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Lincoln Frees the Slaves

by Lord Charwood

In August 1862, some fourteen months into the Civil War, Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune called for the complete abolition of slavery in the United States. President Lincoln responded in a letter to Greeley: personally he hated slavery, but as president he saw his chief duty as preserving the Union. He had pondered the problem deeply, having by this time already discussed with his cabinet the prospect of freeing the slaves for military advantage. It was a decision fraught with moral and political consequences. A month after writing to Greeley, Lincoln issued his first Emancipation Proclamation, announcing that at the beginning of 1863 he would use his war powers to free all slaves in the states of the Confederacy as they came under Union control. Lord Charnwood recounts the development and importance of this signal event in American history, writing from the unusual perspective of a cultured Englishman. Charnwood’s work, though published a hundred years ago, has remained a classic—according to Benjamin Thomas, “the best one-volume life of Lincoln ever written.”

Emancipation details:

ISBN: 9781937853822

Words: 9,383

Pages: 20

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Tags:  Slavery - Emancipation - Civil War - Abraham Lincoln