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The Irish republic. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1867-18??, April 04, 1868, Image 6

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i i T r> „■ , -■ __— —-—
/Our Washington Letter.
Washington, D. C., March 20, 1868.
Nothing is more certain than that so long as Andrew
Johnson remains at the White House, acting as President of
the United States, just so long the protection due to Amer
ican citizens, at home and abroad, will be denied, juggled
away and neglected so utterly, that if long continued, aliena
tion must follow. The finances of the country are disordered
by his presence and by the conflict his policy produces. So
long as he possesses power, so long shall we hear rumored
renewals of civil war; so long will rapine and riot mutter
and murmur in hideous mockery of law. Andrew Johnson
has done far more than all the acts of the war towards
loosening respect for law in this land, and to make men’s
minds turn towards violent remedies as the only cure for evils
he and his have produced. Impeachment, the peaceful mode
of completing a revolution embodied in the Federal Consti
tution, is the only road to permanent peace and progressive
In nothing is the treachery of this administration more
evident than in the way the rights of American citizenship
have been disregarded, and even treacherously made use of,
for its own undoing. The Republican party in Congress
have always been willing to deal with this question liberally
and comprehensively. Placing itself within the Republic
on the principle of equality before the law, its statesmen and
leaders have shown themselves equally as willing to make
that citizenship respected abroad.
Right here has come the powerful influence of the ad
ministration, with its violent Southern States Right Democrat
in thejPresidency, and its avowed believer in imperialism
occupying the State Department, combining to hinder and
destroy all useful measures presented to Congress. General
Banks, Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
undoubtedly desired to settle these questions of the neutrality
law and of protection to our citizens while sojourning
abroad; but he went to the State Department too often and
acted too much on the suggestions of its crafty chief. The
consequence is that a purpose which looked so strong and
vigorous, has wasted away almost like snow at noonday.
The bill first offered to the House was a cheat. That which
has been presented as a substitute, and which is now pending,
is but little better. Mr. Seward does not wish to have a real
and vigorous piece of legislation on this subject; so he used
his puppet Banks, to waste by indirection the good inten
tions of the majority.
The bill, amended in committee and reported back to the
House some ten days ago, is now awaiting opportunity for
further discussion, and will come up during some morning
hour at no distant day. I have little faith in General Banks
or the Committee pressing it to a definite conclusion; but
there are those in Congress who will see that this question
shall be determined at this session, and with honor, too.
Another specimen of the juggling the State Department
and its agents indulge in, is seen in the much lauded Ban
croft treaty with North Germany. It is generally regarded
by Republicans as another of Seward’s shams, or if he is
not directly responsible for the instrument, the cheat con
tained in it must delight that shallow imitator of Talleyrand.
The one question at issue with the Prussian Government is
that of military service. The Prussian system is now in
operation in North Germany. The second section of the
Bancroft treaty provides that expatriated persons shall only
he liable to military duty, when such duty was distinctly
due at the time of expatriation. That is, the German-Amer
ican is liable as an American citizen, if as such he shall
return to his native land, for what he did not do as a
German. Under the Prussian military law, all men of a
certain age are actually liable to duty. If they emigrate,
this treaty recognizes their right to become naturalized citi
zens in the country with which it is made, but holds them
for the failure to fulfill their home duties of citizenship at
the time of their leaving, should they have the temerity to
again appear in the land of their nativity.
Mr. Seward urges the ratification of this treaty. It is to
be hoped the Senate will do no such thing. Nor is it ex
The only hope of manfully reaching a settlement of these
questions is to he found under an administration, whose
members shall not be either Bourbons who have neither
learned or unlearned anything, or concealed monarchists who
desire nothing more early than the destruction of the Re
public. AY ith Senator Wade as Acting-President, we shall
have a Cabinet whose members will endeavor honestly to
maintain the country’s glory and protect the humblest of
its citizens, whether assailed at home or in the furthest
corners of the British dominions. Then again we, as adopted
citizens, will know who is responsible, because Congress and
the Executive will be in accord, and failure cannot then be
laid on the shoulders of Andrew Johnson.
The trial begins on Monday. The president’s efforts seem
to be turned exclusively towards procuring delays. The
whole line of defense rests on this. Not justice, but hindrance.
So far as one can judge, the effort to procure undue delay
will fail. Those whose opportunities of judging are good,
think that the Senate will proceed regularly, day by day,
with the trial, after the House managers fill the required re
plication. Great efforts are, of course, being made to affect
Senators; but it is not believed that there are more than
three men really doubtful on the Republican side of the
Senate. Delay, if effected, will probably affect the verdict.
The line of defense to be adopted is thus given out:
1st. A demurer to the effect that the charges made are not
sufficiently “high crimes and misdemeanors” to warrant
2d. A challenge of several Senators as being either inter
ested in the result, or as having made up an adverse judg
3d. A demurer to jurisdiction, on the ground that it is not a
constitutional Senate, sufficiently so at least, to try the Pres
ident. Of course this is founded on the fact that the South
ern States are not represented.
4th. It is then said, these others being overruled, that the
general plea of not guilty will be entered, after which the
fourteen facts on which the charges are founded will be ad
mitted, though the guilty intent will be denied.
A further report declares that the President will at this
stage offer his resignation. This part I do not believe, but
think it much more likely that some small attempt at resist
ance, will follow Johnson’s realization of having been brought
to bay.
There are very many painful rumors in circulation about
the Chief Justice. One cannot believe them true; yet there
is something always worth notice in the suspicions that per
vade a sensitive people. So much foundation as this exists
for suspecting coquetry with Democratic intriguers. There
is much talk among them of the Chief Justice as an available
candidate for them. The New York Atlas, organ of Hoff
man and Seymour, argues in its favor. The New York Sun
has canvassed it. The World has spoken approvingly of
this gossip. An evening sheet published, edited by an in
timate friend of Andy, declares for the movement. The
Intelligence)'defends the Chief Justice. The Baltimore Gazette's
Washington correspondent, who is inside the administration
ring, declares it to be favorably thought and talked about.
In no way have we heard a word from Mr. Chase’s near
friends. Governor Sprague’s influence in Rhode Island is
nearer to the Democrats than Republicans, all these things
give us pause. The members of Mr. Chase’s household are
not at all scrupulous in expressing disapproval of impeach
mept. Fortunately, the presiding officer of the court has not
a great deal of power. It is right to say that there has come
nothing of weight from him which indicates any such base
treachery. He has, however, recently affected conservatism.
Any such fall as this will be followed by a public condemna
tion so swift and terrible as to appall the most indifferent.
In connection with the proceedings of the High Court of
Impeachment, at Washington, before which Andrew John
son, President of the United States, is now on trial for “ high
crimes and midemeanors,” we are informed that, on Tuesday,
the 24th March, Chief Justice Chase entered at one o’clock,
and having taken his seat, ordered the proclamation, which
was accordingly made by the Sergeant-at-Arms. In the
meantime the counsel for the President, Messrs. Stanbery,
Curtis, Evarts, Nelson and Groesbeck entered and took their
seats. At 1:05 oclock, the Managers, having been announced,
took their seats, with the exception of Mr. Stevens, who was
absent. The House was announced, and the members dis
posed themselves outside the Bar. The Secretary read the
announcement of the adoption of the replication by the
House. Mr. Boutwell, of the Managers, then rose and said:
Mr. President, I am charged by the Managers with the duty
of presenting the replication offered by the House of Repre
sentatives. He read as follows:
Replication by the House of Representatives of the United States to
the Answer of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States,
to the Articles of Impeachment exhibited against him by the
House of Representatives.
The House of Representatives of the United States has
considered the several answers of Andrew Johnson, President
of the United States, to the several articles of impeachment
against him by them, exhibited in the name of themselves,
and of all the people of the United States, and reserving to
themselves an advantage of exception to the insufficiency of
this answer to each and all of the several articles of im
peachment exhibited against said Andrew Johnson, President
of the United States, do deny each and every averment in
said several answers, or either of them, which denies or
traverses the acts, intents, crimes or misdemeanors charged
against said Andrew Johnson in said articles of impeach
ment, or either of them, and for replication to the said’
answer, do say that the said Andrew Johnson, President of
the United States, is guilty of the high crimes and misde
meanors mentioned in the said articles, and that the said
House of Representatives are ready to prove the same.
At the conclusion of the reading, Senator Johnson said:
“Mr. Chief Justice, I move that an authenticated copy be
presented to the counsel for the President.”
The motion was agreed to.
The Chief Justice—Last evening a motion was pending
on the part of the counsel for the President that such a time
hould be allowed for their preparation as the Senate should
please to determine. Thereupon the Senator from Maryland
(Mr. Johnson) presented an order, which will be read by the
The secretary read the order providing that ten days’ time
be allowed.
After considerable discussion the Senate retired to hold a
secret session, at the conclusion of which it was announced
by the Chief Justice that the original motion had been agreed
to in the following form:
Ordered, That the Senate will commence the trial of the
President upon the articles of impeachment exhibited
against him, on Monday, the 30th day of March, and proceed
therein with all dispatch, under the rules of the Senate,
sitting upon the trial of an impeachment.
After a momentary pause, the Chief Justice asked: Have
the counsel for the respondent anything to propose ?
The counsel bowed in acquiescence to the decision.
Mr. Butler, one of the Managers, said : If the Chair will
allow me, I will give notice to the witnesses to appear here
on Monday, the 30th March, at 121 o'clock.
On Motion of Senator Wilson, the Court was then adjourned
until the date named, at o’clock, and the Chief Justice
vacated the chair, which was immediately resumed by Mr.
W ade.
On Thursday, the 26th March, the Senate ratified the
treaty which had recently been concluded at Berlin between
the North German Confederation and the United States, con
cerning the naturalization laws, and which has already been
sanctioned by the Federal Council of the North German
Confederation. Thus the treaty has become valid for the
term of ten years. Liberally interpreted, it may afford con
siderable relief to the naturalized Germans who desire to
revisit their native land. But the letter of the treaty un
doubtedly leaves room for a quite different construction, and
it rests w'itli the North German Confederation alone whether
the new treaty shall lead to fewer complications than the old
arrangement. By those most directly concerned in the affair,
the Germans of the United States, the treaty is generally
received with distrust and dissatisfaction. We have before
us the the opinions of five leading German newspapers of the
United States, all of which concur more or less in the views
which we expressed concerning it about five weeks ago.
Mr. Seward, it is understood, is considerably annoyed at
the obstinacy, as he regards it, of the Foreign Affairs Com
mittee, in not only omitting to recommend an appropriation
for the purchase of Aliaska, but in postponing its considera
tion indefinitely. At a special meeting of the Committee,
which the Secretary induced General Banks to call lately, in
the hope of- making some progress, it was determined to defer
all consideration of the subject until after the impeachment
trial. It is asserted, however, that the Secretary of State and
General Banks have made an arrangement with the Russian
Minister, deferring the time of payment. The Russian
Minister is empowered to take such steps as he may deem
necessary, and has consented not to insist upon the stipula
tions, at least for the present.
The following passage, which we quote from an able
letter signed “ Galmoy,” which was written from New
York on February 23d, and which appears in the Dublin
Nation of March 12th, may be regarded as a correct antici
patory description of the doings of certain “ political pat
riots” in the city of New York on St. Patrick’s day. It is
time that these wretched displays of criminal vanity should
In several instances, the societies accustomed to celebrate
the festival of St. Patrick’s day by a parade, have concluded
to forego the “ pomp and pageantry” on the present occasion,
and to devote the money thus saved to the purpose of reliev
ing the distress now so prevalent through afflicted Ireland.
In New York, however, the work of preparation still goes on,
and the determination of the office-holders, seekers and wire
pullers generally, who usually figure at the head of these
displays, to make the customary exhibition of themselves,
in defiance of the better opinion of their countrymen, is ap
parently unabated. When Know-Nothingism was rampant,
there might have been some excuse for this; but I can see
none now, and think a practice which blocks up the streets of
a great city for an entire day, to the utter stoppage of all
business, might be fairly discontinued. Such a change would
also lessen the chance of disturbances which have made the
cheeks of Irish-Americans throughout the country tingle
with shame, and perhaps enable the rank and file of the par
ticipants to employ their energies more usefully—if in a less
ostentatious manner—without diverging widely from a pat
riotic direction.
We are greatly gratified to observe that the more and the
longer the character and principles of General Grant are
investigated, the more is the confidence of all the liberty
loving men of the country increased.
During the session of the Massachusetts Republican State
Convention, a statement was made, concerning General
Grant’s views on suffrage, that is worthy of record. It is
Early in April last, immediately after the adjournment of
the first session of the present Congress, I called on General
Grant, at his office in Washington. He had that morning
been informed of the questions proposed to be raised by the
President and Attorney-General in relation to the Recon
struction act, then just passed. After stating them, he re
marked : “ Congress ought not to have adjourned without
some provision by which it coidd have assembled at any
time,” and also added : “ They have passed laws by which
ten States are to be reconstructed, and it is reasonable to sup
pose that some further legislation may be necessary.” I then
said to him : “Perhaps this is not the first time we have suf
fered because Congress was not in session when it ought to
have been.” He asked to what I referred. I replied that I
always thought there should have been a session of Congress
immediately after the overthrow ef the rebel armies. He
assented, and I further added: “If there had been, is it pos
sible that the present conflict between the Executive^ and
Congress might have been avoided?” Alter a moment’s re
flection, he replied : “ On the whole, I think it is better as it
is. If it had not been for that conflict it is possible that re
construction might have been accomplished without securing
negro suffrage.” I felt then that he fully recognized the fact
that the war had established not only the power of the Gov
ernment to maintain its own existence, but also the equality
of the rights and privileges of all men under it.

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