American Abolitionists and Antislavery Activists:
Conscience of the Nation

Updated April 4, 2021

l to r: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips

Abraham Lincoln Chronology on Slavery and Emancipation

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The purpose of this document is to provide a historic timeline on Abraham Lincoln and the anti-slavery and abolition movement in the United States.  

The chronology will also provide a selected list of historic events and milestones in American history, including major milestones in the history of slavery in North America, principally during Abraham Lincoln’s lifetime.  We have included a chronology of the major events during the Civil War, especially as they affected the movement toward the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment.  We have also included some events in the international abolitionist movement, especially as it affected and influenced the American anti-slavery movement.                                                     

We hope this document provides an overview of Lincoln’s role in the emancipation of slaves as President of the United States. 



We dedicate this document to Abraham Lincoln and the thousands of brave men and women who fought to end the institution of slavery.  May they be an inspiration to us and to future generations.


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Lincoln Chronology on Slavery and Emancipation

Including Civil War Milestones



July 4, 1776

The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, is signed.  It declares, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  In an earlier draft, Thomas Jefferson criticized the British slave trade, stating that it violated “most sacred rights of life and liberty.”  It was omitted in the final draft.  Jefferson owns more than 200 slaves.[1]


July 13, 1787

The United States Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.  It outlaws slavery in the Northwest Territories, north of the Ohio River.[2]


September 17, 1787

The United States Constitution is created.  It institutionalizes slavery by declaring that a slave will be counted only as three-fifths of a person in determining representation in Congress.  This gives slaveholding states a greater representation in the House of Representatives.  The South would become the largest and most powerful slave system in the modern world.[3]  In addition, it contains a fugitive slave clause.  The blessings of liberty were not for slaves.  Dr. Benjamin Rush declared, “No mention was made of negroes or slaves in this constitution, only because it was thought the very words would contaminate the glorious fabric of American liberty and government.  Thus you see the cloud, which a few years ago was no larger than a man’s hand, had descended in plentiful dews and at last covered every part of our land.”[4]



The U.S. constitution is ratified.  Under its provisions, importation of slaves will continue for 20 more years.  Fugitive slaves are to be returned to their owners.  There are 13 states, seven free and six slave.


June 21, 1788

The United States Constitution is ratified.


September 13, 1788

The Continental Congress passes resolution to put the new Constitution into operation.


September 25, 1789

The Bill of Rights, consisting of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, is created.  These would guarantee a number of personal freedoms.  These include freedom of religion, freedom of speech, a free press, freedom to associate, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from warrants without probable cause, guarantee of a speedy trial by a jury of peers.



Numerous proposals for ending slavery by gradual, compensated emancipation are introduced into the United States Congress.[5]



The first United States Census shows a total population of 3,929,000; 1,961,174 live in slaveholding states.  There are 757,181 Blacks, among whom 697,624 are slaves and 59,557 are free.  Blacks are now 19.3% of the population.[6]

The beginning of the Second Middle Passage.  Between1790 and the beginning of the Civil War in 1860, more than one million enslaved individuals are sold and moved to the deep south to work in the cotton fields.  This is the largest forced migration in American history.  Countless generations of enslaved families are separated forever.  The breeding of enslaved individuals for labor and for sale becomes ever more widespread.  More than three and a half million individuals are born into slavery.


March 26, 1790

The U.S. Naturalization Act of 1790 restricts naturalization for American citizenship to “free White persons.”


December 15, 1791

Bill of Rights is ratified.


June 1792

Kentucky is admitted to the Union as a slave state. Congress seats their senators and representatives in November 1792.[7]


February 12, 1793

U.S. Congress passes Federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.  It is based on Article IV, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution.  The law is in effect until the more powerful Fugitive Slave Law is passed in 1850.[8]


October 28, 1793

Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin in Georgia.  He receives the patent on March 14, 1794.  It makes cotton production highly profitable.  It is the catalyst for exponential growth of the cotton industry in the deep south and west.[9]


March 22, 1794

United States Congress passes law forbidding the slave trade from foreign ports.  It does not regulate the African slave trade to U.S. ports.[10]



A religious movement, known as the Great Awakening, takes place.  This movement is a catalyst for the anti-slavery and abolitionist movement.


May 1800

U.S. Congress enacts new laws, restricting the foreign slave trade.  It prohibits U.S. citizens from having financial interests in ships carrying slaves to foreign ports.[11]


May 9, 1800

Future militant abolitionist John Brown is born.



The U.S. Congress rejects a bill that would have strengthened the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793.


February 28, 1803

U.S. Congress passes “An Act to Prevent the Emportation of Certain Persons into Certain States, Where, by the Laws Thereof, Their Admission is Prohibited.”[12]



United States Congress enacts law prohibiting the importation of slaves, to take effect January 1, 1808.[13]


March 2, 1807

President Jefferson signs the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves into law.  It takes effect on January 1, 1808.



The Kentucky state legislature enacts laws to prohibit free Blacks from entering the state.


January 1, 1808

The U.S. Congressional Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves takes effect.  More than 400,000 slaves have been brought into the country from Africa.  There are now one million slaves residing in the United States.  The US is the only country where there is a natural increase in the enslaved population.[14]


February 12, 1809

Future sixteenth President of the U.S., Abraham Lincoln, is born in Hardin County, Kentucky.  He is born in a one-room log cabin.[15]

In 1809, approximately one fifth of Kentucky’s population is composed of enslaved individuals.  In Hardin County, where Lincoln was born, in 1811 it had a total population of 7,500 individuals, more than 1,000 of whom were enslaved.


June 14, 1811

Harriet Beecher [Stowe], future author of the landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is born.


December 1816

The Lincoln family moves from Kentucky to southwestern Indiana.


December 28, 1816

American Colonization Society (ACS) is founded in U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC.  It seeks to settle free Blacks outside of the United States.  A number of its founding members are southern political leaders and slave holders.  They include Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Bushnell Washington, and Francis Scott Key.  It is restricted to White members.  The ACS never opposes slavery, either legally or morally.


February 14, 1817

Future Black abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass is born a slave on a plantation in Maryland.[16]



The Illinois state constitution prohibits slaves from being “hereafter introduced” into the state.



U.S. Congress debates the issue of extending slavery into the new territories and whether or not to permit new slave states to be admitted into the Union.[17]  The new areas are Arkansas Territory and the admission of Missouri as a state.


March 3, 1819

United States Congress passes stringent laws to impede illegal smuggling of slaves into the country.  The President can order the return to Africa of slaves brought in illegally.  The President can now send armed U.S. naval vessels to Africa to interdict slave ships.  The British Navy cooperates in this effort.[18]


March 2, 1820

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 is passed by Congress.  The vote is very close, at 90 to 87.  It prohibits all slavery north of a line 36°30’.  It allows Missouri to be admitted as a slave state and Maine as a free state.[19]


May 15, 1820

The U.S. Congress passes a law declaring that participating in the African slave trade will be considered an act of piracy.  Individuals who are convicted are subject to capital punishment.[20]



Congress enacts the Missouri Compromise.  It prohibits slavery in the territories of the Louisiana Purchase.  The act includes provision stating that fugitive slaves must be returned.[21]



The American Colonization Society founds a colony in Monrovia, Liberia for emancipated slaves.[22]

Pro-slavery individuals in Illinois try to create a state constitution to legalize slavery.[23]



Abraham Lincoln makes a trip to New Orleans on a flatboat.


March 1830

The Lincoln family moves to Macon County, Illinois.


January 1831

The New England Anti-Slavery Society (NEASS) is founded in Boston, Massachusetts.  It advocates for immediate abolition of slavery.  It states that slavery is immoral.  It opposes the American Colonization Society.  Its principal founder is William Lloyd Garrison.  Garrison begins publication of the newspaper, The Liberator.  It is the foremost abolitionist paper.  It continues publication until December 1865.[24]


July 1831

Abraham Lincoln moves to New Salem, Illinois.



Approximately 8,500 slaves are sold and moved annually from Virginia to the lower South.[25]  Virginia Governor Randolph estimates that 260,000 enslaved individuals are sold and moved South between 1790 and 1832.  After 1808, slaves are bred for the expanding slave market in the lower cotton growing states.  This is extremely profitable.

Lincoln votes for Henry Clay for President.  He is a life-long admirer of Clay.[26]

Lincoln runs for Illinois state House of Representatives and is defeated in a popular vote.  He is only 23 years old.[27]

Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison publishes Thoughts on African Colonization.  It opposes the colonization movement, stating, “It is directly and irreconcilably opposed to the wishes of our colored population as a body.”[28]



Slavery is abolished in Canada by Parliament.  In practice, however, it ended between 1790 and 1800.[29]


August 28, 1833

An act calling for gradual, compensated abolition of slavery in the colonies is passed in the British Parliament.  United States anti-slavery groups are encouraged and highly motivated by this action.  American and English abolitionist groups will increasingly work together.


December 1833

The American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) is founded in New York City.  Its founding officers are William Lloyd Garrison, Arthur and Lewis Tappan, and Theodore Dwight Weld.  It is the first national anti-slavery organization founded in the U.S.  It is disbanded 1870.  It publishes The Emancipator and The Anti-Slavery Standard.  The organization has 1,350 affiliated societies and 250,000 members in 1838.  By 1840, there are 2,000 affiliated societies.[30]


December 4-6, 1833

The first convention of anti-slavery organizations is held in Philadelphia.



Great Britain abolishes slavery in its colonies, 1834-1838.

Lincoln’s father’s uncle dies.  At the time of his death, he owned 43 slaves.


August 4, 1834

Abraham Lincoln is elected to first term in the Illinois State House of Representatives.  He will serve four terms.[31]



There are 225 anti-slavery societies in the United States.[32]


December 7, 1835

President Andrew Jackson asks Congress to pass laws prohibiting mailing of abolitionist literature through the U.S. mails.



By the end of 1836, as many as five hundred abolitionist groups have been organized in the United States.[33]

Henry Clay becomes president of the American Colonization Society.  He remains until his death in July 1852.


January 11, 1836

Petitions are submitted to the United States Congress calling for the ending of slavery in Washington, DC.  They are strongly opposed by southern lawmakers.


March 17, 1836

Republic of Texas is established.  Its new constitution makes slavery legal again in Texas.


May 26, 1836

The United States Congress issues the “Gag Rule.”  This prevents the reading and circulation of anti-slavery petitions.  This rule remains in effect until 1844.[34]



Cotton production in the United States is estimated at 500 million pounds annually and two million slaves.

There are an estimated 1,006 abolitionist groups in the United States.[35]  There are only three in Illinois.[36]


January 20, 1837

Abraham Lincoln votes against pro-slavery legislation in the Illinois House of Representatives.[37]


January 27, 1837

Lincoln delivers speech, “The Perpetuation of our Political Institutions,” at the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois.  He addresses the issue of slavery.  He declares, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.  In any case that arises, as for instance, the promulgation of abolitionism, one of two positions is necessarily true; that is, the thing is right within itself, and therefore deserves the protection of all law and all good citizens; or, it is wrong, and therefore proper to be prohibited by legal enactments; and in neither case, is the interposition of mob law, either necessary, justifiable, or excusable.”[38]


February 6, 1837

The United States House of Representatives rules that slaves did not have the right to petition Congress.


March 3, 1837

Illinois State Representative Abraham Lincoln and colleague Dan Stone protest anti-abolitionist resolution adopted by State legislature on January 20.  They state “that the institution of slavery is founded on both injustice and bad policy; but that the promulgation of abolition doctrines tends rather to increase than to abate its evils.  They believe that the congress of the United States has no power, under the constitution, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the different States.  They believe that the Congress of the United States has the power, under the constitution, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia; but that that power ought not to be exercised unless at the request of the people of said District.  The difference between these opinions and those contained in the said resolutions, is their reason for entering this protest.”[39]


April 1837

Abraham Lincoln moves to Springfield, Illinois.


October 26-27, 1837

Illinois State Anti-Slavery Society, at Upper Alton, is founded by abolitionists Elijah P. Lovejoy and his brother, Owen Lovejoy, a Congregationalist clergyman.  Eighty-six members meet.  It calls for the immediate abolition of slavery.[40]


November 7, 1837

Abolitionist newspaper publisher Elijah Lovejoy is killed by anti-abolitionist mob, in Alton, Illinois.[41]


December 19, 1837

U.S. Congress passes stronger “Gag Rule” against submissions of anti-slavery petitions.



There are an estimated 1,406 abolitionist and anti-slavery organizations in the United States, with approximately 115,000 members.[42]


January 3-12, 1838

South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun presents laws to the Senate to provide protection of the institution of slavery.  The Senate approves his measure, which specifies that the Federal government should “resist all attempts by one portion of the Union to use it as an instrument to attack the domestic institutions of another.


September 3, 1838

Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland.  He travels to New York, then to New Bedford, Massachusetts.[43]


December 11, 1838

The U.S. House of Representatives renews the Gag Rule, which was first adopted in 1836, preventing the submission of anti-slavery petitions.[44]



There are 2,487,455 slaves living in the United States.  There are also 386,303 free Blacks, for a total of 2,873,758.  This is an increase of 26.62% from 1830.[45]

The 1840 census counts a total of 331 enslaved individuals residing in Illinois.

William Henry Harrison is elected president of the United States as a Whig candidate.  Lincoln is re-elected to the Illinois state legislature.  It is his last term.[46]

The anti-slavery Liberty Party is founded by abolitionists.  It will play an influential role in American anti-slavery politics.

The American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society (A&FASS) is founded after a split from the American Anti-Slavery Society.  It is founded by Arthur and Lewis Tappan.  James G. Birney and Henry B. Stanton are elected secretaries.  They begin publication of the National Anti-Slavery Standard.[47]

Between 200,000 and 300,000 Northerners have become members of abolitionist societies.[48]


June 1840

The American Anti-Slavery Society begins publishing its newspaper, The National Anti-Slavery Standard.  It remains in publication until April 1870.[49]


July 9, 1841

Abraham Lincoln wins court case of “Bailey v. Cromwell and McNaughton” before the Illinois Supreme Court.  He wins freedom for slave girl Nance Legins Cox.[50]


September 8, 1841

Abraham Lincoln sees 12 chained slaves being transported on a steamboat on the Ohio River, chained together “like so many fish on a trot-line.”  Later, he recalls the scene in a letter, “You may remember, as I well do, that … there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons.  The sight was a continual torment to me; and I see it something like every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border. … You ought … to appreciate how much the great body of the Northern people do crucify their feelings, in order to maintain their loyalty to the constitution and the Union.”[51]  In 1855, Lincoln describes the same event in a letter to Mary Speed: “A fine example was presented on board the boat for contemplating the effect of condition upon human happiness. … [The slaves] were chained six and six together.  A small iron clevis was around the left wrist of each, and this was fastened to the main chain by a shorter one at a convenient distance from the others; so that the negroes were strung together precisely like so many fish upon a trot-line.  In this condition they were being separated forever from the scenes of their childhood, their friends, their fathers and mothers, and brothers and sisters, and many of them, from their wives and children, and going into perpetual slavery where the lash of the master is proverbially more ruthless and unrelenting than any other where; and yet amid all these distressing circumstances, as we would think of them, they were the most cheerful and apparently happy creatures on board. … How true it is that God … renders the worst of human conditions tolerable, while He permits the best, to be nothing better than tolerable.”[52]



Zebina Eastman begins publication of the abolitionist newspaper, the Western Citizen.[53]

Lincoln decides not to run for re-election to the Illinois state legislature.  He resumes his law practice.[54]


February 22, 1842

Lincoln delivers speech at a temperance society in Springfield, Illinois.  He declares his opposition to slavery, saying that it would be a “happy day” when “all appetites controlled, all passions subdued… when there shall be neither a drunkard nor a slave on the Earth.”[55]


March 1, 1842

The U.S. Supreme Court rules in the case of “Prigg v. Pennsylvania.”  It supports the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 by ruling that a Pennsylvania law that counters the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law is unconstitutional.[56]


November 4, 1842

Abraham Lincoln marries Mary Todd.  She is from a slaveholding family.



Great Britain and the United States enter into agreement to send Naval patrol to the west coast of Africa to prevent shipment of slaves.  The result is the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.



Democratic candidate James K. Polk is elected President, over Whig candidate Henry Clay and Liberty Party candidate James G. Birney.


December 3, 1844

The US House of Representatives lifts the enforcement of the “Gag Rule,” which prevented submissions of anti-slavery petitions to Congress.  It has been in effect since 1836.  Congressmen John Quincy Adams and Joshua Giddings led the opposition to the “Gag Rule.”[57]



Frederick Douglass’ influential book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, is published.[58]


March 3, 1845

Florida is admitted as the new 27th state of the Union.  It is a slave state.


December 29, 1845

Texas enters the Union as a slave state.  It is the 28th state.


August 3, 1846

Abraham Lincoln is elected as a Representative of the Whig Party from Springfield, Illinois to the United States Congress.  He is the only Whig candidate elected from Illinois.[59]


August 8, 1846

Congressman David Wilmont, of Pennsylvania, introduces a Proviso into Congress to prohibit slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico.  The Proviso fails to pass in the Senate.[60]


January 16, 1847

U.S. House of Representatives passes the Oregon Bill.  It prohibits the extension of slavery from the Oregon Territory.  The Senate tables the measure.


March 4, 1847

Thirtieth U.S. Congress convenes in Washington.  Lincoln will lodge in the same rooming house with prominent abolitionist and anti-slavery Congressmen, such as Joshua Giddings, Amos Tuck, of New Hampshire, John G. Palfrey, of Massachusetts, David Wilmot (Wilmot Proviso), and Daniel Gott, of New York.[61]


June 30, 1847

Slave Dred Scott files a lawsuit in Circuit Court in St. Louis, petitioning for his freedom.


October 16, 1847

Abraham Lincoln represents a slave holder, Robert Matson, in court who seeks to regain ownership of his runaway slaves.  Lincoln loses the case and slaves Anthony Bryant and his family are released from custody and from “all servitude whatever from henceforth and forever.”[62]


December 6, 1847

First session of the Thirtieth United States Congress convenes in Washington.


December 20, 1847

Congressman Abraham Lincoln votes against a bill supporting the raising of additional troops for the war with Mexico.[63]



Abraham Lincoln actively campaigns for Whig presidential candidate Zachary Taylor.

An Illinois Constitutional Convention passes a referendum empowering the state legislature to keep free Black persons out.  The referendum receives 70% of the vote.


January 12, 1848

Congressman Abraham Lincoln criticizes President James K. Polk’s policy on the starting of the war with Mexico.  He states in a speech before Congress that the war is based on “the sheerest deception…. He [Polk] is deeply conscious of being in the wrong… he feels the blood of this war, like the blood of Abel, is crying to Heaven against him.”[64]


August 9-10, 1848

The Free Soil Party is founded in Buffalo, New York.  It includes members of the “Conscience Whigs” Party, Democrats and members of the Liberty Party.  The motto is, “Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor and Free Men.”  It is co-founded by Salmon P. Chace and Gamaliel Bailey.  The Party opposes slavery in territories acquired in the Mexican War.  It nominates Martin Van Buren for U.S. President.  The Party is active from 1848 to 1852.  The Party’s support comes largely from upstate New York.  The Party membership is absorbed by the Republican Party at its founding in 1854.[65]


August 14, 1848

Oregon Territory is established as a free territory.  Slavery is prohibited.


December 1848

The second session of the Thirtieth U.S. Congress convenes.


January 10, 1849

U.S. Congressman Abraham Lincoln reads resolution to report bill to U.S. House of Representatives for abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.  It calls for voluntary compensated emancipation of slaves in the District.[66]  There are 3,700 enslaved persons residing in the nation’s capitol.  The total population is 52,000, including 10,000 free African Americans.  Abolitionist Congressman Joshua Giddings fully supports Lincoln’s bill, state that it is “as good a bill as we could get at this time.”  Ardent abolitionists do not, however, support the plan.


January 13, 1849

“Mr. Lincoln gave notice of a motion for leave…”[67]


March 4, 1849

Thirtieth U.S. Congress adjourns.  Abraham Lincoln is 40 years old.  His political career appears to be at an end.  He will resume his law practice in Springfield.



The total population in the U.S. is 23,191,876.  There are 3,204,313 slaves in the United States.  This is an increase of 28.82% since 1840.  There are 434,449 free Blacks, for a total of 3,638,762.  Blacks comprise 15.7% of the total U.S. population.  There are 15 slave states.[68]

Illinois population doubles from 851,000 to 1.7 million since the 1840 census.

Congress enacts the Missouri Compromise of 1850.  California is admitted to the Union as a free state.  The territories of New Mexico and Utah can decide by vote whether they will be free or slave territory.[69]

Congress passes new Federal Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.  Slaves must be returned to their owners.  This strengthens the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.  As a result, many former slaves living in New England will settle in Canada.[70]


June 5, 1851

Serialized version of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin begins publication in anti-slavery newspaper, the National Era.


December 1851

Abolitionist leader Charles Sumner is elected Senator in Massachusetts.



Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is published.  More than a million copies are sold.


July 4, 1852

Frederick Douglass gives Independence Day speech in Rochester, New York, entitled “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”  In it, he states:  “To him your celebration a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license, your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”[71]


July 6, 1852

Lincoln delivers a eulogy for Henry Clay.  He praises Clay highly for his anti-slavery actions and politics in Congress.[72]


August 11, 1852

The newly formed Free Soil Party holds national convention in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  Its platform deeply opposes slavery.[73]


September 27, 1852

In Troy, New York, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is first performed as a play.


October 26, 1852

Anti-slavery Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner denounces the Fugitive Slave Act in a speech before the Senate.[74]



State of Illinois passes law barring Blacks from entering the state.[75]


January 1854

Congressional debates on the proposed Kansas-Nebraska Act are conducted.  The Act would repeal the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and would allow extension of slavery into new territories.  It is strongly opposed by abolitionist congressmen and senators.[76]


May 30, 1854

The Kansas-Nebraska Act creates the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska and allows for a vote by the population to determine if they will be free or slave.  This act repeals the anti-slavery clause of the Missouri Compromise.  The three-fifths rule allows pro-slavery advocates to elect their candidate for President.  It also prevents further suppression of the African slave trade.[77]


July 6, 1854

The Republican Party is formed.  Many members of the Whig Free Soil Party and Northern Democrats form the base of the party.[78]


September 12, 1854

Lincoln delivers speech on slavery at Bloomington, Illinois.  It is reported in the Bloomington Weekly Pantagraph, September 20, 1854.[79]


September 26, 1854

Lincoln delivers speech in Bloomington, Illinois.  It is reported in the Peoria weekly on October 6, 1854.  Lincoln discusses the moral issue of slavery.  “States might make their own statutes, subject only to the Constitution of the whole country;---no one disagreed with this doctrine. It had, however, no application to the question at present at issue namely, whether slavery, a moral, social and political evil, should or should not exist in territory owned by the Government, over which the Government had control, and which looked to the Government for protection---unless it be true that a negro is not a man; if not, then it is no business of ours whether or not he is enslaved upon soil which belongs to us, any more than it is our business to trouble ourselves about the oyster-trade, cranberry-trade, or any other legitimate traffic carried on by the people in territory owned by the Government. If we admit that a negro is not a man, then it is right for the Government to own him and trade in the race, and it is right to allow the South to take their peculiar institution with them and plant it upon the virgin soil of Kansas and Nebraska. If the negro is not a man, it is consistent to apply the sacred right of popular sovereignty to the question as to whether the people of the territories shall or shall not have slavery; but if the negro, upon soil where slavery is not legalized by law and sanctioned by custom, is a man, then there is not even the shadow of popular sovereignty in allowing the first settlers upon such soil to decide whether it shall be right in all future time to hold men in bondage there.”[80]


October 4, 1854

Lincoln delivers speech in Springfield, Illinois, on the issue of slavery and its extension.  It is reported in the Illinois Journal on October 5, 1854.  Lincoln states: “What natural right requires Kansas and Nebraska to be opened to Slavery? Is not slavery universally granted to be, in the abstract, a gross outrage on the law of nature? Have not all civilized nations, our own among them, made the Slave trade capital, and classed it with piracy and murder? Is it not held to be the great wrong of the world? Do not the Southern people, the Slaveholders themselves, spurn the domestic slave dealer, refuse to associate with him, or let their families associate with his family, as long as the taint of his infamous calling is known?  Shall that institution, which carries a rot and a murrain in it, claim any right, by the law of nature, to stand by the side of Freedom, on a Soil that is free?”[81]


October 5, 1854

Abolitionists and members of the Free Soil Society meet in Springfield to form the Republican Party in Illinois.[82]


October 16, 1854

In a speech in Peoria, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln declares his opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its extension of slavery into the new western territories.[83]  He criticizes the bill’s author, Senator Stephan A. Douglas.  Lincoln declares, “This declared indifference, but as I must think, covert real zeal for the spread of slavery, I can not but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world---enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites---causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty---criticising the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest…. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do, as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia,---to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me, that whatever of high hope, (as I think there is) there may be in this, in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. ... What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? … What next? Free them, and make them politically and socially, our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgment, is not the sole question, if indeed, it is any part of it. A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, can not be safely disregarded. We can not, then, make them equals. It does seem to me that systems of gradual emancipation might be adopted; but for their tardiness in this, I will not undertake to judge our brethren of the south. … The doctrine of self government is right---absolutely and eternally right---but it has no just application, as here attempted. Or perhaps I should rather say that whether it has such just application depends upon whether a negro is not or is a man. … [If] the negro is a man, is it not to that extent, a total destruction of self-government, to say that he too shall not govern himself? When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man … that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that ‘all men are created equal;’ and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another. … Our republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. … Let us turn slavery from its claims of ‘moral right,’ back upon its existing legal rights, and its arguments of ‘necessity.’ Let us return it to the position our fathers gave it; and there let it rest in peace. Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south---let all Americans---let all lovers of liberty everywhere---join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union; but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving.”[84]



Former slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass publishes his autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom.  Douglass is nominated as a state candidate for the anti-slavery Liberty Party.


February 8, 1855

Abraham Lincoln is unsuccessful in his bid for the United States Senate.


March 30, 1855

Kansas holds first territorial election.  A pro-slavery legislature is put into office, despite accusation of fraud.


August 1855

Lincoln writes to Joshua Speed, “You enquire where I now stand.  That is a disputed point.  I think I am a whig; but others say there are no whigs, and that I am an abolitionist. … I now do no more than oppose the extension of slavery.  I am not a Know-Nothing.  That is certain.  How could I be?  How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people?  Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid.  As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.”  We now practically read it, “all men are created equal, except negroes.”  When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.’  When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.”[85]



Conflict continues over the issue of extension of slavery into the new Kansas Territory.  It further polarizes the country.


May 19, 1856

Anti-slavery U.S. Senator Charles Sumner is severely beaten by pro-slavery Congressman Preston Brooks in the Senate chamber.


May 29, 1856

Lincoln participates in the Illinois state Republican Party convention.  He delivers the keynote speech.  In it, he opposes slavery.[86]


June 17-19, 1856

Republican Party holds national nomination convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  John C. Frémont is nominated as candidate for president.  The delegates call for the non-extension of slavery into the new territories.


September-October 1856

Lincoln campaigns for Republican candidate for President John C. Frémont.  He delivers more than 100 speeches.[87]


November 1856

James Buchanan is elected President, defeating Republican candidate John. C. Frémont.


March 6, 1857

The U.S. Supreme Court decides the Dred Scott case.  It states that Congress has no power to limit slavery in the territories.  Three justices conclude that African Americans descended from slaves have no rights as American citizens.[88]  Supreme Court Chief Justice Tanney rules that Blacks, both free and slave, are “beings of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race… and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”


June 26, 1857

Abraham Lincoln repudiates the Supreme Court “Dred Scott” decision in a speech in Springfield, Illinois.  He calls it “erroneous.”[89]  Lincoln states, about the future of the enslaved person, “All the powers of earth seem rapidly combining against him.  Mammon is after him; ambition follows, and philosophy follows, and the Theology of the day is fast joining the cry.  They have him in his prison house; they have searched his person, and left no prying instrument with him.  One after another they have closed the heavy iron doors upon him, and now they have him, as it were, bolted in with a lock of a hundred keys, which can never be unlocked without the concurrence of every key; the keys in the hands of a hundred different men, and they scattered to a hundred different and distant places; and they stand musing as to what invention, in all the dominions of mind and matter, can be produced to make the impossibility of his escape more complete than it is.”  About the Declaration of Independence and its meaning with respect to equality, he declares, “I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects.  They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity.  They defined with tolerable distinctness, in what respects they did consider all men created equal—equal in ‘certain inalienable rights, among which were life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ … They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence.”[90]



Militant abolitionist John Brown begins plans to create an organization comprised of armed guerrillas to fight slavery.

Republican Party gains new seats in the U.S. Congress.

Abraham Lincoln is on the Board of Managers of the Illinois Colonization Society.[91]


June 16, 1858

Abraham Lincoln is nominated as Republican Senatorial candidate for Illinois.  He delivers speech: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.  I do not expect the Union to be dissolved.  I do not expect the house to fall, but I do expect it will cease to be divided.”[92]


August 2, 1858

Voters in Kansas vote for the territory to become a free territory.  It becomes a free state in 1861.


August 3, 1858

In a letter to Republican candidate David Davis, Lincoln wrote, “I think the Negro is included in the word ‘men’ used in the Declaration of Independence.”[93]


August 21-October 15, 1858

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas have seven debates while campaigning for U.S. Senator from Illinois.  Lincoln opposes slavery in the debates.[94]  These debates, heavily covered by the press, bring Lincoln to national consciousness.


October 1858

Abraham Lincoln declares in the seventh and last of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, in Alton, Illinois, that the Democratic Party wants to “dehumanize the negro—to take away from him the right of ever striving to be a man … to make property, and nothing but property of the Negro in all the states of this Union.”[95]  “That is the real issue.  That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent.  It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world. … The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. … It is the same spirit that says, ‘You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.’  No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.”[96]



Abraham Lincoln has gone on record for five years opposing the extension of slavery to the territories, since his Peoria, Illinois, speech in 1854.


March 7, 1859

The United States Supreme Court rules in Ableman v. Booth case.  It upholds the constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.


October 4, 1859

Kansas Territorial voters ratify a new anti-slavery constitution.


October 16-17, 1859

John Brown leads an attack on the U.S. Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.  The attack is quickly put down.  Brown and several of his followers are captured.


December 2, 1859

John Brown is hanged along with four of his Black soldiers in Charleston, Virginia.


December 19, 1859

In his message to Congress, President James Buchanan states opposition to legalizing the importation of African slaves.



There are 31,443,321 people living in the United States.  The North has 19,127,948. The South has 12,315,373 people.  The 1860 Census shows 3,953,760 slaves and 487,970 free Blacks in the United States.  There is an increase of 23.39% in slave population compared to 1850.  The total Black population is 4,441,730, representing 14.1% of the total U.S. population.[97]

The slave populations by state in the South are:  Alabama:  435,080; Arkansas:  111,115; Florida:  61,745; Georgia:  462,198; Louisiana:  331,726; Mississippi:  436,631; North Carolina:  331,059; South Carolina:  402,406; Tennessee:  275,719; Texas:  182,566; Virginia:  490,865.   According to the Constitution, enslaved individuals are counted as three-fifths of a person for tallying representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.  These states have 45 congressional representatives and 14 senators.  The enslaved individuals residing in the South give the South disproportionate representation in Congress.  The reason that the slave states can dictate national policy is the direct result of the millions of enslaved individuals living within their borders.[98]

There are an estimated 60,000 Blacks residing in upper Canada.  45,000 are fugitive slaves from the U.S.[99]

The price of a field hand slave is approximately $1,200-1,800.


February 27, 1860

Abraham Lincoln delivers his famous Cooper Union speech in New York City.  (See Appendix for excerpts.)[100] 


March 5, 1860

Lincoln delivers speech in Hartford, Connecticut.  It is printed in the Hartford Daily Courant on March 6.[101]  He declares, “One-sixth of the population of the United States is slave. One man of every six, one woman of every six, one child of every six, is a slave. Those who own them look upon them as property, and nothing else. They contemplate them as property, and speak of them as such. The slaves have the same ``property quality,'' in the minds of their owners, as any other property. The entire value of the slave population of the United States, is, at a moderate estimate, not less than $2,000,000,000. This amount of property has a vast influence upon the minds of those who own it.”[102]  … “For instance, out in the street, or in the field, or on the prairie I find a rattlesnake. I take a stake and kill him. Everybody would applaud the act and say I did right. But suppose the snake was in a bed where children were sleeping. Would I do right to strike him there? I might hurt the children; or I might not kill, but only arouse and exasperate the snake, and he might bite the children. Thus, by meddling with him here, I would do more hurt than good. Slavery is like this. We dare not strike at it where it is. The manner in which our constitution is framed constrains us from making war upon it where it already exists. The question that we now have to deal with is, ‘Shall we be acting right to take this snake and carry it to a bed where there are children?’ The Republican party insists upon keeping it out of the bed.”[103] … “The Republicans want to see all parts of the Union in harmony with one another. Let us do our duty, but let us look to what our duty is, and do nothing except after due deliberation. Let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy the South. Will they be satisfied that we surrender the territories to them unconditionally? No. If we promise never to instigate an invasion upon slavery? No. Equally without avail is the fact that they have found nothing to detect us in doing them any wrong. What then? We must say that slavery is right; we must vote for Douglas's new Sedition laws; we must withdraw our statement that slavery is wrong. If a slave runs away, they overlook the natural causes which impelled him to the act; do not remember the oppression or the lashes he received, but charge us with instigating him to flight. If he screams when whipped, they say it is not caused by the pains he suffers, but he screams because we instigate him to outcrying. We do let them alone, to be sure, but they object to our saying anything against their system. They do not ask us to change our free State constitutions, but they will yet do that. After demanding what they do, and as they do, they cannot stop short of this. They may be justified in this, believing, as they do, that slavery is right, and a social blessing. We cannot act otherwise than we do, believing that slavery is wrong. If it is right, we may not contract its limits. If it is wrong, they cannot ask us to extend it. Upon these different views, hinges the whole controversy. Thinking it right, they are justified in asking its protection; thinking it wrong, we cannot consent to vote for it, or to let it extend itself. If our sense of duty forbids this extension, let us do that duty. This contrivance of a middle ground is such that he who occupies it is neither a dead or a living man. Their ‘Union’ contrivances are not for us, for they reverse the scriptural order and call the righteous, not sinners to repentance. They ask men who never had an aspiration except for the Union, to swear fealty to the Union. Let us not be slandered from our duties, or intimidated from preserving our dignity and our rights by any menace; but let us have faith that Right, Eternal Right makes might, and as we understand our duty, so do it!”[104]

In a speech at Hartford, Connecticut, reported the next day in the Evening Press, Lincoln said: “Public opinion at the South regards slaves as property and insists upon treating them like other property. / On the other hand, the free states carry on their government on the principle of the equality of men. We think slavery is morally wrong, and a direct violation of that principle. We all think it wrong. It is clearly proved, I think, by natural theology, apart from revelation. Every man, black, white or yellow, has a mouth to be fed and two hands with which to feed it---and that bread should be allowed to go to that mouth without controversy. (Applause.)”[105]  He further stated, “If slavery is right, it ought to be extended; if not, it ought to be restricted---there is no middle ground. Wrong as we think it, we can afford to let it alone where it of necessity now exists; but we cannot afford to extend it into free territory and around our own homes. Let us stand against it! / The “Union” arrangements are all a humbug---they reverse the scriptural order, calling the righteous and not sinners to repentance. Let us not be slandered or intimidated to turn from our duty. Eternal right makes might---as we understand our duty, let us do it!”[106]


March 6, 1860

In a speech at New Haven, Connecticut, reported the next day in the New Haven Daily Palladium, Lincoln said:  “To us it appears natural to think that slaves are human beings; men, not property; that some of the things, at least, stated about men in the Declaration of Independence apply to them as well as to us. [Applause.] I say, we think, most of us, that this Charter of Freedom applies to the slave as well as to ourselves ….  We think Slavery a great moral wrong, and while we do not claim the right to touch it where it exists, we wish to treat it as a wrong in the Territories, where our votes will reach it. We think that a respect for ourselves, a regard for future generations and for the God that made us, require that we put down this wrong where our votes will properly reach it. We think that species of labor an injury to free white men---in short, we think Slavery a great moral, social and political evil, tolerable only because, and so far as its actual existence makes it necessary to tolerate it, and that beyond that, it ought to be treated as a wrong.”[107]  Lincoln further stated: “It is easy to demonstrate that ‘our Fathers, who framed this government under which we live,’ looked on Slavery as wrong, and so framed it and everything about it as to square with the idea that it was wrong, so far as the necessities arising from its existence permitted. In forming the Constitution they found the slave trade existing; capital invested in it; fields depending upon it for labor, and the whole system resting upon the importation of slave-labor. They therefore did not prohibit the slave trade at once, but they gave the power to prohibit it after twenty years. Why was this? What other foreign trade did they treat in that way? Would they have done this if they had not thought slavery wrong? / Another thing was done by some of the same men who framed the Constitution, and afterwards adopted as their own act by the first Congress held under that Constitution, of which many of the framers were members; they prohibited the spread of Slavery into Territories. Thus the same men, the framers of the Constitution, cut off the supply and prohibited the spread of Slavery, and both acts show conclusively that they considered that the thing was wrong. / If additional proof is wanting it can be found in the phraseology of the Constitution. When men are framing a supreme law and chart of government, to secure blessings and prosperity to untold generations yet to come, they use language as short and direct and plain as can be found, to express their meaning. In all matters but this of Slavery the framers of the Constitution used the very clearest, shortest, and most direct language. But the Constitution alludes to Slavery three times without mentioning it once! The language used becomes ambiguous, roundabout, and mystical. They speak of the ‘immigration of persons,’ and mean the importation of slaves, but do not say so. In establishing a basis of representation they say ‘all other persons,’ when they mean to say slaves---why did they not use the shortest phrase? In providing for the return of fugitives they say ‘persons held to service or labor.’ If they had said slaves it would have been plainer, and less liable to misconstruction. Why didn't they do it. We cannot doubt that it was done on purpose. Only one reason is possible, and that is supplied us by one of the framers of the Constitution---and it is not possible for man to conceive of any other---they expected and desired that the system would come to an end, and meant that when it did, the Constitution should not show that there ever had been a slave in this good free country of ours!”[108]  He also stated, “I want every man to have the chance---and I believe a black man is entitled to it---in which he can better his condition ---when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him! That is the true system.”[109]  He further stated, “So long as we call Slavery wrong, whenever a slave runs away they will overlook the obvious fact that he ran because he was oppressed, and declare he was stolen off. Whenever a master cuts his slaves with the lash, and they cry out under it, he will overlook the obvious fact that the negroes cry out because they are hurt…”[110]


March 8, 1860

Lincoln delivers “powerful” speech in Woonsocket.[111]


May 9, 1860

In Baltimore, Maryland, the Constitutional Union Party is founded.


May 16-18, 1860

Republican Party holds its nominating convention in Chicago. It nominates Abraham Lincoln as its presidential candidate.  The Party platform opposes the future expansion of slavery into the new western territories.[112]


May 19, 1860

Lincoln receives notice he has been nominated.[113]


May 21, 1860

Lincoln sends note to prominent Ohio abolitionist and associate congressman Joshua Giddings: “It is indeed, most grateful to my feelings, that the responsible position assigned me, comes without conditions, save only such honorable ones as are fairly implied. I am not wanting in the purpose, though I may fail in the strength, to maintain my freedom from bad influences. Your letter comes to my aid in this point, most opportunely. May the Almighty grant that the cause of truth, justice, and humanity, shall in no wise suffer at my hands.”[114]


May 23, 1860

Lincoln accepts nomination as presidential candidate of the Republican Party.  He writes to George Ashmun, President of the convention: “Imploring the assistance of Divine Providence, and with due regard to the views and feelings of all who were represented in the convention; to the rights of all the states, and territories, and people of the nation; to the inviolability of the constitution, and the perpetual union, harmony, and prosperity of all, I am most happy to co-operate for the practical success of the principles declared by the convention. Your obliged friend, and fellow citizen.”[115]


June 18-23, 1860

The Democratic Party nominates Stephan A. Douglas as its presidential candidate at its convention in Charleston, South Carolina.


November 6, 1860

Abraham Lincoln is elected the Sixteenth President of the United States, Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President.  They are elected from the Republican Party.  They receive 1,866,452 votes and win in 17 of 33 states.  Lincoln is elected President by a minority of only 40% of the popular vote.[116]


December 4, 1860

President James Buchanan gives report on the State of the Union.  About the abolition of slavery, he states, “The long-continued and intemperate interference of the Northern people with the question of slavery in the Southern states has at length produced its natural effects.”  He counsels against secession by declaring “The election of any one of our fellow-citizens to the office of President does not of itself afford just cause for dissolving the Union.”[117]


December 10, 1860

President-Elect Lincoln writes to Lyman Trumbull, “Let there be no compromise on the question of extending slavery.  If there be, all our labor is lost, and, ere long, must be done again… The tug has to come & better now, than any time hereafter.”[118]


December 11, 1860

President elect Lincoln writes to William Kellogg, “Entertain no proposition for a compromise in regard to the extension of slavery. The instant you do, they have us under again; all our labor is lost, and sooner or later must be done over. Douglas is sure to be again trying to bring in his ‘Pop. Sov.’ Have none of it. The tug has to come & better now than later. / You know I think the fugitive slave clause of the constitution ought to be enforced---to put it on the mildest form, ought not to be resisted.”[119]

New York Herald reports about secession, “The president elect prepared for the inevitable calamity, and his plans of action, it is said, are being adapted to it.[120]


December 13, 1860

Lincoln writes to Elihu B. Washburne, “Prevent, as far as possible, any of our friends from demoralizing themselves, and our cause, by entertaining propositions for compromise of any sort, on ‘slavery extention.’ There is no possible compromise upon it, but which puts us under again, and leaves all our work to do over again.”[121]


December 15, 1860

President-Elect Lincoln writes to Congressman John Gilmer, of North Carolina, “I have no thought of recommending the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, nor the slave trade among the slave states, even on the conditions indicated; and if I were to make such recommendation, it is quite clear Congress would not follow it.”  He further writes, “You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted.  For this, neither has any just occasion to be angry with the other.”[122]


December 17, 1860

Lincoln writes to Congressman Thurlow Weed, “My opinion is that no state can in any way lawfully get out of this Union, without the consent of the others; and that is the duty of the president and other government functionaries to run the machine as it is.”[123]


December 18, 1860

Senator John J. Crittenden, of Kentucky, proposes a “compromise” to prevent southern states from seceding from the Union.  It states, in part, that “…no amendment should be made which would give Congress power to abolish or interfere with slavery in states where state laws permitted it.”[124]


December 20, 1860

By a vote of 169 to 0, South Carolina secedes from the Union.[125]


December 22, 1860

Lincoln writes to Alexander H. Stephens, the future vice-president of the Confederacy: “You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.”[126]



A slave girl, Harriet Jacobs, publishes influential slave narrative, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.


January 8, 1861

President Buchanan calls for the Congress to pass and adopt the Compromise of Senator Crittenden.  He states, “Let us pause at this momentous point and afford the people both North and South, an opportunity for reflection…  Let the question be transferred from the political assemblies to the ballot box.”[127]


January 9, 1861

At a state convention, Mississippi votes 84 to 15 to secede from the Union.  It is the second southern state to do so.[128]


January 10, 1861

At a state convention, Florida votes 62 to 7 to secede from the Union.  It is the third southern state to do so.[129]

Senator William H. Seward of New York, an abolitionist, accepts post of Secretary of State in President-Elect Lincoln’s cabinet.[130]


January 11, 1861

At a state convention at Montgomery, Alabama votes 61 to 39 to secede.  It is the fourth southern state to do so.[131]

Lincoln writes to Republican Congressman J. T. Hale, “We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people.  Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices… If we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government.”  He further writes, “There is, in my judgment, but one compromise which would really settle the slavery question, and that would be a prohibition against acquiring any more territory.”[132]

Senator Seward, of the state of New York, in a speech before the Senate, declares, “The alarm is appalling; for the Union is not more the body than liberty is the soul of the nation… A continuance of the debate on the constitutional power of Congress over the subject of slavery in the Territories will not save the Union.  The Union cannot be saved by proving that secession is illegal or unconstitutional… I do not know what the Union would be worth if saved by the use of the sword.”[133]


January 12, 1861

An amendment protecting slavery is adopted in the Congress.  It fails, however, to be ratified by the states.  Senator Seward of New York says, in speech before the Senate, “The alarm is appalling; for the Union is not more the body than liberty is the soul of the nation… A continuance…”[134]


January 16, 1861

The proposed Crittenden Compromise is voted down in the U.S. Senate.[135]


January 19, 1861

At a state convention in Milledgeville, the state of Georgia votes 208-89 to secede from the Union.  It is the fifth southern state to do so.  However, some prominent state political leaders oppose secession.[136]


January 21, 1861

The New York state legislature pledges support for the Union.


January 23, 1861

The Massachusetts state legislature pledges its support for the Union.


January 24, 1861

The Pennsylvania state legislature pledges its support for the Union.


January 26, 1861

The state of Louisiana, at a convention in Baton Rouge, votes 113 to 17 to leave the Union.  It is the sixth state to do so.[137]


January 29, 1861

Congress votes to admit Kansas as the 34th state.  Its constitution prohibits slavery in the new state.[138]


February 1, 1861

The state of Texas votes in the capital in Austin, 166 to 7, to leave the Union.[139]

President elect Lincoln writes to Secretary of State designate Seward.  He refuses to compromise on the extension of slavery into the territories: “I say now, however, as I have all the while said, that on the territorial question---that is, the question of extending slavery under the national auspices,---I am inflexible. I am for no compromise which assists or permits the extension of the institution on soil owned by the nation. And any trick by which the nation is to acquire territory, and then allow some local authority to spread slavery over it, is as obnoxious as any other. / I take it that to effect some such result as this, and to put us again on the high-road to a slave empire is the object of all these proposed compromises. I am against it.[140]


February 4-9, 1861

Seven of the southern states that seceded meet in Montgomery, Alabama, and adopt provisional confederate constitution on February 9.  They elect Senator Jefferson Davis as provisional president.[141]


February 11, 1861

Lincoln leaves by train for Washington, DC.  The trip lasts 12 days and is 2,000 miles.  He makes more than 100 spontaneous speeches at various state capitols and towns.


February 15, 1861

Lincoln gives speech in Cleveland, Ohio.  He says, “I am convinced that the cause of liberty and the Union can never be in danger. Frequent allusion is made to the excitement at present existing in our national politics, and it is as well that I should also allude to it here. I think that there is no occasion for any excitement. The crisis, as it is called, is altogether an artificial crisis. In all parts of the nation there are differences of opinion and politics. There are differences of opinion even here. You did not all vote for the person who now addresses you. What is happening now will not hurt those who are farther away from here. Have they not all their rights now as they ever have had? Do they not have their fugitive slaves returned now as ever? Have they not the same constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years? Have they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have we any power to change that position? (Cries of ``No.'') What then is the matter with them? Why all this excitement? Why all these complaints? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial. It has no foundation in facts.”[142]


February 18, 1861

Jefferson Davis describes slavery as “necessary to self-preservation” in his inaugural address as President of the Confederacy.[143]


February 21, 1861

Lincoln addresses New Jersey Senate in Trenton: “…in my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got hold of a small book, such a one as few of the younger members have ever seen, ‘Weem's Life of Washington.’ I remember all the accounts there given of the battle fields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed themselves upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New-Jersey. The crossing of the river; the contest with the Hessians; the great hardships endured at that time, all fixed themselves on my memory more than any single revolutionary event; and you all know, for you have all been boys, how these early impressions last longer than any others. I recollect thinking then, boy even though I was, that there must have been something more than common that those men struggled for. I am exceedingly anxious that that thing which they struggled for; that something even more than National Independence; that something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come; I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made.”[144]

To the New Jersey State General Assembly, Lincoln declares: “I shall do all that may be in my power to promote a peaceful settlement of all our difficulties. The man does not live who is more devoted to peace than I am. [Cheers.] None who would do more to preserve it. But it may be necessary to put the foot down firmly.”[145]


February 22, 1861

In a speech in Philadelphia, Lincoln declares, “I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence…  In my view of the present aspect of affairs, there is no need of bloodshed and war.”[146]


February 23, 1861

Texas voters approve referendum to secede from the Union, 34,794 to 11,235 in favor.[147]


March 1861

The vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, states that his government “rested upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man, that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is a natural and normal condition… our new Government, is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”


March 2, 1861

The United States Congress passes a proposed constitutional amendment that the U.S. government would not “abolish or interfere…with the domestic institutions” of the states.  This amendment is not ratified.[148]


March 4, 1861

Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated, in Washington City, as President of the United States.  More than 50,000 attend the ceremony.  He states, in his inaugural address, “I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. …It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union,--that resolves and ordnances to that effect are legally void;… I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and, to the extent of my ability, I shall take care,… that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. … In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. … One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. … I have no purpose… to interfere with the institution of slavery…  In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not mine, is the momentous issue of civil war.  The government will not assail you.  You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors.  You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ it. … I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, streching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.[149] (See full speech in appendix.)


April 12, 1861

Start of the Civil War in the United States.  Confederate Army begins the shelling of the U.S. Army garrison at Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.[150]


April 15, 1861

Lincoln calls for 75,000 troops to enlist for three months.  Black men who seek to volunteer for the Union Army are turned back.[151]


April 17, 1861

General Benjamin F. Butler is replaced as commander of the Union Department of Virginia, headquartered at Fortress Monroe.[152]


May 13, 1861

United Kingdom issues Proclamation of Neutrality in the war.[153]

Union troops occupy Baltimore, Maryland.


May 20, 1861

North Carolina secedes from the Union.[154]


May 22, 1861

Union General Benjamin F. Butler assumes command of Fortress Monroe on the James River in Virginia, near Norfolk.[155]


May 23, 1861

Three enslaved individuals escape to Fortress Monroe.  Butler gives them sanctuary and refuses to return them to their owners.  He refuses to abide by the Federal Fugitive Slave Act.  Butler asserts that it did not apply because it “did not affect a foreign country, which Virginia claimed to be.”[156]

Virginia votes three to one to approve secession from the Union.[157]


May 24, 1861

Union General Benjamin F. Butler declares fugitive slaves to be “contraband of war.”  Fugitive slaves who escape to Fort Monroe, Virginia, are put to work for the Union.[158]

Federal troops enter and occupy Alexandria, Virginia.[159]


May 27, 1861

Forty-seven escaped slaves arrive at Fortress Monroe.  They call it “Freedom Fort.”  General Butler puts them to work.  He requests a decision from Washington regarding his actions.  Lincoln approves of General Butler’s policy, calling it “Butler’s fugitive slave law.”[160]


June 3, 1861

Senator Stephan A. Douglas dies.[161]


June 4, 1861

Southern newspapers recommend that slaves be utilized in Confederate fortification, in lieu of state volunteer forces.[162]


July 4, 1861

Lincoln calls for a special Congressional session.  He has a special message delivered, which enumerates the causes of the war and his proposed policies to preserve the Union.  The message does not specifically mention slavery, but does refer to the “slave states.”  He writes: “And this issue embraces more than the fate of these United States. It presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional [25] republic, or a democracy---a government of the people, by the same people---can, or cannot, maintain its territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes. It presents the question, whether discontented individuals, too few in numbers to control administration, according to organic law, in any case, can always, upon the pretences made in this case, or on any other pretences, or arbitrarily, without any pretence, break up their Government, and thus practically put an end to free government upon the earth. It forces us to ask: ‘Is there, in all republics, this inherent, and fatal weakness?’ ‘Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its own people, or too weak to maintain its own existence?’ / So viewing the issue, no choice was left [26] but to call out the war power [27] of the Government; and so to resist force, employed for its destruction, by force, for its preservation… This is essentially a People's contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is, to elevate the condition of men---to lift artificial weights from all shoulders---to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all---to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life. Yielding to partial, and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the government for whose existence we contend.”[163]


July 21, 1861

Battle of Bull Run, or Blackburn’s Ford, in Virginia.  Union forces driven back in a rout.  It is the first major battle of the Civil War.  460 Federals are killed and 387 confederates.[164]


July 22, 1861

The Union is shocked over its defeat at Bull Run.  Major General George B. McClellan is given command of the Army.[165]

The United States Senate declares that the war was being fought “to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union,” and that “this war is not waged… for any purpose… of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions… [of the] southern states.”  Congress thus declares that the principle war aim is to preserve the Union.  Lincoln supports the resolution.  It passes the House 117 to 2, and the Senate, on July 25, 30 to 5.[166]


July 27, 1861

Major General McClellan is given command of the Division of the Potomac by Lincoln.[167]


July 29, 1861

President Lincoln approves Congressional bill to call up the state militias to fight the Rebellion.  It amends the 1795 Militia Act.  The Regular Army is enlarged by 11 regiments.[168]


July 30, 1861

More than 850 enslaved individual escape to Fortress Monroe.[169]

General Benjamin Butler seeks to declare escaped slaves freed.  He writes to Secretary of War Cameron, “In a loyal State I would put down a servile insurrection.  In a state of rebellion I would confiscate that which was used to oppose my arms, and take all that property, which constituted the wealth of that State, and furnished the means by which the war is prosecuted, besides being the cause of the war; and if, in so doing, it should be objected that human beings were brought to the free enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, such objection might not require much consideration.”[170]


August 1861

Daniel R. Goodloe, an abolitionist and correspondent for the New York Times, writes Emancipation and the War: Compensation Essential to Peace and Civilization.[171]


August 1, 1861

The U.S. Senate debates a proposed bill to end the insurrection.[172]


August 2, 1861

The United States Congress passes the first national income tax bill.  It calls for new and higher tariffs.[173]


August 6, 1861

U.S. Congress ends its 34-day special session.

President Lincoln is at the U.S. Capitol to sign new bills.  The U.S. Congress passes the First Confiscation Act.  This act authorizes the freeing of slaves in areas of Union Army occupation and where slaves have been employed to support the Confederate military.[174]


August 8, 1861

Secretary of War Simeon Cameron writes General Butler regarding federal policy toward returning slaves who have entered Union lines.  Butler determines that escaped slaves from Confederate states would not be returned.[175]


August 10, 1861

Battle of Wilson’s Creek is fought in area southwest of Springfield, Missouri.  It is a Union defeat.  1317 Union casualties; Confederate casualties, 1230.[176]


August 16, 1861

Lincoln declares that the people of the Confederate states “are in a state of insurrection against the United States, and that all commercial intercourse” between Union and Confederates states is illegal.[177]


August 30, 1861

Major General John C. Frémont invokes martial law within his military command in Missouri.  Further, he issues a proclamation that frees slaves within his military jurisdiction.  He confiscates the property of “those who shall take up arms against the United States” and declares that “their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free men.”  Northern abolitionists support the order.  He has no authorization to issue these orders.  On September 11, Lincoln overrules his decisions.  Frémont refuses to comply, and is ordered by the President to nullify his orders.  Frémont is then reassigned.[178]


September 2, 1861

President Lincoln requests that General Frémont “modify” his emancipation proclamation of August 30, 1861.  Lincoln declares it “will alarm our Southern Union friends, and turn them against us—perhaps ruin our rather fair prospects for Kentucky.”[179]  Lincoln is fearful of losing Kentucky to the Confederacy.


September 3, 1861

Confederate military units invade Kentucky.  The action ends the “neutrality” of the states.[180]


September 10, 1861

Mrs. John C. Frémont meets with President Lincoln in order to persuade him to support General Frémont’s emancipation and confiscation proclamation of August 30.[181]


September 17, 1861

An old friend of Lincoln, Orville H. Browning, writes to the President regarding his approval of General John C. Frémont’s proclamation freeing enslaved individuals in his jurisdiction in Missouri.  He writes that the proclamation had “the unqualified approval of every true friend of the Government … I do not know of an exception.”[182]


September 22, 1861

President Lincoln replies to Orville H. Browning letter of September 17, 1861.  Lincoln explains his lack of support for General Frémont’s action regarding freeing of enslaved individuals in his department.  Lincoln writes, “Yours of the 17th is just received; and coming from you, I confess it astonishes me. That you should object to my adhering to a law, which you had assisted in making, and presenting to me, less than a month before, is odd enough. But this is a very small part. Genl. Fremont's proclamation, as to confiscation of property, and the liberation of slaves, is purely political, and not within the range of military law, or necessity.”[183]  Lincoln further explains that to support Frémont’s order would jeopardize Kentucky and Missouri loyalty to the Union.  He states: “I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game. Kentucky gone, we can not hold Missouri, nor, as I think, Maryland. These all against us, and the job on our hands is too large for us. We would as well consent to separation at once, including the surrender of this capitol.”[184]


September 23, 1861

John L. Scripps, a Lincoln biographer, writes the President, “‘This nation cannot endure part slave and part free.’ … To you sir has been accorded a higher privilege than was ever before vouchsafed to man.  The success of free institutions rests with you.  The destiny not alone of four millions of enslaved men and women, but of the great American people … is committed to your keeping.  You must either make yourself the great central figure of our American history for all time to come, or your name will go down to posterity as one who … proved himself unequal to the grand trust.”[185]


September 25, 1861

Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Wells, authorizes the enlistment of Black slaves into the U.S. Navy.


October 1, 1861

Senator Charles Sumner declares his support for emancipation of enslaved individuals at a state Republican convention.[186]


October 14, 1861

To prevent subversion of the Union cause, President Lincoln authorizes General Winfield Scott to suspend the right of writ of habeas corpus between Bangor, Maine, and Washington, DC.[187]


October 21, 1861

Battle of Ball’s Bluff on Leesburg, Virginia.  It is a Union defeat.  Union casualties are 921, Confederate are 155.[188]


October 24, 1861

In Wheeling, citizens of western Virginia vote in favor of forming a new state.[189]


November 1861

President Lincoln proposes plan for gradual, compensated emancipation of slaves in Delaware, which would be supported by the federal government.  Lincoln drafts two bills to be entered into the state legislature.  $719,200 would be provided to slaveholders in Federal bonds.  The bills, however, are not introduced.  Slavery remains in Delaware until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865.[190]


November 2, 1861

Major General John C. Frémont is removed from his command of the Western Department.  Major General Hunter is placed in temporary command.[191]


November 6, 1861

Jefferson Davis is elected without opposition as President of the Confederate States.  Members of the Confederate Congress are also selected.[192]


November 7, 1861

Battle of Port Royal Sound, South Carolina.[193]


November 15, 1861

Historian George Bancroft writes President Lincoln that “Divine Providence” caused the war to “root out social slavery.”  Lincoln writes back that it “does not escape my attention, and with which I must deal in all due caution, and with the best judgment I can bring to it.”[194]


November 28, 1861

Federal authorities order the confiscation of all crops in Port Royal Sound area.  Formerly enslaved individuals are to be utilized in harvesting them and to work on Union Army installations and defensive works.[195]

The North celebrates a Day of Thanksgiving.[196]


December 1861

Petitions, resolutions and bills to abolish slavery in states “in rebellion” are introduced into the United States Congress.  Thomas Eliot, of Massachusetts, submits a resolution asking Lincoln, under the War Powers provision of the Constitution, to free enslaved individuals in the rebellious states.  Congressman Owen Lovejoy calls for allowing Blacks to serve in the Union Army.  Additionally, there are resolutions to repeal the Fugitive Slave Act.[197]


December 3, 1861

President Lincoln sends annual message to Congress.  He writes, “…A disloyal portion of the American people have, during the whole year, been engaged in an attempt to divide and destroy the Union. … Under and by virtue of the act of Congress entitled ‘An act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes,’ approved August, 6, 1861, the legal claims of certain persons to the labor and service of certain other persons have become forfeited; and numbers of the latter, thus liberated, are already dependent on the United States, and must be provided for in some way. Besides this, it is not impossible that some of the States will pass similar enactments for their own benefit respectively, and by operation of which persons of the same class will be thrown upon them for disposal. In such case I recommend that Congress provide for accepting such persons from such States, according to some mode of valuation, in lieu, pro tanto, of direct taxes, or upon some other plan to be agreed on with such States respectively; that such persons, on such acceptance by the general government, be at once deemed free; and that, in any event, steps be taken for colonizing both classes, (or the one first mentioned, if the other shall not be brought into existence,) at some place, or places, in a climate congenial to them. It might be well to consider, too,---whether the free colored people already in the United States could not, so far as individuals may desire, be included in such colonization…. The Union must be preserved, and hence, all indispensable means must be employed.  We should not be in haste to determine that radical and extreme measures, which may reach the loyal as well as the disloyal, are indispensable…  It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely, if not exclusively, a war upon the first principle of popular government---the rights of the people. … The struggle of today, is not altogether for today---it is for a vast future also.”[198]  About the Confiscation Act, Lincoln writes, “Lincoln recommends official program of compensated emancipation and colonization of individuals freed from slavery.[199]



Treaty signed between United States and Great Britain for the suppression of the slave trade (African Slave Trade Treaty Act).


January 1862

The United States Congress continues the debate on emancipating enslaved individuals, colonization, and compensation of slaveholders.  Radical Republicans continue to submit petitions and bills to this effect.[200]


January 12, 1862

Union Secretary of War Simon Cameron resigns.  Lincoln accepts his resignation.[201]


January 13, 1862

President Lincoln announces his nomination of Edwin M. Stanton as the new Secretary of War.  Stanton is an opponent of slavery.[202]


January 15, 1862

The United States Senate confirms the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War.[203]


February 6, 1862

Confederate forces surrender Fort Henry, Tennessee.  It is a major Union victory.[204]


February 8, 1862

Union victory in the Battle of Roanoke Island, North Carolina.[205]


February 13-16, 1862

A Union victory in the Battle of Fort Donelson, in Tennessee.[206]


February 25, 1862

The Union Army enters and occupies Nashville, Tennessee, the state capitol.  It is a vital base of operations for the Union for the rest of the war.[207]


March 6, 1862

Abraham Lincoln sends message to the U.S. Congress proposing a plan of gradual, compensated emancipation in the loyal slave states.  It states, “I recommend the adoption of a Joint Resolution by your honorable bodies which shall be substantially as follows: ‘Resolved that the United States ought to co-operate with any state which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such state pecuniary aid, to be used by such state in it's discretion, to compensate for the inconveniences public and private, produced by such change of system.’” [208]  The proposal is very quickly approved by Congress.  Many of the New York papers endorse the proposal.  Lincoln makes the goal of ending slavery in the United States an official policy.  The abolitionist community also enthusiastically supports the proposal.[209]


March 9, 1862

President Lincoln discusses possible conference on gradual compensated emancipation with Congressman Blair.[210]

President Lincoln comments to Congressman Henry Raymond on the subject of the cost of compensated emancipation:  “My dear Sir: I am grateful to the New-York Journals, and not less so to the Times than to others, for their kind notices of the late special Message to Congress. Your paper, however, intimates that the proposition, though well-intentioned, must fail on the score of expense. I do hope you will reconsider this. Have you noticed the facts that less than one half-day's cost of this war would pay for all the slaves in Delaware, at four hundred dollars per head?---that eighty-seven days cost of this war would pay for all in Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Kentucky, and Missouri at the same price? Were those states to take the step, do you doubt that it would shorten the war more than eighty seven days, and thus be an actual saving of expense. Please look at these things, and consider whether there should not be another article in the Times?”[211]


March 13, 1862

President Lincoln approves an act of the Congress that prohibits Union Army commanders from returning captured or fugitive slaves to their owners (except for loyal slave states).  It supersedes the Fugitive Slave Act.[212]


March 14, 1862

Union Army, under Major General Ambrose Burnside, captures New Berne, North Carolina.


March 24, 1862

President Lincoln writes to editor of the New York Tribune and abolitionist Horace Greeley regarding his support of gradual, compensated emancipation: “I am grateful for the generous sentiments and purposes expressed towards the administration. Of course I am anxious to see the policy proposed in the late special message, go forward; but you have advocated it from the first, so that I need to say little to you on the subject. If I were to suggest anything it would be that as the North are already for the measure, we should urge it persuasively, and not menacingly, upon the South. I am a little uneasy about the abolishment of slavery in this District, not but I would be glad to see it abolished, but as to the time and manner of doing it. If some one or more of the border-states would move fast, I should greatly prefer it; but if this can not be in a reasonable time, I would like the bill to have the three main features---gradual---compensation---and vote of the people---I do not talk to members of congress on the subject, except when they ask me. I am not prepared to make any suggestion about confiscation. I may drop you a line hereafter.”[213]

Horace Greeley, publisher of the New York Tribune, agrees to endorse gradual compensated emancipation of slaves.[214]

United States Congress debates issue of compensated emancipation.[215]


Late March 1862

Lincoln discusses his proposal for gradual compensated emancipation with abolitionist leader Wendell Phillips.  Lincoln tells Phillips, “the negro who has once touched the hem of the government’s garment shall never again be a slave.”[216]


April 2, 1862

On Lincoln’s recommendation, U.S. Senate passes a House resolution calling for gradual compensated abolition of slavery.[217]  No Northern states take up this proposal.


April 3, 1862

Union General David Dard Hunter requests permission from the Army to recruit Black men from the South Carolina Sea Islands for service in the military.  The War Department does not respond, and he begins recruiting Black soldiers on his own authority.


April 5, 1862

The Union Army, under General McClellan, begins setting up siege lines in front of Yorktown, Virginia.[218]

Lincoln supports bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.[219]


April 6-7, 1862

Battle of Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh), Tennessee.  It is a limited Union victory, with 13,047 Union casualties, 10,694 Confederate.[220]


April 7, 1862

United States House of Representatives appoints a Committee on Emancipation and Colonization of Blacks.[221]

Lincoln signs treaty with England for the Suppression of the International African Slave Trade.  He transmits the treaty to the Senate for ratification on April 10, 1862.[222]  The treaty is ratified unanimously by the upper house on April 24, 1862.[223]


April 10, 1862

President Lincoln approves United States Congress Joint Resolution plan to cooperate with any state in the gradual emancipation of its slaves (House Resolution 48).[224]

Lincoln proclaims a Day of Thanksgiving by Union forces.


April 11, 1862

Union Major General David D. Hunter, commander of the Department of the South, issues order freeing slaves who come into his lines.[225]

After much debate, United States Congress passes bill abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia.[226]

Fall of Fort Pulaski on the Savannah River near the Port of Savannah, Georgia.  This is a significant Union success.[227]


April 13, 1862

Representatives from the Freedman’s Association call on Lincoln to give Blacks abandoned plantations at Port Royal, South Carolina.[228]


April 16, 1862

Lincoln signs law, “An Act for the Release of Certain Persons Held to Service, or Labor in the District of Columbia,” passed by United States Congress, providing for immediate, compensated emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia. (See full text in appendix.)  It is the first Federal law giving enslaved individuals immediate emancipation.  It ends slavery as an institution; it is not a measure to enforce the Confiscation Act.  More than 3,000 enslaved individuals are freed.  Approximately $900,000 is paid to the former slaveholders by the Federal government.  Congress soon repeals the Black Codes of the District.  Many enslaved individuals in the areas surrounding Washington will soon escape to freedom there. [229] 


April 25, 1862

Union Navy under Admiral Farragut arrives at New Orleans, capturing the city.  New Orleans’ waterfront is burned by city population.  The Mississippi River is opened.[230]

Union victory with capture of the coastal fort of Fort Macon, North Carolina.[231]


May 3, 1862

After a month-long siege, Confederate forces evacuate Yorktown, Virginia.  The Union Army enters the city.[232]


May 5, 1862

Union victory at the Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia.  The Union Army occupies the city on May 6.[233]


May 9, 1862

Major General David D. Hunter, an abolitionist, issues General Order No. 11, freeing slaves in his Department in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  He does it without presidential authority.  It affects more than 900,000 African Americans.  He also authorizes his officers to enlist Black volunteers.[234]

Confederates evacuate Norfolk, Virginia, a strategic naval base and supply depot.  The Union Army occupies the city.[235]


May 19, 1862

President Lincoln revokes the General Orders of Union Major General Hunter that freed enslaved individuals in the states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.[236]  He writes “that neither General Hunter, nor any other commander, or person, has been authorized by the Government of the United States to make proclamations declaring the slaves of any State free.”[237]

The U.S. House of Representatives approves resolution that will prohibit slavery from all Federal territories, without compensation to slaveholders.[238]


May 20, 1862

Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, enacted by Congress.  Included in it is an important anti-slavery program.  It makes 160 acres of public land available to citizens who have not carried arms against the United States.[239]


May 25, 1862

Confederate victory in the Battle of Winchester, Virginia.[240]


May 30, 1862

Union victory, Confederate forces leave Corinth, Mississippi.  Union Army begins occupation of city, which is a vital rail center, under General Halleck.[241]


May 31 – June 1, 1862

Battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, Virginia.[242]


June 5, 1862

President Lincoln approves congressional bill to appoint commissioners and establish relations with Haiti and Liberia.  These are the first Black-led governments to be recognized by the United States Congress.[243]


June 6, 1862

Union naval victory in the Battle of Memphis, Tennessee.  The mayor surrenders the city to Union forces.[244]


June 9, 1862

The U.S. Senate approves of a resolution that will prohibit slavery from all federal territories.  This is without compensation to former slave holders.[245]

Lincoln signs bill prohibiting slavery from all federal territories into law.


June 20, 1862

Delegation of Progressive Friends (Quakers) visits with Lincoln at the White House.  They present him a memorial opposing slavery.  Their petition expresses their “desire that he might… free the slaves and thus save the nation from destruction.”  Lincoln replies that he believes that slavery is wrong, and that he “had sometime thought that perhaps he might be an instrument in God's hands of accomplishing a great work and he certainly was not unwilling to be.”[246]  (See appendix for full text of article.)


June 25, 1862

The Seven Days Campaign, near Richmond, Virginia, begins.[247]


July 1, 1862

General McClellan withdraws his army to Harrison’s Landing, ending the Peninsular Campaign.[248]

Battle of Malvern Hill, north of the James River.  General McClellan’s strategy to take Richmond fails.[249]


July 7, 1862

Lincoln meets with Major General McClellan at Army of the Potomac headquarters at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.  McClellan attempts to advise the president on military and political policy.  He recommends against “forcible abolition of slavery.”[250]


July 11-12, 1862

After much debate, the United States Congress approves the Second Confiscation Act.  It signals a major shift in Union policy toward the freeing of enslaved individuals who enter Union lines or are in occupied Union territory.[251]


July 12, 1862

President Lincoln asks senators and congressmen from the four Union border states to support gradual, compensated emancipation.  On July 14, the political leaders from these states reject Lincoln’s plan.[252]

President Lincoln appoints a United States Consul General for Haiti.[253]


July 13, 1862

Lincoln discusses plans for general emancipation of slaves with cabinet members William H. Seward and Gideon Welles. [254]  Welles recalls Lincoln saying that “It was a military necessity absolutely essential for the salvation of the Union,” and “that emancipation in Rebel areas must precede that in the border, not the other way around.”


July 14, 1862

Lincoln sends Congress draft of a bill to give Federal compensation to states who emancipate their slaves.  Congress does not act on this proposal.[255]


July 17, 1862

Lincoln signs the Second Confiscation Act.  It is called “An Act to Suppress Insurrection, and to Punish Treason and Rebellion, to Seize and Confiscate Property of Rebels and for Other Purposes.”  This act grants freedom to slaves whose masters participated in the secession.[256]

Congress passes the Militia Act.  This act allows the U.S. Armed Forces to give employment to Blacks “in any military or naval service for which they may be found competent.”  Slaves who worked for the U.S. military are to be declared free.[257]


July 22, 1862

Abraham Lincoln submits a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet, to be effective July 1, 1863.  It declares that on January 1, 1863, “All persons held as slaves within any state or states [in Confederate control] shall then, thenceforward, and forever, be free.”  Abolition was to be immediate and with no compensation to the slaveholders.  The Secretary of War calls for it to be issued immediately.  Secretary of State Seward advises Lincoln not to issue it until after a major victory in the war.[258]

Lincoln issues executive order authorizing, “1. Military commanders may seize and use real property in rebel States for military purposes. 2. Military and naval commanders may employ as laborers persons of African descent, giving them reasonable wages for their labors. 3. Accounts of property of all kinds taken from owners shall be kept as basis for proper compensation.”[259]


July 25, 1862

President Lincoln promulgates the Confiscation Act of Congress.[260]


July 28, 1862

President Lincoln writes to prominent New Orleans citizen Cuthbert Bullitt, who protested Union General John W. Phelps’ aid to enslaved individuals who came to Union lines.  “Mr. Durant complains that in various ways the relation of master and slave is disturbed by the presence of our Army; and he considers it particularly vexatious that this, in part, is done under cover of an act of Congress, while constitutional guaranties are suspended on the plea of military necessity. The truth is, that what is done, and omitted, about slaves, is done and omitted on the same military necessity. It is a military necessity to have men and money; and we can get neither, in sufficient numbers, or amounts, if we keep from, or drive from, our lines, slaves coming to them. Mr. Durant cannot be ignorant of the pressure in this direction; nor of my efforts to hold it within bounds till he, and such as he shall have time to help themselves.”[261]


July 31, 1862

President Lincoln writes to August Belmont regarding ending of slavery and its effects.  “Broken eggs cannot be mended; but Louisiana has nothing to do now but to take her place in the Union as it was, barring the already broken eggs. The sooner she does so, the smaller will be the amount of that which will be past mending. This government cannot much longer play a game in which it stakes all, and its enemies stake nothing. Those enemies must understand that they cannot experiment for ten years trying to destroy the government, and if they fail still come back into the Union unhurt. If they expect in any contingency to ever have the Union as it was, I join with the writer in saying, ‘Now is the time.’”[262]


August 2, 1862

President Lincoln discusses emancipation with cabinet members.[263]


August 3, 1862

Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, in cabinet meeting, called for: “1. Assuring freedom to Negroes in seceded states on condition of loyalty; 2. Organizing best of them into military companies; 3. Providing for cultivation of plantations by remaining ones.”[264]


August 4, 1862

President Lincoln is offered two African American regiments from Indiana for the Union Army.  He agrees only to use them as laborers, not as soldiers.[265]

President Lincoln calls for 300,000 volunteers for service in the military for a term of nine months.[266]


August 9, 1862

Battle of Cedar Mountain, Virginia.[267]


August 14, 1862

Lincoln meets with African leaders at the White House.  This is the first time that an American president meets with Black community leaders in a public meeting.  He recommends that they support colonization of African Americans in Central America or in Africa.  They reject this proposed plan.  He tells them, “Your race are suffering in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people… But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other.  Nevertheless, I repeat, without the institution of Slavery and the colored race as a basis, the war could not have an existence.  It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated.”[268]  (See appendix for full document.)


August 19, 1862

Horace Greeley’s anti-slavery New York Tribune editorial, “A Prayer of the Twenty Millions,” is read by President Lincoln.  It calls into question Lincoln’s policy on slavery and the war: “We complain that the Union cause has suffered…from mistaken deference to Rebel Slavery.” [269]


August 21, 1862

Confederate President Jefferson Davis declares that Union Major General David D. Hunter and Brigadier General John W. Phelps are acting as criminals because they are enlisting slaves for the Federal Army.  He directs that if taken, they should be held as felons.  General Phelps resigns from the Army the same day.[270]


August 22, 1862

President Lincoln responds to Horace Greeley’s editorial, “A Prayer of Twenty Millions,” which had called for immediate emancipation of slaves.  Lincoln writes, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or to destroy slavery.  If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.  What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. / I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free.” (See Appendix for full text.)[271]


August 25, 1862

Major General Rufus Saxton, Union Commander of the Southern Department, is authorized by the War Department to arm and train 5,000 former slaves for use as guards of captured plantations and settlements in the South Carolina Sea Islands.[272]


August 26, 1862

Second Bull Run, or Manassas Campaign, commences.  The battle lasts until August 30, 1862.  It is a Union defeat.  The Union casualties are 16,054, the Confederate casualties are 9,197.[273]

Lincoln states his plans to enforce the Confiscation Acts recently passed by Congress.[274]


September 2, 1862

Lincoln writes “Meditation on the Devine Will.”  He ponders: “In great contests each party claims the act in accordance with the will of God.  Both may be, and one must be wrong.  God can not be for and against the same thing at the same time.”[275]


September 13, 1862

President Lincoln replies to delegation from Chicago advocating for national emancipation of slaves.  He states, “It is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter.  And if I can learn what it is I will do it! ... I view the matter as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.”  (See full text of letter in Appendix.)[276]


September 14, 1862

Battle of South Mountain/Crampton’s Cap, Maryland.  Federal casualties are 2,325; Confederate casualties are 2,685.[277]


September 15, 1862

President Lincoln rejects offer of service of three African American regiments from Massachusetts and Rhode Island.[278]


September 17, 1862

Union victory at Antietam, in Maryland.  Lee’s Maryland Campaign is ended.  The Union suffers the largest number of casualties in a single day of fighting in the Civil War, with 2,010 killed, 9,416 wounded and 1,043 missing, totaling 12,469 out of 75,000 soldiers.[279]

President Lincoln completes second draft of preliminary emancipation proclamation at the Soldier’s Home.[280]


September 20, 1862

Lincoln continues to work on his text of the preliminary emancipation proclamation.[281]


September 22, 1862

United States President Abraham Lincoln announces preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.  It declares that “on the first day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred sixty-three, all persons held as slaves, within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”  The Proclamation further states (as summarized by Miers): “President will designate states in rebellion on Jan. 1.  Army and navy personnel are prohibited by Act of March 13, 1862, from returning fugitive slaves.  The act to suppress insurrection, approved July 17, 1862, provides that: 1. Escaped slaves and those in territory occupied by forces of U.S. shall be free.  2. Run-away slaves will not be delivered up except for crime or claim of lawful owner under oath that he has not borne arms against government.  Executive will recommend that loyal citizens be compensated for all losses by acts of U.S., including loss of slaves.”[282]  Lincoln calls on Congress to approve legislation for compensated emancipation of slaves.[283] (See Appendix for full text.)


September 24, 1862

Crowd gathers at the presidential executive mansion in honor of the issuing of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.  Lincoln declares, “What I did, I did after full deliberation, and under a very heavy and solemn sense of responsibility.  I can only trust in God I have made no mistake.”[284]

Fourteen Northern governors meeting in Altoona, Pennsylvania, approve of the Emancipation Proclamation.[285]

Lincoln issues proclamation suspending the writ of habeas corpus.  “Now, therefore, be it ordered, first, that during the existing insurrection and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all Rebels and Insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to Rebels against the authority of the United States, shall be subject to martial law and liable to trial and punishment by Courts Martial or Military Commission;  Second. That the Writ of Habeas Corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement by any military authority or by the sentence of any Court Martial or Military Commission.” [286]


September 25, 1862

President Lincoln meets with Henry Ward Beecher and General Association of Congregational Churches of New York City to present resolutions regarding his Emancipation Proclamation.[287]


September 28, 1862

Lincoln discusses public opinion of preliminary Emancipation Proclamation with Vice President Hannibal Hamlin.  It is “not very satisfactory.”  “The North responds to the proclamation sufficiently in breath; but breath alone kills no rebels.”[288]


October 1, 1862

The Richmond Whig reported its opinion on Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: “It is a dash of the pen to destroy four thousand millions of our property, and is as much a bid for the slaves to rise in insurrection, with the assurance of aid from the whole military and naval power of the United States.”[289]


October 3-4, 1862

Battle of Corinth, Mississippi.  The Confederate Army is repulsed.  There are 2,520 Union casualties, 4,233 Confederate casualties.[290]


October 8, 1862

Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, is a partial Union victory.[291]


October 11, 1862

Confederate Congress amends the draft exemption law.  It exempts Southern owners or overseers of more than 20 slaves from military service.[292]


October 14, 1862

Democrats gain seats in Congressional elections in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania.  Republicans gain in Iowa.[293]


October 26, 1862

Of the war, Lincoln writes, “If I had had my way, this war would never have been commenced; … but we find it still continues; and we must believe that He permits it for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us.”[294]  On his opinion of divine will, Lincoln writes, “The will of God prevails.  In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong.  God can not be for, and against the same thing at the same time. … By his mere quiet power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest.  Yet the contest began.  And having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day.  Yet the contest proceeds.”[295] (For full text of letter, see Appendix.)


November 4, 1862

Midterm elections are held.  Democrats gain Congressional seats in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Republicans, however, hold majority in Congress with wins in New England, Michigan and California.[296]


November 7, 1862

President Lincoln relieves Major General George McClellan of the command of the Army of the Potomac.  He is replaced by General Ambrose Burnside.[297]


November 13, 1862

Lincoln tasks U.S. Attorney General Edward Bates with the enforcement of the Provision of Federal Confiscation (“An Act to Suppress Insurrection, to Punish Treason and Rebellion”).[298]


November 21, 1862

Lincoln meets with unconditional Union Kentuckians to discuss issue of emancipation.  The New York Times reports, “He said that he would rather die than take back a word of the Proclamation of Freedom…”[299]


November 29, 1862

U.S. Attorney General issues ruling that freedmen born in the U.S. are legally American citizens.[300]


December 1, 1862

Third Session of the Thirty-Seventh Congress.

Abraham Lincoln sends annual message to Congress continuing to support compensated emancipation.  Lincoln states, “Is it doubted, then, that the plan I propose, if adopted, would shorten the war, and thus lessen its expenditure of money and of blood? Is it doubted that it would restore the national authority and national prosperity, and perpetuate both indefinitely? … The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall our selves, and then we shall save our country. / Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. We say we are for the Union. The world will not forget that we say this. We know how to save the Union. The world knows we do know how to save it. We---even we here---hold the power, and bear the responsibility. In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free---honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just---a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless. / December 1, 1862. ABRAHAM LINCOLN[301]


December 13, 1862

Union Army is defeated in major battle at Fredericksburg, Virginia.  There are 12,655 Union and 5,390 Confederate casualties.  This causes a political crisis in Lincoln’s cabinet.[302]


December 23, 1862

Confederate President Jefferson Davis signs order that Black troops captured will be treated as slaves in insurrection and not as prisoners of war.[303]


December 29, 1862

President Lincoln reads Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet.[304]


December 30, 1862

President Lincoln presents copy of Emancipation Proclamation to members of his cabinet.  He asks for comments from them.[305]


December 31, 1862 – January 2, 1863

Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone’s River), in Tennessee.


December 31, 1862

Lincoln’s cabinet meets to finalize draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.[306]

Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia into the Union as a state.[307]



The American Freedman’s Inquiry Commission is created by the U.S. War Department.

Women’s National Loyal League is founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  It lobbies for the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to grant African Americans the right to vote.  It collects 400,000 signatures in a petition presented to the Congress.


January 1, 1863

On New Year’s Day at noon, in the cabinet room, United States President Abraham Lincoln signs Emancipation Proclamation.  It goes into effect, freeing slaves in states that have seceded and are part of the Confederacy.  Most slaves in “border states” are freed by state action.  It states: “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.”[308]  (See appendix for full text.)


January 7, 1863

The Richmond Enquirer states that the Emancipation Proclamation is “The most startling political crime, the most stupid political blunder, yet known in American history. … Southern people have now only to choose between victory and death.”[309]


January 8, 1863

President Lincoln writes to Major General McClernand, defending the Emancipation Proclamation, “…it must stand.  As to the states not included in it, of course they can have their rights in the Union as of old.”[310]


January 12, 1863

Congressman Thaddeus Stevens introduces bill calling for the enlistment of 150,000 African American soldiers in the Union Army.[311]


January 19, 1863

President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is debated in the Confederate Congress.[312]


February 1863

Anti-slavery and abolitionist congressman Thaddeus Stevens gets a bill through Congress authorizing the enlistment of 150,000 United States colored soldiers.[313]


March 3, 1863

President Lincoln calls for an act by Congress, which will be the first federal draft.  It is called “An Act for enrolling and calling out the National Forces, and for other purposes.”  Male citizens between 20 and 40 are eligible.  162,535 men are drafted during the war, about six percent of the total number of men who serve in the Union forces.[314]


March 4, 1863

The United States Congress adjourns.


March 16, 1863

The American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission (AFIC) is created within the War Department by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.  It is tasked with helping freed slaves.[315]


March 17, 1863

The Battle of Kelly’s Ford, Virginia.


March 18, 1863

Lincoln writes to Congressman Davis, “Let the friends of the government first save the government, and then administer it to their own liking.”[316]


March 23, 1863

President Lincoln writes Governor Horatio Seymour of New York, who has been critical of the administration:  “Private & Confidential… you and I are substantially strangers; and I write this chiefly that we may become better acquainted. … As to maintaining the nation’s life, and integrity, I assume, and believe, there can not be a difference of purpose between you and me. … In the performance of my duty, the co-operation of your State, as that of others, is needed—in fact, is indispensable. … Please write me at least as long a letter as this—of course, saying in it, just what you think ft.”[317]

Treaty between Liberia and the United States is enacted.[318]


March 26, 1863

West Virginia approves gradual emancipation for slaves.[319]

Lincoln writes the military governor of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson, “I am told you have at least thought of raising a negro military force. In my opinion the country now needs no specific thing so much as some man of your ability, and position, to go to this work. When I speak of your position, I mean that of an eminent citizen of a slave-state, and himself a slave-holder. The colored population is the great available and yet unavailed of, force for restoring the Union. The bare sight of fifty thousand armed, and drilled black soldiers on the banks of the Mississippi, would end the rebellion at once. And who doubts that we can present that sight, if we but take hold in earnest? If you have been thinking of it please do not dismiss the thought.”[320]


March 31, 1863

President Lincoln writes General David D. Hunter: “I am glad I am glad to see the accounts of your colored force at Jacksonville, Florida. I see the enemy are driving at them fiercely, as is to be expected. It is important to the enemy that such a force shall not take shape, and grow, and thrive, in the South; and in precisely the same proportion, it is important to us that it shall. Hence the utmost caution and vigilance is necessary on our part. The enemy will make extra efforts to destroy them; and we should do the same to preserve and increase them.”[321]


April 2, 1863

President Lincoln meets noted abolitionist journalist Jane Grey Swisshelm at the White House.[322]


April 7, 1863

Union naval attack on Confederate-held forts in Charleston Harbor.  The assault is unsuccessful.[323]


April 15, 1863

Lincoln meets with Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts on the subject of influencing policy regarding slavery, which would positively influence England toward the Union.  Lincoln drafts this resolution:  “Whereas, while heretofore, States, and Nations, have tolerated slavery, recently, for the first in the world, an attempt has been made to construct a new Nation, upon the basis of, and with the primary, and fundamental object to maintain, enlarge, and perpetuate human slavery, therefore, Resolved, That no such embryo State should ever be recognized by, or admitted into, the family of christian and civilized nations; and that all ch[r]istian and civilized men everywhere should, by all lawful means, resist to the utmost, such recognition or admission.[324]

President Lincoln meets U.S. Senator Charles Sumner in the White House regarding slavery and British attitudes toward the Union.[325]


April 16, 1863

On the Mississippi, Union naval flotilla, commanded by Admiral David Porter, successfully passes under Confederate artillery past Vicksburg.


April 20, 1863

President Lincoln issues proclamation declaring the State of West Virginia will be admitted to the Union.[326]


May 1-4, 1863

Battle of Chancellorsville (Second Fredericksburg; Salem Church), Virginia.  Confederate victory.  The Union sustains 17,287 casualties between April 27 and May 11; Confederates, 12,764.[327]


May 18, 1863

General Ulysses S. Grant begins siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi.[328]


May 21, 1863

Union siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, begins.[329]


May 22, 1863

The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society meets in London.  It supports the U.S. government and the Union.[330]


May 27, 1863

First Union assault of Port Hudson, Mississippi begins.  It is led by General Nathaniel Banks, with a Federal force of 13,000 soldiers.  It includes U.S. Colored infantrymen.  Federal casualties are 1,995; Confederate, about 235.[331]


May 28, 1863

The U.S. Black regiment, the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, departs Boston for Hilton Head, South Carolina.[332]


June 9, 1863

Battle of Brandy Station/Fleetwood Hill/Beverly Ford, Virginia.  It is the largest cavalry battle of the war.  There are 866 Union and 523 Confederate casualties.[333]


June 14-15, 1863

Union defeat in the Battle of Second Winchester, Virginia.[334]


June 15, 1863

President Lincoln calls for 100,000 volunteer militia from Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.[335]


June 16, 1863

Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia crosses the Potomac River into Maryland.  The news of this causes panic in Harrisburg.[336]


June 20, 1863

West Virginia officially becomes the 35th state of the Union.[337]


June 23, 1863

Tullahoma, or Middle Tennessee Campaign, begins under Union Major General William S. Rosecrans.  It is a Union victory, ending in early July with no major fighting.[338]

President Lincoln relieves Major General Joseph Hooker from command of the Army of the Potomac.  Major General George Gordon Meade is name commander.[339]


July 1-3, 1863

Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  General Meade’s Army of the Potomac defeats General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.  In three days of fighting, more than ten thousand are killed and forty thousand wounded on both sides.[340]


July 4, 1863

General Lee and his army retreat from Gettysburg.  He is not pursued by Union forces.[341]

Vicksburg, Mississippi, formally surrenders to Union forces, commanded by General U. S. Grant.[342]


July 7, 1863

Lincoln addresses a large crowd at the White House.  “I do most sincerely thank Almighty God for the occasion on which you have called. How long ago is it?---eighty odd years---since on the Fourth of July for the first time in the history of the world a nation by its representatives, assembled and declared as a self-evident truth that ‘all men are created equal.’ … Gentlemen, this is a glorious theme, and the occasion for a speech, but I am not prepared to make one worthy of the occasion.”[343]


July 8, 1863

After a six-week siege, Confederate forces unconditionally surrender Port Hudson, Louisiana.  It is the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi.[344]


July 10, 1863

Beginning of the Union siege of Fort Wagner, on Morris Island, in Charleston Harbor.  It is a key fortification of the harbor.  The siege will continue until September.[345]


July 12, 1863

Lincoln gets request for help in quelling the New York anti-draft riots.[346]


July 13-17, 1863

New York City draft riots.  Fires break out throughout the city.  A Black church and orphanage are burned.  Blacks are the primary targets of mobs.  It is estimated that a thousand people are killed or wounded.  Property losses are estimated at $1.5 million.[347]


July 18, 1863

The 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry leads a major assault on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina.  It takes very heavy casualties, including the death of its commanding officer, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.[348]


July 20, 1863

Lincoln discusses issues of slavery in the border states with Congressmen Lovejoy and Arnold.[349]


July 21, 1863

Lincoln confers with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton “to raise colored forces along the shores of the Mississippi.”  Recommends Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas for the task.[350]


July 30, 1863

After the Confederate government threatens to kill captured U.S. Colored Troops, President Lincoln announces that the U.S. government would “give the same protection to all its soldiers, and if the enemy shall sell or enslave anyone because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliation upon the enemy’s prisoners in our possession.”[351]  It is General Order No. 252.  It states “that for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war, a rebel soldiers shall be executed; and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery, a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public works.”[352]


August 5, 1863

Lincoln writes Union General Nathaniel Banks.  He declares he is “an anti-slavery man…  For my part I think I shall not, in any event, retract the Emancipation Proclamation; nor, as executive, even return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any of the acts of Congress.”[353]


August 6, 1863

The north observes Day of Thanksgiving for its victories in the war.[354]


August 9, 1863

Lincoln writes General Grant that colored troops are “a resource which, if vigorously applied now, will soon close the contest.”[355]


August 10, 1863

African American abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass meets with President Lincoln in the White House to discuss recruiting of African American troops.[356]


August 19, 1863

Federal draft begins again in New York City.[357]


August 21, 1863

Confederate guerrillas attack Lawrence, Kansas; 150 civilians are killed, with one and a half million dollars in damage to property.[358]


August 26, 1863

Lincoln sends letter to J. C. Conkling discussing peace and the emancipation of slaves.  “There are those who are dissatisfied with me.  To such I would say: You desire peace; and you blame me that we do not have it.  But how can we attain it? … If you are not for force, nor yet for dissolution, there only remains some imaginable compromise.  I do not believe any compromise, embracing the maintenance of the Union, is now possible.  All I learn, leads to a directly opposite belief.  The strength of the rebellion, is its military—its army.”[359]


September 2, 1863

Lincoln meets with Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase regarding enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation in the areas of Louisiana and Virginia.[360]

Union troops, commanded by General Ambrose E. Burnside, occupy Knoxville, Tennessee.  It serves vital rail links throughout the South.[361]

Alabama State legislature authorizes the use of enslaved individuals in the Confederate Army.[362]


Septemer 6-7, 1863

Confederate forces leave Fort Wagner and Morris Island, South Carolina.  Fort Sumter holds out under Union siege and bombardment.[363]


September 9, 1863

Federal troops under General William S. Rosecrans enter and occupy Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It is a vital river and rail transportation center.[364]


September 10, 1863

Union forces capture and occupy Little Rock, Arkansas, the state capitol.[365]


September 11, 1863

President Lincoln asks governor of Tennessee Andrew Johnson to establish loyal state government.[366]


September 15, 1863

President Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus for persons held by Union military and civil authorities.[367]


September 19-20, 1863

Battle of Chickamauga, southeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  General George H. Thomas commands the Federal Army of the Cumberland opposing General Braxton Bragg’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.  It is a tactical victory for the South.  The North sustains 16,170 casualties, the South, 18,454.[368]


October 3, 1863

President Lincoln issues proclamation declaring last Thursday in November as Day of Thanksgiving.[369]

Lincoln discusses enlistment of slaves and Blacks from Maryland with Governor Bradford.[370]


October 17, 1863

President Lincoln issues proclamation calling for enlistment of 300,000 volunteers.[371]


November 2, 1863

President Lincoln is invited to make a “few appropriate remarks” at a dedication ceremony on November 19 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for a new national military cemetery.[372]


November 19, 1863

Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address at the dedication of a newly established military cemetery.  In it, he defines the war’s transcendent meaning.  “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.  But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate---we can not consecrate---we can not hallow---this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us---that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion---that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain---that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom---and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”[373]


November 23-25, 1863

Battle of Chattanooga, Tennessee.[374]


November 24, 1863

Battle of Lookout Mountain, Union victory.[375]

Battle of Missionary Ridge, Union victory.[376]


December 6, 1863

General William T. Sherman enters Knoxville, Tennessee.[377]


December 8, 1863

President Lincoln issues Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.  It would pardon individuals who “directly or by implication, participated in the existing rebellion.”[378]

Lincoln issues annual message to Congress.  He states that emancipation is having a favorable effect.  The message states, in part: “The preliminary emancipation proclamation, issued in September, was running its assigned period to the beginning of the new year. A month later the final proclamation came, including the announcement that colored men of suitable condition would be received into the war service. The policy of emancipation, and of employing black soldiers, gave to the future a new aspect, about which hope, and fear, and doubt contended in uncertain conflict. According to our political system, as a matter of civil administration, the general government had no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State, and for a long time it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to it as a military measure. It was all the while deemed possible that the necessity for it might come, and that if it should, the crisis of the contest would then be presented. It came, and as was anticipated, it was followed by dark and doubtful days. Eleven months having now passed, we are permitted to take another review.”[379]  (See appendix for full text.)


December 17, 1863

President Lincoln sends plan to Congress to create a Federal Bureau of Emancipation, as proposed by the Freedmen’s Aid Society.[380]


December 20, 1863

President Lincoln tells Henry C. Wright, an abolitionist official of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, “I shall not attempt to retract or modify the emancipation proclamation nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of that proclamation, or by any acts of Congress.”[381]



400,000 enslaved individuals have escaped into Union Army lines and areas.[382]


January 11, 1864

Senator John B. Hewson, of Missouri, proposes a thirteenth amendment to the constitution to abolish slavery.[383]


January 23, 1864

President Lincoln proposes plan to have plantation owners honor the freedom of their former slaves and hire them back with fair wages.  He states, “I should regard such cases with great favor, and should, as the principle, treat them precisely as I would treat the same number of free white people in the same relation and condition.”[384]


February 1, 1864

President Lincoln orders that 500,000 men be drafted on March 10.  They are to serve three years, or the duration of the war.[385]


February 3, 1864

Major General William T. Sherman begins Meridian, Mississippi, Campaign.[386]


February 11, 1864

Lincoln meets with committee of religious leaders who call for constitutional amendment extending freedom.[387]


February 14, 1864

General Sherman’s troops capture Meridian, Mississippi.  Much of its military material is destroyed.[388]


February 22, 1864

President Lincoln is endorsed for re-election by the Republican National Convention.[389]


February 24, 1864

President Lincoln approves an act of Congress to compensate Union (border state) slave owners whose slaves enlist in the U.S. Army.  The slaves would become free.  Blacks would also be subject to the draft.[390]


February 28, 1864

President Lincoln sends Union Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas to aid Blacks (“contrabands”) along Union-held territory on the Mississippi.[391]


March 4, 1864

The United States Senate confirms Andrew Johnson as Union military governor of Tennessee.[392]


March 7, 1864

Lincoln writes to U.S. Congressman John A. J. Creswell, Representative from Maryland, regarding gradual emancipation of slaves from the state.  He states, “My wish is that all who are for emancipation in any form, shall co-operate, all treating all respectfully, and all adopting and acting upon the major opinion, when fairly ascertained.”[393]


March 8, 1864

President Lincoln meets General U. S. Grant in the White House for the first time.[394]


March 9, 1864

General Grant is officially commissioned as Lieutenant General in the Regular Army.  Lincoln remarks, “The nation’s appreciation of what you have done, and it’s reliance upon you for what remains to do, in the existing great struggle, are now presented with this commission, constituting you Lieutenant General in the Army of the United States.”[395]


March 10, 1864

Lieutenant General Grant is given command of the Armies of the United States.[396]


March 12, 1864

Major General Henry Halleck is appointed Chief of Staff of the Union Army.[397]

Major General William T. Sherman is assigned to command the Military Division of the Mississippi.  He will command the Departments of the Arkansas, Cumberland, Ohio and Tennessee.[398]


March 13, 1864

President Lincoln writes Governor Michael Hahn of Louisiana, “I congratulate you on having fixed your name in history as the first-free-state Governor of Louisiana.  Now you are about to have a Convention which, among other things, will probably define the elective franchise.  I barely suggest for your private consideration, whether some of the colored people may not be let in—as, for instance, the very intelligent, and especially those who have fought gallantly in our ranks.  They would probably help, in some trying time to come, to keep the jewel of liberty within the family of freedom.”[399]


March 14, 1864

President Lincoln calls for draft of 200,000 soldiers for Federal service.[400]


March 16, 1864

Pro-Union voters in Arkansas ratify state constitution that formally abolishes slavery.[401]


March 17, 1864

Lincoln writes to Maryland Congressman John A. J. Creswell, “It needs not to be a secret, that I wish success to emancipation in Maryland.  It would aid much to end the rebellion.”[402]


March 22, 1864

Lincoln writes, “I never knew a man who wished to be himself a slave.  Consider if you know any good thing, that no man desires for himself.”[403]


March 25, 1864

Abolitionist and political leader Owen Lovejoy dies.  He supported the abolition of slavery as a United States Congressman.


April 4, 1864

President Lincoln writes to Albert G. Hodges, a Kentucky newspaper editor, “I am naturally anti-slavery.  If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.  I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.  And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling. … And I aver that, to this day, I have done no official act in mere deference to my abstract judgment and feeling on slavery. … I did understand however, that my oath to preserve the constitution to the best of my ability, imposed upon me the duty of preserving, by every indispensable means, that government—that nation—of which that constitution was the organic law. … 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.”  (For full text of letter, see Appendix.)[404]


April 5, 1864

Lincoln acknowledges petition of “the children of the United States; that the President will free all slave children.”  The petition was given to Lincoln by Mrs. Horace Mann.  Lincoln writes, “The petition of persons under eighteen, praying that I would free all slave children, and the heading of which petition it appears you wrote, was handed me a few days since by Senator Sumner. Please tell these little people I am very glad their young hearts are so full of just and generous sympathy, and that, while I have not the power to grant all they ask, I trust they will remember that God has, and that, as it seems, He wills to do it. Yours truly A. LINCOLN[405]


April 6, 1864

Louisiana State Constitutional Convention adopts new state constitution, abolishing slavery.[406]

Lincoln goes to U.S. House of Representatives to hear speech by English anti-slavery orator George Thompson.[407]


April 7, 1864

Lincoln meets with anti-slavery lecturer George Thompson at White House.  Discusses emancipation.[408]


April 8, 1864

U.S. Senate passes a joint resolution approving the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, calling for the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery. The vote is 38 to 6, in favor.[409]


April 11, 1864

Union state government in Arkansas is established.  Dr. Isaac Murphy is its governor.[410]


April 12, 1864

Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest massacres U.S. Colored Troops at the Battle of Fort Pillow, Tennessee.  262 Black soldiers are murdered after they surrender.[411]


April 18, 1864

Lincoln speaks at the Sanitary Fair in Baltimore.  “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.”[412]


April 19, 1864

By an Act of Congress, Nebraska Territory is admitted to the Union.[413]


May 3, 1864

Lincoln discusses Fort Pillow massacre in Tennessee with members of his cabinet.[414]


May 4, 1864

Army of Potomac, led by General Grant, moves across the Rapidan River into Virginia.  Grant has 122,000 soldiers.[415]


May 5, 1864

Battle of the Wilderness commences.  It is the first major battle of 1864.[416]


May 7, 1864

General William T. Sherman begins march to Atlanta, Georgia.  He has 100,000 soldiers.[417]


May 8-21, 1864

Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.[418]


May 11, 1864

Newly adopted Louisiana state constitution has provisions for emancipation of slaves without compensation.[419]


May 14-15, 1864

Battle of Resaca, in Northern Georgia.


May 15, 1864

Battle of New Market, Virginia.[420]


May 16, 1864

Battle of Drewry’s Bluff/Fort Darling, Virginia.[421]


May 23-26, 1864

Battle of North Ana, Virginia.[422]


May 24, 1864

Abolitionist leader, attorney, and congressman, Joshua Reed Giddings, dies.  He opposed the Gag Rule in Congress, and the extension of slavery to the western territories.


May 25 – June 4, 1864

Campaign of New Hope Church, Georgia.[423]


June 1-3, 1864

Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia.[424]


June 5, 1864

United States Congress votes 95-66 for a joint resolution abolishing slavery.  The resolution fails, as a two-thirds majority is needed.[425]


June 7-8, 1864

Delegates to the National Union Convention Meeting in Baltimore nominate Abraham Lincoln for a second term as president.  Andrew Johnson, military governor of Tennessee, is nominated for vice president.  The party platform calls for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.[426]


June 9, 1864

Party leaders notify Lincoln of his nomination for president.  He approves one of the party platforms of a constitutional amendment to end slavery. Lincoln declares, “Such [an] amendment of the Constitution as is] now proposed became a fitting, and necessary conclusion to the final success of the Union cause.[427]


June 11-12, 1864

Battle of Trevilian Station, Virginia.[428]


June 12, 1864

General Grant begins to move the Army of the Potomac across the James River, withdrawing from his position at Cold Harbor.[429]


June 15, 1864

President Lincoln signs bill giving partial retroactive equal pay for U.S. Colored Troops.  He gives full equal pay in March 1865.[430]


June 16, 1864

Army of the Potomac assaults Petersburg, Virginia.[431]


June 17, 1864

President Lincoln delivers a speech at the Great Central Fair in Philadelphia.  He says, “War, at the best, is terrible, and this war of ours, in its magnitude and in its duration, is one of the most terrible… We accepted this war for an object, a worthy object, and the war will end when that object is attained.”[432]


June 18, 1864

General Grant’s attempt to take Petersburg is unsuccessful.  He begins siege against the city.[433]


June 22, 1864

Union Army engages Confederates against the Weldon Rail Road at Petersburg.  The Federal assault is halted.[434]


June 24, 1864

In a State Constitutional Convention, Maryland votes to abolish slavery.[435]


June 27, 1864

President Abraham Lincoln formally accepts the Republican Party’s nomination for president.[436]

Union defeat at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, near Marietta, Georgia.  There are 2,000 Union and approximately 500 Confederate casualties.[437]


June 28, 1864

President Lincoln signs acts repealing Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and all laws for returning fugitive slaves to their owners.[438]


June 30, 1864

Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase resigns from office.  Lincoln accepts his resignation, stating, “You and I have reached a point of mutual embarrassment in our official relation which it seems can not be overcome, or longer sustained, consistently with the public service.”[439]


July 1, 1864

Long-time Senator from Maine and prominent abolitionist, William Pitt Fessenden, is appointed by Lincoln as the new Secretary of the Treasury.  He replaces Salmon P. Chace, who resigned.  His appointment is immediately confirmed by Congress.[440]

The United States Senate votes to approve the Wade-Davis Reconstruction Bill.  Lincoln refuses to sign the bill.[441]


July 4, 1864

The first session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress adjourns.  President Lincoln pocket-vetoes the Wade Davis Bill, which in part would have given freedom to all slaves in the Confederate South through Congressional laws.  The Bill also specified that Congress would control reconstruction, not the President.[442]


July 5, 1864

President Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus and declares martial law in Kentucky.[443]


July 8, 1864

President Lincoln announces his support for a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.  Further, he states that he does not believe that Congress has the authority to end slavery.[444]

President Lincoln issues presidential proclamation regarding reconstruction in the South.[445]


July 9, 1864

Union and Confederate forces clash in Battle of Monocacy, Maryland.  Southern forces under General Jubal Early are temporarily halted in their invasion toward Washington.  Union forces endure 2,000 casualties, Confederates, 700.[446]


July 11, 1864

Confederate forces under General Early invade outskirts of Washington, DC.  Skirmishing takes place in Frederick, Maryland, and at Fort Stevens.  President Lincoln, witnessing the attack, comes under fire.[447]


July 12, 1864

Confederate attack in Washington suburbs is repulsed.  General Early’s forces retreat.  Lincoln again sees fighting.[448]


July 18, 1864

Lincoln writes memorandum regarding his policy for peace.  It is delivered to Horace Greely and John Hay for transmission to persons in Canada.  It states, “Any proposition which embraces the restoration of peace, the integrity of the whole Union, and the abandonment of slavery, and which comes by and with an authority that can control the armies now at war against the United States will be received and considered by the Executive government of the United States, and will be met by liberal terms on other substantial and collateral points; and the bearer, or bearers thereof shall have safe-conduct both ways..”[449]

Lincoln calls for 500,000 additional volunteers for the Union Army.[450]


July 20, 1864

Union forces in the Army of the Cumberland, under Major General George H. Thomas, engage Confederates in Battle of Peachtree Creek, Georgia.  It is a Union victory.[451]


July 22, 1864

General William T. Sherman defeats General John Bell Hood’s Confederate forces in the Battle for Atlanta, Georgia.  Union casualties are 3,722; Confederate are at least 7,000.[452]


July 23, 1864

The Louisiana State Constitutional Convention adopts measure that will abolish slavery in the state.[453]


July 28, 1864

Union victory in the Battle of Ezra Church, Georgia.[454]


August 5, 1864

Victory for Admiral David Farragut and the Union Navy in the Battle of Mobile Bay.  The Confederate bay is captured and closed.[455]


August 18-20, 1864

Union forces, under General G. K. Warren of the U.S. Fifth Corps, assault and capture the strategic Weldon Rail Road in Virginia.[456]


August 19, 1864

Lincoln meets with Frederick Douglass in the White House.  They discuss announcing the Emancipation Proclamation to slaves.[457]


August 23, 1864

Lincoln asks his cabinet secretaries to sign without reading a statement written by the President in event he lost the election: “This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be reëlected.  Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured the election on such grounds that he cannot possibly save it afterward.”[458]

President Lincoln addressed the 166th Ohio Regiment at the White House.  He says, “It is not merely for to-day, but for all time to come that we should perpetuate for our children’s children this great and free government, which we have enjoyed all our lives. … I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House.  I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has.  It is in order that each of you may have through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise and intelligence; … The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.”[459]


August 31, 1864

In Chicago, General George B. McClellan is nominated for President by the Democratic Party.[460]

Battle of Jonesborough, Georgia.[461]


September 1, 1864

Confederate Army, under General John Bell Hood, evacuates Atlanta.[462]


September 2, 1864

General Sherman and his combined armies capture and occupy Atlanta, Georgia.  General Slocum’s corps occupies the city.  Sherman wires Abraham Lincoln, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.”  This is a decisive Union victory and marks another major turning point in the war.[463]


September 5, 1864

President Lincoln proclaims day of victory for the capture of Atlanta and Mobile, Alabama.

Louisiana voters ratify a new state constitution, which provides for the abolition of slavery.[464]


September 6, 1864

Maryland’s State convention adopts new constitution, ending slavery.[465]


September 19, 1864

Federal victory in the Third Battle of Winchester, Virginia.  Major General Phillip H. Sheridan commands Union forces.[466]


October 1864

Sherman’s capture of Atlanta boosts Lincoln’s chances of re-election.  This victory balances the Union Army’s stalemate at Petersburg, Virginia.  Confederate General Hood continues his efforts to cut off Sherman’s supply line from Chattanooga to Atlanta.  He hopes to force Sherman to pull his army back to Tennessee.


October 5, 1864

Union victory for Sherman’s forces at Allatoona, Georgia, the site of a major railroad junction. 


October 10, 1864

President Lincoln writes to Henry W. Hoffman, referring to the adoption of a new Maryland state constitution, which would prohibit slavery: “I wish all men to be free.  I wish the material prosperity of the already free which I feel sure the extinction of slavery would bring.  I wish to see, in process of disappearing, that only thing which ever could bring this nation to civil war.”[467]


October 12, 1864

Sherman’s and Hood’s forces skirmish at Resaca and La Fayette, near Rome, Georgia.


October 13, 1864

Maryland adopts new state constitution, which includes a provision for the abolition of slavery.  The vote was 30,174 for and 29,799 opposed, a margin of only 375 votes.[468]


October 19, 1864

Union victory for Major General Phillip H. Sheridan in Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia.[469]


October 29, 1864

President Lincoln issues proclamation declaring the last Thursday in November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to Almighty God….”

President Lincoln meets African American Sojourner Truth.[470]


October 31, 1864

President Lincoln admits the Territory of Nevada to the Union as the 36th state.[471]


November 1864

The campaigns and the election of President Lincoln is the most important news story in the north.  It is the first time in modern history that fighting soldiers would vote during a war.  Most Union soldiers vote for Abraham Lincoln.  General Sherman’s capture of Atlanta and General Sheridan’s campaigns in the Shenandoah have a decisive effect on Lincoln’s ultimate victory.


November 7, 1864

Confederate President Davis recommends that his government purchase slaves to work in the army and then emancipate them at the end of service.  Further, he states that the Confederacy would favor a negotiated peace, but only with an independent Confederacy, not “our unconditional submission or degradation.”[472]


November 8, 1864

Abraham Lincoln is re-elected as President of the United States, and Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, as Vice President.  Lincoln states that the victory “will be to the lasting advantage, if not the very salvation, of the country.”[473]


November 10, 1864

In a speech, Lincoln states, “It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence, in great emergencies.”  In further remarks, Lincoln calls for unity: “May not all, having a common interest, be reunited in an effort to save our common country?”  Lincoln commented that “the election was a necessity.  We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us…  [The election] had demonstrated that a people’s government can sustain a national election in the midst of a great civil war.”[474]


November 14-15, 1864

General W. T. Sherman begins March from Atlanta to the Sea.[475]  He has 62,000 Federals in two Armies.


November 19, 1864

Editorializing on Lincoln’s election, Harper’s Weekly writes: “This result is the proclamation of the American people that they are not conquered; that the rebellion is not successful; and that, deeply as they deplore war and its inevitable suffering and loss, yet they have no choice between war and national ruin, and must therefore fight on…  Thank God and the people, we are a nation which comprehends its priceless importance to human progress and civilization, and which recognizes that law is the indispensable condition of Liberty.”[476]


November 21, 1864

The Confederate Georgia state government at Milledgeville evacuates the capital.


November 22-23, 1864

General Slocum's Army of Georgia occupies Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia.  His troops camp outside the city.  The residents of the city are treated respectfully.  Sherman sets up headquarters in Governor Brown’s mansion.  There is virtually no damage to the city. 


November 30, 1864

Union victory in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.[477]


December 1, 1864

General Sherman’s army is beyond the halfway point from Atlanta to Savannah.


December 5, 1864

U. S. Congress convenes for the second session of the 38th Congress.[478]


December 6, 1864

Lincoln delivers annual message to Congress.  The Union, he declares, has “more men now than when the war began…  We are gaining strength, and may, if need be, maintain the contest indefinitely.”  The Union has one million men in uniform, with the world’s largest navy, comprised of 671 ships.  He states that Sherman’s March to the Sea is “the most remarkable feature of military operations.”  Lincoln urges the House of Representatives to pass the “proposed amendment of the Constitution abolishing slavery throughout the United States,” which had passed the Senate, “and as it is to so go, may we not agree that the sooner the better.”[479]

Salmon P. Chace, former Secretary of the Treasury, is named Chief Justice of the United States.[480]


December 10, 1864

The March to the Sea ends when the Army of Georgia reaches the Confederate defensive works around Savannah, Georgia.  Sherman’s army has traveled 285 miles in 25 days of marching, averaging 12-15 miles a day.  [481]Slocum takes up a position along the Savannah River with his right connecting to the Seventeenth Corps of Howard’s Army of the Tennessee.


December 15-16, 1864

Decisive Union victory for Union General George H. Thoas in the Battle of Nashville, Tennessee.[482]


December 21, 1864

Savannah is captured and occupied by Sherman’s Army.  17,000-25,000 enslaved individuals are freed during Sherman’s March to the Sea.  Thousands of freemen volunteer as laborers, cooks, teamsters and pontoon and road builders.  8,000 individuals who had been freed from slavery enter Savannah with Sherman’s March.  In addition, the 7,587 enslaved individuals living in and around Savannah are also freed.[483]

Union losses in the 36 days of the March to the Sea campaign are 103 killed, 428 wounded and 809 missing in action.[484]  Confederate casualties are 2,300 killed, wounded and missing: 800 in the siege of Savannah, 550 at Griswoldville, 200 at Ft. McAllister, 100 in miscellaneous actions, and 596 in General Wheeler’s campaign.[485]  General Sherman put the total economic loss to the South during the campaign at $100,000,000.[486]


December 22, 1864

Sherman telegraphs President Lincoln:  “I beg to present you as a Christmas-gift the city of Savannah…”[487]


December 24, 1864

Union Naval forces, under Admiral David D. Porter, begin shelling of Confederate Fort Fisher in North Carolina.[488]


December 26, 1864

President Lincoln telegraphs General Sherman: “MY DEAR GENERAL SHERMAN: Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift – the capture of Savannah.”



Victory for the Union is virtually assured, with Grant at Petersburg, Thomas in Tennessee, and Sherman at Savannah.  The Union Navy controls the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The Confederate Congress expresses increasing unhappiness with President Davis and his administration.  Confederates consider using enslaved individuals as soldiers.  The U.S. Congress takes up the constitutional issue of enacting a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.

The Union Army stands at more than 600,000 soldiers ready for active duty.  More than 300,000 are in reserve, for a total of nearly 960,000 soldiers.  The Confederate forces total approximately 160,000 soldiers ready for active duty and a total force of 358,000.[489]


January 6, 1865

Congressman J. M. Ashley (R-Ohio) attempts to revive interest in the proposed 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery.  He states, “Mr. Speaker, if slavery is wrong and criminal, as the great body of enlightened Christian men admit, it is certainly our duty to abolish it, if we have the power.”  The amendment had previously passed the Senate, but failed in the House.  The House spends much of its time debating the issue.[490]


January 9, 1865

Tennessee Constitutional Convention adopts amendment abolishing slavery.  It is ratified by votes on February 22.[491]


January 10, 1865

The debate over a constitutional amendment for the abolition of slavery continues in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Speaking in favor of the amendment, Congressman John A. Kasson, of Iowa, states that “you will never, never have reliable peace in this country while that institution exists…”[492]


January 11, 1865

Missouri’s Constitutional Convention adopts ordinance abolishing slavery.[493]

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, along with U.S. Army Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs and other officials, arrives in Savannah, Georgia, to meet with General Sherman.


January 12, 1865

Congress continues to debate the Thirteenth Amendment and the abolition of slavery.  Future president and Republican member of the House James A. Garfield states, “Mr. Speaker, we shall never know why slavery dies so hard in this Republic and in this Hall, till we know why sin outlives disaster, and Satan is immortal…”  Radical Republican congressman Thaddeus Stevens regards slavery as “the worst institution upon earth, one which is a disgrace to man and would be an annoyance to the infernal spirits.”[494]

General Sherman and Secretary of War Stanton, along with Acting Adjutant General of the Army Brevet Brigadier General E. D. Townsend, meet with a group of 20 prominent African American clergymen and community leaders.  Reverend Garrison Frazier, a 67-year old former pastor of the Third African Baptist Church, is asked to be the spokesman for the group.  Sherman is asked to leave the room and is greatly offended by this.  Stanton inquires about Sherman’s treatment of the African American community: “State what is the feeling of the colored people toward General Sherman, and how far do you regard his sentiments and actions as friendly to their rights and interests, or otherwise?”  Frazier replies: “We looked upon General Sherman, prior to his arrival, as a man, in the providence of God, specially set aside to accomplish this work, and we unanimously felt inexpressible gratitude to him, looking upon him as a man who should be honored for the faithful performance of his duty.  Some of us called upon him immediately upon his arrival, and it is probable he did not meet the secretary with more courtesy than he did us.  His conduct and deportment toward us characterized him as a friend and gentleman.  We have confidence in General Sherman, and think what concerns us could not be in better hands.  This is our opinion now, for the short acquaintance and intercourse we have had.”[495]


January 13-15, 1865

Renewed massive Union Naval bombardment on Fort Fisher.  The Fort falls on January 15, 1865.[496]


January 16, 1865

General Sherman issues Special Field Order No. 15.  It provides for the confiscation of 400,000 acres of land along the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  The order was issued to deal with the thousands of African American refugees who had joined Sherman’s march and were recently freed from slavery in the Savannah area.  The order reads, in part:  “I. The islands from Charleston south, the abandoned rice-fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. John’s River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States. / II. At Beaufort, Hilton Head, Savannah, Fernandina, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville the blacks may remain in their  chosen or accustomed vocations; but on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside, and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves, subject only to the United States military authority, and the acts of Congress.  By the laws of war and orders of the President of the United States, the negro is free, and must be dealt with as such.” 

The Field Order and its provisions were revoked by President Johnson’s administration.


January 19, 1865

General William T. Sherman orders his armies to begin to prepare for a march north through the Carolinas.  His forces number approximately 60,000 officers and men.  General John G. Foster’s Department of the South has approximately 23,000 Union troops.[497]

The total opposing Confederate forces in the Carolinas number more than 30,000 Confederates.  Sherman is opposed by the following Confederate generals: General P. G. Beauregard, General William J. Hardee, General Daniel H. Hill, General Gustavus W. Smith, and others.


January 31, 1865

The United States Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the U.S.  By December 18, it becomes law.[498]

The U.S. House of Representatives achieves two-thirds vote majority on the Thirteenth Amendment, forbidding slavery in the U.S.  It reads, “Article XIII, Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.  Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”  It sends the Amendment to the states for ratification.  It is the first to be added since the Twelfth Amendment, of 1803, ratified in 1804.[499]


February 1, 1865

Lincoln approves the resolution to submit the Thirteenth Amendment to the states for ratification.[500]

Crowd serenades Lincoln at the White House in celebration of passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.  He addresses crowd.[501]

Illinois ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery.  It is the first state to do so.[502]

General Sherman’s two Federal Armies begin their March into South Carolina.[503]


February 3, 1865

President Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton meet aboard the steamboat “River Queen” with Confederate leaders to discuss ending the war.  It is called the Hampton Roads Peace Conference.  Lincoln calls for unconditional restoration of the Union.  Nothing comes of the meeting and the war continues.[504]

Maryland, New York and West Virginia ratify the Thirteenth Amendment.[505]


February 5-7, 1865

Battle of Hatcher’s Run, Virginia.[506]


February 5, 1865

Lincoln proposes to his cabinet a joint resolution of Congress to pay 16 Southern states $100 million pro rata for their slaves to end the war.  The cabinet unanimously disapproves of the proposal.[507]


February 7, 1865

Maine and Kansas ratify thirteenth Amendment.  Delaware fails to do so.[508]


February 12, 1865

Electoral vote in Presidential race is tallied.  Lincoln wins by vote of 212 to 21.[509]


February 17, 1865

Sherman’s Army captures state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina.  The city s heavily damaged in a major fire. The cause is disputed.[510]

Charleston, South Carolina, is evacuated by the Confederate Army.[511]


February 20, 1865

The Confederate House of Representatives authorizes the utilization of slaves as soldiers.

Sherman’s army departs Columbia, South Carolina.  His two wings follow a path thirty miles wide.


February 22, 1865

Tennessee approves new state constitution abolishing slavery.  Kentucky state legislature rejects Thirteenth Amendment.[512]

Confederate port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, is captured and occupied by the Union Army.[513]


February 23, 1864

Minnesota state legislature ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[514]


March 1, 1865

Wisconsin ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment; New Jersey rejects it.[515]


March 2, 1865

Confederate forces at Waynesborough, Virginia, are routed by General Sheridan’s forces.[516]


March 3, 1865

Congress passes a bill establishing the Bureau of Refugees, Freedman, and Abandoned Lands, under the auspices of the War Department.  The Bureau will supervise abandoned lands in the South and will have “control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen from the rebel states.”  General Howard would be appointed its head.[517]

President Lincoln signs bill that will emancipate wives and children of African American soldiers.[518]


March 4, 1865

President Lincoln is inaugurated in Washington, DC, for his second term.  Andrew Johnson is sworn in as the new Vice President.  In his speech, Lincoln declares about slavery: “One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war…”  He further states, “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword…”  He concludes his speech by saying: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”[519]

For the first time, thousands of African Americans attend the inauguration.  They cheer the president.  Frederick Douglass attends the program.[520]

That evening, Frederick Douglass goes to the White House reception and meets with Abraham Lincoln to thank him for his words.  He calls the speech a “sacred effort, more like a sermon than a state paper.”  Abraham Lincoln thanks him, saying: “My dear Sir, I am glad to see you.” 


March 11, 1865

General Sherman’s two Armies capture and occupy Fayetteville, North Carolina.  They remain in the city until March 14.[521]


March 13, 1865

The Confederate States Senate authorizes the enlistment of Blacks as soldiers in the Confederate army.  The vote passes narrowly, 9 to 8.  Blacks are never actually enlisted in the Confederate army.[522]

Confederate President Jefferson Davis signs authorization for recruiting Blacks in the Southern forces.  It asks Southerners to “volunteer” their slaves.[523]


March 16, 1865

Major General Henry W. Slocum defeats Confederate forces under General Hardee in the Battle of Averasboro, North Carolina.[524]


March 17, 1865

In a speech to a Union Army regiment, Lincoln remarks: “I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves it should be first for those who desire it for themselves… Whenever [I] hear any one, arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”[525] Lincoln also commented on the use of Black troops by the Confederacy.  (For full version of speech, see Appendix.)


March 19-21, 1865

Union victory of General Sherman’s troops in the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina.  This is the last major engagement in the western Carolinas campaign.  Casualties on the Union side are 1,500, and for the Confederates, 2,600.[526]


March 27-28, 1865

President Lincoln meets with his military and naval commanders on the riverboat, River Queen, off City Point, Virginia.  They include General Grant, General Sherman, and Admiral Porter.  They plan the overall strategy for the last campaigns of the war.[527]


March 29, 1865

Lincoln is at Union Army headquarters at City Point, Virginia.

The final Union campaign begins.  The Northern Armies of the Potomac and James begin campaign against Confederate General Lee at Petersburg and Richmond.  The total Union strength is 125,000 soldiers.[528]


April 1, 1865

Lincoln remains at Army of the Potomac headquarters.

Union victory for General Sheridan in the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia.[529]

Confederate President Davis writes to Confederate commander General Lee that he had “been laboring without much progress to advance the raising of negro troops,” and that “the distrust is increasing and embarrasses in many ways.”[530]


April 2, 1865

Lincoln is still with Army headquarters.

Union Army breaks through Confederate defenses in Petersburg, Virginia.  Confederate President Jefferson Davis abandons the capital, Richmond.  Rebel army burns Richmond.[531]  Lincoln telegraphs Grant, “Allow me to tender to you, and all with you, the nation’s grateful thanks for this additional and magnificent success.[532]

Southern mobs loot and burn the Confederate capital.  Noted historian James McPherson writes, “Southerners burned more of their own capital than the enemy had burned of Atlanta or Columbia.”[533]

Selma, Alabama, is captured by Federa forces.[534]


April 3, 1865

Lincoln meets with General Grant in Petersburg.

Union Army enters and occupies Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia.[535]  Lincoln telegraphs Secretary of War Stanton, “It is certain now that Richmond is in our hands, and I think I will go there tomorrow.  I will take care of myself.[536]


April 4, 1865

President Lincoln tours Richmond.  Crowd of recently freed African Americans enthusiastically hails him as “the Great Messiah” and “Father Abraham.”  One formerly enslaved individual knelt at Lincoln’s feet and blessed him.  A humbled Lincoln said, “Don’t kneel to me.  You must kneel to God only, and thank him for the liberty you will enjoy hereafter.”[537]  Another Black woman kisses Lincoln’s hand and exclaims, “I know that I am free for I have seen Father Abraham and felt him.”[538]


April 5-8, 1865

Lincoln remains at Union Army headquarters at City Point, Virginia.[539]


April 9, 1865

At 1 p.m., Lee surrenders his Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox courthouse in Virginia.[540]


April 11, 1865

At the White House, Lincoln delivers his last speech before his assassination.  He declares support for limited African suffrage in the Southern states.[541]

Lincoln meets with General Benjamin Butler regarding freed slaves.[542]


April 12, 1865

Union Army occupies Mobile, Alabama.[543]


April 13, 1865

General Sherman captures Raleigh, North Carolina.


April 14, 1865

Abraham Lincoln is assassinated at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC.[544]

General Johnston begins surrender negotiations with General Sherman.  The negotiations drag on for two weeks.  Except for small engagements, the Civil War is over.


April 15, 1865

At 7:22 a.m., President Lincoln dies.  Secretary of War Stanton is present and declares: “Now he belongs to the ages.”[545]

Andrew Johnson is sworn in as President.[546]


April 17-18, 1865

The Confederate Army, under General Joseph E. Johnston, surrenders at Bennett’s Place, outside of Durham, North Carolina.  Sherman presents very liberal surrender terms for Johnston’s army.  These include recognition of state governments, political rights and a general amnesty for Confederate soldiers.  In addition, Confederates are not required to surrender their weapons.  These surrender terms are rejected and amended by President Andrew Johnson.[547]


April 19, 1865

Funeral services for President Lincoln are held in the East Room of the Executive Mansion.  Lincoln’s body is escorted to the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.  Lincoln lies in state until the evening of April 20.[548]


April 20, 1865

Arkansas state legislature ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[549]


April 21, 1865

President Lincoln’s body leaves Washington for Springfield, Illinois.[550]


April 22, 1865

Lincoln’s funeral train goes through Philadelphia.[551]


April 26, 1865

At Bennett’s Place, near Durham Station, North Carolina, General Johnston signs the revised and less liberal terms of surrender to General Sherman.  The terms are approved by General Grant.  Johnston’s army of 30,000 solders is surrendered.[552]


May 1865

General Oliver O. Howard is appointed Commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau (the U.S. Army’s Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands).  He serves in this post until July 1874.  The Freedmen’s Bureau was tasked by Congress to help formerly enslaved individuals integrate into American society.  The Bureau’s programs included education, the courts and healthcare.


May 4, 1865

Abraham Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois.[553]


May 5, 1865

The Connecticut state legislature ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[554]


May 24, 1865

General Sherman’s army passes in review.  Many newly-freed individuals were accorded the honor of participating in the Union victory parade.  They accompanied Sherman’s army to the very end of the March.[555] 


May 25, 1865

Most of the Union Army is disbanded and soldiers return to their homes.[556]


May 29, 1865

President Andrew Johnson grants amnesty and pardons to all persons (with exceptions) who took part in “the existing rebellion.”  Property rights for Southerners were restored, except for slaves.  An oath of loyalty is required.[557]


June 6, 1865

Missouri ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery.[558]


June 19, 1865

Slaves in Galveston Bay, Texas, receive the news of the Emancipation Proclamation.  There were 200,000 slaves living in the area.  They later celebrated the day as “Juneteenth.”


July 1, 1865

New Hampshire ratifies Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery.[559]


July 23, 1865

Abolitionist leader, organizer, activist Arthur Tappan dies.  He supported the publication of numerous anti-slavery newspapers, including the Emancipator, the National Era, and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Reporter.[560]


November 13, 1865

South Carolina ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[561]


December 2, 1865

Alabama ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[562]


December 4, 1865

North Carolina ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.  Mississippi rejects it.[563]


December 5, 1865

Georgia ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[564] 


December 11, 1865

Oregon ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment.[565]


December 18, 1865

The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery, is in effect after being approved by 27 states.[566]




Bibliography: Abraham Lincoln Chronology on Slavery and Emancipation



Basler, Roy P., ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols.), New Brunswick, NJ: 1953-1955.


Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860; Compiled from the Original Returns of the Eighth Census. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1864.


Dumond, Dwight Lowell. Antislavery: The Crusade for Freedom in America. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1961.


Foner, E. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, New York: Norton, 2010


Long, E. B., with Barbara Long. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1971.


Miers, Earl Schenck, editor-in-chief, C. Percy Powell, vol. ed., Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology (Vol. III), Washington: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission, 1960.


Miller, Randall M., and John D. Smith, Eds., Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery, New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.


Oakes, James, The Radical and the Politician: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics, New York: 2007.


Rodriguez, Junius P., ed. Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2007.


U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (70 vols.), Washington, DC: 1880-1901.

 Return to Top of Page


[1] Dumond, pp. 27-28, 29.

[2] Dumond.

[3] Foner, p. 17.

[4] Johnson and Smith, p.201.

[5] Foner, p. 17.

[6] Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860; Compiled from the Original Returns of the Eighth Census. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1864, p. ix.

[7] Dumond, p. 61.

[8] Dumond, pp. 58-59.

[9] Dumond, pp. 64-65.

[10] Dumond, pp. 58, 77.

[11] Dumond, pp. 81, 381FN23.

[12] Dumond.

[13] Dumond.

[14] Dumond, pp. 66, 73.

[15] Miers, Earl Schenck, ed., C. Percy Powell, vol. ed., Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology, Vol. III: 1861-1865, Washington: Lincoln Sesquicentennial Commission, 1960, p. 3.

[16] Dumond, p. 331.

[17] Dumond, p. 73.

[18] Dumond, p. 129.

[19] Dumond, pp. 75, 380FN13.

[20] Dumond.

[21] Dumond, pp. 75, 380FN13.

[22] Dumond, p. 129.

[23] Foner, p. 7.

[24] Dumond, pp. 168, 172.

[25] Dumond, p. 68.

[26] Foner, p. 18.

[27] Miers.

[28] Foner, p. 19.

[29] Dumond, pp. 333, 409FN1.

[30] Dumond, pp. 175-180.

[31] Miers, p. 39.

[32] Dumond.

[33] Dumond.

[34] Dumond, pp. 238, 243-244.

[35] Dumond.

[36] Foner, p. 22.

[37] Miers, p. 65.

[38] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. I; Foner, p. 28.

[39] Miers, p. 69; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. I, pp. 74-75.

[40] Dumond, p. 189.

[41] Dumond, pp. 225-226.

[42] Dumond, p. 189.

[43] Dumond, p. 331.

[44] Dumond, pp. 242-245.

[45] Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860, p. ix.

[46] Miers.

[47] Dumond, pp. 286-289.

[48] Foner, p. 21.

[49] Dumond.

[50] Miers, p. 163.

[51] Foner, p. 11; Miers, p. 167.

[52] Foner, pp. 11-12.

[53] Foner, p. 20.

[54] Foner, p. 46.

[55] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. I, p. 279.

[56] Dumond.

[57] Dumond, pp. 238, 243-244.

[58] Dumond, p. 333.

[59] Miers, p. 275.

[60] Dumond, pp. 359-360.

[61] Foner, pp. 55-56.

[62] Miers, p. 294.

[63] Miers, p. 298.

[64] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. I, pp. 433-441.

[65] Dumond, pp. 303-304.

[66] Bassler, Vol. II, pp. 20-22.

[67] Miers, p. 4.

[68] Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860, p. ix.

[69] Dumond, pp. 360-363.

[70] Dumond, pp. 308, 362.

[71] Rodriguez, Vol. 1, p. 54.

[72] Foner, pp. 60-62.

[73] Dumond, pp. 303-304.

[74] Dumond, p. 363.

[75] Foner, pp. 8, 340.

[76] Dumond, pp. 75, 362, 380FN13; Foner.

[77] Dumond, pp. 75, 362, 380FN13; Foner.

[78] Dumond, p. 363.

[79] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, pp. 230-233.

[80] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, p. 239.

[81] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, p. 245.

[82] Foner, pp. 73-74.

[83] Foner; Miers, p. 129.

[84] Basler, Collected Works, pp. 255-276; Foner, pp. 66-69.

[85] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, pp. 322-323; Foner, p. 77.

[86] Foner, pp. 79-80.

[87] Foner, p. 81.

[88] Foner.

[89] Bassler, Vol. II, pp. 398-410; Foner, pp. 96-97.

[90] Basler, Collected Works; Foner, pp. 96-97.

[91] Bassler, Vol. II.

[92] Foner, pp. 99-103; Miers, p. 218.

[93] Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: His Book, New York, 1903.

[94] Foner.

[95] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, pp. 225-226; Foner, p. 109.

[96] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. II, pp. 254-255; Foner, p. 109.

[97] Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860, p. ix.

[98] Bureau of the Census. Population of the United States in 1860, p. ix; Dumond, p. 70.

[99] Dumond, p. 336.

[100] Foner, pp. 96, 102, 136-138, 153; Miers, p. 274; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. III, pp. 522-550; New York Tribune, Feb. 28, 1860.

[101] Miers.

[102] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 3.

[103] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 5.

[104] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 8.

[105] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 9.

[106] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 13.

[107] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 16-17.

[108] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 22.

[109] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 24-25.

[110] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 26.

[111] Miers, p. 275; Chicago Tribune.

[112] Foner; Miers, p. 280; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 50-51.

[113] Miers, p. 281; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 51; New York Tribune.

[114] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 51; Miers, p. 281.

[115] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 52-53; Miers, p. 281.

[116] Long, E. B., with Barbara Long, The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971, pp. 2-3; Foner.

[117] Long, pp. 8-9.

[118] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 149-150; Long, p. 10.

[119] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 150.

[120] New York Herald, Dec. 15, 1860.

[121] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 151.

[122] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 152; Long, p. 11.

[123] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 154.

[124] Long, p. 12.

[125] Long, pp. 12-13.

[126] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 160.

[127] Long, p. 23.

[128] Long, p. 23.

[129] Long, p. 24.

[130] Long, p. 24; Miers, Vol. III, p. 4.

[131] Long, p. 25.

[132] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 172; Foner, p. 154; Long, p. 25.

[133] Long, p. 26.

[134] Long, p. 26.

[135] Long, p. 27.

[136] Long, p. 27.

[137] Long, p. 29.

[138] Long, p. 30.

[139] Long, p. 31.

[140] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 183; Foner, p. 154.

[141] Long, pp. 31-34.

[142] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 215-216.

[143] Long, p. 38.

[144] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 235-236; Miers, Vol. III, p. 19.

[145] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 237; Miers, Vol. III, p. 19.

[146] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 240-241.

[147] Long, p. 41.

[148] Long, p. 44; Foner, E. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, New York: Norton, 2010.

[149] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 262-271; Long, p. 46; Foner; Miers, pp. 24-25.

[150] Miers, Vol. III, p. 34.

[151] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 331-333; Long, p. 59; Miers, p. 35.

[152] Long, p. 109.

[153] Long, p. 74.

[154] Long, p. 76.

[155] Official Records; Long, p. 77.

[156] Long, p. 78.

[157] Long, p. 77.

[158] Dumond, p. 370.

[159] Long, p. 77.

[160] Foner, p. 170.

[161] Long, p. 82.

[162] Long, p. 82.

[163] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 426-438.

[164] Long, pp. 98-100.

[165] Long, p. 100.

[166] Foner, pp. 173-174; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 1st Session, 24, 32; Long, pp. 100-101.

[167] Long, pp. 101-102; Miers, Vol. III, p. 57.

[168] Long, p. 102.

[169] Foner, p. 171; Long, pp. 102-103.

[170] Dumond, p. 370; Long, pp. 102-103.

[171] Foner, p. 183; autobiography.

[172] Congressional Globe.

[173] Congressional Globe; Long, p. 104.

[174] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, pp. 175-179, 183, 186, 187, 191, 202, 204, 287; Miers, Vol. III, p. 59; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 1st Session, pp. 217-219; NY Times, Aug. 7, 1861; Statute L., XII, p. 319.

[175] Foner, p. 175; Long, p. 106.

[176] Long, p. 107.

[177] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 487-488; Long, p. 109.

[178] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 515, 517-518; Dumond, p. 372; Foner; Long, pp. 112-113; Miers, p. 66.

[179] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, pp. 506-507; Long, p. 114.

[180] Long, p. 114.

[181] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 515; Long, p. 117; Miers, Vol. III, p. 66.

[182] Foner, p. 179.

[183] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 531.

[184] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 532.

[185] Foner, pp. 178-179.

[186] Foner, pp. 180-181.

[187] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 554.

[188] Long, p. 129.

[189] Long, p. 131.

[190] Foner, pp. 182-184, 342; Long, p. 143.

[191] Long, p. 134.

[192] Long, p. 135.

[193] Long, pp. 135-136.

[194] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 25-26.

[195] Long, p. 144.

[196] Long, p. 144.

[197] Foner, p. 191; Long, p. 146.

[198] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 35-53; Miers, p. 80.

[199] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 51-53; Foner, p. 342; Miers, Vol. III, p. 80.

[200] Long, p. 158.

[201] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 95.

[202] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 96; Long, p. 160.

[203] Long, p. 160; National Intelligencer, Jan. 16, 1863.

[204] Long, p. 167.

[205] Long, pp. 168-169.

[206] Long, pp. 170-172.

[207] Long, p. 175.

[208] Dumond, p. 372; Foner; Long, p. 179; Miers, p. 98.

[209] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 144-146; Foner, pp. 195-196.

[210] Miers, Vol. III, p. 99; H. Nicolay, pp. 134-135.

[211] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 152-153.

[212] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 195; Miers, p. 98; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, 944, 955, 958-959, 1143.

[213] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 169.

[214] Miers, Vol. III, p. 103.

[215] Long, p. 188.

[216] Foner, p. 197.

[217] Long, p. 192.

[218] Long, p. 193.

[219] Miers, Vol. III, p. 105; Philadelphia News, April 7, 1862.

[220] Long.

[221] Long, p. 196.

[222] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 265; Miers, Vol. III, p. 105.

[223] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 186.

[224] Miers, p. 106; Congressional Globe, p. 1650.

[225] Dumond, p. 372.

[226] Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 1191, 1300, 1523, 1526.

[227] Long, p. 198.

[228] New York Tribune, April 14, 1862.

[229] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 192; Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 201; Miers, p. 107.

[230] Long, pp. 203-204.

[231] Long, p. 204.

[232] Long, p. 206.

[233] Long, pp. 207-208.

[234] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 222-223; Dumond, p. 372.

[235] Long, p. 209.

[236] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 222-223; Foner, pp. 206-207, 342.

[237] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 224-225.

[238] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 203; Statute L, xii, 432.

[239] Dumond, p. 372; Foner; Statute L, xii, 392-394, 403.

[240] Long, p. 216.

[241] Long, p. 218.

[242] Long, pp. 219-220.

[243] Miers, Vol. III, p. 119; Monaghan, p. 227.

[244] Long, pp. 222-223.

[245] Dumond, p. 372; Foner, p. 203; Statute L, xii, 432; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 1137, 2917-2920, 2929, 2999.

[246] New York Tribune, June 21, 1862; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 278-279.

[247] Long, p. 230.

[248] Miers, Vol. III, p. 123.

[249] Long, p. 235.

[250] Long, p. 237; Sears (1989), pp. 344-345.

[251] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 329-331; Foner, pp. 215-216; Congressional Globe, 37th Congress, 2nd Session, pp. 3006, 3267-68, 3383, 3400.

[252] Dumond, p. 372; Basler, Roy P., ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (8 vols.), New Brunswick, NJ: 1953-1955, Vol. V, pp. 317-319.

[253] Foner, p. 222.

[254] Miers, p. 128; Gideon Welles’ diary.

[255] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 324; Foner, p. 213.

[256] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 328-331; Dumond, p. 372; Foner; Long, p. 241; Miers, p. 128; Statute L, xii, 589.

[257] Long, p. 241.

[258] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 336-337; Dumond, p. 372; Foner, pp. 218-219; Long, pp. 242-243; Samuel Chase diary.

[259] Miers, p. 129.

[260] Long, p. 244.

[261] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 344-346.

[262] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 350-351.

[263] Miers, p. 131; Rice, pp. 521-522.

[264] Donald, 1954, pp. 105-106; Miers, p. 131.

[265] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 356-357; New York Tribune, August 5, 1862.

[266] Long, p. 247; Miers, Vol. III, p. 131.

[267] Long, pp. 249-250.

[268] Long, p. 251; Foner; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 370-375.

[269] Miers, Vol. III, p. 134.

[270] Long, pp. 253-254.

[271] Long, p. 254; Foner; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 388-389.

[272] Foner; Long, p. 255.

[273] Long, pp. 255-258.

[274] Miers, p. 136.

[275] Long, p. 261.

[276] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 419-425; Miers, p. 139.

[277] Long, p. 266.

[278] New York Tribune, September 16, 1862; Miers, p. 139.

[279] Long, pp. 267-268.

[280] Miers, p. 140.

[281] Hay diary, cited in Miers, p. 139.

[282] Miers, p. 141.

[283] Foner; Long, p. 270; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 433-436.

[284] Washington Star, September 24, 1862; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 438-439.

[285] Long, p. 271.

[286] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 436-437; Long, p. 270.

[287] Miers, p. 141.

[288] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 444.

[289] Long, p. 273.

[290] Long, pp. 274-275.

[291] Long, p. 276.

[292] Long, p. 278.

[293] Long, p. 278.

[294] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 478; Miers, p. 147.

[295] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V; Miers, p. 147.

[296] Long, p. 284.

[297] Long, p. 265.

[298] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 496.

[299] New York Times, Nov. 24, 1862; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, pp. 503-504.

[300] Foner, p. 343.

[301] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. V, p. 537; Long, p. 292.

[302] Foner, p. 238; Long.

[303] Long, p. 300.

[304] Miers, p. 159; Welles’ diary.

[305] Miers, p. 159.

[306] Welles’ diary.

[307] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 17.

[308] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 28-31; Foner; Long, p. 306; Miers, p. 160.

[309] Long, p. 309.

[310] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 48-49.

[311] Foner, p. 249.

[312] Long, p. 312.

[313] Long.

[314] Long, p. 325.

[315] Foner, pp. 284, 285, 294.

[316] Long, p. 329; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 140-141.

[317] Miers, Vol. III, p. 175.

[318] Long, p. 331.

[319] Long, p. 332.

[320] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 149-150; Miers, Vol. III, p. 175.

[321] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 151; Miers, Vol. III, p. 177.

[322] Miers, Vol. III, p. 177.

[323] Long, pp. 335-336.

[324] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 176.

[325] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 176-177; Miers, Vol. III, p. 179.

[326] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 181.

[327] Long, p. 348.

[328] Long, p. 354.

[329] Long, p. 356.

[330] Long, p. 357.

[331] Long, p. 359.

[332] Long, p. 359.

[333] Long, pp. 363-364.

[334] Long, p. 365.

[335] Long, p. 367.

[336] Long, p. 367.

[337] Long, p. 369.

[338] Long, p. 370.

[339] Long, p. 372.

[340] Long, p. 378.

[341] Long, pp. 378-379.

[342] Long, pp. 378-379.

[343] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 319-320; Miers, Vol. III, p. 195; Washington Chronicle, July 8, 1863.

[344] Long, p. 381.

[345] Long, pp. 382-383.

[346] Miers, Vol. III, p. 196.

[347] Long, p. 384.

[348] Long, p. 387.

[349] Miers, Vol. III, p. 198.

[350] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 342.

[351] Long, p. 392.

[352] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 357; Miers, p. 199.

[353] Long, pp. 394-395.

[354] Long, p. 395; Miers, p. 200.

[355] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 374-375; Long, p. 396.

[356] Foner, p. 343.

[357] Long, p. 399.

[358] Long, p. 399.

[359] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 406-410; Miers, p. 204.

[360] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 428-429.

[361] Long, p. 403.

[362] Long, p. 404.

[363] Long, p. 405.

[364] Long, p. 407.

[365] Long, pp. 407-408.

[366] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 440-441.

[367] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 444-449; Long, p. 409.

[368] Long, pp. 411-412.

[369] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 496-497.

[370] Long, p. 211.

[371] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 523-524.

[372] Miers, Vol. III, p. 217.

[373] Long, p. 435; Miers, pp. 221-222.

[374] Long, p. 436.

[375] Long, p. 437.

[376] Long, pp. 437-438.

[377] Long, p. 443.

[378] Long, p. 444.

[379] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 36-56; Long, p. 444.

[380] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, pp. 76-77; Long, p. 447.

[381] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 81; Long, p. 448.

[382] Foner, p. 167.

[383] Long, p. 454.

[384] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 145-146; Long, p. 457.

[385] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 164.

[386] Long, p. 460.

[387] Miers, Vol. III, p. 239.

[388] Long, p. 464.

[389] Miers, Vol. III, p. 241.

[390] Long, p. 468.

[391] Long, p. 470.

[392] Long, p. 472.

[393] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 226-227; Long, p. 473; Miers, Vol. III, pp. 244-245.

[394] Nicolay, pp. 195-196; Grant, personal memoirs, Vol. II, p. 121.

[395] Long, p. 473; Miers, Vol. III, p. 245.

[396] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 236; Long, p. 473.

[397] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 239-240.

[398] Long, p. 474.

[399] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 243; Miers, p. 246.

[400] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 243-244.

[401] Long, p. 476.

[402] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 251; Long, p. 467.

[403] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 260-261; Long, p. 467.

[404] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 281-282; Foner, pp. 297-298; Long, p. 481; Miers, Vol. III, p. 251.

[405] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 287; Miers, Vol. III, p. 251.

[406] Long, p. 481.

[407] Miers, Vol. III, p. 252; Washington Star, April 7, 1864.

[408] Miers, Vol. III, p. 252.

[409] Foner, pp. 294-295; Long, p. 482.

[410] Long, p. 464.

[411] Long, p. 484.

[412] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 301-303; Long, p. 487.

[413] Long, p. 487.

[414] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 328-329.

[415] Long, p. 492.

[416] Long, pp. 492-493.

[417] Long, p. 495.

[418] Long, p. 496.

[419] Long, p. 499.

[420] Long, pp. 501-502.

[421] Long, p. 503.

[422] Long, p. 507.

[423] Long, p. 508.

[424] Long, p. 512.

[425] Foner.

[426] Long, p. 518.

[427] Long, p. 518.

[428] Long, pp. 519-520.

[429] Long, p. 520.

[430] Foner.

[431] Long, p. 523.

[432] Long, p. 524.

[433] Long, pp. 524-525.

[434] Long, p. 527.

[435] Long, p. 528.

[436] Long, p. 529.

[437] Long, p. 529.

[438] Miers, Vol. III, p. 268; Statue L., XII, 200.

[439] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 419; Long, p. 530.

[440] Long, p. 531; Miers, Vol. III, p. 269.

[441] Long, pp. 531-532.

[442] Foner, p. 301-302.

[443] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 425-427; Long, p. 534.

[444] Long, p. 535.

[445] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 433-434.

[446] Long, pp. 535-536.

[447] Long, p. 537; Miers, Vol. III, p. 271; Hay Diary.

[448] Long, pp. 537-538; Miers, Vol. III, p. 271; Washington Chronicle, July 13, 1864.

[449] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 451.

[450] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 448-449.

[451] Long, pp. 542-543.

[452] Long, pp. 543-544.

[453] Long, p. 545.

[454] Long, p. 574.

[455] Long, pp. 551-552.

[456] Long, pp. 556-557.

[457] Foner, p. 344; Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, pp. 503-504.

[458] Lincoln, in Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, p. 514.

[459] Miers, Vol. III, p. 279.

[460] Long, p. 563.

[461] Long, pp. 563-564.

[462] Long, p. 564.

[463] Long, p. 565.

[464] Long, p. 567.

[465] Long, p. 567.

[466] Long, p. 571.

[467] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, pp. 41-42; Long, p. 582.

[468] Long, p. 583.

[469] Long, p. 585.

[470] Miers, Vol. III, p. 292.

[471] Long, p. 591.

[472] Long, p. 164.

[473] Long, p. 594; Miers, Vol. III, p. 294.

[474] Lincoln, in Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, p. 100-102; Nevins, 1971; Washington Chronicle, Nov. 11, Hay Diary.

[475] Long, pp. 596-597.

[476] Harper’s Weekly.

[477] Long, p. 603.

[478] Long, p. 606.

[479] Lincoln, in Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VII, cited in Nevins, p. 208.

[480] Long, p. 606.

[481] Official Records, I, xliv.

[482] Long, pp. 610-612.

[483] Bureau of the Census, Population of the United States in 1860, p. 599; Drago; Official Records, I, xliv.

[484] Official Records, I, xliv, p. 13.

[485] Official Records, I, xliv; Trudeau, p. 542.

[486] Official Records, I, xliv.

[487] Long, p. 614.

[488] Long, pp. 614-615.

[489] Nevins, p. 254.

[490] Long, p. 620.

[491] Long, p. 621.

[492] Long, p. 621.

[493] Long, p. 621.

[494] Long, p. 623.

[495] Official Records.

[496] Long, pp. 623-625.

[497] Official Records, I, xlvii, pt. 1, p. 17-18.

[498] Foner.

[499] Nevins, p. 213.

[500] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, p. 249.

[501] New York Tribune, February 3, 1865.

[502] Long, p. 632.

[503] Long, pp. 631-632.

[504] Long, p. 632; Grant Memoirs, Vol. II, p. 422.

[505] Long, p. 632.

[506] Long, p. 634.

[507] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, pp. 260-261; Miers, p. 311.

[508] Long, p. 635.

[509] Long, p. 637.

[510] Long, pp. 639-640.

[511] Long, pp. 639-640.

[512] Long, p. 643.

[513] Long, p. 642.

[514] Long, p. 643.

[515] Long, p. 645.

[516] Long, p. 645.

[517] Long, p. 646.

[518] Foner.

[519] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, pp. 332-333.

[520] Miers, pp. 317-318.

[521] Long, p. 650.

[522] Long, p. 649.

[523] Long, p. 651.

[524] Long, pp. 652-653.

[525] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, pp. 360-362; Long, p. 653.

[526] Long, pp. 654-656.

[527] Long, pp. 658-659; Sherman’s Memoirs, Vol. II, pp. 325-327.

[528] Long, p. 659.

[529] Long, pp. 661-662.

[530] Long, p. 662.

[531] Long, p. 663.

[532] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, pp. 384-385.

[533] Long, p. 664.

[534] Long, p. 663.

[535] Long, p. 665; Official Records, Vol. XLVI, pt. 3, p. 508.

[536] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, p. 385.

[537] Long, p. 666.

[538] Foner.

[539] Miers, pp. 325-326.

[540] Long, p. 670.

[541] Washington Star, April 11-12, 1865; Foner, p. 345.

[542] Basler, Collected Works, Vol. VIII, p. 588.

[543] Long, p. 673.

[544] Long, pp. 675-676; Miers, pp. 329-330.

[545] Long, p. 677; Miers, p. 330; Nicoly and Hay, X, p. 302.

[546] Long, p. 677.

[547] Long, p. 678.

[548] Long, p. 679.

[549] Long, p. 680.

[550] Long, p. 680.

[551] Long, p. 680.

[552] Long, p. 680.

[553] Long, p. 685.

[554] Long, . 686.

[555] Long, pp. 689-690.

[556] Long, p. 690.

[557] Long, pp. 690-691.

[558] Long, p. 692.

[559] Long, p. 694.

[560] Dumond.

[561] Long, p. 696.

[562] Long, p. 696.

[563] Long, p. 696.

[564] Long, p. 696.

[565] Long, p. 696.

[566] Long.