II. In the case of Clay, the new testimony is of the following character:
1. The deposition of William H. Carter, whose evidence was adverted to in the report of December 6 last, as then wanting, but expected to be soon obtained. This witness, who was present at the interview with Clay and Kennedy in November, 1864, the particulars of which are recounted in the deposition of his companion, McGill, already communicated, fully corroborates the latter in his statements in regard to the acts and language of Clay, and clearly exhibits the fact that this conspirator was not only cognizant of the plot then in progress to assassinate President Lincoln, the members of his Cabinet, and General Grant, but was actively engaged in directing the details of its proposed execution.
2. The depositions of Sarah Douglass and Mary Knapp, residents of Canada, who detail repeated interviews, principally at Toronto, between Clay and other rebels, at which they were present, in the summer and fall of 1864. At these interviews Clay not only discussed the plans for raids and other hostile acts in the interest of the rebellion and in violation of the laws of war, which he and his associates were then engaged in maturing, but spoke freely of the scheme of assassination, in which it is evident he was personally enlisted, as he was familiar with its details, anticipated with confidence its successful result, and entered upon a course of argument in its justification as a measure of legitimate warfare.
3. The depositions of two parties, one a citizen of Windsor, Canada West, and the other of Montreal, who state that they saw Clay several times in the month of March, 1865, at Windsor, and on one occasion on the railroad between Toronto and Hamilton, Canada West. One of these witnesses conversed personally with Clay, and both detail the circumstances connected with their meeting him, and are enabled by a reference to contemporaneous events to fix with certainly the dates mentioned. By this additional evidence, in connection with that set forth in my reports of 6th of December and 18th of January last, it is shown beyond any question that Clay remained in Canada in 1865 during the months of January, February, March and April, certainly up to the 15th, the day succeeding the murder of the President. Thus by the cumulative testimony of eight reliable witnesses, to whom probably many others may be added, the assertion of Clay, by which he seeks to disprove the charge of complicity in the plot of assassination, that at the date of its execution he had been absent from Canada nearly six months, is shown, as heretofore urged, to be wholly false. The new depositions* thus referred to accompany this report, and though not needed to support the conclusive body of proof already fully presented in these cases, are most material in completing the chain of testimony by which the compassing of the assassination of the President is fixed beyond a reasonable doubt upon these two conspirators. With these depositions the preparation of the cases by this Bureau is properly terminated, and inasmuch as both the criminals and the proofs of their crime are now in the hands of the Government, it only remains for me respectfully, but most earnestly, to renew my former recommendation that Davis and Clay be arraigned and tried before a military commission. As this tribunal, the only one believed to be competent to ascertain and pass upon the guilt of these men, may presently be ousted of its jurisdiction by the anticipated operation of the
* See depositions of Barber, p. 876; Ross, p. 876; Douglass, p. 878; Knapp, p. 879; Carter, p. 879; Patten, p. 883.