This Week in the Civil War - 750

Jan 22, 2014

By January 1864 the much heralded Emancipation Proclamation had been in effect for an entire calendar year, and no doubt President Abraham Lincoln was more than ready for the war to end so slavery would exist no more in the United States. 

On Saturday, January 23, 1864 Lincoln approved a policy whereby plantation owners in the militarily occupied South would recognize the freedom of their former slaves and subsequently hire them under fair work conditions “to re-commence the cultivation of their plantations.” 

The president also urged all Union military authorities in the American South to support such a free labor concept.  While acknowledging the severe economic impact of the loss of black servitude, Lincoln wanted to help the South make a successful transition from slavery to a free labor market.