Andrew Johnson (1808-1875)
Not qualifying for any higher education, Andrew Johnson learnt to be a tailor and opened his own business in 1826 in Greenville, Tennessee.
His first wife, Eliza McCardle, helped him to learn how to read and write. Johnson’s business went very well and made him become a well-recognized and acknowledged local person. His political engagement grew stronger until he was voted governor of Tennessee in 1857 and joined the U.S. Senate.
When the Civil War began in 1861, Johnson was the only southern senator who argued for the Union. This made him a traitor in the eyes of many. Lincoln, however, offered him the position of the governor of military and made him his Vice President.
After Lincoln’s death, Johnson took over his presidency and started to work on his rather difficult heritage, reuniting the American Union.
The necessary reconstructions became a difficult issue between Johnson and the congress, which even brought the impeachment process upon Johnson when the congress claimed that his obvious rebellion against new laws were too immense. The impeachment couldn’t be followed through with, however, thanks to one missing vote from the senate. Johnson continued his presidency and accomplished to addition of Alaska to the United States’ territory in 1867.
He was not capable of getting re-elected due to a stroke which led to his death in Carter Station, Tennessee.
"If I am shot at, I want no man to be in the way of the bullet." (Andrew Johnson)