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assembling the Convention. He knew that it was contemplated to arrest the members of the Convention upon criminal process; and being asked, 'Is the military to interfere to prevent the process of court?' the President replied by telegraphic note, not addressed to the governor of the State, but to the lieutenant governor, as follows:
"Executive Mansion, Washington, D. C, July 28, 1866. "To Albert Voorhies, Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana: "The military will be expected to sustain and not to obstruct or interfere with the proceedings of the Court. A dispatch on the subject of the Convention, was sent to Governor Wells this morning.
The effect of this dispatch was to assure Lieutenant Governor Yoorhies and those acting with him, that they would have the support of the President in their proposed action.
The President knew the condition of affairs in Louisiana, in July last, he knew that "rebels" and "thugs," and disloyal men had controlled the election of Mayor Monroe, and that such men composed, chiefly, his police force; he knew that Mayor Monroe, then an unpardoned rebel, had been after his election suspended from discharging the duties of his office by military order; he knew that he himself had subsequently pardoned him; he must have known the rebel antecedents of Albert Yoorhies and A. S. Herron; he knew that riot and bloodshed were apprehended; he knew what military orders were in force; and yet without the knowledge of the Secretary of War, or of the general of our armies upon whose immediate responsibility those military orders had been issued, he gave directions by telegraph which, enforced, as it was intended they should be, would have compelled our soldiers to aid the rebels against the men in New Orleans who had remained loyal during the war, and sought to aid and to support, by official sanction, the persons who designed to suppress by arrest on criminal process and under color of law the meeting of the Convention; and that although this Convention was called with the sanction of the governor and by one of the judges of the Supreme Court of Louisiana claiming to act as president of the Convention.
The effect of the action of the President was to encourage the heart, to strengthen the hand, and to hold up the arms of those men who intended to prevent the Convention from assembling.
In their disclosed intention to arrest, by police or sheriff, the members of the Convention, they were assured of his support and aid. And it was believed with good reason, that whatever steps the Mayor should take, in his office and under color of law, to suppress the meeting of the Convention, would have the sanction of the President.
If the • telegram of General Baird to the Secretary of War, of July 28th, had been communicated to the President, we know from the telegraphic message which he sent on that day to Governor Yoorhies, that such directions would have been given as would in fact have required General Baird to sustain by military force what was called the civil authorities—that is to say, the Mayor and his police.
If, then, the armed police had engaged in the work of slaughter which destroyed the Convention, the soldiers of the army of the United States would have been charged with the responsibility of the act.
GENERAL BAIRD's DESPATCH.
The fact that the telegram from General Baird had not been communicated to the President has been the subject of comment, and we give in this connection the statement made by the Secretary of War in relation to that matter. Mr. Stanton says:
That on the forenoon of Sunday, the 29th of July last, I received at my residence in this city a telegram from General Baird, commanding at New Orleans, a copy of which is hereto attached. This telegram was the first information communicated to me that a Convention was to be held at New Orleans, or that there was any difference or controversy on the subject of a Convention or assemblage to be held there. From the telegram of General Baird it appeared that the Convention was to meet with the sanction of the Governor of Louisiana, that its legality was questioned by persons who proposed to break it up by arresting the members, and that General Baird had warned the city authorities that he would not permit this to be done without instructions from the President, and he applied to me for instructions. There was no intimation in the telegram that force or violence was threatened by those opposed to the Convention, or that it was apprehended by General Baird. Upon consideration, it appeared to me that his warning to the city authorities was all that the case then required, for I saw no reason to* instruct him to withdraw protection from a Convention sanctioned by the Governor, and in the event of any attempt at arrest, General Baird's interference would bring up the case with all the facts for such instructions as might be proper, and in the meantime, under his general authority, he would take measures to maintain the peace within his command. On Tuesday, the 31st of July, the morning papers contained telegraphic despatches in respect to the occurrences at New Orleans, and on the same day I was informed of the communication that had passed between the President and Governor Wells, Lieutenant Governor Yoorhies, and Attorney General Herron."
Mr. Stanton had heard nothing of the Convention; had no knowledge of Mr. Rozier's presence in Washington or interviews with the President; had not been informed of the President's telegraphic correspondence, and saw no reason why General Baird should have new instructions, or why conference with the President was required.
THE RIGHT OF THE CONVENTION TO ASSEMBLE.
Had the citizens who were members of the Convention of 1864 a legal right peaceably to assemble on the 30th July, 1866? Judge Abell, of the first district court of New Orleans, denies their right, and in his charge to the Grand Jury on July 3d, 1866, he says; "I charge you that the Constitution makes no provision for the continuance of the Convention of 1864; that any effort on the part of that defunct body to assemble for the purpose of altering or amending the Constitution is subversive of good order and dangerous to the peace of the State, and that any overt act tending to subvert the Constitution by any officers of the State, renders them liable to the Criminal Code of the State. It is my duty and your duty to oppose factional usurpation and stand by the reconstruction policy adopted by the President of the United States, which proposed at once to unite the country and make it great and prosperous."
CONDITION OF AFFAIRS IN LOUISIANA.
What is the condition of affairs in Louisiana, and what legislative action should be had? It has been made the duty of the Committee to report to the House upon both these questions.
"The present Constitution of Louisiana was held to be ratified by the suffrages of the people on the 5th day of September, 1864, and has hitherto been accepted, willingly or otherwise, as the organic law of the State. It was the result of military action deemed at the time essential to the proper civil government of the State. The justice or expediency or legality of that action have not been subjects of inquiry by the Committee. Possibly, if the general surrender of rebel armies and the entire annihilation of rebel organizations, civil and military, had not occurred as it did, or having occurred, if civil rule could have been retained in loyal hands, and vanquished traitors at least not pardoned and paid for treason, the strength of loyalty would have been increased, and the body of the people, disloyal theretofore by reason of public pressure, or moral duress, or military force, would have returned to their allegiance and sustained with heart the Government they had fought against, but which had at all times treated them with parental kindness. And when the surrender was fresh,