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were naturally the friends of the national government and of the party that had given them freedom. There were politicians in plenty who looked to the negro vote to keep the Republicans in control of the national government. Many of these doubtless valued the party organization mainly as a means of self-advancement; while others like Sumner devoutly believed that in the Republican party lay the sole hope of justice and freedom. To the North generally, the convincing argument for negro suffrage was that the ballot would give the black man the necessary weapon for self-protection. On this ground Mr. Schurz favored it in his report of 1865, and in reviewing the situation in 1904 he holds the same opinion. The assumption in this view was that the freedmen and the former master class were, and were to remain, natural enemies. Looking back to slavery, which really combined an element of oppression with an element of protection, the North saw only the oppression. Viewing the present, it was not merely the State laws, but the frequent personal abuse of the negroes which confirmed the idea that they must have the ballot for selfprotection.
On broader grounds, the question was reasoned thus: "The logical, the necessary ultimate step in the negro's elevation to full manhood is his possession of the vote. By far the most desirable road to this consummation would be a gradual and educational introduction of the body of freedmen to the franchise. But toward such a course the South shows no inclination. The alternative remains-in the brief period during which the national authority can be applied to organic reconstruction—of establishing universal manhood suffrage; with the drawback of a present admixture of a large ignorant and unfit element; with the great disadvantage, too, of further alienating the two races for the present; but with the possibility and hope that
the exercise of the ballot will in itself prove educational, and that the Southern white man and Southern negro will ultimately fare better than if the one is allowed to permanently disfranchise the other." Something like this, apparently, whether wise or unwise, was the predominant judgment of the better class at the North.
With others the argument was simpler. Blaine in his Twenty Years gives a common sentiment, himself in 1884 still concurring in it: "The North believed, and believed wisely, that a poor man, an ignorant man, and a black man, who was thoroughly loyal, was a safer and better voter than a rich man, an educated man, and a white man, who in his heart was disloyal to the Union." The Republican, on the contrary, expressed the opinion: “It is better to be governed by ex-rebels than by fools."
The Fourteenth Amendment had been put forward virtually as an invitation. It was rejected by the South, and the new plan-military government, to give place to new constitutions with universal suffrage-was issued as a mandate. It was promptly carried out. In little more than a twelvemonth, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas had been reconstructed; their State organizations were provisionally accepted by Congress in June, 1868; and as their Legislatures at once ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and secured its adoption, they were fully restored and their senators and representatives admitted in July. Virginia and Mississippi managed to stave off final action, hoping to escape the excluding clauses, until after Grant's election to the Presidency in 1868; and their hopes were justified when Grant gave his influence successfully with Congress against the excluding clauses; so that these two States, with belated Texas, were reorganized in the following year and admitted early in 1870. Georgia had troubles of her own, and a suspension
by Congress from full statehood for half a year; and her final admission, on July 15, 1870, marked definitely the end of the reconstruction process. The registration of voters in the ten States had shown that in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, the colored voters were in a majority; in Georgia, the two races were about equal; and in Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas and Texas, one-third or more were colored. The preponderance of voting power had been given to a people just out of slavery. The practical working of the plan, and the six further years of Federal supervision over the South, belong to another chapter.
An episode in this story, though an important feature in a general history, must be the impeachment of President Johnson in the spring of 1868. Though the main questions at issue were definitely settled, the bitterness between the President and Congress lasted and increased. At the same time with the final reconstruction measure, there was passed the "Tenure of Office bill," which took away from the President the power of removing his subordinates which all his predecessors had enjoyed, and required the Senate's concurrence in removals as in appointments. Some exception was made as to Cabinet officers; and the President, exasperated beyond endurance by Stanton, after vainly, though reasonably, asking the Senate to relieve him of his hostile secretary, assumed the right to remove him by his own authority, and appointed Gen. Lorenzo Thomas in his place, February 21, 1868. The House, in which the radical temper had grown stronger than ever, in a blaze of excitement voted the President's impeachment. He was tried before the Senate, the House prosecutors being led by Stevens, Boutwell, and Benjamin F. Butler, whose vindictive and unscrupulous personality had come to the front. The President was defended by a group of the foremost
lawyers in the country, including Benjamin R. Curtis, Jeremiah S. Black, and William M. Evarts. The only weighty article in the charge was that concerning Stanton's removal, and upon this a legal defense was made which now seems conclusive. But it has been justly said that the President was on trial nominally for one class of offenses, but practically for another-namely, his persistent opposition to the policy of Congress. Party loyalty was invoked for his condemnation; the general temper of the North was hot against him; wrath and tribulation were predicted for any Republican senator who should vote for his acquittal. In face of the storm, there were a few who quietly let it be known or surmised that they should vote in their capacity as judges sworn to follow the law and the facts, whatever the political consequences. The decisive hour came, May 16, and the result no one could predict; the Democratic senators and the four administration Republicans all would sustain the President; seven additional votes would prevent the decisive two-thirds condemnation. Man after man, Fessenden, Fowler, Grimes, Henderson, Ross, Van Winkle, and Trumbull-Republicans all-voted "Not guilty"; and, by nineteen to thirty-five, President Johnson escaped deposition-to get rid of Stanton finally, and finish his term; to return to the Senate from Tennessee; to take his place in history as an honest and patriotic man, beyond his proper sphere, whose limitations worked a part in the partial failure of reconstruction. The country escaped a dangerous dislocation of the relation of Congress and the executive, and the triumph of an exaggerated radicalism. The seven independent senators sacrificed their future careers, and deserve the perpetual gratitude of their country.
And now it remained for the nation, through a Presidential election, to pass upon the completed work. In the
Democratic convention at New York, in July, 1868, the reactionary and the progressive elements strove. A new Democracy was growing, intent on administrative reform and moderate Constitutionalism; Samuel J. Tilden of New York and his allies were among the leaders; their candidate was Chief Justice Chase. Only the incongruity with his judicial position marred the fitness of Chase's candidacy. Lincoln, though he had his own troubles in dealing with him, said, "Of all the great men I have known, Chase is equal to about one and a half of the best of them." He had proved eminent on the bench as in the Cabinet, and under his lead the Supreme Court gave a series of conservative decisions on reconstruction questions which were a most valuable contribution to the national stability and security-a vital, though not to the popular eye a conspicuous service in the reconstruction period. Against him, the candidacy of George H. Pendleton of Ohio represented the element historically unfriendly to the war for the Union, and intensely opposed to the reconstruction measures. He had the support of the Southern delegates, present in full force, and lending to the cheering the dominant note of the well-known "rebel yell." The reactionists got their own way with the resolutions, which declared the reconstruction acts to be "unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void.” On the new question which was looming up, of shirking the national debt by payment in promises, the platform leaned strongly toward repudiation. Pendleton's supporters, seeing their candidate could not win, and determined that the other Ohio man, Chase, should not win, thwarted their New York opponents by a clever trick, and successfully rushed through the convention the nomination of its presiding officer, Horatio Seymour of New York, against his protest and to the discomfiture of his associates. An able, accomplished man, but reckoned half-hearted in the