latter part of 1862 and the early part of 1863, by the attentive nursing of the traitors in the North, such as Judge Bullitt, of Kentucky; P. C. Wright, of New York; James A. Barrett, of Missouri, &c., it had grown to formidable proportions and had been rechristened by the name of American Knights. There is no question that this secret order was, per se, a treasonable cospiracy. Every man of ordinary intelligence who, in view of the existence of a formidable rebellion in the land, subscribed to the oath of that order, first having read its ritual, was a traitor.
The object of the leaders of the order seemed to be to educate the masses of the Democratic party, and were already prepared to weld together all the hostile elements of the Norht in bitter hatred of the Administration and its avowed policy, and by inflammatory and incendiary appeals to arouse in their breasts such a degree of hostility toward the Government that when the fitting time came they would be ready, at the beck of their leaders, to spring to their bloody work. The leaders of the order, all of whom were formerlyt of the old Democratic party, and were now a legion, sought to educate the mass of their party outside of the order up to their disloyal standard. Their purpose was carried forwarded by means of their newspapers, public addresses, and by the proselyting work of the humbler members. Their intent seemed to be to make of this order and the embittered Democracy and malcontents throughout the land-to be aided at the proper time by the released rebel prisoners and by the co-operation of certain rebel cheifs and their forces-one grand, united, hostile mass, which should at the proper time be hurled against the Government and its army.
When the order had increased and had become formidable in its proportions, some of the leaders became alarmed at the open treason set out in the oath, and, calling a meeting of the grand commanders of the order in New York on the 22nd of February, 1864, struck from the ritual the more apparent treason, and the vile thing was named anew, Sons of Liberty. No material change was made in the ritual. All those parts were retained which referred to the State sovereignty doctrines of Thomas Jefferson and Calhoun. The want of power in the Government to coerce a State, and the enunciation of the inherent right and duty of the people to remove a Government by force of arms whenever it or any of its branches should assume to exerice powers not delegated, and if undelegated powers were exercise of power was usurpation, and the removal of usurpers by force of arms was not merely a right but a duty. Take these avowed principles in connection with the fact that the order was to judge when undelegated powers were exercised, and the order claimed, en masse, on all occasions, that the Government was usurping uconstitutional authority; that the President was a tyrant and usurper, and the inexorable logic of such reasoning would have resulted in a most bloody insurrection had not the strong executive arm at the auspicious moment grasped and strangled this venomous thing.
In the trials at Indianapolis and Cincinnati it was proved that a welldigested plan was agreed upon for an uprising of this order, in conjunction with the disloyal element, on the 10th of August, 1864; $2,000,000 had been furnished by the Confederate Government to cary forward this work. In the uprising the arsenal at Indianapolis, Columbus, Springfield, Ill., and Chicago were to be seized and the arms distributed to the order and to the rebel prisoners when released; cities were to be sacked and burned, and the Government brought to terms with the rebels, and