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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 Jook upon it in this light. It is a substantial hope, and by consequence, a real strength to the enemy. If 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 rebellion in the United States, the object and tendency of which is to destroy the national Union; and that, in your opinion, an army and navy.are constitutional means for suppressing that rebellion.
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 he 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 the position of 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 canvass throughout the summer was very animated. As a matter of course, the opponents of the Administration in Ohio, as elsewhere throughout the country, made this matter of arbitrary arrests a very prominent point of attack. Special stress was laid upon the fact that instead of acting directly and upon his own responsibility in these cases, the President left them to the discretion of military commanders in the several departments. This was held to be in violation of the law of Congress which authorized the President to sus pend the writ of habeas corpus, but not to delegate that high prerogative. To meet this objection, therefore, and also in order to establish a uniform mode of action on the subject, the President issued the following
Whereas, The Constitution of the United States has ordained 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; and, whereas, a rebellion was existing on the 3d day of March, 1863, which rebellion is still existing; and, whereas, by a statute which was approved on that day, it was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, that during the present insurrection the President of the United States, whenever, in his judgment, the public safety may require, is authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in any case throughout the United States, or any part thereof; and, whereas, in the judg ment of the President the public safety does require that the privilege of the said writ shall now be suspended throughout the United States in cases where, by the authority of the President of the United States, military, naval and civil officers of the United States, or any of them, hold persons under their command or in their custody, either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders or abettors of the enemy, or officers, soldiers, or seamen enrolled, drafted, or mustered, or enlisted in, or belonging to the land or naval forces of the United States, or as deserters therefrom,
or otherwise amenable to military law, or to the rules and articles of war, or the rules and regulations prescribed for the military or naval services by the authority of the President of the United States, or for resisting the draft, or for any other offence against the military or naval service; now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and make known to all whom it may concern, that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended throughout the United States, in the several cases before-mentioned, and that this suspension will continue throughout the duration of the said rebellion, or until this Proclamation shall, by a subsequent one, to be issued by the President of the United States, be modified and revoked. And I do hereby require all magistrates, attorneys, and other civil officers within the United States, and all officers and others in the military and naval services of the United States, to take distinct notice of this suspension and give it full effect, and all citizens of the United States to conduct and govern themselves accordingly, and in conformity with the Constitution of the United States, and the laws of Congress in such cases made and provided.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed, this fifteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States of America the eightyeighth.
By the President:
WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
The act passed by Congress "for enrolling and calling out the national forces," commonly called the Conscription Act, provided that all able-bodied male citizens, and persons of foreign birth who had declared their intention to become citizens, between the ages of twenty and forty-five, were liable to be called into service. The strenuous efforts made by the enemies of the Administration to arouse the hostility of the people against its general policy, had proved so far successful as greatly to discourage volunteer enlistments; and the Government was thus compelled to resort to the extraordinary powers conferred upon it by this act. Questions had been
raised as to the liability of foreigners to be drafted under this law; and in order to settle this point the President, on the 8th of May, issued the following
WASHINGTON, May 8, 1863.
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation. Whereas, The Congress of the United States, at its last session, enacted a law, entitled "An act for enrolling and calling out the national forces, and for other purposes," which was approved on the 3d day of March last; and
Whereas, It is recited in the said act that there now exists in the United States an insurrection and rebellion against the authority thereof, and it is, under the Constitution of the United States, the duty of the Government to suppress insubordination and rebellion, to guarantee to each State a republican form of government, and to preserve the public tranquillity; and
Whereas, For these high purposes, a military force is indispensable, to raise and support which all persons ought willingly to contribute; and
Whereas, No service can be more praiseworthy and honorable than that which is rendered for the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union, and the consequent preservation of free government; and
Whereas, For the reasons thus recited it was enacted by the said statute that all able-bodied male citizens of the United States, and persons of foreign birth who shall have declared on oath their intentions to become citizens under and in pursuance of the laws thereof, between the ages of twenty and forty-five years, with certain exemptions not necessary to be here mentioned, are declared to constitute the national forces, and shall be liable to perform military duty in the service of the United States, when called out by the President for that purpose; and Whereas, It is claimed, on and in behalf of persons of foreign birth, within the ages specified in said act, who have heretofore declared on oath their intentions to become citizens under and in pursuance to the laws of the United States, and who have not exercised the right of suffrage, or any other political franchise under the laws of the United States, or of any of the States thereof, that they are not absolutely precluded by their aforesaid declaration of intention from renouncing their purpose to become citizens; and that, on the contrary, such persons, under treaties and the law of nations, retain a right to renounce that purpose,
and to forego the privilege of citizenship and residence within the United States, under the obligations imposed by the aforesaid act of Congress:
Now, therefore, to avoid all misapprehensions concerning the liability of persons concerned to perform the service required by such enactment, and to give it full effect, I do hereby order and proclaim that no plea of alienage will be received, or allowed to exempt from the obligations imposed by the aforesaid act of Congress any person of foreign birth who shall have declared on oath his intention to become a citizen of the United States, under the laws thereof, and who shall be found within the United States at any time during the continuance of the present insurrection and rebellion, at or after the expiration of the period of sixty-five days from the date of this proclamation; nor shall any such plea of alienage be allowed in favor of any such person who has so, as aforesaid, declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and shall have exercised at any time the right of suffrage, or any other political franchise within the United States, under the laws thereof, or under the laws of any of the several States.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this 8th day of May, in the year [L. S.] of our Lord 1863, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
It was subsequently ordered that the draft should take place in July, and public proclamation was made of the number which each State would be required to furnish. Enrolling officers had been appointed for the several districts of all the States, and, all the names being placed in a wheel, the number required were to be publicly drawn, under such regulations as were considered necessary to insure equal and exact justice. Very great pains had been taken by the opponents of the Administration to excite odium against that clause of the law which fixed the price of exemption from service under the draft at $300. It was represented that this clause was for the special benefit of the rich, who could easily pay the sum