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went up in behalf of the dead President, as his body was borne throughout the country, was mingled with execrations, loud and long, against the war and the Southern people.

Under these circumstances the Presidential office was a most difficult trust when Andrew Johnson succeeded to power. A Southern man, with intense views and invincible will, he soon finds that he cannot act in harmony with the extremes of the Republican party. His vetoes and the long conflict end in his utter alienation from the party which elected him. Elections turn on his "policies." The questions of amnesty and reconstruction which had been uppermost in the American mind from Lincoln's death on the 15th of April, have already been discussed. The moderation of Lincoln had no practical revival until 1876; or until the final composition by the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884. These last two decades constitute a cycle which encompasses the greatest events known to human history, including every form of crime and tragedy which has marked the calendars of mankind.

Conspicuous for its dramatic interest is the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson. His trial is a scene for the best pencil of art; his acquittal an occasion for the loudest huzzas of honest patriotism.

Andrew Johnson became the Republican candidate for the office of VicePresident in 1864. This was partly in deference to the honored custom of selecting the two highest officers of the nation from different sections of the country. His courageous and aggressive opposition to secession and its consequences had commended him to the cordial support of Northern men. He belonged to that insurgent Alleghany range which did not bow to South Carolina. He would never have been thought of in connection with that high office, but for the sterling characteristics exhibited by him as a defiant Democrat in Congress, and as an equally determined provisional governor of Tennessee. At his accession to the office of President upon the death of Mr. Lincoln, Mr. Johnson's mind was imbued with a sentiment of rancor toward the secession leaders. In this respect, he differed widely from his predecessor. Mr. Lincoln's kindly nature was averse to harsh measures. His cool judgment inclined him in favor of a generous policy.

But while Mr. Johnson was at that time unrelenting, and while he declared that "treason must be made odious," he had never been in harmony with the ultra-Republicans in their extreme views. He differed from them radically upon the two great questions of restoring the seceded states to their relations in the Union, and of determining the proper status of the colored race in the body-politic. On these essential questions he took issue with the Republicans. It cannot be said that, in the course he pursued, he was inconsistent, or treacherous to principle. Prior to the Presidential election in 1864, the Republicans had never, as a party, decided that the state constitutions must be renovated further than by the recognition of emancipa


581 tion, the abrogation of the slave-codes, the repudiation of all debts, whether Confederate, state, or municipal, which had been contracted in aid of rebellion, and the renunciation of the right of a state to secede from the Union. Even Thaddeus Stevens, the leader of the house, who would have confiscated the property of the whole slave-holding class, hesitated long before urging the enfranchisement of the negroes. He saw that if that measure were enforced upon the South, consistency would require its adoption in Pennsylvania. The Fourteenth Amendment, proposed by Congress in 1866, refrained from enfranchising the negroes. It did not require the seceded

states to enfranchise them, as a condition of restoration.

The Republicans quarreled with President Johnson, therefore, not because he could be justly charged with political apostasy, but because he failed to keep step with the party in its march on the road of extreme radicalism. That party had an overwhelming majority in both branches of Congress. Its leaders were intolerant of opposition. They determined to get rid of the President.

A resolution was accordingly adopted on the 7th of March, 1867, authorizing the Judiciary committee "to inquire into the official conduct of Andrew Johnson, Vice-President of the United States, discharging the present duties of the office of President of the United States."

The committee were to report whether the said Andrew Johnson had been guilty of acts which were designed or calculated to corrupt and overthrow the government, and whether he alone, or conspiring with others, had been guilty of acts which are denominated crimes and misdemeanors by the Constitution.

Several months were spent by the committee in examining witnesses and collecting testimony. At the next session of Congress, in December, 1867, a majority report and two minority reports were made. That of the majority was signed by George S. Boutwell, Francis Thomas, Thomas Williams, William Lawrence, and John C. Churchill, Republicans. They reported in favor of the impeachment of the President, mainly because of his attempts to reconstruct the seceded states without calling on Congress to originate the process. There were other grounds of impeachment urged; but this was the principal one upon which the majority of the committee relied.

Messrs. James F. Wilson, of Iowa, and Frederick E. Woodbridge, of Vermont, were on the committee. They were Republicans. They took issue with the majority. At the close of an exhaustive examination of the facts and of the law, they concluded that the case presented no such high crimes and misdemeanors as called for "the interposition of the Constitutional power of the House." These gentlemen, however, condemned the course pursued by the President.

Messrs. Samuel S. Marshall, of Illinois, and Charles A. Eldridge, of Wisconsin, Democrats, of the committee, concurred in the legal conclusions

of Messrs. Wilson and Woodbridge, but took issue with them in regard to the character of the President's measures. They defended his general course of action.

It is a singular fact, that in the articles of impeachment finally adopted by the House of Representatives, the gravest of the charges contained in the majority report of the Judiciary committee were passed over in silence. Indeed, only one of the several minor charges reported by that committee as grounds of impeachment found a place in the articles on which the President was arraigned. That committee had incubated for a year. The testimony collected, and the reports, made a volume of above twelve hundred pages. It might have been burned as stubble. It was utterly worthless.

But the Republican majority of the House was not to be balked so easily. It had its stern purposes. One of these was to get rid of Andrew Johnson as President of the United States and to put Benjamin F. Wade, of Ohio, the then President pro tempore of the Senate, in his place. They accordingly made terrible inquisition, in every sinister way, to find new grounds for impeachment. Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War, furnished the pretext. He had been appointed in 1862, by Mr. Lincoln. He had been invited, or ermitted, to hold over by Mr. Johnson. He was now in sympathy with tremest wing of the Republicans, although at the beginning of the civil the en he was a secessionist in theory and in feeling. He now availed terms of the Tenure of Office act, to disregard the wishes and commotic highes himself of the to ident. He assumed, in fact, the prerogatives which the mandates of the Preshe President, as Commander-in-Chief of the the Constitution reposes in rch 2, 1867, in derogation of the ConstituArmy. An act was passed on Malent hnson of his rightful authority. tion, for the purpose of stripping President of the power to remove The purpose of the act was to depriveenate. The President, neverthecivil officers without the consent of the to Mr. Stanton, requesting his less, on Aug. 5, 1867, sent a written messacedent, declined compliance. resignation. The latter, contrary to every pl General Grant, the ComThe President then suspended him. He appoinanton had no alternative mander of the Army, as Secretary ad interim. ber, the Senate refused but submission. But when Congress met, in Dece to sanction the suspension.


ve of tolerating a

This action of the Senate left the President the alternrishes, or of ex-
man in his Cabinet who utterly and defiantly disregarded hi ad attempted
ercising his undoubted prerogative of removal, which Congre: February,
He chose the latter course, and on the 21s-General
to take from him.
1868, he dismissed the recalcitrant secretary, and appointed Adjut
Lorenzo Thomas as Secretary ad interim.


These events furnished the majority of the House of Representatives what they regarded as valid grounds of impeachment. They had passed The President had disregarded it. On the 24th & unconstitutional statute.



February, 1868, James M. Ashley, of Ohio, a member of that body, presented eleven articles of impeachment, for high crimes and misdemeanors. The foregoing facts connected with the suspension and removal of Stanton, and the appointment of Adjutant-General Thomas as Secretary ad interim, constituted the warp and woof of nine of the eleven articles, and a part of one other. Among the charges was that of a conspiracy between the President and General Thomas. It is surprising that the astute authors of the articles failed to perceive that the same charge of conspiracy was equally applicable to General Grant, who had served as ad interim Secretary under like appointment. The tenth and eleventh articles founded charges of misdemeanor upon certain extracts, which they recited from out-of-door speeches made by the President to the people of Washington, Cleveland, and St. Louis. The country well remembers Mr. Johnson's escapade in 1867, in company with his Cabinet. It was known as swinging round the circle." It was while on that somewhat extraordinary "Progress" that he indulged in some wretched rhetoric at the expense of the majorities in the two houses of Congress. The speeches were doubtless in questionable taste. They may have been unbecoming a Chief Magistrate of the United States, but the historian does not style them high crimes and misdemeanors. These illtempered speeches of the President constituted the only link between the long array of impeachable offenses set forth by the Judiciary committee in December, 1867, and the eleven articles sent up by the House two months later. The House was searching for a pretext. They found one. The Spanish maxim has it—"If you want to kill your dog, say he eats iron." There was no lack of excuses for this trial.


The House having resolved to impeach the President of high crimes and misdemeanors at any rate, the fact was communicated to the Senate. The latter body at once began preparations for the momentous duty. It was necessary, pending the trial, for the Senate to lay aside its legislative functions, and to resolve itself into a court of justice, after the manner of the House of Lords in England when a peer is to be tried for any offense. In that country peers of the realm are only triable by the House of Lords, whether for treason or other crimes. In this country, the Senate of the United States, and also the senates of the several states, are vested with judicial authority for the trial of cases of treason, malfeasance, and misfeasance of the higher officials.

Only four or five impeachment cases have thus far been brought before the United States Senate sitting as a court of justice. The first was that of a Senator from Tennessee, William Blount, in the year 1797. A very suspicious letter from him to an Indian agent in East Tennessee fell into the hands of the government. It was communicated to Congress by the President, John Adams. It clearly indicated that an intrigue was on foot, in which Blount, in conspiracy with agents of the British Government, was en

deavoring to alienate the Indians from their allegiance to this country. His latent purposes were never fully developed, but the correspondence leaves no doubt that he was engaged in a base and unpatriotic, if not treasonable conspiracy. The charge was: Conspiracy with Great Britain to wrest Florida and Louisiana from Spain. He was impeached by the House, July 17, 1797. The Senate made preparations for his trial. He was first suspended, or "sequestered," as the phrase was, and required to give security for his appearance before the impeachment court. But before the case was determined the Senate expelled him. Subsequently, on the 11th of February, 1799, the senatorial court decided that a Senator is not an officer of the government, and therefore not impeachable. This first experiment of converting one branch of Congress into a grand jury and the other into a court of justice was found to be an immensely tedious and expensive business.

The second case of impeachment was that of United States District Judge Pickering, of New Hampshire. In 1804, he was impeached on charges of corruptly releasing a vessel without requiring a bond. The vessel had been seized for smuggling. He was also accused of drunkenness, and the use of indecent language while on the bench. These offenses were committed in 1802. The articles were four in number, and he was convicted on `each of them in March, 1804, and removed from office.

The next case of impeachment was that of Judge Samuel Chase. He was a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He represented his native State of Maryland. He was a Revolutionary patriot of the most radical and determined character. But in the division of the people into parties, he became a Federalist, as pronounced and aggressive as he had been as a Whig in the struggle with Great Britain. He sat on the trial, in the Circuit Court of Pennsylvania, of one Fries, charged with treason in the whiskey rebellion, and of Callender, a Republican or Democratic editor, indicted under the sedition act. The latter was charged with having libeled President Adams. Judge Chase allowed himself to be betrayed, as was alleged, into the use of violent language while conducting these trials. His conduct was unbecoming the bench. John Randolph, of Roanoke, in 1804, then a member of the House, introduced resolutions of impeachment. They were adopted. Randolph became chairman of the managing committee. He was associated with able lawyers - members of the House. Judge Chase was an able jurist. He employed some of the most eminent members of the bar as his counsel. Robert Goodloe Harper, of Baltimore, was his leading counsel.

The trial ran through many weeks. The arguments were elaborate and able. They were published, with the testimony, in two volumes. The respondent was acquitted. On five of the eight articles, a majority of the court voted not guilty.

Judge Peck, of the United States District Court of Missouri, was im

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