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    Executive Order By President Lincoln To The U.S. Army To Hire Southern Slaves. Manuscript Executive Order Certified to be Official Copy by: R. Williams" as Assistant Adjutant General, 2p (front & verso), 4.5" x 7.75". War Department, July 22, 1862. In full "1. Ordered that Military Commanders within the States of Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas, in an orderly manner seize and use any property, real or personal, which may be necessary or convenient for their several commands, as supplies, or for other military purposes; and that, where property may be destroyed for proper military objects, none shall be destroyed in wantoness or malice. 2. That Military and Naval commanders shall employ as laborers, within and from said States so many persons of African descent as can be advantageously used for military or naval purposes, giving them reasonable wages for their labor. 3. That, as to both property and persons of African descent, accounts shall be kept sufficiently accurate and in detail to show quantities and amounts, and from whom both property and such persons shall have come as a basis upon which compensation can be made in proper cases. And the several Departments of this Government shall attend to and perform their appropriate towards the execution of these orders. By order of the President Edwin M. Stanton Secretary of War." Born in Virginia, Robert Williams, who signed this document certifying it to be an official Executive Order, later served as Adjutant General, respectively, of the Departments of the Missouri and of the Platte, and of the Division of the Missouri. He was promoted by seniority in his department to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1869, Colonel in 1881, and by brevet to the grade of Brigadier General, United States Army "for diligent, faithful, and meritorious services during the rebellion." In 1866, Robert Williams married the widow of Stephen A. Douglas. Left edge of first page (right edge of second page) is tattered from being torn out of a notebook, affecting the final letters of some words on the second page. The final letters of a few words at the right edge of the first page are also missing. It is interesting to note that while Southerners regarded their slaves as property, this Executive Order distinguishes between "property and persons of African descent". A remarkable document of not only Civil War history, but American history, relating to paying southern slaves "reasonable wages" to work for the Union Army, as ordered by President Abraham Lincoln over five months before his Emancipation Proclamation freed them! From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
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