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Foreign and Colonial Intelligence

The Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1318, p. 518.

June 3, 1865


We were able to give in a considerable portion of our last Impression the highly-important intelligence brought by the Scotia, which arrived yesterday week, of the capture of Jefferson Davis, with his family and Staff. They were surprised and captured by Wilson's cavalry, at a place called Irwinsville, seventy miles south-east of Macon, in Georgia. This place is on the direct line to Florida, and not far from the frontier. It stands on a tributary of the Suwanee River, of which the Chattahoochie is another tributary, and which empties itself into the Gulf. In all probability Mr. Davis expected to be able to get down this river to the sea, and thus clear away. General Wilson states that, as a last resort, Mr. Davis disguised himself in one of his wife's dresses and sought refuge in the woods. When brought to bay, he threatened his captors with a bowie-knife, but surrendered on the presentation of a revolver.

By the Hibernian, which brings intelligence from New York to the 20th ult., we learn that Jefferson Davis, with his wife, son, and two daughters, and eighteen other prisoners, has been conveyed to Fort Monroe, where they were strictly guarded. Breckenridge is supposed to have escaped over the Mississippi.

The New York Times says that the deliverance of Davis to the gallows will only help to consign the rebellion to infamy. The Herald regards him as an accessory to Mr. Lincoln's murder, and says there is no human possibility that he can escape the full penalty of the law. The Tribune trusts that Davis will be treated as a prisoner under the protection of the dignity and honour of a self-respecting people.

Magruder had made a speech at Houston, Texas, in which he expressed his determination to continue the war. Sheridan left New York on the 19th ult. for Texas, in order to suppress the rebellion in that State.

Regular warfare having ceased to the east of the Mississippi by the capitulation of the Confederate armies, the Secretary for War has notified that after June 1 all persons found in arms in those regions will be punished with death.

A reward of 25,000 dols. is offered for the arrest of Governor Smith, of Virginia. A troop of cavalry was in pursuit of Governor Magrath in South Carolina.

The New York papers say that the amnesty proclamation will include all the Confederate soldiers below the grade of lieutenant-general.

The negroes have petitioned for the suffrage.

The Government have admitted reporters to the conspiracy trial, and all the evidence which was heard while the Court sat with closed doors has been published. According to a correspondent of the Express, the evidence implicating Davis in the assassination plot has proved to be unfounded. His capture will, however, soon set the question at rest. Witnesses testified to having seen Booth in Canada conversing with George Saunders. Booth was also present at secret conferences of the rebel officers at Stanton, Virginia. All the prisoners in court were heavily ironed. The specification charges them with with conspiring with John Surratt, Wilkes Booth, Jefferson Davis, George Saunders, Beverly Tucker, Jacob Thompson, Wm. Cleary, C. C. Clay, Geo. Young, and others unknown, to murder President Lincoln, Johnson, Seward, and Grant, in aid of the rebellion. Harrold is charged with aiding Booth to commit murder and assisting his escape, Payne with attempting the assassination of Mr. Seward, and Alzerot with lying in wait to murder President Johnson and General Grant. Mudd, Arnold, and Mrs. Surratt are charged as accessory to the crime. Mr. Reverdy Johnson has been admitted as counsel for Mrs. Surratt. One witness testified that Surratt visited Richmond last March, accompanied by a lady, and on his return to Washington had about 200 dols. in gold. He stated that he had seen Jefferson Davis and Benjamin, and that Richmond would not be evacuated. On his return from Richmond Surratt left for Montreal, and returned to Washington the day before Lincoln's assassination. The Assistant Secretary for War, Mr. Dana, has, it is stated, identified the key to the cipher found in the office of the Confederate Secretary Benjamin with the one found in Booth's trunk. Major Eckert has identified the translation of a despatch sent from Canada to Richmond in cipher.

President Johnson had exchanged courtesies with the new French Ambassador, and it is clear from the remarks made by both personages that the relations between the two Governments are of the most friendly character.

On the 13th ult. the ram Stonewall was at Havannah, receiving guns and ammunition there. The Captain-General of Havannah had refused the request of the United States Consul that she should be surrendered as a pirate.

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