The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
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News Article
Harper's Weekly,
March 30, 1867 page 202

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The Committee of Congress appointed to investigate the riot in New Orleans on July 30, 1866, have lately presented a report, giving a full history of the tragedy. It is shown by that record that the riotous attack upon the Republican Convention, with its terrible results of massacre and murder, was planned and executed by the Mayor of New Orleans, and that it had the countenance of President Johnson, without which it would never have taken place. The report shows that the number known to have been killed was 38, of whom 37 were loyal, and one disloyal; 48, all loyal, were severely wounded; 98 slightly wounded, of whom 88 were loyal, and 10 policemen. Besides these there was evidence, though not fully certain, that 10 more were killed and 20 wounded. Of those known to be killed 34 were colored, of the severely wounded 40, of the slightly wounded 79. Preparations for the massacre were made under the shield of the municipal authorities for some time before it took place. Fire-companies prepared and armed themselves; the police were withdrawn from their posts, supplied with revolvers, and kept waiting at their station-houses until the signal for the butchery was given, and then rushed to the bloody work with a raging mob of rebel soldiers. The Mayor made no effort to stop the disorder, and the military commander was misled as to the hour of the meeting, so that he could not bring up his troops in time to repress the outrages.

The spirit which dictated this terrible massacre of the Unionists of New Orleans "will not down," but continues to inspire such fury in the breast of the returned rebels as leads them to desire and plan another similar slaughter. The rebel element in the State and city has dominated ever since the riot of July last, and its influence and insolence has so rapidly increased as to threaten a second performance of the same horrible character. An election, deemed a fitting occasion for such an exhibition, was to have been held in New Orleans on March 11 last. So determined were the returned rebels to provoke a second riot that General Sheridan was compelled, in order to secure quiet and give protection to the Unionists, to forbid the opening of the polls, and to order that "the day of election be postponed until a district commander under the new military law shall have been appointed." General Sheridan has since been appointed to this command, and the elections henceforth will be conducted by and under his direction.

HarpWeek Commentary:  Amphitheatrum Johnsonian – Massacre of the Innocents at New Orleans – July 30, 1866


Amphitheatrum Johnsonianum – Massacre of the Innocents
at New Orleans – July 30 ,1866

March 30, 1867, pages 200-201 (cartoon)


This is one of the most important cartoons that Thomas Nast ever drew. He probably was influenced by Jean-Léon Gérôme’s 1859 painting "Ave Caesar"(now in the Yale University Art Gallery).

Andrew Johnson is shown as a Roman emperor impassively observing Mayor John Monroe (on the horse) leading the charge of his police against the black freedmen. Secretary of State William H. Seward leans over him, while Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles leans over the rail. The man in the Roman helmet and armor is General George Armstrong Custer, who accompanied Johnson on his "Swing Round the Circle" and at least once hurled invectives at hecklers.*   1868 Democratic presidential candidate Horatio Seymour is peering between the wall and the post at the top left.

General Ulysses Grant is at the lower left, staying the sword of General Phil Sheridan, Military Commander of New Orleans. Sheridan was away from the city on the day of the riot. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton is over Grant.

Other government figures include Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch (over Sheridan); Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House and Grant’s Vice President from 1868-72 (over McCulloch); Senator James Doolittle of Wisconsin, a strong Johnson supporter (to the right of McCulloch); and Postmaster General Alexander Randall (right of Doolittle). Governor James Orr of South Carolina and General Darius Crouch of Massachusetts (in Orr’s lap) are below Johnson; their arm-in-arm entry into the Johnson-supported National Union Convention in Philadelphia in August 1866 represented North-South reconciliation and "filled the hall with tears of joy."

Nast probably drew this picture in 1866, but saved it for an appropriate time; that turned out to be the March release of the report from the Congressional Investigating Committee. Within a week of its appearance on March 20, 1867, General Sheridan removed Mayor Monroe, Louisiana Attorney General Andrew J. Herron and Judge Edwin Abell from office.

* Thanks to Professor Gregory Urwin of the University of Central Arkansas for Custer’s identification.

Articles Related to the Initial Impeachment Discussions:
The President Judged by Himself

August 25, 1866, page 530

Reconstruction and How it Works (cartoon)
September 1, 1866, pages 552-553

Which Is The More Illegal (cartoon)
September 8, 1866, page 569

The New Orleans Report
October 20, 1866, page 658

The New Orleans Massacre
IMarch 30, 1867, page 202

Text from Illustration of Andy’s Trip

October 27, 1866, pages 680-681

The Great Campaign of ’66
September 29, 1866, page 610

What Next?
October 27, 1866, page 674

King Andy (cartoon)
November 3, 1866 page 696

Shall the President be Impeached?
November 3, 1866, page 690

The Popular Will
November 24, 1866, page 738

Andy Makes a Call on Uncle Sam, Who Rises to the Occasion (cartoon)
December 1, 1866, page 768

Impeachment and General Butler
December 15, 1866, page 786

December 22, 1866, page 803

What Next?
December 29, 1866, page 818


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