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CHAP. LXIV.] HE IS CONSTRAINED TO EMANCIPATION.
a few weeks the arms would be in the hands of the rebels, and, indeed, thus far, we have not had arms enough to equip our white troops. . .
The conclusion to
"Do not misunderstand me because I have mentioned these objections. They indicate the diffi which he had come. culties that have thus far prevented my ac tion in some such way as you desire. I have not decided against a proclamation of liberty to the slaves, but hold the matter under advisement. And I can assure you that the subject is on my mind, by day and by night, more than any other. Whatever shall appear to be God's will, that I will do."
A depreciated currency, heavy and steadily increasing taxation, the terrors of a coming military draft, the clamor of the peace party, and, above all, a profound disappointment in the result of McClellan's campaign, weighed heav ily on the spirit of the nation. More and becoming more im- more clearly was the stern alternative presented to it-emancipation of the Slave, or
destruction of the Republic.
There is reason to suppose that when Lincoln saw the wreck of McClellan's expedition coming back from the Peninsula, he made up his mind. To repair the dreadful losses of that and Pope's campaign, a vast number of men must be raised. He reflected that the balance would be equally made to incline by putting white men in one scale, or by taking black men out of the other. During that summer he had read at a cabinet meeting a draft of a proclamation of emancipation. The Secdraft of an emanci- retary of State, Mr. Seward, though completely approving of its character, thought the time inopportune, and that, instead of coming after a disaster, it ought to come after a victory. In this, on consideration, Lincoln agreed. The time for such a proclamation was not when Lee was in view of Washington, and
The President's first
He still withholds the expulsion of the national authorities from the Capitol itself by no means an improbability. There was a day on which it seemed more likely that the Confederacy would dictate terms than have to submit to them-a day on which it would have been absurd, indeed, for the vanquished President to tell his antagonists, flushed with victory, that he was going to free their slaves.
"I made a solemn vow before God," said Lincoln, subbut makes a relig- sequently, "that if General Lee was driven back from Maryland, I would crown the result by a declaration of freedom to the slaves." The battle of Antietam was fought, and Lee, driven across the Potomac, retreated into Virginia
Events call upon
him for its fulfill on the night of the 19th of September. The losses of the South in this sortie had been awful. Mourning was sitting in black at every Southern fireside. And now Lincoln remembered the vow he Whatever shall appear to be God's will,
that I will do."
The proclamation of
"I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, and commander-in-chief of the army and navy the 22d of Septem- thereof, do hereby proclaim and declare that hereafter, as heretofore, the war will be prosecuted for the object of practically restoring the constitutional relation bedeclares the object tween the United States and each of the states, and the people thereof, in which states that relation is or may be suspended or disturbed.
of the war.
"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 Circumstances un- rebellion against the United States, and which states shall be compen- may then have voluntarily adopted, or thereafter may voluntarily adopt, immediate or gradual abolishment of slavery within their respective limits; and that the ef
der which there
PROCLAMATION OF SEPTEMBER 22d.
and colonization of fort 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.
He will proclaim emancipation in rebel states
"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 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, on the first day of by proclamation, designate the states, and parts of the following year, 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 state shall have participated, nate the states in re-shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such state, and the people thereof, are not in rebellion against the United States.
and will then desig
“That attention is hereby called to an act of Congress, entitled 'An Act to make an additional Article of War,' approved March 13th, 1862, and which act is in the
He cites certain laws,
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 :
“SECTION I. 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 II. 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
PROCLAMATION OF SEPTEMBER 22d.
and confiscate property of Rebels, and for other purposes,' approved July 16th, 1862, and which sections are in the words and figures following:
'SECTION 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 occupied by rebel forces and afterward 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.
"SECTION 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 such 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 or 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.'
requiring the army
"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
and navy to observe
"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 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. ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
"By the President:
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
In this considerate manner the President earnestly of
CHAP. LXIV.] LINCOLN RESOLVES ON EMANCIPATION.
fered compensation to those whose slaves he foresaw must inevitably be made free.
His religious inter
"I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me." Such, as we have just seen, was his solemn declaration a short time before his death. He added, "The condition of the nation is not what any party or any man expected or devised." With that religious feeling which seemed to possess him more and more thoroughly as he approached his end, he affirmed, "It is the work of God." pretation of certain Sincerely believing that God not only reigns, but governs, he saw, in the events transpir ing before him, that there was something more than the wishes and will of man. In every phase of the conflict he perceived the arbitrament of a Higher Power. Not as a delusion of fancy, but as a reality, he recognized the dread alternative presented to his nation-do justice or die. To his surrounding friends he pointed out that, though the North was pouring forth her blood like water, and squandering treasuries of money, success was denied. The rebukes he had given to Fremont and Hunter had been confronted by the horrible catastrophe of the Chickahominy, and by the repulse of Pope into the fortifications of Washington. Once more a day of grace had been granted at Antietam, but that only half regard ed, the stern summons had been again renewed from the cannon that were permitted to sweep off fourteen thou sand men at Marye's Hill, and hurl Burnside's army across the Rappahannock. "What am I," said Lincoln, "that I should contest the will of God?"
From the rivers of Virginia to the Mexican confines of the Republic arose a mournful wail-How long, O Lord! The slaves expect- how long! It came from the weary laboring deliverance. er, leaning on his hoe in the cotton-field un