To Our Readers
It is not our fault that we are in the condition of having to print the Bulletin today upon coarse paper, not usually employed for such a purpose and of so small a size. Our readers will naturally inquire the reason why this humiliating predicament is forced upon us. We can only reply that it is part of the prosecution by which narrow-minded bigots expect to carry this State for miscegenation, abolitionism and Abraham Lincoln!
It is known that General Burbridge, who is the military commandant of this District, has issued a stringent order regulating trade, and prescribing rules by which those called loyal business men may procure permits to trade. We have heretofore published that order in our paper, and in reference to it, we conclude that a fair construction of its terms will not authorize an interference in the slightest degree with our business. It is applicable only to shipments not to ordinary retail transactions in the same community. The order forbids shipments without permits to and from the State, and from one point in the State to another – nothing more – and in neither its letter nor spirit, can it be construed to apply to the retail trade between a dealer and his customers in a City. Unfortunately, however, we have had in this city a narrow minded ignorant set of zealots constituting the board of advisors, who think themselves wiser than the law, and no matter how injurious may their actions be to the community in which they live and to the neighbors with whom they mingle every day are using the order of General Burbridge without any regard to its true intent and meaning, and for the worst purpose of persecution. One half of the business men of this community – men who have paid the government tax for their licenses – are denied by the board (who sit upon the fate of their neighbors like the odious Council of Ten in Venice, in secret) the right to purchase or sell, and under the wretched and pitiful pretense that they are unloyal. Men who have been in business in this City for years – some of them for nearly half a century – who are engaged in useful and extensive trade, whose whole lives have given evidence of their good citizenship, and who have never been guilty of one act of disobedience to the laws, or infraction of the constitution, are forbidden to sell to their neighbors, or ship or receive shipments of goods, because they differ somewhat in political sentiment from the arrogant set who have thus constituted themselves their masters.
We claim to be as loyal, and more so than any member of the board. We recognize any member of the board. We recognize in its fullest sense, our allegiance to the constitution and laws of the country, which is more than they do. We have never transferred that allegiance to any man, or set of men, and never shall. Because we do not recognize Mr. Lincoln as the government, and have not transferred our allegiance to him, do not support his usurpations, stain our hands with our brothers blood, or believe that war and subjugation are the proper means of restoring the Union, we are prescribed and denied the exercise of privileges which we are entitled to by the laws of the land, and of which no man, or set of men, have the right to deprive us.
We have been in the habit or procuring our paper from the dealers of the City, but, by the orders of the Board of Trade, this means our supply is cut off. We applied to the board for permission to buy, and was informed by David Clark, the Secretary of the Board, that our application was rejected. We are therefore, by his tyrannical interference, deprived of our supply of paper, and have no other resource by which to procure it. A kind friend gave us the paper on which the Bulletin is printed today. Do the edicts of prohibition from this mighty board reach acts of charity like this?
In our case, as well as others we could name, the board is manifestly transcending both the letter and the spirit of Gen. Burbridge’s order. While it affords the pretext for, it does not warrant the high handed proceedings of the board. The misfortune is, that so far as they are known to the public, they are peculiarly irresponsible, and cannot be held accountable in any effective way for the injury they are doing to the business of their fellow citizens.
For the present, our paper may be regarded as suppressed, not by the President, nor by any military order, but by the smallest set of malignant tyrants that ever disgraced a civilized community – and these may be the last words we may be allowed to utter to our democratic readers before the election. We seize the occasion to say that we believe it to be the highest and most patriotic duty a democratic voter owes to his country to let no obstacle prevent him from attending the rolls and casting his suffrage against the men and party by which such tyranny is upheld. In God’s name, then, surrender all trivial objections to the candidate, and contribute to save the liberties of the country by voting against the abominable administration of Abraham Lincoln.
The Mayville Bulletin, October 13, 1864