O'Conor, which is well worthy the perusal of every lawyer. It may be stated, on the authority of General Johnson, that the report of everything which was said or done by every actor in :he transaction was submitted to the person who said or did it before published, and it was not published until approved and corrected by him. This makes the report doubly valuable. In addition to the free use here made of General Johnson's report of the trial, he has furnished the writer with other incidents connected therewith, which add to the interest of the occasion. A short quotation from Mr. O'Conor will be instructive:
When rebels and traitors oppose their government by open violence, and are summarily put down, those not slain in the combat may fairly be tried for treason in the civil courts and be dealt with as ordinary criminals. The transaction constitutes only a species of riot. But far different results ensue when rebellion maintains itself so long and so effectively as to compel between itself, its people, and its territory, on the one hand, and the lawful government on the other, the institution and acceptance of the rules and usages which obtain in regular wars between independent nations. Amongst men claiming to have attained a high civilization war is recognized as a state or condition governed by law. In its conduct or at its close sight is not lost of morality and justice. If successful, the rebels acquire the power of establiahing an independent state, which all men regard as not only legitimate, but honorable in its origin; if they fail, the victor may be as indulgent as he will, or, as far as he dare, may consecrate to his revenge the field of his ruin. Whatever severity can be justified at the bar of public opinion may be practiced; and certainly no more should be exercised. To the latter proposition every magnanimous spirit will assent. Washington might have failed; Kosciusko did fail.
After an open territorial war of this kind had existed for four years, it might be thought by some that the rebels were still simply criminal violators of the municipal law, and that they ought to be dealt with as such. By way of reasoning, it might be urged that the extent of their operations merely intensified their guilt, and should not in any way affect the question. But this reasoning, if such it may be called, proves too much. On the fall of the rebellious state, after sustaining a belligerent attitude for one hundred years, its chiefs and leaders might with equal propriety be brought to trial as traitors