The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals

By George Fort Milton | Go to book overview

XV. A MARPLOT IN THE CABINET

DURING the exciting scenes just described, the President was beset on all sides. In both Houses of Congress his enemies had built up such majorities against him that, whenever agreed among themselves, they could override his vetoes. Although elected as the candidate of the National Union party and faithfully carrying out the declared policies of that party, Johnson had been largely deserted by its politicians and was being forced to depend upon Democrats for support. This he did reluctantly, for the Southern Democrats were impenitent and impotent; while the Northern ones, too often deserving the appellation of "Copperhead," seemed more interested in filling Federal offices than in sustaining the President. The Southern legislatures were adding to Johnson's troubles, the Northern Conservatives were quailing before the storm, and to cap it all, four of the Constitutional advisers of the President were giving him grave concern.

As far back as March 3, Gideon Welles-who never hesitated, equivocated or faltered in his forthright support of his chief, and whose judgment, courage and loyalty made the latter affectionately term him "a perfect brick"--became apprehensive that there was "treachery to the President" in the Cabinet.1 He thought Johnson was aware of it, but that he was unwisely giving his ear to the temporizers. Upon nearly every issue which was discussed in the Cabinet, Dennison, Harlan, Speed and Stanton advised a course of action which would play into the hands of the Radicals.2

Dick Taylor came to Washington in the spring and had many long interviews with General Grant.3 Both approved Johnson's policy and both agreed that, to succeed in it, the President must get rid of Seward and Stanton. They called at the White House and put their views frankly before the President, who "responded to them favorably, earnestly, and decidedly."

To Grant's amazement, Stanton called on him at his home the next day, and informed the General that he was ready to join him and Taylor in backing Johnson, even to the point of abandoning Seward. Much puzzled, the General of the Armies told the story to Taylor, who hastened to the White House to

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The Age of Hate: Andrew Johnson and the Radicals
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgment ix
  • I. War-Time Washington 1
  • Ii. Plot and Counterplot 16
  • III- the National Union Convention 37
  • Iv. the Bound Boy of Raleigh 59
  • V. the Tailor-Politician 74
  • Vt. "In the Furnace of Treason" 98
  • Vii. on the Ticket with Lincoln 120
  • Ix. President Andrew Johnson 160
  • X. the Trial of Mrs. Surratt 190
  • Xi. the Lull Before the Storm 213
  • Xii. Charles Sumner Declares War 236
  • Xiii. the Triumph of Caliban 262
  • Xiv. Victory at Any Price 293
  • Xv. a Marplot in the Cabinet 320
  • Xvi. the Swing Around the Circle 344
  • Xvii. Bayonet Rule by Act Of Congress 370
  • Xix. Johnson Crosses the Rubicon 426
  • Xx. General Grant Breaks His Word 457
  • Xxi. the Impeachment of The President 486
  • Xxii. Preparing for the Trial 515
  • Xxiii. Impartial Court Or Political Inquest? 541
  • Xxiv. Sound and Fury 566
  • Xxvii. Last Months in the White House 633
  • Xviii. the Tennessee Epilogue 654
  • Appendix - Authorities Consulted and Cited In This Volume 677
  • Notes 685
  • Index 755
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