A Distinguished Citizen's and Soldier's Opinion of President Andrew Johnson.
Springfield, Monday Evening, April 17, 1865.
In our issue of last Saturday night we gave the proceedings of the citizens of Springfield called together spontaneously on the occasion of the most horrible murder of our former townsman and late president of the United States. These proceedings, including the resolutions passed, were telegraphed to Governor Oglesby, now in Washington, who, on receipt of them, replied in a dispatch published in this evening's paper.
On the occasion referred to, and indeed since the public-mind has become somewhat settled, no question has been so often asked, and one in which the people are more vitally interested than this: "What manner of man is Andrew Johnson, now president of the United States?"
Although he has attracted a large share of public attention during the stormy period through which the nation has passed, yet popular opinion is unsettled, his character has not been thoroughly canvassed — no one contemplated the terrible exigency which has so suddenly called him to his exalted position, and has submitted to him and to his guidance so large a portion of the destinies of this country and of mankind.
The public course of President Johnson has marked him as a man of determination and devotion to his country. In his state he stood almost alone; for his country and its integrity he hazarded everything; from the inception of this great rebellion until now, he has dealt the sturdiest blows against secession. He has given evidence of large administrative talent, and we have much hope and just reason to believe that the direction of public affairs is under the control of one who appreciates the responsibility of his position, and who will render a good account to the people.
In this connection we have the testimony of our distinguished fellow citizen, Gen. John A. McClernand, to the abilities and services of President Andrew Johnson.
On the occasion alluded to, Gen. McClernand spoke of President Johnson in the following terms:
Gen. McClernand said:
The gloom that darkens and weighs upon the whole land, is exemplified by the remark of a venerable and worthy citizen, and addressed to me only a few minutes since. He asked, "What shall we do? I despair of the republic." I think it is proper to say, here, that despair should not enter any heart. On the contrary, let us one and all take courage to meet and dominate the trials — to master the future. For myself, I will never despair of the country. I will cling to it in hope and trustfulness in every emergency — in every danger. It has a recuperative spirit and energy that will enable it to triumph over every vicissitude — every misfortune. I have faith, too, as I have already said, in Andrew Johnson, who has succeeded to the presidency, through the sad and lamented death of Mr. Lincoln. I have known the new president as a man and statesman for more than twenty eventful years. In 1843, we both entered congress, ambitious to contribute our best endeavors to promote the glory and welfare of our common country. That his brilliant and eminent career has been such as to effect that noble object I am proud to rejoice. His devotion to the masses of the people has worthily won him the name of the American Tribune. His success affords assurance that he will prove equal to the tremendous responsibilities that have been cast upon him by the catastrophe we all mourn. His firmness has withstood the shock and the persecutions of a civil war which would have overwhelmed almost any other man occupying his position. He is a man of head, of will and of work — capable of forming high resolutions, and of pursuing them with unflagging perseverance to successful consummation. Under his leadership I have no fears. He is competent to lead the march of events to the right direction — to a happy solution, in the restoration of peace founded on the basis of the restored Union of these states; the solution hoped for and prayed for by every loyal man and woman in the land.