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Letter of the New York Committee. Nomination Accepted
much good may be practically accomplished, is their sincere persuasion. They have watched your official course, therefore, with anflagging attention; and amid the bitter taunts of eager friends and the fierce denunciations of enemies, now moving too fast for some, now too slowly for others, they have seen you throughout this tremendous contest patient, sagacious, faithful, just, leaning upon the heart of the great mass of the people, and satisfied to be moved by its migbty pulsation.
“ It is for this reason that, long before the Convention met, the popular instincts had plainly indicated you as its candidate; and the Convention, therefore, merely recorded the popular will. Your character and career proves your unswerving fidelity to the cardinal principles of American Liberty and of the American Constitution. In the name of that Liberty and Constitution, sir, we earnestly request your acceptance of this nomination; reverently commending our beloved country, and you, its Chief Magistrate, with all its brave sons who, on sea and land, are faithfully defending the good old American cause of equal rights, to the blessings of Almighty God, we are, sir, very respectfully, your friends and fellow-citizens.
“WILLIAM DENNISON, Ohio, Chairman. “And signed by the Committee.”
“ Executive Mansion, Washington, June 27th, 1863.. “Hon. WILLIAM DENNISON and others : “A Committee of the National Union Convention :
“GENTLEMEN :-Your letter of the 14th inst, formally notifying me that I had been nominated by the Convention you represent for the Presidency of the United States for four years from the 4th of March next, has been received. The nomination is gratefully accepted, as the Resolutions of the Convention—called the Platform-are heartily approved.
“While the resolution in regard to the supplanting of Republican Government upon the Western Continent is fully
Letter of Acceptance.
Martial Law in Kentucky.
concurred in, there might be misunderstanding were I not to say that the position of the Government in relation to the action of France in Mexico, as assumed through the State Department and endorsed by the Convention, among the measures and acts of the Executive, will be faithfully maintained so long as the state of facts shall leave that position pertinent and applicable.
"I am especially gratified that the soldiers and seamen were not forgotten by the Convention, as they forever must and will be remembered by the grateful country for whose salvation they devote their lives.
“Thanking you for the kind and complimentary terms in wbich you have communicated the nomination and other proceedings of the Convention, I subscribe myself,
“Your obedient servant, ABRAHAM LINCOLN.”
On the 5th of July, appeared the following proclamation, ordering martial law in Kentucky:
“WHEREAS, By a proclamation, which was issued on the 15th day of April, 1861, the President of the United States announced and declared that the laws of the United States bad been for some time past, and then were, opposed and the execution thereof obstructed, in certain States therein mentioned, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the power vested in the marshals by law; and,
“WHEREAS, Immediately after the issuing of the said proclamation, the land and naval force of the United States were put into activity to suppress the said insurrection and rebellion; and,
“WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States, by an act approved on the 3d day of March, 1863, did enact that during the said rebellion the President of the United States, whenever in bis judgment the public safety may require it, is authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas cor.
Martial Law in Kentucky.
pus in any case throughout the United States, or any part thereof; and,
“WAEREAS, The said insurrection and rebellion still continues, endangering the existence of the Constitution and Government of the United States; and,
“WHEREAS, The military forces of the United States are now actively engaged in suppressing the said insurrection and rebellion in various parts of the States where the said rebellion has been successful in obstructing the laws and public authorities, especially in the States of Virginia and Georgia; and,
“WHEREAS, On the 15th day of September last, the President of the United States duly issued his proclamation, wherein he declared that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus should be suspended throughout the United States, in cases where, by the authority of the President of the United States, the military, naval, and civil officers of the United States, or any of them, hold persons under their command or in their custody either as prisoners of war, spies, or aiders ór abettors of the enemy, or officers, soldiers, or seamen, enrolled, or drafted, or mustered, or enlisted in, or belonging to, the land or naval forces of the United States, or as deserters therefrom, or otherwise amenable to military law or the rules and articles of war, or the rules and regulations prescribed for the military or naval service by authority of the President of the United States, or for resisting a draft, or for any other offence against the military or naval service; and,
“WHEREAS, Many citizens of the State of Kentucky bave joined the forces of the insurgents, have on several occasions entered the said State of Kentucky in large force, and not without aid and comfort furnished by disaffected and disloyal citizens of the United States residing therein, have not only greatly disturbed the public peace, but have overborne the civil authorities and made flagrant civil war, destroying property and life in various parts of the State ; and,
Martial Law in Kentucky.
"WHEREAS, It has been made known to the President of the United States by the officers commanding the National armies, that combinations have been formed in the said State of Kentucky, with a purpose of inciting the rebel forces to renew the said operations of civil war within the said State, and thereby to embarrass the United States armies now operating in the said States of Virginia and Georgia, and even to endanger their safety;
“Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws, do hereby declare, that in my judgment the public safety especially requires that the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, so proclaimed in the said proclamation of the fifteenth of September, 1863, be made effectual, and be duly enforced in and throughout the said State of Kentucky, and that martial law be for the present ordered therein. I do therefore hereby require of the military officers in the said State that the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus be effectually suspended within the said State, according to the aforesaid proclamation, and that martial law be established therein, to take effect from the date of this proclamation, the said suspension and establishment of martial law to continue until this proclamation shall be revoked or modified, but not beyond the period when the said rebellion shall have been suppressed or come to an end. And I do hereby require and command as well military officers as all civil officers and authorities existing or found within the said State of Kentucky, to take notice of this proclamation and to give full effect to the same. The martial law herein proclaimed, and the things in that respect herein ordered, will not be deemed or taken to interfere with the holding of elections, or with the proceedings of the Constitutional Legislature of Kentucky, or with the administration of justice in tbe courts of law existing therein between citizens of the United States in suits or proceedings which do not affect the
Martial Law in Kentucky.
military operations or the constituted authorities of the Gov. ernment of the United States.
“In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
“Done at the City of Washington, this fifth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-eighth “By the President:
A BRAHAM LINCOLN. “WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
The question as to what principles should be adopted in reconstructing the rebel States, as fast as the insurrection within their limits should be suppressed, had already, as remarked upon a former page, presented itself as one to be met and disposed of. Congress having, at almost the last moment of its session, passed a bill intended to meet this case, the President issued the following proclamation, on the 9th of July, practically approving the same and accepting its spirit, but making exception in the case of Louisiana and Arkansas, which States had been reorganized according to the spirit and intent of a previous proclamation, making the will of onetenth of the voters of a State sufficient for its return to allegiance—the bill under notice requiring the votes of a majority :
“WHEREAS, At the last session, Congress passed a bill to guarantee to certain States wbose Governments have been usurped or overthrown, a republican form of government, a copy of which is hereunto annexed; and,
“WHEREAS, Tbe said bill was presented to the President of the United States for his approval, less than one bour before the sine die adjournment of said session, and was not signed by him; and,
“WHEREAS, The said bill contains, among other things, & plan for restoring the States in rebellion to the proper prac