Description[Slavery] and [Reconstruction]. Joseph E. Brown Resignation Broadside. One page, printed in four columns, 11.75 x 16" (width varies), Milledgeville [Georgia], June 30, 1865, regarding the resignation of Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown (1821-1894), who served the State of Georgia in that capacity before and during the Civil War, and his plea to the people to conform and obey the laws of the United States. Fair condition with damage along the left and top edge due to smoke. Some spots of mildew and scattered light to moderate foxing. Smoothed folds.
Addressed "to the People of Georgia," he begins:
"I feel profoundly impressed with a sense of the obligation which I am under to you...At four different elections you have honored me with your suffrages for the highest position within your gift...During the period of my administration the country has passed through a most trying ordeal...But the South has been overcome by the superior numbers and boundless resources of the North. We have no further power of successful resistance, and no other alternative but to accept the result."
After tendering his resignation to the people, he urges them to not resist the abolition of slavery: "...on the subject of the emancipation of the slaves of the South, I beg to assure you that there is no division of opinion upon the subject of immediate abolition. It is decreed alike by the people and the Government...the question arises what shall we do? Nothing that we can do will prevent the result...As I will give no advice to others which I will not practice myself, I shall immediately do all which the Constitution and laws of my State will permit to emancipate my own slaves, and shall treat them as free, and give them part of the crop, or such other wages as may be agreed upon for their future labor...The Proclamation of President Lincoln declared the slaves to be free. To abide by and support it is simply to treat them as free...Every intelligent man in Georgia who has taken the pains to investigate the question, must see that slavery is now at an end."
In order to rebuild the state, he says: "I also recommend every citizen, who is allowed to do so, and who expects to remain in the country, to take the oath and qualify himself to vote, and to participate in the future of government of the State...I think all should take the oath and observe it in good faith...Every man should be willing to support the Constitution of a government if he intends to live under it and to act the part of a good citizen. If he does not he should seek a home and protection elsewhere."
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