President Andrew Johnson, Proclamation Announcing that the Rebellion Has Ended, April 2, 1866 (excerpt)
"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, and Florida, and the laws can be sustained and enforced therein by the proper civil authority, State or Federal, and the people of the said States are well and loyally disposed, and have conformed or 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 it is believed to be a fundamental principle of government that people who have revolted, and who have been overcome and subdued, must either be dealt with so as to induce them voluntarily to become friends, or else they must be held by absolute military power, or devastated, so as to prevent them from ever doing harm as enemies, which last-named policy is abhorrent to humanity and freedom;
"And whereas the Constitution of the United States provides for constituent communities only as States and not as Territories, dependencies, provinces, or protectorates;
"And whereas the constituent States must necessarily be and by the Constitution and laws of the United States are made equals and placed upon a like footing as to political rights, immunities, dignity, and power, with the several States with which they are united;
"And whereas the observance of political equality as a principle of right and justice is well calculated to encourage the people of the aforesaid States to be and become more and more constant and persevering in their renewed allegiance;
"And whereas standing armies, military occupation, martial law, military tribunals, and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus 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 or suppressing insurrection or rebellion;
"And whereas the policy of the Government of the United States, from the beginning of the insurrection to its overthrow and final suppression, has been in conformity with the principles herein set forth and enumerated:
"Now, therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare that the insurrection which heretofore existed in the States of Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida is at and end, and is henceforth to be so regarded."
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