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199

yeo just what Mr. V. was adjudged guilty of; 1st. Suspicion.

2d. Dig the grave. That is, 1st : for saying that Lincoln and his

3d. Procure the coffin. inions (meaning the president and those ac

4th. Arrest of the suspected. og ander him in the character of spies, &c.)

5th. A five minutes trial. had prevented Union by rejecting certain prop- 6th. Sentence of death. itions for peace, &c. (This was stricken out, 7th. Execution.

8th. Use of the coffin and the grave. rather than expose Wood's testimony) 2d, the

The forms of trial, &c., over, the next thing Mering the belief that those in power were at

was to sentence and punish Mr. V. BURNSIDE sompting to establish a Despotism. (Did not this very trial furnish the proof of this ?) If was graciously pleased to sentence the victim this be treason, then traitors may be counted to confinement, which the President, in the by the millions. The writer hereof, it is but plenitude and magnanimity of His Majesty's proper to remark, has ever opposed Mr. V's power, commuted, by substituting banishment peculiar peace views, as both premature and

a punishment unknown before, on this free useless, yet, he believes the means used to put continent-a punishment so long the disgrace down that gentleman, while CONWAY and hun- to British Statutes, but no longer known to dreds' of other republicans, who have directly the English criminal code. advocated dissolution, and committed well.de The arrest and deportation of Mr. V. arousined acts of treason, without so much as a gen-ed the most intense excitement throughout the

tle rebuke from official quarters, is not only a north. The people saw in it a rapidly germigross outrage, but is intensifying the sting of nating despotism, and public meetings were despotism by an unmistakable display of polit- held in numerous places-calm, yet firm and ical partiality.

decided resolves were adopted, protesting to We have not the patience to comment on the President against the usurpation of power, such a trial, and the punishment inflicted on and the striking down at one blow, the last such charges, and such proofs, to say nothing barrier between despotism and civil liberty. of the spy system, through the criminal farce The following resolves and correspondence as inaugurated.

with the President, are self-explanatory. Suspect! that's a Spie's office !-Byron

THE ALBANY RESOLUTIONS AND THE PRESI

DENT'S REPLY. “Rather confide, and be deceived,

A thousand times, by treacherous foes, Than once accuse the innocent,

Letter of the Committee and Resolutions. Or, let suspicion mar repose.”-Mrs. Osgood.

ALBANY, May 19, 1863, It would puzzle the most astute and patriotic To His Excellency the President of the United States :

The undersigned, officers of a public meetman that ever lived, to pick out a sentence ut- ing held at the city of Albany on the 16th day tered by Mr. V., on the occasion, and distort of May instant, herewith transmit to your Exit to mean anything like treason against the

cellency a copy of the resolutions adopted at Government—or anything the half so disloyal earnest consideration of them. They deem it

the said meeting, and respectfully request your as the hundreds of extracts from republican proper on their personal responsibility to state speeches, in the preceding pages of this work. that the meeting was one of the most respectOne of the main charges against Mr. V. it seems,

able as to numbers and character, and one of

the most earnest in the support of the Union was the repetition of a phrase used by Mr. Lin

ever held in the city. coln in his proclamation of July, '62. To punish

Yours, with great regard,

ERASTUS CORNING, President. citizens for repeating expressions- used by him

ELI PERRY, Vice President. who applies the punishment, in the language

PETER GRANSEVOORT, Vice President.

PETER MONTEATH, Vice President. of Edward Livingston, in 1798, is "a refine,

SAMUEL W. GIBBS, Vice President.

JOHN NIBLACK, Vice President. ment on despotism."

H. W. MCCLELLAN, Vice President. As we have given our opinion that Order 38

LEMUEL W. ROGERS, Vice President.

WM. SEYMOUR, Vice President. was issued expressly to reach VALLANDIG

JEREMIAH OSBORN, Vice President.

WM. S. PADDOCK, . Vice President. BAM, so we record our belief that he was vir

J. B. SANDERS, Vice President. tually sentenced before he was tried. This

EDWARD MULCAHY, Vice President.

D. V. N. RADCLIFFE, Vice President. Would not be without a precedent, for the bloody

WM. A. RICE, Secretary.

EDWARD NEWCOMB, Secretary. annals of La Force and other Bastiles during

R. W. PECKHAM, JR., Secretary. the Reigr of Terror in France, teach us that

M. A. NOLAN, Secretary.

JOHN R. NESSEL, Secretary. the following order was often observed :

0. W. WEEKS, Secretary.

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200

FIVE HUNDRED POLITICAL TEXTS.

of them.'

constitutions.

Resolutions Adopted at the Jeeting

Jeeting held in ample of a manly, independent and constitutional defence Albany, N. Y., on the 16th of lay, 1863.

Resolved, That in the election of Gov. Seymour, the

people of this State, by an emphatic majority, declaro! Resolved, that the Democrats of New York point to their uniform course of action during the two years of

their condemnation of the system of arbitrary arrests, and

their determination to stand by the constitution, that civil war through which we have passed, to the alacrity

the revival of this lawless system can have but one re. which they have evinced in filling the ranks of the-army,

sult: to divide and distract the North, and to destroy ito to their contributions and sacrifices as the evidence of

confidenco in the purposes of tlie administration. That their patriotism and devotion to the cause of our imperil.

we deprecate it as an element of confusion at homo, of cd country. Never in the history of civil wars has a gure

weakness to our arinies in the field, and as calculated to ernment been sustained with such ample resources of

lower the estimate of American character and magnify the means and men ay tlie people have voluntarily placed in

apparent peril of our cause abroad. And that, regarding the hands of the administration.

the blow struck at a citizen of Obio as aimed at the rights Resoluel, That as Democrats we uro determined to main

of every citizen of the North, we denounce it as agalart tain this patriotic attitude, and, despite of adverse and

the spirit of our laws and constitution, and most earnestly disheartening circumstances, to devoto all our energies to

call upon the President of the United States to reverse they maintain the cause of the Union, to secure peace through

action of the military tribunal which has passed a "cruel victory, and to bring back the rostoration of all the states

and unusual punishment” upon the party arrested, prounder the safeguard of the Constitution.

hibited in terms by the constitution, and to restore him to Resolved, That while we will riot consent to be misap

the liberty of which he has been deprived. prehended on these points, we are determined not to be

Resolved, That the President, Vice-Presidents, and misunderstood in regard to others not less essential. We demand that the administration shall be true to the con

Secretary of this meeting be requested to transmit a copy

of these resolutions to his Excellency the President of the stitution; shall recognize and maintain the rights of the states and the liberties of the citizen; shall everywhere,

United States, with the assurance of this meeting of their outside of the lines of necessary military occupation and hearty and earnest desire to support the government in

every constitutional and lawful nieasure to suppress the the scenes of insurrection, oxert all its powers to sustain the supremacy of the civil over military law.

existing rebellion. Resolved, That in view of theso principles we denounce the recent assumption of a military commander to seize

Jr. Lincoln's Reply. and try a citizen of Ohio, Clement L. Vallandigham, for no other reason than words addressed to a public meeting,

EXECUTIVE VAYSION, in criticism of the course of the administration, and in

WASHINGTON, June 12, 1803. condemnation of the military orders of that General. Resolved, That this assumption of power by a military

Hon. Erastus Corning and others: tribunal, if successfully asserted, not only abrogates the GENTLEMEN—Your letter of may 19, inciosright of the people to assemble and discuss the affairs of government, the liberty of speech and of the press, the ing the resolutions of a public meeting held at right of trial by jury, the law of evidence, and the privi- Albany, New York, on the 10th of the same lege of habeas corpus, but it strikes a fatal blow at the month, was received several days ago. supremacy of law and the authority of State and Federal

The resolutions, as I understand them, are Resolved, That the constitution of the United States... resolved into two propositions-first, the exthe supreme law of the land...has defined the crime of pression of a purpose to sustain the cause of treason against the United States to consist "only in levy- the Union, to secure peace through victory, ing war against them, or adhearing to their enemies, six and to support the administration in every ing them aid and comfort ;” and has provided that no person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testi. constitutional and lawful measure to suppress mony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on con- the rebellion; and, secondly, a declaration of fession in open court." court.” And it farther provides that "no

censure upon the administration for supposed person shall be held to answer for a capital or ætherwise infamous crime, unless on the presentment or an indict

unconstitutional action, such as the making of ment by a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land military arrests. And from the two proposiand naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service tions a third is deduced, which is, that the in time of war or public danger ;” and farther, that, "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right gentlemen composing the meeting are resolved of a speedy and public trial by an impartial juny of the on doing their part to maintain our coramon State and district wherein the crime was committed.

government and country, despite the folly or Resolved, That these safeguards of the rights of the wickedness, as they may conceive, of any citizen against the pretensions of arbitrary power were

adintended more especially for his protectionin times of civil

ministration. Tnis position is eminently patcommotion. They were secured substantially to the Eng- riotic, and, as such, I thank the meeting and lish people after years of protracted civil war, and were

congratulate the nation for it. My own purpose adopted into our constitution at the close of the revolution. They have stood the test of seventy-six years of is the same; so that the meeting and myself trial, under our republican system, undec circumstances have a common object and can have no differ. which show that while they constitute the foundation of ence, except in the choice of means or med. all free government, they are the elements of the endur

sures for effecting that object. ing stability of the Republic. Resolved, That, in adopting the language of Daniel

And here I ought to close this paper, and Webster, we declare, "It is the ancient and undoubted pre- would close it, if there were no apprehensions rogatlve of this people to canvass public measures and the that more injurious consequences than any merits of public men. It is a “home-bred right," a fire-side privilege. It has been enjoyed in every house, merely personal to myself"might follow the cottage and cabin in the nation. It is as undoubted as the censures systematically cast upon me for doing right of breathing the air or walking on the earth.

Bea what, in my view of duty, I could not forbear. longing to private life as a right it belongs to public life as a duty, and is the last duty which those representatives

The resolutions promise to support me in every we are shall find us to abandon, Aiming at all times to

constitutional and lawful measure to suppress be courteous and temperate in its use, except when the right itself is questioned, we shall place ourselves on the ployed, nor shall knowingly employ, any other:

the rebellion, and I have not knowingly em. extreme bounds of our own right and bid defiance to any arm that would move us from our ground. This high constitutional privilege we shall defend and exercise in all

But the meeting, by their resolutions, assert

that certain military arrests, and proceedings places—in time of peace, in time of war, and at all times. following them, for which I am ultimately, 18inheritance to our children, by the blessing of God we will sponsible, are unconstitutional. I think they leave them the inheritance of free principles and the ex- are not.

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The resolutions quote from the constitution fore I was inaugurated, and, of course, before the definition of treason, and also the limiting I had done any official act whatever. The resafeguards and guarantees therein provided bellion thus began, soon ran into the present for the citizen on trials for treason, and on his civil war; and, in certain respects, it began on being held to answer for capital or other infa- very unequal terms between the parties. The mous crimes, and, in criminal prosecutions, insurgents had been preparing for it more than his right to a speedy and public trial by an im- thirty years, while the government had taken partial jury. The proceed to resolve

no steps to resist them. The former had care

fully considered all the means which could be “That these safeguards of the rights of the citizen

turned to their account. It undoubtedly was a against the pretensions of arbitrary power were intended more especially for his protection in times of civil commo- well-pondered reliance with them that in their tion."

unrestricted efforts to destroy Union, constituAnd, apparently to demonstrate the propo- would, in a great degree be restrained by the

tion and law, all together, the government sition, the resolutions proceed:

same constitution and law from arresting their “They were secured substantially to the English people progress. Their sympathizers pervaded all deafter years of protracted civil war, and were adopted into partments of the government and nearly all our constitution at the close of the revolution."

communities of the people. From this materiWould not the demonstration have been bet- al, under cover of liberty of speech," liberter if it could have been truly said that these ty of the press," and "habeas corpus" they safeguards had been adopted and announced du- hoped to keep on foot amongst us & most efficiring the civil wars and during our revolution, ent corps of spies, informers, suppliers, and instead of after the one and at the close of the aiders and abettors of their cause in a thouother? I, too, am devotedly for them after sand ways. They knew that, in times such as civil war, and before civil war, and at all times, they were inaugurating, hy the constitution itCexcept when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, self, the "habeas corpusmight be suspended; the public safety may require their suspen- but they also knew they had friends who would sion. The resolutions proceed to tell us that make a question as to who was to suspend it ; these safeguards

meanwhile their spies and others might remain "Have stood the test of seventy-seven years of trial,

at large to help on their cause. Or if, as has under our republican system, under circumstances which happened, the Executive should suspend the show that while they constitute the foundation of all free writ, without ruinous waste of time, instances governments they are the elements of the enduring stabil

of arresting innocent persons might occur, as ity of the Republic.”

are always likely to occur in such cases, and No one denies that they have so stood the then a clamor could be raised in regard to this test up to the beginning of the present rebellion which might be at least of some service to the if we accept a certain occurrence at New Or- insurgent

It needed

very leans; nor does any one question that they will keen perception to discover this part stand the same test much longer after the re- of the enemy's programme so soon as, by bellion closes. But these provisions of the open hostilities, their machinery was fairly put constitution have no application to the present in motion. Yet, thoroughly imbued with a case we have in hand, because the arrests com- reverence for the guaranteed rights of individplained of were not made for treason--that is, uals, I was slow to adopt the strong measures not for the treason defined in the constitution, which by degrees I have been forced to regard and upon the conviction of which the punish- as being within the exceptions of the constitument is death-nor yet were they made to hold tion and as indispensible to the public safety. persons to answer for any capital or otherwise Nothing is better known to history than that infamous crimes; nor were the proceedings fol- courts of justice are utterly incompetent to lowing, in any constitutional or legal sense, such cases. Civil courts are organized chiefly "criminae Prosecutions." [In this connection for trials of individuals, or, at most, a few inwe call the readers attention to the speech of dividuals acting in concert; and this in quiet Edward Livingston, on a subsequent page.] times, and on charges of crimes well defined in The arrests were made on totally different the law. Even in times of peace, bands of grounds, and the proceeding following accord- horse thieves and robbers frequently grow too ed with the grounds of the arrest. Let us con- numerous and powerful for the ordinary courts sider the real case with which we are dealing, of justice. But what comparison in numbers and apply to it the parts of the constitution have such bands ever borne to the insurgent plainly made for such cases.

sympathizers even in many of the loyal States? Prior to my installation here, it had been in- Again, a jury too frequently has at least one culcated that any state had a lawful right to member more ready to hang the panel than to secede from the national Union, and, that it hang the traitor. And yet, again, he who diswould be expedient to exercise the right when- suades one man from volunteering, or induces ever the devotees of the doctrine should fail to one soldier to desert, weakens the Union cause elect a President to their own liking. I was as much as he who kills a Union soldier in batelected contrary to their liking; and accor- tle. Yet this dissuasion or inducement may be dingly, so far as it was legally possible, they so conducted as to be no defined crime of which had taken seven states out of the Union, had any civil court would take cognizance. seized many of the United States forts, and Ours is a case of rebellion-so called by the had fired upon the United States flag, all be- resolutions before me in fact, a clear, flagrant

Cause.

no

case.

and gigantic case of rebellion; and the provis- By the third resolution the meeting indicate ion of the constitution that "the privilege of their opinion that military arrests may be conthe writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspend-stitutional in localities where rebellion actually ed unless when, in case of rebellion or inva- exists, but that such arrests are unconstitutional sion, the public safety may require it,” [But in localities where rebellion or insurrection does the writ had not then been suspended;] is the not actually exist. They insist that such arprovision which specially applies to our present rests shall not be made outside of the lines of

This provision plainly attests the under- necessary military occupation and the scenes of standing of those who made the constitution, insurrection.” Inasmuch, however, as the that ordinary courts of justice are inadequate constitution itself makes no such distinction, I to cases of rebellion''---attests their purpose am unable to believe that there is any such conthat, in such cases, men may be held in custo- stitutional distinction. I consider that the class dy whom the courts, acting on ordinary rules, of arrests complained of can be constitutional would discharge. Habeas corpus does not dis only when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, charge men who are proved to be guilty of de- | the public safety may require them; and I fined crime; and its suspension is allowed by insist that in such cases they are constitutionthe constitution on purpose that men may al wherever the public safety does require be arrested and held who cannot be proved them, as well in places to which they to be guilty of defined crime, “When, in may prevent the rebellion extending case of rebellion or invasion, the public as in those places where it may be already saiety may require it." This is precisely prevailing, as well where they may restrain our present case-a case of rebellion, where- mischievous interference with the raising and in the public safety does require the supplying armies to suppress the rebellion, as suspension. Indeed, arrests by process of where the rebellion may actually be; as well courts, and arrests in cases of rebellion, do where they may restrain the enticing men out not proceed together altogether upon the same of the army, as where they could prevent mubasis. The former is directed at the small tiny in the army; equally constitutional at all percentage of ordinary and continuous perpe- places where they will conduce to the public tration of crime, while the latter is directed safety, as against the danger of rebellion or inat sudden and extensive uprisings against the vasion. Take the particular case mentioned government, which at most will succeed or fail by the meeting. It is asserted, in substance, in no great length of time. In the latter case, that Mr. Vallandigham was, by a military comarrests are made, not so much for what has mander, seized and tried "for no other reason been done. as for what probably would be don'. than words addressed to a public meeting, in [O. Moses, while i rule.] The latter is more criticism of the course of the administration, for the preventive and less for the vindictive and in condemnation of the military orders of than the former. In such cases the purposes the General.” Now, if there be no mistake of men are much more easily understood than about this; if this assertion is the truth and the in cases of ordinilly crime. The man who whole truth; if there was no other reason for stands by and says nothing when the peril of the arrest, then I concede that the arrest was his government is discussed cannot be misun- wrong. But the arrest, I understand, was derstood. If not hindered, he is sure to help made for

very different

Mr. the enemy; [so that Vallandigham was ar Vallandigham avows his hostility to the war on jrested for what he might do!] much more the part of the Union; and his arrest was made if he talks ambiguously-talks for his coun- because he was laboring, with some effect to try with buts, and

ifs," and "unds.'' prevent the raising of troops, to encourage deOf how little value the constitutionai provi- sertions from the army, and to leave the rebelsions I have quoted will be rendered, if arrests lion without an adequate military force to supshall never be made until defined crimes shall press it. [Nothing of this kind appears in evihave been committed, may be illustrated by a dence against him.] He was not arrested be. fow notable examples. General John C. Breck- cause he was damaging the political prospects sinridge, General Robert E. Lee, General of the Administration or the personal interest Joseph E. Johnston, General John B. Hagru- of the Commanding General, but because he der, General William B. Preston, General Si- was damaging the army, upon the existence and mon B. Buckner and Commodore Franklin Bu- vigor of which the life of the nation depends. Chenan, now occupying the very highest places He was warring upon the military, and this in the rebel war service, were all within the gave the military constitutional jurisdiction to power of the government since the rebellion lay hands upon him. If Mr. Vallandigham began, and were nearly as well known to be was not damaging the military power of the Traitor's then as now. Unquestionably, if we

Unquestionably, if we country, then his arrest was made on mistake hadiseized and held them the insurgent cause of fact, which I would be glad to correct on would be much weaker. But no one of them reasonably satisfactory evidence. [General

had: then committed any crime defined in the BURNSIDE himself furnished the President -aw. Every one of them, is arrested, would the best evidence on this point, when he said

have been discharged on habeas corpus were the that the army would “tear to pieces?' any man writ allowed to operate. In view of these and who should talk as Vallandigham did. The similar cases, I think the time not likely to fact and corolary do not lay together.--Ed.] come when I shall be blamed for having made I understand the meeting, whose resolutions too few arrests rather than too many.

I am considering, to be in favor of suppressing

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the rebellion by military force-by armies. | dices of the past and the selfish hopes of the Long experience has shown that armies cannot future, we

to extend much of be maintained unless desertion shall be punish

ingenuity and strength in finding ed by the severe penalty of death.

The case

fault with and aiming blows at each requires, and the law anil the constitution other. But since you have denied me this, I sanction, this punishment. Must I shoot a will yet be thankful, for the country's sake, simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I that not all Democrats have done so. must not touch a hair of a willy agitator who whose discretionary judgment Mr. Vallandiginduces him to desert? This is none the less ham was arrested and tried is a Democrat, injurious when effected by getting a father, or having no old party affinity with me; and the brother, or friend into a public meeting, and Judge who rejected tie constitutional view there work upon his feelings till he is persua- expressed in these resolutions, by refusing to ded to write the soldier boy that he is fighting discharge Mr. Vallandigham on labeas corpus, in a bad cause, for a wicked administration of a is a Democrat of better days than these, having contemptible government, too weak to arrest received his judicial manile at the hands of and punish him if he shall desert. I think that President Jackson. And still more, of all in such a case to silence the agitator and save those Democrats who are nobly exposing their the boy is not only constitutional, but withal a lives and shedding their blood on the battlegreat mercy.

field, I have learned that many approve the If I be wrong on the question of constitu- course taken with Mr. Vallandigham, while tional power, my error lies in believing that I have not heard a single one condemncertain proceedings are constitutional when, in ing it.

ing it. I cannot assert that there are none cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety such. And the

of President requires them, which would not be constitu- Jackson recalls an instance of pertinent tional when, in the absence of rebellion or in-history. After the battle of New Orleans, vasion, the public safety does not require and while the fact that the treaty of peace had them. In other words, that the constitution is been concluded was well known in the city, but not in its application in all respects the same before official knowledge of it had arrived, Genin case of rebeilion or invasion involving the eral Jackson still maintained martial or milipublic safety, as it is in times of profound tary law. Now, that it could be said that the peace and public security. The constitution war was over, the clamor against martial law, itself makes the distinction; and I can no more which had existed from the first, grew more be persuaded that the government can consti- furious. Among other things a Mr. Louailler tutionally take no strong measures in time of published a denunciatory newspaper article.-rebellion, because it can be shown that the General Jackson arrested bim. A lawyer by same could not be lawfully taken in time of the name of Morel procured the United States peace, than I can be persuaded that a particu- Judge Hall to order a writ of habeas corpus to iar drug is not good medicine for a sick man relieve Mr. Louaillier. Gen. Jackson arrested because it can be shown that it is not good for both the lawyer and the Judge. A Mr. Holau well man. Nor am I able to appreciate the lander ventured to say of some part of the matdanger appreliended by the meeting that the ter that it was a dirty trick.'' Gen. Jackson American people will. by means of military arrested him. When the officer attempted to arrests during the rebellion. lose the right of serve the writ of habeas corpus, Gen. Jackson public discussion, the liberty of speech and the took it from him, and sent him away with a press, law of evidence, trial by jury and habeas copy. Holding the Judge in custody a few corpus throughout the indefinite peacefui fu- days, the General sent him beyond the limits ture which I trust lies before them, any more or his encampment, and set him at liberty, than I am ble to believe that a man could con. with an order to remain until the ratification of tract so strong an appetite for emetics during peace should be regularly announced, or until temporary illness as to persist in feeding upon the British should have left the southern coast. them during the remainder of his healthful A day or two more elapsed, the ratification of life.

the treaty of peace was regularly announced, In giving the resolutions that earnest consid- and the Judge and others were fully liberated. eration which you request me, I cannot over- A few days more, and the Judge called Gen. look the fact that the meeting speak as “dem- Jackson into court and fined him a thousand ocrats.;; Nor can I, with full respect to their dollars for having arrested him and the others knowa intelligence, and the fairly presumed named. The General paid the fine, and there deliberation with which they prepared their the matter rested for nearly thirty years, when resolutions, be permitted to suppose that this Congress refunded principal and interest. The occurred by accideat, or in any other way than late Senator Douglas, then in the House of that they preferred in designate themselves Representatives, to

Representatives, took a leading part in the debidemocrats Pather than American citizens.' bates, in which the constitutional question was In this time of national peril I would have pre much discussed. I am not prepared to say ferred 10 meet you upon a level one step higher whom the journals would show to have voted than ariy party platform, because I am sure for the measure. that, from sach more elevated position, we It may be remarked, first, that we had the could do better battle for the country we all same coastitution then is now; secondly, that love than we possibly can from those lower we then had a case of invasion, that the perones where, from the force of habit, the preju- manent right of the people to public discussion,

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