measures he proposed. Douglass afterward quareled with Kennedy and withdrew from the enterprise, and was subsequently sent by Clay with dispatches to Richmond.
In the early part of December Mrs. Douglass visited Montreal and while there staid most of the time at Porterfield's and Magruder's, and just prior to Clay's departure from the Province, to wit, on the 8th day of December, had an interview with him in which the assassination plot was one of the subjects of conversation. To recount all, or even a tithe, of what was sadi on these various occasions would occupy more time and space than I have at my disposal; but I have given enough to show the greatimportance of this woman's testimony. Clay and Thompson both violated their promises to "provide handsomely" for Mrs. Douglass during her husband's absence, and in case of accident to him, and she is now obliged to teach music for the support of herself and children. Having been robbed of her husband and treated with neglect by these scoundrels she feels no reluctance in disclosing all she knows of their infernal machinations.
These witnesses are all of genteel appearance and give their statements with becoming frankness. I have been careful to select none but persons of unsullied reputation. The word 'select" I use in its most comprehensive sense, for I have had nearly a score of persons from whom to choose. I have rejected all whose characters for veracity or general character could be assailed. Several have made statements to me which I believe, and have many reasons for believing, to be true, and which, if true, should consign Clay to the severest and most ignominious punishment known to the law; but on inquiring into their antecedents and present standing I have felt constrained to reject, saying to them that Imight avail myself of their knowledge by and by. My mission has brought me jin contact with four sorts of persons who could be used as witnesses: First, the kind I have engaged; secondly, persons undoubtedly possessed of much knowledge whose present characters and standing could probably be assailed to the destruction of their testimony; thirdly, persons in good standing who pretend to know much and are ready for a consideration to swear anything and everything, when in fact they know, as I satisfied myself, little or nothing; fourthly, persons who evidently possess considerable knowledge, and claim to have important letters andpapers which they are unwilling to disclose excpet for a valuable consideration. believing that I shall be able to obtain asufficient numger of witnesses of unquestionable integrity to establish Clay's criminality I have not felt at liberty to engage any persons who might possibly be impeached. Yet I am free to declare that of the persons I have rejected there are at least three whose statements under oath I would myself receive with as much confidence as I would the testimony of many of the members of the present Congress. They are, in common phrase, persons of doubtful character--that is to say, men who visit groggeries, brothels, and gambling hells, and do it so publicly that every one who will may know it, and poitn to them as "doubtful characters"--men who have been ruined by the war, who have been deluded and led away by Clay and his associates, and when of no further use abandoned, like worn-out horses, in Canada, to live by their wits or starve and die in the gutter, yet men who never have, so far as I could learn, robbed or stolen or swindled, and would not to save their lives. Men who, notwithstanding their iniquities, would not perjure their souls or sell thei honor for a moderate sum, much less for a trip--a laborious journey--to Washington and back. I have rejected themonly because I know there are plenty John Bull Canadians, enemies of the United States, who applauded these men while they were in the rebel service, who would, if they knew of their being witnesses for the United States Government against Clay, or other high rebel functionaries, come forward to impeach them and unhesitatingly swear to whatever might be necessary to do so. Still, I presume an equal, if not greater, number of equally respectable persons could be produced to sustain them. But in view of these facts I know not how to act in regard to them without further instructions.
I shall leave for Toronto this p. m., and from the representations of Mott and others have little doubt but that I shall find Purcell and be able to produce him and Clay's letter to which I have referred. I am also of the opinion that I shall find several other unexceptionable witnesses. I hope to receive a letter from you at Toronto giving me such further instructions as you may deem proper. Direct to G. W. Montague, Queen's Hotel, and if convenient seal with wax--black wax. My letters have become quite lengthy, but I need not assure you that I have written rather for your information than my own pleasure.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
On the 13th of January following Conover telegraphed me from Albany, N. Y., as follows:
General HOLT, Judge-Advocate-General:
I have just arrived here from Kingston, Canada, with four witnesses, and expect another from Montreal to join me here this afternoon. My funds are exhausted.