Rebellion 1862     
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Andrew Jackson, daguerreotype
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Lincoln's Choice

After Fremont’s martial law was revoked, abolitionists flooded Lincoln with letters and petitions urging him to reconsider the use of enemy slaves as combatants. Suddenly, with war on the line, the idea of emancipating southern slaves gained new urgency and credibility. “[E]ditors and politicians no longer dismissed abolitionists as wild extremists,” writes James Brewer Stewart, “but instead began to laud them as noble prophets whose warnings had proven true.”

As a primer on the justifications for emancipation, William Lloyd Garrison edited The Abolition of Slavery: The Right of the Government Under the War Power. The influential, 24-page pamphlet began by citing the arguments that Adams had advanced in 1836 and 1842, which were now hailed as the legal foundation for wartime emancipation. An extraordinary letter from Giddings followed, in which he elucidated the precedents for emancipation stemming from the Second Seminole War. Giddings singled out three key precedents from the war: the Army’s decision, under Generals Jesup and Taylor, to emancipate belligerent slaves and send them west under a promise of freedom; General Gaines’ vigorous court defense of the Black Seminoles’ legal status in New Orleans in 1838; and the concurrence of Presidents Van Buren and Tyler in the Army’s decisions.

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Sources: Garrison, William Lloyd, ed., The Abolition of Slavery: The Right of the Government Under the War Power. ©
Part 4, Freedom: Outline  l Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 - Freedom: 1850-1882
+ Cost of Freedom
+ Liberty Foretold
spacer spacer Renown in Exile
The War Power
Lincoln's Choice
Black Militants
+ Liberty Found
 + Legacy & Conclusion