April 15, 1861
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Whereas the laws of the United States have been for some time past,
and now are opposed, and the execution thereof obstructed, in the States
of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and
Texas, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course
of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the Marshals by law,
Now therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in
virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, and the laws, have
thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia
of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of seventy-five
thousand, in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws
to be duly executed. The details, for this object, will be immediately
communicated to the State authorities through the War Department.
I appeal to all loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid this effort
to maintain the honor, the integrity, and the existence of our National
Union, and the perpetuity of popular government; and to redress wrongs
already long enough endured.
I deem it proper to say that the first service assigned to the
forces hereby called forth will probably be to re-possess the forts, places,
and property which have been seized from the Union; and in every event,
the utmost care will be observed, consistently with the objects aforesaid,
to avoid any devastation, any destruction of, or interference with, property,
or any disturbance of peaceful citizens in any part of the country.
And I hereby command the persons composing the combinations aforesaid
to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respective abodes within twenty
days from this date.
Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary
occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution,
convene both Houses of Congress. Senators and Representatives are therefore
summoned to assemble at their respective chambers, at 12 o'clock, noon,
on Thursday, the fourth day of July, next, then and there to consider and
determine, such measures, as, in their wisdom, the public safety, and interest
may seem to demand.
In Witness 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 fifteenth day of April in the year
of our Lord One thousand, Eight hundred and Sixtyone, and of the Independence
the United States the Eightyfifth.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.