Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction

On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issues his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. His hope was to facilitate reintegration, reorganization and reconstruction in the the postwar South.

Also on this day, in 1941, as indicated in Our December 7th post entitled Pearl Harbor: So Help us God, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made an oath on behalf of the United States when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan in response to the “unprovoked and dastardly” attack on Pearl Harbor.

He said:
With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.”

With that in mind, one authorization of Lincoln’s Proclamation allowed for a new state government to be formed when ten percent of eligible voters took an oath of allegiance to the United States. Naturally, that phrase is included in the oath, again emphasizing the intent and obligation of the oath giver.

Permanent Preservation

Whereas, it is now desired by some persons heretofore engaged in said rebellion to resume their allegiance to the United States, and to reinaugurate loyal state governments within and for their respective states: Therefore–

“I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do proclaim, declare, and make known to all persons who have, directly or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, that a full pardon is hereby granted to them and each of them, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and in property cases where rights of third parties shall have intervened, and upon the condition that every such person shall take and subscribe an oath, and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:–

“I, , do solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves, so long and so far as not repealed, modified, or held void by congress, or by decision of the supreme court; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves, so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the supreme court. So help me God.”

Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction

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