The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
ĽOvert Obstruction of Congress

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Harper's Weekly, December 14, 1867, page 786

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This testimony of General Grant before the Judiciary Committee reveals his remarkable good sense in a striking light. It has unquestionably deepened the general respect for this sagacity and confidence in his ability. The two subjects of interest in his examination were his view of the scope of the parole of General Lee and his soldiers, and of the reconstructive measures of the President.

Upon the first point General Grant is very emphatic. He holds that as commander in the field he was authorized to receive a surrender which was not unconditional. That the army before him were rebels was, under the circumstances, not vital. He was making war, and was governed by the laws of war. "The parole," he says, "gave them protection and exemption from punishment for all offenses not in violation of the rules of civilized warfare so long as their parole was kept." Lee and his army would certainly not have surrendered if they supposed they were to be tried and hung, and, except for the parole and surrender, an endless guerrilla and bushwhacking contest would have ensued. He did not consider that the parole gave those who surrendered any political rights whatever. "I thought that was a matter entirely with Congress, over which I had no control whatever." General Grant reasoned not like a casuist, but like a man of sound sense, and a statesman.

Upon the second point, the "President’s plan," the General is equally direct and sensible. It was his wish, as it was Mr. Lincoln’s intention, that some kind of civil government should at once be established in the southern States, "until Congress could meet and establish governments there." With that understanding, which was certainly that of the country, he gave no specific opinion unless it was requested; but he was very anxious that some kind of temporary system should be adopted, and that speedily.

The Democratic journals try very hard to show from the General’s testimony that because Mr. Lincoln wished provisional governments to be established in the disordered States, and had prepared a proclamation to that effect, therefore Mr. Johnson’s performances are merely fulfilling the intentions of Mr. Lincoln. If these papers really think so they ought to have decried Mr. Johnson as a gorilla long ago. They also labor with admirable zeal to show that General Grant’s testimony shows his want of sympathy with the Radicals. The failure of these excellent efforts is signal. The General says that he regarded the President’s plan as temporary, and was of opinion that reconstruction was the business of Congress. These are very sound views. General Grant’s enunciation of them is perfectly simple and manly. If they are agreeable to those who hold that Congress has nothing to do but to admit the members whom the ex-rebels send, they are certainly satisfactory to us. And if those who think that General Grant may be nominated by either party, suppose that his opinions as shown by his testimony will be adopted as the Democratic platform, we wish them joy of their remarkable faith.

Articles Related to Overt Obstruction of Congress:
February 2, 1867, page 67
February 16, 1867, page 99
March 16, 1867, page 163

How Long?
June 29, 1867, page 402

Reconstruction and Obstruction
July 6, 1867, page 418

The Summer Session
July 6, 1867, page 418

The Fortieth Congress
July 17, 1867, page 467

Thanks to the District Commanders
July 27, 1867, page 467

Impeachment Postponed
July 27, 1867, page 467

A Desperate Man
August 13, 1867, page 546

The Secretary of War
August 24, 1867, page 530

Samson Agonistes at Washington (cartoon)
August 24, 1867, page 544

The Stanton Imbroglio (illustrated satire)
August 24, 1867, page 542

Secretary Grant
August 31, 1867, page 546

Southern Reconstruction
August 31, 1867, page 547

The Political Situation
September 7, 1867, page 562

General Thomas
September 7, 1867, page 563

Southern Reconstruction
September 7, 1867, page 563

The General and the President
September 14, 1867, page 578

General Sickles Also
September 14, 1867, page 579

Southern Reconstruction
September 21, 1867, page 595

The President’s Intentions
September 28, 1867, page 610

October 5, 1867, page 626

The Main Question
October 5, 1867, pages 626-627

Suspension during Impeachment
October 19, 1867, page 658

"Disregarding" The Law
November 2, 1867, page 691

December 14, 1867, page 786

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
January 25, 1868, page 51

The President, Mr. Stanton and General Grant
February 1, 1868, page 66

Romeo (Seward) to Mercutio (Johnson) (cartoon)
February 1, 1868, page 76

The War Office
February 1, 1868, page 77

Secretary’s Room in the War Department (illus)
February 1, 1868, page 77

The New Reconstruction Bill
February 8, 1868, page 83


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