Greeneville Travel Guide

  • Another view of the rear of the Homestead
    Another view of the rear of the...
    by mtncorg
  • Explanation of the Cemetery at the Visitor Center
    Explanation of the Cemetery at the...
    by mtncorg
  • Description of the House
    Description of the House
    by mtncorg

Greeneville Things to Do

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2015

    Andrew Johnson’s original tailor shop has been preserved inside a memorial building that was originally constructed to protect the old wooden shop from the elements by the State of Tennessee in 1923. It was from the tailor shop that Johnson branched off into his political career from –alderman, mayor State legislature, US Congress, governor and US senator – finally Vice President and President. Some of the items he made are on display as are some of the letters he received from Abraham Lincoln when he was wartime governor of Tennessee. When Johnson was away on political work, he kept the tailor shop going by hiring other tailors to keep things going.

    The tailor shop of Andrew Johnson Andy Johnson, Tailor Letter from Abraham Lincoln to Johnson Johnson's wartime desk as military governor of TN
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    • National/State Park
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2015

    Here is where you can get familiar with Andrew Johnson the President. There are several exhibits dealing with his presidency and the impeachment trials, along with a short film on the President and his times. You are given a copy of the original admission ticket to Johnson’s impeachment trial in the US Senate. You can cast a vote for whether Johnson was guilty or not. The visitor votes are tabulated each 26 May – the date when all charges were finally dropped – and Johnson is usually again exonerated.

    History varies with the person writing or telling the story. Non-fiction can quickly become fiction, depending upon the narrator or the listener. The National Park Service tries to give both sides of the story, but they tend to give the story remembered by JFK, Woodrow Wilson and William Rehnquist – the story of a forgotten hero who stood up for the Constitution and against the tyranny of the Majority. One of the exhibits reads, “Johnson’s acquittal had great consequences for the future of the United States. Had Johnson been convicted, a dangerous precedent would have been set allowing for the removal of the president for trivial reasons such as political unpopularity.” That statement is very naïve and simply untrue. Johnson was not impeached just because he was unpopular, though he was. He was accused of actually committing a crime. Johnson could have tried to have tested the legality of the Tenure of Office Act in courts instead of simply ignoring it. The Republican majority had twice before tried to impeach him on grounds relating to simple unpopularity but had failed. It was only by acting against the law that the House decided to impeach.

    If Johnson had been removed from office, Ben Wade would have become president for a short 10 months. Neither Wade nor Johnson were going to extend beyond 1868 because the Grant juggernaut was rolling along and no one in the country could compare to the popularity of the General at that particular point in time. As to the integrity of the office of President, Johnson tried to rule the country according to his own vision, even though his ideas were not shared by a large majority of the country. A President is by definition a leader. A leader has ideas but he must work with others, bring them along, and know when to compromise. Johnson helped the old South survive. There would be no ‘africanization’. Civil rights would have to wait for another century.

    Vice President to President Life at the White HOuse Impeachment Verdict of the Senate Last Years
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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • National/State Park

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  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2015

    Across the street to the south from the Visitor Center next to a small parking lot is a restored home that the Johnson family lived in for some twenty years – 1831 to 1851. The house dates to the 1820’s and was Johnson’s second home here in Greeneville. It is a pretty simple house with originally four rooms. A basement served as a kitchen at times but was later filled in. Exhibits inside the home discuss Johnson’s pre-Presidential career.

    The early brick home of Andrew Johnson Description of the House On the way to the Presidency A Constitutionalist to teh core Looking at the home from the parking area
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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