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Proclamation on Maritime Rights.
Equality claimed with all Nations.
States have been refused in certain foreign ports privileges and immunities to which they were entitled by treaty, public law, or the comity of nations, at the same time that vesselsof-war of the country wherein the said privileges and immunities have been withheld have enjoyed them fully and uninterruptedly in ports of the United States, which condition of things has not always been forcibly resisted by the United States, although, on the other hand, they have not at any time failed to protest against and declare their dissatisfaction with the same. In the view of the United States no condition any longer exists which can be claimed to justify the denial to them by any one of said nations of customary naval rights, such as has heretofore been so unnecessarily persisted in
"Now, therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do hereby make known that if after a reasonable time shall have elapsed for intelligence of this proclamation to have reached any foreign country in whose ports the said privileges and immunities shall have been refused as aforesaid, they shall continue to be so refused, then and thenceforth the same privileges and immunities shall be refused to the vessels-of-war of that country in the ports of the United States; and this refusal shall continue until war-vessels of the United States shall have been placed upon an entire equality in the foreign ports aforesaid with vessels of other countries. The United States, whatever claim or pretence may have existed heretofore, are now at least entitled to claim and concede an entire and friendly equality of rights and hospitalities with all maritime nations.
"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 eleventh day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred
and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States
"By the President:
"WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
And, on the twelfth April, the following supplementary proclamation:
"WHEREAS, By my proclamation of this date the port of Key West, in the State of Florida, was inadvertently included among those which are not open to commerce :
"Now, therefore, be it known that I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do hereby declare and make known that the said port of Key West is and shall remain open to foreign and domestic commerce, upon the same conditions by which that commerce has hitherto been governed. "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 eleventh day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the eighty-ninth.
"By the President:
"WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
The light in which the administration regarded the position of affairs can best be judged from the following official bulletin from the War Department, bearing date April thirteenth, 1865:
"This Department, after mature consideration and consultation with the Lieutenant-General upon the results of the recent campaigns, has come to the following determination, which will be carried into effect by appropriate orders, to be immediately issued:
Drafting and Recruiting Stopped.
"First. To stop all drafting and recruiting in the loyal States.
"Second. To curtail purchases for arms, ammunition, quartermaster's and commissary supplies, and reduce the expenses of the military establishment and its several branches.
"Third. To reduce the number of general and staff officers to the actual necessities of the service.
To remove all military restrictions upon trade and commerce, so far as may be consistent with the public safety.
"As soon as these measures can be put in operation, it will be made known by public orders.
EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War."
The Traitor President, who, on the fifth of April, had issued a proclamation to the effect that he should hold on to Virginia-where was he at this time?
THE LAST ACT.
Interview with Mr. Colfax-Cabinet Meeting-Incident-Evening Conversation-Possibility of Assassination-Leaves for the Theatre-In the Theatre-Precautions for the Murder The Pistol Shot-Escape of the Assassin-Death of the President-Pledges Redeemed-Situation of the Country-Effect of the Murder-Obsequies at Washington -Borne Home-Grief of the People-At Rest.
On the morning of Friday, April fourteenth, 1865, after an interesting conversation with his eldest son, Robert, a captain on General Grant's staff, relative to the surrender of Lee, with the details of which the son was familiar, the President, bearing that Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House of Repre
Cabinet Meeting Held.
Interview with Mr. Colfax,
sentatives, was in the Executive Mansion, invited the latter to a chat in the reception-room, and during the following hour the talk turned upon his future policy toward the rebellion-a matter which he was about to submit to his Cabinet.
After an interview with John P. Hale, then recently appointed Minister to Spain, as well as with several Senators and Representatives, a Cabinet meeting was held, at eleven o'clock, General Grant being present, which proved to be one of the most satisfactory and important consultations held since his first inauguration. The future policy of the Administration was harmoniously and unanimously agreed upon, and upon the adjournment of the meeting the Secretary of War remarked that the Government was then stronger than at any period since the commencement of the rebellion.
It was afterwards remembered that at this meeting the President turned to General Grant and asked him if he had heard from General Sherman. General Grant replied that he had not, but was in hourly expectation of receiving dispatches from him, announcing the surrender of Johnston.
"Well," said the President, "you will hear very soon now, and the news will be important."
"Why do you think so?" said the General.
"Because," said Mr. Lincoln, "I had a dream last night, and ever since the war began I have invariably had the same dream before any very important military event has occurred." He then instanced Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, etc., and said that before each of these events he had had the same dream, and turning to Secretary Welles, said:
"It is in your line, too, Mr. Welles. The dream is that I saw a ship sailing very rapidly, and I am sure that it portends some important national event."
In the afternoon, a long and pleasant conversation was held with eminent citizens from Illinois.
In the evening, during a talk with Messrs. Colfax and Ashman-the latter of whom presided at the Chicago Con
Possibility of Assassination.
Kindness of Heart.
Messrs. Ashman and Colfax.
vention, in 1860-speaking about his trip to Richmond, when the suggestion was made that there was much uneasiness at the North while he was at what had been the rebel capital, for fear that some traitor might shoot him, Mr. Lincoln portively replied, that he would have been alarmed himself, if any other person had been President and gone there, but that, as for himself, he did not feel in any danger whatever.
This possibility of an assassination had been presented before to the President's mind, but it had not occasioned him a moment's uneasiness. A member of his Cabinet one day said to him, "Mr. Lincoln, you are not sufficiently careful of yourself. There are bad men in Washington. Did it never occur to you that there are rebels among us who are bad enough to attempt your life?" The President stepped to a desk and drew from a pigeon-hole a package of letters. "There," said he, "every one of these contains a threat to assassinate me. I might be nervous, if I were to dwell upon the subject, but I have come to this conclusion: there are opportunities to kill me every day of my life, if there are persons disposed to do it. It is not possible to avoid exposure to such a fate, and I shall not trouble myself about it."
Upon the evening alluded to, while conversing upon a matter of business with Mr. Ashman, he saw that the latter was surprised at a remark which he had made, when, prompted by his well-known desire to avoid any thing offensive, he immediately said, "You did not understand me, Ashman: I did not mean what you inferred, and I will take it all back, and apologize for it." He afterward gave Mr. A. a card, admitting himself and friend for a further conversation early in the morning.
Turning to Mr. Colfax, he said, "You are going with Mrs. Lincoln and me to the theatre, I hope." The President and General Grant had previously accepted an invitation to be present that evening at Ford's Theatre, but the General had