War and Emancipation Preoccupy Lincoln

March 14, 1862

Attorney General General Edward Bates has long been frustrated with military operations and had urged President Lincoln to take a stronger role in exercising his authority as commander in chief.  Bates writes in his diary about a conservation with Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase: “I reproached him kindly, for not backing me in urging the Prest. to use the authority of his place.  He sd. The P. wd. do nothing till he had a Sec: of War that he had been working for 2 mos: to bring in Stanton, and when it was brot. about, his (C’s) hand was hardly seen in it.

General George B. McClellan issues a statement to Soldiers of the Army of the Potomac: “For a long time I have kept you inactive, but not without a purpose: you were to be disciplined, armed and instructed; the formidable artillery you now have, had to be created; other armies were to move and accomplish certain results.  I have held you back that you might give the death-blow to the rebellion that has distracted our once happy country.”

President Lincoln makes the case for compensated emancipation in a letter to California James A. McDougall, a Union Democrat whom Lincoln knew in Illinois before McDougall moved to California: “As to the expensiveness of the plan of gradual emancipation with compensation, proposed in the late Message, please allow me one or tow brief suggestions.

Less than one half-day’s cost of this war would pay for all the slaves in Delaware at four hundred dollars per head:

Thus, all the slaves in Delaware,
by the Census of 1860, are ………………………… 1798
400
Cost of the slaves, ………………………… $ 719,200.
One day’s cost of the war ………………………… “2,000,00.

Again, less than eighty seven days cost of this war would, at the same price, pay for all in Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Kentucky, and Missouri.

Thus, slaves in Delaware ………………………… 1798
”     ” Maryland ………………………… 87,188
”     ” Dis. of Col ………………………… 3,181
”     ” Kentucky ………………………… 225,490
”     ” Missouri ………………………… 114,965
432,622
400
Cost of the slaves ………………………… $173,048,800
Eightyseven days’ cost of the war ………………………… “174,000,000

Do you doubt that taking the initiatory steps on the part of those states and this District, would shorten the war more than eight-seven days, and thus be an actual saving of expenses?

A word as to the time and manner of incurring the expence.  Suppose, for instance, a State devises and adopts a system by which the institution absolutely ceases therein by a named day–say January 1st. 1882.  Then, let the sum to be paid to such state by the United States, be ascertained by taking from the Census of 1860, the number of slaves within the state, and multiplying that number by four hundred–the United States to pay such sum to the state in twenty equal annual instalments, in six per cent. bonds of the United States.

The sum thus given, as to time and manner, I think would not be half as onerous, as would be an equal sum, raised now, for the indefinite prossecution of the war; but of this you can judge as well as I.

I inclose a Census-table for your convenience.

Advertisements
Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://abrahamlincolnandthecivilwar.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/war-and-emancipation-preoccupy-lincoln/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: