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Important from Washington

trouble growing out of the execution of the fugitive slave law — serious Military Riot — conflict between the Military and Civil authorities, &c.

It appears that the abolition agnut at Washington find more difficulty in dealing with the negro question than they anticipated. A correspondent of the Baltimore Sun writing on the 23d of May, gives the following account of an affair which took place at the Federal capital on the previous evening:

‘ The anomalous state of things here at this time, in connection with the institution of slavery, gives rise to new and unexpected incidents from day to day, which are not only perplexing but may become, in a degree dangerous. A just discreetness and a wise forbearance are to be hoped for, however, in the premises. Since the difficulty motioned yesterday, with the 76th New York regiment resisting the civil police in the reclamation of fugitive slaves from among them on write issued under the law, we have had another episode — a military guard going last night, by order of Gen. Wadsworth, the military. Governor, to the jail to take away a colored girl belonging to Mrs. Allnott, of Prince George's county, Maryland, and because of the jailor (Mr. B. Milburn) declining to deliver her up, placing him and the Deputy Marshal (Mr. Phillips) under a military arrest, and taken possession of the keys of the prison and the prison itself. These two officials were taken to the guard house, while Messrs Joseph H. Bradley and James M Carlisle, both prominent members of the bar, the first council for the claimant of the slave, who in the meantime went to the jail in their official capacity, were held within its walls as prisoners also. At a late hour of the night however, the U. S. Marshal of the District, Col. Lamon, having duly summoned the police, went with Police Superintendent Webb and Sergeant Cronin to the jail, and in turn placed under arrest the Military Sergeant and sentry who had been left in charge, releasing Messrs Bradley and Carlisle. During this morning the Sergeant of the Military Guard was released by the Marshal, and Deputy Marshal Phillips, and Jailor Milburn, it was expected, would be dismissed from the guard-house. The Marshal avails himself of the earliest opportunity to consult the President on the subject.

’ The Washington Star, of the 23d, has an account of the disturbance, which concludes as follows:

‘ The Marshal found it impossible to see the President, who was understood to be absent from the Executive mansion, engaged with the Secretary of War in the transaction of business of so great public importance as that he had some hours before given directions involving a declension to see any one on any business whatever last night and to-day.--The Marshal then repaired to the attorney General, with whom he consulted freely us to his path of duty in the premises. Subsequently he returned to the jail and arrested the military guard by virtue of his civil authority, disarmed them, and placed them under lock and key J. M. Carlisle, Esq acting as his posse armed with the revolver and sabre of the sergeant.

Thus the matter stands at noon to-day.--Deputy Marshal Phillips and Jailor Milburn are held as prisoners by the provost guard in their prison.

The imbroglio is not to be solved until the President can find time to dispose of it, which may be twenty-four hours yet.

We hear that the Military Governor's order to take the woman from the lawful custody of the United States Marshal was predicated upon testimony impugning the loyalty of the claimant.

’ We learn by a dispatch from Washington, later than the foregoing, that all who were arrested by either side were released. The dispatch adds--

‘ "Marshal Lemon and Military Governor Wadsworth had a long interview relative to the conflict of jurisdiction between them — the former claiming the right to exercise all his civil functions in the absence of the declaration of martial law. The question at issue will have to be settled by the Executive. The subject has occasioned general comment and some excitement."

’ The New York Herald, of May 24th, gives Gen. Wadsworth the following complimentary notice in connection with the affair.

‘ In another column we publish a telegraphic dispatch from which it will be seen that, under the leadership of General Wadsworth, a disgraceful military riot — even to the breaking of jail and the rescue of a prisoner — has taken place in the city of Washington, the capital of the nation. In the very presence of the assembled Congress the majesty of the law has been insulted and the dignity of the republic set at naught, by orders of General Wadsworth, who, because he wears epaulets, imagines he may play the despot and do what he pleases with impunity.

It is very clear that Wadsworth is completely in the wrong, and he would have been far better employed in helping General McClellan to whip the enemy at Richmond, in sad of creating in Washington and helping to defraud the loyal citizens of Maryland of their property. It is an our laws, and indeed of the laws of all free tries, that the civil power is supreme over the military, unless where martial law is proclaimed by the Chief Even if martial law did exist at the the District of Columbia, the act of General. Wadsworth would have been a riotous proceeding, a high handed outrage; for martial law only suspend the civil law so far as is necessary to the safety of the army and the success of military operations, and can only be employed for the arrest of dangerous and suspicious persons within the lines of the army. There are no military operations going on at Washington, and the acts perpetrated by order of General Wadsworth might have been done with the same legality in the city of New York.

Lincoln Diates emancipation order.

The papers publish the following from President Lincoln, which explains itself. The New York papers are quarrelling over the authorship of Hunter's order, (from which we infer that the General is a man of small intellectual calibre,) the Journal of Commerces attributing it to Collector Harney and his associates in the New York Custom-House, while the Herald asserts that Mr. Pierce. Secretary Chase's agent at Port Royal, ‘"is the man who stirred up this muss."’ We need say nothing more of Lincoln's whining appeal to the Southern people than that they have too much spirit to how the knee on the solemn and ‘"gracious"’ terms proposed.

Whereas, there appears in the public prints what purports to be a proclamation of Major-General Hunter, in words and figures following, to wit:

Head'rs Dep't of the South,
Hilton head, S. C., may 9th, 1862.
General orders, no. 11

The three States of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, comprising the Military Department of the South, having deliberately declared themselves no longer under the protection of the United States of America, and having taken up arms against the said United States, it becomes a military necessity to declare them under martial law. This was accordingly done on the 20th day of April, 1862. Slavery and martial law in a free country are altogether incompatible. The persons in these three States, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free.

(Official,) David Hunter,
Major-General Commanding.
Ed. W. Smith, A. A. A. G.

And, whereas, the same is producing some excitement and misunderstanding:

‘ Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, proclaim and declare, that the Government of the United States had no knowledge or belief of an intention on the part of Gen. Hunter to issue such a proclamation, nor has as yet any authentic information that the document is genuine; and, further, that neither General Hunter, nor any other commander or person, has been authorized by the Government of the United States to make proclamation declaring the slaves of any State free, and that the supposed proclamation now in question, whether genuine or false, is altogether void, so far as respects such declaration.

I further make known that, whether it be competent for me as Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy, to declare the slaves of any State or States free, and whether at any time, or in any case, it shall have become a necessity indispensable to the maintenance of the Government to exercise such supposed power, are questions which, under my responsibility, I reserve to myself, and which I can not feel justified in leaving to the decision of the commanders in the field. These are totally different questions from those of police regulations in armies and camps.

’ On the 6th day of March last, by a special message, I recommended to Congress the adoption of a joint resolution, to be substantially as follows:

‘ Resolved, That the United States ought to cooperate with any State which may adopt a gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State in its discretion to compensate for the inconveniences, public and private, produced by such change of system!

The resolution, in the language above quoted, was adopted by large majorities in both branches of Congress, and now stands an authentic, definite, and solemn proposal of the nation to the States and people most immediately interested in the subject matter. To the people of these States I now earnestly appeal I do not argue; I beseech you to make the arguments for yourselves. You cannot, if you would, be blind to the signs of the times. I beg of you a calm and enlarged consideration of them, ranging, it may be, far above personal and partisan politics. This proposal makes common cause for a common object, casting no reproaches upon any. It acts not the Pharisee. The change it contemplates would come gently as the dews of Heaven, not rending or wrecking anything. Will you not embrace So much good has not been done by one effort in all past time, as, in the Providence of God, it is now your high privilege to do. May the vast future have not to lament that you have neglected it.

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 19th day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.

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

"Contrabands" at Washington--"what shall be done with the Elephant?"

The Washington correspondent of the Baltimore sun writes:

‘ If of, the contrabands who have come in at Fredericksburg ‘"1,000 are working about the camp,"’ then there must be three or four times that number of women and children and old and infirm persons that have been sent to Washington. There are now several hundred of this class at Duff Green's row. The army surgeons have to attend to them, though overborne by the weight of their duties to the great number of the sick or wounded of the army that are now at this point. At this season nearly all the contrabands can do something upon plantations towards the production of crops, but as they now are but few are useful. The sort of work that most of the working kind (a quarter of the whole) are doing, is got up for the purpose of making them do something, even if it is not of much public advantage. Meantime there are an abundance of white men at the North who would like employment at the hands of the Government here or elsewhere. So that, practically, contrabands shut out white labor, and are supported at the expense of the public, which public is also a loser by their not being at work producing crops. In a word, they are consumers, and not producers.

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