Message to Governor William Holden of North Carolina
WASHINGTON CITY, Oct. 18, 1865.
W.W. HOLDEN, Provisional Governor:
Every dollar of the State debt created to aid the rebellion against the United States should be repudiated, finally and forever. The great mass of the people should not be taxed to pay a debt to aid in carrying on a rebellion which they, in feet, if left to themselves^ were opposed to. Let those who have given their means for the obligations of the State, look to that power they tried to establish in violation of law, Constitution and will of the people. They must meet their fate. It is their misfortune, and cannot be recognized by the people of any State professing themselves loyal to the Government of the United States and in the Union.
I repeat that the loyal people of North Carolina should be exonerated from the payment of every dollar of indebtedness created to aid in carrying on the rebellion. I trust and hope that the people of North Carolina will wash their hands of everything that partakes in the slightest degree of the rebellion which has been so recently crushed by the strong arm of the Government, in carrying out the obligations imposed by the Constitution of the Union.
ANDREW JOHNSON, President United States
Note: Governor Holden communicated this message to the Restoration Convention sitting at Raleigh, North Carolina on October 18. On the next day an ordinance prohibiting forever the assumption of the debt indicated, was passed by the Convention. It was greeted with loud applause.
Source: John Savage, "Life and Public Services of Andrew Johnson".
Andrew Johnson, Message to Governor William Holden of North Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/355907