Judge David Pressures President to Reverse Emancipation

January 18, 1863

In the morning, President Lincoln attend Foundry Methodist Episcopal Church.  He contributes 5150 to the Parent Society and is  named  ‘Life Director of the Parent Society”

Later, President Lincoln meets with Supreme Court Justice David Davis regarding reaction to  emancipation in Illinois.  Davis biographer Willard King wrote: “In January 1863, the legislature of Illinois, under Democratic domination, proposed resolutions demanding an immediate cessation of the war unless the Emancipation Proclamation were withdrawn.  Test votes showed that such resolutions would be passed.  Davis went at once to the White House and told Lincoln that, to save the country, he must change his policy regarding slavery – the Emancipation Proclamation had made suppression of the rebellion impossible.  The Judge also told the President that he must reconstruct his cabinet to eliminate Chase and Blair.  Lincoln replied that his policy regarding slavery was fixed – that he meant to adhere to it, and that whether he changed his cabinet must be determined by future events.  Lincoln’s treatment of Davis after this interview displays once again the President skill in handling men.  Just at this time Sarah had brought her young cousin, Sarah Adams, to Washington for a visit.  A letter of the younger Sarah indicates that the Lincolns suffered some distress from the Judge’s blunt demand for the recall of Emancipation.  But they exerted themselves, nevertheless, to be gracious to him and Mrs. Davis.  ‘Sunday morning we went with cousin Sarah to Church, while Judge Davis went to see Mr. Lincoln.  (This was the occasion when the Judge told the President that he would lose the war unless he withdrew his Proclamation.)  ‘In the evening Mr. Davis went to the White House with us.  We were ushered into the private parlor, and saw Uncle Abe who was suffering with a sick head-ache.’  Sarah Adam, of course, knew nothing of what the Judge had said to the President that morning.  ‘His wife excused herself on plea of sickness, but said she would take us to ride next day!’

Published in: on January 18, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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