Andrew Johnson Museum & Library
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For the first twenty plus years of its existence, Tusculum College had a two-room cabin and the two-story brick home of its founder as its only facilities. In 1841, as the College was growing and prospering, Samuel Witherspoon Doak undertook the construction of a new building. Tradition has it that the brick for this building was made by the Doak family's slaves, and that, in exchange for their labor, they were freed by President Doak. From the time of its construction in 1841 until 1887, Old College was the only college building. During this time it contained the president's office, chapel, library, and classrooms. From 1887 until 1994, it was used as the Science Building, women's dormitory, and faculty housing.
In 1994, the building's exterior was restored to its 1870's appearance and the interior was upgraded with the appropriate mechanical and safety systems necessary to house the archives of the College, including the original College Library (1,400 volumes collected between 1800-1827).The building was re-named the President Andrew Johnson Museum & Library and so recognized by an act of Congress, in recognition of the fact that the former President had been on the board of Tusculum Academy and had long-standing connections with the College: he had donated $20.00 toward construction of the building, and had regularly walked four miles from Greeneville to participate in debates held on the second floor of the Old College. Johnson continued to be associated with the College throughout his life. His great-granddaughter graduated from Tusculum in 1927 and subsequently donated a variety of documents and artifacts (personal, family, and political) to the College, which are housed in the building and are on exhibition.
The building is also the physical manifestation of "classical education" in this country. The name Tusculum comes from the location of a home of Cicero near Rome, Italy. The roots of civic republican traditions and classical education are embodied in the name and the historic curriculum. The College has historic connections to Princeton University (College of New Jersey) and the early founders of the republic through Reverend John Witherspoon and one of his students, Reverend Samuel Doak.