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war, which revolutionized the social institutions of more than a third of the nation,-which brought all the govern ments of Christendom into new relations to the rebellion,-and which involved Mr. Lincoln's recognition of the will of the Divine Ruler of the universe. It was the supreme moment of his life. Did he feel it to be so? He did; and he took his own way of showing it. He took down from a shelf a copy of Artemus Ward-His Book," and read an entire chapter of that literary harlequin's drollery, giving himself up to laughter the most hearty, until some of the dignified personages around him were far more pained than amused. Little did those men understand the pressure of the occasion upon Mr. Lincoln's mind, and the necessity of this diversion.
A member of this noble and notable group has said that, on closing the trifling volume, the whole tone and manner of the President changed instantaneously; and, rising to a grandeur of demeanor that inspired in all a profound respect, akin to awe, he announced to them the object of the meeting. He had written a proclamation of emancipation, and had determined to issue it. He had not called them together to ask their advice on the general question, because he had determined it for himself. He wished to inform them of his purpose, and to receive such suggestions upon minor points as they might be moved to make. Mr. Chase wished the language stronger with reference to arming the blacks. Mr. Blair deprecated the policy, because it would cost the administration the fall elections; but nothing was said which the President had not anticipated, until Mr. Seward said: “Mr. President, I approve of the proclamation, but I question the expediency of its issue at this juncture. The depression of the public mind consequent upon our repeated reverses is so great that I fear the effect of so important a step. It may be viewed as the last measure of an exhausted governmenta cry for help-the government stretching forth its hands to Ethiopia, instead of Ethiopia stretching forth her hands to the government-our last shriek on the retreat." He further advised Mr. Lincoln to postpone the measure until it could be
given to the country supported by military success, rather than after the greatest disasters of the war.
Mr. Lincoln admitted the force of the suggestion, and so the matter was suspended for a brief period. This was before General Pope's retreat upon Washington, and the invasion of Maryland; and during all these disasters the proclamation waited, though it was occasionally taken out and retouched. At last came the battle of Antietam, and the news of national success met Mr. Lincoln at the Soldier's Home. There he immediately wrote the second draft of the preliminary proclamation, and came back to Washington on Saturday of that week, and held a cabinet meeting, at which he declared that the time for the enunciation of the emancipation policy could no longer be delayed. Public sentiment, he thought, would sustain it; many of his warmest friends and supporters demanded it; "and," said Mr. Lincoln, in a low and reverent tone, "I have promised my God that I will do it.". These last words were hardly heard by any one but Mr. Chase, who sat nearest to him. Mr. Chase inquired: "Did I understand you correctly, Mr. President?” Mr. Lincoln replied: "I made a solemn vow before God that, if General Lee should be driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves."
This statement was made by Mr. Chase to Mr. Carpenter, and does not differ materially from one communicated to the writer by Hon. George S. Boutwell of Massachusetts. Mr. Boutwell, then in Washington, determined in October to visit Massachusetts, and take a part in the state canvass; and previous to his departure he called upon Mr. Lincoln. In the course of the interview, he told the President that an active leader of the People's Party in Massachusetts had asserted, in a public speech, that Mr. Lincoln was frightened into issuing the emancipation proclamation, by the meeting of loyal governors at Altoona, Pennsylvania, which had occurred during the summer. "Now," said the President, dropping into a chair, as if he meant to be at ease, "I can tell you just how
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On Monday, the 22d of September, 1862, the proclamation was issued. Even from this sweeping measure he had left an opportunity to escape. It was only a preliminary proclamation. It only declared free the slaves of those states and those sections of states which should be in rebellion on the 1st of January, 1863, leaving to every rebel state an opportunity to save its pet institution by becoming loyal, and doing what it could to save the Union:
"I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States of America, and Commander-in-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 each of the 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 slave states so-called, 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, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits; and that the effort to colonize persons of African descent, with their consent, upon this 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 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 re press such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make fr 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 then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any state, or the people thereof, shafi 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, are not then in rebellion against the United States.
That attention is hereby called to an act of Congress entitled 'Ar Act to make an additional Article of War,' approved March 13th, 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.'
'SEC. 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 16th, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following:
"SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or 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 oc
cupied by rebel forces and afterwards occupied by forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves.
"SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into any state, territory, or the District of Columbia, from any other state, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime, or some offense 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 borne 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 pretense 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 service.'
"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 respective states and people, if that relation shall have been suspended or disturbed) be compensated 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 tenth day of April, in the year
"By the President:
"WM. H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
In the cabinet meeting held previous to the issue of the proclamation, Mr. Lincoln had concluded the reading of the third paragraph, when Mr. Seward interrupted him by saying: "Mr. President, I think that you should insert after the word, 'recognize,' the words, 'and maintain."" The Pres ident replied that he had fully considered the import of the expression, and that it was not his way to promise more than he was sure he could perform; and he was not prepared to