867, when thousands crowded the University campus, at Chapel Hill, to get a look at the tailor-President.

I can hear Andrew Johnson's rich mellow voice, as he tells the students of his cramped childhood and of a long journey afoot in 1826, when he was making his way through the village and out to his future home, in far-away Tennessee. Nor shall I forget the crowds that gathered in Raleigh to meet the President, once an orphan boy apprenticed to Selby the tailor; or the solemn words he spoke and the ludicrous turn an old woman in the crowd, who had known Andy in his tailor-shop days, gave one of the President's figures of speech. "I have no other ambition in life," President Johnson declared, "but to mend and repair the breaches in the torn and tattered Constitution of my country.""Bless his dear heart," said the old lady, "Andy's going to come back home and open up his tailor shop again."

I also remember the thousand and one lies people were telling on him, not maliciously, I think, but--well, it seems to be permissible to manufacture stories about those in high place. His birth and origin puzzled the wiseacres. Surely old Jacob

-xi-

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Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Prefatory Note v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part I: Odds - 1808-1860 1
  • Chapter I - Runaway Apprentice 3
  • Chapter II - A. Johnson, Tailor 15
  • Chapter III - Successor to Andrew Jackson 26
  • Chapter IV - Congressman 40
  • Chapter V - On the Stump 58
  • Chapter VI - Governor and Senator 76
  • Chapter VII - Home Life 95
  • Chapter VIII - Jeff Davis Spoils the Broth 108
  • Chapter IX - Father of the Homestead 128
  • Chapter X - Impasse 142
  • Part Ii: Alone - 1860-1865 153
  • Chapter I - Testing Time 155
  • Chapter II - Lion-Heart 174
  • Chapter III - Fight for Tennessee 188
  • Chapter IV - Senatorial Whip 205
  • Chapter V - Military Governor 217
  • Chapter VI - Lincoln and Johnson 243
  • Chapter VII - Vice-President 263
  • Chapter VIII - The Execution of Mrs. Surratt 277
  • Chapter IX - Hero of an Hour 292
  • Chapter X - Thad Stevens Pockets Congress 307
  • Part Iii: Unbowed - 1865 and After 323
  • Chapter I - Presidential Reconstruction 325
  • Chapter II - Swinging Round the Circle 347
  • Chapter III - Veto Follows Veto 372
  • Chapter IV - The Great Reconstruction 390
  • Chapter V - Impeachment of the President 405
  • Chapter VI - The Trial 428
  • Chapter VII - Foreign and Domestic Policy 455
  • Chapter VIII - Leaving the White House 471
  • Chapter IX - The Come-Back 490
  • Chapter X - Sixty Years After 510
  • Appendix A 521
  • Appendix B 522
  • Appendix C 526
  • Bibliography 529
  • Index 541
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