December 7, 1865: Thanksgiving

Monday, November 23, AD 2015

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Andrew Johnson kept up the precedent of his predecessor in making a Thanksgiving Proclamation.  However for some reason he set the date on December 7, the only time Thanksgiving has been celebrated on that date.  His other Thanksgiving Proclamations were for the last Thursday in November and the tradition held until the Great Depression when FDR altered it to the fourth Thursday in November.  If Johnson had established a new tradition in 1865, then seventy-six years later Americans would have had another reason to be enraged by the Japanese sneak attack.  Here is the text of the Proclamation:

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2 Responses to December 7, 1865: Thanksgiving

  • “And I do further recommend that on that occasion the whole people make confession of our national sins against His infinite goodness, and with one heart and one mind implore the divine guidance in the ways of national virtue and holiness.”
    .
    We need our current President to say the same.

  • Scenes from the trenches.

    I have been written up twice by my liberal co-workers, for asking our residents to bow their heads for a Thanksgiving meal prayer.
    Seriously.
    The management has given me two written notices of warning to dismiss, if I do not stop this practice. The family’s that pay good money to keep their parents living here have stood by my convictions to the point of writing letters to allow a communal pray be given at the beginning of only one dinner per year…thanksgiving day prayer.

    The management team countered with a rule to gather prior to entering the dining room for those who wish to give thanks to God on Thanksgiving Day. Unreal huh!

    The two homosexual’s that complained were gitty that I was reprimanded for my offerings of Prayer.

    Happy turkey day for the homosexuals, as for God fearing men and women.. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

May 29, 1865: Amnesty Proclamation

Friday, May 29, AD 2015

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Eventually President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans in Congress would come to bitter blows over the issue of amnesty for former Confederates.  However, for now they were in agreement, and the Presidential Proclamation of May 29, 1865 outlined the oath to be taken by former Confederates and the classes of individuals excluded from taking the oath:

Amnesty Proclamation

 

Whereas the President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and on the 26 day of March, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-four, did, with the object to suppress the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion; and whereas many persons who had so engaged in said rebellion have, since the issuance of said proclamations, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and whereas many persons who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty and pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation directly or by implication in said rebellion, and continued hostility to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon:

To the end, therefore, that the authority of the government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, order, and freedom may be established, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare that I hereby grant to all persons who have, directly or indirectly, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except in cases where legal proceedings, under the laws of the United States providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in rebellion, have been instituted; but upon the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe the following oath, (or affirmation,) and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:

I, _______ _______, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by, and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God.

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14 Responses to May 29, 1865: Amnesty Proclamation

  • It’s always struck me as odd that you would “preserve a union” by killing those with whom you wish to be united and destroying their homes, cities, and livelihoods.

  • It has always struck me as odd that the secessionists were willing to rend the Union in order to preserve the “right” to hold other people as chattels.

  • It has always struck me as odd that the unionists were willing to shred the constitution in order to preserve the union.

  • My only point is that a union that has to be held together by force is not a functioning nation based upon the consent of the governed. At the time of ratification of the constitution several states, including New York and Virginia, specifically reserved the right to rescind their ratifications. I’m not aware that the convention challenged that right. Ironically, the constitution of the confederacy expressly prohibited secession.

    Like the American colonies, the Southern states had every right to be independent, they just didn’t have the power to back it up.

  • “My only point is that a union that has to be held together by force is not a functioning nation based upon the consent of the governed.”

    The Union was given birth under such circumstances with some 20-30% of the free population supporting the British.

    “At the time of ratification of the constitution several states, including New York and Virginia, specifically reserved the right to rescind their ratifications.”
    Which of course had zero impact on the effect of the Constitution after they ratified the Constitution. The only way after that to change the Constitution was by amendment or armed revolution.

    “Like the American colonies, the Southern states had every right to be independent, they just didn’t have the power to back it up.”

    No, because there was no long train of abuses, in Mr. Jefferson’s phrase, to justify revolution.

  • While there was significant dissension among the colonists regarding the Revolution, the Revolution did not create a union. It merely established independence.

    Concur that the Constitution can only be changed by amendment or armed revolution.

    Had the South succeeded, the “long train of abuses” would have been just as apparent as those asserted against Britain.

  • “While there was significant dissension among the colonists regarding the Revolution, the Revolution did not create a union”

    It most certainly did in the Declaration of Independence.

    “Had the South succeeded, the “long train of abuses” would have been just as apparent as those asserted against Britain.”

    Only if slavery were still practiced in the Confederacy.

  • Declaration of Independence established a nation? Hadn’t heard that one.

    Don’t follow your second point. One of the primary reasons for the economic, cultural, and social division between north and south was admittedly the slave-based economy of the south vs. the industrial north. But that didn’t make those divisions any less real. Even if the south had ultimately been able to exercise the privilege of self-redemption on the issue of slavery (as every other Western nation did), the political and cultural divisions would have remained. The fact is that, as with the colonists and the mother country, the two sides had simply arrived at the point where they just didn’t like each other very much.

  • “Declaration of Independence established a nation? Hadn’t heard that one.”

    It says so in the text.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    “Even if the south had ultimately been able to exercise the privilege of self-redemption on the issue of slavery (as every other Western nation did), the political and cultural divisions would have remained.”

    Other than South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis of 1832-33, the South never attempted secession except over slavery. The differences between North and South never threatened national unity except over slavery.

  • “Free and independent states” is perfectly compatible with the mind of the south.

    Succession being about slavery is your belief, but I’m pretty certain that most southerners of the day didn’t think that way. They were quite aware that their “peculiar institution” was on the wrong side of the gospel. Pope Pius IX perceived danger for the church in the north if the 19th century movement towards secularism and attacks on ascribed authority were unchecked. Pius IX saw such intellectual trends as too liberal. Southern Catholics shared the Pope’s view of northern culture as a threat to the continued existence of Catholic Christianity. Slavery was in the mix, but was far from bei9ng the only motivation for secession.

  • ““Free and independent states” is perfectly compatible with the mind of the south.”

    Virtually none of the Founding Fathers, North or South, believed that they were doing anything other than creating a new nation, the United States of America, as indicated in the Declaration. How this new nation was to be governed was left for another day, but the creation of a new nation, made up of the States, was the whole point of the Revolution.

    “Seccession being about slavery is your belief, but I’m pretty certain that most southerners of the day didn’t think that way.”

    Jefferson Davis in his first address to the Confederate Congress said that secession was undertaken to defend slavery.

    “They were quite aware that their “peculiar institution” was on the wrong side of the gospel.”

    No, most white Southerners by the time of the Civil War viewed slavery as a positive good, and the only way the two races could live together. See the Cornerstone speech of Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy.

    “Pope Pius IX perceived danger for the church in the north if the 19th century movement towards secularism and attacks on ascribed authority were unchecked. Pius IX saw such intellectual trends as too liberal.”

    No historical support at all for this contention. Pius IX did hate nineteenth century liberalism and regarded the Confederacy as a foe of liberalism. In this he was confused. But for slavery the Confederacy was the most liberal state in the world, except for the Union.

    “Southern Catholics shared the Pope’s view of northern culture as a threat to the continued existence of Catholic Christianity.”

    No historical support for this at all. Except for Louisiana, the number of Catholics in the Confederacy was quite small, and their political opinions tended to mirror the dominant opinions of the areas in which they settled, which meant throughout most of the South they were pro-Secession and pro-Slavery.

    “Slavery was in the mix, but was far from being the only motivation for secession.”

    No slavery: no secession. The myth that there were other issues that led to secession is a post war creation when few white Southerners were willing to admit, as they had freely at the beginning of the War, that secession was all about slavery.

  • Rather than offend you further, I’ll leave you to your beliefs. God bless.

  • I am never offended John when debating History. God bless you.

April 29, 1865: Johnson Postpones Day of Mourning For Lincoln

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2015

 

 

On April 29, 1865, President Johnson in his second Presidential Proclamation postpones the national day of mourning that he proclaimed in his first Proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

 

 

Whereas by my proclamation of the 25th instant Thursday, the 25th day of next month, was recommended as a day for special humiliation and prayer in consequence of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States; but

Whereas my attention has since been called to the fact that the day aforesaid is sacred to large numbers of Christians as one of rejoicing for the ascension of the Savior:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby suggest that the religious services recommended as aforesaid should be postponed until Thursday, the 1st day of June next.

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 29th day of April, A. D. 1865, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President:

W. HUNTER,

Acting Secretary of State.

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8 Responses to President What’s His Name

  • Good stuff. You can add Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton as the two other presidents that have been impeached (albeit that Nixon will be looked upon more favorable than Clinton in the years to come).

    I couldn’t find this movie on Netflix. This must be a real obscure film to boot.

  • What I do think is that with a political master like Lincoln at the helm Reconstruction would not have been quite the disaster it turned out to be. The Radical Republicans could not have run rough shod over Lincoln, a hero in the eyes of rank and file Republicans, as they did Johnson.

    Exactly. Johnson’s pigheadedness was a stark contrast to Lincoln’s masterful ability to deal with various egos. Who knows how Reconstruction would have fared under Lincoln (I’ve always thought of doing a “history” book on Lincoln’s second term based on the supposition that he survived), but I tend to think it would not have been such a disaster.

    And thanks for the extended biography. I usually only think of Johnson the president, but his greater body of work shows that he was a truly remarkable man.

    And Tito: Nixon was never impeached. He resigned before Congress was able to do so, though undoubtedly he would have been impeached had he continued in office.

  • Paul,

    That’s right about Nixon, it completely slipped my mind.

    So it’s just Clinton and Johnson.

  • It is indeed interesting that Andrew Johnston sort of brings us full circle as to the leadership of the SOuth and North and their views toward Catholics. Johnston’s counterpart ( VP Stephens also was very firendly to Catholics and fought tthe Know Nothings). In fact as to Stephens in a great bit of irony in Louisiana his Catholic Priest Nephew is buried right next to fellow Jesuit Priest Father Sherman who was son of the famous Gerneral Sherman.

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