The horrors of Fort Lafayette--a Bold voice at the North.
The New York Weekly Caucasian,
published by the former proprietors of the Day Book
has not yet been suppressed by the Lincoln Government
, though, from the following article, we should think its season will be brief:
Few people know, or even think, of the suffering men, pining for liberty, in Fort Lafayette, and none realize how cruelly and harshly they are reported to be treated.
states that Messrs. Soule
, of New Orleans, ‘"are not even allowed to leave their cells, and the privilege accorded to other captives, of taking exercise in the yard, has been denied them.
No writing utensils are in their reach, and they are under constant surveillance."’ Dr. Olds
, of Ohio
, it is said, has been placed in close confinement, and, what is most remarkable of all, the Express
report also states that ‘"every prisoner released from Fort Lafayette, and every visitor thereto, is bound not to reveal anything of the discipline of the prison or the names of those confined, and hence the press knows something, and can report but little, of what is going on."’
Was there over anything in Austrian
dungeons that could exceed the despotic character of such regulations?
‘"The names of those confined"’ must not be revealed.
Who knows, then, how many people are languishing there, or for what trivial offences?
We know of one man who was kept in Fort Lafayette last year for six months because his children raised upon a pole a rag through which he had been straining black berries!
Some neighbor, who was at enmity with him, started the report that he had raised ‘"a secession flag," ’ and suddenly he was arrested, hurried off hundreds of miles, (he resided in Michigan
) and incarcerated in Fort Lafayette, and kept there more than half a year without any attention being paid to his case.
He was finally informed that there was no charge against him, and allowed to go. Six ladious months of cruel imprisonment, simply on account of a little harmless playfulness of his children!--Can that be called a free or just Government under which such shameful outrages are perpetrated.
And yet this is but a sample of what arbitrary arrests must and will ever be. If any persons have committed offences, let them be tried and punished.
It is folly to say the law is not adequate to reach all cases.
It is adequate to punish all real
It is only because the powers that be wish to torture into terms acts that are not
crimes, that they resort to the high handed measures they do.
A few days since some Black Republican
speculators in the substitute business, who had violated the orders of the War Department, were sent to Fort Lafayette.
The Abolition papers, however, made a great howl over it, and they have been released.
There are, however, scores of better men and truer patriots in there than those released, in whose behalf not a word is uttered.
There is Judge Carmichael
, of Maryland
, Guilty of what!
Why, of the gross crime (1) of telling the Grand Jury
of his county what the law in relation to arrests was. For months has Judge
C. suffered the horrors of the Bastile, for simply doing his duty.
Is it possible, therefore, that the recent Republican
outburst of indignation against arbitrary arrests proceeds from any regard for the principles of civil liberty?
No, it is the grossest hypocrisy.
They wish only Democrats
to be imprisoned.
If they are sincere, why do they not ask for the release of Dr. Edson B. Olds
, of Ohio
, now in the fort, for simply expressing an opinion against the Administration?--How many more good and true men are also in the same gloomy prison walls, against whom no charges are preferred, we can only conjecture.
We hear every day of men arrested in different parts of the country.
They are spirited away, their friends and their families know not whither.
Some dark and no some prison vault receives them, and they are buried alive!
Where is D. A. Mahoney
, of the Dubuque Herald
, the central organ of the lowa Democracy?
Where is Mr. D. Sherwood
, editor of the Fairfield
recently snatched from his family by the Lincoln Kidnappers
Where is Judge Allen
, member of Congress recently elected from Southern Illinois
We might increase this list indefinitely, but it is not necessary.--If there is but one man unjustly deprived of his liberty, it ought to arouse every American
to instant action.
The principle is the same.
Our liberties are overthrown, and the rights of the individual are left to the whim or caprice of some upstart official.
There is a day of retribution coming, however, for the murderers of liberty and the persecutors of Democrats
amongst us. As Mr. Valiandignam
says in his excellent speech, which we publish this week, ‘"the measure they have meted out to us shall be measured to them again."’ Yes, that it will, ‘"shaken down and pressed together."’ ‘"The arrest of Dr. Olds
,"’ chuckles the Abolition tyrants of the Evening Post,
‘"and the summary squelching of Charles Ingersoll
, show that the Government
is wide awake!"’ Yes, indeed, it is wide awake.
It can conquer unarmed men, and that seems to be about the extent of its victories.
It can send posses of kidnappers to the houses of quiet citizens in the North
, gag them, and bind them, and immure them in forts and fortifications; but it has not the ability, with hundreds of thousands of troops, to keep the Confederates
from besieging the National Capital
It can wreak a petty vengeance upon some individual, who has had too much honesty to bend before its usurpations; but it is incompetent to save the country from the calamities which menace it. It loves duplicity and deceit, and pays a high premium for them, in the person of the renegade Democrats
who go over to it for plunder and pelf; but it especially hates manliness and honesty, and persecutes every individual who possesses enough of these qualities to tell it of its faults or rebuke its follies.
It has finally convicted itself of party favoritism by releasing from imprisonment men of its own party and retaining Democrats
in custody, though the offences charged were the same in both cases.
, of Ohio
, is charged with discouraging enlistments, yet he is imprisoned, while Black Republicans
It is no wonder that some of its own party papers are calling for the resignation of a President who has allowed the Government
to degenerate into an organization which would seem to exist, just now, mainly for the persecution of those who have intelligence enough to see the truth, and manliness enough to utter it.