Ticket for admission to the gallery of the United States Senate during the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, May 13, 1868. Philip & Solomons, Washington.
On Feb. 24, 1868, eleven articles of impeachment were filed in the House of Representatives against President Andrew Johnson. The primary charge was violation of the Tenure of Office Act, passed by Congress the previous year. Johnson had removed Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War (whom the Tenure of Office Act was largely designed to protect) and replaced him with Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas. The House agreed to the articles of impeachment on Mar. 2, and the trial began three days later in the Senate, with Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presiding. The final vote to acquit Johnson, falling one vote shy of the required two-thirds majority for conviction, occurred on May 26.
Tickets to the Johnson impeachment trial are among the most desirable pieces of American political ephemera. The government contracted with an engraver in Washington, and they were issued in a range of colors for various days. Examples that retain the stub are especially hard to come by. This is an especially fine specimen.