WHEN he left the White House, a private citizen for the first time in thirty years, Andrew Johnson was driven to the house of his devoted friend, John Coyle, one of the proprietors of the National Intelligencer. Mrs. Patterson and her family were visiting the Welles family. They were to stay in Washington two weeks longer to procure the necessary articles to make habitable the Greeneville home to which, despite proposals of European tours, Johnson had decided to return.
In accordance with his promise to the Baltimore committee, the former President left Washington on the morning of March 11, on his visit to that city. A committee of distinguished Marylanders had come to escort him. Upon his arrival, the square around the Camden station was found to be filled with a great applauding throng. When Johnson descended, a troop of cavalry and a battery of field artillery stood at attention and a great band played. The ex-President entered an open carriage drawn by four gray horses, and the parade began. The streets were lined with men and women and children, cheering, shouting and waving handkerchiefs and flags.
A little later a great levee was held, and thousands of people waited for hours to shake hands with the Defender of the Constitution. When a number of pretty young ladies stepped up, the President showed a new trait of his character by kissing them one by one resoundingly on the cheek, while the spectators "seemed to derive as much pleasure from the operation as the ex-President himself."1
That evening a great banquet was given, with covers laid for 275. The toast to "Our Guest" expressed Baltimore's admiration of "the patriot statesman . . . the bulwark of equal rights, and the defender and martyr of the Constitution." Johnson gratefully responded. "My deliverance," he concluded, "has been the greatest case of emancipation since the rebellion commenced." The next day he returned to Washington with Maryland's plaudits ringing in his ears.2
On March 18 the Johnson party began its homeward jour-