Skip to main content


Special Collections Online at UT

Andrew Johnson Letter to E. M. Stanton

Identifier: MS-0930

  • Staff Only

Andrew Johnson wrote this letter to E. M. Stanton while the latter was serving as Secretary of War in order to commend his friend Edward Hazzard East to him.


  • 1865 June 20

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 folder)


Andrew Johnson wrote this letter to E. M. Stanton while the latter was serving as Secretary of War in order to commend his friend Edward Hazzard East to him.

Biographical/Historical Note

Born December 29, 1808, Andrew Johnson began his political career in Greeneville, TN. After serving as both alderman and mayor of Greeneville, Johnson successfully ran for a seat in the lower house of the state legislature in 1835. After serving three terms in the state Senate, Johnson moved to the United States House of Representatives, where he served for ten years, 1843-1853. He also served as Governor of Tennessee from 1853-1857. In the fall of 1857, he was chosen as a United States Senator.

In 1861, Johnson returned to East Tennessee to fight the surging secessionist movement, joining former political opponents such as William G. Brownlow, Thomas A. R. Nelson, Horace Maynard, and others in his support of the Union. After a June 8 referendum in which Tennesseans voted for secession, Johnson returned to Washington to escape physical harm.

After the Federal capture of Forts Henry and Donelson and the occupation of Nashville in February 1862, however, President Lincoln sent Johnson back to Tennessee to serve as military governor, a position in which he was charged to restore civil government and bring the state back to the Union. In 1864, the Republicans nominated Johnson as Lincoln's running mate because of his staunch Unionism as a War Democrat. After Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865, Johnson was sworn in as the seventeenth President of the United States.

Johnson faced the difficult task of reconstructing the nation in the wake of the Civil War as he assumed the presidency. Johnson and Congress clashed over control of Reconstruction, and in 1868, the House Republicans in Congress impeached Johnson, the first president to face impeachment. Johnson's presidency was spared by a single vote in the Senate.

Following his tumultuous presidency, Johnson returned to Greeneville, eager for vindication. In 1874, he became the first former President of the United States to win a seat in the United States Senate. However, four months after taking his seat in the Senate, Johnson suffered a stroke and died on July 31, 1875. He was buried wrapped in a American flag with his head resting on a copy of the Constitution.

Edwin McMasters Stanton, Secretary of War under Buchanan, Lincoln, and Johnson, was born in Steubenville, Ohio on December 19, 1814 to David and Lucy (Norman) Stanton. In 1857, he interrupted a successful law practice in order to serve as the United States Attorney General. In 1862 he was appointed Secretary of War, a position he kept until resigning in 1868. Stanton was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court on December 20, 1868, but died on December 24, 1868.

Edward Hazzard East was born on October 1, 1830 in Davidson County, Tennessee, the son of Edward Hyde and Cecelia (Buchanan) East. He served as the Tennessee Secretary of State while Andrew Johnson was governor and held the governorship for the month between Johnson and William Brownlow. East was a lawyer and a judge in addition to serving as one of the five original members of the Board of Trustees of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He married Ida C. Horton and with her had two children, Edine and Bessie. Edward East died on November 12, 1904 in Davidson County, Tennessee.


This collection consists of a single folder.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA