Eliza McCardle Johnson
Born: October 4, 1810 at Telford, Tennessee
Died: January 15, 1876 (aged 65) at Greeneville, Tennessee
Spouse: Andrew Johnson (m. 1827 – 1875)
First Lady of the United States (1865 – 1869)
Second Lady of the United States (1865)
Children: Martha Johnson, Charles Johnson, Mary Johnson, Robert Johnson, Andrew Johnson, Jr.
Facts about Eliza McCardle Johnson
Some sources list Eliza McCardles birthplace as Leesburg, Tennessee. She was only First Lady for a short time because of the illness she battled once her husband became President. She supported her husband in his political career, but had tried to avoid public appearances.
During the American Civil War, Confederate authorities ordered her to evacuate her home in Greeneville; she took refuge in Nashville, Tennessee. As first lady, Eliza left social duties to her daughter, Martha Patterson, who won praise for her simple ways and hard work. Mrs. Johnson appeared publicly as First Lady on only two occasions.
Eliza McCardle Johnson Childhood
Born at Greeneville, Tennessee, the only child of John McCardle, a shoemaker, and Sarah Phillips-McCardle, her father died when Eliza was still in her teens. 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, 18, married Eliza McCardle, 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 nuptials.
At 16, Eliza Johnson married at a younger age than any other First Lady. She 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. She tutored him patiently, while he labored in his tailor shop. She often read aloud to him.
Where is Eliza McCardle Johnson buried?
She is buried at, what is now called, Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Greeneville.
How did Eliza McCardle Johnson die?
After episodes of tuberculosis, Eliza died on January 15, 1876, at the age of 65 in Greeneville, Tennessee.