From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eliza McCardle Johnson
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
Mary Todd Lincoln
March 4, 1865 – April 15, 1865
Ellen Vesta Emery Hamlin
Ellen Maria Colfax
||October 4, 1810
Telford, Tennessee, U.S.
||January 15, 1876 (aged 65)
Greeneville, Tennessee, U.S.
Eliza McCardle Johnson (October
4, 1810 in Telford,
Tennessee – January 15, 1876 in
Greeneville, Tennessee) was the 20st First
Lady of the United
States and the wife of Andrew
Johnson, the 17th President
of the United States.
Life and Marriage
Born at Telford,
Tennessee, the only child of John McCardle, a shoemaker, and Sarah
Phillips-McCardle, Eliza lost her father when she was still a small child. She
was raised by her widowed mother in Greeneville,
Tennessee. One day in September 1826, Eliza was chatting with classmates
from Rhea Academy when she spotted Andrew Johnson and his family pull into
town with all their belongings. They instantly took a liking to each other.
Andrew Johnson, aged 18, married Eliza McCardle, aged 16, on May 17, 1827, at
the home of the bride's mother in Greeneville. Mordecai Lincoln, a distant
relative of Abraham
Lincoln presided over the
At 16, Eliza Johnson married at a younger age than any other First Lady. Mrs.
Johnson was rather tall and had hazel eyes, brown hair and a good figure. She
was better educated than Johnson, who by this time had barely taught himself
to read and spell a little. Johnson credited his wife for teaching him to do arithmetic and
to write, as he had never attended school himself. She tutored him patiently,
while he labored in his tailor shop. She often read aloud to him.
The Johnsons had three sons and two daughters, all born in Greeneville,
- Martha Johnson Patterson (1828-1901).
She married David T. Patterson, who after the Civil War served as U.S.
Senator from Tennessee. She served as official White House hostess in place
of her mother. The Pattersons maintained a farm outside Greeneville,
- Charles Johnson (1830-1863)
- doctor, pharmacist. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he remained loyal to
the Union. While recruiting Tennessee boys for the Union Army, he became the
object of an intense Confederate manhunt. He joined the Middle Tennessee
Union Infantry as an assistant surgeon; he was thrown from his horse and
- Mary Johnson Stover Brown (1832-1883).
She married Dan Stover, who served as colonel of the Fourth Tennessee Union
Infantry during the Civil War. The Stovers lived on a farm in Carter
County, Tennessee. Following the death of her husband in 1864, she
married W.R. Brown.
- Robert Johnson (1834-1869)
- lawyer. He served for a time in the Tennessee state legislature. During
the Civil War he was commissioned colonel of the First Tennessee Union
Cavalry. He was private secretary to his father during his tenure as
president. He died an alcoholic at age 35.
- Andrew Johnson, Jr. (1852-1879)
- journalist. He founded the weekly Greeneville Intelligencer, but it failed
after two years. He died soon thereafter at age 27.
Lady of the United States
She supported her husband in his political career, but had tried to avoid
public appearances. During the Civil
War, Confederate authorities ordered her to evacuate her home in
Greeneville; she took refuge in Nashville,
A few months later after her husband became president, she joined him in the
White House, but she was not able to serve as First Lady due to her poor
health. She remained confined to a room on the second floor, leaving the
social chores to her daughter (Martha Johnson Patterson). Mrs. Johnson
appeared publicly as First Lady on only two occasions - at a reception forQueen
Emma of the Kingdom
of Hawaii in 1866 and at the
president's birthday party in 1867.
She died on January 15, 1876, at age 65, having survived her husband by just
six months. She was buried next to him in Greeneville, Tennessee.