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Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, and the Civil War
Transcript of Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, and the Civil War
Question 1 is based on the accompanying documents. The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise. You are advised to spend 15 minutes reading and planning and 45 minutes writing your answer.
In your response, you should do the following:
State a relevant thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question.
Support the thesis or a relevant argument with evidence from all, or all but one, of the documents.
Incorporate analysis of all, or all but one, of the documents into your argument.
Focus your analysis of each document on at least one of the following: intended audience, purpose, historical context, and/or point of view.
Support your argument with analysis of historical examples outside the documents.
Synthesize the elements above into a persuasive essay that extends your argument, connects it to a different historical context, or accounts for contradictory evidence on the topic.
AP United States History 2014-2015 Workshop Handbook and Resources
"...The war has certainly progressed as favorably for us, since the issue of the proclamation as before. I know as fully as one can know the opinions of others, that some of the commanders of our armies in the field who have given us our most important successes, believe the emancipation policy, and the use of colored troops, constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion; and that, at least one of those important successes, could not have been achieved when it was, but for the aid of black soldiers. Among the commanders holding these views are some who have never had any affinity with what is called abolitionism, or with republican party politics; but who hold them purely as military opinions. I submit these opinions as being entitled to some weight against the objections, often urged, that emancipation, and arming the blacks, are unwise as military measures, and were not adopted, as such, in good faith." -Abraham Lincoln
-Letter to James Conkling (August 26, 1863)
"January 1, 1863
By the President of the United States of America:
Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, towit:
“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, thenceforward, 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 act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom...” -Emancipation Proclamation
"...Lincoln intensified his assault upon the logic of opposition: “You say you will not fight to free the negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then, exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistance to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes.”
At Port Hudson (May 27), Milliken’s Bend (June 7) and Fort Wagner (July 18), African-American soldiers had demonstrated their bravery and fortitude. Why do they fight, Lincoln asked? Like all men they act upon motives: “if they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive — even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept...”
-New York Times Op-Ed
Louis P. Masur (2013)
"...I have given the subject of arming the negro my hearty support. This, with the emancipation of the negro, is the heavyest blow yet given the Confederacy. The South care a great deal about it and profess to be very angry. But they were united in their action before and with the negro under subjection could spare their entire white population for the field. Now they complain that nothing can be got out of their negroes.
There has been great difficulty in getting able bodied negroes to fill up the colored regiments in consequence of the rebel cavalry runing off all that class to Georgia and Texas. This is especially the case for a distance of fifteen or twenty miles on each side of the river. I am now however sending two expeditions into Louisiana, one from Natchez to Harrisonburg and one from Goodrich's Landing to Monroe, that I expect will bring back a large number. I have ordered recruiting officers to accompany these expeditions. I am also moving a Brigade of Cavalry from Tennessee to Vicksburg which will enable me to move troops to a greater distance into the interior and will facilitate materially the recruiting service..." -General Ulysses S. Grant
"...(Like most members of the anti-war faction, Cox was a thoroughgoing racist.
When asked why he objected to receiving a black diplomat, he expostulated: “Objection?
Gracious heavens! what innocency! Objection to receiving a black man on an equality
with the white men of this country? Every objection which instinct, race, prejudice, and
institutions make. I have been taught in the history of this country that these
Commonwealths and this Union were made for white men; that this Government is a
Government of white men; that the men who made it never intended, by anything they
did, to place the black race upon an equality with the white.”)..."
Abraham Lincoln: A Life
Vol. 2, Chapter 29
"...Right or wrong, I assumed this ground, and now avow it. I could not feel that, to the best of my ability, I had even tried to preserve the constitution, if, to save slavery, or any minor matter, I should permit the wreck of government, country, and Constitution all together. 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..." -Abraham Lincoln (1864)
Letter to Albert Hodges
Evaluate the Extent to Which African Americans Shaped the Course and Consequences of the Civil War.
AP United States History DBQ
Library of Congress
Civil War Soldiers
First, list people, places, laws, events, etc. that will help you answer this question.
Next, divide your list into categories that would help you as you formulate your essay.
Make any other notes you may need before you read each document.
Klawiter - DBQ Rubric
Klawiter's DBQ Rubric
PLEASE use this rubric as you write your essay-it will help! :)
Note the year.
Think about other important events happening this far in the war.
Why is this significant?
You have finished reading the documents!
Review if you need to!
Watch the remaining time; you don't want to fall behind!
Remember your instructions!
Think about how you can extend your argument to future events/time periods (synthesis point)
Make sure you are picking all
all but one of the documents and analyzing them!
Author's Point of View