eight miles from that city.
I do not know what has become of this unmitigated liar.
It is not wonderful that the Military Commission, which will live in all history, covered with the infamy of the murder of Mrs. Surratt
, should have received the testimony of these patent perjurers, Conover
, but it is amazing that the Government
should even, upon their exparte, uncontradicted statements, have based an accusation.
This “secret testimony” was obtained for publication by an enterprising correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial
, and was by that journal first given to the world.
Subsequently it was published by the Government
That the authorities at Washington
entertained no confidence in or respect for this “evidence in the Bureau
of Military Justice
” was evinced by their conduct in relation to two of the injured parties, for though Mr. Davis
and Mr. Clay
were prisoners in their power, they were never brought to military or other trial.
The “Mission” to Canada
was political, of which a member of the Canadian Ministry
was duly informed.
The Commissioners were Hon. Jacob Thompson
, of Mississippi
, and Hon. Clement C. Clay
, of Alabama
(I had the honor to be their Secretary
.) So far as concerned plots, conspiracies, etc., they were precluded by their instructions from any such acts, as well as by their own personal views of dignity and propriety.
The “evidence in the Bureau
of Military Justice
,” upon which the proclamation charged this high crime is not merely unreliable, but in a singular degree false and preposterous in the face of well-known facts of time and place impossible to be true; the testimony of witnesses utterly reckless of reputation and without fear of God or man, who, as by one of those interpositions of Divine Providence for the protection of society against perjured villains, seem to have been given over to a blind stupidity in contriving their lies.
As one implicated and suffering under the proclamation of May 2, 1865, in November of that year, for myself and my superior in office, I forwarded to President Johnson
the testimony, facts and documents herewith filed, accompanied with an appeal to his native sense of justice and obligations as the representative of a great people, to withdraw and annul the proclamation, urging that every consideration of official selfrespect; of respect for the natural instinct of justice and right which will assert their supremacy in the hearts of the people when the passion and excitement of the hour has passed away; of respect for the reputation of the country among Christian nations abroad, and respect for the judgment of history in coming time, all combined to impel rather than restrain him from doing a simple act of justice, due even to a violent