Restricted Border States taken for granted

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MikeyB

Corporal
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Would love to get everyone's thoughts. At what point in the war, did Lincoln have enough confidence in the outcome, that he no longer made political decisions meant to not offend the Border States? Was it as late as his election, or is there evidence of decisions and policies Lincoln made that might have been offensive to the border states well before the election?
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2015
Location
Boonville, MO.
Would love to get everyone's thoughts. At what point in the war, did Lincoln have enough confidence in the outcome, that he no longer made political decisions meant to not offend the Border States? Was it as late as his election, or is there evidence of decisions and policies Lincoln made that might have been offensive to the border states well before the election?
I can't speak for all of the happenings in all of the border states, only that of Missouri.
As the Union was dissolving, The Lincoln administration gave up nearly all of its control over handling the job of keeping the state in the Union to its man on the scene, the newly elected republican Congressman, Frank Blair, Jr.. Frank Jr. enjoyed a good political pedigree. His father, Frank Blair Sr. had been one of the founders of the Republican Party and probably would have made a good politician but he had a speech impediment which would have hindered his public speaking but that didn't stop him from exerting his political views through his newspaper and by advising various high ranking politicians. I believe because of his speech impediment, he was a "back door" type of influencer. Frank Sr. Was also a close personal friend of MO. senator Thomas Heart Benton, whose daughter, Jessie, married John C. Fremont. Frank Jr.'s brother, Montgomery Blair, was a member of Lincoln's cabinet and the Postmaster General and had pleaded for Dred Scott in front of the supreme court.
So as the Union was dissolving, Frank Jr. was given unheard of local authority to act on behalf of the Lincoln administration. Fearing that the local military authorities were too southern leaning, Frank Jr. had a young abolitionist minded army Captain by the name of Nathaniel Lyon, transferred to St. Louis to prevent the large store of weapons from the St. Louis Arsenal from falling into southern hands. Acting together, and with the approval of the Lincoln Administration, the team of Blair-Lyons were able to aggressively stay one to two steps ahead of the southern aspirations of the MO. State Government. Lyon was able to take chances in his actions, knowing that he had Blair's backing. And Blair enjoyed the complete confidence of the administration. As an example, Blair had told Lincoln that he feared that Gen. Harney, the Dept. Of the West commander, and the army's 3rd most senior general, may not be loyal to the government, Lincoln gave Blair a letter that authorized Blair to removed Gen. Harley from command, to be replaced by Capt Lyon whenever Blair thought it was appropriate. If newly elected congressman was given the authority to remove the 3rd highest ranking General whenever he thought it was appropriate, that congressman had some clout.
Lyon is often given credit for saving Missouri for the Union, but in fact, that would not have been possible, if he had not had the backing of Blair. Later, it was the Blair family that pushed the Lincoln administration to place John C. Fremont in charge of the department, and outranking Lyon. But Fremont turned out to be a poor administrator and awarded many lucrative army contracts to parties that were not friends of the Blair's, so it was the Blair's that demanded his removal. And they got their way.
It was the aggressive action of the Blair-Lyons "partnership" that brought the war to Missouri. The Camp Jackson affair, the removal of Gen. Harley which brought an end to the Price-Harney truce, and finaly the breakdown of talks at the Planters House meeting which started the war in Missouri. And all of this was due to these two gentlemen. They may have saved Missouri for the Union, but they are also responcible for bringing war to the state.

And I also think the the war in Missouri is so often overlooked and understudied by those who claim to be students of the late conflict. If one really wants to know how savage the war was, spend some time in study about what happened to Missouri. For the rest of the country, it was a Civil War. In Missouri, it was a total war.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Very early(much earlier than anticipated, IMO) in Lincoln's administration the exigencies of the war, forced Lincoln to ignore the feelings of thhe Border States on the basic issue of Secession and the War .... Slavery.

Lincoln had been fighting a rear-guard action in Congress against what he considered ill advised(because they were ill times and/or Unconstitutional) atempts at emancipation of southern slaves by Congress and local military commanders.

In any case, Lincoln decided that A Union victory had become impossible, without expanding the war from simply Reunion , to a war for human rights(Freedom). With the expansion of the war, the feelings of the people of the Border States concerning emancipation became submerged in what the peoples of the entire Union(North and South) felt about it.

The Emancipation Proclamation, IMO, was the official moment Lincoln ceased predicating his administration on restoring the past as it had been, and looked to a new life of Freedom in the Future. Technically though, I believe it more precise to say, when Lincoln decided in his own mind that Emancipation was necessary, was when the Border States, although important for other reawsons, ceased to hold a central place in Lincoln's plans for the future.
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Very early(much earlier than anticipated, IMO) in Lincoln's administration the exigencies of the war, forced Lincoln to ignore the feelings of thhe Border States on the basic issue of Secession and the War .... Slavery.

Lincoln had been fighting a rear-guard action in Congress against what he considered ill advised(because they were ill times and/or Unconstitutional) atempts at emancipation of southern slaves by Congress and local military commanders.

In any case, Lincoln decided that A Union victory had become impossible, without expanding the war from simply Reunion , to a war for human rights(Freedom). With the expansion of the war, the feelings of the people of the Border States concerning emancipation became submerged in what the peoples of the entire Union(North and South) felt about it.

The Emancipation Proclamation, IMO, was the official moment Lincoln ceased predicating his administration on restoring the past as it had been, and looked to a new life of Freedom in the Future. Technically though, I believe it more precise to say, when Lincoln decided in his own mind that Emancipation was necessary, was when the Border States, although important for other reawsons, ceased to hold a central place in Lincoln's plans for the future.
On the other hand slavery was still legal in the border States and in Union liberated Tennessee and possibly Louisiana.
Not aware or sure of an aggressive draft enforcement policy in Kentucky.
Leftyhunter
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
On the other hand slavery was still legal in the border States and in Union liberated Tennessee and possibly Louisiana.
Not aware or sure of an aggressive draft enforcement policy in Kentucky.
Leftyhunter



ItwasLincoln's plan that emancipation would subscibe to clearly Constitutionalforms, and not by Congressional or Military Fiat, neither of which could be considered Constitutional, at the time.

If the Border States could be induuced to emancipate their slaves by their own actions according to their own laws, then, Lincoln believed it would be a signalto the seceded states, that there was no futuure for Slavery in Northh America. Whethere this would have been true or not, is unaswerable, but that was Lincoln's core belief, and accounded for his care in handling Border States, very early in the War.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Lincolns policy of emancipation compensation was designed to allow the Border States Unionist Slaveholders an economic out of Slavery before it collapsed. They refused to take the offer therefore they were left on their own to survive. The emancipation proclamation was a war measure aimed at the Confederacy and to give the War an emotional appeal to the World. All the time, the Border States Slaveholders slave population was melting away due to attrition of War. As the Northern dead piled up most Northerners turned against all Slaveholders thus Lincoln is somewhat empowered and now ready for his above war measure to be presented. Lincoln took a long road to end Slavery but it worked out well enough. The Border States Unionists stayed loyal to the Republic and never seemed to known what hit them!
 
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