Andrew Johnson: A Biography

By Hans L. Trefousse | Go to book overview

XIV
BELEAGUERED
PRESIDENT

PARTY regularity in the usual sense of the term had never been Johnson's strong point; although a Jacksonian Democrat from 1839 to the Civil War, he had often engaged in bitter struggles with ruling elements of his party, including its presidents. It is therefore not surprising that when, because of his stand on Reconstruction, he found himself in difficulties, he again tried to wrest control of his party from the opposing faction, and, failing in this endeavor, to found a new political organization. After all, he had prevailed against the conservative Nashville clique before the war and later against the leaders of the secessionist democracy, and the situation now seemed to require a similar attempt.

The quarrels in which he was engaged during the early months of 1866 intensified Johnson's interest in reorganizing the political structure. "I care not by what name the party administering the Government may be denominated—the Union party, the Republican party, the Democratic party, or what not—no party can administer the Government successfully unless it is administered upon the great principles laid down [in the first annual message]," he said early in February to a visiting delegation from Montana, and he believed that people were already uniting behind his program. On March 23, in an interview with the Connecticut politicians Alfred E. Burr and Colin M. Ingersoll, he again emphasized that he considered the Union party to be the party of those who supported his policy of restoring the Union, "whoever they may be, and no others." Just as he had formerly considered himself the true

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Andrew Johnson: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Andrew Johnson - A Biography *
  • Contents 9
  • Illustrations 11
  • Preface 13
  • I - Raleigh Poor White 17
  • II - Tennessee Tailor 25
  • III - Greeneville Politician 35
  • IV - Fledgling Congressman 51
  • V - Veteran Congressman 69
  • VI - Governor of Tennessee 84
  • VII - United States Senator 109
  • VIII - Unconditional Unionist 128
  • IX - Military Governor 152
  • X - Vice President 176
  • XI - Unionist President 193
  • XII - Presidential Reconstructionist 214
  • XIII - Pugnacious President 234
  • XIV - Beleaguered President 255
  • XV - Defiant President 272
  • XVI - Fighting President 293
  • XVII - President Impeached— President Acquitted 311
  • XVIII - President in Limbo 335
  • XIX - Ex-President 353
  • XX - Epilogue 375
  • Abbreviations 381
  • Notes 383
  • Index 447
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