« PreviousContinue »
“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 serenteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
“ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “ By the President:
“ Wm. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State." THE PRESIDENT'S DEDICATORY ADDRESS AT
GETTYSBURG. On the nineteenth of November, 1863, the President participated in the solemn and imposing ceremonies incident to the consecration of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Arriving in the town on the previous evening, he was the recipient of a delightful serenade, which he acknowledged in a brief speech. On the next day be delivered the following beautiful Dedicatory Address :
“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can loug endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We are met to dedicate a portion of it as the final resting-place of those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
“But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consacrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion,—that we here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died in vain, tbat the nation shall, under God, have a Lew birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION. On the seventh of December, 1863, the following recommendation was made to the people of the country:
“EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, Dec. 7th, 1863.-Reliable information being received that the insurgent force is retreating from East Tennessee, under circumstances rendering it probable that the Union forccs cannot hereafter be dislodged from that important position, and esteeming this to be of high National consequence, I recommend that all loyal people do, on the receipt of this, informally assemble at their places of Worship, anů render special homage and gratitude to Alniighty God for this great advancement of the National cause. "A. LINCOLN."
THE ANNUAL MESSAGE OF 1863—FULL PAR
DON OFFERED TO THE REBELS. On the ninth of December, 1863, President Lincoln sent into Congress his Annual Message, and never were his wisdom and moderation more satisfactorily exhibited than in this document. His review of our foreign relations and the operations of the various departments of the Government was comprehensive and clear, while on the subject of the rebellion he re-affirmed all that he had written in his previous messages, and in referring to the success which had attended the proclamation of emancipation, he said : “While I remain in my present position, I shall not attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation; nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress."
Accompanying the Message, was a proclamation offering for the acceptance of the traitors a fair and practicable mode, by which they might return to their allegiance, and once again become loyal citizens. It was worded as follows:
Whereas, In and by the Constitution of the United States, it is provided that the President shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment;" and
Whereas, A rebellion now exists whereby the loyal State governments of several States have for a long time been subverted, and many persons have committed and are now guilty of treason against the United States; and
“Whereas, With reference to said rebellion and treason, laws have been enacted by Congress, declaring forfeitures and con
fiscations of property and liberation of slaves, all upon terms and conditions therein stated, and also declaring that the President was thereby authorized at any time thereafter, by proclamation, to extend to persons who may have participated in the existing rebellion in any State, or part thereof, pardon and amnesty, with such exceptions and at such times and on such con. ditions as he may deem expedient for the public welfare; and
" Whereas, The Congressional declaration for limited and conditional pardon accords with well-established judicial exposition of the pardoning power; and
" Whereas, With reference to said rebellion, the President of the United States has issued several proclamations, with provisions in regard to the liberation of slaves; and
Whereas, It is now desired by some persons heretofore engaged in said rebellion to resume their allegiance to the United States, and to re-inaugurate loyal State governments within and for their respective States ;
Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do proclaim, declare, and make known to all persona who have, directly or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, that a FULL PARDON is hereby granted to them and each of them, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and in property cases where rights of third parties shall have intervened, and upon the condition that every such person shall take and subscribe an cath, and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit :
“I do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of the Supreme Court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of tho Supreme Court. So help me God.'
“The persons excepted from the benefits of the foregoing provisions are all who are or shall have been civil or diplomatic officers or agents of the so-called Confederate Government; all who have left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion; all who are or shall have been military or naval officers of said Confederate Government above the rank of Colonel in the army or of Lieutenant in the navy; all who left seats in the United States Congress to aid the rebellion; all who resigned their commissions in the army or navy of the United
States, and afterwards aided the rebellion, and all who have en. gaged in any way, in treating colored persons or white persons, in charge of such, otherwise than lawfully, as prisoners of war, and which persons may be found in the United States service, as soldiers, seamen, or in any other capacity.
“And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that whenever, in any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one-tenth in number of the votes cast in such State at the Presidential election of the year of our Lord 1860, each having taken the oath aforesaid and pot having since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election law of the State existing immediately before the so-called act of secession, and excluding all others, shall re-establish a State government which shall be Republican, and in nowise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized as the true government of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the constitutional pro. vision, which declares that the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the Legislature, or the executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence.'
“And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that any provision which may be adopted by such State Government in relation to the freed people of such State, which shall recog. nize and declare their permanent freedom, provide for their education, and which miay yet be consistent, as a temporary arrangement, with their present condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless class, will not be objected to by the National Executive. And it is suggested as not improper, that, in constructing a loyal State government in any State, the name of the State, the boundary, the subdivisions, the Constitution, and the general code of laws, as before the rebellion, be maintained, subject only to the modifications made necessary by the conditions hereinbefore stated, and such others, if any, not contravening said conditious, and which may be deemed expedient by those framing the new State Government.
“To avoid misunderstanding, it may be proper to say that this proclamation, so far as it relates to State Governments, has no reference to States wherein loyal State Governments have all the while been maintained. And for the same reason, it may be proper to further say, that whether members sent to Congress from any State shall be admitted to seats constitutionally, rests exclusively with the respective Houses, and pot to any extent with the Executive. And still further, that this proclamation is intended to present the people of the States wherein the National authority has been suspended, and loyal State Govern. ments have been subverted, a mode in and by which the Na
tional authority and loyal State Governments may be re-established within said States, or in any of them; and, while the mode presented is the best the Executive can suggest, with his present impressions, it must not be understood that no other possible mode would be acceptable.
“Given under my hand at the City of Washington, the eighth day of December, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty. three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth. "By the President:
“ ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “Wm. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
CALLS MADE FOR SEVEN HUNDRED
THOUSAND MEN. Since the beginning of the present year, 1864, two orders have been issued by the President, with a view of augmenting the armies of the Union to correspond with the requirements of the service. The first dated February first, is as follows:
“ EXECUTIVE Mansion, WASHINGTON, February 1st, 1864.Ordered, that a draft for five hundred thousand men, to serve three years or during the war, be made on the tenth of March next, for the military service of the United States, crediting and deducting therefrom so many as have been enlisted or drafted into the service prior to the first day of March, and not heretofore credited. “ (Signed)
“ABRAHAM LINCOLN." The other, dated March fourteenth, was worded as follows:
“EXECUTIVE Mansion, WASHINGTON, March 14th, 1864.--In order to supply the force required to be drafted for the navy, and to provide an adequate reserve force for all contingencies, in additiou to the five hundred thousand men called for February 1st, 1864, the call is hereby made, and a draft ordered for two hundred thousand men, for the military service of the army, navy, and marine corps of the United States. The proportionate quotas for the different wards, towns, townships, precincts, election districts, or counties will be made koown through the Provost Marshal General's bureau, and account will be taken of the credits and deficiencies on former quotas. The 15th day of April, 1864, in designated as the time up to which the pumbers required in each ward of a city, town, etc., may be raised by voluntary enlistvent; and drafts will be made in each ward of a city, town,