The Emancipation Proclamation
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
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Just over forty years ago I wrote a brief volume on the Emancipation Proclamation. My principal objective was to call attention to a document that was barely remembered and widely misunderstood. I traced the germination of the idea of emancipation in Abraham Lincoln's mind, his issuance of it at a propitious but dangerous moment in the nation's struggle for survival during the Civil War, and...
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A book co-authored by three historians, each living in a different city, each working on other projects simultaneously, inevitably spawns many debts to patient friends, family, and professional colleagues. We can never expect to repay them adequately but do wish to express our heartfelt appreciation for their help and encouragement....
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But as Douglass hastened to add with just a touch of bitterness, the president had moved "in his own peculiar, cautious, forbearing and hesitating way" to reach at last the moment of his "righteous decree," even as "the loyal heart was near breaking with despair." Then Douglass changed course again to acknowledge that, however long delayed, Lincoln's order had nonetheless provided genuine...
Imagined Promises, Bitter Realities: African Americans and the Meaning of the Emancipation Proclamation
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Believing that they were about to be taken out of Virginia and employed in defense of the purported new nation, Shepard Mallory, Frank Baker, and James Townsend presented themselves to the picket guard. The next morning they stood before the fort's commander, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, who had just arrived from duty...
"Doing Less" and "Doing More": The President and the Proclamation—Legally, Militarily, and Politically
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It is generally accepted—in public opinion polls and historians' surveys—that Lincoln was America's greatest president. But he was also one of its greatest lawyers. Because the Civil War was in many ways a conflict of jurisprudence, Lincoln was able, as president and commander-in-chief in a time...
Picturing Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation in Art, Iconography, and Memory
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For the most part, his second inaugural address sounded more like a sermon than an oration. Slavery, the president gravely told the throng gathered in the plaza, had been one of those "offences" deserving of the wrath of God. The "terrible war" was the "woe due to those by whom the offence came." And it might yet come to pass,...
APPENDIX: The First and Second Confiscation Acts
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Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That if, during the present or any future insurrection against the Government of the United States, after the President of the United States shall have declared by proclamation, that the laws of the United States are opposed, and the...
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2006