By the President of the United States of America,

a proclamation.

Whereas a state of war unhappily exists between Japan, on the one side, and Russia, on the other side;

And whereas the United States are on terms of friendship and amity with both the contending powers, and with the persons inhabiting their several dominions;

And whereas there are citizens of the United States residing within the territories or dominions of each of the said belligerents and carrying on commerce, trade, or other business or pursuits therein, protected by the faith of treaties;

And whereas there are subjects of each of the said belligerents residing within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, and carrying on commerce, trade, or other business or pursuits therein;

And whereas the laws of the United States, without interfering with the free expression of opinion and sympathy, or with the open manufacture or sale of arms or munitions of war, nevertheless impose upon all persons who may be within their territory and jurisdiction the duty of an impartial neutrality during the existence of the contest;

And whereas it is the duty of a neutral government not to permit or suffer the making of its waters subservient to the purposes of war;

Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, in order to preserve the neutrality of the United States and of their citizens and of persons within their territory and jurisdiction, and to enforce their laws, and in order that all persons, being warned of the general tenor of the laws and treaties of the United States in this behalf, and of the law of nations, may thus be prevented from an unintentional violation of the same, do hereby declare and proclaim that by the act passed on the 20th day of April, [Page 33]A. D. 1818, commonly known as the “neutrality law,” the following acts are forbidden to be done, under severe penalties, within the territory and jurisdiction of the United States, to wit:—

1.
Accepting and exercising a commission to serve either of the said belligerents by land or by sea against the other belligerent.
2.
Enlisting or entering into the service of either of the said belligerents as a soldier, or as a marine, or seaman on board of any vessel of war, letter of marque, or privateer.
3.
Hiring or retaining another person to enlist or enter himself in the service of either of the said belligerents as a soldier, or as a marine, or seaman on board of any vessel of war, letter of marque, or privateer.
4.
Hiring another person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be enlisted as aforesaid.
5.
Hiring another person to go beyond the limits of the United States with intent to be entered into service as aforesaid.
6.
Retaining another person to go beyond the limits of the United States with intent to be enlisted as aforesaid.
7.
Retaining another person to go beyond the limits of the United States with intent to be entered into service as aforesaid. (But the said act is not to be construed to extend to a citizen or subject of either belligerent who, being transiently within the United States, shall, on board of any vessel of war, which, at the time of its arrival within the United States, was fitted and equipped as such vessel of war, enlist or enter himself or hire or retain another subject or citizen of the same belligerent, who is transiently within the United States, to enlist or enter himself to serve such belligerent on board such vessel of war, if the United States shall then be at peace with such belligerent.)
8.
Fitting out and arming, or attempting to fit out and arm, or procuring to be fitted out and armed, or knowingly being concerned in the furnishing, fitting out, or arming of any ship or vessel with intent that such ship or vessel shall be employed in the service of either of the said belligerents.
9.
Issuing or delivering a commission within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States for any ship or vessel to the intent that she may be employed as aforesaid.
10.
Increasing or augmenting, or procuring to be increased or augmented, or knowingly being concerned in increasing or augmenting, the force of any ship of war, cruiser, or other armed vessel, which at the time of her arrival within the United States was a ship of war, crusier, or armed vessel in the service of either of the said belligerents, or belonging to the subjects of either, by adding to the number of guns, of such vessels, or by changing those on board of her for guns of a larger calibre, or by the addition thereto of any equipment solely applicable to war.
11.
Beginning or setting on foot or providing or preparing the means for any military expedition or enterprise to be carried on from the territory or jurisdiction of the United States against the territories or dominions of either of the said belligerents.

And I do hereby further declare and proclaim that any frequenting and use of the waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States by the armed vessels of either belligerent, whether public ships or privateers, for the purpose of preparing for hostile operations, or as posts of observations upon the ships of war or privateers or merchant vessels of the other belligerent lying within or being about to enter the jurisdiction of the United States, must be regarded as unfriendly and offensive, and in violation of that neutrality which it is the determination of this Government to observe; and to the end that the hazard and inconvenience of such apprehended practices may be avoided, I further proclaim and declare that from and after the fifteenth day of February instant, and during the continuance of the present hostilities between Japan and Russia, no ship of war or privateer of either belligerent shall be permitted to make use of any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from which a vessel of the other [Page 34]belligerent (whether the same shall be a ship of war, a privateer, or a merchant ship) shall have previously departed, until after the expiration of at least twenty-four hours from the departure of such last-mentioned vessel beyond the jurisdiction of the United States. If any ship of war or privateer of either belligerent shall, after the time this notification takes effect, enter any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters of the United States, such vessel shall be required to depart and to put to sea within twenty-four hours after her entrance into such port, harbor, roadstead, or waters, except in case of stress of weather or of her requiring provisions or things necessary for the subsistence of her crew, or for repairs; in either of which cases the authorities of the port or of the nearest port (as the case may be) shall require her to put to sea as soon as possible after the expiration of such period of twenty-four hours, without permitting her to take in supplies beyond what may be necessary for her immediate use; and no such vessel which may have been permitted to remain within the waters of the United States for the purpose of repair shall continue within such port, harbor, roadstead, or waters for a longer period than twenty-four hours after her necessary repairs shall have been completed, unless within such twenty-four hours a vessel, whether ship of war, privateer, or merchant ship of the other belligerent, shall have departed therefrom, in which case the time limited for the departure of such ship of war or privateer shall be extended so far as may be necessary to secure an interval of not less than twenty-four hours between such departure and that of any ship of war, privateer, or merchant ship of the other belligerent which may have previously quit the same port, harbor, roadstead, or waters. No ship of war or privateer of either belligerent shall be detained in any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters of the United States more than twenty-four hours, by reason of the successive departures from such port, harbor, roadstead, or waters of more than one vessel of the other belligerent. But if there be several vessels of each or either of the two belligerents in the same port, harbor, roadstead, or waters, the order of their departure therefrom shall be so arranged as to afford the opportunity of leaving alternately to the vessels of the respective belligerents, and to cause the least detention consistent with the objects of this proclamation. No ship of war or privateer of either belligerent shall be permitted, while in any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, to take in any supplies except provisions and such other things as may be requisite for the subsistence of her crew, and except so much coal only as may be sufficient to carry such vessel, if without any sail power, to the nearest port of her own country; or in case the vessel is rigged to go under sail, and may also be propelled by steam power, then with half the quantity of coal which she would be entitled to receive, if dependent upon steam alone, and no coal shall be again supplied to any such ship of war or privateer in the same or any other port, harbor, roadstead, or waters of the United States, without special permission, until after the expiration of three months from the time when such coal may have been last supplied to her within the waters of the United States, unless such ship of war or privateer shall, since last thus supplied, have entered a port of the government to which she belongs.

And I further declare and proclaim that by the first article of the convention as to rights of neutrals at sea, which was concluded between [Page 35]the United States of America and His Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias on the 22d day of July, A. D. 1854, the following principles were recognized as permanent and immutable, to wit:

  • “1. That free ships make free goods; that is to say, that the effects or goods belonging to subjects or citizens of a power or state at war are free from capture and confiscation when found on board of neutral vessels, with the exception of articles contraband of war.
  • “2. That the property of neutrals on board an enemy’s vessel is not subject to confiscation, unless the same be contraband of war.

And I do further declare and proclaim that the statutes of the United States and the law of nations alike require that no person, within the territory and jurisdiction of the United States, shall take part, directly or indirectly, in the said war, but shall remain at peace with each of the said belligerents, and shall maintain a strict and impartial neutrality, and that whatever privileges shall be accorded to one belligerent within the ports of the United States shall be, in like manner, accorded to the other.

And I do hereby enjoin all the good citizens of the United States, and all persons residing or being within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, to observe the laws thereof, and to commit no act contrary to the provisions of the said statutes, or in violation of the law of nations in that behalf.

And I do hereby warn all citizens of the United States, and all persons residing or being within their territory or jurisdiction, that, while the free and full expression of sympathies in public and private is not restricted by the laws of the United States, military forces in aid of either belligerent can not lawfully be originated or organized within their jurisdiction; and that while all persons may lawfully, and without restriction by reason of the aforesaid state of war, manufacture and sell within the United States arms and munitions of war, and other articles ordinarily known as “contraband of war,” yet they can not carry such articles upon the high seas for the use or service of either belligerent, nor can they transport soldiers and officers of either, or attempt to break any blockade which may be lawfully established and maintained during the war, without incurring the risk of hostile capture and the penalties denounced by the law of nations in that behalf.

And I do hereby give notice that all citizens of the United States and others who may claim the protection of this Government, who may misconduct themselves in the premises, will do so at their peril, and that they can in no wise obtain any protection from the Government of the United States against the consequences of their misconduct.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


[seal.]
Theodore Roosevelt.

By the President:
John Hay,
Secretary of State.