10 August, 2011


Though I have long defended the Emancipation Proclamation as a sincere piece of legislation rather than mere political manipulation on Lincoln's part (one is, after all, allowed to grow in one's beliefs, no? cf. Ronald Reagan's changing views on abortion for instance?), I did not know this. Namely, that great pressure was actually being put on the president in 1863 to use the Proclamation as a bargaining chip to end the war quickly. The idea being that the South would agree to rejoin the Union if the North would forget about publishing the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln's response?
 “I should be damned in time and in eternity were I to do that.  I will keep faith with the gallant black soldiers who have fought and died for this nation at Port Hudson and Olustee. The Proclamation sticks.”

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