On Tuesday, December 8, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, pardoning those who “participated in the existing rebellion,” provided they take an oath of allegiance to the Union.
High ranking Confederate military and civilian authorities, all who had resigned U.S. military commissions at the beginning of the war, and those who abused blacks or whites as prisoners of war were excluded. If one tenth of the citizens who had voted in the election of 1860 so wished, a new state government would be recognized in any seceded state.
The citizens would have to take an oath of allegiance to the United States, and slavery would not be tolerated. Through this plan, Lincoln indicated his desire for a future course of moderation toward the people of the South.