The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
»First Vetoes

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Harper's Weekly,
February 10, 1866 page 83

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Education of the Freedmen
"The Freedmen," said our martyr President, "are the Wards of the Nation." "Yes," replied Mr. Stanton, "Ward in Chancery." What is our duty to them as their guardians? Clearly, to clothe them if they are naked; to teach them if they are ignorant; to nurse them if they are sick, and to adopt them if they are homeless and motherless. They have been slaves, war made them freedmen, and peace must make them freemen. They must be shielded from unjust laws and unkindly prejudices; they must be instructed in the true principles of social order and democratic government; they must be prepared to take their place by-and-by in the great army of voters as lately they filled up the ranks in the great army of fighters. The superstitions, the vices, the unthriftiness, the loitering and indolent habits which slavery foisted on the whites and blacks alike, who were cursed by its presence in their midst, must be dispelled and supplanted by all the traits and virtues of a truly Christian civilization.

The North, that liberated the slave, has not been remiss in its duty to the freedman. The common school has kept step to the music of the advancing army. Willson’s Readers have followed Grant’s soldiers everywhere. Many of the colored troops on the march had primers in their boxes and primers in their pockets. They were namesakes, but not of the same family. Charleston had not been captured more than a week before the schools for freedmen and poor whites were opened there. It is proposed now to educate all the negroes and poor whites in the South - as a political necessity; in order that henceforth there may be no other insurrections, the result of ignorance, either on the part of the late slave or that late slaveholder. Ignorance has cost us too much to be suffered to disturb us again. In free countries it is not the intelligent but the ignorant who rebel. Ambitious men could never induce an enlightened people to overthrow a free Government. It was because there were over 600,000 white adults in the slave States, and 4,000,000 of slaves who could neither read nor write, that Davis and Toombs and Slidell had power to raise armies against the nation. Let us prevent all social upheavals in the future by educating all men now.

The National Freedmen’s Relief Association of New York - of which Francis George Shaw is President and Joseph B. Collins Treasurer - has been the most active of the agencies in relieving the wants and dispelling the ignorance of the freedman. It has expended during the last four years three quarters of a million of dollars in clothing the naked; in establishing the freedmen on farms; in supplying them with tools; in founding orphan homes; in distributing school-books and establishing schools. They have over two hundred teachers in the South at this time. They support orphan homes in Florida and South Carolina. They teach ten thousand children, and large numbers of adults. They have instituted industrial schools to educate the negro women to be thrifty housewives. They are continually laboring, in brief, to make the negroes self-reliant and self-supporting. They appeal for additional aid. There are but a thousand teachers for freedmen in all the Southern States; whereas twenty thousand could find immediate employment. The National Relief Association could find pupils for 5000. It has but 200. As the work is a good and great one, and as the officers of this Society are eminent citizens of New York, we heartily commend their appeal to the generosity of our readers.

Articles Relating to Johnson's First Vetoes:
A Long Step Forward
January 27, 1866, page 50

February 10, 1866, page 83

Education of the Freedmen
February 10, 1866, page 83

The Veto Message
March 3, 1866, page 130

The Freedmen’s Bureau
March 10, 1866, page 146

The President’s Speech
March 10, 1866, page 147

The Political Situation
April 14, 1866, page 226

The Civil Rights Bill
April 14, 1866, page 226

The Civil Rights Bill
April 21, 1866, page 243

The Congressional Plan of Reorganization
May 12, 1866, page 290

The Trial of the Government
May 26, 1866, page 322

Making Treason Odious
June 2, 1866, page 338

The Final Report of the Reconstruction Committee
June 23, 1866, page 387

The Report of the Congressional Committee
June 23, 1866, page 386

The Case Stated
August 4, 1866, page 482

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