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wards," had reference to the Emancipation Proclamation which he proposed to issue on that day, unless the offer of his preliminary proclamation should be accepted. That proclamation had been issued on the 22d of September, and the sense of responsibility under which this step was taken, was clearly indicated in the following remarks made by the President on the evening of the 24th of that month, in acknowledging the compliment of a serenade at the executive mansion :
FELLOW-CITIZENS: I appear before you to do little more than acknowledge the courtesy you pay me, and to thank you for it. I have not been distinctly informed why it is that on this occasion you appear to do me this honor, though I suppose it is because of the Proclamation. What I did, I did after a very full deliberation, and under a very heavy and solemn sense of responsibility. I can only trust in God I have made no mistake. I shall make no attempt on this occasion to sustain what I have done or said by any comment. It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment, and may be take action upon it. I will say no more upon this subject. In my position I am environed with difficulties. Yet they are scarcely so great as the difficulties of those who, upon the battle-field, are endeavoring to purchase with their blood and their lives, the future happiness and prosperity of this country. Let us never forget them. On the 14th and 17th days of this present month, there have been battles bravely, skilfully, and success. fully fought. We do not yet know the particulars. Let us be sure that, in giving praise to certain individuals, we do no injustice to others. I only ask you at the conclusion of these few remarks, to give three hearty cheers to all good and brave officers and men who fought those successful battles.
In November the President published the following order regarding the observance of the day of rest, and the vice of profanity, in the army and navy:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 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 importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian soldiers 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 imperilled, by the profanation of the day or name of the Most High. “At this time of public distress," adopting 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 immorality." The first general order 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 endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.”
THE CONGRESSIONAL SESSION OF 1862-'63.-MESSAGE OF THE
PRESIDENT, AND GENERAL ACTION OF THE SESSION.
The third session of the Thirty-seventh Congress opened on the first day of December, 1862—the supporters of the Administration having a large inajority in both branches. The general condition of the country, and the progress mado in quelling the rebellion, are clearly set forth in the following Message of President Lincoln, which was sent in to Congress at the beginning of the session :
FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Since your last annual assembling, another year of health and bountiful harvests has passed, and while it has not pleased the Almighty to bless us with a return of peace, wo can but press on, guided by the best light He gives us, trusting that, in his own good time and wise way, all will be well.
The correspondence, touching foreign affairs, which has taken place during the last year, is herewith submitted, in virtual compliance with & request to that effect made by the House of Representatives near the close of the last session 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 satisfactory 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 difficulties, 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 befel the National arms, and which were
exaggerated by our own disloyal citizens 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 carried on a commerce that has been steadily increasing throughout a period of half a century. It has, at the same time, excited political ambitions and apprehensions which have produced a profound agitation throughout the civilized world. In this unusual agitation we have forborne from taking part in any controversy between 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 effects and consequences resulting to those nations 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 suppression of the slave trade has been put into operation with a good prospect of complete success. It is an occasion of special pleasure to acknowledge that the execution of it ou the part of Her Majesty'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 stade dues has been carried into full effect, under the act of Congress for that purpose.
A blockade of three thousand miles of seacoast could not be established and vigorously enforced, in a season of great commercial activity like the present, without committing occasional mistakes, and inflicting unintentional injuries upon foreign nations and their subjects.
A civil war occurring in a country where foreigners reside and carry on trade under treaty stipulations is necessarily fruitful of complaints of the violation of neutral rights. All such collisions tend to excite misapprehensions, and possibly to produce mutual reclamations between nations which have a common interest in preserving peace and friendship. In clear cases of these kinds I have, so far as possible, beard and redressed complaints which 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 Govern
ments whose protection is demanded by the claimants. There are, moreover, 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 these states are not at once prepared to redress. I have proposed to some of the foreign states thus interested, mutual conventions 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 appropriation in behalf of the owners of the Norwegian bark Admiral P. Tordenskiold, which vessel was in May, 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 ves. sel. I have directed the Secretary of State to cause the papers in the case to be communicated 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 coloniza tion as was contemplated in recent acts of Congress. Other parties, at home and abroad-some from interested motives, others upon patriotic considerations, and still others influenced by philanthropic sentiments—have suggested similar measures; 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 circumstances I have declined to move any such colony 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 persons 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 received and adopted as citizens; and I regret to say such persons, contemplating 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, however, 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.