Whereas an insurrection against the Government of the United States has broken out in the States of South
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and the laws of the United States for the
collection of the revenue cannot be effectually executed therein comformably to that provision of the Constitution
which requires duties to be uniform throughout the United States:

And whereas a combination of persons engaged in such insurrection, have threatened to grant pretended
letters of marque to authorize the bearers thereof to commit assaults on the lives, vessels, and property of good
citizens of the country lawfully engaged in commerce on the high seas, and in waters of the United States: And
whereas an Executive Proclamation has been already issued, requiring the persons engaged in these disorderly
proceedings to desist therefrom, calling out a militia force for the purpose of repressing the same, and
convening Congress in extraordinary session, to deliberate and determine thereon:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, with a view to the same purposes before
mentioned, and to the protection of the public peace, and the lives and property of quiet and orderly citizens
pursuing their lawful occupations, until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated on the said unlawful
proceedings, or until the same shall ceased, have further deemed it advisable to set on foot a blockade of the
ports within the States aforesaid, in pursuance of the laws of the United States, and of the law of Nations, in such
case provided. For this purpose a competent force will be posted so as to prevent entrance and exit of vessels
from the ports aforesaid. If, therefore, with a view to violate such blockade, a vessel shall approach, or shall
attempt to leave either of the said ports, she will be duly warned by the Commander of one of the blockading
vessels, who will endorse on her register the fact and date of such warning, and if the same vessel shall again
attempt to enter or leave the blockaded port, she will be captured and sent to the nearest convenient port, for
such proceedings against her and her cargo as prize, as may be deemed advisable.

And I hereby proclaim and declare that if any person, under the pretended authority of the said States, or under
any other pretense, shall molest a vessel of the United States, or the persons or cargo on board of her, such
person will be held amenable to the laws of the United States for the prevention and punishment of piracy.

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 nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred
and sixty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth.


By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State

Note: This proclamation and Lincoln's April 15 Proclamation requesting Militia are the two legal
starting dates for the beginning of the War of the Rebellion.

See this used by President Johnson in the
closing of the War of the Rebellion

See this used by the Pension Bureau in the pension of Abram Lancaster
Return to Department of the South
Abraham Lincoln
Proclamation of Blockade of Southern Ports
April 19, 1861