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ANDREW JOHNSON was born on the 29th day of December, 1808, at Raleigh, North Carolina. While yet in his fifth year, his father lost his life. through generous and successful efforts to save Col. Thomas Henderson, editor of the "Raleigh Gazette," from drowning, leaving his wife and son dependent upon themselves for future support. The untoward event of his father's death prevented the lad from receiving even an ordinary education, and, at the age of ten years, he was apprenticed to a tailor in his native town. Devoting himself steadily and earnestly to his new occupation, he thus began life by a struggle with its daily duties, brightened by probable visions of the future, but into which dreams the possibility of an attainment to his present position presumed not to enter.

In the society of his fellow-workmen he became conscious of his great ignorance, and was possessed with a desire to learn to read. The visits to the workshop of a gentleman who lightened the hours of toil by reading to the workmen, still further aroused the ambition of the young apprentice. The volume thus read, (a collection of speeches by

British statesmen,) sowed in his mind a germ which in after-years was developed in the legislative halls. He devoted the hours after his day's work was done to mastering the alphabet, and then asked the loan of the volume that he might learn to spell. The gentleman, pleased at his earnestness and appreciating his ambition, presented to him the book, and otherwise assisted him in his studies. Through industry and patience, aided by a strong determination to overcome all obstacles, success crowned his efforts, and books were no longer sealed volumes to his youthful mind.

At the expiration of his apprenticeship in 1824, he went to Laurens Court House, S. C., where he worked as journeyman tailor until May, 1826, when he returned to Raleigh. There he remained until September of the same year, when with his mother he removed to Greenville, a small town in Eastern Tennessee, at which place he succeeded in obtaining work. Soon after his settlement in Greenville, he married a young woman whose attainments and devotion exerted a marked and beneficial influence on his future life. Sharing in the desires of her husband to acquire knowledge, and in his ambition to rise to distinction, she read to him and instructed him by her conversation as he plied the needle on his work-bench, thus lightening his labor by her presence and encouragement. At night the instructions of the day were continued by lessons in writing and arithmetic. Actuated by the highest motives,

his efforts seconded by unflagging perseverance and an indomitable will, he proved an attentive student and a good scholar, and his estimable wife realized the first-fruits of her teachings in his growing popularity with the workingmen of the town in which they lived.

Thinking to improve his fortunes he left Greenville and moved further West, but after an absence of about a year, he returned with his wife to his former home, where he permanently settled. Selfreliance and energy were early developed in his character, while the method of his education sharpened and improved his reasoning faculties. The broad and comprehensive views of the more liberal British statesmen, implanted in his mind by the readings in the old workshop, took deep root; and in his further studies, the principle of Republican government the fact that it is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people-became the centre around which clustered all his thoughts, hopes, and aspirations.

He saw that the aristocracy of the town, who were supported by slave labor, despised the white man who maintained himself and family by his own exertions; that capital, represented by the few, was to rule, and not the intelligence of the many who earned their bread by their daily toil. This was contrary to all his preconceived ideas, and he devoted himself heart and soul to the correction of the fallacy. By his appeals to the laboring classes he

aroused them to assert their right to representation in the town councils, and, in 1828, the young tailor was chosen as Alderman, which position he held until 1830. In this latter year he was elected Mayor, and served in that capacity for the three succeeding years. He was also appointed Trustee of Rhea Academy by the County Court. In 1834 he interested himself successfully in the adoption of a new constitution for Tennessee, by which important rights were guaranteed to the mass of the people, the freedom of the press established, and other liberal measures adopted.

Andrew Johnson was now fairly enlisted in public life. Identified with the interests of the working classes, he devoted himself earnestly to improving their condition, to raising them from the position to which the aristocrats had doomed them, to the independence and dignity of freemen. His zeal in their behalf secured for him their universal esteem; they looked to him as their friend and champion, and were ever willing to advance his interests by their hearty support and by their votes. Consequently, in 1835, having proved himself in every way worthy of their suffrage, he was elected a member of the House of Representatives of the State for the counties of Greene and Washington. He became an active member of this body, but was particularly noted for his opposition to a grand scheme of internal improvements, which he boldly denounced as a base fraud tending to impoverish

the State treasury and increase State taxation. This course rendered him unpopular at the time, and at the election in 1837 his place was filled by another representative. Time placed him right on the record, however. The scheme he had opposed proved, as he had predicted, a useless burden on the people, and in 1839 he was again returned to the Legislature.

During the Presidential contest of 1840, between Harrison and Van Buren, Mr. Johnson, in the capacity of Presidential Elector, canvassed the State in behalf of the latter candidate. He has been described as "an effective stump-speaker. His voice at first appears to be whining, but as he warms with his subject seems to entwine itself around the hearts of his followers and holds them spellbound."

In 1841 he was elected State Senator from Hawkins and Greene counties, and during the two ensuing years labored efficiently for the improvement of Eastern Tennessee. In the Senate, as in the lower branch of the Legislature, he proved a useful and active member. He was not an ornamental legislator or hackney politician, but an earnest and able advocate of all that he believed to be right; an open, honest, and hearty denouncer of that which he deemed wrong.

The people, recognizing his abilities, respecting his character, and appreciating his services, determined to enlarge his sphere of usefulness, and in 1843 he was nominated for Congress from the First

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