Andrew Johnson: A Study in Courage

By Lloyd Paul Stryker | Go to book overview
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LXXX
ACQUITTED ON THE ELEVENTH ARTICLE

SATURDAY, the 16th of May came at last,-- Johnson's judgment day. In front of the City Hall the day before, the Capital's first Lincoln monument was dedicated. Andrew Johnson presided at the exercise, but neither House of Congress paid the least attention, or adjourned in honor of the dead President's memory.1

Down to the last hour the impeachers like patients in a psychopathic ward, with all of their unnatural ingenuity, were planning and employing every means wherewith to ruin and strike down the follower of Lincoln. One of the questions before them was: Upon which article could the most votes be surely counted for conviction? At the home of "Subsidy Pom," two caucuses of Radical Senators had been held the previous day to decide this vital matter. Theodore Tilton, "a flaming sword and a crusader,"--a sword whose cutting edge Henry Ward Beecher was later to encounter--had come to this conference to lend strength to the impeachers.2 If the eleventh article were first voted on, he assured them, a conviction would ensue.3 This might be true, but surely the making of one further effort to intimidate Senator Ross could do no harm! But this was not the only subject under consideration at that caucus. Mr. Wade's cabinet was there finally agreed upon!4

The court was scheduled to reconvene at noon. Ten minutes before the appointed hour "Subsidy Pom" found Ross in the lobby of the Senate. Thaddeus Stevens was there listening with grim approval while Pomeroy told his colleague that his political death would surely follow if he voted to acquit, and that he might also find himself entangled in a charge of bribery. But Pomeroy was wasting breath, for earlier that morning Ross had sent to Anthony and the "1000 others" this telegram: "I do not recognize your

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Andrew Johnson: A Study in Courage
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