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

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Brevet Colonel Horace Porter,[B] aid-de-camp.
Lieutenant-Colonel David R. Clendenin, Eighth Illinois Cavalry.
Brigadier-General Joseph Holt, Judge-Advocate-General, United States
Army, is appointed the judge-advocate and recorder of the commission,
to be aided by such assistant or special judge-advocate as he may
designate.

The commission will sit without regard to hours.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

[Footnote 3: Brevet Brigadier-General James A. Ekin substituted; see
Special Orders, No. 216.]

[Footnote 4: Brevet Colonel C. H. Tompkins substituted; see Special
Orders, No. 216.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, _Washington City, May 7, 1865_.

Brigadier-General Holt, Judge-Advocate-General, having designated the
Hon. John A. Bingham as a special judge-advocate, whose aid he requires
in the prosecution of Herold and others before the military commission
of which Major-General Hunter is presiding officer:

_It is ordered_, That the said John A. Bingham be, and he is hereby,
appointed special judge-advocate for the purpose aforesaid, to aid the
Judge-Advocate-General, pursuant to the order of the President in
respect to said military commission.

By order of the President:

EDWIN M. STANTON,

_Secretary of War_.

SPECIAL ORDERS. No. 216.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, May 9, 1865_.

* * * * *

91. Brevet Brigadier-General Cyrus B. Comstock, United States
Volunteers, and Brevet Colonel Horace Porter, aid-de-camp, are hereby
relieved from duty as members of the military commission appointed in
Special Orders, No. 211, paragraph 4, dated "War Department,
Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, May 6, 1865," and Brevet
Brigadier-General James A. Ekin, United States Volunteers, and Brevet
Colonel C.H. Tompkins, United States Army, are detailed in their
places, respectively.

The commission will be composed as follows:

Major-General David Hunter, United States Volunteers.
Major-General Lewis Wallace, United States Volunteers.
Brevet Major-General August V. Kautz, United States Volunteers.
Brigadier-General Albion P. Howe, United States Volunteers.
Brigadier-General Robert S. Poster, United States Volunteers.
Brevet Brigadier-General James A. Ekin, United States Volunteers.
Brigadier-General T.M. Harris, United States Volunteers.
Brevet Colonel C.H. Tompkins, United States Army.
Lieutenant-Colonel David R. Clendenin, Eighth Illinois Cavalry.
Brigadier-General Joseph Holt, judge-advocate and recorder.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE CHAMBER,

_Washington City, May 9, 1865_.

Executive Order to Reestablish the Authority of the United States and
Execute the Laws within the Geographical Limits Known as the State of
Virginia.

_Ordered_, first. That all acts and proceedings of the political,
military, and civil organizations which have been in a state of
insurrection and rebellion within the State of Virginia against the
authority and laws of the United States, and of which Jefferson Davis,
John Letcher, and William Smith were late the respective chiefs, are
declared null and void. All persons who shall exercise, claim, pretend,
or attempt to exercise any political, military, or civil power,
authority, jurisdiction, or right by, through, or under Jefferson Davis,
late of the city of Richmond, and his confederates, or under John
Letcher or William Smith and their confederates, or under any pretended
political, military, or civil commission or authority issued by them or
either of them since the 17th day of April, 1861, shall be deemed and
taken as in rebellion against the United States, and shall be dealt with
accordingly.

Second. That the Secretary of State proceed to put in force all laws of
the United States the administration whereof belongs to the Department
of State applicable to the geographical limits aforesaid.

Third. That the Secretary of the Treasury proceed without delay to
nominate for appointment assessors of taxes and collectors of customs
and internal revenue and such other officers of the Treasury Department
as are authorized by law, and shall put in execution the revenue laws of
the United States within the geographical limits aforesaid. In making
appointments the preference shall be given to qualified loyal persons
residing within the districts where their respective duties are to be
performed; but if suitable persons shall not be found residents of the
districts, then persons residing in other States or districts shall be
appointed.

Fourth. That the Postmaster-General shall proceed to establish
post-offices and post routes and put into execution the postal laws of
the United States within the said State, giving to loyal residents the
preference of appointment; but if suitable persons are not found, then
to appoint agents, etc., from other States.

Fifth. That the district judge of said district proceed to hold courts
within said State in accordance with the provisions of the act of
Congress. The Attorney-General will instruct the proper officers to
libel and bring to judgment, confiscation, and sale property subject to
confiscation, and enforce the administration of justice within said
State in all matters, civil and criminal, within the cognizance and
jurisdiction of the Federal courts.

Sixth. That the Secretary of War assign such assistant
provost-marshal-general and such provost-marshals in each district of
said State as he may deem necessary.

Seventh. The Secretary of the Navy will take possession of all public
property belonging to the Navy Department within said geographical
limits and put in operation all acts of Congress in relation to naval
affairs having application to the said State.

Eighth. The Secretary of the Interior will also put in force the laws
relating to the Department of the Interior.

Ninth. That to carry into effect the guaranty by the Federal
Constitution of a republican form of State government and afford the
advantage and security of domestic laws, as well as to complete the
reestablishment of the authority and laws of the United States and the
full and complete restoration of peace within the limits aforesaid,
Francis H. Peirpoint, governor of the State of Virginia, will be aided
by the Federal Government so far as may be necessary in the lawful
measures which he may take for the extension and administration of the
State government throughout the geographical limits of said State.

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

[SEAL.]

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:
W. HUNTER,
_Acting Secretary of State_.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

_Washington City, May 27, 1865_.

_Ordered_, That in all cases of sentences by military tribunals of
imprisonment during the war the sentence be remitted and that the
prisoners be discharged. The Adjutant-General will issue immediately the
necessary instructions to carry this order into effect.

By order of the President of the United States:

EDWIN M. STANTON,

_Secretary of War_.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, D.C., May 31, 1865_.

To-morrow, the 1st of June, being the day appointed for special
humiliation and prayer in consequence of the assassination of Abraham
Lincoln, late President of the United States, the Executive Office and
the various Departments will be closed during the day.

ANDREW JOHNSON,

_President of the United States_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 107.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, June 2, 1865_.

_Ordered_, That all military restrictions upon trade in any of the
States or Territories of the United States, except in articles
contraband of war--to wit, arms, ammunition, gray cloth, and all
articles from which ammunition is manufactured; locomotives, cars,
railroad iron, and machinery for operating railroads; telegraph wires,
insulators, and instruments for operating telegraphic lines--shall cease
from and after the present date.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, June 2, 1865_.

Whereas, pursuant to the order of the President and as a means required
by the public safety, directions were issued from this Department, under
date of the 17th of December, 1864, requiring passports from all
travelers entering the United States, except immigrant passengers
directly entering an American port from a foreign country; and

Whereas the necessities which required the adoption of that measure are
believed no longer to exist:

Now, therefore, the President directs that from and after this date the
order above referred to shall be, and the same is hereby, rescinded.

Nothing in this regulation, however, will be construed to relieve from
due accountability any enemies of the United States or offenders against
their peace and dignity who may hereafter seek to enter the country or
at any time be found within its lawful jurisdiction.

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, D.C., June 2, 1865_.

Whereas by an act of Congress approved March 3, 1865, there was
established in the War Department a Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and
Abandoned Lands, and to which, in accordance with the said act of
Congress, is committed the supervision and management of all abandoned
lands and the control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen
from rebel States, or from any district of country within the territory
embraced in the operations of the Army, under such rules and regulations
as may be prescribed by the head of the Bureau and approved by the
President; and

Whereas it appears that the management of abandoned lands and subjects
relating to refugees and freedmen, as aforesaid, have been and still
are, by orders based on military exigencies or legislation based on
previous statutes, partly in the hands of military officers disconnected
with said Bureau and partly in charge of officers of the Treasury
Department: It is therefore

_Ordered_, That all officers of the Treasury Department, all military
officers, and all others in the service of the United States turn over
to the authorized officers of said Bureau all abandoned lands and
property contemplated in said act of Congress approved March 3, 1865,
establishing the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, that
may now be under or within their control. They will also turn over to
such officers all funds collected by tax or otherwise for the benefit of
refugees or freedmen or accruing from abandoned lands or property set
apart for their use, and will transfer to them all official records
connected with the administration of affairs which pertain to said
Bureau.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 109.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, June 6, 1865_.

ORDER FOR THE DISCHARGE OF CERTAIN PRISONERS OF WAR.

The prisoners of war at the several depots in the North will be
discharged under the following regulations and restrictions:

I. All enlisted men of the rebel army and petty officers and seamen of
the rebel navy will be discharged upon taking the oath of allegiance.

II. Officers of the rebel army not above the grade of captain and of
the rebel navy not above the grade of lieutenant, except such as have
graduated at the United States Military or Naval academies and such
as held a commission in either the United States Army or Navy at the
beginning of the rebellion, may be discharged upon taking the oath
of allegiance.

III. When the discharges hereby ordered are completed, regulations will
be issued in respect to the discharge of officers having higher rank
than captain in the army or lieutenant in the navy.

IV. The several commanders of prison stations will discharge each day as
many of the prisoners hereby authorized to be discharged as proper rolls
can be prepared for, beginning with those who have been longest in
prison and from the most remote points of the country; and certified
rolls will be forwarded daily to the Commissary-General of Prisoners of
those so discharged. The oath of allegiance only will be administered,
but notice will be given that all who desire will be permitted to take
the oath of amnesty after their release, in accordance with the
regulations of the Department of State respecting the amnesty.

V. The Quartermaster's Department will furnish transportation to all
released prisoners to the nearest accessible point to their homes, by
rail or by steamboat.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE MANSION,

_Washington, June 6, 1865_.

Whereas circumstances of recent occurrence have made it no longer
necessary to continue the prohibition of the departure for her
destination of the gunboat _Fusyama_, built at New York for the Japanese
Government, it is consequently ordered that that prohibition be removed.
The Secretary of the Treasury will therefore cause a clearance to be
issued to the _Fusyama_, and the Secretary of the Navy will not allow
any obstacle thereto.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[From the Daily National Intelligencer, June 13, 1865.]

CIRCULAR.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

_Washington, June 7, 1865_.

By direction of the President, all persons belonging to the excepted
classes enumerated in the President's amnesty proclamation of May 29,
1865, who may make special applications to the President for pardon are
hereby notified that before their respective applications will be
considered it must be shown that they have respectively taken and
subscribed the oath (or affirmation) in said proclamation prescribed.
Every such person desiring a special pardon should make personal
application in writing therefor, and should transmit with such
application the original oath (or affirmation) as taken and subscribed
before an officer authorized under the rules and regulations promulgated
by the Secretary of State to administer the amnesty oath prescribed in
the said proclamation of the President.

JAMES SPEED,

_Attorney-General_.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington, D.C., June 9, 1865_.

It is represented to me in a communication from the Secretary of the
Interior that Indians in New Mexico have been seized and reduced into
slavery, and it is recommended that the authority of the executive
branch of the Government should be exercised for the effectual
suppression of a practice which is alike in violation of the rights
of the Indians and of the provisions of the organic law of the said
Territory.

Concurring in this recommendation, I do hereby order that the heads
of the several Executive Departments do enjoin upon the subordinates,
agents, and employees under their respective orders or supervision in
that Territory to discountenance the practice aforesaid and to take all
lawful means to suppress the same.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL ORDERS, No. 356.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, July 5, 1865_.

I. Before a military commission which convened at Washington, D.C.,
May 9, 1865, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Special Orders, No. 211,
dated May 6, 1865, and paragraph 91 of Special Orders, No. 216, dated
May 9, 1865, War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington,
and of which Major-General David Hunter, United States Volunteers, is
president, were arraigned and tried David E. Herold, G.A. Atzerodt,
Lewis Payne, Mary E. Surratt, Michael O'Laughlin, Edward Spangler,
Samuel Arnold, and Samuel A. Mudd.

CHARGE I.

For maliciously, unlawfully, and traitorously, and in aid of the
existing armed rebellion against the United States of America, on or
before the 6th day of March, A.D. 1865, and on divers other days between
that day and the 15th day of April, A.D. 1865, combining, confederating,
and conspiring together with one John H. Surratt, John Wilkes Booth,
Jefferson Davis, George N. Sanders, Beverley Tucker, Jacob Thompson,
William C. Cleary, Clement C. Clay, George Harper, George Young, and
others unknown to kill and murder, within the Military Department of
Washington, and within the fortified and intrenched lines thereof,
Abraham Lincoln, late, and at the time of said combining, confederating,
and conspiring, President of the United States of America and Commander
in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof; Andrew Johnson, now
Vice-President of the United States aforesaid; William H. Seward,
Secretary of State of the United States aforesaid; and Ulysses S. Grant,
Lieutenant-General of the Army of the United States aforesaid, then in
command of the armies of the United States, under the direction of the
said Abraham Lincoln; and in pursuance of and in prosecuting said
malicious, unlawful, and traitorous conspiracy aforesaid, and in aid of
said rebellion, afterwards, to wit, on the 14th day of April, A.D. 1865,
within the Military Department of Washington aforesaid, and within the
fortified and intrenched lines of said military department, together
with said John Wilkes Booth and John H. Surratt, maliciously,
unlawfully, and traitorously murdering the said Abraham Lincoln, then
President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Army and
Navy of the United States as aforesaid; and maliciously, unlawfully, and
traitorously assaulting, with intent to kill and murder, the said
William H. Seward, then Secretary of State of the United States as
aforesaid; and lying in wait, with intent maliciously, unlawfully, and
traitorously to kill and murder the said Andrew Johnson, then being
Vice-President of the United States, and the said Ulysses S. Grant, then
being Lieutenant-General and in command of the armies of the United
States as aforesaid.

SPECIFICATION FIRST.

In this, that they, the said David E. Herold, Edward Spangler, Lewis
Payne, Michael O'Laughlin, Samuel Arnold, Mary E. Surratt, George A.
Atzerodt, and Samuel A. Mudd, together with the said John H. Surratt and
John Wilkes Booth, incited and encouraged thereunto by Jefferson Davis,
George N. Sanders, Beverley Tucker, Jacob Thompson, William C. Cleary,
Clement C. Clay, George Harper, George Young, and, others unknown,
citizens of the United States aforesaid, and who were then engaged In
armed rebellion against the United States of America, within the limits
thereof, did, in aid of said armed rebellion, on or before the 6th day
of March, A.D. 1865, and on divers other days and times between that day
and the 15th day of April, A.D. 1865, combine, confederate, and conspire
together at Washington City, within the Military Department of
Washington, and within the intrenched fortifications and military lines
of the said United States there being, unlawfully, maliciously, and
traitorously to kill and murder Abraham Lincoln, then President of the
United States aforesaid and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy
thereof; and unlawfully, maliciously, and traitorously to kill and
murder Andrew Johnson, now Vice-President of the said United States,
upon whom, on the death of said Abraham Lincoln, after the 4th day of
March, A.D. 1865, the office of President of the said United States and
Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof would devolve; and to
unlawfully, maliciously, and traitorously kill and murder Ulysses S.
Grant, then Lieutenant-General, and, under the direction of the said
Abraham Lincoln, in command of the armies of the United States
aforesaid; and unlawfully, maliciously, and traitorously to kill and
murder William H. Seward, then Secretary of State of the United States
aforesaid, whose duty it was by law, upon the death of said President
and Vice-President of the United States aforesaid, to cause an election
to be held for electors of President of the United States--the
conspirators aforesaid designing and intending by the killing and murder
of the said Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and
William H. Seward, as aforesaid, to deprive the Army and Navy of the
said United States of a constitutional Commander in Chief, and to
deprive the armies of the United States of their lawful commander, and
to prevent a lawful election of President and Vice-President of the
United States aforesaid, and by the means aforesaid to aid and comfort
the insurgents engaged in armed rebellion against the said United States
as aforesaid, and thereby to aid in the subversion and overthrow of the
Constitution and laws of the said United States.

And being so combined, confederated, and conspiring together in the
prosecution of said unlawful and traitorous conspiracy, on the night of
the 14th day of April, A.D. 1865, at the hour of about 10 o'clock and 15
minutes p.m., at Ford's Theater, on Tenth street, in the city of
Washington, and within the military department and military lines
aforesaid, John Wilkes Booth, one of the conspirators aforesaid, in
pursuance of said unlawful and traitorous conspiracy, did then and there
unlawfully, maliciously, and traitorously, and with intent to kill and
murder the said Abraham Lincoln, discharge a pistol then held in the
hands of him, the said Booth, the same being then loaded with powder and
a leaden ball, against and upon the left and posterior side of the head
of the said Abraham Lincoln, and did thereby then and there inflict upon
him, the said Abraham Lincoln, then President of the said United States
and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof, a mortal wound,
whereof afterwards, to wit, on the 15th day of April, A.D. 1865, at
Washington City aforesaid, the said Abraham Lincoln died; and thereby
then and there, and in pursuance of said conspiracy, the said defendants
and the said John Wilkes Booth and John H. Surratt did unlawfully,
traitorously, and maliciously, and with the intent to aid the rebellion
as aforesaid, kill and murder the said Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States as aforesaid.

And in further prosecution of the unlawful and traitorous conspiracy
aforesaid and of the murderous and traitorous intent of said conspiracy,
the said Edward Spangler, on said 14th day of April, A.D. 1865, at about
the same hour of that day as aforesaid, within said military department
and the military lines aforesaid, did aid and assist the said John
Wilkes Booth to obtain entrance to the box in said theater in which said
Abraham Lincoln was sitting at the time he was assaulted and shot, as
aforesaid, by John Wilkes Booth; and also did then and there aid said
Booth in barring and obstructing the door of the box of said theater, so
as to hinder and prevent any assistance to or rescue of the said Abraham
Lincoln against the murderous assault of the said John Wilkes Booth, and
did aid and abet him in making his escape after the said Abraham Lincoln
had been murdered in manner aforesaid.

And in further prosecution of said unlawful, murderous, and traitorous
conspiracy, and in pursuance thereof, and with the intent as aforesaid,
the said David B. Herold did, on the night of the 14th of April, A.D.
1865, within the military department and military lines aforesaid, aid,
abet, and assist the said John Wilkes Booth in the killing and murder of
the said Abraham Lincoln, and did then and there aid and abet and assist
him, the said John Wilkes Booth, in attempting to escape through the
military lines aforesaid, and did accompany and assist the said John
Wilkes Booth in attempting to conceal himself and escape from justice
after killing and murdering said Abraham Lincoln, as aforesaid.

And in further prosecution of said unlawful and traitorous conspiracy
and of the intent thereof as aforesaid, the said Lewis Payne did, on the
same night of the 14th day of April, A.D. 1865, about the same hour of
10 o'clock and 15 minutes p.m., at the city of Washington, and within
the military department and the military lines aforesaid, unlawfully and
maliciously make an assault upon the said William H. Seward, Secretary
of State, as aforesaid, in the dwelling house and bedchamber of him, the
said William H. Seward, and the said Payne did then and there, with a
large knife held in his hand, unlawfully, traitorously, and in pursuance
of said conspiracy, strike, stab, cut, and attempt to kill and murder
the said William H. Seward, and did thereby then and there, and with the
intent aforesaid, with said knife, inflict upon the face and throat of
the said William H. Seward divers grievous wounds; and the said Lewis
Payne, in further prosecution of said conspiracy, at the same time and
place last aforesaid, did attempt, with the knife aforesaid and a pistol
held in his hand, to kill and murder Frederick W. Seward, Augustus H.
Seward, Emrick W. Hansell, and George F. Robinson, who were then
striving to protect and rescue the said William H. Seward from murder by
the said Lewis Payne, and did then and there, with said knife and pistol
held in his hands, inflict upon the head of said Frederick W. Seward and
upon the persons of said Augustus H. Seward, Emrick W. Hansell, and
George F. Robinson divers grievous and dangerous wounds, with intent
then and there to kill and murder the said Frederick W. Seward, Augustus
H. Seward, Emrick W. Hansell, and George F. Robinson.

And in further prosecution of said conspiracy and its traitorous and
murderous designs, the said George A. Atzerodt did, on the night of the
14th of April, A.D. 1865, and about the same hour of the night
aforesaid, within the military department and the military lines
aforesaid, lie in wait for Andrew Johnson, then Vice-President of the
United States aforesaid, with the intent unlawfully and maliciously to
kill and murder him, the said Andrew Johnson.

And in the further prosecution of the conspiracy aforesaid and of its
murderous and treasonable purposes aforesaid, on the nights of the 13th
and 14th of April, A.D. 1865, at Washington City, and within the
military department and military lines aforesaid, the said Michael
O'Laughlin did then and there lie in wait for Ulysses S. Grant, then
Lieutenant-General and commander of the armies of the United States as
aforesaid, with intent then and there to kill and murder the said
Ulysses S. Grant.

And in further prosecution of said conspiracy, the said Samuel Arnold
did, within the military department and military lines aforesaid, on or
before the 6th day of March, A.D. 1865, and on divers other days and
times between that day and the 15th day of April, A.D. 1865, combine,
conspire with, and aid, counsel, abet, comfort, and support the said
John Wilkes Booth, Lewis Payne, George A. Atzerodt, Michael O'Laughlin,
and their confederates in said unlawful, murderous, and traitorous
conspiracy and in the execution thereof, as aforesaid.

And in further prosecution of the said conspiracy, Mary B. Surratt did,
at Washington City, and within the military department and military
lines aforesaid, on or before the 6th day of March, A.D. 1865, and on
divers other days and times between that day and the 20th day of April,
A.D. 1865, receive, entertain, harbor and conceal, aid and assist, the
said John Wilkes Booth, David B. Herold, Lewis Payne, John H. Surratt,
Michael O'Laughlin, George A. Atzerodt, Samuel Arnold, and their
confederates, with knowledge of the murderous and traitorous conspiracy
aforesaid, and with intent to aid, abet, and assist them in the
execution thereof and in escaping from justice after the murder of the
said Abraham Lincoln, as aforesaid.

And in further prosecution of said conspiracy, the said Samuel A. Mudd
did, at Washington City, and within the military department and military
lines aforesaid, on or before the 6th day of March, A.D. 1865, and on
divers other days and times between that day and the 20th day of April,
A.D. 1865, advise, encourage, receive, entertain, harbor and conceal,
aid and assist, the said John Wilkes Booth, David B. Herold, Lewis
Payne, John H. Surratt, Michael O'Laughlin, George A. Atzerodt, Mary B.
Surratt, and Samuel Arnold, and their confederates, with knowledge of
the murderous and traitorous conspiracy aforesaid, and with intent to
aid, abet, and assist them in the execution thereof and in escaping from
justice after the murder of the said Abraham Lincoln, in pursuance of
said conspiracy, in manner aforesaid.

To which charge and specification the accused, David B. Herold, G.A.
Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, Mary B. Surratt, Michael O'Laughlin, Edward
Spangler, Samuel Arnold, and Samuel A. Mudd, pleaded "not guilty."

FINDINGS AND SENTENCES.

1. In the case of David B. Herold, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and
conspiring with Edward Spangler; as to which part thereof, not guilty."

Of the charge, "Guilty, except the words of the charge that he combined,
confederated, and conspired with Edward Spangler; as to which part of
said charge, not guilty."

And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said David B.
Herold, "To be hanged by the neck until he be dead, at such time and
place as the President of the United States shall direct; two-thirds of
the members of the commission concurring therein."

2. In the case of George A. Atzerodt, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and
conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

Of the charge, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and conspiring
with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said George A.
Atzerodt, "To be hung by the neck until he be dead, at such time and
place as the President of the United States shall direct; two-thirds of
the members of the commission concurring therein."

3. In the case of Lewis Payne, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and
conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

Of the charge, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and conspiring
with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said Lewis Payne,
"To be hung by the neck until he be dead, at such time and place as the
President of the United States shall direct; two-thirds of the members
of the commission concurring therein."

4. In the case of Mary B. Surratt, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Guilty, except as to receiving, entertaining,
harboring, and concealing Samuel Arnold and Michael O'Laughlin, and
except as to combining, confederating, and conspiring with Edward
Spangler; of this, not guilty."

Of the charge, "Guilty, except as to combining, confederating, and
conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

And the commission does therefore sentence her, the said Mary B.
Surratt, "To be hung by the neck until she be dead, at such time and
place as the President of the United States shall direct; two-thirds of
the members of the commission concurring therein."

5. In the case of Michael O'Laughlin, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Guilty, except the words thereof as follows: 'And
in the further prosecution of the conspiracy aforesaid and of its
murderous and treasonable purposes aforesaid, on the nights of the 13th
and 14th of April, A.D. 1865, at Washington City, and within the
military department and military lines aforesaid, the said Michael
O'Laughlin did then and there lie in wait for Ulysses S. Grant, then
Lieutenant-General and commander of the armies of the United States,
with intent then and there to kill and murder the said Ulysses S.
Grant;' of said words, not guilty; and except combining, confederating,
and conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

Of the charge, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and conspiring
with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said Michael
O'Laughlin, "To be imprisoned at hard labor for life at such
penitentiary as the President of the United States shall designate."

6. In the case of Edward Spangler, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Not guilty, except as to the words, 'The said
Edward Spangler, on said 14th day of April, A.D. 1865, at about the same
hour of that day as aforesaid, within said military department and the
military lines aforesaid, did aid and abet him (meaning John Wilkes
Booth) in making his escape after the said Abraham Lincoln had been
murdered in manner aforesaid;' and of these words, guilty."

Of the charge, "Not guilty, but guilty of having feloniously and
traitorously aided and abetted John Wilkes Booth in making his escape
after having killed and murdered Abraham Lincoln, President of the
United States, he the said Edward Spangler, at the time of aiding and
abetting as aforesaid, well knowing that the said Abraham Lincoln,
President as aforesaid, had been murdered by the said John Wilkes Booth,
as aforesaid."

And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said Edward
Spangler, "To be confined at hard labor for the period of six years at
such penitentiary as the President of the United States shall
designate."

7. In the case of Samuel Arnold, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and
conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

Of the charge, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and conspiring
with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said Samuel Arnold,
"To be imprisoned at hard labor for life at such penitentiary as the
President of the United States shall designate."

8. In the case of Samuel A. Mudd, the commission, having maturely
considered the evidence adduced, finds the accused as follows:

Of the specification, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and
conspiring with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty; and except
receiving, entertaining, harboring, and concealing Lewis Payne, John H.
Surratt, Michael O'Laughlin, George A. Atzerodt, Mary E. Surratt, and
Samuel Arnold; of this, not guilty."

Of the charge, "Guilty, except combining, confederating, and conspiring
with Edward Spangler; of this, not guilty."

And the commission does therefore sentence him, the said Samuel A. Mudd,
"To be imprisoned at hard labor for life at such penitentiary as the
President of the United States shall designate."

II. The proceedings, findings, and sentences in the foregoing cases
having been submitted to the President of the United States, the
following are his orders:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 5, 1865_.

The foregoing sentences in the cases of David E. Herold, George A.
Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, Michael O'Laughlin, Edward Spangler, Samuel
Arnold, Mary E. Surratt, and Samuel A. Mudd are hereby approved, and it
is ordered that the sentences in the cases of David E. Herold, G.A.
Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, and Mary E. Surratt be carried into execution by
the proper military authority, under the direction of the Secretary of
War, on the 7th day of July, 1865, between the hours of 10 o'clock a.m.
and 2 o'clock p.m. of that day. It is further ordered that the prisoners
Samuel Arnold, Samuel A. Mudd, Edward Spangler, and Michael O'Laughlin
be confined at hard labor in the penitentiary at Albany, N.Y., during
the period designated in their respective sentences.

ANDREW JOHNSON, _President_.

III. Major-General W.S. Hancock, United States Volunteers, commanding
Middle Military Division, is commanded to cause the foregoing sentences
in the cases of David E. Herold, G.A. Atzerodt, Lewis Payne, and Mary E.
Surratt to be duly executed in accordance with the President's order.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, _July 15, 1865_.

IV. The Executive order dated July 5, 1865, approving the sentences in
the cases of Samuel Arnold, Samuel A. Mudd, Edward Spangler, and Michael
O'Laughlin, is hereby modified so as to direct that the said Arnold,
Mudd, Spangler, and O'Laughlin be confined at hard labor in the military
prison at Dry Tortugas, Florida, during the period designated in their
respective sentences.

The Adjutant-General of the Army is directed to issue orders for the
said prisoners to be transported to the Dry Tortugas, and to be confined
there accordingly.

ANDREW JOHNSON, _President_.

V. Major-General W.S. Hancock, United States Volunteers, commanding
Middle Military Division, is commanded to send the prisoners Samuel
Arnold, Samuel A. Mudd, Edward Spangler, and Michael O'Laughlin, under
charge of a commissioned officer, with a sufficient guard, to the Dry
Tortugas, Florida, where they will be delivered to the commanding
officer of the post, who is hereby ordered to confine the said Arnold,
Mudd, Spangler, and O'Laughlin at hard labor during the periods
designated in their respective sentences.

VI. The military commission of which Major-General David Hunter is
president is hereby dissolved.

By command of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND, _Assistant Adjutant-General_.

WASHINGTON, _August 7, 1865_.

An impression seems to prevail that the interests of persons having
business with the executive government require that they should have
personal interviews with the President or heads of Departments. As this
impression is believed to be entirely unfounded, it is expected that
applications relating to such business will hereafter be made in writing
to the head of that Department to which the business may have been
assigned by law. Those applications will in their order be considered
and disposed of by heads of Departments, subject to the approval of the
President. This order is made necessary by the unusual numbers of
persons visiting the seat of Government. It is impracticable to grant
personal interviews to all of them, and desirable that there should be
no invidious distinction in this respect. Similar business of persons
who can not conveniently leave their homes must be neglected if the time
of the executive officers here is engrossed by personal interviews with
others.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

[From the Daily National Intelligencer, August 26, 1865.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

_Washington, August 25, 1865_.

Paroled prisoners asking passports as citizens of the United States, and
against whom no special charges may be pending, will be furnished with
passports upon application therefor to the Department of State in the
usual form. Such passports will, however, be issued upon the condition
that the applicants do not return to the United States without leave of
the President. Other persons implicated in the rebellion who may wish to
go abroad will apply to the Department of State for passports, and the
applications will be disposed of according to the merits of the several
cases.

By the President of the United States:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _September 7, 1865_.

_It is hereby ordered_, That so much of the Executive order bearing date
the 7th [2d] day of June, 1865, as made it the duty of all officers
of the Treasury Department, military officers, and all others in the
service of the United States to turn over to the authorized officers
of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands all funds
collected by tax or otherwise for the benefit of refugees or freedmen,
or accruing from abandoned lands or property set apart for their use,
be, and the same is hereby, suspended.

ANDREW JOHNSON,

_President_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 138.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, September 16, 1865_.

To provide for the transportation required by the Bureau of Refugees,
Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands--

_It is ordered_, That upon the requisition of the Commissioner or the
assistant commissioners of the Bureau transportation be furnished such
destitute refugees and freedmen as are dependent upon the Government for
support to points where they can procure employment and subsistence and
support themselves, and thus relieve the Government, provided such
transportation be confined by assistant commissioners within the limits
of their jurisdiction.

Second. Free transportation on Government transports and United States
military railroads will be furnished to such teachers only of refugees
and freedmen, and persons laboring voluntarily in behalf of refugees and
freedmen, as may be duly accredited by the Commissioner or assistant
commissioners of the Bureau.

All stores and schoolbooks necessary to the subsistence, comfort, and
instruction of dependent refugees and freedmen may be transported at
Government expense, when such stores and books shall be turned over to
the officers of the Quartermaster's Department, with the approval of the
assistant commissioners, Commissioner, or department commander, the same
to be transported as public stores, consigned to the quartermaster of
the post to which they are destined, who, after inspection, will turn
them over to the assistant commissioners or Bureau agent for whom they
are intended for distribution.

All army officers traveling on public duty, under the orders of the
commissioners, within the limits of their respective jurisdictions, will
be entitled to mileage or actual cost of transportation, according to
the revised Army Regulations, when transportation has not been furnished
them by the Quartermaster's Department.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_

SPECIAL ORDERS, NO. 503.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, September 19, 1865_.

* * * * *

It has been represented to the Department that commanders of
military posts and districts in Georgia, and particularly Brevet
Brigadier-General C.H. Grosvenor, provost-marshal-general, and Brevet
Major-General King, commanding in the district of Augusta, have assumed
to decide questions of contracts and conflicting claims of property
between individuals, and to order the delivery, surrender, or transfer
of property and documents of title as between private persons, in which
the Government is not concerned.

All such acts and proceedings on the part of military authorities in
said State are declared by the President to be without authority and
null and void.

All military commanders and authorities within said State are strictly
ordered to abstain from any such acts, and not in any way to interfere
with or assume to adjudicate any right, title, or claim of property
between private individuals, and to suspend all action upon any orders
heretofore made in respect to the ownership or delivery of property and
the validity of contracts between private persons.

They are also forbidden from being directly or indirectly interested in
any sales or contracts for cotton or other products of said State, and
from using or suffering to be used any Government transportation for the
transporting of cotton or other products of said State for or in behalf
of private persons on any pretense whatever.

Military officers have no authority to interfere in any way in questions
of sale or contracts of any kind between individuals or to decide any
question of property between them without special instructions from this
Department authorizing their action, and the usurpation of such power
will be treated as a grave military offense.

Major-General Steedman, commanding the Department of Georgia,
is specially charged with the enforcement of this order, and
directed to make report as to any acts, proceedings, or orders
of Brevet Major-General King and Brevet Brigadier-General Grosvenor,
provost-marshal-general, in regard to contracts or conflicting claims
of individuals in relation to cotton or other products, and to suspend
all action upon any such orders until further instructions.

By order of the President of the United States.

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 145.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, October 9, 1865_.

Whereas certain tracts of land, situated on the coast of South Carolina,
Georgia, and Florida, at the time for the most part vacant, were set
apart by Major-General W. T. Sherman's special field order No. 15 for
the benefit of refugees and freedmen that had been congregated by the
operations of war or had been left to take care of themselves by their
former owners; and

Whereas an expectation was thereby created that they would be able to
retain possession of said lands; and

Whereas a large number of the former owners are earnestly soliciting the
restoration of the same and promising to absorb the labor and care for
the freedmen:

_It is ordered_, That Major-General Howard, Commissioner of the
Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, proceed to the
several above-named States and endeavor to effect an arrangement
mutually satisfactory to the freedmen and the landowners, and make
report. And in case a mutually satisfactory arrangement can be effected,
he is duly empowered and directed to issue such orders as may become
necessary, after a full and careful investigation of the interests of
the parties concerned.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE, _October 11, 1865_.

Whereas the following-named persons, to wit, John A. Campbell, of
Alabama; John H. Reagan, of Texas; Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia;
George A. Trenholm, of South Carolina, and Charles Clark, of
Mississippi, lately engaged in rebellion against the United States
Government, who are now in close custody, have made their submission to
the authority of the United States and applied to the President for
pardon under his proclamation; and

Whereas the authority of the Federal Government is sufficiently restored
in the aforesaid States to admit of the enlargement of said persons from
close custody:

_It is ordered_, That they be released on giving their respective
paroles to appear at such time and place as the President may designate
to answer any charge that he may direct to be preferred against them,
and also that they will respectively abide until further orders in the
places herein designated, and not depart therefrom, to wit:

John A. Campbell, in the State of Alabama; John H. Reagan, in the State
of Texas; Alexander H. Stephens, in the State of Georgia; George A.
Trenholm, in the State of South Carolina; and Charles Clark, in the
State of Mississippi. And if the President should grant his pardon to
any of said persons, such person's parole will be thereby discharged.

ANDREW JOHNSON,

_President_.

EXECUTIVE OFFICE,

_Washington City, November 11, 1865_.

_Ordered_, That the civil and military agents of the Government transfer
to the assistant commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and
Abandoned Lands for Alabama the use and custody of all real estate,
buildings, or other property, except cotton, seized or held by them in
that State as belonging to the late rebel government, together with
all such funds as may arise or have arisen from the rent, sale, or
disposition of such property which have not been finally paid into
the Treasury of the United States.

ANDREW JOHNSON,

_President_.

GENERAL ORDERS, N0. 164.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
_Washington, November 24, 1865_.

_Ordered_, That--

I. All persons claiming reward for the apprehension of John Wilkes
Booth, Lewis Payne, G.A. Atzerodt, and David E. Herold, and Jefferson
Davis, or either of them, are notified to file their claims and their
proofs with the Adjutant-General for final adjudication by the special
commission appointed to award and determine upon the validity of such
claims before the 1st day of January next, after which time no claims
will be received.

II. The rewards offered for the arrest of Jacob Thompson, Beverley
Tucker, George N. Sanders, William G. Cleary, and John H. Surratt are
revoked.

By order of the President of the United States:

E.D. TOWNSEND,

_Assistant Adjutant-General_.

FIRST ANNUAL MESSAGE.

WASHINGTON, _December 4, 1865_.

_Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives_:

To express gratitude to God in the name of the people for the
preservation of the United States is my first duty in addressing you.
Our thoughts next revert to the death of the late President by an act
of parricidal treason. The grief of the nation is still fresh. It finds
some solace in the consideration that he lived to enjoy the highest
proof of its confidence by entering on the renewed term of the Chief
Magistracy to which he had been elected; that he brought the civil war
substantially to a close; that his loss was deplored in all parts of the
Union, and that foreign nations have rendered justice to his memory.
His removal cast upon me a heavier weight of cares than ever devolved
upon any one of his predecessors. To fulfill my trust I need the support
and confidence of all who are associated with me in the various
departments of Government and the support and confidence of the people.
There is but one way in which I can hope to gain their necessary aid.
It is to state with frankness the principles which guide my conduct, and
their application to the present state of affairs, well aware that the
efficiency of my labors will in a great measure depend on your and their
undivided approbation.

The Union of the United States of America was intended by its authors to
last as long as the States themselves shall last. "The Union shall be
perpetual" are the words of the Confederation. "To form a more perfect
Union," by an ordinance of the people of the United States, is the
declared purpose of the Constitution. The hand of Divine Providence was
never more plainly visible in the affairs of men than in the framing and
the adopting of that instrument. It is beyond comparison the greatest
event in American history, and, indeed, is it not of all events in
modern times the most pregnant with consequences for every people of the
earth? The members of the Convention which prepared it brought to their
work the experience of the Confederation, of their several States, and
of other republican governments, old and new; but they needed and they
obtained a wisdom superior to experience. And when for its validity it
required the approval of a people that occupied a large part of a
continent and acted separately in many distinct conventions, what is
more wonderful than that, after earnest contention and long discussion,
all feelings and all opinions were ultimately drawn in one way to its
support? The Constitution to which life was thus imparted contains
within itself ample resources for its own preservation. It has power
to enforce the laws, punish treason, and insure domestic tranquillity.
In case of the usurpation of the government of a State by one man or
an oligarchy, it becomes a duty of the United States to make good the
guaranty to that State of a republican form of government, and so to
maintain the homogeneousness of all. Does the lapse of time reveal
defects? A simple mode of amendment is provided in the Constitution
itself, so that its conditions can always be made to conform to the
requirements of advancing civilization. No room is allowed even for the
thought of a possibility of its coming to an end. And these powers of
self-preservation have always been asserted in their complete integrity
by every patriotic Chief Magistrate--by Jefferson and Jackson not less
than by Washington and Madison. The parting advice of the Father of his
Country, while yet President, to the people of the United States was
that the free Constitution, which was the work of their hands, might be
sacredly maintained; and the inaugural words of President Jefferson
held up "the preservation of the General Government in its whole
constitutional vigor as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety
abroad." The Constitution is the work of "the people of the United
States," and it should be as indestructible as the people.

It is not strange that the framers of the Constitution, which had no
model in the past, should not have fully comprehended the excellence of
their own work. Fresh from a struggle against arbitrary power, many
patriots suffered from harassing fears of an absorption of the State
governments by the General Government, and many from a dread that the
States would break away from their orbits. But the very greatness
of our country should allay the apprehension of encroachments by the
General Government, The subjects that come unquestionably within its
jurisdiction are so numerous that it must ever naturally refuse to be
embarrassed by questions that lie beyond it. Were it otherwise the
Executive would sink beneath the burden, the channels of justice would
be choked, legislation would be obstructed by excess, so that there is
a greater temptation to exercise some of the functions of the General
Government through the States than to trespass on their rightful sphere.
The "absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority" was at the
beginning of the century enforced by Jefferson as "the vital principle
of republics;" and the events of the last four years have established,
we will hope forever, that there lies no appeal to force.

The maintenance of the Union brings with it "the support of the State
governments in all their rights," but it is not one of the rights of any
State government to renounce its own place in the Union or to nullify
the laws of the Union. The largest liberty is to be maintained in the
discussion of the acts of the Federal Government, but there is no appeal
from its laws except to the various branches of that Government itself,
or to the people, who grant to the members of the legislative and of the
executive departments no tenure but a limited one, and in that manner
always retain the powers of redress.

"The sovereignty of the States" is the language of the Confederacy, and
not the language of the Constitution. The latter contains the emphatic
words--

This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made
in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made or which shall be made under
the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the
land, and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in
the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Certainly the Government of the United States is a limited government,
and so is every State government a limited government. With us this idea
of limitation spreads through every form of administration--general,
State, and municipal--and rests on the great distinguishing principle of
the recognition of the rights of man. The ancient republics absorbed
the individual in the state--prescribed his religion and controlled
his activity. The American system rests on the assertion of the equal
right of every man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to
freedom of conscience, to the culture and exercise of all his faculties.
As a consequence the State government is limited--as to the General
Government in the interest of union, as to the individual citizen in the
interest of freedom.

States, with proper limitations of power, are essential to the existence
of the Constitution of the United States. At the very commencement, when
we assumed a place among the powers of the earth, the Declaration of
Independence was adopted by States; so also were the Articles of
Confederation; and when "the people of the United States" ordained and
established the Constitution it was the assent of the States, one by
one, which gave it vitality. In the event, too, of any amendment to the
Constitution, the proposition of Congress needs the confirmation of
States. Without States one great branch of the legislative government
would be wanting. And if we look beyond the letter of the Constitution
to the character of our country, its capacity for comprehending within
its jurisdiction a vast continental empire is due to the system of
States. The best security for the perpetual existence of the States is
the "supreme authority" of the Constitution of the United States. The
perpetuity of the Constitution brings with it the perpetuity of the
States; their mutual relation makes us what we are, and in our political
system their connection is indissoluble. The whole can not exist without
the parts, nor the parts without the whole. So long as the Constitution
of the United States endures, the States will endure. The destruction of
the one is the destruction of the other; the preservation of the one is
the preservation of the other.

I have thus explained my views of the mutual relations of the
Constitution and the States, because they unfold the principles on
which I have sought to solve the momentous questions and overcome the
appalling difficulties that met me at the very commencement of my
Administration. It has been my steadfast object to escape from the
sway of momentary passions and to derive a healing policy from the
fundamental and unchanging principles of the Constitution.

I found the States suffering from the effects of a civil war. Resistance
to the General Government appeared to have exhausted itself. The United
States had recovered possession of their forts and arsenals, and their
armies were in the occupation of every State which had attempted to
secede. Whether the territory within the limits of those States should
be held as conquered territory, under military authority emanating from
the President as the head of the Army, was the first question that
presented itself for decision.

Now military governments, established for an indefinite period, would
have offered no security for the early suppression of discontent, would
have divided the people into the vanquishers and the vanquished, and
would have envenomed hatred rather than have restored affection. Once
established, no precise limit to their continuance was conceivable. They
would have occasioned an incalculable and exhausting expense. Peaceful
emigration to and from that portion of the country is one of the best
means that can be thought of for the restoration of harmony, and that
emigration would have been prevented; for what emigrant from abroad,
what industrious citizen at home, would place himself willingly under
military rule? The chief persons who would have followed in the train of
the Army would have been dependents on the General Government or men who
expected profit from the miseries of their erring fellow-citizens. The
powers of patronage and rule which would have been exercised, under the
President, over a vast and populous and naturally wealthy region are
greater than, unless under extreme necessity, I should be willing to
intrust to any one man. They are such as, for myself, I could never,
unless on occasions of great emergency, consent to exercise. The willful
use of such powers, if continued through a period of years, would have
endangered the purity of the general administration and the liberties of
the States which remained loyal.

Besides, the policy of military rule over a conquered territory would
have implied that the States whose inhabitants may have taken part in
the rebellion had by the act of those inhabitants ceased to exist. But
the true theory is that all pretended acts of secession were from the
beginning null and void. The States can not commit treason nor screen
the individual citizens who may have committed treason any more than
they can make valid treaties or engage in lawful commerce with any
foreign power. The States attempting to secede placed themselves in a
condition where their vitality was impaired, but not extinguished; their
functions suspended, but not destroyed.

But if any State neglects or refuses to perform its offices there is the
more need that the General Government should maintain all its authority
and as soon as practicable resume the exercise of all its functions.
On this principle I have acted, and have gradually and quietly, and by
almost imperceptible steps, sought to restore the rightful energy of the
General Government and of the States. To that end provisional governors
have been appointed for the States, conventions called, governors
elected, legislatures assembled, and Senators and Representatives chosen
to the Congress of the United States. At the same time the courts of the
United States, as far as could be done, have been reopened, so that the
laws of the United States may be enforced through their agency. The
blockade has been removed and the custom-houses reestablished in ports
of entry, so that the revenue of the United States may be collected. The
Post-Office Department renews its ceaseless activity, and the General
Government is thereby enabled to communicate promptly with its officers
and agents. The courts bring security to persons and property; the
opening of the ports invites the restoration of industry and commerce;
the post-office renews the facilities of social intercourse and of
business. And is it not happy for us all that the restoration of each
one of these functions of the General Government brings with it a
blessing to the States over which they are extended? Is it not a sure
promise of harmony and renewed attachment to the Union that after all
that has happened the return of the General Government is known only as
a beneficence?

I know very well that this policy is attended with some risk; that for
its success it requires at least the acquiescence of the States which it
concerns; that it implies an invitation to those States, by renewing
their allegiance to the United States, to resume their functions as
States of the Union. But it is a risk that must be taken. In the choice
of difficulties it is the smallest risk; and to diminish and if possible
to remove all danger, I have felt it incumbent on me to assert one other
power of the General Government--the power of pardon. As no State can
throw a defense over the crime of treason, the power of pardon is
exclusively vested in the executive government of the United States. In
exercising that power I have taken every precaution to connect it with
the clearest recognition of the binding force of the laws of the United
States and an unqualified acknowledgment of the great social change of
condition in regard to slavery which has grown out of the war.

The next step which I have taken to restore the constitutional relations
of the States has been an invitation to them to participate in the high
office of amending the Constitution. Every patriot must wish for a
general amnesty at the earliest epoch consistent with public safety. For
this great end there is need of a concurrence of all opinions and the
spirit of mutual conciliation. All parties in the late terrible conflict
must work together in harmony. It is not too much to ask, in the name of
the whole people, that on the one side the plan of restoration shall
proceed in conformity with a willingness to cast the disorders of the
past into oblivion, and that on the other the evidence of sincerity in
the future maintenance of the Union shall be put beyond any doubt by the
ratification of the proposed amendment to the Constitution, which
provides for the abolition of slavery forever within the limits of our
country. So long as the adoption of this amendment is delayed, so long
will doubt and jealousy and uncertainty prevail. This is the measure
which will efface the sad memory of the past: this is the measure which
will most certainly call population and capital and security to those
parts of the Union that need them most. Indeed, it is not too much to
ask of the States which are now resuming their places in the family of
the Union to give this pledge of perpetual loyalty and peace. Until it
is done the past, however much we may desire it, will not be forgotten.
The adoption of the amendment reunites us beyond all power of
disruption; it heals the wound that is still imperfectly closed; it
removes slavery, the element which has so long perplexed and divided the
country; it makes of us once more a united people, renewed and
strengthened, bound more than ever to mutual affection and support.

The amendment to the Constitution being adopted, it would remain for the
States whose powers have been so long in abeyance to resume their places
in the two branches of the National Legislature, and thereby complete
the work of restoration. Here it is for you, fellow-citizens of the
Senate, and for you, fellow-citizens of the House of Representatives,
to judge, each of you for yourselves, of the elections, returns, and
qualifications of your own members.

The full assertion of the powers of the General Government requires the
holding of circuit courts of the United States within the districts
where their authority has been interrupted. In the present posture of
our public affairs strong objections have been urged to holding those
courts in any of the States where the rebellion has existed; and it was
ascertained by inquiry that the circuit court of the United States would
not be held within the district of Virginia during the autumn or early
winter, nor until Congress should have "an opportunity to consider and
act on the whole subject." To your deliberations the restoration of
this branch of the civil authority of the United States is therefore
necessarily referred, with the hope that early provision will be made
for the resumption of all its functions. It is manifest that treason,
most flagrant in character, has been committed. Persons who are charged
with its commission should have fair and impartial trials in the highest
civil tribunals of the country, in order that the Constitution and the
laws may be fully vindicated, the truth clearly established and affirmed
that treason is a crime, that traitors should be punished and the
offense made infamous, and, at the same time, that the question may be
judicially settled, finally and forever, that no State of its own will
has the right to renounce its place in the Union.

The relations of the General Government toward the 4,000,000 inhabitants
whom the war has called into freedom have engaged my most serious
consideration. On the propriety of attempting to make the freed-men
electors by the proclamation of the Executive I took for my counsel the
Constitution itself, the interpretations of that instrument by its
authors and their contemporaries, and recent legislation by Congress.
When at the first movement toward independence, the Congress of the
United States instructed the several States to institute governments of
their own, they left each State to decide for itself the conditions for
the enjoyment of the elective franchise. During the period of the
Confederacy there continued to exist a very great diversity in the
qualifications of electors in the several States, and even within a
State a distinction of qualifications prevailed with regard to the
officers who were to be chosen. The Constitution of the United States
recognizes these diversities when it enjoins that in the choice of
members of the House of Representatives of the United States "the
electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for
electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature." After
the formation of the Constitution it remained, as before, the uniform
usage for each State to enlarge the body of its electors according to
its own judgment, and under this system one State after another has
proceeded to increase the number of its electors, until now universal
suffrage, or something very near it, is the general rule. So fixed was
this reservation of power in the habits of the people and so
unquestioned has been the interpretation of the Constitution that during
the civil war the late President never harbored the purpose--certainly
never avowed the purpose--of disregarding it; and in the acts of
Congress during that period nothing can be found which, during the
continuance of hostilities, much less after their close, would have
sanctioned any departure by the Executive from a policy which has so
uniformly obtained. Moreover, a concession of the elective franchise to
the freedmen by act of the President of the United States must have been
extended to all colored men, wherever found, and so must have
established a change of suffrage in the Northern, Middle, and Western
States, not less than in the Southern and Southwestern. Such an act
would have created a new class of voters, and would have been an
assumption of power by the President which nothing in the Constitution
or laws of the United States would have warranted.

On the other hand, every danger of conflict is avoided when the
settlement of the question is referred to the several States. They can,
each for itself, decide on the measure, and whether it is to be adopted
at once and absolutely or introduced gradually and with conditions. In
my judgment the freedmen, if they show patience and manly virtues, will
sooner obtain a participation in the elective franchise through the
States than through the General Government, even if it had power to
intervene. When the tumult of emotions that have been raised by the
suddenness of the social change shall have subsided, it may prove that
they will receive the kindest usage from some of those on whom they have
heretofore most closely depended.

But while I have no doubt that now, after the close of the war, it
is not competent for the General Government to extend the elective
franchise in the several States, it is equally clear that good faith
requires the security of the freedmen in their liberty and their
property, their right to labor, and their right to claim the just return
of their labor. I can not too strongly urge a dispassionate treatment
of this subject, which should be carefully kept aloof from all party
strife. We must equally avoid hasty assumptions of any natural
impossibility for the two races to live side by side in a state of
mutual benefit and good will. The experiment involves us in no
inconsistency; let us, then, go on and make that experiment in good
faith, and not be too easily disheartened. The country is in need of
labor, and the freedmen are in need of employment, culture, and
protection. While their right of voluntary migration and expatriation
is not to be questioned, I would not advise their forced removal and
colonization. Let us rather encourage them to honorable and useful
industry, where it may be beneficial to themselves and to the country;
and, instead of hasty anticipations of the certainty of failure,
let there be nothing wanting to the fair trial of the experiment.
The change in their condition is the substitution of labor by contract
for the status of slavery. The freedman can not fairly be accused of
unwillingness to work so long as a doubt remains about his freedom
of choice in his pursuits and the certainty of his recovering his
stipulated wages. In this the interests of the employer and the employed
coincide. The employer desires in his workmen spirit and alacrity, and
these can be permanently secured in no other way. And if the one ought
to be able to enforce the contract, so ought the other. The public
interest will be best promoted if the several States will provide
adequate protection and remedies for the freedmen. Until this is in some
way accomplished there is no chance for the advantageous use of their
labor, and the blame of ill success will not rest on them.

I know that sincere philanthropy is earnest for the immediate
realization of its remotest aims; but time is always an element in
reform. It is one of the greatest acts on record to have brought
4,000,000 people into freedom. The career of free industry must be
fairly opened to them, and then their future prosperity and condition
must, after all, rest mainly on themselves. If they fail, and so perish
away, let us be careful that the failure shall not be attributable to
any denial of justice. In all that relates to the destiny of the
freedmen we need not be too anxious to read the future; many incidents
which, from a speculative point of view, might raise alarm will quietly
settle themselves. Now that slavery is at an end, or near its end, the
greatness of its evil in the point of view of public economy becomes
more and more apparent. Slavery was essentially a monopoly of labor, and
as such locked the States where it prevailed against the incoming of
free industry. Where labor was the property of the capitalist, the white
man was excluded from employment, or had but the second best chance of
finding it; and the foreign emigrant turned away from the region where
his condition would be so precarious. With the destruction of the
monopoly free labor will hasten from all parts of the civilized world to
assist in developing various and immeasurable resources which have
hitherto lain dormant. The eight or nine States nearest the Gulf of
Mexico have a soil of exuberant fertility, a climate friendly to long
life, and can sustain a denser population than is found as yet in any
part of our country. And the future influx of population to them will
be mainly from the North or from the most cultivated nations in Europe.
From the sufferings that have attended them during our late struggle let
us look away to the future, which is sure to be laden for them with
greater prosperity than has ever before been known. The removal of the
monopoly of slave labor is a pledge that those regions will be peopled
by a numerous and enterprising population, which will vie with any in
the Union in compactness, inventive genius, wealth, and industry.

Our Government springs from and was made for the people--not the people
for the Government. To them it owes allegiance; from them it must derive
its courage, strength, and wisdom. But while the Government is thus
bound to defer to the people, from whom it derives its existence, it
should, from the very consideration of its origin, be strong in its
power of resistance to the establishment of inequalities. Monopolies,
perpetuities, and class legislation are contrary to the genius of free
government, and ought not to be allowed. Here there is no room for
favored classes or monopolies; the principle of our Government is that
of equal laws and freedom of industry. Wherever monopoly attains a
foothold, it is sure to be a source of danger, discord, and trouble. We
shall but fulfill our duties as legislators by according "equal and
exact justice to all men," special privileges to none. The Government is
subordinate to the people; but, as the agent and representative of the
people, it must be held superior to monopolies, which in themselves
ought never to be granted, and which, where they exist, must be
subordinate and yield to the Government.

The Constitution confers on Congress the right to regulate commerce
among the several States. It is of the first necessity, for the
maintenance of the Union, that that commerce should be free and
unobstructed. No State can be justified in any device to tax the transit
of travel and commerce between States. The position of many States is
such that if they were allowed to take advantage of it for purposes of
local revenue the commerce between States might be injuriously burdened,
or even virtually prohibited. It is best, while the country is still
young and while the tendency to dangerous monopolies of this kind is
still feeble, to use the power of Congress so as to prevent any selfish
impediment to the free circulation of men and merchandise. A tax on
travel and merchandise in their transit constitutes one of the worst
forms of monopoly, and the evil is increased if coupled with a denial of
the choice of route. When the vast extent of our country is considered,
it is plain that every obstacle to the free circulation of commerce
between the States ought to be sternly guarded against by appropriate
legislation within the limits of the Constitution.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior explains the condition of
the public lands, the transactions of the Patent Office and the Pension
Bureau, the management of our Indian affairs, the progress made in the
construction of the Pacific Railroad, and furnishes information in
reference to matters of local interest in the District of Columbia. It
also presents evidence of the successful operation of the homestead act,
under the provisions of which 1,160,533 acres of the public lands were
entered during the last fiscal year--more than one-fourth of the whole
number of acres sold or otherwise disposed of during that period. It is
estimated that the receipts derived from this source are sufficient to
cover the expenses incident to the survey and disposal of the lands
entered under this act, and that payments in cash to the extent of from
40 to 50 per cent will be made by settlers who may thus at any time
acquire title before the expiration of the period at which it would
otherwise vest. The homestead policy was established only after long and
earnest resistance; experience proves its wisdom. The lands in the hands
of industrious settlers, whose labor creates wealth and contributes to
the public resources, are worth more to the United States than if they
had been reserved as a solitude for future purchasers.

The lamentable events of the last four years and the sacrifices made by
the gallant men of our Army and Navy have swelled the records of the
Pension Bureau to an unprecedented extent. On the 30th day of June last
the total number of pensioners was 85,986, requiring for their annual
pay, exclusive of expenses, the sum of $8,023,445. The number of
applications that have been allowed since that date will require a large
increase of this amount for the next fiscal year, The means for the
payment of the stipends due under existing laws to our disabled soldiers
and sailors and to the families of such as have perished in the service
of the country will no doubt be cheerfully and promptly granted.
A grateful people will not hesitate to sanction any measures having
for their object the relief of soldiers mutilated and families made
fatherless in the efforts to preserve our national existence.

The report of the Postmaster-General presents an encouraging exhibit
of the operations of the Post-Office Department during the year. The
revenues of the past year, from the loyal States alone, exceeded the
maximum annual receipts from all the States previous to the rebellion
in the sum of $6,038,091; and the annual average increase of revenue
during the last four years, compared with the revenues of the four
years immediately preceding the rebellion, was $3,533,845. The revenues
of the last fiscal year amounted to $14,556,158 and the expenditures
to $13,694,728, leaving a surplus of receipts over expenditures of
$861,430. Progress has been made in restoring the postal service in the
Southern States. The views presented by the Postmaster-General against
the policy of granting subsidies to the ocean mail steamship lines upon
established routes and in favor of continuing the present system, which
limits the compensation for ocean service to the postage earnings, are
recommended to the careful consideration of Congress.

It appears from the report of the Secretary of the Navy that while at
the commencement of the present year there were in commission 530
vessels of all classes and descriptions, armed with 3,000 guns and
manned by 51,000 men, the number of vessels at present in commission is
117, with 830 guns and 12,128 men. By this prompt reduction of the naval
forces the expenses of the Government have been largely diminished, and
a number of vessels purchased for naval purposes from the merchant
marine have been returned to the peaceful pursuits of commerce. Since
the suppression of active hostilities our foreign squadrons have been
reestablished, and consist of vessels much more efficient than those
employed on similar service previous to the rebellion. The suggestion
for the enlargement of the navy-yards, and especially for the
establishment of one in fresh water for ironclad vessels, is deserving
of consideration, as is also the recommendation for a different location
and more ample grounds for the Naval Academy.

In the report of the Secretary of War a general summary is given of the
military campaigns of 1864 and 1865, ending in the suppression of armed
resistance to the national authority in the insurgent States. The
operations of the general administrative bureaus of the War Department
during the past year are detailed and an estimate made of the
appropriations that will be required for military purposes in the fiscal
year commencing the 1st day of July, 1866. The national military force
on the 1st of May, 1865, numbered 1,000,516 men. It is proposed to
reduce the military establishment to a peace footing, comprehending
50,000 troops of all arms, organized so as to admit of an enlargement
by filling up the ranks to 82,600 if the circumstances of the country
should require an augmentation of the Army. The volunteer force has
already been reduced by the discharge from service of over 800,000
troops, and the Department is proceeding rapidly in the work of further
reduction. The war estimates are reduced from $516,240,131 to
$33,814,461, which amount, in the opinion of the Department, is adequate
for a peace establishment. The measures of retrenchment in each bureau
and branch of the service exhibit a diligent economy worthy of
commendation. Reference is also made in the report to the necessity of
providing for a uniform militia system and to the propriety of making
suitable provision for wounded and disabled officers and soldiers.

The revenue system of the country is a subject of vital interest to its
honor and prosperity, and should command the earnest consideration of
Congress. The Secretary of the Treasury will lay before you a full and
detailed report of the receipts and disbursements of the last fiscal
year, of the first quarter of the present fiscal year, of the probable
receipts and expenditures for the other three quarters, and the
estimates for the year following the 30th of June, 1866. I might content
myself with a reference to that report, in which you will find all the
information required for your deliberations and decision, but the
paramount importance of the subject so presses itself on my own mind
that I can not but lay before you my views of the measures which are
required for the good character, and I might almost say for the
existence, of this people. The life of a republic lies certainly in the
energy, virtue, and intelligence of its citizens; but it is equally true
that a good revenue system is the life of an organized government. I
meet you at a time when the nation has voluntarily burdened itself with
a debt unprecedented in our annals. Vast as is its amount, it fades away
into nothing when compared with the countless blessings that will be
conferred upon our country and upon man by the preservation of the
nation's life. Now, on the first occasion of the meeting of Congress
since the return of peace, it is of the utmost importance to inaugurate
a just policy, which shall at once be put in motion, and which shall
commend itself to those who come after us for its continuance. We must
aim at nothing less than the complete effacement of the financial evils
that necessarily followed a state of civil war. We must endeavor to
apply the earliest remedy to the deranged state of the currency, and not
shrink from devising a policy which, without being oppressive to the
people, shall immediately begin to effect a reduction of the debt, and,
if persisted in, discharge it fully within a definitely fixed number of
years.

It is our first duty to prepare in earnest for our recovery from the
ever-increasing evils of an irredeemable currency without a sudden
revulsion, and yet without untimely procrastination. For that end we
must each, in our respective positions, prepare the way. I hold it the
duty of the Executive to insist upon frugality in the expenditures, and
a sparing economy is itself a great national resource. Of the banks to
which authority has been given to issue notes secured by bonds of the
United States we may require the greatest moderation and prudence, and
the law must be rigidly enforced when its limits are exceeded. We may
each one of us counsel our active and enterprising countrymen to be
constantly on their guard, to liquidate debts contracted in a paper
currency, and by conducting business as nearly as possible on a system
of cash payments or short credits to hold themselves prepared to return
to the standard of gold and silver. To aid our fellow-citizens in the
prudent management of their monetary affairs, the duty devolves on us to
diminish by law the amount of paper money now in circulation. Five years
ago the bank-note circulation of the country amounted to not much more
than two hundred millions; now the circulation, bank and national,
exceeds seven hundred millions. The simple statement of the fact
recommends more strongly than any words of mine could do the necessity
of our restraining this expansion. The gradual reduction of the currency
is the only measure that can save the business of the country from
disastrous calamities, and this can be almost imperceptibly accomplished
by gradually funding the national circulation in securities that may be
made redeemable at the pleasure of the Government.

Our debt is doubly secure--first in the actual wealth and still greater
undeveloped resources of the country, and next in the character of our
institutions. The most intelligent observers among political economists
have not failed to remark that the public debt of a country is safe in
proportion as its people are free; that the debt of a republic is the
safest of all. Our history confirms and establishes the theory, and is,
I firmly believe, destined to give it a still more signal illustration.
The secret of this superiority springs not merely from the fact that in
a republic the national obligations are distributed more widely through
countless numbers in all classes of society; it has its root in the
character of our laws. Here all men contribute to the public welfare and
bear their fair share of the public burdens. During the war, under the
impulses of patriotism, the men of the great body of the people, without
regard to their own comparative want of wealth, thronged to our armies
and filled our fleets of war, and held themselves ready to offer their
lives for the public good. Now, in their turn, the property and income
of the country should bear their just proportion of the burden of
taxation, while in our impost system, through means of which increased
vitality is incidentally imparted to all the industrial interests of
the nation, the duties should be so adjusted as to fall most heavily
on articles of luxury, leaving the necessaries of life as free from
taxation as the absolute wants of the Government economically
administered will justify. No favored class should demand freedom from
assessment, and the taxes should be so distributed as not to fall unduly
on the poor, but rather on the accumulated wealth of the country. We
should look at the national debt just as it is--not as a national
blessing, but as a heavy burden on the industry of the country, to be
discharged without unnecessary delay.

It is estimated by the Secretary of the Treasury that the expenditures
for the fiscal year ending the 30th of June, 1866, will exceed the
receipts $112,194,947. It is gratifying, however, to state that it is
also estimated that the revenue for the year ending the 30th of June,
1867, will exceed the expenditures in the sum of $111,682,818. This
amount, or so much as may be deemed sufficient for the purpose, may be
applied to the reduction of the public debt, which on the 31st day of
October, 1865, was $2,740,854,750. Every reduction will diminish the
total amount of interest to be paid, and so enlarge the means of still
further reductions, until the whole shall be liquidated; and this, as
will be seen from the estimates of the Secretary of the Treasury, may be
accomplished by annual payments even within a period not exceeding
thirty years. I have faith that we shall do all this within a reasonable
time; that as we have amazed the world by the suppression of a civil war
which was thought to be beyond the control of any government, so we
shall equally show the superiority of our institutions by the prompt and
faithful discharge of our national obligations.

The Department of Agriculture under its present direction is
accomplishing much in developing and utilizing the vast agricultural
capabilities of the country, and for information respecting the details
of its management reference is made to the annual report of the
Commissioner.

I have dwelt thus fully on our domestic affairs because of their
transcendent importance. Under any circumstances our great extent of
territory and variety of climate, producing almost everything that is
necessary for the wants and even the comforts of man, make us singularly
independent of the varying policy of foreign powers and protect us
against every temptation to "entangling alliances," while at the present
moment the reestablishment of harmony and the strength that comes from
harmony will be our best security against "nations who feel power and
forget right." For myself, it has been and it will be my constant aim to
promote peace and amity with all foreign nations and powers, and I have
every reason to believe that they all, without exception, are animated
by the same disposition. Our relations with the Emperor of China, so
recent in their origin, are most friendly. Our commerce with his
dominions is receiving new developments, and it is very pleasing to find
that the Government of that great Empire manifests satisfaction with our
policy and reposes just confidence in the fairness which marks our
intercourse. The unbroken harmony between the United States and the
Emperor of Russia is receiving a new support from an enterprise designed
to carry telegraphic lines across the continent of Asia, through his
dominions, and so to connect us with all Europe by a new channel of
intercourse. Our commerce with South America is about to receive
encouragement by a direct line of mail steamships to the rising Empire
of Brazil. The distinguished party of men of science who have recently
left our country to make a scientific exploration of the natural history
and rivers and mountain ranges of that region have received from the
Emperor that generous welcome which was to have been expected from his
constant friendship for the United States and his well-known zeal in
promoting the advancement of knowledge. A hope is entertained that our
commerce with the rich and populous countries that border the
Mediterranean Sea may be largely increased. Nothing will be wanting on
the part of this Government to extend the protection of our flag over
the enterprise of our fellow-citizens. We receive from the powers in
that region assurances of good will; and it is worthy of note that a
special envoy has brought us messages of condolence on the death of our
late Chief Magistrate from the Bey of Tunis, whose rule includes the old
dominions of Carthage, on the African coast.

Our domestic contest, now happily ended, has left some traces in our
relations with one at least of the great maritime powers. The formal
accordance of belligerent rights to the insurgent States was
unprecedented, and has not been justified by the issue. But in the
systems of neutrality pursued by the powers which made that concession
there was a marked difference. The materials of war for the insurgent
States were furnished, in a great measure, from the workshops of Great
Britain, and British ships, manned by British subjects and prepared for
receiving British armaments, sallied from the ports of Great Britain to
make war on American commerce under the shelter of a commission from the
insurgent States. These ships, having once escaped from British ports,
ever afterwards entered them in every part of the world to refit, and so
to renew their depredations. The consequences of this conduct were most
disastrous to the States then in rebellion, increasing their desolation
and misery by the prolongation of our civil contest. It had, moreover,
the effect, to a great extent, to drive the American flag from the sea,
and to transfer much of our shipping and our commerce to the very power
whose subjects had created the necessity for such a change. These events
took place before I was called to the administration of the Government.
The sincere desire for peace by which I am animated led me to approve
the proposal, already made, to submit the question which had thus arisen
between the countries to arbitration. These questions are of such moment
that they must have commanded the attention of the great powers, and are
so interwoven with the peace and interests of every one of them as to
have insured an impartial decision. I regret to inform you that Great
Britain declined the arbitrament, but, on the other hand, invited us to
the formation of a joint commission to settle mutual claims between the
two countries, from which those for the depredations before mentioned
should be excluded. The proposition, in that very unsatisfactory form,
has been declined.

The United States did not present the subject as an impeachment of the
good faith of a power which was professing the most friendly
dispositions, but as involving questions of public law of which the
settlement is essential to the peace of nations; and though pecuniary
reparation to their injured citizens would have followed incidentally
on a decision against Great Britain, such compensation was not their
primary object. They had a higher motive, and it was in the interests of
peace and justice to establish important principles of international
law. The correspondence will be placed before you. The ground on which
the British minister rests his justification is, substantially, that the
municipal law of a nation and the domestic interpretations of that law
are the measure of its duty as a neutral, and I feel bound to declare my
opinion before you and before the world that that justification can not
be sustained before the tribunal of nations. At the same time, I do not
advise to any present attempt at redress by acts of legislation. For the
future, friendship between the two countries must rest on the basis of
mutual justice.

From the moment of the establishment of our free Constitution the
civilized world has been convulsed by revolutions in the interests of
democracy or of monarchy, but through all those revolutions the United
States have wisely and firmly refused to become propagandists of
republicanism. It is the only government suited to our condition; but
we have never sought to impose it on others, and we have consistently
followed the advice of Washington to recommend it only by the careful
preservation and prudent use of the blessing. During all the intervening
period the policy of European powers and of the United States has, on
the whole, been harmonious. Twice, indeed, rumors of the invasion of
some parts of America in the interest of monarchy have prevailed; twice
my predecessors have had occasion to announce the views of this nation
in respect to such interference. On both occasions the remonstrance of
the United States was respected from a deep conviction on the part of
European Governments that the system of noninterference and mutual
abstinence from propagandism was the true rule for the two hemispheres.
Since those times we have advanced in wealth and power, but we retain
the same purpose to leave the nations of Europe to choose their own
dynasties and form their own systems of government. This consistent
moderation may justly demand a corresponding moderation. We should
regard it as a great calamity to ourselves, to the cause of good
government, and to the peace of the world should any European power
challenge the American people, as it were, to the defense of
republicanism against foreign interference. We can not foresee and are
unwilling to consider what opportunities might present themselves, what
combinations might offer to protect ourselves against designs inimical
to our form of government. The United States desire to act in the
future as they have ever acted heretofore; they never will be driven
from that course but by the aggression of European powers, and we
rely on the wisdom and justice of those powers to respect the system of
noninterference which has so long been sanctioned by time, and which by
its good results has approved itself to both continents.

The correspondence between the United States and France in reference to
questions which have become subjects of discussion between the two
Governments will at a proper time be laid before Congress.

When, on the organization of our Government under the Constitution, the
President of the United States delivered his inaugural address to the
two Houses of Congress, he said to them, and through them to the country
and to mankind, that--

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the
republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as
_deeply_, as _finally_, staked on the experiment intrusted to the hands
of the American people.

And the House of Representatives answered Washington by the voice of
Madison:

We adore the Invisible Hand which has led the American people, through
so many difficulties, to cherish a conscious responsibility for the
destiny of republican liberty.

More than seventy-six years have glided away since these words were
spoken; the United States have passed through severer trials than were
foreseen; and now, at this new epoch in our existence as one nation,
with our Union purified by sorrows and strengthened by conflict and
established by the virtue of the people, the greatness of the occasion
invites us once more to repeat with solemnity the pledges of our fathers
to hold ourselves answerable before our fellow-men for the success of
the republican form of government. Experience has proved its sufficiency
in peace and in war; it has vindicated its authority through dangers and
afflictions, and sudden and terrible emergencies, which would have
crushed any system that had been less firmly fixed in the hearts of the
people. At the inauguration of Washington the foreign relations of the
country were few and its trade was repressed by hostile regulations; now
all the civilized nations of the globe welcome our commerce, and their
governments profess toward us amity. Then our country felt its way
hesitatingly along an untried path, with States so little bound together
by rapid means of communication as to be hardly known to one another,
and with historic traditions extending over very few years; now
intercourse between the States is swift and intimate; the experience of
centuries has been crowded into a few generations, and has created an
intense, indestructible nationality. Then our jurisdiction did not reach
beyond the inconvenient boundaries of the territory which had achieved
independence; now, through cessions of lands, first colonized by Spain
and France, the country has acquired a more complex character, and has
for its natural limits the chain of lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, and on
the east and the west the two great oceans. Other nations were wasted by
civil wars for ages before they could establish for themselves the
necessary degree of unity; the latent conviction that our form of
government is the best ever known to the world has enabled us to emerge
from civil war within four years with a complete vindication of the
constitutional authority of the General Government and with our local
liberties and State institutions unimpaired.

The throngs of emigrants that crowd to our shores are witnesses of the
confidence of all peoples in our permanence. Here is the great land of
free labor, where industry is blessed with unexampled rewards and the
bread of the workingman is sweetened by the consciousness that the cause
of the country "is his own cause, his own safety, his own dignity." Here
everyone enjoys the free use of his faculties and the choice of activity
as a natural right. Here, under the combined influence of a fruitful
soil, genial climes, and happy institutions, population has increased
fifteen-fold within a century. Here, through the easy development of
boundless resources, wealth has increased with twofold greater rapidity
than numbers, so that we have become secure against the financial
vicissitudes of other countries and, alike in business and in opinion,
are self-centered and truly independent. Here more and more care is
given to provide education for everyone born on our soil. Here religion,
released from political connection with the civil government, refuses to
subserve the craft of statesmen, and becomes in its independence the
spiritual life of the people. Here toleration is extended to every
opinion, in the quiet certainty that truth needs only a fair field to
secure the victory. Here the human mind goes forth unshackled in the
pursuit of science, to collect stores of knowledge and acquire an
ever-increasing mastery over the forces of nature. Here the national
domain is offered and held in millions of separate freeholds, so that
our fellow-citizens, beyond the occupants of any other part of the
earth, constitute in reality a people. Here exists the democratic form
of government; and that form of government, by the confession of
European statesmen, "gives a power of which no other form is capable,
because it incorporates every man with the state and arouses everything
that belongs to the soul."

Where in past history does a parallel exist to the public happiness
which is within the reach of the people of the United States? Where in
any part of the globe can institutions be found so suited to their
habits or so entitled to their love as their own free Constitution?
Every one of them, then, in whatever part of the land he has his home,
must wish its perpetuity. Who of them will not now acknowledge, in the
words of Washington, that "every step by which the people of the United
States have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to
have been distinguished by some token of providential agency"? Who will
not join with me in the prayer that the Invisible Hand which has led us
through the clouds that gloomed around our path will so guide us onward
to a perfect restoration of fraternal affection that we of this day may
be able to transmit our great inheritance of State governments in all
their rights, of the General Government in its whole constitutional
vigor, to our posterity, and they to theirs through countless
generations?

ANDREW JOHNSON.

SPECIAL MESSAGES.

WASHINGTON, _December 11, 1865_.

_To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States_:

I transmit a report of this date from the Secretary of State, and the
papers referred to therein, concerning the Universal Exposition to be
held at Paris in the year 1867, in which the United States have been
invited by the Government of France to take part. I commend the subject
to your early and favorable consideration.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 13, 1865_.

_To the Senate of the United States_:

In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 11th instant,
requesting information on the subject of a decree of the so-called
Emperor of Mexico of the 3d of October last, I transmit a report from
the Secretary of State and the documents by which it was accompanied.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

WASHINGTON, _December 14, 1865_.

_To the House of Representatives_:

In answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the
11th instant, requesting information relative to a so-called decree
concerning the reestablishment of slavery or peonage in the Republic
of Mexico, I transmit a report from the Secretary of State and the
documents by which it was accompanied.

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