top of page

Bailey votes to Impeach President Johnson!

Having witnessed two presidential impeachments in my lifetime (Clinton and Trump), I have wondered about how my ancestors might have viewed the impeachment by the House in 1868 (and subsequent acquittal by the Senate) of our 17th president, Andrew Johnson. One of my ancestors was the Hon. Alexander Hamilton Bailey (1817-1874), a lawyer and Republican member of the House of Representatives from New York, who served as a Congressman during the tumultuous years of 1867-1871. (He is shown here in a photograph of mine by the noted Civil War-era photographer Matthew Brady). Bailey, a graduate of Princeton, served previously as a New York State Senator, 1862-1865, and as a State Assemblyman in 1849; after his service in the House his final office was as a Judge in New York State. Today, it occurred to me that he was a member of the House of Representatives when President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868. As it turns out not only did he vote to impeach Johnson, he also published a speech on the impeachment proceedings, which I have not yet read. Bailey, my gr-gr-gr-grandfather, is recorded as number 25 in a roll of those who voted to impeach Johnson, pictured in the slideshow below. Also pictured, an engraving of Thaddeus Stevens making the closing speech during the House debate on impeachment. I now have opened a new avenue of research in my ancestor's direct involvement in one of only three presidential impeachments in American history.

bottom of page