Andrew Johnson Impeachment Record
This lithograph, slightly water-stained, records the senate's vote for impeachment, held on May 16 (Article 11) and May 26 (Articles 2 and 3), 1868. It is signed by Salmon P. Chase, Chief Justice, and John W. Forney, Secretary. Below their names are listed 35 signatures of those voting guilty and 19 signatures of those voting not guilty. The senators from Tennessee, Joseph S. Fowler and David T. Patterson, voted not guilty.
- 1868 May 26
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2.5 Linear Feet
This lithograph records the senate's vote for impeachment, held on May 16 and May 26, 1868. It is signed by Salmon P. Chase, Chief Justice, and John W. Forney, Secretary. Below their names are listed 35 signatures of those voting guilty and 19 signatures of those voting not guilty.
Born December 29, 1808, Andrew Johnson began his political career in Greeneville, Tenn. 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 Tennesseeans 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.
This manuscript consists of a single oversize folder.
This manuscript is the property of Special Collections.