Answer 25

What Part of "united States Is Under Military Law" Don't You Understand?


I don’t want to reinvent the wheel, but will attempt to pull from my earlier research a few quotes and place them in this one email. It will take you some time to study them, but you will be well served to do so, without it there is no way you can know who controls this country and just how far down the ladder you come. I hope it will convey legal and historical facts, so you will come away with an understanding of where we are in the chain of land ownership, thereby understanding your personal status, because if you are living an illusion as all Americans are, how can we ever hope to go back to the Constitutional government, we believe we have. After you have read all this, read the comments of Patrick Henry; if you don’t have his speeches I can send them to you, he understood what was being setup. The below quotes are just a sampling of the facts on our Conquest, I am also sending the third Chapter of a book I wrote, that goes into in more depth, the post Civil War Conquest. The quotes below will be sufficient for you or anyone reading them, to form your own conclusions, they speak for themselves.

Years ago, when studying the sovereignty issue, of which I believed myself to be, I came across a court case in my county, since I was also fighting local property tax, a case stating that your mere presence in the county made you subject to the tax. In other words your body being in the geographical area of the county meant you were taking advantage of the county’s resources, making you libel to taxation. For years I defied this, not understanding how they could do that, nor understanding the law that was being used. In believing I was sovereign and had allodial property, I believed the county, state and federal government had no claim to my land or money earned by my labor.

Then I learned via research, my belief was provided to me through propaganda, and selected history taught by the public schools, media and the government. We were all taught that we were freeman, and the sovereigns, and that government existed by our leave. That we owned our land as a part of our history and heritage, that all these things were guaranteed by the 1787 Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the common law that founded them.

This is as you will see an illusion and a lie for a number of reasons, but I will deal with only one, Conquest, and the body of law that made it possible.

From the outset of our Constitution it was doomed, because it recognized the Power of emergency, to be exercised by the President as Commander-in-Chief, so only one man need be controlled to overcome our declared freedom. Rather than hear my opinion of the facts, below are the facts, for you to read for yourself. Following is a list of the contained subject matter, broken down in to sections.


Death of State Sovereignty, Passed to the District of Columbia

The Courts Recognize the Insular Power Claimed by Congress

Understanding Admiralty Power of the Commander-in-Chief

Understanding Conquest and Military Occupation

Death of the 1787 Constitution, By Post Civil War Conquest

Oversight of the Conquest Was Turned Over to the Attorney General

Congressional Record on the Conquest

Allodial Property vs. Tenet on the Land


“How was this accomplished, in reading the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol I, 1789-1897 I discovered the following:

Gentlemen of the Senate:

Pursuant to the powers vested in me by the act entitled “An act repealing after the last day of June next the duties heretofore laid upon distilled spirits imported from abroad and laying others in their stead, and also upon spirits distilled within the United States, and for appropriating the same,” I have thought fit to divide the United States into the following districts, namely:

The district of New Hampshire, to consist of the State of New Hampshire; the district of Massachusetts, to consist of the State of Massachusetts; the district of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, to consist of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; the district of Connecticut, to consist of the State of Connecticut; the district of Vermont, to consist of the State of Vermont; the district of New York, to

consist of the State of New York; the district of New Jersey, to consist of the State of New Jersey; the district of Pennsylvania, to consist of the State of Pennsylvania; the district of Delaware, to consist of the State of Delaware; the district of Maryland, to consist of the State of Maryland; the district of Virginia, to consist of the State of Virginia; the district of North Carolina, to consist of the State of North Carolina; the

district of South Carolina; and the district of Georgia, to consist of the State of the State of Georgia .Page 99 March 4, 1791 In George Washington’s Proclamation of March 30, 1791 he declares the District of Columbia to be created and it’s borders established, he says further:

“And Congress by an amendatory act passed on the 3rd day of the present month of March have given further authority to the President of the United States….”

This completely changed the landscape, and for the first time, the Commander-in-Chief, could operate outside of the Constitution as a matter of National Security. Even more than this it established the Commander-in-Chief’s law above the common law. It put in place a military government, created state overlays of military jurisdiction, called Districts. It placed the controlling bodies, District courts and country sheriffs within that jurisdiction. This was also done to allow the Bank of the United States to operate in the United States, which was setup just after Washington’s Act. However, the 1787 Constitution still existed and was still a problem for them, through the body of stare decisis it embraced. Congress then passed the Act of 1845, bringing the law of the sea on land. This attack on the 1787 Constitution left its defense to the third branch of our government, the courts, to reject this grab for power by the Executive and Congress. What did they do? They sided with Congress, changing the legal stare decisis law, with common law as its foundation, replacing it with Admiralty law, bringing about the Insular Cases, giving Congress legislative power independent of the Constitution. This was the next step in destroying the 1787 Constitution, but the end was not yet. You have to understand these definitions below, before you will understand what Washington and Congress did, which will bring us to the Conquest.


“Next to revenue (taxes) itself, the late extensions of the jurisdiction of the admiralty are our greatest grievance. The American Courts of Admiralty seem to be forming by degrees into a system that is to overturn our Constitution and to deprive us of our best inheritance, the laws of the land. It would be thought in England a dangerous innovation if the trial, of any matter on land was given to the admiralty.” Jackson v. Magnolia, 20 How. 296 315, 342 (U.S. 1852)

“These courts, then, are not constitutional courts in which the judicial power conferred by the Constitution on the general government can be deposited. They are incapable of receiving it. They are legislative courts, created in virtue of the general right of sovereignty which exists in the government, or in virtue of that clause which enables Congress to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory belonging to the united States. The jurisdiction with which they are invested is not a part of that judicial power which is conferred in the third article of the Constitution, but is conferred by Congress in the execution of those general powers which that body possesses over the territories of the United States.” Harvard Law Review, Our New Possessions. page 481.

“…[T]he United States may acquire territory by conquest or by treaty, and may govern it through the exercise of the power of Congress conferred by Section 3 of Article IV of the Constitution…

In exercising this power, Congress is not subject to the same constitutional limitations, as when it is legislating for the United States. …And in general the guaranties of the Constitution, save as they are limitations upon the exercise of executive and legislative power when exerted for or over our insular possessions, extend to them only as Congress, in the exercise of its legislative power over territory belonging to the United States, has made those guarantees applicable.” [Hooven & Allison & Co. vs Evatt, 324 U.S. 652 (1945) “The idea prevails with some indeed, it found expression in arguments at the bar that we have in this country substantially or practically two national governments; one to be maintained under the Constitution, with all its restrictions; the other to be maintained by Congress outside and independently of that instrument, by exercising such powers as other nations of the earth are accustomed to exercise.

I take leave to say that if the principles thus announced should ever receive the sanction of a majority of this court, a radical and mischievous change in our system of government will be the result. We will, in that event, pass from the era of constitutional liberty guarded and protected by a written constitution into an era of legislative absolutism.

It will be an evil day for American liberty if the theory of a government outside of the supreme law of the land finds lodgment in our constitutional jurisprudence. No higher duty rests upon this court than to exert its full authority to prevent all violation of the principles of the constitution.” [Downes vs Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244 (1901)]


“Pursuant to U.S.C. Chapter 1, 2, and 3; Executive Order No. 10834, August 21, 1959, 24 F.R. 6865, a military flag is a flag that resembles the regular flag of the United States, except that it has a YELLOW FRINGE, bordered on three sides. The President of the United states designates this deviation from the regular flag, by executive order, and in his capacity as COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF of the Armed forces.”

“…The agency of the master is devolved upon him by the law of the flag. The same law that confers his authority ascertains its limits, and the flag at the mast-head is notice to all the world of the extent of such power to bind the owners or freighters by his act. The foreigner who deals with this agent has notice of that law, and, if he be bound by it, there is not injustice. His notice is the national flag which is hoisted on every sea and under which the master sails into every port, and every circumstance that connects him with the vessel isolates that vessel in the eyes of the world, and demonstrates his relation to the owners and freighters as their agent for a specific purpose and with power well defined under the national maritime law.” Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1914.

“It is only with the extent of powers possessed by the district courts, acting as instance courts of admiralty, we are dealing. The Act of 1789 gives the entire constitutional power to determine “all civil causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction,” leaving the courts to ascertain its limits, as cases may arise.” Waring ET AL,. v. Clarke, Howard 5 12 L. ed.



The following is the definition of Conquest:

“The acquisition of the sovereignty of a country by force of arms, exercised by an independent power which reduces the vanquished to submission to its empire.”

“The intention of the conqueror to retain the conquered territory is generally manifested by formal proclamation of annexation, and when this is combined with a recognized ability to retain the conquered territory, the transfer of sovereignty is complete. A treaty of peace based upon the principle of uti possidetis (q.v.) is formal recognition of conquest.”

“The effects of conquest are to confer upon the conquering state the public property of the conquered state, and to invest the former with the rights and obligations of the latter; treaties entered into by the conquered state with other states remain binding upon the annexing state, and the debts of the extinct state must be taken over by it. Conquest likewise invests the conquering state with sovereignty over the subjects of the conquered state. Among subjects of the conquered state are to be included persons domiciled in the conquered territory who remain there after the annexation. The people of the conquered state change their allegiance but not their relations to one another.” Leitensdorfer v. Webb, 20 How. (U.S.) 176, 15 L. Ed. 891.

“After the transfer of political jurisdiction to the conqueror the municipal laws of the territory continue in force until abrogated by the new sovereign.” American Ins. Co. v. Canter, 1 Pet. (U.S.) 511, 7 L. Ed. 242. Conquest, In international Law. - Bouvier’s Law Dictionary

Military Occupation

“This at most gives the invader certain partial and limited rights of sovereignty. Until conquest, the sovereign rights of the original owner remain intact. Conquest gives the conqueror full rights of sovereignty and, retroactively, legalizes all acts done by him during military occupation. Its only essential is actual and exclusive possession, which must be effective.”

“A conqueror may exercise governmental authority, but only when in actual possession of the enemy’s country; and this will be exercised upon principles of international law; MacLeod v. U.S., 229 U.S. 416, 33 Sup. Ct 955, 57 L. Ed. 1260.”

“The occupant administers the government and may, strictly speaking, change the municipal law, but it is considered the duty of the occupant to make as few changes in the ordinary administration of the laws as possible, though he may proclaim martial law if necessary. He may occupy public land and buildings; he cannot alienate them so as to pass a good title, but a subsequent conquest would probably complete the title…”

“Private lands and houses are usually exempt. Private movable property is exempt, though subject to contributions and requisitions. The former are payments of money, to be levied only by the commander-in-chief…Military necessity may require the destruction of private property, and hostile acts of communities or individuals may be punished in the same way. Property may be liable to seizure as booty on the field of battle, or when a town refuses to capitulate and is carried by assault. When military occupation ceases, the state of things which existed previously is restored under the fiction of postliminium (q.v.)”

“Territory acquired by war must, necessarily, be governed, in the first instance, by military power under the direction of the president, as commander-in-chief. Civil government can only be put in operation by the action of the appropriate political department of the government, at such time and in such degree as it may determine. It must take effect either by the action of the treaty-making power, or by that of congress. So long as congress has not incorporated the territory into the United States, neither military occupation nor cession by treaty makes it domestic territory, in the sense of the revenue laws. Congress may establish a temporary government, which is not subject to all the restrictions of the constitution. Downes v. Bidwell, 182 U.S. 244, 21 Sup Ct. 770, 45 L. Ed. 1088, per Gray, J., concurring in the opinion of the court.” Bouvier’s Law Dictionar

“While it is held to be the right of a conqueror to levy contributions upon the enemy in their seaports, towns, or provinces which may be in his military possession by conquest, and to apply the proceeds to defray the expenses of the war, this right is to be exercised within such limitations that it may not savor of confiscation. As the result of military occupation, the taxes and duties payable by the inhabitants to the former government become payable to the military occupant, unless he sees fit to substitute for them other rates or modes of contributions to the expenses of the government. The moneys so collected are to be used for the purpose of paying the expenses of government under the military occupation, such as the salaries of the judges and the police, and for the payment of the expenses of the army.” Macleod v. U.S, 229 U.S. 416 1913

Martial Law - Military jurisdiction - Military necessity - Retaliation

“Article 1. A place, district, or country occupied by an enemy stands, in consequence of the occupation, under the Martial Law of the invading or occupying army, whether any proclamation declaring Martial Law, or any public warning to the inhabitants, has been issued or not. Martial Law is the immediate and direct effect and consequence of occupation or conquest.

Art. 2. Martial Law does not cease during the hostile occupation, except by special proclamation, ordered by the commander in chief; or by special mention in the treaty of peace concluding the war, when the occupation of a place or territory continues beyond the conclusion of peace as one of the conditions of the same.

Art. 3. Martial Law in a hostile country consists in the suspension, by the occupying military authority, of the criminal and civil law, and of the domestic administration and government in the occupied place or territory, and in the substitution of military rule and force for the same, as well as in the dictation of general laws, as far as military necessity requires this suspension, substitution, or dictation.

The commander of the forces may proclaim that the administration of all civil and penal law shall continue either wholly or in part, as in times of peace, unless otherwise ordered by the military authority.”

{Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, LL.D., Originally Issued as General Orders No. 100, Adjutant General’s Office, 1863, Washington 1898: Government Printing Office.}”


Everyone has always concentrated on the 1st section of the 14th Amendment, never thinking of the Amendments connection with the Reconstruction Acts. Read the Reconstruction Acts, then take notice to section 3, which prevents anyone holding public office to aid anyone challenging the public policy. Section 4 declares the right of the conqueror to recoup the cost of the conquest and the operation of the occupying government, and I mean every aspect of government. Also, denying the conquered the ability to challenge the debt they create while they occupy, ergo we have a 6 trillion dollar debt, they hold us responsible for.

Fourteenth amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any

State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

“As a result of these decisions, enforcement of the Reconstruction Act against the Southern States, helpless to resist military rule without aid of the judiciary, went forward unhampered. Puppet governments were founded in these various States under military auspices. Through these means the adoption of new state constitutions, conforming to the requirements of Congress, was accomplished. Likewise, one by one, these puppet state governments ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, which their more independent predecessors had rejected. Finally, in July 1868, the ratifications of this amendment by the puppet

governments of seven of the ten Southern States, including Louisiana, gave more than the required ratification by three-fourths of the States, and resulted in a Joint Resolution adopted by Congress and a Proclamation by the Secretary of State, both declaring the Amendment ratified and in force.” Tulane Law

Review, The Dubious Origin Of The Fourteenth Amendment. page 36

“Despite the fact that the southern States had been functioning peacefully for two years and had been counted to secure ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment , Congress passed the Reconstruction Act, which provided for the military occupation of 10 of the 11 southern States. It excluded Tennessee from military occupation and one must suspect it was because Tennessee had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment on July 7, 1866.

The Act further disfranchised practically all white voters and provided that no Senator or Congressman from the occupied States could be seated in Congress until a new Constitution was adopted by each State which would be approved by Congress.

The Act further provided that each of the 10 States was required to ratify the proposed Fourteenth

Amendment must become a part of the Constitution of the United States before the military occupancy would cease and the States be allowed to have seats in Congress.” Dyett v. Turner 439 p2d 266 @ 269, 20 U2d 403.

The following, is an excerpt from Joint Resolution No.1 of the State of New Jersey of March 24, 1868, when they rescinded their prior ratification and rejected:

“It being necessary, by the Constitution, that every amendment to the same, should be proposed by two thirds of both Houses of Congress, the authors of said proposition, for the purpose of securing the assent of the requisite majority, determined to, and did, exclude from the said two Houses eighty representatives form eleven States of the Union, upon the pretence that there were no such States in the Union; but, finding that two-thirds of the remainder of said Houses could not be brought to assent to the said proposition, they deliberately formed and carried out the design of mutilating the integrity of the United States Senate, and without any pretext or justification, other than the possession of power, without the right and in palpable violation of the Constitution, ejected a member of their own body, representing this State, and thus practically denied to New Jersey its equal suffrage in the Senate and thereby nominally secured the vote of two-thirds of the said Houses.”

“The object of dismembering the highest representative assembly in the Nation, and humiliating a State of the Union, faithful at all times to all of its obligations, and the object of said amendment were one- to place new and unheard of powers in the hands of a faction, that it might absorb to itself all executive, judicial and legislative power, necessary to secure to itself immunity for the unconstitutional acts it had already committed, and those it has since inflicted on a too patient people.”

“The subsequent usurpation of these once national assemblies, in passing pretended laws for the establishment, in ten States, of martial law, which is nothing but the will of the military commander, and therefore inconsistent with the very nature of all law, for the purpose reducing to slavery men of their own race to those States, or compelling them, contrary to their own convictions, to exercise the elective franchise in obedience to dictation of a fraction in those assemblies; the attempt to commit to one man arbitrary and uncontrolled power, which they have found necessary to exercise to force the people of those States into compliance with their will; the authority given to the Secretary of War to use the name of the President, to countermand its President’s order, and to certify military orders to be by the direction of the President’ when they are notoriously known to be contrary to the President’s direction, thus keeping up the forms of the Constitution to which the people are accustomed, but practically deposing the President from his office of Commander-in-Chief, and suppressing one of the great departments of the Government, that of the executive; the attempt to withdraw from the supreme judicial tribunal of the Nation the jurisdiction to examine and decide upon the conformity of their pretended laws to the Constitution, which was the Chief function of that August tribunal, as organized by the fathers of the republic: all are but amplified explanations of the power they hope to acquire by the adoption of the said amendment.”

“To conceal from the people the immense alteration of the fundamental law they intended to accomplish by the said amendment, they gilded the same with propositions of justice…”

“It imposes new prohibitions upon the power of the State to pass laws, and interdicts the execution of such part of the common law as the national judiciary may esteem inconsistent with the vague provisions of the said amendment; made vague for the purpose of facilitating encroachment upon the lives, liberties and property of the people.”

“It enlarges the judicial power of the United States so as to bring every law passed by the State, and every principle of the common law relating to life, liberty, or property, within the jurisdiction of the Federal tribunals, and charges those tribunals with duties, to the due performance of which they, from their nature and organization, and their distance from the people, are unequal.”

“It makes a new apportionment of representatives in the National courts, for no other reason than thereby to secure to a faction a sufficient number of votes of a servile and ignorant race to outweigh the intelligent voices of their own.”

“This Legislature, feeling conscious of the support of the largest majority of the people that has ever been given expression to the public will, declare that the said proposed amendment being designed to confer, or to compel the States to confer, the sovereign right of elective franchise upon a race which has never given the slightest evidence, at any time, or in any quarter of the globe, of its capacity of self-government, and erect an impracticable standard of suffrage, which will render the right valueless to any portion of the people was intended to overthrow the system of self-government under which the people of the United States have for eighty years enjoyed their liberties, and is unfit, from its origin, its object and its matter, to be incorporated with the fundamental law of a free people.” (The 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and the threat that it poses to our democratic government, Pinckney G. McElwee, South Carolina Law Quarterly 1959)

A portion of the Veto message of Andrew Johnson.

“It is plain that the authority here given to the military officer amounts to absolute despotism. But to make it still more unendurable, the bill provides that it may be delegated to as many subordinates as he chooses to appoint, for it declares that he shall ‘punish or cause to be punished’. Such a power has not been wielded by any Monarch in England for more than five hundred years. In all that time no people who speak the English language have borne such servitude. It reduces the whole population of the ten States- all persons, of every color, sex and condition, and every stranger within their limits- to the most abject and degrading slavery. No master ever had a control so absolute over the slaves as this bill gives to the military officers over both white and colored persons….”

“I come now to a question which is, if possible, still more important. Have we the power to establish and carry into execution a measure like this? I answer, ‘Certainly not’, if we derive our authority from the Constitution and if we are bound by the limitations which is imposes.”….

“…The Constitution also forbids the arrest of the citizen without judicial warrant, founded on probable cause. This bill authorizes an arrest without warrant, at pleasure of a military commander. The Constitution declares that ‘no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on presentment of a grand jury’. This bill holds ever person not a soldier answerable for all crimes and all charges without any presentment. The Constitution declares that ‘no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law’. This bill sets aside all process of law, and makes the citizen answerable in his person and property to the will of one man, and as to his life to the will of two. Finally, the Constitution declares that ‘the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended unless when, in case of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it’; whereas this bill declares martial law (which of itself suspends this great writ) in time of peace, and authorizes the military to make the arrest, and gives to the prisoner only one privilege, and that is trial ‘without unnecessary delay’. He has no hope of release from custody, except the hope, such as it is, of release by acquittal before a military commission.”

“The United States are bound to guarantee to each State a republican form of government. Can it be pretended that this obligation is not palpably broken if we carry out a measure like this, which wipes away every vestige of republican government in ten States and puts the life, property, and honor of all people in each of them under domination of a single person clothed with unlimited authority?”

“….,here is a bill of attainder against 9,000,000 people at once. It is based upon an accusation so vague as to be scarcely intelligible and found to be true upon no credible evidence. Not one of the 9,000,000 was heard in his own defense. The representatives of the doomed parties were excluded from all participation in the trial. The conviction is to be followed by the most ignominious punishment ever inflicted on large messes of men. It disfranchises them by hundreds of thousands and degrades them all, even those who are admitted to be guiltless, from the rank of freeman to the condition of slaves.”

Veto Message of President Johnson, March 2, 1867, Footnote


“If a question of martial law is to be determined by the law officers of government, it will now belong to the Attorney General, or to this Department of Justice. It will not belong to the Judge Advocate General of the Army. He will not be called upon for any opinion relating to martial law or military law except as to that portion of the administration of military law which relates to military justice.” Congressman Lawrence

“In other words, the Judge Advocate General, instead of giving legal opinions to the states of the union, their right to call upon the government for military protection, or military aid, and other grave Constitutional questions, will be limited.”

Congressman Lawrence

“…The Eighth Section provides that the Attorney General is hereby empowered to make all necessary rules and regulations for the government….

“…The Eleventh Section provides that all monies hereafter drawn out of the Treasury upon requisition of the Attorney General shall be dispersed by such one of the clerks herein provided for the Attorney General as he may designate, and so much of the First Section of the Act, making appropriations, past March 3rd, 1859, as provides that money drawn out of the Treasury upon requisition of the Attorney General shall be dispersed by such dispersing officer as the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby repealed….

“…The Fifteenth Section provides that the supervisory powers now exercised by the Secretary of the Interior over the accounts of the district attorneys, marshals, clerks, and other officers of the courts of the United States, shall be exercised by the Attorney General….”

H.R. 1328


“1. The powers and duties of the military commanders in the districts constituted by the act of March 2, 1867, “to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States,” considered and determined.”

“2. The jurisdiction of military commissions under that act defined.”

“3. Summary of the points considered and determined in the former opinion of the Attorney General on this subject.”

Attorney General’s Office, June 12, 1867

“Sir: On the 24th ultimo, I had the honor to transmit for your consideration my opinion upon some of the questions arising under the reconstruction acts therein referred to. I now proceed to give my opinion on the remaining questions upon which the military commanders require instructions.

1, As to the powers and duties of these commanders. The original act recites in its preamble, that “no legal State governments or adequate protection for life or property exist” in those ten States, and that “it is necessary that each and good order should be enforced” in those States “until loyal and republican State governments can be legally established.”…. “….The 5th section declares the qualification of voters in all elections, as well to frame the new constitution for each State, as in the elections to be held under the provisional government, until the new State constitution is ratified by Congress, and also fixes the qualifications of the delegates to frame the new constitution.

The 6th section provides, “That until the people of said rebel States shall be by law admitted to representation in the Congress of the United States, any civil governments which may exist therein shall be deemed provisional only, and in all respects subject to the paramount authority of the United States at any time to abolish, modify, control, or supersede the same; and in all elections to any office under such provisional governments all persons shall be entitled to vote, and none others, who are entitled to vote under the provisions of the 5th section of this act; and no person shall be eligible to any office under any such provisional governments who would not be disqualified from holding office under the provisions of the third article of said constitutional amendment.”

“….It appears that some of the military commanders have understood this grant of power as all comprehensive, conferring on them the power to remove the executive and judicial officers of the State, and to appoint other officers in their places; to suspend the legislative power of the State; to take under their control, by officers appointed by themselves, the collection and disbursement of the revenues of the State; to prohibit the execution of the laws in matters affecting purely civil and private rights; to suspend or enjoin the execution of the judgments and decrees of the established State courts; to interfere in the ordinary administration of justice in the State courts, by prescribing new qualifications for jurors, and to change, upon the ground of expedience, the existing relations of the parties to contracts, giving protection to one party by violating the rights of the other party….”

Reconstruction Acts, Attorney General’s Office, June 12, 1867


“If these Southern States are conquered provinces, then by the laws of nations we are responsible for all the debts and liabilities of the Conquered country. I ask gentleman to pause before we take so great a responsibility as this upon us.”

Congressman Ross, January 26, 1867

“Republican in form!–governments formed by the Chief Executive without authority of law and upheld by the military power when deemed proper, and set aside at the suggestion of post commanders of military districts—these State governments, conceived in ignorance, brought forth in confusion, and rocked in the cradle of treason, are to be palmed upon the country as legitimate, and taken into the sisterhood of States as republican in form, with all the rights belonging to great States of the Union.”

Congressman Cullom, January 28, 1867

“Mr. Chairman, the time has come when every patriotic citizen of this country should be aroused to the danger which hangs like a thick pall over our institutions. The time has come when the question must be decided whether the people of this country have any longer any rights that deserve to be respected. The glory of the fathers was that we had a Government resting so lightly on the shoulders of the people that they hardly knew they were taxed. The idea on which our Government was founded was that we were to dispense with all the traditionary notions of monarchy and aristocracy; that among the other abuses of monarchical government from which we were to be exempt were standing armies and navies, needlessly eating out the substance of the people. But, sir, this old doctrine is being entirely reversed; we have been placed under military despotism; a permanent military establishment has been created; provision is made for putting one third of the people of this Union under military law; and we are having pressed upon us in this House a militia bill providing for the military enrollment of the entire community.

Mr. Chairman, these are important moments in the history of our country, and I call upon patriotic Union-loving men who revere and venerate the institutions under which we live to come to the rescue. There is no time to be lost; ere long the chins will be around our necks; there is great danger in permitting this thing to go on. I call upon the honorable and distinguished gentlemen on the other side to come to the help of our imperiled free Government.” Congressman Ross, February 19, 1867

“Nearly two years ago the armies of a government calling itself the confederate States of America were conquered and the government was dispersed. By the law of nations the conqueror after that had a right to say exactly what government should be administered over them or by them, keeping always within the law of nations. The conqueror had a right either to extend his own laws over those conquered States, or if no action was taken by the conqueror, then by the law of nations the old institutions were permitted to run on for the purpose of administering the local laws until such time as the conquering party should act……This bill provides the ten disorganized States shall be divided into five military districts, and that the commander of the Army shall take charge of them through his lieutenants as governors, or you may call them commandants if you choose, not below the grade of brigadiers, who shall have the general supervision of the peace, quite, and the protection of the people, loyal and disloyal, who reside within those precincts; and that do so he may use, as the law of nations would authorize him to do, the legal tribunals wherever he may deem them competent; but they are to be considered of no validity per se, of no intrinsic force, no force in consequence of their origin, the question being wholly within the power of the conqueror, and to remain until that conqueror shall permanently supply their place with something else.”

Congressman Stevens from Pennsylvania, February 7, 1867.

“I feel, sir, that the passage of this bill is the death-knell of civil liberty, not only here but everywhere. Sad as the thought may be it is too true that almost the last hope of a once free people, that liberty is secure here, is fast passing away.

The bill under consideration proposes to establish nothing more and nothing less than a military despotism….

The provisions of this bill strike down every important provision in your Constitution. You have already inaugurated enough here to destroy any Government that was ever founded….When you do that there is nothing left, I repeat, but quiet submission to your tyranny, or a resort to arms on the part of the American People to defend themselves….We are drifting to monarchy. It will come unless the people take this matter in hand and stop this progress that is being made in the downward road, and restore this shattered Government upon the basis upon which it was originally founded.”

Congressman Le Blond, February 7, 1867

“Will it aid the cause of democratic Government to exhibit this great Republic—this model, as we have sought to make it, of what every republic should be—abandoning all the functions of civil government, abrogating every thing like civil authority over one third of our domain and one third of our people, and for very imbecility and inability to agree upon any measure handing over the control of this section and these people to the absolute and sovereign will of a brigadier general in the regular Army? Will that aid the cause of free republican government anywhere on the face of the earth? It is the last resort of a decayed and dying republic. If we have no better resource than this, we may as well do at once what this would seem to be a preliminary step for doing: invite the regular Army to take control of the whole country, install itself here in the capital as the central, sovereign power, and make such laws and issue such decrees as it may see fit.”

Congressman Raymond, February 8, 1867

“Now, I again call on gentlemen who deny that the Union has been dissolved, for I suppose this military bill is to pass if any does, to pause before they take this last and final step. What does this bill do? It proclaims the Union dissolved; it declares that ten States are out of the Union; and if ten States are out

all are out; the Constitution holds and binds all together or it holds none. It proclaims that the Union is dissolved; that the experiment of man’s capacity for self-government is a failure….And yet gentlemen are disposed to rush madly upon the passage of a bill declaring in substance that the Union is dissolved, establishing an absolute military despotism over ten States with a population of eight or ten million people, giving to the military commander unlimited and absolute power over life, liberty, property, and all things else.” Congressman Harding,

February 12, 1867

“As the gentleman from Pennsylvania is now in his seat I will repeat a remark which I made a short time ago when he was absent. I said that he was the first to make the startling announcement here in this House a few years ago, “That all compacts between the North and South were abrogated, and that the laws of nations and of war thenceforward controlled the destinies of each party in the conflict then pending.”

Congressman Harding, February 12, 1867

“It is true, undoubtedly true, that these States remained disorganized States in the Union. It is also undoubtedly true that those who were the conquerors upon the field of battle reduced those in rebellion to subjects.”

Congressman Eldridge, February 7, 1867

“The following bureaus shall be established in this department [The Department of Justice]: a Bureau of International Law, a Bureau of Revenue Law, a Bureau of Military and Navel Law, a Bureau of Postal Law, a Bureau of Land Management Law.”

Congressional Globe, concerning H.R. 1328

“This Bill, however, does transfer to the Law Department, or the Department of Justice as it is now called, the cognizance of all subjects of martial law, and cognizance of all subjects of military and navel law, except that portion of the administration of military justice which relates to military court martial, their proceedings, and the supervision of records.” Congressman Lawrence

“Now look at what has been done. That very party obtained control of the Government. There has been war; that war is over, but the Union is not restored, and at this very moment the public debt, mountain high, is casting its deadly and blighting shadow of bankruptcy over the whole country. We are literally bankrupts to day; and generations to come must be ground to the earth under the crushing weight of this monstrous debt.” Congressman Harding,

February 12, 1867

“Sec. 13. Be it further enacted, That all laws now in force in Louisiana, consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and with the provisions of this act, shall remain in force until repealed or modified: Provide, That no person shall be competent to act as a juror who is not an elector under the provisions of this act: And provided also, That all the expenses of and incident to the administration of the provisional governments herein provided for shall be collected and paid as is now done for the support of the present government of Louisiana.”

Reported by Congressman Elliot, February 11, 1867

“Yes, say gentlemen upon that side of the House, “but the President of the United States has the appointing of the military officers who are to control the people of those States.” Sir, that may be a matter of some consequence in the minds of gentlemen upon that side of the House; but to me it is a matter of no consequence who is to be the man that is to establish military despotism in any State within this Union or to establish a power that is to absorb all other powers.

Whoever appoints these officers lays the foundation for a military despotism that must destroy our Government, and I envy not the man who is to exercise the powers attempted to be granted by this bill.

Mr. Speaker, this bill is to pass Congress. All the powers of the Union men of this House cannot obstruct its passage. The die is cast, and the subversion of constitutional liberty willed by the usurpers.

In conclusion, let me warn gentlemen that there is a point beyond which forbearance ceases to be a virtue and where hope no longer restrains the action of men. That point is at hand or near by.

Conclude your works of destruction by impeaching the Executive and you have lopped off one arm of the Government. Circumscribe the judiciary by your network of laws and you have paralyzed one of its main branches; but to dismember this Union, either by armed force or usurped legislative power, is the destruction of constitutional liberty, and to establish military despotism over all of the States of this Union that will justify the friends of liberty to a resort to arms.”

Congressman Le Blond, February 18, 1867

“I shall content myself with denouncing this measure as most wicked and abominable. It contains all that is vicious, all that is mischievous in any and all of the propositions which have come either from the Committee on Reconstruction or from any gentleman upon the other side of the House. I am not quite so certain as my friend from Ohio [Mr. Le Blond] that when this bill shall have become a law, should it ever become the law, a state of war will not exist. In my judgement, this bill is of itself a declaration of war against the southern people; it is at least a revival and continuation of the war, which we had hoped was forever ended. If it is bello cessante now from the time this bill shall pass and become a law, it will be a war actual and flagrant which will I fear involve that whole people, white and black, in one common ruin.

Now, what is this measure? I do not wonder that there is some difference of opinion upon the other side of the House. I should wonder if there was not. For as you approach the final consummation of the purpose which you have had in view of virtually declaring the Government of our fathers a failure, I wonder not that you differ; that you have some controversy among yourselves, some misgivings….

It was well said by my friend from Ohio [Mr. Le Blond] that this bill starts out with a falsehood. It does, indeed. It declares that there are no legal governments in these States. It not only starts out with a lie, but every provision of the bill is a lie; it is one consummate, unmitigated lie from beginning to end. It will, if it shall become a law, subject the people of ten States of this Union to the unwritten, undefined, and undefinable will of a brigadier general of the Army. It will substitute for our written Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof the arbitrary, uncontrolled, and unlimited will of a military despot. It matters not who he may be; how pure, how upright; I care not if he be the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, he will be, he can be nothing less, than a military despot. Gentlemen may sugar-coat the pill if they can on that side or this side of the House by saying that it is all to be under the control of the President of the United States; I honor him in his position and office, and for many things he has done; but, sir, God never made the man or the angel whom I would trust with the liberties of the people unlimited and unrestrained by a written constitution….

But the effect of this bill is to abrogate the Constitution of the United States, to overthrow all government and commit all the rights, all the vast interests of the people of those States subject to the supreme will and pleasure of a military despot.”

Congressman Eldridge, February 18, 1867

“The terms of this bill are fearful to contemplate as a permanent system. If the South must be permanently governed by this bill there is an end of republican government, for there is no republican government in this bill.” Congressman Stewart,

February 15, 1867

“….The principle upon which the bill proceeds is the principle for which I have all along contended, that the rebel States, as communities, have been conquered by the arms of the United States in the prosecution of the war which resulted in the suppression of the rebellion waged by those States. I hold that, subject to the Constitution of the United States and to the duty of ultimately restoring the rebel States to their former standing under the Constitution, the Government of the United States has the same power in reference to those conquered communities as it would have had they been foreign territory.

Let me not be misunderstood, sir. I do not say that the Government of the United States has precisely the same authority over the rebel States which it would have in reference to conquered foreign territory; but we hold them by the sword and by the right of conquest; yet we hold them in a fiduciary capacity, and the trust imposed upon the Government is ultimately and in our good time, as Congress shall judge most fit and expedient in reference to the public interest, to restore them to the enjoyment of all their former rights as members of the Union. But at present we hold them as conquered country. The governments which have been established there under the imperial edicts of the Executive have all depended for their vitality and force upon the military power of the United States; and it cannot be denied to-day that all these bogus governments in the rebel States—I call them bogus only in the sense of their being unconstitutional—rest upon the military edicts of the President of the United States, so far as they have any foundation and operation….” Congressman Howard, February 15, 1867

“….I suppose we have the constitutional right and constitutional power to treat these States as conquered

provinces. I do not doubt that, because I believe we have the power to do about as we please with them. I believe when they fell into our hands we were controlled by no law except the general laws of humanity and the laws of war and of nations with regard to them.” Congressman Stewart, February 15, 1867

“Now, allow me to remind my honorable friend from Nevada that since these insurrectionary States were subdued and overthrown the military power in that region of the country has been absolute, and we have sat here since 1865 and witnessed the military acts of the President of the United States unlimited and absolute over the whole country. We have seen him set aside States and State institutions and govern that entire country by his absolute military authority. Nobody denies that….” Congressman Morrill, February 15, 1867

“I am for invoking that law no longer than it is necessary, for exercising it only within the limits of the necessity. Enacted into a system of permanent laws, with no limit to the duration of such a system, and it does look, and the world will believe, that this struggle is for military despotism as an end, and not for military rule as a means for the preservation of free institutions….Show me an instance where any one who had such power ever relinquished it. It is according to all history and the nature of man that those who have power hold on to it as long as they can….” Congressman Stewart, February 15, 1867

“….Mr. Henderson, Do I understand the Senator from Michigan to say that General Grant is superior in his orders to the President of the United States

Mr. Howard. No, sir; I have not said so.

Mr. Henderson. Can he be so made by law?

Mr. Howard. Does the Senator wish me to answer that question

Mr. Henderson. I do , because I am seeking light.

Mr. Howard. I have no doubt that it is within the competency of Congress, under the Constitution, in the form of a law, to impose any duty it may see fit upon any military officer by name or by rank, and that it is not in the competency of the President, after the passage of such a law, to thwart its execution or interfere with its execution in any way.

Mr. Henderson. What becomes of the constitutional provision which declares that the President of the United States shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy?

Mr. Howard. That is a mere rank conferred upon the President….” Congressman Henderson and Howard, February 15, 1867

“….While I question not the sincerity of other men I shall give utterance to what I feel, to what I think, and, if I have the power, to all that abhorrence which I feel for this proposition, which, of itself, if it be carried out, is the death-knell of the Republic.” Congressman Doolittle, February 15, 1867

“….The passage of this bill, if it shall become an act either by the signature of the President or by the vote of Congress over a veto, is in my judgement, as we heard this afternoon, the death-knell, not only of the Republic, but of civil and constitutional liberty in this country.” Congressman Saulsbury, February 15, 1867

“….What, sir, are we doing? I shall not now enter into a discussion of this question, though I intend to do so before the bill is finally passed; but what do we hear here? The agent reconstruction the principal! What is the Federal Government? A mere agent created by the States of this Union with no particle of original inherent sovereignty about it. And that Federal Government, established by a written Constitution defining its powers, a Government simply of delegated powers, not assumes in the face of the people of this country, and in the eyes of the world, to undertake to reconstruct its creator! How did the

Federal Government have an existence? It was because the people of the thirteen original States, acting separately for themselves, chose to establish this Federal Government with certain specified and limited powers. And I cannot bring myself to the conclusion that, in the lines of the history of the formation of the Constitution, in defiance of al the teachings of the fathers, and in contravention of every principle of adjudicated constitutional law, any court will ever hold this bill to be constitutional or worth the paper that it is written on; and let it not be supposed that outraged rights will not seek the peaceable redress of the courts of law to test the constitutionality of this measure….” Congressman Saulsbury,

February 15, 1867

“….If the court know, as I am sure they do, what is due to their dignity, they will refuse to hold their courts at all where such doctrines are enforced. The present Chief Justice of the United States declared it to be his determination, and I applauded him for it, that he would hold no court in a State in which martial law prevailed and the writ of habeas corpus was denied….” Congressman Johnson, February 15, 1867

“….Congress has too often since those ordinances were adopted recognized them as States to allow the majority now to deny their existence as States. When did they cease to be States and come to be pretended governments? I should like to hear some gentleman of this majority state exactly at what time that took place, when it was, and how it was. State governments were in existence when the rebellion took place. Did the rebellion disrobe them as States? Too often we said that was not the case to allow the contrary to be said now. Did they cease to be States by the act of secession, by the act of rebellion, by the act of war, or was it because the rebellion itself was defeated?….” Congressman Hendricks, February 15, 1867


16 USC Sec. 831x


CHAPTER 12A Sec. 831x. Condemnation proceedings; institution by Corporation; venue


“The Corporation may cause proceedings to be instituted for the acquisition by condemnation of any lands, easements, or rights-of-way which, in the opinion of the Corporation, are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter. The proceedings shall be instituted in the United States district court for the district in which the land, easement, right-of-way, or other interest, or any part thereof, is located, and such court shall have full jurisdiction to divest the complete title to the property sought to be acquired out of all persons or claimants and vest the same in the United States in fee simple, and to enter a decree quieting the title thereto in the United States of America.”

“The fiefs were built in the same manner as a pyramid, with the King, the true owner of the land, being at the top, and from the bottom up there existed a system of small to medium sized to large to large sized estates on which the persons directly beneath one estate owed homage to the lord of that estate as well as to the King.” Id. at 114, Allodial And Land

Patents Titles

“At the lowest level of this pyramid through at least the 14th and 15th centuries existed to serfs or villains, the class of people that had no rights and were recognized as nothing more than real property.” F.Goodwin, Treatise on The Law of Real Property, Ch. 1, p. 10 (1905), Allodial And Land Patents


“Under this type of fief a certain portion of the grain harvested each year would immediately be turned over to the lord above that particular fief even before the shares from the lower lords and then serfs of the fief would be distributed. A more interesting type of fief for purposes of this memorandum [3] was the money fief. In most cases, the source of money was not specified, and the payment was simply made from the fief holder’s treasury, but the fief might also consist of a fixed revenue to be paid from a definite source in annual payments in order for the tenant owner of the fief to be able to remain on the property.” Gilsebert of Mons, Chronique, cc. 69 and 1 15, pp. 109, 175 (ed.

Vanderkindere), Allodial And Land Patents Titles

“142. (1) Fee-simple estates—Tenant in fee simple (or, as he is frequently styled, tenant in fee) is he that hath lands, tenements, or hereditaments, to hold to him and his heirs forever; generally, absolutely, and simply; without mentioning what heirs, but referring that to his own pleasure, or to the dispostition of the law. The true meaning of the word “fee” (feodum) is the same with that of feud or fief, and in its original sense it is taken in contradistinction to allodium; which latter the writers on this subject define to be every man’s own land, which he possesseth merely in his own right, without owing any rent or service to any superior.” 2 Blackstone’s Commentary, page 105

“Thus, the term fee simple absolute in Common-Law England denotes the most and best title a person could have as long as the King allowed him to retain possession of (own) the land. It has been commented that the basis of English land law is the ownership of all reality by the sovereign. From the crown, all titles flow.

The original and true meaning of the word “fee” and therefore fee simple absolute is the same as fief or feud, this being in contradiction to the term “allodium” which means or is defined as a man’s own land, which he possesses merely in his own right, without owing any rent or service to any superior.” Wendell [4] v Crandall, 1 N. Y. 491 (1848), Allodial And Land Patents Titles

“Therefore on Common-Law England practically everybody who was allowed to retain land, had the type of fee simple absolute often used or defined by courts, a fee simple that grants or gives the occupier as much of a title as the “sovereign” allows such occupier to have at that time. The term became a synonym with the supposed ownership of land under the feudal system of England at common law. Thus, even though the word absolute was attached to the fee simple, it merely denoted the entire estate that could be assigned or passed to heirs, and the fee being the operative word; fee simple absolute dealt with the entire fief and its divisibility, alienability and inheritability.” Friedman v Steiner, 107 111. 131 (1883), Allodial And Land Patents Titles

“If a fee simple absolute in Common-Law England denoted or was synonymous with only as much title as the King allowed his barons to possess, then what did the King have by way of a title?

The King of England held ownership of land under a different title and with far greater powers than any of his subjects. Though the people of England held fee simple titles to their land, the King actually owned all the land in England through his allodial title, and though all the land was in the feudal system, none of the fee simple titles were of equal weight and dignity with the King’s title, the land always remaining allodial in favor of the King.” Gilsbert of Mons, Chronique, Ch. 43, p. 75 (ed. Vanderkindere), Allodial And Land

Patents Titles

“The ultimate ownership of all property is in the state; individual so-called ‘ownership’ is only by virtue of government, i.e., law, amounting to a mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State.” Senate Document No. 43, “Contracts payable in Gold” written in 1933. As far as the ladder goes, based on the current law, the public policy of the conqueror, we are on the bottom rung. Land ownership is a misnomer, there are only tenets on the land.