The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
ĽOvert Obstruction of Congress

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Editorial
Harper's Weekly, August 31, 1867, page 546

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SECRETARY GRANT

When the President as Commander-in-Chief directed General Grant to take charge of the War Department ad interim the General had the alternative of obeying or resigning. He chose to obey, and he chose wisely. Had he resigned Lieutenant-General Sherman would have been at the head of the army under Andrew Johnson, and that is a result which is not to be desired. General Grant in obeying the order to assume the charge of the Department avoids a consequence which we must consider a misfortune, and secures an element of confidence and safety in the Cabinet. The correspondence between him and Mr. Stanton shows a mutual respect and trust which are very agreeable to the country as well as honorable to themselves. The General informs the Secretary that he has been assigned as Acting Secretary of War, and, in notifying him of the fact, expresses his appreciation of Mr. Stanton’s "zeal, patriotism, firmness, and ability." In reply, Mr. Stanton denies the right of the President to suspend him, yields to superior force, and cordially reciprocates the sentiments of the General.

General Grant is now Secretary of War. In that office he is no more subject to the dictation of the President than Mr. Stanton. He is to administer his office in the manner which he considers best for the interests of the service and of the country. If the President should order him to neutralize and oppose the policy of Congress, and to defeat the intention of the law by the appointment of officers notoriously hostile to it, General Grant will of course, decline, as Mr. Stanton would, and upon the President will be thrown the responsibility of suspending him as he has suspended his predecessor. To suppose that General Grant is to be the tool of Andrew Johnson is simply to misunderstand him altogether.

If, after an interval longer or shorter, the President should appoint some such person as Rousseau or Steedman to the War Department, it will be impossible to accuse General Grant of complicity with his designs. That can be justly done only in the case we have mentioned of furthering those designs. If it should be alleged that, if General Grant considers that he has been "assigned" to the War Department by his military superior, he must therefore obey that superior’s orders during his assignment, we reply that, with what is know of the General’s character, it is impossible to suppose that he would take any serious step inconsistent with his views of the true radical policy of reconstruction.

If he did? if his views of military subordination are such that he would not hesitate to do any thing which the President might order, the country would never have been so deceived in any man whatever; and the universal popularity of the General would be changed into an equally universal amazement and sorrow at his profound misconception of the popular feeling and purpose.

Articles Related to Overt Obstruction of Congress:
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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
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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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The Secretary of War
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Samson Agonistes at Washington (cartoon)
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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
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Southern Reconstruction
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The General and the President
September 14, 1867, page 578


General Sickles Also
September 14, 1867, page 579


Southern Reconstruction
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The President’s Intentions
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Impeachment
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The Main Question
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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
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