His Excellency then referred, in Judge Waterbury's report, to certain alleged facts, to which we took exception. The Governor then replied that it was Judge Waterbury's report, not his, which, to say the least, seemed ungracious, since he had produced it in testimony, and had made it the foundation of his complaint through the medium of the press.
We casually remarked that it would be strange if so skillful a statistician as Judge Waterbury could not arrange figures so that they should seem to show any result he desired; that figures in the abstract were unerring, yet the result frequently differed according as one divided or subtracted; that a proper comparison of votes, census, and State enrollment would prove the enrollment, in the main, correct. It was then stated that we hoped the new enrollment would be more perfect than the old, and we had no doubt it would be, for perfection is never attained as the result of a first effort; and so we did not call our enrollment perfect, but in the new one we hoped to approach nearer the desired end, with the aid of His Excellency. At the same time we ventured to express the opinion that more would be enrolled in the new than had been in the last, which His Excellency said he did not doubt, and therefore he urged that the new enrollment should not be made, but an attempt made to correct the present one; a new enrollment would aggravate the evil by making more liable to draft in the city than were already enrolled. His complaint to the President was, not that there were too many or too few enrolled in the city, but only, comparatively, that he wished the city districts left as they were, and the country districts brought up to that standard to equalize the draft; but we stated, if all the men were not enrolled in the city districts, then the old enrollment was deficient, and we presumed His Excellency wished accuracy as well as proportion, to which he replied that it was necessary, to bte to all. True, we stated, but if the enrollment be made accurate in each district, proportion would necessarily ensue, but it was but a premium on inaccuracy to attempt to harmonize alleged errors by proportion; proportion would always follow upon accuracy, but accuracy not always upon proportion; that the figures might bear a proper proportion and still be themselves wrong, so that if the city districts were, as he alleged, incorrectly enrolled, they should be corrected first. His Excellency repeated with great force that he did not wish a new enrollment; he had not asked for it; that New York was always loyal, but dragging off her citizens under unjust laws was repugnant to the spirit of our institutions, which was not the question in issue. After talking about the loyalty of the State, he said again the number would be increased and nothing gained. But, we urged, you take exception to certain districts, and to satisfy yourself the President says to us, "Commence from the beginning," and ask yourself, by your agents, to witness every step; to which His Excellency replied, This would involve expense; the State would appropriate no money; she had none; and each officer would have to have a State officer at his elbow to correct error or note fraud; that all he wanted was to let the people see that it was fair. I suggested that to let them see it and to endeavor to make them admit it were very different matters; that it was impossible; if they were so disposed they could see it now; the sheets were open, and always were. He said he thought not; that they would willingly admit its fairness if it was fair.
We then asked His Excellency if he thought of any plan which would make impartiality patent to all, and remove imputation of unfairness.