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Foreign and Colonial Intelligence

The Illustrated London News, vol. 46, no. 1320, p. 567.

June 17, 1865


The surrender of General Kirby Smith, which we were able to announce in a large portion of last week's Number, took place on the 26th ult. It is unofficially reported that the same terms have been granted to him as were accorded to Lee and Johnston. This surrender includes the whole of the Confederacy across the Mississippi, so that the Federal Government has not an enemy left in the field. On the receipt of this intelligence President Johnson ordered the immediate release of all the prisoners who have been sentenced by military tribunals to imprisonment during the war. The Government, notwithstanding the surrender of Smith, has dispatched an extensive military and naval expedition, fitted out at Fortress Monroe, to Texas.

The President has issued a proclamation of amnesty and restoration to the rights of property, except in slaves and cases wherein proceedings under the Constitution laws have been instituted, to all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in the rebellion, and who will subscribe to the oath to support the Constitution, the Union, and all emancipation laws and proclamations, except those included in fourteen clauses of exceptions:--All civil, diplomatic, judicial, and State officers, soldiers above the rank of colonels, sailors above the rank of lieutenants, prisoners of war, political prisoners, raiders from foreign territories, those implicated in the ill-treatment of Federal prisoners, members of the Federal Congress of 1861 who have aided rebellion, any persons from the loyal States, or those in the seceded States owning property to the value of 20,000 dols. who have voluntarily aided the rebellion, and those who, having once taken Mr. Lincoln's amnesty oath of 1863, have disregarded its obligations. The proclamation concludes with notice that to those of the excepted classes who shall make special application to the President for pardon such clemency will be extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case and the dignity and peace of the United States.

This proclamation bears the counter-signature of W. H. Seward, being the first official document which the Secretary of State has signed since the murderous attack made upon him on April 14.

Secretary Seward, in accordance with the direction of the President's amnesty proclamation, has issued a circular in regard to the administration of the oath of allegiance. The oath may be subscribed before any commissioned officer--civil, military, or naval--in the service of the national Government, or any civil or military officer of a loyal State or territory who by the laws thereof may be qualified for administering oaths.

President Johnson has also issued a proclamation appointing William W. Holden provisional Governor of North Carolina, with power to call an election by the loyal people who shall have taken the new amnesty oaths to appoint delegates to revise the State Constitution and restore the State to the Union under such a form of local government as will entitle its people to protection by the United States against invasion, insurrection, and domestic violence. The military in the State are ordered to assist Governor Holden in carrying out the provisions of the proclamation, and the different departments of the Federal Government are directed to take possession of the public property, and to forthwith put in force their respective laws applicable to the geographical limits of the State.

General Grant had arrived in New York, and had been received with great enthusiasm.

Messrs. Wendell Phillips and Amasa J. Parker, in speeches to the Anti-Slavery Convention in Boston, denounced President Johnson's plan for the restoration of North Carolina to the Union, and decided that construction without negro suffrage would be a practical surrender to the Confederacy and a gross fraud upon the people of the North. Mr. Sumner has addressed a letter to the coloured men of North Carolina telling them to insist on all the rights and privileges of citizens and declaring that whoever robs them of those rights is a usurper and an impostor.

Mr. Jefferson Davis has been transferred from Fortress Monroe to the Capitol prison at Washington. The reports that he had been manacled are somewhat conflicting; but they have not been officially, or even semi-officially, denied. Mr. Davis will, it is rumoured, be tried by the District Supreme Court, under the presidency of Judge Carter; but the trial will not take place until September.

The trial of the alleged conspirators at Washington is progressing. The prosecution had produced Mr. Lewis F. Bates, of Charlotte, North Carolina, whose house Mr. Jefferson Davis made his stopping-place during his flight from Richmond. Evidence was given that, on the 19th of April, Mr. Davis addressed an assemblage of persons in front of Mr. Bates's house, reading to them a telegram announcing the assassination of Mr. Lincoln and the probable killing of Secretary Seward, which he is represented to have supplemented by giving utterance to Macbeth's murderous soliloquy, "If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly." On the next day, in Mr. Bates's house, during a conversation between Davis and Breckenridge on the assassination, in which the latter regretted the crime merely because he regarded the occurrence as unfortunate for the South, Davis is stated to have remarked, "Well, General, I don't know," and repeated his Shakesperean quotation. An employé at Ford's Theatre testified to the prisoner Spangler, carpenter to the establishment, having assisted the escape of Booth immediately after the assassination. Numerous witnesses have been examined, with the view of impairing the evidence for the prosecution. Insanity has been pleaded in defence of Payne and Atzeroth.

The Military Commission has sentenced Senator Harris, of Maryland, to three years' imprisonment and the forfeiture of political rights. President Johnson has approved this finding, but remitted the sentence and released Mr. Harris. The President has also commuted the sentence on the Indianapolis conspirators--Bowles, Mulligan and Horsey--to imprisonment for life.

An abstract of General Sherman's report to General Grant animadverting in strong terms against the conduct of Halleck and Stanton towards him has been published. Halleck has been superseded by Thomas, and it was believed that Stanton would have to retire from the Cabinet. The Western troops of General Sherman's army have broken up their camps around Washington, and are being transported westward, to be mustered out of service in their respective States[.] General Sherman has arrived in New York. In his farewell address to the army he recommends the men to return to peaceful pursuits, and not to seek new adventures abroad, which would only lead to death and disappointment.

The scheme for the liquidation of the national debt by voluntary subscriptions is being followed up.

The Senate of Tennessee had passed a bill declaring that all voters in that State must be white male citizens, twenty-one years old, and excluding from the suffrage all persons more than twenty-one years old who had "aided the rebellion."

Some Southern papers report that the people are disposed to accept the new order of things, and to stand by the Government to re-establish order and and industry.

The 1st of June, appointed by President Johnson for national mourning for the death of President Lincoln, was observed throughout the North by suspension of business and by religious services.

Secretary Seward has rescinded the order requiring persons entering the United States to be provided with passports.

The American Telegraph Company had announced that, with the termination of the war, telegraphic communication between New York and New Orleans and all the intermediate cities had been resumed.

Several persons have been arrested at San Francisco for complicity in a conspiracy to seize a steamer and put it to sea as a Mexican privateer.

The Ordnance Dépôt Magazine at Mobile exploded on the 25th ult. Eight blocks of buildings and 8000 bales of cotton were destroyed and 300 persons killed.

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