I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus. This has been portrayed to have been Lincoln's "reply" to an unnamed Illinois clergyman when asked if he loved Jesus , as quoted in The Lincoln Memorial Album — Immortelles edited by Osborn H. Oldroyd [New York: G.
Mr Oldroyd has endeavored to learn for me in what paper he found it and on whose authority it rests, but without result. He does not remember where he found it. It is inherently improbable, and rests on no adequate testimony. It ought to be wholly disregarded. The earliest reference I have found to the story in which Lincoln is alleged to have said to an unnamed Illinois minister, "I do love Jesus" is in a sermon preached in the Baptist Church of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, April 19, , by Rev.
Whitcomb, which was published in the Oshkosh Northwestern , April 21, , and in issued in pamphlet form by John E. Misattributed [ edit ] Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. Alledgedly from a speech to the Illinois House of Representatives 18 December its called "a remarkable piece of spurious Lincolniana" by Merrill D.
Peterson: Lincoln in American Memory. Oxford UP , books.
Spurious archive. He only has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.
And it could well fail before ratification
It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to Infidelity. Claimed by atheist Franklin Steiner, on p. I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky! See, for example, Albert D. The quotation is based on a comment by Rev. Moncure D. Conway about the progress of the Civil War. It is evident that the worthy President would like to have God on his side: he must have Kentucky. Conway , The Golden Hour To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
Sometimes attributed to Lincoln since a speech of Douglas MacArthur citing him as its author, this is actually from a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. My earlier views on the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures have become clearer and stronger with advancing years, and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.
Letter to Judge J. Wakefield , after the death of Lincoln's son Willie in , as cited in Abraham Lincoln: was he a Christian? America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. First attributed to Lincoln in , this seems a paraphrase of a statement in the Lyceum address of , while incorporating language used by Thomas E. Dewey c.source url
How the Flag Came to be Called Old Glory
They can only fail if they fail to lend their united support to full production in a free society". Now, I say to you, my fellow-citizens, that in my opinion the signers of the Declaration had no reference to the negro whatever when they declared all men to be created equal. They desired to express by that phrase, white men, men of European birth and European descent, and had no reference either to the negro, the savage Indians, the Fejee, the Malay, or any other inferior and degraded race, when they spoke of the equality of men.
One great evidence that such was their understanding, is to be found in the fact that at that time every one of the thirteen colonies was a slaveholding colony, every signer of the Declaration represented a slave-holding constituency, and we know that no one of them emancipated his slaves, much less offered citizenship to them when they signed the Declaration, and yet, if they had intended to declare that the negro was the equal of the white man, and entitled by divine right to an equality with him, they were bound, as honest men, that day and hour to have put their negroes on an equality with themselves.
No historical record of such a debate actually exists, though there was a famous set of speeches by both in Peoria on 16 October , but transcripts of Lincoln's speech on that date do not indicate that he made such a statement. It in fact comes from a speech made by Douglas in the third debate against Lincoln at Jonesboro, Illinois on 15 September As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.
I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless. Purportedly in a letter to Colonel William F. Elkins 21 November after the passage of the National Bank Act 3 June , these remarks were attributed to Lincoln as early as but were denounced by John Nicolay , Lincoln's private secretary and biographer.
Nicolay: "This alleged quotation from Mr. Lincoln is a bald, unblushing forgery. The great President never said it or wrote it, and never said or wrote anything that by the utmost license could be distorted to resemble it. It is more despotic then monarchy. More insolent than autocracy. More selfish then bureaucracy. I see the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.
Corporations have been enthroned. An era of corruption will follow and the money power of the country, will endeavor to prolong it's reign by working upon the prejudices of the people. Until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. Shaw, p. The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.
It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. Be honest, but hate no one; overturn a man's wrongdoing, but do not overturn him unless it must be done in overturning the wrong. Stand with a man while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong. The last sentence is from the 16 October Peoria speech, slightly paraphrased.
No known contemporary source for the rest. Not by Lincoln, this is apparently paraphrased from remarks about honoring him by Hugh Gordon Miller: "I do not believe in forever dragging over or raking up some phases of the past; in some respects the dead past might better be allowed to bury its dead, but the nation which fails to honor its heroes, the memory of its heroes, whether those heroes be living or dead, does not deserve to live, and it will not live, and so it came to pass that in nearly a hundred millions of people [ You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. Actually a statement by William J. Boetcker known as "The Ten Cannots" , this has often been misattributed to Lincoln since when a leaflet containing quotes by both men was published. There is no room for two distinct races of white men in America, much less for two distinct races of whites and blacks. I can conceive of no greater calamity than the assimilation of the Negro into our social and political life as an equal Within twenty years we can peacefully colonize the Negro in the tropics and give him our language, literature, religion, and system of government under conditions in which he can rise to the full measure of manhood.
This he can never do here. We can never attain the ideal Union our fathers dreamed, with millions of an alien, inferior race among us, whose assimilation is neither possible nor desirable. On some sites this has been declared to be something Lincoln said "soon after signing" the Emancipation Proclamation, but without any date or other indications of to whom it was stated, and there are no actual historical records of Lincoln ever saying this.
Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged. If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will. This is attributed to Lincoln in the film adaptation of Pollyanna. In reality, it was fabricated by screenwriter and director David Swift , who had to have thousands of lockets bearing the false inscription recalled after Disney began selling them at Disneyland. Money is the creature of law and creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as an exclusive monopoly of national government.
These remarks in support of a government-regulated money supply were written by Gerry McGeer , who presented them as his interpretation of what Lincoln believed. The Emancipation Proclamation , or Proclamation 95 , was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln effective January 1, It changed the legal status under federal law of more than 3.
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As soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, either by running away across Union lines or through the advance of federal troops, the slave was free. Ultimately, the Union victory brought the proclamation into effect in all of the former Confederacy.
The remaining slaves, those in the areas not in revolt, were freed by state action [ where? Lincoln believed that he had no authority as president to end slavery, which was a state matter, although with Congress's approval he did end it in with partial compensation in the District of Columbia, where there was no state government; this became possible when the Senators of the states in rebellion, who had blocked such a measure, left Congress in As such, he could take military measures.
His order carefully limited the Proclamation to those areas in insurrection, where his military authority applied. It was the turning point of the war. The proclamation was directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch including the Army and Navy of the United States. The Proclamation followed a series of warnings in the summer of under the Second Confiscation Act , allowing Confederate supporters 60 days to surrender, or face confiscation of land and slaves.
The Proclamation also ordered that suitable persons among those freed could be enrolled into the paid service of United States' forces, and ordered the Union Army and all segments of the Executive branch to "recognize and maintain the freedom of" the ex-slaves. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not outlaw slavery, and did not grant citizenship to the ex-slaves called freedmen. But in addition to the goal of preserving the Union,  for the first time it made the eradication of slavery an explicit war goal.
The symbolic importance of the federal government outlawing slavery, even on a limited basis, was enormous. For the first time, the Union the country was publicly committed to ending slavery everywhere. It meant escaped slaves would no longer be returned South, that the hated Fugitive Slave Laws were dead. It also said that former slaves could fight in the military against their former owners, using weapons the Northern army would supply. This would soon supply fresh troops for the Union army, but its psychological impact was also enormous.
This was the South's nightmare: a slave revolt supported by the North. Around 25, to 75, slaves were immediately emancipated in those regions of the Confederacy where the US Army was already in control. It could not be enforced in the areas still in rebellion, but as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for freeing more than three and a half million slaves in those regions.
Prior to the Proclamation, in accordance with the Fugitive Slave Act of , escaped slaves were either returned to their masters or held in camps as contraband for later return. The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands; it did not apply to those in the four slave states that were not in rebellion Kentucky , Maryland , Delaware , and Missouri , which were unnamed , nor to Tennessee unnamed but occupied by Union troops since and lower Louisiana also under occupation , and specifically excluded those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia.
Also specifically excluded by name were some regions already controlled by the Union army. Emancipation in those places would come after separate state actions as in West Virginia or the December ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment , which made slavery and indentured servitude , except for those duly convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States jurisdiction.
On September 22, , Lincoln issued a preliminary warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion against the Union by January 1, The Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners and their sympathizers , who saw it as the beginning a race war. It angered some Northern Democrats, energized abolutionists, and undermined those Europeans that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy. It led many slaves to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom, and to join the Union Army.
The Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln's only stated goal at the start of the war was to maintain the Union. The Proclamation made freeing the slaves an explicit goal of the Union war effort. Establishing the abolition of slavery as one of the two primary war goals served to deter intervention by Britain and France.
To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U. Congress passed the 13th Amendment by the necessary two-thirds vote on January 31, , and it was ratified by the states on December 6, , ending legal slavery. The United States Constitution of did not use the word "slavery" but included several provisions about unfree persons. Article I, Section 9 allowed Congress to pass legislation to outlaw the "Importation of Persons", but not until Sandford Maryland did not abolish slavery until ,  and Delaware was one of the last states to hold onto slavery; it was still legal in Delaware when the thirteenth amendment was issued.
Lincoln understood that the Federal government's power to end slavery in peacetime was limited by the Constitution which before , committed the issue to individual states. The Proclamation applied in the ten states that were still in rebellion in , and thus did not cover the nearly , slaves in the slave-holding border states Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland or Delaware which were Union states. Those slaves were freed by later separate state and federal actions. The state of Tennessee had already mostly returned to Union control, under a recognized Union government, so it was not named and was exempted.
Virginia was named, but exemptions were specified for the 48 counties then in the process of forming the new state of West Virginia , and seven additional counties and two cities in the Union-controlled Tidewater region of Virginia. These exemptions left unemancipated an additional , slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation has been ridiculed, notably in an influential passage by Richard Hofstadter for "freeing" only the slaves over which the Union had no power.
This act cleared up the issue of contraband slaves. Some 20, to 50, slaves were freed the day it went into effect  in parts of nine of the ten states to which it applied Texas being the exception. The Proclamation provided the legal framework for the emancipation of nearly all four million slaves as the Union armies advanced, and committed the Union to ending slavery, which was a controversial decision even in the North.
Hearing of the Proclamation, more slaves quickly escaped to Union lines as the Army units moved South. As the Union armies advanced through the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day until nearly all approximately 3. While the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. Of the states that were exempted from the Proclamation, Maryland,  Missouri,  Tennessee,  and West Virginia  prohibited slavery before the war ended.
In , President Lincoln proposed a moderate plan for the Reconstruction of the captured Confederate State of Louisiana. The state was also required to abolish slavery in its new constitution. Identical Reconstruction plans would be adopted in Arkansas and Tennessee. By December , the Lincoln plan abolishing slavery had been enacted in Louisiana.
The Fugitive Slave Act of required individuals to return runaway slaves to their owners. During the war, Union generals such as Benjamin Butler declared that slaves in occupied areas were contraband of war and accordingly refused to return them. As a result, he did not promote the contraband designation.
In addition, as contraband, these people were legally designated as "property" when they crossed Union lines and their ultimate status was uncertain. In December , Lincoln sent his first annual message to Congress the State of the Union Address , but then typically given in writing and not referred to as such. In it he praised the free labor system, as respecting human rights over property rights; he endorsed legislation to address the status of contraband slaves and slaves in loyal states, possibly through buying their freedom with federal taxes, and also the funding of strictly voluntary colonization efforts.
On March 13, , Congress approved a "Law Enacting an Additional Article of War", which stated that from that point onward it was forbidden for Union Army officers to return fugitive slaves to their owners. Slaves in the District of Columbia were freed on April 16, , and their owners were compensated. On June 19, , Congress prohibited slavery in all current and future United States territories though not in the states , and President Lincoln quickly signed the legislation. Douglas as a solution to the slavery controversy, while completing the effort first legislatively proposed by Thomas Jefferson in to confine slavery within the borders of existing states.
In July, Congress passed and Lincoln signed the Confiscation Act of , containing provisions for court proceedings to liberate slaves held by convicted "rebels", or of slaves of rebels that had escaped to Union lines. However, Lincoln's position continued to be that Congress lacked power to free all slaves within the borders of rebel held states, but Lincoln as commander in chief could do so if he deemed it a proper military measure,  and that Lincoln had already drafted plans to do. Abolitionists had long been urging Lincoln to free all slaves. In the summer of , Republican editor Horace Greeley of the highly influential New York Tribune wrote a famous editorial entitled "The Prayer of Twenty Millions" demanding a more aggressive attack on the Confederacy and faster emancipation of the slaves: "On the face of this wide earth, Mr.
President, there is not one 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. 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.
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 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. Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer wrote in this context about Lincoln's letter: "Unknown to Greeley, Lincoln composed this after he had already drafted a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which he had determined to issue after the next Union military victory.
Therefore, this letter, was in truth, an attempt to position the impending announcement in terms of saving the Union, not freeing slaves as a humanitarian gesture. It was one of Lincoln's most skillful public relations efforts, even if it has cast longstanding doubt on his sincerity as a liberator. Rather, Lincoln was softening the strong Northern white supremacist opposition to his imminent emancipation by tying it to the cause of the Union.
This opposition would fight for the Union but not to end slavery, so Lincoln gave them the means and motivation to do both, at the same time. Since slavery was protected by the Constitution, the only way that he could free the slaves was as a tactic of war—not as the mission itself. Late in , Lincoln asked his Attorney General, Edward Bates , for an opinion as to whether slaves freed through a war-related proclamation of emancipation could be re-enslaved once the war was over.
Bates had to work through the language of the Dred Scott decision to arrive at an answer, but he finally concluded that they could indeed remain free. Still, a complete end to slavery would require a constitutional amendment. Conflicting advice, to free all slaves, or not free them at all, was presented to Lincoln in public and private. Thomas Nast , a cartoon artist during the Civil War and the late s considered "Father of the American Cartoon", composed many works including a two-sided spread that showed the transition from slavery into civilization after President Lincoln signed the Proclamation.
Nast believed in equal opportunity and equality for all people, including enslaved Africans or free blacks. A delegation headed by William W. Patton met the president at the White House on September Lincoln had declared in peacetime that he had no constitutional authority to free the slaves. Even used as a war power, emancipation was a risky political act.
Public opinion as a whole was against it. Delaware and Maryland already had a high percentage of free blacks: Lincoln first discussed the proclamation with his cabinet in July Seward and Welles were at first speechless, then Seward referred to possible anarchy throughout the South and resulting foreign intervention; Welles apparently said nothing. On July 22, Lincoln presented it to his entire cabinet as something he had determined to do and he asked their opinion on wording. In September , the Battle of Antietam gave Lincoln the victory he needed to issue the Emancipation.
Lee 's retreating troops, Union forces turned back a Confederate invasion of Maryland. On September 22, , five days after Antietam occurred, and while living at the Soldier's Home , Lincoln called his cabinet into session and issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. McPherson , Lincoln told Cabinet members that he had made a covenant with God, that if the Union drove the Confederacy out of Maryland, he would issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
The final proclamation was issued January 1, Although implicitly granted authority by Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment. Some days after issuing the final Proclamation, Lincoln wrote to Major General John McClernand : "After the commencement of hostilities I struggled nearly a year and a half to get along without touching the "institution"; and when finally I conditionally determined to touch it, I gave a hundred days fair notice of my purpose, to all the States and people, within which time they could have turned it wholly aside, by simply again becoming good citizens of the United States.
They chose to disregard it, and I made the peremptory proclamation on what appeared to me to be a military necessity. And being made, it must stand.
Initially, the Emancipation Proclamation effectively freed only a small percentage of the slaves, those who were behind Union lines in areas not exempted. Most slaves were still behind Confederate lines or in exempted Union-occupied areas. Secretary of State William H.
Seward commented, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free. The Proclamation only gave the Lincoln Administration the legal basis to free the slaves in the areas of the South that were still in rebellion on January 1, It effectively destroyed slavery as the Union armies advanced south and conquered the entire Confederacy. The Emancipation Proclamation also allowed for the enrollment of freed slaves into the United States military.
During the war nearly , blacks, most of them ex-slaves, joined the Union Army. The Confederacy did not allow slaves in their army as soldiers until the last month before its defeat. Though the counties of Virginia that were soon to form West Virginia were specifically exempted from the Proclamation Jefferson County being the only exception , a condition of the state's admittance to the Union was that its constitution provide for the gradual abolition of slavery an immediate emancipation of all slaves was also adopted there in early Slaves in the border states of Maryland and Missouri were also emancipated by separate state action before the Civil War ended.
In Maryland, a new state constitution abolishing slavery in the state went into effect on November 1, The Union-occupied counties of eastern Virginia and parishes of Louisiana, which had been exempted from the Proclamation, both adopted state constitutions that abolished slavery in April The Proclamation was issued in two parts. The first part, issued on September 22, , was a preliminary announcement outlining the intent of the second part, which officially went into effect days later on January 1, , during the second year of the Civil War.
It was Abraham Lincoln's declaration that all slaves would be permanently freed in all areas of the Confederacy that had not already returned to federal control by January Also not named was the state of Tennessee , in which a Union-controlled military government had already been set up, based in the capital, Nashville. Specific exemptions were stated for areas also under Union control on January 1, , namely 48 counties that would soon become West Virginia , seven other named counties of Virginia including Berkeley and Hampshire counties, which were soon added to West Virginia, New Orleans and 13 named parishes nearby.
Union-occupied areas of the Confederate states where the proclamation was put into immediate effect by local commanders included Winchester, Virginia ,  Corinth, Mississippi ,  the Sea Islands along the coasts of the Carolinas and Georgia,  Key West , Florida,  and Port Royal, South Carolina.
It has been inaccurately claimed that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave;  historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. Estimates of how many thousands of slaves were freed immediately by the Emancipation Proclamation are varied.
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One contemporary estimate put the 'contraband' population of Union-occupied North Carolina at 10,, and the Sea Islands of South Carolina also had a substantial population. Those 20, slaves were freed immediately by the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves fled their masters and were often assisted by Union soldiers. Booker T. Washington , as a boy of 9 in Virginia, remembered the day in early . As the great day drew nearer, there was more singing in the slave quarters than usual. It was bolder, had more ring, and lasted later into the night.
Most of the verses of the plantation songs had some reference to freedom. Some man who seemed to be a stranger a United States officer, I presume made a little speech and then read a rather long paper—the Emancipation Proclamation, I think. After the reading we were told that we were all free, and could go when and where we pleased. My mother, who was standing by my side, leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks. She explained to us what it all meant, that this was the day for which she had been so long praying, but fearing that she would never live to see.
The Proclamation represented a shift in the war objectives of the North—reuniting the nation was no longer the only goal. It represented a major step toward the ultimate abolition of slavery in the United States and a "new birth of freedom". Runaway slaves who had escaped to Union lines had previously been held by the Union Army as "contraband of war" under the Confiscation Acts ; when the proclamation took effect, they were told at midnight that they were free to leave.
The whites had fled to the mainland while the blacks stayed. An early program of Reconstruction was set up for the former slaves, including schools and training. Naval officers read the proclamation and told them they were free. Slaves had been part of the "engine of war" for the Confederacy.
They produced and prepared food; sewed uniforms; repaired railways; worked on farms and in factories, shipping yards, and mines; built fortifications; and served as hospital workers and common laborers. News of the Proclamation spread rapidly by word of mouth, arousing hopes of freedom, creating general confusion, and encouraging thousands to escape to Union lines. According to Albright, plantation owners tried to keep the Proclamation from slaves but news of it came through the "grapevine".
The young slave became a "runner" for an informal group they called the 4Ls "Lincoln's Legal Loyal League" bringing news of the proclamation to secret slave meetings at plantations throughout the region. Robert E. Lee saw the Emancipation Proclamation as a way for the Union to bolster the number of soldiers it could place on the field, making it imperative for the Confederacy to increase their own numbers. Writing on the matter after the sack of Fredericksburg , Lee wrote "In view of the vast increase of the forces of the enemy, of the savage and brutal policy he has proclaimed, which leaves us no alternative but success or degradation worse than death, if we would save the honor of our families from pollution, our social system from destruction, let every effort be made, every means be employed, to fill and maintain the ranks of our armies, until God, in his mercy, shall bless us with the establishment of our independence.
The Proclamation was immediately denounced by Copperhead Democrats who opposed the war and advocated restoring the union by allowing slavery. Horatio Seymour , while running for the governorship of New York, cast the Emancipation Proclamation as a call for slaves to commit extreme acts of violence on all white southerners, saying it was "a proposal for the butchery of women and children, for scenes of lust and rapine, and of arson and murder, which would invoke the interference of civilized Europe". Editor Henry A. Reeves wrote in Greenport's Republican Watchman that "In the name of freedom of Negroes, [the proclamation] imperils the liberty of white men; to test a utopian theory of equality of races which Nature, History and Experience alike condemn as monstrous, it overturns the Constitution and Civil Laws and sets up Military Usurpation in their Stead.
Racism remained pervasive on both sides of the conflict and many in the North supported the war only as an effort to force the South to stay in the Union. The promises of many Republican politicians that the war was to restore the Union and not about black rights or ending slavery, were now declared lies by their opponents citing the Proclamation. Copperhead David Allen spoke to a rally in Columbiana, Ohio, stating, "I have told you that this war is carried on for the Negro. There is the proclamation of the President of the United States. Now fellow Democrats I ask you if you are going to be forced into a war against your Brithren of the Southern States for the Negro.
I answer No! Whiting wrote that the truth was now plain even to "those stupid thick-headed persons who persisted in thinking that the President was a conservative man and that the war was for the restoration of the Union under the Constitution". War Democrats who rejected the Copperhead position within their party, found themselves in a quandary.
While throughout the war they had continued to espouse the racist positions of their party and their disdain of the concerns of slaves, they did see the Proclamation as a viable military tool against the South, and worried that opposing it might demoralize troops in the Union army. The question would continue to trouble them and eventually lead to a split within their party as the war progressed. Lincoln further alienated many in the Union two days after issuing the preliminary copy of the Emancipation Proclamation by suspending habeas corpus.
His opponents linked these two actions in their claims that he was becoming a despot. In light of this and a lack of military success for the Union armies, many War Democrat voters who had previously supported Lincoln turned against him and joined the Copperheads in the off-year elections held in October and November.
In the elections , the Democrats gained 28 seats in the House as well as the governorship of New York. Lincoln's friend Orville Hickman Browning told the president that the Proclamation and the suspension of habeas corpus had been "disastrous" for his party by handing the Democrats so many weapons. Lincoln made no response. Copperhead William Javis of Connecticut pronounced the election the "beginning of the end of the utter downfall of Abolitionism in the United States ". Historians James M. McPherson and Allan Nevins state that though the results looked very troubling, they could be seen favorably by Lincoln; his opponents did well only in their historic strongholds and "at the national level their gains in the House were the smallest of any minority party's in an off-year election in nearly a generation.
Michigan, California, and Iowa all went Republican Moreover, the Republicans picked up five seats in the Senate. The initial Confederate response was one of expected outrage. The Proclamation was seen as vindication for the rebellion, and proof that Lincoln would have abolished slavery even if the states had remained in the Union. Army general Ulysses S. Grant observed that the Proclamation, combined with the usage of black soldiers by the U. Army, profoundly angered the Confederacy, saying that "the emancipation of the Negro, is the heaviest blow yet given the Confederacy. The South rave a great deal about it and profess to be very angry.
The Confederacy stated that the black U. Less than a year after the law's passage, the Confederates massacred black U. However, some Confederates welcomed the Proclamation, as they believed it would strengthen pro-slavery sentiment in the Confederacy and, thus, lead to greater enlistment of white men into the Confederate army. According to one Confederate man from Kentucky, "The Proclamation is worth three hundred thousand soldiers to our Government at least It shows exactly what this war was brought about for and the intention of its damnable authors.
One Union soldier from New York stated worryingly after the Proclamation's passage, "I know enough of the Southern spirit that I think they will fight for the institution of slavery even to extermination. As a result of the Proclamation, the price of slaves in the Confederacy increased in the months after its issuance, with one Confederate from South Carolina opining in that "now is the time for Uncle to buy some negro women and children. As Lincoln had hoped, the Proclamation turned foreign popular opinion in favor of the Union by gaining the support of anti-slavery countries and countries that had already abolished slavery especially the developed countries in Europe such as Great Britain or France.
This shift ended the Confederacy's hopes of gaining official recognition. Since the Emancipation Proclamation made the eradication of slavery an explicit Union war goal, it linked support for the South to support for slavery. Public opinion in Britain would not tolerate direct support for slavery. British companies, however, continued to build and operate blockade runners for the South. As Henry Adams noted, "The Emancipation Proclamation has done more for us than all our former victories and all our diplomacy.
On August 6, , Garibaldi wrote to Lincoln: "Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure". Mayor Abel Haywood, a representative for workers from Manchester , England, wrote to Lincoln saying, "We joyfully honor you for many decisive steps toward practically exemplifying your belief in the words of your great founders: 'All men are created free and equal.
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in November made indirect reference to the Proclamation and the ending of slavery as a war goal with the phrase "new birth of freedom". The Proclamation solidified Lincoln's support among the rapidly growing abolitionist element of the Republican Party and ensured that they would not block his re-nomination in In December , Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction , which dealt with the ways the rebel states could reconcile with the Union.
Key provisions required that the states accept the Emancipation Proclamation and thus the freedom of their slaves, and accept the Confiscation Acts , as well as the Act banning of slavery in United States territories. Near the end of the war, abolitionists were concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation would be construed solely as a war measure, Lincoln's original intent, and would no longer apply once fighting ended.
They were also increasingly anxious to secure the freedom of all slaves, not just those freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Thus pressed, Lincoln staked a large part of his presidential campaign on a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery uniformly throughout the United States. Lincoln's campaign was bolstered by separate votes in both Maryland and Missouri to abolish slavery in those states. Maryland's new constitution abolishing slavery took effect in November Slavery in Missouri was ended by executive proclamation of its governor, Thomas C. Fletcher, on January 11, Winning re-election, Lincoln pressed the lame duck 38th Congress to pass the proposed amendment immediately rather than wait for the incoming 39th Congress to convene.
In January , Congress sent to the state legislatures for ratification what became the Thirteenth Amendment , banning slavery in all U. The amendment was ratified by the legislatures of enough states by December 6, , and proclaimed 12 days later. There were about 40, slaves in Kentucky and 1, in Delaware who were liberated then. As the years went on and American life continued to be deeply unfair towards blacks, cynicism towards Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation increased.
Perhaps the strongest attack was Lerone Bennett's Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream , which claimed that Lincoln was a white supremacist who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in lieu of the real racial reforms for which radical abolitionists pushed. Guelzo noted the professional historians' lack of substantial respect for the document, since it has been the subject of few major scholarly studies. He argued that Lincoln was the US's "last Enlightenment politician "  and as such was dedicated to removing slavery strictly within the bounds of law.
Other historians have given more credit to Lincoln for what he accomplished within the tensions of his cabinet and a society at war, for his own growth in political and moral stature, and for the promise he held out to the slaves. As Eric Foner wrote:. Lincoln was not an abolitionist or Radical Republican, a point Bennett reiterates innumerable times.
He did not favor immediate abolition before the war, and held racist views typical of his time. But he was also a man of deep convictions when it came to slavery, and during the Civil War displayed a remarkable capacity for moral and political growth. Perhaps in rejecting the critical dualism—Lincoln as individual emancipator pitted against collective self-emancipators—there is an opportunity to recognise the greater persuasiveness of the combination. In a sense, yes: a racist, flawed Lincoln did something heroic, and not in lieu of collective participation, but next to, and enabled, by it.
To venerate a singular —Great Emancipator' may be as reductive as dismissing the significance of Lincoln's actions. Who he was as a man, no one of us can ever really know. So it is that the version of Lincoln we keep is also the version we make. Martin Luther King Jr. These include a speech made at an observance of the hundredth anniversary of the issuing of the Proclamation made in New York City on September 12, where he placed it alongside the Declaration of Independence as an "imperishable" contribution to civilization, and "All tyrants, past, present and future, are powerless to bury the truths in these declarations".
He lamented that despite a history where the United States "proudly professed the basic principles inherent in both documents", it "sadly practiced the antithesis of these principles".