[CIVIL WAR]. Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Washington, 8 December 1863. A copy sent to Saint Augustine, Florida. Folio broadside (18¾ x 12 in), bold heading "Proclamation" at top, printed in two-columns, signed in type by Lincoln and William H. Seward at end of column two. Some spotting, two small closed tears on center crease.
A FLORIDIAN EXAMPLE OF LINCOLN'S AMNESTY PROCLAMATION, THE CORNERSTONE OF HIS RECONSTRUCTION POLICY. Former rebels were to "solemnly swear, in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves...and that I will, in like manner, abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves..." All but Confederate government officials, high-ranking military officers and war criminals were eligible to take the oath. When 10 percent of the 1860 electorate took the oath, they could "reestablish a state government which shall be republican..." A note appended at bottom certifies that "Major Hay, Adj. Gen., at St. Augustine...is authorized to administer the oath..." This mild plan of Lincoln's gave way, after his murder, to the sterner Congressional brand of Reconstruction imposed in 1868.