Valley Spirit: July 11, 1866Go To Page : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
Disfranchisement of Deserters
(Column 3)Summary: Provides a transcript of the opinion handed down in the Huber vs. Reilly case, which struck down the law barring deserters from voting.
Full Text of Article:Letter From Gen. W. W. Averell--The Battle of Moorefield--War Department Brevets
The following opinions of the Supreme Court in the case of Huber vs. Reily, was read by Justice Strong:
The act of Congress under which the defendant below justifies his refusal to receive the vote of the plaintiff is the one approved on the 3d day of March, 1865. The twenty-first section is the only one applicable to this case, and it is as follows: "And be it further enacted, that the addition to the other lawful penalties of the crime of desertion from the military or naval service, all persons who have deserted the military or naval service of the United States, who shall not return to said service, or report themselves to a Provost Marshal within sixty days after the proclamation hereinafter mentioned, shall be deemed and taken to have voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their rights of citizenship, and their rights to become citizens; and such deserters shall be forever incapable of holding any office or trust or profit under the United States or of exercising any rights of citizens thereof; and all persons who shall hereafter desert the military or naval service and all persons who being duly enrolled, shall depart the jurisdiction of the district in which he is enrolled, or go beyond the limits of the United States, with intent to avoid any draft into the military or naval service, duly ordered shall be liable to the penalties of this section." This is followed by a clause authorizing and requiring the President to issue his proclamation setting forth the provisions of the section, and we know judicially that this was done on the 11th of March, 1865.
The act of Congress is highly penal. It imposes forfeiture of citizenship and deprivation of the rights of citizenship, as penalties for the commission of a crime. Its avowed purpose is to add to the penalties which the law had previously affixed to the offence of desertion from the military or naval service of the United States, and it denominates the additional sanctions provided as penalties. Such being its character, it is, under the well known rule of law, to receive a strict construction in favor of the citizen.
The constitutionality of the act has been assailed on three grounds. The first of these is that it is an ex post facto law, imposing additional punishment for an offence committed before its passage, and altering the rules of evidence so as to require different and less proof of guilt than was required at the time of the perpetration of the crime. The second objection is, that the act is an attempt by Congress to regulate the right of suffrage in the States, or to impair it, and the third objection is that the act proposes to inflict pains and penalties upon offenders before and without a trial and conviction by due process of law, and that it is therefore prohibited by the bill of rights.
In the view which we take of this case, and giving to the enactment the construction we think properly belongs to it, it is unnecessary to consider at length, either of these objections to its constitutionality. It may be insisted, with strong reason, that the penalty of forfeiture of citizenship imposed upon those who had deserted the military or naval service prior to the passage of the act is not a penalty, for the original desertion, but for persistence in the crime, for failure (in the language of the statue) to return to said service, or to report to a Provost Marshal within sixty days after the President's proclamation. If this is so, the act of Congress is in no sense ex post facto, and it is not for that reason in conflict with the constitution. Its operation is entirely prospective. If a drafted man owes service to the Federal government, every new refusal to render the service may be regarded as a violation of public duty, a public offence for which Congress may impose a penalty. And as it is the duty of every court to construe a statute, if possible, so "ut res magis releat, quam petreat," that construction of this act must be adopted which is in harmony with the acknowledged powers of Congress, and which applies the forfeiture of citizenship to the new offence described as failure to return to service, or to report to the Provost Marshal.
The second objection also assumes more than can be conceded. It is not to be doubted that the right to regulate suffrage in a State, and to determine who shall, or who shall not be a voter belongs exclusively to the State itself. The constitution of the United States confers no authority upon Congress to prescribe the qualification of electors within the several States that compose the Federal Union. Congress is indeed empowered to make regulations for the time, place and manner of holding elections for Senators and representatives, or to alter those made by the legislature of a State, except those in relation to the places of choosing Senators, but here its power stops. The right of suffrage at a State election is a State right, a franchise conferable only by the State, which Congress can neither give nor take away. If, therefore, the act now under consideration is in truth an attempt to regulate the right of suffrage in the States, or to prescribe the conditions upon which that right may be exercised, it must be held unwarranted by the constitution. In the exercise of its admitted powers, Congress may doubtless deprive an individual of the opportunity to enjoy a right that belongs to him as a citizen of a state, even the right of suffrage. But this is a different thing from taking away or impairing the right itself. Under the laws of the Federal government, a voter may be sent abroad in the military service of the country, and thus deprived of the privilege of exercising his right, or a voter may be imprisoned for a crime against the United States, but it is a perversion of language to call this impairing his right of suffrage. Congress may provide laws for the naturalization of aliens, or it may refuse to provide such laws. Its action or non-action may thus determine whether individuals shall or shall not become citizens of the United States and I cannot doubt as a penalty for crime against the general government, Congress may impose upon the criminal forfeiture of his citizenship of the United States. Disfranchisement of a citizen as a punishment for crime, is no unusual punishment. Barker vs. the People, 20 Johns, 458. If by the organic law of a State, citizens of the United States only are allowed to vote, the action or non-action of Congress may thus indirectly affect the number of those entitled to the right of suffrage. Yet after all, the right is one which its possessor holds as a citizen of a State, secured to him by the State constitution alone. It is an integral part of the State government.
But it is not a correct view of the act of Congress now before us to regard it as an attempt to override State constitutions or to prescribe the qualifications of voters. The act makes no change in the organic law of the State. It leaves that as before, to confer the right of suffrage as it pleases. The enactment operates upon an individual offender, punishes him for violation of the federal law, by deprivation of his citizenship of the United States, but it leaves each State to determine for itself whether such an individual may be a voter. It does no more than increase the penalties of the law upon the commission of crime. Each State defines for itself what shall be the consequences of the infliction of such penalties. And with us it is still our own constitution which restricts the right of suffrage, and confers it upon those only who are inhabitants of the State, and citizens of the United States.
The third objection against the validity of the act of Congress would be a very grave one, if the act does in reality impose pains and penalties before and without a conviction by due process of law. The fifth article of the amendments to the constitution ordains "that no person shall be held to answer for a capital or other infamous crime, unless on a presentment, or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service, in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." The sixth article secures to the accused in all criminal prosecutions certain rights, among which are a speedy and public trial, by a jury of the vicinage, information of the nature and cause of the accusation, face to face presence with the witness against him, compulsory process for his own witnesses, and the assistance of counsel. The spirit of these constitutional provisions is briefly that no person can be made to suffer for a criminal offence unless the penalty be inflicted by due process of law.--What that is has been often defined, but never better than it was both historically and critically by Judge Curtis of the Supreme Court of the United States, in Den [UNCLEAR] vs. Murray et al, 18 Howard 272. It ordinarily implies and includes a complainant, defendant and a judge, regular allegations, opportunity to answer, and a trial according to some settled course of judicial proceeding. It must be admitted there are a few exceptional cases. Prominent among these are summary proceedings to recover debts due to the government, especially taxes and sums due by defaulting public officers. But I can call to mind no instance in which it has been held that the ascertainment of guilt of a public offence, and the imposition of legal penalties, can be in any other mode than by trial according to the law of the land or due process of law, and that is the law of the particular case, administered by a judicial tribunal authorized to adjudicate upon it. And I cannot persuade myself that a judge of elections or a board of election officers, constituted under State laws, is such a tribunal. I cannot think they have power to try criminal offenders still less to adjucate the guilt or innocence of an alleged violator of the laws of the United States. A trial before such officers is not due process for the punishment of offences, according to the meaning of that phrase in the constitution.--There are it is true many things which they may determine, such as the age and residence of a person offering to vote, whether he has paid taxes, and whether if born an alien he has a certificate of naturalization. These things pertain to the ascertainment of a political right. But whether he has been guilty of a criminal offence, and has as a consequence, forfeited his right, is an inquiry of a different character. Neither our constitution nor our law has conferred upon the judge of elections any such judicial functions. They are not sworn to try to issue in criminal cases.--They have no power to compel the attendance of witnesses, and their judgement if rendered would be binding upon no other tribunal.
Even if they were to assume jurisdiction of the offence described in the act of Congress, and proceed to try whether the applicant for a vote had been duly enrolled and drafted, whether he had received notice of the draft whether he had deserted and failed to return to service or failed to report to a Provost Marshal, and whether he had justifying reasons for such failure, and if after such trial they were to decide that he had not forfeited his citizenship all this would not amount to an acquittal. It would not protect him against a subsequent similar accusation and trial. It would not protect him against trial and punishment by a court martial. Surely that is no trial by due process of law, the judgement in which is not final, decides nothing, but leaves the accused exposed to another trial in a different tribunal and to the imposition by that other tribunal of the full punishment prescribed by law.
Moreover it is not in the power of Congress to confer upon such a tribunal, which is exclusively of State creation, jurisdiction to try offences against the United States. Notwithstanding the decision in Buckwalter vs. United States (11 S. & R., 193) which was an action for penalties, declared to be recoverable as other debts, the doctrine seems a plain one, that Congress cannot in the courts of any other government or sovereignty. Martle vs. Hunter's leasee, 1 Wheaton, 304, 330 Eby vs. Peck, 7 Con., 242, and Scoville vs Canfield, 14 Johns, 338. And clearly if this is so Congress cannot make a board of State election officers competent to try whether a person has been guilty of an offence against the United States, and if they find him guilty to enforce a part of the prescribed penalty.
If therefore the act of March 3, 1865, really contemplates the infliction of its prescribed penalty or any part of it without due process of law, or if it attempts to confer upon the election officers of a State the power to determine whether there has been a violation of the act incurring the penalty, and to enforce the penalty or any part of it, it may be doubted whether it is not transgressive of the authority vested in Congress by the constitution.
But such is not the fair construction of the enactment. It is not to be presumed that Congress intended to transgress its powers and especially is this true when the act admits of another construction entirely consonant with all the provisions of the constitution.
What then is its true meaning? As already observed, forfeiture of citizenship is prescribed as a penalty for desertion, an additional penalty, not for an offence committed before the passage of the act, but for continued desertion an failure to return or report. It is not a new consequence of a penalty, but it is an integral part of the thing itself. Nor is it the whole. It is added to what the law had previously enacted to be the penalty of desertion as imprisonment is sometimes added to punishment by fine.
It must have been intended, therefore, that it should be incurred in the same way, and imposed by the same tribunal that was authorized to impose the other penalties for the offence. It would be very absurd to suppose that the two trials and two condemnations for one crime were intended, or that it was designed that a criminal might be sentenced in one court to undergo a part of the punishment denounced by the law, and be punished in another court by the imposition of the remainder. The law as it stood when the act of 1865 was passed, had provided a tribunal in which alone the crime of desertion could be inflicted. The consequences of conviction may be noticed in other courts, but the tribunal appointed by the law for that purpose is the only one that can determine whether the crime has been committed, and adjudge the punishment.
The act of March 3d, 1865, is not to be considered apart form the other legislation respecting the crime of desertion. It is one of a series of acts pertaining to the same subject matter. It must, therefore, be interpreted with them all in view. This is an admitted rule of statutory construction. So long as Rex vs. Soxdale, 1 Burrows, 147, Lord Mansfield said when speaking of acts of Parliament, "that all which relate to the same subjects, not withstanding some of them may be expired or not noticed, must be taken to be one system and construed consistently." So Chancellor Kent, in the first volume of his commentaries, 463-4, said "it is to be inferred that a code of statues relating to one subject was governed by one spirit and policy and was intended to be consistent and harmonious in the several parts and provisions."" In looking through the numerous acts of Congress relating to desertion from military or naval service it is plainly to be seen that they all contemplate a regular trial and conviction prior to the infliction of any penalty, and court martials are constituted and regulated for such trials. The twentieth article of war, enacted on the 10th of April, 1806, (Brightly's Dig., 75) is in these words: "all officers and soldiers who have received pay, or have been duly enlisted in the service of the United State, and shall be convicted of having deserted, the same shall suffer death or such other punishment as by sentence of court martial shall be inflicted." Other enactments have been made at different times respecting the punishments to be inflicted for the offence. The punishment of death in time of peace was abolished in 1830. Corporeal punishment by stripes was abolished by the act of May 16, 1812, and by the act of March 2d, 1833, that section of the repealing act was itself repealed, "so far as it applies to any enlisted soldier who shall be convicted by a general court martial of the crime of desertion." By the act of January 11, 1812, an additional penalty was prescribed for desertion, and it was declared that "such soldier shall and may be tried by a court martial and punished." Brightly's Dig., 89. The 13th section of the act of March 3d, 1863, which declared that any person failing to report after due service of notice that he had been drafted, shall be deemed a deserter, enacted that such a person "shall be arrested by the Provost Marshal and sent to the nearest military post for trial by Court Martial, unless upon proper showing that he is not liable to military duty, the board of enrollment shall receive him from the draft." All these acts of Congress manifestly contemplate trial for desertion by courts martial and the infliction of no punishment or forfeiture, except upon conviction and sentence in such courts. The act of 1806 provided for general court martial, and made minute and careful regulations for their organization, for the conduct of their proceedings, and for the approval or disapproval of their sentences. Subsequent acts made some changes, but they have not restrained the jurisdiction or diminished the powers of such courts.
It is to such a code of laws, forming a system devised for the punishment of desertion, that the 21st section of the act of March 3d, 1865, was added. It refers plainly to pre-existing laws. It has the single object of increasing the penalties, but it does not undertake to change or dispense with the machinery provided for punishing the crime. The common rules of construction demand that it be read as if it had been incorporated into the former acts. And if it had been, if the act of 1806, and its supplements had prescribed that penalty for desertion or failure to report within a designated time after notice of draft (which the act of 1863 declares desertion) should be punished on conviction of the same with forfeiture of citizenship and death, or in lieu of the latter such other punishment as by the sentence of a court-martial may be inflicted, would any one contend that any portion of this punishment could be inflicted without conviction and sentence? Assuredly not. And if not, so must the act of 1865 be construed now. It means that the forfeiture which it prescribes, like all other penalties for desertion, must be adjudged to the convicted person after trial by a court-martial and sentence approved. For the conviction and sentence of such a court there can be no substitute. They alone can establish the guilt of the accused, and fasten upon him the legal consequences. Such we think is the true meaning of the act, a construction that cannot be denied to it without losing sight of all the previous legislation respecting the same subject matter, no part of which does this act profess to alter.
It may be added that this construction is not only required by the universally admitted rules of statuatory interpretation, but it is in harmony with the personal rights secured by the constitution and which Congress must be presumed to have kept in view. It gives to the accused a trial before sworn Judges, a right challenge, an opportunity of defence, the privilege of hearing the witnesses against him, and of calling witnesses in his behalf. It preserves to him the common law presumption of innocence, until he has been adjudged guilty according to the forms of law.
It gives finality to a single trial. If tried by a court-martial and acquitted, his innocence can never again be called in question, and he can be made to suffer no part of the penalties prescribed for guilt. On the other hand, if a record of conviction by a lawful court be not a prerequisite to suffering the penalty of the law, the act of Congress may work intolerable hardships. The accused will thus be obliged to prove his innocence whenever the registry of the Provost Marshal is adduced against him. No decision of a board of election officers will protect him against the necessity of renewing his defence at every subsequent election, and each time with increased difficulty arising from the possible death or absence of witnesses. In many cases this may prove a gross wrong. It cannot be doubted that in some instances there were causes that prevented a return to service or a report, by persons registered as deserters by Provost Marshals, that would have been held justifying reasons by a court martial, or at least would have prevented an approval of the court's sentence. It is well known also that some who were registered deserters, were at the time actually in the military service as volunteers, and honorably discharging their duties to the government. To hold that the act of Congress imposes upon such the necessity of proving their innocence without any conviction of guilt, would be an unreasonable construction of the act, and would be attributing to the national legislature an intention not warranted by the language and connection of the enactment.
It follows that the judgement of the court below upon the case stated was right. The plaintiff not having been convicted of desertion and failure to return to the service or to report to a Provost Marshal, and not having been sentenced to the penalties and forfeitures of the law, was entitled to vote.
And now, to wit, June 20, 1866, the judgement of the Court of Common Pleas of Franklin county is affirmed.
GEO. W. WOODWARD
WOODWARD C. J.--I concur in the conclusion stated in the above opinion and in most of the reasoning by which that conclusion was reached. But I do not concur in treating the act of Congress as a valid enactment, for I believe it was an ex post facto law in respect to all soldiers except such as committed the crime of desertion after the date of the law. This is not a case of desertion subsequent to the enactment, but prior to it, and the penalties of the offence are such as were fixed by law when the offence was committed, and it is not competent for the legislature to increase them except in future cases.
(Column 7)Summary: Includes a copy of a letter sent to the Chairman of the Military Committee, by W. W. Averell, requesting that the board reconsider its findings regarding the Confederate raids on Chambersburg in 1864. As the senior officer responsible for the defeat of the raiders, Averell feels as though he and his men have failed to obtain proper recognition for the feats. The origins of his endeavor, therefore, rests with his desire to "correct the trifling errors," which, he fears, are "being forced into history."
Full Text of Article:
The following letter, dated Raymond, West Virginia, May 18th, and addressed to Hon. Robt. C. Schneck, Chairman of Military Committee, will be read with interest by many who served under Gen. Averell on more than one hard-fought field. The letter is as follows: Sir--In the Congressional reports of the 15th instant I observe that a resolution was offered by you, and adopted by the House of Representatives, directing the Secretary of War to communicate a statement of the brevet promotions made in the regular army since April 12th, 1861.
It is not clear that it was intended by this resolution to gain information of the brevet volunteer promotions made in the regular army; but, presuming that such a statement may properly come within its scope, and believing that it will not be furnished from any other source, I beg leave to lay before you, with the request that it may be referred to the proper committee, some information concerning a brevet Major General of Volunteers bestowed upon me August 8th, 1864, for services at Moorfield, West Virginia, but which was not confirmed.
The want of political friends, and perhaps the want of a sufficient regard for the brevet itself, prevented me making any inquiries upon the subject, but now an imperative duty to myself and to the officers and men who served under my command, obliges me to avail myself of this opportunity to correct some trifling errors which are now being forced into history, and if possible to substitute for them a few facts.--The operations in West Virginia, under your Insturctions as Department Commander, did not appeal for much public or official consideration amidst the events transpiring with the grand armies on either hand, but they were so insignificant as to deserve the oblivion of utter ignorance on the part of those in authority. It was that command which attacked and defeated the enemy at Droop Mountain, captured guns, colors, prisoners and baggage, and for the first time drove him from the State of West Virginia, November, 1863--the identical column which, shortly afterwards encountering the rigors of a terrible winter and vastly superior numbers of the enemy twice passed the Alleghenies, penetrated the enemy's lines to Salem on the Tennessee Railroad, and destroyed the supplies and communications of Longstreet, tending to cripple his operations against Burnside, and to oblige him to abandon that line--the same division which co-operated with Crook in breaking the Tennessee Railroad a second time in the spring of 1864, and participated in the campaign against Lynchburg.
In the latter part of July, 1864, that division, after having marched over four thousand miles on the various expeditions of that year, without rest or remount, found itself reduced in strength to about seventeen hundred mounted men, stretched along the north bank of the Potomac from Hancock to Antietam Furnace, in Maryland, a distance of about thirty miles.
The enemy, under Early, crossed the river at three points on the 29th, breaking my thin picket line into several fragments. To save and assemble these, to observe and oppose the enemy while his advancing columns occupied every road, consumed the evening and night of the 29th, during which time one column under McCausland passed around my right to Chambersburg, which he burned at daylight on the morning of the 30th. At McConnellsburg, he was overtaken and attacked by my command, and pursued toward the Potomac at Hancock, whence he fled up the river, burning the bridges and blockading the road, behind him to Oldtown, thirteen miles below Cumberland, where he captured an out post of Gen. Kelley's command, escaped across the river and took his way southward.
In the meantime my command crossed at Hancock, passed through Bloomery Gap, striking the enemy's trail at Springfield. The pursuit was continued with the loss to us of nearly two hundred horses exhausted and abandoned, to Moorfield, where, attacked at daylight, August 8, the enemy lost his artillery, the Baltimore battery and three (3) colors, about one hundred and fifty killed and wounded, four hundred and twenty prisoners, thirty-six officers, nearly seven hundred horses and saddles, and all his baggage, &c., all of which, excepting the killed and mortally wounded, were brought in. The casualties in my command were only thirty-four. Our strength was about seventeen hundred, while captured papers of the enemy exhibited a total present of about thirty-two hundred.
We regarded the results of the pursuit and encounter with satisfaction. They had not been achieved without the exercise of the greatest possible resolution, fortitude, and intrepidity of my command. To the proud consciousness of having performed their duty well, was afterwards added the satisfaction of knowing that their gallantry had been for once recognized by the War Department--their commander had reaped the bravest of major general from their meritorious conduct. This gratification was changed to disappointment and chagrin when subsequently in looking through the report of the Lieutenant General for some record of that march and combat that those soldiers who had returned to their homes, read the following paragraph intended as a report of the question, viz: "The rebel force moved down the valley and sent a raiding party into Pennsylvania, which, on the 30th burned Chambersburg, and then retreated pursued by our cavalry toward Cumberland. They were met and defeated by General Kelley, and with diminished numbers escaped into the mountains of West Virginia."
The historical value of the above extract is somewhat lessened by comparison with the facts previously stated, and by remembering that Gen. Kelley was not within fifty miles of Moorfield; that the only portion of his command was encountered McCausland was captured; and that no officer senior to myself gave any direction not already taken, nor any information not already obtained and acted upon by myself. It may have been that not enough of my command were killed to justify a remembrance of the name of the place or commander, but those noble officers and men, who, on broken down horses or on foot, in rags, hungry, without sleep, untiringly pursued McCausland, overtook and pubished will not soon forget Moorfield.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
W. W. AVERELL,
Late Brig. Gen. U. S. V.
The Danger of Delay
(Column 1)Summary: Accusing the Republicans of passing the constitutional amendment in order to maintain their grip on power and force their radical agenda upon the country, the editorial asserts that their political chicanery will impede the restoration process, and will thus have an adverse effect on the nation's future.
Full Text of Article:The National Convention, Again
It must be apparent to all right-thinking persons that the sooner the Union is restored the better for the whole country, North as well as South. The effort of the radicals to postpone the restoration of the seceded States to their constitutional relations in the Union is full of dangers to the future peace and welfare of the country; and it will be well for the people to look these dangers squarely in the face and apply the proper remedy before it is too late.
When the conflict of arms ceased, it was hoped that the long agony was over, and that the Union was restored. The South seemed disposed to accept even terms that the Government had no constitutional right to impose; but the temper of the Radical party at the North was not to be appeased by the manly surrender of the South. A mere restoration of the Union was not what they desired. The Union must be "reconstructed;" made something else than what our fathers made it; other conditions than those imposed by the Constitution must be exacted to suit party purposes under the plan of "security for the future," The entire influence of the South must be destroyed, so that the dominant party may hold power forever.--This is the radical scheme, and these the motives by which they are governed.
After armed rebellion ceased, common sense dictated that a generous and conciliatory policy was necessary to bring back peace and harmony to the country. Yet Congress has been in session eight months, debating and wrangling and abusing the South, and fixing up measures to make the Government as distasteful and odious as possible. Is this wise? Does it show any honest purpose to bring about the result most anxiously desired by all true friends of the country? Or must it not, from the very nature of things, lead inevitably to total ruin and anarchy?
Congress has passed a Constitutional amendment, which is to be adopted before the Southern States can be admitted into the Union. Whether these States are in or out of the Union does not appear. They seem to be in when it suits and out when it suits. It is quite apparent that the plan now proposed, and upon which the party is acting, is nothing more than a plan to keep the States out of the Union. As there is no probability that any Southern State will adopt the Amendment, they must remain out in the cold as long as this policy is supported. If the radical party retain power, we may as well surrender all hope of a restored Union, not withstanding the success of our armies. All the blood shed during the last five years will have been shed in vain, and all the treasure expended uselessly wasted.
The radical party never can restore the Union as it was. Indeed they do not intend that it shall be restored, if they can prevent it. Their purposes are revolutionary. They aim at subverting the rights of the State and centralizing power in the Federal Government. As far as the government of the South is concerned, it will be one of restraint, and not of consent. Does any one for a moment suppose that the South will long patiently submit to be governed in this way? Is it not apparent that this policy must breed new dissentions, and result in consequences the most disastrous to the whole country? Who so blind that he cannot see this? Those who supported the Government to restore the Union as it was, not to carry out party purpose and establish the domination of one section over another, cannot look at the prospect before them without the most gloomy foreboding of the future. We can never have an Ireland, or a Poland, or a Hungary in this country, and remain a free people. We must have a government with the consent and co-operation of the people, or no free government at all.
We hear a great deal about the Southern people adhering to their old views on the right of secession and the like. This is the sheerest nonsense. What difference does it make about the sentiments they entertain, if they behave themselves properly and obey the laws, as they are now doing? It has never been held to be a part of the business of the Government to compel people to think alike. A man in South Carolina has as much right to think his own thoughts as a yankee in Massachusetts. Think what they may about the abstract right of secession, the Southern leaders, without exception, no admit that practically the doctrine is a nullity and must be abandoned--that they submitted the question to the arbitrament of arms and the issue was decided against them. How utterly foolish and absurd it is then to be eternally harping on the sentiment of the South on a question, acknowledged by its own votaries to be obsolete, and main that a pretext for putting obstructions in the way of a speedy restoration of the Union.
No, if we ever expect a Union of these States again, the South must be taken as she is, with representatives of her own restrained choosing. The longer it is postponed the worse. This cobbling and tinkering with plans and schemes, and Constitution patching, only increases the difficulty if the Southern people cant be trusted now, they will be less to be trusted a few years hence.
The only safety for the country lies in the wise, conciliatory and constitutional policy of President Johnson. The radical track is beset with the snags and breakers on every side. If the radicals crew are permitted much longer to steer the ship of State, without the guidance of the chart of the Constitution, she will inevitably spring a leak and go down beneath the waves of fanaticism and faction. It is high time that the people of the whole country should awake to the importance of the pending issue between a patriotic President and a revolutionary Congress. Their votes in the fall elections will determine whether our constitutional form of government shall be perpetuated, or whether hereafter we shall be compelled to live under the tyranny of a central despotism. Let the votes of the people this fall strengthen the hands of the President, by returning a popular verdict in favor of his policy, and the dangers now threatening our free institutions from radical misrule will pass away forever--a speedy restoration will be accomplished, and peace and happiness will again smile upon the land from one end to the other.--If they fall, the prospect will be indeed gloomy.
(Column 3)Summary: The editorial welcomes the announcement that a National Union Convention will be held in August, proclaiming it an "unexpected quarter of chance of rescue" from the ruin promised by continued Republican rule.
Origin of Article: AgeFull Text of Article:Congressional Extravagance
We hear of numerous letters from the South addressed to prominent citizens, Democrats and non-Radical Republicans, inquiring with deep solicitude, as to the prospects of the coming Convention. It is most natural that this solicitude should exist, and it will be most unnatural if it should not be satisfied. It is conceded on all hands, though different solutions of the problem are attempted, that, when the armies of Lee and Johnson surrendered, and the submission of the South was an accomplished fact, the feeling in that region was better and more kindly than it was a month ago, or perhaps is now. How it was changed and acidulated, and hardened, we do not pause to inquire, though on the subject we have clear opinions. That it has changed is enough for us. The cruel, intolerant fanaticism of Congress is of necessity encountered, in the Southern heart, by sullen despair. Is there to be, say they, no sympathy with our sorrows, even on the theory that we brought them upon ourselves? Are we to be punished forever? Are we to be proscribed and disfranenished to the crack of doom? To this there is but one answer from the Radical majority in Congress and their retainers outside. It is the stern decree of modern Pharaohs, who would neither let the people go out nor come back. It is the turning of the imperial thumb to the wonderful gladiator. It is Lauderdale ordering the executioner to drive the wedge deeper into the iron boot. It is, to descend very much in the scale of illustration. Allegheny Williams begrudging a flower or a stone on a confederate tomb. It is Stevens, tottering on the edge of his own grave talking about the "bayonets of hell." It is the Cerebus of our own "loyal" press here, barking for vengeance and trying, safely to lap more blood. In vain in the path of fanaticism stood the President. He announced to the world his policy of justice and mercy, but he was powerless in effecting legislation. He is powerless in another sense. Like one of our early Presidents in this, though unlike in other respects, he inherited a Cabinet. By it, he has been hampered and he is hampered yet. He has done all he can to restore the Union as it was. He does not seem much disposed to have any other than the Constitution as it is. Still, we repeat, he is relatively powerless
In this condition of helpless and hopeless antagonism there appears in an unexpected quarter a change of rescue. A number of public men, holding no executive position, but, strictly speaking, representatives of the people and the States, make an affectionate and respectful appeal--the only one that has been made to the whole people and all the States--to Texas, to Maine, to Iowa, to Florida, to men of all parties (not of all colors), and of varied political antecedents to meet in Convention, National Convention, and deliberate. That appeal reaches the South, which had almost given itself up to despondency, and is it any wonder that a little hope brightens in their saddened hearts, and that they write to their Northern friends (for they have friends in their hour of adversity), and ask, is this all illusory? Are there no such beings as moderate, merciful Republicans? Is Democracy, War Democracy or peace Democracy, so fierce or so feeble, that it dare not come into council with Southern men who are disarmed and powerless for evil? Is ruin still to rule the hour? Is there no hope?
Our answer as Democratic journalists and we hope and believe the answer of the Democracy of Pennsylvania, is very distinct.--We favor this Convention. There is nothing or little in what we may describe as its preliminary platform that repels us. The Convention implies no derangement of the political organization to which we belong, and are proud to belong. Indeed it strengthens it. Let it meet. Let every Congressional District of the North be represented, and then let it, as it certainly will, give a grand example to Congress, in session or out of session, of admitting representatives from all the Southern States, and deliberating ith them, their ancient friends, their brethren yet. Let them admit them with generous confidence and without the wretched conscience-traps of oaths of abjuration and supremacy. Thus deliberating, we doubt not of the result in theory and in practice. The sight of Southern men in council with the North as equals will invigorate the truly national spirit everywhere.--Philadelphia in 1865 will be as Philadelphia in 1787. Christ Church bells will ring as they used long ago to do, not for bloody victories in civil war, but for the new creation of a nation and the resurrection of a Federal Union. Practically, a Convention thus animated and thus deliberating, will for the machinery by which its patriotic designs are to be carried into effect, rely mainly, though not of necessity exclusively, on the great and compact organization of the State Right Democracy, now as ever the true supporters of the Union. Hence we wish the Convention success.--Age.
(Column 4)Summary: Using a quote extracted from the New York Times to support its position, the article alleges the Republicans are guilty of corruption and gross negligence in their handling of the national economy.
Origin of Article: Lancaster Intelligencer; New York TimesEditorial Comment: "The following denunciation of the extravagance of the Republican Congress now in session at Washington, is from a leading Republican journal whose editor-in-chief is himself a member. Says the New York Times of Yesterday:"From Washington
(Column 6)Summary: Reports that several prominent members of Congress have called for a convention to meet in Philadelphia, on August 14th, to discuss the deteriorating state of the Union.
Full Text of Article:
WASHINGTON, June 30, 1866.
A call has emanated from the National Union Club of Washington, to which are appended the names of Messrs. Doolittle and Randall, of Wisconsin, Browning, of Illinois, and Cowan, of Pennsylvania, with the indorsement of Senators Dixon, of Connecticut, Hendricks of Indiana, Norton of Minnesota, and Nesmith, of Oregon, for a National Convention to be held in Philadelphia on the 14th of August next. The prominent object of the convention will be to sustain the administration of President Johnson in maintaining the Union of the States under the Constitution as established by our fathers. Whether the assembling of this convention is to result in the fusion of the conservative Republicans and Democrats into a permanent national party, under some new name, does not appear. The object of the convention may be regarded as limited to the great issues, Union and disunion, which the Radical majority in Congress have presented.
ENDORSEMENT OF THE UNION CONVENTION.
The Democratic members of Congress held a caucus last night in which the above mentioned call for a National Union Convention was fully discussed. An address to the Democratic voters of the country was agreed upon, approving and indorsing the call. The address has been submitted to the Democratic Senators and representatives for their signatures, and will be ready for publication on Monday. OPNIONOS OF THE PRESS OF RICHMOND.
The Richmond Dispatch remarks that the convention "will be the most important event of our time, and will look more like Union than anything that has happened since the war." The Richmond Enquirer considers the call "liberal in its terms." The Richmond Examiner asserts that the "South is the party most immediately and vitally interested in the success of the movement," and that no Southern State should "hang back" from it.
Trailer: KeystoneJohnson, Clymer and the Union Call for a State Convention of Honorably Discharged Officers, Soldiers and Seamen
(Column 7)Summary: In response to the outcome of the Soldiers' Convention recently held in Pittsburgh--an event critics claim "misrepresented the sentiments of the great mass" of soldiers--Pennsylvania Democrats issued a call for the state's veterans to meet at a second meeting in Harrisburg on August 1st.
Full Text of Article:
The Soldiers' Convention which met in Pittsburgh on the 5th of June last, and which pledged their comrades in the State to the support of the radical measures of Congress in opposition to the just and constitutional policy of President Johnson, and which promised their votes to John W. Geary, the radical candidate for Governor, misrepresented the sentiments of the great mass of the officers and soldiers of Pennsylvania. In order that a true expression of opinion might be had from the late defenders of the government in the field, and to counteract the injury attempted to be done to the cause of the Union, it was deemed advisable by the late officers and soldiers of the Federal army in this State to hold another Convention.
A preliminary meeting of returned officers and soldiers, with this object in view was holden on Thursday the 28th of June, when it was resolved to hold A state Convention at Harrisburg, on Wednesday, the first of August prex., at 10 o'clock, A., M., to be composed of such honorably discharged officers, soldiers and seamen of Pennsylvania, as subscribe to the following doctrine, viz:--
1. Who are in favor of carrying out, in good faith, the joint resolution of Congress adopted July 22d, 1861, which declared that, "This war is not prosecuted on our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired." These were the conditions of the bond the soldiers signed and sealed in blood with the government and a refusal now to carry them out is a gross violation of a solemn agreement.
2. Who are in favor of restoring the states lately in rebellion to all their constitutional relations with the Federal Union as they stood before the war broke out, according to the humane and constitutional policy laid down by President Johnson;
3. Who are in favor of representatives from the South, loyal to the Constitution and the laws, being immediately received by Congress;
4. Who approve President Johnson's vetoes of the Freedman's Bureau and Civil Right's Bills;
5. Who are opposed to any interference by Congress with the rights of the States reserved by the Constitution, and who are opposed to the right of suffrage being conferred upon the negro;
6. And who are in favor of the election of Hiester Clymer, Democratic candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania, the representative of the constitutional and conservative doctrine stated above.
Each county will be entitled to seven delegates to the Convention; and where a county has more than one member in the House of Representatives, such county will be entitled to seven delegates for each additional member. The delegates are to be selected by the honorably discharged officers, soldiers and seamen of the counties respectively.
In addition to the delegates selected, all other honorably discharged officers, soldiers and seamen who sympathize with the object in view, are invited to meet at Harrisburg on that occasion
W. W. H. Davis,
Colonel 104th P. V.
Colonel 1st Pa. Cav.
JOHN P. LINTON,
Lieut. Col. 5th P. V.
J. WESLEY AWL,
Lieut. Co. 201st P. V.
R. P. McWILLIAMS
Captain 126th P. V.
C. B. BROCKWAY
Captain 1st Pa Artillery
(Column Local and Personal--Democratic County Committee)Summary: Announces that the County Democratic Committee will meet on August 14th.
(Names in announcement: F. M. Kimmel, John Armstrong, George Brewer, W. S. Stenger, A. H. Senseny, S. M. Worley, William McCrory, John Goetz, Jacob Smith, H. M. Sibbett, D. B. Russell, John W. Coon, E. J. Small, H. T. Snyder, Hiram Sowers, Willliam Linn, S. G. Breckenridge, D. C. Byers, Daniel Stake, J. H. McKim, D. J. Skinner, Maj. John Nimmons, Andrew Burgess, A. J. North, W. D. McKinstrey, Jacob Cook, John Croft, Samuel West, Simon Brewer)Full Text of Article:Local and Personal--Take Notice
The members of the County Committee are requested to meet at the office of the Chairman on Saturday next, the 14th inst., at 2 o'clock, P. M. A full attendance is requested. The following named gentlemen compose the Committee:F. M. KIMMELL, Chairman. John Armstrong, Chambersburg. George W. Brewer, do A. H. Senseny, do S. M. Worley, do William McCrory, Antrim. John Goetz, do Jacob R. Smith, do H. M. Sibbett, Waynesboro. D. B. Russell do John W. Coon, do E. J. Small, Quincy. H. T. Snyder, Fayetteville. Hiram Sowers, Guilford. Wm. Linn, Jr. Southampton. S. G. Breckenridge, Orrstown. D. C. Byers, Lurgan. Daniel Stake, Sulphur Spring. J. H. McKim, Concord. D. J. Skinner, Dry Run. Maj. Jno. S. Nimmon, Fannettsburg. Andrew Burgess, Loudon. A. J. North, Peters. W. D. McKinstrey, Mercersburg. Jacob Cook, Upton. John Croft, St. Thomas. Samuel West, Hamilton. Simon Brewer, Warren.
(Column 1)Summary: William Stenger, Esq., will hold the final distribution of proceeds from Hezekiah Easton's estate sale on August 3rd.Married
(Names in announcement: Hezekiah Easton, William StengerEsq.)
(Column 5)Summary: On June 27, William C. Coyles, of Altoona, Blair county, Pa., and Marion J. McCune were married by Rev. J. Benson Akers.Died
(Names in announcement: Rev. J. Benson Akers, William C. Coyles, Marion J. McCune)
(Column 5)Summary: On July 2nd, Joseph P. Brewer died near Mercersburg.
(Names in announcement: Joseph P. Brewer)
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