Andrew Johnson: A Study in Courage

By Lloyd Paul Stryker | Go to book overview

LXXVI
EVARTS' STRATEGY

THE Radicals never forgot that if any seven of the Republican Senators voted for acquittal, this number added to the Democrats would ruin the conspiracy. Wade could not then be President, and what would all the "faithful" do? They especially,--the "faithful"--were surging through the capital shouting that Johnson's conviction was necessary to the country's peace.1

The Senators were caucusing, and the managers were threatening that any Senator who dared to vote not guilty would render himself infamous.2 The managers and the more violent of the Senators were united in this work in an unholy partnership. "When I was coming up H Street this evening between 4 and 5," on April 22nd wrote Welles, "I came upon Conkling and Benjamin F. Butler who were in close conversation on the corner of 15th Street. It was an ominous and discreditable conjunction;-- the principal manager, an unscrupulous, corrupt and villainous character, holding concourse with one of the Senatorial triers, a conceited coxcomb of some talents and individual party aspirations. They both were, as Jack Downing says, stumped, and showed in their countenances what they were talking about and their wish that I had been on some other street,--or somewhere else."3

No one was more active in furnishing the managers support than Ulysses Grant. Manager Logan later publicly declared that Grant had "stood at the back of the managers in Congress during the whole course of the trial."4 During the latter part of April Senator Henderson was invited one morning to breakfast with Grant at the home which had recently been given to him. Commodore Porter and other guests were there. On their departure Grant requested Henderson to remain, and upon lighting a cigar proposed a walk. The purpose for this was revealed promptly.

-675-

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