Whereas, The fourth section of the fourth article of the constitution
of the United States declares that the United States shall guarantee to
every State in the Union a republican form of government, and shall protect
each of them against invasion and domestic violence; and whereas, the President
of the United States is, by the Constitution, made Commander-in-chief of
the army and navy, as well as chief of civil executive officer of the United
States, and is bound by solemn oath faithfully to execute the office of
President of the United States, and to take care that the laws be faithfully
executed; and whereas, the rebellion which has been waged by a portion of
the people of the United States against the properly constituted authorities
of the Government thereof in the most violent and revolting form, but whose
organized and armed forces have now been almost entirely overcome, has,
in its revolutionary progress, deprived the people of the State of Alabama
of all civil government; and whereas, it becomes necessary and proper to
carry out and enforce the obligations of the United States to the people
of Alabama in securing them in the enjoyment of a republican form of government:
Now, therefore, in obedience to the high and solemn duties imposed upon me by the Constitution of the United States, and for the purpose of enabling the loyal people of said State to organize a State government, whereby justice may be established, domestic tranquillity restored, and loyal citizens protected in all their rights of life, liberty, and property, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, and Commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States, do hereby appoint Lewis E. Parsons, of Alabama, Provisional Governor of the State of Alabama, whose duty it shall be, at the earliest practicable period, to prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper for convening a convention composed of delegates to be chosen by that portion of the people of said State who are loyal to the United States, and no others, for the purpose of altering and amending the Constitution thereof; and with authority to exercise within the limits of said State, all the powers necessary and proper to enable such loyal people of the State of Alabama to restore said State to its constitutional relations to the Federal Government, and to present such a republican form of State government as will entitle the State to the guarantee of the United States therefor, and its people to protection by the United States against invasion, insurrection, and domestic violence; Provided, That in any election that may be held hereafter for choosing delegates to any State Convention, as aforesaid, no person shall be qualified as an elector or shall be eligible as member of such convention, unless he shall have previously taken and subsribed the oath of amnesty, as set forth in the President's proclamation of May 29, A. D. 1865, and is a voter qualified as prescribed by the Constitution and laws of the State of Alabama, in force immediately before the 11th of January, A. D. 1861, the date of the so-called ordinance of secession. And the said convention, when convened, or the legislature that may be thereafter assembled, will prescribe the qualification of electors and the eligibility of persons to hold office under the Constitution and laws of the State - a power the people of the several States composing the Federal Union have rightfully exercised from the origin of the Government to the present time. And I do hereby direct:
First. That the military commander of the department, and all officers and persons in the military and naval service, aid and assist the said Provisional Government in carrying into effect this proclamation; and they are enjoined to abstain from in any way hindering, impeding, or discouraging loyal people from the organization of a State Government as herein authorized.
Second. That the Secretary of State proceed to put in force all laws of the United States, the administration whereof belongs to the State department, applicable to the geographical limits of aforesaid.
Third. That the Secretary of the Treasury proceed to nominate for appointment assessors of taxes and collectors of customs and of internal revenue, and such other officers of the Treasury Department as are authorized by law, and put in execution the revenue laws of the United States within the geographical limits aforesaid. In making appointments the preference shall be given to qualified loyal persons residing within the districts where their respective duties are to be performed. But if suitable residents of districts shall not be found, then persons residing in other States or districts shall be appointed.
Fourth. That the Postmaster-General proceed to establish post-offices and post-routes, and put into execution the postal laws of the United States within said State, giving to loyal residents the preference of appointment; but if suitable residents are not found, then to appoint agents, etc., from other States.
Fifth. That the district judge for the judicial district in which Alabama is included, proceed to hold courts within said State, in accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress, and the Attorney-General will instruct the proper officers to libel and bring to judgment, confiscation and sale, property subject to confiscation, and enforce the administration of justice within said State, in all matters within the cognizance and jurisdiction of the Federal courts.
Sixth. That the Secretary of the Navy take possession of all public property belonging to the Navy Department within said geographical limits, and put in operation all acts of Congress in relation to naval affairs having application to said State.
Seventh. That the Secretary of the Interior put in force the laws relating to the Interior Department applicable to the geographical limits aforesaid.
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, this 21st day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.
By the President:
WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.
To the People of Alabama:
The appeal to arms has been made and decided against us, but not until
our sons and brothers had exhibited a degree of courage and endurance which
commands the respect and admiration of the world.
Alabama was admitted to the Union on the 2d day of March, 1819. What her population and resources were at that time, I have not the means at hand to state; but the census of 1860 enables us to see what her condition was when the convention passed the ordinance of secession, on the 11th day of January, 1861.
Our State then had a population of 964,201 souls, of which 526,431 were whites, 2,690 were free colored, and 435,080 were slaves. We had 6,462,987 acres of improved lands, the greater part of which was in actual cultivation, producing 32,761,194 bushels of corn; 1,222,487 bushels of wheat; 73,942 bushels of rye; 716,435 bushels of oats; 499,559 pounds of rice; 221,284 pounds of tobacco; 1,483,609 bushels of peas and beans; 397,566 bushels of Irish potatoes; 5,420,987 bushels of sweet potatoes; and 997,978 bales of cotton. We had 108,701 mules; 127,205 horses; 234,045 milch cows; 92,495 working oxen; 452,643 head of other cattle; 369,061 sheep, yielding 681,404 pounds of wool; and 1,736,559 swine.
We had 743 miles of rail road in operation, which cost us $17,591,188. We had $4,901,000 invested in bank stock, $2,747,174 in specie, and $4,851,153 on deposit in different banks of the State, and $8,260,000 invested in manufactures, the value of whose annual product was $9,400,000.
The value of our real estate and personal property, exclusive of the value of negroes, was $495,277,078.
The State owed a sterling bond debt, payable in London, of $1,336,000, and a decimal bond debt, payable in New York, of $2,109,000. It also owed what is called the funded debt of the State, consisting of the sixteenth section and the university fund, on which the interest can only be paid, the State having assumed this in perpetuity, amounting to $120,000. To meet this the State had $1,200,000 in North Carolina and Virginia six per cent. bonds, worth, at that time, a premium in the market, and an annual revenue which exceeded all its expenses about $_______________.
In the prosecution of the war, for the last four years, into which Alabama was precipitated, about 122,000 of her sons have been carried to the field of battle, 35,000 of whom will never return; and it is probable an equal or larger number are permanently injured by wounds or disease while in the service. A very large proportion of our material wealth has been exhausted. Our fields are laid waste, our towns and cities, our rail roads and bridges, our schools and colleges, many of our private dwellings and public edifices are in ruins; silence and desolation reign where once stood the comfortable home which resounded with the joyous laugh of childhood and innocence.
The State has contracted a large war debt during this period, and has on hand as near as can be ascertained about $_________ in Confederate treasury notes, which are utterly worthless, and about $___________ in good funds.
Untold sufferings have been, and are still endured by thousands of our women and children and the aged and helpless of our land.
There is no longer a slave in Alabama. It is thus made manifest to the world that the right of secession for the purpose of establishing a separate confederacy, based on the idea of African slavery, has been fully and effectually tried, and is a failure.
Yet, amid all the ruin, suffering and death which have resulted from it, every political right which the State possessed under the federal constitution, is hers to-day, with the single exception relating to slavery.
The life-boat of the Union is still within our reach. The flag which our fathers established, with their life blood, among the nations of the earth, still floats at her mast-head. On her quarter deck, despite the bullet and dagger of the assassin, still stands a helmsman at his post, surrounded by a crew, who, for the most part, with outstretched hands and in cordial tones invite us to come on board and share equally with them the prosperity, the danger, and the glory which may fall to the lot of those whose fortunes are united with her.
Friends and fellow-citizens, shall we not do it? There is no other sail in sight. England and France often seemed to be bearing down to our relief, but they have tacked - nay, they have put square about, and are now hull down on the distant verge of the ocean. But the ship which our fathers built has backed her engines and her sails and is lying to, ready to receive us. Her commander says come. It is your right. Her crew are looking over her sides ready to lend us a hand. And if they who fell at Lexington and Bunker Hill, at the Cowpens and Yorktown, could speak to us, would they not say "go on board the ship we have built and launched for all of you; brethren, be at peace and dwell together in unity; you have fallen out; you have had a dreadful family quarrel, as children too often have, after the parents are dead and gone who acquired the estate; but be thankful to God that the great principles of civil and religious liberty, of free government and man's capacity to govern himself still survive amid the ruin which you have wrought. You will all be once more integral parts of an empire which contains within itself the elements necessary to secure all of peace, prosperity and happiness which falls to the lot of men and nations. There is not a friend to the principles of government which we bequeathed you, among the kings and despots of the earth. You have had, during all this death-struggle, but one real friend in Europe, the Emperor of Russia."
Shall we not heed their advice? In the hope, the belief that we will, it has pleased his excellency, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, to appoint the undersigned Provisional Governor of Alabama, "for the purpose of enabling the loyal people of said State to organize a State government, whereby justice may be established, domestic tranquillity insured, and loyal citizens protected in all their rights of life, liberty and property"; and the President has made it my duty "to prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary and proper for convening a Convention composed of delegates to be chosen by that portion of the people of said State who are loyal to the United States, and no others, for the purpose of altering or amending the constitution thereof; and with authority to exercise within the limits of said State, all the powers necessary and proper to enable such loyal people of the State of Alabama to restore said State to its constitutional relations to the federal government, and to present such a republican form of State government as will entitle the State to the guarantee of the United States therefor, and its people to protection by the United States against invasion, insurrection and domestic violence."
Now, for the purpose of carrying into execution the commands of the President, and to enable the loyal people of Alabama to secure to themselves the benefits of civil government, I do hereby declare and ordain -
Done at Montgomery, Alabama, on the 20th day of July, A. D. 1865.
LEWIS E. PARSONS
Provisional Governor of Alabama