This Week in the Civil War - 788

Mar 17, 2014

Lincoln’s commitment to black rights which culminated in the August 1862 Emancipation Proclamation after the Battle of Antietam continued into mid-March 1864.  On March 13, the president suggested that both whites and some “very intelligent” Negroes should participate in an upcoming Louisiana state convention; on the issue of emancipation in Maryland, Lincoln on March 17 wrote that the end to slavery in Unionist Maryland “would aid much to end the rebellion” of the Southern states. 

And, on March 22, in an autograph album to be sold for charity by the Union Sanitary Commission the president wrote “I never knew a man who wished to be himself a slave.”  Clearly this was a president who intended to see the black man lifted out of slavery and into the mainstream of American life.