Synopses & Reviews
This meticulously researched work, the fourth volume in Pelican's Governors of the States Series, traces the lives and careers of the men who have held Tennessee's highest office, beginning with the founding of the original independent state of Franklin in 1784 and continuing to the present.As author Margaret I. Phillips vividly documents, Tennessee's history and culture have been profoundly shaped by a number of strong, dynamic governors. These leaders include the first governor, charismatic John Sevier, who served six terms; the near-legendary Sam Houston; and two men who later became president of the United States, James K. Polk (1845-1849) and Andrew Johnson (1865-1869). Other notable figures who occupied the statehouse include the scholarly Archibald Roane; William Blount, the patriotic zealot; William Carroll, the pioneering Babbitt; Joseph McMinn, the peaceful negotiator; tart-tongued James Lean Jimmy Jones; and Robert Love Taylor, the pardoning governor.
With this second edition, Phillips reveals the successes, failures, ambitions, shortcomings, and the visions of the volunteer State's chief executives through the present day. Portraits of each governor are included, as well as an outstanding bibliography.
From the Watauga Association -- a governing body created even before Tennessee's statehood -- to modern-day gubernatorial administrations, Phillips provides an in-depth look at the state's leaders. Remarks on native American life and concurrent events in the state's development put each governor's tenure in historical perspective. Especially poignant is Andrew Johnson's rise from civic-minded tailor to governor and ultimately to president, and how a political misunderstanding led to his near-impeachment. Phillips emphasizes the state's ability to adapt from an agrarian to urban culture, then back to a "retreat-to-the-land" phase. Includes governors' photos and outstanding bibliography.