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not only failed to disarm the hostility of the rebels, but had been conspicuously brought to the notice of European Governments as an indication that the United States authorities were bent upon preserving and perpetuating an institution which the civilized nations of the Old World united in condemning. Soon after the meeting of the second session of the Thirty-seventh Congress, a disposition to make considerable advances upon the legislation of the extra session began to manifest itself, and it was boldly affirmed that slavery was the cause of the war, that the whole power of the Government should be directed against the cause, and that emancipation was a preliminary to peace; that to emancipate slaves and destroy slavery should be the object of the war, because peace could never exist on other terms.

These principles became the guide to the action of Congress, and were also the influences under which the separate action of the Executive took place. This action of the Executive was developed in a series of proclamations upon the subject of emancipation. The first of these was in the form of a message to Congress, as follows:

"WASHINGTON, March 6, 1862.

"Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

"I recommend the adoption of a joint resolution by your honorable bodies, which shall be substantially as follows:

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Resolved, That the United States ought to co-operate with any State which may adopt a gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State in its discretion to compensate for the inconveniences, public and private, produced by such change of system.

"If the proposition contained in the resolution does not meet the approval of Congress and the country, there is the end; but if it does command such approval, I deem of importance that the States and people immediately interested should at once be distinctly notified of the fact, so that they may begin to consider whether to accept or reject it.

"The Federal Government would find its highest interest in such a measure, as one of the most efficient means of self-preservation. The leaders of the existing insurrec tion entertain the hope that the Government will ultimately be forced to acknowledge the independence of some part of the disaffected region, and that all the Slave States north of such parts will then say, 'The Union for which we have struggled being already gone, we now choose to go with the Southern section.'

"To deprive them of this hope substantially ends the rebellion, and the initiation of emancipaion completely deprives them of it. As to all the States initiating it, the point is not that all the States tolerating slavery would very soon, if at all, initiate emancipation; but that, while the offer is equally made to all, the more Northern shall, by such initiation, make it certain to the more Southern, that in no event will the former ever join the latter in their proposed Confederacy.

"I say 'initiation,' because, in my judgment, gradual, and not sudden emancipation is better for all. In the mere financial or pecuniary view, any member of Congress, with the census tables and the Treasury reports before him, can readily see for himself how very soon the current expenditures of this war would purchase, at a fair valuation, all the slaves in any named State. Such a proposition on the part of the General Government sets up no claim of a right, by Federal authority, to interfere with slavery within State limits, referring, as it does, the absolute control of the subject in each case to the State, and its people immediately interested.

"It is proposed as a matter of perfectly free choice with them. In the annual Message, last December, I thought fit to say: 'The Union must be preserved, and hence all indispensable means must be employed.' I said this not hastily, but deliberately. War has been, and continues to be, an indispensable means to this end. A practical reacknowledgment of the National authority would render the war unnecessary, and it would at once cease.

"If, however, resistance continues, the war must also continue, and it is impossible

to foresee all the incidents which may attend, and all the ruin which may follow it. Such as may seem indispensable, or may obviously promise great efficiency towards ending the struggle, must and will come.

"The proposition now made, though an offer only, I hope it may be esteemed no offence to ask whether the pecuniary consideration tendered would not be of more value to the States and private persons concerned, than are the institution and property in it, in the present aspect of affairs.

"While it is true that the adoption of the proposed resolution would be merely initiatory, and not within itself a practical measure, it is recommended in the hope that it would soon lead to important results. In full view of my great responsibility to my God and to my country, I earnestly beg the attention of Congress and the people to the subject.


Congress also showed its sense of the injuries to the national welfare which slavery had occasioned, and of which it was likely to be the future cause, by passing bills for its abolition in the District of Columbia and for its prohibition in the Territories; and in pursuance of the recommendation of the message of March 6, the following resolution was adopted by a large majority in either House:

"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress assembled, That the United States ought to co-operate with any State which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State, in its discretion, to compensate for inconveniences, public and private, produced by such a change of system."

On the 9th of May, General Hunter issued an order declaring all slaves in Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina "forever free." On the 19th of May, Mr. Lincoln issued a proclamation abrogating the order of General Hunter, on the ground that it was in contravention of the resolution just quoted, which he described as "an authentic, definite, and solemn proposal of the nation to the States and people most interested in the subject-matter," and reserving to himself, as Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy, the right to declare slaves free, should such a measure be considered necessary to the maintenance of the Government. In pursuance of the same subject, the President, July 12, invited the senators and representatives of the Border States to the Executive Mansion, and addressed them upon the subject.

He began by informing them that if they had voted for the resolution he had sent to Congress, March 6, the war would, in his opinion, now have been ended. He then continued to urge upon them the subject of compensated emancipation, and stated that his repudiation of Hunter's order had given offence to parties whose support the country could not afford to lose; that the pressure from that direction upon him was increasing, and that he desired the border delegates to relieve him from the pressure by conceding his request. The delegates replied that Congress had made no pledge whatever, and that the Border States could not be expected to act upon the expression of a sentiment. The majority replied in a lengthy statement, in which they urged the impossibility of acting upon so important a matter hastily; that it was an interference of the Government in State concerns; that the Government had no power to make such

appropriations of money, which would reach at least five hundred millions of dollars; that the right to hold slaves appertains to each State of the Union; each has the right to maintain or abolish it; that the right is a part of the institutions of the Constitution and the Union, and cannot be taken away without destroying all. They alluded to the inaugural of President Lincoln, in which he affirmed that he had "no lawful right to interfere with slavery in States where it exists.” They did not see why sacrifices should be exacted, from loyal Border States any more than from the other loyal States. They denied the proposition of the President, that the resolution, if passed, would have ended the war. They stated that the Confederate strength consisted in the union of classes, which had not been the case when the war commenced. The Union had been brought about by the common resistance of all parties to aggressions upon their rights. The resistance had been strengthened by the non-adherence to the principles of the inaugural. A minority of the Border State members submitted a reply, in which they acknowledged the wisdom and patriotism of the President's proposition, and pledged themselves to recommend it to the consideration of their constituents.

The proposition was acted upon in the Kentucky Legislature, and a committee reported that the measure would have no influence on the war; that "the dominant party in Congress are bent upon the destruction of the Constitution and the Union. We have viewed with alarm the rapid strides it has made towards the prostration of every guarantee which the Constitution provides for the dearest rights of the people." "They declare that they are against the restoration of the Union, unless slavery is abolished." The report closed with a recommendation that the proposition be declined, which course was followed.

In July the President signed the Confiscation Act, which provided that the slaves of persons adjudged guilty of treason should be freed, and that if any other persons engaged in the rebellion should not, within sixty days after public proclamation duly made by the President, cease to aid the rebellion, all their property should be confiscated in the same manner. As public sentiment began to be developed in favor of immediate and unconditional emancipation as a means of breaking down the rebellion, the President was urged to avail himself of these provisions, and it was in reply to a letter embodying the views of the more radical friends of the Administration, published by the Hon. Horace Greeley, that the following communication was prepared:



"Dear Sir I have just read yours of the 19th instant, addressed to myself through the New York Tribune.

"If there be in it any statements or assumptions of fact which I may know to be erroneous, I do not now and here controvert them.

"If there be any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here argue against them.

"If there be perceptible in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

"As to the policy I seem to be pursuing,' as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt. I would save the Union. I would save it in the shortest way under the Constitution.

"The sooner the national authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be the Union as it was.

"If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them.

"If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them.

"My paramount object is to save the Union, and not either to save or destroy slavery. "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.

"What I do about slavery and the colored race I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

"I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing injures the cause; and I shall do more whenever I believe doing more will belp the cause.

"I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

"I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free. Yours, A. LINCOLN."

Meanwhile, delegations from all parts of the North continued to urge upon the President the necessity of emancipation. His own opinions seem also to have been tending in the same direction; and just one month after the foregoing letter was written, the long-expected proclamation appeared in the following terms:



"WASHINGTON, September 22, 1862.

"I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and Commanderin-Chief of the army and navy thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation between the United States and the people thereof in which States that relation is, or may be, suspended or disturbed; that it is my purpose, upon the next meeting of Congress, to again recommend the adoption of a practical measure tendering pecuniary aid to the free acceptance or rejection of all the Slave States, socalled, the people whereof may not then be in rebellion against the United States, and which States may then have voluntarily adopted or thereafter may voluntarily adopt the immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits; and that the efforts to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon the continent or elsewhere, with the previously obtained consent of the governments existing there, will be continued; that on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State, or any designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward and forever, free, and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom; that the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall be then in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified

voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof have not been in rebel'ion against the United States.

"That attention is hereby called to an act of Congress entitled 'An Act to make an additional Article of War,' approved March 13, 1862, and which act is in the words and figures following:

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional article of war for the government of the Army of the United States, and shall be obeyed and observed as such :

“'ARTICLE.—All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who may have escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due; and any officer who shall be found guilty by a court-martial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.

"'SECTION 2.—And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.'

Also to the ninth and tenth sections of an act entitled 'An Act to suppress insurrection, to punish treason and rebellion, to seize and confiscate property of rebels, and for other purposes,' approved July 17, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following:

"SECTION 9.-And be further enacted, That all slaves of persons who shail hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the Government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid and comfort thereto, escaping from such persons and taking refuge within the lines of the army, and all slaves captured from such persons, or deserted by them, and coming under the control of the Government of the United States, and all slaves of such persons found on (or being within) any place occupied by rebel forces, and afterwards occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captures of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves

"SECTION 10.--And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, from any of the States, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime, or some offence against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due is his lawful owner, and has not been in arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid and comfort thereto; and no person engaged in the military or naval service of the United States shall, under any pretence whatever, assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person, or surrender up any such person to the claimant, on pain of being dismissed from the


"And I do hereby enjoin upon and order all persons engaged in the military and naval service of the United States to observe, obey, and enforce within their respective spheres of service the act and sections above recited.

"And the Executive will in due time recommend that all citizens of the United States who shall have remained loyal thereto throughout the rebellion shall (upon the restoration of the constitutional relation between the United States and their respec tive States and people, if the relation shall have been suspended or disturbed) be com pensated for all losses by acts of the United States, including the loss of slaves.

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


"Done at the City of Washington, this twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

"By the President.

“WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.”

In his annual message delivered in December, 1862, the President

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