The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
»Impeachment, Trial, and Acquittal

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News Article
Harper's Weekly, April 11, 1868, page 225

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At one o’clock on Monday, March 23, as already briefly announced in this journal, the Senate resolved itself into a Court for the continuance of the trial of the President. The Impeachment Managers on the part of the House appeared, as did the counsel of the President, and the proceedings of the court were about commencing in due form, when Mr. Garrett Davis, a Senator from Kentucky, somewhat surprised the Senate and the lawyers present by offering a motion which in effect denied the jurisdiction of the Senate in the case. Chief Justice Chase at once decided the question by ordering the motion to a vote without debate, and it was rejected by a vote of 49 nays to 2 yeas, only the two Senators from Kentucky voting in favor of it.

The counsel of the President then read his plea and answer to the articles of impeachment. This document is very long, filling over four columns of the daily newspapers. Briefly, it is an explicit, emphatic, and detailed denial of every allegation and charge contained in the articles of the House. It denies any intention of violating the Tenure-of-Office or any other law; denies the correctness of the alleged speeches of the President; affirms his right to express his opinion the same as any other citizen; and, in closing, generally denies in toto the entire list of charges.

On the following day, March 24, the replication of the House was filed by the Managers of Impeachment. The House simply reasserted the charges, and announced that it stood ready to prove them true.

The counsel of the President had asked on March 23 for thirty days to prepare for the defense, but this was denied them, and it was ordered that the trial should begin on Monday, March 30. On that day the trial really began in earnest, and has been continued to the present writing in a quiet, but intensely interesting manner.

Our engravings in this issue of the Weekly which bear upon this highly important event are of the most interesting character. On pages 232 and 233 will be found one of the most valuable engravings which has ever appeared in this journal. It is an elaborate and correct view of the interior of the United States Senate Chamber, showing the details of the architecture and fresco-work, the various departments of the gallery, the arrangement of the desks on the floor of the Senate (thus giving at a glance the positions of the Senators, each of whom is portrayed in his designated seat), and the temporary arrangement made for the accommodation of the members of the House of Representatives, and the managers, and the counsel of the President. In the Weekly for March 14 we gave a large engraving of the House of Representatives, in which the same features were accurately portrayed. This companion picture of the Senate is on the same scale and plan, and the two together represent the two principal chambers of the national capitol more accurately than any similar drawings yet made. The details of the architecture, etc., are made from photographs of the architect's plans; the numerous portraits of the more prominent members of each House are from photographs furnished by Messrs. Brady & Co., Pennsylvania Avenue. Washington; and the beautiful design and accurate drawing are by Mr. Theodore R. Davis, our artist at Washington.

On our first page will be found two engravings which explain themselves. Mr. J. I. Christie, the Messenger of the Senate, has been detailed by the Sergeant-at-Arms to receive the tickets of those admitted to the trial, and our engraving illustrates him in the discharge of this duty. When it is known that crowds of old ladies, negroes, etc., etc., indignant at being refused admission to the Capital of the nation, are continually asking questions, making appeals, and muttering threats, it is apparent that the position is not a sinecure. Four or five policemen are necessary to keep back the crowd which is always waiting here during the session of the Senate for the trial.

The House of Representatives have resolved to attend the trial in Committee of the Whole, and our illustration represents them approaching the door of the Senate, at which they are met by the Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. George T. Brown, whose duty it is to receive them and announce their presence to the Senate.

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