Wednesday, 15 April 2015 12:57 | Written by complied by James Johnson
Boston Post Morning, April 15, 1865
The President’s speech puzzles many vehement politicians. They hardly know how to comment upon it. Some say it is indefinite— others that it was premature—others, again, that it lacks indication of ferocious thirst for the vengeance ultra philanthropists crave.
We, however, do not perceive it affords any just cause for complaint. The spirit of it appears to indicate a disposition to do the best that can be done according to the dictates of patriotism, humanity and wisdom.
The present crisis is the most momentous one which has arisen since the inauguration of the rebellion, and is fraught with as much danger as any one we have experienced.
The action of the Executive requires the greatest care, the deepest reflection and the most circumspect decision. Is it expected that, under such circumstances, the President will permit himself to be governed by the clamors of irresponsible partisans — men whose purposes never rose above a desire for the accomplishment of some personal end— the gratification of a narrow prejudice or the lower instinct of sectional hatred?
We hope not, but that he will be equal to the duty which devolves upon him and prove that the welfare of his whole country, the permanency of its Republican Institutions and the security of the personal rights of his fellow citizens are the blessings he designs to secure, disregarding all inferior ends.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 17:18 | Written by complied by James Johnson
The Express, London April 14, 1865
AMERICA (FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.) NEW YORK, April 1
The proofs that not only is the end certain and near, but that the Southern people and their friends at the North are conscious of it, accumulate every hour. The game is clearly up, and everybody acknowledges it, either privately if not publicly, and there are strong reasons for believing that the Richmond chiefs are now using the military force at their disposal simply with the view of securing favourable terms, or, to use an expressive colloquialism, “ to let themselves down easy,” and without any expectation whatever of preserving the fabric which they have sought to cement by such lavish expenditure of blood.
One of the devices — and, I think, the principal one — to which they seem likely to resort for their own security after the wreck of the Confederacy was partially revealed in the Hampton-roads conference, by the suggestion of the Confederate commissioners, that the North and South should unite in an “ extrinsic policy,” or in plain English, in making war on some foreign power as a means of healing their differences.
The refusal of Mr. Lincoln to entertain this proposal has clearly not by any means banished it from their minds, and although there is not the ghost of a chance that the North will ever consent to adopt any such atrocious plan of restoring harmonious feeling between the two sections, yet there are many signs that the scheme has not been abandoned; and I have little hesitation in predicting that, whenever negotiations are opened by the Confederate authorities for a surrender, if they ever are, a very strong effort will be made to induce the Federal government to amnesty the chiefs, and to take the Confederate army as it stands and its officers into its service, to be employed in an attack on the French in Mexico.
The military chiefs and Davis are all ruined men if they are beaten into submission. They have lost their property, their grades in the old army, and if forced to lay down their arms by the fortune of war, have nothing better to look forward to than life's of poverty and idleness in Paris or London.
They know perfectly well that the Federals would concede much to induce their forces to surrender, as they are now, at once, instead of breaking up into guerilla bands, and thus postponing indefinitely the pacification of the country, while they kmow equally well that if the contest once degenerates into a guerilla war, as there will be nothing left for them to do, they will cease to be worth conciliating or pardoning.
The plan of getting out of the scrape would seem to be, therefore, to offer a bold front, to resist stoutly without risking anything that might prove decisive, and in the meantime make it well understood that they are open to proposals, and that the employment of them on foreign service, the officers preserving their rank and pay, is something that might tempt them.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 17:04 | Written by complied by James Johnson
Madison Wisconsin State Journal April 14, 1865
The News Mr. BROSS, the regular operator here (Telegraph operator), whose labors have been very arduous during the session of the Legislature, has been obliged, for the state of his health, to take a short respite, and has gone home for a week. The operator who has been sent here in his place, does the best he can, but we have been able to obtain very little news in an intelligible shape to day, except what Mr. BROSS took before he left. We hope our readers will be patient till the matter is remedied.
The most important items in what we have received are the announcement that it is deeuied proper to suspend recruiting, and the appeal of leading citizens of Virginia for a meeting to concert measures for the restoration of the Old Dominion to the Union.
From portions of a despatch, which does not come to us in a shape to print, we gather that the rebels, after their surrender bv Gen. LEE had been agreed on, behaved with their usual duplicity, thousands of them escaping without parole, and much property in their hands being destroyed and damaged.
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 16:44 | Written by complied by James Johnson
THE DECISION IN THE CASE OF THE ST. ALBANS RAIDERS
The Canada papers publish the decision given by Judge Smith in the case of the St, Alban’s raiders.
The following is a summary : The judge admitted that the facts proved were sufficient to justify the extradition of the prisoners in ordinary circumstances, but held that their acting under a commission from the Confederate government was a fact of which it was lawful for him to take cognisanee, and completely exonerated them. It was not a mere question for the jury of the country where the offence was committed. That assumption of responsibility by the Confederate government entirely relieved the individual. If prisoners were acting without any authority whatever, yet if they were acting for one of the belligerents against the other, they were not entitled to be treated as pirates, murderers, and robbers if caught in the enemy’s territory.
Had not General Dix said to shoot them down” in St. Albans? Was such an order ever given except in the case of those engaged in military operations? The order showed what the ideas of the American government were. If they were to treat the prisoners as ordinary criminals they would never have given such an order. So far as the recognition of their character went, there could be nothing stronger than this. It might have been a mistake on the part of the officer who gave the order, but the superior authorities never disavowed it. He denied that the violation of our neutrality by the prisoners altered the case.
He would assume that the violation of our neutral territory was complete, and in the largest sense—that General Lee, with 75,000 men, took possession of our railroad line for the purpose of invading Vermont—Lee’s commission made it the act of the Confederate government, and in the same way Young’s made his act also the act of that government, Judge Smith also agreed that, if the prisoners were not to be treated as belligerents in a war between two rival powers, they were political offenders, and he cited from Twiss to show th at it was the rule not to deliver up political offenders.
It was pretended that they had committed crimes, and they were claimed on this ground. To recognise it would involve the absurd proposition that national and municipal courts had concurrent jurisdiction. The government was not a party in cases of extradition—such were determined by the courts. He would suppose that after extradition for a criminal offence the prisoner should be tried for apolitical offence; who then was to judge of the nature of the offence?! Clearly the tribunal before which extradition waa demanded. Hamilton and others maintained that it was the right of a nation to change the existing state of things, but not to involve another nation in the consequences.
The treaty could not have been ratified if one nation ignored the principle on which it was based. Had the United States, therefore, violated the contract entered into in the treaty? He cited the case of the officers and crew of the Savannah, before Judge Nelson. It was contended, in defence, that they were commissioned as privateers by the Confederate government, which was de facto a government, and that they were carrying out orders. Nelson held that such a defence belonged to the legislative and executive departments, and not to the court.
Be refused to acknowledge the defence, and the prisoners would not be allowed to plead the act of their government in their defence. He (the learned judge) maintained that this was a violation of law, which destroyed the force of the treaty, and that the state of things had been changed so as to render it imposible to carry out the provisions of the treaty. The treaty, therefore, did not cover such cases as the one before him.
The treaty having been violated by one of the contracting powers ceased to be binding upon the other. For all the reasons advanced he believed that no authority rested in him to grant the extradition of the prisoners, and they were, therefore, entitled to their discharge. According to the Leader, a burst of applause in the crowded court followed the announcement of the decision. The cheering could not be restrained, and it was taken up enthusiastically by the crowds on the staircase and outside the court.
After the cheering in the court had ceased, the Hon. Mr. Abbott asked what was the intention of the counsel for the prosecution in relation to the other charges against the prisoners. Mr. Delvin stated that he intended to proceed in every case, Judge Smith said that, this being the determination, the prisoners were remanded until Saturday on the second charge—assault with intent to murder.
The court then adjourned. An immense crowd gathered outside of the Court-house after the decision was given, numbering between two and three thousand persons. They received the raiders, when they came out on their way back to gaol, with loud and repeated cheers, and enthusiastic cheers were also given for Judge Smith, the Southern Confederacy. When the prisoners were driven off to gaol the crowd accompanied them some distance, cheering heartily and congratulating them upon tha favourable decision of the court.