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1865 June 3: Southern Ports Opened to Foreign Trade by Presidential Proclamation

June 6, 2015

This third proclamation of President Andrew Johnson was also printed in the June 3, 1865, issue of The Prescott Journal.

Proclamation.—Southern Ports Opened to Foreign Trade—Trade Restrictions Removed. 

By the President of the United States :

WHEREAS, By proclamation of the President on the 11th day of April last, certain ports of the United States therein specified which has previously been subject to blockade, were for objects of public safety declared in comformity [sic] with previous special legislation of Congress, to be closed against foreign commerce; and

WHEREAS, Events and circumstances have since occurred which in my judgement render it expedient to remove that restriction except as to the ports of Galveston, Lavacca, Brazos, DeSantiago, Point Isabel and Brownsville, in the State of Texas:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby declare that the ports aforesaid, not excepted as above, shall be open to foreign commerce from and after the first of July, and that commercial intercourse with said ports many from that time be carried on, subject to the laws of the United States and in pursuance of such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury.  If, however, any vessel from a foreign port shall enter any of the before named excepted ports in the State of Texas, she will continue to be held liable to the penalties prescribed by the act of Congress approved on the 13th of July, 1861, and persons on board of her to such penalties as may be incurred pursuant to the laws of war, for trading or attempting to trade with the enemy.

I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby declare and make known that the United States of America do henceforth disavow to all persons trading or attempting to trade in violation of the laws thereof, all belligerent rights and privileges, and I give notice from the date of this proclamation all such offenders will be held and dealt with as pirates.

It is also ordered that all restrictions upon trade heretofore imposed in the territory of the United States east of the Mississippi River—save those relating to contraband of war, to reservation of rights of the United States, to property purchases in the territory of the enemy, and to 25 per cent, upon purchases of cotton—are removed.  All the provisions of the internal revenue law will be carried into effect, under proper officers.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.  Done at the city of Washington, this 22d day of May, in the year of our Lord 1865, and of the Independence of the United States of America the 89th.

ANDREW JOHNSON.

By the President,
.   .W. HUNTER [William Hunter], Ass’t Sec’y of State.

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