Andrew Johnson: A Study in Courage

By Lloyd Paul Stryker | Go to book overview

LXI
THE McCARDLE CASE

THE seething cauldron of the capital was now boiling over. "The whole Radical nest," wrote Welles, "are hissing and snapping like vipers. . . . Congress is malignantly Radical. The party servers are all-potent. Not a man of the party has sufficient independence to act on his own individual opinions and convictions. Some of them will whisper in confidence their disgust and dissatisfaction, but yet when the test is applied they succumb. . . . I hear that some of them are incensed with Stanton because he does not resign. They expected he would at once leave on being reinstated.1

At no time did Grant's bad faith to President Johnson appear more clearly than on the afternoon of February 4th. On that day, about an hour before the General's letter of the 3rd had reached the President,--the letter in which Grant declared that he had originally accepted the war office to thwart the President-- a resolution was introduced in the House calling upon Stanton for the Grant-Johnson correspondence. It had not then become public. How did Congress know that Stanton had the letters and could supply them? Representative Chester Hubbard of West Virginia,--a lawyer with whom Stanton had been intimate when both were practicing there--introduced the resolution. "The whole shows an intrigue and conspiracy," our diarist wrote, "on the part of Stanton, Grant and certain Radical leaders. . . . How came Stanton or anyone acquainted with the fact? Grant had intrigued with the Radical members and with Stanton, had tried to entrap the President under their direction, and wrote his insolent letters at their instigation to irritate and provoke, if possible, the President into the commission of some rash or indiscreet act."2

-553-

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