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You ask, in substance, whether I really claim that I may override all the guarantied rights of individuals, on the plea of conserving the publie safety when I may choose to say the public safety requires it. This question, divested of the phraseology calculated to represent me as struggling for an arbitrary personal prerogative, is either simply a question who shall decide, or an affirmation that nobody shall decide, what the public safety does require in cases of rebellion or invasion. The Constitution contemplates the question as likely to occur for decision, but it does not expressly declare who is to decide it. By necessary implication, when rebellion or invasion comes, the decision is to be made, from time to time; and I think the man whom, 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. If he uses the power justly, the same people will probably justify him; if he abuses it, he is in their hands, to be dealt with by all the modes they have reserved to themselves in the Constitution.
may be suspended, when, in case of rebellion | encouraging desertions, or otherwise; and that or invasion, the public safety may require it. if he had, he should be 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 desertion and resistance to drafting. We all know that combinations, armed in some instances, to resist the arrest of deserters, began several months ago; that more recently the like has appeared in resistance to the enrollment 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 course 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 notorious, known to all, and of course known to Mr. Vallandigham. Perhaps I would not be wrong to say they originated with his especial friends and adherents. With perfect knowledge 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 favor with me, and one 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.
The earnestness with which you insist that persons can only, in times of rebellion, be lawfully dealt with, in accordance with the rules for criminal trials and punishments in times of peace, induces me to add a word to what I said on that point in the Albany response. You claim that men may, if they choose, embarrass those whose duty it is to combat a giant rebellion and then be dealt with only in turn as if there were no rebellion. The Constitution itself rejects this view. The military arrests and detentions which have been made, including those of Mr. Vallandigham, which are not different in principle from the other, have been for prevention, and not for punishment-as injunctions to stay injury, as proceedings to keep the peace and hence, like proceedings in such With all this before their eyes, the Convencases and for like reasons, they have not been tion you represent have nominated Mr. Vallanaccompanied with indictments, or trials by digham for Governor of Ohio, and both they juries, nor in a single case by any punishment and you have declared the purpose to sustain whatever beyond what is purely incidental to the National Union by all constitutional means. the prevention. The original sentence of im- But, of course, they and you, in common, reprisonment in Mr. Vallandigham's case was to serve to yourselves to decide what are constiprevent injury to the military service only, and tutional means, and, unlike the Albany meetthe modification of it was made as a less dis-ing, you omit to state or intimate that, in your agreeable mode to him of securing the same opinion, an army is a constitutional means of prevention. 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 purpose to protect them and to hope that you will become strong enough to do so.
I am unable to perceive an insult to Ohio in the case of Mr. Vallandigham. Quite surely nothing of this sort was or is intended. I was wholly unaware that Mr. Vallandigham was, at the time of his arrest, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor, until so informed by your reading to me the resolutions of the Convention. I am grateful to the State of Ohio for many things, especially for the brave soldiers and officers she has given in the present national trial to the armies of the Union.
You claim as I understand, that according to | my own position in the Albany response, Mr. Vallandigham should be released; and this because, as you claim, he has not damaged the military service by discouraging enlistments,
After a short personal intercourse with you, gentlemen of the committee, I cannot say I think you desire this effect to follow your atti
tude; 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 strength to the enemy. It is a false hope, and one which you would willingly dispel. will make the way exceedingly easy. I send you duplicates of this letter, in order that you, or a majority, may, if you choose, endorse your names upon one of them, and return it thus endorsed to me, with the understanding that those signing are hereby committed to the following propositions, and to nothing else:
1. That there is now a 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 anything 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 endorsed, 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 his friends. But I do it chiefly because I thereby prevail on other influential genclemen 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. A. LINCOLN.
The Committee's Rejoinder.
NEW YORK, July 1, 1863. To his Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: SIR: Your answer to the application of the undersigned for a revocation of the order of banishment of Clement L. Vallandigham requires a reply, which they proceed with as little delay as possible to make.
They are not able to appreciate the force of the distinction you make between the Constitution and the application of the Constitution, whereby you assume that powers are delegated to the President at the time of invasion or in
surrection, in derogation of the plain language of the Constitution. The inherent provisions of the Constitution remaining the same in time of insurrection or invasion as in time of peace, the President can have no more right to disregard their positive and imperative requirements at the former time than at the latter. Because some things may be done by the terms of the Constitution at the time of invasion or insurrection which would not be required by the oceasion in time of peace, you assume that any thing whatever, even though not expressed by the Constitution, may be done on the occasion of insurrection or invasion, which the President may choose to say is required by the public safety. In plainer terms, because the writ of habeas corpus may be suspended at time of invasion or insurrection, you infer that all other provisions of the Constitution having in view the protection of the life, liberty, and property of the citizen, may be in like manner suspended.
The provision relating to the writ of habeas corpus being contained in the first part of the Constitution, the purpose of which is to define the powers delegated to Congress, has no connection in language with the Declaration of Rights, as guarantees of personal liberty, contained in the additional and amendatory articles, and inasmuch as the provision relating to habeas corpus expressly provides for its suspension, and the other provisions alluded to do not provide for any such thing, the legal conclusion is that the suspension of the later is unauthorized. The provision for the writ of habeas corpus is merely intended to furnish a summary remedy, and not the means whereby personal security is conserved in the final resort; while the other provisions are guarantees of personal rights, the suspension of which puts an end to all pretence of free government. It is true Mr. Vallandigham applied for a writ of habeas corpus as a summary remedy against oppression. But the denial of this did not take away his right to a speedy public trial by an impartial jury, or deprive him of his other rights as an American citizen. Your assumption of the right to suspend all the constitutional guarantees of personal liberty, and even of the freedom of speech and of the press, because the summary remedy of habeas corpus may be suspended, is at once startling and alarming to all persons desirous of preserving free government in this country.
The inquiry of the undersigned, whether "you hold the rights of every man throughout this vast country, in time of invasion or insurrection, are subject to be annulled whenever you may say that you consider the public safety requires it?" was a plain question, undisguised by circumlocution, and intended simply to elicit information. Your affirmative answer to this question throws a shade upon the fondest anticipations of the framers of the Constitution, who flattered themselves that they had provided safeguards against the dangers which have ever beset and overthrown free government in other ages and countries. Your answer is not to be disguised by the phraseology that the question "is simply a question who shall decide, or an
duties, or he could absolutely control the action, either of Congress or of the Supreme Court, by arresting and imprisoning its members, and upon the same ground he could suspend the elective franchise, postpone the elections, and declare the perpetuity of his high prerogative. And neither the power of impeachment nor the elections of the people could be made available against such concentration of power.
Surely it is not necessary to subvert free government in this country in order to put down the rebellion; and it cannot be done under the pretence of putting down the rebellion. In
It has been the boast of the American people that they had a written Constitution, not only expressly defining, but also limiting the powers of the Government, and providing effectual safe-deed, it is plain that your Administration has guards for personal liberty, security, and prop- been weakened, and greatly weakened, by the erty. And, to make the matter more positive assu ssumption of power not delegated in the Conand explicit, it was provided by the amenda-stitution. tory articles nine and ten that "the enumeration In your answer you say to us: "You claim in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be that men may, if they choose, embarras those construed to deny or disparage others retained whose duty it is to combat a giant rebellion by the people," and that "the powers not dele- and then be dealt with in terms as if there gated to the United States by the Constitution, were no rebellion." You will find yourself in nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved fault, if your will search our communication to the States respectively or to the people." to you for any such idea. The undersigned With this care and precaution on the part of our believe that the Constitution and laws of the forefathers who framed our institutions, it was land, properly administered, furnish ample not to be expected that, at so early a day as this, power to put down an insurrection without the a claim of the President to arbitrary power, assumption of powers not granted. And if exlimited only by his conception of the require-isting legislation be inadequate, it is the duty ments of the public safety, would have been of Congress to consider what further legislaasserted. In derogation of the constitutional tion is necessary, and to make suitable proviprovisions making the President strictly an ex- sion by law. ecutive officer, and vesting all the delegated You claim that the military arrests made by legislative powers in Congress, your position, as your Administration are merely preventive remewe understand it, would make your will the rule dies, "as injunctions to stay injury, or proceedof action, and your declaration of the require-ings to keep the peace, and not for punishment." ments of the public safety the law of the land. The ordinary preventive remedies alluded to are Our inquiry was not, therefore, "simply a ques- authorized by established law, but the preventtion who shall decide, or the affirmation that ive proceedings you institute have their aunobody shall decide, what the public safety thority merely in the will of the Executive or requires." Our Government is a Government of that of officers subordinate to his authority. law, and it is the law-making power which ascer- And in this proceeding a discretion seems to be tains what the public safety requires, and pre-exercised as to whether the prisoner shall be scribes the rule of action; and the duty of the allowed a trial or even be permitted to know President is simply to execute the laws thus the nature of the complaint alleged against him, enacted, and not to make or annul laws. If any or the name of his accuser. If the proceedings exigency shall arise, the President has the be merely preventive, why not allow the prisoner power to convene Congress at any time to pro- the benefit of a bond to keep the peace? But vide for it; so that the plea of necessity fur- if no offence has been committed, why was Mr. nishes no reasonable pretext for any assumption Vallandigham tried, convicted, and sentenced of legislative power. by a court-martial? And why the actual punishment by imprisonment or banishment, without the opportunity of obtaining his liberty in the mode usual in preventive remedies, and yet say it is not for punishment?
You still place Mr. Vallandigham's conviction and banishment upon the ground that he had damaged the military service by discouraging enlistments and encouraging desertions, &c., and yet you have not even pretended to controvert our position that he was not charged with, tried, or convicted for any such offence before the court-martial.
affirmation that nobody shall decide, what the public safety does require in case of rebellion or invasion." Our Government was designed to be a Government of law, settled and defined, and not of the arbitrary will of a single man. As a safeguard, the powers were delegated to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Government, and each made co-ordinate with the others, and supreme within its sphere, and thus a mutual check upon each other in case of abuse of power.
For a moment contemplate the consequences of such a claim to power. Not only would the dominion of the President be absolute over the rights of individuals, but equally so over the other departments of the Government. If he should claim that the public safety required it, he could arrest and imprison a judge for the conscientious dischage of his duties, paralyze the judicial power, or supercede it by the substitution of courts-martial, subject to his own will, throughout the whole country. If any one of the States, even far removed from the rebellion, should not sustain his plan for proseouting the war, he could, on the plea of public safety, annul and set at defiance the State laws and authorities, arrest and imprison the Governor of the State or the members of the Legislature, while in the faithful discharge of their
In answer to our position that Mr. Vallandigham was entitled to a trial in the civil tribunals, by virtue of the late acts of Congress you say: "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," &c., and yet, in a subsequent part of your answer, after speaking of certain disturbances which are alleged to have occurred in resistance of the arrest of deserters and of the enrollment preparatory to the draft, and which you attribute mainly to the course Mr. Vallandigham has pursued, you say that he has made speeches against the war in the midst of resistance to it; that "he has never been known, in any instance, to counsel against such resistance;" and that "it is next to impossible to repel the inference that he has counselled directly in favor of it." Permit us to say that your information is most grievously at fault.
The undersigned have been in the habit of hearing Mr. Vallandigham speak before popular assemblages, and they appeal with confidence to every truthful person who has ever heard him for the accuracy of the declaration, that he has never made a speech before the people of Ohio in which he has not counselled submission and obedience to the laws and the Constitution, and advised the peaceful remedies of the judicial tribunals and of the ballot-box for the redress of grievances and for the evils which afflict our bleeding and suffering country. And, were it not foreign to the purposes of this communication, we would undertake to establish to the satisfaction of any candid person that the disturbances among the people to which you allude, in opposition to the arrest of deserters and the draft, have been occasioned mainly by the measures, policy, and conduct of your Administration, and the course of its political friends. But if the circumstantial evidence exists, to which you allude, which makes "it next to impossible to repel the inference | that Mr. Vallandigham has counselled directly in favor" of this resistance, and that the same bas been mainly attributable to his conduct, why was he not turned over to the civil authorities to be tried under the late acts of Congress? If there be any foundation in fact for your statements implicating him in resistance to the constituted authorities, he is liable to such prosecution. And we now demand, as a mere act of justice to him, an investigation of this matter before a jury of his country; and respectfully insist that fairness requires either that you retract these charges which you make against him, or that you revoke your order of banishment and allow him the opportunity of an investigation before an impartial jury.
The committee do not deem it necessary to repel at length the imputation that the attitude of themselves or of the Democratic party in Ohio "encourage desertions, resistance to the draft, and the like." Suggestions of that kind are not unusual weapons in our ordinary political contests. They rise readily in the minds of politicians heated with the excitement of partisan strife. During the two years in which the Democratic party of Ohio has been constrained to oppose the policy of the Administration, and to stand up in defence of the Constitution and of personal rights, this charge has been repeatedly made. It has fallen harmless, however, at the feet of those whom it was intended to injure. The committee believe it will do so again. If it were proper to do so in
this paper, they might suggest that the measures of the Administration, and its changes of policy in the prosecution of the war, have been the fruitful sources of discouraging enlistments and inducing desertions, and furnish a reason for the undeniable fact that the first call for volunteers was answered by very many more than were demanded, and that the next call for soldiers will probably be responded to by drafted men alone.
The observation of the President in this connection, that neither the Convention in its resolutions, nor the committee in its communication, intimate that they "are conscious of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of destroying the Union," needs, perhaps, no reply. The Democratic party of Ohio has felt so keenly the condition of the country, and been so stricken to the heart by the misfortunes and sorrows which have befallen it, that they hardly deemed it necessary by solemn resolution, when their very State exhibited everywhere the sad evidences of war, to remind the President that they were aware of its existence.
In the conclusion of your communication you propose that, if a majority of the committee shall affix their signatures to a duplicate copy of it, which you have furnished, they shall stand committed to three propositions, therein at length set forth, that he will publish the names thus signed, and that this publication shall operate as a revocation of the order of banishment. The committee cannot refrain from the expression of their surprise that the President should make the fate of Mr. Vallandigham depend upon the opinion of this committee upon these propositions. If the arrest and banishment were legal, and were deserved; if the President exercised a power clearly delegated, under circumstances which warranted its exercise, the order ought not to be revoked, merely because the committee hold, or express, opinions accordant with those of the President. If the arrest and banishment were not legal, or were not deserved by Mr. Vallandigham, then surely he is entitled to an immediate and unconditional discharge.
The people of Ohio were not so deeply moved by the action of the President merely because they were concerned for the personal safety and convenience of Mr. Vallandigham, but because they saw in his arrest and banishment an attack upon their own personal rights; and they attach value to his discharge chiefly as it will indicate an abandonment of the claim to the power of such arrest and banishment. However just the undersigned might regard the principles contained in the several propositions submitted by the President, or how much soever they might, under other circumstances, feel inclined to indorse the sentiments contained therein, yet they assure him that they have not been authorized to enter into any bargains, terms, contracts, or conditions with the President of the United States to procure the release of Mr. Vallandigham. The opinions of the undersigned touching the questions involved in these propositions are well known, have been many times publicly expressed, and
are sufficiently manifested in the resolutions of announcement of the "riddling" of the Empire office by the convention which they represent, and they will avail nothing now or hereafter. I do express to you "furloughed soldiers." I offer you no sympathy, for that cannot suppose that the President expects that my profound regret that you were not prepared to inflict they will seek the discharge of Mr. Vallandig- on the spot, and in the midst of the assault, the complete ham by a pledge implying not only an imputa-fied to learn that some of them did soon after receive their punishment which the assailants deserved; but am gratition upon their own sincerity and fidelity as cit- deserts. But these cowardly acts cannot always be guarded izens of the United States, and also carrying against. And they do not primarily come from the "solwith it by implication a concession of the legality preventive of future injuries; and that is, instant, sumdiers." There is, therefore, but one remedy for past and of his arrest, trial, and banishment, against mary, and ample reprisals upon the persons and property which they and the convention they represent of the men at home who, by language and conduct, are alhave solemnly protested. have asked the revocation of the order of banishment not as a favor, but as a right due to the people of Ohio, and with a view to avoid the possibility of conflict or disturbance of the public tranquillity, they do not do this, nor does Mr. Vallandigham desire it, at any sacrifice of their dignity and self-respect.
ways exciting these outrages. And, while they
The idea that such a pledge as that asked from the undersigned would secure the public safety sufficiently to compensate for any mistake of the President in discharging Mr. Vallandigham is, in their opinion, a mere evasion of the grave questions involved in this discussion, and of a direct answer to their demand. And this is made especially apparent by the fact that this pledge is asked in a communication which concludes with an intimation of a disposition on the part of the President to repeat the acts complained of. The undersigned, therefore, having fully discharged the duty enjoined upon them, leave the responsibility with the President.
M. BIRCHARD, 19th Dist., Chairman.
The Case before the United States Supreme Court.
The case of Mr. Vallandigham, ex parte, was decided in the Supreme Court of the United States to-day. The petitioner asked that the writ of certiorari be directed to the Judge Advocate General for a revision of the proceedings of the Military Commission which tried him, the jurisdiction of which was denied as extending to the case of a civilian, and the object being to have the sentence annulled, on the ground of illegality. The Judge Advocate, Col. Holt, had responded in a written argument that the Court might with as much propriety be called upon to restrain, by injunction, the proceedings of Congress, as to revise by certiorari and reverse the proceedings of the military authority in time of war in the punishment of all military offences, according to the usages of civilized nations and the power given by the Constitution and laws of the United States for the common defence and public safety.
Justice Wayne to day delivered the opinion of the Court, refusing the writ, on the ground that even if the arrest, trial, and punishment of Vallandligham were illegal, there is no anthority in the Court to grant relief in this mode, and that there is no law by which any appeal or proceedings in the nature of an appeal from a Military Commission to the Supreme Court can be taken.
His Letter on "Retaliation.”
no avail to announce the falsehood that "both parties con
No legal nor military punishment is ever inflicted upon the immediate instruments. Retaliation, therefore, is the only and rightful remedy in times like these. I speak advisedly, and recommend it in all cases hereafter. It is of demn it," after the destruction has been consummated. The time has gone by for obedience without protection. I speak decided language; but the continual recurrence of these outrages-frequently attended with murder, and always without redress-demands it. They must bo stopped, let the consequences be what they may. Repri law and order. sals in such cases are now the only way left for a return to
C. L. VALLANDIGHAM. Mr. Vallandigham's Return and Address.
1864, June 15-Mr. Vallandigham returned to Ohio, and that day addressed the Democratic Convention at Hamilton, Ohio, as follows: the soil of my native State. To-day I am once more within MEN OF OHIO: To-day I am again in your midst and upon the district which for ten years extended to me the highest confidence, and three times honored me as its Representative in the Congress of the United States. I was accused of none. But whenever and wherever thus charged upon due process of law, I am now here ready to answer before any civil court of competent jurisdiction, to a jury of my countrymen, an meantime to give bail in any sum which any judge or court, State or Federal, may affix, and you, the 186,000 Democrats of Ohio, I offer as my sureties.
no crime against the Constitution or laws, and guilty of
Never for one hour have I remained in exile because I recognized any obligation of obedience to the unconstitutional and arbitrary edict. Neither did personal fear ever restrain me. And to-day I return of my own act and pleasure, because it is my constitutional and legal right to return. Only by an exertion of arbitrary power, itself against the Constitution and law, and consummated by military force, I was abducted from my home and forced into banishment. The assertion or insinuation of the President that I was arrested "because laboring, with some effect, to prevent the raising of troops, and to encourage desertions from the army," and was responsible for numerous acts of resistance to the draft and to the arrest of deserters, causing “assassination, maiming, and murder," or that at any time, in any way, I had disobeyed or failed to counsel obedience to the lawful authority, or even to the semblance of law, is absolutely false.
I appeal for the proof to every speech I ever made upon Commission by the trial and sentence of which I was outthose questions, and to the very record of the mock Military raged. No; the sole offence then laid to my charge was words of criticism of the public policy of the Administration, addressed to open and public political meetings of my fellow-citizens of Ohio, lawfully and peaceably assembled. And to-day, my only "crime" is, that in the way which they call treason, worship I the Constitution of my fathers. But for now more than one year, no public man has been arrested, and no newspaper suppressed within the States adhering still to the Union, for the expression of political opinion; while hundreds, in public assembly and through the press, have, with a license and violence in which I never indulged, criticised and condemned the acts and policies of the Administration, and denounced the war, maintaining even the propriety and necessity of the recognition of southern independence.
Indorsed by nearly two hundred thousand freemen of the Democratic party of my native State at the late elections, and still with the sympathy and support of millions more, I do not mean any longer to be the only man of that party who is to be the victim of arbitrary power. If Abraham Lincoln seeks my life, let him so declare; but he shall not again restrain me of my personal liberty except upon “que process of law." The unconstitutional and monstrous "Order 38," under which alone I was arrested thirteen months ago, was defied and spit upon at your State convention of 1863, by the gallant gentleman who bore the | standard as your candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and by