Proclamation by the President.
Whereas, information has been received that sundry lawless persons, principally
persons of color, combined and confederated together for the purpose of opposing
by force the execution of the laws of the United States, did at Boston, Massachusetts,
on the 15th of this month, make a violent assault on the Marshal or Deputy Marshal
of the United States for the district of Massachusetts in the court house, and
did overcome the said officers, and did by force take from their custody a person
arrested as a fugitive slave, and there and then a prisoner lawfully holden
by the Marshal or Deputy Marshal of the United States, and other scandalous
outrages did commit in violation of law.
Now, therefore, to the end that the authority of the law may be maintained,
and those concerned in violating them brought to immediate and condign punishment,
I have issued this, my proclamation, calling on all well disposed citizens to
the support of the laws of their country, and commanding all officers, civil
and military, who shall be found in the vicinity of this outrage, by aiding
and assisting by all means in their power in quelling this and other such combinations,
and assisting the Marshal and his Deputies in recapturing the above named persons.
And I do emphatically direct, that prosecutions be commenced against all persons
who shall have made themselves aiders or abettors in this flagitious offense.
And I do further command that the District Attorney of the United States, and
all other persons concerned in the administration or execution of the laws of
the United States, to cause the foregoing offenders, and all such as aided,
abetted, or assisted them, or shall be found to have harbored or concealed such
fugitive contrary to law, to be immediately arrest and proceeded with according
Given under my hand and the seal of the United States, this 18th day of February,
[L. S. MILLARD FILLMORE.
DANIEL WEBSTER, Sec'y of State.