Andrew Johnson Quote Page

I have reached the summit of my ambition" 
- Andrew Johnson when he heard the news of his 
election into the Senate - an opinion he held the 
rest of his life.

"I have been informed that part of the business to be 
transacted on the present occasion is the 
assassination of the individual who now has the 
honor of addressing you . . . Therefore, if any man 
has come here tonight for the purpose indicated, 
I do not say to him let him speak, but let him shoot."
Andrew Johnson
(1855, when campaigning for governor of Tennessee 
in an area that was a stronghold for his opponents) 

"If I am shot at, I want no man to be in the way of 
the bullet."
Andrew Johnson (Comment issued after an assassination 

Let peace and prosperity be restored to the land. 
May God bless this people: may God save the 
Andrew Johnson in the U.S. Senate
March 22, 1875 

We have no legal authority more than private citizens,
and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us.
This broad principle limits all our functions
and applies to all subjects.
Andrew Johnson

"Honest conviction is my courage; the 
Constitution is my guide."
Andrew Johnson

"There are some who lack confidence in the 
integrity and capacity of the people to govern 
themselves. To all who entertain such fears I 
will most respectfully say that I entertain none . . . 
If man is not capable, and is not to be trusted with 
the government of himself, is he to be trusted 
with the government of others . . . Who, then, 
will govern? The answer must be, Man for we 
have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are 
willing to take charge of our political affairs." 
Andrew Johnson (1853)

"Notwithstanding a mendacious press; 
notwithstanding a subsidized gang of hirelings who 
have not ceased to traduce me, I have discharged 
all my official duties and fulfilled my pledges. And 
I say here tonight that if my predecessor [Lincoln] 
had lived, the vials of wrath would have been poured 
out upon him."
Andrew Johnson

"I hold it the duty of the executive to insist 
upon frugality in the expenditure, and a sparing 
economy is itself a great national source."

"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 just before his death 
in July 1875)

Goal in Government
"The goal to strive for is a poor government 
but a rich people."
Andrew Johnson

"I do believe in Almighty God! And I believe also in the 
Bible...Let us look forward to the time when we can take 
the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and 
there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let 
us gather around it and inscribed for our motto: 
"Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever, 
and exclaim, Christ first, our country next!"
Andrew Johnson
Source:John Savage, "The Life and Public Services of 
Andrew Johnson" pp. 247, 274

Good Laws
"There are no good laws but such as repeal other laws." 
Andrew Johnson (1835)

Ideal Country
"If the rabble were lopped off at one end and 
the aristocrat at the other, all would be well 
with the country."
Andrew Johnson

"Legislation can neither be wise nor just which 
seeks the welfare of a single interest at the 
expense and to the injury of many and varied 
Andrew Johnson (February 22, 1869)

Lincoln's Assassination
"I have been almost overwhelmed by the 
announcement of the sad event 
[Lincoln's assassination] which has so 
recently occurred. I feel incompetent to 
perform duties so important and responsible 
as those which have been so unexpectedly 
thrown upon me."

I am sworn to uphold the Constitution as Andy Johnson 
understands it and interprets it.
Andrew Johnson

Tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more 
rigourously, more vigourously, and more severely, 
than by one.
Andrew Johnson

We are swinging round the circle.
Andrew Johnson - on the Presidential "Reconstruction"

It is plain that an indefinite or permanent exclusion 
of any part of the country from representation must 
be attended by a spirit of disquite and complaint. It 
is unwise and dangerous to pursue a course of 
measures which will unite a very large section of the 
country against another section of the country, 
however much the latter may perponderate.    	
Andrew Johnson

"The times we live in are not without instruction. 
The American people must be taught -- if they do 
not already  feel -- that treason is a crime and must 
be punished; that the Government will not always 
bear with its enemies; that it is strong not only to 
protect but to punish."

"Slavery exists. It is black in the South, 
and white in the North."
Andrew Johnson

[Inresponse to a heckler who shouted 'From a tailor up!':] 
Some gentleman says I have been a tailor. That does not 
disconcert me in the least; for when I was a tailor I had 
the reputation of being a good one, and making close fits; 
I was always punctual with my customers, and always did 
good work.
Andrew Johnson
Source:Smiles, Self-Help

Washington DC and REALITY
Washington, DC is 12 square miles bordered by reality." 
--President Johnson (Andrew, not Lyndon, Johnson) 
in 1865 

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