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    Future President Andrew Johnson Marriage Bond Document Signed Together with Marriage License and Certificate Signed by Cousin of Abraham Lincoln's Father. 1) One page, 7.5" x 6", Greene County, Tennessee, May 17, 1827. A marriage bond in which Andrew Johnson announced his intention to marry Eliza McCardle, the daughter of a local shoemaker. On this date Johnson and bondsman Robert Maloney, a tailor in Greenville, Tennessee, where Johnson had settled, posted a bond of $1,250, "to be void if there is no lawful cause to obstruct the marriage of the said Andrew Johnston and Eliza McCardall of said County, or to pay and satisfy all costs and damages that may be recovered in consequence of such marriage being illegal." The bond document is a partially printed form that is filled in by a secretarial hand and signed by Johnson and Maloney.

    A marriage bond is similar to today's engagement announcement. The bond was an intention to marry - an official engagement - whereby a man who had proposed to a woman went to the local courthouse with a bondsman and posted a bond indicating his intention to marry. The purpose of the bond was to give notice of the planned marriage and offer people the opportunity to come forward and object if there was some legal reason why the marriage should not take place. Thus the bond served as a guarantee that there was no legal bar to the marriage. The bond was enforced by a pledge by the groom and bondsman to pay a sum of money to the governor of the state only if there was some reason the marriage was illegal.

    Offered together with the Johnsons' marriage license and certificate, 7.5" x 6", Greenville, Greene County, Tennessee, May 17, 1827. It is interesting to note that the bond was posted the same day as Johnson's wedding. This partially printed document is filled in and signed by county clerk, Valentine Sevier (1780-1854) for himself and county clerk Andrew Patterson (1777-1849). It is certified and signed on the reverse on May 19, 1827 by local justice of the peace Mordecai Lincoln (1788-1851), who was the first cousin to Thomas Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's father. Lincoln married Johnson and McCardle.

    On the reverse of the document, this statement appears in the hand of Mordecai Lincoln: "I certify that on the Evening of the 17th of May 1827 I Sollomnized [sic] the bonds of Matrimony between the within named persons given under my hand and Seal this 19th May 1827. [signed] M. Lincoln / Justice of the Peace." Both Johnson's and McCardle's names are misspelled on both documents.

    Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) was the 17th President of the United States. He was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and apprenticed as a tailor. After working in several frontier towns, he settled in Greenville, Tennessee, where he met and married sixteen-year old Eliza McCardle (1810-1875). They were married for fifty years and together had five children. He chose to enter politics and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee's First District (1843-1853), as Governor of Tennessee (1853-1857), and Military Governor of Tennessee during the Civil War, Vice President of the United States during Abraham Lincoln's brief second term, as President (1865-1869), and a brief tenure in the U.S. Senate (1875). As president, Johnson was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives on February 24, 1868 over violation of the Tenure of Office Act but was acquitted by the U.S. Senate by one vote. Eliza McCardle, who taught her husband mathematics and how to improve his writing skills, suffered from tuberculosis for most of her life. A shy person, she was seldom seen in public and continued to live in Greenville during most her husband's political career. From the Estate of Malcolm S. Forbes.

    Condition: Both documents have identical vertical folds and exhibit toning. They are hinged to a single sheet along the top edge.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2016
    19th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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