previous next

Doc. 51.-the compromise petition at New York, June 28.

To his Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States:
The undersigned, citizens of New York, beg leave to present to you, most respectfully and earnestly, the following considerations:

While they hold themselves ready to sustain and defend their Government, and you as its legal head, they respectfully suggest that the only remaining honorable position for you to take to prevent the horrors of civil war and preserve the Union, is to adopt the policy of an immediate General Convention of all the States, as suggested in your Inaugural. This course would secure a peaceful solution of our national difficulties, and if any State refused to join said Convention to amend the Constitution, or adjust a peaceable separation, it would stand unanimously condemned before the civilized world.

Earnestly deprecating civil war among brethren, we implore and beseech you to adopt this course, which you may rest assured is the real voice of the people.

Guion's remonstrance.

Messrs. Editors:--As an humble and peaceable citizen, desirous of preserving the Union in its integrity, and averting the horrors of civil war, and with the approval and encouragement of many of our best citizens, I deemed it my duty to circulate a petition to the President of the United States, in accordance with the suggestion in his inaugural address, calling a convention of all the States, to effect (if possible) a settlement of our national difficulties, without bloodshed. Many of our citizens, of acknowledged influence, had cheerfully affixed their names, and others were ready to do so. Being requested yesterday by Mr. James B. Taylor, of No. 48 Pine street, to call upon him at his office, as he particularly desired to see me, and concluding it was on business matter, I waited upon him, and was met by the inquiry, had I my petition with me? Replying in the affirmative, he said he would like to look at it. Having two with me, I handed them both to him. After looking at them, and asking a gentleman in his office to sign it, who declined, he handed them to two persons in his front office, strangers to myself, and immediately retired into his back office, closing the door after him. Upon requesting those persons to hand me the petitions, they refused to do so, stating, at the same time, that they were detectives of the police, and had orders from Superintendent Kennedy to bring myself and the petitions to his office in Broome street, against which I protested, both to them and said James B. Taylor, that I had been dishonorably enticed into his office, and demanding the return of my papers, requesting at the same time to be allowed to go to my office to [178] see my nephew, all of which was refused, and I was taken by them to the Superintendent's office, with the assurance that all necessary information with regard to my arrest, would be given by Mr. Kennedy at his office. Upon our arrival there, a person, apparently in authority, inquired of these men whether they had obtained those papers, and after looking over them and commenting upon the folly of those encouraging the idea of peace, and predicting the disgrace of all such as should be found advocating such a course, he also, on my requesting him, refused to return me the papers or inform me on what charge I had been arrested. He also said if I would call in the evening, Mr. Kennedy would explain the matter to me. This I did not conceive it my duty to do, as I do not understand why any American citizen should be restrained of his liberty when no charge is preferred against him.

Now, Messrs. Editors, if this matter concerned myself alone, (being conscious of purity of motive, and yielding to no man in devotion to the interests of my country, whose laws I have always endeavored to obey,) I might pass it by without notice; but as it affects the rights and interests of all men who love their country, and would see its Government so administered as to protect the rights of all its citizens, and so fulfil its mission of Liberty, Justice, and Fraternity, I cannot refrain from giving it publicity, regretting that fellow-citizens, bound together by so many considerations, and all apparently seeking the prosperity of the Union, should be so devoid of charity, which is the only bond of Union. That our country may be safely brought through all its difficulties, and again enjoy the blessings of peace and prosperity, ought to be the fervent desire of all men; nor should those who seek so blessed a consummation be denounced as traitors, or arrested as criminals, without process of law.

Frederick A. Guion. New York, June 29, 1861.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Michael Kennedy (3)
James Brainerd Taylor (2)
Frederick A. Guion (2)
Editors (2)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
Doc (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 29th, 1861 AD (1)
June 28th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: