Proclamation 61—Warning to United States Citizens Against Participating in an Unlawful Invasion of Cuba

May 31, 1854

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Whereas information has been received that sundry persons, citizens of the United States and others residing therein, are engaged in organizing and fitting out a military expedition for the invasion of the island of Cuba; and

Whereas the said undertaking is contrary to the spirit and express stipulations of treaties between the United States and Spain, derogatory to the character of this nation, and in violation of the obvious duties and obligations of faithful and patriotic citizens; and

Whereas it is the duty of the constituted authorities of the United States to hold and maintain the control of the great question of peace or war, and not suffer the same to be lawlessly complicated under any pretense whatever; and

Whereas to that end all private enterprises of a hostile character within the United States against any foreign power with which the United States are at peace are forbidden and declared to be a high misdemeanor by an express act of Congress:

Now, therefore, in virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution in the President of the United States, I do issue this proclamation to warn all persons that the General Government claims it as a right and duty to interpose itself for the honor of its flag, the rights of its citizens, the national security, and the preservation of the public tranquillity, from whatever quarter menaced, and it will not fail to prosecute with due energy all those who, unmindful of their own and their country's fame, presume thus to disregard the laws of the land and our treaty obligations.

I earnestly exhort all good citizens to discountenance and prevent any movement in conflict with law and national faith, especially charging the several district attorneys, collectors, and other officers of the United States, civil or military, having lawful power in the premises, to exert the same for the purpose of maintaining the authority and preserving the peace of the United States.

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, at Washington, the 31st day of May, A. D. 1854, and the seventy-eighth of the Independence of the United States.


By the President:


Secretary of State .

Franklin Pierce, Proclamation 61—Warning to United States Citizens Against Participating in an Unlawful Invasion of Cuba Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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