Bronze Andrew Johnson.

Bronze Andrew Johnson

Field review by the editors.

Greeneville, Tennessee

Bronze Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, his shoulders draped in a Cape of Power, stares intently at the shrine enclosing his former Tailor Shop across the street. The shop was built in the 19th century, the shrine in 1923, but the statue, by local sculptor Jim Gray, didn't come along until 1995.

Bronze Andrew Johnson.

Bronze Johnson had been the lifelong dream of Margaret Johnson Patterson Bartlett, Johnson's great-granddaughter, who died three years before the sculpture was unveiled. The project was carried through by her 100-year-old cousin, Ralph Phinney, who also somehow got a copy of the statue erected at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville. This was an impressive achievement, as some Tennessee politicians still hadn't forgiven "traitor" Johnson for helping the Yankees during the Civil War, 130 years earlier.

The statue's bronze plaque heaps praise on both Bartlett and Johnson, calling the latter "an unsurpassed legend in American history" and a "leader and voice of the common man," and adding that Johnson was "long heralded by historians as the Preserver of the Union of the United States and Defender of the Constitution." Most modern historians would probably disagree with all of those statements, but their criticisms bounce harmlessly off of Bronze Johnson, Greeneville's hometown superhero.

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Also see: Tributes to a Traitor President

Bronze Andrew Johnson

Address:
190 E. Depot St., Greeneville, TN
Directions:
East side of downtown. On the southeast corner of the intersection of E. Depot and S. College Sts.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Andrew Johnson's Backwards BirthplaceAndrew Johnson's Backwards Birthplace, Greeneville, TN - < 1 mi.
Andrew Johnson National Historic SiteAndrew Johnson National Historic Site, Greeneville, TN - < 1 mi.
Marble Andrew JohnsonMarble Andrew Johnson, Greeneville, TN - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Gray Fossil Dig Site, Gray, TN - 24 mi.

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December 5, 2019

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