What was the true function of Lincoln’s Proclamation and the context surrounding it? How did people react at this time? Was slavery the true cause of the Civil War, and should North and South fit into liberal and conservative boxes? Could Congress pick the President? And what podcast advice for new podcasters does Bruce have? Bruce takes Listener Questions in this episode.
Music from Chris Zabriskie, Chris Novembrino and Lee Rosevere on this episode.
What’s in your pockets right now?
What would these items say about you?
April 14th 1865 when Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theater in his pockets were pair of eyeglasses a lens polisher a watchful eye a pocket knife and a brown wallet inside the brown wallet where some newspaper clippings and Confederate money now it probably strikes you as it struck me when I was reading surveils excellent Assassination Vacation in preparation for this episode which is going to be listener questions and we’re going to be talking about presidential assassinations among other topics.
It struck me what’s the deal with the Confederate money well maybe related to the other items in the wallet.
Those newspaper clippings they were of positive reactions to Lincoln’s speeches and actions in various newspapers so he was holding it as kind of a little bit of positive reinforcement that he could turn to in his wallet and the Confederate money it looks like since he had just visited Richmond recently captured by Union troops was a bit of a trophy.
We’re going to be talking about Lincoln and many other topics.
- Constitution – What If Congress Elected The President
Brian Moritz asks I just listened to your electoral college episode and I loved it. I learned so much thanks to Ben Sawyer from the road to hell. As for the tip. Here’s a hypothetical for you. Had the convention not settled on the Electoral College but had done Congress were speaking in Twitter speak here so had done Congress means had made the Congress the one who selects the president. What we have the popular vote a president today. All right. So in other words he’s saying just like what happened with the 17th Amendment where the Voda Senators used to be like state legislatures. Now it’s a popular vote in each state. If the Constitutional Convention of 1787 had said look let Congress pick the president. Well we have now ended up with a popular vote faster than if you know we don’t like this Electoral College was invented. It’s interesting and it would be tempting to say that yeah of course because things get more democratic over time in America and a lot of fraud and people would want a popular vote and take it away from Congress. But I would suggest two points.
One is that constitutional measures have a way of acquiring a sacred value over time. I wonder if that ability of Congress picking the president wouldn’t Bennett spawn over time. Into a more noble. And sacred and unselfish value of these people holding the flame of liberty you know picking someone who is excellent you know that these members of Congress as the people’s representatives would be the best judges and they wouldn’t submit to somebody who is a dime a demagogue or something like that. You could see that argument being spun and I wonder how long that argument might last something else. If you change it so that now the Congress is picking the president. The big concern of the convention the reason it doesn’t happen in 1787 in the document is that they are afraid that the presence can become a tool of Congress. He’s in a lose all effective power and he’s going to be doing favors in or to keep his place OK if we think that those constitutional framers were correct in that assumption and the presidency might be weaker and it might become more like a manager for Congress.
You know we don’t elect the speaker right now directly and no one calls for that even as the speaker has enormous power and it possibly the people should weigh in on that office. We don’t elect the speaker. Maybe we would never elect this president and all because maybe there’d be less interest in it because it would be in fact a weaker position than it is now.
I don’t have the answer to your question Brian but thanks for asking it and thanks for listening to the podcast.
- Question on Presidential Assassins and Their Motives? Are They Part of a Larger Movement or Lone Wolves
Now here’s Ophira Thaler. What he says is this might be an oversimplification but reading the history of American presidential assassinations successful and attempted. My impression is that they generally don’t come about as part of broader violent movements or aggrieved groups. Rather it appears that they are mostly done by individuals with no relation of broader movements often for odd reasons. For example it seems particularly odd that a president as controversial as Reagan would face an attempted assassination unrelated to his actual politics as you discussed in your wonderful series about Lincoln at McKinley appear to be prominent exceptions virtually. Would you agree with this observation. Secondly can you think of any cultural or historic reasons why this is the case of the US. While assassins of heads of states in other countries Rabin Gandhi Sadat are often related to broader political battles.
I mean yes I do agree. Thanks for the question. I do agree
This is my take on American presidential assassinations and attempted assassination. Generally. Guiteau. Hinckley Oswald the attempted assassin of FDR Joe Zanga. It’s this pretty common thread of a person that’s delusional. That seeking some amount of fame for some purpose but that purpose is very inward and not part of a broader social movement. The only part there I disagree is that I would actually put both Czolgosz on McKinley’s assassin and buth in that category as well.
Now you might be surprised with that about Buth because for Buth it appears that he was part of this broader movement. And I suppose he was I suppose there are some people that were happy to hear about the assassination of Lincoln but it wasn’t the norm of society.
Jefferson Davis for instance was not very pleased to learn of that incident. I don’t think for the average person this was the way that that one conducted themselves. War is one thing. Assassination is another.
We have actually evidence of Booth’s own reaction because he did live a few more days into his and wrote in his diary and one of the things you hear him right is that my gosh I’ve had to crawl through the mud and starve. He thought that there would be this great hero’s welcome for him which there absolutely was not. While he might have been associated with the movement or sympathize with the movement he was delusional in the extent of the movement in the in the extent that he was conspiratorial in the extent that Lincoln was about to establish like a dictatorship or be a tyrant
Over America. And there wasn’t as much agreement for that one the things he says is like this is the way I’m treated for what Brutus was honored for
What Tel was honored for me booth is comparing south to British and William Tell. So I think that signals a lot about his mentality.
His sister Asia Booth was had had received a visit from him in Philadelphia a little bit before the assassination and noted is his mental condition a desperate turn towards the evil had come. She wrote in a memoir and wild tirades which were the very fever of his distracted brain and tortured heart.
So I put him right in that group. Gitau Garfield’s assassin. The history books originally say that he was an office seeker and that’s the way the press spun it because his words as he shoots Garvie elders. You know I’m a stalwart and now author is his president
So he associates himself with one group the group of the political group faction of the incoming Republican President Chester Arthur and that’s not very good for Arthur. But I think most people in the country realize that this is a deluded crazy man that was well-established if not in the beginning.
By the time of his trial where he defended himself.
And you know there’s no reason for us much later getting distance from his event to look at it any differently. It wasn’t an office seeker. He was thrown out of James Galanes office. For just being a pest. You know there was no chance he was receiving any office at all.
So this seems to be more common to me. GIUSEPPE JOE Zangari after the attempted assassin you know just bragged about killing presence who came Hinckley was ready to kill Jodie Foster and Reagan was a stop on the way.
It had nothing to do with politics. What so ever
He was planning to go up to Brown perhaps and kill Jodie Foster. So Killing Reagan was Aweida to do some kind of some kind of bizarre deluded Wayde who that Jodie Foster would be impressed by him.
You ask Can you think of any cultural or historical reasons why it’s different say from other countries like somebody like Sadat or Gandhi. Yet these like look very big charismatic leaders.
And changing that person changes a lot about the country. And I’m not saying that there’s nothing there in America. But I suppose the checks and balances hope a little in this department that when McKinley was assassinated we didn’t have a great anarchist revolution. And I believe that assassination also was a little bit deluded if he could be loosely associated with a movement certainly by assassinating McKinley although he was a bit of a symbol of capitalism at the time the putting in Theodore Roosevelt did not change that equation whatsoever. Most of Theodore Roosevelt really progressive or anywhere near socialistic type bomb proposals. He certainly wouldn’t use that term would have come in 1912 when he was running as a progressive candidate or as a candidate as a president. He was he he had the old guard of the Republicans to contend with.
It wasn’t a radical change to do anything like that.
Question on Podcasting – How to Boost Audience for Your Podcast
Ok so Emily Glenn clear writes me. I just wanted to reach out and say that I love your podcast. I am a social studies teacher who’s trying to get something somewhere started and so truly appreciate the time of work that goes into creating what you have. I started by anti social studies podcasts originally for my students and friends. I love creating it. And I want to grow my audience. I was wondering if you could give me some advice and creating good content but I’m struggling to break past my friends and acquaintances to build a broader audience. How to tackle that. And how do you go about approaching experts to be on your show. Do you do a lot of networking advantages reach out to people whose work. You admire. I’m really glad Clare of the anti social studies podcast at anti social studies dot org
I guess I’m now qualified to give advice on it been doing it for 12 years has a pretty simple philosophy about podcasts and I think it’s how I started that you have to. Now each year has to be really really narrow.
Podcasting now is a bit harder than ever before because there are so many podcasts out there and I actually think while the audience is growing in terms of number of people while I even felt it explode a bit when the iPad started coming out and you started getting more you know stitcher and podcasts on the phone. There are so many more podcasts out and there is something going on now where there’s a number of corporate podcasts and podcasts and networks that I believe are really kind of over contenting and some of them are very good. It is taking some of the space on the available directories namely iTunes and you know we’ll see where those goes. My prediction is that if it’s not a good cast they won’t survive.
So my advice and my approach to broadcasting is I always tell people it’s not about a podcast about hockey. It’s a podcast about goalie’s. I think more than ever we have to think about the medium and what it offers it.
The whole idea of it has always been to do something that can’t be done on the other network.
I think the advice that I gave to you which you’re picking up on is you know one thing is it is social studies that’s a word that is rooted rooted in the education world versus history which everybody is involved. So when you do social studies then you are telling people about a message that this is for teachers or people in class or you can do something funny like you know this is what I wish I learned in social studies class. I mean I know there’s a similar show like that so there’s
Oh in terms of the guests that I have on this program yeah they come from book publishers usually people that are doing a book. They will come to me. I select guests that I feel have something to say that can add to my own knowledge supplement my own knowledge.
I’m really looking for gaps that are a different a different viewpoint. I don’t love the guests that. Are on like 5 different other podcasts after mine but I’m not going to turn down Chris Matthews either. Come on. I’m hoping for someone that can add to the body of knowledge that I have that the listeners have so that later you’re probably going to hear me quoting some of these people so that we have something when a political issue comes up that’s relevant to history
Rather than going out and investing a lot in marketing. I think the most important thing is is is picking something original very narrow where you can add value that you like talking about. Obviously Jack Rice and Trout big marketing people had a very successful book. They said you don’t position yourself your positions. You come up with a name your positions. Pick social studies your that do you’re going to do some of the things like you’re starting to do it you’re starting to get some results with which is great which is going to bring out teachers in the educational side of it and making it more interesting.
And remember if you don’t like doing it. Put that microphone down. You’re done got to love it.
So this is becoming more and Porton and EB’s certainly by no means the podcasting expert. Let me go to lib’s and go to like Dave Jackson. Those are the people you want for advice but if you just you know just as me as a guy has been talking to a microphone for this is going to become more important because a lot of people are doing it. I strongly encourage you to do it every weekend. You know I should say everyone should have podcast but everyone that wants to should have a podcast and good luck everybody check it out.
Anti Social Studies podcasts. Emily Glankler. Check it out on iTunes or you know anti social studies dot org
Going Through The Emancipation Proclamation With a Yellow Highlight Marker, And Other Things.
Sitting for a portrait in the 19th century is not an easy thing it takes a long time and then so you’re going to tend. Talk to your artists while you’re doing this and this happens to link in with a painter Francis Carpenter his painter. He has a talk with Lincoln. And he records what Lincoln says and because of that we may know a little bit about the events surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation
Lincoln shocks most of his cabinet. On July 22nd 1862 the second year of the Civil War when he rises and says to the members he’s thinking. Of and he’s prepared a draft. Or a proclamation that would free all the slaves in the Confederate States. What’s more he did not call the Cabinet together for advice but rather to lay the draft before them.
Now there’s various accounts. Secretary Chase who was more radical on abolition than Lincoln had been. Is astonished and. He had firsts says. Well there’s certain things he’d like it to go farther for instance if you’re going to emancipate slaves he wants to see that the owners are not compensated. That’s his position. But then according to Secretary were Stanton who’s in the room Chase. Has some second thoughts about issuing this proclamation. He he actually says to Lincoln and he goes farther than anything I’ve recommended. For Secretary of State Seward.
He supports this proclamation but he does as Glinka to consider foreign reaction might France and England intervene because of the cotton crop to preserve the cotton crop they need but the painter Francis Carpenter also has it has Seward saying something else. He says
If you issue it now we just had the Peninsula campaign was unsuccessful clones attempt attempted take Richmond beaten back. You issue it now. It might be seen as the last measure of a desperate government.
Seward says Why don’t you wait until there’s a military victory. And then you can hang the proclamation on the American eagle. Other Cabinet members react differently some are really in support of this proclamation. Attorney General Blair who’s not. There is concern about the midterms expresses that later midterms in 1862 are coming up but according to Carpenter it struck a Seward’s advice struck Lincoln with great force. He does just what Seward advises. He waits for victory. No really kind of a half victory with at least the Confederate forces being pushed back pushed out of Maryland and treating the field at Antietam even if it was at the cost of great union life. So rather than issuing the proclamation in July he issues in September after Antietam and has it take effect January 1st 1863.
I’m going to read from that proclamation.
Whereas on the 22nd day of September in the year of our Lord 1862 a proclamation was issued by the president of the United States containing among other things the following. To wit. That on the first day of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three. All persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then thenceforth and forever free. And the executive government of the United States including the military and naval authority thereof will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons. And will do no acts or repress such persons or any of them in any efforts. They may make for their actual freedom. Now
Picture that instead of me reading this to you I’m writing it you’re seeing it.
I’m going to put a yellow highlight on certain words here and these words are right now will be forever free.
Let’s remember that continue that the executive will on the first day of January aforesaid by proclamation designate the states and parts of states if any in which the people there of respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States. And the fact that any state or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen their two elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such state shall have participated shall in the absence of strong countervailing testimony be deemed conclusive evidence that such state and the people there are not then in rebellion against the United States.
Ok so he’s slamming the gauntlet down. He’s also saying there’s a way out here continues. Now therefore I Abraham Lincoln President of the United States by virtue of the power in me vested as commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion do on his first day of January the year of Our Lord 1863 and in accordance with my purpose to do so publicly proclaimed for the full period of 100 days
From the day first above mentioned order and designate as the states and parts of the states wherein the people thereof respectively are in this day in rebellion against the United States. The following to wit now my yellow highlight marker is out again and I’m going to highlight the words necessary war measure
Causes of War. Now here’s the regions that he’s saying Aryan rebellion Arkansas Texas Louisiana except certain parishes Jefferson and New Orleans areas around New Orleans. Mississippi Alabama Florida Georgia South Carolina North Carolina and Virginia. Except the 48 counties designated to West Virginia and also the counties of Berkeley the comic Northhampton Elizabeth City York Princess Anne and Norfolk including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. And which accepted parts for the present. Left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued. Yellow highlight out on that. On the words for the present at which the accepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued and by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated states and parts of states are
Henceforth shall be free and that the executive government of the United States including the military and naval authorities thereof will recognize and maintain the freedom of said person. He adds a note now. That. Isn’t. The celebrated part of this proclamation and not when you hear about much but it’s in their. And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence unless it’s necessary self-defence
And I recommend to them that in all cases when allowed they labor faithfully for reasonable wages. And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the arms service of the United States to garrison for its positions stations and other places and to manned vessels of all sorts. In said service. OK.
Another important line there. This is added to the proclamation not in September but in the January final proclamation that is issued. Notice that among the many things. First of all the word Garrison this is a 1863 focused test group. Worried. It is known it will float this way. But in other words it’s a word that sounds good to some northerners were on the fence about emancipation.
But like the fact that we need military relief the garrison word is something that a lot of governors who otherwise don’t support abolition can get behind. Notice among all the things listed there’s not yet combat. It’s Garrison position stations other places manned vessels and upon us act sincerely believed to be an act of justice warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity. I highlight there I invoke the considered judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.
Now you’ve got a lot of reaction. Hurrah for old age says Benjamin Wade who is not always a fan of the reticent President Lincoln he as he sees it.
Frederick Douglass says it’s the greatest event in our nation’s history. William Lloyd Garrison the most foremost abolitionist said as a great historic event sublime in its magnitude and beneficence in its far reaching consequences the ambassador to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams says that now this annihilates all agitation for recognition in Great Britain.
Reaction’s going to obviously be less so and people in the north who don’t agree with emancipation the Cincinnati Enquirer said that the proclamation represented the complete overthrow of the Constitution that Lincoln swore to protect and defend. Obviously Jefferson Davis was no fan among other things. He calls it a gesture of impotent rage. In other words the Union is losing the war and this is a desperate measure that’s going to lead to more lives lost. This is a common argument that you’re going to hear in the South at all you’re doing is giving people a vain hope that they should be rebelling we’re gonna have to put that revolution down and you’re literally signing the death warrants of Flav’s across the Confederacy. P G T Bellegarde confederate general calls for the execution of abolitionist prisoners to meet this Emancipation Proclamation. Let the execution be made with the he says
Now despite that there are still some people up north who support emancipation and abolition who don’t like the message hears from the Commonwealth a newspaper. Whatever we looked for we certainly have got a very awkward and weary proclamation. It must have required considerable ingenuity to give it two and a half millions of human beings the priceless boon of liberty in such a cold ungraceful way. The heart of the country was anticipating something warm and earnest. One could scarcely imagine that the Herald of so blessed a dawn should have caught none of its glow. Instead of an embrace we had a gruff. Stay where you are Mr. Lincoln does indeed call it an act of justice. But if he had been in the dentist chair he could not have made a worse face as it was extracted from him.
On the other hand Ralph Waldo Emerson the poet liked Lincoln’s political skill the extreme moderation with the president advanced to his design.
His long avowed expectant policy as he chose to be strictly the executive of best public sentiment of the country waiting only till it shall be unmistakably pronounce so fair of mine that none ever listened so patiently to such extreme varieties of opinion so reticent that his decision has taken all parties by surprise. That is just a sequel of his prior acts.
The firm tone in which he announces it without inflation or surplusage.
All these have bespoke in such favorit to the ACT greatest of popularity the president has been we are beginning to think that we have underestimated the capacity and virtue which the divine providence has made an instrument of benefits so vast Frederick Douglass to talks about this the proclamation itself was the route like Mr. Lincoln.
It was framed with a view to the least harm and the most possible good in the circumstances. And with a special consideration of the latter it was thoughtful cautious and well guarded at all points. While he hated slavery and really desired its destruction he always proceeded against it in a manner the least likely to shock or drive him from any who were truly in sympathy with the preservation of the Union but who were not friendly to emancipation. That’s the political reaction is also a reaction that’s somewhat mixed from legal scholars. In other words can he do this. And it’s mixed in the north. The issue is the Emancipation Proclamation applies to Confederate areas it does not apply to border states where such as Delaware Kentucky Missouri and Maryland where there slavery but military law according to one northern judge of martial law can only suspend the law in an area. You can’t make new laws another former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis who is against slavery says that a proclamation cannot make law and it cannot repeal law.
President doesn’t have that power. So what you’re actually seeing is that there’s a possibility that if nothing else happens and things will happen through the course of the war. But if nothing else were to happen with his Emancipation Proclamation there is even the possibility that the union will be restored and so will slavery as it existed before the emergency.
This is something that Lincoln considers himself because he suggests a number of amendments to the Constitution that Congress should pass and one of them he suggests he’s too constitutionalize to make an amendment that makes his proclamation have legal force OK.
Now why am I talking about the emancipation. Today
We’ve got a question from Terry O’Toole on one of your recent casts I thought I heard you say that the reason Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation was to repurpose the union cause to make it more about ending slavery than resisting rebellion. I heard that correctly or inferred it. Can you elaborate on your reasons for so believe it. I always thought that the primary purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation was to liberate slaves so they could join Union forces in some capacity and at the same time deal a severe economic blow to the south by eliminating an important part of the South’s economic base. The Emancipation Proclamation was not a declaration against slavery simply because it did not apply to slave states like Missouri which are not ceded.
Is that incorrect.
He has more questions which I’ll address in a bit but we’ll stay on that emancipation for a bit. Yeah I don’t remember the specific episode but it’s kind of sounds like me. I do think to some extent here in July of 1862 as he was approaching his cabinet Lincoln is hitting the reset button on the war. You know just like in so many wars the initial enthusiasm that happens in the beginning where states are sending lots of recruits down and governors are really excited about the union cause you know is dwindling a bit and he’s looking for something else. And also I believe he wants to have those military affects. Now a couple notes just in the text of the document that some of the things that I highlighted I’d like to point out a few things. One yes he does in the text of it label it a necessary war measure and that’s how he justifies it. Perhaps politically military necessity. Obviously you’re crippling an opponent that’s fighting you your if your view which was always the way Lincoln presented it that these are states in rebellion are areas in rebellion where forces beyond the control of the legal force of the United States have the power you’ve got to do what you can to upset that and use the weapons that you have.
Notice though that it also highlighted two items that one is forever free. So in addition as being a very dry you know you hate you sympathize a little with that guy that said that it was like Lincoln was in a dentist chair right. It’s not a work of poetry but there is a little magic if you will there a little bit of thinking outside the box. He’s saying forever free that goes beyond the military necessity even if it’s justified as a war measure you’re not going to. He’s not going to put them back into slavery. The people that in this proclamation he’s announcing are forever for free. OK. The other thing I note is that when he lists all of those areas that are excepted from the Emancipation Proclamation.
In other words you take an area like Missouri or Kentucky he says at the present they will be treated as if this Emancipation Proclamation was not issued. Why does he even have to put that in there at the present.
So there’s there’s hints in the docket but I really think to answer this question as though the one thing is just to look at subtext rather than text the context.
It was a dramatic radical proposal for the time for 1862. That’s not to say that there wasn’t pressure to do it but that pressure was coming from like one group of the Union coalition that was keeping Abraham Lincoln in power that was keeping the war going. Not all of the groups Horace Greeley in August challenges the president with an article called The Prayer of twenty millions and he says why are you listening these fossil politicians in the border states.
Why don’t you listen to the bulk of the Union who want this. Why don’t you you know argue for why don’t you why don’t we fight for emancipation and you know what your plan for the war why aren’t you using the executive power and Horace Greeley’s like all the cable networks and one at this time is really important voice and Lincoln answers them.
Horace Greeley prints the response and says I would save the union and if I could save the union by freeing the slaves I’d do it and I could save the Union by not freeing the slaves.
I would do it that quote has been retained through history you probably heard that in high school. And because of that quote I think there might be a slightly off picture of where Lincoln’s mindset is and how Lincoln truly felt that is drawn from that statement in response to Horace Greeley. Horace Greeley himself feels that he got the response too quickly as if it was prepared by the president is waiting for Greeley to say something but we also know that he had already told his cabinet about the emancipation proclamation. He was planning. And so the response to Greeley even though it offers those two options freeing the slaves not freeing the slaves. He had already decided on a course. By all accounts before even answers Grealy and then he issues that the next month in September after the battle event Tetum. The other thing to consider here is where is Lincoln’s mindset. What did Lincoln really want it to kind of separate the politician from the person and Lincoln says to friends you know if if slavery is wrong nothing is wrong. Says this before he’s president. He also says that a house divided against itself will not stand. The country can remain permanently half slave and half free. There’s the whole reason he engages in those debates with Stephen Douglas about slavery and Stephen Douglas’s argument is why can’t it. Why can’t states decide. Lincoln is absolutely committed that at least in the New Territories of the United States there will not be slavery permitted however he’s pragmatic. He even goes as far as to propose a 13th Amendment of the 13th amendment we know it’s a 13th Amendment as he’s coming into office. Republicans
Support and Congress passes a 13th amendment that would prevent the emancipation of slaves in the Deep South not permanently but a very long time.
So it’s I believe it’s 9500 or something like that. He’s willing to go that far as long as slavery doesn’t go into the new territories. But I think and I believe Southerners would be the first to point out that. If you’re against slavery in the territories you are against the growth of slavery and that’s where Lincoln is putting himself some other things to to note about Lincoln and his course on things he’s very concerned about Kentucky. That’s where he was born. That’s where his in-laws are from. He has seen that Kentucky is right on the edge. Northern abolitionists hate the fact that Lincoln so concerned with Kentucky by the time of getting the Emancipation Proclamation Kentucky is starting to get into union control and not to be as much of a practical worry publican’s do outlaw slavery in the District of Columbia. There’s been a very contentious issue and for the south it’s very important. It’s going to be a little more important than it seems. Talk about in a bit. You know it seems like a small area but it has influence. So this is the one area where Congress can actually influence it and they do.
Also it’s the only area as it turned out where a compensation scheme will work where actually slave owners are compensated for the Emancipation. He also attempts to do this during his presidential term in Delaware. He is not successful. He even has the support of the largest slave owner in Delaware Delaware doesn’t have them any slaves something like a thousand. It’s a small state. The legislature will not go along. Will not does not want the influence of the federal government. Finally just two years from the release of the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln will call for and eventually get using the strong powers of his office a 13th amendment banning slavery in the United States whenever something happens. We we often know look at the counterfactual and we should to understand truly the significance of it that 13th amendment banning slavery in the United States does not does no longer exempt Kentucky Delaware Missouri anything like that. It’s the entire United States. Now though he’s not. There’s no thought in his mind with that 13th Amendment of rewarding states that state in the union anymore.
So you get a sense of where he went at least if the view is any indication of the past you know in that way.
I guess I’ll close with a little bit. This is how Frederick Douglass and he’s writing in 1892. What he says about the difference between like the language of the proclamation and what it really meant or what it was doing for my own part I took the proclamation first and last for a little more than it purported and saw in its spirit a life in power far beyond its letter its meaning to me was the entire abolition of slavery wherever the evil could be reached by the federal arm and I saw its moral power would extend much further.
It was in my estimation an immense gain to have the war for the union committed to the extinction of slavery even from a military necessity. It is not a bad thing to have the individuals or nations do right though they do so from selfish motives. I want to read a little book from a book called The South versus South. I like this book.
William W. Frehling who talks about how the South really fought itself in the civil war when you consider Southern unionists when you consider a border state unionist and when you consider freed slaves and others who contributed that it was it was almost half the South. Fighting another half of the South and the union etc. It’s kind of his thesis is maybe summing up too much. He notes that in addition to these kind of general political or celebratory reactions to the Emancipation Proclamation the real practical effects that belie that argument that because emancipation affected the Confederate states that had no effect. One thing you have to consider should always be considered is that to some degree the slaves in the south freed themselves now maybe the fact that the Union army was entering the South and that a defense had to be put up and people were leaving plantations white males were leaving the plantation that otherwise would be overseeing them they had the ability to run but they were running and there are in many cases running towards union lines and there would be different reactions depending on what General that was some turned them away. Fremont over in Missouri declared that Missouri was to be emancipated and that was overturned by Lincoln before he issued the E.P.. Same thing with a general hunter in South Carolina Georgia and Florida. His order for emancipation was also reversed.
But Benjamin Butler had devised a way of seizing slaves in the area under his control in Louisiana as contraband. And then it didn’t sound as bad. But you were still kind of in a way replacing one owner for the other. The slave owner is now the federal government. You had a lot of action around this time.
Once it is announced in January 1st 1863 you also have to consider the impact that it had because Lincoln had something to that. And that is the verbiage allowing blacks former slaves into the Union army and that affected the border states as well in an indirect way. Lincoln deployed more federal patronage than even secessionists had envisioned. Here again the Army gave the commander in chief his allegedly missing antislavery weapons. The new troop recurring business far outstripped the previously bigger federal business the post office Republicans who sympathize with voluntary state emancipation we’re given the appointment of Marshal provost for recruiting in the borderlands before the war. Have a Marilyns blacks have been freed. Washington D.C. beckoned the other half. In other words we talked about that earlier. Washington D.C. became free of slavery. Well it obviously became a magnet for those running away because you created a place where they could run to army camps and Army recruiters attracted and sometimes seized runaways with increasingly invasive procedures. After mid 1863. Then in 1864 were the administration feeding patronage to white politicians of the Republican stripe. The staggering institution collapsed in November 1864 Maryland became an exclusively free labor state. Missouri whites wiped out their last shred of slavery.
Two months later in Kentucky 40 percent of Kentucky’s able bodied male slaves served in the Union Army. These twenty four thousand fifty two black Kentuckians ranked second in number only barely to Louisiana among union Southern black recruits. Kentucky’s black soldiers freed not only themselves but also eventually their wives and children.
Freely points out something else that’s interesting. Delaware kept its handful of slaves. Why. Because the union army never occupied this almost totally unionized state. The seemingly odd holdout of Delaware the least in Slieve state the least in slave states. Reemphasizes the critical point in attracting army and cautious runaways together secured abolition fugitive stay together secured abolition fugitive slave style weather in the Mississippi Valley or in the borderlands Terence O’Toole asked me another question I want to address on the larger subject.
There seems to be a fierce debate these days between liberals and conservatives under over the underlying cause of the Civil War. Liberals say it was a noble high minded moral crusade to end slavery. Conservatives especially Southerners say it was economically driven by Northern Business interests which viewed not just slavery the Southern economy and culture generally as a threat to the rapidly industrialising economy of the North. I have many thoughts about that question and it gets to what the cause of the civil war is. Well you know I will address that. The first thing that strikes me is everything now is like kind of left and right. So whenever there’s an issue we go down one or the other neural pathways and you know never the twain shall meet.
And that’s kind of what’s going on with so many issues but left and right really is not descriptive enough for a lot of things and it would be a shame a kind of malnutrition of the history here if somehow that civil war issue could be boxed up in those terms for instance to think that light left would be exclusively north and conserve exclusively so it becomes kind of silly when you consider that the North was where all the big business was. Sure. On the issue of slavery I get it. You know I’d probably be a more liberal thing obviously to be for abolition but big business banking. We’re was the way in the in the north and some of the people leading the Union war effort and financing it where the big financier’s and there’s going to be a lot of fish shaking at them in the 1970s and 80s 80s as they start to do bad things and have some scandals in addition to some of the members of Congress that are sitting in there right now. And then on the southern side absent the issue of slavery absent the enslaving which Modern’s of course would consider horrible I would consider Harb would not be a very liberal thing. There is yet a little bit of some issues in that battle that we might consider liberal like for instance a Southerner back then consider the Yankees considered the north particularly the New England area. Boston boasting Massachusetts they call it you know to be Hoddy to be thinking they were morally superior to be telling them what to do. You know there was a kind of libertarian streak in. In in the arguments too so all of that is to start with that applying the left and right now is just not a good way to do it. But this is this is how we do things now.
Right. High and noble there were some people probably on both sides that were going to war for high and noble reasons.
That’s always something that’s a little suspect. There were certainly abolitionists joining. There were moderate people who at least wanted to suppress slavery joining the cause but it did not represent all. Of Union forces. When we consider all the arguments before the war that on both sides. This was thought of as something that was going to be over quickly. And so there’s this whole thing that you can consider that doesn’t fit into any easy left right box because it’s both a pacifist and also a. Horrible issue of compromising slavery but it’s it’s the question that could be raised. Should the war been fought at all perhaps should have been the salvagers than let to be. Like Grealy at one point writes an article to this then he changed his mind. But it’s like let them go. You know there’s a lot of people the only argument I make there’s a lot of people in. By the time you’re getting the 1865 and there’s a lot of death. And lives destroyed and homes destroyed and treasure lost from this war. That certainly had a different view of that question than they did in 1861 when I believe on both sides I thought it might be over in a few months. The South is confident that they would get just like in the American Revolution there would be European powers intervening on their side to protect their confederacy.
Talk about that a second. And it didn’t turn out that way. The key issue of what drove war
So the union going to war for slavery that someone would have to think twice about making an argument. We didn’t get to the issue being slavery at all really until eighteen sixty two. The the noble part of the union’s argument for war if it is to be phrased in those terms is not a war against slavery initially in 1861 but a war to preserve the Union a war to put down an insurrection. All right a call for troops. It’s no different. Like some of the mentality of it is no different than there’s a fire over there and we need some people to help put it out. And that was certainly Lincoln’s thinking he always used the term rebellion not fighting a foreign country refuse to see things that way. To not tolerate the seizing of federal property of federal forts of an insurrection of the post office the males of armories and equipments of diplomatic powers in treating with foreign countries of all of those things. You know that’s the justification for from Lincoln’s side from the unions
But from the southern side. I do believe that slavery is you know that’s where I come down that slavery was the the overwhelming issue that led to the spark of war.
It’s not to say that the fact that one side was industrialized and the other was an it wasn’t a big issue it was. It’s not to say that tariffs weren’t a big issue it was but the secession starts with the election of a single president. There was an attempt to really negotiate on terrorists or industrialization and the spark of actually taking arms is slavery. If the arguments about states rights swell states rights to do what and for the Southerners who is well let’s just listen to the Mississippi secession convention here
Whereas they the people of the non slaveholding states have elected a majority of electors for president and vice president on the ground that there exists and irreconcilable conflict between the two sections of the Confederacy. They mean the articles of confederation in that sense in reference to their respective systems of labor and in pursuance of their hospitality hostility to US and our institutions have thus declared to the civilized world that the powers of the government are to be used for the dishonor and overthrow of the southern section of the Great Confederacy. Therefore be it resolved by the legislature of state of the state of Mississippi.
That in the opinion of those who constitute said legislature the secession of each aggrieved state is a proper remedy for these injuries. 9th January 1861. Now I think a particularly important event is the Virginia secession convention of April 1861. Because you have a short period after Lincoln is sworn in where Virginia has not succeeded yet. There are two different conventions. At first Virginia says no to secession it’s more hesitant the state than fire eaters in South Carolina or in Mississippi say when Lincoln calls for volunteers to put down the rebellion and he gives Virginia a quota of thirty five hundred maybe a mistake. But Lincoln’s view one thing are always going to get from Lincoln is that he doesn’t want neutrality. Right. He might you know be willing to give Kentucky a little slack to allow slavery in places but he doesn’t want neutrality in terms of the Union so he’s going to ask for Khodor from everyone whether there was a political mistake or not. He also had to consider Jeff Davis was calling out volunteers as well to defend. So this was in reaction to that Virginians though after this call to arms led by Governor and rewires coal and other convention. And Virginia joins the Confederacy on a vote not unanimous 88 to 55. So a lot of people in Virginia who are against this they’re from West Virginia they’re from Arlington seacoast areas. It’s a brave vote by the way in this convention to be against secession because you have to consider that Governor Henry Wise is a dualist who during his speech pulls out his horse pistol. And also you have to consider the Harper’s Ferry and Norfolk are already seized by loyalists and well supported by Governor Henry Wise at that time. As he says he set the wheels in motion already. He already had some action there during that convention though to make their arguments.
Mississippi sends the honorable Foltin Anderson. And here’s what he says. In the first place I say that the North hates slavery and I use the expression the North hates slavery decidedly hate is the feeling and it is the whole north that bears it that this is true of the Black Republican Party at the North will I suppose be admitted. This is how it commonly referred to the Republican Party. A few of the proofs which could fill this room will I think be sufficient to satisfy them. The first consists of three sentences from a speech of Mr. Lincoln’s made in October 1858. They are as follows. I’ve always hated slavery as much as any abolitionist. I’ve always been an old time Whig. I’ve always hated it and I’ve always believed in the course of ultimate extinction and if I were in Congress in a vote should come up
I would vote that it should. He goes on and on and on.
But first of all it shows you where at least Southerners viewed Lincoln was not so pragmatic and moderate but actually a representative man as Anderson says against slavery.
Willing to subvert the Constitution as Anderson says in the speeches of three commissioners Anderson from Mississippi and also the commissioners from George Georgia and the commissioner from South Carolina to the Virginia Convention again trying to convince them what the causes for why they should secede.
There are 77 references to the word slavery. So I think it’s the paramount issue. This is replicated by a lot of the secession conventions this is replicated by some of the Charleston murky units that fire. Fire Eater type paper in Charleston that was really. Fomenting rebellion in the first state.
Did you know. I think it was the key issue. However I do want to point out that even in our convention I just referenced there is a pitch about industrialization.
Why will Virginia not take the place now held by New England and furnished to the south. These industrialized goods bear in mind that the manufacturers consumed by the South are mainly manufacturers of the United States. These manufacturers now monopolize nearly our whole market by virtue of the tariff on foreign importations. Will Virginia not take this place. I ask is it not to the interest of Virginia and the border states to take this place. Most assuredly it is. So I do think as a side issue terrorists were very interesting and important and especially this commissioner from Mississippi is trying to convince Virginia we we’re going to make you the new New York were to start buying things from you instead but in making that argument he also makes another one which kind of belies the tariffs arguing for the cause that. The question is will the protection which you will get for us be sufficient to build up your manufactures. What does he mean by production tariffs. And I say I think it will
Now. He can’t be bound to this he’s just one commissioner for Mississippi but he’s representing the view to this convention that needs to decide essentially telling Virginia where to make the new.
New England were make the new New York and we’re going to give you that tariff protection that they now get.
So is this really an issue about tariffs. Is this really an issue about. You know in other words they’re willing to pay a bit of the price that tariffs and tariffs do cause a price increase in goods to establish industrialization in Virginia instead of New York.
My view on the industrialization argument is that look the South didn’t have it. But I also feel like they had strong partners across the ocean that did have the parts that they needed their crop was cotton they supplied something like 80 percent of the cotton to Great Britain. There’s a huge depression particularly in the mill towns. You know millions of people are getting their summer getting their employment from industries involving around southern cotton.
And when it goes from 80 percent of imports to 3 percent during the war when they can’t get anything through the blockade it takes a while eventually they’re able to find some sources in India and Egypt and places it’s never as much as the South was providing. So that King Cotton was very powerful and I believe one of the things that drove southerners to feel confident about the war and then their ability to finance off to sell cotton bonds which were sold in Paris and London and Amsterdam. So I guess all that leads me to believe that if it’s just an argument that we’re powerless and we don’t have any business strength I still think the real you know that argument seems weaker to me. And I believe the the real argument was despite all the cultural differences comes down to slavery terms also asked about the reconstruction I’m just going to have to save that one for another episode.
Thanks very much for the question.
Like to talk about it. Got some other issues. A reminder about the premium podcast from my history you can beat up your politics I’ve got all kinds of
Topics up there that we’re talking about. Some I’ve been sent a number of publisher and another of books from publishers. Sometimes I can’t always get the personal or don’t have time for an interview or think it’s right. But I do want to use some of these books so one of the things I got the ambassador Wendy Sherman’s book. So she’s going to talk a bit about Cuba. Going to talk about Iran negotiating deals being a woman involved in diplomacy in Washington. And to read some segments from that. Book and talk a bit about that. Just have some leftover notes from some of the previous cast that I recorded. There’s not always time to talk about everything. And. You know during the midterm cast we read from Frank Carpenter’s 18 80s articles
And I’ve you know his his look at life in D.C. and we read from that during that cast I have some more readings from his book some interesting preservation and also a bit of talk about people returning money to the Treasury. People know this goes all. Things like that around the premium. I hope you’ll consider supporting the show and also giving a little bit getting a little bit of extra content to all of you who have thanks very much.
Do it as much as you can. If you can’t you know if you’re not in a financial position to do so don’t. But it can be as little as two dollars a month that can be more of your Watmore you get archived episodes. If you subscribe you somehow having gotten the e-mail hey that alerts you and gives you your own special RSS feed to plug into your podcast app in order to get the premium podcast.
Please let me know and we will contact us on the Web site at DOT my history can beat up your politics dot com and we’ll get your all set. Thanks for listening.