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Lincoln and the Border States

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by Viviane Puhalovic on 27 October 2013

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Transcript of Lincoln and the Border States

AIM: How did the Border States influence Lincoln's emancipation policies during the Civil War?
Why were the Border States so Important?
1) Mineral and Agricultural Resources
- KT had richer mineral resources + was a major grain and livestock producing state
- MO = major agricultural state w/ large amounts of grains and livestock
2) Large white population -- slavery existed, but less important than Deep South
- Border States' white population = 2,600,000 (nearly 1/2 population of the eleven states of the Confederacy)
3) Strategic Geographic Positions (key to communications and commercial networks)
- MD bordered Washington, D.C. 3 sides. Loss of MD would force the Union to abandon the capital and would disrupt telegraph and rail links in the region
- KT = buffer btwn the states of the Old Northwest and Confederate Tennessee + for the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; also controlled access to several major river systems
- MO contained the major city of St. Louis, an important commercial center; also protected the Union's West + guarded west of Miss. River
Quotes Demonstrating Importance of Maintaining the Border States
By: Viviane Puhalovic
Audience
This presentation is intended for high school students in United States History, most likely 11th graders.
Learning Objectives: Students will be able to...
Define the term "Border States" and identify examples of these states
Examine the importance of the Border States to the Union during the Civil War
Evaluate to what extent Lincoln's emancipation policies were influenced by the need to appease the Border States during the war
Background:
After Abraham Lincoln's election, in 1860, South Carolina, followed by 6 more Southern states, seceded [broke away] from the Union to form the Confederacy in 1861.
The Civil War started in April 1861 when the Confederacy attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. The South won and 4 more Southern states seceded and joined the Confederacy.
Lincoln’s original war goals:
1)
Preserve
the Union -- he did not believe the Southern States had the right to secede from the Union
2) Keep the loyalty of the four
Border States (slave states that remained loyal to the Union).
Border States = Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri.
MAPS OF BORDER STATES
"In view of the Constitution, the Union is unbroken." ~ Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln's Approach to Emancipation in the Border States
Lincoln felt slavery was morally wrong, but he knew that using practical and constitutional arguments was the strongest possible way to justify emancipation and convince the Border States to change the whole foundation of their societies and economies. His position since he entered politics was to push for gradual abolition, through the policy of containing slavery where it was and waiting for it to die out on its own where is already existed. As president, he tried to take moderate steps towards ending slavery, like negotiating with the slave states through compensated emancipation, though none of the states were willing to accept this offer. In every action or decision he made, it is evident that Lincoln was cautious and tried to minimize discontent to keep the country together. The clearest evidence of this is in the Emancipation Proclamation when slaves only in the rebelling states were freed. Lincoln saw confiscation as a punishment for treason and, therefore, didn’t want to punish loyal unionists with such an act. The original exemptions in the Emancipation Proclamation, along with Lincoln's continued reinforcement of these exemptions, despite pressure from other Republicans, demonstrate his utmost concern for maintaining the support of the crucial Border States in order to win the war.
"Resolved , That the United States ought to cooperate with any State which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such State pecuniary aid, to be used by such State, in its discretion, to compensate for the inconveniences, public and private, produced by such change of system."
(Abraham Lincoln, Message to Congress Recommending Compensated Emancipation, March 6, 1862 http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=70130#ixzz2iwqYhjE5)
1) On August 30, 1861, Union General John Fremont, who was in command of Missouri, without Lincoln’s consent, declared martial law in the state and proclaimed the emancipation of all slaves held by people in rebellion in the state, rather than just those slaves who were forced into military service, as was specified in the Confiscation Act. In response, Lincoln wrote to Fremont requesting that he promptly modify his policy to meet the standards of the Confiscation Act; however Fremont ultimately refused Lincoln’s orders and Lincoln had to publicly revoke the order.

2) On May 9, 1862, Union General David Hunter declared that because the states of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina were officially under martial law since April 25, 1862, all of the slaves in those states were by order of his decree “declared forever free.” At that point, General Hunter had also been recruiting black soldiers into the Union Army without Lincoln’s consent. On May 19, 1862, Lincoln responded with his public Presidential Proclamation, which officially revoked General Hunter's orders.

3) On August 29, 1863, Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Chase wrote the "Draft of Executive Order Revoking Exceptions Listed in Jan. 1, 1863 Emancipation Proclamation,” which claimed that the exemptions in the Emancipation Proclamation for parts of Virginia and Louisiana were to be annulled so as to bring about a Union victory more quickly and efficiently. In his response, Lincoln asserted the importance of maintaining the exemptions and, in doing so, clearly demonstrates how fearful he was of losing the support of the Border States.
Examples of Lincoln Opposing Efforts
to Emancipate Slaves in Border States
General John Fremont
General David Hunter
Sec. of Treasury
Samuel Chase
"I further make known that whether it be competent for me, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, to declare the Slaves of any state or states, free, and whether at any time, in any case, it shall have become a necessity indispensable to the maintainance of the government, to exercise such supposed power, are questions which, under my responsibility, I reserve to myself, and which I can not feel justified in leaving to the decision of commanders in the field."
Source: Lincoln, Presidential Proclamation (May 19, 1862).
"I was so assured, as to think it probable, that the very arms we had furnished Kentucky would be turned against us. I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. Kentucky gone, we can not hold Missouri, nor, as I think, Maryland. These all against us, and the job on our hands is too large for us. We would as well consent to separation at once, including the surrender of this capitol."
Source: Lincoln, Orville Hickman Browning, September 22, 1861.
"Would I not thus give up all footing upon constitution or law? Would I not thus be in the boundless field of absolutism? Could this pass unnoticed, or unresisted? Could it fail to be perceived that without any further stretch, I might do the same in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri; and even change any law in any state? Would not many of our own friends shrink away appalled? Would it not lose us the elections, and with them, the very cause we seek to advance?"
Source: Lincoln to Salmon Portland Chase, September 2, 1863.
"When, early in the war, Gen. Fremont attempted military emancipation, I forbade it, because I did not then think it an indispensable necessity. When a little later, Gen. Cameron, then Secretary of War, suggested the arming of the blacks, I objected, because I did not yet think it an indispensable necessity. When, still later, Gen. Hunter attempted military emancipation, I again forbade it, because I did not yet think the indispensable necessity had come. When, in March, and May, and July 1862 I made earnest, and successive appeals to the border states to favor compensated emancipation, I believed the indispensable necessity for military emancipation, and arming the blacks would come, unless averted by that measure. They declined the proposition; and I was, in my best judgment, driven to the alternative of either surrendering the Union, and with it, the Constitution, or of laying strong hand upon the colored element. I chose the latter. In choosing it, I hoped for greater gain than loss; but of this, I was not entirely confident. More than a year of trial now shows no loss by it in our foreign relations, none in our home popular sentiment, none in our white military force,---no loss by it any how or any ]where. On the contrary, it shows a gain of quite a hundred and thirty thousand soldiers, seamen, and laborers. These are palpable facts, about which, as facts, there can be no cavilling. We have the men; and we could not have had them without the measure."
Source: Lincoln to Albert G. Hodges, April 4, 1864.
"If General Hunter's proclamation declaring the slaves of his department forever free, is not disowned by the administration and himself disgraced, I will place my whole property to the value of three millions in the hands of the rebels for the use of the traitor Jeff Davis and his base ends This act has done us more harm than a loss of two battles and has made Kentucky & Maryland almost against us if not wholly."
Source: Peter Sturtevant to Abraham Lincoln, Friday, May 16, 1862.
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