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resigned commissions in the Army or Navy of the United States, and afterwards aided the rebellion ; and all who have engaged 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 have been 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 not 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 provision which declares that “the United States shall guaranty 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 recognize and declare their permanent freedom, provide for their education, and which may 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 herein before stated, and such others, if any, not contravening said conditions, 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 exclusive with the rospective Houses, and not 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 governments have been subverted, a mode in and by which the national 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 8th day of December, A. D. 1863, and of [L. 8.] the independence of the United States of
America the eighty-eighth.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President.
WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S AMNESTY PROCLA
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Whereas, The President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, 1863, did, with the object of suppressing the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to lay down their arms, to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons who had directly or by implication, engaged in said rebellion; and
Whereas, Many persons who had so engaged in the late rebellion have, since the issuance of said proclamation, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and
Whereas, Many persons who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty and pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation directly or by implication in said rebellion, and continued in hos tility to the Government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon:
To the end, therefore, that the authority of the Government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, and order, and freedom may be established, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare, that I hereby grant to all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, except in cases where legal proceedings under the laws of the United States, providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in rebellion, have been instituted, but on the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe to the following oath, which shall be registered, for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:
I do solemnly swear or affirm in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth support, protect, and faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States, and will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God.