"Georgia," The American Cyclopeadia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1865 ... (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1869), 396.
John Osborne, Dickinson College
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Executive Mansion. Washington, D. C, Oct. 28, 1865.
To James Johnson, Prov. Governor, Milledgeville, Ga.;
Your despatch has been received. The people of Georgia should not hesitate one single moment in repudiating every single dollar of debt created for the purpose of aiding the rebellion against the Government of the United States. It will not do to levy and collect taxes from a State and people that are loyal and in the Union to pay a debt that was created to aid in taking them out and subverting the Constitution of the United States.
I do not believe the great mass of the people of the State of Georgia, when left uninfluenced, will ever submit to the payment of a debt which was the main cause of bringing on their past and present suffering, the result of the rebellion.
Those who invested their capital in the creation of this debt must meet their fate, and take it as one of the inevitable results of the rebellion, though it may seem hard to them.
It should at once be made known, at home and abroad, that no debt contracted for the purpose of dissolving the Union can or ever will be paid by taxes levied on the people for such purpose.
ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States.