Friday, April 19, 2013
WHY NO CONFEDERATE LEADER WAS EVER BROUGHT TO TRIAL…
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in a privately delivered opinion said. “If you bring these leaders to trial it will condemn the north, for by the Constitution, secession is not rebellion.” Lincoln appointee Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, July 1867 (Foote, The Civil War, Vol. 3, p. 765)
The government appointed three separate attorneys to take on the case against Jefferson Davis, but all three eventually declined when they decided the case was “doomed to failure.” The following quote is attributed to one of those attorneys. “Gentleman, the Supreme Court of the United States will have to acquit that man under the Constitution, when it will be proven to the world, that the north waged an unconstitutional warfare against the south.”
President Johnson was prepared to offer Davis a pardon in order to avoid embarrassment. Davis refused a pardon on the grounds that, to accept a pardon is to admit guilt. Davis wanted a trial to settle the issue of secession, once and for all, in a court of law.
President Johnson chose to give amnesty to the entire south, Davis included, thereby shelving the issue, unresolved to this day.