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the two Secretaries were back in the cabinet, Lincoln said to a friend, " Now I can ride; I have got a pumpkin in each bag." Later he said, as recorded in Mr. Hay's diary: "If I had yielded to that storm and dismissed Seward, the thing would all have slumped over one way, and we should have been left with a scanty handful of supporters. When Chase gave in his resignation, I saw that the game was in my hands, and I put it through."
A few days after this Lincoln took his great final step of emancipation, not without fears. To a visitor a little while before he said: "As for the negroes, Doctor, and what is going to become of them: I told Ben Wade the other day, that it made me think of a story I read in one of my first books, Æsop's Fables. It was an old edition, and had curious rough woodcuts, one of which showed four white men scrubbing a negro in a potash kettle filled with cold water. The text explained that the men thought that by scrubbing the negro they might make him white. Just about the time they thought they were succeeding, he took cold and died. Now, I am afraid that by the time we get through this war the negro will catch cold and die.
On the afternoon of January 1, with some half jocose remarks about the trembling of his hand, he signed the document which formally declared
all slaves in the rebellious states forever free and added that they would be received into the armed service of the United States. At the suggestion of Secretary Chase, the President invoked "the gracious favor of the Almighty God."
POLITICS AND WAR
Two good effects of the Emancipation Proclamation were immediately seen, a slightly more favorable European attitude and a greater use of negro troops, which was found to have comparatively little effect on the soldiers from the border states. Never, on the other hand, had Copperheadism," or lukewarmness approaching Southern sympathy, been so bad in the North. In dealing with Copperheads the President showed tact equal to his skilful manipulation of the border states. The army, too, required all his gentle but clear-cut insight. Compulsory service had now to be resorted to, and the result was a lowering of the average character of the soldiers and a great bickering among the states, each trying to avoid its quota, with many charges of partisanship against the administration. Moreover, there were defeats and no great victories, the struggle was long and dreary, and the President looked upon the increasing desertions from the army with the leniency of sympathetic comprehension. His story from January 1 to July 4,
1863, is one of patience, tact, kindness, and steady although hardly visible progress. At no time in his whole life does he show in complete fulness more sides of a great nature.
To Major General Dix on January 14 he wrote, marked "private and confidential," the following:
"The proclamation has been issued. We were not succeeding at best were progressing too slowly — without it. Now that we have it, and bear all the disadvantages of it (as we do bear some in certain quarters), we must also take some benefit from it, if practicable. I, therefore, will thank you for your well-considered opinion, whether Fortress Monroe and Yorktown, one or both, could not, in whole or in part, be garrisoned by colored troops, leaving the white forces now necessary at those places to be employed elsewhere."
Even before the proclamation had been issued the President's feelings about the policy of returning slaves had progressed so far that he wrote a private letter, which on reflection he did not send, thus:
"Your despatch of yesterday is just received. I believe you are acquainted with the American classics (if there be such), and probably remember a speech of Patrick Henry in which he represented a certain character in the Revolutionary times as totally disregarding all questions of country, and 'hoarsely bawling, “Beef! beef!! beef!!!"
"Do you not know that I may as well surrender the contest directly as to make any order the obvious purpose of which would be to return fugitive slaves?"
By March we find him writing to Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee and afterward Vice-President and President of the United States:
"I am told you have at least thought of raising a negro military force. In my opinion the country now needs no specific thing so much as some man of your ability and position to go to this work. When I speak of your position, I mean that of an eminent citizen of a slave state and himself a slaveholder. The colored population is the great available and yet unavailed of force for restoring the Union. The bare sight of fifty thousand armed and drilled black soldiers upon the banks of the Mississippi would end the rebellion at once; and who doubts that we can present that sight if we but take hold in earnest? If you have been thinking of it, please do not dismiss the thought."
To General Banks a few days later he says that to raise colored troops is "very important, if not indispensable." To General Hunter he writes privately, on April 1:
"I am glad to see the accounts of your colored force at Jacksonville, Florida. I see the enemy are driving at them fiercely, as is to be expected. It is important to the enemy that such a force shall not take shape and grow and thrive in the South, and in precisely the same