Andrew Johnson: A Study in Courage

By Lloyd Paul Stryker | Go to book overview

LXXVII
THE CLOSING ARGUMENTS

ON the following morning, Wednesday, the 22nd, the High Court was to reconvene. Before going over to the Senate Chamber, Evarts waited at his hotel for Schofield's answer. The General came at ten; he agreed to say nothing as to accepting or declining the appointment, until the Senate acted on the nomination.1

At 11 o'clock the gavel of the Chief Justice again brought the court to order. Lest any of the Senators might, since the last session, have grown cold, Horace Greeley had been heaping new fuel on his fiery columns. On Monday he had written: "The Senate cannot vote to loose this mad bull in the national china shop, with full knowledge of his incurably vicious propensities and his furiously savage temper. His acquittal would be a virtual charter of licenses to heap outrage on outrage, evading and defying the laws, and doing his wicked worst to reëstablish a vindictive Rebel domination throughout the South. He is an aching tooth in the national jaw, a screeching infant in a crowded lectureroom; and there can be no peace nor comfort till he is out."2 And lest this might not be strong enough, his editorial on Tuesday screamed: "He will leave that bar a branded attestation that this is a republic wherein the laws are supreme and the Chief Magistrate is but their honored first servant while he obeys, and their victim when he attempts to subvert them."3

As a comfort to any who might be faltering, the headlines of the Tribune on Wednesday morning fairly shouted: "CONVICTION ALMOST A CERTAINTY."4 Whether it was or not, the managers had no intention of neglecting any opportunity to insult the President of the United States. Manager Logan prepared a fifty-two page argument.5 But instead of reading it he

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