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jurisdiction to be sustained by the averinents of the bill, or by the proof of the facts so averred? The facts so averred are proven to be false and the jurisdiction in the case can only be sustained, therefore, by the averments and the averments alone, of the bill.
We conclude, therefore, that the averments of the bill are alone regarded as sufficient, to maintain the jurisdiction of the court, provided the complainant in good faith invokes its jurisdiction. If, however, the chancellor finds, or has good ground to believe, that his court is being used as a fraud upon the common law courts, or for the purpose of depriving the litigant of his legal rights, such jurisdiction must and will be denied. Whether this conclusion is maintainable upon the strict and rigid rules of legal logic may be open for discussion, but it at least marks the resistless march of the great system of equity jurisprudence, which, discarding legal technicalities and discountenancing the multiplicity of suits and the law's delays and reaching after, though it may be rarely attaining, the perfect justice, whose seat is the bosom of God, will hold the parties in its grasp whenever impleaded until the real right of the cause, whether equitable or legal, is finally and completely adjusted.
The Impeachment and Trial of
PAPER READ BY THEODORE S. GARNETT
OF NORFOLK, VA.
“The trial of President Johnson is the most memorable attempt made by any English-speaking people to depose a sovereign ruler in strict accordance with all the forms of law. The order, dignity and solemnity which marked the proceedings may therefore be recalled with pride by every American citizen.”-J. G. Blaine: "Twenty Years in Congress," Vol. II., p. 381.
The author of this assertion, as to the truth of which there. may well be two opinions, adds:
"It will be studied as a precedent, or as a warning, by the citizens of the Great Republic during the centuries through which God grant, it may pass with increasing prosperity and renown.”
Another writer says:
"It must be presumed that all the established forms of procedure were adhered to and that the accused had a fair trial.”
An entire generation has passed away since the trial, and the accused, as well as his accusers, have been well-nigh forgotten. Indeed, I doubt whether our elder brethren of the Virginia Bar remember or care to recall the excitements of that period, while I am sure our juniors have practically ignored them. It
may, therefore, require an apology—which I humbly offer, in advance—for presuming to revive your acquaintance with
this memorable case, from which I confess I may be unable to extract anything of interest or instruction.
The literature of the Johnson case, strictly speaking, may not be light summer reading, but it cannot be classed among the weightier matters of the law. And yet the case has in it all the elements of a drama, approaching even to the tragic in its attempted destruction of the Executive office at the will of Congressional tyranny.
Let us examine it in its origin, its progress and its results.
By birth a native of North Carolina, by adoption a citizen of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson has illustrated in his remarkable career the strange vicissitudes which may mark the progress and vary the destiny of even the poorest American boy. At twenty years of age, an alderman; at twenty-two, a mayor, and thence in rapid promotion through his State Legislature and the Federal Congress to the Vice-Presidency of the United States.
The death of Lincoln, by the hand of an insane assassin, on the 14th of April, 1865, cast upon Johnson duties so important
and responsible that his first exclamation, in that shortest of all inaugurals ever delivered by a President, was an honest declaration of his incompetency to perform them.
Without having spent a day in school, he enjoyed the unique distinction of having been educated by his wife-a post-nuptial and post-graduate course which many of us perhaps unconsciously, but none the less submissively, acknowledge and admire. To this in large measure may be due the supreme self-control of Mr. Johnson in his struggle with Congress, conscious as he always was that he would have the last word.
Upon the accession of the Vice-President to the office of President, the ghost of a temporary dictatorship was laid, and politicians of every stamp seemed to rally to Johnson's support. For the first few weeks he moved cautiously, knowing that he lacked the confidence of the leaders of the dominant and radical element in Congress. The extremists of this set were Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Benjamin F. Wade and Henry