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person shall be arrested, restrained, banished | Rights" in Massachusetts, in 1780, it is laid dismembered nor any ways punished, no man down thatshall be deprived of his wife and children, no man's goods or estate shall be taken away from him, nor any way endangered under color of law or countenance of authority, unless it by virtue or equity of some express law of the country warranting the same, &c.
"No man's person shall be restrained or imprisoned by any authority whatsoever, before the law hath sentenced him thereto, if he can put in sufficient security, bail or mainprise," &c.
Thus was sown the seeds of English liberty on American soil. But for a long series of years prior to the declarations of Independence King George had been riviting the chains of servitude on the American colonies, who had borne it until forbearance ceased to be a virtue, when on the 4th of July, 1776-135 years after the first declaration of American liberties -the American colonies by their Deputies, put forth the immortal Declaration, drawn by the inspired pen of Thos. Jefferson. It will be seen that among the many complaints, on which should stand or fall our claim to separation and
"No person shall be held to answer for any crime or offense, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally described. to him. And no person shall be arrested or imprisoned, or despoiled or deprived of his property, immunities or privileges, put out of the protection of the law, or deprived of life, liberty or estate, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.
"Every person has a right to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizures of his
person, his house, his papers and all his possessions.
The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state.
"The people have a right to keep and bear arms for the common defense. The military shall always be held in exact subordination to the civil authority and be governed by it.
"The people have a right in an orderly and peacable manner to assemble to consult upon the common good.
"The power of suspending the laws ought never to be exercised but by the Legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the Legisla ture shall expressly provide for.
freedom, the rendering the military independ-law martial, or to any penalties or pains by "No person can, in any case, be subjected to ent of, and superior to the civil power, the de- virtue of that law except those employed in the nial of the right of trial by jury, and transport-army or navy, and except the militia in actual ing us to foreign lands to be tried for pretend- service, but by authority of the Legislature." ed offences were not among the least.
"He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to the civil power. "For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury.
"For transporting us beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offenses."
Reader, have you seen nothing of late that Savors of outrages thus complained of in our Magna Charter cf freedom?
And again: in the Virginia "Bill of Rights" of 1776, written also by JEFFERSON, it is declared that
"All power is invested in, and consequently derived from the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amendable to them.
"All power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.
"In all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Such, reader, were understood to be Americon rights, in our Revolutionary period, the men loved their country for the sake of the common blessings to flow from its just and wise laws, honestly administered. Such the liberty of the inaugurating that good system of fundamental law that pervades the Constitution of the United States and every State in the Union. Let us look at the "Great Charter' of the Union. . Here is enough to settle
the point without bloodshed.
"The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority.
"The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury, and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed.
"Treason against the United States shall consist ONLY in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two wit"Freedom of the press is one of the greatnesses to the same overt act, or on confession bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained, but by the despotic governments."
And yet again: in the "Declaration of
in open court.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the free
dom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grie
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons and things to be seized.
"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 and public danger; nor shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.
"In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and District wherein the crime shall have been committed, which District shall have been previously ascertained by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
"All Legislative powers herein granted, shall be vested in a Congress of the United
"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in case of rebellion or invasion the public safety requires it."
To the last paragraph we would devote a word or two. So great has been the desire to see the rebellion crushed, and no impediment put in the way of those who would honestly do it, that many Democrats justified the act of the President in suspending the writ in Maryland, before that state was brought under the full control of the U. S. power. It was then an open question, whether the President or Congress had the full or concurrent power to suspend this writ. Republican great men and Democratic statesmen differed on the subject. But that matters not for our present purpose. All agree that our fathers, in framing the Constitution, did conceive of a possible necessity that might require the suspension of this inestimable right,and they provided that somebody might use it when necessary. But the reason
able construction is, that no man has a right to suspend that writ in districts where the civil power is loyal, and is not impeded or menaced by hostile forces. All know that in a state of actual conflict, within hostile lines, the civil power however loyal may be its agents, is not safe to trust with the trial and punishment of traitors, who may be leagued in such vast numbers as to defy all civil process. Especially where the judicial agencies are justly suspected of disloyalty, it is proper to suspend this writ but never -NFVER-NEVER in a district where the civil power is omnipotent. Nor is it a safe doctrine to hold that if Congress has the power to suspend the writ (and that is now the conceded fact), that power can be delegated to the President, or to any other branch of government agencies. For if Congress can delegate power in this instance, it may in all, and it may invest the President: with every other power it pleases-the making of laws, treaties, trial of impeachments, &c. In fact, Congress may declare the Presiden supreme law giver and dictator. This proposition is too absurd to require argument to enforce it, and yet, it is precisely what Congress has attempted, in delegating a portion of its power to the President. Suppose that any man in either of the loyal states should be arrested on suspicion of being disloyal to the Government. Does any one believe it would be unsafe to trust any judge in his county, or his state, even, to hear and determine the charges, and that if he was really proven guilty, does any man believe any judge in his state would connive at his release? Such an idea would be monstrous to entertain. There is no excuse then, in the loyal states for suspending this writ. Not a man in the loyal North, (save a host of leading Republicans) has raised his voice against the Government, and all, save those disunionists, would fight, if necessary, to defend it.
All, then, have one common interest in seeing the laws and all legal orders obeyed. But the purest under the late order, the best man, patriot we have in any state may be "suspected" by some personal enemy, and by false accusations arrested for "disloyal practices," and bundled off to a foreign bastile, without ever being informed what he was arrested for. We have hundreds of such cases to fill up the black list of tyranny and personal revenge.— 'Tis but a few days since we heard of General
Prince, of the army, who was liberated from Fort Lafayette, and for the first time acquainted with the charge against him, which was for stealing horses he was taking over the line, when he pulled out a "pass" for the identical horses, which he had in his pocket at the time, and which he could have shown at the time, if permitted to know the charges against him, showing that the horses were his own. Thus, with the evidence of his innocence in his pocket from a high commanding officer, he was arrested without charges, and locked in loathsome dungeons for months, as a test of the tyrant's power. Reader, your turn may come next. As you sit reading this, some secret personal enemy may be plotting your arrest, and you may be sent to some foreign Bastile, and there waste away in duress, without ever knowing the charges against you.
Is this the "freedom" our early fathers proclaimed, in 1641, on the historical Rock of Plymouth, and for which they risked their lives, their fortunes, and their most sacred honors, during the fearful period that ushered in the freest of the free among the families of nations? Is this the kind of "freedom" we have heard so much about for the last twentyfive years, sung in the school room, chanted in the cloister, doled from the press, preached from the pulpit, and thundered from the Abolition Vaticans? Is this the "freedom" we are now fighting for? Let us see if we find any warrant for such belief in our own Magna Charta, the Constitution, which is but a reflex of all preceuing state constitutions on this "free" continent, whose tap root reaches down through a long line of freedom's consanguinity, o the Great Charter wrung from King John, by a crude, though outraged people. Here are a few gems from our Bill of Rights-from Article I:
criminal offense unless upon the presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases of impeachment, or in cases cognizable by Justices of the Peace, or arisinging in the Army or Navy or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger." "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."
Now, no one will pretend the loyal North is "invaded," or. that we have a "rebellion" within our borders and yet the writ of habeas corpus is suspended.
"Treason against the state shall consist only in levying war against the same, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort."
We deny that there is a man in the loyal states, known to any person, who comes under this definition of treason.
"The military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power."
Now, who has a right to disobey these fundamental commands? Are our liberties safe when our inalienable rights are set aside? Who can contemplate the parallel history of Jacobinism and red Republicanism in France, without a shudder. The Peninsular wars and the French Revolution all furnish us material for the most serious alarm. Read the 10th and 14th chapter of Allison's History of Europe, and read the "Law of Suspected persons.' Here is an extract that now suits our "commissioner" trial system to a T. [See Allison's History of Europe, vol. 1, p. 219.
"Thenceforward, the committee of public safety at Paris exercised, without opposition, all the powers of government; it named and dismissed the Generals, the judges and the ces; brought forward all public measures in juries; appointed the intendants of the provinthe convention [like our abolitionists] and launched its thunder against every opposite faction. By means of its commissioners [like our commissioners to try for alleged offences] it ruled the Provinces Generals and armies [see our own condition] with absolute_sway; and soon after, the Law of Suspected Persons [the same as here] placed the personal freedom of every subject at its disposal [the same here.] The revolutionary tribunal rendered it the master of every life, the requisition and the maximum of every fortune; the accusations in the conventions of every member of the Legislature.
"The Law of Suspected Persons [see Fort Lafayette, &c.] which gave this tremendous power to the Decemvirs, passed on the 17th of Sept. [the anniversary of which the Republicans of the Wisconsin Legislature celebrated by their action on the infamous army voting
away the last vestige of Gaullic liberty, can repress a shudder, lest in the mazes of our Revolution, we may drift into the abyss of contending factions, and be overtaken by the cruelty of a St. Just, the fanaticism of a Couthon, or the crafty tyranny of a Robespierre. History is our monitor. The tortuous pathway of nations is strewn with the bleaching bones of ambitious pretenders, and national epitaphs are graven on every mile stone:-"Enslaved in the name of Liberty!-slain in the name of
scheme.] It declared all persons liable to ar-
We learn from this history that all France
was divided into 12 classes, as follows:
The people of France yielded inch by inch and suffered their liberties to be invaded, and their rights, one by one, to be swallowed up, in the din of the demagogue's cry of "Liberty," until the Jacobin and Girondin Clubs, the Committee of Public Safety, rioting under the "Law of Suspected Persons," destroyed every vestige of their power, and they were forced to bear the expense of their own execution! May our Nation's Capitol never become a Conciegerrie.
1. "All those who in the assemblies of the people discouraged their enthusiasm by cries, menaces or crafty discourses. 2. All those who most prudently speak only of the misfortunes of the Republic, and are always ready to spread bad news with an affected air of sorrow 3. All those who have changed their conduct and language according to the course of events, who were mute on the crimes of the Royalists, We are for suppressing this rebellion the [This is equivalent to Mr. Lincoln's crime of shortest way under the constitution." We saying nothing.] and loudly exclaim against the slight faults of the Republicans. 10. Those desire to see the strong arm of power outwho speak with contempt of the constituted stretched to crush out treason wherever it exauthorities the ensigns of law, the popular so-ists, but we do not want to see the charter of cieties, or the detenders of liberty, &c., &c." Are we to be cursed by such a reign of terror that swept away five millions of the French people, and by such brutal contentions as run riot between the bloodthirsty Jacobins and the agrarian Girondists? Are our tribunals to relapse into French Decemvirates, as described by Thiers, the Erench historian, who says:
"The Tribunal, once the protectors of life and property, have become the organs of butchery, where robbery and murder have usurped the names of confiscation and punishment!"
And during all this bloody period, both the Jacobins and Girondins claimed to be acting in behalf of "Freedom" and "Liberty!" Reader, see you not a parallel in the looming shadow before you? God forbid that truth, in this land, should compel us to exclaim with the heroic DANTON, when thrown into a French bastile, for predicting the ruin and desolation that speedily followed:
our liberties destroyed. Violence should not be used except where violence is arrayed against the Government. If our citizens may under any pretext, except in actual rebellion here at home, be arrested, on the ipse dixit of any political pretender, and transported to other states, without knowing what charges have been preferred against them, we have no security. Even the Jacobins who persecuted the Girondins may in turn become the persecuted, and thus the lex talionis become the watchword for a new French reign of terror. We should profit by the warnings of history. The fate of nations that live only in bloody history, should teach us that human rights cannot long be trampled on with impunity. Cato demanded of his son the suicide's weapon rather than live under the tyranny of the in vading Cæsar. May we pray that no necessity shall ever arise where the suicide Cato shall become the homicide Brutus. God protect the
"At last," said he "I perceive, that in Rev-right and save the liberties of the people from olutions, the supreme power finally rests with anarchy and despotism. the most abandoned!"?
Who that reads the gorey pages of French history, during the reign of terror, that swept
BLACKSTONE ON ENGLISH HABEAS CORPUS
A certain lawyer once quoted Blackstone to
a Justice, who had decided a point against him, not, as he said, to change the mind of the Justice, but to show the Court what an old fool Sir WM. BLACKSTONE was. According to our state Constitutions, in order to the preservation of our liberties, frequent recourse must be had to fundamental principles, and as Sir WILLIAM BLACKSTONE is considered pretty good authority, we wish to quote from him, I,
"By 16 Car. I, c. 10, if any person be restrained of his liberty by order or decree of any illegal court, or by command of the King's | Majesty in person, or by warrant of the Council Board, or of any of the Privy Council, he shall, etc., have a writ of habeas corpus to bring his body before the Court of King's bench, or Common pleas, who shall determine whether the cause of his commitment be just," &c.
"Of great importance to the public is the preservation of this personal liberty; for if once it were left in the power of any, THE HIGHEST MAGISTRATE, to imprison arbi- | trarily whomever he or his officers thought proper, THERE WOULD SOON BE AN END OF ALL OTHER RIGHTS AND IMMUNITIES. Some have thought that unjust attacks even upon life or property at the arbitrary will of the magistrates are less dangerous to the Commonwealth than such as are made upon the personal liberty of the subject. To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole kingdom. And yet sometimes when the state is in real danger even But the this may be a necessary measure. happiness of our Constitution is that it is not left to the Executive power to determine when the danger of the state is so great as to render this measure expedient; for it is the Parliament or Legislative power, that, whenever it sees proper, can authorize the crown, by suspending the habeas corpus act for a short and limited time, to imprison suspected persons, without giving any reason for so doing"
And, further to enlighten the Court upon the subject of sending men from Iowa to Fort La Fayette or any other Bastile, 1200 miles from their residence, we quote from the same author, same vol. p. 137:
"And by the habeas corpus act, (the second Magna Charta and stable bulwarks of our liberties,) it is enacted that no subject of this realm who is an inhabitant of England, Wales, or Berwick, shall be sent prisoner into Scotland, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, or other places beyond the seas; but that all such imprisonments shall be illegal, that the person who shall dare to commit another, contrary to this law, shall be disabled from bearing any office, shall incur the penalty of praemunire and be incapable of receiving the King's pardon,and
the party suffering shall also have his private action against the person committing, and all his aiders, advisers, and abettors; and shall recover treble costs; besides his damages which no jury shall assess at less than £500.”
These rights were declared in 1688 to be "the birth right of every Englishman;" and are they not ours by inheritance?
Now look at the Constitution of the United
States. Sec. 8 of Art. 1, declares affirmatively
The Ordinance of 1787 expressly guarantees certain privileges to the inhabitants of the territory embraced, being expressly stated to be "Articles of compact between the original states in the said territory, and shall forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent," to-wit:-"The inhabitants of the said territory shall always be entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus, and of the trial by jury."?
WHAT OUR FATHERS THOUGHT OF IT.
[Elliott's Debates, vol. 5, p. 484,] we find the
"Mr. Pinckney, urging the propriety of securing the writ of habeas corpus in the most ample manner, moved that it should not be suspended but on the most urgent occasions, and then only for a limited time, not exceeding twelve months.
"Mr. Rutledge was for declaring the habeas corpus inviolate. He did not conceive that a suspension could ever be necessary at the same time THROUGH ALL THE STATES.
"Mr. Gouveneur Morris moved that "the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it."
"[This was the clause finally adopted.]
"Mr. Millson doubted, whether in any case a suspension could be necessary, as the discretion now exists with judges, in most important cases, to keep in goal or admit to bail."
The above shows how jealous our fathers were of their rights, and how they feared to