Eleven articles of IMPEACHMENT of President ANDREW JOHNSON were voted by the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES in March 1868. The impeachment was largely a product of partisan dissatisfaction with Johnson's approach to RECONSTRUCTION of the South.
Nine of the articles concerned Johnson's attempt to remove Secretary of War EDWIN M. STANTON, supposedly in defiance of the TENURE OF OFFICE ACT of 1867?although, by its letter, the act did not apply to Stanton, who had been appointed by ABRAHAM LINCOLN. The charges ranged from simple violation of the act to conspiracy to seize the property of the War Department and to gain control over its expenditures. However far-fetched, each of the nine articles alleged a specific illegal or criminal act.
The last two articles were overtly political and reflected a different notion of the concept of impeachable offense. Based on accounts of Johnson's speeches, the articles charged that he ridiculed and abused Congress and had questioned the constitutional legitimacy of the Thirty-Ninth Congress.
The impeachment was tried to the SENATE which, in May 1868, failed by one vote to give a two-thirds vote for conviction of any of the articles, and so acquitted Johnson.
DENNIS J. MAHONEY
BENEDICT, MICHAEL LES 19...