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The copy of the Constitution of the United States is believed to be strictly accurate in text and punctuation, which, it is understood, can be said of only one other copy in print—that in the work known as Hickey's Constitution. The statement of the differences between it and the Rebel Constitution has been made with extreme care. The common index to the two instruments shows, at a glance, wherein they differ, and will be found both interesting and convenient the whole chapter possessing special value to large classes of persons.
In presenting the facts upon each subject of legislation, the general plan has been: first, to state the result reached, with the final votes; and, then, such proceedings, in the intermediate stages, as are of adequate importance, or necessary to explain the position of Members. This preparation involved constant selection, concerning whích there may be differences of opinion-some thinking that too much detail on one subject is given; others, too little of another. In all cases the rule stated, governed. As far as it has been possible to obtain the Rebel legislation on the same or corresponding subjects, it has been added, with such of their orders and proclamations as were connected with them. A comparison of the two, and the dates of enactment or issue, will prove of service in dispelling delusions and correcting general misconceptions.
Besides the legislation proper, the volume contains, in a classified form, all the Messages, Proclamations, Orders, Correspondence, and Addresses of the President; the Diplomacy of the Secretary of State; valuable letters and papers from the Secretaries of the Treasury, of War, of the Navy, of the Interior, and from the Postmaster General; Opinions of the Attorney General upon commanding public questions; those of the Orders of Commanding Officers which are within the scope of the work; the Decisions of the Courts; and such other data as properly belong therein—the whole forming a multitudinous mass of facts, to any one of which the classification adopted, and the copious index appended, will, it is hoped, make it easy to refer.
The votes by Yeas and Nays have been carefully compared with the Official Journals of Congress. In preparing these lists, the names of those persons have, for comparison's sake, been italicised, who were elected by, or were at the time generally co-operating with, the Democratic party. All others are in roman.
Under “Our Foreign Relations” will be found much of permanent value, as well as of current interest and dispute.
The chapter on the “Conspiracy of Disunion" contains several very interesting documents, chief of which are the extract from U. S. Senator Maclay's journal of 1789, recording, probably, the first threat of disunion uttered in Congress, and upon a subject which remained a matter of complaint in some quarters down to the period of Secession; and the Minutes of the Proceedings of the Police Commissioners of Baltimore in 1861, one of the most flagrant as well as one of the latest outbursts of treason. Other portions of this chapter will richly bear examination. I greatly regret that want of space has required the omission of many other facts, gathered from our political history, tending to reveal the true character of this foul conspiracy against Liberty, this crime against humanity.
The lists of the organization of the Rebel “ Provisional ” and “Permanent" Government have been made up from every accessible source, and, though not complete, are more nearly so than any other yet published north of the Potomac, and as Dearly so as present facilities afford. They are the result of careful and extensive examination. As a matter of interest, the names of those of the conspirators who were once members of the Congress of the Union have been put in italic.
This work was undertaken a few months ago without a realizing sense of the labor it involved. I can scarcely hope to have escaped errors, both of omission and com
. mission, but have striven to make it fair, impartial, and truthful. It deals with the most momentous events of this Century, which will be studied while civil Government exists. I trust that the volume will be of service to those consulting it, and that its general effect will be to help strengthen the purpose of the American people to maintain their Unity, their Freedom, and their Power.
EDWARD MCPHERSON. August 11, 1864.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
I have revised the entire work, and corrected every error ascertained. The Appendix has expanded greatly beyond the original design. Much of the matter in it is quite inaccessible, and the delays and uncertainties of procuring it led almost insensibly to an enlargement, and also somewhat disturbed the methodical arrangement elsewhere preserved. The historic papers of the South Carolina Convention, as now printed, are from official copies, and differ very suggestively from current versioos, in numerous material points. The votes on Secession Ordinances, and subsequently on the Extinction of Slavery, in several of the rebellious States, form a pleasing contrast.
The copious chapter on “The Church and the Rebellion " has been gathered with great care, and will serve to show their mutual relations and influence, as well as the singularly diverse views which have prevailed in Church courts. The contributions from the Bureau of Military Justice illustrate the practical working of the Emancipation policy, and will amply justify attention. To the action of the last session of Congress, and the record of the Presidential canvass which preceded it-of the result of which an official tabular statement is furnished-every student of American politics will have constant occasion to refer. On the great unsettled question of Reconstruction, the full record is presented.
It would be improper, in issuing this enlarged, and it is hoped improved edition, not to express my thanks for the kind reception given the first by the Press and the Public. March 24, 1865.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
THE ELECTORAL AND POPULAR VOTE FOR ADMINISTRATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN-
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SECESSION MOVEMENT 2 tilities against the United States, and Why-
The “ War Power" called out-Call for 76,000
Men, and all subsequent Calls arranged in
Chronological Order-National Legislation on
Military Affairs—"Confederate" Legislation
and Proclamations and Orders—The Thirty-
Seventh Congress-President's Message of July,
1861, December, 1861, and December, 1862—The
Thirty-Eighth Congress--Annual Message, 1863
-Amnesty Proclamation, and Circular of the
Attorney General--Proclamations concerning
tho Blockade, Non-Intercourse with States in Re
bellion, and declaring Boundaries of the Re-
lature, Nov. 14, 1860—Extracts from Addresses
by A. H. Stephens, July, 1859, and Jan., 1861;
James H. Hammond, October, 1858; and R. M.
THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE................... 150
T. Hunter, 1860-Extract from the Appeal for
The Seward-Lyons Treaty-Vote in the Senate
Recognition, by Yancey, Rost, and Mann, and
upon bill to give it effect--Action of the “Con-
Earl Russell's Reply-Seizure and Surrender of
federate" Congress on Slave Trade Jefferson
Public Property,from November 4, 1860, to March
Davis's Veto thereof-Intercepted Despatch
4, 1861–Changes in President Buchanan's Cab-
from Judah P. Benjamin to L. Q. C. Lamar,
inet-Correspondence between President Buch-
anan and the South Carolina “Commission- ARREST OF CITIZENS, THE WRIT OF HABEAS
ers"-Demand for Surrender of Fort Sumter- CORPUS, AND SUPPRESSION OF News-
Report on the Transfer of Arms to the South
in 1859 and 1860-Davis's Bill for the Sale of
Arrest of Members of the Maryland Legislature
and of the Baltimore Police Commissioners,
Orders of Gen. McClellan and Secretary Came-
ron-John Merryman's Case and Chief Justice
Taney's Opinion-Attorney General Bates's
PROCEEDINGS OF THE GOVERNMENT IN RE-
Opinion on the President's Power to Arrest and
to Suspend the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas
LATION TO THE ACTION OF THE INSUR-
Corpus-Views of Horace Binney and Theophilus
Parsons-Case of C. L. Vallandigham; Decision
of the Supreme Court therein; his Letter on
Names of the Senators and Representatives of
RetalMtion; his return to Ohio, and Speech at
the Thirty-Sixth Congress, Second Session-
Hamilton-Proclamation of the President Sus.
Presideut Buchanan's Last Annual Message
pending the Privilege of the Writ of Habeas
Attorney General Black's Opinion on the Powers
Corpus-Indemnification of the President-De-
cision of the New York Supreme Court in the
Case of George W. Jones vs. W. H. Seward-
“ Confederate Legislation upon the suspension
of the Writ-Suppressions and Seizures of News
papers, with the Proceedings of the Courts,
Congress, and the Post Office Department.
Interference with Slavery, and on the Bill to
Suppress Insurrection, and to provide for the
CONFISCATION AND EMANCIPATION............. 195
Collection of Customs-Report of Committee
The Confiscation Bills, and Amendatory Joint
Resolution, and Special Message thereon-
Emancipation in the Thirty-Seventh Congress-
Proposed Repeal of the Joint Resolution afore-
said-Sequestration in the Rebel Stateg Judi-
cial and Military Proceedings under the Coufis-
cation Law-Proclamation thereon-President's
Message, March, 1862, recommending Compen-
sated Emancipation-Congressional Proceedings
thereon--Interview of Border State Congress-
men with the President-Emancipation in
Constitution of the United States-Points of
the District of Columbia-The President's Ap-
peal to the Border State Congressmen, and their
Reply-Extract from the President's Annual
Message, December, 1862—Emancipation in
Maryland and Proceedings of the Constitutional
Convention thereof-Emancipation Proclama-
tions-Votes thereon and Resolutions con-
cerning them-Interview between the Chicago
Deputation and the President-Address of the
Loyal Governors-Mr. Boutwell's Statement
and Thurlow Weed— The President's Reply to
concerning the Issue of the Proclamation-Lot
ters of Charles Sumner and Owen Lovejoy.
Response to a Serenade, July, 1863-Speech at
the Philadelphia Fair, June 10, 1864-Letters to
Horace Greeley, to the Springfield Mass Conven-
tion, to Col. A. G. Hodges, of Kentucky, and
to the Grant Meeting in New York, June, 1864.
The Trent Affair-Monarchical Intrigues in Cen.
tral and South America-- Alleged Foreign En-
listments-Foreign Mediation, being Letters
from Secretary Seward to Governor Hicks and
M. Drouyn de l'Huys, and from Lord Lyons to
Earl Russell, with his views on those of Now
York Democrats respecting Foreign Mediation-
The French in Mexico-Congressional Action
thereon-The Arguelles Case.
Summary of Financial Legislation from Decem-
ber, 1500, to June 30, 1864-Special War Income
Tax, and Votes thereon-The "Legal Tender"
Question--Loan Bill of 186+National Currency
Acts-Internal Revenue Acts-Proposed Tax
on Slaves-Tariff Acts of 1862 and 1861_Taxes
in Insurrectionary Districts—The Public Credit
in 1860 and 1861--Statements of Public Debt
from June 30, 1860, to June 30, 1864—“Confed-
erate” Finances, with their Tax, Funding, and
The President's Views on Colonization-Incom-
patibility of Civil and Military Oflice-Fishing
Bounties-Acts to Prohibit Polygamy; declaring
261 certain Persons Ineligible to Oflice; and to Pun-
ish Conspiracy-Letters of Marque-Enabling
Act for Nebraska-Admission of West Virginia
-Opinions of Attorney General Bates on Citizen.
ship, and on the Pay of Colored Soldiers-Mo-
Clellan's Letters Recommending a Political
Policy in the Conduct of the War, and Fa-
voring Woodward's Election in Pennsylvania-
Proposed Ceusure of President Lincoln and Ex-
President Buchanan-Censure of Representa
tives Long and Harris.
Threats of Dissolution in the First Congress,
1789— Prophetic Utterances of Jackson, Benton,
and Clay-Southern Disunion Congressional
Cilucus in 1855-Early llopes of the Rebels-Er-
President Pierce's Letter to Jefferson Davis,
1800—- The Disunion Programme-Letter of D.
L. Yuleo, January 7, 1861–Douglas's Last
Words-Progress of the Conspiracy in Maryland
Minutes of the Baltimore Police Commission-
ers during "the Reign of Terror"-Report to
the Baltimore Councils on Expenditure of the
$500,000 appropriated for Ordnance Purposega
Legislativo Action thereon, and other Proceed.
ings by the Maryland Legislature of 1861–Sun.
dry Rebel Items.
The Provisional President, Cabinet, and Con-
gress, with Memorandum of Changes - The
* Permanent" Administration--The First Con-
gress, and Changes therein-Tho Second Con-
NATIONAL POLITICAL CONVENTIONS
The National Union Convention and Letters of
Acceptance by President Lincoln and Andrew
Johnson—The Cleveland Convention, and the
Letters of Acceptance of Fremont and Coch-
rane-Col. Cochrane's Address to his Regiment,
November 13, 1861.
Democratic National Convention-Numerous
Letters, Orders, and Documents on Politics,
Peace. Slavery, the Draft, Negro Soldiers, Elec:
tions. &c.-Holt's Report ou Secret Oriers--- The
Church and the Rebellion- Second Session
Thirty-Eighth Congres, and of Second Rebel
Congress-President Linculu's Last Papers and
Death-Presidential Vote of 1964.