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them, have reached the down-hill side of life, Messrs. EDITORS: After reading your reand in acting out the noblest sympathies of marks in last evening's Herald, in reference to nature and religion towards a fellow man, un- me, I deem it due to myself to ask you to state wittingly found themselves in the tender mer- that I did not intend to authorize my counsel cies of a Federal Court despotism. The relent- yesterday to give my views on government, to less Government pursuers held them and their the Court; and disclaim holding to many of the homes in their grasp. The vindictive charge doctrines expressed by him. I simply authorof the modern Jeffreys in the convictions had | ized him to enter for me the plea of nolle conleft them no hope. Fines and costs - the lat- tendere, protesting at the same time that I am ter oppressively enormous in the U. S. District not guilty of violating any law, and requiring Court -- would leave them in their old age the protest to be entered on the records of the homeless and penniless. These considerations Court.

ABNER LOVELAND. pressed heavily upon them. They sought legal advice of an “old friend” in whom they placed About this time the following manifesto. was implicit confidence. The result, preconcerted published. It will explain itself. between the Court and counsel no doubt, was as humiliating to them, as the speech preceding STATEMENT OF THE OBERLIN PRISONERS it was uncalled for, and astounding to the public. If the self-abasement of the Advocate to the Slave power and its Government officials



May 12, 1859 was voluntary, the “old friends," who have not a pulsation in sympathy with either, should have To the People of the Western Preserve: been spared the pain and disgrace of a like, The undersigned, citizens of Lorain county, but on their part, an involuntary degradation. now confined in this prison, under indictment

The way the thing was done is a subject of for alleged violation of the Fugitive Slave Act, much inquiry by the public. A portion of the have reason to know that the history of their modus operandi is stated as follows:- The incarceration is quite generally misapprehended, Wellingtonites were assured by the U. S. Dis- and that this misapprehension is greatly prejutrict-Attorney that he did not consider them in dicing their cause with the public. reality responsible for the Rescue. The Ober- It is to state the facts pertaining to the imlinites are the ones the Government wishes to prisonment, clearly and correctly, and to define punish; and he would advise them to trust the present position of the imprisoned, that this themselves to the mercy of the Court, and give article is offered to your consideration. their influence towards maintaining the law of To make the statement proposed intelligible. the land.

and complete, the narration must begin with The Wellington men replied that the Fugi- the arrest which brought us before the U. S. tive Slave Law outraged all the principles of Court. At the rising of the Grand Jury in Deright, and that they never could obey it, or admit cember last, Marshal Johnson visited Oberling that they had done wrong in the case of John. and notified the indicted, who lived there, that

District Attorney Belden becomes a “sub- he had warrants for their arrest, and that he saint," and urges, it is true, that law is an out- should expect to meet them in Cleveland at a rageous law, and I am frank to confess that even given hour on the next day. The parties on I would not obey it under certain circumstances. whom the notice was served proved their apIf a fugitive slave should come to me for money preciation of the politeness of the Marshal, in I would give it to him and tell him to go on his dispensing with the usual forms of arrest, and way. Now you were on the ground, and if you their disposition to give prompt answer to whatgo to trial you will certainly be convicted. We ever charges the law might bring against them, shall convict all the Oberlinites. Patton and by appearing in Court at the time appointed. Cowles will be indicted.

Being brought to the bar, they declared themThe Wellingtonites encouraged by the Dis- selves ready and anxious for immediate trial. trict-Attorney's “ sub-saintism, conclude that The District-Attorney, evidently taken by surhe is ready to meet them half way, and they prise at the unexpected promptness of the deconsent to throw themselves on the Court, some fence, asked delay. The defence earnestly of them, at least, understanding that they were protested against an adjournment of their not to withdraw their plea of “not guilty ;” and cases. The Court, however, granted the mothat their counsel should only protest that they tion of the District-Attorney; but, in considerwere innocent, and that they had in no wise ation of the fact that the defendants had made changed their minds upon that law.

prompt appearance, and that they had been Pilate kissed them, and Andrew(s) crucified refused trial, discharged them on their personal them. How crucified, let the following card recognizance, instead of putting them under proclaim from the house-tops:

bail as the prosecutor had asked them to do.

The cases were set for trial on the second TuesMR. LOVELAND'S STATEMENT.

day of March. At the approach of that time The card below is inserted on personal re- the District Attorney asked for a farther conquest made by Mr. Loveland:-- Herald. tinuance of the cases to the fifth of April. The

delay, although it put the defence to great with his now imprisoned brethren. The Judge inconvenience, was conceded by its counsel. replied affirmatively, and moved the Court in When the appointed time at length came, all Mr. Plumb's behalf to cancel his recognizance, the indicted who had been arrested, except and allow him to join those who had been put one gentleman who was very ill, presented in custody. The motion was granted. This themselves at the bar of the Court, nor didl occurrence called the attention of counsel to any of them fail of daily attendance during the recognizances of those who were

now in the Bushnell trial without the express permis- the Marshal's keeping, and Judge Spalding sion of the District-Attorney.

arose and said,

" Your Honor will, of course, In the course of the Bushnell trial it was direct the Clerk to cancel the recognizances of made clear to the defence that there was a de- all the gentlemen who have been put into cussire on the part of the Court to secure the con- tody. It would be improper that their recogviction, and a determination on the part of the nizances should stand while they are in prison.” District-Attorney to bring about the humiliation “ Certainly,” replied Judge Willson, 't it will of all the indicted. The proofs of a purpose be done of course.” to make a judicial and personal war upon them The Court and some of its officers seemed to were so plain, that the defendants could not realize, at once, that injustice had been done shut their eyes to them. They felt constrained, to the parties in custody, and that some means therefore, to be on their guard and to be watch-for escape from the odium which would be inful against emergencies which might involve curred by the order for imprisonment, should them in lasting injury and reproach. This be found. Accordingly, the Marshal soon came purpose, however, did not prevent their con- to the party in duress, and proposed that the tinuing the full compliance with the rules of whole party should go home, giving its promise the Court, and with the terms of their recog- to return on the next Monday morning. (The nizances, which they had before rendered. proposition was accompanied, however, with

Affairs being in this posture, the Govern- the distinct statement, repeated at least once, ment evidently seeking opportunities for assault, that " Bushnell was not to be included in the and the defence looking well to its means for category:") The Court, also, in reply to a parrying the assault, the Bushnell trial came to proposition from the District Attorney, that an endl. On the rendition of the verdict, con- ample security slould be required of the perversation arose between counsel on the two sons in custody, before they should be permitted sides as to what case was to be tried next. It to go at large, replied that if they chose, they was finally determined by the Government that should go out on the same termís on which they Langston's case should be called on, and coun- had had liberty since their arrest, viz., by givsel for the defence, which had previously said ing personal recognizance. This ruling plainly that it was not ready to go on with that implied that the procedure which had resulted case, signified that it would be ready by the in the commitment had originated with the time the jury was drawn. What was the sur- District-Attorney and Court (otherwise it would prise of counsel at hearing the Court declare have been rebuked by a change of the terms of that the same jury was to try all the “res- bail), or in short, that it was warranted by no

cases — all of them, be it noted, involv- wrong-doing coming on the part of the persons ing the same material points. How then could committed, and that it was regarded by the a jury just having risen from the consideration Court itself as being legally unjust. of one of them, impartially address itself to the Confident that the commitment had proconsideration of another ? Against this re- ceeded from personal malice and a determinamarkable order of Court, the counsel for the tion to humble them, on the part of the Districtdefence made earnest protest, and finally de- Attorney, and at least a willingness to have clared that “ under such a ruling, the Court them driven to the wall, on the part of the might go on with the cases as fast as it pleased, Court, and feeling that they would enter most the defendants would not stultify themselves by emphatic protest against the insult and legal sel.” With this, the District-Attorney moved in custody of the Marshal until the Court should either offering evidence or appearing by coun- injustice which was that the defendants be ordered into custody. amend the wrong or the law should relieve The Court replied, -- " The District Attorney them, and that wliile the question as to the jury. is entitled to the order. Let the accused be was yet open, it would be politic to let the called.”

responsibility of the commitment rest with the The Clerk then read the names of the in- Court, the defendants for the time refused tlie dicter, and those present were directed to offers both of the Court and Marshal. They put themselves under the control of the mar- were further prompted to this course by the shal, who cleared seats for them. While this consideration that it would permit them to was going on, Mr. Ralph Plumb, one of the share Bushnell's fortunes as long as possible. indicted, whose case had previously been put They did, however, say to the Marshal that over to the November term, went to Judge “ they were under his orders, and should do, to Spalding, and asked if his recognizance would the letter, what he directed.” He replied by not be taken up, so that he could cast in his lot sending them to jail.



It was, therefore, because the Court, without have encouraged the Prosecution in the belief being justified by wrong-doing of any kind on that they were effectually humbled, and that their part, had ordered them into custody, and they had forsaken their cause as being lost. thus grossly insulted and wronged them, and be- That they were justified in believing that their cause they were unwilling to be made the scape- entering into recognizances or giving bail at this goats of the judicial outrage (as they would time would have been regarded in this light, is have been, had they, by making concessions or proved by the despatch which Marshal Johnson accepting favors, relieved the Court of the sent to the President of the United States on burden of the indignity which it had forced the afternoon of the 27th, the substance of upon them) that the committed :

which was stated in the Washington Constitution came to jail on the afternoon of Friday, April as follows: 15th.

“ The President last evening received a teleBut it was expected by the imprisoned com- graphic despatch, dated at Cleveland, from the pany that when Court was called on Monday Marshal of the Northern District of 'Olio, statmorning it would, by recalling its order respect- ing that the Supreme Court of that Staté had ing the Jury, if not otherwise, open the way unanimously refused the writ of habeas corpus for their restoration to liberty upon the same foot- in the case of the persons in his custody, under ing which they had occupied before their com- the fugitive slave law, and that three of the most mitment. They were not disappointed in their respectable of them had given bail for their apexpectations that the Court would recede from pearance to stand their trial before the District its (as its seemed to them) exceedingly unjust Court of the United States. Every thing was ruling as to the Jury. But they were disap- quiet.” pointed in finding that their way to an honora- The obvious implication of this despatch was ble release was hedged by an entry on the twofold; first, that Northern repugnance to the Journal of the Court, which averred that the fugitive slave act had received a decided blow defendants were taken into custody because from the decision of the Supreme Court, and they had surrendered themselves in discharge secondly, that the hearts of those who had enof their recognizances. They at once saw that tertained this repugnance and had actively exthis entry either grew out of a misapprehen- pressed it, were fainting under the blow. The sion of facts, or resulted from a determination imprisoned felt that they could not, in honor or to compel them to remain in custody, or to re-in duty, justify the second intimation of this gain liberty at the expense of a plain acknowl- singular despatch, and that if they were ever to edgment that they had been guilty of folly and yield it must be when the cause they loved was indiscretion which well deserved punishment. not going backward, and when their yielding Hoping that the first was the correct view, they would not accelerate its decline. So they waited made, through counsel, a statement of the facts, for a better day, all the time longing to be at and askel that if the Journal could not be so home and about the business which sorely corrected as to correspond with the truth, it needed their presence, and suffering under the should be either vacated or made to present, in irksome constraint of prison life, they cagerly a new entry, the fact that they differed with the sought the place for lionorable escape. They Court in their understanding of the matter. thought they would perhaps find that place at The Court kept the request under advisement the close of the Langston trial. They assured through the day, and then announced that it themselves that the developments of that trial had determined to let the record stand as it would prove to the Court that if the testimony

This announcement compelled the im- for the Government was justly weighed and the prisoned to believe that their humiliation was evidence for the defence was measured as it determined by the Court. Under such circum- should be, no one of the rescuers could fairly stances self-respect forbade their entering into be convicted, and that the prosecution would new bonds.

be dropped. But the end only showed a judiKnowing that the matter they had in hand cial bias stronger than before, and a partisan was an important one, and that either remaining feeling on the part of the Jury, which could not in custody or giving new recognizancés involv- rest short of a verdict of guilty. ed great issues to themselves and others, the Thus was the prospect for making honorable imprisoned took time to consider both their po- escape, which the imprisoned sought, made sition and their duty. While they were pur- darker than it had yet been. suing their inquiries, they entertained the hope But that they might leave no stone unturned, that the Supreme Court would release them the imprisoned presented, on Wednesday last, from the duress by granting them habeas cor- as from John Watson, one of their number, an pus. Their hope in this direction was presently affidavit setting forth the facts respecting their blighted by the refusal of the Court to grant the imprisonment, and followed it with an appeal writ, and then they found the way to honorable from Mr. Riddle, in which, reciting again their escape from custody more effectually closed story and asserting their rights, they demanded than it had ever before been. If they had en- either speedy trial, discharge from process, or tered into recognizances or given bail upon the such a correction of, or entry upon the journal heels of their defeat at Columbus, they would as would permit them to occupy, without dis


credit to themselves, the position they formerly the propriety of our course, that it has been held before the Court. But the appeal was in wisely taken. vain. A bland intimation that there was no We must not close without saying, that in all barrier to the liberty of the imprisoned but that we have done, we have cautiously inquir"punctilio," and a positive refusal to do whated what is right, and what expedient ? Nor was asked, was the only reply which the Court have we trusted to our judgments only. We saw fit to give. And so the incarcerated com- have invited the counsel of as wise and judipany finds itself effectually shut out from all cious men 'as we could reach, and our conclurelief except such as it cannot but scorn. sions have been those to which we have been

To sum up the points involved in the above conducted by what has seemed to us the dehistory, the imprisoned are here because an cidedly preponderating opinion of the seven or order of the Court put them here; they stay eight eininent lawyers with whom we have been here because a judicial wrong under which in constant consultation. they suffer is unredressed, and because a jour- And, withal, we have constantly looked for nal entry of the Court will not allow them to direction to that Superior Intelligence, which go out without personal disgrace - the disgrace gives “ wisdom to all who seek it and upbraidthey would suffer in virtually acknowledging eth not.” At every step, what we have regardthat they had been guilty of a most foolish ed as manifest, Providence has pointed the way. action, and that they were ready to sneak away We still look to our Divine Guide for direction. from the dilemma in which that action had We know that if earthly tribunals deny the replaced them. The self-respect of the impris- lief we ask, the higher Court to which we look oned, the sense of honor which Heaven planted will, in due time, send it. We assure ourselves in their souls, and which revered parents care- that the Great Arbiter will not be pleased with fully nursed, will not permit them to involve conduct on our part, which will degrade ourthemselves in such disgrace. It could never be selves, or betray a good cause; and we are with them a matter of mere "punctilio” to equally confident that if we stand to our integavoid the dishonor to which their only chance rity, he will appoint an issue to our troubles,

We of escape exposes them, and now the circum- which will honor Him and fully satisfy us. stances in which they are placed and the rela- cheerfully wait the opening of the “ door which tion which they sustain to a good cause, beset no man can shut ! ” and imperilled by oppressive power, make


DAVID L. WATSON, what might, in another case, be an inconsider


Wilson B. EVANS, able affair, rise into a duty of the greatest Chas. H. LANGSTON, HENRY EVANS, magnitude. The imprisoned cannot allow it to


RICHARD WINSOR, be said that when Freedom was assailed on her J. H. SCOTT,

W. E. LINCOLN, last field, they ingloriously dropped their JAMES BARTLETT,

J. M. FITCH, banner to save themselves inconvenience and

JOHN WATSON. suffering. They are not willing to have even an appearance of submission to tyrannical power on their part, become a pledge that the diabolical Fugitive Slave Act is hereafter Messrs. Peck and Others, Prisoners, etc., to work its

the Western Re- GENTLEMEN: - The following we believe

to be an accurate statement of what transpired It will be observed that in both the histori- in the U. S. District Court on the 15th ult., in cal sketch, and the summary above presented, connection with the order made by the Court, we (for we will here drop the third person) that you be taken into custody by the marhave laid special stress on the necessity for shal:maintaining a protest against what we regard Upon the announcement of the verdict of as judicial tyranny, and the point of honor the Jury in the case against Bushnell, the case which prevents our liberating ourselves by of Langston was called by the Court, and ingiving bail

. Nothing has been said with re- quiry was made as to whether the parties were spect to the policy of our course. This, how- rea

This, how- ready. The District-Attorney stated that the ever, is a matter which has been constantly Government was ready. Defendant's counsel kept in view. We have thought, and still replied that they were not ready in that case, think, that in various ways, à manly and but were in the case against Peck. The Disstraightforward course our part, would trict Attorney insisted upon taking up the cases promote our cause. Precisely how the main- in the order in which they stood on the Docket. taining of our determined protests against what The Court said the Government had the right we have regarded as injustice and falsehood, so to insist; and again asked if the defence was would advance our interests in the defence of ready in the case of Langston. His counsel our cases, it would not be politic for us to say: replied that they probably should be by the In due time we shall give to the public a full time à Jury should be empanelled. The Disdisclosure of the motives which have acted on trict-Attorney and the Court both said that the us in this direction, and we believe that such a Jury then in the box (being the one that had disclosure will fully satisfy all who have doubted I just returned the verdict against Bushnell), were







the regular Jury for the trial of all the cases. dropped. Finding it not so easy to "drop" The counsel for the defendants strongly protest- them by simply opening the hand, there was ed against being compelled to go to trial in the no choice but to retreat, bolt, or plead. The remaining cases before a Jury that must have already made up its mind against them on all Court preferred pleading. A number of indithe principal questions, except one, involved in viduals were employed to approach them from the cases. The Court observed that the mere various quarters, and with various inducefact that the Jury had tried Bushnell, would

The total success of these combined constitute no good reason why they should not try the other defendants, -- intimating, at the forces has already appeared. Our venerasame time, that it would be competent for the ble FATHER GILLETT still represented Weldefendants to challenge them for cause, if they lington in prison. Nothing could move him. had made up their mind as to the guilt of those An endless series of inducements were preabout to be tried. The defendant's counsel then notified the Court that if it was determined sented, pressed, argued, urged --- but to no to try the remaining defendants by that Jury, purpose. They had, indeed, met a rock in the no one of them would make any defence what- strait, and there was no getting farther. He ever, but that the Court might proceed with was finally besought to leave the Jail at least, them as it saw fit. The District Attorney there, and offered release upon his personal recogniupon instantly arose, and with a great deal of petulance in his manner, moved the Court that zance, just after three of his neighbors had all the remaining defendants, with the exception been inflexibly held to bail with suretics. of Loveland, De Wolfe, and some others, whom The quiet answer was: “I was ordered to jail he had permitted to go home for the time being when you had my recognizance inviolately obbe ordered into custody. To this Judge Spalding, still occupying his seat, said, sharply, “ I served: I never give you another ! second the motion. The Court observed that Down on the other knee then. the District-Attorney had the right to require “Will you give us your word to return when the order to be made, and directed the clerk to

we send for you ?” call the names of the defendants, with the exception named in the motion; which was ac

Never, gentlemen. You have treated me cordingly done, and those of them then in the like cowards, insulting my honor when it was court room were taken into custody by the pledged. I shall not allow you an opportunity marshal. As this was being done, Judge Spald- to repeat the outrage.” ing asked that their recognizances might be cancelled; to which the Court replied, “ Of course,”

What was to be done? The testimony -and directed the proper entry to be made for against the old gentleman would be next to that purpose by the clerk. Judge Spalding nothing; the indictment was only to harass; also moved the Court that the continuance in the the game with him was out, and they found case of Mr. Plumb, which had before then been themselves in decidedly the worst of it; -- the entered, might be cancelled, and he be

permitted to surrender himself in discharge of his old man must be shaken off at any cost. recognizance, which was accordingly done. All along on their faces !

We cannot be inistaken in the fact that you “ Will you go home if you are turneil out of were ordered into custoly, as above stated, and that you did not surrender yourselves, as alleged

jail ?in the Journal entry.

“If the choice were to sleep in the streets or R. P. SPALDING,

go home, I think I should go home!said the A. G. RIDDLE, good-humored old gentleman, shaking his sider 9. O. GRISWOLD, F. T. BACKUS,

with quiet merriment. as Counsel for Defendants.

“ And come back when your counsel advise Cleveland, May 14, 1859.


" I shall be likely to follow the advice of my Great efforts had been made to rid the counsel so long as I employ them.” docket of the indicted from Wellington, as

66 Well, then, go! may already have been inferred. . The prose

So FATHER GILLETT went. cution was fast becoming so emphatically a Fourteen Oberlin men now remained in “pursuit of no matter what -“under diffi- prison, twelve of them yet to be tried. The culties,” that "retrenchment” somewhere grew Court gave out - by the Court is meant, in to be a necessity too urgent for neglect, and this connection, not only the Judge, but the the Wellington defendants were considered on District-Attorney, the Marshal, the Clerk, and several accounts the more proper to be first' all their attachées as well, since they acted in

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