Andrew Johnson National Historic Site

Andrew Johnson's Tailor Shop. Johnson worked as a tailor before making his name in the political world. He hired people to read to him as he worked, and his shop soon became a popular meeting place for local people to visit and debate.

The Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville honors the life and work of the nation's seventeenth president and preserves his two homes, tailor shop, and grave site. The National Park Service administers the site, which includes a visitor center and presidential museum. The tailor shop, where Johnson worked and obtained his education, remained in the hands of his heirs until 1921, when the State of Tennessee purchased it. The shop is now enclosed in the brick Memorial Building.

Across the street from the visitor center is one of the houses where the Johnson family lived from the 1830s until 1851. This house includes exhibits and information on Johnson's early years and his climb to the presidency. Across the street from this early home is a representation of Johnson's birthplace in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Homestead, which Johnson purchased in 1851, is two and one-half blocks from the visitor center. Ten rooms, furnished with original family furniture and possessions as well as period furniture, are open to visitors by way of ranger-guided tours.

Approximately one mile from the visitor center is the national cemetery where Andrew and Eliza Johnson are buried with other family members. The marble monument over Johnson's grave has a likeness of the Constitution and the Bible; an American Eagle perches on top. His belief in democracy and his faith in the common man are commemorated by the words, "His faith in the people never wavered." At Tusculum College, just east of Greeneville, the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library maintains exhibits and many Johnson family books and papers.

Published » December 25, 2009 | Last Updated » January 01, 2010