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AUTHORIZED BY RESOLUTION OF THE HOUSE OF

REPRESENTATIVES, JANUARY 9, 1863.

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INDIANAPOLIS:
JOSEPH J. BINGHAM, STATE PRINTER.

1863.

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EVIDENCE ACCOMPANYING THE REPORT OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE

OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON ARBITRARY ARRESTS IN THE STATE OF INDIANA.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

January 9, 1863. On motion of the Hon. Jason B. Brown, of Jackson county, the following resolutions were adopted:

WHEREAS, The Constitution of the United States and of the State of Indiana solemnly guarantee to the people thereof freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the sacred right of the writ of habeas corpus, security from arrest without due process of law, and that in all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted with the witnesses against him, and have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses, counsel, &c.; and,

WHEREAS, We have witnessed, within the past twenty months, the violation of all these provisions so indispensable to a free government and necessary for the enjoyment of public liberty, by means alike arbitrary, violent, insulting, and degrading to a degree unknown to any government on earth, except those avowedly and notoriously wicked, cruel, and despotic; and,

WHEREAS, We, the Representatives of the people, now assembled in a legislative capacity, charged with the high duty of enacting laws for the protection of the people and the preservation of their rights, deem it our first duty to ascertain the facts connected with the criminal usurpations and wrongs which have been practiced by political arrests, and in order to give those who have unlawfully made them, or caused them to be made, the prominence to a position of lasting infamy their conduct merits, alike as pun. ishment and as a warning to others hereafter, and to enable us to act intelligently and efficiently in providing such legislation as will prevent their repetition, therefore, * Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed by this House, whose duty it shall be to report to this body the number of arrests for political causes made within the limits of the State, and all the facts connected with each, showing by whose order, procurement or influence, either immediate or remote, the arrests

were made, the place, time, and manner of the same, and by whom made; the charges (if any) made against them, and the probability of their truth or falsity; the place and duration of their imprisonment, and their treatment; the trial, or opportunity for trial, which they may have had, if any; the circumstances of their discharge, if discharged; the injury to their persons or families (if any) which have resulted from their unlawful detention, and the damages or pecuniary loss sustained by them in consequence of their imprisonment.

Resolved, That said committee also inquire into and report if there have been obstructions to the free exercise of the liberty of speech or press, or any abridgement thereof within the past two years in this State, and, if so, report the facts connected therewith.

Resolved, That said committee be authorized to report a bill that shall contain provisions adequate to protect the people from the arbitrary commission of unconstitutional acts, by such penalties and punishment upon those guilty of the same as may effectually prevent their repetition, and provide means for redress and restitution by damages or otherwise to requite their wrongs, while serving as an exemplary warning to other usurpers in all time to come.

Resolved, That said committee be and are hereby authorized and empowered to send for persons and papers, or visit any locality within the State, that may be deemed necessary to the full and complete discharge of their duty..

In pursuance of the above resolutions, the Speaker appointed the following committee:

Hon. Jason B. Brown, of Jackson County.

66 BAYLESS W. HANNA, 66 Vigo
6 0. S. GIVEN, 6 Daviess •
“ Jonas G. Howard, “ Clark

Edwin P. FERRIS, • Ripley

Chas. B. LASELLE,
6 SAMUEL A. SHOAF, “ Jay

BENJ. F. GREGORY, 66 Warren
66 JAMES M. GREGG, “ Hendricks
6 Chas. D. MORGAN, 6 Henry

TIMOTHY BAKER, 6 Noble 6

66 Cass

66

COMMITTEE Room, January 23, 1863. The Committee assembled at their room, and organized by appointing ETHELBERT C. HIBBEN, of Rush county, Secretary of said Committee.

The Committee on Arbitrary Arrests, after hearing and examining the evidence submitted to them under the resolutions of the House, beg leave to submit the following report:

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