War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0558 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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BRIDGE OF ALLAN, N. B., April 1, 1863.


DEAR SIR: Your letter of March 30 has just been received. In that letter you ask me to do you the favor to state in writing the substance of a conversation I had with you shortly after your (my) arrival in this country, touching an offer made me by S. Isaac, of the firm of S. Isaac, Campbell & Co., to divide a commission with me on a business transaction for the Government of the Confederate States, and whether or not I regard that offer as an attempt to induce me to combine with him (S. Isaac) for the purpose of defrauding the Confederate Government, and whether I rejected the same on that ground.

In reply to the foregoing I would say that the subject of the conversation to which your letter refers may be briefly stated as follows: That I did call on S. Isaac, of the firm of S. Isaac, Campbell & Co., on a matter of business; that Mr. Isaac did in the course of conversation make an offer or divide with me a commission of 5 per cent. on a business transaction for the Confederate Government, and that I did regard that offer as an attempt to induce me to enter into a transaction to defraud the Confederate Government, and that I did reject the same on that ground.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Commander, C. S. Navy.


Richmond, May 19, 1863.

By an act of Congress May 1, 1863 (copies of which will be furnished for distribution so soon as printed*), the general exemption of oversees as a class for the hitherto prescribed purpose, "to secure the proper police of the country," ceases to be obligatory, and the obligatory exemption is confined to certain enumerated classes of plantations. In a separate section of the same fact, however, the President is instructed with a general discretion to allow exemptions in any class of the community in cases of justice or necessity.

In construing this legislation as a whole, it is to be presumed that Congress, in view of thfixing a general rule of equally just application in the various parts of the country, intended to leave the necessary rules of exemption in unenumerated classes to be fixed by Executive discretion.

A violent and most injurious change would probably result from the immediate withdrawal of all exemptions formerly provided by the policy clause and not now expressly authorized. It is therefore necessary to proceed with deliberation and discretion.

The commandants of conscripts for the several States will make report of such cases or classes of cases in which the necessities of the community appear manifestly to require the exemption of any portion of the oversees, in whose hands now rests the supervision and police of our negro labor. Temporary indulgence will meantime be extended in such cases until Executive pleasure be know.

The temporary enrollment to bring into service those newly rendered liable will, however, be actively prosecuted.


* Published under date of may 14, p. 553.