Description[Reconstruction and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson]. Ulysses S. Grant Autograph Letter Signed "U.S. Grant, General". Two pages of a bifolium, 5" x 8", Washington, D.C.; February 27, 1868. A letter to General George G. Meade in Atlanta, in regards to controversy in Georgia that had arisen due to the Second Reconstruction Act. In full:
"I am much obliged to you for your letter of the 22nd of Feb. enclosing my copy of the President's dispatch to you. I had been called upon for copies of the same correspondence by the President, and had furnished it, but I presume he expected to direct me in mutilating it. Before you removed the state Treasurer and Governor, the President received a dispatch from the latter notifying him that you contemplated such action. I told the President that I had received a dispatch from you in which you meditated removing the Treasurer but said nothing about removing the Governor. This was before your final action which I heartily approved of, including the removal of the Governor."
The Second Reconstruction Act, passed in March 1867, had granted military commanders the power to oversee state elections, something which President Johnson had vetoed but had been overruled. A constitutional convention met in Atlanta in December 1867, to ratify the 13th and 14th Amendments, and Meade, who was overseeing the procedures, demanded that Atlanta pay for the convention fees. Both the Georgia Treasurer John Jones and Governor Charles Jenkins refused, and Meade had them both removed. Jenkins and Jones attempted to file a suit against Grant, Meade, and Thomas Ruger (who was appointed military governor of the state), but the Supreme Court dismissed the case, citing lack of jurisdiction.
President Johnson was firmly against the actions taken by Grant and Meade. Grant was serving as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army when he wrote this letter; his views on Reconstruction and firm opposition to Johnson foreshadow his presidential campaign later that year. It should also be noted that a few days before this letter was sent, on February 24, Johnson was impeached by the House due to his attempts to remove Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office.
Condition: Lightly toned, darker at mail folds, with some light foxing, else fine.
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