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Slaves of Rebels to be Free.
Article of War.
respective limits, and that the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon the continent or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the gov ernment existing there, will be continued; that on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or any designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, SHALL BE THEN, THENCEFORWARD AND FOREVER, FREE, and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, efforts in any they may make for their actual freedom; that the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States, and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto, at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof have not been in rebellion against the United States.
"That attention is hereby called to an act of Congress, entitled, 'An act to make an additional article of war,' approved March 13, 1862, and which act is in the words and figures following:
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional Article of War for the government of the Army of the United States, and shall be observed and obeyed as such.
All officers or persons of the military of
Articles of War
naval service of the United States, are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor. who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due; and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article. shall be dismissed from the service.
"Section 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.'
"Also to the ninth and tenth sections of an act entitled, 'An act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes,' approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following:
"Section 9. And be it further enacted, That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army; and all slaves captured from such persons or deserted by them, and coming under the control of the government of the United States, and all slaves of such persons found on (or being within) any place occupied by rebel forces and afterwarde occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves.
"Section 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, from any of the States, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime, or some offence against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due, is his lawful owner, and has not been in arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid and
Compensation to Loyal Owners.
comfort thereto; and no person engaged in the military or naval service of the United States shall, under any pretence whatever, assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person, or surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain of being dismissed from the service.
"And I do hereby enjoin upon, and order all persons engaged in the military and naval service of the United States to observe, obey and enforce within their respective spheres of service, the act and sections above recited.
"And the executive will in due time recommend that all citizens of the United States who shall have remained loyal thereto throughout the rebellion, shall (upon the restoration of the constitutional relation between the United States and their respective States and people, if the relation shall have been suspended or disturbed) be compensated for all losses by acts of the United States, including the loss of slaves.
"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
"Done at the City of Washington, this twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
"By the President:
"WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
This herald of freedom to millions was, of course, intensely disliked by those who omitted no opportunity to cavil at the Administration. As efforts were making-not entirely with out success-to embarrass the Government in securing the necessary reinforcements for the army, and certain lewd fellows of the baser sort holding themselves in readiness to take advantage of the bitter prejudices existing in the minds of a portion of the people against the negroes among us, the following proclamation was issued two days later, that no
Habeas Corpus Suspended.
one might plead ignorance of results, if such treasonable practices should be persisted in:
“WHEREAS, It has become necessary to call into service, not only volunteers, but also portions of the militia of the States by draft, in order to suppress the insurrection existing in the United States, and disloyal persons are not adequately restrained by the ordinary processes of law from hindering this measure, and from giving aid and comfort in various ways to the insurrection :
"Now, therefore, be it ordered:
"First. That during the existing insurrection, and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all rebels and insurgents, their aiders and abettors, within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice affording aid and comfort to the rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law, and liable to trial and punishment by courts-martial or military commission.
"Third. That the writ of habeas corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement, by any military authority or by the sentence of any court-martial or military commission.
"In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
"Done at the City of Washington, this twenty-fourth day of September, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hun. dred and sixty-two, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
"By the President:
"WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
It would be paying but a poor compliment to the sagacity which prompted this proclamation, if one were not obliged to
Observance of the Sabbath.
say that it was exceedingly distasteful to many. ever, compels us to add that the evils aimed at ceased, to a very great extent, shortly after its appearance.
The following order, issued November 16th, 1862, is but one among the many evidences of that deep and earnest reverence for Christianity which formed a noticeable feature, not only in most of Mr. Lincoln's official papers, but also in the character of the man:
"The President, Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, desires and enjoins the orderly observance of the Sabbath, by the officers and men in the military and naval service. The importance, for man and beast, of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors, becoming deference to the best sentiment of a Christian people, and a due regard for the Divine will, demand that Sunday labor in the army and navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity.
"The discipline and character of the National forces should not suffer, nor the cause they defend be imperiled, by the profanation of the day or name of the Most High. 'At this time of public distress,' adopting the words of Washington in 1776, men may find enough to do in the service of God and their country, without abandoning themselves to vice and immorality.' The first general order issued by the Father of his Country, after the Declaration of Independence, indicates the spirit in which our institutions were founded and should ever be defended: 'The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.' ABRAHAM LINCOLN."
On the 1st day of January, 1863, appeared that proclamation which was to supplement that of September 22d, 1862, crowning with complete fullness that great work and giving It health and being: