Federal Laws of the Reconstruction

Principal Congressional Acts and Resolutions, Presidential Proclamations, Speeches and Orders, and Other Legislative and Military Documents, 1862–1875

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About the Book

This collection of documents (primarily statutes and presidential proclamations), provide an important research tool that gives a unique sense of the Reconstruction process. Included are 37 acts of congress, 44 presidential proclamations, eight congressional resolutions, one inaugural speech, one military field order, one presidential order, and two war department circulars, all reproduced in their entirety and arranged chronologically.

About the Author(s)

Frederick E. Hosen is the author of several McFarland books relating to the laws of the United States. He lives in Christiansburg, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Compiled by Frederick E. Hosen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 206
Bibliographic Info: tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4668-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5826-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Table I. Population of Regions by Race for the Years 1860, 1870, 1880      3

Table II. Population of Southern States by Race for the Years 1860, 1870, 1880      4

CORE DOCUMENTS

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 16. September 22, 1862      7

“The war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the Constitutional relation between the United States and each of the states and the people thereof.”

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 17. January 1, 1863      9

“Designate as the states and parts of states … in rebellion against the United States,” and “declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated states and parts of states are, and henceforward shall be, free.”

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 11. December 8, 1863      11

Upon condition of signing an oath, a pardon may be granted to persons of the rebellion. Certain persons are excepted from amnesty. Provision is made for state government to be reestablished. Provision is made regarding freed men.

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 14. March 26, 1864      13

The pardon/amnesty Proclamation of December 8, 1863, does not apply to persons in custody.

An Act to Repeal the Fugitive Slave Act of eighteen hundred and fifty, and all acts and parts of acts for the rendition of fugitive slaves. June 28, 1864      15

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 18. July 8, 1864      15

“A bill to ‘guarantee to certain states, whose governments have been usurped or overthrown, a republican form of government,’ a copy of which is hereunto annexed”; this bill was not signed by the President although he was “fully satisfied with the system for restoration in the bill as a very proper plan.”

A Resolution submitting to the legislatures of the several states a proposition to amend the Constitution of the United States. No. 11. February 1, 1865. (13th Amendment)      20

An Act to establish a Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees. March 3, 1865      21

An Act to incorporate the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company. March 3, 1865      23

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 37. May 29, 1865      27

The granting of amnesty and pardon to certain persons “who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion.”

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 1. April 2, 1866      30

A declaration that the insurrection is at an end.

An Act to protect all persons in the United States in their civil rights, and furnish the means of their vindication. April 9, 1866      33

A Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States. No. 48. June 16, 1866. (14th Amendment)      38

An Act to continue in force and to amend “An Act to establish a Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees,” and for other purposes. July 16, 1866      39

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 4. August 20, 1866      45

The insurrection in Texas is declared to be at an end, and peace exists throughout the United States.

A Joint Resolution authorizing the employment of a public vessel for the transportation of provisions to the people of the Southern States. No. 23. February 22, 1867      50

An Act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States. March 2, 1867      50

A Resolution for the relief of freedmen or destitute colored people in the District of Columbia. No. 4. March 16, 1867      53

An Act supplementary to an Act entitled “An Act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States,” passed March 2, 1867, and to facilitate restoration. March 23, 1867      53

A Joint Resolution to furnish the transportation of provisions to the destitute in the South. No. 17. March 29, 1867      57

A Resolution for the relief of the destitute in the Southern and Southwestern States. No. 28. March 30, 1867      58

An Act supplementary to an Act entitled “An Act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States,” passed on March 2, 1867, and the Act supplementary thereto, passed March 23, 1867. July 19, 1867      58

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 3. September 7, 1867      62

Provides for full pardon to all persons of the rebellion with some exceptions.

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 4. October 7, 1867      65

Corrects an error in the Proclamation of August 20, 1866.

A Joint Resolution for the Relief of destitute persons in the South. No. 7. January 31, 1868      66

An Act to amend the Act passed March 23, 1867, entitled “An Act supplementary to ‘An Act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States,’ passed March 2, 1867, and to facilitate their restoration.” March 11, 1868      66

An Act to admit the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, to representation in Congress. June 25, 1868      67

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 6. July 4, 1868      69

Provides for the full pardon to all persons, except those under indictment for treason or felony, engaged in the rebellion. Also, provides for the “restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves.”

An Act to continue the Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees, and for other purposes. July 6, 1868      71

An Act relating to the Freedmen’s Bureau and providing for its discontinuance. July 25, 1868      73

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 15. December 25, 1868      74

Provides for a full and unconditional pardon and amnesty to all persons engaged in the rebellion.

A Resolution proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. No. 14. February 27, 1869. (15th Amendment)      75

An Act to enforce the Rights of Citizens of the United States to vote in the several States of this Union, and for other purposes. May 31, 1870      76

An Act to amend an Act approved May 31, 1870, entitled “An Act to enforce the Rights of Citizens of the United States to vote in the several States of this Union, and for other purposes.”

February 28, 1871      85

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 17. March 24, 1871      95

A command for the cessation, in South Carolina, of persons causing unrest to retire peaceably.

An Act to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes. April 20, 1871      96

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 2. May 3, 1871      101

Regarding enforcement of the “act to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.”

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 3. October 12, 1871      102

Regarding “unlawful combinations and conspiracies … in the State of South Carolina.”

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 4. October 17, 1871      103

Suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in certain counties of the State of South Carolina.

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 6. November 3, 1871      105

(1) Revokes the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus as to Marion County, South Carolina. (2) Adds Union County, South Carolina, to the counties previously identified as places of unlawful combinations and conspiracies.

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America. No. 7. November 10, 1871      106

The writ of habeas corpus is suspended in Union County, South Carolina.

An Act to protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights. March 1, 1875      108

Appendix A: Laws Providing for a Republican Form of Government for the Rebel States      111

Appendix B: Laws Providing for the Readmission of the Rebel States to the Union      132

Appendix C: Principal Laws (1861–1863) for the Identification of Those States in Rebellion and for the Suspension of Habeas Corpus      145

Appendix D: Several Regulations and a Speech That Are Relevant to the Reconstruction      155

Appendix E: Laws Authorizing a Response to Rebellion or Insurrection      163

Appendix F: Miscellaneous Laws Relevant to Reconstruction      171

Appendix G: Laws Related to Slave and Peonage Labor      182

Bibliography      191

Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

“a valuable research tool”—H-Net Reviews.