Return to Assorted Documents for the History of the Freedmen's Bureau
President Andrew Johnson's
Proclamations for the End of the Civil War
Proclamation 153 - April 2, 1866
All States except Texas
Proclamation 157 - August 20, 1866
Includes Texas

Messages and Papers of the President
The official (legal) dates of the War of Rebellion - April 15, 1861 to August 20, 1866. The war was
not over with Lee's surrender. (See
Report on Prisoners Jeff Davis for some political background)

Proclamation 153 includes all states except Texas:

    Proclamation 153 - Declaring the Insurrection in Certain Southern States to be at an
End
                                                             April 2, 1866

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
Whereas by proclamations of the 15th and 19th of April, 1861, the President of the United States,
in virtue of the power vested in him by the Constitution and the laws, declared that the laws of the
United States were 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; and

Whereas by another proclamation, made on the 16th day of August, in the same year, in
pursuance of an act of Congress approved July 13, 1861, the inhabitants of the States of
Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas,
Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida (except the inhabitants of that part of the State of Virginia lying
west of the Alleghany Mountains and of such other parts of that State and the other States before
named as might maintain a loyal adhesion to the Union and the Constitution or might be from time
to time occupied and controlled by forces of the United States engaged in the dispersion of
insurgents) were declared to be in a state of insurrection against the United States; and

Whereas by another proclamation, of the 1st day of July, 1862, issued in pursuance of an act of
Congress approved June 7, in the same year, the insurrection was declared to be still existing in
the States aforesaid, with the exception of certain specified counties in the State of Virginia; and

Whereas by another proclamation, made on the 2d ,day of April, 1863, in pursuance of the act of
Congress of July 13, 1861, the exceptions named in the proclamation of August 16, 1861, were
revoked and the inhabitants of the States of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee,
Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, and Virginia (except the forty-eight
counties of Virginia designated as West Virginia and the ports of New Orleans, Key West, Port
Royal, and Beaufort, in North Carolina) were declared to be still in a state of insurrection against
the United States; and

Whereas the House of Representatives, on the 22d day of July, 1861, adopted a resolution in the
words following, namely:

Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States , That the
present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the dis-unionists of the
Southern States now in revolt against the constitutional Government and in arms around the
capital; that in this national emergency Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or
resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged upon our
part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation. nor purpose of
overthrowing interfering with the rights or established institutions of those 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 are
accomplished the war ought to cease.

And whereas the Senate of the United States, on the 25th day of July. 1861, adopted a resolution
in the words following, to wit:

Resolved , That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the
disunionists of the Southern States now in revolt against the constitutional Government and in
arms around the capital; that in this national emergency Congress, banishing all feeling of mere
passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not
prosecuted upon our part 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
those States, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in
pursuance thereof and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the
several States unimpaired; that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to
cease.

And whereas these resolutions, though not joint or concurrent in form, are substantially identical,
and as such may be regarded as having expressed the sense of Congress upon the subject to
which they relate; and

Whereas by my proclamation of the 13th day of June last the insurrection in the State of
Tennessee was declared to have been suppressed, the authority of the United States therein to
be undisputed, and such United States officers as had been duly commissioned to be in the
undisturbed exercise of their official functions; 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, and Florida, 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 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, in view of the before-recited premises, it is the manifest determination of the American
people that no State of its own will has the right or the power to go out of, or separate itself from,
or be separated from, the American Union, and that therefore each State ought to remain and
constitute an integral part of the United States; and

Whereas the people of the several before-mentioned States have, in the manner aforesaid, given
satisfactory evidence that they acquiesce in this sovereign and important resolution of national
unity; 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 again doing harm as enemies, which last-named policy is
abhorrent to humanity and to 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 such 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 invasion 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
an end and is henceforth to be so regarded.

In testimony 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 2d day of April, A. D. 1866, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the ninetieth.

ANDREW JOHNSON.
By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.

                                                              * * *

Proclamation 157 - Declaring that Peace, Order, Tranquillity, and Civil Authority Now
Exists in and                                  Throughout the Whole of the United States of America
                                                        August 20, 1866

Whereas, by proclamations of the 15th and 19th of April, 1861, the President of the United States
in virtue of the power vested in him by the Constitution and the laws, declared that the laws of the
United States were 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 of the law; and

Whereas, by another proclamation made on the 16th day of August, in the same year, in
pursuance of an act of Congress approved July 13, 1861, the inhabitants of the States of
Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas,
Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida (except the inhabitants of the State of Virginia lying west of the
Alleghany Mountains, and except also the inhabitants of such other parts of that State and the
other States before named as might maintain a loyal adhesion to the Union and Constitution or
might be from time to time occupied and controlled by forces of the United States engaged in the
dispersion of the insurgents) were declared to be in a state of insurrection against the United
States; and

Whereas, by another proclamation of the 1st of July, 1862, issued in pursuance of an act of
Congress approved June 7, in the same year, the insurrection was declared to be still existing in
the States aforesaid, with the exception of certain specified countries in the State of Virginia; and

Whereas, by another proclamation made on the second day of April, 1863, in pursuance of an act
of Congress of July 13, 1861, the exceptions named in the proclamation of August 16, 1861, were
revoked and the inhabitants of the States of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee,
Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, and Virginia (except the forty-eight
counties of Virginia designated as West Virginia and the ports of New Orleans, Key West, Port
Royal, and Beaufort, in North Carolina) were declared to be still in a state of insurrection against
the United States; and

Whereas, by another proclamation, of the 15th day of September, 1863, made in pursuance of
the act of Congress approved March 3, 1863, the rebellion was declared to be still existing and
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus was in certain specified cases suspended throughout
the United States, said suspension to continue throughout the duration of the rebellion or until
said proclamation should, by a subsequent one to be issued by the President of the United
States, be modified or revoked; and

Whereas, the House of Representatives on the 22nd day of July, 1861, adopted a resolution in
the following words, namely:

Resolved by the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States, That the present
deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the disunionists of the Southern States
now in revolt against the constitutional Government, and in arms around the capitol; that in this
national emergency, Congress, banishing all feelings of mere passion or resentment, will recollect
only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not waged upon our part 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 those 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 are accomplished the
war ought to cease; and

Whereas, the Senate of the United States on the 25th day of July, 1861, adopted a resolution in
the words following, to wit:

Resolved, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the
disunionists of the Southern States now in revolt against the constitutional Government and in
arms around the capitol; that in this national emergency Congress, banishing all feelings of mere
passion or resentment, will recollect only its own duty to the whole country; that this war is not
prosecuted upon our part 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
those States; but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in
pursuance thereof and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality, and rights of the
several States unimpaired; that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to
cease; and

Whereas, these resolutions though not joint or concurrent in form, are substantially identical, and
as such have hitherto been and yet are regarded as having expressed the sense of Congress
upon the subject to which they relate; and

Whereas, the President of the United States by proclamation of the 13th of June, 1865, declared
that the insurrection in the State of Tennessee had been suppressed, and that the authority of
the United States therein was undisputed, and such United States officers as had been duly
commissioned were in the undisturbed exercise of their official functions; and

Whereas, the President of the United States by further proclamation, issued on the 2nd day of
April, 1866, did promulgate and declare that there no longer existed any armed resistance of
misguided citizens or others to the authority of the United States in any or in all the States before
mentioned, excepting only the State of Texas, and did further promulgate and declare that the
laws could be sustained and enforced in the several States before mentioned, except Texas, by
the proper civil authorities, State or Federal, and that the people of the said States, except Texas,
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 jurisdiction of the United States;

And did further declare, in the same proclamation that it is the manifest determination of the
American people that no State, of its own will, has a right or power to go out of, or separate itself
from, or be separated from the American Union; and that, therefore, each State ought to remain
and constitute an integral part of the United States;

And did further declare, in the same last-mentioned proclamation, that the several
aforementioned States, excepting Texas, had in the manner aforesaid given satisfactory evidence
that they acquiesce in this sovereign and important resolution of national unity; and

Whereas, the President of the United States in the same proclamation did further declare, that it is
believed to be a fundamental principle of government that the people who have revolted and who
have been overcome and subdued, must 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 again doing harm as enemies, which last-named policy is abhorrent to humanity and to
freedom; and

Whereas, the President did, in the same proclamation further declare, that the Constitution of the
United States provides for constituent communities only as States, and not as Territories
dependencies, provinces, or protectorates;

And further, that such 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 did further declare, that the observance of political equality, as a principle of right and justice,
is well calculated to encourage the people of the before-named States, except Texas, to become
more and more constant and persevering in their new allegiance; and

Whereas, the President did further declare, that standing armies, military occupation, martial law,
military tribunals, and the suppression of the writ of habeas corpus are in times of peace
dangerous to public liberty, incompatible with the individual right 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
and suppressing insurrection or rebellion;

And the President did further, in the same proclamation, declare that the policy of the
Government of the United States from the beginning of the insurrection to its overthrow and final
suppression had been conducted in conformity with the principles in the last-named proclamation
recited; and

Whereas, the President, in the said proclamation, of the 13th of June, 1865, upon the grounds
therein stated and herein before recited, did then and thereby proclaim and declare that the
insurrection which heretofore existed in the several States before named, except in Texas, was at
an end, and was therefore to be so regarded; and

Whereas, subsequently to the said 2nd day of April, 1866, the insurrection in the State of Texas
has been completely and everywhere suppressed and ended, and the authority of the United
States has been successfully and completely established in the said State of Texas and now
remains therein unassisted and undisputed, and such of the proper United States officers as have
been duly commissioned within the limits of the said State are now in the undisturbed exercise of
their official functions; and

Whereas, the laws can now be sustained and enforced in the said State of Texas by the proper
civil authority, State or Federal, and the people of the said State of Texas, like the people of the
other States before named, 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, all the reasons and conclusions set forth in regard to the several States therein
especially named now apply equally and in all respects to the State of Texas, as well as to the
other States which have been involved in the insurrection; and

Whereas, adequate provision has been made by military orders to enforce the execution of the
acts of Congress, aid the civil authorities, and secure obedience to the Constitution and laws of
the United States within the State of Texas, if a resort to military force for such purpose should at
any time be necessary:

Now therefore, I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby proclaim and declare
that the insurrection which heretofore existed in the State of Texas is at an end, and is to be
henceforth so regarded in that State as in the other States before named, in which the said
insurrection was proclaimed to be at an end, by the aforesaid proclamation of the 2nd of April,
1866.

And I do further proclaim, that the said insurrection is at an end, and that peace, order, and
tranquility, and civil authority now exist in and throughout the whole United States of America.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be
affixed.

[Seal.] Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of August, A.D. 1866, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the ninety first.

Andrew Johnson.

By the President: William H. Seward, Secretary of State  .
President Andrew Johnson
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