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Non Intercourse Proclamation,
pursuance of the provisions of an 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 28th, 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 discarded or repudiated by the persons exercising the functions of government in such State or States, or in the part or parts thereof, in which such combinations exist, nor has such insurrection been suppressed by said States.
“Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in pursuance of the Act of Congress approved July 13th, 1861, do hereby declare that the inbabitants of the said States of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida, except the inhabitants of that part of the State of Virginia lying west of the Allegheny Mountains, and of such other parts of that State and the other States hereinbefore 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 of the United States 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 the said States, with the exceptions aforesaid, into other parts of the United States, without the special license and permission of
Dealing with Slaves.
the President, through the Secretary of the Treasury, or proceeding to any of the said States, with the exception aforesaid, by land or water, together with the vessel or vehicle conveying the same, or conveying persons to and from the said States, with the 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 the said States, with the said exceptions, found at sea in any part 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 of the military and naval forces of the United States, to be vigilant in the executio2 of the 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 forfeiture, which the said Secretary is authorized by law to grant, if in his judgment, the special circumstances of any case shall require such a remission.
“In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hard, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
"Done in the City of Washington, this, the 16th day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-sixth. "By the President:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”
The question as to the disposition to be made of the slaves of rebel masters presented itself early in the contest, and it was at once perceived that its settlement would be attended with no little embarrassment.
As early as May 27th, 1861, General Butler, in command at Fortress Monroe, had informed the War Department as to his views relative to the fugitive slaves that they were to be regarded as “contraband of war"—and Secretary Cameron, under date of May 30th, had instructed that commander neither to permit any interference by persons under bis command with the relations of persons held to service under the laws of any State ; nor, on the other hand, while such States remained in rebellion, to surrender such persons to their alleged masters, but to employ them in such service as would be most advantageous, keeping an account of the value of their labor and the expenses of their support—the question of their final disposition to be reserved for future determination.
At about the same time, General McClellan, advancing into Western Virginia to the aid of the loyal men of that section, used this language in his address to the people :
“Notwithstanding all that has been said by the traitors to induce you to believe that our advent among you will be signalized by interference with your slaves, understand one thing dearly-not only will we abstain from all such interference, but we will, on the contrary, with an iron hand, crush any attempt at insurrection on their part.”
On the 8th of August, Secretary Cameron, in reply to a second letter from General Butler upon the same subject,
“ GENERAL:—The important question of the proper disposi- • tion to be made of fugitives from service in the States in insurrection against the Federal Government, to which you have again directed my attention, in your letter of July 20th, has received my most attentive consideration. It is the desire of the President that all existing rights in all the States be fully respected and maintained. The war now prosecuted on the part of the Federal Government is a war for the ligion.
Sec. Cameron's Letter.
Slaves of Loyal Masters.
for the preservation of all the Constitutional rights of the States and the citizens of the States in the Union; hence no question can arise as to fugitives from service within the States and Territories in which the authority of the Union is fully acknowledged. The ordinary forms of judicial proceedings must be respected by the military and civil authorities alike for the enforcement of legal forms. But in the States wholly or in part under insurrectionary control, where the laws of the United States are so for opposed and resisted that they can not be effectually enforced, it is obvious that the rights dependent upon the execution of these laws must temporarily fail, and it is equally obvious that the rights dependent on the laws of the States within which military operations are conducted must necessarily be subordinate to the military exigencies created by the insurrection, if not wholly forfeited by the treasonable conduct of the parties claiming them To this the general rule of the right to service forms an exception. The act of Congress approved August 6, 1861, declares that if persons held to service shall be employed in hostility to the United States, the right to their services shall be discharged therefrom. It follows of necessity that no claim can be recognized by the military authority of the Union to the services of such persons when fugitives.
"A more difficult question is presented in respect to persons escaping from the service of loyal masters.
It is quite apparent that the laws of the State under which only the service of such fugitives can be claimed must needs be wholly or almost wholly superseded, as to the remedies, by the insurrection and the military measures necessitated by it; and it is equally apparent that the substitution of military for judicial measures for the enforcement of such claims must be attended by great inconvenience, embarrassments and injuries. Under these circumstances, it seems quite clear that the substantial rights of loyal masters are still best protected by
receiving such fugitives, as well as fugitives from disloyal masters, into the service of the United States, and employing them under such organizations and in such occupations as circumstances may suggest or require. Of course a record should be kept showing the names and descriptions of the fugitives, the names and characters, as loyal or disloyal, of their masters, and such facts as may be necessary to a correct understanding of the circumstances of each case.
"After tranquility shall have been restored upon the return of peace, Congress will doubtless properly provide for all the persons thus received into the service of the Union, and for a just compensation to loyal masters. In this way only, it would seeni, can the duty and safety of the Government and just rights of all be fully reconciled and harmonized. You will, therefore, consider yourself instructed to govern your future action in respect to fugitives from service by the premises herein stated, and will report from time to time, and at least twice in each month, your action in the premises to this Department You will, however, neither authorize nor permit any interference by the troops under your command with the servants of peaceable citizens in a house or field, nor will you in any manner encourage such citizens to leave the lawful service of their masters, nor will you, except in cases where the public good may seem to require it, prevent the voluntary return of any fugitive to the service from which be may have escaped."
The Act of Congress to which allusion has already been made, as providing for the confiscation of the estates of persons in open rebellion against the Government, limited the penalty to property actually employed in the service of the rebellion, with the knowledge and consent of its owners; and, instead of emancipating slaves thus employed, left the disposition to be made of them to be determined by the United States Courts, or by subsequent legislation