The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
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Harper's Weekly,
June 22, 1867, page 386

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The impeachment project has resulted as every thoughtful man must have supposed it would, and it is to be regretted that the resolution of censure was not also omitted. As the people last autumn, at the polls, so unequivocally expressed themselves upon the policy and conduct of the President, we can see no good reason for fighting the battle over again. The President has yielded, and has kept silence until the journey to Raleigh. He vetoed the Military bill, of course; but having satisfied his convictions in the manner he has not evaded but has executed the law in its own spirit. It can not be denied that he has lost the confidence and respect of the American people, and is therefore powerless. But now that their opinion if formed and their judgment rendered it is superfluous to repeat it solemnly in Congress.

That Mr. Johnson is a man of very obtuse mind, and that he has been floundering in a desperate muddle from the beginning of the reconstruction movement, is very evident. That he must bear the heavy responsibility of the slaughter at New Orleans, which by a word he could have avoided, seemed to us, until this decision of the Committee, indisputable. It is not that he has not deserved censure, but because he has received it in the most impressive manner, that the intended action of the Judiciary Committee is untimely… Congress has wholly conquered in the political struggle with the Executive, and it is ungenerous to spurn the conquered.

The history of this impeachment project should show every representative the necessity of the utmost care in beginning so grave a movement. It must now be considered settle that Mr. Ashley charged what he hoped to be able to find the evidence to prove rather than what he knew. He has weakened instead of strengthened his cause. If after so prolonged and searching investigation by a committee not unwilling to impeach, it is decided that no further action should be taken, it is also decided that the President was accused upon wholly insufficient grounds. And this decision is of very great importance; for it implies that the President’s official conduct at the time of the New Orleans riot was less reprehensible than the country supposed.

From his letter to the Washington meeting General Butler seems to think that the impeachment should have been kept as a rod in pickle to encourage the President in well-doing. The General looks for the removal of Sheridan as a logical sequence of the failure to impeach. He need have no fear. If the President undertakes seriously to withstand the will of the people, lawfully expressed, he will be brought to account without delay.

Articles Related to Military Reconstruction:
News Items
January 19, 1867, page 35

January 26, 1867, page 50

Congress and Impeachment
February 16, 1867, page 98

The Probability of Impeachment
February 23, 1867, page 114

The Louisiana Bill
March 2, 1867, page 130

March 9, 1867, page 146

The Thirty-Ninth Congress
March 9, 1867, page 146

The Veto of the Reconstruction Bill

March 16, 1867, page 162

The Fortieth Congress

March 30, 1867, page 195

The Fortieth Congress

April 6, 1867, page 211

Sprats and Vetoes

April 6, 1867, page 210

Adjournment of Congress

April 13, 1867, page 226

Prometheus Bound

March 2, 1867, page 137

The Result

March 30, 1867, page 194

The Southern Commanders

April 6, 1867, page 218

The Debate upon Impeachment

March 23, 1867, page 178

We Accept the Situation (cartoon)

April 13, 1867, page 240

The Big Thing (cartoon)

April 20, 1867, page 256

The End of Impeachment
June 22, 1867, page 386


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