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Old 05-26-2017, 12:27 PM
 
3,713 posts, read 2,687,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1grin_g0 View Post
When Lincoln proclaimed that the slaves of the Confederacy were free, it would be like the POTUS today issuing an executive order declaring equal rights for the women of Afghanistan. It would not change a thing. The question is this, If Lincoln was passionate about putting an end to slavery, then why didn't he start with freeing the slaves in the Union, the states that were still under his control?
That required a constitutional amendment. Lincoln did not believe he or Congress could force states to end slavery under the constitution as written at that time. However, he did believe he could free slaves in rebel states as a wartime measure, and thus did so. In other words, he ultimately exercised the limits of his authority, as he understood it, to free slaves.

As an example, in Lincoln's 1861 state of the union address, and he proposes that Congress provide funds to compensate states willing to free slaves and take steps to secure a livelihood for them. He refers in the beginning here to the Confiscation Act of 1861, which allowed confiscation of slaves used to support the Confederate war effort.

Quote:
Under and by virtue of the act of Congress entitled "An act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes," approved August 6, 1861, the legal claims of certain persons to the labor and service of certain other persons have become forfeited, and numbers of the latter thus liberated are already dependent on the United States and must be provided for in some way. Besides this, it is not impossible that some of the States will pass similar enactments for their own benefit respectively, and by operation of which persons of the same class will be thrown upon them for disposal. In such case I recommend that Congress provide for accepting such persons from such States, according to some mode of valuation, in lieu, pro tanto, of direct taxes, or upon some other plan to be agreed on with such States respectively; that such persons, on such acceptance by the General Government, be at once deemed free, and that in any event steps be taken for colonizing both classes (or the one first mentioned if the other shall not be brought into existence) at some place or places in a climate congenial to them. It might be well to consider, too, whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization.
Edit: Also, your statement implies the emancipation proclamation had no impact because it only affected Confederate states. That is incorrect, in fact thousands of slaves were freed immediately due to the proclamation, and thousands more throughout the war. And, of course, the Union won the war and enforced it within the whole rebel region.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booker T Washington, early 1865
Finally the war closed, and the day of freedom came. It was a momentous and eventful day to all upon our plantation. We had been expecting it. Freedom was in the air, and had been for months. Deserting soldiers returning to their homes were to be seen every day. Others who had been discharged, or whose regiments had been paroled, were constantly passing near our place. The "grape-vine telegraph" was kept busy night and day. The news and mutterings of great events were swiftly carried from one plantation to another. In the fear of "Yankee" invasions, the silverware and other valuables were taken from the "big house," buried in the woods, and guarded by trusted slaves. Woe be to any one who would have attempted to disturb the buried treasure. The slaves would give the Yankee soldiers food, drink, clothing - anything but that which had been specifically intrusted to their care and honour. 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. True, they had sung those same verses before, but they had been careful to explain that the "freedom" in these songs referred to the next world, and had no connection with life in this world. Now they gradually threw off the mask, and were not afraid to let it be known that the "freedom" in their songs meant freedom of the body in this world. The night before the eventful day, word was sent to the slave quarters to the effect that something unusual was going to take place at the "big house" the next morning. There was little, if any, sleep that night. All was excitement and expectancy. Early the next morning word was sent to all the slaves, old and young, to gather at the house. In company with my mother, brother, and sister, and a large number of other slaves, I went to the master's house. All of our master's family were either standing or seated on the veranda of the house, where they could see what was to take place and hear what was said. There was a feeling of deep interest, or perhaps sadness, on their faces, but not bitterness. As I now recall the impression they made upon me, they did not at the moment seem to be sad because of the loss of property, but rather because of parting with those whom they had reared and who were in many ways very close to them. The most distinct thing that I now recall in connection with the scene was that 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.
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Old 05-26-2017, 12:28 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
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ULYSSES S. GRANT HOMEPAGE - Grant on Slavery

(excerpt)

The following is a conversation between Otto von Bismarck (the founder and first chancellor of the German Empire) and General Grant that occurred in June, 1878.

"You are so happily placed," replied the prince, "in America that you need fear no wars. What always seemed so sad to me about your last great war was that you were fighting your own people. That is always so terrible in wars, so very hard."

"But it had to be done." said the General.

"Yes," said the prince, "you had to save the Union just as we had to save Germany."

"Not only save the Union, but destroy slavery," answered the General.

"I suppose, however, the Union was the real sentiment, the dominant sentiment," said the prince.

"In the beginning, yes," said the General; "but as soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle."

https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php...age=transcript

Transcript of President Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (1865)

(excerpt)

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil-war. All dreaded it -- all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war -- seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern half part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCitySam View Post
Many false narratives such as the "free the slaves" narrative have persisted to this day.
It might need to be pointed out that the North fighting for a cause other than abolition doesn't contradict the South fighting to preserve slavery. That is to say, the North's motivations have nothing to do with the fact that the South started the Civil War to defend slavery.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:14 PM
 
1,400 posts, read 691,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
That required a constitutional amendment. Lincoln did not believe he or Congress could force states to end slavery under the constitution as written at that time. However, he did believe he could free slaves in rebel states as a wartime measure, and thus did so. In other words, he ultimately exercised the limits of his authority, as he understood it, to free slaves.

As an example, in Lincoln's 1861 state of the union address, and he proposes that Congress provide funds to compensate states willing to free slaves and take steps to secure a livelihood for them. He refers in the beginning here to the Confiscation Act of 1861, which allowed confiscation of slaves used to support the Confederate war effort.



Edit: Also, your statement implies the emancipation proclamation had no impact because it only affected Confederate states. That is incorrect, in fact thousands of slaves were freed immediately due to the proclamation, and thousands more throughout the war. And, of course, the Union won the war and enforced it within the whole rebel region.
I would like to think that a couple million white guys joined the Union army, risking their lives to end slavery, but I find it hard to believe. I am not that naive. Slavery in the South was absolutely terrible, but let's not forget that blacks were treated like animals by the North as well. In fact, states like Indiana didn't even allow blacks to live there. Let's face it, Northerners were racist. If Lincoln had his way, he would have deported all blacks. Forgive me, but I do not believe that a few million racists would join forces with a common goal to end slavery. Consider me a skeptic. I am also hesitant to give Lincoln any credit, he was a lawyer/politician. He cheated to win the republican nomination, and basically committed fraud in the process. If a Civil War broke out today, resulting in the deaths of countless Americans, would history be so kind to Donald Trump? I seriously doubt it. Why? Because there are alternatives to war.
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Old 05-26-2017, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1grin_g0 View Post
I would like to think that a couple million white guys joined the Union army, risking their lives to end slavery, but I find it hard to believe. I am not that naive. Slavery in the South was absolutely terrible, but let's not forget that blacks were treated like animals by the North as well. In fact, states like Indiana didn't even allow blacks to live there. Let's face it, Northerners were racist. If Lincoln had his way, he would have deported all blacks. Forgive me, but I do not believe that a few million racists would join forces with a common goal to end slavery. Consider me a skeptic. I am also hesitant to give Lincoln any credit, he was a lawyer/politician. He cheated to win the republican nomination, and basically committed fraud in the process. If a Civil War broke out today, resulting in the deaths of countless Americans, would history be so kind to Donald Trump? I seriously doubt it. Why? Because there are alternatives to war.
If Civil War broke out today as it did before, with the south attacking federal installations without the president taking any action at all, then I hardly see why Trump would deserve more blame than Lincoln.

I don't doubt more soldiers fought to put down rebellion than as abolitionists, although doubtlessly many abolitionists did volunteer. I suspect the thrill of adventure was the biggest motivator, were I to take a guess.

Ultimately, though, that is all tangential to the question of whether we should honor the cause of the slavery-preserving Confederacy in our monuments. It is not the Union's motivations that are on trial today.

Here's some interesting material from Volunteers in Blue and Gray: Why They Fought | Britannica Blog

Quote:
But this question badly divided Union soldiers, especially during the six or eight months surrounding Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. It contributed to a severe morale crisis in Union armies during the winter of 1862–1863. A New York artillery officer wrote in 1862 that the war must be “for the preservation of the Union, the putting down of armed rebellion, and for that purpose only.” If Lincoln gave in to radical pressure to make it “an abolition war . . . I for one shall be sorry that I ever lent a hand to it.” An Indiana private told his parents that “if emancipation is to be the policy of this war . . . I do not care how quick the country goes to pot.” In the officers’ mess of a New York regiment a lieutenant in January 1863 reported “several pretty spirited, I may call them hot, controversies about slavery, the Emancipation Edict and kindred subjects. It is not a very acceptable idea to me that we are Negro Crusaders. Anything, however, as I have often said, to crush the rebellion and give us back the Union with all its stars.”

This lieutenant’s last sentence provides the key to understanding a significant change that occurred in the Union army after mid-1863. Many soldiers previously opposed to or skeptical about emancipation came to accept it, not as an ideological war aim but as a means to weaken the Confederacy and win the war. Some of these soldiers eventually became full-fledged abolitionists. My favorite example of this transformation of attitude toward slavery is a young private in the 103rd Ohio, who wrote several letters home in the early months of 1863 after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. “I enlisted to fight for and vindicate the supremacy of the constitution,” he wrote, but “we did not enlist to fight for the negro and I can tell you that we never shall . . . sacrafise [our] lives for the liberty of a miserable black race of beings.” By the fall of 1863, however, he was changing his tune. He now wrote to his horrified father that he believed the abolition of slavery would be “a means of haistening the speedy Restoration of the Union and the termination of the war.” Having denounced the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, he was praising it a year later. “It was intended to weaken the rebellion and I can asshure you it was a great blow to them.” By January 1865, another year later, he had made the pilgrimage all the way to genuine abolitionism when he wrote in joyous anticipation of a restored nation “free free free yes free from that blighting curs Slavery the cause of four years of Bloody Warfare.”
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
It is not the Union's motivations that are on trial today.
Sorry, but everything is fair game in an historical analysis. Even the "approved history" should be questioned and critiqued.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SouthCitySam View Post
Sorry, but everything is fair game in an historical analysis. Even the "approved history" should be questioned and critiqued.
Fair game, but off topic.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
Fair game, but off topic.
Well, if motivations serve as justification for the removal of a Confederate memorial site, then I think the Union's motivations are relevant to the conversation.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
Fair game, but off topic.
Then why did you bring it up?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post
The war did in fact start over slavery.
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Old 05-27-2017, 09:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthCitySam View Post
Then why did you bring it up?
The war started over slavery, specifically the Confederate states forming and starting a war to preserve slavery, which is the topic of the thread. The Union fighting for abolition vs preservation of unity has nothing to do with the topic. That's like defending a murderer with "the victim was ugly"; it's basically a non sequitur.
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