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faithfully executed. The Constitution, in order to carry out this power, gives him the choice of the agents, and makes them subject to his control and supervision. But in the execution of these laws the constitutional obligation upon the President remains, but the power to exercise that constitutional duty is effectually taken away. The military commander is as to the power of appointment made to take the place of the President, and the General of the Army the place of the Senate; and any attempt on the part of the President to assert his own constitutional power may, under pretense of law, be met by official insubordination. It is to be feared that these military officers, looking to the authority given by these laws rather than to the letter of the Constitution, will recognize no authority but the commander of the district and the General of the Army.
If there were no other objection than this to this proposed legislation, it would be sufficient. Whilst I hold the chief executive authority of the United States, whilst the obligation rests upon me to see that all the laws are faithfully executed, I can never willingly surrender that trust or the powers given for its execution. I can never give my assent to be made responsible for the faithful execution of laws, and at the same time surrender that trust and the powers which accompany it to any other executive officer, high or low, or to any number of executive officers. If this executive trust, vested by the Constitution in the President, is to be taken from him and vested in a subordinate officer, the responsibility will be with Congress in clothing the subordinate with unconstitutional power and with the officer who assumes its exercise.
This interference with the constitutional authority of the executive department is an evil that will inevitably sap the foundations of our federal system; but it is not the worst evil of this legislation. It is a great public wrong to take from the President powers conferred on him alone by the Constitution, but the wrong is more flagrant and more dangerous when the powers so taken from the President are conferred upon subordinate executive officers, and especially upon military officers. Over nearly one-third of the States of the Union military power, regulated by no fixed law, rules supreme. Each one of the five district commanders, though not chosen by the people or responsible to them, exercises at this hour more executive power, military and civil, than the people have ever been willing to confer upon the head of the executive department, though chosen by and responsible to themselves. The remedy must come from the people themselves. They know what it is and how it is to be applied. At the present time they can not, according to the forms of the Constitution, repeal these laws; they can not remove or control this military despotism. The remedy is, nevertheless, in their hands; it is to be found in the ballot, and is a sure one if not controlled by fraud, overawed by arbitrary power, or, from apathy on their part, too long delayed. With abiding confidence in their patriotism, wisdom, and integrity, I am still
hopeful of the future, and that in the end the rod of despotism will be broken, the armed heel of power lifted from the necks of the people, and the principles of a violated Constitution preserved.
WASHINGTON, D. C., July 19, 1867.
To the House of Representatives:
For reasons heretofore stated in my several veto messages to Congress upon the subject of reconstruction, I return without my approval the "Joint resolution to carry into effect the several acts providing for the more efficient government of the rebel States," and appropriating for that purpose the sum of $1,000,000. ANDREW JOHNSON.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Whereas by the Constitution of the United States the executive power is vested in a President of the United States of America, who is bound by solemn oath faithfully to execute the office of President and to the best of his ability to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and is by the same instrument made Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and is required to take care that the laws be faithfully executed; and
Whereas by the same Constitution it is provided that the said Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby; and
Whereas in and by the same Constitution the judicial power of the United States is vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish, and the aforesaid judicial power is declared to extend to all cases in law and equity arising under the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and the treaties which shall be made under their authority; and
Whereas all officers, civil and military, are bound by oath that they will support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and
Whereas all officers of the Army and Navy of the United States, in accepting their commissions under the laws of Congress and the Rules and Articles of War, incur an obligation to observe, obey, and follow such directions as they shall from time to time receive from the President or the General or other superior officers set over them according to the rules and discipline of war; and
Whereas it is provided by law that whenever, by reason of unlawful
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obstructions, combinations, or assemblages of persons or rebellion against the authority of the Government of the United States, it shall become impracticable, in the judgment of the President of the United States, to enforce by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings the laws of the United States within any State or Territory, the Executive in that case is authorized and required to secure their faithful execution by the employment of the land and naval forces; and
Whereas impediments and obstructions, serious in their character, have recently been interposed in the States of North Carolina and South Carolina, hindering and preventing for a time a proper enforcement there of the laws of the United States and of the judgments and decrees of a lawful court thereof, in disregard of the command of the President of the United States; and
Whereas reasonable and well-founded apprehensions exist that such ill-advised and unlawful proceedings may be again attempted there or elsewhere:
Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby warn all persons against obstructing or hindering in any manner whatsoever the faithful execution of the Constitution and the laws; and I do solemnly enjoin and command all officers of the Government, civil and military, to render due submission and obedience to said laws and to the judgments and decrees of the courts of the United States, and to give all the aid in their power necessary to the prompt enforcement and execution of such laws, decrees, judgments, and processes.
And I do hereby enjoin upon the officers of the Army and Navy to assist and sustain the courts and other civil authorities of the United States in a faithful administration of the laws thereof and in the judgments, decrees, mandates, and processes of the courts of the United States; and I call upon all good and well-disposed citizens of the United States to remember that upon the said Constitution and laws, and upon the judgments, decrees, and processes of the courts made in accordance with the same, depend the protection of the lives, liberty, property, and happiness of the people. And I exhort them everywhere to testify their devotion to their country, their pride in its prosperity and greatness, and their determination to uphold its free institutions by a hearty cooperation in the efforts of the Government to sustain the authority of the law, to maintain the supremacy of the Federal Constitution, and to preserve unimpaired the integrity of the National Union.
In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the United States to be affixed to these presents and sign the same with my hand. Done at the city of Washington, the 3d day of September, in the year 1867.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Whereas in the month of July, A. D. 1861, the two Houses of Congress, with extraordinary unanimity, solemnly declared that the war then existing was not waged on the part of the Government in any spirit of oppression nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of the States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the several States unimpaired, and that as soon as these objects should be accomplished the war ought to cease; and
Whereas the President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A. D. 1863, and on the 26th day of March, A. D. 1864, did, with the objects of suppressing the then existing rebellion, of inducing all persons to return to their loyalty, and of restoring the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to all persons who had, directly or indirectly, participated in the then existing rebellion, except as in those proclamations was specified and reserved; and Whereas the President of the United States did on the 29th day of May, A. D. 1865, issue a further proclamation, with the same objects before mentioned, and to the end that the authority of the Government of the United States might be restored and that peace, order, and freedom might be established, and the President did by the said last-mentioned proclamation proclaim and declare that he thereby granted to all persons who had, directly or indirectly, participated in the then existing rebellion, except as therein excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except in certain cases where legal proceedings had been instituted, but upon condition that such persons should take and subscribe an oath therein prescribed, which oath should be registered for permanent preservation; and
Whereas in and by the said last-mentioned proclamation of the 29th day of May, A. D. 1865, fourteen extensive classes of persons therein specially described were altogether excepted and excluded from the benefits thereof; and
Whereas the President of the United States did, on the 2d day of April, A. D. 1866, issue a proclamation declaring that the insurrection was at an end and was thenceforth to be so regarded; and
Whereas there now exists no organized armed resistance of misguided citizens or others to the authority of the United States in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, and Texas, and the laws can be sustained and enforced therein by the proper civil authority, State or Federal, and the people of said States are well and loyally disposed, and
have conformed, or, if permitted to do so, will conform in their legislation to the condition of affairs growing out of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibiting slavery within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States; and
Whereas there no longer exists any reasonable ground to apprehend within the States which were involved in the late rebellion any renewal thereof or any unlawful resistance by the people of said States to the Constitution and laws of the United States; and
Whereas large standing armies, military occupation, martial law, military tribunals, and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and the right of trial by jury are in time of peace dangerous to public liberty, incompatible with the individual rights of the citizen, contrary to the genius and spirit of our free institutions, and exhaustive of the national resources, and ought not, therefore, to be sanctioned or allowed except in cases of actual necessity for repelling invasion or suppressing insurrection or rebellion; and
Whereas a retaliatory or vindictive policy, attended by unnecessary disqualifications, pains, penalties, confiscations, and disfranchisements, now, as always, could only tend to hinder reconciliation among the people and national restoration, while it must seriously embarrass, obstruct, and repress popular energies and national industry and enterprise; and
Whereas for these reasons it is now deemed essential to the public welfare and to the more perfect restoration of constitutional law and order that the said last-mentioned proclamation so as aforesaid issued on the 29th day of May, A. D. 1865, should be modified, and that the full and beneficent pardon conceded thereby should be opened and further extended to a large number of the persons who by its aforesaid exceptions have been hitherto excluded from Executive clemency:
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the full pardon described in the said proclamation of the 29th day of May, A. D. 1865, shall henceforth be opened and extended to all persons who, directly or indirectly, participated in the late rebellion, with the restoration of all privileges, immunities, and rights of property, except as to property with regard to slaves, and except in cases of legal proceedings under the laws of the United States; but upon this condition, nevertheless, that every such person who shall seek to avail himself of this proclamation shall take and subscribe the following oath and shall cause the same to be registered for permanent preservation in the same manner and with the same effect as with the oath prescribed in the said proclamation of the 29th day of May, 1865, namely:
do solemnly swear (or affirm), 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 man