John Andrew was born in Windham, Maine, 1818. He practiced law in Boston and was a member of the Free-Soil Party. A strong opponent of slavery he was a founder member of the Republican Party.
Andrew was elected governor of Massachusetts (1861-66). A supporter of Abraham Lincoln he successfully recruited soldiers for the Union Army during the American Civil War.
An advocate of black regiments he established the 5th Massachusetts (Colored) Cavalry Regiment and the 54th Massachusetts (Colored) and the 55th Massachusetts (Colored) Infantry Regiments.
After the war Andrew advocated a policy of friendship and leniency toward the South.
John Andrew died in Boston in 1867.