Andrew Johnson: A Biography

By Hans L. Trefousse | Go to book overview

XVIII
PRESIDENT IN
LIMBO

JOHNSON could truly congratulate himself on his acquittal, but the remaining months of his administration were not such as to make him feel at ease. While the failure to convict him had given new hope to the South, congressional Reconstruction was only just beginning, and it was not yet evident that it would end in failure. While the president still had power to make appointments, the Senate could, and frequently did, reject them. While he was still commander in chief of the army and navy, he had pledged himself to abide by the will of Congress. And while he could still veto obnoxious legislation, his vetoes were routinely overridden. Nevertheless, having been upheld, he was more convinced than ever that he had been right all along. Continuing to believe that in the end the people would sustain him, he was determined to seek vindication.

Because of this fixed purpose, Johnson could and did take great pride in favorable election returns. Early in June the Democrats won in Oregon, and in elections in the District of Columbia they gained control of the Washington Common Council and four of the seven city wards. These results tended to underline the president's belief in final justice, and he continually sought new platforms to voice his convictions of the sacredness of the Constitution as he understood it, the supremacy of the white race, and the need for Jacksonian economics. 1

But first he had to complete some of the arrangements made during the trial. Senator Edmund Ross asked him to appoint allies to office, and

-335-

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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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