First. They have a clearly legal right to assemble, and we cannot
know in advance that their action will not be lawful and peaceful,
and if we wait until they shall have acted their arrest or dispersion
will not lessen the effect of their action.
Secondly. We cannot permanently prevent their action. If we arrest
them, we cannot long hold them as prisoners, and when liberated they
will immediately reassemble and take their action; and precisely the
same if we simply disperse them–they will immediately reassemble in
some other place.
I therefore conclude that it is only left to the Commanding General
to watch and await their action, which, if it shall be to arm their
people against the United States, he is to adopt the most prompt and
efficient means to counteract, even, if necessary, to the bombardment
of their cities and, in the extremist necessity, the suspension of
the writ of habeas corpus.
Your obedient servant, ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
PROCLAMATION OF BLOCKADE, APRIL 27, 1861
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Whereas, for the reasons assigned in my proclamation of the
nineteenth instant, a blockade of the ports of the States of South
Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and
Texas was ordered to be established:
And whereas, since that date, public property of the United States
has been seized, the collection of the revenue obstructed, and duly
commissioned officers of the United States, while engaged in
executing the orders of their superiors, have been arrested and held
in custody as prisoners, or have been impeded in the discharge of
their official duties, without due legal process, by persons claiming
to act under authorities of the States of Virginia and North
An efficient blockade of the ports of those States will also be
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this twenty seventh day of April, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and of
the independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.
REMARKS TO A MILITARY COMPANY, WASHINGTON,
APRIL 27, 1861
I have desired as sincerely as any man, and I sometimes think more
than any other man, that our present difficulties might be settled
without the shedding of blood. I will not say that all hope has yet
gone; but if the alternative is presented whether the Union is to be
broken in fragments and the liberties of the people lost, or blood be
shed, you will probably make the choice with which I shall not be
LOCALIZED REPEAL OF WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
TO GENERAL SCOTT.
TO THE COMMANDING GENERAL,
ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES.
You are engaged in suppressing an insurrection against the laws of
the United States. If at any point on or in the vicinity of any
military line which is now or which shall be used between the City of
Philadelphia and the city of Washington you find resistance which
renders it necessary to suspend the writ of habeas corpus for the
public safety, you personally, or through the officer in command at
the point at which resistance occurs, are authorized to suspend that
WASHINGTON, April 17, 1861
MILITARY ENROLLMENT OF ST. LOUIS CITIZENS
FROM THE SECRETARY OF WAR
WAR DEPARTMENT, April 30, 1861
TO CAPTAIN NATHANIEL LYON.
CAPT. NATHANIEL LYON,
Commanding Department of the West.
SIR:–The President of the United States directs that you enroll in
the military service of the United States the loyal citizens of Saint
Louis and vicinity, not exceeding, with those heretofore enlisted,
ten thousand in number, for the purpose of maintaining the authority
of the United States; for the protection of the peaceful inhabitants
of Missouri; and you will, if deemed necessary for that purpose by
yourself, by Messrs. Oliver F. Ferny, John How, James O. Broadhead,
Samuel T. Glover, J. Wilzie, Francis P. Blair, Jr., proclaim martial
law in the city of Saint Louis.
The additional force hereby authorized shall be discharged in part or
in whole, if enlisted. As soon as it appears to you and the
gentlemen above mentioned that there is no danger of an attempt on
the part of the enemies of the Government to take military possession
of the city of Saint Louis, or put the city in control of the
combination against the Government of the United States; and whilst
such additional force remains in the service the same shall be
governed by the Rules and Articles of War, and such special
regulations as you may prescribe. I shall like the force hereafter
directed to be enrolled to be under your command.
The arms and other military stores in the Saint Louis Arsenal not
needed for the forces of the United States in Missouri must be
removed to Springfield, or some other safe place of deposit in the
State of Illinois, as speedily as practicable, by the ordnance
officers in charge at Saint Louis.
It is revolutionary times, and therefore I do not object to the
irregularity of this. W. S.
Approved, April 30, 1861. A. LINCOLN.
Colonel Thomas will make this order.
SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War.
CONDOLENCE OVER FAILURE OF FT. SUMTER RELIEF
TO GUSTAVUS V. FOX.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 1861
CAPTAIN G. V. Fox.
MY DEAR SIR:–I sincerely regret that the failure of the late attempt
to provision Fort Sumter should be the source of any annoyance to
The practicability of your plan was not, in fact, brought to a test.
By reason of a gale, well known in advance to be possible and not
improbable, the tugs, an essential part of the plan, never reached
the ground; while, by an accident for which you were in no wise
responsible, and possibly I to some extent was, you were deprived of
a war vessel, with her men, which you deemed of great importance to
I most cheerfully and truly declare that the failure of the
undertaking has not lowered you a particle, while the qualities you
developed in the effort have greatly heightened you in my estimation.
For a daring and dangerous enterprise of a similar character you
would to-day be the man of all my acquaintances whom I would select.
You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be
advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it
should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our
anticipation is justified by the result.
Very truly your friend,
PROCLAMATION CALLING FOR 42,034 VOLUNTEERS,
MAY 3, 1861
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Whereas existing exigencies demand immediate and adequate measures
for the protection of the National Constitution and the preservation
of the National Union by the suppression of the insurrectionary
combinations now existing in several States for opposing the laws of
the Union and obstructing the execution thereof, to which end a
military force in addition to that called forth by my proclamation of
the 15th day of April in the present year appears to be indispensably
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States
and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy thereof and of the
militia of the several States when called into actual service, do
hereby call into the service of the United States 42,034 volunteers
to serve for the period of three years, unless sooner discharged, and
to be mustered into service as infantry and cavalry. The proportions
of each arm and the details of enrollment and organization will be
made known through the Department of War.
And I also direct that the Regular Army of the United States be
increased by the addition of eight regiments of infantry, one
regiment of cavalry, and one regiment of artillery, making altogether
a maximum aggregate increase of 22,714 officers and enlisted men, the
details of which increase will also be made known through the
Department of War.
And I further direct the enlistment for not less than one or more
than three years of 18,000 seamen, in addition to the present force,
for the naval service of the United States. The details of the
enlistment and organization will be made known through the Department
of the Navy.
The call for volunteers hereby made and the direction for the
increase of the Regular Army and for the enlistment of seamen hereby
given, together with the plan of organization adopted for the
volunteer and for the regular forces hereby authorized, will be
submitted to Congress as soon as assembled.
In the meantime I earnestly invoke the co-operation of all good
citizens in the measures hereby adopted for the effectual suppression
of unlawful violence, for the impartial enforcement of constitutional
laws, and for the speediest possible restoration of peace and order,
and with these of happiness and prosperity, throughout our country.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my band and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed…………….
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
COMMUNICATION WITH VICE-PRESIDENT
TO VICE-PRESIDENT HAMLIN.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6, 1861
HON. H. HAMLIN, New York.
MY DEAR SIR:-Please advise me at the close of each day what troops
left during the day, where going, and by what route; what remaining
at New York, and what expected in the next day. Give the numbers, as
near as convenient, and what corps they are. This information,
reaching us daily, will be very useful as well as satisfactory.
Yours very truly,
ORDER TO COLONEL ANDERSON,
MAY 7, 1861
TO ALL WHO SHALL SEE THESE PRESENTS, GREETING:
Know ye that, reposing special trust and confidence in the
patriotism, valor, fidelity, and ability of Colonel Robert Anderson,
U. S. Army, I have empowered him, and do hereby empower him, to
receive into the army of the United States as many regiments of
volunteer troops from the State of Kentucky and from the western part
of the State of Virginia as shall be willing to engage in the Service
of the United States for the term of three years, upon the terms and
according to the plan proposed by the proclamation of May 3, 1861,
and General Orders No. 15, from the War Department, of May 4, 1861.
The troops whom he receives shall be on the same footing in every
respect as those of the like kind called for in the proclamation
above cited, except that the officers shall be commissioned by the
United States. He is therefore carefully and diligently to discharge
the duty hereby devolved upon him by doing and performing all manner
of things thereunto belonging.
Given under my hand, at the city of Washington, this 7th day of May,
A. D. 1861, and in the eighty-fifth year of the independence of the
By the President:
SIMON CAMERON, Secretary of War,
PROCLAMATION SUSPENDING THE WRIT OF HABEAS
CORPUS IN FLORIDA, MAY 10, 1861.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OP AMERICA:
Whereas an insurrection exists in the State of Florida, by which the
lives, liberty, and property of loyal citizens of the United States
And whereas it is deemed proper that all needful measures should be
taken for the protection of such citizens and all officers of the
United States in the discharge of their public duties in the State
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham LINCOLN, President of the
United States, do hereby direct the commander of the forces of the
United States on the Florida coast to permit no person to exercise
any office or authority upon the islands of Key West, the Tortugas,
and Santa Rosa, which may be inconsistent with the laws and
Constitution of the United States, authorizing him at the same time,
if he shall find it necessary, to suspend there the writ of habeas
corpus, and to remove from the vicinity of the United States
fortresses all dangerous or suspected persons.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal
of the United States to be affixed…………………
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
TO SECRETARY WELLES.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 11, 1861
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY.
SIR:-Lieut. D. D. Porter was placed in command of the steamer
Powhatan, and Captain Samuel Mercer was detached therefrom, by my
special order, and neither of them is responsible for any apparent or
real irregularity on their part or in connection with that vessel.
Hereafter Captain Porter is relieved from that special service and
placed under the direction of the Navy Department, from which he will
receive instructions and to which he will report.
PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S CORRECTIONS OF A DIPLOMATIC DESPATCH WRITTEN BY
THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO MINISTER ADAMS
DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
WASHINGTON, May 21, 1861
SIR:—Mr. Dallas, in a brief despatch of May 2d (No. 333), tells us
that Lord John Russell recently requested an interview with him on
account of the solicitude which his lordship felt concerning the
effect of certain measures represented as likely to be adopted by the
President. In that conversation the British secretary told Mr.
Dallas that the three representatives of the Southern Confederacy
were then in London, that Lord John Russell had not yet seen them,
but that he was not unwilling to see them unofficially. He further
informed Mr. Dallas that an understanding exists between the British
and French governments which would lead both to take one and the same
course as to recognition. His lordship then referred to the rumor of
a meditated blockade by us of Southern ports, and a discontinuance of
them as ports of entry. Mr. Dallas answered that he knew nothing on
those topics, and therefore
(The President’s corrections, both in notes and text, are in
caps. All matter between brackets was to be marked out.)
could say nothing. He added that you were expected to arrive in two
weeks. Upon this statement Lord John Russell acquiesced in the
expediency of waiting for the full knowledge you were expected to
Mr. Dallas transmitted to us some newspaper reports of ministerial
explanations made in Parliament.
You will base no proceedings on parliamentary debates further than to
seek explanations when necessary and communicate them to this
department. [We intend to have a clear and simple record of whatever
issue may arise between us and Great Britain.]
The President [is surprised and grieved] regrets that Mr. Dallas did
not protest against the proposed unofficial intercourse between the
British Government and the missionaries of the insurgents [as well as
against the demand for explanations made by the British Government].
It is due, however, to Mr. Dallas to say that our instructions had
been given only to you and not to him, and that his loyalty and
fidelity, too rare in these times [among our late representatives
abroad, are confessed and] are appreciated.
Intercourse of any kind with the so-called commissioners is liable to
be construed as a recognition of the authority which appointed them.
Such intercourse would be none the less [wrongful] hurtful to us for
being called unofficial, and it might be even more injurious, because
we should have no means of knowing what points might be resolved by
it. Moreover, unofficial intercourse is useless and meaningless if
it is not expected to ripen into official intercourse and direct
recognition. It is left doubtful here whether the proposed
unofficial intercourse has yet actually begun. Your own [present] antecedent instructions are deemed explicit enough, and it is hoped
that you have not misunderstood them. You will in any event desist
from all intercourse whatever, unofficial as well as official, with
the British Government, so long as it shall continue intercourse of
either kind with the domestic enemies of this country [confining
yourself to a delivery of a copy of this paper to the Secretary of
State. After doing this.] When intercourse shall have been arrested
for this cause, you will communicate with this department and receive
«- Previous | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 | View All | Next -»