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Tennessee Presidents

Thus far, there have been 3 US Presidents from the state of Tennessee. Below are brief descriptions of their life and presidency. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Andrew Jackson served 1829-1837

Born: March 15, 1767 in Waxhaw, South Carolina. Moved to Tennessee as a young man and became a lawyer. He was the first man elected from Tennessee to the House of Representatives, and in 1797 served a year in the US Senate before resigning and becoming a Tennessee Supreme Court judge. Built a large mansion in Nashville, TN known as the "Hermitage." Widely remembered for killing a man during a duel while defending his wife's honor. Jackson was a major general and war hero during the War of 1812, where he defeated the British in the Battle Of New Orleans. Was the 7th US president, serving two terms from 1829 to 1837. Nicknamed "Old Hickory" due to his rough and tough behaviour. One of the most controversial times of Andrew Jackson's presidency was his policy regarding American Indians. Jackson was a leading advocate of a policy known as "Indian Removal," signing the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830. This led to the deaths of over 4000 Cherokee indians as they suffered hardships on the "Trail of Tears."

Jackson was the first US president to have an assasination attempt against him. On January 30th, 1835, a mentally deranged man named Richard Lawrence fired upon Jackson with two pistols, which both misfired. The angry Jackson proceeded to beat Lawrence with his cane until Jackson's aides intervened and stopped the beating.

Andrew Jackson died on June 8th, 1845 in Nashville, TN at his home the "Hermitage."


Born: November 2, 1795 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Moved to Nashville, TN with his family when he was 11 years old. Attended college at the University of North Carolina and then moved back to Tennessee studied law and became a lawyer. He entered politics in 1821, serving in the Tennessee legislature, and becoming a friend of Andrew Jackson. He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives between 1835 and 1839, leaving to become Governor of Tennessee. In 1845 at age 49, he became the youngest man to assume the presidency up to his time. He was the 11th US President and only served one term. Polk's presidency is mostly noted for the huge amount of territory acquired by the United States during his administration. His name is also associated with Manifest Destiny, the idea that it was "God's will" for the United States to expand westward.
James K. Polk died on June 15th, 1849 at home in Nashville, just 3 months after leaving office.


Born: December 29, 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ran away from home with his brother to Greeneville, TN at age 16 where he became a tailor. Johnson was elected governor of Tennessee, serving from 1853 to 1857, and was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from 1857 to 1862. Johnson was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln as military governor of Tennessee in 1862 even though Tennessee had seceded from the Union. Johnson was a staunch Union supporter and gained popularity by people in the Union states. He was elected Vice President of the United States and was inaugurated March 4, 1865. He became the 17th President of the United States on April 15, 1865, upon the death of Lincoln. He was the first Vice President to succeed to the U.S. Presidency upon the assassination of a President and the third to succeed upon the death of a President. Johnson became the first president to ever be impeached. His impeachment came about due to his violation of the "Tenure of Office" Act of 1867. He was acquitted due to the Senate being one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict. Although he was found "not guilty," the impeachment visibly ended his political career. Johnson was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1868 and to the House of Representatives in 1872. However, in 1874 the Tennessee legislature did elect him to the US Senate. Johnson served only 4 months before he died.

Andrew Johnson died on July 31st, 1875 in Carter's Station, TN.