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9; Ohio and Missouri, Feb. 10; Nevada and Indiana, Feb. 16; Louisiana, Feb. 17; Minnesota, Feb. 8 and 23; Wisconsin, March 1; Vermont, March 9; Tennessee, April 5 and 7; Arkansas, April 20; Connecticut, May 5; New Hampshire July 1; South Carolina, Nov. 13; Alabama, Dec. 2, North Carolina, Dec. 4; Georgia, Dec. 9; Oregon, Dec. 11.
This made twenty-eight, one more than the requisite three-fourths of the thirty-six States. Having ratified the amendment, there was nothing wanting to make it a part of the constitution of the United States, except the official announcement, which came in the following:
“WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States; to
all whom these presents may come-greeting:
“KNOW YE, THAT WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States, on the 1st of February last, passed a resolution, which is in the words following, namely:
“A resolution submitting to the Legislatures of the several States a proposition to amend the constitution of the United States:
“ Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled—two-thirds of both Houses concurring, That the following article be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of said constitution, namely:
“ 'SECTION 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
“ SEC. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.'
“AND WHEREAS, It appears from official documents on file in this department that the amendment to the constitution of the United States proposed as aforesaid has been ratified by the Leg. isłatures of the States of Illinois, Rhode Island, Michigan, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania. Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, Nevada, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Arkansas, Connecticut, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia-in all, twenty-seven States;
“AND WHEREAS, The whole number of States in the United States is thirty-six;
“AND WHEREAS, The before specially named States, whose Legislatures have ratified the said proposed amendment, constitute three-fourths of the whole number of States in the United States;
“Now, Therefore, be it Known, That I, WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State of the United States, by virtue and in pursuance of the second section of the act of Congress, approved the 20th of April, 1818, entitled 'An Act to provide for the publication of the laws of the United States, and for other purposes,' do hereby certify that the amendment aforesaid has become valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the constitution of the United States.
“IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Department of State to be affixed.
“Done at the city of Washington, the 18th day of
December, in the year of our Lord, 1865, and of the Independence of the the United States of America the 90th.
“ WM. H. SEWARD,
“Secretary of State.”
Although no more States were required, the amendment was ratified by California, Dec. 20; Florida, Dec. 28, 1865; New Jersey, Jan. 23, 1866, and Iowa, Jan. 24, 1866.
The election for President and Vice-President having taken place in November 1864, both Houses of Congress assembled in the Hall of the House of Representatives, February 8th, 1865, for the purpose of opening and counting the votes. As previously stated in these pages, the whole number of electoral votes cast was two hundred and thirty-three. Of these Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, as candidates for President and Vice-President, received two hundred and twelve votes, and George B. McClellan and George H. Pendleton, as candidates for the same offices, received 21 votes. Lincoln and Johnson was, of course, declared to be elected.
On the 4th of March, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated President of the United States for the second term, amid the acclamations of an immense throng of visitors from all parts of the United States. His inaugural address on that occasion is justly considered one of the most remarkable State papers ever written, and was the last public address he ever delivered. No extract from it could do it justice, and for that reason I give it entire:
“FELLOW COUNTRYMEN: At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engross the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.
“On the occasion corresponding to this, four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it; all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war-seeking to dissolve the Union and divide its effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war come.
“One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude or duration which it has already obtained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those Divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may soon pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hun. dred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said: . The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'
Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered—those of neither have been an. swered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.
“If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to North and South this
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations."
The closing scenes of the war were being enacted in quick succession. The rebel Congress, driven to desperation, enacted a law which was approved by their President, Jeff. Davis, March 15th, 1865, giving freedom to the slaves on condition of their entering the military service of the confederacy. Orders were at once issued from the rebel War Department for the drilling to commence, but it was too late. All their schemes failed, and the only good accomplished by it was to exhibit to the world the complete failure of the effort to establish a government, the chief cornerstone of which should be human slavery. The conspiracy was in its death throes. Gen. Grant "mored upon the rebel works” at Petersburg and carried them.; the rebels retreating towards Richmond, which in turn they evacuated, and on the third day of April a corps of U. S. Colored Soldiers, under General Weitzel, took possession of the city which had been for four long years the capital of the rebel government.