The Heart of the Household

The Heart of the Household (HM13NF)

Location: Greeneville, TN 37743 Greene County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 9.766', W 82° 49.753'

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Andrew Johnson National Historic Site

"At four in the morning I had to be up. I went up and made the fire in [Johnson's] room, shined his boots, and then made a fire in the kitchen stove. I stood by his side at the table . . . then I washed the dishes." ? ? ? William Johnson, slave to Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson purchased his first slave, Dolly, in 1842 while living in the house in front of you. Fourteen-year-old Dolly was scheduled to be sold at auction when, according to her son William Johnson, she approached Andrew Johnson and asked him to buy her. The bill of sale (right) is for Dolly's 12 year-old brother Sam whom Andrew Johnson also bought. Dolly, her brother Sam, and Johnson's other slaves worked in and around this house doing the family's cooking, cleaning, and other domestic chores.

"I, Andrew Johnson, do hereby proclaim freedom, full, broad and unconditional to every man in Tennessee!" ? ? ? Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of Tennessee, 1864

Johnson believed in gradual freedom for slaves. According to local tradition, Johnson freed his slaves, including Dolly and her family, on August 8, 1863. In 1864, as Tennessee's Military Governor, Johnson proclaimed freedom for all enslaved men in Tennessee a year before slavery was formerly abolished by the 14th amendment to the constitution.

"Slavery is the cancer upon the body politic, which must be rooted out before perfect health can be restored." ? ? ? Andrew Johnson, August 8, 1864
HM NumberHM13NF
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 10:05pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 335467 N 4003552
Decimal Degrees36.16276667, -82.82921667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 9.766', W 82° 49.753'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 9' 45.96" N, 82° 49' 45.18" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)423
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-104 N College St, Greeneville TN 37743, US
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