Proceeding with its work, the old State convention, which had hitherto made a most honorable record, neglected a great opportunity.
It indeed adopted an ordinance of gradual emancipation on July I, 1863, but of such an uncertain and dilatory character, that public opinion in the State
promptly rejected it. By the death of the provisional governor
on January 31, 1864, the conservative party of Missouri
lost its most trusted leader, and thereafter the radicals succeeded to the political power of the State
At the presidential election of 1864, that party chose a new State convention, which met in St. Louis
on January 6, 1865, and on the sixth day of its session (January II) formally adopted an ordinance of immediate emancipation.
, like Missouri
, had no need of reconstruction.
Except for the Baltimore
riot and the arrest of her secession legislature during the first year of the war, her State government continued its regular functions.
But a strong popular undercurrent of virulent secession sympathy among a considerable minority of her inhabitants was only held in check by the military power of the Union
, and for two years emancipation found no favor in the public opinion of the State
Her representatives, like those of most other border States, coldly refused President Lincoln
's earnest plea to accept compensated abolishment; and a bill in Congress to give Maryland
ten million dollars for that object was at once blighted by the declaration of one of her leading representatives that Maryland
did not ask for it. Nevertheless, the subject could no more be ignored there than in other States; and after the President
's emancipation proclamation an emancipation party developed itself in Maryland
There was no longer any evading the practical issue, when, by the President
's direction, the Secretary