General Butler declares martial law in New OrleansNew Orleans Occupation Broadside: Benjamin F. Butler Proclamation Assuming Command of New Orleans. One printed page, 8.75" x 24.75", "Headquarters Department of the Gulf," New Orleans, May 1, 1862. Published the day New Orleans fell under control of the United States government, the proclamation by Butler, who had assumed military command of the city, outlines rules for martial law. It reads, in part:
"The city of New Orleans and its environs, with all its interior and exterior defenses, having been surrendered to the combined naval and land forces of the United States . . . and being now in occupation of the forces of the United States, who have come to restore order, maintain public tranquility, enforce peace and quiet under the Laws and Constitution of the United States, the Major-General commanding the forces of the United States in the Department of the Gulf, hereby makes known and proclaims the object and purposes of the Government . . . in thus taking possession of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana."
The broadside then outlines the rules and regulations to be followed by the civilian population including the surrender of arms, a ban on flags other than that of the United States, oaths of allegiance to the Union, and a suspension on the right to assemble. As a result of these laws, William Mumford was executed for lowering the flag that Farragut had raised over the mint prior to Butler's entering the city. The harsh punishment gave rise to Butler's moniker, "The Beast." New Orleans would remain an occupied city for the duration of the war and well into the period of Reconstruction. Two small tape remnants at the top corners on the verso, otherwise near fine condition.
According to Streeter, "[Butler] sent the proclamation to the True Delta office to be printed but the editor refused; the press was promptly seized and army printers recruited to set up the historic document."
Condition: The entirety of the verso is backed by archival tissue repairing separations along the folds and spots of paper loss along the edges. Three vertical lines of adhesive ghosting run down the left and right edges with one down the middle; two horizontal lines run along the upper and lower edges.
Reference: Streeter Sale 1280.
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