« PreviousContinue »
against the laws, Constitution, and the Government of the United States, which had broken out within the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and in pursuance of the provision of the act entitled an act to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions, and to repeal the act now in force for that purpose, approved February 28, 1795, did call forth the militia to suppress said insurrection and cause the laws of the Union to be duly executed, and the insurgents have failed to disperse by the time directed by the President; and whereas such insurrection has since broken out and yet exists within the States of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas; and whereas the insurgents in all the said States claim to act under authority thereof, and such claim is not disclaimed or repudiated by the person exercising the functions of government, in such States or in the part or parts thereof, in which combinations exist, nor has such insurrection been suppressed by said States. Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in pursuance of an act of Congress, passed July 18, 1861, do hereby declare that the inhabitants of the said States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida (except the inhabitants of that part of Virginia lying west of the Alleghany Mountains, and of such other parts of that State, and the other States herein before named, as may maintain a loyal adhesion to the Union and the Constitution, or may be from time to time occupied and controlled by the forces engaged in the dispersion of said insurgents)
are in a state of insurrection against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse between the same and the inhabitants thereof, with the exception 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; that all goods and chattels, wares and merchandise coming from any of said States, with the exception aforesaid, unto other parts of the United States, without the special license and permission of the President through the Secretary of the Treasury, or proceeding to any of said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, by land or water, together with the vessel or vehicle carrying the same, or conveying persons to or from said States; with said exceptions, will be forfeited to the United States, and that from and after fifteen days from the issuing of this proclamation, all ships and vessels belonging in whole or in part to any citizen or inhabitant of any of said States, with said exceptions, found at sea or in any port of the United States, will be forfeited to the United States, and I hereby enjoin upon all District Attorneys, Marshals, and officers of the revenue, and of the military and naval forces of the United States, to be vigilant in the execution of said act, and in the enforcement of the penalties and forfeitures imposed or declared by it, leaving any party who may think himself aggrieved thereby to his application to the Secretary of the Treasury, for the remission of any penalty or for forfeiture, which the said Secretary is authorized by law to grant, if, in his judgment, the special circumstances of any case shall require such remission.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done in the city of Washington, this 16th day of August, in the year of our Lord 1861, and of the Independence of the United States eighty-sixth.
The following is a letter from the President to Gen. eral Fremont:
Washington, D. C., Sept. 11, 1861.
Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont.
Sir: Yours of the 8th instant, in answer to mine of the 2d instant, was just received. Assured that you, upon the ground, could better judge of the necessities of your position, than I could at this distance, on seeing your proclamation of August 30th, I perceived no general objection to it; the particular clause, however, in relation to the confiscation of property and the liberation of slaves appeared to me objectionable in its non-conformity to the act of Congress, passed the 6th of last August, upon the same subjects, and hence I wrote you expressing my wish that that clause should be modified accordingly. Your answer just received expresses the preference on your part that I should make an open order for the modification, which I very cheerfully do. It is, therefore, ordered that the said