Page images
PDF
EPUB

the lash, shall be paid with another drawn by the sword; as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity to all, with firmness in the right, as God gives ths to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S PROCLAMATION OF

AMNESTY.

A00OMPANYING THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE, DEOEMBER 8, 1868.

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 bave 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 confiscation of property and liberation of slaves, all upon terms and conditions therein stated; and also declaring that the President was thereby author ized at any time thereafter, by proclamation, to extend to persons who may have participated in the

existing rebellion, in any State or part thereof, par. don and amnesty, with such exceptions and at such tirnes and on such conditions as he may deein expedient for the public welfare; and whereas the congressional declaration for limited and conditional pardun 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 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 oath, and thenceforward keep and maintain such 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 thereander; 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, 50 long and so far as not repealed, modified, or lield 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 provisions are, all who are, or shall have becn, 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 so-called 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 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, sach shall be recognized as the true government of the State, and the State shall receive there under 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

« PreviousContinue »