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[379] believe it will do so again. If it were proper to do so in this paper, they might suggest that the measures of the Administration and its changes of policy in the prosecution of the war have been the fruitful sources of discouraging enlistments and inducing desertions, and furnish a reason for the undeniable fact that the first call for volunteers was answered by very many more than were demanded, and that the next call for soldiers will probably be responded to by drafted men alone. The observation of the President in this connection that neither the Convention in its resolutions, nor the committee in its communication, intimate that they “are conscious of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of destroying the Union,” needs, perhaps, no reply. The Democratic party of Ohio has felt so keenly the condition of the country, and been so stricken to the heart by the misfortunes and sorrows which have befallen it, that they hardly deemed it necessary by solemn resolution, when their very State exhibited everywhere the sad evidences of war, to remind the President that they were aware of its existence.

In the conclusion of your communication, you propose that, if a majority of the committee shall affix their signatures to a duplicate copy of it, which you have furnished, they shall stand committed to three propositions therein at length set forth; that you will publish the names thus signed, and that this publication shall operate as a revocation of the order of banishment. The committee cannot refrain from the expression of their surprise that the President should make the fate of Mr. Vallandigham depend upon the opinion of this committee upon these propositions. If the arrest and banishment were legal, and were deserved; if the President exercised a power clearly delegated, under circumstances which warranted its exercise, the order ought not to be revoked, merely because the committee hold, or express, opinions accordant with those of the President. If the arrest and banishment were not legal, or were not deserved by Mr. Vallandigham, then surely he is entitled to an immediate and unconditional discharge.

The people of Ohio were not so deeply moved by the action of the President, merely because they were concerned for the personal safety or convenience of Mr. Vallandigham, but because they saw in his arrest and banishment an attack upon their own personal rights ; and they attach value to his discharge chiefly, as it will indicate an abandonment of the claim to the power of such arrest and banishment. However just the undersigned might regard the principles contained in the several propositions submitted, by the President, or how much soever they might, under other circumstances, feel inclined to indorse the sentiments contained therein, yet they assure him that they have not been authorized to enter into any bargains, terms, contracts, or conditions with the President of the United States to procure the release of Mr. Vallandigham. The opinions of the undersigned, touching the questions involved in these propositions, are well known, have been many times publicly expressed, and are sufficiently manifested in the resolutions of the Convention which they represent, and they cannot suppose that the President expects that they will seek the discharge of Mr. Vallandigham by a pledge, implying not only an imputation upon their own sincerity and fidelity as citizens of the United States, but also carrying with it by implication a concession of the legality of his arrest, trial, and banishment, against which they, and the Convention they represent, have solemnly protested. And while they have asked the revocation of the order of banishment not as a favor, but as a right, due to the people of Ohio, and with a view to avoid the possibility of conflict or disturbance of the public tranquillity, they do not do this, nor does Mr. Vallandigham desire it, at any sacrifice of their dignity and self-respect.

The idea that such a pledge as that asked from the undersigned would secure the public safety sufficiently to compensate for any mistake of the President in discharging Mr. Vallandigham is, in their opinion, a mere evasion of the grave questions involved in this discussion, and of a direct answer to their demand. And this is made especially apparent by the fact that this pledge is asked in a communication which concludes with an intimation of a disposition on the part of the President to repeat the acts complained of.

The undersigned, therefore, having fully discharged the duty enjoined upon them, leave the responsibility with the President.

M. Birchard, Nineteenth District, Chairman. David Houk, Secretary, Third District. Geo. Bliss, Fourteenth District. T. W. Bartley, Eighth District. W. J. Gordon, Eighteenth District. Jno. O'Neill, Thirteenth District. C. A. White, Sixth District. W. E. Finck, Twelfth District. Alexander long, Second District. Jas. R. Morris, Fifteenth District. Geo. S. Converse, Seventh District. Geo. H. Pendleton, First District. W. A. Hutchins, Eleventh District. A. L. Backus, Tenth District. J. F. Mckinney, Fourth District. J. W. White, Sixteenth District. F. C. Le Blond, Fifth District. Louis Schaffer, Seventeenth District. Warren P. Noble, Ninth District.

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