The Cleveland Daily Herald
Cleveland, May 24, 1859
Letter from the Rescue Prisoners.
Cuyahoga County Jail. May 24, 1859.
Dear Herald: - In a timely article, published in your issue of yesterday, in which you emphasize that well-approved counsel of prudence and common sense, - “learn to labor and to wait,” you say:
We know the deep personal interest felt by the persecuted men now lying in jail for the crime of defending their firesides against midnight marauders, assassins, and kidnappers, and the keen disappointment they will feel if the State Supreme Court refuses the discharge of the two of their number convicted. But they must view this question not solely from their own stand-point, but from all points whence it bears upon the great issue on which the majority of the people of Ohio are now a unit. Let nothing distract, let nothing alienate, for our foe is hoping and expecting this question to be decided by the State Court, will rend the Republican Party. – Then, if some meet with disappointment in the result let them “learn to labor and to wait,” fully appreciating the philosophy that teaches rather to
---------bear the ills we have,
Than fly to others we know not of.
You will bear with us if we raise the question whether this paragraph does not do us injustice. If we understand it, it intimates that we have staked all our hopes of relief upon the issue of the Habeas Corpus-suit pending in the Supreme Court: - that we observe the progress of that suit only from the stand-point of personal interest, and that if the case before the Court goes against us, we will probably give way to disappointment, and resort to extreme measures for escape from further “persecution.”
May we ask if this intimation is justified by anything we have ever said or done? We think it is not. To show that it is not, we beg leave to say that from the beginning of our troubles we have consulted the well being of the great cause of Freedom and Progress quite as studiously as we have consulted our own. We have taken our course cautiously and have not moved a step without looking well to the effect, which our proposed movement might have on all the interests with which we were in any way connected. In determining what would promote these interests we have sought to know what was right, believing that the good secured either to ourselves or others by any other than strictly right-doing would be only temporary, and would be followed by evil.
As to the appeal to the Supreme Court, we have made it not merely because we have hoped to get relief by means of it, but because we have thought that essential public interests would be promoted by it. Should an assertion of the sovereignty of our noble State as against Federal usurpation, be the result, our conviction will be fully justified.
We expect that the court will realize the magnitude of the responsibility, which is laid upon it and will act accordingly. If the decision is adverse, our feelings will be only those of all good men who will lament the dishonor done to State Rights and to Freedom.
And our friend, the Herald, need not fear that disappointment will persuade us to resort to extreme measures. We have never yet, by word or look, invited the aid of lawless force. We do not propose to do it in the future. We have tried to escape fro the toils of our enemies by the help of law and to the same power we mean to look to the end. Meantime the God who says that in a good cause “one shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten thousand to flight,” will be on our side.