will be far more endangered by continuing Mr. Vallandigham in exile than by releasing him. It may be true that persons differing from him in political views may be found in Ohio and elsewhere who will express a different opinion. But they are certainly mistaken. Mr. Vallandingham may differ with the President, and even with some of his own political party, as to the true and most effectual means of maintaining the Constitution and restoring the Union, but this difference of opinion does not prove him to be unfaithful to his duties as an American citizen. If a man, devotedly attached to the constitution and the Union, conscientiously believes that from the inherent nature of the Federal compact the war in the present condition of things in this country cannot be used as a means of restoring the Union, or that a war to subjugate a part of the States, or a war to revolutionize the social system in a part of the States could not restore but would inevitably result in the final destruction of both the Constitution and the Union, is he not to be allowed the right of an American citizen to appeal to the judgment of the people for a change of policy by the constitutional remedy of the ballot box?
During the war with Mexico many of the political opponents of the Administration then in power thought it their duty to oppose and denounce the war and to urge before the people of the country that it was unjust and prosecuted for unholy purposes. With equal reason it might have been said of them that their discussions before the people were calculated to discourage enlistments,"to prevent the raising of troops," and to induce desertions from the Army and to leave the Government without an adequate military force to carry on the war.
If the freedom of speech and of the press are to be suspended in time of war, then the essential element of popular government to effect a change of policy in the constitution mode is at an end. The freedom of speech and of the press is indispensable and necessarily incident to the nature of popular government itself. If any inconvenience or evils arise from its exercise they are unavoidable. On this subject you are reported to have said further:
It is asserted, in substance, that Mr. Vallandigham was by a military commander seized and tried "for no other reasons than words addressed to a public meeting in criticism of the course of the Administration and in condemnation of the military order of the general. " Now, if there be no mistake about this, if there was no other reason for the arrest, then I concede that the arrest was wrong; but the arrest, I understand, was made for a very different reason. Mr. Vallandigham avows his hostility to the war on the part of the Union, and his arrest was made because he was laboring with some effect to prevent the raising of troops, to encourage desertions from the Army, upon the existence and vigor of which the life of the nation depends. He was warring upon the military, and this gave the military constitutional jurisdiction to lay hands upon him. If Mr. Vallandigham was not damaging the military power of the country, then his arrest was made on mistake of facts, which I would be glad to correct on reasonable satisfactory evidence.
In answer to this, permit us to say, first, that neither the charge nor the specifications in support of the charge on which Mr. Vallandigham was tried impute to him the act of either laboring to prevent the raising of troops or to encourage desertions from the Army; secondly, no evidence on the trial was offered with a view to support any such charge. In what instance and by what act did he either discourage enlistments or encourage desertions in the Army? Who was the man who was discouraged from enlisting and who encouraged to desert by any act of Mr. Vallandigham? If it be assumed that perchance some