Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Steven E. Nash

Committee Members

Tom Lee, Stephen Fritz


The memory of Andrew Johnson in Greeneville has progressed through three phases. The first phase began during Johnson’s post-presidential career when he sought national office to demonstrate his vindication. After Johnson died the first phase continued through the efforts of his daughters and local Unionists who sought to strengthen the myth of monolithic Unionism and use Johnson to promote reconciliation and to shield the region from federal intervention in the racial hierarchy. The second phase in the construction of Johnson’s memory began in 1908 when Northerners began to unite with white Southerners in white supremacy. East Tennesseans then celebrated the aspects of Johnson’s memory that they cherished, his attempts to undermine Reconstruction. The Civil Rights Movement ushered the final phase, prompting historians to reexamine Johnson’s racism and presidency. With the image of a white supremacist no longer viable, Greenevillians depict Johnson as a progressive president unfairly impeached by Radical Republicans.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.