WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 69.
Washington, February 22, 1864.
The following proclamation is published for the information of all concerned:
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
Whereas, by my proclamation of the nineteenth of April, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, the ports of the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas were, for reasons therein set forth, placed under blockade; and whereas, the port of Brownsville, in the district of Brazos Santiago, in the State of Texas, has since been blockaded, but as the blockade of said port may now be safely relaxed with advantage to the interests of commerce:
Now, therefore, be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, pursuant to the authority in me vested by the fifth section of the act of Congress approved on the thirteenth of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, entitled "An act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports, and for other purposes," do hereby declare that the blockade of the said port of Brownsville shall so far cease and determine from and after this date, that commercial intercourse with said port, except as to persons, things, and information hereinafter specified, may from this date be carried on, subject to the laws of the United States, to the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury, and, until the rebellion shall have been suppressed, to such orders as may be promulgated by the general commanding the department, or by an officer duly authorized by him and commanding at said port. This proclamation does not authorize or allow the shipment or conveyance of persons in or intending to enter the service of the insurgents, or of things or information intended for their use or for their aid or comfort, nor, except upon the permission of the Secretary of War, or of some officer duly authorized by him, of the following prohibited articles, namely: Cannon, mortars, firearms, pistols, bombs, grenades, powder, saltpeter, sulphur, balls, bullets, pikes, swords, boarding caps (always excepting the quantity of the said articles which may be necessary for the defense of the ship and those who compose the crew), saddles, bridles, cartridgebag material, percussion and other caps, clothing adapted for uniforms, sail cloth of all kinds, hemp and cordage, intoxicating drinks, other than beer and light native wines.
To vessels clearing from foreign ports and destined to the port of Brownsville, opened by this proclamation, licenses will be granted by consuls of the United States upon satisfactory evidence that the vessel so licensed will convey no persons, property, or information excepted or prohibited above, either to or from the said port; which licenses shall be exhibited to the collector of said port immediately on arrival, and, if required, to any officer in charge of the blockade; and on leaving said port every a clearance from the collector of the customs, according to law, showing no violations of the conditions of the license. Any violations of said conditions will involve the forfeiture and condemnation of the vessel and cargo, and the exclusion of all parties concerned from any further privilege of entering the United States during the war for any purpose whatever.
In all respects, except as herein specified, the existing blockade remains in full force and effect as hitherto established and maintained, nor is it relaxed by this proclamation except in regard to the port to which relaxation is or has been expressly applied.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington this eighteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty- four, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty- eighth.
By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD,
Secretary of State.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,