Kentucky and other papers have lately published what purported to be an order from Gen Palmer, or by his authority, granting passes to all negroes who desired to leave the State— an expeditious method of ratifying the Constitutional Amendment. The Western Citizen of Paris, Ky., says the stampede of negroes is enormous, and gives particulars of their thronging about headquarters. It alleges that in five days 1,300 passes averaging four persons to each pass had been issued. So at Lexington and other points, and it was estimated that 25,000 negroes left Kentucky last week.
But now comes The Cincinnati Enquire of August 1, with this statement
When Gen Palmer’s recent order to [illegible] papers to negroes to leave Kentucky was promoguel Mr. D. L. Price of Lexington telegraphed the Precocious on the subject and received the following reply.
“[By telegraph from Washington]
July 29, 1865
“To D. L. PRICE: Your dispatch of the 5th sent to Gen. Palmer, who replies. No the paper are issued to any negroes within my department by any officers, by my authority or within my knowledge.
“JOHN M. PALMER, [illegible]
“Ey order of the President.
“R.D. MCSSEY, Mithary Secrecy
If there is a way out of the seeming contradiction, it may be in Gen. Palmer’s use of the term “free papers.” The Criuzer goes than form of the pass:
“HDQURS UNITED STATES FORCER
“Paris, KY., —
“To all whom at may concerns:
“In pursuance of General Orders No. 10 Hardaxters Department of Kentucky, July 10, 1865— (colored), in authorized to pass at will in secret of employment.
“All public carriers will respect the pass.
“Commanding United States forces after Ky”
That was indorsed “To go to Cincinnati Ohio.” It may not be a “free paper. [illegible] don’t think the slave whom is emancipated would find out the difference. But why should there be any question about it, and why should Gen. Palmer, if he has issued the order a [illegible] to him, take refuge in a verbal [illegible]. The Cincinnati Enquirer would hardly go the length of inventing the above dispatch, We will explain!
New York (NY) Herald Tribune, August 3, 1865, p. 4.