Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

To the Senate and House of Representatives [1]

To the Honorable, the Senate February 8, 1865

and House of Representatives:

The Joint Resolution entitled, ``Joint Resolution declaring certain States not entitled to representation in the Electoral College,'' has been signed by the Executive, in deference to the view of Congress implied in its passage and presentation to him. In his own view, however, the two Houses of Congress, convened under the Twelfth Article of the Constitution, have complete power to exclude from counting all electoral votes deemed by them to be illegal; and it is not competent for the Executive to defeat or obstruct that power by a veto, as would be the case if his action were at all essential in the matter. He disclaims all right of the Executive to interfere in any way in the matter of canvassing or counting electoral votes; and he also disclaims that by signing said Resolution he has expressed any opinion on the recitals of the preamble or any judgment of his own upon the subject of the Resolution. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Executive Mansion

February 8, 1865.

Page  271


[1]   DS, DNA RG 46, Senate 38A F2; DS, DNA RG 233, House Executive Document No.56; ADf, DLC-RTL. The joint resolution (H.R. 126) approved on February 8, 1865, declared that Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee were in ``such condition on the eighth day of November, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, that no valid election . . . was held'' and that these states were not entitled to representation in the electoral college.