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Tuesday, December 8, 1863.+-

Washington, DC.

President receives joint committee from 38th Congress and announces that Annual Message will be communicated to Congress tomorrow at 12:30 P.M. Senate Journal, 8.

Annual report describes past year as one of health, sufficient harvests, improved conditions in national affairs, and peace with foreign powers. Treaties with Great Britain have suppressed African slave trade and adjusted possessory claims in Washington Territory. Negotiations with Spain, Chile, Peru, Nicaragua, and Colombia have been satisfactory. Foreigners within lines of insurgents are classed as belligerents, and naturalized persons must serve in military. Condition of organized territories is generally satisfactory. Under sharp discipline of civil war, Nation is beginning a new life. Operations of Treasury during last year have been successfully conducted. Pay of Army and Navy promptly met. People have borne burdens cheerfully. Blockade is increasing in efficiency; but illicit trade is not entirely suppressed. Production of war vessels has created new form of naval power. Post office may become self-supporting in few years. In Dept. of Interior public lands are being taken up, legislation is needed for Indian system, consideration should be given to enlarging water connections between Mississippi River and northeastern seaboard. When Congress assembled year ago, tone of public feeling and opinion at home and abroad was not satisfactory. With emancipation and employment of Negro troops there is new reckoning. Crisis which threatened to divide friends of Union is past. Looking to resumption of national authority within states, proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction is thought fit. State governments set up under prescribed mode will be recognized. War power is still main reliance. Chief care must be directed to Army and Navy. Annual Message to Congress, 8 December 1863, CW, 7:36-53.

President issues Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction whereby: 1. Persons in rebellion, with certain exceptions, who take oath to support Constitution are granted full pardon. 2. Exceptions are civil, diplomatic, and specified defense agents of Confederate government, and persons guilty of mistreating Negro prisoners of war. 3. Governments reestablished as prescribed in rebellious states shall be recognized as free governments of such states. 4. President will not object to provisions adopted by reestablished governments in relation to freed people. 5. Proclamation has no reference to states wherein loyal state governments have been maintained. 6. Congress shall have sole right of admitting members representing reestablished governments. Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, 8 December 1863, CW, 7:53-56.

[This proclamation is authority for pardons granted by Lincoln throughout remainder of war.] Lincoln sends "my profoundest gratitude" to Gen. Grant and his command for fighting at Chattanooga and Knoxville. Abraham Lincoln to Ulysses S. Grant, 8 December 1863, CW, 7:53. Deposits in Riggs Bank November salary warrant for $2,022.34. Pratt, Personal Finances, 183.

Nominates "Commander D. D. Porter, to be a Rear Admiral in Navy, on the Active List, from the 4th. July 1863." Abraham Lincoln to the Senate, 8 December 1863, CW, 7:56-57.

Recommends to Congress that "Capt. John Rodgers, U.S. Navy, receive vote of thanks" for skill and gallantry exhibited in engagement with rebel steamer "Fingal," alias "Atlanta." Abraham Lincoln to the Senate and House of Representatives, 8 December 1863, CW, 7:57.