DescriptionNew Orleans Occupation Broadside: Benjamin F. Butler Proclamation assuming command of New Orleans. One page, 7.75" x 24.5", printed, Headquarters Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, May 1, 1862. A.G. Hills has written in pencil, along the top margin, "Printed by soldiers of 30 Wisconsin Regt in the office of N. O. Delta [Newspaper]." 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...who have come to restore order, maintain public tranquility, enforce peace and quiet under the laws and Constitution of the United States..."
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." The broadside outlined 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.
Reference: Streeter Sale 1280.
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