Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 96 of 1,110
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PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES.
popular violence for his loyalty to the " old
flag." He was the leader of the Loyalists'
convention of East Tennessee, and during
the following winter was very active in organizing
relief for the destitute loyal refugees
from that region, his own family being
among those compelled to leave.
By his course in this crisis, Johnson came
prominently before the Northern public,
and when in March, I862, he was appointed
by President Lincoln military Governor of
Tennessee, with the rank of Brigadier-General,
he increased in popularity by the vigorous
and successful manner in which he
labored to restore order, protect Union
men and punish marauders. On the approach
of the Presidential campaign of 1864,
the termination of the war being plainly
foreseen, and several Southern States being
partially reconstructed, it was felt that the
Vice-Presidency should be given to a Southern
man of conspicuous loyalty, and Governor
Johnson was elected on the same
platform and ticket as President Lincoln;
and on the assassination of the latter succeeded
to the Presidency, April I5, 1865.
In a public speech two days later he said:
"The American people must be taught, if
they do not already' feel, that treason is a
crime and must be punished; that the Government
will not always bear with its enemies;
that it is strong, not only to protect,
but to punish. In our peaceful history
treason has been almost unknown. The
people must understand that it is the blackest
of crimes, and will be punished." He
then added the ominous sentence: " In regard
to my future course, I make no promises,
no pledges." President Johnson retained
the cabinet of Lincoln, and exhibited
considerable severity toward traitors in his
earlier acts and speeches, but he soon inaugurated
a policy of reconstruction, proclaiming
a general amnesty to the late Confederates,
and successively establishing provisional
Governments in the Southern States.
These States accordingly claimed representation
in Congress in the following December,
and the momentous question of what
should be the policy of the victorious Union
toward its late armed opponents was forced
upon that body.
Two considerations impelled the Repub.
lican majority to reject the policy of Presi.
dent Johnson: First, an apprehension that
the chief magistrate intended to undo the results
of the war in regard to slavery; and,second,
the sullen attitude of the South, which
seemed to be plotting to regain the policy
which arms had lost. The credentials of the
Southern members elect were laid on the
table, a civil rights bill and a bill extending
the sphere of the Freedmen's Bureau were
passed over the executive veto, and the two
highest branches of the Government were
soon in open antagonism. The action of
Congress was characterized by the President
as a " new rebellion." In July the
cabinet was reconstructed, Messrs. Randall,
Stanbury and Browning taking the places
of Messrs. Denison, Speed and Harlan, and
an unsuccessful attempt was made by
means of a general convention in Philadelphia
to form a new party on the basis of the
In an excursion to Chicago for the purpose
of laying a corner-stone of the monument
to Stephen A. Douglas, President
Johnson, accompanied by several members
of the cabinet, passed through Philadelphia,
New York and Albany, in each of which
cities, and in other places along the route,
he made speeches justifying and explaining
his own policy, and violently denouncing
the action of Congress.
August I2, 1867, President Johnson removed
the Secretary of War, replacing
him by General Grant. Secretary Stanton
retired under protest, based upon the tenure-of-office
act which had been passed the
preceding March. The President then issued
a proclamation declaring the insurrec-
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/96/?rotate=90: accessed October 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.