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tive, when the Legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence."
And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known, that any provision which may be adopted by such State Government in relati 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 Executive.
And it is suggested as not improper 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 maintained, subject only to the modifications made necessary by the conditions herein before stated, and such others, it 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 relates to State Governments, has no reference to States wherein loyal State Governments have all the while been inaintained; and for the same reason it may be proper to further say, that whether members sent to Congress from any State shall be admitted to yoats, constitutionally rests exclusively with the respective Houses, and rot to any extent with the Executive. And still further, that this proclaination is intended to present the people of the States wherein the national authority bas been suspended, and the loyal State Governments have been siihvoried, a mode in and by which the national authority and loyal State Corernments may be re-established within said States, or in any of them. And, while the mode presented is the best tho 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 De
cember, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States of America the eighiy-eighth.
ARBAKAM LINCOLN. By the President:
Wm. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
In further prosecution of the object sought by this measure of amnesty, the President subsequently issued the following additional explanatory
PROCLAMATION. By the President of the United States of America. Whereas, it has become necessary to define the cases in wbich insur gent enemies are entitled to the benefits of the Proclamation of the Presi
dent of the United States, which was made on the 8th day of December, 1863, and the manner in which they shall proceed to avaii themselves of these benefits; and whereas the objects of that Proclamation were to suppress the insurroction 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, 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 yet at large, and free from any arrest, continement, or duress, shall voluntarily come forward and take the said oath, with the purpose of restoring peace, and establishing the national authority.
Persons 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 presented in tho aforesaid proclamation of the 8th 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 thereof 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 Goverument.
The Secretary of State will keep a registry 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 Wash(L. 8.] ington, the 26th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1864, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN. By the President:
WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
The diplomatic correspondence of the year 1863, which
was transmitted to Congress with the President's Mes. sage, was voluminous and interesting. But it touched few points of general interest, relating mainly to matters of detail in the relations between the United States and foreign Powers. One point of importance was gained in the course of our correspondence with Great Britainthe issuing of an order by that Government forbidding the departure of formidable rams which were building in English ports unquestionably for the rebel service. Our minister in London had been unweariid in collecting evj. dence of the purpose and destination of these vessels, and in pressing upon the British Government the absolute necessity, if they wished to preserve peaceful relations with the United States, of not permitting their professedly neutral ports to be used as naval dépôts and dock-yards for the service of the rebels. On the 5th of September, 1863, Mr. Adams had written to Lord Russell, acknowledging the receipt of a letter from him in which the deliberate purpose of the British Government to take no action in regard to these rams was announced. Mr. Adams had expressed his regret at such a decision, which he said he could regard as no otherwise than as practically opening to the insurgents free liberty in Great Britain to prepare for entering and destroying any of the Atlantic seaports of the United States. “It would be superfluous in me,” added Mr. Adams, “to point out to your lordship that this is war. No matter what may be the theory adopted of neutrality in a struggle, when this process is carried on in the manner indicated, from a territory and with the aid of the subjects of a third party, that third party to all intents and purposes ceases to be neutral. Neither is it necessary to show that any Gov ernment which suffers it to be done, fails in enforcing the essential conditions of international amity towards the country against whom the hostility is directed. In my belief it is impossible that any nation, retaining a proper degree of self-respect, could tamely submit to a continuance of relations so utterly deficient in reciprocity. I have no idea that Great Britain would do so for a mo
ment.” On the 8th of September, Earl Russell wrote to Mr. Adams, to inform him that “instructions had been issued which would prevent the departure of the two iron-clad vessels from Liverpool.” The Earl afterwards
having taken this action under an implied menace of war conveyed in the letter of Mr. Adams, that it was taken in pursuance of a decision which had been made previous to
On the 11th of July, Mr. Seward forwarded a dispatch to Mr. Adams, elicited by the decision of the British Court in the case of the Alexandra, which had been seized on suspicion of having been fitted out in violation of the laws of Great Britain against the enlistment of troops to serve against nations with which that Government was at peace. The decision was a virtual repeal of the enlistment act as a penal measure of prevention, and actually left the agents of the rebels at full liberty to prepare ships of war in English ports to cruise against the commerce of the United States. Mr. Seward conveyed to Mr. Adams the President's views on the extraordinary state of affairs which this decision revealed. Assuming that the British Government had acted throughout in perfect good faith, and that the action of its judicial tribunals was not to be impeached, this dispatch stated that 6 if the rulings of the Chief Baron of the Exchequer in the case of the Alexandra should be affirmed by the court of last resort, so as to regulate the action of her Majesty's Government, the President would be left to understand that there is no law in Great Britain which will be effective to preserve mutual relations of forbearance between the subjects of her Majesty and the Government and people of the United States in the only point where they are exposed to infraction. And the United States will be without any guarantee whatever against the indiscriminate and unlawful employment of capital, industry, and skill by British subjects, in building, arming, equipping, and sending forth ships of war from British ports, to make war against the United States.” The suggestion
was made whether it would not be wise for Parliament to amend a law thus proved to be inadequate to the purpose for which it was intended. If the law must be left without amendment and be construed by the Government in conformity with the rulings in this case, then, said Mr. Seward, “there will be left for the United States no alternative but to protect themselves and their commerce against armed cruisers proceeding from British ports as against the naval forces of a public enemy; and also to claim and insist upon indemnities for the injuries which all such expeditions have hitherto committed or shall hereafter conimit against this Government and the citizens of the United States.” “Can it be an occasion for either surprise or complaint," asked Mr. Seward, “ that if this condition of things is to remain and receive the deliberate sanction of the British Government, the navy of the United States will receive instructions to pursue these enemies into the ports which thus, in violation of the law of nations and the obligations of neutrality, become harbors for the pirates ?" Before the receipt of this dispatch, Mr. Adams had so clearly presented the same views, of the inevitable results of the policy the British Government seemed to be pursuing, to Lord Russell, as to render its transmission to him unnecessary--Mr. Seward, on the 13th of August, informing Mr. Adams that he regarded his previous communications to Earl Russell on the subject as an execution of his instructions by way of anticipation."
Our relations with France continued to be friendly; but the proceedings of the French in Mexico gave rise to rep resentations on both sides which may have permanent importance for the welfare of both countries. Rumors were circulated from time to time in France that the Gov. ernment of the United States had protested, or was about to protest, against the introduction into Mexico of a monarchical form of government, under a European prince, to be established and supported by French arms; and these reports derived a good deal of plausibility from the language of the American press, representing the un