Jul 14, 2012

The Coming of the Emancipation Proclamation

(NYTimes) On July 12, 1862, Abraham Lincoln met privately in the White House, for the second time, with most of the senators and congressmen from the loyal slave states – Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri. It wasn’t the most relaxed of meetings: most of these delegates were Democrats; some grudgingly supported the war effort, while others were more enthusiastic about the Union cause, as long as the conflict was solely for the purpose of restoring the Union.
Many of them were slave owners, and virtually all supported slavery — like the Confederates, they believed that the proper status of blacks was as slaves, or, where circumstances warranted, as free people with limited rights. Most agreed with Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s conclusion in the 1857 case Dred Scott v. Sandford that blacks could never be citizens of the United States. Except for the handful of Republicans in the gathering, the delegation undoubtedly hoped to see Lincoln defeated in the 1864 election. Continued