The military authorities throughout the State assume at pleasure to make assessments upon the cice the payment of heavy fines without a hearing. And yet the laws of Kentucky are ample and the courts open for redress of every just grievance without any such military judgments.
I send herewith a copy of one of those orders assessing a citizen -merely as a specimen of what is of daily occurrence.
That these measures, with others of kindred nature, have been urged by the counsels of a class of men who represent the evil genius of loyalty I am well assured.
No one who has a love for our county and a desire to preserve our Government, if possessed of ordinary intellect and a common intelligence, with a knowledge of our people, would advise such measures. My hope is that in the multifarious affairs of state your attention has not been called to these matters, and that by my drawing your attention to when your sense of justice and what is due to a loyal people will promptly you to order a revocation of those orders and a correction of these evils.
The course pursued by many of those intrusted with Federal authority in Kentucky has made to your Administration and re- election thousands of bitter and irreconcilable opponents, where a wise and just and action would more easily have made friends.
Extreme measures, by which they sought to break the just pride and subdue the free spirit of the people and which would only have fitted them for enslavement, have aroused the determined opposition to your re-election of at least three-fourths of the people of Kentucky, when a different and just policy might have made them friends. You will pardon me for speaking thus plainly, for I assure you it is done in the kindest spirit, although I am opposed to your re-election and regard a change of policy as essential to the salvation of our country. In common with the loyal masses of Kentucky, my Unionism is unconditional.
We are for preserving the rights and liberties of our own race and upholding the character an dignity of our position.
We are not willing to sacrifice a single life or imperil the smallest right of free white men for the sake of the negro. We repudiate the counsels of those who say the Government must be restored with slavery, or that it must be restored without slavery, as a condition of their Unionism. We are for the restoration of our Government throughout our entire limits, regardless of what may happen to the negro. We reject as spurious the Unionism of all who make the status of the negro a sine qua on to peace and unity. We are not willing to imperil the life, liberty, and happiness of our own race and people for the freedom or enslavement of the negro. To permit the question of the freedom or slavery of the negro to obstruct the restoration of national authority and unity is a blood-stained sin.
Those whose sons are involved in this strife demand, as they have the right to do, that the negro be ignored in all questions of settlement and not make his condition, whether it shall be free or slave, an obstacle to the restoration of national unity and peace.. Such are the sentiments of the loyal masses of Kentucky. Why, therefore, are unequal burdens laid upon the people of Kentucky? Is it not unwise, not to say unjust, that this is done? Surely the appealing blood of her sons which crimsons the battle- fields sufficiently attests the loyalty of Kentucky and her people to entitle the State to be freed from those military manacles which fetter her noble limbs and chafe the
44 R R-SERIES III, VOL IV