May 5 On this date in 1851, Andrew Johnson (U.S. President 1865-1869) received his 1st degree in Greenville Lodge #119, Tennessee
17th President of the United States of America (1865-1869)
16th Vice-President of the United States of America (1865)
(Lodge records lost during the Civil War) Initiated: May 5, 1851, Greeneville Lodge No. 119, Greeneville, Tennessee.
Brother Johnson is supposed to have been a Chapter Mason but the name of the Chapter and date of exaltation are unknown; was Knighted in Nashville Commandery No.1, Nashville, Tennessee, July 26, 1859, and, the First President to become a Scottish Rite Mason, received those degrees in the White House June 20, 1867, from Benjamin B. French, 33 Deg. and A.T.C. Pierson, 33 Deg., both active members of the Supreme Council, S.J.
He participated in five cornerstone layings; the monument to Bro. Stephen a Douglas, Chicago, Illinois, September 6, 1866; Masonic Temple, Baltimore, Maryland, November 20, 1866; Masonic Temple Boston, Massachusetts, June 24, 1867; National Cemetery, Antietam, Maryland, October 17, 1867; and Masonic Temple, Washington, D.C., May 20, 1868. To attend this ceremony he gave leave to all Masons in government service, and President Johnson marched on foot in the parade as a Master Mason.
At the cornerstone laying of the Baltimore Temple some one suggested that a chair be brought to the reviewing platform for him. Brother Johnson refused it, saying: “We all meet on the level.”
He died July 31, 1875, and was buried with full Masonic Honors by Greeneville Lodge No.119, R.W.G. C. Connor, Deputy Grand Master of Tennessee conducting the services in the presence of four Lodges and Coeur de Lion Commandery No.9 of Knoxville, which performed the Templar service.
Military Governor of Tennessee, 1862-1865.