From the National Republican (Washington, DC), 3/8/1862, p. 1, c. 6


We perceive by the Richmond papers that some thirty or more Union men have been arrested and thrust into one of the vilest of the vile negro jails of that negro trading city. The writer of this article is personally acquainted with most of those men whose names have been mentioned by the Richmond Examiner, and knows them to be the most pure-minded patriots which can be found in the broad length and breadth of this land. Hon. John Minor Botts has a national reputation as one of the most far-seeing statesmen of the land. In tones of eloquence, such as he alone is master of, he, last year, predicted the very fate which now falls to the South, and to his own misguided State. With words of solemn warning he bade them beware of the fearful leap which they were about to make. How vain were his words of warning! How true his predictions! Franklin Stearns and Valentine Heckler [Hechler], “well-known Union men,” as these rebel sheets charge, and they might truthfully add, two of their best citizens – men who have done more to build up and add to the material wealth and prosperity of their city than any other two in it. And Burnham Wardwell, who, according to the Examiner, “has, since the beginning of the war, been known to every citizen as a blatant and defiant Union man,” and what higher compliment could be made, except to add to the above declaration of his noble patriotism, what is also equally true, that he is one of the most noble, generous, true-hearted men that ever walked the earth. Ah! As that name met the eye of the writer of this, a sad vision is called up in his mind’s eye. He sees an accomplished, amiable, and patriotic wife, plunged into an agency of suspense and torture. Alone, in that rebellious city, and exile from the friends of her youth, amid strangers, and bitter enemies of her husband, her county and her God, she clasps two lovely children to her anguished bosom, and cries to God to save her husband from the fury of the maddened and desperate mob.

It is for the blood of such as these that the Richmond papers are now painting like so many infuriated hyenas. It reveals their desperation, as well as the savageness of their hearts, when they call for the hanging of such men. Will our Government submit to such barbarity and wrong as these blood-hounds contemplate? We trust not. For the sake of humanity, for the sake of liberty, and the loftiest dictates of justice, we call upon our Government to take, and hold, a sufficient number of rebel hostages, to save these noble patriots; and let these miscreants know, that for every Union man hung in Richmond, two of their own best blood shall pay the penalty. By all means save the lives of these men, who have done so much, suffered and sacrificed so much, in their devotion to the flag of our country and the glorious principles it represents

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