Henry J. (Henry Jarvis) Raymond.

Lincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) online

. (page 41 of 42)
Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 41 of 42)
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cause, as you claim, he has not damaged the military service by discour
aging enlistments, encouraging desertions, or otherwise; and that if ho
had, he should have been turned over to the civil authorities under the
recent acts of Congress. I certainly do not know that Mr. Vallandigham
has specifically and by direct language advised against enlistments and
in favor of desertions and resistance to drafting. We all know tha
combinations, armed in some instances, to resist the arrest of deserters,
began several months ago; that more recently the like has appeared iu
.-esistance to the enrolment preparatory to a draft; and that quite a
number of assassinations have occurred from the same animus. These
had to be met by military force, and this again has led to bloodshed and
death. And now, under a sense of responsibility more weighty and
enduring than any which is merely official, I solemnly declare my belief
that this hindrance of the military, including maiming and murder, is due
to the cause in which Mr. Vallandigham has been engaged, in a greater
degree than to any other cause ; and it is due to him personally in a
greater degree than to any other man.

These things have been notorioug 1 known to all, and of course known
to Mr. Vallandigham. Perhaps I would not be wrong to say thej
originated with his especial friends and adherents. With perfect know!


dge of them, he has frequently, if not constantly, made speeches in
Congress and before popular assemblies ; and if it can be shown that,
with these things staring him in the face, he has ever uttered a word of
rebuke or counsel against them, it will be a fact greatly in his favo"
with me, and of which, as yet, I am totally ignorant. When it is known
that the whole burden of his speeches has been to stir up men against the
prosecution of the war, and that in the midst of resistance to it he has
not been known in any instance to counsel against such resistance, it is
next to impossible to repel the inference that he has counselled directly
in favor of it.

With all this before their eyes, the convention you represent have
nominated Mr. Vallandigham for Governor of Ohio, and both they and
you have declared the purpose to sustain the National Union by all con
stitutional means; but, of course, they and you, in common, reserve to
yourselves to decide what are constitutional means, and, unlike the
Albany meeting, you omit to state or intimate that, in your opinion, an
army is a constitutional means of saving the Union against a rebellion,
or even to intimate that you are conscious of an existing rebellion being
in progress with the avowed object of destroying that very Union. At
the same time, your nominee for Governor, in whose behalf you appeal,
is known to you, and to the world, to declare against the use of an army
to suppress the rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, encourages
desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like, because it teaches those
who incline to desert and to escape the draft to believe it is your pur
pose 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 com
mittee, 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 look upon it
in this light. It is a substantial hope, and, by consequence, a real
trength 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
: indicates 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

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,- -

8. That each of you will ; " M* sphere, do all he can to hav th


officers, soldiers, and seamen of the army and navy, while engaged in the
effort to suppress the rebellion, paid, fed, clad, and otherwise well pro
vided for and supported.

And with the further understanding that upon receiving the lettei
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,
Vallandighara upon terms not embracing any pledge from him or from
others as to what he will or will not do. I do this because ho 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 ft
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 wili
not have suffered by it. Still, in regard to Mr. \allandigham and ah
others, I must hereafter, as heretofore, do so mucb at the public service
may seem to require.

I have the honor to be respectfully yours, &c n


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 thi?
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 com
manders in the several departments. This was held to be
in violation of the law of Congress which authorized the
President to suspend 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 roquire it ;
and, whereas, a rebellion was existing on the 3d day of March, 1863, which
rebellion is still eT^ting: and, whereas, by a statute which was approved



on that iay, it was enacted by the Senate and House of Representative!
of the United States, in Congress assembled^ that during the present in
surrection the President of the United States, whenever, in hip 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 anj
part thereof; and, whereas, in the judgment of the President the public
safety does require that the privilege of the said writ shall now be sus
pended 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 con
cern, that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended throughout
the United States in the several cases before mentioned, and that this sus
pension 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 here
by 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

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
st the United States to be affixed, this fifteenth day of September, in the
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty -three, and of the

independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.


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 Conscrip
tion 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 volun
teer 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 proclamation.

WASHINGTON, May 8, 1868.

By the President of the United States of America.

Wftereas, 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 Unfted States, the duty of the Govern
ment to suppress insubordination and rebellion, to guarantee to each State
a republican form of government, and to preserve the public tranquillity ;

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 stat
ute that all able-bodied male citizens of the United States, and persons
of ft reign birth who shall have declared on oath their intentions to becorat
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, with
in 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 afore-
aid declaration of intention from renouncing their purpose to become
citizens; and that, on the contrary, such persons, under treaties and th*


law of nations, retain a right to renounce that purpose, and to forego
tho privilege of citizenship and residence within the United States, undei
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
by give it full effect, I do hereby order and proclaim that no plea of alien-
ago will be received, or allowed to exempt from the obligations imposed
by the aforesaid act of Congress any person of foreign birth who shall
kavo 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 inten
tion 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 sea?
of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this 8th day of May, in the year of oui
r , Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the in
dependence of the United States the eighty-seventn.

By the President :

WILLIAM H. SEWABD, 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 dis
tricts 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. Yery great pains had
been taken by the opponents of the Administration to excite
odium against that clause of the law which fixed the jrice
of exemption from service under the draft at three hundred
dollars. It was represented that this clause was for the
special benefit of the rich, who could easily pay the sum
required ; while poor men who could not pay it would be
compelled, at whatever hardships to themselves and their
families, to enter the army. The draft was commenced in


the City of New York on Saturday, July llth, and was
conducted quietly and successfully during that day. CD
Sunday plots were formed and combinations entered into
to resist it ; and no sooner was it resumed on Monday
morning, July 13, than a sudden and formidable attack
was made by an armed mob upon the office in one of the
districts ; the wheel was destroyed, the lists scattered, and
the building set on fire. The excitement spread through
the city. Crowds gathered everywhere, with no apparent
common object ; but during the day the movement seem
ed to be controlled by leaders in two general directions.
The first was an attack upon the negroes ; the second an
assault upon every one who was supposed to be in any
way concerned in the draft, or prominently identified,
officially or otherwise, with the Administration or the Re
publican party. Unfortunately, the militia regiments of
the city had been sent to Pennsylvania to withstand the
rebel invasion ; and the only guardians left for the public
peace were the regular police and a few hundred soldiers
who garrisoned the forts. Both behaved with the greatest
vigor and fidelity, but they were too few to protect the
dozen miles between the extremities of the city. The mob,
dispersed in one quarter, would reassemble at another,
and for four days the city seemed given up to their control.
The outrages committed during this time were numerous
and aggravated. Kegroes were assaulted, beaten to death,
mutilated, and hung ; building after building was sacked
and burned ; gangs of desperadoes patrolled the streets.,
levying contributions, and ordering places of business to
be closed. A Colored Orphan Asylum, sheltering some
hundreds of children, was sacked and burned. After
the first day, the riot, which was at first directed against
the draft, took a new turn. The entire mass of scoundrel -
ism in the city seemed to have been let loose for indis
criminate plunder. Women, half-grown boys, and chil
dren, were foremost in the work of robbery, and no man
felt safe from attack. The police force did their duty
manfully, aided at first by the few troops at the disposal
of the authorities, and subsequently by the regiments who


began to return from Pennsylvania. In the street-fights
which occurred, many of the defenders of law and order
lost their lives, while a far larger number of the rioters
were killed. The bands of rioters were finally dispersed,
and the peace of the city was restored.

During these occurrences the draft was necessarily sus
pended; and on the 3d of August, Governor Seymour
addressed a long letter to the President, asking that fur-
jther proceedings under the draft might be postponed until
it should be seen whether the number required from the
State of New York could not be raised by volunteering,
and also until the constitutionality of the law could be
tested in the judicial tribunals of the country. The
Governor pointed out an alleged injustice in the applica
tion of the law, by which, in four districts of the State of
New York, a far higher quota in proportion to the popu
lation was required than in the other districts of the State ;
and this was urged as an additional reason for postponing
the further execution of the law.

To this appeal the President, on the 7th of August,
made the following reply :

Excotrm B MAH aioif, W ASHIHGTOK, August T, 180H


Governor of New York, Albany, N. Y. :

Your communication of the 3d inst. has been received and attentively
considered. I cannot consent to suspend the draft in New York, as you
request, because, among other reasons, TIME is too important. By the
figures you send, which I presume are correct, the twelve districts repre
sented fall in two classes of eight and four respectively.

The disparity of the quotas for the draft in these two classes is certainly
very striking, being the difference between an average of 2,200 in one
class, ant 4,864 in the other. Assuming that the districts are equal, one
to another, in entire population, as required by the plan on which they
were made, this disparity is such as to require attention. Much of it,
however, I suppose will be accounted for by the fact that so many more
persons fit for soldiers are in the city than are in the country, who have
too recently arrived from other parts of the United States and from Europe
to be either included in the census of I860, or to have voted in 1862.
Btill, making due allowance for this, I am yet unwilling to stand upon it
8 an entirely sufficient explanation of the great disparity. I ahull direct


the draft to proceed in all the districts, drawing, however, at first from
each of the four districts to wit, the Second, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth
only, 2,200 being the average quota of the other class. After this drawing,
these four districts, and also the Seventeenth and Twenty-ninth, shall be
carefully re-enrolled; and, if you please, agents of yours may witneoi
every step of the process. Any deficiency which may appear by the new
enrolment will be supplied by a special draft for that object, allowing due
credit for volunteers who may be obtained from these districts respectively
during the interval ; and at all points, so far as consistent with practical
convenience, due credits shall be given for volunteers, and your Exce.
lency shall be notified of the time fixed for commencing * draft in each

I do not object to abide a decision of the United States Supreme Oourt,
or of the Judges thereof, on the constitutionality of the draft law. In
fact, I should bo willing to facilitate the obtaining of it. But I cannot
consent to lose the time while it is being obtained. We are contending
with an enemy who, as I understand, drives every able-bodied man he
can reach into his ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a
slaughter-pen. No time is wasted, no argument is used. This produces
an army which will soon turn upon our now victorious soldiers already in
the field, if they shall not be sustained by recruits as they should bo. It
produces an army with a rapidity not to be matched on our side, if we first
waste time to re-experiment with the volunteer system, already deemed
by Congress, and palpably, in fact, so far exhausted as to be inadequate ;
and then more time to obtain a Oourt decision as to whether a law is con-
ititutional which requires a part of those not now in the service to go to
the aid of those who are already in it ; and still more time to determine
with absolute certainty that we get those who are to go in the precisely
legal proportion to those who are not to go. My purpose is to be in my
action just and constitutional, and yet practical, in performing the impor
tant duty with which I am charged, of maintaining the unity and the free
principles of our common country.

Your obedient servant,


On the 8th Governor Seymour replied, reasserting the
unfairness and injustice of the enrolments, and expressing
his regret at the President s refusal to postpone the draft
He also sent a voluminous statement, prepared by Judge-
Advocate Waterbury, designed to sustain the position he
had previously assumed. To this the President thus re


ExEOtrnvB MANSION, WABIIINQTO.V, Augtut 11 184*


Governor of New York :

Yours of the 8th, with Judge- Advocate General Waterbury s report,
was received to-day.

Asking you to remember that I consider time as being very important
both to the general cause of the country and to the soldiers in the field, I
beg to remind you that I waited, at your request, from the 1st until the
6th inst., to receive your communication dated the 3d. In view of its
great length, and the known time and apparent care taken in its prepara
tion, I did not doubt that it contained your full case as you desired to
present it. It contained the figures for twelve districts, omitting the
other nineteen, as I suppose, because you found nothing to complain of as
to them. I answered accordingly. In doing so I laid down the principle
to which I purpose adhering, which is to proceed with the draft, at the
same time employing infallible means to avoid any great wrong. With
the communication received to-day you send figures for twenty-eight dis
tricts, including the twelve sent before, and still omitting three, for which
I suppose the enrolments are not yet received. In looking over the fuller
list of twenty-eight districts, I find that the quotas for sixteen of them are
above 2,000 and below 2,700, while, of the rest, six are above 2,700 and
six are below 2,000. Applying the principle to these new facts, the Fifth
and Seventh Districts must be added to the four in which the quotas have
already been reduced to 2,200 for the first draft; and with these four
others must be added to those to be re-enrolled. The correct case will
then stand : the quotas of the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and
Eighth Districts fixed at 2,200 for the first draft. The Provost-Marshal
General informs me that the drawing is already completed in the Six
teenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twenty-second, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-
sixth, Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth Dis
tricts. In the others, except the three outstanding, the drawing will b

Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry Jarvis) RaymondLincoln, his life and time : being the life and public services of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States, together with his state papers, including his speeches, addresses, messages and proclamations and closing scenes connected with his life and death (Volume 1) → online text (page 41 of 42)