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THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PEACE FACTION.

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friends of the Government. When the news of his conviction and sentence was proclaimed throughout the land by the telegraph, Democratic politicians held meetings in several cities to express dissatisfaction with such proceedings. One of these, in the city of Albany,“ New York (to which the Governor of the State, Horatio Seymour, addressed an impas

May 15, sioned letter'), in a series of resolutions, denounced the proceedings in Vallandigham's case as unlawful—“contrary to the spirit of our laws and the Constitution," and declared that they regarded “the blow struck at a citizen of Ohio as aimed at the rights of every citizen at the North.” They implored the President to “reverse the action of the military tribunal;” and they sent the chairman of their meeting (Erastus Corning) to Washington City to lay their resolutions before the Executive. This was done. The gravity of the subject required serious consideration, and it was given. Then the President, in a long letter to the officers of the meeting, ably defended the position taken by Congress and himself in the matter of the writ of habeas corpus and the arrest of seditious persons in time of rebellion, by citations of precedents found in our own history, and simple arguments based on the most tangible premises of common sense;" and closed with the assurance that he should continue “ to do so much as might seem to be required by the public safety."

1863.

5 June 13.

1 Mr. Segmour was an able public officer and an average statesman, with an irreproachable private character, and wide influence in society. He was one of the most conspicuous and uncompromising members of the Peace Faction; and was in full sympathy with the Conspirators concerning the doctrine of supreme State sovereignty, on which, if true, they justly founded their claim to the right of secession, and the severing of the bond which united them to the General Government, which was regarded by them as only " the agent of the States." + On that account his words had great weight with the vast majority of the Opposition party. His letter to the convention was therefore of great importance at that crisis, and was doubtless chiefly instrumental in fostering opposition to the war and to the measures used by the Government for carrying it on, which culminated, in the City of New York, a few months later, in a most fearful and bloody riot, as we shall observe presently. It was a highly inflammable missile, in which the Government was denounced as a despot, seeking "to impose punishment, not for an offense against law, but for a disregard of an invalid order, put forth in an utter disregard of principles of civil liberty;" and he told the people plainly that if the proceedings in Vallandigham's case were upheld by the Government and sanctioned by the majority, they were in a state of revolution. By implication, in carefully guarded language, he exhorted the people to resistance. He declared that the Governors and the courts of some of the great Western States had “ shrunk into insignificance before the despotic powers claimed and exercised by military men;" and closeil by saying: “The people of this country now wait with the deepest anxiety the decision of the Administration upon these acts. Having given it a generons support in the conduct of the war, we now pause to see what kind of Government it is for which we are asked to pour out our blood and treasure. The action of the Administration will determine in the minds of more than one-half of the people of the loyal States whether this war is waged to put down rebellion at the South, or to destroy free institutions at the North." The action of the Administration thenceforth, until the rebellion was crushed, was according to the rule in Vallandigham's case, and four-fifths of the people of the loyal States" sustained it, in spite of the efforts of the Peace Faction to the contrary. The great body of the people of those States were sound friends of the Unior.

? The question was raised, Who is authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeus corpus, according to the provisions of the 2d clause of section 9, Article I. of the National Constitution! The Opposition declared that only Congress, in regular session, could do so. The President and Congress declared that it was the right of the President to do so, if “rebellion or invasion," during the recess of Congress, should show that the public safety required it. On this subject, see able essays by Horace Binney, of Philadelphia, published at about that time, and replies thereto, both in pamphlet form. The President, in his letter, said: “ By necessary implication, when rebellion or invasion comes, the decision is to be made from time to time, and I think the man wborn, for the time, the people have, under the Constitution, made the Commander-in-Chief of their army and navy, is the man who holds the power and bears the responsibility of making it." Congress having justified the action of the President, and the people, by every demonstration of a desire to sustain the Government, having sanctioned the acts of Congress, the question of the constitutionality of the snspension of the writ of habeas corpus and of arbitrary arrests was settled, and all opposition thereto was consequently factious and seditions.

* An amusing illustration of action in accordance with this idea may be found in “Letters patent" of Jefferson Davis, dated 5th of June, 1563, revoking the authority of a British consul nt Richmond, He said: “Wherens, George Moore, Esq., Her British Majesty's consul for the port of Richmond and State of Virginia, duly recognized as such by exequatur issued by a former Government (United Stales which was, a' the time of the issue, the duly authorized agent for that purpose of the State of Virginia," &c.

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ORGANIZED RESISTANCE TO THE DRAFT.

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June 29.

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The Democratic Convention that assembled" at Columbus, Ohio, and nom

inated Vallandigham for the chief magistracy of the State,' also • June 11,

denounced the Government, and sent a committee to the Presi

dent to demand a revocation of the sentence of their candidate, “not as a favor, but as a right." They assumed to speak for a “majority

of the people of Obio.” The President's reply was brief and

pointed. He defended the action of the Government, and, after telling them plainly that their own attitude in the matter encouraged desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like, and that both friends and enemies of the Union looked upon it in that light that it was a “substantial, and,

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onsequence, a real strength to the enemy”—he proposed to them to dispel it, if they were friends of their country, by publicly declaring, over their own signatures, that there was a rebellion whose object and tendency was to destroy the Union, and that, in their opinion, our army and navy were constitutional means for suppressing it; that they would not do any thing calculated to diminish the efficiency of those branches of the public service; and that they would do all in their power to provide means for the support of that army and navy, while engaged in efforts to suppress the rebellion; it being understood that the publication of the President's reply to them, with their affirmative indorsement of the propositions, should be, in itself, a revocation of the order in relation to Vallandigham. The Committee refused to “enter into any such agreement,” giving, as a chief reason, that it was an imputation “on their own sincerity and fidelity as citizens of the United States.” So the discussion, so far as the President was concerned, ended, and at the election for Governor of Ohio, a few months later, the assumption of the Committee, that they represented “ a majority of the people” of that State, was rebuked by an overwhelming vote against Vallandigham. The majority of his opponent was over one hundred thousand, including that given by the Ohio soldiers in the field.

It was in the midst of the excitement caused by the arrest of Vallandigham, the harangues of Opposition speakers, and the passionate appeals of some Opposition newspapers to the instincts of the more disorderly classes of society, that the Draft was ordered. Then, as we have observed, the zeal of the Opposition against the measure became formidable and dangerous to the public welfare. Organized resistance to the Draft appeared in various

parts of the country, and distinguished members of the Peace * July 4.

Faction were heard, on the National anniversary,' exhorting the 1 See page 84.

? The following are the names of the Committee : M. Burchard, David A. IIouck, George Bliss, T. W. Bartley, W. J. Gordon, John O'Neill, C. A. White, W. A. Fink, Alexander Long, J. W. White, George H. Pendleton, George L. Converse, Hanzo P. Noble, James R. Morris, W. A. Hutchins, Abner L. Backus, J. F. McKenney, P. C. De Blond, Louis Schaefer.

3 In a letter to the London Times, dated August 17, 1863, Mathew F. Maury, formerly Superintendent of the National Observatory at Washington, and one of the most unworthy of traitors to his country, said, in proof that there was no chance for the Union: “There is already a peace party in the North. All the embar. rassments with which that party can surround Jr. Lincoln, and all the difficulties that it can throu in the way of the war party in the North, operate directly as 80 much aid and comfort to the South." He then pointed to the apathy of the inhabitants of Western Pennsylvania (where the influence of the Peace Faction was powerful) at the time of Lee's invasion : “ to the riots in New York, and to the organized resistance to the war in Ohio," in which Vallandigham was the leader, and said: “New York is threatening armed resistance to the Federal Government. New York is becoming the champion of State Rights in the North, and to that extent is taking Southern ground.

Vallandigham waits and watches over the border, pledged, if elected Governor of the State of Ohio, to array it against Lincoln and the war, and to go for peace. ... Never were the chances for the South brighter."

SPEECHES OF PIERCE AND SEYMOUR.

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people to stand firmly in opposition to what they called "the usurpations of the Government." The most conspicuous of these orators were ex-President Franklin Pierce,' and Governor Seymour, of New York, the former speaking to a Democratic gathering at Concord, New Hampshire, and the latter to the citizens of New York City, in the Academy of Music.

Mr. Pierce declared that the cause of the war was “the vicious intermeddling of too many of the citizens of the Northern States with the constitutional rights of the Southern States.” He spoke of "military bastiles," into which American citizens were thrust by the arbitrary exercise of power, and of “the mailed hand of military usurpation in the North, striking down the liberties of the people, and trampling its foot on a desecrated Constitution." He lauded Vallandigham as "the noble martyr of free speech," and spoke in affectionate terms of Virginia, whose sons, by thousands, led by a dishonored scion of a once honored family of that commonwealth, were then desolating Pennsylvania with plunder and the tread of war, and drenching its soil with the blood of twenty thousand Union men in attempts to destroy the Republic. He declared “the war as fruitless," and exhorted his fellowcitizens, if they could not preserve the Union without tighting, to let it go. “You will take care of yourselves,” he exclaimed.

“ 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 shrines of the Holy Land.” His hear

on that dismal day shouted applause, but the sons of New England showed their scorn for such disloyal advisers and evinced their own patriot. ism in trooping by thousands to the field of strife, to save their country from ruin at the hands of rebels and demagogues.

Mr. Seymour's speech was similar in tenor, but was more cautiously worded. It was able, and, viewed from his stand-point of political observation, appeared patriotic. He opened with words of bitter irony applied to the struggling Government whose hands the Peace Faction were striving to paralyze, saying: “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.” At the very hour when this ungenerous taunt was uttered, Vicksburg and its dependencies, and vast spoils, with more than thirty thousand Confederate captives, were in the possession of General Grant ;and the discomfited

2

ers

July 4, 1868.

1 See notice of Mr. Pierce's letter to Jefferson Davis, note 1, page 215, volume I.

2 Compare this last sentence with a paragraph on page 232, volume I. of this work, in which Judah P. Benjamin, the first Confederate " Secretary of War," eulogized the friends of the Conspirators, in the Free-labor Sistes. His speech may be found in the Congressional Globe, January, 1861.

3 See pages 628 and 630, volume II.

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REVOLUTIONS IN THE NORTII ATTEMPTED.

army of General Lee, who, when that sentence was written, was expected to lead his troops victoriously to the Schuylkill, and perhaps to the Hudson, was flying from Mearle's troops, to find shelter from utter destruction, beyond the Potomac. And before the disheartening harangues of the Opposition orators were read by the gallant soldiers on the banks of the Mississippi, that great stream was opened, and the Imperial was making her way, without impediment, from St. Louis to New Orleans. Such was the commentary on that speech; and the speedy response to it by the inhabitants of the city of New York, to whom it was addressed, was the sending of thousands of more troops to the field in defense of the Constitution and laws, and the life of the Republic.

But there was an immediate response in the City of New York to the utterances of leaders of the Peace Faction (of which those of Pierce and Seymour were mild specimens), appalling but logical. The Draft was about to commence there. Making that measure a pretext, as we have observed, leading Opposition journals were daily exciting the subjects of it to resistance; and one went so far as to counsel its readers to provide themselves with arms, and keep in every family “a good rifled-musket, a few pounds of powder, and a hundred or so of shot,” to “defend their homes and personal liberties from invasion from any quarter."? On the evening of the 3d of July, a highly incendiary handbill, calculated to incite to insurrection, was circulated throughout the city; and it is believed that an organized outbreak on the 4th had been planned, and would have been executed, had not the news of Lee's defeat at Gettysburg, and Grant's success at Vicksburg, disappointed and dismayed the leaders. Lee's invasion, as we have observed, was a part of the programme of revolution in the Free-labor States, and so was the raid of Morgan into Indiana and Ohio, at about the same time, which we shall consider presently. There can be no doubt that a sword, like that which startled Damocles, hung by a single hair over the heart of the Republic at Gettysburg.' Lee failed, and the nation was saved. The grand scheme of a counter-revolution in favor of peace and the independence of the “ Confederate States," assumed the lesser proportions of a riot in New York City and outbreaks elsewhere, but its promoters were no less active in preparations for another opportunity.

1 See page 637, volume II.
? The World newspaper, quoted on pages 207 and 208 of the Martyr's Monument.

3 An arıny chaplain from New York recorded that on that day, while on the steamer Cahauba with a large number of Confederate prisoners, one of them, who seemed to be a shrewd politician, said: "Lee will not only invade Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but New York also. You will find war in the streets of your very city, carried on by those who hate your Government and love ours. You will be surprised at the number of friends we have in your very midst; friends who, when the time comes, will destroy your railroads, your telegraph wires, your government stores and property, and thus facilitate the glorious invasion now breaking you in pieces." Compare this with note 2, page 358, volume I.

At this time the Knights of the Golden Circle, who were numerous in the West, were very active. They held a meeting at Springfield, Illinois, on the 10th of June, when it was resolved to make the Draft the pretext for a revolution, and measures were accordingly adopted. They formed alliances with active members of the Peace Faction throughout the country, and it was arranged that New York should take the initiative in the revolutionary movement. The plan was for each State to assume its "independent sovereignty.” New York and New Jersey were to do this through their Governors; the rest of the States (excepting New England, where there was no chance for success) were to be brought into the same attitude through the Knights of the Golden Circle and the armed Peace Faction. The argument to be offered was, that, the Government having failed to suppress the rebellion, the Union was dissolved into its original elements, the States, and each of these was left at perfect liberty to enter into new combinations. —Correspondent of the Chicago Tribune, August 5, 1863

RIOT IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK.

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1

The riot in New York presented singular elements and phases. There were evidences of an organization in confusion, wildly led by perplexed leaders. When on Monday, the 13th of July, the Draft commenced in a building on the corner of Third Avenue and Forty-sixth Street, the spectators within were quiet and orderly, when suddenly a large crowd (who had destroyed the telegraph wires leading out of the city) assembled in the street near, a pistol was fired, missiles were hurled at the doors and windows of the building wherein the Draft was going on, the rioters rushed in, the clerks were driven out, and the papers were torn up; a can of spirits of turpentine was poured over the floor, and very soon that building and adjoining ones were in flames.

The firemen were not allowed to extinguish them, and the policemen who came were overpowered, and their Superintendent (Mr. Kennedy) was severely beaten by the mob. So began the tumult in which thousands of disorderly persons, chiefly natives of Ireland, and strangers, were active participants, and who, for full three days and nights, defied all law. Like a plague the disorder broke out simultaneously at different points, evidently having a central head somewhere. The cry against the Draft soon ceased, when the shouts, "Down with Abolitionists! Down with Niggers ! Hurrah for Jeff. Davis !” were heard. Hundreds of citizens, found in the streets or drawn out of large manufacturing establishments which were closed at the command of the mob, were compelled to fall into the ranks of the insurgents on peril of personal harm. Arson and plunder became the business of the rioters, who were infuriated by strong drink and evil passions; and maiming and murder was their recreation. The colored population of the city were special objects of their wrath. These were hunted down, bruised and killed, as if they had been noxious wild beasts. Neither age nor sex were spared. Men, women, and children, shared a common fate at the hands of the fiends. The Asylum for Colored Orphans, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-sixth Street, one of the noble city charities, in which about two hundred children without parents found a home, was first plundered and then laid in ashes, while the poor affrighted children, some beaten and maimed, fled in terror to whatever shelter they could find.

From Monday until Thursday the inhabitants of the great city were kept in mortal terror by the mob (which the organs of the Peace Faction spoke of as “a great uprising of the people "), for they were plundering and destroying almost without resistance. The Governor of the State interposed his authority as mildly as possible. The troops at the service of General

1 It is asserted, on what seems to be good authority, that large numbers of secessionists and rowdies had been for several days gathering in the city, at appointed places of rendezvous, chiefly from Baltimore, which, it is said, furnished about 3,000 of them.

? Governor Seymour had been in the city on the Saturday previous, and went, that evening, to Long Branch, 1 watering-place on the New Jersey shore, about two hours' travel from New York. The riot began on Mon. day morning. He returned to the city on Tuesday at noon, when the riot was at its height, and the mob were mnenacing the Tribune building, near the City Hall, with destruction. The rumor spread among the mob that the Governor was at the City Hall, when large crowds tlocked thither, Mr. Seymour was politely introduced to them by the Deputy Sheriff, on the steps of the Hall, when, after being loudly cheered by the rioters, he addressed them as follows: " My Friends: I have coine 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 agthorities there, and to have this Draft snspended 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

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