The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
ĽOvert Obstruction of Congress

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Editorial
Harper's Weekly, July 27, 1867, page 467

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IMPEACHMENT POSTPONED

The Impeachment question is disposed of for the present. The gentlemen most bent upon impeaching the President learn very slowly that the public sentiment of the country is not to be driven, and however easy it may seem to move a warm party majority, it is very necessary to consider the great opinion of the constituency behind it. This seems to us to have been the constant mistake of the impeachers. That the President is a misfortune every body agrees. That he has done extraordinary acts is beyond questions. That his policy would have imperiled the country, and that he does not love Congress, may be taken for granted. But that, with a Congress heartily supported by the people and amply able to secure its purpose, it is expedient to try the new and uncertain experiment of impeachment has never been the mature opinion of the people.

This, we do not believe, was from any fear of the ordeal, but from the conviction that it was unnecessary. Had the President seriously and mischievously withstood the will of Congress after it was once plainly manifested, and had he displayed an intention to try conclusions, the House would have impeached him, and public opinion would have supported the action. Fortunately for himself he has not ventured to do it; and the project of impeachment is therefore felt to be impolitic, while there is not the least relaxation of the national purpose.

Unless the President shall now do something which shows his intention to defeat by perilous means the intention of Congress in the Reconstruction bill, we presume that we shall hear no more of impeachment. But just so surely as he strives to thwart the operation of a law which, whether he likes it or not, is the law of the land, will he and the country again hear the cry of impeachment. We hope for the peace of the country and for his own comfort that he will execute the laws in their own spirit.

 

Articles Related to Overt Obstruction of Congress:
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The Summer Session
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The Fortieth Congress
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Thanks to the District Commanders
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Impeachment Postponed
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A Desperate Man
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Southern Reconstruction
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The Political Situation
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Southern Reconstruction
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The General and the President
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September 14, 1867, page 579


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"Disregarding" The Law
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Impeachment
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General Grant’s Testimony
December 14, 1867, page 786


The President’s Message
December 14, 1867, page 787


General Grant’s Letter
January 1, 1868, page 2


Secretary Stanton’s Restoration
January 25, 1868, page 51


Reconstruction Measures
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The President, Mr. Stanton and General Grant
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Romeo (Seward) to Mercutio (Johnson) (cartoon)
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