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Proclamation of Pardon.
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 reinaugurate 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 persons who have, directly or by implication, participated in the existing rebellicn, 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 oath, and thenceforward keep and maintain said eath in violate; and which: oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to-wit :
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 Unior 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support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by Congress, or by decision of the Supreme Court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of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 the Supreme Court. So help me , God.'
“ The persons excepted from the benefits of the foregoing
Proclamation of Pardon.
provisions are all who are, or shall have been, civil or diplomatic officers or agents of the so-called Confederate Government; all wbo have left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion į all who are, or shall bave been, military or naval officers of the said so-called Confederate Government, above the rank of colonel in the army, or of lieu tenant in the navy; all who left seats in the United States Congress to aid the rebellion; all who resigned commissions in the Army or Navy of the United States, and afterward 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 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 Govern.
ment 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 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 conditions, and wbich 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 bave 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 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 eighth day of December, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.
“A BRAHAM LINCOLN "
African Slave Trade.
Rights of Foreiguero
The Annual Message sent in to Congress on the 9th day of December, omitting matters of but temporary interest—is as follows:
“FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES :—Another year of health and sufficiently abun. dant harvests, has passed. For these, and especially for the improved condition of our National affairs, our renewed and profoundest gratitude to God is due.
“We remain in peace and friendship with foreign powers.
“The efforts of disloyal citizens of the United States to involve us in foreign wars, to aid an inexcusable insurrection, have been unavailing. Her Britannic Majesty's Government, as was justly expected, have exercised their authority to prevent the departure of new hostile expeditions from British ports. The Emperor of France has, by a like proceeding, promptly vindicated the neutrality which he proclaimed at the beginning of the contest. Questions of great intricacy and importance have arisen, out of the blockade and other belligerent operations, between the Government and several of the maritime powers, but they have been discussed, and, as far as was possible, accommodated in a spirit of frankness, justice, and mutual good will. It is especially gratifying that our prize courts, by the impartiality of their adjudications, have commanded the respect and confidence of maritime powers.
"The supplementary treaty between the United States and Great Britain for the suppression of the African slave trade, made on the 17th of February last, has been duly ratified, and carried into execution. It is believed that, so far as American ports and American citizens are concerned, that inhuman and odious traffic has been brought to an end. .
" Incidents occurring in the progress of our civil war have forced upon my attention the uncertain state of international questions touching the rights of foreigners in this country and of United States citizens abroad. In regard to some
Rights of Foreigners
Governments, these rights are at least partially defined by treaties. In no instance, however, is it expressly stipulated that, in the event of civil law, a foreigner residing in this country, within the lines of the insurgents, is to be exempted from the rule which classes him as a belligerent, in whose behalf the Government of his country can not expect any priviléges or immunities distinct from that character. I regret to say, however, that such claims have been put forward, and, in some instances, in behalf of foreigners who have lived in the United States the greater part of their lives.
" There is reason to believe that many persons born in foreign countries, who have declared their intention to become citizens, or who have been fully naturalized, have eraded the military duty required of them by denying the fact, and thereby throwing upon the Government the burden of proof. It has been found difficult or impracticable to obtain this proof, from the want of guides to the proper sources of information. These might be supplied by requiring clerks of courts, where declarations of intention may be made or naturalizations effected, to send, periodically, lists of the names of the persons naturalized, or declaring their intention to become citizens, to the Secretary of the Interior, in whose Department those names might be arranged and printed for general information.
“ There is also reason to believe that foreigners frequently become citizens of the United States for the sole purpose of evading duties imposed by the laws of their native countries, to which, on becoming naturalized here, they at once repair, and, though never returning to the United States, they still claim the interposition of this Government as citizens. Many altercations and great prejudices have beretofore arisen out of this abuse. It is, therefore, submitted to your serious consideration. It might be advisable to fix a limit, beyond