The Great Emancipator? Emancipated What?

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Feb 20, 2005
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95
#1
Just looking over the document and wondering if any of you have new ideas on what the Emancipation actually did besides tell the world the war is now about slavery.

From what I can see it did not free Edited Plus it did not include border states or counties in Union controll. Just looking for some other ideas you may have.

A PROCLAMATION
Whereas on the 22nd day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation
was issued by the President of the United States, containing,
among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as
slaves within any State or 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 1st day of January aforesaid,
by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any,
in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be 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 States shall have participated shall, in the
absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive
evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then
in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United
States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-In-Chief
of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed
rebellion against the authority and government of the United States,
and as a fit and necessary war measure for supressing said
rebellion, do, on this 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, and in
accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the
full period of one hundred days from the first day above mentioned,
order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the
people thereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion against
the United States the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard,
Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension,
Assumption, Terrebone, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans,
including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida,
Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the
forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the
counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Morthhampton, Elizabeth City, York,
Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and
Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left
precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do
order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said
designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall
be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States,
including the military and naval authorities thereof, will
recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to
abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and
I recommend to them that, in all case when allowed, they labor
faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons of
suitable condition will be received into the armed service of
the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and
other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice,
warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke
the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor
of Almighty God.

-------------------------------------

On Jan. 1, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declared free
all slaves residing in territory in rebellion against the federal
government. This Emancipation Proclamation actually freed few
people. It did not apply to slaves in border states fighting on
the Union side; nor did it affect slaves in southern areas already
under Union control. Naturally, the states in rebellion did not
act on Lincoln's order. But the proclamation did show Americans--
and the world--that the civil war was now being fought to end slavery.

Lincoln had been reluctant to come to this position, he initially viewed the war only in terms of
preserving the Union. As pressure for abolition mounted in
Congress and the country, however, Lincoln became more sympathetic
to the idea. On Sept. 22, 1862, he issued a preliminary proclamation
announcing that emancipation would become effective on Jan. 1, 1863,
in those states still in rebellion. Although the Emancipation
Proclamation did not end slavery in America--this was achieved
by the passage of the 13TH Amendment to the Constitution on Dec.
18, 1865--it did make that accomplishment a basic war goal and
a virtual certainty.
 

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#2
The Emancipation Proclamation freed every slave in the eleven states that rebelled and as the union army moved into CSA held territory the black Americans who lived there (thank God) were forever free. It also made slavery in the four remaining border states an aberration that would not and could not survive an ultimate Union victory resulting in the 13th Amendment.

It was a brilliant stroke on Lincoln's part. By employing a war measure device, he effectively did an end run around the Constitutional questions, took Europe out of the equation and raised the ante beyond the South's ability to stay in the high stakes game.
 
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#3
I agree with what you said however, maybe I should have stated it "What did it due when he declared it?" The war was still in doubt, Southern slaves were not freed. You can't free a people you have no control over and Mr. Lincoln did not free the ones he did have control over.

So besides showing Europe were the Union currently stood what else did it accomplish at that time, besides a glimmer of hope for Southern slaves.
 
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#4
It certainly ticked off Jeff Davis and CSA government as well as the southern press. The outrage was loud and clear. It also opened the way to 150,000 armed black soldiers fighting against their former enslavers, a not insignificant number. The EP set the stage, it warned the south and prepared the north. It was a PR move seldom unequaled in history. By war's end, it had changed the face of the nation.
 
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#5
Lincoln did not write the EP on the spur of the moment or on a whim. He agonized over the wording as well as how to present it to the country. He picked the brains of his cabinet and agreed to hold it back pending a decisive northern win in the east. Lincoln knew that it was a bombshell and could not be certain how it would be received. He understood his Constitutional limitations and was also mindful of the border states, which were skittish about the slavery question but were essential to keep in the Union camp.

He wrote the first draft in the telegraph office where he spent much of his time. Major Thomas Eckert observed him during that time.

"As you know, the President came to the office every day and invariably sat at my desk while there. Upon his arrival early one morning in June 1862, shortly after McClellan's Seven Days' fight, he asked me for some paper, as he wanted to write something special. I procured some foolscap and handed it to him. He then sat down and began to write. . . He would look out the window a while and then put his pen to appear, but he did not write much at once. He would study between times and when he had made up his mind he would put down a line or two, and then sit quiet for a few minutes. After a time he would resume his writing, only to stop again at intervals to make some remark to me or to one of the cipher operators as a fresh despatch from the front was handed to him. . .

On the first day Lincoln did not cover one sheet of his special writing paper (nor indeed on any subsequent day). When ready to leave, he asked me to take charge of what he had written and not allow anyone to see it. . .

When he came to the office on the following day he asked for the papers, and I unlocked my desk and handed them to him and he again sat down to write. This he did nearly every day for several weeks, always handing me what he had written when ready to leave the office each day. Sometimes he would not write more than a line or two, and once I observed that he had put question marks on the margin of what he had written. He would read over each day all the matter he had previously written and revise it, studying carefully each sentence.

On one occasion he took the papers away with him, but he brought them back a day or two later. I became much interested in the matter and was impressed with the idea that he was engaged upon something of great importance, but did not know what it was until he had finished the document and then for the first time he told me that he had been writing an order giving freedom to the slaves in the South, for the purpose of hastening the end of the war. He said he had been able to work at my desk more quietly and command his thoughts better than at the White House, where he was frequently interrupted. . .

The effect upon the public mind of the Emancipation Proclamation was, of course, not the same in all sections. By the radicals it was welcomed as one of the most important acts of the President since the war began, while the conservative element feared it would prove ineffective in the North and would lead to reprisal on the part of the enemy. . . In the border states the lines were sharply drawn between the military and the loyalists on the one hand, and the Southern sympathizers and former slave owners on the other."

**<u>Lincoln in the Telegraph Office: Recollections of the United States Military Telegraph Corps during the Civil War</u> by David Homer Bates org. pub. 1907
 
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#6
Sean, I think you miss the idea of great historical statements. Consider this question: What did the Declaration of Independence actually do on July 4th 1776? The Continental Congress and the Continental Army controlled very little territory and the outcome of the war was very much in doubt, so what did it actually do?
 
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#7
Lincoln was the quintessential politician. He combined a wily pragmatism with a savvy ability to communicate new ideas to his constituency without destroying its support.

He understood as few did both the importance of the EP and the revolutionary social upheaval it would generate. James McPherson answers the question Who Freed the Slaves? in his book <u>Drawn with the Sword</u>

"By July 1862, Lincoln turned a decisive corner toward abolition. He made up his mind to issue an emancipation proclamation. Whereas a year earlier, even three months earlier, Lincoln had believed that avoidance of such a drastic step was necessary to maintain that knife-edge balance in the Union coalition, things had now changed. The escalation of the war in scope and fury had mobilized all resources on both sides, including the slave labor force of the Confederacy. . . The risks of alienating the border states and Northern Democrats, Lincoln now believed, were outweighed by the opportunity to energize the Republican majority and mobilize part of the slave population for the cause of Union -- and freedom." [Who Freed the Slaves?]

McPherson goes on to outline how the EP affected the progress of war and concludes: Regrettably, Lincoln did not live to see the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. But if he had never lived, it seems safe to say that we would not have had a Thirteenth Amendment in 1865. In that sense, the traditional answer to the question, Who Freed the Slaves is the right answer. Lincoln did not accomplish this in the manner sometimes symbolically portrayed, breaking the chains of helpless and passive bondsmen with the stroke of a pen by signing the Emancipation Proclamation. But by pronouncing slavery a moral evil that must come to an end and then winning the presidency in 1860, provoking the South to secede, by refusing to compromise on the issue of slavery's expansion or on Fort Sumter, by careful leadership and timing that kept a fragile Union coalition together in the first year of war and committed it to emancipation in the second, by refusing to compromise this policy once he had adopted it, and by prosecuting the war to unconditional victory as commander in chief of an army of liberation, Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves.

[pages 205-207]
 
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#8
Doug,

I do not miss the "Idea" of great historical statements! However, Lincoln is a complicated man and though he hated slavery, I do not believe he would have went to war to free them if the South had not left the Union.

I can find no proof Lincoln was that much of a die hard. I due believe he wanted gradual emancipation (We can find historical proof of this)

The link below is what I found today and this is the type of information I have been looking for.

http://www.civilwarhome.com/lincolnandproclamation.htm
 
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#9
Sean: Shotgun's site is one of the best on the web and a great place to surf. Randall's book <u>The Civil War and Reconstruction</u> has long been considered a standard. It has undergone revised editions each done by Dr. David Herbert Donald who is the premiere expert today on Lincoln. There are 122 copies available at ABE books ranging in price from $5 to $25.

If the question is: Would Lincoln have gone to war to free the slaves?, then the answer is an unequivocal No, to my mind. Although he abhorred slavery, he was not an abolitionist and fully admitted it.

After Lincoln wrote the EP, but before it was released to the public, Horace Greeley criticized Lincoln in his New York Tribune for not taking action against slavery. On August 22, 1862, Lincoln responded:

. . 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 the shortest way under the Constitution. . . 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. <u>My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to 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.</u> What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the 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 hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help 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.


Even though it is true that Lincoln would never have waged a war to abolish slavery that does not change the fact that he freed the slaves in the end and assured passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. It is one of those ironies of the CW that the man the South feared would lead the way to abolition was unlikely to do so, but once the South seceded and war came, he was the man most likely to find a way to free the slaves.
 
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#10
Connie,

I will look that book and sight up. Minus Washington D.C., I have taken my family to most of the significant sights in Lincoln's career. Luckily I live within striking distance of Kentucky and Illinois. The more I read about him the more complicated I find him to be.

What I am really trying to due is separate the legend from the man. Luckily, I have found a wealth of information from his earlier days as a lawyer and more importantly his childhood. I find his relation with his father and step mother most interesting. Anyway, thanks for the information.
 
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#11
Sean,

I wholeheartedly agree with you. Lincoln is the Rubic's cube of American history. He is complex and complicated, a multifaceted man on every level - character, personality, intellect, intuition and emotional. Hence he either ends up a fascinating enigma or cardboard paste-up for boy scout of the year.

For me at least, his complexity makes him more fun. Plaster saints are usually boring. I think the aspect that intrigues me the most is his genius. He educated himself beyond what most of us get in 16 years of formal schooling and did it without access to a library, urban center or teachers. He is an amazement, an American wonder.

So start to peel, Sean. I'd love to know what you find. Keep me informed and if I discover anything of interest, I'll do the same.
 
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#12
kiss.gif

Connie,

Have you noticed that, even with the distance of over 140 years, Abe can still win you over? Especially in this forum, I come up with new questions (and all the old, dead guys need to be questioned!), and I go back to the books, and read and study only to discover that I have been disarmed and completely won over by Abe again.

Granted, I am a native of Illinois. Yet, I find this to be such a phenomenon. There are many strains of the present Republican Party that I despise that actually had their start with Lincoln, but I find each time that his policies, at the time, were carefully and prayerfully considered.

Of course, too, as a native of Illinois, as someone who may already be partial, I continually test old Abe; but he does come up smelling like a rose.

LongstreetLass




(Message edited by longstreetlass on November 13, 2002)
 
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#13
Longstreetlass, I fully agree with you. Ironically, for most of my life Lincoln bored me. Not that I knew much more than the penny, five dollar bill and emancipator image, but I didn't care to know more. Once I began studying CW history, I tried but really couldn't ignore Abe. One bite though and I was off. So far he hasn't disappointed me in any way.

Unfortunately for Jeff Davis he had the misfortune of serving on the opposite side of Lincoln in the same capacity. That misfortune forever links the two together in a comparison dance.

IMO Jefferson Davis was a man of many viable qualities, but in the public arena he comes out on the short end of the stick especially when compared to Lincoln. I think that William J. Cooper summed up not only Davis, but the mindset of the South perfectly in his book <u>Jefferson Davis, American.</u>

"At the onset I want to address one matter. Race and the place of African-Americans in American society were central in Davis's life. His stance on an issue that still vexes the nation more than a century after his death would win no kudos in our time. For his entire life he believed in the superiority of the white race. He also owned slaves, defended slavery as moral and as a social good, and fought a great war to maintain it. After 1865, he opposed new rights for blacks. He rejoiced at the collapse of Reconstruction and the reassertion of white authority with its accompanying black subordination. No reader of this book can condone any of these attitudes. But my goal is to understand Jefferson Davis as a man of his time, not condemn him for not being a man of my time.

Davis constantly talked about liberty, its preciousness and his commitment to it. He also interpreted the Confederacy as the legitimate depository of constitutional liberty. He perceived no contradiction between his faith in liberty and the existence of slavery. From at least the time of the American Revolution white southerners defined their liberty, in part, as their right to own slaves and decide the fate of the institution without outside interference. While such a concept is utterly foreign to our thinking, it was fundamental to white southerners until 1865."


I agree with Cooper's analysis 100%. However, and it is a big however to me. Our time, would not be our time, if not for the profound changes that occurred in his time. The difference between men such as Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Lloyd Garrison, Sarah and Angelica Grimke, Frederick Douglass, Theodore Weld, Robert Gould Shaw, John Adams was <u>vision.</u> They, unlike their contemporaries N&amp;S, were not willing to stand still and wrap their arms around tradition and heritage just because it always was, but were willing to not only visualize a different future, but were gutsy enough to help change the future.

Nope Jeff Davis wasn't an evil man, but he was visually impaired. Abe Lincoln wasn't flawless. He was a savvy pragmatist who did his ****edest to win a war. When opportunity knocked, he let his inner light propel him into making profound changes that changed the world of Davis and Lincoln and made it our world with different definitions and value concepts.
 
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#14
It is amazing that we take so much interest in Lincoln that the man himself might even be a bit astonished. Yes, he was far from perfect. But he as a <u>good</u> judge of human character and as the most astute politician of any time was able to make what was impractical to him, the abolition of slavery, essential and what many thought wasn't possible, the restoration of the Union, a reality.
 
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#15
Someone mentioned the Thirteenth Amendment... Does anyone know what took Mississippi so long to ratify it? Was it just an oversight? It was not ratified in that state until 1995.
 
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#16
I do not believe it was an oversight. Several States, some border, like Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky did not ratify the 13 Amendment for some time. However, I due recall a list of when each state ratified. I will find it for you if ya want.
 

wbull1

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#17
Although issuing the Emancipation Proclamation did not impress Horace Greeley, it did immediately turn Frederick Douglass from a critic into a supporter. Douglass played a major role in recruiting black soldiers, his two sons volunteered. It is interesting to compare the wording of the EP with the soaring rhetoric of other writing Lincoln did. I believe it is purposefully flat and colorless so as to not arouse opposition from those fighting for the Union who did not support emancipation. Yes, the implications outweigh the immediate effect, but as Lincoln said, "I walk slowly but I never walk back."
 

jackt62

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#18
Many folks belittle the EP because it only freed those slaves over which the Union had no control, and left enslaved those within its jurisdiction. But this is a huge mistake. Lincoln promulgated the EP as a war measure, which both inspired hope in the enslaved population and fear among southern officaldom, whose use of enslaved labor to build fortifications, provide auxiliary services, and act as teamsters, etc. was of major importance to the confederacy. By striking a blow at that aspect of the confederate war effort, the EP was a useful measure. Moreover, it was a major step in the eventual movement to abolish slavery that led to the enactment of the 13th amendment in 1865, and also a major blow to the hopes of the confederacy for European recognition.
 

uaskme

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#19
Declaring war against "iddleness," "vagrancy, "and "crime". Banks initiated a new labor program in February 1863 that further confused the boundary between slavery and freedom. Provost marshals would induce "negroes. . .to return to their families and the plantations where they belong" and take their physical presence as "proof of their assent" to contract. They would then make sure laborers worked "diligently and faithfully" with "respectful deportment to their employers, and perfect subordination to their duties" on the plantations to which they were "bound" for the year. Employers, in turn, agreed to provide food, clothing, proper treatment, and due compensation in the form of wages (sharply reduced to between one and three dollars per month) or one-twentieth share of the crop at the end of the year. Louisiana's working peoples, the majority of whom formally remained slaves, were nowhere closer to economic independence under Banks system. Many refused to be "induced" to return to their old plantations, a group of workers on a plantation near New Orleans collectively vowing they would "rather die" than labor under the new rules. Union officers, moreover, often ended up taking on roles previously held by slave patrols and overseers. Not only collaborated closely with planters to discipline workers, at times displaying a viciousness that rivaled the worst of the slavery regime. Planters nonetheless decried the new system as "an actual and immediate emancipation" of Louisiana Slaves. pp58-59 Coolies and Cane by Moon-Ho Jung

New Boss same as the Old Boss. These negroes walk of the job, emancipated themselves in 1862. the EP is going to Re-enslave them. They are exempt from the EP because they are in one of the parishes exempted from the EP in Louisiana. Old Able was probably trying to decide what to do with them. Colonize them or at least put them in Indentured Service like the British West Indians after their Slavery. Whatever, Negroes self emancipated and were returned to Slavery.
 

WJC

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#20
new ideas on what the Emancipation actually did besides tell the world the war is now about slavery.
A quick search shows "about 1600" threads discussing the Emancipation Proclamation. You might look for your answer in one of them.
In the meanwhile:
  • It made the end of slavery an explicit war objective, in addition to reuniting of the country;
  • It freed slaves under rebel control and was the first step toward abolishing slavery nationwide;
  • It allowed freed slaves to be enlisted in the U. S. Army, providing additional forces to conduct the war;
  • It had a severe impact on the rebel economy by providing an incentive for slaves to run away;
  • It made it difficult if not impossible for Britain and France to intervene on behalf of the rebel slave state or extend recognition.
All too often it is criticized as not going far enough. Yet it was an ingenious use of the only avenue Lincoln had under our Constitution: the war powers of the Executive.
 

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