State Of North-Carolina,
Executive Department, Hatteras, Jan.22,1862.
To The People Of North-Carolina:
The invincible arms of the republic at length advance to the suppression of the great revolt against popular rights, and the national authority which has essayed to rob you of your American citizenship, and to enslave you to the will of relentless domestic tyrants; the holy banner of the Union, consecrated anew through its baptism of tears and blood, is borne by loyal hands, the symbol and pledge of your final and complete enfranchisement. Your silent and tearful prayers to God for rescue from the despotism that enthrals you are heard, and the hour of your deliverance approaches.
The brave men who come among you are not foes but friends, and their mission is one of mercy and relief. The war they wage is not upon North-Carolina and her people, but upon the rebels and traitors who have invaded your territory, and who hold you in constrained and protesting submission to their arbitrary power.
To cooperate with those who now proceed to your liberation, and who seek to restore to you your ancient and inalienable rights, is your sacred duty, and a privilege which you will accept with eagerness and joy.
A portion of your brother North-Carolinians are already rejoicing in the restoration of their freedom under the protecting ensign of the nation. Side by side with that glorious flag they have placed the reerected standard of loyal North Carolina, and acting in concert with citizens of other sections of the State they have proclaimed a provisional government for the Commonwealth.
An opportunity will soon be offered you to participate in the enjoyment of these precious and long accustomed privileges. And that there may be no complaint in any quarter that your brethren first liberated from rebel thraldom have forestalled your action or anticipated a decision in which you had a right to share, I do now, by these presents, notify and require the voters of this Commonwealth to attend at the usual voting places as established by law on Saturday, 22d February, 1862, an anniversary second in hallowed memory only to that of the proclamation of our national independence, at which time the ordinances of the Convention of November 18, 1861, a draft of which is hereto appended, will be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection.
And in order that the State may forthwith resume her participation in the councils of the Union, I do furthermore direct that, upon the same day aforesaid, the polls be opened for the election of representatives in the Congress of the United States to fill existing vacancies.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the great seal of the State to be affixed, at Hatteras, this 22d of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.
Marble Nash Taylor.