Imágenes de páginas

tional authority and loyal State Governments may be re-estab lished within said States, or in any of them; and, while the mode presented is the best the Executive can suggest, with his present impressions, it must not be understood that no other possible mode would be acceptable.

"Given under my hand at the City of Washington, the eighth day of December, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and sixtythree, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-eighth.

"By the President:


"WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."


Since the beginning of the present year, 1864, two orders have been issued by the President, with a view of augmenting the armies of the Union to correspond with the requirements of the service. The first, dated February first, is as follows:

"EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, February 1st, 1864.— Ordered, that a draft for five hundred thousand men, to serve three years or during the war, be made on the tenth of March next, for the military service of the United States, crediting and deducting therefrom so many as have been enlisted or drafted into the service prior to the first day of March, and not heretofore credited.




The other, dated March fourteenth, was worded as follows:

"EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, March 14th, 1864.--In order to supply the force required to be drafted for the navy, and to provide an adequate reserve force for all contingencies, in addition to the five hundred thousand men called for February 1st, 1864, the call is hereby made, and a draft ordered for two hundred thousand men, for the military service of the army, navy, and marine corps of the United States. The proportionate quotas for the different wards, towns, townships, precincts, election districts, or counties will be made known through the Provost Marshal General's bureau, and account will be taken of the credits and deficiencies on former quotas. The 15th day of April, 1864, is designated as the time up to which the numbers required in each ward of a city, town, etc., may be raised by voluntary enlistment; and drafts will be made in each ward of a city, town,:

etc., which shall not have filled the quota assigned to it within the time designated for the number required to fill the said quotas. The draft will be commenced as soon after the 15th of April as practicable. The Government bounties, as now paid, will be continued until April 15th, 1864, at which time the additional bounties cease. On and after that date, one hundred dollars only will be paid, as provided by the act approved July 22nd, 1861. "ABRAHAM LINCOLN.


"E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G."


On the twenty-sixth of March, 1864, the following proclamation, explanatory of the one issued on the eighth of December, 1863, was published:

"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 8th day of December, 1863, and the manner in which they shall proceed to avail themselves of these benefits;

"And whereas, The object 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;

[ocr errors]

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the said proclamation does not apply to the cases of persons who, at the time when they seek to obtain the benefits thereof, by taking the oath thereby prescribed, are in military, 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 offences of any kind, either before or after conviction; and that on the contrary, it does apply only to those persons who, being 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.

"Prisoners excluded from the amnesty offered in the said proclamation may apply to the President for clemency, like all other offenders, and their application will receive due consideration.

"I do further declare and proclaim that the oath prescribed in the aforesaid proclamation of the 8th of December, 1863, may be taken and subscribed to before any commanding 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 persons 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 certificates.

"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

"Done at the City of Washington, the twenty-sixth day of March, 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:


“Wì. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."


In the number of the North American Review for January, 1864, a most able article was published, reviewing the policy of President Lincoln, and from it we make the following extracts:

"Bare is back,' says the Norse proverb, 'without 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 sentiment, 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 presentiment of popular tendencies and instinctive sympathy with the national character. Mr. Lincoln's task was one of peculiar and exceptional difficulty. Long habit had accustomed the American 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 gradually 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 administration found itself of applying this old truth to new relations. They were not slow in turning it to use, but the patriotism and commonsense of the people were more than a match for any sophistry of mere party. The radical mistake of the leaders of the opposition was in forgetting that they had a country, and expecting a similar obliviousness on the part of the people. In the undisturbed possession of office for so many years, they had come to consider the government as a kind of public Gift Enterprise conducted by themselves, and whose profits were nominally to be shared among the holders of their tickets, though all the prizes had a trick of falling to the lot of the managers. Amid the tumult of war, when the life of the nation was at stake, when the principles of despotism and freedom were grappling in deadly conflict, they had no higher conception of the crisis than such as would serve the purpose of a contested election; no thought but of advertising the tickets for the next drawing of that private speculation which they miscalled the Democratic party. But they were too little in sympathy with the American people to understand them, or the motives by which they were governed. It became more and more clear that, in embarrassing the administration, their design was to cripple the country; that, by a strict construction of the Constitution, they meant nothing more than the locking up of the only arsenal whence effective arms could be drawn to defend the nation. Fortunately, insincerity by its very nature, by

its necessary want of conviction, must ere long betray itself by its inconsistencies. It was hard to believe that men had any real horror of sectional war, who were busy in fomenting jealousies between East and West; that they could be in favor of a war for the Union as it was, who were for accepting the violent amendments of Rebellion; that they could be heartily opposed to insurrection in the South, who threatened government with forcible resistance in the North; or that they were humanely anxious to stay the effusion of blood, who did not scruple to stir up the mob of our chief city to murder and arson, and to compliment the patriotism of assassins with arms in their hands. Believers, if they believed any thing, in the divine right of Sham, they brought the petty engineering of the caucus to cope with the resistless march of events, and hoped to stay the steady drift of the nation's purpose, always setting deeper and stronger in one direction, with the scoopnets that had served their turn so well in dipping fish from the turbid eddies of politics. They have given an example of the shortest and easiest way of reducing a great party to an inconsiderable faction.

"The change which three years have brought about, is too remarkable to be passed over without 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, outside 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 was 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

« AnteriorContinuar »