Andrew Johnson: A Study in Courage

By Lloyd Paul Stryker | Go to book overview

LXXI
BUTLER OPENS FOR THE PROSECUTION

HORACE GREELEY in the columns of his Tribune was doing all he could to fan the flames. From his cornucopias of vituperation he poured forth an unending stream of low abuse upon the President. The day before the recommencement of the trial he excoriated those who had "seduced Andrew Johnson into treachery and violation of law," and praised with passionate pæans the impeachers. "The Republican party," he wrote in words that he was four years later more than to repudiate, "is to America what the Reformation was to Europe. It is the child of the Revolution of 1776. The pen which wrote the Declaration of Independence unconsciously recorded its triumph."1 On the following morning the Tribune took prominent notice of the fact that Thaddeus Stevens was endorsing Grant for President and had announced Wade as his choice for the Vice-Presidency.2

On March the 30th the Senate galleries were crowded with the fashion of the Capital. The diplomats were there, the wives of many of the Senators, and there again, as steady patrons of the drama, were the daughters of the Chief Justice. Carl Schurz had come this day to see and hear.3

Long before 12:30, the appointed hour, the Senators were in their seats. The Chief Justice, looking the embodiment of learning, dignity and law, was ushered in. The sergeant-at-arms made proclamation. The President's counsel entered. The sergeant-at-arms announced the presence of the managers. The House of Representatives appear, once more walking two by two, and the court is now prepared to give attention to the opening address of the prosecution. All eyes were riveted on Butler. He was seated at the table facing the Senators and Representatives. The lithe figure of General Stanbery was erect and stiff.

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