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[384] upon the personal guilt or innocence of its owner. In this respect, forfeitures under that act have more resemblance to cases of prize of war captured at sea as enemy's property, than to proceedings under the acts of August, 1861, and July, 1862. Such forfeitures are enforced, not so much to punish the owner for disloyal acts, as to prohibit commercial intercourse, and to weaken the public enemy, which are always efficient instruments and legitimate effects of public war. But although the remissions of forfeitures under the act of July, 1861, are thus not within the scope of the proclamation of pardon, still ample power is conferred on the Secretary of the Treasury by the eighth section of that act to mitigate or remit all forfeitures and penalties incurred under the act. And it is not to be doubted that in all proper cases under that act, where the owner of the property, residing in the territory in rebellion, complies with the conditions of the proclamation, that the Secretary of the Treasury will exercise the power of remission of such forfeitures in the same spirit of generous forbearance and liberality which inspires and characterizes the proclamation.

Very respectfully, etc.,

Titian J. Coffey, Acting Attorney-General.

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