Part 2 out of 2
"In the matter of compensation, it is provided that claims may be
presented within ninety days from the passage of the Act, 'but not
thereafter;' and there is no saving for minors, femmes covert, insane,
or absent persons. I presume this is an omission by mere oversight, and
I recommend that it be supplied by an amendatory or Supplemental Act.
"April 16, 1862."
Subsequently, in order to meet the President's views, such an amendatory
or Supplemental Act was passed and approved.
But now, Major General Hunter having taken upon himself to issue an
Emancipation proclamation, May 9, 1862, the President, May 19, 1862,
issued a proclamation rescinding it as follows:
"Whereas there appears in the public prints what purports to be a
proclamation of Major General Hunter, in the words and figures
following, to wit:
"'HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
'HILTON HEAD, S. C., May 9, 1862.
'[General Orders No. 11.]
'The three States of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, comprising
the Military Department of the South, having deliberately declared
themselves no longer under the protection of the United States of
America, and having taken up arms against the said United States, it
becomes a Military necessity to declare them under Martial Law. This
was accordingly done on the 25th day of April, 1862. Slavery and
Martial Law, in a Free Country, are altogether incompatible; the Persons
in these three States--Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina-heretofore
held as Slaves, are therefore declared forever Free.
ED. W. SMITH,
'Acting Assistant Adjutant General.'
"And whereas the same is producing some excitement and misunderstanding,
"Therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, proclaim
and declare, that the Government of the United States had no knowledge,
information, or belief, of an intention on the part of General Hunter to
issue such a proclamation; nor has it yet any authentic information that
the document is genuine. And further, that neither General Hunter, nor
any other Commander, or person, has been authorized by the Government of
the United States to make proclamations declaring the Slaves of any
State Free; and that the supposed proclamation, now in question, whether
genuine or false, is altogether void, so far as respects such
"I further make known that whether it be competent for me, as Commander-
in-Chief of the Army and Navy, to declare the Slaves of any State or
States free, and whether, at any time, in any case, it shall have become
a necessity indispensable to the maintenance of the Government, to
exercise such supposed power, are questions which, under my
responsibility, I reserve to myself, and which I cannot feel justified
in leaving to the decision of Commanders in the field. These are
totally different questions from those of police regulations in armies
"On the sixth day of March last, by a Special Message, I recommended to
Congress the adoption of a Joint Resolution to be substantially as
"' Resolved, That the United States ought to co-operate with any State
which may adopt a gradual abolishment of Slavery, giving to such State
pecuniary aid, to be used by such State, in its discretion, to
compensate for the inconveniences, public and private, produced by such
change of system.'
"The Resolution, in the language above quoted, was adopted by large
majorities in both branches of Congress, and now stands an authentic,
definite, and solemn proposal of the Nation to the States and people
most immediately interested in the subject-matter. To the people of
those States I now earnestly appeal--I do not argue--I beseech you to
make the argument for yourselves--you cannot, if you would, be blind to
the signs of the times--I beg of you a calm and enlarged consideration
of them, ranging, if it may be, far above personal and partisan
politics. This proposal makes common cause for a common object, casting
no reproaches upon any. It acts not the Pharisee. The changes it
contemplates would come gently as the dews of Heaven, not rending or
wrecking anything. Will you not embrace it? So much good has not been
done, by one effort, in all past time, as, in the providence of God, it
is now your high privilege to do. May the vast future not have to
lament that you have neglected it.
"In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of
the United States to be affixed.
"Done at the city of Washington this nineteenth day of May, in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, and of the
Independence of the United States the eighty-sixth.
"By the President. ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
"WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State."
On June 5th, 1862, General T. Williams issued the following Order:
"HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,
"BATON ROUGE, June 5, 1862.
"[General Orders No. 46.]
"In consequence of the demoralizing and disorganizing tendencies to the
troops, of harboring runaway Negroes, it is hereby ordered that the
respective Commanders of the camps and garrisons of the several
regiments, Second Brigade, turn all such Fugitives in their camps or
garrisons out beyond the limits of their respective guards and
"By order of Brigadier-General T. Williams:
Lieutenant-Colonel D. R. Anthony, of the Seventh Kansas Volunteers,
commanding a Brigade, issued the following order, at a date subsequent
to the Battle of Pittsburg Landing and the evacuation of Corinth:
"HEADQUARTERS MITCHELL'S BRIGADE,
"ADVANCE COLUMN, FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
"GENERAL ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
"CAMP ETHERIDGE, TENNESSEE, June 18, 1862.
"[General Orders No. 26.]
"1. The impudence--and impertinence of the open and armed Rebels,
Traitors, Secessionists, and Southern-Rightsmen of this section of the
State of Tennessee, in arrogantly demanding the right to search our camp
for Fugitive Slaves, has become a nuisance, and will no longer be
tolerated. "Officers will see that this class of men, who visit our
camp for this purpose, are excluded from our lines.
"2. Should any such persons be found within our lines, they will be
arrested and sent to headquarters.
"3. Any officer or soldier of this command who shall arrest and deliver
to his master a Fugitive Slave, shall be summarily and severely
punished, according to the laws relative to such crimes.
"4. The strong Union sentiment in this Section is most gratifying, and
all officers and soldiers, in their intercourse with the loyal, and
those favorably disposed, are requested to act in their usual kind and
courteous manner and protect them to the fullest extent.
"By order of D. R. Anthony, Lieutenant-Colonel Seventh Kansas
"W. W. H. LAWRENCE,
"Captain and Assistant-Adjutant General."
Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony was subsequently placed under arrest for
issuing the above order.
It was about this time, also, that General McClellan addressed to
President Lincoln a letter on "forcible Abolition of Slavery," and "a
Civil and Military policy"--in these terms:
"HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
"CAMP NEAR HARRISON'S LANDING, VA., July 7, 1862.
"MR. PRESIDENT:--You have been fully informed that the Rebel Army is in
the front, with the purpose of overwhelming us by attacking our
positions or reducing us by blocking our river communications. I cannot
but regard our condition as critical, and I earnestly desire, in view of
possible contingencies, to lay before your Excellency, for your private
consideration, my general views concerning the existing state of the
Rebellion, although they do not strictly relate to the situation of this
Army, or strictly come within the scope of my official duties. These
views amount to convictions, and are deeply impressed upon my mind and
"Our cause must never be abandoned; it is the cause of Free institutions
and Self-government. The Constitution and the Union must be preserved,
whatever may be the cost in time, treasure, and blood.
"If Secession is successful, other dissolutions are clearly to be seen
in the future. Let neither Military disaster, political faction, nor
Foreign War shake your settled purpose to enforce the equal operation of
the Laws of the United States upon the people of every State.
"The time has come when the Government must determine upon a Civil and
Military policy, covering the whole ground of our National trouble.
"The responsibility of determining, declaring, and supporting such Civil
and Military policy, and of directing the whole course of National
affairs in regard to the Rebellion, must now be assumed and exercised by
you, or our Cause will be lost. The Constitution gives you power, even
for the present terrible exigency.
"This Rebellion has assumed the character of a War; as such it should be
regarded, and it should be conducted upon the highest principles known
to Christian civilization. It should not be a War looking to the
subjugation of the people of any State, in any event. It should not be
at all a war upon population, but against armed forces and political
organizations. Neither Confiscation of property, political executions
of persons, territorial organizations of States, or forcible Abolition
of Slavery, should be contemplated for a moment.
"In prosecuting the War, all private property and unarmed persons should
be strictly protected, subject only to the necessity of Military
operations; all private property taken for Military use should be paid
or receipted for; pillage and waste should be treated as high crimes;
all unnecessary trespass sternly prohibited and offensive demeanor by
the military towards citizens promptly rebuked.
"Military arrests should not be tolerated, except in places where active
hostilities exist; and oaths, not required by enactments,
Constitutionally made, should be neither demanded nor received.
"Military Government should be confined to the preservation of public
order and the protection of political right. Military power should not
be allowed to interfere with the relations of Servitude, either by
supporting or impairing the authority of the master, except for
repressing disorder, as in other cases. Slaves, contraband under the
Act of Congress, seeking Military protection, should receive it.
"The right of the Government to appropriate permanently to its own
service claims to Slave-labor should be asserted, and the right of the
owner to compensation therefor should be recognized.
"This principle might be extended, upon grounds of Military necessity
and security, to all the Slaves of a particular State, thus working
manumission in such State; and in Missouri, perhaps in Western Virginia
also, and possibly even in Maryland, the expediency of such a measure is
only a question of time.
"A system of policy thus Constitutional, and pervaded by the influences
of Christianity and Freedom, would receive the support of almost all
truly Loyal men, would deeply impress the Rebel masses and all foreign
nations, and it might be humbly hoped that it would commend itself to
the favor of the Almighty.
"Unless the principles governing the future conduct of our Struggle
shall be made known and approved, the effort to obtain requisite forces
will be almost hopeless. A declaration of radical views, especially
upon Slavery, will rapidly disintegrate our present Armies.
"The policy of the Government must be supported by concentrations of
Military power. The National Forces should not be dispersed in
expeditions, posts of occupation, and numerous armies, but should be
mainly collected into masses, and brought to bear upon the Armies of the
Confederate States. Those Armies thoroughly defeated, the political
structure which they support would soon cease to exist,
"In carrying out any system of policy which you may form, you will
require a Commander-in-chief of the Army, one who possesses your
confidence, understands your views, and who is competent to execute your
orders, by directing the Military Forces of the Nation to the
accomplishment of the objects by you proposed. I do not ask that place
for myself, I am willing to serve you in such position as you may assign
me, and I will do so as faithfully as ever subordinate served superior.
"I may be on the brink of Eternity; and as I hope forgiveness from my
Maker, I have written this letter with sincerity towards you and from
love for my Country.
"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN,
"His Excellency A. LINCOLN, President."
July 12, 1862, Senators and Representatives of the Border Slave-holding
States, having been specially invited to the White House for the
purpose, were addressed by President Lincoln, as follows:
"GENTLEMEN:--After the adjournment of Congress, now near, I shall have
no opportunity of seeing you for several months. Believing that you of
the Border States hold more power for good than any other equal number
of members, I feel it a duty which I cannot justifiably waive, to make
this appeal to you.
"I intend no reproach or complaint when I assure you that, in my
opinion, if you all had voted for the Resolution in the Gradual
Emancipation Message of last March, the War would now be substantially
ended. And the plan therein proposed is yet one of the most potent and
swift means of ending it. Let the States which are in Rebellion see
definitely and certainly that in no event will the States you represent
ever join their proposed Confederacy, and they cannot much longer
maintain the contest.
"But you cannot divest them of their hope to ultimately have you with
them so long as you show a determination to perpetuate the Institution
within your own States. Beat them at elections, as you have
overwhelmingly done, and nothing daunted, they still claim you as their
own. You and I know what the lever of their power is. Break that lever
before their faces, and they can shake you no more forever.
"Most of you have treated me with kindness and consideration, and I
trust you will not now think I improperly touch what is exclusively your
own, when, for the sake of the whole Country, I ask, 'Can you, for your
States, do better than to take the course I urge?' Discarding punctilio
and maxims adapted to more manageable times, and looking only to the
unprecedentedly stern facts of our case, can you do better in any
"You prefer that the Constitutional relations of the States to the
Nation shall be practically restored without disturbance of the
Institution; and, if this were done, my whole duty, in this respect,
under the Constitution and my oath of office, would be performed. But
it is not done, and we are trying to accomplish it by War.
"The incidents of the War cannot be avoided. If the War continues long,
as it must, if the object be not sooner attained, the Institution in
your States will be extinguished by mere friction and abrasion--by the
mere incidents of the War. It will be gone, and you will have nothing
valuable in lieu of it. Much of its value is gone already.
"How much better for you and for your people to take the step which at
once shortens the War and secures substantial compensation for that
which is sure to be wholly lost in any other event! How much better to
thus save the money which else we sink forever in the War! How: much
better to do it while we can, lest the War ere long render us
pecuniarily unable to do it! How much better for you, as seller, and
the Nation, as buyer, to sell out and buy out that without which the War
could never have been, than to sink both the thing to be sold and the
price of it in cutting one another's throats!
"I do not speak of Emancipation at once, but of a decision at once to
Emancipate gradually. Room in South America for colonization can be
obtained cheaply and in abundance, and when numbers shall be large
enough to be company and encouragement for one another, the freed people
will not be so reluctant to go.
"I am pressed with a difficulty not yet mentioned; one which threatens
division among those who, united, are none too strong. An instance of
it is known to you. General Hunter is an honest man. He was, and I
hope still is, my friend. I value him none the less for his agreeing
with me in the general wish that all men everywhere could be freed. He
proclaimed all men Free within certain States, and I repudiated the
proclamation. He expected more good and less harm from the measure than
I could believe would follow.
"Yet, in repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offense, to many
whose support the Country cannot afford to lose. And this is not the
end of it. The pressure in this direction is still upon me, and is
increasing. By conceding what I now ask, you can relieve me, and, much
more, can relieve the Country in this important point.
"Upon these considerations I have again begged your attention to the
Message of March last. Before leaving the Capitol, consider and discuss
it among yourselves. You are Patriots and Statesmen, and as such I pray
you consider this proposition; and, at the least, commend it to the
consideration of your States and people. As you would perpetuate
popular Government for the best people in the World, I beseech you that
you do in nowise omit this.
"Our common Country is in great peril, demanding the loftiest views and
boldest action to bring a speedy relief. Once relieved, its form of
Government is saved to the World, its beloved history and cherished
memories are vindicated, and its happy future fully assured and rendered
inconceivable grand. To you, more than to any others, the privilege is
given to assure that happiness and swell that grandeur, and to link your
own names therewith forever."
The gentlemen representing in Congress the Border-States, to whom this
address was made, subsequently met and discussed its subject matter, and
made written reply in the shape of majority and minority replies, as
THE MAJORITY REPLY:
"WASHINGTON, July 14, 1862.
"TO THE PRESIDENT:
"The undersigned, Representatives of Kentucky, Virginia, Missouri, and
Maryland, in the two Houses of Congress, have listened to your address
with the profound sensibility naturally inspired by the high source from
which it emanates, the earnestness which marked its delivery, and the
overwhelming importance of the subject of which it treats. We have
given it a most respectful consideration, and now lay before you our
response. We regret that want of time has not permitted us to make it
"We have not been wanting, Mr. President, in respect to you, and in
devotion to the Constitution and the Union. We have not been
indifferent to the great difficulties surrounding you, compared with
which all former National troubles have been but as the summer cloud;
and we have freely given you our sympathy and support. Repudiating the
dangerous heresies of the Secessionists, we believed, with you, that the
War on their part is aggressive and wicked, and the objects for which it
was to be prosecuted on ours, defined by your Message at the opening of
the present Congress, to be such as all good men should approve.
"We have not hesitated to vote all supplies necessary to carry it on
vigorously. We have voted all the men and money you have asked for, and
even more; we have imposed onerous taxes on our people, and they are
paying them with cheerfulness and alacrity; we have encouraged
enlistments, and sent to the field many of our best men; and some of our
number have offered their persons to the enemy as pledges of their
sincerity and devotion to the Country.
"We have done all this under the most discouraging circumstances, and in
the face of measures most distasteful to us and injurious to the
interests we represent, and in the hearing of doctrines avowed by those
who claim to be your friends, must be abhorrent to us and our
"But, for all this, we have never faltered, nor shall we as long as we
have a Constitution to defend and a Government which protects us. And
we are ready for renewed efforts, and even greater sacrifices, yea, any
sacrifice, when we are satisfied it is required to preserve our
admirable form of Government and the priceless blessings of
"A few of our number voted for the Resolution recommended by your
Message of the 6th of March last, the greater portion of us did not, and
we will briefly state the prominent reasons which influenced our action.
"In the first place, it proposed a radical change of our social system,
and was hurried through both Houses with undue haste, without reasonable
time for consideration and debate, and with no time at all for
consultation with our constituents, whose interests it deeply involved.
It seemed like an interference by this Government with a question which
peculiarly and exclusively belonged to our respective States, on which
they had not sought advice or solicited aid.
"Many of us doubted the Constitutional power of this Government to make
appropriations of money for the object designated, and all of us thought
our finances were in no condition to bear the immense outlay which its
adoption and faithful execution would impose upon the National Treasury.
If we pause but a moment to think of the debt its acceptance would have
entailed, we are appalled by its magnitude. The proposition was
addressed to all the States, and embraced the whole number of Slaves.
"According to the census of 1860 there were then nearly four million
Slaves in the Country; from natural increase they exceed that number
now. At even the low average of $300, the price fixed by the
Emancipation Act for the Slaves of this District, and greatly below
their real worth, their value runs up to the enormous sum of
$1,200,000,000; and if to that we add the cost of deportation and
colonization, at $100 each, which is but a fraction more than is
actually paid--by the Maryland Colonization Society, we have
"We were not willing to impose a tax on our people sufficient to pay the
interest on that sum, in addition to the vast and daily increasing debt
already fixed upon them by exigencies of the War, and if we had been
willing, the Country could not bear it. Stated in this form the
proposition is nothing less than the deportation from the Country of
$1,600,000,000 worth of producing labor, and the substitution, in its
place, of an interest-bearing debt of the same amount.
"But, if we are told that it was expected that only the States we
represent would accept the proposition, we respectfully submit that even
then it involves a sum too great for the financial ability of this
Government at this time. According to the census of 1860:
Kentucky had ........... 225,490
Maryland ............... 87,188
Virginia ............... 490,887
Delaware ............... 1,798
Missouri ............... 114,965
Tennessee .............. 275,784
Making in the whole .. 1,196,112
At the same rate of valuation these would
amount to ......... $358,933,500
Add for deportation and colonization $100
each ............... 118,244,533
And we have the
enormous sum of ... $478,038,133
"We did not feel that we should be justified in voting for a measure
which, if carried out, would add this vast amount to our public debt at
a moment when the Treasury was reeling under the enormous expenditure of
"Again, it seemed to us that this Resolution was but the annunciation of
a sentiment which could not or was not likely to be reduced to an actual
tangible proposition. No movement was then made to provide and
appropriate the funds required to carry it into effect; and we were not
encouraged to believe that funds would be provided. And our belief has
been fully justified by subsequent events.
"Not to mention other circumstances, it is quite sufficient for our
purpose to bring to your notice the fact that, while this resolution was
under consideration in the Senate, our colleague, the Senator from
Kentucky, moved an amendment appropriating $500,000 to the object
therein designated, and it was voted down with great unanimity.
"What confidence, then, could we reasonably feel that if we committed
ourselves to the policy it proposed, our constituents would reap the
fruits of the promise held out; and on what ground could we, as fair
men, approach them and challenge their support?
"The right to hold Slaves, is a right appertaining to all the States of
this Union. They have the right to cherish or abolish the Institution,
as their tastes or their interests may prompt, and no one is authorized
to question the right or limit the enjoyment. And no one has more
clearly affirmed that right than you have. Your Inaugural Address does
you great honor in this respect, and inspired the Country with
confidence in your fairness and respect for the Law. Our States are in
the enjoyment of that right.
"We do not feel called on to defend the Institution or to affirm it is
one which ought to be cherished; perhaps, if we were to make the
attempt, we might find that we differ even among ourselves. It is
enough for our purpose to know that it is a right; and, so knowing, we
did not see why we should now be expected to yield it.
"We had contributed our full share to relieve the Country at this
terrible crisis; we had done as much as had been required of others in
like circumstances; and we did not see why sacrifices should be expected
of us from which others, no more loyal, were exempt. Nor could we see
what good the Nation would derive from it.
"Such a sacrifice submitted to by us would not have strengthened the arm
of this Government or weakened that of the Enemy. It was not necessary
as a pledge of our Loyalty, for that had been manifested beyond a
reasonable doubt, in every form, and at every place possible. There was
not the remotest probability that the States we represent would join in
the Rebellion, nor is there now, or of their electing to go with the
Southern Section in the event of a recognition of the Independence of
any part of the disaffected region.
"Our States are fixed unalterably in their resolution to adhere to and
support the Union. They see no safety for themselves, and no hope for
Constitutional Liberty, but by its preservation. They will, under no
circumstances, consent to its dissolution; and we do them no more than
justice when we assure you that, while the War is conducted to prevent
that deplorable catastrophe, they will sustain it as long as they can
muster a man, or command a dollar.
"Nor will they ever consent, in any event, to unite with the Southern
Confederacy. The bitter fruits of the peculiar doctrines of that region
will forever prevent them from placing their security and happiness in
the custody of an association which has incorporated in its Organic Law
the seeds of its own destruction.
"We cannot admit, Mr. President, that if we had voted for the Resolution
in the Emancipation Message of March last, the War would now be
substantially ended. We are unable to see how our action in this
particular has given, or could give, encouragement to the Rebellion.
The Resolution has passed; and if there be virtue in it, it will be
quite as efficacious as if we had voted for it.
"We have no power to bind our States in this respect by our votes here;
and, whether we had voted the one way or the other, they are in the same
condition of freedom to accept or reject its provisions.
"No, Sir, the War has not been prolonged or hindered by our action on
this or any other measure. We must look for other causes for that
lamented fact. We think there is not much difficulty, not much
uncertainty, in pointing out others far more probable and potent in
their agencies to that end.
"The Rebellion derives its strength from the Union of all classes in the
Insurgent States; and while that Union lasts the War will never end
until they are utterly exhausted. We know that, at the inception of
these troubles, Southern society was divided, and that a large portion,
perhaps a majority, were opposed to Secession. Now the great mass of
Southern people are united.
"To discover why they are so, we must glance at Southern society, and
notice the classes into which it has been divided, and which still
distinguish it. They are in arms, but not for the same objects; they
are moved to a common end, but by different and even inconsistent
"The leaders, which comprehend what was previously known as the State
Rights Party, and is much the lesser class, seek to break down National
Independence and set up State domination. With them it is a War against
"The other class is fighting, as it supposes, to maintain and preserve
its rights of Property and domestic safety, which it has been made to
believe are assailed by this Government. This latter class are not
Disunionists per se; they are so only because they have been made to
believe that this Administration is inimical to their rights, and is
making War on their domestic Institutions. As long as these two classes
act together they will never assent to a Peace.
"The policy, then, to be pursued, is obvious. The former class will
never be reconciled, but the latter may be. Remove their apprehensions;
satisfy them that no harm is intended to them and their Institutions;
that this Government is not making War on their rights of Property, but
is simply defending its legitimate authority, and they will gladly
return to their allegiance as soon as the pressure of Military dominion
imposed by the Confederate authority is removed from them.
"Twelve months ago, both Houses of Congress, adopting the spirit of your
Message, then but recently sent in, declared with singular unanimity the
objects of the War, and the Country instantly bounded to your side to
assist you in carrying it on. If the spirit of that Resolution had been
adhered to, we are confident that we should before now have seen the end
of this deplorable conflict. But what have we seen?
"In both Houses of Congress we have heard doctrines subversive of the
principles of the Constitution, and seen measure after measure, founded
in substance on those doctrines, proposed and carried through, which can
have no other effect than to distract and divide loyal men, and
exasperate and drive still further from us and their duty the people of
the rebellious States.
"Military officers, following these bad examples, have stepped beyond
the just limits of their authority in the same direction, until in
several instances you have felt the necessity of interfering to arrest
them. And even the passage of the Resolution to which you refer has
been ostentatiously proclaimed as the triumph of a principle which the
people of the Southern States regard as ruinous to them. The effect of
these measures was foretold, and may now be seen in the indurated state
of Southern feeling.
"To these causes, Mr. President, and not to our omission to vote for the
Resolution recommended by you, we solemnly believe we are to attribute
the terrible earnestness of those in arms against the Government, and
the continuance of the War. Nor do we (permit us to say, Mr. President,
with all respect to you) agree that the Institution of Slavery is 'the
lever of their power,' but we are of the opinion that 'the lever of
their power' is the apprehension that the powers of a common Government,
created for common and equal protection to the interests of all, will be
wielded against the Institutions of the Southern States.
"There is one other idea in your address we feel called on to notice.
After stating the fact of your repudiation of General Hunter's
Proclamation, you add:
"'Yet, in repudiating it, I gave dissatisfaction, if not offense, to
many whose support the Country cannot afford to lose. And this is not
the end of it. The pressure in this direction is still upon me and is
increasing. By conceding what I now ask, you can relieve me, and, much
more, can relieve the Country, in this important point,'
"We have anxiously looked into this passage to discover its true import,
but we are yet in painful uncertainty. How can we, by conceding what
you now ask, relieve you and the Country from the increasing pressure to
which you refer? We will not allow ourselves to think that the
proposition is, that we consent to give up Slavery, to the end that the
Hunter proclamation may be let loose on the Southern people, for it is
too well known that we would not be parties to any such measure, and we
have too much respect for you to imagine you would propose it.
"Can it mean that by sacrificing our interest in Slavery we appease the
spirit that controls that pressure, cause it to be withdrawn, and rid
the Country of the pestilent agitation of the Slavery question? We are
forbidden so to think, for that spirit would not be satisfied with the
liberation of 100,000 Slaves, and cease its agitation while 3,000,000
remain in bondage. Can it mean that by abandoning Slavery in our States
we are removing the pressure from you and the Country, by preparing for
a separation on the line of the Cotton States?
"We are forbidden so to think, because it is known that we are, and we
believe that you are, unalterably opposed to any division at all. We
would prefer to think that you desire this concession as a pledge of our
support, and thus enable you to withstand a pressure which weighs
heavily on you and the Country.
"Mr. President, no such sacrifice is necessary to secure our support.
Confine yourself to your Constitutional authority; confine your
subordinates within the same limits; conduct this War solely for the
purpose of restoring the Constitution to its legitimate authority;
concede to each State and its loyal citizens their just rights, and we
are wedded to you by indissoluble ties. Do this, Mr. President, and you
touch the American heart, and invigorate it with new hope. You will, as
we solemnly believe, in due time restore Peace to your Country, lift it
from despondency to a future of glory, and preserve to your countrymen,
their posterity, and man, the inestimable treasure of a Constitutional
"Mr. President, we have stated with frankness and candor the reasons on
which we forbore to vote for the Resolution you have mentioned; but you
have again presented this proposition, and appealed to us with an
earnestness and eloquence which have not failed to impress us, to
'consider it, and at the least to commend it to the consideration of our
States and people.'
"Thus appealed to by the Chief Magistrate of our beloved Country, in the
hour of its greatest peril, we cannot wholly decline. We are willing to
trust every question relating to their interest and happiness to the
consideration and ultimate judgment of our own people.
"While differing from you as to the necessity of Emancipating the Slaves
of our States as a means of putting down the Rebellion, and while
protesting against the propriety of any extra-territorial interference
to induce the people of our States to adopt any particular line of
policy on a subject which peculiarly and exclusively belongs to them,
yet, when you and our brethren of the Loyal States sincerely believe
that the retention of Slavery by us is an obstacle to Peace and National
harmony, and are willing to contribute pecuniary aid to compensate our
States and people for the inconveniences produced by such a change of
system, we are not unwilling that our people shall consider the
propriety of putting it aside.
"But we have already said that we regard this Resolution as the
utterance of a sentiment, and we had no confidence that it would assume
the shape of a tangible practical proposition, which would yield the
fruits of the sacrifice it required. Our people are influenced by the
same want of confidence, and will not consider the proposition in its
present impalpable form. The interest they are asked to give up is, to
them, of immense importance, and they ought not to be expected even to
entertain the proposal until they are assured that when they accept it
their just expectations will not be frustrated.
"We regard your plan as a proposition from the Nation to the States to
exercise an admitted Constitutional right in a particular manner, and
yield up a valuable interest. Before they ought to consider the
proposition, it should be presented in such a tangible, practical,
efficient shape, as to command their confidence that its fruits are
contingent only upon their acceptance. We cannot trust anything to the
contingencies of future legislation.
"If Congress, by proper and necessary legislation, shall provide
sufficient funds and place them at your disposal to be applied by you to
the payment of any of our States, or the citizens thereof, who shall
adopt the Abolishment of Slavery, either gradual or immediate, as they
may determine, and the expense of deportation and colonization of the
liberated Slaves, then will our States and people take this proposition
into careful consideration, for such decision as in their judgment is
demanded by their interest, their honor, and their duty to the whole
Country. We have the honor to be, with great respect,
"C. A. WICKLIFFE, Ch'man,
CHAS. B. CALVERT,
C. L. L. LEARY,
EDWIN H. WEBSTER,
J. J. CRITTENDEN,
JOHN S. CARLILE,
J. W. CRISFIELD,
JAMES S. ROLLINS,
J. S. JACKSON,
J. W. MENZIES,
THOMAS L. PRICE,
JOHN S. PHELPS,
G. W. DUNLAP,
WILLIAM A. HALL."
THE MINORITY REPLY.
"WASHINGTON, July 15, 1863.
"MR. PRESIDENT:--The undersigned, members of Congress from the Border
States, in response to your address of Saturday last, beg leave to say
that they attended a meeting, on the same day the address was delivered,
for the purpose of considering the same. The meeting appointed a
Committee to report a response to your address. That report was made on
yesterday, and the action of the majority indicated clearly that the
response, or one in substance the same, would be adopted and presented
"Inasmuch as we cannot, consistently with our own sense of duty to the
Country, under the existing perils which surround us, concur in that
response, we feel it to be due to you and to ourselves to make to you a
brief and candid answer over our own signatures.
"We believe that the whole power of the Government, upheld and sustained
by all the influences and means of all loyal men in all Sections, and of
all Parties, is essentially necessary to put down the Rebellion and
preserve the Union and the Constitution. We understand your appeal to
us to have been made for the purpose of securing this result.
"A very large portion of the People in the Northern States believe that
Slavery is the 'lever-power of the Rebellion.' It matters not whether
this belief be well-founded or not. The belief does exist, and we have
to deal with things as they are, and not as we would have them be.
"In consequence of the existence of this belief, we understand that an
immense pressure is brought to bear for the purpose of striking down
this Institution through the exercise of Military authority. The
Government cannot maintain this great struggle if the support and
influence of the men who entertain these opinions be withdrawn. Neither
can the Government hope for early success if the support of that element
called "Conservative" be withdrawn.
"Such being the condition of things, the President appeals to the
Border-State men to step forward and prove their patriotism by making
the first sacrifice. No doubt, like appeals have been made to extreme
men in the North to meet us half-way, in order that the whole moral,
political, pecuniary, and physical force of the Nation may be firmly and
earnestly united in one grand effort to save the Union and the
"Believing that such were the motives that prompted your Address, and
such the results to which it looked, we cannot reconcile it to our sense
of duty, in this trying hour, to respond in a spirit of fault-finding or
querulousness over the things that are past.
"We are not disposed to seek for the cause of present misfortunes in the
errors and wrongs of others who now propose to unite with us in a common
"But, on the other hand, we meet your address in the spirit in which it
was made, and, as loyal Americans, declare to you and to the World that
there is no sacrifice that we are not ready to make to save the
Government and institutions of our fathers. That we, few of us though
there may be, will permit no man, from the North or from the South, to
go further than we in the accomplishment of the great work before us.
That, in order to carry out these views, we will, so far as may be in
our power, ask the people of the Border States calmly, deliberately, and
fairly to consider your recommendations.
"We are the more emboldened to assume this position from the fact, now
become history, that the leaders of the Southern Rebellion have offered
to abolish Slavery among them as a condition to foreign intervention in
favor of their Independence as a Nation.
"If they can give up Slavery to destroy the Union, we can surely ask our
people to consider the question of Emancipation to save the Union.
"With great respect, your obedient servants,
"JOHN W. NOELL,
"SAMUEL L. CASEY,
"GEORGE P. FISHER,
"A. J. CLEMENTS,
"WILLIAM G. BROWN,
"JACOB B. BLAIR,
"W. T. WILLEY."
[The following separate replies, subsequently made, by
Representative Maynard of Tennessee, and Senator Henderson of
Missouri, are necessarily given to complete this part of the Border
MR. MAYNARD'S REPLY.
"HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, July 16, 1862.
"SIR:--The magnitude and gravity of the proposition submitted by you to
Representatives from the Slave States would naturally occasion
diversity, if not contrariety, of opinion. You will not, therefore, be
surprised that I have not been able to concur in view with the majority
"This is attributable, possibly, to the fact that my State is not a
Border State, properly so called, and that my immediate constituents are
not yet disenthralled from the hostile arms of the Rebellion. This fact
is a physical obstacle in the way of my now submitting to their
consideration this, or any other proposition looking to political
action, especially such as, in this case, would require a change in the
Organic Law of the State.
"But do not infer that I am insensible to your appeal. I am not; you
are surrounded with difficulties far greater than have embarrassed any
of your predecessors. You need the support of every American citizen,
and you ought to have it--active, zealous and honest. The union of all
Union men to aid you in preserving the Union, is the duty of the time.
Differences as to policy and methods must be subordinated to the common
"In looking for the cause of this Rebellion, it is natural that each
Section and each Party should ascribe as little blame as possible to
itself, and as much as possible to its opponent Section and Party.
Possibly you and I might not agree on a comparison of our views. That
there should be differences of opinion as to the best mode of conducting
our Military operations, and the best men to lead our Armies, is equally
natural. Contests on such questions weaken ourselves and strengthen our
enemies. They are unprofitable, and possibly unpatriotic. Somebody
must yield, or we waste our strength in a contemptible struggle among
"You appeal to the loyal men of the Slave States to sacrifice something
of feeling and a great deal of interest. The sacrifices they have
already made and the sufferings they have endured give the best
assurance that the appeal will not have been made in vain. He who is
not ready to yield all his material interests, and to forego his most
cherished sentiments and opinions for the preservation of his Country,
although he may have periled his life on the battle-field in her
defense, is but half a Patriot. Among the loyal people that I
represent, there are no half-patriots.
"Already the Rebellion has cost us much, even to our undoing; we are
content, if need be, to give up the rest, to suppress it. We have stood
by you from the beginning of this struggle, and we mean to stand by you,
God willing, till the end of it.
"I did not vote for the Resolution to which you allude, solely for the
reason that I was absent at the Capital of my own State. It is right.
"Should any of the Slave States think proper to terminate that
Institution, as several of them, I understand, or at least some of their
citizens propose, justice and a generous comity require that the Country
should interpose to aid in lessening the burden, public and private,
occasioned by so radical a change in its social and industrial
"I will not now speculate upon the effect, at home or abroad, of the
adoption of your policy, nor inquire what action of the Rebel leaders
has rendered something of the kind important. Your whole administration
gives the highest assurancee that you are moved, not so much from a
desire to see all men everywhere made free, as from a higher desire to
preserve free institutions for the benefit of men already free; not to
make Slaves, Freemen, but to prevent Freemen from being made Slaves; not
to destroy an Institution, which a portion of us only consider bad, but
to save institutions which we all alike consider good. I am satisfied
you would not ask from any of your fellow-citizens a sacrifice not, in
your judgment, imperatively required by the safety of the Country.
"This is the spirit of your appeal, and I respond to it in the same
"I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"To the PRESIDENT."
SENATOR HENDERSON'S REPLY.
"WASHINGTON CITY, July 21, 1862.
"MR. PRESIDENT:--The pressure of business in the Senate during the last
few days of the session prevented my attendance at the meeting of the
Border-State members, called to consider your proposition in reference
to gradual emancipation in our States.
"It is for this reason only, and not because I fail to appreciate their
importance or properly respect your suggestions, that my name does not
appear to any of the several papers submitted in response. I may also
add that it was my intention, when the subject came up practically for
consideration in the Senate, to express fully my views in regard to it.
This of course would have rendered any other response unnecessary. But
the want of time to consider the matter deprived me of that opportunity,
and, lest now my silence be misconstrued, I deem it proper to say to you
that I am by no means indifferent to the great questions so earnestly,
and as I believe so honestly, urged by you upon our consideration.
"The Border States, so far, are the chief sufferers by this War, and the
true Union men of those States have made the greatest sacrifices for the
preservation of the Government. This fact does not proceed from
mismanagement on the part of the Union authorities, or a want of regard
for our people, but it is the necessary result of the War that is upon
"Our States are the battle-fields. Our people, divided among
themselves, maddened by the struggle, and blinded by the smoke of
battle, invited upon our soil contending armies--the one to destroy the
Government, the other to maintain it. The consequence to us is plain.
The shock of the contest upturns Society and desolates the Land. We
have made sacrifices, but at last they were only the sacrifices demanded
by duty, and unless we are willing to make others, indeed any that the
good of the Country, involved in the overthrow of Treason, may expect at
our hands, our title to patriotism is not complete.
"When you submitted your proposition to Congress, in March last, 'that
the United States ought to co-operate with any State which may adopt a
gradual abolishment of Slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid, to
be used by such State in its discretion, to compensate for the
inconveniences, public and private, produced by such change of system,'
I gave it a most cheerful support, and I am satisfied it would have
received the approbation of a large majority of the Border States
delegations in both Branches of Congress, if, in the first place, they
had believed the War, with its continued evils--the most prominent of
which, in a material point of view, is its injurious effect on the
Institution of Slavery in our States--could possibly have been
protracted for another twelve months; and if, in the second place, they
had felt assured that the party having the majority in Congress would,
like yourself, be equally prompt in practical action as in the
expression of a sentiment.
"While scarcely any one doubted your own sincerity in the premises, and
your earnest wish speedily to terminate the War, you can readily
conceive the grounds for difference of opinion where conclusions could
only be based on conjecture.
"Believing, as I did, that the War was not so near its termination as
some supposed, and feeling disposed to accord to others the same
sincerity of purpose that I should claim for myself under similar
circumstances, I voted for the proposition. I will suppose that others
were actuated by no sinister motives.
"In doing so, Mr. President, I desire to be distinctly understood by you
and by my constituents. I did not suppose at the time that I was
personally making any sacrifice by supporting the Resolution, nor that
the people of my State were called upon to make any sacrifices, either
in considering or accepting the proposition, if they saw fit.
"I agreed with you in the remarks contained in the Message accompanying
the Resolution, that 'the Union must be preserved, and hence all
indispensable means must be employed. * * * War has been and continues
to be an indispensable means to this end. A practical reacknowledgment
of the National authority would render the War unnecessary, and it would
at once cease. If, however, resistance continues, the War must also
continue; and it is impossible to foresee all the incidents which may
attend and all the ruin which may follow it.'
"It is truly 'impossible' to foresee all the evils resulting from a War
so stupendous as the present. I shall be much rejoiced if something
more dreadful than the sale of Freedom to a few Slaves in the Border
States shall not result from it.
"If it closes with the Government of our Fathers secure, and
Constitutional Liberty in all its purity guaranteed to the White man,
the result will be better than that having a place in the fears of many
good men at present, and much better than the past history of such
revolutions can justify us in expecting.
"In this period of the Nation's distress, I know of no human institution
too sacred for discussion; no material interest belonging to the citizen
that he should not willingly place upon the altar of his Country, if
demanded by the public good.
"The man who cannot now sacrifice Party and put aside selfish
considerations is more than half disloyal. Such a man does not deserve
the blessings of good government. Pride of opinion, based upon
Sectional jealousies, should not be permitted to control the decision of
any political question. These remarks are general, but apply with
peculiar force to the People of the Border States at present.
"Let us look at our condition. A desolating War is upon us. We cannot
escape it if we would. If the Union Armies were to-day withdrawn from
the Border States without first crushing the Rebellion in the South, no
rational man can doubt for a moment that the adherents of the Union
Cause in those States would soon be driven in exile from their homes by
the exultant Rebels, who have so long hoped to return and take vengeance
"The People of the Border States understand very well the unfriendly and
selfish spirit exercised toward them by the leaders of this Cotton-State
Rebellion, beginning some time previous to its outbreak. They will not
fail to remember their insolent refusal to counsel with us, and their
haughty assumption of responsibility upon themselves for their misguided
"Our people will not soon forget that, while declaiming against
Coercion, they closed their doors against the exportation of Slaves from
the Border States into the South, with the avowed purpose of forcing us
into Rebellion through fears of losing that species of Property. They
knew very well the effect to be produced on Slavery by a Civil War,
especially in those States into which hostile Armies might penetrate,
and upon the soil of which the great contests for the success of
Republican Government were to be decided.
"They wanted some intermediate ground for the conflict of arms-territory
where the population would be divided. They knew, also, that by keeping
Slavery in the Border States the mere 'friction and abrasion' to which
you so appropriately allude, would keep up a constant irritation,
resulting necessarily from the frequent losses to which the owners would
"They also calculated largely, and not without reason, upon the
repugnance of Non-Slaveholders in those States to a Free Negro
population. In the meantime they intended persistently to charge the
overthrow of Slavery to be the object of the Government, and hostility
to this Institution the origin of the War. By this means the
unavoidable incidents of the strife might easily he charged as the
settled purposes of the Government.
"Again, it was well understood, by these men, that exemplary conduct on
the part of every officer and soldier employed by the Government could
not in the nature of things be expected, and the hope was entertained,
upon the most reasonable grounds, that every commission of wrong and
every omission of duty would produce a new cause for excitement and a
new incentive to Rebellion.
"By these means the War was to be kept in the Border States, regardless
of our interests, until an exhausted Treasury should render it necessary
to send the tax-gatherer among our people, to take the little that might
be left them from the devastations of War.
"They then expected a clamor for Peace by us, resulting in the
interference of France and England, whose operatives in the meantime
would be driven to want, and whose aristocracy have ever been ready to
welcome a dissolution of the American Union.
"This cunningly-devised plan for securing a Gulf-Confederacy, commanding
the mouths of the great Western rivers, the Gulf of Mexico, and the
Southern Atlantic ocean, with their own territory unscathed by the
horrors of war, and surrounded by the Border States, half of whose
population would be left in sympathy with them, for many years to come,
owing to the irritations to which I have alluded, has, so far, succeeded
"In Missouri they have already caused us to lose a third or more of the
Slaves owned at the time of the last census. In addition to this, I can
make no estimate of the vast amount of property of every character that
has been destroyed by Military operations in the State. The loss from
general depreciation of values, and the utter prostration of every
business-interest of our people, is wholly beyond calculation.
"The experience of Missouri is but the experience of other Sections of
the Country similarly situated. The question is therefore forced upon
us, 'How long is this War to continue; and, if continued, as it has
been, on our soil, aided by the Treason and folly of our own citizens,
acting in concert with the Confederates, how long can Slavery, or, if
you please, any other property-interest, survive in our States?'
"As things now are, the people of the Border-States yet divided, we
cannot expect an immediate termination of the struggle, except upon
condition of Southern Independence, losing thereby control of the lower
Mississippi. For this, we in Missouri are not prepared, nor are we
prepared to become one of the Confederate States, should the terrible
calamity of Dissolution occur.
"This, I presume, the Union men of Missouri would resist to the death.
And whether they should do so or not, I will not suppose for an instant,
that the Government of the United States would, upon any condition,
submit to the loss of territory so essential to its future commercial
greatness as is the State of Missouri.
"But should all other reasons fail to prevent such a misfortune to our
people of Missouri, there is one that cannot fail. The Confederates
never wanted us, and would not have us. I assume, therefore, that the
War will not cease, but will be continued until the Rebellion shall be
overcome. It cannot and will not cease, so far as the people of
Missouri are concerned, except upon condition of our remaining in the
Union, and the whole West will demand the entire control of the
Mississippi river to the Gulf.
"Our interest is therefore bound up with the interests of those States
maintaining the Union, and especially with the great States of the West
that must be consulted in regard to the terms of any Peace that may be
suggested, even by the Nations of Europe, should they at any time
unfortunately depart from their former pacific policy and determine to
intervene in our affairs.
"The War, then, will have to be continued until the Union shall be
practically restored. In this alone consists the future safety of the
Border-States themselves. A separation of the Union is ruinous to them.
The preservation of the Union can only be secured by a continuation of
the War. The consequences of that continuation may be judged of by the
experience of the last twelve months. The people of my State are as
competent to pass judgment in the premises as I am. I have every
confidence in their intelligence, their honesty, and their patriotism.
"In your own language, the proposition you make 'sets up no claim of a
right by Federal authority to interfere with Slavery within State
limits,' referring, as it does, the absolute control of the subject in
each case to the State and its people immediately interested. It is
proposed as a matter of perfectly free choice with them.
"In this view of the subject I can frankly say to you that, personally,
I never could appreciate the objections so frequently urged against the
proposition. If I understood you properly, it was your opinion, not
that Slavery should be removed in order to secure our loyalty to the
Government, for every personal act of your administration precludes such
an inference, but you believe that the peculiar species of Property was
in imminent danger from the War in which we were engaged, and that
common justice demanded remuneration for the loss of it.
"You then believe, and again express the opinion, that the peculiar
nature of the contest is such that its loss is almost inevitable, and
lest any pretext for a charge of injustice against the Government be
given to its enemies, you propose to extend to the people of those
States standing by the Union, the choice of payment for their Slaves or
the responsibility of loss, should it occur, without complaint against
"Placing the matter in this light, (a mere remuneration for losses
rendered inevitable by the casualties of War), the objection of a
Constitutional character may be rendered much less formidable in the
minds of Northern Representatives whose constituents will have to share
in the payment of the money; and, so far as the Border States are
concerned, this objection should be most sparingly urged, for it being a
matter entirely of their 'own free choice,' in case of a desire to
accept, no serious argument will likely be urged against the receipt of
the money, or a fund for Colonization.
"But, aside from the power derived from the operations of war, there may
be found numerous precedents in the legislation of the past, such as
grants of land and money to the several States for specified objects
deemed worthy by the Federal Congress. And in addition to this may be
cited a deliberate opinion of Mr. Webster upon this very subject, in one
of the ablest arguments of his life.
"I allude to this question of power merely in vindication of the
position assumed by me in my vote for the Resolution of March last.
"In your last communication to us, you beg of us 'to commend this
subject to the consideration of our States and people.' While I
entirely differ with you in the opinion expressed, that had the members
from the Border States approved of your Resolution of March last 'the
War would now be substantially ended,' and while I do not regard the
suggestion 'as one of the most potent and swift means of ending' the
War, I am yet free to say that I have the most unbounded confidence in
your sincerity of purpose in calling our attention to the dangers
"I am satisfied that you appreciate the troubles of the Border States,
and that your suggestions are intended for our good. I feel the force
of your urgent appeal, and the logic of surrounding circumstances brings
conviction even to an unwilling believer.
"Having said that, in my judgment, you attached too much importance to
this measure as a means for suppressing the Rebellion, it is due to you
that I shall explain.
"Whatever may be the status of the Border States in this respect, the
War cannot be ended until the power of the Government is made manifest
in the seceded States. They appealed to the sword; give them the sword.
They asked for War; let them see its evils on their own soil.
"They have erected a Government, and they force obedience to its
behests. This structure must be destroyed; this image, before which an
unwilling People have been compelled to bow, must be broken. The
authority of the Federal Government must be felt in the heart of the
rebellious district. To do this, let armies be marched upon them at
once, and let them feel what they have inflicted on us in the Border.
Do not fear our States; we will stand by the Government in this work.
"I ought not to disguise from you or the people of my State, that
personally I have fixed and unalterable opinions on the subject of your
communication. Those opinions I shall communicate to the people in that
spirit of frankness that should characterize the intercourse of the
Representative with his constituents.
"If I were to-day the owner of the lands and Slaves of Missouri, your
proposition, so far as that State is concerned, would be immediately
accepted. Not a day would be lost. Aside from public considerations,
which you suppose to be involved in the proposition, and which no
Patriot, I agree, should disregard at present, my own personal interest
would prompt favorable and immediate action.
"But having said this, it is proper that I say something more. The
Representative is the servant and not the master of the People. He has
no authority to bind them to any course of action, or even to indicate
what they will, or will not, do when the subject is exclusively theirs
and not his.
"I shall take occasion, I hope honestly, to give my views of existing
troubles and impending dangers, and shall leave the rest to them,
disposed, as I am, rather to trust their judgment upon the case stated
than my own, and at the same time most cheerfully to acquiesce in their
"For you, personally, Mr. President, I think I can pledge the kindest
considerations of the people of Missouri, and I shall not hesitate to
express the belief that your recommendation will be considered by them
in the same spirit of kindness manifested by you in its presentation to
us, and that their decision will be such as is demanded 'by their
interests, their honor, and their duty to the whole Country.'
"I am very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"J. B. HENDERSON.
"To his Excellency,
"A. LINCOLN, PRESIDENT."