and that a crime was something for which punishment should in due course of law be meted out. He, therefore, wanted, or thought he wanted, to have the scenes of England
's Convention Parliament and the Restoration of 1660 re-enacted here, as a fitting sequel of our great conflict.
Most fortunately, the American
people then gave evidence to Europe
of a capacity for self-restraint and selfgovern-ment not traceable to English parentage, or precedents.
No Cromwell's head grinned from our Westminster Hall; no convicted traitor swung in chains; no shambles dripped in blood.
None the less Andrew Johnson
called for ‘indictments,’ and one day demanded that of Lee
. Then outspoke Grant
—general of the army.
, he declared, was his prisoner.
He had surrendered to him, and in reliance on his word.
He had received assurance that so long as he quietly remained at his home, and did not offend against the law, he should not be molested.
He had done so; and, so long as Grant
held his commission, molested he should not be. Needless, as pleasant, to say what Grant
then grimly intimated did not take place.
was not molested; nor did the general of the army indignantly fling his commission at an accidental president's feet.
That, if necessary, he would have done so, I take to be quite indubitable.
's subsequent life, as head of Washington College, I have but one anecdote to offer.
I believe it to be typical.
A few months ago I received a letter from a retired army officer of high character from which I extract the following: ‘Lee
was essentially a Virginian.
His sword was Virginia
's, and I fancy the State
had higher claims upon him than had the Confederacy
, just as he supposed it had than the United States
But, after the surrender, he stood firmly and unreservedly in favor of loyalty to the nation.
A gentleman told me this anecdote.
As a boy he ran away from his Kentucky
home, and served the last two years in the rebel ranks.
After the war he resumed his studies under Lee
's presidency; and one occasion, delivered as a college exercise an oration with eulogistic reference to the “Lost cause,” and what it meant.
Later, General, then President
sent for the student, and after praising his composition and delivery, seriously warned him against holding or advancing such views, impressing strongly upon him the unity of the nation, and urging him to devote himself loyally to maintain the integrity and the honor of the United States
The kindly paternal advice thus given was, I imagine, typical of his whole post bellum
Let this one anecdote suffice.
Here was magnanimity, philosophy, true patriotism, the pure American spirit.
Accepting the situation loyally and in a