Andrew Johnson

Sen. William M. Stewart of Nevada wrote of entering Vice President Andrew Johnson’s room with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase on the morning after the assassination.

He said Johnson was in bare feet and only partially dressed, as though he had hurriedly thrown on a pair of trousers and shirt. As the vice-president walked out of one room into the outer room his suite, he put on a very rumpled coat, Stewart wrote in his memoir.

Stewart said Johnson had the appearance of a drunken man. He said the vice-president was dirty and his hair was matted, as though with mud from the gutter. He said he blinked at his visitors through squinting eyes and lurched around unsteadily.

When Chase told him the president had been assassinated, Johnson seemed dazed at first, Stewart wrote.

“Then he jumped up, thrust his right arm up as far as he could reach, and said, in a thick, gruff, hoarse voice, “I’m ready.”

Source: Reminiscences of Sen. William M. Stewart of Nevada, Neale Publishing Co., 1908