To the Senate and House of Representatives

July 14, 1862

Fellow citizens of the Senate, and House of Representatives

Herewith is the draft of a Bill to compensate any State which may abolish slavery within it’s limits, the passage of which, substantially as presented, I respectfully, and earnestly recommend.

July 14. 1862. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That whenever the President of the United States shall be satisfied that any State shall have lawfully abolished slavery within and throughout such State, either immediately, or gradually, it shall be the duty of the President, assisted by the Secretary of the Treasury, to prepare and deliver to such State, an amount of six per cent interest bearing bonds, of the United States, equal to the aggregate value, at — dollars per head, of all the slaves within such State, as reported by the census of the year One thousand, eight hundred and sixty—the whole amount for any one State, to be delivered at once, if the abolishment be immediate, or, in equal annual instalments, if it be gradual—interest to begin running on each bond at the time of it’s delivery, and not before.

And be it further enacted, That if any State, having so received any such bonds, shall at any time afterwards, by law, reintroduce, or tolerate slavery within it’s limits, contrary to the act of abolishment, upon which such bonds shall have been received, said bonds, so received by said State, shall at once be null and void in whosesoever hands they may be, and such State shall refund to the United States, all interest which may have been paid on such bonds.


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