Lincoln Impeached by Steve Payne
says: what if John Wilkes Booth had misfired at Ford's Theatre? Please
note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the
views of the author(s).
In 1867, on November 21st
the House of Representatives ended a furious debate by narrowly voting to
impeach Abraham Lincoln after the House Judiciary committee had produced a
damning bill consisting of a vast collection of complaints against him.
In order to "bind the wounds" of the Civil War, the sixteenth President's
vision for Reconstruction had been a quick and lenient re-uniting of the
nation, centered on forgiving most Confederates and quickly bringing their
states back to full participation in the Union.
By April of 1865, it had become clear that his plans were no more
imaginative than passing control to the former Whigs who had been
reluctant secessionists. And in fact the control of the entire Federal
Government itself had very nearly passed to Andrew Johnson, an Independent
South politician on Good Friday. However, the assassin John Wilkes Booth
had misfired at the Ford Theatre, killing Mary Lincoln instead.
The emerging prospect of a confrontation with Congress had become a
near certainty when Lincoln refused to sign the Wade-Davis Bill. In so
doing, he had rejected a series of far more stringent conditions for the
creation of State Governments which had been laid down by Congress.
The underlying issue was that Lincoln did not have a overarching plan,
rather than an inclination to use his political genius to move matters
forward along a roadmap of his own choosing. His undeclared intention of
working with the States on an individual basis was plainly evident in his
encouragement of the election of Michael Hahn as a pro-Union Governor to
head a loyal government in Louisiana. And by 1867, the US Congress had
decided that matters were completely out of control and the legislature
must re-establish its authority on Reconstruction by terminating the
recalcitrant Lincoln's scheming Presidency.
says the idea for this story originated from the source articles Jay
Winik "Graceful Exit" published in American History, Winter Edition: 35
Decisive Moments in American History AND Daniel Marino, reader's letter in
the April 2010 Edition of Civil War Times
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
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