from old age. Stimulated by a consciousness of innocent uprightness I will submit to imprisonment for life or die at the end of a rope before I will make any humiliating concession to any power on earth.
I have committed no offense. I have not shouldered arms against the Confederate Government or the State or necouraged other to do so. I have discouraged rebellion publicly and privately. I have not assumed a hostile attitude toward the civil or military authorities of this new government. But I have and I really fear unpradonable offenses. I have refused to make war upon the Government of the United States; I have refused to publish to the word false and exggerated accounts of the several engegements had between the contending armies; I have refused to write out and publish false versions of the origin of this was and of the breaking up of the best government the world ever knew; and all this I will continue to do if it cost me my life; nay, when I agree to do such things may a righteous God plasy my right arm and may the earth open and close in upon me forever.
The real object of my arrest and contemplated imprisonment is to dry up, break down, silence and destroy the last and only Union paper left in the eleven seceded States and thereby to keep from the people of East Tennessee the facts which are daily transpiring in the country. After the Honorable Jeff. Davis had stated in Richmond in a conversation relative to my paper that he would not live in a government that did not tolerate freedom of the press-after the judges, attorneys, jurors and all other filling positions of honor or trust under the "permanent Constitution" which guarantees freedom of the press-and after the entire press of the South had come down in thunder tones upon the Federal Government for suppressing the Louisville Courier and the New York Day-Book and other secession journals-I did except the utmost liberty to be allowed to one small sheet whose errors could be combated by the entire Southern press. It is not enough that my paper has been denied a circulation through the ordinary channels of conveyance in the country but it must be discounted altogether or its editor must write and select only such articles as meet the approval of a pack of scoundrels in Knoxville when their superiors in all the qualities that adorn human nature are in the penitentiary of our State. And this is the boasted liberty of the press in the Southern Confederacy.
I shall in no degree feel humbled by being cast into prison whenever it is the will and pleasure of this August Government to put me there; but on the contrary I shall feel proud of my confinement. I shall go to jail as John Rogers went to the stake-for my principles. I shall go because I have failed to recognize the hand of God in the work of breaking up the American Government and the inauguration of the most wicked, cruel, unnatural and uncalled-for war ever recorded in history. I go because I have refused to laud to the skies the acts of tyranny, usurpation and oppression inflicted upon the people of East Tennessee for their devotion to the Constitution and laws of the Government handed down to them by their fathers and the liberties secured to them by a war of seven long years of gloom, poverty and trial. I repeat I am proud of my position and of my principles and shall leave them to my children as a legacy far more valuable than a princely fortune had I had latter to bestow.
With me life has lost some of its energy; having passed six annual posts on the western slope of half a century something of the fire of youth is exhausted; but I stand forth with the eloquence and energy or right to sustain and stimulate me in the maintenance of my princi-
58 R R-SER II, VOL I