Tag Archives: Emancipation Proclamation

President Lincoln’s Defense of the Emancipation Proclamation

534px-Abraham_Lincoln_seated,_Feb_9,_1864After Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, he was forced to defend his action. In Lincoln’s Fourth Annual Message to Congress, December 6, 1864 he stated the following: “I repeat the declaration made a year ago, that ‘while I remain in my present position I shall not attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation, nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the Acts of Congress.’ If the people should, by whatever mode or means, make it an Executive duty to re-en slave such persons, another, and not I, must be their instrument to perform it. (See Pic of Lincoln in 1864)

Tomorrow, Recruiting Blacks for Enlistment during the Civil War    Rita Bay

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The Emancipation Proclamation

emanprocPresident Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. The original of the Emancipation Proclamation , is in the National Archives in Washington, DC.
There is a common misconception among Americans that Abraham Lincoln freed the American slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves were not immediately freed as a result of the Proclamation, as it only applied to rebelling states not under Union control. Also, the proclamation did not apply to parts of rebelling states already under Union control. The Proclamation did not cover the 800,000 slaves in the Union’s slave-holding border states of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland or Delaware. As the regions in the South that were under Confederate control ignored the Proclamation, slave ownership persisted until Union troops captured additional Southern territory. It was only with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 that slavery was officially abolished in all of the United States.

Tomorrow, Lincoln’s Defense of the Emancipation Proclamation  Rita Bay

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Misconception: The Emancipation Proclamation

There is a common misconception among Americans that Abraham Lincoln freed the American slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863. Flagging fortunes in the spring and summer of 1862 brought the threat of European intervention on behalf of the Confederacy. Lincoln argued that turning a fight to crush rebellion into a crusade against slavery would not only end the European threat, as no Continental power would want to be seen supporting slavery, but would also sway abolitionists into supporting the administration.

Slaves were not immediately freed as a result of the Proclamation, as it only applied to rebelling states not under Union control. Also, the proclamation did not apply to parts of rebelling states already under Union control. The Proclamation did not cover the 800,000 slaves in the Union’s slave-holding border  states of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland or Delaware. As the regions in the South that were under Confederate control ignored the Proclamation, slave ownership persisted until Union troops captured additional Southern territory. It was only with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 that slavery was officially abolished in all of  the United  States.

Tomorrow, Misconceptions about Bugs   Rita Bay

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Federal Laws Related to Slavery

 

While slavery and the conduct of slavery was generally governed by the states, numerous federal laws governed the slave trade.

1794 –US federal law prohibited the conduct of the slave trade from the United States to other countries. Ship and goods could be confiscated and fines were imposed

1800 –US federal law expanded to include the confiscation of goods, increased fines, provided for jail sentence for ships trafficking in slaves.

1803 – Federal law prohibited ships from transporting negroes, mulattos, or other persons of color into ports of states that prohibit slavery. Provided for confiscation of ships, cargo, and fines for each individual brought into port.

1807 – Federal law prohibited the importation of negroes, mulattos, or other persons of color into ports of all states, slave or free. Fines and jail terms significantly increased for those who did.

1850 – The Fugitive Slave Law allowed citizens of slave states to pursue their property (slaves) into free states and return home with their property.  In 1854 fugitive slave Anthony Burns was caught in Boston and returned to his owner. Riots ensued and his freedom was bought eventually.

1863 – Emancipation Proclamation an executive order issued by President Lincoln January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War proclaiming the freedom of slaves in the ten states then in rebellion. About 3.1 million of the 4 million slaves in the U.S were eventually freed at that time. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not itself outlaw slavery, and did not make the ex-slaves (called freedmen) citizens.

For more info:  http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/fugitive.asp

Tomorrow, The Constitution, Supreme Court & Slavery     Rita Bay

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