to insure the execution of the law and to meet any emergency growing out of it.
Meantime Governor Seymour
received no answer to his letter to the President
He had asked for a suspension of the draft, on the ground that the enrollments in the city were excessive as compared with other portions of the state, and that due credit was not given for the past.
He therefore replied to General Dix
As you state in your letter that it is your duty to enforce the act of Congress, and, as you apprehend its provisions may excite popular resistance, it is proposed you should know the position which will be held by the State authorities.
Of course, under no circumstances, can they perform duties expressly confided to others, nor can they undertake to relieve others from their proper responsibilities.
But there can be no violations of good order, or riotous proceedings, no disturbances of the public peace, which are not infractions of the laws of the State; and those laws will be enforced under all circumstances.
I shall take care that all the executive officers of this State perform their duties vigorously and thoroughly, and, if need be, the military power will be called into requisition.
As you are an officer of the General Government, and not of the State, it does not become me to make suggestions to you with regard to your action under a law of Congress.
You will, of course, be governed by your instructions and your own views of duty.
On August 18th General Dix
thus wrote to the governor:
Not having received an answer from you, I applied to the Secretary of War on the 14th inst. for a force adequate to the object.
The call was promptly responded to, and I shall be ready to meet all opposition to the draft.
The force sent by the Secretary of War
, to keep the peace and subjugate the sovereignty of the people, amounted to forty-two regiments and two batteries.
There was no occasion for the exertion of their powers, but the wrong to the state of New York
was none the less gross.
Again, the subjugation of the government of the state of New York
by the domination of the military power was made still more manifest by another act on the part of the government of the United States
A spurious proclamation, seeming to have been issued by the President
, calling for four hundred thousand men, by a fraudulent imposition appeared in two papers of New York City (the Journal of Commerce
and the World
) on the morning of May 18, 1864.
It was immediately contradicted by the authorities at Washington
, and orders were issued, under which the offices of these papers were entered by armed men, the property of the owners seized, the premises held by force for several days, and the publications suspended.
At the same time the office of the independent telegraph line was occupied by a military force in the name of the government of the United States
The operators were taken into custody, and the proprietors of the newspapers were ordered to be arrested and imprisoned.
But these orders were suspended.