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[342] country, connected with the two great staples, cotton and sugar would have been sufficient to call for more than the ordinary extemporaneous provisions in such cases; but, in addition to those, it embraced one of the largest commercial cities in the country--one, too, of much wealth and great business activity, and known for many years before as one of the most turbulent and difficult to govern. The only power of the Federal Government there was the military. This in its nature being executive, and purely so, neither the legislative nor the judicial wants were supplied by it. The army could very well execute decrees and orders, but it could not well hear and decide cases; and to provide for the government of this territory while it should be held and occupied by the Federal forces, one of the first things was to establish a judiciary by which controversies could be decided and justice administered.

Some of the earlier experiments in temporary expedients for this purpose were not as successful as could be desired. A large part of the population of Louisiana were foreigners — persons born in Europe who had never been naturalized in the United States, and who still owed allegiance to, and were entitled to the protection of the governments under which they had been born. This class in particular, by the aid of the consuls and agents of their respective governments, had given a great deal of trouble, not only at New Orleans and in Louisiana, to General Butler and the authorities there, but numbers of claims which had been passed upon in one way and another in Louisiana went on appeal to Washington, and were there, through the ministers and agents of the respective governments, pressed upon the attention of the authorities. These cases, as they had not been passed upon by courts of general jurisdiction and permanent powers, had to be re-examined there. In this manner a great amount of labor was thrown upon the President and members of the Cabinet, and sometimes very serious anxieties were occasioned as to the relations of the government with the governments of these complainants. To supply the wants of the State and avoid these complications with foreign powers, this court was created with powers plenary in all cases. The order of the President creating it was in the following words:

Executive order, Establishing a Provisional Court in Louisiana.

Executive mansion, Washington, October 20, 1862.
The insurrection which has for some time prevailed in several of the States of this Union, including Louisiana, having temporarily subverted and swept away the civil institutions of that State, including the judiciary and the judicial authorities of the Union, so that it has become necessary to hold the State in military occupation; and it being indispensably necessary that there shall be some judicial tribunal existing there capable of administering justice, I have, therefore, thought it proper to appoint, and I do hereby constitute a Provisional Court, which shall be a Court of Record for the State of Louisiana, and I do hereby appoint Charles A. Peabody, of New York, to be a Provisional Judge to hold said court, with authority to hear, try, and determine all causes, civil and criminal, including causes in law, equity, revenue, and admiralty, and particularly all such powers and jurisdiction as belong to the District and Circuit courts of the United States, conforming his proceedings, so far as possible, to the course of proceedings and practice which has been customary in the courts of the United States and Louisiana--his judgment to be final and conclusive. And I do hereby authorize and empower the said Judge to make and establish such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the exercise of his jurisdiction, and to appoint a Prosecuting Attorney, Marshal and Clerk of the said court, who shall perform the functions of attorney, marshal, and clerk, according to such proceedings and practice as before-mentioned, and such rules and regulations as may be made and established by said Judge. These appointments are to continue during the pleasure of the President, not extending beyond the military occupation of the city of New Orleans, or the restoration of the civil authority in that city and in the State of Louisiana. These officers shall be paid out of the contingent fund of the War Department, compensation as follows: * * * * * Such compensations to be certified by the, Secretary of War. A copy of this order, certified by the Secretary of War, and delivered to such Judge, shall be deemed and held to be a sufficient commission. Let the seal of the United States be hereunto affixed.

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

War Department, Washington, 23d October, 1862.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy, duly examined and compared with the original of the executive order of the President of the United States, constituting a Provisional Court for the State of Louisiana.

Witness my hand and the seal of the War Department.

Edwin Mi. Stanton Secretary of War. Attest: John Botts, Chief Clerk.

This order provides a tribunal, with powers as comprehensive as can be desired for any and all purposes. Without limit as to amounts or the nature of the controversies, it confers on Judge Peabody the power to hear and determine all causes of every name and kind, and ordains that his decision shall be final and conclusive.

The language of the order is very clear: “I do hereby appoint Charles A. Peabody, of New York, to be a Provisional Judge to hold said court, with authority to hear, try, and determine all causes, civil and criminal, including causes ”

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