Letter From John A. Logan.
We give place, to-day, to a portion of a letter from the Hon. Jno. A. Logan, which appeared in the St. Louis Republican of the 20th inst. It is a triumphant vindication of that distinguished gentleman's self from the aspersions of his personal and political enemies, and a "perfect crusher" to the political poodles who have been barking "secession! secession!" at his heels for the purpose of procuring his arrest and confinement. Let every Egyptian read it, for it will richly repay the trouble:
I am willing now, or at any time, to compare my record in and out of Congress, with that of any gentleman, on the question of the Union. I shall not suffer by the comparison. And in this connection I may remark, that it is a little singular that those who make the broad charge against me that I am a secessionist, furnish no proof of the charge — they quote no paragraph of a speech made by me — no sentence from a letter — no remark in a conversation — no act performed. It is all naked, unsupported assertion, made by no responsible person, and the public is asked to accept it as true.
Possibly it is upon this criminal principle that I have been assailed as a secessionist. There can be no doubt, however, concerning the execrable morality of thus requiring men to defend themselves against the unsupported charges of hired scribblers for the press, and to prove their innocence before they are proved to be guilty.
It is appropriate that I should mention here, that since returning from Washington last March, I have made three or four speeches while attending the courts in the Ninth Congressional District. In those speeches I very candidly deprecated the causes of our present troubles, and pointed to what appeared to me to be the concerted action between the Abolitionists of the North and the Secessionists of the South to effect a dissolution of the Union. I said without disguise, as I say now, that the impertinent and intermeddling spirit of the anti-slavery party of the North was mainly chargeable for the state of feeling in the South which prompted the unconstitutional and revolutionary action of the States now constituting the Southern Confederacy. I did also express [unknown] which I still entertain, that a proper spirit of compromise, manifested by the Republican party, or its leaders, in January and February last, would have been adequate to an adjustment of our national troubles without a resort to the abitrament of the sword.
But while undisguised in the expression of opinion upon the policy of the administration, there was in no utterance of mine, an expression of disloyalty to the Government, nor a sentiment that, save by lying perversions, could be made to mean secession in any of the shapes under which it might have succeeded or have been advocated in any of the seceding States or elsewhere.
Among my hearers were Republicans, of whom some have been busy in circulating rumors intended to operate to my prejudice and to cloud my loyalty with suspicion. What ulterior sinister purpose they may have entertained in regard to me, or what they would do if they possessed the courage and the power, I leave for others to judge. I am free to say, however, that I did not seek to conciliate the good will of a class of Republicans whose pretended patrotism is bounded by their selfish party considerations. To win the praise of such I did not feel bound to depart from the truth so far as to declare that Mr. Lincoln and his administration, so far, had proved a "brilliant success."
Because of this I have been traduced and maligned by nameless foes, and every little "penny whistle" paper in the State has joined in the chorus cry of treason against "JOHN A. LOGAN."
Quite triumphantly some persons have directed my attention to the resolutions passed by some [unknown] and known "Home Guard" in Jackson county, as furnishing a sort of proof of my known want of loyalty. I have noticed those resolutions, and the request in one of them that I should resign my seat in Congress, and their protestation that I should never have their vote for any office. Permit me to inquire, who or what is this "Home Guard?" Is it made up of men or women? boys or girls? Is it a reality or a myth? No names appear. — Ambitious as most military gentlemen are upon whom epaulettes and spurs are conferred, to have it known, no Captain, Lieutenant, Sergeant or Corporal appends his name to the resolutions of said "Home Guard," or has courage enough to assume the responsibility of their passage and their publication. I may inquire, too, how many composed that reported meeting of protestors against my course, and whether in menacing me with a withdrawal of their support, they mean to imply that they ever supported me with their votes or sustained me by their influence? What do I owe them? what obligations am I under to them, such that they are warranted in soliciting me to tender my resignation of the officer to which I was elected by an overwhelming majority of the voters of the Ninth Congressional District, who still heartily endorse my course, and have afforded me numerous evidences of their approbation? Are they men who would be put forward by my constituents to represent their views, or would they be suffered for an instant to dictate any policy which that District should sustain? Let them speak out and give their names that the public may know who and what they are. I venture to predict that they will do no such thing, for the simple reason that neither in number or character are they sufficiently respectable to warrant their assumption of the lofty tone they have adopted.
In reference to the Ninth Congressional District, which has been visited with the reproaches and slanders of pretended patriots in various sections of the State, I may be allowed to say, that the citizens there are as loyal as those of any other District or State in the Republic. They have always been, and are still, as well entitled to the name of Union men, as others elsewhere who have imputed to them disloyalty, making a noisy parade of their own devotion to the Union, with [unknown] proving their devotion by enlisting for the war, or rendering any substantial service to their country. The people of the 9th District have in times past manifested in a practical way their devotion to the Union, and have upheld its flag in scenes of danger and death. — They are for the Government now, and watchful for its triumph over the extinguishment of rebellion at home. The fact that a few misguided boys in the District, without the knowledge of their immediate friends, or of those who might have had influence over them, saw fit a few days since, in the face of every consideration of loyalty and of prudence, to cast in their lot with the fortunes of the Confederate States, furnishes no sufficient ground for imputing, indiscriminately, disloyalty to the District, or any county therein. Brave and self-sacrificing volunteers there, by the thousand, have responded to the call of their country, who on the battle field will prove themselves in this unhappy war as steady and brave as those who have gone forth from any section or county in the Union. Go into the ranks of the regiments of Southern Illinois, and find there thousands of the Democratic voters of Egypt, and the sons of Democrats, who cast party considerations aside, and wished only to know whether their beloved country needed them, and the best answer will be given to the slanders of those who sit quietly at their desks and pen lying paragraphs about those whose patriotism is more effectually proved than their own. And when those regiments need recruits, there are hundreds of the sturdy Democracy of the Ninth district, standing ready to supply the need.
So far as I myself am concerned, while avowing here and ever[unknown line] to the Union and the Government and my unqualified condemnation of those who are responsible for the rupture of the ties which have bound the States together so happily and prosperously, I am bound to say that no attacks of party presses will lead me to swerve from any line of policy which, according to my best judgment, will conduce to the best interests of the Republic, and rescue the country at the earliest possible period from the sea of troubles in which it is now ingulfed. Newspaper assaults upon me are not a new thing. They commenced when I was but a boy, in 1853, and have been well sustained every year since, and have lost none of their vigor now. But the public is fast learning that the fact that a statement is made in a newspaper, is very slender evidence of its truth, when that statement is made by an editor or scribbler whose vision is obfuscated by party prejudice and malevolence.
In connection with the unsupported accusation that I have acted in concert with rebels, and have winked at the organization of enterprises designed to furnish aid and comfort to the Southern rebellion, all of which is known to be an infamous falsehood by whomsoever it was originated, it has been reported by some unblushing fabricator of lies, up and down the line of the Illinois Central Railroad, that Gen. Prentiss said to me at Cairo, in a menacing manner, that I had "but one step further to take to commit actual treason," and this has been quoted as something like evidence against me. — I am not certain that I know the author of this story. But I think I do, and if this letter meets his eye, let him read that I pronounce [unknown], with the double nature of coward and villian. I never had but one conversation with Gen. Prentiss and that was in the presence of several gentlemen, at the head quarters at Cairo. In that interview there was nothing said on either side that was not perfectly kind and courteous. The bearing of Gen. Prentiss towards myself and others present was that of friendly civility, not one word being uttered by him that brought into question his character as a gentleman, or was calculated to wound me or excite in me a sensation of displeasure. The entire story is a miserable fabrication by its lying author.
I do not deem it necessary to prolong this letter to any greater length. My object is accomplished in having characterized in fitting terms, though not in soft ones, the reported slanderous imputations of newspapers scribblers and other persons, upon my loyalty to the Government of the United States.
JOHN A. LOGAN.