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liberal policy toward the negroes, look-proclamation declaring the slaves of any ing to their support in the war, issued the State free, and that the supposed proclafollowing general order: “The three mation now in question, whether genuine States of Georgia, Florida, and South or false, is altogether void, so far as Carolina, comprising the military depart- respects such declaration. I further ment of the South, having deliberately make known, that whether it be compedeclared themselves no longer under the tent for me, as commander-in-chief of the protection of the United States of Amer- army and navy, to declare the slaves of ica, and having taken up arms against any State or States free ; and whether at the said United States, it becomes a mili- any time, or in any case, it shall have tary necessity to declare them under become a necessity indispensable to the martial law. This was accordingly done maintenance of the Government to exeron the 25th of April, 1862. Slavery and cise such supposed power, are quesmartial law in a free country are alto- tions which, under my reponsibility, I gether incompatible, the persons in these reserve to myself, and which I cannot three States, Georgia, Florida, and South feel justified in leaving to the decision of Carolina, heretofore held as slaves, are commanders in the field. These are totherefore declared forever free.” This tally different questions from those of poorder, thus cutting the Gordian knot of lice regulations in armies and camps." statesmanship in this complicated ques. Having thus disposed, for the time, at tion, as might be expected, greatly least, of the obnoxious order, the Presiaroused public attention. Since the at- dent availed himself of the occasion to tempted emancipation of the slaves in press upon the border States the policy Missouri by General Fremont, no act of of emancipation. Citing the resolution the military commanders in the field which he had sent to Congress in March, bearing upon the vexed topic, not even he remarked that it had been adopted by the famous radical Ship Island proclama- large majorities in both branches of Contion of General Phelps, had excited more gress, and “now stands an authentic, opposition in certain quarters, or ap- definite, and solemn proposal of the naplause in others. - Border State mention to the States and people most immeand “conservatives" stood aghast while diately interested in the subject matter." the advocates of a vigorous war policy With solemn emphasis he again urged it saw in the order the inevitable fulfillment upon their attention." "To the people of of a destiny courted by the South at these States I now earnestly appeal-I every step of the rebellion. President do not argue, I beseech you to make the Lincoln was not long in declaring his arguments for yourselves. You cannot, sense of the matter. In a proclamation if you would, be, blind to the signs of the on the 19th of May, after reciting the times. I beg of you a calm and enlarged order of General Hunter, which had come consideration of them, ranging, if it may to his knowledge only through the public be, far above personal and partisan poliprints, he proceeded to state that “thetics. This proposal makes common cause government of the United States had no for a common object, casting no reproach knowledge or belief of an intention on upon any. It acts not the Pharisee. The the part of General Hunter to issue such change it contemplates would come gently a proclamation, nor has it yet any as the dews of heaven, not receding, or authentic information that the document wrecking any thing. Will you not emis genuine ; and, further, that neither brace it? So much good bas not been General Hunter nor any other command- done by one effort in all past time, as in er or person has been authorized by the the Providence of God it is now your Government of the United States to make high privilege to do. May the vast fu
PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S APPEAL TO THE BORDER STATES.
ture not have to lament that you have carding punctilio and maxims adapted to neglected it.” .
more manageable times, and looking only Though Congress had readily passed to the unprecedentedly stern facts of our this conciliatory resolution of the Presi- case, can you do better in any possible dent, it was observed that it was but a event? You prefer that the constitugeneral expression of a sentiment; nor tional relation of the States to the nation was it followed by any act making special shall be practically restored without disappropriation of money to carry it into turbance of the institutions ; and if this effect. It depended for its efficiency up-were done, my whole duty in this respect, on the action of the border States. The under the constitution and my oath of President was anxious that Congress office, would be performed. But it is not should not adjourn without further action done, and we are trying to accomplish it on the subject. Accordingly, at the end by war. The incidents of the war can of the session, on the 12th of July, he not be avoided. If the war continues presented the matter anew to the Sena- long, as it must if the object be not soontors and Representatives of the border er attained, the institution in your States slaveholding States, whom he had called will be extinguished by mere friction and together for the purpose at the White abrasion--by the mere incidents of the House. He there, with great earnestness, war. It will be gone, and you will have renewed the appeal which he had ad- nothing valuable in lieu of it. Much of dressed to Congress. "If," said he, its value is gone already. How much reading from a manuscript which he had better for you and for your people to prepared, “you all had voted for the take the step which at once shorters the resolution in the gradual emancipation war and secures substantial compensamessage of last March, the war would tion for that which is sure to be wholly now be substantially ended ; and the lost in any other event! How much plan therein proposed is yet one of the better to thus save the money which else most potent and swift means of ending it. we sink forever in the war! How much Let the States which are in rebellion see better to do it while we can, lest the war definitely and certainly, that in no event ere long render us pecuniarily unable to will the States you represent ever join do it! How much better for you, as their proposed Confederacy, and they seller, and the nation as buyer, to sell cannot much longer maintain the contest. out and buy out that without which the But you cannot divest them of their hope war could never have been, than to sink to ultimately have you with them so long both the thing to be sold and the price as you show a determination to perpetu- of it in cutting one another's throats! I ate the institution within your own States. do not speak of emancipation at once, Beat them at elections, as you have over- but, of a decision at once to emancipate whelmingly done, and, nothing daunted, gradually. Room in South America for they still claim you as their own. You colonization can be obtained cheaply and and I know what the lever of their power in abundance, and when numbers shall is. Break that lever before their faces, be large enough to be company for one and they can shake you no more forever. another, the freed people will not be so
"Most of you have treated me with reluctant to go. kindness and consideration, and I trust “I am pressed with a difficulty not you will not now think I improperly yet mentioned – one which threatens touch what is exclusively your own, division among those who, united, are when, for the sake of the whole country, none too strong. An instance of it is I ask: ‘Can you, for your States, do bet- known to you. General Hunter is an ter than to take the course I urge ? Dis- honest man. He was, and I hope still is, my friend. I value him none the less while they tested the proposition by for agreeing with me in the general wish various searching questions in regard to that all men everywhere could be freed. the Constitutional power of the governHe proclaimed all men free within certain ment to make the necessary appropriaStates, and I repudiated the proclama- tions, and the difficulty in the way of the tion. He expected more good and less extent of the sum required, and depreharm from the measure than I could be- cated any interference with slavery in lieve would follow. Yet, in repudiating the States, as likely to aggravate and it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offence, to prolong the war, coldly expressed their many whose support the country cannot willingness—if the President, and their afford to lose. And this is not the end brethren of the loyal States, sincerely of it. The pressure in this direction is believed that the retention of slavery by still upon me, and is increasing. By them was an obstacle to peace and naconceding what I now ask, you can re- tional harmony, and were willing to conlieve me, and, much more, can relieve tribute pecuniary aid to compensate their the country in this important point. States and people for the inconveniences
“Upon these considerations I have produced by such a change of system-again begged your attention to the mes that the people themselves shall “consage of March last. Before leaving the sider the propriety of putting it aside." Capitol consider and discuss it among It was calculated in this document, which yourselves. You are patriots and states- was drawn up, with no little ingenuity, men, and as such I pray you consider by a member of the House, Crisfield, of this proposition; and at the least com- Maryland, that if the proposition, as its mend it to the consideration of your terms indicated, were practically extend. States and people. As you would per- ed to all the slave States, there would be, petuate popular government for the best at least, four millions of slaves to be purpeople in the world, I beseech you that chased, which, at the price fixed by the you do in no wise omit this. Our com- emancipation act for the slaves in the mon country is in great peril, demanding District of Columbia—the low average of the loftiest views and boldest action to three hundred dollars, greatly below their bring a speedy relief. Once relieved, its real worth—would require $1,200,000,form of government is saved to the world, 000, and to deport them at $100 each, its beloved history and cherished memo- would require $400,000,000 more. To ries are vindicated, and its happy future pay the interest on these sums would refully assured and rendered inconceivably quire a tax on the country beyond its wilgrand. To you, more than to any others, lingness and its ability to bear. “Stated the privilege is given to assure that hap- in this form,” was the shrewd language of piness and swell that grandeur, and to the report, humorously reducing the link your own names therewith forever." question to an absurdity," the proposi
The gravity and importance of this ad- tion is nothing less than the deportation dress demanded corresponding care in from the country of sixteen hundred milthe reply. Accordingly, after some con- lion dollars' worth of producing labor, versation on the subject, the members and the substitution in its place of an inleft to meet in council and prepare a terest-bearing debt of the same amount.” written answer. Formal replies were If the proposition were to be accepted made by the majority and minority of the only by the border slave States, Ken- . representatives. The former, twenty in tucky, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, number, including Wickliffe, Davis, and Missouri, and Tennessee, the cost would Crittenden, of Kentucky, Carlile, of be over $478,000,000—a large sum to Western Virginia, Phelps, of Missouri, be added to existing burdens. The
minority report, signed by Noell, of Mis- ceived, said bonds so received by said souri, and six others, was a protest State shall at once be null and void in against the carping and indifferent tone whosesoever hands they may be, and adopted by the majority. They ex- such State shall refund to the United pressed their desire to meet the address States all interest which may have been of the President “in the spirit in which paid on such bonds." it was made," and would ask the people. It was now within a few days of the of the border States “calmly, delibe- end of the session, and no action was rately, and fairly" to consider the recom- taken in the matter. The emancipation mendation. The President, feeling the and confiscation act was the practical anforce of the suggestion that the recom- swer of Congress on the present relation mendation, to be worthy of consideration, of the State to slavery. should be accompanied with some more. The war being thus recognized in its definite pledge on the part of Congress, breadth and extent, with new developon the 14th, sent the following communi- ments in the future, it was, of course, necation to both Houses : “Fellow-citizens cessary to provide proportionate means of the Senate and House of Representa- of men and money for carrying it on. A tives :-Herewith is the draft of the bill new militia act was passed extending the to compensate any State which may abol- term of service of those called out to ish slavery within its limits, the passage nine months. The President, in addition, of which, substantially as presented, I was authorized to accept the services of respectfully and earnestly recommend. one hundred thousand volunteers, as in
"Be it enacted by the Senate and fantry, for the same period, and volunHouse of Representatives of the United teers were to be received for twelve States of America, in Congress assem- months in sufficient numbers to fill up the bled, that whenever the President of the regiments in the field. By another secUnited States shall be satisfied that any tion the President was authorized to reState shall bave lawfully abolished slav- ceive into the service, " for the purpose ery within and througtout such State, of constructing entrenchments, or pereither immediately or gradually, it shall forming camp service, or any other labor, be the duty of the President, assisted by or any military or naval service for the Secretary of the Treasury, to pre- which they may be found competent, pare and deliver to each State an amount persons of African descent, and such of six per cent interest-bearing bonds of persons shall be enrolled and organized, the United States, equal to the aggregate under such regulations, not inconsistent value, at — dollars per head, of all the with the Constitution and laws, as the slaves within such State, as reported by President may prescribe.” In case any the census of one thousand eight hundred person thus einployed was the slave of a and sixty; the whole amount for any one rebel owner, it was provided by the same State to be delivered at once, if the abol- act that “he, his mother, and his wife ishment be immediate, or in equal annual and children, shall forever thereafter be installments, if it be gradual, interest to free, any law, usage, or custom whatsobegin running on each bond at the time ever to the contrary notwithstanding." of delivery, and not before. And be it This provision, however, was not to apfurther enacted, That if any State, hav- ply to the slaves of loyal owners. ing so received any such bonds, sball at On the 1st of July, the President, in any time afterwards, by law, reintroduce, concert with a request signed by eighteen or tolerate slavery within its limits, con- governors of the loyal States, who urged trary to the act of abolishment upon "in view of the important military movewhich such bonds shall have been re- ments now in progress, and the reduced condition of our effective forces in the as the currency was enlarged, and the hosfield, that the time has arrived for tile efforts of the rebels were checked, an prompt and vigorous measures to be eagerly sought mode of investment. All adopted by the people in support of the bonds, stocks, and other securities of the great interests committed to your charge," United States held within the country, announced his decision to call into the were, by the act, to be exempt from taxservice an additional force of 300,000 ation by or under State authority. On men. He recommended that they should the 11th of July an act was passed be chiefly of infantry, and that the whole authorizing an additional issue of $150,force should be enrolled without delay,000,000 of notes not bearing interest, "so as to bring this unnecessary and in- similar to those just described, of which jurious civil war to a speedy and satis- thirty-five millions of dollars might be of factory conclusion.” The governors, of less denominations than five dollars, but course, responded in emphatic terms, and none of the fractional part of a dollar. earnestly set about the work of forward- The legal tender clause in these acts met ing enlistments, and recruiting the regi- with much opposition in the protracted ments in the field.
discussion on the bills in Congress, but The great financial measures of this the demands of the war were urgent, and session of Congress were the treasury it was adopted as the only practicable note bill, approved on the 25th of Feb- method of meeting the public necessities. ruary, authorizing the issue of $150,- The government was also authorized to 000,000 of United States notes, of de- receive United States notes on deposit, nominations not less than five dollars for not less than thirty days, in sums of each, not bearing interest, and creating not less than $100, for which certificates the same a legal tender in payment of all would be given bearing five per cent indebts public and private, within the terest. By such provisions the country United States, except duties on imports, was relieved of an immediate pressure and payments by the government of in- upon the currency, and the government terest on bonds and notes, which was re- provided with the means of carrying on quired to be paid in coin. Fifty millions the war without the aid of foreign capiof the sum, thus authorized, were to be tal. Gold, as a necessary consequence, in lieu of the “demand notes” of the pre- rose in value, and the price of gold reguvious session, which were to be taken up lated the price of commodities in general. as rapidly as possible, and to which, by The facilities, however, given to trade a recent act, $10,000,000 had been and credit, in a great measure, for the added. As the latter were receivable for time, at least, lightened the financial duties, they were, of course, now held difficulties produced by the war. about the price of gold. This new “circu- To provide internal revenue, to suplation” was to be received by the govern-port the government, and to pay interest ment in payment for any loans which on the public debt, a voluminous tax bill might be negotiated by the Secretary of was passed and approved on the 1st of the Treasury. To fund the debt thus July. It embraced a comprehensive created and enlarged, the issue of coupon system of excise duties, licenses, special or registered bonds to the amount of taxes on articles of luxury, as carriages, $500,000,000, bearing six per cent in- yachts, billiard tables, and plate; a terest, and redeemable at the pleasure of widely extended system of stamp duties, the United States after five years, and legacy and inheritance duties, and an anpayable twenty years from date, was nual tax of three per cent on all gains, authorized. These bonds, which were profits, or income, of every person reknown as the “Five-Twenties," became, siding within the United States, exceed