The dramatic impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson captivated the nation for two months in 1868. With the chief justice of the United States presiding in the Senate Chamber, the debate focused on the legality of Johnson’s actions in removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in defiance of the Tenure of Office Act. Although the Senate was largely opposed to the president–voting 35 to 19 on three of the articles of impeachment–it failed by one vote the two-thirds majority necessary for conviction. Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper declared that this engraving of the Senate as the High Court of Impeachment "will be a most desirable acquisition to every household in the land, not only as a work of art, but as a memento of one of the most remarkable and important episodes in the history of the Republic. It should be framed and kept as an heirloom in every family that regards with interest the national destiny; for the time will come when, to future generations, this picture will tell, more eloquently than written words, its story of a crisis, the results of which none can now foresee in the experiment of republicanism, that is now passing, perhaps, its most trying ordeal."
1. "Our Picture of the High Court of Impeachment," Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, 11 April 1868, 1.