April 1865-March 1869
- Father of the Homestead Act
- Andrew the Sot (for giving an inaugural address as Veep in a less than sober state)
- Old Andy
- The Tennessee Tailor
- Sir Veto
Andrew Johnson did have to deal with Reconstruction. He broke with Congress and favored a quick restoration and leniency toward the South. He allowed the South to hold elections in 1865 which resulted in some former Confederates getting elected to Congress however, Congress refused to seat them. Congress grew stronger with the elections of 1866 as the South was not allowed to vote.
In April 1867, Secretary of State Seward purchased Alaska from the Russians for $7.2 million. To some it seemed like a lot of money for such a remote region and it came to be known as Seward’s Folly or Seward’s Icebox or Andrew Johnson’s Polar Bear Garden. – Russia was scared they would loose the land to Britain in conflict and the Russians had aided the US (the Union) in the Civil War and the British hadn’t. Political minds also thought that surrounding the British interests in Canada might, over time, be enough to convince them to sell Canada to the US.
Johnson was impeached. Twice.
We all remember from 9th grade Civ that impeaching is just charging a (high federal official) with misconduct (“treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors”). The Senate can then remove him from office with a two thirds vote. The first impeachment of Johnson was basically a list of complaints against him and failed be a margin of 108-57.
The second was a convoluted affair. The Congress (that was opposed to Johnson) passed a bill (over Johnson’s veto) in 1867 called the Tenure in Office Act specifically to deny Johnson from getting rid of any membersof his Cabinet. The act called for “every person holding any civil office, to which he has been appointed by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall be entitled to hold such office until a successor shall have been in like manner appointed and duly qualified.” Johnson was impeached three days after putting Lorenzo Thomas in as the Secretary of War. Johnson was acquitted by a single vote.
And the Supreme Court did later find the Tenure in Office Act to be unconstitutional, as Johnson had claimed when he vetoed it.
- Andrew Johnson was a self-taught tailor and was the only president to make his own clothes and those of his Cabinet.
- He didn’t make an inaugural address (Probably for the better, based on how his earlier one went).
- Only President to be elected to the Senate after serving his term.
- Was the first VP to succeed to the US Presidency upon the assassination of a president.