War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0700 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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ment-these facts taken together would seem to bring his case within the general act of July 17, 1862 (Chapter CXCV), entitled "An act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate the property of rebels," &c. Section 2 of this act includes the case of any one who assists or gives aid comfort to the rebellion (without actually engaging in it) and fixes a very severe punishment for the offense. It is believed that Smithson's case comes within this section, his whole curse from the beginning having been that of a person desiring directly or indirectly to give aid and comfort to the rebellion and to rebels. Certainly in no way could he more directly give them aid and comfort than by acting as their banker and broker in Washington, assisting them to realize the illegal securities and currency of their Government and aiding to give it value and use by his negotiations.

Under section 5 of this act all Smithson's property and estate in Washington, &c., may be at once seized and the proceeds applied to the support of the Army of the United States as his case would come within the sixth enumerated clause of this section. In seizing his property, however, all Confederate notes and securities found belonging to him should be destroyed by the provost-marshal. They are not held to possess any pecuniary value; are simply disloyal utterances or publications and indicia of treason and therefore to be suppressed. The certificates mentioned or any other property of Mrs. Greenhow found in Smithosn's possession may be seized and applied by virtue of the same enactment. Or if the certificate was sent here by her with her letter and power of attorney, as appears to be the case, it may be confiscated under section 5, Chapter CXX, of act of March 3, 2863, which provides for the confiscation of any property coming from a disloyal State to a loyal one, or within the lines of the United States through or by a person other than an agent duly appointed by the provisions of the act. It may be noted that the act of August 6, 1863 (Chapter LX), entitled "An act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes," would probably apply to any property of actual pecuniary value purchased or acquired by Smithson for himself or any one for whom he was agent in the course of his negotiations as financial agent of the Southern Confederacy or its members with intent to use the same in aiding, abetting or promoting in any way the insurrection.

But his case as to the subject of the confiscation of property is more readily brought under the general act of July 17, 1862, than any other. It is proper to remark further that a case of this grave and aggravated character requiring as it does a summary an decisive treatment eminently calls for the exercise of the power given to the President by a recent act of Congress of suspending the writ of habeas corpus. That this course be pursued by the President is therefore earnestly recommended in the present instance for the reason that if such action is not taken the result must be that the prisoner will be admitted to bail by the civil courts and will without doubt be enabled to resume and follow with impunity his disloyal and traitorous occupations. Inasmuch as the process of the civil courts would necessarily be slow and uncertain of the offenses created by the acts of Congress above alluded to it must certainly have been contemplated or designed in framing the acts that the jurisdiction of these courts and their authority over prisoners should be aided precisely the measure now recommended, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus by the President. That this was the design and that this design should