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in behalf of slavery. And yet, when this proclamation reached England, Lord Russell, in a dispatch to Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington, sneered at the paper,
as a measure of a very questionable kind;" an act of vengeance on the slave owner; “ It professes” said he,“ to emancipate slaves, where the United States cannot make emancipation a reality, but emancipates no one where the decree can be carried into effect."
But perhaps to his Lordship’s regret, the United States did make emancipation a reality, and did carry the proclamation into effect, to the extent of freeing every slave in the Republic.
It will be observed that the proclamation did not include the great State of Tennessee. It is known that it was omitted in deference to the judgment of Andrew Johnson, and other distinguished Union men of that State.* A year had not elapsed before many of them regretted the omission, and the Unionists of Tennessee, ere long vindicated the wisdom of President Lincoln, by providing a remedy for the omission in adopting a new Constitution abolishing and prohibiting slavery. †
*Such was the statement of Mr. Lincoln to the author.
A letter, of which the following is a copy, was placed in the hands of Mr. Johnson, early in August, 1866:
CHICAGO, August 1, 1868. To the Honorable ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States :
Sir : I am preparing a History of Abraham Lincoln and the Overthrow of Slavery in the United States. There are some circumstances connected with the Emanci. pation Proclamation of President Lincoln, about which, before the book comes from the press, I should be glad be advised by you.
I understood Mr. Lincoln to say, that Tennessee was not included in the proclamation, because you and other earnest Union men of Tennessee, in whose patriot ism, loyalty and devotion to freedom, he had the greatest confidence, thought it would, at the time, embarrass the Union cause in that State; but that before a year had gone by, such was the change in public sentiment, that you, and other Union men in Tennessee, expressed regret that Tennessee had not been included in the proclamation ; but, he added, they have remedied the mistake, if it was one, by abolishing and prohibiting slavery in their new State Constitution of Tennessee. This was the substance of what I understood Mr. Lincoln to say. I do not feel at liberty, however, to make the statement as a part of the history of the great Avent without submitting it to you, and respectfully asking your recollection upon the subject.
Congratulating you upon the restoration of Tennessee to the Union, as a free State, and expressing the hope, that during your administration, National unity, based on liberty and justice to all, may be completely restored, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. ARNOLD. No reply having been received to this letter, the author concludes that Mr. Johnson does not suggest any alteration in the statement.
Facts have already been stated, indicating the deep religious solemnity of feeling under which Mr. Lincoln issued this proclamation. Another circumstance may be stated, illustrating alike a religious feeling approaching superstition, as well as the characteristic playfulness of the President. A A friend on one occasion reminded him that he had given the pen with which the proclamation was signed, to Senator Sumner. “Yes," said the President, “I had promised Sum
. ner the pen. On New Year's day, (the 1st of January, 1863,) the final proclamation was all ready to be signed and sent to the press, except that some blanks of portions of the State of Louisiana, which were to be excepted were to be filled up. I went down to the parlor and held a very crowded reception. During the time I was receiving calls, the information which would enable me to fill up these blanks was furnished me, and I left the drawing room and hastened up stairs to sign and send to the associated press, the proclamation. As I took up a pen to sign the paper, my hand and arm trembled and shook so violently, that I could not write. I could not for a moment, control my arm. I paused, and a superstitious feeling came over me which made me hesitate. (No wonder the hand of the President shook when about to seize and hurl this thunderbolt of war!) In a moment I remembered that I had been shaking hands for hours, with several hundred people, and hence a very simple explanation of the trembling and shaking of my arm. With a laugh at my own superstitious thought, I signed and sent off the paper. Sumner soon after calling for the pen, out of half a dozen on my table, I gave him the one I had most probably used."*
In this connection, it may not be out of place to add, that it was during this year that Edward Bates, the Attorney General, gave an elaborate opinion, establishing the conclusion, that free colored persons born in the United States, were citizens. After a very learned examination, he came to the conclusion that “all free persons, without distinction of race or color, if native born, are citizens." This conclusion was a very great revolution from the dogmas of the Dred Scott opinions. He made the distinction between inherent civil rights of citizens, and political privileges of certain classes. All citizens, male or female, white or black, are entitled to equal protection by the law; but only those designated enjoy the political privilege of voting.
* Mr. Carpenter, in his “Six Months at the White House,” says, “Mr. Lincoln said to Mr.Seward, who was present, 'I have been shaking hands all day, and my right arm is nearly paralyzed. If my name ever gets into history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it. If my hand trembles, when I sign the proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter, will say, 'He hesitated.' He then turned to the table, took up the pen, and slowly and firmly wrote ABRAHAM LINCOLN. He looked up, smiled, and said, “That will do."
MILITARY OPERATIONS OF 1862.
INACTIVITY OF MCCLELLAN -PRESIDENT'S ORDER FOR A GENERAL ADVANCE — ACTIVE OPERATIONS IN THE WEST
BATTLE OF MIDDLE CREEK-MILL SPRING—CAPTURE OF Forts HENRY AND DONELSON — MITCHELL'S MARCH to Bowling GREEN — UNION TROOPS Occupt NASHVILLE-CAPTURE OF ROANOKE ISLAND AND NEWBERN - PEA RIDGE-NEW MADRID- ISLAND NUMBER TEN -SHILOHCORINTH-CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS.
IN order that a consecutive narration of the series of meas
ures adopted by Congress and the Executive, upon the all-important question of slavery, might be given, down to the period of emancipation, military movements in their chronological order have been omitted. We now return to take up the history of these events, which, though more attractive perhaps to the general reader, are less important than a clear and accurate understanding of the progress of ideas and their embodiment in the forms of law.
It was not until late in 1861, that the country fully appreciated, or was at all prepared for the stupendous war impending
The work of 1861 was that of preparation. By the 1st of December, the whole number of men mustered into the army had reached nearly or quite 640,000.* The leading features of the plan of the war seemed to be- First, To blockade the entire coast of the insurgent States. Second, The military occupation of the border slave States. Third, The recovery of the Mississippi River to the Gulf, by which the Confederacy would be divided, and the great outlet of the Northwest be secured. Fourth, The destruction of the rebel army in Virginia, and the conquest of Richmond, the rebel Capital. To accomplish these great purposes, and to
* Report of the Secretary of War, December, 1861.
resist such accomplishment, the most stupendous military
General McClellan had, as commander-in-chief, control over Halleck, commander of the Department of the West, Buell, commanding in Kentucky, Burnside, in North Carolina, and W. T. Sherman, in South Carolina.
The inactivity of General McClellan in the Autumn and Winter of 1861–2, was a source of dissatisfaction and complaint on the part of the people and Congress, and uneasi- . ness on the part of the President. He had under his immediate command, the largest and best equipped and appointed army of the United States. The weather during all that Autumn and Winter, into February, was the finest possible; clear and dry, and the roads in good order, and yet with his vast army, he permitted the Potomac to be blockaded by shore batteries at Acquia Creek and elsewhere; and the rebel flag to be raised and flaunted in his face and that of the Nation, from the hills which overlook Washington, and within sight of the dome of the Capitol. But even this did not provoke the extremely cautious, “Young Napoleon,” as General Mc Clellan was called, to make any vigorous efforts to dislodge the rebels and drive them away. This was the era of magnificent reviews, brilliant parades, showy uniforms and festive parties.
Impatient of the inactivity of the army under General McClellan, the President, after seeing the Summer and the Autumn pass slowly away, on the 27th of January, issued the following order :