« PreviousContinue »
me to follow nobody. The Radicals and Conservatives each agree with me in some things and disagree in others. I could wish both to agree with me in all things; for then they would agree with each other, and would be too strong for any foe from any quarter. They, however, choose to do otherwise, and I do not question their right. I, too, shall do what seems to be my duty. I hold whoever commands in Missouri, or elsewhere, responsible to me, and not to either Radicals or Conservatives. It is my duty to hear all, but at last I must, within my sphere, judge what to do and what to forbear.
Your obedient servant, A. LINCOLN.
A CALL FOR THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND VOLUNTEERS.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-A PROCLAMATION.
WHEREAS, The term of service of part of the volunteer forces of the United States will expire during the coming year; and whereas, in addition to the men raised by the present draft, it is deemed expedient to call out three hundred thousand volunteers to serve for three years or during the war, not, however, exceeding three years; Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States and Commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy thereof, and of the militia of the several States when called into actual service, do issue this my proclamation, calling upon the Governors of the different States to raise, and have enlisted into the United States service, for the various companies and regiments in the field from their respective States, their quotas of three huudred thousand men.
I further proclaim that all the volunteers thus called out and duly enlisted, shall receive advance pay, premium, and bounty, as heretofore communicated to the Governors of States by the War Department, through the Provost Marshal General's office, by special letters.
I further proclaim that all volunteers received under this call, as well as all others not heretofore credited, shall be duly credited and deducted from the quotas established for the new draft.
I further proclaim that if any.State shall fail to raise the quota assigned to it by the War Department under this call, then a draft for the deficiency in said quota shall be made in said State, or on the districts of said State for their due proportion of said quota, and the said draft shall commence on the fifth day of January, 1864.
And I further proclaim that nothing in this proclamation shall interfere with existing orders, or with those which may be issued for the present draft in the States where it is now in progress, or where it has not yet been commenced.
The quotas of the States and districts will be assigned by the War Department through the Provost Marshal General's office, due regard being had for the men heretofore furnished, whether by volunteering or drafting; and the recruiting will be conducted in accordance with such instructions as have been or may be issued by that Department.
In issuing this proclamation, I address myself not only to the Governors of the several States, but also to the good and loyal people thereof, invoking them to lend their cheerful, willing, and effective aid to the measures thus adopted, with a view to reinforce our victorious armies now in the field, and bring our military operations to a prosperous end, thus closing forever the fountains of sedition and civil war.
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 seventeenth day [L. s.] of October, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the
United States the eighty-eighth. By the President:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
REV. DR. M'PHEETERS—THE PRESIDENT'S REPLY TO AN AP
PEAL FOR INTERFERENCE.
WASHINGTON, December 23, 1863. I have just looked over a petition signed by some three dozen citizens of St. Louis, and their accompanying letters, one by yourself, one by a Mr. Nathan Ranney, and one by a Mr. John D. Coalter, the whole relating to the Rev. Dr. McPheeters. The petition prays, in the name of justice and mercy, that I will restore Dr. McPheeters to all his ecclesiastical rights.
This gives no intimation as to what ecclesiastical rights are withdrawn. Your letter states that Provost Marshal Dick, about a year ago, ordered the arrest of Dr. McPheeters, pastor of the Vine-street Church, prohibited him from officiating, and placed the management of affairs of the church out of the control of the chosen trustees; and near the close you state that a certain course “would insure his release.” Mr. Ranney's letter says: “Dr. Samuel McPheeters is enjoying all the rights of a civilian, but can not preach the gospel !” Mr. Coalter, in his letter, asks: “Is it not a strange illustration of the condition of things, that the question who shall be allowed to preach in a church in St. Louis shall be decided by the President of the United States ?"
Now, all this sounds very strangely; and, withal, a little as if you gentlemen making the application do not understand the case alike-one affirming that this doctor is enjoying all the rights of a civilian, and another pointing out to me what will secure his release! On the 2d of January last, I wrote to Gen. Curtis in relation to Mr. Dick's order upon Dr. McPheeters; and, as I suppose the Doctor is enjoying all the rights of a civilian, I only quote that part of my letter which relates to the church. It was as follows : “But I must add that the United States Government must not, as by this order, undertake to run the churches. When an individual, in a church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest, he must be checked; but the churches, as such, must take care of themselves. It will not do for the United States to appoint trustees, supervisors, or other agents for the churches."
This letter going to Gen. Curtis, then in command, I supposed, of course, it was obeyed, especially as I heard no further complaint from Dr. Mc. or his friends for nearly an entire year. I have never interfered, nor thought of interfering, as to who shall or shall not preach in any church; nor have I knowingly or believingly tolerated any one else to interfere by my authority. If any one is so interfering by color of my authority, I would like to have it specifically made known to me.
If, after all, what is now sought is to have me put Dr. Mc. back over the heads of a majority of his own congregation, that, too, will be declined. I will not have control of any church or any side.
AN ELECTION ORDERED IN THE STATE OF ARKANSAS.
WASHINGTON, January 20, 1864. Maj. Gen. STEELE: Sundry citizens of the State of Arkansas petition me that
election may be held in that State, at which to elect a Governor; that it be assumed at that election, and henceforward, that the Constitution and laws of the State, as before the rebellion, are in full force, except that the Constitution is so modified as to declare that there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted; that the General Assembly may make such provisions for the freed people as shall recognize and declare their permanent freedom, and provide for their education, and which may yet be construed as a temporary arrangement, suitable to their condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless class ; that said election shall be held on the 28th of March, 1864, at all the usual
places of the State, or all such as voters may attend for that purpose; that the voters attending at 8 o'clock in the morning of said day may choose judges and clerks of election for such purpose; that all persons qualified by said Constitution and laws, and taking the oath presented in the President's proclamation of December 8, 1863, either before or at the election, and none others, may be voters ; that each set of judges and clerks may make returns directly to you on or before the —th
next; that in all other respects said election may be conducted according to said Constitution and laws; that on receipt of said returns, when 5,406 votes shall have been cast, you can receive said votes and ascertain all who shall thereby appear to have been elected; that on the —th day of all persons so appearing to have been elected, who shall appear before you at Little Rock, and take the oath, to be by you severally administered, to support the Constitution of the United States, and said modified Constitution of the State of Arkansas, may be declared by you qualified and empowered to immediately.enter upon the duties of the offices to which they shall have been respectively elected.
You will please order an election to take place on the 28th of March, 1864, and returns to be made in fifteen days thereafter.
A. LINCOLN. Later, the President wrote the following letter:
WILLIAM FISHBACK, Esq.: When I fixed a plan for an election in Arkansas, I did it in ignorance that your Convention was at the same work. Since I learned the latter fact, I have been constantly trying to yield my plan to theirs. I have sent two letters to Gen. Steele, and three or four dispatches to you and others, saying that he (Gen. Steele) must be master, but that it will probably be best for him to keep the Convention on its own plan. Some single mind must be master, else there will be no agreement on any thing; and Gen. Steele, commanding the military, and being on the ground, is the best man to be that master. Even now citizens are telegraphing me to postpone the election to a later day than either fixed by the Convention or me. This discord must be silenced. A. LINCOLN.
THE PRESIDENT'S PROCLAMATION OF THE 8TH OF DECEMBER,
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA-A PROCLAMATION.
WHEREAS, It has become necessary to define the cases in which insurgent enemies are entitled to the benefits of the Proclamation of the President of the United States, which was made on the eighth day of December, 1863, and the manner in
which they shall proceed to avail themselves of these benefits; and whereas, the objects of that proclamation were to suppress the insurrection and to restore the authority of the United States; and whereas, the amnesty therein proposed by the President was offered with reference to these objects alone ;
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the said proclamation does not apply to the cases of persons who, at the time when they seek to obtain the benefits thereof by taking the oath thereby prescribed, are in military, naval, or civil confinement or custody, or under bonds, or on parole of the civil, mili. tary or naval authorities, or agents of the United States, as prisoners of war, or persons detained for offenses of any kind, either before or after conviction; and that, on the contrary, it does apply only to those persons who, being yet at large, and free from any arrest, confinement, or duress, shall voluntarily come forward and take the said oath, with the purpose of restoring peace and establishing the National authority.
Persons excluded from the amnesty offered in the said proclamation may apply to the President for clemency, like all other offenders, and their application will receive due consideration,
I do further declare and proclaim that the oath presented in the aforesaid proclamation of the 8th of December, 1863, may be taken and subscribed before any commissioned officer, civil, military, or raval, in the service of the United States, or any civil or military officer of a State or Territory not in insurrection, who, by the laws thereof, may be qualified for administering oaths.
All officers who receive such oaths are hereby authorized to give certificates thereof to the persons respectively by whom they are made, and such officers are hereby required to transmit the original records of such oaths, at as early a day as may be convenient, to the Department of State, where they will be. deposited, and remain in the archives of the Government.
The Secretary of State will keep a registry thereof, and will, on application, in proper cases, issue certificates of such records in the customary form of official certificates.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Donc at the city of Washington, the twenty-sixth day
of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight [L. s.] hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of
the United States the eighty-eighth. By the President:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.