Mr. Johnson Meditates a Coup d'Etat

February 5, 1868


President Johnson is prepared to act against Congress if the dictator bill which would put General Grant in charge of the Southern states is passed. He is aware that this opposition could result in his ejection from the presidency and is willing to accept all consequences.


Mr. Johnson Meditates a Coup d'Etat. I have it upon good authority, says the New York Correspondent of the Charleston Courier, that President Johnson is determined to take decided action in regard to the bill making General Grant dictator of the southern States. If in the course of said action General Grant stands in the way he will be set aside and another man put in his place. Mr. Johnson is about to assume the offensive, return blow for blow, and will, whenever the dictator bill becomes a law, startle the country by some bold stroke which will equal any coup d'etat ever heard of in this country. The President has well calculated the results of such a collision with Congress, and is not unwilling to be ejected from the presidential chair, as he then will, of course, be nominated by the Democracy and triumphantly reelected by a people who are over-boiling from indignation at the doings of the Congress now in session at Washington. Only let the Senate pass that dictator bill, and Congress will have more than they bargained for. That bill is the President's great card. Upon it he is willing to go before the country. Nothing more, nothing less. Let them pass that bill and Mr. Johnson will show them that the President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the Array and Navy shall no longer be brow-beaten as such. The overt act then to be committed by him will of course lead to impeachment and ejection from office; but, as already stated, on such an issue Mr. Johnson is perfectly willing to be deposed and to be returned to the people.
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Mallory Haskins




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