Franklin County: James Nill to Thaddeus Stevens,
December 11, 1863
Opposes the repeal of the $500 commutation provision in the draft act.
Dec 11th 1863
Hon. T. Stevens
I discover from the Congrefsional proceedings
that an effort will be made to repeal the section of the drafting or
conscription act known as the $500 commutation provision. This in this County
and in many other parts of this state would be a bad move. The
[illeg.] & other [illeg.] of the Union Cause who has
conscientious scruples about bearing arms would all or nearly all cease to
support the administration. It would be playing into the hands of the secefsionist sway as the great objection to said
act is the
length of time that men have to serve. If it were for one year there would be not much trouble in getting men. Volunteers for one year could be got I believe in large numbers. If any change is made in said commutation principle it would be better to have it raised to $500.00 and to have it graded so as to make it popular with the poor men.
If for instance all who have not property worth $1000.00 were to be let off with 150.00 and all who have over 1000.00 and not exceeding 8000.00 were required to pay 300.00 and all who are worth over 8000.00 were to pay 500.00, it would take better withthe people.
There is one other matter that should in my judgment be
acted on by Congrefs - as the law now stands our Silver currency is a legal tender for only $5.00. They should [illeg.] be a legal tender for 1000.00 or 2000.00 a fee any [illeg.]. When [illeg.] bank [unclear: directs] well the banks were paying specie we found great [illeg.] in businefs from the provision of the act of Congrefs of I believe 1853.
We had at one time 400.00 as silver currency and when [illeg.] called
with large sums for redemption we could only pay 5.00 in silver and had to pay
the rest in gold. Where businefs again sums in the do [illeg.] a change
such as I suggest would be highly beneficial to the county. I trust you will
for troubling you with these suggestions for I do not wish to encroach on your time as I know you must be very much engaged.
Yours truly [illeg.]