this crowning honor, and, about ten P. M., in a heavy thunderstorm, finished successfully the last fight of the New York riots.
While these military operations were in progress, other influences were being exerted for the restoration of peace and order, none of which, however, had any perceptible effect.
arrived in New York on Tuesday, and issued a proclamation, notifying the insurgents that the only opposition to the conscription that could be allowed was an appeal to the courts, the right of every citizen to make which would be maintained, and urging all to stand firmly by the authorities in sustaining law and order in the city.
It was soon urged upon the Governor
, however, that more rigorous measures were demanded, and, becoming convinced that such was the case, he issued a second proclamation, declaring the city in a state of insurrection.
It was too late, however.
Opposition to the conscription had, hours before, faded from the minds of the frenzied rioters, and the glare of the incendiaries' torch blinded them to the inevitable consequences of their misdoing.
Later on that same day, Governor Seymour
was induced to speak from the steps of the City Hall to an immense gathering of the people, among whom, it is probable, there were many who had participated in the outrages which had been committed.
The Governor made a few remarks, intended to allay the popular excitement, and earnestly counseled obedience to the laws and the constituted authorities.
He also read a letter, containing a statement that the conscription had been postponed by the authorities in Washington
This speech of Governor Seymour
, owing to his well-known affiliation with the opposition, was severely criticised by his political opponents, chiefly on account of his opening it with the words, “My friends.”
While he was speaking, however, his previous proclamation showed that he. was exerting his influence for suppressing the insurrection, and he could hardly be expected to address a peaceable audience with the invective applicable to red-handed rioters and incendiaries.
In his remarks he expressed his belief that the conscription act was illegal, and announced his determination to have it tested in the courts.
In dwelling upon these points he may have violated good taste, but it must be borne in mind that his purpose was to soothe an unusual popular excitement, and that he was justified in using whatever reasonable arguments were available for that purpose.
In his official acts and proclamations during the riots, Governor Seymour
expressed himself in very different phrases.
There was better ground for censure in the attitude assumed by Archbishop Hughes
toward the rioters.