Andrew Johnson

Proclamation 137—Removing Trade Restrictions on Confederate States Lying East of the Mississippi River

June 13, 1865

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas by my proclamation* of the 29th of April, 1865, all restrictions upon internal, domestic, and commercial intercourse, with certain exceptions therein specified and set forth, were removed "in such parts of the States of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and so much of Louisiana as lies east of the Mississippi River as shall be embraced within the lines of national military occupation;" and

*Executive order.

Whereas by my proclamation of the 22d of May, 1865, for reasons therein given, it was declared that certain ports of the United States which had been previously closed against foreign commerce should, with certain specified exceptions, be reopened to such commerce on and after the 1st day of July next, subject to the laws of the United States, and in pursuance of such regulations as might be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury; and

Whereas I am satisfactorily informed that dangerous combinations against the laws of the United States no longer exist within the State of Tennessee; that the insurrection heretofore existing within said State has been suppressed; that within the boundaries thereof the authority of the United States is undisputed, and that such officers of the United States as have been duly commissioned are in the undisturbed exercise of their official functions:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby declare that all restrictions upon internal, domestic, and coastwise intercourse and trade and upon the removal of products of States heretofore declared in insurrection, reserving and excepting only those relating to contraband of war, as hereinafter recited, and also those which relate to the reservation of the rights of the United States to property purchased in the territory of an enemy heretofore imposed in the territory of the United States east of the Mississippi River, are annulled, and I do hereby direct that they be forthwith removed; and that on and after the 1st day of July next all restrictions upon foreign commerce with said ports, with the exception and reservation aforesaid, be likewise removed; and that the commerce of said States shall be conducted under the supervision of the regularly appointed officers of the customs provided by law, and such officers of the customs shall receive any captured and abandoned property that may be turned over to them under the law by the military or naval forces of the United States and dispose of such property as shall be directed by the Secretary of the Treasury. The following articles, contraband of war, are excepted from the effect of this proclamation: Arms, ammunition, all articles from which ammunition is made, and gray uniforms and cloth.

And I hereby also proclaim and declare that the insurrection, so far as it relates to and within the State of Tennessee and the inhabitants of the said State of Tennessee as reorganized and constituted under their recently adopted constitution and reorganization and accepted by them, is suppressed, and therefore, also, that all the disabilities and disqualifications attaching to said State and the inhabitants thereof consequent upon any proclamation issued by virtue of the fifth section of the act entitled "An act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports and for other purposes," approved the 13th day of July, 1861, are removed.

But nothing herein contained shall be considered or construed as in any wise changing or impairing any of the penalties and forfeitures for treason heretofore incurred under the laws of the United States or any of the provisions, restrictions, or disabilities set forth in my proclamation bearing date the 29th day of May, 1865, or as impairing existing regulations for the suspension of the habeas corpus and the exercise of military law in cases where it shall be necessary for the general public safety and welfare during the existing insurrection; nor shall this proclamation affect or in any way impair any laws heretofore passed by Congress and duly approved by the President or any proclamations or orders issued by him during the aforesaid insurrection abolishing slavery or in any way affecting the relations of slavery, whether of persons or property; but, on the contrary, all such laws and proclamations heretofore made or issued are expressly saved and declared to be in full force and virtue.

In testimony 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 13th day of June, A. D. 1865, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.


By the President:


Secretary of State.

Andrew Johnson, Proclamation 137—Removing Trade Restrictions on Confederate States Lying East of the Mississippi River Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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