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Andrew Johnson Proclamation

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3594

This printed broadside reproduces Johnson's proclamation of September 3, 1867. In it, he warns citizens against obstructing or hindering...the faithful execution of the constitution and laws, commands officers of the Government to obey said laws, and enjoins officers of the army and navy to assist in enforcing them. This was necessitated by the recent disregard for the constitution and its laws by North and South Carolina. The proclamation is signed in type by Andrew Johnson and by William H. Seward, Secretary of State. It was distributed by Alex W. Randall, Postmaster General.

Dates

  • 1867 September 10

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.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This printed broadside reproduces Johnson's proclamation of September 3, 1867. In it, he warns citizens against obstructing or hindering...the faithful execution of the constitution and laws, commands officers of the Government to obey said laws, and enjoins officers of the army and navy to assist in enforcing them. This was necessitated by the recent disregard for the constitution and its laws by North and South Carolina. The proclamation is signed in type by Andrew Johnson and by William H. Seward, Secretary of State. It was distributed by Alex W. Randall, Postmaster General.

Biographical/Historical Note

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.

William Henry Seward was born to Samuel and Mary (Jennings) Seward in Florida, New York on May 16, 1801. He graduated from Union College in 1820 and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1822. He married Frances Miller on October 10, 1824 and the couple had five children. Seward practiced law in Auburn, New York before becoming involved in politics. He served as a member of the New York Senate (1830-1834) and as the Governor of New York (1838-1842) before representing New York in the United States Senate (1849-1861). In 1860, Abraham Lincoln appointed Seward Secretary of State. He served until 1869, during which time he advocated war with Spain and France to solidify the United States, protested against the outfitting of Confederate privateers in British ports, purchased Alaska (which, due to public opposition, was nicknamed "Seward's Folly" and "Seward's ice-box") from Russia for $7,200,000, and unsuccessfully attempted to acquire two islands in the Danish West Indies and annex Hawaii. Seward died in Auburn on October 15, 1872 and is buried in the Fort Hill Cemetery.

Alexander Williams Randall was born on October 31, 1819 in Ames, New York to Phineas and Sarah (Beach) Randall. After moving to Wisconsin in 1840, Randall entered politics in 1846 as a delegate to the state's constitutional convention. In 1848, he served in the Wisconsin legislature. In 1855, he became a state court judge. From 1857 to 1862, he was the governor of Wisconsin. In 1862, he served as the minister to the Papal States. In 1863, he became the Assistant Postmaster General, and in 1866, he rose to the post of Postmaster General. Because he supported Johnson, he lost both political favor and his position in 1869, so retired to Elmira, New York to practice law. Randall married Mary C. VanVechten in 1842 and they had a daughter, Sarah, who died at eight. He married Helen Thomas Ritner in 1863. Randall died on July 26, 1872.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

Special Collections purchased this document in 2003.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480