Page images

wise, if practicable, and not attended with too great cost, you will have it safely stored and properly marked and numbered, and will report the facts to this Department and await further directions.

Your principal embarrassments will doubtless arise from questions relating to property of the third class, or commercial property.

The general purposes which, under the acts charging me with the regulation of the restricted commercial intercourse permitted by the President, I have kept steadily in view, have already been sufficiently explained in general regulations and in letters.

They may be briefly stated thus: (1) To allow within districts in insurrectionary States when the authority of the government is so completely re-established, in your judgment, sanctioned by that of the commanding General, as to warrant it, and between such districts and loyal States the freest commercial intercourse compatible with prevention of supplies to persons within rebel lines. (2d) To allow beyond such districts, but within the lines of our military occupation, such intercourse, sanctioned by the commanding General, as may be required to supply the inhabitants with necessaries, but to allow no other until the complete re-establishment of the national authority shall warrant it; and (3) To allow no intercourse at all beyond the national and within the rebel lines of military occupation; across these lines there can be no intercourse except that of a character exclusively military.

The limits of the districts within which the most general trade may be allowed must necessarily be prescribed by you, after full confer. ence with the commanding Generals of Departments, whenever such conference is practicable, and these should be so clearly and distinctly marked by known geographical boundaries, or by the enumeration of counties, as to leave no uncertainty as to their course or compre. hension. The limits of the regions within which necessaries may be supplied cannot be so clearly defined, but must be ascertained as well as possible from the commanding Generals, and the power to permit any supplies within them must be exercised with great caution.

There does not seem to me to be so much danger in intercourse which does not involve the furnishing of supplies. If, for example, any person desires to bring cotton, tobacco, sugar, turpentine, or other property, already purchased, or to be purchased for money only, from any place within the lines of our military occupation, I can see no objection to his being permitted to do so, subject to the fees and obligations specified in the general Regulations, on his giving a bond in a sufficient sum, and with sufficient sureties, conditioned that no military, naval, or civil officers or persons, prohibited by law, or by orders of the President, or of the Secretaries of War or Navy, or of military or naval commanders having proper authority, from being interested in such property, whether purchased or to be purchased, shall be so interested therein. Intercourse such as this might, it seems to me, be safely permitted, almost, if not quite, coextensively with our lines of military occupation.

Should this view meet the approval of the Generals commanding Departments within your Agency, the question of intercourse within

the doubtful region between what may be called the commercial and the military line would be reduced to a question of the quantity of supplies allowed to be furnished for money.

It is impossible at once to arrive at the best possible ways of accomplishing the great objects which Congress had in view in the several acts relating to commercial intercourse; but if these objects. themselves be kept steadily in view, namely, (1st,) non-intercourse between loyal States or districts, and States or districts controlled by insurgents; and (2d,) modified intercourse between loyal States or districts, and States or districts partially regained to the Union, the best modes of accomplishing them will gradually disclose themselves. You will diligently observe the course of events, and hear attentively all suggestions made by respectable and loyal citizens, and report to me whatever may seem to you proper for consideration in establishing or modifying the Regulations of the Department.

Nothing occurs to me as needing to be now added, except that hereafter the Supervising Special Agents may establish, in conjunction with, or obedience to, the Generals commanding Departments. lines within which trade, more or less limited, may be carried on without awaiting my sanction, taking care, however, to give as general notice as practicable, through the press and otherwise, of the establishment or modification of such lines. All action under this authority must be immediately and specifically reported to the Department.

With great respect,

WM. P. MELLEN, Esq.,
Supervising Special Agent, &c.

S. P. CHASE, Secretary of the Treasury.



Trade with and in States Declared in Insurrection,



To the Special Agents of the Treasury Department:

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, September 11, 1863. GENTLEMEN: The President of the United States, having, by Proclamation of July 1, 1862, declared and proclaimed that the States of South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, and the State of Virginia, except the following counties, Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Monongalia, Preston, Taylor, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Wood, Jackson, Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Barbour, Tucker, Lewis, Braxton, Upshur, Randolph, Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Cabell, Wayne, Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Webster, Fayette, and Raleigh, are in insurrection and rebellion:

And having also by Proclamation on the 31st of March, 1863, revoked certain exceptions made by his former Proclamation dated August 16, 1861, and declared that the inhabitants of the States of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties of Virginia designated as West Virginia, and except, also, the ports of New Orleans, Key West, Port Royal, and Beaufort, in North Carolina,) are in a state of insurrection against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse, not licensed and conducted as provided in said act, between the said States and the inhabitants thereof with the exceptions aforesaid, and the citizens of other States and other parts of the United States, is unlawful, and will remain unlawful until such insurrection shall cease or has been suppressed, and notice thereof has been duly given by Proclamation; and all cotton, tobacco, and other products, and all other goods and chattels, wares, and merchandise coming from any of said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, into other parts of the United States, or proceeding to any of said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, without the license and permission of the President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, will, together with the vessel or vehicle conveying the same, be forfeited to the United States;

And the act of Congress "further to provide for the collection of duties on imports and for other purposes, approved July 13, 1861," having authorized said Proclamation, and the License and Regulations referred to;

And the act of Congress supplementary to said act of July 13, 1861, approved May 20, 1862, having conferred additional powers on said Secretary, and prescribed further conditions of trade;

And the act of Congress approved March 12, 1863, entitled "An act to provide for the collection of abandoned property and for the prevention of frauds in insurrectionary districts within the United States," having declared

"That it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury, from and after the passage of said act, as he shall from time to time see fit, to appoint a special agent or agents to receive and collect all abandoned or captured property in any State or Territory, or any portion of any State or Territory, of the United States designated as in insurrection against the lawful government of the United States by the proclamation of the President of July 1, 1862: Provided, That such property shall not include any kind or description which has been used, or which was intended to be used, for waging or carrying on war against the United States, such as arms, ordnance, ships, steamboats, or other water craft, and the furniture, forage, military supplies, or munitions of war;"

And further, "That any part of the goods or property received or collected by such agent or agents may be appropriated to public use on due appraisement and certificate thereof, or forwarded to any place of sale within the loyal States, as the public interests may require, and that all sales of such property shall be at public auction to the highest bidder, and the proceeds thereof shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States;"

And further, "that he shall cause a book or books of account to be kept, showing from whom such property was received, the cost of transportation, and the proceeds of the sale thereof;"

And further," that any person claiming to have been the owner of any such abandoned or captured property may, at any time within two years after the suppression of the rebellion, prefer his claim to the proceeds thereof in the Court of Claims; and on proof, to the satisfaction of said court, of his ownership of said property, of his right to the proceeds thereof, and that he has never given any aid or comfort to the present rebellion, to receive the residue of such proceeds after deducting the expenses of transportation and sale of said property, and any other lawful expenses attending the disposition thereof;"

And further," that it shall be the duty of any officer or private of the regular or volunteer forces of the United States, or any officer, sailor, or marine in the naval service of the United States, upon the inland waters of the United States, who may take or receive any such abandoned property, or cotton, sugar, rice, or tobacco, from persons in such insurrectionary districts, or have it under his control, to turn the same over to an agent appointed as aforesaid, who shall give a receipt therefor; and in case he shall refuse to do so he shall be

« PreviousContinue »