Doc. 49.-principles of the strong band.
Office of the board of control, Chicago, ill., Jan. 14, 1864.At a meeting of the Board of Control of the Strong Band, held at their rooms on the fourth day of January, 1864, it was unanimously resolved, that the following be published as the aim, object, and intent of the Strong Band, to wit: The aim of the Strong Band is to assist the Federal Government in putting down the present infamous rebellion, in maintaining the Constitution of the United States, in enforcing the laws, and in reestablishing the Union on the basis of universal freedom, with the territorial boundaries it possessed before the revolt. The object of the Strong Band is to introduce into every department of the Government the most rigid system of retrenchment and reform, compatible with a vigorous and successful prosecution of the war; to restore the institutions of the Republic to their original purity, as founded by the patriots and sages of the Revolution, and declared in the preamble of the Constitution to be “To form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity.” The intent of the Strong Band is to use every honorable means to elevate to place and power only such true and loyal patriots as have the ability to direct, and the firmness and will to enforce all measures necessary to accomplish these ends; our only test for each candidate being, Is he honest? is he capable? is he strictly loyal? And that we may be able to accomplish these ends, we will enrol in our organization all true and loyal patriots who seek and will labor for the best interests of our country and its institutions. By these means we hope to perpetuate civil and religious liberty; to preserve our country hereafter from every convulsion, and to make it an asylum for the oppressed of all nations--“the land of the free, and the home of the brave.” And as the President's Proclamation, under authority of Congress, emancipating the slaves in the insurgent States, has, to that extent, substantially abolished slavery in those States; and, as a great measure, has received the cordial approval of the mass of the loyal people of this country; and as, in our opinion, there is no power to change or alter the relations of the several States to the Union; those relations having been suspended only while the people of such States were in armed resistance to the Federal Government; and as we believe that the perfect, thorough, and entire abolition of slavery, in all the States and Territories, is indispensable to the future peace and perpetuation of the Union, and the best interests of our whole nation, therefore, we will cordially support such plan of reconstruction, consistent with these views, as reduced  to practice, will secure homogeneousness of institutions, on the basis of universal liberty, and transmit to all posterity an ocean-bound Republic, the beacon light of human rights, and the asylum for the oppressed of the whole world. By order of the Board.