SHORTLY after Stanton's suspension, Thomas Ewing regretfully informed his son Hugh, American Minister to the Hague, that it was "almost certain that the President will be impeached this winter," and advised the diplomat to make his plans for recall upon Ben Wade's entry into the White House.1 But the Old Roman's apprehension proved over keen. The general temper of the Northern people was probably expressed by Godkin in the Nation; he looked to the Stanton matter "to furnish entertainment during the next two or three months." In suspending his War Minister, Johnson "has completely lost his head," but it was not at all likely that he hoped or intended "to effect any real change in the government of the South." The editor thought that the President merely hoped "to annoy a number of people who have annoyed him."2
While Stanton received encouraging messages from a few Radicals, the contumacious minister must have been disappointed at the small number of such letters and at the comparative insignificance of their signers.3 The truth is that Stanton's removal did not greatly grieve the Radicals, the Army or the country; this "Carnot of the Civil War" was nowhere popular.
The day after the suspension, a Pittsburgh friend informed the President that his supporters were delighted with his action "in regard to 'Black Bull' Stanton. Nothing has done you so much harm as your Cabinet." Johnson's exhibition of vigor had caught the fancy of James Gordon Bennett, who again took "a new course" and began to support the President. Regarding Stanton's conduct "as unprecedented in a Cabinet officer, and tending to be revolutionary," the Commodore did not see how the President could escape the issue without degrading his high office. But Johnson should not let Stanton be the single martyr; he should change the entire satrapy in the South. In truth, the President was surprised to find how few really cared. about Stanton. Pleased with his new position, General Grant immediately began attending the Cabinet meetings, and his "very obvious" self-satisfaction was a matter of