Lincoln's last proclamation.
--The telegraph yesterday gave a summary of Lincoln
's last proclamation, explaining the terms of his "amnesty." Here is the document in full.
It has become necessary to define the cases in which insurgent enemies are entitled to the benefits of the proclamation of the President
of the United States
which was made on the 8th day of December, 1863, and the manner in which they shall proceed to avail themselves of those benefits, and whereas, the objects of that proclamation were to suppress the insurrection, and to restore the authority of the United States
; and whereas the amnesty therein proposed by the President
, was offered with reference to these objects alone:
Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln
of the United States
, do hereby proclaim and declare that the said proclamation does not apply to the cases of persons who, at the time when they seek to obtain the benefits thereof by taking the oath thereby prescribed, are in military, naval or civil confinement or custody, or under bonds or on parole of the civil, military or naval authorities as agents of the United States
, as prisoners of war, or persons detained for offences of any kind, either before or after conviction; and that, on the contrary, it does apply only to those persons who, being yet at large and free from any arrest, confinement or duress, shall voluntarily come forward and take the said oath, with the purpose of restoring peace and establishing the national authority.
I prisoners excluded from the amnesty offered in the said proclamation may apply to the President
for clemency, like all other offenders, and their application will receive due consideration.
I do further declares and proclaim that the oath prescribed in the aforesaid proclamation of the 8th of December, 1863, may be taken and subscribed before any commissioned officers, civil, military, or naval, in the service of the United States
, or any civil or military officer of a State or Territory not in insurrection, who, by the laws thereof, may be qualified for administering oaths.
All officers who receive such oaths are hereby authorized to give certificate thereon to the persons respectively by whom they are made, and such officers are hereby required to transmit the original records of such oaths at as early a day as may be convenient to the Department of State, where they will be deposited and remain in the archives of the Government
The Secretary of State
will keep a register thereof, and will, on application in proper cases, issue certificates of such records in the customary form of official certificates.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States
to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington
, the 26th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and of the independence of the United States