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Doc. 67. the forged proclamation.

The publication of the following forgery in the World and Journal of Commerce, on the morning of May eighteenth, 1864, created great excitement, until the fact that it was utterly false, concocted by enemies of the Union and of the Administration, became patent. Their indignation was aroused, and was neither reserved nor unstinted in its expression. But meantime it had operated in Wall street, had found its way on the steamer to Europe, and had secured against the Administration an unusual amount of declamation and condemnation.

Executive mansion, May 17, 1864.
Fellow-Citizens of the United States:
In all seasons of exigencies it becomes a nation carefully to scrutinize its line of conduct, humbly to approach the throne of Grace, and meekly to implore forgiveness, wisdom and guidance.

For reasons known only to Him, it has been decreed that this country should be the scene of unparalleled outrage, and this nation the monumental sufferer of the nineteenth century. With a heavy heart, but an undiminished confidence in our cause, I approach the performance of a duty rendered imperative by my sense of weakness before the Almighty, and of justice to the people.

It is not necessary that I tell you that the first Virginia campaign under Lieutenant-General Grant, in whom I have every confidence, and whose courage and fidelity the people do well to honor, is virtually closed. He has conducted his great enterprise with discreet ability. He has inflicted great loss upon the enemy. He has crippled their strength and defeated their plans.

In view, however, of the situation in Virginia, the disaster at Red river, the delay at Charleston, and the general state of the country, I, Abraham Lincoln, do hereby recommend that Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of May, A. D. 1864, be solemnly set apart throughout these United States as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer.

Deeming, furthermore, that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, and in view of the pending expiration of the service of (100,000) one hundred thousand of our troops, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power vested in me by the constitution and laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the citizens of the United States, between the ages of (18) eighteen and (45) forty five years, to the aggregate number of (400,000) four hundred thousand,in order to suppress the existing rebellious combinations, and to cause the due execution of the laws.

And, furthermore, in case any State or number of States shall fail to furnish, by June fifteenth next, their assigned quotas, it is hereby ordered that the same be raised by an immediate and peremptory draft.

The details for this object will be communicated to the State authorities through the War Department.

I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the integrity and the existence of our national Union, and the perpetuity of popular government.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this seventeenth day of May, in the year of Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.


Abraham Lincoln. By the President: William H. Seward, Secretary of State

The above was received at the New York Times publication office about 3.30 A. M. The night clerk sent it up to the night editor, who suspected it at once, for several reasons, viz.: it came without the usual Associated Press en-velope; the handwriting was strange, not being that of any one known to be connected with the office of the association ; in addition, the usual nightly indication that everything was in had been received from that office fifteen minutes before. These facts were sufficient to cause the suppression of the document, but to render the matter positively sure, a messenger was sent to the Associated Press office, who soon returned with the statement that the proclamation was bogus, and was not promulgated through that office. In the meantime the night editor of the Daily News, suspecting the affair, had sent to the Times editorial rooms to ascertain how the matter was regarded there, and upon receiving the assurance that it was undoubtedly a forgery, and would not be printed in the Times, the News also concluded to suppress it. As soon as the copy was received in the Times editorial rooms, information was sought as to the party [472] who delivered it, but the only thing that could be ascertained was, that a boy had rushed in thrown it on the counter and rushed out.

Early the World discovered its serious error and bulletined a reward of five hundred dollars for the discovery of the forger of the proclamation. It also published, in an extra, a disclaimer and explanation.

The following official denial of the proclamation was received from the Secretary of State, and to it is appended the disclaimer of the Agent of the Associated Press.

Department of State, Washington, May 18, 1864.
To the Public:
A paper purporting to be a proclamation of the President, countersigned by the Secretary of State, and bearing date of the seventeenth day of May, is reported to this Department as having appeared in the New York World of this date. This paper is an absolute forgery.

No proclamation of this kind or any other has been made or proposed to be made by the President, or issued or proposed to be issued by the State Department, or any other Department of this Government.

William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

agency Associated press, No. 145 Broadway, May 18-11 A. M.
The alleged proclamation of the President calling for four hundred thousand men was not received at this agency, and we have no knowledge or belief in its authenticity.

D. H. Craig, Agent.

At the Produce Exchange, in New York, immediately after the close of the regular business hours, an indignation meeting was organized. Mr. R. P. Getty called the meeting to order, and in a few pertinent remarks introduced a series of resolutions, expressive of the views of all patriotic produce merchants. Mr. James P. Wallace, in seconding the resolutions, spoke in the strongest manner condemnatory of the infamous hoax, its authors, and all concerned in giving it publicity. The resolutions, as unanimously adopted, read as follows:

Whereas, There was published in the Journal of Commerce and World newspapers of this morning what purported to be a proclamation by the President of the United States, calling for four hundred thousand additional men, and also appointing a day of fasting and prayer: and

Whereas, Said proclamation proves to have been a forgery of the most nefarious and villa-nous kind; therefore,

Resolved, That in view of the present condition of our country, the authors of such a forgery, and the publishers of it (if knowingly), are unworthy of our support or confidence, and deserve the reprobation and denunciation of every loyal man in this community, and merit the severest punishment which either civil or military law can justly inflict.

Pursuant, as was understood, to orders received from Washington for the seizure of the offices of the World and Journal of Commerce, the arrest of the publishers and proprietors, and the suppression of the papers, General Dix detailed a force of the Reserve Guard for the purpose.

At a few minutes before nine o'clock, Lieutenant G. Tuthill, in command of twelve men, appeared at the World office; possession was taken of the publication office, a guard placed therein, and the lieutenant visited the editorial and composing-rooms. He made no arrests but directed a cessation of business, and took possession of the premises.

The office of the Journal of Commerce was seized by a detachment of twelve men of the Reserve Corps, under command of Captain Candy, about nine o'clock in the evening. A reporter was informed that Mr. Hallock, one of the proprietors, was arrested at the office, and that officers were despatched to effect the arrest of Messrs. Prime and Stone, the other members of firm. The office of the Journal was closed and work was stopped in the composing-room, but the printing of the weekly was allowed to go on, as it does not contain the forged proclamation.

It is stated by the assistant-foreman of the Journal that the copy of the bogus proclamation was handed into the office about a quarter past three o'clock yesterday morning, when only four men were in the composing-room. The copy was cut into slips without being read, and set up by the different hands, who thought they were doing a great thing in getting out so important a document. The editors of the Journal, it is alleged, were all away, and knew nothing of the proclamation until they read it in the paper. It was also stated that the editors had prepared an article, which was set up, for publication this morning, disavowing all complicity in the matter, and offering a reward of one thousand dollars for the discovery of the perpetrator of the forgery.

The World offered five hundred dollars for the discovery of the party or parties perpetrating the forgery.

The Journal of Commerce offered a reward of one thousand dollars for the same.

The Associated Press published the following:

one thousand dollars reward.

At an early hour on Wednesday morning, a fraudulent proclamation, signed by the President, was delivered in manuscript to each of the editors of the morning papers in this city. By direction of the Executive Committee of the Associated Press, and with the approval of the publishers of the Journal of Commerce, Tribune, Express, World, Times, Herald and Sun, the Association will pay a reward of one thousand dollars for such evidence as may lead to the conviction of the author of the above-named fraudulent document.

D. H. Craig, General Agent N. Y. Associated Press. No. 145 Broadway, May 18, 1864.


A card from the journal of Commerce.

To the Editor of the New York Times:
The following leading editorial was prepared for the Journal of Commerce of Thursday morning. As it cannot appear in that paper in consequence of its suppression by the United States authorities, you would confer a favor by inserting it in your columns.

prime, Stone, Hale & Hallock.

A forgery.--A hoax, as ingenious in execution as it was infamous in design, was perpetrated yesterday on several of the morning papers connected with the Associated Press, ourselves among the number, by which we were led to publish, in part of our edition, a proclamation purporting to emanate from the President of the United States, but which soon proved to be a forgery. It is unnecessary to. waste words in characterizing the criminality of this hoax. Whatever its design, it was the basest and most infamous outrage on the public, as well as on the individual newspapers concerned. The injury done to ourselves is but a small matter in comparison with the public wrong attempted to be inflicted; nevertheless we owe it to ourselves, as well as to our readers, to explain the circumstances under which this fraud was effected. The utmost care and vigilance are exercised in our office, as our readers are well aware, but no amount of care in a well-regulated newspaper office seems to be sufficient to prevent frauds by persons who are acquainted with the internal economy of such an establishment. That some persons familiar with the telegraphic arrangements of the Associated Press, as well as with newspaper office hours and rules, was concerned in this forgery, we think cannot be doubted.

We close our form regularly at about half-past 3 o'clock. Associated Press and other despatches are received frequently at the last moment, and sometimes after the form has gone down to the press-room. The Associated Press despatches are always written in a peculiar style, being manifolded on tissue paper, and having certain peculiarities of paging, &c., which mark them. At about half-past 3 on Tuesday morning, our form was so nearly closed that the foreman discharged the compositors, the entire force of night editors and proofreaders having already left. At this moment a despatch arrived, brought by a boy to the foreman, which was the proclamation in question. It was, in all respects, a perfect imitation of Associated Press despatches, in the minutest details of paper, paging, &c., and the foreman, thoroughly deceived, stopped a few of the men who had not yet gone out, and having set it up, inserted it in the form, so that it appeared in the latter portion of the morning edition — the early part of the edition not containing it. We may remark here, that the fraud was so perfect that we venture to affirm that ninety-nine men out of a hundred, placed in the situaiton of the foreman, would have been deceived, and would have acted as he did. The moment when editors have left, and the foreman is the responsible man, is well known to newspaper men as one of the most critical moments in the day's history of a newspaper. If any one suggests that it is better to reject everything at such a time, let him reflect that we frequently receive as late as half-past 3 o'clock A. M., urgent despatches from the War Department and other departments, the value of which to Government and people depends on their immediate publication, and let him also ask what verdict he would pass on any morning paper which refused to publish a despatch, proclamation or order from the President, which all the other papers published? This precise responsibility the author of the forgery understood, and timed his work accordingly. There must have been more than one man concerned. There was a thorough knowledge of telegraphic and Associated Press rules and customs, a clear acquaintance with newspaper offices, and an ingenious care in the procuring of manifold paper, and preparing the copy.

There are numerous details of the manner in which the deception was perpetrated, which, for obvious reasons relating to the detection of the criminal, we, for the present, withhold. We may mention, however, that manifold copies, almost fac-similies of each other, being the usual form of despatches to the press, were sent to all the morning papers connected with the Associated Press except one, and the proclamation was published in three other papers besides our own, the deception being so perfect as to succeed in each instance. It excited some surprise in one office, but it was put in type, and a messenger sent to a neighboring office to make inquiries. In this case the other paper had not received it at all, and this circumstance created the first doubt as to its being an Associated Press despatch, and it was not put into the first-named paper. Another it reached too late, and yet another printed an edition of twenty thousand copies containing it, and suppressed most, if not all of it, on learning that the other papers doubted the authenticity. Our own remoteness from the offices of other papers forbade any such comparison of notes among the men employed.

We have dwelt with such particularity on this fraud, because it is important that our readers and the public at large should know what ingenious scoundrels are at work, devising every possible method of deceiving the people, either for purposes of stock speculation or with intent to aid the enemies of the country. It is no pleasant duty to acknowledge ourselves, and our associates in the press, the victims of a forgery like this, but we trust that the exertions we are making personally, as well as all the members of the Associated Press, and the Government authorities, will result in the arrest of the forger, and his consignment to a fitting punishment. [474]

letter from the editors of the suppressed journals.

To the Editor of the New Fork Times:
Will you oblige us by publishing in your columns the following statement of the proceedings of the Government, this evening, toward the World and the Journal of Commerce, regarding the publication, in our morning issues, of the forged proclamation, purporting to be signed by President Lincoln, appointing a day of fasting and prayer, and calling into the military service four hundred thousand men.

The document in question was written on the manifold paper, such as is used for all the despatches sent to the several newspapers of our Association, and had every external appearance and mark to identify it as a genuine despatch arriving in the regular course of business.

It was delivered at our office late at night, at the time of the receipt of our latest news, too late, of course, for editorial supervision, but, as it happened, not before our printing offices were closed.

It was delivered at all, or nearly all the newspaper offices, and was published in a part of the morning editions of the Journal of Commerce and World, and, as we are informed, in a part of the editions of one or more of our contemporaries.

Early this morning the fact that the despatch had not been sent by the agent of the Associated Press became known to us, and its fraudulent character was at once announced upon our bulletin boards, and a reward of five hundred dollars offered by us for the discovery of the forger. The Executive Committee of the Associated Press also offered a similar reward of one thousand dollars, as the fraud had attempted to be perpetrated upon all the journals composing our association.

We took pains, in the afternoon, to apprise General Dix of the facts of the case, and gave him such information in regard to the circumstance of the forgery, as might assist him in the discovery of its author. The Government was at once put in possession of the facts in the case.

Nevertheless, this evening, General Dix, acting under peremptory orders from the Government, placed our offices under a strong military guard, and issued warrants for the arrest of the editors and proprietors of the World and Journal of Commerce, and their imprisonment in Fort Lafayette. A vessel was lying under steam, at one of the wharves, to convey us thither.

Chancing to meet one of the officers of General Dix's staff, charged with the execution of this order, we proceeded in his company to the Headquarters of the Department of the East, and were informed, by General Dix, that the order for our arrest had been suspended, but that the order for the suppression of the publication of the World and Journal of Commerce had not been rescinded, and that we could not be permitted to enter our offices, which continue under the charge of the military guards.

We protest against this proceeding. We protest against the assumption of our complicity with this shameless forgery, implied in the order for our arrest. We protest against the suppression of our journals, for the misfortune of being deceived by a forgery, not less ingenious nor plausible than the forged report of the Confederate Secretary of War, which Secretary Seward made the basis of diplomatic action.

prime, Stone, Hale & Hallock, Journal of Commerce. Manton marble, World.
New York, May 18, 1864.

arrest of the Forgers.

Francis A. Mallison, a reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle, and a manifold copyist for several New York papers, was arrested on the morning of May twenty-first, at half-past 9 o'clock, while on his way to the Forty-fifth Precinct Station-house, Williamsburgh, where he was to attend to the draft, by detectives Young, Radford and McDougal, on suspicion of being implicated with J. Howard, Jr., in the preparation and publication of the forged proclamation. Howard was arrested the day previous. Mallison was immediately taken before Colonel Ludlow, at General Dix's headquarters, by whom he was subjected to a searching examination. Perceiving that he was hopelessly implicated, and that the evidences of his guilt already in the possession of Colonel Ludlow were clear and overwhelming, Mallison at length made a full confession of his complicity in the matter, corroborating in every point the previous confession of Mr. Howard.

The examination of Howard and Mallison showed that the proclamation fraud was for stock-jobbing operations, in which, it is at present believed, only two persons besides Mr. Howard were concerned; that no other persons connected with the newspaper forces of New York or Brooklyn had any connection with the transaction, or were privy to it. The sole purpose of the parties was to purchase gold on Tuesday and sell it early on Wednesday morning. Mallison confessed that he wrote in manifold, at Mr. Howard's residence, the copies of the pretended proclamation, which had been prepared by Mr. Howard, and brought them over to this city about half-past 11 o'clock Tuesday night He lingered about the streets until about three o'clock A. M., and then sent them round to the different newspaper offices by a lad, to whom he gave minute directions where and in what manner to deliver them without exciting suspicion.

At the conclusion of his examination, Mallison was sent to Fort Lafayette.

Howard was arrested at about three o'clock P. M., at his residence,corner of Middagh and Willow streets, Brooklyn. The officers, on entering the house and making the arrest, informed him [475] of the charge, and stated that they had incontrovertible proof of his guilt. He submitted to the arrest, received the announcement with comparative calmness, and was at once taken to General Dix's headquarters in this city, where he made a full confession.

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