Select Statutes and Other Documents: Illustrative of the History of the United States, 1861-1898

By William MacDonald | Go to book overview

sentatives to the thirty-eighth Congress from the State of Illinois, the additional representative allowed to said State by an act entitled "An act fixing the number of the House of Representatives from and after the third day of March, eighteen hundred and sixtythree," approved March fourth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, may be elected by the State at large, and the other thirteen representatives to which the State is entitled by the districts as now prescribed by law in said State, unless the legislature of said State should otherwise provide before the time fixed by law for the election of representatives therein.

APPROVED, July 14, 1862.


No. 24. Confiscation Act
July 17, 1862

A BILL "to confiscate the property of rebels for the payment of the expenses of the present rebellion" was reported in the House, May 14, 1862, by Thomas D. Eliot of Massachusetts, from the select committee on the confiscation of rebel property, together with a bill to free the slaves of rebels. On the 26th a substitute for the two bills, offered by Morrill of Vermont on the 20th, was rejected by a vote of 25 to 122, and the bill passed, the vote being 82 to 68. The House bill was more stringent than the act finally passed, but a substitute agreed to by the Senate, June 28, by a vote of 28 to 13, was thought by the House too lenient, and by a vote of 8 to 123 the amendment of the Senate was disagreed to. The report of the conference committee, being the Senate substitute with amendments, was agreed to by the House, July 11, by a vote of 82 to 42, and by the Senate, July 12, by a vote of 28 to 13. President Lincoln had intended to veto the bill on the ground that under it offenders would be forever divested of title to their real estate, and punishment would thus be made to extend beyond the life of the guilty party. To obviate this objection, a joint resolution explanatory of the act was hurried through both houses July 17. Lincoln, in communicating to Congress his approval of the act and the resolution, transmitted also the veto message which he had already prepared. A proclamation under section 6 of the act was issued the same day that the act was approved, and December 8, 1863, a proclamation of amnesty [No. 35] under section 13. The latter section was repealed, with the purpose of restricting the pardoning power of the President, July 17, 1867.

REFERENCES. -- Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XII, 589-592. For the

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