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The Last Proclamation

The Last Proclamation image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

In tliis age prolific of proclamatiom it is hard to tell which is the last, but wc refer to the one reoently issuod by the President of tho United States suspendi'jg tho privilege of the writ of habeas corpus throughout all tho Statos oi thi& Union. This proclamation will be found in another column, and we ueed scarccly invite each and all of our readers togive it a careful perusal. We are not one of those who have kopt up a continual growl at every act of the Freaident. We havo endeavored to rise above partisan prejudioes, to view the action of the President from a war point, and to even excuse many acta that we were compelled to think arbitrary and uncalled for. But we can not discharge our duty as a journalist, can not satisfy our own oonscience without disapproving the proclamation in question. We may be denounced as a traitor for snying, but, nevertheless we think and must say, that it goes a long way towarda convertingl this Republic into a military despotiaui, a long way towards trarupling the liberties of the people, not alone under the feet of the President, but under the feet of every ignorant blusterer - and God knowa there are enough of them - whose shoulders are ornauiented with the tinseled insignia of military cominand. We belicve, and belioving muat say, tbat this proclamation is not in accordauce with the letter or spirit of the constitution, or with the legitímate war powers derived from that iustrument under tbe most liberal systeni of coustruction. We believe, and believing must aay, that it conflicts both with the letter and spirit of the constitution, and with the most sacred principies of justiee and right; and, further, that it nullifies the plainest intentions of the very act of Congress under which it claims to be issucd, and of other acts of Congress cqually binding upon tbe Executivo. Plaiuly speaking, this proelaraation puts noc the President alono, but every Provost Marshal and Corporal in the land above the Judgss of the Supreme Court of the United States ; asaerts in fact, if not ia words, that honest enrolling and drafting offioers are immaculate and incapable of committing errors, and liceuses di&honest officers - and there are enough of them i'i every department of the military service - to perpétrate whatever frauds upon the people they raay choose. Under this proclamation men under 20 or over 45 may be enrolled and draftod, by mislake or in defiance of law, forced iuto tho rauks, aud the courts closed against them. Under it mei who have not been drafted may be by mistake or design, impressed into tho service or treated as deserters, aud the highest and most loyal courts of the couutry are powerless to right their wrongs. Possl bly none of those wrongs may be perpetrated, but because they may not be is no reason why the President of the United States, by a single stroke of iiis pon, should blot the loyal judiciary of tlia natiou out of existeuee. Aud other wrongs may bo porpetrated than those alluded to, outrages of a different olasa inflieted upon loyal citizens, and the door of redress is closed against them. The President owea t to himself to revise this proclamation, to strip it of its most obnoxioiis features, and if ho can i not make it conform to both the letter j and spirit of the constitution, to at least bring it within the laws of Congress euaoted in view of the rebellion, and which certainly give him as large powers as it is safe for any natiou to coufer upon an Ëxécutive, but which are as certainly excoeded by bis proclamation.


Old News
Michigan Argus