The Veto Message

March 4, 1867


President Johnson's offical veto has finally been delivered to Congress, which blocks to passing of a military despotism government being enforced in the South. He bases his decision off what he believed the framers of the Constitution would want; keeping to a governing body of Justice and Humanity.


We publish this morning the very able message of President Johnson vetoing the Stevens-Sherman-Shellabarger bill. It is a document that will endure--one of the main points in the history of these times. Mr. Johnson, in his message, is true to the Constitution--to the theory of our Government as understood by its framers--and loyal to Justice and Humanity. But the message is a mere "brutum fulmen," discharged upon the present relentless and impenetrable Congress--bent upon the measures for the humiliation and oppression of the South, and thwarting the President. It was speedily rendered of no force by the overwhelming voice of the Congress--now, indeed, the Government. We see no reason to doubt that the obnoxious law will be faithfully enforced, and there is no tribunal to which we can look with the slightest hope of protection from a measure that overrides the Constitution and sets aside all law. Let us so regard the "situation," and endeavor, by union, harmony, deliberation, and forecaste, to protect the community as far as we can from the evils which hover darkly over the future of our oppressed State.
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Walker Black




“The Veto Message,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 20, 2022,