• MA Gov. Bullock Ponders Fate Of Andrew Johnson, Proposal Of Thaddeus Stevens To Support 14th Amendment

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    ALEXANDER HAMILTON BULLOCK (March 2, 1816- January 17, 1882) was a lawyer, state senator, mayor of Worcester, MA, and governor of Massachusetts (1866-1869).


    2 1/2 pp, 8 x 9 1/2, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Department, Boston, February 4, 1866, to J.D. Baldwin, in which Bullock touches on the growing conflict between the Executive and Legislative branches of the government during the Reconstruction Era and the vote on a Thaddeus Stevens’ bill to reflect the 14th, which granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States and provided for equal protections under the law. The amendment was ratified in 1868.


    Bullock writes, "...I do not think anybody out of Washington & I doubt if anybody in Washington, knows the status of the President. Still, it is clearly the duty of Congress. I mean of course the Republicans; & it is equally the expectation of the people - that no quarrel with the President, no break should be initiated by them. He cannot afford to begin one. The fate of John Tyler, the philosophy of politics, & the strong voting in your House, all show the folly of his trying the experiment of individuality before the country... & his name would Henceforth be a blotch in history. I hope he has no disposition in that direction; & whether he has or not I hope you will do nothing, say nothing that shall promote a break. I should have voted for Stevens' bill the other day. I see you did not. But on such a question the people are satisfied either way, knowing your views. There is a general willingness among our people to trust the Congress. Never before was there so general a confidence in the representation...."

    Andrew Johnson was at odds with Congress in February of 1866, after having vetoed a piece of legislation proposed by the Congress to expand the Freedmen's Bureau, and denounced several Radical Republicans, including Pennsylvania Representative Thaddeus Stevens, who had proposed the bill mentioned in Bullock's closing.

    Bullock (1816 -1882), Governor of Massachusetts at this time, had long been an active abolitionist who had been instrumental in trying to have the Kansas territory settled by antislavery cohorts.

    Rep. John Denison Baldwin (1809-1883), formerly a free-soiler, opposed to the extension of slavery into territories that had not yet been granted statehood, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Massachusetts (1863-1869). Though he "not only defended the entitlement of freed slaves to "human rights" but envisioned a multiracial nation based on equality of opportunity," he was driven from the Republican party when he voted against the impeachment of Johnson.

    Expected toning. A couple of fold tears reinforced with archival tape.  Remnants of tape along the top margin of verso. Light soiling.


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