A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era
Volume 2, Political Arguments
Publication Year: 2013
Volume 2 in the series, Political Arguments, presents the words of politicians, political party platforms, and administrative speeches. It is divided into two sections. The first, Voices of the Politicians and Political Parties, comprises the platforms of the major (and some minor) parties from1856 to 1876. Also included are such pieces as Robert E. Lee’s letter of resignation from the U.S. Army, a few key speeches by that rising politician from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, and a letter on the “American Question” written by a European observer, Karl Marx. Other items include examples of the 1860–1861 state ordinances of secession and addresses on emancipation and Reconstruction by Jefferson Davis and by the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Thaddeus Stevens.
Section two, Voices of the Administrations, contains records from the presidencies of James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes as well as a message from Confederate President Jefferson Davis telling his congress that the Southern cause was “just and holy.” Classic documents such as Lincoln’s announcement of forthcoming emancipation and the Emancipation Proclamation are here, as are lesser-known but important documents such as Francis Lieber’s 1863 revised law code for war, General Order 100, and Attorney General James Speed’s 1865 opinion supporting the Johnson administration’s decision to try the Lincoln murder conspirators by special military commission and not in the civilian courts.
Each of the selections in Political Arguments is preceded by editor Thomas Mackey’s introductory headnotes that explain the document’s historical significance and trace its lasting impact. These commentaries provide insight into not just law and public policy but also the broad sweep of issues important to Civil War– era Americans.
A Documentary History of the American Civil War Era is an essential acquisition for academic and public libraries in addition to being a valuable resource for courses on the War and Reconstruction, legal history, political history, and nineteenth- century American history.
Thomas C. Mackey is professor of history at the University of Louisville and adjunct professor of law at the Brandeis School
of Law. He is the author of Red Lights Out: A Legal History of Prostitution, Disorderly Houses, and Vice Districts, 1870–1917
and Pornography on Trial: A Handbook with Cases, Laws, and Documents.
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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This project did not happen without the help of numerous people and they have earned mention and thanks in this acknowledgment. of course, all errors of omission and commission in this work are mine alone. A good place to start (and a good place to work) would be the university of Tennessee Press. Scot Danforth, director of the Press and specialist in the era of the united States Civil War, has ...
Introduction:A Documentary History of theAmerican Civil War Era
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In 1881, union Civil War veteran, distinguished law author and attorney, and later Associate Justice of the united States Supreme Court, oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. published a little book entitled, The Common Law. Although little read in its en-tirety today, the point of the book continues to influence law academics, historians of the law, and jurisprudents to the current day. Holmes possessed a deep under-...
voices of the politiciansand political parties
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Part 2 of this collection includes a wide variety of documents, from political party platforms to newspaper articles to political speeches. By the early twenty-first century, political party platforms meant little to nothing. But in the nineteenth century, political party platforms constituted one of the major policy statements by political organizations. Newspapers reprinted party platforms, and those who ...
1856 Democratic Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university In the 1850s, the Democratic Party constituted the majority polit-ical party in the united States. Although the party had its internal sides still perceived that they had more issues in common (opposi-tion to abolitionism, for example) than separated them (a growing ...
1856 Republican Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university This document is the first party platform issued by the new and the expansion of slavery into the federal territories, a political crats, members of the free soil movement, and a few abolitionists, though this last group never constituted anything close to a large ...
1856 American (Know-Nothing)Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university A third political party ran a candidate in 1856, ex-President millard Fillmore. Formally called the American Party but better known as the “Know-Nothing” Party because of its alleged secret character and that when journalists asked an alleged member about the party, ...
Abraha m Lincoln“A House Divided” Speech atSpringfield, Illinois, June 16, 1858
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, Abraham lincoln canon of writings, it is often incorrectly thought Party candidate for the Senate. But lincoln delivered this speech to his party’s faithful after he received the Republican Party nomi-nation for the u.S. Senate, before the famous debates. As such, ...
Abraha m LincolnFragment of a Speech on NegroEquality, Circa September 1859
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, In this intriguing fragment of a 1859 speech about Senator Stephen causing “Bleeding Kansas” because of his 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, and for Douglas’s support of the 1857 Dred Scott decision. Here lincoln seeks to clarify the differences between his party, ...
Abraha m LincolnCooper Union Address,February 27, 1860
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, Analyzed effectively and fully in his 2004 book, Lincoln at Coo-Party’s rationale for its antislavery political position and did so in a lawyerlike forensic fashion aimed to persuade the political middle ground about the justness of the Republican Party case. But the ...
Frederick Douglass“The American Constitution andthe Slave: An Address Delivered inGlasgow, Scotland,” March 26, 1860
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... John W. Blassingame, ed., The Frederick Douglass Papers, Series 1: Speeches, Debates, and Interviews (New Haven, Conn.: Yale university Press, 1985), Frederick Douglass became one of the best known of the African- American abolitionist speakers, newspaper editors, and anti-slavery advocates in the decades before the united States Civil War. While ...
1860 Democratic Party Platform(Douglas Faction)
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university opted its own platform. Dominated by the supporters of Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas, this platform reaffirmed Douglas’s po-sition that on the issue of slavery in the federal territories, the deci-sions of the united States Supreme Court ought to be followed. In ...
1860 Democratic Party Platform(Breckinridge Faction)
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university After all efforts to reunite the Democratic Party failed in their second meeting at Baltimore, maryland (earlier efforts to build a party platform had failed at Charleston, South Carolina), the Democratic Party split into a northern wing and a southern wing. ...
1860 Constitutional UnionParty Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university The fourth of the four political parties/factions contending for votes in the key election of 1860, the Constitutional union Party sought to address the major issue before the country, the expan-sion of slavery into the federal territories, by not taking a posi-...
1860 Republican Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university mental principle that all Republicans agreed upon, that is, not al-lowing the extension of slavery into the federal territories, but also planks to placate the various divisions within the party, such as support for federally funded internal improvements to assure the ...
South Carolina Ordinance ofSecession, December 20, 1860
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... The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 4 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing office, first state to put into practice the constitutional and political the-ory known as the “Compact Theory of the union.” Instead of the establishment of a nation at the time of the ratification of the 1787 ...
Alabama Ordinance of Secession,January 11, 1861
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... The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 4 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing office, Among the states that claimed to secede from the union prior to Alabama became a focal point for southerners because of this or-dinance that not only denounced lincoln and his vice presidential ...
Georgia Ordinance of Secession,January 19, 1861
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... Journal of the Public and Secret Proceedings of the Convention of the People of Geor-gia, Held in Milledgeville and Savannah in 1861, Together with the Ordinances Adopted, Published by Order of the Convention (milledgeville, Ga.: Boughton, less than a month after South Carolina passed its secession ordi-uments parallel each other, some differences exist, such as Geor-...
Senator Jefferson DavisFarewell Speech to United StatesSenate, January 21, 1861
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... lynda lasswell Crist, ed., The Papers of Jefferson Davis (Baton Rouge: loui-Jefferson Davis is remembered as president of the failed Confed-erate States of America, but his service to the country prior to the war placed him among the first-rank of national politicians in Kentucky, although he grew up in and identified with the state ...
President Jefferson DavisInaugural Address, February 18, 1861
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... lynda lasswell Crist, ed., The Papers of Jefferson Davis (Baton Rouge: loui-In Jefferson Davis’s first public statement as president of the Con-federacy, he explained the need for the separation from and the breaking of the union, and couched the South’s actions in consti-tutional terms. He argued that the “wanton aggression on the part ...
Robert E. LeeLetter of Resignation fromthe U.S. Army, April 20, 1861
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... Clifford Dowdey and louis H. manarin, eds., The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee In April 1861, the secession crisis peaked. The federal administra-to hold and resupply the federal installation, Fort Sumter, located states that made up essentially a Gulf Coast Confederacy, led by Jefferson Davis, determined to prevent the resupply of the fort. The ...
General Benja min F. Butler“The Slave Question: Letter from Maj or-General Butler on the Treatment ofFugitive Slaves,” July 30, 1861
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Among the many political and colorful generals on both sides of stands out. A massachusetts politician, an able lawyer, and an ar-dent abolitionist, Butler provided good service to the union in ton, D.C., from attack by the insurrectionists. He then assumed Virginia, on the tip of the James River peninsula. It was in that ...
General John C. FrémontOrder of Martial Law ThroughoutMissouri, August 30, 1861
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... The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume III (Washington: Govt. Print. off., At the start of the Civil War few states or regions presented more problems for both sides of the conflict than the Border States in general, and missouri in particular. Because of the low-intensity ...
Karl Marx“The American Question in England,”October 11, 1861
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... New York Daily Tribune, october 11, 1861, in, Richard enmale, ed., The Civil War in the United States (New York: International Publishers, 1937), 3–15.europeans generally, and the British particularly, followed the perceptive and interesting of the newspaper and opinion writers of the time was the political theorist and radical, Karl marx. At ...
Representative Tha ddeus StevensSpeech on Emancipation,January 22, 1862
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... The Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, 439–41 (1862)Pennsylvania Representative Thaddeus Stevens embraced the label of “radical Republican.” Perhaps the most powerful member of the tions of Abraham lincoln and Andrew Johnson, Stevens’s hatred of slavery and the “slave power” conspiracy of the South motivated ...
1864 Democratic Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (urbana: university tion is that it occurred at all. In the midst of the national civil war, the constitutional requirement for calendared elections remained a value of Americans, and they adhered to its requirements. With southerners out of the union, the Democratic Party acted through-...
1864 Republican Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (urbana: university clude the so-called War Democrats (as opposed to the mainstream States unionist put off by the “Republican” name. Regardless of the name, this party platform reflected the values of its incumbent president and enthusiastically promoted lincoln by name. Despite ...
Representative Tha ddeus StevensLancaster Speech on theConstitutional Status of the RebelStates, September 6, 1865
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... Beverly Wilson Palmer and Holly Byers ochoa, eds., The Selected Papers of Thaddeus Stevens (Pittsburgh: university of Pittsburgh Press, 1998), 2:12–27.leader of the advanced wing of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, the so-called “radical Republicans,” Thaddeus Stevens sought a “hard,” congressionally led, Reconstruction upon ...
Representative Tha ddeus StevensSpeech on Reconstruction,December 18, 1865
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... The Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session, 72–75 (1865)“As these fallen rebels cannot at their option reenter the heaven deserted, and flaming swords are set at the gates to secure their exclusion, it becomes important to the welfare of the nation to in-quire when the doors shall be reopened for their admission,” thun-...
1868 Democratic Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university In this occasionally bitter document, the Democratic Party lashes out at the Republicans for both the course and nature of the na-tion’s reconstruction policies and their treatment (including the im-controlled by Republicans had led the country “to military despo-...
1868 Republican Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university and indicts President Andrew Johnson and his efforts to inhibit construct loyal state governments, and recommitting the party to the principles of the 1776 Declaration of Independence. overall, it reflects the confidence that the Republican Party had developed ...
1872 Democratic Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university Although the Democratic Party did not run separate presidential and vice presidential candidates in the 1872 election, the party did meet and draft a party platform. explicitly acknowledging the local decision making and state power, this document reflects the ...
1872 Republican Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university In this 1872 party platform, the self-congratulatory tone of the statements constitute the “spin” that each political organization wished to place before the voting public, the Republicans had ac-complished a great deal for the nation, as this platform lists in ...
1872 Liberal Republican PartyPlatform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university Founded in 1870 as an anti–President ulysses S. Grant faction within the Republican Party, by 1872, these liberal Republicans fused with the Democratic Party in opposition to the enormously the federal government in the affairs of the southern states and ...
1876 Democratic Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university To many in and out of the Democratic Party, 1876 looked to be a winning year. The Republicans had been in office for a long period of time, Reconstruction had run its life course, northern public tion” that had hung over the nation for decades, and the political ...
1876 Republican Party Platform
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... Donald Bruce Johnson, comp., National Party Platforms (Chicago: university 1876 did not look like a winning year for the Republican Party. They had been the dominant party for at least sixteen years. Re-many of the southern states, been reversed as white majorities (or-ganized through the Democrat Party) had come back into political ...
voices of the administrations
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...opening with the administration of President James Buchanan and ending with the inaugural address of President Rutherford B. Hayes, this section samples the presidential public policy statements and speeches in the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. In addition to the inaugural addresses, lesser-known speeches and documents are included, such as the fundamental and transforming reform ...
President James Bucha nanInaugural Address, March 4, 1857
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... John Bassett moore, ed., The Works of James Buchanan Comprising his Speeches, State Papers, and Private Correspondence (New York: Antiquarian Press, 1960), In terms of experience at the federal level and in foreign policy, perhaps no person arrived better prepared for the presidency than served in the Pennsylvania state house, in Congress, and as a sena-...
Attorney General Jeremiah BlackPower of the President in Executingthe Law s, November 20, 1860
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... J. Hubley Ashton, ed., Official Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States, Advising the President and Heads of Departments in relation to their official duties (Washington, D.C.: W.H. & o.H. morrison, 1866), 9:516–26.Jeremiah S. Black joined the cabinet of President James Buchanan, became Buchanan’s secretary of state. Black had built a reputation ...
President James Bucha nanState of the Union, December 3, 1860
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... James Bassett moore, ed., The Works of James Buchanan Comprising his Speeches, State Papers, and Private Correspondence (New York: Antiquarian Press, 1960), As the centrifugal forces of disunion and sectionalism separated the united States during the secession winter of 1860–1861, Presi-dent James Buchanan failed the country through his lack of lead-...
President Abraha m LincolnFirst Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, Abraham lincoln’s first inaugural address is one of the most im-portant, perhaps the most important, inaugural addresses in the history of the united States. From his election in November 1860 to this address on march 4, 1861—the time frame historians now ...
President Abraha m LincolnMessage to Congress in Special Session,July 4, 1861
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... Don e. Fehrenbacher, ed., Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writing, 1859–1865; Speeches, Letters, and Miscellaneous Writings, Presidential Messages, and Procla-called up the militia, to July 4, 1861, when Congress met in special session, lincoln faced the crisis of the union by himself. Insti-tutionally, the federal government became concentrated into the ...
President Abraha m Lincolnto Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, portant and influential newspaper of the mid-nineteenth century, that President Abraham lincoln moved too slowly against slavery. Although Greeley supported lincoln and the Republicans, he also acted as a gadfly for radical issues, and he possessed little patience ...
President Abraha m LincolnSecond Annual Message to Congress,December 1, 1862
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, sated and uncompensated—while also defending his September 22, his policy of presidential emancipation scheduled to take effect a month later on January 1, 1863. As he would say again in his sec-ond inaugural, lincoln understood that the root cause of the Civil ...
Francis LieberGeneral Order 100, April 23, 1863
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... The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 3 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing office, and modernized set of rules for warfare. German-born scholar and ducing a new set of guidelines for military commanders. “lieber’s Code” of 1863 was an addition to the Articles of War; it clari-...
President Abraha m LincolnThe 10% Plan, December 8, 1863
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, a process for ensuring loyal state governments. For lincoln, Re-construction policy was an extension of the administration’s war policies, and thus the president should lead on the issue of the reconstruction of southern states. Though he never ruled out con-...
President Abraha m LincolnWade/Davis Bill, July 2, 1864, andVeto Message, July 8, 1864
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... The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 3 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing office, percent plan for Reconstruction, congressmen and senators began to debate who should establish Reconstruction policy (the presi-dent or Congress) and the standards for new states to meet before ...
Wade/Davis Manifesto, August 5, 1864
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...gress’s Wade/Davis Bill on reconstruction angered many in Con-Party. Traditionally it had been Congress, not the president, that set national public policy, and among the goals of the authors of tion; lincoln’s pocket veto frustrated that goal. In response, the frustration in public by publishing what is known as the “Wade/...
President Abraha m LincolnPreliminary EmancipationProclamation, September 22, 1862
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, maryland at the Battle of Antietam; it remains the bloodiest day in (2,000 mortally). Though military historians consider the battle a tactical draw, it was also a strategic defeat for General Robert e. after the battle, retreated back into Virginia. But for President ...
President Abraha m LincolnThe Emancipation Proclamation,January 1, 1863
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, left a New Year’s Day reception in the executive mansion (as the White House was called then) and walked to his office. With only a few people present, lincoln picked up a gold pen and dipped it in the inkwell to sign one of the most important executive orders ...
General Ulysses S. Grant to PresidentAbraha m Lincoln, August 23, 1863
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... John Y. Simon, ed., The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Carbondale: Southern Il-General ulysses S. Grant was uncertain about the use of African them to be recruited into military service, it was not clear to the majority white population that African Americans would fight or should be used as troops at all. But in 1863, that opinion changed, ...
President Abraha m Lincoln onSoldier Vote, September 19, 1864
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, lincoln was not certain that he would win re-election because the military situation for the union had slowed and soured. But, on captured Atlanta, Georgia, union fortunes (and lincoln’s political fortunes) became sunnier. even if lincoln still harbored doubts ...
President Abraha m LincolnSecond Inaugural Address,March 4, 1865
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... Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right . . .” this inaugural ad-dress provides an assessment of the country as the second admin-istration gets started and a soliloquy and meditation on slavery, ...
Jefferson Davis’s Message to theConfederate Congress“Our cause is just and holy,”April 29, 1861
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... Dunbar Rowland, ed., Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist: His Letters, Papers and Speeches (Jackson, mS.: mississippi Department of Archives and His-In his first major statement to the Confederate Congress on the state of the Confederacy, President Jefferson Davis reviewed his-tory, defended the actions of the rebellious states, assessed their ...
President Andrew JohnsonProclamation of Amnesty and Pardonfor the Confederate States, andProclamation Establishing aGovernment for North Carolina,May 29, 1865
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... Paul H. Bergeron, ed., The Papers of Andrew Johnson (Knoxville: university of Johnson, was the only senator from a seceded state not to leave lincoln appointed him the military governor of Tennessee, where sought to present a united front to the country, they re-formed themselves (briefly) into the National union Party and, to show ...
Attorney General James Speed OpinionLincoln Murder Trial, April 28, 1865,and Clarification, July, 1865
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... Official Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States, Advising the Presi-dent and Heads of Departments in relation to their official duties, ed. J. Hubley Ashton (Washington, D.C.: W.H. & o.H. morrison, 1869), 11:215, 297–317.in the head just behind the president’s left ear. At 7:22 the fol-army tracked Booth to Richard H. Garrett’s barn, just south of ...
General Ulysses S. GrantStatement on Reconstruction,August 16, 1864
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... John Y. Simon, ed., The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Carbondale: Southern Il-In this letter, General ulysses S. Grant makes known his position on the issue of the upcoming 1864 presidential election and his position on reunion and reconstruction. Grant states his continued lincoln administration, a policy Grant himself had enunciated as ...
General Ulysses S. GrantSouthern Tour Report,December 18, 1865
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... John Y. Simon, ed., The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Carbondale: Southern Il-Partly to attach himself to the popularity of General ulysses S. Grant and partly in a genuine effort to gauge the condition of the the South. Grant did so, reporting back to the president the white population’s respect for the authority of federal law and govern-...
President Ulysses S. GrantFirst Inaugural Address, March 4, 1869
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... John Y. Simon, ed., The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Carbondale: Southern Il-Newly inaugurated President ulysses S. Grant spoke on the issues stated that he would use the presidential veto, like Johnson, but he also noted that he would enforce all of the national statutes “whether they meet my approval or not.” Grant probably meant the ...
President Ulysses S. GrantSecond Inaugural Address,March 4, 1873
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... John Y. Simon, ed., The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant (Carbondale: Southern Il-themes of his first inaugural—reunion within the country and eco-nomic growth. By 1873, the process of Reconstruction had slowed and a number of the southern states had thrown off their Reconstruc-tion governments and “redeemed” themselves, becoming essentially ...
President Rutherford B. HayesFirst Inaugural Address, March 5, 1877
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... Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States: From George Wash-ington 1789 to George Bush 1989 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing cretly took the oath of office on march 4, 1877, as required by the Constitution, then retook the oath of office in a public ceremony on monday, march 5. Given the political crisis of the disputed presi-...
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Dred Scott v. Sanford, 19 Howard (60 u.S.) 393 (1857), march 5, 1857Frederick Douglass, The American Constitution and the Slave, march 26, 1860Democratic Party Platform (Breckinridge Faction) , June 18, 1860Documentary History of the American Civil War erafour.taboldstyle0two.taboldstyleJefferson Davis, message to Congress: “our Cause is Just and Holy,” April 29, ...
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Belz, Herman. A New Birth of Freedom: The Republican Party and Freedman’s Rights, ———. Emancipation and Equal Rights: Politics and Constitutionalism in the Civil War ———. Reconstructing the Union: Theory and Policy during the Civil War. Ithaca, NY.: Benedict, michael les. A Compromise of Principle: Congressional Republicans and Recon-———, The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999....
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Page Count: 440
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Voices of the Civil War
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth