War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0946 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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mended Mitchell and examined into his affairs. They are reputable young lawyers with a good business. Honorable Charles P. James, of James & Jackson, is also perfectly trustworthy and competent. The bar of Cincinnati is very good.

I was for Breckinridge but my partner, Mr. Worthington, and many of my best friends were for Douglas. I arrived at different conclusions from them but have felt no asperity be either for Douglas or Breckinridge. There were some nice constitutional points involved, and I maintain that it depends on which end one begins at whwre he will find himself in this controversy. If you begin at States' righs you wind up for Breckinridge; if you begin at rights of the people to govern themselves you hurrah for Douglas.

I thank you for your kind feelings toward my people as well as myself. I do not wish secession. I preferred retaliatory laws in the Union, but it was but a question of time - a little more long suffering. I was thought too ultra, but popular sentiment is fast leaving me behind. I regard a dissolution of the Union as inevitable. I know the propelling ideas of Republicanism too well to have any hope. The leaders may recede; the excited people will not. I have every feeling of kindness for those at the North who have resisted our subjugation and enslavement, but I assure you I speak the sentiment of 99 in 100 when I tell you unless promptly and fully Republicanism recedes and guarantees are given for our security and equality Kentucky, the most conservative Southern State, will certain secede. Moreover any attempt to coerce a Southern State will rally an army to its supprot. Kentucky will not permit any troops to cross her border for that purpose. Still we are striving to hope against hope through our love for the Union.

You don't mean me when you make some allusion to offending somebody last year. I have always said, my dear judge, that you were the only man I thought I would be willing to make my executor in New York; I still hold the same opinion. If all the lawyers here did not starve I would wish you at home here - a citizen. Can't you come anyhow and let me see your honest face once more? My wife and the girls are well. I live a little way in the country and am happy.

Yours, truly,

WM, PRESTON JOHNSTON.

[Numbers 2.]

MALONE, February 11, 1861.

P. CAGGER, Esq.

DEAR SIR: I have this moment received your circular soliciting from mea contribution toward the expense of printing 50,000 copies of the proceedings of the late Democratic State convention. I most respectfully decline to make such contribution. I regard the proceedings as unworthy of the occasion, as not coming up the spirit and demands of the Democracy of the State and that it would be far more creditable to all concerned that they should be suppressed instead of receiving an extensive circulation. Instead of passing the wishy-washy resolutions which it did, not one of which except the second (which was not hatched at the nocturnal incubation on the committee and must have been forced upon it by some outside pressure in the morning) made any approach to what the occassion called for, the convention should have placed the responsibility for the present condition of public affairs upon the dominant party in the free States where it belongs; have declared that it