Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
  • Born: December 29, 1808
  • Died: July 31, 1875
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: President









Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson assumed the presidency as he was vice president of the United States at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. He favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves; he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.

Quotes About
Author Quote
James W. Grimes I cannot agree to destroy the harmonious working of the Constitution for the sake of getting rid of an Unacceptable President.
Ulysses S. Grant I have never been so tired of anything before as I have been with the political speeches of Mr. Johnson.... I look upon them as a national disgrace.
Andrew Johnson … savages … barbarians
William Gannaway Brownlow That dead dog in the White House.
Roscoe Conkling ... dizzy with the elevation to which the assassination [of Lincoln] has raised him.
James A. Garfield This trial has developed in the most remarkable manner, the insane love of speaking among public men. We are wading knee deep in words, words, words ….
James A. Garfield The is an intensity of anxiety here greater than I ever saw during the [Civil] war.
John N. Mitchell Ashley I rise to perform a painful but, nevertheless, to me, an imperative duty; a duty which I think ought not longer to be postponed, and which cannot, without criminality on our part, be neglected.… I charge Andrew Johnson, Vice President and acting President of the United States, with the commission of acts which in contemplation of the Constitution, are high crimes and misdemeanors, for which, in my judgment, he ought to be impeached … I do impeach Andrew Johnson, Vice President and acting President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors: I charge him with a usurpation of power and violation of law: In that he has corruptly used the appointing power; In that he has corruptly used the pardoning power; In that he has corruptly used the veto power; In that he has corruptly disposed of public property of the United States; In that he has corruptly interfered in elections…
Anonymous The war is over, the rebellion is "put down," and we are declared free! Four fifths of our enemies are paroled or amnestied, and the other fifth are being pardoned, and the President [Andrew Johnson] has, in his efforts at the reconstruction of the civil government of the States, late in rebellion, left us entirely at the mercy of these subjugated but unconverted rebels. We know these men-know them well-and we assure you that, with the majority of them, loyalty is only "lip deep," and that their professions of loyalty are used as a cover to the cherished design of getting restored to their former relations with the Federal Government, and then, by all sorts of "unfriendly legislation," to render the freedom you have given us more intolerable than the slavery they intended for us. All we ask is an equal chance with the white traitors varnished and japanned with the oath of amnesty. Can you deny us this and still keep faith with us? .
Charles Sumner The Freedmen's Bureau, that sacred charity of the Republic, was despoiled of its possessions for the sake of rebels, to whom their forfeited estates were given back after they had been vested by law in the United States. The proceeds of captured and abandoned property, lodged under the law in the national treasury, were ravished from their place of deposit and sacrificed. Rebels were allowed to fill the ante-chambers of the Executive Mansion and to enter into his counsels. The pardoning power was prostituted, and pardons were issued in lots to suit rebels.
United States Congress Ex-slaves shall have the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings concerning personal liberty … including the constitutional right to bear arms
Thomas Nast King Andy
Charles Sumner This is one of the last great battles with slavery. Driven from these legislative chambers, driven from the field of war, this monstrous power has found a refuge in the Executive Mansion, where, in utter disregard of the Constitution and laws, it seeks to exercise its ancient far reaching sway. . . . Andrew Johnson is the impersonation of the tyrannical slave power. In him it lives again.
New York Times The supreme majesty of the law and the power of this republican Government was illustrated anew to-day by the fresh scenes and proceedings in the great trial of impeachment. The business-like, almost matter-of-fact manner in which the Congress of the United States proceeds with this grave work is the most striking illustration of the innate love and reverence for law and order that characterize the American people.
Benjamin Franklin My unpleasantness was political, not personal. I don't believe in carrying political disputes into social life.
Douglas R. Egerton Reconstruction did not fail. It was overthrown.
Thaddeus Stevens Didn't I tell you so? What good did your moderation do you? If you don't kill the beast, it will kill you
Edmund Gibson Ross Conditions may, and are not unlikely to arise, some day, when the exercise of the power to impeach and remove the President may be quite as essential to the preservation of our political system as it threatened to become in this instance destructive of that system. Should that day ever come, it is to be hoped that the remedy of impeachment, as established by the Constitution, may be as patriotically, as fearlessly, and as unselfishly applied as it was on this occasion rejected..
John C. Henley Glorious News. Lincoln and Seward Assassinated! Andy Johnson Inaugurated President.
Quote Topics Cited
… savages … barbarians Minorities & Women
… that the authority of the Government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, order and freedom may be established, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare, that I hereby grant to all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, … but on the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe to the following oath or affirmation, and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate: Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
… traitorous aristocrats Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Amendments to the Constitution ought not to be too frequently made ... [if] continually tinkered with it would lose all its prestige and dignity. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
Congress, factious, domineering, tyrannical Congress has undertaken to poison the minds of the American people, and create a feeling against me in consequence of the manner in which I have distributed the public patronage. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Honest conviction is my courage, the Constitution is my guide. Constitution / Bills & Declaratiobns of Rights
I am a Union man! War & Peace
I have been a Democrat all my life and accustomed to the rule of the majority. If a majority of this crowd want me to stop speaking, I will stop. If the majority want me to continue, I will speak on regardless of you and your company. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I know we have an illegitimate, swaggering, bastard, scrub aristocracy which assumes to know a great deal, but which, when the flowing veil of pretension is torn off, is seen to posses neither talent nor information on which one can rear a useful superstructure. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I never feared clamor. I have never been afraid of the people, for by them I have always been sustained. And when I have all the truth, argument, fact and reason on my side, clamor nor affront, nor animosities can drive me from my purpose. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I would rather be a free man than be President and a slave. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
I would rather speak to 500 men that would give me their attention that to 100,000 that would not. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I, ______ do solemnly swear, (or affirm) in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder, and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God. Loyalty & Loyalty Oaths
In the progress of nations, Negroes have shown less capacity for government than any other race of people. No independent government of any form has ever been successful in their hands. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
It is the President upon whom the Constitution devolves, as head of the executive department, the duty to see that the laws be faithfully executed; but as he cannot execute them in person, he is allowed to select his agents, and is made responsible for their acts within just limits. So complete is the presumed delegation of authority in the relation of a head of department to a President, that the Supreme Court of the United States have decided that an order made by a head of department is presumed to be made by the President himself. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Keep up the middle class; lop off aristocracy on the one hand, and a rabble at the other; let the middle class ... have the power. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Let them impeach and be damned! Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Robbery is a crime; rape is a crime; murder is a crime; treason is a crime and crime must be punished. The law provides for it, and the courts are open. Treason must be made infamous and traitors must be impoverished. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Some persons assume that the success of our arms in crushing the opposition which was made in some of the States to the execution of the Federal laws reduced those States and all their people -the innocent as well as the guilty- to the condition of vassalage and gave us a power over them which the Constitution does not bestow or define or limit. No fallacy can be more transparent than this. Our victories subjected the insurgents to legal obedience, not to the yoke of an arbitrary despotism. War & Peace
The Catholics had the right secured to them by the Constitution of worshipping the God of their fathers in the manner dictated by their consciences.... This country is not prepared to establish an inquisition to try and punish men for their religious beliefs. Religion & God
The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people. Government ;Taxes
The only safety of the nation lies in a generous and expansive plan of conciliation. Defense & National Security
The people sometimes may be misled by the lying spirit in the mouths of their prophets, but never perverted; and in the end are always right. Public Opinion & Polling
The Show Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The tendency of the legislation of this country is to build up monopolies, ... to concentrate power in the hands of the few. Legislating & Legislative Process
They shall suffer for this. They shall suffer for this. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
unconstitutional, unnecessary, extrajudicial Legislating & Legislative Process
When I look at his gallant services, finding him first in the military school of the United States, educated at the expense of his country—taught to love the principles of the Constitution; afterwards entering its service fighting beneath the Stars and Stripes, ... I cannot understand how he can be willing to hail another banner, and turn from that of his country; .... If I could not unsheathe my sword in vindication of the flag of my country, ... I would return the sword to its scabbard; I would never sheathe it in the bosom of my mother. Never! Never! Never! Flags & National Anthems
WHEREAS, Certain persons, unfriendly and hostile to the Government of the United States, have banded themselves together, and are now going at large through many of the counties in this State, arresting, maltreating and plundering Union citizens wherever found; Now, therefore, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, Governor of the State of Tennessee, by virtue of the power and authority in me vested, do hereby proclaim that in every instance in which a Union man is arrested and maltreated by the marauding bands aforesaid, five or more rebels from the most prominent in the immediate neighborhood shalt be arrested, imprisoned, and otherwise dealt with as the nature of the case -may require ; And further, in all cases in which the property of citizens loyal to the Government of the United States is taken or destroyed, full and ample remuneration shall be made to them out of the property of such rebels in the vicinity as have sympathized with, and given aid, comfort, information or encouragement to the parties committing such depredations. War & Peace
While this gang-this common gang of cormorants and bloodsuckers, have been fattening upon the country for the past four of five years-men never going into the field, who growl at being removed from their fat offices, they are great patriots! Look at them all over your district?
While this rebellion has emancipated a great many negroes, it has emancipated still more white men. Freedom & Liberty
Without a home there can be no good citizen. Housing
You cannot found a monarchy on this Continent. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
You try to force me to do a dishonorable act, contrary to the law as I see it, and against my conscience, and rather than do your bidding I'll suffer my right arm torn from the socket.... I regard you as a damn villain, and get out of my office, or, damn you, I'll kick you out. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide.
I am sworn to uphold the Constitution as Andy Johnson understands it and interprets it.
I feel incompetent to perform duties... which have been so unexpectedly thrown upon me.
I hold it the duty of the executive to insist upon frugality in the expenditure, and a sparing economy is itself a great national source.
If I am shot at, I want no man to be in the way of the bullet.
If the rabble were lopped off at one end and the aristocrats at the other, all would be well with the country.
It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
Legislation can neither be wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many and varied interests.
Outside of the Constitution we have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Slavery exists. It is black in the South, and white in the North.
There are no good laws but such as repeal other laws.
Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man - for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs.