« AnteriorContinuar »
ton to resort to the courts. You perfectly un- , and he further says, that since he resumed the derstood that in this interview "sometime" after duties of the office he has continued to discharge you accepted the office, the President, not content them "without any personal or written commu. with your silence, desired an expression of your nication with the President;" and he adds: views, and you answered him, that Mr. Stanton “No orders have been issued from this Depart"would have to appeal to the courts." If the ment in the name of the President with my President had reposed confidence before he knew knowledge, and I have received no orders from your views, and that confidence had been vio- him." lated, it might have been said he made a mis- It thus seems that Mr. Stanton now discharges take; but a violation of confidence reposed after the duties of the War Department without any that conversation was no mistake of his, nor of reference to the President, and without using his yours. It is the fact only that needs be stated, name. My order to you had only reference to that at the date of this conversation you did not orders “assumed to be issued by the direction of intend to hold the office with the purpose of the President." It would appear from Mr. forcing Mr. Stanton into court, but did hold it Stanton's letter that you have received no such then, and had accepted it, to prevent that course orders from him. However, in your note to the from being carried out. In other words, you President of the 30th ultimo, in which you acsaid to the President, “that is the proper course;" knowledge the receipt of the written order of and you said to yourself, “I have accepted this the 29th, you say that you have been informed office, and now hold it, to defeat that course." | by Mr. Stanton that he has not received any The excuse you make in a subsequent paragraph order limiting his authority to issue orders to the of that letter of the 26th ultimo, that afterwards army, according to the practice of the Departyou changed your views as to what would be a ment, and state that “while this authority to the proper course, has nothing to do with the point War Department is not countermanded, it will now under consideration. The point is, that be satisfactory evidence to me that any orders before you changed your views you had secretly issued from the War Department by direction of determined to do the very thing which at last the President are authorized by the Executive." you did-surrender the office to Mr. Stanton. The President issues an order to you to obey You may have changed your views as to the no order from the War Department, purporting law, but you certainly did not change your views to be made "by the direction of the President," as to the course you had marked out for your- until you have referred it to him for his apself from the beginning
proval. You reply that you have received the I will only notice one more statement in your President's order, and will not obey it, but will letter of the 3d instant-that the performance obey an order purporting to be given by his di. of the promises which it is alleged were made by rection, if it comes from the War Department. you would have involved you in the resistance You will not obey the direct order of the Presiof law. I know of no statute that would have dent, but will obey his indirect order. If, as been violated had you-carrying out your prom- you say, there has been a practice in the War ises in good faith-tendered your resignation Department to issue orders in the name of the when you concluded not to be made a party in President without his direction, does not the preany legal proceedings. You add :
cise order you have requested, and have re“I am in a measure confirmed in this conclusion by your ceived, change the practice as to the General of recent orders directing me to disobey orders from the Secre the army? Could not the President countertary of War, my superior and your subordinate, without having countermanded his authority to issue the orders I
mand any such order issued to you from the War am to disobey."
Department? If you should receive an order On the 24th ultimo you addressed a note to
from that Department, issued in the name of the the President, requesting, in writing, an order,
President, to do a special act, and an order digiven to you verbally five days before, to disre- |
rectly from the President himself not to do the gard orders from Mr. Stantón as Secretary of act, is there a doubt which you are to obey? War, until you “knew from the President him
You answer the question when you say to the self that they were his orders."
President, in your letter of the 3d instant, the On the 29th, in compliance with your request,
Secretary of War is “my superior and your I did give you instructions in writing "not to subordinate;" and yet you refuse obedience to obey any order from the War Department as- |
the superior out of deference to the subordinate. sumed to be issued by the direction of the Presi- Without further comment upon the insubor dent, unless such order is known by the General dinate attitude which you have assumed, I am commanding the armies of the United States to
at a loss to know how you can relieve yourself have been authorized by the Executive.”
from obedience to the orders of the President, There are some orders which a Secretary of who is made by the Constitution the CommanderWar may issue without the authority of the in-Chief of the army and navy, and is, there. President: there are others which he issues sim- / fore, the official superior, as well of the Gene ply as the agent of the President, and which eral of the army as of the Secretary of War. purport to be “by direction” of the President. Respectfully, yours, ANDREW JOHNSON. For such orders the President is responsible, and General U.S. GRANT, Commanding Armies of the he should, therefore, know and understand what 1 United States, Washington, D. C. they are before giving such “direction." Mr. Stanton states in his letter of the 4th instant, Copy of a letter addressed to each of the memo which accompanies the published correspond-bers of the cabinet present at the conversation ence, that he “lias had no correspondence with | between the President and General Grant on the the President since the 12th of August last;" | 14th of January, 1868:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, | recollection, a correct statement of the converWASHINGTON, D. C., February 5, 1868. sation that took place between the President and SIR: The Chronicle of this morning contains General Grant at the cabinet meeting on the a correspondence between the President and Gen- 14th of January last. In the presence of the eral Grant, reported from the War Department, cabinet, the President asked General Grant in answer to a resolution of the House of Rep- whether, “in a conversation which took place resentatives. I beg to call your attention to after his appointment as Secretary of War ad that correspondence, and especially to that part interim, he did not agree either to remain at the of it which refers to the conversation between head of the War Department and abide any juthe President and General Grant at the cabinet dicial proceedings that might follow the nonmeeting on the 14th of January, and to request concurrence by the Senate in Mr. Stanton's susyou to state what was said in that conversation. pension; or, should he wish not to become in. Very respectfully, yours,
volved in such a controversy, to put the PresiANDREW JOINSON. dent in the same position with respect to the
office as he occupied previous to General Grant's LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY. appointment, by returning it to the President WASHINGTON, D. C., February 5, 1868.
in time to anticipate such action by the Senate. SIR: Your note of this date was handed to me! This General Grant admitted. this evening. My recollection of the conversa- ! The President then asked General Grant it, tion at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the 14th at the conference on the preceding Saturday, he of January, corresponds with your statement of had not, to avoid misunderstanding, requested it in the letter of the 31st ultimo, in the pub. General Grant to state what he intended to do; lished correspondence. The three points speci- and, further, if in reply to that inquiry he, Genfied in that letter, giving your recollection of the
eral Grant, had not referred to their former conversation, are correctly stated.
conversations, saying that from them the Presi. Very respectfully,
dent understood his position, and that his (GenGIDEON WELLES.
eral Grant's) action would be consistent with To the PRESIDENT.
the understanding which had been reached.
To these questions General Grant replied in
the affirmative. LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.
The President asked General Grant, if, at the TREASURY DEPARTMENT, conclusion of their interview on Saturday, it
February 6, 1868. was not understood that they were to have SIR: I have received your note of the 5th another conference on Monday, before final inst., calling my attention to the correspondence action by the Senate in the case of Mr. Stanton. between yourself and General Grant, as pub- General Grant replied that such was the unlished in the Chronicle of yesterday, especially derstanding, but that he did not suppose the to that part of it which relates to what occurred Senate would act so soon; that on Monday, he at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the 14th had been engaged in a conference with General ultimo, and requesting me to state what was said Sherman, and was occupied with “many little in the conversation referred to
matters," and asked if "General Sherman had I cannot undertake to state the precise lan- I not called on that day." guage used; but I have no hesitation in saying! I take this mode of complying with the rethat your account of that conversation, as given quest contained in the President's letter to me, in your letter to General Grant under date of because my attention had been called to the the 31st ultimo, substantially and in all import- subject before, when the conversation between ant particulars, accorded with my recollection the President and Goneral Grant was under con
sideration. . With great respect, your obedient servant,
Very respoctfully, your obedient servant, Hugh McCULLOCH.
ALEX. W. RANDALL, The PRESIDENT.
To the PRESIDENT.
Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT, LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 5th WASHINGTON, D. C., February 6, 1868. February, calling my attention to the correspond SIR: I am in receipt of yours of yesterday, ence published in the Chronicle, between the calling my attention to a correspondence boPresident and General Grant, and especially to tween yourself and General Grant, published in that part of it which refers to the conversation the Chronicle newspaper, and especially to that between the President and General Grant at the part of said correspondence "whích refers to the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the 14th of Janu conversation between the President and General ary, with a request that I "state what was said Grant at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the in that conversation.”
14th of January," and requesting me "to state In reply, I have the honor to state that I have what was said in that conversation." jead carefully the correspondence in question, In reply, I submit the following statement: and particularly the letter of the President to At the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the 14th of General Grant, dated January 31, 1868. The January, 1868, General Grant appeared and took following extract from your letter of the 31st of his accustomed seat at the Board. When he January to General Grant, is, according to my I had been reached in the order of business, the
President asked him, as usual, if he had any. without having reached a definite conclusion, thing to present.
and with the understanding that the General In reply, the General, after referring to a note would see the President again on Monday. which he had that morning addressed to the In reply, General Grant admitted that the President, enclosing a copy of the resolution of conversations had occurred, and said that at the the Senate refusing to concur in the reasons for first conversation he had given it as his opinion the suspension of Mr. Stanton, proceeded to to the President, that in the event of non-consay that he regarded his duties as Secretary of currence by the Senate in the action of the War ad interim terminated by that resolution, President in respect to the Secretary of War, the and that he could not lawfully exercise such question would have to be decided by the court; duties for a moment after the adoption of the that Mr. Stanton would have to appeal to the resolution by the Senate ; that the resolution court to reinstate him in office; that the ins reached him last night, and that this morning would remain in till they could be displaced, and he had gone to the War Department, entered the outs put in by legal proceedings; and that the Secretary's room, bolted one door on the he then thought so, and had agreed that if he inside, locked the other on the outside, de- should change his mind, he would notify the livered the key to the Adjutant General, and President in time to enable him to make another proceeded to the headquarters of the army, and appointment; but that at the time of the first addressed the note above mentioned to the Pres- conversation he had not looked very closely into ident, informing him that he (General Grant) the law-that it had recently been discussed by was no longer Secretary of War ad interim. the newspapers, and that this had induced him
The President expressed great surprise at the to examine it more carefully, and that he had course which General Grant had thought proper come to the conclusion that if the Senate should to pursue, and, addressing himself to the General, refuse to concur in the suspension, Mr. Stanton proceeded to say, in substance, that he had an- would thereby be reinstated, and that he (Grant) ticipated such action on the part of the Senate, could not continue thereafter to act as Secretary and being very desirous to have the constitu- of War ad interim without subjecting himself to tionality of the tenure-of-office bill tested, and fine and imprisonment, and that he came over his right to suspend or remove a member of the on Saturday to inform the President of this cabinet decided by the judicial tribunals of the change in his views, and did so inform him; that country, he had some time ago, and shortly after the President replied that he had not suspended General Grant's appointment as Secretary of Mr. Stanton under the tenure-of-office bill, but War ad interim, asked the General what his under the Constitution, and had appointed him action would be in the event that the Senate (Grant) by virtue of the authority derived from should refuse to concur in the suspension of Mr. the Constitution, &c.; that they continued to Stanton, and that the General had then agreed discuss the matter some time, and, finally, he left either to remain at the head of the War Depart- without any conclusion having been reached, ment till a decision could be obtained from the expecting to see the President again on Monday. court, or resign the office into the hands of the He then proceeded to explain why he had not President before the case was acted upon by the called on the President on Monday, saying that Senate, so as to place the President in the same he had had a long interview with General Shersituation he occupied at the time of his (Grant's) man, that various little matters had occupied his appointment.
time till it was late, and that he did not think The President further said that the conversa- the Senate would act 80 soon, and asked: “Did tion was renewed on the preceding Saturday, at not General Sherman call on you on Monday ?" which time he asked the General what he in- I do not know what passed between the Presi. tended to do if the Senate should undertake to dent and General Grant on Saturday, except as I reinstate Mr. Stanton; in reply to which the learned it from the conversation between them General referred to their former conversation at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, and the foreupon the same subject, and said, you understand going is substantially what then occurred. The my position, and my conduct will be conformable precise words used on the occasion are not, of to that understanding; that he (the General) course, given exactly in the order in which they then expressed a repugnance to being made á were spoken, but the ideas expressed and the party to a judicial proceeding, saying, that he facts stated are faithfully preserved and prewould expose himself to fine and imprisonment sented. by doing so, as his continuing to discharge the I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, duties of Secretary of War ad interim, after the your obedient servant, 0. H. BROWNING. Senate should have refused to concur in the sus The PRESIDENT. pension of Mr. Stanton, would be a violation of the tenure-of-office bill; that in reply to this he LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE. (the President) informed General Grant he had
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, not suspended Mr. Stanton under the tenure.of.
WASHINGTON, February 6, 1868. office bill, but by virtue of the powers conferred SIR: The meeting to which you refer in your ou hia by the Constitution; and that as to the letter was a regular cabinet meeting. While the fine and imprisonment, he (the President) would members were assembling, and before the Presipay whatever fine was imposed, and submit todent had entered the council chamber, General whatever imprisonment might be adjudged Grant, on coming in, said to me that he was in against him, (the General ;) that they continued attendance there not as a member of the cabinet, the conversation for some time, discussing the but upon invitation, and I replied by the inquiry law at length; and that they finally separated, I whether there was a change in the War Departo ment. After the President had taken his seat the Senate should disapprove of Mr. Stanton', business went on in the usual way of hearing suspension, until the question should be decided matters submitted by the several secretaries. upon by the courts; that he remained until very When the time came for the Secretary of War, recently of that opinion, and that on the Satur. General Grant said that he was now there, not as day before the cabinet meeting a conversation Secretary of War, but upon the President's invi- was held between yourself and him, in which the tation; that he had retired from the War De- subject was generally discussed. General Grant's partment. A slight difference then appeared about statement was, that in that conversation he had the supposed invitation, General Grant saying stated to you the legal difficulties which might that the officer, who had borne his letter to the arise, involving fine and imprisonment under the President that morning, announcing his retire- civil-tenure bill, and that he did not care to subment from the War Department, had told him ject himself to those penalties; that you replied that the President desired to see him at the cab- to this remark that you regarded the civil-tenure inet; to which the President answered, that bill as unconstitutional, and did not think its when General Grant's communication was de- penalties were to be feared, or that you would livered to him, the President simply replied that voluntarily assume them; and you insisted that he supposed General Grant would be very soon General Grant should either retain the office unat the cabinet meeting. I regarded the conver- til relieved by yourself, according to what you sation thus begun as an incidental one. It went claimed was the original understanding between on quite informally, and consisted of a statement yourself and him, or, by seasonable notice of on your part of your views in regard to the un- change of purpose on his part, put you in the derstanding of the tenure upon which General same situation in which you would be if he adGrant had assented to hold the War Department hered. You claimed that General Grant finally ad interim, and of his replies by way of answer said in that Saturday's conversation that you and explanation. It was respectful and courteous understood his views, and his proceedings thereon both sides. Being in this conversational after would be consistent with what had been so form, its details could only have been preserved understood. General Grant did not controvert, by verbatim report. So far as I know, no such nor can I say that he admitted this last statement. report was made at the time. I can only give Certainly General Grant did not at any time in the general effect of the conversation. Certainly the cabinet meeting insist that he had, in the you stated that although you had reported the Saturday's conversation, either distinctly or reasons for Mr. Stanton's suspension to the Sen- finally advised you of his determination to retire ate, you nevertheless held that he would not be from the charge of the War Department otherentitled to resume the office of Secretary of War, wise than under your own subsequent direction. even if the Senate should disapprove of his sus- He acquiesced in your statement that the Saturpension, and that you had proposed to have the day's conversation ended with an expectation question tested by judicial process, to be applied that there would be a subsequent conference on to the person who should be the incumbent of the subject, which he, as well as yourself, supthe Department, under your designation of Sec-posed could seasonably take place on Monday. rectary of War ad interim, in the place of Mr. You then alluded to the fact that General Grant Stanton. You contended that this was well un- did not call upon you on Monday, as you had derstood between yourself and General Grant; expected from that conversation. General Grant that when he entered the War Department as admitted that it was his expectation or purpose Secretary ad interim, he expressed his concur- to call upon you on Monday. General Grant rence in the belief that the question of Mr. Stan- assigned reasons for the omission. He said he ton's restoration would be a question for the was in conference with General Sherman; that courts; that in a subsequent conversation with there were many little matters to be attended General Grant you had adverted to the under-to; he had conversed upon the matter of the instanding thus had, and that General Grant ex-cumbency of the War Department with General pressed his concurrence in it; that at some con- Sherman, and he expected that General Sherversation which had been previously held General man would call upon you on Monday. My own Grant said he still adhered to the same construc- mind suggested a further explanation; but I do tion of the law, but said if he should change his not remember whether it was mentioned or not, opinion he would give you seasonable notice of namely: that it was not supposed by General it, so that you should, in any case, be placed in Grant on Monday that the Senate would decide the same position in regard to the War Depart-the question so promptly as to anticipate further went that you were while General Grant held it explanation between yourself and him, if delayed ad interim,* I did not understand General Grant beyond that day. General Grant made another as denying, nor as explicitly admitting these explanation, that he was engaged on Sunday statements in the form and full extent to which with General Sherman, and I think also on you made them. His admission of them was Monday, in regard to the War Department matrather indirect and circumstantial, though I did ter, with a hope, though he did not say in an not understand it to be an evasive one. He said effort, to procure an amicable settlement of the that reasoning from what occurred in the case of affair of Mr. Stanton, and he still hoped that it the police in Maryland, which he regarded as a would be brought about. parallel one, he was of opinion, and so assured I have the honor to be, with great respect, your you, that it woula be his right and duty, under obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD. your instructions, to hold the War Office after! To the PRESIDENT.
8.-GENERAL GRANT TO THE PRESIDENT. may deem proper to the officer commanding at HEADQU'RS ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES, Brownsville to carry into effect the request of WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 1868.
the Treasury Department, the instructions to be His Excellency A. JOHNSON,
sent by telegraph to Galveston, to the care of President of the United States.
A. F. Randall, special agent, who is at Galveston SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the re waiting telegraphic orders, there being no teleceipt of your communication of the 10th instant, graphic communication with Brownsville, and accompanied by statements of five cabinet min: the necessity for military protection to the pubisters, of their recollection of what occured in lic moneys being represented as urgent. cabinet meeting on the 14th of January. With-| Please favor me with a copy of such instrucout admitting anything in these statements where tions as you may give, in order that they may they differ from anything heretofore stated by be communicated to the Secretary of the Treame, I propose to notice only that portion of your sury.
Yours, truly, communication wherein I am charged with in
EDWIN M. STANTON, subordination. I think it will be plain to the
Secretary of War. reader of my letter of the 30th of January, that
To General U. S. GRANT, I did not propose to disobey any legal order of
Commanding Army United States. the President, distinctly given; but only gave an interpretation of what would be regarded as
LETTER OF SECRETARY M'CULLOCH. satisfactory evidence of the President's sanction
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, to orders communicated by the Secretary of War.
January 29, 1868. I will say here that your letter of the 10th in SIR: It is represented to this department that stant contains the first intimation I have had a band of robbers has obtained such a foothold that you did not accept that interpretation.
in the section of country between Humboldt Now, for reasons for giving that interpreta and Lawrence, Kansas, committing depredation: It was clear to me, before my letter of tions upon travellers, both by public and priJanuary 30th was written, that I, the person vate conveyance, that the safety of the public having more public business to transact with money collected by the receiver of the land the Secretary of War than any other of the office at Humboldt requires that it should be President's subordinates, was the only one who guarded during its transit from Humboldt to had been instructed to disregard the authority Lawrence. I have, therefore, the honor to rem of Mr. Stanton where his authority was derived quest that the proper commanding officer of the as agent of the President.
district may be instructed by the War Depart. On the 27th of January I received a letter from ment, if in the opinion of the Hon. Secretary the Secretary of War, (copy herewith,) directing of War it can be done without prejudice to the me to furnish escort to public treasure from the public interests, to furnish a sufficient military Rio Grande to New Orleans, &c., at the request guard to protect such moneys as may be in of the Secretary of the Treasury to him. I also transitu from the above office for the purpose of send two other enclosures, showing recognition being deposited to the credit of the Treasury of of Mr. Stanton as Secretary of War by both the the United States. As far as we are now adSecretary of the Treasury and the Postmaster vised, such service will not be necessary oftener General, in all of which cases the Secretary of than once a month. Will you please advise me War had to call upon me to make the orders re- of the action taken, that I may instruct the quested, or give the information desired, and receiver and the Commissioner of the General where his authority to do so is derived, in my Land Office in the matter. view, as agent of the President.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, With an order so clearly ambiguous as that of
H. McCULLOCH, the President, here referred to, it was my duty
Secretary of the Treasury to inform the President of my interpretation of To the Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR. it, and to abide by that interpretation until I Respectfully referred to the General of the received other orders.
army to give the necessary orders in this case, Disclaiming any intention, now or heretofore, and to furnish this department a copy for the of disobeying any legal order of the President, information of the Secretary of the Treasury, distinctly communicated, I remain, very respect By order of the Secretary of War. fully, your obedient servant,
ED, SCHRIVER, Inspector Generalo U. S. Grant, General.
LETTER OF THE SECOND ASSISTANT POSTMASTER
Post OFFICE DEPARTMENT,
CONTRACT OFFICE, GENERAL: The Secretary of the Treasury has
WASHINGTON, February 3, 1868. requested this department to afford A. F. Ran- SIR: It has been represented to this departdall, special agent of the Treasury Department, ment that in October last a military commission such military aid as may be necessary to secure was appointed to settle upon some general plan and forward for deposit from Brownsville, of defence for the Texas frontiers, and that the Texas, to New Orleans, public moneys in pos- said commission has made a report recommend. session of custom-house officers at Brownsville, | ing a line of posts from the Rio Grande to the and which are deemed insecure at that place. Red river.
You will please give such directions as youl An application is now pending in this depart.