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17th President (1865-1869), 16th Vice President (1865)
Education: no formal education
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Organizational Affiliation(s): Mason
Religious Affiliation: none
Summary of Religious Views:
Johnson belonged to no church and was not much of a church-goer. Although he was quite tolerant of religion and religious belief, Johnson showed little personal interest in religion.
Views on Religion & Politics:
As a congressman, Johnson introduced a resolution that congress be opened with a prayer, the expense of which was to be paid through voluntary contributions from the members of the House. The resolution was ignored.
"Here religion, released from political connection with the civil government, refuses to subserve the craft of statesmen, and becomes in its independence the spiritual life of the people. Here toleration is extended to every opinion, in the quiet certainty that truth needs only a fair field to secure the victory." -- Annual Message, 4 December 1865
"I intend to stand by the Constitution, as the chief ark of our safety, as the palladium of our civil and religious liberty. Yes, let us cling to it as the mariner clings to the last plank when the night and the tempest close around him!" -- impromptu speech to his supporters, 22 February 1866
"I have performed my duty to my God, my country, and my family. I have nothing to fear in approaching death. To me it is the mere shadow of God's protecting wing . . . Here I will rest in quiet and peace beyond the reach of calumny's poisoned shaft, the influence of envy and jealous enemies, where treason and traitors or State backsliders and hypocrites in church can have no peace." -- written shortly before his death, July 1875
References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links
Albert Castel, "Andrew Johnson: His Historiographical Rise and Fall," Mid-America, 45, July 1963, pp. 175-84
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