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The Illustrated London News, vol. 42, no. 1184, p. 58.

January 17, 1863


By the arrival of the steamers Etna and Bohemian we have New York journals of the 3rd inst. and telegrams to the afternoon of that day. The most important item of intelligence is the issue of

The Emancipation Proclamation.

After reciting the previous conditional proclamation of Sept. 22, the President proceeds to declare as follows:--

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and Government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaim for the full period of one hundred days from the day of the first above-mentioned order, and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:--

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana--except the parishes of St. Bernard, Placquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terra Bonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans--Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia--except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley [sic] Berkley , Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and which excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And, by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do aver and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are and henceforward shall be free, and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognise and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence unless in necessary self-defense, and I recommend to them that in all cases, when allowed, they labour faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States, to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And, upon this--sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the constitution, upon military necessity--I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favour of Almighty God.

The proclamation is countersigned by Mr. Seward. Of the Virginian counties mentioned by name therein, only one, Berkeley, is on the Potomac. The others are on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, or at the mouth of the James River. The State of Tennessee, although a seceded State, is not touched by this proclamation.

Page 59

Its Reception.

The Federal Generals in the South seem to interpret the proclamation each according to his own bias. Thus, General Saxton, the Military Governor, at Port Royal, South Carolina, has issued a proclamation to the negroes in his department stating that it is their duty to carry the news of their freedom to their brethren still in slavery. On the other hand, General Banks, who has superseded General Butler at New Orleans, has addressed the people of Louisiana, informing them "that the changes suggested therein" do not take effect on the 1st of January, nor at any precise period. No public demonstrations will be allowed, and the slaves are advised to remain on their plantations "until their privileges shall have been definitively established." No man will be allowed to take the law into his own hands. Coloured soldiers are to be put under surveillance, and neither allowed to make nor receive visits. No fugitives are to be returned to their masters, but no encouragement is to be given to the slaves to leave their masters.

General Burnside's army has already received a number of fugitives, and in Norfolk the freed men have celebrated the great event. They met together on the last day of the old year and formed a procession of at least 4000 persons. Headed by a band of music, they paraded through the principal streets of the city. They carried several Union flags, and cheered loudly for emancipation.

War News.

The army of the Potomac is still inactive.

On the last day of the old year a battle commenced between General Rosencranz's army and that commanded by Generals Joseph Johnston and Bragg. The battle took place near Murfreesboro', in Tennessee. It lasted two days, and at the close the Confederates still held their intrenched positions within which they had been driven on the first day's fight. The losses on both sides are heavy. Three Federal Generals were wounded, and the Confederate Generals Cheatham and Rains were killed. It is supposed that the attack will be renewed. We have none but Federal reports of this battle.

The Richmond papers say that the Federals attacked Vicksburg on the 27th, 28th, and 29th ult., and were repulsed each time.

The Confederate States.

The Richmond Whig contains a violent article upon England for refusing to co-operate with Napoleon's mediation project. It says, "England could have made fast friends with the South, but that time has now gone by for ever."

General Banks has superseded General Butler at New Orleans. The latter has been recalled to Washington at the instance of the French Government. General Butler publishes an address to the people of New Orleans defending his proceedings by reference to severities practised by British and French Generals in the last three centuries. He alludes to Great Britain and France "as the most polished and the most hypocritical nations of Europe," and boasts that, though he may be cursed in the salon, he will be blessed in the cottage.


The President has signed the bill admitting Western Virginia as a separate State.

Mr. Smith of Indiana, Secretary of the Interior, and member of Mr. Lincoln's Cabinet, has resigned his office, presumably because of his disapproval of the emancipation policy.


The New York Chamber of Commerce has passed resolutions to the effect that the war made upon American commerce by the Alabama is not rebuked by the British press, nor the fitting out of vessels stopped by the British Government, and that American merchants in the rise of freights are subject, to a certain extent, to the evils which would attend a state of war with England, while England enjoys the advantages of a neutral. A committee was appointed to report what action the Chamber shall take in the matter.

Mr. Horatio Seymour has been inaugurated Governor of New York. He made a speech declaring that he would uphold the State Constitution and see to it that the laws were respected; that his position gave him little control over national events, but he hoped the Union would be one and indivisible before his term of service expired. His first act was to order the trial of the New York Police Commissioners and Superintendent Kennedy, for permitting the use of the New York Police Station for the illegal detention of citizens.

The Governor of Missouri, in his annual message, has recommended the passage of an act providing for the gradual abolition of slavery in that State, with the pecuniary aid of the Federal Government. The State Legislature is strongly in favour of carrying out the same policy, the only difference being whether the Governor's plan is sufficiently speedy in its operation.

Captain Wynn, of the British Army, had been arrested in Baltimore, on his arrival from Richmond, on the charge of acting as an emissary of the Confederates. His companion, another British officer, was not interfered with.

The Great Eastern was to have left New York for England on the 3rd, but, in consequence of a heavy fog, the pilot advised that she should be delayed until the weather cleared up.

A dispatch from St. Paul, Minnesota, states that thirty-eight Indians, condemned for taking part in the massacre, were hung, at Mankato, on the morning after Christmas Day, and that the gallows was so constructed that all fell at once.

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