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Andrew Johnson Family Papers

Identifier: MS-1943

This collection contains the papers of the Andrew Johnson Family, spanning over a century from 1835 to 1967. Consisting primarily of correspondence, the collection is divided into four categories. Series I: Andrew and Eliza Johnson Papers contains correspondence, military returns and documents, and other manuscripts. Series II. Andrew J. and Martha Patterson Correspondence includes solely correspondence, generally concerning Andrew Johnson and their family history. Series III. Other Family Member Papers has correspondence, calling cards, an article, and a photograph, and is divided into sub-series according to family members, including A. Margaret Johnson (Patterson) Bartlett, B. David and Martha (Johnson) Patterson, C. Robert Johnson, and D. Ralph Phinney, one of Margaret's maternal cousins. Series IV. Other Material consists of correspondence sent to and from other people, photographs, calling cards, a Civil War newspaper article, and writings about Andrew Johnson.

For other Andrew Johnson and related collections, see MS.0216, MS.0829, MS.2073, MS.2213, MS.2284, and many others.


  • 1835-1875, 1890s, 1906-1967

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.


1 Linear Feet


This collection contains the papers of the Andrew Johnson Family, spanning over a century from 1835 to 1967. Four series contain correspondence, legal and financial documents, photographs, articles, calling cards, manuscripts, and more belonging to Andrew and Eliza M. Johnson, David T. and Martha (Johnson) Patterson, Andrew J. and Martha B. Patterson, Margaret J. (Patterson) Bartlett, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Born December 29, 1808, Andrew Johnson began his political career in Greeneville, Tennessee. After serving as alderman and mayor, 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 U. S. House of Representatives, where he served from 1843 to 1853. He also served as Governor of Tennessee from 1853 to 1857. In the fall of 1857, he was chosen as a U. S. Senator and urged Tennessee to fight the surging secessionist movement. In 1862, Johnson became military governor of Tennessee and was charged with restoring civil government.

President Abraham Lincoln placed Johnson on the ticket in the 1864 election as his vice-presidential nominee. After Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865, Johnson was sworn in as the seventeenth president. Johnson faced the difficult task of reconstructing the nation in the wake of the Civil War as he assumed the presidency. After clashing with Congress for several years, the House Republicans impeached him in 1868, but a single senatorial vote spared him.

Following his tumultuous presidency, Johnson returned to Greeneville, and in 1874 became the first former President of the United States to win a seat in the U. S. Senate. Four months later, however, Johnson suffered a stroke and died on July 31, 1875.

In 1827 Johnson married Eliza McCardle, who bore him five children, including Martha (1828-1901) and Robert (1834–1869). During her father's presidency from 1865 to 1869, Martha assumed many of the roles of First Lady in place of her invalid mother. On December 13, 1855, she married Sen. David Trotter Patterson, and the couple had two children, including Andrew Johnson (1857-1932).

Andrew Johnson Patterson married Martha Barkley (1864-1948) in 1889, and they had a daughter, Margaret Johnson (1903-1992). In about 1950, Margaret married Rev. William Thaw Bartlett. She lived at the Andrew Johnson Homestead in Greeneville, Tennessee, until 1956 but continued to act as hostess for another eighteen years. Margaret was the last family member buried in the Johnson Family plot at the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Greenville, Tennessee.


Collection consists of one box in three series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I. Andrew and Eliza M. Johnson Papers, 1835, 1848-1875, undated
  2. Series II. Andrew J. and Martha B. Patterson Correspondence, 1890s, 1906-1946
  3. Series III. Other Family Member Papers, 1864-1868, 1927-1967
  4. Series IV. Other Material, 1860s, 1910, 1920s, undated

Acquisition Note

Collection is property of the UTK Special Collections Library.

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