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William Andrew Johnson

This photograph of William Andrew Johnson was taken in February 1937. William Andrew Johnson was born into slavery in the household of Andrew Johnson and brought to the Johnson White House to work as a free servant after his emancipation. In 1937, after being interviewed by journalist Ernie Pyle, William Johnson gained national recognition as the last surviving individual to be formerly enslaved by an American president. As a result, he was invited to the White House to meet President Franklin D. Roosevelt, where the president gifted Johnson a silver-headed, engraved cane. In this photograph, Johnson is pictured with the cane on the steps of the United States Capitol Building.
Harris & Ewing
Date of Work
February 1937
Library of Congress