The oroginal of this letter, captured by our troops at Fernandina, Fla., is in possession of the Government, with the envelope which inclosed it, bearing the official rank of the writer. The second letter, written two days after, has already been given to the public in McPherson's Political History of the Rebellion, page 392. It is as follows.*
This letter was printed in the newspapers of the country immediately after its capture by our troops upon their occupation of Fernandina. Mr. McPherson, page 392, adds the resolutions referred to, which are in the following terms.*
Here, then, is the record made by the parties themselves of their part in the gigantic conspiracy, which, upon the action and prompting of these men and their confederates, forthwith declared itself in open revolt and aggressive war. In maturing this conspiracy these traitors were no less actively enlisted than they were instrumental, especially as regards their own State, in executing its details of robbery and treason. On January 7 Fort Marion and the arsenal at Saint Augustine were seized by Florida and Alabama troops; on January 12 the important posts of Forts Barrancas and McRee, as well as the navy-yard at Pensacola, were captured. These were overt acts of treason, and the letters quoted leave no doubt but that they were committed under the direct instigation on Yulee and Mallory. The atrocity of the machinations of these men is strikingly aggravated by their skulking treachery. They were holding elevated public positions of trust and dignity, and were bound by solemn oath to support the Constitution and the laws, and by every obligation of personal and official honor to sustain the Government in its hour of trial and danger, yet they avow to their accomplices in the South that their object in continuing in their seats in the Capitol was to prevent the Government from making measures for its defense. As they were the paid servants of the people, whose security and political life were in their hands, it is difficult, indeed, to express in adequate terms of condemnation the baseness of their conduct in thus, while Senators of the United States, secretly organizing from their vantage ground of trust and influence a war against the very existence of the Government of which they were themselves a part and of which they were the sworn guardians.
The parallel to their treachery, which is furnished by history in the instance of Catiline, whose name is a synonym for infamy, is so marked that it may well be adverted to. This conspirator also was a senator, as were many of his guilt associates; and it was in the very senate chamber of the republic that he perfected the plot which was to destroy his country. It was there, too, in his presence that his traitorous intrigues were exposed and stigmatized by Cicero, as were the treasonable purposes of his imitators in our own time arraigned and denounced upon the floor of our Senate by the statesman now at the head of the Government. Moreover, it was when baffled in his efforts for power and defeated in his contests for the consulship that Catiline sought by force and treachery to attain the objects of his lawless ambition. To this end he gathered around him a number of profligate public men, and with them raised an army of ignorant and unprincipled partisans with a view of marching upon Rome. So, too, the American traitors, overcome at a Presidental election and disappointed in their struggle to retain a disastrous way over the National Administration, had recourse to arms for the perpetuation of their power; and, as if to render the parallel complete, we subsequently find their defeated candidate
* Omitted here; see Series I, Vol. I, p. 443.