Harper's Weekly 01/19/1867


Congress reassembled on January 3. A resolution
was adopted in the Senate the same day, inquiring
into the necessity of further legislation to prevent the
sale of negroes into slavery. A similar resolution
making the same inquiry regarding Indians, and re-
hearsing the fact that United States army officers had
held captive Indians in slavery, was also adopted.
The most important action of the Senate was had on
January 4, when the House bill repealing the section
of the Confiscation bill vesting the pardoning power
in the President was adopted without amendment by
a vote of 27 to 7. It now goes to the President for
approval. On the 7th of January the District Suffrage
bill, which had been vetoed by the President, was
called up in the Senate, and passed over the veto by
a vote of 29 to 10. It goes to the House.

Mr. Stevens's bill to provide for the restoration of
the late rebel States came up in the House on the 3d,
and an amendment was offered by Mr. Ashley, of
Ohio. It declares the State governments in the re-
bellious districts to be null and void, and organizes
constitutional State governments, with impartial suf-
frage. It then provides for State conventions, to be
composed of loyal men, who shall elect a Provisional
Governor, who is authorized to proclaim martial law
and suspend the writ of habeas corpus whenever he
may deem it necessary. No conclusion or vote was
arrived at. The session of the House on January 7
was of an exciting character, witnessing, as it did,
the initiatory movements for the impeachment of the
President. A resolution declaring it the duty of the
present Congress to impeach Mr. Johnson was referred
to the Reconstruction Committee. Mr. Ashley, of Ohio.
then offered a resolution charging the President with
usurpation of power and violation of law, with cor-
ruptly abusing the appointing power and corruptly
using the pardoning power; corruptly disposing of
the public property; corruptly interfering in elections,
and committing acts which are, in the contemplation
of the Constitution, high crimes and misdemeanors.
The resolution further instructed the House Judiciary
Committee to inquire into and report on the official
conduct of the President. The resolution was adopt-
ed by a vote of 107 yeas to 39 nays. Mr. Stevens's Re-
construction bill, which came up as unfinished busi-
ness, was postponed until January 15.

In a general debate in the House on the 5th instant
Mr. Stevens declared his opposition to the admission
of the Southern States on their ratification of the Con-
stitutional Amendment, saying that Congress would
stultify itself to ask them to vote on such an amend-

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