War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0782 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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6, 1861, thelegal claims of certain persons to the labor and service of certain other persons have become forfeited; and numbes of thelatter thus liberated are already dependent on the United States and must be provided for insome way. Besides this it is not impossible that some of the States will pass similar enactments for their own benefit respectively and by operation of which persons of the same class will be thrown upon them for disposal. In such case I recommend that Congress provide for aceepting such persons from such States according to some mode of valuation in liue prot tanto of direct taxes or upon some other plan to be agreed on with such States respectively; that such persons on such acceptance by the General Government be at once deemed free and that in any event steps be taken for colonizing both classes (or the one first mentioned if the other shall not be brought into existence) at someplace or places in a climate congenial to them. It might be well to consider too whether the free colored people already in the United States could not so far as individuals may desire be included in such colonization.

To carry out the plan of colonization may involvethe acquiring of territory and also the appropriation of money beyond that to be expended in the territorial acquisition. Having practiced the acquisition of territory for nearly sixty years the question of constitutional power to do so is no longer an open one with us. The power was questioned at first by Mr. Jefferson who, however, in the purchase of Louisiana yielded his scruples ont eh plea of great expediency. If it be said that the only legitimate object of acquiring territory is to furnish homes for white men this measure effects that object; for the emigration of coloredtional room for white men remaining or coming here. Mr. Jefferson, however, placed the importance of procuring Louisiana more on political and commercial ground than on providing room for population.

On this whole proposition including the appropriation of money with the acquisition of territory does not the expediency amount to absolute necessity-that without which the Government itself cannot be perpetuated?

* * * *

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

Resolution adopted by the House of Representatives December 4, 1861.

Whereas, it is reported that there are confined within the Government jail within the city Washington fifty-five persons who are not charged with crime but who are suspected of being slaves: Therefore

Resolved, Taht the standing committee for the District of Columbia be requested to inquire into the truth of said report and by what authority said persons are held and confined; who are the reputed owners of said persons, and what legislation if any is necessary to relieve said persons from imprisonment and to prevet others from being similary imprisoned; and that said committee report to the House by bill or othwerwise.