War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0068 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

The people of Ohio were not so deeply moved by the action of the President merely because they were concerned for the personal safety and convenience of Mr. Vallandigham, but because they saw in his arrest and banishment an attack upon their own personal rights; and they attach value to his discharge chiefly as it will indicate an abandonment of the claim to the power of such arrest and banishment. However just the undersigned might regard the principles contained in the several propositions submitted by the President, or how much soever they might, under other circumstances, feel inclined to indorse the sentiments contained therein, yet they assure him that they have not been authorized to enter into any bargains, terms, contracts, or conditions with the President of the United States to procure the release of Mr. Vallandigham. The opinion of the undersign questions involved in these propositions are well known, have been many times publicly expressed, and are sufficiently manifested in the resolutions of the convention which they represent, and they cannot suppose that the President expects that they will seek the discharge of Mr. Vallandigham by a pledge implying not only an imputation upon their own sincerity and fidelity as citizens of the United States, and also carrying with it by implication a concession of the legality of his arrest, trial, and banishment against which they and the convention they represent have solemnly protested. And while they have asked the revocation of the order of banishment, not as a favor, but as a right due to the people of Ohio, and with a view to avoid the possibility of conflict or disturbance of the public tranquillity, they do not do this, nor does Mr. Vallandigham desire it, at any sacrifice of their dignity and self-respect.

The idea that such a pledge as that asked from the undersigned would secure the public safety sufficiently to compensate for any mistake of the President in discharging Mr. Vallandigham is in their opinion a mere evasion of the grave question involved in this discussion and of a direct answer to their demand. And this is made especially apparent by the fact that this pledge is asked in a communication which concludes with an intimation of a disposition on the part of the President to repeat the acts complained of.

The undersigned therefore having fully discharged the duty enjoined upon them leave the responsibility with the President.

M. BIRCHAND, 19th Dist., Chairman.

DAVID A. HOUK, Secretary, 3rd Dist.

GEO. BLISS, 14th Dist.

T. W. BARTLEY, 8th Dist.

W. J. GORDON, 18th Dist.

JOHN O'NEILL, 13th Dist.

C. A. WHITE, 6th Dist.

W. E. FINCK, 12th Dist.

ALEXANDER LONG, 2nd Dist.

JAS. R. MORRIS, 15th Dist.

GEO. L. CONVERSE, 7th Dist.

GEO. H. PENDLETON, 1st Dist.

W. A. HUTCHINS, 11th Dist.

A. L. BACKUS, 10th Dist.

J. F. McKINNEY, 4th Dist.

J. W. WHITE, 16th Dist.

F. C. LE BLOND, 5th Dist.

LOUIS SHAEFER, 17th Dist.

WARREN P. NOBLE, 9th Dist.