Governor Johnson's proclamation.
Nashville, January 26, 1864.whereas, in consequence of the disloyalty of a large majority of the persons filling the offices established by the constitution and laws of Tennessee, and of the majority of the people of the State, and as part of the legitimate fruits of secession and rebellion against the Government of the United States, the people of Tennessee have been deprived for nearly three years of all free, regular, and legitimate government, and they are now without a Governor chosen in the ordinary way, Legislature, representation in the Congress of the United States, and without courts, judges, chancellors, and the various legitimately authorized county officers: And Whereas, it is believed that a majority of the people of the State are ready and desire to return to their allegiance to the Government  of the United States, and to recognize and restore the State Government to the exercise of its rightful functions, as a State of the American Union, under the Constitution of the United States; and as an initiatory step in such reorganization and restoration, it is determined to open and hold an election on the first Saturday in March next, in the various precincts, districts, or wherever it is practicable so to do, in the respective counties of the State, as prescribed by the laws and Constitution of the State, to wit: Justices of the peace, sheriffs, constables, trustees, circuit and county court clerks, registers, and tax collectors. Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me, and for the purpose of bringing the State of Tennessee within the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees to each State a republican form of government, I do order said elections to be holden in the various counties on the first Saturday in March next, for the officers aforesaid, and none other. But, inasmuch as these elections are ordered in the State of Tennessee, as a State of the Union under the Federal Constitution, it is not expected that the enemies of the United States will propose to vote, nor is it intended that they be permitted to vote or hold office. And in the midst of so much disloyalty and hostility as have existed among the people of this State toward the Government of the United States, and in order to secure the votes of its friends and exclude those of its enemies, I have deemed it proper to make known the requisite qualifications of the electors at said elections. To entitle any person to the privilege of voting, he must be a free white man, of the age of twenty-one years, being a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the county where he may offer his vote six months preceding the day of election, and a competent witness in any court of justice of the State by the laws thereof, against a white man; and not having been convicted of bribery or the offer to bribe, of larceny or any other offence declared infamous by the laws of the State, unless he has been restored to citizenship in the mode pointed out by law. And he must take and subscribe, before the judges of the election the following oath:
I solemnly swear, that I will henceforth support the Constitution of the United States, and defend it against the assaults of all its enemies; that I will hereafter be, and conduct myself as a true and faithful citizen of the United States, freely and voluntarily claiming to be subject to all the duties and obligations, and entitled to all the rights and privileges of such citizenship; that I ardently desire the suppression of the present insurrection and rebellion against the Government of the United States, the success of its armies, and the defeat of all those who oppose them, and that the Constitution of the United States, and all laws and proclamations, made in pursuance thereof, may be speedily and permanently established and enforced over all the people, States, and Territories thereof; and further, that I will hereafter heartily aid and assist all loyal people in the accomplishment of these results. So help me God.And all the judges, officers, and persons holding the election, before entering upon their respective duties, in addition to the oath now required by the laws of the State, shall take and subscribe the same oath, and also that they will permit no one to vote who has not taken and subscribed the oath above set forth, or refuses to do so. The provisions of the Code, in regard to inspectors and judges of election, are as follows: Section 841. The County Court, at the session next preceding the day of election, shall appoint three inspectors or judges for each voting place to superintend the election. Section 842. If the county court fail to make the appointment, or any person appointed refuse to serve, the sheriff, with the advice of three justices of the peace, or if none be present, three respectable freeholders, shall, before the beginning of the election, appoint said inspectors or judges. Section 843. If the sheriff, or other officer whose duty it is to attend at a particular place of voting, under the foregoing provisions, fail to attend, any justice of the peace present, or if no justice of the peace be present, any three freeholders, may perform the duties prescribed by the preceding section, or, in case of necessity, may act as officers or inspectors. Now, whereas, in many of the counties there are no county courts, sheriffs, or justices of the peace, and in others the persons now and heretofore filling these offices are disloyal, and therefore disqualified, in all such counties some respectable citizen of the county will be appointed to hold said elections, appoint the judges, clerks, and other officers, either by himself or his deputies, and administer the oath to such officers, and receive the votes and make due returns to the office of Secretary of State. All other steps will be taken looking to the election of the other officers, Federal and State, as soon as practicable. In testimony whereof, I, Andrew Johnson, Military Governor of the State of Tennessee, do hereunto set my hand, and cause the Great
Andrew Johnson. By the Governor, Edward H. East, Secretary of State.