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[378] same ground, he could suspend the elective franchise, postpone the elections, and declare the perpetuity of his high prerogative. And neither the power of impeachment, nor the elections of the people, could be made available against such concentration of power.

Surely it is not necessary to subvert free government in this country in order to put down the rebellion; and it cannot be done, under the pretence of putting down the rebellion. Indeed, it is plain that your Administration has been weakened, greatly weakened, by the assumption of power not delegated in the Constitution.

In your answer you say to us: “You claim that men may, if they choose, embarrass those whose duty it is to combat a giant rebellion, and then be dealt with in turn only as if there were no rebellion.” You will find yourself at fault if you will search our communication to you, for any such idea. The undersigned believe that the Constitution and laws of the land, properly administered, furnish ample power to put down an insurrection, without the assumption of powers not granted. And if existing legislation be inadequate, it is the duty of Congress to consider what further legislation is necessary, and to make suitable provision by law.

You claim that the military arrests made by your Administration are merely preventive remedies “as injunctions to stay injury, or proceedings to keep the peace, and not for punishment.” The ordinary preventive remedies alluded to are authorized by established law, but the preventive proceedings you institute have their authority merely in the will of the Executive or that of officers subordinate to his authority. And in this proceeding, a discretion seems to be exercised as to whether the prisoner shall be allowed a trial; or even be permitted to know the nature of the complaint alleged against him, or the name of his accuser. If the proceeding be merely preventive, why not allow the prisoner the benefit of a bond to keep the peace? But if no offence has been committed, why was Mr. Vallandigham tried, convicted, and sentenced by a court-martial? And why the actual punishment, by imprisonment or banishment, without the opportunity of obtaining his liberty in the mode usual in preventive remedies, and yet say, it is not for punishment?

You still place Mr. Vallandigham's conviction and banishment upon the ground that he had damaged the military service by discouraging enlistments and encouraging desertions, etc.; and yet you have not even pretended to controvert our position, that he was not charged with, tried or convicted for any such offence before the courtmartial.

In answer to our position that Mr. Vallandigham was entitled to a trial in the civil tribunals, by virtue of the late acts of Congress, you say: “I certainly do not know that Mr. Vallandigham has specifically and by direct language adoised against enlistments and in favor of desertions and resistance to drafting,” etc.; and yet, in a subsequent part of your answer, after speaking of certain disturbances which are alleged to have occurred in resistance of the arrest of deserters, and of the enrolment preparatory to the draft, and which you attribute mainly to the course Mr. Vallandigham has pursued ; you say that he has made speeches against the war in the midst of resistance to it; and that “he has never been known, in any instance, to counsel against such resistance,” and that “it is next to impossible to repel the inference that he has counselled directly in faror of it.” Permit the undersigned to say that your information is most grievously at fault. The undersigned have been in the habit of hearing Mr. Vallandigham speak before popular assemblages, and they appeal with confidence to every truthful person who has ever heard him, for the accuracy of the declaration that he has never made a speech before the people of Ohio in which he has not counselled submission and obedience to the laws and the Constitution, and advised the peaceful remedies of the judicial tribunals and of the ballot-box for the redress of grievances, and for the evils which afflict our bleeding and suffering country. And, were it not foreign to the purposes of this communication, we would undertake to establish, to the satisfaction of any candid person, that the disturbances among the people, to which you allude, in opposition to the arrest of deserters and the draft, have been occasioned mainly by the measures, policy, and conduct of your Administration, and the course of its political friends. But if the circumstantial evidence exists, to which you allude, which makes “it next to impossible to repel the inference that Mr. Vallandigham has counselled directly in favor” of this resistance, and that the same has been mainly attributable to his conduct, why was he not turned over to the civil authorities to be tried under the late acts of Congress? If there be any foundation in fact for your statements implicating him in resistance to the constituted authorities, he is liable to such prosecution. And we now demand, as a mere act of justice to him, an investigation of this matter before a jury of his country; and respectfully insist that fairness requires, either that you retract these charges which you make against him, or that you revoke your order of banishment and allow him the opportunity of an investigation before an impartial jury.

The committee do not deem it necessary to repel at length the imputation that the attitude of themselves or of the Democratic party in Ohio “encourages desertions, resistance to the draft, and the like,” or tends to the breach of any law of the land. Suggestions of that kind are not unusual weapons in our ordinary political contests. They rise readily in the minds of politicians heated with the excitement of partisan strife. During the two years in which the Democratic party of Ohio has been constrained to oppose the policy of the Administration and to stand up in defence of the Constitution and of personal rights, this charge has been repeatedly made. It has fallen harmless, however, at the feet of those whom it was intended to injure. The committee


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