President Lincoln Meets with Kentucky Officials

March 26, 1864

President Lincoln talks about black army enlistment in Kentucky with three top officials – Governor Thomas  Bramlette of Kentucky, former Sen. Archibald Dixon, and Albert G. Hodges, editor of Frankfort Commonwealth.   Historian Robert S. Harper wrote in Lincoln and the Press: ““The President granted a long interview to them and remarked at the close he was apprehensive that ‘Kentuckians felt unkindly toward him, in consequence of not properly understanding the difficulties by which he was surrounded in his efforts to put down this rebellion.”  Harper added: “Hodges agreed with him that he was ‘greatly misunderstood’ by many persons in Kentucky.  He suggested to Lincoln that he ‘write out the remarks’ he had just made to Bramlette and Dixon for publication in the Frankfort Commonwealth.”

Attorney General Edward Bates writes: “This morning, Gov Bramlette, ex senator Dixon, and Mr. Hodges (of the Frankfort Commonwealth) of Ky: called on me at my office.  I introduced them to the President, with whom I believe they made arrangement for a special audience.  The Governor’s mission here is to have a better understanding with the Genl. Govt., about negro enlistments in Ky.  The Govr. Says that the draft will not be opposed, if conducted in a simple and honest way – i.e enlist the man march them off, without making it a pretence to insult, and rob, and dominate every neighborhood – as in Maryland!”

Navy Secretary Gideon Welles: “I went early this A.m. to the President on the subject of procuring a transfer of seamen from the Army to the Navy. After reading the papers he said he would take the matter in hand, and before I left the room he rang for his man Edward and told him to go for the Secretary of War, but, stopping him before he got to the door, directed him to call the Secretary of State first. In this whole matter of procuring seamen for the Navy there has been a sorry display of the prejudices of  some of the military authorities. Halleck appears to dislike the Navy more than he loves his country.”

President Lincoln issues an Amnesty Proclamation.

Whereas, 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 eighth 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, President 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 or 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. Prisoners excluded from the amnesty offered in the said proclamation may apply to the President for clemency like all other offenders, and their applications will receive due consideration.

I do farther declare and proclaim that the oath prescribed in the aforesaid proclamation of the 8th. of December, 1863, may be taken and subscribed before any commissioned officer, 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 certificates 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.

Published in: on March 26, 2014 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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