Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot

By Robert W. Winston | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X
THAD STEVENS POCKETS CONGRESS

Radicals in the Thirty-ninth Congress were greatly alarmed. Would it be possible to head off the aggressive President? If not, they feared direful results. The Republican party would be defeated by a combination of southern Rebels and northern Copperheads, and the negro would remain a slave. Perhaps the national debt would be repudiated and bonds issued to compensate the slave-holders. The bare thought of these things had put Thad Stevens and Charles Sumner in a towering passion. "Rebellion has vaulted into the saddle," said Sumner. "If something isn't done," Wade wrote Sumner in the early fall, "the people will crown Johnson king before Congress meets. So much success," he complained, "will reconcile the people to anything."

In April Wade and Sumner, after interviews with Johnson, had been sure he would coöperate and be as unrelenting as could be wished. But Thad Stevens was doubtful--Johnson did not so impress him. Early in the summer he wrote the President from Philadelphia, "I have not found a single person who approves of your policy! Wait for Congress." During the summer "a campaign of misrepresentation was begun to discredit Presidential reconstruction, to keep alive war hatred and to build up a radical organization."1 In February 1865 the doctrine was spread in the West that the Southern States were conquered territories. They should be held as such "as a public example,""for the dignity and safety of the Government,""as an act of justice to the freemen and the loyal Southern whites, and to protect the national debt from repudiation."2 At Dartmouth College the Phi Beta Kappa address, dealing with reconstruction problems, called loudly

____________________
1
Fleming, Sequel of Appomattox, p. 83.
2
John Y. Smith, Address, pamphlet.

-307-

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Andrew Johnson: Plebeian and Patriot
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Prefatory Note v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Part I: Odds - 1808-1860 1
  • Chapter I - Runaway Apprentice 3
  • Chapter II - A. Johnson, Tailor 15
  • Chapter III - Successor to Andrew Jackson 26
  • Chapter IV - Congressman 40
  • Chapter V - On the Stump 58
  • Chapter VI - Governor and Senator 76
  • Chapter VII - Home Life 95
  • Chapter VIII - Jeff Davis Spoils the Broth 108
  • Chapter IX - Father of the Homestead 128
  • Chapter X - Impasse 142
  • Part Ii: Alone - 1860-1865 153
  • Chapter I - Testing Time 155
  • Chapter II - Lion-Heart 174
  • Chapter III - Fight for Tennessee 188
  • Chapter IV - Senatorial Whip 205
  • Chapter V - Military Governor 217
  • Chapter VI - Lincoln and Johnson 243
  • Chapter VII - Vice-President 263
  • Chapter VIII - The Execution of Mrs. Surratt 277
  • Chapter IX - Hero of an Hour 292
  • Chapter X - Thad Stevens Pockets Congress 307
  • Part Iii: Unbowed - 1865 and After 323
  • Chapter I - Presidential Reconstruction 325
  • Chapter II - Swinging Round the Circle 347
  • Chapter III - Veto Follows Veto 372
  • Chapter IV - The Great Reconstruction 390
  • Chapter V - Impeachment of the President 405
  • Chapter VI - The Trial 428
  • Chapter VII - Foreign and Domestic Policy 455
  • Chapter VIII - Leaving the White House 471
  • Chapter IX - The Come-Back 490
  • Chapter X - Sixty Years After 510
  • Appendix A 521
  • Appendix B 522
  • Appendix C 526
  • Bibliography 529
  • Index 541
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