Proclamation 153

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Proclamation 153 by Andrew Johnson
Declaring the Insurrection at an End
Issued: 2 April 1866, ( 14 Stat. 811 )

By the President of the United States of America.

A PROCLAMATION.


Whereas by proclamations of the fifteenth and nineteenth of April, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, the President of the United States, in virtue of the power vested in him by the Constitution and the laws, declared that the laws of the United States were opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by law;

And whereas, by another proclamation, made on the sixteenth day of August, in the same year, in pursuance of an act of Congress approved July thirteen, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, the inhabitants of the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida (except the inhabitants of that part of the State of Virginia west of the Alleghany Mountains, and of such other parts of that State and the other States before named, as might maintain a loyal adhesion to the Union and the Constitution, or might be from time to time occupied and controlled by forces of the United States engaged in the dispersion of insurgents) were declared to be in a state of insurrection against the United States;

And whereas, by another proclamation, of the first day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, issued in pursuance of an act of Congress approved June seven, in the same year, the insurrection was declared to be still existing in the States aforesaid, with the exception of certain specified counties in the State of Virginia;

And whereas, by another proclamation, made on the second day of April, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, in pursuance of the act of Congress of July thirteen, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, the exceptions named in the proclamation of August sixteen, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one were revoked, and the inhabitants of the States of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties of Virginia designated as West Virginia, and the ports of New Orleans, Key West, Port Royal, and Beaufort, in North Carolina) were declared to be still in a state of insurrection against the United States;

And whereas the House of Representatives, on the twenty-second day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, adopted a resolution in the words following, namely:——
"Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the disunionists of the southern States, now in revolt against the Constitutional government, and in arms around the capital; that in this national emergency, Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged upon our part in any spirit of oppression nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired.; and that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease."
And whereas the Senate of the United States, on the twenty-fifth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, adopted a resolution in the words following, to wit:—
"Resolved, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the disuniomsts of the Southern States, now in revolt against the Constitutional government, and in arms around the capital; that in this national emergency, Congress, banishing all feeling of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not prosecuted upon our part in any spirit of oppression nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in pursuance thereof, and to preserve the Union with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired; that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease."
And whereas these resolutions, though not joint or concurrent in form, are substantially identical, and as such may be regarded as having expressed the sense of Congress upon the subject to which they relate;

And whereas, by my proclamation of the thirteenth day of June last, the insurrection in the State of Tennessee was declared to have been suppressed, the authority of the United States therein to be undisputed, and such United States officers as had been duly commissioned to be in the undisturbed exercise of their official functions;

And whereas there now exists no organized armed resistance of misguided citizens or others to the authority of the United States in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida, and the laws can be sustained and enforced therein by the proper civil authority, State or Federal, and the people of said States are well and loyally disposed, and have conformed or will conform in their legislation to the condition of affairs growing out of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States, prohibiting slavery within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States;

And whereas, in view of the before-recited premises, it is the manifest determination of the American people that no State, of its own will, has the right or the power to go out of, or separate itself from, or be separated from the American Union, and that therefore each State ought to remain and constitute an integral part of the United States;

And whereas the people of the several before-mentioned States have, in the manner aforesaid, given satisfactory evidence that they acquiesce in this sovereign and important resolution of national unity;

And whereas it is believed to be a fundamental principle of government that people who have revolted, and who have been overcome and subdued, must either be dealt with so as to induce them voluntarily to become friends, or else they must be held by absolute military power, or devastated, so as to prevent them from ever again doing harm as enemies, which last-named policy is abhorrent to humanity and to freedom;

And whereas the Constitution of the United States provides for constituent communities only as States, and not as Territories, dependencies, provinces, or protectorates;

And whereas such constituent States must necessarily be, and by the Constitution and laws of the United States are made equals, and placed upon a like footing as to political rights, immunities, dignity, and power with the several States with which they are united;

And whereas the observance of political equality as a principle of right and justice is well calculated to encourage the people of the aforesaid States to be and become more and more constant and persevering in their renewed allegiance;

And whereas standing armies, military occupation, martial law, military tribunals, and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus are, in time of peace, dangerous to public liberty, incompatible with the individual rights of the citizen, contrary to the genius and spirit of our free institutions, and exhaustive of the national resources, and ought not, therefore, to be sanctioned or allowed, except in cases of actual necessity, for repelling invasion or suppressing insurrection or rebellion;

And whereas the policy of the government of the United States, from the beginning of the insurrection to its overthrow and final suppression, has been in conformity with the principles herein set forth and enumerated;

Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, president of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the insurrection which heretofore existed in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida is at an end, and is henceforth to be so regarded.

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

Done US Great Seal 1877 drawing.png at the city of Washington, this second day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninetieth.

Andrew Johnson Signature.svg 
[Andrew Johnson] 
By the President:
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State.

Notes[edit]

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).