originated with his especial friends and adherents. With perfect knowledge of them he has frequently, if not constantly, made speeches in Congress and before popular assemblies, and if it can be shown that, with these things staring him in the face, he has ever uttered a word of rebuke or counsel against them, it will be a fact greatly in his favor with me, and one of which as yet I am totally ignorant. When it is known that the whole burden of his speeches has been to stir up men against the prosecution of the war, and that in the midst of resistance to it he has not been known in any instance to counsel against such resistance, it is next to impossible to repel the inference that he has counseled directly in favor of it.
With all this before their eyes, the convention you represent have nominated Mr. Vallandingham for governor of Ohio, and both they and you have declared the purpose to sustain the National Union by all constitutional means. But of course they and you in common reserve to yourselves to decide what are constitutional means, and, unlike the Albany meeting, you omit to state or intimate that in your opinion an army is a constitutional means of saving the Union against a rebellion, or even to intimate that you are conscious of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of destroying that very Union. At the same time your nominee for governor, in whose behalf you appeal, is known to you and to the world to declare against the use of an army to suppress the rebellion. Your own attitude, therefore, encourages desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like, because it teaches those who are inclined to desert and to escape the draft to believe it is your purpose to protect them and to hope you will become strong enough to do so.
After a short personal intercourse with you, gentlemen of the committee, I cannot think you desire this effect to follow your attitude, but I assure you that both friends and enemies of the Union look upon it in this light. It is a substantial hope, and by consequence a real strength to the enemy. It is false hope, and one which you would willingly dispel. I will make the way exceedingly easy. I send you duplicates of this letter, in order that you or a majority may if you choose indorse your names upon one of them and return it thus indorsed to me, with the understanding that those signing are hereby committed to the following propositions and to nothing else:
1. That there is now a rebellion in the United States, the object and tendency of which is to destroy the National Union, and that in your opinion an army and navy are a constitutional means of suppressing the rebellion.
2. That no one of you will do anything which in his own judgment will tend to hinder the increase or favor the decrease or lessen the efficiency of the Army and Navy while engaged in the effort to suppress the rebellion; and
3. That each of you will, in his sphere, do all he can to have the officers, soldiers, and seamen of the Army and Navy, while engaged in the effort to suppress the rebellion, paid, fed, and clad and otherwise well provided for and supported.
And with the further understanding that upon receiving the letter and names thus indorsed I will cause them to be published, which publication shall be within itself a revocation of the order in relation to Mr. Vallandigham.
It will not escape observation that I consent to the release of Mr. Valandigham upon terms not embracing any pledge from him or from others as to what he will or will not do. I do this because he is not present to speak for himself or to authorize others to speak for him; and