previous next

[403] condition of subjugation, and their governments subverted from the protection of the rights for which they were instituted. These unalienable rights of the people were left without a protector or a shield before the crushing hand of the usurper; the sovereignty of the people was set aside, and in its place arose the sovereignty of the government of the United States. With the foundation undermined, the superstructure subverted, the ends for which the Great Republic was organized entirely lost to sight, and the true balance of the system destroyed, unless the dormant virtue and love for their inherited rights shall arouse the citizens to a vigorous effort to restore the republican institutions and powers of the states, the emperors and kings of the earth have only to await calmly the lapse of time to behold a fulfillment of their evil prophecies in regard to the Great Republic of the world.

To show how the laws were disregarded, and how despotically the personal liberty of the citizen was invaded, let this example bear witness: the Secretary of State at Washington, William H. Seward, a favored son of the state of New York, would ‘ring a little bell,’ which brought to him a messenger, to whom was given a secret order to arrest and confine in Fort Lafayette a person designated. This order was sent by telegraph to the United States marshal of the district in which would be found the person who was to be arrested. The arrest being forcibly made by the marshal with armed attendants without even the form of a warrant, the prisoner without the knowledge of any charge against him was conveyed to Fort Hamilton and turned over to the commandant. An aid with a guard of soldiers then conveyed him in a boat to Fort Lafayette and delivered him to the keeper in charge, who gave a receipt for the prisoner. He was then divested of any weapons, money, valuables, or papers in his possession. His baggage was opened and searched. A soldier then took him in charge to the designated quarter, which was a portion of one of the casemates for guns, lighted only from the porthole, and occupied by seven or eight other prisoners. All were subjected to prison fare. Some were citizens of New York, and the others of different states. This manner of imprisonment was subsequently put under the direction of the Secretary of War, and continued at intervals until the close of the war.

In the brief period between July 1 and October 19, 1861, the Secretary of State made such diligent use of his ‘little bell’ that one hundred seventy-five of the most respectable citizens of the country were consigned to imprisonment in this Fort Lafayette, a strong fortress in the lower part of the harbor of New York. A decent regard for the memory

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (1)
New York State (New York, United States) (1)
Fort Hamilton (Ohio, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
William H. Seward (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October 19th, 1861 AD (1)
July 1st, 1861 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: