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[249] governor, Congress thereby recognized as valid a military order of a socalled executive that unceremoniously set aside a provision of the state civil law, and was antirepublican and a positive usurpation. Again, all the departments of the United States government had acted on the theory that the Confederate States were in a state of insurrection, and that the Union was unbroken; under this theory, they could come back to the Union only with all the laws unimpaired which they themselves had made for their own government. Congress was as much bound to uphold the laws of Louisiana, in all their extent and in all their parts, as it was to uphold the laws of New York, or any other state whose civil policy had not been disturbed. Both those persons, however, were admitted to seats—yeas, 92; nays, 44.

The work of constituting the state of Louisiana out of the small portion of her population and of her territory held by the forces of the United States still went on. The proposition now was to hold a so-called state convention and frame a new constitution, but its advocates were so few that nothing was accomplished during the year 1863. The object of the military power was to secure such civil authority as to enforce the abolition of slavery; until the way was clear to that result, every method of organization was held in abeyance.

Meanwhile, on December 8, 1863, the President of the United States issued a proclamation which contained his plan for making a Union state out of a fragment of a Confederate state, and also granting an amnesty to the general mass of the people on taking an oath of allegiance. His plan was in these words:

And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that, whenever, in any of the States of Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina, a number of persons, not less than one tenth in number of the votes cast in such State at the Presidential election of 1860, each having taken the following oath and not having since violated it, and being a qualified voter by the election laws of the State existing immediately before the so-called act of secession, and excluding all others, shall reestablish a State government which shall be republican, and in nowise contravening said oath, such shall be recognized as the true government of the State, and the State shall receive thereunder the benefits of the constitutional provision which declares that ‘the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the Legislature or the Executive (when the Legislature can not be convened), against domestic violence.’

The oath required to be taken was as follows:

I, —— ——, do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will in like manner abide by and

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