War Power of the President

4 ability. He is not only the commander-in-chief of the army in the field and the navy on the waters, but the special conservator of the Constitution in all respects, with jurisdiction co-extensive with the whole Union. His power in this behalf reaches Maine and Minnesota, as well as Virginia and Carolina. Tell me now, ye croakers for “ the Constitution as it is,” why it is that the President may lawfully shoot down our own citizens in rebel armies, or imprison them, or destroy towns and cities and other property, “ without due process of law,” in the face of the plain constitutional provision, for which you clamor so long and so loudly, that “ no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. ” It is because the Constitution is not a selfdestroying instrument; because no part of it was designed to aid traitors in the unholy work of destroying the whole; because there is nothing in it calculated to hinder or obstruct the work of maintaining it as the supreme law of the land; because that and all kindred provisions are subordinate to the great fundamental principle of the rjght of the government to live and defend itself against all perils; because this principle obviously implies that every specific provision of the Constitution shall be construed consistently with the amplest right of the government to suppress rebellion by all needful means ; and because the government, having the right to live, has the correlative right to use sufficient means to preserve its own life, precisely as an individual has the right to defend his life by any necessary means, even to taking the life of an assailant. If all this be sound constitutional law, it follows, necessarily, that, in the execution of the great trust that is upon him, with the solemn oath upon his soul, that he will preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution to the best of his ability, the President not only has a Constitutional right, but it is his inexorable duty to suppress by sufficiently summary means, anything and everything, anywhere and everywhere, within the Union, which, directly or indirectly, adds strength to the rebellion. Tell me not that there is no rebellion in the loyal states. If any man in Pennsylvania or Massachusetts is guilty of any act which tends to aid the rebel arms, or to obstruct or impede the President in his work of crushing out the rebellion, that man is a part and parcel of the rebellion, as much so as is the soldier who carries a rebel musket in the field; and it is as clearly the President’s duty to suppress him as it is to suppress those in arms. Bqtthe courts in the loyal states are open, it is urged, and there-?