the measures, policy, and conduct of your Administration and the course of its political friends. But if the circumstantial evidence exists to which you allude which makes "it next to impossible to repel the inference that Mr. Vallandigham has counseled directly in favor" of this resistance and that the same has been mainly attributable to his conduct, why was he not turned over to the civil authorities to be tried under the late acts of Congress? If there be any foundation in fact for your statements implicating him in resistance to the constituted authorities, he is liable to such prosecution. And we now demand as a mere act of justice to him an investigation of this matter before a jury of his countrymen; and respectfully insist that fairness requires either that you retract these charges which you make against him, or that you revoke your order of banishment and allow him the opportunity of an investigation before an impartial jury.
The committee do not deem it necessary to repel at length the imputation that the attitude of themselves or of the Democratic party in Ohio "encouraged desertion, resistance to the draft, and the like. " Suggestions of that kind are not unusual weapons in our ordinary political contests. They rise readily in the minds of politicians heated with the excitement of partisan strife. During the two years in which the Democratic party of Ohio has been constrained to oppose the policy of the Administration and to stand up in defense of the Constitution and of personal rights this charge has been repeatedly made. It has fallen harmless, however, at the feet of those whom it was intended to injure. The committee believe it will do so again. If it were proper to do so in this paper they might suggest that the measures of the Administration and its changes of policy in the prosecution of the war have been the fruitful sources of discouraging enlistments and inducing desertion, and furnish a reason for the undeniable fact that the first call for volunteers was answered by very many more than were demanded, and that the next call for soldiers will probably be responded to by drafted men alone.
The observation of the President in this connection that neither the convention in its resolutions nor the committee in its communication intimate that they "are conscious of an existing rebellion being in progress with the avowed object of destroying the Union," needs perhaps no reply. The Democratic party of Ohio has felt so keenly the condition of the country and been as stricken to the heart by the misfortunes and sorrows which have befallen in that they hardly deemed it necessary by solemn resolution when their very State exhibited every-where the sad evidences of was to remind the President that they were aware of its existence.
In the conclusion of your communication you propose that if a majority of the committee shall affix their signatures to a duplicate copy of it which you have furnished they shall stand committed to three propositions therein at length set forth, that he will publish the names thus signed and that this publication shall operate as a revocation of the order of banishment. The committee cannot refrain from the expression of their surprise that the President should make the fate of Mr. Vallandigham depend upon the opinion of this committee upon these propositions. If the arrest and banishment were legal and were deserved; if the President exercised a power clearly delegated under circumstances which warranted its exercise, the order ought not to be revoked merely because the committee hold or express opinions accordant with those of the President. If the arrest and banishment were not legal or were not deserved by Mr. Vallandigham, then surely he is entitled to an immediate and unconditional discharge.