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Doc. 189.-conscription proclamation. By the President of the United States of America:


A proclamation.

Whereas, The Congress of the United States at its last session enacted a law entitled, “An act for enrolling and calling out the national forces and for other purposes,” which was approved on the third day of March last, and

Whereas, It is recited in the said act that there now exists in the United States an insurrection and rebellion against the authority thereof, and it is, under the Constitution of the United States, the duty of the Government to suppress insurrection and rebellion, to guarantee to each State a republican form of government, and to preserve the public tranquillity, and

Whereas, For these high purposes a military force is indispensable, to raise and support which all persons ought willingly to contribute ; and

Whereas, No service can be more praiseworthy and honorable than that which is rendered for the maintenance of the Constitution and the Union, and the consequent preservation of the Government; and

Whereas, For the reasons thus recited, it was enacted by the said statute that all able-bodied male citizens of the United States and persons of foreign birth, who shall have declared on oath their intentions to become citizens, under and in pursuance of the laws thereof, between the ages of twenty and forty-five years, with certain exceptions not necessary to be here mentioned, are declared to constitute the national forces, and shall be liable to perform military duty in the service of the United States, when called out by the President for that purpose; and

Whereas, It is claimed, and in behalf of persons of foreign birth within the ages specified in said act who have heretofore declared on oath their intentions to become citizens under and in pursuance of the laws of the United States, and who have not exercised the right of suffrage or any other political franchise under the laws of the United States, or of any of the States thereof, arc not absolutely precluded by their aforesaid declaration of intention from renouncing their purpose to become citizens, and that, on the contrary, such persons under treaties or the law of nations, retain a right to renounce that purpose and to forego the privilege of citizenship and residence within the United States under the obligations imposed by the aforesaid act of Congress.

Now, therefore, to avoid all misapprehensions concerning the liability of persons concerned to perform the service required by such enactment, and to give it full effect, I do hereby order and proclaim that no plea of alienage will be received or allowed to exempt from the obligations imposed by the aforesaid act of Congress, any person of foreign birth who shall have declared, on oath, his intention to become a citizen of the United States under the laws thereof, and who shall be found within the United States at any time during the continuance of the present insurrection and rebellion, at or after the expiration of the sixty-five days from the date of this proclamation, nor shall any such plea of alienage be allowed in favor of any such person who has so as aforesaid declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, and shall have exercised at any time the right of suffrage or any other political [612] franchise within the United States, under the laws thereof, or under the laws of any of the several States.

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

Done at the city of Washington, this eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord 1863, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

Abraham Lincoln. By the President, Wm. H. Seward, Secretary of State.

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