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Letter of Acceptance.
Martial Law in Kentucky.
concurred in, there might be misunderstanding were I not to say that the position of the Government in relation to the action of France in Mexico, as assumed through the State Department and endorsed by the Convention, among the measures and acts of the Executive, will be faithfully maintained so long as the state of facts shall leave that position pertinent and applicable.
“I am especially gratified that the soldiers and seamen were not forgotten by the Convention, as they forever must and will be remembered by the grateful country for whose salvation they devote their lives.
" Thanking you for the kind and complimentary terms in which you have communicated the nomination and other proceedings of the Convention, I subscribe myself, “ Your obedient servant,
On the 5th of July, appeared the following proclamation, ordering martial law in Kentucky :
“WHEREAS, By a proclamation, which was issued on the 15th day of April, 1861, the President of the United States announced and declared that the laws of the United States had been for some time past, and then were, opposed and the execution thereof obstructed, in certain States therein mentioned, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the power vested in the marshals by law; and,
“WHEREAS, Immediately after the issuing of the said proclamation, the land and naval force of the United States were put into activity to suppress the said insurrection and rebellion; and,
“WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States, by an act approved on the 3d day of March, 1863, did enact that during the said rebellion the President of the United States, whenever in his judgment the public safety may require it, is authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas cor
Martial Law in Kentucky.
pus in any case throughout the United States, or any part thereof; and,
“WHEREAS, The said insurrection and rebellion still continues, endangering the existence of the Constitution and Government of the United States; and,
“WHEREAS, The military forces of the United States are now actively engaged in suppressing the said insurrection and rebellion in various parts of the States where the said rebellion has been successful in obstructing the laws and public authorities, especially in the States of Virginia and Georgia; and,
WHEREAS, On the 15th day of September last, the President of the United States duly issued his proclamation, wherein he declared that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus should be suspended throughout the United States, in cases where, by the authority of the President of the United States, the military, naval, and civil officers of the United States, or any of them, hold persons under their command or in their custody either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders or abettors of the enemy, or officers, soldiers, or seamen, enrolled, or drafted, or mustered, or enlisted in, or belonging to, the land or naval forces of the United States, or as deserters therefrom, or otherwise amenable to military law or the rules and articles of war, or the rules and regulations prescribed for the military or naval service by authority of the President of the United States, or for resisting a draft, or for any other offence against the military or naval service.; and,
“WHEREAS, Many citizens of the State of Kentucky have joined the forces of the insurgents, have on several occasions entered the said State of Kentucky in large force, and not without aid and comfort furnished by disaffected and disloyal citizens of the United States residing therein, have not only greatly disturbed the public peace, but have overborne the civil authorities and made flagrant civil war, destroying property and life in various parts of the State ; and,
Martial Law in Kentucky.
“WHEREAS, It has been made known to the President of the United States by the officers commanding the National armies, that combinations have been formed in the said State of Kentucky, with a purpose of inciting the rebel forces to renew the said operations of civil war within the said State, and thereby to embarrass the United States armies now operating in the said States of Virginia and Georgia, and even to endanger their safety;
“Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws, do hereby declare, that in my judgment the public safety especially requires that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, so proclaimed in the said proclamation of the fifteenth of September, 1863, be made effectual, and be duly enforced in and throughout the said State of Kentucky, and that martial law be for the present ordered therein. I do therefore hereby require of the military officers in the said State that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus be effectually suspended within the said State, according to the aforesaid proclamation, and that martial law be established therein, to take effect from the date of this proclamation, the said suspension and establishment of martial law to continue until this proclamation shall be revoked or modified, but not beyond the period when the said rebellion shall have been suppressed or come to an end. And I do hereby require and command as well military officers as all civil officers and authorities existing or found within the said State of Kentucky, to take notice of this proclamation and to give full effect to the same. The martial law herein proclaimed, and the things in that respect herein ordered, will not be deemed or taken to interfere with the holding of elections, or with the proceedings of the Constitutional Legislature of Kentucky, or with the administration of justice in the courts of law existing therein between citizens of the United States in suits or proceedings which do not affect the
Martial Law in Kentucky.
military operations or the constituted authorities of the Government of the United States.
“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 fifth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 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.”
The question as to what principles should be adopted in reconstructing the rebel States, as fast as the insurrection within their limits should be suppressed, had already, as remarked upon a former page, presented itself as one to be met and disposed of. Congress having, at almost the last moment of its session, passed a bill intended to meet this case, the President issued the following proclamation, on the 9th of July, practically approving the same and accepting its spirit, but making exception in the case of Louisiana and Arkansas, which States had been reorganized according to the spirit and intent of a previous proclamation, making the will of onetenth of the voters of a State sufficient for its return to allegiance—the bill under notice requiring the votes of a majority:
“WHEREAS, At the last session, Congress passed a bill to guarantee to certain States whose Governments have been usurped or overthrown, a republican form of government, a copy of which is hereunto annexed; and,
“WHEREAS, The said bill was presented to the President of the United States for his approval, less than one hour before the sine die adjournment of said session, and was not signed by him; and,
“ WHEREAS, The said bill contains, among other things, a plan for restoring the States in rebellion to the proper prac
Louisiana and Arkansas.
tical relation in the Union, which plan presents the sense of Congress upon that subject, and which plan it is now thought fit to lay before the people for their consideration :
“Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do proclaim, declare, and make known, that, while I am, as I was in December last, when by proclamation I propounded a plan for restoration, unprepared, by a formal approval of this bill, to be inflexibly committed to any single plan of restoration, and wbile I am also unprepared to declare that the Free State Constitutions and Governments already adopted and installed in Arkansas and Louisiana shall be set aside and held for naught, thereby repelling and discouraging the loyal citizens who have set up the same, as to further effort, or to declare a constitutional competency in Congress to establish slavery in States, but am at the same time sincerely hoping and expecting that a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery throughout the nation may be adopted; nevertheless I am fully satisfied with the system of restoration contained in the bill as one very proper plan for the loyal people of any State choosing to adopt it, and that I am and at all times shall be prepared to give the Executive aid and assistance to any such people, so soon as the military resistance to the United States shall have been suppressed in any such State, and the people thereof shall have sufficiently returned to their obedience to the Constitution and the laws of the United States, in which cases military Governors will be appointed, with directions to proceed according to the bill.
“In testimony 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 eighth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth. "By the President:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. " WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."