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Life and Works of Abraham Lincoln 

Commemorative Edition 

Edited by Marion Mills Miller, Litt. D, 


In Ten Volumes: Volume VII 

Digitized by the Internet Arclnive 

in 2010 witln funding from 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services through an Indiana State Library LSTA Grant 


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State Papers 



Abraham Lincoln 

New York 

The Current Literature Publishing Co. 


Copyright, 1907, Current Literature Publishing Company 



Preface xi 


Abraham Lincoln. By James Russell Lowell xiii 
The First American. Extract from Ode Recited 
at the Harvard Commemoration, July 21, 1863. 
By James Russell Lowell . . . . xliii 
Lincoln's Personal Appearance. By William H. 

Herndon xlvi 

President Lincoln's State Papers. By Henry 
J. Raymond xlix 

General Messages to Congress : 

Message to Congress in Special Session. July 

4, 1861 

Annual Message. December 3, 1861 . 
Annual Message. December i, 1862 . 
Annual Message. December 8, 1863 . 
Annual Message. December 6, 1864 . 




Proclamations, Messages, etc., Concerning Slav- 

Message to Congress Recommending Com- 
pensated Emancipation. March 6, 1862 - . . 129 
Message to Congress on Passage of Act to 
Abolish Slavery in District of Columbia. April 

16, 1862 131 

Proclamation Revoking General Hunter's Order 
of Military Emancipation. May 19, 1862 . . 132 
Message to Congress Enclosing Draft of Bill 
to Compensate States That Abolish Slavery. 

July 14, 1862 135 

Message to Congress on Act to Confiscate 
Property of Rebels, etc. July 17, 1862 . 136 

Order Authorizing Employment of "Contra- 
bands." July 22, 1862 . . o . .141 



Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Sep- 
tember 22, 1862 142 

Final Emancipation Proclamation. January i, 

1863 145 

Message to Congress on Freedmen's Aid So- 
cieties. December 17. 1863 .... 148 
Order to Bring Back Negro Colonists from 
San Domingo. February i, 1864 . . . 148 

Proclamations of Days of Thanksgiving, Fast- 
ing. AND Prayer : 

Proclamation of a National Fast-Day. August 

12. 1861 153 

Proclamation of Celebration of Washington's 
Birthday. February 19. 1862 .... 154 
Proclamation Recommending Thanksgiving for 

Victories. April 10, 1862 155 

Proclamation of a National Fast-Day. March 

30. 1863 156 

Announcement of News from Gettysburg. July 

4. 1863 , . . . . _ . . . .158 

Proclamation for Thanksgiving. July 15, 

1863 158 

Proclamation for Thanksgiving. October 3, 

1863 . . . 159 

Recommendation of Thanksgiving for Union 
Success in East Tennessee. December 7, 

1863 161 

Recommendation of Thanksgiving. May 9, 

1864 162 

Proclamation for a Day of Prayer. July 7, 

1864 162 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving. September 3, 

1864 164 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving. October 20, 
1864 165 

Proclamations, Messages, and General Military 
Orders Relating to the Conduct of the War: 

Cabinet Conference on Provisioning Fort 

Sumter. March 15, 1861 169 

Message to Senate Refusing to Make Public 



Despatches of Major Anderson. March 26, 

1861 173 

Cabinet Conference for Relief of Fort Sumter. 

March 29, 1861 173 

Proclamation Calling 75,000 Militia and Con- 
vening Congress in Extra Session. April 15, 

1861 173 

Proclamation of Blockade in South Carolina, 
Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Loui- 
siana, and Texas. April 19, 1861 . . . 175 
Supplementary Proclamation, Extending Block- 
ade to Virginia and North Carolina. April 27, 

1861 177 

Proclamation Calling for 42,034 Volunteers, 
and an Increase in Regular Army and Navy 

Forces. May 3, 1861 177 

Proclamation Suspending Writ of Habeas 
Corpus on the Florida Keys. May 10, 1861 . 179 
Memoranda of Military Policy Suggested by 
the Bull Run Defeat. July 23, 2y, 1861 . , 179 
Message to House of Representatives in re 
Imprisonment of Baltimore Police Commis- 
sioners. July 27, 1861 181 

Proclamation Forbidding Intercourse with 
Rebel States. August 16, 1861 . . . 181 

Memorandum for a Plan of Campaign. About 

October i, 1861 183 

President's General War Order No. i. Janu- 
ary 27, 1862 186 

President's Special War Order No. i. Janu- 
ary 31, 1862 186 

Amnesty to Political Prisoners. February 14, 

1862 187 

Executive Order No. 2. In Relation to State 
Prisoners. February 27, 1862 .... 189 
President's General War Order No. 2. March 

8, 1862 189 

President's General War Order No. 3. March 

8, 1862 190 

President's Special War Order No. 3. March 

II, 1862 191 

Order Taking Military Possession of Rail- 
roads. May 25, 1862 192 



Message to Congress Assuming Responsibility 
for Acts of Secretary Cameron for Which He 
Had Been Censured by the House. May 26, 

1862 .193 

Order Constituting the Army of Virginia. 
June 26, 1862 ........ 197 

Letter to State Governors Calling for Troops. 

June 30. 1862 198 

Proclamation Concerning Taxes in Rebellious 

States. July i, 1862 201 

Proclamation to Rebels to Return to Their 

Allegiance. July 25, 1862 202 

Proclamation Suspending the Writ of Habeas 
Corpus Because of Resistance to Draft. Sep- 
tember 24, 1862 . .^ . . . . . 203 
Order Establishing Provisional Court in Louisi- 
ana. October 20, 1862 204 

Order Concerning Confiscation Act. November 

13, 1862 204 

Order for Sabbath Observance. November 15, 

1862 204 

Congratulations to the Army of the Potomac. 

December 22, 1862 205 

Opinion on the Admission of West Virginia 
into the Union. December 31, 1862 . . 206 
Proclamation of Amnesty to Returning Deser- 
ters. March 10, 1863 208 

Proclamations Concerning Commercial Inter- 
course. March 31, April 2, 1863 . . . 209 
Proclamation Admitting West Virginia into 
the Union. April 20, 1863 . . . . 209 

Proclamation Concerning Liability of Aliens 
to Military Service. May 8, 1863 . . . 209 
Call for 100,000 Militia to Serve Six Months. 

June 15, 1863 212 

Order of Retaliation for Rebel Mistreatment of 

Prisoners. July 30, 1863 213 

Order Modifying Prohibition of Export of 
Arms, etc. September 4, 1863 .... 214 
Proclamation Suspending Writ of Habeas 
Corpus throughout the Union. September 15, 

1863 214 

Call for 300,000 Volunteers. October 17, 1863 . 215 



Opinion on the Loss of General R. H. Milroy's 
Division. October 27, 1863 .... 217 

Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. 

December 8, 1863 218 

Message to Congress on Bounties. January 5, 

1864 222 

Order for a Draft of 500,000 Men. February 

I, 1864 223 

Indorsement on the Modifying Order Relating 
to Methodist Churches in Rebel States. Febru- 
ary 13, 1862 224 

Memoranda About Military Control of 

Churches. March 4, 1864 224 

Proclamation Restricting Amnesty to Persons 

at Large. j\Iarch 26, 1864 .... 225 

Offer of Troops by State Governors. April 26, 

1864 227 

Message to Congress on Relief of East Tennes- 
see Loyalists. April 28, 1864 .... 228 
Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus in Ken- 
tucky. July 5, 1864 229 

Proclamation Concerning Reconstruction. July 
8, 1864 ........ 230 

Announcement Concerning Terms of Peace. 

July 18, 1864 232 

Proclamation Calling for 500,000 Volunteers. 
July 18, 1864 . . . . . . ,232 

Orders of Thanks and Rejoicing for Union 
Victories, Won under Admiral Farragut and 
Major-Generals Canby, Granger, and Sherman. 

September 3, 1864 234 

Order of Thanks to Hundred-day Troops from 
Ohio. September 10, 1864 .... 236 
Order of Thanks to Hundred-day Troops from 
Indiana. Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Octo- 
ber I, 1864 237 

Call for 300,000 Volunteers. December 19, 

1864 238 

Order to Commanding Officers in West Tennes- 
see. February 13, 1865 239 

Proclamation Offering Pardon to Deserters. 

March 11, 1865 240 

Proclamation of Blockade. April 11, 1865 . 240 



Messages, Despatches, Etc., on Foreign Affairs: 
Message to the Senate on Canadian Boundary 
Dispute. March i6, 1861 . . . . . 245 
ISIessage to Congress on London Industrial 
Exhibition. July 16, 1861 . . . . 245 

Alessage to Congress on Fisheries Commission. 

July 19, 1861 246 

Reply to the Tycoon of Japan on Opening 
Treaty Ports. August i, 1861 .... 246 

Letter to the Viceroy of Egypt on His Punish- 
ment of Persecutors of a Missionary Agent. 
October 11, 1861 . . . . . . .247 

IMessage to Congress on Treaty with Great 
Britain to Suppress Slave Trade. June 10, 

1862 .248 

Message to the House of Representatives on 
Relations with the Rival Governments of New 
Granada. January 14, 1863 .... 248 
Proclamation of Retaliation for Refusal of Port 
Privileges to American War Vessels Abroad, 
April II, 1865 250 

Messages on Financial, Indian, and Adminis- 
trative Affairs : 

Message to the Senate on Act to Permit Circu- 
lation of Bank-Notes of Small Denominations in 
the District of Columbia. June 23, 1862 . . 255 
Message to the Senate on the Indian Massacre 
in Minnesota. December 11, 1862 . . . 257 
Message to Congress on Issue of United States 

Notes. January 17, 1863 259 

Message to Congress on Electoral Count. Feb- 
ruary 8, 1865 261 

Proclamation Concerning Supply of Arms to 
Indians by Foreigners. March 17, 1865 . . 262 


The present volume contains the state papers 
of President Lincoln which are not specifically 
addressed to an individual person in his proper 
name. Papers so addressed will be found in 
Letters, Volumes VII, VIII, and IX of the pres- 
ent edition, entered under the names of the ad- 
dressees, which are arranged in alphabetical 

State papers relating to military and civil 
appointments, public congratulations, etc., will 
be found in Letters, hsted under the names of 
the persons to whom they specifically refer. 

Documents issued by members of the Cabinet 
or other officials are included among the state 
papers when they convey the President's in- 
structions or express his opinions. 

A number of state papers have been excluded 
from the present edition because their subject- 
matter is of no historical importance, their style 
does not express Lincoln's personality, and even 
the fact of their existence gives no indication of 
executive ability beyond the perfunctory per- 
formance of routine duties. Such are messages 
to Congress transmitting documents which had 
been requested by that body, executive action, 
as required by the constitution, on acts of Con- 
gress, official endorsements of the reports and 
findings of commissions, etc., in whose labors 
the President had no part, formal receptions of 
foreign ministers, etc. In certain instances where 


documents have only historical value, an abstract 
of their contents is given. However, if even as 
much as a phrase is expressive of Lincoln's per- 
sonality, it is quoted in his exact words. 

The state papers are arranged under the fol- 
lowing heads : 

1. General Messages to Congress; 

2. Proclamations, Messages, etc.. Concerning 
Slavery ; 

3. Proclamations and Recommendations of 
Days of Thanksgiving, Fasting, and Prayer; 

4. Proclamations, Messages to Congress, and 
Military Orders Relating to the Conduct of the 
War ; 

5. Messages and Despatches on Foreign Af- 
fairs ; 

6. Messages and proclamations on Financial, 
Indian, and Administrative Affairs. 

Some documents could with propriety appear 
in more than one class : for example, the proc- 
lamations regarding slavery are necessarily con- 
nected w^ith the condiict of the war — military 
necessity being advanced as the reason for their 
promulgation. One classification, therefore, 
would be logically sufficient, but Lincoln's pre- 
eminent fame as the great emancipator justifies 
from a practical point of view the segregation 
of those papers relating to slavery. For a sim- 
ilar reason the proclamations of days of thanks- 
giving, fasting, and prayer have been taken out 
of the military papers and put in a class by them- 
selves. They present Lincoln's official recogni- 
tion of a divine guidance in the affairs of 

In each division the papers are arranged in 
chronological order. 



Abraham Lincoln.* 

By James Russell Lowell. 

There have been many painful crises since 
the impatient vanity of South Carohna hurried 
ten prosperous Commonwealths into a crime 
whose assured retribution was to leave them 
either at the mercy of the nation they had 
wronged, or of the anarchy they had summoned 
but could not control, when no thoughtful Amer- 
ican opened his morning paper without dreading 
to find that he had no longer a country to love 
and honor. Whatever the result of the convul- 
sion whose first shocks were beginning to be 
felt, there would still be enough square miles of 
earth for elbow-room ; but that ineffable senti- 
ment made up of memory and hope, of instinct 
and tradition, which swells every man's heart 
and shapes his thought, though perhaps never 
present to his consciousness, would be gone from 
it, leaving it common earth and nothing more. 
Men might gather rich crops from it, but that 
ideal harvest of priceless associations would be 
reaped no longer; that fine virtue which sent up 
messages of courage and security from every 
sod of it would have evaporated beyond recall. 
We should be irrevocably cut off from our past, 

* Published in the North America)! Review for January, 1864. 



and be forced to splice the ragged ends of our 
lives upon whatever new conditions chance might 
leave dangling for us. 

We confess that we had our doubts at first 
whether the patriotism of our people were not 
too narrowly provincial to embrace the propor- 
tions of national peril. We felt an only too natu- 
ral distrust of immense public meetings and 
enthusiastic cheers. 

That a reaction should follow the holiday en- 
thusiasm with which the war was entered-on, 
that it should follow soon, and that the slackening 
of public spirit should be proportionate to the 
previous over-tension, might well be foreseen by 
all who had studied human nature or history. 
Men acting gregariously are always in extremes; 
as they are one moment capable of higher cour- 
age, so they are liable, the next, to baser depres- 
sion, and it is often a matter of chance w^hether 
numbers shall multiply confidence or discourage- 
ment. Nor does deception lead more surely to 
distrust of men, than self-deception to suspicion 
of principles. The only faith that wears well and 
holds its color in all weathers is that which is 
woven of conviction and set with the sharp mor- 
dant of experience. Enthusiasm is good material 
for the orator, but the statesman needs something 
more durable to work in, — must be able to rely 
on the deliberate reason and consequent firmness 
of the people, without which that presence of 
mind, no less essential in times of moral than of 
material peril, will be wanting at the critical mo- 
ment. Would this fervor of the Free States hold 
out? Was it kindled by a just feeling of the value 
of constitutional liberty? Had it body enough to 
withstand the inevitable dampening of checks, re- 


verses, delays? Had our population intelligence 
enough to comprehend that the choice was be- 
tween order and anarchy, between the equilib- 
rium of a government by law and the tussle of 
misrule by prmiwnciamicntof Could a war be 
maintained without the ordinary stimulus of 
hatred and plunder, and with the impersonal loy- 
alty of principle? These were serious questions, 
and with no precedent to aid in answering them. 
At the beginning of the war there was, indeed, 
occasion for the miost anxious apprehension. 
A President known to be infected with the polit- 
ical heresies, and suspected of sympathy with 
the treason, of the Southern conspirators, had 
just surrendered the reins^ we will not say of 
power, but of chaos, to a successor known only 
as the representative of a party whose leaders, 
with long training in opposition, had none in 
the conduct of affairs ; an empty treasury was 
called on to supply resources beyond precedent 
in the history of finance ; the trees were yet grow- 
ing and the iron unmined with which a navy 
was to be built and armored; officers without 
discipline were to make a mob into an army; 
and, above all, the public opinion of Europe, 
echoed and reinforced with every vague hint and 
every specious argument of despondency by a 
powerful faction at home, was either contemp- 
tuously sceptical or actively hostile. It would be 
hard to overestimate the force of this latter ele- 
ment of disintegration and discouragement 
among a people where every citizen at home, and 
every soldier in the field, is a reader of news- 
papers. The pedlers of rumor in the North were 
the most effective allies of the rebellion. A 
nation can be liable to no more insidious treach- 


ery than that of the telegraph, sending hourly- 
its electric thrill of panic along the remotest 
nerves of the community, till the excited imagi- 
nation makes every real danger loom heightened 
with its unreal double. 

And even if we look only at more palpable 
difficulties, the problem to be solved by our civil 
war was so vast, both in its immediate relations 
and its future consequences ; the conditions of 
its solution were so intricate and so greatly de- 
pendent on incalculable and uncontrollable con- 
tingencies ; so many of the data, whether for 
hope or fear, were, from their novelty, incapable 
of arrangement under any of the categories of 
historical precedent, that there were moments of 
crisis when the firmest believer in the strength 
and sufficiency of the democratic theory of gov- 
ernment might well hold his breath in vague 
apprehension of disaster. Our teachers of polit- 
ical philosophy, solemnly arguing from the prece- 
dent of some petty Grecian, Italian, or Flemish 
city, whose long periods of aristocracy were 
broken now and then by awkward parentheses of 
mob, had always taught us that democracies were 
incapable of the sentiment of loyalty, of concen- 
trated and prolonged efifort, of far-reaching con- 
ceptions ; were absorbed in material interests ; im- 
patient of regular, and much more of exceptional 
restraint; had no natural nucleus of gravitation, 
nor any forces but centrifugal ; were always on 
the verge of civil war, and slunk at last into the 
natural almshouse of bankrupt popular govern- 
ment, a military despotism. Here was indeed a 
dreary outlook for persons who knew democracy, 
not by rubbing shoulders with it lifelong, but 
merely from books, and America only by the 


report of some fellow-Briton, who, having eaten 
a bad dinner or lost a carpet-bag here, had writ- 
ten to The Tunes demanding redress^ and draw- 
ing a mournful inference of democratic instabil- 
ity. Nor were men wanting among ourselves who 
had so steeped their brains in London literature 
as to mistake Cockneyism for European culture, 
and contempt of their country for cosmopolitan 
breadth of view, and who, owing all they had 
and all they were to democracy, thought it had 
an air of high-breeding to join in the shallow 
epicedium that our bubble had burst. 

But beside any disheartening influences which 
might affect the timid or the despondent, there 
were reasons enough of settled gravity against 
any over-confidence of hope. A war — v\hich, 
whether we consider the expanse of the territory 
at stake, the hosts brought into the field, or the 
reach of the principles involved, may fairly be 
reckoned the most momentous of modern times — 
was to be waged by a people divided at home, 
unnerved by fifty years of peace, under a chief 
magistrate without experience and without repu- 
tation, whose every measure was sure to be cun- 
ningly hampered by a jealous and unscrupulous 
minority, and who, while dealing with unheard-of 
complications at home, must soothe a hostile 
neutrality abroad, waiting only a pretext to be- 
come war. All this was to be done without warn- 
ing and Vvithout preparation, while at the same 
time a social revolution was to be accomplished 
in the political condition of four millions of 
people, by softening the prejudices, allaying the 
fears, and gradually obtaining the cooperation, 
of their unwilling liberators. Surely, if ever 
there were an occasion_ when the heightened 


imagination of the historian might see Destiny- 
visible intervening in human affairs, here was 
a knot worthy of her shears. Never, perhaps, 
was any system of government tried by so con- 
tinuous and searching a strain as ours during 
the last three years ; never has any shown itself 
stronger ; and never could that strength be so 
directly traced to the virtue and intelligence of 
the people, — to that general enlightenment and 
pronipt efficiency of public opinion possible only 
under the influence of a political framework like 
our own. We find it hard to understand how 
even a foreigner should be blind to the grandeur 
of the combat of ideas that has been going on 
here, — to the heroic energy, persistency, and 
self-reliance of a nation proving that it knows 
how much dearer greatness is than mere power; 
and we own that it is impossible for us to con- 
ceive the mental and moral condition of the 
American who does not feel his spirit braced and 
heightened by being even a spectator of such 
qualities and achievements. That a steady pur- 
pose and a definite aim have been given to the 
jarring forces which, at the beginning of the war, 
spent themselves in the discussion of schemes 
which could only become operative, if at all, 
after the war was over ; that a popular excitement 
has been slowly intensified into an earnest na- 
tional will ; that a somewhat impracticable moral 
sentiment has been made the unconscious instru- 
ment of a practical moral end ; that the treason 
of covert enemies, the jealousy of rivals, the 
unwise zeal of friends, have been made not only 
useless for mischief, but even useful for good ; 
that the conscientious sensitiveness of England 
to the horrors of civil conflict has been prevented 


from complicating a domestic with a foreign 
war; — all these results, any one of which might 
suffice to prove greatness in a ruler, have been 
mainly due to the good sense, the good-humor, 
the sagacity, the large-mindedness, and the un- 
selfish honesty of the unknown man whom a 
blind fortune, as it seemed, had lifted from the 
crowd to the most dangerous and difficult emi- 
nence of modern times. It is by presence of 
mind in untried emergencies that the native metal 
of a man is tested ; it is by the sagacity to 
see, and the fearless honesty to admit, Vv'hatever 
of truth there may be in an adverse opinion, in 
order more convincingly to expose the fallacy 
that lurks behind it, that a reasoner at length 
gains for his mere statement of a fact the force of 
argument; it is by a wise forecast which allows 
hostile combinations to go so far as by the in- 
evitable reaction to become elements of his own 
power, that a politician proves his genius for 
statecraft; and especially it is by so gently guid- 
ing public sentiment that he seems to follow it, 
by so yielding doubtful points that he can be 
firm without seeming obstinate in essential ones, 
and thus gain the advantages of compromise 
without the weakness of concession ; by so in- 
stinctively comprehending the temper and preju- 
dices of a people as to make them gradually con- 
scious of the superior wisdom of his freedom 
from temper and prejudice, — it is by qualities 
such as these that a magistrate shows himself 
worthy to be chief in a commonwealth of free- 
men. And it is for qualities such as these that 
we firmly believe History will rank Mr. Lincoln 
among the most prudent of statesmen and the 
most successful of rulers. If we wish to appre- 


ciate him, we have only to conceive the inevitable 
chaos in which we should now be weltering, had 
a weak man or an unwise one been chosen in his 

"Bare is back," says the Norse proverb, "with- 
out brother behind it"; and this is, by analogy^ 
true of an elective magistracy. The hereditary 
ruler in any critical emergency may reckon on 
the inexhaustible resources of prestige, of senti- 
ment, of superstition, of dependent interest, 
while the new man must slowly and painfully 
create all these out of the unwilling material 
around him, by superiority of character, by 
patient singleness of purpose, by sagacious pre- 
sentiment of popular tendencies and instinctive 
sympathy with the national character. Mr. Lin- 
coln's task was one of peculiar and exceptional 
difficulty. Long habit had accustomed the Amer- 
ican people to the notion of a party in power, 
and of a President as its creature and organ, 
while the more vital fact, that the executive for 
the time being represents the abstract idea of 
government as a permanent principle superior 
to all party and all private interest, had grad- 
ually become unfamiliar. They had so long seen 
the public policy more or less directed by views 
of party, and often even of personal advantage, 
as to be ready to suspect the motives of a chief 
magistrate compelled, for the first time in our 
history, to feel himself the head and hand of a 
great nation, and to act upon the fundamental 
maxim, laid down by all publicists, that the first 
duty of a government is to defend and maintain 
its own existence. Accordingly, a powerful 
weapon seemed to be put into the hands of the 
opposition by the necessity under which the ad- 


ministration found itself of applying this^ old 
truth to new relations. Nor were the opposition 
his only nor his most dangerous opponents. 

The Republicans had carried the country upon 
an issue in which ethics were more directly and 
visibly mingled with politics than usual. Their 
leaders were trained to a method of oratory which 
relied for its effect rather on the moral sense than 
the understanding. Their arguments were 
drawn, not so much from experience as from 
general principles of right and wrong. When 
the war came, their system continued to be ap- 
plicable and effective, for here again the reason 
of the people was to be reached and kindled 
through their sentiments. It was one of those 
periods of excitement, gathering, contagious, 
universal, which, while they last, exalt and clarify 
the minds of men, giving to the mere words 
country, human rights, democracy, a meaning and 
a force beyond that of sober and logical argu- 
ment. They were convictions, maintained and 
defended by the supreme logic of passion. That 
penetrating fire ran in and roused those primary 
instincts that make their lair in the dens and 
caverns of the mind. What is called the great 
popular heart was awakened, that indefinable 
something which may be, according to circum- 
stances, the highest reason or the most brutish 
unreason. But enthusiasm, once cold, can never 
be warmed over into anything better than cant, — 
and phrases, when once the inspiration that filled 
them with beneficent power has ebbed away, 
retain only that semblance of meaning which 
enables them to supplant reason in hasty minds. 
Among the lessons taught by the French Revolu- 
tion there is none sadder or more striking than 


this, that you may make everything else out of 
the passions of men except 3. pohtical system that 
will work, and that there is nothing so pitilessly 
and unconsciously cruel as sincerity formulated 
into dogma. It is always demoralizing to extend 
the domain of sentiment over questions where it 
has no legitimate jurisdiction; and perhaps the 
severest strain upon ]\Ir. Lincoln was in resisting 
a tendency of his own supporters which chimed 
with his own private desires while wholly op- 
posed to his convictions of what would be wise 

The change which three years have brought 
about is too remarkable to be passed over with- 
out comment, too weighty in its lesson not to 
be laid to heart. Never did a President enter 
upon office with less means at his command, out- 
side his own strength of heart and steadiness 
of understanding, for inspiring confidence in the 
people, and so winning it for himself, than Mr. 
Lincoln. All that was known of him was that 
he was a good stump-speaker, nominated for his 
availability, — that is, because he had no history, — 
and chosen by a party with whose more extreme 
opinions he v/as not in sympathy. It might well 
be feared that a man past fifty, against whom the 
ingenuity of hostile partisans could rake up no 
accusation, must be lacking in manliness of 
character, in decision of principle, in strength 
of will ; that a man who was at best only the 
representative of a party, and who yet did not 
fairly represent even that, would fail of political, 
much more of popular, support. And certainly 
no one ever entered upon office with so few 
resources of power in the past, and so many 
materials of weakness in the present, as Mr. Lin- 


coin. Even in that half of the Union which 
acknowledged him as President, there was a 
large, and at that time dangerous minority, that 
hardly admitted his claim to the office, and even 
in the party that elected him there was also a 
large minority that suspected him of being se- 
cretly a communicant with the church of Lao- 
dicea. All that he did was sure to be virulently 
attacked as ultra by one side; all that he left 
undone to be stigmatized as proof of lukewarm- 
ness and backsliding by the other. Meanwhile 
he was to carry on a truly colossal war by means 
of both; he was to disengage the country from 
diplomatic entanglements of unprecedented peril 
undisturbed by the help or the hindrance of 
either, and to win from the crowning dangers of 
his administration, in the confidence of the peo- 
ple, the means of his safety and their own. He 
has contrived to do it, and perhaps none of our 
Presidents since Washington has stood so firm 
in the confidence of the people as he does after 
three years of stormy administration. 

Mr. Lincoln's policy was a tentative one, and 
rightly so. He laid down no programme which 
must compel him to be either inconsistent or 
unwise, no cast-iron theorem to which circum- 
stances must be fitted as they rose, or else be 
useless to his ends. He seemed to have chosen 
Mazarin's motto, Le temps et moi."^ The mm, to 
be sure, was not very prominent at first; but it 
has grown more and more so, till the world is 
beginning to be persuaded that it stands for a 
character of marked individuality and capacity 
for affairs. Time was his prime-minister, and, 

* Time and I. Cardinal Mazarin was prime-minister of Louis 
XIV. of France. 


we began to think, at one period, his general-in- 
chief also. At first he was so slow that he tired 
out all those who see no evidence of progress 
but in blowing up the engine ; then he was so 
fast that he took the breath away from those 
w^ho think there is no getting on safely while 
there is a spark of fire under the boilers. God is 
the only being who has time enough ; but a pru- 
dent man, who knows how to seize occasion, can 
commonly make a shift to find as much as he 
needs. ]\Ir. Lincoln, as it seems to us in review- 
ing his career, though we have sometimes in our 
impatience thought otherwise, has always waited, 
as a wise man should, till the right moment 
brought up all his reserves. Semper nociiit dif- 
ferrc paratis/^ is a sound axiom, but the really 
efficacious man will also be sure to know when 
he is iwt ready, and be firm against all persuasion 
and reproach till he is. 

One would be apt to think, from some of the 
criticisms made on Mr. Lincoln's course by those 
who mainly agree with him in principle, that the 
chief object of a statesman should be rather to 
proclaim his adhesion to certain doctrines, than 
to achieve their triumph by quietly accomplishing 
his ends. In our opinion, there is no more 
unsafe politician than a conscientiously rigid 
doctrinaire, nothing more sure to end in disaster 
than a theoretic scheme of policy that admits 
of no pliability for contingencies. True, 
there is a popular image of an impossible 
He, in whose plastic hands the submissive des- 
tinies of mankind become as wax, and to whose 
commanding necessity the toughest facts yield 
with the graceful pliancy of fiction; but in real 

* It is always bad for those who are ready to procrastinate. 


life we commonly find that the men who control 
circumstances, as it is called, are those who have 
learned to allow for the influence of their eddies, 
and have the nerve to turn them to account at 
the happy instant. Mr. Lincoln's perilous task 
has been to carry a rather shaky raft through 
the rapids, making fast the unrulier logs as he 
could snatch opportunity, and the country is to 
be congratulated that he did not think it his duty 
to run straight at all hazards, but cautiously to 
assure himself with his setting-pole where the 
main current was, and keep steadily to that. He 
is still in wild water, but we have faith that his 
skill and sureness of eye will bring him out right 
at last. 

A curious, and, as we think, not inapt parallel, 
might be drawn between Mr. Lincoln and one 
of the most striking figures in modern history, — 
Henry IV. of France. The career of the latter 
may be more picturesque, as that of a daring 
captain ahvays is ; bur in all its vicissitudes there 
is nothing more romantic than that sudden 
change, as by a rub of Aladdin's lamp, from 
the attorney's ofiice in a country town of Illinois 
to the helm of a great nation in times like these. 
The analogy between the characters and circum- 
stances of the two men is in many respects 
singularly close. Succeeding to a rebellion 
rather than a crown, Llenry's chief material de- 
pendence was the Huguenot party, whose doc- 
trines sat upon him v/ith a looseness distasteful 
certainly, if not suspicious, to the more fanatical 
among them. King only in name over the 
greater part of France, and v/ith his capital 
barred against him, it yet gradually became clear 
to the more far-seeing even of the Catholic 


party that he was the only centre of order and 
legitimate authority round which France could 
reorganize itself. \\'hile preachers who held the 
divine right of kings made the churches of Paris 
ring with declamations in favor of democracy 
rather than submit to the heretic dog of a Bear- 
nois,* — much as our soi-disout Democrats have 
lately been preaching the divine right of slavery, 
and denouncing the heresies of the Declaration 
of Independence, — Henry bore both parties m 
hand till he was convinced that only one 
course of action could possibly combine his own 
interests with those of France. Meanwhile the 
Protestants believed somewhat doubtfully that 
he was theirs, the Catholics hoped somewhat 
doubtfully that he would be theirs, and Henry 
himself turned aside remonstrance, advice, and 
curiosity alike with a jest or a proverb (if a little 
high, he liked them none the worse), joking con- 
tinually as his manner was. We have seen Mr. 
Lincoln contemptuously compared to Sancho 
Panza by persons incapable of appreciating one 
of the deepest pieces of wisdom in the profound- 
est romance ever written ; namely, that, while 
Don Quixote was incomparable in theoretic and 
ideal statesmanship, Sancho, with his stock of 
proverbs, the ready money of human experience, 
made the best possible practical governor. 
Henry IV. was as full of wise saws and modern 
instances as Mr. Lincoln, but beneath all this 
was the thoughtful, practical, humane, and 
thoroughly earnest man, around whom the frag- 
ments of France were to gather themselves till 
she took her place again as a planet of the first 

* Henry came from the province of Beam. 


magnitude in the European system. In one re- 
spect Mr. Lincoln was more fortunate than 
Henry. However some may think him wanting in 
zeal, the most fanatical can find no taint of apos- 
tasy in any measure of his, nor can the most 
bitter charge him with being influenced by mo- 
tives of personal interest. The leading distinc- 
tion between the policies of the two is one 
of circumstances. Henry went over to the 
nation; Mr. Lincoln has steadily drawn the 
nation over to him. One left a united France ; 
the other, we hope and believe, will leave a re- 
united /\merica. We leave our readers to trace 
the further points of difference and resemblance 
for themselves, merely suggesting a general 
similarity which has often occurred to us. One 
only point of melancholy interest we will allow 
ourselves to touch upon. That Mr. Lincoln is 
not handsome nor elegant, we learn from cer- 
tain English tourists who would consider similar 
revelations in regard to Queen Victoria as 
thoroughly American in their want of hicnscance. 
It is no concern of ours, nor does it affect his 
fitness for the high place he so worthily occupies ; 
but he is certainly as fortunate as Henry in the 
matter of good looks, if we may trust contem- 
porary evidence. Mr. Lincoln has also been re- 
proached with Americanism by some not un- 
friendly British critics ; but, with all deference, we 
cannot say that we like him any the worse for it, 
or see in it any reason why he should govern 
Americans the less wisely. 

People of more sensitive organizations may 
be shocked, but wx are glad that in this our true 
war of independence, which is to free us for- 
ever from the Old World, we have had at the 


head of our affairs a man whom America made, 
as God made Adam, out of the very earth, un- 
ancestored, unprivileged, unknown, to show us 
how much truths how much magnanimity, and 
how much statecraft await the call of opportunity 
in simple manhood when it believes in the 
justice of God and the worth of man. Conven- 
tionalities are all very well in their proper place, 
but they shrivel at the touch of nature like stub- 
ble in the fire. The genius that sways a nation 
by its arbitrary will seems less august to us 
than that which multiplies and reinforces itself 
in the instincts and convictions of an entire peo- 
ple. Autocracy may have something in it more 
melodramatic than this, but falls far short of it 
in human value and interest. 

Experience vvould have bred in us a rooted dis- 
trust of improvised statesmanship, even if we 
did not believe politics to be a science, which, if 
it cannot always command men of special apti- 
tude and great powers, at least, demands the long 
and steady application of the best powers of such 
men as it can command to master even its first 
principles. It is curious, that, in a country which 
boasts of its intelligence, the theory should be 
so generally held that the most complicated of 
human contrivances, and one which every day 
becomes more complicated, can be worked at 
sight by any man able to talk for an hour or two 
without stopping to think. 

Mr. Lincoln is sometimes claimed as an ex- 
ample of a ready-made ruler. But no case could 
well be less in point ; for, besides that he was 
a man of such fair-mindedness as is always the 
raw material of wisdom, he had in his profes- 
sion a training precisely the opposite of that to 


which a partisan is subjected. His experience 
as a lawyer compelled him not only to see that 
there is a principle underlying every phenomenon 
in human affairs, but that there are always two 
sides to every question, both of which must be 
fully understood in order to understand either, 
and that it is of greater advantage to an advo- 
cate to appreciate the strength than the weakness 
of his antagonist's position. Nothing is more 
remarkable than the unerring tact with which, 
in his debate with Mr. Douglas, he went straight 
to the reason of the question ; nor have we ever 
had a more striking lesson in political tactics 
than the fact, that opposed to a man exceptionally 
adroit in using popular prejudice and bigotry 
to his purpose, exceptionally unscrupulous in 
appealing to those baser motives that turn a meet- 
ing of citizens into a mob of barbarians, he 
should yet have won his case before a jury of 
the people. Mr. Lincoln was as far as possible 
from an impromptu politician. His Vv^isdom was 
made up of a knowledge of things as well as 
of men; his sagacity resulted from a clear per- 
ception and honest acknowledgment of difficul- 
ties, which enabled him to see that the only dura- 
ble triumph of political opinion is based, not on 
any abstract right, but upon so much of justice, 
the highest attainable at any given moment in 
human affairs, as may be had in the balance of 
mutual concession. Doubtless he had an ideal, 
but it was the ideal of a practical statesman, — 
to aim at the best, and to take the next best, 
if he is lucky enough to get even that. His slow, 
but singularly masculine, intelligence taught him 
that precedent is only another name for embodied 
experience, and that it counts for even more in 


the guidance of communities of men than in that 
of the individual life. He was not a man who 
held it good public economy to pull down on the 
mere chance of rebuilding better. Mr. Lincoln's 
faith in God was qualified by a very well-founded 
distrust of the wisdom of man. Perhaps it was 
his want of self-confidence that more than any- 
thing "else won him the unlimited confidence of 
the people, for they felt that there would be 
no need of retreat from any position he had 
deliberately taken. The cautious, but steady, 
advance of his policy during the war was like 
that of a Roman army. He left behind him a 
firm road on which public confidence could fol- 
low ; he took America with him where he went ; 
what he gained he occupied, and his advanced 
posts became colonies. The very homeliness of 
his genius was its distinction. His kingship 
was conspicuous by its workday homespun. 
Never was ruler so absolute as he, nor so little 
conscious of it ; for he was the incarnate common- 
sense of the people. With all that tenderness 
of nature whose sweet sadness touched whoever 
saw him with something of its own pathos, there 
was no trace of sentimentalism in his speech or 
action. He seems to have had but one rule of 
conduct, always that of practical and successful 
politics, to let himself be guided by events, when 
they were sure to bring him out where he wished 
to go, though by what seemed to unpractical 
minds, which let go the possible to grasp at the 
desirable, a longer road. 

Undoubtedly the highest function of states- 
manship is by degrees to accommodate the con- 
duct of communities to ethical laws, and to sub- 
ordinate the conflicting self-interests of the day 


to higher and more permanent concerns. But 
it is on the understanding, and not on the senti- 
ment, of a nation that all safe legislation must 
be based. Voltaire's saying, that "a considera- 
tion of petty circumstances is the tomb of great 
things," may be true of individual men, but it 
certainly is not true of governments. It is by 
a multitude of such considerations, each in itself 
trifling, but all together weighty, that the framers 
of policy can alone divine what is practicable 
and therefore wise. The imputation of incon- 
sistency is one to which every sound politician 
and every honest thinker must sooner or later 
subject himself. The foolish and the dead 
alone never change their opinion. The course of 
a great statesman resembles that of navigable 
rivers, avoiding immovable obstacles with noble 
bends of concession, seeking the broad levels of 
opinion on which men soonest settle and longest 
dwell, following and marking the almost imper- 
ceptible slopes of national tendency, yet always 
aiming at direct advances, always recruited from 
sources nearer .heaven^ and sometimes bursting 
open paths of progress and fruitful human com- 
merce through what seem the eternal barriers 
of both. It is loyalty to great ends, even though 
forced to combine the small and opposing mo- 
tives of selfish men to accomplish them ; it is 
the anchored cHng to solid principles of duty and 
action, which knows how to swing with the tide, 
but is never carried away by it, — that we demand 
in public men, and not sameness of policy, or 
a conscientious persistency in what is impracti- 
cable. For the impracticable, however theoret- 
ically enticing, is always politically unwise, 
sound statesmanship being the application of that 


prudence to the public business which is the 
safest guide in that of private men. 

No doubt slavery was the most delicate and 
embarrassing question with which Mr. Lincoln 
was called on to deal, and it was one which no 
man in his position, whatever his opinions, could 
evade; for, though he might withstand the 
clamor of partisans, he must sooner or later yield 
to the persistent importunacy of circumstances, 
which thrust the problem upon him at every 
turn and in every shape. 

It has been brought against us as an accusation 
abroad, and repeated here by people who measure 
their country rather by what is thought of it 
than by what it is, that our war has not been 
distinctly and avowedly for the extinction of 
slavery, but a war rather for the preservation 
of our national power and greatness, in which 
the emancipation of the negro has been forced 
upon us by circumstances and accepted as a ne- 
cessity. We are very far from denying this ; nay, 
we admit that it is so far true that we were slow 
to renounce our constitutional obligations even 
toward those who had absolved us by their own 
act from the letter of our duty. We are speak- 
ing of the government which, legally installed 
for the whole country, was bound, so long as 
it was possible, not to overstep the limits of 
orderly prescription, and could not, without ab- 
negating its own very nature, take the lead in 
making rebellion an excuse for revolution. 
There were, no doubt, many ardent and sincere 
persons who seemed to think this as simple a 
thing to do as to lead off a Virginia reel. They 
forgot, what should be forgotten least of all in 
a system like ours, that the administration for 


the time being- represents not only the majority 
which elects it, but the minority as well, — a mi- 
nority in this case powerful, and so little ready 
for emancipation that it was opposed even to 
war. Mr. Lincoln had not been chosen as gen- 
eral agent of an anti-slavery society, but Presi- 
dent of the United States, to perform certain 
functions exactly defined by law. Whatever 
were his wishes, it was no less duty than policy 
to mark out for himself a line of action that 
would not further distract the country, by raising 
before their time questions which plainly would 
soon enough compel attention, and for which 
every day was making the answer more easy. 

Meanwhile he must solve the riddle of this 
new Sphinx, or be devoured. Though Mr. Lin- 
coln's policy in this critical affair has not been 
such as to satisfy those who demand an heroic 
treatment for even the most trifling occasion, 
and who will not cut their coat according to their 
cloth, unless they can borrow the scissors of 
Atropos, it has been at least not unworthy of the 
long-headed king of Ithaca. Mr. Lincoln had 
the choice of Bassanio offered him. Which of 
the three caskets held the prize that was to re- 
deem the fortunes of the country? There was 
the golden one, whose showy speciousness might 
have tempted a vain man ; the silver of compro- 
mise, which might have decided the choice of 
a merely acute one ; and the leaden, — dull and 
homely-looking, as prudence always is, — yet with 
something about it sure to attract the eye of 
practical wisdom. Mr. Lincoln dallied with his 
decision perhaps longer than seemed needful to 
those on whom its awful responsibility was not 
to rest, but when he made it, it was worthy of 


his cautious but sure-footed understanding. The 
moral of the Sphinx-riddle, and it is a deep one, 
lies in the childish simplicity of the solution. 
Those who fail in guessing- it, fail because they 
are over-ingenious, and cast about for an answer 
that shall suit their own notion of the gravity 
of the occasion, and of their own dignity, rather 
than the occasion itself. 

In a matter which must be finally settled by 
public opinion, and in regard to which the fer- 
ment of prejudice and passion on both sides has 
not yet subsided to that equilibrium of compro- 
mise from which alone a sound public opinion 
can result, it is proper enough for the private 
citizen to press his own convictions with all pos- 
sible force of argument and persuasion ; but the 
popular magistrate, whose judgment must be- 
come action, and whose action involves the whole 
country, is bound to wait till the sentiment of 
the people is so far advanced toward his own 
point of view, that what he does shall find sup- 
port in it, instead of merely confusing it with 
new elements of division. It was not unnatural 
that men earnestly devoted to the saving of their 
country, and profoundly convinced that slavery 
was its only real enemy, should demand a decided 
policy round which all patriots might rally, — and 
this might have been the wisest course for an 
absolute ruler. But in the then unsettled state 
of the public mind, with a large party decrying 
even resistance to the slaveholders' rebellion as 
not only unwise, but even unlawful ; with a ma- 
jority, perhaps, even of the would-be loyal so 
long accustomed to regard the Constitution as 
a deed of gift conveying to the South their own 
judgment as to policy and instinct as to right, 


that they were in doubt at first whether their 
loyalty were due to the country or to slavery ; 
and with a respectable body of honest and in- 
fluential men who still believed in the possibility 
of conciliation, — ]\Ir. Lincoln judged wisely, that, 
in laying down a policy in deference to one party, 
he should be giving to the other the very 
fulcrum for which their disloyalty had been 

It behooved a clear-headed man in his position 
not to yield so far to an honest 'indignation 
against the brokers of treason in the North as 
to lose sight of the materials for misleading 
which were their stock in trade, and to forget 
that it is not the falsehood of sophistry v/hich 
is to be feared, but the grain of truth mingled 
with it to make it specious, — that it is not the 
knavery of the leaders so much as the honesty 
of the followers they may seduce, that gives them 
power for evil. It was especially his duty to 
do nothing which might help the people to forget 
the true cause of the war in fruitless disputes 
about its inevitable consequences. 

The doctrine of State rights can be so handled 
by an adroit demagogue as easily to confound 
the distinction between liberty and lawlessness 
in the minds of ignorant persons, accustomed 
always to be influenced by the sound of certain 
words, rather than to reflect upon the principles 
which give them meaning. For, though Seces- 
sion involves the manifest absurdity of denying 
to a State the right of m^aking war against any 
foreign power while permitting it against the 
United States ; though it supposes a compact of 
mutual concessions and guaranties among States 
without any arbiter in case of dissension; though 


it contradicts commonsense in assuming that 
the men who framed our government did not 
know what they meant when they substituted 
Union for Confederation ; though it falsifies his- 
tory, which shows that the main opposition to 
the adoption of the Constitution was based on 
the argument that it did not allow that independ- 
ence in the several States which alone would 
justify them in seceding; — yet, as slavery was 
universally admitted to be a reserved right, an 
inference could be drawn from any direct attack 
upon it (though only in self-defense) to a natural 
right of resistance, logical enough to satisfy 
minds untrained to detect fallacy, as the majority 
of men alwa3^s are^ and now too much disturbed 
by the disorder of the times, to consider that 
the order of events had any legitimate bearing 
on the argument. Though Mr. Lincoln was too 
sagacious to give the Northern allies of the 
Rebels the occasion they desired and even strove 
to provoke, yet from the beginning of the war 
the most persistent efforts have been made to 
confuse the public mind as to its origin and 
motives, and to drag the people of the loyal 
States down from the national position they had 
instinctively taken to the old level of party squab- 
bles and antipathies. The wholly unprovoked 
rebellion of an oligarchy proclaiming negro slav- 
ery the corner-stone of free institutions, and in 
the first flush of over-hasty confidence venturing 
to parade the logical sequence of their leading 
dogma, ''that slavery is right in principle, and 
has nothing to do with difference of com- 
plexion," has been represented as a legitimate 
and gallant attempt to maintain the true prin- 
ciples of democracy. The rightful endeavor of 


an established government, the least onerous that 
ever existed, to defend itself against a treach- 
erous attack on its very existence, has been cun- 
ningly made to seem the wicked effort of a fanati- 
cal clique to force its doctrines on an oppressed 

Even so long ago as when Mr. Lincoln, not 
yet convinced of the danger and magnitude of 
the crisis, was endeavoring to persuade himself 
of Union majorities at the South, and to carry 
on a war that was half peace in the hope of a 
peace that would have been all war, — while he 
was still enforcing the Fugitive Slave Law, 
under some theory that Secession, however it 
might absolve States from their obligations, 
could not escheat them of their claims under the 
Constitution, and that slaveholders in rebellion 
had alone among mortals the privilege of having 
their cake and eating it at the same time, — the 
enemies of free government were striving to 
persuade the people that the war vv^as an Aboli- 
tion crusade. To rebel without reason was pro- 
claimed as one of the rights of man, while it 
was carefully kept out of sight that to suppress 
rebellion is the first duty of government. All 
the evils that have come upon the country have 
been attributed to the Abolitionists, though it 
is hard to see how any party can become per- 
manently powerful except in one of two w^ays, — 
either by the greater truth of its principles, or 
the extravagance of the party opposed to it. To 
fancy the ship of state, riding safe at her constitu- 
tional moorings, suddenly engulfed by a huge 
kraken of Abolitionism, rising from unknown 
depths and grasping it with slimy tentacles, is 
to look at the natural history of the matter with 


the eyes of Pontoppidan."^ To believe that the 
leaders in the Southern treason feared any dan- 
ger from Abolitionism, would be to deny them 
ordinary intelligence, though there can be little 
doubt that they made use of it to stir the pas- 
sions and excite the fears of their deluded accom- 
plices. They rebelled, not because they thought 
slavery weak, but because they believed it strong 
enough, not to overthrow the government, but 
to get possession of it; for it becomes daily 
clearer that they used rebellion only as a means 
of revolution, and if they got revolution, though 
not in the shape they looked for, is the American 
people to save them from its consequences at the 
cost of its own existence? The election of Mr. 
Lincoln, which it was clearly in their power to 
prevent had they wished, was the occasion 
merely, and not the cause, of their revolt. Abo- 
litionism, till within a year or two, was the de- 
spised heresy of a few earnest persons, without 
political weight enough to carry the election of 
a parish constable ; and their cardinal principle 
was disunion, because they were convinced that 
within the Union the position of slavery was im- 
pregnable. In spite of the proverb, great effects 
do not follow from small causes, — that is, dis- 
proportionately small, — but from adequate causes 
acting under certain required conditions. To 
contrast the size of the oak with that of the par- 
ent acorn, as if the poor seed had paid all costs 
from its slender strong-box, may serve for a 
child's wonder ; but the real miracle lies in that 
divine league which bound all the forces of na- 
ture to the service of the tiny germ in fulfilling 
its destiny. Everything has been at work for 

* A Danish antiquary and theologian. 


the past ten years in the cause of anti-slavery, 
but Garrison and Phillips have been far less suc- 
cessful propagandists than the slaveholders 
themselves, with the constantly growing arro- 
gance of their pretensions and encroachments.' 
They have forced the question upon the attention 
of every voter in the Free States, by defiantly put- 
ting freedom and democracy on the defensive. 
But, even after the Kansas outrages, there was no 
widespread desire on the part of the North to 
commit aggressions, though there was a growing 
determ.ination to resist them. The popular unan- 
imity in favor of the war three years ago was 
but in small micasure the result of anti-slavery 
sentiment, far less of any zeal for abolition. But 
every month of the war, every movement of the 
allies of slavery in the Free States, has been 
making Abolitionists by the thousand. The 
masses of any people, however intelligent, are 
very little moved by abstract principles of hu- 
manity and justice, until those principles are in- 
terpreted for them by the stinging commentary 
of some infringement upon their own rights, and 
then their instincts and passions, once aroused, 
do indeed derive an incalculable reinforcement 
of impulse and intensity from those higher ideas, 
those sublime traditions, which have no motive 
political force till they are allied with a sense of 
immediate personal wrong or imminent peril. 
Then at last the stars in their courses begin to 
fight against Sisera. Had any one doubted be- 
fore that the rights of human nature are unitary, 
that oppression is of one hue the world over, no 
matter what the color of the oppressed, — had 
any one failed to see what the real essence of 
the contest was, — the efforts of the advocates of 


slavery among ourselves to throw discredit upon 
the fundamental axioms of the Declaration of 
Independence and the radical doctrines of Chris- 
tianity, could not fail to sharpen his eyes. 

A\'hile every day was bringing the people 
nearer to the conclusion which all thinking men 
saw to be inevitable from the beginning, it was 
wise in Mr. Lincoln to leave the shaping of his 
policy to events. In this country, where the 
rough and ready understanding of the people is 
sure at last to be the controlling power, a pro- 
found commonsense is the best genius for states- 
manship. Hitherto the wisdom of the President's 
measures has been justified by the fact that they 
have always resulted in more firmly uniting pub- 
lic opinion. One of the things particularly 
admirable in the public utterances of President 
Lincoln is a certain tone of familiar dignity, 
which, while it is perhaps the most difficult at- 
tainment of mere style, is also no doubtful indi- 
cation of personal character. There must be 
something essentially noble in an elective ruler 
who can descend to the level of confidential ease 
without losing respect, something very manly in 
one who can break through the etiquette of his 
conventional rank and trust himself to the rea- 
son and intelligence of those who have elected 
him. No higher compliment was ever paid to 
a nation than the simple confidence, the fireside 
plainness, with which Mr. Lincoln always ad- 
dresses himself to the reason of the American 
people. This was, indeed, a true democrat, who 
grounded himself on the assumption that a 
democracy can think. ''Come, let us reason to- 
gether about this matter," has been the tone of 
all his addresses to the people; and accordingly 


we have never had a chief magistrate who so 
won to himself the love and at the same time the 
judgment of his countrymen. To us, that simple 
confidence of his in the right-mindedness of his 
fellow-men is very touching, and its success is 
as strong an argument as we have ever seen in 
favor of the theory that m.en can govern them- 
selves. He never appeals to any vulgar senti- 
ment, he never alludes to the humbleness of his 
origin ; it probably never occurred to him, indeed, 
that there was anything higher to start from 
than manhood; and he put himself on a level 
with those he addressed, not by going down to 
them, but only by taking it for granted that they 
had brains and would come up to a commion 
ground of reason. In an article lately printed 
in The Nation, Air. Bayard Taylor mentions the 
striking fact, that in the foulest dens of the Five 
Points he found the portrait of Lincoln. The 
wretched population that makes its hive there 
threw all its votes and more against him, and yet 
paid this instinctive tribute to the sweet humanity 
of his nature. There ignorance sold its vote 
and took its money, but all that was left of man- 
hood in them recognized its saint and martyr. 

Mr. Lincoln is not in the habit of saying, 
^'This is my opinion, or my theory," but ''This 
is the conclusion to which, in my judgment, the 
time has come, and to which, accordingly, the 
sooner we come the better for us." His policy 
has been the policy of public opinion based on 
adequate discussion and on a timely recognition 
of the influence of passing events in shaping the 
features of events to come. 

One secret of Mr. Lincoln's remarkable suc- 
cess in captivating the popular mind is undoubt- 


edly an unconsciousness of self which enables 
him, though under the necessity of constantly 
using the capital /, to do it without any sugges- 
tion of egotism. There is no single vowel which 
men's mouths can pronounce with such difference 
of effect. That which one shall hide away, as 
it were behind the substance of his discourse, 
or, if he bring it to the front, shall use merely 
to give an agreeable accent of individuality to 
what he says, another shall make an offensive 
challenge to the self-satisfaction of all his hear- 
ers, and an unwarranted intrusion upon each 
man's sense of personal importance, irritating 
every pore of his vanity, like a dry northeast 
wind, to a goose-flesh of opposition and hostility: 
Mr. Lincoln has never studied Ouintilian ; but 
he has, in the earnest simplicity and unaffected 
Americanism of his own character, one art of 
oratory worth all the rest. He forgets himself 
so entirely in his object as to give his / the sympa- 
thetic and persuasive effect of We with the great 
body of his countrymen. Homely, dispassionate, 
showing all the rough-edged process of his 
thought as it goes along, yet arriving at his 
conclusions with an honest kind of every-day 
logic, he is so eminently our representative man, 
that, when he speaks, it seems as if the people' 
were listening to their own thinking aloud. The 
dignity of his thought owes nothing to any cere- 
monial garb of words, but to the manly move- 
ment that comes of settled purpose and an en- 
ergy of reason that knows not what rhetoric 
means. There has been nothing of Cleon, still 
less of Strepsiades* striving to underbid him in 

* Athenian demagogues, satirized by the comic dramatist Aris- 


demagogism, to be found in the public utter- 
ances of Air. Lincoln. He has always addressed 
the intelligence of men, never their prejudice, 
their passion, or their ignorance. 

The First American. 

Extract from Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemora- 
tion, July 21, 1865. 

By James Russell Lowell. 


Whither leads the path 
To ampler fates that leads? 
Not down through flowery meads, 

To reap an aftermath 
Of youth's vainglorious weeds ; 
But up the steep, amid the wrath 
And shock of deadly-hostile creeds, 
Where the world's best hope and stay 
By battle's flashes gropes a desperate way, 
And every turf the fierce foot clings to bleeds. 
Peace hath her not ignoble wreath. 
Ere yet the sharp, decisive word 
Light the black lips of cannon, and the sword 

Dreams in its easeful sheath ; 
But some day the live coal behind the thought. 
Whether from Baal's stone obscene, 
Or from the shrine serene 
Of God's pure altar brought, 
Bursts up in flame ; the war of tongue and pen 
Learns with what deadly purpose it was fraught, 
And, helpless in the fiery passion caught, 
Shakes all the pillared state with shock of men : 


Some day the soft Ideal that we wooed 
Confronts us fiercely, foe-beset, pursued, 
And cries reproachful : ''Was it, then, my praise. 
And not myself was loved ? Prove now thy truth ; 
I claim of thee the promise of thy youth ; 
Give me thy life, or cower in empty phrase, 
The victim of thy genius, not its mate !" 
Life may be given in many ways, 
And loyalty to Truth be sealed 
As bravely in the closet as the field. 
So bountiful is Fate; 
But then to stand beside her, 
When craven churls deride her, 
To front a lie in arms and not to yield. 
This shows, methinks, God's plan 
And measure of a stalwart man, 
Limbed like the old heroic breeds. 
Who stands self-poised on manhood's solid 

Not forced to frame excuses for his birth. 
Fed from within with all the strength he needs. 


Such was he, our Martyr-Chief, 

Whom late the Nation he had led, 
With ashes on her head. 
Wept with the passion of an angry gTief : 
Forgive me, if from present things I turn 
To speak what in my heart will beat and burn. 
And hang my wreath on his world-honored urn. 

Nature, they say, doth dote. 

And cannot make a man 

Save on some worn-out plan. 

Repeating us by rote : 


For him her Old- World moulds aside she threw, 
And, choosing sweet clay from the breast 
Of the unexhausted West, 
With stuff untainted shaped a hero new, 
Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true. 

How beautiful to see 
Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed, 
Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead ; 
One whose meek flock the people joyed to be, 
Not lured by any cheat of birth. 
But by his clear-grained human worth, 
And brave old wisdom of sincerity ! 
They knew that outward grace is dust ; 
They could not choose but trust 
In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill, 

And supple-tempered will 
That bent like perfect steel to spring again and 
His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind. 
Thrusting to thin air o'er our cloudy bars, 
A sea-mark now, now lost in vapors blind ; 
Broad prairie rather, genial, level-lined. 
Fruitful and friendly for all human-kind, 
Yet also nigh to heaven and loved of loftiest 

Nothing of Europe here. 
Or. then, of Europe fronting mornward still, 
Ere any names of Serf and Peer 
Could Nature's equal scheme deface 

And thwart her genial will ; 
Here was a type of the true elder race. 
And one of Plutarch's men talked with us face 
to face. 
I praise him not ; it were too late ; 
And some innative weakness 'there must be 
In him who condescends to victory 


Such as the Present gives, and cannot wait, 
Safe in himself as in a fate. 
So always firmly he : 
He knew to bide his time. 
And can his fame abide, 
Still patient in his simple faith sublime, 
Till the wise years decide. 
Great captains, with their guns and drums, 
Disturb our judgment for the hour, 
But at last silence comes ; 
These all are gone, and, standing like a tower, 
Our children shall behold his fame, 

The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man. 
Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame, 
New birth of our new soil, the first American. 

Lincoln's Personal Appearance.* 

By William H. Herndon. 

He was about six feet four inches high, and 
when he left this city w^as fifty-one years old, 
having good health and no gray hairs, or but 
few on his head. He w^as thin, wiry, sinewy, raw- 
boned ; thin through the breast to the back, and 
narrow across the shoulders ; standing, he leaned 
forward — was what may be called stoop-shoul- 
dered, inclining to the consumptive by build. 
His usual weight was one hundred and sixty 
pounds. His organization — rather his structure 
and functions — worked slowly. His blood had 
to run a long distance from his heart to the ex- 
tremities of his frame, and his nerve-force had 

* From an address delivered in Springfield, Illinois, December 
12, 1865. 


to travel through dry ground a long distance 
before his muscles were obedient to his will. His 
structure was loose and leathery; his body was 
shrunk and shrivelled, having dark skin, dark 
hair, — looking woe-struck. The whole man, 
body and mind, worked slowly, creakingly, as 
if it needed oiling. Physically, he was a very 
powerful man, lifting with ease four hundred 
or six hundred pounds. His mind was like his 
body, and worked slowly but strongly. When 
he walked, he moved cautiously but firmly, his 
long armis and hands on them, hanging like 
giant's hands, swung down by his side. He 
walked with even tread, the inner sides of his 
feet being parallel. He put the whole foot flat 
down on the ground at once, not landing on 
the heel ; he likewise lifted his foot all at once, 
not rising from the toe,, and hence he had no 
spring to his walk. He had economy of fall and 
lift of foot, though he had no spring or apparent 
ease of motion in his tread. He walked undula- 
tory, up and down, catching and pocketing tire, 
weariness, and pain, all up and dov/n his per- 
son, preventing them from locating. The first 
opinion of a stranger, or a man who did not ob- 
serve closely, was that his walk implied shrewd- 
ness, cunning, — a tricky man; but his was the 
walk of caution and firmness. In sitting down on 
a common chair he was no taller than ordinary 
men. His legs and arms were, abnormally, un- 
naturally long, and in undue proportion to the 
balance of his body. It was only when he stood 
up that he loomed above other men. 

Mr. Lincoln's head was long and tall from 
the base of the brain and from the eyebrows. 
His head ran backwards, his forehead rising as 


it ran back at a low angle, like Clay's, and, un- 
like Webster's, almost perpendicular. The size 
of his hat, measured at the hatter's block, was 
y}i, his head being, from ear to ear, 6^ inches, 
and from the front to the back of the brain 8 
inches. Thus measured, it was not below the 
medium size. His forehead was narrow but high ; 
his hair was dark, almost black, and lay floating 
where his fingers or the winds left it, piled up 
at random. His cheek-bones were high, sharp, 
and prominent; his eyebrows heavy and promi- 
nent; his jaws were long, upcurved, and heavy; 
his nose was large, long, and blunt, a little awry 
towards the right eye ; his chin was long, sharp, 
and upcurved; his eyebrows cropped out like a 
huge rock on the brow of a hill ; his face was 
long, sallow, and cadaverous, shrunk, shrivelled, 
wrinkled, and dry, having here and there a hair 
on the surface ; his cheeks were leathery ; his ears 
were large, and ran out almost at right angles 
from his head, caused partly by heavy hats and 
partly by nature ; his lower lip was thick, hang- 
ing, and undercurved, while his chin reached for 
the lip upcurved; his neck was neat and trim, 
his head being well balanced on it; there was 
the lone mole on the right cheek, and Adam's 
apple on his throat. 

Thus stood, walked, acted, and looked Abra- 
ham Lincoln. He was not a pretty man by any 
means, nor was he an ugly one ; he was a homely 
man, careless of his looks, plain-looking and 
plain-acting. He had no pomp, display, or dig- 
nity, so-called. He appeared simple in his car- 
riage and bearing. He was a sad-looking man; 
his melancholy dripped from him as he walked. 
His apparent gloom impressed his friends, and 


created a sympathy for him — one means of his 
great success. He was gloomy, abstracted, and 
joyous, — rather humorous, — by turns. I do not 
think he knew what real joy was for many 
years. ... 

Thus, I say, stood and walked and looked this 
singular man. He was odd, but when that gray 
eye and face and every feature were lit up by 
the inward soul in fires of emotion, then it was 
that all these apparently ugly features sprang 
into organs of beauty, or sunk themselves into 
a sea of inspiration that sometimes flooded his 
face. Sometimes it appeared to me that Lin- 
coln's soul was just fresh from the presence of 
its Creator. 

[See also "Lincoln's Personal Appearance," page 283, 
volume five, present edition.] 

President Lincoln's State Papers.* 
By Henry J. Raymond. 

No one can read Mr. Lincoln's state papers 
without perceiving in them a most remarkable 
faculty of "putting things" so as to command 
the attention and assent of the common people. 
His style of thought as well as of expression 
is thoroughly in harmony with their habitual 
modes of thinking and of speaking. His in- 
tellect is keen, emphatically logical in its action, 
and capable of the closest and most subtle analy- 
sis : and he uses language for the sole purpose 

* From " History of the Administration of President Lincoln," 
by Henry J. Raymond, 1864. Mr. Raymond was editor of the 
New York Tz'mes, and the Chairman of the Executive NationaJ 
Committee of the Union (Republican) party at the time. 


of stating, in the clearest and simplest possible 
form, the precise idea he wishes to convey. He 
has no pride of intellect — not the slightest desire 
for display — no thought or purpose but that of 
making everybody understand precisely what he 
believes and means to utter. And while this 
sacrifices the graces of style, it gains immeas- 
urably in practical force and effect. It gives 
to his public papers a weight and influence with 
the mass of the people which no public man 
of this country has ever before attained. And 
this is heightened by the atmosphere of humor 
which seems to pervade his mind, and which is 
just as natural to it and as attractive and soft- 
ening a portion of it, as the smoky hues of 
Indian summer are of the charming season to 
which they belong. His nature is eminently 
genial, and he seems to be incapable of cherish- 
ing an envenomed resentment. And although 
he is easily touched by whatever is painful, the 
elasticity of his temper and his ready sense of 
the humorous break the force of anxieties and 
responsibilities under which a man of harder 
though perhaps a higher nature would sink and 

General Messages to Congress 


Message to Congress in Special Session. 

July 4, 1861. 

Fellozv-citisens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: Having been convened on an 
extraordinary occasion, as authorized by the 
Constiiution, your attention is not called to any 
ordinary subject of legislation. 

At the beginning of the present presidential 
term, four months ago, the functions of the Fed- 
eral Government were found to be generally 
suspended within the several States of South 
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Loui- 
siana, and Florida, excepting only those of the 
Post-office Department. 

Within these States all the forts, arsenals, 
dockyards, custom-houses, and the like, includ- 
ing the movable and stationary property in and 
about them, had been seized, and were held in 
open hostility to this government, excepting only 
Forts Pickens, Taylor, and Jefferson, on and 
near the Florida coast, and Fort Sumter, in 
Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The forts 
thus seized had been put in improved condition, 
new ones had been built, and armed forces had 
been organized and were organizing, all avow- 
edly with the same hostile purpose. 


The forts remaining in the possession of the 
Federal Government in and near these States 
were either besieged or menaced by warUke 
preparations, and especially Fort Sumter was 
nearly surrounded by well-protected hostile bat- 
teries, with guns equal in quality to the best 
of its own, and outnumbering the latter as per- 
haps ten to one. A disproportionate share of the 
Federal muskets and rifles had somehow found 
their way into these States, and had been seized 
to be used against the government. Accumula- 
tions of the public revenue lying within them 
had been seized for the same object. The navy 
was scattered in distant seas, leaving but a very 
small part of it within immediate reach of the 
government. Officers of the Federal army and 
navy resigned in great numbers ; and of those 
resigning a large proportion had taken up arms 
against the government. Simultaneously, and in 
connection with all this, the purpose to the 
Federal Union was openly avowed. In accord- 
ance with this purpose, an ordinance had been 
adopted in each of these States, declaring the 
States respectively to be separated from the 
National Union. A formula for instituting a 
combined government of these States had been 
promulgated ; and this illegal organization, in the 
character of confederate States, was already in- 
A^oking recognition, aid, and intervention from 
foreign powers. 

Finding this condition of things, and believing 
it to . be an imperative duty upon the incoming 
executive to prevent, if possible, the consumma- 
tion of such attempt to destroy the Federal 
Union, a choice of means to that end became in- 
dispensable. This choice was made and was 


declared in the inaugural address. The policy- 
chosen looked to the exhaustion of all peaceful 
measures before a resort to any stronger ones. 
It sought only to hold the public places and 
property not already wrested from the govern- 
ment, and to collect the revenue, relying for the 
rest on time, discussion, and the ballot-box. It 
promised a continuance of the mails at govern- 
ment expense, to the very people who were re- 
sisting the government; and it gave repeated 
pledges against any disturbance to any of the 
people, or any of their rights. Of all that which 
a President might constitutionally and justifiably 
do in such a case, everything was forborne with- 
out which it was believed possible to keep the 
government on foot. 

On the 5th of March (the present incum- 
bent's first full day in office), a letter of Major 
Anderson, commanding at Fort Sumter, writ- 
ten on the 28th of February and received at the 
War Departmicnt on the 4th of March, was by 
that department placed in his hands. This letter 
expressed the professional opinion of the writer 
that reinforcements could not be thrown into 
that fort within the time for his relief, rendered 
necessary by the limited supply of provisions, 
and v,4th a view of holding possession of the 
same, with a force of less than twenty thousand 
good and well-disciplined men. This opinion 
v/as concurred in by all the officers of his com- 
mand, and their memoranda on the subject 
were made inclosures of Major Anderson's let- 
ter. The whole v/as immediately laid before 
Lieutenant-General Scott, who at once concurred 
with }vIajor Anderson in opinion. On reflec- 
tion, however, he took full time, consulting with 


other officers, both of the army and tlie navy, 
and at the end of four days came rehictantly 
but decidedly to the same concUision as before. 
He also stated at the same time that no such 
sufficient force was then at the control of the 
government, or could be raised and brought to 
the ground within the time when the provisions 
in the fort would be exhausted. In a purely 
military point of view, this reduced the duty of 
the administration in the case to the mere mat- 
ter of getting the garrison safely out of the fort. 
It was believed, however, that to so abandon 
that position, under the circumstances, would 
be utterly ruinous; that the necessity under 
which it was to be done would not be fully under- 
stood ; that by many it would be construed as a 
part of a voluntary policy ; that at home it would 
discourage friends of the Union, embolden its 
adversaries, and go far to insure to the latter 
a recognition abroad ; that, in fact, it would 
be our national destruction consummated. This 
could not be allowed. Starvation was not yet 
upon the garrison, and ere it would be reached 
Fort Pickens might be reinforced. This last 
would be a clear indication of policy, and would 
better enable the country to accept the evacua- 
tion of Fort Sumter as a military necessity. 
An order was at once directed to be sent for the 
landing of the troops from the steamship Brook- 
lyn into Fort Pickens. This order could not go 
by land, but must take the longer and slower 
route by sea. The first return news from the 
order was received just one week before the fall 
of Fort Sumter. The news itself was that the 
officer commanding the Sabine, to which vessel 
the troops had been transferred from the Brook^ 


lyn, acting upon some quasi armistice of the late 
administration (and of the existence of which 
the present administration, up to the time the 
order was despatched, had only too vague and 
uncertain rumors to fix attention), had refused 
to land the troops. To now reinforce Fort Pick- 
ens before a crisis would be reached at Fort 
Sumter was impossible — rendered so by the 
near exhaustion of provisions in the latter-named 
fort. In precaution against such a conjuncture, 
the government had, a few days before, com- 
menced preparing an expedition as well adapted 
as might be to relieve Fort Sumter, which 
expedition was intended to be ultimately used, 
or not, according to circumstances. The strong- 
est anticipated case for using it was now pre- 
sented, and it was resolved to send it forward. 
As had been intended in this contingency, it was 
also resolved to notify the governor of South 
Carolina that he might expect an attempt would 
be made to provision the fort ; and that, if the 
attempt should not be resisted, there would be 
no effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition, 
without further notice, or in case of an attack 
upon the fort. This notice was accordingly 
given; whereupon the fort was attacked and 
bombarded to its fall, without even awaiting the 
arrival of the provisioning expedition. 

It is thus seen that the assault upon and re- 
duction of Fort Sumter was in no sense a mat- 
ter of self-defense on the part of the assailants. 
They well knew that the garrison in the fort 
could by no possibility commit aggression upon 
them. They knew — they were expressly noti- 
fied — that the giving of bread to a few brave and 
hungry men of the garrison was all which would 


on that occasion be attempted, unless them- 
selves, by resisting so much, should provoke 
more. They knew that this government desired 
to keep the garrison in the fort, not to assail 
them, but merely to maintain visible possession, 
and thus to preserve the Union from actual and 
immediate dissolution — trusting, as hereinbefore 
stated, to time, discussion, and the ballot-box for 
final adjustment; and they assailed and reduced 
the fort for precisely the reverse object — to 
drive out the visible authority of the Federal 
Union, and thus force it to immediate dissolution. 
That this was their object the executive well 
understood ; and having said to them in the in- 
augural address, "You can have no conflict with- 
out being yourselves the aggressors," he took 
pains not only to keep this declaration good, but 
also to keep the case so free from the power of 
ingenious sophistry that the world should not 
be able to misunderstand it. By the affair at 
Fort Sumter, with its surrounding circum- 
stances, that point was reached. Then and 
thereby the assailants of the government began 
the conflict of arms, without a gun in sight or 
in expectancy to return their fire, save only the 
few in the fort sent to that harbor years before 
for their own protection, and still ready to give 
that protection in whatever was lawful. In 
this act, discarding all else, they have forced upon 
the country the distinct issue, ''immediate disso- 
lution or blood." 

And this issue embraces more than the fate 
of the United States. It presents to the whole 
family of man the question whether a consti- 
tutional republic or democracy — a government of 
the people by the same people — can or cannot 


maintain its territorial integrity against its own 
domestic foes. It presents the question whetlier 
discontented individuals, too few in numbers to 
control administration according to organic law 
in any case, can always, upon the pretenses made 
in this case, or on any other pretenses, or ar- 
bitrarily without any pretense, break up their 
government, and thus practically put an end to 
free government upon the earth. It forces us 
to ask : *'Is there, in all republics, this inherent 
and fatal weakness?" ''Must a government, of 
necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its 
own people, or too weak to maintain its own 
existence ?" 

So viewing the issue, no choice was left but 
to call out the war power of the government; 
and so to resist force employed for its destruc- 
tion, by force for its preservation. 

The call was made, and the response of the 
country was most gratifying, surpassing in una- 
nimity and spirit the most sanguine expecta- 
tion. Yet none of the States commonly called 
slave States, except Delaware, gave a regiment 
through regular State organization. A few regi- 
ments have been organized within some others 
of those States by individual enterprise, and 
received into the government service. Of course 
the seceded States, so called (and to which 
Texas had been joined about the time of the 
inauguration), gave no troops to the cause of 
the Union. The border States, so called, were 
not uniform in their action, some of them being 
almost for the Union, while in others — as Vir- 
ginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas 
— the Union sentiment was nearly repressed 
and silenced. The course taken in Virginia was 


the most remarkable — perhaps the most im- 
portant. A convention elected by the people of 
that State to consider the very question of dis- 
rupting the Federal Union was in session at the 
capital of \^irginia when Fort Sumter fell. To 
this body the people had chosen a large majority 
of professed Union men. Almost immediately 
after the fall of Sumter, many members of that 
majority went over to the original disunion 
minority, and with them adopted an ordinance 
for withdrawing the State from the Union. 
Whether this change was wrought by their great 
approval of the assault upon Sumter or their 
great resentment at the government's resistance 
to that assault, is not definitely known. Al- 
though they submitted the ordinance for ratifi- 
cation to a vote of the people, to be taken on a 
day then somewhat more than a month distant, 
the convention and the legislature (which was 
also in session at the same time and place), with 
leading men of the State not members of either, 
immediately commenced acting as if the State 
were already out of the Union. They pushed 
military preparations vigorously forward all 
over the State. They seized the United States 
armory at Harper's Ferry, and the navy-yard at 
Gosport, near Norfolk. They received — perhaps 
invited — into their State large bodies of troops, 
with their warlike appointments, from the so- 
called seceded States. They formally entered 
into a treaty of temporary alliance and coopera- 
tion with the so-called "Confederate States,'* 
and sent members to their congress at Mont- 
gomery. And, finally, they permitted the insur- 
rectionary government to be transferred to their 
capital at Richmond. 


The people of Virginia have thus allowed this 
giant insurrection to make its nest within her 
borders; and this government has no choice left 
but to deal with it where it finds it. And it has 
the less regret as the loyal citizens have, in due 
form, claimed its protection. Those loyal citi- 
zens this government is bound to recognize and 
protect, as being Virginia. 

In the border States, so called, — in fact, the 
Middle States, — there are those who favor a 
policy which they call "armed neutrality" ; that 
is, an arming of those States to prevent the Union 
forces passing one way, or the disunion the 
other, over their soil. This would be disunion 
com.pleted. Figuratively speaking, it would be 
the building of an impassable wall along the 
line of separation — and yet not quite an impass- 
able one, for under the guise of neutrality it 
would tie the hands of Union men and freely 
pass supplies from among them to the insurrec- 
tionists, which it could not do as an open enemy. 
At a stroke it would take all the trouble off the 
hands of secession, except only what proceeds 
from the external blockade. It would do for the 
disunionists that which, of all things, they most 
desire — feed them well, and give them disunion 
without a struggle of their own. It recognizes 
no fidelity to the Constitution, no obligation to 
maintain the Union; and while very many who 
have favored it are doubtless loyal citizens, it is, 
nevertheless, very injurious in effect. 

Recurring to the action of the government, it 
may be stated that at first a call was made for 
75,000 militia, and, rapidly following this, a 
proclamiation was issued for closing the ports of 
the insurrectionary districts by proceedings in 


the nature of blockade. So far all was believed 
to be strictly legal. At this point the insurrec- 
tionists announced their purpose to enter upon 
the practice of privateering. 

Other calls were made for volunteers to serve 
for three years, unless sooner discharged, and 
also for large additions to the regular army and 
navy. These measures, whether strictly legal or 
not, were ventured upon, under what appeared 
to be a popular demand and a public necessity; 
trusting then, as now, that Congress would 
readily ratify them. It is believed that nothing 
has been done beyond the constitutional com- 
petency of Congress. 

Soon after the first call for militia, it was 
considered a duty to authorize the commanding 
general in proper cases, according to his discre- 
tion, to suspend the privilege of the writ of 
'habeas corpus, or, in other words, to arrest and 
detain, without resort to the ordinary processes 
and forms of law, such individuals as he might 
deem dangerous to the public safety. This au- 
thority has purposely been exercised but very 
sparingly. Nevertheless, the legality and propri- 
ety of what has been done under itare questioned, 
and the attention of the country has been called 
to the proposition that one who has sworn to 
"take care that the laws be faithfully executed" 
should not himself violate them. Of course 
some consideration was given to the questions 
of power and propriety before this matter was 
acted upon. The whole of the laws which were 
required to be faithfully executed were being 
resisted and failing of execution in nearly one 
third of the States. Must they be allowed to 
finally fail of execution, even had it been per- 


fectly clear that by the use of the means neces- 
sary to their execution some single law, made 
in such extreme tenderness of the citizen's liberty 
that, practically, it relieves more of the guilty 
than of the innocent, should to a very limited 
extent be violated? To state the question more 
directly, are all the laws but one to go unex- 
ecuted, and the government itself go to pieces 
lest that one be violated? Even in such a case, 
would not the official oath be broken if the gov- 
ernment should be overthrown, when it was 
believed that disregarding the single law would 
tend to preserve it ? But it was not believed that 
this question was presented. It was not believed 
that any law was violated. The provision of 
the Constitution that **the privilege of the writ 
of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless 
when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the pub- 
lic safety may require it," is equivalent to a 
provision — is a provision — that such privilege 
may be suspended when, in case of rebellion or 
invasion, the public safety does require it. It 
was decided that we have a case of rebellion, 
and that the public safety does require the quali- 
fied suspension of the privilege of the writ which 
was authorized to be made. Now it is insisted 
that Congress, and not the executive, is vested 
with this power. But the Constitution itself is 
silent as to which or who is to exercise the 
power; and as the provision was plainly made 
for a dangerous emergency, it cannot be believed 
the framers of the instrument intended that in 
every case the danger should run its course until 
Congress could be called together, the very as- 
sembling of which might be prevented, as was 
intended in this case, by the rebellion. 


No more extended argument is now offered, 
as an opinion at some length will probably be 
presented by the attorney-general. Whether 
there shall be any legislation upon the subject, 
and if any, what, is submitted entirely to the 
better judgment of Congress. 

The forbearance of this government had been 
so extraordinary and so long continued as to 
lead some foreign nations to shape their action 
as if they supposed the early destruction of our 
National Union was probable. While this, on 
discovery, gave the executive some concern, he 
is now happy to say that the sovereignty and 
rights of the United States are now everywhere 
practically respected by foreign powers ; and a 
general sympathy with the country is manifested 
throughout the world. 

The reports of the Secretaries of the Treasury, 
W^ar, and the Navy will give the information in 
detail deemed necessary and convenient for your 
•deliberation and action ; while the executive and 
all the departments will stand ready to supply 
omissions, or to communicate new facts consid- 
ered important for you to know. 

It is now recommended that you give the legal 

aneans for making this contest a short and de- 

•cisive one : that you place at the control of the 

I government for the work at least four hundred 

Ithousand men and $400,000,000. That number 

•of men is about one tenth of those of proper 

ages within the regions \vhere, apparently, all 

are willing to engage; and the sum is less than 

a twenty-third part of the money value owned 

by the men who seem ready to devote the whole. 

A debt of $600,000,000 now is a less sum per 

head than was the debt of our Revolution when 


we came out of that struggle; and the money 
value in the country now bears even a greater 
proportion to what it was then than does the 
population. Surely each man has as strong a 
motive now to preserve our liberties as each had 
then to establish them. 

A right result at this time will be worth more 
to the w^orld than ten times the men and ten 
times the money. The evidence reaching us 
from the country leaves no doubt that the 
material for the work is abundant, and that it 
needs only the hand of legislation to give it 
legal sanction, and the hand of the executive to 
give it practical shape and efficiency. One of the 
greatest perplexities of the government is to 
avoid receiving troops faster than it can provide 
for them. In a word, the people will save their 
government if the government itself will do its 
part only indifi'erently well. 

It might seem; at first thought, to be of little 
difference whether the present movement at the 
South be called ''secession" or "rebellion." The 
movers, however, will understand the difference. 
At the beginning they knew they could never 
raise their treason to any respectable magnitude 
by any name which implies violation of law. 
They knew their people possessed as much of 
moral sense, as much of devotion to law and 
order, and as much pride in and reverence for 
the history and government of their common 
country as any other civilized and patriotic peo- 
ple. They knew they could make no advance- 
ment directly in the teeth of these strong and 
noble sentiments. Accordingly, they commenced 
by an insidious debauching of the public mind. 
They invented an ingenious sophism which, if 


conceded, was followed by perfectly logical 
steps, through all the incidents, to the complete 
destruction of the Union. The sophism itself is 
that any State of the Union may consistently with 
the National Constitution, and therefore lawfully 
and peacefully, withdraw from the Union with- 
out the consent of the Union or of any other 
State. The little disguise that the supposed right 
is to be exercised only for just cause, themselves 
to be the sole judges of its justice, is too thin 
to merit any notice. 

With rebellion thus sugar-coated they have 
been drugging the public mind of their section 
for more than thirty years, and until at length 
they have brought many good men to a willing- 
ness to take up arms against the government 
the day after some assemblage of men have en- 
acted the farcical pretense of taking their State 
out of the Union, who could have been brought 
to no such thing the day before. 

This sophism derives much, perhaps the whole, 
of its currency from the assumption that there 
is some omnipotent and sacred supremacy per- 
taining to a State — to each State of our Federal 
Union. Our States have neither more nor less 
power than that reserved to them in the Union 
by the Constitution — no one of them ever hav- 
ing been a State out of the Union. The original 
ones passed into the Union even before they cast 
ofif their British colonial dependence ; and the 
new ones each came into the Union directly from 
a condition of dependence, excepting Texas. 
And even Texas, in its temporary independence, 
was never designated a State. The new ones 
only took the designation of States on coming 
into the Union, while that name was first adopted 


for the old ones in and by the Declaration of 
Independence. Therein the ''United Colonies" 
were declared to be "free and independent 
States"; but even then the object plainly was 
not to declare their independence of one another 
or of the Union, but directly the contrary, as 
their mutual pledge and their mutual action be- 
fore, at the time, and afterward, abundantly 
show. The express plighting of faith by each 
and all of the original thirteen in the Articles of 
Confederation, two years later, that the Union 
shall be perpetual, is most conclusive. Having 
never been States either in substance or in name 
outside of the Union, whence this magical om- 
nipotence of ''State Rights," asserting a claim 
of power to lawfully destroy the Union itself? 
Much is said about the "sovereignty" of the 
States : but the word even is not in the National 
Constitution, nor, as is believed, in any of the 
State constitutions. What is "sovereignty" in 
the political sense of the term? Would it be 
far wrong to define it "a political community 
without a political superior"? Tested by this, 
no one of our States except Texas ever was a 
sovereignty. And even Texas gave up the char- 
acter on coming into the Union ; by which act 
she acknowledged the Constitution of the United 
States, and the laws and treaties of the United 
States made in . pursuance of the Constitution, 
to be for her the supreme law of the land. The 
States have their status in the Union, and they 
have no other legal status. If they break from 
this, they can only do so against law and by revo- 
lution. The Union, and not themselves separate- 
ly, procured their independenece and their liberty. 
By conquest or purchase the Union gave each 


of them whatever of independence or Hberty it 
has. The Union is older than any of the States, 
and, in fact, it created them as States. Orig- 
inally some dependent colonies made the Union, 
and, in turn, the Union threw off their old de- 
pendence for them, and made them States, such 
as they are. Not one of them ever had a State 
constitution independent of the Union. Of 
-course, it is not forgotten that all the new States 
framed their constitutions before they entered 
the Union — nevertheless, dependent upon and 
preparatory to coming into the Union. 

Unquestionably the States have the powers 
and rights reserved to them in and by the Na- 
tional Constitution; but among these surely are 
not included all conceivable powers, however 
mischievous or destructive, but, at most, such 
only as were known in the world at the time as 
governmental powers; and certainly a power to 
destroy the government itself had never been 
known as a governmental, as a merely admin- 
istrative power. This relative matter of national 
power and State rights, as a principle, is no 
other than the principle of generality and locality. 
AVhatever concerns the whole should be con- 
iiderl to the whole — to the General Government; 
while whatever concerns only the State should 
be left exclusively to the State. This is all there 
is of the original principle about it. Whether 
the National Constitution in defining boundaries 
between the two has applied the principle with 
exact accuracy, is not to be questioned. We are 
all bound by that defining, without question. 

What is now combated is the position that 
secession is consistent with the Constitution — is 
lawful and peaceful. It is not contended that 


there is any express law for it; and nothing 
should ever be implied as law which leads to 
unjust or absurd consequence,^. The nation 
purchased with money the countries out of which 
several of these States were formed. Is it just 
that they shall go off without leave and without 
refunding? The nation paid very large sums 
(in the aggregate, I believe, nearly a hundred 
millions) to relieve Florida of the aboriginal 
tribes. Is it just that she shall now be off with- 
out consent or without making any return? The 
nation is now in debt for money applied to the 
benefit of these so-called seceding States in com- 
mon with the rest. Is it just either that cred- 
itors shall go unpaid or the remaining States pay 
the whole? A part of the present national debt 
was contracted to pay the old debts of Texas. 
Is it just that she shall leave and pay no part of 
this herself? 

Again, if one State may secede, so may an- 
other; and when a'l shall have seceded, none is 
left to pay the debts. Is this quite just to cred- 
itors? Did we notify them of this sage view 
of ours when we borrowed their money? If 
we now recognize this doctrine by allowing the 
seceders to go in peace, it is difficult to see what 
we can do if others choose to go or to extort 
terms upon which they will promise to re- 

The seceders insist that our Constitution ad- 
mits of secession. They have assumed to make 
a national constitution of their own, in which 
of necessity they have either discarded or re- 
tained the right of secession as they insist it 
exists in ours. If they have discarded it, they 
thereby admit that on principle it ought not to 


be in ours. If they have retained it by their own 
construction of ours, they show that to be con- 
sistent they must secede from one another when- 
ever they shall find it the easiest way of settling 
their debts, or effecting any other selfish or un- 
just object. The principle itself is one of dis- 
integration, and upon which no government can 
possibly endure. 

If all the States save one should assert the 
power to drive that one out of the Union, it is 
presumed the whole class of seceder politicians 
would at once deny the power and denounce the 
act as the greatest outrage upon State rights. 
But suppose that precisely the same act, instead 
of being called "driving the one out," should be 
called "the seceding of the others from that one," 
it would be exactly what the seceders claim to 
do, unless, indeed, they make the point that the 
one, because it is a minority, may rightfully do 
what the others, because they are a majority, 
may not rightfully do. These politicians are 
subtle and profound on the rights of minorities. 
They are not partial to that power which made 
the Constitution and speaks from the preamble 
calling itself ''We, the People." 

It may well be questioned whether there is to- 
day a majority of the legally qualified voters of 
any State, except perhaps South Carolina, in ?a- 
vor of disunion. There is much reason to believe 
that the Union men are the majority in many, 
if not in every other one, of the so-called seceded 
States. The contrary has not been demon- 
strated in any one of them. It is ventured to 
affirm this even of Virginia and Tennessee ; for 
the result of an election held in military camps, 
where the bayonets are all on one side of the 


question voted upon, can scarcely be considered 
as demonstrating popular sentiment. At such 
an election, all that large class who are at once 
for the Union and against coercion would be 
coerced to vote against the Union. 

It may be affirmed without extravagance that 
the free institutions we enjoy have developed 
the powers and improved the condition of our 
whole people beyond any example in the world. 
Of this we now have a striking and impressive 
illustration. So large an army as the govern- 
ment has now on foot was never before known, 
without a soldier in it but who has taken his place 
there of his own free choice. But more than 
this, there are many single regiments whose 
members, one and another, possess full practical 
knowledge of all the arts, sciences, professions, 
and whatever else, whether useful or elegant, 
is known in the world ; and there is scarcely one 
from which there could not be selected a Pres- 
ident, a cabinet, a congress, and perhaps a court, 
abundantly competent to administer the gov- 
ernment itself. Nor do I say this is not true 
also in the army of our late friends, now ad- 
versaries in this contest; but if it is, so much 
better the reason why the government which has 
conferred such benefits on both them and us 
should not be broken up. Whoever in any sec- 
tion proposes to abandon such a government 
would do well to consider in deference to what 
principle it is that he does it — what better he 
is likely to get in its stead — whether the substi- 
tute will give, or be intended to give, so much 
of good to the people? There are some fore- 
shadowings on this subject. Our adversaries 
have adopted some declarations of independence 


in which, iinHke the good old one, penned by 
Jefferson, they omit the words "all men are cre- 
ated equal." Why? They have adopted a tem- 
porary national constitution, in the preamble of 
which, unlike our good old one, signed by Wash- 
ington, they omit "W^e, the People," and substi- 
tute, "We, the deputies of the sovereign and 
independent States." Why? Why this delib- 
erate pressing out of view the rights of men and 
the authority of the people? 

This is essentially a people's contest. On the 
side of the Union it is a struggle for maintaining 
in the world that form and substance of gov- 
ernment whose leading object is to elevate the 
condition of men — to lift artificial weights from 
all shoulders ; to clear the paths of laudable 
pursuit for all ; to afford all an unfettered start, 
and a fair chance in the race of life. Yielding 
to partial and temporary departures, from neces- 
sity, this is the leading object of the government 
for whose existence we contend. 

I am most happy to believe that the plain 
people understand and appreciate this. It is 
worthy of note that while in this, the govern- 
ment's hour of trial, large numbers of those in 
the army and navy who have been favored with 
the offices have resigned and proved false to the 
hand which had pampered them, not one common 
soldier or common sailor is known to have de- 
serted his flag. 

Great honor is due to those officers who re- 
mained true, despite the example of their treach- 
erous associates ; but the greatest honor, and 
most important fact of all, is the unanimous 
firmness of the common soldiers and common 
sailors. To the last man, so far as known, they 


have successfully resisted the traitorous efforts 
of those whose commands, but an hour before, 
they obeyed as absolute law. This is the patri- 
otic instinct of the plain people. They under- 
stand, without an argument, that the destroying 
of the government which was made by Wash- 
ington m_eans no good to them. 

Our popular government has often been called 
an experiment. Two points in it our people 
have already settled — the successful establishing 
and the successful administering of it. One 
still remains — its successful maintenance against 
a formidable internal attempt to overthrov/ it. 
It is now for them to demonstrate to the world 
that those who can fairly carry an election can 
also suppress a rebellion ; that ballots are the 
rightful and peaceful successors of bullets ; 
and that when ballots have fairly and consti- 
tutionally decided, there can be no successful 
appeal back to bullets ; that there can be no suc- 
cessful appeal, except to ballots themselves, at 
succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson 
of peace : teaching men that what they cannot 
take by an election, neither can they take it by a 
war ; teaching all the folly of being the beginners 
of a war. 

Lest there be some uneasiness in the minds 
of candid men as to what is to be the course 
of the government toward the Southern States 
after the rebellion shall have been suppressed, 
the executive deems it proper to say it will be 
his purpose then, as ever, to be guided by the 
Constitution and the laws ; and that he probably 
will have no different understanding of the pow- 
ers and duties of the Federal Government rel- 
atively to the rights of the States and the people, 


under the Constitution, than that expressed in 
the inaugural address. 

He desires to preserve the government, that 
it may be administered for all as it was ad- 
ministered by the men who made it. Loyal 
citizens everywhere have the right to claim this 
of their government, and the government has 
no right to withhold or neglect it. It is not per- 
ceived that in giving it there is any coercion, 
any conquest, or any subjugation, in any just 
sense of those terms. 

The Constitution provides, and all the States 
have accepted the provision, that "the United 
States shall guarantee to every State in this 
Union a republican form of government." But 
if a State may lawfully go out of the Union, 
having done so, it may also discard the repub- 
lican form of government ; so that to prevent its 
going out is an indispensable means to the end of 
maintaining the guarantee mentioned ; and when 
an end is lawful and obligatory, the indispensable 
means to it are also lawful and obligatory. 

It w^as with the deepest regret that the execu- 
tive found the duty of employing the war power 
in defense of the government forced upon him. 
He could but perform this duty or surrender 
the existence of the government. No compro- 
mise by public servants could, in this case, 
be a cure ; not that compromises are not often 
proper, but that no popular government can long 
survive a marked precedent that those who carry 
an election can only save the government from 
immcfliate destruction by giving up the main 
point upon which the people gave the election. 
The people themselves, and not their servants, 
can safely reverse their own deliberate decisions. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 25 

As a private citizen the executive could not 
have consented that these institutions shall per- 
ish ; much less could he, in betrayal of so vast 
and so sacred a trust as the free people have 
confided to him. He felt that he had no moral 
right to shrink, nor even to count the chances 
of his ov/n life in what might follow. In full 
view of his great responsibility he has, so far, 
done what he has deemed his duty. You will 
now, according to your own judgment, perform 
yours. He sincerely hopes that your views and 
your actions may so accord with his, as to assure 
all faithful citizens who have been disturbed in 
their rights of a certain and speedy restoration 
to them, under the Constitution and the laws. 

And having thus chosen our course, without 
guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our 
trust in God, and go forward without fear and 
with manly hearts. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Annual Message to Congress. 
December 3, 1861. 

FeUozv-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: In the midst of unprecedented 
political troubles we have cause of great grati- 
tude to God for unusual good health and most 
abundant harvests. 

You will not be surprised to learn that, in the 
peculiar exigencies of the times, our intercourse 
with foreign nations has been attended with pro- 
found solicitude, chiefly turning upon our own 
domestic affairs. 

A disloyal portion of the American people 


have, during the whole year, been engaged in 
an attempt to divide and destroy the Union. A 
nation which endures factious domestic division 
is exposed to disrespect abroad ; and one party, 
if not both, is sure, sooner or later, to invoke 
foreign intervention. Nations' thus tempted to 
interfere are not always able to resist the coun- 
sels of seeming expediency and ungenerous am- 
bition, although measures adopted under such 
influences seldom fail to be unfortunate and in- 
jurious to those adopting them. 

The disloyal citizens of the United States who 
have offered the ruin of our country in return 
for the aid and comfort which they have invoked 
abroad, have received less patronage and en- 
couragement than they probably expected. If 
it were just to suppose, as the insurgents have 
seemed to assume, that foreign nations in this 
case, discarding all moral, social, and treaty 
obligations, would act solely and selfishly for the 
most speedy restoration of commerce, including 
especially, the acquisition of cotton, those nations 
appear as yet not to have seen their way to their 
object more directly or clearly through the de- 
struction than through the preservation of the 
Union. If we could dare to believe that foreign 
nations are actuated by no higher principle than 
this, I am quite sure a sound argument could 
be made to show them that they can reach their 
aim more readily and easily by aiding to crush 
this rebellion than by giving encouragement to it. 

The principal lever relied on by the insur- 
gents for exciting foreign nations to hostility 
against us, as already intimated, is the embar- 
rassment of commerce. Those nations, however, 
not improbably saw from the first that it was 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 27 

the Union which made as well our foreign as 
our domestic commerce. They can scarcely 
have failed to perceive that the effort for dis- 
union produces the existing difficulty ; and that 
one strong nation promises more durable peace 
and a more extensive, valuable, and reliable 
commerce than can the same nation broken in 
hostile fragments. 

It is not my purpose to review our discussions 
with foreign states, because, whatever might be 
their wishes or dispositions, the integrity of our 
country and the stability of our government 
mainly depend not upon them, but on the loyalty, 
virtue, patriotism, and intelligence of the Ameri- 
can people. The correspondence itself, with the 
usual reservations, is herewith submitted. 

I venture to hope it will appear that we have 
practised prudence and liberality toward foreign 
powers, averting causes of irritation, and with 
firmness maintaining our own rights and 

Since, however, it is apparent that here, as 
in every other state, foreign dangers necessarily 
attend domestic difficulties, I recommend that 
adequate and ample measures be adopted for 
maintaining the public defenses on every side. 
While under this general recommendation pro- 
vision for defending our sea-coast line readily 
occurs to the mind, I also in the same connection 
ask the attention of Congress to our great lakes 
and rivers. It is believed that some fortifications 
and depots of arms and munitions, with harbor 
and navigation improvements, all at well-selected 
points upon these, would be of great importance 
to the national defense and preservation. I ask 
attention to the views of the Secretary of War, 


expressed in his report upon the same general 

I deem it of importance that the loyal regions 
of East Tennessee and western North Carolina 
should be connected with Kentucky and other 
faithful parts of the Union, by railroad. I 
therefore recommend as a military measure that 
Congress provide for the construction of such 
road as speedily as possible. Kentucky, no doubt, 
will cooperate, and, through her legislature, make 
the most judicious selection of a line. The 
northern terminus must connect with some exist- 
ing railroad ; and whether the route shall be 
from Lexington or Nicholasville to the Cum- 
berland Gap, or from Lebanon to the Tennessee 
line, in the direction of Knoxville, or on some 
still different line, can easily be determined. 
Kentucky and the General Government cooperat- 
ing, the work can be completed in a very short 
time ; and when done it will be not only of vast 
present usefulness, but also a valuable per- 
manent improvement, worth its cost in all the 

Some treaties, designed chiefly for the interests 
of commerce, and having no grave political 
importance, have been negotiated, and will be 
submitted to the Senate for their considera- 

Although we have failed to induce some of the 
commercial powers to adopt a desirable meliora- 
tion of the rigor of maritime war, we have re- 
moved all obstructions from the way of this 
humane reform, except such as are merely of 
temporary and accidental occurrence. 

I invite your attention to the correspondence 
between her Britannic Majesty's minister ac- 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 29 

credited to this government, and the Secretary 
of State, relative to the detention of the British 
ship Perthshire, in June last, by the United 
States steamer Massachusetts, for a supposed 
breach of the blockade. As this detention was 
occasioned by an obvious misapprehension of the 
facts, and as justice requires that we should 
commit no belligerent act not founded in strict 
right, as sanctioned by public law, I recommend 
that an appropriation be made to satisfy the rea- 
sonable demand of the owners of the vessel for 
her detention. 

I repeat the recommendation of my predeces- 
sor, in his annual message to Congress in De- 
cember last, in regard to the disposition of the 
surplus which will probably remain after satis- 
fying the claims of American citizens against 
China, pursuant to the awards of the commis- 
sioners under the act of the 3d of March, 1859. 
If, however, it should not be deemed advisable to 
carry that recommendation into effect, I would 
suggest that authority be given for investing the 
principal, over the proceeds of the surplus re- 
ferred to, in good securities, with a view to the 
satisfaction of such other just claims of our citi- 
zens against China as are not unlikely to arise 
hereafter in the course of our extensive trade 
with that empire. 

By the act of the 5th of August last, Congress 
authorized the President to instruct the com- 
manders of suitable vessels to defend themselves 
against, and to capture, pirates. This authority 
has been exercised in a single instance only. 
For the more effectual protection of our exten- 
sive and valuable commerce, in the eastern seas 
especially, it seems to me that it would also be 


advisable to authorize the commanders of saihng 
vessels to recapture any prizes which pirates may 
make of United States vessels and their cargoes, 
and the consular courts, now established by law 
in eastern countries, to adjudicate the cases, in 
the event that this should not be objected to by 
the local authorities. 

If any good reason exists why we should per- 
severe longer in withholding our recognition of 
the independence and sovereignty of Hayti and 
Liberia, I am unable to discern it. Unwilling, 
however, to inaugurate a novel policy in regard 
to them without the approbation of Congress, 
I submit for your consideration the expediencj; 
of an appropriation for maintaining a charge 
d'affaires near each of those new states. It does 
not admit of doubt that important commercial 
advantages might be secured by favorable treaties 
with them. 

The operations of the treasury during the pe- 
riod which elapsed since your adjournment have 
been conducted with signal success. The pa- 
triotism of the people has placed at the disposal 
of the government the large means demanded 
by the public exigencies. Much of the national 
loan has been taken by citizens of the industrial 
classes whose confidence in their country's faith, 
and zeal for their country's deliverance from 
present peril, have induced them to contribute to 
the support of the government the whole of their 
limited acquisitions. This fact imposes peculiar 
obligations to economy in disbursement and en- 
ergy in action. 

The revenue from all sources, including loans, 
for the financial year ending on the 30th June, 
1 861, was $86,835,900.27, and the expenditures 


for the same period, including payments on ac- 
count of tiie public debt, were $84,578,83447; 
leaving a balance in the treasury, on the ist of 
July, of $2,257,065.80. For the first quarter 
of the financial year ending on the 30th of Sep- 
tember, 1861, the receipts from all sources, 
including the balance of ist of July, were 
$102,532,509.27, and the expenses $98,239,733.- 
09; leaving a balance on the ist October, 1861, 
of $4,292,776.18. 

Estimates for the remaining three quarters of 
the year, and for the financial year 1863, to- 
gether with his views of ways and means for 
meeting the demands contemplated by themi. will 
be submitted to Congress by the Secretary of 
the Treasury. It is gratifying to know that the 
expenditures made necessary by the rebellion are 
not beyond the resources of the loyal people, and 
to believe that the same patriotism which has 
thus far sustained the government vv^ill continue 
to sustain it till peace and union shall again 
bless the land. 

I respectfully refer to the report of the Sec- 
retary of War for information respecting the 
numerical strength of the army, and for recom- 
mendations having in view an increase of its 
efficiency and the well-being of the various 
branches of the service intrusted to his care. 
It is gratifying to know that the patriotism of 
the people has proved equal to the occasion, and 
that the number of troops tendered greatly ex- 
ceeds the force which Congress authorized me 
to call into the field. 

I refer with pleasure to those portions of his 
report which make allusion to the creditable 
degree of discipline already attained by our 


troops, and to the excellent sanitary condition of 
the entire army. 

The recommendation of the secretary for an 
organization of the militia upon a uniform basis 
is a subject of vital importance to the future 
safety of the country, and is commended to the 
serious attention of Congress. 

The large addition to the regular army, in 
connection with the defection that has so con- 
siderably diminished the number of its officers, 
gives peculiar importance to his recommendation 
for increasing the corps of cadets to the greatest 
capacity of the Alilitary Academy. 

By mere omission, I presume, Congress has 
failed to provide chaplains for hospitals occupied 
by volunteers. This subject was brought to my 
notice, and I was induced to draw up the form 
of a letter, one copy of which, properly ad- 
dressed, has been delivered to each of the per- 
sons, and at the dates respectively named and 
stated, in a schedule, containing also the form 
of the letter, marked A, and herewith trans- 

These gentlemen, I understand, entered upon 
the duties designated at the times respectively 
stated in the schedule, and have labored faith- 
fully therein ever since. I therefore recommend 
that they be compensated at the same rate as 
chaplains in the army. I further suggest that 
general provision be made for chaplains to serve 
at hospitals as well as with regiments. 

The report of the Secretary of the Navy pre- 
sents in detail the operations of that branch of 
the service, the activity and energy which have 
characterized its administration, and the results 
of measures to increase its efficiency and power. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 33 

Such have been the additions, by construction and 
purchase, that it may almost be said a navy has 
been created and brought into service since our 
difficulties commenced. 

Besides blockading our extensive coast, squad- 
rons larger than ever before assembled under 
our flag have been put afloat and performed 
deeds which have increased our naval re- 

I would invite special attention to the recom- 
mendation of the secretary for a more perfect 
organization of the navy by introducing addi- 
tional grades in the service. 

The present organization is defective and un- 
satisfactory, and the suggestions submitted by 
the department will, it is believed, if adopted, 
obviate the difficulties alluded to, promote 
harmony, and increase the efficiency of the 

There are three vacancies on the bench of the 
Supreme Court — two by the decease of Justices 
Daniel and McLean, and one by the resignation 
of Justice Campbell. I have so far forborne 
making nominations to fill these vacancies for 
reasons which I will now state. Two of the out- 
going judges resided within the States now over- 
run by revolt; so that if successors were ap- 
pointed in the same localities they could not now 
serve upon their circuits ; and many of the most 
competent men there probably would not take 
the personal hazard of accepting to serve, even 
here, upon the supreme bench. I have been un- 
willing to throw all the appointments north- 
ward, thus disabling myself from doing justice 
to the South on the return of peace : although 
I may remark that to transfer to the North one 


which has heretofore been in the South, would 
not, with reference to territory and population, 
be unjust. 

During the long and brilliant judicial career 
of Judge ]\IcLean his circuit grew into an em- 
pire, — altogether too large for any one judge to 
give the courts therein more than a nominal 
attendance, — rising in population from 1,470,018 
in 1830, to 6,151,405 in i860. 

Besides this, the country generally has out- 
grown our present judicial system. If uniform- 
ity was at all intended, the system requires that 
all the States shall be accommodated with circuit 
courts, attended by supreme judges, while, in fact, 
Wisconsin, ^Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Florida, 
, Texas, California, and Oregon have never had 
any such courts. Nor can this well be remedied 
without a change of the system ; because the add- 
ing of judges to the Supreme Court, enough for 
the accommodation of all parts of the country, 
with circuit courts, v/ould create a court altogeth- 
er too numerous for a judicial body of any sort. 
And the evil, if it be one, will increase as new 
States come into the Union. Circuit courts are 
useful, or they are not useful. If useful, no 
State should be denied them; if not useful, no 
State should have them. Let them be provided 
for all, or abolished as to all. 

Three modifications occur to me, either of 
which, I think, would be an improvement upon 
our present system. Let the Supreme Court be of 
convenient number in any event. Then, first, let 
the whole country be divided into circuits of 
convenient size, the supreme judges to serve in 
a number of them corresponding to their own 
number, and independent circuit judges to be 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 2, 1861 35 

provided for the rest. Or, secondly, let the su- 
preme judges be relieved from circuit duties, and 
circuit judges provided for all the circuits. Or, 
thirdly, dispense with circuit courts altogether, 
leaving the judicial functions wholly to the dis- 
trict courts and an independent Supreme Court. 

I respectfully recommend to the consideration 
of Congress the present condition of the 
statute laws, with the hope that Congress 
will be able to find an easy remedy for 
man}^ of the inconveniences and evils which 
constantly embarrass those engaged in the prac- 
tical administration of them. Since the organi- 
zation of the government, Congress has enacted 
some 5000 acts and joint resolutions, which fill 
more than 6000 closely printed pages, and are 
scattered through many volumes. IMany of these 
acts have been drawn in haste and without suf- 
ficient caution, so that their provisions are often 
obscure in themselves, or in conflict with each 
other, or at least so doubtful as to render it very 
difiicult for even the best-informed persons to 
ascertain precisely what the statute law really is. 

It seems to me very im.portant that the statute 
laws should be made as plain and intelligible 
as possible, and be reduced to as small a compass 
as may consist with the fulness and precision 
of the will of the legislature and the perspicuity 
of its language. This, well done, would, I think, 
greatly facilitate the labors of those whose duty 
it is to assist in the administration of the laws, 
and would be a lasting benefit to the people by 
placing before them, in a more accessible and in- 
telligible form, the laws which so deeply concern 
their interests and their duties, 

I am informed by some whose opinions I re- 


spect that all the acts of Congress now in force, 
and of a permanent and general nature, might 
be revised and rewritten so as to be embraced 
in one volume (or, at most, two volumes) of 
ordinary and convenient size ; and I respectfully 
recommend to Congress to consider of the sub- 
ject, and, if my suggestion be approved, to de- 
vise such plan as to their wisdom shall seem most 
proper for the attainment of the end proposed. 

One of the unavoidable consequences of the 
present insurrection is the entire suppression, in 
many places, of all the ordinary means of ad- 
ministering civil justice by the officers, and in the 
forms of existing law. This is the case, in whole 
or in part, in all the insurgent States ; and as our 
armies advance upon and take possession of 
parts of those States, the practical evil becomes 
more apparent. There are no courts nor offi- 
cers to whom the citizens of other States may 
apply for the enforcement of their lawful claims 
against citizens of the insurgent States ; and 
there is a vast amount of debt constituting such 
claims. Some have estimated it as high as 
$200,000,000, due, in large part, from insur- 
gents in open rebellion to loyal citizens who are, 
even now, making great sacrifices in the dis- 
charge of their patriotic duty to support the 

Under these circumstances, I have been ur- 
gently solicited to establish, by military power, 
courts to administer summary justice in such 
cases. I have thus far declined to do it, not 
because I had any doubt that the end proposed — 
the collection of the debts — was just and right 
in itself, but because I had been unwilling to 
go beyond the pressure of necessity in the un- 


usual exercise of power. But the powers of 
Congress, I suppose, are equal to the anomalous 
occasion, and therefore I refer the whole mat- 
ter to Congress, with the hope that a plan may 
be devised for the administration of justice in 
all such parts of the insurgent States and Ter- 
ritories as may be under the control of this 
government, whether by a voluntary return to 
allegiance and order, or by the power of our 
arms ; this, however, not to be a permanent 
institution, but a temporary substitute, and to 
cease as soon as the ordinary courts can be re- 
established in peace. 

It is important that some more convenient 
means should be provided, if possible, for the 
adjustment of claim.s against the government, 
especially in view of their increased number by 
reason of the war. It is as much the duty of 
government to render prompt justice against 
itself, in favor of citizens, as it is to administer 
the same between private individuals. The in- 
vestigation and adjudication of claims in their 
nature belong to the judicial department; be- 
sides, it is apparent that the attention of Congress 
will be more than usually engaged, for some time 
to come, with great national questions. It was 
intended, by the organization of the Court of 
Claims, mainly to remove this branch of business 
from the halls of Congress ; but while the court 
has proved to be an effective and valuable means 
of investigation, it in great degree fails to effect 
the object of its creation for want of power to 
make its judgments final. 

Fully aware of the delicacy, not to say the 
danger, of the subject, I commend to your care- 
ful consideration whether this power of. making 


judgments final may not properly be given to 
the court, reserving the right of appeal on ques- 
tions of law to the Supreme Court, with such 
other provisions as experience may have shown 
to be necessary. 

I ask attention to the report of the Postmaster- 
General, the following being a summary state- 
ment of the condition of the department: 

The revenue from all sources during the fiscal 
year ending Tune 30, 1861, including the annual 
permanent appropriation of $700,000 for the 
transportation of ''free mail matter," was $9,- 
049,296.40, being about two per cent, less than 
the revenue for i860. 

The expenditures were $13,606,759.11, show- 
ing a decrease of more than eight per cent, as 
compared with those of the previous year, and 
leaving an excess of expenditure over the reve- 
nue for the last fiscal year of $4,557,462.71. 

The gross revenue for the year ending June 
30, 1863, is estimated at an increase of four 
per cent, on that of 1861, making $8,683,000, to 
which should be added the earnings of the de- 
partment in carrying free matter, viz., $700,000, 
making $9,383,000. 

The total expenditures for 1863 ^^^ estimated 
at $12,528,000, leaving an estimated deficiency 
of $3,145,000 to be supplied from the treasury 
in addition to the permanent appropriation. 

The present insurrection shows, I think, that 
the extension of this District across the Potomac 
River, at the time of establishing the capital 
here, was eminently wise, and consequently that 
\hG relinquishment of that portion of it which 
lies within the State of Virginia was unwise and 
dangerovis. I submit for your consideration the 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 39 

expediency of regaining that part of the Dis- 
trict and the restoration of the original bound- 
aries thereof, through negotiations with the 
State of Virginia. 

The report of the Secretary of the Interior, 
with the accompanying documents, exhibits the 
condition of the several branches of the public 
business pertaining to that department. The 
depressing influences of the insurrection have 
been especially felt in the operations of the 
Patent and General Land Offices. The cash re- 
ceipts from the sales of public lands during the 
past year have exceeded the expenses of our 
land system only about $200,000. The sales have 
been entirely suspended in the Southern States, 
while the interruptions to the business of the 
country, and the diversion of large numbers of 
-men from labor to miilitary service, have ob- 
structed settlements in the new States and Terri- 
tories of the Northwest. 

The receipts of the Patent Office have declined 
in nine months about $100,000, rendering a large 
reduction of the force employed necessary to 
make it self-sustaining. 

The demands upon the Pension Office will be 
largely increased by the insurrection. Numerous 
applications for pensions, based upon the casual- 
ties of the existing war, have already been made. 
There is reason to believe that many who are 
now upon the pension rolls and in receipt of the 
bounty of the government are in the ranks of 
the insurgent army, or giving them aid and com- 
fort. The Secretary of the Interior has directed 
a suspension of the payment of the pensions of 
such persons upon proof of their disloyalty. I 
recommend that Congress authorize that officer 


to cause the names of such persons to be stricken 
from the pension rolls. 

The relations of the government with the In- 
dian tribes have been greatly disturbed by the 
insurrection, especially in the Southern Super- 
intendency and in that of New IMexico. The 
Indian country south of Kansas is in the pos- 
session of insurgents from Texas and Arkansas. 
The agents of the United States appointed since 
the 4th of March for this superintendency have 
been unable to reach their posts, while the most 
of those who were in office before that time 
have espoused the insurrectionary cause, and 
assume to exercise the powers of agents by virtue 
of commissions from the insurrectionists. It 
has been stated in the public press that a portion 
of those Indians have been organized as a mili- 
tary force, and are attached to the army of the 
insurgents. Although the government has no 
official information upon this subject, letters 
have been written to the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs by several prominent chiefs, giving as- 
surance of their loyalty to the United States, 
and expressing a wish for the presence of 
Federal troops to protect them. It is believed 
that upon the repossession of the country by the 
Federal forces the Indians will readily cease all 
hostile demonstrations and resume their former 
relations to the government. 

Agriculture, confessedly the largest interest 
of the nation, has not a department, nor a bureau, 
but a clerkship only, assigned to it in the gov- 
ernment. While it is fortunate that this great 
interest is so independent in its nature as to not 
have demanded and extorted more from the gov- 
ernment, I respectfully ask Congress to consider 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 41 

whether something more cannot be given volun- 
tarily with general advantage. 

Annual reports exhibiting the condition of 
our agriculture, commerce, and manufactures 
would present a fund of information of great 
practical value to the country. While I make no 
suggestion as to details, I venture the opinion 
that an agricultural and statistical bureau might 
profitably be organized. 

The execution of the laws for the suppression 
of the African slave-trade has been confided to 
the Department of the Interior. It is a subject 
of gratulation that the efforts which have been 
made for the suppression of this inhuman traffic 
have been recently attended with unusual suc- 
cess. Five vessels being fitted out for the slave- 
trade have been seized and condemned. Two 
mates of vessels engaged in the trade, and one 
person in equipping a vessel as a slaver, have 
been convicted and subjected to the penalty of 
fine and imprisonment, and one captain, taken 
with a cargo of Africans on board his vessel, has 
been convicted of the highest grade of offense 
under our laws, the punishment of which is 

The Territories of Colorado, Dakota, and 
Nevada, created by the last Congress, have been 
organized, and civil administration has been in- 
augurated therein under auspices especially 
gratifying when it is considered that the leaven 
of treason was found existing in some of these 
new countries when the Federal officers arrived 

The abundant natural resources of these Ter- 
ritories, with the security and protection afforded 
by organized government, will doubtless invite 


to them a large immigration when peace shall 
restore the business of the country to its accus- 
tomed channels. I submit the resolutions of the 
legislature of Colorado, which evidence the pa- 
triotic spirit of the people of the Territory. So 
far the authority of the United States has been 
upheld in all the Territories, as it is hoped it 
will be in the future. I commend their interests 
and defense to the enlightened and generous 
care of Congress. 

I recommend to the favorable consideration 
of Congress the interests of the District of 
Columbia. The insurrection has been the cause 
of much suffering and sacrifice to its inhabitants ; 
and as they have no representative in Congress, 
that body should not overlook their just claims 
upon the government. 

At your late session a joint resolution was 
adopted authorizing the President to take meas- 
ures for facilitating a proper representation of 
the industrial interests of the United States at 
the exhibition of the industry of all nations to 
be holden at London in the year 1862. I regret 
to say I have been unable to give personal at- 
tention to this subject — a subject at once so in- 
teresting in itself, and so extensively and inti- 
mately connected with the material prosperity 
of the world. Through the Secretaries of State 
and of the Interior a plan, or system, has been 
devised and partly matured, and which will be 
laid before you. 

Under and by virtue of the act of Congress 
entitled "An act to confiscate property used for 
insurrectionary purposes," approved August 6, 
1 86 1, the legal claims of certain persons to the 
labor and service of certain other persons have 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 43 

become forfeited; and numbers of the latter, thus 
liberated, are already dependent on the United 
States, and must be provided for in some way. 
Besides this, it is not impossible that some of 
the States will pass similar enactments for their 
own benefit respectively, and by operation of 
which persons of the same class will be thrown 
upon them for disposal. In such case I recom- 
mend that Congress provide for accepting such 
persons from such States, according to some 
mode of valuation, in lieu, pro tanto, of direct 
taxes, or upon some other plan to be agreed 
on with such States respectively, that such per- 
sons, on such acceptance by the General Gov- 
ernment, be at once deemed free; and that, in 
any event, steps be taken for colonizing both 
classes (or the one first mentioned, if the other 
shall not be brought into existence) at some place 
or places in a climate congenial to them. It 
might be well to consider, too, whether the free 
colored people already in the United States could 
not, so far as individuals may desire, be included 
in such colonization. 

To carry out the plan of colonization may 
involve the acquiring of territory, and also the 
appropriation of money beyond that to be ex- 
pended in the territorial acquisition. Having 
practised the acquisition of territory for nearly 
sixty years, the question of constitutional power 
to do so is no longer an open one with us. The 
power was questioned at first by Mr. Jefferson, 
who, however, in the purchase of Louisiana, 
yielded his scruples on the plea of great expedi- 
ency. If it be said that the only legitimate ob- 
ject of acquiring territory is to furnish homes 
for white men, this measure effects that object; 


for the emigration of colored men leaves addi- 
tional room for white men remaining or coming 
here. Mr. Jefferson, however, placed the impor- 
tance of procuring Louisiana more on political 
and commercial grounds than on providing room 
for population. 

On this whole proposition, including the ap- 
propriation of money with the acquisition of 
territory, does not the expediency amount to 
absolute necessity — that without which the gov- 
ernment itself cannot be perpetuated? 

The war continues. In considering the policy 
to be adopted for suppressing the insurrection, 
I have been anxious and careful that the inevi- 
table conflict for this purpose shall not degenerate 
into a violent and remorseless revolutionary 
struggle. I have, therefore, in every case thought 
it proper to keep the integrity of the Union 
prominent as the primary object of the contest 
on our part, leaving all questions which are not 
of vital military importance to the more delib- 
erate action of the legislature. 

In the exercise of my best discretion I have 
adhered to the blockade of the ports held by the 
insurgents, instead of putting in force, by proc- 
lamation, the law of Congress enacted at the last 
session for closing those ports. 

So also, obeying the dictates of prudence as 
well as the obligations of law, instead of tran- 
scending I have adhered to the act of Congress 
to confiscate property used for insurrectionary 
purposes. If a new law upon the same subject 
shall be proposed, its propriety will be duly con- 
sidered. The Union must be preserved ; and 
hence all indispensable means must be employed. 
We should not be in haste to determine that 

'ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 45 

radical and extreme measures, which may reach 
the loyal as well as the disloyal, are indispensable. 

The inaugural address at the beginning of 
the administration, and the message to Congress 
at the late special session, were both mainly 
devoted to the domestic controversy out of which 
the insurrection and consequent war have sprung. 
Nothing now occurs to add or subtract, to or 
from, the principles or general purposes stated 
and expressed in those documents. 

The last ray of hope for preserving the Union 
peaceably expired at the assault upon Fort Sum- 
ter; and a general review of what has occurred 
since may not be unprofitable. What was pain- 
fully uncertain then is much better defined and 
more distinct now ; and the progress of events 
is plainly in the right direction. The insurgents 
confidently claimed a strong support from north 
of Mason and Dixon's line; and the friends of 
the Union were not free from apprehension on 
the point. This, however, was soon settled def- 
initely, and on the right side. South of the line, 
noble little Delaware led off right from the first. 
Maryland was made to seem against the Union. 
Our soldiers were assaulted, bridges were 
burned, and railroads torn up within her limits, 
and we were many days, at one time, without the 
ability to bring a single regiment over her soil 
to the capital. Now her bridges and railroads 
are repaired and open to the government; she 
already gives seven regiments to the cause of the 
Union and none to the enemy; and her people, 
at a regular election, have sustained the Union 
by a larger majority and a larger aggregate vote 
than they ever before gave to any candidate or 
any question. Kentucky, too, for some time in 


doubt, is now decidedly, and, I think, unchange- 
ably, ranged on the side of the Union. Missouri is 
comparatively quiet, and, I believe, cannot again 
be overrun by the insurrectionists. These three 
States of Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, 
neither of which would promise a single soldier 
at first, have now an aggregate of not less than 
forty thousand in the field for the Union, while 
of their citizens certainly not more than a third 
of that number, and they of doubtful where- 
abouts and doubtful existence, are in arms 
against it. After a somewhat bloody struggle 
of months, winter closes on the Union people 
of western Virginia, leaving them masters of 
their own country. 

An insurgent force of about 1500, for months 
dominating the narrow peninsular region con- 
stituting the counties of Accomac and North- 
ampton, and known as the eastern shore of Vir- 
ginia, together with some contiguous parts of 
Maryland, have laid down their arms, and the 
people there have renewed their allegiance to and 
accepted the protection of the old flag. This 
leaves no armed insurrectionist north of the 
Potomac or east of the Chesapeake. 

Also we have obtained a footing at each of 
the isolated points, on the southern coast, of 
Hatteras, Port Royal, Tybee Island, near Savan- 
nah, and Ship Island ; and we likewise have some 
general accounts of popular movements in behalf 
of the Union in North Carolina and Tennessee. 

These things demonstrate that the cause of the 
Union is advancing steadily and certainly south- 

Since your last adjournment Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Scott has retired from the head of the army. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 47 

During his long life the nation has not been 
unmindful of his merit; yet, on calling to mind 
how faithfully, ably, and brilliantly he has served 
the country from a time far back in our his- 
tory when few of the now living had been born, 
and thenceforward continually, I cannot but 
think we are still his debtors. I submit, there- 
fore, for your consideration what further mark 
of recognition is due to him and to ourselves as 
a grateful people. 

V/ith the retirement of General Scott came 
the executive duty of appointing in his stead 
a general-in-chief of the army. It is a fortunate 
circumstance that neither in council nor country 
was there, so far as I know, any difference of 
opinion as to the proper person to be selected. 
The retiring chief repeatedly expressed his judg- 
ment in favor of General McClellan for the po- 
sition, and in this the nation seemed to give a 
unanimous concurrence. The designation of 
General McClellan is, therefore, in considerable 
degree the selection of the country as well as of 
the executive, and hence there is better reason 
to hope there will be given him the confidence and 
cordial support thus far by fair implication prom- 
ised, and without which he cannot with so full 
efficiency serve the country. 

It has been said that one bad general is better 
than two good ones; and the saying is true, if 
taken to mean no more than that an army is bet- 
ter directed by a single mind, though inferior, 
than by two superior ones at variance and cross- 
purposes with each other. 

And the same is true in all joint operations 
wherein those engaged can have none but a com- 
mon end in view, and can differ only as to the 


choice of means. In a storm at sea no one on 
board can wish the ship to sink ; and yet not 
infrequently all go down together because too 
many will direct, and no single mind can be al- 
lowed to control. 

It continues to develop that the insurrection 
is largely, if not exclusively, a war upon the 
first principle of popular government — the rights 
of the people. Conclusive evidence of this is 
found in the most grave and maturely consid- 
ered public documents as w^ell as in the general 
tone of the insurgents. In those documents we 
find the abridgment of the existing right of 
suffrage and the denial to the people of all right 
to participate in the selection of public officers 
except the legislative, boldy advocated, with 
labored arguments to prove that large control of 
the people in government is the source of all 
political evil. Monarchy itself is sometimes 
hinted at as a possible refuge from the power of 
the people. 

In my present position I could scarcely be 
justified were I to omit raising a warning voice 
against this approach of returning despotism. 

It is not needed nor fitting here that a gen- 
eral argument should be made in favor of pop- 
ular institutions ; but there is one point, with 
its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, 
to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort 
to place capital on an equal footing with, if not 
above, labor, in the structure of government. 
It is assumed that labor is available only in con- 
nection with capital ; that nobody labors unless 
somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the 
use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, 
it is next considered whether it is best that cap- 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 3, 1861 49 

ital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them 
to work by their own consent, or buy them 
and drive them to it without their consent. Hav- 
ing proceeded thus far, it is naturally concluded 
that all laborers are either hired laborers or what 
we call slaves. And, further, it is assumed that 
whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that 
condition for life. 

Now, there is no such relation between capital 
and labor as assumed, nor is there an}^ such 
thing as a free man being fixed for life in the 
condition of a hired laborer. Both these as- 
sumptions are false, and all inferences from 
them are groundless. 

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. 
Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never 
have existed if labor had not first existed. 
Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves 
much the higher consideration. Capital has its 
rights, which are as worthy of protection as any 
other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and 
probably always will be, a relation between labor 
and capital producing mutual benefits. The 
error is in assuming that the whole labor of the 
community exists within that relation. A few 
men own capital, and that few avoid labor them- 
selves, and with their capital hire or buy another 
few to labor for them. A large majority be- 
long to neither class — neither work for others 
nor have others working for them. In most of 
the Southern States a majority of the whole 
people, of all colors, are neither slaves nor mas- 
ters ; while in the Northern a large m.ajority are 
neither hirers nor hired. Men with their fam- 
ilies — wives, sons, and daughters — work for 
themselves, on their farms, in their houses, and 


in their shops, taking the whole product to them- 
selves, and asking no favors of capital on the 
one hand, nor of hired laborers or slaves on 
the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable 
number of persons mingle their own labor with 
capital — that is, they labor with their own hands 
and also buy or hire others to labor for them ; 
but this is only a mixed and not a distinct class. 
No principle stated is disturbed by the existence 
of this mixed class. 

Again, as has already been said, there is not, 
of necessity, any such thing as the free hired 
laborer being fixed to tliat condition for life. 
]\Ianv independent men everywhere in these 
States, a few years back in their lives, were hired 
laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the 
world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus 
with which to buy tools or land for him- 
self, then labors on his own account another 
while, and at length hires another new beginner 
to help him. This is the just and generous and 
prosperous system which opens the way to all — 
gives hope to all, and consequent energy and 
progress and improvement of condition to all. 
No men living are more worthy to be trusted 
than those who toil up from poverty — none less 
inclined to take or touch aught which they have 
not honestly earned. Let them beware of sur- 
rendering a political power which they already 
possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely 
be used to close the door of advancement against 
such as they, and to fix new disabilities and bur- 
dens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost. 

From the first taking of our national census 
to the last are seventy years ; and we find our 
population at the end of the period eight times 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 51 

as great as it was at the beginning. The increase 
of those other things which men deem desirable 
has been even greater. We thus have, at one 
view, what the popular principle, applied to gov- 
ernment, through the machinery of the States 
and the Union, has produced in a given time; 
and also what, if firmly maintained, it promises 
for the future. There are already among us 
those who, if the Union be preserved, will live 
to see it contain 250,000,000. The struggle of 
to-day is not altogether for to-day — it is for a 
vast future also. With a reliance on Providence 
all the more firm and earnest, let us proceed in 
the great task which events have devolved 
upon us. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Annual Message to Congress. 

December i, 1862. 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: Since your last annual assem- 
bling another year of health and bountiful har- 
vests has passed ; and while it has not pleased 
the Almighty to bless us with a return of peace, 
we can but press on, guided by the best light 
he gives us, trusting that in his own good time 
and wise way all will yet be well. 

The correspondence touching foreign affairs 
which has taken place during the last year is 
herewith submitted, in virtual compliance with a 
request to that eft'ect, made by the House of 
Representatives near the close of the last ses- 
sion of Congress. 

If the condition of our relations with other 


nations is less gratifying than it has usually been 
at former periods, it is certainly more satis- 
factory than a nation so unhappily distracted 
as we are might reasonably have apprehended. 
In the month of June last there were some 
grounds to expect that the maritime powers 
which, at the beginning of our domestic diffi- 
culties, so unwisely and unnecessarily, as we 
think, recognized the insurgents as a belligerent, 
would soon recede from that position, which has 
proved only less injurious to themselves than to 
our own country. But the temporary reverses 
which afterward befell the national arms, and 
which were exaggerated by our own disloyal cit- 
izens abroad, have hitherto delayed that act of 
simple justice. 

The civil war, which has so radically changed, 
for the moment, the occupations and habits of 
the American people, has necessarily disturbed the 
social condition, and affected very deeply the 
prosperity of the nations with which we have car- 
ried on a commerce that has been steadily in- 
creasing throughout a period of half a century. 
It has, at the same time, excited political ambi- 
tions and apprehensions which have produced a 
profound agitation throughout the civilized 
world. In this unusual agitation we have for- 
borne from taking part in any controversy be- 
tween foreign states, and between parties or 
factions in such states. We have attempted no 
propagandism, and acknowledged no revolution. 
But we have left to every nation the exclusive 
conduct and management of its own affairs. Our 
struggle has been, of course, contemplated by 
foreign nations with reference less to its own 
merits than to its supposed and often exaggerated 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 53 

effects and consequences resulting to those na- 
tions themselves. Nevertheless, complaint on 
the part of this government, even if it were 
just, would certainly be unwise. 

The treaty with Great Britain for the sup- 
pression of the slave-trade has been put into 
operation with a good prospect of complete suc- 
cess. It is an occasion of special pleasure to 
acknowledge that the execution of it on the 
part of her IMajesty's government has been 
marked with a jealous respect for the authority 
of the United States, and the rights of their moral 
and loyal citizens. 

The convention with Hanover for the abolition 
of the state dues has been carried into full effect 
under the act of Congress for that pur- 

A blockade of three thousand miles of sea-coast 
could not be established and vigorously enforced, 
in a season of great commercial activity like 
the present, without committing occasional mis- 
takes, and inflicting unintentional injuries upon 
foreign nations and their subjects. 

A civil war occurring in a country where for- 
eigners reside and carry on trade under treaty 
stipulations, is necessarily fruitful of complaints 
of the violation of neutral rights. All such col- 
lisions tend to excite misapprehensions, and pos- 
sibly to produce mutual reclamations between 
nations which have a common interest in pre- 
serving peace and friendship. In clear cases of 
these kinds I have, so far as possible, heard and 
redressed complaints Vv^hich have been presented 
by friendly powers. There is still, however, a 
large and an augmenting number of doubtful 
cases upon which the government is unable to 


agree with the governments whose protection is 
demanded by the claimants. There are, more- 
over, many cases in which the United States or 
their citizens suffer wrongs from the naval or 
military authorities of foreign nations, which 
the governments of those states are not at once 
prepared to redress. I have proposed to some 
of the foreign states thus interested mutual con- 
ventions to examine and adjust such complaints. 
This proposition has been made especially to 
Great Britain, to France, to Spain, and to Prussia. 
In each case it has been kindly received, but has 
not yet been formally adopted. 

I deem it my duty to recommend an appropria- 
tion in behalf of the owners of the Norwegian 
bark Admiral P. Tordcnskiold, which vessel was, 
in Alay, 1861, prevented by the commander of 
the blockading force off Charleston from leaving 
that port with cargo notwithstanding a similar 
privilege had shortly before been granted to an 
English vessel. I have directed the Secretary of 
State to cause the papers in the case to be com- 
municated to the proper committees. 

Applications have been made to me by many 
free Americans of African descent to favor their 
emigration, with a view to such colonization as 
was contemplated in recent acts of Congress. 
Other parties at home and abroad — some from 
interested motives, others upon patriotic consid- 
erations, and still others influenced by philan- 
thropic sentiments — have suggested similar meas- 
ures ; while, on the other hand, several of the 
Spanish-American republics have protested 
against the sending of such colonies to their 
respective territories. Under these circum- 
stances, I have declined to move any such colony 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 55 

to any state without first obtaining the consent of 
its government, with an agreement on its part to 
receive and protect such emigrants in all the 
rights of freemen ; and I have at the same time 
offered to the several states situated within the 
tropics, or having colonies there, to negotiate with 
them, subject to the advice and consent- of the 
Senate, to favor the voluntary emigration of per- 
sons of that class to their respective territories, 
upon conditions which shall be equal, just, and 
humane. Liberia and Hayti are as yet the only 
countries to which colonists of African descent 
from here could go with certainty of being re- 
ceived and adopted as citizens ; and I regret to 
say such persons contemiplating colonization do 
not seem so willing to migrate to those countries 
as to some others, nor so willing as I think their 
interest demands. I believe, hov/ever, opinion 
among them in this respect is improving ; and 
that ere long there will be an augmented and 
considerable migration to both these countries 
from the United States. 

The new commercial treaty between the United 
States and the Sultan of Turkey has been carried 
into execution. 

A commercial and consular treaty has been ne- 
gotiated, subject to the Senate's consent, with 
Liberia ; and a similar negotiation is now pending 
with the republic of Hayti. A considerable im- 
provement of the national commerce is expected 
to result from these measures. 

Our relations with Great Britain, France, 
Spain, Portugal, Russia, Prussia, Denmark, 
Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Rome, 
and the other European states, remain undis- 
turbed. Very favorable relations also continue 


to be maintained with Turkey, Morocco, China, 
and Japan. 

During the last year there has not only been 
no change of our previous relations with the inde- 
pendent states of our own continent, but more 
friendly sentiments than have heretofore existed 
are believed to be entertained by these neighbors, 
whose safety and progress are so intimately con- 
nected with our owm. This statement especially 
applies to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Hon- 
duras, Peru, and Chile. 

The commission under the convention with the 
republic of New Granada closed its session with- 
out having audited and passed upon all the claims 
which were submitted to it. A proposition is 
pending to revive the convention, that it may be 
able to do more complete justice. The joint com- 
mission between the United States and the re- 
public of Costa Rica has completed its labors 
and submitted its report. 

I have favored the project for connecting the 
United States with Europe by an Atlantic tele- 
graph, and a similar project to extend the tele- 
graph from San Francisco, to connect by a Pacific 
telegraph with the line which is being extended 
across the Russian empire. 

The Territories of the United States, with un- 
important exceptions, have remained undisturbed 
by the civil war, and they are exhibiting such evi- 
dence of prosperity as justifies an expectation that 
some of them will soon be in a condition to be 
organized as States and be constitutionally ad- 
mitted into the Federal Union. 

The immense mineral resources of some of 
those Territories ought to be developed as rapidly 
as possible. Every step in that direction would 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 57 

have a tendency to improve the revenues of the 
government, and diminish the burdens of the 
people. It is worthy of your serious considera- 
tion whether some extraordinary measures to 
promote that end cannot be adopted. The means 
which suggests itself as most likely to be effective 
is a scientific exploration of the mineral regions 
in those Territories, with a view to the publica- 
tion of its results at home and in foreign coun- 
tries — results which cannot fail to be auspicious. 

The condition of the finances will claim your 
most diligent consideration. The vast expendi- 
tures incident to the military and naval opera- 
tions required for the suppression of the rebellion 
have hitherto been met with a promptitude and 
certainty unusual in similar circumstances, and 
the public credit has been fully maintained. The 
continuance of the war, however, and the in- 
creased disbursements made necessary by the 
augmented forces now in the field, demand your 
best reflections as to the best modes of pro- 
viding the necessary revenue v/ithout injury to 
business and with the least possible burdens 
upon labor. 

The suspension of specie payments by the 
banks, soon after the commencement of your last 
session, made large issues of United States notes 
unavoidable. In no other way could the pay- 
ment of the troops, and the satisfaction of other 
just demands, be so economically or so well pro- 
vided for. The judicious legislation of Congress, 
securing the receivability of these notes for loans 
and internal duties, and making them a legal 
tender for other debts, has made them a universal 
currency, and has satisfied, partially at least, and 
for the time, the long-felt want of a uniform cir- 


culating medium, saving thereby to the people im- 
mense sums in discounts and exchanges. 

A return to specie payments, however, at the 
earliest period compatible with due regard to all 
interests concerned, should ever be kept in view. 
Fluctuations in the value of currency are always 
injurious, and to reduce these fluctuations to the 
lowest possible point will always be a leading 
purpose in wise legislation. Convertibility — 
prompt and certain convertibility — into coin is 
generally acknowledged to be the best and surest 
safeguard against them ; and it is extremely 
doubtful whether a circulation of United States 
notes, payable in coin, and sufficiently large for 
the wants of the people, can be permanently, use- 
fully, and safely maintained. 

Is there, then, any other mode in which the 
necessary provision for the public wants can be 
made, and the great advantages of a safe and 
uniform currency secured ? 

I know of none which promises so certain re- 
sults, and is at the same time so unobjectiona- 
ble, as the organization of banking associations 
under a general act of Congress well guarded in 
its provisions. To such associations the govern- 
ment might furnish circulating notes, on the se- 
curity of United States bonds deposited in the 
treasury. These notes, prepared under the su- 
pervision of proper officers, being uniform in 
appearance and security, and convertible always 
into coin, would at once protect labor against 
the evils of a vicious currency, and facilitate com- 
merce by cheap and safe exchanges. 

A moderate reservation from the interest on 
the bonds would compensate the United States 
for the preparation and distribution of the notes 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 59 

and a general supervision of the system, and 
would lighten the burden of that part of the 
public debt employed as securities. The public 
credit, moreover, would be greatly improved 
and the negotiation of new loans greatly facili- 
tated by the steady market demand for govern- 
ment bonds which the adoption of the proposed 
system would create. 

It is an additional recommendation of the 
measure, of considerable weight in my judg- 
ment, that it would reconcile, as far as possible, 
all existing interests, by the opportunity offered 
to existing institutions to reorganize under the 
act, substitutinsf onlv the secured uniform na- 
tional circulation for the local and various circu- 
lation, secured and unsecured, now issued by 

The receipts into the treasury from all sources, 
including loans and balance from the preceding 
year, for the fiscal year ending on the 30th June, 
1862, were $583,885,247.06; of which sum $49,- 
056,397.62 were derived from customs; $1,795,- 
331.73 from the direct tax; from public lands, 
$152,203.77; from miscellaneous sources, $931,- 
787.64; from loans in all forms, $529,692,460.50. 
The remainder, $2,257,065.80, was the balance 
from last year. 

The disbursements during the same period 
were : for congressional, executive, and judicial 
purposes, $5,939.009.29 ; for foreign intercourse, 
$1,339,710.35; for miscellaneous expenses, in- 
cluding the mints, loans, post-office deficiencies, 
collection of revenue, and other hke charges, 
$14,129,771.50; for expenses under the Interior 
Department, $3,102,985.52; under the War De- 
partment, $394,368,407.36; under the Navy De- 


partment, $42.674,569.69 ; for interest on public 
debt, $13,190,324.45; and for payment of public 
debt, including reimbursement of temporary loan, 
and redemptions, $96,096,922.09 — making an ag- 
gregate of $570,841,700.25, and leaving a balance 
in the treasury on the first day of July, 1862, of 

It should be observed that the sum of $96,- 
096,922.09, expended for reimbursements and re- 
demption of public debt, being included also in 
the loans made, may be properly deducted both 
from receipts and expenditures, leaving the actual 
receipts for the year, $487,788,324.97; and the 
expenditures, $474,744,778.16. 

Other information on the subject of the finances 
will be found in the report of the Secretary of 
the Treasury, to whose statements and views I 
invite your most candid and considerate atten- 

The reports of the Secretaries of War and of 
the Navy are herewith transmitted. These re- 
ports, though lengthy, are scarcely more than 
brief abstracts of the very numerous and ex- 
tensive transactions and operations conducted 
through those departments. Nor could I give 
a summary of them here, upon any principle, 
which would admit of its being much shorter than 
the reports themselves. I therefore content my- 
self with laying the reports before you, and ask- 
ing your attention to them. 

It gives me pleasure to report a decided im- 
provement in the financial condition of the Post 
Office Department, as compared with several pre- 
ceding years. The receipts for the fiscal year 
1 861 amounted to $8,349,296.40, which embraced 
the revenue from all the States of the Union for 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 61 

three quarters of that year. Notwithstanding the 
cessation of revenue from the so-called seceded 
States during the last fiscal year, the increase of 
the correspondence of the loyal States has been 
sufficient to produce a revenue during the same 
year of $8,299,820.90, being only $50,000 less 
than was derived from all the States of the 
Union during the previous year. The expendi- 
tures show a still more favorable result. The 
amount expended in 1861 was $13,606,759.11. 
For the last year the amount has been reduced 
to $11,125,364.13, showing a decrease of about 
$2,481,000 in the expenditures as compared with 
the preceding year, and about $3,750,000 as 
compared with the fiscal year i860. The defi- 
ciency in the department for the previous year 
was $4,551,966.98. For the last fiscal year it was 
reduced to $2,112,814.57. These favorable re- 
sults are in part owing to the cessation of mail 
service in the insurrectionary States, and in 
part to a careful review of all expenditures 
in that department in the interest of economy. 
The efficiency of the postal service, it is be- 
lieved, has also been much improved. The Post- 
master-General has also opened a correspondence, 
through the Department of State, with foreign 
governments, proposing a convention of postal 
representatives for the purpose of simplifying 
the rates of foreign postage, and to expedite the 
foreign m^ails. This proposition, equally im- 
portant to our adopted citizens and to the com- 
mercial interests of this country, has been favor- 
ably entertained, and agreed to, by all the govern- 
ments from whom replies have been received. 

I ask the attention of Congress to the sugges- 
tions of the Postmaster-General in his report 


respecting the further legislation required, in his 
opinion, for the benefit of the postal service. 

The Secretary of the Interior reports as follows 
in regard to the public lands : 

The public lands have ceased to be a source of 
revenue. From the ist July, 1861, to the 30th Septem- 
ber, 1862, the entire cash receipts from the sale of lands 
were $137,476.26 — a sum much less than the expenses 
of our land system during the same period. The home- 
stead law, which will take effect on the ist of January 
next, offers such inducements to settlers that sales for 
cash cannot be expected to an extent sufficient to meet 
the expenses of the General Land Office, and the cost 
of surveying and bringing the land into market. 

The discrepancy between the sum here stated 
as arising from the sales of the public lands, 
and the sum derived from the same source as 
reported from the Treasury Department, arises, 
as I understand, from the fact that the periods of 
time, though apparently, were not really coinci- 
dent at the beginning point — the Treasury report 
including a considerable sum now, which had 
previously been reported from the Interior — 
sufficiently large to greatly overreach the sum 
derived from the three months now reported 
upon by the Interior, and not by the Treasury. 

The Indian tribes upon our frontiers have, 
during the past year, manifested a spirit of insub- 
ordination, and at several points have engaged in 
open hostilities against the white settlements in 
their vicinity. The tribes occupying the Indian 
country south of Kansas renounced their alle- 
giance to the United States, and entered into 
treaties with the insurgents. Those who re- 
mained loyal to the United States were driven 
from the country. The chief of the Cherokees 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 63 

has visited tliis city for the purpose of restoring 
the former relations of the tribe with the United 
States. He alleges that they were constrained by 
superior force to enter into treaties with the in- 
surgents, and that the United States neglected 
to furnish the protection which their treaty stip- 
ulations required. 

In the month of August last the Sioux Indians 
in ^linnesota attacked the settlements in their 
vicinity with extreme ferocity, killing indiscrim- 
inately m.en, women, and children. This attack 
was wholly unexpected, and therefore no means 
of defense had been provided. It is estimated that 
not less than eight hundred persons were killed by 
the Indians, and a large amount of property was 
destroyed. How this outbreak was induced is 
not definitely known, and suspicions, wdiich may 
be unjust, need not to be stated. Information 
was received by the Indian bureau, from differ- 
ent sources, about the time hostilities were com- 
menced, that a simultaneous attack was to be 
made upon the white settlements by all the tribes 
between the Mississippi River and the Rocky 
jMountains. The State of Minnesota has suffered 
great injury from this Indian war. A large por- 
tion of her territory has been depopulated, and a 
severe loss has been sustained by the destruction 
of property. The people of that State manifest 
much anxiety for the removal of the tribes beyond 
the limits of the State as a guarantee against 
future hostilities. The Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs will furnish full details. I submit for 
your especial consideration whether our Indian 
system shall not be remodeled. Many wise and 
good men have impressed me with the belief that 
this can be profitably done. 


I submit a statement of the proceedings of com- 
missioners, which shows the progress that has 
been made in the enterprise of constructing the 
Pacific Railroad. And this suggests the earhest 
completion of this road, and also the favorable 
action of Congress upon the projects now pend- 
ing before them for enlarging the capacities of 
the great canals in New York and Illinois, as 
being of vital and rapidly increasing importance 
to the whole nation, and especially to the vast 
interior region hereinafter to be noticed at some 
greater length. I purpose having prepared and 
laid before you at an early day some interesting 
and valuable statistical information upon this 
subject. The military and commercial im- 
portance of enlarging the Illinois and Michigan 
canal and improving the Illinois River is pre- 
sented in the report of Colonel Webster to the 
Secretary of War, and now transmitted to Con- 
gress. I respectfully ask attention to it. 

To carry out the provisions of the act of Con- 
gress of the 15th of May last, I have caused 
the Department of Agriculture of the United 
States to be organized. The commissioner in- 
forms me that within the period of a few months 
this department has established an extensive sys- 
tem of correspondence and exchanges, both at 
home and abroad, which promises to effect highly 
beneficial results in the development of a correct 
knowledge of recent improvements in agriculture, 
in the introduction of new products, and in the 
collection of the agricultural statistics of the dif- 
ferent States. Also that it will soon be pre- 
pared to distribute largely seeds, cereals, plants, 
and cuttings, and has already published and lib- 
erally diffused much valuable information in an- 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 65 

ticipation of a more elaborate report which will 
in due time be furnished, embracing some valua- 
ble tests in chemical science now in progress in 
the laboratory. The creation of this department 
was for the more immediate benefit of a large 
class of our most valuable citizens ; and I trust 
that the liberal basis upon which it has been or- 
ganized will not only meet your approbation, but 
that it will realize, at no distant day, all the fond- 
est anticipations of its most sanguine friends, and 
become the fruitful source of advantage to all 
our people. 

On the 22d day of September last a proclama- 
tion was issued by the Executive, a copy of which 
is herewith submitted. In accordance with the 
purpose expressed in the second paragraph of 
that paper, I now respectfully recall your atten- 
tion to what may be called "compensated emanci- 

A nation mav be said to consist of its territory, 
its people, and its laws. The territory is the 
only part which is of certain durability. ''One 
generation passeth away, and another generation 
Cometh, but the earth abideth forever." It is of 
the first importance to duly consider and estimate 
this ever-enduring part. That portion of the 
earth's surface which is owned and inhabited 
by the people of the United States is well adapted 
to be the home of one national family, and it is 
not well adapted for two or more. Its vast extent 
and its variety of climate and productions are of 
advantage in this age for one people, v/hatever 
they might have been in former ages. Steam, 
telegraphs, and intelligence have brought these 
to be an advantageous combination for one united 


In the inaugural address I briefly pointed out 
the total inadequacy of disunion as a remedy for 
the differences between the people of the two 
sections. I did so in language which I cannot 
improve and which, therefore, I beg to repeat. 

One section of our country believes slavery is right 
and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is 
wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only 
substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave clause of the 
Constitution and the law for the suppression of the 
foreign slave-trade are each as well enforced, perhaps, 
as any law can ever be in a community where the moral 
sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. 
The great body of the people abide by the dry legal 
obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. 
This. I think, cannot be perfectly cured ; and it would 
be worse in both cases after the separation of the sec- 
tions than before. The foreign slave-trade, now im- 
perfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived with- 
out restriction in one section ; while fugitive slaves, 
now only partially surrendered, would not be sur- 
rendered at all by the other. 

Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot 
remove our respective sections from each other, nor 
build an impassable wall between them. A husband 
and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence 
and beyond the reach of each other ; but the different 
parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but 
remain face to face ; and intercourse, either amicable or 
hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, 
then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or 
more satisfactory after separation than before? Can 
aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws ? 
Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens 
than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to 
war, you cannot fight always ; and when, after much 
loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease 
fighting, the identical old questions as to terms of in- 
tercourse are again upon you. 

There is no line, straight or crooked, suitable 
for a national boundary upon which to divide. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 67 

Trace through, from east to west, upon the Hne 
between the free and slave country, and we shall 
find a little more than one third of its length 
are rivers, easy to be crossed, and populated, or 
soon to be populated, thickly upon both sides ; 
while nearly all its remaining length are merely 
surveyors' lines, over which people may walk 
back and forth without any consciousness of their 
presence. No part of this line can be made any 
more difficult to pass by writing it down on paper 
or parchment as a national boundary. The fact 
of separation, if it comes, gives up on the part of 
the seceding section the fugitive-slave clause 
along with all other constitutional obligations 
upon the section seceded from, while I should 
expect no treaty stipulation would be ever made 
to take its place. 

But there is another difficulty. The great inte- 
rior region, bounded east by the Alleghanies, 
north by the British dominions, west by the 
Rocky Mountains, and south by the line along 
which the culture of corn and cotton meets, and 
which includes part of Virginia, part of Ten- 
nessee, all of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, 
Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, 
Minnesota, and the Territories of Dakota, Ne- 
braska, and part of Colorado, already has above 
ten millons of people, and will have fifty millions 
within fifty years if not prevented by any political 
folly or mistake. It contains more than one third 
of the country owned by the United States — 
certainly more than one million of square miles. 
Once half as populous as Massachusetts already 
is, it would have more than seventy-five millions 
of people. A glance at the map shows that, ter- 
ritorially speaking, it is the great body of the 


republic. The other parts are but marginal bor- 
ders to it, the magnificent region sloping west 
from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific being 
the deepest and also the richest in undeveloped 
resources. In the production of provisions, 
grains, grasses, and all which proceed from them, 
this great interior region is naturally one of the 
most important in the world. Ascertain from 
the statistics the small proportion of the region 
which has, as yet, been brought into cultivation, 
and also the large and rapidly increasing amount 
of its products, and we shall be overwhelmed with 
the magnitude of the prospect presented ; and 
yet this region has no sea-coast, touches no ocean 
anywhere. As part of one nation, its people now 
find, and may forever find, their way to Europe 
by New York, to South America and Africa by 
New Orleans, and to Asia by San Francisco. But 
separate our common country into two nations, 
as designed by the present rebellion, and every 
man of this great interior region is thereby 
cut off from some one or more of these out- 
lets — not, perhaps, by a physical barrier, 
but by embarrassing and onerous trade regu- 

And this is true wherever a dividing or bound- 
ary line may be fixed. Place it between the now 
free and slave country, or place it south of Ken- 
tucky or north of Ohio, and still the truth remains 
that none south of it can trade to any port or 
place north of it, and none north of it can trade to 
any port or place south of it, except upon terms 
dictated by a government foreign to them. These 
outlets, east, west, and south, are indispensable to 
the well-being of the people inhabiting, and to in- 
habit, this vast interior region. Which of the 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 69 

three may be the best, is no proper question. 
All are better than either ; and all of right belong 
to that people and to their successors forever. 
True to themselves, they will not ask where a line 
of separation shall be, but will vow rather that 
there shall be no such line. Nor are the marginal 
regions less interested in these communications to 
and through them to the great outside world. 
They, too, and each of them, must have access 
to this Egypt of the West without paying toll 
at the crossing of any national boundary. 

Our national strife springs not from our per- 
manent part, not from the land we inhabit, not 
from our national homestead. There is no pos- 
sible severing of this but would multiply, and 
not mitigate, evils among us. In all its adapta- 
tions and aptitudes it demands union and abhors 
separation. In fact, it would ere long force re- 
union, however much of blood and treasure the 
separation might have cost. 

Our strife pertains to ourselves — to the pass- 
ing generations of men; and it can without con- 
vulsion be hushed forever with the passing of one 

In this view I recommend the adoption of the 
following resolution and articles amendatory to 
the Constitution of the United States: 

"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives of the United States of America in Congress 
assembled (two-thirds of both houses concurring), 
That the following articles be proposed to the legisla- 
tures (or conventions) of the several States as amend- 
ments to the Constitution of the United States, all or 
£ny of which articles when ratified by three fourths of 
the said legislatures (or conventions) to be valid as 
part or parts of the said Constitution, viz, : 


"Article — 

"Every State wherein slavery now exists which shall 
abolish the same therein at any time or times before the 
first day of January in the year of our Lord one thou- 
sand and nine hundred, shall receive compensation from 
the United States as follows, to wit : 

"The President of the United States shall deliver to 
every such State bonds of the United States, bearing 
interest at the rate of per cent, per annum, to an 
amount equal to the aggregate sum of , for 

each slave shown to have been therein by the eighth 
census of the United States, said bonds to be delivered 
to such State by instalments, or in one parcel at the 
completion of the abolishment, accordingly as the same 
shall have been gradual or at one time within such 
State; and interest shall begin to run upon any such 
bond only from the proper time of its delivery as afore- 
said. Any State having received bonds as aforesaid, 
and afterward reintroducing or tolerating slavery 
therein, shall refund to the United States the bonds so 
received, or the value thereof, and all interest paid 

"Article — . 

"All slaves who shall have enjoyed actual freedom by 
the chances of the war at any time before the end of 
the rebellion, shall be forever free ; but all owners of 
such who shall not have been disloyal shall be compen- 
sated for them at the same rates as are provided for 
States adopting abolishment of slavery, but in such way 
that no slave shall be twice accounted for. 

"Article -. 

"Congress may appropriate money and otherwise 
provide for colonizing free colored persons, with their 
own consent, at any place or places without the United 

I beg indulgence to disctiss these proposed arti- 
cles at some length. Without slavery the rebel- 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 71 

lion could never have existed; without slavery 
it could not continue. 

Among the friends of the Union there is great 
diversity of sentiment and of policy in regard 
to slavery and the African race amongst us. 
Some would perpetuate slavery ; some would 
abolish it suddenly, and without compensation ; 
some would abolish it gradually, and with com- 
pensation ; some would remove the freed people 
from us, and some would retain them with us ; 
and there are yet other minor diversities. Be- 
cause of these diversities we waste much strength 
in struggles among ourselves. By mutual con- 
cession we should harmonize and act together. 
This would be compromise ; but it would be com- 
promise among the friends, and not with the 
enemies, of the Union. These articles are in- 
tended to embody a plan of such mutual con- 
cessions. If the plan shall be adopted, it is as- 
sumed that em^ancipation will follow at least 
in several of the States. 

As to the first article, the main points are : 
first, the emiancipation ; secondly, the length of 
time for consummating it — thirty-seven years; 
and, thirdly, the compensation. 

The emancipation will be unsatisfactory to the 
advocates of perpetual slavery ; but the length 
of time should greatly mitigate their dissatisfac- 
tion. The time spares both races from the evils 
of sudden derangement — in fact, from the neces- 
sity of any derangement ; while most of those 
whose habitual course of thought will be dis- 
turbed by the micasure will have passed away be- 
fore its consummation. They will never see it. 
Another class will hail the prospect of emancipa- 
tion, but will deprecate the length of time. They 



will feel that it gives too little to the now living 
slaves. But it really gives them much. It saves 
them from the vagrant destitution which must 
largely attend immediate emancipation in locali- 
ties where their numbers are very great; and it 
gives the inspiring assurance that their posterity 
shall be free forever. The plan leaves to each 
State choosing to act under it to abolish slavery 
now, or at the end of the century, or at any 
intermediate time, or by degrees extending over 
the whole or any part of the period ; and it obliges 
no two States to proceed alike. It also provides 
for compensation, and generally the mode of mak- 
ing it. This, it would seem, must further mitigate 
the dissatisfaction of those who favor perpetual 
slavery, and especially of those who are to receive 
the compensation. Doubtless some of those who 
are to pay, and not to receive, will object. Yet 
the measure is both just and economical. In a 
certain sense the liberation of slaves is the de- 
struction of property — property acquired by de- 
scent or by purchase, the same as any other prop- 
erty. It is no less true for having been often 
said, that the people of the South are not more 
responsible for the original introduction of this 
property than are the people of the North ; and 
when it is remembered how unhesitatingly we all 
use cotton and sugar and share the profits of 
dealing in them, it may not be quite safe to say 
that the South has been more responsible than 
the North for its continuance. If, then, for a 
common object this property is to be sacrificed, is 
it not just that it be done at a common charge? 

And if, with less money, or money more easily 
paid, we can preserve the benefits of the Union 
by this means than we can 1)y tlie war alone. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 73 

is it not also economical to do it? Let us con- 
sider it, then. Let us ascertain the sum we have 
expended in the war since compensated emancipa- 
tion was proposed last March, and consider 
whether, if that measure had been promptly ac- 
cepted by even some of the slave States, the same 
sum would not have done more to close the 
war than has been otherwise done. If so, the 
measure would save money, and in that view 
would be a prudent and economical measure. 
Certainly it is not so easy to pay something as 
it is to pay nothing ; but it is easier to pay a large 
sum than it is to pay a larger one. And it is easier 
to pay any sum when we are able, than it is to pay 
it before we are able. The war requires large 
sums, and requires them at once. The aggre- 
gate sum necessary for compensated emancipa- 
tion of course would be large. But it would re- 
quire no ready cash, nor the bonds even, any 
faster than the emancipation progresses. This 
might not, and probably would not, close before 
the end of the thirty-seven years. At that time 
we shall probably have 100,000,000 of people to 
share the burden, instead of 31,000,000 as now. 
And not only so, but the increase of our popu- 
lation may be expected to continue for a long 
time after that period, as rapidly as before, be- 
cause our territory will not have become full. I 
do not state this inconsiderately. At the same 
ratio of increase which we have maintained, on 
an average, from our first national census in 
1790 until that of i860, we should in 1900 have 
a population of 103,208,415. And why may we 
not continue that ratio far beyond that period? 
Our abundant room — our broad national home- 
stead — is our ample resource. Were our terri- 



tory as limited as are the British Isles, very cer- 
tainly our poi)ulation could not expand as stated. 
Instead of reccivini:: the foreign-born as now, we 
should be compelled to send part of the native- 
born away. But such is not our condition. We 
have 2,963,000 square miles. Europe has 3,800,- 
000. with a population averaging 73 1-3 persons 
to tlie square mile. Why may not our country, 
at the same time, average as many? Is it less 
fertile? Has it more waste surface, by moun- 
tains, rivers, lakes, deserts, or other causes? 
Is it inferior to Europe in any natural advantage? 
If, then, we are at some time to be as populous 
as Europe, how soon? As to when this may be, 
we can judge by the past and the present; as 
to when it will be, if ever, depends much on 
whether we maintain the Union. Several of our 
States are already above the average of Europe — 
y^ 1-3 to the square mile. Massachusetts has 
157: Rhode Island, 133; Connecticut, 99; New 
York and New Jersey, each 80. Also two other 
great States, Pennsylvania and Ohio, are not 
far below, the former having 63 and the latter 
59. The States already above the European 
average, except New York, have increased in 
as rapid a ratio since passing that point as ever 
before, while no one of them is equal to some 
other parts of our country in natural capacity for 
sustaining a dense population. 

Taking the nation in the aggregate, we find 
its j)opulation and ratio of increase for the sev- 
eral decennial periods to be as follows : 

1790 3.929,827 

1800 5.30S.937 3502 per cent, ratio of increase, 

iHio 7,239.814 36.45 

1820 9,638,131 33-13 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 75 

1830 12.866.020 3349 per cent, ratio of increase, 

1840 17,069,453 32.67 

1850 23,i9i>876 35-87 " 

i860 31,443.790 35-58 " 

This shows an average decennial increase of 
34.60 per cent, in population through the seventy 
years from our first to our last census yet taken. 
It is seen that the ratio of increase at no one 
of these seven periods is either two per cent, 
below or two per cent, above the average, thus 
showing how inflexible, and consequently how re- 
liable, the law of increase in our case is. Assum- 
ing that it will continue, gives the following re- 
sults : 

1870 42,323.341 

1880 56,967,216 

1890 76,677,872 

1900 103,208.415 

1910 138,918,526 

1920 186,984,335 

1930 251,680,914 

These figures show that our country may be as 
populous as Europe now is at some point be- 
tween 1920 and 1930 — say about 1925 — our terri- 
tory, at 73 1-3 persons to the square mile, being 
of capacity to contain 217,186,000. 

And we will reach this, too, if we do not our- 
selves relinquish the chance by the folly and evils 
of disunion, or by long and exhausting war 
springing from the only great element of national 
discord among us. While it cannot be foreseen 
exactly how much one huge example of seces- 
sion, breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would re- 
tard population, civilization, and prosperity, no 
one can doubt that the extent of it would be 
ver}^ great and injurious. 


The proposed emancipation would shorten the 
war, perpetuate peace, insure this increase of pop- 
ulation, and proportionately the wealth of the 
country. With these, we should pay all the 
emancipation would cost, top:ether with our other 
debt, easier than we should pay our other debt 
without it. If we had allowed our old national 
debt to run at six per cent, per annum, simple 
interest, from the end of our Revolutionary strug- 
gle until to-day, without paying anything on 
either principle or interest, each man of us would 
owe less upon that debt now than each man 
owed upon it then ; and this because our increase 
of men, through the whole period, has been 
greater than six per cent. — has run faster than 
the interest upon the debt. Thus, time alone 
relieves a debtor nation, so long as its popu- 
lation increases faster than unpaid interest ac- 
cumulates on its debt. 

This fact would be no excuse for delaying pay- 
ment of what is justly due ; but it shows the 
great importance of time in this connection — the 
great advantage of a policy by which we shall 
not have to pay, until we number a hundred mil- 
lions, what by a different policy we would have 
to pay now, when we number but thirty-one mil- 
lions. In a word, it shows that a dollar will 
be much harder to pay for the war than will 
be a dollar for emancipation on the pro- 
posed ])lan. And then the latter will cost 
no blood, no precious life. It will be a saving of 

As to the second article, I think it would be 
impracticable to return to bondage the class of 
persons therein contemplated. Some of them 
doubtless, in the property sense, belong to loyal 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 77 

owners; and hence provision is made in this 
article for compensating such. 

The third article relates to the future of the 
freed people. It does not oblige, but merely 
authorizes, Congress to aid in colonizing such 
as may consent. This ought not to be regarded 
as objectionable, on the one hand or on the 
other, insomuch as it comes to nothing unless by 
the mutual consent of the people to be deported, 
and the American voters through their repre- 
sentatives in Congress. 

I cannot make it better known than it already 
is, that I strongly favor colonization. And vet 
I wish to say there is an objection urged against 
free colored persons remaining in the country 
which is largely imaginary, if not sometimes 

It is insisted that their presence would injure 
and displace white labor and white laborers. If 
there ever could be a proper time for mere catch 
arguments, that time surely is not now. In times 
like the present, men should utter nothing for 
which they would not willingly be responsible 
through time and in eternity. Is it true, then, 
that colored people can displace any more white 
labor by being free than by remaining slaves? 
If they stay in their old places, they jostle no 
white laborers ; if they leave their old places, 
they leave them open to white laborers. Logi- 
cally, there is neither more nor less of it. Eman- 
cipation, even without deportation, would prob- 
ably enhance the wages of white labor, and very 
surely would not reduce them. Thus, the cus- 
tomary amount of labor would still have to be 
performed ; the freed people would surely not 
do more than their old proportion of it, and very 


probably for a time would do less, leaving an 
increased part to white laborers, bringing their 
labor into greater demand, and consequently en- 
hancing the wages of it. With deportation, even 
to a limited extent, enhanced wages to white 
labor is mathematically certain. Labor is like 
any other commodity in the market — increase 
the demand for it, and you increase the price of 
it. Reduce the supply of black labor by coloniz- 
ing the black laborer out of the country, and by 
precisely so much you increase the demand for, 
.and wages of, white labor. 

But it is dreaded tliat the freed people will 
swarm forth and cover the whole land ? Are they 
not already in the land ? Will liberation make 
them any more numerous? Equally distributed 
among the whites of the whole country, and 
there would be but one colored to seven whites. 
Could the one in any way greatly disturb the 
seven ? There are many communities now hav- 
ing more than one free colored person to seven 
whites, and this without any apparent conscious- 
ness of evil from it. The District of Columbia, 
and the States of Maryland and Delaware, are 
all in this condition. The District has more than 
one free colored to six whites ; and yet in its 
frequent petitions to Congress I believe it has 
never presented the presence of free colored per- 
:sons as one of its grievances. But why should 
•emancipation south send the free people north? 
I\"ople of any color seldom run unless there be 
something to run from. Heretofore colored peo- 
ple, to some extent, have fled north from bondage ; 
and now, perhaps, from both bondage and desti- 
tution. But if gradual emancipation and deporta- 
tion be adopted, they will have neither to llee 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 79 

from. Their old masters will give them wages 
at least until new laborers can be procured ; 
and the freedmen, in turn, will gladly give their 
labor for the wages till new homes can be found 
for them in congenial climes and with people 
of their own blood and race. This proposition 
can be trusted on the mutual interests involved. 
And, in any event, cannot the North decide for 
itself whether to receive them? 

Again, as practice proves more than theory^ 
in any case, has there been any irruption of col- 
ored people northward because of the abolish- 
ment of slavery in this District last spring? 

What I have said of the proportion of free col- 
ored persons to the whites in the District is from 
the census of i860, having no reference to per- 
sons called contrabands, nor to those made free 
by the act of Congress abolishing slavery here. 

The plan consisting of these articles is recom- 
mended, not but that a restoration of the national 
authority would be accepted without its adoption. 

Nor will the war, nor proceedings under the 
proclamation of September 22, 1862, be stayed 
because of the recommendation of this plan. Its 
timely adoption, I doubt not, would bring restora- 
tion, and thereby stay both. 

And, notwithstanding this plan, the recom- 
mendation that Congress provide by law for 
compensating any State which may adopt eman- 
cipation before this plan shall have been acted 
upon, is hereby earnestly renewed. Such would 
be only an advance part of the plan, and the 
same arguments apply to both. 

This plan is recommended as a means, not in 
exclusion of, but additional to, all others for 
restoring and preserving the national authority 


throughout the Union. The subject is presented 
cxcUisively in its economical aspect. The plan 
>vould. I am confident, secure peace more speed- 
ily, and maintain it more permanently, than can 
be done by force alone ; while all it would cost, 
considering amounts, and manner of payment, 
and times of payment, would be easier paid than 
\vill be the additional cost of the war if we rely 
solely upon force. It is much — very much — 
that it would cost no blood at all. 

The plan is proposed as permanent constitu- 
tional law. It cannot become such without the 
concurrence of, first, two thirds of Congress 
and, afterward, three fourths of the States. 
The requisite three fourths of the States will 
necessarily include seven of the slave States. 
Their concurrence, if obtained, will give assur- 
ance of their severally adopting emancipation at 
no very distant day upon the new constitutional 
terms. This assurance would end the struggle 
now, and save the Union forever. 

I do not forget the gravity which should char- 
acterize a paper addressed to the Congress of 
the nation by the Chief Magistrate of the nation. 
Nor do I forget that some of you are my seniors, 
nor that many of you have more experience than 
I in the conduct of public aftairs. Yet I trust 
that in view of the great responsibility resting 
ui)on me, you will ])crceive no want of respect 
to yourselves in any undue earnestness I may 
seem to display. 

Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if 
adopted, would shorten the war, and thus lessen 
its expenditure of money and of blood? Is it 
doubted that it would restore the national au- 
thority and national prosperity, and perpetuate 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. i, 1862 81 

both indefinitely? Is it doubted that we here — 
Congress and Executive — can secure its adop- 
tion? Will not the good people respond to a 
united and earnest appeal from us? Can we, 
can they, by any other means so certainly or so 
speedily assure these vital objects ? We can suc- 
ceed only by concert. It is not *'Can any of us 
imagine better?" but, ''Can we all do better?" 
Object whatsoever is possible, still the question 
occurs, "Can we do_ better?" The dogmas of 
the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy pres- 
ent. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, 
and we must rise with the occasion. As our case 
is new, so we must think anew and act anew. 
We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall 
save our country. 

Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We 
of this Congress and this administration will be 
remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal 
significance or insignificance can spare one or an- 
other of us. The fiery trial through which we 
pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, 
to the latest generation. We say we are for 
the Union. The world will not forget that 
we say this. We know how to save the Union. 
The world knows we do know how to save it. 
We — even we here — hold the power and bear the 
responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, 
we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike 
in what we give and what we preserve. We shall 
nobly save or meanly lose the last, best hope of 
earth. Other means may succeed ; this could 
not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, 
just — a way which, if followed, the world will 
forever applaud, and God must forever bless. 

Abraham Lincoln. 


Annual Message to Congress. 
, December 8, 1863. 

Fcllozi'-citiccns of the Senate and House of 
Rcprcscntatiz'cs: Another year of health, and of 
sufficiently abundant harvests, has passed. For 
these, and especially for the improved condition 
of our national affairs, our renewed and pro- 
foundest gratitude to God is due. 

We remain in peace and friendship with for- 
eign powers. 

The eff"orts 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 govern- 
ment and several of the maritime powers, but 
they have been discussed, and, as far as was pos- 
sible, accommodated, in a spirit of frankness, jus- 
tice, and mutual good-will. It is especially grati- 
fying that our prize courts, by the impartiality 
of their adjudications, have commanded the re- 
spect and confidence of maritime powers. 

The supj)icmcntal treaty between the United 
States and (ireat l>ritain for the suppression of 
the African slave-trade, made on the 17th day 
of February last, has been duly ratified and car- 
ried into execution. It is believed that, so far 
as American ports and American citizens arc 



concerned, that Inhuman and odious traffic has 
been brought to an end. 

I shall submit, for the consideration of the 
Senate, a convention for the adjustment of pos- 
sessory claims in Washington Territory, arising 
out of the treaty of the 15th of June, 1846, be- 
tween the United States and Great Britain, and 
which have been the source of some disquiet 
among the citizens of that now rapidly improving 
part of the country. 

A novel and important question, involving the 
extent of the maritime jurisdiction of Spain in 
the waters which surround the island of Cuba, has 
been debated without reaching an agreement, and 
it is proposed, in an amicable spirit, to refer it to 
the arbitrament of a friendly power. A conven- 
tion for that purpose will be submitted to the 

I have thought it proper, subject to the ap- 
proval of the Senate, to concur with the inter- 
ested commicrcial powers in an arrangement for 
the liquidation of the Scheldt dues upon the 
principles which have been heretofore adopted 
in regard to the imposts upon navigation in the 
waters of Denmark. 

The long-pending controversy between this 
government and that of Chile, touching the seiz- 
ure at Sitana, in Peru, by Chilian officers, of a 
large amount in treasure belonging to citizens 
of the United States, has been brought to a close 
by the award of his Majesty the King of the 
Belgians, to whose arbitration the question was 
referred by the parties. The subject was thor- 
oughly and patiently examined by that justly 
respected magistrate, and although the sum 
awarded to the claimants may not have been 


as \3.rge as they expected, there is no reason 
to distrust the wisdom of his Majesty's deci- 
sion. That decision was promptly compHed with 
by Chile, when intelligence in regard to it reached 
that country. 

The joint commission, under the act of the 
last session, for carrying into effect the con- 
vention with Peru, on the subject of claims, 
lias been organized at Lima, and is engaged in 
the business intrusted to it. 

Difficulties concerning inter-oceanic transit 
through Nicaragua are in course of amicable 

In conformity with principles set forth in my 
last annual message, I have received a repre- 
sentative from the United States of Colombia, 
and have accredited a minister to that republic. 

Incidents occurring in the progress of our civil 
war have forced upon my attention the uncer- 
tain state of international questions touching the 
rights of foreigners in this country and of United 
States citizens abroad. In regard to some gov- 
ernments, these rights are at least partially de- 
fined by treaties. In no instance, however, is it 
expressly stipulated that, in the event of civil 
war, a foreigner residing in this country, with- 
in 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 
cannot expect any privileges or immunities dis- 
tinct from that character. I regret to say, how- 
ever, 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 

'ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 85 

born in foreign countries, who have declared 
their intention to become citizens, or who have 
been fully naturalized, have evaded 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, period- 
ically, lists of the names of the persons natural- 
ized, or declaring their intention to become citi- 
zens, 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 foreign- 
ers 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 heretofore arisen out 
of this abuse. It is, therefore, submitted to your 
serious consideration. It miight be advisable to 
fix a limit, beyond which no citizen of the United 
States residing abroad may claim the interposi- 
tion of his government. 

The right of suffrage has often been assumed 
and exercised by aliens, under pretenses of nat- 
uralization, which they have disavowed when 
drafted into the military service. I submit the 
expediency of such an amendment of the law 
as will make the fact of voting an estoppel against 


any plea of exemption from military service, or 
other civil obligation, on the ground of alienage. 

In common with other Western powers, our 
relations with Japan have been brought into 
serious jeopardy, through the perverse opposi- 
tion of the hereditary aristocracy of the empire 
to the enlightened and liberal policy of the Ty- 
coon, designed to bring the country into the so- 
ciety of nations. It is hoped, although not with 
entire confidence, that these difficulties may be 
peacefully overcome. I ask your attention to the 
claim of the minister residing there for the dam- 
ages he sustained in the destruction by fire of 
the residence of the legation at Yeddo. 

Satisfactory arrangements have been made 
•with the Emperor of Russia, which, it is be- 
lieved, will result in effecting a continuous line 
of telegraph through that empire from our Pa- 
cific coast. 

I recommend to your favorable consideration 
the subject of an international telegraph across 
the Atlantic Ocean ; and also of a telegraph be- 
tween this capital and the national forts along 
the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico. 
Such communications, established with any rea- 
sonable outlay, would be economical as well as 
eflfective aids to the diplomatic, military, and 
naval service. 

The consular system of the United States, 
under the enactments of the last Congress, be- 
gins to be self-sustaining; and there is reason 
to hope that it may become entirely so, with the 
increase of trade which will ensue whenever peace 
'\< restored. (Air ministers abroad have been 
faithful in defending American rights. In pro- 
tecting commercial interests, our consuls have 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 87 

necessarily had to encounter Increased labors and 
responsibilities, growing out of the war. These 
they have, for the most part, met and discharged 
with zeal and efficiency. This acknowledgment 
justly includes those consuls who, residing in 
Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, China, and other 
Oriental countries, are charged with complex 
functions and extraordinary powers. 

The condition of the several organized Ter- 
ritories is generally satisfactory, although In- 
dian disturbances in New Mexico have not been 
entirely suppressed. The mineral resources of 
Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, and Ari- 
zona are proving far richer than has been here- 
tofore understood. I lay before you a communi- 
cation on this subject from the governor of New 
Mexico. I again submit to your consideration 
the expediency of establishing a system for the 
encouragemicnt of immigration. Although this 
source of national wealth and strength is again 
flowing with greater freedom than for several 
years before the insurrection occurred, there is 
still a great deficiency of laborers in every field 
of industry, especially in agriculture, and in our 
mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious 
metals. While the demand for labor is thus in- 
creased here, tens of thousands of persons, desti- 
tute of remunerative occupation, are thronging 
our foreign consulates, and offering to emigrate 
to the United States if essential, but very cheap, 
assistance can be afforded them. It is easy to 
see that, under the sharp discipline of civil war, 
the nation is beginning a new life. This noble 
effort demands the aid, and ought to receive the 
attention and support of the government. 

Injuries, unforeseen by the government and un- 


intended, may. in some cases, have been inflicted 
on the subjects or citizens of foreign countries, 
both at sea and on land, by persons in the serv- 
ice of the United States. As this government 
expects redress from other powers when similar 
injuries are inflicted by persons in their service 
upon citizens of the United States, we must be 
prei)ared to do justice to foreigners. If the 
existing judicial tribunals are inadequate to this 
purpose, a special court may be authorized, with 
power to hear and decide such claims of the 
character referred to as may have arisen under 
treaties and the public law. Conventions for ad- 
justing the claims by joint commission have been 
proposed to some governments, but no definitive 
answer to the proposition has yet been received 
from any. 

In the course of the session I shall probably 
have occasion to request you to provide indemni- 
fication to claimants where decrees of restitution 
have been rendered, and damages awarded by ad- 
miralty courts ; and in other cases, where this 
government may be acknowledged to be liable in 
principle, and where the amount of that liability 
has been ascertained by an informal arbitration. 

The proper officers of the treasury have 
deemed themselves required by the law of the 
United States upon the subject to demand a tax 
upon the incomes of foreign consuls in this coun- 
try. While such a demand may not, in strictness, 
be in derogation of public law, or perhaps of any 
existing treaty between the United States and a 
foreign country, the expediency of so far modi- 
fying the act as to exempt from tax the income 
of such consuls as are not citizens of the United 
States, derived from the emoluments of their 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 89 

office, or from property not situated in the United 
States, is submitted to your serious consideration. 
I make this suggestion upon the ground that a 
comity which ought to be reciprocated exempts 
our consuls, in all other countries, from taxation 
to the extent thus indicated. The United States, 
I think, ought not to be exceptionally illiberal to 
international trade and commerce. 

The operations of the treasury during the last 
year have been successfully conducted. The 
enactment by Congress of a national bankinq;- law 
has proved a valuable support of the pablic 
credit; and the general legislation in relation to 
loans has fully answered the expectations of its 
favorers. Some amendments may be required to 
perfect existing laws, but no chang^e in their prin- 
ciples or general scope is believed to be needed. 

Since these measures have been in operation, 
all demands on the treasury, including the pay 
of the army and navy, have been promptly met 
and fully satisfied. No considerable body of 
troops, it is believed, were ever more amply pro- 
vided, and more liberally and punctually paid; 
and it may be added, that by no people were the 
burdens incident to a great war ever more cheer- 
fully borne. 

The receipts during the year from all sources, 
including loans and the balance in the treasury 
at its commencement, were $901,125,674.86, and 
the aggregate disbursements $895,796,630.65, 
leaving a balance on the ist of July, 1863, of 
$5,329,044.21. Of the receipts there were de- 
rived from customs $69,059,642.40; from inter- 
nal revenue, $37,640,787.95; from direct tax, 
$1,485,103.61; trom lands, $167,617.17; from 
miscellaneous sources, $3,046,615.35; and from 


loans, $776,682,361.57; making: the aggregate, 
$901,125,674.86. Of the disbursements there 
were for the civil service, $23,253,922.08; for 
pensions and Indians, $4,216,520.79; for interest 
on public debt, $24,729,846.51 ; for the War De- 
partment. $599,298,600.83 ; for the Navy Depart- 
ment, $63,211,105.27; for payment of funded 
and temporary debt, $181,086,635.07; making 
the aggregate. $895,796,630.65, and leaving the 
balance of $5,329,044.21. But the payments of 
funded and temporary debt, having been made 
from moneys borrowed during the year, must be 
regarded as merely nominal payments, and the 
moneys borrowed to make them as merely nomi- 
nal receipts; and their amount, $181,086,635.07, 
should therefore be deducted both from receipts 
and disbursements. This being done, there re- 
main as actual receipts, $720,039,039.79, and the 
actual disbursements, $714,709,995.58, leaving 
the balance as already stated. 

The actual receipts and disbursements for the 
first quarter, and the estimated receipts and dis- 
bursements for the remaining three quarters, of 
the current fiscal year, 1864, will be shown in 
detail by the report of the Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, to which I invite your attention. It is suffi- 
cient to say here that it is not believed that actual 
results will exhibit a state of the finances less 
favorable to the country than the estimates 
of that officer heretofore submitted ; while it 
is confidently expected that at the close of 
the year both disbursements and debt will be 
found very considerably less than has been 

The report of the Secretary of War is a docu- 
ment of great interest. It consists of — 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 91 

1. The military operations of the year, detailed 
in the report of the General-in-Chief. 

2. The organization of colored persons intQ 
the war service. 

3. The exchange of prisoners, fully set forth 
in the letter of General Hitchcock. 

4. The operations under the act for enrolling 
and calling out the national forces, detailed in 
the report of the Provost-Marshal-General. 

5. The organization of the invalid corps ; and 

6. The operation of the several departments 
of the Quartermaster-General, Commissary-Gen- 
eral, Paymaster-General, Chief of Engineers, 
Chief of Ordnance, and Surgeon-General. 

It has appeared impossible to make a valuable 
summary of this report except such as would 
be too extended for this place, and hence I con- 
tent myself b}^ asking your careful attention to 
the report itself. 

The duties devcwing on the naval branch of 
the service during the year, and throughout the 
whole of this unhappy contest, have been dis- 
charged with fidelity and eminent success. The 
extensive blockade has been constantly increas- 
ing in efficiency, as the navy has expanded ; yet 
on so long a line it has so far been impossible 
to entirely suppress illicit trade. From returns 
received at the Navy Department, it appears that 
more than one thousand vessels have been cap- 
tured since the blockade was instituted, and that 
the value of prizes already sent in for adjudica- 
tion amounts to over thirteen millions of dollars. 

The naval force of the United States consists 
at this time of five hundred and eighty-eight 
vessels, completed and in the course of comple- 
tion, and of these, seventy-five are iron-clad or 



armored steamers. The events of the war give 
an increased interest and importance to the navy 
which will probably extend beyond the war itself. 

The armored vessels in our navy, completed 
and in service, or which are under contract and 
approaching^ completion, are believed to exceed in 
number those of any other power. But while 
these may be relied upon for harbor defense and 
coast service, others of greater strength and ca- 
pacity will be necessary for cruising purposes, 
and to maintain our rightful position on the 

The change that has taken place in naval ves- 
sels and naval warfare since the introduction of 
steam as a motive power for ships of war de- 
mands either a corresponding change in some 
of our existing navy-yards, or the establishment 
of new ones, for the construction and necessary 
repair of modern naval vessels. No inconsidera- 
ble embarrassment, delay, ard public injury have 
been experienced from the want of such govern- 
mental establishments. The necessity of such a 
navy-yard, so furnished, at some suitable place 
upon the Atlantic seaboard has on repeated occa- 
sions been brought to the attention of Congress 
by the Navy Department, and is again presented 
in the report of the Secretary which accompa- 
nies this communication. I think it my duty to 
invite your special attention to this subject, and 
also to that of establishing a yard and depot for 
naval puri)oscs upon one of the western rivers. 
A naval force has been created on those interior 
waters, and under many disadvantages, within 
little more than two years, exceeding in num- 
bers the whole naval force of the country at the 
commencement of the present administration. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 93 

Satisfactory and important as have been the per- 
formances of the heroic men of the navy at this 
interesting period, they are scarcely more won- 
derful than the success of our mechanics and 
artisans in the production of war vessels which 
has created a new form of naval power. 

Our country has advantages superior to any 
other nation in our resources of iron and timber, 
with inexhaustible quantities of fuel in the imme- 
diate vicinity of both, all available, and in close 
proximity to navigable waters. Without the ad- 
vantage of public works the resources of the 
nation have been developed, and its power dis- 
played, in the construction of a navy of such 
magnitude, which has, at the very period of its 
creation, rendered signal service to the Union. 

The increase of the number of seamen in the 
public service, from seven thousand five hundred 
men, in the spring of 1861, to about thirty-four 
thousand at the present time, has been accom- 
plished without special legislation, or extraor- 
dinary bounties to promote that increase. It 
has been found, however, that the operation of 
the draft, with the high bounties paid for army 
recruits, is beginning to affect injuriously the 
naval service, and will, if not corrected, be likely 
to impair its efficiency, by detaching seamen from 
their proper vocation and inducing them to enter 
the army. I therefore respectfully suggest that 
Congress might aid both the army and naval 
services by a definite provision on this subject, 
which would at the same time be equitable to 
the communities more especially interested. 

I commend to your consideration the sugges- 
tions of the Secretary of the Navy in regard to 
the policy of fostering and training seamen, and 


also the education of officers and engineers for 
the naval service. The Naval Academy is ren- 
dering signal service in preparing midshipmen 
for the highly responsible duties which in after 
life they will be required to perform. In order 
that the country should not be deprived of the 
proper quota of educated officers, for which legal 
provision has been made at the naval school, the 
vacancies caused by the neglect or omission to 
make nominations from the States in insurrection 
have been filled by the Secretary of the Navy. 
The school is now more full and complete than 
at any former period, and in every respect en- 
titled to the favorable consideration of Congress. 

During the past fiscal year the financial con- 
dition of the Post Office Department has been 
one of increasing prosperity, and I am gratified 
in being able to state that the actual postal rev- 
enue has nearly equaled the entire expenditures ; 
the latter amounting to $11,314,206.84, and the 
former to $11,163,789.59, leaving a deficiency of 
but $150,417.25. In i860, the year immediately 
preceding the rebellion, the deficiency amounted 
to $5,656,705.49, the postal receipts of that year 
being $2,645,722.19 less than those of 1863. The 
decrease since i860 in the annual amount of 
transportation has been only about 25 per cent., 
but the annual expenditure on account of the 
same has been reduced 35 per cent. It is mani- 
fest, therefore, that the Post Office Department 
may become self-sustaining in a few years even 
with the restoration of the whole service. 

The international conference of postal dele- 
gates from the ])rincipal countries of Europe 
and America, which was called at the sugges- 
tion of the Postmaster-General, met at Paris on 

'ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 95 

the nth of May last, and concluded its delib- 
erations on the 8th of June. The principles es- 
tablished by the conference as best adapted to 
facilitate postal intercourse between nations, and 
as the basis of future postal conventions, inau- 
gurate a general system of uniform international 
charges, at reduced rates of postage, and can- 
not fail to produce beneficial results. 

I refer you to the report of the Secretary of 
the Interior, which is herewith laid before you, 
for useful and varied information in relation to 
the public lands, Indian affairs, patents, pen- 
sions, and other matters of public concern per- 
taining to his department. 

The quantity of land disposed of during the 
last and the first quarter of the present fiscal 
years was three million eight hundred and forty- 
one thousand five hundred and forty-nine acres, 
of which one hundred and sixty-one thousand 
nine hundred and eleven acres were sold for 
cash, one million four hundred and fifty-six 
thousand five hundred and fourteen acres were 
taken up under the homestead law, and the resi- 
due disposed of under laws granting lands for 
military boimties, for railroad and other pur- 
poses. It also appears that the sale of the pub- 
lic lands is largely on the increase. 

It has long been a cherished opinion of some 
of our wisest statesmen that the people of the 
United States had a higher and more enduring 
interest in the early settlement and substantial 
cultivation of the public lands than in the amount 
of direct revenue to be derived from the sale 
of them. This opinion has had a controlling 
influence in shaping legislation upon the subject 
of our national domain, I may cite, as evidence 


of this, the liberal measures adopted in reference 
to actual settlers ; the grant to the States of the 
overflowed lands within their limits in order 
to tlieir being- reclaimed and rendered fit for cul- 
tivation ; the grants to railway companies of al- 
ternate sections of land upon the contemplated 
lines of their roads, which, when completed, will 
so largely multiply the facilities for reaching 
our distant possessions. This policy has received 
its most signal and beneficent illustration in the 
recent enactment granting homesteads to actual 
settlers. Since the first day of January last the 
before-mentioned quantity of one million four 
hundred and fifty-six thousand five hundred and 
fourteen acres of land have been taken up under 
its provisions. This fact, and the amount of 
sales, furnish gratifying evidence of increasing 
settlement upon the public lands notwithstand- 
ing the great struggle in which the energies of 
the nation have been engaged, and which has 
required so large a withdrawal of our citizens 
from their accustomed pursuits. I cordially con- 
cur in the recommendation of the Secretary of 
the Interior, suggesting a modification of the 
act in favor of those engaged in the military 
and naval service of the United States. I doubt 
not that Congress will cheerfully adopt such 
measures as will, without essentially changing 
the general features of the system, secure, to 
the greatest practicable extent, its benefits to 
those v/ho have left their homes in defense of 
the country in this arduous crisis. 

I invite your attention to the views of the 
Secretary as to the propriety of raising, by ap- 
propriate legislation, a revenue from the mineral 
lands of the United States. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 97 

The measures provided at your last session 
for the removal of certain Indian tribes have 
been carried into effect. Sundry treaties have 
been negotiated, which will, in due time, be sub- 
mitted for the constitutional action of the Sen- 
ate. They contain stipulations for extinguishing 
the possessory rights of the Indians to large and 
valuable tracts of land. It is hoped that the 
effect of these treaties will result in the estab- 
lishm.ent of permanent friendly relations with 
such of these tribes as have been brought into 
frequent and bloody collision with our outlying 
settlements and emigrants. Sound policy, and 
our imperative duty to these wards cf the gov- 
ernment, demand our anxious and constant at- 
tention to their material well-being, to their prog- 
ress in the arts of civilization, and, above all, 
to that moral training which, under the blessing 
of Divine Providence, will confer upon them 
the elevated and sanctifying influences, the hopes 
and consolations, of the Christian faith. 

I suggested in my last annual message the 
propriety of remodeling our Indian system. Sub- 
sequent events have satisfied me of its neces- 
sity. The details set forth in the report of the 
Secretary evince the urgent need for immediate 
legislative action. 

I commend the benevolent institutions estab- 
lished or patronized by the government in this 
District to your generous and fostering care. 

The attention of Congress, during the last 
session, was engaged to some extent with a prop- 
osition for enlarging the water communication 
between the Mississippi River and the north- 
eastern seaboard, which proposition, however, 
failed for the time. Since then, upon a call of 


the greatest respectability, a convention has been 
held at Chicago upon the same subject, a sum- 
mary of whose views is contained in a memorial 
addressed to the President and Congress, and 
which I now have the honor to lay before you. 
That this interest is one which, ere long, will 
force its own way, I do not entertain a doubt, 
while it is submitted entirely to your wisdom 
as to what can be done now. Augmented in- 
terest is given to this subject by the actual com- 
mencement of work upon the Pacific railroad, 
under auspices so favorable to rapid progress 
and completion. The enlarged navigation be- 
comes a palpable need to the great road. 

I transmit the second annual report of the 
Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, 
asking your attention to the developments in 
that vital interest of the nation. 

When Congress assembled a year ago the war 
had already lasted nearly twenty months, and 
there had been many conflicts on both land and 
sea with varying results. The rebellion had been 
pressed back into reduced limits ; yet the tone 
of public feeling and opinion, at home and 
abroad, was not satisfactory. With other signs, 
the popular elections, then just past, indicated 
uneasiness among ourselves, while, amid much 
that was cold and menacing, the kindest words 
coming from Europe were uttered in accents of 
pity that we were too blind to surrender a hope- 
less cause. Our commerce was suffering greatly 
by a few armed vessels built upon, and furnished 
from, foreign shores, and we were threatened 
with such additions from the same quarter as 
would sweej) our trade from the sea and raise our 
blockade. We had failed to elicit from European 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 99 

governments anything hopeful upon this sub- 
ject. The preUminary emancipation proclama- 
tion, issued in September, was running its as- 
signed period to the beginning of the new year. 
A month later the final proclamation came, in- 
cluding the announcement that colored men of 
suitable condition would be received into the 
war service. The policy of emancipation, and 
of employing black soldiers, gave to the future 
a new aspect, about which hope, and fear, and 
doubt contended in micertain conflict. Accord- 
ing to our political system, as a matter of civil 
administration, the General Government had no 
lawful power to effect emancipation in any State, 
and for a long time it had been hoped that the 
rebellion could be suppressed without resorting 
to it as a military measure. It was all the while 
deemed possible that the necessity for it might 
come, and that if it should, the crisis of the 
contest would then be presented. It came, and, 
as was anticipated, it was followed by dark and 
doubtful days. Eleven months having now 
passed, we are permitted to take another review. 
The rebel borders are pressed still further back, 
and, by the complete opening of the Mississippi, 
the country dominated by the rebellion is divided 
into distinct parts, with no practical communi- 
cation between them. Tennessee and Arkansas 
have been substantially cleared of insurgent con- 
trol, and influential citizens in each, owners of 
slaves and advocates of slavery at the begin- 
ning of the rebellion, now declare openly for 
emancipation in their respective States. Of those 
States not included in the Emancipation Proc- 
lamation, Maryland and Missouri, neither of 
which three years ago would tolerate any re- 


straint upon the extension of slavery into new 
Territories, only dispute now as to the best mode 
of removing it within their own limits. 

Of those who were slaves at the beginning 
of the rebellion, full one hundred thousand are 
now in the United States military service, about 
one half of which number actually bear arms 
in the ranks ; thus giving the double advantage 
of taking so much labor from the insurgent 
cause, and supplying the places which other- 
wise must be filled with so many white men. 
So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not 
as good soldiers as any. No servile insurrec- 
tion, or tendency to violence or cruelty, has 
marked the measures of emancipation and arm- 
ing the blacks. These measures have been much 
discussed in foreign countries, and contempo- 
rary with such discussion the tone of public senti- 
ment there is much improved. At home thb 
same measures have been fully discussed, sup- 
ported, criticised, and denounced, and the an- 
nual elections following are highly encouraging 
to those whose official duty it is to bear the 
country through this great trial. Thus we have 
the new reckoning. The crisis which threatened 
to divide the friends of the Union is past. 

Looking now to the present and future, and 
with reference to a resumption of the national 
authority within the States wherein that author- 
ity has been suspended, I have thought fit to 
issue a proclamation, a copy of which is here- 
with transmitted. On examination of this proc- 
lamation it will appear, as is believed, that noth- 
ing is attcmi)tcd beyond what is amply justified 
by the Constitution. True, the form of an oath 
is given, but no man is coerced to take it. The 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 10 1 

man is only promised a pardon in case he volun- 
tarily takes the oath. The Constitution author- 
izes the executive to grant or withhold the par- 
don at his own absolute discretion; and this in- 
cludes the power to grant on terms, as is fully 
established by judicial and other authorities. 

It is also proffered that if, in any of the States 
named, a State government shall be, in the mode 
prescribed, set up, such government shall be rec- 
ognized and guaranteed by the United States, 
and that under it the State shall, on the constitu- 
tional conditions, be protected against invasion 
and domestic violence. The constitutional obli- 
gation of the United States to guarantee to every 
State in the Union a republican form of gov- 
ernment, and to protect the State in the cases 
stated, is explicit and full. But why tender the 
benefits of this provision only to a State govern- 
ment set up in this particular way? This sec- 
tion of the Constitution contemplates a case 
wherein the element within a State favorable 
to republican government in the Union may be 
too feeble for an opposite and hostile element 
external to, or even within, the State; and such 
are precisely the cases with which we are now 

An attempt to guarantee and protect a re- 
vived State government, constructed in whole, 
or in preponderating part, from the very element 
against whose hostility and violence it is to be 
protected, is simply absurd. There must be a 
test by which to separate the opposing elements, 
so as to build only from the sound ; and that 
test is a sufficiently liberal one which accepts 
as sound whoever \n\\\ make a sworn recanta- 
tion of his former unsoundness. 


But if it be proper to require, as a test of 
admission to the political body, an oath of alle- 
giance to the Constitution of the United States, 
and to the Union under it, why also to the laws 
and proclamations in regard to slavery? Those 
laws and proclamations were enacted and put 
forth for the purpose of aiding in the suppres- 
sion of the rebellion. To give them their fullest 
effect, there had to be a pledge for their main- 
tenance. In my judgment they have aided, and 
will further aid, the cause for which they were 
intended. To now abandon them would be not 
only to relinquish a lever of power, but would 
also be a cruel and an astounding breach of 
faith. I may add, at this point, that while I 
remain in my present position I shall not at- 
tempt to retract or modify the Emancipation 
Proclamation ; nor shall I return to slavery any 
person who is free by the terms of that procla- 
mation, or by any of the acts of Congress. For 
these and other reasons it is thought best that 
support of these micasures shall be included in 
the oath ; and it is believed the executive may 
lawfully claim it in return for pardon and resto- 
ration of forfeited rights, which he has clear con- 
stitutional power to withhold altogether, or grant 
upon the terms which he shall deem wisest for 
the public interest. It should be observed, also, 
that this part of the oath is subject to the modi- 
fying and abrogating pov>^er of legislation and 
supreme judicial decision. 

The proposed acquiescence of the national ex- 
ecutive in any reasonable temporary State ar- 
rangement for the freed people is made with 
the view of ])ossibly modifying the confusion and 
destitution which must at best attend all classes 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 8, 1863 103 

by a total revolution of labor throughout whole 
States. It is hoped that the already deeply af- 
flicted people in those States may be somewhat 
more ready to give up the cause of their af- 
fliction, if, to this extent, this vital matter be 
left to themselves ; while no power of the national 
executive to prevent an abuse is abridged by the 

The suggestion in the proclamation as to main- 
taining the political framework of the States on 
what is called reconstruction is made in the hope 
that it may do good without danger of harm. 
It will save labor, and avoid great confusion. 

But why any proclamation now upon this sub- 
ject? This question is beset with the conflicting 
views that the step might be delayed too long 
or be taken too soon. In some States the ele- 
ments for resumption seem ready for action, but 
remain inactive apparently for want of a rallying- 
point — a plan of action. Why shall A adopt the 
plan of B, rather than B that of A? And if A 
and B should agree, how can they know but that 
the General Government here will reject their 
plan? By the proclamation a plan is presented 
which may be accepted by them as a rallying- 
point, and which they are assured in advance will 
not be rejected here. This may bring them to 
act sooner than they otherwise would. 

The objection to a premature presentation of 
a plan by the national executive consists in the 
danger of committals on points which could be 
more safely left to further developments. Care 
has been taken to so shape the document as to 
avoid embarrassments from this source. Saying 
that, on certain terms, certain classes will be 
pardoned, with rights restored, it is not said that 


other classes, or other terms, will never be in- 
cluded. Saying that reconstruction will be ac- 
cepted if presented in a specified way, it is not 
said it will never be accepted in any other w^ay. 

The movements, by State action, for emanci- 
pation in several of the States not included in 
the Emancipation Proclamation, are matters of 
profound gratulation. And while I do not re- 
peat in detail what I have heretofore so earnestly 
urged upon this subject, my general views and 
feelings remain unchanged ; and I trust that Con- 
gress will omit no fair opportunity of aiding 
these important steps to a great consummation. 

In the midst of other cares, however impor- 
tant, we must not lose sight of the fact that the 
war power is still our main reliance. To that 
power alone can we look, yet for a time, to give 
confidence to the people in the contested regions 
that the insurgent power will not again overrun 
them. Until that confidence shall be established, 
little can be done anywhere for what is called 
reconstruction. Hence our chiefest care must 
still be directed to the army and navy, who have 
thus far borne their harder part so nobly and well. 
And it may be esteemed fortunate that in giving 
the greatest efficiency to these indispensable arms, 
we do also honorably recognize the gallant men, 
from commander to sentinel, who compose them, 
and to whom, more than to others, the world 
must stand indebted for the home of freedom 
disenthralled, regenerated, enlarged, and perpet- 

Abraham Lincoln. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 105 

Annual Message to Congress. 

December 6, 1864. 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: Again the blessings of health 
and abundant harvests claim our profoundest 
gratitude to almighty God. 

The condition of our foreign affairs is rea- 
sonably satisfactory. 

Mexico continues to be a theater of civil war. 
While our political relations with that country 
have undergone no change, we have, at the same 
time, strictly maintained neutrality between the 
belligerents. At the request of the States of 
Costa Rica and Nicaragua, a competent engi- 
neer has been authorized to make a survey of 
the River San Juan and the port of San Juan. 
It is a source of much satisfaction that the diffi- 
culties which for a moment excited some political 
apprehensions and caused a closing of the inter- 
oceanic transit route, have been amicably ad- 
justed, and that there is a good prospect that 
the route will soon be reopened with an increase 
of capacity and adaptation. We could not ex- 
aggerate either the commercial or the political 
importance of that great improvement. It would 
be doing injustice to an important South Amer- 
ican State not to acknowledge the directness, 
frankness, and cordiality with which the United 
States of Colombia have entered into intimate 
relations with this government. A claims con- 
vention has been constituted to complete the un- 
finished work of the one which closed its ses- 
sion in 1861. 

The new liberal constitution of Venezuela hav- 
ing gone into effect with the universal acquies- 


cence of the people, the government under it has 
been recognized, and diplomatic intercourse with 
it has been opened in a cordial and friendly spirit. 
The long-deferred Aves Island claim has been 
satisfactorily paid and discharged. 

Mutual pa}inents have been made of the claims 
awarded by the late joint commission for the 
settlement of claims between the United States 
and Peru. An earnest and cordial friendship 
continues to exist between the two countries, 
and such efforts as were in my power have been 
used to remove misunderstanding, and avert a 
threatened war between Peru and Spain. 

Our relations are of the most friendly nature 
with Chili, the Argentine Republic, Bolivia, Cos- 
ta Rica, Paraguay, San Salvador, and Hayti. 

During the past year no differences of any 
kind have arisen with any of these republics, and 
on the other hand, their sympathies with the 
United States are constantly expressed with cor- 
diality and earnestness. 

The claim arising from the seizure of the 
cargo of the brig Macedonian in 1821 has been 
paid in full by the Government of Chili. 

Civil war continues in the Spanish part of 
San Domingo, apparently without prospect of 
an early close. 

Official correspondence has been freely opened 
with Liberia, and it gives us a pleasing view of 
social and political progress in that republic. It 
may be expected to derive new vigor from Amer- 
ican influence, improved by the rapid disappear- 
ance of slavery in the United States. 

I solicit your authority to furnish to the re- 
public a gunboat, at moderate cost, to be reim- 
bursed to the United States by instalments. Such 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 107 

a vessel is needed for the safety of that State 
against the native African races, and in Liberian 
hands it would be more effective in arresting 
the African slave-trade than a squadron in our 
own hands. The possession of the least organ- 
ized naval force would stimulate a generous am- 
bition in the republic, and the confidence which 
we should manifest by furnishing it would win 
forbearance and favor toward the colony from 
all civilized nations. 

The proposed overland telegraph between 
America and Europe, by the way of Behring's 
Straits and A.siatic Russia, which was sanc- 
tioned by Congress at the last session, has been 
undertaken, under very favorable circumstances, 
by an association of American citizens, with the 
cordial good-will and support as well of this 
government as of those of Great Britain and 
Russia. Assurances have been received from 
most of the South American States of their high 
appreciation of the enterprise and their readi- 
ness to co-operate in constructing lines tributary 
to that world-encircling communication. I learn 
with much satisfaction that the noble design 
of a telegraphic comimunication between the east- 
ern coast of America and Great Britain has been 
renewed, with full expectation of its early ac- 

Thus it is hoped that with the return of domes- 
tic peace the country will be able to resume with 
energy and advantage its former high career of 
commerce and civiHzation. 

Our very popular and estimable representa- 
tive in Egypt died in April last. An unpleas- 
ant altercation which arose between the tempo- 
rary incumbent of the office and the government 


of the Paslia, resulted In a suspension of inter- 
course. The evil was promptly corrected on the 
arrival of the successor in the consulate, and our 
relations with Eg\'pt, as well as our relations 
with the Barbary Powers, are entirely satisfac- 

The rebellion which has so long been flagrant 
in China has at last been suppressed with 
the co-operating good offices of this government 
and of the other western commercial States. The 
judicial consular establishment there has become 
very difficult and onerous, and it will need legis- 
lative revision to adapt it to the extension of our 
commerce and to the more intimate intercourse 
which has been instituted with the government 
and people of that vast empire. China seems 
to be accepting with hearty good-will the conven- 
tional laws which regulate commercial and social 
intercourse among the western nations. Owing 
to the peculiar situation of Japan and the anoma- 
lous form of its government, the action of that 
empire in performing treaty stipulations is in- 
constant and capricious. Nevertheless, good 
progress has been effected by the western pow- 
ers moving with enlightened concert. Our own 
pecuniary claims have been allowed or put in 
course of settlement, and the inland sea has been 
reopened to commerce. There is reason also to 
believe that these proceedings have increased 
rather than diminished the friendship of Japan 
toward the United States. 

The ports of Norfolk, Fernandina, and Pensa- 
cola have been opened by proclamation. It is 
hoped that foreign merchants will now consider 
whether it is not safer and more profitable to 
themselves, as well as just to the United States, 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 109 

to resort to these and other open ports, than 
it is to pursue, through many hazards, and at 
vast cost, a contraband trade with other ports 
which are closed, if not by actual military occu- 
pation, at least by a lawful and effective blockade. 

For myself, I have no doubt of the power and 
duty of the executive, under the law of nations, 
to exclude enemies of the human race from an 
asylum in the United States. If Congress should 
think that proceedings in such cases lack the 
authority of law, or ought to be further regu- 
lated by it, I recommend that provision be made 
for effectually preventing foreign slave-traders 
from acquiring domicile and facilities for their 
criminal occupation in our country. 

It is possible that if it were a new and open 
question, the maritime powers, with the lights 
they now enjoy, would not concede the priv- 
ileges of a naval belligerent to the insurgents of 
the United States, destitute as they are, and al- 
ways have been, equally of ships-of-war and of 
ports and harbors. Disloyal emissaries have 
been neither less assiduous nor more successful 
during the last year than they were before that 
time in their efforts, under favor of that priv- 
ilege, to embroil our country in foreign wars. 
The desire and determination of the govern- 
ments of the maritime States to defeat that de- 
sign are believed to be as sincere as, and can- 
not be more earnest than,, our own. Neverthe- 
less, unforeseen political difficulties have arisen, 
especially in Brazilian and British ports, and 
on the northern boundary of the United States, 
which hav^ required, and are likely to continue 
to require, the practice of constant vigilance and 
a just and conciliatory spirit on the part of the 


United States, as well as of the nations con^ 
cerned and their governments. 

Commissioners have been appointed, under 
the treaty with Great Britain, on the adjustment 
of the claims of the Hudson's Bay and Puget's 
Sound Agricultural Companies in Oregon, and 
are now proceeding to the execution of the trust 
assigned to them. 

In view of the insecurity of life and property 
in the region adjacent to the Canadian border, 
by reason of recent assaults and depredations 
committed by inimical and desperate persons who 
are harbored there, it has been thought proper 
to give notice that after the expiration of six 
months, the period conditionally stipulated in 
the existing arrangement with Great Britain, the 
United States must hold themselves at liberty 
to increase their naval armament upon the lakes 
if they shall find that proceeding necessary. The 
condition of the border will necessarily come 
into consideration in connection with the ques- 
tion of continuing or modifying the rights of 
transit from Canada through the United States, 
as well as the regulation of imposts, which 
were temporarily established by the Reciprocity 
Treaty of the 5th of June, 1854. 

I desire, however, to be understood while mak- 
ing this statement, that the colonial authorities 
of Canada are not deemed to be intentionally 
unjust or unfriendly toward the United States; 
but, on the contrary, there is every reason to 
expect that, with the approval of the Imperial 
Government, they will take the necessary meas- 
ures to prevent new incursions across the 

The act passed at the last session for the en- 


couragement of immigration has, so far as was 
possible, been put in operation. It seems to need 
amendment which will enable the officers of the 
government to prevent the practice of frauds 
against the immigrants while on their way and 
on their arrival m the ports, so as to secure 
them here a free choice of avocations and places 
of settlement. A liberal disposition toward this 
great national policy is manifested by most of 
the European States^ and ought to be recipro- 
cated on our part by giving the immigrants ef- 
fective national protection. I regard our immi- 
grants as one of the principal replenishing 
streams which are appointed by Providence to 
repair the ravages of internal war, and its wastes 
of national strength and health. All that is nec- 
essary is to secure the flow of that stream in its 
present fullness, and to that end the government 
must, in every way, make it manifest that it 
neither needs nor designs to impose involuntary 
military service upon those who come from other 
lands to cast their lot in our country. 

The financial affairs of the government have 
been successfully administered during the last 
year. The legislation of the last session of Con- 
gress has beneficially affected the revenues, al- 
though sufficient time has not yet elapsed to ex- 
perience the full effect of several of the provi- 
sions of the acts of Congress imposing increased 

The receipts during the year, from all sources, 
upon the basis of warrants signed by the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, including loans and the 
balance in the treasury on the first day of July, 
1863, were $1,394,796,007.62, and the aggregate 
disbursements, upon the same basis, were $1,298,- 


056,101.89, leaving a balance in the treasury, 
as shown by warrants, of $96,739,905.73. 

Deduct from these amounts the amount of the 
principal of the public debt redeemed, and the 
amount of issues in substitution therefor, and the 
actual cash operations of the treasury were : Re- 
ceipts, $884,076,646.57; disbursements, $865,- 
234.087.86, which leaves a cash balance in the 
treasury of $18,842,558.71. 

Of the receipts, there were derived from cus- 
toms, $102,316,152.99; from lands, $588,333.29; 
from direct taxes, $475,648.96; from internal rev- 
enue, $109,741,134.10; from miscellaneous 
sources, $47,511,448.10; and from loans applied 
to actual expenditures, including former balance, 

There were disbursed for the civil service, 
$27,505,599.46; for pensions and Indians, $7,- 
517,930.97; for the War Department, $690,791,- 
842.97; for the Navy Department, $85,733,- 
292.77; for interest on the public debt, $53,- 
685,421.69, — making an aggregate of $865,234,- 
087.86, and leaving a balance in the treasury of 
$18,842,558.71, as before stated. 

For the actual receipts and disbursements for 
the first quarter, and the estimated receipts and 
disbursements for the three remaining quarters 
of the current fiscal year, and the general oper- 
ations of the treasury in detail, I refer you to 
the report of the Secretary of the Treasury. I 
concur with him in the opinion that the pro- 
portion of moneys required to meet the expenses 
consequent upon the war derived from taxation 
should be still further increased ; and I earnestly 
invite your attention to this subject, to the end 
that there may be such additional legislation as 

ANNUAL 'MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 113 

shall be required to meet the just expectations 
of the Secretary. 

The public debt on the first day of July last, 
as appears by the books of the treasury, amounted 
to $1,740,690,48049. Probably should the war 
continue for another year, that amount may be 
increased by not far from $500,000,000. Held 
as it is, for the most part, by our own people, 
it has become a substantial branch of national 
though private property. For obvious reasons, 
the more nearly this property can be distributed 
among all the people, the better. To favor such 
general distribution, greater inducements to be- 
come owners might, perhaps, with good effect, 
and without injury, be presented to persons of 
limited means. With this view, I suggest wheth- 
er it might not be both competent and expedient 
for Congress to provide that a limited amount 
of some future issue of public securities might 
be held by any bona-fide purchas r exempt from 
taxtion, and from seizure for debt under such 
restrictions and limitations as might be neces- 
sary to guard against abuse of so important a 
privilege. This would enable every prudent per- 
son to set aside a small annuity against a possible 
day of want. 

Privileges like these would render the pos- 
session of such securities, to the amount limited, 
most desirable to every person of small means 
who might be able to save enough for the pur- 
pose. The great advantage of citizens being 
creditors as well as debtors, with relation to the 
public debt, is obvious. Men readily perceive 
that they cannot be much oppressed by a debt 
which they owe to themselves. 

The public debt on the first day of July last, al- 


though somewhat exceeding the estimate of the 
Secretary of the Treasury made to Congress at 
the commencement of the last session, falls short 
of the estimate of that officer made in the pre- 
ceding December, as to its probable amount at 
the beginning of this year, by the sum of $3,- 
995.0)7.31. This fact exhibits a satisfactory 
condition and conduct of the operations of the 

The national banking system is proving to be 
acceptable to capitalists and to the people. On 
the twenty-fifth day of November 584 national 
banks had been organized, a considerable num- 
ber of which were conversions from State banks. 
Changes from State systems to the national sys- 
tem are rapidly taking place, and it is hoped 
that very soon there will be in the United States 
no banks of issue not authorized by Congress, 
and no bank-note circulation not secured by the 
government. That the government and the peo- 
ple will derive great benefit from this change 
in the banking systems of the country, can hardly 
be questioned. The national system will create 
a reliable and permanent influence in support of 
the national credit, and protect the people against 
losses in the use of paper money. Whether or 
not any further legislation is advisable for the 
suppression of State bank issues, it will be for 
Congress to determine. It seems quite clear 
that the treasury cannot be satisfactorily con- 
ducted unless the government can exercise a re- 
straining power over the bank-note circulation of 
the country. 

The report of the Secretary of War and the 
accompanying documents will detail the cam- 
paigns of the armies in the field since the date 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 115 

of the last annual message, and also the opera- 
tions of the several administrative bureaus of 
the War Department during the last year. It 
will also specify the measures deemed essential 
for the national defense, and to keep up and sup- 
ply the requisite military force. 

The report of the Secretary of the Navy pre- 
sents a comprehensive and satisfactory exhibit 
of the affairs of that department and of the naval 
service. It is a subject of congratulation and 
laudable pride to our countrymen that a navy 
of such vast proportions has been organized in 
so brief a period, and conducted with so much 
efficiency and success. The general exhibit of 
the navy, including vessels under construction 
on the ist of December, 1864, shows a total of 
671 vessels, carrying 4610 guns, and 510,396 
tons, being an actual increase during the year, 
over and above all losses by shipwreck or in bat- 
tle, of 83 vessels, 167 guns, and 42,427 tons. 

The total number of mien at this time in the 
naval service, including officers, is about 51,000. 

There have been captured by the navy during 
the year, 324 vessels, and the whole number 
of naval captures since hostilities commenced is 
1379, of which 267 are steamers. 

The gross proceeds arising from the sale of 
condemned prize property thus far reported 
amounts to $14,396,250.51. A large amount of 
such proceeds is still under adjudication and yet 
to be reported. 

The total expenditure of the Navy Depart- 
ment of every description, including the cost of 
the immense squadrons that have been called 
into existence from the 4th of March, 1861, to 
the 1st of November, 1864, is $238,647,262.35. 


Your favorable consideration is invited to the 
various recommendations of the Secretary of the 
Navy, especially in regard to a navy-yard and 
suitable establishment for the construction and 
repair of iron vessels, and the machinery and 
armature for our ships, to which reference was 
made in my last annual message. 

Your attention is also invited to the views ex- 
pressed in the report in relation to the legislation 
of Congress, at its last session, in respect to prize 
on our inland waters. 

I cordially concur in the recommendations of 
the Secretary as to the propriety of creating 
the new rank of vice-admiral in our naval serv- 

Your attention is invited to the report of the 
Postmaster-General for a detailed account of the 
operations and financial condition of the Post- 
office Department. 

The postal revenues for the year ending June 
30, 1864, amounted to $12,438,253.78, and the 
expenditures to $12,644,786.20; the excess of ex- 
penditures over receipts being $206,532.42. 

The views presented by the Postmaster-Gen- 
eral on the subject of special grants by the gov- 
ernment, in aid of the establishment of new lines 
of ocean mail steamships, and the policy he rec- 
ommends for the development of increased com- 
mercial intercourse with adjacent and neighbor- 
ing countries, should receive the careful consid- 
eration of Congress. 

It is of noteworthy interest that the steady 
expansion of population, improvement, and gov- 
ernmental institutions over the new and unoccu- 
pied portions of our country have scarcely been 
checked, much less impeded or destroyed, by 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 117 

our great civil war, which at first glance would 
seem to have absorbed almost the entire ener- 
gies of the nation. 

The organization and admission of the State 
of Nevada has been completed in conformity with 
law, and thus our excellent system is firmly es- 
tablished in the mountains which once seemed a 
barren and uninhabitable waste between the At- 
lantic States and those which have grown up 
on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. 

The Territories of the Union are generally in 
a condition of prosperity and rapid growth. 
Idaho and Montana, by reason of their great 
distance and the interruption of communication 
with them by Indian hostilities, have been only 
partially organized; but it is understood that 
these difficulties are about to disappear, which 
v/ill permit their governments, like those of the 
others, to go into speedy and full operation. 

As intimately connected with and promotive of 
this m.aterial growth of the nation, I ask the 
attention of Congress to the valuable informa- 
tion and important recommendations relating to 
the public lands, Indian affairs, the Pacific Rail- 
road, and mineral discoveries contained in the 
report of the Secretary of the Interior, which is 
herewith transmitted, and which report also em- 
braces the subjects of patents, pensions, and other 
topics of public interest pertaining to his depart- 
ment. The quantity of public land disposed of 
during the five quarters ending on the 30th of 
September last was 4,221,342 acres, of which 
1,538,614 acres were entered under the home- 
stead law. The remainder was located with 
military land warrants, agricultural scrip certi- 
fied to States for railroads, and sold for cash. 


The cash received from sales and location fees 
was $1,019,446. 

The income from sales durinj^^ the fiscal year 
ending: June 30, 1864. was $678,007.21, against 
$136,077.95 received during the preceding year. 
Th^ aggregate number of acres surveyed during 
the year has been equal to the quantity disposed 
of, and there is open to settlement about 133,- 
000.000 acres of surveyed land. 

The great enterprise of connecting the Atlan- 
tic with the Pacific States by railways and tele- 
graph lines has been entered upon with a vigor 
that gives assurance of success, notwithstanding 
the embarrassments arising from the prevailing 
high prices of materials and labor. The route 
of the main line of the road has been definitely 
located for one hundred miles westward from 
the initial point at Omaha City, Nebraska, and 
a preliminary location of the Pacific Railroad of 
California has been made from Sacramento, east- 
ward to the great bend of Truckee River in Ne- 

Numerous discoveries of gold, silver, and 
cinnabar mines have been added to the many 
heretofore known, and the country occupied by 
the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains and the 
subordinate ranges now teems with enterprising 
labor which is richly remunerative. It is be- 
lieved that the product of the mines of precious 
metals in that region has, during the year, 
reached, if not exceeded, $100,000,000 in value. 

It was recommended in my last annual mes- 
sage that our Indian system be remodeled. Con- 
gress, at its last session, acting upon the recom- 
mendation, did provide for reorganizing the sys- 
tem in California, and it is believed that under 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 119 

the present organization the management of the 
Indians there will be attended with reasonable 
success. Much yet remains to be done to pro- 
vide for the proper government of the Indians 
in other parts of the country, to render it secure 
for the advancing settler and to provide for 
the welfare of the Indian. The Secretary reit- 
erates his recommendations, and to them the at- 
tention of Congress is invited. 

The liberal provisions made by Congress for 
paying pensions to invalid soldiers and sailors 
of the Republic, and to the widows, orphans, and 
dependent mothers of those who have fallen in 
battle, or died of disease contracted, or of wounds 
received, in the service of their country, have 
been diligently administered. 

There have been added to the pension-rolls, 
during the year ending the thirtieth day of June 
last, the names of 16,770 invalid soldiers, and 
of 271 disabled seamen ; making the present num- 
ber of army invalid pensioners, 22,767, and of 
navy invalid pensioners, 712. 

Of widows, orphans, and mothers, 22,198 have 
been placed on the army pension-rolls, and 248 
on the navy-rolls. The present number of army 
pensioners of this class is 25,433, and of navy 
pensioners, 793. At the beginning of the year, 
the number of Revolutionary pensioners was 
1430; only twelve of them were soldiers, of whom 
seven have since died. The remainder are those 
who under the law receive pensions because of 
relationship to Revolutionary soldiers. During 
the year ending the 30th of June, 1864, $4,504,- 
616.92 have been paid to pensioners of all classes. 

I cheerfully commend to your continued pa- 
tronage the benevolent institutions of the Dis- 


trict of Columbia, which have hitherto been 
estabhshed or fostered by Congress, and respect- 
fully refer for information concerning them, and 
in relation to the Washington aqueduct, the Capi- 
tol, and other matters of local interest, to the 
report of the Secretary. 

The Agricultural Department, under the su- 
pervision of its present energetic and faithful 
head, is rapidly commending itself to the great 
and vital interest it was created to advance. It 
is peculiarly the people's department, in which 
they feel more directly concerned than in any 
other. I commend it to the continued attention 
and fostering care of Congress. 

The war continues. Since the last annual mes- 
sage, all the important lines and positions then 
occupied by our forces have been maintained, 
and our arms have steadily advanced, thus lib- 
erating the regions left in rear; so that Mis- 
souri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and parts of other 
States have again produced reasonably fair crops. 

The most remarkable feature in the military 
operations of the year is General Sherman's at- 
tempted march of three hundred miles, directly 
through the insurgent region. It tends to show 
a great increase of our relative strength, that 
our general-in-chief should feel able to confront 
and hold in check every active force of the ene- 
my, and yet to detach a well-appointed large 
army to move on such an expedition. The re- 
sult not yet being known, conjecture in regard 
to it is not here indulged. 

Important movements have also occurred dur- 
ing the year to the efifect of molding society for 
durability in the Union. Although short of com- 
plete success, it is much in the right direction 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 121 

that 12,000 citizens in each of the States of Ar- 
kansas and Louisiana have organized loyal State 
governments, with free constitutions, and are 
earnestly struggling to maintain and administer 
them. The movements in the same direction, 
more extensive though less definite, in Missouri, 
Kentucky, and Tennessee, should not be over- 
looked. But Maryland presents the example of 
complete success. Maryland is secure to liberty 
and Union for all the future. The genius of 
rebellion will no more claim Maryland. Like 
another foul spirit, being driven out, it may seek 
to tear her, but it will woo her no more. 

At the last session of Congress a proposed 
amendment of the Constitution, abolishing slav- 
ery throughout the United States, passed the 
Senate, but failed for lack of the requisite two- 
thirds vote in the House of Representatives. Al- 
though the present is the same Congress, and 
nearly the same members, and without ques- 
tioning the wisdom or patriotism of those who 
stood in opposition, I venture to recommend the 
reconsideration and passage of the measure at 
the present session. Of course the abstract ques- 
tion is not changed, but an intervening election 
shows, almost certainly, that the next Congress 
will pass the measure if this does not. Hence 
there is only a question of time as to when the 
proposed amendment will go to the States for 
their action. And as it is to so go, at all events, 
may we not agree that the sooner the better? 
It is not claimed that the election has imposed 
a duty on members to change their views or their 
votes any further than as an additional element 
to be considered, their judgment may be affected 
by it. It is the voice of the people now for the 


first time heard upon the question. In a great 
national crisis hke ours, unanimity of action 
among those seeking a common end is very de- 
sirable — almost indispensable. And yet no ap- 
proach to such unanimity is attainable unless 
some deference shall be paid to the will of the 
majority, simply because it is the will of the 
majority. In this case the common end is the 
maintenance of the Union, and among the means 
to secure that end, such will, through the elec- 
tion, is most clearly declared in favor of such 
constitutional amendment. 

The most reliable indication of public purpose 
in this country is derived through our popular 
elections. Judging by the recent canvass and 
its result, the purpose of the people within the 
loyal States to maintain the integrity of the Un- 
ion, was never more firm nor more nearly unani- 
mous than now. The extraordinary calmness 
and good order with which the millions of voters 
met and mingled at the polls give strong assur- 
ance of this. Not only all those who supported 
the Union ticket, so called, but a great majority 
of the opposing party also, may be fairly claimed 
to entertain, and to be actuated by the same 
purpose. It is an unanswerable argument to this 
effect, that no candidate for any office whatever, 
high or low, has ventured to seek votes on the 
avowal that he was for giving up the Union. 
There has been much impugning of motives, and 
much heated controversy as to the proper means 
and best mode of advancing the Union cause; 
but on the distinct issue of Union or no Union 
the politicians have shown their instinctive 
knowledge that tlicrc is no diversity among the 
people. In affording the people the fair oppor- 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 123 

tunity of showing one to another and to the 
world this firmness and unanimity of purpose, 
the election has been of vast value to the national 

The election has exhibited another fact, not 
less valuable to be known — the fact that we do 
not approach exhaustion in the most important 
branch of national resources — that of living men. 
While it is melancholy to reflect that the war 
has filled so many graves, and carried mourning 
to so many hearts, it is some relief to know 
that compared with the surviving, the fallen have 
been so few. While corps, and divisions, and 
brigades, and regiments have formed, and fought, 
and dwindled, and gone out of existence, a great 
majority of the men who composed them are 
still living. The same is true of the naval serv- 
ice. The election returns prove this. So many 
voters could not else be found. The States regu- 
larly holding elections, both now and four years 
ago — to wit : California, Connecticut, Delaware, 
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Mary- 
land, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mis- 
souri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, 
Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Ver- 
mont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin — cast 3,- 
982,011 votes now, against 3,870,222 cast then; 
showing an aggregate now of 3,982,011. To this 
is to be added 33,762 cast now in the new States 
of Kansas and Nevada, which States did not 
vote in i860; thus swelling the aggregate to 
4,015,773, and the net increase during the three 
years and a half of war, to 145,551. A table is 
appended, shovving particulars. To this again 
should be added the number of all soldiers in 
the field from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New 


Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, and Califor- 
nia, who by the laws of those States could not 
vote away from their homes, and which num- 
ber cannot be less than cp.cxxD. Nor yet is this 
all. The number in organized Territories is 
triple now what it was four years ago, while 
thousands, white and black, join us as the na- 
tional arms press back the insurgent lines. So 
much is shown, affirmatively and negatively, by 
the election. 

It is not material to inquire how the increase 
has been produced, or to show that it would 
have been greater but for the war, which is 
probably true. The important fact remains dem- 
onstrated that we have more men now than we 
had when the war began ; that we are not ex- 
hausted, nor in process of exhaustion; that we 
are gaining strength, and may, if need be, main- 
tain the contest indefinitely. This as to men. 
Material resources are now more complete and 
abundant than ever. 

The national resources, then, are unexhausted, 
and, as we believe, inexhaustible. The public 
purpose to re-establish and maintain the national 
authority is unchanged, and, as we believe, un- 
changeable. The manner of continuing the ef- 
fort remains to choose. On careful consideration 
of all the evidence accessible, it seems to me that 
no attempt at negotiation with the insurgent 
leader could result in any good. He would ac- 
cept nothing short of severance of the Union — 
precisely what we will not and cannot give. His 
declarations to this effect are explicit and oft re- 
peated. He does not attempt to deceive us. He 
affords us no excuse to deceive ourselves. He 
cannot voluntarily re-accept the Union; we can- 
not voluntarily yield it. 

ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC. 6, 1864 125 

Between him and us the issue is distinct, sim- 
ple, and inflexible. It is an issue which can only 
be tried by war, and decided by victory. If we 
yield, we are beaten ; if the Southern people fail 
him, he is beaten. Either way it would be the 
victory and defeat following war. What is true, 
however, of him who heads the insurgent cause, 
is not necessarily true of those who follow. Al- 
though he cannot re-accept the Union, they can. 
Some of them, we know, already desire peace 
and reunion. The number of such may increase. 

They can at any moment have peace simply 
by laying down their arms and submitting to the 
national authority under the Constitution. After 
so much the government could not, if it would, 
maintain war against them. The loyal people 
would not sustain or allow it. If questions 
should remain, we would adjust them by the 
peaceful means of legislation, conference, courts, 
and votes, operating only in constitutional and 
lawful channels. Some certain, and other possi- 
ble, questions are, and would be, beyond the ex- 
ecutive power to adjust; as, for instance, the 
admission of members into Congress, and what- 
ever might require the appropriation of money. 
The executive power itself would be greatly di- 
minished by the cessation of actual war. Par- 
dons and remissions of forfeitures, however, 
would still be within executive control. In what 
spirit and temper this control would be exer- 
cised, can be fairly judged of by the past. 

A year ago general pardon and amnesty, upon 
specified terms, were offered to all except cer- 
tain designated classes, and it was at the same 
time made known that the excepted classes were 
still within contemplation of special clemency. 
During the year many availed themselves of the 


general provision, and many more would only 
that the signs of bad faith in some led to such 
precautionary measures as rendered the practi- 
cal process less easy and certain. During the 
same time, also, special pardons have been 
granted to individuals of the excepted classes, 
and no voluntary application has been denied. 

Thus, practically, the door has been for a full 
year open to all, except such as were not in con- 
dition to make free choice — that is, such as were 
in custody or under constraint. It is still so open 
to all; but the time may come — probably will 
come — when public duty shall demand that it be 
closed ; and that in lieu more rigorous measures 
than heretofore shall be adopted. 

In presenting the abandonment of armed re- 
sistance to the national authority on the part of 
the insurgents as the only indispensable condi- 
tion to ending the war on the part of the govern- 
ment, I retract nothing heretofore said as to 
slavery. I repeat the declaration made a year 
ago, that ''while I remain in my present posi- 
tion I shall not attempt to retract or modify 
the Emancipation Proclamation, nor shall I re- 
turn to slavery any person who is free by the 
terms of that proclamation, or by any of the 
acts of Congress." 

If the people should, by whatever mode or 
means, make it an executive duty to re-enslave 
such persons, another, and not I, must be their 
instrument to perform it. 

In stating a single condition of peace, I mean 
simply to say, that the war will cease on the 
part of the government whenever it shall have 
ceased on the part of those who began it. 

Abraham Lincola 

Proclamations, Messages, etc., Con- 
cerning Slavery 

Proclamations, Messages, 

ETC., Concerning 


Message to Congress Recommending Compen- 
sated Emancipation. 

March 6, 1862. 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: I recommend the adoption of a 
joint resolution by your honorable bodies, which 
shall be substantially as follows : 

Resolved, That the United States ought to cooperate 
with any State which may adopt gradual abolishment of 
slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used 
by such State, in its discretion, to compensate for the 
inconveniences, public and private, produced by such 
change of system. 

If the proposition contained in the resolution 
does not meet the approval of Congress and 
the country, there is the end ; but if it does 
command such approval, I deem it of importance 
that the States and people immediately interested 
should be at once distinctly notified of the fact, 
so that they may begin to consider whether to 
accept or reject it. The Federal Government 
would find its highest interest in such a measure, 
as one of the most efficient means of self-preser- 



vation. The leaders of the existing insurrection 
entertain the hope that this government will ulti- 
mately be forced to acknowledge the independ- 
ence of some part of the disaffected region, and 
that all the slave States north of such part will 
then say, "The Union for which we have strug- 
gled being already gone, we now choose to go 
with the Southern section." To deprive them 
of this hope substantially ends the rebellion ; and 
the initiation of emancipation completely deprives 
them of it as to all the States initiating it. The 
point is not that the States tolerating slavery 
would very soon, if at all, initiate emancipation; 
but that while the offer is equally made to all, 
the more Northern shall, by such initiation, make 
it certain to the more Southern that in no event 
will the former ever join the latter in their 
proposed confederacy. I say ''initiation" be- 
cause, in my judgment, gradual and not sudden 
emancipation is better for all. In the mere finan- 
cial or pecuniary view, any member of Congress, 
with the census tables and treasury reports be- 
fore him, can readily see for himself how very 
soon the current expenditures of this war would 
purchase, at fair valuation, all the slaves in any 
named State. Such a proposition on the part 
of the General Government sets up no claim of a 
right by Federal authority to interfere with 
slavery within State limits, referring, as it does, 
the absolute control of the subject in each case 
to the State and its people immediately inter- 
ested. It is proposed as a matter of perfectly 
free choice with them. 

In the annual message, last December, I 
thought fit to say, 'The Union must be pre- 
served, and hence all indispensable means must 


be employed." I said this not hastily, but de- 
liberately. War has been made, and continues 
to be, an indispensable means to this end. A 
practical reacknowledgmient of the national au- 
thority would render the war unnecessary, and 
it would at once cease. If, however, resistance 
continues, the war must also continue ; and it 
is impossible to foresee all the incidents which 
may attend and all the ruin which may follow 
it. Such as may seem indispensable, or may 
obviously promise great efficiency, toward end- 
ing the struggle, must and will come. 

The proposition now made, though an offer 
only, I hope it may be esteemed no offense to 
ask whether the pecuniary consideration tendered 
would not be of more value to the States and 
private persons concerned than are the institu- 
tion and property in it, in the present aspect of 
affairs ? 

While it is true that the adoption of the pro- 
posed resolution would be merely initiatory, and 
not within itself a practical measure, it is rec- 
ommended in the hope that it would soon lead 
to important practical results. In full view of 
my great responsibility to my God and to my 
country, I earnestly beg the attention of Con- 
gress and the people to the subject. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Message to Congress on Passage of Act to 
Abolish Slavery in the District of Columbia. 

April 16, 1862. 

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: The act entitled "An act for the 


release of certain persons held to service or labor 
in the District of Columbia" has this day been 
approved and signed. 

I have never doubted the constitutional author- 
ity of Congress to abolish slavery in this Dis- 
trict ; and I have ever desired to see the national 
capital freed from the institution in some satis- 
factory way. Hence there has never been in my 
mind any question upon the subject except the 
one of expediency, arising in view of all the 
circumstances. If there be matters within and 
about this act which might have taken a course 
or shape more satisfactory to my judgment, I do 
not attempt to specify them. I am gratified that 
the two principles of compensation and coloniza- 
tion a^re both recognized and practically applied 
in the act. 

In the matter of compensation, it is provided 
that claims may be presented within ninety days 
from the passage of the act, ''but not thereafter" ; 
and there is no saving for minors, femmes covert, 
insane or absent persons. I presume this is an 
omission by mere oversight, and I recommend 
that it be supplied by an amendatory or supple- 
mental act. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Proclamation Revoking General Hunter's 
Order of Military Emancipation. 

May 19, 1862. 

Whereas there appears in the public prints 
what jjurports to be a proclamation of Major- 
General Hunter, in the words and figures follow- 
ing, to wit : 


Headquarters Department of the South, 
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C, May 9, 1862. 
The three States of Georgia, Florida, and South 
Carolina, comprising the military department of the 
South, having deliberately declared themselves no longer 
under the protection of the United States of America, 
and having taken up arms against the said United 
States, it became a military necessity to declare martial 
law. This was accordingly done on the 25th day of 
April, 1862. Slavery and martial law in a free country 
are altogether incompatible ; the persons in these three 
States — Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina — hereto- 
fore held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free. 
By command of Major-General D. Hunter: 
{Official) Ed. W. Smith, Acting Assistant Adjutant- 

And whereas the same is producing some ex- 
citement and misunderstanding : therefore, 

I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 
States, proclaim and declare that the Government 
of the United States had no knowledge, infor- 
mation, or belief of an intention on the part of 
General Hunter to issue such a proclamation; 
nor has it yet any authentic information that the 
document is genuine. And further, that neither 
General Hunter, nor any other commander or 
person, has been authorized by the Government 
of the United States to make a proclamation de- 
claring the slaves of any State free; and that 
the supposed proclamation now in question, 
whether genuine or false, is altogether void so 
far as respects such a declaration. 

I further make known that, whether it be com- 
petent for me, as commander-in-chief of the army 
and navy, to declare the slaves of any State or 
States free, and whether, at any time, in any 
case, it shall have become a necessity indispen- 
sable to the maintenance of the government to 


exercise such supposed power, are questions 
which, under my responsibiHty, I reserve to my- 
self, and wliich I cannot feel justified in leaving 
to the decision of commanders in the field. These 
are totally different questions from those of po- 
lice regulations in armies and camps. 

On the sixth day of March last, by special 
message, I recommended to Congress the adop- 
tion of a joint resolution, to be substantially as 
follows : 

Resolved, That the United States ought to cooperate 
with any State which may adopt gradual abolishment of 
slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used 
by such State, in its discretion, to compensate for the 
inconvenience, public and private, produced by such 
change of system. 

The resolution, in the language above quoted, 
was adopted by large majorities in both branches 
of Congress, and now stands an authentic, defi- 
nite, and solemn proposal of the nation to the 
States and people most immediately interested 
in the subject-matter. To the people of those 
States I now earnestly appeal. I do not argue 
— I beseech you to make arguments for your- 
selves. You cannot, if you would, be blind to 
the signs of the times. I beg of you a calm and 
enlarged consideration of them, ranging, if it 
may be, far above personal and partisan politics. 
This proposal makes common cause for a com- 
mon object, casting no reproaches upon any. It 
acts not the Pharisee. The change it contem- 
plates would come gently as the dews of heaven, 
not rending or wrecking anything. Will you 
not embrace it? So much good has not been don 3, 
by one effort, in all past time, as in the provi- 


dence of God it is now your high privilege to do. 
May the vast future not have to lament that you 
have neglected it. 

In witness, etc., 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Message to Congress Enclosing Draft of Bill 
to Compensate States that Abolish Slavery. 

July 14, 1862. 

Felloiv-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: Herewith is a draft of a bill to 
compensate any State which may abolish slavery 
within its limits, the passage of which, substan- 
tially as presented, I respectfully and earnestly 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives of the United States of America, in Congress as- 
sembled, That whenever the President of the United 
States shall be satisfied that any State shall have law- 
fully abolished slavery within and throughout such 
State, either immediately or gradually, it shall be the 
duty of the President, assisted by the Secretary of the 
Treasury, to prepare and deliver to such State an 
amount of six per cent, interest-bearing bonds of the 

United States equal to the aggregate value, at 

dollars per head, of all the slaves within such State as 
reported by the census of the year one thousand eight 
hundred and sixty ; the whole amount for any one 
State to be delivered at once if the abolishment be im- 
mediate, or in equal annual instalments if it be gradual, 
interest to begin running on each bond at the time of its 
delivery, and not before. 

And be it further enacted. That if any State, having 


so received any such bonds, shall at any time afterward 
by law reintroduce or tolerate slavery within its limits, 
contrary to the act of abolishment upon which such 
bonds shall have been received, said bonds so received 
by said State shall at once be null and void, in whose- 
soever hands they may be, and such State shall refund 
to the United States all interest which may have been 
paid on such bonds. 

Message to Congress on Act to Confiscate 
Property of Rebels, etc. 

July 17, 1862. 

FeUoiv-citizens of the Senate and House of 
Representatives: Considering the bill for "An act 
to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and re- 
bellion, to seize and confiscate the property of 
rebels, and for other purposes," and the joint 
resolution explanatory of said act, as being sub- 
stantially one, I have approved and signed both. 

Before I was informed of the passage of the 
resolution, I had prepared the draft of a message, 
stating objections to the bill becoming a law, a 
copy of which draft is herewith transmitted. 

Abraham Lincoln. 


Fellozv-citicens of the House of Representa- 
tives: I herewith return to your honorable body, 
in which it originated, the bill for an act en- 
titled ''An act to suppress treason and rebellion, 
to seize and confiscate the property of rebels, 
and for other purposes," together with my objec- 
tions to its becoming a law. 

There is much in the bill to which I perceive 
no objection. It is wholly prospective; and it 



touches neither person nor property of any loyal 
citizen, in which particulars it is just and proper. 

The first and second sections provide for the 
conviction and punishment of persons who shall 
be guilty of treason, and persons who shall ''in- 
cite, set on foot, assist, or engage in any rebellion 
or insurrection against the authority of the United 
States, or the laws thereof, or shall give aid and 
comfort thereto, or shall engage in or give aid 
and comfort to any such existing rebellion or in- 
surrection." By fair construction, persons within 
these sections are not to be punished without 
regular trials in duly constituted courts under 
the forms and all the substantial provisions of 
law and of the Constitution applicable to their 
several cases. To this I perceive no objection, 
especially as such persons would be within the 
general pardoning power, and also the special 
provision for pardon and amnesty contained in 
this act. 

It is also provided that the slaves of persons 
convicted under these sections shall be free. I 
think there is an unfortunate form of expression, 
rather than a substantial objection, in this. It 
is startling to say that Congress can free a slave 
within a State, and yet if it were said the owner- 
ship of the slave had first been transferred to the 
nation, and that Congress had then liberated him, 
the difficulty would at once vanish. And this 
is the real case. The traitor against the Gen- 
eral Government forfeits his slave at least as 
justly as he does any other property; and he 
forfeits both to the government against which he 
offends. The government, so far as there can 
be ownership, thus owns the forfeited slaves, 
and the question for Congress in regard to them 


is. ''Shall they be made free or be sold to new 
masters?" I perceive no objection to Congress 
decidin^s: in advance that they shall be free. To 
the high honor of Kentucky, as I am informed, 
she has been the owner of some slaves by escheat, 
and she sold none, but liberated all. I hope the 
same is true of some other States. Indeed, I do 
not believe it would be physically possible for 
the General Government to return persons so 
circumstanced to actual slavery. I believe there 
would be physical resistance to it which could 
neither be turned aside by argument nor driven 
away by force. In this view I have no objection 
to this feature of the bill. Another matter in- 
volved in these two sections and running through 
other parts of the act will be noticed hereafter. 

I perceive no objection to the third and fourth 

So far as I wish to notice the fifth and sixth 
sections, they may be considered together. That 
the enforcement of these sections would do no 
injustice to the persons embraced within them is 
clear. That those who make a causeless war 
should be compelled to pay the cost of it is too 
obviously just to be called in question. To give 
governmental protection to the property of per- 
sons who have abandoned it, and gone on a cru- 
sade to overthrow that same government, is 
absurd, if considered in the mere light of justice. 
The severest justice may not always be the 
best policy. The principle of seizing and appro- 
priating the property of the persons embraced 
within these sections is certainly not very ob- 
jectionable; but a justly discriminating applica- 
tion of it would be very difficult, and to a great 
extent impossible. And would it not be wise 



to place a power of remission somewhere, so 
that these persons may know they have some- 
thing to lose by persisting, and something to save 
by desisting? I am not sure whether such power 
of remission is or is not within section thirteen. 

Without any special act of Congress, I think 
our military commanders, when, in military 
phrase, "they are within the enemy's country," 
should, in an orderly manner, seize and use 
whatever of real or personal property may be 
necessary or convenient for their commiands ; at 
the samx time preserving in some way the evi- 
dence of w^hat they do. 

What I have said in regard to slaves while 
commenting on the first and second sections, is 
applicable to the ninth, with the difference that 
no provision is made in the whole act for deter- 
mining whether a particular individual slave does 
or does not fall within the classes defined in 
that section. He is to be free upon certain con- 
ditions ; but whether those conditions do or do 
not pertain to him, no mode of ascertaining is 
provided. This could be easily supplied. 

To the tenth section I make no objection. The 
oath therein required seems to be proper, and 
the remainder of the section is substantially iden- 
tical with a law already existing. 

The eleventh section simply assumes to confer 
discretionary powers upon the Executive. With- 
out this law I have no hesitation to go as far in 
the direction indicated as I may at any time deem 
expedient. And I am ready to say now, I think 
it is proper for our military commanders to em- 
ploy as laborers as many persons of African de- 
scent as can be used to advantage. 

The twelfth and thirteenth sections are some- 


thing better than unobjectionable ; and the four- 
teenth is entirely proper if all other parts of 
the act shall stand. 

That to which I chiefly object pervades most 
parts of the act, but more distinctly appears 
in the first, second, seventh, and eighth sections. 
It is the sum of those provisions which results 
in the divesting of title forever. 

For the causes of treason and the ingredients 
of treason not amounting to the full crime, it 
declares forfeiture exj:ending beyond the lives of 
the guilty parties ; whereas the Constitution of 
the United States declares that **no attainder of 
treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeit- 
ure, except during the life of the person at- 
tainted." True, there seems to be no formal at- 
tainder in this case ; still I think the greater pun- 
ishment cannot be constitutionally inflicted in a 
different form for the same offense. 

With great respect I am constrained to say 
I think this feature of the act is unconstitutional. 
It would not be difficult to modify it. 

I may remark that this provision of the Con- 
stitution, put in language borrowed from Great 
Britain, applies only in this country, as I under- 
stand, to real or landed estate. 

Again, this act, by proceedings in rem, for- 
feits property for the ingredientsof treason, with- 
out a conviction of the supposed criminal or a 
personal hearing given him in any proceeding. 
That we may not touch property lying within 
our reach because we cannot give personal no- 
tice to an owner who is absent endeavoring to 
destroy the government is certainly not very 
satisfactory. Still, the owner may not be thus 
engaged; and I think a reasonable time should 


be provided for such parties to appear and have 
personal hearings. Similar provisions are not 
uncommon in connection with proceedings in 

For the reasons stated I return the bill to 
the House in which it originated. 

Order Authorizing Employment of "Contra- 

July 22, 1862. 

First. Ordered that military commanders 
within the States of Virginia, North Carolina, 
Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Lou- 
isiana, Texas, and Arkansas, in an orderly man- 
ner seize and use any property, real or personal, 
which may be necessary or convenient for their 
several commands, for supplies, or for other 
military purposes ; and that while property may 
be destroyed for proper military objects, none 
shall be destroyed in wantonness or malice. 

Second. That military and naval commanders 
shall employ as laborers, within and from said 
States, so many persons of African descent as 
can be advantageously used for military or naval 
purposes, giving them reasonable wages for their 
labor. / 

Third. That, as to both property and persons 
of African descent, accounts shall be kept suffi- 
ciently accurate and in detail to show quantities 
and amounts, and from whom both property and 
such persons shall have come, as a basis upon 
which compensation can be made in proper cases ; 
and the several departments of this government 


shall attend to and perform their appropriate 
parts toward the execution of these orders. 
By order of the President : 

Edwin j\I. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. 

September 22, 1862. 

I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United 
States of America, and commander-in-chief of 
the army and navy thereof, do hereby proclaim 
and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war 
will be prosecuted for the object of practically 
restoring the constitutional relation between the 
United States and each of the States, and the 
people thereof, in which States that relation is 
or may be suspended or disturbed. 

That it is my purpose, upon the next meeting 
of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of 
a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to 
the free acceptance or rejection of all slave States, 
so called, the people whereof may not then be 
in rebellion against the United States, and which 
States may then have voluntarily adopted, or 
thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or 
gradual abolishment of slavery within their re- 
spective limits ; and that the effort to colonize 
persons of African descent with their consent 
upon this continent or elsewhere, with the pre- 
viously obtained consent of the governments ex- 
isting there, will be continued. 

That on the first day of January, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 
sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any 
State or designated part of a State the people 



whereof shall then be in rebellion against the 
United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and 
forever free; and the Executive Government of 
the United States, including the military and 
naval authority thereof, will recognize and main- 
tain the freedom of such persons, and will do 
no act or acts to repress such persons, or any 
of them, in any efforts they may make for their 
actual freedom. 

That the Executive will, on the first day of 
January aforesaid, by proclamation designate the 
States and parts of States, if any, in which the 
people thereof, respectively, shall then be in re- 
bellion against the United States ; and the fact 
that any State, or the people thereof, shall on 
that day be in good faith represented in the Con- 
gress of the United States by members chosen 
thereto at elections wherein a majority of the 
qualified voters of such State shall have partici- 
pated, shall, in the absence of strong counter- 
vailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence 
that such State, and the people thereof, are not 
then in rebellion against the United States. 

That attention is hereby called to an act of 
Congress entitled "An act to make an additional 
article of war," approved March 13, 1862, and 
which act is in the words and figure following : 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives of the United States of America in Congress as- 
sembled, That hereafter the following shall be promul- 
gated as an additional article of war, for the govern- 
ment of the army of the United States, and shall be 
obeyed and observed as such : 

Article — . All officers or persons in the military or 
naval service of the United States are prohibited from 
employing any of the forces under their respective com- 
mands for the purpose of returning fugitives from 


service or labor who may have escaped from any per- 
sons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be 
due ; and any officer who shall be found guilty by a 
court martial of violating this article shall be dismissed 
from the service. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall 
take effect from and after its passage. 

Also to the ninth and tenth sections of an 
act entitled "An act to suppress insurrection, to 
punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confis- 
cate property of rebels, and for other purposes," 
approved July 17, 1862, and vi^hich sections are 
in the words and figures following : 

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That all slaves of 
persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion 
against the Government of the United States, or who 
shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping 
from such persons and taking refuge within the lines 
of the army ; and all slaves captured from such persons 
or deserted by them, and coming under the control of 
the Government of the United States ; and all slaves of 
such persons found on [or] being within any place 
occupied by rebel forces and afterwards occupied by the 
forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of 
war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and 
not again held as slaves. 

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave 
escaping into any State, Territory, or the District of 
Columbia, from any other State, shall be delivered up, 
or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except 
for crime, or some offense against the laws, unless the 
person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that 
the person to whom the labor or serice of such fugitive 
is alleged to be due is his lawful owner, and has not 
borne arms against the United States in the present 
rebellion, nor in. any way given aid and comfort thereto ; 
and no person engaged in the military or naval service 
of the United States shall, under any pretense whatever, 
assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any 
person to the service or labor of any other person, or 



surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain 
of being dismissed from the service. 

And I do hereby enjoin upon and order all 
persons engaged in the military and naval service 
of the United States to observe, obey, and en- 
force, within their respective spheres of service, 
the act and sections above recited. 

And the Executive will in due time recom- 
mend that all citizens of the United States who 
shall have remained loyal thereto throughout the 
rebellion shall (upon the restoration of the con- 
stitutional relation between the United States and 
their respective States and people, if that re- 
lation shall have been suspended or disturbed) 
be compensated for all losses by acts of the 
United States, including the loss of slaves. 

In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President: 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Final Emancipation Proclamation. 

January i, 1863. 

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of Sep- 
tember, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was 
issued by the President of the United States, 
containing, among other things, the following, 
to wit: 

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all 
persons held as slaves within any State, or designated 


part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in 
rebellion against the United States, shall be then, 
thenceforward, and forever free ; and the Executive 
Government of the United States, including the military 
and naval authority thereof, will cecognize and main- 
tain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or 
acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any 
efforts they may make for their actual freedom. 

"That the Executive will, on the first day of January 
aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and 
parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof 
respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United 
States : and the fact that any State, or the people 
thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented 
in the Congress of the United States by members 
chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the 
qualified voters of such State shall have participated, 
shall in the absence of strong countervailing testimony 
be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the 
people thereof are not then in rebellion against the 
United States." 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President 
of the United States, by virtue of the power in 
me vested as commander-in-chief of the army 
and navy of the United States, in time of actual 
armed rebellion against the authority and gov- 
ernment of the United" States, and as a fit and 
necessary war measure for suppressing said rebel- 
lion, do, on this first day of January, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 
sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose 
so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period 
of 100 days from the day first above mentioned, 
order and designate as the States and parts of 
States wherein the people thereof, respectively, 
are this day in reljellion against the United 
States, the following, to wit: 

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the par- 
ishes of St. Bernard, Plaqucinincs, Jefferson, St. 


John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assump- 
tion, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. 
Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New 
Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia^ 
South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia 
(except the forty-eight counties designated as 
West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, 
Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, 
Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities^ 
of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted 
parts are for the present left precisely as if this 
proclamation v/ere not issued. 

And by virtue of the power and for the pur- 
pose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all 
persons held as slaves within said designated 
States and parts of States are, and henceforward 
shall be, free; and that the Executive Gov- 
ernment of the United States, including the 
military and naval authorities thereof, will 
recognize and maintain the freedom of said 

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so 
declared to be free to abstain from all vio- 
lence, unless in necessary self-defense ; and I 
recommend to them that, in all cases when 
allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable 

And I further declare and make known that 
such persons of suitable condition will be re- 
ceived into the armed service of the United States 
to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other 
places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said 

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be 
an act of justice, warranted by the Constitu- 
tion upon military necessity, I invoke the con- 


side rate judgment of mankind and the gracious 
favor of Almighty God. 
In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Message to Congress on Freedmen's Aid 

December 17, 1863. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives: 
Herewith I lay before you a letter addressed to 
myself by a committee of gentlemen representing 
the Freedmen's Aid Societies in Boston, New 
York, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati. 

The subject of the letter, as indicated above, is 
one of great magnitude and importance, and one 
which these gentlemen of known ability and high 
character seem to have considered with great 
attention and care. Not having the time to form 
a mature judgment of my own as to whether the 
plan they suggest is the best, I submit the whole 
subject to Congress, deeming that their atten- 
tion thereto is almost imperatively demanded. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Order to Bring Back Negro Colonists from 
San Domingo. "^ 

February i, 1864. 

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

Sir: You are directed to have a transport 
(either a steam or sailing vessel, as may be 

• See page 163, volume five of present edition. 


deemed proper by the Quartermaster-General) 
sent to the colored colony established by the 
United States at the Island of Vache, on the coast 
of San Domingo, to bring back to this country 
such of the colonists there as desire to return. 
You will have the transport furnished with suita- 
ble supplies for that purpose, and detail an officer 
of the Quartermaster's department, who, under 
special instructions to be given, shall have charge 
of the business. The colonists will be brought 
to Washington unless otherwise hereafter di- 
rected, and be employed and provided for at the 
camps for colored persons around that city. 

Those only will be brought from the island 
who desire to return, and their effects will be 
brought with them. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Proclamations of Days of Thanksgiv- 
ing, Fasting, and Prayep. 

Proclamations of Days of 

Thanksgiving, Fasting, 

AND Prayer 

Proclamation of a National Fast Day. 

August 12, 1861. 

Whereas a joint committee of both houses of 
Congress has waited on the President of the 
United States and requested him to "recommend 
a day of pubhc prayer, humiHation, and fasting, 
to be observed by the people of the United 
States with rehgious solemnities, and the offer- 
ing of fervent supplications to Almighty God 
for the safety and welfare of these States, his 
blessings on their arms, and a speedy restora- 
tion of peace" : 

And whereas it is fit and becoming in all people, 
at all times, to acknowledge and revere the su- 
preme government of God ; to bow in humble sub- 
mission to his chastisements ; to confess and de- 
plore their sins and transgressions, in the full 
conviction that the fear of the Lord is the be- 
ginning of wisdom ; and to pray with all fer- 
vency and contrition for the pardon of their 
past offenses, and for a blessing upon their pres- 
ent and prospective action : 

And whereas when our own beloved country, 
once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous, 



and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil 
war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the 
hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in 
sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and 
crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble 
ourselves before him and to pray for his mercy — 
to pray that we may be spared further punish- 
ment, though most justly deserved ; that our arms 
may be blessed and made effectual for the rees- 
tablishment of law, order, and peace throughout 
the wide extent of our country ; and that the in- 
estimable boon of civil and religious liberty, 
earned under his guidance and blessing by the 
labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be 
restored in all its original excellence : 

Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of 
the United States, do appoint the last Thursday 
in Septen^.ber next as a day of humiliation, prayer, 
and fasting for all the people of the nation. And 
I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and 
especially to all ministers and teachers of religion, 
of all denominations, and to all heads of families, 
to observe and keep that day, according to their 
several creeds and modes of worship, in all hu- 
mility and with all religious solemnity, to the 
end that the united prayer of the nation may 
ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down 
plentiful blessings upon our country. 

In testimony, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

On February 19, 1862, President Lincoln issued a 
proclamation ordering the celebration of the forth- 
coming anniversary of Washington's Birthday, by 


the public reading of Washington's "immortal farewell 

Proclamation Recommending Thanksgiving 
for Victories. 

April 10, 1862. 

By the President of the United States of 

A Proclamation. 

It has pleased Almighty God to vouchsafe sig- 
nal victories to the land and naval forces engaged 
in suppressing an internal rebellion, and at the 
same time to avert from our country the dangers 
of foreign intervention and invasion : 

It is therefore recommended to the people of 
the United States that, at their next weekly as- 
semblages in their accustomed places of public 
worship which shall occur after notice of this 
proclamation shall have been received, they es- 
pecially acknowledge and render thanks to our 
Heavenly Father for these inestimable blessings ; 
that they then and there implore spiritual con- 
solation in behalf of all who have been brought 
into affliction by the casualties and calamities of 
sedition and civil war ; and that they reverently 
invoke the divine guidance for our national coun- 
sels, to the end that they may speedily result 
in the restoration of peace, harmony, and unity 
throughout our borders, and hasten the estab- 
lishment of fraternal relations among all the 
countries of the earth. 

In witness, etc. Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

William PL Seward, Secretary of State. 


Proclamation of a National Fast-Day. 

March 30, 1863. 

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, de- 
voutly recognizing the supreme authority and 
just government of Almighty God in all the 
affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolu- 
tion requested the President to designate and set 
apart a day for national prayer and humiliation : 

And whereas, it is the duty of nations as well 
as of men to own their dependence upon the 
overruling power of God ; to confess their sins 
and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with 
assured hope that genuine repentance will lead 
to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sub- 
lime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and 
proven by all history, that those nations only 
are blessed whose God is the Lord : 

And insomuch as we know that by his divine 
law nations, like individuals, are subjected to 
punishments and chastisements in this world, may 
we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil 
war which now desolates the land may be but 
a punishment inflicted upon us for our presump- 
tuous sins, to the needful end of our national ref- 
ormation as a whole people? We have been the 
recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. 
We have been preserved, these many years, in 
peace and prosperity. We have grown in num- 
bers, wealth, and power as no other nation has 
ever grown ; but we have forgotten God. We 
have forgotten the gracious hand which pre- 
served us in peace, and multiplied and enriched 
and strengthened us ; and we have vainly imag- 
ined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all 
these blessings were produced by some superior 

FAST-DAY, MARCH 30, 1863 157 

wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with 
unbroken success, we have become too self-suffi- 
cient to feel the necessity of redeeming and pre- 
serving grace, too proud to pray to the God 
that made us : 

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves be- 
fore the offended Power, to confess our national 
sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness : 

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, 
and fully concurring in the views, of the Senate, 
I do by this my proclamation designate and set 
apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as 
a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. 
And I do hereby request all the people to abstain 
on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, 
and to unite at their several places of public 
worship and their respective homes in keeping 
the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the 
humble discharge of the religious duties proper 
to that solemn occasion. All this being done 
in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly 
in the hope authorized by the divine teachings, 
that the united cry of the nation will be heard 
on high, and answered with blessings no less 
than the pardon of our national sins, and the 
restoration of our now divided and suffering 
country to its former happy condition of unity 
and peace. 

In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 


Announcement of News From Gettysburg. 

Washington, July 4, 10.30 a. m. 
The President announces to the country that 
news from the Army of the Potomac, up to 10 
p. m. of the 3d, is such as to cover that army with 
the highest honor, to promise a great success to 
the cause of the Union, and to claim the condo- 
lence of all for the many gallant fallen ; and that 
for this he especially desires that on this day 
He whose will, not ours, should ever be done be 
everywhere remembered and reverenced with 
profoundest gratitude. 

A. Lincoln. 

Proclamation for Thanksgiving. 

July 15, 1863. 

It has pleased Almighty God to hearken to 
the supplications and prayers of an afflicted peo- 
ple, and to vouchsafe to the army and navy of the 
United States victories on land and on the sea 
so signal and so effective as to furnish reason- 
able grounds for augmented confidence that the 
union of these vStates will be maintained, their 
Constitution preserved, and their peace and 
prosperity permanently restored. But these vic- 
tories have been accorded not without sacrifices 
of life, limb, health, and liberty, incurred by 
brave, loyal, and patriotic citizens. Domestic 
affliction in every part of the country follows in 
the train of these fearful bereavements. It is 
meet and right to recognize and confess the pres- 
ence of the Almighty Father, and the power of 
his hand equally in these triumphs and in these 

THANKSGIVING, OCT. 3, 1863 159 

Now, therefore, be it known that I do set 
apart Thursday, the 6th day of August next, to 
be observed as a day for national thanksgiving, 
praise, and prayer, and I invite the people of the 
United States to assemble on that occasion in 
their customary places of worship, and, in the 
forms approved by their own consciences, ren- 
der the homage due to the Divine Majesty for 
the wonderful things he has done in the nation's 
behalf, and invoke the influence of his Holy 
Spirit to subdue the anger which has produced 
and so long sustained a needless and cruel rebel- 
lion, to change the hearts of the insurgents, to 
guide the counsels of the government with wis- 
dom adequate to so great a national emergency, 
and to visit with tender care and consolation 
throughout the length and breadth of our land 
all those who, through the vicissitudes of 
marches, voyages, battles, and sieges have been 
brought to suffer in mind, body, or estate, and 
finally to lead the whole nation through the paths 
of repentance and submission to the Divine Will 
back to the perfect enjoyment of union and 
fraternal peace. 

In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Proclamation for Thanksgiving. 

October 3, 1863. 

The year that is drawing toward its close has 
been filled with the blessings of fruiful fields and 
healthful skies. To these bounties, which are 


so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to for- 
get the source from which they come, others have 
been added, which are of so extraordinary a 
nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and 
soften the heart which is habitually insensible 
to the ever-watchful providence of almighty God. 

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled 
magnitude and severity, which has sometimes 
seemed to foreign states to invite and provoke 
their aggressions, peace has been preserved with 
all nations, order has been maintained, the laws 
have been respected and obeyed, and harmony 
has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater 
of military conflict : while that theater has been 
greatly contracted by the advancing armies and 
navies of the Union. 

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength 
from the fields of peaceful industry to the 
national defense have not arrested the plow, the 
shuttle, or the ship ; the ax has enlarged the 
borders of our settlements, and the mines, as 
well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, 
have yielded even more abundantly than here- 
tofore. Population has steadily increased, not- 
withstanding the waste that has been made in 
the camp, the siege, and the battle-field, and the 
country, rejoicing in the consciousness of aug- 
mented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect 
continuance of years with large increase of 

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any 
mortal hand worked out these great things. 
They are the gracious gifts of the most high 
God, who, while dealing with us in anger for 
our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. 

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they 

THANKSGIVING, DEC. 7, 1863 161 

should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully 
acknowledged as with one heart and one voice 
by the whole American people. I do, therefore, 
invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the 
United States, and also those who are at sea 
and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, 
to set apart and observe the last Thursday of 
November next as a day of thanksgiving and 
praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in 
the heavens. And I recommend to them that, 
while offering up the ascriptions justly due to 
him for such singular deliverances and bless- 
ings, they do also, with humble penitence for 
our national perverseness and disobedience, com- 
mend to his tender care all those who have 
become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers 
in the lamentable civil strife in which we are 
unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the 
interposition of the almighty hand to heal the 
wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon 
as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, 
to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tran- 
quility, and union. 
In testimony, etc. 

A. Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Recommendation of Thanksgiving for Union 
Success in East Tennessee. 

December 7, 1863. 

Reliable information being received that the 
insurgent force is retreating from East Tennes- 
see, under circumstances rendering it probable 


that the Union forces cannot hereafter be dis- 
lodged from that important position, and es- 
teeming this to be of high national consequence, 
I recommend that all loyal people do, on receipt 
of this information, assemble at their places of 
worship and render special homage and gratitude 
to almighty God for this great advancement of 
the national cause. 

A. Lincoln. 

Recommendation of Thanksgiving. 

May 9, 1864. 

To the Friends of Union and Liberty: Enough 
is known of army operations within the last five 
days to claim an especial gratitude to God, while 
what remains undone demands our most sincere 
prayers to, and reliance upon, him without whom 
all human effort is vain. I recommend that all 
patriots, at their homes, in their places of public 
worship, and wherever they may be, unite in 
common thanksgiving and prayer to almighty 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Proclamation for a Day of Prayer. 

July 7, 1864. 

By the President of tj^e United States of 

A Proclamation. 

Whereas the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives, at their last session, adopted a con- 


current resolution, which was approved on the 
second day of July instant, and which was in 
the words following, namely: 

That the President of the United States be requested 
to appoint a day for humiliation and prayer by the 
people of the United States; that he request his con- 
stitutional advisers at the head of the executive depart- 
ments to unite with him as chief magistrate of the 
nation, at the city of Washington, and the members of 
Congress, and all magistrates, all civil, military, and 
naval officers, all soldiers, sailors, and marines, with all 
loyal and law-abiding people, to convene at their usual 
places of worship, or wherever they may be, to confess 
and to repent of their manifold sins ; to implore the 
compassion and forgiveness of the Almighty, that, if 
consistent with his will, the existing rebellion may be 
speedily suppressed, and the supremacy of the Constitu- 
tion and laws of the United States may be established 
throughout all the States; to implore him, as the 
supreme ruler of the world, not to destroy us as a peo- 
ple, nor suffer us to be destroyed by the hostility or the 
connivance of other nations, or by obstinate adhesion to 
our own counsels which may be in conflict with his 
eternal purposes, and to implore him to enlighten the 
mind of the nation to know and do his will, humbly 
believing that it is in accordance with his will that 
our place should be maintained as a united people 
among the family of nations ; to implore him to grant 
to our armed defenders and the masses of the people 
that courage, power of resistance, and endurance neces- 
sary to secure that result ; to implore him in his infinite 
goodness to soften the hearts, enlighten the minds, and 
quicken the consciences of those in rebellion, that they 
may lay down their arms and speedily return to their 
allegiance to the United States, that they may not be 
utterly destroyed, that the effusion of blood may be 
stayed, and that unity and fraternity may be restored, 
and peace established throughout all our borders : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 
dent of the United States, cordially concurring 
with the Congress of the United States in the 


penitential and pious sentiments expressed in 
the aforesaid resolutions, and heartily approving 
of the devotional design and purpose thereof, 
do hereby appoint the first Thiirsday of August 
next to be observed by the people of the United 
States as a day of national humiliation and 

I do hereby further invite and request the 
heads of the executive departments of this gov- 
ernment, together with all legislators, all judges 
and magistrates, and all other persons exercising 
authority in the land, whether civil, military, 
or naval, and all soldiers, seamen, and marines 
in the national service, and all the other loyal 
and law-abiding people of the United States, 
to assemble in their preferred places of public 
worship on that day, and there and then to 
render to the Almighty and merciful Ruler of 
the universe such homages and such confessions, 
and to offer to him such supplications, as the 
Congress of the United States have, in their 
aforesaid resolution, so solemnly, so earnestly, 
and so reverently recommended. 

In testimony, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving. 

September 3, 1864. 

The signal success that divine Providence has 
recently vouchsafed to the operations of the 
United States fleet and army in the harbor of 
Mobile, and the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort 

THANKSGIVING, OCT. 20, 1864 165 

Gaines, and Fort Morgan, and the glorious 
achievements of the army under Major-General 
Sherman, in the State of Georgia, resulting in 
the capture of the city of Atlanta, call for de- 
vout acknowledgment to the Supreme Being in 
whose hands are the destinies of nations. It is 
therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all 
places of worship in the United States, thanks- 
giving be offered to him for his mercy in 
preserving our national existence against the in- 
surgent rebels who have been waging a cruel 
war against the Government of the United 
States for its overthrow ; and also that prayer 
be made for divine protection to our brave sol- 
diers and their leaders in the field, who have 
so often and so gallantly periled their lives in 
battling with the enemy; and for blessings and 
comfort from the Father of mercies to the sick, 
wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and 
widows of those who have fallen in the service* 
of their country, and that he will continue to 
uphold the Government of the United States 
against all the efforts of public enemies and 
secret foes. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Proclamation of Thanksgiving. 

October 20, 1864. 

It has pleased almighty God to prolong our 
national life another year, defending us with his 
guardian care against unfriendly designs from 
abroad, and vouchsafing to us in his mercy many 
and signal victories over the enemy, who is of 
our own household. It has also pleased our 
heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens 


in their homes as our soldiers in their camps, and 
our sailors on the rivers and seas, with unusual 
health. He has largely augmented our free pop- 
ulation by emancipation and by immigration, 
while he has opened to us new sources of wealth, 
and has crowned the labor of our working-men 
in every department of industry with abundant 
rewards. Moreover, he has been pleased to 
animate and inspire our minds and hearts with 
fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for 
the great trial of civil war into which we have 
been brought by our adherence as a nation to 
the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford 
to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy 
deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions. 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 
dent of the United States, do hereby appoint 
and set apart the last Thursday of November 
next as a day which I desire to be observed by all 
my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, 
as a day of thanksgiving and praise to almighty 
God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the 
universe. And I do further recommend to 
my fellow-citizens aforesaid, that on that occa- 
sion they do reverently humble themselves in 
the dust, and from thence offer up penitent and 
fervent prayers and supplications to the great 
Disposer of events for a return of the inestimable 
blessings of peace, union, and harmony through- 
out the land which it has pleased him to assign 
as a dwelling-place for ourselves and for our 
posterity throughout all generations. 

In testimony, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Proclamations, Messages, and General 
Military Orders Relating to the 
Conduct of the War 

Proclamations, Messages, 
AND General Military 
Orders Relating to the 
Conduct of the War 

Cabinet Conference on Provisioning Fort 


{Sent to each member of the Cabinet.) 

March 15, 1861. 
My dear Sir : Assuming it to be possible to now 
provision Fort Sumter^ under all the circum- 
stances is it wise to attempt it? Please give me 
your opinion in writing on this question. 
Your obedient servant, 

A. Lincoln. 

In response to this note William H, Seward, Secre- 
tary of State, renders a negative answer in a long 
opinion, the substance of which is summed up in the 
cencluding paragraph: 

"I may be asked whether I would in no case, and at 
no time, advise force — whether I propose to give up 
everything? I reply, no. I would not initiate war to 
regain a useless and unnecessary position on the soil of 
the seceding States. I would not provoke war in any 
way now. I would resort to force to protect the collec- 
tion of the revenue, because this is a necessary as well 
as a legitimate minor object. Even then it should be 
only a naval force that I would employ for that neces- 



sary purpose, while I would defer military action on 
land until a case should arise when we would hold the 
defense. In that case we should have the spirit of the 
country and the approval of mankind on our side. In 
the other, we should imperil peace and union, because 
we had not the courage to practise prudence and 
moderation at the cost of temporary misapprehension. 
If this counsel seems to be impassive and even un- 
patriotic, I console myself by the reflection that it is 
such as Chatham gave to his country under circum- 
stances not widely different." 

Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury, renders 
an affirmative answer, which he bases upon the state- 
ments of military authorities, that, if the attempt to 
provision included an attempt to reenforce, the pos- 
sibility of success amounted to a reasonable degree of 
probability. The Secretary adds : 

"The probable political effects of the measure allow 
room for much fair difference of opinion ; and I have 
not reached my own conclusion without serious dif- 

"If the attempt will so inflame civil war as to involve 
an immediate necessity for the enlistment of armies and 
the expenditure of millions, I cannot advise it in the 
existing circumstances of the country and in the 
present condition of the national finances. 

"But it seems to me highly improbable that the at- 
tempt, especially if accompanied or immediately fol- 
lowed by a proclamation setting forth a liberal and 
generous yet firm policy toward the disaffected States, 
in harmony with the principles of the inaugural ad- 
dress, will produce such consequences; while it cannot 
be doubted that in maintaining a port belonging to the 
United States and in supporting the officers and men 
engaged in the regular course of service in its defense, 
the Federal Government exercises a clear right and, 
under all ordinary circumstances, performs a plain 

Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, returns a negative 
answer to the query. He recites opinions of military 
authorities pro and con as to the feasibility of the proj- 
ect, but with the preponderance of opinion in the 
negative. He says that all the ofiicers within Fort 
Sumter, together with Generals Scott and Totten, have 


expressed the opinion, that it would be impossible to 
succor Fort Sumter substantially, if at all, without 
capturing, by means of a large expedition of ships of 
war and troops (at least twenty-five thousand men), all 
the opposing batteries of South Carolina. A month 
before the relief would have been practicable, now Fort 
Moultrie is re-armed and strengthened in every way ; 
many new hand batteries have been constructed, the 
principal channel has been obstructed; in short the 
difficulty of reenforcement has been increased ten, even 
twenty fold. In favor of the proposition he mentions 
the project of Gustavus V. Fox, Assistant Secretary of 
the navy, formerly connected with the Coast Survey 
and familiar with Charleston harbor. "Mr. Fox," he 
says, "has proposed to make the attempt to supply the 
fort by aid of cutters of light draught and large dimen- 
sions, but he does not suppose, or propose, or profess to 
believe that provisions for more than one or two months 
could be furnished at a time." Now Sumter could not 
now contend against these formidable adversaries if 
filled with provisions and men. That fortress was 
intended to repel an invading foe. The range of her 
guns is too limited to reach the city of Charleston. No 
practicable benefit would result to country or govern- 
ment by accepting such a proposal. 

Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, returns a 
negative answer. He says that the wisdom of the 
enterprise in this military aspect has been questioned by 
experts. In a political view the relief of the fort was 
inexpedient. The public mind has concluded that the 
fort is to be evacuated and is becoming reconciled to 
this prospect. To provision Fort Sumter would be to 
precipitate war, and he is not prepared to advise a plan 
that would provoke hostilities in event of success, and 
to incur untold disaster in event of failure. 

Caleb B. Smith, Secretary of the Interior, gives an 
opinion similar to that of Welles. He says: "If the 
evacuation of Fort Sumter could be regarded as an 
acknowledgment by the government of its inability to 
enforce the laws, I should without hesitation advise that 
it should be held without regard to the sacrifices which 
its retention might impose. I do not believe, however, 
that the abandonment of the fort would imply such an 
acknowledgment on the part of the government. There 


are other means by which the power and the honor of 
the government may be vindicated, and which would, in 
my judgment, be much more effective to compel the 
people of South Carolina to render obedience to the 
laws, and which would at the same time avoid the sacri- 
fice of life which must result from a conflict under the 
walls of the fort." 

Montgomery Blair, Postmaster-General, renders an 
opinion strongly affirmative. He says : 

"The evacuation of Fort Sumter, when it is known 
that it can be provisioned and manned, will convince 
the rebels that the administration lacks firmness, and 
will, therefore, tend more than any event that has 
happened to embolden them ; and so far from tending 
to prevent collision, will insure it unless all the other 
forts are evacuated, and all attempts are given up to 
maintain the authority of the United States. 

"Mr. Buchanan's policy has, I think, rendered col- 
lision almost inevitable, and a continuance of that policy 
will not only bring it about, but will go far to produce 
a permanent division of the Union. 

"This is manifestly the public judgment, which is 
much more to be relied on than that of any individual. 
I believe Fort Sumter may be provisioned and relieved 
by Captain Fox with little risk ; and General Scott's 
opinion, that with its war complement [of 650 men] 
there is no force in South Carolina which can take it, 
renders it almost certain that it will not then be at- 
tempted. This would completely demoralize the rebel- 
lion. The impotent rage of the rebels, and the outburst • 
of patriotic feeling which would follow this achieve- 
ment, would initiate a reactionary movement through- 
out the South which would speedily overwhelm the 
traitors. No expense or care should, therefore, be 
spared to achieve this success. 

"The appreciation of our stocks will pay for the most 
lavish outlay to make it one. 

"Nor will the result be materially different to the 
nation if the attempt fails, and its gallant leader and 
followers are lost. It will in any event vindicate the 
hardy courage of the North, and the determination of 
the people and their President to maintain the authority 
of the government; and this is all that is wanting, in. 
my judgment, to restore it." 

CALL FOR 75,000 MILITIA 173 

Edward Bates, Attorney-General, advises against the 
project, preferring that South CaroHna have the odium 
before the world of beginning a conflict which would 
inevitably degenerate into a servile war of unspeakable 
horrors. Besides, in such a contest, Charleston was 
comparatively insignificant; "the real struggle will be 
at the Mississippi, for it is not politically possible for 
any foreign power to hold the mouth of that river 
against the people of the middle and upper valley." 

In a Message to the Senate, sent March 26, 1861, 
the President refuses the request of that body, made 
March 25, 1861, that he submit to it the Despatches of 
Major Anderson from Fort Sumter to the War De- 
partment. "At the present moment," he says, "the 
publication would be inexpedient." 

On March 29, 1861, President Lincoln called a Cabi- 
net meeting to determine the question of sending an 
Expedition to Relieve Fort Sumter. The Secretary 
of War and the Postmaster-General failed to render an 
opinion. Of those submitted, that of Mr. Seward, 
Secretary of State, was alone in the negative. As a 
result Captain Fox's proposition (see page 171, present 
volume) was accepted. By April i the President had 
sent the proper orders for fitting out the expedition. 

Proclamation Calling 75,000 Militia, and Con- 
vening Congress in Extra Session. 

April 15, 1861. 

Whereas the laws of the United States have 
been for some time past and now are opposed, 
and the execution thereof obstructed, in the 
States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, 
Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by 
combinations too powerful to be suppressed by 
the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or 
by the powers vested in the marshals by law : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President 
of the United States, in virtue of the power 


in me vested by the Constitution and the laws,* 
have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do 
call forth the militia of the several States of the 
Union, to the aggregate number of seventy-five 
thousand, in order to suppress said combinations, 
and to cause the laws to be duly executed. 

The details for this object will be immediately 
communicated to the State authorities through 
the War Department. 

I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate, 
and aid this effort to maintain the honor, the 
integrity, and the existence of our National 
Union, and the perpetuity of popular govern- 
ment ; and to redress wrongs already long enough 

I deem it proper to say that the first service 
assigned to the forces hereby called forth will 
probably be to repossess the forts, places, and 
property which have been seized from the Union ; 
and in every event the utmost care will be ob- 
served, consistently with the objects aforesaid, 
to avoid any devastation, any destruction of or 
interference with property, or any disturbance 
of peaceful citizens in any part of the country. 

And I hereby command the persons composing 
the combinations aforesaid to disperse and retire 
peacefully to their respective abodes within 
twenty days from date. 

Deeming that the present condition of public 
affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do 
hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by 
the Constitution, convene both Houses of Con- 
gress. Senators and Representatives are there- 

*The Act of 1795, which authorized the use of the militia only 
"until the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of the 
then next session of Congress." 


fore summoned to assemble at their respective 
chambers at twelve o'clock noon, on Thursday, 
the fourth day of July next, then and there to 
consider and determine such measures as, in their 
wisdom, the public safety and interest may seem 
to demand. 
In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln, 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Proclamation of Blockade in South Carolina^ 
Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi,, 
Louisiana, and Texas. 

April 19, 186 i. 

Whereas an insurrection against the govern- 
ment of the United States has broken out in the 
States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, 
Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and 
the laws of the United States for the collection 
of the revenue cannot be effectually executed 
therein conformably to that provision of the 
Constitution which requires duties to be uniform 
throughout the United States : 

And whereas a combination of persons en- 
gaged in such insurrection have threatened to 
grant pretended letters of marque to authorize 
the bearers thereof to commit assaults on the 
lives, vessels, and property of good citizens of 
the country lawfully engaged in commerce on 
the high seas, and in waters of the United 
States :* 

*On April 17, i86r, Jefferson Davis had issued a proclamatioa 
inviting application for letters of marque and reprisal, permitting 


And whereas an executive proclamation has 
been already issued requiring the persons en- 
gaged in these disorderly proceedings to desist 
therefrom, calling out a militia force for the 
purpose of repressing the same, and convening 
Congress in extraordinary session to deliberate 
and determine thereon: 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 
dent of the United States, with a view to the 
same purposes before mentioned, and to the pro- 
tection of the public peace, and the lives and 
property of quiet and orderly citizens pursuing 
their lawful occupations, until Congress shall 
have assembled and deliberated on the said un- 
lawful proceedings, or until the same shall have 
ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set 
on foot a blockade of the ports within the 
States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of 
the United States, and of the law of nations in 
such case provided. For this purpose a com- 
petent force will be posted so as to prevent 
entrance and exit of vessels from the ports 
aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate 
such blockade, a vessel shall approach or shall 
attempt to leave either of the said ports, she 
will be duly warned by the commander of one 
of the blockading vessels, who will indorse on 
her register the fact and date of such warning, 
and if the same vessel shall again attempt to 
enter or leave the blockaded port, she will be 
captured and sent to the nearest convenient port, 
for such proceedings against her and her cargo, 
as prize, as may be deemed advisable. 

And I hereby proclaim and declare that if 

depredations on commerce of the United States "under the seal of 
these Confederate States." 


any person, under the pretended authority of 
the said States, or under any other pretense, 
shall molest a vessel of the United States, cr 
the persons or cargo on board of her, such 
person will be held amenable to the laws of the 
United States for the prevention and punishment 
of piracy. 

In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

On April 27, 1861, President Lincoln made a sup- 
plementary proclamation extending the blockade to the 
ports of Virginia and North Carolina, Virginia hav- 
ing passed an ordinance of secession on April 17, 1861, 
and Governor Ellis of North Carolina having on April 
22, 1861, seized Fayetteville arsenal, and. on April 24, 
1861, placed his military force at the disposal of the 

The blockade was raised by proclamation at Beaufort, 
N. C, Port Royal, S. C, and New Orleans, La.. May 
12, 1862 ; at Alexandria, Va., September 24, 1863 ; at 
Brownsville, Texas, February 18, 1864; at Norfolk, Va., 
Fernandina and Pensacola, Fla., November 19. 1864. It 
was reimposed on Brownsville, Texas, April 11, 1865. 

Proclamation Calling for 42,034 Volunteers, 
and an Increase in Regular Army and Navy 

May 3, 1 861. 

Whereas existing exigencies demand immedi- 
ate and adequate measures for the protection 
of the National Constitution and the preserva- 
tion of the National Union by the suppression 
of the insurrectionary combinations now exist- 
ing in several States for opposing the laws of 


the Union and obstructing the execution thereof, 
to which end a mihtary force, in addition to that 
called forth by my proclamation of the fifteenth 
day of April in the present year, appears to be 
indispensably necessary : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Pres- 
ident of the United States and Commander-in- 
Chief of the xA.rmy and Navy thereof, and of the 
Militia of the several States when called into 
actual service, do hereby call into the service 
of the United States forty-two thousand and 
thirty-four volunteers, to serve for the period of 
three years unless sooner discharged, and to be 
mustered into service as infantry and cavalry. 
The proportions of each arm and the details of 
enrollment and organization will be made known 
through the Department of War. 

And I also direct that the regular army of the 
United States be increased by the addition of 
eight regiments of infantry, one regiment of 
cavalry, and one regiment of artillery, making 
altogether a maximum aggregate increase of 
twenty-two thousand seven hundred and four- 
teen officers and enlisted men, the details of 
which increase will also be made known through 
the Department of War. 

And I further direct the enlistment for not 
less than one nor more than three years, of eight- 
een thousand seamen, in addition to the present 
force, for the naval service of the United States. 
The details of the enlistment and organization 
will be made known through the Department 
of the Navy. 

The call for volunteers hereby made, and the 
direction for the increase in the regular army, 
and for the enlistment of seamen, hereby given, 


together with the plan of organization adopted 
for the volunteers and for the regular forces 
hereby authorized, will be submitted to Congress 
as soon as assembled. 

In the mean time I earnestly invoke the co- 
operation of all good citizens in the measures 
hereby adopted for the effectual suppression of 
unlawful violence, for the impartial enforcement 
of constitutional laws, and for the speediest pos- 
sible restoration of peace and order, and, with 
these, of happiness and prosperity, throughout 
the country. 

In testimony, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President: 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Proclamation Concerning the Florida Keys, 

On May 10, 1861, President Lincoln issued a Proc- 
lamation Suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus on 
THE Florida Keys, and authorizing the commander of 
the United States forces there "to remove from the 
vicinity of the United States fortresses all dangerous or 
suspected persons." 

Memoranda of Military Policy Suggested by 
the Bull Run Defeat. 

July 23, and 2y, 1861. 

(July 23, 1861.) 

1. Let the plan for making the blockade ef- 
fective be pushed forward with all possible 

2. Let the volunteer forces at Fort Monroe 


and vicinity under General Butler be constantly 
drilled, disciplined, and instructed without more 
for the present. 

3. Let Baltimore be held as now, with a gentle 
but firm and certain hand. 

4. Let the force now under Patterson or 
Banks be strengthened and made secure in its 

5. Let the forces in Western Virginia act till 
further orders according to instructions or 
orders from General McClellan. 

6. [Let] General Fremont push forward his 
organization and operations in the West as rap- 
idly as possible, giving rather special attention 
to Missouri. 

7. Let the forces late before Manassas, except 
the three-months men, be reorganized as rapidly 
as possible in their camps here and about Ar- 

8. Let the three-months forces who decline to 
enter the longer service be discharged as rapidly 
as circumstances will permit. 

9. Let the new volunteer forces be brought 
forward as fast as possible, and especially into 
the camps on the two sides of the river here. 

(July 27, 1861.) 

When the foregoing shall have been substan- 
tially attended to : 

I. Let Manassas Junction (or some point on 
one or other of the railroads near it) and Stras- 
burg be seized and permanently held, with an 
open line from Washington to Manassas, and 
an open line from Harper's Ferry to Strasburg — 
the military men to find the way of doing these. 


2. This done, a joint movement from Cairo 
on Memphis, and from Cincinnati on East Ten- 

In Re Baltimore Police Commissioners. 

In a Message to the House of Representatives, 
sent July 27, 1861, the President refuses, on the ground 
of incomDatibility with public interest, to grant the 
House's request of July 24. 1861, for information con- 
cerning the arrest and imprisonment in Fort McHenry 
of the Baltimore Police Commissioners. 

Proclamation Forbidding Intercourse with 
Rebel States. 

August 16, 1861. 

Whereas on the fifteenth day of April, eight- 
een hundred and sixty-one, the President of 
the United States, in view of an insurrection 
against the laws, Constitution, and 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 provisions of the act en- 
titled "An act to provide for calling forth the 
militia to execute the laws of the Union, sup- 
press insurrections, and repel invasions, and to 
repeal the act now in force for that purpose," 
approved February twenty-eighth, seventeen 
hundred and ninety-five, did call forth the militia 
to suppress said insurrection, and to 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 CaroHna, 
Tennessee, and Arkansas ; and whereas, the in- 
surgents in all the said States claim to act under 
the authority thereof, and such claim is not 
disclaimed or repudiated by the persons exer- 
cising the functions of government in such State 
or States, or in the part or parts thereof in which 
such combinations exist, nor has such insurrec- 
tion been suppressed by said States : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 
dent of the United States, in pursuance of an 
act of Congress approved July thirteen, eighteen 
hundred and sixty-one, do hereby declare that 
the inhabitants of the said States of Georgia, 
South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Ten- 
nessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, 
Mississippi, and Florida (except the inhabitants 
of that part of the State of Virginia lying west 
of the Alleghany Mountains, and of such other 
parts of that State, and the other States hereinbe- 
fort named, as may maintain a loyal adhesion to 
the Union and the Constitution, or may be from 
time to time occupied and controlled by forces 
of the United States engaged in the dis- 
persion 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 exceptions 
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 exceptions 
aforesaid, into other parts of the United States, 
without the special license and permission of the 


President, through the Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, or proceeding to any of said States, with 
the exceptions aforesaid, by land or water, 
together with the vessel or vehicle conveying 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 proclama- 
tion 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 enforce- 
ment of the penalties and forfeitures imposed 
or declared by it; leaving any party who may 
think himself aggrieved thereby to his applica- 
tion 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 remission. 
In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Memorandum for a Plan of Campaign. 
About October i, 1861. 

On or about the 5th of October (the exact 
date to be determined hereafter) I wish a move- 


ment made to seize and hold a point on the 
railroad connecting Virginia and Tennessee near 
the mountain-pass called Cumberland Gap. 
That point is now guarded against us by Zol- 
licoffer, with 6000 or 8o(X) rebels at Barbours- 
ville, Ky., — say twenty-five miles from the Gap, 
toward Lexington. We have a force of 5000 or 
6000 under General Thomas, at Camp Dick 
Robinson, about twenty-five miles from Lexing- 
ton and seventy-five from Zollicoffer's camp, 
on the road between the two. There is not a 
railroad anywhere between Lexington and the 
point to be seized, and along the whole length 
of which the Union sentiment among the people 
largely predominates. We have military posses- 
sion of the railroad from Cincinnati to Lex- 
ington, and from Louisville to Lexington, and 
some home guards, under General Crittenden, 
are on the latter line. We have possession of 
the railroad from Louisville to Nashville, Tenn., 
so far as Muldraugh's Hill, about forty miles, 
and the rebels have possession of that road all 
south of there. At the Hill we have a force 
of 8000, under General Sherman, and about an 
equal force of rebels is a very short distance 
south, imder General Buckner. 

We have a large force at Paducah, and a 
smaller at Fort Holt, both on the Kentucky 
side, with some at Bird's Point, Cairo, Mound 
City, Evansville, and New Albany, all on the 
ether side, and all which, with the gun-boats 
OP the river, are perhaps sufficient to guard the 
Ohio from Louisville to its mouth. 

About supplies of troops, my general idea is 
that all from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illi- 
nois, Missouri, and Kansas, not now elsewhere, 


be left to Fremont. All from Indiana and Mich- 
igan, not now elsewhere, be sent to Anderson 
at Louisville. All from Ohio needed in western 
Virginia be sent there, and any remainder be 
sent to iMitchel at Cincinnati, for Anderson. All 
east of the mountains be appropriated to Mc- 
Clellan and to the coast. 

As to movements, my idea is that the one 
for the coast and that on Cumberland Gap be 
simultaneous, and that in the mean time prep- 
aration, vigilant watching, and the defensive 
only be acted upon ; this, however, not to apply 
to Fremont's operations in northern and middle 
Missouri. That before these movements Thomas 
and Sherman shall respectively watch but not 
attack Zollicoffer and Buckner. That when the 
coast and Gap movements shall be ready Sher- 
man is merely to stand fast, while all at 
Cincinnati and all at Louisville, with all on the 
line, concentrate rapidly at Lexington, and 
thence to Thomas's camp, joining him, and the 
whole thence upon the Gap. It is for the mili- 
tary men to decide whether they can find a pass 
through the mountains at or near the Gap which 
cannot be defended by the enemy with a greatly 
inferior force, and what is to be done in regard 
to this. 

The coast and Gap movements made, Generals 
McClellan and Fremont, in their respective de- 
partments, will avail themselves of any advan- 
tages the diversions may present. 


President's General War Order No. i. 
January 2y, 1862. 

Ordered, That the 226. day of February, 1862, 
be the day for a general movement of all the 
land and naval forces of the United States 
against the insurgent forces. That especially the 
army at and about Fortress Monroe; the Army 
of the Potomac; the Army of Western Virginia; 
the army near Munfordville, Kentucky; the 
army and flotilla at Cairo, and a naval force in 
the Gulf of Mexico, be ready to move on 
that day. 

That all other forces, both land and naval, 
with their respective commanders, obey existing 
orders for the time, and be ready to obey addi- 
tional orders when duly given. 

That the heads of departments, and especially 
the Secretaries of War and of the Navy, with 
all their subordinates, and the general-in-chief, 
with all other commanders and subordinates of 
land and naval forces, will severally be held to 
their strict and full responsibilities for prompt 
execution of this order. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

President's Special War Order No. 1. 

January 31, 1862. 

Ordered, That all the disposable force of the 
Army of the Potomac, after providing safely for 
the defense of Washington, be formed into an 
expedition for the immediate object of seizing 
and occupying a point upon the railroad south- 

• AMNESTY 187 

westward of what is known as Manassas Junc- 
tion, all details to be in the discretion of the com- 
mander-in-chief, and the expedition to move be- 
fore or on the 226. day of February next. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Amnesty to Political Prisoners. 

February 14, 1862. 

The breaking out of a formidable insurrection, based 
on a conflict of political ideas, being an event without 
precedent in the United States, was necessarily attended 
by great confusion and perplexity of the public mind. 
Disloyalty, before unsuspected, suddenly became bold, 
and treason astonished the world by bringing at once 
into the field military forces superior in numbers to the 
standing army of the United States. 

Every department of the government was paralyzed 
by treason. Defection appeared in the Senate, in the 
House of Representatives, in the Cabinet, in the Federal 
courts ; ministers and consuls returned from foreign 
countries to enter the insurrectionary councils, or land 
or naval forces; commanding and other officers of the 
army and in the navy betrayed the councils or deserted 
their posts for commands in the insurgent forces. 
Treason was flagrant in the revenue and in the post- 
office service, as well as in the Territorial governments 
and in the Indian reserves. 

Not only governors, judges, legislators, and minis- 
terial officers in the States, but even whole States, 
rushed, one after another, with apparent unanimity, into 
rebellion. The capital was besieged, and its connection 
with all the States cut off. 

Even in the portions of the country which were most 
loyal, political combinations and secret societies were 
formed, furthering the work of disunion; while, from 
motives of disloyalty or cupidity, or from excited pas- 
sions or perverted sympathies, individuals were found 
furnishing men, money, and materials of war and 
supplies to the insurgents' military and naval forces. 
Armies, ships, fortifications, navy-yards, arsenals, 


military posts and garrisons, one after another Nvere 
betrayed or abandoned to the insurgents. 

Congress had not anticipated and so had not provided 
for the emergency. The municipal authorities were 
powerless and inactive. The judicial machinery seemed 
as if it had been designed not to sustain the govern- 
ment, but to embarrass and betray it. 

Foreign intervention, openly invited and industriously 
instigated by the abettors of the insurrection, became 
imminent, and has only been prevented by the practice 
of strict and impartial justice, with the most perfect 
moderation, in our intercourse with nations. 

The public mind was alarmed and apprehensive, 
though fortunately not distracted or disheartened. It 
seemed to be doubtful whether the Federal Government, 
which one year before had been thought a model worthy 
of universal acceptance, had indeed the ability to defend 
and maintain itself. 

Some reverses, which perhaps were unavoidable, suf- 
fered by newly levied and inefficient forces, discouraged 
the loyal, and gave new hopes to the insurgents. 
Voluntary enlistments seemed about to cease, and deser- 
tions commenced. Parties speculated upon the question 
whether conscription had not become necessary to fill 
up the armies of the United States. 

In this emergency the President felt it his duty to 
employ with energy the extraordinary powers which the 
Constitution confides to him in cases of insurrection. 
He called into the field such military and naval forces, 
unauthorized by the existing laws, as seemed necessary. 
He directed measures to prevent the use of the post- 
office for treasonable correspondence. He subjected 
passengers to and from foreign countries to new pass- 
port regulations, and he instituted a blockade, suspended 
the writ of habeas corpus in various places, and caused 
persons who were represented to him as being or about 
to engage in disloyal or treasonable practices to be 
arrested by special civil as well as military agencies, and 
detained in military custody, when necessary, to pre- 
vent them and deter others from such practices. Ex- 
aminations of such cases were instituted, and some of 
the persons so arrested have been discharged from time 
to time, under circumstances or upon conditions com- 
patible, as was thought, with the public safety. 

WAR ORDER NO. 2 189 

Meantime a favorable change of public opinion has 
occurred. The line between loyalty and disloyalty is 
plainly defined ; the whole structure of the government 
is firm and stable ; apprehensions of public danger and 
facilities for treasonable practices have diminished with 
the passions which prompted heedless persons to adopt 
them. The insurrection is believed to have culminated 
and to be declining. 

The President, in view of these facts, and anxious to 
favor a return to the normal course of the administra- 
tion, as far as regard for the public welfare will allow, 
directs that all political prisoners or state prisoners 
now held in military custody be released on their sub- 
scribing to a parole engaging them to render no aid or 
comfort to the enemies in hostility to the United States. 

The Secretary of War will, however, at his discretion, 
except from the effect of this order any persons detained 
as spies in the service of the insurgents, or others whose 
release at the present moment may be deemed incom- 
patible with the public safety. 

To all persons who shall be so released, and who shall 
keep their parole, the President grants an amnesty for 
any past offenses of treason or disloyalty which they 
may have committed. 

Extraordinary arrests will hereafter be made under 
the direction of the military authorities alone. 

By order of the President : 

Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

On February 27, 1862, Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary 
of War, signed Executive Order No. 2, in Relation xa 
State Prisoners. ]\Iajor-General John A. Dix, of 
Baltimore, and Edwards Pierrepont, of New York, 
were appointed commissioners to pass upon cases of 
persons in military custody. 

President's Special War Order No. 2. 

March 8, 1862. 

Ordered, i. That the major-general command- 
ing the Army of the Potomac proceed forthwith 
to organize that part of the said army destined 
to enter upon active operations (including the 


reserve, but excluding the troops to be left in 
the fortifications about Washington) into four 
army corps, to be commanded, according to sen- 
iority of rank, as follows : 

First corps to consist of four divisions, and 
to be commanded by Major-General I. McDow- 
ell. Second corps to consist of three divisions, 
and to be commanded by Brigadier-General E. 
V. Sumner. Third corps to consist of three di- 
visions, and to be commanded by Brigadier- 
General S. P. Heintzelman. Fourth corps to 
consist of three divisions, and to be commanded 
by Brigadier-General E. D. Keyes. 

2. That the divisions now commanded by the 
officers above assigned to the commands of army 
corps shall be embraced in and form part of 
their respective corps. 

3. The forces left for the defense of Wash- 
ington will be placed in command of Brigadier- 
General James S. Wadsworth, who shall also 
be military governor of the District of Columbia. 

4. That this order be executed with such 
promptness and despatch as not to delay the 
commencement of the operations already directed 
to be undertaken by the Army of the Potomac. 

5. A fifth army corps, to be commanded by 
Major-General N. P. Banks, will be formed from 
his own and General Shields's (late General Lan- 
der's) divisions. Abraham Lincoln. 

President's General War Order No. 3. 

March 8, 1862. 

Ordered, That no change of the base of opera- 
tions of the Army of the Potomac shall be made 

WAR ORDER NO. 3 191 

without leaving in and about Washington such 
a force as in the opinion of the general-in-chief 
and the commanders of all the army corps shall 
leave said city entirely secure. 

That no more than two army corps (about 
50,000 troops) of said Army of the Potomac 
shall be moved en route for a new base of oper- 
ations until the navigation of the Potomac from 
Washington to the Chesapeake Bay shall be 
freed from enemy's batteries and other obstruc- 
tions, or until the President shall hereafter give 
express permission. 

That any movement as aforesaid en route for 
a new base of operations vv^hich may be ordered 
by the general-in-chief, and which may be in- 
tended to move upon the Chesapeake Bay, shall 
begin to move upon the bay as early as the i8th 
day of March instant, and the general-in-chief 
shall be responsible that it so move as early as 
that day. 

Ordered, That the army and navy co-operate 
in an immediate effort to capture the enemy's 
batteries upon the Potomac between Washing- 
ton and the Chesapeake Bay. 

A. Lincoln. 

Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant-General. 

President's Special War Order No. 3. 

March ii, 1862. 

Major-General McClellan having personally 
taken the field as the head of the Army of the 
Potom^ac, until otherwise ordered he is relieved 
from the command of the other military depart- 


ments, he retaining command of the Department 
of the Potomac. 

Ordered further, that the two departments now 
under the respective commands of Generals Hal- 
leck and Hunter, together with so much of that 
under General Buell as lies west of a north and 
south line indefinitely drawn through Knoxville, 
Tenn., be consolidated and designated the De- 
partment of the Mississippi, and that until other- 
wise ordered Major-General Halleck have com- 
mand of said department. 

Ordered also, that the country west of the 
Department of the Potomac and east of the De- 
partment of the Mississippi be a military depart- 
ment to be called the Mountain Department, and 
that the same be commanded by Major-General 

That all the commanders of departments, after 
the receipt of this order by them respectively, 
report severally and directly to the Secretary of 
War, and that prompt, full, and frequent reports 
will be expected of all and each of them. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Order Taking Military Possession of Rail- 

On May 25, 1862, the President by authority of 
an act of Congress, issued through M. C. Meigs, Quar- 
termaster-General, an Order Taking Military Posses- 
sion OF All Railroads in the United States, directing 
the railroad companies to be ready to transport troops 
and munitions of war to the exclusion of all other 


Message to Congress Assuming Responsibility 
for Acts of Secretary Cameron, for Which 
He Had Been Censured by the House. 

May 26, 1862. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives: 
The insurrection which is yet existing in the 
United States and aims at the overthrow of the 
Federal Constitution and the Union, was clandes- 
tinely prepared during the winter of i860 and 
1861, and assumed an open organization in the 
form of a treasonable provisional government at 
Montgomery, in Alabama, on the i8th day of 
February, 1861. On the 12th day of April, 1861, 
the insurgents committed the flagrant act of civil 
war by the bombardment and capture of Fort 
Sumter, which cut off the hope of immediate con- 
ciliation. Immediately afterward all the roads 
and avenues to this city were obstructed, and 
the capital was put into the condition of a siege. 
The mails in every direction were stopped and 
the lines of telegraph cut off by the insurgents, 
and military and naval forces which had been 
called out by the government for the defense of 
Washington were prevented from reaching the 
city by organized and combined treasonable re- 
sistance in the State of Maryland. There was 
no adequate and effective organization for the 
public defense. Congress had indefinitely ad- 
journed. There was no time to convene them. 
It became necessary for me to choose whether, 
using only the existing means, agencies, and 
processes which Congress had provided, I should 
let the government fall at once into ruin, or 
whether, availing myself of the broader powers 


conferred by the Constitution in cases of insur- 
rection, I would make an effort to save it with 
all its blessings for the present age and for 

I thereupon summoned my constitutional ad- 
visers, the heads of all the departments, to meet 
on Sunday, the 21st day of April, 1861, at the 
office of the Navy Department ; and then and 
there, with their unanimous concurrence, I di- 
rected that an armed revenue cutter should pro- 
ceed to sea, to aft'ord protection to the commer- 
cial marine and especially the California treas- 
ure-ships then on their way to this coast. I also 
directed the commandant of the navy-yard at 
Boston to purchase, or charter, and arm as quick- 
ly as possible, five steamships for purposes of 
public defense. I directed the commandant of 
the navy-yard at Philadelphia to purchase, or 
charter, and arm an equal number for the same 
purpose. I directed the commandant at New 
York to purchase, or charter, and arm an equal 
number. I directed Commander Gillis to pur- 
chase, or charter, and arm and put to sea two 
other vessels. Similar directions were given to 
Commodore Du Pont, with a view to the opening 
of passages by water to and from the capital. 
I directed the several officers to take the advice 
and obtain the aid and efficient services in the 
matter of his Excellency Edwin D. Morgan, the 
Governor of New York, or, in his absence, 
George D. Morgan, William M. Evarts, R. M. 
Blatchford, and Moses H. Grinnell, who were, 
by my direction, especially empowered by the 
Secretary of the Navy to act for his department 
in that crisis, in matters pertaining to the for- 



warding of troops and supplies for the public 

On the same occasion I directed that Governor 
Morgan and Alexander Cummings, of the city 
of New York, should be authorized by the Sec- 
retary of War, Simon Cameron, to make all nec- 
essary arrangements for the transportation of 
troops and munitions of war, in aid and assist- 
ance of the officers of the army of the United 
States, until communication by mails and tele- 
graph should be completely re-established be- 
tween the cities of Washington and New York. 
No security was required to be given by them, 
and either of them was authorized to act in case 
of inability to consult with the other. 

On the same occasion I authorized and di- 
rected the Secretary of the Treasury to advance, 
without requiring security, two millions of dol- 
lars of public money to John A. Dix, George 
Opdyke, and Richard M. Blatchford, of New 
York, to be used by them in meeting such requi- 
sitions as should be directly consequent upon the 
military and naval measures necessary for the 
defense and support of the government, requir- 
ing them only to act without compensation, and 
to report their transactions when duly called 

The several departments of the government at 
that time contained so large a number of dis- 
loyal persons that it would have been impos- 
sible to provide safely through official agents 
only for the performance of the duties thus con- 
fided to citizens favorably known for their abil- 
ity, loyalty, and patriotism. 

The several orders issued upon these occur- 


rences were transmitted by private messengers, 
who pursued a circuitous way to the seaboard 
cities, inland, across the States of Pennsylvania 
and Ohio and the northern lakes. I believe that 
by these and other similar measures taken in that 
crisis, some of which were without any authority 
of law, the government was saved from over- 
throw. I am not aware that a dollar of the 
public funds thus confided with authority of law 
to unofficial persons was either lost or wasted, 
although apprehensions of such misdirection 
occurred to me as objections to those extraor- 
dinary proceedings, and were necessarily over- 

I recall these transactions now because my at- 
tention has been directed to a resolution which 
was passed by the House of Representatives on 
the 30th day of last month, which is in these 
words : 

Resolved, That Simon Cameron, late Secretary of 
War, by investing Alexander Cummings with the con- 
trol of large sums of the public money, and authority 
to purchase military supplies without restriction, with- 
out requiring from him any guarantee for the faithful 
performance of his duties, when the services of com- 
petent public officers were available, and by involving 
the government in a vast number of contracts with per- 
sons not legitimately engaged in the business pertaining 
to the subject-matter of such contracts, especially in the 
purchase of arms for future delivery, has adopted a 
policy highly injurious to the public service, and 
deserves the censure of the House. 

Congress will see that I should be wanting 
equally in candor and in justice if I should leave 
the censure expressed in this resolution to rest 
exclusively or chiefly upon Mr. Cameron. The 


same sentiment is unanimously entertained by 
the heads of departments who participated in 
the proceedings which the House of Represent- 
atives has censured. It is due to Mr. Cameron 
to say that, although he fully approved the pro- 
ceedings, they were not moved nor suggested 
by himself, and that not only the President but 
all the other heads of departments were at least 
equally responsible with him for whatever 
error, wrong, or fault was committed in the 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Order Constituting the Army of Virginia. 

June 26, 1862. 

Ordered — ist. The forces under Major-Gen- 
erals Fremont, Banks, and McDowell, including 
the troops now under Brigadier-General Stur- 
gis at Washington, shall be consolidated and 
form one army, to be called the Army of Vir- 

2d. The command of the army of Virginia is 
specially assigned to Major-General John Pope, 
as commanding general. The troops of the 
Mountain Department, heretofore under com- 
mand of General Fremont, shall constitute the 
First Army Corps, under the command of Gen- 
eral Fremont; the troops of the Shenandoah 
Department, now under General Banks, shall 
constitute the Second Army Corps, and be com- 
manded by him; the troops under the command 
of General McDowell, except those within the 
fortifications and city of Washington, shall form 


the Third Army Corps, and be under his com- 

3d. The Army of Virginia shall operate in 
such manner as, while protecting western Vir- 
ginia and the national capital from danger or 
insult, it shall in the speediest manner attack 
and overcome the rebel forces under Jackson and 
Ewell, threaten the enemy in the direction of 
Charlottesville, and render the most effective aid 
to relieve General McClellan and capture Rich- 

4th. When the Army of the Potomac and the 
Army of Virginia shall be in position to com- 
municate and directly co-operate at or before 
Richmond, the chief command, while so oper- 
ating together, shall be governed, as in like cases, 
by the Rules and Articles of War. 

A. Lincoln. 

Letter to State Governors Calling for Troops. 

New York, June 30, 1862. 
To the Governors of the several States : The 
capture of New Orleans, Norfolk, and Corinth by 
the national forces has enabled the insurgents 
to concentrate a large force at and about Rich- 
mond, which place we must take with the least 
possible delay ; in fact, there will soon be no for- 
midable insurgent force except at Richmond. 
With so large an army there, the enemy can 
threaten us on the Potomac and elsewhere. Un- 
til we have re-established the national authority, 
all these places must be held, and we must keep 
a respectable force in front of Washington. But 
this, from the diminished strength of our army 



by sickness and casualties, renders an addition to 
it necessary in order to close the struggle which 
has been prosecuted for the last three months 
with energy and success. Rather than hazard 
the misapprehension of our military condition 
and of groundless alarm by a call for troops by 
proclamation, I have deemed it best to address 
you in this form. To accomplish the object 
stated, we require, without delay, 150,000 men, 
including those recently called for by the Sec- 
retary of War. Thus reinforced, our gallant 
army will be enabled to realize the hopes and 
expectations of the government and the people. 

A. Lincoln. 

The undersigned, governors of States of the Union, 
impressed with the belief that the citizens of the States 
which they respectively represent are of one accord in 
the hearty desire that the recent successes of the 
Federal arms may be followed up by measures which 
must insure the speedy restoration of the Union, and 
believing that in view of the present state of the im- 
portant military movements now in progress, and the 
reduced condition of our effective forces in the field, 
resulting from the usual and unavoidable casualties in 
the service, the time has arrived for prompt and 
vigorous measures to be adopted by the people in sup- 
port of the great interests committed to your charge, 
respectfully request, if it meets with your entire ap- 
proval, that you at once call upon the several States 
for such number of men as may be required to fill up 
all military organizations now in the field, and add to 
the armies heretofore organized such additional number 
of men as may, in your judgment, be necessary to gar- 
rison and hold all the numerous cities and military 
positions that have been captured by our armies, and to 
speedily crush the rebellion that still exists in several of 
the Southern States, thus practically restoring to the 
civilized world our great and good government. All 
believe that the decisive moment is near at hand, and to 
that end the people of the United States are desirous to 


aid promptly in furnishing all reinforcements that you 
may deem needful to sustain our government. 

Israel Washburn, Jr., Governor of Maine. 

H. S. Berry, Governor of New Hampshire. 

Frederick Holbrook, Governor of Vermont. 

William A. Buckingham, Governor of Con- 

E. D. Morgan, Governor of New York. 
Charles S. Olden, Governor of Nev/ Jersey. 
A. G. Curtin, Governor of Pennsylvania. 

A. W. Bradford, Governor of Maryland. 

F. H. Pierpoint, Governor of Virginia. 
Austin Blair, Governor of Michigan, 

J, B. Temple, President Military Board of 

Andrew Johnson, Governor of Tennessee. 
H. R. Gamble, Governor of Missouri. 
O. P. Morton, Governor of Indiana. 
David Todd, Governor of Ohio. 
Alexander Ramsey, Governor of Minnesota. 
Richard Yates, Governor of Illinois. 
Edward Salomon, Governor of Wisconsin. 
The President. 

Executive Mansion, 

Washington, July i, 1862. 
Gentlemen : Fully concurring in the wisdom 
of the views expressed to me in so patriotic a 
manner by you, in the communication of the 
twenty-eighth day of June, I have decided to 
call into the service an additional force of 300,- 
000 men. I suggest and recommend that the 
troops should be chiefly of infantry. The quota 

of your State would be . I trust that they 

may be enrolled without delay, so as to bring 
this unnecessary and injurious civil war to a 
speedy and satisfactory conclusion. An order 
fixing the quotas of the respective States will be 
issued by the War Department to-morrow. 

Abraham Lincoln. 


Proclamation Concerning Taxes in Rebellious 


July i, 1862. 

Whereas, in and by the second section of an 
act of Congress passed on the seventh day of 
June, A. D. 1862, entitled "An act for the col- 
lection of direct taxes in insurrectionary districts 
within the United States, and for other pur- 
poses," it is made the duty of the President to 
declare, on or before the first day of July then 
next following, by his proclamation, in what 
States and parts of States insurrection exists : 

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham 
Lincoln, President of the United States of Amer- 
ica, do hereby declare and proclaim that the 
States of South CaroHna, Florida, Georgia, Ala- 
bama, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, 
Tennessee, North Carolina, and the State of Vir- 
ginia (except the following counties: Hancock, 
Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Marion, Mo- 
nongalia, Preston, Taylor, Pleasants, Tyler, 
Ritchie, Doddridge, Harrison, Wood, Jackson, 
Wirt, Roane, Calhoun, Gilmer, Barbour, Tucker, 
Lewis, Braxton, Upshur, Randolph, Mason, Put- 
nam, Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas, Cabell, Wayne, 
Boone, Logan, Wyoming, Webster, Fayette, and 
Raleigh),"^ are now in insurrection and re- 
bellion, and by reason thereof the civil author- 
ity of the United States is obstructed so that the 
provisions of the ''Act to provide increased rev- 
enue from imports, to pay the interest on the 
public debt, and for other purposes," approved 
August fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, 

* Subsequently organized into the State of West Virginia. 


cannot be peaceably executed ; and that the taxes 
legally chargeable upon real estate, under the act 
last aforesaid, lying within the States and parts 
of States as aforesaid, together with a 'penalty 
of fifty per centum of said taxes, shall be a lien 
upon the tracts or lots of the same, severally 
charged, till paid. 

Proclamation to Rebels to Return to Their 

July 25, 1862. 

In pursuance of the sixth section of the act 0^ 
Congress entitled "An act to suppress insurrec- 
tion and to punish treason and rebellion, to seize 
and confiscate the property of rebels, and for 
other purposes," approved July 17, 1862, and 
which act, and the joint resolution explanatory 
thereof, are herewith published, I, Abraham Lin- 
coln, President of the United States, do hereby 
proclaim to and warn all persons within the con- 
templation of said sixth section to cease partici- 
pating in, aiding, countenancing, or abetting the 
existing rebellion, or any rebellion, against the 
Government of the United States, and to return 
to their proper allegiance to the United States, 
on pain of the forfeitures and seizures as within 
and by said sixth section provided. 

In testimony, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 


Proclamation Suspending the Writ of Habeas 
Corpus Because of Resistance to Draft. 

September 24, 1862. 

Whereas it has become necessary to call into 
service not only volunteers, but also portions 
of the militia of the States by draft, in order 
to suppress the insurrection existing in the 
United States, and disloyal persons are not ade- 
quately restrained by the ordinary processes of 
law from hindering this measure, and from giv- 
ing aid and comfort in various ways to the in- 
surrection : 

Now, therefore, be it ordered — 

First, That during the existing insurrection, 
and as a necessary measure for suppressing the 
same, all rebels and insurgents, their aiders and 
abettors within the United States, and all per- 
sons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resist- 
ing militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal prac- 
tice affording aid and comfort to rebels against 
the authority of the United States, shall be sub- 
ject to martial law, and liable to trial and pun- 
ishment by courts martial or military commis- 

Second, That the writ of habeas corpus is sus- 
pended in respect to all persons arrested, or who 
are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall 
be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, mili- 
tary prison, or other place of confinement, by 
any military authority, or by the sentence of any 
court martial or military commission. 
In witness, etc., 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 


Order Establishing Provisional Court in 

On October 20, 1862, the President, by executive 
order, established Charles A. Peabody, of New York to 
be judge of a Provisional Court in Louisiana, with 
powers "not extending beyond the military occupation 
of the city of New Orleans or the restoration of the 
civil authority in that city and the State of Louisiana." 

Order Concerning Confiscation Act. 

On November 13, 1862. President Lincoln through 
Edward Bates. Attorney-General, issued an Order Con- 
cerning THE Confiscation Act, passed by Congress, 
July 17, 1862. This order authorized the Federal 
marshals and attorneys to call upon officers of the army 
in the event of encountering resistance in the discharge 
of their duties. 

Order for Sabbath Observance. 

November 15, 1862. 

The President, commander-in-chief of the 
army and navy, desires and enjoins the orderly 
observance of the Sabbath by the officers and 
men in the military and naval service. The im- 
portance for man and beast of the prescribed 
weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian sol- 
diers and sailors, a becoming deference to the 
best sentiment of a Christian people, and a due 
regard for the Divine will, demand that Sunday 
labor in the army and navy be reduced to the 
measure of strict necessity. The discipline and 
character of the national forces should not suffer, 
nor the cause they defend be imperiled, by the 
profanation of the day or name of the Most 
High. "At this time of public distress" — adopt- 


ing the words of Washington in 1776 — ''men 
may find enough to do in the service of God 
and their country without abandoning themselves 
to vice and immorahty." The first general or- 
der issued by the Father of his Country after the 
Declaration of Independence indicates the spirit 
in which our institutions were founded and 
should ever be defended. "The general hopes 
and trusts that every officer and man will en- 
deavor to live and act as becomes a Christian 
soldier, defending the dearest rights and liber- 
ties of his country." 

Abraham Lincoln. 
Official : E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjutant- 

Congratulations to the Army of the Potomac. 

December 22, 1862. 

To the Army of the Potomac : I have just read 
your commanding general'^ report of the battle 
of Fredericksburg. Although you were not suc- 
cessful, the attempt was not an error, nor the 
failure other than accident. The courage with 
which you, in an open field, maintained the con- 
test against an intrenched foe, and the consum- 
mate skill and success with which you crossed 
and recrossed the river in the face of the ene- 
my, show that you possess all the qualities of 
a great army, which will yet give victory to the 
cause of the country and of popular government. 

Condoling with the mourners for the dead, and 
sympathizing with the severel}^ wounded, I con- 
gratulate you that the number of both is com- 
paratively so small. 


I tender to you, officers and soldiers, the thanks 
of the nation. 

A. Lincoln. 

Opinion on the Admission of West Virginia 
into the Union. 

December 31, 1862. 

The consent of the legislature of Virginia is 
constitutionally necessary to the bill for the ad- 
mission of West Virginia becoming a law. A 
body claiming to be such legislature has given 
its consent. We cannot well deny that it is such, 
unless we do so upon the outside knowledge that 
~the body was chosen at elections in which a ma- 
jority of the qualified voters of Virginia did 
not participate. But it is a universal practice 
in the popular elections in all these States to 
give no legal consideration whatever to those 
who do not choose to vote, as against 
the effect of the votes of those who do 
choose to vote. Hence it is not the qual- 
ified voters, but the qualified voters who choose 
to vote, that constitute the political power 
of the State. Much less than to non-voters 
should any consideration be given to those who 
did not vote in this case, because it is also mat- 
ter of outside knowledge that they were not 
wierely neglectful of their rights under and duty 
to this government, but were also engaged in 
open rebellion against it. Doubtless among these 
non-voters were some Union men whose voices 
were smothered by the more numerous seces- 
sionists ; but we know too little of their number 
to assign them any appreciable value. Can this 


government stand, if it indulges constitutional 
constructions by which men in open rebelHon 
against it are to be accounted, man for man, the 
equals of those who maintain their loyalty to it? 
Are they to be accounted even better citizens, 
and more worthy of consideration, than those 
who merely neglect to vote? If so, their trea- 
son against the Constitution enhances their con- 
stitutional value. Without braving these absurd 
conclusions, we cannot deny that the body which 
consents to the admission of West Virginia is 
the legislature of Virginia. I do not think the 
plural form of the words ''legislatures" and 
"States" in the phrase of the Constitution "with- 
out the consent of the legislatures of the States 
concerned," etc., has any reference to the new 
State concerned. That plural form sprang from 
the contemplation of two or more old States 
contributing to form a new one. The idea that 
the new State was in danger of being admitted 
without its own consent was not provided against, 
because it was not thought of, as I conceive. It 
is said, the devil takes care of his own. Much 
more should a good spirit — the spirit of the Con- 
stitution and the Union — take care of its own. 
I think it cannot do less and live. 

But is the admission into the Union of West 
Virginia expedient? This, in my general view, 
is more a question for Congress than for the 
Executive. Still I do not evade it. :\Iore than 
on anything else, it depends on whether the ad- 
mission or rejection of the new State would,, 
under all the circumstances, tend the more 
strongly to the restoration of the national au- 
thority throughout the Union. That which helps 
most in this direction is the most expedient at 


this time. Doubtless those in remaining Vir- 
ginia would return to the Union, so to speak, 
less reluctantly without the division of the old 
State than with it; but I think we could not 
save as much in this quarter by rejecting the 
new State, as we should lose by it in West Vir- 
ginia. We can scarcely dispense with the aid 
of W^est Virginia in this struggle ; much less can 
we afford to have her against us, in Congress 
and in the field. Her brave and good men re- 
gard her admission into the Union as a matter of 
life and death. They have been true to the 
Union under very severe trials. We have so 
acted as to justify their hopes, and we cannot 
fully retain their confidence and co-operation if 
we seem to break faith with them. In fact, they 
could not do so much for us, if they would. 
Again, the admission of the new State turns 
that much slave soil to free, and thus is a cer- 
tain and irrevocable encroachment upon the 
cause of the rebellion. The division of a State 
is dreaded as a precedent. But a measure made 
expedient by a war is no precedent for times 
of peace. It is said that the admission of West 
Virginia is secession, and tolerated only because 
it is our secession. Well, if we call it by that 
name, there is still difference enough between 
secession against the Constitution and secession 
in favor of the Constitution. I believe the ad- 
mission of West Virginia into the Union is ex- 

Proclamation to Deserters. 

On March lo, 1863, the President issued a Proclama- 
tion ordering Soldiers Absent without Leave to re- 


turn to their regiments, promising Amnesty to those 
voluntarily returning, and Punishment to the recalci- 

License of Commercial Intercourse. 

On March 31, 1863, the President put into force by 
Proclamation the act of Congress of July 13, 1861, 
which Licensed Commercial Intercourse between the 
citizens of loyal States and the inhabitants of insur- 
rectionary States, under regulations prescribed by the 
Secretary of the Treasury. 

On April 2, 1863, this was followed by a Proclama- 
tion that all Unlicensed Trade between the citizens of 
loyal States and the inhabitants of insurrectionary 
States, was Prohibited, and that the goods coming 
through such unlawful commerce from the insurrec- 
tionary States into the loyal ones would be confiscated. 

Proclamation Admitting West Virginia to 

The President recites that by act of Congress ap- 
proved on December 31, 1862, the State of West 
Virginia had been Admitted to the Union on condi- 
tion of certain changes in its proposed constitution. 
These changes having been made, the President pro- 
claims that the aforesaid act shall take effect sixty days 
after present date of April 20, 1863. 

Proclamation Concerning Liability of Aliens 
to Military Service. 

May 8, 1863. 

Whereas, the Congress of the United States, 
at its last session, enacted a law entitled ''An 
act for enrolling and calling out the national 
forces and for other purposes," which was ap- 
proved on the third day of March last; and 


Whereas, it is recited in the said act that there 
now exists in the United States an insurrection 
and rebelHon against the authority thereof, and 
it is, under the Constitution of the United States, 
the duty of the government to suppress insurrec- 
tion and rebelHon, to guarantee to each State a 
repubHcan form of government, and to preserve 
the pubHc tranquilHty ; and 

Whereas, for these high purposes a miUtary 
force is indispensable, to raise and support which 
all persons ought wilHngly to contribute ; and 

Whereas, no service can be more praiseworthy 
and honorable than that which is rendered for 
the maintenance of the Constitution and Union, 
and the consequent preservation of free govern- 
ment ; and 

Whereas, for the reasons thus recited, it was 
enacted by the said statute that all able-bodied 
male citizens of the United States, and persons 
of foreign birth who shall have declared on oath 
their intention to become citizens under and in 
pursuance of the laws thereof, between the ages 
of twenty and forty-five years (with certain ex- 
ceptions not necessary to be here mentioned), 
are declared to constitute the national forces, and 
shall be liable to perform military duty in the 
service of the United States when called out by 
the President for that purpose ; and 

Whereas, it is claimed by and in behalf of 
persons of foreign birth within the ages speci- 
fied in said act, who have heretofore declared 
on oath their intentions to become citizens under 
and in pursuance of the laws of the United States, 
and who have not exercised the right of suffrage 
or any other political franchise under the laws 
of the United States, or of any of the States 


thereof, that they are not absolutely concluded 
by their aforesaid declaration of intention from 
renouncing their purpose to become citizens, and 
that, on the contrary, such persons under treaties 
or the law of nations retain a right to renounce- 
that purpose and to forego the privileges of citi- 
zenship and residence within the United States 
under the obligations imposed by the aforesaid 
act of Congress : 

Now, therefore, to avoid all misapprehensions 
concerning the liability of persons concerned to- 
perform the service required by such enactment, 
and to give it full effect, I do hereby order and 
proclaim that no plea of alienage will be received 
or allowed to exempt from the obligations im- 
posed by the aforesaid act of Congress, any per- 
son of foreign birth who shall have declared 
on oath his intention to become a citizen of the 
United States under the laws thereof, and who 
shall be found within the United States at any 
time during the continuance of the present insur- 
rection and rebellion, at or after the expiration 
of the period of sixty-five days from the date 
of this proclamation; nor shall any such plea of 
alienage be allowed in favor of any such person 
who has so, as aforesaid, declared his intention 
to become a citizen of the United States, and 
shall have exercised at any time the right of 
suft'rage, or any other political franchise, within 
the United States, under the laws thereof, or 
under the laws of any of the several States. 

In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

WilHam H. Seward, Secretary of State. 


Call for 100,000 Militia to Serve for Six 

June 15, 1863: 

Whereas, the armed insurrectionary combina- 
tions now existing in several of the States are 
threatening to make inroads into the States 
of ]\Iaryland, Western Virginia, Pennsylvania, 
and Ohio, requiring immediately an additional 
military force for the service of the United 
States : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 
dent of the United States, and commander-in- 
chief of the army and navy thereof, and of the 
miHtia of the several States when called into 
actual service, do hereby call into the service of 
the United States one hundred thousand militia 
from the States following, namely : from the 
State of INIaryland, ten thousand ; from the State 
of Pennsylvania, fifty thousand ; from the State 
of Ohio, thirty thousand; from the State of 
West Virginia, ten thousand — to be mustered 
into the service of the United State? forthwith, 
and to serve for the period of six months from 
the date of such muster into said service, unless 
sooner discharged ; to be mustered in as infantry, 
artillery, and cavalry, in proportions which will 
be made known through the War Department, 
which department will also designate the several 
places of rendezvous. These militia to be organ- 
ized according to the rules and regulations of the 
volunteer service and such orders as may here- 
after be issued. The States aforesaid will be re- 
spectively credited, under the enrolment act, for, 


the militia services rendered under this proc- 

In testimony, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Order of Retaliation for Rebel Mistreatment of 

July 30, 1863. 

It is the duty of every government to give 
protection to its citizens of whatever class, color, 
or condition, and especially to those who are 
duly organized as soldiers in the public service. 
The law of nations, and the usages and customs 
of war, as carried on by civilized powers, per- 
mit no distinction as to color in the treatment 
of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell 
or enslave any captured person on account of 
his color, and for no offense against the laws 
of war, is a relapse into barbarism and a crime 
against the civilization of the age. 

The government of the United States will give 
the same protection to all its soldiers, and if the 
enemy shall sell or enslave any one because of 
his color, the offense shall be punished by retal- 
iation upon the enemy's prisoners in our pos- 

It is therefore ordered that for every soldier 
of the United States killed in violation of the 
laws of war, a rebel soldier shall be executed ; 
and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold 
into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at 


hard labor on the piibhc works, and continued 
at such labor until the other shall be released 
and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Order Modifying Prohibition of Export of 
Arms, Horses, etc. 

September 4, 1863. 

Ordered, That the Executive Order, dated No- 
vember 21, 1862, prohibiting the exportation from 
the United States of arms, ammunition, or muni- 
tions of war, under which the commandants of 
departments were, by order of the Secretary of 
War dated May 13, 1863, directed to prohibit 
the purchase and sale for exportation from the 
United States of all horses and mules within 
their respective commands, and to take and ap- 
propriate to the use of the United States any 
horses, mules, and live stock designed for expor- 
tation, be so far modified as that any arms here- 
tofore imported into the United States may be 
reexported to the place of original shipment, 
and that any live stock raised in any State or 
Territory bounded by the Pacific Ocean may be 
exported from any port of such State or Terri- 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus 
Throughout the United States. 

On September 15, 1863, the President gave notice 
that the Writ of Habeas Corpus wns Suspended 
Throughout the United States, and would continue 


to be suspended while the rebellion continued, or until 
the present proclamation was modified or revoked by 
the President. 

Call for 300,000 Volunteers. 

October 17, 1863. 

Whereas the term of service of a part of the 
volunteer forces of the United States will ex- 
pire during the coming year, and whereas, in 
addition to the men raised by the present draft, 
it is deemed expedient to call out three hundred 
thousand volunteers to serve for three years or 
the war, not, however, exceeding three years : 

Nov/, therefore, I, x\braham Lincoln, President 
of the United States, and commander-in-chief of 
the army and navy thereof, and of the militia 
of the several States when called into actual serv- 
ice, do issue this, my proclamation, calling upon 
the governors of the different States to raise and 
have enlisted into the United States service, for 
the various companies and regiments in the field 
from their respective States, their quotas of three 
hundred thousand 

I further proclaim that all volunteers thus 
called out and duly enlisted shall receive ad- 
vance pay, premium, and bounty, as heretofore 
communicated to the governors of States by the 
War Department, through the Provost-Marshal- 
General's office, by special letters. 

I further proclaim that all volunteers received 
under this call, as well as all others not hereto- 
fore credited, shall be duly credited on, and de- 
ducted from, the quotas established for the next 


I further proclaim that i£ any State shall fail 
to raise the quota assigned to it by the War De- 
partment under this call, then a draft for the 
deficiency in said quota shall be made on said 
State, or on the districts of said State, for their 
due proportion of said quota ; and the said draft 
shall commence on the fifth day of January, 1864. 

And I further proclaim that nothing in this 
proclamation shall interfere with existing orders, 
or those which may be issued, for the present 
draft in the States where it is now in progress, 
or where it has not yet commenced. 

The quotas of the States and districts will be 
assigned by the War Department, through the 
Provost-Marshal-General's office, due regard be- 
ing had for the men heretofore furnished, wheth- 
er by volunteering or drafting, and the recruiting 
will be conducted in accordance with such in- 
structions as have been or may be issued by that 

In issuing this proclamation, I address myself 
not only to the governors of the several States, 
but also to the good and loyal people thereof, 
invoking them to lend their willing, cheerful, and 
effective aid to the measures thus adopted, with 
a view to reinforce our victorious armies now 
in the field, and bring our needful military oper- 
ations to a prosperous end, thus closing forever 
the fountains of sedition and civil war. 

In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President: 
William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 


Opinion on the Loss of General R. H. Milroy's 


October 2y, 1863. 

In June last a division was substantially lost 
at or near Winchester, Va. At the time, it was 
under General Milroy as immediate commander 
in the field. General Schenck as department com- 
mander at Baltimore, and General Halleck as 
general-in-chief at Washington. 

General Milroy, as immediate commander, was 
put in arrest, and subsequently a court of inquiry 
examined chiefly with reference to disobedience 
of orders, and reported the evidence. 

The foregoing is a synoptical statement of 
the evidence, together with the judge-advocate- 
general's conclusions. The disaster, when it 
came, was a surprise to all. It was very well 
known to Generals Schenck and Milroy for some 
time before, that General Halleck thought the 
division was in great danger of a surprise at 
Winchester; that it was of no service commen- 
surate with the risk it incurred, and that it ought 
to be withdrawn; but, although he more than 
once advised its withdrawal, he never positively 
ordered it. General Schenck, on the contrary, 
believed the service of the force at Winchester 
was worth the hazard, and so did not positively 
order its withdrawal until it was so late that the 
enemy cut the wire and prevented the order 
reaching General Milroy. 

General Milroy seems to have concurred with 
General Schenck in the opinion that the force 
should be kept at Winchester at least until the 
approach of danger, but he disobeyed no order 
upon the subject. 


Some question can be made whether some of 
General Halleck's despatches to General Schenck 
should not have been construed to be orders to 
withdraw the force, and obeyed accordingly; but 
no such question can be made against General 
IMilroy. In fact, the last order he received was 
to be prepared to withdraw, but not to actually 
withdraw until further order, which further or- 
der never reached him. 

Serious blame is not necessarily due to any 
serious disaster, and I cannot say that in this 
case any of the officers are deserving of serious 
blame. No court-martial is deemed necessary 
or proper in the case. 

A. Lincoln. 

Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. 

December 8, 1863. 

Whereas, in and by the Constitution of the 
United States, it is provided that the President 
''shall have power to grant reprieves and par- 
dons for offenses against the United States, ex- 
cept in cases of impeachment" ; and 

Whereas a rebellion now exists whereby the 
loyal State governments of several States have 
for a long time been subverted, and many per- 
sons 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 prop- 
erty and liberation of slaves, all upon terms and 
conditions therein stated, and also declaring that 
the President was thereby authorized at any time 



thereafter, by proclamation, to extend to persons 
who may have participated in the existing rebel- 
lion, in any State or part thereof, pardon and 
amnesty, with such exceptions and at such times 
and on such conditions as he may deem expedient 
for the public welfare ; and 

Whereas the 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 ail persons who have, directly or by implica- 
tion, 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 said 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 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 exempted from the benefits of 
the foregoing provisions are all who are, or shall 
have been, 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 
commissix)ns 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, Ten- 
nessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Caro- 
lina 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 one thousand eight hun- 
dred and sixty, each having taken the oath afore- 
said 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 rees- 
tablish a State government which shall be repub- 
lican, and in no wise contravening said oath, 
such shall be recognized as the true government 
of the State, and the State shall receive there- 
under the benefits of the constiutional provi- 
sion which declares that ''The United States shall 
guaranty to every State in this Union a republi- 
can form of government, and shall protect each 
of them against invasion ; and, on application of 
the legislature, or the executive (when the legis- 
lature cannot be convened), against domestic vio- 

And I do further proclaim, declare, and make 
known, that any provision which may be adopted 
by such State government 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 a temporary arrangement with their present 
condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless 
class, will not be objected to by the national ex- 

And it is suggested as not imiproper 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 main- 
tained, subject only to the modifications made 
necessary by the conditions hereinbefore stated. 


and such others, if any, not contravening said 
conditions, and which 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 re- 
lates to State governments, has no reference to 
States wherein loyal State governments have all 
the while been maintained. 

And, for the same reason, it may be proper 
to further say, that whether members sent to Con- 
gress from any State shall be admitted to seats, 
constitutionally rests exclusively with the respec- 
tive houses, and not to any extent with the ex- 
ecutive. And still further, that this proclamation 
is intended to present the people of the States 
wherein the national authority has been sus- 
pended, and loyal State governments have been 
subverted, a mode in and by which the national 
authority and loyal State governments may be 
reestablished within said States, or in any of 
them ; and while the mode presented is the best 
the executive can suggest, with his present im- 
pressions, it must not be understood that no other 
possible mode would be acceptable. 

Given under my hand, etc. 

T^ ^, -n • 1 - Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Message to Congress on Bounties. 

January 5, 1864. 

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Repre- 
sentatives: By a joint resolution of your honor- 
able bodies, approved December 22., 1863, the 
paying of bounties to veteran volunteers, as now 


practised by the War Department, is, to the ex- 
tent of three hundred dollars in each case, pro- 
hibited after this fifth day of the present month. 
I transmit, for your consideration, a communi- 
cation from the Secretary of War, accompanied 
by one from the Provost-Marshal-General to 
him, both relating to the subject above mentioned. 
I earnestly recommend that the law be so modi- 
fied as to allow bounties to be paid as they now 
are, at least until the ensuing first day of Feb- 
ruary. I am not without anxiety lest I appear 
to be importunate in thus recalling your atten- 
tion to a subject upon which you have so re- 
cently acted, and nothing but a deep conviction 
that the public interest demands it could induce 
me to incur the hazard of being misunderstood 
on this point. The executive approval was given 
by me to the resolution mentioned; and it is 
now, by a closer attention and a fuller knowl- 
edge of facts, that I feel constrained to recom- 
mend a reconsideration of the subject. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Order for a Drafi of 500,000 Men. 

February i, 1864. 

Ordered, That a draft of five hundred thou- 
sand (500,000) men, to serve for three years or 
during the war, be made on the tenth (loth) 
day of March next, for the military service of 
the United States, crediting and deducting there- 
from so many as may have been enlisted or 
drafted into the service prior to the first (ist) 
day of March, and not before credited. 

Abraham Lincoln. 


Indorsement on the Modifying Order Relating 
to Methodist Churches in Rebel States. 

February 13, 1864. 

As you see within, the Secretary of War modi- 
fies his order so as to exempt Missouri from it. 
Kentucky was never within it; nor, as I learn 
from the Secretary, was it ever intended for any 
more than a means for rallying the Methodist 
people in favor of the Union, in localities where 
the rebellion had disorganized and scattered 
them. Even in that view, I fear it is liable to 
some abuses, but it is not quite easy to withdraw 
it entirely and at once. 

A. Lincoln. 

Memoranda about Military Control of 

March 4, 1864. 

I have written before, and now repeat, the 
United States Government must not undertake 
to run the churches. When an individual in a 
church or out of it becomes dangerous to the 
public interest he must be checked, but the 
churches as such must take care of themselves. 
It >vill not do for the United States to appoint 
trustees, supervisors, or other agents for the 
churches. I add if the military have military 
need of the church building, let them keep it; 
otherwise let them get out of it, and leave it and 
its owners alone except for causes that justify 
the arrest of any one. 

A. Lincoln. 



Indorsement. March 15, 1864. 

While I leave this case to the discretion of 
General Banks, my view is that the United 
States should not appoint trustees for, or in any 
way take charge of, any church as such. If the 
building is needed for military purposes, take it; 
if it is not so needed, let its church people have 
it, dealing with any disloyal people among them 
as you deal with other disloyal people. 

A. Lincoln. 

Indorsement. May 13, 1864. 

I am nov/ told that the military were not in 
possession of the building, and yet that in pre- 
tended execution of the above they, the military, 
put one set of men out of and another set into 
the building. This, if true, is most extraordi- 
nary. I say again, if there be no military need 
for the building, leave it alone, neither putting" 
any one in nor out of it, except on finding some 
one preaching or practising treason, in which case 
lay hands upon him just as if he were doing the 
same thing in any other building or in the streets 
or highways. 

A. Lincoln. 

Proclamation about Amnesty. 

March 26, 1864. 

Whereas it has become necessary to define the 
cases in which insurgent enemies are entitled to 
the benefits of the proclamation of the President 
of the United States, which was made on the 
eighth day, of December, 1863, and the manner 


in which they shall proceed to avail themselves 
of those benefits : 

And whereas the objects of that proclamation 
were to suppress the insurrection and to restore 
the authority of the United States ; and whereas 
the amnesty therein proposed by the President 
was offered with reference to these objects alone : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President 
of the United States of America, do hereby pro- 
claim and declare that the said proclamation does 
not apply to the cases of persons who, at the time 
w4ien they seek to obtain the benefits thereof by 
taking the oath thereby prescribed, are in mili- 
tary, naval, or civil confinement or custody, or 
under bonds, or on parole of the civil, military, 
or naval authorities, or agents of the United 
States, as prisoners of war, or persons detained 
for offenses of any kind, either before or after 
conviction; and that, on the contrary, it does 
apply only to those persons who, being yet at 
large and free from any arrest, confinement, or 
duress, shall voluntarily come forward and take 
the said oath, with the purpose of restoring peace 
and establishing the national authority. Pris- 
oners excluded from the amnesty offered in the 
said proclamation may apply to the President 
for clemency, like all other offenders, and their 
applications will receive due consideration. 

I do further declare and proclaim that the oath 
presented in the aforesaid proclamation of the 
eighth of December, 1863, may be taken and 
subscribed before any commissioned officer, civil, 
military, or naval, in the service of the United 
States, or any civil or military officer of a State 
or Territory not in insurrection, who, by the laws 
thereof, may be qualified for administering oaths. 



All officers who receive such oaths are hereby 
authorized to give certificates thereon to the per- 
sons respectively by whom they are made, and 
such officers are hereby required to transmit the 
original records of such oaths at as early a day 
as may be convenient, to the Department of State, 
where they will be deposited and remain in the 
archives of the government. The Secretary of 
State will keep a register thereof, and will, on 
application, in proper cases, issue certificates of 
such records in the customary form of official 

In testimony, etc., 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 
WilHam H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Offer of Troops by State Governors. 

April 23, 1864. 

To the President of the United States: 

I. The governors of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, 
and Wisconsin offer to the President infantry troops 
for the approaching campaign as follows : 

Ohio 30,000 

Indiana 20,000 

Illinois 20,000 

Iowa 10,000 

Wisconsin 5,000 

II. The term of service to be one hundred days, 
reckoned from the date of muster into the service of 
the United States, unless sooner discharged. 

III. The troops to be mustered into the service of 
the United States by regiments, when the regiments are 
filled up, according to regulations, to the minimum 
strength — the regiments to be organized according to 


the regulations of the War Department. The whole 
number to be furnished within twenty days from date 
of notice of the acceptance of this proposition. 

IV. The troops to be clothed, armed, equipped, sub- 
sisted, transported, and paid as other United States 
infantry volunteers, and to serve in fortifications, or 
Avherever their services may be required, within or 
without their respective States. 

V. No bounty to be paid the troops, nor the service 
charged or credited on any draft. 

VI. The draft for three years' service to go on in 
any State or district where the quota is not filled up; 
but if any officer or soldier in this special service should 
be drafted, he shall be credited for the service rendered. 

John Brough, Governor of Ohio. 
O. P. Morton, Governor of Indiana. 
Richard Yates, Governor of Illinois. 
William M. Stone, Governor of Iowa. 
James T. Lewis, Governor of Wisconsin. 


The foregoing proposition of the governors 
is accepted, and the Secretary of War is directed 
to carry it into execution. 

A. Lincoln. 

Message to Congress on Relief of East Ten- 
nessee Loyalists. 

April 28, 1864. 

To the Honorable the Senate and House of 
Representatives: I have the honor to transmit 
herewith an address to the President of the 
United States, and, through him, to both Houses 
of Congress, on the condition and wants of the 
people of East Tennessee, and asking their at- 
tention to the necessity of some action on the 
part of the government for their relief, and which 



address is presented by a committee of an organ- 
ization called "The East Tennessee Relief Asso- 
ciation." Deeply commiserating the condition of 
these most loyal and suffering people, I am unpre- 
pared to make any specific recommendation for 
their relief. The military is doing, and will con- 
tinue to do, the best for them within its power. 
Their address represents that the construction 
of direct railroad communication between Knox- 
ville and Cincinnati, by way of central Kentucky, 
would be of great consequence in the present 
emergency. It may be remembered that in the 
annual message of December, 1861, such railroad 
construction was recommended. I now add that, 
with the hearty concurrence of Congress, I would 
yet be pleased to construct the road, both for the 
relief of these people and for its continuing mili- 
tary importance. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Suspension of Writ of Habeas Corpus in 

On July 5, 1864, the President proclaimed the sus- 
pension of the writ of habeas corpus and the establish- 
ment of martial law in Kentucky. The chief reasons 
assigned for such action were : 

''Whereas many citizens of the State of Ken- 
tucky have joined the forces of the insurgents, 
and such insurgents have^ on several occasions, 
entered the 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 disturbed 
the public peace, but have overborne the civil au- 
thorities and made flagrant civil war, destroy- 


ing property and life in various parts of that 

''And whereas it has been made known to the 
President of the United States by the officers 
commanding the national armies, that combina- 
tions have been formed in the said State of Ken- 
tucky with a purpose of inciting 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 : — " 

Proclamation Concerning Reconstruction. 

July 8, 1864. 

Whereas, at the late session, Congress passed 
a bill to ''guarantee to certain States, whose gov- 
ernments 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 adjourn- 
ment 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 re- 
bellion to their proper practical relation in the 
Union, which plan expresses the sense of Con- 
gress upon that subject, and which plan it is 
now thought fit to lay before the people for 
their consideration : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 
dent of the United States, do proclaim, declare, 
and make known, that, while I am (as I was in 


December last, when by proclamation I pro- 
pounded a plan for restoration) unprepared, by 
a formal approval of this bill, to be inflexibly 
committed to any single plan of restoration ; and, 
while 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 eflfort, or to 
declare a constitutional competency in Congress 
to abolish 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, never- 
theless I am fully satisfied with the system for 
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, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 


Announcement Concerning Terms of Peace. 
July i8, 1864. 

For explanation of the issuance of this proclamation, 
see the Greeley correspondence in Letters of the present 

To whom it may concern: Any proposition 
which embraces the restoration of peace, the in- 
tegrity of the whole Union, and the abandon- 
ment of slavery, and which comes by and with 
an authority that can control the armies now 
at war against the United States, will be re- 
ceived and considered by the executive govern- 
ment of the United States, and will be met by 
liberal terms on other substantial and collateral 
points, and the bearer or bearers thereof shall 
have safe conduct both ways. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Proclamation Calling for 500,000 Volunteers, 

July 18, 1864. 

Whereas, by the act approved July 4, 1864, 
entitled ''An act further to regulate and provide 
for the enrolling and calling out the national 
forces, and for other purposes," it is provided 
that the President of the United States may, 
"at his discretion, at any time hereafter, call 
for any number of men as volunteers, for the 
respective terms of one, two, and three years, 
for military service," and ''that in case the quota, 
or any part thereof, of any town, township, ward 
of a city, precinct, or election district, or of a 
county not so subdivided, shall not be filled with- 


in the space of fifty days after such call, then 
the President shall immediately order a draft 
for one year to fill such quota, or any part there- 
of, which may be unfilled." 

And whereas the new enrolment heretofore 
ordered is so far completed as that the afore- 
mentioned act of Congress may now be put in 
operation for recruiting and keeping up the 
strength of the armies in the field, for gar- 
risons and such military operations as may 
be required for the purpose of suppressing 
the rebellion and restoring the authority of the 
United States Government in the insurgent 
States : 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 
dent of the United States, do issue this my call 
for 500,000 volunteers for the military service; 
provided, nevertheless, that this call shall be re- 
duced by all credits which may be established 
under Section 8 of the aforesaid act, on account 
of persons who have entered the naval service 
during the present rebellion, and by credits for 
men furnished to the military service in excess 
of calls heretofore made. Volunteers will be 
accepted under this call for one, two, or three 
years, as they may elect, and will be entitled to 
the bounty provided by the law for the period 
of service for which they enlist. 

And I hereby proclaim, order, and direct, that 
immediately after the fifth day of September, 
1864, being fifty days from the date of this 
call, a draft for troops to serve for one year 
shall be had in every town, township, ward of 
a city, precinct or election district, or county 
not so subdivided, to fill the quota which shall 
be assigned to it under this call, or any part 


thereof which may be unfilled by volunteers on 
the said fifth day of September, 1864. 
In testimony, etc.. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President: 
William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Orders of Thanks and Rejoicing for Union 

September 3, 1864. 

The national thanks are tendered by the Presi- 
dent to Admiral Farragut and Major-General 
Canby for the skill and harmony with which 
the recent operations in Mobile Harbor, and 
against Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and Fort Mor- 
gan, were planned and carried into execution. 
Also to Admiral Farragut and Major-General 
Granger, under whose immediate command they 
were conducted, and to the gallant commanders 
on sea and land, and to the sailors and soldiers 
engaged in the operations, for their energy and 
courage, which, under the blessing of Providence, 
have been crowned with brilliant success, and 
have won for them the applause and thanks of 
the nation. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

The national thanks are tendered by the Pres- 
ident to Major-General William T. Sherman, 
and the gallant officers and soldiers of his com- 
mand before Atlanta, for the distinguished 
ability, courage, and perseverance displayed in 


the campaign in Georgia, which, under divine 
favor, has resulted in the capture of Atlanta. 
The marches, battles, sieges, and other military- 
operations that have signalized the campaign 
must render it famous in the annals of war, 
and have entitled those who have participated 
therein to the applause and thanks of the 

Abraham Lincoln, 
President of the United States. 

Ordered: First. That on Monday, the fifth 
day of September, commencing at the hour of 
twelve o'clock noon, there shall be given a salute 
of one hundred guns at the arsenal and navy- 
yard, at Washington, and on Tuesday, the 6th 
of September, or on the day after the receipt 
of this order, at each arsenal and navy-yard in 
the United States, for the recent brilliant achieve- 
ments of the fleet and the land forces of the 
United States in the harbor of Mobile, and in 
the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and 
Fort Morgan. The Secretary of War and the 
Secretary of the Navy will issue the necessary 
directions in their respective departments for 
the execution of this order. 

Second. That on Wednesday, the 7th of Sep- 
tember, commencing at the hour of twelve o'clock 
noon, there shall be fired a salute of one 
hundred guns at the arsenal at Washington, and 
at New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, 
Pittsburg, Newport (Ky.), and St. Louis, and 
New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola, Hilton 
Head, and Newbern, the day after the receipt of 
this order, for the brilliant achievements of the 
army under command of Major-General Sher- 


man, in the State of Georgia, and for the capture 
of Atlanta. The Secretary of War will issue 
directions for the execution of this order. 

Abraham Lincoln, 
President of the United States. 

Order of Thanks to Hundred-Day Troops from 


September io, 1864. 

The term of one hundred days, for which the 
National Guard of Ohio volunteered, having 
expired, the President directs an official ac- 
knowledgment of their patriotism and valuable 
services during the recent campaign. The term 
of service of their enlistment was short, but dis- 
tinguished by memorable events in the valley 
of the Shenandoah, on the Peninsula, in the 
operations of the James River, around Peters- 
burg and Richmond, in the battle of Monocacy, 
in the intrenchments of Washington, and in other 
important service. The National Guard of Ohio 
performed with alacrity the duty of patriotic 
volunteers, for which they are entitled, and are 
hereby tendered, through the governor of their 
State, the national thanks. 

The Secretary of War is 'directed to transmit 
a copy of this order to the Governor of Ohio, 
and to cause a certificate of their honorable serv- 
ice to be delivered to the officers and soldiers 
of the Ohio National Guard who recently served 
in the military force of the United States as vol- 
unteers for one hundred days. 

Abraham Lincoln. 


Order of Thanks to Hundred-Day Troops from 
Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. 

October i, 1864. 

Executive Mansion, 
Washington, October i, 1864. 

The term of one hundred days for which vol- 
unteers from the States of Indiana, Illinois, 
Iowa, and Wisconsin volunteered, under the call 
of their respective governors, in the months of 
May and June, to aid the recent campaign of 
General Sherman, having expired, the President 
directs an official acknowledgment to be made 
of their patriotic service. It was their good for- 
tune to render effective service in the brilliant 
operations in the Southwest, and to contribute 
to the victories of the national arms over the 
rebel forces in Georgia, under command of 
Johnston and Hood. On all occasions, and in 
every service to which they were assigned, their 
duty as patriotic volunteers was performed with 
alacrity and courage, for which they are en- 
titled to, and are hereby tendered, the national 
thanks through the governors of their respective 

The Secretary of War is directed to transmit 
a copy of this order to the governors of Indiana, 
Illinois. Iowa, and Wisconsin, and to cause a 
certificate of their honorable services to be deliv- 
ered to the officers and soldiers of the States 
above named, who recently served in the military 
service of the United States as volunteers for one 
hundred days. 

A. Lincoln. 


Call for 300,000 Volunteers, 

December 19, 1864. 

Whereas, by the act approved July 4, 1864, 
entitled "An act further to regulate and provide 
for the enrolling and calling out the national 
forces and for other purposes," it is provided 
that the President of the United States may, 
^'at his discretion, at any time hereafter, call 
for any number of men as volunteers for the 
respective terms of one, two, and three years, 
for military service," and "that in case the quota, 
or any part thereof, of any town, township, ward 
of a city, precinct, or election district, or of 
any county not so subdivided, shall not be 
filled within the space of fifty days after such 
call, then the President shall immediately order 
a draft for one year to fill such quota, or any 
part thereof which may be unfilled." 

And whereas, by the credits allowed in ac- 
cordance with the act of Congress, on the call 
for 500,000 men, made July 18, 1864, the num- 
ber of men to be obtained under that call was 
reduced to 280,000; and whereas the operations 
of the enemy in certain States have rendered 
it impracticable to procure from them their full 
quotas of troops under said call; and whereas, 
from the foregoing causes but 240,000 men have 
been put into the army, navy, and marine corps 
under the said call of July 18, 1864, leaving a 
deficiency on that call of 260,000; 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln^ Presi- 
dent of the United States of America, in order 
to supply the aforesaid deficiency, and to pro- 
vide for casualties in the military and naval serv- 
ice of the United States, do issue this my call 


for 300,000 volunteers to serve for one, two, or 
three years. The quotas of the States, districts, 
and subdistricts, under this call, will be assigned 
by the War Department, through the Bureau 
of the Provost-Marshal-General of the United 
States, and "in case the quota, or any part 
thereof, of any town, township, ward of a city, 
precinct, or election district, or of any county 
not so subdivided, shall not be filled" before 
the fifteenth day of February, 1865, then a 
draft shall be made to fill such quota, or any 
part thereof, under this call, which may be un- 
filled on said fifteenth day of February, 1865. 
In testimony, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President: 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

To Commanding Officers in West Tennessee. 

February 13, 1865. 

To the Military Officers Commanding in West 
Tennessee : 

While I cannot order as within requested,, 
allow me to say that it is my wish for you to 
relieve the people from all burdens, harassments, 
and oppressions, so far as possible consistently 
with your military necessities; that the object 
of the war being to restore and maintain the 
blessings of peace and good government, I desire 
you to help, and not hinder, every advance in 
that direction. 

Of your military necessities you must judge 
and execute, but please do so in the spirit and 
with the purpose above indicated. 

A. Lincoln. 


Proclamation Offering Pardon to Deserters. 

March ii, 1865. 

In accordance with an Act of Congress, approved 
March 3, 1865, the President orders all deserters to 
return to their proper posts, and offers all such return- 
ing within sixty days from date a pardon, on condition 
that they "serve the remainder of their original terms 
of enlistment, and, in addition thereto, a period equal 
to the time lost by desertion." 

Proclamation of Blockade. 

April ii, 1865. 

Whereas, by my proclamations of the nine- 
teenth and twenty-seventh days of April, 1861, 
the ports of the United States, in the States 
of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisi- 
ana, and Texas, were declared to be subject 
to blockade ; but whereas the said blockade has, 
in consequence of actual military occupation by 
this government, since been conditionally set 
aside or relaxed in respect to the ports of Nor- 
folk and Alexandria, in the State of Virginia; 
Beaufort, in the State of North Carolina; Port 
Royal, in the State of South Carolina; Pensa- 
cola and Fernandina, in the State of Florida; 
and New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana; 

And whereas, by the fourth section of the act 
of Congress, approved on the 13th of July, 1861, 
entitled "An act further to provide for the col- 
lection of duties on imports, and for other pur- 
poses," the President, for the reasons therein 
set forth, is authorized to close certain ports 
of entry ; 

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham 



Lincoln, President of the United States, do 
hereby proclaim that the ports of Richmond, 
Tappahannock, Cherrystone, Yorktown, and 
Petersburg, in Virginia; of Camden (Elizabeth 
City), Edenton, Plymouth, Washington, New- 
bern, Ocracoke, and Wilmington, in North Car- 
olina; of Charleston, Georgetown, and Beaufort, 
in South Carolina; of Savannah, St. Mary's^ 
and Brunswick (Darien), in Georgia; of Mobile, 
in Alabama; of Pearl River (Shieldsborough), 
Natchez, and Vicksburg, in Mississippi; of 
St. Augustine, Key West,^ St. Mark's (Port 
Leon), St. John's (Jacksonville), and Appa- 
lachicola, in Florida; of Teche (Franklin), in 
Louisiana; of Galveston, La Salle, Brazos de 
Santiago (Point Isabel), and Brownsville, in 
Texas, are hereby closed, and all right of im- 
portation, warehousing, and other privileges 
shall, in respect to the ports aforesaid, cease 
until they shall have again been opened by order 
of the President; and if, while said ports are 
so closed, any ship or vessel from beyond the 
United States, or having on board any articles 
subject to duties, shall attempt to enter any such 
ports, the same, together with its tackle, apparel, 
furniture, and cargo, shall be forfeited to the 
United States. 
In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President: 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

* Inadvertently included. The mistake was corrected by a sup« 
plementary proclamation issued the same day as the present one. 

Messages, Despatches, etc., on Foreign 


Messages, Despatches, etc., 
ON Foreign Affairs 

Message to the Senate on Canadian Boundary 


March i6, i86i. 

On February 21, 1861, President Buchanan referred 
to the Senate for advice thereon a proposition from the 
British Government to submit the Vancouver boundary- 
dispute to the arbitrament of the King of Sweden and 
Norway, or the King of the Netherlands, or the Repub- 
lic of the Swiss Confederation. In the present message 
President Lincoln endorses the course of President 
Buchanan in the matter and resubmits the proposition 
to the Senate for its counsel. 

Message to Congress upon London Industrial 

July 16, 1861. 

The President transmits correspondence between the 
Secretary of State and the British ]\Iinister relative to 
an international industrial exhibition to be held in 1862 
at London, and recommends legislation that will give 
American exhibitors facilities commensurate with the 
country's proficiency in industrial arts. 



Message to Congress on Fisheries Commission. 

July 19, 1861. 

The President transmits correspondence between the 
Secretary of State and the British Minister relative to 
the latter's proposition that a joint commission be ap- 
pointed to investigate the subject of the preservation 
and development of the Newfoundland fisheries ; and he 
asks for enabling legislation to provide for the American 
member of the commission. 

Reply to the Tycoon of Japan on Opening of 
Treaty Ports. 

August i, 1861. 

To His Majesty the Tycoon of Japan. 

Great and good Friend : I have received the 
letter which you have addressed to me on 
the subject of a desired extension of the time 
stipulated by treaty for the opening of certain 
ports and cities in Japan. The question is sur- 
rounded with many difficulties. While it is my 
earnest desire to consult the convenience of your 
Majesty, and to accede, so far as I can, to your 
reasonable wishes, so kindly expressed, the in- 
terests of the United States must, nevertheless, 
have due consideration. Townsend Harris, min- 
ister resident near your Majesty, will be fully 
instructed as to the views of this government, 
and will make them known to you at large. I 
do not permit myself to doubt that these views 
will meet with your Majesty's approval, for 
they proceed not less from a just regard for the 
interest and prosperity of your empire than 
from considerations affecting our own welfare 
and honor. 



Wishing abundant prosperity and length of 
years to the great state over which you preside, 
I pray God to have your Majesty always in his 
safe and holy keeping. 

Your good friend, 

A. Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Letter to the Viceroy of Egypt on His Pun- 
ishment of Persecutors of a Missionary 

October ii, 1861. 

His Highness Mohammed Said Pacha, 

Viceroy of Egypt and its Dependencies, etc. 
Great and good Friend : I have received from 
Mr. Thayer, consul-general of the United States 
at Alexandria, a full account of the liberal, en- 
lightened, and energetic proceedings which, on 
his complaint, you have adopted in bringing to 
speedy and condign punishment the parties, sub- 
jects of your highness in Upper Egypt, who were 
concerned in an act of criminal persecution 
against Faris, an agent of certain Christian mis- 
sionaries in Upper Egypt. I pray your high- 
ness to be assured that these proceedings, at once 
so prompt and so just, will be regarded as a 
new and unmistakable proof equall}^ of your 
highness's friendship for the United States, and 
of the firmness, integrity, and wisdom with which 
the government of your highness is conducted. 
Wishing you great prosperity and success, 

I am your friend, 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 


Message to Congress on Treaty with Great 
Britain to Suppress Slave Trade. 

June io, 1862. 

To the Senate aiid House of Representatives: 
I transmit to Congress a copy of a treaty for 
the suppression of the African slave-trade, be- 
tween the United States and her Britannic Maj- 
esty, signed in this city on the 7th of April last, 
and the ratifications of which were exchanged at 
London on the 20th ultimo. 

A copy of the correspondence which preceded 
the conclusion of the instrument, betw^een the 
Secretary of State and Lord Lyons, her Britan- 
nic Majesty's envoy extraordinary and minister 
plenipotentiary, is also herewith transmitted. 

It is desirable that such legislation as may be 
necessary to carry the treaty into effect should 
be enacted as soon as may comport with the con- 
venience of Congress. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Message to the House of Representatives on 
Relations with the Rival Governments of 
New Granada. 

January 14, 1863. 

In response to a request from the House for informa- 
tion concerning diplomatic relations with the rival Mos- 
quera and Ospina governments of New Granada (now 
United States of Colombia), the President recites the 
acts of continuous recognition by the United States of 
the Granadian governments of which the Ospina 
government, represented at Washington by General 
Pedro Alcantara Herran, is the unchallenged successor. 
He goes on to say : 



Previous to the 4th of March, 1861, a 
revolutionary war against the repubHc of New 
Granada, which had thus been recognized and 
treated with by the United States, broke out in 
New Granada, assuming to set up a new govern- 
ment under the name of the ''United States of 
Columbia." This war has had various vicissi- 
tudes, sometimes favorable, sometimes adverse, to 
the revolutionary movements. The revolutionary 
organization has hitherto been simply a mil- 
itary provisionary power, and no definitive con- 
stitution of government has yet been established 
in New Granada in place of that organized by 
the constitution of 1858. The minister of the 
United States to the Granadian Confederacy 
[political title assumed by New Granada in 
1858] who was appointed on the twenty-ninth 
day of May, 1861, was directed, in view of the 
occupation of the capital by the revolutionary 
party and of the uncertainty of the civil war, 
not to present his credentials to either the gov- 
ernment of the Granadian Confederacy or to 
the provisional military government, but to con- 
duct his affairs informally, as is customary in 
such cases, and to report the progress of events 
and await the instructions of this government. 
The advices which have been received from him 
have not hitherto been sufficiently conclusive to 
determ.ine me to recognize the revolutionary gov- 
ernment. General Herran being here, with full 
authority from the government of New Granada, 
which had been so long recognized by the United 
States, I have not received any representative 
from the revolutionary government, which has 
not yet been recognized, because such a proceed- 
ing would in itself be an act of recognition. 



Official communications have been had on 
various incidental and occasional questions with 
General Herran as the minister plenipotentiary 
and envoy extraordinary of the Granadian Con- 
federacy, but in no other character. No definitive 
measure or proceeding has resulted from these 
communications, and a communication of them 
at present would not, in my judgment, be com- 
patible with the public interest. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Proclamation of Retaliation for Refusal of 
Port Privileges to American War Vessels 

April ii, 1865. 

Whereas, for some time past, vessels of war 
of the United States have been refused, in cer- 
tain foreign ports, privileges and immunities to 
which they were entitled by treaty, public law, 
or the comity of nations, at the same time that 
vessels of war of the country wherein the said 
privileges and immunities have been withheld, 
have enjoyed them fully and uninterruptedly 
in ports of the United States, which condition 
of things has not always been forcibly resisted 
by the United States, although, on the other 
hand, they have not at any time failed to pro- 
test against and declare their dissatisfaction with 
the same; [and whereas,] in the view of the 
United States, no condition any longer exists 
which can be claimed to justify the denial to 
them, by any one of such nations, of customary 
naval rights, as has heretofore been so unneces- 
sarily persisted in ; 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, Presi- 


dent of the United States, do hereby make 
known, that if, after a reasonable time shall have 
elapsed for intelligence of this proclamation to 
have reached any foreign country in whose 
ports the said privileges and immunities shall 
have been refused, as aforesaid, they shall con- 
tinue to be so refused; then and thenceforth 
the same privileges and immunities shall be re- 
fused to the vessels of war of that country in 
the ports of the United States, and this refusal 
shall continue until war-vessels of the United 
States shall have been placed upon an entire 
equality in the foreign ports aforesaid with sim- 
ilar vessels of other countries. The United 
States, whatever claim or pretense may have ex- 
isted heretofore, are now, at least, entitled to 
claim and concede an entire and friendly equality 
of rights and hospitalities with all maritime 

In witness, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President : 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

Messages on Financial, Indian, and 
: Administrative Affairs 

Messages on Financial, In- 
DiAN, AND Administra- 
tive Affairs 

Message to the Senate on Act to Permit Cir- 
culation of Bank-Notes of Small Denomina- 
tions in the District of Columbia. 

June 23, 1862. 

To the Senate of the United States: The bill 
which has passed the House of Representatives 
and the Senate, entitled ''An act to repeal that 
part of an act of Congress which prohibits the 
circulation of bank-notes of a less denomination 
than five dollars in the District of Columbia," 
has received my attentive consideration, and I 
now return it to the Senate, in which it orig- 
inated, with the following objections : 

I. The bill proposes to repeal the existing 
legislation prohibiting the circulation of bank- 
notes of a less denomination than five dollars 
within the District of Columbia, without per- 
mitting the issuing of such bills by banks not 
now legally authorized to issue them. In my 
judgment, it will be found impracticable, in the 
present condition of the currency, to make such 
a discrimination. The banks have generally 
suspended specie payments ; and a legal sanction. 



given to the circulation of the irredeemable notes 
of one class of them will almost certainly be 
so extended, in practical operation, as to in- 
clude those of all classes, whether authorized 
or unauthorized. If this view be correct, the 
currency of the District, should this act become 
a law, will certainly and greatly deteriorate, to 
the serious injury of honest trade and honest 

2. This bill seems to contemplate no end which 
cannot be otherwise more certainly and bene- 
ficially attained. During the existing war it is 
peculiarly the duty of the National Government 
to secure to the people a sound circulating me- 
dium. This duty has been, under existing cir- 
cumstances, satisfactorily performed, in part at 
least, by authorizing the issue of United States 
notes, receivable for all government dues except 
customs, and made a legal tender for all debts, 
public and private, except interest on public 
debt. The object of the bill submitted to me — 
namely, that of providing a small note currency 
during the present suspension — can be fully ac- 
complished by authorizing the issue — as part of 
any new emission of United States notes made 
necessary by the circumstances of the country — 
of notes of a similar character, but of less de- 
nomination, than five dollars. Such an issue 
would answer all the beneficial purposes of the 
bill, would save a considerable amount to the 
treasury in interest, would greatly facilitate pay- 
ments to soldiers and other creditors of small 
sums, and would furnish to the people a currency 
as safe as their own government. 

Entertaining these objections to the bill, I 
feel myself constrained to withhold from it my 


approval, and return it for further considera- 
tion and action of Congress. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Message to the Senate on the Indian Massacre 
in Minnesota. 

December ii, 1862. 

To the Senate of the United States: In com- 
pliance with your resolution of December 5, 
1862, requesting the President ''to furnish the 
Senate with all information in his possession 
touching the late Indian biirbarities in the State 
of Minnesota, and also the evidence in his pos- 
session upon which some of the principal actors 
and head men were tried and condemned to 
death," I have the honor to state that, on re- 
ceipt of said resolution, I transmitted the same 
to the Secretary of the Interior, accompanied by 
a note, a copy of which is herewith inclosed, 
marked A, and in response to which I received, 
through that department, a letter of the Com- 
missioner of Indian Affairs, a copy of which is 
herewith inclosed, marked B. 

I further state that on the eighth day of No- 
vember last I received a long telegraphic de- 
spatch from Major-General Pope, at St. Paul, 
Minnesota, simply announcing the names of the 
persons sentenced to be hanged. I immediately 
telegraphed to have transcripts of the records 
in all the cases forwarded to me, which tran- 
scripts, however, did not reach me until two or 
three days before the present meeting of Con- 
gress. Meantime I received, through telegraphic 
despatches and otherwise, appeals in behalf of 


the condemned — appeals for their execution — 
and expressions of opinion as to the proper pol- 
icy in regard to them and to the Indians generally 
in that vicinity, none of which, as I understand, 
falls within the scope of your inquiry. After 
the arrival of the transcripts of records, but 
before I had sufficient opportunity to examine 
them, I received a joint letter from one of the 
senators and two of the representatives from 
Minnesota, which contains some statements of 
fact not found in the records of the trials, and 
for which reason I herewith transmit a copy, 
marked C. I also, for the same reason, inclose 
a printed memorial of the citizens of St. Paul, 
addressed to me, and forwarded with the letter 

Anxious to not act with so much clemency 
as to encourage another outbreak on the one 
hand, nor with so much severity as to be real 
cruelty on the other, I caused a careful exam- 
ination of the records of trials to be made, in 
view of first ordering the execution of such as 
had been proved guilty of violating females. 
Contrary to my expectation, only two of this 
class were found. I then directed a further 
examination and a classification of all who were 
proven to have participated in massacres, as dis- 
tinguished from participation in battles. This 
class numbered forty, and included the two con- 
victed of female violation. One of the number 
is strongly recommended by the commission 
which tried them, for commutation to ten years' 
imprisonment. I have ordered the other thirty- 
nine to be executed on Friday, the 19th 
instant. The order was despatched from here 
on Monday, the 8th instant, by a messenger to 


General Sibley, and a copy of which order is 
herewith transmitted, marked D. 

An abstract of the evidence as to the forty is 
herewith inclosed, marked E. 

To avoid the immense amount of copying, I 
lay before the Senate the original transcripts 
of the records of trials, as received by me. 

This is as full and complete a response to the 
resolution as it is in my power to make. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Message to Congress on Issue of United 
States Notes. 

January 17, 1863. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives: 
I have signed the joint resolution to provide 
for the immediate payment of the army and 
navy of the United States, passed by the House 
of Representatives on the 14th, and by the Senate 
on the 15th instant. The joint resolution is a 
simple authority, amounting, however, under 
existing circumstances to a direction, to the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury to make an additional 
issue of one hundred millions of dollars in United 
States notes, if so much money is needed, for 
the payment of the army and navy. My ap- 
proval is given in order that every possible 
facility may be afforded for the prompt dis- 
charge of all arrears of pay due to our soldiers 
and our sailors. 

While giving this approval, however, I think 
it my duty to express my sincere regret that 
it has been found necessary to authorize so large 
an additional issue of United States notes, when 
this circulation and that of the suspended banks 


together have become already so redundant as 
to increase prices beyond real values, thereby 
augmenting the cost of living, to the injury of 
labor, and the cost of supplies, to the injury of 
the whole country. It seems very plain that 
continued issues of United vStates notes, with- 
out any check to the issues of suspended banks, 
and without adequate provision for the raising 
of money by loans, and for funding the issues, 
so as to keep them within due limits, must soon 
produce disastrous consequences ; and this mat- 
ter appears to me so important that I feel bound 
to avail myself of this occasion to ask the special 
attention of Congress to it. 

That Congress has power to regulate the cur- 
rency of the country can hardly admit of a doubt, 
and that a judicious measure to prevent the de- 
terioration of this currency by a reasonable 
taxation of bank circulation or otherwise is 
needed, seems equally clear. Independently of 
this general consideration, it would be unjust to 
the people at large to exempt banks enjoying the 
special privilege of circulation from their just 
proportion of the public burdens. 

In order to raise money by way of loans most 
easily and cheaply, it is clearly necessary to give 
every possible support to the public credit. To 
that end, a uniform currency in which taxes, 
subscriptions to loans, and all other ordinary 
public dues as well as all private dues may be 
paid, is almost if not quite indispensable. Such 
a currency can be furnished by banking associa- 
tions organized under a general act of Congress, 
as suggested in my message at the beginning of 
the present session. The securing of this cir- 
culation by the pledge of United States bonds, 


as therein suggested, would still further facilitate 
loans, by increasing the present and causing a 
future demand for such bonds. 

In view of the actual financial embarrassment 
of the government, and of the greater embar- 
rassment sure to come if the necessary means 
of relief be not afforded, I feel that I should 
not perform my duty by a simple announcement 
of my approval of the joint resolution, which 
proposes relief only by increasing circulation, 
without expressing my earnest desire that meas- 
ures such in substance as those I have just re- 
ferred to, may receive the early sanction of 
Congress. By such measures, in my opinion, 
Avill payment be most certainly secured, not 
only to the army and navy, but to all honest 
creditors of the government, and satisfactory 
provision made for future demands on the 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Message to Congress on Electoral Count. 

February 8, 1865. 

To the Honorable the Senate and House of 
Representatives: The joint resolution, entitled 
"'Joint resolution declaring certain States not 
entitled to representation in the electoral col- 
lege," has been signed by the executive, in def- 
erence to the view of Congress implied in its 
passage and presentation to him. In his own 
view, however, the two Houses of Congress, 
convened under the twelfth article of the Con- 
stitution, have complete power to exclude from 
counting all electoral votes deemed by them to 


be illegal ; and it is not competent for the execu- 
tive to defeat or obstruct that power by a veto, 
as would be the case if his action were at all 
essential in the matter. He disclaims all right 
of the executive to interfere in any way in 
the matter of canvassing or counting electoral 
votes; and he also disclaims that, by signing 
said resolution, he has expressed any opinion 
on the recitals of the preamble, or any judgment 
of his own upon the subject of the resolution. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Proclamation Concerning Indians. 

March 17, 1865. 

Whereas reliable information has been received 
that hostile Indians, within the limits of the 
United States, have been furnished with arms 
and munitions of war by persons dwelling in 
conterminous foreign territory, and are thereby 
enabled to prosecute their savage warfare upon 
the exposed and sparse settlements of the 
frontier ; 

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham 
Lincoln, President of the United States of 
America, do hereby proclaim and direct that all 
persons detected in that nefarious traffic shall 
be arrested and tried by court-martial at the 
nearest military post, and if convicted, shall re- 
ceive the punishment due to their deserts. 

In witness whereof, etc. 

Abraham Lincoln. 
By the President: 

William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 

iL^oo^.mh onHo