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Lot 74: Rare and Desirable Check Signed by President Andrew Johnson as President
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Rare Presidential Check Signed by Andrew Johnson********** JOHNSON, ANDREW. (1808-1875). Seventeenth president of the United States and one of only two presidents to be impeached. DS. (“Andrew Johnson”). 1p. Oblong 12mo. Washington, June 18, 1867. A First National Bank check, signed as president, in the amount of $96 and payable to “Stable acct.” ********** From 1843-1853, Johnson represented Tennessee in the Senate, returning to his seat in 1857 after serving four years as governor. A passionate defender of the Union, Johnson was unable to prevent Tennessee’s secession in June 1861, when he became the only remaining Southerner serving in the Senate. On March 4, 1862, he was appointed the state’s military governor by President Lincoln and commissioned a brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers. After resigning his senate seat, Johnson returned home to raise Union regiments and soon established a provisional government that became “a sort of laboratory experiment for the reconstruction of the Union,” (DAB). Johnson’s courageous efforts were rewarded two years later with his nomination as Lincoln’s vice president, “a recognition of the service of the militant Unionists of the South [which] helped to relieve the party of the purely sectional character which had at first attached to the Republicans,” (ibid.). ********** Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 landed Johnson the presidency during the difficult post-war years. He followed Lincoln’s plan for reconstruction and pardoned Confederates who swore an oath of allegiance to the U.S. or requested presidential pardons. Johnson sought to return the country to its pre-war state minus the institution of slavery. When congress convened at the end of 1865, representatives disapproved of the number of Confederate leaders still present. Johnson’s response was to oppose the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which he felt violated state rights. Tensions between the chief executive and the legislature continued to mount throughout 1867, culminating the following year when Johnson attempted to fire Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and defy the Tenure of Office Act, passed in 1867 despite a presidential veto. For this violation, Johnson was impeached and, although acquitted, he lost his effectiveness as a leader. Johnson returned home to Tennessee and was re-elected to the Senate in 1875, but died only a few months later. ********** Folded with several closed cancellation cuts, a couple of which lightly affect the signature. Bearing a two-cent revenue stamp in the upper right corner along with several pencil and ink notations. Not endorsed on the verso. In very good condition and rare.