[LINCOLN, Abraham]. Printed document: a Proclamation by the President of the United States, declaring "persons of foreign birth" liable for conscription into the armed forces. Washington, D. C., 8 May 1863, 2 pages, folio (12 15/16 x 16¾), integral blank, tape remnants on blank leaf.
IMMIGRANTS WILL BE SUBJECT TO THE MILITARY DRAFT. The March 1863 conscription act covered "all able-bodied male citizens...and persons of foreign birth" between the ages of 21 and 45. Some immigrants sought to avoid the draft by renouncing their intention to become citizens. The proclamation states that "no service can be more praiseworthy and honorable than that which is rendered for... preservation of free government." Anyone who thought otherwise had 65 days to make a "plea of alienage," that is, renounce his intention to become a citizen. After that they were eligible for the draft. However, no "plea of alienage [shall] be allowed in favor of any such person who has...exercised at any time the right of suffrage or any other political franchise within the United States..."
[With:] [CIVIL WAR DRAFT]. Printed broadside, Descriptive List of Substitute Deserters enlisted at Providence, R. I.. Wm. E. Hamlin, Captain and Provost Marshal, 1st District of Rhode Island. Providence, R. I., 1 October 1863. 14 x 16 7/8 in. A list of 27 foreign-born men who took their $300 bounty as substitutes, then failed to appear. They hailed from England, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey. -- [CIVIL WAR DRAFT]. Printed broadside, Descriptive List. J. W. D. Hall, Captain and Provost Marshal, Second District, Massachusetts. 13¾ x 10 5/8 in. This list names over 100 deserters, divided into three categories: substitutes, draftees, and draftees who failed to appear because they had already enrolled in the armed services--and already deserted! -- [CIVIL WAR DRAFT]. Printed broadside, List of persons Drafted in the Seventh District, Mass. Who have failed to report as ordered. Provost Marshall's Office, Seventh District, State of Massachusetts, Concord, 23 September 1863. 15 x 9 7/8 in., clerical docket on verso. In addition to listing the names of over 200 deserters, this broadside promises "a reward of ten dollars" to "any person for the apprehension and delivery to these Headquarters of a deserter from the service of the United States." Together 4 items. (4)