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These examples will suffice to show the spirit of the speeches made at the Chicago Democratic Convention, which were so very satisfactory" to the men "in the confidential employment" of the "Confederate Government." Such was, to a great extent, the character of the opposition made to Mr. Lincoln, during the canvass of 1864. That "Confederate" funds were used in sustaining the secret organization which so largely influenced this convention, or that these conspirators were in constant communication and full accord with those malignants who were already hatching their terrible brood of crimes, across the Canada border, has since been placed beyond reasonable doubt.
The exposure of the "privy conspiracy and rebellion" in Indiana, and the trial of some of the leaders concerned therein, was not without effect upon the canvass. At first incredulous, the whole country was speedily startled by damning proofs of the reality of this treasonable secret order, and of the existence of designs even more reckless and wicked than were originally surmised. In an elaborate report, made on the 8th of October, Judge Advocate General Holt stated at length the purposes of this infamous order, as thus far shown by undoubted testimony, under the following heads:
1. Aiding soldiers to desert, and harboring and protecting deserters.
2. Discouraging enlistments, and resisting the draft.
3. Circulation of disloyal and treasonable publications. 4. Communicating with and giving intelligence to the
5. Aiding the enemy by recruiting for them, or assisting them to recruit, within our lines.
6. Furnishing the Rebels with arms, ammunition, etc.
7. Co-operating with the enemy in raids and invasions.
8. Destruction of Government property.
9. Destruction of private property and persecution of Union men.
10. Assassination and murder.
11. Establishment of a North-western Confederacy.
In concluding his report, Judge Holt said:
But, although the treason of the Order has been thoroughly exposed, and although its capacity for fatal mischief has, by means of the arrest of its leaders, the seizure of its arms, and the other vigorous means which have been pursued, been seriously impaired, it is still busied with its secret plottings against the Government, and with its perfidious designs in aid of the Southern rebellion. It is reported to have recently issued new signs and passwords, and its members assert that foul means will be used to prevent the success of the Administration at the coming election, and threaten an extended revolt in the event of the reëlection of President Lincoln.
In the presence of the rebellion and this secret Orderwhich is but its echo and faithful ally-we can not but be amazed at the utter and wide-spread profligacy, personal and political, which these movements against the Government disclose. The guilty men engaged in them, after casting aside their allegiance, seem to have trodden under foot every sentiment of honor and every restraint of law, human and Divine. Judea produced but one Judas Iscariot, and Rome, from the sinks of her demoralization, produced but one Cataline, and yet, as events prove, there has arisen together in our land an entire brood of such traitors, all animated by the same parricidal spirit, and all struggling with the same relentless malignity for the dismemberment of our Union. Of this extraordinary phenomenon-not paralleled, it is believed, in the world's history-there can be but one explanation, and all these blackened and fetid streams of crime may well be traced to the same common fountain. So fiercely intolerant and imperious was the temper engendered by slavery, that when the Southern people, after having controlled the national councils for half a century, were beaten at an election, their leaders turned upon the Government with the insolent fury with which they would have drawn their revolvers on a rebellious slave in one of their negro quarters; and they have continued since to prosecute their warfare, amid all the barbarisms and atrocities naturally and necessarily inspired by the infernal institution in whose interests they are sacrificing alike themselves and their country. Many of these conspirators, as is well known, were fed, clothed, and educated at the expense of the nation, and were loaded with its honors at the very moment they struck at its life with the horrid criminality of a son stabbing the bosom of his own mother while impressing kisses on his cheeks. The leaders of the traitors in the loyal States, who so completely fraternize with these conspirators, and whose machinations are now unmasked, it is as clearly the duty of the Administration to prosecute and punish, as it is its duty to
subjugate the Rebels who are openly in arms against the Government. In the performance of this duty, it is entitled to expect, and will doubtless receive, the zealous coöperation of true men everywhere, who, in crushing the truculent foe ambushed in the haunts of this secret Order, should rival in courage and faithfulness the armies which are so nobly sustaining our flag on the battle-fields of the South.
The deadly spirit of hatred to the Government, and of affinity with treason, thus forcibly and truthfully described, had been more or less exhibited in the North from the beginning of the rebellion. Vallandigham, fitly chosen as the head of this organization, had defiantly affirmed, before war actually began, that he would resist any attempt to coerce the Seceders-that any armed force going from his district to subjugate the South should "march over his dead body" before they left the State. His conduct was accordant with this promise of aid to the Rebel cause. In the course of his efforts of this nature, as mentioned in previous pages, he had been arrested, subjected to a military trial, refused a writ of habeas corpus, on appeal to the civil courts, and sent through the lines of the Rebel army. Escaping on a blockade-runner, he had arrived in Canada, somewhat in advance of Thompson, Clay and Sanders. From thence he escaped in the summer of 1864, after the latter traitors "in the confidential employment" of the Richmond "government government" had become fully installed at Montreal, Niagara Falls, and Toronto.
It was in behalf of this Vallandigham and such precious patriots as he, that the great outcry concerning arbitrary arrests and the suspension of the habeas corpus was made. In May, 1863, a "Democratic " meeting held at Albany, had seen fit to pass resolutions on this subject, and to inclose them to President Lincoln. His reply is an exhaustive one, and may fitly be reproduced here, as a masterly and unanswerable vindication of the Administration from every assault of this character, no less than as a clear exposition of constitutional law that will have a lasting remembrance and authority.
* This statement is made on evidence which the writer had at the very time, and which, despite a subsequent denial, was definitely proved by witnesses of unquestioned veracity.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO HON. ERASTUS CORNING AND OTHERS.
HON. ERASTUS CORNING and others-Gentlemen: Your letter of May 19th, inclosing the resolutions of a public meeting held at Albany, New York, on the 16th of the same month, was received several days ago.
The resolutions, as I understand them, are resolvable into two propositions-first, the expression of a purpose to sustain the cause of the Union, to secure peace through victory, and to support the Administration in every constitutional and lawful measure to suppress the rebellion; and, secondly, a declaration of censure upon the Administration for supposed unconstitutional action, such as the making of military arrests. And from the two propositions a third is deduced, which is, that the gentlemen composing the meeting are resolved on doing their part to maintain our common Government and country, despite the folly or wickedness, as they may conceive, of any Administration. This position is eminently patriotic, and as such I thank the meeting and congratulate the nation for it. My own purpose is the same, so that the meeting and myself have a common object, and can have no difference, except in the choice of means or measures for effecting that object.
And here I ought to close this paper, and would close it, if there were no apprehension that more injurious consequences than any merely personal to myself might follow the censures systematically cast upon me for doing what, in my view of duty, I could not forbear. The resolutions promise to support me in every constitutional and lawful measure to suppress the rebellion, and I have not knowingly employed, nor shall knowingly employ any other. But the meeting, by their resolutions, assert and argue that certain military arrests, and proceedings following them, for which I am ultimately responsible, are unconstitutional. I think they are not. The resolutions quote from the Constitution the definition of treason, and also the limiting safeguards and guarantees therein provided for the citizen on trial for treason, and on his being held to answer for capital, or otherwise infamous crimes, and in criminal prosecutions, his right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. They proceed to resolve, "that these safeguards of the rights of the citizen against the pretensions of arbitrary power were intended more especially, for his protection in times of civil commotion."
And, apparently to demonstrate the proposition, the resolu
tions proceed: "They were secured substantially to the English people after years of protracted civil war, and were adopted into our Constitution at the close of the Revolution." Would not the demonstration have been better if it could have been truly said that these safeguards had been adopted and applied during the civil wars and during our Revolution, instead of after the one and at the close of the other? I, too, am devotedly for them after civil war, and before civil war, and at all times, "except when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require" their suspension. The resolu tions proceed to tell us that these safeguards "have stood the test of seventy-six years of trial, under our republican system, under circumstances which show that, while they constitute the foundation of all free government, they are the elements of the. enduring stability of the Republic." No one denies that they have so stood the test up to the beginning of the present rebellion, if we except a certain occurrence at New Orleans; nor does any one question that they will stand the same test much longer after the rebellion closes. But these provisions of the Constitution have no application to the case we have in hand, because the arrests complained of were not made for treasonthat is, not for the treason defined in the Constitution, and upon conviction of which the punishment is death--nor yet were they made to hold persons to answer for any capital or otherwise infamous crimes; nor were the proceedings following, in any constitutional or legal sense, "criminal prosecutions." The arrests were made on totally different grounds, and the proceedings following accorded with the grounds of the arrest. Let us consider the real case with which we are dealing, and apply to it the parts of the Constitution plainly made for such
Prior to my installation here, it had been inculcated that any State had a lawful right to secede from the National Union, and that it would be expedient to exercise the right whenever the devotees of the doctrine should fail to elect a President to their own liking. I was elected contrary to their liking, and accordingly, so far as it was legally possible, they had taken seven States out of the Union, and had seized many of the United States forts, and had fired upon the United States flag, all before I was inaugurated, and, of course, before I had done any official act whatever. The rebellion thus began, soon ran into the present civil war; and, in certain respects, it began on very unequal terms between the parties. The insurgents had been preparing for it more than thirty years, while the Government had taken no steps to resist them. The former had carefully considered all the means which could be turned to their