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Doc. 156.-proclamation of Gov. Gamble.

Jefferson city, Aug. 3, 1861.
To the People of the State of Missouri:--
Your delegates, assembled in Convention, have decided that, in order to vindicate the sovereignty of the State, it was necessary to vacate the offices of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, and members of the General Assembly, and to order an election to take place on the first Monday of November next, to fill those offices with persons of your own choice. They have chosen me to discharge the duties of Chief Magistrate until the election can take place.

No argument will here be made in support of the action of the Convention. An address has been issued to you by that body, in which are set forth the necessities for the action, and the power under which they have acted. I could give you no stronger expression of my deliberate judgment that their action was both constitutional and necessary, than is afforded by my acceptance of the office until the election can take place.

The choice thus made of temporary or provisional Governor, will satisfy all that no countenance will be afforded to any scheme or to any conduct calculated in any degree to interfere with the institution of slavery existing in the State. To the very utmost extent of Executive power, that institution will be protected.

The choice of temporary Governor gives the further assurance to all, that every effort will be made to stop the practices on the part of the military which have occasioned so much irritation throughout the State--such as arresting citizens who have neither taken up arms against the Government, nor aided those who are in open hostility to it, and searching private houses without any reasonable ground to suspect the occupants of any improper conduct, and unnecessarily seizing or injuring private property. Such acts must be, and will be, discountenanced, and there is every reason to believe, from a general order recently issued by Lieut.-Gen. Scott, and from the known disposition of Maj.-Gen. Fremont, whose command embraces Missouri, that such oppressive conduct on the part of the military will, in a short time, be arrested.

There exists in many parts of the State a most unfortunate and unnatural condition of feeling among citizens, amounting to actual hostility, and leading often to scenes of violence and bloodshed; and even neighbors of the same race have come to regard each other as enemies. This feeling, too, has originated in questions of a political character, although the American mind has been accustomed to consider a difference upon such questions as affording no cause of hostility. Combinations have been formed for carrying out schemes of violence by one class against another, and by those holding one set of opinions against others holding a different set.

Civil Government in this State has no concern with men's opinions, except to protect all in their undisturbed enjoyment. It is only when they become the causes of acts that they bring those who entertain them into any responsibility to the law.

While this freedom of opinion is the right of all, and while it is the duty of each to respect this right in others, it is plainly the duty of the Government to suppress, as far as practicable, all combinations to violate this right, and all violence arising from a difference of opinion. Yet it is important that every well-disposed citizen should remember, that the extreme and intemperate exercise of this right of expressing his opinions often leads to unnecessary discord and violence, and that refraining from the intemperate discussion of topics known to be exciting would be but a slight contribution made by each toward the preservation of the general peace.

It is believed that many citizens are now in arms, assembled under the proclamation of Gov. Jackson, of the 12th of June, and that they responded to that call from a sense of obligation to obey State authority. They have been organized as a military force under an act of the General Assembly, known popularly as the “Military bill.”

By the action of the Convention, that act has been annulled, all commissions issued under it have been revoked, and the organizations which have been formed have been disbanded.

Those who have taken up arms from a desire thus to obey State authority, will see that real obedience to that authority, will be shown by at once quitting the organizations with which they are connected, and returning peacefully to their homes. This applies as well to officers as to privates in such organizations.

It is known that there are large quantities of powder and other munitions of war concealed in different places in the State, intended [473] to be used by those of the citizens who are in arms. This is the property of the State, and ought to be disposed of to free the State from the debt incurred by its purchase, so far as the proceeds of its sale will have that effect. Information of its deposit ought to be given to this Department, so that it may be recovered and applied to the indebtedness of the State.

The militia of the State has not an organization as efficient as it should be. The Convention, by ordinance, adopted the act of 1859, in place of the Military bill of the last Assembly. It is necessary that there should be a complete organization under the act thus adopted by the Convention. Immediate attention to this duty is demanded by the condition of the country. Yet it is to be the act of the citizens who are willing to form bodies of volunteers.

The State has been invaded by troops from the State of Arkansas, and a large force under Gen. Pillow, of Tennessee, has lauded upon the soil of Missouri, notwithstanding the Congress of the Confederate States, in their act declaring war against the United States, expressly excepted Missouri, as a State against which the war was not to be waged.

Gen. Pillow has issued a proclamation, addressed to the people of Missouri, in which he declares that his army comes at the request of the Governor of this State, and says they will help us to expel from our borders the population hostile to our rights and institutions, treating all such as enemies, if found under arms. It remains to be seen whether Gen. Pillow, and other officers of the Confederate States, will continue their endeavor to make Missouri the theatre of war upon the invitation of Gov. Jackson, or of any other person, when such invasion is contrary to the act of the Confederate States, and when the invitation given by the Governor is withdrawn by the people. We have sought to avoid the ravaging our State in this war, and if the military officers of the Confederate States seek to turn the war upon us, upon the mere pretext that they are invited by a State officer to do so, when they know that no officer of the State has authority to give such invitation, then upon them be the consequences, for the sovereignty of Missouri must be protected.

There should be, on the part of the people of Missouri, a paramount purpose to preserve the internal peace of their own State, whatever may be the condition of affairs in other States. Our first duties are at home. If there could be a general recognition of this principle, the duty of preserving peace would be less onerous upon the magistracy of the State. But all will admit that, however unpleasant it may be, the duty of preserving the peace must be discharged by those upon whom the law imposes it. The means furnished by law are ample, and must be employed.

Combinations to oppress citizens and deprive them of their civil rights, because of any opinions they may hold, are flagrant offences against law, and unworthy the inhabitants of a free Republic. It must of course be expected that the power of the Government will be employed to subject all members of such combinations to the penalties imposed by law.

If those citizens who, at the call of the late Governor, have taken up arms, choose to return voluntarily to their homes to the peaceful pursuit of their occupations, they will find in the present Executive a determination to afford them all the security in his power, and there is no doubt entertained that they will be unmolested.

And now, people of Missouri, may not the hope be entertained that you will afford a cordial cooperation in an attempt to secure the return of peace? But a few months since you were prosperous and happy in the enjoyment of all your rights, civil and political. If you have suffered already great loss, anxiety, and distress — if you live in constant apprehension of coming evil — in uncertainty about all that is future — you can see how terrible are the consequences of a violent attempt to overthrow an established Government, which has heretofore afforded peace, prosperity, protection, and equal rights to all. It is but the part of wisdom to bear evils which are known to be endurable, rather than encounter such as are plainly before this people if peace be not speedily restored.

Now, therefore, I, Hamilton R. Gamble, Governor of the State of Missouri, in view of the foregoing facts, do hereby strictly charge and enjoin upon all sheriffs and other magistrates who are conservators of the peace, to use all the powers conferred upon them by law in arresting and bringing to punishment all persons who disturb the public peace, by using violence against any of their fellow-citizens, and especially are you charged to bring to justice all who combine to practise violence against other persons on account of their political opinions; and if force should be employed to resist you in the discharge of your duties to an extent that you cannot overcome by the means provided by law, you are charged to make known that fact to this Department, that proper measures may be taken in such case.

It is enjoined upon all citizens that they perform the duty of giving information of deposits of munitions of war belonging to the State, that they may come to the possession of the State without being captured by the troops of the United States.

It is further enjoined upon all citizens of suitable age to enroll themselves in military organizations, that they may take part in the defence of the State.

All citizens who are embodied under the act of the last session of the General Assembly, popularly called the “Military law,” are notified that the law has been abrogated, the troops disbanded, the commissions issued under it, as well as the commission under the act of the same session for the appointment of a Major-General, [474] have been annulled, and all soldiers and officers are enjoined to cease action in a military capacity.

The officers and their troops belonging to the Confederate States, who have invaded Missouri, are notified that it is against the will of the people of Missouri that they should continue upon the soil of this State, and that their continuance in Missouri will be considered an act of war, designed to bring upon our State the horrors of war, which Missouri desires to avoid. They are therefore notified to depart at once from the State.

Given under my hand as Governor, and under the great seal of the State of Missouri, at Jefferson City, this 3d day of August, 1861.

Since the Governor's proclamation was written the following despatch has been received:

M. Oliver, Secretary of State.
Washington, Aug. 3d, 1861.
To His Excellency, H. P. Gamble, Governor of Missouri:--In reply to your message addressed to the President, I am directed to say that if, by a proclamation, yon promise security to citizens in arms who voluntarily return to their allegiance and become peaceable and loyal, this Government will cause the promise to be respected.

I have the honor to be, &c.,

Simon Cameron, Secretary of War.

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Gideon J. Pillow (3)
Hamilton R. Gamble (3)
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