War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0937 Chapter XXXIX. DRAFT RIOTS IN NEW YORK CITY, ETC.

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tained by troops can then be spared from New York and New England. It will never do to give up the draft; we might almost as well abandon the Government; but festina lente-an ounce of preparation and prevention will be worth many pounds of cure. Could the law be in an authoritative way pronounced constitutional, I am persuaded that the most powerful weapon would be at once taken from the incendiary presses and demagogues, for our people are in the main law abiding. In view of this, could not the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States be induced to assemble at once at Washington, or at least a decided majority of them, and a case under the law submitted to them? If it could be done in no other way, could it not in this, by one of them allowing a habeas corpus, so as to raise the question, and inviting the others to sit with him on the hearing? I think such things have been done by the State judges in several of the States within the last two years, to settle questions growing out of State laws made necessary by the rebellion, and which required an immediate judicial construction; and although demagogues might say that a decision reached in this way was in some respects an obiter dictum, yet it would be respected and obeyed. Surely the judges, considering the alarming state of affairs, would be willing, if properly appealed to, to submit to the trouble of visiting Washington. I venture to make this suggestion in the hope that the clamor of demagogues may speedily be silenced by an authoritative decision in favor of the constitutionality of the law. I was very much gratified to learn that, on the 11th instant, my brother`s regiment, the Tenth New Jersey, was ordered from Portsmouth to Washington. I have since learned that on the 16th it was ordered from Washington to Philadelphia, for the purpose, I presume, of aiding in the enforcement of the draft. Begging that you excuse me for venturing thus to trouble you, I remain, with sincere regard, your obedient servant,


[Inclosure Numbers 8.]


Saturday, July 18, 1863.

Honorable WM. H. SEWARD, &c., Washington:

MY SEAR SIR: An impression exists here among many I meet, of a class not liable to be misled by fancy or personal fervor, that the rows we have had are mere scuffles compared with those we will have should the draft be resumed immediately, as then the conflict will be of a different character, involving the exciting questions of "State rights, " and, perhaps, bring out State troops in conflict with United States troops. The alarm on this point is reaching "holders of gold, " who are beginning to think it safer and easier to put paper money out of sight than gold; at any rate, there is a very great feeling of alarm, and, after balancing in my mind the "pros" and "cons, " I come to the conclusion that if the draft could be postponed till early autumn, it would be a great blessing and relief. July is a regular fighting, revolutionary month, sometimes for good, sometimes for evil ("4th of July, " "three days of July, " &c.). People in uniforms, and having swords, say, "Let the draft go on, " and perhaps I would say so, too, but a real big row in our city