Telegraphic News: Congressional
January 8, 1867
Congressmen are charging and accusing President Johnson with the misuse of his powers with the corrupt use of the veto, and are calling for his impeachment.
Messrs. Chandler and Morgan presented a petition for the passage of the House tariff bill of last session. A bill was reported to allow the Adjutant General of West Virginia to send free through the mails medals for Union soldiers. A resolution for collecting products of the United States for the Paris Exhibition was adopted. The President's veto of the Negro Suffrage bill was then read. [The message will be found below.] Mr. Morrill and others attacked the veto, and spoke in favor of passing the bill over it. Messrs. Johnson, Cowan, and Doolittle replied. supporting the President's position. The bill was passed over the veto by a vote of 28 to 10. Fifteen members were absent. The House has yet to act, and will follow the example of the Senate. House--The following resolutions were introduced and referred: By Mr. Rice, of Maine. --A bill to divide the western districts of Arkansas into two judicial districts. By Mr. Walker. --To repeal the bill retroceding the bounty of Alexandria to Virginia. By Mr. Kay Kendall. --To provide for the true national currency, and for the collection and distribution of the revenue. Mr. Ashley, of Ohio, then took the floor. He said he was confident the loyal people of the country demanded the action he was about to take. He charged President Johnson with high crimes and misdemeanors, and introduced a resolution calling upon the Judiciary Committee to inquire into the same, with power to send for persons and papers. Mr. McClung offered a resolution to repeal the act compensating the owners whose slaves were in the United States service. Mr. Loan, of Missouri, offered a resolution to the effect that it was the duty of Congress to impeach the President, abridge the Executive power, effect a perfect reorganization of the southern States, and secure by direct Federal legislation the right of negro suffrage in the southern States. The resolution went over. Mr. Ashley introduced a paper and resolution impeaching Andrew Johnson, Vice-Presl-dent and Acting President, of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors, in that he had usurped power and violated laws; that he had made corrupt use of the appointing, pardoning, and veto powers; that he had corruptly deposed of the public property of the United States; that he had corruptly interfered in elections, and was guilty of other high crimes and misdemeanors. The resolution instructs the Committee on Judiciary to inquire whether in the exercise of his power Andrew Johnson was guilty of acts designed to subvert the Government of the United States, or any department thereof, or whether he had been guilty of such acts as in law would be denominated high crimes and misdemeanors which required the interposition of the House; and that the committee have power to send for persons and papers. Mr. Spalding's motion to lay this resolution on the table was defeated--ayes, 39; nays, 105. . Mr. Ashley demanded the previous question on the passage of the resolution, and the resolution was then agreed to--ayes, 106; nays, 36. Among the Radicals who voted in the negative were Davis, Dodge, Raymond of New York, Latham of West Virginia, and Spalding of Ohio. The Senate bill providing aid and facilities for a ship canal across the Isthmus of Darien was referred. Mr. Kasson offered a resolution explaining the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution to mean the prohibition of sale into slavery for crime. Laid over. Mr. Stevens called up his amendment to provide a legal government for the South, providing no person should be deprived of the right to vote by reason of conviction or punishment for treason or suspicion thereof. He said he offered the amendment because he heard reliably from North Carolina and other States, that the people there, in anticipation of the passage of the bill, were preferring charges and having the negroes whipped, in order that they might be disqualified from voting. The bill was postponed.
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“Telegraphic News: Congressional,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed September 19, 2018, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/485.