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Centre Democrat. [volume] (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1848-1989, August 29, 1861, Image 2

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Clie Centre B cmoeat. i
o w I
Thursday Morning Aug. 29 61. |
A.UBITuR., .
J. 11. McCLURS.
Court Week.
This hao been a b'tisv and exciting week
In Bellcfonte. Our streets have been throrg
'dd by crowds of our triends from the coun
try, and our hotels and business places have
been a "perfect ja'm." On Monday af'ter
'noon everybody went to hear Judge Lion's
cbairge to the Grand Jury. The Judge de
livered it and every union loving man pres
ent waa bigr.ly pleased with the product : on
and in a few hours afterward it scM readily
in our streets at 'five" cents a copy. ' On Mon
day night a'Union meeting was held in the
Court Horse, at which Wm. 11. Blur pre
sided. Speeches were made by Messrs.
Ilale, McAllister,'Brown, Blair and Btbver.
Resolutions, favorable to n union county
ticket were adopted On Tuesday night
the Democratic Convention assembled and
nominated their county ticket ; their pro
ceedings will be found in another columD, —
It was reported through many parts of ohr
county that the much talked of murder trial
would come off on Wednesday, and conse
quently the crowd was immense. The trial
however, did not come off ; but was postpbn
ed until next Session. On Wednesday even
ing the Republicans held their Convention
and nominated their county ticket. Pro
ceedings in another column. On Thursday
morning the disappointed office seekers of
both pnrties, left town and consequently our
streets were "almost deserted. The Grand
Jury was discharged-on Thursday.
Our paper is behind time this weeek. One
of our hands has been sifck a' portion of the
week, and our subscribers gave "us so little
encouragement, byway of paying up, that
wa cared but little whether the paper came
out or not. "Our friends" will have to do
with this number.of fho paper, like we do
when we ask them for money—wait until
they get it.
Real "War about to Commence.
No one can read the accounts of the mas
terly reform* introduced by "Gen. McC'ellan
in the a'fifiy, the 'thorough re-orgatfizatibn,
the correction of abuses, the close attention
to the comfort of the individual soldier, with
out feeling that the real war has yet to begin.
'The desperate nature ot the enterprise un
dertaken by the rebels obliged them to see
to the efficiency of "every tfffieer in whose
charge they put their men, we with a sort
of blind confidence, thought we must c'on
'quer undrr any circumstances ; at least
such ia'the only possible explanation lor the
appointment of many irresponsible hangers
on, to responsible commands.
Now all is changed. Politicians are bum
bled, and military merit- recognized. We
have had our probation,' end may now ex.
pect our triumph. It must not be forgot
ten, however, that the eni-tOv has thrown
his whole strength into Virginia'and Mis
souri, and that we must collect an army
large enough to ensure victory.
A National Army.
We heartily hail the new movement of (
Gen. McClellan in forming a National Army ,
—not an' army 0-' mpused of State Regiments j
but an ai'my in feaoh regiment of which eve- j
ry loyal State may perhaps be repnsen.f ' j
We hail it as a step in advance in every j
respect, and more especially as tending to j
make us less a Confederation f.'hd more a j
Nation. The founders ol our Government j
did not make our national name indicative ]
of a federation, but of a Union, and every - |
thing that tends to make us more' Americans ;
and less citizens of petty' Commonwealths, j
is a step in a direction which dire Cxperi- j
cnce hss shown to be the right oDe.
Our State Governments ware intended for ;
the administration of local affairs, and such >
purposes the answer, more or less, will.— ;
But the obnoxious dogma ot superior State
a'lieg : ance strikes at the' vitals of our na
tionality, end we see With the greatest satis
faction every Step that tends to make us one
great nation, rather than an assemblage of
insignificant nation.
■ Judge Linn's Charge,
"We publish, to-day. Hon. Samuel Linn's
• eLarge to the Grand Jury, en-.panelled at the ;
present term 'of cur Court of Quarter Ses
sions. The Judge d : euncs the law in regard to J
treason in a manner which seta to rest "the !
dogma that the freedom of "speech and of the |
press entitles editors and citizens to the right |
of assailing the Government, because they
object to its policy when it is seeking to res
tore order in times of public and private
peril. Judge Linn understands, thoroughly :
the present condition of affairs, and discuss
es them like a patriot BDJ statesman- Tbi#
production is worthy'of the man who con
ceived it, appropriut Ho the place in which
it was delivered, and should be read care- j
iully by every citiien of Centre County. '
The Union Meeting.
Iu accordance to previous notice published
in all the papers of this place, & Union Meet
ing was held in the Court Room cm Monday
Evening. The meeting was organized by
calling Wm. H. Blair cf Bcllefonte to pre
side. after which Daniel Koons, Jno. Thomp
son, Jacob Struble, Capt. J. B. Mitchell,
i Maj. James Armor, lion. John Ilasson, Jas.
CU Lucas, G. 11. Weaver, Esq., W. Vanvalin,
Christain Derr, and J. Keller were elected
Vice 'presidents. J. V. FostOr and M. T.
MillTkeo, Secretaries.
The meeting being ready for business, the
President stated the object of the meeting by
. reading the call from one of the papers, with
appropriate rcmafks. 11. :N. McAllister mov
:'sd fur a committee cn resolutions, to which
. the chair appointed H. N. McAllister, John
Way. A. 0. Furst, Adam Iloy, Wm. Allison,
Jr., Jas. Gordan, Jos. Sehnoll, Sr., R. H.
Foster, Austin Brew.
; While the Committee was engaged in the
; performance cf their duty, Hon. J. T. Hale,
: was, on motion, called on to address the
meeting. IT is not necessary that we enter
j into any details as to the import of the speak
j era address further than to say tb.it,"as usual,
j he took a decided stand in Support of the
: Govtrnment, and the vigorous prosecution of
; the war against the rebels and ei amies of
j our common country and the Union The
Committee on resolutions having r. turned
in the meantime read a series of reso.utions
j "which were subsequently, unanimously adop
j ted. 11. A. McAllister, as Chairman of the
i Committee on resolutions, supported the
same in one of those speeches peculiar to that
j gentleman, lie spoke with vigor, with a
i f-ieiing of determination on his part to crush
j the rebellion at once, and took particular
I pains thet men occupying prominent posi
j tions before the public, and whoso every act
j and sympathy was in the interest of rhe se
oeders, should be made known to the friends
i of the'Unioo.
Judge Linn was called on to speak, hut
that gentlf'maa 'thinking <be hour sufficiently
t latfl already at- : :neu to s .-.. king further sen*
i timcnts than chose by the former
• speakers, and endorsed toe ,'solutions hiitrt-
I >ly.
Col. Brown ar.d Capt. Stover'abb) 'made
j short speeches owir'g to the lateness of the
j hour.
i _Tbe" following rfs-JuMohs were adopted:
Is . Resolved that tin- present deplorable
; civil war has been fnic-d upon the country
, by the disunioiiists of ttu Southern States,
; now in arms against the Consihutional Gov
i eminent, and iti arms around the capital :
j that in this national emergency, banishing
all feelings of mere passion or resentment,
jwe wouid recollect only or da:y to the
whole country, that this a . .ot waged
I on our part in aDj ep : -ersion or
| for ar.v purpose of co -. - • jugati-n
or purpose of ov-r:h-.ng or interfering
with the rights or he-at- abed ios.i'utions of
those States, hut to maiu aiu the suoreaiacy
,'cfThe Constitution, nwj to yro-erve the
UnioD,'with all the y. equality and
rights of the several S . -mb ..paired ; and
thai as soon as these otj :i are accomplish
ed the \yar ought to cease.
2nd. dissolved, that it is the duty of all
good citizens to select for offices of trust and
profit/without regard to their former party
connection, such men as will co-operate with
the gov.ronient in the vigorous prosecution
of the \\ AR, in the successful issue of which
rests our hope for the integ ity of the Union
and the restoration of an honorable peace.
3rd Resolved, that a Committee be apDoint
ed to confer'with the delegates of the Dem
ocratic and Republican conventions to so-
L I'ure. if pussible, the nomination of a - Union
| Ticket worth of the support of every uocon
i ditionii! Union man.
A Committee was appointed to confer with
the two party Conventions on the expedienby
of a Union County ticket. The following is
that Cotr mittee :
Dr. J. M. McCoy, Bart Qalbraith; R. 11.
Foster, It. 11. Duncan, S. Ilaupt,'Jr., "E. C.
Humes, James 11. Mann, Constance Curtin.
The mcetioGg then adjourned.
The Presidents Proclamation.
Prei-idtnt L-.t coin's proclamation, forbiding
c\ mmercial intereo'ur.-e with the rebel states,
and declaring the forfeiture of'ill property
which is attempted to be passed, and of all
vessels belonging to rebel owners, is a vigor
ous and timely exertion if executive author
ity. It is a strong evidence that the Presi
dent feels the necessity ot acting with the
utmost energy and'decision. We trust that
the officers on whom the President relies to
enforce-the non-intercourse commanded in
the proclamation, will prove, by their vigi
lance, activity and determination, that they
are fit for their places. And it is further to
be hoped that no more property Such as the
President denounces will bo chartered or
purchased by the officers of the governmt-rt
as has been done for some time past here
against the earnest protest of loyal citizens.
Secretary Cameron and Cabinet.
Mr." Cameron's labors in the cabinet are
incessant, llis duties are continual, and in- !
elude a greater number of important details j
than those of any other member of the cabi- !
net. The attacks upon bitn by certain j
thoughtless or malevolent journals are beet I
refutea by his own action. L'o him' the
country is largely Indebted for the reorgani
zation of ihe > r:-Y. e is no- probability j
of his dismis-' i f "j. t ij-jn in which he j
is so valuable; at /, i r; -(withstanding I
the clamors of a n'flss, no changes i
wiil be made in the 0a;..; if present.
— We are conducting a large war in Western
Virginia, and the extent of our military op
erations may be easily estimated when it is
stated that from fifty t> neve- five fins of
provision are shipped daily from Cincinnati
to the r.ruiy in Virginia. A week or two
since the unount was four hundred and fifty
tons, and in three days of one week about
two hundred tins were sent.
Senator, Landon, w>>.i w.i., present at
the reception and spee. • D .v - I - "Dick
inson, in Tubkh'inn V , up-rtch,
whibh among other . in
reply to Some coinp the crowd
who cried out: To a 81-vt -.! is
the peace maker," a . ou< : t ihe
speaker replied, it says i. ;. .e Devil
and he will flee from JDU," which brought
down 1 the crowd.
Excitement in Connecticut.
BRIDGEPORT, August 24.
A secession flag, uoder the name of'peace,'
was hoisted at Stepney fen miles north of
Bridgeport, Conn., this afternoon at 2 o'clock
According to previous announcement a
meeting was to have been nd'dres.ed by
Schnable, a broken down politician frnm
Pennsylvania; also by ex J Postmaster Good-"
sell, of Bridgeport, and one BeldeD, a sixth
rate lawyer from Newtown, Conn ; but bCo
. fore one of these secessionists had time to
j open his mouth a procession of carriages ap
peared, containing one hundred of tlm first
! citizens of Bridgeport, ar.d twenty.five of the
; returned volunteers. In less than forty sec
| onds the secession flag was trailing in the
■ dust, and in twenty eeeonds more it was torn
;in five hundred pieces. Several pitols md
| ODD gun were taken from the secessionists,
. who drew but dared not fire them.
A Union meeting was then organized, of
: which Elias Ilowe, Jr., was appointed pres
. ident, and P, T. Barnam, secretary.
| glorious Union resolutions, denouncing peace
secession meetings, were passed.
The volunteers-are determined to sack the
Farmer office at Bridgeport to-night, but our
; citizens are endeavoring to have them wait
the action of the proper authorities.
8} o'clock p M.
The secession Farmer office has just been
, gutted by toe volunteers, in presence of 3,000
I to 5,000 citizens. The wind JWS were stnu'kh-
I ed, the type all thrown into the streets, and
j the presses destroyed.
BRIDGEPORT, August 25.
In cleaning out of the Farmer and AdoUi
i ser office last night,-a United States mail bag
was found fiflol with papers addressed to
; leading secessionists in Alabamy, Georgia,
; nod other Southern States, also some two
; hundred wooden billies, turned and furnish
led with strings for the rists. These clubs
I were made from shovel handles, and were
j probably furnished by a secession shovel
i manufacturer in Bridgeport. Some curious
, letters were also discoverod, exposing the
i treason of politicians in Hartford and else
• where. One of the editors of the Farmer has
gone to New Haven, threatening to issue his
paper from the Register office t(-mot row.
| Grand Jury's Presentment of the
Democratic Watchman.
To the Honorable, the Judges of the Court of Ses
sions of the peace in and for the County of Cen
The Grand Inquest of
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania inquiring in
and for the County of Centre, upon their respec
tive oaths and affirmations, do present the follow
ing facts to the Court:
There is a certain newspaper, the Democratic
Watchman, edited by Cyrus X. Alexander and P.
G. Meek, of this county, which is in the practice
of encouraging the rebels now in arms against the
Government, fcy expressing sympathy and agree
ment with them, the duty of exceeding to "their
demands, and dissatisfaction with the employ
ment of force to overcome them. Said newspaper
is published in the Borough of Bellcfoutcj in this
The Grand Jury do not deer., it necessary un
der the instruction of the Court to go into a long
recital of facts, said publication being wcllknowu
to this community, but in accordance with the
dictates of conscience and the duty they owe to
their country, they beg leave, respectfully, to
make this presentment.
I Attempt to take Gov. Thomas
GRAFTON, Va., Augtis- 24.
, Last evening, while Governor Thomas was
addressing a crowd in front cf a hotel at
Cumberland, some secessionist ra'sed a dis
turbance which resulted in their being driven
home, and the destruction of the Alleghanian
office-, a secession newspaper. This morning
the train bound west„whicb bad Gov. Thomas
aboard, when about eight miles this side of
Cumberland, came suddenly on several cross
ties thrown across the track, and at the same
time a number of armed men were seen rap
idly descending a neighboring hiil. The en
gineer increased the speed of the locomo
tive, and succeeded in throwing the ties off
the track with but little damage to the en
gine. Some federal scouts then fired into
the train, it is supposed by mistake, but
without doing any darnare. The design of
the secessionists was to take Gov. Thomas
i Brilliant Achievement Expected.
■ FOKTR; S MONROE, Aug. 27.
Tho much talked of expedition from Old
Point has tailed under comm'and of General
j Cutler. ' It consisted of the frigates Jlinne
j sota and Wabash, sloop of war Pawnee, gun
| bats Malum •. and Harriet La:; steam
| ers'Adelaide and George Peabodv, propellors
i Fanny arid Adriatic, with a large number of
| schooners, barges, etc. The Quaker City
will fsdiow in a few hours. The vessels car- i
ry over 100 guns and about 4,000 men.— '
! Several powerful gun-boats remain at Old
; Point ar.d Newport News. A brilliant
i achievement is expected from Gen. Butler i
j and Commander StHfighain. Cols. Max" !
j Weper and flawkens take part in the expe- >
~* . j
A Calm in Washington. i
There is a perfect dearth of news to day ;
everything seems quiet upon tho surface;,
thtre are no sensation rumors all -at, DO gos
sip worth noting, or no facts to record ; on
thestreets are the customary throng at" the i
War Department, tho usual audience in the
aisles, and a larger portiuD cl officers than
we have noted before. On" the door of the
Secretary's office is a notice, " no visitors
received until one P. M." The tall fo-rm of
old ABE, and the epaulets of General Mc-
Clellan, seen slipping in past tho notice
would soem to indicate that the work was
being arranged, and the calm we now feel is
but the lull that precedes a elorm, the
crouching ot the tigress before she lenps. '
Grand Jury, August Term, 1861.
We eater upon the discharge of our official
i duties to-day under very solemn and impres
j sive circumstances. Since the last term of
; this'court, events have occufred in the histo
ry of our National Government of the most
serious arid startling character. I need not
refer to'these events in detail as they form
; a conspicuous part of the history of the re
bellion against which this nation is now
j struggling, with which every iuielligen) cit
izen is presumed to be familiar. We have
fallen upon strange times and are experien
cing a national 'rial, wuieh would eeem noi
■ to have iieeu apprehended by the fathers
I of ibis Confederacy. In that
j admirable Constitution by which the Union
I and the compact of 'hese States were formed
and under which, until recently, remained
linked together by a strong and peaceful
; bond of union, there are no provissions which
, contemplate either an amicable separation
or au attempt on the part of any one or more
iol the States to foiclffiy .vithci.aw from the
Union, and, consequently, those public func
. tionaries whose duty it is to provide for the
1 public safety and protection have been oc
casionally noibarrasseet by constitutional
resirictione, apparent or real, or waDt of
constitutional authority to meet fully and
! promptly the exigencies of the times.
I When we consider the magnitude of the
j rebellion, the years which have been occu
' pied in diligent and systematic preparation
j for this attempt to overthrow the government
: —the number and.the character of the indi—
I viduals concerned in it—the object and pur
poses which, as we have rearon to believe,
i have long been -ecretly meditated and are
| now being openly HDJ defiantly avowed
j—the acts which they have already done in
j furtherance of their plans, and the further
I Outrages and atrocities which they won Id
seem to have in immediate contemplation,
we canmit but consider it the uiost alarming
event that has ever occurred in our history,
j Tnere is enough in this to till the stoutest
heart with dismay and terror.
When our couniry is in the midst of such
perils, every citizen has duties which fDw
i from the allegiance that he owes to the gov
! ernment and which as a loyal freeman he is
1 ound to perform. Tfie sum of those duties
| is that he shall do nli that in him lies to aid
in protecting and defending theexistence and
; the honor of the nation. This is a demand
to which a patriot is always ready to
yield a cheerful obedience. Next to his
Maker, he acknowledges that his country
j has the biggest claims upon him.
j We as a constituent branch of the State
j Government have duties devolving upon us,
which relate to the present condition of af
fairs—duties which we should perform,
promptly, faithfully, ai d without fear, favor
or affection, but we should at the same time
give to them a temperate and impartial con
sideration. Of these I shall come presently
to speak.
1 am compelled, though with deep regret,
to believe that ther is not at the present
time amongst the inhabitants of the ioyal
.States, an entirely unanimous and hearty
co-operation with the national government
in the attempt now making to suppress the
rebellion, nay, more, I am credibly informed
that there are amongst us not only persons
who secretly sympathize with the re
bellion, but those also who boldly and pub
licly avow sentiments which are in opposi
tion to the authority of the goverutuont:—
Such persons, whilst they merit the con
tempt of the people of this, and every other
civilized nation on earth, and are bringing
di.-grace uuon themselves and their posterity,
should nevertheless-receive the punishment
which the law assigns totbem.
"This leads us to consider and define the
offences whieh may be committed directly
.•.gains the government. Although some of
these belong to the inclusive jurisdiction of
the federal c..urts, it may not be out of place
to notice them here in order that you and the
i eople ol'the country woe happen to be pres
ent may be made to understand something ol
the nature end extent of the obligations
which they owe as citizens. The present
generation of Americans know but little ex
perimentally of a sta-e of war, and it there
fore should not surprise us that their atten
tion has never been patticul&rly directed to
the duties which at such a time fire incident
to the relation that exists between a govern
ment and its ci izens or subjects. I am
therefore lead to take a charitable view of the
conduct of those who may have seemed to
forget or depart fn m their allegiance and to
attribute most., if not all. such cases of delin
quency, not so much to a disposition openly
to violate the law or opp"Be the known au
thority of the go.-, rnu:-n ,ns to entire igno
rance of the law's demand* and of the na ure
and design of the rebellion. I am led to
more than suspect that :,rilul and wicked
men are making it their business to deceive
the people hv leading tli m into the errone
ous belief that the war is waged for the su
preniacy 01 a party, instead of being a strug
gle purely for the life of the nation. True,
that kind of loyalty, is not vpry praiseworthy
or reliable whieti is not the spontaneous out
go'ng of a patriotic heart, but needs the un
yi lding last of penal sanction to keep it in j
shape. Still it is better 'hen open rebellion. '
The ofiences which directly affi'cr or are J
injurious to the government are Treason.
Misprison of treason, aod certain positive i
misprison or contempt of its -authority or \
By t). law of England there were various
| nets defied by statute which world render
the perpetrate- guilty of treason, bu' by our
National Constitution it is directed that trea
son against the United States shall consist
only in levying war against them or in adhe
ring to their enemies, giving them aid and
comfort. That 'he irihatdtants of those
States of this Union which have assumed to
to withdraw therefrom, ar.d form a new and
independent government, have levied war
upon the United states wiihin the meaning
of the Constitution will not admit of acoubt.
Giving and crmfort to such persons, by such
overt acts as giving them intelligence, send
ing them provisions, furnishing them with
supplies, or arms, or the like, would be trea
sou, and would render the offender liable to
punish of death.
' Misprision of Treason, is the concealment
cf (reason, by giving merely passive, for any
assistance given to the traitor makes the par
ty a principal as there are no accessor es in
treason. This misprision is of a negative
character, but, as Ims already been stated,
there are other misprisions affecting the
government of a positive nature, which we
shall notice hereafter.
Treason may be committed against either
against the government of a State, or of the
United States. When the offence is against
the sovereign authoritv of a single Srate. it
falls within the jurisdiction of the courts of
the State where;-; i: vras committed, but
where, es in the j .as it instance, war ia
waged against the fi a vai government, the
federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction—
This court cannot, therefore, take cognizanco
of any act of treason, or misprision of treason
growing out of this rebellion inasmuch as the
war levied by the confederate States, as they
are called, is against the general government
and not against the State of Pennsylvania.
But, as has already been intimated, (here
are misprisions of a positive nature, some of
which are grave misdemeanors, and may,
like treason or misprision of treason, be of
fenees against State or federal authority as
the case may be. I have heretofore neglect
ed to explain to you that the term "mispris
ion" is of French derivation, and means in
legal parlance contempt or neglect. Titus,
misprision of treason, consists in the neglect
to give information of the commission of an
act of treason and rs what is termed a nega
tive misprision.
The positive misprisions which concern
our present inquiry and of which we shall
now proceed to speak, are such as involve an
attempt to weaken the -trong arm of civil
power, or a contempt of lawful authority.—
Thus, for example, to dissuade a witness from
giving evideuce, or from obeying the process
of subpoena, to pprsuade or assist a prisoner
in custody to escape; to refuse obedience to
the call of a police officer for assistance to
quell a riot or apprehend an offender or en
deavor to pursuade others to disobey such
call, ate all mi-demeanors of this sort, based
upon the principle that it is unlawful to of
fer resistance to lawfully constituted author
ity. It is safe to assert as a general princi
ple, that any wilful attempt to resist the au
thority of the government, or to prevent or
hinder the success of its plans or designs in
the prosecution of a war offensive or defen
sive, or to induce or pursuade othets to do
the like, is unlawful and punishable as a
high misdemeanor. Now "apply this general
principle to the present condition of our na
tional affairs. A state of war actually ex
ists. The President of the United States by*
virtue of the power reposed in him, has is
sued hie proclamation calling upon the Gov
ernors of the several States to furnish their
quota of troops for the organisation of a mil
itary force sufficient to protect the govern
ment and suppress a formidable rebellion.—
The G ivernment of Pen n sylvan is in response
to this demand has issued a proclamation
calling "upon all able-bodied citizens within
the Commonwealth, subject to military'duty,
to form themselves into military companies,
and regiments, to be called and mustered
into the public service. Now it must be
perfectly apparent to the most ordinary un
derstanding tint any attempt to prevewt the
carrying out of the design would be a gross
insult to the gi verument and a daring con
tempt of the author ty vested in it and there
fore a high misdemeanor. For if the designs
and plans of the g( vernment can with impu
nity be thwarted and rendered abortive, then
all our high sounding theories respecting the
supremacy of the government, and allegiance
and eovereignty ere hut beautiful figments
i.f the imagination. Such toleration could
spring from no principle other than would
assert that the citizen is only bound by his
allegiance to the government so long as its
measures may be in accord at ci *vi h hh own
vipws, and is obliged to obey only such laws
as meet his entire approval.
Suppose a riot to occur in one of our streets.
11 is" the duty of the officers bf the law to
suppress it, and it is the duty ofall good citi
z ns to aid and assist, for without such regu
lation the public pence could nit be main
taiaed. and we would constantly be in the
midst of disgraceful scenes of tumult and dis
order. -Now, suppose that on euch an ooca
sion some irdivivual would take it upon him
self to assembled multitude, denouncing the
riot act and the administration under which
it was pa-sed. and a--sailing and condeming
the political views of the officers who are en
deavoring to preserve the peace, and advis
ing and persuading the 'bystanders to with
hold any assistance for these or anv simila r
reasons. How should a court and jury deal
with such an offend.w? The 'question need
only I e asked. And is not that man a thou
sand times mure culpable who, by words or
aciions, persuasions or threats, would attempt
to prevent or persuade our citiz°ns from re
spending to tie call of the cheif magistrate
of the nation for aid to nut down a rebellion
that tiic.l3 at the total subvPTS : on and over
throw of the-government'?
There is great misapprehension abroad on
this subject. Many persons erroneously sup
pose, that so long as individuals will refrain
from on overt act of treason, thev may speak
and act as they please against the govern
mont, with perfect impunity. It. is time
that such dangerous misapprehensions sbou'd
he corrected, and in our remarks on this oc
easion wo are doing what we ean to accom
plish that purpose. There are other offences
beside treason and misprision" of treason
-which effect the government and its claims
alLgiance, as has been already explained.—
The late Judge Kane in his charge to the
grand jury delivered in the District Cvurt of
the United States a few ago, in refer
ring to the case of United States v. Han
way, a case which produced no little excite
ment, uses the following language:
" i't:?re Inis been. I-fear, an erroneous im-
I presshm on this subject among a portion ol
| our people. "It it has bepn thought Fafe tn
' counsel ami instigate others to acts of fnrci
| b1 e oppugnation to the pro-,isiorig of a etat
! u e— to inflame the ni'rvls of the ignorant by
j appeals to passion and denunciations'of the
| law so oppressive unjust-, rev it'ing to the con
| science and not binding on the actions "of
! men—to present the eonstitirion of the land
! as a com; act of iniquity, which it were mer
j itorion-- to viola e or subvert, the mistakp
> has bepri a previous one ; and thev who have
j fallen int i it, may rejoice if peradventure
| their pppeals and their e uos'ls have heen
j hitherto without effect, lie whose conscience
|• r whose theories of political r individual
I right forbid him to supp'-rt and maintain i'
| in its fullest integrity,' may relieve himself
j from the duties ot citizenship hy devesting
! himself i,f its rights; hut while he remains
| withiii our borders, he is to remember that
; successfully to instigate treason is to commit
1 it."
The views that we have just expr.issed, do
not, in our opinion, conflict in the least, with
the frrvdom of speech or of the press. By
i the constitution of the. United St.itos Con
gress is forbidden to make any law abridg
ing rlie freedom of speech of the press and
the Si.cs'itution of this state provides that
the printing presses shal 1 be free to every
person vvno undertakes to examine the pro
ceedings of the legislature or any branch of
the government; and no law shall ever be
made to restrain "the right tnereof. The
free communication of thought and opinions
is ore of the valuable rights of man; and
every citizen may fully speak, write and
print on any subject being responsible for
the abuse of that liberty. What are we to
understand from the words " freedom of
speech ur of tho press" as used in the Con
stitution ? The framers of that instrument,
evidently recognized it ne a well defined, pre
existing right, or they declare that it shall
not be abridged. Certainly men of learning
and experience, would not in so important a
paper,' forbid the abridgement cf a right
which was without any certatn measure or
extent; for it would involve one of the most
cherished rights of the citizen in a maze of
confusion and obscurity. At the time of the
adoption of the constitution, in 1787, when
the freedom of the press was spoken cf, the
people understood exactly what it meant—its
boundaries were well marked, and have con
tinued so to this day.
Justice Blackstone in his commentaries
vol. 4, p. 156, says, " Where Uaspheme
" ous. immoral, treasonable, schismatical,
" seditous, or scandalous libels arc pun
" ished the liberty of the press, properly
" understood, is by no means infringed or
" violated. The liberty of the press is
" indeed essential to a free State; but
' 1 this consist in laying no previous re
"straints upon publications; and not in
'• freedom from censure for criminal mat
" ter when published. Every freemen
'• has an undoubted right to lay what sen
timsrits h.e pleases before the public to
" forbid this is to destroy the freedom of
" the press; but if he publish what is iir> •
" proper, mischievous or illegal, he must
" take the consequences df his own timer
" ity. To subject the press to the re*
I " strietive power of a license, as was
formally done, is to subject ell freedom
"of sentiment to the prejudices of one
•' man. and make him the arbitrary and
"infallible judge of all controverted points
| •' in learning, religion and government.—
But to punish any dangerous or offen
" sive writings, which when, published,
" shall, on a fair and impartial trial be
"adjudged of a pernicious tendency, is
lt necessary for the preservation of peace
" and good order, of government and re
!i ligion, the only, solid foundations of
" civil liberty. Thus the will of individ
" uals is still left free ; the abuse only cf
" that free will is the object of legal pun
" ishment. Neither is any restraint here
"by laid upon freedom of thought or in
" quiry ; liberty of private sentiment is
" siill'left: the disseminating or making
" public of bad sentiments destructive to
" the ends of society, is the crime which
" society corrects, A man may be allowed
"to keep poisons in his closet, but not
•' publicly to vend tbem as cordials, and
l< the only plausible argument heretofore
" used for restraining the just freedom of
" the press, that it was necessary to pre
" vent the daily abuse of it , will entirely
'* loose its force, when it is shown (by a
" seasonable execution of the laws) that
" the press cannot be abused to any bad
" purpose, without incurring a suitable
" punishment; whereas it never can be
" used to any good one, when under the
" contiol of an inspector. So true will it
be found that to censure the licentious,
" is to maintain the liberty of the press."
•Judge ADDISCX, in a charge delivered to
the grand juries of the sth judicial District
of Pennsylvania, in 1798, makes use of the
following language * " Freedom of the press
consists in this, that any man may, without
the consent of any other, print any book or
wiiting whatever, being in this as in ail
other freedom of action liable to punishment
if he injure an individual or the pub ic.—
Such is the liberty of the press which the
people 6f the United Skates of America, for
its greater security, have made part of their
1 fundamental law. In their State constitu
tions, they provide that legislatures
should not make any Ijw restraining the lib
erty of the press, that is, should lay no pre•
vious restraints on the press ; or, as the
Pennsylvania Constitution expresses it,-that
* every citizen may freely speak, write and
print on any subject being responsible for
the abuse of that liberty.'' The same princi
ple was afterwards adopted into the federal
Constitution, and the scctiou established it
there is to be construed in the same manner.
So that the liberty of the press is precisely
as stated by Justice BI.AOKSTOXE, it being
free from all previous restraint, but, as all
■ other rights or liberties ate, subject to correc
tion for its abuse.''
On this subject I shall refer to but one
more au horily wh ch may serve to mark
out the distinction between those publica
tions respecting the government, which are
•unauthorized and unlawful. The case of
the Commonwealth vs Dennie, reported in
4th Yeats 267, was an indictment for libel
tried in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
in 1805. I quote here so much of the opin
ion of the Court iu that case as is applica
ble :
The legislative acts, or of any -branch of
the government are open to the public dis
cussion, and every citizen may freely speak,
write or print on any subject, but is amend
able for the abuse of that privilege. No al
teration is made in the law as to prir.i'e
men lillected by injurious publications, un
les 1 - the discussion be proper for public in
formation. -It is no infraction of law to
publish temperate investigations of the na ■
ture and forms of government. The en
lightened advocates of representivc republi
can governments pride themselves in the
reflection, that the more deeply their system
is examined, the more fully will the judge
ments of honest men be satisfied that it is
the most conducive to the safety and happi
ness of a free people. But there is a mark
ed and evident distinction between such
publications and those which are plainly
accompanied with a criminal intent, deliber
ately designed to loosen the social bonds of
union totally to unhinge the mmds of the
citizens, and to produce popular discontent
with the exercise of power by the constitu
ted authorities. Such writings are subver
sive of all order-and government. The lib
ertj' of the press consists in publishing the
truth from good motives and for justifiable
ends, though it reflects on governments and
magitrates, CroosiceWs Trial , pp. 73, G4.
Such publications add to the common stock
of freedom, while the latter insidiously in
feet the public mind with a subtle poison,
and produce the most mischievous and
alarming consequences, by their tendency to
anarchy, sedition and civil wt.r. Such con
duct is punishable by the Constitution. It
may be difficult to draw the line of demar
cation in every instance, but the jury are to
judge for themselves on the plain import of
every word without any forced or strained,
construction of the meaning of the author or
editor. rnd determine on the correctness of
the innuendoes. To every word they will
assign its sense, and collect the true inten
tion from the context."
It is evident from these quotations, which
are from highly respectable authority and
should be accepted as a sound interpretation
of the law, that ihe government by holding
its citizens criminally responsible for every
wilful design to interfere with its authority
or its plans, in no respect infringes upon
any personal right. Much excitement pre
vails in many parts of the country because
; of the apparent sympathy manifested by
! certain newspapers anu public journals with
| the rebels, and in some places printing press
. es and the contents of printing offices have
been destroyed by a resort to violence and
| mob rule. This is much to be deplored on
J account of the encouragement it affords to
j that spirit of riot and insubordination which
\ is exceedingly dangerous in its tendencies
[ and never can be justified on any pretext
; whaicver. Such proceedings deserve the
j condemnation of all good citizens, and we
| trust there may be no repetition of them in
; future. It is sincerely to be hoped that
i those who have control of the public press,
I will conduct it so prudently as not to excite
| angry feelings at a time when the public
I mind is extremely sensitive to every appa
! rent expression of disloyalty or indignity to
| the government—and, moreover, that if
: there should bo any abuses of the liberty of
the press, resort will be had to- legal au
| thorjty, and not to the power of an excited*
I mob. There is no necessity for a resort to
■ violence * the government has ample power
j to correct such evils, and in such times as
; these has never scrupled to exert it when
; occasion ltquired. The right of self preser
vation by all the means within reach in times
I of imminent peril, belongs to the government
as fully as to an individual, and it is a great
mistake to suppose that in time of war a
government may not remove every obstacle
which tends to embarrass or hinder the suc
cess of its military defences, or to weaken its
power morakor physical. Neglect or hesi
tation on the part of those who administer
the government to resort to such measures,
whenever exigencies arise that in their opin
ion require it, would expose them' to the
just indignation of their constituents, and
would prove them to be unworthy of their
high trust. During the revolution, an Act
was passed in this State, on the 11th Feb.
1T79, the 4th section whereof is in these
words: "If any person or persons within
this State shall attempt to convey intelli
gence to the enemies of this State, or the
l.nited States of America, or by pub/icily or
deliberately speaking or writing against our
public defence, or shall maliciously anil ad
visedly endevor to excite the people to resist
the government of this Commonwealth, or
persude them to returmto dependence upon
the crown of Great Britain, or shall malic
iously and advisedly terrify or discourage
the people from enlisting in the service of
the Commonwealth, or -shall stir up, excite
or raise tumults, disorders or insurrections
in the States, or dispose tbem to favor tho
enemy, or oppose and endeavor to prevent
the measures carrying on in support of tho
freedom and independence of the said Unit
ed States ; every such person being thereof
legally convicted by the evidence of two or
I more credible witnesses, in any Court of
General Quarter Sessions, shall be adjudged
guilty of misprison of Treason, and shall
suffer imprisonment during the present war,
and forfeit to tho Commonwealth one half of
his or her lands and tenements, goods and
This act having been passed for a tempo
rary purpose, expired by its own limitation
at the close of the war.
AVe noticed that several newspapers pub
lished in New York and elsewhere, which
have rendered themselves obnoxiovs to tho
! people because of their alleged secession
pinclivities, have been brought to the notico
of our proper courts, and we may therefore
expect before long, we shall be favored with
an opinion on this subject from the Circuit
Court of the United States. And the news-
I papers report that the press, type and fix
tures of a printing office in Philadelphia,
which was alleged to be advocating the right
of secession was seized by the Mashall of
the Fiastern District a day or two ago.—
This looks as though the government had
determined to trifle no longer with those who
disregard its rights or bid defiance to its au
thority. AYe should rejoice at every indica
tion of vigor and strength in our government
• proceedings from a prud -nt exercise of its
power in the suppression of the rebellion
and of anything that aflords it aid.
YFe have hitherto been speaking of a class
of offences which lie beyond our jurisdic
tion. Each State possesses the right, hoW
: ever, to pass laws regulating the conduct of
j its own citizens. The Legislature of Penn
; sylvania, at ils last regular session, passed
an.act to which it is our duty to direct your
attention. The lirsr section provides " that
; if any person or persona belonging to or
residing within this State, and under the
' protection of its laws, shall take a conimis
i sion <fr commissions from any person, State
! or States, or other the enemies of this State,
I or of the United States of America, or shall
i levy war against this Slate or Government
or knowingly or willingly shall aid or assist
any enemies in open war against this State
or the United States, by joining their armies
or by enlisting, or procuring, or persuading
others to enlist for that purpose, or by fur
nishing such enemies with arms or amuni
tion. or any other articles for their aid and
comfort*, or by carrying on a traitorous cor
respondence with them, or shall form, or be
| in anywise concerned in forming any plot or
j conspiracy or comnination for betraying this
State or the United States of America into
the hands or power of any foreign enemy,
or any organized or pretended government
engaged in resisting the laws of the United
•States, or shall give or send any intelligence
to the enemies of this-State or of the United
States of America, or shall, with intent to
oppose, prevent or subvert the government
of this State or the United States, endeavoT
to persuade any person or persons from en
tering the service of this State or the United
States, or from: joining any volunteer com
pany or association of this State about being
mustered into service, or shall use any
threats or persuasions or offer any bribe, or
hold out any hope of reward, witfi like intent
to induce any person or persons to abandon
said service, or withdraw from ary volunteer
company or associaiion already -organized
under the laws of this Commonwealth, for
that purpose ; every person so offending and
being legally convicted thereof, shall be
guilty of a high misdemeanor, and shall be
sentenced to undergo solitary imprisonment
in the penitentiary, at hard labor, forja term
not exceeding ten years, and -lined in a sum
not exceeding five thousand dollars, or both,
at. the discretion of the conrt : Provided,
that this act shall net prohibit any citizen
from taking or receiving civil commissions
for the acknowledgment of deeds and other
instruments of writing."
This law is free from obscurity and its
meaning and intention cannot be misunder
stood. We have brought it to your notice
so that if-any bf you know of any of the
oflences therein mentioned having been com
mitted within this eountv, the offender may
be dealt with as the law directs. If any of
vou know ot the commission of such offence,
it will be your duty to make it known to
j your fellows so that the matter may be duly
land formally presented to the court. It is
| your duty to present all violations of this
act, as well as all other known otfences
| against the criminal law, but we should be
careful that no act that is done in this behalf
should spring merely from political preferen
ces from any selfish , sinister or other unwor
• thy motive, but that every such discharge
■ of what is always an unpleasant duty, should
be solely in vindication of the honor and
authority of the Slate and the Nation.
Lstter from Richmond, Va-
We publish below a letter from one of the
| Centre County prisoners, now at Richmond,
Va. It will give pleasure to their friends to
• know that they are well cared for.
RICHMOND, July 22d, *6l.
DEAR PARENTS :—I seat myself this morn
ing, to inform you of my present situation.
We are now in Richmond, as prisoners—44
in number out of our Company. lam in
| good health, as ever, and feel well, and be
side, we are treated here with the utmost of
kindness. We get plenty to eat, and it is
good at that, and we are all well cared for,
as regards our health. We have a pbysi~
1 cian who attends to all those complaining
every morning, and the man who has charge
of us. is a perfect gentleman. So you need
not apprehend no danger as to our welfare.
When I shall see you again I cannot say,
but I trust it may not be very long. I
think we will all be exchanged before very
long, and if providence permits, wo will see
you all. We" were taken on the 22d of Ju
I hope this may find you all enjoying
good health. I ask of you not to be alarm
ed as to our situation. We are, indeed, well
1 cared for. Nothing more.
I remain your son,
To JOSEPH PALMER, Potters Mills, Centre
county, Pa.
about to be organized for the service by Lieut
Win. L. Raphile and Sargeant James
Hughes, is fast tilling its ranks, and has an
nounced next Tuesday as the time of its
departure. These gentlemen, havingserved
in the three months service, are known to
be qualified to assume command of, and
lead to victory all that may enlist under

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