Political Leaders

Online exhibit featuring portraits of President Abraham Lincoln.
In celebration of the bicentennial of Andrew Johnson’s birth and to commemorate his legacy, the images exhibited in this collection attempt to examine Johnson’s controversial political career and, at the same time, provide a glimpse at his personal life and humble beginnings. Despite his mixed reputation among scholars, the arc of Johnson’s political life remains unparalleled in American history. He is the only politician who has held all of the following offices: city alderman, mayor, state representative, state senator, governor, military governor, U. S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and President of the United States.
Online exhibit highlighting the life of William Walker (1824–1860). Walker, a physician, lawyer, newspaper editor, and President of Nicaragua, was born in Nashville and died before a firing squad in Honduras. He was an idealist devoted to fulfilling America’s role in “Manifest Destiny” which envisioned U.S. dominion over North America.
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835-1839), Governor of Tennessee (1839-1841), and the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849). This digital collection highlights the people and events which shaped this Tennessean, known as the most effective president prior to the Civil War. Containing correspondence, political cartoons, photographs, and other items, the collection is ongoing and will be expanded as more items are digitized.
Online exhibit documenting African American legislators in 19th century Tennessee. The exhibit features biographies, timelines, tools for educators and students, photographs, and an index of bills filed by African American legislators in the Tennessee General Assembly.
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