War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0940 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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things, expressed dissatisfacton that the raiders had not burned more houses and spilt more blood. He said that ins uch a war Yankees should be killed wherever found, whether they had arms in their hands or not.

In November, 1864, a few days after the election returns rendered it certain that Lincoln had been re-elected, he called on Mr. clay with a letter (of which he has shown me the original draft) written by a Mr. Purcell, of Virginia, proposing by a "grand blow to relieve the country of the seven-headed hydra, Lincoln, Hainlin, Johnson, Stanton, Seward, Grant, and Sherman," if he (Clay) would furnish the necessary funds for the purpose. The letter contained the assurance that the men for the enterprise were already enlisted and promised that if Clay approved the proposition to lay before him in full the plan for its execution. Mott admits that at the time he intended to enter into the scheme with Purcell, but avers that he then believed it would be honorable warfare. The letter to clay was dictated by himself and Purcell jointly, in his own room, but was, as the original is, in Purcell's handwriting. Clay on reading the letter inquired why Purcell did not call himself and remarked that he had been wishing for several days to see him, and added, laughingly, that he had begun to think he had gone over to the Yankees. Mott explained why Purcell did not call, whereupon clay wrote a reply to the letter. Mott being interested in the affair the same as Purcell opened the reply as soon as he left Clay's presence. It assured Purcell that his patriotic purpose was heartily approved, and that if on a submission of his plan the scheme appeared practicable the necessary funds would be advanced, and that he (Purcell) would, if successful in destroying the great hydra, be honored as the Hercules of the age. The letter requested that Purcell would cal and submit his plan as soon as possible, as the scheme had been proposed before and various plans for its execution had been suggested and were under consideration, and that he (Clay) intended to approve and adopt the one which shoudl most clearly appear feasible. Two or three days later Purcell and Mott called on Clay and laid their plan before him, but after giving it consideration he declared that a plan had been proposed in his opinion more practicable than theirs, and that, while he was obliged to reject their plan, he desired them to unite with others in executing the one approved by him and he promised great honor and reward if they would do so. They proceeded far enough to become acquainted with the "more practicable" plan, which was finally abandoned.

In this condensed report of Mott's statement I have, of course, been obliged to omit most of the details and circumstances necessary to give full force, intelligence, and application to his representations, but I trust I have given enough to show that he will make a valuable witness. Mott is confident that Purcell is in Toronto and that he will readily give his testimony and produce Clay's letter to which I have referred. The next witness is a Mrs. Douglass, who for many months was intimately associated with leading rebels in Canada, and a friend and visitor to the Porterfields, Magruders, and others of their stamp. Her husband, who was devoted to the rebel cause, was sent by Clay on a mission to Richmond, and is believed to have been killed in his effort to get through the Union lines as he has never since been heard from. Mrs. Douglass, however, will not believe him dead, but thinks him in confinement in some Federal prison, and will give testimony only on condition that her husband, if in prison, shall be released. I am certain Douglass is not in prison, but I have not, under all the circumstances, seen fit so to assure Mrs. Douglass. Before being sent on his mission to Richmond, and about the middle of November, 1864, Douglass was engaged with Clay and others in a plot to assassinate the President and his Cabinet. The conspirators met two or three times at Douglass' residence, and the plans for the execution of their schemes were twice discussed in Mrs. Douglass' presence. There was considerable difference of opinion amongst the conspirators as to the best way to effect their purpose. Each appeared to have a plan of his own. Among other ways it was proposed to use air guns, and the power of an air gun was tested in Clay's presence in the rear yard of Douglass' residence. One evening Clay said that it was easy enough to put Lincoln and Grant out of the way, but that no plan would answer but one that would secure the destruction of Stanton, Seward, and Johnson at the same time--that a clean sweep should be made of it.

One afternoon Clay called at Douglass' residence alone. The latter was absent at the time, but as Mrs. Douglass was momentarily expecting him to return Clay concluded to wait a few minutes. The conversation soon turned upon the war, and Clay remarked that if they succeeded in cutting down the Yankee leaders, as he believed they would, the war would soon be over. Mrs. Douglass said to him that she was opposed to her husband engaging in such a project; that it looked too much like murder. Clay replied: "Nonsense, it is nothing like murder; we are at war with Lincoln and his crew, and in war everything is fair that will enable one to beat his enemy. Lincoln would hang your husband and me if he should get us in his power and I would like to know if it would be any worse for us to destroy him. Besides, self-preservation and the safety of the South demand Lincoln's death." He went on to say that Yankee emissaries had previously attempted to destroy President Davis and his whole family by arson, and that that fact would fully justify the