The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site and National Cemetery interprets the life and legacy of the 17th President. Andrew Johnson’s presidency, 1865-1869, illustrates the United States Constitution at work following President Lincoln’s assassination and during attempts to reunify a nation torn by civil war. His presidency shaped the future of the United States and his influences continue today. ~National Park Service
The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville, Tennessee was much more interesting then I had originally anticipated. I didn’t know anything about President Johnson but I do now. He came from very humble beginnings as evidenced by the home he was born in, the home he was raised in, and the ‘A Johnson Tailor’ shop he worked in even while involved in politics. Even after becoming Governor of Tennessee, Vice President, and eventually President, President Johnson built a simple home on a Homestead not far from the tailor shop and home he grew up in. His life is deeply intertwined with Greeneville, Tennessee and as a result, he also wanted to be buried there. A National Park Explorer can start with the Visitor Center then get in some fitness by walking to both the Johnson Homestead and the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery where he was laid to rest.
President Andrew Johnson was the Vice President to President Abraham Lincoln and became President after Lincoln was assassinated in 1865. President Johnson was known as the Constitution President. President Johnson was a product of his time and consequently a slave owner but he supported the Emancipation Proclamation and was known as “Moses” for the freedom of slaves in Tennessee while serving as Governor in 1863. Despite living in a Confederate State, he believed in the Union and was also a strong believer that many of the political decisions should be left to the individual States. He supported state sovereignty. Although the Johnson family freed their personal slaves, they stayed because they were safer with the Johnson’s given the current political climate in Confederate States like Tennessee. I was humbled after learning about President Johnson’s character and what an important role he played in American history.