Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy

MON, JUN 15, 2009 (1:08:55)

Author and Constitutional lawyer David O. Stewart reveals how the first President Impeachment Crisis was wrought with corruption and greed. In 1868 when the nation was healing from a bloody civil war, the US Congress impeached Lincoln’s successor, President Andrew Johnson. Attempting to secure the rights of the freed slaves and prevent the southern states from falling under control of the rebels, congressional Republicans seized the opportunity to impeach President Johnson, a man who took a narrow view of federal powers and was untroubled by racial violence. The conflict between the President and the Congress threatened to tear the nation apart, in a clash that strained the Constitution to the breaking point. This program is generously funded by the Lowell Institute.

+ BIO: David O. Stewart

David O. Stewart is a Constitutional lawyer and the author of The Summer of 1787. The book was well reviewed in The New York Times and around the country, hit The Washington Post bestseller list for several weeks, won the Washington Writing Award for Best Book of 2007, and made several “best books” lists for 2007. In May 2009, Simon & Schuster released Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy. That 1868 trial was another moment when the nation’s fate hung in the balance. The book explores long-ignored evidence of bribery and corrupt influences in the final Senate vote. As a trial lawyer for more that 25 years, many of which have been with Ropes & Gray in Washington, DC, Stewart has defended accused criminals, challenged government actions as unconstitutional, and argued many appeals (including two before the US Supreme Court). He developed a fascination with impeachment when he served as principal defense counsel during the Senate impeachment trial of Judge Walter L. Nixon Jr. of Mississippi. For almost 10 years, Stewart wrote a monthly column for The American Bar Association Journal on the Supreme Court (five of those columns appear in The Supreme Court and Its Justices, issued by ABA Press).

Partner
Revolutionary Spaces
Series
American Experience: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Series