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04-030

Andrew Johnson

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Andrew Johnson, 1808-1875.  17th President of the United States.  Very desirable Civil War-dated commission signed March 6, 1864, as the military governor of Tennessee.

Johnson was one of the few southern Democrats who remained loyal to the union during the Civil War.  He left the United States Senate to accept appointment by President Lincoln, a Republican, as military governor of Tennessee.  He signed this document as governor to commission eight men who had been elected justices of the peace.  They subsequently took their oath of office on June 6, 1864, one day before Johnson was nominated to run with Lincoln as vice president.  The handwritten oath appears on the back of the commission along with the signatures of all eight men.  In the oath, the men swear to “support and defend the constitution of the United States of America and the constitution of the State of Tennessee.”

Johnson’s war-dated material is very desirable. This document is boldly signed by Johnson and countersigned by Edward H. East, secretary of state, and has the blind-embossed seal of the State of Tennessee at the lower left.  The integral leaf is attached.  There are minor paper separations in the folds and paper loss where the folds cross, but these are not unusual or excessive for this type and age of document.  The oath and signatures on the back have bled through, but this does not affect Johnson’s signature.  Overall this document is in fine condition. 

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