Martha Johnson Patterson served for nearly four years as de facto First Lady to an unpopular president.
The Johnson Family of Greeneville
Andrew Johnson (1808-75) was seventeen years old when he pushed a cart across the North Carolina border into Greeneville, TN. It is said that the day he came to town, sixteen-year-old Eliza McCardle (1810-76) saw him and remarked to a friend, “that is the boy I am going to marry.” Whether or not Eliza actually said it is immaterial; within months they did get married. At 18 and 16 respectively, Andrew and Eliza Johnson were the youngest-married First Couple.
Eliza, a shoemaker’s daughter whose father had recently died, needed a provider. Andy, a dirt-poor uneducated tailor-apprentice needed someone to manage a household. They moved into a tiny two-room cabin. One room was their bedroom…
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