Emancipation Commissioner Replaced

April 22, 1862

President Lincoln replaces James G. Berret as a commissioner to adjudicate claims under Washington’s compensated emancipation plan.  Lincoln writes former Washington Mayor Berret, who declined to participate, complaining about his imprisonment for sedition (because he refused to sign a loyalty pledge): “In so far as your letter assumes that the tendering you the office without your solicitation or knowledge, attests my confidence in your loyalty to the United States, now and heretofore, you are entirely right. So far, however, as it assumes that, in my judgment, your imprisonment mentioned, was wholly undeserved, an explanatory word from me is due. I think you made a mistake which justified men having less evidence to the contrary than I had, to suspect your loyalty, and to act accordingly. The arrest, though made by my general authority, was in fact made without my knowledge at the time; but being done, the question of undoing it was a little different from that of the original making; and required a little time to solve it satisfactorily.”

Lincoln and Berret would reconcile.  In Berret’s place, Lincoln nominates former Postmaster General Horatio King.

Published in: on April 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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