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A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Lincoln by Compiled by James D. Richardson

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

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 76.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, February 26, 1864_.

SENTENCE OF DESERTERS.

The President directs that the sentences of all deserters who have been
condemned by court-martial to death, and that have not been otherwise
acted upon by him, be mitigated to imprisonment during the war at the
Dry Tortugas, Florida, where they will be sent under suitable guards by
orders from army commanders.

The commanding generals, who have power to act on proceedings of
courts-martial in such cases, are authorized in special cases to restore
to duty deserters under sentence, when in their judgment the service
will be thereby benefited.

Copies of all orders issued under the foregoing instructions will be
immediately forwarded to the Adjutant-General and to the
Judge-Advocate-General.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, March 7, 1864_.

Whereas by an Executive order of the 10th of November last permission
was given to export certain tobacco belonging to the French Government
from insurgent territory, which tobacco was supposed to have been
purchased and paid for prior to the 4th day of March, 1861; but whereas
it was subsequently ascertained that a part at least of the said tobacco
had been purchased subsequently to that date, which fact made it
necessary to suspend the carrying into effect of the said order; but
whereas, pursuant to mutual explanations, a satisfactory understanding
upon the subject has now been reached, it is directed that the order
aforesaid may be carried into effect, it being understood that the
quantity of French tobacco so to be exported shall not exceed 7,000
hogsheads, and that it is the same tobacco respecting the exportation of
which application was originally made by the French Government.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

In pursuance of the provisions of section 14 of the act of Congress
entitled "An act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph
line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, and to secure to
the Government the use of the same for postal, military, and other
purposes," approved July 1, 1862, authorizing and directing the
President of the United States to fix the point on the western boundary
of the State of Iowa from which the Union Pacific Railroad Company is
by said section authorized and required to construct a single line of
railroad and telegraph upon the most direct and practicable route,
subject to the approval of the President of the United States, so as to
form a connection with the lines of said company at some point on the
one hundredth meridian of longitude in said section named, I, Abraham
Lincoln, President of the United States, do, upon the application of the
said company, designate and establish such first above-named point on
the western boundary of the State of Iowa east of and opposite to the
east line of section 10, in township 15 north, of range 13 east, of the
sixth principal meridian, in the Territory of Nebraska.

Done at the city of Washington, this 7th day of March, A.D. 1864.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., March 10, 1864_.

Under the authority of an act of Congress to revive the grade of
lieutenant-general in the United States Army, approved February 29,
1864, Lieutenant-General Ulysses S. Grant, United States Army, is
assigned to the command of the armies of the United States.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 98.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, March 12, 1864_.

The President of the United States orders as follows:

I. Major-General H.W. Halleck is, at his own request, relieved from duty
as General in Chief of the Army, and Lieutenant-General U.S. Grant is
assigned to the command of the armies of the United States. The
headquarters of the Army will be in Washington and also with
Lieutenant-General Grant in the field.

II. Major-General H.W. Halleck is assigned to duty in Washington as
chief of staff of the Army, under the direction of the Secretary of War
and the Lieutenant-General Commanding. His orders will be obeyed and
respected accordingly.

III. Major-General W.T. Sherman is assigned to the command of the
Military Division of the Mississippi, composed of the departments of the
Ohio, the Cumberland, the Tennessee and the Arkansas.

IV. Major-General J.B. McPherson is assigned to the command of the
Department and Army of the Tennessee.

V. In relieving Major-General Halleck from duty as General in Chief, the
President desires to express his approbation and thanks for the able and
zealous manner in which the arduous and responsible duties of that
position have been performed.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, March 14, 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 500,000 men called for February 1, 1864, a call is hereby made and a
draft ordered for 200,000 men for the military service (Army, Navy, and
Marine Corps) of the United States.

The proportional quotas for the different wards, towns, townships,
precincts, or 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 from 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 said quotas. The
drafts will be commenced as soon after the 15th of April as practicable.

The Government bounties as now paid continue until April 1, 1864, at
which time the additional bounties cease. On and after that date $100
bounty only will be paid, as provided by the act approved July 22, 1861,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _April 2, 1864_.

_Ordered_, That the Executive order of September 4, 1863, in relation to
the exportation of live stock from the United States, be so extended as
to prohibit the exportation of all classes of salted provisions from any
part of the United States to any foreign port, except that meats cured,
salted, or packed in any State or Territory bordering on the Pacific
Ocean may be exported from any port of such State or Territory.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

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, reckoning 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 rilled 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, subsisted, transported,
and paid as other United States infantry volunteers, and to serve in
fortifications, or wherever 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_.

WM. M. STONE,
_Governor of Iowa_.

JAMES T. LEWIS,
_Governor of Wisconsin_.

APRIL 23, 1864.

The foregoing proposition of the governors is accepted, and the
Secretary of War is directed to carry it into execution.

A. LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, May 9, 1864_.

_To the Friends of the Union and Liberty_:

Enough is known of the army operations within the last five days to
claim our especial gratitude to God, while what remains undone demands
our most sincere prayers to and reliance upon Him, without whom all
human efforts are in 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 God.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, May 18, 1864_.

Major-General JOHN A. DIX,

_Commanding at New York_:

Whereas there has been wickedly and traitorously printed and published
this morning in the New York World and New York Journal of Commerce,
newspapers printed and published in the city of New York, a false and
spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the President and to be
countersigned by the Secretary of State, which publication is of a
treasonable nature, designed to give aid and comfort to the enemies of
the United States and to the rebels now at war against the Government
and their aiders and abettors, you are therefore hereby commanded
forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your
command the editors, proprietors, and publishers of the aforesaid
newspapers, and all such persons as, after public notice has been given
of the falsehood of said publication, print and publish the same with
intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy; and you will hold the
persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial
before a military commission for their offense. You will also take
possession by military force of the printing establishments of the New
York World and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further
orders, and prohibit any further publication therefrom.

A. LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, D.C._

The President of the United States directs that the four persons whose
names follow, to wit, Hon. Clement C. Clay, Hon. Jacob Thompson,
Professor James P. Holcombe, George N. Sanders, shall have safe conduct
to the city of Washington in company with the Hon. Horace Greeley, and
shall be exempt from arrest or annoyance of any kind from any officer of
the United States during their journey to the said city of Washington.

By order of the President:

JOHN HAY,

_Major and Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, July 18, 1864_.

_To whom it may concern_:

Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity
of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by
and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the
United States, will be received and considered by the executive
government 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.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, August 31, 1864_.

Any person or persons engaged in bringing out cotton, in strict
conformity with authority given by W. P. Fessenden, Secretary of the
United States Treasury, must not be hindered by the War, Navy, or any
other Department of the Government or any person engaged under any of
said Departments.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _September 3, 1864_.

The national thanks are tendered by the President to Major-General
William T. Sherman and the gallant officers and soldiers of his command
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 the city of Atlanta. The marches, battles,
sieges, and other military operations that have signalized this 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 nation.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington City, September 3, 1864_.

_Ordered_, first. That on Monday, the 5th day of September, commencing
at the hour of 12 o'clock noon, there shall be given a salute of 100
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
achievements of the fleet and 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 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 day of September, commencing at the
hour of 12 o'clock noon, there shall be fired a salute of 100 guns at
the arsenal at Washington, and at New York, Boston, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, Pittsburg, Newport, Ky., and St. Louis, and at New Orleans,
Mobile, Pensacola, Hilton Head, and New Berne the day after the receipt
of this order, for the brilliant achievements of the army under command
of Major-General Sherman in the State of Georgia and the capture of
Atlanta. The Secretary of War will issue directions for the execution of
this order.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _Washington, 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 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 devout 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 public worship in the United States, thanksgiving be
offered to Him for His mercy in preserving our national existence
against the insurgent rebels who so long have been waging a cruel war
against the Government of the United States for its overthrow; and also
that prayer be made for the divine protection to our brave soldiers and
their leaders in the field, who have so often and so gallantly periled
their lives in battling with the enemy, and for blessing 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.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _September 3, 1864_.

The national thanks are tendered by the President 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 Morgan 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.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington City, September 10, 1864_.

The term of one hundred days for which the National Guard of Ohio
volunteered having expired, the President directs an official
acknowledgment to be made of their patriotic and valuable services
during the recent campaigns. The term of service of their enlistment was
short, but distinguished by memorable events. In the Valley of the
Shenandoah, on the Peninsula, in the operations on the James River,
around Petersburg and Richmond, in the battle of Monocacy, and 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 to 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 service
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
volunteers for one hundred days.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _September 24, 1864_.

I. Congress having authorized the purchase for the United States of the
product of States declared in insurrection, and the Secretary of the
Treasury having designated New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Pensacola,
Port Royal, Beaufort, N.C., and Norfolk as places of purchase, and with
my approval appointed agents and made regulations under which said
products may be purchased: Therefore,

II. All persons, except such as may be in the civil, military, or naval
service of the Government, having in their possession any products of
States declared in insurrection which said agents are authorized to
purchase, and all persons owning or controlling such products therein,
are authorized to convey such products to either of the places which
have been hereby or may hereafter be designated as places of purchase,
and such products so destined shall not be liable to detention, seizure,
or forfeiture while _in transitu_ or in store awaiting transportation.

III. Any person having the certificate of a purchasing agent, as
prescribed by Treasury Regulations, VIII, is authorized to pass, with
the necessary means of transportation, to the points named in said
certificate, and to return therefrom with the products required for the
fulfillment of the stipulations set forth in said certificate.

IV. Any person having sold and delivered to a purchasing agent any
products of an insurrectionary State in accordance with the regulations
in relation thereto, and having in his possession a certificate setting
forth the fact of such purchase and sale, the character and quantity of
products, and the aggregate amount paid therefor, as prescribed by
Regulation IX, shall be permitted by the military authority commanding
at the place of sale to purchase from any authorized dealer at such
place, or any other place in a loyal State, merchandise and other
articles not contraband of war nor prohibited by the order of the War
Department, nor coin, bullion, or foreign exchange, to an amount not
exceeding in value one-third of the aggregate value of the products sold
by him, as certified by the agent purchasing; and the merchandise and
other articles so purchased may be transported by the same route and to
the same place from and by which the products sold and delivered reached
the purchasing agent, as set forth in the certificate; and such
merchandise and other articles shall have safe conduct, and shall not be
subject to detention, seizure, or forfeiture while being transported to
the places and by the route set forth in the said certificate.

V. Generals commanding military districts and commandants of military
posts and detachments, and officers commanding fleets, flotillas, and
gunboats, will give safe conduct to persons and products, merchandise,
and other articles duly authorized as aforesaid, and not contraband of
war or prohibited by order of the War Department, or the orders of such
generals commanding, or other duly authorized military or naval officer,
made in pursuance thereof; and all persons hindering or preventing such
safe conduct of persons or property will be deemed guilty of a military
offense and punished accordingly.

VI. Any person transporting or attempting to transport any merchandise
or other articles, except in pursuance of regulations of the Secretary
of the Treasury dated July 29, 1864, or in pursuance of this order, or
transporting or attempting to transport any merchandise or other
articles contraband of war or forbidden by any order of the War
Department, will be deemed guilty of a military offense and punished
accordingly; and all products of insurrectionary States found _in
transitu_ to any other person or place than a purchasing agent and a
designated place of purchase shall be seized and forfeited to the United
States, except such as may be moving to a loyal State under duly
authorized permits of a proper officer of the Treasury Department, as
prescribed by Regulation XXXVIII, concerning "commercial intercourse,"
dated July 29, 1864, or such as may have been found abandoned or have
been captured and are moving in pursuance of the act of March 12, 1863.

VII. No military or naval officer of the United States, or person in the
military or naval service, nor any civil officer, except such as are
appointed for that purpose, shall engage in trade or traffic in the
products of insurrectionary States, or furnish transportation therefor,
under pain of being deemed guilty of unlawful trading with the enemy and
punished accordingly.

VIII. The Secretary of War will make such general orders or regulations
as will insure the proper observance and execution of this order, and
the Secretary of the Navy will give instructions to officers commanding
fleets, flotillas, and gunboats in conformity therewith.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, October 1, 1864_.

SPECIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER RETURNING THANKS TO THE VOLUNTEERS FOR ONE
HUNDRED DAYS FROM THE STATES OF INDIANA, ILLINOIS, IOWA, AND WISCONSIN.

The term of one hundred days for which volunteers 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 in the
campaign of General Sherman, having expired, the President directs an
official acknowledgment to be made of their patriotic service. It was
their good fortune to render efficient 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 entitled to and are hereby tendered the
national thanks through the governors of their respective States.

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 service to be delivered to the officers
and soldiers of the States above named who recently served in the
military force of the United States as volunteers for one hundred days.

A. LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, October 12, 1864_.

The Japanese Government having caused the construction at New York of a
vessel of war called the _Fusigama_, and application having been made
for the clearance of the same, in order that it may proceed to Japan, it
is ordered, in view of the state of affairs in that country and of its
relation with the United States, that a compliance with the application
be for the present suspended.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 282.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, November 14, 1864_.

_Ordered by the President_, I. That the resignation of George B.
McClellan as major-general in the United States Army, dated November 8
and received by the Adjutant-General on the 10th instant, be accepted as
of the 8th of November.

II. That for the personal gallantry, military skill, and just confidence
in the courage and patriotism of his troops displayed by Philip H.
Sheridan on the 19th day of October at Cedar Run, whereby, under the
blessing of Providence, his routed army was reorganized, a great
national disaster averted, and a brilliant victory achieved over the
rebels for the third time in pitched battle within thirty days, Philip
H. Sheridan is appointed major-general in the United States Army, to
rank as such from the 8th day of November, 1864.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, December 3, 1864_.

A war steamer, called the _Funayma Solace_, having been built in this
country for the Japanese Government and at the instance of that
Government, it is deemed to comport with the public interest, in view of
the unsettled condition of the relations of the United States with that
Empire, that the steamer should not be allowed to proceed to Japan. If,
however, the Secretary of the Navy should ascertain that the steamer is
adapted to our service, he is authorized to purchase her, but the
purchase money will be held in trust toward satisfying any valid claims
which may be presented by the Japanese on account of the construction of
the steamer and the failure to deliver the same, as above set forth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

FOURTH ANNUAL MESSAGE.

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 reasonably 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
engineer 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
difficulties which for a moment excited some political apprehensions and
caused a closing of the interoceanic transit route have been amicably
adjusted, and that there is a good prospect that the route will soon be
reopened with an increase of capacity and adaptation. We could not
exaggerate either the commercial or the political importance of that
great improvement.

It would be doing injustice to an important South American 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 convention has been constituted to complete the
unfinished work of the one which closed its session in 1861.

The new liberal constitution of Venezuela having gone into effect with
the universal acquiescence of the people, the Government under it has
been recognized and diplomatic intercourse with it has opened in a
cordial and friendly spirit. The long-deferred Aves Island claim has
been satisfactorily paid and discharged.

Mutual payments 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 Chile, the Argentine
Republic, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, San Salvador, and Hayti.

During the past year no differences of any kind have arisen with any of
those Republics, and, on the other hand, their sympathies with the
United States are constantly expressed with cordiality 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 Chile.

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 American
influence, improved by the rapid disappearance of slavery in the United
States.

I solicit your authority to furnish to the Republic a gunboat at
moderate cost, to be reimbursed to the United States by installments.
Such 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 organized naval force would stimulate a generous
ambition 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 Behrings Straits and Asiatic Russia, which was sanctioned 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
readiness to cooperate in constructing lines tributary to that
world-encircling communication. I learn with much satisfaction that the
noble design of a telegraphic communication between the eastern coast of
America and Great Britain has been renewed, with full expectation of its
early accomplishment.

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

Our very popular and estimable representative in Egypt died in April
last. An unpleasant altercation which arose between the temporary
incumbent of the office and the Government of the Pasha resulted in a
suspension of intercourse. The evil was promptly corrected on the
arrival of the successor in the consulate, and our relations with Egypt,
as well as our relations with the Barbary Powers, are entirely
satisfactory.

The rebellion which has so long been flagrant in China has at last been
suppressed, with the cooperating 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
legislative 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 conventional laws which regulate commercial
and social intercourse among the Western nations.

Owing to the peculiar situation of Japan and the anomalous form of its
Government, the action of that Empire in performing treaty stipulations
is inconstant and capricious. Nevertheless, good progress has been
effected by the Western powers, 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 Pensacola 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, 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
occupation, 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
regulated 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 privileges
of a naval belligerent to the insurgents of the United States,
destitute, as they are, and always 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 privilege, to embroil
our country in foreign wars. The desire and determination of the
governments of the maritime states to defeat that design are believed to
be as sincere as and can not be more earnest than our own. Nevertheless,
unforeseen political difficulties have arisen, especially in Brazilian
and British ports and on the northern boundary of the United States,
which have 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 concerned and their
governments.

Commissioners have been appointed under the treaty with Great Britain on
the adjustment of the claims of the Hudsons Bay and Pugets 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 question 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 June, 1854.

I desire, however, to be understood while making 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 measures to prevent new
incursions across the border.

The act passed at the last session for the encouragement of immigration
has so far as was possible been put into 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 in 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 reciprocated on our part by giving the immigrants effective
national protection. I regard our immigrants 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 necessary 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 Congress has beneficially affected the revenues, although sufficient
time has not yet elapsed to experience the full effect of several of the
provisions of the acts of Congress imposing increased taxation.

The receipts during the year from all sources, upon the basis of
warrants signed by the Secretary of the Treasury, including loans and
the balance in the Treasury on the 1st 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: Receipts, $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 customs $102,316,152.99, from
lands $588,333.29, from direct taxes $475,648.96, from internal revenue
$109,741,134.10, from miscellaneous sources $47,511,448.10, and from
loans applied to actual expenditures, including former balance,
$623,443,929.13.

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

The public debt on the 1st day of July last, as appears by the books of
the Treasury, amounted to $1,740,690,489.49. Probably, should the war
continue for another year, that amount may be increased by not far from
five hundred millions. 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 become owners might, perhaps, with
good effect and without injury be presented to persons of limited means.
With this view I suggest whether 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_ purchaser
exempt from taxation and from seizure for debt, under such restrictions
and limitations as might be necessary to guard against abuse of so
important a privilege. This would enable every prudent person to set
aside a small annuity against a possible day of want.

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

The public debt on the 1st day of July last, although 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 preceding December as to its probable amount at the
beginning of this year by the sum of $3,995,097.31. This fact exhibits a
satisfactory condition and conduct of the operations of the Treasury.

The national banking system is proving to be acceptable to capitalists
and to the people. On the 25th day of November 584 national banks had
been organized, a considerable number of which were conversions from
State banks. Changes from State systems to the national system 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 people 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 can not be satisfactorily
conducted unless the Government can exercise a restraining power over
the bank-note circulation of the country.

The report of the Secretary of War and the accompanying documents will
detail the campaigns of the armies in the field since the date of the
last annual message, and also the operations 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 supply the requisite military force.

The report of the Secretary of the Navy presents 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 1st of December, 1864, shows a total of 671 vessels, carrying 4,610
guns, and of 510,396 tons, being an actual increase during the year,
over and above all losses by shipwreck or in battle, of 83 vessels, 167
guns, and 42,427 tons.

The total number of men 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 1,379,
of which 267 are steamers.

The gross proceeds arising from the sale of condemned prize property
thus far reported amount 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 Department 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 expressed 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 recommendation of the Secretary as to the
propriety of creating the new rank of vice-admiral in our naval service.

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
expenditures over receipts being $206,652.42.

The views presented by the Postmaster-General on the subject of special
grants by the Government in aid of the establishment of new lines of
ocean mail steamships and the policy he recommends for the development
of increased commercial intercourse with adjacent and neighboring
countries should receive the careful consideration of Congress.

It is of noteworthy interest that the steady expansion of population,
improvement, and governmental institutions over the new and unoccupied
portions of our country have scarcely been checked, much less impeded or
destroyed, by our great civil war, which at first glance would seem to
have absorbed almost the entire energies 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
established in the mountains, which once seemed a barren and
uninhabitable waste between the Atlantic 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 will permit their
governments, like those of the others, to go into speedy and full
operation.

As intimately connected with and promotive of this material growth of
the nation, I ask the attention of Congress to the valuable information
and important recommendations relating to the public lands, Indian
affairs, the Pacific Railroad, and mineral discoveries contained in the
report of the Secretary of the Interior which is herewith transmitted,
and which report also embraces the subjects of patents, pensions, and
other topics of public interest pertaining to his Department.

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 homestead law. The remainder was located
with military land warrants, agricultural scrip certified to States for
railroads, and sold for cash. The cash received from sales and location
fees was $1,019,446.

The income from sales during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1864, was
$678,007.21, against $136,077.95 received during the preceding year. The
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 Atlantic with the Pacific States
by railways and telegraph 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 100 miles westward
from the initial point at Omaha City, Nebr., and a preliminary location
of the Pacific Railroad of California has been made from Sacramento
eastward to the great bend of the Truckee River in Nevada.

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 believed that
the product of the mines of precious metals in that region has during
the year reached, if not exceeded, one hundred millions in value.

It was recommended in my last annual message that our Indian system be
remodeled. Congress at its last session, acting upon the recommendation,
did provide for reorganizing the system in California, and it is
believed that under the present organization the management of the
Indians there will be attended with reasonable success. Much yet remains
to be done to provide 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 reiterates his
recommendations, and to them the attention 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 30th day of June last the names of 16,770
invalid soldiers and of 271 disabled seamen, making the present number
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 1,430.
Only 12 of them were soldiers, of whom 7 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 patronage the benevolent
institutions of the District of Columbia which have hitherto been
established or fostered by Congress, and respectfully refer for
information concerning them and in relation to the Washington Aqueduct,
the Capitol, and other matters of local interest to the report of the
Secretary.

The Agricultural Department, under the supervision 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 message all the important lines
and positions then occupied by our forces have been maintained and our
arms have steadily advanced, thus liberating the regions left in rear,
so that Missouri, 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 attempted march of 300 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 enemy, and yet to detach a
well-appointed large army to move on such an expedition. The result not
yet being known, conjecture in regard to it is not here indulged.

Important movements have also occurred during the year to the effect of
molding society for durability in the Union. Although short of complete
success, it is much in the right direction that 12,000 citizens in each
of the States of Arkansas 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 overlooked. 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 slavery throughout the United States passed the Senate, but
failed for lack of the requisite two-thirds vote in the House of
Representatives. Although the present is the same Congress and nearly
the same members, and without questioning 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 question 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 like ours unanimity of action among those seeking a
common end is very desirable--almost indispensable. And yet no approach
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 election, 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 Union was never more firm nor more nearly
unanimous than now. The extraordinary calmness and good order with which
the millions of voters met and mingled at the polls give strong
assurance 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 have 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 there
is no diversity among the people. In affording the people the fair
opportunity 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 cause.

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 service. The election returns
prove this. So many voters could not else be found. The States regularly
holding elections, both now and four years ago, to wit, California,
Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire,
New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont,
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 1860, 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 showing 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 California, who by the laws of those States could not vote away from
their homes, and which number can not be less than 90,000. 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 national 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 demonstrated that we have _more_ men _now_ than
we had when the war _began_; that we are not exhausted nor in process of
exhaustion; that we are _gaining_ strength and may if need be maintain
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 reestablish and maintain the
national authority is unchanged, and, as we believe, unchangeable.
The manner of continuing the effort 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 accept nothing short of severance of the Union, precisely
what we will not and can not give. His declarations to this effect are
explicit and oft repeated. He does not attempt to deceive us. He affords
us no excuse to deceive ourselves. He can not voluntarily reaccept the
Union; we can not voluntarily yield it. Between him and us the issue is
distinct, simple, 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.
Although he can not reaccept 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 possible, questions are and
would be beyond the Executive power to adjust; as, for instance, the
admission of members into Congress and whatever might require the
appropriation of money. The Executive power itself would be greatly
diminished by the cessation of actual war. Pardons and remissions of
forfeitures, however, would still be within Executive control. In what
spirit and temper this control would be exercised can be fairly judged
of by the past.

A year ago general pardon and amnesty, upon specified terms, were
offered to all except certain 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 practical 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 condition 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 resistance to the national
authority on the part of the insurgents as the only indispensable
condition to ending the war on the part of the Government, I retract
nothing heretofore said as to slavery. I repeat the declaration made
a year ago, that "while I remain in my present position I shall not
attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation, nor shall
I return 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 reenslave 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 LINCOLN.

_Table showing the aggregate votes in the States named at the
Presidential elections respectively, in 1860 and 1864_.
=============================================================
State. 1860. 1864.

California 118,840 110,000 [A]
Connecticut 77,246 86,616
Delaware 16,039 16,924
Illinois 339,693 348,235
Indiana 272,143 280,645
Iowa 128,331 143,331
Kentucky 146,216 91,300 [A]
Maine 97,918 115,141
Maryland 92,502 72,703
Massachusetts 169,533 175,487
Michigan 154,747 162,413
Minnesota 34,799 42,534
Missouri 165,538 90,000 [A]
New Hampshire 65,953 69,111
New Jersey 121,125 128,680
New York 675,156 730,664
Ohio 442,441 470,745
Oregon 14,410 14,410 [B]
Pennsylvania 476,442 572,697
Rhode Island 19,931 22,187
Vermont 42,844 55,811
West Virginia 46,195 33,874
Wisconsin 152,180 148,513
--------- ---------
3,870,222 3,982,011

Kansas 17,234
Nevada 16,528
------
33,762
3,982,011
---------
Total 4,015,773
3,870,222
---------
Net Increase 145,551
=============================================================
[A: Nearly.] [B: Estimated.]

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON CITY, _December 5, 1864_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most cordially recommend
that Captain John A. Winslow, United States Navy, receive a vote of
thanks from Congress for the skill and gallantry exhibited by him in the
brilliant action, while in command of the United States steamer
_Kearsarge_, which led to the total destruction of the piratical craft
_Alabama_ on the 19th of June, 1864--a vessel superior in tonnage,
superior in number of guns, and superior in number of crew.

This recommendation is specially made in order to comply with the
requirements of the ninth section of the aforesaid act, which is in the
following words, namely:

That any line officer of the Navy or Marine Corps may be advanced one
grade if upon recommendation of the President by name he receives the
thanks of Congress for highly distinguished conduct in conflict with the
enemy or for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON CITY, _December 5, 1864_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

In conformity to the law of July 16, 1862, I most cordially recommend
that Lieutenant William B. Cushing, United States Navy, receive a vote
of thanks from Congress for his important, gallant, and perilous
achievement in destroying the rebel ironclad steamer _Albemarle_ on the
night of the 27th of October, 1864, at Plymouth, N.C.

The destruction of so formidable a vessel, which had resisted the
continued attacks of a number of our vessels on former occasions, is an
important event touching our future naval and military operations, and
would reflect honor on any officer, and redounds to the credit of this
young officer and the few brave comrades who assisted in this successful
and daring undertaking.

This recommendation is specially made in order to comply with the
requirements of the ninth section of the aforesaid act, which is in the
following words, namely:

That any line officer of the Navy or Marine Corps may be advanced one
grade if upon recommendation of the President by name he receives the
thanks of Congress for highly distinguished conduct in conflict with the
enemy or for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON CITY, _December 5, 1864_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

By virtue of the authority contained in the sixth section of the act of
21st April, 1864, which enacts "that any officer in the naval service,
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, may be advanced not
exceeding thirty numbers in his own grade for distinguished conduct in
battle or extraordinary heroism," I recommend Commander William H.
Macomb, United States Navy, for advancement in his grade ten numbers, to
take rank next after Commander William Ronckendorff, for distinguished
conduct in the capture of the town of Plymouth, N.C., with its
batteries, ordnance stores, etc., on the 31st October, 1864, by a
portion of the naval division under his command. The affair was executed
in a most creditable manner.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON CITY, _December 5, 1864_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

By virtue of the authority contained in the sixth section of the act of
21st April, 1864, which enacts "that any officer in the naval service,
by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, may be advanced not
exceeding thirty numbers in his own grade for distinguished conduct in
battle or extraordinary heroism," I recommend Lieutenant-Commander James
S. Thornton, United States Navy, the executive officer of the United
States steamer _Kearsarge_, for advancement in his grade ten numbers, to
take rank next after lieutenant-Commander William D. Whiting, for his
good conduct and faithful discharge of his duties in the brilliant
action with the rebel steamer _Alabama_, which led to the destruction of
that vessel on the 19th June, 1864.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, _December 7, 1864_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the Senate's resolution of yesterday, requesting
information in regard to aid furnished to the rebellion by British
subjects, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents by which it was accompanied.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, _December 13, 1864_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
"a treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation between the United
States of America and the Republic of Honduras," signed by their
respective plenipotentiaries at Comayagua on the 4th of July (1864)
last.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, _December 13, 1864_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I transmit to the Senate, for consideration with a view to ratification,
"a treaty of amity, commerce, and navigation, and for the extradition of
fugitive criminals, between the United States of America and the
Republic of Hayti, signed by their respective plenipotentiaries at Port
an Prince on the 3d of November" last.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, _January 7, 1865_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a copy of two treaties between the United States
and Belgium, for the extinguishment of the Scheldt dues, etc., concluded
on the 20th of May, 1863, and 20th of July, 1863, respectively, the
ratifications of which were exchanged at Brussels on the 24th of June
last; and I recommend an appropriation to carry into effect the
provisions thereof relative to the payment of the proportion of the
United States toward the capitalization of the said dues.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, January 9, 1865_.

Hon. SCHUYLER COLFAX,

_Speaker House of Representatives_.

SIR: I transmit herewith the letter of the Secretary of War, with
accompanying report of the Adjutant-General, in reply to the resolution
of the House of Representatives dated December 7, 1864, requesting me
"to communicate to the House the report made by Colonel Thomas M. Key of
an interview between himself and General Howell Cobb on the 14th day of
June, 1862, on the bank of the Chickahominy, on the subject of the
exchange of prisoners of war."

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, _January 9, 1865_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 15th ultimo,
requesting information concerning an arrangement limiting the naval
armament on the Lakes, I transmit a report of this date from the
Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, January 17, 1865_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

I herewith lay before the Senate, for its constitutional action thereon,
a treaty concluded at the Isabella Indian Reservation, in the State of
Michigan, on the 18th day of October, 1864, between H.J. Alvord, special
commissioner, and D.C. Leach, United States Indian agent, acting as
commissioner on the part of the United States, and the chiefs and
headmen of the Chippewas of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River, in the
State of Michigan, parties to the treaty of August 2, 1855, with
amendments.

A letter of the Secretary of the Interior of the 12th instant and a copy
of a communication of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs of the 22d
ultimo, with inclosure, accompany the treaty.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, D.C., _January 31, 1865_.

Hon. H. HAMLIN,

_President of the Senate_:

I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of War, covering
papers bearing on the arrest and imprisonment of Colonel Richard T.
Jacobs, lieutenant-governor of the State of Kentucky, and Colonel Frank
Wolford, one of the Presidential electors of that State, requested by
resolution of the Senate dated December 20, 1864.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, _February 4, 1865_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of the 13th ultimo,
requesting information upon the present condition of Mexico and the case
of the French war transport steamer _Rhine_, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of State and the papers by which it was accompanied.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

WASHINGTON, _February 8, 1865_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives_:

I transmit to Congress a copy of a note of the 4th instant addressed by
J. Hume Burnley, esq., Her Britannic Majesty's charge d'affaires, to the
Secretary of State, relative to a sword which it is proposed to present
to Captain Henry S. Stellwagen, commanding the United States frigate
_Constitution_, as a mark of gratitude for his services to the British
brigantine _Mersey_. The expediency of sanctioning the acceptance of the
gift is submitted to your consideration.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _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 college" has been signed
by the Executive in deference 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
Constitution, have complete power to exclude from counting all electoral
votes deemed by them to be illegal, and it is not competent for the
Executive 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.

WASHINGTON, _February 10, 1865_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 8th instant, requesting
information concerning recent conversations or communications with
insurgents under Executive sanction, I transmit a report from the
Secretary of State, to whom the resolution was referred.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _February 10, 1865_.

_To the Honorable the House of Representatives_:

In response to your resolution of the 8th instant, requesting
information in relation to a conference recently held in Hampton Roads,
I have the honor to state that on the day of the date I gave Francis P.
Blair, sr., a card, written on as follows, to wit:

December 28, 1864.

Allow the bearer, F.P. Blair, sr., to pass our lines, go South,
and return.

A. LINCOLN.

That at the time I was informed that Mr. Blair sought the card as a
means of getting to Richmond, Va., but he was given no authority to
speak or act for the Government, nor was I informed of anything he would
say or do on his own account or otherwise. Afterwards Mr. Blair told me
that he had been to Richmond and had seen Mr. Jefferson Davis; and he
(Mr. B.) at the same time left with me a manuscript letter, as follows,
to wit:

Richmond, Va., _January 12, 1865_.

F.P. BLAIR, Esq.

SIR: I have deemed it proper, and probably desirable to you, to give
you in this form the substance of remarks made by me, to be repeated
by you to President Lincoln, etc., etc.

I have no disposition to find obstacles in forms, and am willing, now
as heretofore, to enter into negotiations for the restoration of peace,
and am ready to send a commission whenever I have reason to suppose it
will be received, or to receive a commission if the United States
Government shall choose to send one. That notwithstanding the rejection
of our former offers, I would, if you could promise that a commissioner,
minister, or other agent would be received, appoint one immediately, and
renew the effort to enter into conference with a view to secure peace to
the two countries.

Yours, etc.,
JEFFERSON DAVIS.

Afterwards, and with the view that it should be shown to Mr. Davis, I
wrote and delivered to Mr. Blair a letter, as follows, to wit:

WASHINGTON, _January 18, 1865_.

F.P. BLAIR, Esq.

SIR: Your having shown me Mr. Davis's letter to you of the 12th instant,
you may say to him that I have constantly been, am now, and shall
continue ready to receive any agent whom he or any other influential
person now resisting the national authority may informally send to me
with the view of securing peace to the people of our one common country.

Yours, etc.,
A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards Mr. Blair dictated for and authorized me to make an entry on
the back of my retained copy of the letter last above recited, which
entry is as follows:

JANUARY 28, 1865.

Today Mr. Blair tells me that on the 21st instant he delivered to Mr.
Davis the original of which the within is a copy, and left it with him;
that at the time of delivering it Mr. Davis read it over twice in Mr.
Blair's presence, at the close of which he (Mr. Blair) remarked that the
part about "our one common country" related to the part of Mr. Davis's
letter about "the two countries," to which Mr. Davis replied that he so
understood it.

A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards the Secretary of War placed in my hands the following
telegram, indorsed by him, as appears:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
_War Department_.

The following telegram received at Washington January 29, 1865, from
headquarters Army of James, 6.30 p.m., January 29, 1865:

"Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON,
"_Secretary of War_:

"The following dispatch just received from Major-General Parke, who
refers it to me for my action. I refer it to you in Lieutenant-General
Grant's absence.

"E.O.C. ORD, _Major-General, Commanding."_

'HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF POTOMAC,
'_January 29, 1865-4 p.m._

'Major-General E.O.C. ORD,
_'Headquarters Army of James_:

'The following dispatch is forwarded to you for your action. Since
I have no knowledge of General Grant's having had any understanding of
this kind, I refer the matter to you as the ranking officer present in
the two armies.

'JNO. G. PARKE, _Major-General, Commanding.'_

'FROM HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS, _29th._

'Major-General JNO. G. PARKE,
'_Headquarters Army of Potomac_:

'Alexander H. Stephens, R.M.T. Hunter, and J.A. Campbell desire to
cross my lines, in accordance with an understanding claimed to exist
with lieutenant-General Grant, on their way to Washington as peace
commissioners. Shall they be admitted? They desire an early answer, to
come through immediately. Would like to reach City Point tonight if they
can. If they can not do this, they would like to come through at 10 a.m.
tomorrow morning.

'O.B. WILCOX,
'_Major-General, Commanding Ninth Corps._'

"January 29--8.30 p.m.

"Respectfully referred to the President for such instructions as he
may be pleased to give.

"EDWIN M. STANTON,
"_Secretary of War_."

It appears that about the time of placing the foregoing telegram in my
hands the Secretary of War dispatched General Ord as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
_Washington City, January 29, 1865--10 p.m._
(Sent at 2 a.m. 30th.)

Major-General ORD.

SIR: This Department has no knowledge of any understanding by General
Grant to allow any person to come within his lines as commissioner of
any sort. You will therefore allow no one to come into your lines under
such character or profession until you receive the President's
instructions, to whom your telegram will be submitted for his
directions.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
_Secretary of War_.

Afterwards, by my direction, the Secretary of War telegraphed General
Ord as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
_Washington, D.C., January 30, 1865--10.30 a.m._

Major-General E.O.C. ORD,
_Headquarters Army of the James_.

SIR: By direction of the President, you are instructed to inform
the three gentlemen, Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, that a
messenger will be dispatched to them at or near where they now are
without unnecessary delay.

EDWIN M. STANTON,
_Secretary of War_.

Afterwards I prepared and put into the hands of Major Thomas T. Eckert
the following instructions and message:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
_Washington, January 30, 1865_.

Major T.T. ECKERT.

SIR: You will proceed with the documents placed in your hands, and on
reaching General Ord will deliver him the letter addressed to him by
the Secretary of War; then, by General Ord's assistance, procure an
interview with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell, or any of them.
Deliver to him or them the paper on which your own letter is written.
Note on the copy which you retain the time of delivery and to whom
delivered. Receive their answer in writing, waiting a reasonable time
for it, and which, if it contain their decision to come through without
further condition, will be your warrant to ask General Ord to pass them
through, as directed in the letter of the Secretary of War to him. If by
their answer they decline to come, or propose other terms, do not have
them pass through. And this being your whole duty, return and report
to me.

A. LINCOLN.

CITY POINT, VA., _February 1, 1865_.

Messrs. ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, J.A. CAMPBELL, and R.M.T. HUNTER.

GENTLEMEN: I am instructed by the President of the United States to
place this paper in your hands, with the information that if you pass
through the United States military lines it will be understood that you
do so for the purpose of an informal conference on the basis of the
letter a copy of which is on the reverse side of this sheet, and that if
you choose to pass on such understanding, and so notify me in writing, I
will procure the commanding general to pass you through the lines and to
Fortress Monroe under such military precautions as he may deem prudent,
and at which place you will be met in due time by some person or persons
for the purpose of such informal conference; and, further, that you
shall have protection, safe conduct, and safe return in all events.

THOMAS T. ECKERT,
_Major and Aid-de-Camp_.

WASHINGTON, _January 18, 1865_.

F.P. BLAIR, Esq.

SIR: Your having shown me Mr. Davis's letter to you of the 12th instant,
you may say to him that I have constantly been, am now, and shall
continue ready to receive any agent whom he or any other influential
person now resisting the national authority may informally send to me
with the view of securing peace to the people of our one common country.

Yours, etc.,
A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards, but before Major Eckert had departed, the following dispatch
was received from General Grant:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
_War Department_.

The following telegram received at Washington January 31, 1865, from
City Point, Va., 10.30 a.m., January 30, 1865:

"His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
"_President of the United States_:

"The following communication was received here last evening:

'PETERSBURG, VA., _January 30, 1865_.

'Lieutenant-General U.S. GRANT,
'_Commanding Armies United States_.

'SIR: We desire to pass your lines under safe conduct, and to proceed to
Washington to hold a conference with President Lincoln upon the subject
of the existing war, and with a view of ascertaining upon what terms it
may be terminated, in pursuance of the course indicated by him in his
letter to Mr. Blair of January 18, 1865, of which we presume you have a
copy; and if not, we wish to see you in person, if convenient, and to
confer with you upon the subject.

'Very respectfully, yours,
'ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS.
'J.A. CAMPBELL.
'R.M.T. HUNTER.'

"I have sent directions to receive these gentlemen, and expect to have
them at my quarters this evening, awaiting your instructions.

"U.S. GRANT
"_Lieutenant-General, Commanding Armies United States _"

This, it will be perceived, transferred General Ord's agency in the
matter to General Grant. I resolved, however, to send Major Eckert
forward with his message, and accordingly telegraphed General Grant as
follows, to wit:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
_Washington, January 31, 1865_.
(Sent at 1.30 p.m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT,
_City Point, Va._:

A messenger is coming to you on the business contained in your dispatch,
Detain the gentlemen in comfortable quarters until he arrives, and then
act upon the message he brings as far as applicable, it having been made
up to pass through General Ord's hands, and when the gentlemen were
supposed to be beyond our lines.

A. LINCOLN.

When Major Eckert departed, he bore with him a letter of the Secretary
of War to General Grant, as follows, to wit:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
_Washington, D.C., January 30, 1865_.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,
_Commanding, etc._

GENERAL: The President desires that you will please procure for the
bearer, Major Thomas T. Eckert, an interview with Messrs. Stephens,
Hunter, and Campbell, and if on his return to you he requests it pass
them through our lines to Fortress Monroe by such route and under such
military precautions as you may deem prudent, giving them protection and
comfortable quarters while there, and that you let none of this have any
effect upon your movements or plans.

By order of the President:

EDWIN M. STANTON,
_Secretary of War_.

Supposing the proper point to be then reached, I dispatched the
Secretary of State with the following instructions, Major Eckert,
however, going ahead of him:

EXECUTIVE MANSION,
_Washington, January 31, 1865_.

Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
_Secretary of State_:

You will proceed to Fortress Monroe, Va., there to meet and informally
confer with Messrs. Stephens, Hunter, and Campbell on the basis of my
letter to F.P. Blair, esq., of January 18, 1865, a copy of which you
have.

You will make known to them that three things are indispensable, to wit:

1. The restoration of the national authority throughout all the States.

2. No receding by the Executive of the United States on the slavery
question from the position assumed thereon in the late annual
message to Congress and in preceding documents.

3. No cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war and the
disbanding of all forces hostile to the Government.

You will inform them that all propositions of theirs not inconsistent
with the above will be considered and passed upon in a spirit of
sincere liberality. You will hear all they may choose to say and report
it to me.

You will not assume to definitely consummate anything.

Yours, etc.,
ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

On the day of its date the following telegram was sent to General Grant:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
_Washington, D.C., February 1, 1865_.
(Sent at 9.30 a.m.)

Lieutenant-General GRANT,
_City Point, Va._:

Let nothing which is transpiring change, hinder, or delay your military
movements or Plans.

A. LINCOLN.

Afterwards the following dispatch was received from General Grant:

OFFICE UNITED STATES MILITARY TELEGRAPH,
_War Department_.

The following telegram received at Washington 2.30 p.m. February 1,
1865, from City Point, Va., February 1, 12.30 p.m., 1865:

"His Excellency A. LINCOLN,
"_President United States_:

"Your dispatch received. There will be no armistice in consequence of
the presence of Mr. Stephens and others within our lines. The troops
are kept in readiness to move at the shortest notice if occasion
should justify it.

"U.S. GRANT, _Lieutenant-General."_

To notify Major Eckert that the Secretary of State would be at Fortress
Monroe, and to put them in communication, the following dispatch was
sent:

WAR DEPARTMENT,
_Washington, D.C., February 1, 1865_.

Major T.T. ECKERT,
_Care of General Grant, City Point, Va._:

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