From The Constitution, Wednesday, December 11, 1861 (volume 24, number 1250)
President Lincoln’s Message
We publish this week the whole of the President’s Message. It is a document which bears the marks of the President’s hand throughout, being written in his plain, clear, and forcible style. It will commend itself to all loyal men as a straight forward exposition of public affairs, and such as must greatly enhance the confidence of the people in the integrity and ability of the Executive.
Nothing whatever is said about the capture of Mason and Slidell and not a hint is given but that the most friendly relations exist between ours and the British government.
One of the most important subjects presented by the President is the disposal of the blacks which are made free by our armies. He proposes colonization. He does not say where they may be colonized, nor even that they are to be sent out of the country. He suggests that in order to provide for this, new territory may have to be acquired, and implies that they are to remain within the jurisdiction of the United States. There are difficulties in the way of this plan, as indeed there are of every plan. But something must be done. It is no blessing to the blacks to set them free, and then permit them to roam about the country without restraint. If government sets them at liberty, government must provide for them in some way. Probably some provisional arrangement will be made by Congress.
A reorganization of the Supreme Court, which is wholly inadequate to the performance of its duties, is recommended. Also, a revision and codification of the laws of Congress to make them more accessible and intelligible.
A Battle in Tennessee
The Rebels Defeated at Morristown
A great battle was fought at Morristown, East Tennessee, between the national forces under Rev. W. G. Brownlow and the rebels on the 1st of December, in which the national forces were victorious. The rout of the rebels was total. The number of the enemy is not ascertained.
Morristown is in Granger County, East Tennessee, about thirty miles south of Cumberland Gap, and two hundred and twenty-six miles east of Nashville. It is on the line of the great Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, through which nearly all the supplies and troops come from the South to Richmond. It is also a fire in the rear of Zollicoffer. If the gallant Parson is able to maintain himself, this is by far the most important victory the Union has yet gained.
Seizure of Rebel Property
Secretary Chase has issued an important order with regard to the seizure of rebel property. He directs that agents be appointed in the different places conquered by our arms, who shall prepare for market such products as may be seized. The negroes are to be organized for systematized labor, and will receive a just compensation for this work. A record of all stock, and an inventory of all products is to be carefully made. The agents must so transact business that as little injury as possible may accrue to loyal citizens, or to such as may within reasonable time become such.
The Secretary of State has written a note to Gen. McClellan in reference to slaves employed in hostile service, who may escape within our military lines. Such persons are absolved from any further claim to service or labor, and entitled to military protection. Those who arrest them as fugitives should themselves be immediately arrested by the military authorities.
The man who wished that New York city should secede from the State and the Union has been defeated. There was too much patriotism among the citizens of the great commercial metropolis of the nation to reelect for their Mayor one who has shown that he is deficient at this crisis in every quality which constitutes a good and loyal citizen. The vote polled at the city election last Tuesday was greater than that polled a year ago in the Presidential election, which shows the deep interest felt in turning out of office a man whom they disliked and distrusted. Of three candidates, Mr. Wood received a smaller vote than either. Mr. Opdyke was elected.
The fate of Fernando Wood is a lesson for all those men about whose names there is an odor of disloyalty. The people will not tolerate them in public office, and as soon as they can be got at they will be put where they can do no harm, and loyal patriotic men will be called to take their place.
It is stated that an office has been opened in Washington for embalming the dead. The system is that of the celebrated Surquet, of Paris, by an injection of a powerful antiseptic fluid, which soon hardens the tissues to a marble like substance, and perfectly preserves the color and features, and keeps the body free from all offensive odor.
The Connecticut Prisoners
The following Connecticut soldiers, prisoners, are now confined in New Orleans : From the First Regiment : privates M. Sawyer and Alfred H. Hudinott, Co. D, and sergeant J. N. Jennings, Co. E. From the Second Regiment : Corporal J. B. Jennings, Co. C, and privates C. W. Payn, Jr., Co. E; J. A. Cooper, Co. F; M. Harvey, Co. E; Charles A. Murray, Co. C; John McManus, Co. H; E. Lamb, Co. G; W. E. Rich, Co. A [Mr. Rich belonged to the Mansfield Guard from this city.] From the Third Regiment : privates E. B. Arnold, Co. F; A. E. Bronson, Co. I; E. S. Blue, Co. A; C. E. Galpin, Co. K; J. Kennedy, Co. K; C. D. Gilmore; Jos. Paight; W. Schleim; D. Cooper, Co. G.
Major Boardman, of Hartford, has decided not to go to the war, and took leave of the Cavalry Battalion at Meriden last week. Major Lyon, a relative of the late Gen. Lyon, takes his place.
The Citizens Guard are about to unite with the old Mansfield Guard, adopting the name of the latter. Steps have already been taken for merging one in the other, and by the next spring we shall have as fine a military company as there is in the state. A meeting will be held this (Tuesday) evening at the Armory, and those who would like to join the company are invited to attend.
The old bridge over Pameacha has finally been voted by common consent unsafe, and no travel with teams has been permitted for some time. It will probably devolve upon the town to build a new bridge. The selectmen will receive proposals for the erection of a substantial stone or wooden bridge. Specifications have already been prepared for the inspection of those who intent to throw in bids.
A New Daily
The first number of a daily paper was issued yesterday (Monday) by Samuel J. Starr. It presents a very fair appearance, gives the latest telegraphic news, and a large amount of reading matter. It is called the Daily Patriot.