The President

December 11, 1868


The Dispatch reports on Former President Johnson's meeting with Congress. The paper takes the first half of the paper to respond to Johnson


The President's Message. Mr. Johnson, -whatever else may be said of him, is bold in the utterance of his convictions. In his annual message which we published yesterday he tells Congress, in plain language, that it has usurped powers not belonging to it, violated the Constitution, retarded the restoration of peace, damaged the country, and done whatever it ought not to have done, and neglected at the same time to perform its duty. He reviews briefly the course of Congress with reference to reconstruction ; speaks at length of the financial condition of the country, hinting so plainly at repudiation that he was denounced in the House , of Representatives as a repudiationist. We do not see how his language will bear any other construction than that the money hereafter paid as interest shall be reckoned as so much of the principal paid, thereby getting rid of the whole debt in sixteen years and eight months - exactly the time required for the interest to amount to as much as the principal. The message gives but little information as to the state of the negotiations going on with England. It tells us that Paraguay will be required to do justice in the matter of the two American citizens "whom she recently imprisoned. It refers briefly to our relations -with all foreign countries. It closes with a renewal of his former recommendation in regard to certain changes which he proposes in the Constitution. It has now been at least eighteen years since Mr. Johnson first offered in Congress a bill to amend the Constitution so as to provide that the President and Vice-President should be elected directly by the people. "We never thought much of the scheme. As a whole, the message is not characterized by extraordinary ability, nor are its suggestions remarkable for their novelty or for their excellence. But it will be useful to posterity as a contemporaneous estimate from tiie highest officer of the Government of the character, designs, and labors of the present infamous Congress.
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Jacob Markman




“The President,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed August 8, 2022,