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In a proclamation, President Lincoln explains why he refuses to sign the Wade-Davis Bill on Reconstruction

Abraham Lincoln, Brady image, 1863
07/08/1864
The Wade-Davis Bill, setting out stringent requirements for the readmission of former Confederate states, had passed the Congress just over two weeks earlier.  Far more punishing than the president's current  or future plans, Lincoln used the "pocket-veto" and refused to sign the measure. Notable among his reasons was that Congress had no right to ban slavery without a constitutional amendment.  Radical Republicans were enraged, as the "Wade-Davis Manifesto" published three weeks later in the major newspapers demonstrated.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Charles P. Roland, An American Iliad: The Story of the Civil War (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002), 188.