Sunday, January 19, 2014

Prattville Dragoons January Camp Meeting - Part 3 (The Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln)

Sam Reid's discussion of the Emancipation Proclamation for the Dragoon's January camp meeting then touched on Lincoln's viewpoint regarding the institution of slavery and how it was shaping the discourse between North and South. In one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, Lincoln stated, "I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races - I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office." At his inauguration in 1861 he stated, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."  Lincoln did not run for nor was he elected to the office of President on the issue of slavery, he ran as a staunch proponent of the Morrill Tariff. This tarriff imposed taxes and duties on imported goods of up to 45% and affected primarily seven ports in the South adversely affecting the cost of goods for the Southern populace and adversely affecting free trade with Europe which the South sought to sell their agricultural goods.  93% of the monies raised from these tariffs was directed to infrastructure projects in the Northern states even though the generation of this money was raised largely in the South.  Projects such as railroads, canals, roads were allocated for Northern states using these tax monies to build their emerging industrial complex.

The biggest fear in the North was free trade in the South as the North's infrastructure would crumble. Lincoln had to enforce the tariffs and had to keep his source of federal income and he even offered to the Southern states that they could keep their slaves into the twentieth century if they would just rejoin the Union. Lincoln was a big proponent of recolonization of freed slaves and attempts were actually made to do this in the Congo, in Liberia (where the country actually bought land and set up such a colony) and also to Haiti, Mexico, Belize and Panama but these efforts were generally wrought with fraud and were failures. So, Lincoln believed whites and blacks were not equal and that they could not live together and sought to deport blacks from the country.

After Ft.Sumter, Lincoln called up 75000 troops to "put down the insurrection" but after early engagements including the resounding victory of the Confederates at the 1st Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) it became clear that this was going to be an epic struggle.  Lincoln moved quickly to keep Illinois, Delaware and Missouri in the Union and imprisoned many disloyal in the Maryland legislature to keep that state from seceding. In August of 1861, General John Fremont issued a proclamation freeing he slaves in Missouri.  Lincoln was furious that this would aggravate Missourians and potentially lead to the state's session and he commanded Fremont to round up all the slaves and return them to their owners.  Lincoln suspended habeas corpus imprisoning 15000 citizens without due process.  he closed 300 opposition newspapers and censored the telegraph and postal communications.  Things were not going well for Lincoln and the Union army and he was worried that European countries including England and France may endorse the Confederate government and seek to break the Union blockade to reestablish trade with the Southern states.  The Catholic Pope was in communication with Jefferson Davis and expressed that he believed the Confederate Constitution was the one true democracy. Lincoln had to do something to stem the tide.

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