- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Year’s proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

January 1, 1863

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

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 first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

WILLIAM H. SEWARD

Hawaiian?No. Yes.

The article “Race separation ratified,” (Commentary, Tuesday) not only painted the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling in Doe v. Kamehameha Schools with a stroke of legal fiction, but it also managed to rewrite significant portions of Hawaiian history.

The column wrongly stated that King Kamehameha’s “signature contribution” was to erase “distinctions between Native and non-Native Hawaiians.” Kamehameha the Great aptly discerned that the surest way to maintain the islands’ sovereignty as a nation was to unify the islands under one ruler. His “signature contribution” was this unprecedented political unification, not the purported “erasure of distinctions” The only act of “erasure” he was involved in was preventing the erasure of the aboriginal people of the Hawaiian islands altogether by foreigners who sought to exploit his people and land for their own gain.

The article also falsely alleged that disadvantaged native Hawaiians were not necessarily the intended beneficiaries of King Kamehameha’s great-granddaughter, Princess Pauahi, when she willed her remnant of the monarchical lands in trust to establish the Kamehameha Schools. On the contrary, the schools were founded precisely to help native Hawaiians rebuild in vibrancy of numbers and culture they had declined from well over 400,000 at the time of western contact to fewer than 40,000 by the time of the Princess? death. In her will, Princess Pauahi expressly stated her intention to benefit the aboriginal people of the islands, particularly orphans and those of indigent circumstances. (Indeed, 65 percent of the schools’ students receive financial aid for a tuition that is less than 10 percent of the actual cost). And after her death, her husband, Charles Bishop, repeatedly affirmed her testamentary intentions in his own speeches and writings. For example: “The founder of these schools was a true Hawaiian. Her heart was heavy when she saw the rapid dimunition of the Hawaiian people going on decade after decade.” (Handicraft, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1889). He made it clear that his wife’s dying wish was, like her great-grandfather’s, to prevent the erasure of her people.

Finally, the article characterized the Ninth Circuit’s decision as reminiscent of an era when African-Americans were excluded from full participation in American society by the notorious Jim Crow laws. However, unlike segregation which sought to keep people out on the basis of their skin color, Princess Pauahi’s trust seeks to bring historically disenfranchised Native Hawaiians in to full participation in American society. As trustee Robert Kihune recently stated, this entirely private remedial trust “helps thousands, but hurts no one.” Indeed, even purely public entities like Congress and the Supreme Court have recognized a special obligation to America’s first inhabitants and their descendants, acknowledging the United States’ expansion over the aboriginal homelands of Native American Indians, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians.

NOELANI JAI

Huntington Beach, Calif.

m

In the article, “Race separation ratified,” (Commentary, Tuesday) Bruce Fein stated that “King Kamehameha I’s signature contribution to Hawaii’s legal and political culture was the general erasure of distinctions between Native and non-Native Hawaiians.” I can only assume that this historical inaccuracy was included to show an inconsistency in Hawaiian monarchical intention regarding the the admission policies of the Kamehameha Schools.

As a matter of fact, Kamehameha was foreigner-savvy, wary of their advances, and did not permit non-Natives to own land. During his rule, he thwarted what was perceived as an attempt by the Russians to lay claim to Hawaiian lands. Kamehameha’s signature contribution to a political culture that included foreigners was merely an interest in participating in the global marketplace for the purpose of enriching his people, thereby ensuring their continuance a tradition upheld by his grand-daughter, Bernice Pauahi Bishop through the Kamehameha Schools.

JOLENE AUVIL

Honolulu

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide