« AnteriorContinuar »
PROCLAMATION: WHEREAS, It appears from evidence in the Bureau of Mili. tary Justice that the atrocious murder of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, and the attempted assassination of the Hon. W. H. Seward, Secretary of State, were incited, concerted and procured by and between Jefferson Davis, late of Richmond, Virginia, and Jacob Thompson, Clement C. Clay, Beverley Tucker, George N. Sanders, W. C. Cleary, and other Rebels and traitors against the Government of the United States, harbored in Canada; now, therefore, to the end that justice may be done, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do offer and promise for the arrest of said persons, or either of them, within the limits of the United States, so that they can be brought to trial, the following rewards: One hundred thousand dollars for the arrest of Jefferson Davis; twentyfive thousand dollars for the arrest of Clement C. Clay; twentyfive thousand dollars for the arrest of Jacob Thompson, late of Mississippi; twenty-five thousand dollars for the arrest of George N. Sanders; twenty-five thousand dollars for the arrest of Beverley Tucker, and ten thousand dollars for the arrest of William C. Cleary, late clerk of Clement C. Clay.
The Provost-Marshal-General of the United States is directed to cause a description of said persons, with notice of the above rewards, to be published.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, the second day of May, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and [L. 8.] sixty-five, and of the independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.
ANDREW JOHNSON. By the President: W. HUNTER, Acting Secretary of State.
A Military Commission was convened to meet on the 8th of May, for the trial of the parties arrested on the charge of “maliciously, unlawfully, and traitorously, and in aid of the present armed Rebellion against the United States of America, on or before the 6th day of March, A. D. 1865, combining, confede. rating and conspiring together, with one John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, Jefferson Davis, George N. Sanders, Beverley
Tucker, Jacob Thompson, William C. Cleary, Clement C. Clay, George Harper, George Young, and others unknown, to kill and murder, within the Military Department of Washington,
and within the fortified and intrenched lines thereof, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, and at the time of said combining, confederating and conspiring, President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief the Army and Navy thereof; Andrew John. son, then Vice President of the United States aforesaid, Wm H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States aforesaid, and Ulysses S. Grant, Lieutenant-General of the Army of the United States aforesaid, then in command of the armies of the United States, under the direction of the said Abraham Lincolo; and in pursuance of and in prosecuting said malicious, unlawful and traitorous conspiracy aforesaid, and in aid of said Rebellion, afterward, to-wit, on the 14th day of April, 1865, within the Military Department of Washington aforesaid, and within the fortified and intrenched lines of said Military Department, together with said John Wilkes Booth and John H. Surratt, maliciously, unlawfully and traitorously murdering the said Abraham Lincoln, then President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States as aforesaid, and maliciously, uplawfully and traitorously assaulting, with intent to kill and murder, the said Wm. H. Seward, then Secretary of State of the United States as aforesaid, and lying in wait with intent, maliciously, unlawfully and traitorously, to kill and murder the said Andrew Johnson, then being Vice President of the United States, and the said Ulysses S. Grant, then being Lieutenant-General and in command of the Armies of the United States as aforesaid."
In the course of the trial, positive evidence was furnished, connecting Jacob Thompson, Jefferson Davis, and their associates named above, with President Lincoln's assassination. This direct evidence is only the key-stone of an arch of circumstances, strong as adamant. We have already seen the avowal, in the Greeley-Sanders peace correspondence, that several of these men were in Canada, in the “confidential employment" of Davis. This employment, after the failure of their busy intrigues with Northern sympathizers, to defeat Mr. Lincoln's re-election, and the liberal waste of funds in sustaining Northern Rebel journalism, had taken a form congenial to their “chivalrous " instincts, in instigating and aiding piratical seizures on Lake Erie, robbery at St. Albans, hotel-burning and wholesale murder at New York, and in a broad-cast diffusion of pestilence and death through the northern cities, by the efforts of the “philanthropic” Dr. Blackburn, who labored assiduously in his purpose of spreading malignant disease by means of infected clothing. What farther depth of iniquity needed these men to sound before organizing a conspiracy-at first for the avowed purpose of abducting, then of murdering outright, the President whom they so maliciously hated ? That they did enter this scheme, is proved beyond doubt. That Jefferson Davis, in whose "confidential employment ” all this while they were, was consulted as to the plan of assassination, and gave it his approval, is shown by positive testimony. And this suits the temper he had shown in his readiness to entertain McCul. lough's infamous plan for introducing into the “confidential” service a combustible which would obviate the “difficulties heretofore encountered " in burning hotels. It is strikingly confirmed by his language on hearing, at Charlotte, North Carolina, that Mr. Lincoln had been assassinated. Lewis F. Bates, of that town, in whose house Davis was then staying, gives the following testimony on this point, after stating that the latter received a dispatch from Breckinridge announcing the assassination :
Q.-Look at this (exhibiting to witness a telegram) and see whether it is the same dispatch ?
A.-I should say that it was. The dispatch was then read, as follows: “GREENSBORO, April 19, 1865.-His Excellency, President Davis: President Lincoln was assassinated in the theater in Washington, on the night of the 14th inst. Seward's house was entered on the same night, and he was repeatedly stabbed, and is probably mortally wounded. (Signed,)
“JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE." Q.-State what Jefferson Davis said after reading this dispatch to the crowd. Endeavor to recollect his precise language ?
A.-At the conclusion of his speech to the people, he read this dispatch aloud, and made this remark: "If it were to be done, it were better that it were done well.”