History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1804
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<​December 14​> visited with wrong which the law is slow to redress and some of which are never redressed in this world. This fact however has never been held to be a justification for violence not warranted by law.
If any of the people of should invade for the purpose of rescuing persons there in jail, the consequence would be that indictments would be presented against them and demands made upon me for their arrest and surrender, which demands I would be compelled to obey, and thus they would be harrassed by interminable demands and prosecutions. And very likely it would lead to a species of border warfare which would be exceedingly annoying to a peaceable city: and if you could be placed in the wrong might lead to exceedingly unpleasant consequences with reference both to law and public opinion.
You inform me that you are informed that is about to make a new demand for you; and you implore my protection from what you term this renewed persecution. In the month of August last, I was furnished by your friends with a very large amount of affidavits and evidence, said to be intended to show cause why no further writs should be issued against you. As they are very volumin[HC 6:114]ous I have not yet read them and probably never will, unless a new demand should be made, in which case they will receive a careful perusal and you may rest assured, that no steps will be taken by me but such as the constitution and laws may require.
I am very Respectfully &c.. .”
It appears from this letter that has never taken pains to examine the evidence placed in his hands “and probably never will” in relation to the Writs; and evidently as little pains to examine the Constitution of the , or even reflect upon the ordinary principles of human rights; to suppose that a State after having by a union of Executive, Judicial, and Military powers exterminated 15,000 of its innocent inhabitants who were not even charged with any crime: robbing them of all they possessed on Earth, murdering hundreds of men women and children; and expelling all the others from the among strangers in midwinter; destitute of every thing upon the face of the earth that could possibly have a tendency to make life desirable should be constitutionally entitled to demand back from banishment, persons who have thus suffered its absolute decrees of exile to satiate a yet unsatiated thirst for human blood and cruel torture; Oh! reason where art thou fled? Oh! Humanity where hast thou hidden thyself? Patriots of ’76 has your blood been spilt in vain? that in 1843 the Executive of a great republican State, can coolly say “I have not yet read them, and probably never will.” Is liberty only a name? is protection of person and property fled from free ? Let those answer who can.
15 December 1843 • Friday
<​15​> Friday 15. I awoke this morning in good health, but was soon suddenly seized with a great dryness of the mouth and throat; sickness of the stomach, and vomited freely; my waited on me assisted by my Scribe Dr. and his brother , who administered to me herbs and mild [HC 6:115] drinks. I was never prostrated so low in so short a time before, but by evening was considerably revived.
Very warm for the season.
16 December 1843 • Saturday
<​16​> Saturday 16. This morning I felt considerably better; arose at 10, and sat all day in the city Council which was held in my house for my accommodation. [p. 1804]
December 14 visited with wrong which the law is slow to redress and some of which are never redressed in this world. This fact however has never been held to be a justification for violence not warranted by law.
If any of the people of should invade for the purpose of rescuing persons there in jail, the consequence would be that indictments would be presented against them and demands made upon me for their arrest and surrender, which demands I would be compelled to obey, and thus they would be harrassed by interminable demands and prosecutions. And very likely it would lead to a species of border warfare which would be exceedingly annoying to a peaceable city: and if you could be placed in the wrong might lead to exceedingly unpleasant consequences with reference both to law and public opinion.
You inform me that you are informed that is about to make a new demand for you; and you implore my protection from what you term this renewed persecution. In the month of August last, I was furnished by your friends with a very large amount of affidavits and evidence, said to be intended to show cause why no further writs should be issued against you. As they are very volumin[HC 6:114]ous I have not yet read them and probably never will, unless a new demand should be made, in which case they will receive a careful perusal and you may rest assured, that no steps will be taken by me but such as the constitution and laws may require.
I am very Respectfully &c.. .”
It appears from this letter that has never taken pains to examine the evidence placed in his hands “and probably never will” in relation to the Writs; and evidently as little pains to examine the Constitution of the , or even reflect upon the ordinary principles of human rights; to suppose that a State after having by a union of Executive, Judicial, and Military powers exterminated 15,000 of its innocent inhabitants who were not even charged with any crime: robbing them of all they possessed on Earth, murdering hundreds of men women and children; and expelling all the others from the among strangers in midwinter; destitute of every thing upon the face of the earth that could possibly have a tendency to make life desirable should be constitutionally entitled to demand back from banishment, persons who have thus suffered its absolute decrees of exile to satiate a yet unsatiated thirst for human blood and cruel torture; Oh! reason where art thou fled? Oh! Humanity where hast thou hidden thyself? Patriots of ’76 has your blood been spilt in vain? that in 1843 the Executive of a great republican State, can coolly say “I have not yet read them, and probably never will.” Is liberty only a name? is protection of person and property fled from free ? Let those answer who can.
15 December 1843 • Friday
15 Friday 15. I awoke this morning in good health, but was soon suddenly seized with a great dryness of the mouth and throat; sickness of the stomach, and vomited freely; my waited on me assisted by my Scribe Dr. and his brother , who administered to me herbs and mild [HC 6:115] drinks. I was never prostrated so low in so short a time before, but by evening was considerably revived.
Very warm for the season.
16 December 1843 • Saturday
16 Saturday 16. This morning I felt considerably better; arose at 10, and sat all day in the city Council which was held in my house for my accommodation. [p. 1804]
Page 1804