Andrew Johnson’s Obituary

The New York Times obituary for President Andrew Johnson, published on August 1, 1875:

The history this man leaves is a rare one. His career was remarkable, even in this country; it would have been quite impossible in any other. It presents the spectacle of a man who never went to school a day in his life rising from a humble beginning as a tailor’s apprentice through a long succession of posts of civil responsibility to the highest office in the land, and evincing his continued hold upon the popular heart by a subsequent election to the Senate in the teeth of a bitter personal and political opposition…. Whatever else may be said of him, his integrity and courage have been seldom questioned though often proved. He was by nature and temperament squarely disposed toward justice and the right, and was a determined warrior for his convictions. He erred from limitation of grasp and perception, perhaps, or through sore perplexity in trying times, but never weakly or consciously. He was always headstrong and ‘sure he was right’ even in his errors.

Johnson became President of the United States following Lincoln’s assassination on April 15th, 1865. After a truly convoluted series of actions by the new President, and after multiple failed attempts by the House of Representatives, he was finally impeached on February 24, 1868 for violating the short-lived Tenure of Office Act–which prohibited the president from dismissing Senate-confirmed executive officers.

He lived to be 66.

 
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