Johnson, Andrew (Administration)

Andrew Johnson’s political career gained national attention when he became the only southerner in the U.S. Senate to not accept his state’s secession vote. He was born to a poor family in North Carolina, where he spent his childhood. In his teens he moved to Tennessee and settled there as a tailor. He was elected a state senator in 1841. He is known as a strong supporter of the Homestead Act, which redistributed government land to the landless at no cost. As a result, he remained in the Senate—to the chagrin of many of his fellow southerners.

Because he spent many years in Tennessee (and represented that state throughout secession), it is not surprising that Abraham Lincoln named Johnson military governor for the state in 1862, ...

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