The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
»Early Presidency

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Harper's Weekly,
October 7, 1865, page 627

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Moses and John Tyler

Many of the Democratic managers are making the most elaborate efforts to allure the President from the party which elected him, which has steadily supported him, and which has shown its undiminished unity and power in the Autumn elections. They hope to accomplish this result by approving what they suppose to be his policy, absolutely and without criticism. Unluckily for the ingenious operators, they forget that the approval of the President by the Democratic Conventions elsewhere than in New York has been very conditional, and by no means of that hearty and wholesale character which is desirable for the success of the plot.

Why the President should suppose that the party which carried on the war, and which is unbroken, should be unable to complete its work the Democratic doctors do not say. Why Andrew Johnson should imagine that the builders of the Chicago platform share his earnest convictions upon the questions arising from the war, in which he was so conspicuous a figure, and was so heartily denounced by those architects, they also fail to inform us. And why a sensible President of the United States, with his eyes open, should be expected deliberately to walk into the position which John Tyler alone occupies in the history of the United States, they also discreetly refrain from saying. John Tyler was a Whig who ratted to the Democrats upon becoming President, and was as much respected by them as by those he deserted. What public career in this country was more pitiable than his? What other public man’s name has passed into a word expressing so weak and abortive an act? John Tyler "tylerized" to secure a second term. He lost the second term, and gained universal derision. Mr. Johnson is not an old man, but he is quite old enough to remember vividly the public career of John Tyler.

The alliance which the Democratic party contemplates is with their ancient friends in the late rebel States. They were formerly also the political friends of the President. But he parted with them in the winter of 1860-61. He expressed his views of what their fate should be both in the Senate at that time and in the White House in the spring of 1865. He now says to them that if they will abolish slavery they may present amended State Constitutions for the consideration of Congress. But if Congress objects to any of them because of their not being truly republican and as holding the seeds of infinite future trouble, do the Democratic doctors oppose that the President is going with Wade Hampton and Horatio Seymour against Congress and the great body of loyal citizens who carried the war through to the end, and who stand together to secure the results of the war? Even if, as some Democratic organs openly stated before beginning to praise him, the President is anxious for a second term, is he likely to see his way to it more clearly under the auspices of the residuary legatees of the Chicago platform and of the Rebellion than under those of the great national party with which he has fought the good fight, and is still fighting it?

Andrew Johnson told the colored men of Tennessee that he would be their Moses. Events have made him the Moses of the whole country. We doubt if he will desert that part for the role of John Tyler.

Articles related to Johnson's Early Presidency:
President Johnson’s Amnesty Proclamation
June 10, 1865, page 355

Pardon-Seekers at the White House
October 14, 1865, page 641

General Logan upon Reorganization
September 20, 1865, page 611

The President’s Experiment
September 30, 1865, page 610

Moses and John Tyler
October 7, 1865, page 627

The President’s Fidelity
December 9, 1865, page 771

The President’s "Friends"
November 4, 1865, page 691

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