Andrew Jackson Museum and Library at Tusculum University
Rev. Samuel Doak began a school in the area and when his school needed to grow he looked for patrons to help him fulfill his dream, Andrew Johnson made a donation of $20 toward the University which was half a year’s salary, it is only fitting that this Museum and Library should be located on the campus of the University he helped to found.
The museum is located off route 11E in Greenville. The sign is small and hard to see and once you get onto the campus it is even harder. It is a building called the Old College which was the first academic building built on the campus in 1841. It is a red brick building with a white cupola. The museum is not large; it is only three rooms and the library. Most of Andrew Johnson’s books from his personal library have arrived here.
There is a room of very personal items that belonged to the Johnson family. There is Eliza Johnson’s lace cap, silhouette pictures of Eliza, Andrew, Mary and Martha. There is humidor that was once filled with Cuban cigars.
Since Andrew Johnson was the 17th president of the United States there are also items from their White House years. There is a vase and a set of candle sticks that were part of the Johnson family’s personal White House furnishing.
There are several pieces of Johnson family furniture including a table and a wicker chair. There are some family pictures and some pieces of clothing. There are menus from banquets that were held during the Johnson White House tenure.
The second room is in the rear of the building and deals with the history of Tusculum University. It covers the founder and the founding and more recent accomplishments.
In the entrance hall there is a portrait and a bust of Andrew Johnson and also a porcelain train that was a gift from the People of France to President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis. You will also see an American Flag on the Wall; it has only 37 stars and has a very different look from the flag of today. It has one star, the 37th which is the state of Nebraska which is dominant which means it is a lot larger than the other stars. Until 1912 there were no rules governing the design of the American flag.
The last room has a case in the middle with Johnson ephemera. One thing of particular interest, with his great belief in the Constitution, it is his personal copy of the Constitution.
One of the really amazing items is a bronze copy of Lincoln’s death mask and his hands. One of the many documents on display is a pardon of Charles Walsh. Most soldiers were covered under the general amnesty but if you owned more than $20,000 in property then you had to receive a special pardon, this is Charles Walsh a wealthy man from Mobile Alabama.
Together with the Andrew Johnson Historic Site in Greenville this is the perfect combination. This adds an additional dimension to all the information that you will receive from the park department.
The museum is free of charge and the tour is self guided.