War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0856 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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the laws and usages of war, including the murder of President Lincoln and the attempted assassination of the honorable Secretary of State and other officers of the Government: The formal and deliberate judgment of the military commission, by which the accomplices of Booth were tried and convicted, that this party, with Davis and other rebel leaders, was implicated in the treasonable conspiracy of which the prisoners on trial were the mere instruments, and that the assassination was but the consummation of that conspiracy, has become matter of history. The testimony introduced upon this trial, by which the personal complicity of Clay was clearly made to appear, may be briefly presented in substance as follows: During the summer, fall, and winter of 1864 this rebel was a resident in Canada as one of the accredited agents of the so-called Confederate Government, and, in connection and most intimate association with Jacob Thompson, Clearly, Sanders, and others of its agents, was consequently engaged in maturing treasonable enterprises, in violation of the laws and usages of civilized war. It was in the summer of the year mentioned, the last year of the rebellion, that a reliable and unimpeached witness instroduced upon the trial referred to had a conversation with Thompson at Montreal, in which the latter declared that he could at any time have the tyrant Lincoln and any other of his advisers that he chose put of the way by his friends, Confederates in the States, who were ready and willing to go any lengths to serve the cause of the South; that he would have but to point out the man that he considered in his way and his friends would put him out of it, and not let him know anything about it, if necessary; and that they would not consider it a crime when done for the cause of the Confederacy. This language was shortly after repeated by the witness to Clay, who at once replied, "That is so; we are all devoted to our cause, and ready to go any lengths, to do anything under the sun to serve our cause." Later in the summer Clay was observed by the same witness in confidential conversation at his hotel in Montreal with a man identified on the trial by the witness as Payne, the conspirator, since condemned and executed as having been engaged in the plot of assassination, and having actually attempted the life of Secretary Seward; subsequently on meeting Payne the witness made some inquiry as to who he was, and was answered with hesitation and an evident desire to avoid further inquiry that he was a Canadian, this term being, to quote from the testimony, a common expression among the Confederates, and applied to those who were in the habit of visiting the States. This answer of Payne was afterward repeated by the witness to Clay, who laughed and said, "That is so; he is a Canadian," adding these most significant words, "We trust him." By another equally reliable witness it is testified that he was present at a meeting of prominent rebels at Montreal in February last, at which a letter from Jefferson davis was read by Sanders, and exhibited to and read by those present, in which the writer expressed his approbation of whatever measure might be resorted to by these rebels and their associates in Canada to accomplish the object they had in view, meaning, as was well understood by them, the making away with President Lincoln. At this meeting the assassination of the President, Vice-President, members of the Cabinet, and others was freely considered, and the names of Booth, Surratt, and Atzerodt, the two latter by alias, were mentioned by Sanders in connection with the proposed plot. Subsequently in the same month, February, the witness had a conversation with Clay at Toronto, and spoke to the latter about the letter from Davis produced by Sanders at Montreal. Clay, to quote the language of the testimony, appeared to understand perfectly the nature and character of the letter, and on being asked