Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Reaction to Lincoln's Proposal of Compensated Emancipation 1862

I'm still working on my book project and will hopefully publish another update on it soon, but had previously found this article and thought it was worth sharing here as well. I'll keep looking for stuff like this occasionally even as I work on my project. 

This editorial came from the Cincinnati Enquirer of March 8, 1862 and is in reference to President Lincoln's March 6, 1862 Message to Congress supporting compensation to states willing to emancipate all slaves inside its borders.

The Message of President Lincoln - Slave Emancipation

It is to be deeply regretted that President Lincoln has so far yielded to the radicals in his party as to send in a message recommending that the United Stated afford pecuniary aid to such States as are willing to abolish slavery. It will have an unfortunate effect in the South, as indicating a meddlesome disposition upon the part of the General Government to interfere with their domestic institutions and to bias their State Legislatures by its influence. It will be time enough for the General Government to talk about affording aid to abolish slavery when the Southern States, or any of them, ask it at its hands. At the present time, when the country is loaded down with debt and taxation in order to carry out the war, it is simply impossible for it to make an investment of some hundreds of millions dollars in negroes. If the scheme was ever, or will be ever practicable, it is not now.

Strange caprice and infatuation, in view of the uniform failure of negro emancipation in the British and French West Indies, to effect any result except ruin to the countries that embark in it, to recommend it in this Union! What reasonable man can desire to enlarge our population of free negroes? The President's own State of Illinois prohibits a free negro from coming into it; and in all the free States, as well as slave, they are regarded as a most undesirable population, yet the President would have the whites of the North exhaust their pecuniary resources and to be beggared by taxes in order to set free millions of African slaves!

The suggestion springs from that uneasy, restless, insane spirit of fanaticism that has already been of such immense mischief to the country, and which every man should frown down. Leave negro slavery alone, where the Constitution leaves it, to work out its own destiny. Leave it to time. We of the North are not called upon to interfere with it in any form or shape, and can not do it except at our great injury and disadvantage. Better by far appropriate, as a measure of humanity, hundreds of millions of dollars to alleviate the distresses of poverty in the North, among the whites, than to invest the sum in creating free negroes. We much mistake the temper of the Northern people if they ever consent to it. We doubt whether a single Congressional district out of New England and the Ohio Western Reserve would vote, if it had the opportunity, in favor of the President's scheme.

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