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[414] present with authority at the polls. At the same time the State Department issued a dispatch, saying:
Information has been received from the British provinces to the effect that there is a conspiracy on foot to set fire to the principal cities in the Northern States on the day of the Presidential election.

Thus was created an apparent necessity for the military force to be very active on the day of election. Governor Seymour issued a proclamation, saying:

There is no reason to doubt that the coming election will be conducted with the usual quiet and order.

Major General Butler was sent to take command in the city, seven thousand additional men were placed in the forts of the harbor, and proclamations were issued threatening, by the United States Government, the severest punishment upon every person who might attempt improperly to vote at the election in the state of New York.

The state legislature, at its previous session, had passed an act to provide for the vote of the soldiers in the field, to be taken previous to the day of election. Agents were appointed by the state government to the localities where the soldiers were stationed, to receive the votes. The informers of the United States government immediately brought charges of fraud against some of these agents, and they were seized by the military authorities, sent to Washington, cast into prison, and held to be tried by a military commission. The governor of New York immediately appointed Amasa J. Parker and two other most respectable citizens as commissioners, to proceed to Washington in behalf of the state and investigate the difficulties. They informed the governor that several hundred ballots, which had been seized, were given up, and that they visited the principal agent of the state of New York in his prison, through the permission of Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. They reported thus:

The undersigned availed themselves of the permit granted them to visit Colonel North, M. M. Jones, and Levi Cohn. They found them in the ‘Carroll Prison,’ in close confinement. They then learned that Messrs. North and Cohn had been confined together in one room, and had not been permitted to leave it for a moment during the four days they had been prisoners, even for the purposes of answering the calls of nature. They had been supplied with meager and coarse prison-rations, to be eaten in their room, where they constantly breathed the foul atmosphere arising from the standing odor. They had no vessel out of which to drink water, except the one furnished them for the purpose of urination. They had but one chair, and had slept three of the nights of their confinement upon a sack of straw upon the floor. They had not been permitted to see a newspaper, and were ignorant of the cause of the their arrest. All

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