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TREASON AND REBELLION:
BEING IN PART THE
LEGISLATION OF CONGRESS
THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
THEREON, TOGETHER WITH THE RECENT
CHARGE BY JUDGE FIELD,
OF THE U. S. SUPREME COURT,
DELIVERED TO THE GRAND JURY IN ATTENDANCE AT THE JUNE TERM, EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY-THREE, OF THE U. S. CIRCUIT COURT FOR
THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA.
PRINTED BY TOWNE & BACON, BOOK AND JOB PRINTERS,
No. 536 Clay Street, opposite Leidesdorff.
LEGISLATION ON TREASON AND REBELLION.
THE existing rebellion against the United States has given rise to much legislation concerning treason and kindred offenses of a lesser grade. The various Acts of Congress are scattered through the statutes at large for 1861-2-3, and these having been received in this State but recently, and only in limited numbers, there is a lack of information on the subject among the general public, and even in the legal profession, which it is the object of the present publication partially to supply. The majority of readers will probably be surprised to see the thoroughness of Congressional action upon the subject, and the obstacles which have been thrown in the way of every grade of disloyalty.
An act passed July 31st, 1861, declares it to be a high crime, punishable by fine, or imprisonment for a term of years, or both, for two or more persons to conspire to forcibly destroy, or levy war against, or oppose the authority of the United States Government; or to forcibly prevent or hinder the execution of any law of the United States, or to prevent, by force or threat, any person from holding office under the United States.
An act of August 6th, 1861, makes it a high misdemeanor, punishable by 'fine and imprisonment for any person to recruit soldiers or sailors to engage in armed hostility to the Government, or to enlist in such service.
By another enactment, approved the same day, all property, sold or given, to be used in aiding combinations against the Government which may have been declared by proclamation of the President too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, is declared lawful subject of prize, capture, and confiscation.
The act of July 17th, 1862, "to suppress Insurrection, to punish Treason and Rebellion, to seize and confiscate the Property of Rebels, and for other purposes," prescribes the penalty for treason, and also for the crime of inciting, assisting, or engaging in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority or laws of the United States; and makes it the duty of the President to cause the seizure of all the property and effects of persons engaged in the Southern Rebellion, or aiding or abetting the same, and to apply the proceeds of such seizures for the support of the National armies.
By an act approved February 25th, 1863, correspondence with rebels for the purpose of defeating or weakening Government measures, is declared to be a high misdemeanor to be punished by fine and imprisonment.
An act approved March 12th, 1863, provides for the confisca tion of all property brought from rebellious States into other States, by any person other than a Government agent, unless under a lawful clearance by the proper officer of the Treasury Department, and declares the person so offending to be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by fine or imprisonment.
By various enactments the most searching oaths of allegiance are required to be taken by all persons in the civil, military, or naval service of the United States; all officers, clerks, and employés of Departments, all who are in any manner connected with the mail service; all cadets at West Point; all commanders of American vessels sailing for foreign ports; all persons presenting claims for settlement at the departments or bureaus at Washington, and, on motion of the United States Attorney, or in the discretion of the Court, by all grand and petit jurors in the United States Courts.
By the act of June 17th, 1862, various disloyal practices, therein named, disqualify persons guilty thereof from serving as grand or petit jurors in the United States Courts.
In these pages will be found in full the Acts of Congress referred to. The Legislature of the State of California, at the session of 1863, passed several acts prescribing penalties for offenses against the General Government. The displaying of a rebel flag, or of the flag of any public enemy of the United States is made punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both. Fitting out vessels as privateers