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[375] would only be because rebellion would be hopeless. A government so organized would in no sense be a popular government.

After careful consideration of all the questions involved, I am fully convinced as to the best policy to be adopted in this State, which I will submit in outline:

A military governor to be appointed, who shall have command of all the troops in the State; or the department commander be authorized to assume, by virtue of his command, the functions of military governor, which naturally devolve upon him.

The military governor to declare the Constitution and laws of the State in force immediately preceding the pretended Act of Secession (so far as the same are not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and the war proclamations of the President) to be still in force.

To make provisional appointments of justices of the peace, sheriffs, and such other inferior officers as the State laws empower the governor to appoint, to serve until the organization of a civil government.

To order an enrolment of all electors who may take the President's amnesty oath.

As soon as this enrolment shall be completed, to call an election for delegates to a State convention. The qualifications of voters and candidates to be those prescribed by the State laws, and that they shall take the amnesty oath. All acts of the convention to be submitted to the people, for their ratification or rejection, at the same time with the election of governor and members of the legislature, which would be ordered by the convention.

I would confidently expect a convention, so chosen, to repudiate the doctrine of secession, abolish slavery, and fully restore the State to its practical constitutional relations to the Government of the United States. The people are now ripe for such action. They only ask to know what the government desires them to do, and how they are to do it.

If, however, they should fail to do this, I would regard them as having violated their oaths, would dissolve the convention, and hold the State under military government until the people should come to their senses. I would have a lawful popular government or a military government—the latter being a necessary substitute in the absence of the former.

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