The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
ĽOvert Obstruction of Congress

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Domestic Intelligence
Harper's Weekly, February 2, 1867, page 67
Harper's Weekly, February 16, 1867, page 99
Harper's Weekly, February 16, 1867, page 163

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HarpWeek Commentary:
  Tenure of Office Act

On March 2, 1867, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act over President Johnson’s veto. Harper’s Weekly reported its progress in the Senate (issue of February 2), House (issue of February 16), and both the Senate and the House over Johnson’s veto (issue of March 16)— but only in its Domestic News Column under "Congress".

The Tenure of Office Act prohibited the President from removing government officers, including Cabinet officers, without the advice and consent of the Senate. It was Johnson’s deliberate violation of this act by removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton that led to Johnson’s impeachment in 1868.

However, at the time of passage, Harper’s Weekly paid no editorial attention to the Tenure of Office Act.

Congress, February 2, 1867, page 67
In a debate on the bill to regulate the tenure of office Mr. Sumner said "it was the duty of Congress to protect the loyal people against the President. There was no precedent in this particular. There was no such duty against our fathers, for the President had not become an enemy to his country." Mr. M’Dougal rose to a point of order that such terms against the Executive were unparliamentary, but the Chair declined to sustain him. The bill was finally passed on January 18 by a vote of 29 yeas to 9 nays. The measure deprives the President of the power to appoint or remove any officers except the members of his Cabinet without the advice and consent of the Senate, and effectually prevents removals and appointments during the recess of Congress, except in certain specified cases, and in such contingencies subjects them to the action of the Senate within twenty days after its reassembling.

Congress, February 16, 1867, page 99
The Senate Tenure of Office bill, prohibiting the President from removing officers without the advice and consent of the Senate, was adopted in the House on February 2, by a vote of 111 yeas to 38 nays. An amendment, including Cabinet officers among the others, was also adopted.

Congress, February 16, 1867, page 163
The Tenure of Office bill was passed by the Senate and House over the President’s veto, without debate, on March 2. It is now a law.

The President sent in his veto of the Military Reconstruction bill on March 2; both Houses in their evening session on the same night passed the bill over his head, and it is now a law of the land.

Articles Related to Overt Obstruction of Congress:
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


Impeachment
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


Impeachment
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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