The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
ĽOvert Obstruction of Congress

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Editorial
Harper's Weekly, September 7, 1867, page 563

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GENERAL THOMAS
Among the great heroes of war General Thomas is the one who is least generally known. His modesty has been always as remarkable as his ability, and the newspaper gentlemen who make so much of contemporary fame have not devoted themselves to daily praises of him. His sphere of duty, also, has removed him from the immediate mention of the central journals. But his name is universally honored as that of a wise man, a well as a great soldier; and he is now likely to be brought into peculiar prominence before the country.

The appointment of General Thomas to succeed Sheridan shows that the President was not brave enough to defy altogether the loyal feeling of the country. General Thomas is understood to be in hearty sympathy with that feeling. He, too, has served long enough in the rebel section to learn that the Radical policy is the only wise one. The weak, vacillating course called conciliation is always the most destructive under such circumstances. It is precisely the situation in which Radicalism is seen to be the true conservatism. We mean, of course, by Radical a policy based upon the perception that where there has been a fierce and prolonged contest, and one principle has wholly triumphed, the peace that follows can be secured only by making the predominance of the victorious principle every where felt. The policy of what is called "magnanimity" is an attempt to avoid this; to say to the defeated party, "There, we are stronger, and we are right; but that being settled, just have things your own way.

This is the policy which the people of the country have, with instinctive good sense, repudiated. This is the policy of which Generals Grant and Sheridan and Thomas know the unspeakable folly. This is the policy which they all strenuously oppose. And this, of course, is the policy which the President tries to pursue. Those, therefore, who see in the removal of Sheridan a stroke of Presidential wrath, and another of the endless blunders of his official conduct, are warmest in their approval of the appointment of Thomas to succeed him. His appointment, however, shows that the removal of Sheridan was an act of mere personal hatred. For, if he were removed because of the measures he adopted, why appoint a successor who would continue them? This was done not because the President feels any more kindly toward that policy, but because of his fear of too direct an outrage of public sentiment, and because of the protest of General Grant.

While General Thomas is military Commander of Louisiana we do not believe that ex-rebels of the Mayor Monroe school or their sympathizers will have any cause of rejoicing.

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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A Desperate Man
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The Secretary of War
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Samson Agonistes at Washington (cartoon)
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Southern Reconstruction
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General Thomas
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Southern Reconstruction
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The General and the President
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General Sickles Also
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The Main Question
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"Disregarding" The Law
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Impeachment
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General Grant’s Testimony
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The President’s Message
December 14, 1867, page 787


General Grant’s Letter
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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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