Primary tabs


Monthy Record of Current Events, July 6.

OUR Record closes on the 6th of July. The National Anniversary was celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the whole country. One of the most interesting celebrations of the day was that at Gettysburg, where was laid the corner-stone of the monument in memory of the soldiers who fell in the great battle fought there just two years before. The oration was delivered by General Howard, who acted a prominent part in the battle. Its general theme was a glowing eulogy of the "private volunteer as the representative of the American soldier." A poem was recited by Charles G. Halpine, Esq., late Major in the army.

On the 10th of June monuments were erected on the field of the battles fought near Bull Run on the 21st of July, 1861, and on the 28th, 29th, and 30th of August, 1862. — On the 17th of June a monument was consecrated at Lowell, Massachusetts, to the memory of the first two martyrs of the war — Luther C. Ladd and Addison O. Whitney, two volunteers, citizens of that place, who were killed in the streets of Baltimore on the 19th of April, 1861.

The leading topic of interest during the month has been the carrying out of the policy of reconstruction upon the general basis of the President's Amnesty Proclamation, and his directions to the Provisional Governor of North Carolina, which were noted in our last Record.

The position of the States more or less involved in secession differs widely. Kentucky and Missouri, though nominally represented in the Richmond Congress, have never formally seceded. Loyal governments have always maintained their supremacy in these States, and their authority is unquestioned. Thomas E. Bramlette is Governor of Kentucky, and Thomas C. Fletcher of Missouri. In Virginia there has always been nominally a


loyal State government, though its authority has been practically extended over only a small part of the State. This government is recognized as being, and having been, the real government of Virginia, not including the new State of West Virginia; Francis H. Pierpont is Governor. In Tennessee, a loyal government, William G. Brownlow being Governor, has for some time been in operation, superseding the military organization, established by President Lincoln, in which Andrew Johnson, now President of the United States, was Governor. The authority of this government is unquestioned. In Louisiana and Arkansas loyal State governments have been established in a somewhat irregular manner; but it seems certain that their authority will not be called in question. James M. Wells is the Governor of Louisiana, and John Murphy of Arkansas.

There remain the seven States, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, in which the State authority is to be for the time invested in Provisional Governors appointed by the President. Such a Governor has been appointed in each of these States except Florida, as follows: North Carolina, WILLIAM, W. HOLDEN, May 29; Mississippi, WILLIAM L. SHAEKEY, June 13; Georgia, JAMES JOHNSON, June 17; Texas, ANDREW J. HAMILTON, June 17; Alabama, LEWIS E. PARSONS, June 21; South Carolina, BENJAMIN F. PERRY, July 1. The proclamations appointing all these Governors are identical in terms with that for North Carolina, of which the important features were given in our Record for July.

On the 7th of June the Attorney-General of the United States issued a circular notifying all persons belonging to the classes specially exempted from the general amnesty proclaimed by the President, that their applications for special pardon must be presented in writing, and that before these could be considered they must have taken the oath prescribed in the proclamation. A large number of such applications, from men who have borne a prominent part in the rebellion, has been presented; but action has as yet been had upon only a few of these applications.

The various restrictions upon travel and traffic rendered necessary by the exigencies of the war have been one after another revoked. That requiring passports from travelers entering the United States was rescinded by an order from the Secretary of State; but a proviso was added that nothing in the order should relieve from due accountability any enemies of the United States or offenders against their peace and dignity who may hereafter seek to enter the country, and be at any time found within its legal jurisdiction. — By an order of the President, issued June 23, the blockade of the Southern ports was rescinded, and all the ports of the country were declared open to foreign commerce after the 1st of July. — By a proclamation of the 24th of June all restrictions upon internal and coastwise commerce between the States lying cast and west of the Mississippi are removed, except those relating to property heretofore purchased by the agents or captured by United States forces, and the transportation on private account of arms and ammunition, of gray uniforms and the gray cloth of which they are made.

The political status of the freedmen of the South is for the present defined by the proclamations appointing Provisional Governors in the several insurrectionary States. The General Government does not undertake to give them the right of suffrage, leaving that to the decision of the several States. Their personal status is defined by an order issued at Richmond on the 23d of June by General Terry, the commander of that department. The order says that the laws of the State of Virginia and the ordinances of the different municipalities made to restrain the personal liberty of free colored persons were essentially a part of the slave code, and have become obsolete with that code; "people of color will henceforth enjoy the same personal liberty that other inhabitants and citizens enjoy; they will be subject to the same restraints and to the same punishments for crime that are imposed upon whites, and to no others;" vagrancy will not, however, be permitted, and neither whites nor blacks will be permitted to desert their families and roam in idleness about the country; but neither whites nor blacks will be restrained from seeking employment, nor from traveling from place to place on proper and legitimate business; and "until the civil tribunals are re-established the administration of civil justice must of necessity be by military courts, and before such courts the evidence of colored persons will be received in all cases." — Colonel Brown, Assitant Commissioner in the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, for Virginia, has issued an address to the freedmen, in which he says that the difference between their present and former condition is that formerly their labor was directed and the proceeds taken by their masters, who also cared for them; now they were to direct their own labor, receive the proceeds, and care for themselves. They are exhorted to be industrious and frugal, since they had no masters to provide for them in sickness and old age. "You are not to suppose that your former masters have become your enemies because you have become free. All good men among them will recognize your relations to them as free laborers. If others fail to recognize your right to equal freedom with white persons you will find the Government, through this Bureau, as ready to secure to you as to them liberty and justice." They are informed that schools will be established for them under the protection of Government; but that the special care which the Government now exercises over them will soon be withdrawn, and they will be left to work and provide for themselves. If they are in a location where work is to be had they are advised to remain where they are; they are reminded that, owing to the unsettled state of the country, work is scarce, and the chances are against finding constant employment at high wages. The address concludes thus: "Be quiet, peaceable, and law-abinding citizens. Be industrious, be frugal, and the glory of passing successfully from slavery to freedom will, by the blessing of God, be yours."

There is every indication that the great body of the Southern population of every class are disposed to accept as among the issues decided by the late war the absolute supremacy of the Union and the entire abolition of slavery. Many of the prominent military, civil, and religious leaders have issued addresses urging upon the people to submit peaceably to the new order of things; to remain quietly at their homes, fulfill all the duties of citzens, and endeavor by industry to repair the ravages to which their section of the country has been subjected. Not a few of them take the open ground


that the abolition of slavery will, in the long-run, be of great advantage to the South. The number of Confederate prisoners discharged under the general order given in our last Record amounted, as far as reports had been received up July 3, to 42,796; of these 1106 were captains, 3382 lieutenants, 5582 non-commissioned officers, 32,726 privates.

John C. Breckinridge, once Vice-President of the United States, and late Confederate Secretary of War, has escaped. After separating from Davis he made his way, with two or three companions, to the Florida Coast, where they procured a small open boat, in which they reached Cardenas, in Cuba, and thence proceeded to Havana, where they arrived on the 17th of June.

The decision of the Military Court for the trial of the conspirators, having been approved by the President, was announced on the 6th of July. Payne, Harold, Atzerott, and Mrs. Surratt were sentenced to be hung on the 7th; Mudd, Arnold, and O'Laughlin to be imprisoned for life; Spangler to be confined at hard labor in the Penitentiary for six years.

In Mexico the Republican Government of Juarez has for months kept up a desultory contest with the Imperial Government of Maximilian. Not-with-standing partial and isolated successes, and the hopes entertained of assistance, either direct or indirect, from the United States, there can be little doubt that the Imperialists have retained the decided advantage, backed up, as they undoubtedly are, by the assurances of support from the Emperor of France. The speedy capture of Juarez or his fight from the country is now confidently expected. The Emperor Maximilian has issued an important notice to his Minister of Public Instruction. "Religion," he says, "is a matter of conscience for each individual, and the less the State meddles with religious questions the more faithful is it to its mission. We have emancipated the Church and conscience, and I desire to secure to the former the full enjoyment of her legitimate rights, and at the same time entire liberty in the education of her priests, according to her own rules, without any state interference; but she has likewise duties which she must perform — such as religious instruction, a duty in which the clergy of the country, unfortunately, have taken little or no part hitherto. Consequently, in your projects and proposals you will adhere to the principle, that religious instruction in the primary and secondary schools shall be given by the priest of the parish, using the books selected by the Government."

In Hayti an attempt at revolution was made during the month of May, but at the latest dates it had been nearly suppressed. — The Spanish troops have abandoned the Dominican Republic, on the southern part of the island, which was some time since formally "reannexed" to Spain.

The civil war which has been raging in the Republic of Salvador has come to an end by the defeat of General Cabanas.

A treaty has been confirmed between Honduras and the United States; the main provision relates to the interoceanic railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Honduras agrees that the right of transit shall be open for all lawful purposes to the Government and citizens of the United States; and the United States guarantee to protect the same from interruption, seizure, and confiscation from any quarter.

War has been declared between Paraguay and the Argentine Republic. Brazil is also in a state of war with Paraguay.

The Governments of France, England, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands have formally withdrawn the recognition of belligerent rights accorded to the Southern Confederacy, and with them the restrictions upon our men-of-war in their ports. — The English and French statesmen and press urge that leniency, if not actual pardon, should be extended to Jefferson Davis and other Southern leaders. — A renewed attempt to lay a telegraphic cable across the Atlantic is about to be made. The cable is now on board the Great Eastern, which will be escorted by two British war-steamers. The day of sailing is fixed for the 10th of July. — From France the most important items are the announcement that the Emperor will uphold Maximilian in Mexico; and a quarrel between the Emperor and Prince Napoleon, growing out of a declaration made by the latter in favor of the "Monroe doctrine."