Butler's Speech Creating No Sensation-Increased Belief that the President is on Safe Ground-Impeachment Excitement Rapidly Declining

April 2, 1868


Butler gave a speech yesterday attacking President Johnson. The possibility that Johnson will be acquitted is more popular. Impeachment itself is losing publicity just as Reconstruction did. The wearisome trial is quite unpredictable.


BUTLER'S SPEECH CREATING NO SENSATION--INCREASED BELIEF THAT THE PRESIDENT IS ON SAFE GROUND--IMPEACHMENT EXCITEMENT RAPIDLY SUBSIDING, ETC. Washington, March 31, 1868. Butler's speech yesterday created no sensation, and at the end everybody who had listened to its entire length was heartily tired. It is regarded, however, as equal in strength to any of the arguments which can be offered against the President. Bingham is expected by his friends to eclipse the effort of his co-manager, but certainly cannot do any more hurt than Butler. How much that is remains yet to be decided. There are many here who have not heretofore had any hope whatever that the President would be acquitted, who now assert their belief that there will be no conviction. They trust in the regard which at least a significant number of the Republican majority in the Senate will have for the law and the facts to sustain the President. The whole subject of impeachment is becoming like that of reconstruction, and much of the interest in it seems to have departed. There is a feeling among all classes to await the result patiently and quietly, and not to indulge in any undue excitement in regard to it. The details may produce various sensations during the progress of the trial; but the subject itself is becoming very wearisome. Opinions still differ widely regarding the length of the trial. The views of the Managers are perfectly well understood. In fact, have been substantially stated time and again, to the effect that no delay beyond what is absolutely necessary is to be allowed ; but nothing has developed itself with reference to how the President's counsel will proceed, or with regard to what has resulted from any of the various consultations which they have had. The intensity of the prosecutors in conducting the case on their side is not to be underrated, and if there is any reward to be given by their Radical constituents for the ardor displayed, they are each and every one of them (meaning the prosecutors) entitled to a reward. Boutwell and Butler may both aspire to a senatorship in the place of Sumner. But one of them can have it, but that does not prevent both from looking thereto. Sumner's star is on the wane, and whether impeachment is a success or not, he is not likely long to continue where he at present is. All the Managers will receive their political reward if the President is, convicted until the people reverse the judgment of the Senate. Timon.
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“Butler's Speech Creating No Sensation-Increased Belief that the President is on Safe Ground-Impeachment Excitement Rapidly Declining,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed March 30, 2023, https://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/954.