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XXI. the political or Civil history of 1863.

  • Lord Lyons on Democratic “Peace”
  • -- Spring Elections of 1863 -- conscription ordered, first by Rebel, next by Union Congress -- Judge Woodward pronounces the latter unconstitutional -- suspension of Habeas Corpus -- military arrest and conviction of Vallandigham -- Democrats of Albany thereon -- President Lincoln's response -- Ohio Democratic Convention's resolves -- Vallandigham nominated for Governor -- Convention demand his release -- President Lincoln's reply -- the New York journalists on the Freedom of the press -- ex-president Pierce's fourth of July oration -- Gov. Seymour's ditto -- the Draft Riots in New York -- arson, devastation, and murder -- Gov. Seymour's speech -- he demands a stoppage of the Draft -- President Lincoln's reply -- the Autumn Elections -- the Draft adjudged valid -- the Government sustained by the people.

unquestionably, the darkest hours of the National cause were those which separated Burnside's and Sherman's bloody repulses, at Fredericksburg1 and Vicksburg2 respectively from the triumphs of Meade at Gettysburg,3 Grant in the fall of Vicksburg,4 and Banks in the surrender of Port Hudson.5 Our intermediate and subordinate reverses at Galveston,6 and at Chancellorsville,7 also tended strongly to sicken the hearts of Unionists and strengthen into confidence the hopes of the Rebels and those who, whether in the loyal States or in foreign lands, were in sympathy, if not also in act, their virtual allies. No one in Europe but those who ardently desired our success spoke of disunion otherwise than as an accomplished fact, which only purblind obstinacy and the invincible lust of power constrained us for a time to ignore. Hence, when the French Emperor made, during the dark Winter of 1862-3, a formal, diplomatic proffer8 of his good offices as a mediator between the American belligerents, he was regarded and treated on all hands as proposing to arrange the terms of a just, satisfactory, and conclusive separation between the North and the South. Even before this, and before the repulse of Burnside at Fredericksburg, Lord Lyons, British Embassador at Washington, had sent a confidential dispatch to his Government, narrating the incidents of a visit he had paid to New York directly after our State Election of 1862, wherein Horatio Seymour was chosen Governor and an average majority of over 10,000 returned for the Democratic tickets: he reasonably claiming that vote, with the corresponding results of elections in other loyal States, as a popular verdict against the further prosecution of the War for the Union. While discouraging any present proffer of European mediation, as calculated to discredit and embarrass the “Conservatives,” and to inspirit and inflame the “Radicals,” who were still intent on subjugating the South, and would hear nothing of conceded Disunion or of foreign intervention, Lord Lyons gives the following comprehensive and evidently dispassionate view of the current aspects of our domestic politics, as they were presented to his keenly observant vision:

Washington, Nov. 17, 1862.
In his dispatches of the 17th and of the 24th ultime, and of the 7th instant, Mr. Stuart reported to your lordship the result of the elections for members of Congress and State officers, which have recently taken place in several of the most important States of the Union. Without repeating the details, it will be sufficient for me to observe that the success of the Democratic, or (as it now styles itself) the Conservative party, has been so great as to manifest a change in public feeling, among the most rapid and the most complete that has ever been witnessed, even in this country.

On my arrival at New York on the 8th instant, I found the Conservative leaders exulting in the crowning success achieved by the party in that State. They appeared to rejoice, above all, in the conviction that personal [485] liberty and freedom of speech had been secured for the principal State of the Union. They believed that the Government must at once desist from exercising in the State of New York the extraordinary (and as they regarded them) illegal and unconstitutional powers which it had assumed. They were confident that, at all events, after the 1st of January next, on which day the newly elected Governor would come into office, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus could not be practically maintained. They seemed to be persuaded that the result of the elections would be accepted by the President as a declaration of the will of the people; that he would increase the moderate and conservative element in the Cabinet; that he would seek to terminate the War, not to push it to extremity; that he would endeavor to effect a reconciliation with the people of the South, and renounce the idea of subjugating or exterminating them.

On the following morning, however, intelligence arrived from Washington Which dashed the rising hopes of the Conservatives. It was announced that Gen. McClellan had been dismissed from the Army of the Potomac, and ordered to repair to his home; that lie had, in fact, been removed altogether from active service. The Genera! had been regarded as the representative of Conservative principles in the Army Support of him had been made one of the articles of the Conservative electoral programme. His dismissal was taken as a sign that the President had thrown himself entirely into the arms of the extreme Radical party, and that the attempted to carry out the policy of that party would be persisted in. The irritation of the Conservatives at New York was certainly very great; it seemed, however, to be not unmixed with consternation and despondency.

Several of the leaders of the Democratic party sought interviews with me, both before and after the arrival of the intelligence of Gen. McClellan's dismissal. The subject uppermost in their minds, while they were speaking to me, was naturally that of foreign mediation between the North and the South. Many of them seemed to think that this mediation must come at, last; but they appeared to be very much afraid of its coming too soon. It was evident that they apprehended that a premature proposal of foreign intervention would afford the Radical party a means of reviving the violent war spirit, and of thus defeating the peaceful plans of the Conservatives. They appeared to regard the present moment as pe<*>arly unfavorable for such an otter, and, indeed, to hold that it would be essential to the success of any proposal from abroad that it should be deferred until the control of the Executive Government should be in the hands of the Conservative party.

I gave no opinion on the subject. I did not say whether or no I myself thought foreign intervention probable or advisable; but I listened with attention to the accounts given me of the plans and hopes of the Conservative party. At the bottom, I thought <*> perceived a desire to put an end to the war. even at the risk of losing the Southern States altogether; but it was plain that it was not thought prudent to avow this desire. In deed, some hints of it, dropped before the elections, were so ill received that a strong declaration in the contrary sense was deemed necessary by the Democratic leaders.

At the present moment, therefore, the chiefs of the Conservative party call loudly for a more vigorous prosecution of the way and reproach the Government with slackness as well as with want of success in its military measures. But they repudiate all idea of interfering with the institutions of the Southern people, or of waging a war of subjugation or extermination. They maintain that the object of the military operations should be to place the North in a position to demand an armistice with honor and effect. The armistice should (they hold) be followed by a Convention, in which such changes of the Constitution should be proposed as would give the South ample security on the subject of its slave property, and would enable the North and the South to reunite and to live together in peace and harmony. The Conservatives profess to think that the South might be induced to take part in such a Convention, and that a restoration of the Union would be the result.

The more sagacious members of the party must, however, look upon the proposal of a Convention merely as a last experiment to test the possibility of reunion. They are no doubt well aware that the more probable consequence of an armistice would be the establishment of Southern independence; but they perceive that, if the South is so utterly alienated that no possible concessions will induce it to return voluntarily to the Union, it is wiser to agree to separation than to prosecute a cruel and hopeless war.

It is with reference to such an armistice as they desire to attain, that the leaders of the Conservative party regard the question of foreign mediation. They think that the offer of mediation, if made to a Radical administration, would be rejected; that, if made at an unpropitious moment, it might increase the virulence with which the war is prosecuted. If their own party were in power, or virtually controlled the administration, they would rather, if possible, obtain an armistice without the aid of foreign governments; but they would be disposed to [486] accept an offer of mediation if it appeared to be the only means of putting a stop to hostilities. They would desire that the offer should come from the great powers of Europe conjointly, and in particular that as little prominence as possible should be given to Great Britain.

The State elections of 1863 opened in New Hampshire;9 where the Republican party barely escaped defeat; losing one of the three Representatives in Congress for the first time in some years, and saving their Governor through his election by the Legislature; lie not having even a plurality of the popular vote.10 The regular Democratic poll was larger than at any former election.

The next State to hold her Election was Rhode Island;11 where the Republicans triumphed, election g both Representatives in Congress as well as their State ticket; but by a majority12 considerably reduced from that exhibited on any clear trial of party strength for some years.

Connecticut had, by common consent, been chosen as the arena of a determined trial of strength, at her State Election this Spring,13 between the supporters and opponents respectively of the War for the Union. The nomination for Governor by the Republicans of William A. Buckingham, the incumbent, who had, both officially and personally, been a strenuous and prominent champion of “coercion,” was fairly countered by the presentation, as his competitor, of Col. Thomas II. Seymour, an ex-Governor of decided personal popularity, but an early, consistent, out-spoken contemner of the War — or rather, of the National side of it. His nomination was made by a very large Convention, and with a degree of unanimity and genuine enthusiasm rarely manifested; while the canvass that ensued thereon was one of the most animated and energetic ever witnessed even in that closely balanced State: its result being the triumph of the Republicans by a much reduced but still decisive majority.14 It is quite probable that a candidate less decidedly and conspicuously hostile to the War than Col. Seymour might, while polling fewer votes, have come much nearer an election; since Seymour's nomination was a challenge to the War party which incited it to the most vehement exertions.

No other general Election was held in any of the loyal States during the earlier half of 1863; yet the result in these three--though maintaining the Republican ascendency in each — left no room for reasonable doubt that, apart from the soldiers in the field, a majority of the voters in the loyal States were still — as had been indicated by the results of the elections during the later months of 186215--opposed to a further prosecution of the War, and certainly opposed to its prosecution on the anti-Slavery basis established by the action of Congress and by the President's two Proclamations of Sept. 22, 1862, and Jan. 1, 1.863. If called to vote directly on the question of making peace on the basis of a recognition of the Southern Confederacy, some of those who voted the Opposition [487] tickets might — as was indicated by Lord Lyons--have shrunk from an open committal to such a peace; but it is none the less certain that their attitude and action tended directly to insure a result which their bolder or more candid compatriots frankly proclaimed inevitable. Many who adhered to the Democratic organization asserted, what some, at least, must have believed — that the Confederates, in spite of their persistent, peremptory denials and disclaimers, might yet, by conciliatory overtures and proper concessions, be reconciled to a restoration of the Union; but very few who still adhered to that body, out of the army, averred that, if all proffers and guaranties should be rejected, they would favor a prosecution of the War for their subjugation.

The Rebel Congress having long since passed16 a conscription act, whereby all the White males in the Confederacy between the ages of 18 and 35 were placed at the disposal of their Executive, while all those already in the service, though they had enlisted and been accepted for specific terms of one or two years, were held to serve through the War, our Congress was constrained to follow afar off in the footsteps of the enemy; since out ranks, since our heavy losses in the bloody struggles of 1862, were filled by volunteers too slowly for the exigencies of the service. The act providing “for the enrollment of the National forces” was among the last passed17 by the XXXVIIth Congress prior to its dissolution. It provided for the enrollment, by Federal provost-marshals and enrolling officers, of all able-bodied male citizens (not Whites only), including aliens who had declared their intention to become naturalized, between the ages of 18 and 45--those between 20 and 35 to constitute the first class; all others the second class — from which the President was authorized, from and after July 1, to make drafts at his discretion of persons to serve in the National armies for not more than three years; any one drafted and not reporting for service to be considered and treated as a deserter. A commutation of $300 was to be received in lieu of such service: and there were exemptions provided of certain heads of Executive Departments; Federal judges; Governors of States; the only son of a widow, or of an aged and infirm father, dependent on that son's labor for support; the father of dependent motherless children under 12 years of age, or the only adult brother of such children, being orphans; or the residue of a family which has already two members in the service, &c., &c.

The passage and execution of this act inevitably intensified and made active the spirit of opposition to the War. Those who detested every form of “coercion” save the coercion of the Republic by the Rebels, with those who especially detested the National effort under its present aspects as “a war not for the Union, but for the Negro,” were aroused by it to a more determined and active opposition. The bill passed the House by Yeas 115, Nays 49--the division being, so nearly as might be, a party one--while in the Senate, a motion by Mr. Bayard that it be indefinitely postponed was supported [488] by 11 Yeas (all Democrats) to 35 Nays: consisting of every Republican lican present, with Messrs. McDougall, of California, Harding and Nesmith, of Oregon. The bill then passed without a call of the Yeas and Nays.

The President proceeding to constitute an enrolling board for each Congress district in the loyal States, and the Board to enroll those who were held to military service under its provisions, the repugnance to being drafted into the service began to threaten organized and formidable resistance. That the enrolling act was unconstitutional and void, was very generally held and proclaimed by the Opposition, and was in due time formally adjudged by Justice John H. McCunn, of the New York Supreme Court, as also by the Democratic justices18 forming a majority of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. That Court held broadly that the Federal Government has no power to recruit its armies otherwise than by voluntary enlistments; that the Militia can be called out only by State authority, under State officers, and in accordance with State laws. Says Judge Woodward:

The great vice of the conscript law is, that it is founded on an assumption that Congress may take away, not the State rights of the citizen, but the security and foundation of his State rights. And how long is civil liberty expected to last, after the securities of civil liberty are destroyed? The Constitution of the United States committed the liberties of the citizen in part to the Federal Government, but expressly reserved to the States, and the people of the States, all it did not delegate. It gave the General Government a standing army, but left to the States their militia. Its purposes, in all this balancing of powers, were wise and good; but this legislation disregards these distinctions and upturns the whole system of government when it converts the State militia into National forces, and claims to use and govern them as such.

If, then, the Governors of the States, or of most of them, should see fit to respond to the President's requisitions as Gov. Caleb Strong, of Massachusetts, did to those of President Madison in 1813-14, and as Govs. Letcher,19 Ellis, Harris, Magoffin, Jackson, and Burton, did to President Lincoln's requisitions in 1861, the Federal authority may be successfully defied, and what Mr. Jefferson Davis terms “the dissolution of a league” secured. It were absurd to contend that judges who so held were opposed, either in principle or in sympathies, to the cause, or at least to the ethics, of Secession.

The Constitution of the United States (Art. I., § 9) prescribes that

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.

The implication that it may be suspended in the cases specified is so irresistible that its justice has never been seriously questioned. But by whom may it be suspended? And with what effect? That Congress should authorize the suspension, was generally held by the early and esteemed commentators: but suppose Congress not in session — nay, suppose no Congress to be in existence — when a great and imminent public peril shall require such suspension — what then? To this question, no conclusive answer had been given, when, at the very outbreak of the Rebellion, the President authorized.20 Gen. Scott to suspend the privilege of habeas corpus, [489]

if, at any point on or in the vicinity of the military line which is now or which shall be used between the city of Philadelphia and the city of Washington, you fined resistance which renders it necessary.

A similar discretion was soon afterward21 accorded to our commander on the Florida coast; the authority conferred on Gen. Scott was soon extended;22 it was next made23 general so far as it might affect persons arrested by military authority as guilty of disloyal practices; and — Congress having at length by express act authorized24 such suspension — the President proclaimed25 a general suspension of the privilege of habeas corpus--to “continue throughout the duration of such Rebellion.” But, months ere this, a serious collision between military authority and Peace Democracy had been inaugurated, and had created much excitement, in Ohio.

Mr. C. L. Vallandigham, having been defeated in his canvass for re-election by Gen. Robert C. Schenck, at the Ohio State Election in 1862, ceased to be a Member at the close of the XXXVIIth Congress.26 Returning to Ohio, where he had already been suggested as the Democratic candidate for Governor in the canvass of that year, he speedily engaged in a popular canvass of the War and the Federal Administration, in a spirit of sweeping hostility to both. Gen. Burnside, who had just been transferred to and placed in command of the military department including Ohio, put forth27 a general order, wherein he proclaimed that henceforth

All persons found within our lines who commit acts for the benefit of the enemies of our country will be tried as spies or traitors, and, if convicted, will suffer death. * * * The habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy will not be allowed in this department. Persons committing such offenses will be at once arrested, with a view to being tried, as above stated, or sent beyond our lines into the lines of their friends. It must be distinctly understood that treason, expressed or implied, will not be tolerated in this department.

Whether this was specially aimed at Vallandigham or not, it was easily foreseen that he would be one of the first to expose himself to its penalties; and but three weeks elapsed from tile date of the order before lie was arrested28 at night while in bed in his own house, on a charge of having, in a recent speech at Mount Vernon,

publicly expressed sympathy for those in arms against the Government of the United States, and declared disloyal sentiments and opinions, with the object and purpose of weakening the power of the Government in its efforts to suppress an unlawful Rebellion.

Being arraigned before a Court-Martial over which Brig.-Gen. R. B. Potter presided, he was found guilty on some of the specifications embraced in the charge, and sentenced to close confinement till the end of the War. Gen. Burnside designated Fort Warren, in Boston harbor, as the place of such confinement; but the President modified the sentence into a direction that Mr. V. should be sent through our military lines into the Southern Confederacy, and, in case of his return therefrom, lie should be confined as prescribed in the sentence of the court. Judge Leavitt, of the U. S. District Court for Ohio, was applied to for a writ of habeas corpus to take the prisoner out of the lands of the military, but refused it.

This sentence was duly executed by Gen. Rosecrans, so far as to send the convict into the Confederacy; [490] but he remained there only a few weeks, taking a blockade-runner from Wilmington to Nassau, and thence making his way in due time to Canada, where lie remained: having meantime been nominated for Governor by an overwhelming vote in a large Democratic State Convention, and with an understanding that, in case of his anticipated election, he should be escorted from the State line to its capital by a volunteer procession of Democrats strong enough to resist successfully any attempt to rearrest him.

The action in this case of Gen. Burnside and his Court Martial created a profound sensation throughout the country; and a great meeting of Democrats was held29 at Albany, wherein very strong resolves condemning such action were unanimously passed — among them the following:

Resolved, That we denounce the recent assumption of a military commander to seize and try a citizen of Ohio, Clement L. Vallandigham, for no other reason than words addressed to a public meeting, in criticism of the course of the Administration and in condemnation of the military orders of that General.

Resolved, That this assumption of power by a military tribunal, it successfully asserted, not only abrogates the right of the people to assemble and discuss the affairs of government, the liberty of speech and of the press, the right of trial by jury, the law of evidence, and the privilege of habeas corpus, but it strikes a fatal blow at the supremacy of law and the authority of the State and Federal Constitutions.

Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States--the supreme law of the land — has defined the crime of treason against the United States to consist “only in levying war against them, or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort,” and has provided that “no person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt, act, or on confession in open court.” And it further provides that “no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land and naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger;” and further, that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right of a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime was committed.”

Resolved, That, in the election of Gov Seymour, the people of this State, by an emphatic majority, declared their condemnation of the system of arbitrary arrests and their determination to stand by the Constitution. That the revival of this lawless system can have burt one result: to divide and distract the North, and destroy its confidence in the purposes of the Administration. That we deprecate it as an element of confusion at home of weakness to our armies in the field, and as calculated to lower the estimate of American character and magnify the apparent peril of our cause abroad. And that, regarding the blow struck at a citizen of Ohio as aimed at the rights of every citizen of the North, we denounce it as against the spirit of our laws and Constitution, and most earnestly call upon the President of the United States to reverse the action of the military tribunal which has passed a “cruel and unusual punishment” upon the party arrested, prohibited in terms by the Constitution, and to restore him to the liberty of which he has been deprived.

Hon. Erastus Corning, President of the meeting, transmitted, by its order, these resolves to President Lincoln; who, after taking ample time to consider them, responded frankly, courteously, elaborately, cogently; and, as the subject discussed is one of grave, abiding interest, the material portion of his reply will here be given. He says'

The resolutions promise to support me in every constitutional and lawful measure to suppress the Rebellion; and I have not knowingly employed, nor shall knowingly employ, any other. But the meeting, by their resolutions, assert and argue that certain military arrests, and proceedings following them, for which I am ultimately responsible, are unconstitutional. I think they are not. The resolutions quote from the Constitution the definition of treason, and also the limiting safeguards and guaranties therein provided for tie citizen on trial for [491] treason, and on his being held to answer for capital or otherwise infamous crimes, and, in criminal prosecutions, his right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. They proceed to resolve, “that these safeguards of the rights of the citizen against the pretensions of arbitrary power were intended more especially for his protection in times of civil commotion.” And, apparently to demonstrate the proposition, the resolutions proceed: “They were secured substantially to the English people after years of protracted civil war, and were adopted into our Constitution at the close of the Revolution.” Would not the demonstration have been better if it could have been truly said that these safeguards had been adopted and applied during the civil wars, and during our Revolution, instead of after the one and at the close of the other? I, too, am devotedly for them after civil war, and before civil war, and at all times, “ except when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require” their suspension. The resolutions proceed to tell us that these safeguards “have stood the test of seventy-six years of trial, under our republican system, under circumstances which show that, while they constitute the foundation of all free government, they are elements of the enduring stability of the Republic.” No one denies that they have so stood the test up to thle beginning of the present Rebellion, if we except a certain occurrence at New Orleans; nor does anyone question that they will stand the same test much longer after the Rebellion closes. But these provisions of the Constitution have no application to the case we have in hand, because the arrests complained of were not made for treason — that is, not for the treason defined in the Constitution, and upon conviction of which the punishment is death — nor yet were they made to hold persons to answer for any capital or otherwise infamous crimes; nor were the proceedings following, in any constitutional or legal sense, criminal prosecutions' The arrests were made on totally different grounds, and tile proceedings following accorded with the grounds of the arrest. Let us consider the real case with which we are dealing, and apply to it the parts of the Constitution plainly made for such cases.

Prior to my installation here, it had been inculcated that any State had a lawful right to secede from the national Union, and that it would be expedient to exercise the right whenever the devotees of the doctrine should fail to elect a President to their own liking. I was elected contrary to their liking; and accordingly, so far as it was legally possible, they had taken seven States out of the Union, had seized many of the United States forts, and had fired upon the United States flag, all before I was inaugurated, and, of course, before I had done any official act whatever. The Rebellion thus began soon ran into the present civil war; and, in certain respects, it began on very unequal terms between the parties. The insurgents had been preparing for it more than thirty years, while the Government had taken no steps to resist them. The former had carefully considered all the means which could be turned to their account. It undoubtedly was a well-pondered reliance with them that, in their own unrestricted efforts to destroy Union, Constitution, and law, all together, the Government would, in great degree, be restrained by the same Constitution and law from arresting their progress. Their sympathizers pervaded all departments of the Government and nearly all communities of the people. From this material, under cover of “liberty of speech,” “liberty of the press,” and “ habeas corpus,” they hopped to keep on foot amongst us a most efficient corps of spies, informers, suppliers, and aiders and abettors of their cause in a thousand ways. They knew that, in times such as they were inaugurating, by the Constitution itself, the “habeas corpus” might be suspended; but they also knew they had friends who would make a question as to who was to suspend it; meanwhile, their spies and others might remain at large to help on their cause. Or if, as has happened, the Executive should suspend the writ, without ruinous waste of time, instances of arresting innocent persons might occur, as are always likely to occur in such cases: and then a clamor could be raised in regard to this, which might be at least of some service to the insurgent cause. It needed no very keen perception to discover this part of the enemy's programme, so soon as by open hostilities their machinery was fairly put in motion. Yet, thoroughly imbued with a reverence for the guaranteed rights of individuals, I was slow to, adopt the strong measures which by degrees I have been forced to regard as being within the exceptions of the Constitution, and as indispensable to the public safety. Nothing is better known to history than that courts of justice are utterly incompetent to such cases. Civil courts are organized chiefly for trials of individuals, or, at most, a few individuals acting in concert; and this in quiet times, and on charges of crimes well defined in the law. Even in times of peace, bands of horse-thieves and robbers frequently grow too numerous and powerful for ordinary courts of justice. But what comparison, in numbers, have such bands ever borne to the insurgent sympathizers even in many of the loyal States? Again, jury too frequently has at least one member more ready to hang the panel than to hang the traitor. And yet, [492] again, he who dissuades one man from volunteering, or induces one soldier to desert, weakens the Union cause as much as he who kills a Union soldier in battle. Yet this dissuasion or inducement may be so conducted as to be no defined crime of which any civil court would take cognizance.

Ours is a case of rebellion — so called by the resolutions before me — in fact, a clear, flagrant, and gigantic case of rebellion; and the provision of the Constitution, that “the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it,” is the provision which specially applies to our present case. This provision plainly attests the understanding of those who made the Constitution, that ordinary courts of justice are inadequate to “cases of rebellion” --attests their purpose that, in such cases, men may be held in custody whom the courts, acting on ordinary rules, would discharge. Habeas corpus does not discharge men who are proved to be guilty of defined crime; and its suspension is allowed by the Constitution on purpose that men may be arrested and held who cannot be proved to be guilty of defined crime, “when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.”

This is precisely our present case — a case of rebellion, wherein the public safety does require the suspension. Indeed, arrests by process of courts and arrests in cases of rebellion do not proceed altogether upon the same basis. The former is directed at the small percentage of ordinary and continuous perpetration of crime; while the latter is directed at sudden and extensive uprisings against the Government, which, at most, will succeed or fail in no great length of time. In the latter case, arrests are made, not so much for what has been done, as for what probably would be done. The latter is more for the preventive and less for the vindictive than the former. In such cases, the purposes of men are much more easily understood than in cases of ordinary crime. The man who stands by and says nothing, when the peril of his Government is discussed, cannot be misunderstood. If not hindered, he is sure to help the enemy; much more, if he talks ambiguously — talks for his country with ‘buts’ and ‘ifs’ and “ands.” Of how little value the constitutional provisions I have quoted will be rendered, if arrests shall never be made until defined crimes shall have been committed, may be illustrated by a few notable examples. Gen. John C. Breckinridge, Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Gen. John B. Magruder, Gen. William Preston, Gen. Simon B. Buckner, and Com. Franklin Buchanan, now occupying the very highest places in the Rebel war service, were all within the power of the Government since the Rebellion began, and were nearly as well known to be traitors then as now. Unquestionably, if we had seized them and held them, the insurgent cause would be much weaker. But no one of them had then committed any crime defined in the law. Every one of them, if arrested, would have been discharged on habeas corpus, were the writ allowed to operate. In view of these and similar cases, I think the time not unlikely to come when I shall be blamed for having made too few arrests rather than too many.

By the third resolution, the meeting indicate their opinion that military arrests may be constitutional in localities where rebellion actually exists, but that such arrests are unconstitutional in localities where rebellion or insurrection does not actually exist. They insist that such arrests shall not be made “outside of the lines of necessary military occupation, and the scenes of insurrection.” Inasmuch, however, as the Constitution itself makes no such distinction, I am unable to believe that there is any such constitutional distinction. I concede that the class of arrests complained of can be constitutional only when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require them, and I insist that in such cases they are constitutional wherever the public safety does require them; as well in places to which they may prevent the rebellion extending, as in those where it may be already prevailing; as well where they may restrain mischievous interference with the raising and supplying of armies to suppress the rebellion, as where the rebellion may actually be; as well where they may restrain the enticing men out of the army, as where they would prevent mutiny in the army; equally constitutional at all places where they will conduce to the public safety, as against the dangers of rebellion or invasion. Take the peculiar case mentioned by the meeting. It is asserted, in substance, that Mr. Vallandigham was, by a military commander, seized and tried “for no other reason than words addressed to a public meeting, in criticism of the course of the Administration, and in condemnation of the military orders of the General.” Now, if there be no mistake about this; if this assertion is the truth and the whole truth; if there was no other reason for the arrest, then I concede that the arrest was wrong. But the arrest, as I understand, was made for a very different reason. Mr. Vallandigham avows his hostility to the war on the part of the Union; and his arrest was made because he was laboring, with some effect, to prevent the raising of troops; to encourage [493] desertions from the army; and to leave the Rebellion without an adequate military force to suppress it. He was not arrested because he was damaging the political prospects of the Administration, or the personal interests of the commanding General, but because he was damaging the army, upon the existence and vigor of which the life of the nation depends. He was warring upon the military; and this gave the military constitutional jurisdiction to lay hands upon him. If Mr. Vallandigham was not damaging the military power of the country, then his arrest was made on mistake of fact, which I would be glad to correct on reasonably satisfactory evidence.

I understand the meeting, whose resolutions I am considering, to be in favor of suppressing the Rebellion by military force — by armies. Long experience has shown that armies cannot be maintained unless desertions shall be punished by the severe penalty of death. The case requires, and the law and the Constitution sanction, this punishment. Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wily agitator who induces him to desert? This is none the less injurious when effected by getting a father, or brother, or friend, into a public meeting, and there working upon his feelings till he is persuaded to write the soldier boy that he is fighting in a bad cause, for a wicked Administration of a contemptible Government, too weak to arrest and punish him if he shall desert. I think that, in such a case, to silence the agitator and save the boy is not only constitutional but withal a great mercy.

If I be wrong on this question of constitutional power, my error lies in believing that certain proceedings are constitutional when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety requires them, which would not be constitutional when, in the absence of rebellion or invasion, the public safety does not require them: in other words, that the Constitution is not, in its application, in all respects the same, in cases of rebellion or invasion involving the public safety, as it is in times of profound peace and public security. The Constitution itself makes the distinction; and I can no more be persuaded that the Government can constitutionally take no strong measures in time of rebellion, because it can be shown that the same could not be lawfully taken in time of peace, than I can be persuaded that a particular drug is not good medicine for a sick man, because it can be shown not to be good food for a well one. Nor am I able to appreciate the danger apprehended by the meeting, that the American people will, by means of military arrests during the Rebellion, lose the right of public discussion, the liberty of speech and the press, the law of evidence, trial by jury, and habeas corpus, throughout the indefinite peaceful future, which I trust lies before them, any more than I am able to believe that a man could contract so strong an appetite for emetics during a temporary illness as to persist in feeding upon them during the remainder of his healthful life. * * *

One of the resolutions expresses the opinion of the meeting that arbitrary arrests will have the effect to divide and distract those who should be united in suppressing the Rebellion; and I am specifically called on to discharge Mr. Vallandigham. I regard this as, at least, a fair appeal to me on the expediency of exercising a constitutional power which I think exists. In response to such appeal, I have to say, it gave me pain when I learned that Mr. Vallandigham had been arrested — that is, I was pained that there should have seemed to be a necessity for arresting him — and that it will afford me great pleasure to discharge him so soon as I can, by any means, believe the public safety will not suffer by it.

The Ohio Democratic Convention, which met30 at Columbus, and by acclamation nominated Mr. Vallandigham as their candidate for Governor, passed resolves strongly condemning his banishment as a palpable violation of four specified provisions of the Federal Constitution, and appointed their President and Vice-Presidents (nearly all Members or ex-Members of Congress) a Committee to address the President in favor of a revocation of the order of banishment. In obeying this direction, that Committee, claiming to utter the sentiments of a majority of the people of Ohio, said:31

Mr. Vallandigham may differ with the President, and even with some of his own political party, as to the true and most effectual means of maintaining the Constitution and restoring the Union; but this difference of opinion does not prove him to be unfaithful to his duties as an American citizen. If a man, devotedly attached to [494] the Constitution and the Union, conscientiously believes that, from the inherent nature of the Federal compact, the war, in the present condition of things in this country, cannot be used as a means of restoring the Union; or that a war to subjugate a part of the States, or a war to revolutionize the social system in a part of the States, could not restore, but would inevitably result in the final destruction of, both the Constitution and the Union, is he not to be allowed the right of an American citizen to appeal to the judgment of the people for a change of policy by the constitutional remedy of the ballot-box?

The undersigned are unable to agree with you in the opinion you have expressed, that the Constitution is different in time of insurrection or invasion from what it is in time of peace and public security. The Constitution provides for no limitation upon or exceptions to the guaranties of personal liberty, except as to the writ of habeas corpus. Has the President, at the time of invasion or insurrection, the right to engraft limitations or exceptions upon these constitutional guaranties whenever, in his judgment, the public safety requires it?

True it is, the article of the Constitution which defines the various powers delegated to Congress declares that “the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it.” But this qualification or limitation upon this restriction upon the powers of Congress has no reference to or connection with the other constitutional guaranties of personal liberty. Expunge from the Constitution this limitation upon the power of Congress to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, and yet the other guaranties of personal liberty would remain unchanged.

Mr. Lincoln responded32 pungently to this appeal, but less elaborately than he had done to the Albany arraignment; deeming the argument in good part exhausted. On the main point, he said:

The earnestness with which you insist that persons can only, in times of rebellion, be lawfully dealt with, in accordance with the rules for criminal trials and punishments in times of peace, induces me to add a word to what I said on that point in the Albany response. You claim that men may, if they choose, embarrass those whose duty it is to combat a giant rebellion, and then he dealt with only in turn as if there were no rebellion. The Constitution itself rejects this view. The military arrests and detentions which have been made, including those of Mr. Vallandigham, which are not different in principle from the other, have been for prevention, and not for punishment--as injunctions to stay injury, as proceedings to keep the peace — and hence, like proceedings in such cases and for like reasons, they have not been accompanied with indictments, or trials by juries, nor, in a single case, by any punishment whatever, beyond what is purely incidental to the prevention. The original sentence of imprisonment in Mr. Vallandigham's case was to prevent injury to the military service only; and the modification of it was made as a less disagreeable mode to him of securing the same prevention.

In drawing his argument to a close, the President said:

You omit to state or intimate that, in your opinion, an army is a constitutional means of saving the Union against a rebellion, or even to intimate that you are conscious of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of destroying that very Union. At the same time, your nominee for Governor, in whose behalf you appeal, is known to you and to the world to declare against the use of an army to suppress the Rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, encourages desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like; because it teaches those who incline to desert and to escape the draft to believe it is your purpose to protect them, and to hope that you will become strong enough to do so.

After a short personal intercourse with you, gentlemen of the committee, I cannot say I think you desire this effect to follow your attitude; but I assure you that both friends and enemies of the Union look upon it in this light. It is a substantial hope, and by consequence a real strength, to the enemy. It is a false hope, and one which you would willingly dispel. I will make the way exceedingly easy. I send you duplicates of this letter, in order that you, or a majority, may, if you choose, indorse your names upon one of them, and return it thus indorsed to me, with the understanding that those signing are thereby committed to the following propositions, and to nothing else:

1. That there is now a rebellion in the United States, the object and tendency of which is, to destroy the National Union; and that, in your opinion, and army and navy are constitutional means for suppressing that rebellion. [495]

2. That no one of you will do any thing which, in his own judgment, will tend to hinder the increase or favor the decrease or lessen the efficiency of the army and navy, while engaged in the effort to suppress that rebellion; and

3. That each of you will, in his sphere, do all lie can to have the officers, soldiers, and seamen of the army and navy, while engaged in the effort to suppress the Rebellion, paid, fed, clad, and otherwise well provided for and supported.

And with the further understanding that, upon receiving the letter and names thus indorsed, I will cause them to be published ; which publication shall be, within itself, a revocation of the order in relation to Mr. Vallandigham.

It will not escape observation that I consent to the release of Mr. Vallandigham upon terms not embracing any pledge from him, or from others, as to what he will or will not do. I do this because he is not present to speak for himself, or to authorize others to speak for him; and hence I shall expect that on returning he would not put himself practically in antagonism with his friends. But I do it chiefly because I thereby prevail on other influential gentlemen of Ohio to so define their position as to be of immense value to the army — thus more than compensating for the consequences of any mistake in allowing Mr. Vallandigham to return ; so that, on the whole, the public safety will not have suffered by it. Still, in regard to Mr. Vallandigham and all others, I, must hereafter, as heretofore, do so much as the public service may seem to require.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, yours, &c.,

The Committee rejoined,33 controverting the President's positions; repelling his imputation that they or their party would encourage desertions, or resistance to the draft; suggesting that

The measures of the Administration, and its changes of policy in the prosecution of the war, have been the fruitful sources of discouraging enlistments and inducing desertions, and furnish a reason for the undeniable fact that the first call for volunteers was answered by very many more than were demanded, and that the next call for soldiers will probably be responded to by drafted men alone.

They express surprise at the President's proffer to revoke the banishment of Mr. V. on the conditions above specified, and decline to “enter into any bargains, terms, contracts, or conditions, with the President of the United States, to procure the release of Mr. Vallandigham. They regard the proffer as involving an imputation on their own sincerity and fidelity as citizens of the United States ;” and declare that

they have asked the revocation of the order of banishment not as a favor, but as a right due to the people of Ohio, and with a view to avoid the possibility of conflict or disturbance of the public tranquillity.

At this point, the argument of this grave question, concerning the right, in time of war, of those who question the justice or the policy of such war, to denounce its prosecution as mistaken and ruinous, was rested by the President and his assailants — or rather, it was transferred34 by the [496] latter to the popular forum, where — especially in Ohio — it was continued with decided frankness as well as remarkable pertinacity and vehemence. And one natural consequence of such discussion was to render the Democratic party more decidedly, openly, palpably, anti-War than it had hitherto been.

Perhaps the very darkest days that the Republic ever saw were the ten which just preceded the 4th of July, 1863--when our oft-beaten Army of the Potomac was moving northward to cover Washington and Baltimore — when Milroy's demolition at Winchester seemed to have filled the bitter cup held to our lips at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville — when tidings of the displacement of Hooker by Meade, just on the eve of a great, decisive battle, were received with a painful surprise by many sad, sinking hearts — when Grant was held at bay by Vicksburg and Banks by Port Hudson; while Rosecrans had for half a year stood still in Middle Tennessee. At this hour of national peril and depression, when the early appearance of Lee's victory-crowned legions in the streets of Philadelphia and New York was confidently, exultingly anticipated by thousands, our leading Democratic statesmen and orators were preparing orations and addresses for the approaching anniversary of our National Independence, which were in due time delivered to applauding, enthusiastic thousands, though the speakers were generally as chary as the Ohio Democratic State Committee of admitting the existence in our country of a gigantic Rebellion, and insisting on the duty of aiding in its suppression. Not the Rebel chiefs conspiring, nor the Rebel armies advancing at their behest, to overthrow the Government and sever finally the Union, but the directors and chief functionaries of that Government, were regarded and reprobated by those orators as public enemies to be combated, resisted, and overcome.

Ex-President Franklin Pierce35 was the orator at a great Democratic mass meeting held at Concord, N. H.; and, in his carefully prepared oration, amid the ringing acclaim of thousands, he said:

The Declaration of Independence laid the foundation of our political greatness in the two fundamental ideas of the absolute independence of the American people, and of the sovereignty of their respective States. Under that standard, our wise and her<*> forefathers fought the battle of the Revolution; under that, they conquered. In this spirit, they established the Union; having the conservative thought ever present to their minds, of the original sovereignty and independence of the several States, all with their diverse institutions, interests, opinions, and habits, to be maintained intact and secure, by the reciprocal stipulations and mutual compromises of the Constitution. They were master builders, who reared up the grand structure of the Union--that august temple beneath whose dome three generations have enjoyed such blessings of civil liberty as were never before vouchsafed by Providence to man — that temple before whose altars you and I have not only howed with devout and grateful hearts, but where, with patriotic vows and sacrifices, we have [497] so frequently consecrated ourselves to the protection and maintenance of those lofty columns of the Constitution by which it was upheld. No visionary enthusiasts were they, dreaming vainly of the impossible uniformity of some wild Utopia of their own imaginations. No desperate reformers were they, madly bent upon schemes which, if consummated, could only result in general confusion, anarchy, and chaos. Oh, no! high-hearted, but sagacious and practical states-men they were, who saw society as a living fact, not as a troubled vision; who knew that national power consists in the reconcilement of diversities of institutions and interests, not their conflict and obliteration; and who saw that variety and adaptation of parts are the necessary elements of all there is sublime or beautiful in the works of art or of nature. Majestic were the solid foundations, the massive masonry, the columned loftiness, of that magnificent structure of the Union. Glorious was the career of prosperity and peace and power upon which, from its very birthday, the American Union entered, as with the assured march of the conscious offspring of those giants of the Revolution. Such was the Union, as conceived and administered by Washington and Adams, by Jefferson and Madison and Jackson. Such, I say, was the Union, ere the evil times befell us; ere the madness of sectional hatreds and animosities possessed us; ere, in the third generation, the all-comprehensive patriotism of the Fathers had died out, and given place to the passionate emotions of narrow and aggressive sectionalism. * * * Glorious, sublime above all that history records of national greatness, was the spectacle which the Union exhibited to the world, so long as the true spirit of the Constitution lived in the hearts of the people, and the government was a government of men reciprocally respecting one another's rights, and of States, each moving, planet-like, in the orbit of its proper place in the firmament of the Union. Then we were the model republic of the world, honored, loved, or feared where we were not loved, respected abroad, peaceful and happy at home. No American citizen was then subject to be driven into exile for opinion's sake, or arbitrarily arrested and incarcerated in military bastiles — even as he may now be — not for acts or words of imputed treason, but if he do but mourn in silent sorrow over the desolation of his country; no embattled hosts of Americans were then wasting their lives and resources in sanguinary civil strife; no suicidal and parricidal civil war then swept like a raging tempest of death over the stricken homesteads and wailing cities of the Union. Oh, that such a change should have come over our country, in a day, as it were — as if all men in every State of the Union, North and South, East and West, were suddenly smitten with homicidal madness, and ‘the custom of fell deeds’ rendered as familiar as if it were a part of our inborn nature; as if an avenging angel had been suffered by Providence to wave a sword of flaming fire above our heads, to convert so many millions of good men, living together in brotherly love, into insensate beings, savagely bent on the destruction of themselves and of each other, and leaving but a smouldering ruin of conflagration and of blood in the place of our once blessed Union. I endeavor sometimes to close my ears to the sounds and my eyes to the sights of woe, and to ask myself whether all this can be — to inquire which is true, whether the past happiness and prosperity of my country are b)ut the flattering vision of a happy sleep, or its present misery and desolation haply the delusion of some disturbed dream. One or tile other seems incredible and impossible: but, alas! the stern truth can not thus be dispelled from our minds. Can you forget, ought I especially to be expected to forget, those not remote days in the history of our country, when its greatness and glory shed the reflection at least of their rays upon all our lives, and thus enabled us to read the lessons of the fathers, and of their Constitution, in tile light of their principles and their deeds? Then war was conducted only against the foreign enemy, and not in the spirit and purpose of persecuting non-combatant populations, nor of burning undefended towns or private dwellings, and wasting tile fields of the husbandmen, or the workshops of the artisan, but of subduing armed hosts in the field. * * * how is all this changed! And why? Do we not all know that the cause of our calamities is the vicious intermeddling of too many of the citizens of the Northern States with the constitutional rights of the Southern States, cooperating with the discontents of the people of those States? Do we not know that the disregard of tile Constitution, and of the security it affords to the rights of States and of individuals, has been the cause of the calamity which our country is called to undergo? And now, war! war, in its direst shape — war, such as it makes the blood run cold to read of in the history of other nations and of other times — war, on a scale of a million of men in arms — war, horrid as that of barbaric ages, rages in several of the States of the Union, as its more immediate field, and casts the lurid shadow of its death and lamentation athwart the whole expanse, and into every nook and corner of our vast domain. Nor is that all; for in those of the States which are exempt from the actual ravages of war, in which the roar of the [498] cannon, and tile rattle of the musketry, and the groans of the dying, are heard but as a faint echo of terror from other lands, even here in the loyal States, the mailed hand of military usurpation strikes down the liberties of the people, and its foot tramples on a desecrated Constitution. Ay, in this land of free thought, free speech, and free writing — in this republic of free suffrage, with liberty of thought and expression as tile very essence of republican institutions — even here, in these free States, it is made criminal * * * for that noble martyr of free speech, Mr. Vallandigham, to discuss public affairs in Ohio — ay, even here, the temporary agents of the sovereign people, the transitory administrators of the government, tell us that in time of war the mere arbitrary will of the President takes the place of the Constitution, and the President himself announces to us that it is treasonable to speak or to write otherwise than as he may prescribe; nay, that it is treasonable even to be silent, though we be struck dumb by the shock of the calamities with which evil counsels, incompetency, and corruption, have overwhelmed our country.

Considering that Gen. Lee, at the head of a formidable Southern army, composed in good part of the Virginians like himself, was on the soil of the Free States when this address was written, intent on compelling them, by force of arms, to submit to a dissolution of the Union, the following passage can hardly be surpassed:

I trust it may be profitable on this occasion, as the call of your meeting suggests, to revive the memories of that heroic epoch of the republic, even though they come laden with regrets, and hold up that period of our history in contrast with the present — though they come to remind us of what were our relations during the Revolution, and in later years, prior to 1861, to that great commonwealth which we were accustomed to refer to by the name of “ the Mother of Statesmen and of States;” and of what those relations now are. Can it be that we are never to think again of the land where the dust of Washington and Patrick Henry, of Jefferson and Madison, repose, with emotions of gratitude, admiration, and filial regard? Is hate for all that Virginia has taught, all that Virginia has done, all that Virginia now is, to take the place of sentiments which we have cherished all our lives? Other men may be asked to do this; but it is in vain to appeal to me. So far as my heart is concerned, it is not a subject of volition. While there may be those in whose breasts such sentiments as these awaken no responsive feeling, I feel assured, as I look over this vast assemblage, that the grateful emotions which have signalized this anniversary in all our past history are not less yours than they are mine to-day. Let us be thankful, at least, that we have ever enjoyed them; that nothing can take from us the pride and exultation we have felt as we saw the old flag unfold over us, and realized its glorious accretion of stars from the original thirteen to thirty-four; that we say much, when we say, in the language of New Hampshire's greatest son, if we can with assurance say no more: “The past at least is secure.”

Mr. Pierce closed his oration with a deprecation of civil war and an appeal for peace on the basis of the Union and Constitution, which — considering by whom and for what the War was initiated — seem; to this writer to evince an amazing defiance of the assumption that Man is a rational being. It is as follows:

My friends, you have had, most of you have had, great sorrows, overwhelming personal sorrows, it may be; but none like these, none like these, which come welling up, day by day, from the great fountain of national disaster, red with the best and bravest blood of the country, North and South--red with the blood of those in both sections of the Union whose fathers fought the common battle of Independence. Nor have these sorrows brought with them any compensation, whether of national ride or of victorious arms. For is it not vain to appeal to you to raise a shout of joy because the men from the land of Washington, Marion, and Sumter, are baring their breasts to the steel of the men from the land of Warren, Stark, and Stockton ; or because, if this war is to continue to be waged, one or the other must go to the wall — must be consigned to humiliating subjugation? This fearful, fruitless, fatal civil war has exhibited our amazing resources and vast military power. It has shown that, united, even in carrying out, in its widest interpretation, the Monroe doctrine, on this continent, we could, with such protection as the broad ocean which flows between ourselves and European powers affords, have stood against the world in arms. I speak of the war as fruitless ; for it is clear that, prosecuted upon the basis of the proclamations of September 22d and September 24th, 1862, prosecuted, [499] as I must understand those proclamations, to say nothing of the kindred brood which has followed, upon the theory of emancipation, devastation, subjugation, it can not fail to be fruitless in every thing except the harvest of woe which it is ripening for what was once the peerless republic.

Now, fellow citizens, after having said thus much, it is right that you should ask me, What would you do in this fearful extremity? I reply, From the beginning of this struggle to the present moment, my hope has been in moral power. There is reposes still. When, in the Spring of 1861, I had occasion to address my fellow citizens of this city, from the balcony of the hotel before us, I then said I had not believed, and did not then believe, aggression by arms was either a suitable or possible remedy for existing evils. All that has occurred since then has but strengthened and confirmed my convictions in this regard. I repeat, then, my judgment impels me to rely upon moral force, and not upon any of the coercive instrumentalities of military power. We have seen, in the experience of the last two years, how futile are all our efforts to maintain the Union by force of arms; but, even had war been carried on by us successfully, the ruinous result would exhibit its utter impracticability for the attainment of the desired end. Through peaceful agencies, and through such agencies alone, can we hope to “form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity;” the great objects for which, and for which alone, the Constitution was formed. If you turn round and ask me, What if these agencies fail? what if the passionate anger of both sections forbids? what if the ballot-box is sealed? Then, all efforts, whether of war or peace, having failed, my reply is, You will take care of yourselves; with or without arms, with or without leaders, we will, at least, in the effort to defend our rights as a free people, build up a great mausoleum of hearts, to which men who yearn for liberty will, in after years, with bowed heads and reverently, resort, as Christian pilgrims to the sacred shrines of the Holy Land.

It can not, surely, be needful to demonstrate that the author of this oration did not regard the Rebel power as his enemy, nor that of the country.

Gov. Seymour, who addressed a large gathering in the New York Academy of Music, in language carefully weighed beforehand and tempered by the obvious requirements of his official position, was far more measured and cautious in his assaults and imputations than were the great majority of his compatriots. yet he opened with this allusion to the Nation's imminent perils and the disappointed hopes, the blighted expectations, of those who, whether in council or on the field, were charged with the high responsibility of upholding its authority and enforcing its laws:

When I accepted the invitation to speak, with others, at this meeting, we were promised the downfall of Vicksburg, the opening of the Mississippi, the probable capture of the Confederate capital, and the exhaustion of the Rebellion. By common consent, all parties had fixed upon this day when the results of the campaign should be known, to mark out that line of policy which they felt that our country should pursue. But, in the moment of expected victory, there came the midnight cry for help from Pennsylvania to save its despoiled fields from the invading foe; and, almost within sight of this great commercial metropolis, the ships of your merchants were burned to the water's edge.

Having completed his portrayal of the National calamities and perils, he proceeded:

A few years ago, we stood before this community two warn them of the dangers of sectional strife; but our fears were laughed at. At a later day, when the clouds of war overhung our country, we implored those in authority to compromise that difficulty; for we had been told by that great orator and statesman, Burke, that there never yet was a revolution that might not have been prevented by a compromise opportunely and graciously made. [Great applause.] Our prayers were unheeded. Again, when the contest was opened, we invoked those who had the conduct of affairs not to underrate the power of the adversary — not to underrate the courage, and resources, and endurance, of our own sister States. This warning was treated as sympathy with treason. You have the results of these unheeded warnings and unheeded prayers; they have stained our soil with blood; they have carried mourning into thousands of homes; and to-day they have brought our [500] country to the very verge of destruction. Once more, I come before you, to offer again an earnest prayer, and beg you to listen to a warning. Our country is not only at this time torn by one of the bloodiest wars that has ever ravaged the face of the earth; but, if we turn our faces to our own loyal States, how is it there? You find the community divided into political parties, strongly arrayed, and using with regard to each other terms of reproach and defiance. It is said by those who support more particularly the Administration, that we, who differ honestly, patriotically, sincerely, from them with regard to the line of duty, are men of treasonable purposes and enemies to our country. [ “ Hear, hear.” ] On the other hand, the Democratic organization look upon this Administration as hostile to their rights and liberties; they look upon their opponents as men who would do them wrong in regard to their most sacred franchises. I need not call your attention to the tone of the press, or to the tone of public feeling, to show you how, at this moment, parties are thus exasperated, and stand in defiant attitudes to each other. A few years ago, we were told that sectional strife. waged in words like these, would do no harm to our country; but you have seen the sad and bloody results. Let us be admonished now in time, and take care that this irritation, this feeling which is growing up in our midst, shall not also ripen into civil troubles that shall carry the evils of war into our own homes.

Upon one point, all are agreed, and that is this: Until we have a united North, we can have no successful war. Until we have a united, harmonious North, we can have no beneficent peace. How shall we gain harmony? How shall the unity of all be obtained? Is it to be coerced? I appeal to you, my Republican friends, when you say to us that the nation's life and existence hang upon harmony and concord here, if you yourselves, in your serious moments, believe that this is to be produced by seizing our persons, by infringing upon our rights, by insulting our homes, and by depriving us of those cherished principles for which our fathers fought, and to which we have always sworn allegiance. [Great applause.]

After some variations on this theme, he continues his appeal to Republicans in these words:

We only ask that you shall give to us that which you claim for yourselves, and that which every freeman, and every man who respects himself, will have, freedom of speech, the right to exercise all the franchises conferred by the Constitution upon American citizens. [Great applause.] Can you safely deny us these? Will you not trample upon your own rights if you refuse to listen? Do you not create revolution when you say that our persons may be rightfully seized, our property confiscated, our homes entered(? Are you not exposing yourselves, your own interests, to as great a peril as that with which you threaten us? Remember this, that the bloody, and treasonable, and revolutionary, doctrine of public necessity can be proclaimed by a mob as well as by a government. [Applause.] * * *

To-day, the great masses of conservatives who still battle for time-honored principles of government, amid denunciation, contumely, and abuse, are the only barriers that stand between this Government and its own destruction. If we should acquiesce in the doctrine that, in times of war, Constitutions are suspended, and laws have lost their force, then we should accept a doctrine that the very right by which this Government administers its power has lost its virtue, and we would be brought down to the level of rebellion itself, having an existence only by virtue of material power. When men accept despotism, they may have a choice as to who the despot shall be. The struggle then will not be, Shall we have constitutional liberty? But, having accepted the doctrine that the Constitution has lost its force, every instinct of personal ambition, every instinct of personal security, will lead men to put themselves under the protection of that power which they suppose most competent to guard their persons.

Near the close of his address, the Governor says:

We stand to-day amid new-made graves, in a land filled with mourning; upon a soil saturated with the blood of the fiercest conflict of which history gives us an account. We can, if we will, avert all these calamities, and evoke a blessing. If we will do what? Hold that Constitution, and] liberties, and laws, are suspended?--shrink back from the assertion of right? Will that restore them? Or shall we do as our fathers did, under circumstances of like trial, when they combated against the powers of a crown? They did not say that liberty was suspended; that men might be deprived of the right of trial by jury; that they might be torn from their homes by midnight intruders? [Tremendous and continued applause.] If you would save your country, and your liberties, begin right; begin at the hearth-stones, which are ever meant to be the foundations of American institutions; begin in your family circle; declare that your privileges shall be held sacred; and, having once proclaimed [501] your own rights, take care that you do not invade those of your neighbor. [Applause.]

These orations are mild and cautious compared with the great mass of Democratic harangues on this occasion. The allusions to Mr. Vallandigham's arrest as a lawless outrage, and to the States as guardians of the rights of their citizens (with direct reference to the impending draft, which Gov. Seymour, with the great mass of his party, was known to regard as unconstitutional), and all kindred indications of a purpose to resist the Federal Executive, even unto blood, in case his “usurpations” and “outrages” should be repeated and persisted in, were everywhere received with frenzied shouts of concurrence and approbation: and a proposition to organize at once to march on Washington, and hurl from power the tyrant enthroned in the White House, would have elicited even more frantic manifestations of delight and approval.

The first Draft in the city of New York for conscripts under the Enrollment Act was advertised to commence at the several enrollment offices soon afterward;36 and, as a preparation therefor, the several Democratic journals of that city seemed to vie with each other — especially in their issues of the eventful morning — in efforts to inflame the passions of those who at best detested the idea of braving peril, privation, suffering, and death, in the prosecution of an “ Abolition war.” That the enrollment here was excessive, and the quota required of the city was too high, were vehemently asserted; that there would be unfairness in the drawing of names from the wheel was broadly insinuated; but that the Draft itself--any Draft — was unconstitutional, needless, and an outrage on individual liberty and State rights, was more emphatically insisted on.

Said The Journal of Commerce:

It is a melancholy fact that war, sad and terrible as it is, becomes oftentimes the tool of evil-minded men to accomplish their ends. The horrors of its continuance are nothing to their view. The blood shed counts as of no value in their measurement. The mourning it causes produces no impression on their sensibilities. Such men lose all consciousness of personal responsibility for the war, and only look to selfish desires to be realized. What right has any man, or any class of men, to use this war for any purpose beyond its original object? If they, indeed, have diverted it from that, if they have prolonged it one day, added one drop of blood to its sacrifice, by their efforts to use it for other ends than its original design, then they are responsible before God and man for the blood and cost. There is no evading that responsibility.

Some men say, “ Now that the war has commenced, it must not be stopped till slaveholding is abolished.” Such men are neither more nor less than murderers. The name seems severe: it is nevertheless correct. Would it have been justifiable for the Northern States to commence a war on the Southern States for the sole purpose of abolishing Slavery in them? No! it would have been murder to commence such a war. By what reasoning, then,, does it become less murder to divert a war, commenced for other purposes, to that object? How can it be any less criminal to prolong a war, commenced for the assertion of governmental power, into a war for the suppression of Slavery, which, it is agreed, would have been unjustifiable and sinful if begun for that purpose?

Said The World:

Whether the weak and reckless men who temporarily administer the Federal Government are aware of the fact or not, it is undeniably a fact that the very existence of the Government they administer is quite as seriously involved, in the execution of the conscription which they are now putting in force. as it has been in any other measure or event of the war. The act itself, which should never have been framed, except with the most absolute deference to the Constitution [502] and on the broadest attainable basis of representative support, was fairly forced to its passage through the Constitution and over the restraints and decencies of Senatorial debate. Such were the circumstances which attended its final passage, that one might almost have supposed the National legislature to be an oligarchic conspiracy plotting a vast scheme of military servitude, rather than the council of a great people giving form to its independent determination and organizing its force for the assertion of its freedom. The idea of a military conscription being in itself profoundly repugnant to the American mind, it might have been supposed that unusual steps would have been taken by the friends of that resort to present it with the utmost possible frankness, and in the light best adapted to dissipate the popular hostility.

Nothing of the sort was done. A measure which could not have been ventured upon in England even in those dark days when the press-gang filled the English ships-of-war with slaves, and dimmed the glory of England's noblest naval heroes — a measure wholly repugnant to the habits and prejudices of our people — was thrust into the statute-book, as one might say, almost by force. It was not only a conscription, but an act passed by conscription.

The natural consequences followed. Hundreds of thousands of loyal citizens were led to look with distrust and concern upon the passage of the bill. Men who would not hesitate for a moment to risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors, upon the summons of airy legitimate National authority, became discontented and dissatisfied with what they regarded (whether justly or unjustly is not now to the point) as an unnecessary stretch of Governmental control over individual liberty.

Said The Daily News :

It is sincerely to be hoped that measures will be taken to test the constitutionality of the law which threatens to remove sixty-odd thousand of our citizens from the State of New York, before a single individual is permitted to be forced, against his will, to take part in the ungodly conflict which is distracting the land. It is said that Gov. Seymour openly expresses his belief that neither the President nor Congress, without the consent of the State authorities, has any right to enforce such an act as is now being carried into effect under the auspices of the War Department; but that he thinks his interference would do more harm than good, and that the question ought to be settled by the courts.

The manner in which the draft is being conducted in New York is such an outrage upon all decency and fairness as has no parallel, and can find no apologists. No proclamation has been issued upon the subject; and it is only a matter of surmise whether 300,000 or 600,000 men are to be raised. If, as is supposed, 300,000 additional troops are to be added to the Union Army by the present conscription, the proper quota to be drawn from this city would be about 12,000 of our citizens. Instead of this number, however, over 22,000 are being drafted; and, with 50 per cent. extra required for exemptions, 33,000! No allowance is made for the militia who are in Pennsylvania and Maryland; and the $300 to be paid by rich conscripts, instead of purchasing substitutes, is to be diverted, against the spirit of the law, to some other direction.

The evident aim of those who have the Conscription Act in hand, in this State, is to lessen the number of Democratic votes at the next election. The miscreants at the head of the Government are bending all their powers, as was revealed in the late speech of Wendell Phillips at Framingham, to securing a perpetuation of their ascendency for another four years; and their triple method of accomplishing this purpose is, to kill off Democrats, stuff the ballot-boxes with bogus soldier votes, and deluge recusant districts with negro suffrages. The crafty, quiet way in which the enrollment has been carried on, forestalled both criticism and opposition. Nevertheless, the work has neither been fairly performed, nor has it been thorough. And, now that it is over, the people are notified that one out of about two and a half of our citizens are destined to be brought off into Messrs. Lincoln & Company's charnel-house. God forbid! We hope that instant measures will be taken to prevent the outrage, and to secure such a decision from our courts as will exempt New York from further compelled participation in the suicidal war which is desolating the land.

A most incendiary hand-bill appeal to the people to rise for the vindication of their liberties had been circulated anonymously throughout the city on the night before the 4th, with evident intent to incite an insurrectionary movement on that day; but the tidings received by telegraph of Meade's success at Gettysburg, calling all the supporters of the War into the streets and inclining its opponents [503] to solitude and seclusion, interfered with the execution of the programme. But now, inflamed by the appeals of their favorite journals, the commencement of drafting in our several districts was marked by the gathering — especially in the up-town districts, where there is a compact population of laborers, mainly of foreign birth — of excited crowds, who soon proceeded to violence, arson, and bloodshed.

In the IXth Congress district, comprising the most northerly wards of the City, largely peopled by railroad employes and other foreign-born laborers, the drawing commenced at 10 A. M., in the house where the enrollment had been made, at the corner of Third Avenue and 46th-street, in the presence of some 300 persons, mainly spectators. Half an hour thereafter, when 75 to 100 names had been drawn, while all was quiet and orderly within the building, a pistol was fired in the street, where a large crowd had rapidly assembled; whereupon, a shower of brickbats and other missiles was hurled at the house, and the crowd rushed in, driving out the officers and clerks, tearing up the papers, and taking complete possession. In a few minutes, one of the rioters produced a can of spirits of turpentine, which he poured over the floor and set fire to it, and the building was soon in flames — the policemen and draft officers who attempted resistance being driven off by showers of stones--Mr. John A. Kennedy, Superintendent of Police, who was present in plain clothes, being recognized and severely beaten. A small force of the Invalid Corps soon appeared, but was promptly overpowered and driven off by the mob, now swelled to furious thousands; and a strong detachment of the police, which attempted to disperse or drive the mob, was likewise worsted and forced to retreat. The firemen, who were tardy in their appearance, and who were cheered and applauded by the mob, made no effort to save the obnoxious house in which the fire had been kindled, but finally arrested the progress of the conflagration; though not till several more houses had been destroyed, and the bulk of the mob had moved off to other scenes of outrage and devastation.

The organized militia of the city were generally absent in the interior of Pennsylvania; the Government had no military force within call but a handful on Governor's island and in the forts commanding the seaward approaches; while the Police, though well organized and efficient, was not competent to deal with a virtual insurrection which had the great body of the foreign-born laborers of our city at its back, with nearly every one of the 10,000 grog-shops for its block-houses and recruiting-stations. The outbreak had manifestly been premeditated and prearranged; and the tidings of its initial success, being instantly diffused throughout the city, incited an outpouring into the streets of all who dreaded the Draft, hated the War, or detested Abolitionists and Negroes as the culpable causes of both. The rioters constantly augmented their numbers by calling at the gas-houses, railroad offices, workshops, and great manufactories, and there demanding that all work should be stopped and the laborers allowed to fall into their ranks — a demand which, through sympathy or cowardice, was too generally acceded to. Of [504] course, the thieves, burglars, and other predatory classes, the graduates of European prisons and the scum and sediment of Old-World felony, who bytens of thousands have their lairs in the great emporium, were too glad to embrace the opportunity afforded them to plunder and ravage under the garb of popular resistance to Abolition despotism, and made haste to swell the ranks and direct the steps of the drunken, bellowing, furious mob, who now rushed through street after street, attacking the dwellings of peaceful citizens who were stigmatized as Abolitionists, or who were exposed to odium by some sort of connection with the Government. By 3 P. M., the rioters had become many thousands in number; and they were probably more numerous throughout the two following days.

The most revolting feature of this carnival of crime and villainous madness was the uniform maltreatment to which the harmless, frightened Blacks were subjected. That The Tribune building should have been for days beleaguered by a yelling, frantic crowd, who constantly sought to incite each other to an attack which they were too careful of their own safety to make (save once, just at dark of the first day, before it had been armed, and when they for a moment had possession of the business office, and had just time to dismantle and set it on fire before they were charged and driven out by the Police), was quite intelligible, if not so clearly justifiable; and so of the attacks on enrollment offices, arsenals, police stations, &c.; but that an inoffensive negro boy should be hunted at full speed by a hundred White miscreants intent on his murder, while many a poor Black woman had her humble habitation sacked and devastated as she narrowly escaped into the street — barely saving her life, and nothing else — several of this abused race being killed without even a suggestion or suspicion of fault on their part, and all the rest put in mortal terror — was an exhibition of human fiendishness which the Nineteenth Century has rarely paralleled. In one case that was noted, (and there were doubtless others as atrocious,) a colored boy not ten years of age was set upon in the most public part of the city, and pelted with sticks and stones by scores of men and boys until he managed to make his escape. In another case, a Black man, no otherwise obnoxious save by his color, was chased, caught, hung, and all his clothing burned off. His dead body remained hanging for hours, until cut down by the Police.37

The Colored Orphan Asylum was [505] one of the noblest charities of the city. It had a spacious and elegant edifice, worth, with its furniture, some $200,000, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 46th-street, not far from the enrolling office, where the riots began. It was a school as well as an asylum, affording shelter, sustenance, and Christian nurture, to some 200 colored orphans, under the patronage and management of a society of philanthropic ladies. At 5 P. M., a vast mob surrounded it, disabled or drove off the few policemen who attempted to bar an entrance, and, having afforded time for the hasty exit of the inmates, fired and destroyed the edifice and all its remaining contents; having meantime stolen a liberal share of the carpets, iron bedsteads, and other portable furniture, which women stood ready, at a little distance, to carry off, so soon as they were handed to them by their husbands or sons. Some of the garments, which the fleeing inmates had left behind in their haste, were thus appropriated. The cool, business-like manner wherein this wholesale robbery and arson were perpetrated astonished even the most callous reporters. A liberal but not very responsible offer of “$500 for the sight of a Black Republican,” chalked in gigantic letters on the fence of the adjacent cattle-market, failed to elicit any proffers.

The enrolling office of the VIIIth District stood at the corner of Broadway and 29th-st., in a block of stores filled with costly goods, including a goldsmith's shop, heavily stocked with watches and jewelry. These were speedily stripped of their contents and then fired; the firemen here, as at the Orphan Asylum and elsewhere, being forbidden to play on the obnoxious building — an order which the mass of them seemed quite too willing to obey. In twenty minutes after the matches were ignited, the walls fell with a loud crash. The firemen were allowed to play upon and save, so far as they might, all structures not obnoxious to the rioters.

The riots, thus begun on Monday, July 13th, were kept up throughout the three following days, and extended to Brooklyn, where an expensive new Grain Elevator, worth $100,000, which was obnoxious as reducing the demand for labor, was among the buildings burned. But, by this time, some soldiers had been called in from the military posts in the harbor, and some militia mustered in the city; so that, though there was more fighting than on the first day, there was less devastation; and the loss of life was decidedly greatest on the side of the rioters, who were gradually crowded back into those quarters where they were naturally strongest, and no longer plundered and burned at will. But the running of the city railroads was generally stopped by the mob on these days, in order to impede the movements of the defenders of order, as well as to swell the ranks of the rioters; laborers could not be obtained to load vessels in port, and the industry of the city was very generally paralyzed.

But a riot stoutly confronted and checked has reached its culminating point; and this one--which would almost certainly have broken out on [506] the 4th, but for the news of Lee's defeat at Gettysburg — was now prosecuted under the heavy discouragement of the full tidings of Grant's triumph at Vicksburg; while the first news of Banks's capture of Port Hudson, of Holmes's bloody repulse at Helena, and of Gillmore's initial success on Morris island, now pouring in from day to day, proved a quick succession of wet blankets for the spirits of the rioters.

Gov. Seymour had been in the city on the Saturday previous; but left that afternoon for New Jersey, and did not return till Tuesday forenoon; when he was at once escorted to the City Hall, and thence addressed the crowd who flocked thither — many if not most of them from the mob just before menacing The Tribune office — as follows:

My Friends: I have come down here from the quiet of the country to see what was the difficulty — to learn what all this trouble was concerning the Draft. Let me assure you that I am your friend. [Uproarious cheering.] You have been my friends--[cries of “Yes,” “Yes,” “That's so:” ‘We are, and will be again’]--and now I assure you, my fellow citizens, that I am here to show you a test of my friendship. [Cheers.] I wish to inform you that I have sent my Adjutant-General to Washington to confer with the authorities there, and to have this Draft suspended and stopped. [Vociferous cheers.] I now ask you, as good citizens, to wait for his return; and I assure you that I will do all that I can to see that there is no inequality, and no wrong done any one. I wish you to take good care of all property as good citizens, and see that every person is safe. The safe-keeping of property and persons rests with you; and I charge you to disturb neither. It is your duty to maintain the good order of the city; and I know you will do it. I wish you now to separate as good citizens, and you can assemble again whenever you wish to do so. I ask you to leave all to me now, and I will see to your rights. Wait until my Adjutant returns from Washington, and you shall be satisfied. Listen to me, and see that no harm is done to either persons or property, but retire peaceably.

The most objectionable feature of this brief address was not its initial salutation, but its underlying assumption that order and obedience to law were suspended on the stoppage of the Draft. True, he did not in terms say, “It would be right to riot, and burn buildings, and hunt negroes, and slaughter officers, if the Draft were to go on; but I will have it stopped and given up; so go home and keep the peace;” but, to the minds of the rioters, his speech amounted exactly to that. Hence, there was great danger that tranquillity thus attained would be broken whenever the attempt to enforce the Draft should be renewed. And it was already well understood — indeed, it had been proposed to prominent Republicans the day before — that, if they would promise that the Draft should be arrested, the riots should thereupon be stopped.

The riots continued during the fourth day (Thursday); but were then mainly restricted to isolated robberies and assaults on unprotected negroes, many of whom were most inhumanly abused, and two or three murdered. The only continuously embodied force of rioters held the eastern upper part of the city, where many large tenement houses are densely crowded with the poorest of our foreign-born population, and where Col. O'Brien, who had been in command of a volunteer military force, had been followed to his home on Tuesday, and there beaten to death by the rioters, under circumstances of shocking barbarity. Here, especially in and near 21st-st., eastward of Third Avenue, a determined stand was made, during the evening of Thursday, by the rioters, against [507] a small body of soldiers under Capt. Putnam, 12th regulars, whom Gen. Harvey Brown, commanding in the city under Gen. Wool, had sent to quell the riot, and who did it, by ordering his men to fire at those who were hurling missiles at them from the house-tops, while a body of artillerymen entered the houses and made prisoners of their male inmates. Capt. Putnam returned 13 killed, 18 wounded, and 24 prisoners; while of his men but two or three suffered injury. The whole amount of property destroyed by the rioters, for which the City was held responsible to the owners, was valued at about $2,000,000.

During this night and the following day, several regiments of our disciplined Militia arrived, on their return from Pennsylvania, soon followed by other regiments of veterans from the Army of the Potomac; and it would not thereafter have been safe to attempt rioting. The City authorities now appropriated large (borrowed) sums to pay bounties for volunteers; so that the City's quotas were substantially filled without recourse to drafting: the Government much preferring volunteers, of course, but utterly unwilling, because unable, to forego a resort to drafting when men were not otherwise forthcoming. In other words, it could not admit that its right to endure depended on the volunteering in sufficient numbers of citizens to defend its existence.

There were simultaneous and subsidiary riots in Boston, in Jersey City, and at Troy and Jamaica, N. Y.; with preliminary perturbations in many other places; but all these were plainly sympathetic with and subordinate to the New York effort, and quickly subsided when that was overborne. So there was, at different periods of the War, forcible resistance offered to conscription in two or three counties of Wisconsin, perhaps a few more of Pennsylvania, and possibly two or three other localities. But in no single instance was there a riot incited by drafting, wherein Americans by birth bore any considerable part, nor in which the great body of the actors were not born Europeans, and generally of recent importation. Considering how wide-spread, earnest, intense, was the feeling of repugnance to the War, especially after it had assumed an anti-Slavery aspect, this fact tends strongly to establish the natural strength in a republic of the sentiment of deference to law and to rightful authority, even when that authority is held to be abused or perverted.

Gov. Seymour next appealed38 to the President, urging a suspension of the Draft, because of the alleged excessive quota required of the urban districts of his State--saying

It is just to add that the Administration owes this to itself; as these inequalities fall most heavily on those districts which have been opposed to its political views.

He further insisted that the enforcement of the Draft be postponed till after its constitutionality shall have been adjudged by the courts — saying:

It is believed by at least one-half of the people of the loyal States that the Conscription Act, which they are called upon to obey because it is on the statute-book, is in itself a violation of the supreme constitutional law. There is a fear and suspicion that, while they are threatened with the severest penalties of the law, they are to be deprived of its protection. * * * I do not dwell upon what I believe would be the consequence of a violent, harsh policy before the constitutionality [508] of the Act is tested. You can scan the immediate future as well as I. The temper of the people to-day you can readily learn.

At this time, Democratic organizations and meetings were denouncing the Draft as unconstitutional, and calling on the Governor to invoke the military power of the State to maintain its sovereignty and rightful jurisdiction, and protect its citizens from a ruthless conscription.

President Lincoln, in response39 to the Governor's appeal, after proposing to suspend the Draft in the City districts, in so far as it was claimed to be excessive, until after a fair and rigid scrutiny, said:

I do not object to abide the decision of the United States Supreme Court, or of the Judges thereof, on the constitutionality of the Draft law. In fact, I should be willing to facilitate the obtaining of it. But I cannot consent to lose the time while it is being obtained. We are contending with an enemy who, as I understand, drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a slaughter-pen. No time is wasted, no argument is used. This produces an army which will soon turn upon our now victorious soldiers already in the field, if they shall not be sustained by recruits as they should be. It produces an army with a rapidity not to be matched on our side, if we first waste time to reexperiment with tile volunteer system, already deemed by Congress, and palpably, in fact, so far exhausted as to be inadequate; and then more time to obtain a Court decision as to whether a law is constitutional which requires a part of those not now in the service to go to the aid of those who are already in it; and still more time to determine with absolute certainty that we get those who are to go in the precisely legal proportion to those who are not to go. My purpose is to be in my action just and constitutional, and yet practical, in performing the important duty with which I am charged, of maintaining the unity and the free principles of our common country.

The Autumnal Elections inevitably hinged on and embodied the popular judgment on the issues thus made up; and the brighter prospects of the National cause were reflected in the general success of the Republican candidates.

Vermont--the first to vote thereafter40--did, indeed, show a reduction of her always heavy Republican majority — the Democratic party having made no effort41 in 1862, and now doing its best; whereas, her election in the former year had been unaffected by the wave of depression and discouragement that swept soon afterward over the loyal States. California voted next:42 going “Union ” throughout by a very large majority43--nearly equal to that of 1861; but Maine--voting somewhat later44--felt the full impulse of the swelling tide, and showed it in her vote.45

But the October Elections were far more significant and decisive. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Andrew G. Curtin--who had aided the war to the extent of his ability — was presented by the Republicans for reelection; while the Democrats opposed to him Judge Geo. W. Woodward46 who, it was certified, had declared in 1861--“If the Union is to be divided, I want the line of separation run north of Pennsylvania” --and who, not far from the day of election, united with [509] his Democratic brethren on the bench of the Supreme Court in adjudging the Enrollment Act unconstitutional. It was hardly possible to make an issue more distinctly than was here made between the supporters and the contemners of the War for the Union; yet Gen. McClellan--still a Major-General in full pay, though not in active service — wrote a letter for publication in the canvass, wherein he declared that--

Having, some days ago, had a full conversation with Judge Woodward, I find that our views agree; and I regard his election as Governor of Pennsylvania called for by the interests of the nation.

The canvass in this State was exceedingly animated and earnest; the vote polled at the election47 exceeded, by many thousands, any ever cast before; and the result was decisive. Though the vote of the preceding year had shown no decided preponderance of either party,48 but gave the Legislature and a U. S. Senator to the Democrats, that of 1863 reelected Gov. Curtin by more than 15,00049 majority, and established the ascendency of the Republicans in every branch of the State Government. For — as if to render the popular verdict more emphatic--Chief Justice Lowrie, who pronounced the decision of the Supreme Court, adjudging the Enrollment Act unconstitutional, was a candidate for reelection, opposed by Daniel Agnew, Republican, by whom — though comparatively unknown to the people — he was conclusively beaten.50 And the Court, as thus reconstituted by the election of Judge Agnew, reviewed and reversed51 the decision pronounced by Chief Justice Lowrie. Said Judge Agnew, in his opinion:

The constitutional authority to use the national forces creates a corresponding duty to provide a number adequate to the necessity. The duty is vital and essential, falling back on the fundamental right of self-preservation, and the powers expressed to declare war, raise armies, maintain navies, and provide for the common defense. Power and duty now go hand in land with the extremity, until every available man in the nation is called into service, if the emergency requires it; and of this there can be no judge but Congress.

Justices David Davis (Circuit) and S. H. Treat (District) in Illinois,52 and Justice Nathan K. Hall (District) in Northern New York, also pronounced judgments in cases brought before them, affirming the constitutionality of the Enrollment Act and of drafting under it. No Federal Judge ever made a contrary decision.

Ohio — by reason of the unrevoked and continuing banishment of Mr. Vallandigham--was the arena of a contest equally earnest and somewhat more heated. The public meetings, especially those of the Democrats, were enormously attended throughout the canvass, and were brimmed with enthusiasm. Yet, when the vote was polled,53 the Democratic majority of 5,00054 on Secretary of State, in 1862, was found to have given place to a “Union” majority on Governor of over One Hundred Thousand,55 and, even without the Soldiers' vote, of more than Sixty Thousand.56 And, though the majority on the residue of the ticket was [510] somewhat less, it still ranged from 96,445 up to 97,479; while the new Legislature stood 29 to 5 in the Senate and 73 to 24 in the House. Yet the soldiers in the field — who had given 41,467 votes for Brough to 2,088 for Vallandigham — regretted that the election had not taken place before instead of soon after the sanguinary battle of Chickamauga; which, they safely calculated, had reduced Gov. Brough's majority by several thousand votes.

Of the Western States, Indiana and Illinois chose only county or local officers this year; but the results as to these sufficed to show that a great revolution had taken place, and that their Democratic Legislatures, elected in 1862, and the U. S. Senators chosen57 by them, were already disowned by their constituents. Iowa elected a Legislature almost entirely Republican, and a Governor and Judge of like faith by over 30,000 majority;58 Wisconsin likewise — not voting till late59--rolled up a very heavy majority60 on every ticket, though she had been very evenly divided in 1862, and had only been saved by the votes of her soldiers in the field from going61 Democratic at a Judicial election in April of this year. Minnesota of course went Republican now, by a majority largely above62 that of last year. In Michigan — which only elected by general vote a Regent of her University in 1863, and this early in the year — there was an inconsiderable increase in the Republican majority and vote.63

In the Atlantic States, but especially in New York — the arena of the most formidable and bloodiest of the Draft Riots — the popular reaction evinced by the State Election of 1863 was most incontestable: Gov. Seymour's majority of over 10,000 in 1862 being reversed by one of nearly 30,00064 for the Republican State ticket, with a corresponding Legislature; while Massachusetts--upon a far lighter vote than in 1862--gave a much larger majority.65 And Maryland filled the measure of National triumph by electing Unionists to Congress in four of her five districts, and, for the first time, a distinctively Emancipation Controller and Legislature by some 20,000 majority. New Jersey chose only a Legislature this year, and hence evinced no essential change; while in Delaware, which had to choose specially a Representative in Congress, the Democrats withdrew their candidate on the eve of Election, insisting that the voters were to be overawed, if not worse, [511] by Federal provost marshals and soldiers, under the guise of repressing disloyal utterances and seditious manifestations. The results in Kentucky, Missouri, and other Slave States than Maryland, had very little enduring or general significance; but it was evident, from the verdict of the States nowise exposed to Military “coercion,” that public opinion had by this time grown to the full stature of the Proclamation of Freedom, and had settled into a determination that Slavery must die and the Union survive, through the overthrow by force of all forcible resistance to the integrity and rightful authority of the one Republic.

1 Dec. 13, 1862.

2 Dec. 28.

3 July 3, 1863.

4 July 4.

5 July 9.

6 Jan. 1, 1863.

7 May 3-5, 1863.

8 By dispatch of M. Drouyn de <*>uys, Jan. 9, 1863.

9 March 10.

10 Eastman, Dem., 32,833; Gilmore, Rep., 29,035; Harriman, Union or War Dem., 4,372: Eastman lacks of a majority, 574.

11 April 1.

12 For Governor: Smith, Rep., 10,828; Cozzens, Dem., 7,537.

13 April 6.

14 Buckingham, 41,032; Seymour, 38,395.

15 See page 254.

16 April 16, 1862.

17 March 3, 1863.

18 Chief Justice Lowrie and Justices Woodward and Thompson.

19 See Vol. I., pp. 459-60. The Democratic Governors were a unit.

20 April 27, 1861.

21 May 2.

22 July 2.

23 Sept. 24, 1862.

24 May 3.

25 Sept. 15

26 March 3, 1863.

27 April 3.

28 May 4.

29 May 16.

30 June 11.

31 June 26.

32 June 29.

33 July 1.

34 The arbitrary suppression, within a certain military department, by the General commanding therein, of the circulation of two or three journals deemed by him disloyal, having provoked much discussion and excited some alarm, a meeting of the journalists of New York was held at the Astor House, June 8th, and the following declaration of sentiments unanimously adopted:

Whereas, Recent events indicate the existence of grave misapprehensions and lamentable confusion of ideas with regard to this vital question; therefore,

Resolved, That our conceptions of the rights and duties of the Press, in a season of convulsion and public peril, like the present, are briefly summed up in the following propositions:

1. We recognize and affirm the duty of fidelity to the Constitution, Government, and laws of our country, as a high moral as well as political obligation resting on every citizen; anil neither claim for ourselves nor concede to others any exemption from its requirements or privilege to evade their sacred and binding force.

2. That Treason and Rebellion arc crimes, by the fundamental law of this as of every other country; and nowhere else so culpable, so abhorrent, as in a republic, where each has an equal voice and vote in the peaceful and legal direction of public affairs.

3. While we thus emphatically disclaim and deny any right, as inhering in journalists or others, to incite, advocate, abet, uphold, or justify treason or rebellion, we respectfully but firmly assert and maintain the right of the Press to criticise freely and fearlessly the acts of those charged with the administration of the government, also those of all their civil and military subordinates, whether with intent directly to secure greater energy, efficiency, and fidelity in the public service, or in order to achieve the same ends more remotely, through the substitution of other persons for those now in power.

4. That any limitations of this right created by the necessities of war should be confined to localities wherein hostilities actually exist, or are imminently threatened; and we deny the right of any military officer to suppress the issues or forbid the general circulation of journals printed hundreds of miles from the seat of war.

35 See his letter to Jeff. Davis, Vol. I., p. 512.

36 Monday, July 13.

37 The Tribune of July 15 said:

It is absurd and futile to attribute this outburst of ruffianism to any thing else than sympathy with the Rebels. If, as some pretend, it results from dissatisfaction with the $300 exemption, why are negroes indiscriminately assailed and beaten almost or quite to death? Did they prescribe this exemption? On the contrary, are they not almost uniformly poor men, themselves exposed to the draft, and unable to pay $300? What single thing have they done to expose them to this infernal, cowardly ruffianism? What can be alleged against them, unless it be that they are generally hostile to the Slaveholders' Rebellion? And how are the drafting officers responsible for the $300 clause?

We may just as well look the facts in the face? These riots are “a fire in the rear” on our country's defenders in the field. They are, in purpose and in essence, a diversion in favor of Jeff. Davis and Lee. Listen to the yells of the mob, and the harangues of its favorite orators, and you will find them surcharged with “nigger,” “Abolition,” “Black Republican,” denunciation of prominent Republicans. The Tribune, &c., &c.--all very wide of the draft and tho exemption. Had the Abolitionists, instead of the Slaveholders. revolted, and undertaken to upset the Government and dissolve the Union, nine-tenths of these rioters would have eagerly volunteered to put them down. It is the fear, stimulated by the recent and glorious triumphs of the Union arms, that Slavery and the Rebelliou must suffer, which is at the bottom of all this arson, devastation, robbery, and murder. And this fact should arouse every devotee of Liberty and Law to oppose to the rioters the sternest resistance.

38 Aug. 3.

39 Aug. 7.

40 Sept. 1.


1862. Republican. Democratic.
Gov. Holbrook, 30,032. Smalley, 3,724.
1863 Republican. Democratic.
J. G. Smith, 29,613. Redfield, 11,962.

42 Sept. 3.


1863. Union. Democratic.
Gov. F. F. Low, 64,447. Downey, 44,715.

44 Sept. 14.


1862. Repub. War Dem. Peace Dem.
Gov. Coburn, Jameson, Bradbury,
45,534 7,178 32,331
1863-- Gov. Cony, Bradbury,
  68,299 50,583

46 See his “ Peace” speech, Vol. I., pp. 363-5.

47 Oct. 8.


1862. Aud. Gen., Rep. Dem.
Cochrane, 215,616. Slenker, 219,140.

49 1863. Curtin, 269,496; Woodward, 254,171.

50 Agnew, 267,257; Lowrie, 254,855.

51 Jan. 16, 1864.

52 June 16, 1864.

53 Oct. 8.

54 Kennon, Rep., 178,755; Armstrong, Dem., 184,332.

55 Brough, 288,661; Vallandigham, 187,562.

56 Brough, 247,194; Vallandigham, 185,274.

57 Charles R. Buckalew in Pennsylvania; Thomas A. Hendricks in Indiana.

58 The rival candidates for Governor were Col. Wm. M. Stone (Republican) and Gen. S. Tuttle (Democrat), both at that time in the volunteer service. Their official vote is not at hand; but it was very nearly that cast at the same election for Judge of the Supreme Court, which was as follows:

  Home. Soldiers'. Total.
Dillon (Repub.) 68,306 17,435 85,741
Mason (Dem.) 50,829 2,289 53,068
Repub. majority, 17,477 15,046 32,673

59 Nov. 3.

60 Total vote for Governor: James T. Lewis (Repub.), 79,959; Palmer (Dem.), 55,248.


Home vote: Repub., 51,948 Dem., 56,840
Soldiers' vote: Repub., 9,440 Dem., 1,747
Total — Dixon,   61,388 Cothren, 58,587


In 1862 (Cong.), Repub., 15,754 Dem. 11,442
In 1863 (Gov.), Repub., 19,515 Dem. 12,722


In 1862--Gov., Repub., 67,716 Dem. 62,102
In 1863--Regent, Repub., 68,992 Dem. 61,913

64 Total vote for Sec. State: Depew (Repub.), 314,347; St. John (Dem.), 284,942.


In 1862, Gov. Andrew, 80,835 Devens, 52,587
In 1863, Gov. Andrew, 70,483 Paine, 29,207

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