Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

mainly givon in response to questions of counsel, was, apparently, somewhat contradictory. The substance was that he was recognized by the President as Secretary of War; that, since the impeachment, be had acted as such only in attending Cabinet meelings, but had given no orders; that, when he reported to the President that Mr. Stanton would not vacate the War Department, the President directed him to “take possession of the office;" that, without orders from the President, he had intended to do this by force, if necessary; that, finding that this course might involve bloodshed, he had abandoned this purpose, but that, after this, he had, in several cases, affirmed his purpose to do so, but that these declarations were "merely boast and brag.” On the following day General Thomas was recalled as a witness, to enable him to correct certain points in his testimony. The first was the date of an unimportant transaction; he had given it as taking place on the 21st of February, whereas it should have been the 22d. The second was that the words of the President were that he should “take charge," not "take possession" of the War Department. In explanation of the fact that he had repeatedly sworn to the words "tke possession," he said that these were put into his mouth.” Finally, General Thomas, in reply to a direct question from Mr. Butler, said that his testimony on these points was "all wrong."

Lieutenant-General Sherman was then called as a witness. After some unimportant questions, he was asked in reference to an interview between himself and the President which took place on the 14th of January: "At that interview what conversation took place between the President and you in reference to the removal of Mr. Stanion ?" To this question objection was made by Mr. Butler, and the point was elaborately argued. The Chief Justice decided that the question was admissible within the vote of the Senate of the previous day; the question then was as to the admissibility of evidence as to a conversation between the President and General Thomas; the present question was as to a conversation between the President and General Shermani. “Both questions," said the Chief Justice, "are asked for the purpose of procuring the intent of the President in the attempt to remove Mr. Stanton. The question being submitted to the Senate, it was decided, by a vote of 28 to 23, that it should not be admitted. The examination of General Sherman was continued, the question of the conversation aforesaid being frequently brought forward, and as often ruled out by the Senate. The only important fact elicited was that the President had twice, on the 25th and 30th of January, tendered to General Sherman the office of Secretary of War ad interim.

On Monday, April 13th, after transactions of minor importance, the general matter of the conversations between the President and General Sherman again came up, upon a question propounded by Senator Johnson-"When the President tendered to you the office of Secretary of War ad interim, did he, at the very time of making such tender, state to you what his purpose in so doing was?" This was admitted by the Senate, by a vote of 26 to 22. Senator Johnsou then added to his question, “If he did, what did he state his purpose was?” This was admitted, by a vote of 25 to 26. The testimony of General Sherman, relating to several interviews, was to the effect that the President said that the relations between himself and Mr. Stanton were such that he could not execute the office of President without making provis'on to appoint & Secretary of War ad interim, and be offered that office to him (General Sherman), but did not state that his purpose was to bring the matter directly into the courts. Sherman said that, if Mr. Stanton would retire, he might, although against his own wishes, undertake to administer the office ad interim, but asked what would be done in case Mr. Stanton would not yield. To this the President replied, “He will make no opposition; you present the order, and he will retire. I know him better than you do; le is cowardly." General Sherman asked time for reflection, and then gave a written answer, declining to accept the appointment, but stated that his reasons were mostly of a personal nature.

On the 14th the Senate adjourned, on account of the sudden illness of Mr. Stan bery. It re-assembled on the 15th, but the proceedings touched wholly upon formal points of procedure and the introduction of unimporiant documentary evidence. On the 16th Mr. Sumner moved tiat all evidence not trivial or obviously irrelevant shail be admitted, the Senate to judge of its value. This was negatived by a vote of 23 to 11.

The 17th was mainly taken up by testimony as to the reliability of the reports of the President's speeches. Mr. Welles, Secretary of the Navy, was then called to testify to certain proceedings in Cabinet Council at the time of the appointment of General Thomas. This was ohjected to. The Chief Justice decided that it was admissible, and his decision was sustained by a vote of 26 to 23. The defense then endeavored to introduce several members of the Cabe inet, to show that, at meetings previous to the removal of Mr. Stanton, it was considered whether it was pot desirable to obtain a julicial determination of the unconstitutionality of the Tenure-ofOffice Act. This question was raised in several shapes, and its admission, after thorough argument on both sides, as often refused, in the last instance by a decisive rote of 3) to 19. The defense considered this testimony of the utmost importance, as going to show that the President had acted upon the counsel of his constitutional advisers, while the prosecution claimed that he could not plead in justification of a violation of the law that he had been advised by his cabinet, or any one else, that the law was unconstitutional. His duty was to execute the laws, and, if he failed to do this, or vio Inted thim, he did so at his own risk of the consequences. With the re usal of this testimony, the case, except the final summings up and the verdict of the Senate, was virtually closed.

The case had been so fully set forth in the opening speeches of Messrs. Butler and Curtis, and in the arguments which came up upon points of testimony, that there remained little for the other counsel except to restate what had before been said.

After the evidence had been closed the case was summed up, on the part of the managers by Messrs. Boutwell, Williams, Stevens, and Bingham in oral arguments, and Mr. Logan, who filed a written argument, and on the part of the President by Messrs. Nelson, Groesbeck, Stanbery, and Evarts. Many of these speeches were distinguished by great brilliancy and power, but, as no new points were presented, we omit any summary.

The Court decided to take a vote upon the articles on Tuesday, the 12th of May, at 12 o'clock, M. A secret session was held on Monday, during which several Senators made short speeches, giving the grounds upon which they expected to cast their votes. On Tuesday the Court agreed to postpone the vote until Saturday, the 16th. Upon that day, at 12 o'clock, a vote was taken upon the eleventh article, it having been determined to vote on that article first. The vote resulted in 35 votes for conviction, and 19 for acquittal.

The question being put to each Senator, “How say you, is the respondent, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, guilty or not guilty of a high misdemeanor as charged in the article?". those who responded guilty were Senators Anthony, Cameron, Cattell, Chandler, Cole, Conkling, Conness, Corbett, Cragin, Drake, Edmunds, Ferry, Frelinghuysen, Harlan, Howard, Howe, Morgan, Morrill, of Vermont, Morrill, of Maine, (). P. Morton, Nye, Patterson, N. H. Pomeroy, Sherman, Sprague, Stewart, Sumner, Thayer, Tipton, Wade, Willey, Williams, Wilson, and Yates.

Those who responded not guilty were Senators Bayard, Buckalew, Davis, Dixon, Doolittle, Fessenden, Fowler, Grimes, Henderson, Hendricks, Johnson, M'Creery, Norton, Patterson, of Tennessee, Ross, Saulsbury, Trumbull, Van Winkle, and Vickers.

The Constitution requiring a vote of two-thirds to convict, the President was acquitted on this article. After taking this vote the Court adjourned until Tuesday, May 26th, when votes were taken upon the second and third articles, with precisely the same result as on the eleventh, the vote in each case standing 35 for conviction and 19 for acquittal. A verdict of acquittal on the second, third, and eleventh articles was then ordered to be entered on the record, and, without voting on the other articles, the Court adjourned sine die. So the trial was ended, and the President acquitted.

[ocr errors]

The following is the platform as adopted :

"The National Republican Party of the United States, assembled in National Convention, in the city of Chicago, on the 20th day of May, 1868, make the following declaration of principles :

"1. We congratulate the country on the assured success of the reconstruction policy of Congress, as evinced by the adoption, in the majority of the States lately in rebellion, of constitutions securing equal civil and political rights to all; and it is the duty of the Government to sustain those constitutions and to prevent the people of such States from being remitted to a state of anarchy.

“ 2. The guarantee by Congress of equal suffrage to all loyal men at the South was demanded by every consideration of public safety, of gratitude, and of justice, and must be maintained, while the question of suffrage in all the loyal States properly belongs to the people of those States.

"3. We denounce all forms of repudiation as a national crime, and the national honor requires the payment of the public indebtedness in the utmost good faith to all creditors at home and abroad, not only according to the letter but the spirit of the laws under which it was contracted.

164. It is due to the labor of the nation that taxation should be equalized and reduced as rapidly as the national faith will permit.

“5. The national debt, contracted, as it has been, for the preservation of the Union for all time to come, should be extended over a fair period for redemption; and it is the duty of Congress to reduce the rate of interest .thereon whenever it can be honestly done.

“6. That the best policy to diminish our burden of debt is to so improve our credit that capitalists will seek to loan us money at lower rates of interest than we now pay, and must continue to pay, so long as repudiation, partial or total, open or covert, is threatened or suspected.

617. The Government of the United States should be administered with the strictest economy, and the corruptions which have been 80 shamefully nursed and fostered by ANDREW JOHNsOn call loudly for radical reform.

“8. We professedly deplore the untimely and tragio death of ABRAHAM LINCOLN, and regret the accession of ANDREW JOHNSON to the Presidency, who has acted treacherously to the people who elected him, and the cause he was pledged to support who has usurped high legislative and judicial functions—who has refused to execute the laws who has used his high office to induce other officers to ignore and violate the laws who has employed his executive powers to render insecure the property, the peace, liberty, and life of the citizen—who has abused the pardoning power-who has denounced the National Legislature as unconstitutional-persistently and corruptly resisted, by every measure in his power, every proper attempt at the reconstruction of the States lately in rebellion—who has perverted the public patronage into an engine of wholesale corruption, and who has been justly impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and properly pronounced guilty thereof by the vote of thirty-five Senators.

“9. The doctrine of Great Britain and other European Powers, that because a man is once a subject he is always 80, must be resisted at every hazard by the United States as a relic of the feudal times, not authorized by the law of nations, and at war with our national honor and independence. Naturalized citizens are entitled to be protected in all their rights of citizenship as though they were native born; and no citizen of the United States, native or naturalized, must be liable to arrest and imprisonment by any foreign power for acts done or words spoken in this country; and if so arrested and imprisoned it is the duty of the Government to interfere in his behalf.

“10. Of all who were faithful in the trials of the late war there were none entitled to inore especial honor than the brave soldiers and seamen who endured the hardships of campaign and cruise, and imperiled their lives in the service of the country. The bounties and pensions provided by the laws for these brave defenders of the nation are obligations never to be forgotten. The widows and orphans of the gallant dead are the wards of the people, a sacred legacy bequeathed to the nation's protecting care.

"11. Foreign emigration, which in the past has added so much to the wealth, development, and resources, and increase of power to this nation, the asylum of the oppressed of all nations, should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.

"12. This Convention declares itself in sympathy with all the oppressed people which are struggling for their rights."

The following resolutions were also adopted unanimously, and are added to the declaration of principles :

" Resolved, That we highly commend the spirit of magnanimity and forgiveness with which the men who have served in the rebellion, but now frankly and honestly coöperate with 118 in restoring the peace of the country and reconstructing the Southern State governments upon the basis of impartial justice and equal rights, are received back into the communion of the loyal people. And we favor the removal of the disqualifications and restrictions placed upon the Inte rebels in the same.measure as the spirit of loyalty will direct, and as may be consistent with the safety of the loyal people.

" Resolved, That we recognize the great principles laid down in the immortal Declaration of Independence as the true foundation of Democratic government: and we hail with glad ness every effort toward making these principles a living reality on every inch of American soil."

« ZurückWeiter »