The Relentless Abuse of Pardons by Andrew Johnson

Prior to 1860, presidents used constitutional power to pardon and commute sentences sparingly. A deep dive into history shows another president’s relentless campaign of pardons as far more destructive to the nation at one of its most fragile moments. Prior to 1860, presidents used constitutional power to pardon and commute sentences sparingly. But like so much else in[…]

Edmund G. Ross: A Profile in Impeachment Corruption, Not Courage

Ross cast the vote that saved President Andrew Johnson. By David O. Stewart, J.D. The current impeachment proceedings have revived the historical error of proclaiming Kansas Senator Edmund G. Ross a hero for providing the vote that saved President Andrew Johnson’s job after the April 1868 impeachment trial.    For many years after that one-vote verdict,[…]

Edmund G. Ross, the Man Who Saved Andrew Johnson

Introduction Edmund Gibson Ross (December 7, 1826 – May 8, 1907) was a politician who represented Kansas after the American Civil War and was later governor of the New Mexico Territory. His vote against convicting President Andrew Johnson of “high crimes and misdemeanors” allowed Johnson to stay in office by the margin of one vote. As[…]

The Violent Language of Andrew Johnson

The 10th article of impeachment against Andrew Johnson in 1868 was about his language and conduct over the course of his term. By Jamelle Bouie There’s precedent for making transgressive presidential speech a “high crime or misdemeanor.” The 10th article of impeachment against Andrew Johnson in 1868 was about his language and conduct over the[…]

Life and Political Career of Andrew Johnson, the First Impeached President in 1868

Johnson was the seventeenth President of the United States, succeeding to the presidency upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Introduction Johnson was a United States Senator from Tennessee at the time of the secession of the southern states. He was the only Southern Senator not to quit his post upon secession. Though a slave owner[…]

The Political Circus and Constitutional Crisis of Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

When the 17th president was accused of high crimes and misdemeanors in 1868, the wild trial nearly reignited the Civil War. By Lorraine Boissoneault The scene in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 24, 1868 was an unusually raucous one. Although the congressmen were seated in their normal positions, going about much of their[…]

Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction

The views of the Vice President rarely matter too much, unless something happens to the President. In 1864, Republican Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson, a Democratic senator from Tennessee, as his Vice Presidential candidate. Lincoln was looking for Southern support. He hoped that by selecting Johnson he would appeal to Southerners who never wanted to[…]