"Impeachment - General Thomas Demanding the War Office of Secretary Stanton"

In 1867, President Andrew Johnson attempted to remove Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office. Stanton was a major opponent of Johnson's reconstruction policies. In 1868, he tried again to remove Stanton and to appoint General Lorenzo Thomas as interim secretary. In this engraving Thomas (far left) threatens Stanton (seated, at right). Stanton later had Thomas arrested, although charges were never pursued. The act of removing Stanton would probably have violated the recently passed Tenure of Office Act (1867). Johnson's alleged violation of the Act was the principal charge in the impeachment proceedings against him, which started within a few months. The Tenure of Office Act was largely repealed in 1887, and declared unconstitutional in 1926 by the Supreme Court.

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