Page:A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Confederacy, Including the Diplomatic Correspondence, 1861-1865, Volume I.djvu/485

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453
Second Congress.

It is a source of gratification to be able to inform you that the mere passage of the law suspending the writ was so effectual in restraining those who were engaged in treasonable practices and in dangerous complicity with our enemies that the instances are very few in which arrests were found necessary.

The effect of the law in preventing the abuse of the writ for the purpose of avoiding military service by men whose plain duty it is to defend their country can hardly be overestimated.

The sensitiveness exhibited in different parts of our country to the legislation on this subject is indicative of the love of freedom which is innate among the people, and which should ever be cherished as the sole guaranty for the preservation of their constitutional liberties. It is not doubted, however, that if those who have expressed dissatisfaction with the law had been in possession of the information which it was my duty to communicate to you, and which may not yet be revealed without injury to the public interest, they would fully have approved the exercise of the power of suspending the writ, which was intrusted to Congress by the Constitution. All trusts impose duties. The power was intrusted expressly with the intent that it should be used when necessary to the public safety in case of invasion. Congress, concurring with me that the exigency had arisen which required the exercise of the power, performed but a plain duty in passing the law, and such will, I doubt not, be the judgment of the people when the facts can be made known without detriment to their interests.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., May 24th, 1864.

To the House of Representatives.

In further response to your resolution of the 10th inst., I herewith transmit for your information a communication from the Postmaster General relative to the steps taken to secure the transportation and delivery of the mails from the post office in this city during the past two weeks.

Jefferson Davis.


Richmond, Va., May 28, 1864.

To the House of Representatives.

In response to a resolution of the House of Representatives of the 15th January last, I herewith transmit for your information