Sunday, October 2, 2016

Major-General John A. Dix to Edwin M. Stanton, May 18, 1864

Head quarters, Department of the East,
New York City, May 18,1864.
Hon. E. M. Stanton, Secretary of War:

I am investigating the gross fraud of this morning. The paper purporting to be a Proclamation of the President was handed in to the offices of the city newspapers at four o'clock, written on thin manifold paper of foolscap size, like the despatches of the Associated Press. In handwriting and every other respect it was admirably calculated to deceive. It was published in the World and Journal of Commerce. None of the responsible editors of either paper were present. As soon as the editors of the World discovered the fraud they announced it on their bulletin, and they have offered a reward of five hundred dollars for the detection of the author. It was printed by the Herald, but none of the copies were issued, the fraud having been discovered before they left the office. I have sent to all the newspapers for their manuscripts, and have received three. They are alike in respect to paper and handwriting. I think the authors will be detected, and I need not add that I shall in that case arrest and imprison them for trifling in so infamous a manner with the authority of the Government and the feelings of the community at this important juncture in our public affairs.

Since writing the above the President's order for the arrest of the editors, proprietors, and publishers of the World and Journal of Commerce has come to hand. I shall execute it, unless the foregoing information shall be deemed sufficient by the President to suspend it until my investigation is concluded.

John A. Dix, Major-general.

SOURCE: Morgan Dix, Memoirs of John Adams Dix, Volume 2, p. 100

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