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An Act to authorize the President of the United States in certain

Cases to take Possession of Railroad and Telegraph Lines, and for other Purposes.

Be it enacted ..., That the President of the United States, when in his judgment the public safety may require it, be, and he is hereby authorized to take possession of any or all the telegraph lines in the United States, their offices and appurtenances; to take possession of any or all the railroad lines in the United States, their rolling-stock, their offices, shops, buildings, and all their appendages and appurtenances; to prescribe rules and regulations for the holding, using, and maintaining of the aforesaid telegraph and railroad lines, and to extend, repair, and complete the same, in the manner most conducive to the safety and interest of the Government; to place under military control all the officers, agents, and employés belonging to the telegraph and railroad lines thus taken possession of by the President, so that they shall be considered as a post road and a part of the military establishment of the United States, subject to all the restrictions imposed by the rules and articles of war.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That any attempt by any party or parties whomsoever, in any State or District in which the laws of the United States are opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed by insurgents and rebels against the United States, too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, to resist or interfere with the unrestrained use by Government of the property described in the preceding section, or any attempt to injure or destroy the property aforesaid, shall be punished as a military offence, by death, or such other penalty as a court-martial may impose.

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Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the transportation of troops, munitions of war, equipments, military property and stores, throughout the United States, shall be under the immediate control and supervision of the Secretary of War and such agents as he may appoint; and all rules, regulations, articles, usages, and laws in conflict with this provision are hereby annulled. *

* 1 By a joint resolution of July 14, 1862, so much of the act as authorized the construction, extension, or completion of any railroad was repealed. – ED.

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No. 126. Act authorizing the Issue of Legal

Tender Notes

February 25, 1862 In his annual report of December 9, 1861, Secretary Chase stated that loans to the amount of $200,000,000 would be required to meet the estimated expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862. He proposed the establishment of a national banking system, but did not recommend the further issue of treasury notes. December 28 the New York banks suspended specie payment. By a joint resolution of January 21, 1862, Congress announced its intention of raising $150,000,000 by taxes and duties. January 22 Elbridge G. Spaulding of New York reported to the House, from the Committee of Ways and Means, a bill to authorize the issue of legal tender notes, etc., being a substitute for a bill for the issue of $100,000,000 demand notes, but without the legal tender provision, reported by Spaulding January 7. The bill encountered strong opposition both in and out of Congress, but on February 6 it passed the House, with various amendments, by a vote of 93 to 59. On the 13th the Senate, by a vote of 17 to 22, rejected an amendment striking out the legal tender clause, and passed the bill with amendments by a vote of 30 to 7. The House refusing to concur in the amendments of the Senate, the bill went to a conference committee, whose report was accepted on the 24th by the House by a vote of 98 to 22, and by the Senate without a division. The next day, however, on the motion of Fessenden, the action of the Senate was reconsidered and a second conference asked for. The report of this committee was accepted by the houses, and on the 25th the act was approved. A further issue of legal tender notes, to the amount of $150,000,000, was authorized by an act of July 11, a third, to the amount of $100,000,000, by a joint resolution of January 17, 1863, and a fourth, of $150,000,000, March 3, 1863.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XII., 345-348. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 37th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe, where are also the texts of the numerous amendments offered. Morrill's substitute, embodying the recommendations of business men and bankers in consultation with Chase, and without the legal tender clause, is summarized in the Globe for February 4. On the constitutionality of the legal tender provision see Hepburn v. Griswold, 8 Wallace, 603; Legal Tender Cases, 12 ibid., 457; Juillard v. Greenman, 110 U.S. Reports, 421.

An Act to authorize the Issue of United States Notes, and for the

Redemption or Funding thereof, and for Funding the Floating Debt of the United States.

Be it enacted ..., That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to issue, on the credit of the United States,

one hundred and fifty millions of dollars of United States notes, not bearing interest, payable to bearer, at the Treasury of the United States, and of such denominations as he may deem expedient, not less than five dollars each: Provided, however, That fifty millions of said notes shall be in lieu of the demand Treasury notes authorized to be issued by the act of ... (July 17, 1861] ... ; which said demand notes shall be taken up as rapidly as practicable, and the notes herein provided for substituted for them: And provided further, That the amount of the two kinds of notes together shall at no time exceed the sum of one hundred and fifty millions of dollars, and such notes herein authorized shall be receivable in payment of all taxes, internal duties, excises, debts, and demands of every kind due to the United States, except duties on imports, and of all claims and demands against the United States of every kind whatsoever, except for interest upon bonds and notes, which shall be paid in coin, and shall also be lawful money and a legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, within the United States, except duties on imports and interest as aforesaid. ... And such United States notes shall be received the same as coin, at their par value, in payment for any loans that may be hereafter sold or negotiated by the Secretary of the Treasury, and may be re-issued from time to time as the exigencies of the public interests shall require.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That to enable the Secretary of the Treasury to fund the Treasury notes and floating debt of the United States, he is hereby authorized to issue, on the credit of the United States, coupon bonds, or registered bonds, to an amount not exceeding five hundred millions of dollars, redeemable at the pleasure of the United States after five years, and payable twenty years from date, and bearing interest at the rate of six per centum per annum, payable semiannually ...; and all stocks, bonds, and other securities of the United States held by individuals, corporations, or associations, within the United States, shall be exempt from taxation by or under State authority.

* SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That all duties on imported goods shall be paid in coin, or in notes payable on demand heretofore authorized to be issued and by law receivable in pay

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ment of public dues, and the coin so paid shall be set apart as a special fund, and shall be applied as follows:

First. To the payment in coin of the interest on the bonds and notes of the United States.

Second. To the purchase or payment one per centum of the entire debt of the United States, to be made within each fiscal year after (July 1, 1862] .. which is to be set apart as a sinking fund, and the interest of which shall in like manner be applied to the purchase or payment of the public debt as the Secretary of the Treasury shall from time to time direct.

Third. The residue thereof to be paid into the Treasury of the United States.

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March 13, 1862 JULY 9, 1861, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 92 to 55, resolved that "it is no part of the duty of the soldiers of the United States to capture and return fugitive slaves." December 23 the House Committee on Military Affairs was instructed to report a bill to make an additional article of war forbidding the use of the United States troops to return fugitives from service or labor. A bill to that effect was reported February 25, and passed, after much obstructive opposition, by a vote of 95 to 51. March 10, in the Senate, an amendment “that this article shall not apply in the States of Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky, nor elsewhere where the federal authority is recognized or can be enforced,” was rejected, and the bill, by a vote of 29 to 9, passed.

REFERENCES. -- Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XII., 354. For the debates see the House and Senate Journals, 37th Cong., ad Sess., and the Cong. Globe. Various military orders and reports relating to the subject are collected in McPherson, Rebellion, 244 seq.

An Act to make an additional Article of War.

Be it enacted ..., That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional article of war for the government of the army of the United States, and shall be obeyed and observed as such:

Article — All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor, who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due, and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.

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No. 128. Joint Resolution on Compensated

Emancipation

April 10, 1862

The first proposition for compensated emancipation seems to have been brought forward by James B. McKean of New York, who introduced in the House, February 11, 1861, a resolution for the appointment of a select committee to inquire into the practicability of emancipating the slaves in the border States. No action was taken on the resolution. In a special message to Congress, March 6, 1862, Lincoln recommended the adoption of a resolution in the identical terms of the resolution following. The resolution was introduced in the House, March 10, by Roscoe Conkling of New York, under suspension of the rules, and the next day passed by a vote of 97 to 36. The Senate passed the resolution April 2, the vote being 32 to 10. April 7, by a vote of 67 to 52, the House adopted a resolution, submitted by Albert S. White of Indiana, for the appointment of a select committee of nine on compensated emancipation in the border States. On March 10, and again on July 12, Lincoln had interviews with representatives of the border States, but the conferences were fruitless. In his proclamation of May 19, setting aside General Hunter's proclamation declaring free the slaves in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, Lincoln made an earnest plea for the acceptance of the offer proposed by the resolution; while in his annual message of December 1, 1862, he discussed the subject at length, and proposed an amendment to the Constitution to carry the plan into effect. Bills providing for compensated emancipation in Missouri and Maryland were introduced in the House in January, 1863, but failed to pass.

REFERENCES. Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XII., 617. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 37th Cong., ist Sess., and the Cong. Globe. Papers relating to Lincoln's interviews with representatives of the border States are in McPherson, Rebellion, 213-220. See also Senate Report 12 and House Report 148, 37th Cong., 2d Sess.; House Report 33, 39th Cong., ist Sess.

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